༺ Class Placement Evaluation (3) ༻
“You managed to survive this far, Grade E commoner, Oh, it seems there’s a mana grain on your watch… Only one? Ho-ho, were you so desperate to survive that you hid the entire time?
…That’s quite intuitive.
“And on top of that, your mana perception must be atrocious! How pitiful!”
Isn’t it a cowardly move to hit me with facts?
Well, even though he looked like an asshole, it was an obvious fact that he was far superior to me in terms of skill.
If I fight him head-to-head with magic, I would lose 100 out of 100 times.
But I needed to get past him somehow.
I didn’t know what was going on with Ian right now, maybe the worst-case scenario had already happened. I couldn’t let myself have a bad ending because of him.
I secretly inserted one of my fingers into the magic pouch in my back pocket, and a magic tool in the form of a small glass bottle was caught by my finger.
As I saw during the magic power evaluation, Tristan Humphrey’s magic was quite powerful, but he was inexperienced in defending himself since he solely focused on attacking rather than defending.
He disliked the combat style that involved carefully deploying defensive magic while fighting.
He was a man who had only mastered attack magic with the mindset of ‘the best defense is a good offense.’
It was a mindset born out of the lack of practical experience. The servants of the Humphrey family supported and raised him without giving him any hands-on experience. In fact, this class placement evaluation was probably his debut stage.
“You aren’t even trying to run away when I’m in front of you? You’re just a Grade E commoner, where does such unfounded confidence even come from? Or, are you petrified from fear?
“Hahaha—” Tristan laughed heartily before coughing and gasping due to swallowing his saliva incorrectly.
Maybe it was because I had been playing ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱ for a long time, but even Tristan’s third-rate villain lines felt familiar.
Still, I had to knock him down and get past him.
‘Because I know him well.’
I threw the small glass bottle in my hand to the ground.
The small glass bottle collided with a stone and broke, releasing the hazy mist that had condensed in it.
Rank: Tier 7
The magic tool I broke was a water attribute item, ‘Processed Fog’.
It created a hazy fog around itself in an instant, similar to a smoke bomb.
However, this was insufficient, as Tristan and I could still see one another’s movements if we looked closely.
I stretched out my right hand and spread pure white, cold air.
The dense fog immediately turned colder, and even whiter. As the air cooled, condensation occurred and formed advection fog, becoming denser and thicker.
I channelled ice mana with my other hand.
Ian and Luce must have joined forces by now and should be headed toward the place where they fought the demon.
At that time.
A sharp, light green wind sliced through the dense fog and grazed me with only a few inches to spare.
I froze on the spot.
I was almost done for…
“Haha, is there nothing you can do other than play jokes like this?”
As Tristan approached me, he conjured a magic circle in front of his hand, scattering a pale green light.
The wind began to blow in all directions, clearing the fog. The wind was caused by Tristan.
The wind attribute was distinguished by a combo that continuously generated wind, consequently increasing the magic output.
In other words, he intended to hunt me down in earnest.
“I already knew this was the outcome!”
However, as the fog cleared, I reached out my hand towards Tristan.
I had already begun forming ice from the moment the fog spread.
Then I clenched my fist, my palm glowing with a blue light.
The flow of mana was severed by me, causing the large chunk of ice that had formed over Tristan’s head to rapidly fall to the ground.
A heavy noise echoed eerily throughout the forest as the block of ice, pulled down by gravity, fell directly on Tristan’s head.
With a single blood-curdling shriek, Tristan collapsed.
The block of ice that struck him was bigger than what I usually made thanks to [Elemental Synergy, and the water attribute from the ‘Processed Fog’.
Soon, Tristan’s wind died down and the fog dissipated.
I could clearly see Tristan lying on the floor, with blood dripping from his head.
Having suffered a humiliating defeat from a Grade E commoner that he had ignored for so long, he might as well start practicing defensive magic from now on.
‘Time is running out…’
I looked at my watch and reminded myself of the urgent situation.
As much as I wanted Tristan’s watch to earn points, it wasn’t worth the time I would have to spend taking it away.
I made up my mind and started running toward my destination once again.
The trigger for this bad ending wasn’t Ian’s death.
It was actually when Luce summoned her familiar to defeat the demon.
Her familiar was the 8-star demonic beast, ‘Thunderbird – Galia’.
As with magic, the highest grade for familiars was 9-star, which was on the level of world destruction. And Galia was the strongest familiar of the grade just below that, national destruction.
The problem was that she couldn’t control Galia.
Originally, a demonic beast who became a familiar must faithfully follow their master’s every word, but Galia was unable to be controlled, lightly disregarded her orders, and even went as far as to willingly accept the penalty for disobeying said orders.
If Galia manifested here, all of the talented students who had survived so far during the class placement evaluation would perish.
Currently, there were only first-year students from the Magic Department in the forest, and Galia’s lightning strike would engulf the forest before the academy could respond.
It was no surprise that the protagonist, Ian, who was still trapped in the forest, died.
Since Galia was one of the greatest powers in Märchen Academy, after all.
The situation eventually settled down after Dorothy Heartnova, a sophomore in the Magic Department called the Star Witch, managed to repel the Thunderbird – Galia. However, many people, including Ian, had already died.
In other words, it was a bad ending.
‘Please don’t be too late…!’
Even though I was out of breath, I ran with all my might.
“How dare you… wound this body…!”
Tristan reached out in the direction Isaac had left.
There was dirt covered all over his body as he was collapsed on the ground, blood pouring from his head.
In front of his hand, a light green magic circle was conjured and slowly started to rotate.
If he continued to pour his mana into the magic circle and fired the long-range attack magic [Whirlwind], it might have even reached Isaac.
“To the hands of a lowly Grade E commoner… an insignificant Grade E commoner!!”
Tristan struggled to resist the urge to lose consciousness and poured his mana toward the departed Isaac.
A light green wind began to whirl and swirl with strong momentum.
The whirlwind, which was about to crush the trees and move towards Isaac, was devoured by a more powerful whirlwind coming from the side.
Tristan’s eyes widened.
A female student who blew a much stronger [Whirlwind] against his [Whirlwind] walked out from the darkness of the forest.
Her light green pigtails fluttered along with her footsteps, and her jade-colored eyes were brilliantly vibrant even in the slowly darkening forest.
It was Kaya Astrean, the second seat freshmen in the Magic Department.
“Uh, why are you…?”
As if not interested in Tristan’s question, Kaya quietly closed her eyes.
She took a deep breath and began to ponder.
So weak, that he wasn’t even worthy of Sir Isaac’s sincerity.
Isaac had sensed the mana contained in Yggdrasil’s seed.
Even though she was always carrying the seed with her, she couldn’t even sense the mana…
To sense mana that wasn’t being emitted was famous for being an ability in the realm of an Archwizard.
Isaac had proven once again that he was someone whose skill couldn’t be surpassed by someone like herself.
‘Sir Isaac is amazing.’
Only that kind of power?
It was only natural he said that.
She must have seemed so insignificant to such an amazing person.
If she wanted to compete with Isaac and his natural talent, it was only polite to at least meet a certain threshold.
Rather, challenging him with her mediocre skills was equivalent to disrespecting him.
It was akin to a young child challenging an adult knight to a fight, of course, the knight would say. ‘Come back once you’ve grown up.’
“I’m going to be strong enough to make Sir Isaac recognize me.”
Kaya slowly opened her eyes as her resolve burned quietly like embers.
“Why… did you cover for that Grade E commoner?”
Tristan asked in a trembling voice as if he didn’t know why.
“It’s only natural I do so, that’s why.”
Kaya replied with a sigh mixed with a pitiful voice.
The wind generated by Kaya began to swirl around her.
Kaya’s [Wind Generation] had a stronger mana concentration than Tristan’s [Wind Generation] and was thus stronger.
Her light green pigtails and the hem of her school uniform began to flutter wildly.
A face covered in the darkness of the forest, eyes looking down with displeasure.
Tristan looked at her with a face full of doubts and fear.
Tristan questioned why she was protecting Isaac and fighting him?
“Even I have never touched Isaac, what makes the likes of you think he can?”
It was a simple matter of pride.
The wind around Kaya began to swirl violently and soon, Tristan’s body floated above the twilight forest.
The twilight of the evening sky was truly beautiful – with that feeling, his consciousness faded far beyond the distant horizon.
Dried dirt covered Luce Eltania’s rose-gold hair and the school uniform she was wearing.
She calmed herself in front of the bizarre-looking demon whose appearance was akin to a man wearing a loose-fitting and navy blue clothes, it was standing before her as if it were a statue.
He had a body with gray skin, and a lean muscular body. Both of his eyes were tightly shut with one hand under his chin, and his head slightly bowed. He appeared to be contemplating something.
[Hmm—, Hmm—, Hmm—, Hmm—, Hhm—, Hhm—, Hhm—, Hhm—, Hhm—, Hhm—, Hm—]
The constant buzzing that resonated in Luce’s head had started a while ago.
Ian Fairytale, who fought this strange demon with her, had already lost his consciousness.
Luce lightly waved her arm and poured out her mana.
Then, a magic circle that was glowing blue formed under the demon’s feet, and hot water quickly gushed out into the sky.
The sight of the demon gracefully avoiding Luce’s magic did not match his stiff appearance.
Even during the evasive action, he still looked like he was in deep contemplation.
The hot fountain soared powerfully, as if it would pierce the sky itself.
Luce knew how the demon would avoid it, and deliberately adjusted the angle.
She directed the demon’s escape path and activated her magic there as well.
In an instant, a round dome made of water appeared and imprisoned the demon.
The [Seawater Prison] quickly froze over.
[Hmm—, hmm—, hmm—, hmm—, hmm—, hmm—, hmm—]
The demon casually smashed the frozen [Seawater Prison] and escaped.
“My water magic alone isn’t enough…”
Luce monologued in a voice as serene as the moonlight.
Ice magic, enough to instantly freeze the [Seawater Prison] and neutralize it. It was proof that the demon’s ice magic proficiency and [Elemental Synergy] were extremely high.
That demon was too strong for Luce to handle with water magic alone.
[Hmm! Hmm! Hmm! Hmm! Hmm! Hmm! Hmm! Hmm! Hmm! Hmm!]
Suddenly, the demon began humming loudly.
A large light blue magic circle formed behind him, with elegant ice crystals floating around it.
Alarm bells were going off in Luce’s head, telling her that this was dangerous—
He suddenly took a step forward.
The ground began to freeze from the tips of his toes.
The cold air rose like a blizzard, quickly spreading along the ground in the shape of a fan, the areas where the cold air passed through froze, and became smooth sheets of ice.
Luce hurriedly deployed a [Water Wall], a water attribute defense spell, around herself.
A circular water barrier formed and began to shield her from the cold wind.
A powerful surge of cold air attempted to freeze the water barrier that surrounded Luce.
She countered the cooling by squeezing out her mana, accelerating the flow of water that formed the [Water Wall].
The cold air rushed past the [Water Wall] and transformed the forest behind it into an ice-age landscape.
The [Frost Wave] eventually lost momentum and calmed down.
Luce let out a white breath in the cold air as she released the [Water Wall].
She inhaled deeply and scanned the demon with eyes that reflected the blue ocean.
Her water elemental magic wasn’t enough to defeat that demon on its own.
Her most powerful elemental magic was ‘Lightning’, and she was certain that she would win even against unfavorable odds.
But… In order to use lightning magic properly, she would have no choice but to summon something that should never be called upon. One-half of her mana was always used to keep ‘that guy’ at bay.
Luce rolled up the sleeves of her school uniform and looked down at the magic circle engraved on her left wrist.
If I summon ‘that guy’, I can definitely defeat this stupid gray-skinned demon.
But… ‘That guy’ is a double-edged sword, and I’m not sure if I can control him yet.
However, she had become much stronger, to the extent that she entered the prestigious Märchen Academy’s Magic Department at the top of her class. Even her mana was rated A+.
She thought that she might be able to control him now.
Her heart throbbed, but after taking a deep breath and calming her tense emotions, Luce finally made up her mind.
The 8-star demonic beast, ‘Thunderbird – Galia.’ Let’s summon that guy.
Just then, when Luce tried chanting the summoning spell with her index and middle fingers pointing at the magic circle engraved on her wrist –
-She heard the sound of footsteps. Although it might have been an illusion, it seemed to have been made with the intention of being heard.
Luce turned her head towards the sound.
On the surrounding low cliffs, a man stood in a navy blue hooded coat. His entire body was toned, and he appeared to be at least two meters tall.
The inside of the haggard hood revealed fierce, blood-red eyes, and just below that was a large, grotesque mouth.
The mouth had its gums exposed with large, sharp teeth neatly aligning them, the jutting canines and large molars were especially terrifying.
Because of the worn-down hood, it was difficult to tell, but he seemed to have pitch-black skin.
It was like a beast, a demonic beast.
She never thought another dangerous-looking monster would emerge from here…
Now she really had no choice but to summon the Thunderbird – Galia.
Something was off.
The monster standing on the cliff’s eyes were not on Luce, but on the gray-skinned demon.
The demon also stopped his contemplative pose and stared at the monster with both eyes raised, it was clearly on guard.
For some reason… the atmosphere seemed like the monsters were trying to fight.
I think I bought the wrong clothes.
I didn’t have a choice in the matter, however, as I just bought the one that the owner of the secret shop said they had left, but it turned out to be ‘Magic Cloak of Disguise – Berserker’…
I was now dressed in a navy blue hooded coat with the hood pulled down. My face was full of sharp teeth, large fangs, and molars neatly aligned in the corners of my mouth, it was possible because it was magic camouflage.
From my perspective I looked normal, but to others I would appear as a big monster standing on the cliff’s edge. I looked to and from Luce and the demon, but Luce’s expression was unusual.
Well… It was a reasonable reaction considering my current appearance.
‘But Ian is passed out again.’
Ian was leaning against a tree, seemingly unconscious.
This made it clear that I couldn’t trust Ian in this game.
Moreover, Luce seemed to be on the verge of summoning Thunderbird – Galia.
If I was even a little late, I would have been in big trouble…
“That’s a relief…” (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)
I breathed a sigh of relief.
When I spoke, I heard a gurgling sound that sounded like the cry of an animal. It seemed like when I talked, a berserker’s cry came out of my mouth.
…I’m about to be misunderstood as a demon, too.
Anyway, I succeeded in getting here in time.
What I had to do now was clear.
Attributes: Darkness, Ice