༺ Practical Training (1) ༻
[Time for Practical Training].
Since the grounds of Märchen Academy were unnecessarily large, there were some buildings that were overly spacious.
This place, ‘Kalis Hall’ was one of those buildings.
Kalis Hall was often used for practical training. I was at the training ground and paired up with three of my classmates from the Magic Department.
I was in an empty room. On one side of the wall was the door we had come in through, and on the other side was a tunnel-like passage.
In front of us, a ‘messenger’ was flapping its wings at a blinding speed, like a fly or a hummingbird.
The messenger was a round speaker the size of a man’s fist. It was a magic tool owned by the academy, imbued with audio transmission magic and magic that transmitted the scene being watched as a video.
The cynical voice unique to Professor Fernando flowed through the messenger.
[You are divided into groups, which have been chosen at random. You will be fighting demonic illusions. Once you’ve defeated them all and arrived at the final destination, your performance evaluation will be over. If someone is judged to have suffered a fatal injury, that student will be eliminated.]
The Kalis Hall alone could not accommodate all first-year students in the Magic Department. Therefore, other groups not assigned to Kalis Hall would have to go to different areas for practical training.
[The main evaluation criterion for this practical training is how well you understand the characteristics and weaknesses of the demonic creatures you’ve learned about so far, as well as how you can use elemental magic in combat. Second, how well you cooperate is also factored into your behavioral score. It would be best to take this seriously. We’ll start in 10 minutes. Make sure you are fully prepared.]
It was the start of 「Act 2, Chapter 3, Practical Training」 from ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱.
In this chapter, the protagonist, Ian Fairytale, became involved with Ciel Carnedas, a Class A student.
She was one of the official heroines. Later on, she would play a key role in assisting Ian in obtaining the ultimate weapon of the light element, the Luminous Sword.
She took a casual attitude toward the practical training and due to her apathy, she didn’t even care if other students got hurt by her magic.
Because of her attitude, she ended up getting into an argument with Ian.
Then, the building collapsed, Garzia the Hermit appeared, and [Act 2, Episode 4, Ant Legion] began.
Ian and Ciel join forces to combat the Disaster Ant Legion, but Ciel eventually decided to take on the Disaster Ant Legion alone.
In the meantime, Ian made his way through the ants to the center of the building.
There, he meet and fought Garzia, the main focus of Act 2, Chapter 4.
Of course, Act 2, Chapter 4 would be skipped because I already killed Garzia. In other words, this practical training would end peacefully.
“This is a very unpleasant situation.”
As soon as Professor Fernando finished speaking, a beautiful girl spoke with a sigh, as if she had been waiting for him to finish.
Her short light-brown hair cascaded down to her shoulders in a wave.
She wore a red rose hairpin in her hair, and the shawl draped over her shoulders was stunning. It had a golden border and a red background embroidered with roses.
Her bright golden eyes were looking at me.
Rose Red Rivera. She was a Class B student.
Psychology: [Feels contempt for you.]
“A vulgar Grade E is in our team. The lowest of the low, aren’t you?”
She said with a confident tone as she looked down on me with a mocking expression on her face.
I was used to it now.
Just as I was about to ignore her, she stuck her head in my direction.
Ooh, she smells good. She must be wearing expensive perfume.
“Even a worm that crawls on the ground has a role to play. I’ll instruct you on the role that suits you, so please don’t get in the way.”
Why are you so eager to start a fight? I don’t understand, really.
The two remaining male students were unable to speak in the frightening atmosphere.
Certainly, Rose had the ability to quickly make people nervous.
In ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, her role was insignificant. If I had to say it, she was an extra, not even a supporting character. She was only there for a short time, but she let it get to her head before being robbed of her arrogance by Ian.
You and I are the same, bitch.
[All right, the practical training starts now. Everyone enter.]
In the heavy atmosphere, ten minutes had passed.
Professor Fernando’s voice rang from the messenger.
Our group began to walk down the tunnel-like passageway.
The tunnel was dark, but it wasn’t long before we reached the end.
There were five demonic creatures, the ‘Black Wolf’, roaming around in the narrow arena. It was a demonic illusion created with an Illusion Materializer Magic Tool, there was some static in their appearance, but it was difficult to tell unless you looked closely.
The status window did not appear. It was clearly an illusion.
We stood at the end of the tunnel and watched the black wolves. Because the moment we stepped out of this tunnel, a fight would break out.
“They have a habit of fighting in groups. So, Mr. Alan and Mr. Ethan, I need you to trap them with rock magic and ice magic. I’ll end it all at once with flame magic.”
Rose naturally acted as the leader. She seemed to believe that since she was in the highest class among us, she should be the leader.
I had no objections to her selection as a leader. The only problem was that I wasn’t a part of her plan.
Well, since it was about black wolves, I guess they don’t need a Class D bastard with Grade E mana, though I wasn’t really a Grade-E anymore.
Our group stepped out of the tunnel, and the wolf demonic creatures stopped and immediately started to keep us in check.
The black wolves snarled, baring their teeth as the male students used their magic against them.
Crude walls of rock and ice rose from the ground, trapping the wolves while Rose hurled flames with both hands at the monsters.
A roaring red ball of [Fireball] struck the wolf demons trapped by the [Rock Wall] and [Ice Wall].
It was a fairly skilled [Fireball]. The wolf demons were scorched and scattered all over the ground, and then, with a whimper, they disappeared.
The black wolf illusion was casually repelled.
“Alright, let’s keep going.”
We followed Rose’s instructions and moved to the next passage. Demonic creatures emerged one after the other, and Rose killed them all.
I want to get good grades too.
“Oh, that’s the last one.”
Finally, we had reached the final stage. Rose and the male students were conversing quietly. The male students seemed to be in a good mood since they were performing well thanks to Rose.
Judging by the fact that she didn’t give me any instructions, even after reaching the final stage, it was clear she had no intention of using me.
After passing through the passageway, we came to a large room with a marble floor. In the middle of the stage, the final boss stood guard.
It was an illusion of ‘Tauro’, a giant bull-like demon creature who appeared to be humanoid. It was at least four meters tall and held a large spear in its right hand.
Now I really had to play an active role. This wasn’t the time to pander to Rose.
So, when I raised my right hand to create a [Frostfire], Rose glared at me cynically.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m trying to get some points. Collaboration is another criterion for evaluation, so wouldn’t it be nice to work together?”
I answered in the kindest way possible with a capitalist smile on my face.
Rose’s eyes narrowed in disgust, as if she were looking at a bug.
For a brief moment, I doubted my ears.
“You’re a Grade E, you don’t even know the subject. Don’t be disgusting. I am the leader here, and I want you to wait until I tell you what to do. Do you understand?”
…Did I go too far?
“Mr. Alan, Mr. Ethan. Let’s go.”
Rose and two male students walked out of the tunnel. I looked at her in disbelief for a moment before following them.
Flames suddenly engulfed me. It surrounded me in a circle, leaving no openings for me to escape through.
“Didn’t I tell you not to interfere?”
Wow, that bitch. You’re going way too far.
What the hell am I dealing with?
Only then did Tauro, the humanoid demon resembling a bull, recognize our group.
Rose, Alan, and Ethan took up a fighting stance.
“Mr. Alan, Mr. Ethan! Formation…! Huh…?!”
Rose swallowed hard as she tried to give instructions.
In one swift motion, Tauro leaped at Alan and Ethan and swung his spear. A loud horn rang from the bracelets of the two male students.
The bracelets were glowing red. They had been eliminated.
[Alan Neville, Ethan Purcell. Eliminated.]
Cold sweat dripped down Rose’s cheeks. She, like the two male students, would have been eliminated if she had gone one step further.
Even from afar, it startled me. But Rose, who saw it right in front of her, would be absolutely terrified.
The door to the elimination room creaked open. All movements must be stopped until the eliminated are all gone.
Even the Tauro illusion remained motionless in a spear-wielding stance.
The losers walked towards the elimination door, a look of resentment on their faces. Now, the moment they step through, the door would be firmly closed, and Tauro would start moving again.
Rose turned to me. Her voice was trembling with urgency.
“Well, I’ll give you a chance to perform…! You wanted to fight, right? Be the bait. Meanwhile, I’ll use my fire magic to defeat that demon!” Rose said, placing a hand on her chest. Her voice was high and commanding like a young lady’s, but trembling with fear.
I recalled a conversation I had with the NPC Rose Red Rivera while playing ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱.
Her obsession with being the ‘best of the best’ haunted her. It was a mindset instilled in her by the Red Rivera family through their rigorous training.
However, hard work alone was not enough to beat the talented students of Märchen Academy.
The fact that she was in Class B rather than Class A, which was the best, must have ripped her heart out.
She was even ranked at the bottom of Class B.
She couldn’t help but feel impatient because she believed that she always gave her best effort. This, of course, included this practical training.
That was why she was trying to create an opening by using me as a sacrifice for Tauro and then attacking. If she wanted to become the best at Märchen Academy, she couldn’t be eliminated here.
And that way, she would look like she was doing her best.
By the way…
‘I think you should put out the fire first…’
She appeared to be in a hurry and wasn’t thinking straight.
As the dropouts exited through the door, Rose screamed at the top of her lungs, her blood rising to her neck.
What could be the answer? Do it yourself.
Tauro roared, resuming the practical training.
Rose’s face became pensive.
Just as Tauro was about to swing his spear again, Rose quickly reached down and poured fire mana into it.
A red magic circle materialized on the ground and a pillar of flame erupted from beneath Tauro.
Tauro immediately leaped backward to avoid Rose’s attack. Despite his large size, he showed nimble movements and superb athleticism.
People who were good at magic were not always good at combat. Rose, for example, was not very good at fighting.
Her entire body trembled at the sight of Tauro, who refused to submit to her magic right away.
From the sound of her sobbing, she was probably in the midst of some ongoing frustration.
This was a stark reminder as to why she didn’t make it to the top of the class ranking.
Tauro, who had gained some distance from the [Flame Pillar], began to lunge at Rose again.
─This is the time.
Rose’s aggro was working well. Now was the time for me to make my move.
Just as Rose’s mana control was disrupted and the surrounding flames started to dissipate, I created ice to cover the flames.
Then I took off running towards Rose.
On the other side, Tauro was also charging toward her, just like me. But no matter how many fire spells she threw at him, Tauro easily dodged it and closed the distance between them.
Realizing that she had lost, she dropped to the ground in despair. She was about to give her throat to the charging Tauro.
‘Giving up already.’
Pathetic. Well, I guess it didn’t matter.
Rose was still quite a distance away. Even my front was obscured by her back, so the angle for attacks was not ideal.
Team kills were out of the question. But it would be a waste not to take advantage of this useful situation where she was acting as bait.
Luckily, I had a solution.
I took out the dagger I had been holding. It was the dagger housed inside the ‘Sheath of Disaster’.
‘Here I go!!’
I fiercely threw the dagger at Tauro with the Sheath of Disaster, drawing all the strength I had gained from the hell-like PT.
The dagger whirled around, cutting through the air without hesitation.
It flew past Rose and reached Tauro, who was charging at her.
I could feel the mana circuits in my body connecting with the flying Sheath of Disaster.
The moment Tauro reached Rose and swung his spear, I felt the sensation intensify.
Then, as if a trigger had been pulled, the magic circle engraved on the ‘Sheath of Disaster’ glowed pale blue and activated, unleashing a flood of ice.
It happened in a flash.
The ice crystals and cold air swirled in a chaotic manner, and the ice that surged from the sheath of my dagger devoured Tauro.
Before I knew it, a jagged block of ice had taken over the center of the battlefield.
Soon, Tauro’s shape vanished without a trace inside the block of ice.
At the same time, Rose’s bracelet rang loudly.
[Rose Red Rivera eliminated.]
The messenger announced her elimination in a calm voice. Just before my Sheath of Disaster could activate its magic, Tauro’s spear struck her.
Well, it didn’t really matter, as I had no intention of saving her in the first place. Who would want to save someone who looked down on you?
Rose’s eyes were closed tightly and her head was bowed. She trembled and barely opened her eyes.
Coincidentally, I had just picked up the Sheath of Disaster that had fallen in front of the ice block and was clutching it in my arms.
“Uh…? Wh-what happened…?”
Rose asked in confusion.
I sighed, not wanting to see her appearance that was prone to despairing during battle.
“What are you doing?”
With my back to the large ice block, a white chill flowed around me.
I said that so monotonously that Rose swallowed her breath and widened her eyes in disbelief.
I unfroze the ice. Then, the large block of ice began to crack apart, turning into a blue powder that scattered into the air.
Then I turned my back and started walking down the next passage to my final destination.
Rose didn’t stand up for a while. Her next destination was the elimination gate that had just opened up.
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