Chapter 23:

Ch 23 - The First Test

St Chaos Healer

We sat on the floor after our supervisor said to do so.Bookmark here

Thankfully the floor was made of wooden furnishing. Otherwise, we might all freeze our ass here because the full-body suit fabric was very thin.Bookmark here

The full bodysuit that we were told to wear was quite flexible and fit us perfectly. Although it was a bit breezy and some people might find it uncomfortable but not me.Bookmark here

When I was just a little brat back in the demon realm, I used to roam around the street almost naked most of my time. Even after I was promoted as the Overlord I still roamed around my castle naked from time to time. Thankfully my wife hammered on the etiquettes and I finally got rid of those habits.Bookmark here

This situation just brings back memories.Bookmark here

Hence that’s why I felt comfortable.Bookmark here

It didn’t take long for everyone to settle down on the floor.Bookmark here

“Alright folks”, Ms. Thesia shouted,Bookmark here

“Now listen up, as Sir Salvador said before, you have to go through 3 tests to decide if you have the ability to become a mage. Failing any one of those tests means that you can’t become a mage. I know that every one of you here wants to become a mage but life isn’t fair. But keep in mind, even if you fail to become a mage, don’t lose heart. There are many more other professions you can pursue besides being a mage. Life is not everything about being a mage, you can also become like~like… uh, becoming a merchant or a blacksmith, and many more such professions.”Bookmark here

Everyone looked a bit disheartened hearing her words.Bookmark here

She was trying to motivate everyone but it was doing the opposite effect.Bookmark here

But her words do make sense.Bookmark here

It is said that only 1 out of every 20 people has the potential to become a mage. That’s the average of people who successfully formed a mana core, the most vital piece to become a mage. Although most mages belonging to the commoner’s background end up being low-tier mages. But they still are treated quite fairly compared to your regular citizen without mage abilities.Bookmark here

Few mages rose to the top mage tiers despite being born to peasants. Such people are quite popular with the populace and even revered for their ideals.Bookmark here

People that become a mage directly promote to higher family status. They are even given true citizenship which allows them to travel around the cities all over the kingdom without restriction. There are also many more benefits like tax evasion and getting government jobs for the mage’s family members even if they are not a mage.Bookmark here

Hence why many people wanna be mages.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, those with royal blood and nobility have even higher chances to give birth to kids with strong mage abilities. Many powerful mages belong to nobility after all.Bookmark here

Hence why there is a hierarchy system in place which tries to keep the bloodline pure.Bookmark here

Right now there are about 500 candidates here and after the end of this test more than half of them would fail this test.Bookmark here

Miss Thesia just stated the truth here.Bookmark here

Seeing the depressed atmosphere, Miss Thesia scratched her head and let out a sigh.Bookmark here

“I just wanted to give some encouraging words to motivate everyone but it just backfired. What I meant to say was just good luck. I am no good with pep talk so let’s just jump straight to the point. Let me explain your test first.”Bookmark here

She turned around and walked towards one of the mana crystal balls placed on the pedestal.Bookmark here

“This here is a mana neuron crystal ball. This is a very low and diluted version of a mana replenishing item. Explaining will do no good, so let me just show you.”Bookmark here

She then waved her hand in front of the crystal ball and suddenly the crystal ball’s purple color started turning into pure white color. That was not the only change, I also saw small white glowing threads wiggling from the ball like living worms.Bookmark here

“These crystal balls were sealed with my mana and this is exactly how it looks, kinda gross.”Bookmark here

She continued,Bookmark here

“As you can see these small white worm-like things look like they're alive but they're not. These creepy white wiggly things are pure mana condensed in the form of a thread. It looks alive because of the unstable mana trying to escape to the environment. Hence the seal.”Bookmark here

“For the test, all you have to do is touch the crystal ball for about a half-a-minute and you can pass this test. Let me show you how it works.”Bookmark here

Saying so she stretched her arm and slowly moved her hand towards the crystal ball.Bookmark here

Everyone watched it carefully without batting their eyes.Bookmark here

I had seen mana potions and other items that replenish mana. But I never came across such an item before so it also piqued my interest.Bookmark here

As soon as Miss Thesia’s hand reached the crystal ball the mana threads reacted. They started wrapping her hand like a snake snuggling its prey. The threads were attracted to Miss Thesia’s hand like a moth to a flame.Bookmark here

She didn’t mind the threads and just grabbed the crystal ball. The mana threads wrapped around her hand started glowing. At this point, her hand was covered in those mana threads.Bookmark here

Miss Thesia looked at us with a smile,Bookmark here

“As you can see. The mana thread has wrapped over my hand and I am safe. I am a mage so I was able to easily touch it. Right now the mana thread is trying to channel the mana from the crystal ball to my own mana reserves. These threads detect your mana pores which are similar to the sweat gland except for sweat it emits mana through your skin.”Bookmark here

She took her hand away from the ball and the threads wrapped around her arm separated and returned back on the ball.Bookmark here

“If I held on to the crystal ball for too long, I might end up absorbing all the mana. Anyway, now that you have seen me do it. You should understand the test now right?”Bookmark here

Hearing that everyone was in awe and the room became noisy.Bookmark here

Everyone was excited.Bookmark here

“Hey, this sounds like a piece of a cake.”Bookmark here

“That examiner gave me a scare but this looks simple enough.”Bookmark here

“Just touching that crystal ball is the test? I hope the rest of the tests are also so easy.”Bookmark here

“But aren't those wiggly threads kinda gross? It sure looks gross to me, how can Miss Thesia touch it without getting disgusted?”Bookmark here

“Miss Thesia, will this ruin my fingernails? I had applied new nail polish and I don’t want it to be ruined.”Bookmark here

And more such pointless questions were asked by both the boys and girls.Bookmark here

At this point, everyone already decided that he/she will pass it.Bookmark here

Even the boys sitting around me were excited and began a group discussion.Bookmark here

“I know I can pass this test. When I was 12 years old I felt something very different. I can’t describe this, it’s definitely the birth of my mana core.” said one of the guys beside me.Bookmark here

“I know exactly what you felt. I also had that feeling.” replied the guy in front of him.Bookmark here

Suddenly the rest of the guys chimed in,Bookmark here

“Yes, me too. Also, my voice has changed-”Bookmark here

“That’s just your puberty nothing to do with mana core.”Bookmark here

“Really?”Bookmark here

Just when-Bookmark here

“Quiet down everyone!” shouted Mr. Hagar all of a sudden.Bookmark here

The voice boomed and echoed in the hall like thunder.Bookmark here

Everyone quickly fell silent.Bookmark here

“Thank you, Hagar,” said Miss Thesia and turned towards us, “I wasn’t done talking so please listen. Being optimistic is a good thing at such a time, but after the end of this test, almost 70% of you will fail this exact simple test. Why? Because those without mana pores will get a strong adverse rejection. It might even harm you if you forcefully try to grab the ball.”Bookmark here

A smirk appeared on her face,Bookmark here

“This 3 test is all about your affinity with mana, if you face rejection you’ll fail. Now without any delay let’s begin the test.” she turned to Mr. Hagar, “Please read out the first names.”Bookmark here

Mr. Hagar slightly nodded and flipped the pages of a file,Bookmark here

“Candidate Armin Greshia, Julie Nor, Simmon Penney, Pel Belgor and Mason Cook. Please come to the stage.”Bookmark here

Soon 5 of the people got up from their seats and went on top of the stage.Bookmark here

There was about 1 girl and 4 boys who looked a bit nervous.Bookmark here

They each stood in front of a pedestal.Bookmark here

Miss Thesia stood in the center while Mr. Hagar was observing carefully while writing notes from the sidelines.Bookmark here

“Alright, I’ll be removing the seal. If you feel rejection and discomfort, withdraw immediately,” she instructed.Bookmark here

“Yes, mam.” shouted the kids in a harmony.Bookmark here

After hearing it Miss Thesia glanced at Mr. Hagar who gave her a nod in reply.Bookmark here

“Alright, let’s begin.” saying so she waved both her arms, and in a second all the purple crystal balls turned back into white. They all had those condensed unstable mana threads.Bookmark here

“Alright, gently try to grab the ball. Don’t be afraid of mana threads. Only back away if you feel pain or discomfort.” she instructed while carefully observing the candidates.Bookmark here

The 5 kids on stage slowly approached the crystal ball at the same time.Bookmark here

It was going well for the first few seconds.Bookmark here

“Aaah!” There was a loud scream from the girl candidate.Bookmark here

She fell on her butt and clutched her hand as if it were in pain.Bookmark here

The rest of the 4 candidates stopped in place in fear looking at the girl.Bookmark here

“Are you alright, Julie?” asked Madam Thesia with concern.Bookmark here

“I felt this sting like pain in my hand. I-uh” said Julie while checking her arm.Bookmark here

Although there were no visible injuries.Bookmark here

“I understand. There will be healers waiting just outside this room. Just get checked just in case. After that head to your room.” said madam Thesia as she helped her get up.Bookmark here

“Does that mean I failed the test?”Bookmark here

Miss Thesia gave a wry smile,Bookmark here

“Unfortunately, that was a rejection. I am sorry Julie.”Bookmark here

“Can I give it one more try?” asked perplexed Julie.Bookmark here

“If you force yourself, you might end up getting hurt. Some kids just lost their limbs because of their stubbornness not long ago. You still wanna do it?”Bookmark here

The girl was dumbfounded by her response.Bookmark here

Is Miss Thesia talking about the kids from B-8 who got injured which resulted in us waiting in the hallway?Bookmark here

But the examiner Salvador said it was a minor injury and nothing to worry about.Bookmark here

“Living an ordinary life is much better than losing your limbs and living as a disable, don’t you think?” said Miss Thesia while patting the girl’s head, “Also if you guys are injured the ceremony organizers will once again cut my already non-existing paycheck. So hurry back to your room.”Bookmark here

Wait, is Miss Thesia really concerned about the girl’s well-being or just worried about her paycheck?Bookmark here

I can’t understand this woman.Bookmark here

She then turned to the other 4 candidates who were standing like statues,Bookmark here

“Hey, you boys, what are you waiting for? Don’t tell me you all got cold feet. Begin the test already, we don’t have a whole day!”Bookmark here

“Yes, mam.” replied the 4 boys while gritting their teeth.Bookmark here

At this pace, it will take forever to complete this test.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.