Surviving as a Mage in a Magic Academy - Chapter 9
Mages weren’t the only ones capable of handling mana. A swordsman that trained their entire life would be able to coat their sword with condensed mana, and this was referred to as ‘aura’.
Since aura appeared cool and fancy, descendants of nobility would often dabble with swordsmanship in the hopes of acquiring it, including those that were from households that produced mages.
Hence, Arlong misunderstood Yi-han’s intentions when he said he wished to learn how to swing a sword.
‘Ah, the Young Master wishes to learn aura. Unfortunately, he’s bound to be disappointed.’
Arlong was a strict knight, and rather than telling Yi-han the truth from the beginning, he decided to let the young man give up on his own accord.
Yet Yi-han was diligent in his training, and as he was satisfied with the young man’s effort, Arlong decided to tell him the truth…only to find out that Yi-han had no interest in learning aura.
– I just want to train my body so that I can defend myself when I need to.
Arlong gazed at Yi-han in awe as the young man showed a level of maturity that one wouldn’t expect from a child. This was when he realized for the first time that Yi-han was trying to learn swordsmanship in earnest.
– Young Master, truth be told, you’ll be able to learn aura one day as well.
– Um, as I said, I’m not interested in learning aura. I’m planning on becoming a ma-
– It’s just that aura isn’t something one can learn after swinging their sword for a year or two. Nevertheless, as long as the Young Master doesn’t give up and trains using the method that I taught, you’ll be able to master it one day.
– I just want to be strong enough to protect myself. I’m planning on working in an office.
Anyhow, Yi-han kept practicing the sword under Arlong’s instructions, not because he wished to become a swordmaster, but because he thought there was no harm in training his body.
…and his effort was finally paying off.
‘I think that did some damage…?’
Yi-han was surprised by what he had achieved.
He had carefully observed the boar and swung his staff the moment it charged toward them.
This itself wasn’t particularly surprising. After all, he had learned to do this while being beaten up by Arlong, and as the academy’s staff was extremely sturdy, it worked well as a club.
However, as he swung, he felt something he had never experienced while swinging his sword.
‘Is this because I’ve started learning magic?’
He even wondered if today was the “one day” that Arlong had previously mentioned as he experienced the feeling of mana being attracted to his weapon.
In reality, it was still a far cry from the actual aura, as that required him to concentrate and condense mana even further.
However, that was enough for now. As his attack contained some degree of mana, the blow was much more destructive than he had imagined.
The vicious-looking boar that had been growling at them faltered before falling sideways to the ground.
Nilia, who had been watching everything unfold, stared at Yi-han in shock.
‘What just happened?? Did he use some sort of a spell?’
The world of magic was vast, and there were obviously spells that allowed people to strengthen their muscles or move at extreme speeds. However, they weren’t something a freshman that had just entered the academy could use.
“You defeated it!?”
“I think so…”
Yi-han lowered his staff and checked to see if the mutant boar was still breathing.
Fortunately, it wasn’t.
Yonaire stood up while being supported by Yi-han.
“Are classes meant to be like this?” she asked, finding this situation absurd.
“I had my suspicion the moment we met our principal.”
Even if the secrets to alchemy involved venturing deep into nature, it was ridiculous that they were being sent to places with monsters despite not knowing a single spell.
Though what they encountered was technically a boar, it had the strength to easily crush a grown tree.
‘Should I drop alchemy?’
Yi-han was seriously starting to weigh his options.
Assuming every professor in the academy was clinically insane, the likelihood of death seemed lower for lectures conducted inside a classroom.
He had decided to take this class because he thought it would be a breeze. However, based on their previous encounter, he suspected things would only get worse from now.
“In the future, he might even make us go deeper into the forest to gather salivas from trolls…”
Yonaire frowned when she heard what he said. Though she wished to start an alchemy workshop, she didn’t want to die while doing so.
“W-wait, you guys aren’t planning on dropping out over something like this, right?”
Nilia asked in a panic.
The friendship between them was flimsy at best, but they were still friends that she had made through much effort. If the two quit, she would once again be left alone and be forced to take alchemy by herself.
“I mean come on! You two are from the Blue Dragons, right? T-then you must have your pride as nobles!”
“I also think we should pursue realistic goals rather than cling to our pride.”
Nilia became upset when she heard their responses.
“Fine! Do whatever you want!”
“Why are you so upset?”
“Yeah, we didn’t say we’d quit for sure.”
Just as Nilia turned her head to face them, they heard a familiar sound nearby.
“…It’s another one.”
“…Maybe we should quit after all…”
The trio rushed toward the direction of the sound and chanced upon another one of the mutant boars.
Now that they knew the mountains contained more than one of these mutant boars, Yi-han made up his mind.
“Yup, I’m quitting.”
“I don’t think we should be arguing over that matter right now…” Yonaire said as she pointed down.
The boar wasn’t alone and was facing some unlucky students of the academy.
‘There are six of them.’
With one of them being Adenart, the royal princess, they seemed to be in a better situation than Yi-han and his team when they had to face the mutant boar.
“I don’t think they’ll have any trouble handling the boar.”
Yonaire looked at Yi-han for a second before looking back down, and then returned to staring at Yi-han once more.
“You think so?”
“We should just leave them alone,” Nilia grumbled.
She didn’t seem too fond of Adenart and her lackeys. In her eyes, Adenart was an arrogant princess, and the flies around her were there just to flatter her!
“I’ll be its opponent!”
One of the six in the group stepped forward. Yi-han recognized the student as someone from their dorm.
“Who is he?”
However, he had no idea who it was as he wasn’t familiar with the empire’s younger generation of nobility.
“Ah, the Dargard Family.”
“…How come you know about the family but not its descendants…?” Yonaire asked in wonder.
The Dargard Family. While the Wardanaz Family served as the advisor of the emperor throughout generations, the Dargard Family was largely responsible for the empire’s finances. Their family was well known for being quick and efficient with their work.
“If he’s someone from the Dargard Family, he should have some skills.”
“Yeah, unlike Gainando, he should be quite capable.”
Nilia tilted her head in confusion.
‘Are they dissing the prince?’
Asan had a tall but slim figure.
Nevertheless, from the way he wielded his staff, he seemed quite competent.
In fact, as someone familiar with swordsmanship, Yi-han was confident that Asan had learned swordsmanship as well.
“He knows how to wield a sword.”
“I see…then I guess we don’t have to worry about him,” Yonaire said in relief.
She didn’t want to see the six people below them getting injured.
Asan aimed his staff at the boar.
“I’ve already seen through your movements!”
Saying that he took a step forward.
“I can easily predict how a pig like you would behave!”
And then another step.
Yi-han was surprised as the distance between each of his steps was uniform.
‘Is he a human calculator?’
Just as there were many types of magic, there were many styles of swordsmanship in the empire.
Some emphasized strength and destructive power, others valued speed, and still, others stressed having a variety of forms.
Yi-han knew which category Asan’s swordsmanship belonged to, remembering what Arlong had told him in the past.
– A style of swordsmanship that is complex and calculative in nature, with each step placing the swordsman at the center of a geometric formation…
– Oh, that sounds interesting. Can I learn it?
– …Pardon? Did Young Master just call it interesting? It’s absolute lunacy!
He didn’t get the chance to learn it as Arlong himself wasn’t familiar with this style of swordsmanship, but now that he was seeing it first-hand, his evaluation was that it was thorough and methodical.
Provoked by Asan’s footwork, the boar grunted and charged at him, enraged.
Asan sidestepped like a matador in a bullfight before swiftly stabbing the boar with his staff.
And with that, Asan was blown away. The boar had come to an abrupt stop and had thrown its body in his direction.
He hadn’t been hit by a charge in the traditional sense, but the damage dealt to him was considerable as Asan tumbled and rolled on the ground several times.
“Ugh, it saw through my calculations…”
“…So he’s merely well-trained…” Yi-han mumbled.
It was apparent that Asan wasn’t experienced in fighting real battles. His posture was good because of constant practice, but his predictions had been off while fighting the boar.
“Let’s help them out.”
Nilia was surprised to hear this from Yi-han as she didn’t think he’d step forward in this kind of situation.
‘Is this what it means to be noble…?’
Unlike those that was all talk and no bite, he had willingly placed himself in a dangerous situation for the sake of others, just like nobles that appeared in fairy tales. Nilia was ever so slightly moved by his actions.
“If I save them now, I can ask for their help in future classes, be it for tests or assignments. Not to mention the connections the princess must have…”
Nilia’s goodwill evaporated in an instant.
‘What a fake!’
Adenart waved the others back.
Her message was clear, and the remaining four students quickly hid behind her.
‘Not that hiding behind me would make much of a difference…’
Though she had been the one to give the command, she still felt slightly sad and isolated.
Nevertheless, she simply regarded this situation as another problem she had to solve.
Just as she had perfectly cleared all the obstacles in her way until now, she was determined to deal with the boar in the perfect manner.
‘Analyze its movements, and when it charges…’
Along with this sound, the boar was abruptly blown to the side.
Yi-han, who had snuck up behind the boar, appeared while letting out a sigh of relief.
“Whew. Luckily, it didn’t notice me.”
“Have you now learned the importance of moving in the opposite direction of the wind?”
“Yeah, the wisdom that comes with hunting is amazing.”
“…Maybe you’ll learn more of such wisdom by continuing to take alchemy.”
“Thanks but no thanks.”
Yi-han’s mind was already set.
‘No to alchemy! Imma stay cooped up inside a classroom.’
Adenart remained frozen in place for a second, but soon recovered and bowed her head.
“…Thank you for your help, Wardanaz.”
“Wasn’t much, Your Highness.”
Nilia, who had been listening to their exchange, whispered to him.
– Why are you using honorifics?
– Dunno, was swept away by her mannerism.
They were all the same age, and as the academy advocated equality, there was no need for him to be polite and use honorifics, but with the princess speaking so politely, he had subconsciously responded in kind.
“Right, may I request something of you in return for my help?”
“Please recommend me some classes that give easy grades.”
He figured someone as popular as the princess would have a lot of information in hand.
However, Adenart felt slightly lost when she heard his request.
‘What is this young mage from the Wardanaz Family saying? I doubt he’s trying to take things easy. So then what is he asking for?’
“I know a class that gives good grades!”
From behind them, they heard the cheery voice of a certain dwarf, and Yi-han suddenly felt shivers run down his spine as he was reminded of a professor whom he had met in graduate school…
Uregor, the dwarf professor, had grabbed onto his sleeve just as he was about to make a run for it.
“It’s the alchemy class, Wardanaz,” he said with a grin.