Chapter 51: Besieging the city (2)
As Saint Sauvy was the attacking party, the matter of doubling their manpower had been discussed and settled on in a conversation between Senriga and the chairman of Saint Sauvy’s Glorious Institution. The supervisor dared not overthrow this decision even if he had gargantuan guts. However, he couldn’t ignore the words of Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution’s representative either. After all, Saint Sauvy had invited the other party to compete as the host. If any one of his statements drove Saint Padeus away, he would still have to shoulder the consequences.
The supervisor smiled for a good while. Seeing that Hydin still remained unmoved, he could only leave the area in embarrassment and report back to his superiors.
The moment he left, Hydin allowed the students who were still caught up in their excitement to return to their rooms and rest.
Di Lin dawdled at the back.
“Di Lin,” Hydin called.
Di Lin immediately hopped over, landing in front of him.
“What’s your roommate called?”
Di Lin stared blankly. “Suo Suo?”
“The black-haired one.”
“He’s from Senriga, right?”
Di Lin nodded. “Yes.”
Hydin stated, “Let him prepare the combat strategy.”
Di Lin was utterly stumped for words.
Hydin said, “He’ll be the commander.”
Di Lin’s body felt like it had been doused in ice-cold water. His chest felt both cold and hard, but his long-cultivated ability to remain calm and collected prevented these emotions from showing on his face. Instead, he replied with exceptional calm, “Yes, Tutor Tagilis.”
Hydin lowered his head and shot a glance at him. The next moment, he slowly uttered, “Don’t interfere in it too much.”
Di Lin didn’t know how he made his way back to the room; he seemed to have gone the wrong route quite a few times. All he knew was that the minute the door shut, he looked at Suo Suo’s wide eyes, and the ice in his chest seemed to melt. The distress that had been frozen in place surged forth, nearly causing him to break down.
It turned out that his expectations had actually been this high, so the moment it came to nothing, he fell this harshly!
It turned out that he still subconsciously felt that Hydin was standing on his side, even if he had never expressed it in any way from start to end.
It turned out…
It turned out that all these ‘turned outs’ was merely his own wishful thinking.
“Di Lin, what’s wrong? You’re really pale,” Suo Suo carefully supported him.
The familiar warmth of Suo Suo’s body allowed Di Lin’s emotions to gradually stabilize. Only then did he suddenly realize that half his body was actually coated in sweat. “Nothing. I might be a little tired. I’ll go take a bath.”
“I’ll go too,” Suo Suo took out a towel from his space bag and pushed him out.
Di Lin rubbed his face with a hand, giving his spirits a strong boost. Rui Meng was from Senriga. It was very reasonable for Hydin to allocate him the position of commander. Compared to whoever was the commander, winning against Saint Sauvy’s Glorious Institution was the most important.
Senriga had arranged for them to stay in a hotel in a small town. The public baths were all located at the ground floor.
The baths were already jam-packed with people when they entered.
Di Lin’s brows wrinkled.
The public bath had very simple and crude facilities. A huge bathing bucket full of warm water was positioned at the center of the bath. Everyone stood at the sides of this large bathing bucket and used scoops to bathe.
Suo Suo’s sharp eyes caught sight of Rui Meng, who was awkwardly holding onto the bath towel wrapped around his lower body in a death grip, along with Kevin, who was pouring water over him. “Di Lin, Rui Meng’s over there.”
Even though he had inwardly talked himself into remaining at ease, hearing Rui Meng’s name at this moment still made Di Lin feel a one-sided awkwardness. Seeing Suo Suo run over with jiggling buttocks, Di Lin could only helplessly follow after him.
“Hey!” Suo Suo patted Rui Meng’s arm and let out a crisp exclamation.
Rui Meng’s arm shrank back. He was very unaccustomed to this sort of pure skinship. “You guys also came to bathe?”
“Di Lin said he wanted to,” Suo Suo started to take off his clothes.
Di Lin was still hesitating.
Rui Meng was not used to being stark naked in front of so many people, but seeing Di Lin’s awkwardness as well immediately put his heart at ease. He egged them on, “Let’s bathe together then. We’ve walked around for an entire day; there’s dirt all over.”
Di Lin noticed the people around them shifting their gazes over. Fearing that they would think of him as pampered, he began to openly strip off his clothes. Then, he used wind magic and wrapped a bath towel around his lower body within a blink of an eye’s time.
Rui Meng’s disappointed gaze swept across the bath towel. “Tsk, aren’t your movements a bit too fast?”
On the other hand, Suo Suo didn’t have so many misgivings. He peeled off his clothes with exasperating slowness before taking down the scoop that was hanging at the side of the bathing bucket with bared buttocks. In the end, it was still Di Lin who couldn’t bear to watch on any longer. He reached out a hand and picked up his bath towel, helping him to cover up his buttocks.
“Pfft,” Rui Meng’s gaze twinkled, and he inched closer to Di Lin, asking softly, “You and Suo Suo actually have that kind of relationship, right?”
Di Lin looked askance at him.
Rui Meng still continued on, “That’s why you rejected Princess Qiaoni and then took Hydin as a shield.”
“…” Di Lin’s sides were about to split from laughing at his rich imagination.
Rui Meng nodded in understanding. “I understand.”
“Tutor has appointed you commander of the battle this time,” Di Lin deliberately raised his voice.
Rui Meng looked at him foolishly.
“Do well!” Di Lin patted his arm, the sharp sound jolting Rui Meng out of his lifeless state. He pointed in amazement at his own nose and exclaimed, “Me?!”
The others stopped the movements of their scoops and pinned their gazes on him.
Di Lin smiled. “Senriga is your hometown, so having you deliver victory to us as a local specialty is the most suitable.”
“But…” Rui Meng hesitated as he gazed at him.
Di Lin’s gaze was resolute. “We will definitely support you!”
Rui Meng was speechless for quite a while.
Suo Suo’s head popped out from behind Di Lin. “I will support you too!”
“Support!” Kevin and the others cheered.
Water splattered, eventually resulting in a water fight.
After finishing his bath, Di Lin went back to his room. He had just lain down when he was jolted awake by the sound of Rui Meng knocking on the door.
Kevin, who had been dragged along, said in complaint, “This guy is acting as if he stepped on a needle after coming out of the public baths; his legs and mouth hasn’t stopped moving.”
Suo Suo contemplated his words. “Hasn’t stopped licking his toes?”
“…” Kevin looked at him in shock. “I didn’t expect you to have a talent for cold jokes.”
Di Lin coughed dryly and spoke to Rui Meng, who hadn’t stopped making eyes at them from the side. “What exactly do you want to say?”
“After thinking about it over and over again, I still feel that it’s better for you to be the commander,” Rui Meng stated.
Di Lin didn’t bat an eyelid. “Why?”
Rui Meng replied, “I don’t know anything about commanding a battle. You’re more adept at it than me.”
Kevin muttered, “That’s not what you said just now.”
Suo Suo asked curiously, “What did he say just now?”
Kevin acted as if he hadn’t seen Rui Meng’s gaze and said in a low voice, “Hydin and Di Lin has such a good relationship; Hydin must have not given the role of commander to him because it’s a hard task.”
Rui Meng scratched his head in embarrassment. “There’s still some weight to this argument.”
Di Lin let out a sigh. “Don’t overthink. Anyway, it’s just commanding a battle; it’s nothing major.” Letting Saint Padeus attack was already of huge benefit to them. Mages originally possessed physical strength that was a far cry from that of the knights. As defenders, there was a very high possibility of having their stamina drained from long and concentrated attacks. On the contrary, if they were the attackers, the duration of attack would be up to them to decide. Naturally, they would then be able to adjust the pace according to their individual conditions. The advantage that Saint Sauvy had over them in physical strength would then be greatly reduced.
He didn’t know if Hydin’s proposal to swap the attackers and defenders was done on the spot or from a comprehensive assessment of the overall situation, but looking at it now, this decision was extremely favorable to them.
Rui Meng thickened his skin and asked, “Why don’t you write out a rough strategy and give it to me for reference?”
Di Lin’s heart stirred. He couldn’t be the commander, but being the adviser wasn’t a bad choice either. However, Hydin’s image very quickly appeared in his mind. He said with difficulty, “Tutor doesn’t want me to interfere too much.”
Kevin glanced at a dispirited Rui Meng. “I couldn’t tell that Tutor Tagilis regarded you with so much importance.”
Rui Meng thought aloud, “I feel like this concern came out of nowhere.”
The format of this competition had never been attempted before. In order to ensure the safety of the students of both schools, the method they came up with after negotiating was to dispatch large numbers of tutors from both schools to protect the other school’s students. At the same time, the supervisor would guarantee the integrity of the competition and confirm that the tutors from both sides did not commit any actions during the course of the competition that would violate its fairness.
This was easy to say but was very difficult to put into operation. This was because apart from Hydin, all the other tutors were boiling the midnight oil for consecutive nights over their research. They were the first batch, specially meant to bring the students over and discuss the competition in passing. The rest of the tutors had to deal with setting up the barrier outside the Nightmare Forest and could only make it the day before the competition.
Meanwhile, Hydin continued to discuss the detailed rules of the competition with Senriga.
The supervisor had been wedged between Hydin and the chancellor of Senriga’s General Affairs Division for the past two days and had lost no less than 2.75 kilograms. His round face had become more angled and the corners of his eyes drooped. Many of the Saint Padeus students who had found him displeasing to their eyes even harbored some sympathy towards him.
But this sort of sympathy did not extend to Hydin. At least, their negotiations continued to remain in a deadlock, whereby Hydin agreed to fight, but not unless Saint Padeus was the attacker.
“This, the attackers and defenders for the city battle were already fixed from the start. Hastily altering it like this makes it very difficult for an explanation to be given to Saint Sauvy’s Glorious Institution. I heard they’ve already drafted a combat strategy. If it was changed, that combat strategy would need to be redone all over again,” The supervisor talked till his mouth was dry. Actually, he had repeated these words multiple times, but the words simply went into one of Hydin’s ears and out the other.
“As their opponent, I am very happy to hear this piece of news,” Hydin remained unmoved.
The supervisor glared at him. His gaze clearly said – shameless!
“This, friendship should take first priority in a competition, with winning or losing second.”
“As long as they’re willing to lose, we can definitely achieve that,” Hydin tapped his fingers lightly against the table.
The supervisor shot a glance at Hydin’s coffee cup. As expected, it was empty. Helpless, he waved a hand towards the attendant at the side. The attendant understood and left with the empty cup.
“Regarding your suggestion, I’ve actually already discussed it with the chairman of Saint Sauvy.” The supervisor had no other options and eventually decided to change his strategy, pushing Saint Sauvy out. “He is strongly attached to the attacking position. After all, this was fixed from the start. Going back on one’s word doesn’t seem too good.”
“You mean to say that the attackers and defenders were decided from the start?”
The supervisor thought that the words had finally entered his brain and hurriedly nodded with an apologetic smile.
“So, nothing else has been fixed.” Hydin uttered slowly, “For example, the number of people.”
The supervisor’s smile turned somewhat stiff.
Hydin stroked his chin. “All right then.”
The supervisor didn’t dare to be blindly optimistic.
“Since only the attacking and defending parties have been decided, let me do the defending then.”
The supervisor was at a loss. What did ‘him’ defending the city mean?
“Saint Sauvy can send out a couple of people, while Saint Padeus will have me alone,” Hydin finished his statement and nonchalantly continued drinking his coffee.
The supervisor, “…” The conditions were becoming more excessive the more they talked!