“It’s a scouting skill,” said the man named Alpha.
In another room used to monitor Luon’s progression Alpha, Delta and Beta were watching his every move. Alpha and Delta were very interested in Luon’s choice of skill. However, Beta had an odd expression on his face.
“To think he could actually accomplish it. Right now we should take it to the testing room to judge it, right?” asked the female judge named Delta. Luon had only taken 2 hours to build this device to replicate the skill, [Sentinel]. Not only that, but he had personally tested it himself to confirm whether or not it works. However, only the judges had the final say on whether or not he passed.
The criteria for this examination is to allow even a commoner to use the skill. Simple and easy to use while at the same time creative and unique. The device in Luon’s hands was in the shape of a monocle, but it wasn’t a scouter to judge status like the BMPU, it served another purpose.
“Yes, that’s right. Let’s get someone to guide Luon to the testing room. While we’re at it let’s also find someone to do the test,” said the man named Alpha.
“I’ll do the test,” said Beta in a deep and determined voice.
Alpha frowned upon his answer as said, “You know… we’re not allowed to judge the product directly, right?”
Beta got up and started walking towards the door as he said, “Then get a different judge, I’ll be the tester.”
And with those words, Beta left the room. Alpha quickly got up from his chair as he was about to yell “You are-”
Before Alpha could even yell at Beta’s rebellious appearance Delta tapped his shoulder. Alpha gave Delta a hard look in the eye as if asking her what she was doing only to see her head shaking in denial. Alpha calmed down a little and appeared confused he thought, ‘Why did you stop me?’
He continued to look at her for answers as Delta slowly and calmly started to tell him a story.
There once was an engineer who chased after his father’s footsteps to become one just like him. He was a very average person, he had no redeeming features and wasn’t smart. If anything he was extremely diligent as he eventually made his way into the field of study he loved to be in. When he started to design and work for Novera Corporation, he fell in love with a woman, and she also did the same. However, she had a fiancee who she didn’t like as her family had arranged the marriage. Her family said that they would dissolve it only if he could prove himself useful or make a name out of himself. He decided to replicate the [Sentinel] skill which originated from an elven background, it was a handy skill. Just before he was able to make a breakthrough, he was murdered by his beloved one’s fiancee. And the father of that man was Beta.
Luon entered a vast and empty white room with his newly created device. Within the last few months, he had gotten used to the tools that the current generation was used to create objects. Luon had been commissioned to create many items while working in Zekar’s workshop and because of this, building the basic components of tools was an easy task for him.
The only hard part was the design and actual implementation of the code, magic arrays, and glyphs that were used in the design.
As Luon waited inside the empty white room the surroundings change into a forest type set up. Luon evaluated the surroundings after the change and found that this room is some kind of simulator much different than the Vortex Container. Luon felt the surroundings become almost real. However, his real body wasn’t asleep. Luon was awake as he continued to search for any signs of danger.
At this point, a man walked out of the forest and appeared in front of Luon. He was very aged, he had signs of white emerging in his black hair, and his skin was tanned as if he had bathed in the sun for a long time.
The man walked in front of Luon and said, “I am the tester assigned for your exam. The name’s Samuel Keeth. A pleasure to meet you.”
He motioned his hand as if asking for a handshake and Luon, in turn, shook his hand.
“Now that we are acquainted let’s test your device,” said Samuel.
Luon gave Samuel the device in which he placed it above the right side of his face. It covered his eye with a black shade causing him to look like he had a small magnifying glass on one side. Luon thought it looked a little silly as he secretly noted himself to change the design later.
“How do I operate this thing?” asked Samuel after he equipped the device.
“Simply tap the button on the side of the monocle to start the device,” Luon said.
As Samuel did so a ghastly image of an owl appeared in front of him. Looking at the glass, Samuel was able to see what the spectral owl could see.
“Wow, that’s pretty cool. How can I control it,” Samuel asked with vigor.
“It requires a decent amount of control, however, as long as you get used to it, anyone can do it. Simply use your brain and look at the glass where the owl can see and imagine the owl moving. The owl will travel based on the signal your brain tells the owl to go to. It might be easier to close your eyes for a bit. You can still see the owl’s vision even if you’re not looking at the piece of glass,” replied Luon.
As he followed Luon’s instructions, the owl flew all around, and soon it flew away from them. Samuel’s heart rate sped up as he asked, “This is… amazing! Can it do anything else?”
Luon smiled due to his compliments and said, “Why, of course, it can. The skill I chose for the assessment is called [Sentinel] which is used by elves to scout a great distance away. However, the problems it had was that the owl had to return to its owner to provide the details it had scouted. What elves saw wasn’t real time, and the spell cost a decent amount of mana to retain. What I did was replicate the functionality of spawning a ghastly figure, only there’s no spirit inside of it. It is instead controlled remotely by the person with the monocle like a remote control car providing real-time surveillance like a drone, except for the fact that it’s a magical being and the only way to get rid of it is by using magic. This single factor makes it better than drones.”
“You indeed replicated it perfectly and changed some features of it. How did you manage to send the signal across though? And wouldn’t this change affect the distance? How is the mana consumption handled I can’t sense anything,” Samuel curiously asked.
Luon nodded at his questions and proudly said, “The signal is sent by the brain and goes through a converter which changes it to mana. This technique was based on the [Possession] skill that Puppeteers, Banshees, Spectres, and Evil Soul Cultivators used to manipulate other people. Because of this factor, the distance that owl could scout had decreased by 25%. However, the mana used to maintain the shape of the owl is nearly infinite as the spectral being absorbs mana from its surroundings to maintain its form.”
“Oh, is that so? Then how does it go away and can anyone use the owl?” asked Samuel.
“The owl’s mana signature is encrypted by the user, so unless you could see the mana encryptions from a distance that are as small as a computer chip on a motherboard it would difficult to do so and to remove the owl just simply press the other button on the device,” said Luon.
Samuel nodded as tapped the other button which in turn caused the owl to vanish and the vision displayed the glass to turn black, he then asked, “What would happen if I pressed the spawn button more than once?”
Luon smiled as if he had lured him into that question as he said, “Why it would create more than one owl, this device is several times better than the original skill as you could create as many as you want to.”
Intrigued by his answer Samuel quickly spawned in numerous amount of owls, and asked, “How could you control all of these owls?”
“When more than one owl spawn the command used to send owls becomes singular. Similar to playing real-time strategy games you simply tell it to move once, and it would do so, there’s no complex mechanism, but at the same time, this disables the ability to control the owl if something were to occur, unless you have a fast reaction speed. As you can see on the glass now is multiple of tiny screens based on all of the owl’s vision,” Luon said.
Samuel continued to play and judge the device as the flock of owls flew in many different directions. Tears slowly accumulated on his face, Luon couldn’t tell if he was crying in joy, or sorrow, the expression on Samuel’s face was too complicated for Luon to tell.
“So how did I do?” questioned Luon after some time had passed.
As if waking up from a trance Samuel turned and faced Luon as if he was caught in the act of doing something wrong.
“Give me one second,” said Samuel and after saying this, he turned away from Luon to message someone. A few moments later he turned back around to face Luon with a happy expression on his face.
Samuel then said, “You passed, congratulations you are now a level 2 engineer.”
“Hmm, congratulations,” Shizuka said just as Luon left the examination room.
Seeing her appearance Luon wasn’t surprised to see her, in fact, he had suspected that she and Belle had watched his first examination after Luon had learned about her identity.
Luon nodded at her remark as replied, “Congratulations to you too, Shizuka.”
She only nodded, and the silence came afterward. Seconds had passed as Luon continue to stare at Shizuka, he felt awkward at the situation. Before the survival training event, they had spoken very few words with each other despite sitting in neighboring seats during lessons and seeing each other in classes.
At this moment Shizuka said, “Well, I guess I’ll see you in level 3 soon. Try your best to catch up.”
As if fired up from her words Luon smiled as he said, “Not if I get there first.”
Days had passed since the day Luon had received his engineering license level 2. Luon was glad that he had quickly passed the exam, however, before he was able to go through the new material he had access to, an inevitable event happened, school exams.
Luon who majored in combat, commanding, and engineering was as busy as a bee, from cramming his studies inside the vortex container to writing the test, days had passed before he knew it and the first year ended like so.
Generally, if you think about these courses, one would think that there would be no examination at all, on paper at least.
The reality wasn’t like that though. For first-year students the school emphasized theory and during their third year would they be evaluated by practical exams. What kind theory was there for combat and commanding classes you may ask?
For the commander class examinations, it was a mixture of history and problem-solving questions. For example, one of the problems asked, “According to the situation where you are a lower ranked officer who received an order from a higher ranked official, how should you respond if he ask gave you a task beyond your ability?”
For the combat class examinations, it was like taking a biology class that asked questions regarding the weakness and strength of various different beings in the universe. The exam had a variety of different species ranging from Inzektors to Orcs, monsters and even robots.
Which was surprising because robots were only created by members of the Alliance, so there is almost no opportunity to fight one unless there was internal strife within the community.
The last exam for Luon was over as a bell signified his freedom echoed inside the room. Luon gave his body a stretch, he felt immensely relieved at this moment. Currently, Bendan and Tyron had a ghastly white expression while they laid on their desk with soulless eyes. Gizmo, on the other hand, looked relaxed as he got up to approached Luon as he asked, “So what’s your plan for this summer? Going home to your parents? Or are you going to be preparing for the upcoming event?”
“Event? Besides killing Inzektors, and improving our strength to do so, what else is there to do?” Luon asked as he appeared slightly confused by Gizmo’s vigor.
Gizmo let off a sigh, his expression turned serious as he slowly articulated, “The Al-li-ance Tournament, don’t tell me you forgot that during our second year it’s a big war between you and us, versus your fellow schoolmates and the other 15 powerhouses of the universe. I know you’re a scatterbrain who only has crafting and battles in your head but to think you forgot about one of the most important battles in your school life…”
Luon was then enlightened, he had indeed forgotten about the tournament as his life was busy from so many different commitments, from day classes to his part-time engineering job, and all that night shift training sessions in the Vortex Container.
Ordinary people wouldn’t be able to handle such a workload, rather than continue working they prefer to have some resting periods.
‘The alliance tournament,’ Luon thought. A major annual event which determined the prosperity of a solar system just as it was globally entertaining, it was akin to the world famous sports event, soccer, he was a fan of during his first simulation.
And now he has a chance to become one of those famous figures, Luon couldn’t help but smile in anticipation.
And this day marked the end of his first year of school.