༺ Goal ༻
The entirety of a vast, remote island located in the eastern part of the continent was the Märchen Academy itself.
They had established their own independent economic system.
First and foremost, the currency used was not the prevalent currency that was commonly used elsewhere. The only currency that could be used here was referred to as ‘Gel’.
The most common method for a student to earn gel was after undergoing either a performance evaluation or another form of testing. It would then be distributed in varying amounts depending on one’s grades or some other specific criteria. It was also possible to earn gel by working part-time, but it wasn’t very efficient. It would be best to think of it as a supplementary measure when running low.
Other than that, converting local money into gel was another valid method used by students. However, it was only possible before the start of each semester, at least until the first semester’s tuition was paid for. If you had a lot of gel, you could even pay the tuition with it as well.
What if I were to run out of gel? In that case, I would have no choice but to borrow some from somebody else, go to the academy bank for a loan, or try and work part-time. I would end up starving otherwise. This was a harsh place, after all.
At the beginning of the year, all of the freshmen who came to the academy were given 5000 gel.
With the textbooks and school uniforms already being fully provided by the academy, unless you overspent on anything unnecessary, you would definitely have enough to last until the next performance evaluation at the very least.
Knowing that, I decided to use my gel in moderation at the student cafeteria for my lunch and dinner. Despite that, everything still ended up tasting delicious and I felt fully satisfied.
What a strange feeling this was.
Anyways, after defeating Trevion earlier today and personally experiencing the entire entrance ceremony and orientation, I was now fully convinced that I had been transmigrated into the world of <Magic Knight of Märchen>.
I also made a trip over to the library in order to read an [Introduction to Basic Magic] textbook that I believed to be appropriate for my current level.
Fortunately enough, understanding the contents of the textbook was not too difficult, possibly due to my prior knowledge of the game.
After confirming that fact, I also went ahead and took out an [Introduction to Advanced Magic] textbook and began reading.
‘Oh, it’s more difficult than I thought.’
Physics? Chemistry? I’m not quite sure which it was with myself being a liberal arts major, but it felt like I was seeing something similar.
Just looking at the complicated formulas and equations made me start feeling dizzy, so I quickly closed the book and headed back to the dormitory.
At Märchen Academy, there were a total of four dormitories. The dormitory you’re assigned to is determined by grades each semester.
As for myself, I resided in the ‘Doris Hall’, the lowest ranking dormitory with relatively poor facilities as a result. The dormitories were assigned to each student based on their entrance exam scores.
Just as you would expect, Doris Hall was a dormitory for the inferior students. A gathering place for those with the lowest grades in the academy. Ian Fairytail, the protagonist, also resided here for the time being.
I entered my room.
All of my belongings had already been transferred into my room: clothes, toiletries, disposables, writing utensils, and everything else I needed.
In any case, it was quite a small room. Of course, by that, I meant that it was just small in comparison to the other dorms.
As an experienced civil service exam taker who had been previously living in a 3-pyeong studio in Sillim-dong, I was able to wholeheartedly attest to the fact that it was spacious, clean, and luxurious.
For reference, the academy had purposefully made the facilities in here more narrow than the other dormitories for the purpose of motivating students to try and get out of here. Elitism, indeed.
Even despite that, however, the showers were still extremely well-equipped.
“I’m stuck in a place like this!?!”
That startled me…
It sounded like somebody was shouting in the room next door – a cry filled with the strong will to escape.
It seemed that a room like this must have been a sizeable blow for the spoiled aristocrats, who had always lived their entire lives in an extremely nice place.
I shut the door behind me and sat myself down on the bed.The single bed felt incredibly soft as it gently enveloped my buttocks.
It had already been 3 full days since I transmigrated into this game.
If I were to fall asleep tonight and still didn’t end up back in my own reality, then just as I’ve thought to myself many times ever since I came here, my goal was clear.
I needed to clear this game.
The main problem currently was that Ian, the main character whose death would serve as the condition for a bad ending, was no better than a shitty newbie.
Hell-Difficulty was obviously an extremely challenging experience, starting with the enemy’s specs. As a result, the player was required to have excellent control abilities from the very start.
On the other hand, Ian, this bastard, had already almost gotten a bad ending right at the beginning of the first day, and there was no guarantee that this would not continue to happen in the future.
‘If that’s the case, I just have to get stronger.’
If the protagonist is useless, then there is only me. An unpredictable variable with the ability to prevent the numerous bad endings of this world.
According to the scenario, this was because Ian, despite being a human, was born with the light attribute, which was a demon’s only weakness. As a result, Ian would be able to defeat demons even with significant level differences between them.
Normally, light attribute abilities and divine powers were only able to be used by the noble saintesses blessed by God. Simply put, it should have been impossible for Ian, an ordinary human, to have the light attribute from birth.
However, it eventually came to light that within Ian flowed the mixed blood of a human and a heavenly being, who naturally wielded divine power. This is the full explanation on how he was born with the ability to wield divine power without a blessing. It was a backstory supposed to come out as a twist later on.
Of course, both Ian and myself must gradually improve our strengths together. The light attribute had many uses besides direct combat, and if he was still unable to use his divine power later on, demons with an invincible status would begin appearing regardless.
When that time comes, Ian will have to dispel their invincible status by using the 8-star light attribute ultimate spell [Expelled from Paradise] along with his final weapon ‘Luminous Sword.’ In other words, it was necessary to at least be strong enough to properly progress the story.
‘In the end, though, the biggest issue is still going to be the final boss.’
The game’s final boss,
It was a damn tough boss. In Hell-Difficulty, even if the player maxed out their specs, if they were hit even once, it would be game over. This was because Nephid could cast 9-star magic, a level of power capable of destroying the world.
The magic circle for resurrecting the sealed Evil God Nephid was engraved on the roof of ‘Bartos Hall’ in Märchen Academy.
However, it would still be impossible to even see or touch the engraving because of a 9-star spell blocking absolute perception. What if you destroy the building? During a Q&A event for the game, a user had asked that exact question to the developers, and I certainly still remembered the answer to that question even now. The developers had responded by saying, ‘It would be meaningless to destroy the building because of the magic circle itself actually being engraved beyond time and space.’
In the end, the Evil God Nephid was bound to be resurrected when the time came.
‘Still, if I could just catch Nephid, that would end everything.’
The demons would no longer be a threat because Nephid was the one who had sent them to Ian in the first place.
Nephid was still sealed away in the Abyss, and could only release a little bit of mana to the outside world at a time.
The mana Nephid sent outside would be used to wake up the demons that laid dormant beneath the surface. It was this restriction that made him only able to send a few demons to kill Ian every once in a while.
All this meant was that I needed to prevent the bad ending by defeating all the demons myself.
‘In order to clear this game, I need to become strong enough to beat the final boss as well…’
As long as I was Isaac, the goal was clear.
‘Let’s check my current potential.’
– Magic Training Efficiency (D-): 10/100 [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]
Where should I invest my stat points first?
It’s finally time to start thinking about the future.
There will be a class placement evaluation soon and around that time, another demon would appear.
The problem was that in order to catch that demon, there was a harsh condition attached where I would be forced to avoid elimination for about 5 hours in a battle royale against only those stronger than me.
However, if I were to try and increase my immediate chances of survival by increasing my [vs. Human Combat Power] potential, I would end up being much further away from defeating the Evil God Nephid in the long run.
I definitely needed to level up even just a little bit faster.
‘Then, I should give top priority to the [Physical Training Efficiency] and [Magical Training Efficiency] potentials.’
After making my decision, I proceeded to distribute 10 stat points to [Physical Training Efficiency] and 15 to [Magic Training Efficiency].
Even with this, I don’t expect any dramatic effect right away until the upcoming class placement evaluation, but I hope it’s at least as good as the figures show.
‘Now that I’ve finished that, the next thing I need to do is make myself a training plan.’
…With that said, I was starting to feel exhausted already.
As I sat at my desk, unfolded the parchment, and began writing down my future plans.
In the middle of that, I somehow fell asleep.
* * *
Each and every room of the top-ranked dormitory of Märchen Academy, ‘Charles Hall’ was luxurious, truly befitting of its splendid exterior.
After all, this was a super-luxurious facility where only the top 10 students from each department and year could stay.
There were also facilities that could be used by employees.
The academy itself had prepared high-quality human resources for students living at Charles Hall.
It was there that Kaya Astrean, the prodigious second seat of the freshman class at the Department of Magic, was seated at her desk while resting her chin on her palms, deeply lost in her own thoughts.
Inside a dark room, the soft light of an enchanted lamp quietly illuminated the figure of her in a luxurious nightgown.
“It really just doesn’t make any sense at all…”
Kaya was reflecting on what she had witnessed earlier today.
This morning, when that man with silver-blue colored hair defeated the demon.
Kaya clearly felt an overwhelming amount of mana overflowing from within him.
Yet, when at the time of mana evaluation, the same man achieved Grade E, the worst grade.
It was an obvious contradiction. It could only mean that the mana meter he used was broken.
Was it possible that the silver-blue haired man just didn’t let any of his mana leak out? Impossible. She already confirmed that there was elemental aura flowing out.
Besides, even at that time, Kaya herself had even felt his feeble mana personally.
‘There’s no way that’s true.’
After all, the ability that the silver-blue haired man had showcased when he obliterated the demon was already at a level far superior to her own.
It wasn’t that she mistook his ability either, since Kaya knew how to manipulate wind and ice attributes herself. Therefore, she had an eye for ice magic.
The moment she saw his 5-star spell, [Frost Explosion], she felt like she was watching a masterpiece that had been created by a master craftsman with great care for decades.
How in the world could such an expert be classified as a mere Grade E? She was about to burst into laughter when the topic first came up.
Contrary to her expectation, Professor Fernando had insisted that the mana meter’s results were impossible to get wrong.
The silver blue haired young man, number 25, did not raise any objections to such a claim and just continued to stay silent.
In spite of all the ongoing giggles and mockery of the surrounding students.
It was almost as if he had known this would happen from the very start…
‘An Archwizard is an existence able to easily change their maximum mana at will…’
She couldn’t help but think back to the words she heard before. To be able to fake their amount of mana, by changing mana itself? How would that be any different from the absurd claim that each and every cell in your body could also be changed at will?
No, in the first place, an Archwizard was a being that would transcend common sense just by existing, so even if that’s possible…
It still didn’t make any sense that a student the same age as her was successfully able to reach the level of an Archwizard.
An ‘Archwizard’ was an honorable title that was given only to those who have been recognized as the absolute best wizards across the entire continent.
Even the most successful first-class wizards, such as the Tower Masters, the Leaders of well-renowned and high-ranking Guilds, or Court Wizards, were not even comparable to the size of a fingernail in front of an Archwizard…
Even Kaya’s family, the Ducal house of Astrean, with their high social status, would be forced to bow their heads in front of the Archwizard.
The level of an Archwizard was at the point where – whether it was heaven’s blessings, an unparalleled talent, and bone-breaking efforts – all of it was required.
In the first place, although the man who was number 25 had powerful mana when facing the demon, it was still a bit weaker than the first-class wizards Kaya had seen thus far. It was not enough power to confidently state that he had already reached the level of an Archwizard.
However, even thinking about it that way couldn’t explain the inconsistency of his mana being Grade E.
‘I noticed that the black-haired man earlier didn’t know about him either.’
After the silver-blue haired man left, Kaya went and woke up the person named Ian Fairytail who was passed out in the clearing, and used healing magic to treat his wounds.
His wounds actually recovered themselves surprisingly quickly, as if Kaya’s healing magic only served as an accelerator.
During the healing process, she asked Ian if he knew the man who defeated the demon.
To her disappointment, he seemed to be completely unaware. In the first place, his attention at the time was focused entirely on the demon that had already turned to ashes and vanished by this point.
She decided it would just end up being a waste of time to keep asking him, so Kaya stopped talking.
‘Could it be a secret where I’m the only one who knows student number 25 is actually strong?’
She had already told Ian that she would report the issue of the appearance of a demon to the academy. After the mana evaluation was finally over, she decided to report it to Professor Fernando.
She couldn’t bear to see it being reported any later.
Demons weren’t known for their collective behavior, and typically appeared as natural disasters. In other words, there was never any kind of rush to report it when the aforementioned demon had already been slain.
However, after hearing the result of the mana evaluation of the person who defeated the demon, along with Fernando’s explanation added on top of that.
Kaya reported the incident a little differently from the truth.
She reported that the demon was already dying, and disappeared soon after. That was why she didn’t know the identity of the demon slayer.
All because she had suddenly thought of an unbelievable possibility.
“Really, no, really, that’s got to be nonsense…”
After the perception of the impossibility and the possibility that had been layered on top of each other, slowly began to be peeled away… the truth hidden underneath was finally revealed.
Finally, Kaya voiced the possibility.
“If it’s true that number 25 has reached the level of an Archwizard, then…? What if he arbitrarily adjusted his mana when he defeated the demon earlier today…? If that’s the case, then, is that person a so-called genius among geniuses, surpassing all of the Archwizards that have ever been recorded in history…?”
What had long been considered an absolute, immutable truth could easily be overturned at any time, whenever an exception were to appear.
This was something that humanity had only been able to deduce with inductive reasoning thus far.
However, what if today, that very ‘exception’ that had only been spoken of in theory had suddenly appeared?
What if that ‘exception’ was number 25, the man with silver-blue hair?
Thrill. Excitement. These were the emotions she felt when arriving at this conclusion.
It meant that he was a being who would become a legend.
And she was the first person to know his identity!
It felt surreal. She felt as if she was facing a monumental truth that she shouldn’t have known.
Kaya began to tremble and the corners of her mouth twitched upward.
“No, no. Don’t get ahead of yourself just yet.”
The professor already said it himself that it was impossible. Let’s think carefully.
When she calmed down and went over the details once again, it was clear that this was impossible. In fact, it was something no different from something in the realm of fantasy.
But, what if it’s real? Really, what if it’s really real?
What if he went and entered the academy while hiding his true power for some unknown reason?
Without realizing it, Kaya’s thoughts had already reached this point. So then, under the assumption that this person was an important figure hiding their identity, her mind became focused on keeping quiet about his contribution to defeating the demon, seeing as he was pretending to be a weakling.
‘I need to find out.’
In the end, Kaya resolved herself to speak to man number 25 tomorrow.