Destroyer of Ice and Fire
Chapter 106: Ah... These former giants
“Swish.” “Swish.” “Swish.” …
Inside the Iron Thorn Forest in Holy Dawn Academy's secret training field, a human figure moved quick like a ghost, producing shrill sounds as it tore through the air.
Carter and Minlur stood on the edge of these woods, watching with faces filled with emotion.
“Do you still remember, back when you had one open gate like him, how long you trained before you managed to cross these woods in one minute?”
Carter said, “I probably spent around two months.”
“But this guy only used ten days,” Minlur said. “Would you have thought that possible before?”
“I remember the great master Giravel say in his introduction to 'Matching Arcane Skills' that the fearsome thing under the starry skies isn't an opponent with a greater talent than you, but an opponent more talented than you and still more hardworking. Right now, Ayrin is precisely that guy with a greater natural talent than others, and yet still working harder.” Carter glanced at Minlur, adding, “I heard that Stingham was the total opposite. We had to send Rui and Ciaran to make him train?”
“Liszt and the others especially requested Ciaran to come forward.” Minlur's voice subconsciously became gloomier. “They feel that if they can make her spend more time with these young people, she might feel happier and grieve less.”
“I heard the Evil Dragon follower who killed Ashur hasn't been caught yet?” Carter sighed softly.
“Last time, that arcane master appeared in the southern territories. Chester was the captain of the arcane team clan Tyrell dispatched to catch him. That guy's probably even stronger than either of us.”
“Chester, the one who grained the approval from the emissary of the Water God?” Carter nodded. Before he had time to add anything further, a black shadow appeared not far away beside him and Minlur. Rui emerged suddenly, as if he grew out of the shadows.
Carter and Minlur didn't seem to be surprised in the least, merely asking, “Why did you come as well?”
“Since he already reached such a level, then let me be in charge of his training in the coming days.” Always thrifty with his words, Rui watched Ayrin's figure inside the woods and said, “It'll be a good opportunity to have him and Stingham boost each other.”
With single-minded devotion, Ayrin shuttled back and forth through the Iron Thorn Forest.
His body was covered in tiny scratches, but he'd already discovered from the very first day of training how much of a stimulating effect this training had on his body.
The instant the extremely sharp wooden thorns pricked his skin, his palpitations would give his body a faster reaction than usual. Especially, as soon as he had a lapse of attention and almost crashed head-on on these thorns, when he saw the sharp thorns coming closer and closer to his eyes, the most vulnerable part of his body, his body's reactions far surpassed the limits he could reach in ordinary times when dashing.
All these sharp thorns were just like countless teachers correcting his minute movements, giving him a scratch every time they noticed he did something wrong.
His body was covered everywhere in stabs and scratches, and with the ointment he smeared on them, he looked frightening enough that even Moss and Belo couldn't immediately recognize him. Yet, even he himself could perceive the giant strides forward he made.
He really felt his body getting lighter and lighter, felt as if he could slip through any crack in the exact posture he wanted to take. Every movement of his body became swifter and swifter.
The instant he went through the forest, the moment all the sharp thorns' black shadows flashing with eerie cold gloss vanished, he immediate shouted out loud, “Teacher Carter, how much time did I spend this time?”
“About fifty-two seconds.” Carter glanced at the scales on the hourglass chronograph to the side, and said, “Probably six seconds faster than yesterday.”
“Eh, why is teacher Rui also here?” Only now did Ayrin notice there was someone else.
“I'll be training you for the next ten days,” Rui said very simply.
Stingham lay on a hammock inside the forest of giant trees, dispirited. He was even eating from a bag of salty pine nuts he bought from somewhere.
Seeing Rui flash and appear in front of him all of a sudden, he shouted gloomily, “Don't you try fooling me today, I won't go chasing after teacher Ciaran no matter what you say. I can't touch her no matter what I try.”
“I didn't come here to have you chase after Ciaran today,” Rui said with a shake of the head.
“Then what did you come for?” Stingham watched him, full of suspicion.
“Look over there.”
Rui pointed at a place no far away on the left behind him.
Stingham's gaze followed the direction of his finger. The scare made him swallow the pine nut without even spiting out the shell. “What monster is that?”
Someone was crouched on the tree branch Rui pointed at. There were stripes of something on him that were black and yet weren't, yellow and yet weren't. He even seemed to be giggling dumbly, both his eyes shining.
“Look carefully again, who's he?” Rui said.
“Ayrin?” Stingham stared dumbstruck for a long moment before he recognized him. “Why did he become like this?”
“From now on, if he catches you, you'll be his girlfriend,” Rui said.
“What! I'm a man, what girlfriend!”
Stingham leaped up all of a sudden. With a shriek, he turned around and started running. “Don't come any closer!”
Rui made a gesture at Ayrin.
Ayrin immediately ran behind Stingham as if the house were on fire.
“Get bloody lost! What kind of pervert are you, don't come near me!” Stingham ran as if his life were on the line, while Ayrin stuck behind him, pursuing him with his all.
“Tea...tea... teacher Lis... Lis...” At the same time Stingham fled for his life while Ayrin chased wholeheartedly behind him, Moss was trembling from head to toe in the rocky ravine inside the secret training area. He couldn't even speak coherently.
Minlur had been the one in charge of his special training during these few days, but now, the one standing lazily in front of him was that extremely freakish and bloodthirsty Liszt from the rumors.
“You're so afraid you can't even speak?” Liszt looked lazily at him. “I heard you finally managed to more or less grasp 'Holy Body Ignition' only yesterday? With a level like that, why are you still trying to stick your nose in?”
“Stick...Stick my nose in?” Moss' teeth clacked and clattered. He had no idea what Liszt meant by that.
“Ayrin's talent and progress, as well as his innate silly and hotblooded courage that doesn't even know what fear is, you should see them very clearly. Belo's innately one of those rash and impetuous lunatics. It's one thing for these two to hoot at Rinsyi, but who the hell are you?” Half mocking, half serious at the same time, Liszt said, “I can tell you very responsibly that, not even mentioning Rinsyi, he has several teammates around the same level as him, and they could kill you with barely any effort even using a just one hand.
“Also, you should also be clearly aware what kind of clan clan Baratheon is. An existence that can abandon its own and treat them as enemies for the benefit of the whole clan, in order to preserve the strength of their lineage... Arcane masters who grew up in this environment from birth, how grim and callous would they be, how resolute would they be in their pursuit of power? To dispatch every potential foe, this is their inherent instinct. Talking about the pursuit of progress, clan Baratheon can abandon so many of their own and use cruel ways to protect the talent of their bloodline. Compared to your clan, compared to your innate talent, they're so much stronger, aren't they? With your current level, the gap between you and Rinsyi and the others is only growing larger by the day.”
“Belo doesn't even know anymore what remnant clan branch he comes from, Ayrin comes from a place like Cororin to begin with. Neither of them has any clan background, but you still have clan Quinn behind you. It's one thing for them to shout at Rinsyi, the most serious price they could pay is merely their own lives. But what the hell are you shouting at Rinsyi for? Your failure might well bring the ruin of extermination to clan Quinn.”
“...” Moss' face swelled bright red. Trails of cold sweat flowed down on his forehead. His body trembled even harder.
“Alright then, little friend who trembles in fear, little friend who isn't as strong as Rinsyi even when releasing the giants' Multi Sizing and the barbarians' Fury, as well as Holy Body Ignition.” A lazy smile crept on Liszt face. “Now, please tell me, why did you also have the gall to shout like this at Rinsyi? Don't you fear him, don't you fear clan Baratheon?”
“I... I'm afraid, but... but friends have to stick together.” Moss desperately clenched his fists and finally completed a sentence.
“When friends stand out, you also stand out, no matter what enemy stands in front of you. Even if you end up dying together.” Liszt smiled. He pointed at a boulder nearby. “Sit down.”
Moss sat down in a daze.
Liszt also sat down on a boulder not far away beside him, and lazily said, “Whether before the War of the Dragons, or during the War of the Dragons, the giants' kingdoms of that era had always been one of the important protagonists. Apart from strength, the giants of that era didn't have any other outstanding advantage. Yet these giants could contend with dragon kingdoms, with elven kingdoms, with kingdoms of draconic arcane masters. Do you know why?”
Moss looked blankly at Liszt. He had no idea why this teacher linked with countless terrifying rumors would tell him something like this.
“It's because of their foolish loyalty and sacrifices.” Liszt sigh of admiration drifted in the wind, inside the ravine. “The giant warriors of that time would rather die than betray and abandon their own. They were loyal to their companions. That's why, when beastmen used to raise livestock, when elves used their spirit to bind and control huge beasts and monsters to fight at their sides, they could summon, merely with this loyalty of theirs, huge beasts on tall mountains, in deep abysses, or on fields of lava, to fight alongside them through thick and thin. Back in that era, the apex beast knights of the giant nations could even fight alone toe to toe against powerhouses among dragons!”
“And with their unique sacrificial arcane skill, their military prowess left even more untold glory behind them. In the era of the War of the Dragons, they even decided the fate of many main military campaigns.”
“Sacrificial Halo and Brambles Backlash, these are arcane skills all the strongest giant arcane masters grasped back then,” Liszt said unhurriedly.
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