Chapter 41

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“Isabelle, are you really going alone?” (Yuri)

“Yes! Don’t worry. I have something to prove. Hehe.” (Isabelle)

“Prove what…?” (Yuri)

“You must be prepared, Miss Yuri, or you’ll get a failing grade…!”

Isabelle ran through the forest with a chilling laughter. In reality, she had practically taken the lead.

While most students were still cautiously eyeing each other in the courtyard, Isabelle’s actions captured everyone’s attention.

She ran into the forest alone as soon as the exam began?

It was an impossible feat unless there was something she believed in. Whether it was the unknown attacker waiting in the forest or fellow students to be wary of while walking alone.

The students, exchanging glances, soon gathered and slowly moved towards the deep parts of the forest.

And even Ivan, watching the scene unfold, moved at a leisurely pace.

“Ivan, where are you going?” (Enrique)

“I have something to check for myself.” (Ivan)

“Hmm… Very suspicious. Who is it? Which troublemaker caught the attention of our ‘little’ Ivan?” (Enrique)

Enrique chuckled and shrugged her shoulders. When Ivan tried to leave without a response, Enrique spoke.

“Don’t interfere with the kids’ exams. They’ll manage just fine. And ease up on the over-preparedness; it’s paranoia, my disciple. That’s PTSD for you.” (Enrique)

“Well…” (Ivan)

Ivan had no intention of persuading the stubborn, old-fashioned woman.

When listing the three most prone events to attack in the academy, they were as follows: entrance ceremony, on-site training, and festivals.

And the reason for calmly planning such a test curriculum that practically begged for terrorism was due to their lack of common sense.

Ivan, being a highly pragmatic person, only attempted what was possible. Teaching common sense to an old man over a century old was not within his range.

Ivan silently jumped onto a tree and disappeared beyond the forest.

“Lately, something’s… annoying about him…”

Enrique pondered, chewing on the expression Ivan had made.


“What actions would he take in this situation if it’s him?” Isabelle muttered as she ran through the forest.

Everything she had learned in Ivan’s class was vividly clear in her mind.

-There are no straight lines in nature. Anything that glitters in the sunlight at an angle is a trap.

Indeed. Isabelle had already dismantled six flytraps, running without hesitation.

And one more.

-If a well-trained agent is given enough time, no trap exists independently. So, assume. Where would you end up if you avoided the trap?

Lure of the trap. On the cleanest path to evade an ambush trap, there must be a second trap.

That lesson was also appropriate. The agents, Enrique’s disciples, seemed well-trained according to Ivan’s standards.

After dismantling the traps and plotting escape routes in her mind, there was always a second trap waiting in that spot.

Running for who knows how long, Isabelle heard rustling sounds in her ears.

“Who’s there?” (Alain)

She’s a student. Isabelle crouched in the bushes and gripped the hilt of her sword silently.

Soon, rustling sounds were heard, and a student appeared. What was her name? Alain? She seemed to be a freshman from Tylesse, just like Isabelle.

And that individual is in fairly good condition.

But showing up alone? That was unlikely.

Isabelle coldly smiled and surveyed her surroundings. Indeed, a shadow swayed far behind Alain. Even though it seemed hidden behind a tree, the disguise was too amateurish.

Raising her guard for no reason.

Isabelle chuckled. Seeing such a situation made her realize how impressive that old man was. That’s why she can’t date young people.

She suddenly thought that and was startled. How can I think about a “date”?

“His compliments alone, that’s enough!” (Isabelle)

At least, confessions are for receiving, not for giving. Even though the world has become a better place, as proven by its long history.

According to the court etiquette of Tylesse, there is only one case in which a woman confesses first. That is when the woman’s father approaches her to pursue a political marriage.

Unfortunately, Isabelle had no father. Maximilian had been missing for four years now.

Therefore, Isabelle had no choice but to follow Tylesse’s history and tradition. If Ivan were to confess first, she would consider it, and there was enough intention to consider it positively.

‘Me, confess first? That’s a bit much. No matter how much of a man he is, I’m far more valuable. The daughter of a hero, noble, beautiful, young.’

Normally, when Isabelle would chatter like this, Ecdysis or Yuri would appropriately intervene, but unfortunately, there was no one by her side now…

“Hey, isn’t anyone here?” (Alain)

“Weird. I’m sure I heard something.” (Alain)

When Alain grumbled, a group of students hidden behind a tree appeared. Familiar faces, Alain’s group.

Five. A number that was difficult to handle without getting hurt head-on.

However, Isabelle quietly climbed up a tree, holding a knife.

Counter-ambush training, to put it differently, could also be seen as ambush training. To respond to an ambush, one had to be well-versed in the methods of ambushing.

So, Isabelle, who had received practical training directly from the best field agent in Krasilov, was now at a level that couldn’t be handled by university freshmen.

‘First things first.’

Isabelle covered the mouth of the man at the back and thrust the knife straight into his neck.

“Mmm… Mmm?!”

“Shh. Stay still.”

“Isabelle, Miss…?!”

“Oh, hush. If you don’t be quiet, you might get hurt somewhere.”

She took a bead from an unknown junior’s pocket, raised it, and struck the back of his neck.


“Oh, this is how the old man knocks people out.”

“An ambush…! It’s an ambush!! She took my bead!!”

“Oh, this is cheating. You should stay quiet if you’ve been eliminated.”

Isabelle grumbled as she raised her knife. The junior who got hit in the back of the neck groaned in pain, but thanks to that, four others were charging towards her.

“Isabelle…! Charging alone against the opponents! Are you brave or just ignorant?”

“Oh, Alain. Did we agree to stop talking now?”

Isabelle smirked as she raised her knife. Well, four was better than five. She decided to think positively.

The way this guy and that guy were awkwardly laughing while running towards her didn’t appeal to her.

And on top of that.

‘What’s with that stance.’

The way they attacked, the momentum they came with, and the clumsy paths that didn’t match each other.

Each aspect was so ridiculous.

Compared to the entrance train where she had to confront terrorists risking her life and Ivan attacking her like a real battle for the past week, this was boring.

She chuckled. Seriously, when she thought about it, it was all because of that old man. It was so serious, really.

“If I have all five beads, can I become the top student? This time, I really want to be the first.”

Isabelle laughed softly as she faced them.


About two hours had passed since the exam started.

By now, when about half of the students were about to leave with escorts out of the forest after receiving the failing points.

So, when the number of students Enrique’s disciples had to deal with decreased, the attacks intensified even more.


Vibrations began deep underground.


Yuri, who was running, lost balance and fell. She quickly got up, holding the knife, and scanned her surroundings.

But there was no one. There was no sign of an attack.

“What is this?”


The ground tremors intensified. Gradually heavier, the trees in the forest swayed, rustling the leaves.

Enrique furrowed her brow and jumped straight onto a tree.

“…What is this?”



As the ground shook, Ivan kicked the tree and leaped. He jumped to the top of the tallest tree and scanned the surroundings.

The entire forest was shaking.

“Where is it?”

Even with the sudden earthquake, Ivan wasn’t surprised. Since an attack was inevitable, he was not the kind of person to be surprised by things unfolding as expected.

Where could the target be?

Ivan surveyed his surroundings with a cold gaze. The range was too wide. While he already knew Isabelle and Oscar’s positions, the direction of the earthquake was not limited to their locations.

The entire forest was trembling.

“Well, well, this.”

Ivan soon chuckled. It was because a familiar pattern appeared in his eyes.

A dwarf got hit. Just as expected.

Ivan quickly scanned the forest. If he didn’t panic due to the sudden earthquake and observed the entire battlefield with a broad view, he could see things.

After all, an earthquake was ultimately a wave. The roughest shaking occurred near the epicenter, or so-called hypocenter.

Therefore, let’s infer.

Shaking trees could serve as excellent indicators. If he could determine the degree of shaking, he could scrutinize the hypocenter.

As mentioned before, a forest was essentially close to a labyrinth. It was a complex structure created by randomly growing trees and mature trees entwining with each other.

By not being fooled by such a form and independently analyzing each shaking tree object.

“It’s a spider’s web.”

In the shape of a spider’s web, a long hypocenter extended, drawing a circle.

The 5th Dragon Corps, ‘Webmaker’s’ distinctive attack method.

It’s been a while. Ivan almost felt nostalgic. It was a very textbook attack, and it reminded him of the ‘Gangdo War’ in the past.

Although it was much smaller in scale than back then, anyway.


With a thunderous roar resembling an avalanche, the entire forest collapsed.

Trees intertwined, fell, and the soil overturned, revealing deep burrows.

Everything on top of it was swept away in the earth and soil,

The dust and broken wood surged, making a big resonance.

In the dense battlefield, Ivan’s ears caught the screams of many students.

‘Rescuing students is Enrique’s responsibility.’

Enrique would be able to grasp the situation at a glance. An attack by dwarfs was familiar to her too. Moreover, most students have ‘location-tracking magical devices.’ Therefore, the prospects for rescuing students within the golden time were good.

External training, and that too a practical ‘ambush response’ exam, so the priests would be on standby. Even if there were injuries, they could recover.

Ivan immediately jumped down from the tree.

‘Is Oscar closer?’

If he thinks either Isabelle or Oscar is the target of these guys, he should prioritize the closer one first.

Ivan mentally traced his path and threw himself into the gap of the deep burrow where the ground was not visible.

The battlefield was close, the target was clear, and he was well-armed.

For a commander of the Cleansup Unit, no more propositions were needed.

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