Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 20
He had stayed in the Wardanaz estate for such a long time that he had forgotten how much of a showoff the Empire’s nobles were. They valued their pride and honor above their lives, and they would prepare a lavish feast even if they were on the brink of bankruptcy!
‘All that effort, and it turned out to be for nothing.’
“Splendid! We have two people who have mastered it from the Blue Dragons!”
Yi-han looked to his side and saw the princess with her hand raised as well. Not only that, she was staring coldly in his direction, her blue eyes holding blatant animosity.
‘What’s up with her?’ Yi-han wondered.
With the princess being one of the most talented students among the Blue Dragons, it wouldn’t do to be on her bad side, and as far as he was concerned, he hadn’t done anything to garner such hatred from her.
In fact, all their interactions had been friendly until now. During their initial meeting, he had helped her defeat the boars. Then, they exchanged information about which classes were great for students.
‘I was planning on asking her for help in assignments and exams in the future. Why is she suddenly acting like that? Is it because I’m always with Gainando?’
“Hey, Wardanaz,” Asan whispered. “It seems the princess believes the strange rumor that’s been going around about you.”
“A strange rumor?”
“Apparently, you’re here to laze around, not to explore the profound world of magic. It’s complete bogus, I say.”
Asan looked pissed as if the rumor was about him. In his mind, there was no way that a member of the Wardanaz Family would display such behavior.
On the other hand, Yi-han, the subject of the rumor, was surprised.
‘Truly, it couldn’t be more accurate! How did they know though?’
It was so spot-on that he got goosebumps hearing it. Yi-han, however, didn’t think it was slanderous in any way.
After all, it was completely true.
Asan, who wasn’t aware of this, seemed extremely furious that such a lie was being spread around.
“I’m really disappointed by the princess. Of course, this is all because of the person that started the rumor, but she shouldn’t have believed in it without first confirming the facts!”
“Well…I wouldn’t really blame her for that.”
Asan was at a loss for words… Just how kind and magnanimous could a person be?
Though the students of the Blue Dragons were all of noble birth, to him, none seemed to fit the image of an ideal noble better than Wardanaz.
Asan finally realized why his family sent him to this academy. It was to meet friends like him.
“Wardanaz, you’re a great guy.”
Yi-han was confused by this sudden praise.
‘Did he take the wrong medicine this morning?’
“Light, come forth.”
Both Yi-han and the princess managed to cast <Light> successfully. Balls of light appeared at the end of their staves, making them look like lanterns.
There was a bit of chilliness to the ball of light that the princess produced, whereas Yi-han’s was as fierce and bright as the Sun.
Professor clapped his hand in joy.
“Excellent! Very few students have ever managed to cast <Light> on their first week at the academy. I’m happy to have such talented students. But of course, there’s no need to feel discouraged even if you failed to master it. <Light> is the simplest spell out of all the first-circle magic. It’s a spell that teaches beginners what magic is, and learning it a bit faster or slower doesn’t determine how far you can go as a mage.”
‘Doesn’t sound all that convincing,’ Yi-han thought.
As the professor said, <Light> alone couldn’t be used to determine a student’s ability or talent. Just because someone learned addition faster than others, it wouldn’t translate to being good at solving complicated problems using calculus later on in their lives.
Having said that, the students here were all very competitive, and the professor’s words fell on blind ears.
They were burning with the desire to master the spell before the students of the other towers could!
Professor Garcia continued with a big smile on his face.
“You might be curious as to why I taught <Light> first…and that’s because we’ll be focusing on learning elemental magic this semester. While trying to master <Light>, everyone here has subconsciously been learning how to use elemental magic.”
This aroused a great deal of interest from the students, and they straightened their backs to listen to the professor.
Within elemental magic, there were simple elements such as fire, water, wind, and earth, and there were also complicated ones such as plants and darkness. They often served as the foundation for learning more difficult and complex spells.
Want to summon a spirit? To summon a fire spirit, the mage would have to know fire elemental magic to some extent, or else they wouldn’t be able to control it.
Want to create an artifact? To handle ores of the fire element or to cast fire enchantments, the mage would obviously need to know fire magic.
Want to travel? Have a job in a secluded corner of the Empire? Just by knowing basic elemental magic, the mage would be welcomed anywhere. They could start a campfire or prepare drinkable water wherever they were, so they were considered valuable human resources.
As these examples demonstrate, elemental magic could be applied in various fields, and the entry-level for it was low. Hence, it was considered basic education for fledgling mages. It was similar to learning addition and subtraction for higher-level math.
“Throughout this class, we’ll continue training in casting <Light>. At the same time, we’ll test to see if you have an affinity for the basic elements. Each of you will probably have an affinity for different elements, and it’s important to figure out what they are.”
The students began to whisper amongst themselves, intrigued by the topic.
Mages didn’t have to know all the spells in the world. They simply had to study those that they were interested in. Hence, rather than trying to learn all the elements, it was better to train in the ones they were most suited for.
This was also one of the reasons why the professor wasn’t so insistent on the students mastering <Light> in a short amount of time.
Professor Garcia tapped the classroom floors with his large staff. A candle appeared in front of each student, and they were soon lit.
“The trick for this is the same as when you tried to use <Light>. However, unlike with <Light>, what you’re trying to do here is to create fire, so I suggest that you be a little more careful. After all, fire burns.”
Some of the students became nervous when they heard this.
“Think of a chant that suits you best and… Set Ablaze!”
A ball of fire appeared before the professor. It was a fascinating sight, seeing fire appear without the need for firewood.
“Now, try it out yourselves. Don’t worry, I’ll be there to help you when you need it.”
The students did their best to focus and came up with an image of fire in their minds.
Those that caught on a bit faster realized why the professor summoned the candles for them. These students either stared at the candles intently or brought their hands close to them.
With the fire physically closer to them, they could visualize it in their minds better, which helped with their focus.
After creating an image of fire in their minds, they had to channel mana, chanting as they did so, wishing strongly for the fire to manifest.
Yi-han also tried to focus on the fire spell. Learning through his experience with <Light>, he planned on going at his own pace without being tricked by his peers.
“Hold it right there.”
However, the professor stopped him.
“Yi-han, you’re not allowed to practice ignition magic.”
Yi-han stared incredulously at the professor.
Unlike the others, there wasn’t any candle in front of him. Instead, there was a bowl made of copper, with water contained inside it.
“Because it’s too dangerous.”
Yi-han finally caught on.
While he was practicing <Light>, he often failed to control it, resulting in an explosion. Since it was just a ball of light, the explosion didn’t cause any real damage, only making it difficult for him to open his eyes for a while.
But what if it was a ball of fire?
‘Hmm, we might have casualties.’
He eventually nodded in understanding. There wasn’t much he could argue about.
“Wait until you’re better at controlling your mana and more familiar with other elemental magic.”
“Until then, try having a go at <Produce Water>. Even if you fail, it won’t be dangerous.”1<Light> is also supposed to be <Produce Light>, but I thought it was a mouthful, so I just wrote it down as <Light>. To not confuse readers, I’ll keep it as <Light>, but use <Produce + Element> for the others.
Water. Just like fire, it was one of the basic elements.
Coming up with a clear image of various metals or lightning might be difficult, but few would have trouble imagining what water looks like. In other words, it was an element that they were all familiar with, and unlike fire, it wasn’t dangerous.
‘I’m not too sure about this.’
There was one downside to water spells.
It didn’t look cool at all.
‘No. Well… there’s that, but the bigger issue is that it doesn’t seem as useful.’
It was in an awkward position in terms of its usefulness.
For offense? Fire and lightning were stronger.
For defense? Earth and metal were sturdier.
The only benefit to learning water magic was that he wouldn’t have to worry about running out of drinking water during travel…
‘Even that is a bit…’
He was planning on becoming an imperial mage so that he could laze around without putting in any effort, so he had no real use for spells that were for survival.
But there wasn’t anything he could do about it at the moment. He might burn the whole place down if he practiced fire magic.
“Wardanaz, I’m so jealous of you. The professor gave you special teaching.”
Asan, who was also practicing beside him, spoke to him in an envious tone. Yi-han, however, begged to differ.
‘Does this look like special teaching to you?’
He wished to be like his fellow students and practice fire magic. Where would he find the need to use water magic anyway…
It only took him three attempts before a ball of water appeared out of thin air.
And it wasn’t just a few droplets. The ball of water was roughly the size of a fist!
Yi-han and Professor Garcia were both surprised by this.
Granted, he kind of got the hang of elemental magic while practicing <Light>, but three tries? Now that was a rare sight, especially since so much water was produced at once. It would only be possible if he had a high affinity for water magic.
“Look over here, everyone! Yi-han has succeeded in casting water magic!”
“Way to go, Wardanaz!”
“As expected of Wardanaz!”
Those of the Blue Dragons were happy as they watched his magic. Meanwhile, the members of the White Tigers were staring at it with jealousy.
Clap, clap, clap-
The professor applauded him.
“Excellent work, Yi-han. Everyone should learn from his examples. That said, no need to grow impatient. We all have different affinities to magic, and once you discover yours, you’ll become good at it in no time. Students that grew up near volcanoes or smithies are often better at fire magic, students that grew up near rivers and oceans are often better at water magic, and students that grew up in locations with strong wind are often better at wind magic…The more familiar you are with the element, the easier it is for you to control it.”
The explanation made Yi-han even more baffled.
‘I didn’t grow up near a river or an ocean though?’
The only real connection he had to water was getting screwed over by his professors in his previous life.2“물” is water in Korean, and there’s this phrase “물먹다”, which means to get screwed over.
Did his personality just resemble that of flowing water?
It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but…
‘I would’ve been much happier if I had an affinity for one of those rare elements, like ice and thunder.’
It was good that he had an affinity for water, but he had mixed feelings about it.
For a split second, he felt someone’s gaze, so he turned sideways. As it turned out, the princess had been staring at him, and noticing his gaze, she quickly looked away.
Having lost focus, the ball of water couldn’t maintain its shape and splashed to the ground.
Professor Garcia nodded.
“Yi-han, your next assignment will be to maintain its shape and hold it in place.”
Now that he knew how to bring forth water, maintaining its shape by remaining focused didn’t sound too difficult, and he replied without putting much thought into it.
However, a certain question popped up in his mind.
“Professor, for how long do I have to maintain its shape and keep it in place?”
“Well, your mana will probably run out before long, so… ah. Hmmm…”
Normally, a student would run out of mana rather than lose focus, but the boy before him was the polar opposite. He had so much mana that it couldn’t possibly dry out.
The professor nodded to himself before readily replying to the question.
“Let’s say until the end of class!”
Yi-han questioned what he just heard.
‘Uh…isn’t this a punishment?’