Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume2 Chapter3
Chapter 3 - The Lost Queen
After that, Kamito, who parted from Claire and the others, made his way towards the headmistress' office immediately.
He knocked and opened the door—
"You're late, for how many seconds do you plan to make this lady wait?"
That was the first thing Greyworth, who was sitting at the office desk, coldly said.
The Dusk Witch — Greyworth Ciel Mais.
Her figure was certainly that of a bewitchingly beautiful woman, but she was originally a spirit knight with a long military service, who had her name entered first on the list of Numbersthe twelve knight commanders.
She had wavy ash-blonde hair. Her gray pupils were shining behind her small pair of glasses.
"Sorry, I heard that you have business with me and no matter what my walking became heavy."
"Hmm, so now you're able to run your rather cheeky mouth, are you? Where did the obedient pure lad from those days go? Really, this thing called the flow of time is cruel."
"You're the only one who doesn't change, Greyworth. Your outward looks as well as your tricky character."
Kamito loathsomely said in disdain.
Greyworth is one of the few people who knew him three years ago.
And she was the perpetrator who called Kamito, who threw away the name Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer, to the academy and attempted to make him participate in the Blade Dance two months later.
She did not tell him the reason for that.
Although, it was often the case that the Dusk Witch worked Kamito hard without telling him anything.
"That's right, you have certainly changed. Compared to three years ago, you've become especially weak. In the practice match a while ago, what was that sorry performance when faced with an opponent of that level? If it was the you from the past, you would have overwhelmingly defeated that one person in under three minutes."
"You were watching? ...As usual your hobbies are bad."
"In such a sorry state, your participation qualifications for the Blade Dance are also doubtful. Or, was it a fluke that you defeated that militarized spirit?"
"That time was—"
Kamito slightly mumbled.
It was not that he defeated it with just his own strength.
Kamito, who had a chance meeting with his changed former contracted spirit and was struck with despair, was given the strength to stand once again by that red haired hell cat girl.
Suddenly, the sensation of her soft lips was resurrected in his mind.
To shake it off and cleanse the evil thoughts, Kamito shook his head in a fluster.
"I also think that I'm miserable. I can't even fully use my contracted spirit's power yet."
Kamito dropped his eyes onto his right hand, which was engraved with a spirit seal.
"Is it that you still can't forget your previous woman? How stubborn."
"Don't mess around! For me, Restia isn't like that!"
"On the contrary, getting hotheaded makes it increasingly suspicious. If you like, how about getting a lover or something in this academy? It might even divert a little of the loneliness."
"Or, are the girls in the academy too childlike? If that's the case... I'm also good."
Greyworth smiled bewitchingly and slightly pushed open her breast area with her fingertips.
He accidentally saw an adult-like, black lacy lingerie in her cleavage.
"D...don't mess around!"
"It's a joke. Hmm, with that tone, it seems that you have not yet reached that level. I've heard rumors that you made a tiny breasted beautiful girl and a naked knee-socks spirit wait upon you and are indulging in an improper harem cohabitation life."
Trying to refute, Kamito was at a loss for words.
...Looking at it objectively, that was the truth and so it was painful to be unable to deny it.
"Greyworth, did you call me just to tell some worthless jokes?"
"That's right— but, of course, that's not the only thing."
Greyworth creaked her chair and faced the visitor room at the inner side of the room.
"I have a girl I want to introduce to you— okay, come in"
From the inner room, came what sounded like a bell being turned over.
The one who opened the door and appeared was—
A girl who wore a black dresslike uniform, different from the academy's uniform.
It was a beautiful girl, whose beautiful long black hair was impressive, to the extent that he was taken aback.
She had clear black pupils. Without thinking, Kamito was charmed by her neat and clean appearance.
The moment his eyes met with hers, she made a puzzled face for some reason.
"Errm, you're ... Kazehaya Kamito-kun?"
While blinking her eyes incessantly, the girl asked.
"Ahh, that's right, however—"
"But my impression is very..."
...It was somewhat strange, but it seemed the girl received a shock.
(Wh...what's with this?)
"But, that's right... he's a boy after all and it's already been three years."
The girl was muttering to herself in a voice that Kamito could not hear.
After that, she looked at Kamito's face again.
"Yes, there's certainly a resemblance, yeah. Besides, this is fine—"
"What's up, Fianna?"
Greyworth called out, seemingly puzzled.
"Ah, s...sorry! Err, this is the first time I've seen a male elementalist!"
The girl called Fianna shook her head in a fluster.
"Erm... who is this girl?"
Kamito faced Greyworth and asked.
Then, the girl, for some reason, made a sullen expression and pouted her lips.
"I knew it, you didn't remember... well, that's fine though."
"She is the recently admitted student who will be entering the same Raven Class as you."
Ah! Kamito nodded. They were talking about it at the café just a while ago.
(This girl is the one...)
Carol was saying that she was a daughter of noble social status, but, in any case, in this academy the ladies of noble social status were all around him, so he did not feel anything special.
(After that, she said that... her breasts were big.)
Without thinking, he glanced towards the dress-like uniform's chest area—
Kamito consented strangely.
"She is the Ordesia Empire's second princess, her Highness Fianna Ray Ordesia."
Kamito frowned for a moment—
His eyes widened in surprise.
In Areishia Spirit Academy, which was an elementalist training organization, many genuine daughters of nobles were enrolled. This was the result of the empire's royalty and nobles continuing the bloodline of elementalists through marriage of convenience that even spanned over several generations.
Naturally, there were also exceptions, but, speaking of elementalists, it was normal for them to be daughters of nobles.
Fahrengart, the head of the military family, and Laurenfrost, with a family history.
Its lands were currently seized, but Claire's Elstein family was also of a noble pedigree.
However, this girl before him was— the second princess of the Ordesia Empire.
She was not even the nobility.
She was what one would call— the real princess.
(Why would the empire's princess be in the academy?)
Daughters born into the Ordesia imperial family should be scheduled to stack up training as Queen candidates, serving the Five Great Elemental Lords, at the Queen training organization, the Divine Ritual Institute.
In any case, Kamito kept that question in his chest for now and knelt down on the ground on one knee.
"Please pardon my rudeness, your Highness."
It was not that he specifically pledged allegiance to the Ordesia Empire, but the bearing to take before the royalty was harshly driven into him by his former contracted spirit.
However, Fianna quietly shook her head.
"That's alright, we are students of the same academy here. Besides, although I'm called the second princess, I'm the Lost Queen, my social status is already gone."
"The Lost Queen?"
Kamito asked back— then he recalled.
(I see, the empire's second princess!)
He heard about it from rumors.
(If I remember it, the girl was the Queen candidate to serve the Fire Elemental Lord.)
Four years ago, the Fire Queen— Rubia Elstein's absconding happened.
The empire fell into chaos for a moment by the wrath of the Fire Elemental Lord, who learned of her treachery.
For the sake of appeasing the Fire Elemental Lord's anger, the Divine Ritual Institute tried to support a second Queen but—
At that time, the empire's second princess should have been supported as the successor to Rubia.
However, she never became Queen. At that time, she declared that she stepped down from the Queen candidacy for some reason and her existence was erased from the imperial family.
The reason that she had rejected to become Queen was not officially announced so far.
Henceforth, the second princess completely disappeared from the center stage.
That Lost Queen meant this girl in front of him?
"It's just as she says. As long as you pass through this academy's gates, no matter what social status the princess maidens have, there is no special treatment. Even a princess, a male elementalist, or the Calamity Queen's sister."
"There you have it, I'm the former princess, but nice to meet you, Kazehaya Kamito-kun."
Fianna smiled and picked up the sides of her skirt with her fingertips, then bowed elegantly.
"A...Ah, nice to meet you—"
Kamito stood up and his expression froze.
"What's the matter?"
While scratching his face, Kamito looked away.
Fianna tilted her head to the side.
It seemed she realized that what she was holding up was not a ball dress, but a short length uniform skirt.
Her mature black underwear, weaved with laces, was firmly etched into Kamito's retina.
The former princess' face turned red as she embarrassedly muttered.
"You two, don't flirt and act lovey-dovey in front of my eyes. It's irritating."
Greyworth glared at Kamito, with her eyes filled with bloodlust.
"...I'm sorry. And why did you call for me?"
About this witch. It was probably not just to introduce the admitted student.
(To introduce the empire's princess to me, what is she scheming?)
As if she read Kamito's emotions, the witch pushed up her glasses, seemingly sullen.
"It's regrettable, despite purposely preparing a special quest for your sake."
"A special quest?"
"That's right. It was just nice that I had a quest I wanted to entrust her with, so I wanted your team to accompany her as her guards."
Together with official matches with fellow academy students, it was the system that supported the academy ranking system.
A given quest could set various objectives, from kagura by a blade dance, the suppression of a rampaging spirit, the excavation and investigation of the sealed spirit, to the subjugation of elementalists gone astray.
By completing the quests that were divided into ranks depending on the danger level, the academy students could raise their team rankings just as they do by winning official matches.
"By the way, this quest's difficulty level is S rank."
Without thinking, Kamito inquired back.
An S rank quest was the highest difficulty level quest in the academy's ranking.
The amount of ranking points it could net was extraordinary, but it was a dangerous quest that could even result in death, depending on the situation. It should not even be possible to sign up for it with Kamito's current ranking.
"Did you prepare things behind the scenes?"
"Your hearing is bad. I said that I don't practice special treatment. It just means that the ones suitable for this quest are Fianna and you. If you disagree, then I'll spread the word around to other teams."
It was not a bad deal. On the contrary, looking at Kamito's current team, it was a godsend.
Till the opening of the Blade Dance, there already were only two months left. No, the final examination to decide the top three participating teams would take place even earlier.
With their current pace, they could not possibly make it by the means of regular official matches and quests.
Greyworth was somehow bent on making Kamito participate in the Blade Dance.
But as one would expect, forcing in a representative of the empire through the power of the Academy's headmistress was not possible.
Therefore, she got the S rank quest, whose danger level was high, and the completion bonus, which was also extremely high.
(If we could complete the quest, that would be it— Huh?)
He was not pleased to move in accordance to Greyworth's expectation, but??
If it was a quest to guard an important person, he had the experience of doing such things several times in the past.
Certainly, it was far better than raising the inter-school ranking steadily through the official matches.
"—I understand. Explain the details of the quest."
"That's the spirit."
Kamito prompted and Greyworth smiled.
"Do you know Mine Town Gado?"
"Gado? Well, I roughly know its name. It is a town with the mine that was abandoned a few decades ago."
Mine Town Gado. It was formerly a town with large spirit crystal mining grounds, but, during the second Ranbal war, spirit crystal deposits were exhausted, and it became a town with a completely abandoned mine.
It should certainly be a ghost town full of ruins nowadays.
"There have been frequent occurrences of strange earthquakes at that mine recently. I want you to go there and investigate that."
"Investigate the earthquakes?"
For the academy to bring in an investigation request meant that it was probably not an ordinary earthquake.
It was often the case that the earth attribute spirits that rule over the land caused the earthquakes.
If that was because a spirit was angry or was in a frenzy, it could be appeased by a ritual of a blade dance. Depending on the situation, there were also cases where a subjugation unit of spirit knights was formed.
As a quest it was relatively typical, but—
"Stop joking. Why is an ordinary earthquake investigation an S rank quest?"
He did not think that such level of danger would be involved if it was just an ordinary earth spirit investigation.
Compared to the quest's risk, the assigned rank seemed too high.
"You're being distrustful as usual, can't you trust my good will?"
"Can I trust it? You never lie. However, you also never speak the truth."
"Hmm...well, it is indeed like that."
Greyworth smiled and shrugged her shoulders in resignation.
"At that mine, it seems a strategic-class militarized spirit, who was sealed by the old Ordesia Knights, is sleeping there."
"A strategic-class militarized spirit...!?"
Kamito spontaneously groaned. Fianna beside him also gasped in surprise.
A strategic-class militarized spirit— it could not be compared to the giant spirit that went into frenzy at the Academy Town the other day.
Because of its tremendous strength, it was impossible for an individual to control it. In the end, it could only be controlled by ritual kagura performed by several hundred elementalists— it was surely a weapon of mass destruction.
At the end of the second Ranbal war, the continental nations signed a treaty, and all the seven bodies should have sealed and disposed of such spirits, but—
"Don't tell me, the one causing the earthquake is that strategic-class militarized spirit?"
"At the very worst; it's only a possibility. I want to entrust you guys with this investigation. If your investigation confirms that the seal has come undone—"
"I'll perform the ritual of resealing by the ritual kagura."
Fianna calmly opened her mouth to speak.
"That's right. For you, who is the former Queen candidate, this quest suits you perfectly."
"...I see, that's the reason you called for this princess."
The Queens, who served the Five Great Elemental Lords, were the experts in the ritual kagura that appeased spirits.
They did not receive any special martial arts training, and as the result they were not suited for battle, but all forms of ritual have been driven into their bodies since they were children.
In the entire academy, there was only one former Queen academy student— a rare special skill user; the quest could only be accomplished with her, and considering that it had to do with a strategic-class militarized spirit, it might also be appropriate to set it as an S rank quest.
The terms were not bad. However, there was one more thing that he had to ask.
"...But is Fianna alright with this? With the guard being me."
If it was just about guarding her, there should have been even more competent elementalists.
For example, Ellis Fahrengart. If it was her, whose sense of responsibility was strong and who also had the ability, there would be no shortcomings to her being a guard.
There were no merits for the princess to have Kamito, who was a boy, as her guard. If Greyworth grouped them together as she pleased, ignoring Fianna's will— he planned to reject this deal.
"Of course, I'll be relying on you, Kamito-kun."
"Did Greyworth threaten you to group with me?"
"No, after all, I was the one who nominated you."
"Is that so?"
"Yes. To travel with the world's only male elementalist, isn't it great?"
Fianna entwined her fingers with Kamito's hand and gazed with upturned eyes.
Peering into her clear black pupils, Kamito spontaneously felt shock.
"Hmm, aren't you popular?"
Greyworth said, seemingly displeased, and handed over a document with the quest's key points written on it.
"If you intend to take up this quest, then sign here. This should not be a bad deal for you."
It was not bad, far from that, it was an extraordinary deal for Kamito in the current circumstances.
"I can't decide this by myself. I have to at least ask Claire too."
"Hmm, well, that's alright. But hurry, I'll have you leave tomorrow."
The one who raised her voice was Fianna.
"Ah, my team member, but—"
"Could she happen to be Claire Elstein?"
"...You know her?"
Kamito awkwardly scratched his head.
(That's right, this girl is... the Queen candidate to the Fire Elemental Lord.)
She was the princess maiden who was training at the same Divine Ritual Institute as the Calamity Queen— Rubia Elstein.
If that was the case, it would not be strange for her to know even Claire, that girl's sister.
"That person's sister..."
Fianna's lips slightly trembled.
She might be having regrets after hearing that the Calamity Queen's sister was one of the teammates.
"I'm sorry, but Claire is my teammate. I'll accomplish the quest together with her."
Kamito informed her—
"Yes, that's what I wish for as well."
As Fianna nodded, she muttered in a soft voice.
"I don't plan on losing to even the sister."
As the two of them left the office, Greyworth smiled.
"However, that princess did something bold as well."
"—you knew, Headmistress?"
From inside of the Greyworth's shadow, a lady quickly appeared.
Shadow elementalist— the teacher Freya Grandol.
"Is it about her using spirit crystals during the entrance examination? Of course, I noticed it. She did something impious. Doesn't that stone cost twenty million rood apiece?"
"Then, I presume you are overlooking this unfair entry, right?"
"Princess Fianna was ranked next to that Rubia Elstein as the second Queen candidate at the age of thirteen. If she wakes up as an elementalist again, isn't it the best bargain?"
"However, if she tries to lead her academy life using that thing, wouldn't she be instantly exposed?"
"I think that's something she also understands. She understands it and yet she became the academy's student. If she does not awaken, that would be the end to it, but if she awakens, it would be a fortune. Therefore, I grouped her with that lad."
"Headmistress, what on earth are you—"
Freya frowned and at that moment a winged eyeball flew in from the office window.
It was a probe-use spirit, used by Greyworth.
"Hmm, it seems that an uninvited guest has infiltrated the Academy Town."
"Is it the darkness spirit from the other day?"
"Well, I wonder? I do not know what they are aiming for, but... Freya Grandol, go prepare the order for the Sylphid Knights to strengthen the security."
Kamito, who left the office, took Fianna on a tour around the academy building.
She had an elegant light manner of walking. It seemed that a real princess' way of walking was also polished.
"Fianna, are you wearing the Divine Ritual Institute's uniform?"
"Yes, as opposed to the Areishia Spirit Academy, it seems to be a recent design. During the time I was active, it used to be an even more bombastic ritual costume. That was cute in a way, but all the girls were definitely yearning for skirts."
"...Hmm, is that so? It suits you."
"Ah, even if it's just flattery, I am happy."
As they were talking while walking, Kamito's tone had relaxed tremendously.
Since she was the Ordesia Empire princess and a princess maiden from the Divine Ritual Institute— he was thinking that there would be an even-harder-to-approach atmosphere, but she was a surprisingly easy girl to talk to.
The two of them, who had such conversation while walking along the corridor, were already basked in the attention of other academy students.
"Hey, take a look. Kazehaya Kamito, again, is going to rape the admitted student!" "The licentious beast's special demonstration." "But I might be a little envious." "Wh...what are you saying!" "B...but if I was to be gazed at by those sharp eyes...I...I might be unable to defy." "It's just for a mere little while only, a little while only, I want to try being played with... don't you think so?" "Th...that's true, I...if he were to approach with force... my heart would surely be pounding." " No way, after all, he's the Demon King, the Demon King that devours any girl he can lay his hands on." "The Demon King..." "The Demon King of the Night..."
A soft commotion like that could have been heard from the whole corridor.
(...What! The Demon King of the Night!)
He wanted to retort numerous remarks, but it seemed like it would become really troublesome, so he did not.
He had already gotten used to the girls' frightened gazes.
However, it was strange, but there also were numerous girls sending him passionate gazes for some reason.
And then, for some reason, there seemed to be ribbon-tied letters and homemade sweets placed in his locker.
...Well, it might be just a prank.
"Hmm, Kamito-kun, you're quite popular."
"They're just teasing me, after all, I'm the only male in this academy."
Suddenly, he felt a soft sensation at his upper arm.
Fianna pressed her breasts onto Kamito's arm.
"Hn, what's the matter?"
The princess expressed an impish smile with an upward glance.
The throbbing of his heart would not stop with that proper softness pressed onto his arm.
"No, princess... err, your breasts are hitting..."
"I do not mind. Or—"
Fianna gave a short teasing smile.
"Do you dislike an immodest princess?"
From the breast area of the dress-like uniform, her black lingerie was slightly in sight.
...He was troubled, earth-shatteringly troubled.
He felt like the sharpness of the gazes of the girls passing by along the corridor was gradually increasing.
Fianna was enjoyably gazing at Kamito, who has tensed up.
"Fufu, it seems like everyone is jealous."
"That's definitely not it..."
Kamito sighed deeply,
"By the way, why did princess enroll into this academy?"
Suddenly, he tried to ask something that was on his mind since a while ago.
He did not care for the circumstances that made her throw away her position as a Queen candidate. He was just curious as to why she became a student of the academy now, after having once disappeared from the center stage.
Fianna's legs suddenly stopped. Kamito also stopped at the same time.
"If I said— I came to meet Kamito-kun, would you believe me?"
As Kamito was a little puzzled,
"No, it can't be that you came to meet me, haven't we just met, Fianna?"
Fianna pouted her lips as if she was a little sullen hearing such a reply from Kamito.
Fianna muttered and pushed her index finger softly onto Kamito's lips.
And then, she drew her face closer till her lips barely touched him.
At that moment, Kamito's expression froze.
With the unexpected name coming from her mouth— he was at a loss for words.
Standing still and dumbfounded, Kamito leaked out a dry voice.
The only people who knew Kamito's true identity as Ren Ashbell were the contracted spirit Restia and the witch Greyworth— those two people only.
How did this girl...?
"...I knew it, you don't remember."
Fianna pouted her lips, seemingly displeased.
Making such a face at this distance made it look as if she were a lover pestering for a kiss.
"It's alright. I'll keep it a secret from everyone, I did promise after all."
Kamito seemed to have recalled something, at that moment.
Claire came running from the other side of the corridor. It seemed that she was searching for Kamito.
"Come on, what in the world were—"
At that point, Claire suddenly stopped.
In the middle of the corridor, she saw the two's posture, which was almost like a couple kissing—
Gogogo... her shoulders began to tremble bit by bit.
Her red hair bristled up like a crimson flame and blazed up tremblingly.
"Yo...yo...you slave... yo...you truly have no discretion..."
Pishii!—The moment her whip made a sound, the hell cat, cladded in red hot flames, appeared from an empty space.
The hell cat transformed into the Flametounge form in an instant and settled into Claire's right hand.
"Th...that's alright, I'll thoroughly train you today..."
"Wa...wait, don't misunderstand, Claire, this girl is—"
Fianna reacted to that name Kamito said.
She gently parted her arms from Kamito and glared at Claire with a sharp look.
"I see, you are Claire Rouge."
"That's right. So what?"
"You are that person's sister..."
He felt like invisible fireworks scattered in Fianna's eyes glaring at Claire.