SMMA Chapter 4

The rooms given to them were rather large.
The Skelly Principal had deprived them of everything, but it seemed like there was enough humanity left in him to provide them with their rooms.
Of course, this was just Yi-han's personal opinion.
The other children of nobility were freaking out over how empty their rooms were.
-Is this a beggar's lair?
-Did someone rob us?
There was nothing else other than a bed, a desk, and a chair.
This made the rooms seem much bigger than they were.
Yi-han flipped open a book after placing his uniform and other belongings in one corner of his room.
was a thin booklet given to each student before they entered the academy and it provided a simple explanation of how the academy functioned.
'We must take some mandatory courses, but the rest are optional.
We can attend various lessons during our first month before choosing which ones to take.'
Einroguard appeared strict in some matters and lax in others.
It didn't care about what the students studied once they were admitted.
‘Mages perform research in hopes of learning the truth of the universe.
Your seniors and mentors can guide you along the way, but at the end of the day, you must seek your own path.’ – Os Gonadaltes.
'So that's the principal's name.'
Yi-han stood up from his seat after having obtained an unnecessary piece of information and headed for the first-year's resting lounge to chat with the others.
“I wish to learn alchemy,” Yonaire declared.
She had already been there when Yi-han arrived and had waved him over.
I was interested in alchemy even before I entered the academy.
My dream is to have my own workshop and supply products to the palace.”
“Seems like it'll cost a fortune.”
“Wanna do it together?”
“Hmm, I'll think about it.
Business involving alchemy isn't that straightforward after all.”
Yi-han didn't accept her offer straight away.
Just as Yonaire had developed an interest in alchemy while she was living in her family estate, Yi-han had an interest in business and knew a bit about it.
Alchemy sounded profitable initially, but the competition was fierce inside the empire.
Guilds made by skilled alchemists fought tooth and nail for shares in the market, providing free samples to the Adventurers' Guild, spreading false rumors about other competitors' products, monopolizing key ingredients to potions, and more.
Hearing all these rumors made Yi-han wary of jumping into the field without first knowing more.
'Having a stable job is still the best.'
His primary goal at the moment was to become a government official working for the palace.
After all, there was no risk or downside to it.
“Then which field are you interested in?”

Yi-han panicked at the sudden question.
As for why…
'I plan to take non-competitive courses with lenient professors.'
Whichever field it was, the grade he received there would be used to represent him even after he graduated.
Hence, he was taking this seriously.
“I'll look around and decide after a month.
Coming to a decision too quickly isn't advisable after all.”
Yonaire seemed impressed by what he said.
'Did I say something that warrants such a reaction?'
“Well, people usually come to this academy with a field of magic in mind that fits their taste, but it isn't always what's best for them…”
It was hard to understand which field of magic they had an aptitude for before trying it out.
To become a successful mage, one would have to quit being stubborn and study a different field if the field they decided on previously didn't suit them.
However, as humans were prideful, most people would cling to the path they chose as abandoning said pride was easier said than done.
“Is this also one of your family's teachings?”
'Why does she keep bringing up my family?'
Yi-han was growing exasperated.
He hadn't paid much attention to it while he was living with his family, but it seemed like his family name carried more weight than he thought.
The way the students of the Black Tortoise looked at him was enough proof of this.
People's impression of the Wardanaz Family was much, much stronger than he had anticipated.
“Guys, help!”
Gainando joined them while breathing heavily.
“What's wrong?”
“Someone robbed me blind! There's nothing left in my room!”
, a course that the academy required its first-years to take.
Perhaps it was mandatory only for the students of the Blue Dragon as Yi-han didn't see any of the students from the other towers.
“Why does everyone look so down?”
“We haven't been able to eat or sleep properly, and the uniforms are so rough that they're uncomfortable to move around in,” said Yonaire.

Gainando nodded in agreement.
When he woke up this morning, he had mistakenly thought that what had happened the previous day was all a dream.
He expected freshly baked bread with butter to be waiting for him when he woke up, along with some nicely seasoned chicken soup.
Unfortunately, his dreams were dashed, and what greeted him was a black loaf of bread, a hard riceball, and a cup of cold water.
'Come on, it wasn't that bad…'
Yi-han had lived comfortably after reincarnating into the Wardanaz Family, but his previous life hadn't been so smooth-sailing.
– Um…Senior? If we're supposed to work from 9 AM to 9 PM, when do we get to eat?
– Here, take this energy bar.
It's your meal for the day, so eat it slowly.
– …You're shitting me, right?
– Now, now.
Don't complain to me about it.
I'm stuck with eating an energy bar as well.
But a feast awaits us after we're done.
– I'll hurl if you say it's cup ramen.
– …Sorry.
– …
– Hey, but look on the bright side.
We get to have rice balls as well…
'Yeah, it's much better here.'
Other than Yi-han, however, everyone else from the Blue Dragons looked disoriented after their first night at the academy.
The lecture hall for was located on the first floor of the academy's main building.
The academy was considerate toward the newcomers as they were likely to get lost on the higher floors.
“W-wrong classroom?”
“No, you're in the right place.
Now, sit down.”
The students were hesitating in front of the door, which made Yi-han curious.
'What's wrong with them?'
The answer to this question was soon revealed.
There was a troll waiting for them inside the room.
“Come in!”
The students slowly entered the room with fear and terror apparent in their eyes.
They were violent monsters that even the sheltered students of the Blue Dragons had heard about.
And yet, one of them was waiting inside the classroom, behaving like a professor, making the students freak out.
They wondered if they had stepped into a troll's buffet.

“Now, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Garsia Kim.
A troll mixed-blood.
I understand why everyone's terrified, but there's no need to be scared.
I don't eat people unless I'm really hungry.”
“That was a joke, but I guess it didn't go through.”
The atmosphere in the classroom became even weirder than before.
“Anyway…as our principal often says, time is the greatest treasure.
Shall we begin the lecture?”
Garsia waved his wand, and a mysterious force pushed the reluctant students to their seats.
“As you all know, iron is used to symbolize freshmen that are mages-to-be, and I'm sure some of you here were confident or silly enough to secretly try out magic on your own,” Professor Troll said.
“However, most of you probably never used magic before.
In this course, you'll learn what magic is, and the field of magic that you have an aptitude for.
Learning magic is a long and arduous journey, and you'll be required to take this journey alone.
Nonetheless, I hope my lessons can serve as a compass during your travel.”
Professor Troll's warm words touched the hearts of many students, and their expressions softened.
'Hey, he behaves much more like a person than the Skelly Principal.'
“We'll start off with something basic.
What is magic?”
Princess Adenart replied with a cold voice.
“Magic is the power to change the world around you with your will.”
To change the world as you wish.
The problem is how.
How do you change the world around you?”
“Through the power of mana?”
“Very good.
Magic, mana…these fundamental forces help us shape the world.
The students gathered here can probably all feel and recognize the mana within them.”
The students nodded.
As they were qualified enough to enter the academy, they had naturally all awoken their mana.
“But that's only the beginning.
There's much more to actually casting magic.
You must call upon your mana through your will, and interact delicately with it.
Many people think magic requires chanting, hand gestures, and reagents, but the truth is, the secret lies within our minds.
It's all about your will.
Never forget that.
Having said this, as you're just starting out, you'll be using chants and hand gestures to make things easier.
But enough with the theories.
Take out your wand and try gathering mana yourselves.”
Mana began spreading inside the large classroom as the young mages tried to squeeze out what little mana they had inside them.
Yi-han also concentrated, and as he did so, the mana within him flowed to his wand.
“Maintain your control over the mana…you must not lose your focus! Now, imagine a ball of light.
It doesn't matter what kind of light you imagine it to be.
It can be warm, bright, or blinding.”
Groans began to escape some students' mouths.
Controlling mana was akin to grabbing the reins of a rampaging horse.
The moment they lost focus, the mana would disperse.
“Once you've created a strong image of it in your mind, chant.
Once again, the content doesn't matter.
It could be 'O' Light!', 'Bright Light!', 'Brighten!', or simply just 'Light!'”
“Brilliant Light!”
“Come Forth O' Light as Brilliant and Radiant as my Honor!”
“You're trying to focus here! Don't make the chant too long, or it'll produce the opposite effect!”

Gathering mana through focus, changing its form through one's will, and materializing it through chanting.
Yi-han started to feel like he understood what magic was about.
However, that didn't mean he could do it on his first try.
Poof! Boom! Bang!
“Ugh!” “Uggh…” “Ow…!”
Students all around were failing and letting out groans.
Professor Troll watched this as he waved his wand and smiled.
Failure to activate magic meant that the mana was no longer under the mage's control, and it might harm the students in the process.
He was there to ensure no such thing happened.
“Don't be discouraged just because you failed once.
Everyone fails on their first attempt.
Calm down and try again.
Try again until your mana's depleted!”
Second attempt.
Just like before, the sounds of explosions were accompanied by the groans of the students.
Professor Troll was grinning inside.
“Light” was the simplest form of magic, but learning it required around a month's time.
Magic was simply that difficult.
However, the professor wasn't going to tell the students about this.
They had to first experience it themselves.
Third attempt.
Some students were showing signs of exhaustion following depletion in their mana.
Magic required quite a lot of mana to cast, and more than half the students sat down looking worn out.
Fourth attempt.
This time, most students crumbled to the ground, save for a few with excellent control.
Fifth attempt.
Sixth attempt.
Seventh attempt.
“Uhh, professor? Sorry to interrupt you, but must we continue…?”
Professor Troll who had been absent-mindedly saying “Again!” realized something was wrong.
Usually, everyone would've exhausted their mana by the fifth attempt, if not the fourth.
However, someone still remained standing after their seventh attempt.

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