Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume2 Chapter3 Draft
Chapter 3: The Lost Queen
Kamito, left Claire and the others at the café and immediately headed towards the academy director's office.
He knocked and opened the door—
"You're late. For how long do you plan to make a lady wait?"
Was the first thing he heard from Greyworth, her voice extremely cold. The woman, Greyworth Ciel Mais, better known as The Dusk Witch, was sitting at her office desk.
She was bewitchingly beautiful, but that was not what she was famous for. Originally a spirit knight with a long military service, she later entered the ranks of Numbersthe twelve knight commanders.
Greyworth had wavy ash-blonde hair and a pair of shining, gray eyes hidden behind glasses.
"Sorry, I heard that you had business with me and came as fast as I could. As a proof, I have a labored breath."
"Hmm, so it seems you became rather cheeky, haven’t you? Where did the obedient pure boy I once knew disappear? It seems the flow of time doesn’t spare anyone. It is so cruel, really."
"But it appears you haven’t changed a bit, Greyworth. Your appearance as well as your tricky character."
Kamito loathsomely replied. Disdain clear on his face.
Greyworth was one of the few people who knew him three years ago.
And she was the one who called Kamito, after he rejected his past as the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer, to the academy and attempted to make him participate in the competition that will be held in two months.
She did not tell him the reason for that.
Although, it wasn’t the first time the Dusk Witch made Kamito do something without sharing any information.
"That's right, you have certainly changed. In those three years, you've become especially weak. In the practice match a while ago, when faced with an opponent of that level you performed… pitifully. If it were you from the past, you would have overwhelmed that person in less than three minutes."
"You were watching? ... Your hobbies are bad, as usual."
"You are in such a sorry state that I doubt you are qualified to participate in the Blade Dance. The fact you defeated that militarized spirit must be a fluke."
"That time was—"
Kamito mumbled slightly.
He didn’t defeat it alone.
After meeting his former contracted spirit and being struck with despair, he was given the strength to stand once again by that red haired hellcat girl.
Suddenly, the memories of her soft lips touching his own resurfaced in his mind.
Mortified he immediately shook his head to get rid of those evil thoughts.
"I agree with you. I can't even fully use my contracted spirit's power yet."
Kamito dropped his eyes onto his right hand, which had a seal engraved on it.
"Still can't forget your previous woman? How stubborn."
"Watch your words! For me, Restia isn't like that!"
"On the contrary, you getting hotheaded makes it increasingly suspicious what your relationship actually is like. What do you think about getting a lover at the academy? It might even divert a little of your loneliness."
"Or, are the girls here too undeveloped? If that's the case... I too am available."
Greyworth smiled bewitchingly and using her fingertips slightly opened her cleavage.
He accidentally saw lacy black bra peeking from under her clothes.
"D...don't mess with me!"
"It's a joke. Hmm, from your tone, it seems you have not yet reached that level in relationships. I've heard rumors that you made a small breasted beautiful girl and a naked knee-socks clad spirit fall for you and are indulging in an improper harem cohabitation life."
He tried to rebufe, but was at a loss of words.
...Looking at it objectively, that seemed like the truth and 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 office.
"There is a girl I want to introduce you— come in"
From the inner room, came what sounded like a bell being turned over.
From the opened door appeared a girl who wore a black dress like uniform, different from the academy's.
She was beautiful, had luscious long black hair, clear black eyes and was so pretty Kamito found himself amazed.
It goes without saying that Kamito was charmed by her neat and clean appearance.
The moment his eyes met hers, she made a puzzled face.
"Errm, you're ... Kazehaya Kamito-kun?"
The girl asked unsure.
"Ahh, that's right, but—"
"But from what I remember..."
For some strange reason the girl seemed to be in shock.
(Wh...what's with this?)
"Well, that's right... he's a boy after all and it's already been three years."
The girl muttered to herself in a voice that Kamito could not hear.
After that, she looked at Kamito's face again.
"Yes, there certainly is a resemblance. 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 fluster.
"Erm... who is this girl?"
Kamito looked at Greyworth questioningly.
Unexpectedly, the girl, made a sullen expression and pouted.
"I knew it, you don’t remember... well, that's fine though."
"She is the recently admitted student who will be entering the Raven Class."
Ah! Kamito nodded. They were talking about it at the café just a while ago.
(This girl is the one...)
Carol told them that she was a daughter of noble, but, in any case, in this academy there were a lot of ladies with high social status, so there was nothing special in this situation.
(After that, she said that... she had big…)
Without thinking, he glanced towards the dress-like uniform's breast area—
Kamito confirmed awkwardly.
"She is the Ordesia Empire's second princess, her Highness Fianna Ray Ordesia."
Kamito frowned for a moment—
His eyes widened in surprise.
Many noble ladies were enrolled in Areishia Spirit Academy. 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 it was normal for elementalists to be daughters of aristocrats.
Fahrengart was a famous military family; Laurenfrost had long and noble history, Elstein’s ancestry too was extremely honorable, but their lands were currently seized.
However, this girl before him was— the second princess of the Ordesia Empire.
She was not just any noble; she was of royal blood, a real princess.
(Why would the empire's princess be in the academy?)
Daughters born into the Ordesia imperial family usually started training as Queen candidates, serving the Five Great Elemental Lords, at the Queen training organization, the «Divine Ritual Institute».
In any case, for the moment Kamito decided not to voice his questions and just knelt.
"Please pardon my rudeness, your Highness."
It was not that he specifically pledged allegiance to the Ordesia Empire, but his former contracted spirit has harshly driven into him how to behave himself around royalty.
However, Fianna quietly shook her head.
"That's alright, we both are students here. Besides, although I'm called the second princess, I'm the Lost Queen, so that hardly means anything."
"The Lost Queen?"
Kamito asked back— then he remembered.
(I see, the empire's second princess!)
He heard about it from rumors.
(If I remember it right, the girl was the Queen candidate supposed to serve the Fire Elemental Lord.)
Four years ago, the Fire Queen— Rubia Elstein committed her crime and brought the wrath of the Fire Elemental Lord, who learned of her treachery, on the empire. That brought about great chaos.
For the sake of appeasing the Fire Elemental Lord's anger, the «Divine Ritual Institute» tried to prepare a successor but—
At that time, she declared that she stepped down from the position of the Queen candidate and was cast out from the imperial family.
So far, her reasons for that were not officially announced.
That is how the second princess completely disappeared from the center of attention.
And now she was standing in front of him?
"It's just as she says. When you pass through this academy's gates, no matter what social status you have, you will receive no special treatment. Whether you are 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, picked up the sides of her skirt with her fingertips and bowed elegantly.
"A...Ah, nice to meet you—"
Kamito stood up before his expression froze.
"What's the matter?"
Scratching his cheek, 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 uniform skirt.
And the sight of her mature black lingerie, weaved with laces, was firmly etched into Kamito's mind.
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 bloodlust filled eyes.
"...I'm sorry. And why did you call for me?"
If this witch was involved it could not be something as simple as introducing the new student.
(To acquaint me with the empire's princess, what is she scheming?)
As if reading Kamito's mind, the witch pushed up her glasses, seemingly sullen.
"Your distrust is regrettable; after all I prepared a special quest for your sake."
"A special quest?"
"That's right. There is a task I want to give her and I decided that your team will accompany her as guards."
It was another way, beside matches with fellow academy students, that helped rising in the academy’s ranking system.
A given quest could have various objectives, from Kagura by a blade dance, suppression of a rampaging spirit, excavation and investigation of the sealed spirit, to the subjugation of elementalists gone astray.
By completing the quests that were divided depending on their danger level, the academy students could raise their rank the same way like when winning official matches.
"By the way, this quest's difficulty level is S rank."
Kamito blurted out.
In the academy, the S rank was given to the assignments with the highest difficulty level.
The amount of points a student could get for completing one was extraordinary, but it was also very dangerous and, depending on the situation, could even lead to death. It should not even be possible for him to receive it with his 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 only ones suitable for this quest are Fianna and you. If you refuse, then I'll spread the word around to other teams."
It was not a bad deal. On the contrary, in his current situation, it was a godsend.
Already, there were only two months left before the start of the Blade Dance. No, the final examination that will determine the three participating teams would take place even earlier.
If nothing changed, and they continued participating in regular official matches and quests they could not possibly make it to the top.
For some reason Greyworth was bent on making Kamito participate in the Blade Dance.
But, it seemed that the influence of the academy’s director was not enough.
Therefore, she got them a S rank mission, which was extremely dangerous, but had a completion bonus, which was also extremely high.
(If we could complete the quest, that would be it— Huh?)
He didn’t like the fact, it was Greyworth he received it from, but…
If the quest included guarding an important person, he already had the necessary experience from the past.
Certainly, it was far better than rising in inter-school ranking through official matches.
"—I understand. Explain the details of the quest."
"That's the spirit."
Kamito prompted and Greyworth smiled.
"Have you heard about the Gado mine town?"
"Gado? I think I had. Wasn’t it abandoned a few decades ago."
Gado was formerly a town with large spirit crystal mining grounds, but, during the second Ranbal war, spirit crystal deposits were exhausted, and it was abandoned.
It should have turned into a ghost town by now and become ruins.
"There have been frequent occurrences of strange earthquakes at that mine recently. I want you to go there and investigate."
"Is that so?"
For the academy to request an investigation meant that it was probably not an ordinary incident.
It was often the case that the earth attribute spirits that ruled 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. There were also cases where, depending on the situation, a suppressing unit of spirit knights was formed.
As a quest it was relatively typical, but—
"Stop joking around. Why does a mission like that has a S rank?"
He didn’t think that ordinary investigation involving a simple earth spirit could be so dangerous.
Compared to the quest's risk, the assigned rank seemed too high.
"You're being distrustful as usual, can't you believe in my good will?"
"Why should I? You never lie. However, you also never speak the truth."
"Hmm...well, it is indeed so."
Greyworth smiled and shrugged in resignation.
"It seems that a strategic-class militarized spirit, sealed by the old Ordesia Knights, is sleeping at that mine."
Kamito groaned, Fianna 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 comand it. In the end, this spirit could only be controlled by ritual Kagura performed by several hundred elementalists— it was solely 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, it’s the spirit that causes the earthquakes?"
"At the very worst; it's still only a possibility. I want to entrust you guys with this investigation. You must confirm whether that the seal has come undone or not—"
"I'll perform the resealing by the «Ritual Kagura»."
Fianna calmly spoke.
"That's right. As a 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 them since they were children.
In the entire academy, there was only one former Queen— a rare special skill user; the quest could only be accomplished with her help, and considering that it had to do with a strategic-class militarized spirit, it might also be appropriate to give it a S rank.
The terms were not bad. However, there was one more thing that he had to ask.
"...But is Fianna alright with this? With me guarding her, I mean."
If it was just about protecting her, there should be even more competent elementalists.
For example, Ellis Fahrengart. Her sense of responsibility was strong and she was very capable, so there should be no complains with her being the guard.
There was no reason to have Kamito, who was a boy of all things, accompany the princess. 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 team up 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 and gazed at him with admiraion.
Kamito felt shocked from the way she looked at him with those clear black eyes.
"Hmm, aren't you popular?"
Greyworth asked, seemingly displeased, and handed over a document with the quest's key points written on it.
"If you intend to take up this mission, sign here. This is a good deal."
Far from that, for Kamito with the current circumstances, it was an extraordinary good deal.
"I can't decide this by myself. I have to at least ask Claire."
"Hmm, well, that's alright. But hurry, I'll have you leave tomorrow."
The one who asked it was Fianna.
"Ah, my teammate, but—"
"Could she 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 surprising for her to know even Claire, that girl's sister.
"That person's sister..."
Fianna's lips slightly trembled.
She might have started having doubts after hearing that the Calamity Queen's sister will be taking part in the mission.
"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."
Fianna nodded muttering in a soft voice.
"I don't plan on losing even to the sister."
As the two of them left the office, Greyworth smiled.
"However, that princess did something very bold."
"You knew, director?"
From inside the woman’s shadow, a lady appeared.
She was the shadow elementalist—Freya Grandol, a teacher at the academy.
"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 is aware of. She understands it and yet she became a student here. If she does not awaken, that will be the end of it, but if she does, it will be… Fortunate. Therefore, I grouped her with that boy."
"Academy director, what on earth are you—"
Freya frowned and at that moment a winged eyeball flew in from the office window.
It was Greyworth’s probe-use spirit.
"Hmm, it seems that an uninvited guest has infiltrated the Academy Town."
"Is it the darkness spirit from the other day?"
"Hm, I wonder? I do not know what they are aiming for, but... Freya Grandol, tell the Sylphid Knights to strengthen the security."
After leaving the office Kamito took Fianna on a tour around the academy building.
She walked elegantly, stepping lightly. It must have taken a lot of time and effort to develop and polish such manners.
"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."
Because of the slow walk and calm conversation Kamito's tone had relaxed tremendously.
Since she was the Ordesia Empire’s princess and a princess maiden from the «Divine Ritual Institute»— he thought that there would be a hard-to-approach atmosphere around her, but she was a surprisingly easy girl to talk to.
While walking along the corridor the pair attracted a lot of attention from other academy students.
"Hey, take a look. That’s Kazehaya Kamito, is he going to rape the new student again?" "The licentious beast's special demonstration." "But I might be a little envious." "Wh...what are you saying!" "B...but if he were to look at me with those sharp eyes...I...I might be unable to deny him." "If just for a little while, I want to try being played with... don't you?" "Th...that's true, I...if he were to approach me forcefully... 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..."
Soft whispers could be heard from the whole corridor.
(...What!? The Demon King of the night!?)
He wanted to retort numerous times, but it seemed like it would be more trouble than it was worth, so he did not.
He had already gotten used to the girls' frightened gazes.
However, for some strange reason, there also were numerous girls sending him passionate looks.
And then, 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."
"Is that so, I wonder?"
Suddenly, he felt something soft touch him.
Fianna pressed her breasts into Kamito's arm.
"Hn, what's the matter?"
The princess gave him an impish smile and an innocent glance.
The sensation made his heart beat faster.
"No, princess... err, your breasts are..."
"I don’t mind. Or—"
Fianna gave him a short teasing smile.
"Do you dislike immodest princesses?"
From the neckline of the dress-like uniform, her black bra could be seen peeking out.
...He was troubled, tremendously troubled.
He felt like the sharpness of the gazes the girls passing by gave him was gradually increasing.
Fianna was looking at Kamito with great relish.
"Fufu, it seems like everyone is jealous."
"That's definitely the case..."
Kamito sighed deeply,
"By the way, why did princess enroll into this academy?"
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 spotlight.
Fianna suddenly stopped. Kamito also paused.
"If I said— I came to meet Kamito-kun, would you believe me?"
Kamito was a little puzzled,
"No, it can't be that you came because me, haven't we just met, Fianna?"
Fianna pouted as if she was a little sullen hearing such a reply from Kamito.
Fianna muttered and softly pressed her index finger to Kamito's lips.
And then, she drew her face closer till her lips were almost touching his.
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 let out in a dry voice.
The only people who knew Kamito's true identity as Ren Ashbell were the contracted spirit Restia and the witch Greyworth— nobody else should be aware of it.
How did this girl...?
"...I knew it, you don't remember."
Fianna pouted again, seemingly displeased.
Making such a face at this distance made it look as if she was a lover pestering him for a kiss.
"It's alright. I'll keep it a secret from everyone, I promised 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 him.
"Come on, what in the world were—"
At that point she finally saw the two’s posture. They were standing in the middle of the corridor and looked like a kissing couple.
Gogogo... her shoulders began to tremble slightly.
Her red hair bristled up like a crimson flame.
"Yo...yo...you slave... yo...you truly have no discretion..."
Pishii!—The moment her whip made a sound, a hell cat, clad in red hot flames, appeared from nowhere.
The hell cat transformed into the Flame Tongue 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 after hearing the girl’s name.
She gently let go of 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 lit up in Fianna's eyes when she looked at Claire.