The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 149

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !

The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Returning from Exile (7)

Throughout the duration of the social gathering, rumors alone thrived unchecked.

Saint Clarice, whenever she had free time during her schedule, would privately pay visits to Ed Rothtaylor, and to the higher nobility, it appeared as though there was some form of connection between the Rothtaylor family and the Saint.

Indeed, considering the magnitude of power held by the continent’s greatest authorities, it wouldn’t have been odd for them to have some form of exchange with the religious sect.

Of course, one might not go so far as to consider the involvement of someone of the Bishop’s level, let alone a connection with the Saint of the Order herself.

“Would you care to dance with me?”

“Oh, Mr. Ed, it would be my honor.”

The highlight of the event was the banquet held that night.

The hall on the second floor, where they held the feast, was by rough estimation at least twice the size than that of the first day’s dining event.

Newly arrived esteemed guests on the second day were accompanied by even more meticulously prepared and lavish food and music. Various arts and crafts decorated the walls of the hall, and here and there, stages were set up from which a variety of storytellers and entertainers performed, amplifying the festivities.

I, being in no position to refuse the Saint’s proposal, boldly approached and asked her for a dance.

After all, it held many benefits to be proudly recognized as a member of the Rothtaylor household. Not only authority and power but it also made it impossible for Crebin Rothtaylor to dismiss me lightly.

Announcing to the entire world that one has the support of a powerful figure like a Saint is directly connected to one’s own safety.

“Look there, that’s the family’s black sheep who’s made a return.”

“I saw him at the party yesterday too. Looked like a totally different person.”

“No matter the change, that infamous nature wouldn’t just disappear.”

As the infamy was great, among the guests, good words were sparse.

Whether Clarice caught wind of their murmurs from within my embrace as we followed the rhythm of the dance, her expression soured.

Quietly, with my head bowed as though engaging in casual conversation, I whispered to Clarice.

“There’s no need for you to take it to heart.”

“Was my expression that unpleasant?”

“It did seem you were bothered.”

“Just…it made me wonder if I’ve done something unnecessary.”

I followed Clarice’s steps in time with the music. Although she seemed unaccustomed to dancing, I managed to match her movements adequately.

Definitely, being suddenly linked with someone of high status like Clarice meant attracting more attention than necessary.

I might have gradually blended back into noble society… but receiving her favor abruptly meant bearing the brunt of their harsh stares.

Clarice, seemingly bothered by it, did not have the brightest expression during the dance.

“It’s alright, saint Clarice. Whatever it is, you’ve been a great help to me.”

“If that is so, then I am glad. Should you need anything else, don’t hesitate to call on me. I plan to stay at this estate until the end of the social gathering as I have many people to meet.”

Clarice was a guest of honor unwavering in the face of even Crebin Rothtaylor. Her authority could lend a significant voice at critical moments.

As the dance concluded and the music came to an end, she looked at me regretfully and tugged at my sleeve.

“It’s rare that we get to dance like this, and here I am worrying the time away. Sigh…”

Saying this, Clarice released my hand. Her delicate fingers seemed pale in the light.

“There’s still much of the gathering left, so let’s talk again, Mr. Ed.”

“It would be my honor, saint Clarice.”

After escorting Clarice back to her seat, I slipped away from the center of the crowd.

The intense gaze of the observing nobles felt heavy upon me. There were a few that approached me with conversation, but I extricated myself with cursory responses and exited their midst.

With the second night ending and the third day dawning, the lengthy social gathering of the Rothtaylor household was reaching its turning point.

More than half of the gathering’s schedule had passed, yet there were little to show in terms of achievements.

On the first day, I kept a low profile. Acting rashly upon arrival could raise suspicions.

However, from the second day on, I planned to be more proactive. Time was not an infinite resource.

One must not forget the goal. The reason I risked danger and returned to the Rothtaylor estate was to find evidence of Crebin Rothtaylor’s misdeeds.

What I knew was that Crebin Rothtaylor had conducted all manner of heinous experiments to delve into the magic of immortality.

He tested the powers of malevolent deities at the expense of the lives of his servants, deceived the royal household to smuggle forbidden substances, and even murdered children in his madness for immortality.

His interest in divine magic was likely also due to its relation to the power of timelessness.

He was a madman who would research anything for his goals. The veneer of a benevolent Duke was merely a shell.

Nevertheless, if he was conducting research on such a scale… there was bound to be a hidden laboratory or secret storage. It was likely situated within his own estate, where it could be managed easily and frequently accessed.

“Busy as ever, Ed Rothtaylor.”

It was the moment that I tried to quickly weave through the crowd and exit the party.

“It’s strange that you have become the center of attention at the party, yet you don’t take the chance to converse further with the guests.”

Amidst the murmuring crowd, I was approached by Princess Sella, holding a glass of white wine. She leaned against a wall nonchalantly, watching the band that was preparing to play their next piece.

Once again, my presence drew the focus of the event. Nobles, mindful of their dignity, feigned interest in other matters…but their fleeting glances betrayed the attention they still paid to me.

“Princess Sella.”

“Your eyes… they question why I speak to you. How refreshing.”

After my private conversation with Saint Clarice, and a dance followed by a discussion with Princess Sella, my association with two individuals close to the pinnacle of spiritual and imperial authority…indeed drew the collective attention of those present.

Personally, it was a situation where I struggled to keep my composure.

“Did you know? The common folk consider speaking with me once in their lifetime a source of lifelong pride. Considering that, your reaction could have been better.”

“I too, take it as an honor, Princess Sella.”

“You look so bothered, as if you’re adding a nuisance to your list of tasks.”

An unnecessarily perceptive woman, she was.

Sidelong, I glanced at the terrace. The moon was high in the sky.

Afterward, I planned to slip away discreetly from the banquet to meet up with Yenika waiting outside.

Then, under the guise of being unwell, I would abscond to my chamber with an excuse to secretly infiltrate Crebin’s study. The plan with Yenika had already been finalized.

“It doesn’t seem very wise to leave such a splendid gala for the outside.”

“I appreciate your insight, but I am somewhat ill… I plan to rest a bit into the night before returning.”

“Is that so? You seemed quite well while dancing with Saint Clarice.”

At her words, I closed my mouth and simply gazed at Princess Sella, who chuckled and clapped her hands.

“Haha, I jest. Do laugh along.”

“I’m afraid I lack a sense of humor.”

“One could say that’s dull. Or perhaps to put it kindly, you’re just serious. Well, it seems your luck in female companionship is rather good.”

Princess Sella set down her wine glass, eyeing the orchestra that was settling into their next composition. A beautiful strain of violin commenced, with other instruments then augmenting the melody in an elegant harmony.

Lost as if to the music, Sella drew closer, whispering into my ear.

“I’m sure it’s obvious you’re going out to have your way with that commoner woman from before, right?”

Indeed, she was correct in assuming I had plans with Yenika although, in a vastly different manner than Sella imagined.

Nonetheless, my time was limited.

Crebin was one to visit his study habitually whether morning or afternoon… It was only during such events, where he couldn’t leave his host duties, that I would have a chance to safely investigate his study.

“You’ve often said how beneficial it would be to your advancement to keep company with your equals.”

“I appreciate your advice. I’ll bear it in mind and act carefully.”

“How about we test whether that’s an empty promise?”

“Pardon?”

Princess Sella carelessly plopped her glass onto a banquet table.

Then suddenly, the glass teetered and toppled, spilling onto the fine tablecloth.

The surrounding guests were startled, and for a moment, all eyes in the banquet hall were drawn to the scene.

The spilled wine soaked the expensive cloth, and the attending servants quickly began to clean up the mess.

The first-rate staff were quick with their duties, but they could not so easily undo the attention already drawn.

Seizing the moment, Princess Sella spoke up.

“Shall we share a dance?”

Silence once again enveloped the space.

“I’ve noticed you have a knack for dancing.”

In that brief quiet, I saw the wide-eyed expression of Saint Clarice.

It was customary for men to ask women to dance, preferably with a man of lower social standing inviting a woman of higher social rank.

It’s not entirely common for a woman of significant stature like Sella to boldly make the dance request, especially not to me, having just finished a dance with Saint Clarice.

Being associated with the Saint alone demanded attention, but adding another dance with Sella would certainly bring the party’s focus onto me.

More importantly, my partner was Princess Sella, the Frost Princess herself.

Desired by all sorts of high-ranking nobles for even a word of conversation…

Clorel’s First Imperial Princess, Chloris, was stomping her feet in frustration. It was unthinkable that anyone at the event would decline the offer to dance with her.

“I dare not take the hand of the First Princess. My current condition is not good, and I fear I would only cause inconvenience.”

With those words, I politely bowed to Sella and made my leave from the party hall.

***

Although no one made it obvious, there was an unusual current of whispers fluttering amongst the partygoers.

Just after Ed Rothtaylor left the ballroom, Sella stood alone by the door, her expression one of incredulity. He had refused the dance invitation of a First Princess.

Though he politely declined, giving seemingly plausible reasons, a refusal was still a refusal.

– ‘Did you just see that?’

– ‘He refused the dance request of Princess Sella? Am I mistaken?’

– ‘Didn’t he dance with Saint Clarice? Did something happen to him in the meantime?’

– ‘To converse with Princess Sella is an opportunity; I would go out to dance even if I were to lose an arm.’

Amidst the murmuring nobility, Sella scoffed.

‘His insolence knows no bounds.’

She had not known of his connections to Saint Clarice. Sella had intended to win Ed over, as he seemed to be a confidant of the influential Princess Pheonia and had built a special relationship with the saint.

Despite her efforts to approach him, Ed Rothtaylor shrugged off her advances effortlessly and left. His attitude was too bold in the presence of Clorel Empire’s First Princess. One could empathize with being occupied, but this was crossing a line.

However, you can’t just express anger overtly; even if tomorrow brings the end of the world, a royal must maintain their grace and dignity.

‘A golden opportunity kicked away with his own feet.’

Sella picked up a new glass of wine and laughed in her stately manner. The surrounding nobility, cautious of her mood, hesitated to speak up.

Meanwhile, saint Clarice witnessed the events, her head bowed, struggling to contain her laughter, though to others she might have seemed overwhelmed by the sudden developments.

Having danced with Clarice but not with the noble princess had unexpectedly taken her breath away. Truly, it was an odd circumstance.

‘Well, once more into the fray.’

Sella straightened her attire and mingled back into the crowd.

Having connections to Saint Clarice was indeed surprising, but it was foolish to challenge the presence of a princess over that alone.

At the moment, the nobles gathered here were all watching Sella’s cues, including Ed’s father, Crebin Rothtaylor.

It would not be difficult for her to sway public opinion to bury Ed Rothtaylor under his arrogance. But for now, she would focus on other connections first.

Legion Commander Magnus and Investor Roland.

While she must maintain a friendly exterior with Saint Clarice, she was determined to win the latter two over into her inner circle.

This social gathering was an exceptional opportunity.

***

[She is at the end of the fourth-floor corridor. Servants seldom traverse there; it seems the head of the house ordered no direct access…! Miss Yenika is also waiting nearby!]

Muk, perched on my shoulder, flapped his wings while passing along the information he had gathered.

The Rothtaylor mansion at night buzzed with the to and fro of numerous servants, but the higher the floors, the less bustling it was.

Most of the essential facilities were located on the lower floors.

The six-story Rothtaylor mansion became more private the higher one went, utilized only by the family insiders.

Up to the third floor was accessible to guests. Thus, wandering outside guests did not attract undue attention. However, starting from the fourth floor, the attempt by outsiders to enter would be immediately checked by the servants.

Of course, as someone from inside the Rothtaylor family, I could move freely.

“Master Ed, I heard you’re not feeling well.”

“You can leave; I’ll manage on my own.”

“Yes, understood.”

Effortlessly convincing encountered servants to step aside, I reached the private library of Crebin, at the corner of the fourth floor. What comfort it was to have authority to walk in directly.

Before entering the study, I turned and unlocked all the latches on the corridor windows.

―Click.

As a result, one of the windows opened. A girl, riding a spirit in the form of a sizable eagle, squeezed herself through and into the corridor.

Without a doubt, she was Yenika, now as familiar as family.

Yenika was clad in a tidy azure skirt and a pristine white blouse, coming straight from the party as it seemed.

“How did you manage to slip away?”

“Unlike Ed, if someone like me disappears, nobody bothers to notice. I came early to scout around, no one’s come by.”

“And Lucy?”

“She’s sleeping on the roof.”

So she was up there, on the top of this grand building. It was hardly anything new.

Detecting the mansion’s magical energy and ready to intercept any anomaly instantly, it’s more convenient for her to be at the top.

She likely had already prepared to barge in at a moment’s notice. She might appear lazy and hopeless, but in critical moments, she’s utterly reliable.

With a curt nod, I turned the doorknob and pushed open the door—it creaked slowly as it revealed the inside.

Regularly used, the door wasn’t locked. After all, from the fourth-floor corner onwards, it’s restricted to non-insiders.

I swung the door wide open.

――And in the center of the study sat Crebin Rothtaylor at his executive desk.

“…Oh…!”

Yenika quickly covered her mouth with both hands, trying not to gasp. I stood still, holding the doorknob, trying not to show my alarm.

“You’re here.”

It was Crebin, who until moments before had been hosting the party.

It made no sense for a host to leave such a grand affair. Even less so to retreat to his study to read books, unless there was another reason.

This clearly indicated that he had anticipated my visit.

“Let’s have a private talk, just the two of us, no one else around.”

Crebin closed the book and placed it on his desk before speaking calmly.

“I’m curious about your story—how you survived the innumerable trials and returned in triumph…”

“Father.”

The following remark caught both Yenika and myself off-guard.

“――So you still call me ‘father’.”

He… never thought of me as Ed Rothtaylor to begin with.

“There are many ways to flee from the burden of family. No matter what, the fact that my son Ed Rothtaylor disgracefully fled remains unchanged. I can tell for certain. So I must ask.”

Behind to the study’s window, the full moon shone brightly, casting its calm light.

“Who are you?”

Carefully, I reached for the dagger hidden in my thigh holster while adopting a defensive stance.

* * *

To my dear brother Ed Rothtaylor, whom I cherish so dearly.

It has been over a week since the baptism ceremony, and you are now officially in the heir’s position.

With two such exceptional brothers, I sometimes wonder if I can continue to hold my position as the eldest child and successor.

Either way, Tanya is still far from maturing, so your role, Ed, is going to be more important. Seems like it was just yesterday that Tanya started to scribble, and now she’s already beginning magic training—time flies, doesn’t it?

It’s been over three years since we began corresponding with letters. Had I known our note exchanges at the door would last this long, I would have asked the servants to deliver letters from the beginning.

But then you’d grumble about the lack of romance. Always so peculiar.

Life in the tower is claustrophobic in many ways, but I’m coping. Recently, I’ve been more prone to weakness and minor illnesses, but not as badly as before.

On the other hand, I’ve made progress in sword and magic training. Remember when everyone worried when I insisted on wielding a greatsword worthy of my upper body? Now I’m comfortable with weight reduction magic and can handle the sword like it’s part of me.

During the last ceremony, I even demonstrated ceremonial swordsmanship with the ceremonial greatsword. The elders were impressed. They all wish to see your face, Ed.

… I hope you and Father can make some progress, too. It’s hard being caught between you two.

Regardless of how you feel, I believe our father has grand dreams and visions. Following and trusting him is a duty we have as a family.

Please, don’t use such harsh words.

I won’t call you ‘father’ again unless I’m reborn.

It’s heartbreaking to see such harsh words exchanged within a family. Please, apologize next time you have the chance.

Father looking into your Sylvania school enrollment isn’t entirely a good thing.

It’s just a way to dismiss troubles to faraway Acken Island. I don’t want our family to be torn apart, above all else.

Remember what you said? That you’d enroll in Sylvania as soon as you were of age.

You can study magic here at the Rothtaylor estate. Please, think it over carefully.

We’re bound by the ties of family till death; don’t take that connection lightly.

I’ll write again soon.

Your only sister, Arwen Rothtaylor.

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !



Want to keep in touch ? Join our Discord : https://discord.gg/wMvrbbTzrG

2 responses to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 149”

  1. Ed casually speedrunning the boss fight for Act 4.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *