Chapter 253: The Truth
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
It was exceptionally sunny in Alanna on this day.
Lin Li woke up early in the morning. He took the little Dragonhawk out for breakfast as usual and spent some time at Buck's store on his way back. He chatted with Buck, who was going to leave Alanna soon. It was not until the streets began bustling that Lin Li made his way back to the Guild of Magic.
It was a special day for the Alanna Guild of Magic. The mages from the 24 Guilds of Magic would be ending their two-and-half months long trial on this day.
In order to bring the finals to a successful end, the entire guild had been hard at work since early morning. Aldwin went to the Aurora Square first thing in the morning. He set up four mageweaths of the mastery level to ensure that there'd be no unnecessary casualties in the finals. Of course, he had the help of Darian, who was second in inscription only to Aldwin in the entire Alanna Guild of Magic. Setting up four mageweaths was a complex and huge undertaking, and Aldwin definitely couldn't have done it alone.
Even Macklin got up early on this day. He rarely dressed formally, but at present he looked just like a respectable elder, wearing the Robe of the Void and holding the maroon staff in his hand.
Granted—he looked like a respectable elder only when he wasn't telling anyone off.
Lin Li walked all the way back to the dormitory. Just as he was walking to the stairs, he heard a string of curses.
“Get up, get up at once. F*ck, look at the time now. You guys are still sleeping? Are you humans or pigs?”
Macklin's voice was like the roar of a magical beast. Not to mention Mason and Orrin getting stirred from their slumber, even Kevin, who was in the adjacent dorm, quietly poked his head out of the door to see what was going on with a sleepy face.
Mason rubbed his eyes, bewildered. “What…”
“d.a.m.n it, you ARE a pig. Look at the time. You still have the guts to ask me 'what'? Open the windows and take a good look. The sun has long been up. You'd better get yourselves ready. Surely you don't think that the finals won't commence without you, Master Mason?” After Macklin was done las.h.i.+ng out at Mason, he turned to look at the sickly Orrin. “And you. Don't think you can sleep in just because you're not partic.i.p.ating in the finals. Go wash up, and keep your spirits up. Don't let Gryffindor, that little b.a.s.t.a.r.d, see you look like a joke!”
This old fogey… Lin Li stood at the stairwell, watching Macklin's crude manners from a distance. He gave a suppressed laugh. The old fellow was born to offend people with his words indeed. He had actually meant it well, but the words that came from his mouth couldn't sound any nastier.
How could Lin Li not know Orrin's character after having lived together for the past two months? He was prideful and introverted, and kept everything in his heart. He wouldn't even confide in Lin Li, who was the closest to him. After being wounded by Gryffindor, Orrin seemed to have changed little, but those who knew him well knew that the proud genius mage had been depressed a lot.
Fortunately, Macklin managed to divert his attention. Although his words were vulgar, they worked quite well. After hearing the old man's words, Orrin's eyes seemed to liven up. He nodded silently and went back to his room to tidy up his things.
Kevin stuck his head out of the room and called out lightly, “Felic…”
“Kevin. What's the matter?”
“Are you going back to Jarrosus after the finals?”
“I'm afraid not…” Lin Li pondered, and there was some hesitation on his face. “I've promised Andoine to go somewhere with him. It might take a few days.”
“Oh, I see…” Kevin didn't say much, but the disappointment was apparent on his face.
“Why? Do you have something to tell me?”
“N-nothing…” Kevin hesitated, and continued, “I'm just worried about Emerald Tower. Both of us aren't around. I'm afraid the Emerald Tower will be in danger if the Shadow's Nest decided to make a move…”
“Don't worry about the Shadow's Nest. If my guess is correct, they won't be making any moves for the time being. Moreover, your uncle is still there.”
Kevin knew he had said something wrong the moment he opened his mouth.
He wanted to change the topic, but it was too late. Lin Li's eyes were fixed on Kevin as he asked in a solemn voice, “What about Gerian?”
“Really… it's really nothing.” Kevin wanted to a.s.sure Lin Li with a smile, but the one that he barely managed to squeeze out was uglier than a frown.
“Spill it. Don't be so hard on yourself…” Lin Li shook his head resignedly. An honest person like Kevin just couldn't lie. He'd start stammering once he was nervous, and all his emotions were written on his face. He couldn't even lie to himself, let alone lie to someone else.
“I can't, Felic. Uncle Gerian has given me a death order. I mustn't say.”
“Are you going to speak or not?” Lin Li glared menacingly at him.
Lin Li had established his reputation in the months spent at Jarrosus Guild of Magic. Even those mages who had doubts about him had to admit that it was because of this young man that the Emerald Tower had its place this day. Kevin, who was among the first few people to come to know Lin Li, wors.h.i.+ped him absolutely. For a moment, Kevin became nervous at the sight of Lin Li's rage.
He swallowed his saliva with difficulty, and said in a hoa.r.s.e voice, “Uncle Gerian won't let me talk, but I think you should know about this. Uncle Gerian was badly injured when the Shadow's Nest attacked the Demon Fall Valley the last time. He had released a level-18 spell to allow for the guild's mages to escape. You should go back to see him after you finish the trial…”
“You told me you had a friend whose mana collapsed. You were talking about Gerian?” Lin Li kept his stare on Kevin. He found it hard to believe that the fat old man, who was always energetic and swearing, would be lying in bed at present!
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The roles a bottle of potion could play in a battle between two mages could not be covered in one word or two.
It was no doubt a huge gamble this time, but Hoffman was never worried that he'd lose. He was too confident in that young mage called Felic.
Of course, Herza would never understand this.
He watched as the young apprentices entered the Aurora Square, trying to discern which of them the Glittergold Trade Union had their eyes on.
Mason looked at the thousands of spectators on the grandstand and was trembling all over. He was waving ostentatiously at them while saying, “Felic, I'm feeling very nervous…”
Macklin walked past them just then, and he sniffed at Mason's words. “What's there to be nervous about? You'll be out in the first round, anyway. If you have the time to be nervous, why not use it to think about how to lose decently…”
“…” Mason tried hard to suppress his displeasure. After Macklin left, Mason muttered through clenched teeth, “I won't lose. I'll advance to the second round and drive you up the wall, you old b.a.s.t.a.r.d…”
While Mason was muttering away, Aldwin stood up from the VIP area. The old man seemed to have some sort of charisma; the whole place quieted down as soon as he stood up. Aldwin's voice wasn't loud, but it was just enough for everyone to hear him. “… The two-months trial will end today. We'll be witnessing the birth of the strongest trial apprentice soon…”
After Aldwin's simple opening remarks, it was Herza who announced the rules.
The rules were not complicated. It'd be a one-on-one elimination—the winner of each round would advance to the next, and the loser would pack up and leave. It was straightforward yet cruel. The ruling of victory was also clear at a glance. Being forced out of the battle area, or voluntarily admitting defeat, would be considered a loss; being hit by a spell beyond level-10 would also be considered a defeat.
They decided the table of matches after the announcement of the rules. Lin Li was neither lucky nor unlucky; he drew a level-12 Magic Shooter as his first opponent. On the contrary, Mason was in luck. After taking a look at the table, he realized that he was up against a level-eight mage who had joined the three of them in completing the task in Shadowglen.
Oh, he was a level-nine mage now.
But this wasn't much of a difference to Mason. Whether it was level-eight or level-nine, the mage wasn't his opponent. Mason was a level-11 Magic Shooter; if he couldn't even take down a level-nine mage, he'd be better off selling beancurd skin instead.
“Hahahaha. Let's see who still dares say I can't pa.s.s the first round!” Mason chuckled smugly, and looked at Macklin with a challenging expression.
“Beware of ending up in the ditch…” Macklin pursed his lips and cursed viciously.
“Knock on wood!”
“Take a seat first. I'm going up.” Lin Li stood up as the two men were still bickering. His match with the level-12 Magic Shooter was the first one up.
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