Chapter 5 - School Festival Rhapsody III
St. Garrardsworth Academy, Student Council Room.
“──That’s all for today’s reports.”
“Yes, this year looks quite prosperous as well.”
Ernest Fairclough who crossed his fingers on the ebony work desk calmly nodded as he received various reports of the school festival.
“For the moment, there isn’t any conspicuous trouble in particular, so it’s something good I guess.”
Laetitia who was sitting on the sofa also heaved a sigh of relief for the time being.
Garrardsworth always valued order and justice, but because outsiders were involved when it came to school festival, troubles occurring were more or less inevitable.
Speaking on that point, it might be said the school festival was quite peaceful this year.
“However, I am envious of Allekant and Queen Veil only at this time every year.”
Laetitia said so and rubbed her shoulders.
Generally, all the student councils of Asterisk were thought as if they owned a mighty power, but it was substantially Garrardsworth and Seidoukan who managed everything up to administration of school events.
In Allekant where factionalism was prevalent, the student council was no more than a coordinator; and in Queen Veil, the board chairman held real power and the student council could be considered close to decoration. World Dragon varied depending on the period, but if we looked historically, there should be many student councils which entrusted the Integrated Enterprise Foundation with the business side.
It should have originally been the same for Le Wolfe too, but it changed completely after that Dirk Eberwein reached the seat of student council president. That said, because it seemed that most of the members of the student council gathered by Dirk were staff recruited from the Integrated Enterprise Foundation, it would be hard to speak of administration by students purely.
Of course, it was not like the student councils of Garrardsworth and Seidoukan were independent from the Integrated Enterprise Foundation; they also borrowed the IEF’s power, but compared with other academies, it should be said that they did so with great discretion.
“We only carry out our duty, Laetitia. The outside also carries out theirs, and they should also be having different problems of their own.”
“That’s true, but…”
Even so, she still wanted to spill even one idle complaint.
After all, it was already time that you might say that it was midnight, and yet work that they must settle by today was still remaining.
“By the way speaking of Queen Veil, how did the matter of letting Sofia-san participate in the turn out?”
“Who knows? I didn’t hear anything in particular, but… Sofia isn’t a child anymore, so I don’t have the right to interfere in what she decided by herself.”
“You have a point, but…”
Sofia Fairclough was Ernest’s younger sister who attended Queen Veil Girl’s Academy.
Although Sofia was younger, Laetitia was greatly influenced by her.
That’s why she was worried.
From a certain accident which occurred in childhood, Sofia bore a fatal trauma which appeared in the . When Sofia started talking about coming to Asterisk, Laetitia was strongly opposed to it.
But even though Ernest, her big brother, said this, Laetitia, an outsider, could not afford to interfere.
“Ah, speaking of which──”
The student council secretary Percival Gardner who read out the reports said as she recalled something.
Percival, though dressed in a male uniform, was a full-fledged girl and a true knight ranked #5. In further speaking, she was also the user of a Garrardsworth’s scholarship ogre lux ── , also known as ; the last time it was used before her was twenty years ago.
“Today, I caught sight of Her Excellency the Student Council President of Queen Veil.”
“The is here?”
It was their first time hearing it. Which meant that she entered incognito.
“Yes, since she was disguised, it looked like no one else noticed her.”
“Hmph, how carefree of her.”
While saying that, Laetitia drank the tea that she newly served.
Since the site was opened during the period of the school festival, the comings and goings were free even for a student council president of another academy. For example, if this was Le Wolfe student council president, they would have to be careful about what he is plotting; but if the other party was that Sylvia Lyyneheyme, there was no need to be so worried.
“Also, she was accompanied by one person. He was also in disguise, but I think that it was probably Seidoukan Academy’s .”
At these words, Laetitia was about to spurt out tea unintentionally.
“ and the came here together, you said…?”
Percival answered indifferently.
Although she had no idea at all about what kind of connection there were between them, the combination of Seidoukan Academy’s rank #1 and winner, and the rank #1 who was also Queen Veil student council president and the runner-up was not ordinary.
“Ernest, what do you think?”
“Hmm… I can’t really guess their intention.”
“May we assume that it’s the inspection of the enemy’s position towards the …?”
Laetitia put a finger on her chin and pondered.
It was believed that Amagiri Ayato also known as was participating in the and it was all but confirmed. In that case, it would be no wonder that he came to investigate the top favorite on the list, the Silver Wings Knights, which at present had won the twice consecutively.
As for Sylvia, she was considered to be the ’s favorite, but Rusalka which was a major contender also from Queen Veil should appear in the .
Then, Ernest folded his arms and thinly laughed.
It was not his usual perfect smile; although just a little, a part of the true nature of the human called Ernest Fairclough could be glimpsed in there.
“In any case, it’s a shame that they didn’t even greet us even though they have expressly come here.”
It was probably not a groundless that Laetitia had a bad feeling about his expression
“It’s just the right time. It was a little unbearable to decline an invitation from the princess.”
“P-Please wait a little! Don’t tell me you intend to participate in that event!?”
“If I’m not mistaken, he has been invited to take part as a guest participant, right? Isn’t this a good opportunity to ascertain with my own eyes what kind of person he is?”
Though she hurriedly stopped him, Ernest seemed to have already decided.
“Percival, can’t we rotate a part of tomorrow’s work load into today to pick up on it? I will settle it.”
Ignoring Percival who answered indifferently, Laetitia approached Ernest.
“Ernest! If you do something so self-centered, the will…!”
“It’s all right, Laetitia. This isn’t out of selfishness; it’s an action which carefully considers this academy after all.”
“B-But, in the worst case…”
Now that Ernest asserted so, Laetitia’s tone could not also help but become weak.
In Garrardsworth’s history, the number of persons who were acknowledged by and given the nickname of exceeded 20, but it was said that Ernest had the best affinity with even among them.
No, more exactly rather than affinity, the way he got along with it was good.
’s prize was to be always noble-minded and wanting to be the agent of justice and order ── however, that “justice” was to the bitter end only something that determined. Although it closely resembled ── though partially ── ethic morality as chivalry and the common societal ideas of the Middle Ages, it was just called so.
To someone who could not cover up that estrangement, it was difficult to handle.
On that point, Ernest was an owner of natural talents who understood ’s intention and could accommodate his own actions to some extent.
“You don’t be so worried, I won’t overdo it. Besides, even leaving him aside, I’m a little concerned about this event.”
“Well… The cooperation of three academies and moreover an event of this scale are certainly rare.”
“Of course, there is that too, but… although working behind the scenes, it’s rare for the princess to appear outside of World Dragon.”
“Are you saying that that child is plotting something?”
Ernest, lost in thought with a serious expression as is, did answer to Laetitia’s inquiry.
“…Casino? The whole academy?”
“Yes. It’s the custom of Le Wolfe’s school festival every year.”
School Festival, third day.
Ayato who had made his way over to Le Wolfe Black Institute was, as expected, amazed as he saw that scene.
The academy’s structure itself leant itself back to a boorish, coercive fortress, but now it was gaudily decorated and there was no doubt it had become the most suspicious thing in this world.
“Well, Le Wolfe’s students aren’t proactive enough to voluntarily do something in this sort of event after all. Officially, it’s the academy side which organizes this, but it looks like the organization is mostly left to the care of the Entertainment District.”
“Ah, that’s why the atmosphere resembles that place’s, huh…”
Even they were visiting like this, there was clearly less people here than in others academies.
Just for note, there were also food stands lining up, but the price setting was quite bullish. On top of that, every one of the shop assistants came with frightening look. Colorful graffiti and obscene scribbles were painted here and there on the walls, and like this it would probably be difficult for ordinary tourists to approach.
Even so, the casinos in themselves seemed to earn quite a lot of success.
When sneaking a look at a place like an arena, slot machines lined up in a row, roulettes, baccarat and blackjack tables and the likes were all standard-made. The black-suit male staff and the female waitresses in bunny girl uniforms were busily moving around that hall where a quiet enthusiasm was acutely transmitted.
“Do you want to go play for a bit?”
“No, I’ll pass. I’m not good at gambling.”
To Sylvia who had said that jokingly, Ayato showed restraint with a vague smile.
“You certainly don’t look so strong… wait, oh my.”
Sylvia shook her shoulders as she said so, but she suddenly lowered her eyebrows unhappily.
As Ayato looked ahead of her gaze, one girl carrying drinks was going to grandly fall down as she tripped.
“Hey hey, young girl, give me some room. It’s already the fifth time, you know?”
The black-suited staff man who obviously did not seem to be a student squatted before that girl with an amazed expression.
“Uuh… I’m sorry.”
“It’s the president who introduces you, so I don’t want to say too much. But young girl, don’t you think that you aren’t suited for this job? No, it’s true that we’re shorthanded, but…”
“B-But, this is also an important job that the president away on business trip instructs me to do, so I must do it properly as his secretary!”
To the girl’s admirable appeal, the black-suited staff man scratched his head with a quite troubled face.
“That girl, I think I’ve already seen her somewhere…”
“Oh, an acquaintance?”
“Errr… oh yes, it’s the girl who presented herself as the ’s secretary.”
Then, Sylvia opened her eyes wide in surprise.
“Then, perhaps that girl is Kashimaru Corona?”
“Ah, I think it was her name. Is she famous?”
As he asked conversely, Sylvia nodded with a noncommittal expression.
“Rather than famous, I would say there are many mysteries about her… Dirk Eberwein is famous in the fact that he only evaluates others by their ability, but when he suddenly selected a freshman as his secretary, rumors spread around at one time about whether she was an extraordinarily talented person. She hardly appears in public, so I was curious about what kind of person she really is.”
“An extraordinarily talented person, huh…”
Though it might appear to be rude, Ayato thought that such a reputation did not really seem to stand as he looked at that figure of hers repeatedly bowing her head to the black-suited staff man.
Even when Ayato remembered about the time when she came to pick him before, she gave the same impression at that time.
“But, she certainly isn’t really like a student of Le Wolfe”
“I agree. But then, why did that appoint her as secretary…?”
Then, Sylvia suddenly pulled Ayato’s arm and took him outside of the arena.
“…Didn’t you stare a little too much? Let’s withdraw before appearing suspicious.”
Now that she mentioned it, several back-suited staff men seemed to have begun to firmly pay attention to Ayato who had stopped on his track.
Sylvia appeared to be sensitive about that.
“Haa… this is why I don’t like Le Wolfe.”
Sylvia who went outside sighed in dissatisfaction before long.
“Well, since it’s a casino, I think there is no helping it that they keep a watchful eye on people.”
“Even aside of that, I can’t really relax in Le Wolfe. If a girl is here by herself, weird people will immediately call out to (accost) her.”
As Sylvia said up to there, she twined around her arm around Ayato’s.
“Since Ayato-kun is with me today, I don’t have to worry about that.”
“Hahaha… I am honored to be able to help, but um, I don’t think it necessary to cling too much to each other…”
“Now then, let’s go take lunch. Although slightly early, we must still go to World Dragon, too and there is also Ayato-kun’s event in the evening.”
Smoothly warding off Ayato’s words, Sylvia looked around restlessly.
“Hmm, if we take it here, it’ll be overpriced… That said, even if we entered any shop, they’ll be mostly full… Hmm?”
They noticed a delicious smell drifting suddenly out of nowhere.
When they went being induced by that smell, there was a large street stall at a corner like a courtyard and simple chairs and tables were lined up at the storefront.
“Welcome~, would you like to have some Paella~?”
A girl in a lovely apron figure was calling out them as potential customers, that girl was also someone that became acquainted with.
Though he unintentionally called out to her so, Priscilla looked back at Ayato with a blank face.
Next to him, Sylvia said “Geez, Ayato-kun…” in a low voice as she was amazed; then Ayato noticed that he completely forgot that he disguised himself.
“Um, I’m sorry. Have we already met somewhere…?”
Not knowing what to do now, Ayato averted his gaze at least; but Priscilla who fixedly stared at his face held her mouth in surprise before long.
“Eh? Don’t tell me you’re Amagiri-san…!?”
However as she guessed the meaning of the disguise, she hurriedly lowered the volume of her voice.
“Hahaha… Long time no see.”
“Yes. There seemed to have been a lot of troubles in the , but Congratulations on your victory.”
Priscilla said so with an honest smile denuded of malice.
“Thank you. Also it’s a little late to express my gratitude, but thank you for the delicious sandwich at that time.”