Chapter 80: Solving a difficult problem (1)
Even with a scarf on, the force of the sand could be felt.
The space magic had already been activated.
Water and fire elements collided fiercely midair without any signs of relenting.
The earth elements twisted, causing the ground underneath their feet to undulate in a strange manner.
Di Lin didn’t dare to struggle, allowing his foothold to remain precarious on the uneven surface.
He didn’t know how long this had continued.
Di Lin could clearly feel the intensity of the sandstorm increase. His body trembled slightly.
Hydin’s grip on his hand grew increasingly tighter. However, they still hadn’t made any headway with the space magic.
The mages were already stimulating the elements as if they were staking their lives on it. In the center of the mages, a tiny droplet of water formed bizarrely in the middle of the air, completely impervious to the pressure of the sandstorm.
The word ‘terrible’ rang out in every person’s mind!
Space magic relied on the friction directly created by the rubbing of elements against one another for distortions to form in space. Matter such as water droplets or flame should not and could not manifest.
The appearance of a water droplet implied that an error had occurred in the execution of the rules surrounding the space magic formation. The difficulty of space magic lay in the level of precision it required; an exceedingly tiny error would cause all previous efforts to go down the drain.
This was the thought that flashed across everyone’s mind.
And then, most people decided not to act.
After that moment of tension, Brandry and Melina also completely calmed down and continued to do what they were originally doing.
The amount of time they had to practice for this magic had been pitifully little in the first place. It could be said that the entire team completely didn’t fulfill the required levels of coordination and tacit understanding, much less speak of having drawn up strict areas of responsibility. At this juncture, they could only count on Hydin, because he was the soul of the whole magic formation.
Although it was best for a water mage to resolve the water droplet, it was also possible for Hydin as a fire mage to handle it. Heating it could take up even more time, but at this moment, it was indeed the best option.
Nearly everyone thought this way.
There was no change to their interlocking hands, whether in the degree of warmth or strength of grip. But Di Lin could feel Hydin directing him.
This feeling originated from the deepest interactions of their consciousness and could not be realized in the form of speech or any type of matter. Yet, it well and truly existed.
The droplet of water very quickly split into water elements, once again drifting in the air.
The fire elements suddenly stirred vigorously, excitedly provoking every water element.
Other mages didn’t sense anything, but the fire mages grew excited.
Fire elemental spirit!
Although it was faint, this was enough to pleasantly surprise them. They were aware that it was only because they were situated within the same magic formation that they could sense an ally elemental spirit.
The stimulated fire elements put the water mages under enormous strain.
Space magic necessitated a balanced collision of elements. The stimulated fire elements would undoubtedly weaken the water elements.
But not a single water mage was dissatisfied with this. Because the sand with a sharpness akin to blades made them realize that they were already at the periphery of the sandstorm!
Were they going to fail just like this?
Unwillingness brimmed in the chest of every mage.
So many days of hard work, so many days of anticipation, yet it was ruined in this short span of time.
Human potential often surpassed ordinary levels during critical moments.
Brandry and Melina, both water mages, simultaneously pushed their spiritual energy to its peak. Di Lin bit his lower lip viciously, the pain allowing him to maintain his clear-headedness and sharp senses.
All the water mages worked as one to force the water elements back.
The malevolent mouth of the sandstorm was already gaping open.
Like the scythe of a grim reaper, its teeth hung suspended over their heads.
In the instant it plummeted –
The water and fire elements finally attained a subtle equilibrium.
The agitated earth elements beneath their feet instantly calmed.
The world suddenly became quiet.
The skies and the earth – one was high above them, while the other was underneath their feet. It was that sort of clarity.
The mages looked at one another. They gazed dazedly at the layer of ash and sand on each other’s bodies before turning and looking at the earth that was so peaceful it was as if nothing had happened.
“Did we, succeed?”
A mage asked cautiously, for fear of disrupting this unrealistic dream.
Melina and Brandry had rushed to check on the two duplicate magic arrays at the first instance. Only after the gems on the magic arrays lit up one by one did they heave a sigh of relief.
“Yes,” Brandry smiled.
The mages let out a weary cheer and then collapsed one by one.
Di Lin didn’t sleep on the ground in the same image-ruining way they did. Instead, he slowly sat down. Raising his head, he looked at Hydin, who was still standing on the spot without moving. Not even a wisp of fatigue could be seen on him. “Is there something wrong?” He asked.
Hydin lowered his head and glanced at him. He sat down and took the initiative to drag his head over, pressing it against his chest. “Take a nap.”
Di Lin’s heart thudded.
The previous time was because the sandstorm was on the verge of arriving, so there was a need to rest. Then, what about now? Was it for the next big battle?
He surveyed their surroundings.
Apart from them, everyone else had already withdrawn to Dabei city. Even Pamela, the two priests from the Society of the God of Light, and Huo Pu had withdrawn. Although he hadn’t seen the coffin housing Ning Ya, it had presumably been brought away as well.
The plain was desolate at this moment. It was completely unlike the dawn after the retreat of darkness, more like… the quiet before the tempest.
Di Lin looked up at Hydin, who had already tugged down his scarf, revealing an apathetic expression. He calmly lay against Hydin’s chest and compelled himself to sleep.
Before falling asleep, Melina’s voice bore into his ears relentlessly.
It looked like this hard-fought victory had completely vanquished her arrogance and coldness.
“I never expected that space magic combined with two duplicate magic arrays could swallow the entire sandstorm,” She said excitedly while wiping her face with a towel taken from her space bag. “This is incredible. An apocalyptic battle was actually won just like this.”
Although Brandry didn’t speak, his still-open mouth already expressed the irrepressible joy in his heart.
“It looks like this space magic is quite useful,” It was rare for Melina to be amiable towards Hydin. “You’re much more useful than your teacher.”
Hydin commented faintly, “Perhaps you still don’t understand my teacher well enough.”
Melina didn’t expect her rare show of goodwill to be greeted with a nose full of ash. Her face immediately sunk. Fortunately, the amount of ash on her face was little to begin with, so it wasn’t obvious.
The mages lay sprawled on the ground for a while. After experiencing the warmth of mother earth, they climbed up in succession and prepared to pack up and leave for home.
Seeing that Hydin and Di Lin were still embracing and not leaving, Melina’s brows couldn’t help furrowing. “You can continue your student-teacher camaraderie after returning to the institution.”
Hydin asked abruptly, “Did you hear that?”
“What?” Melina asked impatiently.
“The sound of an explosion.”
Melina asked, “What explosion?”
Brandry suddenly exclaimed, “It’s the duplicate magic arrays!”
As if struck by a confinement spell, the mages who were originally leaving instantly fixed their feet firmly on the spot and turned back to look in the direction of the duplicate magic arrays.
On the magic arrays, the gems used as energy sources for the array to activate suddenly split apart one by one!
“Careful,” Melina mumbled softly. She suddenly shrieked, “Careful!”
Perhaps it was her sharp voice that penetrated the mental states of the other mages, but they subconsciously rushed towards Dabei city using their legs. They couldn’t be blamed for not thinking of using wind magic, because their spiritual energy had truly been depleted to the point where they were unable to use wind magic.
Di Lin opened his eyes.
The brief duration of sleep had restored his spiritual energy a little.
Hydin said in a questioning manner, “It will be a hard battle.”
Seemingly understanding what he wanted to ask, Di Lin suddenly sat up from his embrace. He took out a sword from his space bag and thrust it into the ground. “The Basco clan never cowers on the battlefield.”
Hydin stroked his chin. “As your magic tutor, I am extremely displeased that you pulled out a sword at this juncture.”
“… I just wanted a crutch.”
Melina and Brandry were the only ones apart from them who had stayed behind.
Truthfully, even if the other mages had stayed behind, they wouldn’t be of any use. Mages who had overly depleted their spiritual energy were like knights whose four limbs were handicapped; they had zero combat strength.
Melina glanced at Hydin and said in a low voice, “The institution needs you.”
Hydin raised a brow.
Melina shifted her gaze uneasily. “There is no need for you to remain.”
Di Lin inquired, “Why did you stay behind?”
Melina snorted coldly. “Do you think I can’t compare to those from the Basco clan?”
Di Lin looked at Brandry. His grizzled beard often caused Di Lin to worry over his health – despite being fully aware that the other party was regarded as one of the strongest in the entire Continent.
Perceiving his inquiring gaze, Brandry smiled slightly. “Do you know the annual salary of the president of the magic guild?”
Di Lin shook his head.
“A very shocking number,” Taking out various magic tools from his space bag, he put them on and sighed softly. “Now, it’s time for me to pay it back.”
 Despite currying favor, the outcome was embarrassing or unsatisfactory.