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What am I doing here? Erwin thinks to himself as he sits in a tent sharpening weapons and reinforcing armor.

Yesterday, Erwin found out that the magical weapons were born from the parts of monster's. When a monster is killed rarely a piece of the monster, like the claws, hide, or scales, emit mana. The piece can then be inspected for the magic type, using a spell. For most people, the monster loot would be useless at this point, however, a skilled blacksmith is capable of using the monster's remains to create a magical weapon. While learning how to create magical weapons, but before he could learn the actual intricacies of creating magical weapons. Jeanne Evastus interrupted Alphonse's lecture.

She invited Erwin to the class' leveling expedition to Dheginsea Ravine. Dheginsea Ravine is a large chasm dividing the northern mountains of Dheginsea with the southern country Hegemara, the ravine itself contains a plethora of monsters and ores making it a great place for rookies to train. Of course, Erwin had no interest in fighting monsters or raising his consistently low stats, but as Alphonse recommended, "Yer gonna' need higher stats to transmute in a timely manna', plus higha levels are the only way to get new transmutation skills." Al gave a knowing smile happier than usual.Now, Erwin finds himself in a tent waiting to go into battle.

Erwin's current level is 8, most of those he gained from transmutation practice, yet his stats only went up by few increments. In contrast, most of the class is currently in the mid-20's which they gained through combat. A quick comparison would cause anybody to conclude that Erwin would be useless, and should stay at base camp. But he has one trick up his sleeve. Recently, Erwin had been experimenting with transmuting the air. He had learned in chemistry class that using the Haber process ammonium could be made from Hydrogen and nitrogen. Through multiple experiments, and a couple of minor explosions, he was able to make ammonium nitrate in one transmutation reaction. Ammonium nitrate is an extremely volatile chemical, meaning he could surround an enemy in it, then create a spark to set if off. It isn't much of a trump card, but it does have potential. If given more time, Erwin could have further transmuted ammonium nitrate to either make nitrous oxide or nitrocellulose, but he'd have to wait until he gets back to fully attempt those experiments.

"Everyone, gather 'round. We'll be heading down the trail shortly," shouts Freud Bellimere. He is dressed differently from when he first met the student's rather than the illustrate golden armor that shone in the moon light he's wearing a shockingly simple steel armor as if to indicate that he fears nothing. Contrasting the simple armor, Freud holds the Bellimere legendary family weapon, the Macedon. A war hammer with a magnificent luster that gives it the look of newly chrisened jewelery, yet everyone knew the countless battles that were fought with this brilliant weapon.

Next to Freud is a young man with vibrant red hair in his early-twenties a large build that towers over many of the rank and file soldiers. He's in a heavy expensive orichalcum armor, but the paint is worn and the breastplate is mildly dented.

"This is Iskandar, my first born and the current heir to house Bellimere." Freud explains and pats Iskandar on the shoulder. seeing them stand next to each other the resembelance is rather obvious. Their height, build, even much of their mannerism are mirror images. "He and I will be the only ones joining you into the ravine, the soldiers here will be staying in town."

The mining town is only a few kilometers away from the Dheginsea Ravine entrance. Erwin wonders why the soldiers are even necessary it wasn't as if they were attacked by monsters on the way here, yet he did feel better having them here. Dheginsea Ravin does lead to tierzal country it's possible that they're afraid of attacks from another country, or maybe the class having to fight bandits is the worry. 

"greetings!" Iskandar shouts with a manly bravado like someone who once slayed the demon king. From the look on his face, one would immediately assume that he's just some spoiled lordling that spends his time chasing woman and terrorizing the local bars, given his mannerism nobody would blame you to think he some ignorant brute. "I apologize for not being able to greet you on your coming there were territorial disputes north of here that demanded my attention."

"What happened?" Asks Samantha Martin with a seductive smile. She is immediately attracted to the well-built man in front of her and decides to take this opportunity to do some passive flirting.

"I won't go into details, but many of the minor lords have taken advantage of the chaos of the fighting between the elves and the tierzal, and the subsequent confusion on our part, to take new land. My personal army and I went out and... quelled such rebels with force."

"How terrible," Sam responded with doey eyes and began embrace Iskandar's arm, purposefully allowing her breasts to squeeze up against it. "I know. You should give my friend and me a couple of pointers on how to fight."

Sam gestures to Isabella Cortez, who was completely content in allowing her friend to have fun with a boy now coldly clutches her Spear. "It would be a pleasure to learn how to fight better." Isabella didn't seem to have any desire to flirt, which greatly disappointed her friend, Sam.

"Come one Izzy where's your sex drive?"

"Now then shall we duel. I would love some combat experience," Isabella's matter of factness causes Sam to sigh and resign in shame as her plan was foiled. In the end, what was supposed to be seducing a handsome man u-turned into the class spending the morning running combat drills.

Erwin decides head back to his tent located near the outskirts of the village. He was offered a room at the inn like the other students, but politely declined because it wouldn't allow him to do any smithing. He instead opted for a small tent at the outskirts of the village where he would be able to set up a makeshift forge.

At the other end of the village the battle ready other-worlders prepare themselves for their first expedition. The class had a pretty good split of ten close range fighter, eight long range fighters, and four supporters. The basic expedition plan is to divide themselves into two large teams consisting, of long range and close range. Half of the students would fight while the other half followed and rested and the two teams would switch every few leagues. While support would fluidly move through the teams providing help were needed, support also had a large amount of mana potions on their person. It's a simple but effective strategy allowing most the team to gain a decent amount of combat experience.

Soon the party went along the path into ravine towards the massive mountains of Dheginsea. The party has a effortless journey into the ravine itself but once in it find themselves quickly facing monsters. Leonardo and his team took to the lead while Iskandar observes and giving advice when neccessary. 

"You mustn’t just wail on your enemy. Observe, look for their weakness and attack it with precision," Contrary to his initial impression, Iskandar appears to be slow and methodical rather than brutish and rash. He is quick to spot the places were the student's falter. He allows them to lean on themselves, yet speaks when neccessary, as if this is all second nature. so, these are instincts honed in actual combat. It's the greatest different between us, but I will catch up, nay surpass him, Leonardo thinks to himself ever so confident in his own potential.

Salvador thrashes his gauntlet covered fists against the carapace of a beetle like creature the size of a large dog. Known as skrill this creature travels in swarms. On the lower end of its respective food, skrill are easy game for the party. Even though Salvador's punches should be strong enough to warp steel the skrill only looked annoyed and ferociously pounced on Salvador causing him to fall on his back. 

"Don't just wale on its outer shell look for a weakness and exploit it." Iskandar takes the point of his sword and with a swift precise movement stabs the skrill between a gap in its armor easily severing its brain stem.

"Thanks, I thought I was done for.," Salvador pants in-between breaths but still manages to bring himself back to his feet readying himself to continue. Well at least failure isn't an earthshattering hindrance for this one, Iskandar thinks seeing the laut but tenacious composition of Salvador.

Iskandar can hear the clinging of metal and flesh followed immediately by a sound familiar to that of a butcher slicing through meat. The source of which is the newly formed duet of Raiko Yamamoto and Isabella Cortez. From training in the village earlier the two had learned a mutually beneficial ability combination. Isabella's class is Spartan, known for wielding a spear and shield. Boasting high attack and defensive, Spartans are what make up the front line of any well manned battalion. One of their strongest skills is Gaebulg the only long-range skill in their arsenal of abilities, which causes the Spartan’s spear to increase in mass and upon impact cause an explosion with a concussive force, likely to cause damage anybody in a 3-meter radius. The drawbacks of the attack are obvious. A Spear thrown is a spear retrieved another flaw is the increased mass of spear. Meaning armatures, like Isabella, have issue with the spear not going far enough causing this causing explosive damage to the thrower and those close by. However, Raiko can use her rare ability Light Speed to greatly increase the speed of Gaebulg.

"The waters quake with its wake,

as if lack luster lands are the end,

The beast from the sea means death,

but not if he takes a breath,"

Isabella infuses her spear with Gaebulg. The crackling red and yellow scars bellow through the polearm as if it might explode at any moment. Isabella readies her spear her spear behind her head while her shield hand supports the extra weight. She gives a weak throw which by all means should crash to the ground giving an embarrassing metal clunk and a disastrous explosion. However all Isabella has to concern herself with is the direction of the throw.

Upon leaving Isabella's hands the spears velocity increases. It barrels down like a cannonball and hits a pack of ten skrill. Although the spear only pierced through one the destructive force of the explosion that followed is enough to completely eradicate the near skrill and badly wound several skrill farther away.

Immediately after the explosion, Raiko dashes in using light speed. She stabs her blade into a surviving skrill and with a grace not found in the other students she turns and stabs a second skrill. Out of all the students Raiko is the only one with any formal training. Taking kendo classes when she was in middle school, yet only an amateur when it comes to real fighting.

Just like previous strikes, Raiko grabs the spear to return it to Isabella. But rather than bolting back, with light speed she stumbles and falls to one knee.

"Dammit, I'm out of mana," Raiko says to herself under her own breath. The amount of Mana someone contains is like an invisible stat that varies from person to person. It's common for children to come home stumbling with mana exhaustion but by puberty it's expected that someone be able to estimate their mana. Of course, Raiko up till a month ago had no experience in mana, so this misstep is to be expected in many students. Under normal conditions Raiko is cool headed easily willing to take a step back to observe the situation, but in an adrenaline-fueled battle has forgotten her own limitations and is now silently regretting her own hubris.

From a shadow out lunged a large skrill ready to attack the weakened Raiko. Myrmidons like Raiko, exchange defense for speed, so an attack from a skrill of this size will pierce through her armor and cause substantial damage. Raiko recoils in terror closing her eyes not ready for the massive pincers that are about to take a notch out of her.

Ploomf. To Raiko's confusion she didn't feel any pain. She looks up and Instead see's the large skrill clawing at a bright blue transparent wall. The wall floats in air strong and unwavering the skrill wouldn't be able to get through it with its attacks.

"Well don't just stand there and piss your pants. The barrier won't last forever," Samantha yells at the stunned Raiko causing her to take a shot of a mana flask and uses light speed to return with the spear. Samantha's class is Phalanx a support class that focuses on defense magic. She can create barriers, reinforce existing structures, and increased people's physical and magical defense. To the party, she acts as the all-purpose shield allowing them to make mistakes without it being detrimental.

Raiko returns ready to fight again. A drove of skrill at least thirty strong rush towards the area of the explosion.

"The explosion must have alerted them," Isabella deduces while adjusting her glasses to confirm what she sees.

"Don't worry. This many is easy," Leonardo points his sword towards the horde and begins to charge forward. However, his collar is grabbed by Raiko.

"Don't just bolt down there unwittingly. Let the mages handle them," Raiko says with a sigh grabing Leo by the collar attempting to save Leo from his own brashness. Isabella is about to mention how Raiko was only moments before doing the same thing and almost got herself killed. But before she could comment a flurry of magic went over her head. A collection of fire, wind, lighting magic is shot at the Horde leaving nothing but a muddled collection of corpses. The smell itself is nauseating leaving many at the front lines holding their noses, fortunately a down draft quickly dissipates the smell.

"All right soldiers, I can see the might of heroes in you, keep haste and we'll see if you have their blades too," Iskandar exclaims leading to the students to cheer in pride. Iskandar is genuinely surprised at the student’s innate progress. They made a couple of mistakes, but the potential they show it's promising. Maybe these kids will do something amazing.

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Hornblower

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