Battle Force Awakening Course
Lorist took out the Morante Daily News and the Falik Merchant Times from his post box and discovered that there was another letter within in. It was sent to him by the academy to notify him that the yearly Battle Force awakening course was going to begin soon and that he was appointed the head instructor of the course. It also contained the details of the venue and the time the class is held.
Head instructor? What kind of position is that? It's not like I get paid extra for it... I guess it's gonna be roughly the same as the last time when they sent a few other instructors to help me out. Lorist shook his head and didn't take the notice to heart. He went back to his room and looked at the calendar. The next month was coming in several days and the duels were his priority now. Although he was confident in remaining victorious, he couldn't slack off either as he had to make sure his body was in peak condition for the duels.
Tomorrow's the 15th of the 2nd month and there's still twenty days to the 3rd month. I should do my best to tell the other assistant instructors what to do within the next ten days and rest up after that to prepare for the duels, thought Lorist as he looked at the ornate bronze calendar he had on the wall.
When he had just arrived at Grindia, Lorist was quite unaccustomed to the date system of this world. Just like Earth, Grindia had 12 months within a year and every day was 24 hours. The difference was, each year was 423 days long and this had caused Lorist to mess up the dates very often when he was taking his accounting course at the academy, often resulting in him being screamed angrily at by his accounting professor. "Where has the other five days gone? Huh? Were they eaten by your dog?"
The most frustrating part of the date system in Grindia for Lorist was the existence of two different calendars.The first one was said to be used by the fairies tens of thousands of years ago which had 35 days in each month, with a total of 420 days and the other three were festival days that did not have a date. The first festival day was the day between the 35th day of the 12th month and the 1st day of the 1st month and was called the Day of Rest, or, more colloquially known as the 36th day of the 12th month. The second festival day was on the 36th of the 5th month and it was called the Day of Bathing. Everyone on Grindia was obligated to take a bath during that day. The third festival day was the 36th day of the 9th month, the Day of Harvest. These three days were holidays on every part of Grindia.
The elegant and refined fairies naturally didn't use numbers and instead named each month after a flower. In the order from the 1st month to the 12th, they were called respectively the Redbud Month, Camellia Month, Crabapple Month, Lotus Month, Peony Month, Magnolia Month, Jasmine Month, Osmanthus Month, Yucca Month, Hibiscus Month, Chrysanthemum Month, and Plum-Blossom Month.
The idealistic fairies really caused Lorist a lot of pain and suffering; on top of the misaligned number of days, there was the name of all those months to remember! Lorist was particularly vexed with the fact until he came to a realization one day: if the Earth took 365 days to orbit the Sun, then it wouldn't be that weird if Grindia orbited its Sun at 423 days because it had a larger orbital path. From that day onwards, Lorist never got the dates of Grindia wrong again.
The second calendar was the Magi Calendar and it was used by the Magi who regarded accuracy as paragon. All the dates described with the Magi Calendar were cold, hard numbers; that was the case with the months as well. However, it was even more troublesome as each month had a different number of days. For example, the 1st month had 34 days, the 2nd had the fewest: 31 days, the 3rd had 36 days and the month with most days was the 9th month at a count of 39 days.
The humans on Grindia didn't appreciate the romantic ideals of the fairies nor were they as meticulous as the now extinct Magi, therefore it had become convention to fuse the two different systems into one which had twelve numbered months with 35 days each and adding the festival days without a date onto the month it directly came after, making a 36th day for the 5th, 9th and 12th months.
From the memories of the original owner of the body, the day he was exiled from the northern lands was the 21st day of the 6th month. He had arrived at Morante City on the 8th day of the 8th month and enrolled in the academy that day. That whole journey took more than 50 days; his hometown really was quite far from Morante City. On another note, that meant that Lorist had left his hometown for more than ten years and it has been seven years since they last contacted him. I wonder how it is like there nowadays... Maybe I should go there during this holiday season? I think the Blackmud Marsh was near that area and a rare magical beast, the Ironspine Crocodile, lives around there. Its leather fetches a rather good price on the market. Should I form a team of mercenaries under an alias to go there for a visit?
A sudden strong desire to return to his homeland suddenly gripped his heart. Sigh, let's think about that after the 8th day of the 8th month. Having taken over the body, Lorist had inherited the remnant feelings and sentiments left behind by the original owner as well. Oh well, since it has already been ten years, I might as well take a leave from the academy before the holiday season to go back to the north. There should be enough time that way.
Lorist stood in front of the calendar and touched the box that had the date of the 8th day of the 8th month with his finger as he made his decision.
"Morning, Instructor Anfya. It's a pleasure to work with you once again. I'm sure that with your help it'll be much easier for me to organize this year's awakening course." The day after, Lorist went to the instructor's office that was situated behind the great hall of the now defunct Yellow Ribbon Academy, which was used as a teaching venue for the Battle Force awakening course, ten minutes early. Upon entering the room. he saw Anfya, who was also known as the academy's most beautiful instructor, correcting a large stack of documents at her table.
Instructor Anfya, aged 37, looked like a person who was only in her mid-twenties because of how well she took care of her body and was heralded to be the goddess of the academy by many of the male students there. Her husband was Instructor Claude, a Gold ranked instructor. Last year, Instructor Anfya had helped Lorist quite a lot as the vice head instructor of the Battle Force awakening course.
"Hey, Locke you twerp... Has your eyes been glued to the beauty over there? You didn't even notice me standing over here."
Lorist raised his head and said with surprise, "Brother Marlin, why are you here?"
Standing in front of Lorist was a large and burly man who lived at house no. 34 of the Gold ranked instructor residential area, Instructor Marlin. Lorist had gone to greet him once before on the day he moved in.
"I'm here too, Instructor Locke. It's a pleasure to meet again," a deep and low voice interjected.
Lorist turned his head to look and hastily returned the greeting, "Good to see you, Senior Hughes. Why have you come here?"
Hughes Pottermick, a Two Star Gold ranked combatant, has already been teaching in the academy for more than 30 years. Being a righteous and open-minded fellow, he was well received by most of the students at the academy.
Instructor Hughes nodded and said, "Instructor Locke, Marlin and I have been assigned by the administration to be the vice instructors of the course this year to assist you. Please don't hesitate to inform me should you require anything done. Instructor Anfya will be the vice head instructor for the course as well."
Lorist suddenly felt something was amiss. Turning back to look at Anfya, he asked, "Can you tell me how many people have enrolled for the course this time around?"
Instructor Anfya let out a bitter smile and pointed at the door, "Over there is a small doorway that's connected to the platform of the great hall. Instructor Locke, feel free to go take a look."
Sol, I've been taken advantage of by the academy head again... Didn't he mention that the applicants have only risen by a small number? This is no small class... It is already a damned assembly!
Seeing the large hall packed full of students who were standing so close to each other because of the lack of space, Lorist understood that the Gold ranked instructors had been sent by the academy to accommodate for the greatly increased number of students.
Lorist rushed back to the office with a face full of sweat before asking with a troubled expression, "How many in total are there?!"
Instructor Anfya held out a stack of documents in her hand and said, "There are 879 people in total. Here's the name list."
Waving around the stack that was the name list, Lorist looked at Hughes and Marlin with a bitter smile. "Isn't the academy going a little too far? In a normal Battle Force awakening course, there would be 40 students at maximum. 879 people can easily be fit into 22 of those classes! If one class required two instructors, we would need at least 44 of them! Even with you guys on board, there's no way that we would be able to handle all the workload ourselves! The academy really is going too far. I think I better just resign."
Marlin and Anfya were both dumbfounded at Lorist's declaration that he would resign. If he really did so and left the Battle Force awakening course to fare for itself, then the reputation of the academy would definitely be ruined. Just as the both of them wanted to try to convince him otherwise, Instructor Hughes took out a document unhurriedly and said, "Instructor Locke, this is what the academy head wanted me to pass to you. It is the contract that you have signed yourself half a year ago. It states that should you cause the academy to incur any loss as a result of going against orders, you will have to reimburse the academy two times the amount. If you retire, you'll have to pay back two times the amount of the money the students here paid, roughly tens of thousands of gold coins..."
Sol, I didn't know that the agreement I signed before going to the Relic Islands would tie me down here! Lorist was infuriated, but Instructor Hughes actually handed the contract to Lorist and said, "The academy head said that the contract that time was just a joke. Here, you can have it back."
Marlin and Anfya were anxious again. What if Lorist ran off with the contract?
Lorist was stunned to receive the agreement. What is the old bastard's intention in handing this to me? Is he going to let me off that easily?
Instructor Hughes took out another sheepskin parchment and said, "This is the name list of all the Silver and Iron ranked instructors. The academy head said that you can select 24 of them to join the instructor team for this Battle Force awakening course. You will be responsible for assigning tasks to them and anyone who does not obey will be sacked by the academy. Also, given that the amount of instructors available in the academy itself is insufficient, you have the authority to choose 24 outstanding students to serve as assistant instructors."
Instructors Marlin and Anfya both secretly clicked their tongues upon hearing that Lorist had been given so much authority. It cannot be understated how much the students want a position as one of the 24 assistant instructors. Even though the payment was only one gold coin a month, it was enough for one to live quite a lavish life. If they perform well and get appointed as official instructors, they will be able to earn three gold coins per month. That was a stable and high paying position for anyone to have.
Given the benefits of being an instructor, it could be said Lorist now held quite an amount of power and the students of the academy who would do anything for the positions would do anything he says.
It seems that the academy head really trusts Instructor Locke, thought Instructor Anfya.
Does the academy head have some sort of family relation with Instructor Locke? Or is he actually the academy head's illegitimate... That was Instructor Marlin's wild guess.
"Now that's much better..." said Lorist, having turned that frown on his face into a bright smile. Taking the name list, he started scribbling and marking it.
"Additionally..." Hughes handed another document over. "Due to the unexpected amount of applicants that has caused you quite some trouble, to make up for it, the academy head has allocated a budget of 150 gold coins for you to distribute to the instructor team as an added bonus. You only have to sign here."
"Hehe..." It was apparent that Lorist was in a rather good mood as he signed the document gleefully. However, he still let out a long sigh, "It really is pretty rare for the academy to be so generous..."
Instructor Anfya whispered, "I know the reason for their generosity. Ever since news got out about Instructor Locke's Battle Force awakening course boasting a 100% success rate several times in a row, the applicants this time around specified that they wanted to enter Locke's class. The academy head said that those who wanted to pick their instructor had to pay double the usual fee. All those students you see in the hall had paid two times the normal fee so that they can get a 100% assurance to awaken their Battle Force."
Ugh... Lorist was really speechless. It's no wonder that the academy head was so generous with the funding given the double fee the students paid. He even let Lorist manage the funding and staffing of the course to make sure he gives it his best to make sure everyone passes! The normal price for this course was 5 gold coins. With 879 students paying 10 gold coins each, the academy had already received an extra 4395 gold coins! With a monthly bonus of 150 gold coins, it would only amount to 900 gold coins after six months when the course ends. The academy would still earn well over 3000 gold coins. Sol, this old bastard really has it all thought out...
Lorist handed the name list back to Instructor Hughes and said, "I've already picked 9 instructors out of the 24. I'll let the three of you pick five as well. As for the assistant instructors, leave 9 slots for me to pick and you guys can choose the rest. Instructor Anfya, please try to select as many female instructors and student instructors as possible for this course as there is a lot of female students this time around. It would be better if we let female instructors be in charge of them.
"As for the bonus, Instructor Marlin, Instructor Hughes and I will each be receiving 5 gold coins, Instructor Anfya and the other managing instructors will be receiving 3, the rest of the academy instructors will get 2 gold coins and the student assistant instructors will get 1 each. The remainder of the bonus will be distributed among everyone after the course ends."
Hughes, Marlin and Anfya were all moved as they did not expect Lorist to relinquish his authority so willingly. Hughes even whispered, "The academy head was right. Instructor Locke really is someone who doesn't have much greed or ambition."
Lorist clapped his hands and continued, "Later, I will go greet the students at the hall and Instructor Anfya will explain the rules and regulations of the course to them. Just like last year, the course will officially start in another 3 days and the students will have to follow a strict diet and sleeping schedule that will be set by us. Those who aren't willing to do so should go to the administration for a refund or they will not be entertained after the course starts.
"For the next two days, Instructor Marlin, please help Instructor Anfya inspect and prepare the training grounds as well as the dorms these students will be living in. Instructor Hughes, I'll let you handle the other members of the instructor team. When the class starts in three days, we will have to inspect the conditions of every one of the students before assigning them to different classes with different regimens. That's it for now. I'll be heading on the stage."