Chapter 73: Practice abroad (4)
Of course, Brandry wouldn’t believe such a simple reason. If it was just for his student’s friend, he wouldn’t have used such a formal tone of voice and attitude to speak to Pamela. That being said, he was also aware that continuing along the lines of this issue wouldn’t bear any fruit. Thus, he changed the topic in a timely manner. “The speed at which the yellow sand is spreading is shocking. We must find other ways to handle it.”
Hydin asked, “What methods have already been tried?”
Brandry saw that Melina wasn’t speaking, so he consciously continued on. “Many. We’ve tried everything other than wood magic.”
Hydin inquired, “Have you tried erecting a barrier?”
Brandry added, “We’ve tested several tens of barriers, but all of them were easily broken.”
Hydin muttered, “What about space magic?”
Brandry stared blankly. “Space magic?”
Hydin explained, “Create a revolving space that draws the yellow sand into an uninterrupted loop.”
Brandry and Melina’s gazes met, each seeing excitement in the other party’s eyes.
All the methods they thought of previously was geared towards stopping the yellow sand’s advance, and not diverting the sand someplace else!
Brandry’s brows very quickly creased. “But the area the East Rose Desert occupies is extremely large; even a barrier can’t cover the entire area, much less space magic.” Setting up space magic was a hundred times tougher than ordinary magic. What it relied on was not a certain type of element, but for the friction between various elements to create a warped space. There was no theoretical problem with setting up space magic along the fringes of the East Rose Desert, but plenty of problems when it came to putting it into practice.
Melina said, “There’s no need to cover the entire area, block the area outside Dabei city first.”
Doing this made it very likely that the sandstorms would be drawn towards Senriga. After all, the East Rose Desert was connected to two countries simultaneously. Brandry hesitated for a moment but didn’t utter these words. At this juncture, it wasn’t the time to be concerned over needless fears.
“Use wood magic to erect a barrier first.” He deliberated, “It’ll be good if it can withstand the sandstorms. Even if it can’t, it’ll buy us more time to set up the space magic.”
Melina uttered, “Space magic requires mages to cooperate. Other than the lead mage being of extreme importance, the other cooperating mages must also be of a certain standard. It will definitely be more challenging than wood magic.”
Brandry nodded worriedly while inwardly calculating the number of people in the magic guild who would qualify.
Melina glanced at Hydin.
He was the main engineer of the space magic in the First Library. There was probably no one else in the whole of Saint Padeus who was more proficient than him at space magic.
Hydin didn’t decline. “I want Di Lin to be my assistant.”
“Him?” Melina furrowed her brows, disapproval written across her face. Even if he was a super genius, he was still just a new student who hadn’t been in the institution for long. At this critical moment, there were far too many candidates who were more suitable than him.
Sensing the strange atmosphere between the two of them, Brandry put away his thoughts and observed them silently.
Melina suppressed her anger with great difficulty and stated tactfully, “There are many magic tutors from Saint Padeus here.” Although she tried very hard to express a ‘compromising attitude’, her voice was still as icy as before, not the least bit polite.
Hydin replied nonchalantly, “Oh? I’ll bring up the rear for everyone then.”
Melina glared at him, her anger erupting. “What time is it now! You still want to mess around?”
Hydin asked faintly, “Can you guarantee that the other magic tutors will not cause any trouble and succeed at one go?”
Melina choked up. She could guarantee that she wouldn’t mess up – that stemmed from her self-confidence. But to do so for others… She wasn’t that blind yet.
Hydin stated, “I will guarantee my student’s performance.”
Melina’s gaze shifted to Di Lin, who had been standing as if he was invisible from start to end. Her gaze seemed to be saying: you had best have some self-awareness.
Di Lin said calmly, “I will not disappoint Tutor.” Hydin had laid down a military order, leaving him absolutely no leeway to retreat.
Brandry had seen enough of the show and finally reluctantly parted from the chair. “Since that is the case, I’ll return first to make the arrangements.”
After he left, Hydin and Di Lin came out as well.
Puzzled, Di Lin asked, “Why do you want me to participate no matter what?” He had only experienced space magic once and had never touched the relevant theory and knowledge at all. He didn’t even know the principle behind space magic, how could he provide any assistance like that?
“Such a chance is very hard to come by,” Hydin said. “It’s not every day that the East Rose Desert is so idle as to go crazy.”
“But…” Di Lin faintly felt that it wasn’t appropriate.
“Don’t worry, I will teach you.”
Di Lin was shocked. If his memory hadn’t failed him, this was Hydin’s first time personally uttering the word ‘teach’. He had only ever used coercive means in the past.
Hydin said, “Space magic cannot be realized just by depending on the imagination; it’s very complex. So, I will wait for you to learn all of the principles behind space magic before encouraging you to create a new type of space magic.”
“…” Although he could foresee the arduous times in the future, he could still be considered blessed at the moment. Excitement filled Di Lin’s heart, though he maintained a consistent calmness. “Is it very difficult to learn space magic?”
“Not very hard.”
… That meant it was very hard.
He had always taken Hydin’s words with a pinch of salt. Di Lin couldn’t help asking worriedly, “What if we fail?” Recalling how Hydin had made such a solemn vow in front of Melina, he felt that he had a shortage of confidence.
Hydin was unperturbed. “Start over.”
“But Tutor Melina…”
“I said that I would guarantee, not what would happen if I didn’t fulfill that guarantee,” Hydin shrugged his shoulders. “What is there to worry about?”
It looked like he didn’t have that much confidence in him either. If not, he wouldn’t have thought of a way out right at the start.
Di Lin sighed as he followed behind Hydin.
Melina and Brandry were still seeking mages to set up the space magic. The wood mages had already finished gauging the distance and were planting the trees along with the earth and water mages.
Di Lin was unoccupied, so he helped out as well.
Nine hundred trees didn’t sound very little, but it was still insufficient after they were planted.
There would always be wood mages shouting, “A little closer, a little closer, a little closer…”
The earth mages loosened the soil, the water mages supplied the water, while the wood mages planted the trees. Their cooperation was a mess at the beginning before becoming increasingly in sync later on.
Di Lin gradually forgot the number of trees he had watered. His feet subconsciously walked towards the next spot while the slowly dimming water elements revolved in his mind from time to time. He stayed till evening time without even eating lunch.
Somebody yelled, “The last tree!”
His spirits suddenly rose, and he watched all the mages race towards the last tree with glowing vigor.
“Let’s quickly begin,” The wood mages were much calmer than the rest. Because, planting the trees was merely the first step. The highlight was the part that followed.
They formed a line while the other mages watched discreetly from behind them.
All they saw was them muttering and, in a flash, the branches and leaves grew rapidly, stretching towards both sides as if wanting to pull their friends’ arms. The branches and leaves on either side slowly intertwined together, resembling a dense wooden wall that kept the yellow sand out of their vision.
The other mages applauded and cheered.
The wood mages didn’t dare to lower their guard. They only had sixteen people, but there were nine hundred trees. The following tasks would be extremely challenging.
Di Lin watched for a while. After confirming that he didn’t have much to do during the following steps, he turned and headed in the direction of the tents alone. He was lucky that the route back was marked by the row of trees, so he was unlikely to go so far as to lose his way. He didn’t realize it when the planting of trees was ongoing, but only when he walked back to the camp along the trees did he realize that he had unwittingly walked quite a few li. The sky was completely dark when he returned, the camp dotted by lights.
He looked blankly at the various tents, somewhat unsure which tent he had stayed in the previous night.
The smell of food wafted through the camp. It was mealtime, so apart from him, there weren’t many people wandering around aimlessly.
Should he give a shout?
Di Lin was hesitating when he noticed a weak light in the distance. A spot of gold was slowly approaching him.
The night breeze whistled past, gently lifting his cloak.
He stood in the cold wind, his heart as warm as the sun.
“You wanted to run but ran in the wrong direction, and now you made your way back by accident?” He was dealt a blow even colder than the cold wind the moment Hydin opened his mouth.
Di Lin’s mood was still as good as before. “Tutor, I’m back.”
Hydin stared at him silently.
Di Lin explained, “I went to help plant the trees.”
“Do you remember what I said this morning?”
“What?” Di Lin was confused but immediately widened his eyes after.
Hydin took out five books from his space bag and threw them into his hands. He said with a smile yet not a smile, “Since you are so skilled at space magic that you have the leisure to watch the excitement, then make sure you don’t embarrass me tomorrow. If not, I’ll deduct all the school credit you have now.”
Di Lin managed to grab three of the books in a flurry, though two books smashed onto his feet. He hadn’t even let out a sound of pain when he heard this lamentable news. But by the time he thought of pleading for leniency, the spot of gold had already drifted far away.
Three minutes later.
A youth stood in the cold wind with a bunch of books in his arms as he frantically thought aloud, “Which direction did he come from?”