The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 127

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Joint Combat Practicum 2 (13)

Upon opening the entrance of the cathedral and heading straight inside, the sanctuary immediately comes into view. Clarice walked down the cathedral’s corridor, escorted by two knights. She had decided to split up from Ed. Having been so busy dealing with numerous matters, she hadn’t paid much attention, but now that she was separated from Ed, an unfounded anxiety seemed to wash over her.

“I need to stay focused.”

However, Clarice quickly shook her head, stiffening her neck. Perhaps the whole truth of the matter unfolded within the walls of this seminary cathedral. This time she needed to move quicker than ever, surging through to penetrate the interior of the cathedral—a clear departure from the cycles of the past she had repeatedly experienced.

“Saintess…?”

Reaching the entrance to the corridor, Tadarek, the Third Seat Apostle of Telos, blocked her path. Clarice, beloved by the current Telos Order and said to be graced by the gods from exchanging mere words, clearly bore the marks of the blessed Saintess despite her fatigued and scratched appearance.

“Weren’t you waiting at the Tricks Pavilion? How did you…?”

“Step aside, Tadarek.”

Saintess Clarice, at times kind and lively, now commanded Tadarek with a cold gaze as if she were an adult who had endured every hardship. There was no surprise or concern visible in her demeanor—even her aura had shifted so much that it was hard to believe she was the saintess they had known in the Holy City. It was unavoidable. She’s a human who has witnessed the death of hundreds, thousands of people, over several cycles.

“But, saintess… the Sovereign ordered…”

“I’ll discuss it with the Sovereign myself, move.”

With that, Clarice briskly walked past Tadarek. He extended his arm to say something, but Clarice swiftly grasped his wrist, gazed at him briefly, and then releasing his hand, went on her way. The knights serving as her guards exchanged glances before slowly following her into the sanctuary.

―Bang!

Entering through the door, the entirety of the sanctuary was revealed at a glance. The first thing in view was the massive pulpit, and behind it lay the enormous stained glass window, shimmering in colors as it caught the sunlight and boasted its beauty. The picture of a grand angel with wings spread wide handing out bread to the people was etched upon it.

Running along the outer wall behind the pulpit was an imposing pipe organ, and in front were wooden pews prepared for the praying congregation. Not a single layperson was inside, but instead, there were plenty of elite followers—like Sovereign Eldain, Archbishop Verdieu, and other apostles of Telos.

Seeing this, saintess Clarice felt overwhelmed. The origin of the crisis she had been seeking, the culprits behind all this, were all gathered here in this place. How many times had she wandered to get here? How many times did she witness Ed Rothtaylor’s death, the academy’s demise, and cling to the fragments of her deteriorating mind without losing it?

Her jaw clenched, but she did not show her emotions. Instead, she spoke quietly, so as to let her voice spread throughout the hall.

“What are you doing here…?”

Above the pulpit, the sealed artifact, ‘Bellbrook’s Molar Necklace’, was resonating with light. It was crafted by the ancient Sword Saint Luden from the shattered tooth of Bellbrook, enhancing the wearer’s magical sensitivity and granting tremendous resistance to all physical attacks. Yet, it was not only for these purposes.

It also awoke the survival instinct of Bellbrook sealed beneath the Sea of Acenseum, prompting the weakened barrier to shatter and break free.

“Saintess Clarice…?”

Archbishop Verdieu, who was inspecting the apostles in front of the pulpit, caught her eye. Sovereign Eldain was also seated nearby.

“Archbishop Verdieu.”

Archbishop Verdieu, akin to a mentor to Saintess Clarice, had guided her in her early days as a saintess so she could maintain dignity.

He was always a sincere figure, receiving reverence from everyone in the Holy City as a devout believer. But was this reputation a testament to true piety or the result of meticulous statesmanship that could make even traders weep?

She couldn’t judge in this moment, but she knew that now was not the time to simply stand by.

“Stop what you’re doing right now.”

His hair showed streaks of gray from the passage of time. He was not yet stooped or weakened by age, but soon he might need to worry about declining physical ability.

Nevertheless, Verdieu stood upright, hands clasped behind his back, and spoke leisurely to Clarice, whom he hadn’t seen in months.

“I didn’t expect the Saintess to arrive at the cathedral first…”

“I won’t repeat myself.”

Clarice scanned her surroundings. How long was left before the Ascendant Dragon Bellbrook revived? It was hard to grasp at this very moment.

“Do you know what I am trying to do…?”

“You’re trying to resurrect the Ascendant Dragon.”

“Indeed,” Verdieu chuckled, a smile profoundly different from the solemn and benevolent one seen in the Holy City.

“How he knew was not a matter for current concern. Whether there was a turncoat or an informant within, if the saintess knew the truth, it would only take moments to complicate matters.

“Archbishop Verdieu, I thought of you as a faithful devotee concerned only with the Holy City.”

“That’s correct. I live only to serve the Holy City.”

Verdieu let out a breath, looking up at the ceiling where the stained glass was glowing vibrantly with sunlight.

“Expanding the church’s influence is part of business. Faith means trust. The Holy God always presides in heaven, but the lowly folk won’t believe unless they see something tangible.”

“So… you plan to kill the Ascendant Dragon and spread its grace far and wide?”

“It won’t take long.”

“Aren’t you considering the possibility of failure?”

With that, a chilling thought crossed her mind.

As Clarice looked down, she saw a grand sacrificial array drawn out below. It was a setup using the Saintess’s unique divine power to suppress Bellbrook.

While Clarice waited at the Tricks Pavilion, the Sovereign and the Archbishop had been making preparations in the seminary cathedral.

Clarice’s eyes turned cold as ice as she looked towards the pulpit.

“So… insurance was my life.”

Was that denial or affirmation?

While she would have preferred outright denial.

“Insurance is just that—a fallback plan in case things don’t work out.”

The expression on Archbishop Verdieu, as frosty as Clarice’s gaze, was that of a true zealot.

Clarice had seen heretics before, when she visited a village that had suffered at the hands of the Ain tribe in the northern steppes.

The madness of fanatics who had lost their reason was almost too much to call sane. Those who abandoned ethics and morality in the name of blind faith are the ones who stray from civilization.

Having seen such scenes, the fanatics in Clarice’s mind were nothing more than bizarre variants that couldn’t be reasoned with or engaged in regular conversation.

However, that perception was narrow-minded.

It’s possible to possess reason, maintain dignity, engage in conversation, always exhibit formality, and yet be steeped in zealous fervor.

Ultimately, it comes down to what is sacrificed in the name of faith.

While devotion brings the power to save one’s spirit, one must never stop considering its limits.

“Sovereign. Do you truly believe this will suffice?”

Clarice’s gaze shifted to Sovereign Eldain, seated behind the pulpit.

The series of plans led by Archbishop Verdieu could not have proceeded without the support of the final arbiter, Eldain.

Even if he did not lead, he was a bystander. He had the power and authority to stop Verdieu.

Therefore, Clarice looked imploringly at the Sovereign. Still, Archbishop Verdieu had repeatedly saved the Holy City from fiscal threats. To the church, his contributions far outweighed those of tens of thousands of believers.

Sovereign Eldain then closed his eyes and bowed his head, leading Clarice to swallow a breath unintentionally.

A hot, unique emotion surged through her, different from anger.

The sprout of ‘distrust’ that had taken root in her heart whispered to her to halt this disaster.

Her body moved first.

Striding up the steps to the pulpit, Clarice reached for Bellbrook’s Molar Necklace, but Archbishop Verdieu caught her wrist.

Clarice’s wrist throbbed with an intense pain as he gripped tightly. Yet she glared directly into Verdieu’s eyes.

“I am sorry, saintess. It won’t take long now, so please sleep for a while.”

A rustling sound came from behind Clarice.

The seated apostles were rising one by one, beginning to spread their wings.

* * *

Ed strode briskly holding Adelle’s wrist, not towards the cathedral but along a path that wound around its side.

“Yes, it’s quite the unpleasant truth.”

After learning about the Ascendant Dragon from Clarice, reflecting on it, coming to terms, fetching help from elsewhere, and making their way to this cathedral, quite some time had passed.

It was only a matter of time before the Ascendant Dragon resurrected.

Ed hurried along while listening intently to Adelle’s explanations.

“From his days as a common priest, Archbishop Verdieu was like that. Expanding the influence of the church. And filling the coffers of the Holy City. That was how the Archbishop proved his devotion.”

“That hardly seems like priestly material.”

Adelle struggled to keep up as she shook her head.

“His faith was genuine. It was just too extremist.”

“The world calls that a fanatic.”

“To label it simply as fanaticism… isn’t quite right either; he’s too rational.”

Rational. That term made Ed scoff.

What Adelle had relayed about the church’s movements was enough to leave anyone shaking their head in dismay.

It all began with Emperor Clorel’s ascension. The current sovereign was renowned as an excellent ruler fit to be called a ‘saint-king,’ having brought an era of great peace to the empire at the heart of the continent.

As the Telos Order expanded its influence and increased its followers across the realm…

Hidden beneath the magnificent aura of the Clowell imperial family, the faith had gradually declined, slowly selling itself off like a merchant. While it may be labeled as a decline, there is no doubt that even now, the Telos Order remains one of the largest religious organizations within the empire. Compared to the days of yore when the Telos Order of the creation myth was treated as a heretical group on the outskirts of the continent, it has grown hundreds, if not thousands of times in size. Was it perceived not as the result of changing times, but as evidence of disbelief?

Archbishop Verdieu… he desired to resurrect the dignity of the Telos Order from the old days when dragons rampaged and the Ain people committed massacres. Thus, he engaged in miracles, aiming to subdue the divine dragon threatening the Acken Islands and broadly spread his glorious name throughout the Clowell Empire.

“Did you try to persuade him? You’re a prophetess, right? Aren’t they supposed to believe everything you say?”

“I have… already lost the trust of Archbishop Verdieu.”

‘Why?’

went unasked.

Adelle had often prophesied, but rarely conveyed it fully to the clergy. She even concealed prophecies and deceived others. She did not reveal why she never ascended to the position of saintess, and having abandoned the sanctuary atop the spire and fled under the cover of darkness… it can be safely assumed that she has lost all trust within the Order.

“The Holy Majesty is probably following Archbishop Verdieu’s policy too.”

“Every one of them is out of their minds.”

“I was confident from the start. They had the force to justify it. After all, the Holy Majesty arrived with six of ‘The Apostles of Telos,’ the most formidable sanctity mages.”

The Apostles of Telos.

Each member is powerful in their own right, but as their numbers double and triple, their collective might grows exponentially. They share fundamental sanctity magic, can exchange vast divine power, and have undergone joint formations and extensive training.

“With more than five Apostles of Telos present, if they are well-formed, and provided with ample supplies and mana, they could withstand an army of tens of thousands without the city’s gates falling.”

Yet, here are six Apostles of Telos. It seems excessively combative for a simple visit to inspect a saintess. They could not be considered just an escort.

“And, unlike the world of ancient scriptures, there have been numerous developments in magic up to the present. The efficiency reforms of sanctity magic have been tremendous.”

“So, their intention was to resurrect the divine dragon to subjugate it, is that it?”

‘Arrogant,’ might be the right word. Capturing a monster from the distant past in the present day holds symbolic significance. Over time, looking at historical records breeds unfounded confidence.

The monsters of myth – Minotaurs, cerberus, cyclopes, harpies, Leviathan – depicted in books as dreadful beasts that killed numerous people, seem easily subdued in the present with thoughts of guns, bombs, cannons, warships, and even tactical nuclear weapons.

History, when passed down, tends to be distorted and exaggerated.

Even the mighty divine dragon Bellbrook could not have been imagined to tear apart the heavens and the earth.

However, almost nothing is falsified about the legacy of Bellbrook.

It is only unverifiable, being memories of a time hundreds of years past. The swordmaster of yore is long dead, and no one who witnessed the grandeur of the divine dragon remains.

Aren’t The Apostles of Telos capable of overpowering an immense army? Having witnessed their formidable might several times, they likely believed they could subdue even the divine dragon.

The price of their arrogance could be counted in thousands of lives. The land known as Acken Island might be erased from the map.

“Listen well, Adelle. How many more times do you think you will be able to turn back time?”

“I… don’t know… My divine energy is nearly… gone.”

Looking back, Adelle was panting heavily, almost being dragged along. Ed confirmed Adelle’s condition and immediately picked her up by her thighs and carried her.

“Whoa, ah!”

“Rest for a bit, and let’s try to turn back time once more. Brace your lower abdomen firmly.”

“Yes…?”

Adelle was likely nearing her limit. No one knew how many more times she could reverse time.

It wasn’t even Adelle’s will to do so; it was the protection of sanctity engraved within her that autonomously drew upon her power.

“In the end, it’s simple. We just have to smack the asses of those Order bastards doing their dirty deeds in front of the cathedral. However, I can’t shake the feeling that it won’t be enough no matter what I think.”

“Archbishop Verdieu is overly strategic for a zealous believer, and his mind is far too shrewd. He wouldn’t have set up a plan without a backup. If Plan A fails, he would have prepared Plans B, c, definitely.”

“Do you… know Archbishop Verdieu?”

I’ve never met him. But I do know of him. Too evasive to skirt around with an explanation, Ed simply shook his head and ran into the street.

“Our job is to block all the escape routes so that the rat can’t run away. It’ll be tough to catch him off guard. So… we must keep an eye on what he’s doing.”

“Then… what will we do…?”

“That’s right. I’ll create the path, and you have only one task.”

Upon reaching the back door of the cathedral, Ed sat Adelle down on a nearby bench, looked into her eyes, and spoke.

“Remember.”

“……”

“Make sure you remember what he does and come find me. I’ll probably be standing around clueless. But that’s alright. As quickly as I can, I’ll grasp the situation and consider the whole matter… Trust me once and come to the terrace bench in front of the Gluckt building. You’ll find Yenika and me sitting side by side.”

Adelle leaned back on the bench, her strength ebbing.

“But… I’m almost out of strength… explaining will be difficult…”

“Clarice the saintess can explain in your place, so stop worrying needlessly. It’s not just your memories we have. We just need… more eyes.”

“……”

“You said you wanted to live?”

Ed threw off his coat beside Adelle on the bench and rolled up his shirt sleeves.

“Sitting around won’t save you. Even if you cling to your clothes disgustingly and flounder in the filthy mud, it’s uncertain whether you’ll live…”

Adelle’s pupils dilated.

She remembered not crying as a child when her father left, not begging to stay because she was alone and afraid.

“Surviving is always a desperate and ugly struggle. Did you forget all that while being revered as a saintess in the Holy Majesty?”

Survival.

Perhaps it was her only life goal, yet always out of reach.

To Ed, this was no distant tale.

Every moment of his life at the academy was a struggle just to survive.

“You already know all that.”

“But… The Apostles of Telos aren’t a force we can simply overcome…”

“Force? Force itself isn’t much of a problem. As I said, the real issue is blocking all the other escape routes the rat would have surely hidden.”

“Force… isn’t a problem…?”

Did he truly understand who The Apostles of Telos were?

She wanted to respond, but there was no hint of uncertainty on Ed’s face.

* * *

―Crash.

―Kaboom!

It happened in an instant.

As The Apostles of Telos swooped in to subdue the saintess, a large part of the grand stained glass behind the pulpit shattered, the fragments tumbling down. The glass shattered against the marble floor with a piercing sound.

The human shadow that invaded the center of the chapel in the confusion had grabbed two of the apostles in mid-flight and pinned them to the central pulpit with indiscernible speed.

The impact from the landing was so powerful that the surrounding people were knocked over. The wooden pews for the congregation were thrown asunder, and the area was soon occupied by bodies flying like scraps of paper.

As the dust settled, the identity of the shadow became clear.

Apostle number five, Pelver, lay trampled on the ground, while number seven, Habres, hung in the air, gripped by the neck.

One hand held down a witch’s hat threatened by the wind, the other hand was raised with an apostle several times her own size in its grasp.

The shock from the impact caused her white, split-ended hair to flutter slightly, and her cold gaze betrayed no intense emotion.

Lucy Mayrill.

She then flung the captured man toward the wall.

―Bang!

―Kreee-ang!

He crashed into the pipes of the massive organ along the wall and tumbled down toward the keys.

An ominous sound resonated from the organ pipes that covered the outer walls of the cathedral. The haunting echoes as though heralding impending doom.

The clergymen on the floor looked up at the pulpit, swallowing their breaths.

Only half of the shattered stained glass remained. The benevolent engravings of angel wings behind Lucy were broken.

Her gaze was icy cold as ever.

“You… What have you done just now…!”

“I don’t believe in gods.”

The light filtering through the broken stained glass haloed Lucy’s diminutive form.

While stepping on an apostle, she looked down emotionlessly at the clergymen below.

“But the saying that one must be punished for their sins, I think that’s correct. Not everything you prayer-folk say is wrong.”

“What… What do you mean… Sins… What exactly…”

Barely managing to stand up, Archbishop Verdieu gritted his teeth at Lucy, who stood unmoved on the pulpit.

Lucy, with no change in her tone, calmly spoke.

“It’s all written in your holy scriptures and relics.”

Humanity’s Seven Deadly Sins are listed on the first page of the Order’s holy scriptures. Lucy, not believing in gods, didn’t bother to memorize them all, but… she did know some.

Her gaze fell.

The tooth of Bellbrook, the sacrificial magic circle, the Apostles who were so sure of themselves just moments ago. She saw it all but imparted no meaning.

The atheist, Lucy Mayrill.

She simply pronounced the verdict in a dull voice.

“Pride.”

Before them stood one for whom even eight Apostles gathered could barely fend off, a legendary archmage. And only six Apostles had arrived, two of whom were immediately defeated.

The rising magic power filled the chapel.

Editor’s note:

Damn Lucy.

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2 responses to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 127”

  1. I knew Ed would call Lucy and I am excited for it xD

  2. SwagMeister69 Avatar
    SwagMeister69

    Let’s goooo Lucy

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