Chapter 2 Orientation

Chapter 2 Orientation

{You got a new message master would like to read it? Maybe the 13,325 others too…}

A small text box appeared as I got off the train. It seemed the AI or whatever was getting more and more comfortable with me. Not that I mind it was quite funny.

I nodded at the first question.

{Subject: Welcome Cadet Lucid Gracile to Laurent Academy!}

{Welcome,

The first-week itinerary is posted below. Please make sure to read other messages regarding your apartment building, floor, and room along with directions on where to obtain the necessary equipment!…}

I read the email as I walked, nodding happily realizing I had a place to stay. Luckily, whatever was installed followed my head as I spun it in every which way taking in this city keeping whatever I was reading stabilized and in place.

Looking at the city it was like an ore of bismuth painted in white. I could see building upon buildings cleanly stacked together. Although packed, It didn’t feel urban in the least. There was plenty of greenery hanging off walls or trees growing alongside the roads. The air too felt fresh as I walked on the snaking pathway of stone through the park filled with evergreens.

I couldn’t help looking like a bumpkin at the beautiful city, especially with this luggage. It’s not my fault the train stop was in the middle of a park.

{One more left then take the elevator up to the Laurent Dome inside the building ahead, master.}

It was easy to navigate this new world with the help of AI projecting arrows into my vision. I was getting used to its reliable convenience quickly as it led me to the two giant towers.

“Huge…” the words escaped my mouth when I came upon the twin towers I had seen from the train. My vision was obscured by the trees earlier, but now…

Just standing beside these two towers filled me with intense unease. They were too big! It seemed unfeasible to exist for my mind.

Is it really okay for me to enter? My name isn’t really Lucid… what happens if someone finds out I’m not him? Hesitation filled my mind. Would I be tortured and questioned until I spew that I’m not from this world?

I probably wouldn’t even have the power to even resist if some kind of swat team jumped on me.

My pace didn’t slow as I continued to walk closer towards the automatic doors people where filtering in and out of.

Oh… It’s just a giant mall.

My worries subsided once I was inside. I could see a food court, an electronics store, and various clothing stores with mannequins featuring odd fitting clothes.

It was comforting in a way, seeing the stark familiarity.

“Get out of the way!”

I was violently shoved to the side when I paused for a moment at the entrance.

“Jonah! Don’t be rude. He’s a cadet too…”

“His rank is 11342 why should it matter. C’mon hurry up we’re gonna be late.”

The girl cadet looked back at me giving a small head bow in apology, before being pulled by the guy.

{Jonah Holdfur: Rank 4569, Alexa Holdfur: Rank 4453}

Ranking is this important? I pondered why ranking meant so much as I began my walk towards the elevators myself.

Orientation for this magic academy was in 30 minutes. I have no money, no family, or friends right now if I get kicked out of this place I’d be homeless so it would be best to do nothing to create attention.

“164 floors!” In a flash, I was what I assumed was the center of the two buildings.

I stepped out, it was much like concert halls or sports stadiums where the inner halls led to each seating section.

“Welcome…Lucid to Laurent Academy. You still have your luggage with you? Allow me to take it to your room.” A person greeted me as I stepped out of the elevator she probably didn’t know my name which is why she paused to look it up.

She looked official and saw other students do the same to the other greeters waiting in front of the elevators doors so I complied.

{Master over there!}

The AI projected a jumping green arrow right above my designated seat in the distance. I began to make my way until a commotion started behind me.

“Is that Runter! Oh! Oh my god! Look!”

The hundreds of students who had been walking to their seats all begun to turn around to witness the number 0 rank cadet.

Like a celebrity, they swarmed around him throwing me around like a ping-pong trying to get pictures with their phones.

I was honestly more surprised phones existed when everyone seemed to already have the convenience of whatever was installed in my head was called. I had already noted it had recording functions.

“Welcome Runter! To Laurent Academy!” The greeter seemed to have given a much more enthusiastic one. He seemed to be followed by a group of four other cadets in tow.

“Wow, he really does shine.” A girl next to me spoke to her friend as they looked over the pictures they had taken on their phones.

“Seriously, pictures don’t do him justice, but look I got his smile in this one, so cute!…” Two girls looked at each other tapping their phones to share the picture.

“Barely the first day and they already look like a top class party so unfair. But they only have 5 members maybe I can be the sixth?” A male cadet with a big build spoke up after Runter’s group passed him.

“You wish, at the minimum the legendaries take are in the top 100’s into their personal party.”

I only heard praises from all the people gathered. The crowd continued to grow until it made it impossible to move. Squeezing together like sardines to make space for Runter and his group to pass.

Is that them? I saw a group led by a tall green haired man.

{Runter Hope: Rank 0, Emilia Kim: Rank 33, Robert Williams: Rank 43, Eric Delacroix: Rank 71, Alexandra Jones: Rank 44. }

“Compared to me they really are in another league…” I couldn’t help, but let out.

I had to praise their high rankings being the top 1% at anything meant hard work.

A gap opened up and I slipped through entering the dome.

Finally, I’m in.

Inside, I took a look around it was just like a stadium except the seats were plush and had generous legroom for people to walk by.

I sat down and waited in silence. The silence only serving to fill me with questions. All the conversations, references, and sights in front of me were all so foreign. The fact that this was another world was finally sinking in especially finally seeing real magic.

Some cadets where summoning wicked looking fanged beasts or creating towers of flames to scare their friends until they were scolded.

I’ve never felt so out of place in my life and that had to mean something.

I saw a couple of the workers finish setting up a podium.

“Orientation will begin in ten minutes.” I didn’t see any speakers, but the voice resounded clearly and loudly throughout.

The clatter stopped at the message. Students began to rush to their seats bumping and colliding into each other as they all had packed themselves by the entrance to see Runter.

Whos that?

A woman wearing in a glittering black dress walked up to the podium. Her folded bat-like wings swinging behind her only increased my sheer awe at her beauty. Her long hair a deep dark purple further mystified me. In her small pale hands, she held a black jewelry box making it obvious she held it with great care.

{That’s Hospica Laurent the current Academy president, master.}

“Hello everyone!” Her voice was sultry yet musical. I now really did believe she was a harpy or siren.

“I hope those of you returning had a great break. I want to say what a wonderful year we had because of all of the hard work each one of you put in. From engineering advancements to our combat rank jumping two spots. I would like to offer my sincere thank you.” Mrs. Laurent took a step back and gave a deep bow before stepping back to the podium.

“Now then, I would like to start with a warm welcome to the newly admitted cadets!” An applause rung out.

As the orientation continued Mrs. Laurent spoke about various things, most of which I had no clue about, but after making a joke she took a sudden pause.

President Laurent looked around to all the sections in the dome smiling.

“I’m sure many of you are curious about this year’s prize for the MMG’s, right? Many of you probably are wondering why it wasn’t in an email like I usually do. Even various guilds reached out to me too little ol’ me’. Well, today I’ll give your relief.”

The academy president teased as I watched her lift up the small box that was sitting on the podium.

“For this year… in celebration of the completed twin tower, the winner of the MMG’s will get to use…”

She grinned as she held the cover of the black box.

“The akashic orb!” She flipped the cover open.

A golden orb shined like the sun, intense enough the AI had adjusted my vision to darken my view.

Gasps sounded out followed by an enormous clatter. Not even her jokes received that much attention.

Is it that amazing?

{Master, that orb can answer any question! It’s a big deal! It was only brought out once during the first Magic and Martial Games!}

“Ahem.” The president closed the box with a loud snap, my vision went completely black until the darkening was removed.

Silence returned.

It could answer any question… any question?

Could It can tell me where my classmates were transported!? My heart began to beat fast at the sudden news. Even the academy president’s beautiful voice drowned out as I fell deep into my thoughts.

“I hope with this news you all can put in great effort into your studies here. Now then the orientation is over. Remember classes begin next week!”

President Laurent walked off the stage with a satisfied smile it looked like she got the reaction she had hoped for.

What are the Magic and Martial Games?

{Master doesn’t know? At the end of the year, all students are placed on a giant island and fight against each other. The final student standing wins, easy right? Your final place is also the biggest influence on your future ranking too.}

Easy? A giant battle against people like Runter or even stronger? Still…

“I need to get that orb…” The words leaked out of my mouth.

“You? 11342? HAHAHA”

“Did you hear that John this guy wants to win pffttt.” A cadet with a short brown hair that had been sitting next to me nudged his seatmate.

“Shut up Urnon aren’t you like rank 10,300 something.” His seatmate with a similar short red hair gave me a bow before he left.

“You know I have a condition, John, what the hell…” The brown-haired student looked saddened as he followed after his friend.

My mind was too focused on the possibilities of finding Kevin, Noe, and Ester in danger. Thinking about it now I lucked out. They could be in serious in real danger if those summoned beasts are any indication of what exists in this world.

The questions I avoided filled my head filling me with anxiety.

I walked away muttering the phrasings I could use on the orb as I followed the arrows directly to my assigned dorm room. How I would I win the orb?


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Flower
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