The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 147

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Returning Home Gloriously (5)

[Sylvania’s Failed Swordsaint] Act 4, chapter 7. The final boss before infiltrating Gregor Cathedral: Princess Sella Silverfrost.

The revelation of Crebin’s true nature marks the beginning of the downfall of the Rothtaylor family, symbolizing the approaching end for them.

“I won’t go into the lengthy details about Phoenia. She is my precious kin, so I don’t wish to say anything unpleasant. However, if you have spent time with her, you would know. She is… overly thoughtful to become an emperor.”

When I saw Sella had come to my room, I was certain then. The story was steadily moving into Act 4.

The fact that the final battle of Act 3 with Lucy had been omitted was now clear to me.

The unfolding of events had been twisted enough so far, but now it’s reached a point where even guessing the path was difficult.

Is this really okay?

The image of ]Sylvania’s Failed Swordsaint];, the final scene of Act 3, floated in my memory.

Lucy gazing at the sky in the rain atop Orun mountain. It was at the end of Act 3 that she finally let go of her past burdens.

As always, one twist led to another.

While Taely’s growth was astoundingly fast, skipping the boss battle of Act 3… made it uncertain whether Acts 4 and 5 could proceed normally.

The final boss of Act 4 is Crebin Rothtaylor who wields the power of evil gods, and the final boss of Act 5 is Bellbrook, the Dragon who Devours Gods. Could the current Taely best them? I can’t help but shake my head in doubt now.

Although the end of the scenario felt distantly far off, the story had already turned a corner and was rapidly coming to a close. Staying idle at this stage more than halfway through may lead to a great disaster.

And this realization implants a new pressure within my chest.

“Join me. This is an offer I am extending to you, but for you, my lord, it’s a great opportunity.”

Sella stroked her fingers a few times, then extended her hand toward me.

Royalty hardly shake hands. Barely five or six times a year.

There are scarcely any in this empire who can make eye contact and shake hands as equals with the royal family.

Therefore, offering a handshake is Sella’s way of showing the highest honor.

“How dare my lowly hands grasp the hand of the First Princess. Though I am a member of the Rothtaylor Duchy, I cannot bear to touch such a noble existence.”

“Ha, you say pleasing things. Well, I don’t mind a verbal agreement too…”

Sella was about to continue but then fell silent.

She twitched her brow slightly at the sight of me kneeling motionless.

“…You refuse.”

“It’s out of respect for your nobility.”

“Phoenia has no interest in the imperial power. But as for me, I am brimming with ambition.”

Was it suggested to abandon a sinking ship?

Yet, I am well aware that it is not Phoenia but Sella who is aboard the sinking vessel.

“Your father, sir Crebin, will support me, so make a wise choice, my lord.”

Princess Sella Silverfrost, cooperating with Crebin’s plan, gains the power of the evil god but is ultimately unable to fully control it and is devoured alive by Mebuler.

She meets one of the most terrible fates among the characters in Act 4.

“Indeed, as you say, Princess Phoenia currently has no interest in the throne. Just at this moment, though.”

“Do you think the child fits the emperor’s seat?”

“In times of peace like now, a benevolent ruler like Princess Phoenia is needed.”

But to boldly say, ‘I know your future, and it is grim, so I will not support you’ – I can’t possibly say that.

So, I had no choice but to skirt around with other excuses, and I had a letter with me… Phoenia was the perfect excuse.

“I have no doubt that Princess Phoenia is fit to be an emperor. Even if she says she has no current interest in the throne, I simply trust and wait for her.”

“Ha… I am surprised to see how firmly you support her, prince. I don’t know what happened in Sylvania, but it’s astonishing.”

I had planned to accept all her outrages if she exploded in anger, but unexpectedly, Sella looked straight at me and smiled gently.

“Drooling, aren’t you?”

“Pardon?”

“I tend to enjoy plundering, if I must say.”

The one reacting to those words was Yenika. She shivered and glanced back and forth between Sella and me, looking pitifully like a frightened small animal. I felt a surge of tenderness.

I shook my head sharply at Yenika. It was a signal for her to stay put.

“I do not quite understand your words, my lady.”

“Usually, loyalty is most beautiful when it’s broken. I would like to see how far your conviction for Phoenia holds.”

Sella was completely misunderstanding. The reason I spoke in support of Phoenia was more about ensuring my own safety than any sincere desire to support and follow her. I had no intention of siding with Sella.

“Well, there’s plenty of time. This social gathering will last five days… Feel the gap between you and Phoenia during this time. If you change your mind, you’re welcome to tell me anytime.”

“Thank you for your opinion.”

“It is pleasing to see you maintain decorum until the end. It would indeed be quite a sight to break even that loyalty and integrity. Well… it’s good…”

Sella gently stroked my cheek with her cold hand and showed a wistful smile. Even that smile felt endlessly cold.

“In a garden, a flower blooms too easily. People are so fickle; they often look to a reed blooming on a cliff rather than a rose in the garden.”

“That’s a generous assessment.”

“Yes, let’s meet again.”

With that, Sella stroked her hair and left the room with a smile.

Outside my door, Dest, her butler, was already waiting.

* * *

“It’s so upsetting…!”

Yenika, pressing her skirt in frustration, vented her anger.

In front of others, she couldn’t express her anger, but afterward, she regretted not saying ‘I should’ve said this.’ It’s almost a trait of the timid to regret not speaking up when looking back on past occurrences.

To think, ‘I’m upset now? Felt ignored? Hmm? Upset?’

That kind of gradient anger is understandable, but sadly, there’s not much one can do about the First Princess in retaliation.

“I’ve been at the top of my class for a long time, and I’m not that weak, and while I may be a commoner, I’m not someone to be scoffed at… I should have been angry, right? No, still, she is a princess, so I couldn’t have gotten angry… maybe, subtly…? Maturely…? I’m not so easily swayed~, should I have played it off more smoothly? Like Lortelle…?”

“Yenika…”

“But, I’m not really good at that… Still, thinking back on it, I’m upset I stayed quiet… uh… uh…!”

“Yenika, you were never the type to get angry and such anyway.”

“But still, she keeps sticking around Ed~!”

As Yenika babbled on her stream of consciousness, she suddenly shivered and started peeking at me.

I sighed heavily and pushed the table toward the chair where Yenika sat. The table glided towards her, and she could see the cup of tea brought by the maid.

After taking a deep breath and finishing her tea… she started fanning her own face and asked sneakily,

“But Princess Sella is truly beautiful, isn’t she?”

“There are attendants who fuss over her all day, so I suppose they maintain her beauty to that degree.”

“It seems like she has taken a liking to you, Ed… What do we do…? If you keep rejecting her, won’t she harm you?”

Noticing Yenika’s subtle glances and sensing her anxiety, I decided to clarify things.

“I want to make it clear. I will never side with Princess Sella.”

“That much…? I didn’t know you supported Princess Phoenia that strongly. Even during the student council elections… it’s complicated.”

After saying this, I decided to continue with what I had left unsaid earlier.

“So? Did you find anything while scouring the mansion?”

“Yes. The mansion is so large, it was a hassle… but Muk brought some information.”

“Muk?”

“He said there’s an unusually high concentration of magical energy reactions below Crebin’s personal study. But according to the mansion’s structure, there should be a kitchen beneath the study. There’s no reason for such immense magic to emanate from the servants’ kitchen.”

“…Definitely suspicious.”

The most critical mission is to collect tangible evidence of Crebin’s misdeeds. It won’t be easy to find incontrovertible proof, but it feels like we have a lead.

“We should check it out in person. But that study… Crebin frequents it often, and it’s always locked tight when he’s not there. It’s going to be hard to investigate.”

“Yeah. We have five days, so let’s wait for the right moment. I’ll faithfully attend the social events to avoid suspicion.”

There’s a mountain of tasks to complete within five days.

I must participate in the social calendar sincerely to avoid any suspicion, understand what Crebin is up to now that he’s trying to reclaim me, investigate the nature of the magical source beneath his study, and at night, I must read through as many of the letters found on the desk as fast as possible.

I haven’t even read halfway through the correspondence between Arwen and Ed. Most letters were just routine exchanges of well-wishes and needed sorting. I also didn’t have the time to fully review the content of the letters.

If I keep burning the midnight oil like today, the servants will start to find it strange, so I need to manage my time even more efficiently. It is crucial not to arouse any suspicion. By now, Crebin would be on his guard against me, and any minor misconduct could be reported directly to him.

“My door will always be open, so if anything comes up, feel free to come to my room anytime. Whether it’s day or night, remember where I am.”

“Y-your room…? Anytime?”

Flushing slightly once again, Yenika scanned my room before lowering her head and quickly nodded.

“Yeah, got it….”

Her stammering demeanor didn’t exactly reassure me.

* * *

The first day of the Rothtaylor’s social gathering.

The first day of the social gathering is the simplest. As the schedule progresses, the number of distinguished guests increases, and the venue shifts to larger settings. This ramp-up excites enthusiasm for the long five-day event. On the first evening, instead of being lively, most attendees seem to be taking a break, looking forward to the upcoming festivities.

In the neatly prepared banquet in the mansion’s first-floor lobby, an orchestra plays soft music, and nobles mingle, clinking wine glasses amidst chatter, laughter, and inviting partners for a light dance.

Among the gathered crowd, well-known nobles from their own territories were plentiful, but none dared to assume the center stage too brashly, respecting the presence of even more renowned individuals.

In particular, the nobles from the outskirts gathered around Jazhul, the plumply dressed Border Count, well-liked by Emperor Clorel for managing a vast granary land alone in the empire’s southern reaches.

At that moment, conversations focused around Jazhul, and the atmosphere began to warm, when suddenly, Princess Sella of Frost entered, bringing a chilly hush over the assembly.

Wearing a spotless white dress, Sella was so beautiful that admiration flowed from young nobles to aged magnates. With poised confidence, she walked through the crowd to the center, too noble for any to carelessly approach.

Only someone of an appropriate status could dare interact with royalty, yet finding a suitable match for Sella amidst the attendees posed a challenge.

“Hello, Princess Sella. It is an honor to meet you,” said Tanya, emerging from the crowd. She curtsied gracefully, introducing herself as the successor to the Rothtaylor family head.

“Oh, it’s good to see you. I met with your brother this afternoon, and now seeing the sister… Your family’s influence is indeed robust,” Sella responded with a warm smile, acknowledging Tanya’s apology for the modest scale of the evening’s venue as just a build-up in the crescendo of events.

Amid discussions of a once-disgraced heir making his return, young Ed Rothtaylor entered, catching the eye of many with his impeccably dressed figure and undeniable charms.

As the night wrapped up, it was clear that for many, this would be the last chance to truly enjoy the social gathering, for the following days promised a whirlwind of prestigious arrivals and engagements.

* * *

On the second day, after the morning meal, as the haze lifted, the previous night’s early conclusion allowed guests to rest in their rooms, awaiting the next round of social engagements.

The natural environment of the Rothtaylor domain was both lovely and calming, ideal for leisurely strolls between more formal gatherings.

Lord Crebin Rothtaylor was particularly busy, greeting each distinguished visitor personally — an imperative gesture of hospitality for guests of such stature.

That morning, someone truly exceptional arrived. The doors of the ornate wrought iron gates opened, and an impressive carriage approached, necessitating Crebin and his children, Tanya and Ed, to formally receive the guest.

Clarice, the much-revered Saintess of Chloe, stepped out, exchanging pleasantries with Crebin and turning her attention to Tanya and Ed, stating her admiration for both. Though a formality, her words held sincerity, unknowingly to Tanya.

There was an awkwardness in the air as Clarice, using a formal address, praised Ed. Quickly, however, she shook hands with Tanya first and then extended her hand to Ed, capturing him with her brilliant eyes.

Ignoring all surrounding glances, she firmly grasped Ed’s hand, a silent exchange causing a stir among the onlookers and signaling the start of another bustling day at the social gathering.

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