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Chapter 321: Increasing the Gap
Somewhere atop the valley floor of Fallen Shadow Valley, two teams of the Doa Kingdom faced each other in a standstill.
Two fallen Evil Dragon Followers lay on the ground between them, right in the middle. In the hands of one of the Evil Dragon Followers was a tooth shaped yellow gemstone.
But right at this moment, the members of both teams widened their eyes in surprise.
"Are those two not Ayrin and Rinloran from Holy Dawn Academy? And Stingham?"
"It is them! I've saw them at the tournament in Eichemalar. They… are running over from the direction of the Abyss of Evil? Could it be that they entered the Abyss of Evil with their strength?"
Indeed, Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham's swiftly moving figures had abruptly appeared before them.
"What are those three youths doing?"
"Why are they running so hard, even out here?"
"Aren't these three fellows' expressions a little too overexaggerated?"
"This group of youths were the most erratic and quirky bunch within the entire national tournament. Who knows why they have come here, and why they are running like their lives are on the line. Right now, they would be able to gain a lot of things, even if they just slowly searched the corpses."
The two teams of arcane masters couldn't contain their laughter.
Although Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham were quite a distance away from the two teams of arcane masters, their abnormally painful expressions could still be clearly seen.
Expressions which were so unrestrained that they could be considered hideous.
Their bodies were drenched with sweat, and their muscles were clearly cramping from overuse. They had obviously been running for a long time, yet there was not a powerful person or monster chasing after them.
The battle within Fallen Shadow Valley had ended in their victory, and the remaining living Evil Dragon Followers had long since lost all morale and were focused on trying to escape. There couldn't possibly be a powerful Evil Dragon Follower chasing them in the first place.
They had already run themselves into such a state, yet they were still running.
Were they sick?
Both teams thought the three youths were simply too comical.
But when they looked back towards the Evil Dragon Followers between them, all their expressions changed as they erupted into commotion. They began exchanging murderous glares with each other.
"Where's the Storm Fang?!"
"What happened to the Storm Fang that the Evil Dragon Follower was holding onto?!"
"Just now, I thought that we had agreed on deciding who the Storm Fang went to through fair compet.i.tion. I can't believe you guys decided to steal the Storm Fang while we were looking elsewhere!"
"What nonsense are you spouting? Clearly you guys are the ones who stole the Storm Fang! How can you blame us?! Are you all really so shameless?"
"You! It was clearly you guys!"
"What do you mean? Not a single one of us moved!"
"It seems like we must beat you guys up then…"
"Teacher Liszt, you deviant. Worry not, just like Teacher Houston, I have written your name down in my little book!" Stingham screamed, his face contorting from the various emotions flowing through him. Tears and snot dripped down his face, "My girlfriend isn't here anymore either. Just how is she doing?"
"Idiot! Lotton and Teacher Minlur are there with her, just how could anything happen to your girlfriend?!" Rinloran swore as he ran alongside Stingham.
By this point, they had basically swept through all the places where they could reach at least once. They had lost count of how many roads they had taken, and how many times they had pa.s.sed through each spot. Their muscles, which were originally sore and burning, were now twitching uncontrollably and in pain as if they had been p.r.i.c.ked with needles.
Every single step caused countless fine stabbing pains to course through their bodies.
These pains combined and powerfully stabbed their minds.
Rinloran felt a perpetual numbness in his scalp and as if his hair was all standing up on his head, but in reality, his hair was drenched in sweat and tightly wound around him like a wet blanket.
In his mind, countless voices continuously told him to give up and stop, but the sound of Ayrin and Stingham's footsteps and their heavy breathing renewed his willpower kept him from doing so.
Every time the arcane energy of the Poisonflame Emperor Egg seemed to be on the verge of being completely exhausted, it would squeeze out a little more energy from within his body, forcing him to continue his struggle.
Naturally, Stingham was in the same condition Rinloran was in. However, for some hateful reason, the poison within him continued to attack his body as if it was not disappearing anytime soon.
"I give up! I can't endure it any longer! Rinloran, how can you still be holding on?!" Stingham abruptly shouted, his face scrunching up as tears and snot covered it once more.
"Idiot, I advise you to talk less and save some energy. You have already said the same thing more than three hundred times!" Rinloran reb.u.t.ted. His voice turned cold as he continued, "If you can't continue, then just stop, and we'll come back to collect your corpse when we are finished."
"Rinloran you inhumane person!" Stingham shouted. Afterwards, as he saw the absent-minded Ayrin pa.s.s by him, he cried out, "Ayrin, just what are you muttering to yourself?!"
As if awakened by Stingham's shouting, Ayrin regained his focus as he replied, "There's nothing for me to do, so I am taking this time to learn some skills."
"What?! Ayrin, you are too abnormal. Even when we are like this, you can still ponder over skills?!" Stingham wailed upon hearing Ayrin's response.
"By focusing my entire mind on this one thing, I forget about the pain," Ayrin responded. His body was twitching just like Stingham and Rinloran. He enthusiastically continued, "Just now, I seemed to have managed to understand Abel Academy's 'Domain of Silence' and 'Draconic a.s.similation' skills. I should be able to succeed if I ever use them."
"……" Stingham greatly wanted to point at Ayrin and call him abnormal once more, but he found that he couldn't budge his arm, which was currently robotically swinging back and forth. He felt like any other movement would cause him a pain which would send him over the edge.
"Ayrin, you actually managed to master two skills while suffering from such pain. I will definitely endure it! I cannot fall behind you!" Rinloran grit his teeth as Ayrin's words reignited his fighting spirit.
"Oh, it seems to have gotten heavier again. Just what did you grab this time?"
Ayrin's gaze descended towards his chest pocket, which was practically bulging out of its seams.
The physical burden Ayrin experienced was, in fact, much greater than both Rinloran and Stingham.
As the three of them traversed the Abyss of Evil and across Fallen Shadow Valley, the pouch around the little yellow dragon's neck had grown incredibly. They had no idea just how many valuable items the dragon had stuffed into it.
After all, none of them, including Ayrin, had any extra energy to flip through it.
The only certainty was that the weight of the pouch had now surpa.s.sed the weight of the dragon itself.
Ayrin was practically running with weights.
And just like how the last straw can crush a camel's back, this last item stolen by the dragon, although small and insignificant compared to the entire pouch, caused Ayrin to feel an immense rise in pressure. "I must continue to endure…" he roared in his mind.
By this time, the pain they had to endure became even greater.
Every step Rinloran and Stingham took made them feel as if their bodies were being pierced by countless burning hot needles.
Ayrin was also no longer able to distract himself from the pain by thinking about skills.
"Is there another way that I can distract myself?"
Charlotte's image abruptly emerged within Ayrin's mind.
In his mind, Ayrin began to replay the scene in Eichemalar when they went their separate ways - when Charlotte had kissed him farewell.
The sugary feelings he felt at the time spread throughout his entire body as the pain quickly receded.
"I must endure, I will definitely endure…"
Other scenes containing him and Charlotte flooded into his mind as he began to imagine the scene of their reunion at the place where Charlotte and the others were stationed.
"To not leave behind any regrets…"
Immersed in his beautiful dream, Ayrin slowly muttered to himself.
"Ayrin, what are you saying?" Stingham asked.
In Ayrin's mind, he was currently replaying the scene in the plaza before the Eichemalar's Sacred Tower. He was currently facing a flushed Charlotte. His twitching mouth turned upwards into a radiant smile as he shouted, "I too… I have loved you since the time I first saw you atop that wall!"
"What are you saying?!" Stingham cried out in shock. Gooseb.u.mps erupted atop his skin as he seemingly forgot about the pain plaguing him.
"I sincerely love you! I have loved you since I saw you descend from the wall like a G.o.ddess at Divine s.h.i.+eld Academy," Ayrin shouted once more, still lost in his dream and oblivious to what was going on around him.
"Are you nuts?!"
Stingham's entire body began to tremble as he inexplicably felt reenergized and took several quick steps forward, opening up some distance between Ayrin and himself. "Ayrin, you abnormal pervert, you actually love men! But when did I ever descend from the walls of Divine s.h.i.+eld Academy? Why are you saying this to me?!"
Thud! Thud! Thud!
As night fell across Fallen Shadow Valley, three swiftly moving figures abruptly stopped and collapsed to the ground.
Soon after, another figure, this one large and rough, appeared not far behind them.
"Liszt was not wrong. These three youths truly managed to endure through it and succeed."
The latecomer clenched his fists as he exclaimed, "Now, they should be able to open quite a gap between themselves and those other teams within the national tournament…"