Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 5
Mana. Referred to as magic power by some, or as Ki by the eastern tribes or pretentious scholars. It is also referred to as holy power by stubborn priests. It is what served as fuel for magic. It was the very force that could bend the laws of the natural world.
Mages had to draw out the mana within them whenever they wished to cast a spell, and it was common for fledgling mages to experience mana deficiency. And yet someone remained standing after seven attempts.
Garsia, the troll professor, smiled. Yi-han had not mentioned his family name, which he looked upon favorably.
Nobles, especially those that came from powerful families, often flaunted their last names whenever they introduced themselves, and those that didn’t were exceedingly rare. Yi-han’s answer just now was perfectly in line with the academy’s vision of equality.
“Please come closer.”
Yi-han started feeling nervous.
‘Should I have pretended to be dizzy?’
He had indeed been confused seeing everyone around him fall to the ground after exhausting their mana. He even wondered for a second if he was doing something wrong.
“Hmm. Hmm. I see.”
Garsia held Yi-han’s wrist and nodded a few times. Seeing this, Gainando, who was with Yonaire, whispered to her.
“What should we do?? What if the professor suddenly swallows him whole??”
“…The professor can hear you, idiot.”
Garsia released Yi-han’s wrist before finally opening his mouth.
“Student Yi-han, please remain in the classroom after the class is over.”
They didn’t do much magic training after that. Instead, Professor Garsia gave them a serious lecture about what it meant to be a mage.
“When you’ve depleted your mana, you must rest, especially if one is as inexperienced as everyone here. Don’t become desperate just because others around you have more mana than you. With practice, your mana reserve will increase, and the more skilled you become, the less mana you’ll use for the same spell. Every year, we have one or two overly passionate freshmen that secretly train magic and collapse. This could lead to serious injuries if one is unlucky. Also, I don’t eat students.”
Gainando apologized while shuddering in fear.
“Let’s end our lesson here. The academy has a lot of classes besides the mandatory ones, so go have a look before deciding which field you’d like to study. If you’re unsure, you can visit me at my office as well.”
The students stared at each other in the eyes.
– You willing to have a one-on-one counseling session with Professor Troll?
– You crazy?
…Was the kind of exchange they were having.
“Wardanaz, be careful.”
“Yeah, and remember that trolls are weak against fire and acid.”
“But there’s neither fire nor acid to use here.”
“…I wish you luck, Wardanaz.”
After receiving encouragement from his classmates, Yi-han approached the professor.
“I’ve known about you even before this class.”
Yi-han was surprised to hear this.
“The principal mentioned you in passing, you see.”
His face froze when the crazy lich principal was brought up. Professor Garsia laughed seeing his reaction.
“There’s no need to worry. The principal may seem like a crazy bastard, but he’s a kind person at heart.”
“Is that even possible?”
The professor pretended as if he didn’t hear that.
“Every year, the principal takes a glance at the freshmen and briefs the professors about them.”
Though most students didn’t know this, Principal Skelly was extremely observant. The students that entered the academy were young adults that hailed from all over the empire. To prevent any accidents from occurring, he had to have sharp eyes.
– We should be careful of that dwarf. He’ll no doubt burn down his room at least thrice.
– Ha! That’s a demon mixed-blood. Professors that use holy magic should be aware. Be careful to avoid injuring him too much during your lessons.
– Isn’t that the pickpocket from the <White Crows>?? I believe none of our professors would let him get the better of them. If you do, I’ll lock you up in the underground prison.”
Of course, only some of the professors heeded his warnings. True, Principal Skelly had sharp eyes…but he was equally as crazy.
– That orc…I have a hunch that he’ll be great at wielding spears.
– Uhh, his household is known for their swordsmanship.
– Silence! Tell him to use a spear.
And the principal had this to say about Yi-han.
– He has the qualities of a Great Fool.
A Great Fool. Someone extremely foolish.
The professors obviously didn’t take this evaluation at face value. There was a famous saying in the empire’s eastern regions.
– There’s but a thin line separating a Great Fool and a Great Genius.
From outward appearance, there was a lot in common between someone that was foolish and someone that was a genius. The saying meant that one should not judge a book by its cover and instead find wisdom within.
Hence, what the principal said could be interpreted as thus:
– It’s hard to tell right now, but he might become a massive figure in the future.
The professors’ reactions were split into two. It was either ‘There must be something special about the lad’ or ‘He must have received a drink from the Wardanaz Family’.
Professor Garsia finally understood what the principal meant then.
‘So this is what he meant.’
“Um…what did the principal say about me?”
Yi-han was slightly tense. There were both benefits and harms when it came to being favored by the principal.
If he was looked upon favorably, he would be able to receive good grades and a letter of recommendation. This was undoubtedly a big plus. However…if the goodwill went above a certain level, it would naturally lead to a conversation like the following:
– It would be a crime to let your talent go to waste.
– Thank you for your kind words!
– Right. Come to graduate school!
– Pardon? But I’ve never considered-
– Even if you look for a job right now, do you have any idea how intense the competition will be? If you attend graduate school, you’ll have a higher degree, enabling you to get better jobs, not to mention you’ll be able to dive deeper into your field of interest. What do you say?
– Hmm, when you put it that way, I guess it makes sense…
If the professor was kind, it wouldn’t be that bad. But if the professor turned out to be a crazy lunatic, one would experience hell for years to come.
When it came to Principal Skelly…
‘Nope, don’t want to become close with him.’
Yi-han wanted nothing more than to lead a stable student life, which entailed getting good grades, forming good connections, and graduating from the academy. He didn’t wish to go down the road of some strange magic after becoming buddies with Principal Skelly.
“Sorry, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to tell you what the principal said verbatim…instead, I’ll tell you about your talent, which is pretty much what the principal was talking about.”
Yi-han’s eyes opened up wide when he heard what Professor Troll just said.
‘Is my talent…that amazing?’
When he was at his family’s estate, his talent wasn’t much of a topic of discussion.
Though he was confirmed to have the qualities of a mage, his father, the patriarch, only had this to say about it:
– How’s my talent?
– Your talent in magic isn’t bad.
– Thank you.
That had been it. Yet the matter of his talent was suddenly being brought up like this, which came as a surprise to him.
‘Could it be that my talent is actually terrible?’
Yi-han started to seriously consider Yonaire’s previous offer about starting an alchemy workshop together.
“Your mana reserve is massive.”
“…Excuse me? Is that all?”
Yi-han didn’t know how to react to this.
‘Using spells might be difficult for you.’
‘You don’t have an aptitude for light magic, and you’ll probably never be able to use it properly.’
He had expected comments like these, and yet he was simply being told that he had more mana than usual.
‘Well, I guess I should be happy that it’s not something bad…’
But it didn’t sound impressive enough to warrant being set aside and mentioned.
‘Obviously, not everyone would have the same amount of mana. Aren’t we supposed to overcome that with practice and experience? Am I missing something?’
“No, that’s not all.”
“Your mana reserve is really, really huge.”
“As in stupidly, absurdly, crazily huge. Understand what I’m saying?”
He finally started to understand why Professor Garsia had him stay behind.
After hearing the explanation, Yi-han naturally came arrived at a certain conclusion.
‘I suppose it’s a good thing?’
To cast spells, mages required mana. If they didn’t have enough mana, they had to either find a way to draw in the mana from their surrounding, use magic circles to gather mana, or channel the mana contained within magic stones. Having a lot of mana meant that he wouldn’t have to go through such troubles. He was lucky that he had so much-
“It’s really unfortunate.”
However, Professor Garsia’s eyes contained a mix of pity and worry as he looked at Yi-han. This was enough for him to notice that something was wrong.
“Isn’t it a good thing to have a lot of mana?”
“Usually, it’s good. But as I said, you have an absurd amount of mana within you. Pouring out water contained inside a bottle is easy, but trying to control the waves in an ocean? Not so much.”
Yi-han finally realized how serious this issue was. What this meant was…
‘Did learning magic just become insanely hard?’
Not a single student was able to cast “Light” properly during today’s lesson despite it being one of the simplest spells. This showed how difficult it was to learn magic.
Channeling mana, focusing it, and shaping it with one’s will. All this required an immense amount of concentration. But now, the difficulty had spiked up even more as he had so much mana inside him that it was impossible to control it properly.
“Here. Take these bracelets.”
The heavy, bulky bracelets are made of metal. The professor fastened one on each of Yi-han’s wrists.
“These are bracelets that can absorb mana. They’ll help you a bit.”
Yi-han was moved. As expected of a magic academy. They had solutions to their students’ problems.
“So I’ll be alright as long as I wear these?”
“No, even with these, it’ll be extremely difficult.”
“You simply have too much mana, there’s nothing we can do about it. At least it’s better than nothing, right?”
Kind as he was, Professor Garsia was still a mage, and mages never talked in a roundabout manner.
“…Any advice for me?”
“Hmm…things might become a little easier if you constantly use a lot of spells. Unlike other students, you can practice magic even when you’re by yourself. After all, I highly doubt you’ll ever run out of mana.”
In a sense, he was given a privilege, but he was hardly happy about it.
“Should I take classes that don’t require me to cast spells?”
Though Einroguard was a magic academy, not all its classes required students to cast magic. Alchemy was a great example of this.
Yi-han was visibly troubled after coming out of the professor’s office.1I guess he was brought to the professor’s office, though it wasn’t mentioned
‘It’s important that I decide on what to do in my freshman year so that I get good grades and graduate properly…’
When he arrived downstairs, he saw Gainando and Yonaire waiting for him. Gainando examined him, genuinely concerned.
“What are you looking at?”
“He’s checking to see if the professor’s taken a bite out of you,” Yonaired answered.
Yi-han found Gainando’s action ridiculous.
‘But then again, with someone like that lich as the principal, it’s no wonder he thinks this way.’
“What did you two discuss?” Yonaire asked curiously.
“He told me to do a lot of magic practice.”
Gainando was furious as if he was the one that had been told to practice.
Telling a descendant of a major household to practice? What an insult!
‘If he’s angry over something like this, I bet he’ll request a duel with the professors if he doesn’t do well in one of his tests.’
“Leaving that aside, I’m thinking of which classes to attend before our next mandatory course. Have you guys already thought of them?”
“I’m obviously going to take classes related to alchemy.”
Gainando ridiculed Yonaire’s answer.
“Dude, only servants or slaves take classes in alchemy!”
Yi-han saw Yonaire curling up her fingers.