Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 14
‘What a pity.’
And it really was. None of his friends from the dormitory had agreed to his unique ideology regarding classes.
– Y-you plan on taking unpopular courses on purpose? But why? Is that what’s required of someone noble?
– <Basic Repetitive Training in Magic Combat>? Umm, sorry. I already have a class in that time period. F-for real. I’m not lying.
– Wardanaz, why are you trying to throw away your precious time? If I’ve learned anything at the Dargard’s, it’s that…
Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do to change their minds. As the saying went, the path to greatness was a lonely one.
They would only recognize his great foresight once midterms and finals rolled around.
There was no such thing as a kind professor in any school. Students had to take many classes throughout the year, but the professors would always demand that they focus on theirs. They were absolutely ruthless and selfish in this regard!
Hence, in order to excel in classes that they truly liked, they had to take some easy classes as well.
It was all about knowing one’s priorities and making the right decisions.
This was a fundamental truth practiced in all schools.
‘Is it here?’
After entering the gates of the academy’s main building, he found the stairs that led downstairs. <Basic Repetitive Training in Magic Combat> was a class taught on B1.
“…Feels uncanny as heck,” he muttered.
Large stairways could be found as soon as students entered the main building through the gate. The stairways were gothic in design, neither overly luxurious nor unpleasant in terms of their outward appearance.
Nevertheless, Yi-han felt chills in his back when he looked at the stairs, probably because of the stories surrounding them.
‘They say we shouldn’t carelessly roam about inside a mage’s tower.’
Everyone in the Empire knew about this, regardless of whether they were a mage or an ordinary citizen.
– You must not wander around in a mage’s tower.
It may seem normal from the outside, but all sorts of magic could be lying in wait inside. If someone went up the stairs, curious about the second floor, they may never be heard from again, lost within the labyrinth of the tower.
While he was living in the estate, Yi-han had read several fairy tales about children barely escaping from the towers of evil mages.
Yi-han, who was still adapting to the world at the time, had innocently asked,
– Aren’t these stories overly exaggerated?
– You’re right, young master.
– Thought so. I mean getting lost just by going up one flight of stairs…
– Yeah, unless you’re an expert, there’s no escaping a mage’s tower. Those children would’ve died from old age in real life.
Yi-han had been shocked to hear that disappearances were frequent on the second floor.
Mage towers were shrouded in countless mysteries, making them terrifying places to visit.
Einroguard’s main building was a fusion of numerous mage towers, and the danger level was unfathomable.
As such, only a few freshmen dared to explore the academy’s premises despite their burning desire to do so!
They had been warned against doing so, either through their families or through rumors.
Otherwise, if they carelessly looked around the building, they might be discovered as lifeless bodies a while later.
‘Still, it’s just a set of stairs.’
Yi-han suppressed his fear and regained his composure.
In reality, mage towers were really not as terrible as many people thought. After all, the students had no trouble navigating their dorms and the first floor.
That was when he heard the familiar sound of bones rattling.
Oh, what is this? Trying to go down to the basement? Planning on being discovered as a corpse tomorrow?
Principal Skelly who was passing by gave Yi-han a word of encouragement, which made him speechless.
“Most respected principal! It’s an honor to meet you here!”
Yi-han bowed his head deeply.
The life of a graduate student involved smiling in front of a professor even if he hated his guts.
His bow had been perfectly in line with the etiquette required of nobles.
Principal Skelly nodded contentedly.
You’re quite right.
“I’m planning on heading downstairs, and I was wondering if the honorable principal has any advice for me.”
There’s none. If you’re found dead tomorrow, I’ll make sure to offer a flower.
‘This son of a…’
As it turned out, the basement wasn’t that big of a deal. There were classrooms on each side of a large hallway, and there weren’t any undead or monsters in sight.
Though it was slightly dark and chilly, Yi-han blamed it on the location where the academy was built.
Two students brushed past him.
This came as a great surprise to Yi-han. Were these two also here to learn <Basic Repetitive Training in Magic Combat>?
‘As I thought, there are other like-minded people.’
It wasn’t that strange either. Geniuses from all over the Empire were gathered here. There had to be one or two that were on the same page as him.
Although the competition had grown, he didn’t mind it too much.
‘Having two others isn’t so bad. It would be kind of awkward to take the class alone anyway.’
“Crap, it’s not here. Whew, we almost stepped into the wrong classroom.”
“What do they teach here?”
“<Basic Repetitive Training in Magic Combat>, it seems.”
“A class like that exists? Who would even want to take that?”
“I heard even the students from the White Tigers left, swearing as they went.”
“If even they left, is it really a class fit for students?”
They rushed to another classroom as they talked.
Hearing their conversation, Yi-han started feeling uneasy.
Inside the classroom, he saw three students that were already in their seats. However, it was apparent that they weren’t as determined to take this course as he was as there was fear, confusion, worry, and anxiety in their eyes.
Their expression clearly conveyed the message “Did I enter the wrong class?”
“Class is about to start. Please take a seat.”
Yi-han was startled. The professor had been sitting in the corner of the classroom, yet he had failed to notice his presence. Granted, the professor was sitting in a dimly lit corner, but it was still quite shocking.
‘A vampire, perhaps?’
Pale skin, sharp fangs, and a pair of gloomy eyes.
Since there was someone like Professor Troll, it wouldn’t be too out of the world to have a vampire serving as a professor.
Yi-han stared at the other students in disbelief. Had they not realized that the professor was sitting there the whole time?
“I’m Bolady Bagrak, and I’m in charge of teaching the Basic Repetitive Training in Magic Combat course. Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you, sir!” the students said in unison, Yi-han included.
Without bothering to take out his staff, Professor Bolady pointed at several marbles the size of a palm that was on a desk.
“These stones are made of Soul Star Ores.”
Soul Star Ores. It was something even Yi-han had heard about before.
‘Isn’t it an ore that’s sensitive to mana?’
When the stars aligned themselves roughly in a particular orientation, they would emit a sacred force, and Soul Star Ores were ores that changed under the influence of said force.
Since they were sensitive to mana, they were often used to make devices for detection or barriers to keep out intruders.
“Each of you will take a marble and insert your mana.”
Although the students were still unclear as to what they were doing, they each grabbed a marble regardless.
Everyone present was a freshman, and they hadn’t even been in the academy for a month yet. Though they were talented individuals, they weren’t confident as to whether they could properly insert their mana into the marbles.
However, despite their initial fear, the marbles slowly vibrated before rising into the air.
“Right now, the marbles have formed a connection with your conscience,” the professor said without batting an eye.
‘So they’re artifacts!’
Yi-han realized that the marbles were artifacts handcrafted by the professor, not merely toys carved out of Soul Star ores.
‘Apparently, a well-made artifact can be sold at a high price.’
Artifacts were hot commodities everywhere, and mages that could craft them well were filthy rich, enough to sit on a mountain of money. This had obviously caught Yi-han’s attention, but the same couldn’t be said the other way around.
One of the marbles shot up to the ceiling, and it looked as if it would shoot past it.
Fortunately, however, it stopped just before making contact.
Professor Bolady’s expression still remained the same. They began to wonder if the muscles on his face had ceased to function.
“Since the marbles are connected to your minds, you can obviously control them. But I’ve made sure that they won’t wreck the classroom.”
However, the student was struck by the marble in the stomach when he said so.
“Though I’ve made sure that they won’t wreck the classroom, the same can’t be said for you guys. Be careful not to break the marbles.”
Normally, a professor should be saying “be careful not to get hurt”, and yet he was telling them to handle the marbles with care.
Yi-han could feel that this vampire professor was crazy in his own way as well.
The other students, however, still desperately held on to a shred of hope as they awaited the professor’s next instruction.
“What should we do next?”
“After making them float, have them move in a circle.”
The students focused and had the marbles float up. Yi-han also followed suit.
They all tried their best to make the marbles move in a circular trajectory, and though it wasn’t perfect, one of them managed to do it quite decently.
“I did it!” the student shouted happily.
Professor Bolady, on the other hand, wasn’t impressed by it at all.
“That’s not a circle. Do it again.”
“…Right. Yes, sir.”
The students resumed drawing circles with the marbles.
They drew another circle. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then…
Eventually, one of them cautiously asked the question that they had all been harboring.
“Um, when do we stop?”
For the first time, there seemed to be a change in Professor Bolady’s emotions. He looked at them with eyes that said, ‘What do you mean?’
“You continue until your circles are perfect.”
“…Professor. May I have a short bathroom break?
“Go. There’s no need to ask.”
One of the students left. Another student quietly left after observing the situation for a while.
Aside from Yi-han, only one other student remained, and after much thought, he suddenly fell over.
Yi-han was blown away by this. Was he trying to leave by pretending he had fainted?
‘Huh, he’s surprisingly good.’
Yi-han went over to help.
However, the student’s face was genuinely pale, and it didn’t seem like he was acting.
“You alright there?”
“Professor, he seems to have exhausted his mana,” Yi-han explained.
As Professor Garcia had said, beginners were terrible at keeping their mana reserve in check and would often keel over after wasting and using them up. That was exactly what happened with this student.
“What should we do?”
“After he’s rested for a while, tell him to continue drawing circles with the marble.”
The student who had been getting back up with the support of Yi-han twitched in rage.
He wasn’t sure about the others, but Yi-han was certain that this student would never return after today.
‘I might end up taking this class alone.’
And it really turned out that way.
Yi-han, who was left alone, asked a question just to confirm.
“Professor, how are we graded in this class?”
“First place will be given to the student with the highest grade, followed by those below them.”
“As I thought…”
Yi-han nodded his head and grabbed one of the marbles again.
“I just have to draw circles, correct?”
Yi-han had the marble start going around in circles.
The students that had left all thought it was stupid to waste time doing such useless activities, but Yi-han thought otherwise.
He was guaranteed a good grade just by sitting in the classroom for the rest of the semester.
This was the kind of class he had been looking for.