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Gakusen Toshi Asterisk Vol 7 Chapter 5

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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 ── [1], 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.

But.

“Also, she was accompanied by one person. He was also in disguise, but I think that it was probably Seidoukan Academy’s .”

“Bufuh!?”

At these words, Laetitia was about to spurt out tea unintentionally.

and the came here together, you said…?”

“Yes.”

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 .

“…Hmm”

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.”

“Ernest…?”

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[2].”

“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.”

“Understood.”

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?”

“Oh…?”

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[3]~?”

A girl in a lovely apron figure was calling out them as potential customers, that girl was also someone that became acquainted with.

“Huh? Priscilla-san?”

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…?”

“Ah, errr…”

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.”

“No, it wasn’t much… Compared to what Amagiri-san did for me, that much was natural…”

Priscilla lowered her eyes as she was embarrassed.

By “meal of that time”, Ayato was talking about the light meal that was given through Irene at the time when he was looking for Flora. Since he was in hurry and thus was not able to properly give his thanks afterwards, he thought that this was a good opportunity to say it.

“Ah, that’s right. If it’s fine with you, please come by. I can’t give you that great things, but…”

“Is perhaps Priscilla-san’s handmade cooking done here?”

“Well, yes.”

In that case, the taste was guaranteed.

As he turned his gaze, Sylvia who looking at Ayato and Priscilla’s exchange one step back lightly nodded, too.

“Yes, I don’t mind, either. Judging from the smell, it looks delicious.”

“Um, Amagiri-san. This person is…?”

Priscilla wonderingly asked so as she looked at Sylvia’s school badge.

As expected, it looked like even Priscilla was not able to find out Sylvia’s true identity.

“Fufufu, hello. We are currently on date.”

When Ayato was wondering how he should introduce her, Sylvia said so with a teasing smile.

“Eeeh!? I-I’m sorry…! For interfering…!”

The face of Priscilla who heard that turned bright red and she buzzingly waved both her hands.

“U-Um, I’ll bring the menu now! P-P-Please take a seat of your choice…!”

Then she went inside the stall as if running away.

“…Sylvie”

“Oh my, it’s not a lie, is it?”

“That’s true, but…”

When Ayato said so as to blame her, Sylvia apologized with a wry smile as she thought that she was at fault.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think that she’d return such a lovely reaction… Such purity (innocence) is rare nowadays. I might be a little envious.”

“You speak as if you aren’t the same.”

Maybe because it was still early, half of the tables were free.

When they properly secured a seat and sat down, Sylvia sighed exaggeratedly.

“When you’re in this industry, you also see various unpleasant parts of people after all. Besides, although mostly a decoration, I’m also a student council president; I can’t deny it no matter what…”

“I wonder about that. I think that you’re a remarkably straightforward and honest girl though, Sylvie.”

“……”

As for Ayato, he has only conveyed what he honestly thought, but Sylvia revealed a surprised expression for an instant, and then subtly averted her gaze.

“Hey Ayato-kun, you really like throwing curve balls with such unfair timings, don’t you…”

“Eh?”

“S-Sorry to have kept you waiting, here is the menu.”

As Ayato was about to ask as he could not quite catch the intention of Sylvia’s words, Priscilla, with her face still slightly red, came over with the menu.

“Ah, yes. Errr, then…”

For the time being, he decided to properly choose something and ordered it.

“Speaking of which, Irene isn’t together with you.”

“Hahaha… I think Onee-chan is probably in the casino.”

As he casually asked so, Priscilla shrugged her shoulders with a troubled face.

“Ah, but she’s told me that she will participate in that event from the evening. The one where Amagiri-san is also registered as a guest.”

“Eeh, Irene, too?”

“She said that there seems to be a reward of considerable amount.”

Speaking of which, he was not that much interested in it, but he remembered Eishiro saying that the event’s prize was fairly extravagant.

“She’s the same as usual.”

Then, Ayato noticed a certain thing.

“…Huh? Priscilla-san, are you perhaps training?”

“Eh? C-Can you tell…?”

Priscilla held her mouth in surprise.

“Yes, the way you walk is different from before and your trunk also looks much firmer after all.”

“Yes. The truth is, I train myself and Onee-chan also teaches a lot of things. I thought that I can’t have Onee-chan protect me forever.”

“Heeh, that’s admirable.”

As he praised her so, Priscilla blushed with her head hung down.

“I-I was invited by Onee-chan to participate in the event so as to test my ability, but as expected I’m still a little scared.”

“We don’t know what kind of event it’ll be, so I think you made a wise decision.”

At least It wasn’t supposed to be a beginner grand welcome.

“I’ll cheer for both Onee-chan and Amagiri-san, so please do your best.”

Priscilla said so with an embarrassed grin and then returned to the stall.

After seeing her off, Ayato noticed that Sylvia was looking at him with a face as she seemed to want to say something.

“Hmm…”

“W-What is it?”

“No, I was just thinking that it’s a good thing for you to have a fan that will come cheer you.”

“Are you one to talk?”

She probably had so many fans to the extent that it would not be comparable with Ayato’s.

“That girl is slightly different from my fans, right?”

“Eh? Do you think so?”

“Yes.”

Sylvia took a small breath with an amazed expression.

Then, the dishes they ordered came before long.

“Oh, is it Basque style[4]? Looks delicious.”

Since it was exquisite when they were treated in Irene’s room, he ordered the recommended Paella this time, too; but the ingredients and smell were quite different from then.

When they ate a mouthful, it was, without fail ,delicious as expected.

Sylvia also seeming to like it, her face revealed a beautiful, broad smile.

“Mmm… this is great. To the extent that I might want her to tell me the recipe.”

“Heeh, Sylvie can even cook?”

“Why do you ask it with a face as if it was unexpected…? Even idols can at least cook, you know?”

“Sorry, sorry, that’s not what I mean; look, Sylvie looks busy after all.”

To Sylvie who pouted, Ayato hurriedly apologized as she waved both his hands.

“Well, I certainly haven’t contacted anyone recently, but… Ah!”

“W-What’s wrong?”

As Ayato asked while blinking with surprise, Sylvia rested her chin in her hand with a face saying “oops”.

“No. If today wasn’t the last day, I thought that I’d have made a bento tomorrow.”

“Hahaha, it’s a shame.”

“Well, never mind. Let’s leave it aside for the enjoyment next time.”

“…Next?”

As Ayato unintentionally inquired to Sylvia, who smiled teasingly with upturned eyes.


Today as well Julis was in a foul mood since morning.

It was the extent that she felt so by herself, so it was probably apparent from another person’s viewpoint.

Along the way to the training room, seeing the figure of Julis, who was now a celebrity, the general visitors who were about to call out to her increased in number as it is; but they all stopped halfway.

Even though it was supposed to be immensely wonderful without any trouble, it was also irritating now for some reason.

“Ah… Good morning, Julis-senpai.”

“Geez, it’ll be good if the school festival just ends quickly.”

When she entered to the training room, Kirin who was doing individual training bowed her head; but Julis suddenly spat out so.

But, she immediately came to her senses and frankly apologized.

“──No, sorry Kirin. It’s just not going well.”

“No, it’s all right. I agree, too.”

Kirin understood the cause of Julis’s irritation.

It was irritating to frankly admit it, but the fact that Ayato and Sylvia were acting together for the entire the school festival was the reason.

Of course, with whom, where and what Ayato did at his free time was his own convenience. Julis had no right to butt in.

But even if she thought so and intended to calm her heart, it did not quite go well.

(Sylvia Lyyneheyme, huh…)

Needless to say, Sylvia was the highest ranked influential person in the present Asterisk. In fact, she always had her name entered in the top ten ranking even in the “OdoleliluPoem’s Mead” and “Hex PantheonSix Sided Temple” which were unofficial ranking sites on the net.

Even the matter with Ayato aside, Julis had paid attention to Sylvia since long ago.

This was because Sylvia was current the only student ── at least as far as Julis knew ── to have put up a good fight against that Orphelia as an opponent. As for the match contents, it was quite one-sided, but though temporary, Sylvia was able to deal with the ability of Orphelia. Julis who knew Orphelia’s power from experience understood how much astounding that was.

And even if they have not met directly, Julis could have a rough guess of her personality when seeing that match progressing.

Unfortunately, Sylvia’s fighting style was a desirable thing even judging from Julis. She showed respect to her match opponent and clashed with them head on without thoughtlessly using a plan ── Julis did not know whether it was because of Sylvia’s versatile ability and capability, but she could not help admire the fact that she carried through with it even with that Orphelia as opponent.

What was derived from that was that the person called Sylvia had a character which plotted and led people into traps──

(In other words, she invited Ayato from pure good will…)

Thinking up to there, Julis was greatly perplexed as she slightly groaned.

“J- Julis-senpai…?”

Kirin who was surprised at the sudden lack of responsiveness timidly called out to her, but it did not reach the ears of Julis who was lost in thought.

(No matter how blockheaded he is, the other party is a world’s diva and matchless top idol… in that case…)

“Um, are you all right? Julis-senpai?”

“Ah, no, I’m all right. There’s no problem!”

Julis who suddenly came to her senses as Kirin’s hand touched her shoulders cleared her throat so as to deny it and stood up.

“By the way, um… that. Saya doesn’t come today, either?”

“Y-Yes… looks like it. She seemed to have participated in the swimming club’s event, but…”

“Yes, it seemed that she has rampaged there.”

Saya was probably venting her anger in her own way.

“A friend from the swimming club was lamenting the fact that they were troubled because she used it for letting out stress.”

Julis noticed that Kirin, who smiled wryly so, was not also that much enthused in her training recently.

──In fact.

“By the way, Kirin.”

“Yes, what is it?”

“It’s a little hard to say, but… your shoes are on the wrong feet.”

“Eh?”

“Also, your ribbon isn’t properly tied.”

“Eeh!?”

“Since your hair style is also loose, the right side is about to come loose.”

“Aww…!”

As Julis pointed out all of these, Kirin crouched down on the verge of tears.

As Julis lightly sighed, she went behind such Kirin and combed her hair.

“There, let me see. I’ll fix your hair at least.”

“T-Thank you… Julis-senpai.”

“Well, Saya’s way may seem to be more correct compared to us who are accumulating our stress.”

“Yes… but”

To Julis’s words, Kirin continued while slightly nodding.

“It looks like she ended up being forbidden to enter in the event of the swimming club because of that, so where will she go today? There are also other attractive events this year… she might have gone to the other academies, right?”

“No, considering her poor sense of direction, it’s hard to think that she went that far… hmm?”

At that timing, the training room door opened.

“Hou, speaking of the devil”

Having appeared was Saya with a somewhat sullen face.

Moreover from behind her, Claudia also entered with a smile.

“Ah, we thought the same thing. It’s just the right timing.”

“What, Claudia? Is your work over?”

“Yes, I somehow manage a part to the end. So since it’s a rare opportunity, I intend to go see that event and I have just invited Sasamiya-san. If you are fine with it, why don’t we go together?”

Claudia said so and joined both her hands.

“When you say that event, are you talking about the one organized by three academies joint where Ayato-senpai will also participate?”

“Yes, that one. But the club associations of each academy are the leadership in this event, so we, as student council, have basically no hand in it. Of course, we were at least told about the outline.”

“……”

Since Ayato participated, of course it was not like Julis did not think about it, too.

But, it was also difficult to say whether she could frankly cheer for Ayato with the present state of her feelings,

(It isn’t really like I’m sulking. It by no means really like I’m sulking, but…)

Then, as if she read Julis’s heart, Claudia said while giggling.

“Among the participants, there also seems to be those who will participate in the , so I think it can also serve as information gathering.”

It was clearly understood whom that was directed to; but when being said so, it would be difficult to decline.

“…You’re an unpleasant woman as usual.”

“Now, what are you talking about?”

As Claudia replied sarcastically, she feigned ignorance with a face that expressed that nothing had happened.


The exteriorappearance of World Dragon Seventh Institute was the most characteristic among the six academies of Asterisk.

Chinese-style buildings filled up the entire site and all of them are connected by corridors just like a labyrinth. Between two buildings were dotted with elegant gardens and huge open spaces, to the extent that one was likely not to know where they were without a map.

“This is really amazing… I wonder if this place isn’t the liveliest.”

While being surprised at the liveliness, Ayato talked to Sylvia walking beside him.

“Though there is also the fact that it’s the academy with the greatest number of students, the school tradition in World Dragon is slightly different from the other schools after all.”

“School tradition?”

“Hmm… I don’t know whether I should say that it’s chaotic or that there is freedom… Traditionally, the Integrated Enterprise Foundation’s influence isn’t so great here.”

When sending their eyes to a slightly large open space, several people were dancing while manipulating a huge dragon’s doll and people were crowded around them. In the garden on the opposite side, a tall mangiant with knives was doing acrobatics and was bathing in cheers.

“Do you mean that the students’ independence is respected?”

“That’s not it; there seem to be many students choosing World Dragon with the purpose of training themselves. For them, even regarding the , the champion is secondary and the meaning of testing their ability is stronger. That’s why it may be hard for the Integrated Enterprise Foundation to lure them with bait.”

“Ah, in other words the is only a process of their training to the bitter end and they don’t necessarily have a wish that they want granted.”

He remembered Song and Luo that he fought in the .

Those two were certainly students of that kind. If their own training itself was their purpose, he could also understand that the Fist Warriors of World Dragon were strong.

“Of course, there are many such people; but those who enter World Dragon with some dream aren’t few in number, either.”

Maybe they were firecrackers’, lively sounds echoed here and there, and lively timbrestones were always flowing from somewhere. Because World Dragon was the only academy among the six that had an elementary division, figures of children running around happily could also be seen.

“Also for better or worse, that there is no unity as an academy is partly the reason, too. After all in World Dragon various branch factions are jumbled up close together and each of them is independent.”

“But, it’s also the same for Allekant, isn’t it?”

“Since Allekant’s research institutions have their budget taken out from the Integrated Enterprise Foundation, the degree of freedom is entirely different. Well, World Dragon is also bureaucratic since their student council’s administrative body itself is closely related to the Integrated Enterprise Foundation.”

“I see…”

As he sneaked a look at a hall like a dojo, dozens of students were performing a dance in perfect order.

Just by looking at it in this way, he understood the reason why World Dragon has always maintained higher class in the results of . Though there was also the fact that there were a great number of students, the ratio of students maintaining their will to fight was clearly high.

“Speaking of which, Ayato-kun also used a peculiar grappling technique, right? Look, the one you use at the time of your duel with Toudou Kirin-chan.”

“Just for note, there are also grappling techniques in the Amagiri Bright Dragon Style after all. If you say that, then it means that even you’re quite skilled in close quarters combat, right?”

He said so remembering how she defeated a of World Dragon, although a former one, in a single blow at the time when they met for the first time, Sylvia lovely puffed up with pride.

“Even I don’t neglect my daily training after all.”

“But, it was quite a movement typical of actual combat, right? What kind of martial art is that?”

“Hmm… I haven’t heard about the origin and the name in particular. I was also taught the general basics, but the rest is almost self-taught. Ah, look, my music’s teacher whom I spoke about yesterday, I received training from her.”

“…From a music teacher?”

He felt that it was slightly unexpected, but he changed his mind that since it was a person who participated in the in the first place, it was not strange.

“Ah, but I have a memory of her seemingly having said it was somehow related to the Viking…”

While continuing such a conversation, they turned at the corner of a corridor.

──At that moment.

“!?”

“Eh…?”

When the mana all around suddenly wriggled, the surrounding scenery twisted flabbily.

Though they squared off as they wondered what that was, at that time Ayato and Sylvia were already standing in the hall of wooden floor that they had never seen before.

“This is…”

“Hohoho, sorry for having used a slightly rough way to bring you here. But, it will be troublesome if there was uproar, you see?”

Then, a girl who arranged her hair like the wings of a butterfly appeared from the shade of a pillar.

She was about the same age as Flora. As she was wearing World Dragon’s uniform, she was probably a student.

“Phew… Geez, don’t surprise me too much like that, XingLu.”

“Long time no see, Ms. Diva.”

But, to the words of Sylvia who undid her guard as she said so, Ayato was at a loss for words.

“XingLu…? Then, this child is that Fan XingLu!?”

The Student Council President who was World Dragon Seventh Institute’s rank #1 with the nickname of .

He heard stories about her, but he never thought that she was really such a young girl.

After all, XingLu hardly appeared in match videos. It was not like she was hiding her figure, but he heard that there were also many public events where she stood as representative.

It was no wonder that Ayato did not recognize her immediately.

“Indeed, I’m Fan XingLu. I’m glad to meet you, Amagiri Ayato. I have been interested in you since long ago.”

“Yea… Nice to meet.”

Still unable to understand the situation well, he took XingLu’s right hand that she held out.

“Your fighting style in the was really splendid. By just remembering it, it gives me chills even now. It’s a real pity. Why don’t you enroll in World Dragon?”

“No, even you say that… wait, more importantly, how did you bring us here?”

The problem which came before that was how she noticed that they were Ayato and Sylvia even though they disguised themselves, but that was problem something trivial compared to the present situation.

“Shortening the earth vein and crossing over thousands of miles ── well, it’s the so-called Shukuchi jutsu[5]. Strictly it’s its application though.”

“In other words, teleportation? So, there is also such a technique in the Star Senjutsu…”

If so, then he would really have to think about a countermeasure.

“No. It isn’t a Star Senjutsu.”

But, XingLu slowly shook her head.

“Eh…?”

If not, what on earth was that?

“It’s pointless to just think about it, Ayato-kun.”

Sylvia shrugged her shoulders with a somewhat resigned tone.

“I think it’s also the same for the other academies; but at the time when we became student council presidents, there is something we are told without fail. If World Dragon representative of our generation was , don’t get involved with them more than necessary “no matter what”.”

“Hohou. It’s the first time hearing that, I see that you were told such a thing.”

XingLu looked pleased for some reason.

“No matter what?”

“Yes…”

Then after a deep sigh, Sylvia casually said.

“I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but it’s said that she has already lived more than one thousand years.”

“One thousand years…? No matter how you look at it, that’s a little…”

Even if she was an ability user or some sort, then it would mean that she has been living from far long before the . Hence, it was improbable since were born due to mana brought about by the .

“Hmm, are you saying you don’t believe it?”

XingLu, with a face saying that it’s really unexpected, folded her arms and looked up at Ayato.

“No, after all…”

“Well, never mind; you’ve taken the trouble to visit our academy. I will slightly enlighten you about the principle of this world.”

Immediately after, the surroundings turned dark.

“──!”

“Don’t be so on your guard. It’s just… errr, right, what you call hologram.”

“Hologram…?”

Exactly as stated, a translucent Earth dimly appeared in front of Ayato and Sylvia.

The Earth which slowly rotated ── but, multiple meteorites suddenly appeared one after another there and poured down towards the Earth.

“Don’t tell me this is…”

“Yes. It’s the ’s reproduction.”

“But like this… it looks like these meteorites suddenly appeared around the Earth…”

“Indeed.”

To Sylvia’s mutter, XingLu greatly nodded.

“『All the astronomical observatories around the world hadn’t perceived the at all』…you people are also taught so in your lessons currently, right?”

There were still many mysteries regarding the , but at least it was currently common opinion that they were completely different from common meteorites.

“Then, no way── are you telling us it really happened suddenly?”

“Now, next I will teach you how these meteorites were looking to us.”

Not answering Sylvia’s question, XingLu snapped her fingers.

At the same time, the three-dimensional vision of Earth suddenly approached; and became a vision of the surface of the Earth seen from the sky.

A huge meteorite crossed before their eyes, and at the time when it looked like they crashed into the Earth,

“Eh…?”

“This is…”

Both Ayato and Sylvia doubted their own eyes.

At the center of the meteorite, a magic circle of layers which shone spread out.

Though different of scale, it was really similar to the one which appeared when the ability users like Julis activated their power.

And the inner part of that magic circle disappeared as it was completely gouged out.

“It looks like it transforms the energy of collision into the technique. Most likely, it has completely transformed all materials within range.”[6]

“Transform…? Where to?”

“Even I don’t know. We call it the world over there.”

XingLu said so and broadly grinned.

“Now then, you are also taught this, right? That if it were a common meteorite, the mine dust due to excavating it from the earth surface and hauling it out should be hardly observed. This is the reason.”

Right. Looking from the scale, the should have a great disaster to the point that it wouldn’t have been a surprise even if the mankind was annihilated.

“The isn’t a natural disaster. It’s something which was intentionally caused by someone’s hands.”

“No way, such thing is…”

Even if someone who could do such a thing existed, his power could only be explain in the domains of divine.

But.

“──Well, such thing doesn’t matter. No matter who did it for what for purpose, it has nothing with us now.”

XingLu plainly said so.

“Huh…?”

Then, what was that story so far for?

“My point is, if the is something which was caused by someone’s hands, nothing tells us that it will be limited at only that one time.”

“Do you mean to say that something like the might occur again after this?”

“There’s also that ── but, what I want to say is the opposite.”

As she said up to there, Ayato also guessed what XingLu meant.

“I see…!”

Then, it meant that something similar might have happened in the past, too.

“Of course, the ’s scale is unheard of. We[7]were also surprised. But it isn’t like that time was the first time that both mana and mana dites were brought about in this Earth. Even more before ── long ago, although so little as not to compare with now, they have existed.”

“…Of course, , too.”

As Ayato continued so, XingLu greatly nodded.

“They were called wizards or Sennin[8] before.”

“Hmm… I wonder if the scale was a little too big that it wouldn’t be so readily accepted.”

When Sylvia muttered as troubled, XingLu cacklingly laughed.

“It’s fine like that. Believing in it or not is at your own conveniences. And just because you know that, it isn’t like something will change.”

“You’re right. Rather as for me, I’m more concerned about what purpose someone who has lived for a millennium passes for a student.”

Although she was surprised at first, Sylvia asked naturally.

However, the eyes of XingLu heard it suddenly narrowed.

“…My purpose, you say?”

At that moment, a violent sense overpowering feeling blew.

An overwhelming mass of power as it looked like it stabbed the skin, smashed the bones and crushed the entrails by just being there. The air shook with a rattling sound and his body instinctively took a stance.

(I see… I agree with Captain Lindvall’s words.)

The two persons Orphelia Landlufen and Fan XingLu whom the Guard Captain Helga Lindvall once spoke of as “different existences”. With this, Ayato has encountered the two persons, but either of them was surely an existence of a different dimension.

“Isn’t it obvious? What I desire is to fight strong people.”

XingLu told with a joyful expression.

“Really, the current world is wonderful. It’s brimming with young people who possess promising qualities. But, there’s no meaning if that quality isn’t drawn out and they aren’t reared. Thus, I volunteer to teaching like this.”

“So in order for you to eat them tastily, you preciously raise the cattle, huh.”

Even while dripping sweat, Sylvia was confronting XingLu head-on.

It was a surprising courage within this overpowering feeling.

“Hohoho, you say something good, Ms. Diva. It’s my principle not to snatch food and eat without the meal starting, but… when you release such a nice fragrance, there is also a limit as to how I can endure it.”

Dangerous light dwelled in XingLu’s pupils.

──But.

“Master, the preparations of the airship are complete… wait, what are you doing?!”

From the entrance of the hall which was left open, a surprised voice flew.

Immediately after, the overpowering feeling disappeared as if it was a lie.

“Oh, HuFeng. You came at a good moment. I was about to lose my patience.”

“Please, spare your personal struggles in the middle of the school festival. If such a thing were to happen, even if it is you Master, you would not leave without blame.”

“I understand, I understand ── sorry, Ms. Diva. It looks like the joke went a little too far.”

“No, after all I knew you weren’t serious.”

Saying so, XingLu and Sylvia exchanged smiles.

“Then Master, who are those people…?”

The boy with looks as to be mistaken for a girl at first glance looked at Ayato and Sylvia with a perplexed face.

(Huh…? If I remember correctly, he’s World Dragon’s…)

“Yea. They are Seidoukan and Queen Veil’s ranks #1. If I’m not mistaken.”

“Yes…?”

The boy who heard that revealed a flabbergasted expression.

Just for note, they were in disguise, but now that it has become like this, there was no longer meaning for it.

As Ayato and Sylvia looked at each other and removed their disguises, the boy intently looked at them for a while to confirm their identities; but a color of surprise spread on his face in a twinkle before long.

“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeh!? W-W-W-W-What is Sylvia-san doing here!?”

“Oh, that’s right. Amagiri Ayato, You will also participate in the “Grand Coliseum”, right? We were also about to head there. So you might as well come together with us.”

Ignoring the boy as is, XingLu forcibly pulled Ayato’s hand.

“Eh? W-Wait…!”

“Muh, Ayato-kun is still in the middle of a date with me, so don’t decide that on your own accord.”

Sylvia puffed her cheeks and ran after them, but XingLu turned a deaf ear to her.

“Hey, HuFeng. How long will you space out like that?”

“──Ah! Y-Yes! I am sorry!”

As XingLu called out to him, the boy who was standing stock still in blank amazement suddenly came to his senses and quickly rushed over.

“Now then, it’s finally the main event. It’ll be good if I find good raw materials[9].”

While pulling Ayato’s hand and steadily advancing the corridor, XingLu laughed really joyfully.

References Jump up↑ I could be wrong but I believe this is reference to the Cornucopia which, in Greek mythology, was in possession of the goddess who nourished Zeus as a child (when he was hidden from Kronos), Amaltheia. -Yascob Jump up↑ I guess he’s speaking here about Fan XingLu () Jump up↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paella Jump up↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_cuisine Jump up↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shukuchi Jump up↑ Okay this part looks really hard on the translator so I’ll explain what I got from it when I looked at the raw and the translation. Basically, If I understand correctly, did no physical damage but was instead transferred the area of impact via magic (or transformed the word used is ambiguous but the following lines seem to point more towards transferring). I also think the comment about the dust later is also inferring that the dust in the air could cause problems just like ash does when a volcano erupts by suffocating or burying people but was not present when occurred. I hope that helped. -Yascob Jump up↑ Sorry to mention this late, but when XingLu says 儂らmeaning “we”, she addressed only herself; from what I know, it was like that great nobles and people of royalty (Kings) were addressing themselves in old times Jump up↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sennin Jump up↑ She speaks about students that would be worth training

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