The Nork Academy of Magic is much larger than he had imagined.
According to the local people, the academy occupies more than one-third of the island of Nork, which is not a small island at all.
Almark was astonished. He had seen huge castles and mansions in his long travels, but he had never heard of a single institution of this size.
Suppressing his curiosity, he asked where the main gate was, and was relieved to find that it was closer than he had expected.
Standing in front of the huge main gate, which was so large that it looked like a temple itself, he asked a young guard there to guide him.
However, when he told him that he had come to visit the head of the academy, the guard was not at all agreeable and dismissed him with annoyed look on his face.
When Almark desperately insisted that he had been approved to be a student here by the head of the academy, Yorog, the guard heard the name of the head of the academy and thought about it for a while. Then, after reviewing Almark's beggarly demeanor several times, he agreed to take him to the head, even though he was half-convinced.
In the well-maintained garden, gardeners were busily working here and there. After the two of them had walked for quite a while in silence, the trees that had been blocking view suddenly disappeared and a huge building appeared before them.
"This is the main building of the Nork Academy students studying at the elementary class for the three years."
" If he did not heard explanation, he would have believed the building to be the mansion of a noble family or the villa of a royal family."
It was a place that Almark had never seen before.
...... i"s amazing."
Almark expressed his honest impression.
Oh, I wish you could be a student there,"
The guard entered the building with this remark.
This is where the head of the institute offices is.
Almark followed him into the building.
This is the headmaster's office," he said.
The guard stopped in front of a large door and held out his right hand to Almark.
When Almark looked at him doubtfully, he said, "Sword.
"I'm sorry, but I'm going to take it."
"Oh, yes," Almark said, lowering the sword from his back and handing it to the guard .
The guard took it with both hands and looked at the sword. He then knocked on the door with it in his hand.
" Principal, there is a child here who wishes to enroll in our academy".
The reply came from inside the room, "Come in.”
The guard entered first, and Almark followed him.
At the end of the surprisingly simple room, there was a large desk that took several adults to carry in. Next to the desk was large shelf, filled with thick books and a variety of other items he had never seen before.
This is the boy," the guard said.
Almark turned to face the front of the desk at the sound of the guard's voice.
An old man was sitting in a chair behind the desk.
He was a white-haired old man with a calm face. His beard had grown long, as had his long hair.
Almark wondered what the spirit of wisdom would look like if he were to show himself, as a traveling magician had said one day.
“I am Yorog, dean of the Nork Academy of Magic. And you are?"
The old man said.
His voice was deep and warm. he know he can trust this man, Almark thought.”
Yes, you see..at the main gate..."
The guard began to explain situation
He was finally beginning to regret bringing the boy all the way here.
“My name is Almark, headmaster."
Almark said this without paying any attention to the guard.
Yorog looked at him seriously.
" he said, thinking once in his mind.
"I am Almark, the son of "Shadow wolf" Reyes, second-in-command of the Black Wolf Riders, who is fighting in the land of the north," Almark added.”
The guard look at him with a blank stare.
"...... Black Wolf ...... Reyes ......"
Yorog mumbled . Then his eyes widened as if something had occurred to him.
“I don't believe you are Almark, the son of Lord Reyes!”
"Yes my father told me that he had helped you in the past."
Yorog leaned forward excitedly from his desk.
“Ziad, step back.”
The guard stepped back in a hurry.
"Almark, come over to me so I can take a better look at your face," Yorog said.
Almark stood in front of the desk. Yorog looked at him closely.
Then he creaked against the back of the desk and exhaled.
“If you are the son of Lord Reyes from the Black Wolf Riders, then surely you are Almark! But aren't you eleven years old already? Why did you come here two years later? And what's with the outfit? And where is Lord Reyes? Didn't he come with you?"
"I can't answer all your questions at once."
“I'm sorry," .
Yorog shook his head. After that, Almark answered the headmaster's questions one by one.
When he had finished, he breathed out deeply again.
“Yes, you has grown," .
“Yes, my father said the same "
"It is sad. The coming battle against the Lord of the Abyss will require the strength of the valiant northerners."
"The Lord of the Abyss?"
"Ah... no, don't mind it . But I see that you are Almark . You've grown so much"
"Just one more question."
"Yes, of course."
'If you have any experience of serving in the North, I am sure you have heard the name at least once. The Gilfin Mage Mercenaries."
'"...... Yes, I have. A unique mercenary group among the many mercenaries in the North."
"After the success of Gruder, the Ashes of Death, came to the North to put their skills to the test in battle. Unfortunately, many of them were graduates of our academy. Most of them disappeared due to the cold and the harshness of battle in the north, but some, like Gilfin, succeeded. Most of those who succeeded were originally from the North to learn and to use our magic to fight in the North .But we, too, are not willing to allow further sorcery from the South to be used in the war."
"What are you trying to say?"
“You can think of it as an entrance exam sort of . ...... That's why we haven't allowed students from the north to enroll in the last few years, except in extraordinary cases. So let me ask you this. What do you plan to do after you learn magic here? Are you going to return to the North like Gilfinn and use your powers in war ?"
As he said this, Yorog looked into Almark's eyes.
Almark knew that if he gave a careless answer, he would be seen right through.
"I'm going back north, too."
Yorog's eyes widened at Almark's answer. But Almark continued.
“During my travels, I saw the peaceful lands of the Middle and Southern regions of the country. I was touched by their wealthy life. ...... Why only the South? I want to know that. And I want peace in the northern countries, and a prosperous life for the people. To make that happen, I am going back to the North."
Yorog stared at Almark's face with look that seemed to see through everything.
Then, after a long, pause he smiled and said,
:Welcome to the Nork Magic Academy , Almark."