The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 170

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The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide

No, look here, Yenika (3)

If I don’t breathe in the dawn air, it doesn’t feel like my day has really started.

To Belle Mayar, who has lived the same pattern for over ten years, the air of the early dawn before the sun has fully risen was familiar.

The chirping of sparrows gently permeated between the rose gardens of the Ophelius mansion.

Although there was still a long way to go until morning, Belle Mayar was already crossing the first-floor corridor of the Ophelius mansion, dressed in the complex maid outfit.

The diligent senior maids had already opened all the windows of the hallway, taking advantage of the dawn. Ventilating the corridor with the clean morning air was of utmost importance.

Occasionally receiving greetings from maids busy with morning chores, and signing the night duty log for the maids who worked overnight, Belle Mayar then went to inspect various groceries delivered to the Ophelius mansion’s dining hall.

The inspection itself was carried out under the leadership of the senior maids, but as a managerial figure, Belle Mayar needed to tour the site herself to make sure everything was being handled properly.

Due to Ophelius’ policy of rigorously inspecting groceries, about 15 percent of the goods from Elte Company, supplied daily, are rejected on the spot.

Vegetables that have wilted too much in transit or livestock products that are not fresh enough are turned away without proper payment.

While it may seem unreasonable from the supplier’s point of view, the orders placed by Ophelius were always for the highest quality goods, and the scale was considerable enough that no complaints were raised.

The profits generated for such a large client as the Ophelius mansion were so substantial that the goods discarded during the inspection process were minor losses.

However, rejected groceries are not retrieved by the supplier.

Returning them to Oldec would mean already diminished freshness, plus added transportation costs. The hassle is hardly worth the small profit, so it makes more financial sense to allocate that time elsewhere.

Thus, the groceries that fail inspection are immediately discarded on site. Usually, they are divided among the logistics workers or picked up by the maids present at the scene.

Belle Mayar, too, was planning to take some of the discarded items, like dairy products and spices not easily obtained through normal distribution, and share them with Ed’s camp.

Since the items were to be disposed of anyway, it wasn’t really a crime.

“Here’s the inspection report, maid chief. But… uh… well…”

The final approval on the inspection report always needs to be signed by the head maid.

Whether the senior maid brings the paperwork directly to the head maid or Belle Mayar goes over to the site herself is the only difference.

Belle, adorned with her multiple documents and lists, tilted her head slightly as she reviewed the prices of the various groceries.

“The prices of the groceries have gone up quite a bit. Compared to before the break… it’s quite a burden.”

“We’ve checked the production and distribution volume of the crops, but there were no particular issues…”

The senior maid bowed her head in an apologetic gesture.

Belle rested her chin on her hand and took a moment to compare each item on the price list. The rise was indeed unnatural.

“I will explain that.”

There was a boy from Elte Company, Dun, present on site as an executive.

Wearing a beret, he was a sharp and shrewd looking youth.

“Across Oldec, the prices for transport goods have risen. It’s not just groceries, the prices for school supplies, magic tools, especially those for magic engineering, have skyrocketed. Consequently, other logistic items have also gone up accordingly. We also need to make profit, so it was a necessary decision.”

“Is this a matter approved by the representative of the Lortelle House?”

“Of course, it is~.”

Belle Mayar contemplated momentarily at the cunning appearance of Dun.

After all, administrative decisions should not be based on people’s appearances but on paperwork.

The price list provided by Elte Company showed a consistent increase applied across all items.

“Understood.”

Belle nodded and signed the inspection report.

*― Tack, tack, tack, tack!

When Belle Mayar arrived at Ed’s camp, she heard what sounded like a periodic hitting of wood.

Ed seemed to be chopping firewood by the river.

His body hadn’t fully recovered yet, but he had already started working.

Belle, with a basket full of various groceries, headed further inside the camp.

The firepit, still holding onto remnants of heat, had residual embers flickering, and next to it lay a familiar-looking backpack.

It was the wooden backpack made from trees in the Phulanshan province belonging to Yenika Faelover. Seeing that alongside the staff fallen nearby suggested that Yenika Faelover had returned the night before.

It wasn’t strange to be returning to the academy, considering summer break was almost over and it was about time to prepare for the next term.

“Hmm.”

Belle took a brief moment to collect her breath and turned her gaze towards Yenika’s cabin.

Before discouraging Ed, she felt the urge to check on Yenika first, depositing the grocery-filled basket on Ed’s workbench and knocking on the door of Yenika’s cabin a couple of times.

― Knock, knock.

― Creeak.

The door naturally swung open at the knock.

Upon peering inside, Belle saw Yenika, buried in bed using a pillow as a helmet over her head, looking like a corpse.

“Yenika miss…?”

“Ah, Belle…! It’s Belle…! I, I thought it was Ed coming in and got really startled!”

“Sorry… I am sorry…

“No, no… Not something you should be sorry for…”

Belle was flustered but didn’t let it show. As always, she managed to present herself calmly and properly.

“You’ve returned to the academy. Are you not feeling well? You look quite pale.”

“Ah, yes… I couldn’t sleep well.”

“Unfamiliar bed after some time may cause that. You appear really tired.”

“Yes, no… I mean… just a lot on my mind.”

“Thoughts on your mind, you say…?”

“Yes, just, just really random thoughts! Nothing serious or worth being curious about―just random thoughts!”

Yenika sat up, clutching the pillow tightly.

“Oh, it really feels like I’m back in Sylvania seeing Belle’s face again! How have you been?!”

“Do you feel unwell? There might be medication I can fetch for you.”

“No, truly I’m fine! I had a bit of a fever overnight, but it wasn’t because I was sick, just… other reasons.”

“I don’t understand, you have a fever but not sick? You shouldn’t be so hasty in your judgment, Miss Yenika.”

“Ah, no, I can tell! It’s not a fever that comes from being sick! It’s my body! I know it best!”

Why would one develop a fever if not due to illness?

Belle, failing to comprehend, hesitated and then another possibility crossed her mind.

Quick to catch on, Belle suspected Yenika’s actions were not typical.

But, as it was mere speculation at this point, she tentatively probed.

“Is Mr. Ed already chopping wood this early in the morning? His health hasn’t fully recovered and overworking might be detrimental.”

“Yes, is that so…?”

“Yes. So as his caretaker, I am inclined to discourage him… Would you consider coming with me to talk to him?”

Given their relationship living together in the same camp, and Yenika’s fondness for Ed, it wasn’t an unreasonable suggestion.

“Ah, no… I should probably…”

Yenika clutched her pillow tightly, then suddenly took a deep breath. Belle Mayar realized at that moment.

Something must have happened last night.

The condition of Yenika’s strewn backpack and her peculiar behavior were clear indicators.

What conversation transpired between Yenika and Ed after encountering each other for the first time in a while… was purely speculative.

That’s their private life and deserves privacy… but Belle Mayar is human too…!

Even the most professional maid cannot completely suppress their curiosity…!

Moreover, this is not the Ophelius mansion but Ed’s camp, and there’s some freedom from the burdensome title of head maid…!

Belle Mayar’s principle of always acting like a pro slightly cracks.

Truthfully, Belle had the right to be curious. Considering the extent of her dedication, such curiosity is hardly a significant sin.

However, it wasn’t right to probe Yenika so thoroughly.

As a veteran, she skillfully led Yenika into confessing with a swift advance.

“… Did you share a bed with Mr. Ed last night, by any chance?”

Belle knew that was unlikely.

“What are you talking about!!! It didn’t go that far!!!”

Yenika, utterly surprised, raised her voice in shock.

“…

‘It didn’t go that far’…?”

“Gulp.”

Yenika couldn’t escape Belle Mayar’s grasp.

Her widened pupils and her rushed attempt to cover her mouth came too late; the surroundings had already closed in.

“So… how far did it go…?”

Belle had her cornered.

*[ Magic Ability Details ]

Grade: Proficient Magic Student Specialty Area: Elemental Common Magic:

Quick Casting Lv 13

Mana Detection Lv 14 Fire Elemental Magic:

Ignition Lv 18

Single-Point Explosion Lv 4 Wind Elemental Magic:

Blade of Wind Lv 16 Spirit Magic:

Spirit Resonance Lv 18

Spirit Understanding Lv 18

Spirit Manifestation Lv 13

Sense Sharing Lv 13 ] Spirit Slot: Intermediate Fire Spirit Muk ]; Resonance Stage: 8 Spirit Formula Effectiveness: Perfection Unique Endowment Skills: Fire Ward (Temporary Immunity Surge against Fire) Explosiveness (Lower Explosion Magic Enhancement)

Fire Magic Ability Boost ] Spirit Slot: Intermediate Water Spirit Leshia ]; Resonance Stage: 5 Spirit Formula Effectiveness: Very Good Unique Endowment Skills: Ward of Waters (Temporary Immunity against Physical Attacks) Water Source Manifestation (Lower Water Magic Enhancement)

Water Magic Ability Boost ] Spirit Slot: High Wind Spirit Merilda ]; Resonance Stage: 6 Spirit Formula Effectiveness: Ordinary Unique Endowment Skills: Storm Ward (Periodic Nullification of Damage) Rising Air Current (Intermediate Wind Magic Enhancement)

Boost in Wind Magic Capability

“Huff, huff…”

When my body is in good condition, I can chop wood for two hours without too much trouble, but just about thirty minutes of work in my current state exhausts me almost entirely.

Clearly, I’m not fully recovered yet. However, I need to start rehabilitation now if I want to handle the upcoming curriculum when the semester begins.

While wiping my sweat, I went over my magical capabilities.

The minor spells have almost reached mastery through various trials.

There are few mages who can surpass my power when it comes to Wind Blade or Ignition.

My mana efficiency is fully developed, and I can now utilize it as naturally as breathing.

I aim to learn more intermediate spells now, and if possible, I aspire to use higher-level magic as well.

Intermediate spells may be acquired by diligently following the bachelor’s coursework, but advanced high-level spells work differently.

It’s common for students not to manage any high-level spells before graduation.

Even full-fledged mages must train for many years after graduation to reach the realm of high-level magic.

The chances of a student using high-level spells within a school setting are slim, perhaps one or two in the entire grade.

The current bachelors at the Sylvania Academy who can wield high-level element spells can be counted on two hands.

Lucy Mayrill, Zix Effelstein, Trissiana Bloomriver, Atalante, and a few honor students from the fourth year.

It’s too much to expect high-level magic from a student, which is why they are not included in bachelor curriculum. It is a privilege reserved for a few prodigies.

Thus, the realm of high-level spells is beyond the reach of academic courses… another path must be found.

I recalled the words of Professor Krayd, whom I faced off against in the end-of-semester exams.

“If you ever have a hard time or if Assistant Professor Claire is being a pain, come whine to me. I’m pretty good at chewing people out.

Maybe then I’ll teach you a thing or two about high-level magic.”

There are not as many professors who can teach high-level magic as one might think. Due to the complexity and difficulty of mastering and teaching high-level spells, few are qualified to do so.

Fortunately, I am affiliated with Assistant Professor Claire’s lab, so I should be able to easily access Professor Krayd, who is Claire’s supervising professor.

However, Professor Krayd already has an infamous reputation.

He’s the epitome of a disaster, rarely sober as he drowns himself in alcohol and frivolity. A scoundrel among scoundrels whose life would be in shambles without his past achievements. The quintessential miscreant.

Given the unsavory rumors swirling around my supervising professor, nobody wanted to learn magic from Krayd.

“Hmm…”

I had come across Professor Krayd several times in the setup manual.

Three professors who followed the Guardian Obel Fosseus to Acken Island to hold academic positions: the Explorer Glast, the Outlaw Krayd, and the Cutter Zellan.

From the description alone, one would think he’s an impressive individual, but reality seems to tell a different story. From my perspective, there’s much that’s difficult to judge.

Should I give it more thought?

It was while pondering that I decided to take a break.

— Clap, clap, clap.

As I threw off my top and doused my face with the cool river water, bell emerged from the bushes at my camp, clapping her hands.

The sight of the mature and usually unflappable maid clapping was oddly striking.

“Did you come, bell?”

— Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap.

“…”

“You’ve been here, Lord Ed.”

“Why the applause…?”

“Just… I was a bit moved.”

Belle’s expression was complex and somewhat relieved, as if she had discovered some profound truth.

“Even a relationship that seems to be at a standstill moves forward with time… Having served as a maid for a long time, I’ve felt much pride and fulfillment, but it feels like another chapter has been added to my many experiences…”

“You’re unusually verbose today… Well, let it be…”

Though I hadn’t been working overly long, I felt quite exhausted. After pouring more river water over my head and taking a deep breath, I settled down on a flat rock.

Dawn had passed, and it was an awkward time to call morning. It was now the a.m.

“I brought some of the discarded food from the morning supply inspection. I’ve placed them on the workbench, so please sort and eat them when you have time.”

“Thanks as always. I owe you so much and have no way to pay you back. If you ever run into trouble at the Ophelius Hall, let me know. I’ll help as much as I can.”

“That’s okay. Most of the duties at Ophelius Hall are routine, and I’m relieved to see that your health and living conditions have improved.”

“Thanks for your concern, but… shouldn’t you take care of yourself too? You’ve lost some weight recently, haven’t you?”

Belle modestly brought her hands forward and tilted her head.

“I’ve lost some weight, but it’s not enough to worry about. The first thing you learn when you become a maid at Ophelius Hall is how to manage yourself. You must always look neat, act maturely, and stay healthy to serve properly.”

“There’s not much to say when you put it that way, but living with such perfectionism must be exhausting.”

“That may be. Speaking of looking after one’s self, Lord Ed, shouldn’t you be more concerned with your own state? You’re not yet fit to work, are you?”

I checked my listless body, nodding loosely.

I tried moving around a bit, but I still couldn’t do so as easily as before. I couldn’t keep relying on Belle forever; I needed to recover my strength…

“I think I can manage basic camp upkeep.”

My endurance had improved enough to withstand the magical load, so I could manage daily life activities.

“When the semester starts, you’ll be busy too, and I’ll take care of myself.”

“Has your magical recovery not finished yet? Will it not affect your studies in magic?”

“I’ll have to do my best. I need to start focusing on other areas besides magic.”

“What other areas?”

I visualized the camp’s layout in my mind and then spoke.

“I’m thinking of expanding the cabin. That’s one of my goals for next semester.”

In the field of magic, the goal was to master high-level spells.

In survival, it was to expand the cabin.

I had to set clear policies for myself.

There was also a lot to do: creating special arrows, contracting new lesser spirits, crafting legendary magical equipment, and training in celestial magic… but I needed to set my primary plan in stone.

Especially since every time I needed to practice magic engineering, I had to visit the Soul Library, which was quite inconvenient.

Not only was the journey itself troublesome, but it was also problematic when it rained or my schedule conflicted with other commitments.

If I wanted to integrate magic engineering practice into my routine, I needed my own workshop within the camp.

But building a new cabin would decrease heating efficiency and increase maintenance, so instead, I considered adding a second floor to the existing cabin.

“Maybe I’ll increase the number of rooms and make a second floor large enough to double as a workshop and library.”

“… Then you’ll need quite a bit of materials and labor.”

“I’ll collaborate with Yenika to enlist the aid of spirits and discuss construction manpower and resources with Elte’s company. Since it’s a financial matter, I need to decide carefully.”

“Can you handle the financial burden?”

“My expenses have been cleared since I became class president. I’m planning to invest that surplus into the camp.”

Belle’s expression shifted curiously.

I sat on the flat rock, watching her face with intrigue.

“I wouldn’t have guessed you wouldn’t stay in the dorms. It would have been more convenient there.”

“This place is my home now.”

It was the camp where I had struggled and persevered through the most challenging times.

When I was exhausted and in desperate need of rest, I always returned here.

“Anyway, you don’t have to help with the basics anymore. Whether it’s cleaning or making firewood, I’m recovered enough to do it myself.”

“That’s fortunate, but I’ll have to come to the camp regularly anyway, so don’t worry too much about it.”

“Why is that?”

I asked, though I already knew the answer.

Belle produced an antique key from her waistband, showing it to me.

“I was actually planning to clean the villa today. That…”

Belle seemed unusually troubled by something.

“Miss Yenika will be returning to the academy tomorrow.”

*Yenika did not come out of the cabin even after lunch had passed.

Occasionally, I heard the thumping of the cabin walls or the whooshing of pillows on the bed, but I pretended not to notice.

It seemed best to sit quietly and wait for the right time to approach. If I was too hasty, it would only backfire.

[ It has been a long time since I’ve felt so content. ]

As if she had ingested a potent tonic, Merilda’s face beamed with health as she fluttered her clothes.

“… Just stick to the deal.”

[ Of course. Ohoho, ohohoho. ]

After lunch, I relit the campfire to ward off unwelcome wildlife and to boil some water in advance.

While at it, I considered preparing lunch, but Belle came out from cleaning the Lortelle villa and insisted on taking over the ingredients and cooking.

I ended up sitting on the side of the camp, exchanging trivial stories with Merilda.

[ The remnants of spirits cannot be accessed at any time. When the time comes, I’ll notify you. ]

“… You’re not just saying that and letting it go, right?”

[ Don’t you trust me? That’s disappointing. ]

Laughing mischievously, Merilda closed her eyes and enjoyed the breeze.

[ The time is not yet right. The wind needs to be stronger. ]

“… Okay.”

[ You won’t regret your choice, I promise. ]

With these words, Merilda closed her mouth and let the camp breeze wash over her.

Late summer is a lovely time to be outside the camp, as the intense heat ebbs away.

Under the bright summer sky and among the vivacious forests, even the sweltering heat seems bearable.

Instead, the gentle breeze carries hints of autumn with it.

As Ed Rothtaylor in Sylvania, looking ahead to my junior year’s second semester, I wondered if I could take a break.

Having pushed through without pause, perhaps I’ve earned a semester of rest. There were still tasks awaiting me, but I deserved a brief respite.

With those thoughts, I too closed my eyes to the wind, hoping for a restful term.

And so, the vacation approached its end.

Tanya, busy with family affairs; Princess Phoenia, entangled in the throes of imperial power struggles; and Lucy, who represented me at the royal court, all had to start thinking about returning to Acken Island.

What fate awaited the Rothtaylor estate… I, still recuperating in Acken Island, could not yet know.

All I could hope was that they each wielded their powers wisely in their realms.

*That evening, a royal missive arrived at my camp.

Naturally, I expected it to be from Princess Phoenia, but to my surprise, it was from Princess Sella.

— ‘From Sella Einyr Clorel, the First Princess of the Glorious Empire of Clorel.’

The letter was ornate with flowery language, surrounded by gold edges and bearing the seal of Clorel’s imperial family.

“…”

Sitting by the fire, I opened the letter with curiosity.

— ‘Addressed to Sir Ed Rothtaylor.’

— ‘The Clorel imperial court held a meeting to decide on the treatment of the survivors and heirs of the Rothtaylor family. However, the facts were not fully clear, requiring the presence of the concerned parties for a proper conclusion.’

The first oddity was the elevated form of address — I was now ‘Sir Ed Rothtaylor.’ A peculiar sensation arose from this change.

— ‘As Tanya Rothtaylor represented Sir Ed but conclusions remain pending… the treatment of the family has been deferred. However, there is a need to recall the Rothtaylor talents occupying important positions to the headquarters. It is likely many will fail to regain their posts.’

— ‘With such conclusions, we desire the immediate return of Sir Lucy Maylil, who attended the meeting as a representative. Despite a minor disturbance caused by Sir Lucy during the meeting, given her merits during the Rothtaylor tragedy, we absolved her. However, she continued to occupy my personal chamber in the palace for hours, detained the imperial chefs, roamed the forbidden tower tops and palace dungeons… There are too many misdemeanors to list in this letter.’

— ‘Due to her non-compliance with orders to return, we are at a loss to compel her. Therefore, we request Sir Ed Rothtaylor to directly urge her return through a formal letter.’

“……”

“Who sent the letter, Lord Ed?”

“… Hmm.”

I understood the gist of the imperial conference concerning the fate of the Rothtaylor family.

It was evident that factions both for and against the family’s authority debated whether to maintain or dismiss their influence.

During this, it seemed Lucy was far from passive. The term ‘minor disturbance’ likely belied the chaos she caused, enough to offset her service in reversing the Mebuler incident.

Moreover, her escapades within the palace walls forced Princess Sella to humble herself and reach out to me for help.

In essence, although lengthy, the letter’s core message could be summed up simply:

Lucy Maylil.

Please, take her back.

“What has she been doing in the palace…”

The formality of the letter conveyed Princess Sella’s despair behind her political facade, which stirred an inexplicable nostalgia in me….

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One response to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 170”

  1. I called it. The moment they took Lucy as a “witness” and tried to prosecute Ed and have him executed, they learned what “Fouck Around and Find Out” really meant for the first time in their lives.

    Their petty politics are nothing to Lucy’s overwhelming might. Bet those officials, faction members and Sella begged for mercy as Lucy likely was on the verge of destroying the palace.

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