Chapter 18: Process of adapting (8)
A cool breeze swept through the woods. It’s occasional brushing against Di Lin’s cheek failed to brush away the vexation between his brows.
Suo Suo held Di Lin’s hand and cautiously took measure of his complexion while walking.
Di Lin released his grip and pressed down on Suo Suo’s head, slowly turning it to face the front. “Look at the road while walking.”
Suo Suo obediently set his neck to face straight ahead. Yet, his eyes swept towards him nimbly “Did you quarrel with Ning Ya?”
Di Lin smiled bitterly. He was afraid that it was a hundred times more severe than a quarrel.
He could imagine the shame and anger that Ning Ya was bearing in his heart at this moment. If their positions were swapped and the person who offered his body unhesitatingly to entice the other party was him… He feared he would eliminate the other party to silence them.
Suo Suo suddenly gripped his arm and shook it lightly.
“What’s wrong?” Di Lin looked at him.
Suo Suo leaned his head to the side, his mouth continuously working to indicate behind them.
Di Lin glanced at the direction he was pointing to and saw Hydin leisurely following behind them. Seeing him turn back, the pointed corner of Hydin’s mouth raised slightly.
When one looked at the world through a yellow-colored piece of glass, the world in his eyes would be yellow. When one looked through a red piece of glass, the world would then become red. There was now a piece of glass just like this in front of Di Lin’s eyes. Therefore, in Di Lin’s eyes, the smile that was purely a greeting in Suo Suo’s eyes became the sneer that Di Lin had met by accident in the woods.
He halted his footsteps and waited for Hydin to near him step by step.
Di Lin said, “Hy… Tutor.” He had grown used to using the name Hydin behind his back and nearly couldn’t change it in time.
Hydin raised a brow. “Why do I not know that I was actually surnamed Hy?”
Di Lin responded calmly, “I was saying – Hi, Tutor.”
“Oh?” The corner of Hydin’s mouth hooked up again like a sail.
Di Lin never dared to be careless when facing him. He put away his poor mood. “Tutor is also going to the camp?”
“The results and the list of students remaining will be announced very soon,” A mocking light flickered in Hydin’s azure eyes. “However, to you, perhaps retrieving something that dropped into clothes is more important?”
The mask on Di Lin’s face nearly fractured. “You’re joking.”
Hydin said, “Do you want to know the results of the memorization competition?”
Di Lin’s heart tensed up and he looked at him anxiously. “The results are out?”
“En,” Hydin watched Di Lin suddenly widening his eyes in satisfaction and said unhurriedly. “They should be out. Macreis notified me to go to your house to hear the results.”
Di Lin stared blankly. “My house?”
Hydin replied, “That… camp you were speaking of.”
Di Lin’s heart rate sped up. The memorization competition was linked to the spell on Suo Suo. Although he showed absolute confidence in front of Suo Suo, he didn’t have the slightest bit of confidence in reality.
“You’re scared?” Hydin didn’t conceal the schadenfreude in his voice at all.
Di Lin secretly inhaled and said faintly. “I’ve already put in my best effort.”
Hydin said with a smile yet not a smile, “Every person who has failed likes to use that phrase to comfort themselves.”
Di Lin ignored his provocation. He took Suo Suo’s hand and retreated to the side. “Tutor, please.”
“Oh. Is this the way you respect your teacher? Or is it because you can’t feel at ease with me walking behind you?” Hydin narrowed his eyes as he sized Di Lin up.
In the end, Di Lin couldn’t endure it and counterattacked. “Should tutors not be respected?”
“Respect me only after I officially accept you,” Hydin threw down these words as lightly as a feather before walking towards the camp with his head held high.
Suo Suo waited for him to walk five to six meters away before saying in a low voice, “He seems to like you a lot.”
Di Lin almost choked to death on his own saliva. “How is that possible?”
Suo Suo replied, “He kept looking at you just now. He didn’t even glance at me from start to end.”
Di Lin said in a high voice. “That’s because I was always talking to him.”
Suo Suo cocked his head and thought about it. “It wasn’t only because of your conversation. His eyes seem to only see you.” He had clearly wanted to interrupt them just now but wasn’t able to insert even a single word in.
Di Lin was at his wits’ end with regards to Suo Suo’s imagination. He patted Suo Suo on the shoulder. “Let’s go.”
When they returned to the camp, Di Lin saw the students all lined up neatly.
Macreis stood in front of the lines. Ten magic tutors stood behind him, like they were two armies confronting each other. They looked seriously at the expressions of anxiety, terror, or anticipation on the students’ faces. Hydin kept a distance from both sides in an extremely lofty manner, as if he were a third party.
Di Lin and Suo Suo discretely lined up at back.
Di Lin glanced around the area in search and found Ning Ya. Unfortunately, nothing came out of it.
Macreis swept an eye over them indistinctly. He cleared his throat and said, “Now, the results of the memorization competition will be announced.”
Di Lin and the rest stared at him with rapt attention.
Macreis uttered calmly. “As everyone knows, the memorization competition originated from…”
The vigor in the eyes of Di Lin and the rest gradually dimmed as he recited the lengthy speech. When the eyelids of the majority of the students almost couldn’t remain open, Di Lin heard Macreis say, “First place, Kevin. Second place, Di Lin. Third place, Rui Meng…”
Thunder rumbled through Di Lin’s mind. Only after a full three seconds did he regain his senses. They had lost; they had lost from the start. He subconsciously looked at Suo Suo. His complexion was a little pale, but he was very calm.
Macreis’ announcement continued on, “Twenty-second place, Gold. Twenty-third place, Hughes. Twenty-fourth place, Suo Suo…”
Suo Suo’s fingers, which were hanging onto Di Lin, withdrew gently after hearing his name.
Di Lin gripped his hand again, wanting to transmit his energy to him. Although he himself was at his wits’ end.
“Fiftieth place, Rayton,” Macreis finished his announcement. Intentionally or otherwise, he glanced at Di Lin, encouragement and praise faintly concealed in his eyes. Besides Xi Luo, who hadn’t even taken part in the competition, all the six exempted students of nobility had attained the Diligence Award.
“The students who attained the Diligence Award will have priority when choosing dormitories.”
The reward announced by Macreis didn’t incur any great waves. In reality, most people were aware of the little significance the competition held, so there was little anticipation to be had towards the competition’s reward.
“Following this, I will be announcing the list of students who passed the test and qualified for the institution,” Maceis said slowly.
This statement really lifted the moods of all the students.
“Di Lin, Suo Suo, Ning Ya…” These seven exempted students of noble origin became the first seven named as qualified students of the school. But Di Lin did not feel excited. There was no doubt that they could remain at the Holy Institution. Based on the agreement the Holy Institution had signed with the various countries, they would be able to remain even if they weren’t suitable for studying magic. However, he could not be sure that remaining behind would be advantageous to Suo Suo. He had lost the bet he made with Hydin and the spell on Suo Suo was still as much a riddle as it was previously. Just as Hydin had put it, what use did a student who couldn’t practise magic have?
The speed at which Macreis listed the names wasn’t slow but the students who hadn’t heard their names itched to hasten the speed with which his mouth moved.
“Antonio. A total of sixty-six names,” Macreis raised his head from the name list.
Silence filled the camp.
Everyone looked at him in shock.
The sound of a needle dropping could be heard.
Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution, which had recruited 181 students the previous time, actually only recruited 66 students this time?
Macreis placed the piece of paper back into his space bag. He looked towards a corner of the camp randomly, avoiding contact as far as possible with the hurt and disappointed gazes of the students who had been eliminated. “Everyone will have three days to prepare to leave. If you need relatives to pick you up, you can contact me. I will help make the arrangements.”
The word ‘leave’ finally peeled off the façade of strength that the eliminated parties had put on.
Subtle sounds of weeping sounded. Like an overturned glass of water, it gradually spread and then drowned everyone.
The rims of Suo Suo’s eyes also slowly turned red.
Di Lin saw him shrinking back his shoulders and sobbing in a small voice and couldn’t help but give him a hug. “It’s okay. We can still think of another way. There are so many tutors in the school, there will be someone who’s willing to help us.”
Suo Suo sobbed intermittently. “I wasn’t crying about that.”
“Then what were you crying about?”
“I don’t know,” Suo Suo tried hard to suck in his mucus. “Everyone’s crying.”
Di Lin, “…”
Hydin walked to Macreis’ side and said faintly, “I will only take in one.”
Macreis, whose head was hurting from the crying sounds, raised his head in the next instant and asked loudly, “What did you say?”
Hydin looked at him without the slightest bit of shame. “I said before that I’m not a garbage collection center. I will choose my own students.”
Macreis put all his effort into making his expression seem less malevolent. “But you already agreed to accept them in the past!”
“I only gave them the chance to be tested.” Hydin looked askance at him. “Didn’t you also only choose sixty-six of them?”
His words weren’t wrong. But the six under him were all exempted students of nobility; the circumstances were different.
Macreis licked his lips. “This matter was instructed by the Head of the institution.” At this crucial time, he could only offer his supporter from behind-the-scenes. His heart was stung by multiple pricks of shame.
“I didn’t personally hear him say this,” Hydin raised a brow. “Or, you can let him in.stru.ct me in person.”
Macreis muttered to himself irresolutely for a while. “Let’s think of another way to resolve this.”
Even though he had yet to attempt it, his intuition told him that the Head of the institution, Orosai, would reject having a face-to-face conversation with Hydin – if he was the Head, he would also do this. Having dealings with Hydin was definitely an affair that would be avoided as far as possible.
Perhaps no one would know that it was at this moment that the next Head of Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution resolved to climb onto the throne of the Head of the school.
Sometimes, a life could undergo a complete change under such unremarkable circumstances.