Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume19 Chapter5
Chapter 5 - Rubia's Determination
With Milla leading the way, they arrived at the Laurenfrost family's secondary residence, located in the outskirts of the aristocracy district.
Although this place was relatively far from Nefescal Palace, it was in a quiet location with lots of greenery.
Leaving Kamito to rest in his room, Claire and the others went to a purification facility outside the mansion.
"I am so glad for a proper purification facility. I must thank Milla."
"Yes, it was hot in the ship and I sweated a lot."
Saying that, Ellis placed her folded uniform into a clothes basket in the changing room.
"This is a shrine usually used for worshiping the Water Elemental Lord."
Rinslet spoke with a raised index finger.
Reportedly, this place was normally open to princess maidens in the imperial capital, but right now, it was exclusively reserved.
Having disrobed, the three naked girls rinsed themselves in front of the shrine and stepped into the bath chamber.
This was a sauna-style purification facility quite rare in Ordesia. The wide bathtub was set up with interacting fire and water spirit crystals to produce a large amount of steam.
"They even have the famous Frozen Hell bath from Laurenfrost."
"...? What is that?"
Rinslet was pointing at a bathtub in which large pieces of ice were floating.
"E-Entering that kind of bathtub will kill me!"
"Oh my, Mireille and I are used to these since we were small."
"Eh... As I always say, in the border lands..."
"What, are you looking down upon Laurenfrost!?"
Rinslet pouted unhappily and poked Claire in the back with a finger enveloped in cold air.
Claire's cute screams instantly filled the bath.
Three girls were sitting side by side on a bench next to the wall.
The sauna steam filling the entire purification facility was very relaxing.
"This is so nice. It feels like all the fatigue from entire body is gone all at once."
Saying that, Claire resentfully glanced at the chest of Ellis, who was sitting further in.
(...Sure enough, Ellis is huge.)
Sitting adjacent, Rinslet's bust was comparable in size too.
With all of them sitting side by side, every difference in figure between them became brutally obvious.
(...S-So unfair, this.)
Claire pouted unhappily.
"Claire, no matter how much you stick out your chest, it is still useless."
"...! W-Who is sticking out her chest!?"
She went red in the face and cried out.
In response, Rinslet smiled with tender affection.
"It is fine, you have no need to be so worried. There is still room to grow. You will eventually catch up to the captain if you follow my instructions every day for the bust enhancing technique I taught you—"
"Rinslet, w-what are you talking about!?"
Ellis frantically covered up her large pale breasts with her arms.
However, there was no way she could cover them up completely.
"R-Right! Besides, that so-called bust enhancing technique you taught—"
Mid-sentence, Claire stopped.
The bust enhancing technique taught by Rinslet required a girl to have her breasts massaged by the target of her affections.
(A-Asking my crush to massage my breasts, how could I possibly do that...)
"Claire, who are you imagining right now?"
"Uwah, I-I'm not imagining anyone!"
Claire frantically denied.
"Fufu, an interesting conversation seems to be going on."
"Fianna!?" "Your Highness!"
Just then, Fianna emerged through the sauna steam, wrapped in a bath towel.
"Fianna, how are things at the imperial council?"
"Adjourned for the time being. I wanted to squeeze out a little bit of time to take a bath."
Fianna sat down next to Claire and poured a ladle of water onto the stove.
She must have found out about the location of this purification facility from Milla or Mireille.
"In any case, thank you for your efforts. Are things going well with unifying opinions in the council?"
Hearing Claire's question, Fianna shook her head.
"Not that well. It is not like I could punish every noble in the emperor faction."
"Well, it is definitely a difficult situation..."
Hearing that, Claire shrugged.
"Are you planning to go on to become queen of the Ordesia Empire?"
"...That is not funny at all."
Fianna sighed and spoke.
"Although I self-proclaimed Legitimate Ordesia as a banner for the rebel forces, I have no wish to play the part of a queen or some such anymore after liberating Ordesia from the Holy Kingdom."
"Really? I think you're doing a splendid job, you know?"
"Ultimately, I am just the acting monarch. Once His Majesty the Emperor recovers from his illness, I shall return all authority."
Fianna shrugged then whispered in Claire's ear.
"Furthermore, if I really became the queen, then I wouldn't be able to marry Kamito-kun, you know?"
"...! Y-You, y-you, what are you talking about!?"
"After all, I love Kamito-kun. Claire, could you be bit more honest too?"
Facing the chuckling Fianna who was wearing a taunting smile, Claire fumed and pursed her lips.
Just then, Ellis interjected.
With a grave expression with apparent worries in her mind, she spoke.
"May I ask what will happen to my grandfather, who stayed loyal to Arneus?"
"Duke Fahrengart ought to receive leniency. After all, it was all thanks to her that the capital was captured peacefully. Also, with the Holy Kingdom's next move unknown, I presume the imperial council would not want to lose an outstanding military commander."
"...I see. That is wonderful news to me."
Ellis exhaled deeply in relief when she heard the answer.
Looking like she remembered something, Fianna said.
"Ellis, I nominated you as my royal guard."
"Did you say royal guard?"
Ellis left her mouth gaping in shock. Claire expressed her surprise too.
Serving as the royal guard for members of the imperial family was considered the highest honor for the Imperial Knights. They were the most elite of the elites, basically candidates as future Numbers.
Indeed, it was certainly no problem for Ellis given her status as the noble daughter of the Fahrengart family, but to be nominated as royal guard as a student, that was virtually unheard of.
"I-I am not worthy, royal guard for me would be—"
"At least Ellis is the most reliable. And there is no question about her ability."
Ever since they were in exile from Ordesia, Ellis had served as Fianna's bodyguard and secretary, with many feats of combat to boot.
It came as no surprise that Fianna would want to keep her capable and trusted companion by her side.
"B-But... Is it really okay for me to take this position?"
"Yes, I hope to rely on you."
Ellis hesitated for a while then finally looked up.
"I understand. Your wish is my command, Your Highness."
Saying that, she responded with perfect knightly etiquette.
Kamito felt a sharp pain across his left eye, almost like it was bleeding.
The intense pain rendered his consciousness almost comatose. Kamito opened his right eye.
...That dream again.
A world from the ancient past, who knew how many thousands of years ago.
The world from the memories of Darkness Elemental Lord Ren Ashdoll—
In the sky, covered with dark gray clouds, a massive hole suddenly appeared.
Darker than the blackest night, darkness surged out from the edges of that abyss nonstop.
That darkness seemed as though it would shroud the entire world—
"...What, is that... the Otherworldly Darkness...?"
Looking up at the sky-piercing abyss, Kamito muttered to himself in a daze.
(This morning's dream was about the Spirit War—)
Then what time period did the current scene before his eyes belong to?
He saw a few particles of light appear in the center of the abyss from where dark filth was pouring out continuously.
The lights took on the shape of winged humanoids, descending upon the land one after another.
That appearance was not foreign to Kamito.
"...Are they angels?"
Hundreds of Dunamis angels, their wings of light outspread, landed successively in the desolate wilderness.
In that instant, blazing crimson flames swept across the land.
The one who had released the flames was a girl wielding a massive sword.
Hovering in the air, she coldly looked down at the land, burning brightly red.
Her crimson hair, fluttering in the wind, shone with red light against the illumination of the fire.
(Who is she...?)
Next to the girl were other beings, armed with spears and staves.
Wielding a magic spear enveloped in fierce wind was a maiden with jade hair who looked to be in her twenties.
Another girl, wielding a staff surrounded by a vortex of water, Kamito recognized.
It was Iseria Seaward whom he had encountered in Astral Zero.
In that case, were the other two the Fire Elemental Lord and the Wind Elemental Lord?
"...The Elemental Lords are fighting angels?"
Just then. Darkness bled from his aching left eye like blood.
Falling to his feet, the darkness instantly began to devour Kamito's body—
(...This is, bad...!)
Amid the entangling darkness and filth, Kamito struggled and reached out.
He felt a pleasant sensation in his right hand.
Keeping the posture of his outreached hand unchanged, Kamito was struck by a question in his not yet fully awakened mind.
He seemed to hear a cute scream—
"...Mm... Y-You knave... W-What are you... doing!?"
Finally realizing he had woken up from his dream, Kamito looked up forcefully.
Only to see, in front of his outstretched right hand—
"—Do you want to turn into charcoal right away?"
The beautiful maiden in the military uniform. Her shoulders were shaking while she glared angrily at Kamito.
Kamito frantically withdrew his hand, almost falling off the bed.
He never expected the hand he had extended during his dream to have touched her chest.
...Speaking of which, so that cute sound earlier came from her?
(...No, wait a sec, why is Rubia here!?)
Was he still in a dream?
Still in a state of confusion, Kamito looked around him.
A furry carpet made from animal pelt. Beige walls. A small lamp by the pillow, shaped like a wolf's head.
This was the room in the Laurenfrost secondary residence where Milla Bassett had brought him.
(...Looks like it isn't a dream.)
Kamito turned his gaze back to Rubia, who was sitting on the bed.
"Sure enough, you are the Demon King of the Night. Perhaps you should be vanquished here and now."
With murderous eyes, she glared coldly at Kamito.
"W-Wait, I didn't do it on purpose...!"
Truly feeling his life was in danger, Kamito frantically spoke.
"...By the way, why are you here!?"
When he threw a question at her, she bit her lip with displeasure.
"I came to confirm whether the Darkness Elemental Lord's power is corrupting you."
"During the battle to take back Areishia Spirit Academy, you would have consumed plenty of divine power, right?"
Saying that, Rubia switched to a solemn expression as she inspected Kamito's eyes.
"—What is with this eye of yours?"
She was probably asking about his left eye, still stinging slightly.
Perhaps the spirit seal of Ren Ashdoll had appeared again.
"You saw through everything? Nothing gets past you, huh?"
Kamito gave up and shrugged.
"Does that spirit seal belong to the Darkness Elemental Lord?"
He nodded. Rubia gasped slightly.
"I never expected it to progress to this stage—"
"I was dreaming of the Darkness Elemental Lord's memories just now. Although Restia is currently suppressing it for now, to be honest, I don't think it can last for long."
Looking down at his leather-gloved left hand, Kamito shook his head.
"Is that so?"
Hearing that, Rubia quietly bowed her head and bit her lip.
Sharing dreams with a spirit.
She must know very well what that implied.
"As I thought, coming over to examine the situation was the correct thing to do."
Hearing her whisper—
Kamito frowned slightly.
"What do you mean...?"
"Close your eyes for a while, Ren Ashbell."
In the next instant, Kamito felt his shoulder being grabbed. He was pulled closer.
Her face appeared before him.
Clear eyes like rubies. Adorable cherry lips.
Perhaps she had just taken a bath. The scent of soap entered his nostrils.
Kamito felt his heart racing.
"...! Rubia! W-What are you—"
"Do not make me repeat myself. Close your eyes. Also, do not make a sound."
"I am a woman. I feel embarrassment too."
Her slightly hoarse voice whispered into his ear.
He could feel the sensation of her small but cute breasts behind the military uniform.
As though to interrupt Kamito's speech—
Her lips sealed Kamito's mouth.
His heart raced even faster.
At the same time, a huge amount of divine power flowed into all the channels in his body.
The divine power circulating within him seemed to have renewed all at once.
With a sweet moan, she slowly separated her lips from him.
With burning cheeks and water eyes, she stared into Kamito's eyes.
"—The spirit seal has vanished, yes?"
Saying that, she brought her slender finger lightly to her lips.
Only then did Kamito notice.
The stinging pain in his left eye had gone away completely now.
"...What did you do?"
Still dizzy, Kamito asked.
His entire felt quite comfortable, like he was floating.
"This is a princess maiden's ritual magic. It causes the dark divine power inside you to circulate into my body."
Rubia spoke, panting.
"This should relieve your burden a bit..."
Saying that, she clutched at her chest in pain, looking like she was about to collapse.
"H-Hey, are you okay!?"
Kamito frantically caught her.
Her shoulder felt burning to the touch, almost like a lit furnace.
"Letting dark divine power circulate? Will that be dangerous?"
"...It just strains the body a little..."
While Rubia was held in Kamito's arms, her face was contorted with pain.
"Sure enough, there are limits to my body that had lost a princess maiden's holiness, I suppose—"
Panting, she murmured in self-deprecation.
"...! You, don't over do it..."
"...It is not serious. Although it was a first attempt, it succeeded—"
Red in the face, she lowered her head shyly.
What did she mean? Kamito did not understand for a moment.
Instantly covering her lips with her hand, Rubia shook her head vigorously.
"N-Nothing, pay no mind to it...!"
Her strange attitude was making Kamito more and more puzzled.
<—nal... Cardinal, can you hear me! I have an important report—!>
Static—A hoarse voice was coming from somewhere.
It was Lily Flame from the Instructional School.
Rubia instantly switched to a serious expression and took out a talisman from her military uniform's chest pocket.
Voice Print Talisman—This was a magical tool used by princess maidens to transmit voices over short distances.
"I hear you. What is the matter?"
Hearing Rubia's calm reply—
Lily spoke in a shaken voice.
<—The Holy Capital of Alexandria. It disappeared.>
The holy mountain of Londinia. It was both the birthplace of Sacred Maiden Areishia and the heartland of the Holy Lord's faith.
At that mountain—
Luminaris, captain of the Sacred Spirit Knights, collapsed on her knees in shock.
The place they were returning to—the holy capital Alexandria—had vanished.
Not obliterated by destructive disasters like earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
But literally vanished, as though the holy capital had been whisked away.
On the surface of the giant holy mountain, all that was left was a large hole filled with empty darkness.
Darker than the black night, a void where no light could shine into.
"W-What on earth happened? Where did Alexandria go...?"
No one answered Luminaris' murmurs.
Only the sound of the howling wind resounded over the mountain range that had lost the holy land.