The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 19

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The Golden Daughter (Part 2)

Lortelle is a girl who understands human greed better than anyone else. Her proper moment to shine doesn’t come until after Yenika’s exit in Act 2, but she still makes her presence known from Act 1. However, there’s a marked difference between her role before and after Act 1, as Lortelle’s infamy encountered during the first act was quite notorious.

‘Bad Ending Maker’, ‘Newbie Crusher’, ‘Developer’s Malevolence’…well, there are other descriptors, but those who’ve encountered Lortelle in Act 1 uniformly spit out such indignant words.

Now, my newbie days are a distant memory, but even thinking back, I can feel my stomach churn at how badly I was burned by Lortelle in Act 1.

At that point in the story, getting entangled with this character meant an unavoidable bad ending without question.

During the Taely’s class assignment test event, you can save Lortelle from a surprise attack by kobolds, but in the process, you witness Lortelle’s ‘secret.’ Then, Lortelle sends someone to kidnap Taely from school, resulting in Taely’s disappearance. That’s bad ending number two.

In the episode of monster tribe subjugation practice, there’s an opportunity to be in the same group as Lortelle. If you choose Lortelle over your childhood friend Aila, Aila will fall off a cliff to her death.

Why? Because there’s supposed to be an event where Taely, being in the same team, quickly saves Aila from slipping off the edge. If you’re in a group with Lortelle, that event won’t happen, and thus Aila falls. That’s bad ending number seven.

In the joint combat practice event, there’s an option to throw yourself in front of a high-ranking fire spirit summoned by Yenika to protect her, but doing so will result in being severely burned. That’s bad ending number thirteen.

During the student council’s operation to retake Glascan in the monster subjugation event, if you use the entry point suggested by Lortelle, you’ll end up ambushed by various spirits and lose your life. That’s bad ending number twenty-two.

Initially, you might curse at having such a character in the story, but if you play ‘Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman’ to the end, you’ll come to understand the developer’s intention and inwardly admire it. Though it’s simple, the intention is significant.

The position assigned to Lortelle Keheln in ‘Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman’ is that of a ‘Hidden Heroine.’

A character standing in contrast to the just and benevolent Princess Phoenia. Lortelle, who is only treated as a target for subjugation, reveals her true nature as the story progresses towards the climax.

The reversal of her appraisal and the unexpected gap captivate the players, gradually convincing them to understand Lortelle’s perspectives – she who had to always discuss profit and loss and was forced to view the world through cold calculations.

Her life scouring for bread thrown away by others in the slums, the ideals she held up amidst deception and fraud, and the persistent loneliness that never fades despite acquiring vast wealth.

As Lortelle’s evaluation gradually recovers from the bottom, players come to understand the loneliness carved into her life at a critical moment.

Will you side with the kind Princess Phoenia leading the ‘student council,’ or will you side with the Golden Daughter Lortelle leading the ‘merchant group’?

Will you support the noble ideals and idealism shown by the high and mighty Princess Phoenia, or will you back Lortelle who has fought against loneliness in a harsh reality much like the wilds?

New players of ‘Sylvania’s Failed Swordsman’ find themselves deep in thought at this point. So much so, they might spend nearly 20 minutes unable to breathe while facing this choice.

“Excuse me, senior? Senior Ed?”

Basically, the relentless drive towards bad endings in Act 1 is indeed intentional.

Repeated experience with bad endings consciously makes one avoid contact with Lortelle, leading to a psychological rift. The larger this rift, the more dramatic the eventual reversal of appraisal becomes — a true harmony of system and story.

Wow, it truly is a god-tier game. A masterpiece indeed.

“Senior. Senior. Can you not hear me?”

Even upon reflection, it remains remarkable.

Walking down the street, I nodded satisfied…

But that’s another story.

“…How long do you plan to follow me?”

“I had no idea you’d ignore me to the point of gritting your teeth, what a surprise.”

Well, then, ignoring with gritted teeth it is.

Isn’t that obvious?

*

Setting the right atmosphere for whatever you do is a good practice.

Exiting the lecture on elemental studies in the faculty building, there she is, Lortelle, seated demurely on a bench, throwing deep and meaningful phrases at me… It’s not bad.

‘Do you want to purchase two hours of your time, Senior Ed?’

That’s definitely a solid start.

The counterpart is none other than the Golden Daughter herself, Lortelle. When such a person appears out of the blue with a proposition, it’s natural for one’s curiosity to pique.

Typically, one would start with questions.

What do you mean by purchasing two hours? What do you intend to have me do? If you’re buying, does that mean you’ll pay me? How much? And will you pay on the spot? What’s your ulterior motive?

Faced with such questions, Lortelle would respond with a significant smile and slowly continue speaking. This must be the picture that Lortelle had painted.

I’d naturally be the one asking, and she’d manipulate and dodge my curious inquiries, seizing control of the situation.

Coupled with Lortelle’s skill in sharp-tongued speech, negotiation, and rhetoric, it would be no surprise to find myself having fallen for her proposition before I even knew what was happening.

“It’s a deal, then.”

But that’s when I didn’t know her intentions.

“You might be willing to listen to a story or two, right?”

As I ignored Lortelle’s expectations and strode ahead, breaking all her predicted developments, she finally started to follow me. She had to almost run to keep up due to the difference in our strides, but I didn’t slow down for her.

“I heard life has been tough since you were expelled. I thought maybe I could offer some help?”

“Save it if you don’t mean it.”

“Oh dear, exchanging pleasantries is more important than you think. It shows that you respect the other person.”

Despite my somewhat rude behavior, she seemed unperturbed, which must be in her nature.

Finally catching up to me with a skip in her step, Lortelle flashed a childishly charming smile, her hands clasped behind her back. “Won’t you listen to my offer? It’s not a bad one, you know?” She implied as she playfully hovered at my side.

“I was… truly moved by what I saw in you, Senior Ed..!”

And she said it with such theatrically feigned sincerity.

“Of course, I’ve heard a rumor that you might be a little arrogant and self-centered, but I didn’t hear that… Ahaha.”

Despite knowing full well the dreadful reputation of Ed Rothtaylor, she quickly glossed over those points with rapid-fire delivery.

“When I see someone persevering in their studies despite such difficult circumstances, it’s only human nature to want to lend a hand. I too have known the pangs of hunger and poverty.”

“So?”

“An advance payment of three plen gold coins.”

A maid living in Dex’s dorm where ordinary students stay would work a whole month to earn that amount.

Having those shiny gold coins—twenty in total—would mean not worrying about next semester’s tuition fees.

“I, I just want to be friends with Senior Yenika.”

While laughing, she didn’t divulge the full details, but I already understood. The difference in values between Pheonia and Lortelle was a key conflict cutting across the Sylvania Academy’s scenario.

Ultimately, it matters whose side Taely takes. Since that’s uncertain at this moment, it seems premature to take sides.

“Can’t you just introduce me? We can just go together, and the three of us can chat. It really wouldn’t take more than an hour or so?”

“You think someone like ‘the Golden Daughter’ buys her connections with money?”

“Fine, no pretenses then.”

Lortelle took out three gold coins from her purse and stuffed them into my pocket.

“Just keep it for now. After all, I know it’s always better to have more people on your side.”

Lortelle seemed to have an intuitive understanding. Given her life of watching, waiting, and weighing options, of course, she knew.

The political battles she would face as an academic, and the fact that it was crucial to build as many alliances as possible now, were clear. No gesture of concession or displays of consideration could narrow the gap between Princess Pheonia and Lortelle.

As I watched silently, Lortelle flashed me a sly smile once again.

“You look at me as if I’m pitiful. But most would be too busy hiding their delight at such an unexpected gift.”

With a grin, I replied,

“Alright, let’s shake on it.”

*

No one understood the essence of greed better than Lortelle did, at least that’s what she believed.

Mad greed is like a dormant disease. It can be managed when times are good, but when cornered, when every penny counts, it gnaws at the human heart as if it’s time has come.

Those with nothing for tomorrow, no place to sleep tonight, their eyes redden at the sight of money. Lortelle, who came from the slums, knew exactly what that felt like.

Moreover, the greater the fall, the stronger the power of greed that devours human hearts becomes.

Those who have lived their lives in affluence crumble even in a moment of poorness. They have seen too many debtors take their lives, unable to withstand the shock.

To crush those cornered isn’t about a wealth of gold coins enough to bury a mansion. It’s about a single, small coin.

The amount of money doesn’t matter. The same amount always makes the other person give up more.

A penny’s gold coin trades dignity,

A penny’s gold coin trades family,

And a penny’s gold coin finally sells oneself.

The price of a penny’s worth of gold remains unchanged, yet those desperate and lacking will always offer up increasingly more.

Because there’s no other choice.

Because that seems to be the only way out.

Thus, ‘the first time’ is what truly matters.

The first time, the one time it seems okay, the penny’s gold coin held in hand starts a disaster, pushing the desperate person towards the brink. It becomes the starting point and reason for all the schemes and tricks that follow.

Preying on a desperate soul is such an easy and simple task, sadly enough.

“….”

When I came to my senses, Ed Rothtaylor had already left, startled just for a moment.

“…Huh, interesting.”

Watching Ed Rothtaylor’s retreating back, Lortelle smiled.

In the small hand that had shaken his, the three gold coins she had stuffed in his pocket had quietly returned to her.

A clear refusal of even the slightest connection.

His actions seemed to suggest that he had understood all of Lortelle’s intentions from the very beginning.

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One response to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 19”

  1. You have the power to purchase her time?

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