༺ Class Placement Evaluation Interlude ༻
The class placement evaluation was over.
However, the results were less than desirable.
I survived for 5 hours while being the weakest and managed to defeat the demon, but despite all that I only collected 2 mana grains.
Since each mana grain was worth 10 points, I ended the exam with a total of 20 points.
Regardless of the loophole that the mana grains could be seen better at night, the students here had excellent mana perception. As such, they collected most if not all of the mana grains.
Besides, there wasn’t enough time.
Right after defeating [Pernicus the Contemplative], there were barely even 20 minutes remaining.
In addition to that, I returned to the scene where I had defeated the demon, pretended to be surprised in front of Luce with acting comparable to that of famous actors, secretly picked up the magic pouch, and returned with only about 10 minutes left.
I had only ten minutes to search for the remaining mana grains…
Gel was earned according to the class placement evaluation points. In other words, I would only earn 20 gels.
If I bought two loaves of bread, I would run out of gels…
‘I’m at a loss.’
When I returned to my dormitory, I stretched out in frustration… and got up again, then went out to exercise.
It wasn’t the time to struggle. It wasn’t the time to get frustrated because I earned less gels. I had to be strong. Strong enough to defeat the final boss, the Evil God Nephid.
My entire body ached, as expected. Muscle pain was no laughing matter. It seemed almost unreasonable how bad it truly was.
When I went to the gym for a few days, the students from the Knight Department greeted me and gave me a series of hellish PTs. On top of that, I was already tired from the class placement evaluation.
Still, I couldn’t put off training. Today, I had to focus on magic training, since I wanted to relive the magic perception I had used when dealing with [Pernicus the Contemplative] as soon as possible.
Since the class placement evaluation was held today, most of the first years would either be resting or completely exhausted. Meaning, I could monopolize the training grounds.
A full moon was hanging in the night sky.
I ignored the corner of the garden where I had been practicing magic for a week, and went to the training ground for the Magic Department’s first years.
As I entered the domed building, a view of the empty training ground greeted me. The ceiling lit up with luminescent magic as I turned on the light.
The silence was awkward for me, since this was always a place where high-spirited students trained their magic while sweating profusely. I was ignored because I was a commoner with Grade E mana, so I couldn’t use the training ground to my heart’s content. If I got caught in a bad fight, I would suffer both mentally and physically.
So, except for the first day of measuring mana, today was the first time I had ever used the training ground.
Spacious. Special facilities comprising various elements were installed. Lakes, fireplaces, rocks, icebergs, and so forth… The area where those facilities were installed served as a training ground for [Elemental Efficiency] and [Elemental Synergy].
There was also a training area where I could hit targets with different elements, and just next door, I could fight illusions of monsters.
“Let’s do it…”
I slapped my cheeks to drive away the fatigue.
It’s not time to rest yet, hang in there.
Let’s start by distributing my stat points.
– Magic Training Efficiency (C): 27/100 [UP]
– Learning Efficiency (D): 12/100 [UP]
– Water Resistance (D): 6/100 [UP]
– Ice Resistance (C-): 24/100 [UP]
– Lightning Resistance (C): 29/100 [UP]
– Rock Resistance (E): 2/100 [UP]
– Wind Resistance (D): 13/100 [UP]
– Neutral Magic Resistance (D): 8/100 [UP]
– vs. Other Races Combat Power (E): 1/100 [UP]
– vs. Heavenly Beings Combat Power (E): 0/100 [UP]
– vs. Demon Combat Power (S): 100/100 [MAX]
I invested all 8 stats points into [Magic Training Efficiency].
C+ Grade… Certainly, my growth rate would rise, but I remembered that the noticeable change occurred from the B+ Grade.
B+ Grade was the area of genius.
As I waved my hand, the status window disappeared.
Now, let’s review the magic I used against Pernicus.
First and foremost, I wanted to learn the 5-star magic [Frost Explosion] as quickly as possible.
[Frost Explosion] was an extremely versatile and powerful offensive magic. It would become a kind of ultimate skill for me once I got used to it.
However, in the game, 5-star magic can only be mastered by the second year. Students like Luce and Kaya, who could easily use 5-star magic since the first year, were exceptionally talented.
Anyways, my short-term goal was to master [Frost Explosion] to an amateur level at least, before the PvP performance evaluation.
It would be a good opportunity to evaluate my fighting ability as ordinary Isaac. The enemies I would fight in the future wouldn’t be limited to demons, which meant I couldn’t solely rely on my unique trait [Hunter].
It was even the end-of-semester evaluation, not long after the PvP performance evaluation. Since there was a part where Luce’s familiar, the level 175 ‘Thunderbird Galia’ appeared, I would easily die if things went wrong.
Therefore, it was necessary to increase the number of skills available when the [Hunter] trait was triggered.
‘But who am I going to fight against in the PvP match?’
During the PvP performance evaluation, the main character, Ian Fairytale, was paired up with Luce. Now, were the matched opponents decided on luck? Of course they weren’t. Ian was just being a brat.
Then what about me? Isaac’s bout wasn’t depicted in the game, meaning this was uncharted territory.
At least until then, I wanted to learn a few decent skills besides [Frost Explosion].
I stood upright and pressed the fingers of both hands together, creating a gap between my palms and channeling my mana flow through it at maximum output.
Because [Frost Explosion] was a spell that poured mana all at once and explodes, this was the most efficient stance.
In the space between my palms, the cold blue ice mana started condensing.
Release it all at once and explode!
I extended my hand and released a burst of the condensed blue mana.
The mana scattered helplessly. It sounded like a deflated balloon.
When dealing with demons, I could easily use [Frost Explosion] due to the influence of ‘Skill Tree +10’, but now, even trying it didn’t work properly.
One more time.
Beads of sweat dripped down from the attempt itself. It was difficult to finely control the mana, especially since the amount I had was insufficient to begin with.
If it felt like I was pouring out mana against the demon, it now felt like I’m spilling mana.
When you take a shower, the water pressure is weak, and there is only one hole to pour out the water, so it ends up feeling small.
I opened my status window. I wanted to check the acquisition conditions of [Frost Explosion] once again.
– (★1) Ice Generation (D+)
– (★2) Ice Curtain(C+)
– (★1) Cold Divergence (C+)
– (★1) Basic Protection Magic (D)
I clicked [Skill Tree ❰❰Details❱❱] at the bottom.
I pressed the first of the two elements, the [Ice] element. The second element had not yet been opened, so the second skill tree was still locked.
By the way, there was also a third menu, [Neutral], which included things like [Basic Protection Magic].
I checked the ice skills displayed in the [Ice] section. The skills I could use were etched in bright letters. [Ice Generation], [Ice Curtain], and [Cold Divergence].
In the middle of a skill tree with circuit-like branches extending downwards, the words [Frost Explosion] were engraved. Unlike the bright letters of other skills, the color of [Frost Explosion] was dark, meaning it was a skill I had yet to master.
When I pressed [Frost Explosion] with my finger, a new system window appeared.
Type: Active Skill (Offensive)
– Lv 50 (-)
– [Ice Generation] Grade B- (-)
– [Cold Divergence] Grade B- (-)
– Ice [Elemental Firepower] Grade C+ (-)
– Ice [Elemental Efficiency] Grade C+ (-)
I hadn’t met any of the conditions.
As expected, ultimate skills aren’t always easy to obtain.
I waved my hand and the status window disappeared.
There was still time, so I had no choice but to train harder and become stronger.
I released my mana toward the large rock prepared in the training ground.
If I used [Ice Generation] raw, I could only create ice the size of a soccer ball.
But if I used it on something like a rock, it was possible to freeze it by expanding it.
The surface of the rock was completely covered by the ice that I had created. But as expected, it was thin.
Now that I thought of it, there was loot.
I took out the ‘Remnant of Darkness’ I had put in my pocket.
I infused the Remnant of Darkness, which looked like black pearls, with ice mana.
Suddenly, the Remnant of Darkness began to radiate a black light, which condensed into dark mana and flowed in my body.
It felt as if cold and dreary mana were merging in my body. Suddenly, a new sensation arose, and a system window appeared in the air.
Type: Active Skill (All-Purpose)
Elements: Ice (Derived from Darkness)
– Apply ice mana to [Remnant of Darkness] (O)
It was the same skill as [Ice Generation], but the firepower and strength were on a whole other level.
I felt like I knew how to use the black ice as if it was natural, the sensation instinctual, just like breathing.
I reached for the rock and dispelled the ice. The ice then turned into a blue powder before scattering into nothingness, and the rock regained its original form.
After that, I activated the new skill created by mixing ice mana and dark mana.
The rock was instantly covered with black ice.
It was much tougher than the [Ice Generation] that I just used, and the momentum of freezing things was much faster. The black ice covering the rock’s surface appeared to be five times thicker than when [Ice Generation] was used.
In addition, the ice was glowing black, making it difficult to tell if there even was a rock inside.
‘I can use it to block my opponent’s vision.’
I then extended my hand upward and activated [Black Ice] with maximum output toward the ceiling.
A large amount of mana disappeared in an instant, leaving my body with little to no strength. I felt like I would collapse at any moment from the depletion of mana. But when I saw the ice in the air, I couldn’t help but be filled with joy.
It wasn’t the size of a soccer ball, it was nearly the size of a car!
At that moment, a system window appeared in front of my eyes.
It must have been because my [Magic Training Efficiency] increased, and I had used [Black Ice] for the first time. Immediately, [Elemental Firepower] and [Elemental Efficiency] went up by one level.
‘Ah, disperse, disperse.’
I quickly dispelled [Black Ice] before dropping the black ice block.
The block of black ice turned into a glowing black powder and flew into the air before disappearing.
‘I almost collapsed for a while… How much mana do I have left?’
– Mana Recovery Speed (D)
“Oh my god.”
As soon as I turned on the status window, I felt chills. I couldn’t believe I only had 10 mana left…
When mana was depleted, the mana recovery rate dropped drastically. Of course, I hadn’t experienced it yet, but if it was anything like the game, I needed to avoid it at all costs.
‘[Black Ice]… it’s worth the performance.’
Of course, [Black Ice] could not completely replace [Ice Generation], because the mana consumption was equally as high as the superior firepower and strength.
– (★1) Ice Generation (D+) / (★5) Black Ice (D+)
[Black Ice]’s level directly corresponded to [Ice Generation], so if the level of one went up, the other would go up as well. This meant that there would be no loss in terms of growth, even if they were used alternately.
When the proficiency of [Black Ice] reached S rank, it becomes possible to apply [Black Ice] to other magic, like Pernicus did with [Ice Spear]. It was a buff of sorts.
In other words, if the [Hunter] trait was activated every time I dealt with a demon in the future, I could infuse [Black Ice] on other spells to strengthen them. Normally, I would only be able to use it for [Ice Generation].
The issue was that using [Black Ice] on other spells would increase my mana consumption by three times. As a result, it was best to refrain from doing so unless it was time to go all out.
I had to check one last thing.
‘Have I not learned [Ice Wall] yet?’
[Ice Wall] was the first magic I had used against Pernicus, and the sensation of using it was still vividly in my mind.
I went into the status window [Skill Tree ❰❰Details❱❱] again, clicked the [Ice] item, and tapped the [Ice Wall] skill.
Type: Active Skill (Defensive)
– Lv 30 (O)
– [Ice Generation] Grade C- (-)
– [Cold Divergence] Grade C (O)
– Ice Element [Elemental Firepower] Grade C- (O)
– Ice Element [Elemental Efficiency] Grade C- (O)
‘I’ll learn it soon enough.’
The only unfulfilled acquisition condition, [Ice Generation] Grade C-, was only one step away.
Sooner or later, I would be able to learn [Ice Wall].
I felt motivated. After all, it was fun to grow stronger.
First order of business though, was to finish this magic training, since I was currently lacking mana.
‘I feel good, maybe I should exercise.’
I went to the gym.
Then, the students of the Knight Department greeted me as if they had been waiting.
After finishing the Hellish PT, I trudged back to the dormitory with deep regret.