There were several reasons why black magic was despised in the Empire.
Not only did it give off the impression of being dark and eerie, the type of spells that black mages used weren’t exactly sunshine and roses.
Curses, undead summoning, dark magic, poison magic, negative energy, etc.
It was no wonder people shirked them.
– Hello, everyone.
I was recently dispatched to this village.
I specialize in elemental magic, fire magic in particular.
I hope we get along.
– Welcome! Now we won’t have to worry about freezing to death in the winter!
I was recently dispatched as well.
I specialize in… black magic…
– Sorry, can you repeat that again?
– I specialize in black magic and undead summoning.
– …W-we should keep him away from the public cemetery.
The vast majority of people felt uncomfortable around black mages, and the freshmen weren’t any different.
They had come to this academy to fulfill their dreams and ambitions.
They weren’t too keen on learning black magic, something which no one liked.
Yi-han, however, was different, and he was staring at the professor with great interest.
‘To walk a path less travelled.’
Even before he entered Einroguard, he was of the belief that black magic had its own charm and benefits.
First of all, not many students would be interested in the field, so there wouldn’t be much competition.
And even if he took classes involving black magic, it didn’t necessarily mean he had to become a black mage.
‘I can choose a different path after obtaining the credits.’
In the future, they’d have to come into contact with all sorts of magic.
Hence, he wasn’t aversed to the idea of learning black magic.
Not to mention, in his point of view, black mages lived quite well in the Empire.
Simply put, there weren’t many of them, so despite being feared by the people, they never had to worry about being fired from their jobs.
In other words, it guarantees a stable income!
“I anticipated such reactions.”
Noticing the tense atmosphere, Professor Garcia opened her mouth to speak.
“There are a lot of prejudice and misunderstandings surrounding black magic.
However, it’s a field that is extremely deep and profound, with a lot to explore.
Everyone here has only just stepped into the world of magic.
As beginners, you must strive to challenge yourselves and explore new things, discover your talents and form new goals! Do not let prejudice cloud your judgment.
I hope you will approach black magic with curiosity and use this precious opportunity to learn and improve as a mage.”
Professor Garcia’s speech was calm and sincere, not to mention convincing as well.
It was enough to move the hearts of many freshmen.
“Now, who would like to assist Professor Mortem in his lesson? Any volunteers?”
Nevertheless, it didn’t change the fact that they were dealing with black magic.
The students quickly looked away, avoiding Professor Garcia’s gaze.
“Yi-han, lower your head! Lower your head, I say!”
Gainando pulled on Yi-han’s sleeve and spoke in a hushed voice.
“If you befriend a black mage, you won’t have an easy death later on! I heard they turn people into undead soldiers!”
“…Dude, you’re a mage.
You believe that?”
Yi-han was fed up with Gainando’s nonsense.
Normal civilians aside, he should know better
“I’ll do it.”
Yi-han raised his hand.
The students stared at him in awe.
They all knew that Wardanaz was the de facto leader of the Blue Dragons, but they didn’t think he’d sacrifice himself and volunteer to be the lab rat of a black mage.
Even the Black Tortoise that feared him because of the rumors around the Wardanaz Family began seeing him in a different light.
Professor Garcia smiled, looking very glad.
Yi-han knew full well what that smile meant.
Professors that knew each other well would at times invite the other person over to teach one of their classes to prevent awkward situations where the students stayed silent like a bunch of mutes.
They’d go so far as to assign some people to raise their hands at appropriate moments.
Though that wasn’t exactly the case right now, Professor Garcia was no doubt feeling grateful to Yi-han.
Cough. Thank you.
Then come up.”
As Yi-han approached Professor Mortem, he understood why the classroom got so cold.
Just by standing there, the professor was exuding a considerable amount of mana.
And it wasn’t regular mana, either.
It was mana of the yin attribute.
This cold and uncanny form of mana was like a telltale sign of black mages.
Mana would be colorless in its basic form, but they often gained attributes to fit the needs of the mage.
In the case of black magic, there was a tendency for mana to gain a yin attribute.
‘I’m starting to understand why it’s so unpopular.’
Black magic had a terrible reputation, to begin with.
Yet here he was, getting hit by waves upon waves of mana just trying to approach the professor.
Even students with an interest in black magic would turn back and flee under such circumstances.
Regardless of which world he was in, professors really lacked tact when it came to roping in students.
“You seem to have a lot of mana.”
Take out your staff…and observe how I do it.”
After coughing several times, Professor Mortem performed a hand gesture.
The yin attribute mana that seeped out of his body had been chaotic until now, but it became orderly in the blink of an eye.
“Rise Up, Servants of Bones!”
Skeletal summons appeared near the students, accompanied by unsettling rattles, and as they appeared, they began dancing and spinning.
Needless to say, the students were just a step away from fainting.
Professor Mortem, however, seemed very pleased as he asked Yi-han for his opinion.
“Cough…What do you think?”
“I thought the students would like the performance.”
“Well, it’s definitely a sight to behold.”
Yi-han chose his words carefully so as to refrain from hurting the professor’s feelings, and just like before, Professor Garcia expressed her thanks through eye contact.
“But don’t worry.
I don’t expect you to replicate this. Cough. After all, it’s an extremely complicated spell.”
Professor Mortem was simply abiding by common sense, yet Yi-han was grateful to hear those words.
If only Professor Bolady was this reasonable!
“First, try converting your mana into the yin attribute.”
Yi-han began gathering his mana.
Since he had prior experience converting his mana into the light and water attribute, he knew what he was doing.
After painting an image in his head, he focused on it, dyeing his mana in a color that could fit the image.
“You’re quite good.”
Professor Mortem was impressed by how readily Yi-han converted his mana.
“Try a bit more.”
Heeding the instruction, Yi-han got back to work and continued to convert his mana.
‘Why’s he doing so well?’
Professor Garcia, who had been watching, panicked a little.
Although she wouldn’t say it out loud it in front of Professor Mortem, she didn’t want a talented student like Yi-han to learn black magic and walk a thorny path.
‘It’s troubling that he’s so good at it…’
Mages often had trouble converting their mana into the yin attribute and would have to go through countless trials and errors.
This was because it was rather difficult to imagine what the yin attribute was like.
People would think of something cold when they imagined ice magic, and they would think of somewhere dark in association with dark magic.
The yin attribute, on the other hand, was a combination of many things, and there were a lot of mages that couldn’t come up with a concrete image.
Yi-han, however, chose not to think too deeply about it.
‘Fermat’s spiral, imaginary numbers… strange mathematical equations and symbols.
These should do.’
The greatest advantage that Yi-han had over the others was his ability to think with an open mind.
Luckily for him, the image that he came up with was just what he needed, and he was able to continue converting his mana without much trouble.
And so he converted…
And then he converted some more….
At one point, Yi-han began to feel uneasy.
Outside, it was still broad daylight, but it was dark in the classroom, and the temperature dropped to the point where they could see their breath.
However, Professor Mortem appeared engrossed in the scene as he said nothing to stop Yi-han.
He had stopped coughing as well, and it was almost as if he was a different person.
I want to see how far you can go.”
“Uh, Professor Mortem?”
Even Professor Garcia had stepped in.
Professor Mortem seemed to be having a great time, and there was nothing wrong with that, but there were other students inside the classroom.
Things were beginning to feel eerie, with some of the more sensitive students hallucinating and claiming to hear whispers of the dead.
Professor Garcia believed it was time to stop.
‘Considering how much mana he has…’
There was no telling what would happen if Yi-han continued until Professor Mortem’s curiosity was satisfied.
“Let’s have him stop?”
“Just a bit more.
I want to know his limit.”
“You’ll have opportunities in the future.”
Professor Garcia wasn’t taking no for an answer, and Professor Mortem was forced to throw in the towel.
‘What a shame….’
It was truly a pity.
When it came to black magic, nothing was as important as having a lot of yin attribute mana.
The same could be said about other forms of magic, but having a lot of mana provided a distinct advantage in the case of black magic.
Summoning the undead.
Casting dark magic and poison magic.
The amount of mana mattered immensely in all these cases, which was why Professor Mortem wished to find out Yi-han’s limit.
‘And yet she’s being so petty about it.’
The enormous amount of mana that Yi-han had converted was gradually starting to disperse.
“Oops, almost forgot.
Wave your staff like this and chant ‘Paralysis‘.”
Paralysis was a low-level curse.
It was a first-circle spell, making it one of the easiest black magic spells to learn.
The curse made people’s arms and legs feel numb, something which most people would have experienced at least once in their lives.
Not only was it easy to visualize the spell’s effect, but the movements for the staff were also straightforward as well.
“Who should I cast it on?”
“Why me, of course.”
Unlike other spells, curses required targets.
However, Professor Mortem looked like the type of person that would keel over after experiencing a gentle breeze.
‘I knew a day would come when I shoot magic at a professor, but I didn’t think it’d happen like this.’
“Will this really be alright?”
Professor Mortem seemed unbothered.
Hurry up and get on with it.”
“Sir…are you not going to cast any defensive spells?”
“Cough, cough… worst-case scenario, my arms and legs will feel numb.
What’s there to be worried about?”
That was enough to convince Yi-han.
To begin with, it was presumptuous of him to assume that his spell would have an effect on the professor.
‘I should really focus.
Wouldn’t want to mess this up and annoy the professor.’
Yi-han shut his eyes to concentrate as Professor Mortem waited, looking indifferent.
As a mage, he naturally had a lot of mana stored in his body, mana which he could easily manipulate.
His mana would spring up to shield him if he was attacked, meaning he had high resistance against spells.
This was especially the case for curses as he had spent his entire life dealing with yin attribute mana.
Against a freshman, he wouldn’t have to do anything at all.
‘By blocking his attack, I’ll show him how deep and profound black magic truly is.’
Professor Mortem was confident, confident that Yi-han would be enlightened after seeing his all-out attack being shrugged off.
– I poured everything into that attack, yet it didn’t even manage to scratch you…! Black magic is so amazing! I want to learn more!
– Cough, if that’s what you want, I won’t stop you.
It was the type of delusion that only people with brains like a professor would have.
Yi-han aimed his staff at the professor after completing his chant.
All the accumulated mana surged forth with terrible momentum as if it had a will of its own.
Professor Mortem faltered, surprised by the sheer quantity of mana.
He tried his best to counter it, but the curse had already wrapped around his body, suffocating him.
…In the end, he fell on his back, completely paralyzed.
Yi-han freaked out when he saw this.
For a split second, he was worried that he would be labeled a “professor killer”.
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