Chapter 15: Trap
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
As soon as she heard Wuuth’s words, Fifth Cub sat up in a crouch with her head hanging down. She gave a “woo,” as if to ask, Really?
Wuuth responded, “Yes.”
Ning Chu was going outside the school to drive the beasts away, but Wuuth could clearly guess his real intention. Since Ning Chu was going, of course he had to go too. As for Little Five, Wuuth couldn’t leave her alone in the Academy.
Ning Chu was worried that Little Five wasn’t safe outside, but with him around, he would protect Little Five. It was just that… Wuuth didn’t want Ning Chu to know his other identity yet.
“Don’t make a sound, and don’t be discovered by him,” Wuuth told Fifth Cub, “And you can’t tell him about who I really am.”
Fifth Cub’s excitement and anticipation were diminished when the series of don’ts made her confused and she couldn’t get close to Ning Chu even if she met him after going out. However, between “staying in the dormitory and waiting for Ning Chu to come back” and “having a chance to meet Ning Chu”, she chose the latter.
Fifth Cub spread her short, fat limbs and climbed onto Wuuth’s arm, signaling that she was going. She tried to straighten her back, [I’ll do as I’m told].
Wuuth stroked her head, picked her up and put her into a large pocket on the inside of his jacket.
Ning Chu put on his mask, and put away the brooch representing the Academy for the time being. His clothes were bound to attract attention, and without any identification, people would only think that he was a member of a mercenary group.
Even if any of the Academy students recognized him as “Ning”, it wouldn’t matter. The sign at the entrance of Academy posted the daily movement of the clearings, and knowing that most of the mercenary group and Academy were in the north today, Ning Chu thought about it and headed to the east alone.
Third Cub didn’t want to be smothered in his clothes, so Ning Chu took off his jacket and put it under his arm, letting Third Cub lie inside and hide, revealing a pair of dark, round eyes through the gap in his clothes.
This was the first time Ning Chu had left the Academy since Enigma Forest was burned down.
Lance Academy was located in a remote location, and recently, because of the infestation of magical beasts, there were even fewer people around, and not even a single magical beast cart could be seen. Ning Chu walked along the road, but didn’t notice anything abnormal. There were a few single magical beasts that were too far to bump into him, before turning around and fleeing.
“Has this side been cleaned up?” Ning Chu looked around, but there was no news about it on the public sign, so he decided to look further ahead. There was no second person in the area, and Third Cub got out of his jacket and squatted on Ning Chu’s shoulder.
Just a little way out, Third Cub straightened his neck and looked in one direction, then quickly hid in his jacket, “Aowuu.”
There was a group of people approaching, and it was unclear who they were.
Third Cub told Ning Chu to hide as well, so Ning Chu didn’t hesitate and retreated to the back of the abandoned station, while Third Cub spat out dragon breath to cover both of them. It didn’t take long for the group to get near Ning Chu.
From Ning Chu’s point of view, he could see the clothing and attire of these people, and he thought that it looked somewhat familiar. It was only when he saw a red bird standing on one man’s shoulder that he remembered that these were people from the church. They wore uniform silver robes, and most of them held magic staffs in their hands.
Ning Chu quietly surveyed, but found a very unexpected figure in the middle of the crowd. He was wearing gray-blue clothing, with a sword at his waist, and was talking with someone from the church. When the man turned sideways and showed his profile, Ning Chu frowned.
Ning Chu would remember this face no matter how long it had been, since he was the one who had ordered the burning of Enigma Forest. That day he ordered his subordinates to continue setting fires and then left the forest early, otherwise he would have been among those who died under the flames of Third Cub.
Because he was so far away, Ning Chu couldn’t hear their conversation, and could only vaguely recognize the words “trap” and “magic dragon”.
Third Cub also recognized the man and almost rushed over to him, wanting to swallow him up with a mouthful of fire.
Ning Chu held him back and whispered, “No hurry, we’ll have a chance later.”
He didn’t know who those church people were, but they didn’t look like good guys, so he decided he better be careful. The group was in a hurry and quickly walked away.
Ning Chu came out from behind the platform with Third Cub in his arms and looked in the direction they had come from, “Let’s go over there.”
Further ahead was a small forest where Ning Chu began to encounter some high level beasts. They were hungry and starry-eyed, leering at Ning Chu, but when Third Cub in Ning Chu’s arms probed and released his magic dragon pressure, they turned away reluctantly with their tails between their legs.
Third Cub turned his head and twitched his snout in the direction of the grove, “Wu.”
There was the scent of dragons that way. He got out of Ning Chu’s arms and flew ahead to lead the way, while Ning Chu stepped on the fallen leaves and walked into the woods. When he arrived in the middle of the woods, he saw several common dragons, and they were circling around a rock, trying to get closer.
When they saw Third Cub appear, the dragons backed up and laid down on the grass with their heads hanging low. Ning Chu bought some raw meat from the mall and threw it to some common dragons, who, after they got Third Cub’s permission, ran to one corner with the meat in their mouths.
The trees here weren’t so dense, leaving a large section of grass, with some rocks scattered about. Ning Chu remembered the “trap” he heard earlier, and kept an eye out. He threw out a cloud of wood magic element, and a powerful burst of magical energy bursted out when the green ball of light touched the grass near the stone.
A silver net tightened instantly, and Ning Chu, who stood too close to back away, could react, someone quicker darted close enough to grab him by the arm, pulling him away.
Ning Chu didn’t even notice the presence of a living person, and Third Cub didn’t warn him either. The first thing he did was to protect his jacket, and his right hand touched the warm scales inside, confirming that Third Cub had taken cover.
Ning Chu then reassured, turned his head toward the visitor. Ning Chu, “…”
It was Wuuth.
His Dwarf Dragon was right behind him, roaring towards a few dragons not far away, and a few common dragons fled at the sound.
Wuuth let go of Ning Chu, a faint frown creasing his brow, “Be careful.”
Ning Chu took a half step back, raised his hand to touch the mask on his face and deliberately lowered his voice, “Thank you.”
Wuuth had a pin on his collar meaning he was also participating in the cleanup, and had just helped him… Did he recognize who he was? Ning Chu looked down at his outfit and the familiar mask on his face and thought the answer to this question was obvious.
Third Cub, who was hiding in his jacket, quietly peeked out, why did Wuuth come too? Then wouldn’t Little Five… Wait, Wuuth had Little Five’s scent on him!
Wuuth didn’t wait for Third Cub to get excited, and lowered his eyes towards the place where he was hiding, sweeping a faint glance at him.
Third Cub was immediately well-behaved. Since Wuuth didn’t want to tell Ning Chu his identity, even if he brought Little Five out, he probably didn’t want to reveal himself. Fifth Cub, hidden in Wuuth’s jacket, was equally excited, and she couldn’t resist trying to sneak a glance at Ning Chu, but just as her dragon’s horn emerged from his pocket, it was pushed back by Wuuth without a sound.
The atmosphere was stagnant for a moment, before Ning Chu coughed lightly, “You…”
Before the words were out of his mouth, someone approached from not far away. There were six of them, and because the trap was triggered too loudly just now, they were passing nearby and came to take a look.
Two of the six were wearing Lance Academy uniforms, while the rest were probably from the mercenary group. The man in the lead had a thick beard and was holding a heavy sword. It was Bly!
Ning Chu was surprised, but he was still wearing a mask, and there were others around, so Bly wouldn’t recognize him. The two Academy students, on the contrary, were more excited, and their eyes kept going back and forth between Wuuth and Ning Chu, “You guys are really teaming up!”
Ning Chu, “???”
His popularity in the arena was too high, and he was dressed like this, so it was normal to be recognized, but what was with their excited and rightful tone? Ning Chu couldn’t help but look at Wuuth, who stood quietly by the side and didn’t say anything in response.
Ning Chu swallowed the “no” he was about to say.
Bly approached, “Are you also students of Lance Academy? What was that noise?”
He looked behind Ning Chu. The tightened silver net was still in place, and there were magic elements occasionally flowing from it. If someone or a magical beast accidentally stepped on the net, it was extremely difficult to break free from it.
Bly went up to check it out and was amazed, “How can there be such a thing here?”
Such a large net was enough to capture four or five high-ranking magical beasts, or… was it to catch dragons? The silver net was triggered and there were no other traps around, so Ning Chu went under the net and moved the stones.
Several gray dragon eggs appeared in front of him. No wonder those ordinary dragons were trying to get over here just now, they had smelled the scent of dragon eggs.
The rest of the group gathered around and watched Ning Chu take the eggs out.
Bly looked around and asked, “Who put them here?”
Even the people of their former mercenary corps wouldn’t have used such tactics to capture the dragons, not to mention the fact that the cleanup was intended to drive away and move the beasts, not to trap them.
Ning Chu shook his head, “I don’t know, I just got here too, and I almost got caught in a trap.”
The two students heard Ning Chu’s voice for the first time, and hearing his gentle tone, they thought he was not as unapproachable as the rumors said, so they were tempted to talk to him, but didn’t dare to approach because Wuuth was standing next to him with a cold face.
Bly looked at the eggs one by one, making sure they were all intact, and he said, “Take these away first, hide them in a safe place where a herd of dragons can find them.”
His proposal was the most appropriate and there was no one to refute it. Bly told his men to collect the dragon eggs and planned to leave this place first. He looked to both Ning Chu and Wuuth, “Where are you going to go? Why don’t we go together if you’re going the same way?”
One of the students nodded in agreement, “When it’s over, we can go back to the Academy together.”
Naturally, he was speaking to Ning Chu. Wuuth was always alone, so it was pretty unusual for him to walk with Ning Chu. Ning Chu hesitated for a moment and nodded his head, “Okay.”
Since he had met him, he wanted to ask what was going on, and since Bly was there, he might be able to reveal his identity to him when the time was right. As for Wuuth, Ning Chu wasn’t teamed up with him, so he didn’t care about him.
The student who spoke turned his attention to Wuuth, who surprisingly agreed, nodding slightly, “Sure.”
Ning Chu couldn’t help but turn his head to look at him, but Wuuth’s profile was cold and indifferent, not revealing any emotion. He hugged his jacket tightly and didn’t say much. So the group left in pairs, the silver net still hanging in place, empty inside.
According to Bly and others, they received a request for help from a residential area, so they broke away from the group to take a look, and when they turned back, they changed directions and ran into Ning Chu.
On the way, Bly was interested in Wuuth’s contracted beast and asked, “Is it a sub-dragon? What’s its name?”
Wuuth wasn’t quite used to being this close to other people and having to answer these kinds of questions, so he frowned for a long time, “Grizzly.”
The Dwarf Dragon followed the group not too far behind, looking very obedient and docile. Bly sensed that Wuuth didn’t really want to talk, so he gave up his questioning. They went to a hill some distance away from the grove and placed the dragon’s eggs in the grass at the bottom of the hill.
The thick grass was as high as a man’s calf, so the dragon’s egg couldn’t be found without a deliberate search.
Just then, a student walked up to Ning Chu, “Ning, do you remember me? I challenged you once…”
Ning Chu tilted his head to look at him. This person did seem a bit familiar, as if he had indeed met him in the arena, but he forgot when it was. He nodded, “I remember.”
The student was excited to hear him say that and smiled shyly, “I lost too quickly that day, it was a bit embarrassing.”
He was at least in the top 20 of the leaderboard, but he was defeated by Ning Chu with fire, and retired in the dust.
Ning Chu was silent for a while and said comfortingly, “It’s okay, it’s just a match.”
His easy-going attitude gave the student more courage, and he couldn’t help but ask Ning Chu, “You’re a third year, right? Did you and Wuuth… Did you and Wuuth know each other before?”
Being a first year was impossible, except for Wuuth, there was no way there would be a second person with an innate skill that was that terrifying, and second years didn’t seem to have heard of anyone with a fire innate skill that was particularly outstanding.
Third year students were basically no longer involved in the arena, but there were exceptions. Ning Chu wasn’t sure how to answer him when Wuuth’s voice rang out from behind them, “Why do you ask so many questions?”
The student immediately shut up and got up to back away.
Wuuth didn’t come forward and just stood behind Ning Chu in silence after he said that.
Ning Chu suddenly had a strange feeling, as if Wuuth really knew him.
His gaze fell on Wuuth’s face through the mask. Wuuth looked at him for a moment, turned around and walked away with the Dwarf Dragon by his side.
Bly and the others hid the dragon eggs, and the small group of people continued to set out. There were more and more magical beasts along the road, both high and low ranking. Bly didn’t have a cage to catch them, so they mainly drove them away.
Ning Chu was a bit more talkative than Wuuth and soon became familiar with Bly in his new disguise. Bly was equally curious about him, “If they hadn’t recognized you, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you were a student. Why are you wearing this mask?”
Ning Chu raised his hand to touch his face and replied casually, “Because I’m ugly.”
Bly laughed, not taking it seriously and added, “You look a lot like another student I met once… He’s also from Lance Academy and his name is Hugh.”
Bly couldn’t say exactly what the resemblance was, except that they both had a similar temperament and tone of voice. Ning Chu was unfazed, “Hugh? Never heard of him.”
He noticed from the corner of his eyes that Wuuth seemed to glance at him from behind.
At noon, Bly arranged for the group to stop for a rest and lunch. He was well prepared, carrying a lot of dry and canned food with him, packing several students’ rations together.
When he gave Ning Chu the canned food, Ning Chu waved his hand, “I’m not hungry…”
Bly was very insistent, “You can go over there to eat alone, so we can’t see your face.”
Ning Chu had no choice but to accept, “Thanks.”
Third Cub was also hungry, so he could take this chance to feed Third Cub some food as well.
Ning Chu took the dry food and canned food and walked some distance by himself, then made sure no one was nearby, before taking off his mask.
Third Cub climbed out of his clothes. He had been feeling stuffy for a long time and finally got some air. Ning Chu bought rabbit meat from the mall and put it on a clean stone. He opened the dry food and took a bite, “I wonder if Little Five has eaten properly.”
Third Cub, who was gnawing on the rabbit meat, paused, then lowered his head and continued to gnaw. The rabbit was quickly destroyed by Third Cub alone, and Ning Chu wiped his paws and mouth, before tucking him back under his clothes. He put on his mask and took a few steps forward, then suddenly stopped where he was.
Ning Chu’s eyes were sharp and he saw a dragon’s tail showing in the distance, so he quickly approached, and it turned out it was Wuuth and his Dwarf Dragon. When Wuuth was spotted by Ning Chu, he didn’t hide, but looked up at him.
Ning Chu asked coldly, “What are you doing following me?”
Wuuth heard him speak in such a tone for the first time, so he frowned slightly and didn’t reply.
Ning Chu had just gone to eat, and he was worried that the two students would come over and peek, so he stood guard. Seeing that Wuuth didn’t answer, Ning Chu seemed to ease his attitude a little and asked him again, “Do you… know who I am?”
Wuuth couldn’t figure out Ning Chu’s purpose for asking, but he wasn’t good at lying and opened his lips, “Hugh.”
He knew that if he paid too much attention to Ning Chu while in human form, he would definitely be noticed by him, so he used this to cover up his other identity.
Ning Chu took off his mask and his eyes widened, “How did you know?”
Wuuth wouldn’t answer anymore, as he silently leaned against the tree trunk without speaking. He still had his usual expressionless look, but Ning Chu felt that his aura was no longer cold. Ning Chu put his mask back on and lowered his voice, “Forget it… Don’t tell anyone.”
Wuuth watched him move and suddenly took the initiative to ask, “Why did you say you were ugly?”
There was a faint change in his expression, as if… he was really confused about this matter.
“…” Ning Chu hugged his jacket tightly, “No reason, I was just joking.”
With that he turned away and headed back in the direction of the group of Bly and the others.
Wuuth was still leaning against the trunk of the tree, returning to his usual aloofness and stoicness. He looked down and gently pulled back his jacket, holding a few oat grass stalks in his raised right hand. Fifth Cub poked her head out of his pocket and opened her mouth to bite into the oat grass.