The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 56

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Glast Purge (5)

“Please. Aila needs to be saved. Help me out just this once.”

Taely bowed his head, fresh wounds already marking his skin.

Wounds from the first phase of the final battle of Act 2, the chase to catch up to Professor Glast.

Zix Effelstein, who had been training on the outskirts of the faculty district, was bewildered by the sight of the injured Taely.

Taely’s sudden plea for help seemed completely out of the blue, given Zix’s lack of context.

“What’s going on, Taely?”

*

The Soul Library consisted of a vast hall filled with bookshelves.

The outermost bookshelves that lined the walls contained many valuables.

Of course, truly valuable rare magical engineering items and legendary magical engineering formulae are situated around the table of Librarian Reyna, at the center of the Soul Library.

It’s nearly impossible to approach there undetected by Reyna’s sensing magic and, therefore, searching that area would best be left until after this purge is over.

“♬ ♪ ♩ “

Librarian Reyna’s humming echoed through the grand library hall, her chilling bass voice sending shivers down the spine.

For now, let’s start by gathering some small magic tome replicas from the outer shelves and searching for magical engineering items that could be dismantled and reassembled.

Especially the ‘Lightning Shout Generator’ from shelf C could be useful for creating traps with alarms, and the ‘Unidirectional Light Diffusion Device’ could make windows that let light pass only one way.

Rather than getting greedy, let’s prioritize gathering just that much, and wrap up by collecting books useful for study.

The truly valuable magical engineering items can be gathered at leisure when Reyna is not watching.

Peeking out from between the bookshelves, I spotted Reyna… floating in mid-air.

Reyna isn’t human but a monster from the banshee clan, chained in spirit to this library, able to sense intruders within a 20-meter radius with her unique detection magic.

Reyna’s skirt floated around her as if she were buoyant underwater.

Thus, she periodically patrolled through the sea of books in the library.

I was fairly familiar with Reyna’s patrol patterns. Even if combat were initiated, I knew the tactics well enough to deal with her.

Yet, that Reyna was precious experience points for Taely.

Without sufficient mastery of Taely’s Sword Saint techniques or other swordsmanship skills, we’d face difficulties against Professor Glast’s celestial magic.

And if we can’t exert full power against the disaster-level bosses we’ll encounter later… especially if the Sword Saint Technique doesn’t reach a certain level, I might have to take responsibility for facing those foes.

It’s an arduous task, and frankly, neither the will nor the capability to take responsibility is there. So we’ve decided to steer clear of the boss monsters in Professor Glast’s secret lab for now.

Well, in truth, skipping Reyna wouldn’t noticeably break the momentum of Taely’s already burgeoning power.

And it’s not just Reyna. Even skipping most of the bosses wouldn’t slow our growth rate immediately. Just target the ‘Resurrected Demon of the Underground Waterway’ for the most beneficial growth points, and we should be fine.

Still… just to be safe, caution wouldn’t hurt.

I snuck between the bookshelves, stashing various parchments and formulae into my pockets.

“Sigh…”

While avoiding Reyna’s gaze, which regularly swept betwixt the shelves, I grabbed whatever I could reach.

Without reading each formula, it’s hard to determine its purpose, so focusing on quantity rather than quality seemed the best strategy to hoard as much as possible.

Feeling the weight in my pockets grow heavier brought a sense of satisfaction.

[ It seems the guard’s gaze shouldn’t reach the exit now, Master Ed! ]

Muk whispered a warning to me.

It’s not time yet. Can’t let down my guard; Reyna’s detection magic isn’t limited by sight.

Banshee Reyna doesn’t rely merely on sight to detect enemies, but senses the magical energy within a certain distance.

If I take action before digging deeper, I’m more likely to be detected.

I waited with persistence amidst the bookshelves for Reyna to show an opening.

– Koom, koom.

“…Hmm?”

I suddenly noticed a slight tremor in the ground.

A low humming noise was approaching from afar.

Initially, I thought it was a delusion and ignored it, but as bookshelves began to quiver, a sense of urgency crept upon me.

Could it be an earthquake?

As far as I knew, there was no such event scheduled.

Though at first treated as a minor disturbance, the shaking soon reached an undeniable intensity.

[ Ma, Master Ed! ]

“…What now?”

Muk called out to me, sounding desperate. Already balance was impossible without clinging to a bookshelf.

The vibration wouldn’t mean much to the floating Reyna, but it was different for other bookshelves.

Eventually, the bookshelves that had been shielding me could no longer withstand the tumult and began to topple one by one, failing in their dutiful roles of providing cover.

With the falling bookshelves, my hiding place was compromised.

And then, I was completely exposed to Reyna’s field of view.

“♬ ♩ ———“

Banshee Reyna’s humming abruptly stopped.

Upon spotting me, she unleashed a shrill scream,

“Kieeeeeeek!”

and began emitting magic power. Suddenly, the surroundings warped as if alive, and the bookshelves and tomes in the library began to levitate.

Animated by Reyna’s soul magic, the once inanimate objects began to move and thrash about as if stricken by poltergeist phenomena.

[ Ma, Master Ed! What do we do! This, this is! ]

“Don’t worry! Escaping is the easy part!”

Reyna’s soul is bound to this library.

All I needed to do was conquer the space with fire magic and retreat towards the exit, beyond her range. It’s not a difficult challenge.

I took a deep breath and rolled up my sleeves. Subduing Reyna wasn’t the goal, just an escape. It was as easy as pie.

I began to gather magical energy within my body.

*

The attire was not suitable for combat, but there was no time to change.

Lortelle’s gaze hardened as the embellished hem of his ornate semi-robe fluttered.

Stepping down from the carriage, Lortelle brushed aside the employees urging him to return to the conference room with one arm and looked towards the entrance of the underground waterway, his mouth agape.

Sturdy stone pillars stood firmly on either side of the entrance. Approaching the downward slope leading underground, the distinctive dampness clung to the throat as if it were mucus.

Further down, a meticulously arranged waterway stretched into the depths. The space was spacious with tall ceilings and broad width, and with clean stone supports and walls, there wasn’t excessive dust flying about.

But no matter how skillfully the underground waterway was constructed with first-rate magic technology, it couldn’t entirely withstand the tests of time.

Marks of mold and splintered or broken parts were evident; clearly, there’s no escaping the evidence of age.

It wasn’t the sort of place someone like Lortelle, adorned with jewelry and clothes worth dozens of gold coins, would usually set foot in. Even a single speck of dust could change the figures in the account books.

Yet without hesitation, Lortelle stepped into the waterway. He had instructed the non-combatant staff to wait outside and come in to report if the situation changed.

“This waterway seems unnecessarily large for a facility like this.”

Lortelle, who had ventured into construction and generously sponsored various buildings, had a keen investment sense for infrastructures.

Given the size of the Sylvania Academy, occupying half of Acken Island’s southern region, there wasn’t a need for such an extensive underground waterway. The high ceilings and broad width were excessive.

The water flowing through the waterway wasn’t substantial. At best, it would barely soak Lortelle’s slim ankles.

“It seems like it was built with another purpose in mind.”

Lortelle quickly discerned that there was something off about the waterway’s construction. The specific purpose remained unclear.

As the downward slope ended, and the true entrance to the waterway was revealed, Lortelle swallowed hard.

– Chrrrrr

– Koom, koom.

The sound of ripples in the central water channel.

Mystical golem fragments, inscribed with magic, littered the waterway here and there.

Clear signs of battle were present.

No, it was more akin to a one-sided expulsion.

Venturing further toward the central section, golem cores the size of a carriage were rolling along the bottom of the water channel.

With residual magic causing them to quiver intermittently, they were no longer a meaningful threat.

The fragments as large as Lortelle’s upper body must be remnants of medium-class magic golems, while the ones comparable to carriages were of high-class golems.

Dealing with about ten medium-class golems would require a group of high-ranking senior students.

To tackle a high-class golem, one would need personnel on par with the faculty staff.

Few could single-handedly and simultaneously break through them. Even Lortelle, confident in his magical prowess, couldn’t take them all at once.

“…”

Lortelle continued through the golem fragments deeper into the waterway.

A girl lay unconscious at the end of the corridor.

Lortelle knew the top students of each grade by heart. Recognizing her was not difficult.

The lofty height for a female, hair casually tied for ease of movement, and freckles dotting her cheeks like dimples.

It was Dorothy, the top alchemy student from the third year.

But she was entirely out cold.

Her damp clothes suggested someone had subdued her and pulled her out of the water.

Then, a shawl had been considerately draped over her as a blanket to ward off the cold. Upon seeing it, Lortelle’s expression twisted with displeasure.

I was somewhat relieved by the situation flowing relatively smoothly so far. However, inevitably, new complications arise. Minor variables can be managed somehow. My abilities have improved significantly, and with my knowledge of the future, most issues can be resolved one way or another. Convincing Yenika or Lortelle to join? I could meet and talk with them to solve the issue.

However, there are variables that are absolutely beyond my control. I took a deep breath. Sylvania’s Failure Swordsman, Act 2’s final battle: The Glast Subjugation. Within that scenario flow, once you enter, there’s a bad ending route from which escape is impossible, no matter what.

“And the fact that the little witch in a hat, who frequents the camp, intends to join…”

Lucy Mayrill, the top student of the first year and the final boss of Act 3, a prodigious genius. Her joining is not good news. It’s not the bosses that could easily be swept away by her immense power that are the problem. Variables not in the main scenario that suddenly twist the plot can be patched up by me running around doing damage control. Even existing ‘bad ending’ scenarios, for the most part, can be resolved by me somehow. But, there are indeed a few bad ending routes that are difficult to solve from my end.

Bad Ending 27: “The Indolent Lucy.” The condition for this route is any interaction between Professor Glast and Lucy Mayrill after the incident. Lucy, persuaded by a desperate Glast to turn against her allies, leads to this route… Once entered, a bad ending follows after the event battle with Lucy. Lucy, completely swayed by Glast’s heartfelt plea to become an enemy, is not meant to be defeated in Act 2. There was no known solution for defeating her at this point in the story, even after hundreds of hours of speculation by hardcore gamers and dedicated fans. Preventing any encounter between Professor Glast and Lucy Mayrill was crucial by any means.

“Merg senses it, near the underground waterway. The academic staff’s reaction is lukewarm and unsatisfactory… I’ll have to go myself. Will you help me, Lucy? I feel really safe with you around.”

One might wonder if help is truly needed. Yenika Faelover is strong enough, and Lucy is infinitely lazy. Yet, Yenika Faelover’s words carry a peculiar force. Her lively and vibrant tone also holds a strange seriousness, enough to sway even Lucy, who previously had no interest in worldly affairs. Lately, she had been feeling rather empty.

“Yawn.”

Lying on the makeshift rooftop of her hut, stretching like a chirping chick, Lucy hugs her witch hat and shakes her head to clear her sleepiness, then lazily watches the campfire.

For days, the fire hasn’t been lit at the campfire site. Although it seems trivial, Lucy had enjoyed the crackling sounds while napping. She liked the bitter taste of the jerky that wafted through the air, and although it was bothersome, she found comfort in being picked up from the ground while deeply sighing and thrown onto a fur bed.

Rolling her petite frame, Lucy gazes at the starry sky for a moment, reminiscing about an old man with wrinkled fingers she once knew. The sky is vast, and the full moon is clear. The girl gazing up at the moon, kicking her feet, becomes a part of the landscape. Then, a dreamy voice blends into the night air like paint.

“I miss you.”

What’s lost is lost.

Despite knowing this, the loneliness that occasionally wells up is something not even the strongest can completely shake off. The person is already gone. The time to be heartbroken about this acknowledged fact has passed. Yet, the loneliness left by the departed leaves marks on that tiny heart. Even knowing they can no longer be seen, that is a completely separate issue.

The design of the shawl embroidered with cute cosmos flowers along its edges was quite charming. Although it was of far less value compared to the clothes Lortelle wore, that shawl held its own significance. Just as important as the clothes is the hanger. The girl who always wore this shawl, a spirit mage known to everyone in Sylvania.

“Back at the entrance again! Ugh!” Without anyone around to hear, a girl emerged from within, crying out. Well, there must have been someone listening, just not visible to Lortelle’s eyes.

“I told you! It was Tarkan’s words that were right…! Or, was it not? Whose advice did I follow this time? Umm… So… right at the second fork, then left, then… left-left-right-right-left-right-left-left… Or was it…? Left-left-right-left-right-left-left…? My head hurts….” And she continued to mutter complaints to the air, fiddling with her fingers.

“Sorry… I’m terrible with directions… It took me days just to memorize the way to the northern forest, asking me to grasp such a maze in one go is too much… And Melis, you couldn’t remember the way either! Don’t be so mad…! It’s frustrating for me too…! To end up back here again… How am I supposed to find Ed at this rate…”

Her speech was cut short when her eyes met Lortelle’s.

“…”

“…”

Only the sound of flowing water echoed through the dark underground waterway. Her intricately braided pink hair was full of dirt, a stark contrast to her usual appearance without the shawl. Her neatly worn uniform was spotted with damp and dusty marks, indicating she had been in a fight not long ago. The size and shape of these marks suggested that there had been additional battles inside the waterway.

“Oh my, oh my. Senior Yenika.”

Rivalry hardly encompasses the entirety of their relationship; it’s something more entangled and sordid. Regardless of whether it’s Yenika or Lortelle, the mutual disdain is clear.

Lortelle had distinctly seen Tarkan’s figure near the entrance of the underground waterway minutes ago. It was easy to infer that Yenika had rushed here upon hearing of Ed’s abduction. However, Lortelle’s appearance was completely unexpected to Yenika. This fact was crucial.

It indicated that Lortelle’s judgment was a step ahead. Speaking of Yenika Faelover, she is Sylvania’s ace, boasting the most splendid martial prowess among students of each grade. If we were to rank purely in terms of power, excluding the overwhelmingly dominant Lucy, Yenika would be near the top among the rest. At this point, there’s no need for Professor Glast’s research team or anyone else. She could single-handedly wreck the waterway, creating chaos to secure Ed’s safety.

‘Then…?’

Despite Lortelle’s typically rational character, allowing for self-objectification, there’s one aspect she overlooks: her thought process regresses when it comes to matters of the heart. When Lortelle will come to realize and acknowledge this embarrassment is a tale for another day. For now, the images floating in Lortelle’s head are overly simplistic.

Yenika wielding various spirits to rescue the captured Ed. “I came to save you, Ed. Are you hurt? It must have been tough. I was so worried. Are you okay? Let’s go back together. I’ve prepared a meal at the camp. Let’s warm up with some hot soup. Can’t muster any strength, huh? It’s okay, I’ll carry you. Thanks, Yenika, you’re the best. It was terrifying being kidnapped out of the blue. There were many scary moments, and I needed help. It’s always you, Yenika. You’re the one meant to be my life partner. Let’s get married, Yenika—no, Ed, marriage, what are you talking about? I’m so happy. Where shall we hold the ceremony? How many children shall we have? Do you prefer a daughter or a son? Where shall we set up our honeymoon home? Can we make it through? Don’t worry, Yenika, I’ll make sure you won’t have to lift a finger. Let’s go, the morning sun is rising, just like our future, bright and shining. Hahahaha… No way!

Despite dabbling in nearly every venture, Lortelle’s naivety in matters of love is astonishing. It’s high time for some self-awareness, but Lortelle found herself trembling with dilated pupils once again.

“Senior Yenika. Senior Ed has been rescued, you say…! It’s truly, truly infuriating, but it seems he was quite hurt in the process…! Lying in bed, calling out only for you, Senior Yenika! In a coma, asking when you’ll come, searching only for you at the camp!”

Indeed, Lortelle was quick-witted. Given the abundance of evidence that Ed was abducted to this underground waterway, it was necessary to drive Yenika out of here.

“What, what did you say?!”

Startled, Yenika gasped and then dashed off like a bullet, gripping her staff tightly to her chest.

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