EP - 043 - Midterm Exam (2)


A Knights School student said with a trembling voice, as he witnessed the giant kite shield shattering completely. 

It was a family heirloom, a symbol of the household that had proven its performance on the battlefield throughout the years. 

Although his father exaggeratedly claimed that it could even block falling meteorites, it was undoubtedly a reliable piece of equipment.

And yet.


The human who just turned the shield into scrap metal with their ‘bare fist’ scratched their head and said.

Irritatedly, even. 

“That's it? Really?”

This was coming from someone who defeated dozens of students without any weapons, just their bare hands. 

Most of the students at Elfante are confident in their abilities. And among them, even if it's just a select few, some could be considered as skilled as the professors. However, it's highly likely that even they couldn't guarantee a victory in this situation.

They probably wouldn't even last that long. 

Not to mention.

Even from the perspective of a Knights School Student that specializes in the physique, it was evident that the opponent didn't utilize even a fraction of their true power.

This just means that there is that big of a difference between their ‘trained’ body alone.

Considering that abilities that strengthen the body typically involve multiplying basic physical capabilities, this person's 'true strength,' is truly...

“What kind of monster are you…!”

... Frightening. 


However, the other person simply sneered at such words.

“The problem is that you guys are weak.”

Riru Garda snorted and kicked the student in the head.

With a grunt, the student's body rolled backward.

This kind of violence was undoubtedly excessive for a midterm exam, which would end by simply taking their necklace. Riru also couldn't feel any enthusiasm for such violence.

Isn’t it natural for the weak to be beaten by the strong?

But before any unnecessary guilt could even set in, she was consumed by endless frustration.

‘Why can't I find anyone decent?’

Ever since her exile after the Tribal Union's ‘Civil War’, the time she spent in the Empire was nothing short of a prison sentence.

Having obtained a student status that she never experienced, she was poking here and there for places to fight.

Battlefield. Combat. Life and death.

For someone whose entire life could be summed up with these three words, the academy was too peaceful.

‘At this age, killing at least one person is already to be expected.’

Because of the barren environment surrounding the Tribal Union, unless one grew up as an exceptional warrior, survival is impossible. 

By comparison, the people in the Empire were weak and indecisive.

It's only natural for frustration to arise.

She didn't even use her powers.


Except for one guy.

There was one individual who could keep up with her speed.

His name was…

‘Do… do… What was it?’

Unfortunately, Riru’s memory wasn’t very good.

Anyway, that guy.

The one who saw through her using Law Power. 


Law Power is a special power granted only to a tiny number of individuals in the Tribal Union. 

Not to mention the Empire, but even within the Tribal Union, there are only a handful of people who have witnessed its use firsthand.

So seeing through it just like that means one of two things.

Either he knows how to use it himself.

Or he has met someone who does.

And if at least one of the two is satisfied.

Then he perfectly fits Riru's conditions for ‘someone she needs to fight against’.

Especially considering why she and her clan were 'exiled' from the Tribal Union.

“Ah, where can I find him? I want to hit him at least once.”

“If you do something like that for no reason, Riru Garda, you'll be expelled from the academy. Since you're in exile, it might be better to keep a lower profile, don't you think?”

Hearing her name casually called, Riru flinched and she immediately turned around.

It was an unfamiliar individual. 

Dressed immaculately in uniform, a black longsword, silver hair and red eyes, and a name tag that reads ‘Elnore’ on her chest.

The Student Council President. Riru had heard that the Student Council President was one of the people who knew her identity.

And, above all.

‘…There's capable people after all.’

Riru, who had roughly gauged the other person’s skills level, smiled with satisfaction.

She's not sitting as the students' representative for nothing. She's a worthy opponent that Riru is willing to risk her life to fight against.

She looks weaker than her, but still at a level that could give her a run for her money.

“The violence you are committing has already gone too far. As an overseer of this exam, I can't just let it go. I'm quite busy, but I got summoned because of you.”

“So what are you gonna do about it?”

Riru smirked and raised her fist.

“Are you going to kick me out?”

She had a feeling it'd turn out like this. 

Oh how she wished that Elnore would draw her sword, and charge at her with genuine intent to kill. That's what she had been thinking. 

“I will make you leave. Though, not by my own hands.”

Having said that, Elnore pressed a switch she took out from her pocket.

At the same time, white light emanated from the necklace Riru was wearing.

Before she could react, an aura had already enveloped her entire body. Riru frowned.

‘Divine Power?’

It didn't feel like it's going to harm her. More like there's a strong intention to "remove" her from the Grand Plain.

There's such a blessing on all of the students’ necklaces?

‘…Has the Empire ever had someone with such powerful divine abilities?’

A blessing that teleports the target to another location, it's quite an advanced technique.

Not to mention distributing it to all the students currently in the Grand Plain

She even thought of the ridiculous idea that the Holy Land's Saintess was here. 

Of course, even the Saintess wouldn't be able to support all this.

This is a magnitude that needs at least 10 Archbishop level personnel to stably operate it.

If it's less than that, well.

It would only serve the purpose of inflicting torture on the user.

This is especially true when ‘Divine Power Depletion’ is considered.

Lost in these thoughts, she soon received a response from the other person.

“Anyway, go and cool your head. This may be a competition, but fighting for barbaric reasons like you are is prohibited in Elfante.”

“…Are all the Empire's people just cowards? It seems like your father taught you so.”

Among the things that a member of the Tribal Union can say are two top-tier insults.

One is being called a coward, and the other, a disparaging remark about one's father.

However, upon hearing this, Elnore showed no reaction other than a sneer. 

“Indeed that old man is a coward. You have quite an observant eye, Riru Garda.”


On the contrary, she looked strangely satisfied.

So it's true that her relationship with her father was bad. As expected, these Empire people are weird.

However, she can't just step back like this. At the very least, she'll have to induce a reaction that will make her hostile when they meet later.

Riru thought of a few more words to provoke her opponent.

‘Ah, that’s right.’

There was one more regular pattern that worked especially well for the warriors of the Tribal Union.

“Well, you can't deny that you're a coward yourself. Seeing that, I bet everyone around you is a moron, right?”


Elnore’s eyes narrowed.

Oh, there's finally a reaction.

Riru continued with a grin.

“Do you have a boyfriend? If you do, I'll snatch him away right in front of you. We'll see if you still act like a coward-”

But she stopped mid-sentence. 


Elnore hadn’t said anything.

However, her eyes.

Those eyes were glowing red.

Almost, inhumane. 

It was like the eyes of a ‘monster’, not a person. 


Facing that, Riru unconsciously took a step back.

Even she's shocked from it.

‘…Did I get scared? Me?’

She, who had navigated the inferno of the battlefield countless times, was shaken by a mere gaze.

And on top of that, it was from an opponent she believed she could confidently defeat. 

〚Riru Garda.〛

Elnore's frosty voice resonated to the dazed Riru's ears.

The atmosphere around her had completely changed. 

As if...

‘Something’ different was inside her. 

〚I'll let it slide this time. You seem to enjoy provoking others without knowing your place.〛

As Elnore approached her step by step, Riru once again retreated a few steps back.

The suffocating pressure made Riru's breath hitch, and her legs refused to obey.

〚So, there won't be a second time.〛

And then...

〚No one can take that man away from me. Do you understand?〛

With that voice ringing into her ears, Riru's body was ‘teleported’ out of the Great Plains.


In the empty waiting room, she gazed down at herself with a blank expression.

‘…Just what, was that?’

One thing was certain.

The 'unknown entity' inside the Student Council President was something Riru could never defeat in battle.

It's not just a matter of lacking skill or ability.

But rather, it feels different from the very 'nature' of her being.

That even if she trained all her life, she wouldn't be able to overcome it.


It’s been a long time since she felt like this.

A wild grin appeared on her face.

Her body was drenched in cold sweat, but her spirit was more excited than ever before.

There's finally someone worthy of a fight in this place. An individual she wanted to battle to the death.

In other words, she can become stronger through this struggle.


The moment the situation completely flipped was after she mentioned 'boyfriend.'

It was Elnore's trigger topic.

In other words, it's a surefire way to provoke a fight.

Then all she needs to do... 

‘…The key is that guy.’

She'll somehow 'conquer' him.

Her eyes glinted with determination.

   <System Message>


   [ The target ‘Riru Garda’ has started taking an interest in you! ]

   [ The target ‘Elnore’ has unlocked a new skill under your influence! ]

   [ ‘Divine Descent - Wrath’ will be added to the target's skillset. ]

   [ Skill will be added to ‘Skill: Guidance’ ! ]


Sometimes, I really just want to grab the system by the collar and ask.

I legit didn’t do anything, so tell me why the hell are these things being added?

And, to begin with...

‘Divine Descent?’

This is a technique that, albeit limitedly, manifests the devil fragment. The 'Wrath' The 'Wrath' part means that the corresponding emotion is maximized to unlock this skill.

In other words, it's not something that just an option you open when you're angry. It only happens when you genuinely want to kill someone. 

‘…What the hell happened?’

These thoughts crossed my mind, but now is definitely not the right time to leisurely ponder such things.

I have my hands full. 

“You heinous bastard…!”

“You dare wear a mask to do something like this, show yourself…!”


Listening to the torrent of insults right in front of me, I wanted to defend myself.


On one hand, I was dragging a woman as if she's some luggage, and on the other, have another woman on a leash.

“He's treating people like animals...! Miss! Hero! Please wait a moment! I'll rescue you soon!”

“Yeah, take revenge for our fallen brothers…!”

“…You're together with them?”

I asked in a dumbfounded voice.

I've been ambushed more than ten times getting here.

So they're all in on this…?

“Anyone who raise their sword at a trash is a comrade!”

“Look at how you fought first then tell me, you scumbag!”


Hmm. I don’t have anything to refute.

They were easily repelled by Elijah and Yuria. In the first place, what could freshmen really do against the Hero Candidate and a devil vessel?

Rather than blocking the blocks, it was more difficult to control Yuria's distance and not have her within three steps of anyone. 

But this is exactly the problem. 

From an outsider's perspective, me suddenly pulling the leash look like I was forcefully dragging Yuria around like a slave.

‘…I saved you guys.’

I never meant for it to be weird.


   [Why are they so angry? I’m fine.]

No. Even if the person involved says such things, it doesn't explain the situation at all.

It wasn't a good look.

Elijah smiled bitterly at the sight of Yuria tilting her head as she wrote out.

“Still, this time won't be easy.”

Elijah eyes narrowed as she looked at the people in front.

The previous raids were relatively small-scale, but the group in front of us right now consists of almost a hundred people.

Seeing all these people gathering here with the intention of taking me down feels strange.

‘…Are they all Elijah's fans?’

Superfans can be so scary.

I knew this would happen when I teamed up with her.

“This would need more than just fighting to get through all of this. If only we could bypass this, it would lead us straight to the sanctuary. Why does it have to be like this…”

Even for Elijah, who had effortlessly dealt with the previous attacks, this number of opponents is overwhelming. 

It's not just a large number; it's a perfectly balanced combination of the Knights School, Magic School, and Theology School.

To simply break through this combination with just three people would be an absurd idea.

“No. This is fine.”



Rather, I was waiting for something like this.

Mainly in terms of honing my abilities.

Improving skills through actual combat is one way, but there is a skill that can only be utilized when you have 'comrades' and 'large-scale enemies.'


Obviously, that's only possible when combat is possible. But the current gap between us and them is like the difference between the Heavens and Earth.

But I have a 'way' to narrow that gap.

If the opponents are balanced, there is only one way to break through.

Overwhelming power.


With a smirk, I tap the amulet lightly.

Ajusshi. Wake up.

   […Uh? Huh? What?]

Caliban drowsily muttered inside the amulet. 

Thanks to my insufficient Divine Power, this person spends most of his time sleeping. 

Unless I specifically wake him up, he stays in a kind of hibernation state.

I whisper quietly to the amulet.

“Could you please do me a favor and come out.”

   […I don't know what's going on, but it seems dangerous.]

At the same time Caliban muttered that, a white curtain unfolded around us.

   [ Spiritual Body has been summoned! ]

   [ Skill: Image World has been activated! ]

   [ Buffs are shared with nearby ‘party members’! ]

And here.



I looked at the wide-eyed Elijah and whispered.

“I apologize in advance. You can hit me as much as you want later. I'll take it all.”

Even I think that this is a bit… overkill.

But this is necessary. Anyhow.

Before she can respond, I pulled her tightly with one arm, drawing her closer to my body. 

   […Look at this guy. Did you wake me up just to show me this?]

As soon as Caliban said with a chuckle. 


While Elijah's body stiffened, and Yuria's eyes widened from the side.

I smiled at the crowd in front, which suddenly fell silent. 

“But you see, you guys.”

Calm and collected, I spoke nothing but the facts.

“What gives you the right to take this guy?”

Smiling slyly at the astonished crowd, I said.

“I never said I would give her to you.”


“Does the ‘owner’ need a stranger's permission?”

Silence spread all around. It went on for a long while.

As Elijah’s face turned flush, piercing screams echoed in the surroundings 

“Kill that bastard-!”

“I’ll tear you up, you some of a bit-!”

The various curses and shouts were soon drowned out by even louder roars as students, equipped with their weapons, rushed towards us.

Oh wow, that's scary.

But the scarier they charge at me, the better. 

   [ A moment of danger has been detected. ]

   [ Determined the situation could result in serious injury. ]

   [ Skill: Desperation raised to A Grade. ]

Now then.

The term 'buff' generally refers to a skill that enhances the target's abilities.

In other words...

   [ Confirming activation of 'Skill: Image World'. ]

   [ Sharing ‘Skill: Desperation (A Grade)' with target 'Elijah' and target 'Yuria'. ]

That's right..


[1] Tribal Union power from 'magic' to 'Law Power' for differentiation 

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