The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 141

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

End of Semester Evaluation (5)

“Heh heh… chuckle…”

Laughter spilled forth. It was a strange turn of events.

Krayd had taken countless lives of the Ain clan on the battlefields.

Now, those glory days had passed into distant memory. The life atop the battlefield, each day treading on thin ice, was something he could never forget.

The sworn enemies he met on those fields all had eyes brimming with deadly intent. This was because the option to surrender was non-existent.

In a desperate situation, to recognize the disparity in ability and humbly accept defeat would only be followed by the cold embrace of death.

“Yes… you are, certainly stronger than those mediocre serving officers.”

With his hands deep in his pockets, Krayd smiled bitterly.

The feeling of drunkenness and hangover had completely vanished. Now he seemed to grasp the coldness that lingered in Ed’s eyes.

It was the deadly intent that could only reside in the eyes of someone who had repeatedly skirted the line of life and death.

Back when he roamed the battlefields regularly, he would engage dozens of times a day with those bearing such eyes, risking their lives in combat.

The edged sensation that was now slowly being forgotten sent chills down Krayd’s neck.

The high-ranking wind spirit, Merilda.

To her, the size of a house, even this expansive dueling arena seemed confined.

And with the audience filling it up, a reckless move might harm the surrounding students.

Even if solely motivated by victory, there were lines to be observed.

Thus, powerful as the high-ranking wind spirit was, there were too many restrictions to utilize her power. The battlefield itself was a disadvantage for her.

In truth, Krayd faced the same problem.

Using high-grade lightning magic could endanger the students around him, requiring careful targeting. If that giant wolf form was the target, it certainly wouldn’t be less problematic.

―Crack!

As Krayd leaped back and gathered magical power in his hand, Ed followed suit, leaping after him. As Krayd had predicted, Ed had no intention of using Merilda as a physical combat tool.

However, the various spirit techniques and wind magics that Merilda wielded were still troublesome.

Behind Ed, the mighty wolf stood as steadfast as a mountain. When it roared, magical vibrations filled the dueling arena of Neilegue.

― ‘Aaaaah!’

― ‘Argh…! My ears are ringing…!’

Dozens of wind blades spilled out from the wolf. Each blade was a problem in itself, but the sheer number was extraordinary.

Any average magician concentrating would fire off blades one by one, but the overwhelming quantity assailed Krayd, leaving him with seemingly no chance of evasion.

The mid-grade freezing magic ‘Ice Wall’ manifested. The wall of ice that sprung up blocked the blades, but as it intercepted half of them, it shattered.

―Crash!

Following this, the remaining wind blades advanced as if to rip Krayd apart.

He managed to neutralize the remaining blades with a hastily conjured defensive spell, squeezing out magic power, just barely. But by now, he had given Ed too much ground.

A dagger, reversed held, flew towards Krayd.

The defensive magic was already neutralized by Merilda’s spell.

With the drunken haze from his eyes fully lifted, Krayd sharply twisted his body, snatching Ed’s wrist. It wasn’t magic, just pure physical movement.

Instantly, Ed pulled on his captive wrist. Krayd’s balance faltered, but he planted one leg firmly, gritted his teeth, and withstood Ed’s strength.

“Your physical strength… it’s impressive.”

Had he been a so-so magician, he would have been defeated right there. Krayd was certain of this.

He faced the giant wolf without any emotional turmoil. Krayd had been through many battles himself. Naturally, he decided on his next move.

Krayd materialized the mid-grade fire magic ‘Focused Explosion’.

The magic, specialized in rapid attacks, only shone when the caster managed to chant before the opponent could.

However, against Ed, it was the wrong choice.

―Boom!

Flames burst from within Ed.

Even the quick Focused Explosion, when manifested by Krayd with mana sensitivity pushed to the extreme, was just impossibly fast.

But Ed didn’t need to react.

―Whoosh.

Flames enveloped Ed’s arm, which jutted out to grab Krayd’s collar. He had re-sheathed his dagger.

‘He withstood…? Bare-handed?’

In Ed’s presence, terror lingered. Even if Focused Explosion was the weakest among mid-grade fire magics, withstanding it barehanded was unthinkable.

Then, the possibility of ‘Spirit’s Blessing’ emerged in Krayd’s mind.

The Blessing of Fireproofing.

Normally bestowed by lower spirits, the blessing from the now middle-tier spirit, Muk, could withstand even mid-class magic’s intensity.

As Ed channeled mana into the staff in his other hand, Muk’s spirit technique ‘Explosive Sound’ enveloped the dueling stage once again.

Fire by nature burns all evenly, but this time its influence was anything but fair.

Ed was temporarily immune to fire magic’s influence. The massive explosion bared its fangs only at Krayd.

‘This guy… he’s quite the product…’

Satisfied, Krayd prepared to unleash his full magical capacity.

‘Yes… losing this battle would also be a good experience for him.’

―Boom!

The two exchanged rapid blows too quick for the crowd to follow.

Most of the audience had already given up on keeping up with their movements. Dust and magic veiled their sight, making it difficult even to watch.

Once the flames and dust settled… Krayd had been blown away by the explosion.

Murmurs rose from the crowd. Ed had truly defeated the senior professor.

… However, Ed did not let his guard down. He already knew.

Even in that dire moment… Krayd could have blocked Ed’s attack. He had definitely gathered an absurd amount of mana.

Krayd didn’t fail to block; he chose not to. The reason was clear.

It was a feint.

―Whoosh.

A wind arose from Ed’s center, enveloping him.

It wasn’t a magic cast by Ed. It was the ‘Whirlwind’s Blessing’ surrounding him.

The emergence of this protection meant that there had been attacks Ed had failed to catch.

Ed narrowed his eyes and surveyed the surroundings. About half a dozen ice spears were stopped by the protection, halted from piercing his back.

Looking forward, Krayd’s face was ominously close. It was like a scene straight from a horror movie.

“On the battlefield… a moment of inattention can cost you your life.”

To withstand the spirit technique ‘Explosive Sound’ with the least amount of magical defense and invest the rest in manifesting ice spears was a planned strategy.

After seeing Muk’s ‘Blessing of Fireproofing’, Krayd anticipated Merilda’s ‘Whirlwind’s Blessing’.

With his hands pocketed, Krayd smiled faintly in front of Ed, having already cast another spell.

The high-grade freezing magic ‘Permafrost’.

A simple spell that indiscriminately freezes everything in its vicinity.

Sometimes, it’s simplicity that turns out to be the most powerful weapon.

The dueling arena floor had already frozen over. Magical supplies scattered by Ed to create variables had all turned into lumps of frozen scrap metal, while behind him, Merilda had become a giant ice statue, motionless.

Ed had avoided the spell because Muk, the mid-grade fire spirit, had rapidly blown away the chill.

However, even with the advantage of element, a mid-grade spirit could not fully nullify a high-grade spell.

Ice up to Ed’s ankles was solidly frozen, stuck to the floor.

“Let’s end it.”

He was about to cast a finishing spell when Ed reached into his bosom much faster.

―Bang!

A shock-enhanced energy ball. A basic but powerful magical engineering tool.

Saved until the last possible moment for emergencies, it now served its purpose.

Krayd’s body was flung back by the shock, while Ed drew forth his mana to melt the ice at his feet.

“Damn… whatever is peeled off, something else pops up…!”

The ice encasing Merilda also began to crack. Even high-grade magic had its limits; it could only momentarily bind a high-wind spirit.

Krayd stood up and glared at Ed.

The ice still tightly entrapped Ed. Although he was quickly melting it, it wasn’t going to be easy.

Merilda would soon regain her freedom, but not yet.

The Whirlwind’s Blessing had already been drawn out. Without freedom of movement and the most troublesome high-wind spirit temporarily subdued, it was time to finish this. Krayd quickly began chanting the next spell.

Mid-grade freezing magic ‘Ice Spear’. More than a dozen tremendous ice spears rose behind him, starkly different from those of the students.

Crouched, Ed gritted his teeth and poured mana toward his feet. He seemed to continue casting fire elemental magic, but ice formed by high-grade magic wouldn’t melt so easily.

The audience held their breath in tense anticipation. Direct hit by so many ice spears seemed certain to cause significant injury.

However, a viciously spiteful Krayd showed no mercy.

Even the thought crossed his mind that Ed might handle this situation too.

But this was the moment of truth.

If not now, then when Merilda would—

As Ed regained control of his body, the situation on the battlefield grew even more complicated. An ice spear flew towards Ed, who had been completely subdued.

At the moment Ed looked up sharply in that direction—

—Crash!

—A man wearing knuckles barged onto the training ground.

* * *

—Kagagagang! Pababak!

Numerous ice spears were all deflected. The speed of the punches being thrown was almost comparable to bullets.

The man had closely cropped hair, marked here and there with scratches. His immense and imposing physique was truly remarkable. It was as if not a person, but a bear was rampaging around.

Ed already knew who he was.

A senior, the fourth-year representative of the Sylvania Academy, and the acting executive of the student council: Tyke Elfellan.

“Professor Krayd.”

Having deflected all the ice spears, Tyke then spoke in a low voice from his position.

“This… seems quite over the line, Professor. Ed Rothtaylor is already incapacitated.”

“Ed Orabuni…!”

Following him, Tanya Rothtaylor, the president of the student council, climbed up onto the training ground.

Rushing over to where Ed’s legs were frozen, she grasped his arm and checked his complexion.

“Ed Orabuni…! Are you alright? Are you seriously hurt…?!”

It was the student council that ultimately intervened, unable to stand by any longer.

By this point, the students were already feeling a great deal of dissonance. The match had been too intense to be simply brushed off as a final practical exam.

Starting midway, even Professor Krayd had lost himself in excitement and failed to maintain the proper exam boundaries. This would clearly be grounds for disciplinary action if reported to the academic authorities.

Aware of this, Professor Krayd let out a deep sigh, unable to deny that he had gone too far, remembering his days sprawled out on the battlefield.

Krayd stroked his chin a few times before looking over at Ed, who was still trying to thaw the ice at his feet, remaining on his knees.

The student council president, Tanya, with a tearful face, ran over to Ed and took out a handkerchief to wipe the dirt from his face.

Watching her, Krayd had to confront how irrational he had been.

“Sigh…”

“Professor Krayd.”

“Getting all fired up about this at my age…I guess my wife is right when she says men never grow up, regardless of their age.”

Mocking himself, Krayd then dispelled all of his magical power.

Krayd, who had been standing in front of Ed, bowed his head deeply.

“Thank you for your understanding.”

“Forget it, understanding what. I’m already excited at the thought of writing a reprimand.”

After offering a polite goodbye, Tyke turned his head to check on Ed’s condition.

If the ice spear had hit him, it would have been a certain fatal blow. He must have been overcome with considerable fear.

In an attempt to reassure Ed, Tyke was about to say something when….

—Whooosh.

A deep red magical aura flared up around one of Ed’s hands, then dissipated into the air.

Tyke, and Tanya too, widened their eyes at the sight. Even Krayd felt something odd and looked their way.

“Ed Rothtaylor. You just now….”

“Thank you for your help, senior Tyke.”

Ed politely greeted him and shook his hands.

Tyke then looked at the ice binding Ed’s feet, which hadn’t melted in the slightest.

Considering Ed had been trying to thaw it all this time with fire magic…it was not that he couldn’t but that he hadn’t been trying.

Instead, he had deliberately knelt and collected Sovereign’s Power, which was distinctive in its bright red color, and unlike normal magic, easily made one suspect its use in sovereign magic.

So, Ed pretended to melt the ice while secretly gathering Sovereign’s Power.

At the last moment, he intended to use ‘Forced Summoning’ to pull Krayd in to block the incoming ice spear—using his body as a shield.

And with the spirit-bound dagger in his other hand ready to finish with a strike, he held the magic-infused dagger tightly.

One could imagine the scenario: an ice spear flying towards him, Ed standing up suddenly, changing color, and wielding sovereign magic, drawing Krayd in front of the ice spear, even if Krayd somehow managed to deal with it, Ed would still be behind with the spirit-bound dagger.

Using the given situation to its fullest, even in a subdued state, was a quick-witted move.

After witnessing this, Krayd realized that if Tyke hadn’t intervened at the last minute, the outcome would have been uncertain to anyone.

In terms of magical ability, battlefield experience, and combat capability, Krayd clearly had the upper hand.

But the ability to find the best solution in every moment, this adaptability… even Krayd had to admire it.

“Ed Rothtaylor.”

Krayd placed his hands in his coat pockets and, with his usual listless eyes, said:

“You really are a madman, aren’t you?”

“Should I take that as a compliment?”

“Would it be an insult otherwise? Ah, it is an insult, indeed.”

Professor Krayd chuckled and then looked towards the stands. Everyone’s eyes were wide open.

It was no wonder, as the duel had been fierce. Too intense for a simple end-of-term exam.

Even summoning high spirits and exchanging blows with a lead elemental professor, the match had gone beyond any displeasure.

“Elemental practical exam is full marks. Ed Rothtaylor.”

Elementals were a key subject within the magical exams at the academy.

“If you did well on the written test, becoming a third-year representative might not be a dream anymore.”

There was a murmur among the crowd. The position of third-year representative at Sylvania Academy was usually held by an undisputed top student.

“Well, the current third-year representative, that spirit mage, doesn’t seem quite right in the head either… Whether you’ll be able to take the position, I’m not sure…”

Krayd was also well aware of Yenika Faelover, the academy’s celebrity.

Wasn’t she known as the girl who seemed to have come straight from a fairy tale? Born with great sensitivity, educated well, and achieved good grades, she walked a rose-colored path.

Krayd thought of that girl and looked at Ed, who seemed to have been struggling through the muck, clenching his teeth all the while.

Everyone has different standards for judging value, and thus Krayd’s opinion could not represent that of the entire faculty. It was merely his own viewpoint.

“At least in my eyes, you are more suited for the position.”

Saying this, Professor Krayd staggered off the training ground.

In the middle of lighting up a cigarette, perhaps he thought to take a break until the next exam as he stumbled towards the corridor.

“I’ll also teach you about handling high-level magic next time.”

That was truly Krayd’s manner of speech.

* * *

“How can there be such a person…?!”

Tanya was stomping her feet, continuing to express her anger.

“Wandering around drunk during academic hours, smashing high-level magic in a practical exam…! We really need to formally protest to the academy! I will take responsibility and pursue this matter…!”

With Tanya raging beside me, I left the student council building.

It wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience to exit through the stands with the support of the student council president. The murmurs and stares made it feel as if I were some famous personality.

After all, the usually doted-on student council president herself was escorting me, making it all the more sensational. For me, it was both grateful and burdensome.

“Student council president, I will support him.”

“No, it’s all right… Senior Tyke, you’re too big, it must be uncomfortable for Orabuni.”

Even while trembling, Tanya clenched her jaw and supported me, which made Tyke and I laugh unintentionally as she resembled a small, determined animal.

“I’m thankful for earlier. I was indeed in a tight spot, senior Tyke.”

“You talk well. You were ready to deal with it, yet it was me who ended up interfering, wasn’t it?”

“As long as I got a good grade for the practical, what’s the point of doing more?”

With that said, Tanya supported me as we went straight to the Obel building. She insisted on providing basic first aid, so there was no choice but to oblige.

“Anyway, it’s the first time we’re meeting face to face, Ed Rothtaylor. Even though we were aware of each other’s presence. You were quite the talk of the town, and since I was first in the rank since the first year.”

Tyke Elfellan extended his hand to me.

“It seems you’re slowly reaching the rank for the third-year representative. It won’t be long before you might appear instead of Yenika at the representative meetings.”

I shook Tyke’s hand.

“Who knows? As you’re aware, Yenika isn’t an easy opponent.”

“Yeah, the results should unfold before the break. From what I’ve seen, you’ll be the next representative. Yenika is nice, but… how should I put it.”

Tyke pointed to his eyes with his index finger and smirked.

“You have a certain fierceness about you that she lacks.”

“It’s part of her charm, too.”

“She’s your good friend, I’ve heard. Oh, I shouldn’t have said that… wasn’t really backbiting though.”

Shrugging his shoulders, Tyke looked up at the Obel building, the center for student council activities.

“It feels like a threat when the juniors start rising up…I’m feeling a bit of pressure, too.”

Tyke laughed heartily, like a bear, as he gazed up at the reddening sky.

“Grade announcements will wrap up by next week, and then break time… There’ll be a lot to do for graduation preparation….”

Muttering to himself, Tyke went ahead.

In some ways, that could be me around this time next year. A peculiar feeling washed over me.

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