Chapter 48 — Endurance Test (2)
“Now, we shall begin the endurance test.”
Right before the test began, a Magic cadet raised their hand in doubt. Kim Seok-Gi gestured with his chin in acceptance.
Standing from their seat, the cadet hesitantly asked.
“In such a test, Warriors will be at a great advantage… Would it not be unfair?”
All the Magic cadets who’d wanted to ask the same thing started nodding their heads.
JaeHyun looked around. Across from the area where all the Magic cadets including him were sitting were the Combat cadets.
This endurance test was part of the evaluation which gave no relevance to the cadet’s department. Hence, the Magicians and Warriors took the class together.
As a result, it wasn’t included in their grades. It was, however, true that the points would be taken by the Warriors.
But Gu Ja-In wasn’t someone who would consider this a problem.
To him, the worth of a Magic cadet was lower than that of a Combat cadet. There was no reason for Ja-In to create an advantage for Magicians.
JaeHyun crossed his arms and observed the expressions of the Magic cadets and Kim Seok-Gi.
‘True, it’s a question that a freshman who’s just started at Millaes Academy might ask. Since a Warrior is physically better than a Magician, testing both departments in the same way is not sound logic… but—’
“Haha. Everyone, it seems there’s something you are misunderstanding right now.”
Kim Seok-Gi’s eyes suddenly turned cold, and a terrifying voice rang out.
“A raider hunts monsters for a living. It’s a dangerous job where one has to go into dungeons and fields. Millaes is a place to train you into deadly weapons that can handle such a job.”
It wasn’t wrong to say Kim Seok-Gi’s words were slightly excessive.But the effect was obvious. Simply hearing that they would be turned into ‘deadly weapons’ brought them great terror.
Kim YooJung and Seo Ina also looked quite stiff. However, JaeHyun didn’t show much reaction and concentrated on the following words.
Kim Seok-Gi’s eyes were dull.
“Do you think the monsters will go easy on you because of your physical weakness? Do you think you can stop the swing of a sword because you are a Magician? No. No monster cares about such things.”
Although Kim Seok-Gi’s words were exaggerated, they weren’t wrong. In the past, JaeHyun had seen numerous people die in dungeons because they put too much faith in their Magic and ran out of stamina.
Even in the period where Warriors were on a decline and Magicians were on the rise, the mortality rate of Magicians was much higher than that of Warriors at the start.
Magicians were weak alone. They had overwhelming strength in groups, but it was true that this did not ensure their safety in dungeons.
This was also the reason JaeHyun had entered the A-rank dungeon before his regression.
“All tests in Millaes Academy are set to assess whether you are able to eliminate monsters or not. So please do not ask any more questions similar to the previous one. It’s a stupid question.”
At Seok-Gi’s criticism, the cadet who had asked the question turned red. But it was hard to say anything—or rather, it was hard to argue against the instructor.
JaeHyun was already aware. Entering a dungeon to hunt for monsters or going to fields overtaken by monsters was almost an act of suicide.
Surviving in those situations was extremely difficult, and such complaints did not work.
A dungeon and field was where several of these people who had worked hard as elites in their schools in the past would die.
As a pro raider, Kim Seok-Gi was someone who had faced countless life-or-death situations and come out on top. It was better to take every word of his as gospel when it came to fighting. This was true, no matter how much of a lapdog he was for Gu Ja-In.
“All assessments will be graded fairly. This fairness will be decided not by you but by Millaes Academy, and in the future, the dungeon and field—as well as the strength of the monsters there.”
Encountering such an unforeseen incident, everyone let out a sigh.
The Combat cadets mocked the Magic cadets, and the Magic cadets did not hide their complaints. Annoyance towards each other filled the air.
JaeHyun took a look at the situation and pondered.
Fights between Warriors and Magicians would only continue. There was, for example, the approaching event, ‘Millaes Academy Festival’, as well as the academy’s one-on-one sparring.
Warriors were currently subconsciously looking down on Magicians, while the Magicians felt inferior in front of the Warriors.
However, none of this mattered.
In the future, Magicians would rise up. Warriors would fall to the bottom of the barrel, and only the best among them would survive.
JaeHyun chuckled and raised his middle finger toward the Combat cadets who were gesturing toward the Magic cadets.
‘Let’s see in just 5 years. All of you will be finished.’
Although it felt like he was telling off his past self, he paid it no mind since it had nothing to do with his current life. While he was in thought, Instructor Kim Seok-Gi held the timer and did some light warm-ups.
“Then, let’s start the first test. Everyone will begin together. You just have to run after me. You will be ranked based on the number of laps you manage to complete.”
Kim Seok-Gi taught them some light stretches before taking off. The cadets followed with unhappy faces.
But JaeHyun had been waiting for this.
His current Endurance stat was one of the best in the academy. Even among the Warriors, only a handful would be able to match him.
Ahn HoYeon and Cha YooWon might have more than him, but it was likely not that big of a difference.
‘There’s a need to give these jerks who look down on Magicians a beating.’
If Warriors and Magicians continued to fight the way they were right now, problems would occur in dungeon raids and field clearing in the future.
If that happened, there would be several deaths in the coming events without much care for the department the cadets were from.
Any way he looked at it, there was a need to deflate the Warriors’ ego a bit.
One lap, two laps, three laps… 20 laps. Half of the Magic cadets had dropped out, along with a few Combat cadets with low endurance.
On the other hand, JaeHyun was still doing fine. Having excellent stamina because he had originally planned to be a Warrior, having increased his Endurance stat, and having helpful passive skills all had an effect.
And as they got to 50 laps, even several Combat cadets started to drop out. JaeHyun was the only Magician left.
Seo Ina and Kim YooJung both dropped out at 26 and 35 laps respectively. It seemed like YooJung’s base stamina was a bit better than Ina’s.
Looking at the Combat cadets who were running with him, JaeHyun smiled slyly.
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‘These bastards probably don’t want to lose. I’ll have to show them what it feels like to lose to one of the Magicians they look down on so much.’
And like that, they finished 70 laps.
Ahn HoYeon and Cha YooWon slowly seemed to feel tired as their breathing got rough. JaeHyun felt a twinge in his lungs, but he could still hold on.
JaeHyun bit his lip.
Running in front of them, Kim Seok-Gi didn’t look the least bit tired.
‘As expected of Instructor Seok-Gi. His skills are no joke.’
Instructor Kim Seok-Gi was in fact one of the higher-level Warriors among A-ranked raiders. One of three great elites among the instructors, he currently stood at a height JaeHyun could not even look up toward.
On the 90th lap, Cha YooWon dropped out.
Now, only Ahn HoYeon and JaeHyun were left.
‘…He really is amazing. I didn’t expect him to last until now.’
HoYeon grit his teeth as he glanced at JaeHyun who kept pace with him.
‘Being a Magician… lasting this long means JaeHyun’s trained extremely hard. Someone like me could never be his opponent. I lost back then, too.’
Ahn HoYeon had clearly lost to JaeHyun during the day of the Freshmen Hunt. It was a total defeat from the very start.
He wouldn’t feel so defeated if he had managed to hit JaeHyun at least once, but he had only dodged JaeHyun’s attacks without being able to do anything else.
That wasn’t all. Above all else, his mentality was much weaker than JaeHyun’s.
The spell that had controlled Ahn HoYeon at the time was one that wouldn’t have worked on those with a strong mentality.
Of course, he didn’t know who had used such a spell on him.
But what if it had been JaeHyun on the receiving end?
If that person had used the same spell on JaeHyun, would JaeHyun also have fallen under the spell like he did?
HoYeon smirked as he darted a bit ahead.
JaeHyun, who’d been running beside him, started to fall back.
Having already run 97 laps, JaeHyun was starting to feel the limitation of a Magician, with his muscles starting to spasm.
JaeHyun’s Combat talent was almost rock-bottom if he didn’t consider his passive skills.
Since he used his muscles in such a state for so long, problems occurring irrelevant of his Endurance stat were to be expected.
‘Damn. If I knew something like this was going to happen, I would have raised my Strength and Dexterity as well…’
His Endurance was not low even when compared to Ahn HoYeon or Cha YooWon. They likely had pretty much similar stats.
But JaeHyun had not invested any points in Strength. As a result, even though he had such a high Endurance, he couldn’t make full use of it.
‘The higher one’s Strength is, the better the performance ability of one’s muscles. Currently, my Endurance is high, but because my Strength is too low, my body can’t take it. Damn. I was too short-sighted.’
Strength was needed for muscle growth and basic physical damage, while Dexterity was needed for basic speed and slowing down one’s opponents. JaeHyun had not touched those two stats and had only focused on Magic and Endurance.
Since 《Lightning Chain》 and 《Sacrifice》 needed quite a bit of mana, Magic was necessary, and Endurance was needed for quickly leveling up. So it couldn’t be helped.
In the end, JaeHyun, who’d been running hard, stopped first. Ahn HoYeon ran exactly two more laps before he stopped too.
Kim Seok-Gi stopped running and yelled in the direction of the cadets right away.
“1st place: Ahn HoYeon, 101 laps. 2nd place: Min JaeHyun, 99 laps.”
JaeHyun came back panting and kept his head down after drinking some water.
YooJung approached him and exclaimed about how he’d managed to run for so long and asked him to share his secret. But he merely stood with his head bowed for a while without saying a word.
There was only one thought running through his head.
For an instant, an image of the time he had lost his whole party overlapped with reality.
The memories of the numerous times where he and his companions narrowly escaped death appeared in his mind, making his breath catch in his throat.
While it was true that JaeHyun had an excellent score as a Magician and had succeeded in receiving an overwhelmingly good score of 2nd in the whole grade—
he was totally unsatisfied.
‘The current Ahn HoYeon is about D-rank among the Warriors. I knew I was still lacking, but to think I’ve lost to another cadet… Damn.’
JaeHyun clenched his fist and let out a deep breath. Then, he lifted his head.
Staring at him, Ina’s pupils shook. JaeHyun’s left eye seemed to glow with a golden light for a moment.
‘This is the first time I’ve seen JaeHyun make such an expression… No way.’
Gulping wide-eyed, Seo Ina stared at JaeHyun whose own eyes were fixed on HoYeon.
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Ahn HoYeon and Min JaeHyun.
In that short instance, sparks flew between their locked gazes.
Ina was left with a bewildered expression. She trembled slightly as she looked at JaeHyun.
‘…Is JaeHyun acting like this not because he’s tired, but because he didn’t get first place?’