Chapter 21: Entrance Exam
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"An arena?"

While I couldn't tell from the outside? The entire right side of the guild building is a big open training hall. Don't remember this from any isekai. An indoor arena with a dirt floor and even stands along the edge for an audience. Geesh... Its almost as big as a football field.

Still all timber and plaster, no stone to be seen. Like a poor man's greek hippodrome or roman circus. What would this smell be called? Dusty and woodsy? Woosty?

On the far end we can see some warrior types going thru training. From slutty witch's running commentary, this Adventurers Guild also has a Hunters Guild.

Hunter is a popular adventurer job for frontiers and dungeons. I guess a mix of fighter and thief? With a focus on hunting, traps, and tracking. Like maybe a ranger? Fantasy rpg class wise.

The meaning of the word 'guild' seems kind of vague in tourinese. The Adventurers Guild appears to be more of an umbrella organization. Like an association or league maybe? Any talented adventurer can, with approval, form or join a guild within the guild.

These are usually broken up by your Adventurers Guild designated 'class.' Most are local only but some, like the Magician's Guild, are large enough that they split off and became independent.

These guilds within guilds provide tips and training to their members. Some like the infamous, supposedly always local only and training only, wink wink nudge nudge, thieves guild even provide their own confidential commissions to members.

Commission pops up in my mind for the tourinese word instead of quest or mission for the requests posted to the guild board. Maybe because there is a specific payment already stated for the task?

Beast guy, slutty witch, and guild girl, lead me and the girls to the field. The opposite end of the hunters-in-training. You don't get tested on whether you can be an adventurer or not. As long as you pay the fee and you're approved? You're in.

The exam is to see what your rank is. No multiple choice. No essay questions. Its all skill based. So we've been brought to this stadium to literally put up or shut up.

Not only does what we can do determine our rank. It also determines our class. Class is like your job, specialty, something like that. Great with locks and sneaking? It will say thief on your tag.

Good at beating the shit out of stuff with swords or axes and the like? You'll be listed as a fighter. Can throw fireballs? Mage. How about decent with melee, missiles, tracking, and traps? Congratulations, you're a Hunter.

The first step to every exam is getting your mana tested. This world has magic and magic's 'fuel' is mana. Each person has a different sized pool. Some just a drop. Some even a lake.

Me? Mine's like the great lakes or even a sea.

Now there are ways to make your tank bigger. Dig a bigger pool, so to speak. While its not going to turn a drop into an ocean? It can turn a drop into a puddle, or even a pond. Special super secret techniques are involved. Very closely guarded by the guilds, churches, and groups that know them.

Each guild branch has a crystal ball looking thing that lights up when you touch it. Another isekai staple. How bright it gets depends on how big your reservoir is. At least its supposed to work that way. There are ways to control how much of your mana the crystal ball sees.

Chyal showed me and I've been practicing a lot. I know the classic isekai trope of the hero going completely over the top and destroying the adventurer guild's mirror, ball, tablet etc...

That's not going to happen with me!

I've been practicing and got it throttled down to what you would expect for a bronze rank paladin. The girls go first. Avi gets the brightness I'm planning for. Dara the same. Seylia though is a lot dimmer. Though she is melee only so its not a surprise. Chyal's a lot brighter. Ushalen's almost as bright as Chyal.

So pretty much what I thought it would be. Though I figured Avalina would be a lot brighter.

Avi's weak result does raise eyebrows with the guild people. An oracle should have more mana. Maybe she is throttling her mana too? She helped me practice but never discussed whether she would do the same.

Its my turn so I casually walk up and put my hand on the ball. The brightness slowly increases until it stops at the same brightness as Avalina and Darabym's.

Slutty witch is suspicious.

"That is strange. I would expect someone who can tame relics to have a lot more mana."

I shrug like its not my problem, because its not, and walk back to the girls. Mentally I'm doing the guts pose. Aced it. I admit it, I've got a grin on my face and look at Chyal proudly. Praise me honey.

However, she's not looking at me. None of the girls are. I've got a bad feeling about this. I slowly turn around like the grim reaper is behind me. Why is everyone looking at the ball? Its lit up as much as I wanted it to be, isn't it?

Oh. Hehe.

Its still lit.


Guild girl, who had only given a scribble or two for each girl on the tablet she's carrying? Is furiously writing up a storm.

God dammit.

It takes a few minutes before the light finally fades. Both beast guy and slutty witch are totally giving me a 'you so busted' look.



Next we get to the skills demonstrations. Each girl shows off some of their best spells and moves. Seylia's are particularly acrobatic. I feel so proud. Yeah its weird but its what I feel.

They're slaves. Something they shouldn't be. But they've been training hard. Both with me and on their own. They've earned recognition for their efforts. I hug, pat, and praise, each as they finish.

Their smiles are amazing.

When it comes my turn I take the solid iron practice sword to show my moves. I've been learning proper sword moves from Edelys and the girls so I can show them off at last. I'm not worried about screwing up like with the mana test. I just need to focus on the movements. Smoothly, I enter 'the zone.'

Its so relaxing to just become one with the sword.

*Diagonal slash*


*Side upward thrust*

All my worries are shedding away.

*Downward chop*

The blade is me.

*Slide step thrust*

And I am the blade.

*zhiing* *chock* *frizhk* *stohk*

Wait. What was that? Why are my eyes closed?

*cough* *cough*

Crap. Zoned out too much there. I better open my eyes now. Peek. Whew, everything is still standing. I didn't destroy the building. This is a plus. But whats with all the dust? Its like someone blew up a giant vacuum cleaner bag in here.

Oh. Did I do that?

Everything is covered in dirt? A layer of dirt is now covering, well, everything. Even my girls are colored brown from head to toe, but I can tell they are positively beaming. Don't be so proud of me. I was trying to look average dammit!

Guild girl is scribbling even faster than before. Dust flying off her tablet. I think smoke is actually rising from the board in her hands.

Not again.

"What the pit was that?!"

Slutty witch is coughing while patting and shaking off the dirt. Even her pointy hat. Though its piled pretty deep in her cleavage canyon. She looks upset.

And beast guy? Yeah, sorry, going to take forever to clean all that fur.

"Isn't that a practice sword?!"

He seems more shocked than upset as he rips the sword out of my hand and looks at it.

"It is a practice sword!"

As the dust finally settles I see the fighter guys at the other end all staring at me slack jaws. I also notice the marks. I must have been feeding mana into the practice sword. Each slice reached out and left gouges in the ground.

I've done this with Sanctity and Tormentor but thought it was only happening because they were magic blades. Never realized I could do it without them too.

Curse you god of isekai tropes!

Thought I could salvage things with only using weak spells but my offer to start casting is immediately, and emphatically, rejected.

Apparently the thought of someone who could keep a crystal ball lit for minutes, after letting go of it, throwing a fireball? Puts the owners of this 'wood' building a bit on edge.

Beast guy and slutty witch go back to their office while guild dirt girl guides us back to the counter. All of us are covered in dust. The peanut gallery among the tables is murmuring feverishly. She issues our guild tags and I get bronze like I was hoping for. Just the class looks odd to me.

I show it to the girls but none of them recognize it. Except for Avi. She goes quiet. Her eyes have a weird sparkle to them.

"Hey, guild girl. What class is this?" I try to hand the tag to her but she remembers what it says.

Still dusting herself off.

"My name is Assistant Lumiona, Adventurer Jon Barton." Sorry, not great with names. "Is there a problem with your class being Swordmage?"

"Yes, no one has heard of it before." My plans to keep a low profile have gotten several blows today. "What is a Swordmage?"

Guild girl easily lifts up a big book and drops it on the counter. She must be stronger than she looks. Then starts rapidly flipping thru the pages.

She finally finds what she is looking for. "Here it is. The class that fits your frightening strength with the sword and overwhelming mana." Her finger runs down the page, reading. "Half swordsman, half mage. The swordmage can dominate one foe or many. At close range or long. They can wield their sword like a mage wields a wand. Or like a swordsman, using the blade to overcome any enemy."

As ears perk up across the peanut gallery I can feel my plans face planting again.


Angelles, Avalina Faphyri (female, elf-human, tourinese)

  • Adventurer
    • Iron ranked
    • Healer class

Mudarmour, Darabym (female, dwarf, thuriborn)

  • Adventurer
    • Iron ranked
    • Fighter class

Seylia (female, beastkin, barbarian)

  • Adventurer
    • Iron ranked
    • Fighter class

Trarendore, Chyal Elir Siora (female, elf, granyan)

  • Adventurer
    • Bronze ranked
    • Mage class

Ushalen (female, elf, granyan)

  • Adventurer
    • Bronze ranked
    • Mage class