Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume7 Chapter3
Chapter 3 - Ellis' Questioning
--On the fourth day of the Blade Dance, no large scale battles occurred.
In order to prepare for the impending battle against the Four Gods the next day, Kamito and his group chose to solidify their defenses at their stronghold.
Even though there were isolated battles in the surroundings of the stronghold, the enemies were easily repelled by the Raven Class combo of Claire and Rinslet who were sent out to scout.
That night after dinner, the team gathered for a discussion about their formation for the blade dance the next day.
In particular, Kamito alone was taking the role of attack as the vanguard. Support was assigned to Ellis and Claire in the middle guard. The rear guard consisted of Fianna in charge of support and Rinslet to protect her while performing sniper's duties.
Due to the midday conversation, Kamito was a bit concerned about Fianna but her attitude was not significantly different from usual. Let alone Kamito, she definitely had no wish of letting the other girls know about her sense of inferiority.
After the meeting, Fianna once again disappeared by herself, claiming to repair the barrier.
"...Fianna, I can understand your anxiety, but please be careful not to force yourself too much."
Hearing Kamito's words, Fianna answered:
"Don't worry. I will do my best for the battle tomorrow."
She smiled and nodded.
--Then late night arrived.
In accordance with the shift schedule, Kamito and Ellis began their night patrol.
Although the chances of enemy spirits attacking the stronghold directly were exceedingly low, they were not zero. Even if simply for the sake of containment, it was necessary to be on guard.
The pair lit firewood at the edge of the forest as they watched for suspicious signs.
"...No one is attacking. Otherwise, we could eliminate them directly."
The fire crackled.
Ellis sat with one knee up while looking up at Ray Hawk's spear tip as she spoke.
"Probably because Fianna's raised barrier is exceptionally powerful, so it's difficult to breach and invade."
Sitting opposite to her, Kamito agreed as he subtly averted his gaze.
This was because Ellis' raised knee had lifted her skirt, giving a tantalizing view of what lay beneath. Due to the fact that Ellis was simply in a posture for springing into immediate action, Kamito did not bother with unnecessary comments since it would only make her angry.
"But by the way, it feels like battles between teams this time are not occurring very often."
"...Ah yes, indeed, this Tempest is slightly atypical."
Ellis tilted her head with a blank expression.
"Too many teams were eliminated in the beginning. Like Milla's Rupture Division and our own Academy's Team Wyvern. In addition to these two, quite a few other teams have also been annihilated. Simply within this brief period of three days, and especially by one team."
Kamito raised a finger as he spoke.
"Hearing those rumors, other teams must be trying to take precautions against Team Inferno and chose to secure their strongholds instead. And the more simple reason is because the number of elementalists remaining in the grounds are fewer. Even though some teams have not been completely annihilated, there should be many cases of eliminated members."
"...Hmm, I see."
Ellis displayed an expression as if she only half understood.
(But not just that...)
Kamito secretly added in his mind.
(...The current Blade Dance is also a bit strange.)
For example, there was the existence of Nepenthes Lore.
That monster was not an elementalist -- Rather, it couldn't even be counted as human.
That sort of abnormal existence was not supposed to qualify to compete in the Blade Dance.
(...And speaking of abnormal, there's also Restia.)
Regardless of the actual truth, since her spirit contract with Kamito had not been rescinded, she was still supposed to be Kamito's contracted spirit. As for how she was registered as a member of Team Inferno, Kamito still held doubts.
Just as Kamito fell into deep thought--
Sitting opposite him, Ellis suddenly shivered.
"What's the matter, are you cold?"
"...Yes, the fire seems to have died down a bit."
Even though Areishia Academy's uniforms were imbued with anti-cold magic, Ragna Ys at night was still quite chilly. Simply the heat from a campfire was not enough to keep warm.
"Ellis, can't you use your wind type magic to shelter this place?"
"I-I suppose I could, if it had to be done..."
Ellis nodded but her answer seemed quite ambiguous.
Somehow Kamito felt that a barrier for sheltering two people should be completely effortless for her--
"Anyway, besides that, Kamito..."
Ellis coughed dryly to clear her throat.
...Her face went red inexplicably.
"Umm, may I sit beside you?"
"S-So long as we lean close together, th-then wouldn't we stay warm!?"
"Well, that's what people say..."
While Kamito was still hesitating, Ellis rapidly went around the fire and drew near to sit down at a delicate distance from him, with their shoulders so close they could very well be touching.
This time her knees were drawn up while her shins slanted outwards. A more girlish manner of sitting.
Clutching her skirt tensely, she lowered her gaze to the ground.
Maintaining this posture, Ellis stared blankly for a few seconds.
"Umm, what's up? For you to suddenly act like this..."
"Ah... Umm, w-would sitting beside you cause you trouble?"
Ellis frantically spoke.
Blushing intensely, she was awkwardly squeezing the hem of her skirt.
"How could that possibly be true? Don't suddenly get so formal and distant."
Seeing Kamito lean closer on his own accord, Ellis screamed adorably.
Before the campfire, the two leaned tightly together, shoulder against shoulder.
...I see, this does feel quite warm.
...Although Kamito was beginning to feel overly conscious of Ellis' breathing sounds.
"What's the matter, Ellis? Did you get a fever?"
"I-I'm fine, but I am still feeling a bit cold. If we bring ourselves closer together, I think I'll probably be warm enough!"
Ellis shook her head and pressed her shoulder even closer.
"W-Wait a minute! If you get any closer, it'll be bad!"
Kamito frantically tried to pull back his distance.
If this continued, let alone her shoulder, even Ellis' soft and gentle bosom was going to touch Kamito's arm.
"N-No, don't mind other things, there is simply no better way to keep the cold away!"
"No, how could I possibly not mind!?"
Just as that soft sensation of her bosom was making Kamito blush and his heart race...
A small cluster of flames jumped out from the thicket beside them with a pop.
Kamito gazed intently at the small cluster of flames suddenly appearing before his eyes.
It was a small lizard with its tail on fire.
A low level flame spirit.
"Oh, it's a salamander. How fortunate. This will strengthen the fire a bit."
Kamito pinched the salamander by its tail and placed it on the campfire.
Immediately, the campfire grew stronger.
"S-See, this way we can stay warm without getting too close together."
"...Sniff, this spirit appeared at a very wrong time."
Ellis seemed to be on the verge of tears as she glared at the salamander on the campfire.
"What did you say?"
She angrily turned her face away.
...We finally get warmed up, but for some reason her mood suddenly soured.
For a brief while, the two remained silent--
Ellis was the first to break the silence.
Taking out a pen and notebook from the breast of her uniform, she stared intently at Kamito's face.
"...Are you taking notes of some kind?"
Kamito frowned in puzzlement.
Ellis coughed lightly and spoke.
"Kamito, starting now, I will ask you a few questions. I hope you can answer honestly."
"...? Uh sure..."
Although Kamito could not tell what Ellis' intentions were, he could see from her eyes that she was serious.
Kamito nodded and nervously held his breath.
"So, first question, Kamito, you--"
Ellis' brown eyes flashed sharply.
"D-Do you like soft and fluffy cotton candy?"
Kamito could not help but exclaim, completely stupefied.
"W-What the heck, what kind of question is that?"
"I-It's important, please answer."
Nevertheless, Ellis remained exceptionally serious as always.
Completely lost, Kamito had no choice but to answer.
"...Oh well, I don't dislike it, but I'm not particularly crazy about it either."
Kamito did not have special preferences in food, but speaking of cotton candy, that felt more like food meant for girls.
Ellis breathed a sigh of relief for some reason and recorded something in her notebook.
"...What are you writing down?"
"Well, next question--"
Ignoring Kamito's question, Ellis looked up from her notebook.
"W-When taking a bath, which part of the body do you start washing first?"
"...W-Why are you asking these kinds of questions!?"
"It's important! ...Or are you implying you have something to hide?"
Ellis stared dead straight at Kamito.
...No no, I have completely no idea what she's suspicious about.
"Not really like that... Oh well, normally I start with the arms."
"The arms... I see..."
Ellis nodded as if she figured out something then made a note in her book.
(...W-What is going on here!?)
Similar questions were asked one after another in this manner--
"W-Well then, here comes the last question."
"...Finally the last one eh."
Kamito sighed with exhaustion.
With an embarrassed expression, Ellis gazed into Kamito's face.
With a barely audible voice, she said:
"...Do you like girls with huge busts?"
--A question of that sort.
"C-Conversely, do you hate girls with huge busts...?"
"W-Why do you have to ask that..."
"D-Don't make me spell it out, you jerk..."
Ellis bit down hard on her cherry-colored lips.
Supporting herself with both hands on the ground, she slowly drew her face near.
"T-Then answer me..."
Kamito could catch a glimpse of her cleavage down the front of her uniform. Her slender neck showed faint signs of sweat.
A uniquely feminine fragrance was beginning to make Kamito's consciousness hazy--
--At this very moment.
"Hot, that burns!"
Suddenly, a small spark jumped out from the campfire.
"Hey, are you trying to take advantage of the situation? Do you want to be turned into charcoal!?"
From somewhere came a familiar line... Claire's voice.
Kamito looked around but could not find any signs of Claire.
"...Seriously, you were the one who claimed you could test him discreetly. That's why I entrusted the task to you."
The source of Claire's voice was the salamander in the campfire.
"Claire, w-were you actually watching all this time from just now!?"
Ellis yelled out with her face all red.
"...What is going on?"
Kamito asked the salamander in the campfire.
"This salamander is my familiar. I have currently synchronized my senses with it, in order to keep surveillance to see if you two are doing anything indecent."
"As if anyone was going to do something like that!"
"...Hmph, who knows?"
The salamander coldly glared at the two.
"Y-Yes that's right! I-I definitely wasn't thinking of anything perverted..."
Ellis twiddled her fingers awkwardly as she spoke, but for some reason, her gaze was cast towards somewhere in the distance.
"Thou, servant of the king of the child of man, knight and master swordsman!"
In a little space within the forest, an intense storm was raging.
"By the contract of the old blood, become the sword that protects me, come forth and do my bidding!"
From adorable lips, words for releasing a spirit were being chanted.
As her gorgeous black hair fluttered in the wind, the spirit seal carved upon her chest shone with dazzling brilliance.
--In the next instant, accompanied by a flash of pure light, an armored knight was summoned out of empty space.
The heavy silver armor shone and glittered beneath the moonlight streaming in from between the branches.
This was Georgios -- a high ranking knight spirit who served the Ordesia imperial family over the generations.
Fianna caressed the cold armor with her hand as she looked up with an impatient expression at the knight before her.
"Please, Georgios. Become my strength--!"
Closing both eyes, Fianna once again chanted a spirit language incantation.
"Thou shalt be my sword, thou shalt be my shield, with unlimited towering light, purify and exorcise those belonging to darkness--"
Intense light was emitted from all over the knight spirit as an intense cyclone swept the surroundings.
A formidable spirit's power was being released and raised to a level on the verge of explosion.
Fianna was actually hiding one more fact from Kamito.
Her training here was not simply in swordsmanship.
She was also secretly trying to use an elemental waffe.
Due to the intense searing pain, Fianna screamed hoarsely from the depths of her throat.
Unable to control the exploding spirit power, she was currently suffering from the backlash of the reversed flow of divine power.
"...I beg you, please listen to me!"
Being able to use elemental waffen freely was the precondition for an elementalist to display their true worth.
Nevertheless, elementalists capable of releasing their contracted spirit as elemental waffe were few in number.
Even though Claire and the others seemed to do it effortlessly, in actual fact it was a skill requiring long years of high level training in addition to inborn talent. Of course, as a former Queen candidate, Fianna's aptitude was outstanding. However, even for her, this was not something that could be achieved overnight.
(Although I realize this is quite reckless, still, I--!)
"--want to fight alongside Kamito-kun!"
As if responding to Fianna's calls--
The knight spirit's body turned into particles of light and vanished into the air.
(Very good, just a little further...!)
In her mind she imagined a sword that could cut through all creation.
The sword she witnessed the Strongest Blade Dancer, Ren Ashbell, use three years ago.
Clutched in her hand, her imagination materialized and gathered--
However, just before completion...
The condensed light exploded and the invisible force sent Fianna flying.
Her body fell hard onto the ground.
Due to the failed releasing of the elemental waffe as well as the impact of the reversed flow of divine power.
Her shoulders trembling slightly, Fianna clutched at the soil on the ground.
--In the end, even with assistance from the magic circle, she did not succeed in manifesting the elemental waffe.
"...Why doesn't it work!?"
...I want to become stronger so badly.
Clearly, I have no wish of staying as a princess to be protected.
"I still... Haven't given up yet, let's do this once again--"
Biting hard on her lip, Fianna supported herself with one knee against the ground and stood up.