`You must… live!`
A series of echoing sounds was uttering the same passage over and over again. It resounded within Zachariel’s dream. Then something akin to an explosion happened. It was blurry, but there was destruction in its wake.
Zachariel woke up. `It’s getting more realistic, and more vivid than the last time.` The nightmares were getting worse every day. It seemed to become stronger every time his cultivation strength increased too.
He felt his headache again. Something within him seems to be engraving itself into his brain and body, making his memories a mess. This had happened a few more times after forming his mana core, and he had to go to the library to refresh his memory about some things.
The pain receded after a short period of time. He breathed lightly and looked at the sky above. He felt that it was both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.
He went out of bed and prepared for the day.
Zachariel left his room after preparing himself. He went to the location of the Great Weaponry School.
He walked down a large path of paved road that was 10 meters wide. Beside the road were wooden benches, flowers, and trees. Many butterflies and birds would fly around from time to time. It was a tranquil scene.
The sunlight shone on his pale face. His black and white hair fluttered with the soft wind and the black school uniform added a charm to his figure. A navy-colored necktie was worn around the collar of the uniform.
There was an insignia in his left chest that distinguished him as a Prospect candidate.
It was golden, with the figure of wings centered at the insignia.
On his right side was another insignia, a blade, a spear, and an arrow crossed one another. The sword was in the middle, with the spear and the arrow on the left and right sides respectively. It was the symbol for students who had enrolled in the Great Weaponry School.
On the way, he met many students from different schools. Some had formed groups, while others kept to themselves. He was part of the latter.
Many new students recognized him. A group of girls was chatting about him when they saw him. They wore black blouses, a white undershirt, and either a skirt or pants.
“Hey, look at that guy. Isn’t he that Prospect candidate, Zachariel Strom?”
“Oh, the one with the unidentified mana core grade?”
“Yes! Isn’t he cool?”
“Hah! Prince Kane Cromwell is better than him. Maybe the platform was faulty and it exploded.”
“Stop saying that! I saw what happened at a close distance and I feel like he really is stronger than Prince Kane!”
“Hey, lower down your voices. If the guards hear that, they may arrest you, you know!”
Zachariel heard those gossips, but he ignored them. As for that Prince Kane that they were talking about, he has no business concerning him.
He arrived at the school area after 10 minutes of walking. The school had stone walls built around it. It was 4 meters long and was equipped with magic array formations.
The school gate was nowhere to be found, but there was a magic array formation that could identify whether a person could enter or not. Their black school uniforms were equipped with a magic array formation which would resonate whenever the formation in the gate conducts a verification.
After he went inside, he looked at the map on the magic screen for him to know where his classroom was located. He remembered that his class was labeled W1-A, and it was on a building located west of where he was right now.
The school buildings were made of stone, and similar to a modern school building. Students could be seen strutting on the hallways or leaning on the windows.
The center of the school was a mix of parks and other structures. It was surrounded by school buildings. Further to the north of where Zachariel currently was, was an entrance to a circular area for the instructors, deans, and the Prospects.
He entered the 2nd school building from the entrance area. He looked at a magic screen again and went upstairs. He then saw a sign that was labeled “W1-A” on his left side. There were a few students stationed outside, discussing something.
The three people right outside his classroom noticed him and stopped their discussion. Zachariel ignored them and went straight into the classroom.
There were at least 30 students inside. It was noisy until he arrived. They looked at him walking through the room until he sat down in the rightmost part of the room beside the window. Sabrina eyed him.
“Hmph.” She let out a short snort then went back to her own business.
Zachariel looked at the beautiful scenery outside. There were still some students moving around the campus. Some had special shoulder marks, indicating their current power level. Some had copper, silver, and even gold. Rarely would one see a platinum shoulder mark.
There were also insignias on their arms. Some had a figure holding a sword, others with spears. Zachariel saw one student whose arm insignia had a figure of a sword vertically with the fire below it acting like wings. It was majestic.
“Hey, that’s my seat you know.”
Zachariel’s thoughts were interrupted by the arrogant voice.
A group of students entered the classroom. It was the group of students Zachariel saw just now. They were arrogantly walking to Zachariel. Leading them was a student with a tanned square face. He has an undercut hair and it was colored brown.
“It’s my seat now.” Zachariel responded indifferently while looking at him.
“You-!” The guy in front punched him. It carried the essence of earth.
Somebody blocked his strike. A small clash of earth and fire mana essence erupted between the two.
A male student blocked the attack. He had a rectangular face, with fair brown skin. The buzz-cut style and his black hair exuded a fierce aura, even though he was shorter than the other guy.
“Vargas, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Punching a bastard who took my seat. You want to join Luiz?” Vargas responded with extreme hostility in his tone. He wanted to test how strong this ‘Prospect candidate’ was.
“Fighting isn’t allowed in the classroom, and assaulting a Prospect candidate is also out of the question. If you don’t want to get expelled, you better put your behavior properly.”
Luiz retorted Vargas’s answer. Even though many of them did not accept why Zachariel became a Prospect candidate, they still respected the decisions of the deans. It was then all just a matter of controlling their actions and behavior when Zachariel was around.
“You think you’re great just because you’re a Prospect candidate, huh?! Hiding behind someone who is not one, tch. What an embarrassment to Prospects. That girl over there is way better than you. Hmph! I bet you would cower behind your family if you were in danger.”
Vargas said in a very arrogant manner.
Zachariel’s mood turned sour. He was already in a bad mood because of the nightmares, and this guy even dragged his family into their discussion.
`Very well, then.` He gathered his mana essence and prepared to use mana force outburst.
Zachariel released the mana essence that he had gathered. The whole building trembled.
The glass windows broke and the walls also cracked. The road beside the building was also implicated. Many students that were walking outside were stunned by the sudden disturbance of mana.
Even the formations were in disarray because of the pressure from Zachariel’s mana force outburst. Oddly, nobody was thrown off to the air or pushed to the ground.
All of the students in the building became worried.
“Is somebody using mana inside the school buildings? Do they not fear expulsion from the school?”
“Run, get out of the school building!”
Most of them ran outside in case another same event happened. A commotion rang out on the western part of the school. Many students and instructors looked over.
“This strength, is it a platinum-level fighter?”
“Platinum? Are you kidding me? That building is for freshmen! Who has the strength to be a platinum-level fighter there?”
“Then how do you explain that phenomenon? An instructor bragging about his strength in the school? The deans would not tolerate such behavior from a student, much less the instructors themselves.”
“Maybe it’s one of those Prospect candidates? I heard that two of them enrolled here in this school.”
“Impossible, even the strongest human Prospects in their freshmen year in the first day of school only had a gold-level power.”
The heated discussions continued. Some of the instructors stationed themselves outside the building and prepared for another outburst. Some of them asked what had happened.
The wall cracks and broken glasses were repaired after a moment by the array formations.
The students in classroom W1-A were scared stiff. Even Sabrina shivered in fear when she felt that outburst. Vargas slumped down to the ground. `This is a monster!` He wet himself.
Luiz was also shocked about the outburst right now, especially since he was the closest person to Zachariel when it happened. `That mana output! It could be equivalent to a gold-level fighter! No, even better than that! Furthermore, this guy hadn’t blown off anyone aside.`
Meanwhile, a burly figure emerged in front of where the school building currently was.
He was wearing a black waistcoat and a white undershirt and formal pants. His diamond-shaped face that was plastered with scars radiated the aura of a retired veteran warrior. However, one could also mistake him for a monk who reclused in the mountains due to his bald hair and long white beard.
He squinted his eyes when he felt a disturbance in the mana within the school. When he observed closely what had happened, he recognized that it came from one of the students in his class.
`Hoh, what an excellent mana quality and mana control. He didn’t push away that student who was closest to him. Looks like I’m lucky this year.` He was excited since a strong Prospect candidate was given under his advisory. And there were two of them too.
Regarding the fact that Zachariel violated the rule of not using mana in the building, he didn’t give a damn thing about it.
It was fine as long as he didn’t kill any student or fully destroyed the building into nothingness. Otherwise, it would be a pain in the ass for him to explain Zachariel’s rash behavior.
He didn’t want to waste a talent like him, and he didn’t also give a damn if he was more talented than Prince Kane Cromwell. It was all fine as long as he contributed to the Imperium.
He arrived in front of the school building. One of the instructors noticed him and approached him.
“Sir Rufus, you’re here. Please help us! A student has violated the rule of using mana within the building, we need to-“
“All right, those students who went out, get back inside. For the other students, continue going to your respective buildings and classrooms. For the other instructors, I’ll take it from here.” He ordered the people outside the school building.
“Don’t worry, it’s all okay now. No more mana outbursts will happen so just go back and wait for your instructors to come into your classrooms.”
The students were still doubtful but under the gaze of that burly instructor, they had no choice but to follow. They slowly re-entered the building.
The other students and instructors went back into their own businesses too.
The burly instructor followed the students who went in and proceeded to the classroom of W1-A.
“Oh no, our instructor is coming. Get back to your seats now!” A girl spoke in a hurried tone while returning to her own seat. The other students followed suit.
The burly instructor went inside and saw that the room was in order. The students were clearly nervous, afraid that their instructor saw what had happened earlier and he would reprimand them.
“Alright, you can rest easy. No need to be so nervous in front of me.” The instructor was rather outgoing and had a cheerful voice.
“But, if it ever happens again, all of you will receive a punishment.”
He immediately changed the tone of his voice into an authoritative one.
The students lowered down their heads because of fear. Seeing that the students had understood, he continued.
“Alright, now that that’s settled, let’s introduce ourselves, shall we?”
The atmosphere became lightened again.
“I am Rufus Allen, your instructor for this year and this class. You can call me Sir Rufus or Instructor Rufus, whatever suits you right. I am a Weapons Master fighter who is versatile in the use of many types of weapons. You can approach me if you have any questions.”
“I will mainly teach you about weapons in this class. We will go through how to use weapons in fighting, layering mana or qi essence into your weapons, and launching attacks using your weapons layered with your preferred essences. We will have regular practice fights, and those who do well will receive a bonus.”
“I will not be the only one teaching you in this class, though. Other instructors will also come by and teach you about other stuff, so treat them with respect like how you do it with me.”
“With regards to your cultivation resources, in the first few months before the start of your first battlefield exercise, these resources will be given to you for free every week. Of course, their quality will not be that excellent as well.”
The students were more enthusiastic when they heard what he said. Regardless of quality, as long as they could consume something, it was good enough.
“You are not yet permitted to join any guilds until you have experienced your first battlefield exercise. After that, you must do well in the event and gain points, or else you won’t have a nice day here.”
“You can then join guilds, and complete missions there too and gain points. However, it is not as much when compared to the points you will gain in your battlefield exercises.”
The students did not worry about their results in the upcoming battlefield exercise. Their mana cores and dantian grades were at least 5 with some graded at 4. Getting a good result in the battlefield exercise was not a problem for them.
“There is also another thing. The yearly freshmen friendly skirmish event will happen in the next 2 months, on the 30th Day of Okton. Selected students from the Imperium will compete with the students from the other empires.”
“There will be 2 categories. Regular and Prospect candidate match. If you win here and rank high, you could get additional resources for your cultivation needs. Their quality will not let your efforts go to waste.”
“For those who want to join the regular matches, you have to compete with other students from the Great Weaponry School. Only the top 20 will have a chance to join in the friendly skirmish event. The preliminaries will start next month. Understood?”
“Yes sir!” The students answered with determination in their eyes. They wanted to be part of the top 20 and get some precious resources in order to get ahead of the others.
“For the two Prospect candidates in this class, Sabrina Rossi and Zachariel Strom, you two will meet with the other Prospects and Prospect candidates in the Central Area of the six Great Schools, in the Prospect building this afternoon at 18:00. Understood?”
“Yes sir!” Sabrina answered with great enthusiasm, while Zachariel had answered in a monotonous tone.
“Good. Now, enough about that. Let’s go to the practice field and start our first lesson.”
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