I kinda forgot about this series for a second… hehe.
Chapter 1. I didn’t know back then. (2)
With this, my age became forty. I spent twenty five years of my life dedicated to the organization.
I took a pretty safe job of an instructor. I currently have a job of a senior instructor, training young trainees in the way of evil. Ah, this is the life. No risk of dying, good pay, really good incentives to boot.
Evil organizations are the best, everybody!
“I’ll go with the format from before. I’ll take one through fifty, and nine hundred fifty to a thousand.”
The other instructors all shut their mouths when I said this.
“You’re taking the top ones as well?”
“That and the lowest ones… can’t you just take the children in the middle ranks?”
The other instructors voiced their dissent. But I had made my decision already.
“One through fifty, and nine hundred fifty to a thousand.”
There are a few people like me who gets scouted to the organization, but most of the members of the organization who get in begin as either orphans or slaves. We train these kids for about two years.
We feed them and beat them until they become fit enough to become proper members of the organization. That is our job as instructors.
Among all these thousand kids, the ones I like best are the first fifty, and the last fifty!
The kids at the very front are the cream of the crop. The worst among them are still good enough to pass as a middle-class member of the organization. Sometimes, you’ll even find geniuses among them. The incentive for training them is low, though. That’s why I fill that gap with the last fifty of the group to cancel out the disadvantages of training the geniuses. A lot of the kids from the last fifty are useless, but sometimes you end up getting one of them to the top, and the incentive you get from that is immense. As a result, my rank as an instructor goes up, and the number of zeros in the incentive I get increases by one!
That’s why I always pick the first fifty and the last fifty. The ones who are tenacious among all these kids always survive anyway. And my method of education allows kids to always survive as long as they can endure. Other instructors manage to kill tens of kids every time they pick trainees, but I managed to become a model instructor with zero casualties under my belt. There’s a reason why I’m a senior instructor!
“They say there are quite a lot of talented kids in this group, so… I expect about five would survive?”
“The quality of this group’s pretty damn high, so I’m thinking about ten.”
“The last group was said to be the best in the history of the organization, and only seven survived.”
“Well, Naruan’s training is quite infamous for being brutal, after all.”
“But the kids in this group probably have their pride, don’t you think? If everyone other than five or seven gets knocked out again, they’d be completely useless. I’m betting on their tenaciousness. Thirty thousand gold on having ten survive.”
“Hoho, going strong, aren’t you? Forty thousand on five.”
“Twenty thousand on seven.”
“Thirty thousand on five as well.”
“I’ll try… thirty thousand on complete annihilation.”
But it seemed that the other instructors didn’t really have the mindset of a model instructor like me. Just look, to think they’d be betting on how many of the kids I pick would survive…
“How many do you think would survive, senior instructor?”
One of the instructors asked the question towards me. How many would survive?
“As long as they’re tenacious, they’ll survive.”
“…Tenacious, is it.”
I don’t push people until they die. The ones that don’t last are the strange ones. Right. I’m not the strange one here, the ones who don’t survive are strange!
“Yes. As long as one is tenacious, one will get strong.”
That’s right. After all, I, a person without mana, survived this long in a world of magic where elves and orcs thrive. Seriously, if you don’t manage to survive even when you have mana, you’re just strange.
I’ve lived thirty years in my past life, and lived forty in this life. I’ve managed to survive seventy years just by working my ass off.
#1 Their Story: A Certain Trainee
This is crazy. Absolutely crazy. Maddening, almost.
“Hohoho, they did mention that you were one of the best groups in history. I suppose they were right, seeing how well you kids are doing.”
Magic was raining down from the skies. Only five days after the start of the higher class training, 30 people survived.
On the midnight of the first day, the sudden magic bombing on our sleeping quarters knocked out half of the group. The length of time we’ve survived for during this five days was still quite long, I’ve heard, but even then, we were reaching the limit.
“Hmm, I have high expectations for this batch.”
I could see instructor Naruan, who was talking to the communication wizard to direct the bombings every once in a while with an emotionless face.
I had heard that he was the one who shaped most of the powerhouses in the current organization by himself. I had heard that I might get the chance to become one of those people.
But whenever I heard those words, the other instructors all smirked and said this: [Even so, it’s usually about one in twenty who make it to the top. Sometimes, it’s one out of fifty.] Most of them come back next year to be trained again.
When I heard those words, I thought that I’d become one of those succeeding people.
I had cast away my war-torn village to step into the path of darkness.
My resolve was different from the kids who had come here because they had no choice.
In fact, this resolve of mine allowed me to rank twenty-seven out of a thousand other children.
But still… Isn’t this really too much?
I went to sleep, excited about what I was to learn the very next day. And the moment I closed my eyes, a siren went off and our living quarters were destroyed within a minute. I come out confused and lost, and I’m told that if I don’t make it to a specific location within a set time, I’m out.
The thing I’ve heard when I arrived at that location was perhaps the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
“Ooh. I’ve heard forty nine had survived the first attack, but to think forty nine would be here as well… As an instructor, I am exceedingly happy! I am so, so, soooo happy, in fact, it feels like I might as well be crying tears of joy right now!”
His delighted voice didn’t fit his cold expression at all. His chilly eyes and trembling lips almost suggested that he was restraining his laughter.
“Ahh, it is said that the teachings of a teacher is akin to the heavens itself, but to think you’d make me cry… The gods above must be crying in joy with me as well.”
Naruan looked up as if he was waiting for something, then looked down at us again.
“Right. It seems that the tears of the heavens would be falling upon us soon, so prepare your umbrellas.”
The first thing I had in my mind was: was he crazy?
There were not a single clouds in the sky. There didn’t seem to be any sign of rain. Plus, the “umbrella” that was provided for us was more like a wooden branch. It was incapable of blocking a single drop of water.
“…Hold on, this is?”
The one who rid me of my confusion was a high-pitched voice. When I turned around, I could see a girl ranked ten ranks higher than me, trainee number seventeen.
“Oho. So there’s already someone who can recognize the umbrella. Things’ll be simple, then.”
The moment Naruan snapped his fingers, someone appeared next to him.
“Please make it rain here.”
At the same time, silver rain began to fall upon us.