Chapter 3 - The Academy's Worst Student (3)
“Such a shame. The coward couldnt even kill himself properly.”
As David spoke confidently, the man called Jack next to him shook his head.
“Nah. Someone saw that son of a bitch sneak a bunch of sleeping pills from the infirmary yesterday. He mustve heard the rumors that you could die a painless death by swallowing a bunch at the same time.”
“He mustve not taken the pills then.”
David agreed with the other man Anthony.
“I think so, too.”
“Damn it. Want to make a bet, then I bet ten meal tickets that he died.”
“Then I bet that he didnt.”
“Lets do five each.”
Looking at each other, they grinned. The other students in the classroom glanced in their direction distastefully. No matter how they thought about it, Davids wickedness had gone too far. It was unbelievable how he could bet on others lives so easily. Even so, there was no one who dared to openly defy him.
It was not just his behavior that kept some of them quiet. David had better skills and was from a house of much higher status than them. But such students were usually indifferent to the business of others. They were the type to not move until Davids party tried to murder someone in the classroom. The rest of the students were weak and clumsily avoided Frey out of fear of being targeted. Some were even thankful for Frey being there.
It was then that the door opened, which quickly caught Davids attention. A handsome man entered the classroom. His neat figure and calm expression exuded indifference. Though now was not the time for such empty thoughts.
Isnt that Frey
He almost didnt recognize him if it werent for his unique, faded grey hair.
“Thats Frey, right”
Other students also chatted among themselves. It seemed that David was not the only one bewildered by his sudden change.
Frey looked around the classroom and leisurely made eye contact with David. For a short while, their gazes were locked onto each other. David thought that Freys expression would be full of dread as usual, but it wasnt. He didnt know what happened last night, but human nature did not change so easily.
Hurry and lower your eyes already.
He had it seen dozens of times. The self-conscious demeanor that was unfitting of someone from the distinguished Blake House. But it was natural for Frey, the disgrace abandoned by his family and the academys worst student.
However todays Frey was different from usual. He ignored David and his typical high-strung appearance was strangely relaxed. He had never seen Frey walk with his back so straight.
Frey went to his seat, sat down, and took out a textbook from his desk. He started reading each page in fascination as if he was lost in his own world.
David unwittingly exclaimed, dumbfounded. His reaction was rather dry. Meanwhile Jack and Anthonys faces were already distorted. They made eye contact with Frey and had the same reaction. Jack became impatient and wanted to speak up, but David called Freys name first.
Frey turned his head and looked at David with indifference. Even his uselessly glossy face today was unpleasant. He continued boldly.
“Look. Didnt I tell you The bastards a coward whos too afraid to even die.”
Jack and Anthony, who had frozen at Davids words, quickly remembered their roles. Their faces filled with ridicule and contempt.
“Yeah yeah, you win.”
“God this sucks. Here, your meal tickets.”
Among them, Jack felt the worst. Not just from Freys attitude, but also because he just blew 10 meal tickets. He calmed himself, approached Frey and sneered.
“Whats wrong Did you eat something wrong yesterday”
He spoke in a gentle tone that seemed to be filled with friendly concern, but his expression was murderous.
But Frey did not respond and just kept reading his textbook. Jacks face hardened. Infuriated, he walked over as fast as he could and took away Freys book. Only then did he look up at him.
“Whats your problem”
“‘Whats your problem Hah.”
Jack was about to spew a string of curses. However, the moment he received Freys attention, he stopped without even realizing it.
W-whats with this bastard. Those eyes…
His bottomless gaze seemed to peer inside of him. Jack forced himself to keep smiling, feeling both unnerved and terrified.
“Y-You thought sleeping pills were good for your skin, huh Seeing the oil oozing from your face.”
Anthony busted out laughing at his joke, causing Jack to regain confidence.
“Give me your meal ticket, Frey.”
“Yeah, I just lost ten from my bet.”
The tension from earlier had completely left him. Waving the book he took from Frey, Jack continued.
“I bet ten meal tickets on you dying, so how could you show up to class like this Thanks to you, Im gonna starve for a while.”
“Yeah its Freys fault!”
David and Anthony jeered enthusiastically. In comparison, Freys reaction was simple.
Once again, silence engulfed the classroom. The students gaped at Frey with their eyes wide open. Of course, Jacks expression stood out the most.
“What did you say”
His hesitation toward Frey disappeared in an instant and turned into anger. Jack had a very imposing physique and vicious impression for a magician. When seen by others, he would even be mistaken as a mercenary.
When Jack grated his teeth threateningly, some of the weak-hearted students paled.
Frey, on the other hand, remained calm. Actually, he was rather annoyed by him.
“Give me my book back and get lost.”
Jack was not the type to be babbling over such provocations. He immediately put his anger into action. His cauldron-sized fist struck Frey in the face.
Or so he thought.
Jack quickly realized that Frey was standing right next to him.
When did the guy who was just sitting in his seat stand up He felt like he had seen a ghost. Whereas Frey simply stared at the dumbfounded Jack.
What the hell is up with this guy
As he scrutinized these guys in more detail, Freys memories clearly surfaced - from the moment he had entered the academy to the end of his life.
In the beginning, his life was decent. Everyone smiled and treated Frey well, and he was happy. He felt as if he had finally found a place to belong.
That was until they had discovered the truth. He had a hopeless mana sensitivity and could not even use 1-star spells properly. Even worse, he was a totally abandoned son of the Blake House.
“A bastard like you doesnt even deserve to attend the academy.”
“Im begging you, so just hurry up and die.”
In Freys memory, Davids horde were devils. Even Lucas impregnable mental strength could not prevent Freys body from trembling so weakly. He could guess how much he had suffered until now. He had had a hard and painful life. Above all, it was due to the fact that he had no one to rely on.
Frey accepted his memories completely. And at the same time, he made a judgment. Frey did not intend to retaliate against David and his party. This was because the level difference was too great. It is like an adult getting involved in a playground dispute.
But it was not the same. Davids partys atrocious acts were as vicious as any other corrupt aristocrat.
Jack was a little scared from the sudden change in Freys attitude and how he vanished and reappeared like a ghost. But mainly it was his eyes.
His eyes were like bottomless pits. Just by looking into them, he felt as if he was being sucked into his soul.
Frey recalled his memories when he was Lucas. By the time he was hailed as the Great Mage, he had garnered another name, the Great Teacher. He raised, led, and supported many of his disciples.
However, he did not consider himself a good man. Because Lucas never forgave those who pointed a sword at him. Nevertheless, thanks to him nurturing a spirit of deep discipline, unnecessary disputes tended to be avoided as much as possible.
But now it was different. 4,000 years.
He had been sealed in the abyss for a long time. Regardless of how much Lucas kept his reason intact, it was difficult to stay alone in a space where there was nothing. He had been on the brink of madness hundreds of times, and had several occasions where his consciousness had nearly been consumed.
But Lucas had succeeded in maintaining his self-awareness.
How There was only one way. He expelled his violent emotions endlessly. He constantly recalled the beings who had sealed himself away. His outrage neared bloodthirst. For months, he would mutter words of hatred and curses so profane that they were difficult to say aloud.
Clear mirror, still water (明鏡止水) was essential to increase the rank of ones magic, but Lucas at that time had no choice. Had he maintained only such static emotions, his consciousness would have been consumed by the abyss ages ago.
Jack was unable to make a sound. All of a sudden, he felt severe pain in his abdomen and could not even breathe properly. He felt like he had been impaled by a spear. His eyes rolled back, and he lost consciousness, his body slamming against the ground with an audible thud.
“W-what was that”
“Whats going on”
Jack had fallen down in an instant. At least it appeared that way to the students in the classroom. No one saw what really happened.
It was Frey. His actions were surprisingly simple. After activating mana all over his body to drastically improve his physical ability, he brought his fist into Jacks stomach. And with a faster move than the previous, he recovered it.
However, this series of processes was unorthodoxly fast. At least to an extent the other students would never realize.