Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume2 Chapter8 Draft
Chapter 8: Fianna's confession
The boy woke up to the sight of two girls leaning other him.
"Great, you're awake."
"You're too rash... idiot."
...It seemed that he overused his divine power and fainted.
After getting up from the cold ground, Kamito looked around.
The dim, flickering glow of the spirit crystal was illuminating the darkness.
The tunnel had collapsed and it seemed that the path was completely blocked by the fallen earth and sand.
"Both of you, are you injured?"
"No, we aren’t... how do you feel?"
"Ah, I just overused my divine power. What, have I worried you?
"Id-Idiot, I wasn’t concerned or anything!"
Claire landed a clean hit exactly on his wound with her palm. Kamito writhed in the intense pain.
"...Come on, what are you doing?"
Fianna sighed in frustration.
Kamito held his hurting shoulder as he surveyed his surroundings.
"Are the others safe?"
"Yes...although they don’t feel well. For now, I've given them some emergency treatment."
When Fianna raised the light crystal up, the forms of Ellis and the others lying on the ground could be seen.
...Their condition could hardly be described as 'safe'.
Rakka and Reishia were still unconscious and in critical state after being poisoned.
Ellis seemed to be conscious, but it looked like she was in no condition to walk.
Next to Rinslet, who was sitting against the wall, Fenrir was licking its master's wounds.
"Jio Inzagi. What on earth happened to him?"
"Fianna released the spirit that was sealed in the crystal. He was swallowed by the pillar of light and disappeared...Although, I don't think he's dead."
"Was that a spirit crystal...?"
When Kamito turned towards Fianna, she nodded with a "Yes".
"But to think it could hold someone so strong—"
That spirit possessed such destructive power that it even managed to force back Thanatos and collapse the tunnel.
Without a doubt, it held a very high rank.
However, Kamito never heard of the existence of a spirit crystal or anything else that could seal something so powerful.
"Blood Stone—a treasure handed down in the Ordesia royal family."
"You don’t know about it? It's common knowledge for elementalists."
Claire sighed in astonishment while Kamito frowned.
"It can't be helped, I'm not a noble and I'm unfamiliar with things like that."
When Kamito said that, Claire shrugged in disappointment before giving an explanation.
"Blood Stone isn't ordinary. It can seal a part of a high ranking spirit's power within a special spirit crystal that was mined at the sacred ground of Astral Zero. Of course, it isn't something that money or influence can buy you. It is national treasure, after all."
"Is that so..."
Although she was banished from the royal family, Fianna was the former second princess of the Ordesia Empire. The moment she was admitted into Areishia Spirit Academy, she might have been made to hand it over in the screening.
"I had tricked the stupid palace guards and pilfered it from the royal family's treasure hall. But I also switched it with an imitation, so it's alright."
The princess puffed her chest out.
"Ah, I thought it was like that... Hn?"
At that moment Kamito finally noticed something out of place.
It was... Fianna's pushed out chest.
...Small. It had obviously decreased in size.
(That reminds me, just now Fianna...)
She was hiding that spirit crystal—Blood Stone between her breasts.
Although it wasn't such a big thing, how did she manage that?
"Ug... D-Don't look..."
Fianna, who noticed the direction of Kamito's sight, bashfully crossed her hands in front of herself.
"Kamito! Fianna had been deceiving us all this time!"
Claire pointed at the princess accusingly.
"That's right; this girl is a fake-breast princess!"
Kamito slowly turned towards Fianna with a deadpan look,
"...Uh, is that true?"
"I-it is, they're pads... is that wrong?"
The princess' cheeks reddened, and she quickly turned away.
"No, it's nothing worth getting furious over, but... why did you do it?"
"...To protect the Blood Stone. No one could steal it if it was between my breasts. Moreover, I heard b-boys all like big breasted girls, so..."
From the start, her purpose for coming to the academy was to ensnare Kamito and make him her comrade.
...That reminded him, she had been approaching him and pressing her breasts against him at random, did she actually need them for that?
"No, there are also boys who like girls even if their breasts are small."
For some reason, Claire's ears twitched when she heard his words.
"Ka-Kamito, what you said just now... is that true?"
"Yeah, after all, everyone has different tastes when it comes to opposite sex. Well, personally, I think that compared to having none, having some is better... Ouch!"
Without a warning Claire hit him with her whip.
"No, I just talked about my personal tastes. There are also many boys out there with other preferences—"
Tears filled Claire’s eyes before she bit her lips.
(Anyway, that soft feeling was from the pads?...)
...He completely missed it. As expected, the technological level of the imperial capital shouldn’t be taken lightly.
"Although it was my plan to use that Blood Stone at the «Blade Dance» as a trump card."
She muttered, lowering her tone and clasping her hands in front of her breasts.
Rather than being small, they were normal for a girl of her age.
At the very least, they weren't deplorable like Claire's—
"...No, sorry. It was nothing."
Flustered, Kamito looked away from Claire, who was glaring at him sternly through her tear filled eyes.
“Ahem”, he coughed and turned towards Fianna.
"Why did you bring this crystal anyway?"
After being released from the stone, the spirit and the sealed part of its power would instantly return to Astral Zero. It could not be used again.
Therefore, elementalists didn't normally use crystals. After all, most of the time, it was a lot more effective to use magic and contracted spirits in a blade dance.
When he asked that, Fianna looked downwards and calmly sighed.
"Well, it'll get exposed eventually anyway, so I'll tell you guys right here and now."
Kamito and Claire exchanged glances at Fianna's unusually serious expression.
"—It happened four years ago, I lost the ability to use my contracted spirit."
It was for this reason that while being expected to inherit the position of the Queen candidate after Rubia Elstein left, Fianna Ray Ordesia the second princess resigned from that position and was banished from the royal family.
That was because she lost her power.
"A princess maiden, who lost the ability to control spirits, doesn't have the qualifications to be a Queen worth serving the Elemental Lord."
Fianna lowered her gaze as she muttered those words self-deprecatingly.
An elementalist that couldn't use her contrcted spirit was —literally— no longer an elementalist.
And the situation, where one suddenly became unable to use it, wasn't something that unusual.
For example, there were cases where her body may be soiled, or the covenant made during the contract was broken— even outside of such occasions, there were situations where one became unable to exchange feelings with her spirit due to some sort of emotional trauma.
In short, the link with the spirit was greatly dependent on the elementalist's state of mind.
Fianna didn’t talk further about the incident that caused it.
Kamito wasn’t about to dig deeper.
(But if it happened four years ago—)
A terrible misfortune befell Ordesia Empire at that time.
It was the year that Calamity Queen's, Rubia Elstein's, mutiny occurred.
And Fianna was a princess maiden at the same «Divine Ritual Institute» as the renegade.
She experienced that incident, which caused an emotional trauma that made her lose her power.
A coincidence— he didn't think so.
"I'm sorry about hiding it. But, I thought I would tell you about it someday, but if anyone found out that I was unable to exchange feelings with my spirit, I would become unable to stay in this academy."
"But, how did you pass the examination? If I'm not mistaken, there must be a practical one."
Unlike everyone else and because of Greyworth's authority Kamito passed without going through one, but originally, there was a strict practical examination in the academy. Just being elementalist was not enough to pass it.
"I hid several pieces of spirit crystals in my sleeves, and released them in sequence, so it looked like I was using a spirit. Since I had achievements from the time as a Queen candidate of the «Divine Ritual Institute», they were easily deceived."
"You used valuable spirit crystals for such a dishonest entry in the academy?"
"The invigilator would never think there would be a person doing such a thing."
"How stupid, even if you were admitted like that, isn't it obvious that you'd be instantly exposed. Why did you even come to this academy?
Fianna glanced at Kamito.
Her goal was to join the team with the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer and be victorious in the competition.
However, he would be troubled if Claire was told that... Very troubled.
Thereupon, Fianna smirked in a way that only Kamito understood.
"That's to kiss Kamito-kun—"
"That's not it. Hey, Claire, stop taking out your whip."
Fianna saw Claire's raised eyebrow and giggled.
"It's a joke. My goal is to be victorious in the Blade dance and have my «wish» granted and regain my lost spirit contract."
"Everyone is the same in aiming for the victory at the Blade Dance. However, why did you think of joining our team? It might be weird for me to say this, but our team has the lowest rank."
At that, Fianna placed a finger on her lips and pondered.
"...That's right. That’s why I thought that you guys would accept me."
It was slightly different from Fianna's usual impish tone.
"What do you mean?"
"After all, you have a male elementalist and you are the sister of the Calamity Queen. So, it wouldn’t be out of place if the Lost Queen, who is no longer an elementalist, joined in, wouldn’t you agree?"
Despite her joking tone, she looked lonely and wore an expression of self-deprecation.
The reason Fianna came to the academy and approached Kamito.
To be victorious in the Blade Dance, she would ensnare the person, who was once the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer— or so she claimed.
However, the true reason —unexpectedly— might be more like this.
Being lonely, being a fibber, the impish princess just wanted friends—
"Well then, I've confessed my secret but—"
“Ahem” Fianna coughed before asking.
"What am I going to do now? The team wouldn't need an elementalist who can't use her contracted spirit, right?"
The princess stared at Kamito and Claire with a lonely expression.
Despite the joking manner in which the question was asked, the look in her eyes made it obvious how insecure she was.
And then, Claire noticed something. Princesses’ fingers were trembling slightly.
"It doesn't matter."
"Fianna, you protected us by risking your life. You're our comrade."
Her eyes widened in astonishment.
"Hey, is that alright?"
Kamito turned towards Claire—
Claire nodded as she looked at Fianna's chest. This action made the princess pale.
"Fianna, you are my comrade. A member of the breastless alliance."
"Don't put me together with you! I have more than you, Claire!"
"Wh-What was that!"
*Gogogogogo*... Claire's red hair started rising menacingly, but at that moment.
The ground suddenly shook.
From the crumbling ceiling, large fragments of rubble started dropping down.
"...An earthquake again!?"
"Don't tell me... Jormungandrthe strategic-class militarized spirit is already about to wake up?"
"It seems so. However, as long as Jio Inzagi hasn't found the «true shrine», he shouldn't be able to completely undo the seal."
"Well then, if we could get there first—"
Claire stopped in mid-sentence and gasped in surprised.
"The seal specification materials that were stolen from the academy— the location of the true shrine might be recorded there."
"I see! So that was his goal from the beginning—"
"No, the information is encoded. Deciphering it should take time."
Joining the conversation Ellis managed to raise half her body from the ground.
It seemed that the earthquake woke her up.
"Ellis, can you already move?"
Kamito called out to her.
"No, I can't walk yet. It's shameful, but my legs are still paralyzed by the poison."
Ellis slapped her unmoving knees as she bit her lips, seemingly vexed.
"I also have not recovered to the point where I am able to fight."
This was said by Rinslet, who was leaning against the wall.
“Fianna, can you dance the ritual Kagura after having lost your power?”
"Yes, it wouldn’t be as effective as when I took part in the «Divine Ritual Ceremony», but I can slightly enhance the resealing. Obviously, I wouldn't accept a quest that I can't even do."
Fianna nodded and softly placed her hand on her chin.
"Although, first we have to find the hidden true shrine and seize it."
"Do we have to search the whole mine...?"
This place was abandoned several decades ago. The tunnels weren't being maintained, and on top of that, there was the danger that the ceiling will cave in even after a small earthquake like the one from a while ago.
"Besides, we might encounter that guy again."
Everyone became silent at Claire's utterance.
The male elementalist, who used a countless number of spirits.
Even if all the members of their team, who boasted top class ability, formed a group, they would be no match for him.
(He knows about Restia...)
Kamito instinctively grasped his left hand, which was still covered by his leather glove.
(Who on earth is he?)
"That boy, it was as though he was the real Demon King..."
"Uh, he was driven away by Fianna's surprise attack, but I don't think that could have defeated him."
Ellis nodded with a meek expression at Rinslet's murmuring.
At that moment.
"Kamito, I know the location of the true shrine."
A sound came from the sword leaning against the wall.
Kamito touched Est's handle, and cancelled the elemental waffe status.
The Demon Slayer turned into particles of light before transforming into a lovely girl.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Kamito, in the olden days, more distant than when this place became a mine— several hundred years ago, this very mountain was the high ranking shrine that was used to deify spirits. I visited it several times before I was sealed in a sword."
That’s right, originally Est was a top-ranking spirit, who was sealed several hundred years ago. It wouldn’t be strange for her to be deified by everyone on the sacred mountain.
"Can you guide us there?"
"Yes, Kamito. Then, please stroke Est's head."
*Suri suri*. *Nade nade*.
"Hn, it feels good, Kamito."
Est closed her eyes partly like a cat, who was being petted under the chin.
The girls stared at them frostily.
"I've been thinking about it for a while now, but Kamito, don't you think you're too soft on Est?"
"I-I don't think so"
He instinctively stepped back at the girls' glares.
At that moment.
The ground shook again. ...This time, it was even stronger than before.
"We had better hurry."
Kamito nodded before stopping suddenly and turning around.
Ellis shook her head when she realized what he was thinking about.
"We're alright. While, you were unconscious, I released Simorgh and sent it to the academy. The Knights should be rushing our aid at dawn."
"Go, Kazehaya Kamito. We failed in our quest. I'll entrust the rest to you guys."
"It seems I am unable to fight, so I will stay behind to treat them."
The boy tightly clenched his fist—
"...I understand. I'll come back as soon as possible."
"Let's go Kamito, Fianna."
Claire raised Flame Tongue over her head, and blew away the mountain of rubble blocking the path.
His stifled groan echoed through the tunnel walls.
Jio was loitering in the thick darkness which was twined around him as though it was his own skin.
And so he walked like a ghost with a hand at his injured face.
"Isn't the long-awaited handsome man ruined, huh?"
A stiff smile surfaced on his face, as he talked into the darkness before him. He didn’t expect a reply, but—
"You're over conceited, Jio Inzagi. You were negligent."
Suddenly, an even murkier darkness appeared in front of him and took the form of a beautiful girl.
"Shut up, it's because your spirit was useless."
"I never thought that there would be a holy spirit user. Although ThanatosDeath Spirit darkness attribute is powerful, its weakness against the holy element is undeniable."
"Where are they heading?"
"Probably to the «true shrine» that governs over the Jormungandrstrategic-class militarized spirit. As I am still tied to Kamito via the bond of the contract, I can roughly determine his location."
The jet black-haired girl stroked the spirit seal that was engraved on her own left hand tenderly.
"Guide me, darkness spirit. I'll make them regret injuring the Demon King's face."
"Let it go. He is the real Demon King and you, who are no more than a fake, could not possible win. Besides, the Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer has never lost to an opponent he fought once."
"Watch your mouth, darkness spirit. I can even make you mine right here and now."
Jio glared at her.
—He then showed her a red shiny comma-shaped jewel grasped tightly in his hand.
"...Really, what a foolish boy."
The darkness spirit muttered disdainfully, waved her black dress, and disappeared into empty space.
Sounds of solid footsteps were heard in the long endless tunnels.
The group was following the silently walking Est, who lead the them deep underground.
This mine was a giant maze and the ceilings were too high for normal people. It was as if giant spirits were used for digging the tunnels.
There were many doors that used to be sealed, but had been recently opened.
It was probably done by Jio Inzagi's comrade, who had been carrying out the ritual at the shrine above ground.
Suddenly, sharp pain shot through Kamito's left hand.
"What's wrong? Are your wounds hurting?"
"No, it's nothing..."
He shook his head to reassure the girl, who was peering at him anxiously.
Claire pouted, dissatisfied with such a response from Kamito.
"...For some reason it feels as if you are always fighting alone."
She muttered with a sigh.
"It was also like that when we were assembling a team for the tournament. No, it wasn't just that time, I felt like that when you were taking the lectures too and when you were in the dormitory... how should I say it, shouldn't you trust me, your partner... that's not it, your master, more?"
"Is that so? ...Or rather, I don't want to be told that by someone, who has no friends."
"Sh-Shut up, I do have friends!"
"You mean Rinslet?"
"Sh-She's just a childhood acquaintance, it's not like she's a friend!"
"Ah, what a coincidence. I always ate alone while at the «Divine Ritual Institute» as well."
"Fianna, you too? ...What's with this pitiful party?"
While having this endless conversation the group started descending a long stairway.
"Hey, are we there yet, Est? We’ve been walking for more than an hour already."
"A few paths seem different from what I remember. And Claire is noisy."
"It can't be helped; you were sealed several hundred years ago."
"Unh, Kamito, you're on Est's side again..."
As they progressed down the endless stairway, the group finally emerged into a wide open space.
Est continued walking straight, and stopped before a gigantic wall.
"...Here? Isn't this a dead end?"
Claire frowned suspiciously.
Before the four of them was a stone wall towering over its surroundings.
Est held up the light and the carvings engraved on the wall's surface become visible.
They looked ancient. It seemed that the group was in front of a historic ruin from a mythical age.
"This is the carving of the «Five Great Elemental Lords»... or looks like it."
The motif of the carving was quite a typical thing.
Fire, water, wind, earth, holy— The kings of the five attributes that control Astral Zero.
Suddenly, Kamito saw something out of place in the design of that pattern and frowned.
It was composed in such a way that the holy attribute Elemental Lord was at the top of the drawn pentagram.
At its bottom was a large scraped mark.
It looked unnatural, as if someone purposefully erased whatever was written there.
Est approached the wall and softly placed her hand on the part that was torn-off.
"This is the carving from the mythical age. In the later times Ren Ashdoll had its existence erased."
"...? Est, what did—"
The moment Kamito raised his voice to ask a question, a thunderous roar reverberated through the underground tunnel.
Slowly a crevice appeared on the wall and widened revealing an opening, illuminated by blue light.
"A hidden door?—"
"This is the historic ruins from the mythical age. The door can only be opened by high-ranking spirits."
Est muttered expressionlessly.
"Kamito, please praise me more."
"Ah, Est is remarkable."
*Suri suri*. *Nade nade*.
"Kamito, it feels good..."
Feeling the boy pat her head, Est tightly closed her eyes.
Claire and Fianna glared at the two of them.
"...As I thought, you're soft towards Est."
"Kamito-kun, if we don't hurry up, the Jormungandrstrategic-class militarized spirit would wake up."
"Ah, that's right..."
Drawing his hand back after hearing Fianna warning, Kamito walked through the door.
—On the other side was an unbelievably gigantic cave.
It had a polished agate floor and a stalactite ceiling that was inlaid with countless spirit crystals.
Each of them emitted a mysterious faint glow that bathed the cave in dazzling light.
At the center of the large cave was a shrine, made of precious metals and crystals.
Compared to the grand building above ground, it was quite small, which just highlighted its solemnity.
"—There's no doubt. Here is where this mine's «true shrine» is."
"All Fianna has to do is conduct a resealing ritual Kagura here, right?"
"Yes. However, before that—"
Fianna pointed at a small reservoir near the shrine.
Clear underground water, which trickled down from the stalactite, was being collected there.
"I must do the purification ritual and cleanse my body."
"That's right, I also want to bathe. My purity has decreased greatly because of the battle."
Claire muttered. Suddenly, she noticed Kamito's gaze.
"...Err, what should I do?"
"Y-You'll stand watch outside!"
She immediately lashed at him with her whip.
Claire made a lovely "Hyan" sound as a drop of water fell from a stalactite.
She had very fair skin and slender body with elegant curves. Her breasts were on the small side, but possessed an undeniable charm even for Fianna who was of the same gender.
(They are certainly siblings; she has the same beauty as her sister...)
Claire's profile and red twintails, while untied, brought forth memories of another person.
The Calamity Queen— Rubia Elstein.
The one who completely crushed young Fianna's heart.
It wasn't like she resented Claire for who the girl was related to.
(Speaking of which, I don't even understand whether or not I hate Rubia-sama...)
It wasn’t hatred that possessed Fianna's heart, it was an overwhelming fear.
The moment she overcame that fear, her contracted spirit would come back—
Fianna dropped her eyes onto the spirit seal engraved on her chest, and was absorbed in her thoughts.
"What? Are you looking at your breasts to feel your superiority?"
Claire glared at the princesses’ bosom with scorn.
"Aren't yours bigger than mine even without your pads? I th-thought that we're comrades."
...Claire's eyes held a dangerous glint.
Somehow sensing that her body was in jeopardy, Fianna tried running away.
*Sususu*. *Sususu*. *Susususu*.
Finally, she was cornered at the edge of the pond, and Claire grasped her shoulders firmly.
...She could not escape anymore.
"Hey, Fianna, swallow your shame, I have something I want to ask you."
Claire said that with a serious expression.
"A gi-girl's breasts would become big if they get the boy they like to rub them... Is that true?"
Fianna’s mouth opened wide in surprise upon seeing Claire’s bashful blush.
A "gusu" laugh escaped her lips.
Before long, Fianna was giggling while hugging her stomach.
"Wh-What! It isn't funny!"
"But I had someone ask me the exact same thing in the past."
Confused by her words Claire tilted her head to the side.
"You definitely are sisters."
Stifling her laughter Fianna wiped the tears from her eyes.
Come to think of it, it had been a while since she really laughed like that.
The last time was... four years ago, on the day she lost her spirit contract power.
"Claire Rouge, I do not hate you."
"What do you mean?"
"Never mind. Ahh, you are still growing and so are your breasts."
"I-I feel somewhat irritated... But anyway."
Claire squeezed Fianna's breast.
"Kyaa, wh-what are you doing!"
"I'm trying to confirm if they'll really become big after being rubbed."
"Isn't it fine if you confirm that with your own breasts?!"
"...Mi-mine are small and can't be properly grasped!"
"He-Hey, stop, hyaa, aan..."
Shrieks and loud splashes of water filled the sacred underground shrine.
(...I can hear those two from here.)
Leaning on the wall, Kamito scratched his cheeks.
The tunnels caused more echoes than he had thought. It did not mean that he caught their conversation, but the sweet voices of the girls he heard at times were affecting him greatly.
"Kamito, are you eavesdropping on them and getting excited?"
"Uh, absolutely not."
"Well then, what?"
"—Jio Inzagi, I'm thinking about that brat's true identity."
He was a male elementalist, who freely used countless spirits— in a certain way, an existence of greater heresy than Kamito.
However, Kamito was talking about his enemy’s true self that he managed to get a glimpse of from their last battle.
"He isn't anything like the Demon King, if my thoughts are right."
"Of course. He is presumptuous calling himself the Demon King with that level of his."
Est answered expressionlessly, though her voice sounded slightly angry.
"The holder of that title would be someone more like Kamito."
"...? What do you mean?"
"Kamito is the Demon King of the night."
"Est, that's different."
Kamito retorted without a moment's delay.
...Honestly, where did his sword spirit learn this kind of things?
"—We've got to stop the frivolous talk here, huh?"
"It seems so."
Kamito separated his body from the wall, and grasped Est's small hand.
"Kamito is a rough master."
"Sorry. I will treat you to some parfait the next time at the Academy Town."
"Suddenly, my motivation spiked."
Kamito smiled wryly and recited the elemental waffe's release chant.
"Dispassionate Queen of Steel, the sacred sword that destroys evil — now form my blade"
Like many times before the lovely girl turned into particles of light—
Before gathering in Kamito's hand and transforming into Terminus Est, a shining silver sword.
And then—sounds of footsteps came from deep within the darkness.
"Yo, let's settle the match and end this, Ren AshbellStrongest Blade Dancer."
Jio Inzagi glared at him with his shining red eyes.