༺ Ant Cave – Interlude ༻
– Mana Recovery Speed (C-)
– Stamina (C)
– Strength (C)
– Intelligence (C-)
– Willpower (B+)
– Elemental Firepower (C+)
– Elemental Efficiency (C+)
– Elemental Synergy (C+)
– Elemental Series 2 (Locked)
– (★1) Ice Generation (C-) / (★5) Black Ice (C-)
– (★2) Ice Curtain(C+)
– (★1) Cold Divergence (C+)
– (★1) Basic Protection Magic (E)
– (★4) Frost Flame (D)
– (★4) Ice Wall (D)
– (★7) Psychological Insight
I gained 14 levels at once.
In ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, your mana increased at a progressively faster rate once you hit level 50, and I had just reached that point.
If I raised my level by just one, my mana would start to rise significantly.
It wouldn’t be long before I learned [Frost Explosion].
I never thought it would be this easy.
It was a sunny afternoon. I was in the corner of the garden as usual.
I was sitting on the grass, staring down at the Sheath of Disaster in my right hand. I didn’t want to waste any time, so I gently raised and maintained the [Frostfire] in my left hand.
As long as I kept the sheath engraved with a magic circle and infused with mana, I could use it once at any time.
Then all I had to do was charge it and use it.
I could engrave 5-star spells and below. However, the power of the spell would be the same as my current level.
When the [Hunter] trait was activated, I would need to infuse more mana into it.
‘I can’t wait to try it out.’
I couldn’t test the Sheath of Disaster right now. The moment I engrave a magic circle on it, the sheath would be assimilated by the magic. I wouldn’t be able to replace it with a new magic circle.
It would be most efficient to engrave [Frost Explosion] on the Sheath of Disaster. In other words, I would use this item only after I had acquired [Frost Explosion].
I tucked the Sheath of Disaster into my pocket.
Next, it was time to distribute my stat points.
After I got up from my seat, I entered the status window [Potential <<Details>>].
– Magic Training Efficiency (B+): 55/100 [UP]
– Learning Efficiency (D): 12/100 [UP]
– Water Element Resistance (D): 6/100 [UP]
– Ice Element Resistance (C-): 24/100 [UP]
– Lightning Element Resistance (C): 29/100 [UP]
– Rock Element Resistance (E): 2/100 [UP]
– Wind Element Resistance (D): 13/100 [UP]
– Neutral Attribute 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 had 38 stat points at this time and was close to maxing out my [Magic Training Efficiency].
Regardless of Isaac’s actual potential, a [Magic Training Efficiency] of 100 was equivalent to a genius. My growth rate would be very fast.
However, as the grade increased, the time it took to advance to the next grade increased dramatically.
Even if I reach a [Magic Training Efficiency] of 100, it would take me a long time to improve stats beyond B+. Otherwise, the Hell difficulty of ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱ would be a breeze.
To obtain Hilde’s Frostscythe, my [Ice Elemental Resistance] must be at least 60, but that was something I could solve with time.
I also wanted to get my [Physical Training Efficiency] up. It goes without saying that the greater your physical ability, the more advantageous you would be in combat.
If I was not athletic as Ian, I might find myself in a difficult situation in the future. Besides, if I thought about my future work, good physical fitness was essential. It would also help me with wielding legendary weapons.
Also, now that I had some stat points to spare, it would be better to improve my [Learning Efficiency] too. The higher your [Learning Efficiency] was, the faster your individual magic proficiency would grow.
It differs from [Magic Training Efficiency], which focuses on improving elemental combat abilities such as [Elemental Firepower], [Elemental Efficiency], and [Elemental Synergy].
It was a bonus that it helped with studying.
Out of the remaining stat points, I invested 13 in [Physical Training Efficiency], 16 in [Magic Training Efficiency], and 9 in [Learning Efficiency].
No matter how hopeless Isaac was, if he had this much potential, he wouldn’t bow his head to anyone.
Now it was back to training, training, and even more training.
I let out a deep breath, then raised a [Frostfire] in each hand.
* * *
The mysterious monster that appeared during the class placement evaluation.
Luce Eltania, the top seat of the Magic Department at Märchen Academy, had repeatedly asked questions about the monster’s identity.
But she had little to no success.
Besides, there was no way to figure out what elemental attribute each student possessed.
Since the class assignment evaluation, Greung has completely disappeared.
She searched Delphine Forest for traces of mana just in case, but there was no sign.
‘If I had known this would happen, I would have paid more attention during the mana evaluation.’
In that case, she would have known what elemental attribute constitution each student possessed.
It was the first time she regretted not paying more attention to others.
She was walking through the academy, basking in the sun with a troubled expression, when…
…She heard the sound of ice magic being used from somewhere.
It was similar to flames, but she could distinguish the subtle sound of ice crystals clashing together. It was definitely ice magic.
The elemental attribute that Greung used was also Ice.
Luce recalled Greung and headed toward the corner of the garden where the sound had come from.
She walked past the tall flower beds and avenues of trees.
Then an open lawn spread out before her.
In the midst of it, she discovered a male student sweating profusely while practicing the 4-star Ice attribute magic [Frostfire].
His silver hair was half-curled with a bluish tinge, and his eyes were blood-red with an icy gaze.
Perhaps because he was focused on his training, his eyes were staring coldly into space.
In both of his hands, a cold flame burned. The white cold and ice mana formed a flame, and beautiful ice crystals floated around it.
The man exhaled heavily and released the [Frostfire].
Luce knew who he was.
Thanks to her photographic memory, she could recall him as clearly as if she were pulling out a photograph. The man who had panicked when he saw her during the class placement evaluation and then fled.
He’d appeared from the direction Greung had escaped, that guy.
And the ice attribute…
“…I don’t think so.”
For a brief moment, Luce doubted it, but she quickly shook her head.
Greung was an overwhelming force. He wouldn’t be training 4-star magic while sweating profusely all alone like that. Moreover, judging from the short range of [Frostfire], his proficiency seemed low.
It was a long way away from him.
The silver-blue-haired man’s nose began to bleed the same color as his eyes. He let out a groan as he lowered his upper body in pain.
It seemed he had overused his mana. Luce had never experienced it, but she knew that wizards sometimes overdid it and ended up like that.
She heard that when they reached that state, their entire body reacted violently, making it extremely difficult to use magic.
Despite this, he wiped his nosebleeds with his sleeve before conjuring cold flames in both hands once more.
And then once more.
The man let out a [Frostfire].
Luce watched in silence.
She didn’t know why.
On the day she signed a contract with the Thunderbird Galia, the 10-year-old girl turned her gaze away from the human race in skepticism.
But now, Luce couldn’t take her eyes off the silver-blue haired man.
Was it because of Greung? Could it be that the monster awakened her curiosity toward others?
The man stopped his magic and caught his breath.
He sat on the floor, lowered his head, and breathed once again.
Was it over?
…No. He stood up once more and repeated [Frostfire].
One more time, one more time. When it became difficult to use magic, he did exercises like push-ups and squats to train himself physically.
For some reason, she couldn’t stop watching him.
Luce watched the man in disbelief.
Every day, the silver-blue haired man went to the garden’s corner to practice magic.
Luce watched him, from the roof of Charles Hall, a dormitory for the top students. From up there, she could catch a glimpse of him training.
On a moonlit night, Luce was resting her arms on the roof railing, her long rose-gold hair and one-piece nightgown fluttering in the breeze.
She looked at the man with her hawk-like eyesight.
The man mainly practiced basic ice attribute magic such as [Cold Divergence] and [Ice Generation], and he was also diligently using [Ice Wall] and [Frostfire].
Whenever he had a chance, he would clasp his hands together and gather ice mana between them. Luce, who had basic knowledge of most elemental magic, could easily figure out the reason.
That man must have been thinking of learning the 5-star spell [Frost Explosion].
“You’re working hard.”
The night wind scattered the words that came out of her mouth. Not knowing what he was thinking, Luce simply watched the man in silence.
…No, on second thought, she could understand.
Lightning elemental magic. Luce turned her back on that elemental attribute.
She always poured lightning elemental mana into Thunderbird Galia, her 8-star familiar. Even at this very moment.
As a result, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t properly use lightning magic.
That was why she had lived by solely relying on water magic.
She lowered her gaze to her right hand. With a crackle, electricity flowed through her palms.
Hard work, hard work, hard work.
What is hard work?
As if in a shape decomposition, the two words ‘effort’ broke into pieces and began to run through Luce’s mind.
Luce clenched her electrified hands into fists and let out a ragged breath. Her chest was throbbing.
The image of a silver-blue haired man practicing magic even while in pain.
It was a stark contrast to herself who kept running away from lightning magic.
The next day, and the day after that.
The silver-blue haired man practiced magic in a corner of the garden. Even when his nose was bleeding and his body was exhausted, he continued to use magic.
Perhaps he was driven by a sense of improvement, but he appeared to be compelled by some greater purpose. He seemed to have a secret that he could never give up.
The more she watched, the more such thoughts crossed her mind. His visage of working hard was constantly stuck in her mind.
A week later.
Last night, it seemed like the silver-blue haired man would soon be able to use [Frost Explosion].
Luce was sitting on a garden bench, watching the man from afar.
He was still training his magic. He put both of his fingers together and created a gap between them, gathering his ice mana.
Then, when a blue magic circle appeared in front of his gathered hands, his eyes widened.
Luce involuntarily jerked her upper body forward.
The appearance of the magic circle meant that the conditions to use the spell had been met.
Now… was it going to happen now?
The man held out his right arm forward. In front of his right hand was a round, condensed ball of ice mana. A light blue magic circle silently followed his hand.
The man unleashed the condensed ice mana.
A powerful explosion of ice.
In the blink of an eye, a spiky, stretched-out mass of ice appeared in front of him.
It was an ice mass at least ten meters long.
Luce let out an exclamation, unable to understand why she was clenching her fists in excitement.
Soon, surprise flashed across the silver-blue haired man’s face, which quickly turned into ecstasy.
The man tightly closed his eyes, then clenched both of his hands into fists and trembled.
Before long, he raised his head toward the sky and let out a beastly cheer.
He even shadow-boxed the air in celebration.
Luce unknowingly covered her mouth with her slightly clenched fist and laughed.
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