Two days later, at dawn, Leo and Celia set out for the dock at Lake Lumeria.
The sight of their Lumeln uniforms drew the attention of the crowd.
“They're new students of Lumeln Academy,” someone said.
“They both look charismatic,” said another.
The onlookers smiled and cheered as the two of them walked by.
Suddenly, the owner of a fruit store tossed them two apples.
Leo caught them and thanked the man, while Celia took a bite and passed the remaining apple to Leo.
“Lumeria is a wonderful city,” Leo said.
“People here always show kindness to hero candidates like us.”
Students of Lumeln Academy are trained to become the next generation of heroes, those who protect the world from the threat of Tartarus.
The crowd continued to cheer for them as they set off on their journey.
“Tartarus has been quiet recently, but we never know when they will become a threat again, and also..”
Celia stopped and raised her chin.
“We can't keep losing to Seirun,” Celia said determinedly.
The relationship between humans and elves has always been strained, and as a result, the Elven hero academy Seirun and Lumeln often hold friendly competitions, known as the “Ruse War,” in order to ease tensions between the two races.
This event, which started as a simple student quiz showdown, has grown into a historical feast with a hundred years of history.
The Ruse War has had a positive effect on relations between the two races, but in recent years, Lumeln has been losing to Seirun.
“Wait and see,” Celia said, clenching her fists with burning eyes.
“I'll flatten Seirun's nose!”
Leo cheered her on as they approached the dock, where they saw other freshmen like themselves.
Some were holding staffs and flying in the sky, others were riding summoned creatures, and some were even carrying various weapons.
“They're fretting because they can't stand out,” Celia said, shaking her head.
Suddenly, a boy with pale orange hair blocked their path.
“Wait! Hey, good-looking male and female students over there! Can we talk for a moment?”
“Who are you?” Celia asked.
“My name is Karl Thomas.
From the kingdom of Moira!” the boy said.
“Is that it?”
“No, there’s more,” Karl said with a smile.
He then took out a business card from his pocket and handed it to Leo and Celia.
“From weapons to potions! Karl's shop! If you need anything during your studies, please feel free to visit us at any time!” he said with a wink, before turning around and running off to approach another student with a cheerful laugh.
“There are all sorts of people,” Celia said, looking dumbfounded as she put the business card in her pocket.
“I'll go meet some of the new admissions from our country,” she said, referring to the Rodern Empire, a powerful nation in the western continent.
Many students from the empire were among the western students.
“Go ahead, I'll look around for a while,” Leo said.
Let's meet at the dock later,” Celia said, before leaving.
Leo walked around leisurely, watching the people at the dock.
Besides the freshmen, there were families who had come to congratulate them.
Seeing people from various cultures made Leo nostalgic.
‘It’s like Guardthorn.’
Leo stood there reminiscing his past memories from a city called Guardthorn, which was referred to as the last line of defense during the age of disaster.
It was also the city where Kyle launched the counterattack against Erebos, with Risinas taking the lead.
Suddenly, a blond-haired girl who was walking while reading a book bumped into him.
I walked without looking ahead,”
The girl apologized to Leo and began to walk again, focusing her gaze once again on her book.
'If she keeps going like that, she'll bump into someone again…
Leo noticed that she dropped her student ID card on the floor and picked it up.
Her name was written as “Chloe Mueller.”
He looked around to give it to her but she had already disappeared into the crowd.
“I'll return it if I see her again,” he thought.
Since they're freshmen, they're bound to meet again.
“I am from Karl’s shop! Here is my business card!”
Karl, whom he saw just now, was handing his business card to other freshmen.
When his eyes met Leo's, he approached him with a smile.
“We meet again,” Karl said.
“How's your promotion going?” Leo asked.
“It's not too bad.
The young ladies from aristocratic families with high noses, on the other hand, didn't even look at me,” Karl replied.
“There are more aristocrats than commoners in Lumeln, so most of them won’t even spare a glance no matter how you approach them, don’t they?” Leo said.
Karl said, shrugging his shoulders and smiling pleasantly.
“Let me introduce myself once again.
I am Karl Thomas.
I'm fifteen!” Karl said.
“My name is Leo Flove.
I'm from the Delard kingdom, and I'm the same age as you,” Leo introduced himself.
“You're a noble, right?” Karl asked.
“Yes,” Leo confirmed.
“Wow, but you don't seem to really care about me being a commoner, do you?” Karl said, looking surprised.
Leo smiled as he looked at Karl, who seemed to be always interested in something.
“By the way, isn't Delard kingdom the location of the western examination? I heard the exam was no laughing matter, but it's incredible that you passed that difficult exam!” Karl said.
“It wasn't easy,” Leo replied.
They continued to talk and thanks to Karl's easygoing personality, they were able to get along well.
“What are you going to choose as your major? My family has been alchemists for generations! So, that’s why I choose to major in magic,” Karl said.
“I'm thinking of taking magic as my major, too,” Leo said.
“Really? Then let's be friends, Leo!” Karl exclaimed, delighted.
Of course, Leo plans to study not only magic but also Knight and summoning.
As they were chatting, a huge ship appeared through the mist of Lake Lumeria.
It was a ship that traveled between Lumeln and Lumeria.
“Oh! It's big!” Karl burst out in exclamation.
Moments later, a silver-haired man in uniform got off the docked ship.
“All Freshmen, gather!” he shouted.
The Freshmen bid their families farewell and gathered in front of the man.
“Check the students,” he said, and people behind him used a magic checker to check every student's ID.
As Leo took out his student ID, he saw a female student searching for something.
“Wait a minute,” he said and walked towards her.
Karl followed behind him.
Chloe, who had been searching for something, looked puzzled when she saw Leo approaching her.
Leo said as he handed her the student ID card that she dropped earlier.
“Oh, thank you!” Chloe said, smiling brightly.
“I owe you my life.
My name is Chloe Mueller!”
“Chloe Mueller?” Karl said, looking surprised.
“Chloe Mueller, the top ranker of the North exam?”
What about you guys?” she asked.
“I'm Leo Flove and this guy…”
“Karl Thomas! From weapons to potions! Handles anything you need in your academic life! Here's my business card!”
Karl quickly handed Chloe his business card and ran quickly.
Chloe, who received it, said interestingly.
“Store? Then, are you planning on becoming a Supporter rather than a Hero?”
“Ha ha, as expected, the top ranker is indeed different.
You noticed everything at once,” Karl said.
“These are something I've learned from the Magic Tower seniors,” Chloe said.
It's true that Lumeln students are all hero candidates with exceptional talent, but still, there are bound to be differences between each other.
Some students might realize their lack of talent during their academy life, and such people turn into supporters who help the heroes, starting with combat support, material supply, and so on.
Literally, supporters provide everything necessary for a hero, but most students were not very interested in becoming supporters because their only goal after entering Lumeln academy is to become a hero.
However, Karl seemed to have chosen his path of being a supporter early on.
“My entrance grade was not good anyway,” he said.
“If the goods are okay, I'll buy them from you,” Chloe said.
“Oh! I already got one of the top students as my customer! Today I am lucky, aren't I?” Karl laughed.
“This is also fate, so let's get along well in the future! Since we are all in the magic department!” “Magic department?”
Chloe tilted her head.
“You might be that way, but aren't you an Aura user?”
“Yes,” Leo replied.
“You're not joining the Knight department?” Chloe asked, surprised.
“I'm a dual major applicant,” Leo explained.
“What? You were a Knight major too? Amazing!”
Karl got overexcited.
Although rare, those who possess two kinds of talents are called dual-class students.
In fact, there were quite a few dual-class students in Lumeln.
At Leo's words, Chloe put on a face of understanding.
Meanwhile, a faculty member approached them and checked the student ID of the three of them.
The faculty members stepped back after counting the number of people, and the silver-haired man in uniform stepped forward.
“It's Ain Elandew, professor of Lumeln academy,” he introduced himself.
“Ain Elandew? Knight of the Ice Sea?”
“That Ain Elandew,”
“Sir, I want your autograph!” a student shouted, excitedly.
“Be quiet!” Ain quieted the students.
“From now on, we will move on to Lumeln.
So, everyone board the ship,” he said.
“Yes!” the students replied in unison and they all started boarding the ship.
⏩ ⏩ ⏩ ⏩ ⏩ ⏩
The Freshmen were admiring the luxurious deck of the ship operated by Lumeln Academy before the entrance ceremony.
The deck had a social atmosphere with traditional dishes from various countries prepared by top chefs delighting their tongues and noses.
Even Professor Ain was sitting on the deck, enjoying a glass of wine.
The neatly dressed employees were diligently taking care of the students, and the aristocratic students were pleased with the treatment, making friends and laughing.
“As expected, the Lumeln Academy is different,” one student said.
“Any expectations about your future academy life?” another asked.
Leo, however, narrowed his eyes at their appearance and said, “Something's not right.”
Karl, who had brought a plate full of food, asked with a puzzled face, “What?”
Leo replied, “This is a hero academy, but the atmosphere is more like a social party.”
Karl then said, “Since it's before the enrollment ceremony, this is not a big deal.
More importantly, Leo! I asked around and gathered information.” Leo asked,
Karl excitedly said, “Yes! Look over there!”
Karl pointed at a light brown-skinned boy with a large build who was quietly dining on one side of the deck.
“Wald Taiden! He's the top student in the southern exam and his major is summoning magic!”
You already knew about him, didn't you?”
It was more like he recognized him at first glance, but he didn't bother correcting it.
“And over there is the top student in the eastern exam, Chen Xia!”
A small-bodied foreign-looking female student with black hair and black pupils was trying different foods from other countries with a curious face.
“I heard her major is Knight and she beat all of her competitors in the entrance exam with just her fists?”
Then he looked at the blond male student who was speaking while shaking his wine glass.
He was surrounded by his friends.
“And over there, that's the top student in the central exams, Prince Duran Moira, also majoring in Knight.”
The pale blond male student was gently shaking his wine glass.
He was completely surrounded by students who were close to him.
Karl had an unhappy face as he pointed next to Leo.
“As for the Northern top students.”
Chloe was reading a book while eating a cake.
“Those are two top students in the West, and it’s the famous Celia Gerdinger and Abad Llewellyn.”
“Leo, here you are.”
Celia came just in time.
“Celia? Oh, no! Could it be Celia Gerdinger?”
“Leo, the girl you were close with was Celia Gerdinger? That’s awesome.”
Karl grinned and held out his hand to Celia.
“As I introduced you earlier, it's Karl Thomas!”
“Huh? You appear to have become friends.
Celia held Karl's hand, and then looked toward Chloe.
“What about you?”
“I'm Chloe Mueller.”
“Chloe Mueller, the Northern topper?”
Chloe smiled confidently.
Celia, who had been looking at Chloe with a moment of interest, asked Leo.
“What are you thinking about?”
The image of the academy seems different from what I had imagined.”
Lumeln was a place where the best talents are selected and trained to become heroes.
As a result, academy life was notorious for being extremely difficult, with an extremely high dropout rate.
In such a place, to give such a luxurious cruise trip, it was hard for him to understand.
“Even if it is Lumeln, would it really start picking up on students prior to the entrance ceremony?”
You're thinking too much.”
This time Celia agreed with Karl.
Suddenly, the ship shook violently.
“But it doesn't look like that.”
“What, what is it?”
As Leo muttered, something emerged from the lake.
“Ahh! What’s that!”
“Is this, could it be a Kraken?”
“A Kraken appeared all of a sudden! What the hell is going on!”
The party on the deck was covered by the shadow of a giant octopus leg, and the students panicked.
“Oh, Professor Ain! Please help us!”
One female student rushed to Ain, asking for help.
“Help? Why should I?”
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