Chapter 179 The Thing
Knock, knock, knock.
Shang opened his eyes. He had finished his routine training a couple of hours ago, and he had been concentrating on his Affinity ever since. He felt like he was close to achieving another breakthrough with his Affinity.
Shang stood up and walked to the door.
After opening it, Shang saw Vice-Dean Soran in front of him.
The hall was very dark, and Shang’s inner clock told him that it was about two hours before dawn.
“Follow me,” Vice-Dean Soran said with a solemn tone.
Then, Vice-Dean Soran walked over to the stairs.
After they arrived at the stairs, Vice-Dean Soran walked to an empty wall and put his emblem on it.
A complicated pattern appeared on the wall, and a second later, the wall parted.
Now, there was a set of stairs in front of Shang that led downward.
Apparently, the main building of the Warrior’s Academy also had a basement.
Shang followed Vice-Dean Soran into the underground, and the wall closed behind them. At the same time, several crystals on the wall began to shine.
Shang could feel Light Mana coming from them.
The two of them walked down the stairs for around a minute in silence before they arrived in front of another door.
“This is the place where the academy stores its most valuable wares,” Vice-Dean Soran said. “You are encouraged to keep this place a secret.”
Shang only nodded.
Vice-Dean Soran opened the door, and the two of them entered.
A dimly lit hallway was in front of Shang now with several old wooden doors at the side.
As soon as Shang entered the hallway, he felt like he had been submerged in a wave of Elemental Mana.
Surprisingly, the majority of the Elemental Mana was Darkness Mana.
‘I’ve already suspected that the academy also sells Darkness ore,’ Shang thought.
“Surprised?” Vice-Dean Soran asked.
“By what?” Shang asked.
“I know of your peculiar Affinity,” Vice-Dean Soran said. “Are you surprised that you can feel so much Darkness Mana?”
When Shang heard that Soran knew of his Affinity, he became a bit nervous.
Vice-Dean Soran wasn’t the biggest fan of Shang, and he knew it.
When Vice-Dean Soran saw Shang’s reaction, he sighed.
“You are still so mistrustful and skeptical,” Vice-Dean Soran said. “Did you know that if someone is very distrustful of everyone, chances are high that they also can’t be trusted? Deceptive people assume that everyone around them is deceptive since that is also what they think.”
Shang didn’t answer.
“If you were a good person, I would tell you that I have no reason to do anything to you and that I’m someone that errs on the side of belief.”
“Why would you err on the side of belief?” Shang asked with furrowed brows.
If Vice-Dean Soran were more inclined to believe someone than to disbelief them, wouldn’t he open himself to all kinds of deceptions?
“It’s called confidence, Shang,” Vice-Dean Soran said. “So what if someone lies to me or betrays me? I’m confident enough in myself that I know I can deal with all the consequences.”
“But I know that you and I do not have the same ideology, Shang,” Vice-Dean Soran said. “So, let me put you at ease with words that might resonate with your mindset.”
Shang only looked at Soran.
“You are not nearly worth it to betray my lifelong teacher and the Duke,” Vice-Dean Soran said. “Less nervous now?”
On one hand, Shang’s emotions were a bit riled up by the verbal attack, but on the other hand, Soran’s words had actually alleviated Shang’s nervousness.
Right, doing something to him was not even close to being worth it.
“Keep one thing in mind, Shang,” Vice-Dean Soran said. “If we were wildly chasing power, we wouldn’t have opened a school.”
“We?” Shang asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes, we,” Vice-Dean Soran answered as they walked down the hallway. “The Warrior’s Academy is barely 30 years old. I was already a Commander Stage warrior back then, and the Dean had already been my teacher for years.”
Shang was surprised when he heard how long Vice-Dean Soran had already been a Commander Stage warrior.
In the last year, Shang had learned about the extended longevity and increase in power brought.
Soldier Stage warriors lived as long as very healthy mortals.
General Stage warriors lived to be around 150 years old.
And Commander Stage warriors lived to be around 250 years old.
As for the True Path Stage?
That was an unknown. After all, the Dean was the first True Path Stage warrior.
Mages in each Realm generally lived for a couple of decades longer, but that was due to a multitude of methods to extend their lives. These ways simply weren’t applicable to warriors.
This was an additional difference between the foundation the warriors and Mages had.
However, Shang hadn’t known that Vice-Dean Soran had been the Dean’s student for that long.
After walking for a while, Vice-Dean Soran opened a seemingly random, old door at the side and entered.
Shang followed after Vice-Dean Soran.
When Shang saw the room, a cold, oppressive feeling washed over him.
There wasn’t much in the room. It essentially was only a rather large cell.
The only furniture of note was a table made of cold metal in the middle of the room with dried stains of blood on it.
It reminded Shang of an operating table.
In the corner, Shang saw a small, scaly mass. He couldn’t see the entire thing since it had its back turned to him.
What he could see was that the thing was around 30 centimeters wide and that its scales were pure black.
As soon as Shang saw it, he felt something familiar.
Just half a day ago, Shang had felt the same feeling.
It was the feeling Shang had felt just before he had seen the Ice Wyvern.
The thing in the corner felt dangerous to Shang, but he also felt like it was familiar, even though he had never seen that thing before.
When Shang saw the thing, the thing suddenly began to move, and it turned its head to Shang.
It was still alive!
Now, Shang could finally see its face.
There was no face!
Its head was simply the head of a worm with tons of teeth!
However, Shang felt like there was a black eye at the back of its throat, even though he couldn’t see it.
For a moment, Shang felt like he and the thing were the only two things in the room.
At the side, Soran’s eyebrows furrowed.
Then, the thing slowly stood up.
Its front legs looked similar to human arms, and it even had something that one could call hands. However, the fingers had extremely long claws, almost as long as the length of its arms.
The thing slowly started walking to Shang.
Subconsciously, Shang extended his arm towards the thing.
He had a desire to touch it.
Suddenly, the thing fell to the ground, unconscious.
As soon as the thing lost its consciousness, Shang’s mind returned to the present, and a cold shudder ran down his back.
‘What was that?! It’s almost like I was on autopilot!’ Shang thought as he took a deep breath.
Shang heard the familiar voice and looked to the side in surprise.
He hadn’t realized that there were more people in here. All his attention had been on the thing.
Including Shang, there were six people in the room.
Shang could see Vice-Dean Soran and the Dean standing beside two other people.
The person that had just spoken was beside the Dean.
He had long, green hair, and Wind Mana swirled around him like he was a whirlpool.
It was Duke Whirlwind.
And beside Duke Whirlwind?
“Who would have thought that I would see you outside our regular lessons?”
Mattheo only smiled in a kind manner as he spoke.
However, there was one more person.
In the corner of the room, Shang could also see Vice-Dean Ranos.
He was looking at Shang and the thing on the ground with furrowed brows.