Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 36
‘Now, now. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The professor shouldn’t know of my plan yet.’
Yi-han pulled himself together and calmed his heart.
Even if it was Professor Bolady, the vampire professor, he shouldn’t be capable of reading other’s minds.
– Grades? Imma cheese it by taking an unpopular class!
‘Hmm. If anything, I’d be embarrassed if he figures out my intention.”
“I asked if you have any questions.” Professor Bolady slowly repeated himself, his eyes glued to Yi-han.
“Am I allowed to ask any and all questions?”
“Of course not. It has to be related to the class.”
‘Well, duh? It’s not like I’m going to ask how to escape the academy…’
Fortunately, Professor Bolady’s personality was straightforward and easy to understand.
He was a man of principle who was as strict with himself as he was with others.
Yi-han had a lot of experience meeting such types of people, so he didn’t feel troubled by it.
‘It’s lunatics like the principal that give me headaches.’
Professors like Bolady didn’t trouble the students as long as they did what they were told.
“Is there anything you’re curious about?”
Yi-han contemplated what he should ask.
“Feel free to ask any questions” was a phrase often used by professors. However, they never truly meant what they said.
If the students casually asked something, they would often be met with a “Why don’t you know something so basic?”
‘Let’s test the waters first.’
“What’s the purpose of this activity? Why do we have to repeatedly draw circles with the Soul Star marble?”
Not only was this question related to the class, but it was also something he was genuinely curious about.
What could he possibly learn from drawing circles with a marble?
Professor Bolady, however, appeared positively puzzled by this. He failed to understand the point of his question.
“Do you know what this course is called?”
Yi-han wasn’t at all surprised by this type of response.
It was typical of professors to behave this way.
– 1+1=2. Got it? Now solve this high-order differential equation. What? You can’t solve it? But why?
“I do. It’s called <Basic Repetitive Training in Magic Combat>. What I’d like to know is, how is this marble rotation exercise supposed to train us in basic magic combat?”
Professor Bolady fell silent after hearing this question.
He was as still as a statue, so much so that it was as if someone had turned off his power supply.
Some time passed, and Yi-han was starting to feel uneasy.
Without batting an eye, the professor told Yi-han to wait.
What else could he do but oblige?
And so he waited.
Time continued to pass, and just as Yi-han was regretting his decision, Professor Bolady opened his mouth.
“Right. That will do.”
“The answer to your question seemed so obvious, I was having trouble formulating a response.”
Yi-han was freaking out inside.
‘You were thinking about it for that long…? Wait. I shouldn’t be so surprised. We’re dealing with a professor after all.’
“Listen carefully. See this quill over here? It’s all I need to kill you.”
Professor Bolady suddenly dropped a bombshell, prompting Yi-han to immediately reach out to his staff.
Noticing how quickly Yi-han had reacted by taking on a defensive stance, the professor corrected his statement.
“I take that back. It might be difficult with a quill.”
It wasn’t all that comforting to hear.
The professor continued as Yi-han contemplated between fleeing and calling for help.
“What I’m trying to say is, when it comes to magic combat, it’s not about who can cast a higher-level spell. It’s about choosing the right spell to effectively kill your opponent.”
A look of regret appeared on the professor’s face as he said this as if he felt remorse for explaining in such great detail.
“Do you understand now?”
“…Not really. Please explain it a bit further.”
The professor seemed shocked to hear this but soon returned to being as still as a statue.
Yi-han realized he had done it again. However, there was no point in crying over spilt milk.
‘Now that I’ve come this far, I must get an answer.’
After some time…
“The exercise that you’re doing with the Soul Star marble is to train you in controlling your projectile magic. As you may know already, a spell like <Magic Missile> could become deadly depending on the mage casting it.”
‘I had absolutely no idea that was the case.’
“More likely than not, a mage that isn’t familiar with combat won’t be able to wield a single spell properly if they’re placed on a battlefield because of all the explosions, heat, and killing intent. However, through repeated training, they can learn to cast and control spells using only their instinct.”
The professor then demonstrated how someone could cast a spell without chanting or waving their staff.
Though it sounded impressive, it was just a first-circle magic.
The principle behind the spell was simple enough. All they had to do was gather mana, make it into a sphere, and release it.
When done properly, a chunk of mana the size of a fist would go hurling toward the enemy.
Nevertheless, as it was a spell that belonged to the first circle, it wasn’t all that powerful. In fact, mercenaries often joked about which was stronger, a magic missile or a stone thrown at high speed.
…However, Professor Bolady’s magic missile completely overturned that notion.
It was as if the Milky Way galaxy had appeared inside the classroom.
Hundreds of magic missiles filled up the space, and when the professor waved his hand, they all flew in a certain direction.
Some of them shot forward in a straight line; others travelled in a curved path.
Some of them moved in a predictable pattern; others were completely random.
Some of them were as quick as arrows; others, not so much.
Regardless, they were all gunning for the same target: the enemy’s throat.
The missiles collided, and they all vanished after a loud explosion.
Professor Bolady’s magic was so exquisite and elaborate that Yi-han could almost envision the imaginary enemy falling to the ground after getting hit right in the throat.
This once again taught Yi-han that anything could look beautiful when polished to the extreme.
“This is the purpose of your training. It’s so that you can control your projectile magic freely. Got it?”
“Yes. Thank you.”
Professor Bolady nodded, relieved that Yi-han had finally understood. If Yi-han had asked for further clarification, he would’ve been troubled.
‘I see, so he’s not being paid to laze around.’
Yi-had felt slightly apologetic for misjudging the professor’s character. He previously thought the professor was teaching a course simply to receive his salary.
After hearing the explanation, however, the marble exercise seemed to make sense.
Knowing how to cast a spell did not imply having mastery over it. It was similar to how swinging a sword did not equate to being a swordmaster.
In fact, mastering even a single spell required a tremendous amount of effort. It meant shaving off as much time as possible in casting the spell and being able to precisely control it even in a chaotic setting.
Professor Bolady was someone that took such things seriously.
Fortunately, this training coincided with Yi-han’s interest. After all, he had an issue regarding his control over projectile magic.
“Sir, may I ask one more question?”
“I recently learned a spell called <Lower Control>.”
The professor didn’t ask him where he learned it from. Quite frankly, it was none of his business.
“The thing is… I know how to cast it, but the object which I’m controlling refuses to remain put.”
Professor Bolady raised his eyebrows.
He wasn’t having issues controlling the object, but having it stay in its place?
This was very peculiar.
When fledgling mages first learned <Lower Control>, they had issues making the objects move. They never had trouble making them stay where they were.
Unless the mage in question had an overwhelming amount of mana…
“Hold on. It seems you have more mana than usual.”
“Oh, yeah. Apparently, I do.”
Yi-han was surprised that the professor managed to figure it out so quickly. Since that was the case, he hoped the professor could offer a solution to his problem.
‘What kind of method would he use?’
Without a word, the professor grabbed his arm and activated a high-circle magic.
It was a cruel but powerful spell that sucked away the opponent’s mana.
Yi-han could feel his mana being rapidly drained.
‘You have some explaining to do, you crazy lunatic!’
However, it was too late to stop him. The professor’s magic was draining his mana at an alarming speed.
However, he soon realized that something was off, and he stared at the professor’s face. As a vampire, Professor Bolady had always been pale, but it seemed worse now.
“Professor, are you alright!?”
The professor slowly took off his hand before suddenly collapsing, scaring Yi-han out of his wits.
He didn’t expect the professor to pass out.
He had imagined professors collapsing numerous times, but he didn’t think he’d be the one to cause it!
Fortunately, Professor Bolady quickly came back to his senses. After waking up, the vampire professor summarized what just happened.
“You have more mana than I thought.”
“…Is that so?”
Yi-han, who had his mana taken, was in a much better condition than the professor, even though he was the one whos mana was plundered.
Despite having so much mana sucked away, Yi-han didn’t feel tired or sleepy at all.
Professor Bolady nodded. Had it been any other professor, they would’ve explained how absurd this was.
If it was an inexperienced mage, it was possible for them to faint after taking in more mana than their body could handle. However, it was a different story with a mage as skilled as Bolady.
Yi-han’s mana reserve had to be truly ridiculous to have someone like him lose control and collapse.
Having said that, Professor Bolady didn’t bother explaining this to Yi-han as he didn’t deem it important.
What mattered right now was something else.
“I was trying to make it easier for you to control your magic by draining your mana through mana drain, but it failed.”
Yi-han understood what the professor wanted to do
If having too much mana was what impeded him from having delicate control over his projectile magic, drastically reducing the mana in his body seemed to be the optimal solution.
…But it failed.
“There’s another method.”
“And what would that be?”
“When you used <Lower Control>, have the projectiles ever shot toward you?”
Yi-han took a moment to answer.
“There you have it. That was your instinct at work. Though it may have seemed like you lost control, the moment you successfully cast the spell, a connection was formed between you and the object, meaning you still had influence over it.”
As it made sense, Yi-han nodded in understanding.
If his spell had been undone, the stones should’ve fallen to the ground. The fact that they didn’t indicated that the connection was still present.
‘Wait, then was it also my instinct that made the stones strike the enemies on their forehead?’
He could no longer determine whether it was a coincidence or not, but there wasn’t a point in figuring it out.
Some things were better left untouched.
“Instincts are powerful. You might become better at controlling your projectile magic by training your instinct.”
“Here I come. I’ll be aiming for your chin, so protect yourself with all you have.”
Yi-han wondered what this was about. The Soul Star marbles that rose to the air gave him the answer that he needed.
The marbles quivered as they began shooting toward Yi-han’s chin.
At that moment, Yi-han clearly felt his instinct sharply cry out, and his body moved before he could think.
There was good news. Yi-han got pretty good at casting and maintaining <Lower Control>.
However, the bad news was that Professor Bolady turned out to be more insane than he initially thought.
‘It’s my fault for trusting anyone in this academy.’
Never again shall I trust anyone!