Kamito muttered that name as he lay on the bed in the dim room.
The number two of the <Instructional School> who had received the title <Monster>.
(……Why is she here?)
He thought that they would never meet again after that day.
And yet they ended up meeting in such a terrible way.
Muir Alenstarl is an expert military spirit contractor.
What reason could that girl, an orphan from the <Instructional School>, have for coming here—
It’s not like he couldn’t guess. Just a few weeks prior, Kamito had fought with another orphan of the <Instructional School>, Jio Inzagi.
The one behind the incident that time—
(……Does she have a connection to Restia?)
His left hand under the leather glove ached.
At that time. A knock came from his room’s door.
While pressing down on his hurting ribs, Kamito got off the bed.
“Who is it?”
He opened the door and—
A cute cat was there.
No, more accurately, it was somebody wearing cat ears on their head, the Empire’s second princess.
“……Um. Fianna, what are you doing?”
Kamito asked, astonished.
“I, I have come to s, service my master-nyan ♪”
The air froze.
“Jeez, wh, what are you making me say……”
“No, I don’t really understand……”
Fianna cleared her throat and said,
“It is a healing ritual.”
Kamito repeated like a parrot.
“Kamito-kun, you were hurt, right?”
“Yes, well……it’s not anything serious.”
“That’s a lie.”
Fianna poked Kamito’s ribcage.
“Look at that. You can’t fool me.”
It was the injury he received when he was hit by Muir’s water spirit.
He had been hiding it, but it appeared that the holy spirit user had seen through him.
“Come on, lie down on the bed.”
Fianna pulled on Kamito’s hand.
Kamito was pushed onto the bed in that manner.
The feeling that had pushed on his chest made his heart throb unconsciously.
“I’m thankful for the healing but……why cat ears?”
“Fufu, this is a tool for the ritual……ah, a tool for the ritual-nyan ♪”
Fianna quickly amended the end of her sentence.
“Liar! I think somebody’s a little strange with that!”
That morning when she had packed her luggage, he was sure those cat ears had been there.
The other things included rope, a candle and a whip……she had packed them under the pretense of them being ritual equipment, but there was a lot that was fishy about it.
“Um, Kamito, you don’t like this kind of thing?”
Fianna asked with a nervous expression.
“No, I don’t not l, like it……”
Kamito quickly shook his head.
Fianna with cat ears was definitely cute. Seriously cute.
About enough to make him want to pet her.
“……I’m glad. It was pretty embarrassing.”
Fianna made an expression of relief and relaxed.
The captivating sound of rustling clothes. The breath coming from near his ear.
“……Fianna!? Y, your ch, chest is pressing against me.”
“Don’t move. We have to be touching or there won’t be an effect.”
“I understand the theory but……”
The cute princess’s lips and her fingertips glided over his bruised ribs. The moist tongue running over his wound tickled.
“Fufu, Kamito-kun, does it feel good?”
Even if asked in this kind of situation, there was no way he could honestly reply.
(……But it’s definitely working. Fianna’s ritual magic, that is.)
As expected of a former elite princess maiden of the <Divine Ritual Instititute>.
Even though it wasn’t her specialty, her ability in it was top-class.
Not just the wound but even his whole body’s fatigue being removed could be felt.
Kamito stopped resisting and left his body in the her care.
“……But I’m always surprised by it. Kamito-kun’s regenerative ability, I mean.”
“Yeah, it’s a mystery to me, too.”
He hadn’t paid particular notice to it, but it appeared to be that way.
It seemed like it was thanks to the development of the divine power of a spirit contractor flowing within him.
But it was to an abnormal degree in Kamito’s case.
“Isn’t it because you’ve contracted with Est?”
“I also thought that at first……”
A contracted spirit’s attributes affecting the contractor wasn’t anything rare.
For example, Claire’s ability to have her hair stand on end was because of this. Because of Est’s attribute being metal as a sword spirit, his body may have become robust as a result.
“But it doesn’t seem to just be that.”
Fianna tilted her head.
The other possibility was a Cursed Armament Seal. Amongst the orphans at the <Instructional School> that received a Cursed Armament Seal, some possessed regenerative ability that far surpassed human limits.
However, of course, there was no Cursed Armament Seal on Kamito.
“Fianna’s technique is good.”
Kamito shrugged his shoulders while saying that and received a reply,
“It’s the opposite.”
“My holy attribute spirit magic is barely working on Kamito’s body.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know.”
Fianna shook her head.
“Of course, it’s not like it’s totally ineffective — it’s being repelled. That’s why I have to be touching you like this.”
“Look at that, your body is so stiff. Relax more.”
Fianna smiled teasingly and gave his ear a playful bite.
“W, wait, as expected this is……”
“Like I said, I wouldn’t this stuff with just anyone, you know?”
To Fianna pressed her lips together while looking unsatisfied,
“Y, you should only do this kind of stuff to the person you l, like……”
She placed her hand on the shoulder strings of her dress-like uniform—
Suddenly the room’s door exploded into smithereens.
The one standing there—
It was Claire with a blazing Flame Tongue in hand.
“Hey, Kamito, whwh, wh, what are you doing?”
Kamito seriously prepared himself for death.
“Now, choose! The way you’d like to be roasted!”
“That’s why I’m saying, that was a healing ritual!”
Five minutes later. Kamito was made to do seiza upon the dusty floor.
In front of him was Claire who was sounding her whip.
Her red twintails were standing on end……it seemed she was quite angry.
Claire looked down at Kamito with a cold gaze—
“Hmph, with cat ears? And pressed against a large chest in that ma, manner?”
Kamito internally groaned.
……It was no good. Regardless of what he said, those cat ears took away all credibility.
“……Well, that’s fine.”
Said Claire, who shrugged her shoulders and sighed deeply.
“S, since whatever you do with that erotic queen doesn’t concern me.”
“Then why are you angry……”
“Sh, shut up!”
Because of Claire’s glare, Kamito shut up.
……In any case, he was relieved.
Her mood was still bad — but it seemed like she would overlook the situation this time.
But the conversation didn’t end there.
She suddenly became really serious—
“I have something to ask you.”
(……Well, I guess it’s expected.)
He had made his resolve for this.
Or rather, he’d been thinking about it since a while ago.
“The girl who attacked me — you knew her, right?”
“What did she mean by nii-sama? Who is she?”
Claire’s suspicion was well-founded.
The assassin that had been aiming for her life was his former teammate and friend.
Being interrogated was natural.
“What’s wrong? Why aren’t you saying anything?”
Claire’s voice had a tinge of irritation mixed in.
But Kamito averted his eyes from her and kept quiet.
He felt that he should reveal his relationship with Muir Alenstarl. He knew that in his head.
But if he did that, he would also have to reveal that he was an escapee of the <Instructional School>.
His childhood when he had battle techniques necessary for an assassin hammered into him.
Something that he could never erase, that unpleasant past.
(If she knew the truth about me, Claire would—)
He might be scorned. Or possibly — he might be pitied.
At any rate, it would be different from now.
He was scared of that.
(My becoming weak might be because of this……)
He derided himself while avoiding Claire’s gaze.
He wouldn’t have even thought about this two months ago.
He didn’t care how other people viewed him.
If he could get Restia back, then that was all he needed — that’s what he thought.
Claire’s voice was slightly wavering.
“Is it something you can’t tell even to me?”
“Could it be a past lover—”
“Like that’s it.”
Kamito tsukkomi’d with half-closed eyes.
“Then why can’t you say it?”
“—Can you not trust me if I don’t tell you?”
A cold voice with slight irritation that even shocked himself.
He gasped and looked up at Claire who had her eyes wide open in shock.
“Th, that’s not it. But—”
Claire’s question was obvious.
He also understood that she was worried for his sake.
But — no, that was the reason, that’s why he couldn’t tell her.
Claire chewed her lip.
“Because Kamito won’t talk about himself at all.
“And it’s not just this. Even about that darkness spirit girl—”
“The thing about Restia has nothing to do with Claire.”
Kamito shook his head coldly. That showed his complete rejection of her question.
“……Is that so, I see.”
Claire breathed out waveringly and—
Turning her back on Kamito, she left the room in silence.
“I’m the worst……”
Sitting on the creaking bed, Kamito muttered that.
He was regretting getting angry with Claire for no real reason.
That said, there was no way he could discuss his past with her.
(If she knew my past, she would……)
At that moment, Ellis and the others entered his room.
“Kamito, did something happen with Claire?”
Ellis surveyed the room.
“Yeah, just a little something……”
Feeling uncomfortable, Kamito shifted his gaze.
“You fought again?”
Rinslet sighed. Kamito nodded ambiguously.
“She really can’t be helped. Well, she’ll be back before the dance.”
“The opening ceremony’s dance. Of course, Kamito will also be attending, right?”
“No, I’m fine.”
“What did you say!?” “What!?” “Kamito-kun!”
When Kamito shook his head, the three cried out at the same time.
“……I don’t like the dance.”
Kamito had a little trauma concerning the dance.
The Blade Dance he participated in three years ago as Ren Ashbell. Remembering all the dance invitations he received during that time gave him goosebumps even now.
Of course, he wasn’t going to be dressed in girls’ clothing this time around so there was no direct connection, but he still couldn’t erase that feeling.
“That and I have no formal wear.”
“They’ll lend you formal wear if you ask.”
“I said I wasn’t going.”
“Hmm, I wonder if that’s a good idea?”
Fianna laughed lightly.
“……What do you mean?”
“The Blade Dance participants will be coming out at the dance, meaning that Ren Ashbell will also be attending.”
“Fufu, so what will you do?”
To the Fianna wearing a teasing smile, Kamito—
Grudgingly agreed to go.
(……The dance, huh.)
Claire would also wear a dress — that thought popped into his head.
“……I have to apologize.”
Kamito got off the creaky bed.
“Kamito-san, where are you going?”
“To find a cat. It may have become lost.”