So, where did everybody else go?
After the whole awkward exchange between the both of us, we delved into the topic of our classmates and friends.
As you know, Kuzon and Stefan dropped out.
While Kuzon didnt resume his Second Year, Stefan left after the first half of the same Year.
I could never fully tell what was going on in Kuzons head, but I knew it was only a matter of time before he left Ainzlark.
In fact, it was better if he did so.
While the Academy was impressive in many ways, it was incomparably too ill-equipped to properly groom people like Kuzoneven me.
We were too powerful to be placed among regular students.
Our existence would dwindle the abilities of geniuses like Stefan and Maria, and their existence would also slow us down.
I can understand if its Kuzon, but
Still hung up on that, uh? Ana said with a smirk.
Is she talking about how I lost to him? Jeez I blushed a little, scratching my head.
That was indeed one of my lowest points.
But, considering my opponent was an integral member of the Midas Race, it was only natural that I would lose.
His eye and hair color, alongside his phenomenal affinity for Mana Kuzon is most definitely a Royal!
Just get over it.
You have a chance now.
Ana spoke with a blushing face.
Shes right! I have a chance now
I had studied and trained hard for a very long time.
Surely, our next fight would turn out differently.
I needed that.
The girl giggled, and then nodded as we kept walking.
Before long, we returned to the topic of discussion.
Why did Stefan leave, though?
Ana shrugged slightly.
I dont know.
It came as a surprise to all of us.
And he just happened to defeat Maria the day before he disappeared
Stefan beat Maria? Wow! My eyes widened.
Just how much did he train? Nocould the gap between them have been covered by mere training?
What of the others? I asked.
Well, most of us made it to the Ainzlark Hall of Remembrance, Ana spoke, trying to sound casualmost likely to hide her pride.
Yeah, I heard.
I smiled, patting her small head.
Hhey! Im not a kid, you know? You keep patting my head!
You look like a kid, though.
So cute! I mused, looking at the girls pouting face.
Yyeah, well with no one distracting me, I was able to get a spot in the Top Honored Graduates.
The one who scored higher than all of us in our grade was Ed
Hoh, Edward, uh? I wonder how he is now!
What of Ciara Epilson and Jerry Keller?
Hm? Oh, them Ana seemed surprised that I mentioned those two.
They were valuable assets, after all.
Ciara got fourth place in the Ranking.
Jerry got tenth.
Thats impressive! Tell me more!
And so, she did.
Based on what she said, the Top Honored Graduates list pretty much went like this;
NIL NAME [Neron Kaelid, obviously]
Lewis Griffith [Me]
Serah Crimson [One chick I dont know]
Ciara Epilson [The crazy genius]
Edward Karl Leon [Im so proud of this]
Anabelle Frederick [She scored directly below.
Maria Helmsworth [As expected]
Reed Sterling [Previous Headmaster of Ainzlark]
Damien Lawcroft [Isnt this a surprise? This annoying guy is still on the list?]
Jerry Keller [He managed to squeak in.
It made me glad that the people of the past generations had been overshadowed by new individuals.
I was certain that they would be proud as well.
Its good, Ana.
Youve grown considerably since our last encounter
In just two years, this girl had already achieved a Silver Mana Core.
Her talent was phenomenal, and since she practiced with the aid of Magic Stones and Artificial Magic Cores, her growth was that much increased.
Where have the others scattered off to, by the way?
Ana was interning at Ainzlark Academy, but everyone else had been posted to various areas within the Kingdom.
I was curious.
Maria got a position at the Capital.
Last I heard, Ciara was interning at the Northern borderssame as Jerry.
Ivan went to the Western Borders.
Oh, yeahh I encountered him.
What of Edward?
Ana smiled faintly, but her gaze seemed to be distant.
He refused internship.
He said he wanted to travel on a journey of solitudeand that he would return once he was satisfied with the result.
Why wasnt I surprised?
Martial Artists never change, uh? I grinned, remembering a certain someones personality.
The fact that Edward was able to surpass Gawains record in the Academy showed just how powerful he had become.
Yet, that strength wasnt nearly enough for him.
I see its understandable.
The Martial God Techniques in Edwards possession got extremely more complicated and destructive in the Advanced stage.
It was clear that he needed some time of solitude to master them.
I cant wait to see how he becomes once he returns!
What about you? Did you find what you were looking for? Ana asked.
I nodded with a smile.
At least, with this much I should be able to protect everyone I care about.
My eyes met hers, and our gazes connected for a few moments.
Ah, that reminds me I still need to see Neron on that matter.
I see Ana whispered with a soft voice.
We should meet up with Neron.
He must have resolved the issue
The girl snapped back to reality once again, seeming to realize that we had taken a lot of time discussing.
Yyeah, youre right! Lets keep talking as we walk toward the Facility.
That sounds fair.
And so, Ana and I kept conversing as we walked side by sidemoving toward our destination.
I had to admit it was fun!
The land was covered in blood and smoke.
Monsters that had surged from the vast ocean brought chaos to the immediate surrounding.
The surviving denizens had been evacuatedand those who remained on the wasteland were warriors.
A lady stood from atop a cliff and watched the monsters run rampant across the vast area they had already taken over.
The giant Demon Beasts breathed purple flames and shrouded the area in dense Miasmaa substance that was poisonous to her race.
Her pointed ears stood out, and the white hair she had danced with the wind.
With her green eyes, she could only witness carnagefeeling anger and helplessness swirl within her.
When will reinforcements arrive?
Watching and biding her time was all she could do.
Miasma was lethal to her people, and the best her regiment could do was create an encirclement to restrict the Demon Beast.
However, even that wasnt going to last very long.
They needed assistancedesperately!
Before its too late please come and save us!
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