Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 41
Rare items like relics were priceless treasures that one couldn’t come by easily.
After it received a strike from the adamantite spear, it had been left half-broken. It was obvious to everyone present that it would fall apart completely if it were to be attacked once more.
“Stop him! Protect the relic!”
“I hide myself in the night.”
Yi-han disappeared into the night after completing the chant, leaving the assailants furious and frustrated.
This annoying priest was rather competent and had protected the mage from their attacks just now.
“This one knows how to fight. He must be a battle priest assigned to protect the mage! I’ll take him on!”
The assailants’ leader darted towards the relic, seemingly under some weird misunderstanding. He didn’t want any more mishaps happening under his watch.
While sprinting, Yi-han threw out the iron orb that he had received from Professor Bolady and cast <Lower Control> on it.
It was actually a taboo for fledgling mages to cast spells that they had just learned in an emergency.
Unless they received former training, even experienced mages would fail at times under immense stress and pressure, to speak no less of beginners.
It would be lucky if they simply failed. If the flow of their mana somehow got reversed, they ran the risk of injuring themselves.
However, Professor Bolady hadn’t told Yi-han about this.
– It’s like a rite of passage for battle mages. He’s going to have to overcome it anyway. What’s there to warn him about?
…As a result, Yi-han was casting spells without realizing that he was gambling with his life on the line.
Fortunately for him, the gamble paid out.
Just as Professor Bolady had predicted, Yi-han was the type that displayed their talent in the face of danger.
Under the influence of <Lower Control>, the iron orb floated in the air.
Normally, <Lower Control> would only make the orb move very slowly, but backed by Yi-han’s tremendous amount of mana, the orb began moving with unbelievable momentum.
The orb shot forth like an arrow, influenced by Yi-han’s will.
It was dark outside, and the iron orb had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Naturally, dealing with it wasn’t an easy task.
One of the assailants that came after him was hit and fell to the ground.
“Careful!! He has hidden weapons!”
“Proceed with caution! The enemy is used to combat!”
The assailants drew their swords and became more alert.
Meanwhile, Yi-han, who retrieved the iron orb, felt a searing pain in his head.
He was still running, but his mind was preoccupied with controlling the iron orb, placing an enormous amount of strain on his body.
‘Focus…I must focus!’
Though Professor Bolady was crazy, there was some truth in what he said.
Nothing helped more in growth than real-life experience, and Yi-han was feeling this firsthand.
The rate at which he grew was much faster in battle as compared to when he trained inside the classroom.
His control over the iron orb got better and better the more he shot and retrieved it.
The taste of blood suddenly entered his mouth. Upon licking his lips, he realized his nose was bleeding.
In terms of mana, he was fine.
However, he was putting too much pressure on his mind.
With a flash from a sword, the iron orb got split in half.
The enemy leader had swung his sword with impeccable timing.
“Pay attention to his footprint! You can tell where he is based on his footprints!”
‘Tsk. And I was almost there as well.’
He was just a few meters away from the relic.
It was almost within reach, but there were three assailants blocking him from destroying the relic.
“I smell blood! Follow the smell of blood!”
This made Yi-han realize that he shouldn’t drag things out any longer.
Although he had practised a lot with his sword, compared to his opponents, he was definitely lacking in experience.
The only way out of this was to attack first while he held the advantage.
He swung his sword, drawing blood.
The assailants were caught unaware, and one of them immediately collapsed.
The assailants took out some shiny powder from their sleeves and scattered it in Yi-han’s direction.
Although it wasn’t clear what the powder was, he knew it was something that would probably mess up his invisibility spell.
And so, without hesitation, he rolled on the ground and avoided it.
Seeing that the luminescent powder had failed to reveal the enemy’s location, the assailants cussed out loud. They were dealing with a pesky one.
“Calm yourselves. He won’t be able to deal with us so easily if we remain on guard,” the enemy leader said in a wary voice.
Even with an invisibility spell activated, there were bound to be some sounds when the priest attacked.
As long as they stayed alert with their ears perked, they should have no problem catching the sounds.
‘Where is he?’
However, there was only silence in the surrounding.
Even the smell of blood from before had vanished.
“This son of a…!”
An assailant that approached the body of their fallen comrade collapsed after being stabbed.
It finally dawned upon their leader that Yi-han had tricked their sense of smell by hiding next to the wounded assailant after pretending that he had fled somewhere.
Despite the situation they were in, the leader was honestly impressed.
Forget the magic, the priest knew how to fight, and he had a real knack for it as well.
Without the right aptitude, it was impossible to reach such heights, regardless of how much one trained.
Hearing Yi-han chant from above, an assailant quickly ducked.
“He’s faking it, idiot!” the leader shouted sharply.
Unfortunately, he was a step too late. His last subordinate crumbled to the ground. However, instead of becoming angry, he raised his sword with an ambiguous smile on his face.
“I haven’t fought someone like you in a long time. I’m Garakse.”
Yi-han didn’t reply. Expecting as much, the leader nodded.
If Yi-han had been the type to slip up and reply, he wouldn’t have been able to fight against them for so long in the first place.
“You must think you’re invisible to us because of that spell of yours.”
“But I’m starting to see you now.”
The leader didn’t seem to be bluffing. Yi-han was surprised by the relatively accurate slash that was thrown at him.
“You might be able to trick our sense of smell, but you can’t stop breathing, now, can you?”
Was he being tracked based on the sound of his breathing?
It was an absurd notion.
Granted, exceptional swordsmen were said to be capable of things beyond the limits of regular humans. But even then…
Garakse slashed again and again, putting pressure on Yi-han.
His swordsmanship resembled the Scatter Style. Every slash was immediately followed by another, limiting the space that Yi-han could manoeuvre to.
Yi-han tried to go against it using the Blue Cliff Style, but Garakse was a better swordsman than him.
Things got worse the more he exchanged blows with Garakse. If not for the invisibility spell, he would’ve been forced into a corner by now.
More than anything, Yi-han was hit by quite a bit of force every time they clashed.
‘Is this the technique of swordsmen that Arlong often brought up?’
Experienced swordsmen didn’t rely on their strength alone to swing their swords. They would pour mana into them as well.
By doing so, each of their strikes would be imbued with unbelievable power.
That was precisely what was happening, and with each clash, a portion of the force behind Garakse’s strike would travel up Yi-han’s sword, numbing him.
‘Even if it’s a bit forced, I must retaliate in kind!’
Having made up his mind, Yi-han gathered his mana.
After learning about magic, he had gotten much better at gathering his mana and moving it around.
He channelled the mana that he gathered into his sword, much like when he was casting a spell.
Garakse immediately sensed that something was different about his opponent’s strike, which came as a great surprise to him.
In all honesty, Yi-han was a decent swordsman.
As someone that had defeated countless swordsmen in the past, Garakse wouldn’t give such a high evaluation to an average joe.
It wasn’t just about Yi-han’s skill with the sword. He also thought highly of the way in which the young boy conducted himself.
Oftentimes, he’d come across rash individuals that took pride in their swordsmanship, charging at enemies without knowing the opponent’s strength and facing immediate defeat.
Yi-han was different. He quickly noticed that Garakse was strong and went on the defensive.
This wasn’t an easy thing to do. In a battlefield where lives were being exchanged, it was difficult to hold back one’s impulse and fight defensively knowing that one might lose their life without accomplishing anything.
Yet Yi-han didn’t hesitate to do so, something which impressed Garakse.
Having said that, Yi-han was lacking in strength.
Although his proficiency with the sword wasn’t half-bad, he couldn’t hold a candle against swordsmen like Garakse who could freely manipulate and inject mana into their swords.
The Blue Cliff Style that Yi-han trained in was originally meant for heavy swordsmen, so he should’ve been able to overpower Garakse who practised the Scatter Style.
The fact that he couldn’t meant that he had no chance of winning at all.
…However, out of nowhere, his blows suddenly became heavier, and he was even overwhelming Garakse in terms of power!
‘What’s happening? Was he hiding his strength? But why would he do that? What purpose would it serve?’
Garakse, who had been fighting leisurely until now, panicked for the first time.
He couldn’t think of a valid reason for a swordsman to pretend like they couldn’t wield mana.
Garakse had been assured of his victory, but it no longer seemed as certain.
‘Is this how it’s supposed to be done?’
Yi-han, who was pouring crazy amounts of mana into his sword, wasn’t feeling all that confident.
Swordsmanship wasn’t just about swinging a sword. It was also about being prepared against counter-attacks. After all, the enemies wouldn’t be standing still, waiting to be cut down.
However, Yi-han had thrown everything else out the window, concentrating only on offensee. He couldn’t do anything else complicated while his attention was focused on pouring mana into his sword.
‘Is this really how it’s done!?’
His question was reasonable. What he was doing right now couldn’t be considered normal.
Sword imbuement wasn’t a one-way process where the swordsmen poured in a crap load of mana. It was a technique where swordsmen had mana circulate between themselves and their swords.
In other words, mana would travel from their bodies to their swords, and then from their swords to their bodies, completing the loop.
Even that required a lot of stamina and placed a great burden on the swordsmen’s bodies.
Pouring in mana without circulating it? That was suicidal. It wouldn’t be weird if the swordsman collapsed while coughing blood.
If Yi-han had been visible, Garakse would’ve immediately noticed that something was off and realized the absurdity of the situation.
However, there was an invisibility spell cast on him, so Garakse was left utterly confused as to what was happening.
No matter how much he wracked his brain, he just couldn’t figure it out!
If Garakse had kept his cool, he would’ve still had a chance of winning, but he got pushed back by the flurry of attacks that came while his thoughts were in a muddle.
Just as Yi-han gained the upper hand, he heard an ominous sound.
For a second, he thought he had heard wrong, but he was soon hit by reality.
The sword in his hand couldn’t withstand his mana and was beginning to break.
‘What kind of lousy sword is this!?’
In reality, the swords used by the assailants were all regarded as high-end products within the Empire.
Yi-han, who had no way of knowing this, shamelessly complained about the sword’s quality without taking into account the absurd amount of mana that he had poured into it.
‘I must end this before it breaks!’
He was barely holding on as is. If he channelled less mana into the sword, he would fall back into a disadvantage. Rather than that, it was better to risk it all and finish the fight.
Having made up his mind, Yi-han began pouring crazy amounts of mana into his sword.
In response, Garakse pulled out a different sword with clenched teeth. It was an amethyst sword and had the property of mana absorption.
He was ashamed to pull it out in a swordfight, but it was still better than losing.
‘I’ll suppress you here and now!’
That was when he heard the sound of something shattering.
His opponent’s sword, which had remained invisible until now, finally came into view. It was a sword made of mana that burned wildly like fire, scattering sparks nearby.
It wasn’t aura, and it wasn’t magic either. Either way, the strange attack came hurling toward him.
The amethyst sword’s mana-absorption property was rendered completely useless as the attack struck Garakse like an endless wave.