Chapter 1: Heh, do you have a target?
Half a month after the freshmen entered school, the school’s training and lessons had finally completely started.
Elements was one of the biggest departments in the Augustus Academy, with up to one third of the entire cohort belonging to that department. This was not only because Elements was the most common and generally used form of magic, it was also because Elements Magic was the most important form of support in battle.
Because a Mechanical Engineering Magician was a battle magician, they easily become the target of enemy attacks. Being in charge of front line attacks, they need others to provide protection for them so they could perform their tasks properly.
As a magician, only training one’s magic abilities was insufficient. In order to get used to a battle environment, a magician’s physical abilities was also very important. Therefore, every morning when the alarm rings at six, Ouyang Xue wakes up immediately and washes up quickly before putting on her uniform and joined the gathering below her dormitory in a squad formation.
“Everyone, right turn! Quick jog, go!”
Morning physical training was the start of a day’s training for students belonging to the seven common departments. First was five kilometres of cross country run followed by four hundred metres of obstacles. After that comes push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, mountain-climbers and other forms of static exercises —— These will all continue from 6.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.
After training, the students return to their rooms to wash up again and eat breakfast before gathering at the lesson building or the training ground for their lessons.
Although the activities in the morning was more hectic, Augustus Academy provides free time in the afternoon for the students to choose what they want to do. They could choose to attend supplementary classes or public classes or join interest groups.
Competition within the Academy was stiff and the number of matches between students of the seven common departments were more frequent as compared to students of the three special departments. In the common departments, students ballot every week to choose who they face in the matches. Every week they fight against another student from the same grade and every fortnight, they face off in a guidance match against a senior. There were also sparring matches each month against students from other departments.
The purpose of all this was to ensure that students get used to battles as quickly as possible so as to prepare them for any real battles in the future.
To a freshman like Ouyang Xue, a normal match was extremely stressful as she feels the vast difference in skill between a commoner student and a student from a noble family.
For a noble family’s child, they received the most proper, systematic and focused training since they were young. They solely focus on training only one or two elements, therefore, for the same type of magic, these students were able to use it more quickly and efficiently, bringing out a larger impact. Also, they have more experience in matches, which allow them to take the initiative in matches.
In comparison, Ouyang Xue found her magic to be inefficient with several details unsystematic. Coupled with her lack of experience, she was very disadvantageous in battle.
Including the guidance match when she first entered school, Ouyang Xue had already participated in four graded matches. Her overall results were one lost, two wins and a draw. This was already considered one of the better results. However, she dared not to let her guard down as she wanted to protect the lead that she had. Hence, she practiced hard every day.
Therefore, every afternoon, she would go to the practice arena to train.
Actually, other than the three special departments, among the seven other common departments in Augustus Academy, around forty percent of the students were commoners. All of them also felt the pressure coming from the students from noble families. Not wanting to lag behind those students, they practiced doubly hard in order to reduce this gap.
For the past half a month, Ouyang Xue had meet several other girls at the practice arena with the same objective.
Today, Ouyang Xue was going to train as usual with her companions at the open-air training arena.
Halfway through training, everyone would sit on the chairs in the resting area to drink water and chat. Suddenly, a figure caught the attention of everyone —— It was Ouyang Xue’s beloved brother Ouyang Tao.
Due to his efforts in the assault incident last time, the academy had openly praised Ouyang Tao. Furthermore, he was the first commoner student accepted into Mechanical Engineering in fifty years. In an instant, he became the idol of most of the commoner students in school.
“Eh eh, Ouyang Xue, isn’t that your brother?”
“Yeah, I remember seeing you guys together previously.”
“Your bro is from Mechanical Engineering right?”
Everyone surrounded Ouyang Xue in an instant and started gossiping about it.
Her brother became the topic of the academy. Usually, Ouyang Xue would be very proud of this, however, now, this situation made her unhappy and she even became cautious: “What…… What do you guys want?”
“Do you have a target for the group already?”
“You siblings are definitely grouping together right? Let me tag along.”
“Me too, me too! Sister Xue, bring me along. Pleaseeee.”
Everyone’s tone sounded different, making Ouyang Xue confused and nervous: “Wait! What are you guys talking about!”
“Forming battle groups?”
“Yeah, we must form a battle group and hand in the namelist by mid-term.”
During the frequent dialogue sessions between the Mechanical Engineering students, Ouyang Tao had already heard about it.
After the first guidance match, Ouyang Tao abilities were recognised by the rest. This also reduced the estrangement between Ouyang Tao and his peers, allowing them to strike a conversation.
“Find people from the same grade as you and form small groups for battle. The minimum size is five with no maximum number of members. This is because in the later stages, many topics use group battles as the main form of assessment.” One of the students explained to Ouyang Tao briefly.
This was also not difficult to comprehend as Mechanical Engineering Magicians are the core of battles. They were not omnipotent and require the aid of magicians from other departments.
In actual war, battle groups are the main battle units of the Principality of Ryan. In schools, the groups would have already been confirmed and after training for long together, they are able to prepare for actual battles and missions in the future. This also provides ease for the school to collect data on the characteristics of each group so as to allocate them to specific missions next time.
In conclusion, the groups are very important.
Hearing this, Ouyang Tao became nervous. Throughout his time in school, Ouyang Tao spent most of his time in the dormitory, the library and the training arena. He did not interact much with others and only know a few seniors in school.
That’s why, he basically did not have anyone to group up with!
Suddenly, Ouyang Tao had an idea: “How about the five of us form a group?”
However, his expectations were smashed quickly: “Don’t even think about it. Each group can only have a maximum of two Mechanical Engineering members. Furthermore, students within Mechanical Engineering don’t usually form groups together.”
“Then…… You guys already have an idea who to group up with?” Ouyang Tao asked inquisitively.
“Nope, but why worry.”
“That’s right, we are from Mechanical Engineering. There’s no need to worry.”
Although the few other noble students also did not have any other members, they all replied naturally. It was as if they did not care about it at all.
This, Ouyang Tao had to ask: “Why are you guys not even concerned?”
“We students from Mechanical Engineering are loved and favoured. Don’t worry, when the time comes, students from other departments will come looking for you to group up. You only have to choose who you like.”
“That’s right, choose the core members of your group wisely, just pick a couple of pretty girls to fill up the numbers and ‘advance’ on them. Anyway, we would definitely get members.”
“Speaking of which, this year, Elements and Nature department has several pretty girls.”
“Spirits and Medicine department isn’t bad as well.”
“Well these few departments specialise in pretty girls.”
“Magical Swordsmanship and Feral Beasts department aren’t bad actually, except they are too wild. They are a bit more than what we can chew.”
The topic unknowingly diverted to such a weird direction. Ouyang Tao was not interested and did not participate.
Forming a group was a simple task, but the coordination and trust between the members was important. However, what was most important was having a good leader to direct the members.
Ouyang Tao also knew, being members of the noble families, all the other students had received proper training in battle and tactics since young. Since Mechanical Engineering Magicians are the core of battle, the others also knew how such battles worked and how the others magicians complemented the Mechanical Engineering Magician. However, in this aspect, Ouyang Tao knew nothing.
What to do……