The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 13

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Stray Cat (2)

It may be slightly inappropriate to compare people to animals, but sometimes when I look at Yenika Faelover, I can’t help but think of a dog that has been raised with much human contact. When you see a dog wagging its tail as if it’s happy to see every person in the world, don’t you feel the urge to hug it and stroke its head? Maybe the other students think the same because whenever I see Yenika in the hallways or the classroom, she’s always in the arms or linked arm-in-arm with some of her female classmates. And should I come within 3 meters of her, I’m treated to glares that might as well be trying to eat me alive, worrying that I’ll somehow negatively influence our precious Yenika.

If Yenika resembles such a sociable dog, then Lucy Mayrill could be likened to a stray cat. Her breathing may sound like a purring kitten, and the sight of her hugging her knees and sleeping might remind someone of a cat, but this isn’t just about appearances. A wild stray cat never lets itself be tamed. They seldom display coquettish behavior or engage warmly with passersby—at least, that’s what I observed from the stray cats I’ve seen my whole life. The stray cats that have adjusted to civilization’s back alleys live by their own set of rules: they may roam the mean streets, but they always carry themselves like royalty, dignified in their walk even if their fur is soiled. It’s not arrogance or a sense of superiority—that’s just their nature from the start.

Lucy Mayrill was also such a person from the outset.

“Haak-yaahk!”

She stretched her arms wide then lifted her upper body. It had been approximately 30 minutes since I returned to camp and found Lucy Mayrill. As for me, I was deep in thought, stroking my chin and wondering what in the world to do with her. The sun was setting and the high sky of spring was already being invaded by darkness from the east.

Lucy Mayrill sat there with sleepy eyes, strands of her strong-willed hair sticking to her cheek. The first thing she says upon waking in someone else’s home?

“…I’m hungry.”

Just like that, a girl capable of hitting you right in the head with her words.

It was then that Lucy’s gaze finally met mine. I’d been sitting there for a long time, propped against a rock near the fire, my chin resting on my hands. In such a situation, most girls would’ve gasped or showed some sign of embarrassment, but this was Lucy Mayrill we’re talking about.

“A hundred points out of… maybe ninety…?”

I stayed still and just watched.

“The leaves make a nice roof, letting sunlight sneak through. The breeze coming in was cool, and it felt so good. I just laid down and fell asleep right away.”

Apparently, my camp had been officially ranked by Lucy Mayrill as one of the top three best places to nap in the Sylvania Academy.

“But, since the floor is finished with just clothes and stuff, I had to lay on my stomach… Would have been better if it was softer, but still, the sunlight was nice… and the sound of the water in the stream was so good.”

And she continued to prattle on with a blank expression, her face somehow sparkling with content.

…What am I even finding convincing here?

Lucy Mayrill then stood up and stretched grandly once more.

My wooden shelter had grown spacious after several reinforcements, but that space is more width than height, with the ceiling ending around the height of my shoulders—I can’t even stand up inside. Observing Lucy stretching in such a tight space underscored the difference in our build. She was truly a petite girl, even her uniform—already the smallest size—looked loose on her sleeves.

Soon, sounds of a growling stomach emanated from Lucy. And with that, she sprang out from the shelter.

“Sprang out” was, in fact, the perfect description.

Lucy Mayrill’s movements were akin to the martial arts you’d see in a wuxia movie—gathering mana under her feet to take a leap, using her petite form to land precisely where she wanted through wind and gravity magic, including advanced shock-absorption spells. She moved with the grace of an immortal, wielding high-level magic seemingly with instinct, not thought.

“This jerky, can I eat it?”

She landed right above my makeshift drying rack, where my well-seasoned jerky was beautifully displayed.

I stayed silent even at this point. I had wanted to avoid as much interaction with this girl as possible.

‘Slothful Lucy,’ a legendary genius recognized begrudgingly by everyone from students to professors, and even Headmaster Obel of the Sylvania Academy.

During the ‘Sylvania’s Disgraced Sword Saint’ scenario, she played an important support character role, and to the end, felt like a massive wall. There was a particular route where you could battle Slothful Lucy, and even maximized abilities like ‘Sphere Mind,’ which allows you to glimpse an opponent’s stats, didn’t reveal her true capacity. From this, I could glean the developers’ intentions.

She was not designed to be defeated.

“You can eat.”

When I gave her permission, Lucy picked up a piece of jerky, took a bite, and made a face as she tasted it.

“Ack—so salty!”

Yet, showing distaste with her grimace, she curiously bit into the jerky once more.

Continuing to mull over the savory pieces, she eventually seemed to enjoy the salty taste, eagerly pointing to another piece.

“Can I have another?”

“Sure.”

And just like that, she settled down on the drying rack, swinging her legs and savoring the flavor of the jerky. Though initially repelled by the saltiness, she soon indulged in full satisfaction.

…What is this feeling creeping inside me? It’s a sense of fulfillment, like feeding a small mammal…

Is this how one becomes a cat lady? This could be addictive…

I shook my head vigorously. Get a grip—it’s Lucy Mayrill.

She is a key character with a significant role in this ‘Sylvania’s Disgraced Sword Saint’ scenario. Any further involvement would bring no good.

Yes, she must be sent away. I must focus on getting her out smoothly and without friction.

“The salty taste was too much at first, but now it’s actually what I like about it. It’s stimulating.”

I understood then.

As the unrivaled genius of the first-year students, it was obvious that Lucy Mayrill would be residing at the Ophelius Hall, granted only to those with top marks or noble status.

The student cafeteria of the Ophelius Hall is catered by the kingdom’s finest chefs presenting top-tier food daily. Naturally, her taste buds would be quite advanced, if not regal.

However, there are flavors that even fine dining can’t capture.

Spicy, salty, sweet—the flavors absent from gourmet dishes, where the focus is on fresh ingredients, flavor harmony, and balanced nutrition. A realm beyond health-conscious gourmet, where spices rule all. Such illicit temptations are a devil’s whisper to those who’ve only ever known healthy, elite dining.

“Can I take all of this?”

“No.”

That would be crossing the line. That’s my lunch, you devil.

“Aw…”

Though she looked somewhat crestfallen, that was the reality—I depended on these provisions for survival.

For her, it would merely be a snack, but for me, it’s literally life-sustaining. She could simply return and indulge in luxurious meals at the Ophelius Hall.

“By the way…”

An idea struck me.

The supremely indifferent Lucy Mayrill is feared by no one in this academy. Be it the benevolent Princess Fenya, the golden girl Lortelle, or the notorious Professor Glast, everyone becomes an equal in the eyes of the unfazed Lucy.

But there was one thing that could control this unpredictable Lucy.

“The maids from the Ophelius Hall are looking for you.”

Her face paled immediately at my words, and her randomly kicking feet abruptly halted.

Then, just as quickly, she darted back into the shelter to grab her wide-brimmed witch’s hat.

“You know, I think I have to go.”

“Alright… tough break.”

“I’ll come again.”

Please just don’t. Ever.

“But before I go, there’s a message for you from him.”

I had wasted too much time being swayed by Lucy. I started to sort through my laundry gear to wash the workout clothes I’d wear the next day.

Lucy pointed towards the forest.

“What is it?”

Looking in the direction she indicated, nothing but the lush forest was in sight.

“Just keep an eye out for that wolf, as big as a house. He’s been watching.”

Chills ran down my spine for a moment.

With no opportunity to train properly in spirit perception, there are still unseen realms to me.

“Someday, make sure to save Yenika.”

With that casual implication, Lucy Mayrill disappeared in the direction of the Ophelius Hall.

I slowly turned my head to look back where she had pointed earlier in the forest.

Filling the gap between the dense trees, I could only hear the chirping of crickets. Nothing else was in sight.

*

[ Notice ]

There will be combined combat classes for the first and second-year students.

Those attending the Basic and Advanced Cooperative Combat classes at the Neill Hall Common Combat Training Facility are required to check the distributed list for their assigned groups.

※ Attention Alchemy department students! Participation in class has been extremely low! While alchemy experiments are important, please make an effort to join the common classes too!

– Combat Practice Assistant Professor, Claire Elfin.

The next day.

During the meeting of second-year students at the Student Council Building, the notice was distributed. It was already time for the combined first and second-year combat class event. The progress is rather swift. This event is supposed to be when Yenika Faelover makes her first appearance in the game.

That means the ‘Golden Daughter Lortelle’ and ‘Benevolent Princess Fenya’ will have started taking opposing stands due to differing opinions. The second year’s tale of student politics separate from monster battling was taking form right there. It’s another crucial variable in this world that needs vigilant observation.

Apart from listening occasionally to rumors or deducing from the flow of time, my position a step away from the spotlight demands close monitoring. It’s essential to witness firsthand how things are unfolding.

Suppose the protagonist Taely sides with one faction over another, making choices at critical junctions. It will be necessary to gauge the direction in which the world will tilt consequentially.

Anyway, I hadn’t been able to properly spot Taely at the previous enrollment ceremony due to being called for a meeting with the dean.

This joint combat class should allow me to catch a glance at all the main freshman characters.

This is an opportunity to confirm things are proceeding according to the ‘official story’ without any major deviations.

With my shoulders feeling stiff after sharpening arrows all night, I walked out of the Student Council Building.

Despite the continuous hellish days, humans are indeed creatures of adaptation. I can feel my body getting accustomed to it. If my physical stats could just show some meaningful improvement, that would be great.

Still, things should work out.

I’ve become quite capable of holding onto such hopeful thoughts.

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