The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 23

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The Conquest of Glascan (3)

The phrase ‘a dragon that rises from a mere stream’ barely captures the near-miraculous existence of Zix, the Spear of Foliage.

The grasslands of the Empire’s north are a barbaric land, barely touched by the very voice of the Royal household. Come evening, one must check if one’s own neck remains intact—that is the world in which Zix lived, a descendant of the nomadic tribes that wandered those plains.

By the time he came of age, he had already been long abandoned by his family. When or why he was abandoned, or whether he could ever return to the life within the fold, he could not tell.

He had learned to hunt before he learned to read, and scavenging from corpses alongside the roadside came more naturally to him than buying goods from a store. Unquestionably, his was a life closer to that of a beast than that of a human.

– ‘Zix, you see, is like a wolf walking on two legs.’

When Elka said this the first time they met, Zix instinctively nodded his head.

Elka had said it because Zix, with his shaggy, unkempt hair, was dragging the carcass of an elk at the time.

Now Zix was the most trusted among first-year students, with a clean and tidy appearance, and only Elka knew how discordant this was with his past.

Regardless, the reason Zix had nodded then was not just because of his wretched appearance alone.

Even now that he had reunited with the girl, that was a story of a distant past. The world of civilization moved at a much faster pace than Zix had anticipated, and the life on the grasslands, where every day had been the same, was now a distant memory.

It was when Elka’s father, an archaeologist, discovered Zix’ magical talent, brought him to the manor, when he had his first taste of civilization’s food – a warm soup and bread – and slowly learned the rules of civilized life, when the first elemental spell he used uprooted an ancient tree in the manor’s garden, when he had been admitted to the Sylvania Academy with Elka, walking out of the examination hall side by side.

These fleeting memories of life quickly became history as he chased after the rapidly moving world of civilization.

But occasionally, when he looked up at the night sky, he’d remember those early days.

Zix, you see, is like a wolf walking on two legs.

His life roamed the vast northern grasslands, feeding on the carcasses of fallen animals, using the magic he’d discovered himself to preserve his body, his roof the moon—surely, he was an abandoned wolf cub.

Realizing this truth in his youth, Zix could not help but nod reflexively.

After all, I lived a truly solitary life.

On the day he first met his companion in life, Zix realized what loneliness meant.

It was a story long past.

“Heave, heave…”

The date had already changed. Only after 12 o’clock did Zix manage to reach the student library.

The lower spirits and elementals that tried to block his way posed no challenge, but the relentless assault was problematic. Even someone like Zix felt the strain of sprinting full-speed while recklessly casting spells. If he had truly fought Lortelle with all his might, his arrival at the student library would’ve been significantly delayed.

At this critical moment, when every second was precious, the intervention of Princess Phoenia Lortelle was a truly welcome help.

He had unknowingly repaid kindness with enmity. Settling this score was put on hold for now.

“Heave… heave… hoo…”

Surprisingly, the vicinity of the library was completely quiet.

The annoying spirits that persistently disturbed him at every turn of the faculty hallways were strangely absent in this area.

However, there were traces left behind.

“This, this is…”

Inferring the situation from the traces was trivial for Zix, whose battle instinct was exceedingly sharp.

Around the front door of the student library and its surroundings, there were sporadic signs of magic. The slash marks on the ground and benches were likely from ‘Wind Blades’, and the charred marks on the otherwise unmarred ground and walls were the remnants of ‘Ignition’.

Zix calmly observed the area around him.

All was still. As if the catastrophe that befell the faculty building had never happened.

Atop this low hill, the student library… seemed completely unfazed, occupying its usual position.

Traces of battle started at the entry of the library and curved around its perimeter. This wasn’t just a simple defensive siege. Someone had patrolled around the library, suppressing all the spirits in sight.

Multiple footprints were even present at the same spot, as if someone had stood guard to secure the safety of the student library.

Someone had subdued all the spirits around the student library.

…Whoever left these traces wasn’t important. Zix, seeking Elka, quickly entered through the library entrance. Upon kicking open the large wooden doors, the lobby came into view, with elegant corridors stretching to either side.

At the entrance of the lobby.

A familiar boy sat leaning against the base of a statue. His name spontaneously escaped Zix’ lips.

“Ed Rothtaylor!”

The boy, resting in a state of utter exhaustion. The very name that had driven Zix to lose his senses.

Zix dashed like a bullet and quickly reached Ed’s side.

“Oh, what is it. You.”

Ed, resting with his back against the statue, one knee up, elbow on the knee.

His condition—clothes torn, frayed, his body in shambles, and completely drained of energy—could not be described as normal by any stretch. Signs of repeated battles pushed to the extreme were there, but Zix now had no leisure to calmly examine them.

“Elka! Where’s Elka!”

“Why are you… here now…?”

“Tell me where Elka is first!”

Ed’s brows furrowed as he looked at Zix. Zix, having lost his composure, was beyond reasoning.

“Reading Room 3.”

Before the answer was finished, Zix dashed down the corridor towards the reading room. He had to ensure Elka’s safety first and foremost.

Racing like mad, the plaque for Reading Room 3 came into view at the end of the hallway.

The entrance was abnormal. The blackout curtain across the door and bookshelves erected as barricades nearby—the entrance to the reading room was thus discreetly but solidly fortified.

Zix burst through the black-out curtain and flung open the sliding door with such force you’d think he meant to break it.

“Elka!”

He called out her name as he entered.

As he had wished, Elka lay on a reading room desk, safe but unconscious.

“Elka! Are you safe! Elka!”

Zix swallowed hard and quickly checked Elka’s condition.

She was breathing quietly. From head to toe, not a scratch could be seen. It didn’t seem like she had been attacked by any spirits.

A pressing black muck seemed to melt away from his throat.

“Haah….”

Strength escaped his body, and Zix collapsed into one of the library chairs. Elka Islan was safe. That one fact was a vast relief to the boy.

“Thank goodness… really… thank goodness…”

With the soundly sleeping girl before him, Zix spent a long time stroking his face.

After about five minutes had passed, Zix regained his composure.

His breathing settled, and his strength partially returned, bringing his composure with it. Now that he had verified Elka was unharmed, it was time to assess the situation objectively.

Zix surveyed the vicinity from his seat.

The windows were well-concealed behind large bookshelves pushed together, presumably to ensure that no runaway spirits could see Elka’s location through them.

On the other hand, the entrance was obscured by a curtain. It wouldn’t have been wise to block the entrance with bookshelves. In the event that an escape became necessary, doing so would mean cutting off one’s own escape route. Therefore, the curtain was a compromise.

The decisions were apt and seasoned. The curtains were insufficient in quantity, so a bookshelf had been used to barricade the back door, and a basic barricade had been erected outside to guard against any spirits potentially infiltrating the hallway.

Unless Elka herself ventured out, it would be difficult to be exposed to danger given the current setup.

“Yes, Elka… you always made calm and correct decisions, even in the most pressing situations… I knew that…”

Zix didn’t doubt Elka, but he was too worried to bear it.

However, a strange dissonance followed with a slight delay. Barricades made of bookshelves lined the classroom perimeter, all too heavy for even an adult male to lift with ease.

Elka, naturally frail, would have struggled even to lift a hatchet. It was hard to believe she did all this on her own.

So, who had turned the reading room into what it was?

By process of elimination, there was only one person who could have done it.

“That person…?”

Indeed, in his state of lost composure, Zix had not paid much attention. But in the middle of the lobby was Ed Rothtaylor, battered and in place.

From what he had heard, Ed was selfish, deceitful, and keen on stabbing people in the back—the scum of the earth.

Yet, looking at the evidence of actions and the current situation, wasn’t it strange?

Traces of battle leading from outside, a makeshift fortress around the reading room hiding an unconscious girl.

And Ed’s battered state seemed to tell a story of him facing the spirits invading the student library alone.

In the center of an endless procession of spirits. The final image of a boy standing in the lobby at last, clinging to his own two legs, easily came to mind for Zix.

“But…”

Zix had lived in the wilds of the northern grasslands. The most optimal choice in such a crisis was clear.

It might sound cold-hearted and lacking compassion, but in such situations, a companion like Elka was nothing but a burden.

To save one’s life and secure safety, the most logical decision would have been to abandon Elka, or worse, use her as bait. Humans would feel a sense of guilt over such actions, but a person backed into a corner often worries about their own safety first.

Knowing this, and thinking Ed Rothtaylor was the kind of person who would do such things without any sense of guilt, was why Zix ran here in a panic.

“That person… It couldn’t be…”

Zix kept repeating this to himself.

Ed Rothtaylor’s reputation was at rock bottom. Nowhere in academia would you find someone who spoke positively of him. Zix had clearly witnessed his misbehavior.

The possibility of even a single grain of altruism remaining in such a person seemed impossible. Yet—’When you come to, don’t panic. Stay here calmly. Everything will be finished by dawn, so keep the entrance well-blocked and don’t provoke the spirits. Always prioritize your own safety, and don’t move rashly.’

“……”

There was a blackboard, as if deliberately placed in the corner.

The uneven writing clearly indicated the urgency of the situation.

Despite the rush, someone had taken the time to bring the blackboard over, calming their heart as they scribbled message after message… It was all too easy to imagine.

Having sat in front of it for a while, Zix could only stare blankly into space.

* [ Magic Capability Details ]

Grade: Ordinary Magic Student Specialty: Elemental Magic Common spells: Quick Casting Lv 5 Mana Perception Lv 6 Fire Elemental Magic: Ignition Lv 12 Wind Elemental Magic: Wind Blade Lv 11 Spirit Magic: Spirit Sensitivity Lv 7 Spirit Understanding Lv 7

“Oh man, really a shame. Huh…”

I let out a sigh of regret as I steadied myself in the student library lobby.

By hunting elementals to the edge of my limits, my base spells finally broke through the legendary level 10 barrier. ‘Ignition’ even reached level 12, the power of its flames strong enough to potentially subdue a lower-tier spirit with the right elemental affinity.

This was a fundamental base that suggested readiness for learning intermediate spells—a truly groundbreaking advancement. Yet despite all this, I couldn’t help but sigh in frustration.

Both ‘Spirit Sensitivity’ and ‘Spirit Understanding’ were at level 7, just shy of the mark.

If their combined level exceeded 15, the realm of spirit magic would open, granting access to spirit contract slots. Corresponding to my mental acuity, total mana capacity, and understanding of spirits, I’d be able to form contracts with appropriate spirits.

Should that happen, my flexibility in combat and crafting would substantially widen. I could use spirit formulas to imbue arrows with various elemental magic, or improve my crafting level…

**[ The above translation is designed to ensure the preservation of the original tone and nuances of the Korean text while offering an enjoyable reading experience in English. Each paragraph has been kept concise to facilitate reading on mobile devices. ]**

As the blessing of the spirits may enable the crafting of enchanted magical tools, I practiced fervently, filled with hopeful dreams, tirelessly working until all my strength had waned. Yet, at the very threshold, I was hindered. Spirits that once roamed all around the professors’ hall were now scarcely seen, and those intruding from the student library had become almost non-existent.

This fact was clear: the Glascan subjugation team had penetrated the Student Association building, and Act 1’s final chapter was now entering Phase 2. The main stage of the scenario was set to shift to where Yenika was summoning Glascan within the Student Association.

“How cruel it is. I’ve caught so many…”

Both skills had long since reached level 7. Desperately wanting just one more level, I continued to cast spells until I was utterly drained. But still, at this boundary, the required proficiency surged and stubbornly, the level wouldn’t increase.

“Of course… I’ve only been capturing fluid spirits and minor spirits…”

Had I captured intermediate spirits or spirit beasts, I could have gained enough proficiency in one go to open the slot.

But for that, I must first break through the minor spirits and reach the Student Association building. Now it might be feasible as the number of spirits had dwindled, but my physical condition was far from good.

Additionally, hanging around the main characters of the scenario provided no good— figures of considerable importance in the first year had all but gathered there.

No choice but to wait for another opportunity… With a lingering sense of longing, I mulled over the matter, promising myself to seize the chance in the future.

The main scenario.

The word, once pushed to the back of my mind, surfaced bringing with it new doubts.

“Why is Zix here?”

In a rush, I had let him go without much thought, but upon reflection, Zix is a key member of the subjugation team.

With this realization, an ominous feeling washed over me. It was time to reassess the situation.

– Clop, clop.

From the corridor leading to the third reading room, a steady pace of footsteps approached. Looking in that direction, I saw Zix, carrying a girl on his back, making his way slowly toward the lobby.

Once he had reached me, he stopped and slowly began to speak.

“What were you doing here?”

The emotion in his voice was indiscernible. However, it seemed hard for him to completely ignore my pitiful state, resting from my injuries.

“What was I doing, you ask?”

There was no need for falsehood in my reply.

“…Training.”

“Ha.”

A short laugh escaped him as Zix continued, his voice lighter than expected.

“Haha. Indeed. Training.”

He laughed at something I did not expect. In a risky situation where one cannot predict the next moment, as boundaries fill the skies and spirits charge without end, there was I, nonchalantly training as if life itself wasn’t a concern.

And then Zix let out a wry smile.

“Even the most naive of humans wouldn’t believe such words.”

“…”

“You see, I think I’m starting to understand who you are, senior Ed. You’ve always been of that kind.”

A momentary silence followed.

Zix’s expression went rigid, and he contemplated in silence for a while. What he did next was entirely unexpected.

Keeping Elka up on his back, he slowly bowed his head, bending at the waist in a full bow.

“I am truly in your debt, Senior Ed.”

The sudden formality was startling, but Zix’s natural manner prevented me from finding any fault with it.

“When the opportunity arises, I shall surely repay this debt.”

Only then did I realize the situation. The girl Zix was carrying, Elka, must undoubtedly be his past associate — his lover.

It is no wonder that I only now remember this fact. After all, the ‘Spear of Foliage, Zix’s’ backstory was not given much weight, mentioned only within the setting manual — an obscure reference even for the most dedicated fans.

“Then hurry to the Student Association building.”

The responsive words tumbled out.

Zix looked stricken.

“From the look of things, you’ve come running here instead of dealing with the Student Association building, to save Elka, haven’t you?”

Fortunate are we that such unneeded questions did not emerge. In his stricken state, Zix lacked the wherewithal to address them.

“That’s a selfish decision… I won’t criticize it with tired admonishments. If you’ve assured Elka’s safety, then get going to your duties quickly.”

There was no need for long speeches.

‘Spear of Foliage, Zix’ is one of the top talents of Sylvania Academy’s Magic Department, first year. Zix’s presence could determine the success or failure of the subjugation. Should he linger here, the scenario’s progression, and the subjugation itself, could be fatally jeopardized.

Even if the subjugation team could breach Phase 2 without him, ‘High Flame Spirit Tarkan’ of Phase 3 is an entirely different challenge.

As per the main scenario, only with Zix can Tarkan be overcome.

Protagonist Taely strips away Tarkan’s shell with his ‘Elemental Cut’ skill, and after severing its tail, the agile and perceptive Zix would scale Tarkan’s body, inserting magic precisely into its torn flesh.

Then, as Tarkan roars in agony, Taely would leap from the ceiling, slashing at Tarkan’s exposed neck to end it.

For this battle array to function, Zix’s presence is absolutely necessary.

“Go and support Taely. If you just do as he instructs, things will work out somehow.”

“Taely… Do you mean Taely McLore?”

“Yes. The same kid who’s barely escaped being flunked every time.”

By this point in the final chapter of Act 1, he mustn’t be considered weak. Stats should be trained to an extent and, having gone through various events, he would have gained special skills or exceptional attributes.

With optimal efficiency, he might even be able to wield intermediate magic… but perhaps that expectation is too high…

Considering the growth, Taely’s abilities should be satisfying enough. Given that he will also unlock the Sword Saint ceremony following this scenario, he should serve sufficiently from then on.

As these thoughts swirled in my head, Zix made an odd expression.

“Senior Ed, I thought you didn’t like him?”

Oops.

Since Zix had witnessed the entrance exam incident, my words just now would indeed feel unnatural.

“Lots of explanations, aren’t there? Is it truly important now?”

I waved my hand dismissively, changing the subject. There’s no need to share too much or be overly familiar with him, given his importance in the scenario.

“And what makes you hold Taely in such high regard? I have hardly spoken with the guy…”

“It’s not about praising him. More fundamentally, unless Taely uses ‘Elemental Cut,’ no one can scratch Tarkan’s shell. It’s not about power, but about elemental affinity.”

I reasoned giving such advice was acceptable given the circumstances.

“Listen carefully. Don’t try to force open Tarkan’s shell with your magic. Wait quietly until Taely creates an opening with ‘Elemental Cut.’ Likely, none in the subjugation team have the raw power to pierce Tarkan’s armor. So do not waste magic power and stay alert for the opportune moment.”

The plan was to aim at the portion of Tarkan’s shell cracked open by Taely’s ‘Elemental Cut.’

While it was not entirely proper to recite future events from memory, laying out these precautionary words seemed prudent, given the unexpected appearance of Zix here— a red flag indicating potential troubles in ‘canon.’

“…I’ll keep that in mind.”

While Zix seemed reluctant to leave more unsaid, he acquiesced.

We both knew well — the summoning circles weaving Glascan across the sky were deepening in color. Time was not in our favor.

“There is a temporary camp set up by first-year students at the student plaza. I shall escort you there.”

“No need. Go alone; hurry, as time is scarce. I’ll take a rest here.”

“But Senior Ed, spirits could storm in at any moment again.”

It’s after Phase 1’s conclusion. The student library should be secure by now. While I understand Zix’s concern, not having the same knowledge,

“Forget it, just go. I’ll manage.”

“…”

“The most crucial thing is retaking the Student Association building. You know this.”

Despite his resolve, Zix was shaken by the pointed reminder.

“Deal with any guilt or shame after everything is over, okay?”

With these final words, I made my point clear to Zix.

After contemplating in silence for a brief moment, his face firmed up. Zix nodded resolutely and, adjusting Elka’s position on his back, he confirmed his understanding.

“Thank you for your advice.”

And with that, Zix headed toward the entrance of the library.

As I watched him leave, a sigh escaped me, and I leaned back on the statue.

What a handful, truly.

For now, as the situation is resolved and Zix returns to the Student Association building before Phase 3, things should proceed correctly.

“That’s good, but… Wait a minute..?”

As I contemplated this, a sudden sense of dissonance struck me.

Watching Zix walk away, a strange hunch reverberated in my brain. Despite my many runs of ‘The Failure Sword Saint of Sylvania’, knowing the keynotes and keeping various unpredictable elements at bay to avoid adverse effects on the storyline, something felt off.

— “And what makes you hold Taely in such high regard? I barely even spoke with the guy…”

It was Zix’s statement that prompted this.

The ‘Spear of Foliage, Zix’ I know is a character who acknowledges and supports protagonist Taely, building a rapport during crises or when needed — a reliable companion or friend.

For him to express indifference towards Taely is unusual, but… it’s still only Act 1. There hasn’t been enough time for a strong bond to develop.

But still, Zix discussing Taely as a stranger… it was certainly peculiar.

Tracing my memories back to when Taely and Zix first bonded…

Act 1, Chapter 9. The end-of-term evaluation episode.

It was the first duel between Taely and Zix, with Zix recognizing Taely’s growth in every moment of the battle.

Reaching this point in my thoughts, countless possibilities tangled like twisted sweet potato vines bloomed in my mind.

Suddenly, a shiver ran down my spine.

“Hey, Zix.”

“Yes?”

I called out to Zix, who had started leaving the student library.

“I’ve changed my mind. I must go to the Student Association building.”

Normally, there would be no need to go where the key figures of the scenario hustle and bustle. But regrettably, right now, all premises have collapsed.

We are in the final chapter of Act 1, with the Glascan subjugation underway.

For reasons unknown, the final chapter of Act 1, which should’ve taken place at semester’s end, has been inexplicably accelerated by a month.

Why Yenika moved ahead so hastily and what variables came into play, I don’t immediately know. Though whether I’ll learn these in some manner later, for now, Yenika Faelover’s actions are missing puzzle pieces.

Nevertheless, one thing has become crystal clear.

Due to the advancement of the Glascan subjugation, Act 1’s Chapter 9, the end-of-term evaluation episode, did not take place.

What does this mean?

Suddenly, a passage from an old strategy guide resurfaced in my mind.

Page 3. Nail Hall Corridor Battle Requirements:

Reach the combat classroom where the Spirit Mage Yenika resides.

Enemies Present:

High Flame Spirit Tarkan * 1

※ The key is to continuously damage the tail with ‘Elemental Cut’ obtained in ‘Act 1 Chapter 9’. If you sever the tail, then target the head area with ‘Elemental Cut’ for best results.

At this moment, without having undergone Chapter 9 of Act 1, Taely has not acquired ‘Elemental Cut.’

Thus, Taely, as he is now, cannot defeat Tarkan.

Unspoken, yet unequivocal, is the implication; a complete collapse of all foundational presumptions.

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