The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 109

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Excuse me, Yenika (1)

As the student council election campaign came to a close, and Tanya Rothtaylor’s new cabinet was beginning to take shape, about ten days had passed since the end of the election.

“Do you and Ed…are you dating?”

Senior lecturer in Spirit Studies, Melina, looked unequivocally like a troublemaker.

Her plain black hair was neatly brushed back, but her exhausted eyes and slightly pouted lips seemed full of discontent. The way her clothes hugged her figure made her look more like an innkeeper than a professor.

She took puffs from her pipe tobacco and exhaled the smoke forcefully. Truly, she had an intimidating presence.

“… Yes…?”

“Do you and Ed…are you two dating?”

Yenika had been summoned to help review the first and second year students’ Spirit Studies assignments.

Therefore, she came all the way to the professor’s private research office, only to be greeted with such a question.

Due to the nature of her personality, Yenika couldn’t help but feel flustered.

“Wh-Why would you say that all of a sudden…?”

“Are you joking? It’s not just Spirit Studies class—it’s the quarterly common classes and even Elemental Studies; you two are always together. Also sticking together whenever you go eat at the student welfare facilities or cafeteria.”

“… But that’s…”

“Between men and women, even if their eyes meet, all sorts of romantic notions are set into motion, and gossip starts circulating among girls your age. With that much intimacy, it’s no wonder rumors spread, right?”

Professor Melina shuddered in disgust then exhaled smoke again.

Besides, Yenika, lately you’ve been grinning all the time… even during lecture hours, you stare blankly at the blackboard and burst into smiles. It makes me sigh just thinking you’re like a young, love-struck fool. What are you thinking, to wear such a foolish grin?”

“There’s no need to say it like that…!”

Indeed, it was a sharp observation. To anyone observing, it was clear Yenika seemed rather cheerful recently.

Her time spent with Ed, particularly after his reclusive period, had indeed increased significantly.

Since Ed didn’t have many peers he was close to, he spent most of his time on campus activities with Yenika.

The number of classes they shared, the meals they ate together, and the assignments they completed—it wasn’t long before they were inseparable.

One might even be thankful that bliss doesn’t have a lethal dose.

“… Fine. Who you meet or whatever you do is none of my business as a professor. The reason I called you here today was merely to seek your assistance with grading the first and second years’ Spirit Resonance assignments.”

“For grading…? Me…?”

“Why not? I’ll give you extra credit.”

In the realm of spirit magic, there were few in this academy who could hold a candle to Yenika.

Certainly, as the saying goes, “even if a pike is rotten, it remains a pike,” and Melina, as a professor, had a profound understanding of spirit magic that was unparalleled.

However, her expertise was tough to extend beyond the domain of academia.

The core of Spirit Studies, its history, the ecosystem of spirits, the concept of spirit affinity, methods for training resonance ability, a deep understanding of the concept of resonant power, and so forth,

In the field of academia, Yenika couldn’t hold a candle to the professors who had devoted their lives to research… but her realm of sense was entirely distinct.

Just as being knowledgeable about a particular sport does not necessarily equate to being good at it… When it comes to the realm of sense, Yenika’s ability to handle even high-ranking spirits at will could make even the fastidious Melina nod in approval.

“Soon there will be joint combat exercises, and as a senior, you should consider it an opportunity to assert your authority.”

“I don’t want to establish any authority…”

“I don’t even expect you to uphold such authority. Just, please, refrain from beaming blissfully during lessons. You may be enjoying the flowering of your youth, but it only makes me wonder from the side if you’ve really lost your mind.”

Upon hearing this, Yenika felt her face flush with heat. Embarrassedly, she bowed her head slightly and quickly nodded in agreement.

It was in her nature not to be particularly aware of her surroundings once she becomes immersed in her own world. For this reason, she had recently been expressing abnormally high spirits, which had started to concern those around her.

But this wasn’t something to be concerned about at all. Just because she often hummed cheerfully or spoke with an elevated voice didn’t mean her cheeks would wear out.

However, there was one thing Yenika had not anticipated.

Spending time around the academy, amiably accompanying Ed, would seem like they were truly a couple, even from a third-person perspective. It wouldn’t feel out of place one day if they suddenly announced, “We’re going out.”

It was a scene that would naturally be accepted as “I see that coming―.”

And this fact might not be particularly pleasant for someone else.

……

Anis Haylan tightly drew her mantle around her, never once touching the teacup before her.

Yenika sat quietly on the terrace of the tea shop set up in the student council building, basking in photosynthesis, her face beaming without the slightest movement, as if she were a stuffed doll. Her face shimmered with a glossy glow, radiantly happy.

She was nothing more than a fool, grinning as if flowers were blooming around her.

“You must be tired after today, Yenika. Today’s Demon Ecology assignment was really a lot, wasn’t it?”

“Hmm? Hmm~”

“… Now that you’ve had an early dinner, head back to the dorms before the sun sets and try deciphering the ancient texts Professor Stray mentioned. It looked too difficult to do alone from what we learned in class, but still, it’s worth a shot…”

“Hmm~ That’s right~ I should try at least once~ This Deciphering class didn’t have too many assignments, so it should be fine~”

“……”

Usually, Yenika would attentively listen to Anis, appropriately responding and matching her in conversation. But Anis felt oddly annoyed.

Despite sitting at the opposite table, laughing with her eyes but with a furrowed brow, why was Anis feeling slightly angry right now as she watched Yenika looking so content?

If she took a moment to reflect on her feelings, she would probably understand why, but Anis did not do so immediately.

“And about that guy, Yenika…”

“Huh? You mean Ed…?”

“Yes. You’ve known that he wasn’t dead all along, haven’t you?”

Initially, upon seeing Yenika suddenly cooking food, Anis was worried that she had actually lost her mind, but now she understood why Yenika had behaved that way.

From the beginning, Yenika knew that Ed Rothtaylor had not died and had kept it secret. If Yenika did it, there must’ve been a good reason.

Anis knew this all too well, but a petty spite had taken hold of her.

“I… I was really worried about you at that time. Thinking, ‘Yenika must be having such a hard time due to the grief of that man’s death.’ You’re my precious friend, after all.”

“Uhh, yeah…”

“So I felt a bit hurt. I cared about you so much, but you kept the truth to yourself and just watched me worry, right?”

“No, it wasn’t… that’s not…”

Why was she, the world’s sweetest Yenika, ranting like this to her most precious friend? Why was she undertaking such a pointless confrontation?

Anis found her own behavior incomprehensible; she was just speaking her mind without any clear direction.

“Sorry… Anis. But there really was a situation.”

“That you couldn’t even tell me?”

“Yes…”

“Then… it can’t be helped…”

Anis heaved a deep sigh and glanced at Yenika with a sideways look, head bowed.

True to her kind nature, Yenika fiddled with her fingers, restless with discomfort.

An appropriate sense of betrayal stabbed at her chest like a sharp pain. It isn’t unusual for guilt to fuel a person’s transgressions.

“Surely, Yenika must have been caught up in a big mess while trying to help that guy, Ed.”

“It’s… a bit like that…”

Similar or not, her assumption was correct. Anis was adept at drawing conclusions from limited information.

“Initially, I thought Yenika… always seemed to just help and give to that guy…”

Though it was a blunt way of putting it, it was nonetheless a fact.

“Are you his maid, Yenika…? It would make sense if he was in hiding, but what’s the deal with you cooking for him and taking care of his household? Did he pay you for it…? Did he give you a hug at least…? They say the person who falls in love first is at a disadvantage, but this is crossing the line…!”

“That’s not…”

“I’ve said this before, but it can happen in a heartbeat: giving everything to someone only to be used and discarded…! And Ed Rothtaylor is definitely that kind of man, isn’t he…?”

“Why does the conversation always turn into insulting Ed…? You said before that Ed’s a pretty good guy…!”

“Ah…!”

Anis was caught off guard then, her words trailing off. The conversation was spilling out haphazardly, making little sense logically.

She knew full well that Ed Rothtaylor was deeper and more reasonable than she had anticipated. That’s why it hurt her to speak ill of him.

However, as mentioned, a suitable sense of betrayal can tempt even the most straight-laced individuals to stray. Strangely, the faint twists of error draw them in.

“I didn’t mean to badmouth him… Sorry…”

“No, it’s okay….”

There was a moment of silence.

An awkward atmosphere. Neither knew why it had come to this.

“Still, Yenika, it wouldn’t hurt you to be careful.”

“Be careful of what…?”

“Just a bit of complex advice. If you think about it, even though you’ve been so devoted, Ed hasn’t really done anything significant in return, has he? That’s the truth, right?”

“He, he always thanks me. He says he’d be miserable without me, and he pats me on the shoulder… and shakes hands with me…”

“It’s all just superficial gratitude!”

She was sounding more and more like the stereotypical battered wife.

‘This isn’t quite right.’ Anis felt this, but her advice also began to veer off into another strange direction.

“This is… the right time to test that man, Yenika.”

“Test…? Test Ed? If you put it that way, it sounds like I don’t trust him.”

“Now’s the time to be suspicious. You have that right, Yenika. You’ve done so much for Ed. Are you just going to keep giving? It’s time to receive something in return! Otherwise, you’ll end up the fool…!”

Anis didn’t expect the sophisticated and foxlike flirting of a commercial guild like Lortelle. She had long given up on that.

At the very least, she shouldn’t keep giving without proper recognition or be brushed off with mere politeness.

“You should… make Ed angry somehow.”

“What…? Me…? Why…?”

“People reveal their true feelings when they’re pushed to the brink.”

“It’s when my true nature reveals itself, Yenika.”

This implied that she should provoke something that would anger the man and observe his reaction.

While it was difficult to imagine Ed Rothtaylor ever getting angry, he was human after all, and hence capable of anger when provoked.

“But… Ed has never gotten angry at me… ever…”

Yenika, with her braided hair twisted in distress, uttered these words… and for some reason, Anis found it unbearably annoying…!

There was no reason to feel annoyed under normal circumstances… yet she felt that way.

“Moreover, trying to test him by provoking his anger is not a matter of etiquette…”

Anis had expected a standard argument, yet she couldn’t deny there was some truth to it.

“Listen carefully, Yenika. To put it bluntly, you have a crush on that man, don’t you?”

“Wha-?”

Even if one is aware of their feelings, voicing them and having those words out in the open can feel embarrassingly different.

Anis’s words, piercing and unabashedly exposing the truth, made Yenika swallow her saliva and blush with awkwardness.

“But, do you realize that you’re becoming less of his lover and more like a close friend or family to him?”

“That’s…”

The point struck home.

Thinking of Ed’s face or visualizing themselves sitting next to each other in his camp brought forth a warm, comfortable feeling.

If she were to imagine leaning on his shoulder, she used to feel her heart pounding and her face flushing, but recently, it felt as comfortable as returning to one’s hometown.

“That’s the problem, Yenika! It’s likely the same for that man…! What you two need is a ‘redefining’ of your relationship!”

“Redefining…?”

“Yes… You both need to become ‘strangers’ a bit! The thrills won’t come if you remain taken for granted!”

There was a strange magic in Anis’s words. Before long, Yenika too, with a gulp, seemed intrigued by her story.

“So… just a bit… make him angry. Then you’ll see his true self.”

Watching Yenika swallow her dry saliva, Anis too felt an inexplicable burning passion within.

“I’ll, I’ll go now…! Let’s meet again tomorrow, Anis…!”

Indeed, Yenika had already promised to observe Ed Rothtaylor’s spirit resonance training today.

After discussing the plans, she left the student council building, and Anis, holding her face, sat down exhausted on a nearby bench.

The reckless advice to make the man angry… While it carried a convincing pretext, it was essentially just toying with Yenika.

It was… by all means, meddling.

Ashamed of her actions, Anis needed to sit for a long time, cooling down on the wooden bench.

However… a doubt began to arise, tempering her budding guilt and betrayal.

Could Yenika… possibly provoke that man’s anger?

“……”

To come to a conclusion, it was utterly impossible.

Yenika simply wasn’t capable of such an act. It was just the way she was.

Especially if the subject in question was Ed Rothtaylor.

“Really… what a futile endeavor…”

Anis sighed and rubbed her face, smacking her own head in frustration.

* * *

Advanced Crafting Slot: Magi Engineering Skill Proficiency: 6 Understanding Magecraft Products: 7 Fast Production: 4 Collected Recipes:

Weak Wind Emitter (Lv 4)

Mountain Echo Noise Maker (Lv 3)

Resonance-Type Auto Mana Chessboard (Lv 1)

Greenhouse Crystal Orb (Lv 3)

Blue Magic Sphere (Lv 2)

Claw Hand (Lv 3)

Craegl Magic Ink (Lv 2)

Illumination Orb (Lv 3)

Oniya’s Terror (Lv 1)

Telos’s Frosty Blessing (Lv 1)

Bolt-struck Thousand-Year-Old Staff (Recipe Unlocked!)

Gluckt’s Eye (Recipe Unlocked!)

Delheim Hourglass (Lv 1)

I scanned the list of Magic Engineering items I could craft in the magi engineering slot.

Of particular interest was the Bolt-struck Thousand-Year-Old Staff.

The recipe itself was surprisingly simple, requiring almost no process, yet it had a high effect rating due to the difficulty of sourcing the materials.

A thousand-year-old tree, twisted by lightning. Just hearing it makes it clear how challenging it would be to obtain such an ingredient.

In the main series of ‘Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman’, it appeared as a reward item in the final chapter of Act 3, but now facing reality, one wonders where such a thing could possibly be found.

Well, if it doesn’t exist, I’ll have to make it.

Trees of a thousand years are rare, but there’s at least one in this northern forest. So I just need to strike lightning on a branch of that tree.

The tree is actually ‘Merilda’s Guardian Tree’. A single branch should be attainable if I ask Merilda for help.

As for lightning, Lucy has high-level electric magic, ‘Divine Punishment’, which she can use with ease, so I can ask for her help.

“Hmmm…”

Bolt-struck Thousand-Year-Old Staff (Very Rare)

Enhances sensitivity to all element spirits. Boosts mana efficiency for spirit magic.

As I read the stats of the Magic Engineering item, they seemed incredibly desirable.

The resonance stat is innately unique, and it’s difficult to amplify it through equipment or enhancement magic.

Resonance is only manifested by one’s inherent power – the staff is an exceptional item that breaks one of the core principles of ‘Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman’.

Poking at the campfire, I planned on how to obtain the other materials for the staff.

Most of the remaining items, I could purchase from Elte Trading Company. With the list organized this way, it seemed a realistically achievable plan.

“Hmm… It won’t take as long as I thought.”

The item isn’t for my use.

I remembered the oak staff that Yenika always carried as if it was a part of her. Although a decent staff, no matter how good, would wear out with too much use.

There must be a reason she only uses that staff, even though she has many others given by family and friends.

Still, it would be right to use equipment that can further unlock her potential. I’ve been wanting to repay Yenika in various ways anyway.

If I had the luxury, I’d make one for myself, but the higher the grade, the less efficient the mana becomes when reproducing it. This is to prevent infinite mass-production of high-efficiency Magic Engineering items.

The second staff will have to be made slowly, with patience in mind.

If it’s the legendary Delheim Hourglass… it would likely take nearly two months to recreate it.

It’s a worthwhile investment of time. Of course, I’d be making plenty of other Magic Engineering items in the meantime.

Before the semester ends, I’d like to craft another legendary Magic Engineering item: Gluckt’s Eye.

Gluckt’s Eye (Legendary)

Temporarily spikes proficiency in all resonance abilities. Halves the efficiency of curse magic. Prevents the use of defensive magic. Grants immunity to elemental magic.

It’s one of the highest-ranking items that directly affect resonance abilities.

At present, it seems an overwhelming challenge to even attempt it… but it’s worth the time and effort. Especially being completely immune to elemental magic – that’s a significant advantage in combat against mages. Its semi-cheat-like quality was accessible only towards the very end in the original story.

Above all, Gluckt’s Eye isn’t a consumable. There’s a cooldown for reuse, but once created, it effectively boosts my specs.

“That’s right… Well… I should focus on achieving the goals ahead of me step by step. First off, I’d appreciate making that staff quickly.”

Of course, this wasn’t a task I could accomplish alone. I looked up at the cabin, though there was no one in my immediate view.

Scanning the camp, my gaze settled on Lucy napping in a hammock strung up by a tree next to the cabin.

“Eh-chah.”

I quickly got up and headed towards the hammock.

Bringing my head close to Lucy’s nose, I made sure she was sleeping soundly.

I wake Lucy without hesitation whenever there’s something to say. Since Lucy is almost always half-asleep, disturbing her slumber doesn’t make much of a difference.

Nor does she particularly mind.

“Hey, Lucy.”

By addressing her so, as usual, Lucy sprang up.

Well, not quite ‘as usual.’

“…….”

“……!!!!”

Suddenly, with wide eyes, she met my gaze up close and took a deep breath before leaping up to perch graciously atop a sizeable branch.

“Why… why so surprised?”

I must have startled her by waking her so suddenly after so many times.

Wondering if she was making too much of a fuss, I asked, and Lucy emphatically shook her head side to side.

“…No, I made too much of it, sorry. There’s no rush; I can tell you later.”

“You can, can tell me now… I’m, I’m okay….”

“No, now that I’ve thought about it, I have other things to do.”

Explaining all the various reasons to Lucy could wait… I had promised Yenika to oversee my spirit resonance training today. She would arrive at the camp around 7 p.m. after her classes, so I should be setting up soon.

Waving my hand to Lucy, I assured her it was fine and returned to the fire pit. I picked up a rudimentary elemental study volume and waited for Yenika.

―Rustle rustle.

Carving her way through the shrubbery, Yenika appeared, having turned a few pages in my book.

“Hello, Ed…!”

Taking an unusual and more challenging path, Yenika arrived with leaves clinging to her collar and nose. Why take such trouble?

“Oh, Yenika. You’re late.”

“Yeah. About 10 minutes…!”

“Something happened?”

She casually crossed her arms in a triumphant stance, adding a cough to her declaration.

“…….”

Wondering what kind of reaction she sought, I pondered my response.

“Well… These things happen. You’re busy after all. I’m grateful that you came to help with the resonance training.”

With that, I closed my book, dusted off my clothes, and stood up. There wouldn’t be much physical activity required for resonance training, but I stretched my shoulders nonetheless.

“…….”

For reasons unknown… Yenika, despite her confident posture, was sweating profusely.

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