Chapter 65: Visiting family (6)
Di Lin and Hydin woke up in the wee hours of the morning and said their goodbyes to the town mayor who had rushed over hastily.
The mayor had spent a large part of the night with the town’s residents resolving the issue of who exactly had been barbecuing in the woods. His eyes were still swollen upon arriving and he constantly squinted when looking at them. “Are you really leaving so soon? Our town’s grape wine is actually quite good.”
Di Lin smiled. “I’m returning to the institution. I’ll definitely give it a taste the next chance I have.”
The mayor said regretfully, “All right then, if you insist. Then, Vincent…”
Di Lin interrupted, “I think that’s just a small mistake.”
The mayor wanted to continue urging them to stay, but Di Lin and Hydin had already stepped onto the carriage.
The moment Hydin got on, he automatically found a cozy spot to lean against. The rays of sun shone from outside the window onto his golden hair, creating an exceptionally dazzling sight.
“Young Master Basco? … Young Master Basco!” Only after the town mayor let out a sudden loud shout did he succeed in dragging Di Lin’s attention back. He hurriedly passed the grape wine in his hands over. “A small token of appreciation.”
“It’s against the institution’s rules to consume wine.” Di Lin deliberately pouted in Hydin’s direction before saying in a low voice, “When I’m on vacation, Father and I will come and taste it together.”
Hearing that Duke Basco would come in person, the town mayor immediately withdrew the wine, smiling from ear to ear. “Sure, sure. Have a pleasant journey.”
The door closed and the wheels slowly rolled into motion.
Di Lin twisted in his seat for a very long time before finally settling down in a snug position.
Scenery flew past.
Hydin’s complexion was occasionally clear and occasionally cloudy.
Approximately one hour later, Di Lin came to a sudden realization. The reason why he had twisted as if his life depended on it was so that he could find a comfortable spot where he could see Hydin in one glance.
This realization shocked Di Lin into breaking out in cold sweat.
The remnants of the smile Hydin had given last night before leaving the house was still in his mind. The more he didn’t want to think about it, the clearer the image became. As if spellbound, that smile continuously swayed back and forth in front of his eyes, regardless of however much he adjusted his emotional state.
“What are you smiling at?” Hydin asked lazily.
Di Lin snapped out of it and realized that the other party was looking at him.
An obvious sleepiness tinged his half open eyes. Because of the rays of light and the angle, his azure eyes didn’t seem as clear and bright as usual. Instead, they were hazy, as if covered in a layer of fog.
Di Lin’s chest broke out into a tumult, though his expression was extremely composed. “I was recalling an interesting story from my childhood.”
“Oh? Provide some entertainment with it then.”
Di Lin swiftly came up with one on the spot. “A long, long time ago.”
“It was an interesting story from your childhood, right?”
“… Probably five to six years ago.”
“Truly a long, long time ago.”
Di Lin was used to his ridicule, but this was a rare time when he didn’t have a bad reaction to it. On the contrary, he felt an affectionate tenderness underlying Hydin’s words that nearly caused his heart to soften into dough. He had to take a deep breath to calm his heartbeat. “A distant relative of Uncle Bob stayed with my family for some time. During that time, he was chased by Harry all over the place in a very chaotic manner. There was once he nearly jumped onto Uncle Bob’s back.” Seeing Hydin’s indifferent expression, he explained, “Harry was the dog my family raised in the past.”
“He passed away.”
“Oh,” Hydin paused. “Which part of the story is funny?”
Di Lin replied, “The scene then of chickens flying and dogs jumping.”
“Compared to the scene you spoke of, I think it’s even funnier that you likened that distant relative to a chicken,” Hydin slowly closed his eyes. “Wake me when we reach Joseph city.”
“Okay,” Di Lin took out a blanket from his space bag and draped it over him.
“How long has it been since you washed this blanket?” Hydin asked with his eyes closed.
Embarrassment was evident on Di Lin’s face. “It’s never been washed.” He waited for Hydin to fly into a terrible rage and throw the blanket off.
But Hydin merely pulled the blanket downwards a little, preventing it from getting too close to his face.
The carriage’s journey towards Joseph city went smoothly.
When Hydin next opened his eyes, his surroundings were completely dark. There was only the sound of his breathing in the entire carriage.
He sat up slowly, an astonishment in his heart that couldn’t be ignored.
In spite of the fact that the battle with Vincent had drained much of his spiritual energy, it wasn’t to the point where he wouldn’t realize it when someone next to him left. He had never imagined that a day would come when he would sleep so deeply, so much so that his spiritual energy completely entered a state of relaxation.
The door was pulled open gently and Di Lin came in, accompanied by a gust of cold air.
The faint smell of meat accompanied him as well.
“What did you buy?” Hydin asked.
“You’re awake?” Di Lin passed the hamburger in his hands to him. “I’ll go buy another one.”
Hydin took the hamburger. “You only bought one?”
“I didn’t know when you would wake up, so I was going to buy it again when you woke up. That way, you can eat it while it’s hot,” Di Lin said before turning and getting off the carriage again.
Hydin took a bite of the hamburger.
The spongy texture eased his jittery feelings. He took bite after bite in the dark.
By the time Di Lin came back, he was only left with one more mouth of the hamburger.
“I don’t seem to be full yet,” Hydin delivered the last bite into his mouth.
Di Lin passed the hamburger in his hand to him and got onto the carriage.
“You aren’t eating?” Hydin held the hamburger.
Di Lin raised his other hand and smiled. “I was afraid you wouldn’t have enough to eat, so I specially bought another.”
Hydin, “…” It had to be said that Di Lin had a wealth of experience when it came to taking care of others.
After finishing the hamburgers, Di Lin settled the transportation costs with the carriage driver, including the cost of occupying the carriage for no reason.
Hydin didn’t ask why he didn’t wake him up. Instead, he silently walked towards the magic array.
After settling the bill, Di Lin jogged to catch up to him.
In consideration of the special functions of magic arrays, the majority of the magic arrays within the city were guarded by soldiers in order to prevent enemies from using it to transport spies. After showing their proof of identity, they peacefully returned to Borg city.
As Hydin’s spiritual energy had suffered some damage, they rested in the house for three more days in the name of letting Di Lin call on friends. Until Andre hurriedly returned from the imperial palace and told him a piece of shocking news.
“Langzan is going to be destroyed.”
Di Lin stared blankly. He took a very long time to digest this news. “Which country is attacking them?”
“Not a country. It’s the East Rose Desert,” Andre replied.
The East Rose Desert was similar to the Nightmare Forest – it was the most dangerous and mysterious place in the Dream Continent. However, unlike the Nightmare Forest, the East Rose Desert hadn’t attracted the attention of the entire Continent for a very long time. It was invisible. Nobody would casually run in, so it also contentedly existed in silence.
So, when Andre said that the East Rose Desert wanted to exterminate Langzan, he couldn’t wrap his head around it at all.
“How are they going to destroy it?” He asked.
Andre’s expression was grave. “Engulf it.”
This was truly a very frightening matter.
War and overthrowing the crown were mere human disasters. The final occupants of the land were still people. But it was different this time. All people would be rendered powerless by the yellow sand that stretched as far as the eye could see, nibbling away at the environment humans resided in bit by bit.
Di Lin suddenly recalled Ning Ya’s unfathomable request and his expression of wanting to say something yet hesitating. Now, there was an answer to everything.
If the East Rose Desert truly wanted to engulf Langzan, then he could understand why Ning Ya kept mum about this news. Because at such a time, all of Langzan’s forces would be deployed to the resistance against the East Rose Desert. Other areas in Langzan would collapse at the first blow. Other countries would only need to send out a small military force to bring them down in total collapse.
A direct plundering between countries had never required excuses or face.
“How did the news leak out?” He didn’t believe that Langzan would announce it themselves. If they were foreordained to fail in their resistance against the East Rose Desert, it would only heighten the determination of other families to loot from their burning house.
Andre stated, “In response to Langzan’s request for aid, Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution’s parliament has deployed a hundred mages to provide assistance.”
Di Lin was struck by a sudden realization. It was probably because of this reason that all the teachers and students were rushed back after the competition ended. If Hydin’s spiritual energy hadn’t suffered damage, he would probably already be at Langzan now.
“I’ll go tell Tutor,” Di Lin turned and ran towards Hydin’s guest room.
Andre furrowed his brows. Eventually, he restrained the desire to keep him behind.
The next day, Di Lin and Hydin set out for Saint Padeus.
Andre had been summoned to the palace by the emperor, so he couldn’t send them off. The only person who sent them off was Bob.
Their plan was to directly transfer from the magic array in Borg city to a city in Julan that was closest to the Illusion Lake before riding a boat back. Their arrival time was tentatively estimated to be midnight that night.
Before Di Lin’s departure, Bob exhorted in an exceedingly low voice, “Although Duke daren doesn’t show it, I know he is very worried about Young Master.”
Di Lin stared blankly.
“If possible, it would be better for Young Master to remain in the institution,” Bob expressed meaningfully.
Di Lin instantly understood what he meant – Father was worried that he would join the support troops to Langzan. Although he very much wanted to, he did have some self-awareness. Given his status as a new student, he definitely wouldn’t be among those chosen.
Only after he smiled and said his thoughts out loud did Bob heave a short sigh of relief.
From the magic array to the carriage, and then from the carriage to the boat – they changed their mode of transport three consecutive times before finally managing to reach Saint Padeus’ Institution before dawn the next day.
Di Lin saw that Hydin’s complexion didn’t look too good, so he crouched down voluntarily, offering to carry him back.
Hydin was so seasick that his limbs had gone weak. Thus, he didn’t reject the offer and climbed on a practiced manner.
“Don’t lose your way,” Unable to feel at ease, he warned Di Lin repeatedly.
“… All right,” Di Lin raised his head with difficulty to look at the moonlight as he walked.
However, half an hour later, Hydin still had to open his mouth helplessly. “Forty-five degrees to the right, one hundred meters.”
After sending Hydin back with great difficulty, Di Lin slowly walked back to his dormitory.
When he opened the door to the room, the first rays of sunlight were already shining on the space between the beds.
Suo Suo and Rui Meng were sleeping soundly on their respective beds.
A familiar feeling of nostalgia rushed through his heart. Di Lin felt as if a weight was off his mind.
Finally, his life had returned to its original path.
 An idiom to describe a chaotic scene. Translated it literally because of the chicken reference in the line after.