Chapter 89 – Examination
The training dungeon for the examination was located underground, below the Conquest Team’s base in the center of the city.
The Viceroza Grand Dungeon. The most difficult dungeon that sprawled out below the city.
Part of the first floor had been modified for the purpose of training, and it was very different from any dungeon that I knew of.
The difference was apparent at a glance.
Even the flow of mana was strange. And I could not help but sigh.
Well, they did say that less than one percent of people passed.
I could already see numerous vicious traps while standing by the entrance.
The traps were maliciously designed to lack accuracy, which encouraged one to lower their guard.
Also, there were likely much more traps than I was able to recognize.
I stood in front of the entrance and waited for my turn.
The others here were veterans, rich with experience and achievements.
But after seeing such stalwart and confident Adventurers march in, and then come out in a horrifying state, I wanted to go home.
This place must be insane…
A place that humans should not have to be in.
If it was just me, then I probably would have felt defeated before I entered.
However, I had a reason to continue going.
Suddenly, the Adventurers around me began to gasp and cheer.
“Apparently, he did it.”
“At that age?”
I didn’t even need to look in order to tell who they were talking about.
Frustratingly brilliant, but he also worked harder than anyone.
But I still did not want to lose to him.
“Next. Number 279.”
I nodded and advanced to the entrance.
Sharpen your senses.
Ignore any emotions of fear and failure.
Just think about what you have to do. Focus.
You do not want to lose to him.
My desire to keep up is stronger than any anxiety about the trials ahead.
And so I took a step forward.
And the exam began.
◇ ◇ ◇
In a room that was located right above the training dungeon.
There was a special window, made with a carved magic formula. And through it, the Adventurers who acted as examiners watched the participants.
“Number 85. Disqualified.”
“Number 127. Disqualified.”
“Number 268. Promising.”
They were measuring the power and skill of the Adventurers.
To see whether or not they were worthy additions to the group.
Every reaction to the malicious traps were examined carefully.
“This group of participants are of a high calibur.”
Said a one-armed man who entered the room.
The other examiners all bowed to him.
“Good morning, Lord Darlinton.”
Lord Darlinton acted as chief of the Conquest Team’s support room.
He was a great nobleman, which was unusual for an Adventurer, and he was a central figure within the group.
While supporting them financially as a patron, he acquired necessary supplies, and strengthened the fighting force.
Three years ago, he had suffered grave wounds on the frontlines, which prevented him from fighting. And so being able to support others like this had become his new motivation to live.
A big dream that he saw at the end of despair.
To completely conquer that dungeon. An accomplishment that was too much for his own body.
But now, with money and influence, he would make another attempt.
“There are more capable people than usual. Which is unfortunate, as well. If only this was an exam for the 60th floor.”
“The traps that were laid out were made to represent the difficulty of the 75th floor. Even first-rate Adventurers would have trouble clearing it on their first attempt.”
“I see. So we should be happy if just one person makes it.”
This test would require great skill and the ability to deal with unknown situations.
And only a handful of the best from all over the land would be able to pass.
Still, it was clear that most did not expect to fail.
Lord Darlinton sighed as he watched the next one, a chief magician, walk away as if stunned.
He knew that a lot was being asked of these people.
But right now, they needed a fighting force they could count on.
If they sent out people who were not ready, then they would only get injured or worse.
Lord Darlinton looked at his right arm, which was not there, and said,
“Those who lack ability must be disqualified no matter what. Understand?”
The examiners nodded.
Still, there was one participant who overcame the high barrier they had set.
“That was impressive.”
“I expect he will be the only one to pass today.”
Lord Darlinton looked down at the document in his hand and nodded.
His reputation as a genius had not been an exaggeration after all.
If you did not have experience as an Adventurer, then you had to be at that level in order to make up for it.
However, just then, the next participant stumbled into the dungeon.
A rising star in her country. Discovered by Luke Waldstein himself.
However, compared to him, she was clearly lacking something.
Luke Waldstein had numerous achievements in many fields, while Noelle Springfield had only been a Royal Magician for a few months.
That would affect her ability to deal with situations and adapt.
Of course, she must be brilliant and powerful in her own right.
But that would surely not be enough to challenge such a difficult dungeon.
And Lord Darlinton was right.
The short magician failed to catch herself, and fell flat on her face.
“Ouch…!” She cursed with teary eyes.
Well, she would not last long.
Lord Darlinton thought, and then he realized something.
“That floor. It had a magic trap, didn’t it?”
The examiner nearby answered him.
“Yes. The magic circle carved into the floor should put the target into a sleep state in an instant.”
He was just as confused.
Perhaps the trap had not been activated.
However, similar phenomena occurred after that.
Why were the traps not working with her?
At first, they thought it was a malfunction, but the magic traps were in fact operating normally.
After watching her carefully, they started to realize something.
How abnormal she was.
“Could it be… That she is disarming them faster than they can activate…?”
“Impossible. A human could not do that.”
“However, we are detecting mana for nullifying magic.”
It was possible in principle.
However, the problem was the speed at which she was doing it.
With acceleration magic, she had increased the speed at which she reacted and cast magic.
So that even while she was triggering numerous traps, she was able to nullify them and continue onward.
It was such a strange sight, that most became speechless. And then one of the examiners noticed something.
“…Her movements seem to have improved?”
Rapidly, her movements became more refined and precise.
She would find the traps and deal with them, faster than the eye could see.
“It is like she is a different person compared to the beginning.”
“No one should be able to get used to them this quickly…”
The countless, vicious traps were being deactivated before they could do anything.
The examiners were stunned.
The room fell quiet.
Eventually, one quivering voice echoed.
“Who the hell is this…”
This person had an ability to adapt that exceeded their comprehension.