The professor entered the class and saw only two students present.

"Asher Greville!" The professor was surprised by Asher attending a class that no first or second year student usually attended.

"Well, I am Fernando, and I teach Potion Crafting, as well as the formation of items or drugs from various plants and other substances," Fernando introduced himself.

"But as you know this is a research subject so you have to study independently from the books I will give you, and perform tests in the examinations," he explained, looking at Asher.

Like many other professors, he was also ignoring Alyssa's presence.

"So, I will give you the recipe for this Healing Potion. You can make it from these ingredients, you just need to form a report about it," he said.

"Remember, no practical work until second year. Only those who pass the theoretical part at the end of the year can learn practical aspects from us in their next year," he clarified.

"So for the two of you, I will first explain..."

The class went by as Asher and Alyssa learned about various properties of plants and monster parts used when making a potion or drug.

"And this is all we will learn today. The next hour you will be making notes and choosing your research topics," Fernando said.

"It's not compulsory, so it's up to your own decision," he added.

"You can discuss among yourselves or work independently. Move to the next classroom where all the books you will need are already present," Fernando concluded the class and left the room.

Initially, he was uncertain whether to leave the heir of the Greville family with Alyssa but, seeing that he hadn't mentioned it, Fernando explained the rules as they were.

Asher was the first to stand, heading into the room full of books containing information about various plants.

But he wasn't interested in those books, he was searching for something else. He was trying to create a calming drug, something that would numb his mind.

He had discovered that killing monsters helped, but it wasn't a sustainable solution. As the heir, he knew his responsibilities were heavy.

As Asher searched for books, Alyssa entered the room as well.

'Why is he here?' Alyssa's dull eyes observed the tall figure perusing the books.

It was strange for someone who could afford all the potions in the world and hire people to create things for them to take such a subject seriously.

She initially waited for Asher to return and take a seat but, seeing that he was still leafing through various books, she decided to select one for herself as well.

"Erk," Alyssa clenched her teeth, channeled her gravity magic to lift herself up.

But doing so was painful for her body, and this was the reason she joined this class. Knowing that she hadn't become a Ranker, she wanted to research the potions that could aid her.

If she made it to the advanced course, students were given extra budget and supplies for their own research.

In the vast room filled with bookshelves, the two of them were quietly looking for things to help themselves.

Asher selected three books and moved towards the reading area to study them. He had done a lot of research before joining the World Academy so he was pretty knowledgeable about this stuff.

'This will not work,' Asher thought, looking through various properties of these plants.

Some of them were grown, but some were only found in specific dungeons. Such materials were also very expensive, but that depended on their uses.

Alyssa sat across the table with two books, one about healing potions, and the other about pain-killing drugs.

Days passed without either of them speaking to each other. Both were focused on their own research.

But Asher would occasionally glance at Alyssa, and he started to notice that, strangely, his inner madness subsided whenever he was near her.

But it was not only him. Even for Alyssa, seeing Asher was strange.

'Kill, Die, Kill her,' such voices kept echoing in her head.

But oddly, whenever she was near Asher, the voices slowly started to fade, the closer she was to him.

Unlike Asher, who was perfectly fine and could perceive these changes clearly, this was not the case for Alyssa. Her body would suffer when she used her mana, and even mana circulation was a huge issue for her.

But it was her will to avenge that kept her enduring it.

Even though she would hear people mock her and her mother's family, she remained quiet and held herself back.

'It's not the time,' Alyssa would always remind herself.

She knew she wasn't powerful enough to exact her revenge yet. But her determination was enough to endure the excruciating pain she felt whenever she went through the process of ranking her mana core up.

Alyssa was turning the page of the book when she heard a voice.

"It's useless," Asher stated.

It was the first word he had said after attending the same class repeatedly.

Alyssa looked up and saw a pair of emotionless eyes staring at her.

"What do you mean by that?" Alyssa got a bit defensive but she knew her limits.

She had experienced such situations enough to know what would happen. Knowing Asher's background, she knew that even if he taunted or insulted her, she could do nothing to him.

She clenched her fist, controlling her emotions.

Asher noticed her reaction, preparing to reply.

"The book you are reading, it's useless," he pointed at the book.

This was the first time Asher had shown interest in what someone else was doing. His whole life, he hadn't cared about others' actions.

His life had remained monotone, but this time something felt different.

And Asher wanted to explore exactly what was 'different'.

Alyssa looked at the book, a bit confused. It was the first time she had heard him speak to her after he had seen her crying.

"But you don't even know what I'm researching," Alyssa retorted.

"I can guess from the books..."

That was their first conversation.

Asher didn't know why he intervened, and Alyssa didn't know why she could talk like this with Asher.

It was the first time she had conversed like this with anyone inside the World Academy.

And that person was the heir of the Greville Family.

Alyssa despised elite families, and it was obvious that she wouldn't like the heir of one of the strongest elite families in the world.

Weeks later, Asher would converse with Alyssa a few times, but it was always about the subject.

Their conversations always remained topic-centered and never went beyond that. Their classes and courses were different.

Except for this class, Alyssa never encountered Asher within the World Academy.

After three months, Professor Fernando transitioned the class to purely self-directed research until their next examination.

Around this time, Xander approached Asher.

"So, you want to train me?" Asher asked as he stood in front of Xander who had called him over.

"Yes, knowing your father will not approve, I would like to keep this private," Xander said.

"And I am offering you this chance because you have the potential to achieve Rank 1," Xander continued, showing one of the duels that had occurred in the Duel class.

"Your swordsmanship is impressive, and even the footwork is perfect," he said,

"And you have reached the peak of E Rank already,"

"Okay," Asher accepted Xander's offer.

It wasn't a bad proposition for him. Learning from one of the best swordsmen in the world was an opportunity not many people could enjoy.

He didn't know why Xander approached him, but if he could enhance his swordsmanship, he didn't mind it.

He still hadn't found a solution for his inner madness but he knew he needed to grow stronger if he wanted to hunt more monsters.

Months passed, and Asher stood in front of Xander, observing his techniques.

"Are you sure you want to show me all this?" Asher asked.

His eyes remained emotionless, but Xander could sense his potential.

"It's not as easy to learn as you might think," Xander replied with a stern look.

Yet, he knew that Asher would master it, having seen his talent grow before his eyes.

"If you think it's so easy, then try to imitate this movement technique," Xander suggested.

Asher's crimson red eyes started following Xander's footwork.

"What's this technique?" Asher asked, showing interest.

"Snake Steps," Xander replied as his sword stopped at Asher's neck.

In an instant, he had covered the distance between them while suppressing his mana.

"Try to imitate this," Xander challenged him.

And as the months slowly passed, the end of the year tournament drew near.