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15 Chapter 3.4 - Arcadia Hunter Academy

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After I left the cafeteria, I made my way towards the training grounds once again, as I was feeling refreshed after eating my meal.

'Now, I should train while using my trait and try to understand how to use my mana.'

Mana control was one of the most important but, at the same time, hardest things for a hunter. Since most of the time, hunters would awaken their mana later in their life; it would come as a different type of energy, like another limb suddenly being added to one body.

Therefore, it was very hard for people to master the usage of mana of any attribute. That alone shows how talented Irina is, as she is able to easily manipulate the fire mana even without constantly thinking about it.

Just like that, I entered the general training grounds again as I made my way toward the combat rooms.

'I won't be able to stay there for a long time.' I thought to myself, seeing the people that had already started piling up inside the combat rooms. 'But, let's make it as much as time we can.'

With that thought, I entered the combat room, and the room opened with a FUSH sound.

Different from the dummies I had trained at that time, combat rooms were designed for students that wanted to have alone time inside while combating the moving robots designed for close combat.

<Ding! Astron Natusalune. Hunter Department. First-year. Student Rank 2450/2450.>

Following my entering, a robotic sound welcomed me. It was the AI of the training room as it would adjust the quality and the difficulty of the training room to desired strength.

<Please choose the difficulty.>

Hearing this, I pondered for a second. 'For now, with these stats alone, even challenging 1st stage might be hard.' I thought. 'But, still, let's assess myself first.'

"Adjust the difficulty to the second stage."

<Understood. Adjusting the difficulty to the second stage.>

The second stage meant one simple thing. The average stats of the robots would be 2 for all stats.

<The difficulty is adjusted. Three seconds to start.>

<Two seconds to start.>

<One second to start.>

<Ding!>

As the countdown was finished, the lights turned off, with a bunch of moving robots appearing in front of me, their number consisting of five. Grabbing my dagger, I took my position and got ready to combat.

"Huff… Bring it on…."

/TOK/ /TOK/ /TOK/

The robots sprang forward with mechanical precision, their movements synchronized and calculated. Their metallic limbs whirred and clanked as they closed in on me, their glowing eyes fixed on their target.

However, different from before, I was able to see their moves.

/SWOOSH/

Reacting swiftly, I relied on my enhanced speed and reflexes to evade their initial strikes. Even though my body was weak, that didn't mean it was slow. With agility honed through countless hours of training, I dodged their relentless assaults, smoothly sidestepping their advances.

/CLANK/

However, at some point, I was not able to dodge the attack anymore, so I raised my dagger to parry the strike.

'Aim for the center of momentum and divert the energy.' I thought as I positioned my dagger in a way that wouldn't confront the full strength.

And it was successful. With precise and smooth control, I parried the attack of the dummy as I kicked it in its face.

/CLANK/ /CLANK/

With each clash, I observed the robots' patterns and weaknesses, capitalizing on their predictable movements.

/SWOOSH/ /SLASH/

And, going for the attack, I tried to slash the robot in the opening, but my dagger wasn't able to pierce through its barrier.

'I knew it… My strength was not enough for stage two.' I analyzed it immediately. However, that didn't discourage me. 'That means if I can't use mana to imbue my dagger, I won't be able to damage it.'

lightsΝοvεl ƈοm

With that thought, I tried to manifest my mana on the dagger just as I did on the way, imagining to command mana.

/SWOOSH/

However, that was not successful, as I was about to take a punch in the face.

The punch was imminent, closing in on me with lightning speed. Instinctively, I used my skill [Dash] as mana instantly flowed through my body, and I felt my speed increase.

/SWOOSH/

Instantly twisting my body, narrowly avoiding the blow. The force of the punch created a gust of wind that ruffled my hair, a reminder of the danger that loomed in the combat room.lightsnovel

'Huh, that was close.' I thought to myself, seeing the gust of wind. The robots were no joke.

'But, it is fun.' Though feeling the combat, I felt alive once again as the thrill and adrenaline changed my feelings slightly.

As the intense fight continued, I found myself struggling to manifest my moon-attribute mana. The robots relentlessly attacked, closing in on me with precision and speed. Their metallic limbs struck with force, testing my reflexes and endurance.

/TOK/ /TOK/ /TOK/

I focused my concentration, trying to channel my mana into my dagger, but the process proved more challenging than I anticipated because I was not familiar with the usage of mana and its manifestation.

Then one might ask me why I wanted to try it on the combat right now. The answer was simple because the most effective method of learning is frequently through encountering pain and peril.

/CLANK/

I took a couple of hits from the robots, their strikes connecting with my body. The pain jolted through me, momentarily breaking my concentration. Yet, it acted as a motivator, enhancing my resolve to conquer the challenges in front of me.

With renewed resolve, I channeled my inner strength. It felt like feeling the pain inside me resonated with the weird energy inside me, my thoughts turning into a crimson color. It was weird like my body wanted blood.

As I evaded another attack, I focused my thoughts on the dagger, visualizing that crimson glow of moonlight enveloping its blade.

/SWOOSH/

Finally, with a surge of determination, my mana manifested, coating the dagger in a soft, silvery but crimson light. It wasn't as powerful as I had hoped, only strong enough to damage the surface of the robots' metallic skin, but it was progress, nonetheless.

'The medium is not suited for the mana.' In the game, not every weapon was suited for every type of attribute after all.

/SLASH/

I unleashed a flurry of swift and precise strikes, aiming for the vulnerable joints and weak points of the robots. With each successful hit, the moon-imbued dagger left marks and scratches on their metallic frames. Though it wasn't enough to incapacitate them, it weakened their movements and disrupted their attacks.

/CLANK/ /CLANK/

The fight intensified as I balanced my evasive maneuvers with calculated strikes. The robots, hindered by the moon-imbued dagger, became more predictable, allowing me to exploit their weaknesses further. I danced around them, a nimble shadow moving with purpose and determination.

/SLASH/ /THRUST/ /SPIN/

With each passing moment, my mana control improved, the moon energy flowing more smoothly through my veins. The once feeble manifestation grew stronger, enabling me to deliver more substantial blows to the robots. It felt weird like the more I attacked with the crimson color imbued dagger, the more I felt my pain lessening like I was healing.

And that resulted in the imbued mana growing weaker with each second, and that resulted in me getting attacked once more. At the end of the day, it was a vicious cycle of pain.

/SWOOSH/ /SWOOSH/

With that one couple of strikes, I ended the clash, as the robots crashed all of them falling into the ground…..

<Ding! Stage two training completed. New record: 15 minutes 37 seconds.>

"Hufff…. Huffff…."

As the training room fell into silence, I took a moment to catch my breath, feeling the weight of exhaustion settle upon me. The red glow around my dagger faded slowly, giving me a feeling of accomplishment, despite the lingering pain.

I knew that my mana control still required further refinement. The red moon-imbued energy had both helped and hurt me. It made my powers stronger but also drained my energy and caused me pain. It was a delicate balance that I needed to master, but at the same time, I couldn't help but ponder about the reason why the glow was crimson.

'I feel like there is quite a lot to this trait. Somehow, my intitution tells me it will become something complex later on…. I need to understand it first.'

With a deep breath, I pushed myself up from the ground, my body aching but my goal unwavering.

<Do you wish to go again? You have two tries left for today.>

Since the academy was filled with students, for the combat rooms inside the general training grounds, the demand was high, thus, the academy needed to adjust such a rule.

Hearing the voice of the AI, I raised my body as I spoke.

"Yes. Adjust the difficulty to stage 2 once again."

<Understood. The difficulty is adjusted. Three seconds to start.>

The countdown began, and as the lights dimmed, the robots came to life, their mechanical forms moving with calculated precision once again.

Just like that, I kept training until I finished my tries…

------------------------A/N--------------------

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