༺ End-of-Semester Evaluation (2) ༻
‘Survival rules, it’s been a long time…’
Her light green pigtails fluttered in the early summer breeze.
Kaya Astrean, first year second seat of the Magic Department. She was wandering around the grounds of the old Märchen Academy, holding a wand while remaining alert.
The ‘Fell cards’ were supposed to be discovered via mana perception. However, no matter how much she wandered around, she could only sense natural mana without any abnormalities.
Furthermore, she couldn’t solely focus on mana perception in a situation where she had to prepare for ambushes from other students.
During the class placement evaluation, the mana emitted from the mana grains was easy to detect, so she had nothing to worry about, even while she was on high alert.
But the end-of-semester evaluation was different. The mana emitted by the Fell Cards was so difficult to detect that it was incomparable to mana grains. However, if she only focused on detecting mana, it would be difficult for her to stay alert, so she was in a pickle.
‘Will Sir Isaac do the same?’
…No, he wouldn’t. Sir Isaac is an amazing person.
Kaya cleared her mind and concentrated on her mana perception as well as her alertness.
If she struggled in a place like this, she would never be able to catch up with Isaac for the rest of her life. She hoped to one day be strong enough to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the man she admired.
She hoped to breeze through this type of exam.
Suddenly, she heard a ‘Clink! Clink!’ sound coming from the sky. It was the sound of small particles colliding against one another.
Kaya raised her head. She saw the scoreboard that Professor Fernando had mentioned before. The mana grains engraved with telekinesis magic were slowly changing their shape.
[1st Place (Red) Mateo Jordana Fell Card +1]
An unexpected name was listed on the scoreboard on the left. It was the ranking of Fell Card holders.
‘Did he find one already? Even that man?’
This hurt her pride.
Come to think of it, didn’t they say that the locations of the students ranked 1st to 5th could be located?
Kaya raised her left arm and examined the bracelet around her wrist. Each bracelet was engraved with the words ‘Fell’ and ‘Eliminations’.
When she put her finger on the word ‘Fell’, the mana grains inside the bracelet oozed out and formed a map on the bracelet. Someone had stored magic with certain rules into the bracelet.
It was an awe-inspiring level of mana mastery. Professor Fernando was also an excellent telekinetic wizard, but the capabilities of this bracelet were far beyond his level.
There was only one person on this island who could use this level of telekinesis magic.
‘The magic of the Hegel Tower Master.’
Aria Lilias, the Tower Master of the Hegel Magic Tower. This must be her work.
The mana grains represented the grounds of the old Märchen Academy. Kaya diligently studied the map.
Kaya’s location was indicated by a light green grain among the light yellow mana grains.
In one location, she noticed a red mana grain slowly moving. It appeared to be Mateo Jordana.
So, next to the ‘1st place’ marker, ‘Red’ was written, meaning Mateo was being marked with a red mana grain.
‘Mateo Jordana is here… Come to think of it, I can’t seem to go to the outskirts or Carly Hall. I guess the entirety of the old academy grounds isn’t being used for the examination site.’
The iconic building of the old Märchen Academy was, of course, ‘Carly Hall’.
At the far end of the old academy’s grounds, perched on top of a high hill, was a palace-like building that overlooked the old academy grounds.
They must have thought that the range would be too large if the building and its outskirts were used as exam sites, seeing as it didn’t show up on the map.
To be fair, the massive, transparent barrier that separated the exam sites didn’t cover the entirety of the old academy grounds. Even with the naked eye, it was clear that the outskirts and Carly Hall were excluded from the exam site.
Well, this was just a simple reference.
Kaya touched the ‘Fell’ part of the bracelet once more. Then, the mana grains flowed into the bracelet like sand.
“By the way, this…”
She got a rough idea when she thought about it.
“If you get a Fell card in the beginning, you’re at a huge disadvantage.”
Fell cards must be hard to find. Kaya herself, who was confident in her mana perception, felt the same way, and she could only imagine how the other students felt.
Therefore, being at the top of the rankings made you a target for many students.
In that case, the structure of this exam became clear.
The first half of the exam sets the stage for the top students. Of course, even if the opponent was a top-ranked student, there would be students who tried to attack them, but there wouldn’t be too many of them. Since the victor was obvious.
And once the top students have passed their exams, those below them would fight it out.
As time went by, the grounds of the old Märchen Academy would gradually become a battlefield for the weaker students.
In other words.
If one entered the rankings in the early stages, they were bound to be the target of many students, including the top-ranking students.
In the end, it was a mind game after all.
‘Especially for those who are average or weak, if they’re lucky enough to make it into the top rankings early on…’
They would definitely be targeted, faster than anyone else.
In conclusion, one would need to carefully consider whether to defeat Mateo and take his Fell Card or not. Even if they did defeat him and took his Fell Card, their name would stand out on the list.
Kaya, no matter how strong she was, couldn’t win against a stronger opponent. She needed to think carefully and act with caution.
“There’s a lot to consider…”
She was already preoccupied with mana perception while she stayed on guard, but now she had to engage in this battle of wits as well.
Her head was about to explode.
Meanwhile, inside an abandoned store on the grounds of the old Märchen Academy.
The students’ were mercilessly firing elemental magic at a man.
The target was Mateo Jordana, a brown-haired man who had climbed to the top of the rankings by being the only one with a Fell Card.
“Hah! It’s meaningless to resist in front of me!”
Tristan Humphrey, the conceited blond aristocrat, shouted from the rooftop of the abandoned store, while he looked down at Mateo. The surrounding area was dominated by Tristan’s wind.
The students Tristan had gathered while using his social status also took their positions and were all aiming at Mateo. There were a total of 4 students from Class B to Class C.
5 to 1. Despite the disadvantageous situation, Mateo leisurely smiled.
“Aren’t you weaker than me, Tristan? You can’t do anything unless you gang up on me.”
“Provocation won’t work, Mateo Jordana. My goal is not just you! It’s to get the best ranking in this semester’s end-of-term assessment! To make it clear to you and even the Grade E commoner how great I am!”
“Grade E commoner? Are you talking about Isaac?”
“Isn’t that obvious? Who else can be a Grade E commoner other than him? Hah! He must be scrambling to survive right about now. Heuheu, just thinking about it brings me joy!”
Mateo scratched his head with an uneasy expression. Tristan usually talked like a thug or a third-rate villain, but now that he thought about it, Tristan had never actually done anything cowardly to harm others. Even to someone he despised like Isaac.
If someone pissed him off, he would say, ‘I’ll prove how great of a being I am with my grades kekeke.’ And somehow, he always showed a sincere image of himself, which wasn’t quite in character with a thug.
Maybe that was why Tristan was sorta likable.
“Is that so? Then, shall I surrender?”
There was a sense of playfulness in Mateo’s thick voice. With a slight raise of his arms, he recreated a scene from the dueling evaluation, which caused Tristan’s subordinates to laugh.
-Snap. A red vein appeared on Tristan’s forehead. The word ‘surrender’ was nothing more than an insult to his pride.
He still trembled just thinking about the dueling evaluation…!
“Oh, I’ll kill you! Mateo Jordanaaa!!”
Tristan screamed at the top of his lungs and stretched out his arm towards Mateo, a light green magic circle appearing in front of him.
Tristan unleashed a powerful whirlwind at Mateo, and Mateo countered by creating a thick wall of rock in front of himself.
The [Rock Wall] remained steadfast even after being hit by Tristan’s [Whirlwind].
Tristan followed up with a sharp blade of wind, [Wind Sword], but the result was the same. It was a stark contrast to when he had lightly slashed through Isaac’s [Ice Wall] during the dueling evaluation.
Mateo’s defense was rock solid. Tristan suspected that even if he used the most powerful magic spell available to him, Mateo’s defenses would be impenetrable.
‘I’ll have to use an elemental reaction to break through…!’
Tristan glanced at his four men. If they could use [Elemental Synergy], which increased their magic power by combining different elements, it would be enough to break through Mateo’s defenses.
Meanwhile, as Mateo and Tristan’s group were having their showdown.
A new name began to appear on the scoreboard that was spread out in the air.
Mateo and Tristan’s group looked up to confirm the name.
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +1]
It wasn’t the scoreboard with Mateo’s name on it, but the ‘Eliminations’ scoreboard next to it, where students are ranked according to how many they’ve eliminated.
The name of the first-year top seat of the Magic Department was engraved on said scoreboard.
Top seat? Mateo was the only one who had a Fell Card right now, so why did she ‘Kill’ someone?
Tristan was taken aback. The purpose of this exam was to collect ‘Fell Cards’. Did the top seat eliminate another student for no reason?
Suddenly, a question popped into Tristan’s head.
‘Come to think of it, why is there a ‘Eliminations’ ranking?’
If you thought about the exam structure, there wasn’t a need for such a ranking, right?
As he was thinking about it, an unbelievable sight began to unfold before his eyes.
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +2]
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +4]
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +8]
In the blink of an eye, the number of students Luce eliminated was rapidly snowballing.
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +10]
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +12]
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +15]
It didn’t stop. For some reason, she was on a killing spree!
“The top seat, this monster…! Has she gone mad?!”
A cold sweat ran down Tristan’s cheeks.
Mateo and Tristan both swallowed dryly and quickly grabbed their bracelets and pressed the ‘Eliminations’ button. A map made of mana grains unfolded before their eyes.
‘Blue’. The blue grain that represented the location of Luce Eltania was reflected in their eyes.
…The devil was coming this way, to slaughter each and every one of them.
“Damn! Everyone, run! Lu-Luce Eltania is coming this way!”
Tristan barked orders at his men while his eyes widened, Mateo clicked his tongue and began to flee as well.
Now was not the time for them to fight amongst themselves. For now, they had to survive.
Luce Eltania. None of the first-year students in the Magic Department stood a chance against her overwhelming strength. Especially when she was slaughtering them with such ferocity.
If one came face to face with her, they would be eliminated without fail.
From Luce’s position, a stream of steaming hot water wildly surged through the air, threatening to pierce the sky. It was an extremely skilled [Geyser].
The helpless screams of the students who had been blown away by the [Geyser] echoed powerlessly.
Tristan was horrified and started fleeing in terror. No matter how conceited he was, it was always better to flee in the face of a monster you could never defeat.
It was only then that he realized why there was an ‘Eliminations’ ranking.
At the prestigious Märchen Academy, there were always some freaks of nature who were admitted. Like Dorothy Heartnova, who was called the Star Witch, or Alice Carroll, the Student Council President.
No matter how much Märchen Academy’s educational policy was said to be the ‘Law of the Jungle’, they couldn’t just sit back and watch as the balance of the exam helplessly collapsed.
Therefore, there may be many reasons, but the biggest reason for the creation of the ‘Eliminations’ ranking was…
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +18]
When a predator appears, you should flee as quickly as possible.
[3rd Place (Green) Kaya Astrean Fell Card +1]
“I finally found one!”
The underground warehouse of Deuros Hall was cluttered with old junk.
As Kaya made her way through the junk, she could sense the faint but unusual mana.
After she searched through the box where she sensed the mana, she was able to find one ‘Fell Card’.
Kaya looked at the card and felt a rush of joy that made her heart race.
‘Kaya, did you find the Fell card already? Your skills are improving day by day.’
Kaya’s expression melted as she imagined Isaac praising her cynically.
She giggled as she put the Fell card into the small pouch in her arms. It was a card case handed out in advance by the academy’s administration.
‘I’ve got the hang of it now, Sir Isaac!’
Forty minutes into the exam.
It was much harder to find a Fell Card than she had anticipated, but she managed to find one somehow. Not to mention, other students would eventually find Fell Cards as they narrowed their down their search.
However, the exam would increasingly take on the aspect of a battle royale.
‘The top seat is the biggest problem.’
Luce Eltania. She was hunting students indiscriminately, regardless of Fell Cards. The scoreboard she had seen before she entered this building showed that she had already eliminated 34 people.
She seemed to be purposely hunting down students and eliminating them. She must be sensing their mana, not their Fell Cards. Otherwise, her elimination count wouldn’t have increased so dramatically.
I wondered if she was trying to eliminate all the competition, so she could take her time searching for Fell Cards, or… if she was just killing for the sake of killing.
Either way, it was a chilling thought.
‘I want to fight with all my might at least once, but…’
Kaya had always had this thought when she looked at Luce. That was always the case with being the second seat. She felt like she was barely an arm’s length away from the top seat, but not being able to close the distance was frustrating.
But she needed to be realistic. Her current goal was to collect 5 Fell Cards within the time limit and achieve an excellent grade for the end-of-semester evaluation. That would be the best way to beat the top seat.
Kaya left Deuros Hall. Just in time, the engravings of the scoreboard that floated in the sky were changing.
[1st Place (Red) Mateo Jordana Fell Card +1]
[2nd Place (Purple) Ciel Carnedas Fell Card +1]
[3rd Place (Green) Kaya Astrean Fell Card +1]
[4th Place (Yellow) Tristan Humphrey Fell Card +1]
[1st Place (Blue) Luce Eltania Eliminations +44]
[2nd Place (Yellow) Tristan Humphrey Eliminations +1]
Luce Eltania was still on a rampage.
Ciel Carnedas, a freshman in the Magic Department and classmate of Kaya from Class A, seemed to have made her way up on the scoreboard while Kaya was looking for a Fell Card in the warehouse.
Tristan Humphrey appeared to have claimed a card by eliminating the student who had gotten it just moments before.
Gradually, the number of students who were getting Fell Cards was increasing. Naturally, it was the top students who dominated the rankings.
‘What is Sir Isaac up to?’
However, Kaya’s attention was drawn to Isaac rather than the top students.
She had no idea what he was going to do.
If he, who was widely perceived as weak, obtained one Fell Card and rose to the top of the rankings, there was no telling how chaotic the end-of-semester evaluations would become.
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