39 Paragon

"Pass!", declared the judge, bewildering everyone who were wondering just what had happened.

"Look! The ground became soft just under the puppet's foot!", said one spectator who was seated in the front row.

Hearing this, everyone strained their eyes to see the ground. The lawn they were in had a distinct look to it for the most part, with neatly packed and dry earth.

It was only at one small spot that the ground had become muddy and wet. It just so happened that the puppet slipped at that exact spot and fell, hitting the ground.

"Monster!", mouthed the spectators realizing just what he had done. The main reason for one to be amazed was that this was actually the easiest way to pass the test. But, it required the control of two types of elementary particles in a short span of time.

One would first have to connect with the water vapor in the air, turning it into a ball of water and then connect with the earth, coaxing it to get wet due to the water. One's mageroot would have to be quick and efficient, and one would have to have very high comprehension in order to have this level of control at such an early stage.

The stage of a mage decided how many elementary particles he/she could connect with and control, while the comprehension decided his/her speed in connecting and controlling the particles.

Daneel walked calmly to the place where all of the selected candidates for the spar were seated. Laravel was already here, and he looked at Daneel from behind his back with a cunning expression.

Daneel couldn't care less. What he had done so far, making the rest of the students stay away from, had actually helped him in his first year. For company, he had Faxul and his parents. What more did he need? This allowed him to focus on his schedule completely.

The next student in line also happened to be one with Red grade comprehension. Seeing the reaction of the crowd and the people on stage, he also wanted to show that he had talent worth admiring.

Folding his hands like Daneel, he stood there. But unlike Daneel, the effect was ruined because he had to stare at a patch on the ground to form a ball of water above it. It looked like he was throwing a tantrum at the ground instead of the cool image that he had in mind.

A ball of water soon formed in front of everyone's eyes before splashing on the ground just before the puppet approached the spot.

Only, the dry ground did not absorb the water, staying dry and letting the puppet pass unhindered. Although the kid realized that what Daneel had done was much more complicated than it appeared, it was too late. The puppet had already reached him, and he had failed.

This impressed on the crowd even more what an incredible feat Daneel had done for his stage. Even the court mage and the king occasionally glanced at Daneel, as if making sure he wouldn't run away.

Soon, it was time for the spars.

Sparring occurred with the drawing of lots, where every candidate would be given a number and would draw a lot to decide their opponent.

Only 30 students had passed the first test. Daneel walked up to the court mage who was holding the lots and drew a number.

It was 17. All the students were wearing their own numbers on their chest, so Daneel looked around to see that it wasn't Laravel. He really wanted to beat that kid up although what he had done had not affected him very much. Being slighted in such a way had managed to leave a bad taste in Daneel's mouth, which he had to wash away.

The spars soon started, with 2 Orange grade students facing each other.

Daneel was puzzled. What was happening here was way beyond what his expectations here.

Both mages stood a few feet away, concentrating on the air as if trying to form something there. The judges had announced that students would be transported out immediately in case they were going to get injured, which put them at ease.

Gradually, a fire ball and an ice shard each formed in front of them. Only, the fire ball was just a little bit faster to form and was shot forward earlier. Although the ice shard was also on the way, the fireball almost hit the other party first.

Instantly, the other student was outside the ring and the first was declared to be the winner. The crowd cheered as if watching a good show.

This was sparring! Wasn't this too....childish? Thought Daneel. He had trained extensively for this spar, and it now turned out that these kids just competed in spell casting times!

The second round had a bit of a difference. The students facing each other in this round had a Red grade and an Orange grade comprehension level respectively, and the latter knew he could not compete with the other in spell casting time.

Thus, seeing the last match, he ran toward his opponent in an attempt to knock him down. It seemed that this kid had also trained as a fighter, as he ran quite fast and was at the opponent in only a few seconds.

Only, just before he could punch into the opponent's stomach, he found himself outside the ring. The crowd laughed as they saw him stumble and fall with no opponent to bury his fist in.

On asking, he found out that an ice shard had formed out of his vision just before he hit his opponent. The ice shard would cause much more damage, penetrating him and even killing him had he not been teleported out.

Sighing, he realized that mages were not so easily beaten and resolved himself to train harder.

Soon, it was Daneel's turn. His opponent was from his own class, a kid wearing noble robes and possessing Red comprehension level.

"Pff, what pseudo legendary. That thing with the puppet must surely have been a fluke. Allow me to put you in your place.", he said cockily before concentrating on the air in front of him.

The signs of a fire ball already appeared in front of him, showing that he was quite skilled.

Just like the first test, Daneel just stood there looking around. He had decided that he would give everyone a show and he would do so no matter what. His intention was to get noticed by the king or the court mage and become entitled to more resources and teachers.

This was because all of his classes only gave him basic levels of spells. The system had already developed all of them in just the first month, and in the rest of the time he had no choice but to waste his time with them. Even the books in the library that detailed advanced spells were locked to him due to him being a first year.

He wanted to obtain the power to choose what he would do with his time himself. He wanted to be granted unlimited access to the library and become able to learn whatever he wished to. For this goal, he had practiced extensively to awe everyone.

Seeing Daneel with no signs of a spell forming, the kid smiled as if victory were in his grasp.

Suddenly, he felt a sharp gust of wind push his left leg forward. Although his stance had been grounded, it had been loose due to concentrating on the spell. Losing his balance he fell back, and when he landed he was outside the ring.

"No! I won't accept this! Why am I outside?!", he screamed, anguished at the sudden turn of events.

Without a word, the judge pointed at the ring where he had been standing.

Behind him was a shining ice shard, rising out of the ground 6 inches high with the sharp end visible to all.

His fall would have driven it deep into his body, killing him easily.

The kid looked at Daneel with wide open eyes, wondering what kind of precise control was needed to manipulate everything in this way.

This fighting style was unheard of to all of the students. Only the judges and the dignitaries still had a shocked look on their faces, as if seeing a legend in human flesh.

"He is on the path of the Paragon. A pity.", said the king, speaking for the first time since coming to the assessment. The court mage beside him nodded, gazing at Daneel's back and pondering over something.

Next chapter