Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 51
“Cough, the student over there. Visit my workshop during recess.”
Professor Mortem invited Gainando over to his workshop while coughing, an invitation which was met with stunned silence.
Gainando reacted as if someone had slapped him.
Why? What did I do wrong?? Does he have a grudge against the royal family???
“And you as well.”
Professor Mortem pointed at Yi-han as he said so.
Yi-han wasn’t as shocked as Gainando.
After all, for the sake of earning a good grade, he had considered taking a course on black magic, to begin with.
Nevertheless, the students of the Blue Dragons took it differently.
“Gainando, what have you done!? Wardanaz is in danger because of you!”
“Why can’t you just quietly die by yourself!?”
“Tell the professor you’ll go alone!”
They thought Yi-han was being forcefully taken away because of his relationship with Gainando.
The students were obviously enraged.
Yi-han was in charge of a lot of things at the Blue Dragons. It was unacceptable for Gainando to drag him down with him.
“H-how could you guys…No! I refuse to go by myself! I’m going there with him!”
His classmates’ attitude almost made him cry.
“Take that back!”
“Take that back, I tell you!”
“Everyone? Professor Mortem has already left.”
Professor Garcia stared at the Blue Dragons, feeling fed up.
A mage’s workshop was like a science lab.
If there was something that caught the mage’s interest, their disciples would be forced to work tirelessly 25 hours a day, performing countless experiments and research.
It was a hellish place where people got gradually worn down and crippled.
Of course, the environment inside the workshop depended greatly on who the mage was, but the fates of their disciples were all similarly tragic.
Yi-han had heard a lot of stories concerning the workshop of mages and their disciples during his time at the Wardanaz mansion.
– Once upon a time, there lived an apprentice that studied magic under a mage. Each morning, he would wake up early to perform maintenance on his staff and prepare alchemical regents that would be used in experiments.
Then, he would pour mana into the magic circles and head out in search of materials before noon. This apprentice was a clever fellow, and he would fix a quick lunch for himself along the way, saving him some time and allowing him to do his other tasks earlier on in the day. Afterwards…
– Does this story end with the apprentice killing the mage and taking over the workshop?
– Young Master, you shouldn’t make such jokes. The story obviously ends with the hard-working apprentice growing up and becoming a brilliant mage.
It didn’t matter which world he was in. There was no paradise for those that were in the position to learn.
Fortunately, Yi-han didn’t have to worry about things like that for now.
After all, he was still in his first year!
He wasn’t under any professor at the moment, so he had no need to fear.
If a crazy professor tried to recruit him, all he had to do was take a step back and flee.
Sob, sob, sob…
“…You’re actually crying?”
Yi-han was at a loss for words.
Gainando’s eyes were becoming red from his tears.
“What have I done to deserve this…? And why am I being called to this eerily remote location…”
“Hey, it might turn out to be something good, right?”
“And what do you mean by that, huh!? I’m sure he’s summoning us to torture us! After all, black mages are said to be twisted.”
They were currently heading to the place that Professor Mortem had told them about.
There was indeed something wrong with the location of the professor’s workshop.
‘I mean, it is rather unwelcoming.’
The road was becoming increasingly desolate and silent, and the wind was becoming stronger as well.
From the forest, they could hear the distant sound of ghosts wailing, and even a few graves could be spotted…
It wasn’t surprising though.
To perform black magic, yin attribute mana was a necessity, and when it came to research on undead, there was a need for corpses…
It was no wonder the environment here was so dark and gloomy.
‘No wonder none of the freshmen want to come near here…’
Before them was Professor Mortem’s workshop, also known as the <Tower of Darkness>.
It seemed like an ordinary four stories building from the outside, but one would have to be a fool to judge a mage’s tower by its looks.
There were already several disturbing signs near the tower.
Dismembered bones and skeletons. A lousily hewn gravestone. A box of deadly poison with the words “Beware of consumption!!! Death upon contact!!” written on it.
They could roughly guess the kind of experiments going on inside the workshop.
Noticing the changes in his surroundings, Gainando’s face became pale, so much so that he could probably give the undead a run for their money.
When Yi-han knocked on the door, it opened by itself, and the two entered together.
Gainando held on to Yi-han’s sleeve, shuddering in fear.
Finding it annoying, Yi-han whacked Gainando’s hand away, hurting the latter’s feelings.
“Cough, cough…You’re here.”
The workshop was filled with blackish-blue smoke, and they couldn’t see what was going on inside.
Through the thick smoke, they heard the professor’s voice.
“Dilet, why don’t you give the freshmen a tour of our workshop?”
“Have you forgotten, sir? The principal forbade us from meeting with the freshmen.”
“Oh, right. Cough. What a hassle…Let’s secretly break the rules.”
“I was just recently released from prison. Do I have to go back in again?”
“It’s a punishment room, not a prison…Cough. Fine. Go to the other room and don’t come out.”
With a wave of his staff, Professor Mortem made all the smoke exit through the window.
It was only then that Yi-han could see what it was like inside.
It was actually pretty normal.
Perhaps they’ve cleaned up the place to welcome them prior to their arrival…
There were chairs, desks, and bookshelves, which made the workshop look like a library.
‘…Wait a sec. Are those all bones?’
Yi-han was blown away.
It had taken him a moment to notice, but all the furniture was made of bones.
For a black mage proficient in undead summoning, it was economical to make furniture out of bones.
Having said that, it was a bit grotesque.
Gainando, who didn’t realize this, plopped himself down on a chair.
Professor Mortem mustered up his kindest tone before speaking to them.
“Cough…You know why I called the two of you here, right?”
“Sir, I didn’t do anything wrong!”
“It’s because both of you have a knack for black magic…Wait, what did you say just now?”
Gainando shut his mouth in a hurry.
This wasn’t what he had been expecting.
‘I have a knack for black magic?’
“Yi-han, he said I have a knack for black magic.”
“I have ears too. No need to repeat what he said.”
“W-what should I do? I’m not interested in black magic, but I’m apparently gifted in it. What do you think I should do?”
Yi-han was amused by how easily Gainando was influenced by others’ words.
How could he be so fickle?
Professor Mortem rubbed his hand, and out of nowhere, he produced several candies with a skull drawn on them.
“Have these while you listen. Because you two are talented in black magic, I wanted to explain the wonders of black magic to you in further detail. Cough. Cough. Black magic is often misunderstood, but once you get to know it, you’ll learn that it is one of the most beautiful and profound fields of magic out there.”
Gainando was already halfway there to being convinced.
On the other hand, Yi-han listened while feeling sorry for the professor.
He knew what was happening all too well.
Professors who taught popular classes were often very arrogant and prideful.
-You wish to study under me? I’ll think about it. I’ll take you in if you’re promising.
However, the same couldn’t be said about professors that taught classes that weren’t popular with the students.
Watching them would make anyone feel sorry for them.
-You see… the best thing about our class is that it can’t get any worse.
-Things can only get better from here. Isn’t it wonderful if you think of it like that?
Professor Mortem was a classic example of someone that taught an unpopular class.
He was trying his best to sweet talk them, going so far as to give them candies…
“…And that’s why black magic is the king among all magic, the best of the best. Got it?”
“I’m interested in black magic now!!”
“I didn’t know black magic was so profound.”
Hearing their responses, a big smile appeared on the professor’s face.
“Should I pursue black magic? I never thought I’d be talented in it. But then again, black magic isn’t that well-liked. But the professor said they needed someone like me. Gosh, what should I do…”
Ignoring Gainando who droned on and on in excitement, Yi-han studied the gift that Professor Mortem had given them while parting.
Since they had given him a positive answer, the professor had gifted them something.
…It was an unknown piece of bone.
-Sir, what’s this?
-Once you return to your room, study it. It’ll serve as a constant reminder of the wonders of black magic.
-But sir, that wasn’t the question.
-Huhu. Cough, cough.
Professor Mortem had seemed very proud of himself, and he had spoken as if he couldn’t bear to take away the fun of discovering the bone’s secrets from them.
Yi-han, however, was creeped out by the gift.
What in the world was this bone supposed to be?
‘Is there a spell stored inside it?’
His first guess was that the bone was an artifact that contained knowledge of a spell.
Back in the punishment room, he had been tricked by the book that the principal had handed to him.
Maybe it was popular amongst the professors to gift students with artifacts that contained spells without offering any type of explanation.
Almost like a gift that couples exchanged on their anniversaries…
‘No, that’s a terrible comparison.’
Yi-han decided to study it more in-depth after returning to his room.
“You mustn’t tell Maykin about me wanting to learn black magic, alright?”
Yi-han knew why Gainando was saying this.
He had teased Yonaire for wanting to study alchemy.
If she knew he was interested in black magic, he’d be teased to no end.
Yi-han smiled as he replied.
“But of course.”
‘…Not. I’m telling her right away.’
Professor Ingurdel, the elven swordsman, was the professor responsible for teaching <Basic Swordsmanship> and <Basic Stamina Training>.
The students that took these courses were mostly from the White Tigers.
Hence, Yi-han, who was the only one from the Blue Dragons, was extremely eye-catching.
However, things were slightly different this time around.
During the previous swordsmanship lesson, the White Tigers were eager to pick a fight with him, but now, they actively avoided making eye contact with him.
They’d be obliterated otherwise!
Yi-han had gone on a rampage last time, and he was glad that he did.
It was generally a good idea to go on a rampage from time to time. Life was easier that way.
That said, it didn’t help to lower the difficulty of the class.
“Don’t stop! Continue running! I said no stopping! It’s important to use your muscles, but don’t forget to breathe and circulate your mana. You can use your muscles much more efficiently by spreading mana throughout your body.”
Whereas mages used their mana on their spells, swordsmen used theirs on themselves.
By having mana circulate smoothly within their bodies, they could prevent fatigue and reduce the possibility of being poisoned by an outside source.
…But it went without saying that the young students weren’t capable of doing this yet.
They all ran while panting like dogs, completely forgetting to circulate their mana.
“Sir, I have a question.”
Professor Ingurdel was more than happy to answer Yi-han’s question.
What was he going to ask?
“Some of us are planning on entering the mountains to gather some materials, and I was wondering if you have any advice for us…”
“Hmm, my advice is to don’t enter.”
“And I’m not saying this half-heartedly.”
Professor Ingurdel’s warning made Yi-han uneasy.