“Entrance Exam”


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The magical country of Orchard has grown around its central figures, the magicians.
It was said to be about ten years ahead in civilization compared to other countries due to its advanced magic technology.
However, in recent times, other countries have also incorporated magic technology, and the technological gap has almost disappeared.

 

The magical country of Orchard, which has become the center of the world, was once a poor and powerless country, even by global standards.
Before being called the “Magical Country,” it was a pitiful “small country” that suffered constant damage from magical beasts.
This was because the concept of “magic” had not yet been established, and there were no means to counter magical beasts.

 

Among them, Orchard suffered more damage from magical beasts compared to other countries and was said to have been severely afflicted.
Suddenly, a “mysterious magician” appeared and saved Orchard from the damage caused by the magical beasts using the power of magic.
The citizens who witnessed this hailed the magician as a “hero” and “the original magician,” greatly appreciating the existence of magic.

 

Eventually, those who wanted to learn this magic sought teachings from the original magician, and at first, modest seminars were held in small villages.
Gradually, people gathered there, and the seminars expanded in scale until a learning facility was established there.
This was later known as the “Magical Academy.”

 

Through the Magical Academy, magic technology spread throughout Orchard, leading to its growth from a weak country to a magical country.
This is said to be the origin of the “Magical Country” and the “Magical Academy.”

 

“As Mulberry said.”

 

While walking towards the Magical Academy, I reviewed what Mulberry had taught me in my mind.
Maybe history-related questions might come up in the written exam.
I felt that the time spent walking was too precious to waste, so I decided to review for the entrance exam in my mind.

 

Anyway, I continued to walk towards the east, leaving the Forest of sinners behind.
Blossom, the capital city, was quite far away, so it was recommended to stop by a village on the way and take a carriage.

 

Therefore, as soon as I arrived in the village, following Mulberry’s advice, I headed to the carriage station.
The carriage heading east was just about to leave, so I hurriedly boarded.

 

“Excuse me! I’ll be boarding too!”

 

It had been quite a while since I had talked to anyone other than Mulberry, so my voice trembled a bit.
I completed the necessary procedures in embarrassment and boarded the carriage.

 

Rocking back and forth, the carriage ride was a fresh experience for me since being kicked out of my home.
As I gazed curiously out of the carriage window, we arrived at another village.
We changed to another carriage heading further east and continued to sway back and forth.

 

After repeating this three times over several days, we finally arrived at our destination, the capital city of Blossom.

 

“Oh…”

 

That was my honest impression of the city – it was vast, crowded, and had tall buildings that made my neck hurt.
It was a large circular city with more tall buildings compared to small villages.
The largest castle at the very back was probably the royal castle.

 

It was so big that you could see it even from the town gate, and it was decorated luxuriously.
I had never been to such a big city before, so it felt even more unusual.
Furthermore, Blossom, the capital city, was known to be the most technologically advanced magical city in the world, so unfamiliar tools and vehicles could be seen everywhere.


 

Overwhelmed by the unfamiliar noise of the city, I began to walk down the main street nervously, looking around curiously.
As I made my way through the crowd, I caught sight of a group of young people dressed in matching clothing out of the corner of my eye.

 

“Could it be…the students from the Magical Academy?”

 

The young people were all dressed in black-based clothing.
The young men wore a thin jacket over a long coat, while the young women wore blouses with frills and skirts, and a small mantle on top.
Each outfit was adorned with luxurious decorations that indicated high-quality clothing.
Moreover, these people carried “staffs,” which could be considered a symbol of magicians, at their waists or on their backs.

 

I realized that the characteristics of the uniforms worn by students attending the Magical Academy that Mulberry had taught me about matched the attire of these young people.
Therefore, I decided to follow them secretly and see where they were going.

 

As I had thought, following the young people led me to what appeared to be a school that resembled the academy.
It was a clean-looking building with a blue and white color scheme.
There was a large clock tower, a spacious schoolyard, a natural and lush courtyard between the school buildings, and even a dome-shaped facility that looked like a training ground off in the distance.

 

The young people in uniform blended in with this scenery, like a scene from a picture that captured a moment of their school life.
These features matched the stories that Mulberry had told me.

 

´This is the Royal Harvest Academy of Magic… It’s a beautiful place,´ I thought as I arrived at the school that I might attend.

 

Well, it’s not like I’ve already passed the entrance exam or anything.

 

Anyway, I headed straight to the admissions office to complete the entrance procedures.

 

I walked through the gate and approached what seemed to be the office area with a glass counter where I found a receptionist.
I spoke up in a soft voice, “Excuse me…”

 

“Yes?” she replied.

 

I told her that I wanted to apply for the entrance exam and she immediately explained the procedures to me and efficiently handled my request.
She informed me that the deadline for applications was approaching, so there were many applicants lately.

 

“First, can you tell me your name?” she asked.

 

“Ah, yes.
I’m Sachie.
Sachie Malmurard,” I said, changing my name at the last minute.

 

“I understand,” she replied.

 

I can’t use the name “Gracier” anymore since I’ve been expelled from the Gracier family.
I don’t even want to use that name anymore.
That’s why I borrowed Malmurard’s name, but it shouldn’t be a problem since it’s not suspicious.
Maybe it’s not even a unique name.

 

Next, the receptionist asked me to confirm my magical energy.


 

“Oh, huh? Your age is 15, so that’s not a problem, but your magical energy is very small.
Are you really taking the entrance exam for a magic school?” she asked.

 

“Huh? Yes, well…” I replied, feeling embarrassed.

 

“I see…” she responded.

 

She looked at me with a skeptical gaze.

 

Well, it’s not surprising.
If I were in the receptionist’s position, I would also think that taking the entrance exam with a magical energy level of 1 is a suicidal act.

 

After that, the receptionist issued the entrance exam ticket and gave me the final instructions.

 

“The entrance exam consists of a written test and a practical test.
Also, please note that injuries or accidents are your own responsibility.”

 

“Huh? Injuries or accidents?” I asked, feeling surprised by the sudden and ominous words.

 

“The exam is designed to simulate combat with magical beasts, so every year there are many injuries.
That’s why we require you to acknowledge in advance that there is a possibility of injury or accidents.”

 

“I see…,” I said, realizing that what Mulberry had said was true.

 

The entrance exam seems to heavily emphasize the practical test, which is designed to simulate combat with magical beasts.
This is probably why there are many injuries every year, making it a tough challenge for applicants.

 

It became clear at this point that this academy was a world of pure meritocracy, even in the entrance exam stage.

 

Well, I have trained for combat extensively, so I don’t think injuries or accidents will happen easily.

 

Anyway, I replied, “I understand,” and successfully completed my application.

 

´Now, shall I take it easy until the day of the exam?´ I thought to myself as I left the academy and started searching for a place to stay on the main street of the town.

 

Eventually, I found a reasonably priced inn near the academy and decided to rent a room for an extended period of time.
From then on, I enjoyed sightseeing in the town to my heart’s content until the day of the exam.

 

On the day of the entrance exam, I was among a crowd of aspiring students, looking around nervously.
In front of the main gate of the Magic Academy, many young people had gathered.
As expected, it seemed like only children of good birth and social status had come, with many of them dressed elegantly.
Among them, I felt a little out of place wearing the plain robe that Mulberry had given me.


 

The atmosphere wasn’t particularly comfortable, but I didn’t feel completely excluded either.
Even though we came from different backgrounds, it seemed like we all shared the same feelings of anticipation.

 

Some were placing their hands on their chests and taking deep breaths, while others stood with their hands clasped in prayer.
It seemed like everyone was nervous.

 

For children living in the Magic Nation of Orchard, entrance to the Magic Academy was a dream come true.
We had only heard that the exam consisted of a written test and a practical test, and we had no idea what the content would be.

 

We had only been informed that the practical test would involve subduing magical beasts, which made many of us even more anxious.
I was feeling quite nervous myself.
I wondered what kind of test it would be, hoping that it wouldn’t be too difficult.

 

“Now, we will begin the entrance exam.
I am the examiner, Rezan Elve.
We will start with the written test, so when your number is called, please proceed to the designated classroom.”

 

Following the instructions of the elegant, purple-haired female examiner with glasses, we each went to our designated classrooms for the written test, which began immediately.

 

The written test consisted of relatively easy questions.
They were about the principles of magic, the structure of magical substances, and other important issues related to magic.
If you aspired to be a National Magician, the exam content was something you should have been able to answer easily.

 

I was able to think that way thanks to Mulberry’s teachings.

 

“Now, we will proceed to the practical test.
Please come to the East Gate of the Royal Capital.”

 

Next up was the practical test.
Following the instructions of the examiners, we left the academy and arrived at the East Gate of the Royal Capital.

 

Compared to the main gate in the north, the East Gate wasn’t particularly large.
There was a small staircase made of cobblestones, and a road that seemed to cut through the grassland beyond it.

 

Since there were only a few people passing by, we moved towards the grass to avoid getting in the way before receiving an explanation of the practical test.

 

“The test involves subduing a designated magical beast in the forest located east of the capital.”

 

“A designated magical beast?”

 

Everyone had the same question, and after clearing her throat, the examiner continued, “Residents of the capital should know this, but that forest is called the ‘Forest of the Flower Monster ‘, and it’s home to a magical beast called the ‘Death Flower Ivy,’ which is shaped like a giant flower.
It’s extremely troublesome because it approaches people to drain their life force and sometimes spreads poison.
We want you, the examinees, to subdue that magical beast.”

 

As someone who wasn’t from the capital, it was new information for me.
I could see the dense forest beyond the East Gate.

 


So, we just had to defeat the flower-shaped magical beast there.
It seemed easy, but the other examinees showed a completely opposite reaction.

 

“Ugh, the Death Flower Ivy?”

 

“Of all the things, it had to be that for the exam…”

 

From their reactions, it seemed like the Death Flower Ivy was quite a formidable magical beast.
I wondered how strong it was.
Seeing the anxious expressions of everyone around me, I too started to worry.

 

To calm everyone’s nerves, the examiner smiled maturely and continued, “However, it would be unreasonable to have examinees fight a dangerous magical beast at their level.
Therefore, most of the Death Flower Ivies have been taken care of by National Magicians beforehand.
The only ones remaining are in their pre-flowering ‘bud state,’ and those are the targets you will aim to subdue.”

 

“In their pre-flowering state? How different are they from the original Death Flower Ivy?” I asked.

 

The examiner replied, “They are significantly weaker than the fully grown Death Flower Ivy, but they still possess some of its unique abilities, such as poison attacks.
So, don’t let your guard down.”

 

“The ones that haven’t bloomed yet are slow and weak.
If you’re aiming to enter the magic school, you should be able to defeat the magical beasts without any problems.
Please defeat them and bring back a white spherical “embryo” that is inside the bud as proof of your victory.”

 

Upon hearing this, everyone let out a relieved sigh, and I did too.
It’s not that I lack confidence, but I’ve never fought the magical beasts that appear around the royal capital before.
They may be much stronger than the ones in the Forest of Sinners.

 

Knowing that the target for this task is not a very strong magical beast, naturally brings a sense of relief.

 

“By the way, during the exam, it’s also possible to cooperate with other examinees to defeat the Death Flower Ivy.
However, since the number of Death Flower Ivies is limited, don’t forget that it’s still a competitive format.”

 

I conveyed the message indirectly that while cooperation is acceptable, it’s difficult for all members to pass together.
If five people cooperate, then they have to collect five embryo pearls, so it’s important to keep in mind that this is a competition and to help each other moderately.

 

“The time limit is two hours.
Examinees who bring back the embryo pearls of the Death Flower Ivy will be given extra points for their practical skills.
It goes without saying, but any acts of violence or stealing from other examinees are strictly prohibited.”

 

With that, the examiner finished explaining the practical exam.

 

All the examinees turned their attention to the Forest of Strange Flowers.

 

And then…

 

“Alright, begin!”

 

At the signal from the examiner, everyone started running at once.

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