Ascending to the ship’s deck, clouds could be seen far in the distance.
Honestly speaking, the wind on the deck should have been enough to blow a person amongst other things straight off but not even the sound could be heard thanks to a wind spirit magic barrier enclosing the ship.
Looking down from the edge of the airship, a strange forest expanded into the distance.
Kamito was looking down at the forest and—
“You are Areishia Spirit Academy’s representative, Kazehaya Kamito, are you not?”
A voice came from behind him.
Turning around, a bishoujo with shoulder-length hair and a noble face was there.
A beret adorned her head. A black surcoat with not a single wrinkle.
He wondered whether she was close to him in age. Pupils that seemed filled with strength gazed at Kamito.
“Who are you? How do you know my name?”
“You’re famous. The only male spirit contractor on the continent.”
She told him while maintaining a rigid expression.
Contrary to her magnificent appearance, her aura was thorny.
“Also, someone who plays around with women and then throws them away.”
“Wait, what am I famous for!?”
Kamito yelled that out immediately.
“It’s useless to attempt to deceive me. Dracunia’s prized powers are the finest in the continent, after all.”
“Yeah, your prized members are definitely incompetent—wait, Dracunia?”
Kamito asked with knitted brows.
The Dracunia Dragon Duchy.
Located to the west of the Empire, it was a country that employed the strongest magic beasts, dragons, in their military.
“Dracunia’s representative, huh.”
“Yes, Leader of the Knights of the Dragon Emperor — Leonora Lancaster.”
The bishoujo in military uniform kept her eyes on him as she named herself.
Kamito said with a sigh.
He had heard that name from Claire.
(If I remember, <Dragon Princess> was the title given to Dracunia’s representing ace……)
By popular opinion, she was the one known as an equal to Velsaria.
“What business does the ace of Dracunia have with me?”
Kamito put up his guard and readied himself.
The Blade Dance was not just a festival.
The <Divine Ritual Institute> would never admit it, but it was also a representative war of knights between nations.
The country whose spirit contractor or spirit contractor team won would be granted the spirit king’s protection for several years and this blessing would lead to the nation prospering.
The reason many countries trained spirit contractors was for this reason.
And there were also many countries that had no choice but to use certain methods to grasp victory as a consequence.
“Trying to kill me off before the Blade Dance Festival begins?”
“What a stupid idea.”
But Leonora gently shook her head.
“As one not from the home country of the <Silent Fortress>, you are not the Knights of the Dragon Emperor’s enemy. We will defeat you fair and square in the Blade Dance.”
In front of the suspicious Kamito, she squirmed lightly with a red face.
“I, well, I, um, that is, your……I came to cut off that.”
While averting her eyes from Kamito, she smoothly drew out a large sword.
“Wh, why are you taking out your sword!?”
Kamito backed away.
If her words were true, she hadn’t come to assassinate him.
Then, why exactly—
“Or rather, cut what from me?”
“That’s, y, your……kuu, you mean to make me say it!”
“Thi, this pervert!”
Large tears formed from Leonora’s eyes—
The large sword carved into the ship deck with a large sound.
Just now, the ship’s floor exploded into shards.
Kamito had dodged by a paper-thin margin.
“Aren’t you full of the intent to kill me!”
“I won’t kill you if you don’t resist. Please hold still.”
“I’m asking you what you mean—”
And then Kamito realized.
Leonora’s gaze was fixed firmly upon Kamito’s lower body.
As he noticed her cheeks colored red, she averted her eyes.
“Wait, don’t tell me……”
Kamito broke out into a cold sweat.
“Yes, I will have you let me cut off your that. Kazehaya Kamito.”
Leonora drew the sword back out from the smashed floor and took a stance.
It would trouble me greatly if you were to use the commotion of the Blade Dance to lay a hand on my subordinates after all.”
“Like I would!”
“You can’t lie to me, you perverted brute of a maou!”
She glared at him with cold eyes.
“Perverted brute of a maou, you say……”
……It was too horrible.
He didn’t think such shameful rumors would reach even outside of the country.
“W, with that devilish power and sweet words, you trick innocent maidens and do this kind of thing and that kind of thing to them, right!”
“What are this kind of thing and that kind of thing……”
“Th, that is……!”
At Kamito’s question, her face burned red.
It seemed that the Dragon Princess was just as pure as the ojou-samas from the academy.
“You know, it’s the opposite. You have a huge misunderstanding.”
Kamito said this with a sigh.
“Yeah, because I’m always being treated as a slave spirit by Claire.”
“Wha, to make a teammate into a toy slave spirit!”
“Listen to what other people are saying for a bit!”
……Or rather, how come this young lady was using such terminology!?
“Do, don’t come any closer, you pervert!”
Leonora’s blade sliced the air as she swung down.
Kamito drew Terminus Est and stopped that blow.
The high-pitched wail of metal colliding rang out across the deck.
(……This is just like a repetition of my first meeting with Ellis!)
While stopping the large blade, Kamito groaned internally.
“I see, you are truly strong……”
Leonora let out a voice of admiration.
“So this is the <Demon Slayer> that defeated a giant military-use spirit.”
“It seems that your information is correct.”
“It makes me want to test which is stronger, that or my <Dragon Slayer>!”
Leonora’s sword gave off intense light with her words.
It wasn’t a regular Elemental Waffe. It gave off an impression equal to that of Velsaria’s Dreadnought.
(—This person’s insanely strong!)
As expected, the title of Dracunia’s ace wasn’t just for show.
“N, now, please calmly remove your pants. I, it won’t hurt a bit.”
“Who’s gonna do that! Of course it’s gonna hurt!”
Kamito pushed back against the large sword.
Such power was being used against him that he couldn’t believe it was coming from that girl’s frail-looking delicate arms.
It was most likely a spirit magic for strengthening the body’s traits. In a straight power competition, Kamito was at a disadvantage.
The sound of the air being cut.
Leonora’s sword was gripped by the thing that had drawn a bright crimson arc in the air.
“You, what are you doing to my slave spirit!”
It was Claire who rose onto the deck with whip in hand.
With one hand on her hip, she pointed towards Leonora.
“Claire, thanks for the help—”
In the opening Leonora left by diverting her attention, Kamito jumped away.
Leonora who had repelled the Flame Tongue glared at Claire.
“Kazehaya Kamito’s toy slave spirit.”
Claire’s face instantly reddened.
And with slow movements, she turned towards Kamito……
“Y, y, you, don’t tell me that’s how you see me……!”
“Wait, you know that’s wrong, right? I’m the slave spirit, right?”
……Wait, that’s strange. It seems like she became even angrier.
The two ladies glaring at Kamito made him want to run away—
And at that moment.
With an ear-splitting noise, the boat rocked violently.
The floor tilted and Claire lost her balance, falling over.
Kamito leaned off the side of the ship.
He looked into the flowing clouds below and—
A giant shadow was present in the clouds.
Like splitting waves, it split the clouds to reveal a gigantic black monster!
It’s total length was about 10 metres. Its appearance greatly resembled a stingray swimming in the ocean.
The difference with stingrays was that it had enormous red eyes on its head.
And that it was flying in the sky instead of the ocean.
“A magic beast!?”
“No, that is……don’t tell me, it’s from the second aerial unit, Destruction Spirit <Death Gaze>?”
Leonora Lancaster knit her brows and muttered that while looking with suspicion.
“Dracunia’s main military-use spirit. It should have been sealed with the end of the Ranbal War, so why is it here—”
A spirit which was comparable to a cooperative force of several spirit contractors.
He didn’t know why such a thing would attack the airship but—
The fact that the ship was currently under attack was undeniable.
The military-use destruction spirit — <Death Gaze> roared as it glided.
Even if the ship had a wind barrier, it was not a fighting vessel.
If it were to receive an attack from a giant like that, it would be helpless.
The ship alarm rang out across the deck.
The ship made a quick turn and tried to avoid the spirit.
As expected of a cutting-edge technology ship, it had impressive mobility.
But it was useless in the face of the spirit.
“—It’s coming, brace for impact!”
A loud noise.
A fearsome impact rocked the ship and Kamito’s body lifted up.
The destruction spirit had rammed into the side of the ship.
“You two, grab onto me!”
Kamito quickly covered the two girls that had fallen to the ground. His heart thumped at the softness of their bodies once, but now wasn’t the time to think about that.
“Claire, are you okay?”
“Fuaaa, y, you, where are you touching!”
Claire’s face was bright red.
“……? Where, you say—”
Kamito looked at the spot he had grabbed both of them.
His hands were caught on to both of their chests.
Kamito quickly withdrew his hand but,
“Th, thth, this perverted slave spirit! Cinders, cinders!”
“Hey, stop, this isn’t the time for—”
Hit, hit, hit, hit.
Claire hit Kamito with tears in her eyes.
On the other hand, Leonora—
“A, aa, a, a boy, touched my br, brbr, breasts……!”
Poof. Steam rose from her face and she fainted.
He shook the fallen girl but it didn’t seem like she would wake up.
“It looks like she’s in shock from you touching her breasts.”
“I, it wasn’t on purpose!”
“Hmmm, I wonder about that?”
She glared at Kamito like she was unsatisfied.
……In any case, he couldn’t leave her here.
And just then. The ship rocked greatly a second time.
The spirit that had rammed into the ship was also attacking with its tail.
“Kamito, the ship will sink at this rate.”
At the serious face of Claire, Kamito nodded.
Chaos could be heard below the deck.
Even if they were trained spirit contractors, they were still regular girls. It was a natural result that a sudden attack would cause panic inside the ship.
The long-range attacker, Rinslet, would also have a hard time reaching the deck quickly in this chaos.
“Looks like we’ll have to do this alone.”
“Looks that way.”
With the last attack, it seemed like the engine had stopped. The ship stalled like it had a nail jammed into it and began falling.
“We have about two or three minutes before we hit the ground……”
Until the staff got the back-up spirit engine working, they had to protect the defenseless ship.
Kamito stood up unsteadily and planted each foot on the edge of the deck.
“Est, lend me your power!”
He drew Terminus Est from his waist and poured in divine power.
Responding to Kamito’s summons, the sword gave off light.
“Kamito, it’s reckless to fight with a sword. I’ll do it.”
“No, I will. Flame Tongue won’t work on it.”
Claire chewed her lip. Claire’s battle style of wearing down her prey was not made for short-term battles. She knew that best herself.
“But what do I do then. I can’t use magic to fly like Ellis.”
“As long as I cling to it and don’t fall off, isn’t that fine?”
At Kamito’s carefree words, Claire was stunned.
“A, aren’t you just stupid!”
“Either way, at this rate the ship will sink. There is worth in trying.”
Claire held fast to Kamito’s uniform’s sleeve.
“What, are you worried about me?”
“Th, that’s wrong, I’m not worried……”
Claire averted her eyes.
Although arrogant most of the time, she was truly gentle underneath that.
“It’s fine. I’ll clean it up quickly.”
Kamito gave a light knock to Claire’s head and—
The flash of a silver white blade disappeared off the side of the ship.
“……Jeez, I don’t care anymore, idiot!”
With the wind barrier damaged, the groaning sound of wind could be heard.
On the back of the destruction spirit whose head was lodged in the side of the ship—
Kamito impaled it mercilessly.
Piercing through the outer shell, it dug into the underlying flesh.
The destruction spirit gave off a fearsome cry and began to rotate.
On the verge of slipping off, Kamito placed his foot on the outer shell and he gripped his sword with all his might.
In order to smack the bug on its back, the destruction spirit folded its body and tried to hit it with its tail, rocking the boat in the process.
From the giant’s crashing, the ship’s armor fell off and fell into the forest.
(The ship won’t last at this rate……)
Gritting his teeth, he withstood the force of the bone crushing attack.
(First I have to take care of that tail!)
Kamito drew out Terminus Est with all his strength. Pulled by gravity, he began to fall. However, just before he did, he jumped as hard as possible.
He ran up the spirit’s body rhythmically.
This was just a giant body. If he just observed the muscles for contractions and planned his next step, before he began to fall, he could safely reach another foothold. Though it was a technique which required uncommon ability and battle prowess.
“Sorry. I bear no hatred against you.”
Jumping using just the giant’s body—
The demon slayer held in both his hands cleaved through the spirit’s tail.
The tail convulsed as it fell into the forest below.
However, Kamito’s body also became airborne at the same time.
Gravity took over and began to pull him — just before that.
Something wrapped around his ankle and pulled him back up.
He was thrown around in the air — the next moment, he slapped onto the ship’s deck.
Kamito was assaulted by pain.
“……Rather, it burns, so would you control your temperature output!?”
The ankle that had the Flame Tongue around it was a little charred.
“It’s punishment for being reckless. If I had messed up, you’d be a pancake right about now.”
“I trusted that you wouldn’t mess up, master.”
“……You’re really an idiot, you know that……”
Mumbled the red-faced Claire unintelligibly.
“—And, here it comes!”
With its tail cut off, the enraged destruction spirit charged towards the ship.
A charge towards the deck with its mouth open, showing off its countless fangs—!
A dreadful shock rattled the ship. Pieces of the deck flew off and scattered.
Kamito took a stance and protected Claire from the shards.
“—As expected of a military-use destruction spirit, such insane power.”
While still on the ship deck, the destruction spirit raged.
It appeared that its head had gotten stuck in the ship.
It was a chance. The ship couldn’t take another charge.
Kamito took a stance with his Demon Slayer and charged it with divine power.
“Claire, I’m finishing it here!”
The destruction spirit writhed violently.
As it flapped its fin-like wings and attempted to ascend—
“I won’t let you!”
Moments before it succeeded, Claire wrapped the Flame Tongue around it.
The Flame Tongue didn’t manage to pierce the outer shell.
But the flame whip had knocked the spirit off-balance and made it crash back onto the deck.
Kamito ran towards it with a large sword.
A shining blade line.
Kicking off the ground, the sword strike cut into the soft underbelly of the spirit.
Even with its underbelly pierced, the destruction spirit had not been defeated.
The spirit opened its jaw to reveal many fangs in front of Kamito—
In that moment. He heard a voice from behind.
“O black-fanged dragon spirit, thou, abiding my command, eliminate my enemies—”
“—Destroy, Dragon Spirit <Nidhogg>!”
With that dignified voice—
The rough, mad blaze swallowed the enraged giant destruction spirit.
This time the spirit was burned to charcoal and fell from the ship.
On the deck, there was a line of intense black flame.
A black dragon with spread wings stood there.
It was small for a dragon but still stood twice Kamito’s height.
“Your finish is weak, Kazehaya Kamito.”
Leonora Lancaster stood there beside the black dragon.
He wondered when she had regained consciousness.
“……That is the Knights of the Dragon Emperor’s strongest dragon <Nidhogg>.”
Claire whispered while looking.
(……I see, it really isn’t your everyday spirit.)
Kamito was astonished.
(Looks like this time’s Blade Dance will have people of this level……)
“……You’re a life saver, thanks.”
Kamito expressed his thanks and Leonora shook her head.
“That military-use spirit was from Dracunia to begin with so it’s only natural that we be the ones to finish it.”
“……Even though you were passed out the whole time.”
“Th, that’s because a man to, touched my chest……!”
The glaring Claire and panicking Leonora.
The ship shook slightly and lifted.
It seems that the back-up spirit engine had been started.
“At least now we can be relieved.”
“But how did a military-use spirit that was supposed to be sealed attack us?”
That spirit was not mad.
It had attacked the ship intentionally.
“It was probably someone who wanted to eliminate the Blade Dance competitors. It’s impossible to track who used a military-use spirit.”
Leonora analyzed the situation calmly.
“It seems these kinds of attacks are commonplace. It seems that even if we’re not there yet, we should treat it as if the Blade Dance has already begun.”
While leaning over the side of the ship, Claire pointed at the shadow of the ship.
“Look over there.”
Kamito took a peek and saw a battleship within the clouds retreating.
“I don’t know whose ship it is, but there’s no way it’s not connected to that attack. To use a military-use spirit of that class, there must be several spirit contractors onboard that ship.”
“Are we not going to chase them?”
“Without a flying wind spirit, it’s impossible to catch up to a battleship going at full speed. And they probably have more military-use spirits. It’s too dangerous.”
“……Sealed military-use spirits, huh.”
Something was tugging at the edge of Kamito’s mind.
He remembered the battle with Jio Inzagi and his mission at the mine.
(Restia was trying to unseal the stretegic-class military-use spirit <Jormungandr>.)
As expected, he might just be thinking too much into it—
“This might be connected to that darkness spirit girl from the other military-use spirit case……”
But it seemed that Claire had the same idea.
She peered at Kamito with a meek face.
Kamito stayed silent.
“Kamito, are you unhurt!?”
“All of a sudden, the ship shook……what happened out here!?”
“Kamito-kun, are you okay?”
Ellis, Rinslet and Fianna all came up to the deck.
“Kazehaya Kamito, I will retire for today but—”
And Leonora reverted her black dragon to its sword form and turned on her heal.
“Deceiving princess shrine maidens and forming a heavenly harem — that <wish> is something this blade will never allow.”
“Wait, I’m not wishing for that kind of thing!”
“Y, you, are you participating in the Blade Dance for that kind of wish?”
“Claire, don’t believe it!”
“A heavenly harem……was it?”
“Kamito-san, what does that mean!”
“Umm, what number am I?”
……After that, Kamito was questioned by the ladies for about an hour.
“Nii-sama, why have you become that weak?”
On the deck of the small battleship—
The girl with ash grey hair tilted her head in a strange manner.
Underfoot were the shattered remains of a ring.
It was the ring of the sealed destruction spirit.
“Muir, you should have been told not to use the <Jester’s Vise>.”
From the ship’s hatch appeared another girl.
A girl with brown skin that looked to be around 15 years old.
Beautiful jade hair. Pure red pupils and pointed ears.
She was a sub-human Elfim with all the traits of one.
“It’s not Muir’s fault. It’s the fault of those military guys for having a weak spirit.”
“The mission this time is just to test his power. Just because you wanted to, a precious spirit was lost.”
“If it couldn’t stand Muir’s <Jester’s Vise>, it wasn’t fit to be used.”
“Military-use spirits aren’t your toys. They’re not something you just throw away.”
“Hmph, and that’s why Lily is weak.”
Muir pouted her cheeks in discontent.
The Elfim race girl — Lily Flame breathed a heavy sigh.
“Well, fine, so how was his power? We lost a precious military-use spirit. You better at least have that or you’ll have no excuse for Cardinal.”
“Nii-sama has become weak.”
Muir put her index finger to her lips and shook her head in disappointment.
“……Weak? Even though he defeated a mid-class military-use spirit?”
“The past nii-sama would have done it alone. But this time, the group with nii-sama pulled him down.”
“His teammates from Areishia Academy, huh. I really can’t believe it……that he’s hanging out with that half-baked group.”
“Like this, nii-sama will just become weaker.”
“……That’s true. Eventually a hindrance to Cardinal’s plan may appear.”
Lily muttered this—
“It’s fine. Muir will just kill everyone.”
Muir smiled innocently and turned towards her.
“Muir, don’t do willful things. We are the Cardinal’s tools—”
“Shut up, Lily.”
An instant. A shudder ran through Lily Flame’s body.
The number two of the <Instructional School> — <Monster> Muir Alenstarl.
She must never be upset.
She had accompanied her for a long time so she knew that well.
“Muir doesn’t care about anything other than nii-sama. I’ll kill you too if you get in my way, Lily.”
A few breathless seconds.
“Aha, I’m joking. Lily, what kind of face are you making?”
Muir made a pure smile and turned towards her.
“Lily is my precious friend so I won’t just kill you that easily.”
Muir looked towards the far end of the ship and sighed.
“Wait for me, nii-sama. I’ll erase the meddlesome onee-chans for you.”