Chapter 4: Chest as Flat as Bread
On a whole, necromancy major students tended to wake up early in the morning and would rush to get ready, hurrying to the department of dark magic’s classroom building. Jack was about to lose it and was completely unwilling to participate, but his fears dissipated when he listened to Han Shuo’s plan. In the end, Jack finally agreed, as he remembered that Han Shuo was doing this for him. After all, was he less of a man than Bryan?
Many statues of Babylon Academy valedictorians and notables were erected on the sides of a path made of rocks. These faithfully reproduced statues were larger than life and were the pride of the academy.
One of Bryan’s tasks was to dust these statues everyday. He had been doing this since he was ten, and had to use a small ladder when he was shorter. Only after the completion of this arduous task was he allowed to take a break for food.
As they worked the dust out of the crevices of a bushy-mustached statue of an archmage, Han Shuo turned to Jack and said, “I say Jack, wouldn’t it be nice if our statues could be erected here some day?”
“Bryan, don’t be silly. We’re just errand boys! It’s enough that we get a full meal and not get beaten up everyday. How could we possibly become mages? Oh… Bryan, you are definitely different. You would never have had such crazy thoughts before and wouldn’t share such a bad idea!”
“We have to have the potential and pay a lot of gold coins for tuition to a magic school in order to become a mage. We have to pass through countless levels of training and tests, even kids from noble families need to have lots of potential if they want to become a mage. This is impossible for us commoners. Oh, I forgot. You’re also a slave without freedom, that’s even worse, there’s no hope for you at all!”
“We’re at a magic school right now and don’t even have to pay tuition. Heh heh, this is a huge stroke of luck! If we don’t learn some magic now, in the future, how would we dare say that we’re from the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force!”
“Bryan, don’t act so confident. We’re not students, we’re only errand boys. Eh.. and at least I can leave the school in the future, but you — you can never leave!”
Jack was absentmindedly wiping the statue of archmage Claire, with none of his usual attention to detail and a face full of ambition. Little fatty Jack thought Bryan was being rather odd and thus spoke candidly.
“Hah, let’s not talk about that. Look, that witch Lisa is walking this way, let’s get back to work!” Han Shuo eyed Lisa limping towards them from afar, and thought that at least Bryan had something to show for his six year of running errands for the academy — he knew the daily routines of some of the people.
Lisa usually woke up later, and most of the time, slowly plodded to the classrooms alone. Today was no exception. She was dressed in a black wizard’s robe today, with her long, soft, blond hair strewn carelessly across her shoulders. It seemed that she hadn’t gotten much sleep the previous night, as she kept yawning as she walked.
Lisa was quite pretty, but maybe because she hadn’t completely finished developing yet. Since she was only 16, her chest area was not as well rounded. Rumor had it that Lisa was also very displeased with her flat chest and had recently been searching for solutions.
Han Shuo and Jack surreptitiously watched Lisa approach as they continued to dust off the statue of archmage Claire with all seriousness. They muttered to each other as they worked, seemingly oblivious to her presence.
“No way, Bryan you must have misheard. How could Bach have said that about Lisa?”
The two had been murmuring quietly when Jack suddenly raised his voice and exclaimed in surprise.
Lisa had been walking along absentmindedly when she heard someone mention her name. Her attention immediately zeroed in on that statement as she looked warily in front of her.
All girls wanted to know what people said about them behind their backs and Lisa was no exception. She even went so far as to hide behind another statue, so that the two wouldn’t see her and become too afraid to talk. Her ears perked up as she sneakily snuck glances at the two.
It was that half-crazy, half-idiot Bryan! Lisa was still mad and wanted to put him in his place, but first, she wanted to hear what Bach had said about her.
Han Shuo smiled vacantly and said, “No I didn’t mishear, on their way to class, Bach was telling the other students that Lisa’s chest was as flat as stomped bread!”
Jack had to hold back his laughter with all his might as soon as he heard this. His face grew red and his body kept shaking.
On the other side of the statue, Lisa’s face darkened with rage. Her pretty eyes shot out glares of wrath as her cute lips convulsed and her pearly teeth ground audibly. She trembled with rage for a few seconds and quickly stomped off in a huff towards the classroom building. She’d completely forgotten that she’d wanted to put Bryan in his place.
Jack could no longer hold in his laughter as he watched Lisa hurry off in the opposite direction, her face purple with anger and out for blood. “Hahahaha….” he expelled all his frustrations with an explosive bout of laughter. He laughed as he said, “Bryan, you’re too evil! Even us errand boys know that Bach likes Lisa and that Lisa hates people making fun of her chest. Looking at how she was just now, Bach is totally screwed!”
Han Shuo gave a sinister cackle as he immediately put his brushes away. “Forget about dusting off Claire! Let’s go watch the show!”
Little fatty Jack tucked his brushes, with a grand gesture, into the cloth bag at his waist as he took Han Shuo’s advice. He laughed, “Let’s go, I want to see Lisa beat Bach up. Serves him right for hitting me this morning!”
The two necromancy errand boys followed Lisa in high spirits, running swiftly to the classroom building. The students they passed along the way were puzzled by their behavior, thinking the two cowardly errand boys had woken up on the wrong side of bed that morning.
At the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force, the necromancy major was a subcategory of the department of dark magic. Necromancy students used the same classrooms as those majoring in dark magic, and studied everyday under the tutelage of the teachers.
One had to admire Lisa’s efficiency, by the time Han Shuo and Jack had gotten there, she had already vented her spleen and was giving Bach a beating.
“Lisa, even the major’s errand boys know how I feel about you, how could I have possibly said anything bad about you? Who did you hear this from?”
Bach already had a spectacular bruise around his left eye as he ducked a “bone arrow” attack. He took advantage of the respite to quickly protest his innocence and looked quite bedraggled indeed.
Bach had beaten Jack severely when the latter had bumped into him. Bryan had suffered even more at Bach’s hands.
Bach was the seventeen year old son of a small noble family, but he held the lowest rank of magic apprentice. He was outclassed against a higher ranked novice mage, not to mention that he was pulling his blows because he liked Lisa. No wonder he was quickly hit when facing a wrathful Lisa.
“Huh, that’s none of your business. They didn’t even mean for me to hear them, so it must be true. Since you are so mean, feel my wrath!”
Indeed, Han Shuo and Jack hadn’t “meant for” Lisa to hear them. Han Shuo was also half mad and half village idiot. There was no way someone like that could make up such a lie. He was also an errand slave, he wouldn’t dare to lie!
Since it had to do with one of Lisa’s taboos, she would never say what she overheard when other people were around. She brought her best efforts to teaching Bach a lesson so that no one would make fun of her again.
“Souls of the fallen soldiers, heed the dark herald’s call and reveal your existence!”
Lisa raised her slim, white arm towards the sky and chanted an incantation. When she was finished, two starkly-white, skeletal warriors wielding bone knives appeared in front of her. They creakily rushed at Bach with their knives held high when she pointed at him.
Han Shuo was gobsmacked as he watched on the sidelines. This was the first time he had seen the mysterious necromancy magic in play with his own eyes. His body about to burst in curiosity, he focused his eyes and attention on the action.
“Lisa’s focus isn’t that bad to be able to summon two skeletal warriors!”
“Huh, the necromancy major is weak as hell to begin with and its students are not united. No wonder necromancy is one of the weakest majors in the academy. What a stain on the department of dark magic!”
Students from the department of dark magic started chattering after Lisa had summoned the two skeletal warriors. From their conversations, Han Shuo learned that the same magic could be divided into five different levels based on the level of concentration. If a necromancer archmage with great focus used the chant to summon skeletons, he would be able to summon even more skeletal warriors.
Bach was extremely depressed and inwardly cursed the rumor starter a couple hundred times. If Bach had practiced dark magic incantations and had enough focus, then Han Shuo and Jack wouldn’t be able to enjoy the show they were currently watching.
The skeletal warriors chased him frantically all over the place. Bach finally had to use the same magic to summon a small skeleton. One man and one skeleton started fighting against the two other skeletons.
Other students from the department of dark magic laughed loudly when they saw Bach in such a mess. Bach was affected by the jeers and lost his focus, resulting in one of Lisa’s skeletal warriors stomping him in the gut. His face grew purple with pain and he slowly sank to the ground.
Lisa hurriedly stopped her skeletons when she saw that Bach had been hit and the skeleton was raising its knife to finish the job. She sent the skeletons back to another dimension.
After all, it wasn’t a fight to the death, and the academy prohibited such fights anyways. Lisa did not dare to really hurt Bach, and the bulk of her anger had been appeased by Bach’s injury.
Bach stood up and sent his skeleton back to another dimension. He swept his gaze around and saw that in front of him, Han Shuo and Jack were also laughing loudly at him. Bach was already feeling quite infuriated and so stomped over angrily, cursing, “You two low level errand servants dare to laugh at me?”
Bach didn’t dare to vent his anger on Lisa, and even less so on his seniors from the department of dark magic around him. He could only vent some of his wrath on the two errand boys, and the sight of them laughing at him only set him off even further.
Lisa had just about satisfied her anger when she saw Bach ignore her and focus on something else. This roused her rage all over again as she chanted coldly, “Oh eternal darkness, grant me the power of death, inflict the pain of the soul on his body. Agony of the Soul!”
A dark cloud of gas formed as Lisa finished and flew towards Bach. The gas kept shifting as it floated through the air and finally materialized as a pulsing black flame.
Bach’s expression shifted as he turned to see the magical flame from the “Agony of the Soul” shooting towards him after he heard Lisa chant the incantation. He then suddenly turned and ran towards Han Shuo and Jack as if he’d thought of something. Just as the “Agony of the Soul” was about to hit him, he ducked and rolled on the floor.
Bach’s plan worked. The merrily laughing and utterly defenseless Han Shuo watched as Bach suddenly tucked into a roll in front of him and the “Agony of the Soul” crashed onto Han Shuo’s body.
Han Shuo’s eyes rolled backwards as his head suddenly hurt, and he fell backwards straight to the ground.