Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 8

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**Chapter 8: Ignite Magic Academy**

Ignite Magic Academy.

A prestigious academy established by the 8th Circle Archmage Proyan Ignite to foster his successors.

With a history spanning over 500 years, it was one of the most renowned academies on the continent. However, the substance of the successors was not as impressive as its grand history.

The reasons were simple:

1) The Radiant Kingdom is currently the weakest nation on the continent.

2) Most of the outstanding talents had been absorbed by the powerful nations, so naturally, the academy did not produce great magicians as one would expect from its reputation.

3) The quality of magicians was not up to par.

Despite being a weak nation, the Radiant Kingdom was plagued with internal discord, unable to unite. Conflicts brewed between the monarchist faction led by the First Prince and the reformist faction led by the Second Prince.

Even the majority of magicians were merely used as tools in their power struggles.

In every way, it was the worst.

However, the only reason Ignite Magic Academy managed to maintain its reputation was because of one person.

That is, Tyrian Ignite.

The direct descendant of the 8th Circle Archmage Proyan Ignite and the current dean of the academy.

He was a rare 9th Class Archmage, the last pride of the weak Radiant Kingdom.

Thanks to him, both the warring First and Second Princes showered him with courtship.

With Tyrian’s support, one could become king – such was the power he wielded.

Nevertheless, Tyrian had declined them all.

Rather, he scolded the princes.

“Princes, keep your childish games among yourselves.”

“Tyrian…”

“A magician is not a lapdog of power. Do you understand?”

“How dare you speak to me like that…”

He was steadfast.

Worthy of being called the last pride of the Radiant Kingdom.

He was greatly disappointed that magicians, who should be exploring and learning mana to achieve limitless growth and prosperity, had become corrupted by the taste of power and money.

‘There’s not a single competent one. Tsk.’

It was the same in the academy.

The students were mostly nobles’ offspring, completely steeped in corruption, and not a single promising ‘sprout’ could be seen among them.

To his eyes, all who became magicians were merely trash, destined to serve those in power.

‘If only that boy hadn’t been cursed…’

Tyrian thought of someone—Luin.

Luin Ardel.

A young boy with more talent than himself, a descendant of the great magicians.

However, he was afflicted by a deadly curse, as immense as his talent.

‘Even the gods are heartless…’

Regretfully, Tyrian quickly shook his head.

Though he knew Luin was noble of character and hardworking, for Luin, life as a magician had already ended.

For him, the academy’s future was more important than a sorrowful disciple.

‘We need to find the proper ones.’

Therefore, a discerning ‘test’ was necessary.

A ‘test’ to unearth and cultivate proper magicians.

♦ ♦ ♦

**Tests**.

For all students, it is the only tool to prove their worth, changing many things as a result.

Some smile brightly, dreaming higher dreams.

Others taste defeat, imagining a hopeless situation.

I have always experienced both heaven and hell at once.

In ‘written’ exams, I scored full marks in everything.

But all subjects involving ‘practicals’ barely passed the failing mark.

This test was no different.

“Introduction to Magic Theory”

“Value of the Four Elements”

“More Efficient Mana Gathering Methods”

“History of Magic”

“Essentials of Healing Magic”

_Tap_ _tap_.

I scored full marks in every ‘written exam’ subject on the first day.

“Luin, as always, your written exams are exceptional.”

My roommate Jason remarked in a dry voice, as if it wasn’t surprising.

It had been this way all along for them.

“Perfect scores on the written exams for 6 years straight… as usual, no surprises.”

Yes.

No surprises.

For the past 6 years, I maintained full marks on ‘written exams,’ so it was no longer astonishing.

Of course.

“Which means no surprises on the ‘practical’ exams either, right?”

I always failed the practical exams for 6 years.

“Sorry, just kidding.”

Jason, that jerk.

Smiling as he stabbed a dagger in my chest.

But it’s all true.

Even new academy students knew my name well by now.

Once a proclaimed magical prodigy, now known as the worst dullard in academy history.

I looked at Jason and gave a faint smile.

“Who knows? Maybe this time will be different.”

“Huh? What do you mean by that?”

Jason asked back, but without answering, I faced the practical exam subjects and made a resolution.

“Multiple Target Accuracy”

“Mana Output Measurement”

“Actual Combat Test”

“Person-to-Person Combat Test”

Yes.

Things must change.

♦ ♦ ♦

The written exam period had ended, and we entered the practical exam weeks.

Practical exams would be held over two weeks, including some quite dangerous tests.

Excluding the less significant subjects, let’s look at four main exams.

The first is the “Multiple Target Accuracy” test.

Water, fire, wind, earth.

Using whichever of the four elemental magics you’re most confident in,

You must simultaneously cast ten spherical spells and hit different targets with each.

This requires concentration and perfect magical discharge.

Needless to say, I’ve never even attempted this and have always failed.

The second is the “Mana Output Measurement” test.

Using an artifact known as the ‘Ancient Ogre Kingram,’ you cast your strongest possible magic.

The amount of mana output is measured, indicating the magic’s destructive power.

This test’s outcome determines the difficulty and score of the next exam, making it quite important.

Of course, I failed this too.

The third is the “Actual Combat Test.”

Under the supervision of knights and professors from nearby territories, you battle against beasts and monsters.

The monsters’ difficulty varies according to the students’ grade and proficiency.

Your performance then dictates your graded score, and I’ve never even set foot in this test field.

The last is the “Person-to-Person Combat Test.”

This is conducted inside a special mana barrier that reduces magical destructive power by 99%.

Students compete in duels against each other.

Again, performance determines the varying graded score.

My score… unsurprisingly the lowest.

These four subjects—

Apart from a minority who aspire to be healing magicians, they are essential exams that everyone must score well on.

As with every year, but especially this year, they are crucial.

Excluding graduation exams, this year hosts the last internal tests.

Is that why?

There’s already a palpable competitive edge among the 6th-year seniors.

“Who will rank first in this examination?”

“It’s the last internal exam, it’s incredibly important! Depending on the outcome, you could be invited to the Magic Tower—”

“Hey, you’ll never make it, so wake up from your dream.”

“What? You’re no different!”

Despite everyone’s excitement, deep down, each hopes to become the star of this exam.

Everyone does.

And so do I.

Having botched all practical exams over the past 6 years, I must make a difference this year.

No one is more desperate for a good score than I am.

But in their predictions, I am nonexistent.

I’m not even a consideration, to begin with.

“Who will be first this year?”

“Surely it must be Mikel.”

“It seems so. His practical scores have been overwhelmingly superior every year.”

“He is the most talented in our grade.”

Mikel Gerihill.

The third son of the Gerihill household, who have represented the kingdom’s magical lineage for a long time.

Most of the kingdom’s court magicians are or have connections to the Gerihill family.

Arrogant and haughty, as you would expect from the scion of a famous magical household.

“Someone talking about me?”

“Uh, oh? Mi… Mikel.”

“Mikel? When I graduate, I won’t even be able to properly look you in the face, yet I’m supposed to be friends with…”

“Sorry…”

“I’ve put up with a lot in the past 6 years, haven’t I?”

Regardless of their family’s power or titles, everyone at the academy bears the common status of ‘student,’ a fact Mikel has seemingly forgotten in his arrogance.

Unfortunately, it comes with quite impressive talent.

Yes.

Mikel holds the most outstanding ‘practical exam’ results among the seniors.

Naturally mentioned as the likely top scorer in exams, there were frequent predictions he would lead magicians as the valedictorian.

He could easily be deemed the face of the academy.

“Ugh, taking the exam is such a hassle. I wish they’d just let me graduate already.”

A son of the high-ranked Gerihill household.

Outstanding grades.

Impressive talent.

At first glance, Mikel seems to have it all, but even he has one weakness.

That weakness is…

“…Luin?”

Me.

“What are you doing here?”

As far as ‘written’ exams are concerned, he’s never been able to outdo me; hence, Mikel has always ended up second best to me.

He’s been antagonistic towards me ever since my admission to the academy.

Narrowing his eyes like a snake, Mikel asked me,

“You’re not seriously here for the practical exams, are you?”

Then he smirked, flipping his bright blonde hair, in a taunting manner,

“With that body of yours?”

Then the hangers-on burst into mocking laughter.

“Talking about practical exams when you can’t even release spells properly?”

“Right. You probably just came to suck your thumb. Chuckles.”

Stay out of it, lackeys.

But I guess that’s their role.

To laugh when it’s suitable, to cater to their egos.

That’s how they’ll graduate and get a slice of the Gerihill family’s influence to flaunt around.

Paul Bent, who has attacked me before, was a similar character.

It’s familiar.

Such a well-known pattern to me that without any disturbance, I casually shrugged my shoulders.

“I came to take the exam.”

For a brief moment, Mikel’s eyes twitched,

“What?”

“The practical exam. I said I’m here to take it.”

“…You?”

Me taking a practical exam seemed to perplex them.

Mikel appeared slightly taken aback but quickly regained his composure, saying,

“Oh, so you want to flounder about till the very end… Is that it?”

“Something like that.”

“Sure. That’s the spirit. Even if you can’t output spells, no law says you can’t try. Go ahead, though you’re bound to fail.”

Then he smacked my shoulder and advised,

“But, Luin, let me give you a piece of advice.”

“If you don’t want to embarrass yourself any more than necessary, you’d best turn back now…”

“I don’t need it.”

“…What?”

“I said I don’t need advice like yours.”

Seeing my sly smile, Mikel’s face twisted again.

His expression shifted, and the atmosphere turned chill—all the while, my heart warmed up a bit.

“Hah.”

Cracking his neck in a threatening manner, he continued,

“Luin, warning you. Don’t you ever cut me off. Just listen quietly. Got it?”

Ah, I just couldn’t hold back.

Why is this?

Maybe it’s a sickness.

“Mikel.”

“What?”

There was one thing I had to say.

“Mind your own business.”

Mikel’s face stiffened.

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