Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:VolumeEF Chapter2
Chapter 2 - Est Looking After the Sick
"...Ugh, hmm... Cough... Cough..."
One day, when Kamito woke in bed and opened his eyes, his body felt as heavy as lead.
That being said, the usual cause of this sensation, Est, was not responsible this time.
His entire body felt extremely sluggish, unable to even muster the strength to crawl out of bed.
Feeling like his throat was pricked by needles, Kamito coughed violently. He also seemed to have a fever.
"What the heck?"
Three days had already passed since the mission at the mining town. With Fianna's assistance, Kamito's team had defeated Jio Inzagi. After successfully applying a seal to the strategic-class militarized spirit, they had returned to the Academy.
Although nothing special happened when they first got back, it looked like Kamito had caught a flu.
"...It's really weird for an elementalist to catch a flu!"
Bringing a basin of water with a towel, Claire remarked in surprise.
"It surprised me too! This has never happened to me at all... Cough... Cough."
Kamito coughed while answering.
Capable of refining divine power within themselves, elementalists were completely free of ordinary diseases. As for why Kamito had caught a flu, it was probably because he had depleted too much of his stamina. He really needed to rein in his divine power consumption.
"Well... I think you pushed yourself too far this time."
Claire murmured while wringing water out from the soaked towel.
"I guess I still haven't gotten used to using Est."
Kamito's gaze shifted to that sword hanging on the wall at this time—Terminus Est.
During that battle against Jio Inzagi, Kamito had used Est's power to the limit. Perhaps as a result of overusing divine power, his immune system had become weak temporarily.
Est seemed to have consumed a massive amount of her own energy as a sword. Ever since then, she had remained in sword form.
"Well... Looks like you've no choice but to recuperate for a bit. Besides, even spirit magic cannot heal this type of condition."
"Yeah... I guess."
As a side note, although Fianna had diagnosed him, even an expert in healing magic such as her had confirmed that it was nothing more than an ordinary flu. Healing magic used the power of holy spirits to increase natural regeneration. It was very effective against external injuries, but in cases of diseases with unknown origins, it would probably exacerbate uncomfortable symptoms.
Kamito felt the coldness of Claire's hand stroking his cheek gently.
"...You're boiling here... Does this feel cooler?"
While placing a wet towel on Kamito's forehead, Claire straightened out the bedsheets while she was at it.
"You seem quite familiar with this. I thought young noblewomen wouldn't do this kind of stuff much."
"Nee-sama had very frail health and I looked after her when we were young. It was because Nee-sama's constitution seemed to always attract bad things for some reason."
A hint of gloom flashed across Claire's eyes due to recalling these past memories.
—However, it was merely for an instant. Claire immediately returned to her usual tone of voice.
"H-Hmm... Now that I've taken the effort to nurse you, this flu or whatever must go away quickly!"
"...Yeah, I'll immediately recover enough to take part in the Blade Dance selection tournament."
"Of course, because you are an important part of the team... Scarlet!"
Claire snapped her fingers to summon the hell cat spirit enveloped in flames.
"I'm going to class now. You keep Kamito warm."
The hell cat spirit meowed adorably then jumped onto the bed, curling herself into a ball next to Kamito's chest.
"...Wow, so warm."
"I'll bring you the notes from today's lectures, so get some proper rest!"
Covering him up gently with the blanket, Claire exited the room.
A few minutes after Kamito fell asleep...
The sword hanging on the wall suddenly glowed, then disappeared into thin air.
What appeared was a beautiful young girl with dazzling silver-white hair.
Mysterious eyes of violet. Tender and smooth skin reminiscent of milk. Enveloped in faint phosphorescence, she looked adorable, almost like a snow fairy.
The "Demon Slayer"—Terminus Est. She was apparently able to manifest her original form in the human realm at last.
"Hmm, Kami... to, where are you?"
Like a child who had just woken up, Est kept looking around the room.
...Still nude and only wearing kneesocks, she walked over to the side of the bed where Kamito was sleeping.
"...Kamito, are you sleeping?"
Just as Est was about to dive under his covers in her naked state as usual—
Scarlet poked her head out from under the blanket.
"...Hell cat spirit?"
"Hell cat spirit will share his bed too?"
"Meow~ ...Meow, meow~ meow~!"
Scarlet shook her head while shaking her body and waving her paw. Although the hell cat spirit could not speak, as fellow high-ranked spirits, they were able to convey rough ideas to each other.
"Kamito got a flu...?"
Scarlet nodded vigorously.
Est placed her hand on Kamito's forehead. He seemed to be suffering in his sleep.
"...Urgh, hmm... Est?"
Kamito opened his eyes slightly.
"You woke up?"
"Kamito, is there anything I can help?"
"Oh... I see... C-Cough... Then do you want to head over to the students in the pharmacology department to bring back some nourishing medicine?"
"Yeah, even though spirit magic has no effect, I think a herbalist's medicine might work... cough."
The pharmacology department was located on Areishia Spirit Academy's campus, simply in another building.
Although Est was unable to maintain human form when away from Kamito for extended durations, there should not be any problems at this sort of distance.
"—Understood. I am your sword, Kamito, your wish is my command."
Est nodded expressionlessly then exited the room.
Thus, because of that...
Est left the Raven Class dormitory and walked over to the pharmacology department somewhere within the vast school grounds.
Although Areishia Spirit Academy was known as a school for cultivating elementalists, there were all kinds of options for graduated students. Only those with excellent talents would become spirit knights directly after graduation. The pharmacology department was a place for carrying the research of potions using spirit theories as the foundation.
When Est entered the pharmacology block...
"Hey, look look, it's the only male elementalist's sword spirit!"
"Wow, so cute♪"
Surrounding students immediately gathered around. As the Demon King of the Night's contracted spirit, Est's popularity had already reached mascot levels in the Academy.
"Miss Spirit, here's some candy for you. I made them during practicum."
"Hey, so unfair! Me too, here's some melon bread for you, eat it quick! Eat it quick!"
"...No reason to refuse."
Accepting these gifts the whole time she was there, Est began to eat.
And it was her eating appearance that kept tugging at the heartstrings of these girls who loved cute things.
"...S-So cute♪" "I wanna take her home!" "Agreed!"
"Ah, where do you think you are touching?"
While Est raised her voice, almost about to be abducted...
"What are you doing there?"
A stern voice rang out.
Ellis, the ponytailed girl dressed in the armor of the Sylphid Knights, made her appearance.
"Oh, Captain, why are you here?"
The girls took their hands off Est.
"I came to get nourishing medicine for Rakka and Reishia who are hospitalized."
Ellis turned her gaze to Est.
"You are Kazehaya Kamito's sword spirit, are you not? What are you doing here?"
"Yes, I came to get medicine for Kamito who has a flu."
"What? A flu?"
Est told the whole story to the frowning Ellis.
"...I see now, so that is why you need to pick up medicine. How truly admirable of you."
Ellis praised with her arms crossed before her chest.
"Hmm? Flu medicine?"
The girls were thinking with their chins resting on their hands, slightly troubled.
"No more flu medicine?"
"We could tell you a recipe for a medicinal porridge that's very effective for flu, but—"
"Right now, we happen to be out of the needed herbs."
The girls shrugged.
"Hmm, so is there any solution?"
Ellis bit her lip and spoke.
"The needed herbs have to be gathered from inside the Spirit Forest."
The girls tore out the last page from a notebook, drew simple outlines on it then handed it to Est.
"Looking at these herbs, you'll definitely understand immediately because the characteristics are obvious to the eye. The recipe for the medicinal porridge is also written here. It should be easy to make."
"Thank you very much."
Est bowed deeply.
"Will you be fine on your own? Perhaps it might be better if I went with you?"
"I often take walks in the Spirit Forest, I will be fine."
Est turned to another direction, gripped the note firmly in her hand and hurried to the Spirit Forest.
"What lovely weather for a stroll today, Carol."
In the courtyard under the sun's gentle rays, Rinslet Laurenfrost was taking Fenrir out on a walk.
Instead of his combat form as a giant magic wolf, Fenrir was in his tiny fuzzy strolling mode. He looked completely like a puppy like this.
Fenrir, who was usually more docile than Scarlet, jumped around happily. The Academy's courtyard was located near the Spirit Forest and was a place where spirits felt joy.
"Speaking of which, milady, have you heard?"
Carol stopped walking and remarked.
"Kamito-sama seems to be resting the whole time due to a flu."
Rinslet raised one eyebrow questioningly.
"How rare for an elementalist to catch a flu or other disease."
"He was probably too tired from the mission at the mining town. I also heard he was absent for lessons today too."
"Then Claire is the one taking care of him, right?"
"Apparently. Oh, but Claire-sama should have gone out to class at this time, so Kamito-sama is alone—"
Carol reported while reading from the notebook in her hand.
What was up with this maid, how did she know all kinds of news from the Academy?
"Milady, you are worrying about Kamito-sama, aren't you? Fufu."
"I-It's not like I am worrying, I-I simply..."
Rinslet denied with her face red.
Then she suddenly remembered.
"Speaking of flu, there is apparently a folk remedy passed down the Laurenfrost family."
"A folk remedy?"
"Yes, I learned it from head maid Natalia before, but..."
Rubbing her temples, Rinslet was just about to remember when...
Fenrir suddenly turned to forest and barked.
"Fenrir, what's the matter there?"
Rinslet frowned and looked in the direction that Fenrir kept barking at. There was a familiar figure there, walking into the Spirit Forest.
"Isn't that Kazehaya Kamito's sword spirit?"
"What is she doing all alone over there?"
"There are many dangerous beasts and spirits in the Spirit Forest. She needs to watch out."
Rinslet quickly chased after Est who was entering the Spirit Forest.
"Miss Sword Spirit, wait. Where are you going?"
Est stopped walking and turned to look at her.
"Oh, it's the Snack Person—"
"My name is Rinslet Laurenfrost, not Snack Person!"
Rinslet remarked in exasperation.
Whenever she cooked, she would share extra snacks with the spirits, hence all spirits in the Academy recognized her as the "Snack Person."
"Do you have something important to do in the Spirit Forest?"
"Need herbs growing in the forest."
Est took out the note from her uniform pocket and told Rinslet why she was here.
"...I see now. To heal Kamito-san's flu, herbs are necessary."
After learning the reason, Rinslet nodded and said:
"Miss Sword Spirit, I shall help you too."
"Yes, it goes without saying that the master will look after the servant."
"Fufu, milady, why don't you be honest and just say that you're worried about Kamito-san?"
"Y-You got the wrong idea. It is nothing like that at all."
Rinslet hammered her fists on Carol's back.
"Thank you very much, Snack Person—"
Still expressionless, Est bowed deeply.
"Hmm, this ought to be enough moon shadow grass."
"There's also the mist rain grass and longevity grass, this is quite a lot, milady."
Having stepped into the Spirit Forest, the three of them started to gather herbs as written on the note paper.
Although the necessary herbs were not rare inside the Spirit Forest and did not require much effort to pluck, they were not that easy to locate.
"What a nuisance. The longevity grass can't be found in this area at all."
"Hmm, looks like unless we go deeper into the forest—"
"Milady, this seems to resemble the longevity grass.
Carol grabbed a small blade of grass growing on the ground.
"Carol, that is nothing more than an ordinary weed..."
Just as Rinslet was grumbling at Carol...
Suddenly, the ground bulged upwards and the roots of the grass in Carol's hand attacked.
Slither slither slither.
Nearby, Rinslet and Est were instantly tied up like Carol.
"...Eeek, mmm... Milady, hurry and help me~..."
"...Nnnn, this, insolent, kyah...!"
"...This grass is trying to remove my kneesocks!?"
Watching his master moaning, Fenrir cocked his head to one side in puzzlement.
"Ah, this is no game. H-Hurry and save us..."
Responding to Rinslet's shout, Fenrir ripped the grass roots with his teeth.
However, the roots instantly regenerated and tied the girls up again. If Fenrir tried to freeze them, the tied up girls would probably get caught up too.
"...Kyah, d-don't touch, n-not there...!"
Just at this moment, there was a sudden sound of trees shaking in the depths of the forest.
"Hmm? What are you girls doing in a place like this?"
Rinslet suddenly raised her voice and cried out.
A blonde girl emerged from the depths of the forest with a large wooden staff in her hand.
"Horin Shareilia-san of Grizzly Class?"
"Oh, isn't this Raven Class' Snack Person?"
Putting down her staff, the girl chanted a brief incantation.
Suddenly, the roots loosened in an instant, retracting back into the ground with a whoosh.
Finally liberated, Rinslet, Carol and Est sighed in relief.
"There are many monsters here disguised as plants. You've got to be careful."
Picking up her staff again, the girl walked over.
Instead of living in the dorms, Shareilia of Grizzly Class lived in the Spirit Forest. Even within the Academy, she was a well-known eccentric. She was also an accomplished member of Team Cernunnos, which was ranked fifth in school. A powerful controller of beast swarm spirits.
"What are you girls doing here?"
"We are looking for this herb."
Est showed the note given to her from the students at the pharmacology department.
After reading the note, the girl nodded.
"If it's this kind of herb, I happen to have some."
"Yeah, come into my tent."
Est, Rinslet and Carol went into the tent in the forest.
Inside a small tent made of animal skins, there was smoke drifting with an unbelievable smell. There were also lots strange looking mushrooms and jars of herbs.
"Shareilia-san, why are you living in the forest?"
"Druids are elementalists who coexist with nature. Inside the forest, I can sense the presences of spirits more."
Shareilia took out the herb from a jar and gave it to Est.
"If you cut this herb up and put it into porridge, it should heal a flu straight away."
"Thank you very much, Forest Person."
Est bowed expressionlessly then gingerly placed the herb into a bag.
"This will reassure milady too."
"Yes, then I must depart in order to prepare for next class. Let us part ways here, Miss Sword Spirit."
"Yes, thank you very much, Snack Person."
"Like I said, Snack Person is not my name! Let's go, Carol—"
"Very well, milady—"
Just as Rinslet turned around and was about to exit the tent...
Suddenly, she stopped as though she remembered something.
For some reason, she turned her gaze to the wooden staff in Shareilia's hand.
"I remember it now. The folk remedy passed down the Laurenfrost family."
Having obtained the herbs necessary for cooking medicinal porridge, Est walked over to the vegetable garden belonging to the Academy.
Rinslet had taught her the Laurenfrost family's folk remedy for flu. In order to put this remedy into action, a certain vegetable was needed.
"—Looks like there is plenty."
Stepping into the field, Est murmured expressionlessly.
Her eyes were fixated on the tall scallions growing in one corner of the field.
"Two ought to be enough."
Just as she knelt down, trying to pull out the scallion from the field—
"W-Wait, what are you doing!?"
A frantic voice came from somewhere.
Est looked back to see a black-haired girl, dressed entirely in ritual attire, walking towards her.
Fianna Ray Ordesia, the Empire's second princess. Recently, she had joined Kamito's team. Having accepted a mission from the Academy, she had been preparing for a kagura dance ritual as part of an offering to ensure a bountiful harvest for this field.
Panting, Fianna ran over to Est's side.
"What is the matter?"
Est paused and turned her head.
"This vegetable garden belongs to the Academy. You can't just take vegetables away without permission."
"I can't take scallions from here?"
"Not unless you ask the spirits of this land first."
Fianna shook her head and frowned.
"...Speaking of which, why must you have scallions?"
"To heal Kamito's flu."
"...For this purpose?"
Est told Fianna the folk remedy she had heard from Rinslet Laurenfrost.
"Really? A folk remedy from the Laurenfrosts. Indeed, I have heard of it. Due to being a land of extreme cold and poverty, they have many peculiar methods of staying healthy there—"
Fianna rested her chin on her hand, pondering in a dilemma.
"Although I'd like to help cure Kamito-kun of his flu too, this field belongs to the spirits. If you take scallions without permission, the spirits will be angered."
Crops of the land were produced by the blessings of spirits together with the land. Without the blessings of spirits, crops could not grow healthily.
Hence, when harvesting crops, it was necessary to make a dance offering to please the spirits. Putting them in a bad mood would not be a good idea.
"I'll offer a ritual performance and try to ask if the spirits could share some of their scallions with us. A simple scaffold needs to be put up, so I think it'll be done by evening."
"No time for that, because Kamito is suffering from fever right now."
Est shook her head expressionlessly.
"I am the Demon Slayer. I have no need to plead to spirits of the land."
"Ah, wait up—"
Before Fianna had the time to stop her, Est had already plucked the scallions out .
In that instant, the ground shook, spewing a large amount of sand and soil.
Amidst the large amount of scattered dust, ominous figures appeared.
They were four spirits with the outer appearance of chickens.
...Exactly like chickens. They looked identical to chickens no matter how you viewed them. Except that their beaks were especially gigantic, and they had horns as well, plus even two heads each. But their oppressive presence felt as though they far surpassed other high-ranked spirits.
"Those are the Four Chicken Devas, the fierce bird spirits that rule this area!"
In shock, Fianna explained in a trembling voice.
These were truly high-ranked spirits who manifested entirely in the form of animals. Without exception, these fierce bird spirits would punish and drive away all Academy students who frequently tried to steal vegetables from here.
According to rumors, the Dusk Witch had brought out scrapped militarized spirits by her own decision when she first became headmistress, using them as protectors of the fields—
...Ultimately, there was still some truth to that rumor.
The fierce bird spirits raised their cockscombs and made very loud noises as though trying to threaten the scallion thief.
"F-Fierce bird spirits, please calm down!"
Fianna pleaded but to no avail.
Crowing, the four chickens ran towards Est.
All spirits in the Academy instinctively respected Est, the highest ranking spirit, but these chickens did not show the same behavior at all.
"Looks like they want me to make chicken pilaf out of them."
Est remarked expressionlessly and suddenly extended her hand in the air.
Instantly, countless swords appeared in her surroundings.
"Please give me the scallions—"
Hence, the deathmatch between the Demon Slayer and the Four Chicken Devas began.
"...Est has been gone for so long."
Still staring at the ceiling, Kamito muttered quietly in bed.
No matter how safe it was within the Academy, for her to have taken so long, he could not help but worry.
"Scarlet, I'm sorry to ask this of you, but could you check things out?"
Scarlet poked her head out, but soon after.
Kamito heard the sound of the room door opening.
"—I am back, Kamito."
After seeing Est's face, Kamito finally showed an expression of relief.
"You took a long time, I was so worried... Uh, what's with your uniform!?"
Without thinking, Kamito looked away.
Est's uniform was tattered all over. Even her kneesocks had holes everywhere.
"...Don't look at the kneesocks. Kamito is such a pervert."
Est frantically covered her kneesocks that had many holes.
"S-Sorry... But what the heck happened?"
"Yes, I fought powerful spirits."
"Please don't ask any further. Rather, Kamito, please have a good rest."
Est advised while walking over to the kitchen.
"I will make porridge with herbs. Please wait a short while for me."
"Est, you know how to cook?"
"Of course, because I am the Demon Slayer."
"No no no, I don't think cooking has anything to do with being the Demon Slayer... C-Cough..."
"Kamito, be good and go to sleep."
"...Y-Yeah, got it... Thanks."
Despite feeling uneasy, Kamito still lay down.
Several minutes after that...
"...Kamito, are you okay?"
Est brought a bowl of porridge. Kamito was having nightmares in his fever.
"I made a bowl of porridge for you, Kamito."
"C-Cough... You're such a great help, thanks..."
Est placed the porridge on the table next to the bed.
Kamito sat up in bed.
Holding a spoon in her hand, Est stared expressionlessly at Kamito.
"Please open your mouth, Kamito."
Kamito was stunned for a moment.
"Please say ah~ and open your mouth, Kamito."
"No, it's okay, I can eat on my own. Can you give me the spoon?"
Kamito gulped hard.
Est looked like she was in a good mood. She was really happy.
But going "ah~" was too embarrassing. Furthermore—
Bubbling. Bubbling bubbling.
The porridge was seething like lava... Eating it directly would probably scald his mouth.
Several seconds later, their gazes met.
Kamito surrendered completely.
Fearfully, he opened his mouth with caution, taking the spoon into his mouth.
Kamito reflexively jumped.
Originally on the bed, Scarlet got up and fled.
"Kamito, please don't move or else I will miss."
Saving the porridge that was almost knocked over, Est impatiently straddled Kamito on the bed.
"Kamito, please open your mouth now."
Kamito bounced up a second time.
"I think that porridge is a lot easier to eat if it cools down a bit..."
Est unwillingly put down the porridge.
Kamito finally closed his eyes in relief, but his relief was short-lived...
This time, Est straddled him and looked down at him.
In this manner, she began to undress with determination.
"W-What are you doing!?"
"I heard that passing warmth from skin to skin is better during a flu."
"W-Who did you hear that from...? Eh, though I can probably guess!"
Most likely, she heard it from Fianna.
(...T-That damn princess!)
"Kamito, be good and stay still—"
While continuing to undress, Est spoke expressionlessly.
Her skirt fell down, turning her completely naked.
"...Y-You'll catch my flu..."
"Spirits don't get flu."
Est suddenly brought her face up close.
At this moment, Kamito suddenly noticed something strange and frowned.
Est was holding something long in her hand.
...A scallion. A long scallion of excellent quality.
"W-Why a scallion?"
"Kamito, show me your butt."
Scallion in hand, Est expressionlessly closed in.
"Don't... Est... STOPPPPPPPPP!"
Kamito's pitiful screams reverberated all over the Raven Class dorm.
Claire returned to her room to visit Kamito during the lunch break.
"W-Why are all of you here?"
"N-Nothing much, just out of worry for Kamito-san!"
"It is perfectly normal for a knight to visit someone sick in bed."
"Fufu, unless I come to warm up Kamito-kun's body, well..."
The four girls met one another in front of the door. While restraining one another and opening the door...
Kamito could be seen in bed, suffering from a nightmare.
"Wait, are you okay? ...But the fever seems to be completely gone."
"Why is he still having a nightmare when the fever has clearly gone down!?"
Everyone frowned and looked at one another.
For some unknown reason, lying on the floor next to the bed was a snapped scallion and Est upsidedown in sword form.