Chapter 29:

Ch 29 - Benjamin's Trial

St Chaos Healer

As soon as my name was called out I jumped into the puddle.
A number of eyes stared at me, eager to see who was the next candidate.Bookmark here

After entering the puddle, I headed to the trial area while also stretching my arms and shoulder. I have to at least be physically ready to intake the corrosion within itself. I have no idea how it might affect me, but I was more than ready.Bookmark here

Maybe warming up won’t do anything but it’s better than doing nothing. The warm-up would also ready me mentally as I was used to doing warm-ups before training. The human body were frail so they often need warming up. Otherwise, they get muscle cramps and other minor inconveniences that might act as a hindrance in their time of need.Bookmark here

In the demon world, there was no such thing as a warm-up.Bookmark here

As I was headed towards the center in the trial area, I could also hear giggles from the corner of the crowd.Bookmark here

I subconsciously checked at the distance just to my surprise, a fat lump of meat was giggling.
It was none other than Moses with his little gang who was watching with a shrewd smile. The fatso was surrounded by a bunch of other kids from our village. They had taken the front row seat to watch my trial.Bookmark here

I wasn’t offended but rather surprised to see Moses managed to clear the first trial. The fatso was pampered to the brim that he couldn’t even swat a fly without help. I thought he might get killed by one of the rail guards for acting like an ass before he could even enter the first trial.Bookmark here

But I heard that Moses had some distant nobles. I thought it was a rumor but that explains this rumor to be true.Bookmark here

I guess only physical training doesn’t mean jack if you are just not able to manifest mana core. No wonder the supervisor emphasize to forget being a mage.Bookmark here

I would be thoroughly shocked if Moses cleared all the trials and become a mage. I would just lose my belief in the entirety of the mage system.Bookmark here

I quickly shook my head and tried to clear my head.
Gotta focus on what’s in front of me.Bookmark here

Just when,
“Oi Beanjam!” suddenly a familiar voice shouted.Bookmark here

Beanjam? What?
I turned around just to see Tracker with a smile giving me thumbs up,
“Best of Luck.”
Shorty giving me good luck caught me off guard but I was more annoyed by the fact he mispronounced my name in front of everyone.Bookmark here

As soon as Tracker said so, I could hear people bursting into a chuckle.
The group that was most enjoying this was none other than Moses and his lackeys.Bookmark here

I angrily glared back at Tracker but didn’t bother to say anything.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Tracker was rather confused,
“Hey, what’s with that look. I wished you luck and you repay me by glaring at me. Huh?”Bookmark here

I just ignored him and continued to walk heading towards the trial area.
Arguing with him would just make me look like a bigger fool and ruin my mood.Bookmark here

As I continued to head to the center I turned my attention to the puddle itself.
The puddle water was just knee-deep. Not to mention there was a sweet smell in the air. Probably because of the constant discharge of mana from the sword into the water. This lead to a change in the water’s properties.Bookmark here

As I reached the edge of the trial area, supervisor Canith was waiting for me. He was still standing on top of the mysterious blue rock like before. He never even once stepped down from the rock. If he had to go somewhere he would rather fly along with the rock-like as if he was glued in place.Bookmark here

Not to mention this mysterious blue dull teal rock had the property to absorb all the corrosion emitted by that mana sword in the center.Bookmark here

Without wasting any second I stood in front of the supervisor Canith and greeted him with a gratitude bow like every other candidate who came before me. The gratitude bow used by this kingdom is a bit different. You have to cross your right arm to the chest while touching your hand to the left shoulder and bowing your head.Bookmark here

Supervisor Canith looked at me with cold eyes and not much of a reaction. A former demon lord had to bow its head to some petty examiner and he had no reaction.Bookmark here

I was a bit annoyed but didn’t let that bother me.Bookmark here

“So you are candidate Benjamin Almond, right?” he asked.Bookmark here

“Yes Sir,” I replied politely.Bookmark here

“I see. Are you ready to begin your trial?”Bookmark here

I lifted my head and glanced at that glowing mana sword in the center.
The mana sword was powerful and I can feel the warm air blowing from the sword’s direction.Bookmark here

A smile appeared,
“Bring it on!” I replied.Bookmark here

“Huh?” mumbled Canith gives me the look.Bookmark here

“I mean, yes sir!” I replied.Bookmark here

“Hmph.”Bookmark here

This supervisor is really a piece of work.Bookmark here

I prepare myself to head to the trial area where the sword was placed.
It was just a few meters away from where I was standing.Bookmark here

Supervisor Canith lifted his hand and the stone he was standing on started to rise. As soon the stone came out of the rock, the orange corrosion in the water which was very little started to build around the sword.Bookmark here

The glowing mana sword quickly started to corrode the water around itself at a high speed. Changing the water into dark murky orange color as it expanded in a circular area.Bookmark here

Now that I took a good look…
The orange corroded water actually looked like a bunch of ants flung into the water who are swarming towards me. The corrosion itself looked as if it was alive, like a living organism.Bookmark here

As the corrosion expanded, I stood there in place motionless.
I still have yet to receive the signal from the supervisor to grab the sword.Bookmark here

To begin the trial, the supervisor first let the area get corroded and spread to a certain extent.
Only then does the trial begin.Bookmark here

I held my breath with excitement and eagerness to participate in this trial. Meanwhile, Canith closely watched the corrosion activity in the water.Bookmark here

After a few minutes of waiting the corrosion had grown and was just now a few feet away from where I was standing.Bookmark here

Canith nodded,
“Alright, let the trial begin.”Bookmark here

As soon as he said that I rushed towards the corroded water.Bookmark here

The first few steps were just knee-deep water which was easy to run through. I have been training at the riverside back in my village. Not to mention the number of times I tumbled into the wild fierce river during training that I almost thought I died.Bookmark here

So running on this knee-deep water was a cinch.
But as soon as I came in contact with orange corroded water my movements became sluggish. It felt like I stepped into a swamp. My feet became heavy and it felt like I was getting pricked by thousands of needles.Bookmark here

I gritted my teeth and persevered through the pain while moving forward towards the sword.
After a few seconds, I actually got used to the pain that I regained my speed.Bookmark here

Splashing and dragging my feet through the thick murky corroded water I finally reached where the sword was placed.Bookmark here

The corrosion was even denser near the sword as it was the source of all this corrosion.
Even the air which tasted sweet had a tinge electrifying effect.Bookmark here

I took a glimpse of that glowing sword before beginning the trial.
The sword looked old and it didn’t have the sharp edge like your regular sword. The handle of the sword was old and its grip had lost its form after countless candidates had tried to pull it out.Bookmark here

Now it was my turn to take hold of this mysterious sword.Bookmark here

I still couldn’t yet figure out why the sword had so much mana within it.
There was no time to figure it out yet.Bookmark here

Taking a deep breath I finally steadied my resolve to begin the actual trial.
I glanced at the statue beside the sword which sat still like a motionless behemoth in deep slumber.Bookmark here

It was an old corroded statue still holding on to the rusty crown.
Even if the crown turns into a shinning new crown if candidates clear the trial, once it was removed from that candidate’s head it would return back to the rusty state.Bookmark here

After finally checking my surroundings, I finally grabbed the sword and began the trial.
As soon as I grabbed the handle, there was a stinging pain in my hands which were even more intense than before. It felt like I was holding on to a pile of sharp pins with my bare hands.Bookmark here

But for some reason, there was no bleeding but the pain was 100% authentic. It was as if my hands were getting shredded and I might lose my hands.Bookmark here

I quickly steadied my breath and tried to bear the pain.Bookmark here

Supervisor Canith was eagerly watching from a distance while scribbling on his notes. He had the right to cancel a trial and deem the candidate failure if he feels the candidate’s life is in danger.Bookmark here

Although the candidates who failed the trial were barely able to survive this trial, thanks to Miss Urza’s superior healing. Otherwise, more than half of those who failed would have died. Supervisor Canith was merciless and waited for the last moment until the candidate get injured. He could have saved a lot of candidates from getting hurt but he didn’t bother to do so.Bookmark here

After bearing the pain for a minute and maintaining a steady breath, I waited for the coronation ceremony to begin.Bookmark here

Supervisor Canith seeing that I was okay finally put away the register and his pen back in his shirt pocket. He then stretched his arms towards me.Bookmark here

“Candidate Benjamin, do you feel the need to continue this trial?” asked supervisor Canith.
His voice had no concern or empathy, it was just a cold voice waiting for a yes or no answer.Bookmark here

“Yes Sir!” I replied.Bookmark here

“If so, then I shall now begin the coronation.”Bookmark here

Saying so he waved his arms.
There was a sudden jolt in the ground before I knew it, the statue beside me started to move. As the statue moved the small trickles of rubbles fell from the joints of the statue. The statue was old and eroding slowly but surely.Bookmark here

In the next few seconds, the giant statue opened its glowing eyes giving away an ominous presence.Bookmark here

I held the handle of the sword tightly while gritting my teeth.
The presence of a high-class earth spirit was too powerful. I had trained my young frail human body to a certain extent but it still felt like my bones would be crushed just by standing in front of this earth spirit.Bookmark here

Normally, every mage can control particular elements depending on the affinity the mage has towards a certain element. But even those mages can only use their mana arts to a certain extent learning the basics of mana arts. After that, the mages can form a contract with a divine spirit to further expand their mana arts.Bookmark here

The mages who successfully manage to establish a contract with a divine spirit are then classified as battle mages. The weaker mages who could not form a contract are labeled as lesser mages who don’t have a spirit contract.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, the battle mages receive a fragment of their divine spirit’s essence through the contract. This essence contains the memories and skills of the divine spirit which are later passed down to their contracted mages. Thus further expanding the mana arts and empowering the mages.Bookmark here

The spirit fragments also continue to grow along with their partner, side by side.
But the spirit fragment lack is consciousness which only develops later after the mage has become powerful enough.Bookmark here

Canith who has summoned an earth spirit into this statue had sentience.
Although the level of consciousness was newly born it is still a powerful spirit. This just goes to tell that supervisor Canith was a high-class image.Bookmark here

The statute harboring Canith’s earth spirit finally looked at me with a steady gaze.
I who held on tightly to the sword didn’t even bother to move a muscle and kept watching the statue’s movements. My instincts were screaming to be on my guard.Bookmark here

As the statue looked at me as if he was studying carefully. I could feel like an omniscient presence had stripped me down to my pants and while looking at every nook and corner of my body.Bookmark here

My own presence felt tiny like a mere ant in front of the powerful earth spirit.Bookmark here

The earth spirit finally lifted its gazes and its hands started to get closer, moving towards me.
In its hands, he held that old rusty crown.Bookmark here

I still didn’t drop my guard as I carefully tried to examine the crown.
Only god knows what the hell was the crown even made of.Bookmark here

The hand holding the crown came closer to my head.
But all of a sudden it stopped midway for some reason. The distance from the crown and my head were just 1 foot away.Bookmark here

The spirit just stopped moving altogether with its hands in still the position to put the crown on my head.Bookmark here

Just when I was about to ask the supervisor Canith, the statue dropped the crown from its hand down the puddle. The rusty crown fell in the puddle with a plop and sunk down to the bottom.Bookmark here

I who was waiting for the coronation ceremony quite surprised by this.
What the heck is going on?Bookmark here

Even the rest of the candidates were surprised.
I glanced at supervisor Canith to my surprise he was the most confused than us.Bookmark here

The statue suddenly lifted its head glared at me with a full ominous aura leaking within.
The look in its eyes of the serene calm appearance changed into that of furious look.Bookmark here

What in the hell was going on?
Why was the statue suddenly so pissed?Bookmark here

I finally asked,
“What the heck is going on, Supervisor Canith?!” I asked.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Supervisor Canith suddenly held his head in pain.
It looked as if he was trying to communicate with its contracted spirit through telepathy but was in pain for some reason.Bookmark here

But there was no time to waste in the hopes of waiting for that stupid Canith to do anything.
The statue suddenly raised its arm in the air while maintaining its steady gaze right on me.
He opened his palm like flat as if he was about to squash me with a single hit.Bookmark here

There was no time wasted here waiting for Canith who was stupidly sitting on his knees while clutching his head. He lost control of his earth spirit and let it go amok.Bookmark here

I quickly let go of the mana sword and tried to move away from the statue.
The faraway the better.Bookmark here

But the orange corrosion in the water slowed down my movements and there was not enough time to evade the statue’s incoming attack.Bookmark here

Why the fuck is this happening to me again?
Is this some sort of trial or a crappy prank!Bookmark here

There were supposed to be two types of candidates, those who failed the trial and those who passed the trial. But there was nothing about a giant statue trying to kill a candidate from the get-go. Bookmark here

Why is the statue directly trying to kill me?Bookmark here

The statue who lifted its arm in the air slammed its hand down towards me to deal a finishing blow. Meanwhile, my instincts were screaming ‘danger’ awaiting my impending doom.Bookmark here

I stopped running as evading the blow was impossible.Bookmark here

Dying while my back is turned around, that’s a coward’s way to die.Bookmark here

Although, I did die from getting stabbed in the back by the holy weapons.
But that was different circumstances.Bookmark here

A massive weight felt on my body as the giant hand rushed towards me like a meteor.Bookmark here

Just when all hopes were lost,
“Hey, kid! Move your arse over here.” a scream of a girl echoed.Bookmark here

It was supervisor Miss Urza who appeared in thin air beside the statue.
She suddenly waved her arm and suddenly massive vines appeared all around the statue. The big vines quickly grew in size wrapped them around the statue.Bookmark here

The statute was now was restrained by vines and bound the statute in place.
“Canith! Get your shit together!” shouted Miss Urza, “Control your, goddamn contracted spirit!”Bookmark here

Canith who held his head in pain heard Miss Urza and lifted his head,
“I can’t… She~ She wants to kill~ Urgh”
But Canith just stayed on his knee mumbling like a stupid.Bookmark here

I tried to move but the arm of the statue still continued to break through the vines and descended towards me.Bookmark here

Miss Urza spawned new more vines trying to grab hold of the arm in place but to no avail.
The statue didn’t even glance at Miss Urza who tried to restrain it. It only focused its attention on me and killing me was its goal. Bookmark here

As the arm approached I strengthened my resolve.
To fight the giant palm with my own palm.Bookmark here

I unconsciously waved my palm towards the incoming giant hand.
“Fuck! I ain’t gonna die by the hands of some dumb rock.” I shouted.Bookmark here

Suddenly white glowing white light gathered in front of me as if it answered my call. The white mysterious light gathered in an arc-shaped like a shield. It was a mana barrier I created subconsciously just in the nick of the time.Bookmark here

All the onlookers watching this unfold were shocked and surprised.
I was surprised but there was no time to rejoice yet.Bookmark here

The restraining vines by Miss Urza had already slowed down the statue's movements. With my new barrier if I could withstand the blow, only then could I have time to rejoice.
The arm of the statue had slowed down considerably but it still followed me.
I continued to channel mana to strengthen the shield barrier I created.Bookmark here

But as soon as the statute’s hand came in contact with my shield, the shield crumbled like glass.Bookmark here

The next scene I remember was flying in mid-air as I vomited blood.
I rolled in the puddle as the world spun around me.Bookmark here

I was thrown away like a rag doll.
After that my vision started to go blurry eventually I could see nothing.Bookmark here

-----------------------------Bookmark here

Author here:Bookmark here

I had a rough week.
I have to create about 55 creative ad posts for 4 brands each, before the festive season hits.
Working on a tight schedule and scratching my brain for every drop of creativity to please the clients. Hopefully, I don't run out of brain juice and survive this ordeal.
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I guess I facing my own trial, lol.
Anyway, during the festive season, I will get 4 holidays in a row, so the only glimmer of hope that kept me going.
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Until then please wish me luck.Bookmark here

Thanks for reading and listening to my ramblings.
Have a nice day.
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