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0.3% The First Legendary Beast Master / Chapter 1: No Second Chances
The First Legendary Beast Master The First Legendary Beast Master original

The First Legendary Beast Master

Author: Aoki_Aku

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: No Second Chances

Today was the day of the tenth annual elite recruitment drive, and every graduating student at Lithium Mine Middle School was gathered in the gymnasium, waiting for the elites to arrive with the medicine that would decide their fate.

The elites were the idols of the Golden Dragon nation, super humans with magical abilities that were born from the Divine Injection that the students were going to receive today.

None of the children of the miners had ever seen one before, unless you counted the Mayor, who gave speeches a few times a year, and the excitement of having them right here in their school had been all that the students could talk about for months.

So, one could imagine the disappointment they felt when it was not some famous idol, but a group of elites from the military that showed up to perform the injections.

But although these weren't the singers or movie stars that they all knew, it was no secret that these military elites were saviours that protected their nation against hostile armies and the ever present threat of magical beasts. The television in the café and the teachers at the school both told them so.

While they had never seen an elite in person, they had seen magical beasts, and quite often. There were earth mice hiding all over the mining town, and the farmers nearby had been raising monstrous boars for generations.

But until very recently, it was only the power of technology and the holy magic of the church's High Priests and Priestesses that could keep the wild beasts at bay.

However, when the more powerful monsters came, you hid, or you died.

That was the way of life for the humans of the Golden Dragon nation, and indeed, most of the humans of the world.

Karl fidgeted in his seat as he waited for the nurse to come and administer the serum shot.

Today was the biggest day of a young student's life, the day that they would be administered the Mana Awakening Serum, better known as the Divine Serum, and find out if they would gain the sort of abilities that could change their lives, or if they would be stuck as common workers in a lithium mining town for the rest of their lives.

This was also Karl's last day at the government run school before he either started working full-time, or with any luck, left this decrepit mining town. If he was compatible with the Serum, he would be off to the Golden Divine Academy tonight, and ready to train his new skills as a defender of the Golden Dragon Nation.

They had already sat through an hour of speeches by the Principal, reminding them of their duty to the nation, the glory of the Elites, and the importance of this chance that they were given. After all, they were just the children of common mine workers, dirt floor poor and unlikely to ever be anything else.

Karl closed his eyes as the nurse rolled the cart with an open briefcase on it next to him, and then a violent pain shot up his arm and the world briefly went blank. Agony spread to every cell in his body, like he was being torn apart from the inside, and blood clogged his lungs, leaving him drowning while sitting in the metal folding chair of his school's auditorium.

This was wrong, the shot was only supposed to hurt as the needle poked you, not like this. 

As his consciousness faded, Karl realized that he was likely to be the one in a hundred, the rare fatal reaction to the shot which sorted out the defenders of the nation from the common people.

But after a few seconds, his breathing cleared, the pain began to fade and his eyes fluttered open. A few seconds after that, Karl regained consciousness, with pain still coursing through every cell of his body. The nurse's deep crimson eyes, a side effect of her own Serum injection, were staring directly back at him, and a slight smile was on her face.

"There you are. I thought that we lost you there for a minute. It's a good sign, zero casualties at this stop always means there is a powerful one in the bunch." 

The woman moved back, and Karl took in the smartly pressed green military uniform, pencil skirt and heels. It was all familiar, but all wrong. Did he lose some of his memories after the injection? Or was there something wrong with his eyes? On second thought, there was definitely something wrong with his eyes, the world was still a little blurry when he didn't have someone to focus on.

He flinched as his head began to pound again and a new wave of pain wracked his body, but the military woman with the strange red eyes seemed unconcerned as she stepped to a chubby young girl near him and took a large needle full of a glowing golden liquid out of the briefcase on her cart. Without a word of warning, she jabbed it into the girl's arm, and the young girl directly fainted, then slowly recovered her composure.

A quick glance down at his hands showed Karl a familiar bronze tan, but the scars and peeling skin from a childhood spent working in the mines after class were mostly gone, replaced with a deep red mark that looked like three long claw marks running the length of his forearm.

As he silently stared at the marks on his arm, they became more pronounced, and more realistic, as if the flesh had just been torn open, but the skin was smooth and undamaged under his fingers.

After a few minutes, the sound of frightened children fell silent, and Karl looked up at the front of the room, where an officer in the formal military uniform was standing behind a podium, waiting patiently for the process to end.

The red-eyed woman joined him, along with the six men in doctor's coats, before he began to speak.

"Thank you all for your cooperation. This year's choosing trial has completed, and those of you without the mark may return to your classes as usual. 

But for the rest of you, congratulations. You have been chosen as the prodigies of the Golden Dragon Nation's new generation. The Blessed ones who will lead us to victory over our enemies, with the benefit of supernatural powers bestowed by the Divine Serum."

Soldiers poured into the room, twice as many as there were children, and Karl began to panic. His mind still hadn't quite grasped the fact that he was one of the fortunate ones yet, the children who were compatible with the artificially induced superpowers, the ones who would become mages, mighty warriors who could split a mountain apart, or even legendary healers that could even raise the dead.

At first, the children resisted the idea that they would be grabbed and taken away by soldiers, especially the ones that had failed the choosing. The problem was that they actually needed the help to walk after the injections. The situation was only making Karl more confused, but he didn't dare ask what was going on with his body, in case they determined that something had gone wrong with whatever the Serum did to the newly awakened elites and disposed of him.

Or worse, sent him back to work in the mines.

According to the lessons that they had been taught in class, he should be a mighty hero by now, not a below average sized teen boy wracked with pain and so weak that he couldn't get out of his chair.

"You look a little disoriented, kid. Just let us carry you, and you'll be right as rain after a few days sleep. Just don't forget to do the homework before we arrive." One of the soldiers who stepped up beside Karl instructed.

That was how he found himself carried into a luxurious train car and placed in a private room complete with its own desk and a call button on the wall that was marked with "Room Service".

Unfortunately for his plan to understand why this process was so painful, the moment that his head hit the pillow, Karl was asleep.

How long he was out, he had no idea, but when he finally awoke, there was a stack of papers on the desk, along with a small textbook waiting for him to read it.

[So, you've awakened your powers] was the title of the book, and the cartoonish cover made it clear that it was aimed at children.

Not that he was old, he would only be fourteen this year, but being the last in his class to hit puberty, his body was much younger looking than average. All he had going for him was a handsome face, and even that had gotten him beaten up a time or two. 

But now that he had the Divine Serum on his side, everything would change.

Slowly, he opened the textbook to see what was inside.

[So, you've awakened your powers. Congratulations, and welcome to the upper echelon of society, the elite five percent that have been found compatible with the awakening serum that will soon activate the latent magical powers in your bloodline, passed down from the time of our Nation's founding by the Immortal Golden Dragon itself.

Though you have all learned about it in class, there are a few things that you don't yet know. First, your powers won't fully awaken until you use the first skill related to your specialty. Just follow the guidelines in this text, and you will discover the primary awakening method for your abilities.

Once you have finished that most basic task, you can begin the homework assignment.]

Karl read the first page three times before he flipped the page. Next up was a listing of different marks that the awakened classes should have, and most of them seemed self-explanatory. Ice shards, fire, blades, shields, paws, bows, and even an ornate fan were all detailed with page numbers that would lead the students to their awakening methods.

But there was nothing that resembled claw marks.

So, instead he turned to the homework assignment, hoping for answers. But that was even more useless, it was all about the student's abilities. How strong they were, the description, activation times, speed, energy usage, side effects. In short, he couldn't fill it in at all.

All the marks seemed so obvious as to what sort of abilities they represented. Even the red aura around a pair of axes was clearly a berserker in Karl's mind, but the claw marks didn't make much sense.

There was a similar one with an animal paw that was some sort of druid shaman, but nothing that was as simple, but confusing as his. Was he supposed to be a punching bag for monsters? That didn't sound right at all, the book said that these marks represented superpowers.

But after a few hours, there still wasn't any clear answer as to what he was supposed to do. It was time to call for one of the soldiers and get some answers before the train reached its destination.

Aoki_Aku Aoki_Aku

Thank you for joining me on another grand adventure.

If you want to stay current with chapter discussions, novel events and such, there is a discord.

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