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And 4!Episode 4: Battle against a wild animal.
Lynn desperately pushed back his urge to scream and run away.
This because, from what he had heard before, if he were to turn his back from a predatory animal, it was for sure that he would be attacked.
Slowly, Lynn retreated so as to not provoke the lion.
With a slow motion, the lion stood up while keeping its gaze on Lynn.
Its eyes were bloodshot and drool dripped from its mouth.
It was clear that it had not been fed for quite some time.
It then raised a sonorous roar.
(You got to be kidding me…)
Lynn was confused, but he tried his best to understand the desperate situation he was currently in.
(What the h.e.l.l is wrong with those guys. More than a test, isn't this some straight up tasteless execution?)
Lynn then recalled his own history so far.
Maybe they, Yuin and the examiners never really planned to take him as a magician apprentice.
After all, it had been a weird series of events since the beginning.
A pa.s.sing traveler has suddenly talked to him, who was a simple slave, and convinced him that he could become a magician.
This was probably a trap from the very beginning, all in order to turn him into food for the lion kept in the tower.
Or maybe they had the bizarre hobby of watch poor children getting caught in the tower and killed off by wild beast without the least remorse.
(Anyway, first I need to get away…)
He didn't want to die yet.
This was no longer a test.
It was a matter of life and death.
Right now, he only needed to think on how to escape the lion.
The hungry lion didn't attack Lynn and just remained there glaring at him.
Its sharp claws could easily tear through Lynn’s throat is it felt like it.
Nevertheless, there was no indication of the lion attacking.
Without moving its gaze from Lynn, the lion slowly moved sideways, always keeping the same distance.
It was obvious it was cautions, despite the fact that it did see Lynn as its prey.
It appeared it was waiting for a chance to attack, as it turned a circle around Lynn, but it also seemed ready to run away.
On a closer look, the animal was considerably weakened.
Its face was emaciated, its limbs and torso were quite thin.
It might not even have the strength to attack Lynn.
Or maybe, it was afraid that Lynn was a magician.
Lynn took a glance at the ring he had fitted earlier.
The gem in the middle gave off a stronger glow than before.
As a test, Lynn tried to direct the light of the ring towards the lion.
The lion flinched and quickly drew back.
That confirmed his suspicions.
Apparently, it had been beaten several times before by magicians.
With that, hope sprung up in Lynn.
If the lion was afraid of the ring, he could probably find a way to survive.
There was no way to defeat the lion, since he didn't know how to use the ring, but he could at least reach out to the entrance as he threatened the lion.
And if he leaves this room and locks the door from the other side, he might be able to escape from this fierce animal.
Leaving the room will probably get him disqualified.
However, he wasn't worried about that right now.
All he could think about at this moment was how to survive.
Lynn retreated towards the door slowly, while keeping his eyes on the lion.
When the lion got too close to him, he turned to lighted ring towards it to keep it at a distance.
At those times the lion retreated in order to avoid the light from the ring, taking distance from Lynn.
This exchange between Lynn and the lion repeated several times, and eventually, the lion became bold and started to come closer.
It seemed to think that Lynn would not cast a magic at all.
When Lynn took a step back, the lion came closer three steps.
If it were to jump from that distance, its claws were sure to hit.
(Don't come. Please stay there.)
Lynn desperately prayed in his mind.
Then the lion took one more step.
“Stay away from me! “
So yelled Lynn.
As a result, the lion jumped backwards.
It was a chilling voice that even surprised him.
He sighed in relief seeing the lion once again taking some distance.
His back was soaking in sweat.
(A little more. Just a little more.)
With his body facing the lion, Lynn took a quick glance at what was behind his back.
The door was almost at his reach.
Lynn kept looking at the lion, forcing himself from turning around and start running.
It was unclear how long had been since the lion was summoned.
Lynn continued to put on a brave front and stared at the wild animal.
But at long last, the end was near.
Lynn reached towards the entrance door and placed his hand on the handle.
(I made it.)
He was convinced he would return alive.
After going through this door, he would be on the exit pa.s.sageway.
And from that point, the elevator was only a few steps away.
Even if the entrance door couldn't be locked, he could escape from the fangs and claws from the lion if he entered the elevator cage.
Lynn grabbed the handle of the door behind him.
With a little turn and push, he was supposed to be able to open the door and leave this place.
He slowly turned the handle, so as to not be noticed by the lion.
However, the handle didn't move.
“I can't be…”
Lynn’s hopes were crushed by an overwhelming despair.
He fell into a frantic state.
“Anybody! Anyone please help me!”
Lynn turned his back on the lion and started to bang the door while shouting.
His earlier caution had practically vanished, right now all he cared for was asking for help.
However, there was no response to Lynn’s cries for help.
As the pitiful sight of Lynn, the lion seemed to almost grin.
It became clear to it that Lynn held no power to oppose it.
Its tongue licked its mouth.
Finally, a meal had arrived, after a long time.
It was regrettable that it was a thin boy, but a meal remained a meal after all.
It was a matter of pride.
The king of the beast, after being captured and toyed with by the magicians, had its pride shattered to pieces.
But right now, while facing the prey in front, it remembered its former days, those days when it was the strongest.
He had the luxury of choosing whether to rip that prey apart with its claws, or greedily devour it with its fangs.
The lion roared.
In response, Lynn flinched as he turned around.
His eyes were dyed in terror as the lion reflected on them.
Their positions have now reversed.
Showing its sharp fangs as he prepared to strike, the lion quickly lunged towards Lynn.
At that very moment, the ring shone with a conspicuously strong light.
The light emanating from the ring gathered in front of Lynn and it became a sword, piercing the head of the lion.
And without even being able to reach Lynn, the lion collapsed on the floor.
A red pool of blood slowly formed around the lion.
Lynn couldn't help but to stand there surprised at the unexpected spectacle that unfolded in front of her eyes.
His body suddenly felt drained of all strength and fell down.
Lynn was left on his knees, with his hands on the floor.
(What… is this? I cannot move.)
And in addition to that, Lynn was attacked by a severe headache.
He felt dizzy and his consciousness was faint.
“What a surprise. Was that the sword of Rygis?”
Without him noticing, the examiners were standing next to him.
There they stood, overlooking Lynn and the lion that lied on the floor.
They both were surrounded by the examiners.
“Even if it was the Lucendo ring, it's hard to get such a power output the first time.”
“His quality seems to be good enough.”
“It is incredible for someone like a slave.”
“Mr. Yuin brought someone unexpected.”
The examiners talked to each other in a merry tone.
Lynn tried to say something, but no words came out.
His body had no strength left.
“So that was the Lucendo ring, huh? It kills anyone who tried to harm its owner. Only by being equipped by someone with the qualifications of a magician, it will activate.”
(What were you planning to do if it didn't activate?)
Lynn tried to raise a protest, but he still couldn't utter a word.
Not even his lips could move, his whole body was devoid of strength.
“I’m sure you’re tired, aren't you? Are you unhurt? “
“He’s experiencing the ‘shock back’ phenomenon. It happened because you suddenly exhausted your magical power. After resting for a day, you’ll recover. Get the medical room ready! “
“Congratulations Lynn-kun. You pa.s.sed the exam. And earned the right to live in this tower.”
“Welcome to the tower. We’re glad to welcome you.”
The examiner’s bearing did a total change from their former att.i.tude, and were now talking in a friendlier tone. But their mouths were grinning in a spiteful way. They seemed quite happy to see Lynn crouching on the ground.
Lynn’s mind was running wild recalling the event that happened during this day.
A main street where people and goods moved hurriedly, a girl who prayed in front of a stone statue, a labyrinth in the tower, a fight against a wild animal…
(It seems like… I’ve come to a dangerous place.)
Eventually, without the strength to keep his eyelids open, Lynn’s consciousness fell into the dark.
Next time, episode 5 “Roommate”