Episode 59 – I am Kiel Rroda
After handing his exam pass to Rau Eryey, Kiel approached the first apparatus. It was made out of exactly 100 glass objects of various shapes and sizes. Therefore, the number of objects that he would be required to activate simultaneously couldn’t exceed 100. If he could cast 100 simultaneous spells fast enough, he would be able to achieve full marks.
Kiel felt a bitter-sweet feeling as he gazed down on the pretty glass figurines. When he took the exam last year, this Multicasting test was the first one that he failed to complete flawlessly. It was the start of his downfall.
He remembered it quite clearly. He tended to remember bad memories extremely clearly. And this one was a memory he would never forget.
This first apparatus required him to cast trigger spells over and over again. While the trigger spells couldn’t be any simpler, requiring very little mana, for a non-mage like him, even that amount was too much. If he gave it his all, at most, he would be able to cast 100 of those trigger spells before his mana was completely depleted. And the only reason why he would succeed in casting that many was because of his flawless execution.
Yet, even if he used up all his mana casting those trigger spells, he could at most reach 10 points. And after that, he wouldn’t have any mana left to use on the second apparatus. Therefore, his final result would be 5 points.
The Temperature spell that he would need to cast to control the cubes used in the second test was about 3 times costlier to cast than those simple trigger spells. The upside was that he only needed to cast it once and he would be able to control that cube until the end of the test.
Since there were 50 white cubes in the spiral, he deduced that at most, he would need to control 50 cubes. If he spent all his mana on the second apparatus, he would be able to control around 30 cubes at most.
Therefore, Kiel calculated that if he went all out on the second apparatus, he would be able to reach around 16 points ( the final result being 8 points).
Since he paid close attention to the demonstration of his examiners, he knew how many spells he would need to cast for the first 15 points or so of both apparatuses. He used that knowledge to calculate mana cost efficiency of every single point. Like a beggar he savored every drop of his mana, trying to find a distribution of his mana between the two apparatuses that would allow him to score the highest score possible.
The second apparatus had a rather stable cost efficiency, while the first apparatus had high cost efficiency at first, but it kept dropping sharply.
In the end, he calculated that he should aim to reach 6 points on the first apparatus and spend the remainder of his mana on the second apparatus. Because he made a pause before taking the second test, and because reaching the final stages of the second test took some time, his mana managed to regenerate somewhat, letting him score 14 points on the second apparatus. That way, his final score managed to reach 10 points.
10 measly points.
He remembered clearly how shocked the examiners were when he scored 6 points on the first apparatus. He remembered that humiliation clearly. He remembered how he gnawed on his lips unconsciously until they were blood red. He remembered how his cheeks burned in shame.
He remembered how he was glad that other examinees weren’t allowed to spectate. Glad that their reverence didn’t turn into scorn and contempt. If they were allowed to watch, his disgraceful score would have spread far and wide. He would never be able to live down the humiliation.
Just thinking of the shame he suffered the year before made his blood boil.
Never again! I will never again allow myself to be humiliated like that!
His gaze towards the crystalline objects turned heated.
This time around, all of you will dim for me! I won’t spare a single one of you!
His eyes narrowed into a chilling glare that could make anyone’s hair stand on end. Good thing that his face wasn’t turned towards the two professors, for they would be shocked to see that graceful and amiable noble turn so chillingly murderous in an instant.
Without further ado, Kiel concentrated all his attention on the task at hand. He started weaving the trigger spell upon a small glass sphere which was currently the only object which was glowing with light. Since the trigger spell was beyond simple, it only took him an instant for that light to dim.
Two more objects lit up, but an instant was all it took for them to dim once again.
Glass objects kept lighting up and dimming. Lighting up and dimming. Over and over again in and endless cycle.
This cycle repeated so fast that both Rau and Kady were startled.
6 objects. 8. 12. 16.
On and off they went.
Kiel didn’t pause at all. It looked as if he was in life and death struggle. As if the glass figurines had offended him somehow and he had to destroy all of them without mercy.
He wasn’t even breathing. He was too focused on destruction to breathe.
The eyes of the two professors were turning wider and wider.
This boy! Such incredible multicasting potential!
It looked as if he wasn’t weaving at all. As if every light his gaze lands on would immediately be put out. As if it required no thought or effort. As if it was only natural for the magic to bend to his will.
If weaving was like writing letters, then what he was doing was not writing letters but stamping them with a seal! Stamp, stamp, stamp. One swell swoop and the spell was formed.
Kady’s face turned solemn, her omnipresent soft smile fading away from her face.
Kiel’s casting speed managed to reach 25 points, so it was understandable that he was able to weave trigger spells fast. However, to weave all of them simultaneously wasn’t something that could be explained by casting speed alone.
It was as if casting had long become an instinct. Something that required very little thought and concentration. Or was it that his mind was able to perfectly divide its attention into so many different tasks?
Kady’s gaze fell towards Kiel’s back where she noticed a single sword sheathed.
Her brows furrowed. With such great ability to multitask, it is a waste for him to practice using a single weapon. Didn’t his family notice that he had the potential to practice dual wielding?
Or perhaps they wanted him to master using a single sword before switching to dual wielding?
- 55. 60.
Like a machine, Kiel cast and cast, noticing not the state of his own body. His gaze never left the flickering lights in front of him. He didn’t even know that his back was drenched with sweat.
- 80. 85.
Kady was on the edge of her seat, her eyes glued to the boy in front of her. Will he make it to 100?
She had never seen all 100 figurines light up.
Finding someone who could divide his attention into 100 spells was easier said than done. She had been a professor at Muni for more than 24 years. In that time, she had seen various geniuses who managed to score full points in various tests. Yet she had never seen anyone score perfect points on this apparatus.
21 years ago, there was a golden generation of geniuses, among which some managed to reach perfect points in Multicasting. At the time she was just an assistant professor. While she did participate in the exams as an examiner, none of those geniuses were in her batch of examinees. Therefore, she had never seen all 100 objects light up.
Her breath couldn’t help catch in her throat at the amazing sight of 100 lights glittering in the room. Eerie. Magical. Otherworldly.
The glass crystals dispersed light everywhere, bathing every corner of the room with flickering lights. The room looked like the night sky, full of glowing lights.
Both Kady’s and Rau’s eyes fell on Kiel’s face, and their breath couldn’t help but catch in their throats.
Bathed in glittering light, the flawless skin and shiny hair of the boy was sparkling. It enhanced his godly beauty, leaving the mortal realm far in the dust. No mortal could hope to compare with this beauty.
His black clothes were drenched with sweat and clung to his body tightly, revealing all his perfectly sculpted muscles.
Each one of his movements, each one of his hairs, everything created a perfect harmony. His light eyes that usually already looked as if they were glowing stood out like two torches bathed in icy flames.
Rau clicked his tongue. No wonder the noble status of Rrodas was never questioned even though they have neither Aetherneal gift wielders nor a magic specialty. With such godlike beauty that could even rival the Arites, even if all of them were non-mages, there would still be countless suitors asking for their hands in marriage.
But how come I’ve never heard of such a treasure in the Rroda family? I don’t even know the name of this boy. If Rrodas had such a genius among them, why would they keep him hidden away in the dark and instead spread Rhur Rroda’s name as the only genius of the younger generation?
As I see it, the looks and demeanor of this boy is no worse than Rhur’s but his magic capabilities surpass even Rhur. He also appears to be more hardworking and serious than Rhur. No matter how I look at it, he seems like a better candidate for the future head of the family.
Rau’s eyes widened in realization.
Could it be…that they find this boy as a potential threat? That they don’t wish him to become the future head of the family? Is that way they purposefully decided to keep him in Rhur’s shadow?
Could he be…a child from the side branch? Or an illegitimate child?
Rau’s eyebrows furrowed slightly, and the corner of his mouth twitched. An internal strife within the Rroda family? How interesting!
The glittering lights in the room finally dimmed, and Kiel let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. His breath was so hot that it turned into visible white steam when it came into contact with the air.
His clear light blue eyes watched the compass in the middle of the glass figurines twirl and twirl until it finally settled on a number.
Rau couldn’t hold his tongue anymore and asked: “If you don’t mind, could you tell me your name? As an examiner, I shouldn’t be asking about your personal information, so it is perfectly fine if you don’t wish to tell me.”
Kiel finally turned towards the teacher’s desk. His mouth opened, and as if divine music, his husky voice made the two shiver. “It is alright. I don’t mind.”
Of course, he didn’t mind. This was his time to shine. This was his first step towards fame. What he wanted was to rise to the top, to let his name spread far and wide. For everyone to recognize him as an unrivaled genius of his generation. For his entire family to regret slighting him until their intestines turned green.
Kiel’s mouth spread into a brilliant, heart-stopping smile that neither Rau, who was a straight male, nor Kady, who was old enough to be his mother, could resist.
“I am Kiel Rroda.”