9 Chapter Nine
(Correlated with the manhua's chapter 9)
The rest of the thugs in the playground were having a splendid time watching a random teen fight some of their colleagues. Most commonly when someone in their group entered a fight or was attacked, the opposition were other thugs from their own circles. In those cases, everyone present had to fight to keep their group's honor. However, that day's situation was completely different. Yes, some of their colleagues were under attack, but the fight wasn't related to territory or anything like that. Instead, the unusual occurrence was caused when some degenerates among them decided to bully a little crippled girl to ease their boredom. Such actions didn't warrant any kind of punishment in their group, but most of the members just didn't like it. Seeing a kid hold his own against their colleagues just felt right to them.
However, the surprise event quickly came to an end when the biggest of the group picking on the little girl managed to land a hit on the kid, dealing enough damage to slow him. Then, the kid was restrained by the shirt. No chance for him to win after that.
"Ah well. The kid'll learn not to pick fights against bigger opponents." They thought, not even a shred of sympathy for him. To them, the kid should be grateful that they stayed out of the fight at all.
Yet, something else managed to catch their interest. The kid looked as though he suddenly gave up the fight when he let his body go slack, which didn't seem at all right to them. He was obviously acquainted with the girl in the wheelchair and cared enough about her to attack a large group of grown men to save her. Would he just give up after a struggle which managed to put two guys on the ground?
Their inquiries were quickly answered when Mo Fan almost immediately opened his eyes again, staring defiantly at the large man holding onto his shirt.
"Lightning." They heard him say.
Then, what they thought to be impossible…happened. The kid's right hand, previously slack at his side, began to emit a purple glow and high-pitched sound. From his open palm escaped a purple flash of light.
Mo Fan, doing his best to ignore the pain in his head from the punch, watched with cold, wrathful eyes as the large man in front of him lost the strength previously used to overpowered him. Soon, along with the man's grip, his legs gave out. Clutching his left side, which felt charred and began oozing blood, he could only think about how he'd made a big mistake.
Finished reveling in the large man's pain, Mo Fan turned to look at the real target of his lightning spell. On the ground beside the wheelchair laid the last of the men who harassed Xinxia, unmoving. Mo Fan was fully aware of the situation he was in and would not stand for Xinxia to be used against him as a hostage, so he immediately took out the thug closest to her, also heavily injuring the large man with just a graze of his spell.
Only for a few seconds were the rest of the men in the playground too shocked to move before most of them bolted in the opposite direction of Mo Fan. However, the few sensible thugs who understood that nothing they could do would stop Mo Fan's lightning from killing them did not flee, instead choosing to lower themselves onto their arms and knees, bowing for forgiveness, not even daring to audibly plea for their lives.
The entire time she'd been at the thugs' mercy, Xinxia silently cried, biting her tongue so as to not agitate the men with her sobs. She prayed for a savior in her thoughts, hoping that by some miracle from the Heavens a hero would appear to rescue her from her tragedy. Of course, the first figure that came to mind was her older cousin, Mo Fan, who despite struggling with both poverty and low grades managed to stay positive and bright, always treating her like a princess. However, she knew that her prayer should not be answered by him. Regardless of him attending Tian Lan Magic High, he wasn't yet a mage. There was nothing he could do for her here.
Then, Mo Fan appeared, causing Xinxia's heart to stir madly, conflicted by her endless gratitude for him and her terror at the thought of him getting hurt for her sake. She wanted to cry out to him to run away, to get help instead of risking his life, but her words were choked by her tears and fear, unable to emerge from her throat.
Incapable of changing anything, Xinxia sorrowfully watched as Mo Fan charged headfirst at the four men who took enjoyment in her fright. To her surprise, he managed to easily take one out and dodge a few strikes, enough of a display of power that hope began to rise in her despite the odds being so skewed against Mo Fan.
Eventually, he was struck, sending Xinxia through another avalanche of guilt, frustration, and terror. She could only watch through her tear-filled eyes as Mo Fan was lifted by his shirt and struck again, in the face that time, as she heard the large brute talk about breaking his bones, as all hope was lost and she tried to close her eyes.
Xinxia cursed her crippled legs, cursed her weakness, wished for strength, wished for magic.
Then, the explosion.
At least, that's what it sounded like to Xinxia when a lightning bolt emerged from Mo Fan, scraping the brute and sailing past her teary face to collide with the man beside her, the thug who originally suggested they "play" with her.
Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
After finishing his business, Mo Fan led Xinxia out of the park, stopping when Xinxia managed to suppress her terror.
"Brother Mo Fan…"
Not letting Xinxia work herself back into a sob, Mo Fan kneeled and embraced her, holding her head to his shoulder. She trembled in his arms, unsure what to say.
"Little Xinxia, I'm so sorry…I'm sorry I wasn't there to protect you. I should have been there. "
Mo Fan tried pinning the blame to himself, unwilling to allow Xinxia to consider the incident her fault in any way. If she did, he didn't know what he would do. After all, there was no way for Xinxia to protect herself, and he considered himself her only defense. It wouldn't be right for her to feel guilty.
"Brother Mo Fan, it's alright, but h-"
"No, it's not alright! I should have been there to protect you!"
Mo Fan continued interrupting Xinxia for a while, repeating the cycle of apologizing for not saving her sooner. Eventually, Xinxia had to hit Mo Fan to bring him back to reality. Just as Mo Fan hoped, continuously apologizing assisted his little cousin in forgetting the traumatizing event, even if only a little.
"Brother Mo Fan! I have a question!"
Or so he thought.
"How long has it been since you awakened your magic?"
Initially, Mo Fan was very confused. What did her question have to do with protecting her? Then he mentally smacked himself for forgetting that he displayed a powerful magical attack just a short while ago.
"Less than six months. Why do you ask?"
Suddenly, to Mo Fan's bewilderment, Xinxia's expression reverted to one of fear.
*"No, she's worried."*
Xinxia lifted a hand to her face as if she'd been given terrible news and needed time to contemplate consequences. Her eyes darted back and forth, unable to rest on a single scene. She even squirmed a little.
"Brother Mo Fan… I heard that most gifted magicians take almost a year from awakening magic to releasing it. Could it be…"
Xinxia was clearly unsure of herself, hesitating, as if she were deathly afraid of the answer. Her actions didn't make any sense to Mo Fan at all. Shouldn't cultivating quickly be a good thing?
"Did you learn something bad from outside? Like…from the Dark Vatican?"
Mo Fan stared at the ceiling of his dormitory room from his bed, replaying the scenes from before when Xinxia became more worried for him than traumatized by the thugs. The questioning he received from his little cousin frightened him at the time, but he decided to look deeper into the matter and giver her time to think before questioning her in return.
When Xinxia spoke of the Dark Vatican she didn't explain what it was, even when Mo Fan asked about it. He could tell it was bad news. After a quick search, he found a simple explanation which answered his speculation.
"Threatening the security of every country, this close-knit group of magicians is responsible for causing many calamities and disasters worldwide. Their leaders, the structure of the organization, and their true purposes, are unknown. They utilize forbidden techniques to accelerate a magician's cultivation and bewitch, develop, and control young magicians."
Clearly, the Dark Vatican wasn't liked by the current governments of the world and didn't seem very pleasant to Mo Fan. Though he was slightly curious about how they did such things, Mo Fan didn't consider it wise to research the subject in the case that he accidentally draw suspicion towards himself.
*"Even my precious little cousin was worried that I colluded with them. Yeah, some of her behavior can be attributed to what she just experienced, but I should still be careful. I'll stick to my identity as a fire mage, for now."*