Chapter 9 Part 1
Chapter 9 – Final Exam
After having successfully completed the ‘Power Test’ exam, we moved to another hall to take the next exam.
“Master! I did great, didn’t I!? I got the same Grade A as Master!”
‘Grade A’. There was no higher grade than that, but it was still sad that Ted and I were grouped together.
“Oh! It looks like the waiting room for examinees who received a ‘Grade A’ is behind this door.”
Ted had been emphasizing the ‘Grade A’ since earlier. Perhaps he was so happy to have been recognized in the practical exam.
With a click, I turned the doorknob and opened the door.
Inside, there were a little more than twenty people. They were mostly nobles and seemed to know each other from before. Even though we were still in the middle of the exam, they appeared relaxed, chatting with each other.
However, as soon as they made eye contact with me, the examinees fell silent and looked awkwardly away.
Hm? What is this all about?
“Perhaps… it’s because rumors about Master destroying the dark matter have spread.”
It was uncomfortable, but there was nothing to worry about. And so, I sat down on a chair and let out a small sigh.
Most of the examinees gathered in this hall were probably prideful elite nobles. Some may have felt frustrated for losing to a commoner, while others may have thought that commoners were bothersome. And then, there were those who probably thought that there was no way they could lose.
A girl approached me.
It was the same girl with scarlet hair that I had seen in front of the school gate. Seeing that it was her, I let out a small sigh and remained silent, avoiding eye contact.
“Hey! What’s with that attitude!? I went out of my way to talk to you, so look at me!”
“Good grief. As a commoner, I’m not good at flattery, so I’m just trying to remain silent.”
I didn’t really hold a grudge, but I didn’t want to get involved in any trouble either. If ignoring her would prevent me from having anything to do with the scarlet-haired girl, then that would be for the best.
“That’s very thoughtful of you. But let me clarify for the sake of my reputation. I’m not someone who upholds noble principles. I just happen to hate weaklings.”
said Eliza, puffing out her ample chest, which was disproportionate to her age.
Come to think of it. This girl has said before, ‘I’m not interested in anyone but the strong.’.
Although there are excellent magicians from commoner backgrounds, the ratio is still relatively low compared to nobles. And that’s why, in this girl’s mind, ‘I’m not interested in anyone but the strong’ and ‘I hate commoners’, are probably similar but different.
“I see. That’s good.”
I flipped through the pages of the book in my hand and exuded an atmosphere as if I were ignoring Eliza.
“Anyway! Is it true that you smashed a dark matter target to pieces in the practical exam?”
The girl, who introduced herself as Eliza, sat beside me without hesitation and asked her question immediately.
“Well, I wonder.”
“How did you construct the magic? What is the additional syntax? In the first place, I heard that amber-eyed magicians could not handle magic. So, is there some kind of attribute that you are good at? Did you perhaps train under a famous magician?”
It seems that this girl, Eliza, is not the type to read the atmosphere around her, especially when it comes to magic, her eyes suddenly light up. Of course, I could answer her questions, but personally, I’m not very enthusiastic about it. Above all, I dislike troublesome things. I have a feeling that getting involved with her here could lead to more trouble later on.
But luckily, the heavens were on my side.
“Everyone, please be seated. I will now explain the rules for the final exam.”
A female teacher who seemed to be in charge of this exam came into the waiting room through the door.
Her eyes were gray.
Seeing that she is wearing a white coat indicates that she is a healer magician.
“That’s too bad. I guess we’ll have to continue our conversation some other time.”
“Hmph. Well, that’s fine. Trying to dodge the questions is pointless. After all, everything will become clear with the results of this exam.”
After leaving behind some meaningful words, Eliza returns to the seat where she originally sat.
Hm? What is she talking about?
Apparently, Eliza knew the contents of the exam that the academy had prepared beforehand. The meaning of her words became clear as the contents of the final exam were explained.
The examiner in a white coat began writing the explanation of the final exam on the blackboard.
―― The nobles have fought for various things since ancient times. It can be anything from a woman, territory, or even their own lives. This was also the case during the war against the demons. I remember how often the nobles fought among themselves over things. Whenever such disputes occurred among the nobles, they often resorted to a tradition called ‘duel’.
“The final exam is a practical exam that simulates a duel. But please keep in mind that the result of this duel will greatly affect your final result.”
Despite the upcoming duel, the atmosphere in the hall was quieter than expected.
The content of this final exam seems to have not changed much over the years as the examinees calmly accept the words spoken by the examiner.
“Now, I will explain the three rules.”
The three rules presented were easy to understand.
First, the duel must be one-on-one.
Second, the duel is decided by the state of the barrier magic deployed by the examiner.
“We will now cast barrier magic on all of you. While it can withstand a few hits of low-power magic, please keep in mind that it can be destroyed with a single blow if subjected to high-power magic.”
As the examiner explained, she began casting barrier magic on herself.
Well, I guess it is necessary for an exam that simulates a duel. The problem is that the barrier magic deployed by the examiner is not very reliable, but still, this level is probably sufficient for a battle between the students.
“Lastly, I will explain the third rule. Your opponent has been selected based on the results of the previous exam, as someone who is ‘close to your own abilities’. I have written your opponent’s examinee number on the paper I am about to post, so please check it.”
Let’s see… My opponent is examinee number 86, huh? It does sound familiar, but I don’t remember who it belongs to specifically. I haven’t been checking on the other examinees since I don’t have any interest in them.
“Once again, is it okay if I sit beside you, Abel-kun?”
Just as I was thinking of looking for my opponent, I was approached by an all too familiar girl.
Oh, I see. So, that is what this is about.
The girl with scarlet hair, Eliza, had a plate on her chest showing the examinee number 86 on it.
“Hey, look at that!”
“It seems like the rumored inferior eyes and the scarlet-haired girl are going to fight each other!”
I see. Our battle seems to be one of the highlights of this exam. The examiner said that they chose opponents who are ‘close to your own abilities’. Perhaps, in the previous exam, Eliza and I passed first and second, respectively.
“Come, let’s dance together. I’ll see what you are capable of.”
With a confident statement, Eliza reaches out her hand toward me.
All I really wanted was to graduate from this academy peacefully, without attracting any attention or notice. But it seems that life doesn’t always go according to our plans.