The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 63

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< Glast Conquest War (12) >

“We need to keep heading in this direction. It should be there if we walk a bit further, right?”

“Uh-huh~. The further we go, the more secluded it gets.”

Lortelle already had his hands full with having to restrain Elte and to keep a vigilant eye on him.

Despite being told he could return to the trading company to work, Lortelle insisted on joining the party as if possessed.

A hint of unease was nothing new, but this time there was a different air about it.

Unlike the fiery glares he usually directed at Yenika, today Lortelle’s odd gaze seemed fixated on Lucy.

Lucy clung to my sleeve and followed closely behind, making Lortelle uncomfortable enough to insist on not returning to the company. Well, even if Elte managed to escape at this point, there were no mercenary troops left to assist him. He likely wouldn’t make it off the island before being recaptured, so there wasn’t much to worry about…

Eventually, Yenika continued to lead the way with an almost enlightened expression.

The celestial magic circle that the high spirits found in the northern forest. Not knowing the method to undo it and originally unaware of its purpose, they had merely kept it under observation. There had been no reaction for several days and nights, so it wasn’t deemed particularly dangerous.

If one wanted to construct several magic towers, it made sense to have celestial circles drawn here and there throughout the academy. They didn’t pay much mind, thinking it was one of Glast’s pre-arrangements… The problem was that not a single power tower had risen in the inner part of the northern forest.

If it was a circle meant for something other than the construction of magic towers… It could mean that Professor Glast still had some other plan in mind.

Looking up, the numerous magic towers were cracking and crumbling.

By now, the conquest of Glast should be wrapping up, and Taely’s party must be carrying out their final escape from the magic tower with Aila.

There was no need to delve deeper into Glast’s intentions now, but being thorough wouldn’t hurt…

Upon reaching deep into the northern forest, a celestial circle lay drawn, modest in size but of unmistakable form.

“Looks like it has been activated recently. The spirits must have missed it with all the commotion going on around the academy.”

Yenika said this and began to look around the circle.

Despite everything, it would be unlikely that one could easily decipher such an enigmatic celestial circle.

“This is a transport magic. It uses celestial power to maximize the efficiency of the mana consumption for engraving. The efficiency is even better than what’s been put in by the elemental formula, making it ideal for emergency escapes.”

Lucy explained this in a calm voice. I looked at her still gripping my sleeve and cocked my head.

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

Then, she let out a big yawn.

With that… just as I was about to ask why she was holding onto the cuff and to take her time talking about it…

“There are bloodstains.”

Yenika had discovered a curious trace.

A thick trail of blood led from the outer edge of the circle heading towards the periphery of the forest.

It seemed someone severely injured had walked out of the transport circle into the interior of the forest.

We exchanged glances and nodded.

It was needless to say whose work this celestial circle bore the mark of.

I closed my eyes, picturing the final scene of Act 2 in my mind.

The final moments of Professor Glast who broke taboos in his attempt to revive a great individual who could realize his ideals for the world’s advancement.

His last form, a bloodied mess, having leaped, leaving behind an undecipherable will. I thought that was the end of Professor Glast, but he had left this escape route in place.

Feigning a dive, he must have summoned the celestial circle with the last of his magic power and fled. It was a wise choice, as overt escape would lead to pursuit.

Though I wondered if he’d cause more trouble after his escape… considering that there were no further disturbances reported, it seemed there might be no need for intervention… but perhaps it was still worth checking…

Following the blood trail in contemplation, we found Professor Glast, and I then understood why there had been no further incidents.

Under a bright moon on a late night.

Professor Glast, propped up against an old tree and breathing shallowly, was already on death’s door.

*

His faculty robe was torn. Hair matted with blood. His visage gaunt. Dark red blood seeping into the surrounding soil.

The wounds on his body… went beyond mere injuries to being thoroughly punctured. At this point, fussing and attempting to transport him would be futile; his fate was sealed. He was barely extending his life using the remnant mana for hemostasis, but no other benefit was to be expected.

“Hoo.”

With a voice boiling with blood, Professor Glast managed an intrigued curl of his lips.

“It’s curfew time for the dorms. What are the students doing here?”

“In such a situation, you still say that?”

With her hands covering her mouth and pupils trembling, Yenika was shocked, and Lortelle seemed calm at a glance, but his eyes were narrowed. Naturally, Lucy seemed to have no concerns. She still didn’t let go of the sleeve.

With a quivering voice, Yenika asked,

“Here… What…”

“I was looking up at the moon.”

The grand old tree’s shadow prevented the surrounding vegetation from receiving sunlight.

As such, the ground near such colossal trees is always clear of underbrush.

And that’s why one can see the night sky so clearly through the tree leaves.

“You fought until you ended up like this, even though you had designed an escape route like this?”

“Hehe… I tried to flee when it seemed impossible, but things didn’t go as planned. In the end, I fought until I wound up like this… It goes to show, you never really know people.”

The battered Professor Glast quietly lowered his gaze and let out a wry chuckle.

“Is it funny? “

“No, it’s not funny.”

“That’s curious. I find my own state quite amusing.”

Professor Glast looked up at the night sky again and continued in a self-deprecating tone.

“It seems I somehow knew that my plans would end up like this, in one form or another. It was too foolhardy anyway. I didn’t expect to be subdued by a group of students…”

“You knew, who told you that?”

“Who knows.”

Professor Glast let his words trail off, but I had a clear enough understanding just from that.

The silhouette of the academy’s headmaster, Obel Forcius, watching the faculty building from the Tricks Tower, flickered before my eyes.

Seeing my expression, Professor Glast sighed softly. Perhaps he realized I’d caught on to the extent of the situation, and he spoke frankly.

“Spending over a decade at the Sylvania Academy, and not getting any severance… A momentary oversight seemed a fair trade for severance, didn’t it?”

“I don’t think that was right. I’m not in a position to judge others’ actions as right or wrong.”

“Well, the long years between Obel and myself are… strictly private. Even so, if I had crossed the line, he would have come to stop me. Regardless, he is a man with too much sentiment. He’s not well suited for the role of headmaster.”

Professor Glast had been a rookie faculty member from the early days of his career—

As Obel, who had served as director, witnessed this scene unfolding, one could only speculate what thoughts crossed his mind—such depth was beyond my conjecture. Nor did I feel the urge to press Glast, who was soaked in blood.

“I took advantage of Headmaster Obel’s hesitation, yet strangely, I don’t feel any guilt,” Glast commented with an air of nonchalance that one might reserve for when a student correctly answered a question in class.

“That’s because we’ve ended up in this situation, after all,” Ed Rothtaylor appended with a punctual insight.

“Indeed,” Glast continued in his teasingly smooth manner, “you’re a better student than I realized, and it’s uncharacteristic of me to have noticed so belatedly.”

“…Why kidnap me in the first place? I don’t seem particularly essential to your plans, Professor Glast?”

While there had been minor anomalies, the main course of events had flowed as predicted. This meant that even without kidnapping me, Glast’s plans would have encountered no setback.

“Time was of the essence. The empathetic resonance was imminent, and with a mountain of tasks ahead, I simply lacked the opportunity to persuade and recruit you. Hence, my methods unavoidably became brutish…”

“What are you talking about?”

“Remember the time I tried to nab you and sent a letter, only for you to collapse from overwork without a chance to respond?”

Indeed, the day I received letters from both Lortelle and Princess Pheonia, one from Professor Glast had come as well. However, following a relentless and exhausting march, I collapsed, never getting the chance to sit down and engage in profound dialogue with Glast.

“I had this premonition… After this incident, regardless of success or failure, I couldn’t set foot in this school anymore.”

As he spoke, Glast, covered in blood, struggled to reach into his coat and withdrew a bloodstained key.

“I’m afraid I can’t facilitate the sealing of the vessel now. Since I left the vessel behind, it will return to the Academy’s hands. Well, that’s unavoidable. Since you’ve already escaped first.”

“That key is…”

“You must’ve had quite the field day in the Soul Library I’ve established, given the mess you caused.”

With his last vestige of strength, Glast tossed the key into the nearby bushes.

“Did you really think that a few legendary incantations were the most valuable items in the library?”

“There’s something more valuable in there?”

“Beneath the desk guarded by Banshee Reyna lies a secret safe. Take your time and open it later. After all, that library now belongs to you. Having made quite a spectacle, you’ll have to clean up after yourself, a fitting outcome.”

I looked at Glast bewildered. His hidden research facilities were unofficial and never publicized within the Academy. Although mostly dedicated to demonic creature experimentation and with little research material usable by me, the Soul Library was a different story.

If I could set up a simple ladder and conceal the entrance that Lucy had blasted open, I’d have access to my own secret hideout and treasure trove.Peering through the shattered library would reveal a vast array of magical artifacts and formulas, all of which could become my property.

“Just make sure to navigate through the Academy’s inspections smoothly.”

The destruction Lucy induced ironically worked to my advantage, leaving behind hidden treasures unknown to Academy staff. As I approached Glast carefully, I lifted the key hesitantly.

“Why give this to me?”

“Is there a problem with receiving it?”

“Weren’t you the type to value talented students more?”

At that, Glast grimaced sourly and retorted, “Talented students are a dime a dozen in this Sylvania.”

Those were words I never expected to hear from him.

“I have a feeling I would be scolded if I met my deceased daughter as I am now.”

“…”

“Yes, I’ve lived a rather ruthless life. In my youth, I scornfully preached that talent and ability should not determine a student’s worth. Such romantic notions now make me shudder with embarrassment, though it’s been a long time since. Reflecting on the past, it’s rather skin-crawling.”

Wiping blood away, Glast cynically mused once more.

“Yet I wasn’t wrong. At least, I was certain of that while my daughter was still alive.”

I thought losing blood would feel cold, but it’s warm instead.

After uttering those oddly light-hearted words, Glast relaxed his body.

“But… seventeen years with my daughter weren’t so bad…”

“Was she seventeen?”

“Yes… Seventeen years… long in some ways, short in others…”

Glast spoke only to sputter out blood. Yenika began trembling in shock, but found no words of worry to express.

His power for maintaining haemostasis had run out. His physical condition was beyond mere help from first aid; his body had reached its limits after excessively overloading it with heroic power.

Now he had barely enough vitality left to speak. Despite this, the corners of his mouth refused to droop, which was really quite exasperating.

After a few coughs and the gurgle of boiling blood, he cracked a faint smile.

“If I consider dying alone as atonement, then the sins I’ve committed don’t seem too harsh a trade.”

Glast closed his eyes gently.

Leaning against the oak tree, he slowly reflected on his life, alone.

Ultimately, he held a student’s life at risk, gone astray; it was a fact irrefutable by anyone.

“I visited Assistant Professor Claire. Despite all her complaining, she acknowledged you greatly. Surprised me how she wept, declaring you were truly the most scholarly individual.”

Unable to muster a response, there was no sign from Glast.

“Your relationship with Claire wasn’t long? Through her postgraduate studies for four years, and five more while she achieved her educational qualification. If she had stayed until your retirement, that would have been nearly seventeen years.”

Silence.

Looking up between the leaves of the oak, the moon seemed gentle.

“Seventeen years… long if you think about it, short if you don’t…”

At those words, Glast’s eyes snapped open. He tried to raise his voice as if to speak, but no strength was left within him.

He seemed to lament dying alone, but that was only his limited perspective. Glast need not feel lonely; his death wouldn’t be a cold, mourned-by-none end. Humans, by nature, lack the comprehensive vision to see beyond their immediate surroundings. Even a distinguished scholar, well-versed in countless magical tomes, cannot fathom the human soul—their own included.

Struggling under the weight of his drooping eyelids, the last person to enter his vision was Lucy.

As Lucy gripped my forearm and looked at him, I wondered what her expression conveyed. Unfortunately, I could not see from my vantage point.

“That’s wise…”

Murmuring as if drifting to sleep, Glast closed his eyes for the final time through inference alone.

The second act drew to a close, and the world slowly drifted into slumber.

Beneath the moonlight, resting peacefully upon the oak, the body looked as though it were merely succumbing to deep sleep.

And we just stood there, watching for a while.

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