TN: Sorry for the slight delay. There's a sentence in this chapter that cuts off in the middle in the raws we got from the publisher. I looked at 20+ different (illegal) raws, and they all had the same thing. So in the end I had to leave it as it is.
Destroyer of Ice and Fire
Chapter 142: He's the core
“At least I replenished a part of it, I can go for another bout.”
Ayrin's face was still twisted by pain, but there were quite a lot of additional arcane particles inside his arcane gate. When he walked back into the field, his heart felt much more steadfast. His entire being seemed to feel quite a lot better.
“Why do you have to fight still?”
“Because I have to face celebrity-level fighters sooner or later. The last one on the other side, Wild Battlemaster Werther, isn't he precisely a celebrity contestant? I'll progress faster if I trade blows with an opponent of this level, and I'll probably accumulate quite a bit of experience as well.”
“You. He's such a formidable celebrity fighter, aren't you afraid at all?”
“They're all objectives I have to pursue and surpass, what is there to be afraid of?”
Moss and the others could still hear Ayrin's exchange with Carter when he first came down from the field.
“This guy, he's slow on the uptake, but why's he so inspiring every single time. He makes you feel like you can learn many things from him.”
“Teacher Carter.” While Moss and the others looked at Ayrin's back with eyes full of intertwined emotions, Chris quietly asked Carter beside her, “Why didn't you tell Ayrin to hide some of his strength. I always have the feeling that he's the real key to victory. The stronger opponent we face, the more I'll become a mere weapon to deliver a fatal strike to a certain opponent.”
“Indeed. Your arcane level doesn't let you use Dark Destruction Dragon many times yet. After you defeat an especially powerful opponent, you might not have the strength to fight another bout. Moss, Belo, and Stingham, they aren't mature yet. Ayrin's the true core of the team.” Carter nodded and said in a likewise quiet tone, “But his progress, and the way people can't see through him, those are his most powerful weapons. All the opponents will think they've seen through all of his strength and all his arcane skills, but the next time they face him, it'll be another story already.”
After a pause, Carter added, “Also, fighting nonstop, fighting battles that push you over your limits, it's always been the best way to raise your level. With one open gate, the power of his arcane particles is still a bit too weak if faced against true mighty opponents like Rinsyi. That's why, when we get out of the group and fight our way into the top eight or the final four,
Chris nodded with a slight smile.
“What on earth was that?” People from Iron Forest Academy and Divine Shield Academy understood Ayrin relatively well, but they had no idea at all as to why the Holy Dawn team members gave Ayrin a solid beating.
The bunch couldn't help looking at each other and mumble, “Could it be that his bloodline requires beatings before it can release its potential? Is it that perverted?”
Charlotte stamped her feet again in anger and shame. “Don't look at me, I don't know either!”
“...” The Iron Forest guys blinked, then suddenly guffawed. “Haha, Charlotte, we didn't look at you this time, we didn't ask you either.”
“Captain, you have to win!”
“We can only rely on you. You absolutely can't lose, otherwise there's no telling what Breith Magazine is going to say about our team.”
Most people in team Mountain Kings had already collapsed. They one and all looked at captain Werther with imploring eyes as he was about to set off to the field.
“Why are you still thinking of random things at a time like this? The only thing I can think of now is to use all my strength to do battle!”
The attitude of these people made Werther roar in anger.
But all of a sudden, “Poof,” a laugh escaped Werther's lips.
“He can laugh even at a time like this? Did the captain receive too great of a blow, so now he's gone haywire?” The members of team Mountain Kings all looked at each other.
“Could you guys spread around a bit? Several guys who all look beaten up until no one can recognize guy anymore, I can't resist laughing even if I want to, alright?!” Werther swore in anger, but when he saw four guys beaten up beyond recognition gathered together and looking at each other, he couldn't hold back another laugh.
“We looked at them like clowns, and now they hit us into looking like clowns.”
Werther took in a deep breath and walked into the field. “We already lost our honor. Now the only way to get it back is to redouble my efforts and fight with every ounce of strength I have.”
“What a formidable momentum. Worthy of a celebrity-level fighter, the feeling's totally different from the previous opponents.” Ayrin immediately felt an entirely different pressure as soon as he glanced at Werther coming into the field.
“Bring it on!”
Without any superfluous words, the black-faced Werther directly gestured at the referee he was ready.
“Mountain Kings Academy against Holy Dawn Academy, Werther against Ayrin, begin!”
Kleis' voice once again resonated throughout the arena.
Absolute silence descended over the stands. Sometime back, this match that almost everyone saw as a joke had actually become extraordinarily thrilling.
“Wrath of the Wizard Spirit!”
Werther immediately hurled himself backward. A green light shaped itself into a distorted human figure, like a green wizard wearing a wizard hat. It flew in the air, flying toward Ayrin from several dozen meters away.
With a mere shake, Ayrin's figure disappeared from where he stood, and appeared instead in front of that green human shape. His originally heavy-looking body seemed graceful as a feather right then.
“What arcane skill is that?”
“What a strange arcane skill. It can even pursue the opponent on its own?”
But just then, alarmed shouts erupted from the stands like a tsunami.
Because Ayrin had already flashed behind that green figure, but it suddenly hurled itself backward and threw itself at Ayrin's back.
“Evil Flaming Eye!”
Ayrin also felt something wrong behind him. He turned around at an inconceivable speed. An Evil Flaming Eye shot out of his hand and struck dead center the green figure coming his way.
With an explosive “Boom,” the Evil Flaming Eye entirely crumbled into scattered flames, but the green figure hadn't disappeared even after being struck by the Evil Flaming Eye. It merely shrank oddly in half and continued pouncing in Ayrin's direction.
Ayrin only had time to cross his arms in front of him in passing.
With a muffled “Puff,” Ayrin glided five or six meters away on the ground like a plow. His arms kept trembling.
“It seems Werther also learned some new skills.” Rinsyi snorted coldly in a corner of the stands. “This arcane skill, apart from chasing after the opponent, it's unexpectedly an attenuating skill. It won't scatter and vanish even when intercepted by the opponent's skills. It can still keep its original shape and effects, its power will merely be eroded. That said, it's even clearer now. The power of that Ayrin guy's arcane skills is totally the power of an arcane master who opened his first arcane gate not long ago.”
“Only, it's unthinkable for an arcane master who opened their first arcane gate not long ago to have so many arcane particles to fight all the way until now. The amount of arcane particles he's released has already exceeded the limits of a beginner-level arcane master.” That flirtatious girl at his side covered a giggle with her hand. “It seems he used some secret skill to seal the other arcane gates inside him.”
“That's the only possibility. He's not a one-gate arcane master to begin with. Instead, he sealed his other arcane gates to make his opponents underestimate his fighting power,” Rinsyi said with a nod and a cold smile.
“A very interesting strategy.” That cold-faced boy with especially long and slender fingers looked at Rinsyi in derision. “Rinsyi, if this guy turns out to be an arcane master with three open gates or more, will you feel a bit afraid?”
Rinsyi turned his head around and looked at that cold-faced boy with even stronger derision. “Hill, in our academy, I very much loathe you, and you very much loathe me, so do you know why I let you be the vice-captain of the school team even so?”
The cold-faced boy smiled. “Of course, it's because I have sufficient strength.”
“Because one of our clan's tenets is that the more threatening the opponent is, the stronger they'll make us become.” Rinsyi threw a cold look at that cold-faced boy. “You guys are merely stepping stones on my road to greater power. If our Golden Stag Academy really came across them, then I'll make you go into the field first when the time comes. Because if you can't win against him, then you'd already have lost your usefulness as a tool.”
“Rinsyi, you're too arrogant.” The cold-faced boy answered tit for tat with a grim smile, “I'll definitely take over your position in the future.”
“Wrath of the Wizard Spirit!”
At this time, Werther still kept his distance with Ayrin in the field. He just dispatched one green figure after another.
Ayrin simply couldn't dodge. He could merely obstruct them with Evil Flaming Eyes, then withstand the remaining power with punches and kicks. His entire body trembled continuously from the onslaught.
“Wild Battlemaster Werther, his specialty was originally the Eight Wild Axes. Eight huge axes would float around him and spin like a whirlwind, plus he can grab two of them at any time and add his own explosiveness to hack at the opponent. It was definitely a brash and violent way to fight. Why does it seem like he's fighting in an entirely different way this year? He became a mobile ranged fighter instead.”
“I get it! Everyone in their team previously encountered something unthinkable against Ayrin. He wants to avoid surprises like these at any cost.”
“Both his invocation speed and the power of his arcane skills are overwhelming Ayrin. As long as he's mindful of keeping his distance and doesn't get hit, nothing untoward will possibly happen to him. Plus, Ayrin's already gone through four great fights, so he definitely doesn't have as many arcane particles left. He's precisely trying to drain Ayrin dry in the most surefire way.”
“Worthy of a genuine celebrity fighter, his way of fighting is absolutely cold-blooded.”
After some discussion, the spectators in the stands entirely understood Werther's way of thinking.
“From a conventional point of view, this is indeed the most optimal way to counter him.” In team Holy Dawn, seeing this scene, Carter looked as though he was between laughter and tears. “It's just too bad you have no idea you met a guy who simply can't be predicted with common sense. He's a freak even Liszt and professor Plum can't figure out...”
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