"Someone get me a pen!"
"Hurry! Hes waking up!"
A white room lit by fluorescent lights filled Alexs eyes. He sat up and looked around to find himself wearing a hospital gown in a hospital bed, surrounded by various machines that he didn understand.
"Hello there, Alex."
A short, thin man wearing a lab coat walked up to the side of Alexs bed. Underneath his lab coat was a pair of khaki shorts and a Hawaiin T-shirt. What was most striking about him was that on his rough elderly face filled with wrinkles that sported a gigantic white mustache was a giant bulging red crystal eyeball that constantly wiggled in its place in contrast to his normal brown one.
Looking at him, Alex felt he was the very definition of a mad scientist.
"I am Dr. Anton Schlieffen. I will ask some questions and conduct a few tests to see if you can be released."
(Great, so this guy has the same last name as the general who created the stupid German war plan for World War 1, and he is the one who decides if I can be released, so its better to cooperate with him.)
"No problem, sir."
"You can drop the honorifics. Just call me Schlieffen, Anton, Old Man or Mad-Eye."
"Why did you include Mad-Eye?"
"I am pretty sure you know the reason."
Dr. Schlieffens crystal eye stopped wiggling and looked directly at Alex for a few moments before wiggling again.
"Yeah, I think I get it."
(This old coot isn as bad as I thought.)
Alex made a mental note not to judge peoples appearance too much. He should have known this very well since he was a student at Assassin Academy and took courses in lying and disguise.
The doctor placed a few pads on different parts of his body, including his head and chest. Then hooked them up to one of the machines in the room and waited for the results.
After a few minutes, the doctors face scrunched up with confusion. Just as Alex was going to ask if there was anything wrong, the doctor took off the pads stuck on Alexs body and began asking a few questions.
"Alright, your body condition seems normal. All thats left is to check your mental condition. See if you have most of your memories, and get a witness account of what happened during the mission."
"Well start with the basics.
Question 1, who are you?"
"Question 2, What school do you attend?"
"St. James Assassin Academy."
"Question 3, How long have you attended St. James Assassin Academy?"
The list of questions seemed to have never stopped coming until he was finally asked by Doctor Schlieffen what happened during the patrol mission.
"Alright, Alex, last question.
Do you remember anything that happened during the patrol?"
Alex froze. He wondered whether he should tell Doctor Schlieffen how he obtained the System and defeated the Lieutenant-level demon.
If the scientists and engineers at Assassin Academy could figure out where the System came from, how it was created, and be able to replicate some of the features like stopping time.
It would give humanity an advantage against the other races and countries that appeared during the Cataclysm.
"Im afraid I only remember receiving Richards notice of how the higher-ups want me to abandon the mission and escape.
After reaching the evac zone, I passed out from exhaustion."
There was no way on earth he will admit that he killed a Mid-rank Lieutenant-level demon with the System that was given to him by a being who could stop time.
If he did, there are two scenarios. The best scenario is that everyone thinks he is crazy and stays in the hospital for a few more days.
The worst scenario is that he is strapped to an operating table and getting his body sliced open to see if the System is in his body.
Dr. Schlieffen regarded his answer with suspicion. He wrote something on his clipboard before declaring his ultimatum.
"Alright, kiddo. You are free to leave. Your uniform and equipment are in the room next door."
Alex quickly got out of bed and swiftly walked to the door.
He stood there sweating bullets.
Had the doctor changed his mind?
Did he know that he lied?
Am I about to be dragged to a torture chamber?
"Here is my address and phone number. In case you need counselling. Ive seen many people lose their minds from just killing people. Never mind watching all of your comrades butchered by a demon."
He let out an inward sigh of relief.
It turns out that the doctor was a softie underneath that scary exterior and was just worried about his mental health.
Alex took Dr. Schlieffens card, said thanks and left the room as quickly as he could.
Dr. Schlieffen looked down at his clipboard.
He was disappointed with the test results.
When Alex got rescued from the forest, a team of three B-ranks and seven C-ranks was sent to terminate the Lieutenant-level demon.
After hours of searching, they stumbled across its corpse, with its head separated from its body that lay a few feet away.
No beast or monster in the forest the demon appeared in would have been able to kill it cleanly like that. This suggested that the being who killed the demon possessed skill and intelligence, as well as, at the very least, a blue-tier holy weapon to sever off a Lieutenant-level demons head, meaning that there might be a B or A-ranker nearby.
The Academy sent in mana-detection drones to search for clues about this being but found nothing apart from the mana the monsters who reside in the forest emit.
Dr. Schlieffen believed that Alex might have been the one who killed the demon.
How else would he have survived?
Schlieffen investigated the area alongside the investigation team and found a small area of dried blood underneath a broken tree that lay far away from the demons corpse.
He had suspicions about the dried blood and took a sample, bringing it to his lab to check if the DNA matched the dead demons.
To his great surprise, the sample he retrieved was a perfect match for Alex, the sole survivor of the demon attack and one of the worst students in the Academy!
Instead of reporting this to his peers about this strange phenomenon,
Dr. Schlieffen had decided to keep it a secret.
When he received the DNA results, his first thought was that Alex was secretly hiding his actual strength and was a spy from a rival school or an enemy agent sent to infiltrate and destroy the Academy from the inside out.
However, both of these theories seem highly unlikely after the test results for Alexs mana levels came up and showed his mana levels have barely risen since the first day of attendance.
Schlieffen was also an expert in dealing with liars. He could detect a lie just as easily as breathing from a persons muscle twitches and actions.
During the interview, Schlieffen couldn sense any lies in Alexs answers, but when he asked Alex what happened during the patrol.
There was hesitation on his face. The same kind of hesitation you would expect from a kid who got failed his test when asked by their parents to tell them what kind of mark they got.
He couldn sense any lies in Alexs last answer, but he knew this young man was hiding something.
Something that made him afraid to tell the full truth.
Dr. Schlieffen decided not to pry any further. Although this incident and his background made Alex seem very suspicious, his Letter of Admission came directly from "that person."
Just to be safe, Dr. Schlieffen handed Alex a card containing a Mid-class spirit that will constantly be monitoring him to ensure he isn up to anything like planting explosives in the faculty building or stealing research from the labs.
Now that the issue with Alex was temporarily been resolved.
It was time to move on to the next problem.
How on earth did a demon appear in the forest?
Several powerful barriers and spells protected the Academy that even seasoned S-rank veterans and lesser deities would have trouble dealing with.
One of the spells that protected the Academy would raise an alarm when an unregistered being sets foot on the Academy grounds.
Meaning there were two possibilities.
The first one is, a being stronger than S-ranks, potentially a god, demon, or some other entity that managed to interfere with the spell and sent a demon in.
This was the less likely of the two scenarios as a being capable of this feat should have no problems sending in something stronger than a mere Mid-class demon or just invading the school itself.
Sending in a Mid-class demon, even if it were just for scouting, would simply cause the school to enter into combat-ready mode and buff up the level of security. Creating a missed opportunity for an effective surprise attack or raid that could have caused lots of casualties or stolen valuable data.
No being was dumb enough to miss out on that chance. Unless they were aiming for something else, but summoning a demon to attack a weak insignificant patrol squad is just really dumb. Unless it has something to do with Alexs connection to "that person."
Schlieffen shook his head.
People who know of "that persons" existence could be counted on with one hand and none of those people were enemies of the Academy.
Then there was the second possibility.
There was a traitor in Assassin Academy who summoned the demon.
Summoning magic wasn a rare sight, but the method for summoning demons is despised and long forgotten.
The knowledge and practice of demon summoning were taboo and despised due to the destruction they had caused during the Cataclysmic Wars that followed the Great Cataclysm.
After the wars finally ended, peace was established among the human nations of earth, the different mythical pantheons, and nations that came out of the Great Cataclysm.
Unfortunately, many didn want peace and called for the continuation of The Cataclysmic Wars.
Among those was a faction of demons from Hell called Remnant that refused to surrender and continued to wreak havoc across multiple countries.
The demons caused the nations and pantheons who made peace to create a joint subjugation force that put down the resisting demon faction. Any survivors were imprisoned, executed or went into hiding and still hunted by various governments.
After that incident, the Warhawk factions within the countries and pantheons also went into hiding, not wanting to end up like the Remnant demons.
Some of these factions would later form terrorist organizations and cause a multitude of problems for the world such as kidnapping, corruption, smuggling, wage small-scale conflicts, arms dealing, and engaging in illegal or taboo research. The usual things terrorists would do.
Among the things they do, one of them was demon summoning.
Not all terrorist groups know to summon demons. If they did, the world will see the beginning of another war.
The few terrorist organizations know about how to perform demon summoning. Their members need to be at least an officer within the organization to access the knowledge.
Now how a terrorist organization managed to infiltrate the Academy was up for debate. It could have been through disguise, sleeper agents, or converting a faculty member to their cause.
The important thing is that there was an enemy spy within the school who have the authority to interfere with the schools security and defence systems, allowing the demon to enter the Academy grounds.
Why the enemy agent would target a weak squad patrolling training grounds was still a mystery, but Schlieffen guessed it was to cause a distraction.
By summoning the demon to attack the forest which had no use other than a training ground, the Academy will divert all of its attention to investigating this incident to see if there was any unusual activity going on in the forest. The enemy agent will use this chance to initiate whatever nefarious plans they have into action.
Now the two main questions were,
"Who is the enemy agent?"
"What is their goal?"
In the shadows of the Academy grounds, a person reviewed the report of the recent patrol mission in the training forest training grounds and the appearance of a Mid-class demon.
The persons silhouette was blurred and wavered in the background.
It flipped flipped over several pages of the report and reached the page that listed the casualties and damages done during the mission.
The person clicked their tongue in annoyance.
"Looks like there was a survivor."
"However, that doesn change anything."
"The first step of the plan is already in progress."
The person looked at the profile of the survivor out of curiosity and found it to be very interesting.
"A mere F-rank managed to survive the Mid-class demon I summoned? Not to mention it was this guy of all people."
The person flipped to the section about the demon and found that it had died at the hands of a unknown being.
"Although this variable shouldn affect my plans, Ill still need to somehow get rid of him."
The person gave a sinister grin that showed all of their teeth and took out a cellphone, looking for a number.
Alex walked along the roads of Assassin Academy, heading back to his dorm.
He looked around the streets lined with shops and facilities that looked similar to the ones you might find on normal streets or university campuses.
The stores in Assassin Academy sold items ranging from bullets to mana-charged handheld multi-purpose rocker launchers like they were a grocery store promoting the latest deals on vegetables and fruits.
As though to prove Alexs point.
He saw a advertisement that said,
"Pam Zookas Special Sale!!!
For a Limited time, get five litres of flamethrower fuel for free when you purchase one of our X15 flamethrowers!!!"
These weren the only shops that sold such crazy items.
To Alexs left, there was a wand and magic book shop. Outside of the shop could be heard two people arguing...
"I DEMAND A FULL REFUND!!!"
"Madam, may I ask why you are not satisfied with our shops products?"
"This wand is 0.0139867 millimetres to short!!!"
"Madam, with all due respect, our wands are handcrafted and there was a sign near the entrance that our wand lengths might not be very accurate and we do not accept refunds, so please..."
"THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!"
"UNACCEPTABLE I TELL YOU! I WILL REPORT TO THE AUTHORITIES ABOUT YOU..."
Having heard enough of the Karens rant, Alex continued down the street to stop by a shop to greet his best friend Minnie before going on his way back to the first years dorms.
After several minutes of walking, he stopped in front of a slightly dilapidated building, the garden bed was untended, there were cracks in the windows, vines crept up the side of the walls and furnace chimney that was smoking, and the floorboards rotted away in some parts of the railing and front porch.
In front of the shop was a simple and clean sign of a sword that read,
Alex rang a rusted metal bell hanging in front of the door, before entering the shop.
Despite its rundown appearance, the inside of the shop was well-cleaned and organized if you disregard the shelves stocked with armor and weapons that filled up every place of the room with a tiny path in the middle for customers to walk through to a simple wooden counter.
"Its me! Alex!"
When no one responded, he walked to a door behind the front counter and pressed his ear against it.
There was a constant rhythmic clanging behind the closed door.
Alex debated whether he should wait or go back home.
Usually when theres a clanging noise, it meant that Minnie was busy making equipment, and when she started working. Oh boy.
Lets just say she is very passionate about her job and would work long hours to create a set of equipment she deemed perfect.
He didn know how long itll take Minnie to complete her current order and just made his mind to go home. When...
The door slammed open and hit Alex head-on, the force behind that slam sent him flying into a wall.
"I thought you were dead!"
A slim auburn-haired girl of average height stood in the doorway, she wore the typical garb of a blacksmith, leather apron and gloves, steel-toed workboots, and a metal welding helmet.
Underneath her apron were a pair of grey shorts and T-shirt. Despite her slim build, her limbs had well-toned muscles you would find in an athlete.
Her face was cute to say the least, large round emerald eyes, long eyelashes, cute button nose, medium length curls, peachy skin that was slightly flushed from the furnace heat, and tiny pink lips made her look a lot like a porcelain doll. If 9 out of 10 people were asked if she was cute, 9 out of 10 would say yes.
This girl was Minnie, one of the few friends Alex has made in his two weeks of attending St. James Assassin Academy.
Alex got up to complain to Minnie about how he would be okay if she hadn slammed a door in his face but he looked at her scrunched-up eyebrows and worried look on his face and decided to shut up. Unlike Alex, who was just a newcomer and 1st-year student, Minnie rarely interacted with others due to her work. On the rare occasion that she did. It was usually to accept a commission or to inform her customers that their order was ready. Meaning that Minnie didn have many people she could call friends which is worsened byt