Chapter 12: Process of adapting (2)
Di Lin originally thought that he would just be lending a hand and wouldn’t need to spend too much time, but only after he actually got down to helping did he realize how heavy the workload was. By the time he placed all the books and documents into the airtight, narrow rooms according to Lucé’s instructions, the sky had already turned dark. He bid goodbye to Lucé before specially returning to the bookshelf with the competition materials. Sure enough, a person was waiting there.
A gloomy oil lamp hung beside the bookshelf. That person was seated on a rocking chair, the slight swaying motions making it hard to distinguish whether the person was sleeping or awake.
Di Lin squinted and peered hard, before realizing that the person was actually Hydin.
“Tutor,” He concealed his shock. He had thought that only Suo Suo would stay behind and wait for him at such a time.
Hydin said faintly, “All tidied up?”
Di Lin replied as if he was a yes-man. “Tidied up.”
“Was it very tiring moving everything?”
If it were someone else, Di Lin would definitely have assumed that the other party was asking this out of gratitude. But Hydin wasn’t such a person. He hadn’t interacted much with Hydin but he was exceptionally confident about this. “It was okay.”
“Those are the results of my experiments,” Hydin paused and elaborated. “In recent years.”
Di Lin instantly understood the implicit meaning behind the question he had asked just now. He could even tell that Hydin was certainly saying this internally: Look, you’re already so tired just from shifting things for this long. You can probably imagine how much time I spent doing these experiments, and how much care I put in. Most importantly, how great my achievements were, right?
The rocking chair suddenly stopped moving. Hydin held onto the armrest and slowly stood up. “You haven’t been participating in element-perception practice for a very long time.”
Di Lin’s face was burning hot, just like how he had been caught by the court etiquette master for playing truant when he was young, . “I’ve continuously been memorizing books lately.”
“Are these things very difficult?” Hydin waved a hand towards the bookshelf and a book flew into his palm. He didn’t flip the book open, instead handing it to Di Lin. “What does the sixty-fourth page of <Procedure for Rose Tea> say?”
Di Lin stared blankly. He took quite a while before replying, “Do you have a more specific question?”
“Every cup of rose tea has an appeal unique to it, a fragrance that blossoms from the life burnt by every rose petal. So, one must pray sincerely before drinking rose tea, so as to respect every flower petal and cherish every lost life.”
Di Lin flipped to the sixty-fourth page skeptically, the entirely identical words causing his eyes to widen simultaneously.
“The sixty-fifth page. The red color of roses symbolizes passion and boldness, only during the winter or night can its charm be understood. A candlestick must be placed on the table, so that the flame can complement the fragrance.”
“The sixty-sixth page. If one were to consume rose tea while the weather is warm or sultry, then they should repent. It is essential for them to repent. Because the color of that and rose tea is completely incompatible. Such a thing would be blasphemous, no person would be willing to witness such an incident.”
“The sixty-seventh page…”
“You memorized everything?” Di Lin sobered up from the shock and interrupted him with an aching head.
Hydin looked straight at him. “Do I need to change books?”
Di Lin looked at his magnanimous gaze and shook his head silently.
Before entering the Holy Institution, he had already possessed an awareness borne from encountering all sorts of powerful people. However, this awareness was based on magic. He had never thought that someone could use memorization to make him prostrate before them in admiration.
“You’ve taken first place previously for the memorization competition?”
“I didn’t participate,” Hydin said arrogantly. “There is no value in participating in a competition with no opponents.”
Di Lin didn’t understand. “Then why did you still memorize it?” Could it be that he was also fond of rose tea?
Hydin stated, “Even if it’s nonsense, I still hate that there is nonsense I am unaware of.”
The doubt in Di Lin’s eyes did not diminish.
Hydin explained even more bluntly, “I enjoy the feeling of being omniscient.”
Di Lin, “……” This person before his eyes was insolent to the extent that he was insufferably arrogant and beyond redemption. Was this person truly going to be his tutor for the next three years? He suddenly felt like his future had started to turn craggy.
Hydin very quickly confirmed his premonition. “But as a student of mine, I am very, very, very, dissatisfied with your performance.” He had even paused for a length of time between every ‘very’ that came out of his mouth, causing the emphasis in his tone to deepen.
Di Lin lowered his head silently.
Hydin waved a hand and the flames in the oil lamps extinguished.
Di Lin could feel that black, wide gown of his brushing across him, carrying with it a gust of wind. He didn’t dare to stand idle and hastily caught up with him.
Lucé was seated at the counter, eating a steak in contentment. After feeling fatigued to the point of being half-dead, being able to have a meal in peace like this was truly a beautiful thing.
“Dinner smells good,” For certain people, suddenly hearing Hydin’s voice at such a time and place would really have a horror-like effect.
Lucé was one of these people. The fork that was on the brink of entering his mouth suddenly came to a halt mid-air. He raised his head to look at Hydin who had walked in front of him, revealing a smile that could not be called natural in any way. “Tagilis?”
Hydin waved a hand, moving the lights hanging behind Lucé to a higher point. “There is only a difference of one word between lazy eye and weak-minded. Be careful.”
Someone who had known Hydin for long would understand that occasionally ignoring things and bearing them patiently was also a way of survival. Lucé had survived till this day by relying on this method. “I guarantee that your research results are currently lying inside the secret archives and sleeping extremely soundly. Hiccup, then why would you still appear here?”
Hydin neared the counter.
The pressure of being looked down on from a high position caused Lucé to involuntarily retreat a little.
Hydin reached out and took the plate in front of him before handing it to Di Lin.
Di Lin took it blankly. In front of Hydin, his power of observation was completely not worth mentioning. The other party would continuously do things beyond his understanding and imagination.
“You should be hungry?” Hydin asked.
Di Lin glanced at the remaining half of the steak, the corner of his eyes twitching slightly. Even if it couldn’t be seen, he had the feeling that the point at which the steak had been cut into was coated with Lucé’s saliva.
Lucé protested weakly, “That is my dinner.”
Di Lin grabbed the chance and hurriedly placed the plate back down. He took bread out of his space bag and said, “I’ll just eat bread.”
Hydin raised a brow. “Is bread more delicious than steak?”
Lucé didn’t say anything more. He picked up the fork and stabbed it into the steak before sending it into his mouth. His originally thin cheeks bulged out the next moment.
Hydin inclined his head and looked at Di Lin.
Di Lin kneaded the bread silently.
After a while, Hydin took the bread from his hands and put it into his mouth. He bit into it before turning and walking out.
Di Lin looked at his empty hands and helplessly retrieved another portion of bread from his space bag. He followed after Hydin while munching on it.
Hydin didn’t walk far, only finding a wide, empty plot of land in the forest.
Di Lin saw that Hydin had already finished the bread and immediately stuffed the rest of the bread into his mouth.
Hydin raised a hand. Suddenly, a bunch of flames gathered together. “Can you sense them?”
Di Lin first looked towards the flames before shutting his eyes.
The green image of the blaze still remained before his eyes, but many glistening water elements appeared in his mind. “Water elements, many water elements.”
“What about this?”
Hydin’s voice suddenly became very close, a burst of heat accompanying the sound of his voice.
Di Lin sensed the water elements suddenly scattering. He opened his eyes, coming face to face with a raging blaze right in front of his nose. The sudden, intense shock he received made him step back subconsciously. However, he was obstructed by the arm Hydin held firmly against his back.
Hydin stated in a deep voice. “An outstanding mage can be defeated by another mage’s elements but can never be afraid of another mage’s elements.”
The flame pulsed. Not only was it in front of Di Lin, it was also reflected in Di Lin’s widened eyes.
Hydin didn’t retrieve his hand, because he felt sweat seeping out from Di Lin’s clothes.
“To mages, elements are like that of swords to knights – they are all weapons. You must understand them, regardless of whether they are water elements, fire elements, wood elements, or earth elements. From now onwards, you must learn how to be ambitious,” Hydin’s words lightly caressed Di Lin’s ears, even more passionate than the fire. “An ambition to be all-knowing.”
Di Lin felt his heart thumping violently. With much difficulty, he resisted his fear of the swaying blaze before his nose and slowly closed his eyes.
A spark flashed across Hydin’s eyes. He sensed Di Lin’s heartbeat stabilizing.
 There is a one-character difference in Chinese but I couldn’t find a way to put that in English, so it’ll have to remain.