Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 12

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Chapter 12: The Power Mage

Unsurprisingly, an ogre cannot speak the language of humans.

However, the ancient Ogre King Gram was an exception.

King Gram, who was the chieftain of the Sky Peak Tribe, the oldest among the numerous ogre tribes, could speak human language and wield ancient magic since the time he first appeared on the continent.

Even back then, monsters appeared more frequently than they do today, rendering the existence of the exceptionally intelligent and physically superior Ogre King Gram quite threatening to humans.

Eventually, the great mage Proian Ignite stepped in to subdue King Gram.

Now, King Gram stands here, turned into an artifact, an immortal being unable to embrace death.

This is a story from history, 500 years ago.

And I am…

“Hello.”

[Hmm…?]

A living history, having surpassed more time than any other life form, I stood before King Gram for the first time.

“It’s a bit nerve-racking to meet you like this. Um, nice to meet you. My name is ‘Luin Ardell.’”

I bowed politely to the gigantic statue, which seemed to be at least twice the size of an average ogre.

The statue’s eyes flashed.

It meant that King Gram was looking at me.

[You… I’ve never seen that face before.]

I shrugged and said to King Gram,

“I have a bit of a story. It’s a bit long, but would you care to listen?”

[No need.]

King Gram, seemingly uninterested, spoke brusquely and launched a target spell.

A door appeared in the void, revealing a gigantic pouch-like target.

This was what the students aimed to hit with their magic, and by absorbing it through this target, King Gram would satiate his hunger.

In other words, it was a signal for me to quiet down and hurry up with the test.

“Got it. You want me to hurry up, right?”

I clenched my fist tightly and faced King Gram straight on.

As I did, my Force Circle began to stir, unleashing ‘power’ throughout all my muscles.

I spread my tightly clenched fist wide open.

In my palm appeared the most threatening magic I could muster.

“Here goes, Explosion Mana Burst!”

“Wow! That’s a 4th-class master spell, isn’t it?”

Explosion Mana Burst.

A 4th-circle master spell that ignites mana dispersed in the air using the magician’s Key as a catalyst, creating a high-temperature explosion.

The tiny key shot at the target acts as a sort of trigger, leading to the opponent’s explosive demise.

I had been able to cast this spell for quite some time.

It just wasn’t put to use until now.

Of course, I now found a way to utilize it.

[Hmm?]

As I took a half-crouched position, preparing to dash, King Gram’s eyes flashed.

[What’s that stance?]

He seemed quite interested.

Of course, I planned to satisfy this curiosity.

“I’m coming at you.”

Without waiting for an answer, I charged towards King Gram.

Moving swiftly, I transferred the key from my palm to my toes and, right before reaching the target, leapt high and twisted my waist 180 degrees.

Spinning my body quickly, I delivered a powerful roundhouse kick to the target.

Bang!

My toe hit the target precisely.

It was the influence of my skill ‘Martial Arts.’

With a satisfying smack, the key exploded, igniting surrounding mana.

Flames roared as the mana burst catalyst detonated, resulting in a massive explosion.

Boom!

Interestingly, thanks to the skill [Madness of the Magician], no magical damage reached my body.

“Amazing…”

The students couldn’t help but get excited by my performance.

To them, ‘Explosion Mana Burst’ must have seemed like a whole new realm.

Upon entering the 5th circle, one could become a court magician or a coveted mage in any territory.

Explosion Mana Burst was not a spell that processed and stored mana within the body but one requiring the quick utilization of raw mana scattered in the air, making it a high-level spell.

Scoring the end of the 4th class and stepping into the 5th, it was as if I’ve publicly revealed my current level.

“Luin… Luin is a 4th circle master?”

“No, it’s 5th circle!”

A thick smell of gunpowder filled the exam hall.

I landed on the ground, breathing heavily and looking up.

Through the thick smog that filled the exam area, I could faintly see the distinctive sheen in King Gram’s eyes.

‘Indeed…’

I was curious.

What would King Gram think of my magic?

But then.

‘Huh?’

King Gram’s reaction was a bit strange.

His sheen flickered two or three times before repeating several times more.

It was as if he was somehow flustered.

And indeed, it was true.

After blinking eyes for a while, King Gram asked me in a shaky voice, a tone I had never heard before.

[You… Who are you?]

“Uh, my name is Luin Ardell, I am…”

[Drakania?]

“… Eh?”

What?

Confusion was not just felt by me.

[Been waiting for you.]

“Draka? Who’s that?”

“I don’t know, maybe he got the name wrong?”

“Quiet!”

Amidst the students’ chatter stirred up by King Gram’s unusual response, the teaching assistants issued a warning.

However, none of that reached my ears.

It was all because of one thing King Gram said.

The name I was searching for so desperately.

‘Destroyer of the World, Draka.’

The former owner of my abilities.

I never imagined I would hear this name from King Gram’s lips.

Cautiously, I asked.

“Do you know him?”

King Gram scoffed and replied.

[Pfft! Of course I do.]

As I stared at King Gram, still dumbstruck, he laughed heartily with satisfaction.

[Oh, this is truly amusing. Haha! To think I’d meet his avatar right here! What did you say your name is?]

“Luin… Luin Ardell.”

[Right. Given there are many ears around, we’ll have to see each other separately later on.]

And that was the end of the assessment.

King Gram looked away from me and spoke to the teaching assistants who were helping from afar.

[This magic is beyond my judgment.]

The teaching assistants were flustered.

“What?”

The implications were significant.

Assessment rejection.

An unprecedented event.

King Gram, who always spewed harsh criticism at the students, had refused to score.

“King Gram, but the authority to assess this exam lies with you.”

“That’s right. The bylaws state that King Gram must support the assessment required by the Ignite Academy, a commitment made with the great Mage Proian Ignite for 500 years…”

Then suddenly, a thunderous roar burst forth.

[Enough! How dare you recite the bylaws in front of me? The ones I’ve judged as unworthy for the last 500 years?]

“We’re so sorry.”

As the assistants bowed, King Gram spoke with an annoyed voice.

[Ugh… curse those Ignites. Yes… you are right. The assessment must continue. That was the promise I made with him.]

After pondering for a while, King Gram finally spoke.

[If I must provide a score… 0 points.]

[Or 100 points.]

King Gram’s eyes glinted a fiery red.

That burning gaze was directed at me.

[Which do you want, little destroyer?]

It felt as if the Devil himself was tempting me.

But even if this was truly a devilish offer, my answer was already clear.

I did not need to think twice.

“100 points.”

Obviously, the latter.

At that, King Gram burst into satisfied laughter.

[Alright, I’ll give you 100 points.]

“Insane.”

“Did I hear that wrong? He just said 100 points…?!”

“No… You heard that right. I heard it too.”

“Maybe we’ve all gone mad. It could be some sort of hallucination spell…”

The examination hall exploded into astounded murmurs due to King Gram’s words.

The gazes cast upon me conveyed ‘astonishment’.

“100 points…”

King Gram’s insight into a magician’s fate was always accurate.

The magicians who had scored over 50 points from King Gram all became great magicians.

However, no mage had ever surpassed 70 points.

Simply because King Gram’s standards were exceedingly high.

Let alone 100 points.

There had never been a student who scored a perfect 100 before, nor was it expected to happen again.

“Sigh…”

I couldn’t help but laugh with a sense of emptiness.

100 points?

Could it really be?

What’s the meaning of this?

Is this even allowed?

The score drained all strength from my legs and shoulders.

King Gram then addressed me.

[About that ‘long story’ you spoke of, I’ve become curious. I must hear it.]

“Ah… Yes.”

[Come down to the basement after the exam.]

The basement.

A kind of treasury where the academy’s artifacts are stored.

Rumor has it that it holds far more artifacts than even the royal vault…

Naturally, with student access strictly prohibited, I had not seen it before.

“I’m not allowed to enter there.”

Upon hearing my words, King Gram casually responded.

[I’ll let the little Ignite know.]

Little Ignite? It must refer to Dean Tyrion, right?

‘To call the top magician of the kingdom ‘little.’ I suppose from someone who has lived for thousands of years, everyone seems like ‘just another guy’.

“Understood.”

With that, my assessment was over.

As was King Gram’s ‘eccentricity.’

[Seriously wonder what you’ve learned in the past six years. Money and time going down the drain, it seems.]

King Gram continued to hurl his critical barbs throughout the remaining assessments that proceeded after mine.

[With such pitiful magic, you wouldn’t even tickle my insides, so just buzz off.]

[Oh, the nerve. How can these rubbish mages even think of becoming magicians? Your arrogance is simply laughable.]

10 points. 3 points. 5 points. 1 point.

A series of egregiously low scores ensued.

Some students then looked at me with envy and resentment.

“Luin… that’s too much.”

In an instant, I had become the despised student who skyrocketed the average scores of the entire grade.

I shrugged my shoulders and scratched my chin.

Sorry, I had no idea he would actually give me 100 points.

♦ ♦ ♦

…….

In the dean’s office of the academy.

Tyrion Ignite received an unexpected report.

A student without precedent had scored 100 points, and King Gram had ‘personally’ requested an individual interview with that student.

The protagonist was…

“Luin…”

Luin Ardell.

Utterly astounded, Tyrion stroked his white beard and mumbled,

“Heh, 100 points… that man is something else.”

Luin Ardell.

The boy thought to be a wasted talent.

Yet these past few days, he had turned that notion completely upside-down with his magic.

Now, he’d even shattered the walls guarded so fiercely by King Gram with that very same magic.

It was a genuinely astonishing deed.

‘Heh.’

Even Tyrion himself recalls getting how many points from King Gram back, oh, about 50 years ago?

As a student attending Ignite Academy, he very distinctly remembered his assessment.

-“Tyrion Ignite… So you’re the one carrying the blood of Proian Ignite who trapped me here. Fine, I’ll admit it. You’re slightly refreshing compared to the pretenders who came before… but if you’re aspiring to follow in the footsteps of your elders, you have a long way ahead of you, child.”

With those words of judgment and a score…

“58 points… erm.”

58 points.

It was undeniably a high score, whether back then or now.

Tyrion Ignite is one of the greatest magicians of his time and the last pride of the small Kingdom of Ledyan.

But still, compared to the prestige of being a descendant of a great magician, it was not fitting.

And now, even that record had been ruthlessly smashed apart.

How could one compare anything to a perfect 100?

‘100 points… what about Luin caught his fancy?’

Tyrion knew all too well.

It wasn’t just about being an excellent magician to get 100 points.

You had to fit King Gram’s peculiar taste to a tee to earn such a score.

In that sense, Luin’s use of unique magic had clearly played a significant role.

‘Plus, a one-on-one with King Gram… Quite an interesting student indeed.’

Tyrion Ignite nodded his head with a content smile.

“Have Professor Haidel accompany him and grant Luin Ardell access to the artifact room.”

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