[Translator – Anwen]
Teleportation training grounds.
One after another, students arrived at the peak that was 1,000 meters above sea level. Since there were no classes, students from other classes were also there.
After today, a student from Class 7 was going to be promoted to Class 5.
Considering that it usually took an average of two years to pass one class, in the worst-case scenario, it was possible for a student who was 4 years younger than the average to be attending a class meant for older students.
“Wow! So this is the Bridge That Cannot Be Crossed! It’s my first time up here.”
The participating students were amazed by the enormous size of the training ground. Instructors and students were also gathered on the opposite peak, 700 meters away.
“But why is it called the Bridge That Cannot Be Crossed? Where even is the bridge?”
“Idiot. It’s over there.”
A long iron bar connected the two peaks. As the length increased, the tension dropped. The fact that the bar stretched out 700 meters indicated that it was an alchemical material.
A few students walked to the cliff and looked down. Contrary to what the instructors had told them, there were no safety devices, let alone anything that looked similar to it.
“What the hell? Won’t you die if you fall?”
Thadd, who leaped over the peak with Spatial Warp, spoke to them.
“You don’t have to worry. There are safety devices.”
The students were not reassured. In fact, they heard that in another academy, a student had actually died during teleportation practice.
“How does it activate?”
“If you fall 100 meters, the Air Net Magic gets automatically activated. It was designed to be invisible so you guys push yourselves not to fall.”
“What if it malfunctions?”
“Hahaha! I can’t say that it’s impossible. But so far, nothing like that has happened before.”
“So there’s no guarantee that we’ll be absolutely safe?”
“Well, so to speak, yes.”
The students paled. Then Thadd turned around with a smug look. Even if the safety device broke, there would be no accident. That’s why all the classes were canceled and why all the instructors were told to gather here.
However, even if an accident were to occur, there was not much anyone could do. The magic academy was a special-purpose academy supported by the kingdom, so it was part of the rule not to blame anyone for an accident, even if someone was injured or killed during class. Students were already aware of this fact before applying for the Intermediate class.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. Amy, let’s go that way.”
Sharelle grabbed Amy’s hand and dragged her up the hill. Amy looked like she didn’t want to go, but she eventually followed as Sharelle led her.
“I said I don’t want to see it. It’s a Class 7 exam! The results are obvious.”
“Oh, look at this girl! What are you saying when your boyfriend is about to proudly go up to Class 5? How will you ever score some points with your boyfriend if you don’t do it on a day like this?”
“Tsk! What’s the point of cheering? Whether I cheer or not, those who are bound to fail will fail, and those that are bound to pass will pass.”
Amy was pretending to be unconcerned, but she was quite bothered inside. How much did his mastery of teleportation go up? Could he even teleport?
Practical training was the best way to grasp the feel of teleportation. However, since the process was so painful, the advice given by experienced professionals was to learn the tips and tricks first.
Amy, on the other hand, was literally the type of person who learned by tackling with her body. Of course, it was not too painful for her since she had Schema to rely on.
‘But it’s different for Shirone. He’s not one to give up. I hope he’s in good shape.’
Class 7 had some remarkable talents. Depending on the situation, it would not be too unusual if Shirone failed.
“Huh? I don’t think Shirone is here yet.”
When Sharelle, who was looking through the peak with a telescope, said that, Amy snatched the telescope away. As she said, among the 20 students standing on the cliff, Shirone was not one of them.
“What? What happened?”
“You don’t think he failed, right?”
She couldn’t guarantee it. She also believed in him because he was Shirone, but in all honesty, teleportation was not a magic that could be easily learned on one’s lonesome.
‘You idiot… Where the hell are you? What in the world are you doing?’
Shirone opened his eyes, squinting against the bright, warm sunlight. Visibility was low and the sky was higher than usual. When a jay flew up in front of his eyes, he came to his senses.
“AHH! What’s this?”
Looking around, he noticed he was in the middle of the training ground. He did not wake up once ever since he collapsed and lost consciousness last night.
Ever since he started practicing and studying teleportation, Shirone only slept for three hours a day. Plus, on the final week, he overworked his body to the point he dropped dead.
Cold sweat dripped down Shirone’s back. He rushed out of the training ground without even having the time to feel disappointed in himself. To climb 1,000 meters above sea level, he had to start running like crazy, no matter what his condition was.
[Translator – Anwen]
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“We’ll start, Headmaster.”
“Mm, do begin.”
As Siena burst the Illumination magic toward the sky. Tension enveloped the training ground. Ethella, who noticed the illumination from the opposite peak, looked back at the students and spoke.
“Once my signal goes off, run to the cliff. Whoever teleports the furthest will pass the promotion exam.”
The students gulped loudly, their mouths dry. The difficulty of the Bridge That Cannot Be Crossed was level 1, so there were no obstacles, but the fear of moving through empty space shook them to their core.
Regardless of rank or whatnot, they had to link at least 70 teleportations to safely reach the other end. Moreover, if their rhythm broke in the middle, even their Spirit Zone would disappear due to their fear of falling.
‘We can’t cross the whole thing, anyway. We will eventually fall… But what if the safety device doesn’t work?’
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Most of the students were stiff with tension because it was human psychology to not fully believe something unless seen. Mark and the operation team were the only ones who could manage to stay a little more relaxed.
‘Hmph. I trained every day. I can easily leap 70 times if no one just gets in my way.’
The variable was that Shirone was absent. The mage dedicated to Mark reported that Shirone’s progress was slow, but it was true that Mark didn’t believe the report until he saw it with his own eyes. But since Shirone wasn’t there, he thought that he was uselessly nervous over a nobody.
‘Teleportation. I see he couldn’t learn it. Well, he never had anything else but his Spirit Zone to show.’
The person most anxious due to Shirone’s absence was Amy. Her unconcerned facade disappeared and she began walking back and forth uneasily near the cliff.
“Gosh! What happened?! Why isn’t he coming!”
“Amy, look over there!”
Sharelle pointed to the opposite peak. When Amy checked with the telescope, she saw Shirone running to the top. It looked like he rolled around on the ground somewhere because his clothes were covered with dust and his face was beet red.
“What the hell has he been doing until now?”
Sharelle let out a sigh of relief.
“That’s a relief, though. He arrived on time. But he must be tired. I wonder if he’ll be okay?”
“Whatever! Who cares?! I’m just relieved that he didn’t drop out!”
‘Anyways, seeing as how he managed to get to the training ground, it seems like he can teleport.’
When they saw that his lips were busted open and his arms were black and blue, they could vaguely imagine how extreme Shirone’s training was. Amy regained her senses and looked around.
“It’s quite windy today. This is going to be a tough test.”
Although not as much as flying magic, teleportation was not completely unaffected by wind speed and pressure. The students could not lose their concentration for even a moment in this test.
At the appearance of Shirone, the gazes of the students hardened. Thinking he had given up, they were caught off guard by his sudden appearance.
“Tsk! He probably did that on purpose to mess with us.”
“He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Does he want to be promoted even after doing such a cowardly trick?”
It was true that his appearance shocked some of the kids, but Shirone was the one who was most at a disadvantage due to his current state.
Ethella got troubled when she saw Shirone panting. Since he arrived before the start of the exam, there was no problem with him taking it. However, he was not in a shape comparable to everyone else
‘Will there be no issues with inequality if we proceed like this?’
She launched an orange Illumination spell into the sky. Blue meant ready, red was to start the exam, and orange was for a question.
Instructors who saw Ethella’s flare shared opinions. There were mixed opinions. One side stated that they should start right now while another stated that they should wait for 10 minutes to give Shirone a break.
“What do you think, Headmaster?”
Alpheus was adamant.
“Let’s start. Being in control of your condition before an exam shows competence. I do not believe it is a matter we should concern ourselves with.”
Siena conveyed the message to continue with a red flare. Shirone cut in between the students standing in a row. The person who kindly stepped aside to make space for him was someone who was part of Mark’s operation.
The students were all nervous. After all, no matter what special training they went through, teleporting across a 1,000-meter cliff was another matter entirely. It was an uncharted territory where all of them had an equal opportunity to get through.
“Then starting now, we will begin the early promotion exam of Class 7. Get ready.”
The students took a running stance. Once only the sounds of heartbeats could be heard, Ethella cast the Illumination magic.
A red sphere soared into the sky with a bang. The instructors on the other side were flipping through the files, ready to record.
The students shot off from the ground.
‘The lead! I have to take the lead!’
‘I might have a chance if I start first and take the lead!’
Most students had similar ideas. Shirone, whose legs had pretty much no strength, was forced to fall behind.
But Shirone was not bothered for there was still a chance to make up for the loss. Depending on the person’s determination, the point they would cast teleportation before reaching the edge of the cliff would be different. The best method was to reach the edge, jump off, and then teleport.
But how many people could do that? The starting line was the point that held the highest tension amongst the competitors. Also, the Bridge That Cannot Be Crossed was 1 kilometer above sea level.
Wind speed, wind direction, and air pressure. All these factors differed in comparison to the environment they trained in. If they jumped off with their bare body and their magic failed, that was it. Risking their life for the chance to take the upper-hand was not something most students had the guts to do.
As Shirone predicted, with five meters left to the cliff’s edge, students who could not withstand the fear began to teleport away. The rest of the students followed one after another. The students that were part of Mark’s party were among the few that did not teleport immediately.
‘No! Just a little bit more!’
He staggered on, stomping down the rising fear. Shirone was aiming for the best possible start.
‘Can I do it? What if I fall?’
Despite clenching his teeth in an effort to calm his racing heart, the feeling of nausea did not disappear.
As they got closer and closer to the cliff’s edge, the team escorting Mark couldn’t hold out any longer, so they began to teleport away. Soon after this, Mark followed suit.
Shirone continued to run despite over half of the students no longer being on the cliff. And due to that, the team who was keeping pace with Shirone felt their blood dry up.
If they kept going, they were going to fall off the cliff. With two steps left to the cliff’s edge, the operation team cast teleportation.
But despite the close distance, Shirone kept moving forward. Fear was of no hindrance to him, who understood the nature of the danger.
Shirone knew that as long as he could keep could running forward on foot, he could make up for the time he lost due to his condition.
‘The competition isn’t over yet!’
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