The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 36

Episode 36

While every candidate was engrossed in the exam of Group A, Lillian opened her mouth in the last row of Group B.

“I’ve never lost before.”

“…?”

“I mean, whenever I’ve exerted my true strength, I’ve never lost to anyone. And I couldn’t afford to lose. I was beaten to death for it.”

Lillian’s voice was as calm yet sharp as a candle flame.

“Why did you hide your talent until now?”

“There was no particular attempt to hide it. I just never felt the need to boast.”

“Indeed, such a concept could only come from a noble’s son.”

Flames seemed to flicker eerily in Lillian’s pupils.

“My father is Danan Karain. As you can tell by the name, he’s the headmaster of the famous Rivendell School.”

The surname Karain, meaning flame, was passed down from Orbos Karain, the founder of the Rivendell School and one of the three great archmages.

The Rivendell School was unusual in that it valued hereditary succession, with the position of headmaster always being passed down to descendants of the Karain family.

Rain raised his eyebrows in confusion, while Gertrude snorted as if it was all a bad joke.

“And you mock Lord Rain for being a noble’s son, yet aren’t you a lady of significant background yourself?”

“Lady? I’m not such a person. Rather, it would be more accurate to see me as an object.”

“An object?”

“I wasn’t ‘born’ because my mother and father loved each other but ‘created’ for a specific purpose.”

An object?

Rain and Gertrude exchanged puzzled glances.

“For example, I was confined to a room from an early age and only taught magic. I never liked magic, but that’s how I lived my entire life.”

As an object, she couldn’t produce inferior results.

The punishment for failure was severe.

She had observed her mother being brought in only to be tormented with flames that scorched her skin.

“My father is an expert in flames. He knew better than anyone how to inflict pain without causing severe injury.”

The conversation took a serious turn.

This was a world far different from the Osarius School I was part of…

Rain swallowed hard and asked.

“…If you don’t take the top spot, will the same thing happen again?”

“That old man? No, he can’t do that anymore. If he tried, he’d kill me.”

Gertrude narrowed her eyes. Wasn’t Danan Karain a four-star (Gladus) mage? Is she claiming she can defeat such a person?

“I’ll graduate from Delaiten with overwhelming results and earn the recognition of the entire school. Ultimately, my goal is to expel my father from the school.”

“Hmm…”

“I’m telling you this as a warning. Don’t get in my way. If you obstruct my path to first place, I won’t let it go.”

After leaving those words behind, Lillian was about to leave when Gertrude Penton snorted.

“How ridiculous. You should forget such a dream. Our Miss Krista is standing in your way. She’s the century’s genius recognized by the magical world.”

“Krista Warden? That greenhouse flower can’t be my rival.”

“What did you say?! A greenhouse? Our Miss?”

With Gertrude flaring up, Rain interrupted with his own voice.

“I understand why you are aiming for first place, and how desperate you are.”

“…”

“But after hearing all this, it doesn’t seem like such a desperate story that you would give up the top spot to you.”

Lillian furrowed her brows, and sparks seemed to fly from her dark pupils. Rain spoke calmly.

“You see, I’ve kept a friend waiting too long.”

“A friend?”

“If I make him wait any longer, I don’t know what kind of nagging I’ll get.”

Was it a declaration of war?

After staring into Rain’s eyes for a long time, Lillian sighed softly and turned away.

“Then you’d better be careful not to cross my path in this exam.”

* * *

Group A’s exam ended.

The two students who ultimately earned the S grade were Krista Warden and Wiber, with scores of 361 pts and 338 pts respectively.

As soon as Group A exited the barrier, Group B was ready to enter it under the guidance of the teaching assistants.

“Please select your destination point.”

Upon entering the Illusionary Barrier, candidates had to choose where to start their exam, from Districts A to H.

‘A dimensional gate transfer method…’

Rain’s eyes gleamed fiercely as he scanned the information of the transfer points that appeared in the air.

‘The choice of region is up to you.’

Regions like open fields or mountain mid-slopes have lots of treasures and monsters, but carry a high risk of getting involved in battles from the start…

On the other hand, the forests or mountaintops can be relatively safe initially, but it’s disadvantageous for scoring points.

Rain calculated in his mind and just then, a buzzer sounded. The wind whipped up, and one by one, other candidates began to disappear, wrapped in light.

[Current Remaining Participants: 48.]

District A is mountain mid-slopes.

District F is a mountainous open field.

These two districts, being the largest, have the most monsters and treasures. Many candidates will likely choose them.

Districts B and C are mountaintops.

While having a visual advantage from being higher, there’s a risk of being surrounded by other candidates.

And Districts D and E are forests.

The best place for me right now is…. Well, where to? Rain briefly, very briefly, closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

[Current Remaining Participants: 26.]

And the moment he reopened his eyes, there was a serene light within them. Then

Once, like during the days when I roamed the battlefield as a great archmage.

Let us begin.

* * *

All the candidates of Group B have completed their dimensional shifts. Some interesting results have emerged.

The battlefield information was displayed large in the air thanks to the clairvoyance (Thousand-Mile Eyes) magic. Then the central F zone was zoomed in.

“Lilian has chosen the F district right from the start, just like Krista Warden.”

“It’s an expression of confidence. It’s the most dangerous area, but it also offers the highest scoring potential.”

High risk with high return.

There were many competitiors, given the abundance of treasures and demonic beasts… Elin rested her chin on her interlocked hands and pondered.

‘And there’s the advantage that being the transportation hub allows for easy and quick travel to any region.’

“In contrast to Lilian, Rain Ludwick has chosen a very modest area.”

The window shifted from the F (clearing) district to the outskirts of the E (forest) district, the most remote area.

“He intends to avoid combat as much as possible, steadily accumulating points to survive, I presume?”

“Hmm, unexpected but it’s not a bad decision per se.”

Although the professors were evaluating the situation in such a manner, the cadets who had been eagerly anticipating Inseong Kongja’s fight could only express disappointment.

“Hey, what a bore.”

“It would’ve been exciting had they clashed in the F district right from the off.”

Regardless of the sneers, Rain had made his choice, fully aware of his own limits.

‘To earn a score close to an S, I must avoid fighting with other cadets as much as possible.’

Magic and physical strength have their limits.

After clearing the underbrush and securing treasures from a hidden chest, picking up a suitable branch, he nodded in agreement.

“What do you think? He’s quite the irritating kid to watch, isn’t he?”

Professor Caroline, who was closely observing the scene, replied to Elin Ludwick’s comment.

“Indeed, way too cautious. How can someone who took down a fighter from the Eight Great Schools be behaving like this?”

No sooner than the words were spoken, Rain encountered another candidate on the battlefield.

“…!”

“…!”

The alarmed reaction in the other candidate’s eyes was instantaneous upon sighting Rain.

She was also a talented individual from one of the Middle Eight Schools.

Power began to menacingly concentrate in her palms. Professor Caroline’s eyes shone with anticipation.

‘Now, what will you show us? After all, you managed to obtain an S score even from senior Kail.’

The entire room held its breath in tension, and a hush fell over the area.

“Not?!”

Just when Caroline exclaimed in such an unexpected disbelief,

“Eh?”

“What?”

“Is this for real?”

It didn’t take long for everyone who had held vague hopes for the promising newcomer to doubt their own eyes. And there was good reason for it.

“He’s running away?”

Elin murmured distractedly.

Indeed, there was Rain Ludwick… sprinting away at full speed from the scene.

At that moment, Krista cocked her head so drastically that it might have bent 180 degrees, not just 90.

“Are you kidding?”

What’s he playing at? Everyone is watching, and he pulls such an unpleasant trick?

‘Have you forgotten? You are the successor to the Sedo family.’

The cadets could only murmur in bewildered dismay, yet when leading professor Marhena burst into laughter, holding his stomach, suppressed chuckles could be heard from around.

“That boy, unmistakably Scall’s accursed grandson. Quite the queer one, indeed!”

“Respected professor, is this really a laughing matter?”

“What’s the problem, eh? Why so disappointed? If anything, it’s gotten even more interesting.”

Ignoring the protests of another professor, Marhena watched through the Thousand-Mile Eyes spell, lips curling with interesting.

‘He’s conserving his strength… That kid is aiming for a big move. I may not know what it is, but it’s obvious.’

While Rain Ludwick had created an unusual situation, the cadets from the Middle Eight Schools had begun to gradually advance in their PT acquisition.

Here lies a dense forest in the great wilderness.

With red foliage exclusive to the Crimson Mountain Range and grotesquely large roots jutting out over the unattended mountain paths, strain on the physical body and the cries of magical beasts wear down one’s mental fortitude.

In this environment, the top ten candidates collecting treasures or hunting demonic beasts were captured by clairvoyance.

“Although the scores are lower compared to Group A at the same time, it’s still quite praiseworthy.”

Currently in the lead was Gertrude Fent, a lady from the Fent Baronet family, overshadowed only by Krista, whose magical prowess was known to all.

Like Krista, Gertrude, who grew up in the high mountainous eastern region, used her overpowering physical strength to freely roam the rugged paths, amassing points.

“The second place group following is not bad either.”

“I hope they don’t get too swept away by the pace of the leaders. They might miss their chance if they push too hard and the leaders make mistakes.”

“But where is Lilian, from Rivendell?”

Then, from eleventh to twentieth place.

Yet strangely, even after scouring with my eyes, I couldn’t spot Lilian in any of the rankings.

“Kail.”

At Marhena’s call, Vice Professor Kail immediately brought up the ranking table through a magical device connected to clairvoyance.

“Hmm?”

“Eh?”

“Is this accurate?”

The professors stammered, their disbelief palpable. It was understandable – after all.

“The points are… 0pt?”



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