Episode 1: The Empire’s Assassin Blade
On that day Lux was sleeping in the infirmary office too when a sudden clamor arose.
「Lux! I remodelled the previous《Chimeratech Wyvern》to make you a nursing Drag-Ride! With this the toilet and bathing will be child’s play──probably!」
「Isn’t that quite dangerous instead!? Or rather, I’m probably the one testing it aren’t I!?」
Faced with Lisha’s innocent smile Lux refused in panic.
Krulcifer who saw it directed an amazed gaze to Lisha from the side.
「As usual you are wasting your talent needlessly, are you not……In the first place, there is no need to take such a dangerous approach, you could easily take care of Lux-kun’s bath if you just wear the water dress you bought last time」
「T-There was that way too! I mean, why are you here!? Today is not your turn, is it!? I’m already taking care of Lux!」
「I am merely coming here to teach him today’s lesson that he missed while he slept. Though I will obediently leave if you can do that in my place though?」
Fort City Cross Field, a white room in the first block inside the academy.
Right next to the sleeping Lux’s bed two girls were quarreling.
One was the young princess of this New Atismata Kingdom, Lizsharte.
The other was Krulcifer, an exchange student and daughter of a count from the religious country Ymir.
Lisha was a lovely princess with scarlet eyes and long blonde hair tied in a ponytail to the side, a girl full of energy with a strong will despite her petite body.
Krulcifer was a beautiful girl with long flowing bluish hair and white porcelain skin, a talented woman possessing unparalleled ability in both literary and military arts and the grace befitting a noble’s daughter.
Lux was overjoyed that such girls frequently come to visit, but──.
（Why does it always turn this way……）
Lux was breaking out in a cold sweat while looking at the two girls before him.
One week after completing the training camp in Ries Island there would be a tournament in the capital──the『All-Dragon Battle』. But he had yet to fully recover.
Even after waking up from a long sleep he couldn’t move his body as he pleased due to the recoil from using Over Limit, a function to remove the Drag-Ride limiter.
In order to relieve his still aching muscles of the strenuous fatigue, he was staying in the academy’s infirmary office.
Until the day of the tournament in the capital light exercise was forbidden, not to mention Drag-Ride practice.
Such were the conditions imposed on Lux by the doctor after finishing his examination.
「I do not mind the both of you enjoying yourselves with Nii-san, but be a little quiet please. Did you forget that we are in the infirmary office?」
Such an exasperated murmur suddenly came from the nearby chair.
Airi Arcadia──Lux’s little sister sharing the same hair and eye color directed her gaze to them with a book in hand.
「Muu, can’t be helped then. I guess it’s fine if the little sister is here……I’ll come back again later」
「──It really can’t be helped. I will take my leave for today too. Let’s work hard with the supplementary lessons next time」
Lisha stood up and left the room with Krulcifer in tow.
Only Lux and Airi were left in the infirmary office bathed in the early summer afternoon glow.
「Fuu……even so, lately Lisha-sama and Krulcifer-san seem kind of scary. I wonder what’s going on?」
「It’s all because of Nii-san that those two are so worked up though」
Lux tilted his head to one side at Airi’s brief comment.
「Having no self-awareness is a poor taste」
She murmured so in a small voice with her gaze still on the book in her hands.
Speaking of which, he got the feeling that Krulcifer became more aggressive than before after he told everyone that he would be Lisha’s knight──Could it be, it was related to that?
（……It can’t be, right?）
Lux took a deep breath to sort out his feelings while looking out the window.
For the time being, let’s focus on the things right before himself.
Fight for the right to investigate the ruins at the tournament in the capital.
In truth, Lux also wanted to train in order to get the overall victory in the upcoming All-Dragon Battle that would be held in the capital but──.
「By the way, according to my calculations your operational limit is about 12 minutes」
Lux showed a doubt at this sudden murmur, to which Airi nodded while lowering her gaze.
「That is the time Nii-san will be able to use《Bahamut》until the All-Dragon Battle is over, the armor will be forcibly disengaged if you use it beyond that. But this is still a numerical value obtained after running calculations with the operational data up to now, it will change somewhat depending on how you use your weapons. If you use a《Wyvern》you could manage to a certain extend──」
「I only have, that little time?」
He was already prepared to some extent for the lingering fatigue from the recoil of using Over Limit, but as expected it was harsh.
He wouldn’t use《Bahamut》in the upcoming matches anyway, but still──.
Thump! Airi closed her book audibly and flashed a cool smile to Lux.
「This is as much as I’ll compromise. In reality, Nii-san’s wounds are at a level where he should refrain from participating in the All-Dragon Battle right?」
「I-I understand, my bad……」
Airi stood up with a sigh when Lux apologized immediately after sensing danger.
「Besides──the current Nii-san has a higher possibility of running into something even more dangerous」
「Yeah. I know, Hayes and Nii-san──right?」
Hayes, the Black Marketer, and the military strategist of the Heiburg Republic.
And Fugil, an enemy of the old empire whom Lux had pursued for years.
Heiburg had continually attacked the New Kingdom time after time, against such an opponent Lux and the others definitely couldn’t let their guard down during the All-Dragon Battle.
「Actually, that’s not the only thing though」
「No──it’s nothing. I’ll tell Nii-san when you get a little better」
Airi left the room after Lux tilted his head at her meaningful words.
Once the infirmary office returned to silence, Lux recalled the girls’ faces.
It was hard to notice because both Lisha and Krulcifer put their appearance in order first before coming here, but he noticed.
They were actually going through some intense practice under the scorching sun, pushing themselves until they were out of breath.
They would never say it, after all, the reason why they were going so far during training was to prevent Lux from carrying all the burden alone.
「We have to win──Absolutely」
Lux clenched his fists tightly and renewed his determination.
For the sake of Philuffy and Lisha, whom he vowed to become her knight.
The cries of cicadas and midsummer heat permeated inside the classroom through the fully opened windows.
Two days later. After a long stay in the infirmary office, Lux finally showed up in the classroom fully rested.
Today is the second day of attendance set in a row.
Many students in the dormitory were going back home during summer vacation so half of the seats in class re empty, but still, entering the classroom after a long time felt somewhat nostalgic.
「Hi! Congratulations on your full recovery Lux-chi!」
When he got to his seat for the first time since he came back from the training camp, he was surrounded by all the girls in class led by Tillfur of the Triad.
「Thanks for the hard work! I got worried when I heard you collapsed~」
「How was the training camp? Did anything fun happen──」
「I missed you~. I didn’t go back home this year so I was bored~」
Only after having entertained all the girls who surrounded him could Lux finally talk to Tillfur.
She went to visit him in the infirmary office a couple of times along with Sharis and Noct of the Triad, but they did not talk for long in consideration of the weary Lux.
「Good morning. Did anything unusual happen while I was away?」
「Hmm, that’s right~. I’ve got some interesting news for Lux-chi but which one would you like to know first?」
Tillfur held three fingers in front of Lux and asked teasingly.
As the mood maker of the class and someone well-known and eager for any rumours, Tillfur gathered information from all over the academy.
It seemed like Lux’s reasoning wasn’t really wrong.
「Let’s see, if possible, about something related to me I guess?」
「Alright! Hmm, well……then, here!」
And, she suddenly pulled a thick stack of papers out of nowhere and put them on his desk.
While listening Lux could somewhat guess how did things turn out like this.
「Well~, it looks like an unreasonable amount of requests piled up while Lux-chi was not here. And, just for the record, I narrowed it down to one-third of it. So I’m counting on you to do those when you feel like it!」
「This is after whittling it down!?」
It was shocking.
Still, it wouldn’t do to ignore it, he would try to reduce it if even a little before the tournament took place.
「I guess the second one is that recently my chest has grown slightly bigger」
「Is that even something I need to know!?」
「Uwa, how cruel! This is something pretty embarrassing to say you know! Lux-chi too, read the mood and go along with the joke! Uuh, how depressing……」
Lux averted his gaze from Tillfur as her cheeks turned faintly red.
（Don’t say it if you are going to get embarrassed……）
He smiled bitterly while looking nonchalantly at her breasts as he thought this was the sad nature of man.
「F-Forget about just now, okay? And──finally for the main one, it seems like something amazing happened in the capital during the official mock battle held three days ago」
「In the capital……?」
Lux inadvertently held his breath after seeing Tillfur’s unusually serious expression.
As a Drag-Knight Lux was also known by another name.『Weakest Undefeated』
Even though he once participated several times in the mock battles at the capital where he was given that name, he had hardly heard anything from there ever since he enrolled in the academy.
「Un. Lux-cchi, do you know of the top 10 Drag-Knights there?」
「I have never really fought them directly during ranking matches, but well……somewhat」
As the previous year’s 3rd ranked Barzeride disappeared some of them have changed, but he remembered that the top 10 rankers were all strong fighter.
「The thing is, it seems that everyone from the 1st to the 10th rank were all brought to their knees on the same day by a single girl in battle──」
At those unexpected words Lux doubted his own ears.
「No way──, that’s impossible」
「That’s right. In the first place, there are some elite Drag-Knights from the EX-Class among the 1st to the 10th rank, right?」
The surrounding girls raised their voices in disbelief but Tillfur kept her stern look.
「I think so too but there’s no doubt of it. That girl is an amazing beauty with black hair and eyes of different colour, she appeared to be wearing black clothes from a foreign country──」
From a fuzzy dream’s memory Lux recalled the figure of a girl’s bare body in the dark night.
Just as Lux was muttering so instructor Raigree came into the classroom.
「Everyone, go to your seats. Lesson is starting shortly」
Even though it was already summer vacation the remaining students regularly attend lessons and train to keep their minds and bodies from dulling.
When Lisha and the others who seemed to have gone for training early in the morning entered the classroom, the first class for Lux after a long time finally started.
「Yosh, Lux! Let’s go the cafeteria quickly! My stomach is really hungry.」
「Even though you are sleeping like a log until just now, you wake up with really good timing……. Besides, I also have the right to invite him you know?」
When the lunch break came, Lisha who was sleeping prostrated on the desk became the first one who came beside Lux’s desk.
Krulcifer cutting in there was also the everyday thing, but today the situation was a bit different.
「Today is my day, right? Helping Lu-chan.」
Philuffy was speaking out from the neighboring seat while nibbling on a light brown donut.
She was a girl with trait of pink hair, amber eyes, and then voluptuous breasts.
Philuffy who was Lux’s childhood friend and the young daughter of a financial conglomerate was talking with her usual my pace tone as though what happened at Ries Island had never happened.
The seed of a Ragnarok that was planted inside her──Ratatoskr.
Lux fought in order to free Philuffy from that fate that could also be called a curse.
Fortunately, after that it seemed there was no bad effect for her and she could spend her everyday normally.
Lux was really glad about that and he was relieved, but──,
「I, indeed today is your turn but, that, my body, it’s already fine see.」
When Lux replied like that stiffly, Philuffy stared fixedly into Lux’s eyes with her usual expressionless look.
「I, only looked after Lu-chan once you know?」
「The nursing turn was decided with lottery, but I only got to do it once you know?」
Duty rotation system.
Because Lisha and others nominated themselves to look after Lux while he was unable to move properly, they decided their turn by drawing lottery, and they took daily turn nursing Lux, but Philuffy’s turn only came out once.
Of course that was just a coincidence, but it seemed that Philuffy couldn’t accept it.
「No but, even Phi-chan is still recovering too, and as you can see, I’m already fine so──」
Actually he still wasn’t in his peak, but it was embarrassing for girls the same age like him to 『nurse』 him, so Lux pretended to be tough like that but──,
As soon as Philuffy saw Lux’s reaction, she averted her face with her face still looking serious.
「Lu-chan, is cold.」
Philuffy muttered that with her cheeks slightly puffed up.
「It, it’s not like that. It’s, we are already at this age see, as I though doing thing like that in moderation is, wholesome or something──」
When Lux tried to soothe Philuffy in panic,
「Even though, I slept with Lu-chan after you asked me.」
*Mutter*, the girls at the surrounding were stirred at that instant.
「No, that, it’s, it was when I caught a cold so──」
「Also, you asked me too, when you found a spider in your room at night though?」
「Why do you remember that too-!? Forget it already!」
「You also touched my breast, several times while sleeping you know?」
「I’m sorry! It was my bad! That’s why, I beg you stop it already──」
Thus Lux raised the white flag. It was then,
「──I’m sorry. Excuse me.」
Suddenly a calm voice interrupted that tumult quietly.
It was the roommate of Airi, and the first year of the academy’s well-known trio──the Triad, Noct.
She came in front of Lux with her usual calm face.
「……Aa, Noct, it’s been a while. What’s the matter?」
「I was asked by Airi to secure Lux-san. It looks like she wants to talk at the courtyard. She is going ahead to reserve a spot, so can I ask you to accompany me?」
「Err……. Then, right now is also time for lunch, so everyone together──」
「It’s a matter that require urgency, so please come with me at once.」
「Ah, right. I get it.」
‘Sorry’, Lux turned down the other girls, then,
「Then, let’s hurry.」
Noct who was usually reserved unusually pulled Lux’s hand and started walking.
「Wha, what’s the matter? Is it that urgent──」
When Lux asked agitatedly, Noct continued walking with her eyes staring forward while she answered.
「It seems that there is a danger approaching Lux-san. There is an enemy aiming and chasing after you, was what Airi said.」
「Does Lux-san know about a Drag-Knight called the Empire’s Assassin Blade? I only heard from Airi just now, but──」
Noct continued while pulling the hand of the bewildered Lux.
「The Empire’s Assassin Blade? That’s──」
He had heard only the rumor a long time ago.
A Drag-Knight that boasted an abnormal strength who hailed from eastern island country that was once destroyed by the old empire.
The old empire’s emperor──Lux’s father signed a contract with that Drag-Knight and then that person worked for the old empire. After that no one knew about that person’s whereabouts.
When Lux tried to grope his thread of memory further, the came out at the other end of the passage and arrived at the courtyard.
Perhaps because it was lunch time, there were a lot of students coming and going.
Amidst the cheerful crowd that could be mistaken as a throng in the city, Lux could see the figure of Airi sitting on a curb. It was then Lux noticed.
Lux’s time suddenly stopped.
Inside the courtyard and the female students who he was used to seeing, there was a terribly mismatched existence mixed in.
A small statured girl wearing black outfit with high degree of exposure.
Glossy black hair that reached until the waist, and eyes of different color from each other.
Her right eye was vibrantly blue like the sea.
Her left eye was devilishly purple, calling to mind the image of a cursed gem.
Even after taking into account that her features weren’t something he was familiar with in the new kingdom, she was a very beautiful girl.
And then──what impressed the most was the girl’s gaze.
It was an alluring gaze that was filled with strong affectionate zeal.
The smile of that girl whose cheeks were faintly flushed was so lovely that Lux’s heart spontaneously jumped──at the same time, it also aroused the feeling of shuddering fear in him.
(──What’s with, this girl? Her presence isn’t like a person, isn’t human……!)
Instantly, the words of Tillfur this morning emerged in Lux’s mind.
The external appearance of the girl who consecutively won against the first until tenth place in mock battle at the royal capital.
『That girl is an amazing beauty with black hair and eyes of different colour, she appeared to be wearing black clothes from a foreign country──』
「Nii-san! It’s that person! That person there, she is the Empire’s Assassin Blade aiming at Nii-san!」
Airi’s voice returned Lux to his senses.
The black clothed girl who was called the Empire’s Assassin Blade was walking step by step toward Lux as though the other bewildered students didn’t exist.
And then, when she finally arrived in front of Lux,
「Nii-san, please run away! With Nii-san’s body right now, against this girl it’s──」
When Airi yelled, Noct who was beside Lux put her hand on the handle of her Sword Device.
That moment when a single move could set off the explosive situation──,
「It’s an honor to meet you, Aruji-sama. You are, the legitimate successor of Arcadia Empire──Lux Arcadia, is that correct?」(TN: Aruji-sama = My lord/master)
The girl gracefully knelt in front of Lux and lowered her head reverently while speaking.
「……E, err, more or less it’s like that──?」
Lux immediately put up his guard, but he was taken aback from seeing that gentle manner.
「I have been looking forward to the day where I can meet you Aruji-sama. My name is Kirihime Yoruka. I was once called the Empire’s Assassin Blade, a Drag-Knight of Arcadia Empire.」
The girl who introduced herself as Yoruka stood up. She then brought her face closer to Lux with her cheeks blushing scarlet.
Her faint sweet perfume aroma and that distance where it felt like he was going to be kissed caused Lux’s heart to throb.
「Wa, wait, what is this about!? About Arcadia Empire……are you, from the rebel army? Could it be, you are coming to kill me──」
The old empire that once ruled this region through the span of several hundred years.
The remnants of that old empire formed the rebel army that was hostile against the new kingdom. From that fact, Lux thought that perhaps this girl was hostile against Lux because he was siding with the new kingdom, but.
In contrast with Lux’s anxiety, Yoruka instead made a bright smile suddenly.
「I’m not connected with that rebel army whatever. I am genuinely coming here in order to serve you, Aruji-sama. It is my dearest wish for every shred of my flesh and every drop of my blood to be used up as the limbs or tool to make Aruji-sama’s ambition come true.」
Lux and Airi stood petrified on the spot hearing those very unexpected words. The students who were at the courtyard were also starting to make commotion.
Lux was unable to gauge the girl’s true motive regarding the sudden proposal──,
「It will be my happiness if Aruji-sama can just call me Yoruka without any honorific. I am just a mere servant, my age is also a year below Aruji-sama──and, what does Aruji-sama need from me?」
「That, you said just now about serving me──」
「Yes. Please say anything if there is something that Aruji-sama wished for. Whether it’s assassination, or some trivial chores, or perhaps──even if Aruji-sama wishes for my body to take care of your desire using my mouth, I won’t mind at all.」
「Wai-!? How did you reach that conclusion!?」
「My? It’s fine even if Aruji-sama doesn’t hide it you know? Since some time ago, Aruji-sama has kept stealing glances at my skin. I have seen through at least that much.」
「N, no, that’s because I’m concerned that Yoruka’s clothes are exposing a lot──that’s not it. What I meant to ask, could it be that the one who consecutively won at mock battle in the capital, it was you?」
When Lux asked what was in his mind, Yoruka became awkwardly bashful.
「Aruji-sama is a bully aren’t you? Regarding that matter, it was my shame, so it will be helpful if Aruji-sama can forget about it.」
「……What, do you mean?」
When Lux asked, Yoruka made a faint wry smile while,
「Before going to greet Aruji-sama, I was thinking to obtain a bit of prestige first. It’s so that Aruji-sama can recognize my true strength without reservation, thinking that──but, it was a massive failure.」
Yoruka muttered while averting her eyes with cheeks blushing red.
「Massive failure……you mean?」
「Yes. Because it was a tournament in the capital, I thought that the top ranking would be quite a big deal, and yet──they are just too weak. No matter how many people of that kind I defeated, it won’t be anything to boast about at all.」
Lux was speechless toward that innocent smile.
Naturally, defeating all the top rankers of the mock battle wasn’t a trivial matter.
Even for the selected members for the All-Dragon Battle in the academy, it would be almost next to impossible to win against those top rankers counting out the Divine Drag-Ride user.
And yet──this girl.
While Lux was staring at Yoruka in surprise,
「──That intruder over there! Don’t move!」
Suddenly there was the angry yell of a man. Several guards wearing white uniform were heading their way in a run.
It was likely that a student who noticed Yoruka entering inside the academy ground reported it to the guards.
But, the person in question Yoruka herself didn’t even look perturbed. She spoke calmly.
「Aruji-sama. Please I beg you to kindly give me your first command. That is──『Remove the nuisance』.」
「……No, let’s continue this talk later.」
Lux who was convinced of Yoruka’s disturbing sign immediately told her so.
「I want you to wait for a while until I can make some time. Can you leave from here without injuring them?」
When Lux carefully said that, Yoruka flashed him a composed smile.
「As you wish Aruji-sama. Then──I will come again later.」
Right after that, Yoruka started running with a relaxed movement.
「Wait you there! Don’t think that you can escape from here!」
Yoruka evaded the hand of the male guards, she then vanished from sight by swiftly weaving her way through between the buildings.
The strange tension filling the courtyard finally left.
Lux took a deep breath with the departure of the small storm.
「Even though she is wearing that kind of loose clothes, and yet she easily evaded capture.」
Noct whispered in admiration while looking at the direction Yoruka escaped toward.
But, Lux was harboring a troubled impression.
Even though she was only taking action for simple escape, but the sharpness of her movement was outstanding.
Most likely when she wore her Drag-Ride, she should display strength that was even more in different league.
(Can I win against her? Even if I’m using Bahamut in a state of perfect health──)
That scene crossed his mind for an instant, however he shook his head.
Right now it was pointless to think about it.
Lux ended his fruitless consideration and returned his gaze to his front, it was then──,
Lux’s face reddened from the sudden growl of his stomach.
「For now let’s have lunch, Nii-san. We also need to talk about that girl.」
「Yes. You’re right.」
Lux smiled wryly, and then he headed toward the cafeteria together with Airi and Noct.
He also talked about the matter of Yoruka to Lisha and others who came to check Lux’s condition, and it was decided that before long they would discuss it with everyone.
With that, he thought that for the time being he could delay the problem of his encounter with the girl who could even be called his fate with the old empire, but──,
(My, my thinking is too naïve……!)
Perhaps because it was the summer vacation, or perhaps because the teachers were busy with the advance arrangements for the tournament, the afternoon class unusually became self-study class. It was then a new incident occurred.
「──Aruji-sama. What could you be doing right now? This is a really peculiar work.」
「Err……this isn’t work, it’s a mathematic class you. Things like the weight of Drag-Ride, or the formula used when calculating motion──I mean, for now, can you get out of the classroom first!?」
When Lux said the thing that in everyone’s mind, Yoruka tilted her head and,
「Aruji-sama is highly strung isn’t it? It’s fine if Aruji-sama only think about me like empty air.」
「No, it’s not just me, everyone in the class is also troubled……in the first place how did you enter the academy again……?」
「It’s better to fire those guards quickly without delay Aruji-sama. They are just too much of an incompetent to be the subordinate of Aruji-sama who will one day take back this country.」
A very awkward atmosphere filled inside the self-study class.
After they parted in the courtyard──Lux thought that even in the worst case Yoruka wouldn’t show up again until after school, but of all thing, she intruded in until this class at the same time when the afternoon class began.
And then, she attached the desk and chair that she brought from somewhere beside Lux’s seat, making it so that her body was coming near Lux’s body from the side.
(E/D note: in short, seems like it’s not a hall like in the anime)
According to Yoruka herself, she was guarding her master Lux.
However, because she was sticking close to him, he couldn’t concentrate at all with the studying.
The stares from not just the other classmates, but also from Lisha, Krulcifer, and Philuffy hurt.
This bizarre situation was happening because of Lux’s request to his classmates.
Kirihime Yoruka──the girl who was once called as the Empire’s Assassin Blade was terrifyingly strong, and then her action couldn’t be predicted at all.
What he understood from Airi’s story was that she was loyal toward the destroyed Arcadia Empire, and that she was fixated with Lux who was a male from the former imperial family. Provoking the girl in the present would be dangerous.
Fortunately, it seemed that she was listening to Lux to a certain degree. He wished to settle the matter peacefully without causing any big commotion at the present time.
And so, he requested everyone to not interfere with him and Yoruka but──.
(How to say it, it feels like I completely picked the wrong choice……)
Lisha who should be sleeping right away if it was self-study time was ignoring studying in favor of glaring at Yoruka. As for Krulcifer who was looking calm in a glance, there were already papers crumpled into round shape on her desk.
Philuffy beside him was looking absentminded on her own pace like usual, but conversely speaking, if Philuffy became unable to hold herself back, then even Lux wouldn’t be able to stop her anymore.
Inside the atmosphere that felt like sleeping on a bed of nails, the sound of bell that informed the end of the class rang.
「My, it looks like it’s finally over. Then Aruji-sama, let’s have a bit of talk in your room──」
「Wa, wait a second!? You see, after this I have some chores.」
「My? Is that so?」
「Right. That’s why Yoruka, you spend a bit of time outside okay? Can you come again when my work is over? It’s fine for you to not guard me while I’m inside the academy.」
「I understand Aruji-sama.」
He thought that she might refuse because he had made her waiting until now, but Yoruka nodded unexpectedly easily and left from the classroom.
Lisha and Krulcifer came in front of Lux who was sighing in relieve.
「Oi Lux. Did that woman said where is she going? I need to talk a bit to her.」
「Ah, please don’t……. I understand your feeling but, the All-Dragon Battle is right on the corner already.」
Seeing Lisha drawing out her Sword Device with a daring smile, Lux hurriedly soothed her down. But then this time it was Krulcifer who looked like there was shadow around her eyes.
「Nevertheless Lux-kun, you too don’t look like that you really hate it aren’t you? That girl is beautiful, and she is also dressed lewdly just how Lux-kun likes it, good for you isn’t it?」
「Even Krulcifer-san, please don’t bully me like that! Tha, that’s, certainly it was my bad that I couldn’t refuse her clearly but──」
Philuffy’s brief words that were muttered calmly from the side with that serious look expressed how she was feeling.
If the third year Celis was here, Lux was convinced that it would become even more troublesome.
In the end he requested everyone that he would do something about it before long. The class was over and it became after school.
(Haa, it’s finally over……)
But after that, when he thought that he was temporarily freed from Yoruka, he was mistaken.
「──Aruji-sama. I will also help out.」
Lux was going to do three light chores for his relaxation and rehabilitation.
The girl appeared at his destination and offered to help.
「I’m skilled in handling edged tool.」
When Yoruka appeared at the back of the school building where he was mowing grass, she began to cut the grass using Sword Device. It was terrifying so Lux stopped her.
「I’m stronger than I look you know?」
When Lux was watering the flower bed, she was throwing out a large amount of water right from the water bucket, so he stopped her.
「I’m good with disposing unneeded thing.」
When Lux was tidying up documents, she was going to incinerate all the stained book so he stopped her.
「I, I beg you, can you just stay still over there……?」
「Let’s see. Then, I’ll serve as Aruji-sama’s guard just as planned.」
At the end, Yoruka concluded so with a smile that contained not even the slightest ill will.
「Haa, the fatigue from the chores is three times the usual……!」
The sun finally set and the night came where the cries of the insect began to be audible.
Lux who received the dorm’s mother permission was heading to the large bath of the girl’s dormitory after so long.
For Lux who was the only boy in this academy, this was a precious time that was permitted to him after all the female students had finished taking bath.
These few days where he was unable to move properly from the recoil of Over Limit, he was wiping his body with towel, but as expected it was insufficient with just that in this summertime.
「Fuu……, it’s really calming.」
Lux dipped into the wide bathtub slowly after lightly washing himself.
The large public bath was created from white marble. Orange colored lamps were illuminating the place.
Entering this place by himself gave him indescribable feeling of liberation, it felt like he had even become a king.
(Well, I’m also formerly from imperial family though──)
Lux smiled wryly while recalling the matter of Yoruka who was calling him as 『the legitimate successor of the empire』.
The only thing that he clearly understood from her shadowing him this whole day was that she didn’t have any ability for a normal life at all.
It seemed that she had confidence only in regard of sewing but──.
「I wonder how should I treat her……?」
Lux talked to himself while soaking deeply inside the bathtub.
He still didn’t understand the true intention of Yoruka, the Empire’s Assassin Blade.
What he knew was only that she was still faithful toward Arcadia Empire that had perished five years ago and she wanted to swear her loyalty to Lux who was the last remaining blood-related male of the imperial family.
「As I thought, it’s no good unless I talk properly with her……」
After whispering, Lux got out of the bath and headed to the washing place.
If that girl was the survivor of the old empire’s servant, then he had the duty to face her as the survivor of the imperial family.
While Lux was sitting on a chair and washed his body, around his back there was the sensation of a towel that was lathered with soap.
「──Is there something troubling you, Aruji-sama?」
Was it his just imagination, he felt like he was hearing the voice of said girl. Lux smiled wryly.
「Yes, just a bit.」
When Lux replied half-heartedly, the washing sensation on his back became a bit stronger.
The superb strength control felt really pleasant.
He was bad at washing his own back, so it felt good that his back was getting washed well, but──,
Lux who split his attention in his thought suddenly noticed that both his hands were right in front of him.
Then, what was the sensation on his back then?
「How are you feeling, Aruji-sama?」
When Lux turned around in panic hearing that voice, there was the color of skin in front of his eyes.
White and bewitching, glistening and lustrous skin of a girl.
That beautiful naked body with feminine undulation from the breast until the legs was only hidden by just a few bubbles. It was mostly in plain sight.
「Wha, wha-wha-wha-wha-wha, what are you doing here Yoruka-!?」
Lux was backing away in his intense confusion while saying that. In response Yoruka giggled with her cheeks slightly red.
「There is no need to worry. I’m properly carrying my Sword Device after all. There is no flaw in your protection detail Aruji-sama.」
「That’s not it! That’s not what I’m concerned about!」
「My? It’s fine to not be so reserved around me you know, Aruji-sama?」
Lux spontaneously gave a straight man retort with bright red face, but Yoruka wasn’t perturbed and she moved even closer to him.
「I have ascertained the previous day that there is no problem with Aruji-sama’s male instinct. If it’s your wish, please allow me to help as a woman in this place.」
Hearing that sentence, the girl’s naked body flashed back inside Lux’s mind and he was bewildered.
「At that time, I was going to take off my clothes to show that I was unarmed, but Aruji-sama seemed tired so I put back my clothes. And so──will Aruji-sama let me help now?」
Yoruka’s fingertip slowly traced Lux’s chest, at that moment──,
「──Sorry! I remember that I’ve something to do for a bit-!」
Lux evaded Yoruka, poured himself with hot water, and then he went outside the public bath without pause.
He changed clothes mostly without toweling his wet body, and then he started running to escape from that place.
「Haa, haa……I forgot that my body still cannot move well because I’m still recovering……」
Lux breathed heavily with heaving shoulders while taking stock of his present situation once more.
He wanted to consult with everyone and thought a bit more about the matter of Yoruka, but it didn’t seem like he could do that.
Lux went to Airi’s room and then asked her to tell everyone that.
And then he returned to his room and made preparation.
Outside the academy’s ground.
The first city block of Cross Field at night was quiet with little lighting.
The curfew had passed a long time ago, so he would surely get scolded by the dorm’s mother when he returned, but it couldn’t be helped.
Inside the dim light, Lux was heading to an empty plot with few pedestrian traffic──however it possessed some degree of space. It was then a faint presence followed him from behind.
It was early summer night when people were going to sleep.
Lux sharpened his nerves inside the silence before he finally could sense that existence.
「Yoruka. Are you already nearby?」
「Please rest assured. I am constantly at Aruji-sama’s side.」
When Lux questioned toward empty air, a voice immediately responded back.
Right after that, Yoruka showed up from the shadow of a building while smiling.
Inside the darkness of night where there was almost no moonlight, the girl’s different eye colors were reflected beautifully.
「But, this is a little careless. I heard that it is relatively safe inside the Cross Field, but if we think about Aruji-sama’s status──」
「……Say Yoruka, why are you trying to devote yourself until that far to me?」
Yoruka only returned a quiet smile toward Lux’s question.
「From what I heard through the rumors, you were a Drag-Knight from the nation of Koto──a country that was destroyed by the old empire, at that time you signed a contract with my father the emperor, and you joined under the banner of the empire’s army……」
「How unusual. When rumor is embellished, the resulting conclusion will be off the mark, however──, yes, that’s correct. Frankly speaking, Aruji-sama’s perception is mostly not mistaken.」
Yoruka’s face burst into a bright smile and she showed affirmation like that.
「Is that really all? Because, Arcadia Empire has perished already you know?」
But, what Lux wanted to know was beyond that point.
「If you had a contract with my father the emperor to protect me or the lineage of Arcadia Empire, then there is no more need to protect that kind of contract──」
「My name──Kirihime is a name that was assigned to me later.」 (TN: Kirihime is formed from the kanji of kiri(cut) and hime(princess).)
Yoruka suddenly let out a jesting tone and turned her back on Lux with a twirl.
「The surname of the royal family that governed the nation of Koto was Habakiri──. While I was a princess of a country, when I was a child I was casted away because I am disqualified as a royalty.」
Lux unconsciously held his tongue hearing the content of Yoruka’s story.
The nation of Koto was a small island country at the east, at the past the skirmish that contested trade resources developed into a war, and in the end the country was destroyed by the old empire.
The fact that Yoruka was a princess of that country was also something shocking, but,
「Casted away……you mean?」
「Yes. Well, it’s not something of significant. In the first place it was my little brother who was expected to succeed the throne──rather at that time I was relieved because I didn’t need to do all the troublesome things anymore. After that my talent in sword and as Drag-Knight was recognized and I was picked as the royal guard of my brother.」
Based from Yoruka’s bright attitude, it was unthinkable that she was lying.
However, Lux wondered why.
He felt like he could see some kind of emotion inside Yoruka’s elusive personality for the first time.
「A few years after that. At the wartime against Arcadia Empire, I signed a contract with his majesty the emperor. The contract is for me to live and die for the empire. I don’t have attachment to desire or interest by nature since I was born. That’s why, I’m planning to fight for this country──until its very end.」
Yoruka turned around. Her violent smile made Lux to step back reflexively.
「Then, please allow me to ask my own question too. Aruji-sama──how long you are going to deceive those girls?」
「……What, do you mean?」
「It means exactly as it sound. With Aruji-sama’s strength, it’s possible to destroy this falsehood of a country immediately. Even cutting down the pillar of this country and rebuilding Arcadia Empire is──」
「You’re joking, right……?」
It was impossible.
It wouldn’t easy by any stretch of mean for Lux to take down the present imperial capital by himself, even for example he actually did it, the country wouldn’t change. Above all else, Lux who once destroyed the old empire had no such intention at all.
「Of course, I won’t mind even if Aruji-sama is looking a bit at the long term. But──destroying this country and taking back Arcadia Empire someday. Can I ask Aruji-sama to swear at least that right now?」
A pure smile of a girl that was filled with anticipation was directed at Lux.
Lux lost his words against that determination that was like a curse lurking in the shadow.
He could almost understand the real feeling of terror that was the reason this girl who was formerly of the royalty was banished from her royal family.
(This girl, it almost like she has no self-restriction.)
People no matter who would live depending on something.
That something would be family or friend as the closest. And then from their position inside a system like their occupation or organization, people would live while being conscious of their position and relationship inside something big like their city or country.
But, this girl didn’t have anything like that.
She was merely moving for the sake of herself as a single unique and independent individual.
Therefore if Lux mistaken his choice here, she would bare her fang even toward Lux who she recognized as her lord.
If she was a person who was succeeding the will of the old empire, the country that Lux failed to save in the past, then he was even more unable to deceive and lie to her here.
「Unfortunately, I don’t have any intention like that.」
Lux lifted his face and stared straight into Yoruka’s eyes while informing her so.
「Arkadia Empire has perished. It ended five years ago in that day. That’s why, you too──don’t need to obey such contract anymore.」
Yoruka’s expression didn’t change at all even while hearing that farewell pronouncement.
「Is Aruji-sama, serious?」
When Lux nodded wordlessly, Yoruka slowly took off his gaze from him. She then looked up at the moon that was obscured by cloud.
「The wind is blowing isn’t it?」
Lured by Yoruka’s words, Lux lifted up his face to look at the sky, it was at that moment──,
The sound of high-pitched sword clashing burst sharply in front of Lux.
One side that caused that was Yoruka’s slash from the Sword Device she unsheathed from her waist and flashed in an arc.
And then the other side was a rapier thrust that flew like an arrow from behind Lux.
That slim blade had countless silver lines running on it the same like Yoruka’s Sword Device.
When Lux looked back in surprise, a girl was standing there.
The academy’s strongest third year student with the trait of beautiful blonde hair and jade eyes.
A girl that was the captain of the academy’s raid unit Syvalles(Knight Squadron), Celistia Ralgris.
「Please draw back Lux. It’s dangerous for the current you.」
Celis muttered that calmly while not taking off her gaze from Yoruka who was the owner of the blade clashing with hers.
With his current condition, he would become hindrance for Celis.
Thinking that Lux leaped backward. Right after that the crossing swords of the two scattered sparks and repelled each other.
「You are quite something.」
Yoruka showed a surprised smile while leaping back. She then readied her katana-type Sword Device in middle stance.
「The leg strength and explosive power that can close the distance from that position until here with one step. The skill to block my slash with that slim sword. And then above all else──your instantaneous discernment is splendid.」
Far from getting shaken up by the sudden interruption, Yoruka instead muttered looking like she was enjoying it very much.
In contrast Celis lightly pulled back her rapier and observed her opponent silently with unmoving stance.
「You are exaggerating. I still haven’t showed anything that is worthy of praise.」
Right after Celis declared so to pressure the opponent, light particles converged behind her and a golden dragon appeared.
The Divine Drag-Ride that Celis owned, Lindwurm was summoned with mind control operation without chanting the passcode.
「Celis-senpai! She is still──!?」
「It’s regretful, but I won’t listen if you are asking me to be considerate to her. This is not an opponent that will allow such carelessness.」
Celis declared with aloof air.
「A good decision──but」
That moment, Yoruka whose eyes were shadowed leaped back from that place with a step.
「You aren’t being careless at all, but you aren’t seriously thinking that you can really defeat me aren’t you?」
Yoruka easily took a distance of ten mel just from sharply kicking on the ground once.
At the same time she quickly readied her Sword Device and light particles converged behind her in high speed. A Drag-Ride with dark color they had never seen before was formed and it instantly transformed into armor that covered Yoruka’s body.
Celis covered herself with Lindwurm’s armor and chased after the backing away Yoruka──she unleashed a thrust with her lance.
Yoruka who was similarly deploying her Drag-Ride while escaping also swung a huge 『katana』 that was the same shape with her Sword Device and quickly blocked the lance.
It was an instant of offense and defense where there was no time to even breath.
The moment sparks that were fiercer than the previous clash scattered, Yoruka backed away even more and took some distance.
Right after that, the special armament that Lindwurm possessed──, Lightning Lance’s surface was traveled by lightning and brightly illuminated the night’s darkness at the surrounding.
「Looks like you have a really good instinct. Also, that Divine Drag-Ride is──」
Celis silently readied her lance and whispered with her gaze on Yoruka.
At that darkness ahead, the Drag-Ride with peculiar shape was floating up along with a fierce killing intent.
Lux spontaneously held his breath seeing that peculiar Drag-Ride figure.
「Let me introduce it Aruji-sama. This is the Divine Drag-Ride in my possession──<Yato no Kami>.」(TN: Yato no Kami = God of Night Katana)
Lux’s eyes could see the full appearance of that Drag-Ride at the same time with Yoruka’s mutter.
The sharp shape of the armor that was like blade, strange mechanical ring that was wrapping around the waist──and then, two auxiliary feet extending backward from its two legs.
The armor’s configuration itself resembled the general purpose Drag-Ride <Drake> that Noct of the Triad was using, but the dragon majesty emitted from this Drag-Ride was obviously in a different dimension compared to other.
(This is bad! At this rate, leaving this to only Celis-senpai is──)
Lux who felt the threat put his hand on Bahamut’s Sword Device intending to reinforce Celis.
But then a voice that came from somewhere stopped him.
「──Sorry, but I’ll steal your spotlight here, Lux!」
Instantly flying huge metals shaped like an arrowhead attacked Yato no Kami consecutively.
Yoruka quickly swung her katana-shaped Blade and repelled away everything.
When Lux looked up to the sky, he immediately found the answer.
Divine Drag-Ride Tiamat.
Lisha who was wearing a crimson dragon was commanding its four special projectile armaments──Legion(Airborne Fort) and assaulted Yoruka.
「I was irritated by this half-naked girl the whole time anyway. I’m going to have my payback now.」
「The attack just now is quiet powerful──but, it was very sloppy wasn’t it? How about you aim a bit more before throwing it?」
Yoruka dodged the four Legions that were attacking her again while still showing a leisurely smile even then. There──,
「That’s because it’s related with this thing called cooperation.」
*PAN!* There was a voice that shook the air and Yato no Kami’s hand that was holding the Blade snapped back.
Even more shots of light bullet hit the Drag-Ride frame while her posture was unbalanced.
The shots’ strength was blocked by the barrier, but Yoruka retreated even further from receiving the precision consecutive sniping.
The figure of Krulcifer who was similarly wearing Fafnir appeared at the sky.
Most likely she was together with Celis and Lisha coming here after him to watch the situation.
「Our bad for outnumbering you like this, but don’t think that we will go easy on you.」
Krulcifer stated to Yoruka like that with her usual cool expression.
At the same time, she resumed sniping from the sky using her Rifle(Sniper Cannon) while matching the timing with Lisha’s Legion.
Even so Yoruka skillfully controlled Yato no Kami and continued to dodge the attack.
「──You are, caught.」
Suddenly the tip of a wire that flew from behind Yoruka snapped on Yato no Kami’s wrist.
Lux’s childhood friend, Philuffy. Her Divine Drag-Ride, Typhoon possessed special armament called Pile Anchor.
Wires were fired from various part of the armor, then the pile at the tip could seize the enemy.
Right after that, Philuffy who got down on the empty plot pulled Yoruka toward her in high speed.
「Philuffy! There is residential area nearby, so don’t do anything excessive──」
「Yes. I know.」
Typhoon couldn’t use its fist to send the enemy flying or use a special armament with excessive destructive power here.
Even so the straight fist attack from Typhoon would surely be able to destroy Yato no Kami without difficulty.
Yoruka showed a fearless smile. Right after that, the binding of the Pile Anchor’s tip suddenly came off.
The moment the calculation of everyone there went out of order, Yato no Kami made use of its momentum from getting pulled in to slash at Typhoon.
Philuffy immediately used her Drag-Ride’s stout arm and successfully block the slash, but the surface of the arm that blocked the blade had countless letters shining purplish red slowly spreading on it.
Lux opened his eyes wide. At that moment, two Pile Anchors were simultaneously fired from Typhoon’s both shoulders.
At the direction the Pile Anchors were fired at, there were Lisha and Krulcifer who were aiming at Yoruka from the sky.
It was an attack that came in an unexpected timing, but the two dodged the pile in a hair’s breadth.
「Oi! What are you doing natural airhead! You want to shoot us down huh!?」
Lisha yelled angrily, but Philuffy whispered 「……That’s not it」 there.
At the same time, Yoruka dodged Celis’s spear thrust and she smiled.
「It’s amazing how the two of you dodged that surprise attack. But──, how about this?」
Lisha’s Tiamat and Krulcifer’s Fafnir suddenly snapped backward as though they were pushed away by something. Their altitude dropped drastically.
But, rather than that fact, Lisha was more confused by the attack method that caused it.
「Impossible……! Why is my Legions are willfully──why!?」
It happened together with Krulcifer’s tensed voice.
The propulsion device built inside Yato no Kami’s auxiliary feet for leaping high.
Fire burst out from there and the Drag-Ride jumped to midair as though it was kicking on an unseen floor.
Yato no Kami that was ascending using double jump aimed at the falling two Drag-Rides and quickly swung its katana.
Lisha and Krulcifer readied their respective weapon in order to block the slash, but at that moment Yoruka’s Blade had finished slashing.
Sharp impact ran through the frame of Tiamat and Fafnir and their altitude dropped even more.
「Kua……! Now you’ve done it! You damn half-naked girl……!」
Lisha corrected her balance, then she tried to ready her Cannon. It was then something unusual occurred with her Drag-Ride.
「Please be careful! She is controlling your Drag-Ride!」
「The moment Lisha heard Celis’s voice, mysteriously shining letters were surfacing on the surface of Tiamat’s armor.
And then, the Cannon muzzle aimed at Celis as though it was manipulated by something, then the Drag-Ride’s finger pulled the trigger.
A beam of light as thick as a pillar attacked toward Lindwurm in a straight line.
Lux escaped the danger just a moment faster byhiding behind a rubble, but the impact’s after effect caused his to leak out a groan.
「My my, so it’s exposed already. As expected this difference in number is a disadvantage for me.」
When the white smoke cleared, Yoruka smiled in jest.
「Allow me to introduce it to Aruji-sama. My Yato no Kami’s Divine Raiment is <Spell Code>, it’s a power to temporarily control other Drag-Ride that it touched.」
And then she revealed the true shape of her own Divine Raiment without hesitation.
「It snatch the control of the opponent’s Drag-Ride at the area centered on the touched spot, the longer the time of contact is──the more accurate and powerful the command that can be given out. If I can touch a Drag-Ride for ten second without breaking contact, I will be able to put that Drag-Ride completley under my command.」
「──In reverse, this controlling power will also disappear the longer time pass while we are separated from you, right?」
Krulcifer calmly stepped forward and interrupted Yoruka’s talk.
The Spell Code’s letters were already vanishing from the surface of Fafnir’s armor.
She must have instantly grasped that fact from comparing her own Drag-Ride with others.
Even in the case that they were touched, if they immediately took distance, Yato no Kami would only be able to control the part that was touched.
Even for example they got controlled, the effect would wear out if they took some time separated from Yato no Kami.
But, even after knowing that weak point, it didn’t change the fact that it was a Divine Raiment that was hiding a terrifyingly troublesome ability.
Even if one blocked the opponent’s attack, but just from that contact the control of their Drag-Ride would be stolen.
Therefore, they would be burdened with an overwhelming disadvantage at the point they chose close quarter combat.
And then, there was the godspeed sword handling that Yoruka displayed just now.
They couldn’t win.
No matter how advantaged they were in term of number, they were near residential area here, because they were restricted in what they could do as to not to involve the civilian, they couldn’t act excessively.
(Possibly, other than deciding the match instantly──there’s no other way.)
It would be a gamble if he used Bahamut in his state, but Lux resolved himself and put his hand on his Sword Device once more.
「Oi, what’s that sound?」
「Didn’t it come from that empty plot? It’s really close from here!」
「What are the guards doing? Can’t be helped……I’ll go call them──」
Such voices could be heard from the surrounding houses with turned on light.
「Looks like people are coming. Let’s stop exposing our hand to each other with this much. My objective of displaying my strength and Yato no Kami’s power is already accomplished.」
Yoruka casually looked around before suggesting that.
But, Celis who was wearing Lindwurm came forward and pointed her huge lance.
「Are you thinking that you can escape?」
「I have no problem continuing you know? It feels like I will be able to have quite much fun if you are my opponent. But, let me ask you instead. Is it really okay, wasting my consideration like this?」
Yoruka’s tone sounded like they were only chatting casually.
However that smile which looked gentle in a glance was filled with terrifyingly overpowering pressure.
Lux immediately called out to Celis’s back.
This girl called Yoruka didn’t care about right and wrong.
If they continued fighting like this, she surely wouldn’t have the slightest bit of hesitation to involve the civilian and guard gathering here because of the commotion.
They had to avoid that worst case no matter what.
After hesitating slightly, Celis backed off. Lisha and others also lowered their weapon following that.
Then Yoruka also lowered her katana and slowly faced Lux again.
「Then, Aruji-sama. I’ll be waiting ahead in the capital.」
Yoruka flashed a bewitching smile and bowed reverently while still wearing Yato no Kami.
「I will ask about the aforementioned matter once more at that time. Is that──all right with you?」
Lux took a deep breath and asked with a trembling voice.
「You are planning to fight with the intention to restore Arcadia Empire no matter what?」
Yoruka nodded without hesitation in her expression. Then she suddenly showed a gentle smile.
「If Aruji-sama has no intention for that──I’m planning to accomplish that even by myself.」
Saying that, she turned her back at him, and then she looked back with only her head and continued her words.
「It’s truly unfortunate that I am turned down here. But, my feeling that wish to devote my loyalty to Aruji-sama doesn’t change at all. To proof that, if Aruji-sama come together with me right now, I’ll tell you a secret that I’m putting in reserve. It’s a talk of a plan──that concern the life or death of this country.」
Those words that contained concerning implication caused Lux to ask back with dubious face.
「I’m looking forward to it Aruji-sama. The time when I can meet with you again next──」
But, Yoruka didn’t answer Lux’s question and slowly walked away.
At the same time the surface of Yato no Kami shined. That frame instantly assimilated into darkness and its figure vanished.
「Is that one of the functions of specially equipped type Drag-Ride Drake──the camouflage effect?」
When Celis muttered, Lisha and others who came to her side also made vigilant expression altogether.
「Troublesome. It seems that in battle the camouflage ability’s performance will drop drastically, even so──」
Lux nodded at Krulcifer’s muttering.
Under the darkness, if she fought while using camouflage, it would be overwhelmingly disadvantageous for them.
Yoruka was fighting simply──to show her true strength to Lux.
「So, she is waiting in the capital. Don’t tell me, is that girl planning to come out in the international tournament?」
Lisha grumbled that with a displeased expression. In respond Philuffy whispered「I wonder」 and she dispelled the armor she was wearing.
Krulcifer who saw that also dispelled her armor and sighed.
「But, that girl doesn’t look like the type of person who will joke around. It’s a bit concerning regarding that point. Whether it’s about her statement that she will appear in front of Lux-kun again, or about that some kind of plan too──」
A girl who swore to destroy the new kingdom and succeed the dying will of Arcadia Empire.
Perhaps they would fight her once more in the stage of the capital that was holding the All-Dragon Battle.
Lux took a deep breath and looked up to the sky where the curtain of night had been lowered.
The devilish crescent moon that was tinged with shadow.
That existence that seemed as though it was symbolizing the girl called Yoruka was silently looking down on him.
Two hours after Yoruka exited the first city block.
At an abandoned building at the outskirt of Cross Field where there was no sign of people.
Yoruka arrived nearby an aging and crumbling residence that was covered with green moss.
「Have you finished your greeting to the chores loving ruined prince, you murdered pretending to be loyal subject?」
Right after Yoruka dispelled Yato no Kami’s armor, a voice mixed with contempt greeted her.
Looking up, there was a robed figure standing on the dilapidated house’s roof.
It was the Black Marketer who in these few years had wandered from place to place, selling weapon to various country and secretly maneuvered various incidents.
It was a girl named Hayes who at present was taking the position of Heiburg’s military strategist.
Yoruka had finished confirming that this girl and three other people were nearby using the radar that Yato no Kami, a Drake-type Drag-Ride possessed.
「Yes, it’s just as I expected, he is a person worthy to be the next emperor. ──By the way, how is the wound of that right hand? You should take better care with that.」
Yoruka told with her voice in exaltation while her lips were forming an arc.
She saw through the wounded hand that Hayes was hiding inside her sleeve and pointed it out. Was that merely a coincidence?
Or perhaps, could it be her mischief that came from her instinct seeing through that it was a wound given to Hayes from Lux?
Either way, Hayes snorted in irritation and looked down on Yoruka with her asymmetrically colored eyes.
「Looks like you’ve forgotten your debt to me after I finally woke you up from your five years of sleeping underneath that island huh? Even though I have even applied a『Baptism』of different kind from mine into that left eye.」
「If that’s really the case, then it would be better if only you didn’t entrust me to that odd noble and met me right from the start instead to talk about various things.」
「……You mean Dobar? That was a miscalculation. I planned to give you instruction through that guy. Because that idiot tried to use you as he pleased, it became problematic. That’s all.」
「I never thought, that at that time even you were also inside the Ark. If I knew, I would also help. It was a pity.」
Hayes glared in annoyance at the jesting Yoruka. She then threw a letter that was sealed with wax to her.
「The plan is written there. Your role until the appointed day is there. Dump it there after you finished reading, and then piss off from my sight quickly.」
「I understand. Then let us have a united front just as planned. In order to──destroy this new kingdom.」
Yoruka answered while opening the seal of the letter, after that──she left without any sound from there.
When the girl’s presence completely disappeared, the three shadows lurking in that place silently moved out.
Sania, Egnid, Kirly.
These three people of the special force『Cerberus』 who were the direct subordinates of Hayes were Drag-Knights affiliated with Heiburg Republic.
The brown skinned girl Sania who was their leader lifted up her face as though she had been waiting for it.
「Will that woman really move as we intended? Certainly her strength is something unparalleled, but isn’t it a bit dangerous using her?」
When Sania advised so with a slightly nervous tone, Hayes sighed and turned her back on her.
And then she slowly turned only her head back while her body was basking on the moonlight of ultramarine color.
「You’re nitpicking on my strategy? The likes of you who is at the lowest class in Heiburg is now really a big shot huh.」
Sania held her tongue after that mocking sentence.
The red haired man beside Sania, Egnid reflexively tried to say something, but Sania’s hand quickly stopped him.
「──We are moving.」
At that moment, Hayes looked down on the three with a grin pasted on her face and she told them the answer.
「The preparation is already finished. The Empire’s Assassin Dagger and that ruined prince, they will surely try to kill each other following their own will, due to the garbage conviction they have──and the inevitable incident that will happen in the capital after this. Do I need to explain more than this to you all who are nothing but a single cog in the big picture?」
Sania silently answered so toward Hayes who was making a wicked countenance.
If their master had her own thought, then they could only withdraw here.
「After this we will head toward the capital just as planned. Then, excuse us.」
After Sania said that, she took only Egnid with her and left.
Before long after the two entered into a plain with no sign of people, the red haired man sighed.
「Fuu……even so, as expected that newcomer strategist-sama is really difficult.」
「Don’t chatter. We are already formally military personnel.」
Sania immediately rebuked Egnid from his grumbling.
「Military personnel eh……. Certainly that’s so, but is it really okay for us to keep being like this?」
「What do you mean?」
「I mean, that strategist and also the other, aren’t they still hiding something from us?」
Egnid muttered that and slowly looked behind him.
It was as if he was being vigilant against the existences at that direction.
「The other, what do you mean by that?」
「Have you ever seen Kirly’s bare face?」
「Never……. I heard that her face had burn mark. She got it when Arcadia Empire invaded her home when she was still a child.」
「That was just on the surface don’t you think? That girl isn’t like us who was taken custody from among the war orphans by Heiburg’s military affair department and entered officer training school, she was brought from who know where by that strategist. I heard that she cannot even speak word so the story you heard actually doesn’t come directly from her──. I incidentally, saw that girl’s bare face before this.」
「So what? Don’t tell me, under the mask it was a monster, there’s no way that’s true.」
「Exactly like that.」
Sania’s complexion changed when she heard Egnid’s immediate reply.
「Just joking. ──Wait, don’t pull out your sword captain! It’s half true!」
「Just speak without putting on air.」
「Aah geez, we too have got a position that is a bit respectable now, so let’s act with a bit more composure yeah. ……So, about Kirly’s bare face──when she took off her mask and lowered her hood, there was something metallic like a bird’s feather attached on her head.」
「Of course, it wasn’t accessory or anything. It looked like it’s directly growing from around her ear. What’s more, her face is a pretty thing, there ain’t any burn mark or anything, not in the slightest yeah.」
「──Something like sickness, or deformation from birth. And the mask was for hiding that?」
「Who knows. But, regarding that strategist-sama, there is only thing that is clear about her. Do you know?」
「……Even I know if it’s just that much.」
Sania made a bitter smile that was mixed with resignation and she kept silent.
Both of them became war orphan at the war with the old empire, from there they were at the lowest social strata for a long time before they became military soldier.
Even so they were just Drag-Knight of the lowest class because of the difference of birth. One day they were picked by Hayes who arrived at Heisburg and valued as her direct subordinates──after that when Hayes was placed as Heisburg’s military strategist, they formally obtained a position as a knight within the country.
But, even so they had a feeling that was like a tinge of anxiety, that it was hard to honestly accept their present situation.
The outsider existence called Hayes who was wholly enveloped in mystery.
They wondered whether it was all right to entrust the fate of their country in the hand of such person.
「We don’t have any other choice than to settle this.」
They had hesitation.
Even so Sania and Egnid renewed their determination that they could only advance forward and they started walking once more.