Ch 1 – Possession (1)
It felt as if I had entered the body of a character from my favorite game.
The room's structure and size undoubtedly indicated that it was a dormitory at the academy.
It was a spacious room for one person, adorned with medieval-style furniture.
The furnishings reflected the owner's taste, all of them elegant and extravagant.
With my head bowed, I scratched it in disbelief.
Nothing would change, but I couldn't help it.
Just moments ago, I had been sitting in front of my computer, eagerly awaiting the download of a new patch for the game.
I was excited about the addition of a new store system and a major twist in the storyline.
“…” Slowly raising my head, I scanned my surroundings.
It was undoubtedly a dorm room at the Academy.
The reflection in the full-length mirror showed a striking young man with silver hair and red eyes.
Of course, I recognized the character.
The transparent window that floated before me faintly glowed, indicating that this was my new identity.
“Ah······” Still, why did it have to be him? Even if I wasn't the protagonist, I would've preferred a more prominent supporting role.
The character I had taken over in the game 'Chronicles of Kyren Zena' was Theo Lyn Waldeurk.
Far from being the hero's assistant, he was a third-rate villain with hardly any presence.
He was a character arbitrarily inserted by the developers as a scion of a prestigious lineage of heroes but with the worst talent and disposition.
He was simply a weakling without any special abilities.
Regardless of the route taken, he was doomed to die—whether at the hands of the furious protagonist, killed by a monster while showing off, executed by his disappointed fiancée, or various other characters.
[Main Quest: Graduate from the Elinia Academy Hero Department with excellent grades.] Time Remaining: 3 years, 5 months, 23 days Reward: ???
And with this failed character, I was supposed to graduate from the hero department with excellent grades.
I didn't know what the reward would be, but the difficulty was just too high.
'Excellent' in the 'Chronicles of Kyren Zena' meant being in the top 10%.
···I couldn't run away.
Failure of the main quest in 'Chronicles of Kyren Zena' led directly to death.
It was too risky to try anything else.
So, to survive, I had to graduate with excellent grades from the hero department at the Academy······.
As someone who had experienced the world's first ending in the original game as a useless hero, I wasn't confident.
Why? Because, regardless of background, gender, age, or race, the hero department only accepts the continent's most talented individuals, and barely half of them graduate.
Even disregarding the excellent grades, it seemed impossible to graduate with this character.
The hero department's standards were different from those of the knight and magic departments.
It valued one genius over a thousand ordinary talents.
That's why graduates from Elinia Academy's hero department were highly respected in the game.
About an hour later, my jumbled thoughts began to settle.
Heroes needed to make rational decisions even in extreme situations.
This was emphasized by assistants, professors, and even the chairman.
Although I was already a rational person, I had accepted the situation too quickly.
It must have been Theo's influence.
This weakling was actually a student in the Hero department.
[Name: Theo Lyn Waldeurk] Gender: Male Age: 16 Race: Human Affiliation: Elinia Academy Hero Department / Waldeurk Duke House Strength 7 Stamina 7 Mana 0 Tenacity 2 Traits: Descendant of the Hero (Passive Effect / Bloodline Ability) Twisted Noble's Dignity (Passive Effect)
When imagining the status window, a familiar greenish window appeared, one that had been seen thousands, if not millions, of times throughout the story.
It was a pitiful status for a hero department student.
Third-rate mercenaries have an average of 5 for strength and stamina.
A 7 would barely make it to the lower ranks of the knight academy.
Mana was at an absolute 0.
The only one in the academy with such a score.
Even a common innkeeper in town would have 2 or 3.
Magic could not be used unless reborn.
Tenacity was 2, only one point higher than neighborhood gamblers.
The average for ordinary people was 5.
With this level, one would be unable to run for more than 10 minutes.
“Ha.” No matter how many times I look at it, it's pitiful.
Even as the eldest son of a prestigious hero family, how could someone like this enter Elinia Academy, let alone the hero department?
[Descendant of the Hero] [Twisted Noble's Dignity]
The two traits did not provide any immediate help.
The 'Descendant of the Hero' trait was only effective against powerful enemies such as demons, demon kings, or ancient dragons, and the 'Twisted Noble's Dignity' was of little use within the hero department, where ability and skill were highly valued.
It was truly a hopeless character.
Yet, running away was not an option.
Death was not preferable.
In order to survive, there was no choice but to graduate with this garbage character.
So, what to do? Though challenging to execute, the answer was incredibly simple.
A being capable of shaking a nation.
The one who will save the continent from destruction.
That is the ultimate goal, but things have changed a lot now.
It has been over 200 years since the beings like demon kings and ancient dragons that sought to destroy the continent have vanished.
Would the current heroes be best described as top-notch problem solvers? In modern terms, they are a rare profession.
While heroes in the past walked a path of hardship, the current hero profession is a dream job that everyone desires.
Naturally, they receive countless envious looks.
They are well-treated socially and earn a good income.
Their main tasks involve monster hunting and artifact searching.
Of course, since the commission fees are expensive, they mainly handle jobs that are too difficult for mercenary guilds.
Some heroes also intervene in conflicts between countries.
There are heroes who make low-ranked princes into kings and secretly control the nation.
And I have to become such a Hero.
With a cool head, I devised a plan.
The remaining time is 3 years, 5 months, and 23 days.
With my weak abilities, no amount of time would be enough to graduate with excellent grades.
Fortunately, as a well-seasoned user acknowledged by the developers, I had an extensive knowledge of the many events that could occur in every route.
The location of hidden pieces or helpful NPCs, for example.
I confidently claim that I am among the users with the most game-related knowledge.
[Main Quest: Graduate with excellent grades from Elinia Academy's Hero Department.] Remaining Time: 3 years, 5 months, 23 days Reward: ???
To graduate from Elinia Academy, one must successfully complete a total of 4 years and 8 semesters.
Given the remaining time, it's been exactly one week since the start of the second semester, which is the very beginning of the story.
The story and difficulty vary greatly depending on the route chosen by the protagonist.
The protagonist, Neike, is 16 years old and my classmate in the hero department.
The first thing to check, then, is 'What route will Neike choose?' In the mage route, Neike's supporting character becomes a villain who constantly torments Neike in the merchant route.
Neike officially chooses a route during the second year, third semester.
However, since the first semester has already passed, a decision has likely been made internally.
'I hope it's an easy route.' That way, I can gather more hidden pieces.
Even with the help of hidden pieces, it's questionable whether I, who is overwhelmingly inferior, can graduate with excellent grades from the academy.
I can't start collecting hidden pieces without knowing Neike's route.
While in the mage route, it's possible to graduate without difficulty just by following the main story, in the merchant route, one will die before graduating without the help of hidden pieces.
Moreover, without Neike in the story, the academy cannot withstand numerous incidents and collapses.
Neike is absolutely necessary.
“Hmm, in that case…” I decide to go out and gather information.
Time is ticking away.
Just then, “Ouch!” I feel a sharp pain.
It's because of my low tenacity stat.
My eyes are drawn to the bed.
The thick, soft pillow looks extremely comfortable.
I want to lie down immediately.
“Damn it.” But I have to resist.
Stats can increase naturally over time.
With an tenacity of 2, I won't be able to accomplish much.
“Phew.” Fortunately, the pain is bearable.
It's just annoying and puts me in a bad mood.
I should take a shower before going out.
I head to the attached bathroom in the room.
The luxurious bathroom seems like a place a noble would use.
It's obviously been remodeled recently.
It's completely different from Neike's simple bathroom I saw in the original work.
The dorm rooms are assigned annually, and Theo Lyn Waldeurk—Theo—spent a fortune remodeling his for the year he'd be staying there.
Once again, I realize the character I've taken over is a crazy, vain person.
“But at least he looks good for a third-rate extra.” He's tall and lean.
His appearance is even more dazzling than the room's decor.
I admire myself in the mirror after showering and then leave the bathroom.
I glance out the window.
Time has passed, and the sun is setting.
I don't bother drying my hair, just wiping down my body before leaving the room “Uh, ugh!” I feel an intense pain that is incomparable to before.
It feels like my whole body has been shocked by electricity.
I cry out in pain.
“What now?!” Another sharp pain follows.
Then, I realize the reason.
[Twisted Noble's Dignity]
It's because of this passive trait.
The actions of a young noble, heir to a prestigious family of heroes and a duke, attempting to go out with wet hair and loudly crying out in public, both greatly deviate from the dignity of a noble.
“Good grief.” This is really something.
I recall various despicable things Theo did before I took over his body.
Publicly humiliating a commoner student, openly refusing to attend a commoner professor's class…
and much more.
Ah, that's why it's the 'Twisted' Noble's Dignity? …But what can I do? Now, I am you.
I don't know how to go back.
As I feel disheartened, the limited time keeps passing.
“First, I need to dry my hair.” After that, I finally step outside, wearing a suitable outfit and even spraying matching perfume.
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