The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 26

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Glascan Subjugation War (6)

The tip of her nose was tingling.

It was a familiar sensation to Yenika.

When she put too much pepper in her cream soup at the student cafeteria, when she had a fight with her always close friend, Claire, when her beloved father was seriously injured by a cow on the farm, or when the long holiday was ending and she was returning to Sylvania.

Whenever she felt the pungent sensation rising up to the tip of her tiny nose, Yenika frowned and endured it with all her might.

‘I want to cry,’ she realized.

She knew exactly what that felt like.

She might be giggling like an immature princess from a fairy tale, but everyone knows that Yenika is a person with a much deeper inner world than anyone else.

Spend just an afternoon with her, and it becomes evident that the source of Yenika’s unique, lively and gentle atmosphere paradoxically lies in her infinitely mature inner self.

That’s why she is the object of admiration from everyone: family, friends, faculty, and juniors and seniors alike. Especially because she has never once stepped down from her position as the leading candidate in the second year of the magic department.

As she lived up to those expectations, she suddenly found herself in this predicament.

A high-ranking dark spirit, Velosfer, loomed leisurely atop the Nail Hall combat training ground’s summit. It had arms and legs like a human, but its head resembled a bizarre goat. Its bat-like wings were huge, stretching out to cover Nail Hall. The flaming mace it held in one hand seemed ready to sweep away the seats in an instant.

Needless to say, it bore the clear form of a devil. Its appearance made onlookers swallow their breath and take a step back, but the subjugation team stood firm with determination in their eyes.

Taely McLore, Aila Triss, Phoenia Elias Clorel, Zix Effelstein, Elvira Eniston.

Looking at the members of the subjugation team, it was clear that they were burning with not fear, but strong will and fighting spirit.

After seeing this, if Yenika closed her eyes for a moment, she inevitably sensed a defeat.

I will face a disgraceful defeat in this battle. The doubt becomes a certainty. However, the emotion climbing her chest was not frustration or sorrow.

Yenika opened her eyes narrowly and soon lifted her oak wand.

Indeed, the tip of her nose tingled.

To Yenika, it was a fairly familiar sensation.

*

By the time she jumped frantically from the rooftop of the Obel building and reached the outer edge of the student square, the Tarkan Subjugation was nearing its end.

– Kwang! Kwang!

“Ahhhhhhh! Kaaaaah! Die, you mad thing, just die!”

Lucy’s high-level lightning magic was terrifyingly powerful, but it wasn’t enough to kill Tarkan on the spot.

Considering that Lucy’s magical state was abnormal and the situation was so sudden that she didn’t have the leisure to cast her magic properly, Tarkan’s resistance was commendable enough to warrant applause.

However, Tarkan’s shell had burned clean through, and its tremendous level of magical resistance was gone.

Magic now hit as effective blows.

With that fact alone, the difficulty of the Tarkan subjugation dropped exponentially.

Clevius was screaming while dodging Tarkan’s attacks. Though crying and trembling with fear, his nimble movements to evade Tarkan’s tail swipes and kicks were almost miraculous.

It wasn’t just because of his extraordinary agility; Tarkan’s movements had noticeably slowed since the beginning.

It was the final struggle of a beast in mortal peril.

[ ——–. ]

Tarkan’s ear-piercing roar sliced through the student plaza’s sky once again.

The roar that had first resonated in the corridors of Nail Hall was the brave bellow of a warrior entering the battlefield. But now, the roar that Tarkan belted out was a scream born of uncontrollable agony.

I’ll put you to rest soon.

I moved to support Lortelle, who was in charge of our artillery fire.

“Where’s Lucy?”

“She’s rolling around somewhere nearby. It’d be nice if she could finish things off, but I don’t know if she has the strength left for it.”

“That’s fine.”

Actually, it was a relief. If Lucy had finished it off, I would have been worried. Even if her magic powers were nearly depleted by now, Lucy could easily overpower Tarkan.

As I’ve said repeatedly, my ultimate goal at this point is to deliver the final blow to Tarkan and to devour the enormous amount of skill proficiency that comes from spirit-related skills. Lucy’s strength could potentially get in the way.

“Clevius is quite good as a vanguard, isn’t he? He’s wounded, but still, to attract Tarkan’s attention to that extent… If only he’d keep his mouth shut, he’d make a decent warrior.”

“That incessant yapping is the key.”

“Hey! Aaaaah! Ah! You guys! What are you gaping at over there! Save me, please! Please shoot your magic! What are you doing! Aaahhhhhhhh! At this rate, I’m going to die, please!”

Clevius’ greatest strength is arguably his ability to be unbelievably annoying. He squawks and squawks, so naturally, he’s underestimated, but it doesn’t end as easily as one would think.

Even rotten wood can still be used as lintel. He is Sylvania Academy’s top combatant in the first year.

His peculiarly low self-esteem ironically often turns into an asset. I can understand Tarkan’s position, too. Clevius, who makes annoying noise like a mosquito, seems like a single tail swipe should do the job, but no matter how hard he tries, he doesn’t get subdued on time.

“I’m not going to leave you alone for real! Seriously! Just sit there and use me as bait! I won’t leave it be!”

His panicked running and screaming are surely reaching their limits.

“Let’s finish this.”

“That’s what I’m doing. I’ve nailed it twice already with ice spears I’ve cast with all my magic, and it’s still clenching its teeth and holding out. What kind of tenacity does it even have?”

“Its neck needs to be cut.”

I drew my magic power up to the tips of my fingers. Though I had been recklessly practicing magic in the student library as part of my extreme training, pushing my remaining magic nearly to its limit, I still had enough for a few basic spells.

“Your ice spells aren’t the best fit for clean cutting tasks, so I’ll handle it. Since I’ll be the one to end it, just block its movement for me just once. Can you do that?”

“It’s possible. Right now.”

The key, after all, is to target the weakness.

Without that shell, even Taely, who hasn’t fully trained in combat, would have been able to cut through it. My wind blade has already surpassed level 10 in proficiency, so it should be able to slice through in one go.

The problem is the distance. Tarkan, which is wildly swinging its tail and feet around and wantonly destroying its surroundings, is dangerous. If I enter that range and mishandle it, I could go down in one hit. It’s miraculous how Clevius is dodging the attacks like a circus performer.

“I need you to stop Tarkan’s movements the moment I approach. In that brief instant, I will sever Tarkan’s neck with my wind blade at close range. If Tarkan isn’t subdued at that point, I’ll be at risk, too.”

I casually slapped Lortelle’s shoulder.

“I’m going to stake my life on you, so you better get it right.”

“Ahaha. Senior Ed talks so easily about taking responsibility or staking a life on someone, like it’s all a game of chance.”

“It’s not a game of chance.”

I knew the Golden Daughter, Lortelle, well after enduring endless encounters. She was a monster of reason who, despite any unexpected events from the first act to the last, quickly recovers from the shock and faces reality.

She might not be sure herself, but I already know. There have been many situations in combat that were more urgent and required more caution than this. Lortelle is perfect for situations where you need to keep calm to the end.

“It’s an investment. Life isn’t cheap, so make sure you handle it well.”

At my words, Lortelle’s expression briefly hardened. Then, as if finding it amusing, she chuckled,

“Investment is my area of expertise.”

She smiled wickedly.

“It would make more sense to delegate close combat to Clevius, wouldn’t it? Despite how he looks, he’s the top of the combat department. If it’s about cutting something down, a sword seems to fit the bill.”

As expected, it was a valid opinion. There’s really no need for me, a student from the magic department, to get entangled in melee combat. If Clevius, who is spectacularly avoiding Tarkan’s attacks, were to dive into the terrifying embrace of Tarkan and sever its neck, it might even be possible.

But, I have to do it.

Why?

Because I must land the final blow!

The massive amount of combat proficiency and spirit skill proficiency that the high-ranking fire spirit Tarkan would provide is a treasure that should never be wasted.

However, since I couldn’t outright say that, I could only use a hastily concocted excuse as a response.

“Do you think Clevius would do it?”

At that, Lortelle’s pupils seem to widen slightly, and she ends up with a flower-like blossoming smile.

“That’s right. Attracting Tarkan’s attention and jumping into its embrace risking one’s life are completely different matters. Cowardly Clevius wouldn’t be able to do such a thing. Alright, Senior Ed.”

Even as we speak so jovially, Clevius is still screaming and being chased by Tarkan, but nobody seems to care.

If Tarkan were fully buffed in rage mode, they might have been concerned… but the weakened Tarkan won’t be able to easily overcome Clevius. He’s much more nimble than a buzzing mosquito.

“Don’t die on me, not for anything.”

Her tone is sinister. With a strangely furrowed brow mimicking the lines of a petulant princess, it’s clear to anyone that she is mocking.

“That’s royal disrespect.”

“The compassionate princess wouldn’t go and punish someone for a silly impersonation like this, would she? If you’re curious, how about you report to the princess?”

Then her subsequent remarks were something else.

“To be blunt, I dislike Princess Phoenia. She must have her own circumstances, but I’m tired of being tossed around under such a clueless leader.”

“That’s quite a dangerous thing to say.”

“I didn’t reply, just listened quietly.”

“It’s dangerous commentary, isn’t it? It’s been a while since I’ve spoken my mind so clearly.”

“What happens if I report to the princess?”

“I don’t know. She might not believe it, or maybe I’ll be executed. Until you report it, who knows?”

“What’s the point of saying this now?”

With a mischievous smile, Lortelle’s subsequent words were so typical of her that I had no desire to respond.

“You’ve unilaterally staked your life on me, senior. So I’ll hang my life on you, too.”

She stretched out her hands mockingly.

“The balance of a two-pan balance scale must always remain level. The key to success for the Elte Trading Company is integrity.”

The fact that it was all pretense was mutually understood, and it would seem petty to point it out.

Thinking about it, this was Lortelle Keheln. Her way of showing reverence was excessively complicated. She never simply presents her thoughts plainly.

That is, the characteristic of merchants.

*

Before Clevius wets his pants, I’d better finish this quickly.

The Velosfer and Tarkan battles were happening simultaneously. It might sound insane just to hear about it, but even this finale of Act 1, which had gone off the rails, was wrapping up somehow.

Once we enter the Velosfer battle, Taely’s Swordsman Ceremony would manifest, and then there would be no more unexpected outcomes.

The Swordsman Ceremony, while eventually becoming somewhat ambiguous in its potency and effectiveness later on, is at least at this point in Act 1 filled with overwhelming power as an over-specced skill. Everyone knows how much Taely’s Swordsman Ceremony contributes to breaking through the early scenario.

Hence, with the protective magic conjured by Princess Phoenia and agile combat handled by Zix, even Taely alone could subdue Velosfer.

Certainly. Upon clearing away Tarkan and forging a path, it can be said that the narrative has returned to its rightful course. What follows is rather predictable. Yenika and the punitive force will clash, and Velosfer will trigger a second wave of elemental frenzy with his large-scale rampage magic, cornering the party. In this moment, Taely’s Sword Saint Ritual will manifest, swiftly cutting down Velosfer. However, as Velosfer faces death in his cornered state, he uses Yenika to activate the incomplete Glascan summoning array.

Naturally, it’s impossible to summon a complete Glascan with an unfinished ritual. However, successful summoning of its right arm alone is achieved. As the arm reaches out from the summoning array, its magical power engulfs the professorial district, threatening to annihilate the punitive force in an instant. Just then, Taely’s second Sword Saint Ritual manifests, severing the arm.

At that moment, Taely realizes the Way of the Sword Saint. It is the moment that sets the entire narrative in motion. Since the course of events has returned to normal, it’s time to focus solely on my own gain.

It’s a golden opportunity that makes one salivate—the chance to defeat Tarkan, the high-ranking fire elemental boss. It’s best now to seize Tarkan and greatly increase my proficiency in elemental skills. A chance to raise the levels of proficiencies that barely fell short of my goals.

“Here we go.”

I took a long breath and stepped out to the edge of the student plaza.

Lortelle, who had prepared an ice spear, nodded. His earlier relaxed demeanor was gone, replaced by the belief that I was staking my life on this.

Certainly, it requires tremendous courage, yet it’s not an impossibility. I am well aware of Tarkan’s capabilities, and given his weakened state, a timely support should ensure us a comfortable victory.

The key is exploiting vulnerabilities—slicing his throat.

“Scaaarrgghhh!”

Clevius, having lost all reason, was running around wildly. The effects of the drug would soon wear off. Tarkan must have realized that Clevius, easily underestimated, was not such an easy prey.

As I boldly approached, Tarkan’s gaze turned towards me.

Both of us were in shambles—Tarkan and I.

It was evident to each of us.

Without hesitation, Tarkan roared and charged at me. The ground trembled, my ears pounded. Watching Tarkan’s direct charge, I could understand why Clevius was terror-stricken. Despite his battered state, with a single-minded determination to kill, he charges towards me like crazed.

Not yet. The distance must be closed further.

Lortelle, too, knew this and withheld firing the ice spear. We continued to close in. I had to create an opening when Tarkan’s throat falls within the range of my magic.

-Kuuooong.

And yet, an anomaly occurred. It was the summoning array of Glascan that adorned the sky.

“Scaaarrgghhh! What is that!”

Clevius was the first to scream in alarm.

The summoning array of Glascan emitted a blinding light against the dawn sky. And from it, burst forth a massive right hand large enough to engulf and dwarf the Nail Hall.

Velosfer had been suppressed.

This signaled the fifth phase of the story was unfolding. Now, Taely would cut down that Glascan, concluding the entire tale.

Everyone within the professorial district, no matter where, could clearly see this disaster unfold. The sight of the vast right hand emerging from the sky, wreathed in an ominous energy, seemed like the end of the world.

Though an expected twist, the timing was inopportune.

Anyone would be compelled to avert their eyes toward such an apocalyptic scene. It’s natural to be distracted.

The problem is Tarkan is not.

As I saw Tarkan’s relentless charge, I quickly turned around. It was at this moment, ready to shout at Lortelle to keep his wits about him in case he had lost his focus, that an ice spear soared through the air.

Striking Tarkan squarely in the face, the spear snatched away his sight and hearing, eliciting a scream.

When I glanced back, Lortelle was looking at me with a serious expression. Even amidst such a grand catastrophe, his focus was firmly on me. His lips moved slightly. Now, he seemed to say, entrusting the following actions to me.

The rest was not difficult.

Turning around and looking up, I saw the giant lizard writhing in agony.

I invoked the Wind Blade, a spell I had cast thousands of times, planting it deep into the throat of the beast.

[You have defeated the high-ranking fire elemental Tarkan!]

[The proficiency of your elemental magic ‘Elemental Resonance’ has increased!]

[The proficiency of your elemental magic ‘Elemental Comprehension’ has increased!]

[The proficiency of your elemental magic ‘Elemental Resonance’ has increased!]

[The proficiency of your elemental magic ‘Elemental Comprehension’ has increased!]

[The proficiency of your elemental magic ‘Elemental Resonance’ has increased!]

[The proficiency of your elemental magic ‘Elemental Comprehension’ has increased!]

[A contract slot with the elemental realm has opened! You can now form contracts with elementals!]

*

“I’ve seen many in my life who speak of risking their lives in all seriousness. Almost every single one of them were cowards.”

Completely suppressed, the manifestation of Tarkan vanished without a trace.

Lortelle, Clevius, Lucy, and I sat side by side under the Zelkova tree at the edge of the student plaza.

Clevius, who had been petulantly crying, ended up completely exhausted and deflated. Lucy, who had been gnawing on jerky, leaned on me and fell asleep. She’ll probably disappear again before long.

The sun rose over the shattered Nail Hall. When looking up, it was evident that a crack had formed in the barrier enveloping the professorial district.

The events that followed the summoning of Glascan’s right arm need no explanation. A Sword Saint Ritual manifested in Taely, who leapt into the sky and sliced through the threat in an instant. It was both thrilling and utterly comical. No doubt it would have seemed like a dramatic scene from the perspective of the Nail Hall, but from my vantage point, removed from the stage of the story, it looked quite different.

The final chapter itself, dedicated to the battle against Glascan, ended with the creature being cut down in a single cutscene—certainly an amusing situation. How could it feel so similar to when I experienced it in the game?

Nevertheless, as the district writhed in a maelstrom, with the unleashed Glascan’s arm suppressed and dissipating, it was indeed a sight befitting a protagonist’s actions. Excluding the dozing Lucy, we all simply watched the grand and spectacular scene unfold.

Thus, the curtain fell on the final chapter of Act One.

“Surely the main punitive force would have been the ones to enter the combat arena. They must have fought for their lives as well. But we’ve fought for ours here, so we can speak with pride too. We truly staked our lives.”

Lortelle, with a mischievous smile, uttered such unnecessary remarks.

“Well, I suppose my past life wasn’t without life-threatening moments, but such direct peril is certainly a first for me. It was quite the experience.”

Despite almost dying, Lortelle’s nonchalance is admirable, but that’s also likely indicative of the difficult path walked, similar to Taely’s, full of trials.

“Yeah.”

I half-heartedly nodded while gazing at the brightening sky.

Clearly dissatisfied with my brief response, Lortelle sat upright and leaned closer to me.

“What’s the matter, senior? Having overcome a life-and-death crisis together, your reflections seem too concise for my taste.”

“I’m just so tired. Haven’t slept. You too.”

“That’s true, but still…”

The sun rises, and dawn breaks the long night.

The punitive force emerges from Nail Hall, with Taely, who manifested the Sword Saint Ritual, at the forefront. His ashy-gray hair now streaked with white, his eyes a fiery red.

Aila, Phoenia, Zix, and Elvira followed. Each bore both minor and severe wounds. Zix, having taken the brunt of the battle in the front, was limping, while Elvira seemed on the verge of collapse.

Nevertheless, they all appeared to be safe and sound. It seems the story managed to proceed correctly.

Lortelle stood up, ready to greet the returning triumphant force.

Then, as if suddenly recalling something, he turned back and extended his hand to me, introducing himself with a playful tone.

“Lortelle Keheln.”

“…I know.”

“A proper reintroduction, you see. Well, I won’t embarrass you with any trifling pranks from now on.”

The ‘trifling prank’ he refers to must be that time when he abruptly came to me with a wad of money. As expected, she approached me with ulterior motives, hiding her dark intentions. Of course, I had my suspicions.

“That’s good to know.”

With a weary heart, I reluctantly accepted Lortelle’s handshake offer. The next part, I did not foresee.

Lortelle gripped my arm firmly with her small hand, shook it vigorously a few times, then released it and quickly retreated, hands clasped behind her back.

Her retreating figure, bouncing backwards, seemed very much the trickster.

“I’ve won this time.”

Her fox-like smile is her trademark.

Opening my hand, I found three Flenn gold coins. She’s slipped them back into my possession as some sort of retribution for returning her previous money.

“Caught you off guard, didn’t I? Now you owe me a favor. What will you do with that?”

Unwavering in her mischief, Lortelle spun around to receive her comrades.

See you again, senior.

With those parting words, Lortelle walked away.

I sighed deeply and looked at the rising sun.

I was aware of Lortelle’s cunning side. True, I’m not about to be swayed by a small favor, and Lortelle knows this well enough too but still passed it on. Regardless, her intention is to maintain a touch point with me, a pretext to continue this connection in some form in the future.

-‘Investment, that’s my specialty.’

I had to admire the dedication she showed in carrying out those words without deviation.

In any case, the Glascan subjugation concluded successfully.

Against the backdrop of the rising sun, I watched the punitive force emerge and allowed myself a small monologue.

It was a tough hurdle, but I had managed to overcome it well. I congratulated myself while gazing at the gradually brightening sky.

Good job, me. While it’s only Act One, I’m pleased to have made it through after all.

“…So, what happened to Yenika?”

Suddenly, I realized the narrative’s central figure was missing. An important part seemed to have been skipped, leaving an unexplainable void lingering in the background.

Discussions regarding Yenika’s whereabouts were like an empty puzzle piece, still absent.

The Glascan offensive had concluded, anomalies notwithstanding, and the storyline had been righted without any casualties. All should be fine. But the nagging feeling of loose ends was too great.

“Come to think of it, I don’t see Senior Yenika.”

Yenika was nowhere to be seen among the punitive force emerging from Nail Hall. If Yenika had been subdued, it would make sense for someone to be carrying the unconscious Yenika out. That would be the natural flow of events.

“Well, from the midway point, everyone’s focus was surely on Glascan’s arm. So Yenika must’ve taken a back seat.”

Lortelle, advancing ahead, seemed puzzled.

“Come to think of it, I think I understand how Senior Yenika ended up in this situation.”

“What?”

“I happened to meet Senior Yenika in the corridors of Ophelius Hall once. It was right after we resolved some issues from a joint combat practice.”

Lortelle spoke as if it were nothing, continuing on.

“And then, by chance, I got a glimpse inside Senior Yenika’s room.”

Maintaining her light step, she naturally addressed me.

“Would you like to hear my story?”

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