At "The Minotaur's Resting Place", Thomas enjoyed a large thick-cut steak dinner with a couple of mugs of beer. He still didn't know why monster meat tasted so much better than regular animal meat but it didn't matter really. He enjoyed the meal for a while and did as he'd intended, drinking half a dozen mugs of beer before paying his tab and heading back to the academy. He still had a few things he needed to do before calling it a night. He didn't really have plans for the next day just yet since his main goals had all, mostly, been accomplished.
As he walked he noticed that night time in the city was a lot less busy than the daytime. The incessant buzz of multiple conversations had died down to a whisper. There were a few shady looking characters here and there but no outright crimes were being committed. Day or night there were always guards stationed all over the city ready to react at a moments notice to any disturbances.
Thomas enjoyed his quiet stroll through the cool night air and, before he knew it, found himself arriving at the academy entrance. After letting out an alcohol-laden sigh, he made his way toward his dorm room. As he was walking he caught sight of one of the academies dueling platforms. Slowly his lips curved into a rather wicked smile as he thought of something he should definitely do before leaving the academy. Laughing to himself, he made his way to his dorm room.
Once inside he sat down in the middle of his living room to get the last bit of experience he needed to rank up his metal magic to twenty-five. It didn't take him very much effort at all. He simply summoned and dismissed various bladed weapons a few times in a row until he earned the last hundred or so experience he needed. It took him less than ten minutes.
With that out of the way, Thomas was left to plan his activities for the following day. He already had one thing he wanted to do and while he wasn't sure how long it would take he was certain it wouldn't take the entire day. He crossed his arms over his chest and thought about the incident in the dungeon where he threw himself into a wall. Not wanting to have a repeat of that incident, he decided he should spend at least a little time getting used to his increased attributes. When he was slower it wasn't so hard to control his speed but now he knew that as he grew faster and faster he would need at least a little time to practice and get used to it.
With at least some of the following day planned out, he retrieved an iron ingot from his inventory and got to work practicing his 'Transmutation' and 'All Seeing Eyes' innate abilities. If he was going to make them stronger he needed to spend at least a little of his downtime working on them. He still had no idea what his 'All Seeing Eyes' would be like at higher ranks, but he did know it had to be pretty impressive. Provided there was any chance at all of him figuring out just how exactly to make his eyes do things that they were not biologically designed to do.
Thomas spent around half an hour molding and remolding the ingot into various simple shapes just to gain more understanding about his ability. 'All Seeing Eyes' was a pretty amazing seeming ability but in his mind 'Transmutation' would be much more beneficial to his work in the future. When he ran low on mana, he stopped his practice and stripped out of his clothing while making his way toward his bed. After getting comfortable he activated 'Serenity' and let himself drift off to sleep.
After getting up and getting dressed the following morning, Thomas made his way out to the academy grounds. Once he found one of the aides working at the academy he got the directions for where he needed to go. With simple and straightforward directions, he found himself standing before the registration office. Grinning to himself, he walked inside and made his way to the receptionists counter. When the receptionist looked up, Thomas smiled at the young woman as he said, "I'd like to know if the right to use a champion during a duel of honor has been revoked yet."
The receptionist was a young woman with short black hair and bright green eyes. She was rather attractive looking, even sitting down while wearing robes. When she heard Thomas's request her eyes widened marginally in surprise but she behaved in a professional manner as she replied, "It has."
Thomas laughed while saying, "I'd like to request a duel of honor."
The receptionist gave a professional smile as she picked up a quill while asking, "What is your name and who do you wish to challenge?"
"I am Thomas Darkrose and I want to challenge Brao Dueldrid."
The receptionist quickly wrote down the information. When she finished she turned to look at Thomas, "I will pass this along to the dean and within the next two days, a duel challenge will be issued to Brao Dueldrid on your behalf. Once the challenge is issued you will be informed of the time and location."
Thomas tilted his head as he asked curiously, "You don't need to know anything else?"
The receptionist smiled politely as she explained, "The academy believes that students will not request duels of honor without appropriate reasons. It is not for the academy to judge its students. If the duel should be refused by Sir Dueldrid the two of you will be brought before an assembly and you will be asked to explain your grievances. If your grievances are found to be legitimate Sir Dueldrid will be given the choice of participating in the duel or receiving a punishment befitting your claims. If you have any witnesses or evidence to back up your claims you will be allowed to present it. If the offense is severe enough he will be expelled. However, if it were to become clear that your grievances are petty or imaginary it's quite possible that you will be the one punished."
She studied Thomas for a moment before she asked, "Are you certain you wish me to register this duel of honor for you?"
Thomas nodded while smiling broadly, "Definitely. I don't believe he will refuse the challenge. He knows what he's done."
Thomas was fairly confident that Brao would have no choice but to accept the duel. From what he understood through Selena and Dean Zorzic's accounts of the previous duel, Brao's use of a champion could be seen as extremely dishonorable. Especially when he was the one to issue the challenge. Now that Thomas knew it took two days for a challenge to be issued it also looked even worse for Brao. Thomas had 'disrespected' Brao on the first day of classes but he hadn't received the duel challenge until three days later.
Thomas ignored the fact that it had been six days since the duel as he'd only thought about it the previous night and challenged Brao immediately the following day. His only plan was to thoroughly beat the snot out of Brao before leaving the academy to head back to Ulvstad and Hekrin.
With his duel challenge issued, Thomas left the building and looked around the academy grounds for a bit. He'd never really explored the academy since he was here for a very specific purpose. He tended to have a rather narrow focus when pursuing a specific goal. It's a quality that made him excellent at his work so it wasn't something he had any desire to change about himself. It's just that he often found himself missing out on obvious things every now and then. As he explored he came across exactly what he needed in one of the vacant training areas. A circular dirt track.
The dirt track reminded him a lot of the asphalt track that his high school had for gym class and the track team. It was exactly what he needed to be able to run at top speed and get used to controlling his fast movements. Thomas strode over to the track and started to stretch. Because his body was virtual and far tougher than his real body the odds of him straining a muscle were minuscule but he still stretched because it felt 'right' to do so.
Once he felt warmed up, he stepped onto the track and began a slow jog. He wanted to just immediately go full out with his maximum speed but knew that would likely get him into trouble again. So he took his time and started slow but gradually increased his speed. Though he felt like he was only jogging any observer from the real world would be able to tell him that he was already running faster than any human back on Earth could.
Thomas gradually increased his speed as he circled the track transitioning from a jog, to running, and finally to a full out sprint. His speed kept increasing until he reached his maximum velocity. He wasn't entirely sure how fast he was moving, but he knew it was many times faster than any normal human had the ability to move. After all his Agility attribute was already more than six times higher than the 'maximum' for humans.
Thomas couldn't help but laugh gleefully as he pushed his superhuman body to the limits. His legs pumped furiously as he ran around the circular track at full speed. Using his full speed he ran completely around the track eight times in less than a minute. He felt phenomenal running at this speed. But as he came to the end of his eighth lap he felt his stamina was severely drained and slowly came to a stop.
Thomas was breathing heavily with his hands on his hips as he looked over the track. There was a thick cloud of dust hanging in the air from his exertions and the sight of it brought him a feeling of pride. He knew he'd run extremely fast, but he had no equipment to measure his speed with. The best he could do was figure out how long the track was and roughly estimate how long he'd run for. With that, he could get a decent idea of what his maximum speed was.
After recovering for a bit he stepped back onto the track. While running at full speed was extremely enjoyable, it wasn't the sole purpose of coming to the track. Thomas pulled out the unfinished dagger he'd made from an iron ingot using his 'Transmutation' ability and began to walk around the track while drawing lines at random locations. He was creating an obstacle course of sorts for himself. After walking around the complete track he got to the starting point again and stored the dagger.
Thomas stepped up to the first line he'd drawn and looked toward the second. He took a deep breath and charged forward at his maximum speed. His body accelerated from stationary to top speed instantly. He kept his eye on the second mark and could see it clearly as he ran. This showed his perception was fine while he was moving at such a high velocity. After he passed the second mark he spotted the third. The moment he drew near it he decided to stop running. In defiance of physics, his body immediately came to a complete halt.
Thomas stared down at the third mark and found that he felt perfectly fine, which was really weird. If he wasn't being protected by something while moving at high velocities this sudden stop should have jostled his organs and thrown his brain against his skull to give him a concussion. Hell, it might even be fatal! Looking back at his starting position he knew the same was true for his sudden take off. His organs had been stationary and then suddenly accelerated to a high speed. If his body were a normal human body back in the real world then either starting or stopping should have knocked him unconscious or killed him.
Thomas had no complaints about any of this though. After all, how would the game be any fun if suddenly running at your full speed would kill you? Thomas turned to look at the fourth line on the track and immediately accelerated to his top speed again. As he approached the fourth line he sidestepped around it and continued on. The more he stopped, started, and sidestepped the various lines he'd drawn on the track the more he became used to moving at such high speeds.
By the time he'd run completely around the track another couple of times he felt like he had complete control over his speed. If he was to move at top speed in a confined area such as the dungeon, or dueling ring, he would be able to have complete control over himself. Grinning at the thought of moving that fast while fighting Brao, Thomas made his way to his dorm. Running the track so much had covered him in dust and sweat, he really needed a warm shower.