Chapter 12: Putting up a show, and that's it?
“First, Hailey Lumian.”
At the thought that they were not the first on for the test, a sigh of relief escaped from the mouths of the other students.
On the other hand, despite being called first, Hailey didn't show any signs of surprise or embarrassment.
She gave a charming smile towards Louis and gracefully walked past the other students.
Suddenly, Becky poked my side.
Then, in a low voice, she added:
Instead of answering her, I glanced briefly in her direction.
“That's the girl we ran into at the store earlier.
How skilled is she?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don't know…? Weren't you two friends?”
At her remark, I shrugged.
I didn't know anything about that girl Hailey in the first place.
And it was only natural because I was not interested in her at all.
Becky groaned and crossed her arms.
“I don't really like her.
Let's see how good she is.”
Becky, who had been giving Hailey a sharp gaze, tilted her head as if something else had suddenly come to her mind.
Her gaze turned back towards me.
I just thought of something.
Can I ask you?”
“Why do you have the same trivia as me…?”
At that moment, before I could even answer her, Violet started the test.
Responding to the nod signal given by Violet, Professor Audrey preheated her magic.
Soon, a mana crystal in the form of a jewel was created and sent in front of Violet's wand.
Its size was about that of a child's fist.
“Let's assist the output of this mana crystal.”
As soon as Violet finished speaking, mana formed on the tip of her wand.
A clean manifestation without any frills continued.
With a loud bang, the mana crystal bounced off, accompanied by an explosive sound.
Even at a glance, it was an impressive output, causing the students to burst into exclamations of admiration.
The mana crystal, which seemed like it would fly endlessly, came to a stop at a specific point.
Violet created a signpost at that location and stuck it in.
“This is the maximum distance that the mana crystal can withstand without exploding.”
Violet created a mana crystal in front of Hailey and said.
“If it doesn't reach at least halfway, it's disqualified.
From there on, the higher the distance, the higher the rank.”
“What if it goes beyond the signpost?”
“If the decision blows up, of course, it’s a disqualification.
You have to keep in mind that this is only an aid.”
Violet nodded, pointing her chin at the mana crystal.
“Start right away when you are ready.”
Hailey took a deep breath to calm herself and placed her index finger on the mana crystal.
Soon, with a pop sound, the mana crystal flew forward.
It flew superbly in a straight trajectory toward the signpost.
Exclamations of admiration flowed from the mouths of the students who were watching.
Violet made her judgment.
The two professors sitting far away also nodded.
“Wow~ Thank you, Professor!”
Hailey smiled brightly and returned to her seat next to Louis.
She is good.”
Becky muttered as if she was annoyed.
I could clearly feel the youthfulness of this place.
For those with little experience, each and every one of these things must be admirable.
“Next, Kisefi Lumir.”
Violet continued to spit out the name of the students, and the tests proceeded sequentially.
Summoning, destruction, support…
The magic demonstrated by Violet in front of the students was diverse.
“If there was something between Rank B and Rank C, I would have given it to you, Rank C.”
Violet's evaluations were very fast, but that didn't mean she didn’t have disagreements with the other professors either.
In fact, the classification of rank or grades itself seemed a bit childish to me.
From my perspective, who had come too far in magic, everything from A to E just looked like a young sprout.
Of course, there must be some sprouts among them that had grown well.
I intend to keep an eye on those fellows
Violet's calling continued.
“Huh?! It's me.”
Becky startled and then hesitantly moved forward.
The gaze of the other students observing her was noticeably different this time, probably because her name lacked a surname.
It was a commoner's name.
“The test is…”
Frog next to Violet spat out a card with Backy name on it.
It showed the word 'Manipulation,' which Becky and the other students confirmed.
Becky lets out a sigh of relief and shook her head.
I was probably the only one who knew why she was relieved.
Violet made a cuboid in the air by solidifying the soil on the ground.
“Manipulate it freely.
Aesthetic criteria won't be considered in the evaluation, only your manipulation skills will be assessed.”
Becky took a few more deep breaths and spread her hands with an expressionless face.
I observed her closely.
The rotation rate of the mana wrapped around Becky’s hand was about 14 times per second.
It was the same rotation rate I had told her in the lab.
Her turnover was enough to make me understand that she understood my advice.
Soon Becky started manipulating her cuboid.
A rotation rate of 14 times was by no means fast.
It was stable.
Seeing her cut through the compacted soil like mud, my heart felt at ease.
Becky's expression was more serious than ever.
Already, the clump of earth held by the girl's mana wasn't in the shape of a cuboid.
The petals were placed on top of the petals and the stem resembles a straight Columbine flower… No.
It was the Columbine flower itself.
While nodding her head, Becky continued to shape the flower.
Suddenly, realizing what just heard she raised her head.
What are you doing? You are already juaged.”
“Ah, oh, yes!”
Becky, who had returned with a bewildered expression, hurriedly came next to me and sat down.
She still couldn’t believe that she had received an A Rank, and kept clenching and unclenching her fists.
Becky made a subtle expression and looked at me
“Hey, hey… I got an A Rank.”
I didn't feel the need to respond.
If one had functioning ears, even a toddler could understand that she had received an A Rank.
However, Becky firmly grabbed my arm and said.
“Flan! I got an A because I followed your advice! It really worked!”
“…Is it that exciting?”
I gave a vague response.
The sensation of someone touching my body was not particularly pleasant.
Around that time, Violet called out my name.
I calmly walked past the other students.
“Seems like he's a commoner too.”
“If it's Flan…
he's the one who confessed to Hailey.”
“I heard about that too.
He was totally sobbing and clinging to her.”
Although there was plenty of gossip, I had no reason to pay attention to any of it.
A magician should speak through their magic not words.
I patiently waited to see which type of magic would be assigned, but Violet suddenly called out to me.
“Please don't do something troublesome this time.”
It seemed like she still had doubts about what happened during orientation.
Since I didn't want to be labeled as a foolish individual who fell for trap of accepting a mistake, I responded with the same expressionless face as always.
When Violet snapped her fingers, the frog next to her spat out another card with my name on it.
It was labeled 'Support'.
As the other students read the assigned type, they started buzzing with excitement.
“It's the Support type? Hailey was also assigned Support earlier.”
“They look like they're being publicly compared.”
“Is he good?”
“He must not be good, otherwise he would have been assigned a higher rank.”
Violet created a mana crystal in front of me.
Now that I was closer, I could see that the mana didn't look particularly pure, as if it was just a test crystal.
Violet pointed at the sign with her chin and murmured.
“When you’re ready, start right away.”
I pondered for a moment.
Support magic was something that encompasses various branches: manifestation, purification, amplification, direction…
Even just considering the immediate options, there were quite a few.
In my heart, I wanted to support everything, but the reason for my hesitation was naturally due to my pitiful physique.
I closed my eyes and quietly assessed the remaining mana.
While my body contained the limits of mana, it was by no means a large amount.
So now, what I needed was selection and focus.
‘Purification seems like the better choice.’
Magic was best performed with dignity.
If one advanced with a clumsy appearance, then that was exactly what it would be.
This principle also applies to the nature of my magic.
Pure mana always gives the best result in many cases.
Therefore, I first purified the mana crystal, making its energy more refined and pure.
The color of the mana crystal deepened as if the tranquil lake had transformed into the depths of the ocean.
There wasn't much mana left.
Due to Violet's dense mana, purification required a considerable amount of mana from me.
“… When the hell he is going to start?”
It had been quite a while since I embarked on this journey of magic.
The adage suggesting that one's understanding shapes their perception also hints at the profound nature of eternity.
Mana flowed through my fingertips.
The mana crystal announced its power, tearing through the air.
The eyes of the students widened.
As if they saw something unexpected.
The crystal imbued with refined mana itself was like paint.
The spectacle of coloring the path with one's own hue as it passed was the allure of purification assistance.
This time, confusion spread across the students' eyes.
It was because the distance the mana crystal had traveled was disastrous.
It barely reached halfway between the signpost and me, so if we looked at it from a distance, it was just barely avoiding disqualification.
“Putting up a show, and that's it?”
“It seemed impressive only at first.”
“Hailey must really be talented.
I wonder if he will at least get a C grade.”
The students started whispering.
Whether they were praising or criticizing, I quietly awaited Violet's evaluation.
After all, it was Violet who determined the grades.
Even if I received a low rank, I wouldn't regret it.
The moment a magical loses their own judgment and intuition, it was over.
On the other hand, Violet's expression was difficult to read.
After looking at me with an inscrutable expression, she turned her head and made eye contact with the other two professors.
The three professors exchanged subtle glances.
Gathering together, they discussed something with serious expressions.
During their discussion, the three professors glanced at me from time to time.
The students' murmurs grew louder in proportion.
“What's going on?”
“Did he cheat? Like using a scroll or something.”
After a while, Violet returned with a subtle expression and opened her mouth.
“Student Flan… Your result will be on hold for now.”
— End of The Chapter —
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