Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume4 Chapter8
Chapter 8 - Ball Dance
It was evening. The Blade Dance ceremony began at the castle serving as lodging for the representatives.
There were already many guests of honor assembled that were having friendly conversations in the grand hall of the castle.
There was elegant music flowing about, and chandeliers that were arranged lavishly with spirit crystals as decoration.
Extravagant seafood, meat, and fruit were laid out on a table lined up in the center.
Those invited to the ceremony were elementalists representing various countries and high-ranking royalty and nobles.
“This time, my country’s representative will be getting the victory.”
“What? The most superb elementalist is in my White Knights, you know?”
Even though they behaved politely on the surface, they unfolded a fierce war of words. Dressed in a formal suit, Kamito glanced at those nobles with an expression of being completely fed up.
(…Geez, it’s not like you’re the ones doing the blade dance…)
On the other side, the girls participating in the Blade Dance had nervous expressions.
They were equally competent, top-notch elementalists selected by the major nations of the continent.
These girls were about the same age as Kamito, and that was because the condition to partake in the Blade Dance was set that princess maidens had to be 20 years old and younger, following the oracle by the Elemental Lords.
This wasn’t restricted to the Blade Dance. Most of the important ceremonies dedicated to the spirits had the same condition. Spirits liked young pure maidens as offerings the best.
“…Anyway, they are still not here, huh?”
Holding a plate of a sauté of duck meat, Kamito looked around his surroundings relentlessly.
He still couldn’t see his young lady teammates.
Perhaps, they might have come across difficulties in putting on their dresses—but what was in his mind was whether Claire, who he had quarreled with, was coming.
After all, he wouldn’t be able to meet up with her in the castle later.
Looking at the entrance of the hall, he caught sight of one princess maiden being caught in a spot.
“Please don’t bring your animal inside!”
“Um, it isn’t a beast! This wolf is a friend of the forest!”
“Even if it’s a friend, no means no!”
…It seemed like the Druid girl was leading a wolf into the hall.
Although she was from a different team, it was a little embarrassing as they were representing the same academy.
Sighing in resignation, Kamito cast his sight downwards.
“Est, do you want to get something?”
He asked the sword-spirit girl holding a plate.
“I’d like fish next, Kamito.”
“Hn, you’re a good girl for not being picky. All the young ladies have unbalanced diets.”
While he praised her, he stroked her head, and Est squinted.
Wearing a pure-white dress, Est was lovely, almost like a snow-fairy.
“…Est is cute.”
Stroking her head, he subconsciously let out his voice.
Est’s small ears twitched.
“Ah, it’s nothing…”
Kamito scratched his head in an attempt to dodge her question.
…That was a little embarrassing.
“Kamito, please say it once more.”
Est was gazing intently at Kamito with her mysterious eyes.
“E-Est is cute.”
“Kamito, once more.”
“You’re cute, Est.”
“You’re cute, Est.”
“Kamito-kun, what are you doing?”
Turning around—Fianna, dressed in a white dress, was staring at Kamito with reproachful eyes.
“Erm, that was, err…”
Upon trying to explain in a fluster—
“Before that, don’t you have anything to say?”
Even Kamito wasn’t such a quiet unsociable person to not notice that. No, as he didn’t notice until it was pointed out, he might indeed have been a quiet unsociable person.
It was a white dress, with a big opening at her chest area. Despite the daring design showing off her skin, the reason he could feel a sense of graceful elegance was because she was a real princess.
“…W-White also suits you.”
“Is that all?”
Seeming peevish, the princess pouted her lips.
“…Erm, you’re using pads.”
“I’m going to get angry, you know?”
Fianna puffed out her cheeks. Kamito shook his head in a fluster.
“…You’re really pretty.”
He finally put his honest thoughts into his mouth.
“Hn, you pass. Kamito, your suit also suits you well.”
“…Why you. You made me say embarrassing things in public.”
“Fufu, it’s a punishment for not praising me from the beginning.”
Kamito could only sigh at Fianna, who impishly smiled.
“Hn, that reminds me, where’s Est?”
Before he knew it, he noticed that Est had disappeared.
Looking around his surroundings, he saw Est moving towards the dessert corner while holding onto her plate.
Upon meeting Kamito’s eyes, she quickly turned her face away.
“It looked like you offended Miss Fairy.”
“Why is Est offended?”
“Fufu, you’re not allowed to praise another girl in front of a girl.”
Fianna morosely poked Kamito’s chest with her finger.
“Ka-Kamito-san, so here you are.”
This time, it was Rinslet, who came in a dress.
It was a striking marine-blue dress. Her glittering, platinum-blonde hair was tied up, and that appearance of hers was akin to that of a snow queen reigning over a country of ice.
Her cheeks were faintly flushed and reddened, and her lips had a glamorous, rosy color.
Her usual uniform appearance was indeed lovely, but—
This dressed-up Rinslet was so beautiful that he almost let out a sigh.
“Rinslet, you’re pretty.”
Rinslet widely opened her eyes.
Her face turned red in the blink of an eye.
“Fua, wh-what are you saying?!”
The Ice-Snow Queen’s face melted in an instant.
“Hmm, Kamito-kun, you say these things to anyone, do you? As expected of the Demon King of the Night.”
“I only did as you advised, Fianna!”
Kamito glared with reproachful eyes at Fianna, who pouted her lips unhappily.
“That reminds me, is Claire with the two of you?”
“She returned to the room just now. Kamito-san, you have not met up with her, have you?”
It seemed like when Kamito went to look for her, they passed each other.
“Geez, that girl, she has always been really troublesome.”
Rinslet puffed out her cheeks.
(…This means she’s still angry.)
Kamito made a heavy sigh in his mind. If she came to the dance, he’d even bear with her cooking later, or something— That was what he was thinking.
Rinslet bashfully called out to Kamito.
“Erm, since we’re here, err…”
*Cough* *cough* The young lady coughed several times.
Then, like she gained her determination—
“Would you like to dance with me?”
Kamito was perplexed.
“…Is that not okay?”
“No, I’m happy that you invited me, but is it alright for it to be me?”
“Y-Yes, I’m a little afraid about dancing with the other men.”
“…I see. However, I only know the basic steps.”
Kamito was taught the dance steps by Greyworth three years ago.
Honestly, he couldn’t say he was confident, and they were certainly not in fashion now.
“I-In that case, I’ll teach you!”
However, Rinslet let out her voice happily.
“Hn, is that so? Rinslet, if you’re fine with it, then I’m counting on you.”
Kamito was also a boy of age.
To be able to dance with such a cute girl like Rinslet, his heart was honestly pounding.
He gently held Rinslet's graceful hand covered by a white glove.
“…Th-This is Kamito-san’s hand….”
“…H-How sly, me too.”
Then, Fianna grasped his other hand.
“H-Hey, Fianna!? We can’t dance like this…”
“That’s right! Quickly release his hand!”
Fianna and Rinslet were pulling Kamito’s hands.
Both of their breasts touched his arms and he was flustered.
…Before they knew it, the three of them were basked in the attention from their surroundings.
“I wonder what they’re doing?” “A fighting scene?” “They look like the representatives of the Areishia Spirit Academy.” “Don’t they even know the manners at a ball dance?” “That’s that male elementalist.” “Ah, that—” “Forcing unwilling girls to…” “To collect the two as his targets.” “He’s surely collecting his night targets as well.” “What infamy!” “But he’s kind of cool…”
Numerous whispers were being exchanged.
(Eh, why is the reproach only concentrated on me….)
“Y-You three! Don’t disrupt the public morals in the presence of the Elemental Lords!”
A gallant and serious voice came flying over.
The one running over was Ellis in a dress.
Ellis pulled Kamito’s arm, and skillfully pulled him off the two young ladies.
“Kyaa, what are you doing?”
“Captain, what are you doing?!”
“No, what are you two doing, good grief…”
Placing her hand at her waist, Ellis strictly scolded the two who complained.
“We came here to represent our academy. You should be more self-aware.”
Then, she glared at Kamito this time.
“Kamito, you too—”
She became stiff at that point.
“What's wrong, Ellis?”
Thinking that he was going to have a sermon, Kamito was let down.
Ellis slightly blushed, and entwined her fingers bashfully in front of her chest.
“E-Erm, even a suit fits you, surprisingly. I guess that's what they mean by 'the clothes make the man'.”
“Is that so? I’m not really comfortable with suits, but—”
While bashfully scratching his head, Kamito looked at Ellis’ appearance in a dress.
What she was wearing was a brilliant pure-white dress. In contrast to Ellis’ gallant image, this was a very girlish dress arranged with plenty of frills.
“Ellis, yours suits you well too. It’s like you’re a princess and you look cute.”
Her ponytail hair sprung up.
“Ah, uh… N-No way, m-me being cute…!”
Ellis turned red and got into a panic.
Fianna and Rinslet were glaring at him.
“Wh-What is it…”
“—It looks like the rumors are true, Kazehaya Kamito.”
When Kamito turned to the voice of those biting words, a familiar girl was sharply staring at him.
She had an azure dress with a dragon insignia at the chest area. She had put on a hat with a feather attached to it.
As the captain of the Knights of the Dragon Emperor, she was the ace of Dracunia.
“As I thought, I should have cut it off at that time.”
While Leonora glared at Kamito, she regretfully bit her lips.
A chill ran in Kamito’s spine.
“Dragon Princess Leonora Lancaster, I’ve been hearing rumors about you lately.”
Suddenly, Ellis placed her hand at her chest, faced her, and paid her respect as a knight.
“And you are?”
“Areishia Spirit Academy representative, Ellis Fahrengart.”
“The Fahrengarts—The one that turned out that Velsaria Eva?”
Ellis lifted her head and nodded.
“This time, my esteemed sister isn’t participating due to some circumstances, but I’ve heard that you’re a pure and selfless knight. I’m pleased to be able to cross swords with a knight like you.”
She faced Leonora and reached out her dominant hand.
“It seems like splendid knights exist even in the empire.”
Leonora smiled, and grasped her hand without hesitation.
With both being fellow knights, they may have some things over which they can empathize with each other.
(…Certainly, those two are like glue.)
Kamito made a wry smile in his heart.
“However, that’s just regrettable. A splendid knight like yourself is being kept as Kazehaya Kamito’s lover—”
“Hey, wait a moment.”
Kamito shouted in a fluster.
(S-She, what did she—)
Ellis turned red all the way till her ears and shouted.
“H-How shameless… I-I’m his lover—”
“That’s right, Ellis. Deny it please!”
“I’m… not his lover… but if Kamito wished for it, I’ll even…”
…Eh? Why is she mumbling?
“…What a frightening boy. You even corrupted such a splendid knight.”
“I’m saying that’s not it! Ellis, please quickly clear up this misunderstanding!”
“…S-Shut up! A-Are you not satisfied with me being your lover?!”
“What are you saying!?”
Kamito retorted, and at that time.
A small commotion was occurring at the entrance of the hall.
“That girl finally came.”
Kamito quickly looked towards the entrance.
The one at the center of the commotion was—
Claire Rouge, who was dressed in a crimson dress.
Her red twintail hair was tied up with ribbons. She was wearing polished enamel red high heels.
Pinching the side of her skirt with laces attached, she entered the hall.
Her breasts were small but her balanced proportion was plenty charming.
She was a beautiful girl, pretty as a rose and noble as a wildcat.
Claire’s appearance made Kamito fascinated to the point of taking his breath away.
She had such brilliantness that she overshadowed the surrounding girls that were dressed-up.
She didn’t just fascinate Kamito. Everyone in the hall leaked out a breath of admiration.
“As expected of Rubia-sama’s sister. She was born a beauty.”
It was vexing but she lost— Fianna shrugged her shoulders.
“It’s really been a while since I’ve seen Claire in a dress.”
Rinslet slightly opened her mouth.
The commotion at the hall increasingly became bigger.
“Hey, is that red haired girl also a representative of the Blade Dance.”
“Um, so this is what they mean by spirits liking pure and beautiful girls, indeed—”
“Hey, aren’t you going to invite someone to a dance?”
It seemed like a group of young nobles were setting their eyes on Claire.
All the whispers being exchanged made Kamito slightly irritated.
(…You guys aren’t fit to be that young hell cat lady's partner.)
He cursed in his heart as if to spit out the irritation of unknown origin.
At that moment, Claire looked over, and their eyes met.
As he was about to call out to her—
She instantly looked away, so he swallowed his words.
…It seemed like she was still angry.
Losing the timing to call out to her, Kamito stood still.
Claire ignored the nobles ogling her, and walked towards the center.
He began to hear such voices from within the commotion over there.
“That that conflagration-like red hair… Don’t tell me, she’s the daughter of that Duke Elstein family?”
“The sister of the Calamity Queen that brought about disaster to the Ordesia Empire?”
“…What an ill omen. She’s a devilish girl.”
It seemed like there were people who knew Claire’s lineage among the participants of the ball.
Whispers of unrest were spreading like wild fire—
It was not that she couldn’t hear them, however, Claire stayed composed.
Then, a young noble stepped forward before her.
“Would you like to dance a tune with me, my fire-haired lady?”
His atmosphere seemed frivolous but he was quite a handsome man.
He seemed to be an especially high-ranking person even among the nobles, as he led a group of followers in his surroundings.
“Hey, hey, are you serious?”
“Young master, I’m also worried about you playing with fire.”
His companions made a bitter smile. The boy seemed to be a royalty of some country.
Kamito groaned from within his throat.
He couldn’t see the sincerity of a person asking for a dance in the boy’s expression. It was just that he knew about Claire being that Calamity Queen’s sister, and called out to her out of interest.
“I’m sorry, but I’ll have to decline.”
She coldly declined the boy’s invitation.
It was natural. That hell cat girl wouldn’t even be emotionally attached to anyone.
“What was that?”
One of the followers looked daunted.
“Well, well, it’s fine to have such strong-willed girls once in a while.”
The boy nodded, full of composure, and forcibly grabbed Claire’s arm.
“Now, beautiful girl, I’ll give your hand a kiss—”
(What are you thinking, you stupid noble!?)
As an elementalist princess maiden, a kiss is the most sacred ceremony of a spirit contract.
Even if it was on the hand, it was unforgivable to thoughtlessly request for that.
With such a rude action of his, the sound of commotion occurred even from the surrounding.
“…Don’t touch me!”
Claire sharply shouted.
Normally, she’d act tough, but the truth was that she was a young lady who wasn’t used to men. Her voice slightly trembled.
Being unable to watch on, Kamito was about to leave, and at that moment—
“What do you think you’re doing putting on airs. I’m the crown prince of the Balstan Kingdom.”
“No, let go! You—”
*Pan*— A high pitched sound resound in the hall.
Claire slapped the boy.
She then turned to and ran towards the entrance of the hall.
“Damn her, my face—”
“It’s because she’s the sister of that Calamity Queen.”
The crown prince of the Balstan and his followers raised words of criticism.
(… You should be just grateful that you didn’t turn into cinders!)
Kamito cursed and then he ran after Claire—
Then, Rinslet grabbed his arm.
“Rinslet, why did you stop me?!”
“Kamito-san, if you, who are in the middle of a quarrel, go, it’ll just make things complicated. After all, I’m her childhood friend, so I understand that girl.”
Kamito thought for a few seconds—
“…I understand. I’ll entrust Claire to you.”
He obediently nodded.
Rinslet went running after Claire.
At this moment, Fianna perceptively whispered into his ear.
Kamito was shocked.
A commotion, which was way greater than the one just now, was occurring near the entrance of the hall.
The person of the highest profile in this round’s Blade Dance had appeared.
Sounds of hard shoes sounded, and she entered.
She was in a jet-black dress like a queen ruling over the night.
She was a black haired girl with her face covered by a scarlet red mask.
She was the strongest blade dancer—Ren Ashbell.