I was one of the last ones to arrive at the Armory. The different classes had gathered separately outside of a large, square building that looked sufficiently stylish and high-tech to fit in with what I had started to expect of this world. I scanned the different groups of students in an attempt to discern which gathering of people that was class 1, but I didn’t have much luck. I hadn’t bothered to take a close look at any of the other students from my class earlier, so now I had no way of knowing who belonged to which class. The only person from my class whose face I knew was Jean Bradford, but he was nowhere to be seen. Maybe I could try using The Watching Eye to spot him amongst the crowd?
I focused my senses, and just like when I’d used this ability earlier, anything that hindered my vision melted away. The throngs of people that covered my view before disappeared, and I could see the people behind them. After scanning through the crowds in this manner for a while, I finally spotted the person I was searching for and turned the ability off. As I was limited in the amount of time that I could use it daily, there wasn’t much point to wasting it unnecessarily.
I headed over the group of students that I had spotted Jean in and placed myself at the edge of the crowd. Most of the students were chatting with each other and didn’t pay me much attention. Although I could hear a couple of voices that seemed to be talking about me.
-Hey, you see that guy that just got here?
-Yeah. What about him?
-I took the entrance exam at the same time as him. He’s one creepy dude. He was like an emotionless robot. And he didn’t even use a weapon for the exam. It’s like he wanted to brag or something.
-Really? What a weirdo.
I wondered how Hope would have acted when it controlled this body. I guess I got my answer now. I decided to ignore their gossiping. I doubt those rumors will spread much. Even if they do, being regarded as an emotionless robot doesn’t sound that bad. If anything, it’ll only make people avoid me. I don't feel like getting all chummy with people at the moment anyway, so I don't mind.
Some of the other classes had already started entering the Armory by now, but we were still waiting for Mr. Basara to arrive. We stood there for another five minutes before he finally appeared with a big smile on his face.
“Good, you all found your way here. Sorry for the wait. Come with me.” He said and signaled us to follow him as he walked towards the building’s entrance.
The first room we entered was a wide lobby with a high ceiling and many different kinds of weapons that hang on display on the walls. They all had plaques beneath them. They were far away but, with my new enhanced sight, I had no problem reading the text that was written on them.
‘Dyrnwyn,’ ‘Gram,’ ‘Rhongomiant,’ ‘Ame-no-nuhoko,’ ‘Joyeuse,’ and many others. They seemed to be models of famous historical and mythical weapons. I’d learned that, in this world, the power of a weapon depended as much, if not even more, on the history of the weapon as it did on its quality. Even if a weapon was just an ordinary stick, if a famous hero had used it in the past, it could still be far more powerful than any ordinary sword that could be made today. Weapons like these were called relics, and they were imbued with the magic and feats of the people that had owned the weapons during the ages.
Because of this, more modern weapons like guns didn’t see much use amongst heroes as guns hadn’t been around long enough for many of them to have become relics. Apparently, guns were also hard to use magic with efficiently. All of this meant that guns had a relatively low-efficiency limit when it came to monster subjugation.
I kept browsing the weapons that were presented on the wall as class 1 followed Mr. Basara to the other side of the lobby. He swiped his smartwatch over a device next to a door, and a sharp beep announced that it was unlocked. He then led us through a long corridor until we reached a large room that was filled with different kinds of targets on one end and all sorts of weapons in rows on the other end.
There were at least a dozen different kinds of weapons here. Swords, spears, polearms, halberds, gauntlets, katars, hammers, bows, and many more could be seen. The amount of money this school must have spent just on these was ridiculous. Did the weapons break often, or what?
“Listen up now, students.”
Mr. Basara clapped his hands to catch our attention.
"I'm aware some of you might already have personal weapons, some of which might even be better than what we have here, but here at Lemorth Academy, only academy-regulated weapons are allowed for usage. This means that for the immediate future, you’ll all be using these training weapons that we’re providing you with. Class 1 has booked this hall for another hour, so make sure to think carefully about your weapon of choice. Switching to another weapon means a bunch of paperwork for me, and I’d like to avoid that if possible.”
I’m not sure, but it felt like he was looking at me for a second when he said that.
“When you’ve chosen a weapon, feel free to try it on the targets over there to see if it fits you.” He said and pointed towards the targets on the other side of the room.
With that, all the students started moving towards the rows of weapons. There were about thirty people in class 1, and a good third of those immediately went over to where the swords were. Amongst them were Jean Bradford. A good amount of people also gathered around the polearms, spears, and other pole weapons, and I saw a couple of students that picked up gauntlets. There was even a student that grabbed a pair of katars and turned them over a couple of times as he examined them thoroughly.
I looked over the rows of weapons several times.
“Why couldn’t they just have guns here…” I mumbled to myself.
A student next to me gave me an odd look before they also went over to the rows of weapons.
It annoyed me to no end that guns were so worthless in this world. I’d grown relatively proficient with guns during these last few years and would have preferred to have had the choice to use them now too. I had no experience what-so-ever in using any of the close quarters weapons, and I didn’t feel like learning how to use a completely new weapon. Fortunately, there was one weapon here that I did have a moderate amount of experience with — the bow.
I'd practiced archery up until my world ended, and although I was far from being good enough to be able to compete at it, it was far better than starting from scratch.
I walked over to where the different kinds of bows were and looked them over. I saw four other students that were also assessing the bows. One of them, a girl with long, curly blond hair and bright blue eyes, grabbed a slick red recurve bow and started moving with great determination towards the targets that were set up for archers. I noticed that she forgot to pick up one of the quivers filled with arrows, though. ‘She’ll probably realize it soon enough,’ I thought and turned back to the bows.
There were several different types of bows to choose from, but the majority of them were recurve bows. There were a few composite bows there too, but none of the other students seemed to be interested in them. I had experience with both, but I was best with the composite bow. It was designed to be easier to use and not require as much strength as normal bows yet still be as strong, if not stronger, so I was surprised that these people seemed averse to using them. Was it because they were modern weapons, and you were unlikely ever to find a relic compound bow? Perhaps the increased convenience of a compound bow wasn’t even needed for superhumans who might be able to bench press a hundred kilos with just one arm…
I lamented this dilemma for a while before I eventually chose to go with the recurve bow. There was no point in selecting a weapon that’d only limit my growth in the future. I looked over the different bows for a moment before I picked up a dark green bow made up of fiberglass with a draw strength of twenty kilograms. It made me wonder what draw strength the bows that the other students chose had. Some of these bows were listed with draw strengths over five times that. I have no idea what the hell those strings are made out of. As I thought about that, I glanced over at where the blonde girl was, and what I saw made my jaw drop.
I’d thought that the reason she didn’t bring any arrows was because she forgot about it. But that wasn’t right. She just didn’t need them. Instead, she just pulled the string back, and bright golden light seeped out of her hand like a fluid, forming a glittering arrow that was already nocked. She then aimed for only a second before letting go of the string. The arrow flew at an incredible speed straight into the middle of the target, before slowly dissipating into thin air. I don’t think that was the first try either, as my increased sight could see several holes very close to each other in the middle of the target. The target might only be thirty meters away, but to me, it was still impressive. She was far more skilled than I was.
She wasn't even using a stabilizer like I was used to doing. I understood why, though. When you’re using a bow for real combat, a stabilizer will feel clumsy and might get in the way. That, and I guess you won’t find many relics that use them. But when I thought about how lacking my archer skills were compared to this girl, even when I had the help of modern attachments, my heart sunk into my stomach. That’s without thinking about the fact that I had no idea how to create an arrow out of magic as she had just done.
I let out a defeated sigh and picked up a quiver filled with arrows. I still had to try this bow out before I chose it. All I could do was pray that the other students would be too busy with their own business to notice my inferior skills…