Chapter 28: Teaching methods (9)
At the crack of dawn, Ning Ya got up and packed his remaining things, bedsheets and quilt. No item was left behind.
Di Lin sat at the bedside, looking on as the items in the room that belonged to Ning Ya decreased one by one, till everything had entered his space bag.
“You’ve really decided?” Di Lin asked gloomily.
Ning Ya smiled at him. Under the first rays of morning sun, a faint hint of gold emerged on his pale face, making him look extraordinarily good-looking. “Perhaps this will be our last time meeting, but I will never forget our friendship,” The hand he extended was skinny, yet exceptionally steady.
Di Lin stood up and gripped his hand solemnly.
His hand was cool, just like his person.
Ning Ya took the initiative to release his hand. “I’m going to leave.”
“You’re not going to say goodbye to the rest of the students?” Di Lin looked at the sky that was still revealing the first glimmer of light. At this time, Suo Suo, Rui Meng, and the rest were definitely still asleep.
“No,” Ning Ya said. “There’s nothing much to be said.”
Di Lin didn’t continue insisting after hearing these words. “I’ll send you off.”
“All right,” Ning Ya didn’t reject him this time.
The two people walked downstairs and saw Macreis waiting.
“You still want to leave?” Macreis was slightly astounded.
Ning Ya nodded.
Macreis hesitated. “Perhaps you can wait a while longer.”
Ning Ya’s gaze lowered. “I’m afraid there isn’t enough time.”
Macreis sighed, sympathy for the delicate youth flashing across his eyes. “Although it’s none of my business, I still want to say sorry. You’ve been disappointed.”
Ning Ya’s shoulders shook slightly. He raised his head, the complex emotions that flashed past his eyes dying in the next second. He immediately gave a shallow smile. “Sir, Tutor Macreis, you’re attaching too much meaning to this.”
Macreis didn’t say anything more. He turned and walked in the direction of the Illusion Lake.
Ning Ya and Di Lin silently followed behind him.
Along the way, Di Lin thought of opening his mouth and breaking the silence multiple times. But in the end, he didn’t know how to do so. Macreis’ heavy footsteps and Ning Ya’s indifferent expression made him feel that seeking a relaxed atmosphere was a luxury.
The Illusion Lake gradually appeared in the horizon.
The azure lake water appeared as pure as the sky. The cool breeze of dawn swept past the surface of the lake, the gleaming reflection of the waves under the sunlight of a clear and crystalline quality.
A boat was berthed along the shore.
Di Lin gazed at the boat with a slightly abstruse look in his eyes. He suddenly realized that he did miss home a little.
“I’m going,” Ning Ya said in a low voice beside him.
Di Lin regained his senses. He looked at Ning Ya and said with a firm expression, “Take care.”
Ning Ya smiled slightly, turned, and boarded the boat. He walked into the hold of the ship in a hasty manner, as if he was in a rush to escape from everything behind him, yet anxious to go to some place.
The boat inched away from the shore, slowly setting forth on its journey.
Macreis suddenly asked, “He didn’t ask for your help?”
Di Lin’s ears heated up and he only replied after a while. “What exactly happened to him?”
Macreis lowered his head and glanced at him before slowly shaking his head. “Forget it.” He left behind Di Lin, who was still standing by the shore and gazing into the distance, and set foot on the path back. Ever since he joined Saint Padeus in his search for knowledge, he had grown used to seeing people from all walks of life come and go. Thus, though he was regretful and sorry about Ning Ya’s departure, such emotion only lasted for a short moment.
Di Lin gazed at the gradually shrinking figure of the boat. His left hand slowly crept in the direction of his heart, as if some emotion had vanished without having taken shape.
Ning Ya’s departure did not create too huge a ripple among the students. Other than Suo Suo and Rui Meng who were still upset for a period of time, the rest didn’t seem to have even noticed his disappearance.
Di Lin asked Suo Suo about the matter regarding Xi Luo but Suo Suo only looked back at him, at a loss. Evidently, he didn’t have a single impression of what had transpired the previous night. So, Di Lin could only repeatedly warn him not to drink alone in the future, and to make sure to go to gatherings with him.
Suo Suo agreed.
In fact, he had originally wanted to return for Di Lin but couldn’t recall anything after Rui Meng poured a glass of wine down his throat.
That night, Rui Meng received Di Lin’s warning. In order to ensure that he attached sufficient importance to this matter, Di Lin specially embellished the situation till it became an exceedingly grave matter.
Rui Meng thought that he had nearly incited a war between the two countries’ princes in his moment of excitement and felt deeply guilty. From then onwards, he became less flamboyant and brash in front of Di Lin.
Time went by quickly and within a blink of an eye, two months went by.
During these two months, by means of relentless effort, Di Lin finally managed to sense the wood and earth elements. Though it was very weak, the feeling of being able to sense the four elements was truly quite good.
However, he hadn’t even had time to rejoice when he was doused in cold water by Kevin’s performance.
Seeing Kevin effortlessly use magic to create an enormous spiraling whirlpool of water, the joy in his heart was swept away without a trace.
As he was a civilian, Kevin hadn’t been able to make use of magic in any degree before entering Saint Padeus. However, his grasp of water magic was now far ahead of Di Lin’s. The feeling of their positions having been reversed was akin to a hammer striking heavily on his heart, causing his eyes to turn dark.
Suo Suo and Rui Meng noticed that Di Lin’s complexion after returning didn’t look too good and were very astonished. The Di Lin in their memories was a seemingly always gentle and steady youth who rarely revealed such an expression.
Suo Suo shook his arm worriedly. “Did Hydin bully you?”
Di Lin wanted to nod but after thinking about it, he shook his head.
Rui Meng lay sprawled over his pillow, his two feet swaying back and forth gently. “Did you encounter some trouble during practice?”
Di Lin’s gaze fixed on him. “Has Tutor Melina taught you magic?”
“Magic? That’s of course.” Rui Meng asked doubtfully, “Didn’t we come to Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution to learn magic?”
Di Lin pursed his lips.
Rui Meng asked in amazement, “Don’t tell me you haven’t learnt magic up till now?”
Di Lin stated, “I haven’t learnt it in detail.”
“What do you mean by not having learnt it in detail?” Rui Meng propped himself against the bed with both hands and sat cross-legged. “Could it be that Hydin hasn’t taught you any magic spells?”
“No,” Di Lin’s complexion turned rather ugly the next instant. “He said that a real mage shouldn’t learn the magic left behind by their predecessors but should create magic exclusive to them.”
Rui Meng’s brows wrinkled. “What joke is he playing at? The way we are now, we haven’t even figured out what exactly magic is; how can we create magic? Moreover, isn’t creating our own magic the test for graduating from Saint Padeus? You haven’t even learnt anything yet, how can you create magic exclusive to you?”
The original words of doubt that had been hidden in his heart was finally voiced by Rui Meng. Di Lin’s complexion turned from black to red.
Suo Suo was very confused by their conversation. “Di Lin, you haven’t learnt any real magic yet? Then what have you been learning all this time?”
Di Lin said slowly, “Sensing the other three elements.” The only time he had mentioned this matter was when he requested for Aridi’s guidance. No one else knew of it.
Rui Meng exclaimed, “Heavens! What kind of tutor is this! Everyone knows that the deeper a mage dives into studying his chosen type of magic, the more his sensitivity towards the other three elements will gradually vanish, till he no longer senses them at all. Learning how to sense the other three elements now is practically a waste of time.”
Suo Suo commented, “Ah. Then why did Hydin do it?”
“Who knows?” Rui Meng looked at Di Lin sympathetically. He had originally been quite envious of Di Lin learning from Hydin one-on-one. But looking at it now, it was definitely a calamity.
“You guys go eat first, I’ll leave for a while,” Di Lin spoke and then walked out without even turning back.
Suo Suo took two steps after him and then turned to look at Rui Meng. “Where is he going?”
Rui Meng said, “He’s going to find the main culprit to settle their debts.”
When Di Lin went out, he had a bellyful of anger and confusion, and was prepared to give Hydin a good questioning. But when he really saw Hydin, though his anger and confusion was still present, he didn’t know how to start on his bellyful of questions.
Hydin raised his head from his books and raised a brow at Di Lin, who was standing in front of him motionlessly. “You ran over with a head full of sweat, just so you could stand here and block my sun?”
Di Lin said in a heavy voice, “I have questions to ask you.”
“Ask you?” Hydin dragged out the last word. Then, the corner of his mouth curled up. “It seems like you’re here to criticize me.”
Di Lin stated, “I want to know why you’ve never taught me water magic.” He paused a moment. As if wanting to prove that he wasn’t making a fuss out of nothing, he added, “The other students have already learnt many types of water magic.”
“Do you know what’s the difference between geniuses and mediocre people?” Hydin raised his chin slightly.
“I can’t tell which part of me is a genius.”
The corner of Hydin’s mouth lifted in ridicule. “When did I say you’re a genius?”
Di Lin looked at him doubtfully, his gaze seemingly saying – you mean the geniuses and mediocre people you were talking about just now wasn’t referring to him and the rest of the students?
“Without a doubt, the strongest genius in Saint Padeus…” Hydin stretched out a finger and slowly pointed it at himself. “Is me. Your so-called other students are merely a group of second-generation mediocre students taught by a bunch of mediocre people. You can choose whether you want to listen to me or them.”
Di Lin was silent for a while. He slowly uttered, “I want to know your teaching plan, including every step and purpose.”
“Sure,” Hydin put down his book and stood up slowly, smiling coldly. “When you’ve become the Head of Saint Padeus’ Institution.”
Di Lin’s throat blocked up. He seemed to have realized that his request was too rude and impetuous, but words that had already been said was like spilt water; it was impossible to retract them even if he wanted to. He didn’t want to lower his head to Hydin either, so the topic shifted in another direction. “Then, I would like to switch tutors.”
“Also possible,” Hydin crossed his arms across his chest. “As long as that person can beat me.”
Di Lin looked at his confident expression in bewilderment. Could it be that…
The many magic tutors in Saint Padeus all couldn’t beat him?
T/N: I identify with Suo Suo so much lol. I have really low alcohol tolerance too, but not that handy skill to forget everything 😢