Chapter 76: Practice abroad (7)
Hydin continued explaining space magic after returning to the tent but found Di Lin in a state of absent-mindedness.
“How many fire and water elements are needed under what kind of circumstances for the largest distortion to be created in a space of one square meter?” Hydin suddenly asked.
Di Lin calculated with all his might, but no matter how he pondered over it, the only thing that flashed across his mind and eyes was Hydin’s face. Any bits of information were refused entrance, unable to break in no matter what.
Hydin’s expression gradually turned gloomy. “What are you thinking of?”
He couldn’t answer as things really were of course. Di Lin lowered his head. “Homesick.”
Hydin raised a brow. He had grown up in Saint Padeus since his childhood and had never known the concept of a family. The people around him were also in similar situations, so to him, ‘homesickness’ was an extremely alien term.
“You just went home recently,” He stated.
“En,” Di Lin couldn’t continue speaking, because he really started to miss home.
Hydin contemplated it. “The holiday period is coming soon.”
Every institution had a set vacation period for everyone to visit their family. Di Lin calculated it – there was roughly another month’s time before the holiday.
“If everything goes smoothly here, you can go home in advance,” Hydin said.
“May I invite Tutor to go with me?” Di Lin looked at him with anticipation.
Hydin furrowed his brows. “Why?”
“… A new batch of coffee will be sent to the imperial palace around then.”
“Bring it when school opens.”
“…” So, he had been rejected? Di Lin’s mood was downcast.
Hydin glanced at Di Lin’s pretty face that was gradually displaying an air of heroism. With a start, he realized that this youth who had been steady and cautious at their first meeting had at some unknown time slowly withdrawn the barriers around his heart. No longer was he guarded and aloof. Rather, he frequently revealed emotions consistent with his age.
Di Lin saw him remain silent for a long time and involuntarily looked up, coincidentally meeting his probing gaze. With a whoosh, his face reddened.
Hydin inquired, “You’ve been very fond of turning red lately?”
Di Lin thought back. Indeed, a very long while ago, he often turned red out of bashfulness due to Hydin’s words or expressions. It was just that he hadn’t thought much about it at that time, so he hadn’t realized that his feelings towards Hydin had unwittingly changed.
“The weather’s too hot,” He blurted out such a reason.
Hydin expressed, “Say whatever excuses you have all at once and sleep after you’re done. We’ll continue practicing tomorrow.”
Di Lin made out the impatience in his voice and the various daydreams still lingering in his heart instantly disappeared into thin air. They were facing a powerful enemy and as the person-in-charge of setting up the space magic, the pressure on Hydin was obvious. Yet, here he was thinking of all these useless things! Guilt filled his heart, and he hurriedly pulled himself together. “No need. I can do it now.”
Hydin shot a glance at him. Those dark green eyes had indeed regained the earnestness and determination that were present in the afternoon. Only then did he nod with satisfaction. “It’s not impossible for me to consider going to Shamanril.”
“…” Di Lin’s heart shook. His previous efforts almost went down the drain!
Time waited for no one. While they were making prior preparations to launch the space magic, the sandstorms advanced another one and a half li. Pamela’s roars became increasingly frequent and hoarse. The three camps – east, central, and west were enveloped in a thick aura of anxiety. Fortunately, Chai Fuang finally rushed over with Saint Padeus Institution’s volunteer army. The strength of the newly arrived students at long last loosened the taut strings of the army camps.
Hydin simply threw Di Lin to Chai Fuang so that he could guide Di Lin and the rest of the mages in simulating and familiarizing themselves with the space magic. On the other hand, Hydin, Melina, and Brandry researched duplicate magic arrays. Once the feasibility of it in theory was expanded to its feasibility in reality, any progress was made with much difficulty.
Saint Padeus’ Magic Institution and the magic guild tapped on the entire Continent’s resources before gathering the resources needed for two duplicate magic arrays. Among these, one portion was even made up of substitute materials. It was unknown if they could manifest the expected power.
On the seventh day, the sandstorms were a mere six li away from the frontlines.
Melina stood on the yet-to-be-completed magic array, took out a comb to tidy her hair, and shook her head. “This won’t do.”
In fact, everyone had already realized that it was not feasible to set up a space magic formation capable of holding off the sandstorms. But nobody was willing to voice it, because the moment they did so was the moment where they gave up. At the moment, this was already their best option.
Brandry turned to look at Hydin, seemingly hoping that he would once more utter some shocking words that would save them from this crisis.
There were limits to manpower and physical resources in reality. To be specific, Hydin was a genius mage whose proficiency in theory far exceeded his ability to put it into practice. There was virtually no one in Saint Padeus who was willing to carry out projects with him, regardless of whether it was as a helper or adversary. Thus, he was very calm about the failure this time, as if an experiment had failed.
“Oh. Think of another way then,” He was already very satisfied with being able to personally construct a duplicate magic array.
Brandry pushed further. “What way?” If the magic guild and Saint Padeus joined hands, gave their all, and yet was still unable to protect Dabei city, then it was possible to infer that the status and prestige of mages in the Dream Continent would decline to some extent, while the Society of the God of Light and the Knights’ guild would seize the opportunity to expand.
This was definitely not a phenomenon he would be happy to see.
“Has Ning Ya been found?” Hydin suddenly asked a completely unrelated question.
But at such a time, Brandry no longer cared about how abrupt this question was and immediately dispatched people to enquire about it. Since Hydin still kept this question in mind at such a juncture, this question was definitely not as simple as it appeared to be.
The question very quickly received a reply. Pamela delivered it personally.
In just a mere ten days’ time, she seemed to have aged several decades. The skin on her face had already cracked and her lips were extremely dry. If not for the fact that spittle still flew as she spoke, she would have been taken as a moving mummy.
“What do you want with Prince Ning Ya?” Her thoughts were identical to Brandry’s. At this time, nobody would ask about trifles for no rhyme or reason.
Hydin relented, “I want to ask him about something.”
“What is that ‘something’?” Pamela pressed harder.
Hydin raised a brow and looked askance at her as he towered over her.
Pamela took a deep breath. “Come to my tent a while later.”
A light flashed across Brandry’s eyes. It seemed like there was indeed some secret regarding this prince Ning Ya, otherwise there would not have been such a disparity between Pamela’s attitude before and now. He glanced at Hydin, seemingly pondering over the feasibility of finding out the meaning behind his words.
Sensing his gaze, Hydin smiled slightly.
“…” It would be better to start from Pamela, thought Brandry.
Pamela waited in her tent for a full one hour and more before Hydin and Di Lin walked over leisurely.
The moment they stepped into the tent, Pamela stood up with a slap of the table, the ferocity in her gaze making it seem as if she wanted to swallow them whole.
Hydin and Di Lin’s expressions didn’t change.
Seeing their indifference, Pamela’s rage grew even stronger. “Why did you come so late? Do you know how much of my time you’ve wasted?”
“Didn’t I ask you to come a while later?” Wrath fully blossomed on her yellow, wax-like skin.
Hydin shrugged. “Clearly, there is a gap in understanding between your ‘while later’ and my ‘while later’.”
“You…” Pamela knew very well that he was using her to while the time away, yet she couldn’t find any fault in it. The phrase ‘a while later’ was indeed excessively vague. Knowing that continuing this would only be wasting even more time, she calmed down slightly and changed the topic. “Why must you find Prince Ning Ya?”
Only then did Di Lin realize that Hydin had sought her out regarding this issue.
Hydin asked, “Where is he?”
Pamela replied in a heavy voice, “If you don’t tell me the reason, I won’t give you the answer.”
Hydin watched her silently.
Pamela added, “The whereabouts of Prince Ning Ya is highly classified information in the imperial palace.”
Di Lin stared blankly. Could Ning Ya’s secret mission be very important and dangerous? If that was the case, he really shouldn’t continue probing to get at the heart of the matter. He looked towards Hydin and wavered over how he could persuade him to give up on this thought. Yet, he heard Hydin utter slowly, “So, he’s in Dabei city.”
Pamela’s red face instantly paled. She said in a cold, stiff voice, “Don’t think that you’re very clever.”
“If he isn’t in Dabei city, there would not be any reason to let you know about this highly classified information,” Hydin said unhurriedly.
Only then did Pamela realize that she had inadvertently leaked out bits of this secret. She glowered at him right on the spot.
“Perhaps, he is the only person who can relieve Langzan of this calamity,” Hydin threw down this deeply meaningful statement before turning and dragging Di Lin out.
Di Lin looked at the arm Hydin had grabbed with complex feelings. It seemed like at some unknown point, Hydin had also grown used to pulling him along. Was it because he was scared that he would lose his way? Or… was there another reason?
Di Lin’s expression was still very calm, but his mind had already drifted off to who-knows-where.
The moment Hydin exited the tent, he waited for Di Lin to voluntarily ask about Ning Ya’s matter. But even after waiting for a long time, the other party merely gazed at his own arm with a stupefied look; his thoughts were clearly wandering. Immediately, Hydin grew displeased. “What are you thinking of?”
“Thinking of… Ning Ya’s matters,” Di Lin’s ability to express his thoughts on an impromptu basis was becoming increasingly valiant.
“What conclusion have you thought of?”
Only at this time did Di Lin regain his wits. “Can Ning Ya really resolve this crisis?” If Ning Ya had the ability to, why did he still ask him for help at that time, and even look on with open eyes as Langzan fell to this state? That being said, Hydin’s words were rarely wrong…
“I was just making a guess,” Hydin said. “There is a god-level curse on him.”
“I remember,” Di Lin recalled the night he had snuck into the library. “Is that curse very strong?”
“What do you think?” Hydin asked back.
Di Lin asked, “Can you undo it?”
Hydin thought deeply for a while. “I don’t know. It may need a lot of time, or it may be useless no matter how much time is spent.”
Di Lin was truly stunned. From his point of view, Hydin’s ability in magic could already be ranked in the top three within the entire Continent, yet even he did not have any guarantee in removing a god-level curse. Then how strong was the person who cast the curse?
Hydin asked, “Do you know the source of the Society of the God of Light’s power?”
Di Lin blurted out, “The God of Light.” Shamanril also had quite a few followers of the God of Light. Even the emperor of Shamanril was the nominal godson of the pope of the Society of the God of Light. Thus, Di Lin had a faint understanding of the Society’s teachings.
Hydin smiled meaningfully.
Suddenly, Di Lin reacted. His mouth gaped open in amazement.
If this was indeed the case, then the one hidden behind this sandstorm…