Chapter 363: A Curious Metal Figure
“These fellows actually look down on us,” Minlur said roughly as he rubbed his chin and watched the Maelstrom Team disappear into the horizon.
“Teacher Minlur, just how strong are they? What powerful skills do they know?” Moss asked. His body was still trembling uncontrollably.
“I do not know.”
Minlur shook his head as he turned and looked at Moss, “They are extremely secretive fellows, and that makes them extremely difficult opponents.”
Rui added, “It’s rumored that the Snakeworm Bandits were entirely annihilated by them.”
Moss blanked for a moment as he asked, “Teacher Rui, were the Snakeworm Bandits very powerful?”
“The leaders of the Snakeworm Bandits, Orchid Chen and Fishtail, were once the strongest students of Three-headed Dragon Academy. If they were still alive today, they would likely be a little stronger than me,” Rui replied.
“Arcane masters even stronger than Teacher Rui have fallen at their hands…” Moss, Chris and the others felt speechless.
Although Rui was extremely low key, they all knew that Rui’s strength was second only to Liszt amongst their teachers.
“Teacher Liszt, you called his eyes the Eyes of Bewitchment. What kind of ability is it?” Ayrin asked at this moment as he looked fervently at Liszt. By this point, he had more or less regained his composure.
“It is not an ability, but a taboo skill which one must sacrifice a portion of their life to train. It is said those who master this skill will find themselves age extremely rapidly after reaching sixty years old and end up dying before sixty-five.” Liszt looked in the direction the Maelstrom Team had gone as he continued, “It is a skill which one must truly put their life on the line to learn. But such sacrifice comes with reward. Those who master the skill all undergo an extraordinary transformation. Their bodies gain extreme affinity for fire and water, as symbolized by their one red pupil and one blue pupil. The bodies of these arcane masters become akin to the strongest amplification artifact imaginable for fire and water based skills, making them the strongest possible fire and water wielding arcane master possible.”
“The body is akin to the most powerful amplification artifact?!”
“The strongest fire and water wielding arcane master!”
“But one can only train in this skill by sacrificing a portion of one’s own life?”
Exclamations rang out as Liszt finished his explanation.
Liszt rubbed his chin as he said, “Like Rinsyi, Rintucci is a holder of House Baratheon’s main bloodline, giving him an extreme affinity for wind based skills. Such a strong bloodline ability, yet he abandoned it without hesitation and even sacrificed a portion of his life to instead master this taboo skill. This should give you all a good idea of how powerful the effects granted by this taboo skill are.”
After a short pause, Liszt added, “It is also said that those who have successfully mastered this taboo skill gain one more powerful ability… whenever they invoke a fire or water based skill, their eyes will naturally release a mental attack. As they invoke skills, these mental attacks will superposition and become stronger.
“Every skill is naturally accompanied with a mental attack, and these mental attacks can superposition to amplify their strength?” A look of horror appeared on Stingham’s face as he couldn’t help but exclaim, “So the longer the battle, the stronger the mental attacks grow until one cannot withstand them anymore?”
“Correct.” Liszt nodded. “So even if it was just this fellow… if he were to make a move by himself, we would not be able to guarantee your safety, let alone alongside the three around him with unknown abilities.”
“Isn’t this guy a little too strong?” Stingham sputtered.
“It’s alright.” Rinloran looked coldly at Stingham, “Although others might be afraid of his mental attacks, you do not.”
“Oh, that’s right.” A look of complacency appeared atop Stingham’s face, “I have the Spirit Obstruction Gem.”
“I was not talking about the Spirit Obstruction Gem,” Rinloran sneered. “You are already an idiot, so these mental attacks, regardless of how strong they are, will do nothing to you.”
“……” Tears appeared in Stingham’s eyes as he gloomily cried out, “Rinloran, why are you beating around the bush now? Is it not enough to just call me an idiot? Do you have nothing better to do?”
“There’s no time to waste. Get ready to start training again!” Minlur bellowed enthusiastically as he waved his fist at Stingham, Ayrin and the others. Afterwards, he turned towards Clancy, Leonardo and the rest and bid farewell, “Since a matter like this has occurred, we will be leaving immediately to start training again. We await further notice about the championship match.”
“Training again?” Stingham cried, “The match just ended, and we made it into the championship. Shouldn’t we go out and find a restaurant to celebrate first?”
“If Ayrin had not defeated Rinsyi, perhaps we would have gone out and celebrated. But since he has, you all must begin training again, and also train harder than before. Otherwise, you might be killed by your enemies,” Minlur said between booming laughs as he led the way out of the ruins. He showed no trace of fear.
“What do you mean?” Stingham looked gloomily at Minlur, “Should it be the other way around? Victory should mean celebration!”
“It’s not like that.” Minlur shook his head as he looked at Stingham. “If Ayrin had failed to defeat Rinsyi, then the Maelstrom Team and House Baratheon would no longer care about you all. By winning, Ayrin has demonstrated his incredible prowess and speed of improvement. As a result, you all… have become targets for House Baratheon. It is likely that they will the Maelstrom Team or a team of similar strength to eliminate you. In the future, you will inevitably be drawn into one of House Baratheon’s sinister plots even if you don’t wish to do battle with them. Your lives will be in danger as increasingly powerful opponents appear before you.”
“Let me rephrase it in a simpler manner.” Liszt stretched out his waist as he said, “The appearance of the Maelstrom Team here today symbolizes that House Baratheon will no longer be sending mercenaries or their own second and third tier teams after you. They will only be sending their elites. And if the opportunity arises, it is not impossible for a team like the Maelstrom Team to take action.”
“……” Tears flowed down Stingham’s cheeks as he cried out, “Can I leave the team?”
A single word rang out in response. “Idiot!” Rinloran sneered.
“The relationship between Holy Dawn Academy and House Baratheon has been completely sundered. A war has begun.” As Clancy watched Holy Dawn Academy’s group of teachers and youths leave, a bitter look appeared on his face.
The Office of Special Affairs did not have absolute control over the Nine Great Families and similar level entities, especially after the great battle in Fallen Shadow Valley. As conflicts continued to arise between these powers, they were afraid for the Kingdom of Eiche. They hope it would not collapse. They hoped they would not find themselves in a time like the Age of Warlords during the Magus Era.
“House Baratheon is still much too strong for Holy Dawn Academy to deals with.” Leonardo sighed softly. The true strength of House Baratheon extended beyond most people’s imaginations. Facing the four members of the Maelstrom Team just now, even he had felt a chill rising throughout his body.
The members of Holy Dawn Academy waded through the metal sea of debris and wreckages.
A tiny claw abruptly appeared from within Ayrin’s robe.
“This great king…” Ayrin exclaimed.
“What great king? You’ve got it wrong, when Belo calls for others to lick his feet, he calls himself this grandfather,” Stingham interjected. But as he turned around and looked, he stiffened slightly as he realized that Ayrin was talking to the faerie dragon.
No one knew when the faerie dragon had returned to Ayrin.
But at this moment, it was tightly clutching a white jade figurine between one of its claws.
It seemed as if it was flaunting its wealth as it waved the jade figurine before their eyes and exposed the bulging bag around its neck.
As Rinloran looked over, his eyes almost bulged out of their sockets.
The jade figurine was carved in a simple and crude manner. There was no distinct mouth or nose, and its arms and legs were barely outlined using just several lines. However, its two eyes were exquisite and lifelike. And most shocking was that one was blue, and one was red!
It seemed as if these eyes were not gems which had been embedded into the figurine, but naturally occurring. And it quickly became evident that this white jade figurine was not made from ordinary jade as it released strange arcane energy fluctuations which gave off a sensation similar to that of an amplification artifact.
“Did it steal this from that arcane master?”
“One red eye and one blue eye. Could it be?”
Ayrin was stupefied as he clearly saw the figurine.
Everyone quickly huddled around.
The front of the figurine was very simple and clean, but the backside was indeed filled with numerous fine words.
“It is one of House Baratheon’s codes,” Liszt, Carter and the other teachers concluded after a moment of analysis.
“It’s like a scroll then? Does it contain the training method for the Eyes of Bewitchment?
“Could it be that the Eyes of Bewitchment have always been a part of House Baratheon? Did they have masters of the skill in the past?”
The six youths broke into discussion.
“Unfortunately, it is written in House Baratheon’s special code. We cannot decipher its meaning.” Stingham gloomily scratched his head. But in the next moment, his eyes lit up as he exclaimed, “Perhaps Ferguillo would be able to read it?”
“Ferguillo?” Liszt, Carter and the other teachers stiffened.
“Maybe, but unlikely,” Carter replied.
Although Ferguillo had once studied alongside Rinsyi and others for a period of time before being given up on by House Baratheon, it did not mean that he had studied House Baratheon’s code.
The sound of metal collided abruptly rang out nearby.
“Could it be that they have already discovered that it’s missing and have come back?”
Everyone looked nervously in the direction of the sound.
What happened next caused them to freeze.
They watched as a small metal figure climbed out from under a pile of metal debris.