Destroyer of Ice and Fire
Chapter 36: Growth
Inside the dimness of the ball bouncing gym, Ayrin stood ready for war, his face filled with fighting spirit. His eyes flashed with lush green light.
After his meeting with Chris, thinking about Chris’ contented face after eating two chocolate-stuffed candies, then thinking again to Chris saying "I don’t have any special trick either. I just use all the time I have available for training on training, until I can’t even stand up," he felt his whole body brimming with motivation.
Until I can’t even stand up, these words sounded simple, but Ayrin knew how difficult they were to truly put into practice.
In addition to the motivation coming from Chris herself, there was also a plate of grilled sausage sitting not far away in front of him, a soul-hooking scent drifting from it.
For someone like Ayrin, so hungry he couldn’t stop swallowing his saliva, every minute particle inside his body seemingly tearing themselves, any food was the most precious reward in the world.
The goal he gave himself now was to withstand the ball bouncing gym for thirty minutes, and also to protect the plate of grilled sausages in front of him from being hit into paste by the black balls!
After throwing a green gaze to the grilled sausages, he looked at Belo and said, "Come! Brave warrior of the starry skies!"
"Idiot!" Belo stepped ruthlessly on the pedals.
A black ball whizzed out through the air, ferociously falling toward the top of Ayrin’s head.
Belo’s eyes suddenly shrank!
He saw Ayrin directly grab this black ball in his hand.
Ayrin also caught the second ball in his other hand!
Seeing Belo’s face looking as if someone suddenly stepped on it, a great and proud laughter escaped from Ayrin.
It was too soon for celebrations however. Just as he laughed proudly at Belo, his attention distracted away, two black balls flashed like lightning and hit the left side of his face in quick succession. He shouted miserably; the left side of his cheek swelled up immediately.
"Idiots will be idiots." Belo scolded him at once, but he was already muttering inside his heart: this guy’s reactions are really slow, but he always comes up with methods no one imagined before.
"Don’t think you can knock me down with this little!"
"These sausages are mine!"
Along his cries of pain, Ayrin’s hands and feet once again transformed into a tornado.
"He indeed started to act reckless again." Belo snickered immediately when he saw Ayrin attack without the slightest thought of controlling his strength.
His eyes shrank once again however, very soon after.
Ayrin was obviously using the same kind of method, but his performance was unexpectedly so much better than the previous day.
Ayrin’s punches and kicks actually struck the vast majority of black balls away. Very few of them genuinely landed on his body, while the surroundings of the sausage plate were even more of a no-fly zone for the black balls.
"Actually… it’s really possible!"
"I actually truly exceeded my usual limits!"
Ayrin didn’t notice Belo’s blank face at all this time. In his eyes, there were only the black balls nearing him one after another, and that plate of sausages. Under the scent’s tempting wafts, every minute particle inside his body seemed to twist and turn like madmen, bursting with a power that was entirely absent in usual times. The potential he usually couldn’t squeeze out was being forced out!
Belo was thoroughly petrified!
In the history of Holy Dawn Academy, the record for a freshman inside the ball bouncing gym was a little under thirty minutes. Ayrin actually truly succeeded!
These continuous bursts of energy without the slightest rest between them was entirely comparable to someone sprinting at full speed. The longer you went, the harder it was to sustain.
Ayrin’s face was now thoroughly swollen with bruises, tears and snot overflowing on it, his facial features distorted by the pain. His body was also trembling nonstop. It looked very comical, but when all was said and done, he’d succeeded. Moreover, the plate of sausages in front of him was thoroughly intact!
When the black balls stopped their bounces, a stunned Ayrin spoke only several minutes later, in an indistinct voice that sounded like, "Time’s up? I reached my goal?"
"I can finally eat?"
Ayrin’s face glittered with moisture, all of it sweat and tears of pain.
After seeing Belo’s nod, he immediately sat on the floor and, mustering the last of his strength, started eating the grilled sausages.
"Even his lips are sausages now, why is he still eating sausages." Belo let out a loud humph, then turned around and walked out.
Seeing the cloudless sunny sky outside, this boy wearing glasses faintly shrank his eyes, a little admirative of the guy inside.
He mumbled in a soft voice, "In an academy that almost even forgot what courage is, there’s at a least guy who’s up to par!"
Huston walked on the road, carrying his lunchbox, his expression downcast.
After suffering blow after lethal blow from the same person, one would lose confidence in oneself, and become slowly resigned to the maltreatment. Ever since Ayrin scared him stiff during evening meal that one time, he was a little afraid to even thinking of ways to deal with Ayrin.
Someone suddenly called his name.
He almost jumped in fright, like a conditioned reflex. "What do you want now! You want to scare me again with a ghost face!"
He only noticed after coming back to his senses that the one who called him wasn’t Ayrin, but a rather becoming female apprentice teacher.
He was immediately seized by the urge to die.
While the female teacher had no idea what was going on. She had a face full of black lines, and very much wanted to choke him dead.
Inside the forest of giant trees, Rinloran sat on a tree branch, staring blankly.
He’d wiped this tree branch spotlessly clean with a handkerchief, even used an anti-bug spray on the area close to him on this side of the tree trunk, so that he could be assured even ants or other bugs wouldn’t climb up to this branch.
His body suddenly moved. He jumped up and steadily stood on this tree branch, adopting a vigilant stance ready for combat at any time.
A wind blew just at this time. A young teacher with a friendly face appeared in front of him, not far away.
Rinloran relaxed immediately as soon as he caught a glimpse of the newcomer’s face and clothes. His expressed stayed icy-cold however, looking remote and difficult to approach.
"I know about you guys exchanging blows with Dyfer and the others that night," Carter mildly said, with a nod his way.
Rinloran faintly lowered his head. He asked straightforwardly in a cold indifferent tone, "You’re here to hand out punishment?"
Carter blinked, then smiled bitterly, thinking that this guy was indeed as difficult to approach as he looked. He immediately shook his head and said, "Our Holy Dawn Academy usually doesn’t look too closely at things like that. I came to find you because I had a question for you."
Rinloran lifted his head, asking, "What question?"
Carter looked at his beautiful eyes, earnestly saying, "Would you like to join our Holy Dawn Academy’s team and participate in the Hegemonical Cup of Starry Skies Braves?"
Rinloran shook his head. "I am a freshman."
"No one ever said freshmen couldn’t participate." Carter explained patiently, "It’s only because freshmen aren’t strong enough, that’s why it’s very rare to see them appear in school teams. But looking at the strength you displayed that day, as long as you agree, I can definitely make your strength surpass that of most team members in three months."
"Sorry, I’m not interested."
"…" Carter watched Rinloran, stunned, his voice suddenly cut off short.
This reaction was entirely outside of his expectation.
Rinloran lowered his head and calmly said, "I’m leaving first if there’s nothing else." Then he turned around and left.
Carter watched his back, even more stupefied.
"Don’t you feel very discouraged? A grand elite teacher comes in person to invite a freshman to join the school’s team, then gets rejected so bluntly." A voice came not far behind Carter.
Carter turned around. He recognized Ciaran just from the voice.
"Ordinarily, who wouldn’t want to participate in this tournament? Even myself, thinking back to these duels I watched or participated in back then, my blood can’t resist boiling even now." Carter took a deep breath in and slowly said, "You’d hesitate even if you think the tournament’s too dangerous. I didn’t expect him to refuse so resolutely and so straightforwardly."
"He’s not afraid to go head to head with Huston or act against senior students. He’s not the kind of person who lacks courage." Ciaran looked at the direction Rinloran disappeared in. "There must surely be a special reason."
Carter nodded. "Ayrin’s progress these past few days is as frightening as ever, but I haven’t caught a glimpse of Liszt. What is that guy doing?"
"He went out on a mission." Ciaran played with the ring on her left hand, saying, "According to the news I heard, that type of power appeared again."
"What!" Carter was suddenly gobsmacked.
Ciaran stayed silent for a while, then changed the subject again, "Since Rinloran doesn’t want to join the team, I suggest you focus your efforts on Belo in the coming days."
"Belo?" Carter shook his head with a bitter smile. "He’s the genuinely Amazingly Crazy Boy. Just like him running out every night even when injured and spending several months to dig a hole, merely to disturb the Beast Battling Exam. No one knows what goes inside his brain, or knows why this guy’s training Ayrin so enthusiastically all of a sudden. Also, his strength isn’t sufficient."
"Even you don’t understand him, the opponent will be even more confused." Ciaran looked at Carter and said, "Moreover, his strength isn’t enough right now, but if you can make him condense arcane particles before the tournament starts, and if he can transform on his own initiative, can you imagine the outcome?"
Carter’s expression became solemn all of a sudden. "In less than three months, transforming on his own initiative… that’s too difficult."
"That’s why I suggested you to focus your efforts on him, tailor a training program for him," Ciaran said.
Carter thought a little, then asked with some hesitation, "What about Ayrin then? Do you think he can condense arcane particles within three months?"
"It’s almost impossible, the time’s too short, it’s too difficult." Ciaran shook her head. "I also have a suggestion about him though. It’s best if you don’t interfere in his training, don’t teach him your skills in advance."
Carter was a little confused, asking with astonishment, "Why?"
"Because I feel that way wouldn’t be beneficial to his growth. It’s better if you let him become someone who relies on himself rather than skills for now. His learning ability is too strong, he’ll easily defeat his opponents with skills if you teach him too many of them. Without skills, it will certainly be harder for him any time he faces an opponent or a challenge. The more reckless, the harder each and every one of his battles, the more benefit he’ll obtain, the faster he’ll progress. I feel he’s someone who will far surpass us in the future." Ciara said with some emotion, "Earlier I took a look at his exercises in the ball bouncing gym before coming here. Even without all that many skills, he resisted for thirty minutes."
"…" Carter was speechless all of a sudden.