It was the seventh day of Glenn’s stay at the Duke’s residence. Sorcerer Dior had arrived at Krakatoa Harbor to take the newly selected would-be sorcerers to the Lilith School of Sorcerers. Apollo, the group of students and the Duke, as well as a large audience of sorcerer-admirers, had come to the port to welcome Dior.
Dior was dressed in a long black cloak. His face was obscured by a thin layer of mist, like that of Sorcerer Apollo. What distinguished him from Apollo was his right eye. It was covered with a black patch, like a pirate’s eye, and he had a ghastly pale forehead, which could be caught through the mist from time to time.
“How was your selection? Fruitful?” asked Apollo after he greeted Dior with a bow.
“It was great. I’ve recruited hundreds of students. And I’ve made a fortune,” replied Dior happily.
Dior had the same job as Apollo – recruiting potential sorcerers – and they were each responsible for selecting from their own assigned territories.
Apollo was quite shocked at the huge number of students Dior had selected because he had selected only seven!
Apollo displayed no sign of surprise, though. He responded with a nod and the frog in his hand was making ribbiting sounds.
“What a spectacle! Magnificent! You arrange things so wonderfully,” said Sorcerer Dior to the Duke, who was standing beside Apollo.
Dior was referring to the grand send-off ceremony by saying ‘arrange’.
Although the majority of the crowd had come voluntarily because of their admiration to the sorcerers, some of them indeed had been paid to do so. So, technically speaking, it was an “arrangement”.
“Don’t make these youngsters too proud, though. They might get spoiled by such pomp and circumstance,” continued Dior, casting a glance at the students.
Glenn noticed an interesting fact about Dior. He kept himself hovering a few inches off the ground as he talked with Apollo and the Duke.
‘Perhaps it was a habit developed to make him look less short.’ Glenn thought.
“I hope that they would come back for a visit someday when they become a sorcerer,” replied the Duke.
“A small chance! You know well how hard it is to become a sorcerer!” said Dior with a scornful look on his face, “Luckily, I managed to obtain two students who were tested at 15 points of mental strength. Very gifted! I wanted them to learn sorceries under me, but there are barriers. It seemed that they have connections in the Lilith School and some other sorcerers want them, too.”
“Rather than mental strength, knowledge matters the most.” Apollo shook his head.
“Knowledge and talent go side by side,” retorted Dior.
Half an hour later, the seamen had finished supplying the ship with sufficient food, fresh water, drinks, fuel and other necessities.
Dior said dully to Apollo and the Duke:
“This is it. I am going.”
“I will come back to the school and take a look at the seven kids in 20 years maybe, if the trip to the Underground World goes well.” Apollo bowed to Dior to say goodbye.
“Now, come aboard, all of you.” Dior yelled an order at the students.
Anchor weighed, the ship sailed off the Krakatoa Harbor.
As the ship had gone out of sight, the crowd began to thin. Apollo bid a farewell to the Duke and left.
Onboard the large ship, the seven students who had been selected by Apollo – Glenn, Robinson, Lafite, Chris and Nina Hank, Wade and Sam – quickly found that they were not the only candidates on the ship.
“Rule number one: NO INTERNAL STRIFE. Killing sorcerers from the same school has never and will never be tolerated. If someone dares break this rule, you would be seared in a flame for seven days before being thrown into the sea for the sharks,” said Dior viciously.
“Rule number two: DON’T COME TO ME UNLESS SOMEONE HAS BEEN BEATEN TO DEATH,” Dior continued with a menacing voice.
“Barron, deliver the room cards and keep a close eye on them,” Dior bawled at a swarthy boy, who was at his side.
Dior then walked straight to his cabin, not intending to take another second of his time with the children.
“Yes, Master,” Barron answered.
“I am Barron, a Legend Knight. Come find me if anything bad happens.” Barron looked serious. “Anything… like some beauty being molested.” Barron said wickedly as he surveyed his eyes up and down Lafite and Nina.
Barron was shirtless at the time, and his pectoral muscles were massive, which acted as a signal that he was someone not to be trifled with.
“Humph, if someone had the courage to do that, I would guarantee that he would be served as food for the sharks.” Lafite assumed a combative look.
“I will die before I let anyone touch my sister!” said Chris in the same threatening tone as Lafite’s.
Chris’ sister Nina blushed in embarrassment, and hid her head behind her brother’s back.
At the point, it seemed that a big fight was brewing.
Barron had been seasoned in real fights, so he was fearless. But he had intention to take the tough guys on. Instead, he clicked his tongue, rummaged through a wooden box for the cabin cards. He then slapped the cards to them and strode away.
The group began to find their cabins according to the cards in the five-decked ship.
Lafite was allocated to a room on the first deck, the lowest one, and her face turned livid for her bad luck. It was common sense that the lower the quarters were, the worse the conditions would be, because cabins below the water were noisy from the splashing of water and humming of the engines.
Glenn ended up on the third floor. It was fine for him as the living condition was okay, besides he had undergone far worse things while living in the countryside lodge with Old Ham.
Chris and Nina Hank were lucky to have a fifth-floor room, and they shared it. They were excited at the news and sped off joyously toward it.
“What cards? Does it matter?…get the hell out of here.” A rude voice erupted at Chris and Nina’s cabin. The voice was so loud that nearly everyone on the fifth level poked their head out of their cabins to see what was happening.
Chris and Nina’s cabin had been taken by somebody.
“This is my room. You wanna go the hard way?” Chris Hank retorted, while Nina was scared and was pulling her brother’s shirt.
Catching Nina whimpering, the guy in the cabin was aroused sexually a little bit. He then laughed grimly:
“Let the little beauty stay. She can live here” The man grinned at Nina, who was pulling her brother’s shirt more heavily, as if to beg Chris to give up the cabin.
“You are so dead!” Chris snapped.
Like a hornet whose nest had been stirred, Chris clenched his fist and threw a punch towards the boy’s nose.
The two boys then scuffled, pulling, shoving, elbowing and kicking…
Glenn’s group had tracked the voice and came.
“As friends, we are supposed to step up,” Wade said. But he was too scared to make a move.
Sam was watching the fight coldly and mumbled: “It’s none of my business.”
Wade scowled at Sam’s apathetic remark despite the fact that he himself had shown no sign of going up to help.
It was Glenn and Robinson who finally ended the tussle. They came up and disentangled the two boys.
Glenn praised Chris for his sturdy body while he intimidated the other boy, who had gotten a swollen eye, to go away.
“You stay here. I’m gonna get help!” hissed the boy as he ran off angrily.
“I am not going anywhere. Go get your pals,” replied Chris, showing no signs of budging at all.
“This is getting out of hand.” Glenn sighed.
A Legend Knight was the recognised best in military capability, the title of whom was bestowed by a voting system, rather than a monarch, where all ballots cast by other knights would be counted.