The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 124

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !

The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Joint Combat Practice 2 (10)

Adelle Ceres, the next Saintess.

Her name was known among the high priests of Sacred Dragon Temple.

She was the talent to fill the vacancy left by the last Saintess, Elnir, after her death. Her fame was already so lofty that no one dared to lightly speak her name.

The title of Saintess, showered with the blessing of the divine Telos at the pinnacle of the Holy City, was not bestowed upon just anyone. To qualify, one needed innate purity and grace, and an ability to accept the immense divine power and respond effortlessly to the sacred laws.

Adelle’s power was so vast that rumors spread of her being the reincarnation of Lord Telos himself.

Her wondrous ability to twist divine power and use it like her own mana stirred rumors that her sanctified magical arts might even surpass the realm of sacred magic.

Her foresight, pulling the threads of time to gaze into the future, was considered an undeniable miracle, breaching the decrees of fate.

Be it her long, honey-colored hair or her habit of strumming a lyre with a serene smile, Adelle exuded dignity. Even in a blouse and skirt from her days scraping by in the slums, she radiated an indescribable holy aura.

Yet, even she was not without flaw.

Her origins from a lowly orphanage in the commercial city of Oldec, possessing such immense divine power yet incapable of controlling it by herself.

These aspects occasionally became her Achilles’ heel. However, despite her shortcomings, there was no one more fitting than her to take over the vacant position of the next Saintess.

Having received the Saintess’s baptism and the blessing of the sacred laws, Adelle was just about to ascend to the position of the next Saintess.

With the approval of the Holy Emperor and the archbishops, as well as the support of the bishops, only the final rite of the Saint’s Stigma remained.

In the plaza before Sacred Dragon Temple, under the midday light, she would prick her finger with a dagger and let her blood drip into the holy water – a ritual that would publicly unveil her as the new Saintess before the masses.

On the eve of her Saint’s Stigma baptism, sitting alone at the very top of Sacred Dragon Temple’s spire, Adelle closed her eyes gently while gazing up at the night sky.

From the orphanage in Oldec to the top of Sacred Dragon Temple, she had experienced an unbelievable rise in status in just a few months. She was not quite accustomed to the pace, but Adelle had a sense of the world’s flow.

Yet, upon receiving the Saintess’s baptism and feeling the intensified divine power coursing through her, she began to glimpse fragments of a new future.

A previously unclear tendril of the future seemed to slip into her hands, and she focused intently, eyes wide open.

And in the night sky bloomed a vision of her own future, something she had not seen before…

―Bang!

―Clatter!

The following morning, the archbishop’s office doors swung open violently.

A priest rushed in, urgently reporting to the archbishop, who scrunched his brow in perplexity upon hearing the news.

― ‘——! ——!’

Everything had been planned out. Once today’s rite of the Saint’s Stigma was performed, the emergence of a new Saintess would be proclaimed, and the existence of the next Saintess, known only among the clergy of Sacred Dragon Temple, would be revealed to the world.

However, Adelle Ceres, who had been designated as the next Saintess, abandoned her position on the eve of her rise.

After much commotion and several conflicts, Adelle would not ascend to the position of the Saintess of Sacred Dragon Temple.

Acknowledged for her immense divine power as a clergy member, she was appointed as the caretaker of the sacred flame atop the spire of Sacred Dragon Temple. Despite the prestige, it was a position with not much work to be done.

In the end, the girl sat upon the peak of Sacred Dragon Temple, plucking her lyre and living as a leisurely poet.

Thus, the position of the Saintess remained vacant for a long while.

The rumors of a new Saintess slowly subsided, dismissed as mere talk.

Only stories of a cheerful romanticist atop the pinnacle of Sacred Dragon Temple circulated among the lower clergy.

Five years passed since those events.

It took this long for Clarice to be acclaimed as Saintess, revered by all the believers in the Holy City.

Possessed of such enormous divine power that it seemed hogged God’s love, she had remarkable adaptability to the sacred laws and a naturally sanctified charisma and appearance.

Watching Clarice receiving the Saint’s Stigma baptism on the plaza in front of Sacred Dragon Temple, Adelle laid her lyre down beside her.

In the high noon sky, a massive crowd of believers cheered in celebration of the birth of the new Saintess.

Looking down from heaven, would God see this scene the same way?

Adelle pondered this fleeting thought, watching Clarice with sad eyes.

* * *

“I didn’t expect you to be so ostentatious, senior Ed.”

The remark was tossed offhandedly.

They were at the entrance to the Mekses Bridge in the carriage depot. Since most carriages passing through the bridge stopped here, it essentially served as a meeting point among tradespeople.

As it was firmly within Elte Company’s territory, when Lortelle stepped into the depot, the employees all widened their eyes and bowed deeply.

“It’s like… overnight… You’d think someone was under hypnosis.”

“It’s a long story, actually.”

Lortelle and I consciously avoided looking behind us.

There, at the entrance to the depot, was a window obstructing our view, and on the other side, saintess Clarice was looking in with her moist, eager eyes stuck to the glass.

Behind her were two knights looking awkward and behind them were passersby curiously peeking at why the once lofty and dignified Saintess was now in such a sorry state clinging to a window.

Even after leaving Nail Hall together, Clarice clung to me incessantly, drawing the attention wherever we went.

If I tried to distance myself or create some space, she would start sobbing and grab my arm, leaving me unable to do anything properly.

Entering the carriage depot, gathering information was impossible without drawing undue attention, so we decided to leave the Saintess in the carriage… yet there she has stood, looking like a lost puppy through the window, thwarting everything.

Lortelle sighed deeply and quietly called the owner over to the counter.

Bending his back like a scythe, the owner responded with caution, wary of upsetting Lortelle’s mood. Upon Lortelle’s enquiry, the owner wiped sweat from his forehead and retreated behind the counter.

Returning to his seat, Lortelle dragged me to the corner onto a waiting bench, sitting me down beside him.

“Sure, you said it was urgent, but… did you have a good enough reason to abandon the last match of the joint combat practice and rush here?”

I had followed his lead, so now it was time for an explanation.

I slouched and sighed, unsure of where to start, especially as I could see Clarice’ frustrated face right outside the window just by glancing up.

“Considering the importance of the reason, I’m calculating how much to charge you. I always try to be cooperative with Senior Ed, you know that… but my services aren’t cheap, as you are well aware.”

“Sure… I know.”

Lortelle was smiling, but it was tinged with frustration. His visage seemed to consciously avoid looking out the window.

“You know your charm well, senior. But I can’t exactly grasp how the Saintess, who until yesterday was strutting through the faculty building with such elegance, changed overnight into someone clinging to you like a sunflower.”

“That’s because there was no other choice. Honestly, I don’t get it either.”

Time turns and turns, but not all memories persist. Thus, even I struggle to know where to begin explaining.

“One thing is certain… we don’t have a lot of time.”

“Excuse me?”

“Soon enough, you’ll find out. But let me give you a heads-up for now.”

Lortelle planned to negotiate with the information he now held. Seeing my apparent urgency, he probably estimated a high price can be demanded. It was an accurate judgment.

However, I needed him to sit beside me rather than make an immediate demand.

“You were waiting for the last match at Nail Hall. But some time has passed since we left there to come here, so the joint combat practice will soon end.”

“Uh… yeah, I suppose so?”

“Then you’ll know what’s going on soon enough.”

“Know what exactly…?”

I sat with my hands clasped together, quickly pouring out the explanation.

“Lortelle, no matter what happens, you don’t panic and you always assess situations with a rational mind.”

“Why such sudden flattery?”

“It’s just… at times like this your qualities shine the most. So whatever happens… don’t panic, and just trust what I’m saying, okay?”

Lortelle sat silently, looking at me. He probably expected an immediate request for the information in his hands, but instead, he gripped his hands tightly, sensing something was amiss.

“We can’t just sit here. Let’s go outside for a moment.”

“Let’s go…”

“No, for now it’s better to stay inside the building.”

Huh?

Before Lortelle could even respond…

A roaring sound like thunder came from outside.

Before we could fully grasp what was happening, a trembling as if the world was collapsing struck Acken Island.

It all happened too fast.

The people inside the storage fell over from the shaking, and the skies over Acken Island were shrouded with covering wings.

―Kang! Kang! Kwagagaga-gak!

The glass windows shattered, and documents from the tables were scattered in the lobby. Tables from the tavern where guests had been sitting, bookshelves crammed with books—they too collapsed.

I had roughly heard Clarice’ story. I wasn’t sure how often, but at the end of the joint combat training, when the holy dragon Bellbrook descended on Acken Island, with a single kick, half of the living quarters were laid to waste, the scales were fired, and a massacre ensued—such was the testimony.

―Kung! Kwagagaga-gak!

Lortelle’s pupils trembled minutely. In a flash, as I looked around, I grabbed Lortelle’s arm and quickly embraced him.

“W-what…!”

Next to Lortelle, we both rolled on the floor.

“W-what…! Suddenly!”

―Pa-ba-ba-ba-bak!

Before Lortelle could answer, hundreds of scale shards pierced through the walls of the storage building.

Covering Lortelle’s body, I pressed down completely and rolled under a stone table.

―Whaaaaaaak!!

―Kwagagaga-gak!!

A ‘Blessing of the Storm’ bloomed around me. A powerful wind blocked the attacking scales… but it couldn’t block every single one.

‘Blessing of the Storm’ was a constant activation skill, but of course, it was feeble compared to when I had fully manifested Merilda.

“Kr, uhk!”

I couldn’t easily gauge how powerful Bellbrook’s wide-area attack would cover the academy. I thought it would be sufficient to block it, but Bellbrook’s scales continued to pierce my body at different intervals.

Because I consciously hunched over, my vitals were mostly missed. Heat surged from the area near my shoulder and thigh, but it was not enough to stop me from moving.

Eventually, I slowly stood up. Looking around at the nearby crowd… half were instantaneously deceased, the other half had suffered severe injuries and were rolling on the ground.

Exclamations filled the storage lobby.

I slowly turned my gaze to Lortelle, who was under my arms.

Drips of blood ran down his cheek. Fortunately, it wasn’t Lortelle’s blood.

“Cough… huh… damn it… at least… the vitals were missed….”

Lortelle’s pupils shook while he faced the dripping blood. Although my appearance, peering down while staggering, must have looked awful, it was a miracle that I had survived these wounds.

The carefully finished marble exterior of the storage was quite sturdy; the scale attack was partially blocked, and we rolled under a high-quality stone table which somewhat held up.

Thanks to that… we were able to neatly dodge Bellbrook’s first attack. Well, it wasn’t exactly neat.

“Hey, senior…”

Gasping for air and looking up, Lortelle. Perhaps hyperventilation hit him momentarily, as his chest heaved up and down with breath.

I staggered to my feet and swiftly pulled Lortelle’s hand, lifting him up.

Unable to resist the force lifting his body, Lortelle stood… upon seeing the corpses scattered around, his eyes trembled once more.

―Kaaang!

The roar of the holy dragon split the skies again. I, too, was breathless from the rapidly changing situation, but forced myself to maintain rationality as I placed my hands on Lortelle’s shoulders.

“So…”

Even amidst all this, Lortelle held the notes he received tightly in one hand.

“…how much?”

Lortelle looked at the wound on my shoulder and quickly grasped the area tightly to stop the bleeding. As I groaned in pain, he wore a confused expression and quickly composed himself again.

In such a situation, it’s no surprise if anyone’s body trembled with panic.

However, Lortelle maintained his senses even amidst the chaos, speaking.

“Compared to the price of my life… there’s quite a lot of change left, isn’t there?”

His voice trembled slightly, but maintaining this level of rationality was already beyond human mental strength.

“We don’t need change.”

“That’s good. It’s quite the profitable deal, isn’t it. Do we have time to explain everything?”

“Unfortunately, we don’t. As you can see.”

The shadow cast from the broken window belonged to Bellbrook, the holy dragon that covered Acken Island.

There was a sense of awe, beyond fear, in the sight of him looking down upon the academy, screaming horrifically.

Lortelle unfolded the blood-stained note and handed it to me.

“Thirteen pieces of eyewitness information. Most seem to come from magical goods merchants. It seems the emperor and archbishop used concealment formations and moved through secluded streets, leading a separate troop. Most of the other attendants headed directly to Triss Hall. The information was hastily gathered and incomplete, but they all point to one location.”

“Where?”

“The cathedral inside the faculty building of the academy. The place prepared for the professors and students who are followers of the Telos church.”

“Why would they need to hide their movements to get there…?”

“They must have done so for a reason.”

The Telos church cathedral within the academy was located at a corner of the faculty building. It was larger than expected because a considerable number of students and faculty were believers of Telos.

It wasn’t strange for the emperor and archbishop to visit the cathedral within the academy.

However, sneaking in only with a separate troop was odd. Especially, heading to the cathedral right after arriving on Acken Island before any other schedule was certainly strange.

Lortelle, still clutching my wound, stared straight into my eyes, trying to suppress his trembling voice.

“Let’s get out of here.”

* * *

Clarice was forcibly pulling the half-crushed door of the storage that wouldn’t open.

Looking around… already she was surrounded by those drenched in blood. Although she herself was safe thanks to the protection of the holy law, she couldn’t save the two knights who tried to protect her.

“Ugh… Kuk…!”

Clarice’ face seemed halfway between tears and desperation as she pulled at the door, but with her limited strength, it was a tough task. Just as she was about to try breaking it using her holy magic…

―Bang!

The door smashed open from a strong burst of magic from the inside.

Out came Lortelle, supporting the injured Ed.

“Ed… senior…! No… not like this…!”

Clarice gulped back her breath. Ed’s death, which she had seen dozens of times, etched like a trauma; she shivered at the sight of him bleeding.

Despite Clarice’ reaction, Ed lifted his head to signal he was okay. But Clarice, unfazed, rushed to him and kept stroking his face.

“Senior Ed… Senior Ed…”

Clarice, oblivious to the rest, was purely focused on checking Ed’s injuries, her eyes welling up.

“We can still make it, barely. The wound is deep… but we can reach the faculty building. It’s fortunate.”

Despite the tumultuous situation, Lortelle looked up at the holy dragon covering the sky, shuddered for a moment, but then clenched his teeth, maintaining composure. Despite saying one can remain rational in any situation, it was inevitable for the mind to be shaken when circumstances spun out so quickly.

“Release the horse’s bridle. We need to ride it out of here.”

Brushing aside the holy woman who was making a fuss over Ed, Lortelle followed Ed’s instruction, quickly unfastened the horse from the wagon, and started to lead it out.

He grabbed the saddle from the carriage’s cargo hold and swiftly fastened it on the horse’s back with lightning speed.

“It’s already tough with a saddle, but two people can barely ride. One of us will have to stay.”

“Saint Clarice and I need to go. It’s a long story, but…”

At those words, Lortelle gave both Ed and Clarice a piercing look. Ed, holding the saddle tight, and Clarice, clinging to Ed with tears, next to the holy dragon poised to bring destruction from above. Despite the continuous confusing tumult, Lortelle let out a sigh, using it to clear his thoughts.

“Hurry, saint.”

“Oh, ah…”

Ed quickly grabbed the bridle and mounted, and then Lortelle pushed Clarice up after him.

The two of them made such a scene as they rode off, like lovers eloping… Lortelle couldn’t help but feel a burning sensation inside.

“I’m sure Senior Ed has his reasons. The situation is flowing so urgently, we don’t have time to spare, so I’ll trust Senior Ed completely.”

Suddenly, Lortelle said so, clutching one side of the saddle.

“Thanks, Lortelle. I’ll definitely repay this debt later.”

“No, you should pay it back now.”

Lortelle put a foot on the saddle and yanked himself up, pulling Ed’s upper body down from the horse.

He kissed him deeply… and then, with a swift move, jumped back down from the horse.

“Ah… Eee…??”

Clarice, her face turning crimson, covered her mouth in astonishment and confusion, letting out a sigh.

“That’s two for you, senior Ed.”

It was an instant act, almost like telling Clarice to take a good look.

“Well, I need to keep my insurance too.”

And then, with a sly smile, he looked at Clarice.

“Sainthood has its rules too. If you carelessly cling to something someone else has marked… things tend to get complicated.”

Innocent Clarice didn’t know how to retort and was left stammering.

Ed, also taken aback, looked wide-eyed at Lortelle, who gave him that sly smile again and slapped the horse’s rump.

Time was of the essence. Before he could say anything in response, the horse dashed off with a neigh.

Watching the horse trot away, Lortelle turned to look up at the sky.

“If I’m not confused… the era of calamity where the holy dragon wreaked havoc should have ended three hundred years ago…”

The magnificence radiated from its enormous form. Staring at it, Lortelle managed to smile.

The one who laughs in the face of danger is the one who wins in the end. This time, too, he sincerely hoped that the proverb would hold true.

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !



Want to keep in touch ? Join our Discord : https://discord.gg/wMvrbbTzrG

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *