Chapter 134 – Helpful People
Although they’d had the resolution and courage to survive, some things were harder to do. Dealing with loss was sometimes one of those things.
Marcos had already assumed their mood would drop. Once they’d left the forest, they’d experienced unending relief at having survived. After that they’d experienced the joy and excitement of making it back to their home and even having the very real possibility of joining the most prestigious academy before their eyes. It was now that they were recounting their story that some of the people here had finally had some peace to think about something other than themselves and really feel the loses.
Haeru realized that their mood had plummeted “If the situation was so bad, how did you make it out of the forest?”
Marcos was the one that answered “We were in the worst situation. We were facing a group of mutated wolves. They weren’t the strongest creatures we’d faced but they were the most organized. They had a clear leader he gave them orders like a general leads his soldiers. Despite the tough situation, I’d picked up quite a few of the poisonous plants that had harmed me. I thought they might be helpful in order to heal me once we made it out. I remembered in time and used most of them in one of my attacks to poison and deal critical damage to the alpha wolf. Once I killed him we managed to create enough confusion in their ranks as a few wolves began to fight for the alpha position to escape.”
Karla’s eyes lit up “It was amazing! It was the most hopeless situation but Marcos turned it around for all of us! We got even luckier after that, we ran into an instructor leading a group of 4-5 participants. They’d had it even worse off than that and were in the middle of activating a scroll to escape. Once we caught sight of that we ran and ran to catch up to them. Luckily the instructor noticed us in time and waited. Even we didn’t know that, that is how we would leave the forest but it made sense considering how lost we were!”
Haeru had hoped that speaking of how they’d’ survived would cheer them up and have them focus on the positive and it seemed he was right. Their faces had lightened up.
While everyone was getting their bearings together a professor walked up behind the big group away form Haeru and Leo’s view.
Everyone turned around to look at the professor. “Professor Irvin!” some of them shouted out in unison while greeting him respectfully. He looked like a fairly short middle aged back with an average build and average features. The things that really stood out were his unkempt beard that looked like a perpetual five o’clock shadow gone rogue and his large round glasses that simply didn’t fit his image.
He glanced at all of them quickly as if he was making sure they were all there. “I’ve spoken with the other instructors. Although it can’t be said whether you did well or poorly as we have no one to speak in your stead at the moment-.”
“What the hell! We killed hundreds of monsters! We risked our lives for days on end!”
“What are you saying professor! Are you saying we went through all of that for nothing!?”
A few people couldn’t help but yell as he’d finished his first sentence as Professor Irvin glared at them. “Don’t interrupt me!” his voice travelled through the entire crowd but only those who’d interrupted experienced a feeling as if their brain was being shaken from the inside!
“Although we have no one to speak in your stead. You’ve brought back samples of some very dangerous plants, which are only located in specific parts of Bull-Wind forest as far as we’ve learned. Operating under the premise that you picked up these plants from one of these known places, then it is indeed impressive you’ve survived. That your professor encountered a beast that even he perhaps could not handle is further proof of the danger you faced. We are going to allow all of you to become Lumea students. Everyone except for Marcos. You will need to heal your internal injuries first, only after that can you officially become a student.”
Professor Irvin was looking at everyone with an unsatisfied expression. Part of it was because he felt unsatisfied that these people with common aptitudes were admitted, his standard was much higher. While in the forest he’d willingly let 90% of his students die even when he could have stepped in, because to him only the best were worth investing any resources towards. The other part of it is because he didn’t have a good impression of these kids who seemly worshipped another participant more than himself.
He didn’t wait or give any more instructions and left. Everyone was celebrating the moment he’d finished speaking and didn’t notice it immediately as they were lost in their joy until someone pointed it out. Most of them were still celebrating not caring at all that this unpleasant instructor had left but Karla quickly pointed out “What are we supposed to do now!?” making them quiet down.
Haeru and Leo began reiterating everything Lydia had told them before. They didn’t even hesitate as the professor had already called them official Lumea students, and Marcos had already provisionally been accepted. He simply had to heal his injuries with some time.
Haeru quickly explained the three types of students and their different levels of prestige and resources and how that tied in with the corresponding levels of access within the library. Leo then explained the pagoda and its true value to the academy as well as the upcoming tournament, the ranking system and everything that was required of the students. He also briefly explained that at any point if they stood out they could quite possibly gain the respect or interest of a professor and become their disciple and how that should be one of their goals in order to improve quicker.
Lydia had returned while they’d been introducing the other new students and was quite pleased that her students were already taking a helpful leading role. It was not until they’d finished explaining and answering some of the others questions to the best of their understanding that they noticed Lydia standing near them.
“Master!” they yelled in unison with a quick bow.
Damien had already walked nearby after noticing his master.
Lydia gave a curt nod towards them. She was still unused to being called master’ as these were the first students she’d ever personally taken. They’d been the first that had piqued her interest and all of them did so for different reasons.
“Okay disciples. You can follow me, because you are my personal disciples your housing will be located in a different location from the other students.” Lydia said in a calm melodious voice.
She seemed far less burdened than she had before as she spoke which made her voice sound pleasing to the ears for the first time since they’d met her.
“I’m sorry master! But… Marcos still needs to heal, and I want to head back with him. They said he can’t become an official student until his injuries are healed.” Leo said in a concerned tone.
“Don’t worry about that, bring him with us and I will drop him off at the infirmary building. That is where a lot of the students who focus on arts that heal usually spend some time. I’ll find him a place to rest there and until he has healed he can live there.” Lydia said nonchalantly.
Now that she’d taken disciples she felt it only natural that she should give them assistance with such small matters. Of course if any of the older students saw her giving so much help so willingly and easily they’d be shocked as she normally acted far too prideful and unapproachable to normal students.
“That would be amazing! Thank you master!” Leo was quick to grasp the situation even if he’d been doing it unconsciously before. He was getting the feeling that his new master enjoyed being called and treated as so by her students. He’d only ever had one master before and it was an informal teacher-student relationship because it was his grandfather.
‘Maybe she’d like the old man and she loved having her ass kissed too?’ he wondered but didn’t mind. He felt that being taken on as a disciple would change his life and bring back the honor of his family.
Haeru spoke up after hearing this and pointed towards the students surrounding Marcos “Their instructor didn’t tell them any of the things you told us after they were admitted by him. He just left.”
Lydia’s face turned into a frown for a few moments. She hated when others slacked in their responsibilities and giving the students the most basic of speeches to encourage them to work hard was the the minimum of things that professors had to do. Although she was annoyed by this, she didn’t think too deeply. She was used to professors slacking off in their responsibilities regarding the students. Almost all of the professors were arrogant, it was in their nature as they had all been considered geniuses from an early age. In some cases some professors considered every new student future competition and would sometimes hinder their progress so as to prevent a sapling from growing up and turning into a large oak tree that would stand in their way in the future.
Lydia faced the students “You’ve already heard the basics from my disciples. If you want to head to your housing now, then you can come with us. If you want to wait for others, you can wait here and eventually you will be lead by another professor.”
Everyone was ready. They’d been following Marcos and if he was leaving they were leaving.
Lydia quickly gathered her own group from before and led everyone to part of the wall of the court yard.
‘The same spot. Is there a reason she keeps choosing this place?’ Daichi wondered as he’d been told that any part of the wall could be used.
The students were shocked when the wall turned into a black space that had a faint sucking sensation and weren’t sure what to do until Lydia walked through and Daichi followed behind. Her own disciples wouldn’t be outdone and quickly followed behind with Leo holding Marcos up with Karla. Everyone followed behind soon after not wanting to be left behind.
No one expected this portal would be different. No one was experiencing any sickness nor were they disoriented. It felt as if they’d walked from one side of a door to the other, natural and short. No one would have even thought it was a portal they’d crossed had their eyes been closed.
The surprise was brief as they faced their new living quarters and most of their mouths hung agape at what stood before them.