Destroyer of Ice and Fire
Chapter 110: Absolute domain-type arcane spell
Early in the morning, five days later, still around sunrise.
Ayrin stood at the top of a huge tree, facing a thin branch. He continuously reminded himself, “Control my breathing. This branch can bear almost my exact weight. I might break it by merely breathing too deeply and making my body shake too much.”
Then he adjusted his breathing, and slowly walked on it.
The branch swayed lightly in the breeze. It distinctively curved down after he stepped on it, as if it would immediately break. Ayrin's body tilted forward with the bend of the branch.
Yet, Ayrin's body readjusted itself in a very minute, extremely harmonious-looking shift, to the point this branch didn't sway any stronger even after he stood inclined on it.
An excited expression emerged on Ayrin's face. He continued his lithe walk forward, stepping on another branch nearby with about the same thickness.
When he switched to this other branch, he looked to be standing steady, and the branch at his feet didn't break either.
“Ah!” He suddenly opened his mouth in happiness, about to shout out loud. But just at this instant, the branch at his feet suddenly broke with a crack at the fork. “Crack, crack.” He dropped down, and again broke two branches in succession. Only after that did he shoot upward again like a flying bird.
“It seems I still can't be too pleased with myself.”
“Dear me, I still can't walk however I want to walk the way Rinloran does, why am I getting complacent?” Ayrin felt embarrassed at himself. He scratched his head and scolded himself, and then, with a serious expression, once again walked towards branches that could barely bear his weight, just like the first one.
His body once again gave off an exceptionally nimble and harmonious feeling.
He switched from one branch to the next.
No branches broke this time. His steps seemed increasingly graceful, increasingly peaceful, increasingly faster.
One after another, the thin branches bounced up softly after his steps went past, actually giving off the feeling someone was plucking the branches in the wind, like so many strings on an instrument.
He accelerated all of a sudden. His body went through the lush treetops at great speed, now and then accompanied by the display of an arcane skill. He appeared on top of one huge tree after another, moving as if in blinks, swiftly flitting a full circle around this forest of huge trees. Then he returned to his original position and stopped on the first branch he'd stepped on.
His breathing was obviously much more urgent.
Yet he seemed to be controlling and coordinating the movements of his body even better. The swaying of the branch at his feet seemed a little stronger compared to the first time, yet it still didn't snap, even after more than a dozen seconds.
Ayrin put his hands behind his head, and couldn't resist saying to himself, “It's really hard... I finally succeeded more or less. Now I should be able to follow Rinloran, right?”
The sun rose just at this instant, as it happened. The first strands of daylight pierced through the layer of clouds, sprinkling on St. Lauren's mountain peak.
On a lush treetop only a few dozen meters away from him, Donna and Ciaran were actually in a completely different mood.
“He really did it!”
“He only used five days to grasp a skill that only arcane masters with elven blood could master previously! Could he be the descendant of an arcane master with dragon blood and an arcane master with elven blood? Could he have elven blood coursing his body to begin with?”
Ayrin already thought that the things Rinloran taught him were particularly hard, much more difficult than when learning arcane skills before. But Donna and Ciaran were keenly aware that the vast majority of arcane masters had no hope of ever matching Rinloran's nimbleness, even if they went through many years of training. The reason why the nimbleness of elven bloodlines was called an innate talent was precisely because it was impossible to imitate the control they exercised over their strength when dodging or changing direction, impossible to learn the control they had over their balance, even when many people tried to learn them for a lifetime!
There had merely been around twenty days all put together from the end of the match against Iron Forest until now. In such a short time frame, he went from speed being his weakness to almost overtaking Rinloran.
Rather than talking about learning and special training, one might as well talk about an innate gift.
“I can't help but feel incredulous even though I witnessed the course of his progress with my own eyes. Back in our era, only Herde had this kind of talent, right?” Donna felt as if she'd taken a psychological blow. “On top of that, Ayrin's the same as Chris. Every day, all the time he can use on training he uses on training. It's really as they say, the one you fear isn't someone more talented than you, it's one more talented than you and also more hardworking than you.”
“I heard that he dug ores for many years in Cororin... For the current him, for the sake of his dreams, every day is probably filled with happiness, no matter how hard he works.” A faint smile floated on the corner of Ciaran's mouth in spite of herself. She looked at Donna and said, “Now it should be your turn to teach him Fire Embers.”
“This guy's fighting spirit and pure happiness really have the power to imperceptibly change someone.” Such a thought floated in Donna's mind when she saw Ciaran's faint smile.
Ayrin happily waved his hand at Ciaran the moment he noticed Ciaran and Donna appear in his vision. Then he immediately observed Donna, asking, “Teacher Ciaran, is this teacher an elite teacher of our Holy Dawn Academy? She looks very strong.”
“She's called Donna. Though she isn't a teacher of our academy, she's the chief arcane master of clan Oakheart, one of the arcane masters registered in the office of special affairs.” Ciaran looked at Ayrin and said, “She has another identity: one of the most outstanding students in the history of River Bend Academy. She once defeated us and became the champion of the national tournament.”
“Champion of the national tournament, so strong!” Ayrin suddenly couldn't refrain his shout. “Teacher Ciaran, what kind of clan is clan Oakheart now? Also, what does it mean to be registered in the office of special affairs?”
“Clan Oakheart is the reigning clan of Ancient Oak City in the Golden Roses Plains. As to the office of special affairs...” Ciaran paused a moment, and wondered how she could explain it to Ayrin when Ayrin never even heard the name.
Then she said, “Generally speaking, for arcane masters who possess a certain amount of fighting power, a minority will form their own mercenary teams or join some small-scale independent arcane guilds. The vast majority left will choose to join a variety of clans. The various clans titled by the kingdom all reign over territories large and small. They can give the arcane masters who join them better conditions comparatively. And all the arcane masters who join the armies of these clans titled by the king become knighted arcane masters of the kingdom.
“The royal law-keeping department is in charge of all these arcane masters in our kingdom of Eiche. The idea is to lead all the arcane masters contributing to the kingdom, in order to safeguard the peace of the kingdom and of the continent.
“There are three echelons in the royal law-keeping department. From top to bottom, these are the office of justice, the office of special affairs, and the law-keeping office. All the arcane masters who can join the armies of the various reigning clans are members of the law-keeping office. The law-keeping office will issue all kinds of missions, and let these arcane masters carry them out.
“There are only a very small number of formidable arcane masters who possess the qualifications to be a member of the office of special affairs. They handle some particularly dangerous and crucial matters. In the entirety of our St. Lauren, there are only three arcane masters who were inducted in the office of special affairs. In our Holy Dawn Academy, Liszt is the only one.
“As to the office of justice, it's entirely comprised of some hero-level and legendary-level arcane masters of the kingdom.”
“Even teacher Ciaran, teacher Minlur, and the others aren't powerful enough to be inducted in the office of special affairs?” Ayrin was greatly taken aback when he understood the ins and outs. He looked at Donna: “Then she's stronger than you?”
“Of course.” Ciaran nodded at Ayrin. “You can also call her teacher Donna, because we asked her to teach you her strongest defensive skill, Fire Embers.”
“Is that true? That's great, teacher Donna is so powerful, her strongest defensive skill is sure to be especially powerful as well!” Ayrin cheered all of a sudden.
“He's too vigorous, really very cute.” Donna couldn't repress her smile.
“Fire Embers, what kind of arcane skill is that?” Ayrin immediately asked.
Donna was also a little impatient to see whether Ayrin could learn this arcane skill of hers. She looked at Ayrin and said, “Use your strongest skill and attack me.”
Ayrin understood Donna certainly wanted to demonstrate in person, so he didn't waste any time in nonsense. He stretched out his left hand and pressed it in Donna's direction.
An explosion shook through the air. A huge white ball of ice sudden appeared.
Donna moved her hands slightly just at the same time. Countless magenta arcane particles fluttered around her and ignited.
The branch at her feet instantly burned into snow-white embers. But what was even more astounding was, though there was absolutely nothing in the air around her, the flames burning from her arcane particles still generated white embers, as if in this instant, her flames pulled in the rarefied air and condensed it into solid matters, then burned them to ashes.
“Crown of Ice and Snow!”
Ayrin's right first pounded ruthlessly on the white ball of ice. The white block of ice formed countless sword-shaped arrows sputtering forward. But every part that came into contact with the embers crumbled entirely, vanishing without a trace.
A huge crown of ice and snow became a short length of ice in front of Ayrin, as if it transformed into a frail shield of ice.
“Directly crumbled?” Ayrin shouted in disbelief.
“Only an arcane master with five open arcane gates can invoke and use Fire Embers' complete form.” Not waiting for Donna to speak, Ciaran immediately explained in details to Ayrin, “This arcane skill of hers can directly burn all kinds of arcane energy in the surrounding, so its defensive power is especially strong against almost every attacking skill. Especially against the vast majority of fire-elemental arcane skills, the fires summoned by the opponent will instead strengthen the power of her Fire Embers. That's why, apart from dragon breath and spirit fire, all the other fire skills are entirely useless against her Fire Embers!”
“An absolute defense skill that can break almost every fire skill? This is a taboo-level arcane spell!” Ayrin's expression was a little different. “Teacher Ciaran, did teacher Donna open five arcane skills already?! I only have one open gate though.”
“It doesn't matter. She can teach you the complete Fire Embers. This skill is separated into seven ranks to begin with, different ranks will manifest a different power,” Ciaran told Ayrin. “When you open at least six arcane gates and reach the sixth rank or higher, this skill won't be a mere defense anymore, but an offensive and counterattacking skill.”
“It's really a taboo-level spell! Teacher Donna is already a taboo-level arcane master.”
“There's only on issue left now. This arcane skill of hers is also called the lost skill of Bending River. Before Donna, no one could learn this arcane skill, to the point people even forgot about it. And after Donna, there's still hasn't been anyone who grasped it.”
Ciaran looked at Ayrin. “From before the War of the Dragons, from the most ancient draconic scholars up until now, it's hard to tell how many mighty arcane skills have been handed down under the starry skies. The most crucial thing is that various arcane masters find themselves unable to understand and grasp the vast majority of mighty skills, because of the different natural inclinations of their innate gifts. You can master two opposite skills like my Evil Flaming Eye and Carter's Ice of Crown and Snow, so we feel that even Fire Embers is very possibly within your reach.”
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