Chapter 10: Treatment towards new students (10)
Hydin didn’t make an appearance in the early morning but instead got Macreis to bring over a slip of paper, letting them have free time.
Their free time was now certainly not as idle as it was previously. Di Lin and the rest had at least two choices –
Memorize books or be a visiting student to other tutors.
Rui Meng glanced at their surroundings and complained in a small voice after confirming that Hydin wouldn’t suddenly appear like the previous time, “I think we’re the unluckiest, most invisible new students.”
Di Lin suddenly asked, “Who remembers where that pile of books from yesterday went?”
Ning Ya took them out, book by book, from his space bag. “I kept them.”
Di Lin heaved a sigh of relief. He dared to bet that if they lost the books, given Hydin’s personality, he definitely wouldn’t send them another batch.
“So, we’ll read books today?” Rui Meng frowned. To him, reading books was not at all interesting.
“Not reading books,” Di Lin shook his head.
Rui Meng’s eyes lit up.
“It’s memorizing books,” Di Lin conveniently placed the largest and thickest book in his hands. “It’s a competition.”
Rui Meng wrinkled his face. If this was not a competition involving Suo Suo’s departure but a simple test, he would unconditionally choose to flunk it rather than compete with a mountain of books. “Memorize everything?”
Di Lin was also rather worried. Setting aside memorizing that much content, even if they were to take the test while carrying the books, they wouldn’t necessarily be able to find all the content.
Ning Ya stated, “There are quite a few libraries in the school, perhaps there would be material gathered on the previous years’ competition.”
Rui Meng’s eyes lit up once again. “Ah. Then it’ll be okay if we just memorize the ones on the test papers?”
Ning Ya replied, “No. We can use them as reference to find out the methods they used to come up with the questions. We might be able to obtain inspiration.”
Regardless of whether or not there was inspiration, it was fine as long as they didn’t need to memorize everything. Rui Meng rushed to take out the little booklet that had been passed out to them and walked in the direction of the school according to the map drawn on it.
Ning Ya glanced at Di Lin. Although he felt that his choice was correct, he was worried that Di Lin would misunderstand and think that he was intentionally taking things easy out of laziness.
Di Lin smiled slightly. “Your decision is correct.”
Only then did Ning Ya reveal a smile.
Suo Suo’s lips thinned. “It’s all my fault.”
“This has nothing to do with you,” Di Lin and Ning Ya said simultaneously, immediately following which their gazes met and they smiled.
“Then,” Jeffery spoke timidly, “Let’s go?” As he spoke, he observed Ning Ya’s complexion. In spite of the fact that he had only been playing the role of a listener during the process of his chat with Aridi the previous day, it was still not too illustrious a role.
Ning Ya smiled in a friendly manner.
As such, Aridi, who had always kept a distance of five to six meters from them and whom was squatting on the ground studying the grass, became the isolated party.
Suo Suo looked at him sympathetically.
As if feeling his gaze, Aridi quickly turned his gaze to his. He lowered his head again, inwardly continuously chanting Biaque’s national anthem to boost his spirits.
A pair of leather boots that had been polished to perfection slowly came to a stop before him.
Aridi raised his head. Di Lin was watching him from above. Aridi swiftly stood up and raised his head slightly to stare at him. “What do you want to do?” His tone was guarded.
“Inviting you to go to the library together,” Di Lin was all smiles.
Aridi’s heart began to stir, though his expression was still somewhat embarrassed. “You want to exploit me?”
Di Lin said with a smile, “No, I’m inviting you to join our group to work hard together.”
Joining their group was undoubtedly an enticing condition.
After all, Xi Luo wasn’t around and staying on his lonesome was lonely. However, Di Lin was from Shamanril, the country that Kanding Empire and Biaque found disagreeable.
Di Lin saw him muttering to himself irresolutely and added, “Aren’t we classmates?”
“Classmates?” Aridi thought about it for a while before deciding to temporarily lay down the enmity between their countries and go with them to familiarize himself with the school’s state of affairs before saying anything more. Anyway, he wouldn’t be able to retaliate much at this place. Ever since yesterday when Ning Ya dealt a fist to him, he deeply understood just how weak he was. “All right then. But I can’t guarantee that I will definitely obtain a spot in the top six in the competition.”
He stole a glance at that pile of books. What a joke. He was here to study magic, not to be a bookworm.
Di Lin continued to smile. “Of course. As long as you’ve put in effort, there is nothing that can be said if the outcome doesn’t match the expectations.”
“……” Aridi constantly felt that his smile seemed to carry hints of menace.
Rui Meng’s sense of direction was evidently not at the same level as Di Lin’s.
The six people only spent more than two hours to leave the forest, arriving at the institution which was comparable to a city.
“Heavens!” Rui Meng exclaimed, making a big fuss out of nothing. “Look at just how vast and luxurious this place is? Why must we squeeze into those lousy tents? I’ll bet that there are many empty rooms here gathering dust every single day!”
Although Jeffery and Aridi didn’t voice their thoughts, the meaning expressed in their eyes wasn’t too far off.
Ning Ya commented, “Living in the forest is closer to the elements.”
Di Lin slowly walked along the main street akin to white jade. “I sense my connection to the water elements weakening.”
“It’s not your connection that has weakened, it’s because the water elements here aren’t as abundant as those in the forest,” A kindly voice sounded from beside them.
Di Lin and the rest looked around them but saw no one. The closest to them was a person standing on the lawn drawing. Moreover, from his posture, he appeared not to have paid any attention to them.
Suo Suo’s complexion turned pale. “Could it be a specter?”
Rui Meng denied it. “This is Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution. Even if there were specters, they would have long been dispatched by those magic tutors.”
Suo Suo said, “But where did the voice come from?”
“Here, of course,” The voice that appeared out of nowhere carried an obvious smile.
Di Lin suddenly walked towards the drawing old man.
Ning Ya and the rest hurriedly followed behind him.
“My apologies for disrupting you,” Di Lin placed his right hand on his left chest in greeting.
The old man turned around. His shining white beard was splayed out over his chest like cotton while his snow-white brows drooped down, just happening to meet his beard. Overall, the most prominent feature on his face was his round, red nose. Apart from the shape of his features, his eyes overcast by double eyelids appeared to have little vigor, especially when he was sizing someone up. “Oh, hello, pretty youngster.”
A subtle flash went past Di Lin’s gaze. Not because of his praise, but his voice. “Your voice is very familiar.”
“Of course, we just conversed,” The old man smiled and pointed at his drawing. “what do you think about my drawing?”
Di Lin glanced at it. “Overflowing with vitality.”
The old man replied in excitement, “You can tell that I’m drawing a garden?”
Di Lin uttered silently: I didn’t use my eyes, only made a guess based on our surroundings. He smiled slightly. “Your use of coloring is extremely ingenious.”
The old man calmly accepted his praises. “Yes, that’s the area I’m good at.”
Hearing their conversation, Rui Meng nearly suspected that they weren’t looking at the same drawing. No matter how it was looked at, the drawing placed on the easel could not be described with ‘ingenuity’. If a word had to be used to describe it, he could only think of ‘chaos’.
Di Lin switched topics. “Are you a tutor of the school?”
“Of course not,” The old man placed the pen in his mouth and licked it a little before quickly retracting his lushly green tongue. “My life’s pursuits are different from theirs.”
Suo Suo asked, “You’re a gardener?”
“Gardener?” The old man turned to look at him. “Do I look like one?”
“No, not at all,” Suo Suo replied.
“Then why would you ask that?”
Suo Suo said, “Between artist and gardener, I simply leaned more towards the latter.”
The old man wrinkled his red nose, seemingly at a loss.
Di Lin hurriedly swapped topics. “Do you know where the library is?”
The old man uttered, “Which library are you searching for? There are a total of seven libraries within the institution, and this is already excluding the personal libraries belonging to those perverted tutors.”
Di Lin answered, “I’m searching for material regarding the competition thirty days later.”
The old man commented, “Those nonsensical rules? Oh, this is probably the institution’s stupidest competition. The reward isn’t generous enough either, it’s completely meant to mess with all you newly joined students. Trust me, preparing for this competition will be the most fruitless event in your life.”
Di Lin smiled bitterly. “We have no choice.” Only a tutor like Hydin would let them place all their energy on this sort of competition.
“Since you all insist, all right then,” The old man pointed at a road on the left. “Follow along this road. You’ll see a gloomy, simple castle. The two windows at the top of the castle are red in color, very distinguishable.”
Di Lin wasn’t at ease and continued to ask, “That is the library?”
“Yes. The First Library, the institution’s largest, most complete library,” The old man waved a hand. “I hope that all of you will find what you are seeking for soon.”
“Thank you for the directions, we will engrave it deeply in our minds,” Di Lin bid him farewell and walked towards the First Library.
The First Library was indeed as what the old man had described. It was very conspicuous – no matter whether it was the floor area or the design.
Suo Suo commented, “I hate those two red windows, they look like the devil’s eyes.”
Rui Meng echoed his words. “The entire library looks like a devil’s face.”
The library did indeed seem very gloomy, much more so than many other castles. Furthermore, its floor area was simply too large. Standing below it made them feel a sense of oppression that hampered their breathing.
Di Lin thought, if he allocated one percent of the area to hiding books, then they would possibly drown in a sea of books. The only thing worthy of rejoicing was that they only needed to look at books related to the competition.
The door to the library was very tall. Using Suo Suo’s words, entering was like walking into a bloody mouth.
But the inside and outside of the library differed sharply. The library was bright and clean, and beams of sunlight shone in. Chandeliers were hung all over the ceiling. Under such rays of light, even the intimidating large bookshelves looked warm.
There was a wide counter beside the main entrance. A middle-aged man dressed in a tight-fitting gown was currently leisurely drinking coffee while fiddling with the cactus on the counter. Seeing them enter, he stared blankly for a moment. “New students? Not attending classes?”
Di Lin said, “Our tutor allowed us to come here to check on materials.”
“Not allowed,” The man rejected without even stopping to think. “You all haven’t received the school badge and aren’t official students. You don’t have the qualifications to enter the library.”
The few people’s expressions crumpled in defeat.
Di Lin frowned. “Can’t it be a bit more flexible?”
“Of course not,” The man put on a serious look. “Didn’t your tutor inform you guys about this rule? He really is too unreasonable!”
“Who did you say was too unreasonable?” A lazy, overtly sentimental voice sounded.
The man’s neck shrunk back, and he inwardly lamented at his terrible luck. He should have known much earlier that among the new students’ tutors, only this person would commit such a deliberate violation of the rules.
On the second floor, at the relaxation area specially meant for people to read books, Hydin was holding a cup of coffee and leaning against the banister, looking down with a smile yet not a smile. “What rule were you speaking of just now? I didn’t hear clearly.”
After the man’s complexion turned from white to red to green to black, he regained his usual appearance and asked Di Lin while beaming, “What books do you guys want?”