Chapter 21 Power-Up 
It had been three days since I thought of going to the dungeon. I took this time to exercise and recover from my injuries. The school was giving students time to recover, be it physically or mentally.
The next day, the class has resumed as normal. The plan to go to the dungeon was postponed to the coming weekend.
I entered the class where students were making lots of noises. I turned my head towards the direction of the sound to see students gathering around Hiro.
[ "Hiro, did you really fight with Rank-D Devil Contractor." ]
[ "I heard you killed a lot of Devil Contractors" ]
[ "Did you reach Rank-D" ]
The student was bombarding Hiro with questions. Hiro was already famous, but with the BloodyWolf incident, his fame soared to another level.
I sat down on my seat and listen to their conservation. Even I was curious about Hiro's strength.
According to the novel, Hiro survived the battle against Rank-D - Devil Contractor but according to Head Teachers' word, he was battling with a Rank-D Devil Contractor.
Does it mean Hiro is more powerful than described in the novel or have he gotten others' help If it was the first case, then it is good, a more powerful MC is more likely to prevent bad things from happening in the future.
[ "I am just at Rank-E . I couldn't have survived without the help of my friends. I only manage to kill two Devil contractors, instead, it is Sylvia who is amazing. I heard your team has killed about 6 Devil Contractors." ]
Hiro asked Sylvia. Other students also turned their attention to Sylvia. Hiro was of course the one who gained the most fame but Sylvia has also become popular after the BloodyWolf incident. After all, not every team has killed that many Devil Contractors.
[ "Eek. No, it was not me. It was actua…" ]
Suddenly, Sylvia looked at me. I was already staring at her, so our two eyes met each other.
[ "ZERO!" ]
[ "Huh What" ]
Sylvia got up and immediately came towards me. Now, what
[ "Did your injury heal" ]
[ "Ah. Yes." ]
[ "Good! I went to visit you in the hospital but you were sleeping, so I went back. I heard you recovered but I couldn't go out due to reporters." ]
( Must be hard. Popularity does come with a price. )
[ "Anyway, I have something to say to you. Do you have time after class " ]
[ "Yes" ]
What time. Did I do something to you Don't tell me she is going to beat me for harassing Lisa. This is the only reason I can think for her to meet me alone.
[ "Zero, you are acting strange. Have your injury really healed" ]
[ "Strange This is how I normally behave." ]
[ "Really!" ]
( Your normal routine is to flatter Lisa. How is not chasing your goddess normal Where is your romantic line )
[ "Anyway, I want to talk with you alone after class." ]
After saying that she went to her seat but her action caused lots of commotion in the class.
[ "What did that scumbag do now" ]
[ "Wasn't this guy chasing Lisa" ]
[ "Did he change his target Don't tell me Sylvia wants to teach him a lesson for harassing her." ]
[ "Really what a guy. He might have come to this school to chase girls." ] …
( What the. I didn't do anything, how can you all blame me. I am innocent. )
I really want to cry. What have I done Why are you all accusing me without any evidence I have only pestered Lisa.
After a few minutes, professor Mia entered the class. Like always she first took the attendance and then came the announcements.
[ "After that incident, I know many of you must be worried about similar things happening in the future but we promise you that we will definitely protect you all. However, it is best that you train and become powerful instead of needing protection. Sooner or later, you will definitely fight with Devil Contractor and other monsters. You all should focus on improving your power." ]
The incident had a great impact on the student. For most students that was the first time that they encountered a life-threatening situation. In the novel, due to this incident, the Ace Academy students work harder than ever.
[ "If you are injured, you can skip the practical class. Make sure to rest properly. That's all for homeroom class." ]
Today, we have theory class till lunch. After that, I was planning to go home and rest.
[ "Zero, wait!" ]
Sylvia pulled my arms when I was about to leave the class.
[ "You forgot what I said in the morning." ]
[ "… Ah. Yes, what did you want to say" ]
[ "Not here." ]
Sylvia took me to an isolated place. This almost seems like she wants to confe…
[ "Thank you for saving my life." ]
Before I could think of why she bought me here, Sylvia bowed her head and thanked me.
( Whew. So this is what you wanted to say. You really made me nervous there. )
[ "Sure. I am also grateful to you for saving my life." ]
[ "Not at all. It was Kale who helped you when you were in danger. I was just a burden to you all." ]
I glanced at her. I could see the frustration in her eye. Actually, she did better than most students, being able to escape with others in that circumstances. I want to comfort her but considering that I am not close to her, I refrained from doing it.
Frustration can bring forth motivation, and considering it is Sylvia we are talking about; I am sure she will work harder from now on.
[ "Zero, about that battle, do you want others to know" ]
[ "What" ]
[ "What I mean is right now, other people think I have killed those Devil Contractors. I denied those rumors but didn't tell anyone that you are the one who killed those Devil Contractors but if you wish for it, I will no longer keep it hidden." ]
[ "No, I prefer if you can keep it a secret." ]
[ "Okay. Though professor Mia already knows that." ]
After thanking me again, she left.
Since professor Mia knows then the thing I need for entering the dungeon can easily be acquired. For entering Rank-E dungeon, you need an ID card indicating that you are Rank-E -. I was contemplating whether to disclose my rank or not.
But since professor Mia already knows then I don't need to conceal my rank, at least in front of her.
I went to her office to update my rank on my student card, and also thank her for saving my life. The professors' offices were in a different block than the teaching block so it took some time to reach there.
[ "Come in." ]
After the voice responded to the knock, I went inside. Professor Mia was reading a newspaper while drinking a black coffee.
[ "Good afternoon, Mrs. Mia" ]
[ "Good afternoon. Anything I can help you with" ]
[ "I would like to thank you for saving me. If it was not for your help, I would have died at the hand of Devil Contractor." ]
[ "No need to thank me. It is my duty to protect the students. It was our mistake that led to that situation, if not for that, you all wouldn't have suffered" ]
[ "Regardless of circumstances it doesn't change the fact that you saved me. I will remember this favor and pay you back." ]
I bowed my head and thanked her. Then I took out my student card.
[ "I would also like to update my rank on my student card. " ]
She took the student card from my hand and looked at it.
[ "Oh. What Rank are you in Rank-E - or Rank-E." ]
[ "Rank-E -" ]
[ "Congratulation! I was surprised when I heard you killed all those Devil Contractors, I even thought you had to reach Rank-E ." ]
[ "About that. Can you not reveal that to others." ]
She stares at me and seems to be lost in thought. After a moment, she responded.
[ "Okay" ]
She updated the information on my student card and gave it back to me. Now, with it, I was eligible to enter the dungeon.
For the next few days, the class was normal and I was allowed to skip the practical class.
I went to my room after theory class was over and meditated to speed up my recovery.
After that came the weekend, the day I would go to the dungeon.-