The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 138

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

End of Semester Evaluation (2)

In front of the student plaza, there was a large bulletin board. The notice for the end-of-semester exams was written in length.

The end-of-semester exams vary by subject but are generally divided into written and practical exams.

Some subjects have only a written exam or a practical exam. Anyway, to achieve high grades across the board, it is quite important to perform well in both areas.

However, sometimes students who excel overwhelmingly in practical skills alone do appear. There are always exceptions to the rule.

Unlike written scores, there is no upper limit to practical scores, which is related to the school’s policy of favoritism towards students with exceptional talents.

This is especially true in areas highly influenced by innate responsiveness or talent.

For combat classes, this includes skills such as magic weaponry, combat senses, and actual survival skills; in magic classes, this includes subjects like elementology, spirit studies, and demonology; and for alchemy classes, subjects like herbology, summoning arts, and mixing.

Up to the upper intermediate ranks, a balance between written and practical scores is vital, but the top students in each grade often dominate with overwhelming practical scores.

The most notable figure is Yenika Phellorova, the undisputed top of the third year.

Her practical scores in spirit studies crush the combined written/practical scores of all other subjects.

Although she is diligent and consistently studies her other subjects, honestly, even mid-range grades in other subjects would allow her to hover near the top rank with her spirit studies scores.

Surprisingly, Lucy Mayrill, the top of the second year, also has excellent written scores.

Seeing her instantly memorize a book after a single read, it’s clear she’s not stupid by any means—quite the opposite, she’s extraordinary.

And there’s no need to even discuss her practical skills. Students can barely compete with the practical scores she’s received from her elementalogy classes alone.

Wade Callamore, the top of the first year, also saw great benefit from his practical scores, and Tyke Elfellan, the senior action committee member of the student council led by Tanya and the top of the fourth year, is known as a master of actual combat swordsmanship.

“Hmm…”

While checking the exam schedule, I was absent-mindedly chewing on a piece of jerky.

I considered the bonus points I had accumulated over classes, the grades I had received from various practicums, and my reputation among the professors.

“Ed, I just heard that the schedule for the elementalogy exam in the magic department was confirmed yesterday. It seems they’re focusing on testing raw mana sensitivity… Also, there are mock duels with the faculty.”

“With the faculty…?”

“Well, that’s what I heard…”

Considering the lineup of elementalogy professors, none of them are easy opponents.

Senior Professor Eskine, Veteran Professor Dolona, the recently reinstated Krayd, and Claire, who is still an assistant professor…

I’m not sure who will appear, but the only one who might be an approachable match would be Claire, who hasn’t been a professor for even a year.

Honestly… just the notion of beating the professors in the first place is absurd.

The faculty, who have researched their respective disciplines for decades, are unapproachable to students, even if they aren’t specialized in combat.

However, the exams aren’t designed to be won. They’re more a test of strength—throwing everything you’ve got into the fray.

Thinking over my estimates, I was lost deep in thought.

“Ed, what are you thinking so hard about…?”

“Yenika, it’s unfortunate, but for now… you and I are enemies.”

Hearing this, Yenika hiccupped.

You and I are enemies. Before she could fully digest the meaning of those words, Yenika’s expression immediately hardened.

“Huh…? Why? Why? Why are we enemies?”

“No, it’s not like we’re seriously clashing… but this time, I’m considering aiming for the top of the grade.”

Once you reach the top rank of the grade, the accompanying benefits are enormous.

Among them, the most drool-worthy benefit is a full exemption from tuition fees.

I’ve managed to attend school so far by stretching to the limits with the Glast Scholarship Foundation’s scholarship and cash from my deal with Lortelle, but now the immense tuition fees are truly a burden. There is a limit to how much I can offset with an academic scholarship.

I desperately wanted to claim that top rank and receive the tuition benefit.

Before, I couldn’t even dream of the top spot due to my lack of capability, but now things are different.

I can manipulate high spirits without the aid of my ring, and I can cast intermediate level elemental magics. Not to mention my combat skills, and written exams have always been my strong suit.

“Top rank…? Ah… you mean a competition for grades…!”

In comparison to the fierce competition for top ranks in other years, the third-year top rank competition was surprisingly uncomplicated.

Everyone below the unrivaled Yenika Phellorova was on equal footing.

Of course, I can’t beat Yenika in spirit studies.

She’s a monster who could summon the highest spirits if she abandons her own safety. Of course, she wouldn’t go that far in an exam.

However, I also score quite well in elementalogy and demonology.

In other memory-heavy subjects such as magic history or magic engineering, my performance overwhelmingly surpasses Yenika’s.

Now that I can handle high spirits as well, the grade gap in spirit studies should have significantly decreased.

Then, I could make up for this difference with the scores from other subjects.

“Umm… true, I’ve never felt a sense of crisis before… but if it’s Ed, I might really lose my top rank if I’m not careful…”

Yenika nodded, then smiled contentedly and stretched her chest out boldly.

“I won’t easily let you take the top rank from me…! The people in my hometown Phulanshan are proud and happy just knowing that I’m top rank…! I can’t let them down…!”

A competition with goodwill. Words sound so pretty, but reality is cruel.

In Sylvania Academy’s grading system, the name of the top student rarely changes as the grades increase.

Students with overwhelming talents advance their achievements at an equally overwhelming pace.

―Clang!

Just then, a sound that concentrated the attention came from the podium in the student plaza.

The student council secretary with blue-green hair had struck the iron handle of the podium with her staff, drawing a sudden silence among the students.

Seizing the moment, the secretary spoke up.

“Is Ed Rothtaylor here? Ed Rothtaylor, a third-year student, are you present?”

I was being singled out. With a perplexed look, I promptly raised my hand.

“The student council president has summoned you. Please come to the Obel Hall immediately.”

* * *

“That’s the situation.”

It felt like I was being treated as an honored guest.

From entering the Obel Hall to being guided to the president’s office, it seemed like Tanya had beforehand instructed the council members to escort me courteously.

From the students guarding the first floor of the Obel Hall to those I passed by, they bowed so often it became somewhat awkward for me.

Until the early part of last year, my peers looked at me like I was an insect, and now the shift in perception felt overwhelmingly heartfelt.

“Father has forgiven Brother Ed, so now it’s time to slowly return to the family and talk things over…”

Sitting in the lavish student council office, Tanya greeted me warmly.

But the words that followed weren’t very pleasant.

“What a joyous occasion.”

“You can tell you don’t really think that just by that expression…”

An opportunity for reinstatement has come for the exiled and fallen noble.

It was a situation worthy of dancing joyfully, but both Tanya and I couldn’t quite rejoice.

Crebin Rothtaylor had already once attempted to have me killed.

He had hidden his tracks too well for there to be concrete evidence, but both Tanya and I knew it.

“Thinking I had to let Brother know, I summoned you as quickly as I could. What do you think?”

“Well, now that it’s come to this, it seems like I should respond somehow…”

I stroked my chin and was engulfed in deep thought.

Crebin Rothtaylor’s plan to assassinate me had only narrowly failed.

Then, why didn’t he make a second attempt and instead try to lure me back now?

The first thought that came to mind was that he probably hadn’t fully recovered yet to utilize the power of the malign god that manipulates causality.

The causal adjustment magic he used in his attempt to kill me was as effective as it was demanding and difficult to wield.

But he wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving me at Sylvania until he had another chance to assassinate me.

So, his plan was probably to call me back to the mansion.

Responding to this offer carelessly was essentially signing one’s own death warrant—it was like walking right into the lion’s mouth.

Despite all this, I stated clearly.

“Let’s go back to the mansion together during this vacation.”

“….”

Tanya looked at me with worried eyes.

“Brother, if only what this letter states were true…”

“I have my own thoughts, Tanya. For now… let’s go back and try to understand Father’s intentions.”

* * *

When I stepped out in front of the Obel Hall again, Yenika was waiting for me.

Under the shade of a tree, napping peacefully on a bench under the midday sun—such a serene scene.

I sat next to her, nudged her shoulder to wake her up, and she startled awake, beaming with a smile.

There’s just something about her that relaxes people.

Even though we’re in the midst of exam season and I just declared my intention to snatch the top rank from her, she waited for me without complaint.

Her kind nature is something I’m well aware of, but at this rate, I’m more worried than relieved.

“I have to drop by the Ophelius Hall, so I should get going.”

“Ophelius Hall? Why go there? You can’t even enter, Ed.”

“Well… I’ve got to ask Belle for a favor. Somehow I’ll manage to get in through a back door or something. But it might be a burden for her to sneak two people inside, so Yenika, you go back to the camp.”

“Sure, I guess… I’ll make dinner or something. You’ll be back by evening, right?”

I nodded at Yenika, bid her farewell, and headed towards Ophelius Hall.

Suddenly, I had a lot on my plate.

I must continue preparing for exams as planned.

Even if I don’t become the top of the semester this time, I could aim for the next semester’s top rank with continued diligence… but the idea of paying 20 flen gold coins for a single semester fee is too bitter a pill to swallow. I wanted to settle the score this semester.

So, I had to thoroughly prepare for the exams, while also checking the things I needed to prepare for my return to the mansion after the exams.

“Hello. Is the Head Maid around by any chance?”

After asking a lower-ranked maid serving as a watch at the front gate of Ophelius Hall, I sat quietly in the garden nearby to wait.

Standing watch,

The maid, aware of my close relationship with Belle Mayar, went promptly to call the head maid.

Entering the Rothtaylor mansion was indeed a perilous option.

It was completely under Crebin Rothtaylor’s domain, with every aspect revolving around him—how and where I might meet a grim end was unpredictable.

I was eager to marshal all my resources to subdue him immediately, but the timing remained precarious.

Acting rashly against Crebin, who had the undivided support of the royal family, risked branding me a traitor. With his current unshakable royal influence, I had to wait until it showed signs of weakening.

The major variable was Princess Phoenia, who should have been cornering Crebin but showed no initiative.

She hadn’t even become the president of the student council. Though we shared an enmity with Crebin, and I expected some action on her part…curiously, Princess Phoenia remained silent.

It seemed she surprisingly preferred a tranquil life. Perhaps she underwent profound inner changes.

Then, it was up to me to topple Crebin.

To make a case for his subjugation, the public needed to know about the human sacrifices and his forbidden research involving a pact with an evil deity.

There is no alternative as effective as infiltrating the Rothtaylor mansion for concrete evidence, be it the location of the secret laboratory or servants’ testimonies.

“Is there a problem, Mr. Ed?”

“I apologize for the intrusion, Miss Belle.”

“Not at all. I’ve just finished my rounds for today. Yet, it’s quite intriguing to see you here—it’s been a while since you visited this area.”

I seldom came near the Ophelius mansion unless there was a special reason—my schedule at the camp kept me overly occupied.

“May I request a moment inside the Ophelius mansion?”

“Entering… Well, it’s usually not permitted, but you’re a trusted individual, Mr. Ed. I can make an exception for one person.”

“Thank you…”

“Still, as a formality, could you explain the purpose of your visit?”

There was no need to hide my intention.

Upon hearing my purpose, bell initially nodded as if it was nothing significant, but after a moment of contemplation, she asked me to wait.

Soon after, she whispered something to a junior maid, who darted up the mansion’s staircase, taken aback.

“What an overreaction for something so trivial.”

I thought.

“It’s safer to use the back entrance since unauthorized entrances should avoid attention. There are too many watchful eyes at the front.”

“It’s not my place to complain.”

“Please stay close to me. It’s a passage for the maids, and you’ll draw unwanted attention walking alone.”

I followed Belle Mayar to the back door of the Ophelius building.

Arriving at the door, it looked unexpectedly familiar. Memories of fleeing through this door during Lord Lortelle’s takeover of the Ophelius mansion came back to me—I realized it was a maid’s passage.

The corridor bustled with neatly dressed maids; I was the only man.

“Exams are approaching. Are your preparations going well?”

“Yes, I’m motivated to work even harder than usual this time.”

“Good. Your quick learning is well-known, so I expect excellent results. With the recent faculty changes in Elemental Studies, that might be an uncertainty, right?”

In such a manner, we conversed about the exam, a topic that flowed effortlessly.

Belle was not one for initiating conversation, making this exchange quite unusual for her.

Yet, shortly, I discerned her intention.

Since arriving, the maids’ stares had been piercing. To them, my presence in this space must appear out of place.

Thus, bell intentionally kept speaking to me, maintaining the image of a natural conversation with the head maid, which would ward off any reasonable suspicion.

“This way leads to the main hall, a common route even for the students.”

“I’m in your debt.”

“It’s nothing.”

Even upon entering the main hall where students traversed, I could sense the maids watching Belle Mayar’s cues. After all, she was the top manager of this facility.

Ordinarily, she downplayed her authority, making it difficult to truly perceive her influence.

I trudged up the stairs, and Belle Mayar followed silently. Reaching the third floor and rounding a corner, a long corridor came into view.

“Mr. Ed, I have something to say.”

“Yes?”

“During the examinations, do you plan to cease your camp activities temporarily?”

“Well, at the very least, I’ll maintain the fundamentals.”

“I see.”

Her question was peculiar but seemed rational, so I didn’t probe.

As I prepared to continue down the hallway, bell stopped me again.

“Are you sure the academic schedule won’t be affected?”

“I’ve been managing it well enough so far, no issues.”

“I see… It’s just that… well…”

Belle Mayar awkwardly dragged the conversation on seemingly trivial matters, as if delaying my crossing of the hallway.

“If I linger here, I’ll only impede your work, so I’ll complete my business quickly.”

“No, wait, Mr. Ed. This is a very pertinent question.”

“What’s the matter?”

“It’s… difficult to verbalize. May I have a moment to reflect?”

What could posssibly be so urgent that required such a thoughtful approach?

Despite my contemplation, bell has her reasons, so I waited until a distant door shutting reverberated down the hall.

The maid who emerged from a room midway along the corridor was the one Belle had sent up earlier, now drenched in sweat and wearing a contented smile as she casually strode and disappeared the other way.

“Nevermind, I’ll discuss it with you another time. Go on with your task.”

With an air of finality, bell sent me off.

I looked at her sternly, and she closed her eyes and bowed her head modestly, returning to her usual dignified and proper demeanor as the head maid.

Resolved to deal with my planned matters first, I passed by Tanya’s room and moved on to the neighboring one.

To venture into the Rothtaylor mansion involves ample preparation against potential perils.

Thus, my response to Crebin was carefully crafted:

I expressed deep gratitude for the new opportunity following my expulsion. Remorse for my past actions spurred efforts for self-improvement, manifesting in my heightened magical prowess and expanded social network, befitting a Rothtaylor.

Eager to show gratitude to my forgiving father, I wished to demonstrate my personal growth and introduce my close ally.

This pretext would ensure I wouldn’t stand alone in a dangerous situation—I had someone reliable in mind, no introduction needed.

―Knock, knock.

I knocked on the door labeled ‘Lucy Mayrill’.

After a brief wait, the door cracked open to reveal Lucy, contrasting my anticipations.

“Hello.”

Her white hair neatly brushed gleamed with luster.

Her pristine white frilly pajamas accentuated her petite stature and imbued her with an innocent charm.

Gone was her usual distracted air, replaced with unexpected girlish grace; only her tightly-clasped witch hat hinted at her familiar side.

“Oh, it seems you were dressed leisurely. Forgive the disturbance. It’s unusual to find you like this… at rest…”

Belle Mayar’s emphasis on ‘usual’ hinted at unease.

“Sorry for interrupting, Lucy. You haven’t been coming to the camp often—are you busy?”

“Hm? No… not really.”

Her voice quivered faintly, suggesting I had crossed lines.

Intruding on someone at rest was inappropriate, despite our friendly rapport.

Driven by old habits, I approached without reservation. But, the awkwardness made me question my manners.

Maybe invading her personal space was a step too far, considering her regular camp visits—this seemed unfair.

But given my request, I opted for some decorum.

“Quite a different sight from camp. You indulge in such reprieve. Surprising, Lucy.”

“Oh… Uh…”

I tried easing the atmosphere with compliments before broaching the main point.

With her hat shielding her face, she stepped back, prompting me to patiently await her readiness.

“Then… you mentioned you had business. What is it, Mr. Ed?”

Belle interjected tactfully, voicing Lucy’s unspoken concern.

I cracked the door wider to see Lucy and spoke bluntly:

“Lucy. Once exams are over and vacation begins, join me at my family home.”

“…What?”

“And together, we can greet my father.”

Silence followed as Lucy donned her hat and Belle checked her hearing—both stunned.

…the puzzled expressions made me realize my approach was flawed.

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2 responses to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 138”

  1. Ugh, the forced misunderstanding trope strike again.

    That dialog is so awkward and totally out of character 🙄

    I absolutely hate it when authors do that

    1. Jay tsumasaki Avatar
      Jay tsumasaki

      It’s corny and I love it. As long as they don’t overuse the trope, it works.

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