Holy Institution: Chapter 42

Chapter 42: Junior make-up exam (3)

Suo Suo was disappointed for a period of time after knowing of it. To him, not being able to personally thank his benefactor was a blow. But his attention was very quickly shifted to the make-up exam that had been announced.

It was Saint Padeus’ first time since its founding that its junior exam had been disrupted by the Nightmare Forest going out of control. It was also Saint Padeus’ first time since its founding that it was using a competition with Saint Sauvy’s Glorious Institution as a make-up exam. With these two first times added together, people failed to make heads nor tails of it.

The entire junior school had been embroiled in discussions surrounding this matter for the past few days.

After a few days of interaction, Kevin and Rui Meng had already become close friends who could tell each other anything. Every afternoon after classes ended, both of them would rush into the dormitory and exchange the news that they had heard during the day.

By piggybacking off them, Di Lin and Suo Suo also knew everything that happened in the institution without stepping out.

Kevin said, “Head Instructor Macreis needs to stay behind to set up the Nightmare Forest’s barrier, so he can’t participate in the make-up exam.” The border between the Nightmare Forest and the Holy Institution consisted of a long, unbroken stretch of mountain ranges and could only be completely defended by setting up a considerable number of magic arrays. In addition, the type of magic array and crystal stones needed were all questions that needed to be researched. As the head instructor of the junior school that had been struck by misfortune, it was a responsibility that Macreis could not shirk.

Rui Meng added, “Not only do I know that Head Instructor Macreis isn’t going, I also know who the group leader is.”

Kevin raised a brow. “Could it be Tutor Melina?”

Rui Meng pouted at Di Lin. “Do you know?”

Di Lin shrugged, at a loss.

He didn’t know what kind of medicine Hydin had ingested the past two days, but he continuously launched sneak attacks on him, forcing him to use wind magic. The make-up exam was approaching soon, yet his perception of water magic had continued to remain stagnant.

It’s your tutor,” When Rui Meng uttered these words, his expression couldn’t be described as happy in any way.

Kevin scrunched up his face. “Is that true?” Although he hadn’t had any deep interactions with this legendary tutor, there was no lack of rumors about him.

Di Lin saw the both of them looking at him and said innocently. “He didn’t mention it.”

Rui Meng suddenly jumped off the bed, rushed onto his bed, and gripped his shoulders, saying fervently, “Why don’t you go sound him out?”

“Sound what out?”

“The details of the make-up exam and the competition.” Rui Meng forcibly patted him on the shoulder. “At least then we’ll know how to pass. Whether for good or bad, we’ll be mentally prepared.”

Di Lin subconsciously wanted to reject him. Because in his memory, that person had never answered questions nicely. But after seeing Rui Meng and Kevin’s enthusiastic gaze and smiles, the words of rejection became hard to voice.

“Tutor Hydin won’t tell us, right?” Suo Suo uttered. Ever since his birth, the number of people he feared wasn’t little. But Hydin was definitely in the top three. Every time he recalled his smiling expression, he could feel a chill going down his back. Much less Di Lin, who had to interact with him from day to night.

Rui Meng said, “Anyway, you won’t lose anything from trying.”

Di Lin stared blankly. Only now did he realize that his resistance towards Hydin was not because the other party would harm him, but because… he would reveal his weaknesses every time they interacted. Whether it was magic power or understanding of magic, the other party far exceeded the scope of his comprehension. This sort of gap couldn’t help but make him want to distance himself from the other party. This was the instinct of the weak to protect their ego.

……

Weak?

Di Lin realized with surprise that he had actually equated himself with this term. This was something he would never have thought of before arriving at Saint Padeus. As the heir to the Basco clan and the son of the brave Duke Andre, he had lived among flowers and applause. Even in the realm of learning magic, his instructors had been full of praise for his talent. From young till now, he had always been the recipient of envy and attention. He had never thought that there would be a day when he would regard someone else with a feeling of self-deprecation – Of course, this sort of attitude was partially due to Hydin’s arrogant words and his tendency to deal blows to his cheerfulness.

Kevin saw Di Lin remain silent and assumed that it was a difficult task for him, so he helped him out. “We’ll know when the time comes. There isn’t much use knowing beforehand either.”

“I’ll ask,” Di Lin came back to his senses.

He wasn’t asking because he wanted to know the answer, but because he wanted to change his current state, his mentality. And the first step he had to take was to meet this strong person head on. Then, learn from him, understand him, and lastly, surpass him!

Thinking to this point, he felt his heart and the blood in his entire body stirring simultaneously.

“Good brother,” Kevin said with emotion.

Di Lin returned a smile.

— However, he didn’t mind Rui Meng misunderstanding his motive.

Finding Hydin was not a very difficult thing to do. After he left the laboratory and entered the ranks of the hardworking gardeners, the majority of his time was spent in the library.

Di Lin specially went to find Lucé for a cup of coffee before carefully carrying it over.

Before he had even gotten close, he heard Hydin speak to him while back-facing him from his seat, his voice containing a smile yet not a smile. “You finally know of the importance of respecting your teacher.”

“How did you know it was me?” Di Lin even specially looked at the area in front of Hydin, confirming that there were no mirrors or anything that reflected light.

Hydin said leisurely, “Because you’re not me.”

Di Lin placed the coffee on the side table in front of him.

Hydin closed his book, picked up the coffee, and took a gentle sip of it. He raised a brow. “You don’t like to drink coffee?”

“How did you know?” He preferred drinking tea.

“Because you definitely haven’t drunk what you personally brewed,” Hydin wrinkled his brows and took another sip.

A slight flush emerged on Di Lin’s face.

“You’re here to ask about the make-up exam?” Hydin took the initiative to raise the subject.

Di Lin asked, “You’re in charge of leading the group?”

Hydin hesitated for a moment as he held the cup of coffee. In the end, he still decided against continuing his tasting session. He put down the cup and said, “En.”

“The competition with Saint Sauvy is the exam?”

Hydin raised a brow, slight banter visible in his eyes. “I’m very confident in you.”

Di Lin smiled from the favor, his face drooping within the next instant. He had a feeling that Hydin couldn’t possibly praise him so kindly. As expected, Hydin elaborated, “Your swordplay isn’t bad.”

“I am a student of Saint Padeus,” Di Lin stressed. He felt that it was a form of humiliation to have received praise from his own tutor for his swordplay despite being a future magician.

Hydin ignored his indignation. “You’re sure that you won’t use the sword during a crucial moment?”

Di Lin’s mouth opened, though he didn’t reply immediately.

“Do you know why ordinary people can’t fly?” Hydin suddenly made a complete change to their topic of conversation.

Di Lin was also used to it, so he replied seriously, “Because they don’t have wings.”

“Yes. It’s the body’s restriction.”

Di Lin sensed heavy meaning in his words.

“Whether you use the sword or not, those are all your restrictions,” Hydin touched his chin. “How silly would someone have to be to use ropes and bind their own limbs?”

Di Lin knew that he was scolding him in a roundabout manner and immediately replied firmly, “I believe I have sufficient ability to judge.”

“I also believe,” Hydin’s answer was once again unexpected.

Di Lin looked at him guardedly.

So,” Hydin slowly swallowed. “I’ll warn you using my identity as tutor…”

Di Lin had a bad premonition.

“During the competition, you’re not allowed to use the sword.”

“……”

“This time, it’s not you who’s binding your own limbs, it’s me,” Hydin smiled in a very carefree manner.

Di Lin suppressed his anger with great difficulty. “May I ask the reason why?”

“A student of a magic institution is actually asking me why I’m not allowing him to use the sword during the make-up exam…” Hydin ridiculed, “Don’t you think that it’s ridiculous?”

A flush attacked Di Lin’s cheeks once again.

Hydin drank the coffee in one mouth and stood up.

Only then Di Lin notice that he wasn’t wearing the magician’s robe today but a vest over a silk shirt. The vest tightened around his waist, causing Hydin’s waist to appear rather slim. His was actually on par with Ning Ya’s.

Hydin saw Di Lin staring at his waist and wrinkled his brows. “I don’t have any money in my pockets.”

Di Lin’s complexion turned even redder and he hurriedly averted his eyes.

“What exactly are you looking at?” Hydin’s curiosity was aroused.

“I,” It was rare for Di Lin to be stuttering. “Was looking, looking at your belt.”

“I’m not wearing one,” Hydin’s suspicion deepened.

Di Lin inhaled deeply and met his gaze directly. “Because you don’t have one, I wanted to ask you…” He took out a belt from his space bag. “If you need it?”

Hydin stared at him, seemingly wanting to make out some hints from his face.

Di Lin fixed his gaze on the bridge of his nose, trying hard not to go into a fluster.

“Thank you,” Hydin reached out a hand and took away his belt.

Only then did Di Lin let out a breath.

Hydin suddenly tilted his chin with the back of his hand, saying with narrowed eyes, “There’s indeed something odd.”

No matter how odd he was labelled, he wouldn’t utter the truth.

Di Lin turned his head to the side and glanced towards the entrance.

There were quite a few people running past the road outside the library.

Hydin seemed to have realized it as well. He left him behind and walked out.

Di Lin contemplated for a while but still caught up to him.

Many people were walking past outside. They were all unfamiliar faces, till someone in the crowd walked past. Di Lin couldn’t help letting out a sound, “Eh?”

Hydin was the closest to him and had heard his voice. “You recognize that person?”

Di Lin replied honestly, “If I didn’t see wrongly, one of those people who just went over was the secondary school’s Robert·White.”

“Secondary school?” Hydin’s figure suddenly flashed and he disappeared.

He was too fast. Di Lin hadn’t even managed to get a good look at the direction he had vanished in, much less speak of catching up to him. He waited for a while at his current spot and was just considering returning first when Hydin returned in a blink of an eye.

“Do you know someone called Qiaoni from Shamanril?” Hydin asked.

Qiaoni? Princess Qiaoni?

Di Lin’s body stiffened.

Hydin said, “That means you do.”

“What about her?” His heartbeat sped up involuntarily.

“She came back.”

“…” Di Lin’s face turned blank.


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