28 Spellcasting

"Lucas, you can relax on the sofa and have some snacks while I teach them how to cast. Your participation isn't necessary."

"But won't our lack of interaction negatively impact our merit points? The whole reason I was called here was to demonstrate our synergy and teamwork, right?"

"Meh, I don't think so. The judging criteria shouldn't be that hard right now. They can't expect strangers to become all buddy-buddy on the very first day."

"Fair point."

"Okay, you three, take out the scrolls that instructor Liz provided you."

While Nero started instructing the group on how to cast spells, I was told to sit back and relax since I didn't need to do anything.

In other words, I was just nicely asked to stay away and not interfere by Nero.

And in all honesty, I can't blame the guy. It was visible that no one here was comfortable with my presence in this room.

Again, I can't blame any of them. Lucas was a brat. He whined and cried and complained all the time in the story. It would be foolish to expect any sort of help from him since causing trouble and offending people was the only thing he excelled at.

So then, why was I asked to come here?

Because of the smart bracelets on our wrists.

You see, these pieces of technology that were wrapped around our wrists were more than just upgraded versions of smartwatches or smartphones.

Aside from acting as spatial storage devices, the smart bracelets provided by the academy had built-in artificial intelligence in them.

And not just any artificial intelligence either. They possessed 'Athena 2.0' which was considered to be the epitome of AI evolution in this world.

The academy uses Athena to monitor the cadets and grade us merit points according to our efforts.

By doing so, the academy not only tracks our every movement, both in the real world and cyberspace, but they also ensure our safety by dispatching a rescue team at the first sign of any danger to a cadet's life.

Of course, there are ways to counter that feature since there were like a gazillion times when the cadets were attacked and killed before the academy could even react to the situation in the novel.

Anyway, since first-year cadets can't command Athena and use her features until the end of their first semester, I had yet to experience the so-called epitome of AI myself.

So I just casually slouched back on the sofa as I opened a game of online shogi on my smart bracelet and instantly, a holographic shogi board was projected out in front of me.

Do I know how to play shogi?

Hell no. I was just trying to look cool.

Hey, don't judge me! I'm not THAT shallow. I know how to play chess! In fact, I'm pretty good at it! Rated above 2200!

Yes, that's right, mortals! Bow down before me!

Anyway, since playing shogi looks more cool and enigmatic than playing chess, I started moving pieces randomly on the holographic shogi board with no fucking idea of what I was doing all the while acting like a mysterious anime character.

37 minutes later

"Ventus v-vel!"

"No, no, you're doing it wrong. You need to imagine and then boom! Then shoot out and then swoosh! Like that! And it's pronounced as Ven-tus! Vent-us! Not Ven-tus! But don't focus on that."

"The hell does that even mean?!"

"Just focus on the boom and swoosh feeling!"

"Okay, once again, the hell does that even mean?!"

Nero decided to teach Amelia first.

But even after more than 30 minutes of continuously trying to cast a basic wind magic spell, they got nowhere.

While that was happening, Anastasia and Kent were sitting there with blank faces, probably dumbfounded by the rather childish way Amelia and Nero were arguing.

They were arguing so loudly that I couldn't focus on my game, so I closed it and acted as if I had won…

Ahem, all that aside, spellcasting for Amelia shouldn't be that hard.

In the novel, she was an excellent archer and a deadly magician.

She possessed two elemental affinities– Wind and Dark, and despite never being able to fully master dark magic, she was an incredible spell caster.

So yeah, this girl definitely possessed talent. Some might even argue that she was a genius.

Then what was the problem, you ask?

The problem was our main protagonist.

You see, Nero's talent in spellcasting exceeded the level of that of a genius. He was a monster.

In the novel, he was the first among his peers to use 'dual spell casting' and the first in centuries to create an entirely new light elemental magic spell.

But it's precisely because he possessed such a monstrous talent that he was an extremely bad teacher.

He never experienced the hardships of learning so he could never share the experience of another person trying to comprehend something— by extension, he could never teach anyone.

It is indeed as they say, it takes an intelligent person to understand something but a brilliant person to explain it.

"Oh my god, you're dumb!"

"You are just a bad teacher! What do you mean by 'boom' and 'swoosh'? What does that even mean?!"

"Good lord," facepalming, I couldn't help but sigh helplessly.

This had been dragged on for far too long. At this rate, it would take them the whole day to get anywhere near learning how to cast a spell.

As if reading my mind, Anastasia got up from her spot and said:

"Okay, guys, stop fighting. At this rate we'll get nowhere. How about this? We let Lucas help us?"

"What? I can teach just fine! It's Amelia who can't understand!"

"I'm not taking his help! I'd eat dirt and do a backflip!"

"Do both!" Nero had a mocking smirk on his face as he said, "Braindead!"

"Y-You!" Amelia gritted her teeth and shot a mad grin, "You really don't love your ugly face of yours huh? Because you're practically begging me here to punch it!"

"Hah!" Nero scoffed, "Your mom is so ugly that she looks like me! Wait…."

"Dude, was that your comeback?"

"Your mom's a comeback! Wait…."

"...What? …What? Just what?"

Oh god, this is dumb!

At this point, I was just sitting there massaging my eyebrows, trying to calm down the migraine that I was getting from hearing Nero's comebacks.

"Guys, you know fighting can affect our merit points, right?" finally someone said something sensible. It was Kent.

As if waiting for that cue, the yelling and wailing in the room died down instantly, and everyone went quiet.

Okay, this was my chance to intervene. I got up and looked over at Amelia before speaking up.

"I know you have a problem with me and honestly, I can't blame you. I'm fine with you not trusting me or not wanting to do anything with me. However, disputing over such silly matters will only affect our merit points negatively.

"I'll put down my pride and teach you the basic theory of spell casting. I'll also give some pointers on what I see you doing wrong. After that, Nero will take over. Surely you won't have a problem with that, right?"




An overwhelmingly long moment of awkward silence enveloped the whole drawing room.

In the atmosphere as thick as syrup, Amelia stood there with a taken-aback expression plastered on her face.

But almost immediately, that expression turned into an irritated one as she started gritting her teeth and gave me a fierce look that could kill.

She couldn't deny my offer even if she wanted to.

Why? Simple.

I told her that I couldn't blame her for hating me and I'll put down my pride. Essentially what I said could be translated as me offering a helping hand first by acknowledging her problem with me.

I took the moral high ground.ραпdα `nᴏνɐ| сom

If Amelia were to decline my offer of me teaching her, she would very well be saying that her pride is more important to her than our Unit's success.

It was a psychological checkmate.

Soon, Amelia stopped gritting her teeth and closed her eyes. After a long pause, she nodded her head and uttered but one word, "Fine."


Because if she had continued giving me that fierce look, I'd seriously pissed my pants…

"Fuuu! I thought I would die choking from all the tension in the air!" completely ignoring the atmosphere of the room, Kent commented with a laugh.

"Ahem, well, I still think it's Amelia's fault for not grasping my amazing teachings but thank you, Lucas, for offering to help." Nero chimed in, still refusing to admit the lousiness of his teaching methods.

Sighing again, I shook my head before turning to Amelia once more.

"From what I've seen, you're focusing too much on pronouncing the spell. The most necessary element for spell casting is not the pronunciation of the chant, but your will— your imagination.

"Focus on the feeling. Just think that the chant is merely there to help you visualize. It won't help if you can't visualize your spell at all. So, instead of the pronunciation, focus on the feeling you get when you move your mana. After that, imagine your spell coming to reality. Visualize a blade of wind manifesting and cutting through the air, moving toward your enemy.

"But don't forget to fuel it with enough mana. If you put too much mana, the spell will overload and go berserk. On the contrary, if you don't supply it with enough mana, the spell will collapse on itself and nothing will happen."

I basically recited everything I remembered from Lucas' memories.

"I-I see."

At my slightly lengthy explanation, Amelia hesitantly nodded her head.

Right at that moment, Nero spoke out with a frown, "That's exactly what I said! How do you understand him but not me?"

'That's so not what you said,' was what everyone wanted to reply, but everyone restrained themselves.

Sure enough, after grasping just the basic concept of spell casting, Amelia started progressing rapidly.

I helped her with pronouncing the chant correctly too.

Since Lucas' mother was an elf, he had a pretty good understanding of the elven tongue.

In fact, he could speak high elven very fluently.

With his understanding of the language, his lineage and his background, Lucas should've been a strong character in the novel despite only having ‹Gold-3› rank potential if only he had trained his lazy bum more diligently.

Not to mention, Lucas was quite intelligent in his childhood. Not only he learned high elven by the time he was 7, but he also used to study war tactics from his father.

His intelligence stat was around 187. The guy was basically a genius.

It kind of makes me wonder why a guy who was supposed to be so smart acted so stupidly in the story?

Even during his childhood, he used to be a dreamer. He was ready to work hard to achieve his goals.

But instead, when he awakened a low potential and his family started neglecting him, he started slacking.

He went into depression and when he crawled out of it, he gave up on his dreams.

Not long after, he started acting out. He reduced himself to his family's name. He would get into trouble and expect his father to clean up his mess— he did all that only to get his attention.

Instead of working out or training hard to prove his family wrong– to prove the world wrong, he became complacent.


In simple words, he became a brat.

Tsk, he was truly an example of wasted potential.

"Ventus vel!"

After only a few tries, Amelia chanted her spell and manifested a weak gust of wind from her open palm.

"Yes! That! Memorize that feeling!" Nero shouted almost instantly.

At the same time, I too got up from my spot and yelled, "Focus on that feeling and draw it out again! Cast your spell again but supply it with a little more mana this time!"

Amelia nodded with sparkles in her eyes and pointed her open palm at the wall.

With fierce determination, she drew in a deep breath and chanted once again, "Ventus vel!"

As if waiting for that cue, the air started to swirl in front of her open palm.



In a blink of an eye, a sharp crescent gust of wind shot forward from her open palm and hit the wall of Nero's drawing room, engraving a deep cut on it.

"Kyaaa! Sorry!" The smile on Amelia's face shifted into a wince when her spell made a cut on the wall.

"Noo! No, it's fine!" Nero promptly waved his hand in assurance. "More importantly, you did it!"

"Yes! I did it!" with an excited expression, Amelia practically started jumping up and down in joy.

"Haa! Congrats, Amelia!" Anastasia congratulated her with a bright smile on her face, genuinely happy for her friend.

"Wow! Nice one, Amelia!" Kent too joined in with a happy surprised look.

While I watched this scene unfold, a feeling of delight welled up in my chest. I couldn't help but admire these kids.

They have suffered so much and they will continue to in the future. Yet, they never gave up and kept moving forward. They kept fighting.

In a world where war and death were common, they found joy in little things and smiled like they had no care in the world.

I hated this novel. I hated these characters. But to be honest, the story wasn't that bad.

The characters weren't one dimensional and the plot was not really full of cliches. I simply exaggerated what I said to Joe in my last moments.

Maybe I just felt mad at the author for writing such a frustrating story.

Why did I hate this story? I don't know. I just hated reading it and I don't know why.

I remember thinking, 'Why don't they just give up?' while reading about how the characters were suffering in the story.

They were just kids; they didn't have to fight wars and shoulder the burden of the entire world.

However, this world was cruel. It didn't give them the freedom to live their lives and decide their fate.

Despite facing so many hardships, despite falling down so many times, the main characters just kept standing up. I don't know why, but it was infuriating for me to read.

But why? Why fight so hard? Why suffer so much? Just surrender and stop fighting and end your suffering!

I don't know… I just hated this story.

…Well, anyway, since I have now helped Amelia with her spellcasting, I think I have achieved my purpose of coming here.

Albeit only a little bit, I redeemed my reputation in the eyes of the main cast while simultaneously changing Amelia's opinion of me slightly.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't fucking care what Amelia thinks about me.

However, Amelia was part of the main cast and she was much, much, MUCH stronger than me currently.

Frankly speaking, she's not an opponent I can face until I get at least three times stronger than what I am right now.

So any chance I would get that could help me avoid conflict with her in the near future till I get stronger, I would gladly take it.

Especially since I know to what extent Amelia went in the novel only to make Lucas pay.

However, I also know she is a 'good girl' with a kind, forgiving heart.

"And that spell was truly perfect!"

"Aha, thank you~!"

As I watched her fluster when Nero complimented her, the side of my lips curled up into a smirk.

I couldn't help but think to myself– Yes, she is too kind for her own good.

In the future, if I play my cards right, she could become a great pawn for me.

A-Ally! I meant ally!

Did I say pawn? Nah, I totally said ally.

She could become a great ally to me!