Chapter 1: The Academy’s Worst Student (1)
“Frey might kill himself.”
Professor Dio felt a splitting headache upon hearing those words. It would be better if it were a joke, but not a single student at the academy was brazen enough to play this kind of prank on him. In other words, this student was telling the truth.
“Tell me what’s going on.”
The student trembled at the frigid tone of his voice.
“It’s about David and his group…”
David. When that name was spoken, Dio was barraged by a series of worsening headaches, adding to the one prior.
David Stonehazard. Although he was only a sophomore, he was also a student whose decorum was closely being watched by Dio. He was not an individual with good intentions.
The fact that his parents were counts bore no significance to the professor, as Dio’s house also carried a notable reputation of similar standing. Moreover, since entering the academy, David couldn’t openly defy him even if he was a duke’s child. The problem was that David was very cunning.
He knew how to use his parents’ halo most effectively and excelled in finding various ways to exploit loopholes in the school rules. On top of that, he was vicious. In particular, he was even showing some kind of fanatical obsession with trampling on the weak. It was a public fact everyone was aware of, but never mentioned.
Frey, abandoned by his family, was the best prey for David to unleash his darkest desires to his heart’s content.
“What did David do?”
“He said he was going to break both of Frey’s arms tomorrow afternoon during the practical training session.”
“That’s not all. He plans on crushing the vocal cords and completely blinding him… to-to make him incapable of using magic ever again.”
If both his arms were broken, vocal cords crushed, and his sight lost, it was evident that Frey would be unable to use magic unless he were an 8-star magician from the past era.
However, yet another weakness remained after taking away all of those abilities. Frey Blake’s mana sensitivity was so hopelessly low that it was embarrassing to even call him a magician. Even an illiterate commoner would respond better to mana. It was hard to believe that such a disaster came from the prestigious Blake family. As a result, his family treated him as filth, causing him to flee to attend the academy.
For a year, the students, unaware of Frey’s family situation, treaded carefully around him because he was a Blake. Some even pretended to be close out of fear of falling down the social ladder. Nonetheless, as Frey’s history came into light, all the students ultimately turned their backs or mocked him.
The disgrace of the Blake House. That was Frey’s position in the academy.
Dio rubbed his temples and sighed. He didn’t think badly of Frey. Rather, he viewed him in a positive light. He was an exceptionally bright student, and his passion for magic was second to none.
However, God had given Frey only passion and no talent.
The practical training session was tomorrow. David wouldn’t really make Frey a half-paralytic, but he’d probably break one of his arms.
Not to mention David’s family wouldn’t need to bother to cover the incident up. The Stonehazard House had a particularly strong influence on the faculty of the academy.
Perhaps the Blake House wouldn’t make an issue of it either. Rather, they may have been hoping for such a result. Most aristocrats were already aware of the rumor of Frey possibly being an illegitimate child.
Professor Dio’s wintry gaze lowered. The bloodthirst in his eyes so fierce that the student in front of him hiccuped.
“… It’ll be curfew soon, so return to the dorms. I will go see Frey.”
He nodded and hurried back. Like the student prior, many found David’s wicked acts disagreeable. It was just that no one could show it openly.
Dio rose from his seat.
‘I need to hurry.’
He should be in the cheapest dorm next to the stable. Dio’s pace hastened, hoping that Frey had not already seen it through.
* * *
Lucas quickly regained his composure. For a moment, he was overwhelmed with his newfound freedom from the damned seal, but he should not be too excited.
Lucas began to grasp the situation at once.
‘It took much longer than I thought.’
He could determine roughly 4,000 years had passed since he was sealed away. For nearly forty centuries, he had endured.
Among all those long years, it was his first time gaining a physical body. All he could do was simply stare at his surroundings.
The moment he dreamed of became a reality at last. But there was a problem.
“This guy is my reincarnation.”
Recalling fragments of Frey’s life left him with a migraine.
He was born the third son of a rather prestigious family of magicians. No matter. From the start, it was of no importance to Lucas whether his new body was the child of a commoner or an illegitimate one of the emperor.
The problem lied with the man named Frey.
‘His sensitivity to mana is abysmal.’
How could such terrible talent be born from a prestigious magician family! It was no exaggeration to say that he lacked talent entirely. Because of this, only the most basic, 1-star spell Magic Missile could be used.
“You’ve had a miserable upbringing.”
Frey’s childhood was filled only with degradation from his mother, humiliation, and fear. He could not find happy memories no matter how hard he tried. For him, blood ties did not mean family.
He had two older brothers directly above him, whose talents were outstanding. If Frey was a pebble rolling on the dirt, they were brilliantly shining jewels. Nevertheless, since they were a family, they should have taken care of them. But no one had even bothered. The two older brothers lacked upright personalities despite their brilliant talents, and so did their parents.
“And then he entered the academy as if he were driven out.”
Lucas’s attention shifted to the dingy blanket where a large number of pills scattered about.
It was a simple sleeping pill, but if he swallowed so much at once and waited, there was only one result. Suicide. Frey wanted to escape his despair by death.
‘That was how I was able to obtain this body.’
It was safe to assume that Frey’s spirit had already left. Frey himself would also think he was dead. The moment he gave up his life, Frey had completely abandoned any lingering desires to continue living. Thanks to him, Lucas was able to take over Frey’s body.
Though he couldn’t say that they were entirely different existences. He accepted all of Frey’s memories. He was currently Lucas, however Frey’s mind and memories blended together with his own.
Lucas gradually began to rummage through Frey’s memories. He had been confined for as long as 4,000 years. On occasion, Lucas was able to catch glimpses of the outside world through the eyes of someone else, but the cycle was awfully long and even worse, irregular.
Sometimes he had been left in the dark for hundreds of years. The information available was fragmentary, and his questions about the outside trends were more often amplified than they were answered.
‘I need more information.’
Lucas closed his eyes and accepted Frey’s memories bit by bit. However, his expression became increasingly warped. With his eyebrows furrowed, he scowled as if he found something distinctly abnormal. When he finished sorting through all his memories, he had no choice but to grind his teeth.
It was difficult to accept.
“4,000 years! No less than 4,000 years have passed…!”
Magecraft should have already progressed by leaps and bounds. At least that was what Lucas had expected. Yet, the current world he saw through Frey’s memories was shocking.
“Is there no difference from those times?”
The development of society, the economy, as well as magecraft, was minimal. The same was true of technological progress. It was as if time had been frozen for 4,000 years.
Even magic itself seemed to have regressed. 4,000 years ago, only the Great Mage Lucas could reach 9-stars, but there were quite a few 8-star mages just below him. But now, let alone 8-stars, it was as if there were only but a few 7-stars.
Were they all gone? If not, perhaps hiding their existences?
Nothing could be done for now, so it was pointless to erupt in anger. Sighing, Lucas cooled his emotions and thought about what to do first.
Regaining his former power was his top priority. Right now Frey’s mana reserves were less than a cup of water. If not an ocean like it was in the past, at least mana the amount of a lake should be collected.
The sound of knocking abruptly filled the room. Who could it be?
Lucas worried for a moment, then rose and opened the door. A cold-looking man stood before him. His blond hair was slicked back while a monocle adorned his face, giving him an austere impression.
“I apologize for intruding so late.”
Lucas frowned and picked through his memories. It was not difficult to recall the identity of the man in front of him.
‘Professor Dio Persman.’
One of the three most famous professors in the academy. Students liked to call him ‘Iron Heart’. Befitting his nickname, he had an iron heart which rarely showed emotion.
Lucas noticed Dio’s level at a glance. He was a 5-star magician whose age seemed to have been somewhere in his thirties. It was a great achievement, even considering talent. He probably focused on training day and night.
Meanwhile, Dio was surprised in his own way. He realized that Frey’s mood had gone through drastic changes. His drooping eyebrows were strong, and his shrunken shoulders were straight.
His submissive appearance had become indifferent. That alone gave him a completely different impression as if the person himself had become another.
‘What in the world could have happened?’
Dio looked at Frey suspiciously.
“Those are… ”
His face hardened at the sight of the large number of pills scattered about the bed.
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