Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 52
“Is it that dangerous?”
“A lot of powerful monsters dwell in this mountain range. Deep within, there are even some monsters that we professors aren’t aware of. Since it’s springtime, more and more monsters will wake up from their slumber as time passes…”
Professor Ingurdel stared warily at the mountain range.
As Einroguard was a magic academy, the mana in the surrounding area was dense, attracting a lot of different monsters.
In particular, the mountain range behind the academy housed pretty much all kinds of monsters. It was a danger zone in Ingurdel’s opinion.
He wouldn’t be surprised if there were large monsters such as ogres, mountain giants, trolls, and wyverns deep inside the mountains…
If that was indeed the case, monsters that usually lived in the inner regions would be pushed out to the outer regions.
“As hotblooded as you students are, it isn’t a wise decision to enter the mountains. In fact, I’d even call it lunacy.”
“It’s not like we’ve got a choice. One of our assignments is to gather materials from the mountains.”
Professor Ingurdel let out several dry coughs, feeling awkward.
He didn’t know that it was a task that one of his colleagues had assigned.
“Is that so? Then it’s a different story.”
“Is it? How exactly is it any different…”
Although Ingurdel was a professor in this academy, he was a swordsman, not a mage. Hence, his way of thinking was remarkably different from that of the other professors.
The idea that it was normal for people to die while learning magic absolutely blew his mind.
Having said that, just because he didn’t agree with the other professors’ ideology, it didn’t
mean he could slander them in front of the students.
Professor Ingurdel spoke in a roundabout way, hiding away his real thoughts.
“Since it’s an assignment from your professor, I’m sure you’ll be fine. There must be a bigger picture that you can’t see yet in acquiring materials from the mountain range.”
“You think so?”
Yi-han looked at Professor Ingurdel with eyes that were filled with suspicion.
Just a moment ago, he had called it an act of lunacy, and yet he immediately changed his tune once other professors were brought up…
It felt as if the professor was trying to cover for his colleagues.
After a fit of dry coughs, Ingurdel changed the topic.
“That said, it seems you’re not out of breath anymore. Excellent. Were you able to circulate your mana throughout your body?”
Yi-han had been panting a moment ago, yet he seemed comfortable now. This wouldn’t have been possible without mana circulation.
Professor Ingurdel was glad to see his student improve.
“Oh, this? Um…”
Yi-han smiled sheepishly as he replied.
“I lost focus just now and ended up discharging the mana.”
Step 1: Gather mana from your core.
Step 2: Focus on circulating that mana throughout your body.
This was the golden standard.
By having mana circulate like blood, they could achieve maximum efficiency in body strengthening.
The key here was to have it circulate smoothly!
…Yi-han, however, found it too exhausting to focus and opted to release the mana after having it reach various parts of his body.
He had mana to spare anyway.
Professor Ingurdel stared blankly at Wardanaz, having no idea what the boy was saying.
After asking Yi-han for more details, Professor Ingurdel fell into deep thoughts.
He’d heard about the fight with the anti-magic extremists, and normally, he would’ve talked the student out of doing something so risky.
Yi-han’s method of wasting mana in his fights was no different from cutting one’s wrist and bleeding out.
Nevertheless, Professor Ingurdel wasn’t strong-headed and understood that every swordsman had his own way of fighting.
Since Wardanaz had been blessed(?) with a massive mana reserve, this could be considered a valid method as well.
After much consideration, Professor Ingurdel finally made up his mind.
“I won’t ban you from using that method. However, try not to rely on it in your everyday life. Instead, get used to circulating your mana.”
‘Kuku…strength is what defines a swordsman’s worth…even if it shaves off my life, if I can become strong in return…’
He wasn’t someone that pursued glory, so he most definitely wasn’t the type to have such crazy thoughts.
If something was dangerous, he’d simply stop doing it.
“Right, I almost forgot to tell you. The more mana you have, the more difficult you’ll face circulating your mana.”
What was this feeling of déjà vu?
“Hence, we’ll be increasing the intensity of your training.”
Yi-han maintained his usual expression relying on his unbreakable will.
He had to pretend like he was happy!
‘Don’t let it show. Don’t let it show…’
Professor Ingurdel, who was one of the only kind professors in this academy, was ecstatic.
“You don’t mind? Great! I was worried that you wouldn’t be happy about it.”
“No, I don’t…these are simply tears of joy…as you already know, swordsmanship means a lot to me…”
Professor Ingurdel’s scarred face was beaming with joy.
“Of course, Wardanaz. I’ve always known how devoted you are to swordsmanship.”
“Right. I’ll follow along on your trip into the mountain range.”
“…Sir, didn’t you say it’ll be fine? Something about Professor Uregor having a bigger picture in mind and whatnot.”
“But of course. I simply enjoy going on walks in the mountain.”
With a prosthetic arm and leg, it was questionable whether Professor Ingurdel truly enjoyed going up steep mountains, but Yi-han chose to remain silent.
The professor’s behavior made him worried about the potential horrors awaiting them.
Yi-han visited Professor Uregor’s hut in the evening.
A lot had happened that day, but that didn’t mean he could skip out on the professor’s chores.
Professor Uregor wasn’t forcing him to visit every day, and he had even told Yi-han that he didn’t have to come if he was busy.
But there was a purpose for today’s visit.
‘I should get as much information as I could from him.’
<There’s something I need to take care of. Steal in moderation! – Uregor>
Yi-han was initially surprised by what was written on the paper, but it made sense. Professor Uregor was a busy man, and he wasn’t going to be stuck in his hut 24-7 like a patient. He had students to teach and things he had to tend to as a professor.
After a nod, Yi-han took the piece of paper and returned to the dorm to fetch Yonaire.
“You want me to search for items inside the hut that might come in handy?”
“Yup. I want to figure out what the potions I have in possession are for.”
The box of potions that the professional thief Ratford had stolen from one of the carriages.
He wished to know their effects, but as a first-year student, his means were limited, which was why he was planning on plundering the professor’s hut for items that might prove useful in his cause.
Since Yonaire was knowledgeable in alchemy, he needed her help.
“Wait, isn’t this Professor Uregor’s hut?”
They had a barbecue party here before, so she was aware of who the hut belonged to.
But she didn’t pay it any mind.
This was Einroguard after all. This much was nothing.
“By the way, what’s that?”
“Huh? Oh, the farm?”
Yonaire, who was walking ahead of Yi-han, sounded surprised.
“I’ve been tending to it recently, but it’s going to take a few months for the crops to grow,” he explained calmly.
“…You sure? They seem fully grown though?”
This time, it was Yi-han’s turn to be surprised. He walked up to the farm in a hurry to take a look.
Yonaire was right.
The vegetables that he had planted previously had fully grown, which came as a great shock to him.
That was way too quick, no matter how he thought about it.
“Did the professor sprinkle something on them? How impatient of him.”
Yonaire nodded in agreement to Yi-han’s explanation.
To think he’d use a potion to hasten their growth.
‘He must be really fond of food,’ she thought to herself.
And that was how Uregor, who wasn’t even present at the scene, ended up being known as a glutton.
“Nothing we can do about it. I’ll harvest the vegetables. Yonaire, can you take care of what’s inside the hut?”
“Leave it to me.”
Yi-han took out some farming equipment and began harvesting with expert-like movements.
The way he flawlessly dug out the potatoes left Yonaire mesmerized.
It was as if Yi-han had spent decades on the farm, perfecting his craft.
She could see why Professor Uregor liked him so much.
“Is something wrong?”
“N-nothing. I’ll search for some useful items.”
While the vegetables slowly piled up, Yonaire got to work inside the hut.
After a while, Yi-han had a basket of freshly harvested goods in his hands whereas Yonaire had a box of reagents and alchemical tools in hers.
The two students of the Blue Dragons left the hut in high spirits.
On the door, there was a new piece of paper that Yi-han had pasted.
<Thank you, sir. We’ve left some vegetables on the table. Please give them a taste. – Yi-han Wardanaz>
There were dark circles beneath Yi-han and Yonaire’s eyes the next morning.
They had forgone sleep in order to run alchemical tests in the resting lounge.
“So this is a Cantus Potion?”
These were the results of their hard work:
<Wine from the Empire’s West> – Tastes delicious
<Cantus Potion> – Can sing beautifully like a mermaid once drunk.
That was all.
Yonaire seemed depressed, and Yi-han had to soothe her.
“I mean hey, we got something out of it. We can figure out the rest in the future.”
“But what’s the point of having a singing potion…”
“I’m sure it has its use.”
That was when Asan Dargard entered the resting lounge and greeted them.
“Wardanaz, you ready to enter the mountain range today?”
Yi-han had a plan in mind, and that was to leave with the others on Friday and return by Saturday at the latest. After that…
‘I’ll use my exit ticket on Sunday.’
Yi-han tried to remain calm.
There was no telling what kind of traps laid ahead. He had to be cautious and not get his hopes up too much before he was truly outside.
“Wardanaz, wanna visit the black market before we head into the mountains?”
“…The what market?”
Yi-han was puzzled by what Asan had just said.
The black market?
‘There’s a black market inside the academy?’
He had a hard time believing Asan’s words…but they turned out to be true.
‘What in the world…’
It wasn’t really a black market per se, but a small marketplace run by the students of the Black Tortoise near their tower.
It was originally a place for students to barter and exchange items, but it eventually grew to be a marketplace as students learned of its convenience.
Yi-han was speechless.
‘What is this academy trying to teach its students?’
“A bread for more bread! Find the card with His Majesty the Emperor! It’s a one-in-three chance! If you get it right, you receive double…Oh, Sir Wardanaz.”
With three cards on the table, Ratford was hosting a shell game when he stood up after spotting Yi-han amidst the other students.
Everyone’s attention immediately turned to Yi-han, making him want to leave the marketplace there and then.