A good chunk of the applicants left after the principal's announcement. Most of them had sullen looks on their faces, but a few looked pretty sad, and one even seemed to be crying. I suppose those are probably the few that only managed to realize the barrier was present. The green haired kid from our group had immediately tried to stab the principal out of rage. He was promptly apprehended and hauled out, screaming the whole way. Once that was done, the principal addressed us again.
"Now that the unpleasantness is out of the way, let's begin the results shall we? First, shall we have the revised top five of each group come up to the stage?"
The principal then proceeded to list out the names of each new addition, as the rest of us knew to go up. There was also a pair of boys added in group C that had been outed at the same time. As they both had performances worthy of a pass, the principal had both of them come up, making group C total 6.
"These twenty-six people are our survivors. They may not all be top students, but for an adventurer, survival is priority number one. These students are those who accomplished that, whether through skill, power, or sheer luck. I would however, like to especially commend the top students from each group. Beginning, of course, with group A's Layla Lightbringer."
The principal stepped aside, and the blonde girl from earlier stepped up with a neutral expression on her face.
"True to her status, Miss Layla wiped out most of the competitors in under five minutes. A splendid demonstration of power and skill!"
There was a small applause, and Layla bowed her head for a moment. I figured her performance was something like what the blue haired kid did, which told me who would be going up for our group. As the applause died down, the principal continued.
"Next, from group B we have Aer!"
I stepped up to the front and squinted at him, waiting for him to explain this absurdity. I wasn't alone seemingly, as I heard group B's section getting noisy.
"This girl fought without unsheathing her weapon, or using any magic. And yet, even surrounded, she defeated her opponents without a single injury on either side. A stunning combination of skill and restraint."
The principal then turned to me.
"I must say, that was the most impeccable display of pure fighting prowess I have seen in quite some time."
I felt a bit of pride hearing that. I wasn't aiming for a result like this, but I was working hard to avoid getting hit. It would be rather sad if I got injured by a bunch of amateurs with even remotely similar stats. I spent almost two years in full dive combat1I realise it might seem a little short, but the 2 years she's mentioned are game time, not realtime. In realtime she's been playing much longer.. If nothing else, I had skill.
The principal went through the rest of the commendations, giving a short summary of each of their achievements, before sending us back into the crowd.
"Now that that's out of the way, we can move on to the second part of the exam. We will be using measuring crystals to check your stats, as well as the number of skills you possess, though not the type. Those who did not have the opportunity to display their skill in the matches have a chance to display their power here.
"Of course, please remember that the decision is made by ranking, though there is still a minimum pass mark. The top five in each group are safe either way, however, the rest of you may be at risk if your stats aren't high enough. Though some of you with more skill than stats may feel it unfair, luck is very much an asset to adventurer. Most deaths are simply a case of bad luck, such as a strong monster showing up where it shouldn't. So the rules are intentionally made with this possibility in mind. That said, as ironic as it may be, good luck. The instructors will guide each group to the testing room in turn."
Group A headed off for their examination, while the rest of us were guided to a series of large waiting rooms so we didn't have to stand the whole time. Our little group started up some idle chatter while we waited for Group A to be done. The other two were congratulating me on the commendation, before we started talking about what we thought school life would be like, then how we thought we'd do on the second part of the exam.
"I think I'll probably do pretty well." Deondre said, "My magic stats are kind of low, but I've been training up my physical stats, and I've got a few skills to work with."
"Must be nice..." Hekiria sighed, "Making top five probably saved me. My barrier's pretty much the only noteworthy thing I've got. What about you Aer?"
"Me? Oh, I'm probably at the bottom. Close to it at least."
They both stared at me, before Deondre chuckled.
"There's no way right? I mean, the principal said you didn't get hit. You've got to have high dex at least, right?"
I shook my head. "He also said that it was skill, not power. If I haven't got the lowest stats, I'll be shocked. I just have experience."
And also a stat boosting skill, but that can be a surprise for later.
A short while later, an instructor came to take group B to the testing room. All the members of Group B moved to follow him, including us. As we trotted off to the exam, I couldn't help but wonder what my friend's reactions to actually seeing my status would be.
This ought to be fun...