Yi-han tightly held the exit permit in his hand before carefully putting it away, as if he was afraid of someone stealing it.
‘No one’s going to take it away from you…’
Both Professor Garcia and Principal Skelly were baffled by his behavior.
“Are you feeling alright?”
Since you’ve received your reward, it’s time to dish out the punishment.”
Yi-han stared at the principal in disbelief.
In turn, the principal spoke as if his heart ached as well.
“Don’t look at me like that.
I don’t want to do this either, but rules are rules.”
‘What a load of baloney.’
The principal definitely seemed to be enjoying this.
“Oh, and just in case you misunderstand, you’re not being punished for trying to escape without permission.”
“It’s for being caught while trying.”
Then was he supposed to watch on as Professor Garcia got cut down?
Yi-han was barely able to contain himself.
Years of experience had taught him that nothing good would come of talking back to professors.
”The sun’s about to come up.
Until tomorrow morning, you are to remain in the Punishment Room and think about what you should do differently so that you don’t get caught the next time.”
Principal Skelly tossed him a book while saying so.
It was a black leather-bound book, and there was something uncanny about it.
Have a read.
It’ll help you pass the time in the Punishment Room.
For a split second, an expression that screamed ‘you think I’m going to believe you?’ appeared on Yi-han’s face.
Principal Skelly was happy to see the look of skepticism.
Bring the student to the Punishment Room.
The principal’s summons helped Yi-han to his feet.
From this morning to tomorrow’s morning, Yi-han was to spend time in the academy’s Punishment Room.
Yi-han walked down a flight of stairs, crossed a corridor, went down another floor, and entered a different corridor…
He repeated this a couple dozen times while being blindfolded.
Even if he had his vision, he wouldn’t have been able to memorize the route.
Soon, the door closed on him and he was left alone.
Yi-han took a look around the room.
It wasn’t all that different from his room in the dormitory.
Instead of sunlight coming in from the windows, there was artificial light, which made the room a bit dimmer.
But other than that, it was pretty similar.
‘This is the punishment room? It’s not as terrible as I imagined.’
In fact, he’d have no problem staying here for a couple of weeks.
When he was a graduate student, there were times when he had to stay in a room that was far smaller than this, and he wouldn’t be alone either.
In comparison, this room was much more spacious.
He would tell Nilia the next time they met that the Punishment Room wasn’t that bad, though of course, she might have a different opinion about this.
– Yi-han Wardanaz.
From outside his cell, an undead spoke to him in a stiff voice.
– Take this.
A sizable basket was pushed into his room through an opening at the bottom of the door.
It contained a freshly baked loaf of bread, a small bowl of salt and pepper, seasoned mutton, fried eggs, a sweet cooked apple, and warm biscuits containing bits of chocolate and almond.
The food was a bit too extravagant considering where he was, which perplexed Yi-han.
What was all this?
– A gift from Professor Garcia.
“Ah…please tell her I said thanks.”
– There’s more.
Take these as well.
“Wait a sec…”
More and more baskets were pushed in, which made Yi-han lose his composure.
Was he supposed to eat all these in one day?
Fortunately, the other baskets mostly contained preserved food.
Chocolate and candies wrapped in tinfoil, salted peanuts, boxes of cookies and tea leaves, bottles of apple and orange juice…
‘Did she just get a random assortment of everything since she doesn’t know what I like?’
Yi-han thanked the professor in his head as he laid the baskets beside him.
At the very least, he wouldn’t feel peckish during his stay in the Punishment Room.
Yi-han prepared some black tea and added milk and sugar.
Sipping on it, he fell into deep thought.
His fight with the Empire’s anti-magic extremists had been a fierce one.
So fierce, in fact, that he was surprised by how well he performed.
As for how he was able to maintain his calm in battle…
‘It’s all thanks to Arlong’s teachings.’
Had Arlong been there, he would’ve definitely disagreed with that sentiment.
‘Magic combat and its practical use? When did I ever teach the Young Master about those?’
Unfortunately, he wasn’t there and couldn’t defend himself.
Yi-han had yet to realize this, but he was certainly gifted in combat.
This was something all the professors agreed on.
‘Thank you, Arlong.’
A quill was gently lifted up into the air, and before long, it began moving smoothly.
Such movements would’ve been unimaginable the first time he learned the spell.
Yi-han put down the quill and cast the spell on the iron orb.
The circle he drew was near-perfect.
‘It’s slightly upsetting to know that Professor Bolady had been right on the dot.’
At times, students would get angry at their professors not because they were wrong, but because they were right.
Professor Bolady’s claim that ‘Practical experience would help you grow’ had thus been proven correct.
He had grown by leaps and bounds through his fight with the anti-magic extremists.
‘Who knows, I might be able to become a grand mage after a few more fights.
Or I might die in the process.’
Yi-han lowered the iron orb.
Though it wasn’t exactly what he had in mind, he didn’t feel too terrible about his growth.
‘As for that sword technique…’
Yi-han recalled his duel with the enemy leader.
Arlong had taught him that reviewing battles, regardless of victory or defeat, was important for growth.
‘…That technique wasn’t normal, was it?’
At the time, Yi-han had fought frantically without much thinking.
His opponent had been just that powerful.
However, thinking back, the technique that he used definitely wasn’t normal.
After all, it required the user to pour in an insane amount of mana.
Yi-han had been able to pull it off because of his ridiculous mana pool.
If it had been anyone else, who knows what would’ve happened?
In the end, the sword that he held shattered under the pressure.
According to Arlong, veteran swordsmen were capable of using aura, which was mana condensed and stored into their swords.
What he used, on the other hand…
‘…Hm, I don’t know what to call it, but I should be careful in the future.’
He didn’t want to do anything foolish and end up in the newspaper’s
After he finished his black tea, his eyes landed on one final object…the book given to him by the principal.
‘Should I open this?’
Yi-han took a moment to weigh his options.
Was this a gift, or was this a trap?
Scenario 1: It’s a gift => The principal’s not a demon.
He should know that Yi-han had risked his life to save Professor Garcia.
Though he locked Yi-han in the Punishment Room because of the rules, he felt sorry and gave the book as a gift.
Scenario 2: It’s a trap => Strictly speaking, the principal isn’t a human.
He’s an undead.
His heart is that of a demon’s.
Not to mention, he seemed to be enjoying himself as he sent Yi-han on his way.
In that case…
‘…It’s more likely to be a trap.’
No matter how much he pondered, he couldn’t help but think that it was a trap.
For the time being, he pushed the book away.
It was then.
Flip, flip, flip!
The black leather-bound book opened by itself the moment Yi-han touched it.
Then, the words within the pages jumped out of the book as if they were alive, wrapping themselves around Yi-han’s hands and entering through his skin.
He felt a shock in his brain, as if someone was forcefully shoving in knowledge.
It was painful, and his mind was reeling, but he knew what the book was trying to do.
It was trying to transmit knowledge about a spell.
Yi-han opened his mouth subconsciously and uttered the name of the magic.
Once the transmission was over, the book closed itself shut.
Confused, Yi-han tried to open the book again, but it was nailed shut.
‘What kind of book is this?’
He had a headache because of what just happened, so he held his head as he took a gander at the spell that he had learned.
Everything from chanting to the movements involved was clear to him.
Of course, this didn’t mean he could use the spell immediately.
It was his responsibility to digest the knowledge and apply it.
‘So it’s a book that forces its reader to learn the spell recorded inside it…’
From the name of the spell, he could tell it was personally made by the principal.
Why then did he not call Yi-han over and teach him face-to-face? Why did he use such a weird method?
‘He’s a psychopath, I tell you.
Professors are bound to go insane after years of teaching.’
Yi-han came to his own conclusion.
The real reason was that several groups of people including the professors would’ve demanded an explanation for trying to ruin a talented student if the principal had tried to teach him one-on-one…
Unfortunately, Yi-han had no way of knowing this.
“My footsteps reign over the earth.
My footsteps reign over the earth.
There was nothing better to do, so Yi-han was hard at work chanting the newly acquired spell.
Though he claimed to have little interest in magic, objectively speaking, he was obsessed with it.
Other students would’ve found something to entertain themselves if they were bored.
They wouldn’t be studying like Yi-han.
Ttum, ttum, ttum-
Yi-han stopped chanting for a second.
Did someone just knock on the walls? If so, who could it be?
“My footsteps reign over-”
Ttum, ttum, ttum-
This time, he had heard it clearly.
Yi-han carefully approached one of the walls in his cell and put his ear over it.
Ttum, ttum, ttum-
It was louder this time.
Yi-han also proceeded to knock on the wall, which made the other party stop.
Then, a low and husky voice was heard from the other side.
“…Is someone there?”
“Which grade are you in?”
“I’m a freshman.”
“So an Iron.
Must be tough.”
“And you are…?”
Gold represented fourth-year students.
Yi-han was surprised to learn that a senior was locked up in a room beside him.
‘How did a fourth-year student land himself in… never mind.
Not like I’m any better.’
Yi-han was quick to reflect on himself.
Indeed, he wasn’t in a position to say anything after being caught while trying to escape.
“Why are you here in the Punishment Room? Did a fight occur between dormitories?”
“No? Then did you try to steal something from one of your dormmates?”
“No, I tried to escape, but got caught in the end.”
The senior in the next room chuckled.
“The freshmen this year are fast.
To think they’d try to escape after a week.
You went through the mountains, right? They all do, not knowing the walls extend all the way to the back, and most of them get captured.”
“It wasn’t through the mountains.”
The person on the other side seemed surprised to hear that.
“Well, aren’t you a bright one? Unfortunately, that’s also a trap.
Alarms would ring if you touch anything in the underground warehouse, and the warehouse keeper is a monster that specializes in detection.
Which one did you get done in with?”
I managed to leave the academy through the underground passageway.
I was caught while I was outside.”
The fourth-year student on the other side of the wall was horrified upon hearing this.
He was able to discover the underground passageway, go past the alarm trap, fool the warehouse keeper, and escape, all in one week???
‘Is this bastard really a freshman??’
Then how were you caught?”
“I was on one of the carriages, but the anti-magic extremists attacked, and I was discovered by the principal after confronting them.”
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