Chapter 7. Combat Training (1)

‘Outcall’ – a magic power explosion that occurred 50 years ago and shook the world. Following this event, mysterious entities like Towers, Dungeons, and monsters began to appear in the world. These existences of chaos shook the very foundation of humanity. The blue planet of humans turned into hell. Monsters devoured humans, and Towers and Dungeons ceaselessly produced monsters like factories.

In front of these newfound calamities, humanity’s science and technology lost their meaning. Society collapsed and the rule of law returned to the law of the jungle. Survivors of the tragedy crumbled to their instincts, losing the virtues that made them human.

Within this hellfire, Heroes emerged shining stars.

With transcendental powers, they corrected the chaos. The world was reconstructed just as quickly as it collapsed. Using Gifts bestowed by heaven, they brought about miracles with a flicker of their hands. With their help, humanity recovered their lost virtue, joining the Heroes with revitalized technology and science. ‘Magic science’ and ‘magic engineering’ was thus born.

Eventually, Towers, Dungeons, and monsters were all designated as targets to be destroyed. However, the differences among them were great.
Towers required many people and a long period of time to be conquered. On the other hand, depending on their difficulty, Dungeons could be conquered by a single person, so long as he knew its location.
Towers gave better rewards, containing treasures that humans had never dreamed of.

Then what was the name of the Tower conquered by the guild Apostle of Saints on August 17th, 2023, and what was its reward?

“Minor questions like these don’t come up often, but you should still know about conquests of Towers and Dungeons.”

Morning class was ‘Post-Outcall History.’ The few sentences I had written had turned into a 400-page textbook. Things to remember were rewards from Towers, names of monsters, locations of Dungeons in Korea, conquerors of Towers and Dungeons, and countless others.

Even as the author, there was too much information to process. Thankfully, it didn’t pose much of a problem for me, all thanks to my gift ‘Observation and Reading.’

[On August 17th, 2023, the Apostle of Saints conquered the Tower of Floods and obtained an ocean stone.]

Whenever I looked at something, I could get the information about it, so I had nothing to worry about.

“Huu…”

On the other hand, the girl sitting in front of me scratched her head and sighed.
Looking at the character I made, I couldn’t help but laugh.
Chae Nayun hated studying. She had the ability to take the number one spot among female cadets, but because written exams were holding her down, she had to give up the first place seat to Rachel. Even if she gnashed her teeth in mortifying defeat, written exams were still too much of a hurdle for her.

At that moment, Chae Nayun turned her head halfway towards me. Her curt eyes glared at the person sitting behind her – me. She must have heard my laughter. After all, Sharpshooters had keen senses.
I pretended to be calm as I lowered my head and focused on taking notes. Chae Nayun clicked her tongue and faced back front.

The lesson continued.
Places with high mana density, monster behavior, Djinns on the wanted list…
The bell rang only after two hours had passed.

“Make sure to go back and read the notes you took today. Otherwise, you’ll cry on the exam.”

The grey-haired professor wearing round eyeglasses left with those words.

“Argh, so annoying, why do I have to learn all this? Written exams are so annoying.”

Chae Nayun began to complain the moment the professor left. However, her face was full of smiles. It was most likely because of the next class.

Anti-monster combat training.

Just like its name suggested, it was combat training against monsters. The monsters used in the lesson were mana puppets, but their appearance and destructive power were faithful to the real thing. Of course, they were weaker than their real counterparts, but there was a high chance of getting injured.

I was scared.

“We’re meeting at the field in 20 minutes!”

A loud voice rang out in the classroom. I turned towards the voice.
Oval face, small gentle eyes, and a muscular body that didn’t match his face. It was Kim Suho’s supporter, Yi Yeonghan. Knowing the conflict between Kim Suho and Shin Jonghak, the instructor in charge of the classroom chose Yi Yeonghan to be the class president.

“Ehew.”

I just hoped it wouldn’t hurt.

*

After a 20 minute break, everyone from the Veritas class gathered at the Novice Field. With 100 people here, it seemed quite crowded. The cadets were sharing their half-nervous half-excited expectations with their friends, but I was alone. Only I was alone.

“Fuck…”

While I was wallowing in loneliness, the instructor, Kim Soohyuk, showed up.
The cadets immediately stood in ten columns in front of him.

“I’m sure you all know what this lesson is about, so I’ll announce the teams without explanation. Unless something special happens, this team will be the same until after the midterms.”

Team formation. The cadets grew restless at the exciting yet nerve-wracking process.

A team generally consisted of five members – two warriors, one sharpshooter, one supporter, and one utility player. Warriors were usually close range combatant like spearman or swordsman, sharpshooters were the long ranged attacker, and supporters were people like Yoo Yeonha and Yi Yeonghan who attacked themselves or supported the main attackers.

Finally, the utility player was generally the magician’s position, so it was excluded until the first year ended. When a magician was added, the supporter would have an additional role in protecting the magician. After all, magicians were important.

My role here was a bit iffy. Roles were assigned based on the main weapon we chose, and while I wasn’t a warrior, I was too lacking to be a sharpshooter. Guns had a much shorter range than bows, and guns were weaker compared to melee weapons that could attack from afar.

[Sharpshooter (long range) — Rank 4 Chae Nayun, Rank 9 Im Yeongjin… Rank 934 Kim Hajin, Rank 945 Oh Jiyun]

In any case, it seemed I was assigned as a sharpshooter.

Kim Soohyuk announced.

“Team members will be selected fairly. Lower ranked cadets will be paired with higher ranked cadets.”

Cube’s training classes were administered by the artificial intelligence developed by the Great Sage. As a result, there was no room for corruption or persuasion.
I could see the pitiful result with my own eyes.

[Team 1]
[Kim Suho / Kim Lang]
[Sung Seung-Un / Paine]

[Team 2]
[Demian / Rosen]
[Chun Lee / Chae Nayun]

[Team 5]
[Jin Hoseung / Hazuki]
[Kim Hajin / Yoo Yeonha]

“…”

Looking at my assigned team, I became lost for words.
Yoo Yeonha.
Yoo Yeonha was on my team. In my novel, she was one of the most loved and hated character.
Looking around, I met her eyes. Her jewel-like eyes flashed with deep contempt and disdain. But that was only for a moment. By the time I blinked once, the negative feeling in her eyes was gone.
Surprisingly, she walked towards me with a smile. Her long hair fluttered with each of her dignified steps. Her beautiful lips moved modestly.

“It’s nice to meet you.”

“Ah, um, I…”

“Hoseung-ssi.”

But I wasn’t the one Yoo Yeonha greeted. Meeting her eye was also my imagination. She was talking to the guy standing behind me.

“Ah, hello.”

“Weren’t we on the same team before?”

She talked too politely for a 17-year-old, but that was how Yoo Yeonha liked to keep her distance.

“Yes? Ah, right, haha.”

After exchanging just two sentences, Jin Hoseung broke out in a cold sweat. Yoo Yeonha was difficult to talk to, and it wasn’t just because of her background and insane personality. Yoo Yeonha and Shin Jonghak were a couple officially, but not unofficially. At this point, it should be more like a one-sided crush from Yoo Yeonha.

“Ah, Hazuki-ssi is coming too.”

“Hello…”

Like his name suggested, Hazuki was a Japanese cadet. She walked over with eyes that looked like she was about to cry. Yoo Yeonha glanced at her slightly displeased, then spoke.

“Who’s the other person?”

“It’s me.”

Yoo Yeonha didn’t like people who lacked confidence and self-esteem. As such, I stepped up confidently. Hazuki and Jin Hoseung turned towards me first.

“Uh…”

Hazuki tilted her head as though she didn’t know who I was.

“Ah, the guy who chose a gun.”

When Jin Hoseung mentioned my previous feat, I checked Yoo Yeonha’s expression. Unexpectedly, she didn’t show any emotion. But that was even more frightening.
At that moment, Kim Soohyuk shouted loudly.

“There’s no time for chitchat. You should have gotten the coordinate and information of the monster you’ll need to kill on your smartwatch. Get going!”

A total of 25 teams. Including the other classes that joined in, there was a total of 100 teams.
Our mission was to head to the coordinate given to us and kill the monster there.
We were then ranked based on how quickly and how safely we completed our mission.

Wiing—
As soon as the instructor’s voice rang out, Yoo Yeonha projected her smartwatch to the air.

[Blackhump Octopus 37° 31’ 32” N]

The monster’s name and coordinate were written there.
Yoo Yeonha spoke tersely.

“Let’s go. We can talk while we’re moving.”

*

I was running through a field. Beyond this ocean of golden reeds should be the black hump octopus.
But running was extremely difficult due to my horrible physical stats. The sneakers I made last night seemed useless. Its one-hour duration had not run out, but my stamina had already bottomed out.
In the end, I fell down while running, and the team stopped because of me.

“It’s fine. What matters is whether or not we can kill the monster.”

Seeing me gasping for breath on the ground, Jin Hoseung said as he handed me a bottle of water.

“He’s right. Apparently, this is common when you work with magicians.”

Hazuki also consoled me with her mediocre Korean.
I was thankful, but I was checking for Yoo Yeonha’s reaction the most.
Contrary to my expectations, she didn’t seem too displeased. She was simply sitting modestly on the ground, reading information about the black hump octopus on her watch.
I also pulled up the necessary information from my head.

===
[Blackhump Octopus]
—low-intermediate rank monster
—Special features
*The main body isn’t strong, but numerous baby octopuses pop out from the hump on its head. As dozens pop out at once, it isn’t easy to deal with them. Baby octopuses can suck human blood and turn them into mummies in just one second. They are classified as low rank monsters.
—Strategy
*Eliminate all baby octopuses. Alternatively, destroy the black hump where the main body’s magic power is created.
—Weakness
*Black hump
—Strength
*Suction cups and baby octopuses
===

Perhaps because I was the one who wrote the setting for the black hump octopus, a thorough information on the monster came out.

“I’ll deal with the babies while you two take care of the main body.”

Soon, Yoo Yeonha turned off her smartwatch and said to Hazuki and Jin Haseung.
Ah, I get it now.
Yoo Yeonha was acting like I didn’t exist. I was at the same level as air, which was why she didn’t reprimand me or seem displeased.

“… Let’s go now.”

Offended by her treatment, I forced myself to get up. Thanks to my sneakers, my stamina had recovered.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I’ll go first. Hup!”

I ran ahead of them. Compared to when I was on Earth, I was much quicker.
But exactly 10 seconds later.
I found myself far behind the other three.

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