Holy Institution: Chapter 14

Chapter 14: Process of adapting (4)

He watched his surroundings attentively. The library was very big, and he didn’t know whether Lucé lived in the library. He was very clear that the librarian who appeared not to have a mind of his own was certainly not a simple person.

The distance between him and the door grew wider and wider.

Di Lin remembered that he had already passed by 160 rows of bookshelves.

While they had been in the midst of memorizing till their heads spun, they had once counted the number of bookshelves in the library. There was a total of 250 rows on this one floor. This was also to say that he had already passed by more than half the bookshelves.

He suddenly recalled the fact that he had forgotten to ask Aridi about the location of the test papers and couldn’t help getting annoyed. Ning Ya and Rui Meng were definitely hidden at some corner of the library, treading with utmost caution like him. This was equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack – even if both parties sensed each other, neither would dare acknowledge the other party.

He glanced ahead before turning and looking in the direction of the door. Immediately, a plan formed in his mind and he turned to walk back.

Suddenly, alternating flashes of white and black appeared in his mind, mirroring the scene when Hydin had let him sense the fire elements.

With nearly zero hesitation, he leapt forward forcefully.

A spark of fire blossomed at his original location, the tongue of flame engulfing all directions.

Di Lin frantically stood up and rushed ahead.

The intensity of the flames had gone up so rapidly that it completely left no one any leeway to think or react.

Di Lin couldn’t do anything else other than run.

After an unknown length of time, water elements again gradually filled in the spots that had previously been assailed by the fire elements. The heart in Di Lin’s chest was still thumping rapidly, just as before. Panting, he slowly turned around. The long aisle that had originally been fully blanketed by flames was both pitch-dark and quiet. The bookshelves stood woodenly, the moonlight still as thinly spread as before.

He raised a hand to wipe at the sweat on his forehead and neck.

This was the only piece of evidence showing that he had not been dreaming previously.

He shut his eyes, confirming again that the water elements were quietly present in abundance at all corners before once more taking measure of his surroundings.

Although he didn’t know how long he had ran for, nor did he know how far he had ran, there was one point that he was certain of – that he had ran in the direction of the main door. So, the thing in front of him now should be…

Di Lin suddenly turned.

Definitely not this wall!

The heated sweat on his body gradually turned into cold sweat.

He had always been confident in his judgement. Even his father, who had always been picky and demanding, could not deny this point. Therefore, Di Lin did not think that he had made an error in judgement in a moment of frenzy. Then, the only possibility was…

The structure of the library had changed.

This was not impossible. Before choosing to enter the Holy Institution, Di Lin had already studied magic in detail. To his knowledge, besides elemental magic, there was also the very mysterious space magic, necromancy, which left people intimidated just from hearing about it, as well as the divine force, which the Church refused to recognize yet was unable to stop the Magic Guild from classifying as a form of magic.

If he had not erred in judgement both this and the previous time, then what he was now facing was likely to be space magic.

Di Lin strove hard to mentally gather all the words and phrases that his family’s magic teacher had previously uttered regarding space magic.

— Space magic was like using the same door to open different rooms. Sometimes, space magic would be controlled by mages, and sometimes it would not be. If a mage was using space magic, then he would inevitably also be trapped within the space. Defeat the mage, and the space magic would disappear without a trace, just like ice slags under the scorching sun. Whereas the other form of space magic that was completely spontaneous would certainly follow a certain set of laws, similar to the alternation of day and night and the cycle of the four seasons. As long as one grasped the laws, one would realize that this was merely a beautiful game.

“Laws?” Di Lin muttered, simultaneously receiving a shock from his own voice. At such a time, regardless of whether it was someone else or himself, any sound would cause one to tense up.

He quickly concluded that this was not the magic of a human. If it was a person, the person would not have attacked him. This conclusion stemmed from his trust in the tutors of the Holy Institution. Given their methods, capturing him would be a slice of cake.

So, it was very likely that he was now in another space. A space which very clearly had walls on both ends; a space with no doors. And it was possible that Ning Ya and Rui Meng were in the same space, and also possible that they were not. He was unaware of the number of spaces established within the library currently, much less the length of time it took for the spaces to swap. If he could fully understand these two aspects, perhaps he would still have a faint hope of sneaking out with Ning Ya and Rui Meng.

At this point in time, he made a risky decision.

“Ning Ya!” He yelled loudly.

Since they weren’t in the same space, it would only be right for people in the original space to be unable to hear his call.

Di Lin’s heart thumped.

The echo of his voice reverberated along the long aisle.

……

Were they not in the same space?

Di Lin shifted towards the window in disappointment.

After dwelling in the dark for too long, he was very much in need of the comfort of light.

Di Lin touched the windowsill and slowly sat down. To him, the thin, transparent glass window was a type of silent lure. His family’s magic teacher hadn’t told him what the outcome would be if he broke down the walls harboring space magic.

To his understanding, the right way should be to walk out of the room.

However, doing so would undoubtedly alarm the Holy Institution.

He sighed, his eyes silently looking in the direction of the wall.

If the spaces controlled by space magic really switched based on time, then at a designated time, the main door would appear, just like how it was when he reported at this place every morning.

His vigilance towards his surroundings and his concern for Ning Ya and Rui Meng placed him in a state of extreme stimulation even during the wee hours of the morning. The eyes staring at the door brightened. If a lamp were to be lighted up at this moment, the sheer brilliance in his pupils would be seen.

If not for this sort of heightened state of attention, Di Lin would definitely not have personally seen the moment when the spaces alternated—

A wall slowly appeared at the center-most part of the wall.

He suddenly rose and shouted again loudly, unwilling to give up. “Ning Ya!”

The echo this time was even more resounding than the previous time.

Intermingled with the echo was a call that was both hurried and panicked. “Di Lin?”

After the incident, Di Lin thought for a very long time but couldn’t call to mind his mood at that time. Because in the instant he heard Ning Ya’s call, his legs had already rushed towards the direction of Ning Ya’s call.

With his previous experience, he was a lot more cautious this time. In particular, when passing by the place where fire had spouted previously, he practically flew past.

The water elements in his mind once again showed their use. But this time, he no longer felt the water elements being squeezed elsewhere but instead sensed indistinct specks of dark starlight fluttering in the air.

However, at such a time, he was too busy to pay attention to what those things were.

Because he saw in the not so distant front, a face clearly illuminated by the raging blaze behind him. Due to the red flame, a seductive flush surfaced on Ning Ya’s originally pale and wan face, suffusing his ash-gray hair with vitality.

“Be careful,” Ning Ya watched him dash over speedily with worry. He stretched out both hands in preparation to receive him at any time.

But Di Lin was very clear in his mind that this flame would not relentlessly chase him to the wall with the intention to kill.

He counted down silently and then suddenly came to a stop.

At the same time Ning Ya gulped a breath of cool air, the flame vanished.

Thick darkness engulfed the entire library once more, enveloping the two people facing each other.

“You’re all right?” Ning Ya finally spoke.

Di Lin didn’t reply, instead walking over to his side without leave. “Where’s Rui Meng?”

“Rui Meng?” Ning Ya stunned blankly. “Hasn’t he finished his business at the washroom?”

“Washroom?” It was Di Lin’s turn to stare blankly, though he recovered very quickly. “Not when I came out. Hiccup, he may have encountered some blockage issues.” He saw that both Rui Meng and Ning Ya were not present in the tent and had subconsciously classified them as a group. Now that he thought about it, given Rui Meng’s personality, if he came to steal papers, he would definitely have announced it and called for a few more people.

Ning Ya stated, “The papers are on the second floor. I can’t go up.”

Di Lin commented, “The institution’s badge is needed to go up.” Whereas they had yet to obtain the qualifications to wear the badge.

There was a momentary period of silence in the darkness.

Ning Ya spoke again. “I’m sorry.”

“Bravely breaking into the library alone without considering the dangers doesn’t seem like your style,” Di Lin knew that there was still a period of time before the space’s next switch and thus wasn’t very anxious.

Ning Ya moved one step forward towards him.

Di Lin could feel his shoulder almost bumping into him.

“I just wanted to do something for you,” Ning Ya said quietly.


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