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Ashton was really nervous.

The list shown was long and filled with names. Of course he had no time to care about other names aside from his. Thankfully, the list in alphabetical order which made it easier for him to look for the area where his name would be.

"West, West, West...' he murmured to himself as he scaled down the list of names.

The longer he didn't find his name the more anxious he got. But then...

"Yes! Wheew!"

He made it. He found his name on the long list of students to pass.

'West, Ashton. 1045 Points.'

'Ten points off from a perfect score. That's not bad. At least I qualify for the scholarship.'

'...I'd qualify right? That guy didn't say anything about cursed people not being eligible for scholarship so I should be fine...right?'

Ashton pursed his lips and couldn't help but feel uncertain. It's really hard to not be informed about this. He doesn't understand why the hell did the authorities withhold so much information about cursed people, he kind of understand that it has something to do with magic being potentially dangerous on untrained hands but can't they at least release some information that would help?

Honestly, he's growing sick of it.

Well, not that it matters now. He's about to learn everything about it when the school year stars anyway. He just needs to wait. But this doesn't mean that he's fine with being ignorant about what's happening to him. He'll never like that idea.

'Ah, that reminds me...'

'That guy said something about sponsorship right? And if I can remember correctly, he implied that it has something to do with Scholars? Wait, let me check...'

Ashton played the video again and skipped to the part where he heard Jordan talking about the sponsorship.


'That's it seems like the benefits scholars would receive will depend based will be based upon someone's decision and not the Academy itself or the Federation.'

This is how he understands it at least, of course he could be wrong too.

He based this of with the information that there are these so-called 'Talent Agencies' that are prominent around each City or in Last Bastion as a whole.

Whenever it's the Awakening Day, some Agents will be sent to the Federation Centers to scout some talented kids.

And by talented, they meant those who awakened a high-level Aptitude. Agent Theta is one amongst many Agents who were there to scout as well.

The moment someone with a high Aptitude was discovered, the Agents will try to rope them in towards the agencies they're working for. If they signed the contract, the agencies will become their sponsors and send them stuff to help them with their growth.

He read about some testaments here and there and it's actually incredible how much money these people are willing to invest for a single person in the sheer hopes of getting them bound under them.

Of course, signing the contract means agreeing to the terms of these companies. Sign with wrong agency and you become their slave. There were many articles who had repeatedly warned the viewers to read their contracts carefully use their head before signing away.

He assumed that these people were those who regretted their decisions back then.

Ashton read about this online and the article has some credibility in it. In any case, he doesn't need to be reminded of this. Ashton is quite familiar with contracts himself since he had a share of his own experiences with them.

He knows his way around it and knew better than to be blinded with a momentary wealth and comfort in exchange of a lifetime of slavery.



Ashton checked his smartwatch again and saw that he had another e-mail. This one was also sent by the Academy to him. He opened it and it reads:


'Greetings, Ashton West!'

'This is Alicia Selner, Head of the Teaching Faculty of the Mystic Academy. First, I would like to congratulate you for earning 1045 Points on our entrance examination. This is a impressive feat even for Young Heroes such as you, you should be proud!'

'With this impressive feat, we at the Mystic Academy, see you as a worthy candidate for a Scholarship! We will send Ms. Angelica Kendrick, one of our personnel, to your address tomorrow. Please vacate your schedule around 9-10am tomorrow morning as she is expected to arrive around that time.'

'To set your expectations, Ms. Kendrick will inform you about how the scholarship and sponsorship works. There is a fair chance that you might receive multiple offers from various Agencies. Please go over them carefully and choose wisely. You will be given ample time to make your choice so no need to be in a hurry.'

'Down here is the list of all Agencies who established close ties with the Mystic Academy.'

? Black Thunder Agency

? Crimson Crusaders

? Crossford Inc.

? White Corona Group

? Holy Spiriters Agency

? Blue Skies Empire

'Do note that these are the list of long time partners. Each of this group had kept close-ties with the Academy for decades now. There is a chance that you will might also receive offers from groups who aren't included in this list.'

'Your choice will ultimately be up to you so do give it some thought.'

'Last but not the least, your Student Uniform and credentials as well as your Freshman's Guidebook, Campus Badge and Pass will be delivered to you by Ms. Kendrick as well, do make sure to check them out and if there are corrections, don't hesitate to inform us right away to prevent complications.'

'Thank you for you time and I wish you a pleasant day ahead.'

' - Alicia Selner. '


"Oh? Tomorrow already? That's fast." Ashton was quite surprised. He kind of expected it to take some time but then he remembered something important. "Ah right, my address is supposed to be close to the Academy. I guess that's why."

Yeah, him being close to the Academy should've made it more convenient for the personnel as well and honestly, that works for him. The earlier he can settle this down, the better it would be. At least if he had to prepare for something else, he'd have more time to do it.

Still this did e-mail brought relief to him. It seems that he is indeed eligible for a scholarship despite being cursed, it's good to know that the Academy isn't prejudiced against this because if it is, Ashton wouldn't really know what to do.

Knowing that there will be a visitor tomorrow, Ashton informed Jerry to make sure the house is spotless. The least he can do is to be a good host and show his best foot forward.

Pretentious, yes he's aware. But this is like a job interview actually. Although he had no idea who gave him an offer as of now, it wouldn't hurt to show some kindness and politeness to the person who's going to show these offers to him.

Who knows? Maybe she'd even report back to him. If he's convincing enough, he might even receive a bonus! He wouldn't be opposed to that.

'Alright, since I got the scholarship mostly secured at this point, I guess I should do some research about the agencies right? It's only natural for me to know more about them since I might work for them in future.'

Thinking about this, Ashton immediately went online and began looking up information about the agencies. He of course started with those listed in the e-mail first.

There were sites dedicated for these agencies. They are professionally made and specially created to highlight the fancy things their agency could do.

'Marketing strats...they never change no matter what world it's in.'

He should've expected this to he honest, especially when he's someone who used to work as an admin for these sites are well. Still, Ashton read through them one by one as came back inside the house.

The agencies differ from the other, they have different things to offer and also differ in how they work.

Take the Crossford Inc. for example...

Crossford Inc. is a conglomerate empire centered around technology. They are the ones who invented the smartwatch series in this world and the sole hegemon when it comes to technological expertise. Because of this, it is expected that their agents will be equipped with the most modern type of gadgets and trinkets. Plus, their power isn't limited to City M, they're all over the Last Bastion.

It's because of this that Ashton had to read through them carefully. Again, he still has no idea who amongst these groups sent him an offer or if there's even one but it wouldn't hurt to know more about them so that he knows what to expect.

Still, these sites doesn't really show the whole picture. It shows their good sides but what about the ugly part?

Well, it's a good thing that Ashton doesn't have to worry about that.

Because if there's a place where people can freely express their opinions without being afraid of implications, it would be the internet.

And boy do they have a lot to say about these agencies...

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