How to Survive at the Academy

[Translator – Plumper]

[Proofreader – Harley]

 

Chapter 43

 

Anyone Can Be a Professor (1)

 

[The fire fox kissed Young Master Ed.]

 

It had already been more than three days since the second semester began.
The classes were slowly starting to progress along, like a sail that caught the wind.

For an honor student like Yennekar, the progression of class was of little meaning to her.
So, under the pretense of an illness, she was absent for three days.
And yet, she still had no burdens in terms of school.

Still, for writing-related subjects such as Magic History and Magic Power Theory, if she didn’t pay attention her grades would be ruined in the blink of an eye.
Because of that, it was time for her to pick up the pen again.
Nevertheless, having constant communication with the spirits was also the main job of an Elementalist.
It wasn’t something she could neglect, so it was a busy time for her.

Leaving Dex Hall, which was across from the bottom of the right mountain and on the outskirts of the commercial district, Yennekar was sitting and leaning against a zelkova tree.
The spirits gathered around her, like usual.

For some reason, the number of spirits that crowded near the zelkova tree were quite high that day.
Both the mid-ranking wind spirit Pesci and the mid-ranking fire spirit Takan were gathered together, as if they were stationed at a military camp.

“… What did you say?”

[You can’t leave this alone, Lady Yennekar.]

It had always been the case that they would report, one by one, on trivial things that occurred in the northern forest.
But recently, it felt like the stories the spirits brought up regarding Ed had been increasing in number. 

As for Yennekar, she listened to those stories with a sense of unease, though she didn’t particularly hate listening to them.

However, today’s breaking news as the spirits were chatting amongst themselves came out of the blue.

[There’s no way to know when that firefox-like girl will strike again.
If we don’t get our hands dirty…]

[What are you going to do with your hands?]

Charis, a low-ranking wind spirit in the shape of a sparrow, flapped her wings as she vented her anger.
Meanwhile Pesci, a spirit in the shape of a lion, kept responding to her politely.

[This is something for Lady Yennekar to decide.
What can we do about it?]

“Wait a minute.
What are you talking about? They kissed?”

Yennekar, who could not follow along with the story, asked again.
But this time Takan, who was lying around the zelkova tree with his huge body, responded.

[I saw it, too.
It was quite passionate.
As expected, youth is great.]

“……”

[The firefox-like woman knows how to play with a person's heart.
A game of push and pull, to stimulate one’s ticklish heart… I was watching Ed, and if it weren’t for that guy being the way he is, she would have gone overboard.]

“What are you even talking about?!”

[Are you going to make me repeat what I already said, Lady Yennekar? I’m saying that I think the firefox has crossed the line.]

“What about Ed? What was his reaction?!”

[Oh, that’s a question that gets straight to the point.
When I looked at him, it seemed that he kept his distance.
Even though he kissed her, his expression didn’t change one bit… I was quite amazed by what I saw.]

As if to console the stunned Yennekar, Takan continued to talk in his serious and profound tone. 

[He took it so coldly.
Just watching it made me cringe.
I couldn’t believe that his reaction could still be so cold after all of that.
It must be either one of the two things.
The fallen aristocrat was either a eunuch, or he doesn’t see her as a woman at all.]

“Th-That’s… A relief…”

Yennekar tried to catch her breath, before she suddenly gulped it down.
A relief.
Just what was a relief? Was this really the time to catch her breath, saying it was a relief?

[Takan, I think you are being too straightforward.
As always.]

[Geez, why do you always gotta do this, Pesci? It would be worse for me to be considerate, constantly changing my words around.
It didn’t look like you were all that relieved, Yennekar.
Well, it’s not exactly great that that fallen aristocrat is trying to distance himself from that firefox to such an extent.]

“… What?”

Takan was a high-ranking spirit, who had lived for such a long period of time that it would be impossible to count by hand.
Seeing all sorts of people throughout his life, he could naturally see through anyone.

[In my experience, that firefox-like girl is the type who gets more obsessed the more she gets knocked down.
Just as she seems to be a human full of greed… Once she decides to make someone her own, she will take out their liver, gallbladder, and rest of their insides all for herself.
If you don’t do something, he’ll be taken away, Yennekar.]

“But… But even then… You said that Ed’s reaction was cold…”

[Usually, guys like him are good at offense, but weak in defense.
No matter how stubborn of a person he may be, as long as she keeps pushing with all her heart then… What I’m trying to say is that, ultimately, there’s no such thing as a fortress that won’t collapse.]

As Takan started to grow uncomfortable with the way he was laying down, he adjusted himself.
The low-ranking spirits around him were swept away.
Whenever he would change the position of his gigantic body, all the other spirits would have to keep their eye out to not fly away.

[Like a princess in a fairytale, if you shyly sit around falling in love thinking ‘Someday he’ll look after me~’, do you think that relationship can ever come about? Not in real life.
There’s a rule that you need to get filthy and fight dirty to win.]

[Takan, don’t you think your way of talking is too old and crude.]

[Did I say something wrong?]

[It’s not wrong, but… You could phrase it more nicely, you know.]

[Why should I have to change up the way I speak? That’s too frustrating.]

Takan swung his tail as he moved his reptilian-like eyes towards Yennekar.

Yennekar had already turned pale from Pesci and Takan’s words.

[Anyway, Yennekar.
Don’t just sit around doing nothing.
Start making some progress.
I heard that you agreed to teach him some spirit-type magic.
There will be a reason for you two to be alone for a while.
Are you planning on wasting such a great opportunity?]

“E-Even so… I don’t know what to do…”

[What do you mean you don't know.? Then next time you meet, you’ll have to start with a kiss.
Since you’re falling behind, it’s fine to get a little angry and impatient, Yennekar.]

At that moment, as she started to let her image run wild, she opened her mouth and leaned back against the zelkova tree again.
She wasn’t exactly being interrogated, but she still stepped back as if she was being pushed.
Stuttering out she responded,

“Wh-why would you say something so shameful…?!”

[The fact is, that firefox randomly kissed him out of the blue.
That situation doesn’t even make sense in the first place.
Something like that has already happened, so are you going to keep sitting down, smiling kindly?]

[Takan… Aren’t you asking too much from Yennekar, who is so innocent?]

[Well, wouldn’t it be a good thing if it all goes well? I’m not really fond of that fallen aristocrat, but… Well, for a male he is pretty good.
He seemed to be born with a calm nature, and he was able to cut off my head while I was under the influence of Berserk… And he gets along decently with Yennekar, who is quite emotional.]

[Seriously… Please refrain from making those comments.
It sounds like you’re trying to find a groom for your granddaughter.]

[Well, it can’t be helped, since I’m old.]

The pace of the story…

‘I can’t keep up with the pace of this story,’ is what Yennekar thought as her thoughts grew troubled.

‘Do… Do I really have to do something? But what am I supposed to do…?’

For Yennekar, who got overwhelmed just by holding his hand, kissing was in a realm far away from hers.

If it were a situation where she needed to consider doing something more… she would need to overcome the fear of something so massive and indescribable… The so-called cosmic horror realm. 

Perhaps seeing Yennekar break into a cold sweat, the mid-ranking wind spirit Pesci added a few words as well.

[Well, you don’t have to be so nervous about it, Lady Yennekar.
I don’t know about that part Takan was so rudely referring to, but… I felt a strange sense of comfort in the way young master Ed was treating you.
Much different than how he treated that firefox.]

“… Really?”

[Yes.
I’m not just saying that.
Certainly, if you look at it carefully, with sharp eyes… Ed seemed somewhat comfortable when dealing with you alone.
With the other first year students, it felt like he was drawing some type of psychological line.
However, it seems that he hasn’t done the same with you.]

The detailed Pesci knew about that difference intuitively, but he couldn’t manage to describe what that feeling actually was.

Ed’s light and comfortable behavior when dealing with Yennekar was only because she was someone that was no longer a part of the main storyline.

Unfortunately, nobody there realized just how powerful of an advantage that was.
In the first place, there was no way for them to realize that.

[That’s why you don’t have to be in such a rush, Lady Yennekar.
After all, you are most charming when you are being yourself.]

“… Is that so? Really? E-Even though Lortel is so aggressive, you’re sure Ed won’t budge…?”

[……]

“Why?! Why didn’t you answer?! Why?!”

Pesci knew that there was no way to know what the result of hastily agreeing with her would be.
Pesci couldn't give her any more insurance than that.

Unfortunately, that would only raise Yennekar’s level of anxiety.

[Ehhhh! You guys are all so frustrating.]

Yennekar was fiddling with her hair, deep in thought about what to do.
Pesci was awkwardly scratching his back on the tree trunk.

‘Can’t we just drop the subject already? Even though it may be an old-fashioned way of thinking, it was still correct.’

While having such a fleeting thought, Takan kept his mouth shut—as if to say, ‘There’s nothing more to say.’

[Come to think of it, I sensed a strange flow of magic power coming from the outer part of the northern forest.
We should check it out when there’s time.]

That’s right, the reason that all the spirits and Yennekar had gathered and were reporting regularly was to make sure there were no abnormalities or difficulties in regards to the spirits.

Recently, news of the fallen aristocrat seemed to have changed the focus from that.
However, Takan brought them back on topic.

“… Hm?”

[It seems to be a magic circle related to Celestial magic, as it’s only active at night.
Merilda is figuring out the exact location.
If you haven’t been seeing much of her these days, it’s because of that.]

“Does it seem dangerous?”

[Well… It doesn’t look particularly dangerous, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a look.]

Although Yennekar was just a student, who didn’t have to take any sort of responsibility to the safety of the school, the events taking place in the northern forest weren’t something that she could ignore as an elementalist.

She had to stay at the school for at least another two more years, until she was a fourth year.
As such, she can’t afford to fail to pay attention to the northern forest, which is the home to all of the spirits.

[I’ll explain the details later.
Next time you meet that fallen aristocrat, you must produce some plan—like giving him a kiss or something.
Otherwise, you should just give up on him.
Something like that.]

At that moment, Yennekar began to blush beet red as she kicked Takan.
Though her lashing out at him in embarrassment like that didn’t even hurt Takan’s body.

Yennekar knew it as well, but she had to do something, even though it might not work.

[In the first place, what do you want her to do, Takan? If the firefox girl has already gone so far, there’s nothing left to do.
If she finally kisses him now, then she will just be considered a latecomer.]

[That's quite a sharp point, Pesci.
Even though I told you to go ahead and do something like that, it doesn’t necessarily have to be anything as intense as what she did.
Rather, it wouldn’t even be a bad idea to bring out a more innocent and refreshing appearance instead.
Anyway, this is a situation where you need to make some type of move…]

[Oh…]

For Takan, who was quite stubborn and stereotypical in the way he thought, it was a pretty good point.
Even Pesci had to agree.

‘Your charm is more important than your actions.’

[But Yennekar… Try thinking it over.
What do you think…? What do you feel, thinking of the scene and exciting situation, being with him…?]

He knew that it would be hard to get a plausible answer out of Yennekar, as she was already overloaded, but he couldn’t help but ask.

What was Yennekar’s picture of romance like? It was really important to confirm the point, for the sake of her future progression.
It was something that required more courage than you would think, as it was embarrassing to reveal one's own fantasies.
However, it was something that had to be clearly decided on.

Yennekar, who was at her limit, leaned against the trunk of the zelkova tree… Difficulty ended up forcing out an answer.

“… A relationship where we support each other…”

[……]

[……]

In the first place, that was just the type of person their master was.

Realizing that fact again, both Takan and Pesci had no choice but to let out deep sighs.

 

* * *

 

 

“Okay… Ahh~.
Say Ahh~.”

“Ahh~.”

I blew on the soup before putting it into Lucy’s Mouth.
The small spoon fit perfectly inside her small mouth.

Lucy ate the soup as if she were a baby bird eating its food… She swallowed it in a gulp, then stuck out her tongue.

‘Eughk-! Gross-!”

“As expected, it's hard to get any sort of flavor without having a variety of spices.
Should I put off on my training until I can expand the ingredients I have to work with?”

“Don’t use other people like tasting machines.”

With my blood boiling, I stood back up on my feet and poured the rest of the soup back into the pot, no longer caring.

Lucy may have not looked like it, but the flavor of it was actually quite high class.
However, it was hard to make a variety of dishes with stronger flavors—like spiciness, saltiness, or sweetness—with just the preserved foods I had in storage.

Still, in order for me to properly raise my cooking skill proficiency, I needed to cook proper dishes more often.
I couldn’t just make preserved foods.

However, I felt like my palate had deteriorated quite a bit since I started living out in the wild.
I couldn’t help but ask other people, who had better palates, to taste test for me.

Still, considering the impact of the Cooking Skill’s proficiency on the Dexterity stat, I couldn’t simply neglect it… However, no matter how diverse the ingredients I had available might be, it always seemed to be lacking.

 

 

[Life Skills Details]

Grade: Intermediate Craftsmen

Specialized Fields: Woodworking

 

Handicraft Lvl 14

Design Lvl 9

Collecting Skills Lvl 12

Woodworking Lvl 13

Hunting Lvl 10

Fishing Lvl 7

Cooking Lvl 6

Repairing Lvl 5

 

 

 

“Hm…”

After finishing chopping up the firewood for the day and sweating up a storm, I went to check on my Life Skills.

I tried to check on my Production Skills as much as possible as well, since it was an important groundwork towards my growth.
A new problem that had come up recently was the gap between the proficiency of my skills.

As I said, the higher the skill’s proficiency was, the slower rate of growth.
The Dexterity Stat, which I had the highest number of stats in, was heavily connected to my Life Skills proficiencies.
That’s why the growth rate of my Dexterity Stat had inevitably slowed down.

That was why it was necessary to raise my lower-proficiency skills as much as possible.
After all, compared to my other skills, its growth rate was still okay.

I felt like I was going to need to start raising my beginner production skills, which I hadn’t done yet, as well as training the other skills that were lagging behind—such as cooking and repairing… The problem was, I was too busy just trying to get by with my life as it was.

I wanted to spend some of the money I was promised from Lortel on things like ingredients and daily necessities, but… I didn’t want to waste any money on consumables when the production of my cabin wasn’t even complete.

“As expected… There isn't enough time…”

To make matters even worse, school had started.
I could only spend about five or six hours a day on survival activities.
But that was only possible if I actually fell asleep when I was tired.

It was time for me to think more on how to efficiently manage my survival activities.

“As for the storyline… It's probably still fine.”

The worst thing that had happened so far was Elte’s early dismissal.
I still wasn’t sure of the cause, but at least the problem was somehow taken care of.

I didn’t know what type of effect this incident would cause, but for the moment there didn’t seem to be any noticeable changes.

Whenever I had the chance, I was making sure to keep a close eye on the main characters of the story.
Thankfully, there didn’t seem to be any problems with them.

In the end, the most important characters in the main timeline were the protagonist and the four heroines.

Taylee was… Well, he was part of the combat department, so I didn’t see him too often.
However, the rumors suggested that he was no longer considered a failing student.
With his current talent and spirit, he might even be able to enter Class B by third year.

‘Companion Ayla’ seemed to be doing her role of supporting Taylee.
When I asked around about her, it seemed that she was always sticking close to Taylee, worrying and supporting him.

‘The Princess of Benevolence Penia’ also seemed to be doing well, without any problems.
Though, it was almost time for her to start her clash with Lortel.
I needed to keep an eye out for that.

‘The Golden Daughter Lortel’ was the most unstable situation, as I didn’t know what type of changes would occur due to Elte’s early dismissal.
Apart from that, there didn’t seem to be a change in her plan.
She was still trying to take control of the Sage’s Seal.
As she had to take the role of Act 2, Chapter 10’s mid boss, I had no choice but to pray that there would be no major abnormalities in regards to her.

As for Clarice… She wouldn’t be starting school until next year, so I didn’t have to worry about that.

For the time being, I had no choice but to watch the situation as if I were walking on thin ice.

Above all else, against Glast—the final boss of Act 2—Taylee’s Swordsmanship skill was needed.
That was the only way he would be able to be damaged.
In the first place, Celestial magic had a unique structure, so it was hard to control with magic power alone.

Taylee’s influence was important, but the behavior of the faculty was also that important.

“I’ll have to set a date and time to check them out.
But… I need to make sure to not get involved more than necessary.”

Anyway, the work that I had to do immediately was to check the traps and dress the meat.
I stretched my shoulders as I walked into the woods.

With the cabin’s chimney completed, I would be able to live a stable life.
Let’s cheer up…

 

* * *

 

“I have gathered all the records of the case here, Assistant Professor Cleoh.”

“Thank you, Anise.”

One of the biggest difficulties for a first-year assistant professor was trying to find an assistant that would work for you.

Only a few students would actually want to be assigned a new professor as a supervisor, so compared to veteran professors, there wasn’t a lot of willing manpower.

For Cleoh, Anise was a student that she was grateful for.
She had a gentle personality, a neat way of taking care of things, and was a model student who didn’t judge a professor by their experience, respecting them all equally.

“There wasn’t anything else from the school’s inspection department?”

“Yes, that’s correct.
If you need anything else, please feel free to call me any time.”

With a bright smile, she waved to Anise as she took her leave.
Anyway, Assistant Professor Cleoh was also a professor, so she had to maintain at least some level of respect towards her.

Though in fact, Cleoh was often perceived as a close sister rather than a dignified professor.
But with that said, there was no way for her to actually be that close to a student.

“Haah…”

Cleoh dropped her head on top of the piles of paper again.
There were more files than she had expected regarding the Occupation of Ophelis Hall incident.
She read through them carefully, but she still couldn’t get rid of that uneasy feeling.

From the perspective of being the youngest professor, who was in charge of all sorts of chores, she thought about doing things half-heartedly… Though at the end of the day, some part of her had an uneasy suspicion that kept on bothering her.

For some reason, it didn’t feel like everything had been completely figured out.

Checking Elris’ records, sorting out the incident by time, and then checking the witness testimonies…

The story itself came together well, but why did it still feel like some piece of the puzzle was missing?

“In the first place, just how much do I need to worry about coming to a proper conclusion…? I’m so tired that I feel like I’m going to die…”

It was just a regular chore that Professor Glast had left behind, so why couldn’t she just finish it up roughly, report back to Professor Glast, and be done with it.

She kept on thinking about it, but in the end Cleoh had a personality where she couldn’t finish things half-heartedly.

“Hmmm… Hmm…”

She kept looking at the files while worrying about that sense of discomfort.
It was like she could feel the presence of a black curtain that hadn’t been revealed yet… Was that just an overreaction? Did she read too many novels full of conspiracy theories?

Even then… If she felt that something was off, it was still better to solve it to the end.

Cleoh thought it would be best to meet with the ‘Additional Investigation Subjects’ listed in the file and hear their side of the story.

Ed, Yennekar, and Ziggs.

She wondered if there really was a black curtain behind this entire incident, but… there was no harm in being extra careful.

“Yennekar and Ziggs are quite famous, so I get that.
But Ed… Ed… I feel like I've heard that name often before…”

Then she remembered his full name, the one that he was no longer referred to by.
Ed Rothstaylor.

A descendant of the Rothstaylor family, who was now an excommunicated fallen aristocrat.

“……”

Cleoh quietly looked down at the files, stroking her chin.
Though she couldn't see it… It felt like… The bottom of the iceberg was right there.

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