༺ Mission Board (1) ༻
It was another normal day.
“There are demonic races in our world that go under the names of demonic beasts, demonic spirits, and demi-humans. They suffer persecution–”
The courses at Merkarva Academy had units of credit. Excluding the mandatory courses, it was fairly relaxed.
“Now, lastly, is there anyone who can tell me about the incident that served as the turning point of demi-human persecution–”
“Huaaaahm… Ah. Is the lesson over?”
During a boring history lesson, Jaeger opened his eyes and wiped off the drool on his face.
“You could’ve saved your own life if you slept for 5 more minutes.”
“Oh dear. It seems that my lesson has been very boring for you, Mr. Jaeger.”
Jaeger turned his head like an old, creaking robot. At the end of his gaze was the professor of historical studies, Ronalick, giving the brightest smile in the world.
“Ugek… S, sorry.”
“Jaeger Hinzpeter. Come early for next week’s lesson and clean the room for everyone.”
Saying that, Jager lowered his head while grumbling about having to do something so tedious.
I opened my mouth.
“Don’t worry. I will…”
“Korin, you…? Don’t tell me…”
“I will be your supervisor.”
“…Go to hell.”
After the lesson, Jaeger said while closing his blank and empty book.
“Oi. Let’s have lunch.”
“What are you having?”
“Hmm~. The kimchi udon I had yesterday was alright. Is there, like, something else that’s nice and spicy?”
Nice and spicy?
“I know the best place for that.”
Challenge accepted. You have a painful death ahead of you.
“Oi, nerd. What are you up to now?”
“Nn? I’m going to go to the library and study…”
“Let’s have some lunch first.”
“Uhht… W, wait…!”
There was a scorching chicken feet restaurant in the central streets of the Academy that dropped your HP by 20% or something, wasn’t there?
“I’m dying… w, water…”
“It’s more spicy if you drink water. Drink milk.”
“Uhhkk… I think there’s a hole in my stomach.”
“I should have had a kimchi udon…”
Do you see this, Sir Kim Gu? This is the power of ‘Culture’ that you wanted the most.
As soon as the afternoon classes ended, I headed to the training room. It had been 4 days since my last visit.
The past 3 to 4 days had been an introduction to the basic curriculum and an extension of the orientation.
‘Ah~. It’s already Friday.’
Let’s apply for a leave on the way to the dormitory today, and go outside tomorrow.
“Training clothes, training spear and an elemental body please.”
In order to test the increase of my stats from the Precept, I went to the front desk, received a elemental body and woke it up.
“Ohh~. He’s doing it again.”
“Is he not tired of it yet?”
“He is tenacious, but that’s just being stubborn.”
The sound of the elemental body fluttering its wings gathered the eyes of the senior students once again.
Those blokes were all quite diligent as well. People that used their free times to train were those with a promising future.
I raised my spear against the elemental body without paying them any attention when a 2nd year student from the Knight Department called me.
“I saw you swinging your spear around to catch that elemental body. How about you just do something else?”
I didn’t say anything in response, as the 2nd year student from the Knight Department continued with a condescending look on his face.
“You’re just a Grade 5.”
I see. So this is that thing.
People used to pick a fight with Park Sihu quite a lot, because he started off as a Grade 5. Was I pulling the aggro now that Park Sihu wasn’t here?
“Yes, well. I’m just trying to push myself.”
“No, it’s never gonna work alright? Don’t waste your time and just quietly practice by yourself with your spear.”
Like, what was wrong with this guy? He seemed to be the type of person to go to a funeral and complain about the menu.
It was dumbfounding, but I wasn’t having any murderous intent or anything which was natural as a human, because whimsically killing people like Park Sihu was something animals would do.
“Do you think you’re something great because Marie is looking after you?”
Why was he talking about her all of a sudden?
“You must be excited because of her small bit of attention but…”
“What are you doing all of a sudden!”
He gave an irritated shout as I whispered in a soft voice which only he could hear.
“Do you like Senior Marie?”
His face flushed in the blink of an eye, and it was super clear at this point.
Kyah~! Those are the good times. That’s youth for ya. Let’s see, how was mine?
Boys Middle School, Boys High School, Physical Education College, Military… What? Where did my youth go?
And in the previous iteration, I had no time to meet anyone due to following Park Sihu around the whole time. Park Sihu was also deliberately stopping me as well…
I see! So the reason there were no cherry blossoms in my life is all because of Park!!
Right? It’s because of that stupid Park, right? That had to be the case.
“It’s clearly not a no.”
“So do you like Senior Marie?”
“Do you hate Senior Marie?”
“Yes! I hate…?!”
“Kane you idiot…”
Another female student in her 2nd year said while poking him with her elbow. Kane turned around from that and found someone staring at him – it was Marie.
Damn, where is my popcorn?
“U, uh… Marie?”
“Hmm~. I see. Kane hates me, huh.”
“N, no. That’s not…”
“It’s fine. It’s normal for people to hate some people, right? Guys, do you want some potatoes?”
“I want some.”
“Ehew, Kane you retard.”
Marie had steamed potatoes again as always, and she generously gave them away to everyone around her except for Kane.
“Junior. Do you want some steamed potatoes? I have sugar.”
“Of course. I will gratefully accept those potatoes as someone who likes Senior Marie.”
“Right, right? And it will be bad manners to give it to someone who hates me, right?”
Judging from her manner of speech, it seemed that she was somewhat aware of his feelings as well. Kane the innocent boy was the only one with a teary look on his face.
“Are you going to train with an elemental body again?”
“I’m sure you will be able to pull it off!”
She had a very amiable smile on her face unlike the time when she was consoling me to aim for the next chance.
“Marie. I know you’re bad at saying harsh things, but this isn’t right.”
“He’s a freshman. And he’s a Grade 5.”
I had no idea why there was such a big crowd in front of a freshman student that was just trying to do his best, as well as why they were each saying something bad. Seemingly encouraged by the crowd behind him, the boy, Kane, also chimed in.
“Yes! It took me a week as well! It’s not something a Grade 5 freshman can do!”
Marie walked up to me and whispered into my ears with a ticklish voice.
“Junior. Do you want to earn some money together?”
Why was she trusting me this much? Did she see me succeed or something?
“You mean 3:7 and 7 for me.”
“I have the money though?”
“Let’s do 5:5.”
After getting my consent, she asked Kane with a confident look on her face.
“Shall we have a bet then?”
“I’ll bet 2 gold coins on Junior’s success!”
Two gold coins… was a large sum of money which was enough to buy 400 noodles in the city, and was roughly about 2,000 dollars. Was she loaded because she was a Grade 1 Mage?
“You don’t need to go that far just to encourage a junior…”
All the senior students gave similar responses in general, believing that Marie was doing this due to being considerate of me.
However, she didn’t cower in the slightest and instead…
“Why? Are you scared?”
She used an AOE taunt skill.
“I’m betting 70 silver coins that the freshman will fail!”
“One gold coin from me!”
“30 silver coins.”
“Do you take items?”
It turned into a gambling den in an instant.
“Good luck, Junior! My two gold coins are on you!”
We had 7.4 odds for my success. Excluding the small group of students who stood on my side and went with the high odds to aim for a huge turnaround, most students betted that I wouldn’t be able to defeat the elemental body.
“7 gold coins if I win, huh.”
My entire fortune right now was 40 silver coins, and the amount of support fund a Grade 5 Knight gets is 1 gold coin a month. Even though there was a lot of leeway thanks to little fees for accommodation and meals, it was always better to have more money.
“Time to get to work.”
I tapped the elemental body and made it open its wings. Like last time it began to float into the air.
Even though defeating it shouldn’t be a problem, what was important was the time taken, because this bet only lasted 30 minutes.
Considering the status points I gained by sending Sebania Duke away in peace, I should be able to pull off the basic moves of my spearmanship.
Settling my breath, I grabbed onto my spear. I pulled the aura through the dantian and made it explode in one breath.
The spearhead slithered like a snake as it deceived the elemental body and pierced through in the blink of an eye.
It was one of the basic moves that dazzled the enemy with a flashy set of moves before continuing into a fierce stab. All I had to do was apply a little bit of feint and connect this to Tiger’s Gust or a Spinning Heaven—
The bisected elemental body rolled on the ground. This was definitely outside my expectations…
Everyone was speechless in front of the unexpected turn of events, and even Marie seemed stunned.
“What happened just then?”
And naturally, others were even more flabbergasted.
“Hell yeeaaah the high odds!!”
“That’s how you do ittt!!”
“Hold on! There has to be something wrong!”
“Of course. Of course.”
“And that’s why we gamble! Why would you gamble if you’re going to go safe the whole time?”
The small group of students that betted on the high odds mocked the students who went for the safe bet, and the training room turned into a pandemonium.
Tch tch. That’s why you shouldn’t gamble.
As they were slowly coming back to themselves, Marie walked up and handed me 8 gold coins.
“This is for you, Junior.”
“Isn’t this more than 5:5?
“I rounded it up.”
Rounding up 60 silver coins… As expected, it seemed that money was not a problem for a Grade 1 Mage like herself.
“You did it in one go! Honestly, I was quite surprised.”
“Well, it’s not that hard once you get used to it.”
“Hnn~. But last time you stabbed three times to create ripples around it, didn’t you?”
So she did see it. She must have come back to pick up something but there was something even more stunning.
“How did you even see that?”
She saw through the Secrets of Ominous Snake? Wasn’t she a mage? What kind of ridiculous dynamic vision did she have?
After the ruckus, I tested a few more skills at the training room.
In the previous iteration, I used to train while pushing myself to the brink of death. It was unavoidable because as an ungifted student like Korin Lork, I had no choice but to master tricks to survive through a story filled with Unique Grades.
The reason I was able to beat those numerous Grade 1s and Unique Grade enemies was all thanks to the technique that I polished with my life on the line.
By learning the Eight Trigram1a Chinese religious motif incorporating the eight trigrams of the I Ching, arranged octagonally around a symbol denoting the balance of yin and yang, or around a mirror. of fists, swords, spears and staffs, I learned the eight trigram martial arts and spearmanship by myself. That foundation alone, however, was not enough to solve all the problems and the spearmanship that I thus learned from my master was the Six Ways of the Spear and the Final Move of the Sixth Style, Void.
The dummy half-crumbled as I ended up dropping my spear. My palms ached as sweat drenched my body.
“Huu… I can barely pull off the Fifth Style for now, huh.”
The foundations were there but the Sixth Style… was still too much.
From the First Style of the Ominous Snake to the Fifth Style of the Crumbling Mountain were the basic ways of a spear, but the Sixth Style was one that would kill me if I didn’t have a strong enough body to support the attack.
In the previous iteration, I was only barely able to pull it off by consuming a capsule of energy – which I got after boiling the white silver seed of the lake – immediately before attacking. But even so, the risk was still quite high.
‘My body needs to be at the level of a Grade 1 Knight to do this without any risk.’
Sixth Style of the spear was still impossible, but this was well within my expectations and the disappointment was thus very small.
The real problem was with Rune magic.
My mana depleted rapidly like that of a premature ejaculator and I couldn’t even use Rune magic for long. Thanks to the fulfillment of the Precept and the increase of my stat points, it did go up from 3 a day to about 10 a day but Rune magic didn’t have a good efficiency in the first place and I couldn’t do much with my current mana.
‘It is definitely a merit that I can use it immediately without any enchantments but…’
There was a reason why it was now a dead language which was only used as support skills by a small number of people.
‘Most of those bastards also used it as support. An exception would be…’
The Primal Rune – the very first rune letter and the most primal one that was used in the era of Gods. It would only appear towards the end of the Final Boss of the 2nd arc, when the King of Iron Mountain breaks out of its seal at the Academy.
The enemy would appear during the absence of the chairman, Eriu, who gets busy after the incident with Marie, and during then, we would have to defeat the King of Iron Mountain, get the Primal Rune and deal with the traitor as well.
Primal Rune was not a very efficient way to use magic either, and in the end, my chronically horrible amount of mana will be the problem once again.
“I have to focus on increasing my stats for the time being.”
Regardless of all the techniques and skills under my belt, I still had to have a strong enough body. The ordeals I had to go through because of that in the previous iteration were countless.
Of course, there was a method. There were the hidden pieces I would be obtaining from now on as well as the quests that were related to the Precept. I should be able to clear 4~5 of them this weekend alone.
On the way out of the training room to dinner, I came across an unexpected person.
There was a girl with bob-hair wearing nun clothes who would attract the gazes of everyone within the distance of 100 meters.
The girl reading a thick hardcover book appeared like an image that came straight out of a painting.
There was no way I wouldn’t know about her. Despite being a freshman, she was different from other characters who could enter the party from the start. She was the truly overpowered character who was only available near the end of ❰Heroic Legends of Arhan❱.
Park Sihu did not seek her help in the previous iteration, but wasn’t able to kill her either. She was the living Jiangshi2A jiāngshī, also known as a Chinese hopping vampire, is a type of reanimated corpse in Chinese legends and folklore. with an Unbreakable Vajra Body.
Heavenly Yaksha, Hua Ran.
The strongest tanker of ❰Heroic Legends of Arhan❱.
At the same time, she was the worst time bomb of Merkarva Academy.
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- 1a Chinese religious motif incorporating the eight trigrams of the I Ching, arranged octagonally around a symbol denoting the balance of yin and yang, or around a mirror.
- 2A jiāngshī, also known as a Chinese hopping vampire, is a type of reanimated corpse in Chinese legends and folklore.