Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 96

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Mightiest Melee Magician

All-Power Mage Chapter 096

“Then, I look forward to the day when we meet again with smiles,” said the royal twins after having achieved their goal of visiting the academy. Their lightning-fast visit to the Academy caused an aftermath that was enough to stir up quite a buzz.

“Have you heard what the princes said? They’re planning to appoint Ruin as the kingdom’s protector.”

“The protector role has always been monopolized by the ‘Geryhill’ family. This is going to cause quite a commotion, isn’t it?”

In the middle of the spring garden, under the watchful eyes of all the students, the princes had shown overwhelming support for me. It was not mere favoritism, but explicit approval. It naturally caused a stir, especially when someone as uncomfortable as the ‘protector’ was the topic of discussion.

That someone was…

“Shh! Here comes Mikel.”

That’s right, Mikel Geryhill. He avoided expulsion by the skin of his teeth despite being disciplined with a 30-day suspension after getting caught using banned drugs during the midterms. Now he was battered and bruised in every way imaginable.

His so-called followers, including Hankers and the whole ‘Mikel Squad’, had turned their backs on him. Against his usual bullying nature, he had to walk around alone every day.

It was a sure blow to his pride.

“You guys talking about me now?”

“Uh, no? Not…”

Mikel continued his academy life with shameless audacity, pretending not to ostracize us, but that we were the ones being ostracized by him.

His only source of confidence was his family background.

“It’s preposterous… Who’s worrying about whom? Have you forgotten that I’m a ‘Geryhill’?”

“No matter how much you fuss, after graduation, you’re all beneath me.”

His family, the ‘Geryhill’ family, was referred to as the kingdom’s prestigious magic family. The deeds and corruptions of the Geryhill family were not what mattered. What mattered was that they had enjoyed immense power for generations as the kingdom’s ‘protectors’. And they were the likely candidates for the next protector as well.

Of course, it was before I appeared.

“Damn it…”

Mikel’s eyes wavered markedly at a student’s unexpected counterattack, and his unstable gaze landed on me. Our eyes met, and I raised my right hand to greet him.

“It’s been a while.”

“Annoying brat… Do you think you’ve won everything?”

“…What?”

“Just wait and see who has the last laugh.”

Mikel left after spitting on the ground, turning his back and disappearing somewhere.

Jason put his hand on my shoulder and said:

“He’s just jealous. He thinks you’ve taken everything from him.”

Jealousy is a truly fearsome emotion.

If used correctly, it can become a driving force to move forward… But when misused, it can blind a person with hatred. The emotions Mikel showed me were not those of a driving force but purely ugly hatred.

He thinks I’ve taken everything?

No, he was merely entrusted with my possessions for a while.

“When I told him you won the grand event, you should have seen his face… He was so shocked he didn’t attend class for days.”

“I bet he’s grinding his teeth right now. If he loses to you this semester again, he’s really done for. He’ll do anything to win, so be careful. A cornered madman can become truly dangerous.”

Mikel hated the glory I gained from the grand contest. He denied that the academy was revolving around me. The twins’ visit definitely triggered his inferiority complex.

Favored by the royal family, a protector…

He wouldn’t hesitate to do any dirty work to retrieve what he erroneously believes is ‘his’.

He’d already received a 30-day suspension, and one more offense could lead to inevitable expulsion. But those consequences might not even matter to him because it could be a direct blow to the ‘Geryhill’ family’s honor.

Who knows, they might have already been planning something. Why do these ominous premonitions continue to linger?

The Geryhill family; they had already been moving.

The second semester of the graduating class focused less on theoretical lessons and more on ‘practical’ ones, including joint sessions with knights and, furthermore…

“Hello, everyone. My name is Jackil Geryhill. I’m three years your senior from the academy and currently serving as a court mage protecting the palace in the capital…”

Alumni visited the academy to give ‘special lectures’ on their current positions and aid in post-graduation career choices. There was nothing wrong with the classes themselves.

The real problem lay in the fact that nearly all the visiting mages from the Geryhill family.

“…The atmosphere feels a bit chilly. When I was a student, we used to welcome alumni warmly. Why is it like this?”

Jackil Geryhill, that is, Mikel’s older brother and the eldest son of the Geryhill family, gestured towards me and said:

“Is it because of this guy?”

All eyes turned to me. What could this direct provocation mean?

“You’re Ruin Ardell, aren’t you? The famous one, I’ve heard much about you… They say you’re a promising mage and a representative of the academy.”

“That I am.”

He feigned praise while diminishing my accomplishments with a hint of disdain.

Right, probably so. During his student years, he probably made it to the top with every underhanded method available.

But Jackil foolishly dug his own grave as Jason eagerly raised his hand with a question.

“Senior! I have a question.”

“…A question? Well, go ahead.”

“Did you win the Grand Contest too, Senior?”

Stupidity must run in the Geryhill family.

Struck where it hurt, Jackil’s forehead veins bulged as he struggled to keep his composure and forced a smile.

“When I graduated, the Grand Contest didn’t happen. It occurs every eight years… Surely you don’t ask because you don’t know?”

“Ah, then what about the annual ‘Regular Contest’? You must have won, right?”

Jackil’s eyes turned frigid in an instant.

Despite the implicit command to stop, Jason unrelentingly continued his mockery.

“Ah… You didn’t win. I’m sorry. I was curious because they said you were as great as Ruin.”

Laughter erupted across the room.

While Jackil had tried to undermine me, he ended up humiliated by his own underclassmen.

His pride visibly wounded, Jackil tried to maintain his cool with a hearty laugh.

“Ah, so Ruin Ardell must be quite impressive, huh?”

“Of course. He’s even caught the eye of the Empire’s Crown Prince, if that says anything.”

Jackil Geryhill smirked and said:

“Is that so? But this isn’t the Empire, is it?”

His words carried multiple meanings, implying that no matter what, I wouldn’t be able to succeed within the Radian Kingdom.

That was the same terrifying thought process shared by Mikel Geryhill.

“Shall we start the special lecture?”

Filled with self-satisfaction, Jackil began the class.

“Today, I’ll share with you the relationship between the Geryhill family mages you dream of and the court mages.”

Yes, that was the real problem.

Even though Mikel Geryhill’s academic corruptions had been exposed less than a year ago, the academy still couldn’t shake off the shadow of the Geryhill family.

“And everyone knows, right? Out of the 14 court mages selected last year, 11 were from the Geryhill family?”

The magic affairs of the kingdom all led back to ‘Geryhill’.

“As an academy alumnus who graduated early, and as someone who’s lived a few years more, I’ll share with you the most reliable truth for success. Always keep in mind that being talented alone isn’t enough.”

One of several reasons why, despite once dreaming of becoming a court mage, I decided to return to my hometown.

“If there’s no one ahead to lead you nor behind to push you… Think hard about how worthwhile that outcome will be. You need to band together, even more so when you’re weak. It sounds materialistic, but you’re seniors now, and it’s time to look at reality over ideals… Wouldn’t you all like to achieve greater success than just your abilities?”

His eyes landed on me.

“Just because you support Ruin Ardell, the student representative, doesn’t mean your lives will flow as his does. Will they, really?”

The classroom atmosphere began to stir.

Jackil’s rhetoric was enough to agitate the students, and swept up in the air, his eyes glinted with the confidence of ‘victory’.

“Ruin Ardell. What are your thoughts?”

A lean challenge targeted at me.

I stood up to face it and replied calmly.

“Well, if ten pieces of trash group together, they don’t make a masterpiece. Only more trash.”

The mood turned ice-cold.

“Is that directed at me?”

“Do you feel offended?”

“Yes, my brother Mikel told me a lot about you. That you’re a particularly annoying guy.”

“Didn’t you hear the other piece? How that annoying guy thrashed him thoroughly?”

“…You. Need to be taught a lesson.”

I’m certain.

During this 2nd semester, a decisive confrontation with the ‘Geryhill’ family is inevitable.

With the twin princes favoring me so much now, they will certainly not leave me be.

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