The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 103

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Student Council President Election 2(4)

The average number of agenda items at the faculty meeting had nearly doubled. It was inevitable.

While maintaining a normal academic schedule, there were a great number of unfortunate incidents within the academy, preparatory work for yearly events had to be conducted, and neither the quality of instruction nor student management could be neglected.

With circumstances like these, faculty members, from the most senior to the junior professors, were all working tirelessly, sacrificing sleep to meet the demand.

Faculty meetings, previously held once or maybe twice a week, now needed to be updated every two days due to the frequent changes and updates in operational situations.

For the professors and staff, this period was akin to a veritable inferno.

“The investigation into the death of Ed Rothtaylor is nearing conclusion. The examination of the circumstances is almost complete, and we are fairly certain that the Rothtaylor house’s retainers are to blame. As Sylvania Academy is merely an educational institution, the matter of punishment should be transferred to the Royal Family, but it is necessary for us to establish and report the facts ascertained.”

The meeting was chaired by Dean Obel Forcius, with senior faculty members and junior professors alike gathered around the conference table.

Upon hearing Professor Flurban’s report, Dean Obel sighed to himself.

Decades of experience in the role had brought a wide array of incidents and accidents to his door.

Especially in cases such as the death of Ed Rothtaylor… the machinations behind it were all too clear.

Though now disgraced, wasn’t he a young man of the Rothtaylor Duke’s lineage? Furthermore, if the culprits were indeed Rothtaylor’s retainers, it seemed almost certain that the murder was due to an internal dispute within the family over succession rights or lucrative benefits. It was, without a doubt, an exceedingly troublesome case.

The truth was hard to discern due to internal power struggles; although the incident occurred within the academy, its realities were deeply entwined with the politics of the aristocracy.

The Rothtaylor residence itself lay at a significant physical distance from Sylvania Academy. Moreover, lacking the authority to meddle with one of the Empire’s most powerful families made any investigative steps exceptionally delicate.

The desire to thoroughly search for the leading suspect, now missing, Tanya Rothtaylor, was keen—yet they had to heed the Rothtaylor family’s influence, a situation far from pleasant.

In the end, what Sylvania Academy’s faculty could do was accurately assess the facts of the incident that had occurred on their grounds and transfer the case to the Royal Family. Only the Royal Family held the authority to judge such a powerful household.

What would happen after the transfer was anyone’s guess.

The relationship between the Royal Family and the Rothtaylor house had been unpredictable throughout the ages, leaving the impact this incident would have on the political landscape wholly uncertain.

“Scrying magic was used to review the scene as well. The weather was poor at the time, so we couldn’t perfectly reconstruct the moment, but still, the testimony of witness Yenika Faelover mostly checked out. We confirmed Ed Rothtaylor being stabbed by the retainers and the victim falling over the cliff.”

“Then, his death is nearly certain?”

“With the deadly brands suffered and the fall from such a height… it appears so, yes.”

“Make sure to compile the facts and prepare to deliver them to the Royal Family. And do get my signature before proceeding.”

Professor Flurban bowed in acknowledgment.

His colleagues looked on with pity, as Professor Flurban, while already swamped with his popular monster ecology classes, had been the professor on duty when the death occurred, adding the burden of the investigation to his workload.

Despite the sheer volume of tasks that would overwhelm any ordinary person, he managed all without much issue, the fatigue only barely perceptible in his demeanor.

“Next on the agenda, if I recall, concerns the top student of the year, Lucy Mayrill’s attack on the Ophelius dormitory. I was too engaged to attend the Disciplinary Committee…”

“A 30-day house arrest disciplinary action was decided following the recommendation of the Ophelius dormitory headmaid.”

“A relatively mild punishment. Was the investigation into the overall facts concluded satisfactorily?”

“Yes, I ensured a thorough review.”

While Dean Obel and Vice-Headmaster Rachel exchanged words, the rest of the faculty remained silent, understanding that it was not their place to weigh in on the discussion that unfolded between the two authoritative figures.

“The incident involving Lucy Mayrill, who was deeply shaken by the death of Ed Rothtaylor, occurred outside of a school context. There was no loss of life, but there was some damage to property. Additionally, there was a bit of a disturbance with students needing to evacuate in the middle of the night. Eventually, the issue was resolved by securing Lucy Mayrill quietly sitting in the Rose Garden.”

“She was stopped in her tracks?”

Dean Obel Forcius was well aware of Lucy Mayrill’s magical prowess.

Accomplished with extensive practical and scholarly experience, he was one whose power could be compared to even the legendary great mage, Gluckt, and was not someone Obel could confront without tension.

Lucy Mayrill, the top student of her grade, was one such person—a prodigy of the age and a pride of Sylvania. There were none among the students or staff in Ophelius dormitory that could hold her back. If there had been such a person, Obel would have known.

“Yes. The top combat student of the second year, Clevius Nortondale, defended the entrance of Ophelius dormitory to the last. The school is considering an official commendation.”

“Was he such a remarkable student?”

“Although outclassed in most aspects, it appears sheer willpower allowed him to persist.”

“Indeed. That speaks highly of him.”

The second-year students stood out as exceptional, even among their peers—Lucy Mayrill, Zix Effelstein, Taely McLore, Lortelle Keheln, Aila Triss, and Elvira Anis, to name but a few. These included individuals who had been under scrutiny from the start as well as those who proved themselves over time, ascending the ranks of distinction.

Clevius Nortondale, while a top combat student, had been considered too timid to stand among them, but this particular incident had undeniably elevated his status.

“Indeed, there have been numerous incidents of late… but most seem mere offshoots of a greater trend. More importantly… the repercussions of Ed Rothtaylor’s sudden death were greater than anticipated. Although not fully grasped, his influence clearly extended to many.”

Dean Obel summarized the situation from his dignified seat. The main current, it seemed, was the untimely demise of Ed Rothtaylor.

“The Rothtaylor matter has been entrusted to Professor Flurban, Lucy Mayrill’s outburst overseen by Professor Altman, Clevius’ commendation led by Vice-Headmaster Rachel… Indeed, from one central issue, handling has been dispersed among many professors, which isn’t ideal for efficiency.”

“That is correct.”

“Wouldn’t a single professor managing it be more efficient then? Is there a suitable candidate to recommend…?”

Silence rippled through the faculty.

The mere description implied an enormous hassle coupled with copious responsibility and a highly complicated process. No one was eager to take on such a task.

“Hmm… Any professors from the magic department who know about Ed Rothtaylor, have interacted with Clevius, and have some connection with Lucy?”

Promptly, all eyes converged in one direction. Following the collective gazes, Dean Obel shifted his attention accordingly.

At a corner of the room, someone was busily marking the corners of documents with a quill, flinching as the attention fell upon them.

Golden locks cascaded down to the shoulder blades, and the person stared vacantly at the meeting before the topic’s personal relevance dawned on them with a start.

“Um… oh…”

“Claire, Assistant Professor…?”

It could be said she was truly blessed with human connections. Her name was already well-known among the faculty.

There couldn’t be a more perfect candidate than her.

Even just looking at her lab’s assistants—one could see the head assistant Anis, the crime victim Ed Rothtaylor himself, the sword master from Nortondale, Clevius, and the ace of flight magic, Yenika.

Furthermore, she was a member of the magic department and the youngest professor, an ideal candidate for additional responsibilities.

“Uh… well… I will…”

With an almost tearful countenance, Claire searched desperately for any excuse to escape, but all potential exits had already been sealed.

Sweat was pouring down her face like a flood.

“I’ll give it my best…!”

It was a death sentence.

“Why is it always me! After being burdened with the lion’s share of tasks during the vacation, I was looking forward to teaching my assigned courses leisurely…!”

Transferring tasks received from Professors Flurban and Altman had built a towering amount of documents on Assistant Professor Claire’s desk.

Reading them alone looked like it would take ages.

“How am I supposed to handle all this alone…?”

Claire buried her face in her desk, almost sobbing. By now, this sight was almost a routine.

“I miss my student days… I want to be a student forever… I’m so sick of this type of workload now.”

At least the silver lining was that each assistant in Claire Assistant Professor’s lab was reliable and handled work with precision.

The head assistant Anis was impeccable, Clevius might not have been adept with documents but was highly competent with practical tasks, and Yenika, always a model student, dealt commendably with most responsibilities. Compared to other times, the environment was markedly more favorable.

Yet, Ed Rothtaylor was absent. It was mournful.

Unseen but highly efficient, he had been a diligent worker, perfected through unfriendly rumors that he never let trouble him.

“Ah…”

Feeling inexplicably somber, Claire sighed deeply.

Resting her chin on her arms and gazing into the void, she lamented.

“I guess life is unpredictable. One never knows how things will unfold… it’s a reminder always to live each day with worth.”

“That’s… a good sentiment, but… you are the one saying this, Assistant Professor Claire..?”

The response came from Clevius, wrapped head to toe in bandages.

Despite his injuries, he bounced back quickly due to his naturally robust constitution. Nearly healed from the ravages of his battle with Lucy, he had returned to perform his duties as an assistant.

After all, few jobs offered such a lucrative way to earn tuition fees.

“Oh Clevius, what a thing to say. I’ve been living quite diligently. Just look at all this work…”

“Yes, well…”

Their empty exchange was interrupted as Claire’s gaze fell across the work table, where assistants were busy sorting more documents. In a corner, the head assistant Anis Heilan sat quietly, sipping tea, and reviewing papers. Claire felt a profound sense of discomfort at this sight.

“Anis has been… lacking energy lately.”

“Me?”

“Yes. Have you noticed? You’ve been speaking much less these days.”

Anis ran a hand through her ash-gray hair and brought the teacup to her lips. Her elegance was intact.

Whenever one described Anis accompanying Claire, the same expression prevails: a commoner with the air of nobility, and a noble who seems like a commoner.

Anis, different from the ever-cheerful and unreserved Claire, always demonstrated decorum, exuding aristocratic grace even more genuine than many noble-born peers.

And yet, when it came to assistant work, she showed unwavering dedication and ensured immaculate results, making her a coveted addition to any professor’s lab.

“Indeed, Ed’s empty spot must feel awfully stark…”

“That…

Drinking her tea with eyes half-closed, Anis trailed off.

Claire was speaking of the void left by a colleague in the lab. But Anis experienced a much deeper affliction.

Indeed, Anis Heilan had a profound admiration for Ed Rothtaylor.

Contrary to the rumors branding him as little more than a libertine, his diligence and competence were beyond doubt.

However, Anis clenched her lower lip perhaps too hard, determined not to reveal her feelings.

He hadn’t experienced it.

It wasn’t his place to dwell on feelings of loss or emptiness.

Most likely, the person who had suffered the greatest wound was her best friend, Yenika Faelover.

Even this sharp pang in his chest, when compared to the pain she must be feeling, was surely insignificant.

Anis managed to suppress the moisture creeping up her nose.

The image of him breezily sifting through documents in the seat next to hers seemed to flicker in her vision, but it was time to accept his absence.

Their encounter had been brief anyway. Surely there were plenty more decent people in the world.

Comforting herself with these thoughts, she pushed the sudden surge of sadness deep down with her tea.

Now wasn’t the time to reveal her own sense of loss. If anything, it was time to console Yenika, who was enveloped in despair.

Anis had indeed planned to visit Yenika today. Just imagining it was gloomy and emotionally taxing, but being there for someone during such times is what makes a true friend.

Settling her rising emotions, Anis methodically completed her work.

“Today, I’m thinking of giving curry a try..!”

“…”

Laplace Bakery, the outdoor terrace.

Yenika, carrying a plethora of ingredients she had picked up from the student residence, spoke with a radiantly beaming face to Anis.

“Anis is pretty good at cooking, right? What do you think? I find controlling the heat a little tough, so I’m contemplating a dish that needs to be simmered on medium heat for a while… I’m skilled at prepping ingredients, but trying a recipe I haven’t before is a bit scary…!”

“…”

“Um, or not? Have we been eating too many spicy dishes recently? But I heard reducing vegetable intake is bad for you… Maybe a salad would be nice?”

“Yes, Yenika…”

In front of Yenika, who chatted away with a vivacity that seemed almost to make flowers bloom, Anis hesitantly spoke.

“You, you’ve really been enjoying cooking lately, huh?”

“Huh? Well, yeah..!”

Before Anis had arrived at the bakery, she had pictured a despondent Yenika, tears in her eyes, reminiscing about her past with Ed.

Yet all of those images spectacularly shattered.

The bright and lively sight of Yenika seemed less like that of a girl wrapped in sorrow and more like that of a young bride who had just embarked on married life. Imagining a joyous future, Yenika appeared even more vibrant than usual.

Was this the right reaction?

As Yenika excitedly explained how much of a bargain she had scored on the ingredients from the student residence, Anis grew more perplexed.

“Yenika, did you… hear the news…? You’ve heard, right?”

Surely she couldn’t be unaware.

It was the most unsettling news in the academy, and the recently sorted report documents indicated that it was none other than Yenika herself who had testified regarding the true culprit behind Ed’s death.

Yenika Faelover was undoubtedly aware of Ed’s demise.

Yet, what was with her chirpy demeanor?

The death of Ed cannot possibly have such a trivial meaning to Yenika.

Then, what does this representation of Yenika mean?

Suddenly, Anis felt a chill run through her body.

Yenika had always been skilled in the kitchen, but she never seemed to enjoy cooking to this extent.

Moreover, if Anis thought about Yenika’s recent behaviors… there hasn’t been much change since before Ed’s death.

Sneaking off toward the north island. Before Ed died, it was assumed she was going to meet him, but now there’s no good reason for her to visit the northern woods so frequently.

Interlacing the sudden interest in cooking with her recent behaviors, troubling thoughts began to cloud Anis’s mind.

The empty cabin.

A picture of Yenika, sitting alone in the camp, diligently chopping ingredients.

She sets the table with no one to share the meal with, speaking tender words to no one… alone at the table, she smiles soullessly, caught in an endless cycle of futile reminiscence.

“Get a grip, Yenika.”

Anis, with tears welling up, tightly grasped Yenika’s hands.

“He’s gone…! He’s dead…!”

Uttering those words aloud, Anis realized he was the one most hurt.

His heart swelled with emotion, and strength poured into his hands clutching Yenika’s.

“It’s time… to accept it…!”

“Ah, Anis…?”

As Anis hugged Yenika tightly after speaking, he finally came to understand. The one who needed consoling the most was himself.

“Playing unaffected won’t bring back someone who’s dead…!”

“… Ah, Anis…”

Yenika finally came back to her senses and, somewhat bewildered, embraced Anis, patting her back gently.

“…”

[ Miss Yenika, is this really the proper reaction? ]

‘Shh… quiet…!’

Yenika, realizing her own misjudgment, became drenched in cold sweat and disregarded the curious glances of the spirits around her.

“We should be wrapping up the academy’s investigation soon.”

The setting was the royal residence’s reception room.

To request an immediate audience with Princess Phoenia, it was necessary to be an individual with a firm standing within Sylvania. Naturally, she wouldn’t meet with just anyone.

It took a person of Lortelle Keheln’s stature, the effective owner of Elte Trading Company, to request a direct meeting with Princess Phoenia.

“Ed Senior’s death is regrettable, indeed, but we must continue to fulfill our academic schedule. Wouldn’t you say so, Princess Phoenia?”

“And that’s why you sought me out?”

“I came to ask you why you would hide Tanya.”

With a smile that struck right to the core, Lortelle’s rhetoric was exhausting for anyone to engage with.

Phoenia maintained a miraculously warm expression, but Lortelle was insistent that he was well aware of the truth.

“Are you aware that I have the entire student residence life in the palm of my hand?”

The district’s commerce was entirely under the control of Elte Trading Company. The circulating money eventually flowed between Elte Trading Company’s coffers, a fact well-established.

If Lortelle had seized that flow of money, then naturally, he knew everything about the humans within it.

Lortelle’s eyes and ears were spread throughout every corner of the district.

It wasn’t difficult to gather witness accounts and speculate Tanya’s whereabouts. While there was no concrete evidence, his suspicions were firm.

That the most likely place for Tanya to seek help was this royal residence, a place even the academy hesitated to reach out to impulsively.

Hence, by focusing on gathering intelligence around the paths leading to the royal residence, the outline became clear.

That Tanya was hiding under Princess Phoenia’s protection seemed almost certain, given that the academy had yet to pinpoint her location.

From the start, tell had drawn that conclusion, yet he did not disclose this to anyone, even going as far as to stay silent to Ed Rostalle, whom he adored.

“That’s quite the claim, Lortelle Keheln.”

“With the academy in turmoil and the student council elections approaching, it’s best to settle noisy issues quickly.”

“Why would you go out of your way to find Tanya?”

“If I must say, it’s because I have personal scores to settle.”

Lortelle gracefully laughed and sipped from a teacup brought by Phoenia’s attendant.

“As you know, I am opportunistic and petty… While I fully kowtow to those beyond my grasp, I am merciless to those beneath me.”

“That doesn’t sound like something to brag about.”

“It’s a natural consequence of gauging everything through self-interest. One might seem cowardly to the strong and cruel to the weak, but contemplating a step further, isn’t that inherently logical?”

Phoenia felt uncomfortable beneath Lortelle’s ever-smiling exterior.

“The Rostalle family holds renown that even our imperial family wouldn’t lightly confront, yet you assert that Tanya, its heiress, is weaker than you… That merits further consideration, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Well. I judge everything based on interests.”

Lortelle didn’t yield even a word against his royal opponent.

“After all, I’m just a merchant doing business on Akin Island.”

Regardless of noble birth, Lortelle’s position as the deputy to Elte Trading Company was not to be taken lightly.

While leveraging the Rostalle family’s influence might be more important on an empire-wide scale, this was Akin Island – a peripheral territory requiring a significant venture out from the empire.

Nobles and individuals of high stature were a dime a dozen at Sylvania Academy, with people like Princess Phoenia or Saintess Clarice being laughably elevated.

This Sylvania, a land of learning, operated on an order entirely different from the imperial capital, with news requiring two to three days to reach the capital from the island.

In such time… a person’s fate could turn in unforeseen directions.

“I am someone who lives and dies by money.”

The fox smiles.

“And now, the entire life on Akin Island is under my grasp.”

The subtext was crystal clear to Phoenia.

Externally, Sylvania Institute is lauded as sacred ground for academic virtues. Yet, just beneath the surface, the flow of gold to the island traces back to this girl’s purse.

“So, unless you can overturn the power structures within Akin Island… why would I care for anyone’s opinion? Of course, if the opinions were yours, Princess Phoenia, or Saintess Clarice’s, that would be a different story. How could I oppose either of you?”

Even as he spoke lightly, Phoenia knew the words were mere formalities.

If he wished, utilizing every corrupt tactic, he could twist and disregard even the views of the princess.

While the central imperial power could subdue someone like Lortelle, Princess Phoenia lacked such influence, especially in this peripheral region. If this were the imperial capital, things would be reversed, but that’s an empty if.

What’s the point of power that receives ceremony and nominal respect due to lineage? Phoenia’s expression tightened.

“So, I need to find Tanya… to finish my ‘personal business.’”

“There’s no reason for me to concern myself with your personal matters.”

Phoenia established her boundary. Further involvement would only give Lortelle more incentive to delve into her secretive protection of Tanya.

Effectively becoming the shadow ruler of the academy lifestyle, tell was a presence to be blocked… with a true, substantial internal power.

It’s only with such power that Lortelle would think twice and provide that which could pressure Phoenia. For instance… the student council’s authority.

The president holds power to propose changes regarding tenancy in lifestyle facilities, operational directives, and revising customs regulations managing the flow of supplies.

In name, it’s merely a right to propose, but the academy cannot entirely dismiss the student president’s opinion. The president gains support from students, implying backing from various nobles and powerful families.

“…”

Lortelle stopped short, conserving his words.

Tanya believed she was under a life-or-death threat from Lortelle. At least that’s what she would be thinking.

It’s uncertain when the Rostalle family’s support would arrive. Until Cadec and Nox are freed, the family wouldn’t receive accurate reports on the situation.

Nor could she easily flee. All routes off Akin Island were within Lortelle’s grip.

For Tanya to survive Lortelle’s threat, her only option… is to become the student council president.

That realization crystalized in the moment.

*

Having concluded his business, tell left the royal residence and boarded his carriage.

With a flick of the driver’s whip, the carriage began its slow journey.

Underneath his hood, a smile leaked out, and a subtle glow emanated from his amber eyes.

The turmoil of the academy’s political landscape.

Only Lortelle comprehended the entire picture perfectly.

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One response to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 103”

  1. Ah yes, Lord Tell.

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