The time given for cadets to train for the third test quickly passed by, and many things happened during that time period. It started with Chun Jongsum, the prince of the Poison Clan who left the academy with an injury, and it ended with Chun Yuchan, one of two likely heirs to the throne, who lost the fight for a yellow tag and had his arm cut off. There were other minor incidents, but all the important incidents were related to Chun Yeowun.
In the early morning, just before the beginning of the third test, there was a guest in the Chief’s office. The guest was a man wearing a mask with weird symbols on it. It was the Great Guardian, Marakim the Dark King. There were documents in the hands of the Left Guardian and Chief of the Academy, Lee Hameng. But he didn’t look pleased while glancing through the documents. After going through every page, he put them down on the desk and asked, “Is this really approved?”
“Yes. It was decided from the top, and the Lord approved it yesterday.”
If the Lord approved it, then there was no choice.
“I know the reason for the change, but no one would be happy to hear about the change on the day of the test.”
The Great Guardian didn’t like talking much, so he stayed silent. The document that Marakim brought over had a change in how the third test would be held.
‘The test seems to be too easy.’
That was the reason for the change. The test at the Demonic Academy was always chosen by the Chief and instructors, excluding the first test that was held on the first day. The test proposal would then be sent to the Elders and the Lord for approval. There were always cases where the test had problems and needed change, but this was the first time where a change was requested on the day of the test.
‘…This is going too far.’
It was hard to understand. It was strange that the Lord, who was currently trying to put down the six clans, had approved this. Lee Hameng didn’t seem to accept it and Marakim took out something from his pocket and gave it to Hameng. It was a letter.
Hameng began reading it. He then scowled and burned the letter, mumbling at the ashes.
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“As you wish, my Lord.”
And hours passed after that. All the cadets gathered at the training ground for the test. With all groups now used to being in their groups, they naturally lined up according to their groups. The eleven members of Yeowun’s group were confident. They had perfected the Sword Demon formation after enduring the hard training and lessons from Yeowun. The other members from Yeowun’s other groups were in a similar spot too.
‘This is weird.’
Yeowun was looking at the third group left on his left. Behind the third group’s leader was Chun Yuchan, the prince of the Sword Clan. He was missing his right arm and was on the team as a regular member, not a group leader. He might have given up if he was a regular cadet, but it seemed like he hadn’t given up all hope yet.
‘Well, I see what they are thinking though.’
Most of the third group’s members were Yuchan’s servants. It seemed like they had no way to get a yellow tag anymore, so they beat up one of the group leaders and exchanged every member with their own.
‘…I should’ve done more than cut his arm off.’
Yeowun thought he had to do far more. It had been quite a while since the cadets had gathered, but they waited a while longer than expected. The instructors who always were up on the stage before the cadets even started to gather still had not come out from the main building.
“Oh! There they are!”
That’s when Lee Hameng and other instructors began to walk down from the building. Hameng went up on the stage and sat on the chair. However, the instructors also brought with them people tied up tightly with ropes onto the stage. Their heads were covered with black rags.
“This way, you fool!”
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The instructors treated them as if they were criminals.
‘What is it?’
All the cadets became silent and watched awkwardly. All those tied up people were put up at the front of the stage, and there were exactly sixteen of them. Hameng then got up from the chair and spoke.
“Have you done a good amount of training for the third test?”
The cadets shouted loudly in unison. But unlike their eager voices, their faces were filled with nervousness.
“Before we move onto the test, I will announce one small change in the details.”
The cadets began to mumble, concerned about unexpected change. They now realized that the change had something to do with those tied up people at the front of the stage.
“The original test was going to involve fighting instructors with the Sword Demon formation. But there will be a slight change to this.”
Hameng then snapped his fingers and the instructors brought up three large wooden boxes. They opened them up and many swords poured out from within. Those were real swords.
‘I thought we were going to use wooden swords for the test?’
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The cadets became confused and Hameng kept going.
“The test will not change. You will use the Sword Demon formation to defeat the enemy.”
Yeowun frowned. And the words that came out of Hameng’s mouth shocked all cadets instantly.
“But- you don’t just defeat them. You have to kill your enemy.”
The cadets began to panic. They were shocked to hear that they had to kill the enemy. Hameng then shouted by forcing his internal energy out.
They all turned silent at once. Hameng glared and continued, “Do you see these people in front of you?”
“They are criminals from Forces of Justice, and Evil.”
All the cadets were shocked. They thought something was weird when these people were brought up, but they didn’t think they were real criminals. They were more like war prisoners, but for the Demonic Cult, they were criminals.
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