Chapter 37: Junior exam (8)
Should he think of a way to lower his confidence?
Orosai glared at Hydin’s inclined face that was brimming with self-confidence and boldness.
Three minutes later, he realized that he was probing in the wrong direction. “What did that person want to do with the crystal stones?”
Hydin put down his cup of coffee. “Those are not ordinary crystal stones but the purest type of elemental crystals. If he hadn’t kindly left behind half of them, the Nightmare Forest would have long come alive fifteen years ago.”
Orosai’s brows creased. “Elemental crystals?”
Hydin replied, “Elemental crystals around the size of this table of yours.”
Orosai was shocked. It was the first time he had heard of such large elemental crystals. “How many did he take?”
“Six? Three water types and three fire types. The remaining six are earth and wood types, but they’ve exceeded their operational burden and are already useless.”
Orosai was silent. He had just been thinking of using the restriction array left behind by the four great Virtuous Figures to remedy the loophole, but looking at it now, it was useless even if they found the six missing crystals. Who knew where the four great Virtuous Figures found such large elemental crystals!
The door was rapped on twice.
Orosai came back to his senses and restrained himself. “Please enter.”
Chai Fuang pushed the door open and entered. After delivering a faint salute towards Orosai, he sat down in front of Hydin and stared fixedly at him like a falcon. “Was the restriction on the Nightmare Forest broken by you or him?”
“Us,” Hydin paused. “It’s more accurate to say that the me at that time only resolved a small problem.”
A problem that even that person could not resolve was definitely not a small problem.
Chai Fuang glared at Hydin. Even though they had diverging opinions on the topic of wind magic, he couldn’t not admit that this person in front of him had done much more research and had a far higher grasp of magic than him – But this was something he would never admit to his face.
Orosai was scared they would quarrel and waved his hands. “Now is not the time to be assessing who is to blame. If the restriction set by the four great Virtuous Figures can’t be used, then we must set up a barrier between the Holy Institution and the Nightmare Forest to prevent the magic beasts from invading the institution.”
Chai Fuang wrinkled his brows. “Can’t we patch it up instead?”
Orosai said, “Not unless we can find twelve elemental crystals the size of my desk to mend the restriction.”
Chai Fuang glanced at the five-meter long desk and turned to look at Hydin.
Hydin shrugged. “He’s the one who took them away.”
“With his cultivation, what could he want with the elemental crystals?” Chai Fuang paused and suddenly widened his eyes. “Could he still be searching for wind elements?” One of the greatest uses of elemental crystals was their ability to strengthen one’s sensitivity towards the elements. Whether it was for the sake of increasing personal strength or embedding it inside a magic tool, elemental crystals had extremely high value.
Hydin crossed his fingers. “He was always a stubborn person.”
Chai Fuang and Hydin met each other’s eyes, seemingly glimpsing in each other’s eyes the same stubbornness during their youth. Speaking of it, a large part of their unflagging efforts at researching wind magic could be attributed to that person’s influence.
Wind magic had already been used very early on, but it was that person who first proposed to classify it as a true form of magic. They all remembered how that person had came up with a brazen hypothesis that shocked others before he went missing – that apart from the four great elements of water, fire, earth, and wood, wind elements also existed. It was just that the wind elements had a rather weak sense of existence. Only those who were exceedingly sensitive to the elements and had gained the wind elements’ recognition could sense them.
“He’s crazy,” Chai Fuang mumbled softly. Sensing wind elements was a thing of the imagination. At least, from what could be seen now, no one had ever managed to confirm this idea. Could that person have thought of using the elemental crystals to raise his own sensitivity?
It had to be known that all things had their pros and cons. It was impossible to estimate the amount of spiritual energy required to activate such large elemental crystals! It had to be known that the restriction on the Nightmare Forest was a product of the four great Virtuous Figures joining hands. If one were to do a comprehensive survey of the Dream Continent’s history, how many people could be called Virtuous Figures?
Orosai’s voice was heavy. “I will notify the various countries and issue an official arrest order.”
Chai Fuang blurted out, “On the basis of what crime?”
“Betrayal,” Orosai spat out this word with difficulty.
Hydin turned around and glanced at him, his gaze as severe as a knife.
Orosai’s expression did not change.
“Interesting,” Hydin retrieved his gaze, picked up his cup of coffee and drank the remaining half of the coffee at one go.
The arrest order for Vincent·Lin did not cause a commotion in Saint Padeus.
This name had already been buried for too long, so long that the tutors who knew him that year all had to concentrate on thinking for a very long time before they could recall that person’s past deeds and appearance. However, at this very moment, the majority of the tutors didn’t have the time to do this.
The number of students found was increasing. The number of deaths had already broken past zero and was gradually increasing.
Macreis was constantly running his hand through his hair. Within the short span of a day, his hairline already appeared to be receding.
“How many people left?” Michelle held onto the name list of the junior school’s students and repeatedly checked through it.
“Eight.” Macreis glanced through the corner of his eyes at the name list in her hands and his brows creased.
Michelle said, “Six people have been confirmed dead. I will notify their parents immediately.”
Macreis said with difficulty, “Most of the tutors are already moving ahead and sweeping the grounds of the Nightmare Forest.”
Michelle nodded silently. Given the surface area of the Nightmare Forest and the number of tutors, covering the entire forest would require more than a month at the minimum. However, these students clearly didn’t have that much time. Even if they could wait, the magic beasts in the Nightmare Forest may not allow them to wait that long. “I heard Xi Luo and Suo Suo haven’t been found yet?”
“En.” Although Saint Padeus had always treated every student equally, it was not just the students’ individual results that were implicated now, but also the lives of the heirs to the thrones of two countries. Though they weren’t first in line to the throne, their influence on their countries clearly could not be compared to civilians.
“I think I need to ask the chairman whether we should report to Kanding Empire and Julan,” Michelle’s expression was solemn. If this matter was not dealt with well, it could incite a dispute between the Holy Institution and the various countries. After all, Kanding Empire was one of the two strongest countries in the Dream Continent, while Julan was backed by another strong nation – Shamanril.
She could foresee Kanding Empire and Shamanril joining hands to attack Saint Padeus from two sides. Saint Padeus’ formidable mage line-up had long been the target of the various countries’ jealousy and desire. If they could take advantage of this chance to manage and divide them, the other countries would probably be very delighted to cooperate as well.
Macreis had also thought of such an outcome. His brows immediately wrinkled. “I want to know why they didn’t break the crystal balls.”
Were they really not able to do so in time?
“I didn’t hand you the crystal balls for you to play with them,” The minute Xi Luo thought about how he had passed the only hope of them finding the route back to such an idiot, he hated that he couldn’t viciously burn off all the gold hair on the head of that loathsome person… as well as himself. Who knew how a simple junior exam that could be passed even with his eyes closed had become so strange!
Suo Suo’s head shrank back and refuted his words in a voice even smaller than flies, “I said before that I wasn’t playing. I just dropped it by accident.”
“… I’d rather admit that you were playing with it,” Xi Luo took a deep breath. He stood up and glanced at the countless identical tall trees all around them. “We’ve been walking for three hours but didn’t see those three trees with notches. This shows that our direction isn’t correct.”
Suo Suo nodded blankly.
“All four directions aren’t right,” Xi Luo covered his mouth as he calculated. “Or do we have to walk southeast, northeast, southwest, or northwest?”
Suo Suo didn’t know what he was muttering about. He only knew that a day before, his two other companions disappeared right before his eyes in the blink of an eye, leaving by his side only Xi Luo. If he wanted to return, he would need to rely on this one person available to him to rely on.
“Let’s go,” Xi Luo turned back onto their original route.
Suo Suo followed behind him obediently. He had already grown used to doing this. During the past two days and one night, the thing he and Xi Luo did the most was walking without stopping. Blisters had already formed on his two feet, but he didn’t dare to complain. From what he could see, Xi Luo’s impatience towards him had already reached its limit. This could be seen from the way he took great pains to bring up the crystal balls.
Rustling sounds emitted from the underbrush.
Xi Luo came to a stop.
Suo Suo tactfully hid behind him.
A single-eyed magic beast suddenly leapt out.
Xi Luo had long made preparations. A spiraling blaze of fire swallowed it instantly, just like a gaping, bloody mouth.
“Roar…” The single-eyed magic beast landed on the ground heavily and rolled about while bathed in fire. But the flames were akin to bright, glittering clothes – no matter where it rolled towards, they followed after it closely, unable to be shrugged off.
Suo Suo covered his eyes with a hand. This sort of scenario had already taken place multiple times within the short span of a day, but he still found it difficult to accept that a life had so easily met its demise.
After waiting for the magic beast to die, Xi Luo walked to its corpse and took out a dagger, digging out its magic nucleus. He set it on the ground and looked it over before saying with disdain, “Rank three.”
Suo Suo used his hand to pinch his nose instead.
The smell of scorched flesh and the fishy smell of the magic beast’s internal organs was a huge irritant to his sense of smell.
Seemingly unconcerned, Xi Luo wiped the dagger with grass and put it back into his space bag, continuing to walk ahead.
His strides were very large, so Suo Suo had to jog after him to catch up.
“You- are you angry?” Suo Suo asked with uncertainty.
Xi Luo said indifferently, “No.”
Suo Suo’s eyes filled with distrust. He had never received favor from young, so he was especially sensitive to hate and anger from others.
Xi Luo said, “I just dislike being a nanny.” It was very hard to imagine how Di Lin could endure such hardship that gladly.
Suo Suo heard the implied meaning in his words and said in a low voice, “Actually, I can help too.”
Xi Luo looked askance at him.
Suo Suo took out dried meat from his space bag and handed it to him.
“… I said before that we can only eat two meals a day,” Xi Luo showed his displeasure. They still didn’t know when they would be able to find the route out from this damned forest, so saving food rations was a must.
“I’ll let you eat my portion,” Suo Suo looked at him in a fawning manner.
Xi Luo took it without uttering a word and threw it into his own space bag. Since he thought so, what reason did he have to reject him?
Only then did Suo Suo relax and let out a breath. As if he had determined that Xi Luo wouldn’t abandon him just because he had taken his dried meat.
Speaking of it, why didn’t he abandon him?
Xi Luo asked himself silently.
Regardless of whether it was their positions or Suo Suo’s abilities, abandoning him was the better option. However…
He glanced around their surroundings.
In this kind of forest, having someone who wouldn’t plot against him or betray him was at least better than being alone.
He imagined walking alone in this forest without knowing where the borders were and when he could meet other people.
Compared to a loner, being a nanny was still an acceptable occupation.
 The raws said two crystals, but that didn’t match up with the earlier numbers, so I changed it to suit the previous number. The number of crystals in the paragraph below also didn’t fit the numbers given so I changed it there as well.
T/N: Don’t be mean to my fluffball Suo Suo! T_T