Holy Institution: Chapter 24

Chapter 24: Teaching methods (5)

It was murky black underneath the water.

Di Lin could only shut his eyes and use his own sensitivity towards the water elements to search for the tiny stone with fire elements concealed on its surface.

A sea of distinct, bright water elements surfaced in his mind, so densely packed that they seemed like silver-colored sesame seeds that had scattered onto the ground. Even a tiny crack couldn’t be seen, much less any fire elements.

Di Lin surfaced once again to take a breath of air.

Although the lake water wasn’t very deep, the him who had stayed in the water for such a lengthy period of time was on the verge of exhausting his physical strength and willpower.

He couldn’t help turning to glance at the shore.

He had labored for just a short while, but the sky had already completely darkened.

Both Hydin and Suo Suo’s figures had been swallowed by the stretch of woods. He could only rely on the spot in his memory to make a vague guess at the direction they were at.

“Huff…”

Hearing his own deep exhale, he continued immersing himself in the water.

He didn’t know how many times he had entered the lake. Every time, he would hope that it was the last, yet he would be disappointed time and time again. Should he be glad that he had played in water since young, so he could persist till now? If not for that…

Di Lin imagined the look Hydin would have and immediately came to a conclusion. Even if he couldn’t swim, Hydin would still kick him in.

Perhaps, to Hydin, no method was inapplicable, only how he made use of it.

The water elements in his mind suddenly flickered.

This so-called flickering meant one turning bright and another turning dark.

His heart tensed up and he slowly swam back to his original location.

That dark spot in his mind appeared with clarity.

Di Lin reached out and slowly groped along the bottom of the lake. Piece by piece… till he grabbed it.

“Gu lu gu lu[1]…”

The him who had grabbed the stone instantly relaxed his determination and body.

By the time he realized that something was wrong, his body no longer listened to commands. Air continuously escaped from his nostrils…

Suo Suo lowered his head, his eyes fixed on the ends of his feet.

Actually, he couldn’t see the ends of his feet clearly. But the darkness offered him too good a cover – even if the person standing in front of him was the Hydin he had always feared, he wasn’t as keyed up as he had imagined.

It was only that problem of his –

To tell the truth, he didn’t think it was a very big deal. He had never had much interest in magic. If he could remain in the school, he would think that it was not too bad even if he had to tidy materials like he had done today. At least, this place was a lot quieter than Julan and he could see Di Lin every day. Thinking this way, Suo Suo found his spirits lifting.

Hydin was looking towards the surface of the lake and silently counting time when his expression suddenly changed. Following a gust of wind, his body reached the surface of the lake, the location Di Lin was at underwater. He raised his hands high up, a column of fire penetrating deeply into the water like a lance wielded by his hands.

Suo Suo watched the lake water churn in shock. Like as if had been pushed apart by the fire, the water surged towards the shore.

The lake water very quickly submerged his feet, yet he didn’t feel anything. His eyes fixed tightly on the lake. Seeing Hydin’s expression, he had also guessed that something had happened to Di Lin.

The column of fire piercing into the center of the lake suddenly split apart, forming a circle around Hydin with him at its center.

Due to the intensity of the blaze, Suo Suo couldn’t get a clear glimpse of what exactly had happened.

He only knew that a while later, that blaze gradually went out.

Carrying Di Lin, Hydin slowly flew back to shore.

“Di Lin?” Suo Suo moved closer but was evaded by Hydin as he turned around.

“Do you know why he fainted from overexertion?” Hydin asked icily.

Suo Suo answered without thinking, “Because you asked him to pick up the stone.”

Hydin curled his lips in displeasure. “He could have rejected it.”

Suo Suo felt that there was something wrong with this statement but couldn’t figure out what exactly was wrong at this moment.

Hydin saw that he didn’t utter a word and followed up on his words. “For your sake, he can’t reject it.”

Suo Suo looked at him blankly.

Hydin said, “He wants to help you undo your shackles.”

The corner of Suo Suo’s lips moved and he said softly, “I don’t mind.”

Hydin stated, “If you’re always this weak, then he will always believe that you mind. Your brain may be stupid, but it can’t be completely empty. You should make good use of what you have left to find your own future.”

The blankness in Suo Suo’s eyes deepened.

The lake water gradually receded.

Hydin placed Di Lin along the shore and used his fingers to pull open his mouth. He thought for a moment and then pushed some fire elements into his body to drive the water elements out.

“Cough cough,” The heat in Di Lin’s chest woke him up. Opening his eyes, he looked at Hydin in confusion. In a flash, he raised his hand and passed the stone in his hand to him. “I found it.”

Hydin retrieved the fire elements and stated faintly. “I will abide by our agreement.”

Di Lin relaxed and his raised hand gradually lowered.

Suo Suo glanced timidly at Hydin. He stealthily walked to Di Lin’s other side and grabbed his hand. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Di Lin gave him a placating smile.

Hydin raised a brow. “Don’t you think that with your current state, his question is really quite brainless, and your answer is really quite insincere?”

Suo Suo bit his lip.

Di Lin gripped Suo Suo’s arm as he slowly stood up. The aches throughout his entire body nearly made him want to lie down forever without getting up. “Let’s go back.”

Suo Suo said gloomily, “Dinner has already ended.”

Di Lin patted his arm. “Sorry.”

Suo Suo wanted to explain that he was scared Di Lin wouldn’t be able to eat a nice and warm dinner despite being this fatigued when Hydin cut into their conversation. “You’re raising a pig.”

Di Lin was annoyed at him constantly targeting Suo Suo and retorted, “I’m willing to.”

……

The three people walked a distance.

Hydin suddenly said, “So he really is a pig.”

Di Lin, “…”

After the drowning incident, Hydin’s next few teaching methods were significantly milder. Most of the time, Di Lin would be able to eat lunch and dinner.

The issue of finding the mage who cast the spell never slipped Di Lin’s mind.

Thus, one night, Hydin brought Di Lin and Suo Suo to the residence where the school’s miscellaneous workers lived.

Even though they were miscellaneous workers, their living area was not worse off compared to the students. In Di Lin’s eyes, when it came to lighting, the design of their residence was much better than the room he was currently living in. This could perhaps be attributed to the fact that students would not live here for very long whereas the workers would need to live here for a lifetime.

Hydin’s appearance caused a certain degree of commotion.

Although Di Lin didn’t understand why such a scene came about, reality showed that every household shut their doors.

In an instant, the originally leisurely and contented individuals tensed up.

Suo Suo didn’t understand. “What’s with them?”

Hydin replied in an unusually cooperative fashion. “Nothing much. I just occasionally let them help me do experiments.”

As someone who personally experienced Hydin’s teaching methods and almost became a corpse at the bottom of the lake, Di Lin immediately felt a deep sympathy and understanding for the workers’ behavior.

Leading to the loft was an archaic ladder which produced creaking sounds upon stepping on it.

Di Lin let Suo Suo walk ahead of him while he followed behind him to guard against any unexpected incidents. In contrast, Hydin used magic to fly up.

There was a strange odor of paint in the loft.

Di Lin walked up to the loft and saw all kinds of tragic paintings placed around the room.

The weak lighting was completely incapable of enhancing the paintings’ beauty. On the contrary, it made them appear even more frightening and sinister.

Hydin was standing beside the window, an elderly man with a shining white beard and plump nose seated beside him.

Di Lin felt a solemnity in the air. Suo Suo rushed to call out, “Ah, it’s you.”

The elderly man inclined his head and glanced at him before looking at Hydin. “You don’t seem like someone who meddles in others’ business.”

Hydin pointed at Di Lin. “This is my student.”

“So?”

“This is not other people’s business.”

“Then whose student is he?” The old man pointed at Suo Suo.

Hydin nearly used his nose to recite the name. “Chai Fuang.”

The corner of the elderly man’s mouth twitched. “See, there was no need for you to bring them to me. Chai Fuang is very clear that I will never undo the seal on him.”

Hydin said, “My agreement with him was to bring them to see you. Whether or not you want to undo it is between you and them.”

Di Lin couldn’t resist asking, “Could you tell me why you can’t release the seal on him?”

The elderly man slowly turned and pointed at a painting on the wall. “How do you find this painting?”

Di Lin’s line of sight followed along the man’s finger.

The painting was a tough one to describe. There was only deep, shallow colors of orange, as well as white. Moreover, they were mixed together in a chaotic mess. He had no idea what the painting was trying to express.

Hydin commented, “Your talent at painting is inversely proportional to your gift for magic.”

The old man said, “I admit that my talent for magic is terrible.”

Di Lin said very slowly, “This painting… is very similar to you.”

The old man’s eyes immediately lit up. “You can tell that this is a portrait of myself?”

Hydin looked at him in shock as well.

Di Lin thickened his skin and nodded. He could recognize that large nose.


[1] Onomatopoeia for exhaling underwater


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