Chapter 11: Process of adapting (1)
Di Lin told him about their purpose for coming to the library and the man’s expression became somewhat strange. He glanced at Hydin, seemingly waiting for him to jump out and say something.
Hydin did indeed open his mouth. “En, that’s a pretty good shortcut. In that case, you can help them obtain victory.”
The man stared blankly. His fingers lifted dazedly and pointed at his nose. “I can help them obtain victory?”
Hydin cocked his head and looked askance at him. “Can I take your current expression as being… wild with joy?”
Of course not!
How was he wild with joy now? If it weren’t for Hydin being too formidable, so formidable that it was perverted, he would have simply gone berserk!
Once again, Di Lin and the rest had the chance to appreciate the man’s skill at changing expressions.
“Actually, this competition isn’t important at all,” The man swallowed his saliva, wishing that his words would suddenly become a little cleverer. At least, clever enough to dispel this idea of Hydin’s.
But he was very quickly disappointed. Most of the time, Hydin’s ideas were as uncompromisingly willful as his temper. “Yes, the competition isn’t important at all. You help them win it then.”
The man choked.
“Surely you’ll have no problem winning such an unimportant competition?” A trace of amusement flashed across Hydin’s eyes. “Didn’t you win the ‘Best Recitation’ award?”
The man replied, “In what way is the recitation competition similar to that dull and senseless memorization competition held at the start of the school term?”
Hydin said, “They’re all competitions, all very dull and senseless.”
The man was angered to bits. The ‘Best Recitation’ award was his most precious and beautiful memory in the first half of his life, yet Hydin actually labeled it worthless! “All right! I will definitely help them win the competition.”
The corner of Hydin’s mouth raised slightly. “Indeed. This sort of competition suits you very well.”
Di Lin’s group watched the man sympathetically. Although Hydin was their tutor, they were on the man’s side at this point. Man would always subconsciously sympathize with the weak.
The man walked out from behind the counter and headed inside the library.
Di Lin and the rest blindly followed after him and introduced themselves in turn before asking, “How should we address you?”
The man turned around and glanced at them. “My name is Lucé.” Unlike Di Lin, he didn’t report his surname.
Di Lin and the rest didn’t mind. Usually, only the nobility would be strongly attached to their family name, because it symbolized glory and their clan. Contrary to that, commoners didn’t care much about it.
“This is the spot,” Lucé stopped in front of a gigantic bookshelf.
Golden rays of sunlight shone in through the windows, making the books on the shelf seem as if they were sparkling.
“There are a huge number of topics tested in the memorization competition,” Lucé picked out one of the books. “But there are many topics which will certainly not be tested.”
In fact, there were only two things that examinees loved listening to the most – the first one was the things that would definitely be tested, while the other was the things that would definitely not be tested. So, everyone including Di Lin visibly perked up.
“For example, <Ogab’s Thirteen Rules>. Its contents are actually already included in <Mani’s Revised Rules>, which came after it. However, in order to respect and commemorate the drafter of <Ogab’s Thirteen Rules>, Ogab·Clarklen, the Institution did not remove the Thirteen Rules from the competition contents.”
Aridi wrinkled his brows. “Why does the name Ogab·Clarklen sound so familiar?”
The rest were speechless.
Di Lin said, “Ogab·Clarklen is one of the four founders of Saint Padeus’ Institution.”
A flush spread over Aridi’s face. Someone who became a student of the Holy Institution actually did not know the founder of the Holy Institution – this was undoubtedly an extremely humiliating thing.
Lucé stared at him. “It looks like I’ll have to pay special attention to you.”
Aridi muttered, “If worst comes to worst, I just won’t compete.”
“No!” Lucé responded without hesitation. Immediately realizing that his manner of speaking had been too forceful, his tone became milder. “Since I’ve promised Tagilis, I must accomplish it. I will definitely let all of you obtain the Diligence Award.”
Di Lin asked curiously, “What is the Diligence Award?”
“Prizes for the competition. They’re only given to the top fifteen,” Lucé saw the awkwardness flooding their faces and eventually sensed that something wasn’t right. “The criterion Hydin set for all of you is…”
Rui Meng answered unhappily, “Top six.”
Lucé was struck dumb. He asked dazedly, “Why?” The person in first place would get the Diligence Award, and so would the person ranked fifteenth. The award was identical. Why was there a need to vie for the top six spots? “How many people do you have?”
Di Lin replied, “Six.”
Lucé’s gaze swept across all of them. “All of you should be nobility from the various countries?”
Ever since entering the institution, Di Lin felt that the word ‘nobility’ had shed its halo of glory and respectability. Instead, it became a burden that displayed its vulnerability wherever they walked.
But Lucé evidently didn’t have such intentions. “Then, surely all you will usually have to memorize numerous etiquette rules?”
Di Lin said, “If its regarding national laws, family precepts, and etiquette rules, then yes.”
Lucé heaved a sigh of relief. “Then your memory will definitely be pretty good.”
Rui Meng remarked, “I’ve never memorized everything about those aspects before.”
Suo Suo added, “It was okay as long as I memorized the useful ones.”
It was rare for Aridi to echo their words. “Those things aren’t tested.”
Jeffery didn’t speak but his expression implied a similar meaning.
In the end, Lucé’s gaze landed on Ning Ya and Di Lin. He could tell that these two people were the key figures in the small group.
Di Lin said, “We have specialized courses, but they spanned over a period of five years.”
Lucé stood rooted to the spot for a moment before tossing the book to Di Lin. He turned and rifled through the bookshelf again. “Since that’s the case, it’s even more important for us not to waste any bit of time.”
Di Lin and the rest very quickly understood the true meaning behind ‘not wasting any bit of time’.
Nibble on bread.
Going to the washroom?
Wait for the next time.
As Lucé guarded the library’s only entrance, each and every movement of Di Lin’s group did not escape his eyes. On the other hand, except for the first day when Hydin appeared, no hide nor hair of him was seen in the following days.
Di Lin and the rest were only unaccustomed to this for the first week. After that, they adapted to this sort of pressing and strained method of memorization.
Even Aridi’s complaints decreased from thirty times a day to once every three days.
Time went by day by day.
The time period of thirty days was almost up.
Di Lin’s group had already reached the stage of reinforcing their memory.
Till this day, the ones who performed the best were Di Lin, Ning Ya, and Jeffery. Rui Meng and Suo Suo would constantly remember the front parts but forget the later parts or remember the later parts and forget the front parts. Aridi was in an even worse situation. He memorized things by stringing everything together. No matter how irrelevant the words that entered his brain were, they would always be twisted into a string.
“Aridi,” Even the good-tempered Ning Ya was somewhat helpless and jittery. “It’s Keane·Lin who likes to drink rose tea, not Entro·Bruce.”
Aridi had tugged at his hair till it became a chicken’s nest. “They passed away so many years ago, why do we still need to pay attention to what they drank? Could it be that its also necessary for learning magic?”
Di Lin explained, “It serves as foundation for Keane·Lin’s <Procedure for Rose Tea>.”
Aridi pulled at the chicken’s nest on his head again. “Gods! There’s even a procedure for drinking rose tea, I must get rid of it in the future.”
“Drink lemon tea then,” Suo Suo kindly suggested. “That was Entro·Bruce’s favorite.”
Aridi said gloomily, “I hate tea.”
A succession of hurried footsteps sounded at the entrance.
Di Lin’s head poked out, glimpsing Lucé hastily leading a group of library staff members into the library. Hydin was following behind them. His unhurried steps were taken at a leisurely pace, as if he were strolling in the backyard of his own house.
Rui Meng and the rest heard the footsteps and also stretched out their heads.
Lucé and his group walked to the deepest parts of the library. Then, the workers floated upwards, swiftly vanishing behind the two rows of bookshelves at the corner.
Rui Meng asked curiously, “What are they doing?”
“Moving books,” Hydin leaned against the bookshelf behind them and answered lazily.
Di Lin hurriedly stood up and greeted, “Tutor.”
Hydin used his chin to indicate the scene ahead. “Go help.”
Although Di Lin didn’t know what kind of help he could offer, he still honestly went over.
Rui Meng and the remaining people wanted to move as well but were stopped by Hydin. “I only need one person.”
Ning Ya glanced at him. He had a feeling that this statement of his contained another meaning.
Translator’s corner: Happy New Year! May everyone have a joyous and productive 2020 ^_^