The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 137

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

End-of-Semester Assessment (1)

When Tanya arrived at Ophelius Hall, darkness had already settled in thickly.

Her school uniform, which she had put on neatly in the morning, was now disheveled, and her abundant and beautiful blonde locks were frizzy, with stray hairs sticking out here and there.

With bleary eyes, Tanya trudged into the hallway, handed her coat and bag to the maid, and then staggered down the corridor.

“You look very tired.”

The maid remarked with concern.

Tanya, who seemed as though she might croak like a zombie at any moment… simply slumped her exhausted body and shook her head horizontally.

“No, I’m alright.”

It had been quite some time since she had seen Ophelius Hall in the daylight.

Her days were an ongoing cycle of leaving the dormitory at dawn and returning late at night.

There was a sense of fulfillment, and the work wasn’t extremely difficult.

The looks of respect and envy directed at Tanya were also very satisfying. She fundamentally had a desire for recognition.

However, there were still many headaches to deal with.

Her greatest worry as of late was the actions of the Elte Merchant Association, which seemed intent on overstepping boundaries. Not just the Student Council, but also the Academic Administration was viewing this with considerable concern.

Their recent manner of hoarding books to inflate the market price.

It may seem like a simple strategy to buy up the supply when it’s cheap and sell it off slowly when prices rise to reap the profits… but considering the financial power of the Elte Merchant Association, there could be more to their intentions.

For example, if they hold onto supplies like books, stationery, magic education equipment without releasing them… it would cause significant disruptions to the academic schedule after the new term starts. Immediately, students would be unable to carry on with their classes.

The Elte Merchant Association was already single-handedly handling Acken Island’s logistics. If they started leveraging these goods to influence academic affairs, it would be a headache for the administration.

Although it would be best if all this was just unnecessary worry, the ways of the world do not always follow our wishes.

Ideally, the Elte Merchant Association would continue to abide by commercial ethics, becoming a long-term, good business partner for the Sylvania Academy.

However, with the power balance beginning to tip one way… the academy always lives in fear.

If a line is crossed, then the academy would have to seek additional channels for their logistics.

For the Elte Merchant Association, this is hardly welcome news, as it would shake their monopolistic position.

“My head hurts… It really hurts…”

Tanya mumbled as she staggered through the luxurious corridors, pressing on her temples.

The academy authorities had even stated their intention to establish a contingency plan to open new logistics routes.

They were considering posting a notice in the commercial city of Oldec, though this was still internal conversation.

Although it’s more convenient for the academy to diversify their supply chains, the Elte Merchant Association cannot be entirely without objections.

Since the academy’s early days when their resources were meager, Elte has taken steady responsibility for Acken Island’s logistics. They had done this, anticipating a future where their investments would pay off.

Now that Sylvania Academy has grown and they’re looking to profit from their exclusive position, suddenly looking for another business partner comes across as a slap in the face. Elte would naturally have to raise their voice against this.

A mediator is needed in this situation.

Someone who understands both Tanya and the academy’s circumstances but also can have a say on behalf of the Elte Merchant Association.

“For now… I need to go into my room and rest.”

It had been yet another utterly manic day. All Tanya wanted was to get some rest.

As she walked down the corridor with this in mind…

“……”

She suddenly noticed that she was not the only one staggering along.

So soundless was the other’s approach that Tanya shuddered in surprise.

It’s not surprising. Being quite petite compared to an average person, draped in all manners of weight-reduction magic, she was light as a feather.

Her presence noticeable only because of the witch’s hat, large as her torso, perched on her head. That oversized hat had become the girl’s trademark.

“Lu- Lucy senpai…?”

Lucy, too, was startled. Generally indifferent to her surroundings, upon noticing Tanya, she reacted in shock, recoiling before pressing herself against the window along the hallway.

Then, realizing it was Tanya, she seemed reassured and relaxed her body.

Lucy does not distinguish people solely by their appearance.

She has a sharp sense for things like a person’s scent, atmosphere, and distinctive behaviors. Despite usually appearing lazy and sluggish, her perceptions keenly detect what’s around her.

At first, feeling the newcomer’s presence, she thought it was someone other than Tanya, her mind jumping to Ed Rothtaylor.

Not only because of that fiery blonde mane, but the person herself bore an uncanny resemblance to Ed. They were siblings from the same household, after all.

“Ah, hello…”

Tanya greeted awkwardly. It was unavoidably an awkward relationship.

At the beginning of the term, Lucy created quite a scene in her rage to kill Tanya.

Though every misunderstanding has been cleared, and even after Ed dragged Lucy to apologize to Tanya… there was still an unresolved awkwardness between them.

Despite their delicate relationship, Lucy was using the room right next to Tanya’s.

Frequent run-ins were inevitable, making things permanently uncomfortable between them.

“Um…”

As Lucy let out her breath and relaxed, Tanya searched for words…

“I’m sorry about last time.”

It was Lucy who broke the ice with a frank apology.

“I had misunderstood.”

“No, no need to apologize again….”

Tanya hastily shook her head, lost in thoughts of how to overcome this uncomfortable atmosphere.

She then noticed Lucy’s clothes were quite dirty.

“It seems you’ve been napping outdoors again. The weather has been perfect for spending time outside, no temperature shifts and all…”

A trivial conversational pivot. A mere courtesy, yet Lucy nodded along.

“You still frequent brother’s camp, right? I heard you’re close.”

“I haven’t been going much.”

“Oh, really…? Why…?”

Tanya couldn’t imagine what would have happened. Ed with his diligence, and Lucy with her innate sluggishness, appeared to be polar opposites.

Nonetheless, they share a significant trait acknowledged by all – neither cares much for others.

Unless there’s a reason, neither will approach someone without that inherent need for interaction.

This nature means that Ed and Lucy do not harbor great expectations from each other.

One might imagine them as a man content alone with his cabin and a girl who occasionally comes to nap.

That’s what Tanya thought, feeling strangely intrigued by Lucy’s oddly awkward response.

“When I nap elsewhere… it’s just… not the same.”

“… Yes?”

“My skirt gets filthy, dust everywhere, my hair goes all drab….”

The dialogue seemed normal, but considering the speaker, it sounded nearly unbelievable.

Even Tanya was taken aback, and the maid carrying her bags and coat was utterly astounded.

The thought of Lucy Mayrill, who wouldn’t even comb her hair or choose her clothes if not for her maids, concerned about her appearance to others was astounding.

The maid beside Tanya grappled with the fact that this was that very same, indifferent Lucy Mayrill.

It then dawned upon Tanya and the maid. Lucy Mayrill was beginning to blossom into a young lady.

It’s just the beginning point; she didn’t want to be found unkempt or be disliked by someone – that’s all in the level of concern for now.

Still self-centered and lazy, without girly hobbies, spending her days sprawling and napping, and wandering the academy halls in ill-fitting uniforms like a specter – nothing had changed. Personal nature does not alter so easily.

Nonetheless, from the smallest spark can come the largest blaze.

Such girlish qualities do not change overnight; they gradually take hold.

Tanya closed her eyes to imagine.

Lucy, without her peculiar witch’s hat, her beautiful white hair neatly done up, dressed in an elegant, clean dress, smiling with grace.

A shiver ran down her spine. This concept was a bit too far-fetched for her liking.

“Perhaps, I’ll visit the campus tomorrow…”

“Oh, will you?”

“Yeah. I haven’t been in a while… and I do miss it a bit…”

Lucy pressed her exaggerated hat down as if shrinking into it, an act that seemed to strike a chord with the maid.

She grasped Lucy’s hand, bound with determination.

“Don’t worry, Miss Lucy. Tomorrow, I shall dedicate all my senior maid experience to dress you most enchantingly. With such innate beauty, you have no reason to fret…!”

“……”

Lucy, now sweating nervously, nodded in response to the unexpectedly fervent encouragement from the maid.

After sending Lucy off, Tanya entered her own room. The luxurious individual room of Ophelius Hall looked not like a student dormitory but rather like the inside of a palace.

She changed out of her formal uniform into something more comfortable and sat down at the table. There, she found a letter waiting for her.

“Hmm…?”

Once the maids completed their cleaning, they left various correspondences for their students on the tables of their private rooms. This was a convenience, meaning there was no need for students to go collect their mail.

However, after becoming student council president, Tanya largely received her mail through the council offices.

Most were official business, and she had no desire to return to her dorm only to delve into work-related documents.

But this letter delivered through the dormitory… was from her family home.

“My father’s… wax seal…”

It had been quite a while since Tanya corresponded with her father, Crebin Rothtaylor. She had warned him in advance.

Being the council president kept her too busy to communicate frequently and begged his understanding.

Crebin was immensely proud of Tanya for becoming the student council president and seemed not to worry much about her adapting to academy life, given he was always tied up with Imperial affairs, let alone affairs on the distant Acken Island.

So as their letters became sporadic, she thought it was inevitable. Tanya herself had indeed become busier as well.

“It’s been a while since I’ve received a letter…”

Curious, Tanya tore open the envelope to skim through the formalities penned by Crebin Rothtaylor.

As the student council president, Tanya had become accustomed to her academic life, making many friends among the nobles and influential families. She checked the progress of her Sage’s Tome acquisition plan constantly. Reading through the usual set of questions, Tanya’s gaze slid over the lines of the letter her heart lighter, knowing what to expect. But the words at the end of the letter caught her off guard. Disbelieving, Tanya read them aloud softly to herself.

“As the first vacation approaches, I find myself missing your face… During the break, many students return home to rest. Tanya, you should return to the family estate to rejuvenate before heading back to Sylvania. If it were possible…”

Tanya set the letter down and leaned back into the chair.

“If it were possible… Ed should come too.”

The following words were equally shocking. They knew that Ed Rothtaylor was alive. As head of the house, the writer pondered the potential of embracing Ed back into the fold given his improved reputation, magical prowess, and sincerity – to accept him once more as a member of the Rothtaylor family. The humiliation caused to the princess would no longer be questioned. Even if a grievous crime had been committed, the writer, as a family member, and a father, wanted to grant Ed one last chance.

“Tell him, since losing Arwen, I’ve had no desire to relive that history. If he wishes, the doors of the Rothtaylor family are still open to him. I do not wish for him to end his life as a fallen noble. Please come home this vacation, let us have numerous conversations, and discuss the direction of his life seriously.

Sender,

Crebin Rothtaylor.”

* * * [The Lightning-Struck Thousand-Year Tree Staff]

– A staff fashioned from the branch of a tree struck by lightning that has lived more than a thousand years, treated with various magical enhancements to assist in spirit responsiveness effectively.

It amplifies the sensitivity to spirits of all attributes and significantly increases the magical efficiency of spirit-world spells.

Regardless of the user’s affinity for spirits, once bonded with a spirit, all spirit formulas become accessible.

– Grade: Very Rare Difficulty of Creation: ●●●◐○ ※ Crafted with special materials. (The Guardian Tree of Merilda) – ‘Use with the high wind spirit Merilda for even greater magical efficiency.’

– ‘Blessing of the Storm’ range is increased.

– The range and power of the ‘Ascending Air Current’ spirit formula are greatly enhanced.

[How is it?]

“There’s no burden at all. It definitely seems effective.”

The girl in a flowing white dress brushed back her tied-up hair, manipulating magic with ease as wind wrapped around her. There was no significant drain on her mana.

“Going forward, it’d be best to utilize this staff when handling you. The size makes it somewhat inconvenient to store, but if I can handle you in your human form this effortlessly, it’s a minor downside worth accepting. It should make a considerable difference when you’re in your wolf form too.”

I was sitting on a riverside boulder near our camp, testing the magical engineering artefact I finished crafting the previous day.

Yenika, whose health had improved considerably, sat beside me, intrigued.

“Wow… I’ve never seen a staff made with magic engineering before… The power is really astounding. I’ve received many staves as gifts from friends and family, but I’ve never seen one this efficient before.”

Yenika’s oak staff, which she always carried, was not a bad item.

But it couldn’t compare to a magically engineered item systematically amplified for mana efficiency.

“Do you want to try it?”

I handed the large staff I was holding to Yenika.

“Um, sure… I’m not in the best shape right now… but I’ve improved a lot…”

Despite her lack of confidence, spirits manifested rapidly once she concentrated, even with her incomplete physical state.

Wow, the magical efficiency is beyond good, it’s almost not noticeable at all. It feels like mana is naturally flowing through my body.”

“Yenika, your responsiveness is even better than mine, so it makes sense you’d feel that way.”

“Yeah! Ed, with this staff, I can increase the power of my spirit spells even faster. It’s amazing. This is why people rave about magic engineering.”

Chuckling, Yenika handed the staff back, but I shook my head and refused to take it.

“Huh?”

“That’s yours.”

I said, then rinsed my hands in the flowing river water.

“Mine?”

“You owe me one, don’t you? I made it for you. You’ve helped me a lot.”

“Oh, but… I was the one in your debt, especially recently when I was ill.”

“You got sick because you tried too hard to help me. Don’t feel you need to refuse it.”

I shook my hands dry and sat back on the rock.

“Thank you, always.”

Yenika looked at the staff and blinked her eyes.

“I felt bad only ever thanking you with words.”

“Even so, wouldn’t it be more efficient for Ed, with your spirit responsiveness, to use this?”

“I’ll make another one just like it. Don’t worry about it.”

“A matching set…! I get it… Hehe…”

Yenika hugged the staff tightly, lost in happy thought – making me feel a mix of pride and embarrassment.

“Thank you, Ed… I’ll treasure it…”

While Merilda smirked in content, Yenika continued grinning foolishly for a while, still clutching the staff tightly.

Seeing such a reaction made giving it a rewarding feeling.

“It’s nearly the end-of-term tests, Ed. Given your near-perfect scores on written exams, you just have to do well in the practical to be set.”

“Yeah, that’s right. And then it’s vacation.”

“Do you have plans for the break, Ed?”

“Well… First, I want to improve the camp’s condition. Make the storeroom bigger, rebuild the cabins. It’d be great to have more space. I’d also like to try growing herbs or vegetables, maybe some annual plants, and put up a fence around the camp… There’s a lot I want to do. Just need to get organized.”

“I see… If it gets tough, let me help. I live here too, so it’s not just your problem.”

“Thanks. But first, take care of your health.”

We had such exchanges while eating our dinner.

My cabin pointed north around the campfire, and Yenika’s was roughly to the southeast—literally the neighbors, though we shared most of our living facilities as if truly cohabiting.

And towards the southwest from the fire, a rather fine-looking log house was being constructed.

To avoid unease from living alone in a luxurious home, they seem to be building it modest and similar to ours in size. Still, the materials and interior quality were certainly superior.

Watching Lortelle’s house being built, Yenika puffed out her cheeks unconcernedly.

-‘Even if it’s sudden I live here, I’ve brought conditions that wouldn’t be burdensome. While I’m here, the highly skilled maid Belle from the Ophelius residence has agreed to maintain the camp periodically. Since it must’ve been hard for Ed to manage on his own, think of it as gaining a helpful hand, right?’

Truly… It’s an offer hard to decline. With Lortelle living here, there’s no inconvenience to me. As she handles most things financially, there’s little she’d ask of me.

In fact, assistance from her employee Belle Mayar in keeping the camp maintained would allow me to focus more on external activities and training.

The arrangement didn’t entirely please me, as it seemed like they were making them take care of everything, but it seemed almost as if Belle was happy to serve.

Especially since she seemed so enthusiastic about household chores while caring for Yenika… perhaps there was some joy in it for her. Since she has her contract with Lortelle and gets paid in full, it’s not really my concern.

I took the bones out of the grilled fish and handed a chunk to Yenika.

As she accepted it, biting into the fish with a gratified smile, a sense of peace washed over me, and I found myself instinctively gazing up at the sky.

The night sky of Acken was a beauty beyond surprise at this point.

* * *

“Professor Krayd! The semester’s end tests are just three days away…! It’s time to draft our practical exam evaluations and submit them…! Actually, the deadline’s already passed…! This is an extended deadline by the office’s grace…!”

Assistant Professor Claire was tearfully pleading in Professor Krayd’s personal research office.

Krayd Rocksler, a longtime friend of Professor Glast and an expert in all kinds of elemental magic, was a burly, middle-aged man. Having resigned his professorship to live a wanderer’s life in the lawless regions of Keheln, he was eventually cajoled back to fill a vacant spot in the academy.

Unkempt hair, scruffy beard, dark circles under his eyes, his appearance was more akin to a vagabond than a professor.

Though considered as talented in magic as Glast, Krayd had a completely different temperament.

His office was often filled with the smell of the cigar smoke, with windows kept closed, the room would be thick with haze.

Liquor bottles rolled around his desk as he slept with his head down, snoring.

He was the polar opposite of the diligent and meticulous Professor Glast.

How he maintained a friendship with Glast was a mystery to everyone.

As Claire begged him to work, Krayd lifted his head, swallowed his spit with a ghastly sound, and muttered something after waking up.

“Just make something up and submit it… It’s just an end-of-term evaluation.”

“But it is the end-of-term evaluation! All the students you’re responsible for will be there. You know that!”

“That’s… Let your assistant draft it and submit it… Better than the supervising professor poking around every detail.”

Saying that, he put his head back on the desk.

After patting her cheeks dry, Claire slowly backed out of the office and closed the door quietly before leaning her forehead against it. The noted praise she had heard regarding Professor Krayd was so unlike the man she encountered.

Once upon a time, Professor Krayd had been on staff at Sylvania Academy. At that time, known to be as strict and quick-tempered as Glast, the two were colloquially referred to as ‘the two mad dogs.’ Despite this notoriety, Claire, an assistant professor, had imagined he would be like Professor Glast: precise and prompt with work. Yet, surprisingly, the reinstated Krayd seemed to do nothing all day but roll about his research room looking pitiful.

None of what she had previously heard seemed to apply anymore.

Naturally, the workload remained untouched.

“Save me…”

A cry for help in human fortune.

Claire’s life of endurance faced a monumental crisis.

“Someone save me!”

All that remained for her was to rely on the capable hands of her assistant professors—arguably the most competent in all of Sylvania Academy.

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