Chapter 4: First Class

Chapter 4: First Class

{Master time to wake up!}

A bright laser shined into my eyes attempting to burn through my skull. I squinted harder than I ever have in my life, but it only served to make it brighter.

“Wha- what the hell!” I opened my eyes to find the source only to have it disappear.

{There you go, don’t worry master It’s completely safe~}

“Are you sure? I can see spots in my sight?”

No answer huh, I rolled out of the bed and into the bathroom.

Still, I no longer avoided the mirror as I undressed to shower, the only thing was I kept scaring myself thinking there’s a ghost when I pass by a mirror it naked.

Finishing I put the uniform then head out the door. I was never much of a breakfast person anyways or it was ingrained from never having breakfast available.

It felt odd not having to lock the door behind me, but I was assured it would be fine and followed the arrows overlayed in my vision. My first class would be in the new building on the 73rd floor sending me towards the connected walkways I had seen from afar.

Scary. Where my thoughts as I hesitated forward.

The walkway was much wider up close it even had benches and tree planters with glass railings on both sides as to not obstruct the view below. Even the roof was retractable.

My damp hair felt the coolness of the morning air, but I figured it would dry by the time I got to the classroom.

73rd floor…and room 7333. I double checked the room number before quietly entering through the door.

Oh, it’s those four.

Opposite from the entrance by the windows seats It was the group of four from my train ride sitting together. I could finally see their ranks.

{Mei Wang: Rank 2, Abigail Brandt: Rank 9, Alan Durand: Rank 7, Chibin Park: Rank 17}

They’re on the level of Runter.

My mouth opened a little. I didn’t know how to use the AI at the time so I couldn’t have know who they were.

That means this course is for advanced students no?

I felt a pain in my stomach, even I had a limit to how much I could study. I clutched my abdomen and sat down in the back as far away from the group of four. I prayed I wouldn’t be called up to answer questions. Hopefully, they still think I’m a mute savant.

A little after I had sat down students started rushing in one after the other filling up the empty seats, except for the ones next to me. Being at the edge by a wall at least meant they didn’t have the opportunity to avoid me on both sides.

He walked through the door with his party behind him choosing to sit at the front in the center. The four other legendaries tried to pay him no mind, but I saw them sneak glances.

There seems to be some rivalry?

{Of course master, they’re all competitive by nature each of those 5 won’t even party with one another.}

Those four aren’t in a party?

{No, of course not. They all have their own party much like Runter.}

So it’s like that none of them want to share the spotlight.

Looking around at the two-hundred or so students the lowest rank other than me was 211.

Chatter picked up when Runter had walked in, but silence fell when a young woman with straight black hair walked in. She had a heavy aura, but her steps were light still her walk felt like a rhino’s charge. She wore a fitted black suit and dark grey shirt with black leather gloves. In her hands was a metal briefcase and a pair of sporty sunglasses.

{Mary Baker Eddy: Renowned healer and practical combat teacher reaching the Cardinal stage at a young age. Known for her body strengthening and fist fighting techniques. Most famous accomplishment being in the party that conquered the Timewarp Crystallis Tower.
Stage: Dominion
Estimated Combat Data: STR: ~53000, AGI: ~47000, MGI: ~19000, Mana Cap.: ~45000 AM}

Those numbers are insane!

I wasn’t clear on the difference between combat data, but with those numbers, I was sure she could pop my little head with a thought.

It’s a relief in a way, compared to her everyone in here Runter, the four, and I are ants all the same before her.

“Welcome new cadets, to my course on analyzing opponent strengths and weaknesses, my name is Mary Baker Eddy, feel free to call me any of those three. While today we are in this lecture hall most of our classes will be held in basement field three.”

She put down her briefcase and sunglasses on the demonstration desk and walked to the center.

“Before I begin, although most of you probably already have one, I want to remind you to have your chosen weapons by the next class. Now let’s dive in with a general review. I’ve sent the slides to our class board. Please open it up as I will be controlling the slides in there.”

{Here you go, master.}

Convenient. The overlay opened up and a giant screen projected behind the teacher appeared. The course quickly began.

Mrs. Eddy was a good speaker her gentle looks were a contrast to her brash demeanor when talking about her experience in the Timewarp Tower. Apparently, her party had experienced over 3 years inside trying to complete it.

Crazier was that the moment they finally defeated the final floor and found a path back to an exit they found themselves in front of the news outlets packing up after seeing them off.

“Alright, before we leave as a general refresher, strength stat anyone tell me what it means?” An eager student rose from their seat.

“Yes, Ruby.”

“The strength stat in combat data is computed from the estimated output of a non-magically amplified punch or kick, the higher of the two in Joules. ”

“Yup, that’s a good way to think of it, but let me say this the data is just a number, although it has many uses of course to gauge an opponent. I want to remind you all just cause an opponent’s is higher does not mean victory. Every year, I see too many cadets focused on increasing their numbers with no technique to integrate that strength.”

“Okay someone tell me about agility?”

My eyes turned in curiosity as Runter stood up.

“Agility is the maximum speed someone can move in centimeters per second in one step, but in combat, you must remember positioning is more important than speed.”

Mrs. Eddy nodded and begun speaking about how she uses strength and agility combat data estimates to adjust her fighting styles.

Did Runter scowl? Was he expecting praise? I watched from the back as Runter had stayed standing for couple seconds longer than he should have.

“And lastly someone explain the magic estimate of combat data?”

Mei stood up.

“The magic combat rating is the maximum amount of mana one can compress in one spell. Mana Capacity is calculated by the amount of time in seconds someone can levitate at 1kg object 1 meter in the air. During testing it is more common to use heavier weights then converted back due to time, however, this ignores a person’s unique mana usage efficiency from the higher load. Magic does not account for casting times as powerful spells often leave many openings. However, some magic users can multicast and use this knowledge to bait enemies.”

“Very good Mei. Perfect answer. Yes, that last part is exactly what happened to my party in the Timewarp Tower. Our over eagerness allowed us to forget the basics and the first-floor boss teleported us to a location outside of our map when I had wrongly rushed in for the final blow.”

I saw Runter send Mei a deathly glare before instantly turning it into a smile when she turned to him. I wanted to laugh. He was seriously jealous over something like that?

I sucked in my lips to keep a straight face. I’m a mute robot savant after all.

“Alright, that’s it for today. Make sure to bring your weapons to basement field three next month.”

As I gathered my things I watched a couple students walk directly to Mrs. Eddy as she dismissed the class. They must have been fans as they asked for autographs and took pictures with her. Even Mei and Abigail went up and shared a few words.

I made my way down the steps towards the exit to my next course.

“Ah wait, Lucid?” I turned back to see Mrs. Eddy call out to me.

“…” I looked at her silently. Should I stick to being mute?

“You don’t have to bring a weapon, you don’t fight correct?”

“…” I shook my head.

“Oh, you will participate?” Mrs. Eddy looked intrigued.

“If I can.” I gave up it was too much of a bother to be mute. Miracles have to be common in a world full of magic right?

Plus I wasn’t sure if I was any good at fighting seeing as I had no weapon, so “If I can” at least gives me the option to go either way.

Mrs. Eddy looked at me in shock she must have known I was somewhat famous for my intelligence and the odd trait of being extremely robotic like when told to memorize or calculate something. Some articles even claimed I was a publicity stunt for an advanced android.

The whole reason I was here originally was because they probably wanted me to analyze fighting tactics.

I hope the expectations aren’t high still because I no longer have that type of intelligence.

“That’s the spirit! I like that! I hope you do.” Mrs. Eddy seemed pleased and even smacked me on the back. Mei and Abigail who were still standing close by didn’t look surprised.

I grit my teeth and smiled at the vicious attack from a teacher. I bowed to excuse myself and left for my next class. It felt like someone dropped a weight on me.

———————

So this is the rush.

Cadets poured out into the hallways many of us off to our next class. Some, of course, didn’t have a class after and went to train at the combat gym, eat, or just take a break.

For me, my classes had all been in a giant block and each one was harder than the previous. At points the sentences were filled with so many bizarre terms and acronyms I thought the more advanced translation function the AI provided was broken.

{What a day, huh master. You really did forget everything, but at least now you know how to speak and cast spells. What to order for lunch?}

I entered my apartment dispirited and threw myself on the couch.

The AI’s words stung a little, but I like this kind of friendly attitude better.

Lying face down on the couch I gathered myself. I honestly did try to understand the lessons, but most were way above my current level. So I chose to just study my beginner courses using the virtual book instead. I had tasked the AI to record the lessons for later use.

Regardless it was frustrating to know how little I understood while it was second nature to everyone else. I sat up and puffed my cheeks then let out a long breath.

“Get me anything with beef and what was that basic training thing you told me about last week?”

I pulled my uniform’s collar and looked down, I could see a portion of the gigantic bruise that had been aching on my back.

Yep, I’m going to need to get stronger.

{Nice choice! Would you like me to order the equipment set to train for the spare room? New will be 600 Scales and used it floats around 240 Scales? Both can be delivered within the hour.}

That doesn’t seem so bad, but I need to buy a weapon too and who knows how much those are…

{Master can also buy used weapons from the academy website. Students usually sell their starters when they upgrade or if changing weapon type. I would check those out first since most of the stuff on the academy personals is cheap mass produced junk.}

“Would it be better to get a decent used one or cheaper new one?”

{Since master is very poor and probably won’t have any income I think a good used grown weapon is better, but best would be a growth-type new weapon in the long run. Used equipment is cheapest at the start of the year since many people upgrade or need money for other stuff.}

I was suddenly reminded I needed to add finding an income source along with studying and training.

“Gahh!” I ruffled my hair.

“Order a used training set please.” I let out in a low voice. Magic might take a while to get to a decent level, but raising my physical strength will give me immediate results for now.

{Done. It came out to 210 scales, also food is almost here master.}

Convenient.
I heard the door ring and brought the food in. The dish was meatballs with a creamy beige sauce and a side of mashed potatoes. I chose orange juice from the delivery robot’s cold beverage box.

“Mmmm, this is so good.” The food began to help my mood.

“I don’t think I had ever had meatballs this nice.”

I browsed weapon listings on the academy website while I ate, controlling the page scrolling with my thoughts.

“This one looks cool.” I clicked on a shiny saber with a jade hilt.

{Hmm, no the alloy on that one is strong, but it corrodes too fast and its expensive to repair.}

I looked at another listing.

{The special skill is terrible and it has no space left to add your own in the future, overpriced.}

I chuckled, but I was happy the AI seemed to be very adamant on obtaining a good deal. I finished my last meatball and took the tray into the kitchen. I didn’t have any plates or utensils and I didn’t want to buy a set so I would be reusing these, luckily it was allowed.

{Oh master the equipment is here.}

I heard a knock instead of a ring as I put the cleaned plate to dry. With a thought, the security camera feed appeared in my vision. Outside was a man in a blue jumpsuit and a simple robot clad in white. I opened the door suspiciously.

“Hi, you are Lucid Gracile, correct?” The man gave me a quick glance then continued.

“I have your package where would you like it installed?”

Eh? I saw nothing. Is this a scam? I looked behind him to check. Is it cause I suddenly can speak and they want to interrogate me? Shit, what happens if they find out I’m from another world!

“Mr. Gracile, I have your package stored in my spatial magic.”

My ears got a little red as I remembered the worker who had brought my luggage.

“Ahem, yes please in the empty room over here.”

The spatial mage and the robot made quick work as they completed the install of the heavy looking machine then promptly left.

Does it look right? I asked the AI. It was a giant metal cage taking up a quarter of the room. Inside was only a bench, a barbell, two dumbbells, and a floor that looked like a treadmill’s. Did I have to buy weights separately?

{It looks good, practically new. You control the weight on the barbell and dumbells inside the cage master.}

“Ohh, how cool.” Magic really is great.

I looked at the cage excitedly. In my catch up study during the lectures, I learned bodies of this world are become naturally enhanced with mana. By training, I can further refine my physical body permanently with mana. I was giddy to start picturing myself lifting a car as if it was nothing.

“Is there an optimum regime?”

{Of course but don’t worry I’ve already prepared the best one available for cadets tailored to you, take a look master.}

Convenient. I looked over the document floating in front of me.

“Each exercise needed meditation right after?”
{Not meditation, but mana summoned at spread throughout the body master.}

“Huuh…” My control over mana was horrible. I was barely past the point of summoning mana without the use of a magic circle to help draw it out.

“I had to at least try.” I changed into the athletic clothing and begun to warm up.

I walked into the cage and picked up the dumbbells then begun the exercises following the guide.

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