When Science and Magic Go To War ~Tales From Other Worlds~
Chapter 11: Examinations Part 1 – Chester
In a room deep inside the main building, Chester was currently sat before the Headmaster. He was an old man with absurdly large muscles. It appears he was a war veteran from their defeat at the hands of Lorial, eventually climbing to his position in the Academy after his retirement due to his extensive experience and merits. He was presiding over Chester’s entry examination for the Academy.
“Fumuuu, so you say you can’t read?” (Headmaster)
“Well I can read, just not your language. I can also write, I maintain a journal.” (Chester)
“I see, well in that case I will make a special exception and exempt you from the written test. Of course I will expect you to try learning our written language.” (Headmaster)
“I have absolute desire to do so, since I wish to access the library.” (Chester)
“Mhmm. Good. Very well, we will skip the written test. We will go through the interview, verbal test and practical exam. Are you prepared?” (Headmaster)
“Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be in the room.” (Chester)
“The interview and verbal test are merged as one, so while I’m asking personal questions I may also slip in graded questions, please keep that in mind.” (Headmaster)
The Headmaster was baffled by the new students awareness of the situation, this method of education was entirely unique to the Academy in Edelstein. This boy however had an air as if he had been through this situation dozens of times. He gave of the atmosphere of an educated person, so it wasn’t entirely impossible.
“Then do you mind giving me your name and age?” (Headmaster)
“My name is Chester Shizuku, I’m 19 years old and counting.” (Chester)
“Indeed, it seems you were picked up by the field tripees after an accident at the ruins.” (Headmaster)
“The magic formation in the ruins connected to where I was working, and I was pulled to Edelstein.” (Chester)
“So it seems. So where were you from originally?” (Headmaster)
“Ah. That’s difficult to answer. It’s an island called Japan, it won’t be on any of your maps however.” (Chester)
“Hmmm? I’ve never head of a Japan before.” (Headmaster)
“I’ve never heard of an Edelstein before, this is entirely undiscovered continent for us.” (Chester)
The Headmaster hesitated for a second, allowing such an unknown into the Academy could be a potential intel leak. Even more so for an unidentified youth.
“How long have you been practicing magic?” (Headmaster)
“About a day, I think. Misato engaged in the Apprenticeship ritual to enable me to use it when we were escaping the ruins. The country I come from doesn’t have magic.” (Chester)
“What?! But it says here you used two original spells of unknown attribute.” (Headmaster)
“Ah you mean <<Killer Squall>> and <<Rotary Cannon>>? For the record, they’re light attribute.” (Chester)
The Headmaster’s eyes opened wide in shock, light attribute spells could harass the enemy at most. This lad had decimated the enemy with it. However the thing that scared him most was the name of the second spell, cannons were a military secret still in development by the navy to reduce the demand of magicians on ships.
“Could you care to explain the names of those spells?” (Headmaster)
“Well the first is because it rains death down upon the enemy, it’s pretty obvious. The second is just as obvious, it creates a spinning beam at high speed like an old cannon.” (Chester)
The Headmaster almost had a heart attack. He called cannons old! It took him a while to process that Chester came from a land without magic, so it was obvious that they’d rely on the development and deployment of cannons in order to be able to bombard the enemy. This man was a trove of military technology rivalling Lorial.
“I see, so you understand the principle behind cannons and other weapons?” (Headmaster)
“Well, I understand the theory. I’m much more of a theoretical person, I understand the principle on which something works and then move on to a new topic. As a result I have a wide area of knowledge, but nothing specific in depth.” (Chester)
“What are you fields of expertise then? In terms of magic and personal occupation.” (Headmaster)
“Me? I’m a scholar. I research the world and come to understand it, I lean apply that knowledge to my magic in order to increase its power and efficiency. In turn I’ll use that magic to help me research.” (Chester)
For such a person to exist was unfathomable to the Headmaster, this was a boy that purely moved in the pursuit of knowledge, in an attempt to gain more knowledge. He didn’t seek power or wealth, just intelligence. This type of person would leave an enormous legacy in the history of national development. If the Academy could monopolise his results then it would reap the rewards into the distant future, especially if he continues to produce original spells at the rate he was currently going.
“Since we can’t cover it in the written paper, what’s your arithmetic skill?” (Headmaster)
“Hmm, my mental maths is above average and I can do simple calculations in my head. I can do complicated ones on paper given enough time. This is more James’ area of expertise. I am more than qualified to be a merchant though.” (Chester)
“Then before we move on to the practical exam, do you have any military experience?” (Headmaster)
“Military experience huh? Hmmm, that’s a difficult one to answer. I’ve never been in the military, and I spent most of my time in the reading so I’m extremely unfit. However I have been in the position of a strategist for several battle like events.” (Chester)
(A strategist with no military experience? Isn’t that a bit contradictory? Military advisors were low paid and often disregarded anyway. Nobles control the army, not the strategists. His value is his knowledge it seems.)
“Then please follow me to the practice field, the practical exam is in three stages. First you have to destroy a target, then you have to survive a duel with one of our instructors. Finally you must display your most powerful spell.” (Headmaster)
Leading the way out of the building, they eventually arrived at the practice field, Chester’s lab coat fluttered in the wind and to the side James and Misato watched over expectantly. Several other free students had gathered to watch as a form of entertainment, rumours had already spread of the mysterious new student. The field was similar to an astroturf, with a solid base created with earth magic. At the opposite end was an armoured figure representing an enemy troop.
“Now simply destroy the target.” (Headmaster)
“That’s it? Okay. <<Light>>!” (Chester)
Misato and James could only laugh smugly as the small blue orb appeared in Chester’s hand. He raised it parallel to the ground and aimed his palm at the target. Taking a breath to increase his aim, Chester released a single thin beam directly at the armour. As an oversight on his part, some of the laser was reflected by the metal, decreasing its power however it still cleanly cut through the dummies torso.
“Probably a poor choice of spell for going against someone who’s armoured. It works well against animals though.” (Chester)
Everyone who was laughing quickly close their mouths, this abnormal person had weaponised a cantrip so that it could kill a knight with room to spare. The Headmaster was even more convinced that this persons magical knowledge would bring glory to Edelstein.
“T-then on to the duel. For this, you just need to avoid taking damage until this hourglass runs out.” (Headmaster)
This was an exam to test skill, magical efficiency and resourcefulness. Only those who can use magic effectively can last until the end without taking a hit. His opponent is also a magician, wearing light armour and wielding a sword. In other words he must both avoid magic and melee.
“Then let’s begin!” (Headmaster)
“Quick guard! <<Barrier>>!” (Chester)
Chester instantly set up a magic dome over his body, it had a magical form to fend off magic attacks and it also had an electromagnetic form to repel his sword and gauntlets. Against his opponent it was an impenetrable wall, since it was only two specific barriers, instead of one multipurpose barrier, its energy demand was significantly smaller. Sitting on the ground, Chester pulled out his notebook and started adding to his journal. Everyone was in shock, and the enraged instructor was hacking and shooting the barrier with all his might, unable to even weaken it. Oblivious to the situation, the hourglass emptied and Chester emerged victorious.
“Ahem. Then for the final test please fire your strongest spell at the wall. We’ve protected it with barriers so don’t worry about a thing.” (Headmaster)
“Uhm, are you sure you want my strongest?” (Chester)
“Chester! Whatever you do, do not use your two strongest spells!!!” (James)
James quickly called out to Chester, he’d seen two sets of notes in his journal for two spells that should never be deployed without good reason. They could easily topple nations in this eras climate.
“Then I’ll just use a full powered <<Rotary Cannon>>.” (Chester)
“Hmmm, well you get more points the more destructive it is.” (Headmaster)
Reluctantly following his students decision, several <<Barrier>> spells were overlapped before the wall. Chester took a stance and waved at his friends before calling out his spell.
“Anti-Material laser! <<Rotary Cannon>>!” (Chester)
Above his head the iconic orbs chased each other, they merged and then they fired. An incomparably large beam blasted out before him. The ground heated up and the <<Barrier>> spells instantly gave way, even the Academy wall was obliterated before its might. The explosive flash blinded everyone. Of course he just smiled in accomplishment.