Kenshin no Keishousha:Volume 2 Chapter1

From Baka-Tsuki
Revision as of 08:16, 4 January 2014 by Thatsjustpeachy (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

There can Only be One Victor!

Status: Incomplete

50% completed (estimated)

   

The day after Kurou had been discharged.

Kurou was standing inside the grove of trees about a hundred metres away from his new house.

Wearing the uniform of the academy, both hands were gripped tightly onto his sword as he lifted it into a raised position.

Without giving off any fighting spirit or vigour, he suddenly brought the sword down in a flash. Returning the sword to the raised position, he repeated swinging his sword.

Obviously, he wasn’t able to practice his swordsmanship while he was in the hospital. Also he had spent the whole of yesterday moving his things around in the new house, so other than cleaning he hadn’t been able to do anything else.

Because he hadn’t been able to do rehabilitation, this training was essential. As expected, his current state was much weaker than normal.

Even so, Kurou didn’t feel like he would lose to Sefi now. Although it might seem a little rude to Sefi, he had the confidence if they were to fight a hundred battles he would win every one of them.

This is your loss, Kurou—

How many times had the Sword Saint Hyouka, who was also his master, said those words to him?

The Seven Swords were a title given to the strongest amongst the Swordies.

Within the Seven Swords, the most brilliant of them was given the title of Sword Saint.

Kurou had spent the better part of seven years crossing blades with her on a daily basis. And each time he had been beaten by her. For the strongest swordswoman amongst the Swordies, there was no way a human brat like Kurou could ever win against her, and Hyouka’s victories were all but a forgone conclusion.

However, he didn’t plan on losing to anyone else other than the Sword Saint. No matter what the circumstances.

Even if his physical ability had gone down, or his body had dulled, Kurou wasn’t going to use those as excuses to lose.

Kurou swung his blade down even harder.

Again, and again, he repeated the motion.

After reaching two hundred repetitions— Kurou stopped.

Tilting his neck slightly, he slowly sheathed his sword. As he had just been discharged from the hospital, it would be best if he didn’t exert himself any more than this. There was a fine line between training and ruining his body.

Using a towel to wipe his sweat, he returned back home.

As today was a Monday, he obviously planned on going to school, but there was still time. Taking a shower now would be a hassle, but at the very least he felt he should wash his face.

Previously home was just a small cottage with very little floor space, but now it was a two story building, so the number of rooms had increased.

The living room, kitchen, bath, toilet and Kurou’s room were located on the first floor. Sefi’s and Hinako’s rooms were on the second floor, Kurou being forbidden up there. As this moment, Kurou didn’t feel like breaking that particular restriction. If he was going to sneak up there, it would only be after he had meticulously planned and prepared beforehand.

Entering the house, he headed to the washroom.

A nice smell wafted over, which probably meant Sefi was in the kitchen cooking breakfast. Cooking was one of her interests, and she was a pretty good one at that. The proof of that was the meal she had prepared yesterday, which had satisfied Kurou.

“It’s great I get to eat good food every day from now on!”

Kurou and Hinako both couldn’t cook. Especially Hinako, who couldn’t even do something as simple as preparing instant ramen. Now that Sefi was here, Kurou felt relief over his eating arrangements.

While imagining what was for breakfast, Kurou opened the door to the washroom.

“…”

“… Hm?”

Kurou tilted his head slightly.

It had totally slipped his mind, but the washroom in the new house also doubled up as the changing room for the bath.

“R-Rou…?”

And because of that, there was nothing strange about Sefi being in the washroom in a stage of undress.

On the contrary, Sefi was the one with a strange look on her face as she stared at Kurou, who had justed entered the washroom.

“Good morning, Sefi.”

“Good morning… Wait, why are you even entering in the first place!?”

Sefi looked like she was just about to take her shower, because she was wearing nothing but a pair of white panties.

As soon as Kurou had entered she had quickly covered her chest with her hands, but the rest of her skin was almost fully exposed. Sefi’s breasts were reasonably big and nicely shaped, and with them wobbling like jelly they looked soft to the touch.

“Well, I was thinking I might as well take a shower.”

“If that’s the case then do it after I’m done!”

“But if we shower together we can save on the water bill, right?”

“I’ll pay for my portion of the water bill, so let me shower alone!”

There was no real need to appeal to him like that, but Sefi was in a panic so she had just blurted out something that didn’t make sense at all.

“By the way, I can’t really see your chest very well so would you mind moving your hands away?”

“I’m keeping them there so you can’t see them!”

She had already removed her bra, so other than her chest being covered by her hands, Kurou had a clear view of everything else. Even so, his selfishness made him unsatisfied even though he was already seeing her hands bra.

“Ah, enough! Why are we talking normally like nothing’s wrong!? Hurry up and get out! If you don’t leave in three seconds, I will smash this changing room and you!”

“So you’re going to go wild again, huh…”

Kurou murmured like it was someone else’s problem.

The truth was, with Sefi’s power, she could easily destroy the whole house, to say nothing of a single room.

“Guess it can’t be helped then…”

Kurou spent two seconds burning the sight of Sefi’s chest into his eyes, before fleeing out of the washroom like a frightened hare in the last second remaining.

It was only because Kurou possessed amazing physical ability for a human that he was able to move that quickly.

“Idiot idiot idiot—!”

He could hear Sefi’s stream of abuse from behind the closed door.

Considering that he had stared at her half-naked body with all his might as well as continued to stay inside the toilet, the fact that Sefi hadn’t resorted to violence was a reflection of her kind nature.

Although, if he did go too far with his sexual harassment, who’d know what Sefi might do then.

“Still, I did get to see something nice this early in the morning…”

“Good for you…”

“Woah!”

As Kurou was having a lewd look on his face, a voice suddenly cut him off.

When he finally noticed his surroundings, Hinako was already standing next to him, staring at Kurou intently.

“As always Kuro, you’re up to your sexual harassment again…”

“Wouldn’t it be an insult to a beautiful lady if I saw her naked figure but turned and ran away? It would make it seem like I had just seen something weird.”

“Kuro, that was a fantastic excuse to give…”

From the bottom of her heart, Hinako was left dumbfounded by Kurou.

Today Hinako was wearing that nurse outfit again. Having said that though, she hadn’t nursed him yesterday. She was just a girl who liked wearing particular outfits without doing any work in particular.

“Hm? If Sefi’s in the bath, why is there such a nice smell of food? Did she already cook breakfast?”

“I made breakfast this morning. It will be ready soon, so please head to the living room.”

“Ehhhhhh, Hinako cooked!? That’s impossible!”

“There’s no reason for you to be surprised to that extent…”

No, there is, thought Kurou as he gazed as Hinako suspiciously.

Based on Kurou’s experience, Hinako could not even discern how to use a vacuum so it was certainly possible that she had never cooked before.

“What happened to this world during my stay at the hospital……”

“Please don’t mention a drastic change occurring to the world just because I mastered a skill. Even a person like me will mature.”

Hinako swiftly turned around and headed back towards the kitchen.

“Uh……”

Hinako cooking, huh————

I should probably have an antacid on hand, thought Kurou as he unexpectedly began to panic.



The living room of their new home was carpeted. Other than the TV, table, and a small cupboard, there was essentially no other pieces of furniture or appliances. It was quite a plainly adorned room.

Kurou was sitting right in front of the table at the center of the room.

“Hey Kuro, please eat while it’s still hot.”

“……”

Hinako emphatically placed a plate down on the table.

The dish consisted of rice, eggs, as well as thinly sliced pork meat. It had been cooked with onions and carrots, plus it was seasoned————in essence it was char siu rice.

Although Sefi had not returned from the shower room yet, it was probably best to eat now before it became cold.

“Thank you for the meal.”

Kurou politely pressed his hands together and proceeded to slowly scoop up some of the char siu rice with a spoon, placing it in his mouth.

“Eh? Not bad.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing, nothing at all.”

Upon noticing Hinako’s teary eyes looking his way, Kurou immediately began denying that there was anything to it.

To have dabbled in the thought of an antacid seemed to be very disrespectful. Hinako performed far beyond expectations in creating an edible dish, thus he stated as such.

Even its rich flavor suited Kurou’s taste. Kurou did not utter a word as he moved the spoon around and scarfed down the char siu rice.

“……Mmm, tasty. Thank you for the meal.”

Kurou set his spoon down and pressed his hands together once again.

“That said, why were you continuously making char siu rice since morning?”

“Jeez, to be questioning me now after you’ve already eaten.”

“Hey Sefi, you done showering?”

Sefi, having exited the showers, entered the living room and sat across from Kurou.

“You live such a sloppy lifestyle Kurou. Having food prepared and served right to you really makes you look like an imbecile. Didn’t you used to say no matter what you eat, it will taste delicious?”

“Whatever do you mean?”

Kurou chuckled as he shook his head.

“Something more delicious than Sefi, such a thing cannot possibly exist in this universe……”

“Now you’re asking for it.”

Sefi tightly clenched her fists while staring him down with an austere expression.

Kurou wanting to someday eat Sefi, that was indeed the truth.

“I’m glad that you like it Kuro. Also, here’s a bento.”

“Huh?”

Kurou was handed a bento box from Hinako, his eyes flickered in surprise.

That slightly larger than usual bento box was jam-packed with char siu rice.

“By the way, for dinner we are having more nutritious char siu rice that is laden with pork.”

“Eh——, that sounds pretty good.”

“Are you serious!?”

Sefi shouted at the top of her lungs while Kurou and Hinako took a glance at each other.

“To think I thought Rou was more ridiculous! Hina, you can’t even make anything else!?”

“Well, for her to be able to make one dish, isn’t that still amazing? If it were me, this cutting, cooking, steaming and such, I could never accomplish such tasks.”

“Then again, Rou is also way too lax about this……”

From the looks of it, Sefi was also quite unpleased with Kurou’s response.

In regards to Kurou’s eating habits, he was not particularly picky when it came to taste.

“For now, Hina and I will just alternate cooking every other day. However, even that is quite unfavorable.”

“How so?”

“My taste buds are quite delicate. I could never eat something as oily as this early in the morning.”

“In that case, couldn’t you just teach Hinako how to cook?”

“Of course, did you think I was going to let her make the same thing every time!?”

Hmm, Kurou pondered as he drank a sip of tea.

He noticed it ever since yesterday. It seemed Sefi and Hinako had already gotten along quite well. With the endearing nickname, “Hina”, it probably served as a proof of friendship.

With the exception of being a bit over the top when making the char siu rice, Hinako’s cooking appeared to be learned through Sefi.

The situation had certainly become quite perplexing.

Sefi and Hinako————who would have ever known that their relations would reach the point where they would live under the same roof. For them to even be conversing was quite unfathomable.

Seventy years ago, at that time the whole world was enveloped in war.

The Great War was at a point where neither side would budge and as each nation exhausted their resources, an extraordinary change suddenly occurred——

Countless portals that were connected to another world had their gates opened up. Following that, the entire world was trampled upon by the Swordies who swarmed in————

The victor of the Great War was the Swordies.

To add to that, the portals disappeared just as instantaneously as when they first appeared. Having lost access to their homeworld, the Swordies decided to turn Japan into their new homeworld and implemented a new government system.

For the Swordies who prevailed and became the dominant ones, they governed the humans————specifically the Japanese. With the prevalence of discrimination, there clearly was a rift between the two sides.

Sefi was the daughter of the four rulers who were at the pinnacle of the Swordie government————she was the princess of the four generals.

On the flip side, Hinako was a human. The difference in status between her and Sefi was poles apart.

Normally speaking, two people like them————wait, including Kurou, having the three of them eating the same meal under the same roof was just unimaginable.

“……Even so, you’re such a good person for eating the char siu rice after all.”

“What nonsense. If it were left aside as such it’d be a huge waste!”

As Sefi was wolfing down the char siu rice, she loudly shouted at Kurou.

“More like if it were Sefi’s leftovers, it would fetch a high price from Kuro……”

“That wasn’t necessary you know!”

It appeared that their relationship had turned for the better. Kurou’s eyes filled with warmth as he gazed at the two girls.

In present day Japan, the way Swordies treated human was always filled with prejudice to some extent.

However, Sefi was a notable exception. Sefi, who was at the zenith of status, had no issues with the lower class humans. Furthermore, she had been friends with Kurou since childhood, so perhaps that contributed to it as well.

No matter how one looked at it, it was great that Sefi had no intentions of behaving in such silly discriminatory ways.

Hinako, because of the unique conditions she was raised under, was unfamiliar with the customs of modern day Japan————such as the discrimination between humans and Swordies. Kurou thought it was also nice that Hinako was not the type to be obsequiously acting inferior.

“Rou, what are you fixated on? Hurry up and finish eating, then let’s go to school————“

“Hmm? What’s the matter Sefi?”

Sefi’s gaze was honed onto one spot. Kurou turned his head and followed her line of sight.

“What a pleasant aroma wafting around this early in the morning. I truly envy your dietary lifestyle, Kurou.”

“……Deputy?”

Kurou muttered.

When did she arrive? A woman was standing at the entrance of the living room.

She was tall and had her gleaming brown hair tied behind her. She wore a black blazer over her white shirt, a tight fitting miniskirt, and a red overcoat draped on as usual. Like a samurai, she had her longsword and dagger hanging by her waist.

“What is a deputy?”

Hinako was not in the least surprised with the intruder as she nonchalantly questioned.

“The deputy is just the deputy. She’s a prestigious member of the Sabers, second only to the director.”

Kurou appropriately answered.

The so-called Sabers was the name of the public security force that Kurou was affiliated with.

The black blazer and overcoat which the deputy was wearing was the uniform of the Sabers.

Within the capital of Japan————Tokyo Swordia, the police would investigate ordinary criminals while the Sabers were responsible for terrorist activities. The cops primarily consisted of humans. In contrast to that, members of the Sabers were practically all Swordies. However, Kurou was the sole human member within the Sabers.

“It’s just as Kurou explained. Oh that’s right, Sefi-sama, this is our first time meeting each other. I’m the Sabers’ deputy, Sabina.”

“……I’m Sefi. Since I’m just a student, there’s no need to be so formal.”

“Understood.”

Despite her nodding, the deputy still had not changed her courtesies. It was a sharp contrast from her perfunctory tone towards Kurou.

“Well, it doesn’t really matter. Deputy, why are you here?”

“Things have gotten quite riled up, I’ll explain later. Just follow me, and Sefi-sama, would you please join us as well?”

“Umm, sure.”

After Sefi nodded, the deputy departed from the living room without waiting for Kurou’s response.

Of course to Kurou, since she was his superior, if she had said to “come with” then he would be obliged to follow.

Kurou and Sefi glanced at each other, and then nodded towards Hinako.

“Will you be ok by yourself Hinako?”

“I believe so.”

Hinako stoically nodded.

Due to certain circumstances, she was now guarded by Kurou. However, Kurou was also hospitalized for two weeks. During that time, there was not a chance that she would be left without a replacement bodyguard.

Although it was not visible, there was someone protecting Hinako from somewhere unbeknownst to them————

Even Kurou knew about that and Hinako probably heard about it too.

“Time to go Kurou.”

Of course, Sefi understood as well.

Right now, there would not be any problems even if Hinako was left alone. Kurou stood up from his seat and walked towards the door along with Sefi.



Surprisingly, the place the deputy brought them to was nearby.

Within the Sword Academy, excluding the main campus that encompassed all grades, there was an additional secondary campus that contained a group of special classrooms and teacher facilities.

“It’s right here.”

The deputy halted right in front of a conference room on the second floor of the secondary campus building.

Stationed in front of the conference room door were two girls that stood like soldiers. Upon seeing the two of them, Sefi revealed an astonished expression.

“Romis, Remis, why are you two……I guess there’s no point in asking.”

The girl standing on the left side of the door nodded in silence to Sefi.

The two known as Romis and Remis possessed nearly matching outer features. One swift look and it was obvious that they were twins. Whether it was their facial complexion or their body type, it was all identical. They were approximately twenty years of age. Appearance-wise they looked a bit inanimate, perhaps due to their stoic expressions. However, they could be considered as pure beauties as well.

Both of them had silver hair extending to their backs. They were wearing a thin, white-toned shirt that had silver lines throughout along with a similar style white miniskirt. Even the scabbard and hilt of their slender swords were white. The only piece that was different was the black mantle draped over their shoulders.

Their attire was the formalwear of the Sword Princess.

Before a Swordie reached eighteen years-old, they can attain the title of Swordsman. The Swordsman title was conferred to them by their masters or school teachers. Kurou was given the title by his master——Sword Saint Hyouka. With the title, one could enlist in the army or enter a police-related occupation that required the use of a sword.

Furthermore, the position that surpassed the Swordsman was the Sword Princess.

Those who are able to attain the title are few and far in between and needless to say, those who did were all exceptional with the sword. Their numbers were scarce, yet Romis and Remis are two Sword Princesses. To add to that, the deputy was one as well.

Kurou’s line of sight shifted away from them as he began sprucing himself up. He used his hands to straighten out his hair and button up his unbuttoned shirt. Kurou understood that the two twin Sword Princesses served as bodyguards for a certain someone.

The person awaiting them was not someone you could just show up all disheveled for.

“Excuse us.”

As Kurou deftly straightened out his appearance, the deputy knocked on the conference room door.

As soon as the “please come in” response was heard, the deputy entered the conference room. Sefi and Kurou followed her inside.

The conference room seemed unusually spacious.

Normally there would be tables and chairs lined up around the room. Here however, there was only one table in the depths of the room. On the table there lay a laptop and a pile of documents spread across it.

The young woman that was sitting there stood up and smiled.

“Welcome Sefi.”

Although she was calm, her voice was quite resounding. She maintained a stern appearance and exuded an intense willpower from her eyes. Her radiant blonde hair was trimmed into a short hairstyle. Her dark blue dress resembled military attire, yet the style was also quite evident from the uniform.

“It’s been a while Onee-sama.”

Sefi walked towards the center of the room and politely lowered her head.

Indeed, the person wearing the dress was a woman named Sylphy, Sefi’s older sister.

She was the eldest daughter of the supreme four generals and she was their successor, hence the reason she wore a military style dress. Moreover, due to the four generals’ pedigree, that family tradition had been kept even until now.

Sylphy was twenty-six years old and although she was still very young, she had assumed the role of a government official.

The four generals were the zenith of the Swordie government and ranked below them were the government officials and the general populace. In fact, the government’s powers consisted of making practically all of the important legislation decisions and the four generals who were above them only handled the more serious cases.

In other words, Sylphy had already become the backbone of the country and it was established that she would be the one to hold the supreme position.

With a well-behaved attitude, Kurou stayed near a window in the room and waited. As a human, he could not act all grandiose and be talkative in front of Sylphy. Even as a Swordie and being in charge of the Sabers organization, the deputy stayed a step behind Sefi.

Of course, Sefi had also discerned this level of subtlety. As a result, only she could engage in conversation with Sylphy. She faced her sister and spoke up.

“Onee-sama, why did you come to the academy?”

“So I could see Sefi……that’s what I would like to say. However, this is not the case. The incident this time even requires the government to set up a committee of inquiry and I was elected as a member.”

Sylphy shrugged her shoulders. She sighed as she sat back in her chair again.

“Of course, it’s Manaka’s————the incident involving the Blazes. It was also determined that the academy where the incident spawned should have an investigation office established. Thus, we’ll be borrowing this conference room.”

As she spoke, Sylphy smiled towards her sister.

Such a smile and that bright, beaming voice would surely bring about an uplift in mood. Sylphy possessed what seemed to be the qualities of a natural born leader.

However, Kurou also knew that Sylphy carried other traits as well……

“Well then, please let me hear the report Kurou.”

“Yes.”

Despite suddenly hearing himself called upon, Kurou did not waver. Since he would not be invited without intention, he predicted that it was bound to happen. He also realized that the deputy probably summoned him to give the report while Sefi was to provide supplementary explanations if needed.

Kurou began explaining the chain of events.

First of all, in the human residential areas of the Outer Human Region of Tokyo Swordia, there were numerous tsujigiri incidents. The criminals of those incidents were first-year students from the Sword Academy who were the first and second ranked academically in the school. Although the victims of the crimes were deadbeats, murder was still murder.

Originally, punitive measures were to be taken for these criminals. However, it was no longer possible.

Migune, the number one ranked student, was found dead on the side of the road. Following that, the second ranked Freya was also killed during the elimination tournament that was set for every grade.

“The person who murdered both of them was a first-year student from the Sword Academy. Her name is Neena.”

She was Sefi’s friend who had braids tied together and wore glasses, which was a rare sight for Swordies.

No, Neena was not an ordinary Swordie. She was————what was known as a Blaze, a race that especially craved combat even among Swordies.

The Blazes and Swordies had hostile relations. However, Neena’s assassination of Migune and Freya was unrelated to the Blaze incident.

Neena’s reason for killing the two was quite meager. Neena could not forgive Migune and Freya who engaged in such trifling matters such as murdering those hooligans. Moreover, to Neena, who was a Blaze, none of the first-years were on par to be her opponent.

“However, from her statements and actions, Neena’s true objective was to kill Sefi.”

“That’s right Onee-sama, Neena truly exuded killing intent towards me.”

“What a dangerous situation.”

Sylphy, who had been tacitly listening to Kurou’s report and then heard Sefi’s supporting claim, changed her expression for the first time. Although Neena was unsuccessful in killing Sefi, there was no way she could just turn a blind eye towards her sister’s perilous encounter.

“Well then, that means the person who assigned her the target was————Sword General Manaka?”

“Yes, Sylphy-sama.”

Sword General Manaka————was someone who Neena looked up to and she referred to her as “Onee-sama”. Having directed Neena to engage in covert operations, Manaka was the mastermind behind it all.

To Kurou, she was his master’s, Sword Saint Hyouka’s, little sister as well as the director, thus making her his superior.

For a human, Kurou was already extremely formidable. Despite that, it was nigh impossible for him to match up against Sword General Manaka in combat. For him to be able to fend her off was already a miracle. At the expense of just a two week stay at the hospital, it must have been a fluke.

“My report concludes here.”

“I see, thank you very much Kurou.”

Sylphy nodded extensively. With Sylphy’s pinnacle status, such displays of gratitude were practically unthinkable towards a human like Kurou.

Perhaps it was because Kurou was affiliated with the Sabers, or maybe it was due to him being the Sword Saint’s disciple?

“So you were immediately hospitalized afterwards, that means you’re not clear on what ensued after that right?”

“Indeed, everything I know from then on was from TV news broadcasts.”

Kurou mannerly nodded.

According to the news, Sword General Manaka had already been stripped of her title.

Manaka and the anti-government faction were in cahoots, she killed Sabers members, and then fled————that was the extent of the reporting. It refrained from disclosing the existence of the Blazes.

“Of course, we are also investigating. Within the members of the Seven Swords, two government chambers, business directors, the wealthy, and within the upper echelons of society, the Blazes who may have infiltrated have been practically left unhindered despite background checks. Not only do we want to uncover the Blazes, we are also forced to examine Swordies and humans who have had relations with Blazes as well as the flow of people and money.”

“Sounds like a headache……”

Such endless investigating would make one feel aggravated just from thinking about it.

“Tell me about it. Of course, we investigate any Blaze related incidents. Although they reside within their so-called ‘refuge’, there are quite a few whose whereabouts are unknown. However, it’s unclear whether or not those untraceable Blazes have been in contact with anti-government organizations. Furthermore, because the Blaze population significantly decreased after the war, it’s unclear how many were confined within the refuge. A lot of records are missing from that place as well.”

Although Kurou had predicted such an outcome, it was still hard to imagine carrying forth that kind of investigating.

“There are plenty of things I’m unsure of, particularly Manaka’s whereabouts. Despite our utmost efforts to track her……”

Sylphy casted a glance towards the deputy who began to speak.

“Even though the Sabers also fielded a small investigative unit to track down our former director, ever since her escape from the Sword Academy we haven’t been able to find her trail. Even if we do encounter her……”

“Containing Manaka would be a daunting task and let’s not even get into arresting her. Assuming we can confirm her place of residence, we’ll come up with countermeasures.”

Sylphy sounded quite exasperated as she ruffled her cheeks.

Specifically what should be done, that was what Kurou had the hardest time grasping. Although she was a traitor, Manaka was undoubtedly selected as a Seven Sword based on her strength. It would still be a massive struggle even if a couple Sword Princesses were utilized in capturing her.

“The Sabers have also added more female members to reinforce our combat squad. Originally, we anticipated Kurou to return to us.”

“Kurou has his studies as well. Even if Manaka is a traitor, she definitely ordered the protection of the daughter of the sun cult founder. Kurou has to continue protecting Sakurai Hinako. Of course, he should also be able to continue going to school without an issue.”

“Are you sure that’s ok?”

Kurou was slightly caught off guard by this.

With the appearance of a Blaze traitor group, Kurou had also considered the possibility of being recalled as a member of the Sabers, especially since Kurou and Manaka’s fates were deeply linked.

“Honestly, even the government is uncertain at to what measures should be taken.”

Sylphy sighed as she continued to ruffle her cheeks.

“I believe we should determine our course of action as soon as possible. However, despite being a member, I’m still quite young. I certainly don’t have the credibility to make such irresponsible remarks towards a situation like this. The situation has clearly altered already.”

“Altered? What’s going on Onee-sama?

Sefi questioned her with a serious expression. From the looks of it, even Sefi was unfamiliar with the details of the situation.

“During these past two weeks, five Swordie officials, or perhaps they were business directors, have been killed.”

“Five people……were they all important individuals?”

“It’s not exactly like that. They all have some sort of status, but it’s not like they’re irreplaceable. Well, I guess you can say the gears of society are now shifting.”

Kurou thought that was quite an overstatement, however he did not voice his opinion. Voicing such thoughtlessness was impermissible.

“And, there’s one peculiar incident out of the five deaths.”

“A peculiar incident?”

Kurou tilted his head.

“Out of these five incidents, four of them were clean one-hit kills. However, in one of those incidents, the corpse was crudely cut apart. I’ve seen the autopsy report as well, it’s akin to an outsider’s swordsmanship. Perhaps they might not even be affiliated with the Blazes.”

“I see……”

Kurou only knew two Blazes. However, those two were exceptional sword wielders who were strong beyond words. It was difficult to imagine the Blazes using such unnecessary sword maneuvers.

“However, there’s another bizarre occurrence. Everyone who was slaughtered was apparently frozen or electrocuted, with that being the last attack they suffered.”

“……Perhaps the murders are all independent from one another?”

“Besides the sword wounds, there were traces of impact wounds from being hit by a truck as well. Basically this one incident is quite shrouded in mystery……however, this was written in the report you submitted before your hospital stay correct?”

“Those were mystic arts.”

Kurou slowly nodded his head.

It was said that in the past, there were three reasons why Swordies attained victory.

One was of course a Swordie’s overwhelming physical capabilities and sword prowess.

The second was mystic arts————controlling flames, ice, and lightning, that sort of magical ability. To be able to attack from afar, they assisted the Swordies in their piercing attack.

Even though practically every Swordie was able to use this sort of power during the Great War, for some reason countless individuals lost their mystic art abilities once the portals closed and their contact with their homeworld was severed.

The generations of Swordies born after the war were innately unable to use mystic arts and could never learn to use them at all.

However, Manaka and Neena, both of whom had battled against Kurou, were able to manipulate the powers of the mystic arts.

“It was said that the mystic arts were originally passed along to the Swordies by the Blazes. For that group to be able to use mystic arts in the present era isn’t really inconceivable. Compared to this, to specifically use mystic arts as their final strike, it’s understandable that this was clearly meant to provoke us. However, this is really what’s concerning. It’s like they are saying ‘come get us.’”

Kurou felt very impressed. For Sylphy to have contemplated about it to such extent, no wonder she became a government official at such a young age. Even Kurou did not really read much into the use of mystic arts. Despite the danger factors, overall this was emblematic of the Blazes.

“Well, that’s why I’m saying that the Blazes are on the move again. Because of that, we must determine suitable measures right away. However, the only thing we are capable of doing right now is just investigating the incident involving Manaka.”

“……Umm, Onee-sama.”

Sefi apprehensively raised her hand.

“Yes Sefi?”

“Why was Neena so intent on killing me? Although, she didn’t seem quite sure herself since she was probably just ordered to do so.”

“Ah, I don’t know but I can deduce a reason.”

Sylphy once again rested her elbows on the table and crossed her hands in front of her face.

“Do you know about the genocide and isolation of the Blazes?”

“Yes.”

Kurou had also heard about this matter. Even among Swordies, the Blazes were particularly adept in battle and were extremely dynamic during the Great War. After the war, they were rejected by the government for their thirst for battle and being too powerful, thus leading to their cleansing.

To add to that, the survivors of the cleansing resided in an isolated area. They were not permitted to wield swords in an effort to curb their dangerous disposition.

“Seventy years ago, the greatest proponent of the cleansing and isolation policy was one of the four generals of the past————Lanafi. Known as the great strategist————she was our great grandmother.”

“Eh? Our great grandmother————so there’s still people carrying a grudge from way back then!?”

Sefi was greatly astonished. In reality, being the one whose life was sought after, it was unthinkable how someone could carry a grudge from over seventy years ago.

“Although it’s regrettable, our great grandmother departed from this world thirty years ago. Hence, it’s very possible that they would target her great grandchildren. Presently within our family, the one whose security measures are the most lacking would be Sefi.”

That statement was understandable, yet confusing at the same time.

The Blazes had been isolated even till now and although they were Swordies with a penchant for swords, they were unable to wield swords or enlist in the police department and military battle squads.

Getting revenge due to the current state of hate and suffering, Kurou could understand such a notion. However……

“You have a puzzled expression there Kurou. You are a notable swordsman, but it seems as if you will never understand a person’s emotions.”

“I apologize, that’s because I’ve been in the mountains every day until a year ago……”

During the seven years he grew up there, he lived together with the Sword Saint and his fellow disciple, Lars. Although they would occasionally be paid a visit by those seeking the Sword Saint, Kurou basically had no interactions with other people.

“Listen up Kurou.”

Sylphy calmly began to speak.

“Grudges don’t necessarily dissipate over time. Just like how you rigorously hone a technique, the fangs of revenge are sharpened over a long period of time. Even among those Blazes who experienced the cleansing seventy years ago, there will be those who will never let go. Perhaps the mastermind behind planning these treacherous acts is that sort of person. These so-called emotions———are unexpectedly unyielding objects.

Sylphy, who had stated as such, appeared to be pretty excited.

Perhaps she too possessed an unyielding heart————Kurou was pretty sure of that.



The door to the conference room opened.

Since the deputy mentioned that she still had work to attend to, she decided to return to Sabers headquarters. With the disappearance of the director, the deputy inherited her responsibilities so the work that she had to do was probably a mountainous task.

If it were possible, Kurou also wished to go back. However, Sylphy still had things to say.

“Sefi-tan!”

“Eh!?”

The moment Kurou directed his eyes towards the door, a peculiar change occurred. He turned his head and noticed that Sylphy was tightly hugging Sefi while frenziedly rubbing against her cheeks.

“W-Wait a sec Onee-sama!”

“Ha——, onee-sama has been really lonely. Despite clearly being able to go to school from our house, Sefi-tan chose to dorm at the school.”

She was unmistakably a sis-con.

Kurou was particularly surprised when the successor of the four generals revealed such a nonsensical expression.

Sylphy was the Sword Saint’s friend. In the past, Sylphy would head to the mountains to visit the Sword Saint. The only reason Kurou and Sefi met back when they were just little kids was because Sefi tagged along with Sylphy.

Of course, when it came to Sylphy’s heavy case of the sis-con syndrome, Kurou was also very knowledgeable on that matter.

“I-I’m already 16, I should be more independent!”

“Huh——, Sefi-tan is maturing so remarkably. It makes me feel both excited and lonesome. I definitely wish I could let you rest on my lap for another ten years.”

“T-Ten years is a bit……”

Sefi’s face stiffened.

How can a person even call ten more years of that independence? It would not be surprising to see a person marry at that age. Sylphy’s overprotection had gone past the deep end.

“Say Sefi-tan, there are no strange cretins eying you right?”

“……O-Of course not.”

Kurou was probably conscious of the minute pause in Sefi’s response.

Rather, that strange cretin was still within the conference room. Of course, Kurou was going to avoid saying anything unnecessary.

“Sefi-tan must retain her purity till marriage. Actually, even if you do get married you must still retain your beauty.”

“……Onee-sama, that’s outrageous.”

“As long as you stay a virgin I won’t mind anything else they do to you ok?”

Of course, Kurou kept silent. If his sexual harassment of Sefi was revealed to Sylphy, things could get hairy.

Just by utilizing her authority, Sylphy could probably put a human like Kurou to death with ease.

“Oh yeah Kurou, allow me to thank you.”

“Eh?”

After being suddenly called upon, Kurou was startled.

“You protected Sefi-tan from the Blazes right? Thank you so much.”

“……Y-You’re welcome.”

Kurou politely responded. In reality, this was not really something he should have been thanked for. To Kurou, Sefi is a very important girl so guarding her was a given.

“So humble. If possible I wish to express my gratitude somehow, so a personal thanks is the least I can do.”

“Then, may I ask a question?”

Kurou instantly responded.

It was something he wished to ask from the very beginning.

“If that’s all you want then that’s totally fine by me. So go ahead, what’s your question?”

“The matter regarding the Sword Saint……how do you plan on dealing with it?”

Kurou’s master, Sword Saint Hyouka.

She disappeared approximately a year ago. Being the older sister of Manaka who was a Blaze, it obviously meant that Hyouka herself was also a Blaze.

If she was untraceable, the government would probably become suspicious. As for the Sword Saint, Kurou obviously knew that the government would be unable to capture her, but his question was not in regards to that.

“For Hyouka, we have not decided on any course of action yet.”

Sylphy offered a simple reply.

“For the time being, the police are currently investigating. However, it isn’t an official search and it’s not because of the Blaze incident either. The search started ever since her disappearance. It’s true that Hyouka hid her Blaze identity, but there’s no evidence that she has done anything.”

“In other words, in regards to whether or not she will be arrested……”

“It won’t happen. Of course, even though you guys are Hyouka’s disciples, you and Lars won’t be tied to the case. It’s also understood that you guys have no relations with the Blazes. Rather, if they were to arrest anyone with relations to Hyouka, even I would be arrested as her friend.”

“Phew……”

Sefi was relieved as she sighed.

She must have been concerned with that matter as well. Although she puts up a tough front, Sefi would always become anxious due to her overly caring nature.

“Furthermore, if a friend of hers like me is permitted to say something on the subject……I don’t think Hyouka has anything to do with the rebellion or whatever. She definitely wouldn’t have interest in such mundane affairs.”

Kurou felt the same way in regards to that.

Sword Saint Hyouka was a woman whose life completely revolved around the sword.

Even though she was discriminated as a Blaze and segregated, it was hard to imagine that she would hold a grudge and point her sword because of it.

“So you don’t really need to concern yourself with Hyouka’s situation. We don’t place much emphasis on it either. In addition, there are countless things that we still don’t know, such as ——this.”

Sylphy returned to the front of her desk and retrieved a photo.

What was captured and enlarged on the photo was the vast blue sky————and a pure black split running down a part of it.

The portal————

After seventy years, the portal that connected directly to the Swordie homeworld had finally opened again, and then it instantly closed afterwards.

That portal was witnessed by numerous residents within Tokyo Swordia.

“Kurou, you guys don’t know the cause of the portals opening right?”

“Yeah, it’s because during that time I was battling against Manaka.”

Kurou replied with a stern expression.

Actually, in regards to the cause behind the portal’s opening, it was not like he was completely clueless.

However, if he were to mention it————it was possible that those who were close to Kurou may get enveloped by danger. Even though Sefi knew as well, it seemed she was going to remain silent.

“I can’t take it anymore. If this continues, our inability will have no ends. If we aren’t able to at least catch Manaka and Neena……”

Sylphy spoke as if she was frustrated. In fact, it most likely was pure frustration.

At this stage, there was practically nothing that Kurou could assist in. Even if he were to battle against Manaka again, the thought of retreating was quite enticing after contemplating the difference in their strength.

Right as he thought there was nothing else to be said, someone knocked on the door.

“Please come in.”

At some point Sylphy’s sis-con expression had vanished and she reverted back to her resolute manner of speaking.

Following that, the door was opened.

“Nice to meet you Sylphy.”

It was said in a very clear tone.

The person who came in was a girl wearing the Sword Academy’s uniform. Based on the color of her tie, she appeared to be a third-year student.

She had long, light green hair knotted behind her. Her neat appearance exuded a sense of warmth. Indeed, it gave her a gentle complexion. Although her chest was lacking, her body could be described as belonging to that of a model.

How can a beauty like her be in this school————?

Kurou could not help but be captivated by the girl who walked past him as she headed towards Sylphy. However, he instantly realized that he was being glared at by Sefi as he frantically averted his gaze.

“I’m the Sword Academy’s student council president, Isyuto.”

“Ah, the student council president? It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Sylphy smiled during her reply as the two of them shook hands.

“It may be quite rash of me, but there’s something I wish to have your approval for. Would you mind taking a look at this?”

Isyuto handed some documents to Sylphy. After receiving them, Sylphy quickly browsed through the papers————

“I see, but did this really need an outsider like me to grant approval for? It’s just this right? Well, seems fine to me.”

“Thank you very much.”

Isyuto politely bowed.

Sylphy warmly smiled as she returned to the front of her desk and stamped one of the documents.

“This should be fine right?”

“Yes, thank you.”

Upon retrieving the document from Sylphy, Isyuto smiled.

Just what topic was the student council president and Sylphy, a government official, discussing?

Kurou and Sefi were unable to comprehend, hence they just blankly stood there.

“Hey, Isyuto-san, can you explain the situation to those two?”

“Of course, since it will soon be released anyways.”

This time Isyuto stood facing Kurou and Sefi.

“You two are first-years right? How unfortunate, who would have known that the first elimination tournament after you guys enrolled into the school would be suspended.”

Kurou tilted his head.

Due to Freya’s death, the Sword Academy’s first-year elimination matches were suspended. Kurou had no particular interest in those grade based matches so he could have cared less.

“As a result, the students will participate in a substitute event. However, it’d be boring to just restart the elimination matches so that’s why we decided on something that is a bit more stimulating. Since it’s a school competition, I needed Sylphy’s permission.”

As she stated, Isyuto quickly glanced at Sylphy.

“Despite requesting an additional matter, that’s something you guys can look forward to later.”

“I see, well that doesn’t matter. As for this activity, what exactly is it?”

Sefi inquired from Isyuto. She was ranked number three when she enrolled into the academy and originally she had planned on earning the number one spot during the elimination matches. After being told there would be a replacement for it, there was no way she could just ignore this piece of news.

“It sort of has a game aspect to it, well, basically————“

Isyuto once again smiled. As expected of the student council president to have such a captivating smile.

“It’s going to be a battle royal.”


Back to Prologue Return to Main Page Forward to Chapter 2