The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 132

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Joint Combat Training 2 (18)

– Thwack!

A log split in half, rolling on the grassy ground. I picked up the halved log and flung it towards the nearby pile. The piece tumbled a few times before it settled at the bottom of the stack.

For a while, only the sounds of splitting firewood echoed through the camp. After about thirty minutes, there were no further logs left to split as the intermittent sounds dissipated.

“Phew…”

I plopped down on an empty stump and took a deep breath.

Spring was drawing to a close.

Already, the dawn air carried the distinct moistness of summer. Soon, bugs would swarm in greater numbers, and the heat would become more oppressive.

I had already experienced one summer in this forest. There was a need to set up tents for outdoor activities, a desire to secure a steady supply for cold water, and various other tasks such as renovating the cabin piled up in my head. There was also the staff I wanted to finish for Yenika…

Despite the numerous pressing issues, I still had to get the necessary work done. Camping life could easily become overwhelming with tasks if one wasn’t careful.

I slung the axe over my shoulder and stretched my arms as I headed back to camp.

*

“You’re looking surprisingly well. I’m relieved to see you’re not seriously hurt.”

Two days had passed since the day of the joint combat training.

With all the unbelievable commotion that had happened in a single day, the Academy staff must have been busy with the aftermath for some time.

Luckily, there were no casualties or significant property damages. With just a hole in the ceiling of the Cathedral and some stained glass shattered, all should be repaired before month’s end.

“I wasn’t severely injured, to begin with. If anything, Yenika had a tougher time.”

“Is that so? Actually, the reason for my visit today is to see Miss Yenika.”

The position of head maid of the Ophelius residence was anything but leisurely.

Despite her impeccably graceful posture and neat attire, she must have been dealing with a variety of chores since the crack of dawn. Still, she didn’t show signs of fatigue, which was typical of Belle Mayar.

In her basket were neatly sliced fruits, clean linen and bedsheets, herbs with febrifugal effects, and spare garments.

“I heard she was quite ill. While I can trust you to take good care of her, I’m concerned, so I thought I’d meddle a bit.”

Yenika’s condition had put inquiries about her state in the background. She wasn’t in great health.

Yet she preferred to remain in her cabin rather than stay in the Academy’s infirmary. Though I had hoped she’d rest in better conditions, she refused, wanting to recuperate in the familiar surroundings of her own place.

As a result, Yenika was recovering in her cabin. Her condition wasn’t so severe that she couldn’t move at all, and there were no major issues as I helped her with daily activities and made sure she wasn’t uncomfortable.

Her ailment wasn’t due to a disease. Time was the only medicine needed. All we could do was wait for Yenika’s magic to restore itself gradually.

Though her blurry vision occasionally resulted in bumps against furniture or doorways, requiring my assistance, it was reassuring to know her eyesight was slowly returning.

“I was actually thinking of asking someone for help.”

“Master Ed. In such circumstances, you should always seek my assistance first.”

Her expression remained impassive, yet there seemed to be a gleam in her eyes, as if she found joy in this.

Belle Mayar unlikely found pleasure in Yenika’s misfortune; rather, she seemed eager for an opportunity to engage in domestic work. Although she preferred hands-on tasks, her higher position had kept her away from them for some time. Her approach to work conveyed genuine enthusiasm.

“However, Master Ed.”

“Yes?”

“Have you been facing any particular difficulties?”

As I looked at her quizzically, Belle Mayar touched her chin and tilted her head slightly.

“Never mind. Spending too much time in this job leads to needless speculation.”

“Unnecessary speculations?”

“Just… given recent inquiries about you from the Saintess and Lady Lucy… Uh… discussing it too much might do more harm than good. Right now, caring for Miss Yenika should take precedence.”

Offering a slight bow, Belle Mayar passed by me, who was busily preparing shellfish, and approached Yenika’s cabin door. Before opening it, she paused and turned to add:

“Just to be clear, you mustn’t enter or watch. I have to wipe her sweat and help her change clothes.”

“That goes without saying…”

“Well, I didn’t think you would make such a mistake in the first place.”

With that said, she opened the door and stepped inside.

But before completely entering, she paused, half out the door, to add:

“Now that I think about it, why should we be so strict about such mistakes? Isn’t this the time of youthful impulsiveness? When else to commit such errors? It’s not a mortal sin to be curious… perhaps it’s fine just to listen occasionally to one’s inner voice…”

“Stop talking nonsense and go help Yenika…”

“Such a pity. Oh, right. Master Ed?”

Although Belle Mayar rarely shows dramatic changes in expression, just before closing the door, she seemed almost refreshingly serene.

“You slipped into informal speech.”

There was something crisp about her tone, like a gladiator who had triumphed in a bout.

– Bang

“…”

From within, I could hear Yenika fussing. She was ranting about Belle Mayar’s absurd comments and begging her to lock the door, while Belle Mayar argued about the importance of good ventilation in a patient’s room, trying to keep the door open.

– ‘Are you experiencing any difficulties?’

Sitting quietly, idly twirling a dagger, I mulled over Belle Mayar’s probing question.

Belle Mayar managed the students residing in Ophelius residence. Her question must have arisen from observing the reactions of students there, especially Saintess Claire and Lucy – leading her to such speculation.

Belle often criticised herself for being too meddlesome and prone to involving herself too deeply in others’ affairs. However, from my perspective, her concern was appreciated. In the end, I benefited greatly from her help.

-‘Miss Yenika! It’s practically criminal to keep a patient in such a dusty environment! You’d be better off in the Academy infirmary! If you refuse, it can’t be helped! But let me open the door wide to air out the place properly! Here I go!’

-‘Why do that nowwaaah!’

The continued noise from inside complicated my feelings.

*

“Um, may I ask an indiscreet question? I know I’m crossing a line, so feel free to punch me if needed. Actually, it seems blatantly over the line… but as a fellow man, it’s too hard to ignore. I’ll muster all my courage and ask anyway, don’t worry, I can take a hit.”

The person who visited after the classes had ended was Zix.

“Have you two been up to mischief today?”

“…”

“… Huh…!!”

“…”

“… Sorry.”

As the cool evening breeze blew, thinking it was about time Yenika got some fresh air, I had brought her out and seated her nearby.

Belle Mayar’s actions of flinging open the doors, wiping down Yenika’s body, and changing her clothes were hardly sane. It was as if she was signaling me about something, but I refrained from any missteps, wanting to maintain a peaceful relationship with Yenika. It wasn’t as if I were a teenage boy desperate to sneak a peek at a female body and risk her resentment.

Nevertheless, Yenika, whose eyesight was still poor, blushed red to the ears, unable to meet my gaze. She probably wanted to ask if I had seen anything, but she seemed too shy and just blushed fiercely. It’s clear she trusts me, but anxiety is still there. And asking directly would seem like doubting her.

While she dithered in her own concerns, nearing a mental breakdown, I was ready to reassure her that I had seen nothing. But before she could ask, she was sinking in her own worries. Offering unsolicited excuses would only make the air between us stranger, so we remained in this awkward deadlock.

From a third-person perspective, it might seem as if something untoward had happened…

“In fact, I’m here on the student council president’s orders. It’s a busy time, so she couldn’t visit herself and sent me instead.”

“Tanya sent you?”

“Yes. She’s quite concerned about you. Some rumors from Ophelius residence are circulating, and those close to you have been anxiously asking about your welfare.”

“It’s funny. What’s there for me to worry about? Thanks for the concern, but I’m truly fine, so tell her not to worry about me.”

Zix squinted, appraising my expression but found nothing out of order on my stoic face. Eventually, he nodded understandingly.

“Do you need help with camp duties? They must’ve piled up.”

“There’s nothing right now. I appreciate the sentiment, but you’ve got work too. Don’t trouble yourself.”

“Well, I’ve got other tasks to manage on the side. If you’re doing fine, I’ll excuse myself to attend to them.”

Zix dusted off his clothes and stood up.

“By the way, has Lortelle visited?”

“Lortelle? No, she hasn’t come to the camp.”

“Hmm…”

Zix seemed puzzled by my response.

“Is that a problem?”

“Nothing serious. She seemed quite concerned about you, so I found it strange she hasn’t visited directly. Just earlier, she was almost ashen with worry, and yet she didn’t come… It must be because she’s caught up in urgent matters.”

“Yeah, she’s quite the hot commodity.”

“That’s true, but… If you look at the reports from Elte Trading Company recently…”

“I did wonder if things were really piled up that much.”

It made me think back to what I saw when time was rewinding rapidly.

The sight of Elte Trading Company’s wagons filling up the Mekses Bridge to the brim. Clearly, they were carriages transporting goods meant for delivery to Elte.

“Well, now that I’m part of the student council, it’s inevitable that I pay unnecessary attention to the moves of Lortelle. Anyway, since the senior says he’s fine, I’ll report as such. Please do take good care of yourself.”

“Indeed, thank you for your efforts.”

*

I spent the rest of the day taking care of Yenika until sunset. Time seemed to fly by quickly.

And then, late at night, Clarice came to visit.

She appeared, cloaked deeply in a robe. I was busy butchering a wild boar carcass at the time.

As she lifted her hood, the face that came into view was that of a noble girl with charming chestnut hair.

Then she undid the pendant around her neck, and as she did, her heavy-colored facade faded, and her hair turned into a neatly laid white. The moonlight gently illuminated her hair, making it clear why she was regarded as the most noble girl in the Telos Order.

I hastily threw a bloodied dagger behind the boar carcass, trying to shove the organs strewn about with my foot to a less visible place. Truthfully, it was a bit late to hide the mess.

However, Clarice didn’t seem shocked nor disturbed by the scene. She just sat down on the opposite tree stump, relaxing her body.

“Hello.”

After washing my hands in the running stream, I sat opposite to her and handed her a mug. It was an herbal tea made with herbs that Belle brought.

The sound of crickets melded with the cool night air. That’s how we sat quietly for quite some time.

Just as I was wondering when the silence would break, Clarice was the first to speak.

“The Archbishop Verdieu has been officially excommunicated.”

“Is that so.”

“Lord Eldain has acknowledged his complacency. He says he has been seriously reflecting on the changes of the times and the direction our Order should take in response. This must be the right way. Not being swayed by one archbishop’s forceful voice, but moving as one under the voice of Lord Sovereign who governs the Holy Capital Carpea.”

“Do you think this is acceptable?”

Clarice closed her eyes tightly, looked up at the vast starry sky, and then spoke.

“He must have wrestled long between faith and the greater cause. While it’s unfortunate that he’s spent such a long time as a bystander, this incident may prompt a new direction.”

“…”

“That’s why I’m willing to trust him just one more time. Lord Eldain has always been a devout believer during his time at the monastery in the Rameln mountain region. I think it’s too early to fall into the swamp of distrust.”

Clarice said so and looked down.

In the herbal tea, a stray leaf floated. The bright moon rose above the cup, and the leaf wavered across.

“And… about Adelle…”

She paused there and again silence fell.

I waited quietly for Clarice’s next words, but it seemed that she found it hard to continue, merely staring into her cup.

“She died smiling.”

I didn’t try to look at Clarice’s face.

“One thing’s for sure. You, saintess Clarice, were the meaning of her life.”

Originally, Adelle wasn’t anything like a wandering bard. The reason she decided to roam the world as a bard was to not retroactively turn her words to Clarice into lies.

What’s needed in a life without proper family, friends, or connections, is a reason to keep living.

“I don’t know if she was aware of it, but you were that reason for her in this world without ties.”

“…”

“So there’s no need for you to feel too troubled or guilty. You did everything you could.”

After adding those words, the conversation closed. Clarice stared at her tea for a long while, and eventually, her shoulders began to shake slightly.

Underneath the sound of the insects, the soft sound of the girl’s suppressed sobbing was faintly audible.

I sat in front of her, saying nothing, just being there for her.

“The summer break is almost here.”

Clarice got ready to leave, standing up from her place. Spending any more time at the camp would make her journey back too dark.

Already, it was quite dark. I made her a torch by soaking a cloth in oil.

Clarice gratefully accepted the flame.

“Will you stay at the camp during the summer break?”

“I don’t have anywhere else to go, so yes.”

“I’ll come visit sometimes. Though then I’ll be Kylie Eck, not Clarice…”

“Do as you please. It doesn’t matter to me.”

Clarice watched the flame for a moment, then hesitated before asking.

“Um, I have a small favor to ask.”

“What’s the favor?”

“When I’m Kylie, not Clarice… could you, uh, treat me like a junior?”

At the academy, she was the chatty noble girl Kylie.

“…”

“Is my request too strange?”

“No. Considering the eyes around us, it’s only natural to treat you as a junior. It’s always been like that anyway.”

“That’s true, right?”

Pleased by the response, Clarice’s face lit up with a soft smile.

It looked like it was really time for her to leave now. Clarice bowed her head and said one last thing.

“Actually… I was worried about you too.”

“Are you concerned about me?”

“Nobody else made as much effort to save Adelle as you did. Since things ended up this way in the end…”

I’ve heard from the Ophelius Hall that many people are concerned about me. Clarice was one of them.

Belle, and Zix as well; they’ve come asking if I’m alright.

My answer was always the same.

“I’m fine. It’s not something to get too stressed about.”

“If that’s true, I’m glad…”

“I tried my best, but it didn’t work out. Dwelling on it just reduces the time to get work done. So, don’t worry too much.”

Clarice looked at me carefully, nodded, and then approached me with a waddle.

She then buried her face in my shoulder. Perhaps it was too embarrassing to say while looking at my face.

“The others may not remember, but I clearly do.”

“…”

“Senior Ed, I know how hard you’ve tried, how much you’ve struggled. Even if everyone else forgets, I surely won’t. I’ll remember it until the day I die.”

She talked with her face still buried, and I struggled to respond.

“Although I can’t do much, if you need help, please ask for it. I can’t promise to pay back all of the help I’ve received from you… but I’ll do what I can.”

“I appreciate the sentiment. But you should really be going back now. It’s almost curfew.”

Clarice lifted her head, which had been deeply sunk into her shoulders, struggling to form a smile.

She did her best to smile brightly.

– Thump

After sending Clarice off, I sat down alone by the tree next to the campfire.

It’s kind of them to worry. Everyone was anxious, in case I was troubled or hurt.

I adamantly shook my head telling them not to worry. I’m fine. It does me no good to trouble others or to show weakness.

What I need to do right now is ensure that this campfire lasts as long as possible by adding more fuel, poking the fire with a stick, and pre-cooking the meat I had prepared.

I threw in a few more logs, taking deep breaths of the early summer night air.

Then, an unmistakable weight pressed at my back.

There’s no need to look behind.

The sensation of blood trickling down my back is palpable.

Lying on the opposite side of the tree trunk, pressed against my back, was the figure of that troubadour that I’ve seen several times.

Resting her life in peace, she lay there, leaning quietly against me. I braced my back against the weight, and tossed more logs into the fire.

By the rules, she would have died anyway.

I tried to save her because I couldn’t just leave someone facing their death unaided.

There are countless reasons I could give for failing to save her.

The last time I traveled back in time was a rushed attempt. I had to move quickly with each moment to run as far as I could, which meant I couldn’t afford to save Adelle first.

From Clarice’s perspective, there would have been no way of knowing where Adelle was. Knowing that Adelle’s starting point was in the Gluckt House corridor was a fact known only to me. Being pressed for time, I couldn’t convey this beforehand.

Moreover, I couldn’t have predicted that Adelle’s divine energy and life would be spent after this last return. Having projected a manageable escape once more, I assumed, like always, she’d head toward the academy cathedral. After all, that’s what happened in the dozens of times I’ve experienced this.

But these reasons are merely self-defense mechanisms, and I am aware of that.

Regardless, Adelle Ceres has met her death. Even if it was with a smile, the fact she has met her end is unchanging.

My relationship with Adelle wasn’t especially close. My attempt to save her was simply due to my conscience. While that may be true…

The fact remains, I tried to save her but could not.

I resisted the pressure on my back and continued to throw logs onto the fire for a long time.

“Ed.”

Suddenly, hearing my name called, I looked up quickly.

“You’ve added too much.”

The wood had piled up and the flames were shooting up.

On the other side of the fire was Yenika, who had somehow come out to the campfire and sat down.

With her blurred vision, it must have been difficult to move on her own, but knowing the layout of the camp made it possible.

“Ed.”

Yenika called out to me softly.

“It’s okay.”

“Alright.”

While stirring the fire with a poker, I gazed at the soaring flames.

“Still, it’s an experience I do not wish to repeat. Never ever.”

“Right.”

Back then, we shared a moment gazing up at the sky by the half-destroyed Nail House.

It was early summer too, wasn’t it?

The joint combat exercises were wrapping up, and now it’s almost summer break.

With a lot still to do, Yenika didn’t offer any impromptu consolations or reassurances.

She just sat beside me, gazing at the flickering fire as the dark of the long night wore on.

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4 responses to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 132”

  1. Be a man.

    Take those feelings, push them down, then die 15 years earlier than normal.

    Just like a real man!

  2. Ed is hallucinating bleeding corpses now

  3. SwagMeister69 Avatar
    SwagMeister69

    Ed has PTSD

  4. Ed having hallucinations of Adelle’s death is just heartbreaking.

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