Destroyer of Ice and Fire
Chapter 68: First match ever
Inside the Ivy district, Moss was curiously looking at Ayrin. “You're very familiar with Rinloran? Why don't I know anything about it?”
Ayrin seriously said, “Yeah, didn't he talk with me during class, we even fought a brawl together.”
“Just that? You didn't even exchange ten words putting all of them together. If that's called very familiar, then I'm also very familiar with him.” Moss couldn't resist grabbing his red hair, momentarily speechless.
But then Ayrin even said, “Oh, if that's the case, let's go look for him together then.”
“Don't tell me you forgot that we had an argument back at the registration already?” His face filling with black lines, Moss felt the urge to hit Ayrin. “You're very smart when you fight, why are you so slow on the uptake the rest of the time?”
“What of it though?”
Ayrin grandly waved his hand off. “Didn't you call me little shorty back then during registration, and during class you kept shouting at me to take a hike? Aren't we good friends now?”
Thoroughly defeated by Ayrin, Moss could only speechlessly follow him as they ran into the forest of giant trees.
Ayrin and Moss followed the sounds inside, and only had to ask a few freshmen in the middle of their foundation exercises before they very easily found Rinloran training in a clearing inside the forest.
Ayrin happily greeted Rinloran the moment he saw him.
“What?” Rinloran looked at Ayrin and Moss with some curiosity, a very icy expression on his face.
“You're so clean! You're this clean even when training.” Ayrin looked at Rinloran and enthusiastically said, “I heard you wash several times a day, you wash your clothes many times too, is that true?”
Moss' vision almost went black on the spot.
Even if you want to worm your way into his good graces, there's no need to say something like this right?
As expected, Rinloran's face also seemed to grow some black lines. “Ayrin, what on earth do you want?” His tone became even colder.
“The tournament is tomorrow already, brave warrior! You're very strong, the teachers and us all hope you can join our team. Come join us, let's train and fight together,” Ayrin said, brandishing his fist.
Just like boiling water meeting a block of ice, Rinloran spit out these two words without the slightest trace of hesitation, then turned away. “You should leave if there's nothing else. I still need to train.”
“Everyone else do all they can to become a member of the team and to participate in this tournament. Why don't you join when you have the possibility to?” Ayrin asked, not angry, merely curious instead.
“Because I particularly hate this tournament and these fights.” Rinloran said with clear loathing in his voice, “You're free to think that I'm not brave enough to participate in this competition.”
“You have the courage to challenge even teacher Huston, have the courage to fight senior students in order to help us, how would you lack bravery?”
Ayrin shook his head. “Plus, if you have no interest in the battles between arcane masters, no interest for this tournament, why would you work so hard on your training?”
Rinloran's body stiffened faintly.
But the next second, he once again said in his icy-cold, remote voice, “Am I not allowed to just hate it? Also, I think there's no chance in hell for a school team like this one against an opponent like Divine Shield Academy. Try to win against Divine Shield Academy first before coming and urging me to join!”
“Ok! You'll join us as long as we defeat Divine Shield Academy?” Ayrin's eyes lit up.
Rinloran stayed silent for a moment, before saying, “I was just casually saying that just now. I won't become a member of the team no matter what, I won't participate in the tournament.”
“If that's the case, can you come watch our match against Divine Shield Academy tomorrow?” Ayrin said, still fervent.
“I don't want to talk any further about this. I can leave if you guys aren't leaving.” Rinloran seemed to have reached the end of his patience. His silhouette flashed away as soon as his voice fell, jumping on a tree branch in front of him, then he continuously leaped up the tree, leaving at flying speed.
“Worthy of the high-level elven bloodline teacher Carter talked about. What a strong balance and nimbleness, he's jumping so easily on this branch and on that twig, he jumps so far with every step. These branches are even shaking but he never falls, that's really awesome.” Ayrin looked at Rinloran's exceptionally lithe and graceful posture and gasped in admiration, “Really pretty, really beautiful.”
Rinloran's originally steady body suddenly quivered out of nowhere, almost falling headlong from a tree branch.
“He's giving you that attitude right out of the gate, that doesn't make you angry?”
Looking in the direction Rinloran's silhouette disappeared in, Moss couldn't help but gloomily ask Ayrin, “Why do I hear about you going angry at Rowan in the selection?”
“That's not the same. Rowan provoked me, Rinloran didn't provoke me.” Ayrin casually said, “Plus Rinloran is my friend, he was my friend back at the registration already.”
“You won't even get angry when someone you think is your friend treats you like this?”
“Heh heh... Looks like I won't, plus Rinloran must definitely have his reason for treating me like that.”
“...” Moss was once again struck speechless.
“What on earth is his reason for refusing to join the school team” Ayrin thought of Chris, thought of the weight of Chris' dream, and his expression became graver in spite of himself.
“I'll definitely think of a way to make him join the team. It's just that there's no time to make him participate in the first match tomorrow. I feel that he still wants to participate in the tournament.”
“...” Moss felt the urge to spit out blood. “After what he said, you're actually still saying he wants to participate in the tournament? Back when you were a kid, did water really leak inside your skull when you bathed?”
“Mm, I'll definitely think of a way to make him join the academy team!”
Ayrin firmly nodded, then he thought of something, and said to Moss, “Moss, you want to go together with our team tomorrow? I'll help you put in a good word with teacher Carter. You can see the match more clearly in the field rather than in the stands, it'll be more interesting, because the match is in St. Lauren's arena. They say it's because there are going to be too many people coming to watch the main qualifiers to fit inside our academy's arena.”
Moss breathed out, looked at Ayrin, and said in all seriousness, “At long last I got some benefit for being your friend, after putting up with your slow uptake and exotic opinions.”
When the scarlet red burning clouds covered the sky above Holy Dawn Academy, many students gathered in front of a public notice board standing outside the academy's great dining hall.
On it was pasted a war pamphlet written by who knew which Holy Dawn student.
“Comrades! Tomorrow is the day of our confrontation with Divine Shield Academy. Perhaps our school team's previous fighting achievements aren't glorious enough, perhaps our Holy Dawn Academy's team past record made you disappointed and discouraged. However! As an ordinary student of Holy Dawn Academy, I want to ask all of you, did you forget our match against team Southern Monsoon? Do you still remember, when we only had a single team member left, do you remember what price we had to pay in order to win the right to participate in this round? Did you forget our Holy Dawn Academy's history? We once again and again charged our way into the great national tournament, we even were vice-champion of the national tournament once. We almost lifted the supreme cup! None of the other academies in St. Lauren can boast of such a radiant past! I don't know what all of you are thinking, I don't know whether you've forgotten courage, but let me remind you, there's a group of people still fighting for the sake of our Holy Dawn Academy, no matter how strong our opponents are, even at the cost of their lives if necessary! What choice do we have? We have to remember bravery, we have to remember the honor and glory we once had, engrave our dignity in our minds. Tomorrow, if you still consider yourself a student of Holy Dawn Academy, then I invite you to join us in the Dragon-Battling Arena tomorrow and encourage our academy team with everything we have! Because they're fighting for our sake...”
“Who wrote this? Divine Shield Academy is so powerful, there's no way our school team is a match for them, you still want us to go encourage them? To have people laugh at us? Really an idiot.” A clear and loud jeer came from senior student carrying his lunchbox.
“Fellow student, it looks like we need to have a good talk with you.”
Many people around him circled him expressionlessly, walling him inside.
This senior student panicked all of a sudden. He noticed that almost everyone around was sending furious glares his way.
“No matter the past records of the school team, you deserve a lesson for calling the one who wrote this an idiot. Otherwise you might even forget you're from Holy Dawn Academy,” someone said.
Then they submerged this senior student.
He was tossed out very quickly, his face beaten black and blue, unable to even beg for mercy.
“We'll go to Dragon-Battling Arena and encourage them!”
“The weaker we are compared to the opponent, the harder we have to cheer for our school team!”
“Let's go together tomorrow!”
Voices like these gradually rang, then spread out, even shaking the entire Holy Dawn Academy like a stormy sea.
“Did Chris and Ayrin and Rogrid boost their fighting spirits?”
A few Holy Dawn teachers passing by sighed with emotion. “How great would it be if we could win a match, otherwise this flame will be extinguished even more miserably. Carter, everything's up to you guys now.”
“The match is tomorrow already... But the more I think about it, the harder it is to sleep because of I'm so excited...”
At night, Ayrin tossed and turned in his bed inside the dorm. Finally, he simply turned around and watched the starlight outside.
“Teacher Carter isn't letting Belo make an appearance yet, what's he doing now...”
“Old Ginns, what kind of guy are you...”
“Dragon-Battling Arena, what is it really like...”
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