Magika Vol 2 Ch 1 – Before the Storm

Chapter 1 – Before the Storm


 Part 1

Above the swamp, earth, sand and dry leaves were piling up, Kazuki stepped onto the wet ground and ran towards the approaching enemy. From between the poisonous trees with violet trunks and leaves, Demon Beasts that looked like jelly-beans with brightly colored, slimy mucus——Slimes were approaching one after another to attack.

[Suppression of Demon Beasts that nested in the Haunted Ground]——That was the Quest that Kazuki and the others accepted.

A silver flash surged from the mouth of his scabbard, Kazuki drew his Iai towards the approaching blue slime in front of his eyes.

The slime that chilled the air was cut in half, but——the blue slimes immediately reattached and returned to how it was previously.

Kazuki’s eyes opened wide because of the unknown enemy’s mode of life. …The sword was not effective against these things!

All at once the multi-colored slimes that were in Kazuki’s way leaped toward him.

“The calling voice of the ruler of flame, liberate the rage deep inside the earth! Create the rampart of mine here…soaring on heaven and earth, isolate the impurity! Fire Wall!!”

However, Kazuki invoked Phoenix’s Summoning Magic to assault the enemies. He chanted the spell while charging into the center of the enemies and waited for the right timing.

Together with flashes of light, fissures ran along the ground under Kazuki, and from there, a wall of flames burst out.

The slimes that attacked Kazuki were effortlessly swallowed by the wall of flames and were all evaporated at once.

The few slimes that managed to slip out of the flame walls attacked Kazuki, but he brushed them off with his katana. Thereupon, the dignified voice of the partner that supported Kazuki echoed from behind him.

“Scattered sparks of dancing wings! Lingering spiral wind, become life piercing bullet! Flap your wings and fire! Barrett!!”

Red lights lingered like wings from the stigma on her back as Mio invoked Barrett.

The flame bullet attacked the slime, and its body fused with the heat of the spell.

While Kazuki stepped back, he copied Mio by chanting Barrett and hit the slime.

“Kazukii! Hooray, we beat them with the same magic♪”

Mio’s voice rose in excitement, and she clung to Kazuki’s arm after scattering the enemy’s group.

Although, until a little while ago, she was saying “How impertinent for someone like Kazuki to use the same magic•••” Was it because of the exaltation in the battlefield? Mio was unusually honest and bold.

No, Mio seemed to not remember that time when she died. However, since Kazuki kissed and saved her, he had a feeling that her attitude had instantly softened.

…Was it because of the high positivity level of 120?

“Co-come on, don’t let your mind wander in the middle of a quest!”

Because Mio’s Magic Dress was highly revealing in the chest area that was pressed against him, embarrassed, Kazuki spontaneously uttered words of resistance. Mio made a face that was a little sulky.

“What? I properly watched our surroundings, and after that I took action you know. Bee~” (AN: the voice of sticking your tongue)

While clinging to his arm, Mio brought her face near Kazuki and stuck her tongue out at him. Even though her expression was one of cheekiness, Kazuki was strangely conscious of Mio’s lips near his cheek.

At that moment, a voice rang out from the thicket in front of them, and a new group of slimes came to attack them both. Mio who had just said that she had already properly observed the surrounding area, reacted quickly and sprung up just like she said, turning to Kazuki’s rear——the swordsman protected the Magika Stigma(Summoning Magician), Heaven and Earth Formation.

“Barrett!” “Fire Wall!”

The flame wall of the vanguard, Kazuki, and the fire bullet from the rear guard, Mio, reduced the interweaving bunch of slimes to ashes. ——No, wait a second, what was that!?

A crimson slime flew out from inside the flames. …Was it resistant to heat!?

Somehow this Demon Beast Slime appeared to have its own attribute based on the color.

Kazuki immediately leaped and cut the slime that gradually released heat. Because of the slash, the slime scattered in pieces. However the pieces slipped past Kazuki.

“Damn it!”

“Kyaaa! What is this!?”

The scattered slime became a spray of red mucus and incessantly rained on Mio.

Flustered, Mio tried to clear the mucus that fell onto her body and magic dress. However, the already revealing dress immediately started to melt where the slimy mucus made contact.

“No way! The, the clothes are melting!!”

——If the Magic Dress that supplemented the spell chanting was not there, the battle potential of the Magika Stigma would be reduced by half.

Because the magic dress was created by magic power, it could be regenerated if the user requested the Diva to fix it, but…for Mio it was just not possible. She crouched down to try to hide her exposed skin.

From the swamp behind Mio who currently crouched down——the cylindrical shapes of tentacles leaped out.

A Demon Beast different from the slimes! Was it waiting for an opportunity like the one just now!?

They were just Demon Beasts, and yet they matched their breath superbly and performed combination attacks.

The slimy tentacles entangled the mostly naked Mio.

Just like wrenching open flower petals, the tentacles twined around and pulled Mio’s limbs, exposing what should be hidden. The girl’s face flushed bright red in unbelievable shame.

“No way no way, don’t look, Kazuki! I will do something on my own so don’t come here!!”

Mio shouted at Kazuki with a tearful, panicky voice as he moved to help. However, a shadow floated up in the muddy water surface. The owner of the tentacle’s real body was now on the verge of surfacing.

“Is this the time to say that kind of thing!? You are going to be eaten!!”

Kazuki drew his Iai and severed the tentacles in one go. What kind of aquatic creature was it that lurked inside the swamp?  It was unknown, but the tentacles could be cut as opposed to the slimes.

As Mio fell from the severed tentacles, Kazuki caught and carried her like a princess.

magika_no_kenshi_to_shoukan_maou_vol-02_013

But the problem was that, currently, they didn’t have any means to defeat the red slime.

The mission was to defeat the Demon Beasts, but if they didn’t escape from here somehow…!

“…Nihility of ancient times, the nothingness residing inside this heart, become the freezing breath. The streaming silence of rejection, freeze and be silent•••Glacier Wind!!”

A chilly wind blew from next to Kazuki. That was the breath of a mermaid. The red slime that assaulted him was frozen in the blink of an eye by the wind. ——Ice attribute summoning magic!

“Hiakari-san!? …Thank you! So you came to save us!”

Turning around, there was the mystical classmate clad in magic dress that resembled a white leotard. Hiakari Koyuki was standing there without a hint of expression.

Her attitude toward Kazuki was sharply aloof, identical with her sharp ears that was the characteristic of an elf.

“When I thought that we received the same quest by chance…this is a totally shameful sight, isn’t it? You are only a hindrance if you can’t fight already, how about you just go back home.”

After her gazed briefly fell on the nude Mio, Koyuki briskly turned her back to Kazuki.

“…Hiakari-san, be careful of the blue slimes!”

Similar to the red slimes that radiated heat, the blue slimes radiated chilly air.

That was why there was no doubt that the blue slimes had strong resistance against cold.

Koyuki’s ear twitched at hearing Kazuki’s warning, but without even glancing back, her figure disappeared between the strange trees that grew wildly inside this Haunted Ground.

“…No choice then, let’s return to the academy for the moment, Mio.”

Kazuki spoke with Mio as she clung to his arm. All of this was the swordsman’s responsibility because he couldn’t protect the rearguard.

“…Kazu-niii” said in a drowsy, sweet voice as she was carried nude in Kazuki’s arms.

“Mio? Now that I think about it, are you fine after being attacked by a slime like that?”

“Kazu-nii…my chest is hot. My body, my chest, and stomach are itching…”

Mio hugged Kazuki tightly. Somehow her condition seemed strange.

While not knowing where to look, Kazuki peeked at Mio’s face. Her face was flushed red like she had a cold, her eyes were intoxicated like they saw a hallucination, and rough, panting breath escaped from her half-opened lips.

…Perhaps it was because of the hot liquid from before!

That liquid melted the magic dress. Magic dresses were created from magic power, namely the force of will. If that was melted then——that liquid was a poison that influenced the mind!

No wait, rather than poison, this liquid was…a type of sake and aphrodisiac…

“Kazu-nii…I love you! I love you I love you, I love you so much!! Hug me more!!”

Heart marks scattered around, Mio pushed her bare-naked breasts against him, and her legs coiled around. A sweet scent resembling milk drifted in the air. Her sighs hitting Kazuki’s neck were hot and amorous.

This is bad. This situation is very bad! …If we don’t escape to a place where there are no Demon Beasts and people then…!

Her sanity should return after a short while, and then she could reform her magic dress.

…If I don’t preserve my reasoning until that time, then in this strange situation, towards Mio, I will…!

“I am the swordsman of Hayashizaki style! No way I’ll lose to this kind of temptation!!”

While shouting ‘UOOOOOO!’ Kazuki ran through the forest carrying the soft body of Mio.


 

Part 2

Going back three hours before——

“Traveling in a train like this, somehow it feels like a trip, doesn’t it~”

Kazuki and Mio, both of them wearing their uniform, sat side by side inside the magic light train.

“Don’t get too relaxed, okay? The quest will have actual combat you know.”

Kazuki made a bitter expression aimed toward the partner who wasn’t nervous at all on their first quest.

Though having said that, it’s not like Kazuki didn’t understand what Mio said. Today was the start of Golden Week, it had been one month since he enrolled. The pleasantly warm breeze of the late spring season poured in from the window, repeatedly blowing the nape of their neck.

“Kazuki also shares this mood, right? Waking up early in the morning and making onigiri. What are the ingredients?”

“This is just preparation in case the quest turned out to take a long time, you know!? Canned tuna and salted salmon roe.”

“My favorite dish from a long time ago. So you remember!”

Mio’s face was bursting with a smile along with a heart mark that came flying toward Kazuki.

That heart mark was sucked into Kazuki’s magic dress, the <Solomon Ring>.

This ring received the change of the affection levels of other people and had the power to measure them.

In the span of one month since meeting with his former childhood friend, her affection level had thoroughly gone up.

Mio restlessly looked around their surroundings to confirm there were no other passengers.

“Kazu-nii, wake me up when we arrive~”

Mio approached and leaned her head to Kazuki’s shoulder.

“Are you intending to sleep before fighting!?” As expected, Kazuki was surprised.

“It’s okay, I’m not really sleeping. I just want to do this…”

While saying that, Mio clutched Kazuki’s hand by entwining their fingers together. ‘gatangoton’ Within the vibration of the train’s movement, Kazuki stayed silent while feeling the warmth of Mio’s body.

Humankind obtained the power of magic and met with the residents of a parallel dimension who were called Diva.

——Thereupon an outbreak of phenomenon called <Extraordinary Malignant Spot(Cancer)> happened.

Tearing off the world, from there the magic power of the parallel world, Astrum(Distorted World), spilled over. The spilled magic power transformed into the form of Demon Beasts and spirits. Demon Beasts attacked humans, and the surrounding space where the Demon Beasts gathered was polluted by magic power and became the Demon Beasts’ soil where humans couldn’t live——the Haunted Ground.

The defense organization that protected Japan’s public order, the Knight Order, had three main duties, [Defense against the invasion of other country], [Suppression of illegal magician], and [Subjugation of Demon Beasts • liberation of Haunted Ground].

Because of the frequent terror attacks against the Knight Order performed by a group of illegal magicians called [Loki’s Einherjar], led by Loki of Norse Mythology, the Knight Order didn’t have enough hands to perform their original duty.

To compensate for that, the knight training academy that Hayashizaki Kazuki attended——The National Knight Academy <Caryatid>, gave the work that the Knight Order couldn’t finish to the students in the form of a quest.

The students formed parties and challenged the quest in place of the Knight Order.

The Haunted Ground’s location was a few minutes walk from the station.

The Haunted Ground’s surrounding was covered by a fence, and the civilians were prohibited from entering.

Demon Beasts instinctively attacked humans. However, Demon Beasts couldn’t come out into the surrounding space that hadn’t been transformed into a Haunted Ground.  They mostly took defensive stances and only attacked humans that invaded the Haunted Ground.

Haunted Grounds became the production base of Demon Beasts.  It further encroached the surrounding area because of the Demon Beasts’ propagation and kept expanding.

Inevitably, the people that originally lived on the soil that became a Haunted Ground were evacuated.

Like this, the longer the Haunted Ground was left alone, the harder it would be to control the situation.

The dispatching of the Knight Order prioritized urban areas at any cost while forest and mountain Haunted Grounds were easily postponed and tend to be distributed as quest for Knight Academy’s students.

Kazuki and Mio headed for the gate that served as the only entrance for the Haunted Ground. Ex-knight(Old person) was standing guard at the gate to inspect the people that tried to enter the Haunted Ground.

“We were dispatched from the Knight Academy and came here, please allow us to enter.”

“…Cheh, the academy brats huh. Moreover, only two came.”

The guard spat out in a whisper and started the processing of Kazuki and Mio’s entry.

“Why doesn’t the Knight Order come here themselves, they are making light of the refugees here. …Then I’ll do the scan, so let your magic power flow into your Stigma until it shines. Hm? What is this stigma?”

The guard put his hand and scanned the magic light of the stigma at the back of Kazuki’s hand with the <Scanner Device>. Next, Mio’s stigma was also scanned by peeking at her neck from behind.

Thereupon, the device compared the data that had arrived from the quest counter of the academy, and confirmed that Kazuki and Mio were the appointed people of an official quest.

“You’re not a mere swordsman, it became a hot topic some time ago, someone who received an Enigma despite being a man. Although, as expected, your magic power seems to be low compared to the woman huh. Don’t overdo yourself to where it becomes a situation where we need to call reinforcements, okay?”

After seeing off Kazuki and Mio, the guard entered the gate’s post, Mio pulled her eyelid down and stuck out her tongue.

“What is that, saying things like ‘just a student’ or ‘just a man’, making fools of us! When Kazuki and I unite, we are unrivaled! Starting from now is the beginning of the legend of me and Kazuki!!”

“…Mio, saying things like ‘unrivaled’ or ‘legend’, however you meant it, only sound like failure flags.”

“Why are you saying things like that~!!”

While advancing forward with Mio repeatedly hitting Kazuki, the scenery gradually changed into strange and crooked things. It was a country road that could exist anywhere, but it turned into wetlands filled with moisture, and the surrounding trees’ color changed into poisonous colors. The Demon Beasts’ presences were starting to drift around in the surroundings.

…And then, three hours later, Mio’s flag splendidly became reality.


 

Part 3

Sitting next to Kazuki while on their way home in the train, Mio cast her eyes down in shame while blushing a bright red.

“…Hey, how much did you see…?”

How much, was it? It is about the matter with the mucus and tentacles from earlier wasn’t it?

“I swear I didn’t see much. The tentacles were in the way.”

“Af, after that, I was naked for quite a while, right!? Though I don’t remember it well…”

“After that, I didn’t look at your body. At the time, I was obviously in the middle of fighting you know.”

“…Then Kazuki, you really don’t have any interest in me after all?”

Mio glared at Kazuki with sulking eyes. Why did it become like this…?

“Talking about that, what was up with your condition?”

Was it something like an aphrodisiac that manipulated the mind, or was it like drinking alcohol and then losing all restraint and being merry like a drunk——which one was it? Mio’s face became increasingly bright red because of Kazuki’s inquiry.

“Don’t remember, I don’t remember! I don’t remember anything at all!”

“As expected, a two man party might be too difficult.”

Kazuki changed the topic, and Mio, taken aback, raised her head.

“I don’t wanna. I don’t want a strange person added to my party with Kazuki!!”

“But… with only us at the moment, the breadth of our tactics is far too narrow.”

The current Kazuki and Mio——cannot use an attack magic other than of the flame element. Like today, if they encounter enemies that have a resistance toward flames and heat, then a hard fight would be inevitable.

But with a resolute expression Mio shook her head.

“It’s fine! I… will become even stronger for sure!! To the extent that we won’t ever need any other people!!”

Kazuki had a feeling that it was not a problem that could be solved simply by growing strong. But as Mio grasped his hand and stared at him hard with upturned eyes, Kazuki lost his words and couldn’t say anything.

…However, if I could use a lot more magic, then this problem would be settled.

Kazuki’s contracted Diva——Lemegeton(Solomon’s small key) was a unique Diva who had the [Power of the King] to control Solomon’s 72 Pillars.

That skill was the ability to be able to use all 10 of the characteristic magics owned by the other Divas of Solomon’s 72 Pillars. In contrast with normal Divas that could only use 10 varieties of magic, Lemegeton could use at maximum 720 different types of magic. The problem of not having enough variety would become irrelevant, an extraordinary existence.

But that ability had conditions. If Kazuki couldn’t make other Magika Stigma users fall in love with him, then he wouldn’t be able to use that ability. Currently, Kazuki could use the same summoning magic of [Phoenix] like Mio, because he was able to make the contractor of Phoenix, Mio, fall for him.

He could also use two of Kaguya senpai’s summoning spells, but… they were not magic really suitable for quests.

I wanted to become strong and protect Mio. But to achieve that, then with another girl I’d need to…

Subconsciously, Kazuki poured magic power into Solomon’s ring, and magic light vision floated in front of his eyes. A graph of the girls’ positivity levels that only he could see was projected there.

The graphs that extended horizontally, like they were competing before one’s eyes, were also provided along with a number.

Amasaki Mio——124 Otonashi Kaguya——75 Hiakari Koyuki——46 Hoshikaze Hikaru——39

Mio was staying motionless and quiet, and before long the magic light train stopped at the station in front of the knight academy.

——Like that, the first quest that the two individuals had challenged during Golden Week, was over without any result.


 

Part 4

“Amasaki Mio will fall into rank B for sure if she keeps this up.”

When the first school day after Golden Week ended—— Kazuki was called to the staff room. There, the home-room teacher, Liz Liza Westwood, spouted a shocking sentence out of the blue.

“Eh?” Liz Liza-sensei who had a figure that looked like a child’s, continued with her strict words toward Kazuki, who leaked out an idiotic voice.

“Losing to an E rank like you was already fatal. Then, after that, she failed a quest, so her evaluation has dropped drastically. If she keeps this up she will be demoted to rank B.”

“Ple——please wait a second! Certainly she hasn’t shown results yet, but it’s obvious her true power is one of the best compared to her surroundings, right!?”

“There are also other students who grew by a remarkable amount. Chances must be given equally.”

First year students who were evaluated as [rank A] at the academy could stay in the dedicated dormitory for the student council, [Witch’s Mansion], as a privilege. There, they could receive an introduction to magic from the senpais in the student council.

Being demoted from rank A to rank B means eviction from the Witch’s Mansion.

Kazuki was rank E, but because of the special circumstance of being contracted with a mysterious Diva, he could live in the Witch’s Mansion so the student council president could safeguard (while monitoring) him.

Mio wouldn’t be in Witch’s Mansion anymore even though they were finally getting along again like in the old times.

“Right now with Loki acting violently, the situation is that the students have to quickly complete quests. Real ability that cannot produce any results cannot be valued. Even if she is an A rank, if she is slacking off, being demoted might fire her up.”

Loki attacked the branches of the Knight Order in the whole country every few days, but before any real counterattack began, they only fought a little and escaped immediately. It was as though they were just ridiculing the opponent.

It seems there was still nothing that resulted in death, but it became so that the Knight Order needed to be constantly vigilant against attacks. At the same time, the investigation for Loki’s hiding location must also be done.

Like that, the duties that were neglected by the knights were distributed to the students as quests.

Originally the quest system was intended for the students’ personal learning experience, however in the current emergency situation, they were completely regarded as precious war potential.

Because there was strong opposition from society regarding the coercion of students into actual battle, the quests even now was formally a practical class that students accepted voluntarily, but—— rank A students like Mio were constantly under untold amounts of heavy pressure and expectations to produce results.

“…But Mio is not slacking off at all!”

Every morning since forming a party with Kazuki, Mio had always stealthily performed magic training as if to hide it from him——though Kazuki, who was very sensitive towards any magic power outbreak, noticed it immediately.

“It’s because an E rank like me dragged her down.”

“Fuhn, my eyes are not so blind that I still think your real ability is the same as your current rank.”

“…Why was this matter not spoken of to the person herself, but instead, to me?”

“Both of you are in a two-man party, aren’t you? If you think that girl’s evaluation is undeserved then you have to support your team mate.”

If I could support her then I wanted to do so. I really wanted to do that, but for that to happen…

“The quickest and easiest way for me is to add Hiakari Koyuki to your party, I also thought that if you can use that chance to become closer with her, then it will be two birds with one stone.”

A glint of light appeared in Liz Liza-sensei’s eyes. Liz Liza-sensei also knew about Leme’s special characteristics.

Maybe that’s the real reason she called me here.

“…Neither Mio nor Hiakari-san will agree to form a party together though.”

“Fuhn, it’s evident that your sense of danger is not enough that you’re being so particular about this. …By the way, this is a completely different topic, but in the case that you became friendly with a magician that has a contract with a Diva other than Solomon’s 72 Pillars, what would happen? Can you also draw the ability from that Diva?”

Liz Liza sensei asked about a topic that really had no relation at all with the topic until now.

Lemegeton materialized besides Kazuki.

She was a completely nude little girl the first time she appeared in front of Kazuki, but as her power returned little by little, her stature has already grew to about an elementary student’s size, and a one-piece tunic covered her body.

With Leme regaining her power due to Kazuki’s friendlier relations with various girls, her original form was also slowly returning. It was a wonder what kind of form her original appearance was as a Diva.

“With Divas other than Solomon’s 72 Pillars, as long as the other party has the will to cooperate with Leme, then Leme can draw that Diva’s characteristic magic you know-. However, it’s a considerably rare case for such Divas of other mythologies to cooperate with Leme though-. Fundamentally, the relations between mythologies are running counter with each other.”

“Hmm, is that so?”

While looking down, Liz Liza-sensei whispered ‘Is there any worth in testing this…’

Testing? …In Japan, contracting with Divas other than Solomon’s 72 Pillars was illegal. There should be no chance of getting along with illegal magicians, but…

“Understood. It’s okay for you to go back now.” Liz Liza-sensei waved her hand like she was chasing Kazuki out.

An unexpected character was waiting for Kazuki when he came out of the staff room.

“Kazuki, did you mess up something that required you getting called by sensei? …mugu.”

Because of her small build, Kazuki didn’t see her, and that character’s face collided with Kazuki’s chest and leaked that ‘mugu’ voice. Even though that kind of voice was still said coolly…

“Hiakari-san!? …Are you okay?”

Kazuki supported the girl’s shoulder in panic, though the girl said “I’m fine” and shook off his hand.

“Rather than that, please don’t ignore my question. Why were you called?”

“Aaa——that was… Because of the failed quest yesterday, Liz Liza-sensei came to give a warning that if our evaluation keeps declining like this, it will be serious trouble. It’s because I’m an E rank you see.”

Kazuki immediately explained while avoiding Mio’s matter. Koyuki’s expression ‘mu’ became stiff hearing that.

“…It’s unreasonable isn’t it? Kazuki had won in a duel against an A rank, so failing a quest just once shouldn’t make your evaluation drop.”

“Is Hiakari-san worried about my problem?”

When Kazuki started heading to the Witch’s Mansion, the girl also walked alongside him.

“It’s not that. It’s not worry or anything. I don’t care whatever happened to you. It’s just, I wanted to give my thanks where there is nobody else… If it’s not now, whether it be Amasaki-san, or the president, or little sister-san, somebody will be around you.”

The girl said thank you and bowed her head.

“…By any chance, is it about the slime’s attribute during yesterday’s quest?”

“Yes. Thanks to that I could successfully complete the quest. If not for Kazuki’s advice, I’d have lost my composure when I found out about the blue slime’s resistance to cold and might have fallen into a predicament.”

Yesterday’s quest was about holding back the encroachment of the Haunting Ground in western Tokyo’s forest.

Koyuki annihilating all the Demon Beasts that lived in that Haunted Ground——did not happen, it seems exterminating one area of the Demon Beasts and liberating the area part by part was already considered as a success.

If there were no Demon Beasts in the Haunted Ground, then the plot of land would return to how it was originally. Poisonous plants grew densely and that Haunted Ground became marshland, but if the Demon Beasts were all gone then it should return back to the original forest.

“But how did Hiakari-san defeat the slime that had strong resistance against ice Summoning Magic?”

“My contracted Diva, Vepar, rules over cold and water. I suffocated it to death by water magic.”

“…Eh? Do slimes need to breath? Was it foaming inside the water?”

“I tested it while half in doubt… but it died. I don’t think it had an organ for breathing like a mouth or lung, so perhaps it breathes by using the surface of the cell. And then it was a living thing that resided on land, so I thought that it didn’t have any structure to take oxygen from the water. Just like an earthworm that can breath through its skin inside the earth, but it died by suffocation on the asphalt.”

If you think about it, as long as it was a living thing, except in a few cases, then it should need oxygen for its activity. Even though the Demon Beasts were the residents of a fantasy world, there were many things that had similar motif with the real world, like dragons that closely resembled a lizard.

Demon Beasts’ ecology and traits were still not understood.

But when we challenge quests from now on, there was no doubt that we would need to observe unknown Demon Beasts calmly and experiment with various elements, magic, and fighting styles.

Mio and I couldn’t do that——the girl in front of me could.

“…As I thought Hiakari-san, won’t you join our party?”

Koyuki sullenly knitted her eyebrows toward Kazuki’s proposal.

“Because you failed the quest and fell into a pinch, you want me to lend you some help?”

“Sorry, frankly I’m weak. Besides, this time Hiakari-san was mostly okay, but even so, going solo is dangerous. I think it’s better to team up with someone even if not with us.”

“Weak? You are not weak. Rather isn’t it Amasaki-san, who lost in a duel against you, that is weak? For example… as it is that girl will be demoted to rank B, won’t she?”

Koyuki took a deep breath and spoke, which startled Kazuki, like she had seen through everything.

“I think if I join you two because you are the one that is in danger, then Amasaki-san will be able to accept it, but if it’s because she herself that is in danger then… I think she will reject it resolutely you know. She has a lot of pride, and she also hates me.”

“Certainly that girl has a lot of pride, but… she doesn’t hate you, you know.”

“She really hates me though. She opposes me in every single thing.”

“That’s not it, Mio said ‘I don’t want a strange guy added to the party!’. In short that means, if it’s not a strange person then it’s okay to add them to the party, and since Hiakari-san is not a strange person, it’s all okay!”

“…What the heck was that? That logic you gave was really pushing it. I am a plenty strange girl.”

“Hiakari-san is not someone strange at all. You are an extremely kind person, aren’t you? When I was made fun of during the class introduction because I said that my special skill was swordsmanship, you said that the sword is not worthless and gave me some encouragement. Those few words really saved me. Even when I was friendless in the class, only you were impartial regarding me. you are a girl that is fair and hates discrimination and bullying. I feel respect towards that kindness and strength.”

“Wha——what are you saying…”

Koyuki’s expressionless face became stiff, and Kazuki started to talk passionately while tightly gripping his fist.

“Besides that, you also have calm judgement, and there were already many times when Hiakari-san saved me from a tight spot. Kind, strong, and cool, there is no way a girl this reliable exists.”

“That is… my only worth involves magic battles, that’s why…”

“Hiakari-san is too humble, saying that kind of thing so quickly. But every time I was doing some housework, Hiakari-san always watched me patiently and said ‘Thank you’ honestly. Even though Hiakari-san disliked it when I invited you to do the housework together. For me, every time I did some housework, I was thinking that I want to see Hiakari-san’s delight. Hiakari-san shows a cold attitude, but in truth you are a warm person.”

“Tha——that was because of my incompetence, that I gave you some trouble so…”

Hiakari-san blushed red as she looked downward. A heart mark flew from her chest.

“…Certainly Hiakari-san is unsociable, so maybe there are some misunderstandings with the surrounding people. However, I’m absolutely not overlooking Hiakari-san’s charms! If Mio doesn’t notice Hiakari-san’s charm, then I will keep talking to her to make her understand how good a person Hiakari-san is!! Yosh, I’ll immediately start the campaign to show Hiakari-san’s charm from now on!!”

“…Ple——please stop. Don’t campaign like that!”

Koyuki gripped and pulled back Kazuki’s sleeve and her voice rose, which was unusual for her. A small skull mark that look like a speck floated from her chest. That was a proof that her positivity level dropped a little.

Koyuki released ‘haa’ a long breath, and said “What a person, that can’t be helped huh.”

“Are you an idiot? That talk just now, if you said that to Amasaki-san it would have an opposite effect you know.”

“Why? I thought that Mio would properly understand Hiakari-san’s charm though.”

“She wouldn’t want to hear that kind of thing from your mouth… you really are a person that doesn’t understand a girl’s heart. Somehow it makes me angry…”

In the mean time they had arrived at the Witch’s mansion and stopped in the garden.

The door opened, and Mio came flying out from the living room.

“Kazuki! Welcome home, where did you go just now… eh, Hiakari…!”

When she noticed Koyuki beside Kazuki, Mio quickly stopped and glared at Koyuki.

Toward that look, with a disinterested voice Koyuki announced.

“Amasaki Mio, I challenge you to a duel.”

Kazuki and Mio froze because of those unexpected words. They didn’t understand what that meant.

“You, who lost a duel against a rank E and exposed unsightly, disgraceful behavior during a quest will be demoted to rank B if you keep this up. If that happens then you won’t be able to stay here.”

“I, I will be B rank!? And then… from this place…”

“Hiakari-san! Why are you saying that!?”

Kazuki, whose complexion changed, pressed the question, but Koyuki suddenly glared back at Kazuki.

“I refused your invitation, it was troublesome. Annoying. Besides… Besides if the person herself didn’t have any real ability and she got dropped into a suitable rank, isn’t that for her own good? A person without any real strength that keeps insisting she is a rank A is unsightly. I will hand the requiem to such a person.”

Koyuki announced to Mio, who was still frozen in shock, with an absolute zero gaze.

“…Amasaki Mio. If you lose to me then you will be demoted to rank B immediately. So, will you accept my duel challenge? …I don’t mind even if you turn tail and run though.”

In a flash, Mio’s prideful expression turned red with rage.

“There… There is no way that I’ll run, right!? Before, it was the rank E Kazuki who challenged me to a duel, and now it is you who is challenging me… Bring it on!”

Far from turning tail, Mio pointed her finger at Koyuki with her twintails shaking.

“I’ll finish you quick and easy, and prove that I am an appropriate A rank for sure!!”

Certainly if Mio fought equally or more against Koyuki whose rank was A, Mio might be able to prove that demotion to rank B is not appropriate for her. However…

“Please wait, calm down! If you lose you won’t be able to stay here you know!?”

“Shut up, Kazuki!”

“…Then please wait outside. I’ll call senpai and sensei so that they can become the witnesses needed for the duel.”

Koyuki slipped from the side of Mio, whose blood had risen to her head, and climbed the stairs.

“…Kaguya-senpai, why did you acknowledge this kind of duel?”

The students of Knight Academy could perform duels under the presence of the student council.

A duel was a mock battle performed under a safe rule where if each other’s magic power were shaved until zero then the attacks were stopped. Acknowledgement was needed from the student council president for the execution of the duel.

The student council president of Magic Division(Magika)—— Kaguya-senpai, if it was her I thought she would stop this quarrel.

“Nnn… because when I heard the circumstance, I thought this was for the best?”

“So you think that using the principle of strength to decide right and wrong is the best… right?”

Fundamentally senpai was kind, but she also had an aspect where she was a person with a strict principle of strength.

“That’s not it… maa, let’s just see what will happen, ok? Come on, it’s starting.”

Kaguya-senpai pointed at the center of the ground. Over there were—— Mio and Koyuki facing each other with a distance of 50 meters between them according to the custom. The referee standing between them was Hoshikaze-senpai.

Kazuki, Liz Liza-sensei, and others were attending in the guest seats that surrounded the ground.

“…Amasaki Mio had made up her mind, huh. But to show whether she has the strength as a rank A or not, certainly this is the easiest setup to understand that.”

That was what sensei said. Because this duel was performed so suddenly, there were no other curious students that were watching.

“I know thy name(Shem ha-Mephorash) (AN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shemhamphorasch) …Thy name is [Phoenix] …Namely a poet, transform into a magician! Poetic bird toying with logic with its sweet tongue, show thy strength in accordance with my life!”

“I know thy name(Shem ha-Mephorash) …Thy name is [Vepar] …Mermaid singer imparting icy thoughts, shed drops of tears of sadness in this world.”

Both of them performed Astrum Connection(Access) at the same time. Mio was wrapped with an orange magic power’s light while the wing stigmata floated up on her back, her figure materialized a red magic dress.

Koyuki was emitting blue light while scale shaped stigmata floated up on both her thighs, her body was wrapped in a white magic dress. Kazuki’s breath was taken away, he was instinctively pressured by the figures of the two confronting each other.

——Duel of fellow Magika Stigma. If he thought about it, this was the first time Kazuki watched this kind of thing.

Their specialties respectively were, flame magic used by Mio, and ice magic used by Koyuki.

“Well then… Begin!” With that cry, Hoshikaze-senpai pulled the trigger for the start of the duel.

Both Mio and Koyuki emitted their magic power’s light at the same time and began the chanting of a spell.

The one who finished her chant first was—— Koyuki. An avatar of a mermaid floated on her back.

“Glacier Wind!”

Chilly winds blew across the fifty meter distance. Mio who was concentrating on her spell’s chant couldn’t defend against that, but her defensive magic power protected her body from the chill.

Defensive magic power—— the body couldn’t be inflicted with injury, but in exchange a large amount of magic power was exhausted.

However, Mio’s concentration was not interrupted, and she retaliated with her magic one move later.

“…Barrett!!”

This time Koyuki was hit by the familiar bullet of flame. The blue light of the defensive magic power scattered around Koyuki as well.

“First was confirming each other’s chanting speed using the level 1 offense summoning magic. If it were swordsmen, then it’s like confirming each other’s range. …The fight will start from here.”

Kaguya-senpai whispered from Kazuki’s side.

Koyuki’s side was faster in spell chanting speed. In other words—— the receiver side would be Mio.

“Kuh. …Burn out all that were touched. …No person to depend on, scorching heat of denial! Self Burning(Repelling Flame Armor)!”

Mio first solidified her defense and chanted defense magic. Her whole body was covered with a flame armor.

To activate a spell, first the magician needed to request for the magic phenomenon from the Diva in Astrum using imperative statement(Programming).

Because the target of defense magic like Self Burning was their own body, the time needed to transmit the coordinate designation(Targeting) to the Diva could be omitted, thus, the spell could be invoked quickly.

“…Divine protection of mermaid, halt the advance of the hateful enemy, expedite the advance of the chosen person… Run oh ice blade! Moves in the Field(Skating Rink Grand Dancing)!”

magika_no_kenshi_to_shoukan_maou_vol-02_034

Koyuki also finished chanting her spell—— cold air was starting to spread from under the girl’s foot and, in the blink of an eye, the ground had been frozen. Mio carelessly tried to move and her foot slipped.

On the other hand, by using cold air Koyuki created ice shoes with edges attached on both her feet similar to skating shoes, she sped up and slid across the fifty meter distance in one go.

“Does Hiakari-san plan to enter close combat!?”

As might be expected from someone who fights solo, it seems her Vepar was an all-purpose Diva.

Koyuki approached Mio who couldn’t move her body and performed a dance-like jump. ——Her visible white leotard coupled with her magic dress, it was as though the performance of a figure skater had begun.

And then while Koyuki spun in the air, a sharp kick using the edges of the ice shoes visited Mio. The slash of the sharp ice managed to pierce the flame armor.

However the instant Koyuki’s kick landed, Mio concentrated the fire that enveloped her whole body to one spot using psychokinesis. Koyuki’s kick was unexpectedly swallowed inside the fiercely growing fire.

The ice shoes evaporated inside the highly concentrated flames, making Koyuki’s kick powerless.

“——!?” Koyuki’s eyes opened in surprise because of the practical skill Mio had shown using common magic.

And then the moment Koyuki put icing on her foot again——Mio read that timing and shifted to attack.

“Fire Wall(Flame Emperor Founding)!”

Fissures ran along the ground that Koyuki froze under her feet, and from there flames blew up.

“Singing voice of mermaid, manifest the frozen thought! Sorrow turn into ice flower, solitude turn into light snow… cover the world in cold nothingness!! White Album(Silent Pure White)!!”

However, Koyuki too was already chanting a different large-scale spell as she skated on the iced surface.

Koyuki’s and Mio’s surroundings were repainted with a different kind of space. It became the world of a winter blizzard.

In the area covered with the cold——the flame wall that blew up from under Koyuki, the flame armor covering Mio’s whole body, everything was banished by the cold.

The alternate space that Koyuki produced had also used up its energy, and the surrounding returned to the normal space.

But an ice shoe was still on one of Koyuki’s feet.

“Fuh!” Using a surprisingly beautiful form, Koyuki released a high kick that hunted for the neck. Drawing a silver line resembling an Iai (AN: Art of high-speed sword drawing)’s slash, the ice edge ripped apart Mio’s magic power.

A splendid arching kick pursued Mio who staggered powerlessly from the impact of her smashed magic power.

“Miooo!!”

“Otouto-kun, so you lost your cool if it was about Mio-chan, huh… I might be a little jealous.”

Kaguya-senpai smiled bitterly beside Kazuki.

“You see, even while Mio-chan was taking damage, she still continued to chant a different spell.”

Kazuki sharpened his senses and finally saw. Mio, who looked like she was at her wit’s end from the kick… from her, waves of magic power could certainly be felt. And then—— an explosion happened all of sudden.

“Maybe Otouto-kun values Mio-chan so much that you underestimate her. You consider her as someone you have to protect at all costs… certainly, Koyuki-chan is superior with the amount of her innate magic power, but even with that, both of them are—— equal.”

“Immortal bird soaring from dusk to dawn, grant that wing of hope on my back! Destruction for the sake of rebirth, here! Blazing Wings(Ash Ember Ending in Crimson Wing)!”

Mio chanted the spell in a dignified voice. …Phoenix’s level 5 summoning magic!

An enormous flame sprouted from Mio’s back, and transformed into wings of flame with a width of ten-odd meters.

Mio slammed those wings toward Koyuki, as this time it was her turn to attack.

However, while her body received the impact of the enormous amount of fire, Koyuki also carried out a spell chant of a high level magic.

“…Sinking hundred of ships, the menace of sea, lurking inside the depths of the sea! Rising to the surface guided by my singing voice… show that whole tale! …Pierce through, oh fangs! Ice Buster(Iceberg Grand Waves)!!”

Koyuki slammed her palm onto the ground—— from there a great number of icebergs flew out.

The emerging icebergs soared fiercely into the sky towards the flying Mio in order to skewer her. Mio slammed her flame wings to oppose one of the icebergs assaulting her.

Large scale destruction magics crashed into each other, flame and ice offseted each other mutually.

“Mio-chan is really skilled at manipulating magic power from Astrum you know. If she falls into a pinch she is able to draw out a large amount of magic from Astrum.”

The alternate world connected from the depth of the mental world—— Astru. Enormous magic power at the root of a human’s mind rolled in a whirlpool inside that world.

When a human’s magic power reached the bottom, the person’s mind could access Astrum and draw magic power from there. However if someone carelessly drew magic power from Astrum, that human’s mind would be the one that was pulled into Astrum, and there would be a risk of fainting. That state was called <Magic Intoxication>.

“In a pinch, Mio-chan can unconsciously pull and use a large amount of magic power that will make normal people faint into magic intoxication. When she is cornered to the brink she becomes strong, using abnormal, utter gutsiness. This is one kind of talent that won’t even lose to Koyuki-chan, see.”

“Now that senpai mentioned it… I’ve never seen her faint because of magic intoxication.”

“Koyuki-chan’s Ice Buster is a level 6 magic. Mio-chan should lose if she clashed from the front. However even now… Mio-chan is still chanting her spell!”

Mio’s flame wings kept weakening because it was losing to the glaciers that kept coming one after another.

“Blazing… Wings!”

However with a strained voice, Mio chanted the spell once more. Two consecutive level 5 magics!

The regenerated wings of flame were tiding over against the glaciers, and on the contrary it even pushed back the glaciers.

Even against an elf like Koyuki, who should have extraordinary magic power, gradually the bottom was starting to become visible, finally——

“It’s over!” The referee, Hoshikaze-senpai, stopped the battle.

For the safety in the duel, the duel would be stopped when the magic power was depleted to the point where it reached critical section.

Both of them had used up all of their energy and willpower at the same time. Koyuki sat on the ground, and Mio too fell down and squatted from the exhaustion. Both of their magic dresses released light and returned back to their uniforms.

“It won’t have any persuasion power if she is demoted after showing such a high level battle to this point, huh.”

Liz Liza-sensei, who was spectating silently until now, whispered with a sigh.

“In the case of a draw, the evaluation of the side with the lower rank will be upped slightly. Hiakari Koyuki is the top of her grade, so in this case Amasaki Mio’s evaluation will be upped. …Hiakari, you didn’t go easy on your opponent deliberately right?”

“…With Amasaki-san as the opponent… there wouldn’t be any room for that…”

Koyuki, who was sitting down, said that looking completely exhausted.

“…Everyone… overestimated me too much because I’m an elf…”

“Fun. With this Amasaki will keep her rank for a while, but as long she can’t clear a quest, this is no more than a stopgap measure.”

Leaving those words behind, Liz Liza-sensei went back in the direction of the school building.

“Mio!” Kazuki, who heard Liz Liza-sensei’s words, rushed over to Mio who was crouching down and breathing roughly, looking like she had just finished a marathon.

Even while totally exhausted, Mio fought to the bitter end to put on a smiling face and showed a V-sign to Kazuki.


 

Part 5

After dinner Kazuki knocked on Koyuki’s door.

“Please come in.” With that permission, Kazuki opened the door with a little nervousness.

What was before his eyes were——bookshelves.

“…This room looks completely like a library, huh.”

The smell of books pierced the nose. There was no element of a girl’s atmosphere at all, and what were inside were only bookshelves made from steel, that could be stowed with books both in the front and in the back. In the room, aside from a bed and a desk, there were only bookshelves lined up in an orderly fashion.

“There is always time to read books, anyway.”

Between the gap of the bookshelves, Koyuki could be seen sitting on her bed wearing her usual underwear along with a white shirt. An old rabbit stuffed toy was propped up beside the bed. That was the only color scheme in this room.

“…That appearance again as I expected. I don’t know where to put my eyes though…”

Kazuki’s eyes kept getting attracted to the gap between the shirt’s hem and shirttail. Glimpses of white clothes and a girl’s legs kept appearing and disappearing, but he raised his line of sight with strong willpower and stared at the girl’s face.

“I don’t want to change my lifestyle just for the sake of your eyes’ convenience.”

“——If that’s the case, I’ll watch Hiakari-san as much as I want then.”

Kazuki said that to try to bully her, even though he actually didn’t have the intention of watching for real. Koyuki was startled because of that.

“Why… why would you do that? Anyway, there is nothing worth seeing in the body of someone like me.”

“Haven’t I said it many times before that Hiakari-san is beautiful. I’m going to push you down soon you know.”

“You don’t have that kind of courage right? Even though you have Amasaki-san.”

…Why did she mention Mio there?

Koyuki closed her thighs while fidgeting, and then “What kind of business do you have?”, glared at Kazuki scornfully.

“Hiakari-san was… regarding today’s duel, did you know from the beginning that it would turn out like that?”

“You too are saying that I was going easy in that fight, is that so?”

“Even if Hiakari-san was not going easy during that duel, but if two people with equal ability dueled against each other, then it would naturally become a draw. If that happened, then Mio would keep her rank. Because Hiakari-san thought that, that’s why Hiakari-san challenged Mio to a duel, am I right?”

“I didn’t think anything like that at all. I just wanted to hand Amasaki-san her requiem because your invitation was annoying, that’s all.”

“When Hiakari-san requested the duel, I was panicked because I didn’t know what you were thinking, but… certainly rather than challenging the quest once more, the possibility that Mio could keep her rank was higher if both Hiakari-san and Mio battled each other. I realized this after the duel finished.”

“I didn’t think anything like that at all. I just wanted to hand down that girl’s requiem because it was annoying how much you and her flirted in the mansion, that’s all.”

“Thank you Hiakari-san. As I thought, Hiakari-san is a cool, kind, and reliable person.”

“…Please listen when people talk. I’m getting angry you know.”

“But on top of that I also have a request… in any event Hiakari-san has to join our party.”

If the girl really acted for Mio’s sake, then, as expected, I want to fight together with her and become comrades. That was what Kazuki thought.

“I don’t want to. …I don’t want to have any illicit relation in the place of battle. I hate a party like yours and Amasaki-san’s where you two keep flirting.”

“Be-before too Hiakari-san mentioned flirting, but I never flirted with her before!”

“I know that. If I’m going to party with someone, then I expect to have a mercenary relationship.”

“I think I can understand that kind of sentiment, but isn’t it lonely to fight like that without any rapport with your comrade? You can’t even encourage each other in difficult times with that kind of relationship.”

“Searching for something like the contact of feelings in a battle is strange. If you have that kind of wish, then get someone else other than me…”

“I want to join parties with Hiakari-san, and then get along better with Hiakari-san.”

Toward Kazuki’s proclamation——Koyuki averted her face like she was running away from that straightforward gaze.

“…I hate it, frankly saying things like that!”

Despite saying how she disliked that kind of thing, a heart mark floated from Koyuki’s chest and was absorbed into the ring. The girl’s positivity level was raised up to 48.

As expected, the girl’s heart and words were always contradictory.

“…Even though she was doing nothing but flirting with you, today’s Amasaki-san was strong. Where does that kind of willpower come from? I’m looking at her in a new light, but just a little.”

“It’s not flirting. It’s precisely because we are together that we also become stronger.”

Toward that, Koyuki didn’t give any reply and ignored Kazuki altogether, she crawled into her futon.

“In any case I refuse to party with you. Please leave the room already.”

While turning her back to Kazuki, Koyuki hugged her rabbit stuffed toy inside the futon.

“…If you become friendlier with various girls, then the problem with your lack of battle tactics will also get resolved. Be more serious about the harem plan, oh my king.”

When night fell, Leme said that while entering Kazuki’s bed to sleep together at his side.

Because Leme materialized using Kazuki’s magic power, it was better if she was near Kazuki as much as possible.

It was more economical and practical if she withdrew to Astrum. However, as a girl, it seemed having a real body and existing in the present world as much as possible was much more comfortable.

“But, I don’t want to get intimate with any girl without caring about who she is just for the sake of getting stronger.”

“But you are thinking that you want to get along better with Hiakari Koyuki, right?”

“Aah… that is so but…”

But this feeling was totally different from the emotion of love. It should only be a matter of friendship and affinity with each other.

Even though her positivity level had increased a little, Hiakari-san hadn’t opened her heart at all.

“——Kazuki, do you have time?”

While Kazuki closed his eyes and waited for the arrival of sleepiness, Mio’s voice came from the other side of the room door.

“It’s okay, but… what kind of business is it that you came at this time of night?”

“…My king, don’t make a blunder that decreases positivity level. If you do that then the usable magic will also decrease.”

After only whispering that, Leme withdrew to Astrum and her physical body disappeared.

Mio, who wore a light crimson pajama, timidly entered the dark room.

“Tonight… is it okay to sleep together?”

“Haa!?”

Kazuki spontaneously raised his voice, but without even waiting for reply, Mio quickly crawled inside the futon.

“I’ll say this first, there is no weird meaning about this! …I’ll get angry if you do strange things, okay!!”

While saying that Mio willfully pulled one of Kazuki’s arms to the place where her head was located and used it as a pillow.

The aroma of citrus fruit drifted from the honey colored hair with its twintails unfastened. The body was covered by the pajama, but the cloth was thin, and a girl’s softness could be felt from the location where their bodies touched each other. Sweet heat that tickled a man’s instinct filled the night.

“Wha, what is your intention, is this a test of my willpower as a swordsman, is that it?”

“What are you talking about? …Tonight just a little, I don’t want to sleep alone. It’s okay, right? In the past, it looks like I also took a nap together with Kazu-nii…”

Once, Kazuki was living together with Mio in an orphanage——at Nanohana institute there was time for a nap after lunch. The one that was always at Kazuki’s side during that time was Mio.

Around that time Mio was thought to be younger than Kazuki because her body was small. Her existence was completely like a little sister. Remembering that——Kazuki’s heart mysteriously calmed down.

“That’s right isn’t it? Somehow it’s a nostalgic feeling. But… has something happened?”

“…Yes. You see, for a long time since I was taken into the Amasaki household, I’ve lived without relying on anyone. …After all, I was an orphan. I couldn’t show any weakness to my new family.”

——Hearing those words, it was impossible for Kazuki to not be sympathetic.

“I’m saying this myself, but… I was training in desperation, struggling to the death. Because I was recognized for my talent of magic. On the way an enigma appeared on me and I was skipping grade, but even so I didn’t lose to my surroundings, and then I entered the magic division as an A rank…”

Kazuki was also the same. For a long time he thought that his only worth was his talent in the sword, there was a time when he couldn’t believe his step-father and Kanae’s [love as a family].

That was surely the trauma that he and Mio shared in common.

That’s why he could understand somehow——when the tension was so high he almost snapped, surely there were moments when he wanted to be spoiled. However, the time when he couldn’t show his weakness to anyone, that was a bitterness like being suffocated in the bottom of darkness.

“The truth is that today was bitter too. Being told that I will be demoted to B rank, I have a feeling that I will keep holding Kazuki back forever…”

Mio’s voice was shaking inside the darkness of the room. Her voice became tearful.

“But didn’t you prove your true strength? Both of you were strong. Sensei was surprised too.”

“Yes, when I thought that I can still stay as an A rank, that I can still stay in the Witch’s Mansion, that I can still stay together with Kazuki… suddenly I wanted to feel Kazu-nii just like those old days.”

While using Kazuki’s arm as a pillow, Mio nuzzled her face against his chest.

“That’s why just like this is okay. If you do strange things now then I’ll get angry.”

“I won’t. For me, being just like this is okay too.”

Mio was “hehehe” giggling like a child toward Kazuki’s reply.

“…Hey, from now on it’s okay to add someone else to the party if Kazuki thinks that it is essential. I don’t like if it is someone strange, but I won’t say anything selfish anymore. …As I thought, until now rather than prioritizing the battle, I was only worrying about different things. But, in exchange, lend me your arms like this once in a while. I can feel that I will be together with Kazu-nii for a long time.”

{Everyday is no good you know! If Leme’s place is going to be gone, then it’s not allowed at all!}

Leme sent her words from Astrum with telepathy in a great panic.

While Mio moved her body closer to Kazuki, her breath started to *suyasuya (AN: light breath of someone sleeping)* and she slept soundly. Mio’s face always showed displeasure immediately following their reunion, but her defenseless, sleeping face was incredibly lovely and cute.

Suddenly——’Hiakari-san, is she sleeping while holding that stuffed toy right now?’, a lonely image crossed Kazuki’s mind.


 

Part 6

The next morning. A girl’s voice resounded in the garden of the Witch’s Mansion.

“YAAAAAAAAAA!”

The number 2 of the Magic Division in real strength, Hozhikaze-senpai, was in a gym uniform and brandishing a katana that came swinging at Kazuki.

Kazuki dodged with agility, and then the girl turned the katana with a fluid motion and slashed for the second and third time. The [forms] that Hoshikaze-senpai learned were still few, but she learned those few forms perfectly.

Kazuki counter-attacked and stabbed at the gap in the middle of the flow.

Hoshikaze-senpai blocked that with her katana in a panic.

An instant of swords locking against each other——Hoshikaze-senpai forced back Kazuki’s sword straight-forwardly, but Kazuki warded off that force in a circle trajectory, and he manipulated the sword blade skillfully and strongly repelled senpai’s katana.

The moment the swords separated, with that one move, Kazuki’s posture was in the position of releasing a slash, whereas Hoshikaze-senpai’s posture was disturbed to where it was impossible to counter attack.

Freely controlling the momentum of the swords in the moment that the swords locked against each other, that was the technique of old school’s sword art.

“That technique is called [Instant Position].”

Kazuki’s katana lightly hit Hoshikaze-senpai’s forehead, which was repelled by the blue defensive magic power.

“Senpai, when locking swords, it’s no good to push directly opposite you know.”

Of course, even if it became a contest of strength Kazuki would win. In that case it was not something to teach.

“…I see! Whether Enchant Aura(Physical Reinforcement Magic) or physical strength, a genuine swordsman will absolutely surpass me in both areas. That’s why I must constantly parry my opponent’s attack. This is very important knowledge, isn’t it? Ha! It’s even more true if the enemy is a Demon Beast that boasted their strength!”

Just from one word that Kazuki said, Hoshikaze-senpai could understand ten things on her own and nodded her head repeatedly.

Everything was done with this enthusiasm, and she was a great student with tremendous quality.

Moreover, when Hoshikaze-senpai learned the form at the beginning, the form was engraved into her body only by seeing and practice swinging a little. When Kazuki showed an example, it seemed she traced that movement by aligning her consciousness with Kazuki’s using advanced telepathy. Kazuki was dumbfounded when he realized there was that kind of method.

“Keep in mind that strength is not all there is in a match… Senpai has Ride Lightning(Thunder God Body Flicker), so being defeated in close range combat should not happen.”

Ride Lightning was the characteristic magic of Baal, the Diva that Hoshikaze-senpai was contracted with. Special electric signals were sent to the whole body’s muscles and nervous system, making it possible for the body to move at lightning speed.

That’s why for the sake of using those summoning magics, senpai begged Kazuki to teach her about close quarter combat.

She only learned the fundamental movements so far, but even those basics would become terrifying if used in high speed with Ride Lightning.

“I’m glad that I became your apprentice! Honestly saying, until I met you, somewhere in my heart I was also looking down on swordsmen. But swinging swords together with you every day, I had a feeling that a new world rapidly opened up!”

Hoshikaze-senpai’s handsome yet beautiful face suddenly changed into one with a smile. She was a senpai that looked like a prince and was popular with students of the same gender, but it was also impossible for Kazuki to not be attracted towards her character.

“Moreover, your way of teaching is kind. Somehow getting knocked down on the palm was a happy thing. You’re not savage at all, so… Even though you are a man, I want to know you more, through this sword lessons.”

As senpai said that with an ecstatic tone, a heart mark floated up from her chest.

“…I was like you for a long time, I was wishing for a friend of the [same gender]!”

“No, please wait a little senpai. Senpai and I are not the same gender.”

“That is true but… however, I am, see, somehow my appearance looks like a boy, doesn’t it? The behavior of the girls around me somehow are… a little strange. I’m happy receiving adoration from them, but that is quite lonely. But if it’s with you, then I feel that we can immediately face each other as friends!”

“Of, of course! I don’t have any idea other than friendship!”

“Thank you, I’m happy! …Oops, eh?”

Hoshikaze-senpai’s feet staggered while laughing. She didn’t realize it when she reinforced her body with magic power, but when she relaxed her attention, unexpectedly there was fatigue piling up.

“Are you okay senpai?” Kazuki immediately supported her shoulder.

Hoshikaze-senpai instantly trembled. ——This senpai, the truth was that she was not good with boys.

She was mostly used to dialogue face to face, but… it seems she was bad when getting touched.

Senpai ‘Hyaa!’ raised a shrill and a nervous voice and pushed away Kazuki who was getting closer.

Kazuki staggered because of that surprise attack. It was hard to predict a reflexive action.

“Ah… sorry! You okay!?”

This time it was Hoshikaze-senpai’s turn that reflexively supported Kazuki, and she pulled Kazuki close with good momentum.

But she did that with too much force, senpai staggered backward while closely embracing Kazuki.

Both of them staggered around while in the position of embracing——for a while it looked like a complicated exchange of energy like when they were locking swords, but in the end both of them tumbled down onto the lawn.

Blue light of defensive magic power burst out. Thanks to it there was no pain.

Kazuki was wrapped with warmth and softness. When he opened his eyes, his head was buried into Hoshikaze-senpai’s chest that was covered with gym clothes. It was soft, a sweet aroma of a girl’s sweat tickled his nose.

The gym clothes in front of his eyes were wet with sweat, and a water colored sports bra was showing through. Kazuki’s body was forcing through the spats covered legs of senpai, a posture that looked like he was completely drowned in senpai’s body.

“Ha, Hayashizaki-kun…” Hoshikaze-senpai’s face blushed bright red.

Through an act of God, it became that he pushed down a girl!

…Kazuki hopped up and separated his body. However before Kazuki could ask for forgiveness,

“So-sorry! It looks like I was trampling down on your kindness again!”

Senpai bowed her head down toward Kazuki because she thought she had done a very embarrassing thing.

“Senpai, please don’t apologize! There was no harm done anyway!!”

{Getting apologized to even though a lucky perverted event happened, what a great harem king huh, my king!}

Leme, who saw Kazuki’s situation from Astrum, sent ridiculing words to his head.

True, rather it was a good feeling… stop, having such wicked thoughts like that towards senpai was no good!

Senpai’s pupils were blurred with tears of self-condemnation though.

“I’m really sorry… Despite my intention to rely on you in my mind, but when a man approached I got surprised. …Am I disqualified as your friend…? Please don’t hate me because of…”

Those eyes were not like a prince’s. Spontaneously they became the eyes of a girl that had to be protected.

“It’s fine senpai! The unshakeable friendship between me and senpai won’t be destroyed by something like this!”

“Unshakeable friendship! …Hayashizaki-kun, you really say it that much! I like it very much!!”

Hoshikaze-senpai grasped Kazuki’s hands in deep emotion.

But even though it was the case that Hoshikaze-senpai grasped Kazuki’s hand because she was overcome with emotion, she gradually started to feel scared of the fact that she was grasping the hand of a man. However, she trembled so much, that she couldn’t even separate her hand by herself.

“Senpai, please don’t force yourself.”

Kazuki separated their hand with a bitter smile. This senpai was really a person that moved without thinking first.

“For-forgive me. Why did I become like this? …Haa. I wish that someday you and me can do a hot-blooded hug of friendship between men and ascertain our friendship with each other.”

“…Normally, there is no hugging in friendship between men you know.”

“Eh? In my favourite manga, they hugged each other while their faces got closer, and then they mutually whispered in each other’s ears ‘I love you’ and bit the earlobes of their partner though? I didn’t really understand, but it made my heart beat faster you see.”

…That was not friendship, but boys love wasn’t it!?

“I want to get along better with you however. Just like that you seee…”

The positivity level of Hoshikaze-senpai that leaked such honest and dangerous words was——39.

It was only 39. Heart marks often flew out from Hoshikaze-senpai, but the amount the score raised up each time was strangely low. Moreover, sometimes the score decreased by itself even when Kazuki was not doing anything.

{It is because of her man phobia. The points decreasing arbitrarily as well, it was because even though she doesn’t hate you, she is also wondering whether it’s okay to like you. Her positivity level is restrained by her feeling of guilt.}

Leme was giving an explanation inside Kazuki’s mind. To get along better with senpai… not just simply raising her positivity level, her phobia of men must also be conquered, was that it?

But the more Kazuki knew about the matter of this person, the more he wanted to get along well with her.

That moment——suddenly, a voice that seemed to ridicule the situation came out from the bush behind.

“——Fufufu, it’s not a mere child’s play to get along with Kazuki-dono of all people.”

“…Who is it?”

When Kazuki turned back, the figure of a female student appeared from inside the bush.

——She is not a normal person. That was what Kazuki felt. The figure that appeared, when she walked, her head didn’t shake up and down at all. That’s because her footwork moved like she was sliding, the characteristic of an ancient school of martial arts.

Regardless that this was the site of the Magic Division, the girl brazenly wore the Sword Division’s uniform.

It was rare for a swordswoman with long hair to keep their hair extending free and not braiding them instead. A daring smile floated on her lips, and the majestic atmosphere around her had the taste of the coexistence of calmness and wildness.

Drawing the eyes even further——there were three different swords tied on each side of her hips, and on her back she bore an oodachi(large war sword). Seven swords in total. …What kind of swordsman is she?

“If you accompany her playing around like that, your precious skill will grow dull, Kazuki-dono.”

While walking to Kazuki’s side, the swordswoman threw a laugh toward Hoshikaze-senpai’s special training.

“As I thought, I’m only bothering you, am I? …Sorry, Hayashizaki-kun.”

“That’s not true, please don’t be downhearted senpai! …And you are?”

“The name of one’s self is Hikita Kohaku… The next year’s student council president of the Sword Division!”

…Somehow this manner of speaking felt like déjà vu. Is this the swordsman version of Mio?

“The department is different, but are you also a first year like me?”

Kohaku faced Kazuki and politely bobbed her head down.

“I am Hoshikaze Hikaru. Second year in the Magic Division.”

Hoshikaze-senpai also gave a self-introduction… but Kohaku didn’t seem to give Hoshikaze-senpai any consideration, ignoring her and only poured her gaze on Kazuki.

Kazuki knitted his eyebrows. People in Sword Division that still held animosity against the Magic Division existed, this girl might be one of them.

She perfectly ignored Hoshikaze-senpai——but rather than getting angry, Hoshikaze-senpai laughed mischievously instead.

And then she encircled around to Kohaku’s back and raised her katana overhead.

Kazuki was shocked. Kaguya-senpai said it before, but Hoshikaze-senpai had a strange kind of playfulness.

Hoshikaze-senpai swung down a single stroke in a complete surprise attack.

That instant——Kohaku perceived the killing intent and turned around while unsheathing a katana.

“Foolish thing-!” ——While shouting she drew her sword as she turned around.

Hoshikaze-senpai had already swung down her katana, that was why someone with average skill couldn’t possibly make it in time. However with blue light of an Enchant Aura condensed into Kohaku’s arm, it produced staggering acceleration.

‘GIIIIN!’ A loud reverberation rang out, Hoshikaze-senpai’s surprise attack was repelled with a single stroke that should be called god speed. Kohaku immediately fixed her grip of the katana she already drew with both hands, turned the blade and swung it down. ——A perfect example of two stage Iai sword-drawing.

Hoshikaze-senpai barely stopped Kohaku’s katana closely above her head.

“…If a child tries to measure his strength against a tiger, he will die.”

Hoshikaze-senpai stared in wonder towards the point of the sword she barely stopped, “I underestimated you!” then she sheathed her katana and clapped her hand. Kohaku’s mood became better toward the honest praise of Hoshikaze-senpai, then she turned back toward Kazuki with a proud expression.

“…Though in relation to Iai sword-drawing, one’s self still cannot compare with Kazuki-dono.”

“No, I saw that your skill was not average though… So, what kind of business do you have with me?”

That sword drawing technique, she wouldn’t be able to achieve that kind of speed if she was not honing her body in sword discipline for most of her life. What kind of business did that kind of girl had to have come into the Magic Division’s site expressly?

Don’t tell me that it is to challenge me for a duel…

“Kazuki-dono… I request you to [marry (AN: You read this kekkon in japanese)] me!”

“Please pardon me, currently I’m already sick and tired of [duel (AN: Read as kettou in Japanese, sound quite similar with kekkon.)]!”

“You are already tired of marriage!? Kazuki-dono already has a history of divorce at this age!? How licentious…!!”

Kohaku was taken aback with utter astonishment, watching that Kazuki ‘eh?’ tilted his neck.

“What are you saying, licentious how?”

“Hayashizaki-kun, it is a misunderstanding because you heard wrong. What this girl said was marriage you know.”

Hoshikaze-senpai corrected the confused Kazuki’s misunderstanding from the side. …Marriage?

“Wai——wait a minute! That is strange right!? We had just now encountered each other, so how could it turned into a marriage proposal so suddenly!?”

“Whether it is marriage or the first meeting, there is no relation between those two.”

‘DO-ON!’ Kohaku declared with great pomp.

“Of course there are! Normally there are relations between those two in the extreme!! What were you saying so boldly!?”

“Rather than that kind of thing, more importantly… With our marriage the Shinkage-style succeeded by the Hikita household and the Hayashizaki-style that was succeeded by Hayashizaki-dono will be unified. With the unification of those two styles, the strongest school of sword-style will be born!”

“————The strongest sword-style? You want to marry for the sake of strengthening the sword-style, is that it?”

“Quite so. Both of ourselves (AN: If anyone want to edit Kohaku’s speech, keep in mind that her way of talking is quite archaic and polite.) inherited ancient schools of sword-style used in real battle that are almost extinct in the present Japan. It can be said that it is our duty as the successors to advance this precious art, couldn’t it?”

What the… To suddenly be proposed out of nowhere, for that kind of reason.

magika_no_kenshi_to_shoukan_maou_vol-02_055

Hikita household’s Shinkage-style——I had heard that name. If I remember correctly it was an ancient sword-style handed down in Kyushu.

Kazuki had faced a lot of schools since his period of childhood, but he didn’t have any experience against schools from such a distant place like this Shinkage-style.

To what extent did the real strength of this style reach ———— an eagerness to test it surged out inside. However,

“I can understand the talk about the school’s sake but… to decide a marriage partner based on that is not good. Marriage is for the sake of staying together with your truly important person for your whole life after all.”

Hoshikaze-senpai was nodding along beside Kazuki while saying “Yes, yes, just like that!”

“Prioritizing free love rather than the sword-style… Kazuki-dono is unexpectedly a modern youth.”

It’s not this side that was modern, but that side is the one that is mistaken in the present time, that was what Kazuki thought.

“Certainly Hayashizaki-style is as important as my life… However, we must not advance the path of swords at the cost of people’s happiness. If we do that, you too will be hurt for sure.”

“Hmm… If ourselves become husband and wife, one’s self doesn’t think that ourselves will become that unhappy but… if that is Kazuki-dono’s sense of values then one’s self will act in accordance with that. If one’s self will wed with Kazuki-dono, then one’s self needs to go through the wall of free love! That is a field that one’s self is poor at, but there is nothing to be done other that!”

“Eh, you don’t have any intention to give up?”

Kohaku gazed at Kazuki with eyes that looked like burning flames resided within. Even though those were not words that didn’t seem like a girl, she said it sharply enough that it was engraved deep inside with a determined look.

{My King, there is no point even if you get along well with a woman that was not a Magika Stigma you know.}

Leme’s voice echoed inside his head… This Diva, whispering into his head while calculating each and every thing. Of course I don’t have any intention at all to have a love relationship with this girl though.

“Well then Kazuki-dono, setting aside the marriage how about forming a party with me?”

“Party? You mean a party for participating in a quest?”

“Correct. From the story I had heard, even though Kazuki-dono had formed party in Magic Division but you failed your quest. Rather than staying in that kind of party, won’t it be better to enter one’s self party instead? One’s self doesn’t want to adhere to Heaven and Earth Formation, but one’s self desires to form a [swordsman only party].”

Ignoring Heaven and Earth Formation, a swordsman only party!?

“Hey wait, Sword Division students cannot challenge a quest by themselves though?”

Hoshikaze-senpai interjected from the side of the surprised Kazuki.

The students of the knight academy can challenge a quest through the reception desk called the Guild. However a party must have satisfied a certain requirement before undertaking a quest.

That requirement was——the party must include a Magika Stigma.

“Affirmative, just as you say. Therefore one’s self party still cannot challenge an actual quest. That is where the [Magic Division Swordsman], Hayashizaki-dono’s assistance will be imperative!”

“————In short I am not needed as a Magika Stigma, but you need my title as Magic Division while I myself am a swordsman, is it?”

That was a really rude way of talking. However Kohaku continued calmly.

“Affirmative. Even though all will be well as long there is a Magic Division student in the party, but one’s self doesn’t want to recognize a human being that doesn’t follow the same path of the sword as a comrade. If Hayashizaki-dono is added into ourselves’ party, I wish yourself won’t use summoning magic at all. If ourselves can produce an accomplishment like that, surely it will become proof of a swordsman’s true strength!”

“Why are you so fixated to raise accomplishments with only swordsmen that much? Even if you don’t force yourself like that, the true strength of a swordsman currently is in the process of being recognized, isn’t it?”

Because of the incidents that happened in sequence since Kazuki enrolled a few weeks ago, the true strength of a swordsman was re-evaluated and the distance of the Magic Division and the Sword Division had immediately shrunk.

Both the student council of the Magic Division and the Sword Division had combined their strength and formed the Student Council Party and [That is the strongest right?] became the topic inside the academy. The progress kept going, and parties that combined the strength of the Magic Division and the Sword Division continued to increase.

Of course, Magic Division students that were still looking down on swordsmen were still not few, however————.

“Certainly the attitude of the Magic Division’s students toward the Sword Division’s students has improved, but there is still a lot of inequality remaining in this Knight Academy. Even though this has not yet been improved, and yet they happily shake their tail, the other side has become conveniently domesticated hasn’t it?”

“When you said inequality, was it the matter about how a swordsman cannot challenge a quest by themselves? ————But if a party that only consisted of swordsmen encountered enemies that have resistances against slashing attacks, it’s checkmate you know.”

Kazuki had experienced that himself, for example, enemies like the slimes.

“Of course one’s self understands that. However a counter measure has already been worked out.”

————Widening the width of tactics only by using swordsmen? How?

“And then there is one more thing that is unfair to swordsmen, ownership of Sacred Treasures that swordsmen discovered is not recognized!”

Sacred Treasures——That was an item that was originally a man-made tool that contained spillover magic power from Astrum and transformed.

They were treasures that would rarely appear when searching the Haunted Grounds.

“Many of the Sacred Treasures have the form and nature of [weapons], and if a swordsman uses it then it’s possible that we can surpass Magika Stigma! However, because those Magika Stigma were scared that their position would be threatened by us swordsmen, they won’t distribute Sacred Treasures for the use of swordsmen! Of course it’s not only applied to Sword Division’s swordsmen, but even the Knight Order’s swordsmen are not allowed to use Sacred Treasures. The Sacred Treasures are only kept in storage and left to waste!”

“Utilization of Sacred Treasures is prohibited because, on top of its nature to consume magic to display its power, the possible influence caused to its user’s mind is regarded as dangerous.”

Hoshikaze-senpai explained it like that but Kohaku shook her head obstinately.

“Taking that kind of official stance even though there are no clinical experiments performed, do you think there is any persuasive power in that? If you insisted on that, then do you have any actual proof that the contract with Solomon’s 72 Pillars doesn’t have any negative influence on the mind?”

——Certainly, that kind of thing might also be possible————.

The top brass of the Knight Order had been solidified around Magika Stigma, Japan’s government and its citizens had also regarded Magika Stigma as heroes, using that view as political measures to guard the stability of the nation’s public order.

Restricting the swordsmen from using Sacred Treasures was a nation-wide conspiracy——it might not be such a wild story after all.

If it was Kaguya-senpai then [If another country used Sacred Treasures fully, and they came to attack then it will be too late for us! They are such peace idiots!] the talk will be furious.

“Thus one’s self advocated these points, acquirement of Sacred Treasures’ ownership, the treatment of swordsmen during quests, and the abolishment of various inequalities with other divisions in budget allocation!”

“So the first step to achieve that————is by adding me to a swordsmen only party, is it?”

Aiming for the elevation of the swordsman social status by achieving a result with a swordsman only party and becoming heroes.

“Correct, and then please marry with one’s self someday.”

However with that grand marriage proposal, suddenly all strength spontaneously left Kazuki.

“Sorry, but no matter how just Hikita-san’s cause is, in the first place I have no intention to leave my current party. Because it is a party of only two people with a very precious person.”

“I see————One’s self will respect Kazuki-dono’s sense of values. In short if one’s self become even more important than that very precious person then everything will be fine right! And then we will enter a love relationship and marry each other! Love and the like is a field one’s self is poor at and doesn’t really understand it well————However, there is no other way than to do it! I will do it!”

“Eh, that’s not it, I want you to obediently give up there though————”

“I won’t give up! This unworthy Hikita Kohaku is ignorant of the subtleties of the heart of a gentleman, but I will [conquer] Kazuki-dono’s heart without fail, I’ll show you!”

Kohaku grandly straightened her chest and proclaimed to Kazuki. That’s not a nice thing to say, to [conquer] ————!

{For you who must conquer the girls of the Magika Stigma, conversely to be conquered by a swordswoman————! A weird girl has come approaching——!!}

Even Leme’s shocked voice had reached Kazuki’s mind.

“Well, it’s fine if we are on good terms with each other but————can you stop using such polite language?”

“————Do you mean calling with casual language and saying name without honorific to a gentleman, even though ourselves are not spouse!?”

Kohaku who owned a wild, beautiful face. However, she was unexpectedly refined and hesitated.

“I don’t feel that we can get along well if you are so formal despite being classmates.”

“It, it can’t be helped then if it’s needed for the sake of getting along————Hayashizaki————no, it will be easily mixed up with calling Kanae-kaichou (AN: president) without honorific so————Kazuki————”

Kohaku’s face became bright red while she fidgeted when she called Kazuki’s name.

“Well, even if we get along well as friends, I still don’t have any intention to abandon my current party or enter a love relationship though. If that’s fine then let’s become friends.”

“One, one’s self is troubled with that! But, I’m fired up against such a huge obstacle! That being the case, I’ll show you that I’ll conquer Kazuki’s heart! ————Kuh, somehow it’s suddenly become embarrassing!”

Suddenly————a black shadow sneaked up behind the spirited Kohaku.

“Ko~ha~ku! You little———— what are you doing in this kind of place!?”

“Killing intent!?” Kohaku used an Iai sword-drawing simultaneously with the voice while turning back. “OWA-!” The one who raised a scream while avoiding the sword was——the senpai called Yamada Torazou. A male student of Sword Division’s student council.

“Don’t just abruptly slash from nowhereee!”

“What————Torazou huh. From the presence I thought it was something like a beast.”

“Don’t call a senpai without an honorifiicc! It’s improper!”

“Torazou is weaker than one’s self so I won’t use honorific language.”

“Really, you are————. Yo! Kazuki and Hoshikaze-san!”

Torazou-senpai’s eyes met with Kazuki then he approached while waving his hand with a cheerful smile.

“————What were you guys doing with that kind of appearance? Has Kazuki taught Hoshikaze-san sword techniques?”

“Fufufu, Yamada-kun, have a rematch with me (AN: For additional information, all this time Hikaru used boku to refer to herself, usually only boys used that word to refer to themselves.) now. I have received the instruction of secret measures just now.”

Hoshikaze-senpai who was poor with men nonchalantly hid in Kazuki’s shadow even while saying that.

“Spare me this time, I don’t have a feeling  that I could win no matter how many times we fought. …Rather than that Kohaku, what are you doing here even though you were absent from the student council meeting?”

“Torazou, one’s self won’t go anymore to student council okay! I withdraw my application as an apprentice!”

“What the heck are you saying. It’s disgraceful in front of Kazuki and the others. ————Even though until just a while ago I somehow made the president to consider you. Yet suddenly you become rebellious in this place.”

Torazou-san talked like he was explaining while ignoring the stare of Kazuki and the others.

“Certainly one’s self was respecting Hayashizaki-kaichou. But currently she is degraded as the pet dog of the Magic Division’s student council! Wagging her tail to the Magic Division’s student council, one’s self doesn’t have any intention to follow such a Sword Division’s student council! Farewell!!”

Kohaku turned her back toward Torazou-senpai in a flash, then blue light of body reinforcement shined in both her feet and she left with violent force. The three people could only see off that back in a dumbfounded manner.

“So Kohaku is a member of the Sword Division student council?”

“She was an apprentice as a promising first year. The same position like you huh. But well————she only creates trouble because of that kind of personality. I was her superior, but.”

Torazou-senpai held his head tiredly while he breathed a sigh.

“————Your elder sister and the vice-president in my student council are strong in battle but they are good-for-nothings, so normally I was the only one who did most of the practical work… Both the president and vice-president are capable, and the first years are also respectful… I’m envious of the Magic Division’s student council——”

“Ahaha, our student council was praised♪ That’s because Hayashizaki-kun and the others are our prided first years.”

Hoshikaze-senpai clapped her hand on Kazuki’s shoulder. It was an unconscious action based on pure good will toward Kazuki, but as soon as she realized that she touched a male she got startled.

Kaguya-senpai and Hoshikaze-senpai too, both were very good senpais.

The atmosphere around the Witch’s Mansion was really like a family——it was really embarrassing to speak of when all the other members were girls, but once again, Kazuki thought that he really liked this student council.

It was the story of a different student council, but seeing a first year defying her senior felt painful.

“It is a really shameful story, but there are still a lot of guys in the Sword Division that hold a grudge against the Magic Division.”

“It’s the same thing in the Magic Division. There are still many people that look down on the swordsmen.”

“This is a matter that won’t be able to go quite smoothly right off the bat huh. …Well, see you guys later.”

Torazou-senpai left the area, and Hoshikaze-senpai slipped out a chuckle while seeing him off.

“Hikita Kohaku-san. She is a somewhat strange child right? That kind of rashness is cute.”

Certainly a charm of wildness was hidden inside her calm demeanor, impudent and yet modest, bold but also somewhat shy… a girl that left a mysterious impression.

“I wonder what would happen if Hayashizaki-kun fell into her temptation and parted from Mio-chan.”

“There is no reason that would happen. Because Mio is a very precious partner to me.”

“————Actually today there is a request we want to ask from your party, so in the unlikely event that your party broke up because of things it will be troubling.”

“A request? For us who don’t have any success with quests?”

“Yes, but it’s really not something too troublesome. Rather, it could be the solution for your trouble… Well, I think you will hear the story from Kaguya after school so just wait. Fufufu~”

A small storm had just passed… However, a premonition of trouble in the future once again came from Hoshikaze-senpai’s manner of speaking.

“Okay then Hayashizaki-kun, let’s take a shower and do the morning preparations okay!”

————Wait, of course, there was no reason to take a bath together though.


 

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