Chapter 59

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The months flew by quickly. It was now Joshua’s first day at the Academy. He looked around his new room, stretched his muscles, and stared at the boxes and boxes of stuff Cain had helped him pack.

Hahhh. Time to start my six-year life in the Academy. My plan is just to lie low and regain my strength.

Joshua had already consumed a lot of his spare power to demonstrate his potential. It was mentally and physically exhausting. Therefore, he had no intention of drawing attention to himself, even though he was in disguise.

Now, what do I do about this? Joshua scowled at the room. There were three beds and several pieces of furniture in this larger-than-expected room. In other words, he had roommates.

Hmm… Roommates. I hope they won’t be assholes.

The door suddenly opened with a clunk.

“Oh? I wasn’t the first one here?” The boy who had just entered the room looked at Joshua with wide eyes.

He had exotic purple hair and big, bright purple eyes to match. Despite his slight figure, he seemed healthy, and his skin was deeply tanned.

“It’s great to meet you, new friend!” The new kid walked over to Joshua with a playful smile and clasped his hands. “I’m Agareth! Agareth kun Douglas.”

Joshua stared blankly at the too-bright boy for a long moment.

“I’m Ash… Ash pen Frederick.”

“Frederick? Hmmm, I’ve never heard of that name before.” The kid frowned, making Joshua laugh. Joshua had expected Agareth’s reaction.

Agareth was a member of the Empire’s top 1%; he and his peers were raised in aristocratic households where their every need was met. In the Academy, your status was determined solely by your family’s power. What sort of perspective would the Academy imprint on their minds in this gathering of young lords?

I’ll remain silent and calm. With a resigned expression, Joshua tried to turn away.

“Are you alright? Ash, look after me for this year.” Agareth pumped their joined hands up and down. “Firstly, I must unpack. There isn’t much time left to prepare for the event.” The boy gestured to the luggage piled up behind him.

The Douglas clan… Joshua’s first impression wasn’t bad; he was a noble but not boastful like the others. It was usually children of lower aristocrats who acted like this. It was probably for the best—it was much better than the kids who flaunted their family’s authority like it was their own.

“I guess I’m the last one?” A voice from the doorway made Agareth and Joshua’s heads turn.

“You!” Joshua’s eyes sparkled with wonder.

“Ah, you!”


A typical forest would soothe the mind with its rich green light—but this forest was tinted a melancholy magenta color, and seemed to be dark even in broad daylight.

The Black Monster Forest. Its very name conjured an image of being devoured by the abyss.

A man’s voice sounds quietly through the din of monsters’ noise.

“A ray of light pierces the vastness of the sky.” His voice attracted the attention of every monster in the area—hundreds of monsters, at the very least. A sight that would make even the calmest person tremble.

The man didn’t seem to mind and continued reciting his spell. “Gather at my fingertips, lightning, and strike down all foes that stand in my way.”

The first to rush at the man was a dark troll, and the rest of the creatures soon followed. Their screams cut through the pitch-black gloom over the rumble of hundreds of footsteps.

“A violent downpour of light falls upon their heads.” The man finished his spell with a disinterested expression as if it all had nothing to do with him. A dazzling white light gathered at his fingertips, transforming into innumerable raindrops that soaked into the dry ground.

“Lightning Rain.”

A flash of light.

It was over before the monsters could scream. For a moment, the darkness split. Then the sky was darkened by a thunderstorm; electrical currents raced across the ground, illuminating only the dark coals of the incinerated monster. Nothing else remained to attest to their existence.

“That’s my magic… How would you compare it to that child’s ‘strength’?”

When he didn’t receive a response, the mage turned. An obese man, trembling like shaken gelatin, screamed as he approached. To him, the mage’s footsteps sounded like the reaper’s boots. It was Viscount Vig Beck Steck, Lord of the Locke Estate.

“Hey! I asked you a question… and I demand an answer. I know you saw something…”

“You really are a Sixth-Class Mage…”

“Who you think I am or am not is up to you… But I want you to answer my questions, and I don’t have the time or patience to listen to bullshit.”

Vig screamed convulsively. “I am a noble of the Great Avalon Empire! Do you think you can get away with this if they hear of this preposterous treatment?!”

“Empire?” A strange smile flickered across the man’s lips. “I wouldn’t have come if I was afraid of something like that.”

Vig’s eyes bulged as the man’s frightening energy poured down on him. The Viscount had spent his whole life relying on his ability to read people; the man in front of him certainly didn’t seem like he was lying.

The Empire won’t care. This man could end Vig’s life right now; he was a god, for all intents and purposes.

“Ah! Your magic is obviously more powerful! I am a stranger to magic, but I am certain of it! Even after he used the same lightning bolt, a large number of creatures survived!”

“Of course,” the man said with undisguised pride. “There are innumerable schools of magic; even the same spell can vary wildly in power depending on your school. Even if the child is a direct descendent of him and a powerful magician like myself… It can’t be that strong.

“Besides, he wasn’t the type of person to use lightning as his primary weapon.” The mage frowned, scowled, rubbed his chin, and frowned some more. “Also, why did he take Bronto? But there are consequences…”

The man jerked his head to the side. “All right, I’ll have to meet the boy in person. Obviously, Duke Agnus’s estate isn’t easy to sneak into, but—”

“Wait, wait, wait! Hold for a second! If you’re thinking of seeing Joshua von Agnus, you’re making a serious mistake!”

The man gave him a dark look. “Am I doing things incorrectly?”

“I don’t know the details, but he followed the Duke to the capital. I was told he’d be admitted to the Academy—”

“The Academy?” The man smirked. The Agnus Estate was not a particularly big issue, but Arcadia was a different story. The walls had eyes there; he couldn’t run around, no matter how strong he was.

“It’s a real problem…” The mage grimaced.

“I, I will assist!”

“...What?”

For a moment, Vig forgot his fear. “I hate that kid—that bastard! I couldn’t even begin to tell you why I hate him! I’ll help you kill that kid.”

The man stared at Vig for a moment and burst out laughing. Finally, he drew the hood of his blue rob off his head. The man within the robe was very ordinary, save for his pleasantly deep voice. He was middle-aged, with light blue hair and blue eyes of a more common shade than Joshua’s deep blue irises.

But there was one feature that drew Vig’s attention.

“Sterope’s mark! Why do you—?” Under his right eye was a circle surrounding a lightning bolt.

He… as expected.

“You’re one of the Seven Magicians!” Vig’s voice exploded with emotion. “The Thunderbolt! Jack Steropes!”

Jack smiled widely.

“By the way,” he said, gesturing to Vig’s bloated body. “I can’t just let a little piggy lend me a hand, no matter how urgent the problem is, right?”

“What?”

“I said I didn’t care, but it could be a pain if my identity is revealed.”

“Do you mean you’re planning to kill me? If I, an Imperial nobleman, suddenly vanished, the Empire, or the Duke of Agnus, would immediately go looking for me! Your true identity will be revealed—”

“Yeah, no.” Jack lifted his hand with a sunny smile. “Pork kebab is the best way to cook a pig.”

“Wait—!”

“Die.” Jack flicked his fingers, piercing Vig’s swollen bulk with a single lightning bolt.

Vig’s screams echoed through the peaceful woodland.

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