The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 111

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Excuse me, Yenika(3)

The eastern Spardis region of Huang Island, which takes three days and nights of horseback riding to reach, is an area where livestock farming is widely developed. Four-tenths of the livestock products that circulate within the Clorel Empire are produced right in the Spardis region, and the famous ‘Land of Livestock Fullan’ is actually a term for the southern mountainous region of Spardis. If you delve deep into the valleys of Fullan and scan the ridges, you’ll find a small village called Toren, with a population of barely three hundred.

Despite its tiny size, the amount of livestock products the village produces is truly impressive in comparison to its size; it’s sufficient to support a small city. Half of the village’s population is involved in the livestock industry, while the other half works in the processing of livestock products—a small livestock village nestled in the valleys.

On the outskirts is a decent-sized ranch, the Faelover Ranch, passed down through four generations. The only daughter of this ranch, indeed, is the pride of the village, a girl named Yenika Faelover. From the moment she could babble, Yenika began to see spirits, marking her as a prodigy who would surely shine in the village’s future.

A livestock village secluded in the mountains. As the residents grappled with an aging population and diminishing communication with young people who yearned for the city, the village remained either peaceful and quiet or, to speak unfavorably, static and monotonous.

In such a closed world, it was clear how Yenika with her exceptional talents spent her childhood, inevitably monopolizing everyone’s love. Showered with affection, she grew up without a single rough edge—a lovely personality.

Carrying a basket full of eggs with a tiny elemental spirit and sharing fresh food with neighbors on the village square. Vivid memories of friendly greetings exchanged while dartingly across the fence lines stayed fresh in Yenika’s mind.

Above, a few lazy clouds drifted by. The view of the mountain range, covered in lush green foliage, was always a sight to behold. Visitors to the village were rare—perhaps a traveling merchant negotiating prices, laborers handling logistics, or maybe a postman.

Growing up in such a setting for over a decade meant familiar faces were all one could expect to see—neighbors like Mr. Durin, Miss Lethe across the way, Mr. Arun by the square, and the village chief, Mr. Alcus. To Yenika, they were all elders since she was just going through childhood.

True to a stagnant mountain village, the birth rate was dismal. Yenika spent nearly her whole life as the darling youngest of the village. Consequently, she never experienced the formality of being addressed with honorifics.

Now in her third year since leaving for Sylvania Academy, while she should have become accustomed to it, a lot still felt foreign to her, including being treated courteously.

It took nearly six months to get comfortable with the way the maids at Ophelius Hall treated her.

“Excuse me, Miss Yenika.”

Suddenly, Yenika was snapped out of her reverie by an academic staff member calling her name in the administrative consultation room of Triss Hall.

“You’ve come again today. I’m not sure how many days in a row this is… If there’s anything you want to consult or apply for, please just tell us. We can process it quickly if it’s an administrative matter.”

“Ah, well… you see,” Yenika hesitated in front of the polite staff member, wondering whether to submit the document in her sleeve, but then firmly shook her head. The academic staff member sighed deeply, nodded in understanding, and suggested, “Whatever it is that’s troubling you… if it becomes too much, consider consulting with others, Miss Yenika. There are many people within the academy who would be happy to help you.”

“Ah, haha… It’s just that the problem is a bit too difficult to discuss with others,” Yenika mumbled before hastily exiting the consultation room.

Then, sighing deeply as she unfolded the document she’d reconsidered submitting, she lamented, “Why do unpleasant thoughts always manage to squeeze through whenever there’s a gap…?”

She paused, gathering her thoughts once more.

Considering her current contented and happy experience at the academy, her courses were manageable, she always had a warm time with her friends, there were many who admired her, the dormitory facilities were quite satisfactory, and she even spent all day with the boy she had a crush on. Even though they had a little quarrel this morning, it was just a small incident.

Her daily life held no reason for her lips to frown. How many could be living such a satisfactory academic life? To complain any further would be like the rich asking for more, inviting criticism.

However, the problems that arose from Yenika’s kind and sincere nature remained unsolved, occasionally causing an odd pain in her heart. After reading the document she had written, she sighed again and resolutely tossed it into a nearby garbage can.

The nearly full trashcan received the sliding document on its summit—it was an application form for leaving the dormitory: Dex Hall. She soon reconsidered, retrieving the paper from the trash and once again falling into contemplation, a familiar indecision taking hold. She knew not the weight of every expectant, admiring, considerate, respectful gaze that pressed upon her shoulders.

The mere thought of running away due to such burdens was difficult since running away consists of distancing oneself from something hard, hateful, or disagreeable.

Could she ever consider the expectations and gazes of the friends, staff, and roommates at Dex Hall as mere burdens? Yet, Yenika knew.

It hadn’t been quite a year since she moved from the private rooms of Ophelius Hall to the shared rooms of Dex Hall, and the only place where Yenika could truly relax and be at ease during that time was… inevitably, Ed’s camp.

* * * [Isn’t it moving? Around this time last year, even if I was watching you from right next to you, you wouldn’t notice, but now you can summon me in this imperfect form and share a conversation. Doesn’t our contract make things quite special? ]

“…….”

[Of course, it’s not like we can’t communicate without a contract. You’re acting so nonchalantly, Ed, but do you realize how significant it is to be able to handle a high-level spirit? The power players of this academy… Zix? Wade? Clevius? None of them would be a match for me if I could only unleash my full power~ The problem is that I can’t fully manifest that power. ]

“That means…”

[Obviously it would take you a really long time to reach such a level. You can’t compare yourself to an exception like Yenika. Still, if you keep training, your sensitivity will improve and you’ll be able to handle me better… Hmm, is that too far in the future? Regardless, what does it matter? We’re not just acquaintances for a short while. ]

On leaving the northern woods’ camp and walking towards the academy, you come across a small lake with ‘Merilda’s Guardian Tree’ set grandly upon the grassy isle in its center—where naturally occurring magic congregates most, and one of Yenika’s main sites for practicing spirit magic.

There’s no better place than this for imperfectly summoning Merilda. Adorned in a thin-strapped pure white dress, the figure of a silver-haired girl appears almost human, yet she is not.

I summoned Merilda, at the cost of an excessive amount of magic, because of the conversation we had yesterday. The higher the understanding with a high-level spirit, the more significant the impact on my future combat capabilities, it was assured. I agreed with that sentiment.

Ultimately, understanding as a stat revolves around how often you accompany them, use them in battle, manifest them, and engage in dialogue… But when manifesting in human form like this, it nearly consumes all my magic power, putting me in a slightly tricky position.

It’s somewhat convenient when they prattle away on their own. Yenika thinks there’s no greater chatterbox in the world. Now I realize just how accurate Yenika’s assessment was.

[So, what about you and Yenika? Is the back-and-forth of awkward respectful language and mutual respect still ongoing? ]

“You’ve seen it all, what’s your intention behind such a question?”

[I don’t have the leisure to follow around to classes~ I’m just curious if anything happened during the lessons~]

Sitting near the roots of the Guardian Tree, Merilda swung her legs and asked with curiosity, not needing to lie about anything… So I decided to relay exactly the incident that had occurred with Yenika that morning.

As always, when I greeted Yenika early in the morning at the Faculty Building, she clutched her oak wand, startled, and stepped back. Clearly, the aftermath of yesterday’s incident lingered. It felt like an unnecessary event had created an uncomfortable atmosphere between us.

[Hmm~ So…?]

I explained that Yenika didn’t know what to say next and, turning red, avoided my gaze before quickly fleeing after a greeting.

During all this, the formal language continued nonstop.

“At first, I didn’t think much of it, but now I’m starting to wonder if she’s harboring something inside, or if some ‘inherent stress’ is manifesting in an odd way.”

[Oh, are you worried about Yenika?]

“Of course I am.”

[Hooh~]

Rather enthusiastic, Merilda kept swinging her legs and nodding, then asked me with a full-faced smile. [It did feel a bit uneasy to leave things as they are, right? You should do something.]

“That’s why I’m asking… Is it okay if I take a couple of branches from this tree?”

[The tree? So suddenly?]

Merilda’s Guardian Tree, where she and I are seated, is an old tree that has lived for over a millennium. The older the tree, the more it can gently absorb and emit magic. This Guardian Tree is a prime material for magical artifacts, coveted second to none. If lightning magic is added, it can serve as the perfect component for a ‘Lightning-struck Thousand-Year Tree Staff.’

Compared to the old oak staff Yenika carries, this will certainly be several degrees more effective and convenient. I succinctly summarized this to Merilda and when she responded with, [Hmm~ I see… But strictly speaking, there’s no need to get mypermission.]

“Isn’t this your tree? It’s even called Merilda’s Guardian Tree…”

[Well, that’s a bit… ]

It was a persistent problem. An old friend I met long ago simply attached my name to this tree. Although I claim to be this forest’s master, I don’t really bother managing every little thing, like breaking off a branch. Do as you please.

“An old friend… Well, considering your long life, you must have had many connections.”

Merilda flounced in her white dress, hopping around the tree before eventually returning to my side.

Then, she shook her shoulders and struck a deliberately enchanting pose.

[I take the form of a human as you see. I told you it’s not easy, right? What do you think makes this possible?]

“How can it be possible… Did you learn some related magic?”

[Hmm… It’s a bit different. High-level spirits can change into various forms, but the most important thing is how familiar and comfortable they are, or how well they can imitate. It’s very hard to shape-shift into something that doesn’t exist at all. That’s also why most spirits take on animal forms. They are the easiest forms you can find in nature.]

She then gave a sly smile, lifting her dress up to her shins and slightly bowing her head in greeting. It was an imperial courtesy. Just looking at her like this, she seemed no different from a real person.

[That’s why, to imitate a human form, I needed a reference point. Since I’ve made a contract with you, Ed, I’ve taken in your inner psychology and transformed into the girl closest to your ideal type.]

“… What?”

[How does it feel? You can’t fake inner psychology, so when you look at me like this, doesn’t your heart throb unconsciously? The girl of your ideal type is right before your eyes.]

I looked at Merilda, who was making a fuss, seemingly taken back by her words.

“… My taste was like this…? It’s certainly… unexpected.”

[Of course, it’s unexpected. Because it’s a lie.]

“……”

Are you kidding me?

With that question implied in my gaze, Merilda twirled the hem of her dress with a spirited laugh that echoed ‘kyahaha’. It was as if she was a girl who had just bought a new dress and was happily showing it off.

[There’s no way I could read and imitate inner psychology. Actually, I copied the appearance of a person I met who was most special and peculiar. Like this… someone who didn’t dress up too extravagantly, and was always carefree. That person also gave my tree its name.]

Once again, I saw Merilda in human form. The disparity with the giant wolf that was rampaging with the intent to shatter everything was so great, it was honest to difficult to acclimate to.

“Who are you?”

When I asked, Merilda didn’t answer right away. She just gave a meaningful smile.

[I have lived a long time. I’ve been around to even see the rise and fall of Sylvania Academy as something endearing. Though now, the Acken Isles and Sylvania Academy feel like one inseparable body, in the distant past I lived in, this place was nothing but an uninhabited island, without even an academy.]

Merilda undid the hair that had been tied back like a tail. When her abundant locks of hair unraveled, her image seemed to change.

Then I caught my breath. That face seemed oddly familiar—a spitting image that I had seen countless times in the historical books of magic.

[How about it?]

The one who infused magical power into the guardian tree and made it the source of power. The one who established this school. The one who asked Merilda to protect this forest for so long.

Indeed, could it all have been connected this way?

Since it wasn’t a part of what I knew, it wasn’t highlighted in the [Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman] scenario.

The girl before me was Merilda’s imperfect manifestation. When I thought about who she resembled, I was now sure.

The magician and scholar who was stronger and more knowledgeable than anyone else in the distant past.

She bore the image of the great sage, Sylvania.

***

“His Majesty, the Saint King… is visiting…?”

The location was the student council room, attached to Obel Hall near the student union building.

It had been roughly five days since Tanya Rothtaylor had sat down in the position of student council president and started handling proper work.

It was still an adaptation period, but such an important position doesn’t afford the luxury of time to adapt well.

Among the reports received from the student council secretary, the most conspicuous and critically checked part was the visit of the man sitting at the top of the Telos Order—Saint King Eldain, ruler of Saint City Carpea, and his aide, Archbishop Verdieu.

A visit from a bishop-level clergy warranted enough preparation, but the news of two bigshots from Saint City visiting the remote Acken Isles at once was enough to cause a headache just to think about.

“The purpose of the visit is…”

Tanya skimmed through the documents. She was fairly confident in her speed reading.

Even listed as a visit purpose, there was nothing special. To widely spread the grace of Lord Telos, to welcome new converts to baptism, and to give a sermon on the podium before leaving.

But these were likely just superficial reasons.

The endlessly noble Saint King from the Telos order coming all the way to this remote Acken Isle… It would surely all be about the precious Saint Clarice.

Saint Clarice could be considered the heart of the Telos order.

Even the craving for learning couldn’t escape the embrace of divine love, leading her to the land of learning—Sylvania—early this semester.

Most likely, the Saint King… wanted to see with his own eyes.

Whether Saint Clarice was receiving proper treatment, whether the facilities were adequate, whether there were any dangers.

If there were any disqualifying reasons, they might be considering taking Clarice back with them.

It was a truly regrettable situation, but with the recent never-ending incidents at Sylvania, it wouldn’t be strange if there were a few disqualifying reasons.

“Hmm… After finishing today’s work, I’ll have to schedule a visit to see the Saint residing in Ophelius Hall. Secretary Illena, are you fine with that?”

“Yes. I’ll inquire with the escort personnel about it.”

And the student council secretary began to pull out yet more documents. There was still a ton left.

“Oh, right. The people from Saint City have asked for a private meeting with a student. Shall I pass it to the academic side? Or would you like to check?”

“A private meeting…? Who do they even want to meet that the Saint King himself would be interested in meeting, other than the Saint?”

“Yes. They’re a second-year student. Adelle Ceres from the Magic Department…”

“Adelle… Adelle… I’ve heard of that senior.”

“Yes… They’re quite a unique individual, hard to predict when or where they might appear.”

Tanya stroked her chin for a moment in contemplation.

“Well, if they’ve requested it, there’s no reason to say no.”

The very timing of the Saint King’s people visiting Acken Isle wasn’t exactly… pleasant.

***

―Crackle, crackle. Fwoosh.

And so, it turned out I met Yenika again late into the night.

Jeesh, we practically short-circuited just from exchanging polite words, spending almost a whole day recovering from the emotional overload.

Late at night in the camp.

I was sitting by the campfire, memorizing basic magic formulas while also peeling an apple with a folding knife.

Now I could afford to be choosy about nutrients when eating, making sure to get a variety of foods, even remembering to have fruit after meals—it was a real sign that life had gotten much more stable.

As I swung my leg leisurely and tapped the apple twice with the knife, that’s when Yenika emerged from the undergrowth.

I paused in peeling the apple and looked over at Yenika. Wondering what to say first… I just waited quietly.

“Hi… Hello…”

“……”

“… Hello? Or hi? Hello…?”

She was still malfunctioning. How embarrassed had she been?

I was apprehensive about starting the conversation, so I just nodded slowly. The awkwardness was mutual.

We silently observed each other for a few seconds before eventually Yenika, blushing, approached meekly and sat carefully on the rock by the fire.

I showed her the half-peeled apple and asked,

“Do you want an apple…? Or, would you like an apple?”

“Yes, yes…”

“……”

The knife continued in its trajectory. The sound of apple peel being carved off filled the air for a moment.

“Plate, please…”

“Ye, yes… Here you go…”

Couldn’t we just stick to one form of address, either using honorifics or not? It’d help dissipate this suffocating atmosphere.

Yenika was clearly still breathing in short gasps, frantically turning her head as if she thought I wouldn’t notice.

She took the plate I handed her and started nibbling on the apple like a rabbit.

I took a generous bite of another piece and began peeling another apple.

Silence again.

“……”

“……”

Then, suddenly, Yenika buried her face in her knees. Everything she did was unpredictable.

“What’s the matter… Yenika? Are you hurt…?”

“No, no. It’s just that, well, it’s a bit awkward to say while looking at you… First of all, Ed, uh no, Mr. Ed. I have something I want to ask you, and it might sound really strange… So, could you please listen to me until the end before answering…?”

“……”

I observed Yenika, who was rambling while her head was buried in her knees, for a moment and nodded.

I took a deep breath and focused on peeling the apple as if it wasn’t a big deal.

Yenika seemed to have worried about something profound after the bizarre turn of events, now coming to ask me something… It looked like there was something she had decided to ask after some serious contemplation.

Proper courtesy meant listening calmly to whatever she had to say, so I’d keep a straight face no matter what the topic, not look dumbfounded, and even if I was indeed startled, not to show it. That much I could manage. After all, I am an adult, despite what my appearance might suggest.

With these thoughts in mind, I readied myself to listen to Yenika, determined to address her statement in the coolest, most down-to-earth way possible.

“What about… if I move out of Dex Hall and… come to live in the camp with you, Ed…?”

―Whoosh!!!

The knife, thrown off its usual path, sliced clean through my thumb.

“……”

Blood dripped from my thumb, but neither Yenika nor I could pay any attention to the wound.

The dark forest of the north, the campsite.

The bright stars in the night skies always prevailed.

Yet an unexpected anomaly had visited without warning.

All I could do was to look dully at Yenika, an apple and knife in my hands…

And Yenika, trying her best to hide from my glance, buried her blush-red face even deeper into her knees.

And so for a long while, only the crackling sound of the campfire intruded on our silence.

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2 responses to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 111”

  1. SwagMeister69 Avatar
    SwagMeister69

    Let’s gooooo yenika

    1. I hate the awkwardness between them
      Just say what you want to say and face the consequences jeez

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