Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 40
Their opponents were in outfits that made them look like regular travelers, but their true identities were clearly something else.
Travelers wouldn’t be out and about so late at night, not to mention they were in the middle of an empty road, blocking the entourage from passing.
Their cloaks hid most of their faces, but their ferocious eyes could still be seen.
One of the workers raised his voice and shouted in a rough manner.
“This is your final warning! Identify yourselves!”
Met with nothing but silence, the workers pull the trigger to their crossbows.
As a result, several crossbow bolts ripped through the air.
The bolts, however, failed to penetrate the enemies and were instead blocked by something hard.
Nevertheless, the workers were not discouraged and swiftly recharged their crossbows.
Though they were grunts and carriers, workers employed by magic academies were not your average Joe.
Not only did they have their backgrounds checked, they had to know how to fight so that they could protect the goods when conflicts arose.
As such, these workers were either adventurers, mercenaries, or soldiers of the Empire!
Hence, they didn’t falter or panic.
With skillful movement, they jumped off from their carriages and aimed their crossbows at the enemies.
“Fools. Do you have any idea who you are siding with?”
One of the cloaked individuals began speaking.
His voice was thick and rough, and due to the dark, it sounded even more somber than it should’ve been.
“You are siding with the wicked mages that are corrupting the Empire. Extricate yourselves before you fall for their evil magic!”
“Bloody beard of ancestors! They’re anti-magic extremists!” a dwarven worker hollered at the top of his lung.
Anti-magic extremists referred to a certain group of criminals infamous even within the vast Empire, and unsurprisingly, they despised anything that had to do with magic.
– Magic breeds chaos, destroys nature, and corrupts man!
They didn’t express their hatred of magic with words alone. From time to time, they would ambush mages and lay siege to magic academies.
It went without saying that these violent brutes were waiting here today with a clear goal in mind.
“In the name of <Twilight Dawn>!”
“In the name of <Twilight Dawn>!”
And with that, they charged. Their weapons shone under the moonlight, making the workers unconsciously gulp.
“Veil of Order!”
There was a strong fluctuation in the air, and in the next moment, a huge barrier made of mana was formed around the carriages.
The enemies that ran into the barrier were bounced off while throwing up blood.
Professor Garcia had made a move.
“As expected of a professor!”
The workers were all in awe of the majestic scene. However, Garcia’s expression was dark.
Due to her appearance, people often assumed she was skilled in combat, but in reality, she wasn’t proficient at fighting.
Being a highly-ranked mage had nothing to do with being good a master at combat.
At the end of the day, magic and combat were totally different fields.
Mages that researched magic and remained seated in front of their desks all day long would have a difficult time adjusting to the chaotic atmosphere of a battlefield.
Very few would be able to cast spells properly, and if they lost focus or made a mistake, it could bring about a catastrophe.
In a sense, magic was a double-edged sword, and mages that specialized in combat were aptly awarded the title of “combat mage”.
‘Let’s focus on buying time.’
Professor Garcia waved her staff, forming several balls of light that took the shape of birds and shot up into the air.
These birds would inform the other professors in the academy of her current predicament.
“Decay Bones! Shrivel Muscles!”
The assailants near the barrier wailed in pain.
Garcia had transformed her mana into a curse that weakened their bodies.
However, her opponents didn’t take this lying down.
Mages weren’t an easy bunch to fight against. Nevertheless, the anti-magic extremists had ambushed them time and time again.
By now, they had several tricks up their sleeves.
A low-pitched vibration shook everyone’s eardrums, and the mana in the air began to shake violently.
Then, the mana began gathering at a single spot.
Like snow in summer, Professor Garcia’s <Veil of Order> began to fade, something which came as a great shock to her.
‘An ancient relic!’
There were several ways to counter magic.
For example, some ores found within the Empire could absorb mana or push them away, and there were spells that could get rid of others’ magic.
However, it was worth noting that none of these methods could be used to suck away all the mana in a wide area.
Such miracles could only be performed by ancient relics.
Found within dungeons and ruins, they were treasures from a time long forgotten, with knowledge and power that transcended common sense!
The extremists had somehow managed to get their hands on one of them.
“Professor! Please get behind us!”
Now that the barrier was gone, the workers had the professor retreat behind them to prevent the assailants from getting close to her.
Garcia waved her staff once more, but before she could activate her spell, her mana was sucked away by the relic.
“Oh wicked mage, receive heavenly punishment!”
One assailant confidently strode forth while brandishing his sword, ready to cut down Garcia.
The very next moment, however, his head got turned to an impossible angle.
The professor and the workers that witnessed this were astonished.
What just happened?
‘It doesn’t seem like the principal’s trap.’
Yi-han brought himself back to reality after hearing the name Twilight Dawn being mentioned.
If this was also a trap laid by the principal, he would give up and raise the white flag.
He’d stop dreaming of escape and surrender himself to the fate of studying under the skeleton as a graduate student.
Even amongst the Empire’s anti-magic extremists, their organization boasted the greatest size, and its members were absolutely ruthless.
As someone born in the Empire, Yi-han had also heard of them several times in the past, though he never expected to encounter them here…
“W-what should we do?”
“Ratford. Make sure you remain hidden.”
“Sir, you can’t be thinking of…”
Yi-han finished chanting before Ratford could say anything.
“I hide myself in the night.”
And with that, Yi-han turned invisible.
Though Ratford was surprised by the artifact’s ability, he was more concerned about Yi-han’s safety.
“Sir, it’s too dangerous! They’re not your everyday thugs!”
“I know. I plan on being careful.”
Instead of hiding and regretting his decision later on, he preferred planning ahead.
Yi-han was the type of person that assumed the worst when preparing for something.
– Veil of Order!
‘Can the professor manage by herself?’
When he witnessed the assailants crumbling before the professor’s barrier and curse, he rejoiced.
But his joy was short-lived as the assailants brought out a weird-looking relic and blew away all the spells.
To blow away Garcia’s spells…such power!
Though Yi-han was stunned, there was one saving grace in this situation.
His belt had held on.
All other spells were cancelled as their mana got sucked away, but his invisibility spell remained active.
Was this the blessing of Lord Presinga??
‘…Nah. It’s just my mana.’
Yi-han could see the flow of mana around him.
Mana in the surrounding area was being sucked into the relic, and his mana was being drained as well.
The difference was that his body kept supplying the belt with mana no matter how much of it was sucked away, which was why the belt’s spell wasn’t broken.
It was like having a huge battery attached to it.
‘Here they come!’
Yi-han wasn’t given any more time to think as the assailants began approaching the professor.
Arlong, the elderly knight, and Ingurdel, the elven professor, had both approved of his talent in swordsmanship.
Now that he was invisible to boot, he was naturally able to succeed in his ambush.
“Professor, it’s me, Yi-han!”
He immediately informed Garcia of his presence. If he didn’t announce his arrival, he might suffer an attack from one of his allies, and he’d have no one to blame but himself.
“Yi-han!? Why are you-”
“It’s a long story! Professor, please tell me what I should do!”
Yi-han said this as he picked up the sword of his fallen enemy.
Professor Garcia returned to her senses after hearing his shout.
“I’ve already informed the academy of this situation, so reinforcements should arrive soon. Try your best to hold on until then!”
The workers continued to shower the enemies with crossbow bolts.
At first glance, it seemed as if they had the upper hand, but Yi-han quickly realized how fierce and precise the enemies were.
‘They’re all expert swordsmen!’
Although crossbows were powerful, it took a while for them to reload after firing once.
The assailants were taking advantage of that timeframe and gradually drawing near them.
“The workers can’t hold on for much longer! Professor, please use one of your spells!”
“The mana around us is…wait.”
Professor Garcia was puzzled to see Yi-han invisible.
How did he-
It didn’t take long for her to figure out the secret behind his invisibility magic.
It was being backed by a seemingly endless amount of mana!
“Yi-han, I’ll be borrowing your mana for a bit!”
Yi-han grabbed the hand that the professor had extended. Immediately, he could sense his mana being drawn away.
As he had already experienced this with Professor Bolady, he wasn’t as shocked this time around.
“Petra’s Adamantite Spear!”
Without hesitation, Professor Garcia launched a spell at the relic.
Her initial plan had been to defend and draw out the fight, but it was a different story now that the enemies had taken out a relic with an absurd power.
She had to destroy the relic at all costs!
A spear made of adamantite materialized in the air, amazing Yi-han.
It had literally appeared from thin air!!
The assailants sensed danger and quickly moved out of its way.
The relic kept whittling away their mana and decreased the power behind their spell, but the adamantite spear refused to disappear and continued on its path.
With a roar, the adamantite spear collided with the relic, and the mana in the surrounding soon returned to normal.
“Come Forth, Flesh-biting Lightning Wolf!”
The air crackled, and a wolf made of lightning appeared, spreading in all directions and ripping to shreds all the enemies in the immediate vicinity.
Yi-han shuddered as he witnessed the wolf killing the assailants and burning them to a crisp.
It was a bloody sight to behold, and one that made him respect Professor Garcia more than ever before.
An ominous sound jerked him awake from his reverie.
The familiar sound had come from the relic that had been half-destroyed.
“Kill that mage… at all cost!”
Dozens had died, but the few remaining assailants braced themselves and rushed toward the professor.
Yi-han engaged them with the sword that he had stolen earlier on.
“Invisibility spell! There’s someone using an invisibility spell! Bastard!”
The anti-magic extremist that had been stabbed with the sword coughed up blood and splashed it in Yi-han’s general direction.
Yi-han’s skin crawled when he saw this.
‘Their battle sense is no joke!’
They were facing an enemy that they couldn’t see, yet they didn’t panic and quickly thought of a solution.
It felt like he was fighting Arlong.
The assailant’s leader that had been giving orders was also getting close to him. Just his posture was enough to tell Yi-han that he was an expert.
His chance of winning while protecting the professor seemed slim.
“I reveal myself in the morning.”
In the end, Yi-han cancelled the spell and revealed himself.
The assailants were surprised when they saw him. They didn’t expect their opponent to be such a young boy.
“I don’t know what you’re playing at, but this is the end of the road for you and that mage.”
“Imma go destroy the relic.”
After saying that, he began sprinting toward the relic which was wide open without anyone guarding it.
The assailants were terrified, to say the least.
“NO! STOP HIM!!”
No matter how powerful you are in comparison to the other player, you can’t just ignore being placed in check… And unlike in chess, the rest of the world doesn’t sit still as you block it. Good move, Yi-han has strong fundamentals but ultimately doesn’t possess the real world combat experience to be able to fight off a group of seasoned warriors like this. At the rate he’s learning magic, it might only end up being like that for a few more weeks, though, even if this experience didn’t happen.
Hopefully Yi-han can get himself that artifact or a broken piece of it with enough bullshitting. Not only can it help him stabilize his own mana, if only a little, the mana drain field is extremely well suited for him. I do expect it to be broken or sealed, though. The really fun part is that it’s unlikely for a magic artifact to ONLY collect all the magic power in the area, even if that itself is useful. It’s gotta be doing something with the magic power that’s being drained. I grew attached to my imagination of one particular possibility, even though it’s too specific to really be called speculation at this point. Since the artifact is activation type and is being used while not “equipped,” the mana shouldn’t be used to power a curse, which is good because that would be a ridiculously powerful curse. I refuse to believe that ancient mages had as much mana as Yi-han, even if they had more on average. Yi-han is a freak on a historic scale. If the artifact is meant to drain mana, then it probably just condenses the mana into unstable energy crystals or something. I prefer the idea that was never the intended usage: it’s an installation type artifact meant to be placed in a wizard’s magic tower, in what other novels often call an elemental pool. If so, it probably is either a device meant to condense mana crystals passively for use in the tower, or, more interestingly, to power a “tower spirit” type entity that manages and maintains a tower on the mage’s behalf. Either way, imagine the dead eyes of mages trying to comprehend that he somehow has so much mana that his body itself can act as a mobile magic tower, the strongest weapon available to a mage but usually limited to defensive usage because of their lack of mobility. Satisfying mental image.