The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 159

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

Crebin Subjugation(10)

The dagger embedded in Crebin’s left arm sliced through his flesh with a grating sound.

The end of the dagger, which had pierced through his wrist, trembled as it stopped near the corner of his eye.

I gritted my teeth and tried to push the dagger in further, putting my weight into it, but Crebin resisted with great effort, waving his tentacles around.

― Thud!

I managed to assume a defensive posture for a moment, but I was pushed back by the impact and rolled across the stone floor.

Crebin, with the dagger stuck in his hand, coughed violently as he rose to his feet.

When he shook his left hand, the wound quickly started healing, though the pain seemed to remain, as he frowned intensely.

“Usually, right up until the moment of death, one can’t imagine they are going to die.”

Crebin, coughing and rising, picked up his longsword again. His grotesquely twisted left hand began once more to draw in Mebuler’s magic power.

― Whoosh!

Dozens of tentacles surged up again. The tentacles, adorned in patches of grotesque flesh, were enough to make anyone feel nauseous just by looking at them.

― Awooo!

― Crackle! Scarack!

However, spurred on by Merilda’s crying out, more than half were massacred by the spreading magical force and vanished.

The wind blades Merilda wielded were different from typical elemental magic in scale and scope. A sweeping force of magical blades surged in all directions, devastating the surroundings and even Crebin himself got caught in the aftermath.

― Pshhh! Pssshh!

His flesh kept falling off, creating new wounds, but Mebuler’s magic power managed to minimize the shock somehow and heal the injuries.

However, its power wasn’t infinite. Crebin had not yet fully accepted Mebuler’s magic power.

For one to wield Mebuler’s power, they had to use a portion of their own as a medium. Of course, the output was overwhelmingly powerful compared to the inputted magic, but it couldn’t completely replace his own power.

Crebin fully embracing Mebuler’s power would be troublesome. Thus, the need to conclude the battle swiftly became apparent.

Just as Crebin was trying to assume his stance again, the dagger lodged in his left arm exploded. He didn’t perceive the explosion caused by the spirit formula in time, which momentarily staggered him, providing me with the perfect timing to dive in.

― Whoosh!

Pushing off the ground, I felt a sense of buoyancy.

Merilda’s wind magic lightened my movements considerably, making them quicker than I expected. Closing the distance swiftly, I drew out the power to take the dagger back.

Crebin would not be easily fooled again. Dodging Merilda’s oncoming foot, he levitated his body up into the skies above the manor grounds.

His way of fighting began to grow more cautious.

Beyond the railings, and with the moon as his backdrop, he was floating in mid-air… he was unreachable in hand-to-hand combat.

― Whoosh!

Again, magic began to gather in his hands. It was a familiar attack pattern.

‘Summoning the Eye of Malice’. Among Crebin’s behavior patterns, this was usually a last resort. The fact he used it so early was an acknowledgment that the situation was not in his favor.

Of course, there was no reason to let him continue unopposed. I fired several magical arrows and summoned Leshia.

― Boom!

The magical arrows burst open overhead, and a waterfall-like gush of water spread out from the sky above the manor. In that brief moment of opportunity, ‘Spring Manifestation’ bloomed and Leshia sprang forth, biting Crebin’s shoulder.

“Kraaaagh!”

Crebin screamed in pain as he tried to shake Leshia off.

The wounds still healed continuously, but the pain persisted. The human mind has its limits, and a ceaseless assault was bound to take its toll eventually.

With Leshia biting his shoulder, Crebin fell straight down. Was this sudden onslaught something he failed to anticipate?

As he plunged down towards the grounds of the manor, I too leaped in the same direction.

“We must pursue him! We have to finish this for good!”

[ You could fall to your death! ]

“Just adjust properly! You’ve still got plenty of magic!”

I stepped on the rail and propelled myself into the sky, Merilda’s wind swirling around me.

I was buoyed by Merilda’s spirit formula – the rising air – for a moment before anew, the pull of gravity began to pull me downward.

All I could hear was the sound of wind rushing by and my flapping clothes.

In the corner of my vision below was Crebin, managing somehow to fend off Leshia as he fell.

― Crash!

Still unaccustomed to using magic power, he tried to draw upon Mebuler’s power again, but ended up… crashing into the central garden, raising a cloud of dust.

― Whoosh!

I too, aided by Merilda’s wind magic, reduced the force of my fall as I charged towards him.

― Bang! Crack!

Landing on the devastated central garden flower bed, I thrust the dagger in once more. This time, into the forearm of the hand holding the longsword.

“Kraaagh!”

Since that side hadn’t fully absorbed Mebuler’s power yet, Crebin seemed to experience even greater agony.

He cried out in pain, but the fight was far from over.

I leaped back, leaving the dagger embedded, and retreated.

What was visible from his prone position was not just the night sky filled with chilling stars.

A massive wolf-shaped spirit also leaped down from the rooftop, swinging its heavy paw down upon him.

– Ka-boom!

The impact was like that of a whole container smashing down on top of him. A normal human would have no choice but to die on the spot.

However, Crebin, who had manifested Mebuler’s power, proved to be irritatingly durable.

Naturally, it was not over. I prepared for additional attacks, but….

― Thud, thud!

Unable to withstand the heavy impact, the ground itself collapsed.

The ground was already unstable, with numerous tendrils tearing holes through it. With a massive laboratory underground, it wouldn’t be surprising if it collapsed at any moment.

Whether it was Merilda’s attack that dealt the final blow or not, the floor of the central garden caved in entirely, sucked down into the subterranean research facility.

― Crash! Crunch!

Leshia hastily rushed over to protect me, but we couldn’t avoid falling below.

And so, Crebin and I both fell into the large hall of the underground research facility.

― Boom! Bang!

Dust rose, and again, the view of the underground facility became clear. It was the very hall where Arwen had been impaled by the greatsword.

Now, the ceiling had completely collapsed, and the night sky was clearly visible, resembling a colosseum with its concave arena.

In the center, the deformed Crebin rose again, oozing grotesque flesh. He was still alive.

The grotesque flesh had now consumed his entire left arm, spreading to over half of his upper body. He was accepting Mebuler’s power more aggressively than ever.

If one tries to wield more of Mebuler’s power than they can handle, they lose their sanity, like the servants roaming around the mansion.

Crebin’s long-term research into Mebuler’s power meant his understanding was exceptional. He could handle deeper levels of power than others, but if he exceeded his limits, he’d go mad all the same.

Yet even in agony, he continued to cling to consciousness.

The sight of more than half his body consumed by flesh was familiar. Awakened Crebin was… the penultimate boss one had to face just before cutting down Mebuler in the 4th act of “Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman.”

Essentially, the Mebuler subjugation was akin to a raid, and it was a matter of inserting ‘Godslayer Sword (神殺劍)’ into the correct spot to end it. Therefore, the troublesome Awakened Crebin might as well be considered the real boss.

He spammed various instant-death patterns, periodically summoning tendrils to attack the rearguard, healing himself, reviving multiple times if thought dead… a truly disgusting boss.

The visual was horrific, and the boss fight took place in a building filled with flesh mounds. As such, it traumatized many players, being horrendous in terms of both difficulty and atmosphere.

Gasping for breath, he rose, no longer in any state to be called human.

The writhing flesh now channeled Mebuler’s magic.

“I didn’t want to draw out this much power before marching on the capital.”

He gathered magic in the ‘Eye of Malice’ that floated above.

Once the Eye of Malice completed gathering power, hundreds of hard-to-avoid rays would blanket the area.

In “Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman,” being hit meant instant death. I wondered if it would be the same in reality.

One thing was for sure: I didn’t need to directly experience it to know.

As I gathered magic in my hands, the hefty wolf shook off the debris and rose again, barely scratched. High spirits aren’t so easily injured.

Merilda’s wind covered the area, and within it, I charged, scattering his magic and attacking. But the power of fully Awakened Crebin was immense.

Raising what could hardly be called an arm any longer, now a hideous appendage, he gathered magic.

“Hold on! Merilda!”

I yelled, and without question or doubt, Merilda promptly halted. The heavy wolf stopped, and dust kicked up.

‘Blade of the Void’.

After gathering magic, it would release a burst that could burst the hearts of all living beings nearby—an instant-kill technique.

You had to stop all movements to avoid it at the exact moment he gathered magic. The problem was the gremlins and tendrils.

In “Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman,” we had to fend off the continual influx of small foes while also dodging and avoiding Crebin’s attack patterns.

The gremlins swooped down from above while tendrils attacked from below; between them, I gritted my teeth and froze.

― Whoosh!

― Crack! Crackle!

― Screeeeee!

Then, soon after, all the surrounding gremlins spat blood and fell. Blade of the Void does not discriminate in its targets. That was the one silver lining.

Seeing this, I immediately moved again, charging towards Crebin. However, ‘the Eye of Malice’ was already full of enough magic.

From the floating piece of flesh in the sky, small eyes dangling from that grotesque chunk of meat were about to pour out beams charged with magical energy.

No matter how many times I faced it, it was always incredibly tricky. I gritted my teeth, crouched, and decided to block it somehow.

Drawing up magic in my body, I attempted to form a defensive barrier, but I knew it would be impossible to completely block the rays.

With the thought of at least avoiding fatal injuries, I began to shield my vitals when…

“Screaaaaam!”

A girl fell from the sky.

The sudden scream directed my gaze that way.

The open sky above the central garden.

Saintess Clarice, rushing across the central garden, saw the ground beneath collapse and threw herself down.

Against the night sky, the saint, her holy robes fluttering, descended. Panic was evident in her eyes, but her lips were firmly pressed together.

She seemed to be in slow motion as she descended into the underground, like an angel coming to earth, though it was just a human biting her lips and courageously leaping down.

Clutching a staff wrapped in leather cloth, she looked perilously close to tragedy—if not caught, she would surely suffer severe injuries.

If a delicate girl like Saintess Clarice fell from such a height, it would be more than just a broken bone or two.

Instinctively, I darted forward, readying to catch Saintess Clarice. The defensive barrier dissipated.

― Whoosh!

As I scattered dust and slid toward the saint, within her arms…

It slipped in perfectly and secured its place. Clarice’s sacred vestments fluttered in the aftermath, and once again, dust rose from the ground.

“Kr…argh…cough, cough! Saintess…what on earth…!”

Before I could say anything, Clarice wrapped her arms around my shoulder, pulled my head close, and twisted her body, turning her back towards Mebuler.

― Whooooosh!

In that instant, numerous rays burst forth from the ‘Eye of Malice.’ The power that seemed capable of swallowing the entire world and devastating everything around it was so overwhelming that each ray seemed impossible to fend off.

However, before the ‘Divine Protection of the Holy Law’ that Saintess Clarice wore, all were equal. The only ones who could kill her are those blessed by the supreme god Telos.

With her eyes tightly shut, Clarice held me close and concentrated her mind on the manifestation of the holy law.

After the storm passed, I realized that we were unscathed thanks to Clarice’s holy magic.

“Sainthood, why on earth did you suddenly…”

“I believed you would catch me, senior Ed. Can we talk about whether it was dangerous later, right?!”

With those words, Clarice held me tight. Between us was the staff I had asked Yenika to prepare.

She had risked her life to deliver it, leaping from that height, believing I would catch her without fail.

It was a level of recklessness that surpassed danger. However, Clarice, unbothered, caressed my cheek and spoke.

“Senior Ed, are you hurt…?”

Her words didn’t finish.

― Whoosh!

Another shockwave erupted around Crebin as a byproduct of receiving additional magical power from Mebuler, rather than an act of hostile aggression.

Because of this, Clarice’s protection couldn’t display its full power, and she was sent flying. I caught her but still, she clenched her teeth as if she felt the impact.

“Uh, hng…”

“Sainthood.”

“It’s okay.”

Clarice got up with gritted teeth and faced Crebin directly. Her expression soured at his bizarre appearance, but her eyes still brimmed with resolve.

The flesh of her left arm deteriorated, becoming distorted, and her skin was hardly normal anywhere on her body.

Her increasingly peculiar appearance grew more monstrous.

Crebin, having been receiving and bending to the magical power for some time, suddenly turned his gaze towards me.

“You’re still alive.”

He said, lifting his longsword and leaping forward.

From the sky, a swarm of gremlins poured down, and the rising tentacles charged with the intent of tearing me to pieces.

Nearly all the miscellaneous foes were swept away by Merilda’s roar, but Crebin gritted his teeth and withstood the aftereffects of the magic.

― Clang!

I successfully dodged the longsword. Pulling the saintess’s shoulder close, I rolled to the side and sliced off one tentacle with a blade of wind.

“Kyaa!”

Clarice screamed, clinging tightly to me.

The heads of the Rothtaylor family have received baptism from the Telos church generation after generation.

While attacks infused with the power of Mebuler might have an uncertain effect, physical attacks from Crebin pose a danger to the saintess.

The ‘Holy Law’s Protection’ worn by the saintess does not take effect among fellow believers.

“Leshia!”

Before I could give any further instructions, a lioness made of water appeared, hooked onto the hem of the saintess’s dress.

“Kyaa!”

It carried Clarice away like a kidnapped hostage, retreating to a distant safe zone.

― Swiiiiish!

Crebin twisted grotesquely once more, focusing back on me.

“Huff… puff…”

I sat down heavily and took deep breaths, removing all the leather straps binding the staff and grasping it firmly.

‘The Lightning-Struck Millennial Tree Staff,’ covered with numerous spirit formulas, revealed itself.

In itself, it would greatly increase my combat efficiency, but facing the fully awakened Crebin might still be insufficient.

That wouldn’t do.

I had to confidently suppress him. To do this, I needed to employ additional measures.

“What a tear-jerking scene. All this for a mere staff, risking your life…”

Crebin laughed viciously, dripping blood.

“Surely there must have been an emotional exchange with the saintess. Whether it was love between the sexes or just friendship, you would have found satisfaction in such a warm relationship.”

Gathering himself from his contorted posture and still not dropping his smile, he continued to talk.

“Unfortunately, I, Crebin Rothtaylor, am a man far removed from such things.”

“…”

“Yes, I am ‘Pure Evil’.”

Crebin lifted his sword.

“I will use and dispose of family or servants alike for stronger power, higher authority, and to reach a higher status. I would kill if I need to, stab someone in the back whenever I please. No rationalization, no seeking understanding.”

A shiver-inducing, sneering laughter.

“That’s the kind of man I am. Do you understand now?”

With that, Crebin gathered his magic power.

Much stronger Mebuler magic converged into the ‘Eye of Malice’.

It would be ideal to eliminate the eye itself but Mebuler’s body hardly takes damage from any sword arts other than the ‘Sword of God Killing’ employed by Taely McLore. Sure, I could pound it with immense magic power like a madman, but it would be akin to pouring water into a perforated jar.

As a magical manifestation of part of Mebuler’s body, the eye cannot be efficiently damaged, except by the Sword of God Killing.

“Hup.”

I knelt and sat down, gripping the staff tightly, hunching my back.

I was physically at my limit. Several of Merilda’s spirit formulas were deployed, and I handled a high-ranking spirit for an extended time.

Yet, I drew out more magic power.

If I have the staff, I can extract magic power even more efficiently.

Throughout the long time of survival in this unknown world, I had trained like crazy in the field of spirit magic.

Now I can handle even high-ranking spirits without any magical tools.

Thinking I can’t extract more magic power now because I am worn out is absurd.

But against this insurmountable adversary, I must extract even more.

I pulled out my ultimate recourse from within, not relaxing my grip on the staff in my right hand while clutching the ‘Glast’s Golden Phoenix Ring’ tightly in my left.

I took a deep breath and then exhaled deeply again.

Once I commit to using the ring, I must end it in one attempt.

The power of the ring, which draws on future magic power, leaves me unable to wield magic once it’s used.

So I can’t consider ending it with a moderate level of attack.

It must be stronger. It must be certain.

Extracting all the resonance that this staff can muster, I will apply magic power on loan from the ring beyond my capabilities.

With my eyes closed and teeth clenched, I felt like the blood vessels in my lips would burst with sensation.

Concentrating and concentrating my mind, I could finally feel the full flow of magical power coursing through me.

With eyes closed, focusing on the sensation of magic, I faced my emotions truly.

Crebin, self-proclaiming ‘Pure Evil,’ loomed above the night sky with his floating body. The magic power from Mebuler pounding in the underground laboratory made it hard even to breathe.

Exchanging blows with Crebin, I clenched my teeth.

Born to be evil, he takes delight in setting the world aflame and seeking greater power—a monster reveling in malevolent acts.

Hearing his words, I finally understood why I clenched my teeth—it was also one of my scales.

“Don’t spew nonsense.”

The words slipped out softly.

“Pure Evil? Where does that even exist?”

Crebin’s expression twisted at the sudden interjection. I continued unabated.

“I’ve seen your kind plenty. Cowardly deserters.”

An immense flow of magic power filled the underground chamber, incomparable to the usual amount.

“Don’t pretend to be some noble philosopher. You’re just a coward too scared to face facts, aren’t you?”

Incomprehensible curses spouted out.

Was it the unexpected outburst from my typically silent demeanor? Crebin’s face contorted further.

The first man to shoot someone in the battlefield, becoming a lunatic madman.

He rationalizes himself, claiming to have always relished killing.

But it’s nothing more than packaging himself as ‘Pure Evil,’ not wanting to face what he has done—because he was always such a madman.

Crebin Rothtaylor.

Initially, he became evil to survive, to keep himself alive amidst the mire of power struggles.

Murdered ancestors, a lost wife, a daughter ultimately driven to ruin by his hand, abandoned retainers, people killed to secure his own place.

Though his life was stained with blood, he probably didn’t want to shoulder the weight of those deaths.

“What do you know?”

“I know better than you.”

Immense magic power erupted, poised to burst through even the heavens. With this much magic force to command, it’s unimaginable how long I’ll have to collapse afterwards.

But what matters now is taking down Crebin. What happens later is for later.

Thus, I extracted more and more magic.

Anyone who’s wandered a battlefield knows the weight of death well.

From my first superior who took a bullet for me, to the bard bleeding out in Gluckt Manor, I’ve shouldered countless deaths and never once averted my eyes. The corpses neatly line up, riding upon my shoulders.

Whether they died unavoidably, out of necessity, by my mistake, or by their own will, the dead remain as weights, incessantly pressing down on the mind.

The temptation’s whisper to cast it all into oblivion has come to me hundreds of times. Someone seems to whisper that it’s better to turn away and treat it as if it never happened.

But I’ve never succumbed to that temptation.

I still remember every one of those names.

That’s the decisive difference between you and me.

“I despise…people like you the most…”

No one lives with hands unsullied. Who lives a lifetime without committing a single wrongdoing?

The attitude toward one’s misdeeds is what matters.

― Kwooooooooong!

The fully manifested summoning magic engulfed the surroundings with its radiance.

Heat blasted from the rising magic circle.

With the power of the staff and the ring pushed to the limit, I displayed a spirit far beyond my own capacity.

A towering flame erupted like a mountain of fire.

A wall of fire has arrived on the central manor’s ground.

The ‘Highest-ranking Spirit,’ of which only one exists for each element. Even invoking the most extreme measures, a complete summoning was impossible… but a part was within reach.

The highest-ranking fire spirit from myth, who once burnt an entire mountain range, ‘Theophis,’ appeared in the blazing flames.

Breaking through the magic circle, its head burst forth. The heat emanating from its open maw had the power to burn everything in the world impartially.

The ‘Lightning-Struck Millennial Tree Staff’ could manifest any spirit art, regardless of affinity, even if the spirit was not contracted.

Highest-ranking Spirit Art ― ‘Protection of the Dragon of Fire.’

It was a dread force that burned away all ‘magic power.’

[END OF TRANSLATION]

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