The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 89

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Election Battle for the Student Council President (2)

To my ever-respected father.

Hello, Father.

As you spend much time in Hwangseong, it has become quite familiar to update you on my well-being through letters, as though it were a regular part of my routine.

However, the notable fact here is that this letter is sent not from the usual address of the Rothtaylor estate but from Sylvania Academy. It feels like an end to my time in the cradle-like estate, and a step towards my goal of becoming a full-fledged mage.

Although there’s much unfamiliarity due to my first experience living away from home, I am constantly striving to not forget the honor of our Rothtaylor lineage, just as you always advised.

It’s been over a month since I left the estate, a novice in many ways.

The amount I’ve learned in this slightly over a month’s time makes me appreciate the words of our retainers – that one broadens their knowledge with every new horizon.

I would like to recount the numerous thrilling and amusing stories I’ve experienced, but fear that might bloat the content of this letter and inadvertently steal time from your imperial duties.

Nonetheless, for your peace of mind, Father, I am adapting reasonably well here.

While it took some time to adapt to Sylvania’s unique egalitarian culture and the demanding academic schedule, I now feel quite settled into the student atmosphere.

Not only that, but I’ve met many esteemed individuals, which has greatly expanded my worldview.

I had the honor of exchanging a few words with Saintess Clarice of the Telos Sect, and I’ve managed to make what one might call friends—or at least fellow students. By hearsay, the beloved Third Imperial Princess, Phoenia, is also in attendance, though I’ve yet to have the opportunity to meet her. A regret, indeed.

I’m progressing steadily toward the goal I confidently shared before leaving—that of becoming the youngest Student Council President and thus elevating our family’s prestige. However, it is a challenging road.

Rumors have surfaced about Princess Phoenia’s candidacy; at this point, besting her in the election seems almost impossible. Yet I am determined to persevere against all odds.

I’ve also met the Senior Lortelle whom you introduced to me. Though barely senior by age, he already embodies the complete aura of a merchant—it reminds me how far I have yet to go. The upcoming negotiations for procuring the Sage’s Tome are already a source of concern for me as I represent our family.

Furthermore, at school, I have met various seniors, each demonstrating extraordinary prowess in their field.

Truly, as you would expect from the land of scholars that is Sylvania, many students exhibit talents rivaling active professionals. I am inspired to push myself to reach such a level of expertise.

And then, there’s the difficult matter of speaking about my disgraced brother…

It goes without saying that he has shamed our family and should rightfully be dealt with.

Yet, when I encountered him upon arriving in Sylvania, it stirred an inexplicable discomfort within me.

I’m uncertain how you’ll take my words. Nevertheless, as my esteemed father, I cannot veil my true experiences in dishonesty.

To put it plainly, my brother seems to have made tangible improvements, busy and industrious. While they say people don’t change, he almost feels like a different person.

I can imagine your surprise, considering not long ago, I shared your fervor in punishing him.

I’m not fully trusting of him yet. After all, as mentioned, true nature isn’t so easily altered.

Even if it has been a year since his expulsion, it seems unlikely for one’s disposition to shift so dramatically. I cannot easily let down my guard, as I have seen his true form for years.

Nonetheless, when I relax in my room at Ophelius Hall and gaze upon the sunset, memories resurface.

Faint as they are, they’re from a time long past, when our sister Arwen was still with us, and the three of us children shared moments together.

If I were to probe these memories, I feel like my brother wasn’t always the arrogant and malicious rake he became. You, Father, would remember even better than me.

I’ve had a strange dream once, situated on the gentle knoll behind our estate, where lilacs and daffodils bloom in the spring.

I remember being led up the fragrant path, one hand held by Sister Arwen. The other, sturdy and secure, was possibly…

It seems my letter has drifted into random musings. The excitement of updating you must have carried me away. Perhaps the longing of being so far from home, even the act of writing to you, has been a source of joy.

Nevertheless, I will continue to observe my brother closely.

If truly there is a reason behind his transformation, I am curious to discern what it could be. Yet if the expulsion itself was the trigger, it seems an unlikely change agent.

Watching him, it feels less like a scoundrel reforming and more like he has somehow returned to his ‘original self.’ It’s merely my interpretation, but if there is a catalyst for regaining sanity, what could it be? Surely such a foundation for reform can’t surface easily.

Or if it’s merely a return to form, then why did he engage in such rascality to begin with? There would be no reason. Any underlying agendas are beyond my understanding at present.

It’s a night filled with complex thoughts; even as the cherry blossoms flutter in the night breeze and soothe my heart, unresolved dilemmas and uncertainties cast shadows over the peaceful scene.

However, upon reflection, confidence overrides worry. I have faith in my ability to succeed—a crucial sentiment.

This letter has become lengthy with my ramblings. May nothing impede your great endeavours. I too shall devote myself to my studies, persistently striving to be a person worthy of our Rothtaylor name.

With unwavering love, your daughter, Tanya Rothtaylor.

– Sarak.

The tri-folded letter is neatly tucked back into its envelope.

In the ornate office of the imperial chancellor, resplendent with decorations, Crebin Rothtaylor, who had been conversing with the renowned chancellor Vandel, was momentarily lost in thought.

“What troubles you, Duke Crebin? Is there an urgent matter?”

“Apologies. I just need a moment to collect my thoughts.”

Crebin pondered deeply upon Tanya’s letter, donning a significant expression.

*

“Hm. Hm-hmm!”

Privately, she dubbed this ‘Tutor Mode Yenika.’

With her wrists resting on her hips, she inflated her chest in a showy posture.

Despite a lack of dryness in her tone, she needlessly cleared her throat, exuding more endearment than gravitas. It’s unclear what she thinks of herself.

“Having the ability to manipulate an intermediate spirit signifies that Ed shall now receive proper respect as a spirit practitioner wherever he goes. Even knowing but a couple of intermediate spirit arts before graduation would earn one exceptional student status.”

“It does bear considerable meaning.”

“Usually, those born with a level of magical and spirit affinity, through continuous effort, reach such a state.”

Now a third-year, Yenika commandingly manipulates high-level spirits—a testament to an advanced tier of mastery.

“Ed, until last year, was unable to control even a single low-level spirit. Such growth within a year would be deemed incredulous by most.”

“A lot of my physical health was sacrificed to get here.”

“That won’t do, Ed. Achievement is significant, but one must consider their well-being!”

The northern forest’s visage is undeniably spring-like now.

After winter slumbers, the fresh greenery asserts its presence. Weeds have already begun overrunning the extinguished campfire’s surroundings.

What was once bitter cold has now become talk of the past. The last remnants of snow in shaded areas have completely melted, and flowers blooming amid the grasses attract throngs of bees.

The cabin surroundings echo the changes.

A butterfly, fluttering into view, lands on top of Lucy, sunning on the cabin roof. After a few swipes with his sleeve to dismiss the butterfly without success, Lucy erupts with a roar, dispersing the persistent creature with a burst of magic. The poorly chosen adversary dissipates into nothingness.

The butterfly met an unfortunate end.

“Given Ed’s accelerated growth and increasingly fine-tuned affinity, along with the contract formed with Merilda, he should indeed manage an intermediate spirit pact.”

Yenika spoke with a smile proud enough to suggest she was vicariously happy for my development.

“Anyway, I’ve carefully selected some intermediate spirits. Would you like to resonate with one?”

I nodded and focused magic into my eyes. The responsive ability, now worthy of a bona fide spirit practitioner, unveiled the figures of the present spirits without distortion.

An astounding number of spirits, too many to count, flooded the camp surroundings. This tends to be standard where Yenika is present.

High-level spirits, ordinarily invisible without proper spirit affinity, number in the dozens, trailing after Yenika is a sight to behold. It serves as a reminder of just how much she is adored by them.

Among all this, Merilda, large as the cabin itself, coiled around a tree, and the spine-chilling Tarkan, sprawled by the river, were visible.

It felt almost decadent to have such tremendous power gathered in one place, even though their most strenuous activity seemed to be lounging languidly in the pleasant spring breeze.

Regardless if they were termed a spirit legion or high-level spirits, they predominantly adopted this lethargic demeanor.

The number of low-level spirits was beyond tallying, with roughly seven or eight intermediate spirits and precisely two high-level ones, Merilda and Tarkan.

Yenika hasn’t contracted with all of them, but the thought that she’s bound to the majority is distinctly impressive.

“Doesn’t actively leading so many spirits cause you to lose focus? Especially given your high levels of affinity, wouldn’t you almost always see spirits during your daily routine?”

“Hm? That’s true. However, I’ve grown used to it, so it’s manageable. They all like me, so there’s no need to push them away.”

With a beam, Yenika gently stroked a small snake ascending her forearm.

“Contracting an intermediate spirit is significantly different from a lower one. It’s not solely about satisfactorily fulfilling magical quantity; you must find a spirit whose flow of magic resonates well with yours. Overwhelming magical power can override such concerns, but Ed, you’re not quite there yet.”

“It sounds more complicated than my pact with Merilda.”

“Merilda aligned well with your wavelengths from the start. You’re more receptive to wind and fire elements, Ed. Even so, it might be wise to avoid contracting additional wind or fire spirits now.”

Contracting spirits of elements one frequently manipulates could facilitate operation, yet it might hinder adaptability to diverse scenarios.

Even if not reaching Yenika’s level of handling every elemental spirit, maintaining a variety across various terrains and conditions for combat readiness is ideal.

“To pursue an intermediate spirit pact, one normally roams hills and fields seeking resonant spirits. Hence, spirit practitioners often view their intermediate bonded spirits as almost fated. And yet, Ed’s situation is… quite unique.”

“I don’t have to search; it’s like they’ve gathered in a marketplace…”

“It’s hardly a downside, right?”

With a giggly laugh, Yenika waved her hand dismissively.

Among the army of spirits, all manner of intermediate spirits revealed themselves. They undoubtedly looked more elite in comparison to lower spirits.

From phoenixes to earthen deers, to leopards of wind and eagles scattering water. Starting from at least the size of a human torso, some approached tree-size.

“Communications are settled with the spirits. You merely need to ‘nominate’ one you believe to be efficient and agreeable in element.”

“Nominate…”

Images from flash across my mind, where spirit practitioner characters roam nature, engaging with fated spirits in forests and along rivers. Although not quite as synonymous with Innocence as Yenika, they all exuded a leisurely or benevolent air.

Contracting with intermediate spirits often conjures notions of predestined encounters.

The typical spirit practitioner’s illustration—the romantic vision of gazing up spiritedly at a grandiose wolf or eagle amidst the natural landscape—epitomized such rustic charm.

[ Number 1, intermediate water spirit Pello. Enveloped within ‘Stone Guardian’s Blessing.’ I shall demonstrate a flap of wings. Here we go… ]

I found myself idly watching a line of intermediate spirits enter beside the campfire, one by one.

A mug had landed on my shoulder at some point, yet my mind wandered.

Despite my status as a lowly spirit, I was eyeing the spirits while making a “hmm…” sound.

“Ye…Yenika… just a moment… The name… it feels kind of strange…”

“Strange? Did you perhaps overdo it today? If it’s tough, shall we do it next time?”

“Um… It’s not that… No… Not at all… Forget it…”

[ Then, let’s continue. Number 2… ]

As I looked over the spirits filing in one by one, I was engulfed in a strange discomfort that I couldn’t quite put into words.

A romantic encounter with elemental spirits frolicking in nature, and the destiny-laden contract. The fresh illustration of a girl rubbing her face against a massive wolf in the dense forest.

…Is this right…?

I feel more like I’m in a used car market than in a contract with a spirit…

…Is this really proper…?

*

The Queen has fallen. She was too slow to defend against the blade of a knight who charged from the side.

A clergyman who witnessed it strikes at the knight’s neck urgently, but it’s too late. The dead queen will not return.

The enemy soldiers advance again while the king hastily retreats behind the castle walls.

Another knight pressures a corner of the rampart; the soldiers hurry to form a defense line, but there’s no retreat left.

In the end, watching his soldiers dying in his stead while hiding miserably behind the wall, the king quietly chooses to end his own life.

Checkmate. Less than half of Pheonia’s pieces remained on the chessboard.

“Do you have many worries, Princess Pheonia?”

The Freshmen Welcome Party.

This event that takes place in the student union hall at the beginning of the semester is a routine task for seniors, but it’s a meaningful day for freshmen filled with excitement about their first semester.

Seniors are talents honed over years at Sylvania, home to many legendary figures. Most are capable enough in their fields, spurring freshmen to want to connect with them when they have the chance.

Unlike freshmen, existing students are not strictly required to attend. However, the academic board does encourage certain students to participate.

From each grade, a few top students really should attend to save face for the existing student body. Without seniors, freshmen’s enthusiasm will be meaningless.

Typically, top students of each grade are recommended to attend, but they can choose not to if they decline.

Lucy Mayrill, the second-year top student, a major concern for freshmen, reported her absence due to personal reasons (a nap). Of course, the faculty somewhat expected this.

But no one thought that Yenika Faelover, the diligent top student of the third year who usually attends school events, would drop out citing personal reasons (spiritual lessons with Ed) as well.

The freshmen welcome party seemed less grand with only two top students attending… however, when Princess Pheonia, at the college’s request, decided to join, all absenteeism became meaningless.

Just by Pheonia’s presence, the freshmen clearly realized the wide spectrum of Sylvania students.

A noble girl among the sophomores of Sylvania Academy, perhaps the most distinguished.

None among all freshmen have a status high enough to even converse face-to-face with her.

Even at Sylvania Academy, which espouses an egalitarian culture, when the other party are royal blood, it’s different.

The common riffraff and nearly collapsing minor nobility didn’t dare approach, and even high-borns would sneak glances cautiously, while children of influential families would try to muster courage, only to swallow their breath and turn back when they neared the VIP seat where she sat.

In the end, only one person at the welcome party truly engaged her in conversation, a loyal follower of the royal family and the heir of the Callamore family, one of the three great swordsmanship houses. First-year top student, Wade Callamore, an acquaintance of Princess Pheonia.

“You seemed hesitant with every move.”

A chill-inducing white mane of hair fluttered in the window breeze several times.

“You’re tough to play, Wade.”

“Far from it. If you played properly, I couldn’t possibly have stood a chance.”

“But I did play properly.”

“No, Princess. You knew the clever move, yet you chose not to make it.”

Wade toyed with a few fallen soldiers’ pieces in his hand, rolling them through his fingers.

“In sacrificing soldiers, one must not hesitate, Princess Pheonia.”

“Thank you for the advice, but I’ve had enough for now. If we’re applying theories of monarchy to a mere game of chess, we’ll only begin an endless lesson.”

“Maybe it brings back unpleasant memories?”

“The royal tutors who used to teach me in the palace liked to metaphorically apply such games to teach a lesson.”

Wade and Pheonia conversed quietly.

Other students, standing at a distance, couldn’t dare to intrude on their exchange.

Wade could afford such conversation, being the traditional royal family loyalist.

“Wade, you’d have said something similar. Dwelling too much on sacrificial moves, one might miss reading the macro situation of the battlefield.”

“Indeed, Princess Pheonia.”

Wade had long understood Pheonia’s sullen reflection.

Princess Pheonia of royal tenderness wandering the palace had a much different ambiance back then.

Back in the day, she was proactive, positive, ready to take action at any time for her country—a monarch with a momentum that pushed matters forward vigorously, although farthest from the disputes for the throne among the three princesses.

However, Pheonia viewed at Sylvania again seemed deflated, like a balloon emptied of air.

Whatever happened, her signature self-assuredness, which she always carried like armour, had completely vanished.

Wade was well aware of the reality behind those lifeless eyes.

They were eyes of someone subsisting on a series of failures or continuous pressure.

“You’ve had a lot to deal with in Sylvania.”

“Just… more self-aware, that’s all.”

Princess Pheonia gazed earnestly at the lifted chess piece—a pawn.

A pawn, used and discarded as a sacrificial lamb, or earning promotions with distinguished service, but ultimately a marionette, moving and acting at the monarch’s command.

The sacrifice and death of a single pawn—concern and worry for such minute details can impede any significant achievement.

“I thought I was superior to anyone when it came to understanding people.”

“I agree, but realizing that you could be wrong is an important virtue. It indicates you have maturely grown, Princess.”

“I don’t know…”

Buried in the sofa of the VIP seat, Pheonia stared blankly at the ceiling.

Inevitably overlapping was Ed Rothtaylor. It was useless to cover her ears; she heard all about him, no matter how.

Soldiers on a battlefield are used as sacrificial lambs out of strategic necessity.

A monarch with a macroscopic vision makes rational, all-encompassing decisions.

However, Ed Rothtaylor’s downfall was not such a calculated strategic decision. It was the result of shortsightedness and narrow vision.

Even if Ed Rothtaylor had used Princess Pheonia solely to escape the darkness of the Rothtaylor family… the result would be the same.

Princess Pheonia knew this possibility and yet didn’t change her approach towards Ed.

At first, he was just a thorn in her throat—a minor fault, and she ignored the person Ed was.

But over time, he made his presence known in the academy, overturning evaluations, intervening in academy crises, saving Yenika, surviving the wild forest with gritted teeth, earning recognition, and even ranking among the capable in the third year. Despite this, Pheonia stubbornly turned away from him.

The reason why? After thorough consideration, Pheonia found the answer.

Overcome by an unbearable sense of shame, she consciously disregarded Ed. His very existence, leading a solid and exemplary life, achieving results, was evidence exposing Pheonia’s faults.

How childish and one-dimensional the sentiment.

It’s a delusion to think that by covering eyes and shrinking away, she would be rid of guilt.

The vulgar sense of relief that hiding under the noble title of Princess, no one would demand retribution.

It’s as shameful as if a child, eyes covered and ears sealed, believes everything will cease to exist—the utmost disgrace.

She was only able to realize this because… this was Sylvania.

In the Clorel royal house, a royal’s word is law and order.

Chess pieces abandoned due to wrongful judgment all die smiling, not struggling—they don’t flail from pain. Whatever consequence arises from Pheonia’s misjudgment, it’s all intrinsically correct.

But here, in Sylvania Academy, virtues of learning outweigh noble status.

Most abandoned chess pieces… cry tears of blood, grind teeth in curses, and meet a miserable end.

The difference is substantial, the weight on her shoulders takes a different course.

“I’m just… scared.”

She closed her eyes once.

Ed Rothtaylor, bloodied, raises his head from the abyss.

Dragging his mutilated body, he brings his face close to Pheonia’s eyes and speaks. You did this to me. I’m a good and honest person, but my life was ruined due to your petty judgment. Yet, I clenched my teeth and survived to stand here on both feet.

I resent and hate you.

“Princess?”

“I’m sorry, Wade. I was just lost in thought.”

Lifting her head in a flash, Pheonia brushed her elegant platinum hair and took a deep breath.

“But it helped me sort through my thoughts quite a bit. It’s not good to keep running from mistakes forever. That’s foolish.”

“I’m glad to hear you’ve made progress.”

Once the problem is recognized, one should plan to improve.

Princess Pheonia managed to pull herself from the swamp of gloom just barely, gripping her consciousness.

As she put the chess pieces back in their places, Pheonia murmured to herself.

Whatever it is, start anew, sift through and apologize if needed.

I should meet Ed Rothtaylor as soon as possible to sort things out.

With that thought, Princess Pheonia recalled her schedule.

Given her busy status, even important events require four days to free up time. Three days—if she moves swiftly.

And with minimal escorts, go to Ed Rothtaylor’s camp. Sit across the campfire and have a straight talk, laying everything down.

She resolved and nodded gently.

The gloomy feelings slightly lifted, and a clear way forward seemed apparent. It was a refreshing feeling after a long while.

The news of Ed Rothtaylor’s death reached Princess Pheonia on the morning of the third day.

* ‘The Deadly Imprint’.

A sinister runic circle etched along the blade of a sharp dagger was ominous.

The master engraver hired by the Rothtaylor family spent day and night to perfect the virulent magic, which causes agonizing death upon the slightest contact.

The cost of inscribing this single mark was not counted by Crebin Rothtaylor—enough gold coins, for sure.

Carefully to not nick even a fingertip, Crebin sheathed the dagger and handed it to his reliable aide.

The aide, under his robe, received the dagger with formality, and assistants on either side knelt before Crebin.

He had left a message for Tanya Rothtaylor.

Her burden seemed heavy between student council election duties and the buying negotiation of the Hermit’s Seals with Lortelle—so he’d send trustworthy vassals as helpers. The academy was likely to permit it, he cited, since it was for business purposes.

But the true purpose behind dispatching vassals wasn’t to assist Tanya. There was a more sinister reason lurking beneath.

Back in his room, Crebin removed a glove from his right hand. He placed the hand, engraved with ghastly patterns, above a crystal ball, unleashing a tremendous magical force.

One of the powers ‘Mebuler’, the dark god, granted Crebin Rothtaylor: ‘Deterministic Causality’.

A high-level magic that projects the result onto the crystal ball by specifying certain actions or variables he caused.

It requires massive magic power to use frequently but being able to check the outcome of an action before an important affair—it’s an ability near cheating.

Eventually, the ‘result’ blossomed atop the crystal.

Displayed was a cliff in pouring rain, seemingly the coast near the north of Acken Island.

Ed Rothtaylor in the crystal ball, after a suffocatingly fierce battle, wounded to the brim, is finally stabbed straight in the abdomen by the unsheathed dagger of the vassal.

He spewed dark blood from his mouth, stepping back gradually.

A girl with pinkish hair arrived late and screamed. The vassal pulled out the dagger and kicked Ed, tumbling down the daunting cliff.

The girl with pinkish hair, doused in rain, ran frantically toward the cliff.

Her glancing back at the vassal with head bowed ends the crystal ball’s projection.

“…”

Sitting at his executive desk, Crebin put his glove back on, exhaling softly.

“Not a pleasant feeling, I admit.”

Yet his expression remained unchanged.

“Nevertheless, a necessary sacrifice.”

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



One response to “The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 89”

  1. Oh! So, he send that dark vessel to kill his son and also seeing result of future that show his son’s pitiful death

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