Another miserable scream. This time, however, Ayrin noticed one more person in the clearing after sliding down from the tree.
“Cartman…Teacher Cartman?” Ayrin said, a little uncertain. He looked at Carter even as he rubbed his fists and feet.
“…” Carter shook his head, a little speechless, then said, “I’m teacher Carter, not teacher Cartman.” Chater 16: You’re a monster
“I remember, you’re that teacher back at the registration.” Ayrin scratched his head in embarrassment and asked, “Why are you here?”
“I just happened by and saw you training.”Carter looked at Ayrin and asked, “Is it teacher Huston who asked you guys to train like this?”
Ayrin shook his head. “I only gave it a try because I heard teacher Minlur trains like this.”
Carter stared, his brows bunching together. He pondered for a while then nodded at Ayrin. “In that case, you might as well link it all together and treat it as a practical skill, it’ll be more beneficial this way.”
Ayrin stared blankly. “Practical skill?”
“A move that can be used in battle.” Carter said in all seriousness, “Physical strength and arcane power are both an arcane master’s weapons. To put it as simply as possible, you have to use means fair and foul, take advantage of everything that can be used in order to defeat your opponent. An arcane master who only knows to use arcane skills is definitely not one expert in fighting.”
Ayrin seemed to understand something from his words. His head nodded firmly up and down on its own.
“If you want to use the power of your body to bring the greatest damage to your opponent, the best way is to avoid getting hit by the opponent before you hit them yourself.” Carter continued in a gentle tone, “Speed can increase the force of the impact, an abrupt change of direction can dodge the opponent’s attacks. Moreover, you can rush in front of your opponent and catch them off-guard with an unexpected strike.”
After gesturing to Ayrin to make him pay attention, Carter suddenly launched himself, sprinted at lightning speed, then suddenly threw himself forward once near that giant tree Ayrin had been hitting earlier, rolled on the ground, then bounced up with alarming speed before smashing his fist on the tree trunk.
The hard brown bark split into pieces, countless dense cracks appearing on the shining white wood exposed below.
This wasn’t the end of it yet. Carter crashed against it without the slightest pause. A burst of violent shakes went through the entire giant tree, together with a tremendous bang. Innumerable tree leaves fluttered down like rain.
Ayrin stood there, thoroughly dumbfounded.
Carter’s entire movement smoothly blended into one whole, fast like a bolt of lighting.
There was previously almost no trace on the tree trunk, but now there were two depressions on it, one big and one small. Looking at the tree bark split open explosively, and the strips of wood sticking out, Ayrin was certain that if he were to be hit like this, his fate wouldn’t be that much different from that guy the Ximos had sent flying.
“Sprinting at full speed is so you can increase the force of impact, the roll on the ground can dodge your opponent’s attack and also catch him unprepared.” Carter quietly explained when he saw Ayrin stand in a daze. “This set of movements can train your body and also be used during actual combat. The most critical point is to make the roll and the bounce into one coherent movement. You have to use your entire strength and you can’t slow down. You also have to be careful when handling the timing of your punch. You need to use a punch to seize the initiative and shorten the distance between you and your opponent, prevent your opponent’s next action, but you can’t let this punch slow your ramming either.”
“I got it! Let me try.”
Ayrin nodded excitedly. He shouted, then once again charged toward that giant tree, swelling with bravery.
Carter’s eyes shrank. He couldn’t help but suck a deep breath in.
“Pa!” “Pa!” With two explosive sounds, Ayrin bounced up and landed a ferocious punch on the tree trunk, then his whole body crashed against it without the slightest pause.
Another exaggerated miserable scream rose all of a sudden, but Carter was now frozen, and an expression full of disbelief flooded his eyes.
Of course Ayrin couldn’t possibly compare to him in speed and strength, but Ayrin’s entire movement had been extremely smooth and cohesive.
There was simply no need for repeated practice. Ayrin fully grasped this set of movements in a single try. The difficulties he’d talked about seemed simply inexistent for him.
There was simply no need at all for him to explain things any further.
Ayrin’s movements would certainly become faster and more explosive as long as he continued this exercise.
Carter had personally taught quite a few students before, and he’d also seen some figures that could be described as geniuses, but almost none of them could compare to Ayrin when it came to learning speed and comprehension ability.
“What kind of monster is he, is it a coincidence or is that his nature?… What kind of mysterious bloodline does he actually have?” A fine layer of cold sweat emerged in Carter’s palms; his heart started to bang with uncontrollable violence.
Ayrin sat on the ground in pain. He asked, full of expectation, “Teacher Carter, is it like this?”
“Just like this.” Carter composed himself. “If you’re interested, properly keep practicing by yourself.”
“Thank you, teacher Carter.”
“No need to be polite, you continue your training.”
Carter’s silhouette flashed and shot upwards, becoming a blue shadow streaking among the giant treetops.
“Really awesome. Teacher Carter, you’re definitely an elite teacher in the academy too. But I’m guessing you still can’t beat teacher Minlur or that teacher Rui.”
“…” Carter was in the middle of considering whether he ought to try and teach Ayrin a few more things in the future while he skimmed among the clusters of trees. He almost stepped on empty air and fell down head first from the sky when he heard Ayrin’s words.
“Ah!” “Ah!” …
Scream after miserable scream rose continuously inside the forest of giant trees.
The curtain of the night once again enveloped Holy Dawn Academy. The forest recovered its serenity under the silvery starlight.
Ayrin was still drowsy from sleep when a dark cloud suddenly appeared in front of him.
Ayrin opened his eyes. He saw Belo standing immobile in front of his bed, looking at him with a very solemn look. He muttered, his brain still mushy, “When did you come back yesterday? I waited for you until really late but you didn’t come back, so I went to bed first… Why are you standing there looking at me, that’s really creepy. I’m not a monster, what’s so interesting about me.”
“You’re much more interesting than even the monsters inside the academy’s Beasts Enclosure. I really can’t see through you.” Belo gave Ayrin a serious once-over. The lenses of his glasses flashed under the sunlight filtering through the windows, as if a layer of ice had formed on them.
“What’s interesting about me?” Ayrin wiped the drool flowing from his mouth and sat up in a daze.
“I thought I came to the wrong room when I returned yesterday.” Belo gave him a glance and said, “Then I found out it was you after I had a good look, you were beaten up all swollen. I think teacher Huston wouldn’t have recognized you back then.”
Ayrin smiled in embarrassment when he heard Belo. He said, “I didn’t get beaten up by anyone, I became like that training on my own.”
Belo pushed his glasses and said, “Then, you take a look at the mirror now.”
Ayrin stood up, looking drowsy and confused. He looked at the mirror beside the bed and immediately thought there was a problem with his eyes.
His hands and cheeks were clear and white. There was simply no visible bruise.
He couldn’t resist shouting, “What’s going on?”
“Why’re you asking me what’s going on?”
Belo snorted coldly. “You were beaten black and blue when I came back last night, even teacher Huston wouldn’t have recognized you, but you’re like brand new after a little sleep. Also, don’t you feel your clothes have gotten smaller?”
Ayrin looked at the mirror and immediately shouted, “What, our Holy Dawn Academy uniforms cost so much, yet the quality is still so shoddy, they actually shrink after wash.”
“Shrink after wash?”
Belo stood up in front of Ayrin. “You carefully look again and see if they shrank? You were half a head shorter than me when you came here, now you look again.”
Ayrin examined Belo up and down, then he examined himself. He became petrified on the spot.
He realized he seemed about the same height as Belo now.
He finally came to his senses. His sleeves were clearly shorter, his clothes were clearly tighter, not because they shrank but because he’d grown much taller.
“You already grew from half a head shorter than me to around the same height in a matter of days.” Belo smiled at Ayrin, very interested. “Don’t you think you’re much more intriguing compared to the creatures inside the Beast Enclosure?”
Ayrin was at a complete loss for words.
He was certain this was the effect of old Ginns’ mysterious bloodline.
He was entirely awake now. In the places that were as painful as needle pricks whenever he touched them after his training yesterday, he could only feel a numb soreness now. That feeling of utter exhaustion was also thoroughly gone, replaced instead by thin strands of warmth.
He seemed once again brimming with energy from head to toe. On top of that, his physical power seemed to be quite a bit stronger than yesterday!
“Alright, stop staring blankly. Anyway you’re not arrogant at all, so I won’t ask protection fees from you even if you’re a bit weird.” Belo casually waved his hand when he saw the stunned Ayrin. “Hurry up and get dressed, get ready to leave.”
Ayrin subconsciously said, “Leave? Go where, what bad things are you planning this time?”
Belo only showed contempt for Ayrin’s conditioned reflex-like reaction. “Did sleep make you stupid? You forgot that today’s the match between our Holy Dawn Academy and Southern Monsoon Academy?”
“The Amazing Girl? You’re right, today’s the preliminary between our Holy Dawn Academy and Southern Monsoon Academy!”
Ayrin reacted immediately. He dressed up in a flurry of hands and feet; he very quickly discovered that the outer uniform didn’t have much elasticity, and now it was so tight he couldn’t even wear it anymore.
He asked Belo, a little anxious, “What should I do?”
“You can wear my clothes for now.” Belo casually threw two pieces of clothing to Ayrin. “You can just go find the dorms’ teacher and get your clothes changed.”
Ayrin firmly nodded with exceptional gratitude.
After washing himself at supersonic speed, he followed Belo out like a gust of wind. They casually bought some things to eat at the nearest canteen, then they dashed even while eating to where the match took place, the Holy Dawn Arena. Chapter 17: Team Southern Monsoon
The closer they neared the Holy Dawn Arena, the more suspicious Ayrin’s expression became. He couldn’t help but mutter to himself, a little apprehensive.
“What’s wrong?” Belo turned his head around and looked at Ayrin. “Ayrin, can’t you eat your sausage first before talking. Don’t you feel very ridiculous talking with a roasted sausage hanging on your mouth?”
In two or three bites, Ayrin finished the sausage he’d already gnawed halfway. White Blood Then he looked at the Holy Dawn Arena’s vast and lofty dome that was already emerging in front of them. He said, “Belo, did you remember the date of the match wrong? A confrontation like this between the strongest students of the two academies involves the honor between the two academies, it should be much more spectacular than the Beast Battling Exam, so there should be many spectators coming. Why are there so few people on the way?”
“The reason is very simple.”
Belo looked at the sparse flow of people on the street ahead and said, “It’s because the battle record of our Holy Dawn Academy is really too lame. Every time, what you want to see is your own academy giving a painful beating to the guys from the other academy, and then get qualified, but what you see every time is people from your academy get painfully beaten up by other people. When something’s too disappointing and feels too much of like a loss of face, of course there will be much fewer people coming to watch. For the vast majority of students, this competition happening only once a year is the greatest affair in Eiche. Countless students and even those who’ve already graduated will come in great flocks to watch their academies’ matches, but our Holy Dawn Academy is instead almost going to completely forget about this popular competition that’s all the rage in the entire kingdom.”
“The worse the battle record and the worse the strength, the more you should go to the arena and cheer for them.” Ayrin said, “This way the atmosphere is more imposing, and maybe their display will be a bit better too.”
“That’s your way of thinking. There aren’t many people like you who don’t know what shame is.”
“But the more shamed you feel, the more you ignore this competition, the less passionately you throw yourself into this contest, then the less likely your team will defeat the other academies, isn’t it?”
“What you say is smart, you’re talking about the important point.” Belo squinted his eyes. “Right now there are many guys inside Holy Dawn Academy that have a little talent like Hawthorne and managed to compact primordial arcane particles very early, becoming arcane masters. They’re all garbage who only know how to hide inside the school, acting cool and strong. What I think is, these wastes have now long forgotten the meaning of courage. I wouldn’t have come to this shameful academy if it wasn’t for Holy Dawn Academy having many formidable arcane skills you can’t find elsewhere, and its many fierce elite teachers.”
“Hey, isn’t that Moss? He came to watch the match too.”
Ayrin suddenly pointed his finger in front of them. Inside the sparsely populated crowd, the red-haired Moss was coming close to an entrance of the arena.
“Newer students will be more curious about the novelty of this competition, and they’re prone to be more hopeful about it. That’s why there are more first years and second years coming to watch. Isn’t it very normal for this guy to come have a look?”
“Let’s go and sit together with him?”
“Alright, we’ll sit together and beat him up!”
“…That won’t be necessary.”
“Courage is the gateway to every dream.”
At the entrance, Ayrin saw these words on every direction board in the blue Holy Dawn Arena, an arena that dwarfed him.
Another miserable scream. This time, however, Ayrin noticed one more person in the clearing after sliding down from the tree.