Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume12 Chapter2
Chapter 2 - Escape
While Claire and Rinslet were walking in the corridor...
(...It's about time.)
Under the covers in bed, Kamito summoned his consciousness.
Rather than waking up naturally, he had applied self-suggestion beforehand to wake up on purpose—This was a special skill taught by the Instructional School.
(My stamina seems to have recovered to some extent.)
Maintaining his posture lying in bed, Kamito confirmed his body's condition.
The woman had not questioned him for long, probably in consideration of his exhausted stamina. Once she found out he had woken up already, surely she was going to resume the questioning.
(...But the situation seems even trickier than imagined.)
Through that woman's questioning, Kamito was able to understand the current situation to some extent.
Areishia Spirit Academy—This was the organization where the Empire trained elite elementalists. From the way it looked, he was being imprisoned here and suffering from severe memory loss as well.
Indeed, he had forgotten everything about why he was here.
(Infiltrating this facility on a mission and fighting elementalists, then losing my memory due to physical trauma to the brain or mental manipulation—Probably something like that.)
Calmly reaching a conclusion, his thinking proceeded to the next step.
In order to prevent the organization's existence from being exposed, the Instructional School's assassins were ordered to commit suicide as soon as possible if they became captives.
The organization's orders were absolute. Well-trained assassins did not cling needlessly to life.
Even without tools, there were many methods to commit suicide. Even without deadly poison buried in a tooth, it was possible to end one's life in short time.
After all, suicide was only limited to situations when one was rendered a captive.
Currently, Kamito's state was—
(...It's hard to call myself a captive.)
Whether by physical or magical means, he was not restrained in any way. As frail as his body's condition may be, it posed no particular hindrance for an Instructional School's assassin.
(If they intended to render me helpless, they should at least apply a sealed barrier.)
Was the renowned lair of the Empire's elite elementalists nothing more than a mere educational institution?
(There are two guards outside—)
Lying in bed, Kamito counted the presences outside the door.
They were presumably able to use elemental waffen and experienced to a certain degree. In his current state of depleted stamina, without a weapon, fighting elementalists head on would be undoubtedly suicidal.
Then how about passing through here—Kamito lifted his upper torso and looked towards the window. Gathered below were a great number of uniformed girls, apparently making preparations for some kind of festival.
(...Oh well, at least it's better than jumping there.)
Kamito swiftly got up and quietly left the bed.
At this moment, he suddenly lost balance and almost fell over. Possibly due to his memory loss, perhaps he needed some time to refamiliarize himself with his senses.
(Somehow, this body feels a bit strange.)
He soon noticed the sense of dissonance but decided to put it aside for now.
Kamito drew in a quick breath then:
He muttered quietly.
Instantly, his entire body's senses became sharp and his mind became focused.
This was a skill to remove mental shackles through powerful self-suggestion, thereby allowing him to temporarily surpass the body's limits. Entering this state, an assassin would stop feeling fatigue and also become numb to pain to a certain extent.
Surpassing limits meant releasing the body's original safety mechanisms in the first place. A strong backlash would inevitably follow.
In this manner, without hiding his presence at all, Kamito walked to the door.
The two girls outside began to get nervous. He could sense them readying themselves.
"...The two of you over there, I'd like to ask you something."
Kamito deliberately used a barely audible voice to speak.
Hence, the two guards' presences moved close to the door.
"Say. I'd like to hear a bit about my situation."
"E-Ellis-sama has orders not to speak with you!"
"P-Please return to bed without a fuss."
Inexplicably, the replying voices sounded slightly timid.
"Oh no... I talked to the king of lust, what should I do..."
"D-Don't worry. A short exchange of words won't deprive you of your purity."
"A short... What if we talk too much?"
"I-In that case, I'm not too sure..."
Whispers came from outside the door.
As to what the content meant, although Kamito could not comprehend—
"—I see, I get it."
Hearing Kamito's reply, the two's presence relaxed somewhat.
Instantly, Kamito aimed a palm strike at the door.
A brief moan was heard, quickly followed by the sound of the girls collapsing to the ground.
Destructive Impact—An assassination technique performed by wrapping a fist in divine power and releasing a shockwave to pass through objects.
Next he broke the locked door and pushed it open.
The girls by the door had fainted, having suffered concussions.
"Th-This is not stealing a march... A-Absolutely not stealing a march..."
Ellis murmured to herself while walking along the Academy's long hallways.
Carried in her hand was a small pot. After parting ways with Claire and the others, Ellis had returned to her room, warmed up the porridge she had made in the morning and taken it out.
Made with quite a few medicinal plants, this special seven-herb porridge was not only easy to digest but also very nutritious.
As food, it was quite appropriate for Kamito who had just woken up.
"Th-This comes purely out of my responsibilities as captain of the Sylphid Knights, I am just visiting a fellow member of the Knights. Simorgh, you agree, right?"
Hearing its master's question, the demon bird standing on Ellis's shoulder cooed.
Ellis nodded with satisfaction and gave a piece of dried meat to her contracted spirit with the horrifying appearance.
"Yes, indeed indeed. When initially recovering from illness, eating easily digested porridge is the best. However, I accidentally warmed it up too much, s-so it is now necessary for me to blow on it to cool it. Th-Then, umm, a-ah..."
Looking up, Ellis entered a delusion.
'Kamito, h-how is my porridge?'
After blowing on it, Ellis sent the spoon into Kamito's mouth.
But after swallowing the porridge, Kamito went:
'—So-so. Not salty enough.'
That was his criticism.
'...~I-I see. My apologies. I will pay more attention next time...'
'No, this is fine.'
Kamito lightly placed his hand on the disheartened Ellis's shoulder.
'...Ah, w-what are you doing, Kamito... Kyah~♪'
Lick. Suddenly, she felt her neck being licked gently.
'Now, this saltiness is just right.'
Lick. Lick lick. Lick.
'Hyah... Oh no, Kamito... I-If you like that spot...'
'Where has all your strength gone now, straitlaced captain?'
Lick. Lick lick lick.
'...N-No... Mmm... This intensity, no good, a-ahhhh!'
...His personality vastly modified, Kamito violently pushed her down.
Then, then, then—
...Peck. Peck peck.
Suddenly, she felt her neck being pecked by a sharp beak.
Walking while plunging into a delusion, Ellis suddenly regained her senses.
(...W-What am I thinking about!?)
Cough cough, Ellis coughed and straightened her posture.
(Clearly Kamito lost his memory due to encountering a painful experience—)
Shaking her head repeatedly, she soon recovered a stern and dignified face as befitted the captain of the knights.
Taking a turn in the corridor—
Ellis could not help but find herself speechless.
In front of Kamito's room, two girls lay collapsed on the floor.
They were the members of the Sylphid Knights in charge of monitoring him.
"A-Are you okay!?"
Ellis placed her pot on the floor then frantically ran over to the two girls' side.
...They were still breathing. No external injuries visible, they probably only lost consciousness.
"...Attacked by a mass of divine energy at close range huh."
Upon hearing these whispers, one of the girls woke up.
"...Ruska**, what happened?"
"The king of lust... escaped..."
Ellis's face went livid.
It turned out she should have followed Greyworth's directions and quickly increased the number of knights on surveillance duty.
Kamito was not a man who would harm girls. Ellis knew this fact very well.
However, the amnesiac Kamito currently was a wild beast let loose among crowds of girls. The Demon King of the Night's basic instincts were thoroughly exposed, doing this to innocent young maidens—
"...Th-That type of thing is forbidden—Forbidden!"
Ellis stood up and yelled.
"I-In any case, Kamito must be captured as soon as possible—"
He must be captured before anything happened.
Apart from protecting the chastity of the Academy's girls, more importantly, it was for the sake of Kamito's reputation.
Ellis gathered wind spirits from the surroundings and issued orders to her companions in the Knights.
(...This is almost like the Instructional School's Cave Castle)
At this moment, having escaped his room, Kamito was roaming the buildings in his pajamas.
Perhaps due to having slept for a long period of time, he was still feeling a sense of dissonance about his body.
Since lessons were currently taking place throughout the entire school building, he did not encounter any students. The spirits he ran into along the hallways did not particularly pay any attention to him.
Prioritizing the comfort of spirits over humans, the Academy's architecture included crisscrossing staircases and hallways with many turns and forks.
Along the path ahead, there were spirits hovering lightly like spheres of light. One could easily mistake themselves as being lost in a fairy tale world.
The Instructional School, where Kamito was raised, also had a similar labyrinthine layout, but to his knowledge, its purpose was only for defense against external enemies.
(So I still remember inane stuff of that sort...)
Why was he here—He still could not recall this most important point.
(What clues are there—?)
Suddenly, a certain girl's face surfaced in Kamito's mind.
The girl who had hugged him while crying when Kamito woke up.
(...That girl seems to know me.)
What sort of deep relation did she share with Kamito before he lost his memory—
Kamito suppressed his presence at this moment and walked over to the window.
A large number of princess maidens had gathered at the front gates, preparing for a large-scale ritual.
Indeed, some grand festival was apparently being held in a few days.
(...Looks like I won't be able to escape through the front gates.)
Although the opponents were students lacking in combat experience, fighting this many elementalists with his bare hands would be far too rash. If the militarized spirit user, Muir Alenstarl, were here instead, perhaps breaking through by force would be possible—
Just as Kamito was thinking...
His stomach's rumblings echoed loudly in the corridor.
The Instructional School's assassins were trained such that it was possible for them to fight and undertake operations for multiple days even without food. Nevertheless, it was merely a possibility.
Furthermore, Kamito had been confined to bed for the past while and his body was probably sustained by nothing more than revitalizing magic from healers.
Currently relying on powerful self-suggestion, he was still able to move, but at this rate, he was going to collapse from hunger sooner or later.
(Why did I fail to notice something so elementary?)
This was the type of mistake he absolutely would not make normally.
Kamito could not deny that his amnesiac state was making him anxious.
(...Is there.. anything here?)
Thinking wishfully, he checked his pajamas pocket.
Of course, there was no food placed there so conveniently...
At this moment, a girl's voice was heard behind him.
Kamito looked back to see that several students had appeared from a door in the corridor.
Most striking of them was an especially beautiful maiden with gorgeous black hair and dusk-colored eyes. For some reason, the design of her uniform differed from the other girls.
"Kamito-kun, why are you here—"
In the middle of speaking, she suddenly covered her mouth.
"Umm... Could it be that you escaped?"
Instantly, Kamito suddenly kicked the ground and closed in on the girl.
Using the momentum, he covered her mouth and pushed her to the floor.
"—Quiet. Make a further sound and I'll kill you."
Kamito pinned the girl down and declared coldly.
Keeping that posture, Kamito glared at the girls who were peeking from the doorway. However—
"The king of lust shows his true nature!"
The girls screamed while scattering in all directions to flee.
Kamito was speechless.
It looked like pushing the black-haired girl down not only failed to serve as a threat but also backfired with the opposite effect.
(...It'd be a problem if they called in more comrades.)
In that case, he had to leave the scene as quickly as possible.
Kamito took his hand away from the lips of the pinned-down girl. At this moment—
"...~Good grief, as great as it is for you to take the initiative, but all things considered, doing this out in the open under public scrutiny, Kamito-kun, you're such a pervert..."
The girl complained, blushing to her ears.
"P-Pervert? ...W-What are you talking about?"
Faced with the unexpected accusation, Kamito felt quite awkward.
Kamito gazed at the girl's face again.
Gorgeous black hair. Eyes the color of dusk, seeming as though they would meld into the night.
An extremely beautiful girl who would leave a deep and lasting impression with but a single glance...
Suddenly, a noise broke any tension that could exist in the corridor.
...Still pinning the girl down, Kamito was taken aback.
"Uh... Kamito-kun, are you hungry?"
"None of your business."
Trying as hard as he could to conceal his wavering, Kamito replied calmly.
Hence, she smiled and reached towards her cleavage.
"...I made some snacks during the cooking practical, would you like some?"
She took out a small bag.
Kamito swallowed his saliva.
(A trap—I have to consider that possibility...)
Encountering this girl here was by chance.
There was no reason for a student at this prestigious academy to be carrying poisoned snacks.
It was probably a snack intended to be offered to spirits.
"I'm a dangerous, escaped prisoner, right?"
"I can't leave you to suffer if you're hungry, Kamito-kun."
The girl gazed at Kamito with sincere eyes.
After a moment's hesitation—
"Found him, over there!"
"Carefully circle around to his back! You'll be taken captive as soon as you make eye contact!"
"We must rescue Fianna-sama!"
Armored knights were climbing up the stairs.
"...Sorry, I'll be taking this."
Kamito took the bag of snacks and ran down the corridor.
...Several minutes later.
Hiding in an empty classroom, Kamito collapsed in suffering alone.
After eating the cookie, a searing sensation of pain instantly rushed through his throat, paralyzing his entire body.
Clutching his belly, Kamito rolled on the floor, feeling like he was about to break out with fever.
(...Guh... It was poisoned after all?)
No wait, as an Instructional School's assassin, his body was already accustomed to poison. Ordinary poison should not have an effect. This was simply—
(...Unimaginably horrible in flavor!)
Trembling, Kamito came to this conclusion.
(...Offering this to spirits? Or perhaps, this is what spirits prefer?)
Kamito pondered over and over again. However, now was not the time to be thinking about such matters.
"Capture the beast of lust!" "Underwear! Use underwear to lure him out!"
A patter of footsteps arrived at the corridor in front of the empty classroom.
Things would be over if they found him.
Kamito was unable to fight in his current state.
(...Speaking of which, why are they calling me a beast of lust?)
Before losing his memory, what had he done in this Academy—?
"He should be nearby!" "Search the empty classroom!"
Intense footsteps were approaching.
(...No other choice.)
Looking outside, there seemed to be no one in the yard behind the school building.
Kamito took off his pajama top, tore it up, tied knots and made an impromptu rope.
Although baring his upper torso made him look even more suspicious, he decided to ignore that for now.
Tying one end of the fabric to a large table, he escaped outside through a window.
Using the knotted cloth, Kamito swiftly slid down the school building's outer wall. Although the fabric was not long enough to reach the bottom, jumping from that height should not result in a twisted ankle given his body's abilities.
Just as he successfully descended one floor—
Barking was heard from somewhere.
Turning to look in the direction of the barks—
Kamito found a large white dog amidst the bushes opposite the school building.
(...No, that's not right, it's not a dog!)
A direwolf—a high-level spirit in beast form.
The wolf with white fur suddenly pounced as soon as it caught sight of Kamito.
Kamito almost lost grip of the cloth.
The wolf's sharp claws missed him by a mere inch.
The direwolf spirit did not look hostile, but was simply acting playful with Kamito.
(Do spirits show intimacy with anyone apart from their contractor?)
...Impossible. At least, Kamito had never heard of any similar cases—
"...Fenrir, what's the matter?"
At this moment, a window of a classroom below opened and a girl looked out.
A young lady with dazzling platinum-blonde hair and beautiful eyes of emerald.
Her eyebrows lifted with surprise as she looked up. Then—
She screamed shrilly.
This was hardly surprising. After all, a half-naked man was currently scaling down the wall.
"Rinslet-san, what's the matter?"
"As the daughter of the prestigious Laurenfrost family, screaming like that is truly... Kyah!"
Girls' faces popped out of the classroom's windows one after another. Furthermore, apparently in the process of changing for a purification ritual, they were all in their underwear.
"It's a misunder—"
Kamito frantically tried to deny.
"Shut up, this pervert!"
But before he could do so, the light from a girl's spirit magic burned through the cloth Kamito was holding onto.
Falling on the ground, Kamito's whole body still suffered the painful impact despite performing a break-fall.
The platinum blonde hurried over in worry.
The girls in the classroom also climbed out the window one after another.
A number of them were wielding elemental waffen.
...He had to escape. He could not allow himself to be caught here.
"A-Are you okay?"
The beauty in her underwear was examining Kamito's eyes.
Kamito grabbed her arms and swiftly twisted, pinning them behind her back.
"...Yahhh... W-What are you doing!?"
"Be quiet, girl."
"...Hyau... Kamito-san, whispering like this, ahuu..."
After he whispered by her ear, the girl gradually lost strength.
As expected, the students of the Academy had no endurance against males.
"Damn you, cowardly villain!" "You dare to take a hostage! You're the worst!" "T-To think I was starting to revise my impression of you!"
Dressed in their underwear, the girls stopped running and surrounded Kamito.
The direwolf spirit was also circling in the surroundings, looking troubled.
(...Okay, what should I do?)
He was going to use this girl as a hostage to make his escape—
Suddenly, a violent gale blew overhead.
Kamito looked up—
"K-Kamito... W-What on earth are you doing!?"
Wielding a spear of gales, a girl jumped down from a second floor window.
The young female knight landed lightly, her ponytail swaying.
The blonde lady with her arms pinned behind her back spoke quietly.
...This ponytailed girl was apparently the leader of the knights.
Her dark-brown eyes glared at Kamito.
"...Hmph, seriously, even with amnesia, y-you are still behaving as the Demon King of the Night!"
"...Demon King of the Night?"
The unfamiliar term made Kamito repeat it as a question. The old people of the Instructional School did indeed call Kamito the Demon King's successor—
(Are the two titles connected somehow?)
The young female knight readied her spear, enveloped in gales.
"Kamito, I have no intention of harming you. Although I understand that you feel ill at ease due to your amnesia, I still hope you could release Rinslet and return to your room obediently."
"That's not gonna fly."
Kamito gripped harder on the hostage's arms.
"...Ah, K-Kamito-san, so perverted...!"
"If you want to catch me, try me, okay?"
Kamito tried to taunt his opponent and make her falter—
"...Then it cannot be helped!"
The captain swung her spear horizontally.
A roaring airmass shot out from the spear's tip.
Kamito pushed Rinslet aside and jumped sideways.
The raging wind dug up a large hole where the two were originally standing.
(...She intended to get the hostage caught up as collateral damage!?)
This attack exceeded Kamito's expectations.
"How displeasing, Captain, you are being too reckless!"
"My apologies. But even if it really struck you, there is still Fenrir's protection."
"Th-That's true but still..."
Unconcerned with the complaining girl, the captain shot out a raging gust of wind.
A directional blast of wind pressure. Being struck would not be fatal, but in his current state, Kamito would definitely lose the ability to fight after getting hit by this attack.
At the same time, she charged.
The spear tip, enveloped in gales, brushed past Kamito's body.
(...So strong. She's far above the other students.)
While rolling on the ground, Kamito calmly analyzed. Her spear technique and speed were quite excellent. Probably a wind elementalist, she was skilled in combining wind magic with her own martial arts.
—On the other hand, Kamito's body was far from peak condition. Taken together with the damage from the cookie he ate and the sense of dissonance he could not dispel, his movements were quite sluggish.
"Kamito, give yourself up!"
Kamito barely managed to dodge the spear's downward swing.
"Good skills. Female knight, your name?"
In that instant, her stern and dignified eyes filled up with great teardrops.
"You really forgot—"
The girl made a lonely expression and bit her lip tightly.
"I am the Fahrengart family's second daughter—Ellis Fahrengart."
Kamito had heard the name before.
He remembered it was the name of renowned military family that was in charge of the Ordesia Empire's military affairs.
Ellis raised her spear high—
"I am your fiancée!"
The shocking words caused Kamito's movements to stop for an instant.
Wrapped in fierce winds, the spear swung down overhead mercilessly.
Evasion was too late. Kamito hastily crossed his arms and entered a defensive pose.
Although he knew deep down that this level of defense was pointless in the face of elemental waffen—
Just as his arms crossed, he felt a sharp pain on the back of his right hand.
Ellis's dark-brown eyes widened greatly.
The instant the elemental waffe's blade was blocked...
Bright light erupted and swept away everything in the surroundings.
Feeling intense pain all over, Kamito could not help but groan painfully.
He lay collapsed in the bushes some distance away from the back of the school building.
(What the heck happened...)
Scolding his hazy consciousness, he was just about to stand up when—
Something grabbed the back of his collar.
In that manner, he was forcibly dragged into the bushes.
In the bushes was the red-haired beauty from before.
"Quiet. Or you want to be discovered?"
The girl stopped him by pressing a finger against his lips.
The soft sensation of her finger caused Kamito's heart rate to speed up.
"The pervert has escaped!" "He must be captured at all costs!" "Find him, find him!"
A crowd of armed girls passed by the bushes.
"...Sheesh. When I caught sight of you in the classroom, I was thinking something happened—"
The girl sighed and glared at Kamito.
"If you get found now, you'll be drawn and quartered by the girls."
"...I can see that."
Cold sweat flowed down Kamito's forehead.
Many spirits flew back and forth in the surroundings in search of Kamito.
Escaping from the Academy peacefully was virtually impossible now.
"What happened? It seemed like there was a sudden explosion."
Kamito looked at his right hand.
Suddenly, a complicated design appeared on the back of his hand.
"...W-What is this!?"
"That's a spirit seal. Proof of the bond between you and your contracted spirit."
The girl told Kamito with a serious expression.
"Spirit seal? How did I enter into a spirit contract—"
A sudden pang of intense pain was instantly produced in his brain.
"...Tsk... Ooh... Guh...!"
Kamito could not help but clutch his head and groan.
"...You were probably about to summon Est unconsciously."
Throb, throb, throb—
"...You know something about this seal?"
The girl nodded.
"Anyway, come to my room. I'll tell you as much as possible about your memories. After all, it's best if you hid for a while until the commotion subsides."
Recalling the group of armed girls, Kamito covered his mouth.
(Clues about my lost memories huh...)
At least, this girl did not seem like she intended to hand him over to the knights—
Kamito hesitated for a moment, then...
His stomach rumbled loudly.
...Speaking of which, ever since waking up, I haven't eaten anything except for that deadly cookie.
"...Umm, I'll prepare snacks as well."
Hearing her suggestion—
Kamito was completely swayed this time.