Chapter 43 — First Class (1)
JaeHyun woke up early and got ready for class.
He had a total of two classes today. They were easy things like orientation and aptitude tests.
Since this was a military academy, there would probably be a lot of instances when they would have to move about, but compared to the training they would be getting later on, this week’s classes were very easy.
Down the line, there would be numerous classes where they required superhuman abilities.
For example, classes like Instructor Kim Seok-Gi’s 《Basic Endurance Training》 and Instructor Park HaJoon’s 《Battle Strategy I》 were infamous among the cadets for their brutal training.
“I should warm up a little first.”
Since there was the possibility he would have to move around a lot, he went for a short run around the park.
He’d woken up at around 6 in the morning. Having slept at midnight, he’d slept almost exactly 6 hours. However, there was almost no trace of exhaustion in JaeHyun’s body. This was because a Raider’s recovery rate was much faster than an ordinary person’s.
After jogging for an hour, his whole body was covered in sweat. Returning to his room, he took a shower and then sat at his desk.
Since he’d received all the necessary books for his theory classes like History, he decided he had more than enough time to read up a bit before class. JaeHyun stretched and then began to study in earnest.
“I worked as a raider for 7 years, so this should be easy.”
Even though JaeHyun wasn’t as intelligent as Kim YooJung, he was still quite smart.
He was especially good with theory classes and was often in the top 10 of the year even without putting in extra effort.
As a result, he’d heard a lot of his classmates groan about how the rest of them were to live when someone was both handsome and smart. JaeHyun himself never thought much about it though.
Intelligence was advantageous no matter what kind of world one lived in.
But in the current world filled with monsters, strength was more important. One had to be strong so that there was less of a threat to their lives and less of a need to fight with others.
Yggdrasil and the monsters had completely changed the laws of this world.
“Still, today should be less tiring since there’s only two classes.”
JaeHyun stretched his arms as he checked his time table.
The academy probably relaxed the schedule for the day since the ‘Freshmen Hunt’ had just finished yesterday.
Unless the academy was full of idiots, there was no way they would schedule difficult classes right after an event.
Although the academy was normally a military school with a rigid hierarchy, there were still some who weren’t used to that system. There weren’t that many, but there were already a few among the seniors who were stronger than the instructors.
There was nothing dumber than inciting these people with a harsh schedule.
“I should get going.”
Quite a bit of time had passed as he’d been reading.
7:30 AM. If he didn’t want to be late for the first class which started at 8, he had to move.
“Good morning. It’s nice to meet you. I am Instructor Kim JiYeon. As you know, I will be teaching 《Basic Mana Acclimation I》. Let’s try to get along.”
An applause followed the introduction.
Of course, JaeHyun didn’t know anything about what kind of person Instructor Kim JiYeon was. Since he’d attended Combat classes before regressing, he didn’t have much need to meet her.
He only knew a few rumors he’d heard about the instructors in the Magic department. Even so, he didn’t remember anything about someone named Kim JiYeon.
‘I mean, she could be a new instructor who’ll quit soon.’
JaeHyun was soon convinced that that was the case. Long-term instructors at Millaes Academy could be counted on one hand. The pay was low, and the welfare wasn’t that good either.
The reason Kim Soek-Gi and a few other instructors remained was quite clear.
It was the existence of Gu Ja-In. They were greedy for any crumbs he was willing to give them.
‘Well, it has nothing to do with me.’
It held no significance to JaeHyun.
Clearing her throat, Instructor Kim JiYeon started talking about the class.
“The reason I’m conducting our first class outdoors is simple. It is to test your Mana Sensitivity. Please look over there.”
JaeHyun turned to look at the direction Kim JiYeon was pointing in.
A row of rooms with transparent walls in front of them came into sight. There was a door between the rooms like a barrier, and they could hear the unending sound of mana buzzing from inside.
That was probably a Mana Room. It was seemingly a device used to test their Mana Sensitivity.
‘It feels pretty similar to that Mana Cube from before.’
For a moment, JaeHyun’s eyes fixated on the Mana Room that felt familiar.
Before signing a First Priority Contract with the Yeonhwa Guild, he had broken out of a Mana Cube to prove his skills.
Compared to then, the mana flowing out of those rooms was nothing.
JaeHyun crossed his arms as he observed the other cadets’ surprised expressions. The worried voices of the cadets rang out from different directions.
“What… Isn’t this too difficult from the get-go?”
“I know, right? Telling us to go into Mana Rooms on the first class itself.”
“Didn’t they say that you could get addicted if you weren’t careful? Is this really safe?”
JaeHyun nodded slightly. That was probably the reaction of those with ordinary aptitude.
A Mana Room was literally a room filled to the brim with mana, so it was possible for the people who went in to get addicted to all the mana in it. Of course, since the instructors were with them right now, there wouldn’t be any accidents, but it was still very true that this was dangerous on a whole.
Instructor Kim JiYeon took in the cadets’ reactions before continuing with her explanation.
“This is called a Mana Room, and it was created using a monster core. With the doors as the mark, the concentration of mana changes.”
At Kim JiYeon’s explanation, most of the cadets nodded in understanding.
“Naturally, the concentration of mana increases as you go deeper into the room. In this test, we will ascertain how sensitive you are to mana.”
In other words, the objective of this test was to see how familiar a user was with mana. In addition, they were trying to see how much mana they could use later on.
“The average level a first-year Millaes Academy cadet can normally reach is 3. Before graduating, they can reach level 7. This test will help you accurately determine your current level.”
JaeHyun stared at the rooms lined up in front of him.
There was a total of 19 rooms prepared for them. Since the average rank of a newly-graduated raider was C or D, one could infer that reaching level 7 was the same as being a C-rank raider.
‘A Mana Room, huh… I wonder how much I’ve grown by now.’
It was a simple thought.
Since returning to the past, JaeHyun had worked tirelessly to grow stronger. He had defeated the Night Shade, was taught by Yoo Sung-Eun, and received an EX-rank skill from Hel.
The Mana Room was a chance to see how much he had grown compared to others.
Kim JiYeon spoke as she tapped on the tablet she had brought.
“Now then, let’s start the test.”
“Cadets, follow me. If you have trouble during the test, please raise your hand. Afterwards, you just have to follow the assistant instructors out of the room.”
The 30 or so cadets all went into the room filled with blue mana.
[Mana Room Level 1]
An area filled with mana that was slightly thicker than normal.
This much was not a problem to those who had chosen Magic as their major.
Instructor Kim JiYeon led them further into the room. A few of the cadets were already having some trouble breathing properly.
On the other hand, Kim YooJung and Seo Ina seemed fine as they looked around the room in amazement.
JaeHyun was the same.
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‘There’s nothing to be felt. Compared to the Mana Cube, this is child’s play. Although, they did say that even active Magicians have trouble breaking out of a Mana Cube, so that should be expected.’
No one was eliminated at Level 1. It seemed that it was still a level everyone could endure.
JaeHyun followed Instructor Kim JiYeon into Mana Room Level 2.
The moment they stepped into the room, about 20% of the cadets were unable to endure and raised their hands.
Most of the cadets, including JaeHyun, gestured that they were still fine. Kim JiYeon handed over those who raised their hands to the assistant instructors and made her way further in.
[Mana Room Level 3]
About half raised their hands and were led out by the assistant instructors.
Since the average level of a freshman was Level 3, raising their hand at this point meant they were not worse than most. It meant that they were the average Joes at Millaes Academy where monsters gathered together.
JaeHyun, Ina and YooJung still didn’t feel any pressure.
Instructor Kim JiYeon started to lead the cadets deeper into the room.
And so Level 4… to Level 5.
‘I can’t feel a difference yet.’
Even as JaeHyun watched most of the class raise their hands, he merely tilted his head in confusion.
It was strange. Back in the Mana Cube and right now.
He wondered why he didn’t feel any negative effects of mana addiction.
Back in the deep sea of mana in the cube, JaeHyun could still breathe comfortably. He didn’t know the exact reason, but there was a big possibility it was due to his innate talent.
‘A Magic Aptitude Score of 97%… If it’s not because of that, it’s hard to explain.’
He started to realize how great his talent actually was.
Even in the past, his aptitude score of 97% was one of the best.
Just then, JaeHyun heard a whisper come from beside him. Turning to see who it was, YooJung spoke with a slightly pale face.
“Hey, don’t you feel like it’s starting to get hard to breathe?”
“No. I don’t think so.”
At YooJung’s question, JaeHyun shook his head. Yoo Sung-Eun had said it before, but JaeHyun was more talented than others.
It wasn’t just his aptitude score.
Thanks to his EX-rank skill, 《One Watched by the Gods》, JaeHyun’s stats were a lot higher than that of someone at the same level.
Plus, if one looked at the spells he knew, he was already a competent Magician.
‘I’ve probably almost reached C-rank by now. But I can’t be satisfied with this.’
JaeHyun thought as he stepped into Mana Room Level 6.
The one who killed his mother and even came after his life. The one he wanted to take revenge against.
As an A-rank Raider, he was a big shot JaeHyun couldn’t touch at the moment.
JaeHyun gritted his teeth.
‘If I want to win against Father and make him pay, I have to get stronger. I also can’t let Gu Ja-In go.’
Ruminating over his goal once more, JaeHyun headed for Level 7.
From here, no matter how talented they were, breathing became difficult. Instructor Kim JiYeon glanced at the remaining cadets in astonishment.
There were 4 cadets remaining.
Min JaeHyun, Kim YooJung, Seo Ina, Lee SooHyuk.
Because Min JaeHyun had shown such great skill during the ‘Freshmen Hunt’, she clearly remembered him. The rest, she remembered the names of, due to their high aptitude scores.
Kim JiYeon paid more attention to Min JaeHyun even among those remaining.
‘In the Freshmen Hunt, he was able to defeat Combat cadets by himself.’
The transcendental reflexes which allowed him to eliminate the first player weren’t something a Magician was to be capable of.
‘Chairman Gu Ja-In also said we should pay special attention to him.’
This meant there was something special about him. Kim JiYeon gulped.
They were now almost at Level 8. They were past the level of talent and into actual genius.
Starting from Level 8, the concentration of mana repeatedly became lighter and deeper. It was supposed to mimic a real dungeon.
However, instructors were banned from telling cadets about this fact.
The reason was simple. The test would only be considered a success if the cadets realized it for themselves.
But it was also possible for their lives to be in danger if they were careless. To Gu Ja-In, though, cadets were merely expendable tools.
Easily put, he could replace them at any time.
Rather than their safety, it was more important to know how strong they could become.
It was a rule that was covertly clear to everyone at Millaes Academy—
Survival of the strongest. The strong 1% took precedent over the rest.
That was the absolute law that governed this school.
“Then, we will enter Mana Room Level 8. Is there a cadet who is having difficulties?”
She waited for a moment, but out of the three plus Lee SooHyuk, no one raised their hand.
Before JaeHyun’s regression, Lee SooHyuk was someone who had reached B-rank. His Magic Aptitude Score was 82%, so it was justifiable that he would be confident in his Mana Sensitivity.
“Then, let’s go.”
[Mana Room Level 8]
If the previous three levels were difficult areas, this place was hell.
This area seemed to be truly agonizing as the three except for JaeHyun all let out a groan of pain.
In the end, Kim YooJung and Lee SooHyuk raised their hands. It was hard for them to endure it.
Instructor Kim JiYeon was A-rank, but she also found it difficult to breathe in Level 8. From here on, one needed more actual experience.
‘Even if they are geniuses, it should be difficult from this point…’
Thinking so, Kim JiYeon was about to lead everyone out when a cadet caught her eye.
The black-haired boy was looking around in amazement without a single sign of difficulty in breathing.
What on earth was happening?
Usually, everyone lost all their breath and slumped to the ground at this point.
On that note, Kim YooJung and Lee SooHyuk were really amazing. Having the presence of mind to raise their hands while in pain was already worthy of praise.
But Min JaeHyun was different. He didn’t look tired at all.
Like a veteran raider who’s already cleared a dungeon, JaeHyun was walking around calmly within the vacillating mana. Although his posture was bad with his hand in his pocket, his sensitivity was unbelievably good.
Kim JiYeon looked to his left.
She could see Seo Ina who was breathing with some difficulty as she held her chest and looked at JaeHyun.
Ina was enduring past her limit and wanted to go to the next level. Kim JiYeon could only be surprised by Seo Ina’s perseverance and Min JaeHyun’s sensitivity.
‘Seo Ina, Min JaeHyun… They really have unbelievable talent like their profiles said.’
She thought as she wondered.
How far would those two reach as they grew?
She was also once a cadet who was called a genius and created waves among Magicians. But her first score at the Mana Room was Level 7.
But those two were getting ready to enter Level 9. She got goosebumps all over but didn’t show any signs of it externally.
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Kim JiYeon exhaled and took a step forward. She pushed the door open.
It was the moment the door to Mana Room Level 9 was opened.