Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 23
Yi-han decided to take a step back for Dolgyu.
“Since you’re doing this out of your sense of honor and justice, calling you a spy might not be the most appropriate. How about ‘inside man’?”
It was a phrase that Dolgyu had never heard of before, but it sounded more pleasing to the ear than spy, and it sounded more classy as well, which was to his liking.
“Let’s go with that then…”
“Great. Then from now on, you’ll be our inside man, and I want you to inform us of any schemes that the White Tigers cook up against us.”
Yonaire, who had her hands cupped around her face, watched on with interest. She wondered how Yi-han managed to convince an orc from the White Tigers to cooperate with him.
“Dolgyu, you might be wondering why I brought you here on a Saturday morning… It’s to brainstorm ideas to escape the academy.”
Dolgyu seemed shocked when he heard this.
Yi-han wasn’t surprised by his reaction, but what Dolgyu said next blew his mind.
“You guys are planning on escaping as well?”
The students of the White Tigers were famished, just like the others.
People often had a misconception that knights were used to hunger, but this wasn’t true. They were also considered nobles within the Empire, so they rarely starved. In fact, they ate as much as they moved, so they had an even more difficult time adjusting to the academy’s lifestyle than others.
– We should go out and hunt! If Wardanaz can catch boars in the forest, there’s nothing stopping us from doing the same!
– We’ll form groups and head out to hunt during the weekend. Everyone here should have experience hunting, so we have the advantage!
– Yeah, so what if the others know how to use a spell or two? Let’s show them what we’re made of!
– Now, now. Quiet down, everyone.
Seeing everyone talk over one another, Jijel stepped forward to take command, easily winning the support of the famished students.
– Going on a hunt? Not a bad idea. But think about it. Is hunting that easy?
– I mean Wardanaz did it…
– That’s because the professor in charge of alchemy prepared the boars. How deep into the forest would we have to go to find them? Are you familiar with the terrain?
Jijel’s arguments were very convincing. As she said, hunting wasn’t so simple, especially in a foreign environment.
They could explore the outer perimeters of the forests and mountains near the academy, but they would have to think twice before travelling deeper as no one knew what kind of monsters resided there.
– Then Moradi, you have a plan?
– Care you explain?
– We should escape from the academy and head to a nearby town.
– As long as we succeed, not catching prey would be the least of our concerns. We’ll be able to purchase everything we need this semester.
– I-is that true!?
– It sounds too good to be true…
– I’ve already planned everything out in my head. You can tag along if you wish. I don’t plan on hogging everything for myself, but if you decide to come with me, you’ll have to listen to my commands. I don’t need anyone that will spoil the team’s mood or ruin the operation with their needless resistance.
– Of course, Moradi!
– We’ll all follow you!
“Wait, does that mean I can also join her if I listen to her orders?”1Yi-han still thinks Moradi is male
“Guess not, huh? Figures.”
Dolgyu was dumbfounded by Yi-han’s question.
He had no idea whether or not Jijel would accept, but what happened to his pride as a member of the Wardanaz Family? How could he have the face to join her?
Dolgyu got angry just remembering what Jijel tried to do against Yi-han.
“Think back to her actions.”
“Yeah, he definitely won’t let me join him.”
“No, that’s not the problem here!” Dolgyu cried out, exasperated.
Yi-han, on the other hand, got lost in his thought.
Things had become complicated because of Jijel. He originally planned on slowly coming up with a method of escape with Dolgyu, Nilia, and his other friends.
Succeeding on their first try? That didn’t even cross his mind.
From his conversation with Professor Uregor, it was clear that escaping wouldn’t be easy, yet Jijel had promised the White Tigers that everything had been accounted for.
‘Is he bluffing? No, he doesn’t seem to be the type to bluff. This isn’t Gainando we’re dealing with.’
He had barely interacted with Jijel Moradi, but he had a rough idea of her personality.
She was a cold, domineering person, and someone like that would not give empty promises, meaning she probably had a solid plan.
“Since she won’t let me join…”
“Were you actually being serious there?”
“….I guess there’s no choice.”
“Yeah, I’m glad you understand.”
“We’ll have to tail them.”
Dolgyu didn’t know where to start.
“I mean is there a better plan?”
“Isn’t that a bit…dishonorable?”
Dolgyu wasn’t too keen on the idea. After all, knights lived and died for honor.
Since Yi-han came from the Wardanaz Family, one of the Empire’s most distinguished households, he should also consider his honor to be of utmost importance.
“Think about it, Dolgyu. It’s a strategy.”
“Know thyself and thy enemy. A strategy.”
Yi-han looked straight into Dolgyu’s eyes and repeated the phrase with a steady voice.
‘The more BS it is, the more confidently you must argue.’
In life, people with the biggest voice often won arguments. Even if they’re spouting nonsense, they would sound oddly convincing because they seem so genuine in what they say.
Dolgyu started questioning his reasoning after seeing Wardanaz repeat himself while maintaining his cold, sculpture-like expression.
‘I guess it could be considered a strategy…’
“You might be right…”
“Yes, it’s all part of our strategy. How are we supposed to come up with countermeasures if we don’t know what the enemy is plotting?”
Not that Jijel’s escape plan had anything to do with Yi-han, but that was beside the point. He spun his argument in a way that made it sound like they had to investigate Jijel’s plan in order to stop her evil plot.
“Dolgyu, your role in this is important. You must learn about Moradi’s escape plan and report it back to me.”
“Got it. I’ll try my best.”
“Great! You’re our trusty inside man! Others might not know what an honorable man you are, but I assure you that I do!”
“Don’t mention it.”
Yi-han patted Dolygu on the shoulder as a form of encouragement before sending him away.
“Huu. We were supposed to think of ideas for escape together, but the situation has changed… why are you guys looking at me like that?”
Yonaire and Gainando were staring at Yi-han with a strange glint in their eyes.
“Before you entered the academy, did someone teach you a brainwashing spell?” Gainando asked in a serious tone.
Saturday night, as the sun was about to set. This was the time that Jijel Moradi of the White Tigers chose to set out with the others in an attempt to escape the academy.
Yi-han, having obtained this information from Dolgyu, also made his move.
‘It would be ideal if we can figure out their escape route today.’
Jijel would definitely try to keep the information to herself, and if they succeed in escaping, they would make sure that no one is tailing them the second time around.
He knew this as he would’ve done the same if he was in Jijel’s shoes!
They had the greatest chance of figuring out the route without getting caught precisely because it was the White Tiger’s first attempt at escaping, meaning they would be too nervous to properly check their backs.
“Dolgyu. Gainando. Yonaire. Nilia.”
Yi-han called out the names of everyone gathered there. They were the friends he had enlisted to help track down the White Tigers.
“I thank everyone for coming to this meeting where we will discuss how we should escape from the academy.”
Nilia the dark elf was so shocked by this that her ears perked up.
This was her first time hearing about this. She had followed them here because she thought she was being invited to hunt with them…
“W-what!? Escaping the academy!?”
“…Are you insane!?”
Gainando felt relieved after hearing her cry of disbelief. He was glad to know that there was at least one other person beside him that was in their right mind in this group of five.
‘Exactly! They’re all insane!’
Naturally, he wished to visit a town as well. However, he knew it wouldn’t be easy to accomplish.
The only reason Gainando came along was that Yi-han seemed so sure about it, but he still felt very anxious inside.
“No, Nilia. We’ve thought everything through. We have a plan.”
Yi-han’s earnest words shook Nilia to the core.
A plan after only one week of being in the academy? Based on his expression, it didn’t seem like he was lying.
‘The Wardanaz Family… what a force to be reckoned with!’
Nilia was in awe.
She had heard about the rumors surrounding the Wardanaz Family, and having observed Yi-han for a while, she kind of understood how they came to be.
The air surrounding him was fundamentally different from the others.
In anticipation of a brilliant idea, she nudged him to continue.
“Tell us your plan!”
“There’s a student among the White Tigers that knows how to escape. We’re going to shadow them and learn their trick.”
This was certainly not what she had been expecting. In fact, she had missed the target by a long shot.
Stealing another student’s idea was a far cry from the ideal school life that she had imagined, even if that student belonged to a rival dorm.
She took a short moment to contemplate before letting out a deep sigh. In the end, she agreed to go along with the plan.
– Yi-han. Nilia doesn’t seem on board with the idea.
– Yonaire, we need her help. She’s the most proficient in tracking out of everyone here.
– But we can’t force her, right…?
– I guess so. If she’s really against it, there’s nothing we can do…
– …Fine! Since I’m your only option, I’ll help you guys out!
After hearing Yi-han and Yonaire’s conversation, she couldn’t find it within herself to turn them down.
As a former member of the <Shadow Patrol>, she wasn’t going to abandon her friends out of fear of getting caught.
And more importantly…
Deep down, she was happy that her ability as a huntress was being valued so highly.
Ironically, it wasn’t the people of her tower that sought her skills. Instead, it was Wardanaz, who belonged to another tower, that appreciated her talent.
Dolgyu, however, was confused by her decision.
“I thought she was going to refuse. Why did that dark elf suddenly change her mind?” he muttered.
“I know the answer to that,” Gainando responded confidently.
Dolgyu took a moment to process what he just heard before coming to a realization.
“Ah. I see.”
There were certain things that no one liked to do, and though reasons often varied, fear, anxiety, and greed were the most common. To overcome such emotions, people would bring out their inner virtues, be that their sense of honor or their ties with friends.
There was only one plausible explanation as to why the dark elf suddenly decided to participate. It had to be because of her bonds with her friends.
Dolgyu secretly smiled.
He himself was participating out of a sense of honor, and witnessing the friendship that transcended their backgrounds moved him greatly.
“So you figured it out as well?”
“It just goes to show how desperately she wishes to visit a town. I would know, since I share that sentiment. If we manage to get there, I’m going to lie down on a comfortable bed and take a nap…No, scratch that. I’ll first fill my stomach. I’ll eat anything and everything that is sweet. Candies, chocolate, pancakes, syrup…”
Dolgyu ran his eyes over Gainando.
‘Why is someone like this in our group?’