Chapter 167

It was a regrettable situation.

Yi-Han had conveyed a message, hoping that the students of the White Tiger could also take their exams fairly, but...

The still tipsy students of the White Tiger failed to understand his genuine intent.

Read it on

They saw him as nothing but a madman!

Professor Uregor walked along, cheerfully humming a tune.

Indeed, exams were not only a burden for students.

Professors too had to create questions and grade them.

It would be better if one could find joy in such tasks like the skull principal, but for other professors, exams were merely a painful assignment.

This was also true for Professor Uregor.

'Hehe. Finally, it's over.'

Professor Uregor opened a bottle of reserved honey liquor, feeling delighted now that he had set all the questions.

He noticed the freshmen, drunk on the lawn, tumbling and rolling around.

'Now's the good time. The perfect time.'

A hallmark experience for every freshman at the magic academy.

The skull principal's midterm celebration party!

After waking up with throbbing heads, facing an exam, they would surely fix their bad habit of indulging before tests.

'It's a cheap lesson, indeed.'

Professor Uregor thought to himself, nodding his head.

Then, a familiar student rushed through the lawn.


"Ah, Professor."

"Haven't you heard the news? On such a fine day, we must drink! This is my treasured liquor, but I'll make an exception for you."

Professor Uregor handed a bottle of honey liquor to Yi-Han to help the skull principal.

Yi-Han glared at Professor Uregor with a look of contempt.

"...You've realized it?"


"Is that so?"

Embarrassed, Professor Uregor took back the bottle.

'This kid is quite perceptive.'

Not falling for such a trap despite being a hungry, thirsty freshman was no ordinary feat.

"We need to go up to the fourth floor of the main building now. Isn't the principal asking too much?"

"He is a bit excessive."

Professor Uregor agreed.

He fully sympathized with the complaints about the skull principal.

"To finish and submit by Friday. Such an absurd..."

"Uh... my exam also needs to be finished and submitted by Friday?"


Yi-Han looked at Professor Uregor with eyes full of betrayal. The Dwarf Professor made an involuntary excuse.

"It's not wrong to give ample time! Besides, it takes more than an hour or two to prepare some alchemical creations!"

Unlike the skull principal, who cruelly gave hope only to cause suffering, the Friday deadline was meant to be generous.

Alchemical concoctions needed time, so the students were given the next week to leisurely prepare and submit their potions.

That was Professor Uregor's deep intention.


Yi-Han seemed somewhat convinced.

"And time is needed to gather ingredients."


Yi-Han immediately retracted his acceptance.

'They're all the same.'


"That look in your eyes seemed to despise me just now, but it must be my imagination?"

"Why would I look at you like that?"

"Right. Believe you I will. Don't drink too much, and don't do anything dangerous. And don't even think about raiding my workshop."


Yi-Han paused at the last comment.

'Did the seniors raid the professor's workshop?'

While they were talking, a few students appeared from the opposite side.

He expected them to be drunk, but surprisingly, they were sober.

They were students from the Black Tortoise.

Yi-Han exclaimed in a surprised tone.

"Salko? How did you manage not to drink? You're a dw..."


"Rarely one to dislike alcohol, it seems."

Yi-Han was about to say 'dwarf', but quickly stopped himself. Salko did resemble a dwarf but was, in fact, a true elf.

"Hmph. Wardanaz. What do you take us for? Did you think we'd casually get drunk like the others? We've kept all the liquor we received."

"Hey... keep it down, it's embarrassing."

One of Salko's friends, beaming with pride, was hushed by another.

Upon reflection, storing away the liquor given out by the skull principal at the banquet was...

Somewhat pathetic.

Yet, Yi-Han admired it.

"Indeed. I hadn't thought of that. Excellent. To collect and store it."



"Why are you all acting like that?"

"No, no. It's nothing."

The Black Tortoise students suddenly felt a rush of embarrassment upon receiving Yi-Han's praise.

'Are we too pitiful?'

'Did we go too far in storing it?'

Salko, ignoring the reactions of his friends, asked,

"The principal said we have exams on the fourth floor of the main building, right?"

"That's correct."

"We're about to head there now. Would you join us, Wardanaz?"


It was the other Black Tortoise students who were more surprised than Yi-Han.

"Is that okay? Tutanta?"

"There's no reason it shouldn't be. You all know Wardanaz's capabilities."

"We do."

Several Black Tortoise students nodded.

They owed their lives to Wardanaz during yesterday's outing.

But separately...

"Wardanaz is kind of scary."

"What if we come across a section that requires a sacrifice? He might offer us..."

'I can hear everything.'

"But still, we have to acknowledge Wardanaz's abilities..."

"Right. The exam is the priority now."

Having finished their discussion, the friends spoke up.

"Let's go together, Wardanaz!"

'If a sacrificial section comes up, these guys are definitely going to be the offering.'

"What are you all gathering for?"

Nillia, puzzled, approached from the forest. In one hand, she held a bow, and in the other, several rabbits.

Yi-Han was surprised by her completely sober appearance.

"Didn't you drink?"

"Drink? Where would I get alcohol to drink?"

"...Wait. How long have you been in the forest?"

"Since dawn yesterday?"

Nillia tilted her head, not understanding why Yi-Han was asking.

She had been preparing to hunt in the forest since dawn to gather meat and hides.

It was quite a successful hunt.

Hunting, after all, depended on luck as much as the hunter's skill. Without game appearing, it's all for naught...

Four rabbits were more than satisfactory.

"Look, caught some rabbits. Want one?"

At Nillia's offer, Yi-Han looked disdainfully at the Black Tortoise students.

'Leaving a fellow tower mate behind while they alone attended the feast?'

The Black Tortoise students defensively explained themselves.

"We didn't hide it on purpose...!"

"She was already hunting when we woke up!"

"What are you talking about?"

Nillia was still clueless about the situation.

Yi-Han briefly summarized for her.

"These guys didn't tell you about the feast and went by themselves..."

"That's not true!"

"We've stored some liquor and cake, we'll definitely give it to you after it's over! Trust us!"

The Black Tortoise students pounded their chests in frustration.

Why would they purposely exclude Nillia!

"Ah, so that was it."

After the confusion, Nillia nodded in understanding.

"That's possible, isn't it?"

Yi-Han was taken aback.

'When my friends and I went separately, she took it so hard...'

"Lucky I didn't drink. I'll have to after the exam."

"Of course, Nillia. We always appreciate your hard work!"

The Black Tortoise students exaggerated their usual gratitude several times over.

Even though they were always thankful, saying it in this situation somehow sounded like a lie.

"Nillia. Tell me if those guys are taking advantage of you."

"That's not the case...!"

"Have you never been to the fourth floor of the main building?"

"Not yet. The third floor of the main building is quite a challenge."

Yi-Han's remark made Salko nod in agreement.

Brave freshmen were constantly striving to familiarize themselves with the geography of the main building.

Regardless of such efforts, the buildings of the magic academy harshly tested the students.

"The first two floors are okay, but starting from the third..."

"The third floor is definitely tricky."

The first two floors were reasonably manageable, no matter which staircase one took.

However, from the third floor upward, all sorts of troublemakers appeared.

There was the statue of the forgotten beast and the Polymorph Forest, both encountered on the third floor.

"Fortunately, I know one path through the third floor that should lead to the fourth. It seems the most straightforward."

"What path is that?"

Salko was slightly surprised.

Salko and his friends hadn't yet managed to get through the third floor, as numerous complex obstacles blocked their way.

But for Wardanaz to have found a path through the third floor was truly remarkable.

"Remember the map to the Spire Stables I gave you last time? It's that way."

"Hm? That's odd. Isn't the Polymorph Forest there?"

Salko was puzzled.

As they shared information with Yi-Han, Salko and his friends had also attempted to cross the Polymorph Forest several times.

But each time, they were transformed into animals and couldn't pass through.

Perhaps Wardanaz knew the time when the Polymorph Forest disappeared?

"Ah, I found a way through."

"Oh... impressive."

Salko genuinely admired him.

Despite several attempts at the Polymorph Forest, they couldn't find a way through, but Wardanaz had.

Certainly, Wardanaz's magic abilities were undeniable.

Among the many talents gathered in Einroguard, he was a standout genius!

'But that makes him all the more frightening.'

If he were just a genius with magic abilities, they wouldn't have been so wary.

To Salko, Wardanaz seemed capable enough to lead a thieves' guild or a criminal syndicate.

"Can I ask how you managed to get through?"

One of the Black Tortoise students asked.

"By persuasion."

"Persuasion?! So, it was a place that could be persuaded."

"I am the Principal!"

Squeak, squeak, squeak!

The mouse guarding the Polymorph Forest hastily cleared a path.

The illusory mist vanished, and a straight path formed through the middle of the forest.



"The path is open. Let's go."

Yi-Han, leading Ratford and Nillia, strode confidently ahead.

The Black Tortoise students gaped, their faces a mix of astonishment and disbelief, as they watched Yi-Han's retreating figure.


What on earth is he???

"Wardanaz, did you just say you're the Principal?"

"Ah, that was just a trick."


How is that even possible...?

"Um... Wardanaz. Could you explain that in more detail?"

One of the Black Tortoise students, unable to contain his curiosity, opened his mouth to ask.

That's when Nillia chided him.

"Is that really what's important right now? Think about it, it's quite obvious."

Ratford joined in the admonishment.

"It's actually quite simple when you think about it."


Salko, who had been about to ask the same question out of his own curiosity, closed his mouth. Yet, his curiosity remained.

'How exactly did he do it?'

How did Wardanaz make the Polymorph Forest recognize him as the Principal...

-Halt, student. I am the Statue of the Labyrinth.-


Yi-Han stopped in his tracks at the telepathic voice.

The corridor seemed empty, but Yi-Han could feel the presence of magic in front of him.

-The moment you enter, you accept the challenge of the labyrinth.-

Though wondering why there was a labyrinth on the third floor of the academy, Yi-Han didn't bother to question it further.

-I see.-

-However, there is a way to pass through the labyrinth. Sacrifice one of your friends. Send one of your friends to the underground punishment chamber, and I shall transport you to the other side of the labyrinth.-

Yi-Han inadvertently glanced at the Black Tortoise students.

The Black Tortoise students, oblivious to everything, looked back at Yi-Han with innocent and trusting eyes.

Why is he looking at us like that?