Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 50
Fortunately, Yi-han didn’t have to bear the burden of being responsible for the death of a professor as Professor Mortem quickly got back up.
“…Cough. Did everyone see that? That was <Paralysis>, a low-level curse.”
In reality, his body was still in the process of recovering from the spell.
He had immediately begun circulating his mana the moment he fell, but the curse was backed by an enormous amount of mana as well, which was why he couldn’t completely shake it off even now.
If the graduate students under Professor Mortem saw this, they might’ve fainted from the shock.
He may have been underestimating Yi-han, but for a professor to collapse from a first-year student’s curse…
Professor Garcia knew the truth of the matter as well, which was why she was staring at Professor Mortem.
He avoided her gaze, pretending like he couldn’t see it.
“Phew, you almost gave me a heart attack, sir.”
Yi-han said while heaving a sigh of relief.
He was surprised at first, but the professor was apparently trying to show off the full effect of the curse, which was why he took it head-on.
‘I knew something was wrong!’
“…You seem to have an affinity for curses.”
“Really? Thank you.”
“…You seem to have an affinity for curses.”
It was never a good sign when a professor repeated what he said.
Yi-han was very sensitive to matters of this nature.
‘What is he plotting?’
Either his talent was truly impressive enough to be mentioned twice, or the professor was dissatisfied with him over something that he did.
Considering how twisted professors were, it was likely the latter.
‘Was my curse below his expectation? Have some shame, will you? If I could use it perfectly on my first try, would I be a freshman?’
“As you saw from this demonstration, it’s useful to know a curse or two even if you aren’t a black mage. They can come in handy because of how versatile they are.”
To dispel the awkward situation, Professor Garcia interjected.
“It’s not that difficult to learn low-level curses, and knowing them can help you come up with countermeasures. After all, just because you don’t know any curses doesn’t mean others won’t either.”
Among black magic, there were a lot of offensive spells that could be easily learned in a short amount of time.
A comparison with fire magic could help illustrate this point.
To attack someone with fire magic, the mage would have to first channel mana and summon a ball of fire. Then, they’d have to keep it under control as they shoot after aiming it at their opponent.
On the other hand, curses only required the caster to focus on who they wished to target. It was also easy to visualize their effects as anyone would’ve had experience being sick or numb.
Hence, even low-level mercenary mages that haven’t undergone formal training would often have a curse or two under their arsenal.
The best way to defend against a spell was to learn it.
No one knew what the future held, and having a basic understanding of black magic might come in handy at unexpected times.
That was why Professor Garcia had invited Professor Mortem to this class.
She wasn’t saying that they had to learn black magic.
“Anyway, enough explaining… let’s have you form pairs and practice.”
Contrary to expectations, the students showed quite a bit of interest in curses.
They were still young, and despite all the horror stories surrounding black magic, they were eager to learn offensive spells.
What Professor Garcia said about learning a couple of curses for self-defence seemed reasonable.
“Is this how you swing the staff?”
“From what I heard, paralysis isn’t the only type of curse. There are curses that take away people’s visions, make breathing difficult, or interfere with people’s balance.”
“Dude…are you planning on learning black magic? You know so much.”
But as expected, they weren’t naive to the point where they’d specialize in black magic simply to learn curses.
At the end of the day, black magic was black magic.
“Please go easy on me.”
Yi-han’s practice partner was Gainando.
After greeting each other as nobles would, they took out their staffs.
The rules were simple.
One person would attack first, and the other person would attack next.
Not only was it important to how to cast it, but it was also important to experience what curses were like.
Gainando was the first to attack.
Gainando began to concentrate, converting his mana into the yin attribute.
Yi-han didn’t see this coming.
Gainando’s conversion speed was faster than he thought.
‘Is he suited for black magic?’
It might’ve just been a coincidence, but considering his performance while using other attributes, it seemed likely.
Gainando had a lot of trouble converting his mana into the light, fire, and water attributes, but he was doing swimmingly well when it came to the yin attribute.
‘Or maybe the yin attribute is inherently easy to handle.’
That was also plausible.
Both he and Gainando was able to get the hang of it quickly…
Maybe yin attribute conversion required less effort than the others.
“Well, would you look at that…”
There was a look of surprise on Professor Mortem’s face as he exchanged whispers with Professor Garcia.
Although it wasn’t as ridiculous as Wardanaz, he had discovered a student overflowing with talent in black magic, a talent that came around only once in ten years.
“Ah, you must be referring to Gainando. He does seem to be gifted in it.”
“You think so?”
“Yes. Why not recommend him to pursue this path?”
Professor Garcia wasn’t planning on stopping Professor Mortem from recruiting Gainando.
In fact, she actively supported it.
It was completely different from how she reacted when Yi-han was involved, but there were reasons for this.
Yi-han had an affinity for just about any field. Not only did he have a lot of mana, he was sensitive to it as well, not to mention he was open-minded and diligent.
She was confident that he would excel in whatever field he chose to specialize in.
Gainando, on the other hand, didn’t seem gifted in any other field, so it made sense for him to pursue black magic.
Who knows? This could be a blessing for him.
Gainando had finished his preparation while the professors were discussing.
Although his incantation was slightly different from the others, the curse was activated without a problem.
Professor Mortem nodded in satisfaction when he saw this.
‘He has it in him.’
‘I see, so this is why it’s necessary to experience what it’s like to be cursed.’
Yi-han could sense the curse approaching him.
He finally understood what Professor Garcia was trying to teach them through this exercise.
Why were curses so easy to learn, and why was learning them the best countermeasure against being cursed?
‘…They’re more simple and shabby than I thought.’
Thanks in part to all the times he was tortured by Professor Bolady, Yi-han was able to quickly notice the flaw of curses.
Casting a curse was akin to throwing a net at one’s enemy, a net made by interweaving mana.
When someone was hit by it, the curse would envelop its target, as a net would.
They required very little aim and could be easily cast.
In exchange, the spells themselves weren’t that powerful.
They could be cut apart by a sword, blocked by a shield, or rendered useless using magic…
It only took Yi-han a couple of seconds to come up with these countermeasures. If he was given more time, he could probably think of other ways to deal with them.
Simply put, it was easy to avoid being cursed as long as they were wary of them.
The purpose of this lesson was to have them experience some of the curses so that they could react even when confronted by an unfamiliar curse.
‘But it’s kind of infuriating that Professor Bolady’s training was what helped me figure this out.’
As previously stated, being cursed was like having a net cast over oneself.
On the other hand, Professor Bolady’s attacks were like the ferocious stabs of a swordsman.
Not only were they difficult to block or evade, but the attacks would also come in rapid succession.
Having experienced something like that several times, Yi-han was growing accustomed to analyzing spells.
Because otherwise, he’d be hit by them!
The curse finally arrived and enveloped him while he was having these thoughts.
Seeing that his curse had succeeded, Gainando was elated.
“…So uhh, do you feel numb anywhere?”
Yi-han tried moving his body. Nothing felt out of place in particular.
What was going on?
“Did it fail?”
“I’ll try again then.”
Believing he had failed, Gainando raised his staff again.
Just like before, the curse enveloped Yi-han, and just like before, nothing happened.
Both Yi-han and Gainando were at a loss.
“Maybe I didn’t wave my staff in the right direction?”
“Hmm, but I felt your mana being released. Perhaps it’s because of your incantation. ‘Become Paralyzed’ sounds kind of polite. It doesn’t fit the image of a curse.”
“T-that so? Then should I chant ‘Get Paralyzed, Bitch’?”
“…Just ‘Paralysis’ should do.”
Seeing the two having this pointless discussion, Professor Garcia came over to them while letting out a deep sigh.
“Gainando, your curse didn’t fail. In fact, you performed really well. Yi-han simply has too much mana and isn’t getting affected by it.”
Gainando was taken aback by this explanation.
“So that’s why. But for it to have no effect at all…maybe I’m not suited for this.”
“Isn’t it too early to judge that?”
“Nah, I’m not interested in black magic anyway. It’s not a big deal even if I’m trash at it.”
Gainando wasn’t bothered by this as black magic wasn’t to his liking.
To begin with, there were better, cooler paths out there. Why would he choose black magic?
“Now, it’s your turn to try it on me.”
“Right. Prepare yourself.”
Yi-han thought back to how he almost knocked the professor out.
It turned out the professor was just acting, but he was still traumatized by the memory.
‘I must control myself. Don’t use too much mana.’
After gathering as little mana as he could, he began casting.
Professor Mortem, who had been watching, was shocked.
Yi-han had used a shortened version of the incantation.
Incantations were of great importance to the success of a spell.
Words held power within them, and they had a massive influence over a mage’s mind.
Hence, incantations couldn’t be shortened willy-nilly.
Even though paralysis was one of the easiest curses to learn, it was impressive that Yi-han had managed to do this already.
Gainando threw himself to the side while letting out a scream, jump-scaring the students around him.
Yi-han stared at him, confused.
“…What are you doing?”
“M-my instincts told me to dodge…”
This came as yet another surprise to Professor Mortem.
Gainando had unknowingly reacted to the yin attribute mana contained within the curse, which was one of the signs of being greatly gifted in black magic.
…Having said that, he didn’t have to overreact while dodging.
The lesson eventually drew near its end.
The students had had a lot of fun cursing one another, and Professor Garcia had been kind enough to refrain from giving them any assignments.
“Did everyone have fun today?”
“Then please give Professor Mortem a round of applause!”
Clap, clap, clap, clap-
“Black magic is better than you thought, right?”
‘Shouldn’t have asked.’
Professor Garcia regretted throwing out that question. She should’ve just stopped after the claps.
“Professor Mortem, any last words?”
“Cough… I’m sure many of you have realized the wonders of black magic. In fact, I can see the look of interest in some of your eyes.”
The students tilted their heads.
‘Are you interested?’
‘Of course not.’
“Hahahaha, who in their right mind would want to learn black magic?” said Gainando as he laughed.