In a way, the way the Arcadia Hunter Academy operated was pretty similar to a college rather than a high school.
There would be courses that students would take according to their majors, but the time of the classes was slightly random; not all the classes were at the same hour.
But that was after the second semester, since the first semester, everyone would get the basic courses for every type of hunter-related job.
You can think of this as Calculus or Physics for engineers. No matter what type of engineering major you are in, be it Mechanical, Electrical, or Computer, you will always take the course Calculus in your first year.
The same goes for courses like 'Introduction to Dungeon Ecology,' 'Basic Combat Techniques' and many others.
Just as the first lesson of the day reached its end, Eleanor White finished her 'Basic Combat Techniques' lesson.
Normally the next lesson was going to be empty today we don't have any other classes until the afternoon. However, this time it was different, since today we will be starting the real Academy life.
"Please don't leave the class."
Suddenly signaling the students who were about to leave, Eleanor tapped on her desk, gathering everyone's attention.
"As you all know, we have finished our first month in our curriculum. Therefore, from this week and onwards, you will be actively participating in the practical dungeon explorations randomly." Instructor White announced, capturing the attention of all the students.
The room buzzed with excitement, and some students exchanged excited glances with their friends. Practical dungeon explorations were the highlight of their training, a chance to put their knowledge and skills to the test in real-life scenarios.
In a way, that one month of waiting made sense since the students entering the Academy would mostly be newbies that had never seen any type of dungeon before. Thus, they needed to be educated and informed before endangering themselves.
Looking at their happy faces, I couldn't help but shake my head.
'I wonder what face you will make when you see the monsters inside the dungeon.' I thought. It was understandable that those who strived to be the main character of their story would always dream happily, but when reality hits, it hits hard.
And this practical dungeon exploration will be the first lesson that the Academy will teach those little kids about the cruelty of the real world.
"In these explorations, you will be divided into teams according to your ranks. You will venture into various dungeons, each with its unique challenges and monsters. The goal is to assess your adaptability, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities under real combat situations."
She paused, allowing the significance of the upcoming experiences to sink in before continuing, "Remember, dungeons can be dangerous, and safety is of the utmost importance. Always follow your team leader's instructions and cooperate with your teammates. Failure to do so may result in severe consequences."
The students nodded, but at the same time, I could see the relaxed expression on their faces. They all thought it would be easy.
After she said that, she signaled the board behind her. "The dungeon you will be exploring is Academy's artificial dungeon. Thus, you won't be subjected to fatal wounds. But that doesn't mean you won't feel any pain."
She signaled footage where a cadet was blasted off by a monster as his chest was bleeding.
"Just like there, if it is determined that you got a fatal wound, your session will be finished by the examinator. Are we clear?"
"""Yes.""" A hearty sound of students filled the room, and seeing this, Eleanor had a smile on her face.
"Now, the message should have already arrived on your bracelets," Instructor White said, her voice commanding attention. "This message contains all the necessary information for your first dungeon exploration, including your team assignment, the monster you will be hunting, and the specific objectives you need to accomplish."
She paused as the students checked their bracelets, each receiving a notification. I glanced at mine and saw the message containing the details for our team's exploration.
"Once you have reviewed the message, gather your team members and make your way to the entrance of the artificial dungeon," Instructor White continued. "Your team leader will be responsible for guiding your group throughout the exploration. Listen to their instructions and work together cohesively."
"The dungeon will be monitored by examinators, and they will intervene if they see any potential risks to your safety. However, I must stress that your performance will be evaluated based on your ability to handle situations on your own, so rely on your teamwork and skills."
"Now, form your teams and head to the entrance of the artificial dungeon. Your adventure awaits, and I expect nothing less than your best effort."
As the students began organizing into their respective teams, I saw the main cast gathering together – Ethan, Victor, Julia, Lucas, Irina, and Lilia. They seemed eager and confident, ready to face whatever lay ahead.
Well, that was to be expected, since, different from normal students, almost all of them had already entered dungeons frequently. Even Ethan did enter a dungeon—a late awakener.
And from the game, I knew which person would be
I turned to my own bracelet and opened the message, revealing the details of my team's exploration.
Irina Emberheart – Student Rank 3
Gregor Harvey – Student Rank 135
lightsΝοvelNora Berry – Student Rank 521
Astron Natusalune – Student Rank 2450
Looking at my team, I turned my gaze to the girl who was looking at Victor with a wide smile. It was evident that she had yet to check her group.
'Sigh…. Out of all people, it is this girl.'
The first person on the team list would be the captain, and for ours, it was Irina. She was one of the hardest people to deal with at the beginning of the game, and I am sure it is still like that.
The other two of our team were also characters I knew of, but they were rather small characters. If you haven't played the game with side quests and stories, you probably wouldn't know about their names.
Gregor Harvey. He was a tank-type of character who would stand before the party and tank the damage first. His main weapon was an axe, and his trait Earth Guardian made him a reliable tank since he could defend himself using his Earth-based abilities.
And Nora Berry. She was a girl who used swords mainly, and her main focus was strength. Her rank would increase thanks to her talent in swords, as she would make a name for herself at the later stages of the game. Even now, her rank was not that bad, as she was on the better side of the spectrum.
Though for now, she was not someone that made a name for herself.
Looking at the team, though, it was pretty balanced. One frontline, one main damage dealer, one backline (rearguard), and one utility. Since I was a dagger user, I would act as a scout normally.
As I was pondering about the students, I felt a stinging gaze on my back, and turning my head, I saw bright yellow eyes looking at me with an irritated emotion.
It was just a moment, though, since after that, Irina turned her gaze away from me.
Seeing the other two already gathered at the corner of the classroom and walking toward where Irina was standing, I also made my way there.
As the team gathered around Irina, she looked at the two with a smile.
"Nice to meet you, Miss Irina," Nora spoke with a slightly stiff tone. Since she came from a slightly middle-ranked family, she slightly feared Irina. Even though she was normally a pretty energetic girl, she was still cautious.
"Don't be so stiff. Nora, right? You can talk to me casually." Though, Irina was not someone that liked to be formal. Her fiery red hair swung as she smiled at the girl.
"Ah…Thank you, I will call you Irina then."
"George, right? I remember you from the entrance exams. Weren't you the one that wrapped himself with Earth at that time?" Nora immediately turned her attention to the bulky boy beside her with a smile.
"Ah… I am embarrassed now." George looked bulky and intimidating, but inside, he was actually a pretty soft person that didn't know how to talk with others much.
"Ah, where is Ast-" Just as Nora was about to turn her attention to me, suddenly Irina butted in.
"We should head to the entrance now. No time to waste!" Irina declared with a cheerful tone, completely ignoring my existence.
Nora and Gregor seemed to accept her abrupt change of topic without question, and they followed her lead without a second thought. It was as if I was invisible to them, a mere afterthought. Even though I could see Nora throwing small glances at me, she couldn't do anything.
I could hear them talking amongst themselves, thanks to my increased senses.
"So, Gregor, what's your specialty in combat?" Irina asked with an excited tone, her eyes sparkling with interest.
"I'm an Earth Guardian," Gregor replied with a shy tone, getting overwhelmed by the attention Irina was giving to him. "I specialize in using earth-based abilities to defend and protect my teammates. With my Earth Guardian trait, I can create barriers and absorb incoming attacks."
"Nice! We've got ourselves a tank!" Irina exclaimed, giving Gregor an encouraging pat on the back. "And Nora, how about you? What's your forte in combat?"
Nora smiled and straightened her posture confidently. "I'm a sword user. I focus on strength and precision, aiming for critical strikes in close combat. My rank might not be high yet, but I'm determined to prove my skills in dungeon exploration!"
"That's the spirit!" Irina cheered, giving Nora a thumbs up. "With your sword skills and Gregor's defense, we've got a strong frontline."
Irina liked those that were confident, but at the same time, she didn't like those that always bragged about themselves. It was a small line that determined a person's character for her.
They walked, completely ignoring my existence, and that was to be expected. After all, Irina was such a person. She liked competent people and liked to show herself as an elitist in order to impress Victor.
Even now, I could see her throwing some glances at Victor from time to time, though the said one didn't even pay any attention to her.
'It is a pity that your fragile love won't get any answer.' I thought, since in the game Victor never stopped pursuing Julia until the very late stages of the game, where the feeling of love couldn't even be felt in the midst of all that chaos.
As we arrived at the entrance of the artificial dungeon, an imposing stone structure loomed before us. It was a massive structure that mimicked the dungeons found in the outside world, but it was designed to provide a safer training ground for students.
Everyone brought their weapons with them. My daggers were on my belt. After pondering about it for a while, I decided that using two daggers was more suited for me. Thus, I got one another in the training grounds as per allowed.
Irina stepped forward, her eyes gleaming with anticipation. "All right, everyone. Let's go."
Nora and Gregor nodded eagerly, ready to take on the challenge. But Irina's gaze never even grazed in my direction, as if she had completely forgotten about my presence.
Just like that, they stepped into the gate, which would take us into the artificial dungeon of the academy.
Hope you liked the chapter.
This is the last stocked chapter, and I caught Covid right now so I don't know if I can post another tomorrow.
You can check my discord if you want. You will be able to see the illustrations here and engage in a conversation with me if I am available.