Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 35
“By the way, what kind of riddles did the talking oak tree give you?” Bungaegor asked curiously.
“Uh…they were kind of weird.”
Leaving aside the second riddle which was about shadows, the one involving the dwarf and his candles was pure bs.
“Well, they do give some pretty wacky riddles.”
Bungaegor nodded in understanding.
The talking oak trees were famous for giving strange riddles that made mages second guess themselves.
Since the oak trees looked profound, inexperienced mages would often make the mistake of trying to uncover the mysteries behind their riddles. However, what they didn’t know was that these talking trees were just corny spirits that liked giving corny riddles.
“Is that so?”
“Yes. At the end of the day, most things in life turn out to be nothing special once the truth is brought to light.”
Yi-han was dumbfounded by Bungaegor’s explanation.
Then was the question about the goblins joining the orcs’ party just another one of their corny riddles?
‘Dang it. Should’ve known that something was fishy after hearing the first riddle.’
“The riddles were…”
One by one, Yi-han revealed the riddles that the oak tree presented to them.
– Orcs from several different tribes gathered for a feast. The naughty goblins were able to join them in their festivities. How did they manage to do this?
“Simple. The goblins disguised themselves as orcs.”
“You shouldn’t think too deeply about their riddles. The first thing that comes to your mind is most likely the answer. Goblins could easily trick the orcs and disguise themselves.”
Though he was at a loss for words, Yi-han turned his attention back to the answer.
The riddle was as ridiculous as it could get, but it contained some truth.
The oak tree had said that it would be the hint to escaping the academy, which meant there had to be a hidden message somewhere.
‘So…it was trying to tell me to disguise myself?”
One would wonder if it was really that simple. However, that seemed to be the most obvious answer that got to the crux of the matter.
The magic academy wasn’t a completely isolated space. After all, priests from various religious orders had been allowed to enter.
‘Not to mention the supplies.’
Ingredients, reagents, and materials that they needed had to be brought in from outside, and the workers that brought them in were probably regular people that didn’t know any magic.
That meant there had to be a way for the students to leave the academy without using any spells!
Yi-han clenched his fists.
In the midst of darkness prepared by the principal, a single ray of hope had shone through.
Bungaegor stared at Yi-han’s face with great interest. It seemed the boy had been enlightened just now.
‘Hmm? What kind of epiphany could he have possibly gained from the oak tree’s corny riddle?’
Previously, she’d been surprised by how well he performed on the field, but apparently, this boy from the Wardanaz Family was a gift that kept on giving. She could observe him all day long without ever getting bored.
When Yi-han was done tending to his garden, Professor Bungaegor brought with her several chickens and eggs, giving them to him as a gift.
Uregor had a look of dismay on his face as he knew whose pen those chickens and eggs came from.
“Treat them well, Wardanaz. If you do, you’ll no doubt be rewarded in the future.”
“Thank you. I’ll gladly take them.”
For the first-year students who were in the midst of their growth spurt, eggs were a delicacy that would drive them crazy.
In other words, if he brought the eggs back to the dormitory, he could reign as king.
“Take this as well. Oh, and a bit of these.”
Eager to pamper this new disciple of hers, Bungaegor began filling a basket full of goods.
Starting with some freshly harvested eggs, she put in cabbages, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, butter, cheese, and a nice chunk of venison.
The more the basket was filled, the deeper Uregor’s frown became. However, Yi-han pretended like he couldn’t see his professor’s look of sadness.
“Well then, Wardanaz, until next time.”
‘I’m loaded all of a sudden.’
The meal with the dwarves had been hectic, but he had gained a lot.
The secret to his staff and a hint to escaping the academy. As a cherry on top, he had received a ton of food, which was great since his supply was slowly running out.
‘How did the first-years before us survive?’
Yi-han was working under a professor and receiving food in exchange for work, but their seniors probably didn’t have such an opportunity.
Did they endure while starving?
“Wardanaz is here!”
The students of the Blue Dragons were in the first year’s resting lounge, clearly hungry and tired.
They had been playing chess and cards to ward off the hunger, but upon seeing Yi-han, they became excited.
Their excitement was doubled when they saw the basket he was carrying.
“Wardanaz, my good friend!”
“Wardanaz, the most honorable family in the Empire!”
‘It’s not my place to say this, but where’s their dignity as nobles of prestigious households?’
However, he understood why they behaved this way.
All were equal before hunger. There was no difference between royalties and beggars in this regard.
The story of Yi-han’s return quickly spread, and the remaining students of the Blue Dragons scurried out of their rooms to gather before him. They were like baby birds waiting to be fed by their mother.
“It seems everyone is hungry. Hold on a moment.”
With the vegetables and meat that he received from Bungaegor, he should be able to prepare some nice soup, enough to feed all the students that had gathered here.
Yi-han placed a huge pot over the fire in the fireplace, adding venison and onions before stir-frying them.
Next came the vegetables. He skillfully added water, tomatoes, and potatoes into the pot and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
Though salt and pepper were condiments that could be easily acquired outside, they were worth their weight in gold to the first-years.
The tomatoes gradually gave the soup its color, and as the soup boiled, the students started giving Yi-han puppy eyes.
– It’s done boiling, right? We can have them, right?
However, Yi-han firmly stopped them.
‘Up next, cabbages.’
He added cabbages and some butter. Then, he saw to it that it was well-seasoned.
He cooked in a solemn manner, looking like an experienced alchemist at work.
Before anyone knew it, the Blue Dragons had begun tidying their appearance, politely waiting for their soup.
“It’s done now. Bring me the bowls.”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
‘What’s with the honorifics?’
Though he was confused, Yi-han began handing out generous servings of soup.
Yonaire, who had heard the rumours, ran over with a quill in hand, ready to fill up the account book.
“The Kilenens, eight silver pieces… Gainando, eleven silver pieces…”
“Wardanaz, isn’t one silver coin too little?”
“Yeah, you should really ask us for more. You’re being paid too little for your effort.”
The students had no sense of money as they all came from wealthy and powerful families.
Hearing what they said, Yonaire and Yi-han heaved a sigh of lament.
‘How are they going to survive once they become independent?’
“Can you share some with Her Highness?”
A few students carefully asked. They looked to be followers of Adenart.
Yi-han’s expression became slightly cloudy.
“I-If you don’t want to, we can’t force you, but…”
“I know you’re close to His Highness Gainando, but it’s not like they’re in a conflict. We just want Her Highness to have something nice to eat as well…”
They seemed to be misunderstanding something.
He wasn’t hesitating about sharing food with the princess because of Gainando. It was simply because he didn’t want to give out food for free.
“You guys are mistaken. I won’t withhold food from the princess just because of Gainando. I’m not so petty.”
“He lives up to his name!”
The students were overjoyed to hear this. Now that they were in a good mood, he decided it was time to strike.
“But who’s going to pay? The princess?”
“We’ll pay for her! We’ll each pay double!”
“Thank you, Wardanaz!”
“Wait… are you sure that’s alright? (Have too much money to use, is that it?)”
“This is nothing compared to the kindness that you’re showing, Wardanaz.”
“We’re really grateful. We thought you’d refuse, with your connection to His Highness and whatnot.”
The students seemed genuinely grateful, which came as a great surprise to Yi-han.
He was surprised that they were willing to pay for the princess, that they were willing to pay double the price, and that they thought so highly of Gainando.
‘In reality, Gainando’s got virtually no political influence as a royal to form a faction of his own.’
There was a lot of misunderstanding between the two parties, but Yi-han decided it would be in his best interest to remain silent.
“Members of the royal family should take care of each other. That’s what’s best for the Empire, after all.”
“What a great guy…!”
Yi-han brought a bowl of soup to Adenart’s room and knocked. After a few seconds, she appeared at the door.
Adenart raised her eyebrow, asking why he was there.
In response, Yi-han gave her the bowl of soup.
“I made it in the resting lounge. Please, have some.”
Adenart seemed hesitant to receive the soup, questioning his motive.
Having heard of the misunderstanding surrounding Gainando, Yi-han decided to clear things up.
“Your Highness can rest assured. The others downstairs have had a serving as well.”
More specifically, the others had paid for a serving, but Yi-han decided against saying it out loud.
After much hesitation, Adenart finally accepted the bowl with both hands, her hunger having won over her reason.
As a sign of gratitude, she gave a small bow before eating the soup with a spoon.
The interval between each spoon gradually lessened over time. Fortunately, the soup seemed to fit her taste.
“You can have them inside your room.”
Adenart’s hands stopped when she heard this.
Then, with another bow, she closed the door and returned to her room.
‘Was that unnecessary?’
When he returned, the students that had been waiting downstairs once again expressed their gratitude.
“Wardanaz, did Her Highness-”
“Yeah, she seemed to like it.”
“Man, you’re really an amazing alchemist!”
‘Anything would taste great to someone that’s starving…’
“From now on, can you keep bringing her food? Of course, we’ll pay for them.”
“…It is a noble’s honor to serve the royal family.”
The words flowed out of his mouth. Yi-han himself was surprised by how smoothly they came out.
‘Royals are really something.’
People followed them simply because of the blood flowing in their veins.
This was a prime example of being born with authority, though Gainando seemed to be an exception…
<Basic Repetitive Training in Magic Combat>, a course held on the B1 floor of the academy’s main building.
The vampire professor Bolady Bagrak was deep in thought, though his expression remained as tranquil as ever.
He only had one student left in his class now.
What did he have to do in order to make sure he kept attending his classes?
‘This is truly difficult.’
Normally, he wouldn’t put much effort into having students listen to his class.
His contract stated that he had to teach, not that he had to recruit students to his class.
However, things were a bit different this time around. The boy from the Wardanaz Family had quite a lot of mana stored inside his body.
Would there be another student like him?
If he stopped coming, Bolady would have to wait several more years again before he could move on to the next stage in his curriculum. There was also no guarantee that the next student would be as talented as the boy in front of him.
After a lot of consideration, Professor Bolady opened his mouth.
“Do you have any questions?”
Yi-han, who had been focused on making the marble go around in circles, raised his head in surprise.
What was this?
Did the professor realize his sleazy plot to laze around?
I suddenly had a terrible thought… Gainando smoothly becomes the next king because no one wants to go against the candidate that Wardanaz “backs”.