Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 20

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Chapter 020

Preparations for the fourth exam went smoothly.

Although the academy was still abuzz with talk of the ‘Grand Festival’ and the title of ‘Top Graduate’ in relation to me and Michel, I focused solely on what I needed to do.

Namely, the quest.

After training for three more days with my power at《960》, finally…

《You have achieved a power level of 1,000.》

《You have completed the achievement ‘Preparations Are Complete.’》

《The recurring quest has been upgraded to stage K.》

《The difficulty of the recurring quest has doubled, and the reward has tripled.》

《The avatar of strength, Strang, has been promoted to 2 stars ★★.》

《As a reward, your power has increased by +200.》

As soon as my power reached 1,000, Strang was promoted to 2 stars.

Thanks to this, my power instantly shot up by 《1,200》.

“Finally reached power level 1,000, huh?”

“Hmpf. To be exact, it’s now 1,200.”

“Now the real work begins. Take a look at the quests. The difficulty and rewards have increased, right?”

I checked the quest window.

Sure enough, it was true.

《Recurring Quest》

《Physical Training n>

《You have honed the basic stamina needed for battle. But training is never-ending. Continue to dedicate yourself.》

《Punching: 0/5,000 times》

《Kicking: 0/5,000 times》

《Spinning Kicks: 0/5,000 times》

《15km Forced March: 0/1 time》

《Actual Combat Training: 0/1 time》

※Reward: Power +30.

With the quest advancing to stage two, the number of martial arts techniques I needed to perform each day increased, and now included a 15km forced march.

However, recently on Strang’s advice, I’ve been increasing my martial arts repetitions to 5,000 a day and the amount of marching, so it wasn’t a burdensome amount.

In fact, while the amount of training remained the same, the rewards had tripled, making it a much better situation for me.

However, among them, there was a quest that was an enigma.

Specifically,

《Actual Combat Training: 0/1 time》

What exactly am I supposed to do for this?

At that moment, Strang, now proudly filled out from his promotion to 2 stars, thumped his protruding belly and said,

“Burp—! I’m full. Remember what I told you when we first met? That I could become anything.”

“Right, you did say that.”

“Now it’s possible. Actual materialized transformation.”

Having reached 2 stars, Strang was no longer merely a bear cub spirit; he could now transform into a tangible, ‘materialized’ form that could be seen and touched.

“So, you can even take the form of a human?”

“Yes, I can. Once I reach 5 stars. But becoming a perfect human is a bit too much for now.”

“Then what can you transform into at the moment?”

“Want to see?”

Strang gave a playful smile.

Before I could respond, a cloud of red smoke enveloped Strang’s body.

Shortly afterwards, the spinning smoke revealed Strang in an entirely different form.

A…

“…Scarecrow?”

It was in the shape of a scarecrow.

The only difference from a regular wooden scarecrow was that all of its limbs were attached.

Given that he was the avatar of strength, I expected a somewhat more sacred transformation, but this was an unexpected figure.

When I looked perplexed, Strang said,

“Don’t underestimate me because I’m a scarecrow. Do you have any idea how much help I was to Draka when he first started actual combat training?”

“Actual combat training? Then… you mean you’re meant for training?”

“Yes. Precisely for your quests.”

“…Ah.”

Right.

Strang’s purpose for transforming was precisely for the quest.

《Actual Combat Training: 0/1 time.》

A quest scarecrow.

“Does this mean I’ll have to do real combat training with you every day?”

“That’s right.”

From now on, once a day.

I would have to spar with Strang every single day.

“I’m still weak, capable of performing up to the level of a 3-circle mage or a third-degree knight… But once I regain my strength, anything is possible. If you wish, even against demons or dragons.”

First, a human-like scarecrow.

Then, a real human.

And moving forward, various monsters and demons.

Given Strang’s nature of being unrestrained by any specific form, as long as the conditions were met, he could transform into anything.

That meant I could carry out training to improve my combat skills.

“…Wow.”

This was a jackpot.

Michel is a mage.

And quite a competent one at that.

I, who had been a failing student for the last five years, had never had actual combat training with mages, and I was now facing a direct combat test with a mage.

But now, practicing for that was possible.

This ability came at the perfect time of need.

Without hesitation, I said,

“Then let’s get started right now.”

“As what?”

“A mage.”

When I requested a mage, Strang revealed a massive wooden staff, pulling it out of thin air.

“Alright.”

And without warning.

“Ah!”

He began to hurl magic at me.

Strang yelled,

“Don’t worry if you get hit by my magic—you’ll only take a knockback damage!”

Getting hit by the magic would at most result in a knockback.

Strang wouldn’t take any damage from my attacks.

Essentially, it was a situation that allowed for endless training.

“…That’s right.”

I unleashed the full force in both fists.

《Power+200》

An immense strength I had never experienced before pulsated through me, and I charged at Strang with that momentum.

And at the same time, I thought of Michel Gerihill.

‘Michel Gerihill… Have you prepared a lot?’

Just as I was making preparations, Michel was undoubtedly doing the same for me.

Whether by fair means or foul.

♦ ♦ ♦

Professor Elik Gerihill, the Potions Master, was exasperated,

“Damn it! Goddammit!”

Successfully incorporating an ogre and Luin Ardell into the exam had gone well.

But who could have predicted that an academy student with scant real combat experience would display such combat power against an ogre, knock it out with a single blow, and win?

Receiving bonus points for that, Luin actually updated the academy’s record.

In a way, it was as good as if he himself had helped Luin to score well.

Now Luin Ardell had risen so high that he was out of grasp and became the center of attention at the academy.

The bigger problem was,

‘Damn it, to be up against Luin Ardell of all people.’

The fact that Michel Gerihill, his nephew, would be facing Luin in the fourth exam.

If things continued this way, the ‘Gerihill’ family name would be disgraced during the fourth exam, and that much was clear.

It was also unlikely that he would be chosen as an academy representative for the ‘Grand Festival’ due in July.

Perhaps even the ‘Top Graduate’ title was at risk.

This was an unacceptable situation.

‘Somehow, this needs to be reversed.’

It was imperative for the ‘Gerihill’ family to remain at the pinnacle of the academy.

If Michel Gerihill lacked skills, then it was the professor’s job to forge him into shape.

The ‘Gerihill’ family, one of the greatest magic lineages in the Radiant Kingdom, had always done so.

And they would continue to do so.

Whatever the method.

Knock, knock.

Just then, someone knocked at Professor Elik’s study, to which he promptly responded,

“Come in.”

The person who entered his office was none other than Michel Gerihill himself.

Upon seeing his uncle, he spoke in an annoyed tone,

“Now what?”

“Freaking kid. Is that how you speak to me right now? If only you were a little stronger…”

“Oh, didn’t Uncle contribute greatly to improving Luin’s grades?”

“What, what?”

“That’s right, isn’t it? I heard it was Uncle’s idea to have Luin face the ogre. Thanks to you, Luin achieved the highest score ever. If this gets out to the family, surely Uncle will also be in trouble, right?”

“You crafty little… Are you blackmailing me?”

“Never mind that, what are we going to do now? You’re going to let that guy Luin keep doing as he pleases? If this continues, that guy really could become the academy delegate and participate in the ‘Grand Festival.’”

“…No way. That can’t happen.”

Professor Elik shook his head and pulled a small vial out of his drawer,

“There, take this.”

Embodied on the vial was the image of a small flower drinking blood, a rather ominous depiction.

After accepting the vial, Michel muttered quietly to himself,

“This is… the awakening herb, Burning Flower.”

The awakening herb Burning Flower is a rare medicinal plant that grows in the northern hallucinogenic lands and is processed into a special elixir.

It induces an awakening in the user, dramatically improving mana excavation skills, shortening casting times, and maximizing mana emission capabilities.

It also allows the user to forget pain due to the pervasive awakening effects.

Its effects are tremendous, but the side effects are equally significant.

“If I drink this… it’s said to be difficult even to distinguish friend from foe.”

Due to hallucinogenic effects, it becomes hard to identify friend from foe.

Overwhelming excitement can paralyze rational thought.

As a result, this dangerous drug is only used in desperate situations or on the battlefield.

Professor Elik nodded, adding,

“Yes. Basically, everything disappears from your sight. Hmm, looks like you haven’t been sleeping through my classes.”

“Why… why would I? You’re not suggesting… I drink it?”

“Exactly.”

Michel’s normally confident face twisted in sudden alarm.

“Are… Are you insane?”

Casually consuming such forbidden elixirs could lead to disqualification.

Especially something as perilous as this.

It could even escalate to expulsion.

But Professor Elik squinted his eyes and addressed Michel,

“Is this the time for you to question? Didn’t you see how Luin fought? Do you want to lose to him, disgrace yourself, and get kicked out of the family?”

“But, but… it will be discovered. Other professors will definitely find out.”

“Have you forgotten who I am? Drug testing is my responsibility, remember?”

Elik Gerihill.

Potions Master.

The official responsible for checking students’ drug use was him.

However, Michel shook his head,

“Professor Heidel knows my level well. He’ll certainly notice if I change. He will definitely catch on.”

“Do you think I’m not prepared for that?”

Professor Elik pulled out another vial.

Inside was a clear potion housed in a plain glass vial without any designs.

“This potion perfectly conceals the ingestion of hallucinogens. Drink the hallucinogen, then immediately drink this as well. Then you certainly won’t get caught.”

Professor Elik intended to even employ dishonest methods.

“If people ask how you suddenly got stronger? What does it matter. There’s no evidence. As long as you don’t get caught, that’s all that matters. Hmm-hmm.”

Whatever risks it involved or wrongs it incurred,

Michel Gerihill was, despite mentally bracing himself, terrified at the sudden appearance of such a dangerous elixir.

“Is… Is this really the only way?”

But Professor Elik reassured Michel with a venomous smirk,

“Don’t be scared. Your brothers, your father, and even your grandfather. Everyone won through this way. Become a great mage, okay?”

A great mage.

By ‘great mage,’ he meant a mage that would win by any means, regardless of dishonesty.

If they could stand above others through cheating, then that wrongdoing became ‘justice’.

That was the ‘Gerihill’ family tradition.

That was how they survived.

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