Assassin Pride Volume 3 Chapter 3

LESSON: Ⅲ ~Little Devils with white wings attached~

(Unedited)

「I’m sorry for making you wait so long, your Excellency the duke」

The moment he entered the room, Kufa felt the strained atmosphere.

They were at the reception office of the academy school building tower. The guide sister stayed behind his back as if hiding, and behind her, for some reasons having went along with the flow, the figure of Rozetti was also present

The gray haired man who was crossing his arms on the leather-covered sofa relaxedly raised his face at the sound of door opening and closing.

「If I’m not worng, you are Melida’s home tutor name……」

「Yes my lord, I am Kufa Vanpir of the Knight Calvary regimen (Guild)」

Although he couldn’t disclose the name of the regimen, Kufa greeted with perfect gesture as always. Felgus Angel put his finger on his chin with a 「Fumu」.

「Vanpir……That’s not a family name I’ve heard of」

「Com, come come, please have a seat! I’ll bring you some tea right away!」

The sister said as if to mediate, and urged Kufa to the sofa. As he sit down directly in front of duke Felgus, Rozetti stayed at his back in waiting as if she was his follower.

If he raised his face, he could see the figures of two knight servants behind duke Felgus’s back. The young man’s military outfit was excessively decorated, and his long hair was smoothed down with oil. Contrastively, the glassed woman with bobbed hair was wearing modeled equipments all over her body. Their pure white dresses belongs to the pinnacle Knight Calvary regimen (Guild) of the imperial holy city guard (Crest Legion)

As soon as the man looked at Kufa’s military uniform’s color, he bent his lips expression his superiority. Seeing that, the female companion cast a sharp glare to remonstrate him. They were, in other words, Rozetti’s senpais. Did she remember how she got sent back to this city, the girl curled her shoulders.

While the sister watched over them looking anxious, duke Felgus opened his heavy lips.

「……So then, where are the said Melida and headmaster Blamange?」

「With all due respect my lord. Right now ojou-sama is taking Bibliagort librarian certification exam」

「Even though Melida is still a first year? ──Aah, I see」

Duke Felgus nodded as if having self acknowledgement. Certainly as her father, he had heard about how Melida acted as the candidate for Luna Lumiere selection matches this year.

In a way like understanding the background situation, duke Felgus seriously shook his head many times.

「It seems the headmaster is also in trouble. And I’ve come in such a bad time」

「I, I’m so sorry, duke-sama! We are currently being busy with military service and……!」

「No, that goes for both of us. I came here asking for her without contacting in advance, it’s my bad」

While returning an easygoing answer toward the shrinking back sister, the duke shrank deeper into the sofa.

「In that case, how about I wait here for a short while. If she is just participating in name then she should come back quickly without spending too much time──」

「With all due respect, your Excellency. Ojou-sama wouldn’t be coming back so quickly」

As Kufa plainly said, duke Felgus’s eyelids opened.

「……What do you mean?」

「What I mean is that they aren’t just participate in name. Melida-ojou-sama and her cousin Elise are, right now, seriously exploring Bibliagort in order to be qualified for the labyrinth librarian」

The holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion) man whistled, and the female regimental woman opened her eyes wide behind the glasses.

Then duke Felgus, somehow, added more stiffed emotions into his voice.

「Is that your education policy? Why did you let a first year like Melida take such an exam?」

「It was without a doubt my recommendation. Of course for a first year in the academy this is a difficult task, but with ojou-sama’s ability, I expect she would overcome the sixth grade exam’s difficulties without problems」

「No, Melida doesn’t need something like labyrinth librarian qualification. Please bring her back here right now」

Toward the words which were assembled a little hurried, Kufa frowned.

「It is not necessary, you said?」

「Melida isn’t part of any Knight Calvary regimen (Guild).──And I’ve come to talk about that」

Duke Felgus took out a copy of letter out of his showy mantel, and placed it on the sofa.

「What is this?」

「It’s Melida’s school withdrawal notice」

The sister and Rozetti swallowed their breaths obviously, Kufa too widened his eyes a little.

ith movement that expressed his dignity, duke Felgus crossed his arms, he said with robust tone.

「This year I shall have Melida expelled from St. Frideswide. Bringing her back to the main house, then find another home tutor for her. You’ve have done a good work until this day, Vanpir-kun」

「Please wait, duke Felgus」

Without a moment’s delay Kufa persisted. With vigor as if half snapping at other, his voice was full of emotions.

「Although this should be something you knew long ago, Melida-ojou-sama had finally acquired her long wanted mana power. Then why right now, you plan on doing something like closing off her path?」

「I’ve heard what happened at the school gathering」

As expected Kufa also couldn’t help but be at a loss for words. The duke shook her head in sadness, then continued.

「It’s a situation I was afraid of. When I let that child appear in public, I knew that I would be giving the subject for ill intent people to take advantage of. I couldn’t help but admit it, this was my mistake. I shouldn’t have let that girl── that mana-less《Incompetent gifted girl》attend mana capable ones training school」

Kufa generally mobilized his seventeen years of life experience, and searched for the words that could urge the duke to change his mind. However no matter how much he bustled around the maze of thoughts, what could come out of his mouth was nothing more than petition.

「You Excellency the duke, please somehow think again. Let’s postpone it for a while now. At least after a year, if you give us some time, surely we will be able to report a result that will satisfy your Excellency──」

「That’s not the problem here.……You also understand, right?」

Of course he did. As a father what he wanted wasn’t《his daughter’s success》.

In order to solidified the position of the house Angel ── certainly he wanted to separate Melida who was always at the center of the disturbance from the world. If Melida was really brought back to the Angel’s main house, then the future awaited her after would be being confided in a shut prison just like a spirit world, right……..

That would be completely differed from the way the high spirit girl wanted to live.

Kufa grasped his fist tightly on his knees. Equals to going through with his own mission, to protect the shining light of his reverence blonde master was the assassin home tutor (Assassin Pride) that he carved inside his heart.

Kufa once again took in a big breath, and slowly spitted out.

「Your Excellency the duke, do you know of Melida-ojou-sama’s target as a mana capable one?」

「……No, I don’t. And what is it?」

「She wants to enlist into the holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion)」

Bubu! The one who rudely burst into laughter was of course not duke Felgus.

One of the pair standing behind him, the male knight who without a doubt served as the elite of the holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion) pressed his mouth as if unable to bear it. The companion female knight, Kufa, and furthermore Felgus glared sharply at him, the man then returned a bow with pompous actions.

「My apologies, I got a slight cold」

“Gohon”, after he cleared his throat, duke Felgus turned back at Kufa.

「It seems that girl got influenced by you too much. Although you value Melida’s potential highly, that girl herself couldn’t exactly grasp her own ability now, could her?」

「I understand what you want to say. Ojou-sama right now is still inexperience……. However after three years, I feel that the environment around that girl will change so much, I am certain that her potential will be endless. I──」

He paused for a short while, Kufa intentionally and nonchalantly, naturally continued.

「Because more than anyone in this world, I’m confidently the one who  understand ojou-sama the most」

He felt that the gray hair father’s lips bent into the word へ just slightly.

The silence stretched, only the timber in the room let out creaking sound. As if having turned to himself the duke opened his mouth.
「……Although I don’t plan to interfere with your father in law business, but just who are you? Why do you support Melida that much?」

「Because it includes the commandments of my unit, I could only say that much」

「That you can protect Melida? Perhaps you should not forget the incident last year’s……Circlet Night. Because you said『Leave the investigation to me』 I didn’t make a move, however were you telling me to be satisfied with such a simple report? That we should trust in you? 」

「I couldn’t do anything but ask you to trust me」

「Then there’s nothing to say」

Duke Felgus stood up as if having fed up, the sister at the corner of the room shuddered.

「Without a doubt please pass the school withdrawal notice to the headmaster. Because after this I won’t be available, so excuse me. Make sure the maids in the residence pack the luggage──」

「Please wait, duke Felgus」

Toward the back that was hurriedly exiting the room, Kufa called out to stop with resolution.

「Please test me」

「……What do you mean?」

「I don’t mind any conditions. As long as you wish, no matter what it is I will accomplish it. And with that success, please think of it as the proof of trust from your Excellency」

Then in that event, please somehow think again about ojou-sama’s school withdrawal──…………

Had him perceived the wordless pressure from his strong gaze, the duke turned back at him with his whole body.

「……For example if you achieved the conditions, and without any restriction I changed my mind. Will you accept that?」

「I will」

「Very well」

Duke Felgus showed the best expression today, and nodded greatly many times.

「If you have spoken that much, why won’t we test your resolves.──Vigil! Grena! Did you bring your beloved sword? Then be his opponent」

Reacting with a twitch were the man and woman of the imperial guards serving in wait behind his back.

The bobbed hair glass wearing female knight advised with a searching tone while still stayed firm.

「Of, of course the knowledge of battle cannot be overlooked at any time. However……」

「Are you joking, my duke? You want me right now to cross sword with a inferior knight?」

Truly absurd, with that attitude the man bent the corner of his lips.

As it stands, only the chosen elites were allowed to enlist into the holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion), regarding all the military armies in Flandre, they were commonly accepted as the strongest group. However, in duke Felgus’s pupils which were staring straight at Kufa didn’t have a bit of joke nor threat.

「I’ll have you battle with three elites of the holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion. That’s right, a three on one battle. If Melida truly aim to enlist into the holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion), then you as her teacher naturally have to surpass that power. Or am I wrong?」

Although it complete made sense, Kufa caught a noticeable words at the beginning of his sentence.

「You said『three elites』……?」

「Vigil and Grena that came with me right now. And the one over, isn’t she a knight of the holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion)?」

All the eyes in the room focused on that one person. The young girl serving behind Kufa’s back completely couldn’t expect this development at all darted her eyes around.

「Eh? You, you mean me!?」

「What are you surprised at? Surely the reason you were sent back to this city was to redeem a former mission right──Don’t you want to shorten the time for your sentence. The temporally become my sword and dance for me. Certainly you have not forgotten your long cherished holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion)’s position?」

「Etto, certainly not, but……」

The glassed female regimental soldier silently stared at the indecisive Rozetti, duke Felgus Angel frowned in puzzlement.

「What reason is there to be wavered? Don’t you want to return to the holy king district even for one day sooner?」

He didn’t wait for Rozetti’s reply, duke Felgus turned his body. Toward the sister who was close to the wall and completely didn’t know what to do with the situation, he asked politely.

「I’m sorry for being selfish, but could I borrow one of the training building?」

「Th, that, of course, my duke……Certainly there wouldn’t be any problem, however……」

While letting her unease eyes wander around, the sister once again stutteringly answered.

「Be, because today is the certification exam, most of the students are attending school. Therefore a lot of students are freely using the training building to practice, I need to make them clear the ground……Ah yes, of course I’ll explain to them right away! Please wait a bit!!」

While shaking her portly belly, the sister awkwardly flew out of the room.

Crossing his arms, duke Felgus closed his eyes as if meditating, and the imperial guard man called out to him. It seemed the man with awfully too high self-esteem was named Vigil.

「My duke, I have something to tell you. This Vigil’s only weak field is《adjusting strength》, therefore depend on the circumstances, that man might fall into an unrecoverable state as a knight……」

「I don’t mind. Until he admits defeat or loses consciousness, don’t hold back any attack. That’s an order」

My goodness, Vigil shrugged his shoulders showily. Although he was looked at with a very apathetic gaze, Kufa warded it off with his nonchalant face.

Toward him, the other team member, the bobbed hair glass wearing woman Grena brought her face closer.

「……Do you really want to do this?」

Her tone was anxious and so small that it didn’t reach where duke Felgus was standing.

「If you triumph over us, then you will have to join the holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion). Duke Felgus said that because he knows it’s impossible」

「Exactly as you said」

While he turned to the opposite side as if matching mirror with duke Felgus, Kufa answered.

「You guys and includes the father, duke Felgus and everyone living in this world don’t believe Melida-ojou-sama could actually enlist into the holy city imperial guard (Crest Legion), right? In order to overturn that recognition, I need to thrust before their own eyes an《unbelievable and impossible miracle》」

Kufa turned his head, and stared at the ginger hair young girl who was still being petrified.

「Therefore please don’t hold back either, Rozetti-san」

「…………But」

Immediately after Rozetti, who was as stiff as a rock, somehow managed to say only that.

The reception’s door was “Ban!” violently blown opened.

「Kufa-sensei! Rozetti-sensei! Big problem!!」

The one who dashed in was yet again a different sister.  Because today was Bibliagort librarian certification exam, most of the lecturers had been rounded up so there wasn’t enough helping hands.

Everyone in the room focused on the out of breath woman, then duke Felgus asked in everyone’s stead.

「What happened?」

「Aah, my duke! All knight-sama! Somehow please lend your strength! This is such a terrible situation that St. Frideswide alone couldn’t deal with!!」

Toward the girl in the state of half panicked, Kufa leaned his body forward unusually.

「Just what in the world happened?」

「A little earlier in the headmaster’s office, someone sent this thing!」

Saying so the sister handed over a normal envelop at first glance.

Whereupon the moment duke Felgus inspected the envelop himself, Kufa and Rozetti, and the two imperial guard quickly stiffened their expression. It was a card with an ominous crest printed.

「This three headed beast seal……belongs to Troops of Tomfoolery Dawn (Guild Grimhuis)!!」

「What is behind the card, my duke?」

Everyone in the room had already gathered around duke Felgus, and peeked at his hand. The duke flipped the provoking card, he spoke out loud the written words with steel like voice.

「……『The three clawed devil’s greed is full. The books written in maiden’s blood will fill the boundless library. The huge tree’s cinder won’t even prevent it』……A prophecy poem」

Including Kufa, the four active knight immediately understood the meaning of the poem. 『Boundless library』was, needless to say, the giant labyrinth Bibliagort. 『The huge tree’s cinder』indicating the lecturers that retired from the front line, with headmaster Blamange as the chief. And then the『book written in blood』was without a doubt a metaphor indicated the tragic fate awaiting the maidens that stepped into Bibliagort.

Having realized the situation faster than anyone else, Kufa raised his face.

「Ojou-samas are──the examinees heading toward the certification exam are in danger!! Please immediately contact the guiding teachers, and tell them to return to the academy! Right now they should still be briefing at the upper layer of Bibliagort!!」

「I’m afraid that is not possible!」

The sister frustratingly cried. Having the momentum cut off, Kufa’s words felt blocked.

「Not possible……what do you mean?」

「Since then, without any incident the elevator came back to glassmond palace! However, my god, I don’t even know what is happening……!」

The sister made a cross sign, and directed her prayers at the gods that didn’t exist on the heaven.

「The figures of the examinees, and even headmaster Blamange and the others weren’t there! Yes, not even one person remained, everyone suddenly disappeared!!」

 

† † †

 

Turning back the clock a little ──

Riding on the elevator from glassmond palace, and going toward the first layer of Bibliagort, Melida right now was tightly hugging her cousin.

Around the two, ear splitting roaring sound was whirling like tsunami. The clump of the big tree that overgrew and covered the space in an instance seemingly tried to crush the sisters.

──So painful──I can’t breath──!

If she relaxed her hand even for a little, she feared that Elise would get separated, and blown into the air like foliage. The sisters absorbed in rounding their arms around each other’s back, and single-mindedly continued to wait for this absurd storm to pass.

The growth of the plant that started suddenly came to a hold after merely ten seconds of waiting.

The willfully overgrown foliage lost moisture, withered and fell down, the fat root which was like a giant man’s foot thinned down like bone, then crumbled and disappeared. The feeling of oppression vanished in an instance, Melida and Elise who was still hugging each other tight, timidly opened their eyelids.

「It, it’s over……? What was that just now…?」

Her tightly shut vision received a faint light──

Melida and Elise, immediately after that, fell into an awkward situation which made them absentminded for a whole twenty seconds.

──Boundless library.

Nothing expressed it more than that. The giant hexagon vault ran across the space in all direction, and on the yonder a mysterious violet light was flickering. The wall that stretched out from its left and right was all bookshelf. All of the many ten thousands and ten million books which were placed on the self had their spines, bindings and plate types differ, not even two books of the same type could be found.──Somehow, she couldn’t even get a whole of everything in one look.

While being dumbfounded and looked up, she noticed that somehow even the high and far away roof was also made up off bookshelves. Just who in the world arranged those books in such a place like this?

「This is the great labyrinth《Bibliagort》……?」

As Elise muttered the most likely correct answer, Melida suddenly returned to herself.

「Wait……Where’s onee-samas!? And the headmaster-sensei!?」

Melida’s group that was released from the giant tree was, for some reason, suddenly standing at the middle of the unduly wide hallway. At their feet, of course none of the cogwheel of the magic circle was found, furthermore, the senpais whom were supposed to explore the labyrinth with them, as well as headmaster Blamange whom should have been guiding them were nowhere to be seen.

Inside the vast space that was dominated by the smell of ink and paper, only the blonde and silver hair angels remained──

With an incomprehensible tone that exceeded her impatience, Elise blankly tilted her head.

「By any chance, the certification exam had already started……?」

「……I wonder if that’s so? But didn’t she said first of all we had to confirm the test one final time with everyone at the safe zone on the first layer? Furthermore, it’s really strange that the headmaster-sensei isn’t even here!」

「I also think that it’s really strange.……But Lita, look at this」

Saying so Elise hold up something, it was a bent delicate glass device. Distributing among the examinee in unit , it was the hourglass which indicating the time limit of the certification exam.

The clock ── had started to move.

The time limit for passing went by moment by moment just as the grains of sand falling down.

「The headmaster-sensei said『When the test begins the seal on the hourglass will be lifted』. If that’s the case, it could be part of the exam. They said『It’s still safe』to make us drop our guards, then suddenly threw the examinees into the middle of the maze……」

「They’re trying to see our decision making ability when push comes to shore? That’s not impossible, however……」

「……What now? Return to the academy for now?」

Although she said that, Elise surveyed her eyes around. Being drawn into it, Melida too looked at the same direction.

Already she had no idea where they were, nor how to get back to the elevator and the academy. No matter which direction she looked at, only the same bookshelves and hallway scenary stretched out on an overwhelming scale.

In the time she lost in thoughts, the time limit surely went away by the second──

She remembered the very slightly sweet secret with him that she imprinted on each and each page of her most precious memories. The question she asked at that latest evening was freshly  brought back to her ear.

『In case, if I couldn’t pass the test, what will sensei do?』

『Will you disappeared from this residence……?』

Unknowingly, she put more strength into the grip on the sword on her waist.

Did she sensitively notice Melida’s subtle feeling, with a complete turn-around, Elise regained her calm as water attitude.

「As I thought let’s move, Lita. It is no use just waiting here anyway」

「Ely?」

「For now,  let’s assume this the test and let’s try to advance. In the way we’ll search for onee-samas and the headmaster-sensei. When there is a ascend and descend stair, let’s go down. How is it?」

……Certainly it might be the proper course of action. Anyways, staying here was dangerous. At any rate if what I heard before the exam was true, then mysterious labyrinth ……────

It was at that moment. Completely as if taking shape of Melida’s hunch, from the gap of the stone floor, pitch black stain oozed out. Rapidly the volume increased to as big as a human, when something seemed like arms and feet stretched out, a hideous robe coiled around its whole body.

On the tip of its twisted arm’s joint, a lantern with faint bluish flame flickering was being hanged.

「A ghost……!」

Melida instantly lowered her waist, and took posture of drawing the sword. There were two ghosts appeared. Although the type of weapon couldn’t be identified, its five fingers that were sharpened like claws were threatening enough.

Elise too lined up beside Melida, and drew the long sword. However, Melida saw that her finger tips were shaking a little bit.

The reason was obvious. She was very bad against the spirit linage (undead) enemy……Melida unconsciously knitted her eyebrows.

「Are you alright, Ely? If it seems too much I’ll handle them my──」

「I’m fine」

As she answered so, her voice wasn’t trembling at all, the opposite of her fingertips. She tightly gripped the handle, and unsheathed the sword with fluid movement. A noble sound echoed, “Sharaan!”

「Because me, and also Lita……are already different from when we need to be protected by senseis!!」

From the bodies of the sister, gorgeous mana gushed upward. The two ghosts let out throat splitting war cry, immediately after that, the golden war princess and silver war princess each dashed forward a different direction.

Their aims were one on one. Toward the young girls circling around them from the left and right, the ghosts stayed back to back and charged. With incomprehensible movements which almost ignored the inertia, the ghosts suddenly stopped from its sudden acceleration, they released a mowing attack without any preliminary movement.

Its five claws flickered with a metallic sound. Being attacked unguarded by the enemy’s behavior for an instance, Elise immediately regained her posture with the footwork that was drummed into her by the home tutor.

The ghost’s fighting form differed greatly from human and beasts. It was because they weren’t trapped in the law of physic. There was no preliminary action like brandishing the weapon, nor was there any chance to render their swing useless. Only the《instant attack》endlessly slammed down from up down left right. This peerless swordsmanship was so hard to read.

Elise continued her water like steps, uncertain of her position. With minimum movement she avoided the attack line, and swung the long sword at the thing which looked like its body. That was as if a dance garnished with spark and metallic sound. The young and energetic dancing miko (Rozetti)’s initiated footwork coupled with the Paladin class’s defense ability, the phantasmagoric protection which should be called as 《Ice water form》was being materialize right now.

Without even averting her eyes, Elise continued to glare at the ghost’s face which was impossible to comprehend.

「Without fear──taking a close look──No no, until the very end──I’ll analyze these scary things──」

Instantly, Elise raised the long sword and rushed out. “Don!” The stone floor vibrated. The swung claws clashed with long sword at a perfect timing, the offensive force recoiled to the opposite direction.

The ghost’s posture greatly broke, seeing the chance appeared for the first time, Elise changed to the aggressive.

「Compare to you……that fiendish sensei is much more formidable!!」

Three slashes of sword mowed down the ghost, immediately following that silver white flame scattered in a flash. The robe was torn to shreds like paper waste and dispersed, together with resenting death throes, the jet black flesh melted and disappeared.

As the silver hair paladin raised her brilliant victory sign──

Yet Melida was still performing a fierce sword dance with the remaining ghost.  This side was a complete turn about, none of them was defending. Attack was knocked off by attack, the enemy’s whole strength clashed with her own trump card. Endlessly the metal, spark and flame ran rampant just like a concert of a fire god.

(Illu)

──This is fun!

While Melida dancing with her whole body, unknowingly the corner of her lips curved up. Was it because she always exchanged blows with the much higher rank Kufa? Having battled with a foe’s real strength, right now, Melida suddenly realized. That, since when, her strength had growth this much.

His words that were absorbed into her whole body made her physique nimble. Her sword moved around with completely same traces of his sword stance. Since who knows when, Melida was dancing in a state of mind like having his illusion overlapped with herself.

Kufa’s lead guided Melida’s steps. The heat gushed up from the center of her chest step by step raised her body’s gear. Ah ha, how about this, isn’t the ghost’s counter attack gradually getting slower. How unsatisfied. Even though herself and Kufa could continuously go further, even though they could move far ahead, the enemy was already in a state of being manipulated as if being kicked around by the storm.

Melida parried the enemy’s claws, and without a moment’s delay she twisted the thrust out scabbard ninety degree. Together with the afterimage as if a haze, one of the ghost’s arm burst into dust. She didn’t give it time to scream, Melida did a low kick while rotating her whole body. She displayed destructive power that herself was surprised, as the ghost was sent flying to the other side of the bookshelves from the tip of her knee.

Melida trampled on the helpless body of the ghost which was rolling backward. The robe fell off, and seeing the true face of the remains behind it, she unconsciously leaked out an admired word “Hee”.

「So you were a girl」

Without waiting for a reply, Melida thrust the tip of the sword straight at its chest. While roaring disgusting death throes, the ghost’s body turned into black mist from the head and dispersed, and melted into the air.

Until the final piece scattered, she glided the sword’s tip and left.

As Melida turned behind, and slapped her hand on the palm that was already hanging up.

「「We won!!」」

Elise smiled a little, Melida smiled with the radiant of her whole face「Ehehe!」. Until attempting the test, honestly they couldn’t be helped but felt anxious. However, as the home tutors’ prediction「with the status of you two right now, passing won’t be just  a dream」, they both felt that it wasn’t an exaggeration in the slightest.

「We can do this! Even without the headmaster-sensei we shall pass this exam! Let’s continue our advance!」

Melida pulled out the sword, and put it back to the scabbard. However, Elise who was thinking of sheathing the same weapon, suddenly raised the long sword before her eyes, and frowned.

Directly she held out the naked sword fuller before Melida.

「Wait, Lita. In the battle just now the blade is a bit bent」

Being told so, Melida too took out the sword from the scabbard to check once more.

「What’s this, my blade is also a little chipped. But since this is practice sword it could be helped right」

「That’s not it.……The enemy isn’t strong right? If we search Bibliagort, taking the exam and return to the academy like this……you know, will the weapons last until the end?」

Thinking about it, although raising the sign of victory, the ghosts just now were by no means easy targets. It was because they could focus on a one-on-one that they could achieve a sweeping victory.

If perhaps the enemy wasn’t just two, but was four? What would happen if the weapons broke down during a battle? In that case, the little impatience would easily lead to a fatal error, wouldn’t it ……?

「E, even if you said that, it can’t be helped! We have to beat every enemy on the way!」

「……You’re, right. But Lita, I got the feeling that you’re somewhat a little impatient……」

「I’m completely fine! Let’s advance with caution? We’ll be fine as long as we don’t get surrounded by lots of enemy!」

It was immediately after she said that.

Once again, as if taking shape of Melida’s imagination ── Zowa Zowa Zowa!

From the gap of the stone floor, the haze which was oozing out surrounded the two, a number of ghosts which easily exceeded ten appeared. Melida and Elise immediately stayed back to back, their expression stiffened.

「How could this be……!?」

「This is Bibliagort ……」

The words Elise muttered in disbelieve pierced Melida’s heart. The publicly known as『the high difficulty test aims at second year and above』was definitely not just for show. Moreover they should be being at one of the first layer of the labyrinth. They were in this situation because they chose the sixth grade of the exam, for example, the third year Shenfa Zwitoque and the others who chose the third grade exam right now, just much suffering was they experience now ──

Once again raising the sheathed long sword, Elise asked across her back.

「What now? Lita」

「No other way but run! Let’s someone make a breakthrough with only two of us!」

Melida too had unsheathed the sword, her left hand supported the pommel as she drew it closer to the side of her face.

The black haze silhouette was swaying and surrounded the two’s every direction. As if noticing their aim, the haze didn’t show even one tiny gap for escaping. Slowly, just like a wall, and step by step, the ghosts pressed in closer ──

At that moment.

 

「《Once Upon A Time》!!」

 

Together with an unfamiliar voice, a gust of wind swept over the center of Melida and Elise.

The wind fiercely howled, and the group of ghost which should not have any ego trembled. For the sister in the center of the whirlpool, it was like a gentle breeze. However, the pressure that was trampling down just one step away from them immediately scatter right away. The tornado that swollen up in one go completely blown the ghosts away without one remaining. They were blown away from the hallway, together with frail throes of death they were sucked back to hell ……。

As Melida and Elise was having difficulties understanding the situation with blank faces, softly flying down from above, there were the figures of Angel of grace. One of them was the black quartz hair which was translucent in harmony with the light, the other one was a princess of sakura who was raised in a gemstone crate with no impurity──

What they were cladding in were mayhap the battle outfit with the same design as Melida’s. Namely, the battle training attire (battle dress) made in order to bless the war maiden (Walkure) from the heaven. It gave a different impression from the uniform of St. D’Autriche girl institution which she saw once ……. Finally Melida remembered the names of the two angels.

「Mule-san……and Salasha-san……!?」

「I feel like it’s been a while since we met. Have you always been looking forward to seeing me again?」

With a plonk, she closed the massive book she was holding, Mule said.

Her captivating adult-like smile called upon the nostalgia and joy ── furthermore, a strange stir in Melida’s heart at the same time.