As the students were disembarking the ship, they found some other ships were anchored at the port, too. However, their ship stood out because none of the ships could compare to it when it came to how wrecked a ship could be. That it could carry them safe here had been a miracle considering that it had suffered a score of hits from the multiple-tentacled octopus.
Hardly had the vessel reached ashore when the students rushed onto land in rapture, for they had finally gotten rid of a terrible journey.
“See, just another batch of hicks from some outpost islands who believe they could become a sorcerer someday. How naive they are!” Two students from the Black Isotta School of Sorcerers had come to welcome sorcerer Nilmar back and ended up mocking Glenn and the rest of the Death Sail League.
The two snippy students came over to greet Nilmar, but were ignored. Instead, Nilmar turned back and warned the students, who came fresh off the ship, to not screw around.
Quicker than a human’s eyes could tell, an old witch flew a broomstick to the crowd and hovered over their heads. She then took a direct glance at Kyrie and Bionna, who were behind Nilmar, and said contentedly:
“So, these two lovely kids must be the two geniuses who’d been selected by the Lilith School of Sorcerers, aren’t they? Well, Well. Just as expected, their soul waves are so extraordinary.”
The old witch burst into a high-pitched and exaggerated laughter, which turned her already wrinkled face into an old, bumpy tree bark. Besides the wrinkled face, she had yellowish decayed teeth. Anyone who caught a glimpse of her would feel sick.
“Does a sorcerer have to look like that? And will I?” Glenn was worried and subconsciously, he peeped at Lafite’s pretty face and visualized her with that withered face and shrunk figure.
“Haha, were you peeping at me? Am I beautiful?” Lafite raided Glenn with a surprising query.
“Yeah, you look astounding,” replied Glenn, feeling guilty of that stealthy glance. “Whoever has you as his wife will be the luckiest man in the world.” He couldn’t believe he had completed that sentence without a pause.
“So, is it a proposal? If it is, I will consider it.”
“Na…a…y” Glenn stuttered. He would have said yes because he had had that feeling that she was the right girl for him ever since their “lifeboat romance”. But he slipped out “nay” because he had thought it was one of the practical jokes of hers.
Lafite couldn’t believe she had asked such a lusciously flirty question herself. It was probably because she had been emancipated from the depressing life at sea and now she finally had an opportune moment for ventilation.
“These little kids have survived the Leviathan attacks. I believe some of them may achieve something here,” Sorcerer Nilmar said to the old witch.
“So what? That doesn’t concern me. The only ones I care about are these two kids,” the old witch snorted as she snatched Kyrie and Bionna onto her broom.
“Nilmar, you are so laid back. I would have sailed the ship back in less than a month.” The old witch flew away the moment she finished the sentence.
“In less than a month? Would she fly the ship?” Chris grunted at the cocky comments.
Nina pulled her brother’s shirt to hint that he should refrain himself from saying anything extravagant.
“She meant throwing all of us overboard if she had been the one picking us up. We wouldn’t be a liability then.” Lafite’ explanation made Chris, Nina as well as Glenn, who were next to her, break out a cold sweat on their foreheads.
And for a moment, they were all thinking about Sorcerer Apollo, who had gone to the Underground World, and wondered if it might have been a polarizing experience in the Lilith School of Sorcerers.
“The new term is only half a month way. You two lead them to school and accommodate them.” Sorcerer Nilmar turned to the two students who had come to welcome him.
As Sorcerer Nilmar had left with Sam driving the flock of crows, the boy from the two students, who was tall and bald, was finally bereaved of the serious expression he usually wore in the presence of a sorcerer, and he said in despise:
“You’ve beaten the Hurado Leviathan, huh? Look like you’ve got your brains!”
These few mean words reminded the 300 or so students that the Black Isotta School of Sorcerers might be a place of no good.
“Now about some basic rules,” he rattled on as he stroked a centipede-shaped scar above his left eyebrow.
“Attending the Black Isotta School of Sorcerers doesn’t guarantee you the title of a “student”. You will be graded as a “novice” until you can independently conjure up three sorceries.”
“Hence, from now on, there are two things you are supposed to do: first, improve your mental strength; second, learn more sorceries.”
“Stop being the good guy!” The girl, who was standing beside him, broke in.
“You guys, listen! Homicide is strictly prohibited inside school. But mind you, as long as the bad guy does not get caught on the spot or leave no evidence, the Law Enforcement Team (LET) would turn a blind eye to it. So you’d better behave yourself, or you will be crushed to death just like cockroaches,” the girl threatened.
To her disappointment, no “novices” from the Death Sail League reproached her, something that she had expected, because she thought it would have been a good timing to establish her authority by punishing a novice who would revolt against her.
After a baptism of war, it seemed that most of them had learned to control their tempers.
“Let’s go!” the bald boy howled.
After half an hour of hiking, the crowd arrived at a huge mountain.
It was dusk. So, only a silhouette of the mountain could be seen. But you could still tell that it was so craggy that it almost ran vertical and you could see all the giant rocks crouching on it. Straps of swarthy chains were dangling from the top, emanating a sense of depression as if it was overlooking the arrivals.
Since the two students heralding the way seemed to not intend to bypass the mountain, members of the Death Sail League couldn’t help guessing that the Black Isotta School of Sorcerers was on the mountain, but one question that baffled them was how to get onto it, considering its steepness.
“Coo-coo…” An owl flew past them.
The leading boy suddenly stopped and turned back. He snarled at the students:
“Here’s a thing. Never try to hinder the owls when they are on school businesses, no matter what means you use, or you will be held accountable. Believe me, you will definitely regret it. The LET will cut no slack!”
The students were shocked, but they were somewhat grateful for that warning.
Minutes later, they had arrived at the foot of the mountain. The students now had a closer look at the mountain. What had drawn their focus were the enormous unknown types of trees on it, which, under conservative estimate, would measure nearly two hundred feet tall. Tree leaves were rustling in the wind as if they were people conspiring creepy things.
But still, how were they supposed to climb that precipitous mountain?
At the time, the boy stepped over to a tree and bowed in respect: “Please open the gateway!”
Slowly the tree bark moved and twisted itself before transforming into the shape of a human face with complete features. The bark face stared at the boy sluggishly for a second and then closed its eyes.
Glenn noticed that the face merged back into the tree.
“BANG!” a huge sound thundered.
A gigantic rock at the foot of the mountain moved and slowly disengaged from the other rocks as three tinkling chains lifted it upwards. In less than a minute, the rock had rumbled up around twenty feet high, displaying a spacious tunnel.
Passing through the tunnel, dozens of brightly-lit buildings came into view. But they were hugely dwarfed by a high-rising and magnificent-looking tower.
“Wow, that must be the Black Tower!” a student shouted in awe.
While every student had been attracted to the Black Tower, Glenn noticed a stone tablet on one side at the end of the tunnel.
The mossy stone itself was nothing special, and the characters that had been inscribed on it were barely legible.
Still, with an effort, Glenn recognized them:
“With my knowledge, give me a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world!”