He thought that he was the type to be easily washed by the flow of things.
He thought that he had a pretty decent understanding of the world.
He thought that he was on the rails of success with leeway to spare.
That day, at that night, when he made a party with his friends to challenge a tough lecture —his world changed.
More accurately, the way he saw the world changed bit by bit.
The gears creaked, switched the way they were connected, and the meaning of the things showing in his eyes changed.
The obvious had stopped being the obvious.
The unreasonable stopped being on the other side of the shore.
Strength is infinite, it continues on endlessly.
Even so, weakness still continues being meaningless.
That person is Daena.
He struggled with his own limits to the point of desperation, and noticed many things.
The experience in Kannaoi that surpassed the limits of their own vision became a trigger for irreplaceable growth in them.
“Your pattern hasn’t changed from the time you were defeated by Jin!”
A commanding voice resonated in the practice field.
The owner of the voice is Daena.
His usual aloof attitude was not there, and his eyes were the very definition of serious.
The one that was sent flying and was collapsed there was one of the new students that had joined the class of the temporary teacher Raidou.
By some strange work of fate, that male student was the branch school student that caused a ruckus with Jin and the others in the summer vacation.
Due to the incident with the variant attack in Rotsgard, the students were reorganized, and as a result, there were a good number of students that were promoted from the branch school to the main school, and he is one of those.
“Damn it! Just because you are strong, you are wringing us out as you please. Is this bullying?! You petty bastard that still drags what happened in the past.”
There were several other students in a similar state by the side of the blown away student.
The complaint of the recently defeated student reached their ears.
They agreed completely with him.
The strength of Daena whose age isn’t that apart from them was terrifying, and they acknowledge that too.
But they are here to take the lessons of the temporary teacher, Raidou, who raised that Daena, and yet, the ones doing the teaching are the students Daena, Jin, and Amelia.
The assistant Shiki would sometimes come to give advice and make programs for basic training, but that’s all it was.
There hasn’t been a single time where they have taken actual special lessons to be on the level of Daena.
It was clear that the new students were accumulating dissatisfaction.
Within them, Daena was specially strict.
No, he suddenly became strict.
The male student remembered the time when he messed with him in the branch school days, and he thought that was the reason, which made that sudden change of attitude more the bitter.
The actual reason was completely different though.
“I am not petty, former Rubbish! No, it was Ropa, right. Sorry, you were so insignificant, I made a mistake. The guys that were sleeping should be up now, and their bodies should be able to move already! You can all come at me together, you know?! Try hitting me once!!” (Daena)
“Don’t purposely mistake it! How many combat specialists do you think the Ropa has dispatched?!”
The male student doesn’t seem to have broken yet.
He confirmed his equipment and took a stance with his sword.
The branch schools that surround the Rotsgard main school have their respective specialized areas.
Ropa is a branch school that excels in warriors.
Elemental magic is Mazul.
Summoning related is Britto.
Different from the main school that raises all abilities, the branch schools have a defined teaching direction.
The Rotsgard main school and branch schools originally didn’t have a higher and lower standing, and it was simply divided depending on specialties, which was the intended form of it.
But after a long passage of time, the main school began to slowly get better in all sides, and the branch schools became the inferior product. There’s some who surpassed the main school when it came to their specialties, but it ended up with the skewed view of ‘that’s all they are good at’.
“Then, you, a lone light armored warrior, should be able to manage somehow, right?!” (Daena)
Daena was right in front of his eyes.
The blade of Daena’s dagger is smashed.
It is wasted even more than the ones provided for training by the Academy.
A number of dull sounds resonated, and the students stood back up and surrounded Daena, but they were soon sent flying away again.
“Please give us a break already. What grudge do you have with us, Daena…-senpai.”
A different student complains.
There wasn’t even time to chant.
The frontlines are even more worthless than paper.
There’s no way a mage would find such a beat-up as an amusing situation.
It can’t be helped that they would think this is not serving them at all.
They still haven’t noticed that this combat lecture is to change that exact notion of them.
“I have no grudge. I am simply training you guys with all I have as someone that’s standing ahead of you guys.” (Daena)
If possible, he wanted his juniors to get a sense of solidarity by their own efforts, but, sadly, it looks like that wish of his won’t be coming true yet.
Daena internally sighs as he begins to speak, while thinking about the time when they themselves were cornered a lot by Raidou and Shiki.
“Tormenting us mindlessly like this? Don’t joke around. I don’t know who pissed you off, but really, don’t mess around.”
“I swear I am not pissed or have a grudge on anyone. In the first place, it is true that the Ropa school messed with us, but the one who dealt with you was Jin.”
“On top of that, you guys were one-sidedly beat up by Jin, you know? Why would I be pissed by you guys about that?” (Daena)
He made sense.
It would have been one thing if they were messed with and faced a painful experience, but for Daena, it wasn’t an obstacle, or a trouble of import.
This is how Jin and the others feel as well. But there were students that were promoted from the branch school to the main school that were from that time, and it was etched in them as quite the bitter memory.
“Then what’s your objective?!”
“Is your brain working? I am telling you the objective is to make you guys stronger.” (Daena)
“You don’t even let us shoot magic! How is that gonna make us stronger?!”
“…Really, that head you have there must be for decoration.” (Daena)
“Your magic. The magic you are so good at. Go ahead and shoot it.” (Daena)
The moment the mage that was angered and quarrelling began to chant…
Daena used his dagger to send the staff in his hand flying.
“The ones who should stop messing around are you guys.” (Daena)
Anger overflows from Daena.
This anger was mixed in his voice as well and reached the students, and they trembled.
“You repeat the same things over and over.” (Daena)
“If you can’t use your magic because your enemy acts faster than you, why don’t you take more distance? Why don’t you aim to shorten your chants? Why don’t you ask for your comrades to cover for you? Why are you not trying to test out anything?” (Daena)
“When taking the class, pay attention to the details of the one guiding you. I told you guys from the very beginning to consider this as actual combat, right? If in real combat, you were barraging complaints to your opponent like you are doing just now, and they don’t let you do as you please, you would be dead. Do you plan on doing that?” (Daena)
“Then the world is filled with sophism.” (Daena)
“It is not only you. That goes the same for the people around. You would have died several times if this were real combat. How much time did you have to observe me? How many battle strategies and patterns did you try in this lesson?” (Daena)
“Every single time with the same attack, same defense, ending beat up just like always. I am not tormenting you here, you guys are tormenting yourselves!” (Daena)
“…But you seniors have gotten the lessons of Raidou-sensei.”
“You are clearly ahead of us. If we got the lessons from the teacher, even you would…!”
“If you guys were to take the lessons of our teacher as you are, you would be cornered to the verge of death, and the lesson would end with you guys losing consciousness. It wouldn’t be any different.” (Daena)
They wouldn’t be able to learn anything.
Daena implied this.
“Even so, repeating this over and over without any explanations is simply violence!”
“Explanation? Didn’t we tell you guys that today would be actual combat training?” (Daena)
“We weren’t told to think and test out a lot of stuff!”
It seemed like the students around were of the same opinion as him.
The former Ropa student also nodded at this.
“…Haaah. Just how used did you guys get to the lessons of the buffoon teachers here?” (Daena)
“I was also like you guys in the beginning, so it is weird for me to say this, but in the lessons of Raidou-sensei, the ones who can’t do anything will just be left behind, you know?” (Daena)
“There’s no way there would be lectures where you are trained in a kind and gentle manner and get crazy strong.” (Daena)
“In our case, he summoned damn crazy strong lizardmen, and no matter how many times we were on the verge of death, we would be brought back by healing magic, and were made to fight endlessly. We brainstormed, tested, and repeated and repeated till we could manage to have a good fight.” (Daena)
“D-Do you mean…that?”
A female student with a spear in her hand points with a trembling finger at Jin and the others who are having a high level battle with two Mist Lizards.
“Yeah. In the beginning, it was amusing just how little we could do even against one of them. You are even weaker than that, you know? I am serving as a substitute.” (Daena)
“Even so, I feel like there’s a fatal lack of words…”
“No, it is just that you people lack imagination. Then, this time, at least hammer into your mind the notion of thinking, testing, and not giving up. If you do, next time you might be able to endure for longer.” (Daena)
“What are you getting surprised for? There’s no way your lecture is going to advance with this pathetic display here, right? In the next one, and the one that follows; if you guys don’t change, we will stay like this forever, you know?” (Daena)
“If you can talk nonsense like that, you must still have energy left. Then, let’s go for one last round. I will give you two minutes, so think about what to do with everyone.” (Daena)
Daena, who had become a drill sergeant, said what he had to say and took distance from the students.
‘I miss learning in a classroom’, ‘please let our kind senior come back’; those kinds of mortified gazes were flying around.
But Daena didn’t pay attention to any of those.
(That night we got stronger again. But that was after we were conscious about death all the time, desperately struggled with our all, and luckily survived.) (Daena)
Including their fortune of being able to witness a battle where the peaks of the world clashed. That’s how Daena thought of it.
And by thinking in that way, it served as a trigger for him to change.
(That’s not something you can do several times. I will probably die if there’s a next time. It would all be over. Seeking growth from such an experience is reckless beyond belief. Then, how do you have a powerful growth without being in the embrace of death?) (Daena)
Daena noticed the blessing that he himself already had.
He realized just how blessed of a place and environment he was in.
(There’s no experience that surpasses actual combat. That’s the unquestionable truth. But just how many deaths would that create before you grow? That’s right…that’s what training exists for. That’s why we study. That’s why there’s lectures.) (Daena)
Even if the time efficiency doesn’t rival that of actual combat, you can obtain knowledge and experience in a relatively safe environment.
And Daena is in the Rotsgard Academy as a scholarship student.
The highest academic centre of the world.
There’s a massive amount of knowledge and experience clearly stacked in this place from their predecessors.
Great discoveries, and also frustrating and buried failures.
For the people that are trying to learn everything from now on, this is a dazzling treasure trove.
Daena touched the origin of people’s growth, and he learned the root meaning of the Academy and the lectures.
‘Aah, the place where you go to study, right?’.
‘It is the best place. I am awesome for being called to such a place’.
‘I feel like they are going to make me do real boring stuff. I can understand most of anything if I am taught, but it is such a pain’.
That was Daena’s way of thinking before joining, and before he took the lectures of Raidou.
Thinking back on those memories would make Daena blush in embarrassment.
(The Academy is truly an amazing place. But the current Academy is somewhat…different. I feel like Rotsgard shouldn’t be this kind of place. It is strange that the lessons and the desire to learn are not overflowing with energy. I prefer a school where you can answer to the people that desire knowledge and power, and do their best to obtain it.) (Daena)
That was the resolve of Daena.
The turning point of one of the students that had long been thinking that he would just pass his days within the slightly higher than average, or somewhat below that point, doing minimum effort.
Within this space where Jin, Amelia, and Izumo are getting more distinct goals for their future, the current Daena has gotten a clear distinct goal for his own future.
The day Raidou comes back to the Academy is soon approaching.
Daena was looking forward to that day while working hard in leading the students.