Hunter Academy: Revenge of the Weakest

Chapter 32.3 - Mid-terms
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Chapter 32.3 - Mid-terms

-WROOM!

Walking in front of the place filled with a bunch of gates, I was looking for my dungeon.

'This is similar to Black Market dungeons.'

Even though the academy didn't have access to that many gates, there were still sufficient gates to test the students.

Today was the day of the practical exam, where we would be left alone inside a dungeon and be expected to explore it on our own.

[B-3]

As I stood in front of the dungeon, the professor in charge made his appearance. He wasn't someone I knew, probably someone who was lecturing in another class. Considering the academy had 2400 students each freshman year, the number of lecturers was also high.

"Kuhm."

The professor cleared his throat, gathering our attention.

"Good morning, cadets. Today, you will be taking the practical exam in this dungeon. The academy has carefully selected dungeons of varying difficulty levels to match your skills and ranks."

He gestured to the gates behind him, each one representing a unique challenge. "Your task is simple: navigate through the dungeon, overcome any obstacles, and retrieve the artifact that was assigned to your name at the end. You will be assessed on your problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and your capacity to work independently."

'Yeah, there was such a thing.'

Most of the time, when thinking about dungeons, the condition for dungeons to be cleared would be killing the boss monster.

However, in this exam, we would be without a party, and cooperating with others to kill the boss monster wasn't what we expected from us.

In the case when the dungeon wasn't related to the boss monster, the trigger was reaching the end and taking the artifact that was linked to it.

This exam was the parallel of that in a sense. By reaching the end and taking the assigned artifact, we were basically completing the dungeon's linked quest.

While I was thinking to myself, the professor's gaze scanned the crowd, his voice firm and commanding. "Remember, the practical exam is not just about survival; it's about demonstrating your ability to thrive in unpredictable situations. You will face unknown creatures, traps, and puzzles within. Some of you may even encounter your fellow students. In such cases, alliances are permitted, but competition is inevitable."

He paused, letting the weight of his words sink in. "Once you enter the gate, the timer begins. You will have four hours to complete the assigned task and return. Failure to do so will result in an automatic fail and presumably taking the note of NA."

"You will be able to request help from the faculty members, but note that doing so will also result in NA, and your exam will be negated. Therefore, I would suggest you hold it as much as possible."

Knowing what kind of things were waiting for us inside the dungeon, I knew why he said that. Most of the time, working with a team would be a lot different than working without one, and the students were about to experience this firsthand.

The professor's expression was still scrutinized. "Stay vigilant, trust your training, and rely on your instincts that you have developed after entering this academy. You have been polishing your skills with sweat and blood, and now this exam is your chance to prove your worth."

As he said those words, his eyes wandered around.

"Best of luck, and may you return victorious."

With those words, he stepped to the side, leaving all the students in the line, and went to inform the other students.

"Everyone entering the B-3 dungeon, get ready," a faculty member responsible for dungeon [B-3] announced, calling our attention.

The line of students quickly began readying themselves, ensuring they had their equipment, identifying bracelets, and other essential items for the exam.

One by one, students stepped forward, offering our identification bracelets for inspection by the faculty member.

"Alex Rodriguez, Rank 1800."

Of course, with each student coming forward, the faculty member read their name loudly to make sure every student could hear it with their ranks attached to it.

"Emily Sullivan, Rank 1950."

And this was actually a very cruel method. Because I could clearly see each name coming up, the students' eyes started forming targets.

'Targets to take their possessions.'

After all, humans were greedy creatures, and Hunter Academy knew how hard the real dungeon environment was.

"Tom Anderson. Rank 2100."

.

.

As the instructor called me with his eyes as the last one, I stood up and made my way there.

"Here."

Grabbing my card, the instructor loudly announced my name and my rank.

"Astron Natusalune. Rank 2450."

The moment my name and my rank were announced, I could feel everyone's gazes turning to me.

At that exact second, I knew I became the target they would think easy. My name was known thanks to rumors, and my low rank would make it pretty easy for others to target me.

However, that didn't mean much. After all, they would probably just pursue me while gathering together all those people; therefore, I would highly be pursued by those who were left behind.

"Everyone's ID is confirmed. Get ready, you are entering."

Before anyone could form a strategy in their minds, the member gestured for us to follow as everyone made their way to the dungeon entrance.

However, while I was waking, I felt something was amiss. Between the gazes directed at me, there was a feeling.

The feeling that I got when I was in the dungeon.

FLINCH! The instinct that I had developed was alarming me as if something was going to happen.

'What is this?'

I thought to myself.

From what I remembered, nothing would happen in the mid-term exams; therefore, this didn't make any sense.

Looking at back, my gaze met with countless pairs of eyes looking in my direction. There were at least ten pairs targeting me, but I couldn't notice anything different.

'Am I overreacting?'

In the end, I couldn't do anything. Leaving the exam was out of option at this point, and aside from entering the dungeon, there wasn't anything else to do.

-WROOM!

As we reached the entrance of the dungeon, the dimensional gate's voice entered our ears.

"You may enter."

With the confirmation coming from the faculty member, everyone entered the dungeon one by one.

-THUD!

As I entered the dungeon and stepped inside, the natural feeling of nausea came right after.

However, at this point, I was already familiar with this feeling. Countless dungeon explorations of the Black Market made me very familiar with the mix of my insides. I presume even my body had adapted to it, as the feeling disappeared right after.

Therefore, I didn't even bat an eye and calmly looked around.

"Burgh!"

Still, there were some students throwing everything they had eaten outside as if this was the first time they were entering the dungeon.

However, I guess the practical lessons related to dungeons weren't that frequent for other students since this scene was more frequent than I had expected initially.

But my attention wasn't supposed to be on the students.

HOWL!

The wind blew as the coldness of the air grazed my skin. The terrain of the dungeon wasn't something that you would expect from the term 'dungeon.'

In front of me stood an open asphalt road and a bunch of destroyed buildings. Moss and vines could be seen around the walls, indicating that all these buildings had never been taken care of before.

No signs of life could be seen as if everything was destroyed in this world. However, this suffocating feeling was still there, as if something sinister was lurking there.

'Like an Apocalypse.'

It was an apocalyptic world, probably a projection of a design inspired by another destroyed world.

'They really put a lot of effort.'

I thought to myself.

Each dungeon had its own difficulty adjusted according to the average rank of the students entering. And, the dungeons with the B- letter in their name were the ones for lower rank ones.

'Ethan is probably in the {B-1} dungeon.' I thought. Since Ethan's rank was also on the lower side, he was assigned to B-rank dungeons as well. However, I wasn't sure which one it was since a small butterfly effect might have changed which dungeon he was assigned.

"Waaa….How different?"

"Right?"

I could hear some students exclaiming with their eyes wide open as if they were surprised. Of course, them being surprised wasn't something I didn't expect since those guys were lower ranked for a reason.

Their attention was on the things that wouldn't benefit them most of the time.

'Let's move.'

On my watch, I could see the remaining time I had left before completing the dungeon, and I needed to find my way inside. Even though the dungeon wasn't probably that long, this weird feeling I was getting made me on alert and want to leave this place as soon as possible.

With that thought in my mind, I readied my weapons as I made my way into the town.

TOK! TOK! TOK!

I could feel my boots hitting the thick asphalt as I walked forward. There was a deadly silence in the town as if no life existed.

I was calling town since even though most of the buildings were destroyed, there were still some signboards showing this place was once a place filled with stores and many other things.

Just at that moment, I felt someone's presence approaching. No, it wasn't someone. A lot of students were approaching at the same time.

SWOOSH!

"I don't have much time, move."

As one of them went past me with a high-speed running, the other one followed him. They were running on the asphalt road as if this was some sort of race.

'What a pity.'

I thought.

After all, whenever there was a dungeon, there were bound to be monsters.

"Grrrrr..."

The small presences appearing from the buildings were the proof of that….

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