Home Post 1201-chapter-42


Teleportation magic circle, Claude and Felicia standing side by side in front of me.


The Academy staff shouted energetically. The surrounding circle of wizards blew mana into it.

Underneath, a blue light shimmered, accompanied by a humming vibration.

The chief wizard shouted, “Teleport!”

Boom! A blinding light erupted. Reflexively, I raised my arm in front of my face and closed my eyes. Reedmore wrapped himself around me, blocking my vision.

A sensation of being cramped, limbs stretching out strangely like strings, filled the narrow passage.

Moments later, the light faded and my feet landed firmly on solid ground. I straightened my hunched shoulders and carefully opened my eyes.

The scent of the wind was different. The voices of many people chattering at once, shouts and screams mixed together, echoed around me.

“If you’ve arrived, please come out!”

A figure in worn wizard robes stood on the magic circle above us and shouted to us and other students.

“Follow me.”

Another wizard led us. Lowering my arm, I followed his lead.

Claude’s blond hair fluttered in the wind as he led the way.

Ahead, people spread out across the vast plain, makeshift tents for shelter, armed knights with tethered horses for preliminary reconnaissance, wizards and priests scattered about.

Wherever the gaze fell, the massive Medina Mountain loomed in the background.

The leading wizard turned back after a moment. His eyes, filled with the monotony of repeating the same words dozens of times, scanned us.

“Welcome to Aldev Plain.”

* * *

“Must be nice. I wish I was in this group.”

The first day of the three-day practical training involved teleporting from the Academy to Aldev Plain, followed by group meetings to familiarize ourselves with the dungeon entry guidelines and to prepare.

After listening to the guidelines, Pogos, who visited us on our own time, spoke enviously.

“You should have been optimistic. Look, it worked, didn’t it?”

“I don’t think I was particularly pessimistic…”

Felicia dismissed Pogo’s muttering nonchalantly.

She surveyed us sitting around the campfire she had lit in the center of the tent.

“Two swordsmen and two elementalists. Not bad.”

She murmured with a hint of regret.

“Well, a wizard would have been more convenient…”

“If we had debuffs or control spells, it would be easier.”

Reedmore nodded, and I agreed. A wizard’s presence in battle was indeed beneficial.

Although it was convenient to have a group gathered, it wasn’t the most efficient composition.

“No, we don’t even need a wizard! Reedmore, you are already an excellent swordsman, and we have Khalia, right? With an Undine, we can sweep through anything.”

Felicia’s enthusiasm ignited. Reedmore looked slightly embarrassed, yet proud.

I glanced at Claude across from me, who had been sitting silently all day with that vague smile that reflected his continuing ambivalence.

Felicia’s attempts to lighten the mood, even with such trivial conversation, were affected by his demeanor.

He remained silent throughout the day, only briefly introducing himself during the team greeting time. Otherwise, he kept his lips sealed and was passive.

It was unusual enough to make one wonder if something bad had happened.

Even Felicia, who had always seen him cheerful and full of life, seemed puzzled by his constant aloofness.

Reedmore glanced at me, too, realizing from my recent behavior of following him that something was wrong between me and Claude.

Even now, Claude was staring at the campfire, alternating his gaze between it and us, looking uncomfortable.

“To that extent…”

I couldn’t help but feel depressed. The pleasant anticipation I had felt when I saw the team list was gone.

“It’s not something to hate that much.”

We hadn’t done anything yet, and his attitude, even before we entered the dungeon, sapped some of my energy.

“Every time I think we’ve parted on good terms, he completely changes his attitude as if nothing happened when we meet again. He’s really strange.”

I grumbled inwardly. He must be a very complicated person.

“But does that mean I give up?”

Once we enter the dungeon, there’s nothing to be done.

However, I didn’t want to worsen the atmosphere right now.

“Where are you going?”

Reedmore asked when I stood up abruptly.

“I thought I’d go for a little walk.”

I hoped at least one of us would be absent to ease the awkward tension. Reedmore got up to accompany me and said, “I’ll go with you.”

“No, that’s okay. I’ll just walk around nearby and return.”

“Khalia. Remember our promise?”

He said rather sternly. It was about the promise we made at Felicia’s engagement not to wander alone.


“Lady Estelle.”

Just as I was considering how to politely decline to gather my thoughts, I heard someone calling me.

Turning, I saw an unexpected figure.


The others stood up a little awkwardly and greeted him.

It was Adrian from the group of priests who had come for the healing. He smiled warmly and said, “I hope I’m not interrupting your evening.”

“Not at all. But what’s going on…?”

Reedmore asked on our behalf.

“I need to discuss something with Lady Estelle. Could you spare some time?”

He said, extending his hand to me politely.

“Of course.”

I put my hand on his. I didn’t know what he wanted to talk about, but it seemed like a good thing.

“I’ll be back soon.”

I whispered to Reedmore. He nodded with a complex expression and sat down again.

If even being next to a beloved priest isn’t considered safe, then there is no place in this world that can be considered safe.

Accompanied by the priest’s escort, I slowly retreated. The last glimpse of Claude’s face showed an expression I couldn’t quite decipher.

It was too early to retire for the night.

Students gathered around their makeshift shelters, chatting or walking in groups like us.

Even in the dark, some recognized Adrian and greeted him.

“How can I help you?”

When we passed through the barren area where people were scarce.

“Here, take this.”

He released my arm. He opened a simple duffel bag slung over one shoulder and handed it to me.

“What’s this?”

I asked, and he smiled and gestured toward the bag. It seemed he wanted me to check it out for myself.

I untied it and looked inside. It contained a potion bottle, slightly larger than usual, with a shimmering white liquid inside.

“It’s a blessed potion. Take it, just in case.”

“But why are you giving it to me, Priest?”

I was surprised and tilted my head. Adrian just smiled without saying anything.

Each student is given two potions to help with minor injuries, skin regeneration, and recovery.

A potion blessed by a priest, especially one like Adrian, is incredibly valuable, far more than what’s appropriate for a lower level dungeon like this.

I closed the backpack.

“I can’t accept this.”

But Adrian stepped back. That alone created a noticeable distance.

He spoke from where he stood.

“It’s just the goodwill of someone older than you. You probably won’t need it. I just wanted to give you some peace of mind, since it’s your first practical session.”

“So why give me a gift? There are many other sophomores who are attending for the first time. I don’t… I don’t understand, priest.”

It was confusing. It seemed like he had favored me since the last time.

‘But what reason would Adrian have to do that?’

He receives divine favor, yes, but why would he show such kindness to me, whom he’d only taught briefly in private lessons?

It didn’t make sense.

“Please just consider it a gesture of goodwill from someone who wishes you well.”

“But you’re a professor of theology and a central figure in this group of priests. Is it okay to favor one person so much, especially when others…? I don’t know…”

My words jumbled in the tension. I didn’t know how to handle the situation.

“If you feel you’re being treated unfairly, then someone should show you as much kindness as possible to make up for it.”

The tension began to ease. In the shadows, he smiled gracefully as always.

“You are a special person, Khalia.”

He gently took my outstretched hand and pushed the bag back toward me. He touched my chin.

“It’s getting late. Let me walk you back.”

As if enchanted, I put on the backpack and walked back with him.

Pogos had already left. Adrian said good night to everyone and left.

When Claude saw me, he immediately entered the tent.

Reedmore and Felicia bombarded me with questions about what had happened, what was in the bag, but I brushed them off without answering, citing fatigue.

Lying on my bed, I hugged the bag Adrian had given me. I felt the round shape of the glass bottle.

Who is Adrian, and why is he doing this for me?

Sleep eluded me. As time passed, my mind became clearer and clearer.

The day we enter the dungeon is upon us when the sun rises. I forced myself to close my eyes and tried to sleep for my own sake.

How many stars did I count before I finally lost consciousness?

“Rise and shine! Wake up!”

The voices of several instructors calling from outside jolted me awake.

The day had dawned for us to enter the dungeon.