GDK 391 – No turning back
Han Shuo surveyed the no longer young magus in front of him. Crowley was a dark grand magus. An average student in Babylon Academy of Magic and Force might not have any impression of him. However, Han Shuo who once did odd jobs within the necromancy major knew of this person's existence.
At that time, Han Shuo and Jack were always in charge of cleaning the statues along the path first thing in the morning. All the outstanding graduates from past years of the academy each had a statue placed along the path. Crowley was impressively one of the numerous statues which Han Shuo had previously cleaned for a period of time.
The time when Crowley was in the dark major was formerly also the dark major's period of glory. Ever since Crowley became a journeyman mage, four consecutive years of the academy's competition between majors had been swept by the dark major's team that was led by Crowley. After Crowley had graduated from the dark major, he very quickly also became a dark archmage. Crowley really had many major achievements before he traveled around the Profound Continent in the past few years.
Merely, too much time has passed. Due to Crowley's fascination in further advancing, his reputation had slowly waned and was gradually forgotten by the people in Lancelot Empire. It even reached the point where some new teachers and students of the dark major had never heard any information about him.
Han Shuo looked at Crowley who had issued him a challenge, recalling the time when he was an errand slave looking up at Crowley's statue. Han Shuo suddenly had an absurd feeling in his heart. Just a while ago, he had actually become such a person's opponent and was even being challenged by him. Han Shuo could feel a sense of pride rising within himself.
It was precisely because of this that Han Shuo had an extremely splendid smile. However, when Crowley saw Han Shuo's splendid smile, Crowley interpreted it as Han Shuo completely looking down on him. Crowley felt that he was being insulted, holding back the anger in his heart and said, "Count Bryan, what is the meaning of this. Could it be that you feel contempt about my challenge and intend to reject it?"
Smiling as he shook his head, Han Shuo couldn't help but straightened his mind which was imagining wildly. He then sized up Crowley more seriously, hesitating a moment before knitting his brows and said, "You have misunderstood. I was only recalling past events. When I was still an errant servant in the necromancy department, I had previously cleaned your statue. Who would have guessed that today you would issue a challenge to me? Honestly speaking, I feel extremely honored!"
Crowley was astonished and couldn't help but turn his head to look at his old friend in the dark major, Deo, seemingly wanting to seek confirmation from Deo about the matter.
"That's right. A few years ago, as an errand servant, he had previously cleaned the hallway leading to the dark major's building. Ah, when you became a dark grand magus had previously applied with the dean to place your statue there. What is said is correct, he had indeed cleaned your statue before." Deo felt somewhat awkward as he explained but still narrated in full detail to clear Crowley's doubts.
When Crowley heard Deo's explanation and considered that Han Shuo had previously cleaned his statue, he couldn't help but hesitate slightly in his heart and actually didn't really want to challenge Han Shuo anymore. No matter what, Han Shuo had previously shown respect to him. For him to act in this way appeared slightly insincere.
By the side, the dark major's person in charge Deo saw Crowley showing some hesitation, he couldn't help but hastily gave Crowley a meaningful glance before smiling slightly and said to Han Shuo, "Count Bryan, so do you actually plan to accept Crowley's challenge or not?"
"Of course, didn't I just say it a moment ago, I'm extremely honored!" Han Shuo smiled cheerfully as he replied, shooting a glance at Deo. Han Shuo understood what Deo was planning, but he had absolute confidence and wasn't afraid of defeating Crowley here.
"Very good. In that case, I would act as the witness, are both of you agreeable?" Suddenly, Amyes walked over from the light major's area, gracefully smiling as he suggested.
The light major's person in charge, Voigtlander had also walked over with Amyes. Voigtlander had a schadenfreude expression as he looked over. Regardless of the dark major's Crowley or Han Shuo, they were considered the enemy to Voigtlander. For these two sides to battle, he would be enjoying happily no matter who won or lost.
"Crowley, this is Lord Amyes, you should have heard of him!" When Deo saw Amyes turning up uninvited and even made such a suggestion, hastily introducing Amyes to Crowley who had left the Lancelot Empire for a long time.
Previously when Crowley left the Lancelot Empire, Amyes was only a Dark Star envoy of Dark Mantle. Thus, he would naturally not know Amyes. However, when he returned to the Lancelot Empire, he did find out about the current bigwigs in the Lancelot Empire. When he heard Deo's introduction, he immediately greeted Amyes respectfully, grinning as he said, "Of course. With Lord Amyes witnessing this battle would be for the best."
"I'm extremely honored as well." Han Shuo bowed toward Amyes courteously as he replied, causing Amyes to return the greeting once again.
The surrounding teachers and students from the various factions all continuously rushed over. These people have heard of Han Shuo's great name and seeing that Han Shuo, a recently broken through grand magus necromancer upstart was sparring with a dark grand magus of unknown origin, all of them were indescribably excited.
There weren't many grand magus ranked characters within Babylon Academy of Magic and Force, with most teachers of the various factions being at adept mage or archmage ranks. As the students would hardly even be able to see teachers sparring with each other, they had definitely not come across a spar between two grand magi and hence were extremely excited.
"Bryan, all the best, you will definitely win!" Out of a sudden, a familiar voice rang in his ear. Han Shou turned to take a look, noticing Lisa in a corner of the surrounding waving a fist animatedly to cheer him on.
Han Shuo felt a warmth in his heart, recalling how Lisa had always believed and supported him a long time ago. After all these time, Lisa had matured from an unruly and willful girl, not only appearing more youthful and energetic, she also had an additional unyielding temperament. It seems that the period of time where she suffered pain had also given her benefits.
While Han Shuo gazed at Lisa, he also saw Fanny who was beside Lisa. Fanny didn't have the same unconditional trust that Lisa had in Han Shuo. Instead, her eyes were forever filled with worry. No matter how strong Han Shuo became, as long as there was a trace of danger, she would be worried for Han Shuo.
Admiring the two women's splendid grins, Han Shuo then turned back to face Crowley, courteously inquiring, "How would you like to compete? With my persistent character, those that have battled me opening have never been able to survive."
Hearing this statement, Crowley was startled, showing an obvious stunned expression. What Crowley knew about Han Shuo's origins and past was based on what Deo had told him. He personally didn't know much about Han Shuo's matters. Now that he heard Han Shuo making such a statement, he suddenly had an uneasy feeling.
"On this point, I can help Bryan elaborate. Including Brut Merchant Alliance's Leah Cain, Bryan had dueled and killed his opponent on thirteen occasions. Right, just to warn Mister Crowley, among those that Bryan has killed include Redbud Knights commander, dragon rider Celt. Hehe, I was afraid you didn't know, hence I'm informing you in advance." Amyes could see that Crowley was somewhat astonished, figuring out that he perhaps was clear about Han Shuo's past and hence couldn't help but enlighten Crowley.
Hearing Amyes' comments, Crowley was shaken once again, his gaze towards Deo already containing hints of resentment. When Deo saw Crowley looking at him resentfully, he clearly had a guilty conscience, awkwardly turning his head. After hesitating for a moment, Deo suddenly said, "Let's forget about it, hehe, both of you are in fact considered members of our dark major. Let's not compete on such an auspicious day, lest we harm the friendly relations."
When Deo saw Crowley's resentful gaze, as well as heard Amyes' reminder, he finally cleared his mind of his fury. Crowley was invited by the dark major, if he was defeated by Han Shuo, Deo would definitely be reproached and perhaps even the dark major's teachers would push the blame to him after the event.
"Mister Crowley, I feel that we should just let it pass. Hehe, what Mister Deo said is reasonable. Let's not hurt the harmony, both of you are considered to be on the same side!" Amyes smiled gently as he advised Crowley.
"No, I still wish to compare notes with Count Bryan." Under the gaze of the crowd, Crowley had no means of backing down. Hence, he forced himself to insist on competing.
At this moment, a ray of white light radiated in the center and Babylon Academy's Dean Emma appeared. She looked at both Han Shuo and Crowley before smiling and said, "Comparing notes in magic is a common way of improvement among magi. However, as you aren't enemies, there's no need for a life or death duel. Bryan, today's our annual recruitment, you wouldn't be thinking of not giving face to your alma mater right?"
"Of course not, I was just joking. Hehe. In any case, it's just a spar. If Mister Crowley doesn't mind, how about we change our location?" When Han Shuo saw Emma appear, he immediately had a friendly smile on his face and invited Crowley to another location.
Crowley was clearly relieved, forcefully laughing as he replied, "I've left for too long and aren't familiar with this place. Where do you think would be a more suitable location?"
"There's no need to choose, just use the dark major's number one practice grounds. There's a large-scale magic barrier there. It should be fine as long as the both of you pay a little attention, please do not harm the friendly relations." when Emma saw that Han Shuo wasn't serious, she felt relieved, smiling as she spoke.
Just like this, Han Shuo and Crowley both agreed. The recruitment was suddenly paused midway and when Han Shuo and Crowley entered the large practice grounds, teachers and students of the various majors had also rushed over.