Chapter 13: Hatching
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
For one week, Ning Chu spent the day in the dormitory with the little cubs and went to the arena to earn money, so his days were very eventful. He just didn’t go to class. Ning Chu had his head down at the moment, standing in his teacher’s office listening to the lecture.
His instructor was named Clark, a female instructor with long curly red-brown hair, and Ning Chu had met her once, in a practical class. She was sitting across from Ning Chu, looking through the class record book in her hand.
Since the beginning of the month, Ning Chu had only been to two theory classes and one practical class. Clark closed the log book, “You don’t want to take the class and you don’t want the credit? Do you still want to graduate?”
Ning Chu put his hands behind his back and looked like a good child, “Yes… I’m sorry, teacher, I’ll definitely attend class on time from now on.”
He was quick to admit his mistake, and he didn’t look like someone who spent all day fooling around outside, so Clark’s face eased a little, “Good.”
She paused and said, “Your innate skill isn’t a reason to not practice diligently. Don’t slack off. If you encounter difficulties, you can come to me at any time.”
Ning Chu nodded in response, “Alright.”
There were other instructors in the office, and someone casually asked, “Why hasn’t Wuuth come to class lately? Didn’t he come back with instructor Josh?”
Hearing someone call out to him, Josh straightened his back, stroking his white beard and coughing a few times, “That brat, I don’t know where he’s gone again.”
Ning Chu couldn’t help but glance over, Clark curled her fingers and tapped them on the table, “What are you looking at? You don’t have any credits, so you’re not going to graduate.”
After a few more words of caution from Clark, Ning Chu left the office.
The school schedule was basically in the morning, and Ning Chu didn’t go to the arena until 7 PM. There was no real conflict. He just simply didn’t want to go… The magic department majored in magic, and the theory classes were all things Ning Chu didn’t understand, and the practical classes were of no use to him, as he couldn’t feel his water and wood magic elements.
Third Cub’s fire magic wasn’t Ning Chu’s innate skill, and it was impossible for him to use it in front of others. If he didn’t go to class, he wouldn’t get any credits, and he wouldn’t have enough to graduate. Ning Chu didn’t care about that, he just wanted to earn money. But remembering Clark’s instructions and concern for him, Ning Chu was silently torn, and as he had promised in the office, he would attend class properly.
When he returned to the dormitory, Bowen pulled back the bed curtain and probed, “Was Clark mean to you?”
Ning Chu sat on the edge of the bed, “No, she wasn’t… I was just told not to skip class anymore.”
“You can’t skip class every day,” Bowen lay back down when he saw nothing was wrong with him, his voice cutting through the thick curtain. “But Clark’s the only one who’s looking for you, other instructors don’t care about us…”
It was nap time, so Ning Chu laid down on the bed and pulled the curtain back, reaching out to take Third Cub, who was tugging at the corner of his shirt, into his arms, “We’re going to class tomorrow…”
He was also talking to the two little dragon cubs, and the little black dragon was lying on the edge of the pillow, turning his head to look over. Ning Chu rolled over and asked Bowen out loud, “Do you know… why Wuuth hasn’t been to class lately?”
Bowen, a big fan of Wuuth’s, sniffed again, “I heard about it, something seems to be up? He hasn’t been at school for the past few days.”
The little black dragon’s tail twitched and he got up and slowly approached, looking down at Ning Chu who was lying on the pillow. Ning Chu pressed him into his arms and whispered to himself, “Strange…”
Ever since Wuuth had admitted defeat in the arena that day, Ning Chu had felt that something was wrong, but couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was.
Bowen remembered something else and pulled the curtain for the third time, “Oh yeah, Wuuth was drawn for tonight’s match, so he should return.” Ning Chu also came out and Bowen said, “Want to join us tonight? Bet money?”
“I’m not sure I’m free tonight, we’ll see…” Ning Chu asked casually, “Who’s he against?”
“I think it’s a second year, I don’t know him,” Bowen was still grumbling about the last time, clutching the corner of the quilt, “He won’t admit defeat this time, will he?”
Ning Chu smiled dryly, “I guess he had some difficulties last time…”
Bowen shook his head and lay back down to continue his nap, “They say every day that Wuuth and Ning have an affair, and I almost believe it!”
Especially since Wuuth went to the arena last week to watch Ning fight all night and Ning ended up waving at him from the arena. The sound of the voice cast through the curtain of the bed clearly reached Ning Chu. Ning Chu’s mouth corner twitched, as he rolled over and whispered, “What affair…”
The little black dragon broke away from Ning Chu’s arms and went back to the corner to lie down alone, but after a while he couldn’t resist coming back to Ning Chu.
Ning Chu was dazed and fell fast asleep, glimpsed the tiny black shadow leaning over, subconsciously raised his hand and scratched the little dragon cub’s chin like a cat’s.
This was completely different from the previous game character’s rigid interaction, with the neatly trimmed round nails gently scraping his scales, the little black dragon almost couldn’t hold his purr in. He tilted his head and buried it in Ning Chu palm, and involuntarily issued a slight “purring” sound from his throat.
Third Cub looked very envious and wanted to come over to let Ning Chu pet him too, but as soon as he got close, he was stared at by the little black dragon’s dark red eyes and lay back again in silence. Once Ning Chu was completely asleep, the little black dragon found a suitable position on the side of his neck to lie down.
Near 7 o’clock in the evening, Ning Chu went to the arena, and not long after, Wuuth’s figure appeared in the empty dormitory. Dressed in his usual black clothes, he instructed Third Cub to guard the dragon egg and pushed the door straight out.
Occasionally, students from other dormitories passed by in the hallway and were surprised to see Wuuth suddenly appear in this dormitory building. When Wuuth arrived at the arena alone, the battle in the arena hadn’t been going on for long. When people around him saw him coming, they made way for him.
Ning Chu’s opponent in the first match of the day was an innate skill student in the wood department, who was powerless against the fire in Ning Chu’s hands. The battle was over quickly and ended predictably, but at the last minute, the person on the other side of the table took advantage of Ning Chu’s defencelessness and condensed a long, thin green magic element into a solid form and attacked Ning Chu’s face with the intention of knocking off his mask.
Ning Chu was waiting for him to concede defeat, so he didn’t expect him to do so and dodged. The mask slipped down a bit, revealing a bit of white forehead, but Ning Chu held it down in time and put it back on.
Outside the venue was instantly boisterous, followed by a long sigh of disappointment.
They thought they would see the face of this mysterious newcomer today…
Wuuth was still standing in front of the railing when someone quietly glanced sideways and saw that his face was really black and his eyes were coldly looking at the wood department innate skill student.
Ning Chu then retired from the ring and went backstage to have Donald reinforce his mask a bit more. Ning Chu also won the second match, and Wuuth was up next.
Ning Chu put away his round shield and looked out to the ring, and Wuuth was no longer there. He noticed as soon as Wuuth arrived that his opponent was the same as last time, a silent spectator who left after the match.
Ning Chu withdrew his eyes as he retired to change back into his school uniform and walked around from backstage to the outside. Ning Chu squeezed into the round table and dropped 30 gold coins into Wuuth’s box. He looked around the crowd and didn’t see Bowen, so he found a seat alone near the viewing table.
The third game had a short interval and both sides entered quickly.
It wasn’t until the battle began that Ning Chu noticed that Wuuth hadn’t released his contracted beast. But even without his contracted beast, Wuuth was still not to be underestimated, and won the match with absolute crushing power. After the match was over, Wuuth raised his head and looked towards Ning Chu’s direction.
Ning Chu froze for a moment and hurriedly backed up and hid in the crowd to avoid his sight. There were a lot of people in this direction, and they were far away… so Ning Chu reassured himself that it was just a coincidence.
Since his involvement in the arena, no one knew he was Ning except Donald and a few of his inner circle subordinates. Donald had assured him with contractual righteousness, so it was highly unlikely he revealed it to anyone else.
Ning Chu thought back carefully and confirmed that he shouldn’t have revealed anything. Even Bowen, who shared a dormitory with him, didn’t know about it. So how could Wuuth know? After he mulled it over, he felt a little relieved and took the money he won from his bets and left.
When he returned to the dormitory, the dragon egg was taken out of the box by Third Cub, who flattened his limbs to reveal his softest belly and let the dragon’s egg press against him.
Ning Chu picked up the dragon egg, “What are you doing?”
Third Cub got up with a start, scratching his neck nervously.
Ning Chu looked around and frowned, “Where’s Cubbie?”
There was no sign of the little black dragon in the bed, so Ning Chu searched around and put the dragon egg away, locking it up first. As soon as he got up, he saw the little black dragon flying in from the balcony.
Ning Chu breathed a sigh of relief and spoke in a serious tone, “Where did you go?” However, his expression couldn’t be tense for long, and he opened his arms to hug the little black dragon, “Don’t run around, it’s dangerous if someone finds out.”
Third Cub could freely switch between adult and juvenile forms, so Cubbie should be able to do the same. Ning Chu wasn’t worried about his strength, only that someone would find out that magic dragons were in the Academy.
If they were forced to leave, where would he go? Especially since Cubbie couldn’t sign a contract with him. The little black dragon looked at Ning Chu intently, and when he didn’t seem like he suspected anything, he lowered his head and gave him a gentle nudge on the back of his hand, then broke free and flew to the corner of the bed to lie down.
The next morning, Ning Chu woke up on time, found the book he needed for today’s theory class and prepared to go to class.
Bowen washed his face and came over to see Ning Chu getting his books, “Oh yeah, today’s theory class is a practical class, I forgot to tell you yesterday.”
Ning Chu reacted, “Oh,” and put down his textbook.
Ning Chu took his magic staff, which he hadn’t touched in a long time, and went to the designated open space. He had skipped several classes in a row, and no one in the class noticed him, and the few glances that did pass over him were quickly withdrawn.
Clark appeared on the bell and announced the start of class.
Today, while learning a new spell, Ning Chu stood in the last row, holding up his magic staff and reciting with everyone.
There were some who had high innate skill, and after their first recitation, the spell worked. Since the spell was a wood and water one, blue or green magic elements appeared one after another.
It wasn’t until even Bowen beside Ning Chu successfully cast the magic, that Ning Chu began to suspect that the magic staff in his hand was just an ordinary stick.
Clark walked over to Ning Chu and listened to him finish the spell completely and without the slightest error, frowning very lightly.
“Keep practicing.” She whispered, patted Ning Chu’s shoulder, and then went to see the results of the other students’ practice.
Ning Chu, a ‘poor student,’ was receiving special attention from Clark, drawing the attention of many students nearby.
Someone scornfully said, “How in the world did you get into the magic department? You don’t look like you have a prominent family…”
Ning Chu put down his magic staff, rubbed his slightly sore wrist, and looked over with little expression on his face, “Do you believe I can beat you down without magic?”
His temperament wasn’t what it used to be, although he still had the same harmless face, the student who spoke was scandalized and turned his head away sarcastically, muttering in a low voice, “You can’t even learn such simple magic, what’s the point of bluffing…”
Halfway through the lesson, Clark asked everyone to stop for a moment.
“Everyone has heard the news of the destruction of Enigma Forest,” Clark looked around at the crowd and continued, “The magical beasts in the forest have nowhere to go and are roaming not far from Academy, along with a number of dragon swarms.” Clark’s face was grave, “The church and the mercenary corps are limited in numbers and cannot drive them all away, so everyone should try to stay away from school and be safe.”
The students responded while turning their heads and whispering to each other. Lance Academy wasn’t far from the forest, if the beasts and dragons weren’t controlled, sooner or later they would spread over.
Clark added, “Those who are able and willing can sign up to participate in the outer beast cleanup for academic credit.”
The Academy had sent out the notice last night, and Ning Chu hadn’t paid attention to the bulletin board, but as he listened to the conversations of the students around him, he got a general idea of what was going on. Enigma Forest was destroyed, and the beasts in it couldn’t find a new hiding place nearby, and had started to break into the residential area, especially the dragons, which were more destructive, and ordinary people had no ability to resist them.
The church came with too few people, so even if all the mercenary corps were sent out, they couldn’t control the situation as fast as possible.
The greatest worry was that the Scarlet Flame Dragon would come back.
As one of the Academies around Enigma Forest, the school posted a notice for willing students to participate in the Beast Cleanup. The students may be inexperienced, but they could team up with each other, along with people from the mercenary corps, to help out a little. If they didn’t, the Academy would suffer sooner or later if the herd spread over.
Ning Chu was a little bit excited, not only because of the credits, but also because of the dragon herd outside. With Cubbie and Third Cub by his side, he had no trouble driving the dragons away, and more importantly, he could do it without hurting them. It was better to lead them to a new shelter further out than to be captured by the mercenaries.
But if he wanted to participate, Hugh’s identity was definitely not enough, using the arena’s “Ning”… he would have to wear a mask when he went out? And how would he explain that to Clark?
Ning Chu had a headache and was still thinking about it all the way back to the dorm.
Bowen had gone to the library with the other students, and Ning Chu pushed open the door alone, when Third Cub flew over and grabbed his sleeve, pulling him towards his bed.
“What’s wrong?” Ning Chu pulled back the curtain of the bed and Cubbie went inside, he could see a dark green dragon egg in the center of the bed.
“Did you take her out again?” Ning Chu squeezed Third Cub’s claw and was about to put the dragon egg back. But then, he heard a faint crack.
The top of the dragon egg cracked open, revealing a thin slit.