Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 24
While Dolgyu was lowering his evaluation of Gainando, Nilia was listing out the things that they would need for their late-night excursion.
“Since we don’t know for how long we’d have to travel, we should prepare as best as we can. A nice pair of boots and some high-quality socks would be ideal, but…”
“Unfortunately, we don’t have those.”
The atmosphere became heavy with Yi-han’s interjection.
The principal had purposefully given them rags to wear, so they naturally didn’t have such things lying around. Thankfully, Nilia had come prepared knowing that was the case.
“I’ve made these boots out of the hides of the beasts we caught last time. And these footwraps were made from the curtains in the resting lounge. Here, give me your foot.”
Nilia realized she’d done it again after noticing that Yi-han and Yonaire had fallen silent.
‘Did I say something inappropriate again?’
After bringing back the meat, she had become close with some of the students of the Black Tortoise. However, she couldn’t help but feel that there was still some distance between her and the others.
As a former member of the Shadow Patrol located in the cold northern mountains, she obviously had trouble speaking to, say, an heir of a massive merchant’s association active in the central regions.
– Wow! See that red flower over there?
– Yeah. They’re sweet and taste good.
– …Er, I mean, aren’t they pretty?
– They’re both pretty and tasty. Doesn’t that make them twice as good?
She wasn’t stupid, so she quickly registered that her view of the world was different from the others. From then on, she tried to keep her mouth shut to avoid making things awkward.
But she had slipped up.
“Um, I mean…I made these myself because… I couldn’t think of any other way, and…”
“Yeah! You’re amazing!”
Yi-han and Yonaire’s reaction caught her completely off-guard.
“You think so?”
“Of course. You said you made them yourself, right?”
“It’s not something anyone can do. Did you stitch these?”
The corners of her mouth and eyes trembled in delight at their praise.
“…It’s nothing worth mentioning.”
“What do you mean? These are wonderful.”
“Yeah, I doubt anyone in the academy can do the same.”
“Nilia, you ought to start a business.”
“I concur. You should sell these to the others in your tower.”
Noticing that the conversation was being steered in the wrong direction, Nilia waved her hands.
“I don’t want to start a business.”
“Yeah, Nilia. Do you dislike money?”
She was left gobsmacked as Yi-han and Yonaire seemed like they genuinely couldn’t understand her reason.
‘Isn’t it normal for me to not want to sell things to my friends!?’
Her prideful behavior made her seem like she was someone from the Blue Dragons.
“What’s there to sell anyway? I’m not gonna do it!”
Yi-han and Yonaire became serious hearing this.
“Nonsense. Whether you can sell them or not isn’t up to you. It’s up to the market!”
“Well said! Do you understand now, Nilia?”
“…Can I just carry on with my explanation? Please??”
“Right. Sorry. Do continue, please.”
Nilia cleared her throat, having barely wriggled herself out of the conversation. Despite everything, her expression was brighter than before, and her long ears were pointing upward, indicating that she was in a good mood.
Though she was pretending to be calm, she was feeling jovial after being praised by the duo.
“But what’s so great about these?” Gainando asked, not understanding why they were raising a fuss.
Yonaire slapped him in the back, whereas Yi-han kicked him in the shin.
“Nilia, you don’t have to give any to him. Let him figure out himself how big of a difference the footwraps and boots make.”
“Yeah, he’ll learn to appreciate them once he suffers a bit.”
“A-aren’t you guys being too mean?! I’m still a prince, you know…!”
‘He’s a prince?!’
Nilia freaked out when she heard this.
Yi-han and Yonaire came from powerful families, so they didn’t think much of the hundred-plus members of the royal family. However, the same couldn’t be said for Nilia, who felt immense pressure from learning the truth.
A direct descendant of the emperor. Just by having that title alone, Gainando seemed much more majestic…
He seemed much more like a patient now than a prince after being slapped by Yonaire and kicked by Yi-han.
“We’re going to have to walk for who knows how long. Do you have any idea how valuable those boots and footwraps are? If it’s you, I bet your feet would be a mess after just one hour.”
“Should we just leave him here?”
“N-no! I get it, so don’t abandon me!”
Eventually, the situation was resolved, and Yi-han apologized to Nilia in his stead.
“Sorry about that, Nilia. You must have worked hard to prepare those, yet Gainando was rude to you.”
“No, it’s fine. I don’t mind what he said.”
“Seems like you do. How about I hit him one more time?”
“I’m really fine!!” Nilia shouted in a panic.
She didn’t feel offended in the slightest. She could tell from first glance that Gainando had never experienced walking long distances, and considering his identity as a prince, it wasn’t strange that he didn’t know about this sort of thing.
“Oh, and here are some coats I made. It’s spring, but it can be chilly at night. The wind is strong around here as well.”
“…Can you two please stop reacting to everything I say?”
Though she was happy with the praise, it was starting to get annoying.
“Leather bags. We’ll need them once we’re in town. Leather water bags. They’re also handmade.”
‘She’s really amazing.’
Yi-han found it honestly remarkable. She had made all these out of leather, needles, and strings.
‘Why does she refuse to start a business when she’s so skilled?’
If it was him, he would’ve made a killing out of them. Yonaire, who was watching beside him, seemed to think it was a pity as well.
“Since we’re traveling in the dark for a long time, the footwraps will help, and the coats will shield us from the cold. The thing that worries me is that we lack food and water…”
Nilia became hesitant. She was worried about the lack of food. If it was just for a day, she would have no problem climbing the mountains on an empty stomach. But what about the others?
“No need to worry. I’ve brought some food with me. Sausages, bread, goat cheese, and dwarven honey candies. Will these do?”
Nilia was pleasantly surprised. Yi-han had brought enough food for emergencies.
“Where’d you get these?”
“Let’s just say some things might be found missing from Professor Uregor’s hut.”
‘Is he really a student of the Blue Dragons?’
“Respected friends, you’ve all gathered here today, having sworn that you would follow my orders.”
A group of students with well-built physiques nodded after hearing Jijel’s words. These were the students of the White Tigers that had decided to trust her and join her in her escape plan.
The fact that so many had gathered without even knowing the details of the plan spoke volumes about her influence.
There were many students here with better physiques than her, and some of them seemed fiercer as well. Considering she was an elf with a fair and feminine appearance, it wouldn’t be weird for her to feel intimidated, but she stood before them with a straight back, speaking arrogantly and with a sharp tone.
“There’s no need to pay attention to the cowards and the traitors that didn’t join us, for they will soon regret their decisions.”
“We trust you, Moradi!”
“We’ll move out in ten minutes.”
There was a reason for her confidence.
‘As long as I follow the map, it wouldn’t take us more than 4 hours.’
Surprisingly, she had a map that detailed the escape route, a map she had found in the Moradi estate before she entered the academy!
– Introduction to magic for beginners, what is magic, legends of Einroguard…are these all?
– Apologies, Lady Moradi.
– Bring me everything we have. I don’t plan on getting looked down upon by other mages.
Students of knights’ families all shared a common concern before entering Einroguard.
Would they be able to keep up?
Unlike the others, they had spent their entire lives swinging their swords, so their worries were not unfounded.
Jijel, being the prideful person that she was, refused to be looked down upon. Hence, she browsed through countless books in preparation for the academy.
And she had found the map in one of them.
– Einroguard escape map…? What’s this for?
The map contained details of how students could escape the academy.
When she first saw the map, she thought the person who made it was out of their mind.
Einroguard was a prestigious academy that only a select few were allowed to enter. It was the best magic institute inside the Empire, one which admitted students with talent. Only someone hopeless would throw such an opportunity away and think of escape.
However, it only took her a day in the academy to realize why the map had been made.
‘Ah, so this is why!’
-How to escape Einroguard-
I shall convey the truth to you, for the path indicated on this map is your only hope of escape. Using the path my friends and I discovered through much trial and error, I hope those that follow after us would be able to slip out without getting caught…
The map had been created by their seniors to aid them, and it had been meticulously crafted.
With the map in hand, she was confident that she would succeed!
“They’re entering the mountains.”
While lying down on the grass, Yi-han and his group of friends watched as several torches began to move. The White Tigers had commenced their operation.
‘So it’s through the mountains after all.’
Yi-han had surmised that there were only two ways out of the academy.
First was through the academy’s tall walls and gates. They had entered the academy that way, and they could reach a town simply by following the road that was outside. The only problem was that it wouldn’t be easy to pass through the gates once more.
The other method involved traversing the vast forest and mountain range behind the academy.
The walls surrounding the academy should be cut off deep within the mountains, so they would just have to take a turn after they reached the end of the wall.
Yi-han had predicted that Jijel’s method would be closer to the latter.
Very few people dared to enter the vast mountain range behind the academy as it was covered with thick vegetation. However, it wouldn’t be a problem for someone capable to navigate it with a map.
And his prediction had been spot on.
“Let’s go. We’re chasing after them!”
“Huh? Why are we entering the mountains??”
Gainando followed the group, not understanding what was happening. He had assumed they were leaving through the gates.
“We’re breaking through the mountains.”
“What? But why?
“Because the escape path is there. Dolgyu, look after Gainando for us.”
Dolgyu nodded readily.
Nilia had a lot of experience traversing the mountains. Meanwhile, Yi-han and Dolgyu had been trained as knights. Yonaire was used to going around in search of alchemy materials from a young age, so she had no problem walking long distances either.
Gainando, however, was going to be a big problem.
“Me? Why do I need looking after??”
“I’ll be behind you. Prince, breathe through your nose and keep your feet moving. Let’s go!”
“Huh? W-wait a sec…”
Gainando was about to ask some more questions, but soon wasn’t in the condition to do so.
The moon was out, but it was still dark at night, and going up an unfamiliar mountain used up a lot of stamina. Nilia was in the lead checking the road and clearing the obstacles, but everyone in the group was sweating.
Even so, Yi-han tried his best to note the path they were taking. Having trained under countless crazy professors, he was able to draw a map without even looking at the paper.
Yonaire, who was walking next to him, stared at him in disbelief.
‘Is he using <Night Vision>?’
It seemed like an impossible stunt that could only be achieved with the help of a spell that he might have learned during his time at the Wardanaz estate.
“Oh, look over here.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a somniferous plant. Its powder can be mixed in with water, and drinking it would cause you to fall asleep.”
“Let’s collect it. You never know when it will come in handy.”
“Will we ever need it though?”
While tilting her head, she collected the plant.
‘We must have walked for at least an hour.’
“Nilia. How long has it been? An hour?”
“An hour and ten minutes,” Nilia replied as she stared at Yi-han.
‘He’s not a seasoned hunter, yet he hasn’t lost his sense of time in the mountains…’
Just then, Yi-han felt a shiver run down his spine.
‘Is it a monster!? No, Nilia would’ve told us about it. Did she miss it?’
It was the familiar laughter of a certain lich.