Chapter 28:

Ch 28 - The Three Trials

St Chaos Healer

The next candidate jumped in the puddle as soon as her name was called out.
The girl was tense like any other candidate as dozens of eyes stared at her with anticipation.

I was one of those studying what, exactly, that sword and its corrosion were.
And what is up with that rusty crown?

Just when I was in the middle of contemplating what was going on...

“Candidates who just arrived here and missed my lecture. Please gather around so that I can explain about this trial a bit.” announced the loli supervisor.

As soon as the announcement was made many candidates followed her.
There were about 10-15 candidates who also wanted an explanation about this trial like myself.

The loli supervisor then led us away from the puddle into an empty field.
There was nothing but a grassy lawn and a big wooden crate lying there.
The loli supervisor quickly leaped on top of that crate as the candidates gathered around her. Meanwhile, the loli supervisor stood on the crate with her arms on her hips and looked at us with a condescending gaze.

There was a pin drop silence as the candidates all circled around her.

“Alright, let me introduce myself. I am Urza Leneizel, one of the nurses in charge of keeping you brats alive. The man you met before wearing the ugly sunglasses is Canith Hol, the one overseeing this test. He is a very skilled mage no doubt but lacks any sense of human traits like kindness or sympathy for that matter. I have to wonder if he is human or not sometimes. Never mind that, let’s get to the point,”

She continued,
“Right now you would be wondering where the hell are we? and what is this place? To answer that question in a short and simple manner, we are still inside the ceremony train. This realm right now where we are standing is a place inside the carriage made by an expert spatial mage. It might look like we are in the outside world but this land only stretches about 7 kilometers in diameter. After that, you will meet an invisible wall.”

The candidates were filled with awes and gasps hearing such a statement.
Many of the candidates coming from commoners’ backgrounds would find this amusing.

“Now about the trial, you already have a good idea what you guys have to do, right?”

“Yes, ma’am.” everyone shouted in sync.

“Good, good.” she nodded her head with a satisfied smile.

“Alright now that you’ve passed the 1st trial, which was certainly simple and easy. This trial is a bit more complicated than you’ve already seen. The trial of cleansing or also known as the coronation ceremony is the second test that you must overcome to become the title of the mage.”

The supervisor then suddenly stretched out her hand and a yellow light ball appeared on her palm. She then dropped the ball of light which fell on the ground and disappeared.

She then just waited and we watched silently.
After just 10 seconds of silence, a sprout appeared on the ground. Which quickly started growing from a plant and kept on growing. The plant transformed into a shrub and then into a tree. Then buds appeared which turned into a flower and later it withered and died. In its place, a small bulge appeared which quickly grew and became a juicy red apple.

The tree was covered with lots of such juicy red apples that even the air had a sweet taste.

The awes of the candidate who just saw this were all enamored and many candidates’ saw Miss Urza in a new light.

Meanwhile, the supervisor actually had a smirk feeling a bit proud.
She then stretched her hand and suddenly the branch of the tree bent towards her hand. From the branch, an apple fell down right on top of her hand.

Everyone watched in silence as she took a bite from the apple.
“To explain to you the reason for the trials in simpler terms. The mana core of mages is similar to this apple in my hand. This apple had to rely on the tree for its birth. If the tree was ill or had any disability, it would hamper its fruit’s birth. In this term, the tree refers to your internal mana system in your body.”

She suddenly waved her hand towards the apple tree.
All of sudden the apple tree burst into sparkling light and blew away, disintegrating in thin air. The golden particles showered on top of us giving us a warm feeling.

The supervisor took a deep breath,
“There was a time when all the people in this world could use mana arts…”

And thus she began explaining…

Long ago, the dragon clan taught the mortal dwellers the art of mana. There were no such things as mages as everyone could use mana. The mortal realm was stronger than any other realm.
After the dragons disappeared, a strange anomaly occurred.

Many mortals of this world started dying at a young age.
There was a panic in the world across the kingdoms of all species. Some thought it was a wicked trick by the demons and some said it was the punishment for forgetting the dragon’s existence. But no one could foresee what was the reason for the death of so many people at a young age.

Soon the population of the mortal realm started dwindling down like flies.
The average lifespan shrunk down to 20-25 years.

That’s when a team of expert mages found there was an anomaly in the mana.
The mana itself had begun to reject coexistence with the mortal dwellers. Only a few selected people were healthy and dandy. These people were said to be the people loved by the mana. The rest of the other people who weren’t lucky to be loved back by mana had a short life span. The usage of mana arts further hastens their death.

That’s when the leaders of the world from all species and races came together to save their people. It was then announced that people who are loved by the mana must be taught mana arts and those who aren’t should refrain from practicing mana arts.

Thus 3 trials were created to sort those who are loved by the mana.
These people were called the title of mages.

This event happened about a long time ago and literally, there is no evidence to back that these events have ever happened or not.

The three trials test the candidate's mana pores, the internal circulation channels of mana, and the mana core itself.

“That’s why, if you cannot clear the next two trials, that means you are not suitable to use mana. Which means you should forget about being a mage. Forcing yourself to complete the trial might lead to injuries and the worse case leads to disability or death. It’s a good thing that you got me here as a professional healer but that doesn’t mean you can act recklessly. My powers are not free-”

“Urza! We need you here.” suddenly Supervisor Canith shouted from the other end.

“Tch. That sleazy head can’t even give me a break,” she complained.


“Coming. Just give me a second.”

Saying so, she got down the crate and rushed to the spot.

The next candidate was also injured, having the same injuries as candidate Sean. Getting pushed by a strange anomaly created by the rejection.

Thankfully Supervisor Urza used her powers to patch up the candidate like new.

The gruesome trial continued for about another half an hour.
And all we could see was the candidates declared a failure. I saw about 6 candidates go to their trial and no one managed to make the cut.

Some collapsed even before they could hold on to the sword.
Some managed to withstand the corrosion but were repelled away by the shockwave when the corrosion came in contact with the crown.

The hopes and dreams were at an all-time low.
At this point, the candidates were questioning the trial itself. But no one dared to say anything in front of the supervisor Canith.

When it seemed to be impossible to clear, a worthy candidate appeared who managed to finally clear the trial. He went on with the same procedure as the rest of the candidates.

The candidate was a boy who seemed to come from a humble background.
This boy managed to withstand the corrosion and didn’t get repelled by the shockwave.

What was surprising was that the old rusty crown held by the statue had turned into a new shiny crown. There was not even a speck of rust left there.

The crown had a mysterious glow and was made of something mysterious that I couldn’t guess.

“Loreck Bozez, you have passed the trial,” announced Supervisor Canith.

Candidate Lorcek burst into a bright smile and couldn’t contain his happiness.

Miss Urza still performed healing on him, just in case.
She never missed the chance to complain but she still had a soft side. Canith and Loreck both said healing wasn't required but she still insisted.

Later, candidate Loreck was given a badge and instructed to head towards the tower.

The tall tower that stood in the center was the passageway that led to the next and the final trial room.

The gloomy atmosphere finally died down and there was a glimmer of hope among the candidates. Some curious candidates even tried asking Miss Urza but she was tight-lipped as ever.
New candidates arrived from the 1st trial room and Miss Urza had to yet again give another lecture, which was again interrupted by Canith’s call to heal the candidates.

The odds of clearing this pass was about 1 out of 7 candidates, which was a big hurdle.
Of course, the knight apprentice Trisha Valencia managed to clear this trial. No surprise there.

And each of the passing candidates was handed a badge and moved into the tower where they disappeared. The rejected candidates were sent back to their rooms.

After waiting for about 2 hours,
“Candidate Benjamin Almond, please step inside the puddle.”

Finally, my name was called out.