Magika Vol 2 Ch 3 – Quest, Re-challenge!

Chapter 3 – Quest, Re-challenge!


Part 1

“Recently Onii-sama is licentious! Lecherous Onii-sama!!”

“I never thought the day will come where you can say licentious…”

“Then, receiving private lessons from an older woman… what in the world does she plan to teach Onii-sama?  Does Onii-sama plan to climb the stairs of adulthood!?”

A morning in the Witch’s Mansion―when Kazuki did special training with Hoshikaze-senpai, Kanae came out of nowhere.

“Kanae-san, you don’t need to be that nervous, I won’t take your big brother, okay?  Besides Hayashizaki-kun doesn’t see me as a woman.  We are friends, you see.”

With a clear, beautiful face that glittered with light, Hoshikaze-senpai soothed Kanae with eloquent speech.

“…Nii-sama, Kanae doesn’t understand at all what this [beautiful girl] is saying.  If Kanae’s common sense is still normal, then this person is enough of a beauty, isn’t it?”

“Ahaha, what are you saying? Against some female like me… compared to me, your cuteness can’t possibly be expressed in words. Here, I’ll show you, so raise your head.”

Hoshikaze-senpai held up Kanae’s chin, and then she whispered while staring directly into Kanae’s eyes.  Toward that beautiful face which destroys the barrier of gender, Kanae’s eyes were stolen and she fell into a daze, and then suddenly “hah!” came to her senses.

“Nii-sama, this person is dangerous! There is a dangerous aura around her!!”

Kanae came clinging to Kazuki in fright, but Kazuki honestly understood that feeling.

In exchange for Kazuki’s instructions in sword skills, Hoshikaze-senpai gave Kazuki magic lectures.  Yesterday, it was Kazuki’s turn to teach her sword skills, so today was Hoshikaze-senpai’s turn.

“Honestly, I was like Kanae, sometimes while I was teaching Hoshikaze-senpai, I was also charmed by her… I thought of senpai as a really charming woman.”

Hoshikaze-senpai blushed slightly due to Kazuki’s words, and a heart mark flew from her.

However she soon shook her head lightly, “Geez, stop it already―” and laughed it away.

“Hayashizaki-kun, it’s no good to be too kind, okay?  If you said that kind of thing to everyone, then when the crucial time comes, your precious person won’t be able to believe that word anymore!”

With a scolding tone, Hoshikaze-senpai flicked Kazuki’s forehead .

“Onii-san, so you are in this kind of place desu. Good morning!”

Suddenly a bright voice came from the direction of the mansion, the figure of Lotte in her uniform approached.

“I didn’t see onii-san anywhere, so I searched for you.  I want to talk with Onii-san… about the matter of yesterday evening. I don’t mind about the nakedness! I want to talk to clear the air between us desu!”

Hoshikaze-senpai exclaimed “Naked?” blinking her eyes in surprise.

This is bad, Kazuki thought. This is the worst timing.

“Ni, Nii-sama, what the hell is this about―?! Even though you have me but to make another little sister somewhere else… also what is that about, the nakedness of yesterday evening―!?”

Kanae trembled ‘buruburuburu’ like a volcano just before eruption, and ‘gogogogogogo’ shaking like crazy.

―Toward the howling Kanae, Kazuki desperately explained about the matter of Lotte as the special transfer student and the force majeure of yesterday evening.  However, Kanae ignored all of that and drew her kodachi (AN: Japanese short sword) and a dangerous smile floated on her face.

“…Nii-sama… for a long time Kanae wanted to face Nii-sama seriously…”

“I, I have a feeling that I’m going to lose for the first time in a while against today’s Kanae…”

Lotte watched the sibling’s face alternately, then she looked down downheartedly.

“Does my existence somehow disturbed Onii-san’s complex human relationships desu…?”

“Calm down, Kanae-san.  It was just about increasing the number of comrades in the Witch’s Mansion.”

“I won’t accept it! …This puppy-like foreigner, does she have befitting strength to be included in Magic Division(Magica) Student Council!? Even though it looked like I was staying quiet, I only allowed Amasaki Mio and Hiakari Koyuki to stay in Nii-sama’s side because they are competent. I recognized them, but only limited for staying in Nii-sama’s side!”

Kanae had the personality of not opening up her heart other than towards people with real strength. Kaguya-senpai was another matter, for her to also evaluate Mio and Koyuki that highly… it was unexpected.

“Competent? …Someone who is not strong is forbidden to stay beside Nii-sama desu…?”

“Yosh, her real strength will be tested personally by this me―!”

Kanae held her kodachi with an expression like a Shura toward Lotte, who was puzzled. At a glance, this scene looked like a one-sided bullying. At that moment―a person cut in.

magika_no_kenshi_to_shoukan_maou_vol-02_109

“Wait!”

A vivid voice came from the interval between the trees that surrounded the Witch’s Mansion.

From the opposite side of the voice, The figure of first year swordsman, Hikita Kohaku, appeared like an actress entering the stage.

“…Fufufu, there is no need for Kanae-kaichou (AN: President) to expressly come out for that puppy. The duty of testing the hooligans clinging around Kazuki, one’s self will be the one to accept it!”

Kohaku appeared while puffing her chest grandly―however, Kazuki couldn’t hold back from retorting.

“…You, did you hide in that bush while peeping on our situation?”

“Tha, that, one’s self had business with Kazuki but because of nervousness, one’s self couldn’t catch the timing to come out… that, the truth is yesterday, one’s self kept worrying how to get along with Kazuki, however…”

Kohaku presented the huge package that she kept holding in both her hands, in front of Kazuki.

“One’s self had a good idea of appealing as a seasoned good wife! Kazuki, one’s self had made a bento so come with one’s self to eat lunch together today! Then let’s get married!”

“Hayashizaki-kun, you had finished my portion of the lunch box, haven’t you?”

The moment when Kazuki was going to accept the lunch box, Hoshikaze-senpai said something that was best left unsaid.

“Wha, what… for a manly person like Kazuki to have that family-oriented side in him… it is outside one’s self calculation…”

Kohaku’s face turned pale, the bundle of lunch box was dropped with ‘gashan’ a crashing sound.

“Kohaku! You bastard, you planned to butter up Nii-sama huh!? Forget that, what is this about, marriage!?  Explain it in detail!! Nii-sama will marry his little sister!!”

Kanae’s complexion changed and she threatened Kohaku. No, there was no way he would marry his little sister.

“Humph, Kanae-kaichou who had already wagged her tail to Otonashi Kaguya of Magic Division has no right or anything to question the action of one’s self who is focused on the future of sword skills. Forgive one’s self rudeness, but please stay out of this.”

“Wagging my tail to Kaguya!? Wh, whwhwhwho the hell is wagging her tail to that kind of person!! Sure, recently I am in the same party as her, I have also recognized her strength, but I hate that girl!!”

While swinging her hand around like the tail of cat in panic, Kanae bared her fang and yelled.

“What a tsundere.  Even though in the student council room you talk about nothing but Otonashi Kaguya or Kazuki… rather than that matter, what matters now are these hooligans who are approaching Kazuki!”

Kohaku belligerently grinned and glared at Lotte.

“…I feel a strong hostility desu. In short, if I fight this person and win, then it will be okay for me to stay at the Witch’s Mansion with everyone, right desu? …Then, let’s do it desu!”

Unexpectedly, Lotte showed a burning spirit and glared back at Kohaku with flaring eyes.

“This kind of thing is one’s self strong point!  Summoning Magic is nothing to be afraid of, one’s self will show the skillfulness of one’s own sword style!”

Acting in concert with Lotte’s spirit, Kohaku increasingly roared.

Kazuki was lost whether he should stop this fairly useless quarrel. However―

“I wanted to do a mock battle around today to witness Lotte’s magic, so isn’t this a godsend?”

Hoshikaze-senpai was “Ahaha” laughing without care, the matter of the fight between the two was settled.

There was still enough time until the morning assembly, so like that, the four people moved onto the grounds.

“Because the student council president of Sword Division, Kanae, is here… it’s okay even without the acknowledgement of Kaguya-senpai, isn’t it?”

“This is not a formal duel that influences the ranking. Kaguya is weak in the morning, so she is still sleeping while drooling, you know. It’s fine as long as we, the judges doesn’t let anyone get hurt.”

And then Kohaku, the strange swordsman that carried seven katanas, and Lotte, the princess of another country, faced each other while separated by a distance of 50 meters. Lotte chanted her incantation and called out Prophet.

“The truth shall set me free(Veritas me Liberabit)••••••the wise man who became father the protector of humanity, show that wisdom right here.”

Along with a light, the girl’s uniform was changed into her Décolleté Oblique(Magic Dress).  The magic dress that covered her white smooth milky skin was a bikini that only hid the little surface of the girl’s chest and lower body.  It was strangely dull compared to all the Magic Dress that Kazuki had seen until now.

Kohaku drew one of her katanas among the seven that she carried.  It seems she wouldn’t use several katanas at once.

“Yosh. Then, begin!”

Kohaku ran at Hoshikaze-senpai’s signal, and Lotte chanted her spell.

“Howl! Civilization teach human destruction! The roar of wisdom scorch thy body, break, shut those dignity below the rubble!! Mitrailleuse(The Opening Curtain of the Age of Black Steel)!”

That chanting speed was exceedingly short, immediately light concentrated on Lotte’s right arm.  The light was―transformed into a gatling gun almost as long as Lotte’s own body.

“…!?” Toward that sight, even Kohaku opened her eyes wide, dumbfounded.

“Heavy firearms!?  Is that kind of magic possible!?”

Originally, weapons couldn’t pierce magic power, it didn’t have the power to kill or wound magicians. Toward the defensive magic power that distorted reality, nothing would pierce it unless it was a weapon that was filled with the same magic power.

Swordsman magic sword could pierce magic power, because of the swordsman’s trained Enchant Aura.  It had the effect of stretching until the blade of the swordsman’s beloved sword because the swordsman was so familiar with it, that it could be even said that it is a part of their own body.

However it was hard to endow magic power to a projectile weapon type, not to mention heavy firearms.  Even a bow and arrow―not only hard, but it was supposed to be impossible. Many alchemists tried to experiment whether it was impossible or not to endow scientific weapons―like nuclear weapon, but only a history of failures have appeared.

“Prophet… Fire!”

‘ZUDADADADADADADA!’A thunderous roar that split the eardrum were scattered as the gatling gun spouted fire. Kohaku ran diagonally just before the firing and avoided the line of fire, however no matter how fast she ran, Lotte only needed to shift the muzzle a little for the bullet to keep chasing her. It was a violent rapid-fire unlike the single shot Barrett, avoiding this was impossible even for Kazuki.

All those bullets were filled with magic power. Kohaku’s defensive magic power was smashed-up looking like it was gouged with countless holes. But Kohaku pressed on despite the shock of her smashed magic and charged toward Lotte.

After the bullets were strewed around to a certain extent, it was cut off and the gatling gun disappeared.

“In a glance, one shot of that seems to be fairly weak, isn’t it? It doesn’t have any power to stop a swordsman, but it’s power to disrupt the concentration for chanting a spell is high. It’s also interesting that as long as there are bullets remaining, it will stay in her hand like my Thunder God Bow.”

Hoshikaze-senpai analyzed from the side. Occasionally, she seemed inattentive, but she was a person that could think fast.

“…Mitrailleuse!”

Lotte immediately finished her second spell.  Once again a storm of gatling gun bullets swept over toward Kohaku from the front, but Kohaku unmindfully charged ahead and raised her katana.

“One’s self can’t be stopped by an attack only to that degree!”

“Wisdom accumulated over the course of human history, armored my body over and over! Heavily, thickly, reject all brutality! Seusenhofer(Radiant Steel Mobile Armor)!!”

A large armor appeared on top of Lotte’s simple Magic Dress along with a bright light. Kohaku’s strong slash was ‘Gakin!’ repelled by the armor with solid brilliance.

“Heavy armor defensive magic! That’s pretty solid. But I wonder if the gap between it was the weak point?”

Just like what Hoshikaze-senpai pointed out, that armor didn’t cover the whole body.

Kohaku sheathed her sword in a flash and immediately choose from her seven swords and drew out the shortest wakizashi (AN: another type of short sword,  Usually, samurais brought this together with their normal katana.). This swordswoman had the skill to accurately aim the gap between the armor.

On the other side, Lotte took some distance from Kohaku with nimbleness unthinkable for such heavy equipments while bullets keep raining on her. Her side could quite possibly already not be thought of as the way of fighting of a magician

“Kohaku’s reaction regarding the bullets is fast… Kanae, does Kohaku know how to predict the magic power?”

“That girl’s Shinkage-style seems to be practiced with the premise of fighting a magician. It’s not organized nearly as practical as our style’s [Foreseeing] but… she seems to compensate that with her considerable [Wild Intuition] to take evasive action.”

The gatling gun broke Kohaku’s magic power. Even so, Kohaku didn’t let Lotte escape, chased her, and stabbed the point of her sword into the gap of the armor. Kohaku tried to disturb Lotte’s spell chanting with that damage but―with Lotte’s chanting speed as the opponent, it was difficult.

“This hand reached toward Babel’s height, now this hand grasped God’s thunderbolt! In accordance with my life, oh lightning, whirl at your will! Collider Field(Super Electromagnetic Barrier)!!”

Lotte’s level 3 magic―Lotte’s left hand was armed with a large gauntlet.  Her armored body, with her right hand holding a gatling gun and her mechanical gauntlet in the left hand, drew an imposing figure.

The more Lotte chanted magic―the more that delicate body would be covered with weapons.

“Prophet… blitzz!”

At the same time with Lotte’s shout, the gauntlet armament scattered some sparks ‘BIRIRI’ and radiated light.

On the center of Lotte’s left palm― a lightning barrier was taking form.  Kohaku who didn’t have any method other than close range combat, was caught by that net barrier, so she stepped back while taking a huge damage.

Close range combat was difficult as long she was kept in check by that gauntlet.

“Damn… don’t make light of one’s self!”

Kohaku sheathed her wakizashi and pulled out a different katana. Was there any kind of meaning in that action?

Kohaku was thinking while keeping that position, then her face warped in frustration and she sheathed that katana again.

“Kohaku still has a trump card… but she choose not to use it here huh.”

Kanae whispered so. …Trump card.

Now that she mentioned it, Kohaku said before that she had a countermeasure toward opponents that had resistance against a sword.

Did that countermeasure have the flexibility to break the deadlock of this situation where it could be said that the swordsman’s moves had been sealed?

“Both of you still have magic power left but… if you continue to fight more than this, then it will obstruct your class, right? This is over! …Shall this become Lotte’s win by decision?”

Hoshikaze-senpai stopped the battle with a somewhat awfully pragmatic reason.

“Does this mean, it’s fine for me to stay together with all the big brothers and big sisters here desu!?”

Lotte who was still covered in her armaments rushed over to Kazuki with ‘GASHAAN-GASHAAN’ noise. Uwaa… it’s scary somehow! “Onii-san, why do you run away desu!?”

“Nuuu… one’s self real strength is only this much… Kazuki, it’s vexing but one’s self will come again! Someday you’re going to eat one’s self bento, farewell!”

Kohaku who was crouching because of her damage, hit the ground once in frustration, then she turned her body swiftly and left from that place.

“Charlotte Liebenfrau is contracted with a different Diva than Solomon 72 Pillar.

In other words she is legally an illegal magician but… according to the result of her psychology test and telepathy scan, etc. there was no trace of intrusion in her mind. Because it was considered that there was almost no danger, she was entrusted to our school to be monitored. Around that area, it was similar with the rank E trash―Hayashizaki Kazuki.

Diva’s traits differed based on the Mythology they belonged to. Solomon 72 Pillar that we handle, have a lot of magic that are really magic-like. In addition to that, battle tactics like the Heaven and Earth Formation was developed but, Charlotte’s contracted Diva is a fairly different type. Watch carefully, it will be useful when fighting unknown Diva. In addition, there are also some worth to watch the girl’s chanting speed. Now you should be prepared when it come’s time for you to face against the magic of Possession Summoning(Drive). Use that for reference too.”

At Lotte’s first practical magic class since transferring to this school, Liz Liza-sensei introduced one part of Lotte’s special characteristic to the students. As expected, the matter about being a refugee was not touched.

Lotte deployed her Magic Dress, then fired her gatling gun for real, after that, the classmates surrounded Lotte with gleaming eyes of interest. Basically the students that aimed to become knight’s for real were gathering, so there was no frivolous atmosphere at this kind of time.  Kazuki who had already witnessed Lotte’s magic, was outside that circle and inquired from Liz Liza-sensei:

“Liz Liza-sensei… Lotte will compensate the weak point of our party, but”

The attack magic that Lotte had shown so far were bullets and electric shock. For Kazuki and Mio who had few attack patterns, the new attack patterns were added with Lotte’s joining. But…

“Could we fight an enemy who is resistant to heat with the party consisting of me, Mio, and Lotte?  Aren’t fire and electric shock, any of them was [heat] in the end…”

“Trash, it would be good for you to experience getting shocked once. If you observed the wound, you will understand the differences for sure.”

Liz Liza-sensei returned a harsh reply towards Kazuki’s question,

“Electric shock burn has two aspects.  First, it’s certainly just like you said, it produces heat damage but, in contrast with the normal burn that is produced on the outside body, the electric shock burn inside the body’s interior has some difference with the spot that was burned by heat.  That’s why in the case of facing against an enemy with strong skin or armored body, using electric shock to inflict damage from their inside can be said to be effective.”

Kazuki was reminded with that red slime. That slime, he couldn’t see the difference between its surface or its inside. This lesson was not applicable to that case.

“One more thing, an electric shock can also destroy living things nervous system. Many living things operate their body structure like muscle using electric signals. A strong electric current will exert large influence against that activity. If you apply electricity to a human, his heart will stop. Do you think someone with their heart stopped can move? Like ventricular fibrillation (AN:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventricular_fibrillation ) and AED (AN: Automatic External Defibrillator). Why can patients with paralyzed hearts be resuscitated with an electric shock? It is because the muscle composition of the heart moves using electric signals.”

Kazuki was immediately reminded of Hoshikaze-senpai’s reinforcement magic, [Ride Lightning(Thunder God Body Flicker)] that strengthened the whole body muscle and nervous system. “I see, so electricity also has that kind of effect”.

“What came out in the quest that you guys accepted the other day… it was slime according to the report. How do you think that slime’s body can move? Of course slime doesn’t have any muscle and it is formed by mucus, but what is the source of those mucus’ operation? The study of Demon Beast’s ecology is still not progressing, but at least from my real life experience, electricity was effective against slime. The moment strong electric current flowed, the slime was shaking intensely because of the vortex of abnormal electric signals. Before long, it couldn’t maintain its body’s activity and was scattered and turned into just a mucus. Interesting right? They look like they came out of fantasy, but surprisingly, they are not some separate existence that ridiculed our logic. It is a very interesting lesson.”

“You said those slimes use the same system as human’s to move their body around!?”

“Maybe. Even though it was scattered around, it was still possible for them to act. That was its core that transmitted electric signal so the mucus that make its composition can gather back. It seems that a slime is a colony of living things linked with each other.”

“Now that sensei mentioned it, Hiakari-san also said that she killed the slime by drowning it…”

Breathing by taking in oxygen and moving their body by electric signals, it was really a [living thing].

“It turned into a good lesson huh, teacher will give a blessing of special knowledge to students who ask.”

Liz Liza-sensei’s tone was harsh but inside, she was a gentle person. She then stood on her tiptoe and knocked on Kazuki’s head.

“With your party right now, there should be no more problem clearing the previous quest where you failed. It’s fine even if you re-challenge the quest over the weekend. Remember, it’s also for the sake of keeping Amasaki Mio’s rank.”


 

Part 2

Suppress the Demon Beast that lived in the forest of the Haunting Ground that spread out in West Tokyo, and liberate the forest―

Kazuki and the others applied to re-challenge the quest that they failed during Golden Week.

There was no class in the Knight Academy on Saturday, but this holiday was not spent to play. It was recommended for the knight cadets to challenge the quest in their spare time.

Kazuki and the others headed to the station after taking their meal at the Witch’s Mansion.

The traveling method to perform the quest was mainly using rail transport. Thanks to the magic light train to travel inside the metropolis area and the new type Shinkansen (AN: Japan’s bullet train) to travel outside the city, the time needed to travel didn’t take too long. Of course the cost was burdened by the academy.

Quests were done for the sake of the students’ growth to become knights. It was linked with the class work.

“Will it really go well by just adding me to the party?”

In the middle of their walk to the station, Lotte came to ask Kazuki anxiously.

Kazuki was interposed between Lotte to his left, and Mio to his right, The three of them walked down the road.

“It’s reassuring to have Lotte with us. It’s going to be ok this time around when the red slime comes out like last time.”

“Then I will always keep the electric magic in standby desu.”

It seems the armament that Lotte produced with her magic would continue to be equipped as long the number of bullet or energy remained. If she prepared it beforehand, she could move to attack immediately without needing to chant the spell.

The destructive power was lowered but it could be said that it was a fairly convenient magic for quests.

…Once again Kazuki recognized anew the importance of using various magic to respond against different circumstances. If only he could use Lemegeton’s power more skillfully…

“Kazuki, that, look there.”

Suddenly Mio pulled Kazuki’s sleeve and pointed her finger to one side of the street corner.

At the shopping street before the station, the [Knights] in their white uniform with the coat of arms attached to it, were walking.

This group of several knights were investigating by collecting information in the vicinity of the Knight Academy.

Most likely the Knight Order was searching where Loki was hiding.

Loki hid while taking along the illegal magicians who lost their sanity, so there should be some sign of them somewhere for sure. Interviewing witnesses should be fairly effective. If the knights kept collecting information about the area with connection to Kaya and Loki steadily, the possibility of obtaining related testimony to Loki was not low.

“…Hey, I wonder if that [Black Knight] mixed with the other white uniformed knights is the one mentioned at the news, the knight from Germany’s Knight Order?”

Mio noticed it and whispered.

Among Japan’s Knight Order’s group who were wearing white uniforms, a person wearing black was mixed in.

Only one head looked taller than the heads around her and that face’s facial features had the appearance of a foreigner.

It seems the uniform of Germany’s Einherjar was black.

“I heard that they had arrived in Japan but… it only feels real after witnessing it directly like this.”

Kazuki had already heard this information from Kaguya-senpai one step ahead though.

A few days after that night, the news of the Einherjar’s arrival in Japan spread even to the world at large.

Cooperation to subjugate Loki with the leading power of North Europe, Germany’s Einherjar. It was a cooperation set for one month.

With the current situation where Japan had severed all diplomatic relations, the coming of a foreign knight was a major event.

Of course the undisclosed circumstances of the negotiation between Japan and Germany was hidden from the news.

“…” Besides Kazuki, the refugee Lotte was cowering because of the German knight’s presence.

“It’s okay. She is not chasing Lotte, she only came here to defeat the Diva named Loki.”

Kazuki tapped the shoulder of the shivering Lotte ‘ponpon’ lightly.

“Tha, thank you very much, Kazuki-oniisan.”

Lotte made a smiling face that seemed forced, then came clinging on Kazuki’s arm like she was depending on him. A flying heart mark came from her chest.

“…muu.” For some reason Mio also let out a moan and hugged Kazuki’s opposite arm.

…It’s hard to walk. While three people were sticking to each other, they continued along the street to the station without minding the knights.

Facing those three people, Germany’s female knight, wearing a black uniform, stole a glance toward them… Kazuki had such a feeling.

“…Chih. Isn’t this the Knight Academy brats who ran back home immediately the other day?”

When they arrived at the gate of the Haunted Ground, the soldier who kept guard spat out such a thing.

“Forgive us from the last time. But this time, we reinforced our party properly, so we will be showing results.”

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At Kazuki’s words, the guard saw Lotte’s figure, “Caucasian? How rare…” and his eyes opened wide. It was a discourteous manner of speaking but [Caucasian with Japanese citizenship] in truth, was a rarity.

In any case, Kazuki and the others passed through the station gate and into the inner part of the Haunted Grounds.

A short while after passing the gate, the scenery was just a normal forest and there was no sign of the Haunted Ground.

The Haunting Ground’s location was even further inside than before. There was no mistaking that this was because of Koyuki’s great effort. As the number of Demon Beasts inside a Haunted Ground decreased, the original nature would also revert back.

―Then the battle started. Kazuki protected Mio and Lotte from the attacking slime that came one after another. As the rearguard, Mio’s flame magic burned away the slimes.

As they defeated the Demon Beasts, their surroundings were also turned back little by little into the original nature of a forest.

“―Prophet… blitzz!”

The red slimes who were strong toward heat were lured to Lotte’s surrounding, they were then imprisoned inside the electric barrier and brought down in one go. The slimes who received lightning were, borrowing Liz Liza-sensei’s words, it was like the acute heart paralysis of a heart patient shaking fiercely in unsteadiness, ‘PAN!’ the mucus scattered everywhere and the curtain of their body’s activity were closed.

“Kyaa!”

Maybe because they were allowed to get too close, a little of the scattered red slimes splashed onto Mio and Lotte.

Kazuki instantly remembered Mio from before. That liquid―was a poison that affected the mind.

“Are you guys okay!? You guys were only splashed by a little though.”

“Yes… It’s okay if it’s only about this much…”

Mio replied with a blushing face and slurred tone. Then without reason, she came clinging on Kazuki while hugging his arm sweetly. Lotte did the same thing and also came to hug Kazuki while mumbling ‘funyafunya’.

…Isn’t this turning into a dicey situation?

Both of them were in their Magic Dress that had a high exposure rate, so Kazuki, who was being clung to, turned uneasy.

“The place we passed through before had a lake, so let’s go there to wash off the mucus.”

“It’s fine to take a break while getting intimate with Kazu-niii―. Happyy♪”

“I don’t understand but I’m so happy desu♪ Everything okayyy♪”

“Wake up you two! No matter how you look at it this is a no no! Come on, let’s go.”

Kazuki held their shoulders and led them to the lake.

He pushed them both to the watering place then sat down on the base of a nearby tree.

The Demon Beasts around this area were mostly exterminated, once it was a muddy swamp but it reverted back into a clear lake. Mio and Lotte soaked in the water while in their Magic Dress and cleaned up the mucus in their body.

With Lotte frolicking around by throwing water at Mio as the start, they both started to splash water at each other while laughing cheerfully.

“Kazuki you too, come here!”

“No, it will be troublesome if my uniform gets wet.”

It’d be fine if he uses psychokinesis to shake off the drops of water, and pyrokinesis to dry off later but… both of them were wearing flimsy Magic Dress, while he was wearing a uniform that consist of shirts topped with a jacket. It’d take too much time.

Using the opportunity when Mio called out to Kazuki, Lotte threw water at Mio’s face. Mio soon returned fire in revenge. Both of their hair and body were wet with water and sparkled brightly.

Both of their Magic Dress were designed to expose most of their skin and body line as it is.

Their skin emitted glossy smoothness because of the wetness. Their feminine body stood out in three dimension. A lovely sight could be seen out of their soaked body along with their beauty.

Their alluring navels and thighs and Mio’s wet chest, pulled Kazuki’s gaze… he shook his head in guilt because he stared at them both with a strange look.

“…Don’t play too long―!”

Kazuki said that and then turned his back.

Really, a Magic Dress was poison to the eye even under normal circumstances. Now it was even more so. But it was an outfit for the sake of fighting that’s why, he was disqualified as their comrade in arms if he had wicked thoughts like this too often.

This was only a little rest time, but Kazuki wished that it would end soon.

But the instant he turned his back, the scream of those two girls reverberated.

Kazuki turned back in panic, and from the surface of the lake, a gigantic―Demon Beast resembling a sea anemone’s face came out. Several squirming tentacles were stretching and headed towards the two girls!

“Prophet… Fire!”

Lotte sensed the abnormality and quickly chanted her spell but the bullets were fired blindly.

On the other, hand Mio was caught by the tentacles and were binding her wet body.

“Wa, wait! I really hate tentacleee!!”

At some of the sea anemone’s tentacles, there were some traces of being sliced, tentacles that were cut short were being regenerated in the same place. There was no mistake, this was the master of those tentacles that attacked Mio from the quest before.

“Mio! …I won’t let these tentacles do as they please!!”

When Mio was only a hair breadth away from being groped by the tentacles, all the tentacles were bisected in a flash and in one go by Kazuki’s Iai draw.

“Ka, Kazu-nii! Thank you! Saying things like [I won’t let these tentacles do as they please to my Mio]… ehehe.”

A heart mark flew from Mio to Kazuki after being saved from her predicament.

…’My Mio’, I don’t remember saying that though.

“Hurry with the spell chant!” Kazuki scolded her, and with that Mio replied “Yes!” then switched to her battle mode. Hearing that reliable reply from his back, Kazuki focused on mowing down the tentacles that kept aiming at Mio and Lotte one after another.

These tentacles… why did it only aim at girls!? Which Mythology’s influence was this!?

Kazuki’s katana and Lotte’s bullets couldn’t inflict any fatal wound to such a gigantic Demon Beast. However…

“This debt from before… I’ll return it now! These pervert tentacles!! Blazing Wings!”

Mio was able to finish a high level magic chant because of Kazuki’s protection, wings of flame spread out and she leaped into the sea anemone. Countless tentacles along with the main body were swallowed by the wings of flame― it became the finishing blow. Heaven and Earth Formation. In the end, what decided the battle was the high level summoning magic.

“We did it, Kazu-nii!”

Mio raised an excited voice and came to hug Kazuki. The chest that he stared at strangely not long ago was now pushed softly into his body.

“Do, don’t hug me when you are like this!”

“Why?”

“…My uniform will get wet, see.”

Kazuki averted his eyes from the soaking wet Mio and looked around his surrounding. …It seems this sea anemone was the last big game in this area as the lake’s surrounding had returned into beautiful nature.

“Looks like this area has mostly been liberated, doesn’t it…. Let’s go a little a deeper in when the Magic Dress dry, okay?”

Before, this place was an extremely large Haunted Ground. Now it had been fairly narrowed up to this size.

If they keep this pace, it was possible that they could liberate this forest completely today.

Mio and Lotte also harbored that presentiment, they agreed to Kazuki’s proposal.

When they advanced deeper into the Haunted Ground, its atmosphere as well as the type of Demon Beasts appearing were also changing.

The dense foliage interrupted the sunlight, making the surroundings gloomy. From the darkness of the gap of the trees, ivy leaped out entwining, and Demon Beast’s came out in a surprise attack.

The Demon Beasts that prepared the surprise attack were the ferocious types that resembled wild beasts.

For example, the monkey type Demon Beast that leaped out from the interval of the trees and attacked with sharp claws. An average swordsman wouldn’t be able to catch their speed and would get mangled one-sided.

However Kazuki foresaw those movements and ended their lives by using lightning fast Iai draw.

For example, the wild boar type with their steel-like skin. Its raging charges possessed terrible destructive power, physical attack or the heat of flames couldn’t pass those hardened skin.

Lotte’s electricity however was able to scorch the inside of it’s hard skin.

Mio from the rear, supported using attack magic, striking the large type Demon Beasts using level 5 magic.

The Demon Beasts that had their life snuffed out were reduced into black magic power and disappeared one after another.

This forest is a place where one couldn’t be careless, but the balance of the party was very good. If he wanted to be greedy, Kazuki would have wanted one more vanguard so he could also chant magic at a critical moment, but…

Kazuki could use Phoenix’s magic up to level 6 as the result of increasing Mio’s positivity level. But because Kazuki fights by himself at the front-line in this three man party, he didn’t have any spare time to chant magic. The Magica Stigma inside Kazuki felt a little irritated because of that.

When they progressed deeper into the forest, they found a stone stair that climbed a small hill. The height was not to the degree of climbing a mountain, but at the top of the stone stair, there was a space that opened up.

There was a torii (AN: Shinto shrine archway) erected at the open space and through that torii, was a shrine. Its brilliant scarlet color was lost due to the Haunted Ground transformation, the whole body of the shrine was black.  It originally enshrined a local Shinto deity. This place was supposed to be a tranquil sacred location, but an ominous heavy atmosphere was now pressing down.

The moment they stepped in there, fox type Demon Beasts leaped out from the surrounding forest. Kazuki instantly intercepted their lightning fast charge with his Iai draw, but at that instant―

“Kuu…!”

―The fox’s golden hair scattered ‘biriri’ sparks around!

A barrier that really resembled the magic that Lotte used. The electricity was flowing through the Katana and into Kazuki.

Kazuki’s defensive magic power was consumed and the electricity had no effect but when a defensive magic power extinguishes a phenomenon, the backlash called the <shock of smashed magic> occurs.

Because of that, Kazuki’s swordmanship was disturbed.

The fox slipped out from Kazuki’s Iai draw and rammed into his body.

Kazuki twisted his body and somehow evaded the attack.

But even with only that, Kazuki’s work was already finished.

“Prophet… Fire!”

“Barrett!”

The fox who missed its attack was hit by the bullets of the gatling gun and the flame bullet successively. That body turned into black magic power and disappeared.

“Hm, the atmosphere of the enemy changed the moment we entered this place.”

“…At a place with especially thick magic power even inside the Haunting Ground like here, there should be a Sacred Treasure around!”

Mio pointed at the direction of the shrine and raised an excited voice.

Sometimes there were discoveries of <Sacred Treasure> at the Haunting Grounds. A man made thing located here was transformed by the thick magic power’s influence, or possibly magic power was condensed and formed the Sacred Treasure from nothing. In the end, it turned into a magic items of Mythology in this world.

Sacred Treasure had a distorted foundation that was impossible even with alchemy. It sucked the magic power of the user and brought forth magic phenomenon that transcended the laws of physics.

From the enemy that was appearing even stronger from the surrounding, the area’s magic power was thicker and more stagnant when compared to other places. Just like Mio said, it was told that such places made it easier for Sacred Treasures to occur.

“Be that as it may, to search this shrine… we first need to exterminate all the Demon Beast in this area.”

After Kazuki whispered so, the forms of golden colored foxes appeared one after another from the trees surrounding this open space where they were standing. It looks like the animals were the protector of the shrine.

This time, when Kazuki lured the foxes near enough,

“Fire Wall!”

―they were all burned up by the fire wall.

At the same time, Mio and Lotte released their respective magic.

“Is this… an enshrined katana?”

The inner sanctuary of the shrine that lost its color and blackened. On its altar, there was an offering of a Japanese katana made from plain wood. Only that katana hadn’t lost its color and exuded an atmosphere of holiness.

Originally, it was an enshrined katana of the shrine, but it transformed into a Sacred Treasure because of the magic power flowing into it.

When it touched his hand, the texture felt like the plain wood was breathing. Kazuki’s magic power was absorbed naturally into the katana. Sacred Treasure’s exhibited their special power by sucking the user’s magic power.

“This Sacred Treasure is surely connected to Japanese Mythology. Moreover something like a katana is perfectly suited for you, right? Hey, Kazuki come on, let’s test what kind of power it has!”

Mio said that in high spirits. Kazuki laughed wryly while already pushing his magic power into the Sacred Treasure then―’katsukatsukatsu’ sounds were heard from the direction of the shrine entrance.

The sound of footsteps that came here directly―

“What the hell are you bastards doing? It’s forbidden for an individual to pick a Sacred Treasure. Hand it over to us at once.”

A two-man group consisting of a Magica Stigma clad in her Magic Dress and a swordsman appeared at the entrance of the inner sanctuary.

Judging from their height and age―they were not students but knights of the Knight Order.

Kazuki harbored an uncomfortable feeling. Why did the Knight Order who had labor shortage dispatch their people in this quest with this kind of difficulty?

“…We plan to submit this in our quest’s report.”

Kazuki replied so, but the female Magica Stigma clad in her Magic Dress seems to ignore it and approached Kazuki briskly, she snatched the Sacred Treasure katana from Kazuki’s hand.

The girl’s gaze fell onto the katana on Kazuki’s hips and spat out.

“Even though you’re just a swordsman brat… holding something like Sacred Treasure…”

From there she turned her back, “Let’s go Kondou!” she yelled to the swordsman, and left the inner sanctuary.

“Yes.” The swordsman replied and faithfully followed behind her.

“Wha, what is that, disgusting! I mean, if we present that Sacred Treasure at the quest counter, it will reflect at our results you know!”

Mio’s well formed eyebrows bristled in indignation.

“Even though they looked so self-important, there is no doubt that they are just lowly underlings, being dispatched at this simple quest in this busy time! Kazu-nii is far stronger compared to quack knights from nowhere like you guys in a duel!! Stupid!! Idiot!!”

When the knight had gone, Mio insulted them vehemently and stuck out her tongue.

Lotte imitated her too and she also stuck her tongue. They looked like really close sisters.

“…Well, in any case we won’t be able to bring it back, so let’s ignore it and return to the quest. The Knight Order is also participating, so let’s liberate this whole area today somehow or the other.”

I want to try it out, that Sacred Treasure katana… Kazuki couldn’t get rid of that feeling.

“Looks like there is no boss here like the sea anemone from the zone before.”

Mio said so like she was trying to calm her emotions.

The more someone approached the central part of the Haunted Ground, the magic power would become thicker and will stagnate in the middle of the space.

Because of that, in many cases, a Demon Beast that was one rank stronger would be born in the heart of the Haunting Ground.

Kazuki and the others had already been at the heart of the Haunted Ground.

“I wonder if the party of those two knight before had already fought it.”

“I don’t think that was the case though.”

Each time we defeat a Demon Beast, there was an actual feeling that the scenery of the Haunted Ground also changed, but there was not even a time that the scenery of the Haunted Ground changed when there was no fighting.

In other words this Haunted Ground is not so large, but Kazuki and the other two were more than enough to purge the remaining Demon Beasts.

Everyone’s magic power were already quite exhausted, but they still had some composure for this.

“I’m a little bit tired… my stamina is not so good.”

This whole thing felt a little bit like hiking physically. Lotte who spent the majority of her life laying down on a sick bed let out a bitter smile mixed with fatigue.

“Sorry, we forced you too much, didn’t we? How about I carry you on my back on the way home?”

Carrying her in the back was like treating her like a kid, but Lotte let out reminiscence-like words.

“I’m happy if onii-san’ll do that desu!”

Lotte looked a little awkward and embarrassed.

“…Wait Kazu-nii, not fair! If you’ll carry Lotte in the back then… I’ll be the one in the front, that… it’s unfair if you don’t use princess carry for me too!”

“One person each in the front and the back… that’s unreasonable even if I used Enchant Aura, you know?”

For some reason the atmosphere became harmonious while the three people headed towards the center of the forest―

“…Barrett!”

The last Demon Beast was pierced by the flame bullet.

Right at that moment, the surrounding trees returned perfectly into their original appearance of bright and fresh green leaves in May.

The eerie atmosphere disappeared and the cool summer breeze blew bringing in the smell of summer.

When all present reflexively smiled broadly―Kazuki’s back felt a chill of [something’s presence].

“What’s wrong, suddenly you look scared?”

“…Right now, a huge magic power of something is breaking out near this area.”

“Eh, that magic power…. …!?”

It seems Mio also sensed the outbreak of magic power using Extra Sense, her countenance changed.

Before long, sounds of someone stepping on the falling leaves could be heard from the back.

“…Hmm, I was a little late. The Haunted Ground liberation is already finished… so that means, they only have little strength left to have fun, won’t they?”

With a low voice that was rare for a woman, the voice with a sense of intimidation like steel could be heard.

They turned back to look. Inside the grove of trees, a blonde woman clad in pitch black military uniform was looking to their side.

The black clothed woman suddenly chanted her spell.

“…Yo. For the sake of soldiers desiring Valhalla, descend from Asgard and show those brave figures. I too will show the spirit of a hero. Oh Asgard’s gods of war… Right here to me.”

She was a woman with a bizarre form. On top of wearing a military uniform, a large sword sheathed in its scabbard was attached to her hips and a boorish shield was held on her left hand. It was not a shield used by swordsmen in Japan.

At the same time with the end of her spell, those pitch black military uniform was wrapped with the light of Astrum Connection(Access)―she transformed into an armored form that shined fantastically like it was made from blue jewels. This is… Magic Dress?

This woman is… there is no way, Germany’s Einherjar?

“…Mio, Lotte, enemy!!”

That female soldier was just like a Valkyrie, she drew her sword out and dashed toward this side. They didn’t know the reason, but it was obvious that she was showing hostility to them!

Kazuki too took the stance of Iai while chanting his spell and dashed towards the opponent.

At his back, Lotte and Mio too started their spell chant one beat later.

The fight was―intricate!

“…I will do a good fight, meet a good death, and hope to participate in the fight of Asgard even more! Grant the crimson blood divine protection on me!  Berserk(Crimson Eyes of War God)!!”

The armored female soldier chanted a spell. She invoked some kind of magic and her eyes shined crimson.

At the same time, her running speed also fiercely accelerated. …This was unmistakably a reinforcement magic.

“Mitrailleuse! Prophet… Fire!!”

“Barrett!”

First the gatling gun, and then one beat later, the flame bullet overtook Kazuki and flew to the female soldier.

The female soldier opened wide her crimson eyes that look like it were burning and quickly stuck out the shield in her left hand.

The gatling and flame bullets were accurately deflected by the small shield.

…Her reflexes were superhuman. Having said that, it was not foresight like Kazuki. The magic from before might not have reinforced just her body but also her reflexes.

…Moreover that shield, how could it deflect Barrett without even a scratch!?

Kazuki and the female soldier who ran in a straight line finally came into contact.

The female soldier swung down the large western sword that she carried on her shoulder. Kazuki promptly drew his Iai.

As for Kazuki, his first draw of the sword was not for the sake of attacking.

He met the slash of the female soldier, he then shifted his body while redirecting the opponent’s strength. Strong!

However, for Kazuki who had already experienced countless locking of swords, that slash’s weight was in the realm he had never before experienced.

Even so, the posture of the opponent was broken, Kazuki released his second slash with the timing of hitting the enemy.

However the left hand of the female soldier moved with the speed that looked like it could even repel light, Kazuki’s slash was repelled by the shield.

“…The moment the sword touched each other, it felt soft and my posture was thrown out of order. You use an interesting technique huh, lad.”

The female soldier laughed so to Kazuki. …She could speak Japanese!?

The counter attack of the female soldier instantly came. Kazuki having foreseen the slash evaded it.

The desperate offense and defense put a stop to Kazuki’s concentration. The spell Kazuki prepared was dispersed.

To chant magic in this level of crossing swords was still difficult for Kazuki.

The gatling bullet and Barrett gave some cover fire for Kazuki in the middle of these, but the female soldier manipulated her shield with precise movement. She prioritized defending against Barret that had more damaging power rather than the gatling gun.

A soldier and at the same time also a Magica Stigma. Like seeing himself in the mirror…

“Are you Germany’s knight? If you understand Japanese then answer, why did you attack us?”

Kazuki inquired without letting his guard down, but the female soldier only leaked a laughing voice.

“Rather than that, let’s have a good battle, lad.”

And then she slashed at Kazuki once more. Kazuki desperately fought back but―the female soldier was too composed.

While performing sword locking with Kazuki, the enemy chanted her spell.

“Divine protection of military man, whirl inside my body, double the might of heaven(Megin) (AN: Megin is the norse word of might or power)! Spurred into endless battle by god’s intention, in this body! …Megingjörð(The Belt of Whirling Heaven’s Might) (AN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megingj%C3%B6r%C3%B0)!”

…Glittering light swooped down from heaven to the female soldier’s body. The limbs of the female soldier that absorbed the light grew like it was augmenting the muscle.

The female soldier stepped in with an acceleration completely like a cheetah.

If Kazuki was not an expert in foresight he would be cut up like a scarecrow for sure.

However, Kazuki observed the premonition of her movement, grasped the distance, predicted the trajectory of her sword, and finally dealt with the godspeed slash. He didn’t oppose the power of the slash, and by redirecting it with a flowing motion, he used the momentum to break his opponent’s posture.

His hands became numb from the extraordinary weight of the slash.

Kazuki returned with his counter-attack, but the female soldier who had her whole body reinforced easily blocked it with the shield in her left hand.

And then―the superhuman strong sword flew once again.

…It doesn’t feel like facing a human opponent!

“You don’t use summoning magic huh, lad! How, what kind of way that you use to throw my sword off balance!? Really interesting huh, so this is Japan’s sword skill, isn’t it!? The mystery of the east!”

The female soldier with blazing eyes smiled with great joy in the middle of the fight.

“…Fire Wall!”

While redirecting his opponent’s sword, Kazuki desperately chanted level 2 magic and invoked it.

A wall of flame was rising from the ground under the feet of the female soldier in a perfect surprise attack.

The female soldier stepped back with her sharp reflexes, but she couldn’t avoid it perfectly and the blue lights of defensive magic power were scattered. …the first attack from this side.

“Is this Japan’s summoning magic? What a cowardly attack.”

The female soldier laughed in a broad grin. The damage was thin.

What a joke, why must we suddenly get attacked by this kind of monster.

“Mio, Lotte, spread out crosswise! No matter how fast she is, the shield can only defend from one side!!”

“You give a troublesome direction huh, lad! Then I’ll deal with the son of the bitch vanguard quickly!!”

The female soldier swung down her strong sword once again, Kazuki redirected that attack and repelled it.

The sounds of the sword fight resounded fiercely. Mixed with those sounds―a woman’s angry voice could be heard.

“You guys, what are you doing there! Why are you fighting when the Haunted Ground was already liberated!? …Who is that one!?”

Was she sensed with the flow of magic power? The two knights Kazuki encountered in the shrine was rushing here.

The female soldier was “Oh?” and made a surprised face.

“I see, in other words the information about me was only shared to… Loki’s subjugation team, does it?”

Hearing those whispers, Kazuki was “What is she saying?” pondering that in his mind.

“The [protection target] is being attacked! Kondo, go!”

“…Roger!”

The female Magica Stigma passed down an order, the male swordsman called Kondo was approaching here.

Protection target…? Did she mean Lotte? No, these two knights… was looking at Mio?

“Is this only coincidence… are you bastards also as fun as this lad!?”

The German female soldier clad in blue helmet and armor separated from Kazuki and went to face Kondo.

This is bad. Even though this Kondo was a knight, an average swordsman might be instant-killed!

The female knight eliminated their respective distance with terrific speed and slashed at Kondo. That sword movement was simple but rigid. Even while Kondo was gazing in wonder to that speed, he somehow used his katana to block the female soldier’s sword.

When their blades locked against each other, Kondo was trying to force back the sword right from the front. But that was a thoughtless move. The female soldier’s superhuman herculean strength easily sent Kondo’s sword flying.

The surprised expression was erased from his face, changing into fear.

“…So not all Japan’s swordsman use the same skill like that lad before.”

The female soldier whispered as if bored, and cut down Kondo without a second thought. Kondo was blown away like an old rag by the smashed magic’s (AN: I’m using smashed magic as the phrase for the magic backlash when someone’s defensive magic power was hit by a strong attack) shockwave. The majority of his defensive magic power was stolen in only one attack.

“…I lost my interest. You bastard, die.”

The female soldier pointed the tip of her sword in order to grant the finishing blow.

“…I won’t let you!!”

At that time Kazuki sprinted with all his strength and entered between them, he barely deflected the female soldier’s slash.

Just like that Kazuki redirected the female soldier’s consecutive attacks one after another to protect Kondo.

“What the, what kind of sword skill is this…?”

While in the state of falling in his backside, the swordsman, Kondo leaked a voice of admiration toward Kazuki’s sword handling.

“You bastard! Abandon the like of swordsman and attack the opponent!! And yet you called yourself knight cadet!!”

The female Magica Stigma was being protected by a swordsman, yet she yelled a misdirected thing.

“This is not an opponent that you can fight upfront, don’t you understand!?”

Kazuki unintentionally forgot that the other side is an adult in the heat of sword fighting and yelled back.

“Cadet… a student huh. But you have a considerable skill for a mere child. Come, what fascinating thing you’ll show me next!?”

“Don’t make light of a student… Einherjar!”

The female soldier’s bored expression returned a smile. Getting pleased like that…

“You guys’ Heaven and Earth Formation has been undone! Go escape first!! We will look for a chance to escape too!!”

The female Magica Stigma took in her male swordsman partner’s exhaustion and “Chih”
clicked her tongue. Thereupon she gave instructions just like what Kazuki said.

“Forming Heaven and Earth Formation with lowly swordsman like you, let’s retreat for the moment!”

“So, sorry, cadet young man! I’m indebted to you!”

The female Magica Stigma escaped one step ahead, Kondo was also chasing her back while stumbling all over himself. …The sooner they weren’t here would make it easier to try to escape.

“Mio! If there is a chance let’s escape with level 5 magic!”

“…Using that magic for escaping!? …Aahh! Understood!”

Mio showed her displeasure for only an instant, but in the light of the abnormal situation, she soon consented.

“Discussing your escape… what a kill-joy. Do you think I’ll give you the chance? Resolve yourself… the resolution to enjoy the fight with me till the end!!”

The female soldier slashed at Kazuki with the mixed expression of anger and joy. Kazuki redirected it and sealed off the opponent attack by disturbing her posture. The two’s dance was restarted.

If they used Phoenix’s level 5―[Blazing Wings], they should be able to escape with Phoenix’s wings as long as the opponent didn’t use any movement magic.

The problem wasn’t the rear guard Mio, but whether the vanguard Kazuki had the composure to chant such high level magic or not…!

Even while crossing swords against each other, Kazuki and the female soldier respectively chanted their spell. However, due to the fierce offense and defense, it was not a simple thing. ―Especially in regard to Kazuki who was still inexperienced in Summoning Magic.

“If you said you’re going to escape, then I won’t go easy anymore! …Thor, god of Asgard! The roar of the applause for my blade dance resounded! The thunder of the sky reside in this sword, no longer even the exchange of shield and halberd are allowed, send to oblivion!! Fjörgyn Megin(Thunder Sword)!!”

The atmosphere was vibrating, a flash of lightning fell from the sky aiming at the female soldier’s sword.

Electricity dwelled inside the sword, it was swung down at Kazuki in that condition.

Immediately, Kazuki attempted to redirect the attack with his katana. But the moment the blades touched each other, electricity flowed into Kazuki’s body. Defensive magic power protected Kazuki from the electric shock, but the shockwave of smashed magic was sent to his whole body.

The magic to keep lightning element in a sword― it would turn into a huge damage even with just touching swords.

Just like the foxes tinged with electricity that they encountered in the shrine.

“With this your sword skills have no chance, lad!”

With this Kazuki must perfectly evade all her attacks. If Kazuki couldn’t disturb the opponent’s posture anymore, the severity of the consecutive attacks would increase even more.

With his opponent’s sword attached with <attribute>, as a swordsman, Kazuki was cornered into a predicament at once.

This woman just now said about the god, Thor… Thor of Norse Mythology!

“…Are, are you okay!?”

The male swordsman, Kondo who seems to not have escaped, and was watching over the situation, shouted because he saw Kazuki’s predicament. …I’m happy that you’re worried but, why are you still here? Kazuki made a bitter face.

“I’m fine, so run away!”

Kazuki shouted back, this time the man turned his back once again and escaped for good.

The cover fire of gatling gun and flame bullet were also flying but there was no effect.

Was it impossible… to escape? At least Mio and Lotte need to escape…

The moment despair crossed in his mind― A crack ‘bikibikibiki!’ ran on the air behind the female soldier.

“What!?” She leaked out a surprised voice and turned back.

The sound of the world being cracked resounded, a large black drop spilled over from the crack.

Cancer―in this timing!? …Is this kind of coincidence possible?

The large black drop was―changed into the form of a giant with its body covered in red hot flame.

“The giant of Muspelheim! …There is no way this is a natural occurrence with this kind of timing! Lad, is this you bastard’s plan!?”

There was no way that was true. But― Demon Beast summoning. He happened to know that magic!

This timing was as if to save them, Kazuki was not fully satisfied with this but…

“Mio, now! Start to chant!”

Kazuki dashed to Mio and Lotte’s direction. The female soldier clicked her tongue ‘chih’ from Kazuki’s flight. The flame giant looked down on the female soldier. Its fist that looked like a log on fire swung down.

The female soldier blocked it with her shield. …That woman’s shield could even block that kind of attack!

Kazuki held up Lotte in a princess carry.

“”Blazing Wings!””

Kazuki and Mio matched their timing to invoke their magic. They adjusted their wings of flame expansion so as not to spread the fire to the trees, weaving their ways to soar up to the sky.

“Rage and blessing exist together in my war! Acting as the agent of the god of war, in thy crown rage and blessing poured on existence…!!”

The female soldier facing the giant swirled terrific magic power while shouting her spell.

Without a doubt, a high level summoning magic. An avatar of a muscular military man raised from the back of the female soldier. A red glint of eye that looked burning, also a red beard that look like a flame, he carried a large hammer in his right hand. An unrefined hammer with an extremely short handle.

The avatar of the military man overlapped with the female soldier and disappeared. And then only the hammer was left behind in the female soldier’s right hand. The female soldier jumped to the top of the giant’s head with that hammer in one hand.

“Mjollnir(Smashed Skull’s Noise)!!”

‘ZUTON!’ a loud reverberation rang out, the female soldier swung down the hammer on the giant’s head.

The giant’s head was sunk down up to its abdomen in one go. A dreadful power was produced to hit the head until it sunk down to the middle. The body of the giant distorted flabbily. And then it was blown away as particles, leaving no trace.

…That kind of power…. If she used that kind of magic….

While feeling shivers, Kazuki and Mio flew away as far as possible until the effect of the wings of flame were cut off. The intrusion of the German Norse knight, the intrusion of the Japanese knights whose intentions were not known, and then the last was the intrusion of the mysterious Cancer―

The second quest of Kazuki and the others were over with many puzzles jumbled together.


 

Part 3

―That place was a room encroached by the dusk.

What greeted Kazuki and the others, who were going to report the result of the quest, were instructions for him to head towards the student guidance room alone.

Mio showed her disapproval towards the idea of Kazuki going alone, but Kazuki could imagine the reason of those instructions.

…It seems that they didn’t want Lotte to be present at the place, so they named a representative to come alone.

There was no doubt that this talk was about that female soldier.

Inside the student guidance room, that was dyed dark red by the evening sun from the window, Liz Liza-sensei was waiting alone.

“Sensei, please explain what in the world is going on.”

Before Liz Liza-sensei opened her mouth, Kazuki jumped the gun and pressed his question.

“We were targeted by Germany’s Einherjar at the end of the quest. The other party was contracted with a Diva of Norse’s Mythology, Thor. The one who was targeted was probably Lotte. …This incident wasn’t supposed to happen.”

Kazuki reported dispassionately.

“I don’t understand how things could turn out like this, but if things doesn’t change, then Lotte will be in danger. Lotte needs to be transferred from this academy to the Knight Order, then we ought to request the Knight Order to strengthen the monitoring of the Einherjar. A firmer security is needed.”

Kazuki dared to say an obvious matter stupidly.

“We can’t do that.”

Liz Liza-sensei only spat out a sentence.

“…Why is that?”

“Because all of you weren’t attacked by anyone. Publicly that is.”

The light of the evening sun from the window, cast a deep shadow on Liz Liza-sensei’s face.

Liz Liza-sensei donned the expression of a cold adult.

“The name of the Einherjar that’s contracted with Thor is Beatrix Baumgard. She slipped out from the lodging house of the Knight Order alone at 14:23, Japan time. She trespassed Okutama’s Haunted Ground. Even without your report, the Knight Order had already grasped all her movement. Her monitoring was not neglected for even a second.”

“You understand to that extent, and she already attacked with impunity, yet you will keep saying that there was no attack?”

Though that reply was just as Kazuki expected― a cold sweat ran on his back.

The attack on Lotte by Einherjar was not supposed to happen. Moreover the government and the Knight Order were not planning to get involved. In short…

“…The government and the Knight Order didn’t plan to shelter Lotte from the start. All those refusal to hand over Lotte’s person and the protection were just for [outward appearance], is that so?”

“Japan didn’t accept Germany’s proposal and respected the life of the refugee. Germany was understanding and came to Japan only for the sake of defeating their common enemy, Loki. Then unrelated at all to Japan and Germany’s united front―Lotte died in an unfortunate accident. That sort of plot. It couldn’t be helped if it was an accident.”

“Don’t fuck with me! …There is no way that kind of forced [It can’t be helped] could exist!”

“Speaking honestly, for Germany, it seems it doesn’t matter whatever Loki did. Their order of priority is the opposite. That’s why entrusting Lotte to the academy was only a feint. The matter of Einherjar coming to Japan under the pretext of subjugating Loki to secretly assassinate Lotte, the Japanese government recognized it implicitly. All for the sake of preserving favorable relations with other foreign countries and Germany.”

“Even my encounter with Lotte… was that nothing more than an arrangement to lure Lotte to the ideal place for assassination in the quest?”

“There was no other way to preserve the balance of power between the Magic Advance Countries.”

“…Lotte didn’t seek power only for the sake of her greed. Didn’t she do it only to escape her destiny of death by sickness?”

“Everyone knows her circumstance already.”

Liz Liza-sensei just shrugged her shoulder to the words that Kazuki squeezed out.

“That girl only tried desperately to live! The nation is an enormous existence, but they are going to gang up on one girl and trample her underfoot just like that? Even arranging a forced plot like this! Isn’t there any other way?”

“There is no need to search for any other way. Other than the misfortune of Lotte whose existence is trivial, everything else would work out just fine, don’t you agree? …The only object a country has the obligation to protect is its people. The current era Japan doesn’t have any allowance to recognize the human rights of a refugee who came as she pleased.”

Is she saying that seriously?

To agree that Lotte is not a human deep from the heart after seeing her smile…

“Someone who could let a person die because of that kind of reason is not a human!”

Kazuki never thought that Liz Liza-sensei was this kind of person who could explain such unreasonable, behind the scenes plot, without even cracking an expression. Was Liz Liza-sensei really aware of this reality?

When she encouraged Kazuki that he would be able to succeed in the quest, was she already aware of this?

“…If you can’t agree, then what are you going to do? Trash.”

While leaning her back on the chair, Liz Liza-sensei questioned with a testy tone.

At that instant, an obvious reply naturally floated inside Kazuki’s mind.

“If the government doesn’t have any intention to involve themselves in the supposed incident that would befall Lotte… no one shouldn’t have any complaint if someone saved Lotte from the accident willfully.“

His expression warped unconsciously. Kazuki floated a smile half in desperation.

“Even if Beatrix had the tables turned on her and she gets into an accident, in a place where there is supposed to be no one, Germany won’t have any right to complaint. …We are of equal status in this regard.”

If this was not an official matter then the story is simple.

“Don’t say such reckless things like a child. The opponent is Germany’s ace you know?”

“I will―protect Lotte! I won’t accept such thing!”

Liz Liza-sensei’s rock hard expression… broke suddenly.

She suddenly bent her back with all her strength and released a huge sigh.

Thereupon she stood from her chair and turned on the light of the student guidance room that had turned dark.

“…Sorry, Hayashizaki. I was anticipating from the start that a student like you will say such thing.”

Liz Liza-sensei sat back on the chair and said so while leaning on her back powerlessly.

“The order that was handed down to me was to forbid you and Amasaki from speaking, when you come back, where Lotte is killed while you guys survived. But forbidding you to speak is useless talk, isn’t it? Moreover, I thought that Lotte’s chances of returning alive was high with two people that can use Phoenix’s level 5 magic, if you guys devoted yourself to escaping. Stop underestimating my student, that kind of talk.”

“…So Liz Liza-sensei already predicted everything from the start… including my action… was it? You don’t plan to let Lotte die…”

“You are still not trusted by anyone and evaluated too little but, you are the possessor of a King’s power. Other than entrusting Lotte to you, there is no one else who has any chance of saving her. Sorry Hayashizaki. If you are really the King of Solomon― ignore the likes of the country’s scheme and save the girl. …I’m counting on you.”

Liz Liza-sensei had already seen through that the person called Hayashizaki Kazuki was that kind of human.

However… rather than saying things like aiming to become a harem king, this objective was much more easier to consent.

{If your caliber is only to the extent of letting Lotte die at this point, even Leme won’t acknowledge you as our King. It’s obvious that you have to save Lotte if you’re a King, so to speak. This is the ordeal you need to pass to become a King.}

Leme’s voice resounded inside Kazuki’s mind. Leme was enthusiastic too.

Mio would also approve of this.

“Well then, what is going to happen from now on in regards to the previous scheme?”

“You guys keep your mouths shut and take Lotte to challenge a quest once more, at that time it will be arranged for Beatrix to attack again. There won’t be any witnesses if it’s inside the Haunted Ground. The role of you guys are to shut your mouth and guide Lotte once more to that kind of place.”

“…In other words if we know the timing of the attack beforehand, we can anticipate Beatrix with any kind of preparation of our own, right?”

“However, you cannot take Otonashi Kaguya and the others. If the student council president is present in the scene, we won’t be able to say that [Our academy’s student protected her by their own initiative though―]. Nonetheless, the time to prepare for Beatrix is not long. …One month. If you can turn her away one more time, they shouldn’t be able to meddle so openly and the period of cooperation with Einherjar would be over. If it turned out like that, they would lose all excuse and they would eventually go back to their country.”

So we couldn’t rely on our senpais. And even then… the opponent was a formidable enemy.

“A student overreaching himself cannot become an opponent who can oppose Beatrix. After all, she is Germany’s ace. But you are a King. Lotte’s Diva is originally a Diva with considerable power. If you could use him well, then the chance of victory would appear. For the sake of defeating an enemy with your limited power…”

King, the moment he heard that word, Kazuki felt an unpleasant premonition. Liz Liza-sensei announced.

“In this limited time of preparation, increase Lotte’s positivity level as much as possible from now on.”

So in the end this ended up like that, Kazuki cradled his head.

“By the way, we met the knights of Japan’s Knight Order in the Haunted Ground. They barged on the fight with Beatrix too, but what’s with that?”

Kazuki inquired so before he left the student guidance room.

“…What are you talking about? All the knights in Tokyo should be already informed about Beatrix. To show hostility to Beatrix, what is…?”

Liz Liza-sensei knitted her eyebrow, this was the first time that she was baffled by the situation.

“Its impossible for Japan’s knights to be in that place.”


 

Part 4

“Don’t screw with me! …This kind of thing should not have happened!!”

―A voice of an old man rang out behind the closed door of the headmaster’s office.

“If there was even a little mistake, my Mio-tan would… ehem, my step daughter would have died! For Germany’s Einherjar to attack our students in the middle of the quest…!!”

“How could Board Chairman Amasaki know about… Aah, I see. So the two knights mentioned in the report are your protégés, is that so?”

Headmaster Otonashi responded so while leaning his back in the cushioned creaking chair.

“…Those knights were the kids I taught previously. I called them from other provinces.”

“I see. That bit was the only thing incomprehensible in this incident. Even though all the member of the knights in the metropolis were already gathered into Loki’s subjugation team and got informed about Beatrix’s movement, why  were those knights loitering on that quest uninformed… By any chance, will you always rely on your former students to shadow and protect your step daughter everytime she challenged a quest?”

“Not always, this is the first time. She failed on those quest before so… it can’t be helped! Because Mio-tan formed a party with a useless rank E! Taking into account of that risk… this is a reasonable measure!!”

“So you call your step daughter something like [Mio-tan] habitually… I received the report about Amasaki Mio’s personality, but… I think I see how that personality could take form.”

“Fuh, there are also things I want to say about you bastard’s training plan for your daughter, but right now it doesn’t matter. Why did Germany’s knight attacked the students? I never heard anything about this. Don’t joke around, you knew this before it happened.”

“A gag order was planned for the aftermath, but there was no danger to their life. The Einherjar had been informed that the only one that could be killed was Lotte. Nonetheless, I guess there was still the risk of those battle-crazy savages going overboard, they didn’t change at all since they were still called Vikings. Those rabble are really the same as the ones told about in Norse Mythology.”

“Stop your bullshit! …In the worst case… Shit, she got swallowed in this kind of plot because she grouped together with that kind of brat…!”

Board chairman Amasaki changed the brunt of his wrath because he realized there was nothing he could do by himself about the diplomatic relations between Japan and Germany. If Mio was not in the same party with Hayashizaki Kazuki, then she wouldn’t be in any danger.

Headmaster Otonashi twitched his eyebrows toward those words.

That kid was certainly a hindrance…

It was not the same stupid reason because he had similar tastes about his daughter, like this old man.

There was no way in the world that they could welcome the likes of a 15 year old kid as the [King of Magica Stigma].

Knight Academy, Knight Order, government…  all those organizations had already possessed [vested interests] regarding the Magica Stigma. All the people had already solidified their status up to this point, then suddenly they were told that they had to serve a 15 year old kid, who in the world could do that…

The power and influence of the King must be chipped off as much as possible.

The extremist like Liz Liza Westwood advocated that they [ought to support] the King. But [Reduce the power of the King], that was the consensus of all the people that stood at the top of the organizations.

“…Your knight protégée shouldn’t make their report regarding the quest public.”

“That’s obvious, do you think we can report that kind of thing? Is there something wrong with that?”

A new scheme came to mind inside Headmaster Otonashi’s brain.

“…There is something interesting from the report of those knights.  If we could use that a little, we could also get rid of that eyesore child from this academy while also taking care of Charlotte at the same time. Your daughter could also move into a more proper girl-only party then.”

This old board chairman also shared the common position of not welcoming the King after all.

And then the step daughter he doted on above all things could stay far away from Hayashizaki Kazuki.

Nonetheless, Hayashizaki Kazuki was also one of the students that he need to protect as a teacher.

For a while, Board Chairman Amasaki’s eyes were wavering in hesitation while feeling the weight of his duty.

But in the end― he nodded for the sake of his step-daughter. Headmaster Otonashi smiled.


 

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