Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume13 Epilogue
Prior to dawn, the sky was still dark and the snow-covered land was shrouded in silence.
Having lost its core, the Queen of Ice Blossoms, Zirnitra's bloated existence could not be sustained and collapsed. Originally, spirits destroyed in the human realm would disappear and return to Astral Zero, but having melded together with tangible matter, Zirnitra had lost this trait of spirits and ended up as a corpse left out in the open.
Taking the unconscious Judia, Kamito and Rinslet returned to Winter Gulf Castle for now.
Attacked by the ice dragons, the castle walls were severely damaged but the interior of the castle was essentially unharmed. There were no deaths among the soldiers either.
In order to prevent chaos from breaking out among the people in the castle, Rinslet kept Judia in her own room for now. Snoring away in her slumber, Judia looked very young in face, almost as though her time had stopped since the Water Elemental Festival on that day four years ago.
As for Judia's sudden return, Mireille could hardly contain her surprise initially but soon displayed her characteristic optimism, offering with Milla to take care of Judia together.
After finishing her duties for the most part, Rinslet was having a bath alone in the purification facility.
"...Phew. With too many things happened, I am totally exhausted."
Immersed in the hot water up to her shoulders, Rinslet breathed a sigh of relief.
Due to defending Winter Gulf Castle and giving Kamito the majority of her divine power, her body was excessively fatigued.
To avoid collapsing on the ground, she had to recover her divine power as quickly as possible.
...Things will only get busier from now on. Not just about Judia, but also arranging for healers to treat the wounded soldiers, repairing the half-destroyed castle walls, as well as—
(...I still need to do something about those children who lost their forest.)
Rinslet had gathered the Elfim children whose settlement was destroyed, bringing them to the castle for protection and medical treatment.
Elfim tribes were not bound by imperial laws to begin with, but those living in the Forest of Ice Blossoms were equivalent to Laurenfrost subjects. Giving them necessary protection was part of a noble's duties.
(...Before Father and Mother return, I must fulfill the duties of a temporary ruler properly.)
While she was pondering these matters in the bath, her body felt scorching as though on fire.
"...Huah... I-It's here... again...!"
Her heart was beating intensely and she could feel divine power that should have been depleted, coursing rapidly through her body.
...The reason did not require much thinking. It was precisely the kiss she shared with Kamito.
(...This power, what on earth is going on?)
Touching her moist lips with her finger, Rinslet murmured to herself.
—Kamito was alone on a terrace in the castle, looking up at the dawn sky.
The rays of sunrise coming from the Kyria Mountain Range gradually illuminated the entirety of the Forest of Ice Blossoms under his view.
Meanwhile he was gazing down at the giant corpse of Zirnitra, lying in the depths of the forest.
(...Restia, where exactly did she go?)
Kamito exhaled white mist.
She escaped into the forest—That was what the Elfim princess maiden had mentioned.
Then she was probably still in the forest.
Once the sun was up, Kamito intended to search for her again.
(...Such a shame that the Holy Kingdom's knights got away.)
According to Natalia, captain of the Wolf Ritters, Luminaris and the Sacred Spirit Knights had already disappeared without trace by the time she went to rescue members of the Wolf Ritters. If possible, Kamito naturally wanted to capture Luminaris to interrogate for information. But including Luminaris, everyone should be covered in wounds, so the Sacred Spirit Knights were probably not going to continue hunting down Restia.
At this moment, he heard an apprehensive voice from behind.
Looking back, he found Rinslet at the entrance to the terrace, having just finished her bath.
She was still wearing the attire for ritual purification with a bathrobe worn on her shoulders.
Her skin was still showing a red flush with faint water vapor rising.
Confronted with the young lady's seductive appearance, Kamito could not help but feel his heart rate rising.
She walked over to Kamito's side and leaned against the railing.
"Umm, about Judia, I am very grateful. It is all thanks to you, Kamito-san."
"No, I'm the one who should be thankful. If you weren't there at the time, Rinslet..."
"...What's the matter?"
Catching faint glimpses of her cleavage from the gap in her bathrobe, Kamito averted his gaze.
The sun was gradually rising, causing her long, platinum blonde hair to look increasingly lustrous and beautiful.
Rinslet seemed to be shyly stammering as she tried to bring up a topic.
"Umm, I-I wanted to talk about what happened back then..."
"Y-Yes... L-Like I said, back then!"
Her face grew redder and she even pouted.
Only now did Kamito finally realize.
...She was talking about kissing Kamito to transfer divine power to him.
"...B-Back then, umm... Thank goodness."
Still pouting, Rinslet suddenly leaned against Kamito.
"Back then, what I said, uh... was serious, you know?"
Her clear eyes of emerald were staring at Kamito uneasily.
As for Kamito—
"...What you said?"
Seeing question marks popping over Kamito's head, Rinslet could hardly conceal her confusion.
"...Umm, say... Could it be, you didn't hear it?"
"S-Sorry... Back then, my mind was hazy..."
...Kamito apologized honestly. Indeed, Rinslet seemed to have said something before kissing him—
Rinslet trembled and shook.
Whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh... Suddenly, a blizzard began to blow in the surroundings.
"S-Sorry... C-Could you say it again..."
"...~F-Forget about it!"
Angrily, Rinslet turned her head away.
"...I-I clearly committed my resolve, a serious kiss... that's why..."
—Just as Kamito was shaken, at that moment...
"...K-Kiss, k-kiss... Come again?"
"Damn it... So you've engaged in such shameless behavior again!"
Rumble rumble rumble rumble rumble rumble rumble rumble...!
This time, the surrounding temperature rose rapidly.
(...Hold on, this voice is!?)
"...C-Claire! And Captain!?"
Rinslet cried out in a panic.
"H-Hold on... Why are the two of you here!?"
"W-We heard you two went on a trip—"
"We came to chase you down!"
With angry auras, the two girls approached Kamito.
"...S-Speaking of which, what is this about a k-kiss, k-kiss?"
"Hmm, I cannot pretend I did not hear it!"
"N-No... Umm, uh, it's not like what you're thinking—"
"...K-Kamito-san, what do you mean by that!?"
For some reason, even Rinslet started to pout when she was supposed to know the truth.
—At this moment...
Kamito's gaze was suddenly drawn to the terrace's entrance.
—Someone was standing there.
A girl with gorgeous long hair the color of darkness and dusk-colored eyes.