EP - 042 - Midterm Exam

On the day of the exam.


A bewildered Elijah alternately looked at me and Yuria. 

“I have a lot of questions I want to ask.”

“Ask me later.”


Her eyes narrowed but she remained silent.

Well, it's not hard to understand what she's feeling. In fact, it's because of many things. 

Just yesterday, everything was normal and now I'm wearing a mask. 

Not to mention that I brought along a companion, who doesn't say a word and only communicates through floating text. She's also being forbidden not to approach within three steps of said companion. 

And worst of all.

“You're into that?”



“Really, no.”

Elijah was judgingly staring at the ‘leash’ I was holding in my hand. 

I totally understand the slight disdain in her eyes, considering that the leash was attached to Yuria's neck. 

“…There's a reason for this.”

“Please, do tell. What kind of reason would there be to warrant a leash on a grown woman and dragging her around? I'm really curious.”


No, there really is a reason.

In the first place, I didn't suggest any of this. 

   [That, I, I was the one who suggested that we go around like this…]

As Yuria replied with her floating text, Elijah's look of bewilderment became even more pronounced.

However, there's no other option.

‘If I don’t do this, her mental degradation will get worse…’

Although I successfully managed to calm her down after going berserk due to the Devil Fragment's influence, afterward, she developed an irrational fear of being separated from me.

She even went as far as recommending to put her on a leash so that ‘we'll be together wherever I go’.


Uh. I’m scared too.

I could feel my dignity as a human being getting stripped away with every step. 

But looking at the awakening conditions of the Gray Devil inside Elnore, it's evident that it closely relates to the vessel's mental state.

And right now, Yuria's mental state is on the brink of extremity. If she's triggered even in the slightest, the devil fragment would manifest itself right then and there.

With the existence of the Fatal Charm skill, it's unlikely that I'll be harmed, but considering the White Devil's 'power,' just one manifestation could have a fatal impact on Chapter 2 as a whole.

And if the main quest in Chapter 2 fails, it's game over. It's a death sentence.


This means that I have to follow through this, whether I like it or not. 

‘…At least until I meet the Saintess.’

The symptoms should ease a bit if I contact the Saintess who's currently in the examination venue. 

Given Yuria and Lucien's ‘relationship’, it can only be like that.

Curing the Curse of Severance within 5 days is just the beginning.

“…Why did you even ask for this?”

While I was in my thoughts, Elijah asked Yuria.

Well, I have prepared an excuse for situations like this.

Simply omit the ‘how’ of the Curse of Severance and briefly explain its effects. Basically, if someone gets within three steps, they die.

The leash is precisely tailored to that distance. Saying that it's to manage the curse is enough.


Yuria, who had been fiddling with the leash for a while now, wrote out with a flushed face. 

   [I feel relaxed this way, so we agreed to go around like this.]


   [Yes, being like this makes me feel much more at ease and secure…]

I break out in a cold sweat when I saw Elijah's angry expression.

Why would you say it like that…!

“…She doesn’t mean it like that, uh, can you explain another way?”


Elijah kept her mouth shut as she looked at me and Yuria. 

For me, it was a terrifyingly long moment.

“Wouldn’t Princess Tristan throw a fit if she saw this?”

“…I don't think so.”

There's a good chance she's waiting at the 'Sanctuary,' the final point of the exam, due to my request.

At least until this event is over, it's highly unlikely she'll see this.


Saying that, Elijah crossed her arms and began to ponder something deeply, still looking at us. 

“…She won’t see it.”

Then she looked to contemplate further.

As she pondered, she kept showing odd signs. Her legs fidgeting or her face turning red.

She also mumbled strange things to herself. Like, "No matter what, that's..." or "Still, I need to do something to get... Interested to me..."

“…Are you busy?”

“Just give me a moment, like 5 minutes. I need to think about something.”



Then I'll use the next 5 minutes to take care of some things. 

   < Gift-related Character Notification >


   ♥ Elnore Elinalise La Tristan

   [ Love Level 1 ] >>> [ Love Level 2 ]

   [ Reward Available! ]



   ▼ Yuria Greyhounder


   [ Interest Level 1 ] >>> [ Interest Level 4 ]

   [ Reward Available!]

   Tap to claim rewards.



   [ Received gift reward from ‘Elnore’. ]

   [ ‘Attribute: Shifting Wind’ has been obtained. ]


   < Mastery Info >


   [ Attribute: Shifting Wind ] [ Grades: Basic ]

   [ Current Proficiency: 0% ]

   [ Shift back some of the damage received if opponent's attack is blocked at the right timing. ]


   [ !Information! ]

   [ Confirmed the possession of 'Attribute: Duckweed' and 'Attribute: Shifting Wind'. ]

   [ Confirmed ‘Attribute: Tristan Style Swordsmanship’ proficiency to be at least General. ]

   [ Raise ‘Attribute: Duckweed’ and ‘Attribute: Shifting Wind’ proficiency to General, to assimilate into ‘Attribute: Arcane Gale’. ]




   [ Attribute: Arcane Gale ] [ Grade: Basic ]

   [ Unpossessed Attribute ]

   [ Return a significant portion of the damage received if opponent's attack is 'deflected' at the right timing. ]

‘…This is.’

My mouth is watering. 

There's a reason why veteran players try and get Tristan Style Swordsmanship. 

It’s because of hidden gems like these.

If I timely block the opponent’s attack, the damage would be reduced to 0 and part of the attack is returned to the opponent. It's not bad at all.

If I pair it with the skill I received from Yuria, ‘Swordsman’s Focus’, it will be much easier to time the parry. 

And the other one…

   [ Received gift rewards from ‘Yuria’. ]

   [ Obtained 1x ‘Skill Copy Ticket’. ]


It's the same reward from when Elnore’s favorability soared in a short period of time. 

‘I should keep this for now.’

As it was back then, this would be much more valuable to put aside for now than to use it right away.

‘…I don't want to use it like before.’

I picked up a skill when Elnore manifested the Gray Devil, but I don't want to do the same with the White Devil. 

It's just, um. 

It's annoying if it manifests itself.

There's a reason why it's the ‘Obsession Devil’.

“…Alright, it's decided.”

While lost in my thoughts, Elijah seemed to have finally organized her ideas and approached me, tapping her cheeks.

And then... 


She grabbed my hand with both of hers.

“…This is my limit. I can compromise this much. We'll continue like this until the end of the exam.”


She continued holding my hand as she uttered those words. 

Her face and ears were red.

“…Mr., please say something.”


What am I supposed to say? 

“…Why are you looking at me like that, don't tell me you also want me to wear a leash?!”

I couldn't even respond yet. 

What do you think I am…?

“…Do as you please.”

I couldn't be bothered to answer, so I left her alone and took out a map instead.

‘The goal is…’

First, get to the sanctuary. There's a high chance that the Saintess is there. Once we bring Yuria inside, it'll most likely trigger an "essential event".

And the second thing. 


I smirked at the status window.

The newly acquired attributes and the other abilities that I can obtain by nurturing them are looking shiny.

‘It'll be a feast.’

Of course, developing them requires time and diligence.

However, just like how I used Yuria as a sparring partner in the past to rapidly raise my proficiency. There are several ways to 'shortcut' that process

And, one of the representative ones is this ‘midterm’ period.


Considering the current situation, there will undoubtedly be an opportunity to make use of it.

Getting first place is one thing.

A veteran player wouldn't miss such a hot event. 

“Ah, by the way, you should prepare yourself.”

I said to Elijah. 

“Yes? Prepare for what?”

What you may ask? Well... 

“Prepare for slaughter.”


If you ask Tallion what kind of person Dowd Campbell is, his answer would always be ‘a scary person’.

At least after a few interactions with him, there's no better assessment than that.

With his combat prowess that easily defeated the hero candidate and his meticulous planning, it's hard to believe that he's just a fellow freshman. 

However, it seemed that not everyone shared the same sentiment.

While the "scary person" might stay true, it falls short of fully describing the extent of his character. 

“Ah, Dowd Campbell? That dangerous human scum? They said never to get involved with him.”


Tallion stopped tinkering with his spear and looked at his friend.

“…What are you talking about all of a sudden?”

“No, it's true. Everyone else probably thinks the same way.”

Another male student continued, scratching his head.

“Aren't both the Student Council President and the Hero Candidate are close to that guy?”

“…Are they not?”

“But there's absolutely no reason for those two to be on good terms with him, right?”


This was a point Tallion agree with.

On the surface, those two shouldn't have crossed paths with him. Never. 

However, anyone who had even a glimpse of his true abilities wouldn't find it strange. 

Unlike Tallion, who had witnessed his power firsthand, regular students have their information tightly controlled. So it's understandable why they feel that way.

‘…The academy seems to be blocking it.’

That was the impression he had.

Otherwise, there's no way someone as capable as him would be falsely accused like this.

As he mulled over those thoughts, the other person continued speaking.

“There's rumors going around that he's grabbed ahold of their weakness.”


“That's right. It just doesn't make sense that he can drag around the hero candidate and Princess Tristan. And, like, the guy doesn't have many friends, yet he's always busy running around somewhere. And he often meets people like the dean or president. Looking at it, isn’t that suspicious?”

The male student fired shots one after the other. 

Tallion could only respond with a wry smile.

“…Are those two really the kind of people who would be easily caught by someone just because of a weakness? Isn't that a bit of a stretch?”

“That’s why he's dangerous. I don’t know how, but if it's not something like that, then it doesn't make sense!”

As Tallion sighed and wiped his forehead, the male student continued his rant.

“And, above all, there's Professor Griver Lanfeld. They say the Professor said something rude to him during class, and then the Professor suddenly disappeared. Even if you ask the Theology students, no one knows what happened.”

Tallion’s hand came to a stop. 

Because this was a real possibility.

Thinking about Marquis Riverback's example, that person is more ruthless towards his "enemies" than one would expect. The odds of him crushing someone directly is quite high.

“There's probably a reason for it.”

Well, still.

He wouldn't do something like that for no reason.

“Why are you taking his side? Aren't you risking yourself with that? Everyone's determined to win.”


“You know the rules for this midterm exam, right?”

Of course, Tallion was well aware of it.

The highest score goes to those who reach the "Sanctuary" in the center of the Great Plains first within two days.

There would be various beasts and monsters along the way to the Sanctuary, so one must cleverly navigate through them to reach it.

The problem is...

“…Are you saying that there will be a ‘raid’ there?”

During which, if you engage in combat with another student and snatch their "necklace", that is given to everyone, you'll gain additional points.

It may seem wicked, but this style has never changed since its establishment, following the principle of survival of the fittest on the battlefield.

In some cases, this kind of exam leads to 'concentrated attacks' on certain individuals.

“Well, most of them seem to be fans of the Student Council President or the hero candidate. There were quite a few of those gossiping about why that person is so close to them.”


He was one of them.

Tallion picked up his spear with a wry smile.

“…Then, do you happen to know when and where they planned the raid?”

“Huh? Why? Are you going to join?”

As someone who had firsthand experience of that person's power, he could say with certainty.

“No. I will definitely avoid it.”

Tallion replied with a smirk. 

‘I wish you poor souls good luck!’

He couldn't even begin to imagine how badly they'll end up, as he quietly prayed for the ‘raid group’.

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