The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 5

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Six Days Before the Start of School (1)

[Newly Completed Item]

With a crudely made fishing dagger, I trimmed the small branches off a tree stem, hung silk thread pulled from fabric, and substituted a small nail for a hook.

The durability is poor, and without a float, it’s difficult to make quick judgments about bites.

Manufacturing Difficulty: ●○○○○

– [You have completed the manufacturing. Your crafting proficiency has increased.]

I realized the biggest downside of spear fishing. It consumes far too much energy.

This is why I thought of trying out fishing with a rod, and thus created one. Tree stems were abundant, so it was just a matter of selecting an appropriate size.

Among the old clothes I owned were some made with silk thread. I extracted the thread and twisted a few strands together to use as a fishing line.

I also broke one of my wooden bags to use the small nails that held its hinges in place. There weren’t any tools like a hammer available, so I had no choice.

As a result, I managed to create a rather crude fishing rod. For bait, I decided to use earthworms, which I could easily find under rocks in the wetlands near the stream.

With everything prepared, I cast the hook towards the stream.

And so I sat by the stream, blankly waiting for a bite.

“Hmm…”

Supporting my chin with my hand while waiting didn’t feel too bad. It even seemed somewhat refreshing compared to running around the waterside and getting drenched.

“I hope there will be some result.”

Back in my childhood days when I roamed the mountains and rivers, there was no worry of starvation, everything was purely fun. Just thinking about those times made me feel a sentimental pinch at the tip of my nose.

“Hmm… I hope this isn’t all for naught.”

As I mindlessly held the fishing rod, numerous idle thoughts crossed my mind.

Whether it was right to have given the location of the golden bead to Princess Phoenia.

“Next time, I must be more cautious.”

Knowing everything that will occur at Sylvania Academy is my greatest advantage.

However, if I do something that could become a variable and prevent the future from unfolding as I know it should according to the scenario… I’d be foolishly giving up my own advantage.

If things go as I know they should, Princess Phoenia is not meant to find the golden bead.

According to the legitimate scenario, the one who finds the location of the bead is ‘Slothful Lucy.’

Starting from the class placement test to graduation, she never loses the top spot in the magic department, a paragon of talent.

“Well, that’s the only solution I could think of in the heat of the moment.”

Nonetheless, the most pressing matter is to ensure Princess Phoenia does not have me expelled. Begging and pleading, appealing to emotions, would be the worst move I could make.

The best thing to do is to give the impression that there’s something peculiar and suspicious about me that makes it seem I shouldn’t be expelled.

Unsettling but somehow not dangerous… that kind of ambiguous stance is what I need to take.

If someone asks me what the hell I’m talking about, I have nothing else to say. It’s not as difficult as it seems.

*

Professor Glast is known among the students as ‘that insolent skeletal buckethead.’

It’s not uncommon for professors to have disrespectful nicknames among the students. However, Glast takes it to another level precisely because he is in fact brusque and his face does resemble a skeletal bucket.

“Yesterday, I administered the class placement test and I will now announce the results.”

In the most bustling and immaculate faculty building on the southeast part of the island, the Ophelius Hall auditorium, Professor Glast had taken the podium in front of the gathering of new magic department students.

Tall, thin, and pale, his light green hair was slicked back neatly, but this only served to make his skull-like facial features even more prominent.

“First off, anyone who came within an hour is placed in Class F, to start with.”

The assembly began to murmur at his words.

“Some were troubled and brought loads of beads, but there’s room for improvement for them. They’re in Class E, and depending on the type of bead some even made it to Class D.”

His casual address of the students as ‘fellas’ already set the tone for his unorthodox demeanor. Even amidst students who were nobles, influential magnates, and even royalty, his attitude carried an air of ‘so what?’

It was as if following a rule of Sylvania Academy: before the pursuit of knowledge, distinctions of status were put aside.

This often didn’t apply in terms of daily life or social association, but when it came to academics, everyone was expected to compete on even grounds.

“The prestigious Class A, with the highest level of care and education, consists of only three people: Lortelle, Lucy, and Zix. And out of them, Lucy is the top. Everyone else should check their positions in the distributed list. And arguments will not be entertained. That is all.”

The assembly grew uneasy again with this announcement. Professor Glast started dusting off his robe, preparing to step down from the podium.

– ‘What is this nonsense? This is unacceptable!’

– ‘The grading criteria aren’t clear. Have you assigned us randomly?’

– ‘Please explain so it makes sense! What was the purpose of the test and what abilities were you looking to assess?’

Amidst the unrest, several students voiced their discontent. Glast seemed to have anticipated the reaction as he once again took to the podium and applied an amplification spell to his voice.

“Why should I have to explain the purpose behind the test?”

Everyone was caught off-guard by his question, including Princess Phoenia.

She examined the list that had been distributed. She was appalled.

Classes ranged from F to A, with six levels in the system.

Class A had merely three students, while B and C were empty, and the remaining 300 or so were crammed into classes D, E, and F. Even Phoenia was listed in Class D, which already put her in the top 10%, a hard fact to believe.

“If you want to attend the premium classes, then prove your aptitude and move up. That’s your job as a student.”

The audacity was astounding.

Princess Phoenia felt humiliated, but quickly shook her head.

Even before the orientation, the principal had made it clear countless times that upon joining Sylvania Academy, she would not always receive treatment befitting her royal status.

Leaving her ornate yet unsubstantial learning space as a princess to study magic on equal footing at Sylvania Academy had been her own decision.

She was prepared to accept this humiliation.

But it still didn’t make sense to her.

“Still, you could at least make others understand. Right, Sir Glast?”

She finally spoke up.

Despite not raising her voice much, the murmurs around the hall ceased all at once. It was clear on some level everyone was aware of it.

A princess of a nation was present among them.

Temporarily downplaying her importance as a student, one could still not erase the inherent dignity that came with her birthright.

“Princess Phoenia, I apologize, but that’s my teaching policy.”

His look was cold.

It was the same chill she had felt from numerous vassals seated tightly beside the Emperor. A confidence in their abilities and methods. That innate iciness was present in Glast’s gaze.

Princess Phoenia could see it clearly. It was a sensation she had experienced so often that it had become profoundly tiresome.

“But… if even Princess Phoenia asks, then, just this once, I’ll make an exception.”

His hasty relent paralleled those others in giving way.

“However, I’d hardly be able to effectively communicate the reasons myself without being misunderstood later. To avoid that, I suggest Lucy Mayrill, whom I’ve chosen as the top student, explain in my stead. Lucy?”

Glast called out Lucy’s name. But no answer came.

“Lucy? You should be here… Lucy?”

The assembly rippled with whispers again as students began to look around, trying to locate the student named Lucy.

“Uh… erk.”

Finally, a girl sitting two rows in front of Princess Phoenia reacted.

She appeared quite naive. Her witch hat, pulled down over her face, was so large it covered her shoulders.

Her slender build meant that even the loose sleeves of her student robe were excessive.

“Did you fall asleep?”

“Ah, yes… I was asleep…”

Her voice was soaked in lethargy, and her droopy eyes added to the utterly worn-out impression she gave.

And declaring she was napping straight to the professor’s face? To anyone observing, she was without a doubt an oddball among oddballs.

“Would you mind coming up to the stage for a moment to discuss the intent and solution of this test?”

Her eyes twitched in response to his question.

Clearly, she looked bothered.

“Do I… have to do this now?”

A tension swept through the hall. Such an unsubmissive remark faced directly at Professor Glast, who was known for his indifference.

But a few students who had heard rumors about the professor didn’t seem too flustered.

“Indeed.”

“Huwck…”

To those devoid of talent, he could be utterly ruthless; to those with talent, he could be profoundly merciful.

That was the kind of man Professor Glast was.

“Ughh… ah, ack…! Kyeek!”

The witch hat, tossed to an empty seat next to her, and her stretching arms and legs resembled a kitten just woken from a nap.

And the slothful way she tried to get up from her seat made one think an actual sloth would seem more diligent.

“If you prefer not to come up here, then answer from your seat. Just explain how you came to find the golden bead in ‘Merilda’s Sanctuary’.”

“Ah, that? Oh… it’ll be quick.”

Lucy, almost hanging on her chair, spoke as if it was nothing.

“Those were the three admirable traits defined by Archmage Gluckt for seeking the truth as a great mage: mana sensitivity, rapid and accurate judgment, and the will for inquiry. You must have wanted to confirm those.”

Archmage Gluckt’s name was prominent in magic history textbooks. His definition of the traits representing a great mage was well known.

“Hmm… I simply took a nap nearby and woke up toward dusk… In a hurry, I just picked up the mana beads I sensed around. That’s all.”

Her hesitation while speaking seemed almost draining to those listening, but Professor Glast patiently awaited her conclusion.

“Of course, besides me, there wouldn’t have been anyone else who could find the bead’s location.”

The remark could appear arrogant. But there was no trace of vanity in Lucy as she spoke.

As if stating an obvious fact. As though the sun rising in the east and a glass breaking upon hitting the ground were too ordinary to be noteworthy—she explained in such a tone.

Juggling sleepiness and continuing her explanation, the assembly was already sensing something odd in the air.

She was a genius.

There was no logical explanation, but those innately gifted exuded a certain eeriness inherently.

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