Holy Institution: Chapter 50

Chapter 50: Besieging the city (1)

“Tutor!”

Di Lin heard his loud and resounding voice.

Hydin glanced at him from the corner of his eyes.

“You…” Di Lin realized very quickly that he was merely drying his hair. The reassurance that he was originally going to utter was very quickly retracted and changed to, “Do you need any help?”

The flame in Hydin’s palm went out and he nodded. “Help me dry my hair.”

The way to dry hair using water magic was to separate the water elements on the surface of the hair, but without sucking away the water elements inherent in the strands of hair. There was a certain degree of difficulty to this type of magic.

Di Lin recalled the method mentioned in <Water Magic Stirring Technique>; the way to differentiate between ordinary water elements and the water elements within the ground meat and garlic pulp was through their scent. The author mentioned that the color of scented water elements would differ from that of other water elements. However, this difference was not fixed and would manifest in different colors depending on the magic user’s perception of the scent.

After reading that book, Di Lin had always wanted to find an opportunity to try it out. Now, the opportunity was right in front of his eyes, yet he ran into a problem.

The smell of meat and garlic was very recognizable, but as for the smell of Hydin’s hair…

Di Lin stared at the head of golden hair, wondering if he should step forward and give it a sniff.

Hydin saw he hadn’t moved for a while and asked with creased brows, “Don’t tell me you don’t know how to.”

The one phrase ‘don’t know’ instantly dispelled all the misgivings and hesitation Di Lin harbored. He requested seriously, “Could I invite Tutor to let me smell your hair?”

……

Hydin looked at him oddly.

Fearing that he had misunderstood, Di Lin hurriedly explained the reason behind it.

“So that’s the case,” The corner of Hydin’s mouth hooked up slightly, a familiar ridicule surfacing in his eyes.

Di Lin regretted it now.

Even if this person in front of him was his tutor, he shouldn’t have involved him in any private affairs. Maybe there was still time to do an about-face now?

He secretly recalled the distance between them when he first came in.

“All right,” Hydin agreed.

Now it was Di Lin’s turn to hesitate.

Hydin simply lowered his head and stretched his neck towards him.

A faint fresh and clean scent entered Di Lin’s nostrils. If not for the distance being this close, he definitely wouldn’t have been able to discern the scent.

“Do I need to get closer?” Hydin’s head moved forward again.

Having crossed paths with fire before, Di Lin was frightened into taking half a step back when the half-dry, half-wet strands of hair swept past his nose. He coughed dryly and said, “Done, I’m done.”

Hydin raised his head. “Then, you can start?”

“En,” Di Lin composed himself and shut his eyes.

A diagram of the distribution of water elements immediately appeared in his mind. The water elements on Hydin’s head were especially bright among the crowd of sparkling water elements. It was clear that the concentration of water elements was quite high. But, even after searching through them for a very long time, Di Lin still couldn’t find the different water elements mentioned in <Water Magic Stirring Technique>.

Before he found them, he didn’t dare to touch the water elements on Hydin’s head at random, for fear that removing them would cause Hydin’s hair to turn into a pile of withered grass.

After approximately three minutes, the pile of water elements moved.

Di Lin opened his eyes in surprise and realized that Hydin had already sat down on the bed.

“Tutor…” He looked at Hydin guiltily.

Hydin rested his back against the bedhead. He casually took out a book and waved a hand at him. “Continue. I’ll take a rest.”

“…”

Based on Hydin’s past behaviour, this ‘take a rest’ statement of his was truly gentle and good-natured. But, to Di Lin’s ears, this statement was still equivalent to displeasure. He decided to be honest. “I can’t differentiate between the water elements in Tutor’s hair.”

Hydin flipped through the book and said leisurely, “It’s not that you can’t differentiate, but that you can’t see it at all.”

“Can’t see it?” A light bulb flashed in Di Lin’s head. Indeed, even if the water elements in the hair existed, they would definitely be extremely tiny. There was no possibility of them being within that shining pile on his head. “I understand.

With a wave of his arm, the water elements flew up with a whoosh and landed on the blanket covering Hydin.

Hydin raised his eyes from his book.

Di Lin separated the water elements in the blanket and then distributed them into the air.

Hydin stated, “The room’s more humid.”

“Hiccup, I can adjust it.” Di Lin wanted to use magic, but Hydin waved a hand and said, “It doesn’t matter.”

“Then, good night Tutor,” Di Lin heaved a sigh of relief and turned in preparation to leave.

“You came to find me just for the sake of drying my hair?” Hydin’s lazy voice stopped him in his tracks.

Only then did Di Lin recall the reason for calling on him. “I noticed that Tutor’s complexion wasn’t very good during the day, so I came to see if it was seasickness…”

“It was.”

“It was really seasickness?” Di Lin didn’t know why he felt a little happy. The seemingly omnipotent Hydin who had always been prideful and arrogant actually had weaknesses as well.

“But,” Hydin’s tone of voice changed. “Isn’t your show of consideration a bit too late?”

Di Lin stiffened.

Hydin continued at a snail’s pace, “The boat sailed for a total of nine days, right?”

Could it be possible that Hydin had been constantly hiding in that small room on the boat and waiting for him to express his care?

The image of Hydin seated on the bed, looking at the door with an expression of complaint surfaced in Di Lin’s mind.

Di Lin felt a chill coming over him from his own thinking. He replied after a long while, “I thought Tutor would wish to have his privacy.”

“Privacy,” Hydin nodded. “Not a bad excuse.”

Di Lin lowered his head.

In reality, he really hadn’t had any thoughts of going over to call on him or whatnot while they were on the boat. For some reason, the student-teacher boundary between him and Hydin wasn’t as clear in comparison to his previous teachers. This led to him not having a very deep sense of respect for Hydin.

Perhaps, it was because Hydin really didn’t seem very teacher-like?

“I accept your excuse,” Hydin shifted his gaze back to the book. Only after a long while did he realize that Di Lin hadn’t left and was still rooted to his spot. He asked doubtfully, “Is there something else?”

Di Lin wanted to ask if his poor performance on the boat would influence the allocation of roles during the battle. He quite looked forward to having the title of commander after all. But from Hydin’s expression and his various bad records, Di Lin felt that it was still better to keep silent.

Otherwise, he would surely use the allocation of roles to threaten him.

When Di Lin returned to his room, Rui Meng and Kevin were both present and asked about how it had gone.

Di Lin omitted the details of how he had dried Hydin’s hair and only spoke about how Hydin had indeed been seasick.

Rui Meng was deeply moved. He hadn’t expected for someone like Hydin to actually become seasick. It was truly a pleasing matter.

Although Di Lin had also thought the same, it wasn’t as sweet-sounding when it came from someone else’s mouth.

Di Lin suppressed the jittery feeling in his chest and tactfully sent them off.

Suo Suo happened to have fallen asleep on his side as well, so Rui Meng and Kevin tactfully got up and returned to their room.

Di Lin finished washing up and then lay on the bed. He tossed and turned sleeplessly.

……

They would still need to take a boat back to Saint Padeus; maybe he ought to buy some medicine for seasickness.

After the ox carts rushed forward for two days, they finally arrived at the ‘battlefield’.

Strictly speaking, the place Senriga had cleared out for them couldn’t be termed a city. It was more like a town, a town that had six-meter tall walls.

Di Lin’s brows furrowed upon taking his first glance of the city walls.

There was no moat. They could let it be even if there was no moat since they couldn’t hope for Senriga to produce a genuine city for them to play house, but this sort of city wall was too outrageous. It was clearly designed in favor of the attacking party!

Rui Meng saw his gaze trail silently across the city walls and asked in a low voice, “How is it? Do you have any combat strategy?”

“Four words,” Di Lin sighed.

Rui Meng asked in surprise, “You really have one? What words?”

“Defend to our deaths.”

“… Doesn’t sound very auspicious.”

Di Lin recalled that he was Senriga nobility; complaining would inevitably harm their relations, so he didn’t speak.

Although he didn’t speak, there was no shortage of other people who spoke.

“These city walls are so short!”

“They must be fences!”

“It’s a pen for livestock. A pen defending against wolves.”

“Hey hey hey, what do you mean by defending against wolves? If those people from Saint Sauvy are wolves, what does that make us?”

“…”

Upon seeing the city walls, the junior school’s students burst into complaints as if they were trying to outdo each other.

Rui Meng’s complexion didn’t look too good.

Di Lin patted his shoulder and expressed consolingly, “If the city walls are too high, then what would there be left for us to do?”

Rui Meng grinned, but his mood was clearly downcast.

Di Lin was suddenly very curious about Hydin’s opinion of the city walls. He looked ahead.

Hydin was at the front-most section of the procession. Seemingly turning a blind eye to the city walls and a deaf ear to the comments, he walked towards the gate at the center of the city walls, a gate that appeared exceptionally consistent with the term ‘worn down by the years’.

Kevin stealthily walked to Di Lin’s back and asked in an exceedingly soft voice, “Senriga must have exerted a lot of effort to find such a town.”

Di Lin laughed dryly without speaking.

Saint Sauvy’s Glorious Institution was located within Senriga’s borders. It was very normal for Senriga to be more inclined to them. But as a whole, the party guarding the city would be in the more dominant position as opposed to the party attacking. So, their partiality could not be considered excessive.

……

One hour later, he changed his mind –

The excessiveness came later.

“What do you mean by saying that the attacking party is at a disadvantage, so their manpower has to be increased by one-fold?”

The institution’s students questioned like bees buzzing, creating a clamor large enough to overturn the skies.

The supervisor and judge dispatched by Senriga looked at Hydin impatiently, wishing that he would put down his foot.

Hydin sat on the most comfortable chair in the lobby. His eyes were squinted as he drank coffee, leisurely staying out of the matter.

The supervisor couldn’t endure it any longer and blurted out a question, “Tutor, how do you see this?”

“When did I accept a student like you?” Loathing was clearly written all over Hydin’s face.

The supervisor couldn’t maintain his composure any longer. He thought inwardly, I merely gave you a statement of courtesy, yet you refuse to give me face!

His tone of voice turned harsh at once. “I know Saint Padeus’ Institution has a good reputation and is one of the most famed institutions in the Continent.” He dragged out the two words ‘one of’. “Therefore, I trust Saint Padeus will not need the advantage of defending the city to achieve victory, right?”

The students saw that he and Hydin were conversing and quietened spontaneously.

Hydin replied indifferently, “You mean that the battle must be two against one for Saint Sauvy to win against Saint Padeus?”

The supervisor choked up for a moment and answered hurriedly, “No. I said before that the defending party possesses an advantage. So, another advantage must be given to Saint Sauvy’s Glorious Institution to make up for it.”

Hydin pondered over it. “All right then.”

The supervisor brightened.

“Then, give them the advantage of defending the city.”

The supervisor’s glee turned to alarm.

Hydin placed his coffee cup at the side and stood up. “We’ll attack the city!”

He noticed the supervisor still staring blankly and continued on, “Relax. Even if we’re the attackers, going one on one against them is fine.”

A roar of laughter akin to thunder sounded among the Saint Padeus students.

The supervisor, “…” How did things turn out this way?


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