Chapter 21: Teaching methods (2)
The tutors were finally decided.
Di Lin was brought back to the camp to pack up his things and make preparations for official entry into the Holy Institution’s dormitory.
Suo Suo kept staring at the school badge pinned onto the front of his chest.
The Holy Institution’s school badge was a chunk of black crystal that had been ground evenly. Gold leather encased the stone and the words ‘Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution’ was written on it in enchanted water. Not only was this type of enchanted water waterproof, fireproof, and fade-resistant, it would also emit a flickering, exceedingly weak light in the dark.
Suo Suo suddenly tugged at the school uniform he had newly put on and shifted the school badge in front of Di Lin. “In the future, we should be able to use this to borrow books from the library?”
Di Lin stared blankly and smiled while saying, “Of course. What books do you want to look at?”
Suo Suo replied, “Picture books, the type with stories.”
Di Lin gazed at his naïve countenance and suddenly recalled that statement of Hydin’s – ‘Do you not feel that there is something wrong with his brain?’ His heart sank and he touched Suo Suo’s head. “School is about to start, you should put all your energy into your studies.”
Suo Suo’s brows wrinkled. “But Hydin said that I can’t learn magic.”
“Tutor Chai Fuang will definitely have a way around that,” Di Lin didn’t know if he was comforting Suo Suo or himself.
“It’s all right. Anyway, the only reason I came here is so that I can be with you. It’s okay even if I can’t learn magic. At that time, you can protect me,” As Suo Suo spoke, he frowned in worry. “But my tutor is also guiding Xi Luo.”
Xi Luo was indeed a headache.
Di Lin recalled the other time when Xi Luo incited Aridi to trick Ning Ya into going to the library. Given his relationship with Suo Suo, it was difficult to guarantee that Xi Luo wouldn’t lay his hands on him.
Suo Suo noticed Di Lin’s frown and couldn’t help adding, “Ah, you don’t have to worry too much. Anyway, Ning Ya’s with me.”
“Ning Ya,” Di Lin’s features tensed up, his gaze involuntarily turning towards Ning Ya’s tent.
Ning Ya just happened to exit his tent. Their gazes met and for a short while, neither of them shifted their gazes away.
Di Lin’s mouth opened, just about to greet him, but Ning Ya had already turned his head away.
Rui Meng followed behind Ning Ya as the two people made their way over.
Di Lin tugged Suo Suo out of the tent.
Rui Meng smiled happily. “We have priority to choose our dormitories tomorrow, that’s very good. Aha, I never thought that tiny reward from the memorizing competition still had some value.”
His laughter was probably too loud, causing Aridi and Jeffery to also stick their heads out from their tent.
Ning Ya suddenly said, “I want to be in the same room as Aridi.” The Holy Institution’s dormitories had always been two people to a room.
The sound of Rui Meng’s laughter came to an abrupt stop. He stared at him in shock. “Why?”
The perpetually invisible person Jeffery uttered a not-very-invisible statement. “Isn’t it because the sound of your snoring’s too loud?”
Rui Meng glared at him fiercely. “I don’t snore!”
Jeffery’s head instantly shrank back.
Rui Meng watched Ning Ya, a slight hesitation in his eyes. “Is it really because I’m too noisy?”
“No,” Ning Ya’s gaze was lowered, seemingly in thought about how to explain the matter.
Di Lin interrupted, “Why not Ning Ya share a room with Suo Suo?”
Ning Ya raised his head.
Di Lin smiled warmly. “You and Suo Suo are both Chai Fuang’s students. In the future, both of you can take care of each other.” Even though there were past events of an unfathomably awkward nature between him and Ning Ya, he believed that Ning Ya would not look on without lifting a finger if Xi Luo really bullied Suo Suo.
Ning Ya’s lips moved.
Suo Suo had already grabbed Di Lin’s hand, his eyes brimming with tears. “Aren’t you staying with me?”
Di Lin consoled him. “We can be neighbors who live beside each other.”
Rui Meng seemed to have been hurt by Ning Ya’s decision. He took half a step towards Di Lin. “I’ll share a room with you.”
Di Lin smiled and nodded.
Aridi felt that he should say something. No matter what was said, Ning Ya had chosen him just now. But after thinking up many excuses, he felt that there didn’t seem to be space for him to cut in on the conversation. As he thought this, he inevitably turned back and stared at Jeffery. Even Jeffery, who had always been ignored, had been attached some importance for a moment. Why was it that this time, the obviously important him had once again been disregarded?
The dormitory arrangements were decided just like this under Ning Ya’s silence.
Of course, Aridi’s minor thoughts were once again disregarded by everyone else other than he himself.
In the early morning the next day, an atmosphere known as sorrow enshrouded the camp.
Even the students who were staying on stood outside their tents and hung their heads dispiritedly as they watched the group of comrades who had similarly been brimming with longing and hope for the future step onto the road home.
Di Lin’s group stood at the very fringes of the camp as they watched a small group send off a large group of people.
Although the institution gave them three days to pack up their things, no one would be willing to continue staying on a day under this sort of circumstances.
Rui Meng sighed with sorrow. “The number of students accepted this time are really low.”
Aridi snorted coldly. “There’s nothing to be done. Too many idiots were accepted the past few times, causing the number of students who are unable to graduate to pile up. This led to a shortage in the number of qualified teachers.”
Rui Meng slanted his eyes at him. “Now there’s one more.”
Aridi glowered at him. “I know how to use magic, how am I an idiot?!”
Rui Meng replied, “The sort of magic that can only be appreciated by elemental spirits?”
Aridi was speechless. He turned and suddenly took his anger out on Suo Suo. “At least I’m stronger than him.”
Rui Meng said in disdain, “Didn’t you hear what the tutors said? That’s because there’s a small problem with his elemental spirit. Do you understand what an elemental spirit is? I believe that he will definitely become a super-capable mage after the spell is removed!”
Aridi was unhappy.
Suo Suo secretly pulled on Di Lin’s hand, “Will I really become a super awesome mage?”
Di Lin stroked his head, his smile exceptionally firm. “You will, you definitely will!”
After the group of students returned from sending off the rest, there was no longer any sorrow visible on their faces. Every one of them was in high spirits. Whatever the case, their tomorrows were bright.
After close to an hour, Macreis appeared and brought them to the dormitories.
As the prizes said, the first fifteen in the memorization competition would have priority when choosing their rooms – but only one-fifth of them could truly use this privilege.
The dormitories were located within a castle made of stone.
The black-colored main door appeared as gloomy as a cave.
After entering, they saw an immense crystal chandelier hanging from the ten-meter high ceiling.
The flames on the chandelier flickered. It was a little dark.
Stone walls surrounded the castle’s hall, the block of stones that were taller than humans causing a sense of oppression to inevitably appear within the hearts of those present.
From the moment they stepped into the castle, Suo Suo’s hand continuously pulled tightly on Di Lin’s.
Macreis walked right at the front of the group. That wide gown of his became the pillar of everyone’s energies; every person’s eyes were firmly latched to his back.
“The castle is split into the east and west blocks, while the middle links them around this corner,” Macreis stood at the highest point of the stairs and looked downwards at his students as he explained. “Every block has four floors and there are six rooms on every floor.” His gaze landed on the group which ranked the highest in the memorization competition. “Now, you guys can use your right to priority. Who’s doing it first?”
Di Lin said, “Of course it should be the one in first place, Kevin.” Although the competition had already ended and Suo Suo’s problem had seemingly been resolved via another method, he still harbored some tension towards the person who obtained first place.
The large-eyed youth who had some affinity with Suo Suo and him took one step forward, stating in a manner that was neither servile nor overbearing. “That’s me.”
Suo Suo was stunned. “Ah, you’re called Kevin?”
Kevin glanced at him. “Nobility like you don’t need to specially remember my name.”
His words carried a faint provocation, causing Di Lin some displeasure. However, without waiting for him to show it, Suo Suo already replied. “But we know each other.”
Kevin seemed to have been struck dumb for a while. “Know each other?”
Suo Suo stated, “I’ve seen you multiple times and we even spoke before. Do you not remember that?”
How could he not remember?
Faced with Suo Suo’s innocent and unaffected gaze, Kevin suddenly felt that his mockery was both wan and childish.
Macreis observed that both parties didn’t have the desire to take their interaction one step further and so said, “All right, let’s start allocating the rooms then.”
Kevin hesitated for a while. “I want to stay on my own.” He did not intentionally want to do so but the person whom he had shared his tent with had been rejected and those he knew all had companions.
Macreis did not find this sort of answer unexpected. “Of course it’s possible. There are a surplus of rooms here, you can choose one first.” After Kevin went up the stairs, he looked towards Di Lin again.
Thus, Di Lin and the rest split themselves according to the previous arrangement.
Despite the fact that running up and down four floors was rather troublesome, neither Di Lin nor Rui Meng was willing to let others tread back and forth above their heads, so they chose the highest floor. For Suo Suo, it was a must to live beside Di Lin, while Ning Ya had no opinions. Aridi originally didn’t want to live too close to them but had even less desire to live on his lonesome among the commoners, so he and Jeffery could only shift over as well.
In the end, all six people stayed on the fourth floor of the east block.
Together with them was the person who chose first, Kevin. By the time he knew of this, it could no longer be undone. He became the only commoner on the fourth floor of the dormitory in the east block.