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Idle Mage: Humanity's Strongest Backer
Chapter 236 Well Played

He didn't get up even when the capsule opened. Dylan kept lying down in there, looking lost and defeated.

That certainly wasn't pleasing at all. He had thought that he moved on from that memory, that it doesn't have a hold on him anymore, that it doesn't hurt anymore.

But, truly, has anybody ever moved on from the loss of a loved one?

At this point, Dylan's convinced that he might never will and he just has to make peace with that. Losing his family will always hurt and not even revenge will grant him peace.

If anything, exacting revenge on the ones responsible for his parent's death will only make him feel empty inside. Dylan didn't think that his parents would like that for him.

As he slowly sat up from the capsule, Dylan couldn't help but wonder; what's the purpose of this test? Why did he have to be reminded about the most painful memory of his life? Why was it necessary?

While he's putting his clothes back on, he subconsciously looked at the other participants who just finished their Spiritual Exams too.

He noticed that their reactions were similar to his. They first stayed inside the capsule looking absolutely lost and defeated. He had even seen some who were bawling their eyes out.

Dylan could almost feel their despair and suffering. He even heard some mumbling about not being able to continue this anymore. Some just gave up completely.

He's pretty sure that they'd encounter something similar to him. And truly, he couldn't blame them for reacting this way.

Dylan then noticed the capsule right next to his opening up.

There, he saw Fred, looking a bit lost. Their eyes met and Fred got up. No words were said between them. Dylan just waited until Fred was done putting his clothes back on. Then, they left the venue.

The staff there didn't tell them their results, all they said was to follow the white arrows that lead to the place where they could see their results.

Dylan and Fred wordlessly followed the instructions and now, they are headed to the next place.

The silence between them was both awkward and comforting.

As they traveled to the next destination, Dylan couldn't help but recall his past.

Before Fantasia was even a thing, Dylan lived with his family in City G.

He was bright-eyed and bushy-browed back then. Looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses. He spent his youthful days dreaming about a nice and peaceful life.

His family was rich but preferred a minimalist lifestyle. His parents didn't raise him through conventional means. At a very young age, they told him to never put so much emphasis on money's worth. They thought him to discover the simple things in life that has so much more value than counting paper bills.

Dylan thought that once he grew up, he will be like his dad. He'd take over the farm, maybe find a nice spouse later down the line, and have a small family when he decides to settle down. He dreamed about this simple yet peaceful life however, fate had other plans for him it seems. π—Άπš—π˜―π˜³β„―π’‚π‘‘οΌŽ co𝙒

He lost his family during the attack of the Revenants. And just like what happened to City M and other cities, City G was also erased from the map, never to be seen again.

The memories he relived just a few moments ago, that was the last memory he had before he woke up at City F. Miraculously, he survived. He's injured, defeated, and mourning the loss of his parents, but he lived.

It took him almost a year before he even started showing signs of emotional recovery. He was disassociating from reality so many times that he had given a lot of doctors some serious headaches.

He received ample support from the Federation due to his loss, and he also received the inheritance of his parents, though none of it made him feel better. Back then, he thought that the road to healing would be a long and arduous one, and he doesn't necessarily think that he'd be able to make it.

This was when he met Fred, a guy who experienced a similar event just like him.

Fred also lived in City G and they'd met before the disaster struck but that's about it. They didn't have any verbal contact with each other until the aftermath of the disaster.

And this might sound silly and wrong, but they became close simply because they experienced the same traumatic events. They bonded through trauma if you will.

Somehow, that helped Dylan. It helped Fred too.

As they sorted out themselves and continued with their lives, Fred was adopted by a lovely couple. The adoption was extended to Dylan as well but he refused it, choosing to live on his own and learn how to be independent.

Since the loss of his parents, Dylan once thought that he had to be a cultivator. He wanted to be strong so that he can protect not only himself but also those who are important to him.

Vengeance never became his drive, he had thought about it of course, but he never allowed it to rule over his life.

Throughout the years he spent training, trying to achieve something for himself, he had genuinely thought that he was over it. As it turns out, he wasn't.

And looking at Fred now, it would seem that he also felt the same way.

"...I'm all out of tears at this point, I think." He heard Fred say.

"You too, huh?"

"Don't get me wrong. It's still painful as fuck. I'm definitely not over it yet but...I think I'll be fine."

"We just have to make sure that it never happens again. I'm not gonna lose anyone like that, ever again." Dylan stated with a hardened expression.

"Yeah, same." Fred replied.

Then, out of nowhere, a brilliant orb of light exploded in front of him, blinding him in the process.

It happened so fast that Dylan couldn't even react to it. He felt the world spinning fast around him, making him feel really dizzy.

And then...he opened his eyes...

Only to see that the top of the capsule was dislodging.

He could feel himself submerged in water, he felt the coolness of the water and silently marveled at the way how his body floated in it.

Dylan blinked several times, trying to differentiate between fake and real. He shifted his weight and sat up, and the swirling sound of water entered his ears.

He looked around him and felt a sense of deja vu. He saw other people waking up in a similarly confused manner like him. Hell, he even saw Fred getting up as well.

It was then that it finally struck him. The idea was so bizarre that it caused him to release a hollow chuckle.

'An illusion on top of an illusion, huh? Well played, Mystic Guild. Well fucking played.'

It was so ridiculous that he couldn't even be mad about it. He had completely and irrevocably fallen for it. He found it funny actually and somehow, he could understand why the Guild Members were refusing to say a word about it.

He got up from the capsule and started putting his clothes back on. Weirdly enough, he didn't doubt his reality anymore. He was somehow convinced that the Mystic Guild wouldn't put another layer of illusion on the trial just to piss them off.

He finished putting his clothes back on around the same time as Fred, once they took all of their stuff, they went out of the room and they were greeted by the staff working there.

They then brought them their results and we told them to wait until they receive an e-mail about the final results.

Looking at his exam sheet, Dylan's results were:

Written Exam: 98% (Passed)

Practical Exam: Passed with Bonus Points

Spiritual Exam: Passed

It looked simple and he appreciated it. Plus, it came directly from the examiners themselves so it shouldn't be falsified.

He did well and chances are, he'd actually make the cut. Still, there were tons of people here, meaning that he has a lot of competitors too. The final results are still being decided so he shouldn't celebrate just yet.

"I can't believe that they fooled us twice with that..." Fred huffed, feigning anger despite his obvious amusement.

"I mean, the second one definitely felt real. I even saw you there." Dylan said.

"I did too, actually." Fred looked at him with surprise coloring his face. "Wait, did I say something along the lines of 'I'm all out of tears?' "

Dylan blinked in surprise and said: "Yes. Did I tell you that I'm not losing anyone again?"

"Yeah you did!" Fred's eyes comically widened. "Holy shit, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"That the second illusion might have some reality mixed in it? Then, yes." Dylan said in a disbelieving tone.

"Damn," Fred mumbled. "How the hell did they even do that? Was it Magic? It's gotta be Magic right?"

"I honestly don't know." Dylan replied, "Let's just hope we get accepted so that we can figure that out later."

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Idle Mage: Humanity's Strongest Backer Chapter 236 Well Played