Stunted Heroine Growth
There are two ways to tackle problems.
“One is the righteous path.”
A dignified process, systematically solving problems step by step.
“The other is the dark path.”
Whatever it takes, as long as it gets the job done, this approach believes in.
It’s a method often seen in martial arts novels when resolving issues.
And Ian, for a moment, seriously contemplated walking the dark path rather than the righteous one.
“Shouldn’t we just physically check if the heroines are v*rgins or not?”
A hint provided by the developer. After researching it thoroughly…
[The culprit is the non-v*rgin heroine.]
It seemed like an easier point to dig into.
Thinking about the process alone, it didn’t seem that difficult, did it?
Somehow secure her, get her n*ked, and then stretch the legs…
“Get a grip, Kim Ian.”
Ian smacked his own cheek.
It was warranted.
The adversaries were the heroines.
It’s a story of strong support.
It was a tough story. Lina had her reputation, Sharon had her family and skills, Aria had the church, and Emilia had her upper echelon status.
And on top of it all, Pongpong wasn’t exactly popular.
If he mishandled this, things could go south quickly.
Going to prison while trying to determine whether the heroines were v*rgins or not?
There was nothing dumber than committing crimes to prove one’s innocence.
“As expected, one must take the righteous path. It’s wise to gather evidence against the culprits cautiously.”
Ian nodded in agreement.
And until he had solid evidence in hand, it was prudent to avoid confrontation with the heroines.
The heroines were undoubtedly stronger than Pongpong.
They were the primary force and were chosen as the heroines of Fanta X Aca.
Therefore, dealing with them was straightforward.
Ian drew a large circle on a piece of paper.
Inside it, he wrote the word “crime”.
The reason one of the heroines had decided to kill Pongpong was obvious.
It was excessive attention.
Giving excessive attention and confessing to heroines with whom he wasn’t even close with.
So, for now, he was lucky to be alive.
“Absolutely. No matter what happens. I won’t give any attention to the heroines.”
Ian made that commitment.
Well, to be honest, Pongpong’s attention had been somewhat helpful to the heroines.
In reality, it seemed that the heroines were grateful, and for a reason.
Because Pongpong had filled the gaps in the heroines like a ghost.
It wasn’t just about whether Pongpong was used as a character in the actual game or not; it didn’t make a big difference in character growth rate.
But now, there would be no such service anymore.
“Since it’s a matter of life and death, I have to be sure.”
Lina was struggling because she didn’t have any preparations or food.
Sharon was frustrated because she couldn’t grow any further.
Aria was in despair because she had been eliminated as a Saint Candidate.
Emilia’s inescapable need for herself.
Regardless of the desperate reasons the heroines had for craving him, he would completely ignore them.
If he wanted to live a little longer, that was the first rule of conduct that had been confirmed.
“You are no longer heroines.”
At least, that’s what Ian told himself.
Ignoring the heroines.
Ian repeated his new code of conduct several times and stepped outside the dormitory.
His destination was a large open space near the dormitory.
Why is he suddenly going outside?
“The truth is, this is more important.”
It was all about the inherent ‘strength’ of the body.
Ian’s reputation had plummeted to the lowest, and no one could expect help from anyone else.
In the end, it is a situation where you have to protect yourself.
Ultimately, he was in a situation where he had to rely on himself.
The ice-cold heroine with blue hair, the ultimate performer of Fanta X Aca.
He needed to become at least as strong as the strongest heroine.
“Since we don’t know who the culprit is, let’s assume the worst.”
That’s why he came outside.
To start training immediately.
“Pongpong is an Earth Mage.”
An earth magician, to be precise, a geomancer.
To be precise, an earth-type wizard.
Among the various attributes in “Fanta X Aca”, it was one of the rarer ones.
It was more like an attribute exclusive to players, as it was challenging to master, and the location of the most critical performance enhancement factor, “Power Blessing”, had never been revealed in the game.
‘There were rumors that the elemental performance itself would be top-notch like the difficulty.’
But as it turned out, this Pongpong fellow possessed exceptional talent for the Earth attribute.
“The problem is that his talent has been activated in a rather peculiar direction.”
The magic he had mastered was as follows:
- [Extraction]: Extracting specific metals from the surrounding environment.
- [Transformation]: Using magical power to maintain the extracted elements in a specific form.
- [Restoration]: Returning the extracted or transformed elements to their original state.
Recalling the magic engraved in his body, Ian could only wonder, “Is this guy some kind of heavy equipment?”
Was every magic he learned optimized for manual labor? Wait a minute.
Could it be that he learned it to do manual labor for Emilia’s upper echelon?
Ian remembered the content about Emilia in Pongpong’s “Love Journal”.
The image of Pongpong extracting rare materials from a pile of dirt came to mind.
Wow, this guy is truly amazing.
“The important thing is how to make use of this.”
How could he utilize these construction-like abilities to become stronger?
After pacing around the open space for a while, a good idea came to him.
Despite everything, Ian was a seasoned player of Fanta X Aca.
Regardless of what it was,
First, he had to start with [Extraction].
After a few hours passed.
Ian, drenched in sweat, was looking at his arms with a sense of triumph.
His arms, shining with a brilliant silver hue like armor forged by a master, were as sturdy as could be.
He had extracted “iron” from the ground around him using [Extraction].
He had then used [Transformation] to tailor it to the size of his arms and fists and reinforced the joints.
“Once you see true talent, your heart will be filled with joy.”
Achievements made entirely through magic that Pongpong’s body had memorized.
Ian swung his mechanized arm towards a log on the ground.
With a rough noise, the log was split in half.
This is the Earth Mage (physical).
I have the confidence to properly develop it.
Before he knew it, the evening had already deepened.
Returning to the dormitory, Ian collapsed onto his bed.
It felt like his body and mind hadn’t quite caught up with the possession.
Even so, he had laid a solid foundation for his time at the Academy with this.
He should be able to adapt to the Academy tomorrow without any worry.
“It’s already this late.”
Checking the clock, Ian suddenly became curious.
[Growth Blessing Ceremony]
A ritual that uses one’s magic power to aid the growth of others.
According to his journal, Pongpong performed this ritual around this time every night.
‘It was probably the experience buff that heroines received in the game.’
That’s why he was curious about how this ritual actually worked.
“The book… it’s here.”
As Ian rummaged through the room, he found the book that Pongpong used to read before performing the ritual.
“…Fundamentals of Dark Magic?”
Did this kind of book exist in the game?
With curiosity, Ian flipped through the pages.
There was an introduction.
[All things come from the earth and return to the earth.]
[Earth is the motherly magic that nurtures what has come from itself, and this merciful magic is called ‘Earth Magic’.]
[ Time returns those that have reached their time back into the ground, and that is called ‘Dark Magic’.]
[The aspect of earth covered in this textbook belongs to the latter.]
Ian had a gut feeling.
This was no ordinary book.
It was a type of preface that was only described in the highest-quality books, the [Epic] category, among the various types of book items in Fanta X Aca.
To begin with, Ian had never encountered a book related to Dark Magic while playing Fanta X Aca.
“Where did he get this?”
The more you peeled away the layers, the more complicated the onion-like man became.
That was Pongpong.
First, let’s see how the Growth Blessing Ritual is performed.
As he was flipping the pages, he noticed a section with a lot of underlined text.
[Although Black Sorcery draws on the nourishment of the target, the essence of earth lies in generosity. Therefore, I will briefly explain how to share one’s magic power, mana, or life force.]
As he turned the pages, he suddenly felt a strange sensation in his body.
Was this the flow of mana?
Ian closed his eyes and focused on the sensation, which was different from when he used magic in the open field.
The energy flowing from near his heart to various parts of his body, then continuously outward.
There were four strands of mana flowing outward.
This meant that the [Growth Blessing Ceremony] had already begun. Did it have specific trigger conditions related to time or the book?
“I should stop it… Let’s calm down first.”
At first, he was worried about giving the heroines more growth buffs, but he quickly calmed himself and realized that it might be more detrimental to go wild and disrupt the mana circuit.
A little more mana drained from him wouldn’t kill him.
He calmed his breathing and opened his eyes.
He checked the section in the book where the procedure was written.
Looking for relevant information, he found this statement:
[ * Never forcibly interrupt the transmission. It may cause fatal damage to the circuit. In the event of an interruption, perform unlinking using the following method.]
“I almost caused a big problem.”
Fortunately, there were specific instructions for unlinking.
Ian closed his eyes and concentrated.
He focused on feeling the flow of mana.
No senses of sight, hearing, or smell were involved, but there was a distinct presence of mana threads.
Starting from his heart and extending through his body, these threads were stretched so long that he couldn’t see their ends.
Indeed, Pongpong’s talent was far from ordinary.
As Ian concentrated on each strand of mana, he could soon sense their nature.
The direction in which the magic power was directed toward each heroine.
He severed it as described in the book.
A sensation as if mana were flowing in reverse for a moment.
But the discomfort didn’t last long.
Following the manual properly was indeed the answer.
Ian let out a light sigh.
As he turned his attention back to the book, he realized something.
“Ah. What’s this?”
He had missed a section.
[ * Anonymization Even when interrupting the transmission, Anonymization must be maintained. If there is no Anonymization spell, there is a possibility that the caster’s information may be exposed to those close to 5 stars.]
They should have mentioned this earlier.
Did it really matter?
There were probably no individuals close to 5 stars in growth yet.
A refreshing feeling washed over him.
The connections with the heroines had been severed.
Now, there was no need to count mana or worry about foolishness.
“I’m looking forward to the Academy tomorrow.”
The corners of Ian’s mouth curved up slightly.
The heroine that Ian was most wary of in terms of strength, Sharon Pierce, was meditating in her tidy dormitory.
The mountain breeze, blowing from beyond the moon, gently rustled her blue hair.
It could have been ticklish, but Sharon didn’t even flinch.
During this time, her mind always became clear, and she experienced enlightenment.
Sharon knew better than anyone that this precious time was of great help to her growth.
She often found that during this time, her mind was enveloped in an unidentified energy, and she would receive sudden epiphany about her own growth.
The corners of Sharon’s pale pink lips twitched for a moment.
It was because she sensed something in the energy that should have been colorless and odorless.
A faint presence.
“…I’ve felt this somewhere before.”
Sharon murmured to herself.