Chapter 126 – Acceptance & Rejection (Part 4)
Some of them were feeling that it was a little unfair that he could just come out of nowhere and take away an opportunity that was originally for them, but based on the preferential treatment that Professor Lydia had shown him, not a single one of them had the courage to stand out and say something.
“You five come with me for a bit.”
Lydia didn’t wait for their responses and after pointing at them began walking away. None of them were particularly surprised to be singled out. They were all thinking different things, but none were surprised at the others who’d been singled out.
As they were wondering where they would go, Lydia merely walked 100 meters away from the entire group before coming to a stop as the others caught up to her in seconds.
Turning around to face them she gave them a once over before finally laying bare her intentions “Everything I have just previously said is true. Now with that being said, not every body starts at the bottom and there’s a reason for that. Although it is the goal of every student to gain a higher status to gain more personal power for themselves, we professors naturally have our own goals. We wouldn’t merely pick students out of the goodness of our own hearts when we have no ties to them.”
Daichi finally smiled. He’d felt everything she’d said up to now had been blatant manipulation. Even if everything she’d said was true, it was clearly meant to make them want what she was offering. Not once did he feel her words had their best interests at heart, as such he hadn’t paid her too much attention and had instead thought about his own interests and what he would do now that he had finally reached his long awaited destination.
He’d already thought about how his goal was certainly the information within the library even if he had no idea where he would start. After hearing about the pagoda he’d grown interested in its connection with the library, but he still felt he needed to enter the library himself to get an idea of what knowledge he wanted. He’d spent too much time merely focused on regaining his freedom that he’d all but lost interest in the information which may have once held any interest to him.
All these things crossed his mind as he settled on the here and now. He was not from Lumea and apparently they hadn’t met someone that hadn’t at least originally been from Lumea since the incident occurred involving the gods. Daichi was all too aware that it meant he would have to answer a lot of questions and likely meet quite a few people before being given any freedom within the city. He was resolved to focus on taking things one step at a time.
Now it seemed Lydia would finally speak some honest words. Perhaps he’d always thought this way, but he simply couldn’t trust someone unless he understood them, or at least understood their motivations.
“We’ve graduated and have long past received any benefits available to students, we professors remain at Lumea not merely because of the respect given to our positions. We remain because we desire the knowledge and power that comes with knowledge. Our opportunities are based on those we teach. Most of us already don’t enjoy the responsibilities mandatory to our positions and therefore we don’t do more than we have to and focus on our own cultivation.
When we find someone worth teaching though, we must make a choice. We can take as many students as we want… The more they succeed the more we receive in terms of opportunities within the library. Although if our students have no exceptional merits then we also intern lose opportunities as well. Thus few professors are willing to take too many students. Spending too much of their time teaching multiple people is a waste of time to us. It divides our attention on too many things.”
It was Damien who took the initiative to ask the first question. Although he didn’t answer in his usual arrogant demeanor, he wasn’t timid either “Professor, if you don’t mind me asking… What then would it take for you to choose and take on a legacy?”
Lydia didn’t mind the question. In fact it was only reasonable that one of them ask, “Any given professor can only ever take one legacy student in their lifetime at Lumea. Therefore it is not a decision we make hastily. Although… If we find someone with enough potential we’re faced with the choice of doing so… Or possibly allowing another professor to take that student away from us. Any student or disciple can be chosen by a professor as a legacy by another professor. It is merely that it is rare that a disciple would insult his teacher by taking another professor as his legacy master.”
Damien quickly followed up “Does that mean you’ve decided to take one of us on as a disciple?” his voice got a little higher as he finished his sentence. It was clear that his hope was being placed on his sleeve. If his original goal was to succeed in doing better than all the others when passing the exam, then being directly chosen as a disciple by a professor upon entering the academy would be the peak of success!
Lydia had a look of amusement on her face. She’d expected as much from Damien but that look of amusement was brief at best before it disappeared.
“No professor is allowed to take on a new disciple of any sort who just entered the academy until their exam is complete. We are still awaiting others to return, we refuse to be pessimistic and believe that there won’t be more returnees. I singled you out because… Leo, Haeru, Damien and Karina… I will either take you as disciples or I will recommend you to another professor. I wanted to let you know before hand and let you ponder whether you will choose to take me as your teacher or not.”
Lydia had barely finished speaking before Haeru cut in “What reason would we have for turning your offer down?” Although he hadn’t shown it, he was just as excited as Damien was. Being from a family that had means in Lumea, he understood the meaning of having more importance than his peers within the academy.
If joining the academy had already separated them from others their own age and changed their future, then being distinguished amongst their peers here would be tantamount to standing at the peak of geniuses within Lumea.
Lydia didn’t miss a beat “I specialize in mana control. Specifically in utilizing mana to amplify my own physical traits and manifest physical abilities I would otherwise not have. Every professor has different paths they’ve taken. Despite what you might think, we aren’t all knowing. Our usefulness lies only in imparting our experiences and knowledge within the path we’ve begun to walk. If what you want to focus on or believe you’re suited for is not what I specialize in, then your future might be limited by taking me as your teacher.”
Only now Haeru and Damien understood as their faces twisted. They knew that the professor that oversaw their exam would be the ones that would favor them the most. If they were taken in by someone else, they would have to go through the process of trying to impress someone else from scratch again. That was of course only if this professor could convince someone else to take them as a disciple and even then, their prospects might still be limited.
“There is no need to make those expressions” Lydia could tell that Damien and Haeru were the ones most focused on their futures at the moment. Lydia briefly noticed that Karina seemed unmoved. Although she didn’t know much about this girl, she was curious as to why she wasn’t more interested in her future at the moment.
Leo was making a solemn expression no different than most of the people within the courtyard, it was clear his mind was elsewhere.
“Think about what I’ve just said, since I’ve already extended this offer wait for me here if you want to take me as your teacher or even if you wish for me to introduce you to someone else. If you wish to try your own luck, then you may leave and enter the academy with the others who didn’t want to wait for further news.”
After finishing her speech she quickly turned her gaze to Daichi and waved him over, “Come with me”
Lydia turned and began walking and Daichi followed almost immediately. He was beginning to think that Lydia might have some special position within the academy.
‘She never seems to wait after speaking, who just assumes others will follow?’ he thought to himself.
Although he wasn’t fully focused on what she was saying, he’d been paying attention all along. It was only that he was clear on the fact that he wasn’t included in the offer she was extending. Instead he began preparing himself for what was coming next.
He followed Lydia as she walked at a brisk pace to part of the wall within the courtyard. When she reached the wall she merely placed her hand on the wall and closed her eyes. Daichi stared as he wondered what she was doing ‘Why aren’t we using a scroll or taking the gate or door?”
His eyes widened as he suddenly realized something simple. He turned his head as he looked around and noticed that within the entire courtyard, although he could see end to end, wall to wall. There was no door anywhere to be found!
Daichi almost wanted to smack himself for not realizing something so obvious, but after having spent so much time within an endless mist. He was just used to space being space, not to mention doors. It took a few seconds but as he chastised himself the wall seemed to ripple as an 8 ft high and 5 ft wide black space appeared within the wall with a faint sucking force.
Daichi stared with eyes wide open as he realized this was another type of portal! ‘Amazing…’
Lydia turned around to look at him as she motioned with a finger for him to follow and once again, without waiting entered the black portal. Daichi hesitated for a moment, but his instincts weren’t telling him he was in any particular danger so he followed.
Instead of feeling the same sensation as when he’d taken the scroll-made portals, it simply felt as if he’d been sucked in from one place and pushed out through a portal to another place.
He looked around and realizing he was within a large hall that screamed luxury. The ceiling was over 40 ft high, and the the entire hall was covered in marble with paintings along the wall of people he’d never seen before but assumed were important.
Lydia began walking down the hall as she spoke “The badge you’ll receive allows you to perceive the “gates” within the walls of the academy. Without the badge you can’t find the gates and would thus be trapped in any given space in the academy. Triggering the gates merely requires you to infuse mana into them. You can move to any public space within the academy through any gate.”
Daichi nodded not realizing he hadn’t spoken as he looked around. He felt as if he was actually a teenager again, so easily impressed by both wealth and the intricacies of the academy.
“Did you hear?” Lydia’s voice showed notable annoyance and Daichi picked up on it.
“Yes.” he quickly replied.
“Did you hear everything I said outside?” Lydia asked.
“Yes.” He quickly replied.
“Not much for conversation, are you?” she said the annoyance in her tone finally weening away. Now that she knew he’d been paying attention, she felt less slighted by his dazed off expression he seemed to constantly wear like a favorite shirt.
“Merely curious about where we’re going.” Daichi finally spoke a full sentence as his focus seemed to return.
“We’re going to visit the Vice-Headmaster.” Lydia said, and Daichi could tell there was something a little off about the way she said it. A slight hint of delight in her voice like cat that caught the canary.