The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 145

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Returning Home (3)

“I’d love to share breakfast with you, but Princess Sella of the Frost has just arrived at the Rothtaylor Estate. Since royalty has graced us with their presence, it is only fitting that we treat her with utmost respect as her subjects.”

The meeting room was a small space prepared behind the main lobby.

Although described as small, it was larger than the living room of an average home. The furniture filling the room was all high-end, and estimating the total cost of everything in the room would be no easy task.

“Therefore, use the morning to rest in your room, and we shall have lunch together. We have many stories to catch up on and much to discuss, right?”

“Yes, thank you, Father.”

They exchanged words, masks firmly in place.

It should have been a warm conversation between a father and a son reunited after a long time. However, there was not a single genuine emotion to be found in their exchange.

It was more akin to a preliminary skirmish—a testing of waters and a cautious evaluation before unveiling one’s true intentions.

“The estate will be hectic right now. Starting from tomorrow evening, a lavish social gathering is planned. All the servants are preoccupied with the preparations, so please forgive any inattention. With guests of the finest standing arriving soon, everyone will be quite busy…”

Over a period of five days, different distinguished guests would visit on different days.

With each guest having a different visiting date, length of stay, and varying temperaments and statuses, it would indeed be a hectic time ensuring the well-being of all attendees.

“I apologize for returning at such a busy time.”

“No, it’s quite the opposite. I summoned you because it is this time. At the social event, we will announce the proud return of my son, Ed Rothtaylor, to the world. It’s been a long time since you’ve been involved in high society, you’ll need to form new connections. I hope this social gathering can be that opportunity.”

Crebin said, and looked over at Yenika and Lucy, who were sipping tea quietly in one corner of the sofa.

“Are those… the classmates upon whom our son has relied?”

“Yes… My name is Yenika… Faelover…”

Yenika was a nervous wreck, exhibiting sweat, stuttering, trailing off in speech, trembling hands, and averted gazes. Her stress was at its peak, not just because of the lavish hospitality and the presence of the Duke wielding power over the Empire, but also the sheer scale of the estate.

With her braided hair twirled nervously in her fingers, she could not make eye contact. Some might find such a display charming in its own trivial way, yet it was hardly the appropriate demeanor before the patriarch of the Rothtaylor family.

“There’s no need to be so tense. If you’re a friend of my son’s, stand tall and proud.”

At Crebin’s warm encouragement, Yenika visibly composed herself and hastily nodded in agreement.

“I have heard the name, indeed. A Spirit Master with remarkable talent, one capable of handling high-level spirits without difficulty. And you must be the renowned, extraordinary magician of great repute, as mentioned in Tanya’s letters…”

“Lucy Mayrill.”

Short and to the point.

Yenika gasped. Lucy’s disregard for formal address and proper manners was shocking enough, especially in the presence of the Duke of Rothtaylor.

Lucy leaned back against the chair, looking unfazed and nonchalantly staring at Crebin.

Not only Yenika but also the surrounding servants were stunned. Duke Crebin Rothtaylor may be known for his kindness but for those who crossed the line, he could be unyieldingly harsh.

Authority is often established by others, but there comes a time when one must assert it themselves. Otherwise, discipline may wane, and subordinates might undermine their leader.

Crebin knew this well, and he scrutinized Lucy, who had blurted out her name without any sense of propriety.

Despite the tense atmosphere, Lucy’s demeanor remained unchanged.

It was one of two things—either she was someone with no sense of common decency or she didn’t find her opponent particularly threatening.

Lucy Mayrill was definitely closer to the latter.

She exhibited confidence that no one could overpower her. The belief that, regardless of superior status, no one could surpass her absolute power lay at the heart of her attitude.

Thus, regardless of whom she encountered, Lucy acted according to her own rhythm—with the sole exception of Ed Rothtaylor.

“You’ve brought along some interesting friends.”

Crebin eventually softened his expression. He too discerned the underlying confidence in Lucy.

It was not pretense but conviction, reinforced by her reputation as the greatest prodigy to emerge from Sylvania.

It was clear that her attitude seemed like a challenge to the name of Rothtaylor, but Crebin had more pressing matters to attend to, with the arrival of the Frost Princess.

“Well then, let’s take our time and talk over lunch, shall we?”

With those words, Crebin stood up from his seat.

“Ah, right. There is something I want to give you, Father.”

*

“Please call if you need anything.”

– Squeak –

The servant closed the door behind him, bowing respectfully.

Ed Rothtaylor’s personal room.

The room once belonged to that pathetic, dimwitted third-rate villain before he enrolled at the Sylvania Academy.

It’s astonishing that, despite his banishment, his room had remained untouched. The Rothtaylor mansion had plenty of spare rooms to the point where such a waste of space seemed unimportant.

Rumor has it Arwen Rothtaylor’s room also remains untouched, perhaps holding some special meaning.

The size of the personal room was like three average rooms combined. I sat on the edge of the luxurious bed.

By the bedside table, there lay a cup of tea prepared by the servants, which I promptly poured into the pot by the window.

Then, for a long while, I examined all corners of the room, checking for any traps or surveillance devices. As far as I could tell, nothing caught my eye.

Having finished checking the lock on the door and the windows, I reflected on the fact that these basic safety measures were, in truth, meaningless if Crebin decided to bypass them, yet they were necessary precautions nonetheless.

“Hmm… What else should be checked?”

Everyone from the servants to Crebin had welcomed me warmly, and even my old room was preserved as it was, creating an atmosphere in which anyone could easily let their guard down. But I remained vigilant, intent on reviewing any potential risks.

– Squeak –

Without knocking, the door to my room opened. From the absence of any discernible facial features, it wasn’t a servant; it was someone of a slight build. Lowering my gaze, I saw Lucy with her white hair elegantly fanned out, pushing the door open.

“Didn’t you… say you were going to the room next door?”

Lucy never actually voiced her desire to share my room after our needless standoff with Crebin.

Had she broached the topic in front of my parents, chaos would have certainly ensued. Shaking her head vigorously, she clutched a pillow tightly and stepped briskly into the room.

She then threw herself onto the large bed in the corner of my room, adorably burying herself in the bed’s comforter.

“What’s the matter?”

“Wake me if you need to.”

With those words, he began to drift off into a soft slumber.

Considering how soundly he sleeps, sprawled out like that, yet manages to wake up alert and attentive during crucial moments, there seems to be no need to worry too much.

Above all, he had promised to stay by my side and protect me while I remained in the mansion. It was evident that he intended to stick to his promise very closely, which I found quite comforting, on my part.

Despite his seemingly indifferent and carefree demeanor, he never fails to catch important matters.

Leaving the peacefully dozing Lucy behind, I started to search the room from one end to the other.

When I opened the wardrobe, I found several sets of luxurious clothing that seemed freshly laundered. It appeared these were prepared in advance for me to attend social gatherings.

From the bed sheets and curtains to the sofa cover—every inch was immaculate. They had obviously been cleaned up neatly in anticipation of my return.

I then moved over to a personal desk attached to the window opposite the bed. It seemed to be a study desk provided for academic work or reading.

Curious, I opened all the drawers. They contained all the trinkets Ed Rothtaylor had used.

Most were luxurious jewel-encrusted ornaments, though there were also neckties, decorative daggers, and fancy writing instruments that caught my eye.

Click, click.

Suddenly, the uppermost drawer I tried to open wouldn’t budge.

It seemed to be locked from the inside.

– “That’s why I wanted to ask, if by any chance… did my brother try to leave the family because of… that.. drawer?”

– “… Drawer?”

– “The one in my brother’s room you always kept us away from, the one you never allowed us to open. When did you even start locking it with a key? It’s probably still there at the Rothtaylor estate…”

“This is… the drawer Tanya mentioned…”

I steadied my breathing.

Something’s in here.

The things that the Ed Rothtaylor, who lived life as a profligate before I possessed him, took particular care to hide.

If no one has tampered with Ed Rothtaylor’s room since, then it’s likely those items are still inside this drawer.

But… I don’t have a way to open it just now. I don’t even know where the key is.

“Should I break it?”

It didn’t look very sturdy.

However, breaking a desk as soon as I arrived would attract too much attention. If a servant saw and reported it, it could arouse suspicion from Crebin.

Even if it didn’t raise suspicion, without knowing what’s inside, I couldn’t risk damaging the contents, which could be delicate paper materials or magical engineering gadgets with sensitive components.

“Hmm… Can I somehow break just the lock more delicately? My current magical sensibility seems a bit insufficient to handle it…”

Crack.

In that moment, a small impact targeted just the lock of the drawer. There were no noticeable external changes, but it felt as if only the locking mechanism inside had been selectively broken.

When I tried to pull the drawer open again, it slid out smoothly.

“What?”

Turning around swiftly, I saw Lucy adjusting his position on the bed.

Although he seemed to be lying down without a care, deep in slumber, he was keeping a careful watch over me from one side.

He was indeed reliable. With Lucy by my side, it seemed there would be no risk of any untimely demise.

I gratefully acknowledged his vigilance and pulled the drawer open completely.

Inside was… an enormous stack of letters.

Curious, I took out a stack and laid it on the desk. Every single letter was handwritten by Ed.

“What is all this…”

It would obviously take some time to read through them all. Nonetheless, I needed at least to get a rough idea of what these letters contained.

I took one from the top of the pile and skimmed through it rapidly from beginning to end. Among the many, it seemed to be one of the most recently written.

– ‘To my dear and respected Sister Arwen.’

My breath caught, and I rubbed my chin. It was an inevitable shock.

This was an entirely unknown realm about the character Ed Rothtaylor, one I could not have known as myself.

] Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman ];

A third-rate villain who exits in Act 1, chapter 1. A foolhardy profligate driven by vanity, who meets a pitiful end after being expelled for framing the protagonist Tarley McLoir in his conceit.

– ‘I will surely die soon if things continue this way.’

– ‘What meaning is there in a life that must end in death anyway?’

– ‘What value can be attributed to a life that only awaits a predestined death?’

– ‘Though my life, drunk on the splendor of the Rothtaylor name, was short, I now seek to conclude all these matters.’

– ‘Sister, you might no longer be able to respond to my letters. Thus, I shall seek my own path.’

– ‘I cannot make the same choice as you, sister.’

– ‘My journey as a member of the Rothtaylor family may end here, but my life does not.’

After reading these sporadic lines, I silenced my breath and gently placed the letter down.

Then, I turned again to the stacks of letters I had laid aside and rustled through them once more.

These were the letters exchanged between Ed and Arwen in life. The sheer volume suggested correspondence over several years.

As I rifled through the papers, a single feather fell out and landed on the desk.

“This is… not a quill pen… just a feather.”

I picked up the feather, twirling it between my fingers, examining the intricate red pattern on it.

Its purpose was unclear. I set the feather down beside the desk, took a deep breath, and looked at the piles of papers before me.

Seems like I’ve got my work cut out for me. It’s going to take time to go through all these letters.

*Crebin Rothtaylor held a letter sealed with the princess of Phoenia’s seal.

When Lady Sella, the frigid princess, noticed the letter was not sealed, she swallowed hard.

Could it be that Crebin Rothtaylor, a power within the royal court, had already sided with the Phoenia princess?

Otherwise, there’s no reason he would have received an unsealed letter. That letter was virtually a symbol of absolute trust.

“You seem to be under a misconception.”

At an opulent breakfast early in the morning.

Sella, visiting the Rothtaylor’s territory, was receiving exceptionally gracious hospitality.

She engaged in light conversation with Crebin, but her gaze relentlessly hovered around the letter in his hand.

Crebin, with his keen insight, seemed to have accurately grasped Sella’s thoughts.

“An unsealed letter signifies not the trust in the recipient, but… the trust in the one delivering the message, don’t you think?”

He was correct. Uncharacteristic for Sella, it was a foolish misunderstanding.

Crebin smiled faintly, tucked the letter back into his pocket, and continued.

“I believe Princess Sella is curious about who delivered this letter.”

Before the arrival of various dignitaries from all over, a peculiar atmosphere was developing within Rothtaylor’s dukedom, akin to the calm before a storm.

With just one day left for the grand social event held only once a year, the suspense was palpable.

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