The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 65

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Lucy Mayrill (2)

“Cats, as a species, are all so unpredictable; they never play along as you want them to.”

Professor Flurban’s classes in monster ecology are quite popular. Not only is the content substantial, offering plenty to gain, but he is also generous with grades, which ensures his classroom is packed with students every semester.

“They may act all high and mighty, pretending to be too proud for affection, but the moment you’re busy and pay them no mind, they suddenly cling to you and seek attention… It really baffles me how they only treat you like their owner when they’re desperate.”

With his moderately long hair flowing down and his slightly unshaven chin, he presents the very picture of dandyism. No wonder he’s so popular with the female students.

During class, when he senses the mood dipping, he skillfully changes the atmosphere with various anecdotes, demonstrating his seasoned teaching abilities.

“Cats are all like that by nature. If you want to handle them as you wish, the best approach is to simply withdraw your attention. I’m sure there are students here planning to specialize in contract summoning or handling of magical creatures… When dealing with feline creatures, try it out.

Rather than forcing yourself to win their favor and befriend them, take the stance of unconcern, and surprisingly, they’ll be the ones to pander to you. To be frank, dealing with this is even harder than romance.”

Laughter and applause ripple through the class, signaling a successful lighten of the mood.

“Well, astonishingly, the study of magical creature ecology even includes examples of feline creatures… Let’s see if I can pick out one such example…”

While student attention is high, he quickly transitions back to the main lecture content with ease. It’s true that there’s no match for Flurban’s lecturing prowess in the field of monster ecology.

By now, I’ve caught up with the entire university curriculum, and my own study progress is even ahead of the program’s pace.

My once-bottom-tier grades have soared, and now, looking just at written coursework, there aren’t many students ahead of me. But complacency is not an option. Without a solid foundation in coursework, I won’t be able to perform well in practical exams. My focus remains fixed on Professor Flurban’s class.

“…That’s all for today. Next class, we’ll delve into the ecological differences between gremlins and ogres. You can use volume 3 of ‘Introduction to Magical Creature Ecology’ as reference material… It’s available at the student library, or you can obtain it through other means if you prefer.”

Before ending the lecture, Professor Flurban adds one more thing as the class time flies unnoticed.

“Oh, and Mr. Ed, could you come to my office after class?”

Being personally called out by a professor never sounds like good news. Feeling a sense of foreboding, I considered asking for the reason, but Flurban beat me to it.

“There’s been a communication from the university. There’s something I’d like to discuss with you concerning the scholarship for university assistants.”

A surprisingly welcome piece of news.

*

“Do you know about the university assistant scholarship program? Aside from Anis and Leon, there are over a dozen second-year students benefiting from it.”

“It’s the system where the students contribute to the university’s workload in exchange for a discount on tuition, right?”

“Yes, that’s right. You’re well informed.”

Despite his casual and easygoing appearance, Professor Flurban is unexpectedly polite with students, always speaking in formal language.

His surefire attitude suggests everything he does is impeccable, but one glance at his cluttered and disorganized private office begs to differ. Indeed, there seems to be no consistency to the man, neither in appearance nor in behavior. One can never tell if he’s either stoic and serene, or carefree and liberal. Despite his looks, one might expect him to speak informally, yet…

“There has been a financial issue at the university recently, but we’ve managed to extinguish the immediate fire… Now, we actually seem to be short-handed. There’s a proposal to recruit more university assistants, so I was considering recommending you, Mr. Ed. It appears you have the will to participate.”

“If it can alleviate my tuition burden, I’m definitely interested.”

“Good. That’s also what I’d recommend. It’s bound to get busy with the immediate manpower shortage, but once things settle down, it will actually get easier. After all, we can’t just cut loose the assistants we hire in haste; so, while you may end up dealing with some menial tasks, you’d receive considerable financial benefits.”

I could bridge a semester’s tuition with the payment from Lortelle’s deal, but that’s hardly a long-term solution. It sounds like the sale of The Sage’s Seal went according to plan. Then the question remains of what to do with the sealed book now in the hands of Elte Trading Company.

I’ll need to ponder what moves to make… but since Crebin won’t likely sell it within a day or two, there’s a bit of a breather. A visit to Lortelle does seem necessary, though.

“In any case, this is an opportunity for you, Mr. Ed.”

Staffing doesn’t always flow with workload; even if there’s an influx of workers during the busiest periods, they can’t be easily dismissed once the university operations stabilize.

Thus, Professor Flurban is suggesting using this timing to secure as much of a tuition discount as possible.

He might not seem it, but… he’s the type of professor who pays meticulous attention to each student’s situation.

“Is the university really that short-staffed?”

“It’s not really something students need to worry about… Nonetheless, we do have a significant gap to fill.”

Interrupted by his words, I bite my tongue. The “significant gap” he’s referring to has to be Professor Glast. Despite feeling perpetually buried in his research, he hadn’t neglected his duties as a senior professor… He effectively handled research work, teaching, and administrative duties all by himself.

“Now, Assistant Professor Claire is handling his tasks in his stead… Given her limited experience as a junior faculty member, she can’t fully replace him… So the university is distributing the workload among other senior professors and offering support by assigning multiple assistants.”

As Professor Flurban gestures towards a corner of the classroom, a metal cage door swings open and a fawn-colored snake emerges, its tongue flicking as it slithers up his arm. I grimace but keep any complaints to myself; after all, the professor of monster ecology can surely control a snake.

“Assistant Professor Claire must be struggling quite a bit. But she probably finds some comfort in the competence of the assistants she oversees.”

“Does that mean I’ll be joining Assistant Professor Claire’s team?”

“University assistants differ slightly from general assistants. You wouldn’t belong to a specific professor’s research lab… Instead, you’d be considered external support for various university activities.”

“What kinds of tasks will I be undertaking?”

“You’d deal with nearly all tasks related to university affairs. Of course, we wouldn’t ask for anything too intense that it would impact your studies… For instance, I sometimes need help with paperwork or assistance during field surveys.”

Professor Flurban carefully examines the snake’s jaw, checking if there are any health issues.

“Assistant Professor Claire has taken over Professor Glast’s duties… So, after the end-of-semester evaluations finish, she’ll handle convention matters during the summer break, and towards the end, she’ll be responsible for the entrance exams of new students. The senior professors will help, of course.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes. So, Mr. Ed, you may end up supporting these kinds of tasks. As long as they don’t interfere with your studies, you’ll likely engage in practical, hands-on work. And if you do encounter new students, avoid trying to assert seniority. Sensitivities are high these days. You might have to deal with quite privileged individuals.”

I shake my head, indicating clearly that’s not my intent. I harbor no desire to unnecessarily interact with other students beyond what’s required.

I might secretly wish to make high-quality connections while at Sylvania, but I seriously doubt if I have the emotional bandwidth to focus on relationships right now.

Taely has gained adequate momentum. Initial worries notwithstanding, the character’s growth is set to show an exponential surge, provided nothing extraordinary arises.

She managed to maintain the trajectory even during the tumultuous Glast skirmish, accomplishing everything despite numerous anomalies.

Now approaching the initiation of the Sword Saint Ceremony, Taely is about to make a name for herself as a true Sword Saint. Perhaps it’s time for me to pay attention to other matters… But these thoughts are cut short by a creeping anxiety. There’s no downside to being thorough.

“Especially with the new students, there are a lot of sensitive matters. Most importantly… The Holy Maiden of the Telos Cult is rumored to be enrolling.”

Professor Flurban sighs heavily.

Every school year has its student of interest, regardless of their prowess. For the first years, it’s Penny from the Clorel Empire who captures the spotlight; for next year’s freshmen, it’s Clarice from the Telos Cult.

Clarice, the heart of Telos and the final heroine of .

“True, the Holy Maiden’s enrollment is attracting all the interest, but there’s also a plethora of notable figures among the new students. Now that you’ll be somewhat representing the university, it might not be a bad idea to keep an eye on them.”

He then retrieves a document and skim-reads it. It seems the university’s faculty already share information about the key incoming students.

The university administration must feel the heat as well; an overwhelming number of prodigiously talented or well-bred students are enrolling this year, placing extra weight on the professors’ shoulders.

“But, you know, it’s rare to have such an array of brilliant talents under your charge, Mr. Ed. A chance to act as senior to the likes of the only son of the Northern Border Legion Commandant, the descendant of the Catastrophe Alchemist, or a scion of the continent’s most powerful dynasty…”

Before he can finish, Professor Flurban halts, as if he’s revealed too much.

Perhaps he spoke too comfortably in front of a student, a slip unbecoming of someone so shrewd. As someone disowned by my own house, this topic could be sensitive.

I glance at the report Flurban is holding. As expected, it contains exactly what I thought.

There’s no need for the professor to mind a student’s feelings so much… But still, some things can wound a student’s pride.

I respond, unaffectedly:

“That’s alright, Professor.”

Inscribed with magic, the photograph reveals a young girl. Her luxurious golden hair embraces her upper body like folded wings.

Her keen eyes and distinct features are strikingly reminiscent of someone. Although her nobility rivals that of ducal ladies, it’s palpable.

It would be impossible to even call it a kind façade in jest.

Act 3, Scene 2. The student council president election’s boss, known as the Lesser Evil Young Lady.

There was no need for surprise.

Tanya Rothtaylor’s admission was something I had been aware of from the start.

*

“Hey. We’re running low on firewood.”

I doubted my ears for a moment.

Lucy, who would freely eat the jerky hung on the drying rack, lie sprawled anywhere in the camp for a nap, or occasionally stare blankly at the wind on the cabin rooftop when awake, was now suddenly making a productive comment.

“…What?”

“Isn’t it obvious that we’re running low on firewood?”

Sitting in front of the campfire, sharpening arrows, I asked again. What was she saying?

Lucy, who had been lazily lying around as if everything in the world was bothersome, was worried about a shortage of firewood?

“Winter is coming, and we’ll run out of firewood.”

Lucy sat nearby on a rock, chewing on jerky.

Well, more draped than seated based on her slouched posture.

The voice was still drowsily murmuring as usual, but the content was nothing I could ever associate with Lucy.

“Well, that’s true but…”

Lately, we hadn’t been focusing as much on gathering firewood. Originally, we had planned to stockpile in preparation for winter, but I was counting on moving into Dex Hall around the winter break, so I didn’t think we needed that much reserve.

“Why aren’t you hunting these days?”

“Why this all of a sudden?”

“…”

“You’ve always been so interested in my survival activities…?”

Managing the camp was ultimately for a long-term life in the forest. As my mind started leaning toward joining Dex Hall, I became more negligent in maintaining the camp and establishing a long-term living base than I thought.

While my decision wasn’t fully made, entering Dex Hall seemed more and more appealing… especially since being closer to the faculty buildings would be advantageous for a scholar student.

I considered explaining the situation in detail but doubted Lucy, who had consistently shown disinterest in me, would bother to listen.

Her consistent indifference was met with my own; nothing else seemed like a viable response.

After all, Lucy was a main character in the scenario. I had simply left her be as a natural disaster-level unpredictable variable.

If I were to join Dex Hall, my contact with Lucy, a resident of Ophelius Hall, would lessen, potentially stabilizing the scenario. That was mere speculation, of course.

Despite the puzzlement sparked by Lucy’s sudden question… It seemed like I ought to respond somehow.

As I was choosing my words… suddenly, the brush across the way rustled and a girl popped out.

“Hello, Ed!”

Shaking off leaves stuck to her skirt and smiling brightly, her uniform neatly arranged, and a cosmos-patterned embroidered shawl wrapped around her.

I waved my hand in response, feeling glad to see Yenika, who rarely visited the camp.

“Are classes over for the day?”

“Yeah, yeah. The late afternoon class with Professor Mary was canceled. So, I came to take a break!”

She hopped over to the campfire and put away her oak staff with its neat twirl.

“Once winter break starts, I won’t be able to stay in the camp either. I should come as much as I can!”

As she spoke these words, Yenika looked out over the camp’s vista with a bittersweet smile.

“I’ve really enjoyed and loved my time here in this camp, knowing that it’s coming to an end… It feels somewhat lonely.”

“The residence at Dex Hall isn’t fully decided yet, you know? We might not even get in.”

“But I’m using Dex Hall already. There are surprisingly many vacancies, and I’m sure you’ll be able to move in too, Ed.”

Yenika wrapped the edge of her shawl and chuckled.

“I may not be able to come play at the camp much longer, but your environment is important too, Ed. If you decide to move to Dex Hall, let me know! I’ll help if there’s anything I can do!”

“I don’t have much to move, really. Most of my belongings are already there.”

“True. The facilities will certainly be better than this shack. And since most of our classmates are at Dex Hall… passing by each other, we’ll surely see each other far more often.”

“Yeah, yeah. If we bump into each other at the student cafeteria, let’s eat together. I tend to eat early, but if Claire can’t make it, there are days when I eat alone… Anyway, I’ll show you around the first day. Let’s meet for breakfast for sure, and the study rooms require at least two people, so if you need more people, call me, ugh, yuck. Yuck. Sorry, ugh.”

As excited as she was, Yenika suddenly bit her tongue and wilted.

Realizing her own excessive enthusiasm, she shrank in embarrassment, apologizing out of context like someone remorseful the morning after a drunken rant.

“Today has been full of good things for me! So I got a bit chatty, yeah! Ahaha. I’ll lower the tension a bit. Mmm. Sad thoughts, sad thoughts.”

“…”

“End-of-semester evaluations are coming up… and there’s the student council elections during the break… I need to train more for the high spirit contract ceremony… Yep. Busy, so busy… really busy…”

Pinching the corners of her mouth, Yenika’s charming murmurs continued. I had nothing to add, so I just waited. Then, suddenly, she straightened up with an “Ah, right!”

“Ta-da-“

She produced a crisp document from her chest.

“A Dex Hall application form?”

“Yeah. During the application season, late submissions often get overlooked. So, it’s best to fill this out in advance and ponder over it.”

“Oh, you even took care of this for me. Thanks a lot, Yenika.”

“I’ve filled one out before when resigning from Ophelius Hall. It’s somewhat tricky to complete and the standards vary, so it’s a hassle to do on your own. I’ve done it once, so let’s fill it out together while I’m here. You can keep it, and submit it whenever you’re ready.”

Given how stressful it could be to fill this out later, I truly appreciated her consideration. As I reached to take the form she offered…

– Whoosh.

Someone suddenly interjected between Yenika and me, unanticipated.

The view was blocked by a gigantic witch’s hat, but it was easy to know who it was.

“Lu… Lucy?”

Even Yenika stuttered in surprise.

With arms outstretched, blocking the way unexpectedly, Lucy was… inexplicably wide-eyed, drenched in cold sweat. Seeing this expression for the first time, I was momentarily taken aback.

Lucy had shown no interest in Yenika at all.

For the first few days, Yenika had been mindful of Lucy, but after several days of no reaction and just lying around sleeping or doing her own thing, Lucy had long become just part of the background.

Having Yenika engage in a conversation with Lucy was a rare occurrence.

Lucy, with eyes spinning dizzily, glanced back and forth between Yenika and me, the camp, the drying racks, and the campfire, then turned her gaze to the document Yenika was offering.

She reached out as if to obstruct but refrained from unleashing any magic.

Due to her contract with Glast, Lucy didn’t usually misuse her powers against the members of the Sylvania Academy unless it was absolutely necessary or in an emergency. Thus, it was hard to expect magic to come from her now.

Neither did she hide her grudge against Yenika.

But without using magic recklessly… and with the application form approaching as if it were a talisman to ward off evil spirits, Lucy just trembled and sweated profusely.

She backed away, bumping her head on my chest, then flung her arms towards Yenika, shouting,

“….Sto-stop!”

She looked up at me briefly, expression mixed with confusion. She glanced back and forth between us and the camp again, her face flushed with turmoil, unable to hide it,

“…Do-don’t take that!”

Her unexpected behavior left us momentarily frozen.

*

“Winter special lessons…? Who would hold the classes since Professor Glast is absent?”

Leaning over the office desk, Lortelle tilted her head as she took in the academic correspondence.

Surely someone would replace A-class lessons, I hadn’t expected things to progress this swiftly.

“Well, I suppose there will be some free time around the holidays… So, it shouldn’t matter too much.”

She brushed her tied-up auburn hair and sighed deeply. The end of the academic term would be busy for both Yenika and Ed, not just for her.

As for Lucy… It’s likely there wouldn’t be any noticeable changes.

“…?”

A peculiar sensation brushed over her back.

Lortelle adjusted the knitted overcoat she wore casually and stood up from her seat to open the office window, letting the crisp air cleanse away her fatigue.

But that strange feeling persisted.

“…What is this? Why does it feel so ominous…?”

She pondered thoughtfully as she took in the late-fall panorama of Sylvania.

Winter was coming.

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !



One response to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 65”

  1. Lucy doesn’t seem to like the idea of Ed leaving the camp,as that’s one of the most comfortable places to sleep,and she can be with Ed,and even I agree that this camping lifestyle is really great and is a keypoint of this series

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