Chapter 2: Second Round: Group Combat Test
There was no one else in the same group as me who had advanced to the second exam.
The unsuccessful applicants would have to take the general entrance exam to be held later. But because you are given added points according to the results of this exam, it is said that most people will pass it.
However, if you are an honor student, you are exempted from the tuition fee. And as a poor person, I would very much like to pass the exam as an honor student.
Things seemed a little strange with the second test.
“Number 005, 011, 016, 029. The four of you have passed the first exam. From here on, this will be a practical test. If you feel that it is too difficult, you should withdraw immediately.”
I look at the three other people besides me. Unsurprisingly, it seems to be a good group.
There is one boy and two girls. They are all young, but they look a little older than those who didn’t pass the first round.
The boy, number 011, with his spiked up red hair, smiles confidently.
“I’m not going to give up! I’ve been working hard for this day!”
The others didn’t seem to have any intention of withdrawing either, and they all seemed to be full of confidence.
The examiners saw this and gave a small nod.
“Then we shall begin. The next test is also to hit a target with magic, but this time the target will move and launch counterattacks. It’s extremely dangerous, so please don’t die.”
When number 011 muttered this, the door at the back had already opened and something came marching out.
The other examinees were startled and took a half step back.
It was a group of moving skeletons that came in. There were about 40 of them in all.
The skeletons, with their terrifying skulls exposed, brandished their spears and large shields.
Well, the spears were just for practice and had rounded tips. The reason why they had big shields was to make it easier to attack them. Skeletons had thin bodies with no muscle or organs, so there was no actual need to protect themselves with large and heavy shields.
The examiners retreat to the wall and tell us,
“Attack the skeleton soldiers with magic once they start moving. If you can defeat even one of the skeletons, you will pass the exam.”
This was certainly hands-on.
Wanting to get it over with early so that I could have lunch, I asked the other three,
“Who wants to start?”
“Y-you idiot! I can’t take on that thing by myself!”
Number 011 shouted in panic and the others nodded.
Come to think of it, they would all have used destructive magic in the first test.
“How many more shots can you all fire?”
I asked, and the three of them looked at each other and said,
“I can’t do another one like during the earlier test. But if it’s something weaker, then I have one shot”
“If it’s light, I can do one more.”
“I can still do it. Well…just one shot, though.”
In short, everyone had one more shot to go at the most.
There are 40 enemies. Some light destruction magic will barely be able to defeat one of them, so the remaining 37 will be impossible to defeat no matter what.
If that’s the case, there’s only one thing to do as an adult.
“All right. Then start chanting when the enemy starts advancing. You can do it slowly.”
“But I can barely take out one of them?”
I laugh as the boy with pointy hair says this.
“You will pass the test if you kill one. Just think about that and nothing else.”
If you thought about it for a second there was no way they would let an excellent candidate who passed the first exam die in a place like this.
The spears didn’t have actual blades on them, so they are considering our safety. This was just a mock battle.
“Don’t let the appearance of the skeleton soldiers fool you. They’re tough because they don’t feel pain or fear, but they are otherwise no big deal.”
“You’re telling me…”
The girl called number 005 mutters, then smiles fearlessly.
“Oh, well. It’s true that we don’t need to think about anything other than passing the test right now.”
“Yes, that’s true. And I’m used to seeing skeletons.”
“What? Number 011 is scary.”
“No, It’s because my family are priests! There is a charnel in the temple back at home!”
I nodded to the examiner as we had finished talking.
“All right. Then let the test begin.”
The skeleton soldiers all raised their large shields at the same time, creating a wall of shields as they began to advance.
The spears thrust out from between the shields, which made them quite an intimidating sight.
“Hey, Number 029. Here they come. Here they come.”
“Wait, don’t chant yet. The skeleton soldiers are slower than I thought.”
While I could precast, it was difficult for beginners to stop partway into a chant. Once they start chanting, the timing for unleashing the destruction magic is usually already decided.
Their chanting time is about 20 beats(seconds). Which was quite long.
But the speed of the skeleton soldiers is also quite slow. Perhaps they are adjusted so that the chanting of the examinees can finish in time. How considerate of them.
But the examinees still seemed anxious, and they kept looking back and forth between me and the skeleton soldiers.
“But number 029, if we don’t chant quickly…”
“You won’t be able to defeat an enemy that is out of range, as the force of the attack will be weakened. If you can only cast one more shot, make sure that you’ve drawn them in enough. Don’t worry, I’ll buy you some time.”
Then the strong-willed girl called number number 016 shouted.
“And how are you going to buy time?”
I then cast a strengthening spell on my entire body and walked into the ranks of the skeleton soldiers. It would be a good way to test out my new body. The magic enhanced my reflexes, muscle strength, and metabolic capacity.
“Who-whoa. Number 029!?”
“Hey, wait! It’s dangerous!”
“You’d better not, you’ll die!”
As a finishing touch, I cast Aura Blade on both of my hands and then turned to the other three.
“This way will be faster.”
“It’s not faster! I’m saying you’re going to die, you idiot!”
The pointy haired boy seemed genuinely worried about me, and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“I won’t deny that I’m an idiot. But I’m not dumb enough to die in a mock battle. Now, it’s time to start chanting.”
“Hey, wait! Why are you laughing!?”
Since ancient times, sorcerers have often fought with their own bodies.
When you unleash destructive magic, the power weakens with distance and time, so the cost-effectiveness of magic power is very poor. If you want to kill a lot of enemies with a little magic power, you have to attack as close to the enemy as possible.
So if you don’t have the luxury of time, get in close and engage in hand-to-hand combat. That’s all it is.
“Now, I’m going!”
Whatever the battle, it would be ridiculous to not fight with all your might. Besides, I’m not a warrior by trade, but a magician. And so I would not think of anything that was not necessary.
Even though it was a mock battle against skeleton soldiers, I could get injured unexpectedly if I was not careful. And so I have to use all my strength.
The skeleton soldiers thrust out their spears, which I slashed away with my ‘Spirit Sword’ enchanted arm.
Even if the enemy’s spears were real, they would not be able to pierce my palm. My body, which was tinged with magic power, was both blade and armor. It’s a technique that combines offense and defense.
The first skeleton, along with its shield, is cut in half by my arm sword, and then I jump into the collapsed rank of skeletons.
The skeleton soldiers were lined up in two rows, and I was able to get through to the back of the line by defeating just two of them.
Flanking lines of spearmen are immensely strong against the frontal attacks, but weak once you can get behind or flank them. They will then need to reorganize their formation.
Of course, I wasn’t going to allow them to do that.
“Go to hell!”
I grabbed the head of the next skeleton and smashed it against my knee, crushing its skull. I grabbed the next skeleton by the ribs and crushed his vertebrae. ‘Spirit Sword’ enveloped my fingers as well, and each had the destructive force of a war hammer.
After their bodies were destroyed with loud cracking noises, I now had a complete grasp on how they moved.
They’re even weaker than I thought. They’re just for show. Their reactions are slow and their movements are monotonous. Their skills are also low.
They’re just ‘moving scarecrows’ that are supposed to intimidate the examinees.
Once you realize it, this moderate exercise becomes more enjoyable. This young body does not get short of breath easily and is light. I feel healthy
(This reminds me of that great failure of Mariam’s when we were apprentices…)
While recalling the tearful face of the cocky apprentice, I dealt with the skeleton soldiers.
Unlike that time, the skeleton soldiers’ weapons weren’t real, so there was no tension whatsoever.
In fact, I’ve been relentlessly poked and prodded with the blunt spears since a while ago, but this doesn’t seem to disqualify me. They didn’t say anything about it.
But it hurts a little, and is oddly infuriating.
Behind me, the other examiners are about to complete their spells. All three of them are from different schools of magic, but they’re starting to chant the phrases to start shooting.
In order to stay out of their way, I used a skeleton soldier as a shield and then shouted at the other examinees.
And then three rather small balls of fire were fired at the skeleton soldiers. The power of the fireballs are low, but as I had lured them close enough, they were all able to kill a skeleton soldier each. And like that, the charred bones crumbled to the ground. So, they would all be safely accepted as honor students. Congratulations.
At the same time, I swung my sword down over the last skeleton soldier. Once its skull was cleaved open, I finally breathed a sigh of relief.
“Well, that’s it then.”
There didn’t seem to be any more enemies moving around, so I deactivated ‘Spirit Sword’ on both hands. If I stroked my chin without deactivating it, the shape of my face would have changed dramatically.
It’s important to clean up after you use magic. Even if you think it’s just a joke, you might actually do it one day.
I suddenly realized that the examiners were looking at me with confusion. Even the other examinees were looking at me strangely.
Hey, I used magic like the rest of them, all right? You have to let me pass, too?
I manifested my ‘Spirit Sword’ once more and quickly cut a large shield with my fingertips.
“As you can see, all of my attacks were with ‘Spirit Sword.’ My attacks were magic.”
“Ah, yes. That’s right…indeed.”
The examiners looked at each other with increasingly confused expressions, then one of them opened his mouth.
“Um, there’s no problem then. You have all passed. This concludes the second examination.”
Then they looked at the piles of bones scattered everywhere and sighed deeply.