The Extra’s Academy Survival Guide Chapter 90

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Student Council Election Campaign (3)

Impossible.

The weight of those three characters felt like a heavy pressure on my chest.

During my time as a freshman at Sylvania, Tanya had been clearly aware of it.

If Phoenia truly runs for student council president, no matter what measures Tanya takes, she could not win against her.

An image filled with conviction built up since her time in the royal household, the powerful recognition known to any citizen of the Clorel Empire, coupled with her own unfavorable status as a mere freshman, and Phoenia well-supported by a solid base among the students.

No matter what variables might occur, Tanya’s chances of winning were absolutely zero.

Tanya Rothtaylor could not defeat Phoenia Elias Clorel. That was an unchangeable truth.

No one knew this better than Tanya herself.

Reality and romance are distinctly different. Tanya engraved this truth into her heart as she entered her academic life.

Before enrollment, her fantasies of Sylvania were like a magical castle in a dream.

However, once a dream is realized, it becomes mere reality.

One cannot always live trapped in romance; tasks and assignments must be tackled and will inevitably pile up.

Tanya was slowly growing up, and the first thing she realized was that dreams are dreams and reality is reality.

While entering Sylvania was a joyous occasion, the hope that everything would flow romantically and beautifully had to be discarded early on.

‘Surely, things won’t always go as planned… Not all moments will be filled with happiness. Even in Sylvania, there’s no guarantee of encountering only admirable people, nor can I always expect the esteemed seniors to take a liking to me.’

Still, she mustn’t be disheartened. As the heiress of the Rothtaylor family, she must always maintain her confidence and poise as a young lady.

Showing any pettiness here would tarnish the name of her family.

Tanya nodded to herself, determined to persevere with resilience through the academic life that often didn’t go as planned.

Of course, academic life did not flow as expected.

“Oh, Tanya. Heading to Elemental Studies practice? Any trouble with the lessons? Be careful of the temperature differences day and night to avoid catching a cold, and sometime let’s have tea with Elka.”

On the way to practice with her Elemental Studies classmates, Zix greeted her cheerily, much to the murmurs of her peers.

– ‘Isn’t that Zix senpai? A prominent figure well-known throughout the school year, and even among the entire student body…’

– ‘Wow, Tanya seems to have a personal acquaintance with Zix senpai. Well, if it’s the Rothtaylor family’s second daughter, her connections wouldn’t be ordinary…’

“You look well, that’s good to see, Tanya. I have been thinking about arranging a meeting for the talisman trade negotiations. When are you free? Let me know a convenient time, and I will prepare a spot for you.”

While Tanya was dining with classmates in the student cafeteria, Lortelle approached her with a smile and brought up business matters.

– ‘That must be Lortelle senpai, surely? The representative of the Elte Trading House’s Acken branch?’

– ‘Wow, Tanya… To have a familiar relationship with the true power-holder of the Elte Trading House…’

– ‘Considering the talk of negotiations and trades, it seems she also has personal dealings with them.’

– ‘Wow… Despite being the same age… Her world seems so much larger… Surely, she must be accustomed to these business discussions and formal settings…’

“Hello.”

After the day’s academic courses ended, and on her way back to the dormitory.

Lucy, who was walking zombie-like with a drowsy manner, greeted Tanya casually before they parted ways on the path.

There was nothing particularly grand about it, just a petite hand wave as a greeting, and then she continued on her way.

– ‘That person… Is Lucy Mayrill senpai, widely regarded as the top genius of Sylvania, right?’

– ‘It’s the first time I’ve seen senpai speak. I didn’t even know she spoke.’

– ‘They say she treats everyone indifferently, making it impossible to get close. How did Tanya manage to become acquaintances who exchange greetings…?’

– ‘Truly, the expanse of our connections is worlds apart… What can I say… It feels like there’s a wall separating us…’

Tanya returned to the Ophelius dormitory with her year-mates, leaving behind students who looked up to her in awe.

In recent days, Tanya’s status and reputation within the academy seemed to have inexplicably skyrocketed.

Especially among peers who look up to her senior students, Tanya’s standing seemed to have been bolstered for maintaining connections with various influential figures.

Her status as the Rothtaylor family’s second daughter alone was formidable enough, but now even more so in Sylvania’s culture, which values academic and personal achievements, her influence only continued to grow.

As an antagonist young lady, even “followers” (?) had started to appear around her.

Walking down the corridor of Ophelius dormitory, following Tanya were two girls, Kylie and Terry, holding hands and talking with blissful expressions.

“Truly, Tanya. Poised in action, with wide connections, yet not boastful… So admirable…! Such nobility must surely be innate…?”

“If I could even emulate half of such dignified grace, I would have no regrets…!”

Even though Terry might be excused, it was a little funny that Kylie spoke of nobility and such.

Reaching her room, Tanya glanced back. She couldn’t overtly laugh ‘ohoho’ and show high tension, but also couldn’t show a discouraged face from excessive attention.

“Ufufu. Well done to both of you for getting through today’s schedule. You must be tired from various things, so you should go rest soon.”

“Of course, Tanya! You also worked really hard today!”

“We’ll keep up the spirit tomorrow, too! We’ll follow you no matter where…!”

The formal speech among the first-year students already felt strange.

“Let’s work hard tomorrow and the day after to become someone as graceful and capable as Tanya!”

When Terry said that, Tanya smiled softly and responded.

“Oh, that’s a good attitude. Though I still have many shortcomings, if you polish yourself daily, Terry, you too will become a student just as remarkable. Let’s keep up the effort tomorrow.”

Leaving behind students shooting admiring gazes, Tanya closed her room door and then leaned against it, sweating coldly as her eyes searched without focus.

“I… didn’t do anything, did I…?”

Before she knew it, a fandom had formed around Tanya among the freshmen.

“How did this happen…?”

Certainly, a headache.

The next day, two servants from the Rothtaylor main house arrived, both familiar faces.

“It’s a pleasure to see you again after so long, Miss Tanya. It’s heartwarming to see you healthy.”

“We’ve heard you’re working hard with your studies. We’re grateful to be of assistance.”

Sylvania Academy is filled with noble students.

If all students were allowed to bring their personal secretaries and maids, the influx of external staff would disrupt the academy’s tranquility.

Therefore, the academy strictly prohibits students from bringing personal staff within the faculty area.

Instead, for the convenience of nobly born students, Sylvania provides high-level service through a dedicated maid department at Ophelius dormitory.

The only exceptions who could enjoy freedom from these rules within Sylvania are the princess and the saintess.

Thus, ordinarily, it would have been difficult for the external servants of the Rothtaylor family to obtain residence permission inside Sylvania.

“My father must have been quite concerned. It’s good to see you, Cadec, Nox.”

The two servants named kneeled and bowed their heads deeply.

These were loyal servants who had served since Tanya was young, so trusted that even their strict housemaster Crebin would assign them important tasks without hesitation.

Tanya was deeply grateful for these loyal servants being dispatched all the way to Acken.

“Normally, dispatching personal secretaries for students like this would be prohibited by the academy, but we could come in under the guise of business reasons. Since the academy is already aware of the transaction with Elte Trading House.”

“That’s right. Therefore, after we wrap up the negotiations regarding the purchase of the Sage’s Scripts, we will likely have to leave the academy again.”

It’s a particularly busy time for freshmen at the start of the new school year.

Facing a rush of classes and events, Tanya not only has to deal with the student council election but also lead the negotiations for the Sage’s Scripts.

Managing even one of these tasks seems overwhelming for Tanya, so family support is naturally expected.

“I, Cadec, will gather market information for the purchase of the scripts and inquire about the budget status of the Elte Trading House. I will confirm the specifics of the negotiation schedule and report back to you.”

“Thank you, Cadec.”

“I, Nox, will coordinate the schedule related to the student council election while Miss Tanya concentrates on her studies. Especially since there are rumors of Princess Phoenia running, we need to get information on what policy proposals her camp might put forward…”

“That’s… alright, Nox.”

“…Yes?”

Tanya, sitting at her desk and arranging her hair, sighed deeply.

As she paused from stroking her golden locks, she looked up at the clear sky of early spring.

“You two must not have updated information since you’ve just arrived. There’s been fresh news this morning.”

From Tanya’s perspective –

It’s clearly a stroke of luck.

Clinching his fist tightly and raising it to the sky with a cheer wouldn’t be strange given the situation.

However, Tanya didn’t seem quite as elated. The reason for this was unknown, even to Tanya herself.

“Tanya said Princess Phoenia isn’t running for student president.”

“…What?”

It’s as if lightning struck on a clear day.

A disaster that hits without any forewarning.

The student council building, Nail Hall, is the largest of the three buildings and serves as the bustling center of campus life, especially during the semester. Although Yenika had demolished it in a fit last year, it’s been completely restored and is now fully functional.

The crowded student council hall, with administrative services and well-being facilities all congregated here, resembles a busy marketplace.

Crystalline ice floats in two glasses of citrus juice on a wooden table. Since I owe Yenika for various favors, I took care of the bill.

“The royal secretary just made an announcement at the royal quarters…? It’s the hottest gossip, just happened a few hours ago. Everyone’s buzzing about it.”

Yenika sips her juice with a radiant smile, her delight seeming boundless with every sip – she’s a girl who truly appreciates small kindnesses.

“So… She only made an announcement… Can it still be retracted…?”

“Well, most students who wanted to support Princess Phoenia are now pleading for her to reconsider their request.”

Furrowing my brows, I plunged into contemplation.

Phoenia has to become involved if you’re to take on Crebin Rothtaylor, the final boss of Act 4. After all, it’s difficult to find a clan that could vie with the Rothtaylor family’s power aside from someone of Princess Phoenia’s stature.

Head of the Rothtaylor household, Crebin Rothtaylor’s manner of conducting affairs is nearly flawless, and most folks wouldn’t suspect him of being a villain. Even if they did, they wouldn’t have any evidence.

It is Phoenia, having first become aware of Crebin’s dark schemes, who begins to openly oppose him. What had been instinctual suspicion evolves into conviction as she encounters Crebin in her role as student president.

Furthermore, the academic power wielded by Phoenia as student president is a crucial advantage in protecting Sylvania Academy from Crebin’s aspirations. While imperial power is vast, influencing the intricate and granular affairs of the academy internally proves challenging.

A fusion of imperial and academic power. Only once Phoenia holds both reins can she truly lead a proper defense against Crebin.

“Hmm…”

If we’re to capture Crebin, the Rothtaylor family must be pitted against Princess Phoenia from now on.

Should this come to pass, Phoenia would become an irreplaceable ally – a fact that should have been self-evident.

“Ed.”

As I was deep in thought, Yenika’s face suddenly filled my view. Leaning close with puffed cheeks, she started to grumble.

“Why so worried?”

“Listen, Ed.”

Yenika stood swiftly from her seat and moved beside me firmly.

She placed her hands on her hips and looked at me with a feigned anger – for Yenika rarely becomes truly angry, her actions were more demonstrative than genuine.

“I have a feeling you’re plunging into another reckless endeavor.”

“Hey… that’s not…”

“We all have our own wills, Ed, and while I can’t tell you what to do or not, I can’t just stand by and watch you get hurt or bleed without doing anything.”

Her expression turned petulant as she continued.

“If there’s something on your mind, consult me. Whatever it is, I’ll help.”

“Yenika, I owe you a lot already. For your help with spirit summons and the camp…”

“That’s only debt if I consider it so. And I don’t.”

Sincerity underlined her playful words.

“I wish you wouldn’t struggle on your own. There’s no need to go looking for trouble.”

“…?”

It was a difficult decision, but ignoring the earnest gaze of Yenika’s staring eyes was even harder.

“I think it would be better if Princess Phoenia became the student president.”

“…That is something some might think, not just you.”

She smoothly accepted the sudden disclosure.

“And yet, it’s surprising. Princess Phoenia has been quite cruel to you, Ed. I didn’t think you’d support her.”

“Really?”

In truth, Ed Rothtaylor is no more, thanks to Phoenia.

“Sure. And there’s Tanya as well. I had thought to support Tanya, considering everything, her reputation is good among the freshmen.”

Yenika kept talking as she twirled a braid.

“And… If the individual herself chooses not to run, what can we do about it?”

“That’s true, but…”

Ordinarily, Princess Phoenia should have run for president without a second thought and probably have won by a significant margin over Tanya.

However, it remains a mystery why she has opted out altogether.

“At least knowing the reason she’s not running would be helpful.”

“Confidence is lost.”

– Thud.

Another cup of beverage lands heavily on the table – Zix Effelstein of the second-year magical department has joined.

“It’s warm enough to go without a coat now. Didn’t expect to break a sweat. Why are there so many people at the student council hall?”

Zix removed his coat and took a swig from his drink.

“Zix?”

“Such a familiar face, and you two being so cozy in broad daylight – quite the spectacle, though I suppose it’s your freedom…”

Zix puts down his cup.

Following these words, Yenika straightened her back, widening the before close distance between them, as if just realizing the proximity.

“What?! Was it that close?! Is it really that close…? Is it…really? Oh, it’s close, isn’t it…? And for you to say it’s ‘sizzling’… That’s too indecent!”

Embarrassed, Yenika fanned herself vigorously, avoiding eye contact before slumping forward.

“Sorry to disturb your private conversation, but there’s something I didn’t get to mention last time – a certain conviction as of late…”

Zix crossed his arms and sighed.

“Being classmates and attending many classes together, I’ve seen Princess Phoenia quite often, haven’t I?”

Zix was raised in the wilds of the northern steppe, living more as a beast than a human. Now, he has learned to conduct himself with the manners of a gentleman through his time with the Islan family.

His primal upbringing gave him an extraordinary intuition – senses that go beyond normal human perception.

“Have you ever seen an alpha wolf lose its pack, Mr. Ed?”

The playful tone had turned solemn.

“An alpha who has led its pack to ruin through a misjudgment is devoid of life in its eyes. It’s a stark contrast to the vibrant gaze of youth – neither preying when encountering prey nor showing aggression to predators.”

Zix spoke softly of his experiences, recalling wolves on the steppe, ignoring his weapon despite the threat.

“They show no response, even if you aim an arrow right at them.”

Then, opening his eyes, Zix confided quietly, “To me, that’s how Princess Phoenia’s eyes looked.”

After speaking, Zix stood up to take his leave.

“I apologize for intruding. I just wanted to greet a familiar face. Take care.”

“No intrusion; I’m glad you came.”

“There’s talk of spring rain tomorrow. Remember that when leaving the dormitory.”

Zix grabbed his empty drink and, hunched, bid farewell before winding through the exit.

With Yenika still fanning herself beside him, Ed was plunged back into thought.

The worst-case scenario is Phoenia having lost her will to oppose the Rothtaylor family.

If so, one must find a way to rekindle her animosity against them, but at present, there appears to be no way to do so.

“It appears I must steel myself.”

“Why so serious, Ed?”

Crebin Rothtaylor, head of the family, had succumbed early to debilitating politics – because he lacked the support of the imperial faction led by Phoenia. Confronting Crebin without such backing is an unknown territory.

While a scenario best avoided, facing it directly may soon be unavoidable.

“Well, rain is due tomorrow, perfect for practicing with water spirits.”

For now, focus on what must be done – a session with an intermediate spirit near the northern cliffs sounds suitable.

“Yeah, I’ll try to join after my elemental science class.”

“Thank you. I better head back to camp for now.”

Yenika nodded genially – Ed owed her much in truth.

*

“Hmm.”

Sniffing the air brings a floral scent. Spring is a favored season – with its gentle sunlight and whispering breezes, the wait becomes as comfortable as being wrapped in a warm blanket.

Footsteps crunch on grass, approaching the camp.

A girl, lounging on the cabin roof, looks up at the sky, humming to herself at the thought of resting on a boy’s lap while munching pieces of jerky.

A sudden dampness at the tip of her nose confirms her instincts.

Lucy pulls her hat down and gazes up – though it’s spring, it seems she might not be able to go out tomorrow.

“Looks like rain.”

Rain is unpleasant.

The continuous patter dampens her mood; she’d prefer if it passed quickly.

With that thought, Lucy jumped down beside the crackling fire, watching the approaching blonde boy while absentmindedly humming.

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