I was sitting in my regular spot, which was the seat beside the window.
To pass the time, I was watching the students entering through the classroom door like usual.
It's been five days since the academy started, and groups have already started forming among cadets.
Ahh… Friend groups…
I still don't have a single friend.
Well, that's to be expected since I was in the body of an assaulter, and not to mention I was also a disowned son of a prestigious family.
To add insult to the injury, I was not placed very high in the rankings either.
In simple words, other kids belonging to major backgrounds and elite families didn't see me as worth their time.
After all, I had neither political value nor individual strength to offer to them.
While commoner kids also avoided me, most likely because of the rumors that I assaulted a girl back in high school.
Although I preferred solitude, I was never truly alone during my school or college years.
ƥαṇdα- ηθνε|·ƈθmIn fact, I seemed to attract people and was often surrounded by others even when I did not desire their company.
And although, as I said, I was not too fond of it, I was also used to it.
So being ignored and getting treated like I was nothing but air by my classmates was getting really annoying.
Huh. Maybe deep down, I liked being the center of attention?
Then again, at the risk of sounding contradictory, I was also enjoying the silence that I longed for in my previous life.
Argh, calling it my 'previous life' still feels weird.
As I sat in silence, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, a loud clapping sound interrupted my reverie.
I turned towards the front of the classroom to see a guy standing up, clapping in an attempt to get everyone's attention.
He scanned the entire class with his crimson-red eyes and after confirming that everyone's attention was on him, he spoke
"Everyone, now that we've spent some time with each other, shouldn't we officially introduce ourselves?"
The guy who spoke was someone whom I had been cautious around since the incident of weapon selection.
It was Hugh Jass.
-"Eh? Introductions? It's already been five days. Is there any need to do that now?"
Someone from the back voiced their opinion.
Actually, everyone was thinking the same thing.
It's been five days since the Academy started, and during this time we have only engaged in light physical training and basic general knowledge classes.
Groups have already begun to form and there is no need for introductions at this point
Yet, Hugh shook his head. "I know it's not our first day, but we've all been busy settling in. Now that we're all feeling more comfortable, I think it's a good time for us to get to know each other better. So let's take some time to introduce ourselves and get to know each other a bit more."
Actually, what he said was not wrong.
Our main classes will begin starting today, so it's appropriate to consider today as our official first day.
And from the looks of it, it seems that I wasn't the only one who thought that.
"Sure, let's do that!" the one who said that was Nero Dekrauf, the protagonist. He practically jumped from his seat with an excited look on his face.
Sigh… To get excited over introductions… He really was a weird protagonist.
"Okay, I'm glad everyone is on board. So I'll go first!" Hugh said with a sincere smile on his face.
To be honest, I was more than a little curious about this boy's origins.
No matter how much I try to remember, I couldn't seem to recall a single instance of this name being mentioned in the web novel.
If I presume that he was nothing more than a side character in the web novel, that's why he wasn't mentioned, then why is he actively taking part in the story now?
During these past five days, I tried to investigate him to the best of my abilities.
And by investigating him, I meant searching him up on social media….
You can't expect me to go full-on Sherlock Holmes and investigate a stranger thoroughly when I myself am still trying to get accustomed to my new environment.
"So my name is Hugh Jass-"
Before Hugh could even get past his name, a couple of giggles broke out in the classroom.
"Pftt!" to be honest, even I was struggling to hold back my laugh.
How could he say his name with a straight face?!
"Haha, I know it's a funny name. Anyway, I'm 18 years old and I like to play video games. I am a sniper, and my preferred weapon is a handgun. I would like to get along with everyone. Thank you."
After concluding his introduction with a short, respectful bow, Hugh sat back in his seat.
Wow, his demeanor was sincere and he gave off a friendly vibe.
I could see he will be popular in the future. However, that begs the question, why wasn't he mentioned in the novel?
Besides, the information he gave about himself was very basic. I can't deduce any logical conclusion on his situation just from that.
"Okay, I will go next!" following him, Nero stood on his spot. From the looks of it, he was very eager to start his introduction.
"I'm Nero Dekrauf. I'm 18 years old and I like to…"
I already knew his all about his character, so by extension, I knew what he liked and disliked.
Yet, I kept listening to him to check whether what he said would match the contents of the web novel or not.
Yes, it did.
After Nero, one by one, the rest of the cadets stood up and introduced themselves.
I made a mental note of what every main character spoke in their introductions, as some of them mentioned stuff that wasn't originally told in the novel.
The more I know about the main characters, the better it will be for me. Even if it's a minute detail, I can't let anything escape.
Just like that, a few minutes passed and almost everyone was done introducing themselves.
The ones left were only Quinn and me.
When everyone turned their gaze to Quinn, he respectfully declined to participate in this little class event.
"Fuck off!" he said.
With that, everyone turned their gaze to me.
"Ahh," exhaling, I stood up and started my introduction. "My name is Lucas Morningstar. I'm 18 years old and I like to-"
-"Make unwanted sexual advances toward girls!"
Before I could finish, someone cut me off.
I must admit, I had a feeling this would happen. A sly smile spread across my face as I faced the young man who interrupted me.
He was just an extra.
But judging by his gleaming golden hair and costly accouterments adorning his well-nourished form, it was clear that he hailed from a life of opulence and luxury.
So he was a rich kid.
After noticing me staring at him, the boy shot me a scowl.
-"Wh-What? Why are you looking at me?"
"Do you have a problem with me?"
-"I-I… It's not just me. Everyone has a problem with you–"
But this time, before he could finish, I cut him off. "Because if you do have a problem with me, then I would have to kindly ask you to write it down on a piece of paper."
Of course, he was confused by my reaction. My smile grew wider as I said, "Yes. I want you to write down the problem you have with me on a piece of paper. Then I want you to roll it nice and tight and put it in your pocket since you seem to have something already shoved up your ass."
I think it took him a minute to process what I said. And as expected, when it hit him, the boy got up from his seat.
His face was red with rage and nerves were twitching on his forehead.
-"You! What did you say to me?! Do you know who I am?! I am Chris Wright! The youngest son of the prestigious Wright family! How dare a nobody like you talk back to me like that?!"
Aha! I was right! He was a rich kid.
But I was only half right. He was not an extra. He was Chris Wright, belonging to the Wright family.
Although he was not very active throughout the story, he was a recurring character with a haughty attitude that frequently caused minor annoyances for the protagonist and his allies.
Like the Morningstar family that controls the western continent by serving under the Central Government as a 'ruling family,' the Wright family controls the northern continent.
The Wright family is also a military family, similar to the Morningstars. The heads of their family have often held high-ranking positions in the United Military.
They are known as 'The Lions of the North' for their role in the border wars against the vampires for all these years.
But I could not give one fuck about all that.
"So?" I shrugged. "If you truly hail from a prestigious family, you should be aware of how to conduct yourself. Was it not you who interrupted me during my introduction?"
"You-" Chris was gritting his teeth in anger and appeared as if he was about to lash out at me, but at that moment, the door to the classroom opened.
Looking over, we saw it was our head instructor, Liz, who had entered the classroom.
Seeing that, Chris gave me an angry 'I will kill you next time!' look and quietly sat back in his seat.
Only then did I realize that all the eyes present in the classroom were focused on us.
Ahh, I made a fuss.
Sighing and massaging my eyebrows, I too slumped back in my seat.
"Get a grip. You are an adult, and these are kids." I told myself.
[7 editor credits have been rewarded]
To my surprise, a red translucent screen popped up in my vision the next moment.
Acting out and making a fuss like a kid… That's what is deemed interesting?
Right then, a thought hit me.
I jerked my neck to the left and looked over at Chris Wright.
He was sitting on his spot, clenching his fist while mumbling something to himself. His face was red due to the sheer amount of anger he was holding back.
Ahh, I see now. I've triggered a young master.
A booming voice swept over the classroom and redirected everyone's attention by force to its owner.
Behind a podium on the raised platform that was placed at the front end of the classroom stood Liz with her usual annoyed look plastered on her face.
After making sure everyone was paying attention to her, she began speaking.
"Now that you have been at the academy for five days and have had a chance to become accustomed to your new surroundings, it is important to familiarize yourself with some rules.
"Although the academy has provided you with a list of rules via email, I would like to explain one of the rules in more detail.
"It is important to understand that, regardless of your background or any outside support you may have had, it will not matter at this academy."
As she said that, Liz took a good look at every 'young lord' and 'young lady' present in this class. After a brief pause, she continued
"Money won't work here, so don't bother trying to show off your family's wealth to anyone in this city.
"But now, a question arises, if money doesn't work here, then how does this city's economy function?
"As you may already be aware, most of the city's population consists of cadets in training. As cadets, you will be expected to adhere to strict discipline. The reward and punishment system will be utilized to ensure that this discipline is maintained.
"At the end of each month, you will be awarded 'merit points' based on your academic performance of that month.
"In addition, your academy rank will increase the total number of your merit points through the use of bonuses. The higher your rank, the greater the bonus applied to your merit points.
"In this city, you can purchase nearly anything with enough merit points. This includes both basic necessities and luxurious items.
"For the first month, everything in the city will be free. However, after the end of the month, you will need to earn 'merit' and pay for everything you use.
"There are many ways to earn merit points, such as doing well in training drills or selling mana beast parts to the academy and many more.
"In contrast, there are only two ways of rising in academy ranks. The first is to perform well on semester-end exams and in combat tournaments. The second is to challenge a student one rank higher than you to a duel. If you win the duel, you will advance in rank.
"This academy is designed to prepare you for service in the United Military by providing a competitive environment that helps you become stronger and more resilient.
"In times of war, physical strength and resilience can be crucial for survival. By training hard and striving to become as strong as possible, you can increase your chances of success in the military and in any challenges you may face."
After causing the entire class to fall silent with anxiety, Liz nonchalantly continued speaking. "That's all for the rules. Now let's get to the roll call."
Right, I remember that the Academy City used 'merit points' as its currency.
I don't know who came up with the idea to put thousands of young adult teens into one single city and completely strip them of their backgrounds and wealth, but I admire the sadism.
I couldn't help but let a smile curl my lips, despite the weight of the grim future that loomed ahead.
But at this moment, I allowed myself to revel in the excitement of what was to come.
I knew that my time here would be filled with challenges, but I also knew that it would be a time I was going to enjoy.
And so, I let the anticipation of what was to come wash over me, ready to embrace whatever came my way.
Yeah, maybe I really am insane.