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Chapter 121

All intelligence agency operatives, such as those from Krasilov, share a common trait: they are elusive when actively sought, yet faintly visible somewhere in the periphery when ignored. (Drovian is an exception.)

Therefore, despite the students, including Isabelle, incessantly scanning their surroundings with wide-open eyes, they never succeeded in locating Ivan.

It’s a story from the first day of school.

“Why is it that the person who was always absentmindedly peeking out from somewhere is suddenly nowhere to be found?!” (Ecdysis)

“Eshi, calm down a bit. Elpheira, can you use the tracking spell?” (Isabelle)

“I’m casting it! But no matter what, his presence isn’t detected?” (Elpheira)

“Is he absent from school?”(Isabelle)

“No, the range is definitely around here….” (Elpheira)

Elpheira closed her eyes tightly, continuously reciting spells. Having experienced Ivan’s magic several times before, casting a short-range tracking spell shouldn’t have been too difficult for her.

But, even though he was definitely around here… as Elpheira was pondering, Rundis, who was munching on a waffle nearby, cheerfully interjected.

“Oh, that’s probably because of the item my father gave him!” (Rundis)

“Your father?” (Elpheira)

“Yes! Hehe! Even the Sharp-Eared have to succumb to the wisdom of our illustrious ancestors, right? It’s a Distortion Stone! When thrown, it disrupts magic! Just by having it, it provides some magical protection! Isn’t that amazing?” (Rundis)

“Why would he give you something like that…?” (Isabelle)

“Oh, if I start talking about that, the story will get long, but way back when….” (Rundis)

Rundis began explaining the tradition of ancient rites and gift-giving among the illustrious ancestors. The rest of the hero party began ignoring Rundis’s words and started scouring the surroundings.

“Alright. Elpheira is useless now. What should we do? Maybe try Drovian’s method, Eshi?” (Isabelle)

“Umm… my hometown method? What’s that?” (Ecdysis)

“Well, once you start a fire, even hidden people will show up.” (Isabelle)

“Why is that my hometown….” (Ecdysis)

Is it right? If someone were to stab a thief and they ran away and hid, everyone in the village would rush out and set a fire nearby, as if it was part of a traditional game. (Those caught like this usually moved on to another traditional game. The most commonly chosen game was “The Blood Eagle”.)

When Ecdysis, overwhelmed with anguish, quietly lowered her head, Oscar appeared in the distance. As usual, he was being forced to eat snacks amidst a group of women.

“Oscar! Have you seen unle?” (Isabelle)

“Oh, Isabelle. I was just looking for him because of that. Have you seen the schedule? Something weird popped up for classes?”

“Weird class?”

“Go to the Knight Department’s 1st year lobby. No, wait. Come with me.”

Ignoring the women’s complaints, Oscar joined the hero party.

[Elective: Study and Response to Demons.]
[Professor: Ivan Petrovich Yermov.]
[5 credits. Pass/Fail evaluation system.]

“Uncle is even teaching now? What’s with the 5-credit elective? And it’s Pass/Fail? Just showing up should be enough, right?” (Elpheira)

“Wait, look at that. Isn’t there another one?” (Isabelle)

Isabelle turned her head at Elpheira’s words. Among the schedules and syllabi plastered on the bulletin board, she found another familiar name.

[Elective: Basic Survival Skills.]
[Professor: Ivan Petrovich Yermov.]
[5 credits. Pass/Fail evaluation system.]

“Goodness, he’s teaching two classes? For a total of 10 credits? Does he have two bodies or something?”

“Given Yermov’s usual behavior, he might just not sleep….” (Oscar)

Ecdysis nodded at Oscar’s words. It was hard to argue.

[Elective: Anatomy and Magic Structure.]
[Professor: Ivan Petrovich Yeremov.]
[5 credits. Pass/Fail evaluation system.]

“15 credits?! Just by taking uncle’s classes, you can fulfill more than half of the required credits?” (Isabelle)

“Wait, Isabelle. Something’s not right.” (Elpheira)

“Huh?” (Isabelle)

“A trap… Isn’t this a trap?” (Elpheira)

“All of a sudden?” (Isabelle)

Elpheira scanned the hero party with a grave expression. Except for Rundis, everyone present had been essentially ‘graduated’ from those classes during the first week of vacation.

Understanding Demons? Thrown into the midst of an orc herd and told to deal with them.

Survival skills? Plunged into a forest full of traps and tormented day and night.

Anatomy and Magic Structure? It feels like they’ll be saying things like ‘If you get hit here, it hurts, and if you get hit there, it hurts more!’ while shooting bullets into students’ bodies!

At Elpheira’s words, the audience fell silent. It wasn’t wrong. No, other explanations seemed impossible.

The sight of Ivan calmly unfolding textbooks on the podium and conducting lectures was unimaginable.

“Wait, did he experiment with what he’s going to teach next semester on our bodies?” (Isabelle)

“Let’s not have such terrifying thoughts, Bella. It’s too sad….” (Ecdysis)

“If it’s Yermov, wouldn’t he just go, ‘Hmm. That’s reasonable.’? Right, everyone?” (Oscar)

“I can’t argue against that….” (Elpheira)

In response to Elpheira’s words, Oscar quietly nodded his head with a smirk.

“Why is everyone acting like this? Wasn’t it a really useful class? Even if this semester’s content reflects what we experienced, isn’t it like getting a semester’s worth of credits for free? We did the prep work, after all.” (Oscar)

“This one always looks so positively at things.” (Elpheira)

“Are you crazy, Oscar?” (Isabelle)

“Why would I be? I liked the class. I gained a lot and learned a lot.” (Oscar)

“This one always looks so positively at things.” (Elpheira)

Isabelle ignored the twinkling-eyed Oscar. Come to think of it, this guy had received the most authentic knight training in Tylesse. Maybe dealing with orcs while camping in the forest was part of the basic education curriculum.

Then, Rundis suddenly woke up.

“Wow, so we can meet Ivan and attend classes for 15 hours every week? Count me in!” (Rundis)

“…?”

“…!”

“…?!”

At Rundis’s exclamation, the three’s gazes turned to each other. They simultaneously scanned the class schedule. On the timetable, those three classes were positioned on different days each week.

In other words, they could spend at least 5 hours with Ivan every three days.

They looked at each other again. Despite having different iris colors and eye shapes, the gazes of the three were remarkably similar to those of the others.

‘If one of these kids takes this class…’

‘These brats might end up being trained by Uncle every week?’

‘Even if they all attend the lectures, humans can’t possibly beat elves in the field of dog training, right?’

What they gain is 15 credits and Ivan (not). What they lose is just the shackles.

The three simultaneously chuckled and tucked the class schedule into their bags. Their movements were so discreet and swift that it would have earned applause from the Intelligence Headquarters operatives.

“The credits are substantial! Oscar isn’t wrong either. Actually, we all did the prep work, didn’t we?” (Isabelle)

“That’s right! And Survival Skills? It’s basically a hobby for Drovian!” (Ecdysis)

“Well, it’s an elective, right? Let’s attend the orientation once and then decide?” (Elpheira)

With warm smiles, the three looked at each other and headed towards the classroom.

“Welcome.”

The classroom fell silent at the completely unwelcoming voice.

The protagonist of 15 credits, a man who had captured the attention of all first-year students at the current moment, stood on the platform.

His tall stature and sturdy build effortlessly carried the ordinary coat with a hint of magnificence. Beneath the cuffs, his robust hands revealed numerous scars, emanating a sense of presence.

His posture at the lectern was straight out of a painting. A motionless, piercing blue gaze. And below that, a neatly trimmed, lush beard.

He looked like a officer who had just emerged from war propaganda. (And that’s the truth.)

He began writing on the blackboard behind the lectern. The angular script slid smoothly across the board.

“My name is Ivan Petrovich Yermov. If you’ve heard my name before, it’s likely from the last tournament.”

His words elicited murmurs from the students. The tournament, hosted personally by the princess, was the biggest event in Frechenkaya just before summer vacation. Naturally, everyone present had been there.

The Black Knight? The Butcher? The Human Tank? Such whispers echoed among the students. Ivan continued without bothering to interrupt.

“I won’t introduce myself. It’s meaningless. I won’t listen to your introductions. It’s meaningless as well.”

With a dry tone, Ivan finished speaking and turned to continue writing on the board. Thud, thud. The white letters appeared on the blackboard.

“I will teach you Demonology and Response Strategies in this class. I believe you’ve all confirmed the course name before coming here. Therefore, I won’t elaborate.”

Ivan scanned the students again. Some had interested gazes, while others yawned freely. No one seemed serious about the class itself.

It was natural. These were kids who hadn’t experienced war. It was to be expected. When he recalled his days as Kim Sunwoo, the high-credit electives were simply time for sleeping while attending classes.

But that wouldn’t do. Unlike South Korea, where war was just a distant tale, in this world, war was like a looming shadow.

Unavoidable, suffocating, inevitable. Always lurking behind, growing steadily.

Ivan pressed his desk firmly and spoke.

“All demons with physical forms share a common weakness. Does anyone know what it is?”

“…?”

He never expected an answer. Ivan simply nodded silently and continued speaking.

“They die if you decapitate them.”

“Geez!”

Laughter erupted among the students. It was an inappropriate joke, and they looked at him as if to say, ‘Really, sir?’ Ivan spoke bluntly.

“It’s an obvious statement. But it’s also true. All demons have different characteristics, threat levels, ecologies, and tactics. In this class, you will learn how to sever their heads regardless of their individual traits.”

Any questions? A student raised his hand eagerly at Ivan’s words. When Ivan gestured for him to speak, the burly male student chuckled and said,

“I’m curious about the professor’s experience! Have you ever faced all the ‘demons’ you mentioned?”

Laughter erupted among the students. While Jan’s University’s lectures were known for their quality, everyone present here were nobility. Naturally, it meant that they were all prodigies who had completed basic education in their own territories.

From the perspective of such students, a professor was nothing more than a salaried worker, except for a few very famous ones. The authority of a professor in a noble school could never be very high.

Most of the nobles of this era belonged to the high-ranking officer class with military experience. It was a characteristic of feudalism. Since the last war, the authority of the surviving nobles, especially those who survived, had become even higher.

Even in the Allied Kingdoms, it could be said that only the most outstanding individuals were meticulously gathered.

In the eyes of these students, Ivan’s status as the “Third Son of the Emerging Northern Noble” was nothing more than external recognition. It was because he had already become famous in the last tournament.

An emerging noble ultimately amounted to nothing more than a mercenary group that established a major. And being the third son meant being pushed out of the inheritance and driven out of the territory, becoming a wandering knight. Therefore, he was just a mere mercenary.

In such a situation, even as a professor, one cannot command respect from the students. It was almost an open confrontation. Ahead of the coming semester, the plan is to groom this new instructor and comfortably take the class.

Of course, Ivan doesn’t care about any of that.

“If they’re the types I can deal with, all of them.”

From goblin slaves to wyvern commanders, all of them.

“I’ve killed them all at least once.”

Ivan looked at the student with impassive eyes. The male student who had raised his hand hesitantly sat back down, startled by Ivan’s demeanor.

Silence descended again. The students who had been idly passing the time were no longer there. They momentarily felt a sense of dread in the face of Ivan’s grim answer.

Such fears tend to dissipate easily. Ivan, having been in charge of recruit training, didn’t easily believe in fear stemming just from words.

Instead, he prefers wielding an axe and a pistol. This class wouldn’t be much different.

“Any other questions?”

“Um… I have one question!”

A student hesitantly raised his hand. The burly male student glanced at the syllabus and asked,

“The syllabus says all the classes are practical, but how do we practice the ecology of demons…? Keeping demons seems impossible, doesn’t it?”

“That’s a good question.”

Ivan nodded briefly.

Watching him, Isabelle clenched her fist with tension, swallowing hard. This doesn’t feel right. She thought.

“I will take on the role of the demons throughout all the classes.”

“…Excuse me?”

“You will learn about the ecology and countermeasures of demons through me. Any other questions?”

“Um… um. I understand…”

“If there are no more questions, I’ll end the lecture here. Come dressed more casually next week for easier movement. There’s no need for weapons. They will not be allowed.”

Ivan cut the conversation short and left.

In the chilly silence, Ecdysis whispered softly into Isabelle’s ear.

“I knew it would come to this.”

“I’ll… I’ll look into the escape routes. So we can flee together whenever he decides to slaughter the noble brats…”

Just by listening to him, it doesn’t sound like a joke. He’s not even someone who knows how to joke in the first place.

No one’s really going to die, right?

Isabelle lifted her bag, lost in distress.

This was just Ivan’s first class. Since Ivan had to digest 15 hours of lectures in a week, she would face him again the next day at another class orientation.

Author’s Note (Author’s Postscript): Writing academy-themed stories set in a school background is really tough…
It was easier when it was set in places like underground dungeons, deserted forests, or terrorist-ridden abandoned buildings…
Was it a bad idea to set it in a school background for an academy-themed story…?


30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

프롤로그에서 30년이 흘렀다
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
I got transmigrated into a game I’ve never seen before. I thought it was a top-notch RPG and spent 30 years on it. I retired as a war hero and planned to spend my remaining time leisurely. But it turns out, it was an academy story?

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