Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume4 Chapter1

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Chapter 1: Travel Preparation

Part 1

*Chirp, chirp...*

The twittering of birds from inside the «Spirit Forest» that surrounded the academy could be heard within the dorms.

"Mm..."

Opening his eyes and rising up from his bed, he found his own half-asleep face reflected in the window glass.

His black hair was ruffled from sleeping. He also had an insecure look in his eyes.

Compared to the innocent looks in his dream, his impression had changed greatly.


Four years ago... huh?

It had been a long time since he last had a dream about that period of time.

It was probably the first time he had one since coming to this academy.

To be frank, it was a memory he did not even want to recall...

Kamito unintentionally cast his sight down to his left hand, where a spirit seal was engraved.

The seal of the darkness spirit— the left hand which grasped victory at the Blade Dance three years ago.

Now I am trying to return to that arena once more.

With the Blade Dance drawing near, he was probably feeling emotionally overwrought without realizing it.

That must also have been why he had a dream about that period of time.

As he was about to get off his bed―

"......"

Kamito noticed something.

His body felt strangely heavy.

Something soft and pleasant was mounted on top of his waist.

"......?!"

Startled, Kamito flipped his blanket vigorously.

And then.

"Fua... Good morning, Kamito."

"E-Est?!"

A lovely voice rang, just like a bell.

The one straddling Kamito's waist— was a silver-haired beauty.

She had mysterious violet eyes. Her skin was white like freshly extracted milk.

The figure in question, who was rubbing her drowsy-looking eyelids, was just as lovely as a snow fairy.

The sword spirit Est. She was Kamito's contracted spirit, and was also entitled «Demon Slayer».

Apparently, she had snuck into Kamito's bed without him knowing.

On top of that, her attire was—

"What's wrong, Kamito?"

Still straddling his waist, Est looked down at him expressionlessly.

"H-Hey, your attire..."

Est was fully naked― No, she was not.

She was dressed up properly.

However—

"Kamito?"

Est tilted her head blankly. Kamito averted his eyes in a fluster.

Est was wearing Kamito's uniform shirt over her naked body.

She was probably not wearing underwear. Her attire was what called a naked-shirt[1].

From the exposed bosom, her slightly exposed white skin was strangely captivating.

The cuffs were big and excessive, but they gave him an unnecessary maniacal feeling nonetheless.

"Wha—? Est, why are you wearing my uniform?"

"Kamito told me that I can't sleep naked together with you."

Est replied expressionlessly.

Kamito was startled as soon as she tightly grabbed the chest area of the shirt.

"Yeah, I did tell you so."

Being at his wits' end, Kamito groaned.

"But please, at least put on some panties."

"...Pan...ties?"

"Why are you making that wondering face?!"

It might be the case if spirits have the habit of wearing knee-socks, but do not have the habit of wearing panties.

...Nah, Restia did wear underwear properly.

Just when he was thinking about that―

"Hm?"

Suddenly, Kamito felt something out of place about Est's appearance.

It was not just about her wearing a naked-shirt― There seemed to be something very different about Est this morning.

Kamito intently examined Est's whole body.

"Kamito... Um, if you stare at me that much, I'll get embarrassed."

The expressionless Est blushed in an unusual manner, squirmed on top of his waist and rubbed her knees together.

At that moment, Kamito finally realized it.

From the shirt-tail, her white thighs slightly came into sight.

And then came her slender and smooth ankles like sculptures made of marble.

What Est was wearing— wasn't her usual knee-high socks.

She was wearing short socks, of which the length was just about up to her ankles.

"Est, what's with those socks?"

"Well, I thought Kamito would be pleased with these kind of socks."

With her face still red, Est firmly pinned down the shirt-tail.

This was his first time seeing Est making such an expression.

It appeared that to her, exposing her bare feet was really embarrassing.

"Kamito, are you turned on by my short socks?"

"Nah, because I don't have such a maniacal fetish, you know?"

"...I see. That means this is still not enough to make you satisfied."

Est dropped her shoulders, seemingly disappointed.

"Still, it is quite impossible for me to show you my bare feet."

"I'm telling you, I don't have such a fetish."

Kamito groaned and shook his head. He really could not understand the spirits' sense of shame.

Even so―

It was the truth that his heart pounded at Est's expression of blushing and being bashful in an unusual manner.

The sword spirit was always calm and expressionless.

That was exactly why he wanted to try seeing more of her bashful expression.

What will happen if I touch them, I wonder?

Suddenly, Kamito's mind was tempted.

Anyhow, it was because Est, not any other girl, was bashful to this extent.

What would happen if he touched her bare feet? —He wanted to try seeing it.

"......"

Kamito quietly reached out his hand—

*Coochy*.

He tickled Est's small foot.

"...Hyan!"

A sweet voice leaked out from her lips.

Est's body bent with a start.

"...Kamito, what are you doing?!"

"Hm? I'm massaging you."

*Coochy coochy*.

"Hya...a-n..."

Twisting her body, Est was in agony, seemingly tickled.

Such a reaction was so cute that it drove Kamito to―

*Coochy*. *Coochy coochy coochy*.

"...A-n, please... Stop it..."

"No. This is your punishment."

"...Punishment?"

"Because Est is a bad girl for sneaking in my bed as she pleases."

*Coochy coochy*.

"Ann, Kami...to... Forgive... Me."

Tears were shed from Est's limpid eyes as she pleaded while gasping.

...As expected, she now looked a little pitiful.

"Have you reflected on your behavior?"

"Y...es..."

Kamito ceased tickling, and Est fell lying face-down in exhaustion.

Kamito gently held Est back as she flopped onto him.

"...Kamito is so mean."

Est pouted her lips in an unusual manner.

"My bad. Est is just so cute... So I did it without thinking."

He gently stroked Est's silver hair while making a bitter smile.

Just at that moment.

The room temperature rose instantly.

"...?!"

*Gogogogogogogo...!*

From behind him, a horrifying killing aura... No, heat was emitted.

When he turned around at the unpleasant premonition―

"Y-Y-You guys... Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-What are you doing?"

With her red pigtails standing on end, the beautiful girl was trembling all over.

Her ruby eyes were imposing. Her lips had the color of cherry blossoms in early blooming. The bulge on her chest was just about the same as that of a kid, but that well-balanced proportion of hers was very charming.

Claire Rouge.

If it was appearance alone, she was exceptionally cute, an ultra beautiful girl without any exaggeration.

However, as she was now, she was more terrifying than any ferocious spirit.

"I-I've misjudged you. I-I didn't know you're such a pervert...!"

"Y-You got it wrong, Claire. This is, well, you see..."

Kamito was attempting to give an excuse while in a fluster, but―

For this particular instance, it was absolutely not a misunderstanding. There was no way to make an excuse.

"Kamito-kun, I think your foot-tickling play is indeed too maniacal."

Appearing from behind Claire, Fianna quietly cast her eyes down, seemingly sad.

It seemed like she had seen everything. ...He would rather die now.

"Kamito, how hot would you order me to grill you?"

Claire smiled pleasantly while holding her blazing whip of flameFlame Tongue.

A smile of an angel that would make one unexpectedly fascinated.

"Medium rare... or so."

"Too bad. I only know roasting to cinders."

Claire raised her whip of flame overhead――

"――Turn into cinders already!"

Kamito was blown off towards the outside of the window.

Part 2

And so, Kamito greeted another morning just like usual, but――

After eating breakfast, the situation was a little different.

The bell sounding the start of classes had already rung long ago, yet everyone still remained in their rooms in the dorm.

"This one and this one. This one should be necessary too... Geez, Scarlet. Don't play with the luggage."

"Nyaa?"

The flame spirit in the form of a hell cat was playing by rolling Claire's outfits as if they were a yarn ball.

Seeing a glimpse of white underwear among that lump, Kamito averted his eyes in a hurry.

Claire and Fianna were sitting on each of their beds, packing stuff into their own bags.

They were preparing to head towards Astral Zero, the stage of the Blade Dance.

It had been two weeks since «Team Scarlet» defeated the Silent Fortress ― Velsaria Eva, who was ranked number one within the academy, and obtained the right to participate in the Blade Dance. Together with the two teams that got into the determined representative trio, they were going to fight to the bitter end several days from now on as a representative of the Ordesia Empire.

"Claire, did you get enough sleep yesterday?"

"Of course. Keeping your physical condition in control is the basics for an elementalist after all."

Claire nodded while holding back from yawning, which she had already been doing often.

Perhaps because of her sense of responsibility as the team leader, Claire had recently been reading a large number of tactical books and documents related to spirits, which she had borrowed from the library, until the dead of the night.

"Don't push yourself too hard. We won't know the battle systemregulation until an oracle of the Elemental Lords is issued."

"Yes, I know. Still, it's necessary to prepare countermeasures in advance. Those who participate in the Blade Dance are the most elite elementalists representing each country―― It won't be so easy that you can win without countermeasures. Besides, that the strongest blade dancer is also taking part in this tournament after all."

"...Yeah, you're right."

Kamito nodded with a bitter face.

The strongest blade dancer ― Ren Ashbell.

The winner at the Blade Dance three years ago.

...Not me, but another Ren Ashbell.

Who exactly was she? And what was her goal...?

He had to figure that out.

Kamito tightly clenched his left hand, which was covered in a leather glove.

Regardless of what her objectives might be, there was no doubt that the transformed Restia was acting together with her.

"And you, are you done with packing already?"

Holding on to the nape of Scarlet, who was struggling and mewing――

This time it was Claire who asked.

In contrast with Claire's traveling bag, which was filled up till the point where it was about to burst, Kamito's bag was small.

"Yeah, I don't have much stuff to carry after all."

Kamito, who was wandering aimlessly until just two months ago, carried with him almost no personal belongings.

A few daggers used for throwing and, it wasn't baggage but―― he had the elemental waffe, the sword «Terminus Est», in the sword-belt on his hips. Est was offended by what happened this morning and went to sleep in her sword form. ...It was not likely for her to wake up anytime soon.

But then again, if one was to offend a high-ranking spirit of Est's level, normally one must be ready for the kind of damage like a town being destroyed.

"......"

For those two, it seemed that they still needed more time to pack.

...Well, they are girls of noble status after all.

They probably needed various things that a guy like Kamito would have no idea about.

Claire had been randomly stuffing in a bunch of canned peaches for a while, but that made him feel a little uneasy.

"Hm?"

Suddenly, Kamito cast his eyes down the floor, where stuff was strewn all over the place.

There were some books that looked like novels mixed among tactical books and documents related to spirits.

Having too much time to spare, Kamito casually picked up one of them.

'The wandering prince and the imprisoned princess'―― A romance novel aimed at teens, with many illustrations in it.

(Seriously, it's surprising that Claire likes this kind of stuff.)

When he tried skimming lightly through its first part out of curiosity――

"Wha-?!"

Kamito's face turned red in a flash.

The contents of the book were about a beautiful princess who got abducted by a cruel prince and had all sorts of things done to her that could hardly be expressed in words――It was that kind of hardcore stuff.

"Y-You... H-Have you been reading this kind of stuff?!"

"Eh?"

Claire turned around.

And then, when she recognized what Kamito was holding in his hands,

"Fuaaaa, g-g-g-give it back! What the hell are you reading without permission?!"

Thump. Thud.

She hit him with the peach cans in her hands.

"Whoa... Are you planning to kill me?!"

"It's your punishment for peeping into a m-maiden's secret! You deserve to die ten thousand times!"

"Then don't leave your maiden secret on the floor."

"S-Shut up~! Idiot! Pervert!"

Bursting into tears, Claire hit him repeatedly and violently.

...At this rate, he might lose his life before participating in the Blade Dance.

"Hey, you are being annoying."

"B-But Kamito――"

Taking the chance when Claire turned towards Fianna――

Kamito opened a page of the book and showed it in front of Claire.

It was a page containing an illustration in which the princess, the heroine of the story, was being tied up with a rope and getting whipped.

"...?!"

"Isn't Claire more of a pervert?"

"...Eh?"

Claire's shoulders turned stiff with a start.

"A noble young lady reading such a vulgar book, don't you feel any shame?"

"W-Well, um..."

The ojou-sama blushed and mumbled in hesitation.

Upon seeing Claire in such a state――

Kamito got a feeling of wanting to play around with her a little.

STnBD V04 031.jpg

(...Well, there I go wanting to tease her again.)

It was probably because her act of blushing in embarrassment looked strangely cute.

Moving his face close to Claire's ear, he whispered softly.

"I wonder how everyone will think if they learn that the ojou-sama, whose test results are also top-class, enjoys reading this kind of obscene books."

"Fuaa, wh-wh-wh-what are you saying?!"

"Could it be that you want to get things like stuff in this book done to you?"

"Th-That's not true! How could I want to be tied up like this?!"

"You know, this page has a fold on it."

"...~Fuaaan!"

A tiny cloud of steam erupting from her head, Claire crawled into her bed.

"...Seriously, she's the same green ojou-sama as ever."

Having escaped from his life crisis, Kamito took a sigh of relief, and――

This time he turned towards Fianna.

"Is your preparation going well?"

"...Hmm, it seems that my ritual equipment is going to be bulky no matter what."

Said Fianna while stuffing a large round mirror and a candlestick into her bag.

Fianna Ray Ordesia.

She was the second princess of the Ordesia Empire, and also the princess maiden ranked second at 〈Divine Ritual School〉, a training institution for Queens who served the Five Great Elemental Lords.

A genuine princess, who was once even chosen as a candidate for the Queen of the Elemental Lord of Flame.

However, she was by no means haughty, and was very easy to talk to.

Strictly speaking though, she was at a social status where Kamito and the like were not even allowed to look at her face.

"If you don't mind, I'll lend you a hand. Can I pack the stuff around here however I want?"

"Yes, that will be of help."

Kamito sat down on the bed, where stuff was all over the place, and started stuffing a bag with all kinds of equipment that appeared to be used in rituals.

Rosaries, royal goblets, folding fans, whips, candles, and even things that looked like beast ears and tails――

(Are these things really equipment for rituals?)

Such a question suddenly flitted through his mind, however--

(Well, I'm also just a beginner when it comes to princess maidens' rituals after all.)

――That was when his hand, which reached out casually, grabbed something.

A smooth and nice touch of cloth.

(...What's this?)

Knitting his eyebrows, he tried holding it up before his eyes, and then――

"...?!"

Kamito turned stiff in that posture.

It was a glossy black piece of cloth.

A thin lace embroidery with a rose pattern on it.

The material was probably silk. There were thin strings attached at both ends of the cloth piece.

"Err..."

Cold sweat gradually emerged on Kamito's forehead.

A high class-looking black pair of underwear.

On top of that――

(Wh-Why is there a hole here?!)

It wasn't torn off. For some reason, there was an unnatural cut at the center.

(This seems to have no meaning as underwear――)

"Ka-Kamito-kun?!"

"Ah――"

Suddenly, his eyes met Fianna's, who raised her face at him.

Kamito was still unfolding the black pair of underwear in front of him.

"......"

"......"

"Um..."

Fianna's face turned bright red――

"D-Do you... hate a princess who would wear this kind of shameful underwear?"

She asked him with upturned eyes.

"N-No, I mean, my bad...!"

With his heart pounding, Kamito hurriedly put the underwear back inside the bag.

"Wh-Why do you have such underwear?"

"I went and bought it on an impulse... b-but it is indeed embarrassing."

She muttered with her face still bright red.

...It seemed that she really was embarrassed.

This princess always said shocking things and teased Kamito, but she was actually a green girl, just like Claire.

"...I wonder... if that was a little too daring."

"Y-You're right. A little... yeah."

Ahem, or so Kamito coughed.

What blew away that awkward atmosphere for them was a voice which could be heard coming from outside the room.

"Geez, you're still preparing, Claire Rouge?"

A somewhat high-pitched and elegant voice.

The one who appeared in front of the room was――

Claire's rival and classmate in her Raven classroom.

It was Rinslet Laurenfrost, the demon ice elementalist.

She had dazzlingly beautiful platinum blond hair. Her emerald green eyes were topped by lovely eyebrows.

At a glance, she appeared to be a proud ojou-sama, but Kamito knew that she was a very kind and caring girl.

"Ojou-sama, I'm sleepy~"

"Geez, Carol is always such a sleepyhead."

The one being dragged by her was Carol the maid.

"Ojou-sama, you know that unlike you, my blood pressure is low... Hwa."

Apparently she had been woken up by Rinslet this morning.

...She was the same useless maid as ever.

"Rinslet, what is that thing?"

Claire, having finally revived, asked thus.

Rinslet was carrying a largish wooden box in her hands.

"Hmph, it's a tea set of highest grade. A lady of the Laurenfrost family must stay elegant at all times."

Rinslet proudly combed her platinum blond hair upward.

"You know what, we aren't going out to play."

Claire shrugged her shoulders in amazement.

And then, this time they could hear Ellis' voice coming from outside the window.

"What are you lot doing?! It's already one hour until the gathering time, you know!"

"You're just too early!"

Claire turned at the overly serious knight captain and yelled.

(...Unifying this team seems to be quite a long-term difficult task.)

Kamito shrugged his shoulders with a sense of irony while putting the baggage in order.

Part 3

One hour later.

Members of Team Scarlet gathered in front of the〈Stone Circle〉, which was their rally point.

It was a〈gate〉to Astral Zero located within the premises of Areisia Spirit Academy.

This historic ruin itself was something that had been in existence long before the academy was built, but it was by no means part of the Empire's technology. The status quo was that the technology which preserved the〈gates〉which opened to this world, had been lost completely, excluding such ruins, which remained at various places around the continent.

From now on, representative fighters would be moving to Astral Zero and then boarding a ship prepared by the 〈Divine Ritual School〉, which administered the Blade Dance.

In front of the 〈gate〉, the other two teams that had been selected from the academy had also gathered already.

〈Team Wyvern〉, ranked first, was a team composed of only upperclassmen.

They gave each member of Team Scarlet a sharp glance, and then suddenly looked away. They had no intention of getting along――That was probably what they were declaring. Their reaction was natural. After all, although both teams were selected from the same academy, when the Blade Dance actually began, they would become each other's rival.

(Besides――)

With that in mind, Kamito looked at Claire with a side glance.

There was another reason for the glance of the upperclassmen being prickly.

The younger sister of Calamity Queen, who had brought about the unprecedented disaster to the empire four years ago.

There were still many students in the academy with unpleasant thoughts about her existence.

Claire did not seem to particularly care about that, but she was probably suffering in her heart.

"Mu, you guys again――"[2]

Thus a blond girl holding a wooden staff started talking to Kamito.

"'Sup, savage girl. It's been a while."

"Muu, I'm not a savage girl!"

The lovely petite girl puffed out her cheeks in anger.

This person was a member of the third ranked 〈Team Cernunnos〉, whom they had fought against before.

She was from the Druid clan, who grew up in the Spirit Forest and used a powerful 〈Beast Swarm Spirit〉.

As an opponent whom they may fight in the future, she was quite a strong rival.

"I will be sure to crush the likes of you guys underfoot with my 〈Beast Swarm Spirit〉!"

The druid girl held up her wooden staff as she snickered.

And then, heading over there――

"Hmph, so you three teams have finally gathered?"

Teacher Freya Grandol, the manager of the 〈gate〉, came walking briskly.

As she cast a glance up at the clock tower of the academy,

"I'm going to transport all of you to Astral Zero after ten minutes. Now finish saying goodbye to your friends in the meantime."

Saying thus, she started drawing a magical formation inside the 〈Stone Circle〉.

Claire, Rinslet, and Fianna restlessly looked away from each other.

"Th-There's no need to say goodbye or something."

"Th-That's right. We're just leaving the academy for a mere few days after all."

"Y-Yes, that sounds exaggerating."

The three of them simultaneously nodded to one another.

(Come to think of it, all of them had no friends.)

...This ojou-sama group sure had it tough.

(Well, I'm also in no place to say so about people, though――)

Meanwhile, Ellis was surrounded and overwhelmed by a crowd of junior knights.

Her reddish brown eyes were imposing. Her blue ponytail was swaying in the gentle breeze.

Apparently, Ellis would be going to the Blade Dance wearing her knight armor as well.

That was probably her expression of determination of being a representative of the academy and also the Knight Order of the Wind KingSylphid at the same time.

"Captain, please fight for us as well!"

"We're rooting for you!"

"Yeah, I will definitely claim victory!"

Ellis nodded at the words of Rakka and Reicia, her two former teammates.�

They had entrusted Ellis with their dream for the Blade Dance championship.�

And then, one more person――

Kamito knew that there was a girl who had entrusted her with a dream.

Kamito whispered to Ellis, who had returned after saying goodbye to her juniors.

"Ellis, that ribbon looks good on you."

"Y-You think so...?"

Ellis blushed and fidgeted with her fingers.

Binding her ponytail was a white ribbon.

It was something which Ellis' elder foster-sister entrusted to her before leaving the academy.

"Now that I'm wearing this, I feel like Aneue is watching over me."

Ellis suddenly smiled.

Seeing her defenseless face from the side, Kamito spontaneously felt his heart pound again.

"The time has come. Everyone, get inside the 〈Stone Circle〉."

Teacher Freya traced a stone pillar with her fingertips, and blue rays of light gushed forth from the earth's surface.

A 〈Gate〉connecting this world and Astral Zero emerged.

Kamito and his group nodded to each other and stepped inside the shining 〈Stone Circle〉.

Part 4

A dazzling flash of light. And then a fleeting intoxicating sensation as though heaven and earth were turned upside-down.

"H-m..."

Opening their eyes, what first sprang into their field of vision was――�

All kinds of trees in a dense forest, and a grand lake occupying a large area within it.

A lake that looked like the polished surface of a mirror, which existed only in Astral Zero. At the lake shore where water plants grew thickly, countless faint, flickering light orbs were floating and creating a wondrous scene.

"I have come to this lake before, during the academy's training camp."

Claire firmly descended on the muddy ground.

Members of other teams were also sent to the site one after another.

"By the way, where's the ship?"

Kamito looked around the surface of the lake.

A ship-like object was nowhere to be found.

"Where are you looking? Look, over there――"

Claire shrugged her shoulders and pointed at the sky peeking through the gaps of trees.

"Hm?"

When he raised his head――

An outline of a ship was floating in the sky casting its huge shadow on the lake.

"That's... the Bellfahle-class flying ship of the 〈Divine Ritual School〉..."�

Kamito opened his eyes and groaned.

A state-of-the-art flying ship named after the Elemental Lord of Wind.

He had heard about it in the rumors but this was his first time seeing the real thing.

It had the form like that of a streamlined whale. Apparently its power source was a spirit engine made in the Kingdom of Balstan, and they used an over-6000-year-old sacred tree as material for the exterior.

It was the ship which would lead elementalists, who would dedicate their blade dances to the Elemental Lords, to the stage of the 〈Blade Dance〉.

"Kamito, we are definitely going to win the grand prize."

"Yeah."

Kamito nodded, and tightly clenched his left hand.

(...We have crawled all the way up for the sake of gaining the qualification to board that ship.)

Claire, for the sake of learning the truth related to the incident that her elder sister caused.

Kamito, for the sake of regaining the contracted spirit that he had lost.�

Then Ellis, Fianna, and Rinslet――

Everyone at this place was joining in the 〈Blade Dance〉 with their respective wish harbored in mind.

The flying ship caused flashy splashes as it landed on the lake.

Part 5

"――Looks like the boy has already headed over there."

Areisia Spirit Academy, office room.

Greyworth Ciel Mais faced the wall of the room and spoke.

There was no response――However, immediately from inside the wall, a person's shadow emerged as if it was seeping out.

"Yes ma'am. Just a while ago."

It was teacher Freya Grandol, the shadow elementalist.

She approached Greyworth's office desk, and then spoke without hesitation.

"Still, I cannot understand the reason why you, the academy director, would go that far to support that boy."

"What do you mean?"

"His fighting skills are certainly overwhelming, but the 〈Blade Dance〉 isn't something as lenient as to allow someone to win with just that. You should be the one who knows that best."

"Yeah, it's just as you said. The boy still can't win against the strongest blade dancer as he is now. At the very least, I would like to have him awaken before the real war starts, but――"

"What do you mean?"

"Nah, just random silly talk."

Greyworth shook her head as if to evade the question.

"More importantly, has the investigation on that matter been completed?"

"Yes. I would like you to be moderate and stop using me to spy on the army, though."

"I've been feeling sorry about that, you know."

Greyworth shrugged her shoulders, and then Freya rudely threw down the report.

"That's the data about the incident four years ago. After the collapse of the institution in question―― 〈Instructional School〉, there were 14 orphans taken into protection by the order of imperial knights. Rumors say that five of them had been admitted into the special forces of the knight order. The remaining nine died several years later under the effect of the Cursed Armament Seals given to them by the institution, or so they say."

"Still, that means the number doesn't match. It conflicts with the data found at the institution."

"Apparently it was not the case that all orphans were taken into protection by the knight order. Jio Inzagi, who broke into our academy the other day, was also one of the institution's orphans whom the knight order has little information about. It probably won't be strange even if there are still unconfirmed orphans besides him out there."

"I see..."

What came to Greyworth's mind was the eyes of the boy whom she met four years ago.

In the eyes of that boy, who declared indifferently on that day――that he had come to kill the Dusk Witch, there was no hatred, nor was there anger, only an unfathomable nothingness.

(The same kid as the boy back then, huh...)

Young children who got their heart plundered and were raised as battle weapons.

Though they were also elementalists, they were basically different from noble girls who grew up at the academy.

"Academy director?"

"It's nothing. You did a good job. Please continue your investigation as is."

"Seriously, my main job isn't a spy but a teacher, you know."

Teacher Freya once again disappeared into the wall while complaining.

Greyworth gazed outside the window, and then suddenly took a heavy breath.

"A military spirit and an orphan from 〈Instructional School〉―― Is she actually planning to incite war or something?"

The Dusk Witch was succumbing to impatience.

The strongest blade dancer had yet to awaken.

He was certainly strong.

Even in an academy where first-rate elementalists gather, his power was overwhelming.

However, that was, at its best, just a story in the miniature garden called academy.

As he was now, he absolutely could not win against her.

Neither could Ren Ashbell of three years ago do that――

"Please, successor of the demon king―― Because even I don't have much time left now."

Greyworth suppressed her pounding heart as she curled her lips ironically.


Translator's notes and References

  1. Similar to Naked-apron, a naked shirt is where the subject wears nothing but a shirt.
  2. Exclamation for expressing an astonishment or showing unexpectedness�