Chapter 9 Part 2
The situation has turned for the worse.
Until now, the entrance exam had been proceeding smoothly without any major problems, but at the very end, a big hurdle awaited me.
Somehow, I ended up in a duel with the feisty Eliza.
“Now, draw your weapon! I’ll defeat you with my magic!”
Good grief. What an impatient girl.
Standing before me, Eliza picked up her weapon and seemed to have entered a fighting stance.
“Sorry, but I won’t be using any weapons. I’m not very good at fighting with a magic tool.”
“Heh. Any special reasons for that?”
I don’t really have one. For me, it is faster to construct magic from scratch rather than depending on a magic tool. My fighting style is not the emotionalism represented by ‘obsession’, but is the result of my pursuit of rationality. Of course, people would not believe me even if I told them that.
“I can’t tell you the reason. But I can assure you that I will not disappoint you.”
Perhaps my words pleased Eliza, as she showed a slight grin.
“So, you prefer the old-fashioned way of fighting. But well, I don’t hate that either.”
With a fearless smile, Eliza draws her sword.
The next moment, she charged straight at me like a bouncing rubber.
I see. She is truly fast.
Even in this world where magic has declined, there are still people of this caliber left. It’s a little surprising. However, naturally, for me, stopping Eliza’s sword strike is the same as killing a fly.
After stifling a yawn, I decided to get behind Eliza.
“WHA ―― !?”
Eliza’s expression twisted in shock as I took her by surprise. However, she was still able to keep up the pace.
She is truly outstanding. If she had to stop every time she is surprised by her opponent’s actions in the middle of a battle, there would be no end to it.
In response to that, Eliza immediately casts magic with her magic tool as she turns around.
Flame Edge is the same basic fire attribute magic as Fireball, but with an additional syntax of ‘Sharpness Enhancement’. For me, it is the most basic magic among all the tens of thousands of magic I have made.
Let’s see… Avoiding her attacks is easy, but repeating the same thing is just boring.
Compared to Eliza’s magic, I decided to activate the same magic with twice the power, perfectly timed to counter her attack.
“EH ―― !?”
Eliza, who was overwhelmed by the counterattack at an incredible speed, had a look of despair on her face.
With the sound of air combustion, my Flame Edge engulfed Eliza’s magic. For a moment, the sound of an explosion erupted.
It seemed that Eliza managed to avoid the attack somehow, but the ground was cratered by my magic.
Hmm, maybe I went a little too far.
It is easy to break Eliza’s spirit by demonstrating the difference in our abilities but ending the match too quickly is not very interesting.
In this kind of mock battle, the elegant way of winning is to draw out the opponent’s full potential and win.
However, it seems that I underestimated Eliza’s abilities a little.
Even in the face of an overwhelming difference in our abilities, Eliza did not flinch. She disappeared into the smoke, waiting for the perfect chance to strike back.
“That’s a good one, commoner! If you want to catch my attention, become stronger than anyone else. I am not interested in anyone but the strong.”
At that moment, I remembered the words that Eliza had said to me when we first met.
I see. It seems that Eliza’s respect for the strong is genuine.
Even in a situation where one would feel despair, Eliza seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself.
Good grief. It seems that I have also been caught up a little in her enthusiasm. It’s been a while since I’ve found fighting against others to be interesting, even if it’s only a little bit.
However, deliberately holding back and prolonging the fight against an opponent who is seriously coming at you is also in poor taste.
“The plan isn’t bad, but you met the wrong opponent.”
“WHA ―― !?”
I avoided Eliza’s attack and quickly constructed a magic syntax.
The next magic I chose was the intermediate magic I had been using for the longest time in actual combat.
From what I have seen so far, I have a rough understanding of Eliza’s abilities. She probably won’t be able to avoid the next attack at this range.
Although I adjusted the power to the extent that it wouldn’t kill her, even with the barrier magic, continuing the fight would be difficult if she were to take this attack head-on.
This should be the end. Goodbye.
In the midst of pressure that could cause her to lose consciousness at any moment, Eliza was swinging her sword mindlessly.
(This guy…! Is strong…!)
That was Eliza’s honest impression of Abel.
Firstly, his speed for constructing magic was abnormal. At first, she thought he might be hiding some magic tool, but apparently, that wasn’t the case. He was fighting completely barehanded. It was truly unbelievable.
Being able to construct magic quickly was the biggest advantage of magic tools. But with this, she was losing sight of why she was using magic tools.
Next was the extraordinary power of his magic. Normally, when the power of magic is increased, the amount of information that needs to be processed also increases, making it more prone to defects.
But in this person’s case, no matter how much he increased his power, the quality of his magic was impeccable. It was too strong, to the point that it didn’t make sense.
However, the overwhelming difference in their abilities has ignited the fighting spirit within Eliza. Gradually, she began to enjoy the hopeless situation she was in.
At that moment, a total of 12 Fireballs appeared in front of Eliza. She intuitively understood that he was trying to put an end to this battle. The energy contained in each of the Fireballs is incredible. It would be a tremendous feat for an ordinary magician to produce even one Fireball of this magnitude.
On the other hand, Abel showed no sign of using his full power and still seemed to have plenty of energy left. That’s why it’s terrifying.
(…It seems that I have no choice but to stop holding back.)
This attack is completely impossible to avoid. However, if she tried to take the attack head-on, even her consciousness could be blown away along with the barrier magic she had on her.
After much deliberation, Eliza chose the third option, which she had intentionally kept sealed until now.
The Forbidden Technique ―― <<Rose Madder Sky>>.
It is the ultimate technique inherited from her ancestors after enduring rigorous training.
A massive explosion occurred due to my <<Burning Bullets>>, and smoke rose up with a deafening sound.
Hm, I’m a bit surprised.
It seems that even after taking that magic, Eliza is still unharmed.
As the flames weakened, the field of view opened up. Immediately afterward, I saw Eliza’s silhouette crouched in the white smoke.
“Hey! Are you okay!?”
The examiner, who was worried about Eliza, rushed over.
“Your barrier magic is destroyed! Please abstain now!”
“No. Not yet.”
Eliza, who was acting stout-heartedly, took one look at the examiner who had rushed to her aid.
Seeing her determination, the examiner couldn’t help but shake his shoulders.
“I have certainly lost the match. However, we are still in the middle of a personal duel.”
She’s an incredibly sore loser. It’s enough to make me laugh.
Needless to say, the rule for this mock battle was ‘whoever’s barrier magic is destroyed first loses’. However, the situation would be different if this were a ‘personal duel’ unrelated to the exam. The match would continue until one of us was incapacitated. In other words, Eliza abandoned the match and came to win in the ‘rules of her own making’.
“I… I will prove that I am stronger than anyone else…!”
Using the magic tool in her hand like a cane, Eliza stood up.
The damage from the previous magic must still remain. Her steps are so weak and feeble that they seem painful to watch.
“Can I ask you one question? Why are you so obsessed with ‘strength’ in this peaceful world?”
In the era two hundred years ago where I lived, such a strong-willed girl like Eliza would not have been rare, but in this era, it is unusual.
The rich kid of nobility (older brother), Bass, once said, ‘In this peaceful era, we can live happily even without using magic’.
“The word ‘peace’ is nothing but a lie.”
Eliza muttered, as if spilling water.
“A time of peace… a hundred years without conflict…. is that really true? The neighboring Kingdom Kurdrhea is steadily strengthening its military in preparation for a great war that may happen someday. Besides, are the demons really extinct? A few years ago, there was an incident involving the demons. However, the public is not informed of it. Just so they could protect the word ‘peace’.”
Perhaps fueled by the overflowing words, Eliza’s eyes gradually regained their strength.
“Will there be no war because of international treaties? The demon king’s soul has perished, so it will never be resurrected again? Who decided that!? I absolutely don’t want to sit on the sidelines of a false peace!”
I see. There’s some truth to this girl’s words.
It’s true that we are currently in a peaceful era, but not all threats have completely disappeared. The seeds of war are steadily taking root all over the world.
If a full-scale war were to break out against the demons, the weak magicians of this era would surely be swept away.
“That’s why I will become stronger! And I will definitely rebuild the house that raised me!”
said Eliza, her eyes slightly teary.
To rebuild the house that raised her, huh?
Perhaps the old ways taught by Eliza’s family were no longer relevant in modern times. Those who say ‘prepare for war’ in this peaceful era are simply dangerous individuals.
Alas, that is the sad truth. Humans have a tendency to recognize those with different opinions as enemies. That is why Eliza’s family could not keep up with modern values and fell.
“Forbidden Technique ―― <<Rose Madder Sky>>!”
The next moment, Eliza shouted loudly, and magic circles appeared around her body.
Is that a kind of body strengthening magic? I immediately began analyzing it.
It’s a complex magic circle. Indeed, this magic seems to exceed the level of a student.
Ah, I see. I’m a little surprised. So, ‘that woman’ left behind this magic two hundred years in the future?
I can imagine the kind of family environment Eliza grew up in from this magic.
Various questions were answered at the same time, and I felt relieved.
Perhaps the reason why Eliza was able to withstand my ‘Burning Bullets’ earlier was because she was clad in this flame armor on the spur of the moment.
“Brace yourself! I’m completely different now!”
Hmm. It certainly is a good sight to behold in its own way. Although she has a sharp tongue, Eliza is quite good-looking.
In front of me is a girl clad in flame armor. Everyone present seemed utterly captivated in the face of its divine appearance.
A moment later, two wings sprout out from the flame armor, propelling Eliza high into the sky.
“I-I can’t believe it! She’s flying!”
“Flight magic!? Wasn’t that just a myth!?”
Everyone is in uproar as they watch Eliza fly through the air.
Certainly, ‘Flight Magic’ requires a certain skill level as a magician. Not many people could handle this magic even two hundred years ago.
This is because constructing ‘Flight Magic’ requires the ability to handle multiple attribute magic in a well-balanced manner.
It might be possible for someone like me with amber eyes, but for a magician like Eliza with the <<Burning Eyes>> to handle ‘Flight Magic’, it would require an effort that would make blood spill.
“I bet you have never seen this magic before ―― !”
That is not true. For me, that magic is something I’ve grown tired of seeing.
I never expected that the unique magic that existed two hundred years ago would be passed down in exactly the same form.
Perhaps Eliza’s family, for generations, have all been ridiculously serious.
“―― Analysis complete. <<Dispel Magic>>.”
It goes without saying that the fact that I’ve seen that magic many times before means that I can use <<Dispel Magic>> to analyze and nullify my opponent’s magic. When facing magic that has already been analyzed, it can display unparalleled convenience.
A sound like shattering glass echoed.
Eliza’s technique and her flame armor shattered into pieces.
“Eh? Eehhh? EEEEHHHHHHH!?”
Eliza, who had become an ungraceful mess with her wings torn in mid-air, screamed while holding her skirt down to prevent them from being rolled up.
Good grief. She is like a helpless princess.
I predict the falling point and successfully catch Eliza’s body.
“You must be a descendant of the Hero of Fire, Maria.”
Hearing that, Eliza looked shaken, as if to say, ‘What’s going on here?’.
“You’re pretty good, just like that muscle-brained woman. Keep up the good work.”
Haa. Is this girl really the same age as us? I feel like she may already weigh more than Lilith at this point. Unfortunately, I have no obligation to give her a princess carry.
I let go of Eliza, and she messily rolled onto the ground.
“The winner is examinee number 27, Abel-kun!”
The examiner who had been watching our match declared my victory.
At that moment, everyone erupted in cheers, like a bomb had dropped.
Haa. It seems that Eliza’s ancestors have inherited the magic developed by Maria perfectly, thank goodness.
Originally, <<Rose Madder Sky>> is a magic that significantly enhances combat ability by burning the caster’s own life force. If the battle had dragged on, it could have caused fatal after-effects on the caster’s body.
“What’s going on…? What the hell is he…?”
To Eliza, my existence must seem quite mysterious.
As she lay on the ground and looked up at the sky, she wore a dumbfounded expression.
The time had advanced about three hours since Abel and the others took the entrance exam.
“This year’s examinees are quite interesting.”
This is the staff room of the Arthurian Magic Academy.
As usual, the staff room is abuzz with talk about this year’s examinees.
“Oh, you must be talking about the G3, right?”
“The Genius Three. It means three geniuses. Everyone’s talking about them, that there are three geniuses in this year’s examinees.”
Among the staff, the names of Ted, Eliza, and Abel had become a hot topic. The three stood out among the more than two hundred examinees and had become the focus of attention from the teachers who served as examiners.
“Heh. This is a good opportunity. Hopefully, this will raise the level of our students a little…”
“Absolutely. I hope we can make it to the top three in this year’s inter-school competition…”
The Arthurian Magic Academy was once known as the top Magic Academy in the country, but that was in the past. In fact, the recent results of inter-school competitions had been declining, and the academy’s former glory was fading.
“…What G3? That’s just nonsense.”
There was one man who spewed venom as if to throw cold water on the conversation among the teachers. His name is Emerson. He is a slender teacher with curly hair and round glasses.
Emerson, who could express his own opinions without being swayed by others, is known as the ‘eccentric teacher’.
“There is only one true genius, and that’s Abel-kun.”
said Emerson with a clear and confident look on his face.
“When you say Abel, you mean the commoner with amber eyes, right? His magic abilities are certainly formidable, but…”
“If we’re just talking about sheer ability, Eliza-san is not inferior either.”
Emerson, who had overheard the teachers’ evaluation, sighed with a look of disbelief.
The future looked bleak with the teachers responsible for training future magicians acting like this.
Emerson, who is currently grading Abel’s answer sheets, shuddered as he realized the extraordinary ability that Abel possessed.
(What a surprise! I never thought a student could solve the ‘Final Theorem of Depolnix’ perfectly…!)
In fact, the ‘Final Theorem of Depolnix’ that Abel solved was an extremely difficult question that most of the existing magic researchers don’t even understand.
The reason why the question was used in the students’ exam was mainly due to Emerson’s mischievous spirit.
Of course, Emerson, the questioner himself, did not expect anyone to answer correctly.
(No, this is not just perfect. It is more than perfect…!!)
Upon closer inspection, Abel’s solution was not just simply imitating the existing ‘Final Theorem of Depolnix’.
Compared to the usual Depolnix, it was a solution with improvements everywhere.
If this fact were made public, it would be a feat worthy of national recognition.
“Hohoho. It seems like there’s a lot of excitement around the topic of this year’s examinees.”
An old man steps into the noisy staff room.
His name is Mikhail, the academy’s headmaster, and he was renowned as the greatest magician in the kingdom in his younger days.
Mikhail was not only an excellent magician but also possessed the ‘Hero’s lineage’ and is the academy’s symbol. He also had a strong influence both inside and outside the country.
“He’s truly amazing!!”
“Hohoho. To have the brilliant Emerson-sensei praise him that much… It seems that the student you were speaking of has great talent.”
Emerson is one of the most accomplished magicians in the Arthurian Magic Academy.
Even though he is still young, he has acquired several patents in the field of magic tool development and is well respected by the teachers around him.
“Yeah. His name is Abel, a magician with amber eyes. He will become the best magician to lead this country in the future. I guarantee it!”
“EHH ―― !?”
The headmaster, Mikhail, was shocked when he heard Emerson’s words.
“H-Headmaster!? Is something wrong?”
“No, it’s fine. I’m sorry, Emerson-sensei, but could you please tell me his name again?”
“Yes! It’s Abel. Abel-kun! He’s the most brilliant genius in the academy’s history, with perfect scores in both the written and practical exams!”
Mikhail was holding his head in his hands. And that is because he is the only one in the staff room who recognized the name ‘Abel’.
“Um, perhaps the headmaster knew Abel-kun?”
“No, that’s not the case… I’m sorry, Emerson-sensei, but could you tell me more about him in detail?”
If this was a bad dream, Mikhail wanted to wake up from it. With a bad feeling, Mikhail tried to extract as much information as possible about Abel from the teachers.
In the darkness where nothing could be seen ahead, the only reliance was the light from the lamp in hand.
Mikhail headed towards a staircase that led to the basement of the academy.
(Abel… That Abel!? No way. It can’t be…!!)
He shifted his gaze to the stone statue of a knight holding a sword placed in the underground passage. Tracing his finger over the crest on the hilt, the stone statue moved to the left, revealing a hidden door.
What was hidden behind the door was the headmaster’s office, which only a limited number of people in the Arthurian Magic Academy could enter.
“Let’s see… I’m sure I kept it around here somewhere…”
Mikhail opened the locked wooden desk drawer and took out a carefully wrapped envelope.
Inside the envelope was a worn-out letter that had been discolored by the sun and the passages of time.
“To my descendants,
Listen well. I’ll tell you the truth about this world.
People call us, the four magicians of Fire, Wind, Water, and Gray, including myself, the ‘Four Great Sages’ who defeated the Demon King.
However, that’s not the truth.
The only one who actually defeated the Demon King was an amber-eyed magician called Abel.
The four of us were powerless in the face of the Demon King.
In fact, Abel defeated the Demon King all by himself.
This is the truth buried in the darkness of history.
That’s why, don’t ever get carried away when people call you the ‘Descendant of the Hero’.
The only true hero was Abel.
Keep that in mind.
Hero of the Wind.”
Mikhail’s hands trembled as he reread the letter.
There was a story that his grandfather, who passed away long ago, had often told him until it was ingrained in his memory.
―― Among the ‘Four Great Sages’, there was a ‘Lost Fifth Person’.
It is said that because that man had the same amber eyes as the demons, he was severely persecuted by the world, and despite his overwhelming power, his name did not remain in the annals of history.
Even the hero, Roy, who continued to leave behind brilliant achievements even after the defeat of the Demon King, apparently remained concerned about Abel’s whereabouts in his later years.
“Haa. Can I really regard this as a coincidence?”
Of course, dismissing it as a story from over two hundred years ago is easy.
No matter how great a magician one may be, living for over two hundred years into the future is impossible.
That’s right. It would be impossible for the Abel that Hero Roy spoke of and the Abel being discussed in the staff room to be the same person.
However, for some reason, Mikhail, who had lived for years as a descendant of the hero, is filled with a vague sense of unease from his experiences.
“I need to investigate and determine whether this boy’s abilities are genuine…”
Mikhail muttered solemnly and sat down in the armchair in front of the desk, adjusting his white beard under his chin.