༺ Joint Practical Evaluation (2) ༻
“This crazy bastard!”
“Isn’t this cheating>!”
PvP wasn’t allowed in the joint practical evaluation. As such, in the beginning, students chose to impede the progress of others by using non-combat elemental spells.
Although the students used a variety of spells to break the elemental walls, every time they did so, a new wall formed in front of them.
I stopped in my tracks and placed one of my hands on the ground.
Light brown mana flowed out of my palm.
A stone pillar erupted out of the ground with terrifying speed, pushing my body upwards.
The stone pillar drew an arc over all the other elemental walls on the surface as I anchored my hands and feet onto the stone pillar.
There was a limit to how far I could extend the pillar so I formed a new one to jump on and repeated this action while being carried through the air.
After passing by all the bothersome elemental walls, I easily landed back on the ground with a loud thud.
“What was that?”
“Is he really a part of the Magic Department? What kind of physical ability is that…?”
Rather than my magic, the students were amazed at my athleticism.
Students with solid elements like rock and ice began to follow my lead. However.
“Ahhh! Get me down from here!”
There were a number of people who couldn’t execute it properly. It was because they tried to imitate me without having the proper skills to do so. Not to mention, they couldn’t even control their own fear.
Without precise mana control and athletic ability, they could never copy the method I just showed. They were practically digging their own graves at this point.
‘What are they doing.’
It was a pitiful sight to see.
Shortly thereafter, the first intersection appeared.
After running through the water-filled canyon, I reached a fork in the road. It was clearly distinguishable thanks to the milestones that were placed.
It was a question of whether one continues to go through the canyon and enter a cave or go up the stairs to the top of the canyon.
Here, students were also separated into two categories: students who choose a path without hesitation and students who become indecisive. Obviously, I was of the former.
‘It was this way.’
My choice was towards the stairs. I could only find the frog demon if I went this way.
If one looked up from below, there was a terrifying bridge on the path up the canyon, so few students chose this treacherous path.
‘It’s a relief that I don’t have a fear of heights.’
It didn’t mean much for me to cross a creaky bridge high up in the air. At most, it was a thrilling ride to enjoy.
A few brave souls also chose the stairs. I blended into their ranks as I began to run up the stairs.
The frog demon will leave its place after 4 p.m. I need to reach it before that. I don’t have much time left.
After going up a couple of stairs, I made a stone platform on the cliff and proceeded to jump onto it.
After I landed, the rock began to stretch upwards and pushed me over the precipice.
In ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, even if you were only a little late, you would witness a cursed scene where some aggro bastard shattered your leg. If that happened, you would have no choice but to choose a different path.
As I ran on top of the canyon, I saw a large bridge connecting to another canyon. The view was absolutely stunning, just as I had expected it to be.
Without hesitation, I started to cross the bridge.
Unexpectedly, I found myself on an amusement park ride.
Because of the strong winds hitting the bridge like a tidal wave; it was constantly rocking back and forth.
I thought it would only shake a bit… What was I expected to do if it was also oscillating up and down?
The natural wind mana in the surroundings must have flowed very aggressively for such a phenomenon to occur.
I grabbed the railing and adjusted my balance. If I was careless, my body would fly away.
“What the hell is this!”
“Someone save me!!”
I could hear the cries of despair from the students that followed behind me.
If they were gonna be like this, why did they even come here…
It was hard to continue. I couldn’t take it anymore. Although it may help the bastards behind me, it was more important for me to get off this bridge ASAP.
I stretched my arm and spilled ice mana downwards. I casted a buffed [Ice Generation] thanks to Zhonya’s Staff.
The ice spread thinly and widely. As a result, the bridge froze into a magnificent ice sculpture.
Done. Finally, my legs wouldn’t squirm like an eel any longer.
“Oop! That’s slippery!”
“But it’s shaking less! Thank you, my friend!”
Since there was a gentleman who expressed his gratitude, I lifted my arm to the side and gave him a thumbs-up.
I had only my heels touch the bridge as I used [Rock Generation] to make sharp spikes on the soles of my shoes. It was to reduce the area of contact while also allowing me to slide easily across.
As I extended my right arm backward, I condensed ice mana and ignited it to produce immense force and an icy fire.
It was a booster.
Using [Frostfire] as the driving force, I exploded forward and quickly traversed the ice bridge.
It was a refreshing speed. My silver-blue hair flapped wildly in the wind. A startled sound escaped from me unintentionally.
It was an application of [Frostfire] that required a tremendous amount of mana control and skill.
Although I couldn’t fly like Iron Man yet, at the very least, it was a possibility to use [Frostfire] as a booster.
However, because I needed to condense mana and let out immense pressure, the required mana was too high and the efficiency had much to be desired. I wouldn’t be able to overuse it until I became skillful enough in handling it.
In an instant, my body slid across the bridge and reached the canyon on the other side.
I removed the stone spikes on my shoes and defrosted the ice from the bridge. My elemental mana shone brightly as it scattered like powder before disappearing.
The bridge started to chaotically shake again. The students let out screams of terror.
“No?! What kind of bastard would give help and then take it away?!”
“Ahhk! Does anyone have the ice element?! Hurry and try to freeze it again!”
“Ugh! It’s difficult! How is it possible to have that much mana control in this condition?!”
Did someone say something? Must just be me.
I secured Zhonya’s Staff onto my back with a belt that was wrapped diagonally around my upper body as I continued to run.
While crossing through the canyon, a maple forest appeared. The surroundings were filled with bright red maple leaves.
At the same time, the bracelet on my left wrist lit up and sounded an alarm.
I reached the first gate.
Pellets of mana flowed out of the bracelet to form letters in the air.
‘First gate, find the Bead of Nebirus’.
The Bead of Nebirus was a magic orb that emitted small traces of mana. While the name implied a spherical nature, in reality, the shape was a cube. It was slightly smaller than the size of a ping-pong ball.
Additionally, if one knew the form, one could find the source of the mana even faster. It was an official setting in ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, but I didn’t know the principle behind it.
Of course, I had no need for such specific and tedious information.
Since I already knew the location, the need for delicate mana perception and a detailed understanding of the shape were meaningless.
After finding the Bead of Nebirus in the ground near a certain tree, the bracelet let out a green light with a satisfying chime.
Mana pellets appeared and formed letters again. Under the words ‘Gate Clear’, there was an arrow that pointed me to the direction of the next path.
I set off in that direction.
‘Oh, by the way.’
This person won’t stop stalking me…
I could feel wind mana coiling from a distance, so it didn’t take me long to realize that… someone was definitely following me.
I took out a small hand mirror from the spatial magic in my uniform’s inner pocket and started to repeatedly sneak glances behind me with squinted eyes.
Silver-blue hair tied to the side. Catlike features with sharp eyes. The wooden staff embraced in her arms.
─‘If you’re ready, then go. I can’t bear to see you.’
The subdued voice of the woman I met during the Trial of Frost passed through my mind. It was Isaac’s older sister.
I already knew she was a student of Märchen Academy.
‘I remember now.’
I put the small hand mirror back into my pocket space.
A female student NPC in ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱ who was thought to be related to Isaac. When I saw her silver-blue hair chasing me, I remembered her clearly.
It was painfully obvious that she had Ripley Syndrome1TL Note: Ripley syndrome is the term for antisocial personality disorder that denies one’s reality and believes that the fictional world they imagine is real. A Ripley syndrome patient repeats false words and actions.; no one stayed by her side and she wandered around like a loner… She seemed like an NPC with a tragic backstory.
The female student chasing after me was that very girl: Isaac’s mentally ill older sister.
I didn’t have all of Isaac’s memories. Only a part of his story remained in my head.
That was why I didn’t know who that person was and what business she had with me, nor did I care.
‘Just don’t get in my way.’
At the moment, my primary goal was to take care of the frog demon. As such, the only thing I could hope for was for her to stay out of my way.
I continued to run towards the next gate.
* * *
Eve Rophenheim’s eyes were filled with shock.
‘H-how did he do that…?’
Eve herself could not currently detect the mana from the Bead of Nebirus… However, Isacc found it in an instant.
How extraordinary was his mana perception?
In addition, after the joint practical evaluation began, Isaac, who nonchalantly threw around ice and rock elemental spells, was an impossible sight to see. How did that guy, who didn’t even have an ounce of mana, become like this…?
Even his skill level was high. Although the staff certainly helped improve his abilities, the fact of the matter was that having the ability to wield such a weapon was a testament to his skill.
‘Since when… did he improve that much?’
The last time she saw Isaac was just over two years ago. It was the day their mother passed away. Even when she saw him then, Isaac was someone so useless that he didn’t even require a second glance.
It was simply inconceivable to improve this much in just two years. The rate of growth was simply way too fast.
Eve assumed that Isaac was hiding something that even she did not know about. She wanted to identify what it was.
Isaac was already far ahead of Eve. If she was any slower, she’d completely lose him.
Unable to keep her mouth shut, Eve chewed her lips as she continued to chase after Isaac.
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- 1TL Note: Ripley syndrome is the term for antisocial personality disorder that denies one’s reality and believes that the fictional world they imagine is real. A Ripley syndrome patient repeats false words and actions.