And thus this is FINALLY completed. This post is currently awaiting editing by AshenRaven.
At one part in the chapter, I put down “Aqua Elusion”. The actual word is “水遁” (suiton) which is a generic ninjutsu move. It literally means “water escape”.
This post has been edited -AshenRaven
Dawn. At a flatland, far away from the castle at which the representatives were staying—
A black-haired girl with her hand raised towards the darkness was there.
“Crush the universal light, O spirit of the evil black dragon—”
The radiance of kamui that shot into the surroundings indicated the magnitude of the spirit being summoned.
“Thou shalt abide my command and eliminate my enemies!”
The moment the icy cry echoed into the dark’s stillness.
Tearing through the night, a pitch black dragon manifested from thin air.
Dragon spirit <Nidhogg> — the celebrated highest-class dragon spirit of Dracunia.
The atmosphere shook from the enormous dragon spirit’s roar and—
A red blast of light was fired.
Gouged from the ground out with a deafening sound, earth and sand became lava which danced in the air.
After the flash cleared—
The field ahead had been incinerated away in a straight line.
Comparable to even a tactical-class military spirit, it was frightening destructive power.
However, the girl’s gaze that looked upon the destruction’s vestiges remained stern.
……Somehow, she didn’t seem satisfied.
“As I thought, I can’t concentrate……”
The girl — captain of the Dragon Knights, Leonora Lancaster, sighed heavily.
……She couldn’t return to normal.
She had been in a slump the entire time during the <Blade Dance>.
Being able to advance to the finals was thanks to the cooperation of her teammates and the height of her true strength, but as expected, winning would be difficult if she were to remain like this. This <Blade Dance> wasn’t so low-grade that she could achieve victory without being in her best condition.
It wasn’t that her skill had degraded. The flow of kamui surrounding her was also regular.
But ever since that day, something had been off.
Yes, that male spirit contractor — since the day she had crossed blades with Kazehaya Kamito.
The instant his face surfaced in her mind, her face grew hot.
It became hard to breathe and her heart was pounding fiercely.
It resembled the stimulation when the <Dragon Blood> rampaged but was slightly different.
(Just what exactly is this, I wonder……)
This bad condition that had carried on for several days was without a doubt related to that man.
In that case—
“—I knew it; there’s no other way but to confirm it.”
……What she thought of was a method befitting a girl from the country of dragons, a direct resolution.
After having eaten breakfast in Rinslet’s room, Kamito had laid atop the bed in his own room.
……It was the greatest happiness for a person. Sleeping for the second time, that is.
“……Now then, how shall I pass the evening.”
He looked at the clock and saw it was still morning.
He could stay in bed and return to sleep a third time but—
“……But that would really be a waste.”
And he corrected his thinking.
At any rate, every country in the continent had set up many extravagant entertainment facilities for the <Blade Dance>. He fully intended to enjoy them.
“I should also invite Claire and the others—”
Thinking that, he stood from the bed and,
There was something squirming in the bed.
Could this be—
He pulled the sheets aside and,
As he had predicted, the one concealed there was a sword spirit with silvery white hair.
“Kamito, good morning.”
Est gazed expressionlessly at Kamito with her mysterious violet eyes.
“Est, don’t just enter my bed whenever — hey, what’s with that get-up!?”
In the middle of his words, Kamito widened his eyes.
……Est was not in her usual naked knee socks attire.
It was an extremely rare occurrence for this sword spirit to cover her body with clothes.
A foreign design that had a red line against a white background. Her collarbone peeked out and her skin that could be seen from the slit was strangely captivating.
……No matter where he looked, it resembled the clothes that Ren Ashbell had worn during the <Blade Dance> three years ago.
“Yes, Kamito. This is the maiden costume from tofu’s country.”
Est answered as she pulled her fingers out from the outfit’s oversized sleeves.
……That action was somehow lovely.
“……Could you mean the place where I was born when you say tofu’s country?”
That meant the far eastern island country that Kamito had been before being taken to the <Instructional School>.
Kamito had no memories of that time for the most part but—
“Yes. Do you like the maiden costumes from your home?”
Est tilted her head and let the sleeves fall onto the bed.
At that moment, the shoulder portion loosened and revealed the underlying collarbone.
Kamito’s face reddened and he hurriedly averted his eyes.
“Y, yeah, it’s really cute……”
Gulping, he finally managed to voice that.
The ever-expressionless Est looked a little happy.
Truthfully, he should be scolding her for entering his bed as she pleased, but she had taken the trouble to wear his birthplace’s clothes.
……Thinking of that, he couldn’t get angry.
“Kamito, I really like you……*kiss* ♪”
Est, whose maiden costume had gently fallen off, kissed Kamito’s cheek.
Snow-like white skin. Her modest chest intermittently entered his vision.
“E, Est, don’t remove your clothes!”
The sword spirit tilted her head in wonder.
“Th, that is……”
Just as Kamito was troubled.
All of a sudden, the room’s window was shattered.
The surprised Kamito turned around.
……A large dragon was outside the window.
A red dragon flapping its enormous wings.
“Th, thth, this pervert, just what are you making an innocent spirit girl do!”
The girl riding on its back glared sharply at Kamito.
It was a girl he knew.
(If I remember, she’s the vice-captain of the <Knights of the Dragon Emperor>, Yuri El Cid!?)
The dragon knight girl — Yuri snorted as though displeased and jumped into the room.
“Wh, what is it, you, what do you want!?”
Kamito yelled as he shielded Est behind him.
(……Don’t tell me, it’s an attack?)
But he didn’t think those famous <Knights of the Dragon Emperor> would use such means.
“Kuu, why is Leonora-sama, with this kind of pervert……”
Yuri muttered as she flailed her hair around.
“What about Leonora?”
Kamito asked with suspicion but,
“Hmph, I only came to deliver this to you. Confirm the rest yourself.”
Saying that, Yuri took out a sheet of paper from a pocket of her military uniform and threw it onto the table.
It wasn’t just a sheet of paper. The abstract image of a dragon — it was sealed with Dracunia’s crest which was essential for foreign diplomatic documents.
“H, hey, what does this mean?”
“I have properly delivered it, brutish Ordesian pervert of a demon king!”
There was completely no chance to stop her.
The dragon knight spun on her heel and jumped back onto the red dragon flying outside the window.
“……Just what was that?”
Kamito muttered, dumbfounded, as he watched the dragon flying away in the distance.
Opening the paper atop the table, he found methodically written letters.
“Wait at <Saint Areishia Plaza> at two in the evening — huh.”
Kamito pondered it for a little while and,
“……Don’t tell me, a challenge for a duel?”
His previous blade dance with Leonora had ended in an inconclusive draw. And that was done under the special circumstances of Kamito having lost Est while Leonora ran wild from her <Dragon Blood>.
He could understand her desire for a proper rematch.
But if her motive was a battle, it was strange that she would suggest such a crowded place for the meeting point.
(……Anyway, aren’t we going to fight in tomorrow’s finals already?)
He just couldn’t read Leonora’s thoughts.
Considering her personality, it wasn’t a trap.
Kamito looked at the clock mounted on the wall.
There was still around an hour before the appointed time.
“Well, I’ll understand if I go……”
He put the letter in his pocket and turned towards Est.
“Est, I’ll be going out for a bit.”
“Kamito, you won’t play with me?”
“Sorry. I’ll be back before dusk.”
He put his hands together and apologized and Est nodded.
“Now then, it’d be nice if we’re just meeting to talk but……”
“……Hm, was that Kamito?”
In front of the gate to the castle that <Team Scarlet> was staying at.
Ellis, who had returned from reporting to the Fahrengart house, had discovered Kamito leaving.
She did not see Claire or Est nearby. It seemed he was alone.
(……Th, this is a chance!)
With her heart thumping, she took a breath to call out but,
She closed her mouth as she changed her mind.
……He seemed a bit different than usual.
If he were going to the city to have fun, he would have undoubtedly invited Claire and the others. She didn’t think he had business that required him to go out alone.
Her intuition from normally working as a public morals officer was informing her.
Perhaps he was going to the city to partake in indecent entertainment?
(……I don’t think that would happen, but there is a need to confirm it.)
Ellis erased the sound of her footsteps with wind spirit magic and stealthily began shadowing Kamito.
And with that—
A little before the appointed time, Kamito arrived at <Saint Areishia Plaza>.
He searched for Leonora in front of the statue of the Holy Maiden Areishia at the center, but couldn’t find her.
As he stood there reluctantly, he could hear various rumors around him.
“Look, it’s the Lewd King. I wonder what he’s doing here?” “He’s definitely looking for girls to make into his slaves.” “How repulsive……” “Don’t make eye contact with him. He’ll impregnate you.” “It would be great if he were punished by Ren Ashbell-sama.”
The cold glares of the girls passing through the plaza pierced him.
(……I somehow feel like dying now.)
Kamito stood there with the incessant desire to escape and the small hand of the clock tower struck two.
And exactly at that moment—
“—I’ve kept you waiting. Kazehaya Kamito.”
A dignified and serene voice reached him.
Kamito gulped without thinking when he looked at the appearance of the girl that had appeared behind him.
She was not donning the military uniform of the Knights of the Dragon Emperor.
A white dress with a small purse slung over her shoulder.
Her trademark beret had also changed into a style hat. The dragon embroidery was quite lovely.
(Um, battle gear……there’s no way it is.)
Kamito looked on in fascination and,
Leonora opened her mouth.
“D, don’t you have anything to say?”
Kamito returned to reality and nodded hurriedly.
“Umm, it’s not your usual military uniform.”
“……Well, it suits you really well. More like, it’s way too cute.”
Leonora’s face turned beet red in an instant.
“Wh, whwh, what you saying, you pervert!”
Even though he’d finally complimented her, she was unexpectedly calling him a pervert.
“……A, as I thought, the cause of my heart’s turmoil is you without a doubt!”
With a red face, she glared bitterly at Kamito.
……He didn’t understand what was going on.
At any rate—
“Why did you call me out?”
Kamito asked straight out.
Doing so, Leonora had a perplexed face for a moment, then,
“T, to have you take responsibility!”
She turned to Kamito and thrust her finger at him.
Kamito tilted his head.
“……What do you mean responsibility?”
“I, it’s your fault I can’t draw out my true power.”
Leonora leered at Kamito reproachfully.
Kamito was becoming increasingly puzzled.
Kamito had shattered her Elemental Waffe, the <Dragon Slayer>.
Though she, being a noble knight, didn’t seem the type to resent him unjustly.
As though understanding Kamito’s inner thoughts, Leonora shook her head.
“No. My <Dragon Slayer> has sufficiently recovered. It’s just—”
She pressed her lips tightly together and,
“I, I don’t know why, but whenever I think of you, my heart beats madly. Even at the height of battle, when your face crosses my mind, my skills dull.”
Leonora’s voice was slightly shaky.
Kamito somehow understood.
……Losing to him must have been greatly frustrating.
She had probably lost her composure as a result of the loss, thus her skills had dulled — is what Kamito surmised.
(……And so as I thought, we’re going to fight again?)
If she won against Kamito fair-and-square right now, she would regain her confidence — he wondered if that was it.
“Th, that’s why!”
As Leonora’s face reddened again, she thrust her finger out at Kamito and—
“I’ll have you accompany me for the entire day!”
Those completely unexpected words were voiced.
“Wh, whwh, wha……!”
Ellis, who was watching over Kamito from the shadows, was gaping.
“Why is Leonora-dono……!”
Kamito and Leonora seemed to be having fun talking at the center of the plaza.
Moreover, Leonora wasn’t wearing her usual military uniform, instead donning adorable clothes that charmed even Ellis despite them being both girls.
……Looking at the situation, it was unquestionably a date.
No, Ellis had no idea what a real date was like, but a long time ago, she had read one of the books that had been confiscated from Claire under the knights’ authority.
“C, curses, Kamito, you’ve even laid your hands on the enemy leader……!”
She bit her lips together as her shoulders rose.
She had acknowledged that Kamito was an airhead demon lord that couldn’t be helped, but she didn’t think his integrity was this low.
“I, it can’t be forgiven……!”
Having made up her mind, Ellis burst out of the shadows.
“……Hm, wh, where did they go?”
At some point in time, their figures had melded into the crowd.
yye1 provided a reference translation (C->E) for this next part.
—Meanwhile. Another person happened to be present.
“……Haa, how tiring.”
Gorgeous black hair that fell to her hips. Pale dark eyes.
The second princess of the empire, Fianna Ray Ordesia.
Last night, she had stayed at the hotel of the highest class, <Royal Palace>, and informed the emperor of their advancement into the finals.
……She normally kept a calm and composed attitude before her teammates, but right now, she was in an extremely bad mood. Terribly unpleasant memories came to mind when she delivered her report.
Ordesia’s emperor, as well as the high-ranking nobles, had welcomed her with superficial courtesy. However, that was only because the empire was reaping huge benefits from their representatives’ victory in the <Blade Dance>.
Four years ago, when Fianna became the <Lost Queen>, they had taken such a cold stance with her who was still so young—
That harsh treatment back then had left scars that remained to this day.
They continued to look down on Fianna who had been expelled from the <Divine Ritual Institute>.
(Well, I don’t really care about that……)
The reason she had such a grim expression wasn’t that.
She had checked out early this morning and visited the <Biblion> to search for books connected to a certain issue.
The words that Sjora Kahn had revealed when she held Fianna captive.
—Information pertaining to the <Darkness Spirit King>.
The Darkness Spirit King — Ren Ashdoll.
According to the books she had investigated, a portion of the Alphas Empire believed that to be the name of the sixth <Spirit King>.
(Sjora said that Kamito was the <Darkness Spirit King>’s reincarnation.)
If that was true, then she wondered just what the <Darkness Spirit Princess> was.
(The other Ren Ashbell — Rubia-sama also seemed fixated on Kamito-kun.)
……She really wondered just what was happening around Kamito.
At any rate, there was no doubt that something was squirming behind this <Blade Dance>.
Her worries were endless. She had considered discussing this with her teammates, but then she would need to tell Claire about Rubia.
If she knew the truth, she might not be able to handle it.
(I can’t speak about this yet……)
When she sighed heavily.
She discovered Kamito amidst the crowd.
(……What is he doing here, I wonder?)
Kamito seemed to be waiting for somebody in front of the statue of the Holy Maiden Areishia.
(……But just who is it?)
If it was someone from their team, there was no need to wait here.
With doubts filling her mind, when she was taking a step and about to call out to him,
Fianna’s motions came to a halt.
An adorably dressed girl had appeared in front of Kamito.
(……Leonora Lancaster from the <Knights of the Dragon Emperor>!?)
Fianna tilted her head.
(……Why would Kamito-kun be meeting with the enemy team’s ace?)
The question swirled around in her head.
While that was happening—
The two exchanged some words and disappeared towards the main road.
Fianna was glued to that spot for a few seconds.
……In order to comprehend what she had just seen.
“Fu, fufu, fu……is that how it is.”
Her expression slightly stiffened.
“Even though I’m here worrying about Kamito-kun, as usual, he’s off being the Demon King of the Noon.”
Her pale dark eyes became devoid of emotion and a black aura enveloped her body.
That appearance was just like the <Darkness Spirit Princess>.
“Y, Your Highness?”
That came from behind her.
Turning around, the knight captain stood there.
“Your Highness, what are you doing at this kind of place?”
“You as well; why are you here?”
“Mm, th, that’s……”
Fianna returned the question and Ellis’ face turned red as she attempted to mislead her.
It was rare for her who was ever-composed.
(……I get it.)
The wise Fianna immediately understood the reason for her conduct.
She had probably also discovered Kamito in the crowd. And then she had no doubt followed them.
(……What to do.)
To Fianna, Ellis was also a strong rival in love.
Actually, in a certain sense, she may be the strongest contender of the group.
(……But right now, we have to unite.)
After troubling over it, Fianna came to that conclusion.
At any rate, the threat that Leonora posed in that respect was unknown.
“Say, that was Kamito just now, wasn’t it?”
“……Y, yeah, it seems that way.”
Maybe because she was uncomfortable about having followed him, Ellis seemed to be trying even harder to fool her.
“You were following Kamito-kun, right? I’ll also come with you.”
“Come on, come on, it’s too late once Kamito-kun becomes the Demon King of the Noon.”
“Mm, th, that’s true. I’m worried about Leonora-dono’s safety.”
Ellis cleared her throat and nodded.
The two who had come to a mutual understanding ran in search of the two who had disappeared into the crowd.
The people they passed turned suspicious glances upon them.
It was completely natural. He was with the ace of a team that would also be attending the finals, after all.
(This has somehow become quite odd……)
Walking alongside Leonora, Kamito scratched his head.
(……I don’t really get how I’m the cause of her slump either.)
In the first place, a spirit contractor’s ability was greatly affected by irregularities in their mind and body.
A slightly wounded heart could prevent one from summoning their spirit, and conversely, if one’s mind were strengthened, his or her power could rise explosively. Therefore, the attitude Leonora was taking towards Kamito, who she thought was the cause, was a little inexplicable.
At any rate, he felt that he should be thankful she had not called him out for a duel.
(……This is a date, isn’t it.)
Furthermore, his partner was an extraordinarily cute, beautiful girl.
Realizing that, Kamito cleared his throat.
“So, doing things together is fine, but do you have any ideas on where to go?”
Leonora put a hand to her chin and pondered.
“I didn’t think about that. I don’t mind where we go if I’m with you.”
“Th, that way of talking will invite misunderstandings.”
The blushing Kamito took out a sheet of paper from his uniform’s pocket.
It was a pamphlet with the business district’s shop locations, details and other information.
“They’ve taken the effort to have these entertainment centers, so would you like to go to one?”
“Hrm, it was a good idea to leave it to you.”
Leonora nodded and moved to peek at the pamphlet.
Kamito’s heartbeat quickened at the fragrance of shampoo that tickled his nose.
Her slender fingertips traced the map and stopped at a certain point.
“I would like to try going here.”
“The <Blade Dance> Memorial Hall?”
It was a pavilion financed by the <Divine Ritual Institute>. Historical documents related to the <Blade Dance> were supposed to be on display there.
“It’s a fairly safe choice for a date.”
Kamito suddenly revealed those thoughts and,
“……Da, dada, date!?”
“Wh, what are you misunderstanding, you perverted brute of a demon king!”
Leonora was angry with a bright red face.
……Her intensity was such that it felt like she would draw her <Dragon Slayer> at any time.
“S, sorry, it’s not a date, yeah!”
“Hmph, of course, I wouldn’t engage in that kind of slovenly act!”
She averted her eyes from Kamito and scurried away.
……Kamito shrugged helplessly.
The <Blade Dance> Memorial Hall was at a quiet place far from the center of the business district.
The building’s exterior resembled a shrine.
Perhaps because the pavilion lacked entertainment, there were few tourists.
Suspicious stares turned upon them as soon as they entered the building but, as expected, nobody called out to them. Carelessly calling out to the <Blade Dance> representatives would be a violation of manners amongst the nobles.
They walked along the indicated path and viewed the displayed items. On the corridor’s wall was a commentary for formerly used tactics and portraits of the successive generations of winners.
“As expected, there are pretty much no documents from long ago.”
“Yes, especially those from before the Ranbal War. The <Divine Ritual Institute>’s library was also burned down in that war.”
Leonora who was walking beside him pushed her glasses up as she nodded.
“……Huh? When did you put those on?”
“I, is it that strange that I’m wearing glasses?”
Leonora glared at Kamito with a sullen look.
Come to think of it, she had also been wearing glasses when they met at the <Biblion>.
If he remembered correctly, she only wore them when reading thin letters.
“Ah, no, glasses also suit you really well.”
Kamito voiced his honest thoughts. The regular Leonora was also beautiful, but she had an adult-like charm when wearing glasses that made his heart race.
He did that and—
“……Wh, what are you saying, you pervert with a glasses fetish!”
Leonora quickly walked away with a beet-red face.
—And he turned his gaze to a certain name engraved in the wall.
The winner of the <Blade Dance> twenty four years ago.
The <Dusk Witch> — Greyworth Ciel Mais.
Kamito stood still and stared at the portrait displayed there.
When she was young — though she was still young — anyway, it was a portrait of her when she was fifteen.
She still had her characteristic ash blonde hair, but she was drawn quite innocent and lovely.
Kamito had seen her when she reverted to her young state, but it had only lasted momentarily, so the memories hadn’t really stuck with him at all.
(……So that witch was also young before.)
Kamito did not know the <Dusk Witch>’s strength in her prime.
It felt somehow strange.
“Kamito, what are you doing?”
Being called by Leonora, Kamito hurried after her.
Further along the path they were walking on, a large room was shrouded behind a curtain.
“……Special Display Room?”
Kamito took a step in,
A groan surfaced from deep within him.
(I, I was careless……!)
The first thing that leaped into his vision was—
A tapestry with [b]the previous Blade Dance’s winner’s figure sewn onto it[/b].
Glossy black hair that fell to her waist. Foreign white clothing.
And that pitch black sword in her hand was surely — the darkness elemental waffe, <Vorpal Sword>.
There wasn’t just a tapestry. There was a portrait covering an entire wall, and to add to that, a life-sized bronze statue was stationed in the center of the room.
“Wh, what is this room!?”
Kamito’s face stiffened and,
“Having a special display room constructed is a matter of course. Even amongst the past champions, she is overwhelmingly famous.”
Leonora’s eyes were lit up as she was captivated by the wall portrait.
“Her blade dance is my distant goal. —Stronger than anything, and noble as well.”
……There was no way she could even dream that the person in question was standing right beside her.
Kamito also returned to staring at the tapestry depicting his past appearance.
(My strength still hasn’t recovered to what I had back then……)
He was certainly in the process of recovering his strength from his prime.
He had also become able to use Greyworth’s absolute blade arts, despite the burden they placed on his body.
But he still couldn’t reach her. There was an absolute wall between him and her.
“……Mm, yeah, sorry.”
Kamito returned to reality after Leonora called out to him.
“We’d also like to perform a blade dance that will make history in the finals.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Kamito nodded firmly in response to the smiling Leonora who had removed her glasses.
—After that, just when they were exiting the memorial hall, Leonora pointed ahead.
“Kamito, they’re selling bread there.”
He looked to where she was pointing and, sure enough, there was a bread stall there.
The fresh bread lined up in a glass case was giving off a delicious scent.
“Ohh, those look good. Maybe I’ll buy one……wha!?”
Having neared the glass case, Kamito was rendered speechless.
What was lined up there was—
For some reason, a large amount of <Ren Ashbell> bread.
Upon the fluffy baked bread was a design done with chocolate that looked exactly like his <Spirit Seal>.
“Wh, what is this; I never approved this!”
Kamito hurriedly fooled her.
“This is good. Let’s buy some as a souvenir for Yuri and the others.”
“So you’re buying it……”
Kamito sighed in blank amazement.
“……Nom. This tastes pretty good.”
“Yeah, the taste is decent.”
Kamito and Leonora ate the bread they had just bought as they walked down the business district beside each other.
The bread had chocolate on it, but this chocolate was designed to look like the <Darkness Demonic Sword> and was unexpectedly detailed.
“……I don’t think Restia expected to become a decoration for bread either.”
“Kamito, did you say something?”
Kamito shifted his eyes to Leonora’s mouth.
“You have chocolate stuck to your face.”
With a wry smile, Kamito wiped off the chocolate with his finger and,
“Fuaa……wh, whwh, what are you doing, you pervert!”
Leonora cried out with a bright red face……just like Claire’s reaction yesterday.
“Dracunia’s strongest knight also has her cute points.”
With Kamito’s teasing, her face grew increasingly red an,
“A, as I thought, you’re the reason my heart is in turmoil!”
And she turned her face away.
“Sorry, my bad. So where should we go next?”
“……That’s right. I heard a weapons museum and spirits museum were on the outskirts of town.”
“Such refined tastes as always.”
Kamito voiced that kind of thought and,
“……Sorry. I was raised in a strict knight household, so I don’t know where best to go in these situations.”
Well, that was similar to Kamito. He didn’t know a tactful place to have fun or things of that sort.
“Then let’s just wander around and explore the business district.”
At that time, a wind spirit like a small bird flew away above them.
A sudden strong gust of wind blew through the path and Leonora’s one-piece was turned up before Kamito’s eyes.
Kamito reflexively averted his eyes but—
He had a slightly bad feeling about the image that was burned into his eyes for but a moment.
He had not seen a single stitch of the panties that logically should have been there.
What he saw in its place was a soft-looking butt—
(……N, no way!?)
Come to think of it — Kamito recalled.
About what happened at the library before the battle portion. When Leonora who was being controlled by her <Dragon Blood> tempted Kamito, he was sure that she—
“……Umm, could I ask one crude question?”
“What is it?”
“Are you not……wearing u, underwear?”
Leonora tilted her head, puzzled for a moment, then—
“Yes. Princess maidens that serve a dragon may not wear underwear.”
She said it like it was extremely obvious with a nod.
“……Are you a naked knee socks sword spirit.”
Kamito made a small sigh and,
“Let’s go buy underwear first. We’ll continue after that.”
On the other hand—
“……Kuu, curses, Kamito, where did you go?”
Ellis and Fianna ran around the business district as they used wind spirits to gather information.
As expected, searching for two people in this kind of crowd was difficult.
“Perhaps they have entered a building?”
Fianna said while short of breath.
“Really though, we can’t just use spirits to infiltrate shops.”
—And then. A spirit like a small bird alighted on Ellis’ shoulder.
“……What? You saw the two?”
“Where did they go?”
The wind spirit whispered something into Ellis’ ear.
“Ka, Kamito peeked under Leonora-dono’s skirt in public!?”
In an instant, Fianna’s expression had frozen over.
“Fu, fufu, fu, I w, wonder what Kamito-kun could possibly thinking, fufufu……”
“……Y, Your Highness, you’re leaking some kind of black aura.”
“Let’s go, Ellis. They might still be nearby!”
“Yeah, we can’t permit any more shameless acts!”
The two exchanged nods and ran off.
“……D, do I really have to go too?”
In front of an underwear store that catered to the nobilities’ daughters, Kamito awkwardly scratched his head.
If he was seen entering this kind of store, another disgraceful rumor would start.
……Rather, he was already suffering cold looks from the girls in the store.
“I have not worn underwear before. Thus, I do not know which underwear is best.”
“I don’t know that kind of thing either.”
“Then it doesn’t matter if I continue not wearing any underwear?”
“……Kuu, what kind of threat is this.”
Kamito groaned deeply.
That’s right, she wasn’t wearing anything under that one-piece.
If the wind blew again and her skirt flew up—
Kamito bringing around a girl without underwear was quite capable of starting the worst rumor yet.
(……I absolutely must avoid that.)
Kamito finally gave in and step foot into the underwear store.
—Several minutes later. Kamito stood in the shop for the sake of picking out underwear for Leonora.
“……As I thought, it’s unsettling. Underwear, that is.”
Leonora groaned with a troubled face.
She had bought a high-quality silk set to try out, but it seemed to feel awkward so the Dragon Princess Maiden wasn’t pleased.
“Won’t you get used to it? Anyway, please wear it, at least when walking in town.”
“……It’s somehow very tight.”
Leonora complained with dissatisfaction on her face.
“At the very least, couldn’t I wear this?”
And she spread out laced black underwear with both hands.
“D, don’t spread out that kind of thing……”
Kamito reddened as he averted his eyes,
“Rather, isn’t something different between that and the one you’re wearing?”
“Yes. It seems this is the type with a hole here.”
Looking closely, there was a neat cut at a vital location.
“Wh, why was that kind of thing being sold!”
“Is it not okay?”
“It’s not. In a certain sense, it’s worse than not wearing any.”
Kamito decisively shook his head.
……Rather, he wondered why he was choosing underwear for the enemy team’s ace.
“Then how about this?”
“That’s practically a string! ……Why are you deliberately choosing ones with high exposure!”
“I can’t calm down with lots of cloth.”
“Normally people can’t calm down without wearing underwear.”
Kamito groaned while pressing down on his forehead.
“……Th, then, how about this?”
Leonora was holding a tropical-style set with southern sea flowers drawn on it.
“……It’s the type that doubles as a swimsuit. Isn’t that pretty good?”
“Yes. It suits my tastes because the material is slippery and feels familiar to my skin.”
“……I see, so it was just because you don’t like the feeling of silk.”
Amongst the underwear of the princess maidens that needed to frequently purify themselves, swimsuits and other multipurpose ones were numerous. It seemed that the smooth material of the swimsuit had also appealed to her.
“Well then, let’s take this one—”
And Leonora took it in her hands—
And something turned towards Kamito like a flash.
“No, s, since you’ve finally bought a swimsuit—”
With a slight tinge of red on his cheeks and upturned eyes, he opened his mouth.
—Why don’t we go to the pool, he said.
And like that. The two left the central part of town and arrived at a pool in the forest.
Even if it was called a pool, it wasn’t something made by human hands. It was something that utilized the already present large lake, so the impression was close to that of a beach along the sea.
Kamito who had changed into a tanktop swimsuit just before sat at the edge of the lake waiting for Leonora.
Many girls in swimsuits were frolicking along the lake shore, crying out in sweet voices.
But the instant they noticed Kamito,
“Kyaa, the Lewd King, the Lewd King is here!” “He’s looking here, how scary……” “What an unpleasant gaze.” “Don’t come near my Lady!”
They successively jumped into lake and swam off to the far edge.
“……Am I a shark or something?”
The wounded Kamito hung his head on the empty lake edge.
And at that time.
“I, I’ve kept you waiting, Kamito.”
Turning towards the voice that came from behind, he saw Leonora standing there with her hands on her hips.
Her youthful skin was tinged slightly red. Her chest seemed to burst out.
Her adorable butt wrapped in the flower-patterned swimsuit.
Her slender, beautiful legs were dazzling.
Kamito gulped at her outstanding proportions.
“U, umm, is it strange?”
Leonora rubbed her thighs together bashfully.
Kamito finally returned to his senses and,
“N, no, rather, well……you’re beautiful.”
“……Wha, th, this pervert! Pervert!”
Leonora’s admonishing voice instantly assaulted him.
“Why the heck! I just said my honest thoughts.”
“Sh, shut up! Don’t stare so much at a princess maiden’s skin!”
Leonora quickly covered her chest and,
“I, I’ll go swim a bit!”
In order to cool her body that was burning up from shyness, she jumped into the lake with vigor.
Kamito sighed as he stared absentmindedly at Leonora who had left to swim.
Her swimming figure was also beautiful. It was almost like a dragon tranquilly flying about in the sky.
……At any rate, would doing this really clear up what the cause of her slump was?
(Though looking from an outsider’s point of view, she doesn’t appear to be in a slump……)
Honestly, if he were just considering victory, having her remain in a slump would be undoubtedly more advantageous.
But in that case, Kamito also couldn’t be understood.
The promise he had made that one time.
—That he would fight with her when she was not being controlled by her <Dragon Blood>.
He stood at the lake edge charmed by Leonora’s swimming figure for a while and—
“Hmm—…..onii-sama, you perv.”
Kamito hurriedly turned around upon hearing the familiar voice.
The one glaring at Kamito was Rinslet’s lovely little sister.
Her platinum blonde hair clung to her wet skin.
She was clad in a white swimsuit and had a large swim tube around her waist.
“Wh, why are you here?”
“Since my morning lessons are over, I came to play.”
“Did you come alone?”
“No, Milla came as well.”
Mireille replied coldly.
“Kamito, have you laid your hands on that Leonora Lancaster as well?”
Milla Bassett glared at Kamito with fruit juice in her hand.
She was wearing a swimsuit that was had frills like a maid costume.
Her slightly wavy hair was tied on both ends of her head.
“Wa, wait a second, you’re misunderstanding! There’s a reason for this……”
“No matter how you look, it’s a date. Even though onii-sama already has onee-sama.”
“—I, it’s nothing like a date!”
And Leonora, who had been swimming, hurriedly came to the shore.
“Mu……” “……They’re big.”
Her large, wet chest covered with her tropical swimsuit.
The nine year old and thirteen year old combination gasped at the proportions which were the opposite of theirs.
“Kamito is assisting me in restoring my original condition. That’s why it’s definitely nothing like a date or some indecent activity!”
Mireille glared at Leonora with an expression like she couldn’t agree.
……Well, it was obvious since she was the enemy her esteemed older sister would be facing in the finals.
Kamito shrugged and turned toward Leonora.
“Well, did you figure it out? The cause of your slump.”
“……No. But I feel like I will with a little more.”
“I see. Well, take your time to think about it.”
“……You can’t say that. The finals begin tomorrow.”
She shook her head and looked Kamito straight in the eye.
“As a knight and as a spirit contractor — I would like to blade dance with you in my best condition.”
Kamito was silenced by her seriousness.
At that time, a large commotion rose on the shore.
“The <Water Spirit Festival> dedicated to this lake’s spirits has begun.”
Mireille explained to Kamito who tilted his head.
“Water Spirit Festival?”
“—A <Blade Dance> that imitates ancient water combat.”
And this time, Milla explained.
The <Water Spirit Festival> seemed to be a type of ritualistic dance performance that imitated combat where two princess maidens formed a team. It wasn’t flashy like a <Blade Dance>, but a crowd of princess maidens wildly dancing was beautiful and it seemed to be quite popular as a spectator’s sport.
“There’s a prize prepared for the winning team, onii-sama.”
A small shrine stood where Mireille was pointing with various goods like jewelry and magical tools lined up.
“It seems interesting. Maybe we should watch.”
Kamito lowered himself onto the shore and,
Leonora was tugging his arm.
“What is it?”
Leonora seemed embarrassed as her cheeks flushed red and,
“Ka, Kamito, would you like to participate in that ritual?”
Suddenly said that.
Her eyes were glued to the prizes lined up on the shrine.
“Could it be that you want something from those?”
“That is a product of the legendary doll craftsman, Lord Švankmajer. I didn’t think I would see it at this kind of place.”
Somehow, it seemed like she wanted that large dragon plushie.
“The second place prize……all right!”
Kamito nodded and grabbed onto Leonora’s arm.
“Wh, what are you doing!?”
“You want that plushie, right? Then let’s go get it.”
“I, is that okay!?”
“Yeah. If you and I pair up, nobody can compare.”
“O, of course!”
Kamito gave her a thumbs up and Leonora nodded happily.
—At that time. In the forest nearby the lake, Ellis and Fianna who were out of breath were there.
“Kamito, w, we’ve finally caught up to you……!”
“Fu, fufu……coming to the pool with a girl, you can’t make any excuses now.”
The out of breath Ellis who was breathing hard and Fianna whose entire body was wrapped in a black aura.
“Mu, it seems he’s going to enter the lake with Leonora-dono.”
“Do they intend to participate in the <Water Spirit Festival>? But why—”
And the line of prizes on the shrine entered the vision of Fianna who was tilting her head.
Her pale dark eyes widened.
The top-class prize adorning the top of the shrine. That was—
“Pair tickets for the <Royal Palace>?”
Even catering to those of the Ordesia royal family, it was the highest-class hotel on <Ragna Ys>.
“Is Kamito aiming for that?”
“Yes, there’s no doubt. To say nothing of a regular blade dance, if it’s that ace combination of <Blade Dance> representatives, they’re more than enough to aim for victory.”
“But tomorrow are the finals. They don’t have time for something like using a hotel voucher—”
“If it’s used this evening, there’s no problem. If so……”
Fianna took a breath.
“Since it’s Kamito-kun, he might do a Blade Dance of the Night with her.”
“Wh, what did you say!”
……Imagining God knows what, Ellis’ face turned bright red.
“Th, that’s not allowed! We absolutely must prevent it!”
“Yes, that’s right!”
The two exchanged a firm handshake.
“……To put it shortly, it’s like an underwater cavalry battle.”
Kamito, who had Leonora piggybacking him, once again mentally went over the rules of the <Water Spirit Festival> that Milla Bassett had taught him.
First, the team of two spirit princesses consisted of a <Horse> and a <Knight>. The princess maiden that became the <Horse> was responsible for movement and the knight riding them would carry a special gem at their chest — it was a scramble for <Magic Stones>. The team that gathered a large number of <Magic Stones> would be the winner.
It was obvious but wounding a princess maiden or defiling the lake were strictly forbidden.
On a side note, the princess maidens that served as the <Horse> were emitting kamui from their entire body to float. If it was a princess maiden with a certain amount of training, it was not a difficult technique at all.
So the ritual itself wasn’t very dangerous but—
(It’s dangerous in a different kind of way for me……)
The feeling of soft thighs upon his neck.
……For an adolescent boy, having his heart rush was uncontrollable.
“Ka, Kamito, please don’t move around so much……ahnn!”
Kamito’s face turned red at the seductive voice that Leonora let out above him.
Soon, the other princess maiden knight-horse pairs entered the lake one after the other.
It seemed a lot of unexpected people were participating. They were undoubtedly aiming for the first-class prize of pair tickets to the <Royal Palace>.
……Rather, other than Kamito’s team, there were probably no other teams aiming for the second-place dragon plushie.
“Leonora, can you do it?”
“Yes. I will definitely obtain that dragon!”
Leonora nodded with a voice full of conviction.
Participants of the <Blade Dance> taking part in a regular ritual like this felt a little immature, but well, they were aiming for second place, so it shouldn’t draw any malice.
“I won’t let you do that, onii-sama!”
The one who came before them was Mireille who was piggybacking on Milla Bassett.
As if being pressed by her swimsuit, a <Magic Stone> was forced between her small chest.
“Don’t tell me, you two are also participating?”
“That’s right. For the sake of my passive onee-sama, I’ll get those hotel tickets!”
Puffing her minute chest, Mireille made a declaration.
“—Sorry, but those tickets are ours.”
A soft-spoken yet icy voice resounded across the lake.
Kamito’s expression froze.
It was an extremely familiar voice. But this was her voice when she was angry.
He turned around and there was—
A ponytailed, beautiful girl wearing a bold swimsuit and,
“……Hmm, Kamito-kun’s also good at taming dragons.”
Her Highness glared at Kamito coldly while making bubbles on the water surface.
“Y, you two, why are you here?”
“Hmph, you should try thinking about that yourself, you insolent person!”
Ellis’ reddish brown eyes were teary.
“W, we won’t let Kamito-kun dance that blade dance of the night!”
“Wh, what the heck, a blade dance of the night……!”
……Being pushed by the ojou-samas that were angry for some reason, Kamito was being overwhelmed.
This time, Ellis focused her gaze on Leonora who was atop his shoulders.
“Leonora-dono, I respect you as a fellow knight. However, this Ellis Fahrengart will not allow such an insolent deed!”
“Wh, what kind of insolent deed are you talking about! I was just, with Kamito—”
“Talking is useless; if you’re a knight, settle this with your blade!”
“Kamito-kun, prepare yourself.”
“Wait a second, what do you mean!?”
The two left while ignoring the perplexed Kamito.
“They’ll be strong enemies, those two.”
And so, a whistle signified the start of the <Water Spirit Festival>.
“Let’s go, Leonora!”
“Yes, the dragon god’s blessings are upon this battle!”
Leonora gave a gallant shout above him.
The ten-odd princess maiden horse and rider groups were clamoring.
Participating in this kind of rough ritual meant that these were undoubtedly trained princess maidens. From within them, he could even see those that had been eliminated in the real battle portion of the <Blade Dance> here and there.
(So Ellis and Fianna aren’t going to challenge us yet……)
Gathering a large amount of <Magic Stones> from those that looked easy to defeat in the first part and leaving the confrontation with Kamito and Leonora to the end was mostly likely their plan.
If those two were aiming for the <Royal Palace> hotel tickets, then there was no reason to battle with them, but those two seemed to have a different reason for their anger.
(……There’s no other way, huh.)
He had promised to accompany Leonora for the entire day.
Even if they were his precious comrades, he wouldn’t go easy on them.
Immediately following the start, the swimsuit-clad princess maidens simultaneously faced them. In order to instantly crush Kamito and Leonora who held the largest battle strength, they had all temporarily allied.
That was what Kamito thought but—
“Everyone, kill the Lewd King!” “If you drown here, we can treat it as an accident!” “We won’t leave any evidence behind.” “A swift death to the enemy of women!”
……He could hear various frightening lines.
“Kamito, what are you doing; we’re being surrounded!”
The downhearted Kamito was rebuked by Leonora.
The sensation of thighs wrapped around his neck brought Kamito back to his senses.
“……Like I’ll let you kill me before the finals!”
The advancing girls’ enclosure.
In order to weave through that net, Kamito moved freely through the water.
Putting into practice the meta-3D movement that he had learned at <Instructional School> — rather than the super high-speed <Shadow Weaving>, this was the underwater movement technique called <Water Lily>. It wasn’t fast enough to make the opponent lose track of him, but those movements were like a water lily floating on the water’s surface and provided no opportunity to capture him.
Just after Kamito easily escaped the net—
“Faa!?” “Hyann!” “Kyaaaaaa!”
The girls’ shrill cries echoed across the water.
In the moment they had passed by them, Leonora had stolen the <Magic Stones> at their bosom.
“As expected of you, Leonora.”
“You as well; it almost feels like I’m riding a high-class dragon.”
Leonora smiled while chuckling.
Her thighs pressed down on him and his heart rushed.
“Le, Leonora, please open your legs a bit more!”
“……Eh? Wh, what do you mean, you pervert!”
Hit, hit, hit, hit.
The red-faced, agitated Leonora began to hit Kamito’s head.
When Kamito’s balance fell apart uncontrollably—
“Their movements have stopped! If we’re going to execute him, now’s the time!”
The group of girls once again closed in.
“Leonora, calm down or things will get bad!”
Leonora, who had finally snapped back to herself, smacked the girls nearing them from behind into the water and turned around to defend her chest from the countless outstretched hands.
“Are you okay!?”
“N, no problem, I’ll show you the dance of a princess maiden in service of dragons!”
Leonora exhaled and silently readied both her hands.
She reached out with movements akin to a dance performance and stole the <Magic Stones> of the girls approaching them one-by-one.
It was just like a raging dragon.
“A single knight defeating scores of enemies is the specialty of Dracunia’s knights. If I compare it with the the training I received as a young girl where I was thrown into a pack of fierce beasts, this is nothing.”
Instantly beating down the surrounding riders, she obtained seven <Magic Stones>.
Truly an ace out of the <Blade Dance> representatives. It was overwhelming strength that allowed none to approach.
“Now then, come, all who would like to challenge me!”
Leonora’s dignified voice rang out.
And at that time.
A crackling noise accompanied the instant freezing of the water surrounding Kamito.
“Ice spirit magic!?”
In the moment Kamito’s movements stopped, the figure of a rider approached.
“I’ve got you, onii-sama!”
It was the Milla Bassett and Mireille team.
“To think a nine year old can use this kind of spirit magic! As expected of Rinslet’s little sister.”
Kamito gave his honest admiration in light of that talent.
But the young Mireille could not snatch the <Magic Stone> from Leonora.
Just when he was thinking that—
A sweet cry was raised above Kamito’s head.
Leonora’s thighs closed on Kamito with a squish.
“I, it hurts……Leonora, wh, what are you doing!?”
“Fuaa……th, this was an oversight; I can’t move like this!”
Kamito somehow managed to twist his head and look up and,
—He finally realized their fatal mistake.
Leonora’s chest had expanded!
That’s right, since it was a battle done in swimsuits, there was no other place to store the <Magic Stones> stolen from the enemy other than at one’s bosom. Consequently, if one gathered a certain amount of <Magic Stones>, the rider would become unable to move.
If she did any intense movements right now, there was no doubt her swimsuit would break.
(……They were waiting for us to gather <Magic Stones>, huh.)
Kamito was astonished. They one who thought of this plan was probably the one giving Mireille a piggyback, Milla. She was truly the <Rupture Division>’s captain.
“Fufuu, your chest seems to be giving you trouble, dragon onee-sama!”
Mireille’s fingers brushed against Leonora’s chest which shook, spilling <Magic Stones>.
“Fa……nn, the <Magic Stones> are, from my breasts……”
Leonora’s face was bright red as she shielded her chest with all her might.
The surrounding girls also thought of this as a chance and drew in.
“……Like I’ll let you!”
Kamito cracked the ice covering the water with his fist and used all his power to escape. Several <Magic Stones> fell from Leonora’s chest from the recoil, but they were unneeded in this situation.
“Haa, haa, nn……”
He could hear Leonora’s troubled breathing above him.
“Are you okay?”
“Y, yes, somehow……ahnn ♪”
As her chest rose and fell, the tips of the <Magic Stones> stimulated her sensitive breasts. She somehow suppressed her voice and endured it.
That lovable action made Kamito’s heart race.
—At some point in time, the net with Mireille at the center had been completed.
“……So this is the end, huh.”
This was not the <Blade Dance>. It was just some entertainment. Even if they were to lose, they wouldn’t suffer a loss of honor, not that Kamito cared much for honor.
(……I’ve made a promise.)
That he would obtain that dragon plushie for Leonora.
Wanting to see the smile of a girl was the nature of a boy.
And Kamito spoke quietly.
“Hold on to me tightly and hold your breath.”
“Wh, what do you intend to do?”
“It’s okay. Believe in me.”
Leonora gasped overhead when Kamito ended the conversation decisively.
She made a large nod.
Leonora’s two supple arms wrapped around Kamito’s neck.
In an instant, Kamito sunk into the water completely.
He relaxed his entire body and closed his eyes. A variation of the <Water Lily> movement — <Aqua Elusion>. Syncing his mind and body with the flow of the water, he could completely conceal his presence.
“—Milla, don’t think badly of this.”
Appearing suddenly from behind Milla, he tickled her under the arms without mercy.
“……Ah, kya, nn!”
The usually cool Milla let out a lovely voice and twisted her body.
“Faaa, Mi, Milla!?”
In the instant Milla’s rider, Mireille, lost her balance—
Leonora quickly reached out and snatched her <Magic Stone>.
A flashy wall of water rose when Mireille fell down.
“H, how terrible!” “Even to a child that young!” “That brutish……!”
Harsh criticisms of Kamito came from the surrounding girls and mixed together but—
“Leonora, can you still do it?”
“Yes, m, my breasts hurt but I’ll somehow endure it!”
“Alright, that’s the spirit—”
As Kamito nodded, he heard the thunderous roar of winds.
“C, curse you, Kamito, you insolent person!”
From afar, Ellis and Fianna were closing in at an alarming rate.
Fianna’s reflexes were average for a spirit contractor, but her kamui control was exceptional. Her movements underwater were comparable to or surpassed Kamito’s.
Moreover, they were wrapped in a barrier of wind and accelerating.
(……This is quite a handicap.)
To begin with, Kamito wasn’t proficient in spirit magic and Leonora’s dragon attribute spirit magic specialized in destruction and physical strengthening. They had pretty much no basic spells and nothing for general-use like wind spirit magic. No, what was worse than that—
“E, Ellis, haven’t you shoved too much into it!?”
Stuffed with a large amount of <Magic Stones> that she had snatched, Ellis’ swimsuit looked like it was about to fall apart at any moment.
His gaze had been unwittingly drawn to her bosom swaying in the wind.
“Kamito, where are you looking!”
“I, I couldn’t help it!”
Having realized where he was looking, Ellis hurriedly covered her breasts with both her hands.
“Jeez, Kamito-kun, look at me as well!”
Fianna puffed her cheeks and let her breasts float on the water out of rivalry.
“A, a princess shouldn’t do those kinds of embarrassing things!”
“……I, it’s not embarrassing if Kamito-kun wants to see.”
The princess blushed as she blew bubbles on the water’s surface.
(……Aren’t you plenty embarrassed.)
“Kamito, just where are you looking?”
A displeased voice. Leonora’s thighs strangled him.
“I, I get it, so don’t strangle me!”
Using that opening, Ellis and Fianna lunged at them by riding the wind.
“Leonora-dono, we can’t allow you to perform a blade dance of the night!”
“I won’t perform such a thing!”
Ellis and Leonora were grappling overhead.
“Kamito-kun, no matter how much of a demon king of the night you are, even I won’t stay quiet if your lovers increase any further than this!”
“I’m telling you, it’s not like that!”
On the other hand, Fianna was pressing her breasts up against Kamito.
With the soft sensation traveling past her skimpy swimsuit, as expected, even Kamito couldn’t hide his excitement.
Sharp winds flew from Ellis’ finger and greatly shook Leonora’s breasts.
“……I won’t lose—!”
Leonora retaliated with her hand as she shielded her chest.
“Since Kamito is fighting for my sake!”
Ellis let out a captivating voice. Her long ponytail shuddered.
“……Ah, ya, hau……!”
“……Mm, kyann, ahnnn!”
Kamito’s focus was broken by the erotic cries coming from above and—
He suddenly heard that sound.
Kamito looked up without thinking.
What first entered his sight was—
A large number of <Magic Stones> leaking from both of their breasts.
Fluttering, scant cloth.
And Kamito saw them.
……Ended up seeing them.
Hanging down, the breasts of the two beautiful girls.
Both of them spontaneously discharged their kamui and a giant water pillar rose from the lake.
“U, mm……cough, cough……”
With a hazy consciousness, Leonora opened her eyes.
Before her was Kamito who had a serious expression.
She muttered while getting up and—
“……Leonora, I’m glad.”
Kamito sighed in relief.
“……How did the <Water Spirit Festival> go?”
“Ahh, everyone was blown away and it was cancelled.”
Kamito gave a small shrug.
“Ah, but look, I got him.”
To the puzzled Leonora—
Kamito showed her a large dragon plushie.
“Everyone at the lake was blown away and the <Magic Stones> were also scattered but just one……I found one that was stuck.”
Kamito muttered as he blushed.
So they had won a prize because everybody else competing had been obliterated.
“Well, if that’s true, then everyone was disqualified but — it seems the lake spirits were satisfied with the ritual. Nobody was injured and there’s also nobody blaming us.”
“Is that so……”
Leonora nodded and—
Something caught her attention.
Kamito averted his gaze and didn’t answer.
She asked again with a little bit of force.
Kamito shook his head as if resigned.
“I, in your cleavage……”
“……Y, you touched my breasts!?”
“No, well, sorry. Something was shining on your chest, so I just—”
Kamito confessed honestly. In an instant, Leonora’s face grew hot.
“……Th, this pervert”
Hit, hit, hit.
Leonora pounded on Kamito’s chest while continuing to blush. But in truth, when she had been hugging Kamito, she had not felt angry or shy.
She continued to hit Kamito while bewildered by this self-realization.
(……Wh, what does it mean?)
She didn’t know that feeling. She just had knowledge of it.
(Could it be, this feeling is……no, there’s no way, that kind of……)
But if she thought about it — it explained everything.
How her sword skills had dulled ever since she had fought Kamito. And then how while she had been with Kamito, her emotions were in disorder and her heart beat furiously.
……She may have already realized deep within her heart.
She just didn’t want to admit it.
That’s right, since the day she had crossed blades with him—
(I, for Kazehaya Kamito—)
Once she realized that, she wouldn’t be able to look at him directly anymore.
Leonora lowered her fist and turned her face to the side while still blushing.
Kamito tilted his head, puzzled.
“I, it would be best to admit this honestly, right.”
Leonora seemed to have decided something as she nodded to herself.
She thought that the disorder in her feelings would become a disorder in her sword.
But now that she had realized the cause, that had become an uplifting feeling instead.
Even more so than with the <Dragon Blood>, it was uncontrollable and unstable.
—That was definitely something that was meant to become a power stronger than anything.
The voices of his teammates came from afar.
It seemed that they were running over to them.
“—Kamito, it’s fine now. Thank you for today.”
And Leonora stood up, then gazed directly at Kamito.
—She wouldn’t avert her eyes this time.
“Umm, saying it’s fine means—”
“I can blade dance at my best, is what it means.”
Kamito was confused for a little, but—
“……I see. I don’t really get it, but that’s great.”
He shrugged as if relieved.
“Then I can battle you at full power as well.”
The two exchanged nods and each stretched out a hand.
“The next time we exchange words will be when we blade dance.”
They shared a firm handshake and spun on their heels and—
Both of them walked away just like that without turning back.