The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 69

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Winter Survival (2)

It’s all about the natural talent for people’s blessings.

It’s unclear when Claire, the associate professor, will earn her full professorship. That’s what the senior professors say when they come together to talk about her.

Certainly, a relatively liberal mindset is something commonly seen among young, newly-appointed professors, but Assistant Professor Claire is exceptional even among them.

Sometimes she’s seen happily munching on an egg tart alone at a bench in the student lounge, or getting scolded by Elka, the librarian, for not returning books on time, or tripping over her own feet, cursing while she gathers her scattered papers.

Her actions consistently display an absence of the dignity expected from a professor—it’s as if a screw in her head is loose. The senior professors heave deep sighs… yet she somehow remains popular among the students, presenting herself with a friendly image.

Of all things, when it comes to attracting good people—people’s blessings—she is unrivaled, even among her young peers.

From her student days through to her graduation, Master’s program, and teaching course… for some unknown reason, she has always been surrounded by the very best mentors.

Monster Ecology Expert Professor Flurban, the leading intellectual in Saint Studies Professor Glast, to the heretic of Elemental Studies, Honorary Professor Lenue… she has been blessed with guidance and teaching from such a range of scholars during her academic journey. It just so happened that ‘coincidentally’ all her professors were people of stature.

After being employed as a professor, she was assigned Professor Glast as her mentor, and she gained plenty of practical experience by being handed various key tasks.

It’s not just her professors. Her assigned students too, follow the pattern and are likewise outstanding.

While Claire, the associate professor, is indeed brilliant academically, excelling in studies does not necessarily translate into great practical skills.

Once you’re involved in ‘fieldwork’ as part of your teaching duties… you enter a realm entirely separate from academic knowledge or learning ability. In short, you need ‘hands-on ability’.

Naturally, for someone like Assistant Professor Claire, who is more academic than practical, this sort of savvy doesn’t exist. Usually, such people get beaten up by life’s struggles and accumulate nothing but stress, often becoming utterly helpless.

But her luck with people remained steadfast.

Even amongst the professors, rumors swirled, and there was a veteran teaching assistant whose practical ability had been proven, whom everyone secretly wished to sneak into their own research office. A second-year student who is regarded by even the veteran academic office staff as the best advisor, one who gets things done like no other.

And that’s because Anis Haylan is there as the lead assistant in the research room.

Anyway, one is born with people’s blessings or not. “Share some of that fortune with me, too,” the senior professors would grumble enviously.

“Wow, what’s all this? It’s heavy! Do you need help?”

“Uh, no, it’s okay. I appreciate your concern.”

She brushes her abundant hazel hair out of her face and offers a graceful smile, reminiscent of a well-bred young lady.

The boy from the combat department who offered to help Anis is taken aback by her demeanor, causing hearts to flutter, but Anis skillfully slips away.

Those documents aren’t exactly meant for public eyes. She seems to have handled the situation smoothly.

Leaving the classroom building, Anis heads to the research building, greeting acquaintances along the way as she enters a room on the third floor holding an armful of papers.

It’s now become more familiar than even her dormitory—the personal research office of Assistant Professor Claire. She has at least 20 minutes before the room’s owner arrives. She must have gone for snacks at the bakery after her afternoon classes.

– Bang!

Anis takes a quiet deep breath after setting down the stack of papers on the main table of the research office.

It feels like she’s switching a mental gear. It’s time to set aside her dignified and elegant persona.

Assistant Professor Claire’s personal research office is impeccably tidy, a stark contrast to her own sloppiness—all thanks to Anis.

She ties her hair up and rolls up her sleeves after removing her uniform jacket.

She rapidly checks off the day’s tasks in her mind.

Verify the Elemental Society’s submission documents, organize the Basic Elemental Studies coursework submissions list, change the ink in the grading pens, dispose of documents whose retention period has expired, check the academic security officer, review the teaching evaluation schedule, arrange the holiday schedule, assist with drafting the plan for the orientation test for new students.

While prioritizing her tasks, she sets up a pot of water, anticipating Claire’s imminent arrival with snacks, expecting her to suggest having tea with a bright smile.

The first order of business is to organize the collected documents.

She has gathered information from the student library, Triss Hall administration, and the dormitory duty office.

It revolves around ‘Ed Rothtaylor’—the compiled information was nearly stalking-level, not something to casually share with others.

She plans down to the minute; she’s got 20 minutes before Claire arrives. Until then, she’ll check everything she needs from these documents.

While the water boils, she can replace the pen ink and clear out the paper disposal bins.

All the while, she absorbs the information.

She aims to instantly analyze the individual and background known as Ed Rothtaylor.

“The Rothtaylor family—a powerhouse in the Clorel Empire. Second of three siblings, with an older sister, Arwen Rothtaylor, the eldest brother, Ed Rothtaylor, and the younger sister, Tanya Rothtaylor. The eldest, Arwen, died during childhood. Hmm. They have poor relations with the Kylie Dukedom. That kind of external information may not be useful. Where is the history of the Rothtaylor family? Ah, here it is. Considering the current age of Ed Rothtaylor…”

The ladylike appearance and manners are just a mask.

In reality, she is the student assistant who is the most excellent in practical work and the top advisor.

In information gathering, decryption, processing, organization, analysis, and conclusion drawing, she commands respect from seasoned professors.

“According to his birth year, the successful usurpation of the headship by Crebin Rothtaylor and the official declaration of successorship at the age of two would mean he has been pampered ever since. The arrogance and sense of entitlement are likely strong. At around age five, Crebin received baptism from the Telos Sect… Maybe this guy got it at the same time, so he could be religious.

At eight, he officially began his education on courtly manners, so by 12, he was probably taking other lessons. But seeing the abysmal grades, he doesn’t seem to be overflowing with talent.

Anis’s survival as a student assistant and a scholarship student is her ability to analyze and organize information, optimize and improve workflows.

Upon entering the academy, when her family stumbled, and she had to stand on her own feet, Anis had to survive.

To stay afloat in the aristocratic Sylvania society despite her impoverished situation, she had to adapt by any means necessary.

The survival ability of adapting and living even when cornered is what she sees in Lortelle Keheln.

Although she’s one year his junior, she respects Lortelle’s ability to build his tower of gold from a swamp of poverty and destitution.

Of course, Anis wasn’t born with the ability to see through the flow of money or sniff out the scent of gold; that kind of talent is truly a blessing from the heavens.

However, Anis has her own way of doing things.

“Don’t worry, Yenika. Anis will get through,” she reassured herself, focusing her gaze.

“Suppressed environment, high-pressure beliefs indoctrinated.”

Every human being can be patterned. By analyzing the environment and disposition one has lived in, one can even penetrate the unseen psyche. That’s the innate ability Anis possesses.

“If you consider his family background, it’s certain he was raised without want for money.”

Yenika Faelover is the only anomaly. A precious friend with whom Anis can interact without any pretense.

To Anis, who must stretch each day thin to survive, such a transparent friend is more valuable than gold. She can’t allow such a friend to waste precious affection on a seemingly worthless man.

“He shows no academic talent and hasn’t exhibited extraordinary abilities elsewhere. Likely lacking in self-assurance. Dominant in his actions, but tends to avoid responsibility. Prefers yes-men than constructive exchanges. Most likely favors a compliant and bright image of a woman while hoping they’re not too competent. Desiring a platform to show himself off, yet hoping it won’t be bothersome; more comfortable in human relations that can be disposed of when required. Naturally, prefers good looks; used to fancy things, he must like expensive items, but paradoxically such types may find plainness attractive. Since he likely has few achievements, he’s vulnerable to flattery, and his favorite topics would revolve around luxury and dignity. Prefers to give presents to show off wealth, rather than receiving them.

Considering the situation, it’s not the time for grand gifts, but if he sees genuine joy over a small present, that would certainly win favor. Dependence over obsession, humility over competence is key.

Her speed at digesting and analyzing documents is beyond the ordinary.

While her thoughts crystallize into clear analysis, her hands are non-stop in dealing with the tasks at hand.

“Sensitive to cost-benefit analysis regardless of actual abilities. Being able to appeal to humanistic benefits in a sentence would be ideal. Check how he has changed since his expulsion, and adjust the tactics accordingly. Scoping out his feelings for Yenika, see if he has any emotional attachment that wavers in the presence of other females. Even if there is wavering, whether he feels genuine guilt and remorse, or if he is so flippant and self-centered as to embrace even his pathetic disposition; this is key.

For that, as a student assistant and his senior, I’m in an advantageous position. Still, given his preference, the skill of tightrope walking is crucial.

His ideal type isn’t that complicated. It appears to be a living avatar of the patterned desires of those born with noble character. Environmental changes have only recently pressed him into a corner, revealing various shifts, but a person’s essence built up over a decade doesn’t change fundamentally in a year. Despite a bit of polishing, that characteristic arrogance seems unchanged…

In the end, it’s not that difficult. Everything follows this pattern.

Her flow of words ceases abruptly.

For Anis, even human preferences are subject to her analysis. Everyone is a collection of various patterned traits accumulated in different ways.

‘Ideal types’ are merely a precisely assembled collection of countless small patterns.

Winning someone’s favor and sparking deeper emotions are too easy for her, manipulating human sentiments is hardly different from solving a complex equation.

The storm of thoughts subsides, leaving clear air in the research office.

There Anis sits quietly alone, lifting her head.

“It would be good to practice a bit.”

Human relations are ultimately all about keeping up appearances. Winning someone over is just about swapping the right mask for the situation.

At least that’s how it has always been for Anis, with the exception of just two people: Yenika and Claire.

– Bang!

The research office door opens, and Assistant Professor Claire enters with a lively greeting.

“Hello~! As usual, you’re already here, Anis. You’re always so diligent!”

She remarks cheerfully, laying a bakery tray on the table.

The documents on Ed Rothtaylor that Anis analyzed had already been sorted and tucked into a drawer corner.

“I brought some Mont Blanc from the Laplace bakery~. Let’s eat before we start!”

Claire offers the Mont Blanc plate with a wide, contented smile.

“Wow, you already prepared the tea. That’s so like you, Anis. Anticipating that I’d bring snacks, you… whoa, careful!”

She nearly spills her tea in excitement, which could have scalded her hands with the boiling water.

Given Claire’s usual clumsiness, the astute Anis would typically be the one to caution her to be careful.

However, Claire, who was on the verge of apologizing with a laugh, notices something different…

“Ah, are you okay…?”

“Huh?”

Taken aback by a strangely gentle tone, Claire tilts her head.

“That’s a relief… You’re not hurt… I’m really glad…”

Although Anis looks no different than usual, something incommunicably off puts Professor Claire ill at ease…

He nodded.

When a policy was set, it was his very nature to immerse himself with all his might towards that sole point.

It was the survival policy that Anis had steadfastly upheld in a life almost akin to the wild.

*

“I think I’m going to go down to my hometown for this vacation.”

“Why? Is that librarian… Elka going home too?”

“How did you know?”

Zix jogging through the forest at regular intervals had now become a routine scenery.

Every now and then, he would drop by the camp to praise the cabin or unravel some chatter about academic life and then head back… Today was no different.

Zix, sitting opposite the campfire and twisting his body this way and that, seemed to have gotten stronger compared to the beginning of his freshman year. Undoubtedly, Zix must have gone through various trials too.

“It’s because I’m in a position where I live off Elka’s house, so if Elka goes back, then I can also return.”

“The people at Elka’s mansion aren’t kind to you?”

“It’s not exactly like that… but, to tell you the truth, I want to spend time with Elka the most.”

Zix’ sincere affections were not a recent tale, so it was only natural that he would speak so directly after all this time.

“Will you be staying at the camp during the vacation as usual, Senior Ed?”

“I suppose. By the third year, one should be able to handle intermediate magic, so I am planning to study various things.”

“Has it already come to that? Just a year ago you were at the basic magic level, weren’t you?”

Zix was doing push-ups without a shirt on despite the cold weather. What could he possibly want to be when he’s training all day long at such an age.

“Whew!”

Having comfortably completed a set, Zix kicked off the ground and sat down on the log bench opposite.

“Whoo… You shouldn’t overdo it. You’ve done plenty of magic training today, haven’t you?”

“Magic training?”

“Yes. I can’t feel Senior Ed’s mana at all right now, so I wondered if you had trained it until it was depleted again. Being mana-choked like last time and collapsing isn’t good for your body.”

“Hmm…”

I opened and closed my fist in front of one eye several times.

“There’s a reason for it. Don’t worry about it too much, I don’t think I’ll be able to use magic for a while.”

“Hmm… That is worrisome. If you collapse from overwork, it will be most disadvantageous to you, but others around you will also make a fuss.”

“Is it something to make such a fuss about?”

“The last time you collapsed… um… no, I misspoke. That might be an embarrassing memory for the people involved…”

It was as if Zix’s mouth had been sealed, as he trailed off his sentence.

When I collapsed previously, Zix had taken responsibility and looked after the camp. Thinking about it, it feels like I owe him quite a bit.

“You also seem to have a fever; are you sure you’re not seriously unwell?”

“There are circumstances for everything. I’ll manage on my own, so don’t worry.”

“If you say so, then it’s not my place to meddle any further.”

The best aspect of Zix is his coolness.

Perhaps because he had lived a free and wild childhood, he never pokes and prods unnecessarily about matters that don’t concern him.

It’s certainly convenient to simply accept it with, “there’s a situation for everything,” and move on.

“Oh right. Aila was asking about you, Senior.”

“Aila?”

“Yes. After the previous sealing incident, Aila explained everything about your situation. She said she rushed out ahead to call for a rescue.”

“That’s more or less correct.”

“It seems you had cleared the way for us to enter… It seems there were some misunderstandings before. Aila said she would grab Taely and come to formally apologize, but she did not know where you lived, so she asked me to tell her.”

The existence of my camp at the edge of the northern forest is already known among those who need to know.

However, it’s not something that every student at the academy could read off easily.

“And since I was the only one who knew where you lived… I thought about telling her, but it didn’t seem right to give away personal information without your permission.”

“You don’t need to tell her. Say it’s fine and that I don’t need an apology.”

“Huh, is that so? You must have been really upset.”

“Huh? Why would I be upset? I’m just saying there’s no need for an apology.”

I pushed the firewood into the campfire with a stick.

“They got the message that I’m not upset, so let them do as they wish.” I say casually and then went back to assembling a hunting trap. Snare traps wouldn’t work on small animals, so I was devising a drop trap with metal spikes.

Zix chuckled as he sat on a log.

“It’s not so much tolerant… as it is indifference.”

“Even so, I’m quite busy these days. Hmm… speaking of which, Zix, your lips are also quite sealed, aren’t they?”

Caught off guard by my sudden remark, Zix cocked his head.

It’s not exactly crucial information, but he has never carelessly disclosed that I’ve built and live in this shack. Even though he’s reasonably friendly with Taely’s group.

He’s always been a rather reticent type.

“Hmm… I don’t like to spread rumors about other people’s business.”

“That’s good. Can I ask you for a favor? I’ll compensate you well.”

“Do we have to deal with money?”

“The amount of work is quite significant, so it’s not something I can ask as a favor.”

Zix tilted his head.

“You’re tight-lipped, which is why I’m telling you this, but I’ve been making use of that underground library.”

“That place connected to the waterways and secret passages?”

“Yes. Although the entrance there is closed now, another one exists. However, the interior is a mess, so I need manpower to tidy up. Help me out until you leave for home on vacation. It’s difficult for me right now because I cannot use magic.”

“…Well, I don’t see a problem if I think of it as training… but it seems a bit wrong to be dealing with money in a senior-junior relationship.”

“Take it as a token. After all, it’s just leftover change from my personal matters.”

Saying so, I tossed a leather pouch that was on a makeshift wooden table over to Zix. Zix caught the flying leather pouch with skill.

“What will you use that library for?”

A natural question to ask.

The materials requested from the Elte Trade Company should be rounding up now. With the unanticipated hiccup in my magic training, I needed to devote time and effort to magical engineering.

However, magical engineering equipment can be quite large depending on its type, and materials are often sensitive to environmental conditions, which makes it improper to store them at the wilderness camp.

“I’m going to use it as my workshop.”

After all, various other magical crafting recipes were already sleeping there. In addition to reducing the hassle of having to retrieve them, I planned to use the library as my personal workshop.

“A workshop?”

“Yes. There’s a lot of useful things inside.”

The location isn’t particularly accessible due to the long tunnel, and it has poor ventilation being underground, and it’s also significantly further from the faculty building. But for magical engineering training, it’s not bad.

It’s the perfect space to sit down and mass-produce magical engineering tools for an entire day.

“You’re doing magical engineering too?”

“Handy tools are nice to have.”

“Surviving at the camp, training in mana, the art of spirits, magical engineering, and archery… and starting from tomorrow, you will even handle student affairs as a student scholar.”

“The list of student scholars has already been announced?”

“Yes. Well… that’s that… You really lead a busy life. It must be overwhelming.”

Zix looked at me with a troubled expression as he put away the leather pouch.

“I’m not one to flatter unnecessarily, but in the long run, people like you, Senior Ed, are bound to succeed. Anyway, I understand. I’ll be off then; you take care of yourself.”

“Sure, go ahead.”

The sound of his footsteps crunching on the snow scratched my ears. It’s a strangely cool and pleasant sound.

I casually waved goodbye to Zix as he left the camp. Then, I glanced at the checklist that was placed on the empty wooden stub next to me and checked off a couple of items with the spare pen.

Winter Vacation To-Do List:

1. Organize workshop plans ✓

2. Build a storage shed for materials

3. Expand the cabin

4. Check scenario ✓

5. Review student scholar duties ✓

6. Improve magical engineering skills to at least the third stage

7. Acquire special skills related to the bow

8. Learn the theory of intermediate magic

9. Contract with a high-level spirit ✓

*

—————————————-

Announcement on the Assignment of Classes for New Academy Students

Greetings, I am Assistant Professor Claire Elfin, newly assigned to manage new student affairs.

During the mid-winter vacation, there will be an examination to allocate classes for new students.

Details are extensive, so please refer to the accompanying document for separate schedules. Please check your visit schedules in advance and note that absence on the given dates may lead to disadvantages in class assignments.

The exam may include simple combat-related tasks or search-related tasks. Please attend in comfortable attire.

Below are the details of the personnel in our laboratory.

For detailed inquiries during your academy visit, please find the following people at the academy office or Triss Hall.

Lab Principal Professor: Claire Elfin

Senior Teaching Assistant: Anis Haylan

Academy Scholar Staff: Yenika Faelover, Clevius Nortondale, Ed Rothtaylor

—————————————-

“Rothtaylor.”

The girl closes the document and pronounces the name.

It rolls off the tongue smoothly, as if coated in oil. It’s not a name anyone can carelessly twist around.

It’s the history of the Rothtaylor family, which has weathered the rise and fall of the Clorel Empire. Those who tarnish its legacy deserve death—at least, in the girl’s values.

The amiable and dignified Duke Crebin who received everyone’s respect—it was Tanya’s greatest fortune to have such a man as her father.

Therefore, it’s only natural for her to aspire to be in Sylvania. There lies a place bustling with peers of the Rothtaylor name.

A place where all manner of noble and capable people come together to hone and polish themselves.

What could possibly be more glorious than proving her value and ability there, to elevate the Rothtaylor name?

However, every historic feat has its blemishes.

“Ed Rothtaylor.”

He was expelled; thus, he has no right to claim the Rothtaylor name, at least not in public.

Yet, his name was brazenly affixed to the official notice… Naturally, because the professor in charge of sending this document must have been oblivious to that fact. She didn’t seem the type to handle matters responsibly.

Nevertheless, this man openly claimed the name of Rothtaylor so commonly that those around him referred to him as such out of inertia, leading to the name reaching this public document so starkly.

“Miss Tanya, the carriage is ready.”

An evidently experienced servant calls out the girl’s name softly. With a swift turn of her head, her familiar face is revealed.

The assertive gaze and the radiant golden hair like the sun are traits of her lineage. While her expression looks sharp at first glance, her demeanor overflows with grace thanks to a lifetime’s worth of etiquette training.

Indeed, she is worthy of being called a lady. However, her arrogance, sense of privilege, and elitist thinking naturally follow, given the nature of her family’s environment.

“I need to see Father.”

Sylvania is full of stars. Tanya admires the noble and dazzling talents.

Although she has never met them face-to-face, the rumors alone allow her to gauge their greatness adequately.

The Clorel Imperial princess, the de facto ruler of the Elte Trade Company, a spirit master who handles high-level spirits at a young age, an alchemist student who produced the ‘Elixir of Marking,’ a wild beast that commanded the northern grasslands, the sword demon of the Nortondale family, a warrior who wields the Sword Saint’s arts, and so on.

Among them all, the one who excites Tanya the most is the legendary genius magician who might have received the blessing of the stars from the great sorcerer Gluckt.

Now, it is time for the allocation of classes for new students, a crucial exam symbolizing the beginning of academy life.

An assembly of such esteemed individuals that the mere thought of it makes one’s heart race.

To lead a fulfilling academy life among these figures, there’s definitely some trash that needs to be taken out.

With that thought, Tanya couldn’t help but let out a deep sigh.

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