Chapter 30: Junior exam (1)
“Were you living very inconveniently in the past?” Hydin raised a brow as he watched him. Shamanril was one of the strongest countries in the Dream Continent, while the Basco clan was one of the most powerful clans in Shamanril. Could the heir to such a clan have lived in dire financial straits?
Di Lin was annoyed. He himself didn’t know why he had spouted such a statement. He thought about it for a while before deciding to speak honestly. “I want to remain at Saint Padeus.”
Hydin looked at him.
“As a researcher,” Di Lin stated.
Hydin stayed silent for a very long time. From his expression, he seemed to be digesting this fact.
Di Lin stared unblinkingly at him, seemingly awaiting his decision.
After a while, Hydin finally opened his mouth. “That is your decision. You have the freedom to do so.”
Di Lin’s breathing eased.
“However, I will not change the way I teach or my goals,” Hydin uttered slowly. “Whether or not you can stay on at Saint Padeus and become a researcher will depend on yourself.”
Di Lin’s brows creased slightly.
He knew that large differences existed in the ways lifestyle and combat type mages trained. This difference lay not only in the way magic was used but even more so in the way they thought about how to use magic. For instance, for mages of the same water attribute, a combat-type would think of attacking. Such a person would try as far as possible to transform the water elements into a dangerous and formidable weapon. Whereas a lifestyle-type mage might consider how to wash clothes… Even if they were both water-types, there would be a large gap.
Hydin looked coldly at the expression flickering in his eyes. “Do you remember what is the most important between a mage and the elements?”
“Perception, communication,” Di Lin replied.
Hydin said, “Those are what I want to teach you.”
Di Lin stared blankly, suddenly asking, “So, you won’t teach me any magic?”
“When you and the elements truly become one, you won’t need to learn anything. Because your elements will help you to fulfill your desires.”
Di Lin probed, “Is that only doable with an elemental spirit?”
Hydin raised a brow. “Do you think that you won’t be able to have your own elemental spirit?”
He could think about it, but possessing an elemental spirit was not something that could be done solely by thinking.
Di Lin’s lips moved, though he didn’t say anything.
Hydin suddenly smiled. “Why not this – your graduation topic will be to have an elemental spirit.”
Di Lin stiffened.
The corner of his mouth slowly hooked up, forming a smile that clearly could not be termed kind. “This way, perhaps you can graduate early.”
But it was also possible for him to never graduate.
Di Lin realized that he didn’t feel alarmed at this possibility of never graduating. Perhaps, never graduating was also a way to remain at Saint Padeus. He slowly let out a breath.
“If you aren’t able to accomplish it within three years, I will expel you from the school based on the crime of disrespecting your tutor,” Hydin evidently didn’t want to see him lead too good of a life.
Di Lin’s complexion paled, and he blurted out, “Why?”
“Because having a student who’s too stupid will sully my life,” The corner of Hydin’s mouth curved. “So, you must work hard at finding your own elemental spirit within three years.”
“…” Having been dealt such an immense blow, Di Lin lost his desire to speak.
“Where are you going?” Hydin watched Di Lin walk out of the woods without uttering a word.
Return a book.
Di Lin replied in his heart, waving the book in his hand. In reality, the only thing he wanted to do now was escape from this tutor who dragged others all day long into being twisted with him!
He felt like he was at the brink of his endurance. If this continued, maybe he would really become the first student in history to both harbor the intention of murdering his tutor and also be expelled from the school – However, there wasn’t much difference between this and being expelled from the school three years later on account of disrespecting his tutor.
He returned to the library, signed his name at Lucé’s place, and then returned the book to the bookshelf.
A blue book at the side aroused his interest.
“<Water Magic Stirring Technique>?”
The book was very thin and had a total of thirty-six pages. Without the introduction and afterword, the content only amounted to twenty-seven pages. If not for its eye-striking color, he would definitely have passed it by.
Di Lin glanced at its sky-like color. Feeling that he could finish it before sundown, he found a spot at a corner and started reading quietly.
<Water Magic Stirring Technique> described the way in which magic could be used to make simple ground meat, garlic paste, and so on. The introduction indicated explicitly that using water elements to smash an object was in fact not difficult and could be done as long as the object was stirred with tremendous force. The hard part was siphoning the water elements from the finished product after stirring. After all, whether it was meat or garlic, its original state was not completely dry. This book proposed that there was a difference between the moisture in food like meat and garlic and normal water elements as their original states contained the distinct scent of meat and garlic.
As Di Lin read page after page, he suddenly felt that there was plenty of knowledge to be learnt in lifestyle-type magic and was not as simple as he had imagined. In contrast, if he used <Water Magic Stirring Technique> on the battlefield…
Di Lin felt a chill run over his body.
He didn’t know if the author of his book had ever considered this possibility. Or, apart from the book’s author, how many magic tutors in Saint Padeus knew of this way of using water.
The fact that Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution could stand proud in the present age and not be subjected to another country’s control was partly due to its intrinsic qualities.
“Is it very cold?” Hydin leaned against the bookshelf in front of him, looking at his expression inquiringly.
Di Lin returned to his senses abruptly. “Hydin?” The moment he spoke, he inwardly uttered the words ‘oh no’.
“Hydin?” As expected, Hydin raised his brows. It wasn’t clear whether it was joy or anger in his eyes that were as blue as the ocean. “Is that what you call me in private?”
Di Lin slowly continued, “Tutor.”
“Do you always like to cut your greetings into two sections? Oh, then should I be glad that I didn’t meet you in the middle of the night, otherwise wouldn’t I need to wait a whole two days before I can hear the full thing?”
Di Lin hurriedly changed the topic. “You also came to the library to read?”
“No. I came to see you.”
Di Lin was stunned. “Didn’t you just see me?”
There was a slight ripple in Hydin’s blue eyes. “I like to see twice, am I not allowed to?”
“…” Wasn’t this the kind of reason a five or six-year-old child would use only when causing a scene? Di Lin watched him cautiously. Though Hydin wasn’t a five or six-year-old child, he also knew how to cause a scene – by causing the other party to blow their top.
Having seen through what he was guarding against in one glance, a strong sense of displeasure welled up in Hydin’s heart. However, he concealed it well, saying faintly, “I just came over to tell you of a notification, given my position as tutor.”
“What notification?” Ever since becoming Hydin’s only student, Di Lin seemed to be disconnected from the world. He would only hear bits and pieces of news regarding the masses from Rui Meng and Suo Suo every time he returned.
“The junior exam will take place half a month later.”
Di Lin said in surprise, “Junior exam?”
Hydin stated, “It is necessary to pass three junior exams to be promoted from the junior to secondary school. If you receive excellent results the first two times, you can be exempted from the third test.” This rule had been told to him over and over again by Macreis before he came.
Di Lin asked, “What if I don’t pass?”
“Repeat a year,” Hydin coldly spat out these three words.
Di Lin suddenly realized that repeating a year was not scary. It was Hydin’s rage that was scariest.
Sure enough, Hydin asked in a sinister tone, “Surely you haven’t already made preparations to repeat a year?”
“I still don’t know the details of the exam.” If it was similar to the memorization competition, then he didn’t need to worry. But if it was a magic test, he might really fail! Di Lin felt extremely uneasy.
Despite the fact that Saint Padeus had few relations to the other countries in the Continent, he fully believed that Shamanril had planted an informer here. If not, his father – Duke Andre, would not have frequently told him about Princess Qiaoni’s various military successes in the Holy Institution. If he didn’t pass the junior exam, he could imagine how the news would immediately be sent back to Shamanril. Because there were too many clans there lusting after the Basco dukedom’s glory and itching for him, the person publicly known as heir, to produce more embarrassing news and tarnish his clan’s reputation.
Thinking of his father’s white hair despite not having reached old age, Di Lin’s brows wrinkled even more.
“You can’t really be thinking that you’ll fail the test, right?” Hydin glared at him.
Di Lin had a feeling that if he nodded, Hydin would definitely throw over a ball of fire, burning him to death.
“I want to know the mode of exam,” He didn’t answer directly.
Hydin said, “The mode is very simple. Form a group and enter the Nightmare Forest.”
“Nightmare Forest?” This was called very simple?!
Di Lin’s eyes were even wider than Hydin’s.
Hydin added faintly, “I went there when I was only thirteen years old.”
Di Lin shut his mouth. Despite that, his eyes continued to stare at him, bright and full of expression.
“You will definitely pass without a hitch,” Hydin looked at him with pride as if he was gazing at a piece of art, his eyes shining with confidence.
Di Lin clearly couldn’t understand where his confidence came from. “I heard there are a lot of magic beasts in the Nightmare Forest.”
“Yes,” Hydin nodded. “There was an occupation called Magic Beast Tamer before Saint Padeus’ establishment. They would capture magic beasts and tame them, letting them serve humans. Magic Beast Tamers are split into performance tamers, battle tamers, and lifestyle mages. However, even if magic beasts are considered to have been tamed, their inherent wild nature is still preserved. They would usually fail to overcome their thirst for blood on the battlefield and attack people on their side. So, as time went by, the Magic Beast Tamer occupation was prohibited by the various countries. Currently, Senriga is the only country which hasn’t banned this occupation, though the occupation is already gradually vanishing due to the pressure exerted by the various countries and Saint Padeus.”
Di Lin asked, “So, our task is to capture magic beasts?”
“Not capture magic beasts, travel,” Hydin said. “After you find the exam’s designated item, you can return.”
Di Lin suddenly said, “A risky journey?”
“Risky?” Hydin shrugged his shoulders. “The Nightmare Forest has always been called the backyard of Saint Padeus. I don’t think that it’s risky to have a stroll around the backyard.”
Di Lin wasn’t convinced. Given his strength, he believed that it was impossible for him to run to the Nightmare Forest at the age of thirteen – This required too majestic a self-sacrifice, a self-sacrifice so that the beasts could be fed. He was extremely, extremely certain that he didn’t possess this in the past. Nor did he possess it now. As for the future… He very sincerely hoped that he wouldn’t have it either.
Hydin glanced at the book in his hand. “That book was written by my tutor.”
“Your tutor?” Di Lin lowered his head and looked at the signature on the cover — David·Barson. “He truly is a multi-talented mage.” Not only was he proficient in combat, he could even use it in aspects of his life. He suddenly realized – Hydin was a combat-type mage and he had looked through this book before, so there was a real possibility that this sort of stirring technique would be used on the battlefield.
“What are you thinking about?” Hydin realized in confusion that Di Lin’s complexion had lost some color, similar to how he had looked like when he just came in.
“Have you used this magic before?” Di Lin asked, his words full of hidden meaning.
Hydin wrinkled his brows. “This is water magic.”
Di Lin stared blankly and even broke out into laughter despite himself. He had been too tense, nearly forgetting this point.
“Moreover, the destructive power of this sort of magic is too low. Using fire would be a lot easier,” Hydin added.
Di Lin, “…” His nervousness wasn’t without reason. No matter how he looked at Hydin, he seemed like a dangerous character who liked to research all kinds of killing methods.
T/N: I have some news to share – I have a Patreon now! It was a decision made after a long period of consideration, because I hope to continue translating for a long time. I would appreciate any support, but if not, that’s perfectly fine as well. I will continue to update as per my usual release rate. As always, thank you for reading! (✿◠‿◠)