Chapter 165 Rank Up! 
I am currently looking at the new artifacts that I bought from the auction.
Name: Zealous Warblade
Description: The blade that is made for war. The artifact is truly suited for those users who are generals. With its appearance, allies will be motivated and enemies will shiver.
This sword artifact was the replacement for my previous sword Elucidator which unfortunately broke in the Gate.
This sword is better than my previous one. Elucidator was Rank-B - while Zealous Warblade is Rank-B . But the price was also much higher.
I had to pay 5 million Ethan for Zealous Warblade which is 5 times more than Elucidator.
Sword Artifact is always in high demand due to numerous Explorers being Swordsmen. I wanted a higher Rank sword artifact if possible but looks like this sword is the best sword that is available right now.
With the tournament being held soon, I had no choice but to buy this. Though this sword is by no means any less powerful than other swords. It also seems that it also has the effect of increasing the morale of the troop which is a pretty useless feature to me.
I also didn't forget to buy the armor. Generally, I don't like to use armor and other people don't either.
Not only does it make your body stiff but the speed is decreased and it is uncomfortable to use some skills with the equipment on.
People also make sounds while walking when wearing armor. It would be more comfortable to wear light armor than heavy armor, but if it is light, the defensive capability would be reduced as well.
As a result, armor is not very commonly used unless you are a tank or a knight who is used to wearing armor.
However, the protective armor that I brought was different.
Name: Robes of Holy Power
Description: An armor imbued with the power of regeneration. It can heal the user and also has a self-repairing function. As long as the user imbues the armor with mana, the user can use this function. The armor is also able to withstand any attack of Rank-B monsters.
Just looking at the description, you know that this artifact is one of the best. Not only can it protect me from others' attacks but also has a healing effect.
As a person whose Mana rank is B, I don't have to worry about running out of mana either. So I can use this function even when fighting.
The majority of people won't be able to utilize this feature unless they are not fighting because they need to conserve their mana while fighting, but I was able to do so.
My mana is basically a tank that would be difficult to empty unless I am using Dual Art with many skills that have high mana consumption.
However, the price of this armor is also ridiculous. It cost me nearly 10 million Ethan. Protective Artifacts are also high in demand since they can be used by a lot of users.
In addition, this armor has incredible features. They cost me twice the price of Zealous Warblade despite the artifact being one sub-rank lower than the sword artifact.
Anyway, I managed to buy two good artifacts. Money is only good when you spend it and I have quite a lot lying around to be spent.
With this, I am sure that the tournament will be a walk in the park.
Tomorrow participants are asked to gather outside the school gate at 8 am. The school bus will be taking us to the venue where the tournament is held.
SpiritMeadow was the city in which the tournament was going to be hosted. Since the tournament was held, it has always been held there. This year was also no exception and the Tournament of Academies will be held there.
Waking up in the morning I quickly got ready to depart. All things that I need are stored in the Spatial ring.
Heading towards the school gate, I saw a familiar figure.
"Good Morning, Misha!"
It was Misha who seemed to be heading towards the school gate.
She is also one of the participants that are going to the SpiritMeadow. She was really lucky to have been able to get in as a participant of Ace Academy.
Honestly, she was weaker than most of the third-years that were there in the selection, but she was lucky enough to only encounter weak people.
While she wasn't weak by any means, she wasn't very strong either. But it was still a surprise to find out that she managed to reach Rank-D.
Reaching Rank-D during your first year is really remarkable. Some schools might have Rank-D as their Ace student, though for Ace Academy Rank-D participants are common.
"Good Morning Zero!"
Misha returned the gesture politely.
She was surprised that she met Zero before she had reached the school gate.
She looked at Zero who seemed to appear the same as she remembered, but at the same time gave her a new feeling.
In her view, Zero had changed drastically from how he was before.
He progressed from being one of the ranked students in the first year to being the top rank in the whole school.
No one could deny that Zero is stronger than Hiro, who has been the talk of the town for the past few days.
Even with Hiro breaking through and being lauded as the greatest talent of the century, many students believed that Zero was more powerful.
Misha too believed that Zero was more powerful than Hiro. It might be because of the selection where they found out how strong Zero was and had not really seen that kind of power from Hiro.
Not only his strength but also his personality seemed to have changed. He generally tried to avoid trouble back in their middle school days but now it seems that Zero had been getting into one trouble after another.
So for Misha who has known Zero for many years, this change completely stunned her. She believes that Zero would be able to achieve something in the tournament with his power.
They talked for a while and Zero had a happy expression until,
"My parents and sister are coming to watch the tournament."
"Shit! Isn't she busy with something"
( Calm down! )
Yes, I am Rank-C and could easily defeat Eleonore if I want to. There is no way that I am scared of her.
Yup! If she dares to cross me or tries to bully me then I will be sure to return the favor. Humph! Just the thought of making Eleonore beg for mercy at my feet,
Misha was confused at why Zero was laughing creepily but didn't disturb him since he seemed to be lost in thoughts.
They reached the school gate quickly and many participants were already waiting there.
While I was glancing at the students, it became apparent to me that they'd all increased their strength drastically, which was no surprise since they'd been training all the time since the selection.
With their talent, it should be obvious that they could increase a rank or two during this time.
The highest rank that I sensed was Lisanna Lockser who seemed to have reached Rank-C from Rank-C -.
Next were Toby, Lion, and Hiro who have broken through to Rank-C -.
Other third years and Sylvia, Lisa, and Zion seemed to have reached Rank-D .
While many seemed to be in rank-D with Rank-D - being the weakest.
The lineup was pretty strong. For an average school even having Rank-D would be considered a blessing.
It is expected that most of the students that would participate in the tournament would be at Rank-E , which is the average rank of third-year students.
Though most of the students from top-5 academies would have Rank-D - as their lowest rank.
While even the top-5 schools would consider Rank-C a valuable asset. And we have 5 students in Rank-C which only serves to show why Ace Academy is considered the number one school in the world.
While looking around, Lisanna also noticed me and was staring at me.
"Eh-Good Morning Mrs. Lisanna."
I greeted her feeling some kind of pressure. I don't think I have offended her in any way and I know that she is not a petty person to hold a grudge for that fight.
Anyways, if someone was planning to hold a grudge, it should be me. I was the one who attacked her after having already said that we would go our separate ways.
"Good Morning Zero! I hope that I can compete with you again in the tournament."
Lisandra said, demonstrating her fighting spirit.
She had been left unsatisfactory in their last fight. She felt Zero was stronger than what he showed in her fight.
She had been wanting to have a fight with Zero ever since. Not many students at Ace Academy can stand fighting with her for long periods of time.
She hardly gets a chance to show her power and she doesn't have any sparring partner on whom she can go all out. Zero was the only one she encountered among the students, with whom she can go all out without worrying about using too much strength.