Chapter 151 – UnNatural Leadership
Everyone in the room had surprised expressions and each of them then took the initiative to read the letter for themselves. Normally only by proving your strength would someone get the chance to therefore enter the counsel of their given year, but there were two exceptions. This exception applied to those who were unanimously voted to the position by everyone in their given year. Secondly would be someone appointed by their peers had the option of giving an equal position to someone else in their year.
The thing was, everyone who joined Lumea was a genius by their own right. Regardless of what talents, abilities, or even connections they had that allowed them to join the academy, they were all special. No one was ordinary, and being unanimously voted to lead by every genius that just joined the academy was nearly unheard of. It had only happened twice in the entire history of the academy, and now it had happened a third time. Marcos had been voted by every new year to gain a position that would have benefited any single one of the newcomers exponentially! Moreover, if they hadn’t voted him in, everyone else would have had a chance to join the counsel by battling it out and finding out who the strongest of their year was during the new comer tournament.
Gwen had already realized the implications of Marcos getting appointed in such a way and had already looked at him with respect for doing so.
Everyone else on the other hand went from having shock to surprise to pity.
‘It’s such a shame. Regardless of how amazing it is… To be pushed into a den of tigers… A deer can only wait to be eaten’ they all thought as they looked at Alex.
Alex was seething. He considered Gwen the most precious thing in his eyes. A possession that he wanted at all costs. What angered him most, is that despite his many efforts, Gwen refused to acknowledge him as a viable partner. Due to her status being no lower than his own, whether it was her backing, family, talent or personal position, Alex was forced to be polite. He did his best to gain her favor for over a year, and this was the first time he’d seen her act so polite and amiable to another man. It was enough to drive him insane!
This small interaction was enough for him to decide to focus on Marcos as the object to vent his anger within the following days.
‘I’m going to make you wish you never sullied my beautiful Gwen’s precious ears and eyes with your filthy face.’ Alex thought to himself.
“Whew… Oh man! I almost didn’t make it in there!” Thomas said in a whisper next to Marcos as they made their way in the hallway.
Marcos had some sweat down his back too “Haha… Yeah! Meeting them wasn’t nearly as nerve wracking as it was wondering whether you’d tell them a story!” Marcos snickered as he smacked Thomas on the back.
After arriving at the academy, most of the new students had experienced one of two situations. They were either extremely lucky and well received by some professor who saw promise in them, or the most common and less enjoyable scenario most of the students faced which was being thrown into poor living conditions and told “Do your best!” with no guidance. The students this time around were even worse off than what most newcomers normally experienced due to the recent loses. The professors had far too many important things to do than deal with the new comers, which had already normally taken a back seat for the higher ups.
Marcos on the other hand had arrived egregiously injured and had to recuperate at a nurses station.
Marcos had gone through a moderately short period of recovery. He was told he’d be stuck in bed for months, instead he was released with all of his injuries healed within 2 weeks. The nurses taking care of him were astonished at how quickly he’d healed but quickly came to learn it was due to his ‘temporary professor’ sneaking a few potions into his meals every other few days.
All of this was unbeknownst to Marcos himself who merely fancied himself lucky in all endeavors and didn’t spend his energy questioning his remarkable recovery. He merely used the time to meditate. He’d been fairly motivated before the exam, but that was in part due to his promise to a friend and Leo’s unrelenting practice routines that were inspirational to witness.
It was during the exam itself, away from Leo that Marcos had begun to shine. Not giving much thought to consequences or anything else, he followed his instincts to help, protect, guide and inevitably lead. He himself had not yet realized the kind of natural charisma and leadership he exuded, his lack of ulterior motives being in part the reason why he could lead and have others follow so willingly.
Making new friends, people to protect, more importantly; people who needed his protection unlike Leo, had allowed Marcos to find his path. Every day in the nurses station he spent all the time he would have in the past spent with Leo practicing begrudgingly but happily now meditating relentlessly. No longer needing to be pulled from the front, he himself was paving his own way with his motivations.
Two weeks of meditation did little to increase his mana, but plenty to solidify his willpower and just as much to impress the few who noticed how hard he pushed himself.
Marcos had then joined the rest of the students in their shabby accommodations, but unlike most students he had been welcomed with open arms by those he’d experienced the trial with. His small following grew exponentially within just a few weeks, everyone willing to follow and teach him. With Marcos as a beacon and leader, the first year students underwent a radical change from the usual first year students. They had a leader, they had rules. Competition was friendly, moderated instead of fierce and intolerant. The students weren’t cut throat and unwieldy all for a small chance of standing out, instead they helped one another and Marcos was the key to all of this change.
In the midst of such a huge change their had of course been a few students unwilling to simply follow under another’s lead, even as he gained a bigger and bigger following and among these students Thomas was the strongest. Upon realizing that Marcos’s following would only continue to grow, he challenged Marcos.
He won. He defeated Marcos.
The battle wasn’t even close. In fact, Thomas may have found himself a personal teacher if it weren’t for his quirky personality, but despite his win. Absolutely nothing changed. He defeated Marcos so overwhelmingly that Marcos wasn’t even particularly injured, and yet no one looked at Marcos with any contempt. Marcos himself didn’t even seem to mind leading Thomas to feel like the entire endeavor was an entire failure.
Inevitably he himself became a friend of Marcos, his charm infectious. A cure no where in sight.
“No, I’ve been working on that, besides I’m not sure if you noticed Mr.Leader, but we likely ruffled some feathers.” Thomas said with a serious tone normally missing in his speech.
“What do you mean? I thought that went much better than expected. That girl Gwen was really friendly too.”
Marcos had been deemed as the leader of the first years as when the time came to hold the 1st year competition for representative, after he’d stood up no one challenged him. It was a unanimous decision that no one was willing to take his place, and so he was “unanimously” chosen as the elected representative.
Once he’d realized that it had never happened before, and what the position entailed he’d been expecting the worse only to be pleasantly surprised at the welcome he’d received.
Looking at Marcos’s happy go-lucky expression Thomas struggled to understand once again what everyone else seemed to see in him that he failed to miss “It’s exactly because that girl was giving you such grade-A treatment that you’re going to have problems.”
“You’re? Don’t you mean us? Either way, I think you’re overthinking things. We’re all going to be working together from now on. I’m sure it’s all going to be fine.”
Thomas shook his head in defeat but continued unable to stop himself “My uncle once told me that if I ever find myself in a devil’s three-way and the other guy is glaring at me, it can only spell disaster. I don’t know how he came to that conclusion, personal experience or something he read. Although now that that I think about it, it may just have been a euphemism. Obviously it would have to be for it to apply here, but it makes you wonder right? Not that I want to wonder, I mean I just can’t help it.”
Marcos thought about the upcoming tournament and absolutely ignored every word coming out of Thomas’s mouth. At this point he knew he’d lost him to a tangent that would go on for far longer than he would care to listen too. ‘If he weren’t so strong…’ he thought to himself.
Marcos was optimistic and Thomas had gone off topic, both ignoring the three second year students who had begun following them for the past few minutes.