The students, who had gone home, gradually began to return, while the professors were already preparing the class materials. The campus, which had been empty and cold, soon regained its usual warmth.
However, the wind was still chilly, so there weren't many people outside. In the midst of that, one student was running around the campus grounds.
Theo heaved as he moved around the grounds. This would be his 32nd lap. When he first started exercising, he couldn't even do 10 laps. At least he hadn't vomited up what he ate after the first day. He used the knowledge he had to exercise properly. His body, which he had trained systematically for two months, was gradually becoming more manly.
'With this… 40!'
As soon as he completed his 45th lap, Theo fell to the ground instantly. It was the basic strengthening method of placing his palm against the floor and pushing up and down. He'd read in a book that it was a method the northern knights used.
As his arms trembled, Theo thought about why he was doing this. It started from when he accepted Alfred's memories.
-From [Ballistics magic], the magic is an arrow and the magician is the bow. The magician not only needs to hone the magic but also to train the body.
In fact, he remembered that Alfred Bellontes' body had been as conditioned as a knight's. In particular, the arm which shot the Magic Missile had been like a log. It was clear that physical training was necessary to withstand the recoil and release of magic.
Since then, Theodore had added working out to his routine. He didn't miss a day of running every morning, and he conditioned his muscles steadily. Although his body was fatigued and screaming with pain, Theo didn't give in. Rather, he doubled his usual food intake and immersed himself in the training.
Theo fell down after fulfilling his quota.
Despite the fact that his forearms had thickened compared to two months ago, it was difficult to increase the amount he did everyday. This much training was possible because a magician's body recovered faster than an average person. It couldn't be compared to the knights who refined mana, but it was enough to allow him to not struggle to get out of bed the next day.
'Uhh, this is why studying is the easiest part.'
It would be hard to find someone who agreed with him, but Theo was sincere in his own way. Since he'd been born, his memory had been good.
His active wear was sticky with sweat and his limbs were rubbery to the point where it was hard to stand up. Still, there was a sense of accomplishment like when he was studying magic, so he was able to endure for another day.
Every time he looked in the mirror, his appearance which was different from yesterday was a big motivation for Theo.
Despite the sweat, his body was cold due to the chilly wind. It would be bad if he caught a cold. He got up and brushed away the dirt on his hands. Ordinary people would need to go to the bath, but Theo was different.
With a simple spell, the dirt on his body was stripped away. Other students often ignored this method since they lived well, but Theodore understood the practicality. As the magic power wrapped around his body gently, he became cleaner than before.
'Is this the 3rd Circle? It feels cleaner than when I used it before…'
It wasn't a simple feeling but the truth.
Any magic required magic power to maximize its performance. 1st Circle magic could be made more efficient by inserting more magic power. Therefore, the difference between a 2nd Circle and 3rd Circle magician was obvious.
There was a difference between the 2nd Circle Theo and the 3rd Circle Theo.
The third circle around his heart was still strange. He touched his chest unconsciously. However, the number of circles didn't change. This was a state he had accomplished after visiting the black market trader three times and feeding on 40 artifacts.
3rd Circle magician…
Theo was now at the same starting point as the other students.
* * *
"Oh, cold. It is finally worth living."
Unlike the outside where the cold wind blew, the air inside was nice and warm.
The heating had been turned off during the vacation. Theo was more sensitive and realized that artificially created heat was seeping from the walls and corridor tiles. He raised his cold hands and let the warmth penetrate his skin.
'Applying Heat magic, simple but efficient.'
He admired the person who designed this heating system. It was at this moment that…
Tak… tadak… tak…
Theo, who was warming his hands on the wall, opened his eyes he heard the sound of footsteps. He unconsciously counted the number of steps which could be heard.
'Someone is nearing… roughly three people?'
This ability was closer to an ability of an assassin or tracker than a magician. It was a type of sensory perception in which he could sense the movement of magic power. Theo had gained the ability after experiencing Alfred's memories from [Ballistics Magic]. As a war hero, Alfred Bellontes had conditioned his senses to the level of tracking magic. Theo, who had obtained a little bit of the hero's memories, awakened a similar sense of perception.
Unsurprisingly, three students wearing uniforms appeared in the corridor leading to the dormitory. The four pairs of eyes met in the middle.
He glanced at his opponents reflexively. They had loose ties and rolled up sleeves…. Accessories and shoes with heels which were technically going against the school rules. Theo could tell what type of people they were just by the way they were dressed.
This led to the next development.
"Hey, isn't he that bastard?"
"It seems like it? It is obvious just by the face."
"Whoa, we are now in the same dormitory. Now I can finally feel like I'm in the third grade."
Indeed, they spoke loudly to make sure he heard it. Theo moved his feet as he suddenly felt like laughing. This much wasn't enough to be called harassment. Last year, there had been someone who had shot at the back of his head with shock magic. There had also been someone who created a hole in his bag with a magic arrow.
It was a very good level if they were just talking.
Theo passed by the three people calmly. Was it because they didn't like this response? It was at an angle where the three people couldn't see his eyes.
The long-time dunce of the academy, the one who was the symbol of a loser since they entered school… Why was he so confident? He didn't even ask them to move out of the way with a subservient expression. The three people's sense of superiority boiled over.
Theodore stopped moving as he sensed the movement of magic power. Magic… The magic was only 1st Circle at most, but the epicentre was right under Theo's feet. If he took one more step, then he would've fallen.
'This magic… 'Grease'? What a trivial trick.'
It was a trick he was familiar with. Everyone who attacked from behind was the same. They wanted to laugh while watching him fall. It was to ridicule the loser who was older than them but considered inferior. If it was last year, then Theo would've been numb to it, but…
'The suffering ends here.'
As a 3rd Circle magician and the owner of Gluttony, Theodore Miller was a completely different person from before. Theodore identified the position of Grease using Alfred's detection ability and immediately counterattacked. At the very least, he should return what they were trying to do.
He didn't hesitate to point his fingers behind him and cast 'Grease'. The three idiots didn't know what was happening at the soles of their shoes.
"Idiots," Theo said softly before moving again. As he stepped over the area where Grease was, he heard a loud sound from behind him.
The three people shouted loudly from the ground. but Theo didn't turn back. He would see countless of these idiots in the future.
"The opening ceremony… is in a week," a cold voice emerged from Theo's mouth.
A new semester had begun again. It was time to pay back the three years of scorn from the professors and taunts from the students. He knew it was simple, but he couldn't stop his mouth from curling upwards.
Then a week later, Theodore Miller's final year in the third grade began.