Chapter 26: Teaching methods (7)
After returning from Aridi’s room, Di Lin’s itchy hands compelled him into going downstairs and finding a random tree to continue his wood-perception training.
Speaking of this, his case was rather unusual. He possessed an innate sensitivity towards the water element and could vaguely sense them from young. Then, that feeling was made prominent through his teacher’s advice, as if the hazy clouds had been pushed aside. However, his perception of the other three elements was very weak, to the point where it was practically negligible.
His teacher from young also found this quite strange. Someone who could sense an element would usually be able to sense the other elements – perhaps it was one type, two types, or even four types. It was only that the sensitivity towards those elements would vary between strong and weak. After practising one type for a while, one’s sensitivity towards the other types would become increasingly weak, till it was completely neglected. It was truly very uncommon for there to be someone so attuned to a specific element like him.
Di Lin didn’t know why Hydin was so fixated on him perceiving the other three types. His hard work now stemmed completely from his competitiveness.
It was nearly eleven o’clock.
The night was particularly tranquil.
Di Lin’s legs felt a little numb.
The habitual reaping of no benefits made him feel dejected. Aridi said previously that he needed to be gentle and amiable in order to sense them; he personally felt that he had already put in a lot of effort into being gentle. Could it be that he still wasn’t amiable enough?
Di Lin stared foolishly at the tree.
If he smiled at the tree, would the wood elements be able to perceive it?
As he pondered over it, the corners of his mouth couldn’t help drawing back a little.
This scene was extremely strange.
A pretty youth with short orange hair showed a loving smile towards a tree.
The sound of crisp footsteps intruded into the scene.
Di Lin instantly pursed his lips and looked in the direction of the footsteps.
Ning Ya was walking back with an apathetic expression on his face, as if he were a drifting specter under the moonlight.
“Ning Ya?” Di Lin called out softly.
Ning Ya cocked his head, those pitch-black eyes of his that were akin to a bottomless pit reflected against a face so pale that it was almost translucent. The contrast of black and white was exceedingly distinct.
Di Lin inched forward and asked with deep concern, “Are you okay?”
Ning Ya’s gaze flickered. He spat out two words weakly, “I’m fine.”
“I’m very tired,” Ning Ya evaded the hand that Di Lin stretched over and walked towards the dormitory without turning back.
Di Lin thought about it and then silently followed behind him.
In fact, Ning Ya could see Di Lin’s figure following behind him at every corner around the stairs. However, he didn’t say anything, as if he saw nothing other than the road ahead.
A bizarre thought arose in Di Lin’s heart.
He recalled that Ning Ya also had on this expression when he sought for his help.
Di Lin returned to his room and shook awake Suo Suo, who had been sleeping on his bed, dead to the world. Di Lin asked Suo Suo to return to his own room.
“Why?” Suo Suo rubbed his eyes, staring at him blankly.
“Ning Ya’s in a bad mood,” Di Lin glanced at Rui Meng, who had raised his head from his graphic novel, and lowered his volume. “Go accompany him.”
Suo Suo wiped away the tears that had seeped out from the corners of his eyes due to drowsiness and got up. He put on his shoes and then looked worriedly at Di Lin. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Anything is fine,” Di Lin patted his shoulder. “It’s okay as long as he isn’t alone.”
“Is it also okay if I continue sleeping?” Suo Suo asked shyly. He was really quite sleepy.
Di Lin said, “When you return, he should also be about ready to sleep.”
Only then did Suo Suo feel at ease and return.
Rui Meng waited for him to close the door before suddenly turning his head over with interest. “I’ve always had this feeling that Ning Ya didn’t come here to learn magic.”
Di Lin asked without batting an eyelid, “Why do you say so?”
Rui Meng said, “He seems to be continuously making friends.”
“I also like making friends very much,” Di Lin shot him a smile. “Do you not like to?”
“Ai, that’s different,” Rui Meng looked at him strangely. “Why are you always speaking for him?”
Di Lin lowered his head and remained silent for three seconds before saying slowly, “Because I feel that he lives a very tough life.”
Ever since the moment he met Ning Ya, he felt that this pale youth seemed to be shouldering something so pressurizing that it rendered him unable to even catch a breath. Even if he never spoke or revealed it.
Di Lin thought back to the night they attempted to steal the exam papers and the spell Ning Ya was bearing. His brows tightened.
The next day, Di Lin saw a gentle expression on Ning Ya’s face, one that was utterly different from the previous night’s. He silently stored away the words of care he had originally wanted to voice. After finishing his breakfast alone, he walked towards the spot in the woods that he had arranged to meet up at with Hydin.
It was a sunny and cloudless day.
The faint, sweet scent of flowers and plants pervaded the air.
Di Lin was just recalling the childhood strolls he had taken with his mother at the outskirts when he sensed a darkness in his mind. An enormous tongue of flame pounced directly at him!
His body reacted in an instant, leaping towards his right.
The hot wind that blew past his left ear, startling him till he felt cold sweat all over!
“Why didn’t you test into a school for knights?” Hydin’s distinct voice sounded ahead.
Di Lin moved his legs. Realizing that his limbs hadn’t completely stiffened, he took his time to stand up.
Hydin clearly didn’t intend on letting him off just like this. “Using agility to protect one’s life during danger is an instinct belonging to knights.”
Di Lin lost his cool. “I respected your teachings, so I forgot the water magic that I had learnt beforehand.”
Hydin mocked him coldly. “You forgot it because it isn’t a part of you. If it is, you wouldn’t forget it even if you died.”
Di Lin raised his eyes, the rays of light flickering in his eyes seemingly guessing at the meaning of his words.
“A real mage would not possess magic handed down by their predecessors but would create magic that belonged to and suited them. If you can’t do this, then there isn’t any need for you to learn magic at Saint Padeus. Given your clan’s financial resources, squandering money on a pile of magic scrolls shouldn’t be too hard?” Hydin’s chin lifted slightly. His eyes looked askance at him from above, brimming with contempt.
Di Lin’s lips thinned.
The so-called magic scrolls were equivalent to contracts with the elements. A gem would act as the bridge for linking up with the elements, while the spell written in magic liquid on the scroll using would activate the magic. The benefit of it was that anyone with a slight sensitivity to the elements could use it, while the disadvantage was that the price was hefty.
“I will take note the next time,” Di Lin heard himself reply coldly.
“Next time?” A lick of flame appeared in Hydin’s palm.
Di Lin’s heart tensed. His eyes fixed firmly on that mass of flame, the water elements in his mind roiling spectacularly. Out of habit, he almost used the water barrier that teacher Ricky had taught him, though his competitiveness enabled him to restrain this urge very quickly.
His train of thought was stirred into emptiness by this one word. He had no idea how to create magic that belonged to him. At the end, there was only one thought left in his mind –
Extinguish the fire!
Perhaps it was this thought that was too powerful.
The water elements suddenly congregated and pounced towards the spot where the fire elements had gathered!
The sound of water was exceedingly loud.
Di Lin looked dazedly at Hydin. He was drenched from head to toe, yet he still maintained his previous posture, the palm that was now empty still dangling in midair.
“Hy… Tutor Hydin?” Di Lin opened his mouth with difficulty.
The completely-soaked Hydin suddenly smiled strangely. “So, magic looks like this in your mind.”
The corner of Di Lin’s mouth turned up unnaturally.
“Completely lacking in beauty,” Hydin turned icily, water dripping off him, and headed into the deeper recesses of the woods.
Di Lin hesitated over whether or not to catch up.
“Continue practicing the wood elements,” Hydin’s voice floated from a distance away.
“Yes!” He replied in a loud voice and then heaved a sigh of relief.
There was still no progress in his attempts to get in touch with the wood elements.
But Di Lin’s mood was not bad.
No matter what was said, seeing Hydin cut a sorry figure was not an easy thing. Although he felt that Hydin had deliberately not blocked it, it didn’t hinder his good mood.
Upon returning to the dormitory, he found that Rui Meng and Suo Suo hadn’t returned. Hence, he went downstairs and waited while attempting to interact with the wood elements. Even when the sky turned dark and his stomach had been rumbling for quite a while, he still hadn’t caught a glimpse of even half a student.
This violated common sense.
Could it be that they were participating in an activity he didn’t know of?
If there was something negative about having a tutor pair with only one student, it was that news wasn’t very accessible. Especially if the tutor was someone like Hydin who came and went alone.
Di Lin didn’t even know who he should look for under such a circumstance.
He rounded the spot for a while before deciding to go take a look at Macreis’ residence. As the head instructor of the junior classes, there was a chance that there would be some news there.
The tutors’ and students’ dormitories weren’t very far apart.
It wouldn’t take more than twenty minutes on foot. Di Lin ran, so he reached after only ten minutes.
The tutors’ floor was brightly lit.
He was about to walk forward when he saw Macreis walking out with a slim silhouette following behind him.
Di Lin recognized the person with just one glance.
He couldn’t be more familiar with that moon-lit paleness.