Chapter 25:

Ch 25 - A Headache

St Chaos Healer

I climbed onto the stage with the rest of the candidates as soon as my name was called out. We got up on the stage and each of us stood in front of a pedestal. I picked the pedestal in the corner which will least interfere with the other candidate’s crystal ball.Bookmark here

I took a glance at my fellow candidates just to see everyone was nervous. They were on pins and needles and some were even sweating before the test could start. I can’t tell if it’s nervousness or stage fright and I didn’t have to care.
I just need to focus on my test. That's what matters.Bookmark here

The test had not yet begun as Miss Thesia was cross-checking our names.
I finally looked at the crystal ball that was in front of me.Bookmark here

The crystal ball looked like your ordinary glass ball with a tint of darkish purple hue. The purple hue must be something Miss Thesia manipulates with her mana to seal the power of the crystal ball. Currently, it wasn’t in its original state hence why it looks ordinary.Bookmark here

I had read a lot about mana in depth.
Sadly there were no good books around my town but I asked my father to borrow some books. The advanced mana books are very costly, even books, in general, are not usually affordable by us commoners that often. The common folk usually just go to borrow from the town library. Bookmark here

But our town had a very small library and didn’t even have anything related to magic or mages.
All of it had some agricultural tricks or the laws of the kingdom, etc.Bookmark here

But my father traveled out of town often and he gifted me the advanced magic arts book. Although it was a second-hand book and a bit worn out, it was still very useful.Bookmark here

That’s when I came to learn about the so-called mana of this world.
The most basic form of mana is the pure mana that mages produce within their body. The mage’s mana core plays a vital role in accumulating, controlling, and converting the mana. The pure form of mana can be converted to any form depending on the specific mage’s attribute and spells.Bookmark here

To summarize in short, pure mana is the most basic energy utilized by all the mages.
Hence, why pure mana is a very good friend to every mage in this world as long as he/she has formed a mana core.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, those without a mana core feel an adverse rejection.
Pure mana harms those who don’t have a mana core. Trying to forcefully assimilate pure mana will result in injuries and loss of organs and sometimes even death.Bookmark here

The reason why the pure mana reacts like this is still a mystery that scholars still haven’t figured out yet.
In this trial, we are basically doing the same thing.
Letting mana do the choosing.Bookmark here

I would say this is a bit risky but it’s the quickest and the most efficient method.Bookmark here

“Alright, I hope everyone’s ready,” asked Miss Thesia as she stood in the center, “Let’s begin then.”Bookmark here

As soon as she waved her hands the purplish tint hue disappeared and the crystal ball suddenly turned into a glowing ball of white light. Small threads of mana started wiggling from all over the crystal ball like a pack of live worms.Bookmark here

There was yet another kinda force between me and the crystal ball. It was like if there was some unseen forcefield trying to separate us. For some reason, my blood boiling for some reason. There was an excitement that didn’t exist before the activation of the crystal ball.Bookmark here

I slowly stepped forward and gently stretched my arm to grab the ball.
There was a tingly feeling all over my body but it wasn’t hurting me a bit.Bookmark here

As I stretched my hand closer to the ball the tingly feeling started to intensify. I didn’t stop and that’s when I came into contact with the mana threads they started avoiding. They were like trying to dodge my hand.Bookmark here

Shouldn’t it be attracted to my hand?
I felt a bit nervous but I quickly cleared my thoughts.Bookmark here

I didn’t stop and used all my strength to grab the ball.
My limbs were aching but I preserved and finally managed to touch the ball.Bookmark here

But as soon as I came into contact with the ball, I suddenly blacked out.Bookmark here

In the next second, I found myself in a dark room floating.
This sudden change of surroundings put me on my guard.Bookmark here

I was at this moment floating in a weird place.
The exam hall and the candidates, the supervisors, everything just disappeared.Bookmark here

It was just me floating in some weird dimension.
The only thing I could see was a big golden ragged wall stretching to all directions with no end.
It stretched till the sky above, down the abyss, and to the horizons on both left and right sides.Bookmark here

“Where the hell am I?” I mumbled to myself.Bookmark here

Did I die again?
What the hell!Bookmark here

This is a similar situation back when I died.
Except there is this gigantic gold-colored wall. Other than that it was the same.Bookmark here

Checking my surroundings for one last time, I saw that I was the only one here.
After some time, I finally decided to go check out what that golden wall was about.Bookmark here

I just used the will to go near the wall and my body moved.
This time I had my body with me and not like I was just a drifting soul like before.Bookmark here

I floated gently near the golden wall.
I tried touching the wall. It had a rough texture and looked quite rigid. Not to mention it had a golden light glow to it.Bookmark here

I caressed my hand over the wall.
To my surprise, the wall looked as if it was alive as if it was breathing. It was a very mild vibration but I noticed it.Bookmark here

Just when the wall started shaking.Bookmark here

“What the hell!” I backed away quickly trying to get away to a safe distance.Bookmark here

But there was nowhere else to go in this weird dimension.
All over the place was just a dark dim empty space where there was nothing.Bookmark here

I didn’t want to get too far inside the dark dimension either.
I had my fill of floating in a dark empty abyss back when I was just a mere soul. Don’t wanna revisit those awful places again.Bookmark here

I just stopped a few meters away from the wall which was shaking and wobbling like crazy.Bookmark here

But it didn’t take long for the wall in front of me to start rising.
There was a loud rumbling that even shook this dimension itself.Bookmark here

I was on guard in a combat stance ready for anything.
Although I have no idea what will happen next.Bookmark here

It wasn’t long before the wall rising halted, unveiling a mysterious gigantic eye staring right at me.Bookmark here

The eye was as big as a dozen large palaces combined together.
The iris had a big golden mysterious iris and the pupils were shaped like slits.Bookmark here

At this moment those eyes were staring right at me.Bookmark here

“What the fuck is that thing?” I asked myself.Bookmark here

This enormous creature, I have never heard of before.
Even I as the demon lord never heard about the existence of such a creature.Bookmark here

It was nothing but a gigantic eye.
I couldn’t even see its entire body to make out what it was.Bookmark here

Even my own existence felt minuscule at this moment.Bookmark here

My current hand-to-hand combat stance was useless against such a creature.
I just let out a sigh and looked back at the creature.Bookmark here

I tried to calm myself and rid of all my fear.
As a former demon lord, I shouldn’t cower before fear, one of the key virtues taught me back in the demon realm. I took a deep breath and with my folded arms, I stood my ground… although I am actually floating in a weird dimension.Bookmark here

“Who are you? And where is this place?” I asked out loud.Bookmark here

The big eye just stared at me with no answer.
There was utter silence.Bookmark here

“Could you even hear me? I said where am I-” but before I could finish speaking.
There was a weird change in his eye.Bookmark here

Suddenly there was big suction that started pulling towards the eye.}
I tried to resist but no good.Bookmark here

Before I could even understand what was going on, I was sucked within the eye inside his slit-eyed pupils. As I got sucked deep in the eyes there appeared a bright light that blinded my eyes.Bookmark here

“Benjamin~”Bookmark here

“Benjamin~”Bookmark here

“Can you hear me?”Bookmark here

A foggy voice echoed in my ears. It seemed to be distant but getting closer each passing second.Bookmark here

“Benjamin, snap out of it.” a feminine voice echoed.Bookmark here

I finally woke up that looked like a distant dream.
Miss Thesia shook my shoulder,
“Are you feeling alright, Benjamin?”Bookmark here

“What? I just-” I mumbled confusedly trying to remember what I was just doing now.Bookmark here

That’s when I noticed I had already touched the crystal ball and some of the mana threads had already snuggled with my hand.Bookmark here

That’s when I remembered that I was in the midst of the trial test.
Everything finally came back to me.Bookmark here

“Benjamin, you already succeed in the test, a minute ago. But you still are holding on to the ball like your snuggling bed pillow. What’s the matter, are you alright?” asked Miss Thesia worriedly.Bookmark here

I finally let go of the crystal ball and looked around.
Just to notice the participants that came along me had long left. I was the only one who was still on the stage. Also, Miss Thesia just said that I passed my test.Bookmark here

“I am fine. Thank you.” I replied eager to get away from here.Bookmark here

There are still a lot of things my brain has to process. I was getting a bit of a headache at this moment. But I don’t wanna mention or show that in front of Miss Thesia. Otherwise, she might deem me as a failure and send me back to my room.Bookmark here

“Are you sure?”Bookmark here

“Yes, mam. I am fine, you don't need to worry.”Bookmark here

“Well if you say so. It felt like you were in a deep state of concentration and I thought not to disturb you. But you sure not just dozed off?”Bookmark here

“Huh? Of course not. Why would I do that? Haha...ha.”Bookmark here

Miss Thesia then walked around me,
“You don’t seem to be injured. Are you sure you’re okay?”Bookmark here

“I am doing great. See you later Miss Thesia, you have a schedule to maintain, right? Now if you’ll excuse me, please.” I answered wittily before hurrying to the door onto the next trial.Bookmark here

We said our goodbyes and I finally entered the doorway leading to the next trial room.Bookmark here

The door leads us to another dimly lit hallway that stretched across the entire room.
There was no one present here and I was the only one walking in this hallway.Bookmark here

I finally touched my head and the headache seemed to be going away.
I still can’t tell if that big eye that I just saw was a dream or real.Bookmark here

No point in rethinking that for now.
All that matters is that I passed the first trial and there are still 2 more to go.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.