The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 10

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Dean’s Interview (1)

At this point, it’s only natural to have a question pop up.

It was a concern I hadn’t been able to focus on while trying to feed myself, but now that the semester had started, the question came poking its head back out.

So, where exactly is our protagonist Taely right now? What is he doing?

*

With the start of a new semester, it’s typical for the atmosphere to become buoyant and excited. Most of the students had already returned to the dorms as the break neared its end. They would have already caught up with friends they hadn’t seen in a while. Still, attending the opening ceremony ignites a fresh feeling – such is human psychology.

The student center is centrally located in the professor’s building. Though commonly referred to simply as the student center, it actually consists of three separate buildings. Among them, Kate Hall, located in the west, was often used for large school-wide events.

There were dozens of large tables spread out in the massive auditorium, each comfortably seating about a dozen people. They were filled with banquets, and to me, who had survived on fish and weeds for days, it seemed like paradise.

Even more so, I had woken up at six in the morning and jogged all the way from the northern forests of Acken Island to the professor’s building. With such a feast before my eyes, resisting was a trial of endurance beyond human capacity.

I could live without worry for a while if I could just pack up the leftovers. Do I not have a bag or container to take some? I pondered, but left it at that.

What about the noble school culture? This darned Sylvania Academy emphasizes ‘maintaining dignity’ excessively. Were I to be seen scraping leftovers into a dish to take with me, being looked down upon would be the least of my concerns – it could directly result in a deduction of my conduct score.

[“We are pleased to see students returning for a new semester in a more advanced form, and regarding the recent activities within our Sylvania school society…”]

A universal rule seems to be that the dean’s words of encouragement are bound to be dull, regardless of time or world.

Still, it is remarkable to note that the students all sit upright and listen attentively to the dean, thanks to that incessant emphasis on propriety.

The sight of thousands of students intently listening in silence was impressive. It was a moment when I felt the prestige of Sylvania Academy.

– “Look over there… that person… isn’t that Ed Rothtaylor?”

– “What? The sophomore who made a spectacle of himself during the entrance exam for the new students?”

– “Huh, he does look a bit different upon closer inspection… but it’s definitely him.”

– “How does he have the face to show up at the opening ceremony? Didn’t he get expelled?”

Of course, this didn’t completely stop the whispers among the students. Lodging myself among them, I clearly heard flattering comments being made about me.

– “Look at him, after all that haughtiness, he’s completely fallen.”

– “Shh, he might hear you!”

– “So what if he does? The guy’s no longer a noble.”

What kind of talk is that?

I ate as slowly and dignifiedly as I could, stuffing my mouth with turkey roast and potato salad. I was completely drained from the morning jog, but I couldn’t miss this opportunity to recharge my energy.

“Hello!”

As I was concentrating on my energy intake, a cheerful greeting flew in my face.

“See you again!”

The chances of someone so spiritedly greeting Ed Rothtaylor, who’d been disgracefully kicked out of his family, were slim.

Looking up, it was, indeed, Yenika Faelover smiling and saying hello.

“I greeted everyone from Ophelius Hall, but I couldn’t say hi to you, Ed. You weren’t in your room.”

I managed to stifle the narrowing of my eyebrows. Still, alarms were blaring in my head.

Warning! Keep your distance!

“There’s nothing good about talking to me.”

“Huh? Why?”

I ‘spoke’ with my eyes instead of my mouth, urging a look around. Already, the whispers were all around us.

Yenika Faelover is almost like a mascot among second-year students. As the top of her year and someone everyone knew, her bubbly and plush personality made her friends cherish her.

Additionally, if this is the time of the entrance ceremony, she’d have achieved the contract with the high fire spirit Tarkan, making her the hope of the Sylvania Magic Department’s second year.

With such a beloved, innocently bright top student pushing herself towards the worst scoundrel, concerned glances were unavoidable.

Eventually, rescuers emerged among those concerned.

A girl with short hair and freckles and another with long red hair popped out from among the crowd.

“Wow! Yenika! It’s been a while!”

“Yenika! How have you been at home?!”

They wore the most awkward smiles in the world as they took Yenika’s arms.

“Uh, huh?! Claire, Anis! It’s nice, but…! Why greet me like it’s our first time meeting? I’m sure we were at Ophelius Hall just yesterday…”

“Did you hear? Desserts made by the chef from Ophelius Hall’s cafeteria are at that table over there…! Imagine how I craved his food over the break.”

“That’s right, let’s go have some together! Yenika! We can catch up…”

With that, the two girls whisked Yenika away from the villain’s clutch, disappearing into the crowd. Yenika looked perplexed as she was pulled along.

… Nice!

Well done! Fellow classmates, whose names I don’t know…!

“Just a moment…!”

Yet, miraculously free from the grasp of those two, Yenika burst through the crowd and stood before me again.

“Still, I want to brag about this!”

“What?”

As I looked astonished, Yenika extended her hand toward me.

“How about that?”

“…?”

As I stared silently, Yenika twisted and turned her hand. Showing off her tiny, white hand in various angles, I was just puzzled.

“Right after you left yesterday, guess what? I crawled up from the lake. Isn’t it too cute and adorable? I signed the contract right then and there. Meet my new friend. Want to touch?”

I quickly grasped the gist from her mention of a contract.

Basically, it was a spirit. I couldn’t tell what form it had taken to be so adorable and boast-worthy. The twisting of her wrist suggested it was coiled around her arm… but I couldn’t see it.

Well, even if it’s not visible, I could guess. Considering all the fuss, it must have looked cute.

If I wanted to get along with Yenika right there and then, I’d say things like, “It’s so cute!” and “How adorable! You’re so lucky to contract with such a spirit!” A bit of back and forth like that might have been the right play.

With social skills perhaps the best in our grade, such people make life much easier. No need to struggle to find common ground or forcibly start conversations.

An effortless conversationalist. There’s a reason everyone in the year loves her.

It’s even more reason to be careful if I want to keep my distance. Precisely because she’s someone you could easily get along with, I had to be even more careful not to.

The solution wasn’t hard, actually.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

A swift cutoff of the conversation’s lifeline was all it needed.

“I can’t see spirits. I don’t have the sensitivity to perceive them, so I can’t see them.”

By cutting her off sharply, eliminating a common interest, her side would be left without further words. It’d become awkward to pursue any other topic.

Besides, Yenika isn’t foolish. She’d vaguely understand I was trying to distance myself.

Having been surrounded by kind people, she likely isn’t immune to inexplicable animosity.

“…Really?”

Yenika responded slowly and leaned in close, tilting her head curiously.

“You can’t see spirits?”

It’s not that unusual. Not every student in the magic department can see spirits.

Nevertheless, Yenika nodded her head oddly a few times.

“Yenika! Let’s go!”

“The desserts will be gone!”

Finally, the calvary had returned. They hugged Yenika tightly, trying to take her back into the crowd.

“Yeah! See you next time!”

Even amidst this, she waved warmly at me as she was taken away.

Well, those rescuers would warn Yenika while they ate desserts. They’d advise her to be careful around Ed Rothtaylor.

Then slowly, she’ll lose interest in me.

For me, that wasn’t bad at all.

* [“Lastly, the top of each grade will present the ‘Sage’s Scroll’ to the representative of the new students. Could the students whose names are called please come to the platform?” ]

[“Sophomore top Yenika Faelover, junior top Tyke Elfellan, senior top Amy Innis… and the new student representative, the respected Princess Phoenia Elias Clorel.” ]

Royalty still gets its due treatment. They consistently attach ‘respected’ when announcing it in public spaces.

It’s not surprising that Princess Phoenia was chosen as the new student representative. No one could come close in terms of grades and talent as the ‘Slothful Lucy’, who wouldn’t show her face at such an event. And there really isn’t anyone who could represent the class better than Princess Phoenia.

Sylvania’s new freshman class is filled with jewels. The gap between them and my second-year students is indescribable.

It can’t be helped. After all, the hero of this world is a freshman.

Playing the game of Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman, you can’t help but think, “But doesn’t the school have any outstanding students older than freshmen?”

Phoenia, the ‘Princess of Compassion’ who takes control over the student council in second year and strives to root out corruption as the actual president of the student body.

In contrast, ‘Golden Daughter Lortelle’ who spreads darkness within Sylvania, controls the flow of money and logistics, negotiates student interests to pull in big earnings.

The supreme talent, ‘Slothful Lucy’, a magus born under the blessed star Gluckt.

And then there are others who are almost too many to describe, major figures who all happen to be freshmen.

Formal lessons haven’t even begun yet, but thanks to these unpolished freshman gems, the faculty is already excited.

[“The ‘Sage’s Scroll’ is a remnant of the records left by the great sage Sylvania Lobester, the founder of the Sylvania Academy. To honor Sylvania’s emphasis on the virtue of learning, this ritual of presenting the scroll to new juniors carries on.” ]

Though given various meanings, they are all ceremonial in the end.

While looking at the opening ceremony coming to an end, I continued scanning my surroundings. Students from all years, with different classes and majors, seldom gather like this in Kate Hall. While the auditorium fills with freshman stars carrying all kinds of talents and backgrounds, I know the truth. All those guys… are just ‘characters’ in this world.

What’s really important is finding the world’s protagonist, ‘Taely’.

He’ll surely take care of the many trials to come at Sylvania Academy, without me lifting a finger.

I’m ever so thankful for someone like him to walk the hard path for me.

Perhaps it’s time to walk around and see where Taely might be.

After all, Ed Rothtaylor has completely lost his standing and is virtually out of the picture. Whether I’m present at such a grand opening ceremony or not doesn’t matter much to anyone.

In fact, my presence is more likely to stir things up.

I was pretty much filled up and was considering getting up when suddenly…

[“Attention, please. ‘Ed Rothtaylor’ is requested to visit Dean McDowell’s office. Thank you.” ]

My name unexpectedly echoed from the auditorium stage.

McDowell, that name I knew.

The highest dean of Sylvania’s Magic Department, a substantial figure holding the power of staff appointments within the academy.

He was looking for me?

“Could it be… am I going to be expelled…?”

Has it come to the point where the most powerful figure in the academy personally notifies you of expulsion? To extend such courteous farewell?

“… Am I done for?”

I rubbed my face.

Calm down, I told myself.

What is it, though?

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