Admin Dile dashed forward, as did I.
Let's see how long I could hold my own against him without using my Lightning Magic.
He was definitely faster than me, but that's exactly what made this so exciting!
His claws aimed for my throat, I blocked his strike with the back of my right hand, his claws piercing my skin. At the same time, my left hand swung towards his throat, the blade of my dagger aimed at slashing his jugular.
He rapidly pulled back his claws from my right hand and jumped back, the tip of my dagger just barely grazing his neck.
I dashed forward before he could fully recover, drawing out a couple of needles from my left arm guard and flinging them at his chest as fast and accurately as I could. He was too off-balance to dodge, and instead was forced to block with the back of his hands, the needles unable to pierce the scaly skin.
The time he took to block was all I needed to close the gap between us.
I rapidly drew my short-sword and swung it at his neck, while I aimed my dagger at his stomach, let's see if he could block both blades at the same time!
He didn't move, as both of my weapons connected. But they couldn't pierce him. In a flash, right before I struck, he had formed his armor-like scales all over his body. He could control the extent of the physical mutations of his Anima at will?
I didn't even know that was possible. not-God sure left out a lot of details, huh.
Letting go of both handles, I jumped back before he could counter. I then pulled with both hands, snapping my blades back to my hands. Before the fight began, I'd attached wire to the handles of the blades and my wrists.
Alright, time to use lightning, there was no way I could catch him off guard with just my combat skills anymore. I got prepared to spring forward as I sent mana to my hands, ready to let the sparks fly as soon as I could get close enough to strike.
"Quite impressive. You pass."
Oh right, this was an exam.
For a moment I kinda forgot about that. Too bad, I was just starting to have fun. I sheathed my blades and headed towards where all the other applicants who'd passed were gathered.
"Head to the infirmary now," Instructed Admin Dile.
"Huh? Uh, I'm not hurt or anything," I replied confused, before realizing what he meant.
"Your right han-," He trailed off, as I held up my hand, the wound fully healed up.
Everyone in the hall was now staring at me, and I began to feel a bit uncomfortable. Maybe I should have made an effort to hide my Healing Factor instead of my Lightning Magic.
"Next up, you."
Fortunately, Admin Dile decided not to press the issue, and got back to the exam. I let out a quiet sigh of relief and joined the rest of the passed applicants. Some of them were still staring at me, but I just ignored their looks and headed for the back. There, that should make it obvious that I didn't want to talk about it.
"Hey, that was awesome! How'd you heal so fast?"
It was the blondie with the sickle. He had an intrigued look on his face, as he stared at the spot where I'd been injured.
"Oh, uh, it's an effect from my Anima," I replied, stuttering a bit.
Huh, this was literally the first time I was talking to someone my own age. Both my assassination targets and my clients had all been adults, same goes for the cult scientists who'd used me as a lab rat. I had no problems talking when I want to antagonize someone, but holding a genuine conversation with a person was uncharted territory.
"Oh? I can't think of any animal that can regenerate that quickly though. What's your Anima, if you don't mind me asking? Mine's a ring tailed lemur," He said, looking at me with a curious and intrigued expression.
Cool, I'd correctly guessed his Anima.
Also, this guy had way too much energy, he gave off a seriously hyperactive vibe. I suppose there wasn't much harm in telling him what my Anima is, besides, I'd rather not unnecessarily antagonize people that I'd be classmates with for three whole years.
I was gonna play it a bit more cautious in this world, after all...being as outspoken as I had been in my old world may have been what got me killed in the end.
"It's a jellyfish. More specifically, the immortal jellyfish," I replied.
"Wow, for real? That's pretty cool, I don't think I've met anyone with a jellyfish Anima before! But, I didn't know jellyfish could heal themselves so quickly," He said, looking a bit confused.
Crap, I had just assumed no one would question it beyond that since I was apparently the first person with this particular Anima in this world.
Explaining how the immortal jellyfish works would involve a lot of scientific jargon, which doesn't exist in this world.
Oh, on another note, don't misunderstand me, I'm not like a big animal expert or anything, in case I'd given off that impression by my unusual choice of Anima during my reincarnation.
I just happened to watch a bunch of YouTube videos about 'unbelievable facts' when I was bored, and the immortal jellyfish just happened to intrigue me when it showed up in one of those videos.
I suddenly realized something, this world was a significantly smaller planet than my old world was, so did all the animals that existed there also exist here?
During my reincarnation, not-God never mentioned whether or not there were animals that didn't exist in this world that did exist in my old world. Well, I guess I hadn't bothered to ask.
Maybe there were just less of each species?
From what I knew, animals coexisted with the monsters here, since the monsters only seemed to attack humans.
During the time I spent sneaking out of the country walls, I'd been limited to visiting that rocky spot, the other surrounding areas were too far from the area I lived in, I wouldn't have enough time to get there and back within the night.
The only monsters in that particular area seemed to be Goblins, besides them I had spotted bats, small reptiles and lizards, rats and insects.
"Uh, hello? Jellyfish dude?" Inquired blondie, waving a hand in front of my face.
"Huh, what? Wait, what were we talking about?" I asked, snapping back to reality.
"Eh, never mind, I shouldn't be grilling someone who I just met. I'm Rai Rumel, by the way, nice to meet you! Feel free to call me Rai!" He grinned, extending his hand.
"Oh right, uh, it's nice to meet you. I'm Kuro," I replied, shaking his hand awkwardly.
He began to say something else, but I got distracted by the exams' next applicant. A girl with long, jet black hair, piercing black eyes, and most noticeably, black cat ears and a tail.
First of all, holy crap it's a cat girl!
And second of all...she had style, all her gear was black, like mine. A sleeveless battle top, similar to mine, but more feminine with a slightly deeper neckline. Her hands were covered with gloves that had metal claws on the fingertips, and she also had elbow braces on. She wore tight shorts and had on flexible looking boots that went all the way up to her thighs.
As the countdown began, she crouched down, looking like a cat ready to pounce.
The instant that the countdown ended, she shot forward at a ridiculously high speed. She whizzed just past Admin Dile, and crashed face first into the wall behind him.
For a moment, he looked stunned, before quickly regaining his composure and turning around.
She picked herself up, her face red in a mixture of pain, anger and embarrassment, as she wiped away some blood that was dripping down from her nose. Taking a deep breath, she lowered her arms and spread out her fingers. Small spirals of wind began forming around each of her metal claws, and as she bent her knees, more wind formed behind her heels.
So, that's what it was. She had propelled herself forward by firing off blasts of wind from her feet, that's how she moved at such an incredible speed. But her aim had been a bit off. If she had actually nailed that, she may well have defeated Dile in a literal second.
"Oh wow, she's crazy fast, but it looks like she can only move linearly with her current level of mastery with that technique," Muttered Rai, watching the fight with interest.
He was right, if her opponent could react fast enough to dodge, then she wouldn't be able to adjust her path. Heck, she wasn't able to adjust her path when her opponent had been standing still.
Admin Dile was keeping his distance from her, the guy had a really impressive reaction time, but it would be extreme tough for anyone to dodge her if she was near enough. Noticing the Admin's effort to maintain some distance, she adjusted her stance, her left foot behind her right foot. Once again, she propelled herself towards him, which he was able to dodge.
However, this time, she didn't go shooting past him, instead slowing down as she she reached the area where he had been standing before dodging.
Oh, I get it, she used less force so that the forward momentum would taper off after a certain amount of distance. And while she wasn't quite as fast as she had been during her first dash, her current speed could hardly be scoffed at either. She twisted her body in midair with impressive agility, till her front was facing him, and then fired off a blast of wind from her right foot.
So then, earlier, when she changed her stance, she must have only fired off from her left foot. Which means she probably can't fire off from the same foot in quick succession. Her direction control wasn't perfect, but her control over the amount of wind pressure and level of output appeared to be really accurate.
However, Dile managed to dodge her again, just barely. She had fired off at nearly full force from her right foot, and was about to go flying past him again. Or so I thought.
She suddenly fired a blast of wind straight in front of her from her right hand, canceling out the forward momentum, making it look like she was suspended in mid air for a second.
Instantly, she fired another blast from her left hand, propelling her towards Dile. He was off balance and unable to dodge, but managed to take a few steps back, as she landed right in front of him. That last blast of wind had been the weakest yet, and the wind around her claws had disappeared too.
After that many blasts in quick succession, keeping up the intensity of each blast must have been quite taxing. She was at point blank range, but neither of her arms were in position to deliver a significant blow.
She tilted her head forward and bent her knees.
Wait, was she going to...
Her feet were planted on the ground, as she fired off wind from the soles of both of them, shooting straight upwards, and proceeding to deliver the most painful looking headbutt to Dile's chin that I'd ever seen, causing him to stumble back in a slight daze.
"You...pass," Groaned Dile, rubbing his chin.
The spot where she struck him had grown scalier, looks like had he increased the extent of his physical mutations again, to improve the defensive strength of his skin. Still, that attack had clearly hurt him.
Cat Girl sighed in relief, as a streak of blood ran down her forehead, complementing her bleeding nose.
"Head to the infirmary, out the hall and to the left."
She nodded and bowed awkwardly, before heading out of the hall.
"That was...something else. I've always considered my full speed to be pretty impressive, but it pales in comparison to that. I've got a lot of room to improve," Said Rai, his eyes wide.
"Hmm? The way you said that...you weren't using your full speed during your exam?"
"Yeah, sort of...I can't quite control it. It's an advanced Lightning Magic technique, very few people can actually use it though, it's crazy difficult to master," He explained.
Oh right, I didn't get a chance to use my lightning during my fight, so he didn't know that I had the same Elemental Magic. An advanced technique related to speed, huh? I definitely needed to look into that later. For now, let's just see how the rest of the exam goes.
It didn't take more than a few minutes before all eighty plus applicants had taken the exam. A total of twenty-one people had passed.
"Those who passed, please follow me. Proper classes will start tomorrow, but for today, you will have to attend an orientation session," Instructed Admin Dile, opening the doors of the exam hall.
We followed him as he led us through the building, until we reached a classroom. He knocked on the door, and then opened it without waiting for a response.
Why exactly did he knock?
At the front of the room, a young woman with shoulder length white hair stood up, with a friendly smile on her face. Her outfit had long, wide sleeves that hid her arms and hands.
"Welcome, new first years, my name is Instructor Cora Tabbs, I'll be one of your instructors for this year, and I'm also in charge of delivering this orientation, I look forward to working with you all. First, allow me to congratulate you on passing your entrance exam. Considering that you got the exam administrator with the lowest pass rate in the history of the Rustlands' Adventurer Academy, that is quite the accomplishment. Now, to begin your orientation. You may sit wherever you like," She said, gesturing to the empty desks.
I already knew where I wanted to sit. The very back corner seat, where no one would bother me, it was the perfect spot!
"...so, why have you ruined my perfect spot?" I muttered to the blonde hyper ball of energy that had chosen to sit next to me, as the orientation began.
"Hmm? Hey, she said we got the exam administrator with the lowest pass rate, so that probably means the entrance exams aren't standardized and the difficulty level is fully dependent on the assigned administrator," Remarked Rai, not bothering to pay attention to the orientation.
To be fair though, it was more like a detailed rundown of the Academy rules, it was boring as hell, I could barely pay attention myself.
"Right, the exam we took had set a standard and anyone who couldn't measure up to that standard failed almost instantly. It's like it was designed to sort out those who weren't good enough as soon as possible. I mean, there were over eighty of us, and the whole thing took a little more than half an hour to complete," I replied, stifling a yawn as Instructor Tabbs droned on.
"Wait, it seriously ended that quickly!? Now that you mention it...," He trailed off, thinking back on the exam and glancing at the clock in the room.
Eh whatever, I had already passed so it wasn't really worth thinking over anymore.
I could hardly wait to begin taking on Quests and missions, I could fight and kill to my hearts' content, and get paid to do so! First off though, I'd have to figure out a way to shake off this blonde leech who seemed to be following me around.
I've always worked solo, having to work with others would result in a pretty dysfunctional team. Although, I should avoid making an enemy out of everyone around me like I did in my old life, so I should be civil at the very least.
Hm...but if I'm too nice, people might try talking to me on the regular.
Hmm, what if I acted civil, but then directly mention that I prefer working alone? Yeah, that works!
"Oh, and I'm sure most of you are aware of this, but first year students are not authorized to take on Quests alone."
...say what now?
"Once I wrap up the rest of the orientation, please form groups of five, for a total of four groups. Well, as there are twenty-one of you, one group will have to consist of six. After you form the groups, you may rearrange the desks so that all members of each group are sitting together."
What. The. Fu-.
"Huh, five's kinda much, don't you think? Three or four would work better, if you ask me. Oh well, guess we need to find three other people to join us, Kuro," Said Rai, looking around at the other students.
Well, there goes my excitement. Also, who the hell was 'we'!? Whatever, I give up.
Reincarnating in another world is seriously overrated.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Don't forget to vote, and feel free to leave a comment, I appreciate any and all feedback and criticism! Also, check out my Instagram account @aimdaqs for posts relating to this book.