Chapter 266: It Begins
In the dark and densely packed forest full of evil aura, two figures, one tall and one short, exuding faint gray mist appeared beside Tiger Chen’s corpse.
Both figures wore the same dark gray arcane robes. Indeed, it was the extremely mysterious Allen Brothers.
“Big brother, there are traces of a necromantic skill around this corpse,” the younger Allen brother said in a gruff voice as his eyes swept over Tiger Chen’s corpse.
“There is someone who knows necromantic skills within Holy Dawn Academy’s team?”
The elder brother remained expressionless as he said, “Use Echo Sonar to scout around.”
The younger brother seemed soulless as he mechanically followed the elder brother’s command. A cluster of glowing arcane particles emerged in the younger brother’s right palm and then burst. A ring of invisible sound waves spread out and began to echo amongst the forest.
“It seems like they have already left, brother,” the younger brother said several seconds later. “My skill didn’t detect any existences.”
The elder brother was about to reply when he suddenly furrowed his brows and raised his head and looked into the distance.
Even with the densely intertwined vines and tree crowns in the way, he could tell that it was getting brighter off in the distance.
Their figures flickered in the darkness as the two Allen Brothers quickly climbed to the top of a giant tree. They watched as a gigantic and bright pillar of light shot up into the sky right at the outer boundary of the Forest of Evil.
“Hurry up, do you have any other skills or not?!”
In the giant mushroom forest, Stingham menacingly waved a handmade vine whip before the Abel Academy team members. To an unknowing eye, it would seem like quite a perverse situation.
As for Ayrin and Rinloran, they were sitting off to the side and pouring over the skills which had been handed over.
“Do these fellows really plan to study and try to learn our arcane skills?”
As Lotner, Presley, and the other four members exchanged looks, treacherous lights flashed through their eyes.
“If they must act like this, then they cannot blame us.”
“Actually, I still have a “Domain of Silence” and ‘Draconic Assimilation’ skill,” Lotner blurted out as he coughed and gave a look towards Presley at the others.
“I still have a “Homing Thunderball” skill which I haven’t mentioned.”
“I still have a “Chaotic Wind Movement Skill”…”
Upon seeing the look in Lotner’s eyes, the other Abel Academy team members stopped trying to hold their skills and began talking.
As captain of Abel Academy’s team, Lotner was quite famous within the national tournament and had gained the nickname “Silencer”[1. Yes this is another change. It's because I'm releasing as soon as I finish, there is no stock right now... sorry if this is ruining the reading experience .] because of his fighting style which centered around preventing opponents from completing invocations. But those more familiar with him knew that this name actually had a second origin. It referred to how Lotner seemed silent and indifferent but was an insidious and cunning fellow who wasn’t afraid of using unfair means to win.
When Ayrin, Stingham, and Rinloran had first mentioned wanting to take their skills as well, Lotner and the others were extremely taken aback. This was because arcane masters rarely wanted the arcane skills of others.
There were simply too many skills spread across Doraster. Each academy already had more than enough skills for one to learn in a lifetime.
But more importantly, one could only learn a skill if it was compatible with their body.
For most talented students and geniuses, the skills they studied and learned were ones selected by their teachers which were already determined to be compatible and suitable for them.
Physical condition and comprehension ability also affected this. Of dozens of skills, maybe three or four would be compatible, but only one or two would end up being learnable.
This was why the majority of academies restricted access to their most powerful taboo skills through tests or guardians. This way, only the small number of suitable students could access the skill, preventing the other students from wasting their training time on stubbornly trying to learn a skill when it was impossible for them to succeed.
One had to be selective about what skills they attempted to learn. If one was too greedy, even the greatest talent could be wasted.
Thus, as the Abel Academy members saw Ayrin and Rinloran greedily pouring over the skills they had given, they decided to mention all of the most powerful, but difficult to learn, skills they knew, including ones which even they had yet to master themselves.
“You brats, you have fallen for the temptation of arcane skills… there are so many brilliant teachers in Holy Dawn Academy. Have none of them mentioned to you three that the skills used by others are not necessarily compatible with you, and that they might be impossible to learn no matter how much effort you put in?”
Lotner’s lips slightly curled into a smirk as this thought ran through his mind.
“Have we broken their minds?” Stingham thought as he blankly stood there and watched the smile emerge on Lotner’s face as the six Abel Academy team members began eagerly explaining their skills.
“This Wood Concealment Skill is actually so simple?!”
Just as Lotner and the others finished mentioning their most complex and profound skills and began relishing the thoughts of the long term adverse effects their actions would cause the three before them, Ayrin abruptly broke out in excitement.
Lotner and the others nearly jumped out of their skins in shock.
“Wood Concealment Skill!”
Glowing arcane particles flickered atop Ayrin’s body as it became covered by an extremely faint layer of blue light.
But as Ayrin charged headfirst into a nearby giant mushroom, a loud bang sounded as he bounced off.
Ayrin became embarrassed as he scratched his head in shame.
Lotner and the others collectively let out their breaths and wiped their sweat as they thought, “It was only a bluff.”
“Wood Concealment Skill!”
But then, Ayrin invoked the skill once more.
“Only those who have a great affinity for wood type energy can learn this skill. In our entire Academy, only Matteo has been able to successfully learn it.”
“If it was Rinloran, with his high rank Elven Bloodline, then he might have some chance of success. But for someone like you, it is completely impossible. You are just wasting your time and arcane particles.”
Lotner and the others were delighted as they watched Ayrin.
But in the next moment, their eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets as they watched Ayrin soundlessly merged into the giant mushroom which had just bounced him off without a trace.
“How is this possible?!”
“How could he learn Wood Concealment Skill?!”
After several seconds of blankly breathing, Lotner and the others went nuts.
“Why are you guys so agitated?”
Stingham’s eyes were full of contempt as he looked at them and muttered, “He even managed to learn the skills of a Black Witch. Just how can your Wood Concealment Skill compare?”
“Black Witch? He’s managed to learn skills from the Magus Era?”
Lotner abruptly felt on the verge of going insane.
“It’s all your fault! You had us give them all our strongest skills! If they manage to learn all of them, they will know all our secrets! How are we going to fight them if we meet them in the future?!” Presley and the others screamed towards Lotner after several seconds of daze.
“How was I supposed to know that he could learn it?!”
“It’s all your fault! If you didn’t decide to try and attract other teams over to ambush them, how could we have fallen into such a wretched state?!”
“You are the most incompetent captain ever!”
“Are you guys really turning all the blame towards me?!”
The six Abel Academy team members began to fight amongst themselves.
“These fellows thought we couldn’t learn these skills? That’s why they gave them to us? Detestable! Have a taste of my whip!” Stingham shouted as he finally regained his senses.
But right at this moment, Stingham froze.
“What’s going on?” Ayrin asked as he comically jumped out from within the giant mushroom.
Even from within the giant mushroom, he could see the gigantic and bright pillar of light shooting up into the distant sky.
“It’s time? This is the signal to enter the Path of Evil and begin our assault on Fallen Shadow Valley!”
The six Abel Academy members also stopped their clashing as they turned and watched the pillar as well.
Rinloran took a slow and deep breath.
Only several seconds had passed since the pillar of light first appeared, but he could already feel countless tremors caused by the collision of powerful arcane energy fluctuations passing through the ground beneath him.
Explosions and other loud sounds of battle began to emanate over from the direction of Fallen Shadow Valley.
“No need to deal with them any longer, let’s hurry and leave!” Ayrin decisively shouted as he swiftly moved in the direction of Fallen Shadow Valley.
At this moment, he didn’t think about what kind of powerful enemy he might encounter or the poor, exhausted state of him and his teammates.
The only thought running through his mind was that victory would only be obtained if each and every one of the countless arcane teams charged into battle without hesitation and played their part.
“When the darkness before dawn twisted and whirled…”
“And the Evil Dragon’s forces gradually unfurled…”
“A world-destroying crisis, despair uncurled…”
“Rose the flickering flame of hope on the verge of extinction!”
“Arise and fight, brave warrior!”
“Fight with courage! Brave warrior!”
As he ran, he could hear the anthem of Holy Dawn Academy whistling through his ear.
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