"Thwack!" A huge noise exploded in Chris's cabin.
Chris had been tossed onto the wall opposite to the bed, which he was making for his sister. He bounced off the wall on the floor heavily, producing another loud thump.
"Eh? So weak?" A man put one foot on Chris's chest and snorted.
Seconds later, Chris shook off the man's foot and got up on his feet with a stagger. He then glared at the attacker.
The man in front of Chris was huge, at least seven feet tall, and his face was deformed in some way. The giant was staring at Chris foolishly, wondering why Chris was not able to fight back.
Nina tucked up her skirt, and hurried to support her brother with both hands.
"Hah! Andrew, my man, not everyone is endowed with the strength as impressive as yours, eh?" The boy who had been beaten up by Chris buttered up the big man and then threw a ferocious look at Chris.
Glenn who had come for help stood trembling in shock at this sudden brutal attack. A voice deep within his heart was growling:
"Why are you not in a zoo or something, you large chunk of meat? Have you been raised eating growth hormone?"
"It's not over yet!" A high-pitched voice broke the temporary silence.
A man bored his way through the spectators and came to the swollen-eyed boy. His beady eyes were darting around quickly. "Barry, look at this guy's sister. Isn't she amazing? Why not do her--"
"F*ck off, you bastard!" Chris snarled furiously at the man who had made the nasty suggestion. He then adopted a combative stance as he pulled his sister behind him.
Chris received another mighty punch from Andrew, the large man, which sent him into the air. He struggled to stand up, and pressed one hand on his abdomen in pain.
"This is not fun. Sorcerer Dior said no killings on this ship!" The giant Andrew flexed his wrist. "You weaklings want to establish turf? Not a chance. Only the strongest can claim territory here."
"Yeah, there's no way for a coward like you to survive here. Let the Triad - Andrew, Barry and me - teach you a lesson," said the man with the beady eyes. "Fists do the talking on this ship.You got the bigger fist, then you are the truth!"
The beady-eyed man was called "Mouse". The nickname was given by the other members of the Triad - Barry and Andrew because of his face looked like that of a mouse.
Barry's fury had not abated yet and he was obstinate in his vengeance.
"I want his sister," Barry said as he walked over to Nina who quailed behind her injured brother.
As he approached Nina to perform the brutish acts, no one seemed to make a move to stop him.
The moment when Barry was about to touch her, someone stepped up:
"Stop that or I will go get Barron...He will..." The brave man who had stopped Barry was Wade, a boy who would flinch from any threats. Only, his bravery did not last long.
His valor collapsed after Barry gave him a fiendish look. Wade then recoiled a few steps, saying: "I was joking. It is none of my business." .
But it was too late. Barry gave up on Nina, and strode up to Wade. He smacked him in the stomach. This act earned loud cheers from the crowd of onlookers.
"Only the strong can survive and get a home? And the weak have to be despised and oppressed? Is this the rule of the Sorcerer Continent?" A sad feeling assailed Glenn.
The rest of Glenn's group had come, too, but they couldn't think of anything to deal with Andrew, who would squash all of them in less than a minute.
As Barry approached Nina again, an adorable voice jested:
"Haha, establish your turf? A turf fight? Interesting! I want your cabin, then. And this is your new card."
A bronze card was thrown onto Andrew's face and landed on the deck with a thud. Andrew, as well as Mouse, stopped in astonishment.
Barry released Nina and turned back to see what was happening.
"Is she crazy? Has she lost her mind?" the crowd hummed.
"Lafite! Right, Lafite! She knows sorcery! She could take Andrew down," Glenn cried out.
Lafite waved her arm and her lips were murmuring something in the same low voice as she had done to Robinson.
In no time, her symbolic magical vine appeared, and in a split of a second, it climbed around Andrew and bound him tightly before the lumbering buffoon had the time to respond. The large man then crashed to the floor with a thump.
"You scoundrel, go to hell!" The big man defeated, Glenn rushed over to Barry and kicked him down.
"Have mercy, please. Spare my life. I didn't mean it," Mouse begged, and beads of sweat were rolling down from his forehead.
The place was now silent. People were all gawking as Lafite knocked Andrew down with a vine that had come out of nowhere. They were convinced that she was a sorcerer. That must be the reason why she was able to conjure up the magical vine. They knew nothing about magical tools.
Lafite ignored Mouse's entreaty and dragged him to Chris. She then turned to Andrew.
"Now, your cabin is mine now, you big fella. Enjoy your time on the first floor," Lafite then ended the "sorcery" and the vine disappeared simultaneously.
She then went over to the big man's cabin and slammed the door behind her.
Glenn glanced at the three incapacitated bullies, and made sure that they wouldn't pose any danger to Chris and Nina. He then turned to the siblings: "I guess you should be okay."
"We are really grateful. I owe you for this, pal!" Chris looked into Glenn's eyes.
Nina, at the time, ran over to Wade and asked him if he was fine.
The dramatic scene was over. The onlookers dispersed.
Glenn went back to his room. As he unlocked the door of his room, a gust of musty air poured into his face. It reeked of fish and seaweed. Glenn grimaced as he was fanning the foul air away with his bare hand. The cabin was small and sparsely furnished. But a bed, a desk and chair plus an oil lamp would do for Glenn.
Glenn sat down and then lit the candle. It was reading time. He pulled out 'A Guide to Meditation and Canine Olfactory Enhancement'.
After over half a month of intense hard work on A Guide to Meditation, Glenn had succeeded in conjuring up magical force and reached a level of somewhere between two and three points.
This was quite a low level. According to the Guide, an ordinary sorcerer should be able to conjure up a magical force that was around ten times the level of hisher mental strength. So, in theory, 120 points of magical force was a normal level since he was tested at 12 points of mental strength back in Bi Seer City.
"I wish I had a crystal ball. I would be able to see if my mental strength has improved, then, " Glenn mumbled.
Canine Olfactory Enhancement was much more complex and difficult to understand. It contained a variety of arcane terms and jargons.
The Canine Olfactory Enhancement was beyond Glenn's comprehension at the time, but he had decided to memorize it all, to get a head start in his future learning of sorcery at the Lilith School of Sorcerers.
Another ten days had passed. A hundred more boys and girls had been admitted to the ship as prospective sorcerers during their stops at the many seaport cities.
The real challenge now had come. The ship was going to be sailing across a deep sea.
The deep seas were mysterious places and many of them remained unexplored by even sorcerers. Legends had been told that behemoth beasts that stalked the gloomy depths would rise up to the sea surface and capsize the ships passing by, with a simple nudge.
"Pirates, there are pirates over there!" A clamor was heard.