Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume1 Chapter2
Chapter 2 - Areishia Spirit Academy
Areishia Spirit Academy.
In this institution, all the princess maidens from across the empire are gathered and trained into full-fledged elementalists.
With a beautiful garden behind its castle walls, the school building, lined with elegant spires seemed very much like the palace of a princess. —In fact, this was nearly entirely correct. Out of all the students attending this academy, almost all of them are genuine and proper noble ladies.
"However, to unexpectedly have such a terrible encounter..."
Kamito muttered to himself as he walked along the red carpet covered hallway on the second floor of the school building.
"Lost inside the forest, I wound up contracted to a sealed spirit, and furthermore..."
Since Kamito snatched the sealed spirit from her, that crimson haired young girl apparently had her eyes on him.
After that—Claire Rouge guided Kamito to the academy school building.
That was good, but apparently her claim that Kamito was to become her personal contracted spirit was serious. Round and round, the whip was coiled around Kamito. Rather than being guided, it might be more appropriate to say that he was being dragged, and they walked through the forest in that fashion.
Regardless, Kamito had no obligation to play along with the princess. Taking the opportunity when Claire went to the restroom, he unwound the whip and escaped.
"Ah, you escaped, you traitor!"
Such a voice can be heard from inside the restroom—
(What? What made you think I wouldn't run away...)
That young girl was an outstanding elementalist, but her common knowledge of society was that of a naive lady.
"Anyways, before I am found by that girl again, I need to hurry up and meet Greyworth."
Proceeding down the hallway, Kamito let out a small sigh.
After all, so far nothing good had ever resulted from getting involved with that witch.
(... But, I can't ignore this.)
Kamito took out a sheet of paper from his breast pocket.
Forty days ago, he had received a letter from Headmistress Greyworth.
If, what was written on it is true—
He might finally get some clues about that girl.
Nevertheless, Kamito could not deny the possibility that it was just some bait to lure him here.
(... It is useless to ponder on it. After all, the other party is that Witch.)
And, here Kamito stopped in his tracks.
In front of him was the thick, wooden front door: the Headmistress' Office.
As Kamito was about to knock on the door—
"Headmistress, I can't agree with this!"
Suddenly, a voice could be heard from inside the room.
A high pitched, young girl's alto voice.
It seemed that they were occupied currently.
(... It can't be helped, I'll kill some time outside for a while.)
While Kamito was moving away from the door—
"Why should we welcome the likes of a man to this sacred academy of princess maidens?!"
He stopped his foot steps...
That perked up his ears.
"Because I said that we need him here. Isn't that reason enough for you?"
It was a constrained voice. But, it carried so much power that Kamito trembled even hearing it through the door. What a fearful voice from the witch no matter how many times one hears it.
"Ar-Are you suggesting that we lack the strength?"
"Nonsense. I'm not belittling the power of your chivalric orders, but, He is special"
"... You mean the fact that he can communicate with a spirit despite being male?"
"Yes, but that is not all of it."
"What do you mean—"
And, the girl suddenly closed her mouth.
Silence fell for a brief moment. Then—
"Who is there?!"
(Darn it.) Apparently they'd noticed that someone was eavesdropping.
Kamito quickly attempted to leave—
*Bang* – suddenly, the office door was violently opened.
From the door which was kicked open, there appeared—
With a beautiful slender leg which was swung up high, a pony tailed beautiful young girl.
A pair of sharp, long eyes. A dignified, handsome feature.
She wore a silver breastplate on top of her uniform, and it looked like the outfit of a valiant knight.
Inside the leaf pleated skirt, a pair of lace underwear flew into his sight.
"Wha... Y-You, Insolent Person!"
The young girl kicked Kamito with her whole strength in his stomach which caused him to involuntarily blurt out.
The sudden attack caught him off guard, blowing Kamito away.
In an instant, the young girl shortened the distance between them and pressed Kamito down on the floor, unsheathing the blade at her hip.
Then she thrust it violently, pointing the edge of her blade onto his cheek.
Shooting a cold piercing look.
Then, those clear, reddish-brown colored eyes widened.
"You... are you... actually a man!?"
The stern face of the girl blushed and became bright red.
"Fnn, aren't you quite behind schedule, Kazehaya Kamito?"
A displeased voice came from the back of the office.
Kamito, who was still being held down by the young girl, slowly raised his eyes.
Over there—there was the figure of a witch completely unchanged from three years ago.
Her ash-blonde hair was gently waving.
Her beauty extolled the seductiveness of an alluring adult.
Beneath her small pair of glasses, her eyes, the same gray as the color of her hair, were staring in his direction.
(... So you came out, witch!)
Kamito spat out bitterly in his head.
Dusk Witch—Greyworth Ciel Mais.
With the appearance of a bewitching, carnivorous, beautiful woman, she was an experienced Spirit Knight that boasted the title of being one of the twelve Knight Generals of the Empire.
The rumor that the highest ranked elementalist may transcend her age might have been real.
"—It has been three years, Kamito. Looking at your face, it seems you have changed."
"... You just don't change, Dusk Witch."
To the sarcastic response while he was still pressed down on his back, the witch let out a smile.
"Kazehaya Kamito!? Then, this guy..."
The ponytail young girl raised her eyebrow.
"Hey, isn't it about time that you let go of me?"
Kamito squinted his eyes and murmured towards the young girl sitting on his chest.
"What is that? You shameless, rude person!"
"After all, I am saying it for your own sake."
"... What do you mean?"
"Well, how to say it... since some time ago, your thigh has been touching my body."
Her moderately tight thigh felt soft. It was a pity that he had to point that out, but it wasn't rubbing so much that he would enjoy the side benefits under such a situation either.
The stern young girl's face blushed burning hot red.
Standing up quickly while holding down her skirt, she swung down her blade mercilessly.
Within a hair's breadth, Kamito dodged it by twisting his body.
"Wha-What are you doing!?"
"You-You indecent... I will make you into a marinated salmon, in an instant!"
"Wait, calm down! I'm not a salmon!"
*Zing*— a sharp slash, Kamito's forelock was cut.
Serious. Not even a shred of doubt in her eyes.
(... Um, in this one day, how many times have I almost been killed?)
An unlucky day. Or is it because of the curse of the Dusk Witch.
(Are all the girls of the academy like this?)
Being driven to the wall. Kamito felt the seriousness of the threat to his life—at that time.
"Sheath your blade, Ellis. Any personal struggle in this academy is prohibited."
Greyworth's voice called out, the girl named Ellis stopped instantly.
"H-Headmistress... I'm just—"
"Do I need to say the same thing twice? Ellis Fahrengart."
"... No, um, I apologize."
Ellis, while glaring intensely at Kamito, reluctantly sheathed her blade.
Greyworth pushed up her glasses and then smiled.
"So, you are already at that age. Well, to be pushed down by Ellis' delicate body hidden under the armor, most boys would not be able to control themselves."
"Wait, please don't say anything that will cause a misunderstanding! I'm—"
Kamito quickly objected. But, his eyes unintentionally went in the direction of Ellis' breasts—
... Indeed. She was wearing her armor so it was hard to tell, but certainly, Claire Rouge's pitiful breasts were incomparable to hers.
"Y-You, w-where are you looking to!"
Kamito quickly averted his eyes.
"Guh, if you weren't the headmistress' guest, I'd have made you into a Pot-au-feu already!"
"... Why a Pot-au-feu!"
Although he didn't understand her metaphor, it sounded scary.
"Ellis, you can go now. It's unpleasant to have people flirt in front of my eyes."
Greyworth's cold voice informed her.
"I-I can't leave you alone in the same room with... this man. If he impudently lusts towards the headmistress..."
"There is no such thing!"
Kamito interrupted strongly. ... What was this girl saying?
"Well, it does not matter if that's the case. I'm always wearing my lucky underwear."
"Mm, Your face became red, lad, quite cute. By the way the color is—"
"I don't want to hear it!"
"Just kidding. Why are you blushing?"
The Dusk Witch giggled with pleasure, Kamito directed looks filled with killing intent towards her.
"B-But, the headmistress should not to be alone together with such a guy without guard—"
To that calm tone of voice , Ellis' shoulders trembled.
"Do I need to repeat what I am saying twice?"
"Um, I apologize!"
Greyworth, how frightening; with her voice trembling, Ellis nodded, and left the hallway swiftly.
Finally released, Kamito stood up letting out a sigh of relief.
Brushing the dirt from his coat, he set foot inside the office.
After Kamito closed the door behind him, Greyworth shrugged her shoulders.
"She is the daughter of the ducal House of Fahrengart. An excellent knight, but somewhat stubborn."
"Is that girl a student here, too? She was wearing armor on top of her uniform."
"She is the leader of the Sylphid Knights, a party which manages any disturbances to the order of the academy."
"Like a public morals committee. In that case, they should manage it more strictly."
Kamito remembered, what happened inside the forest when he met the crimson haired young girl.
... To leave her at large was bad, in all sorts of ways.
"Fu, I'll take that into consideration. By the way Kamito, why are you so grimy. As if you were attacked in the Spirit Forest?"
".....No, I was scratched by a cat. A tomboyish hell cat girl."
Kamito answered impatiently with a bitter face, and Greyworth shrugged her shoulders again.
"You'd better be careful, rumors say that within the inner depths of the Spirit Forest that even the Spirit Investigation Association would not enter, are S-rank spirits still slumbering. Once you encounter one, your life is forfeited—in your case, can you manage to tame it?"
"Please stop. I don't want to associate myself with an S-rank spirit again."
"Yeah. As you are now, you would probably be a mincemeat in five seconds."
"Not even one second. Actually, with a contracted spirit I might last for seven seconds."
"Fu— with a contracted spirit?"
Greyworth directed her grayish eyes towards Kamito's right hand.
"That wound? Is that also a scratch by the cat?"
The wound—on the right hand, that was where the spirit seal was engraved a while ago.
Kamito clicked his tongue inwardly—No, after all he couldn't possibly hide it from the Dusk Witch.
"Well, how to say it. It is just happenstance. I made a contract with a particular sealed spirit. It was ultra-violent, had I failed the contract, I would not be standing here right now."
"Ha, what a change of heart, that you have contracted with a spirit other than her."
The grayish eyes, inside the glasses, glistened sharply.
"Finally you decided to say farewell to that ghost, is that it?"
At that mocking tone, Kamito couldn't help but get agitated.
"She is not a ghost! She is..."
Kamito took out the paper in his coat's pocket, then slapped it onto the front desk.
The beautiful witch did not waver in the slightest. A detestable calmness.
Kamito bit his lips, then asked Greyworth.
"This, you sent this to me. Is it true?"
"Ah, it's true. Witches don't tell lies."
"It was... Indeed, you haven't told a lie. But, you've never spoken the truth either."
Kamito spat out what he wanted to say.
"... Well whatever. Tell me what you know."
"Oh boy, is that the attitude of someone asking a witch? You were cuter three years ago."
"The cat changed into a tiger in three years. Do not think it will stay as your pet forever."
"A cat does not change into a tiger and never will."
Greyworth intentionally shrugged her shoulders and fixedly looked into Kamito's eyes.
Kamito was involuntarily overcome by the pressure of that overbearing stare.
"The thing written there is true. Your contracted spirit is alive."
Kamito swallowed his breath.
A Witch does not speak the truth. But, she never tells a lie either.
"Her... Restia, where is she now?"
Kamito raised his voice, leaning his body onto the office desk.
The witch without moving her eyebrow, thrust a bundle of documents to the tip of Kamito's nose.
"... What are these?"
"Agreement Terms. Sign here."
"This doesn't make any sense. What do you mean?"
"There is nothing you couldn't understand. For what purpose do you think I summoned you here? Did you take it that I, the Dusk Witch, will simply let you have the information out of goodwill?"
"I understand fully that you have nothing but malice."
Kamito snatched the bundle of documents, then slapped it onto the desk.
Bundled with a clip, Areishia Spirit Academy's Admission Notification.
It was written there. No doubt—Kamito's public Background Profile.
"What kind of a joke is this?"
"Today you will be admitted into the academy. Don't worry, I've already taken care of all the necessary procedures."
"How can I be calm! What do you mean by this, explain!"
"I need you. That's all."
The witch's words were always unexpected. Like a midsummer breeze.
"What are you talking about? I mean, this academy is a garden of pure maidens."
"No problem. Such a thing is no big deal with my authority."
"That would be a problem in itself! Now is different from three years ago."
Provoked by Kamito—
"Don't get the wrong idea, lad. You don't have any right to choose."
Greyworth told him in a shockingly cold voice.
"Till now I have allowed you to roam freely. Originally, the elementalist must be managed by the organization. You know that, right?"
In the Ordesia Empire, elementalists are given various privileges, but in exchange they must be registered with the organization. If there exist stray elementalists that harbor ideologies that are against the empire, it will be extremely dangerous to the nation.
"They will sniff out your existence sooner or later. Don't underestimate the country's Spirit Knights, we don't know how it would have been three years ago, but with your current slump you will lose for sure; besides—"
Then, a demonic grin floated from Greyworth.
"There's a slight chance that I might carelessly blab out the secret."
"... What carelessly? In short this is blackmail."
"It helps a lot that you understand so quickly."
Kamito threw a loathsome comment, Greyworth as if in regret shrugged her shoulders.
"Fu, why are you so dissatisfied? One man in an institution of maidens where real princesses are gathered. Isn't it like a marvelous luxury harem?"
"Oh, please, I'm—"
"If you like, you may take one student from the academy and do whatever you like to her. For example, Ellis Fahrengart from earlier—who is seriously stubborn, but she is of the type to become ultra obedient once well trained. I am sure she will respond to whatever perverted radical play you have in mind."
"Am I a sex deviant?!"
"A joke. There is no way that I have such authority."
"I can never understand your jokes..."
Kamito moaned holding his temple.
"Why did you summon me now? What do you plan to do with me?"
"Glad that we can get to the point directly."
"Since it is useless to oppose a Witch."
A casual reply, Greyworth let out a smile—
"In two months, the Blade Dance will be held in Astral Zero. I have put you up as an entrant there."
"What did you say?"
Once every few years, it is the largest kagura ritual carried out in Astral Zero.
Elementalists gather from the continent, and perform Blade Dance as an offering for the Five Great Elemental Lords.
So to speak, it's a grand martial battle festival of fellow elementalists.
The country of the victorious team will be given a few years of divine protection by the Elemental Lords, a guaranteed prosperity for the country. Together with a general assembly for the champion—
A single Wish will be granted.
"Win the cup, Kamito. Nevertheless, as of now it might be impossible for you."
Kamito bit his lips, strongly clenching his fist.
Not his right hand where the spirit seal was engraved—It was his left hand covered by the black leather glove.
*Zukiri*, A sharp pain ran through his chest.
"I-I have decided that I will never participate in the Blade Dance again."
"No, you will compete. Otherwise, there will be trouble."
Greyworth placed both of her hands onto the office desk, calmly shaking her head.
"Because, nobody but you can win against the Strongest Blade Dancer."
The moment that he heard that name, Kamito's face froze.
The Strongest—the elementalists that are given this title, currently, there was only one in the whole continent.
Three years ago, a mere fourteen year old young girl dominated the Blade Dance's individual matches.
"—That is right. She has returned."
Greyworth's grayish pair of eyes, peered into those of Kamito's.
"The Strongest Blade Dancer—Ren Ashbell."
Translator's notes and references
- Kagura 神楽[かぐら], "god-entertainment" refers to a specific type of Shinto theatrical dance.