Elite Mages’ Academy - Chapter 85: Hank's Test
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The office of the student union’s president was simple yet elegant. A blond American was gulping tea beside the long table. As soon as he saw the president come in, he immediately set aside his teacup and got up. Some less-than-fluent Chinese came out of his mouth. “Is this the alleged freshman who knows Ancient Normese?”
“That’s right, a first-year freshman. Xiao Lin, this is Mr. Hank, the representative sent by America’s Judge Academy to Dawn Academy.” The president gave a brief introduction and chased out the other members of the student union. He sat next to the conference table, and smiled toward Hank. “As Dawn Academy’s student union president, I won’t interfere with your discussion, but since our two academies are involved, diplomatic issues aren’t trivial. For this occasion, the entire conversation will be recorded for verification and shall be pa.s.sed to our dean later on. He will make the final decision. I trust there’s no issues with that.”
“OK! OK! OK! The Chinese are always so troublesome!”
“I’m fine with it.”
“This is purely procedure!” The president smiled and nodded. He took out a light blue cone-shaped crystal and crushed it with his hands. The diamond-like crystal fragments turned into countless tiny particles in the air and spread quickly to the surroundings, permeating every corner of the entire office.
Xiao Lin stared blankly. He subconsciously wanted to avoid the floating particles, but the president smiled and a.s.sured him, “Don’t worry. They’re harmless.”
Hank’s mouth twitched and he muttered. “Memoria Crystal. Your procedure is extravagant! Crystals like these, which are solely dedicated to recording, are very rare, even for us in Judge Academy… Okay then, I believe we can start!”
The president smiled and nodded.
Hank’s expression gradually turned serious. He rubbed his hands and said, “Student Xiao Lin, the information obtained from your central computer shows that your Ancient Normese is LV1, and it just so happens to be the northern dialect that our academy needs the most. Even so, we still have to test you right now. That shouldn’t be a problem, right?”
Xiao Lin nodded, but felt a little nervous. The other party’s words suggested that they had confirmed his mastery of Ancient Normese through his replication skill. Although the level of Ancient Normese he replicated at the time was MAX, he had forgotten most of the vocabulary when the replication ended. He could barely remember some of the most basic grammar, and that was why Hank referred to Ancient Normese as LV1.
Due to the importance attached to his language level, Xiao Lin guessed that Judge Academy needed him to translate some ancient historical doc.u.ments. With his LV1 level however, he was not that confident of his ability to do it.
The student union president sat quietly next to him with the same confusion in Xiao Lin’s eyes. That language—which was already very rare to begin with—had been lost for hundreds of years and it was normal that Judge Academy had no one with that ability. Nevertheless, he did not think that Xiao Lin could help; as the boy’s level was still too low.
Hank took out a plastic paper bag from the black briefcase he carried with him. There were a lot of fine paper sc.r.a.ps in the bag. He opened it, dumped all the sc.r.a.ps on the table, then pushed it to Xiao Lin and said, “I’d like you to reorder these letters or words in the correct sequence based on Ancient Normese grammar.”
“Mr. Hank, may I ask you what this is?” The president could not help but interject with confusion.
“This is a doc.u.ment written in Ancient Normese from more than a century ago. We found this in our reference room. I’ve divided the doc.u.ment into about a hundred pieces, so all he has to do is rea.s.semble them. He can have as much time as he needs to mull it over.”
Hank thought for a while and added, “I know your Ancient Normese is only level one, but that’s not our concern. All you have to do is to arrange the pieces of paper in grammatical order. As for the meaning of the completed text, don’t give it too much thought, because I believe rearranging it can be done, even at level one.”
Xiao Lin nodded and said yes. Unlike the translation that he was expecting, simply arranging the vocabulary according to grammar might be doable and he could certainly try it. It was likely similar to the subject-predicate-object grammatical structure. Although he might not recognize the meaning of each Ancient Normese word, but at LV1, he could distinguish which words were the subject, the predicate, the object, and the attributive.
Xiao Lin picked up a piece of paper and looked at it. Hank must have torn a complete article, so most of the paper pieces he saw were only part of the article. It might lack a predicate, a subject, or several words might be missing. That way, the difficulty was greatly reduced.
He closed his eyes and recalled the Ancient Normese grammatical knowledge in his mind. According to Xiao Lin’s understanding, after his three minutes of replication disappeared, it was unlikely that the knowledge he possessed would disappear completely from his mind. That was because his brain learnt everything quickly when his replication skill was in effect. That, in itself, was a learning process, so the things that he managed to master were his own and continued to exist in his mind, even though the copying time had ended.
The effect had been verified during Basic Meditation, and the mastery of Ancient Normese convinced Xiao Lin of that fact even more. However, it seemed to only have a similar effect on pa.s.sive skills instead of active skills. Xiao Lin copied both the Shockwave in the admission test and the Flame Shield in the monthly exam, but he could use neither of them once the replication was over.
“What’s wrong? Is it difficult?” Hank became a little anxious when he saw Xiao Lin closing his eyes for a moment.
Xiao Lin came back to his senses and said, “Oh no, I was just resting for a while. You probably don’t know that I just went through a monthly exam.”
Hank spread his hands and said innocently, “I can understand your exhaustion. I’m very sorry to disturb you right now, but this matter is really important to Judge Academy. We’ll give you a satisfactory reward if you can help us.”
“I understand. Let’s start then!”
Xiao Lin took a deep breath and got up to spread all the pieces of paper on the table. Firstly, he gathered up and re-categorized all the pieces of paper which were relatively complete, such as those that lacked the subject or the predicate.
Then he piled the pieces of paper with only one word on the other side, sorting them in the order of subject and predicate. The selection process took him at least half an hour.
After all, his mastery was only at LV1. He knew a scant amount of vocabulary and often needed to think hard for a while just before continuing to scan through. During the whole process, Hank and the student union president watched quietly and did not interrupt.
That was just the beginning. Xiao Lin exhaled and sat back down again. The earlier work was simultaneously simple and difficult, and to put it simply, it was a cloze test.