The event at our school festival was decided to be a butler cafe.
And since I got heated up with that flow, I also had to do my best.
I was pretty embarrassed when I calmed down thinking about what I had just said, but I couldn’t put back what I had said.
So, when the homeroom was over, I went straight to the library and got a book.
『KNOWLEDGE OF A BUTLER』
It’s said that this book was written hundreds of years ago, but it seems to be a great book that has been published all the time even to the present day.
…Alright, let’s check the contents immediately.
I wonder, how did the old professional butler feel when doing his job here?
Opened the first page… There was only one line on that first page.
『Be patient. And the road will be opened.』
… I see, it’s a deep word. This may have some serious meaning… perhaps similar to a saying in the previous world, something like “Perseverance prevails.”… I guess?
In other words, even if you feel pain, if you endure and do your best, you will succeed. Must be such teaching. Judging from this, I think that the work of a butler, must be very difficult.
Perhaps the author had a hard time? And he endured and became a first-class butler.
Now, now, I can’t help but have a little more respect for this person
I continued reading.
……Apparently, this book was written in a diary format, and as I read it, it was written in a way that made it easier for the reader to feel the author’s emotions.
Also apparently, the author had no intention of becoming a butler at first, but he borrowed money since he wasted it too much on extravagance and so decided to serve as a butler to stay alive.
In the first half, it was clear that he still couldn’t accept the situation.
『”I can not forgive! They should be thankful to me for spending their money! Then bow their heads to me! But, they want me to pay back the loan with the interest!? I can not forgive!”』
…… Yeah, he seems like a dangerous person no matter what I think. It’s really surprising that such a person has made a name for himself in history.
The author was thus put into a butler’s training school for debt. From this point on, the author’s arrogant attitude weakened, and his feelings leaked.
Apparently, there were other people who received butler education together with the author, but unlike the author, they were said to be of the butler’s family and had many conflicts with the author.
『”Why, why should I do this… why, why is this happening to me… It’s a woman’s thing to work…”』
I see… this sentence clearly indicates that even a person who may become a good person later will not be able to heal his core immediately.
I continued reading while thinking that the author would get better soon, but without that happening, he graduated from the school.
For the time being, it seemed that he had become able to do his job, albeit poorly, but it could be understood through the book that his core was still rotten.
『”That woman, I can’t forgive her. How dare she gave me an order…”』
It was the impression of the first day the author served someone as a butler.
Well… I’m looking forward to seeing how he will change.
I continued reading the book, which I enjoyed more than I expected. At first, I thought the contents would be something like a how-to or a guide to developing your personality to be a butler, so I was disappointed, but in a good way.
『”Today, I was ordered again and again. It’s humiliation. But, somehow I…”』
Oh, has the change of consciousness finally happened? I see… loyalty was born inside him while serving. Must be.
『”I was accused of being late at work today… it was quite…”』
『”I have overflowed the tea brewed specially for the head of the family. I was kicked in her ass……. But, Why…?”』
『”I was introduced to the young lady’s friend. When I bowed to a stranger, my heart… it got hot.”』
Isn’t the author going in a different direction than I’m thinking?
With such a question, I read further.
『”I’m gradually getting used to this work. Today, I received a compliment from my master.”』
Oh, a big development?
『”But, I’m not happy at all. I don’t need such kind eyes. Look at me like a livestock, look down on me more. Moreee…!”』
『”… But, I finally understand. Rather than being constantly abused, the cold eyes that are directed by occasional mistakes, are more exciting. I’ll do my job perfectly from tomorrow, and if I can’t stand it, I’ll just need to make a mistake…… Then, I’ll be… looked… with those frigid eyes… I’m looking forward to it.”』
I turned the pages, recognizing that the fun I had felt earlier… had disappeared.
Pushed myself to finish reading the book, and closed it.
Then, I muttered unconsciously.
“It’s not the butler’s knowledge, it’s the way to be an M…” [TN: Masochist]
…… Anyway, let’s recommend this to Fukushima tomorrow. Maybe it’ll be helpful for him.
I’ll also introduce it to Seimei’s Student Council President, Shirogane.
Residents of the Dalimarx territory, including Kopetsk city, were obliged to participate in group military training once a month. As the result, group operations remained at a higher level than Walm had envisioned.
“It’s more decent than I expected.”
A group of 100 people moved forward with a drum and the commander’s shout. They turned around and pushed their spears all at once. Based on the formation, this group could be counted as one unit.
It was good enough for a war-unaware soldier who had just been summoned. After all, they would be soon or later painted with human vomit and gastric juice. It reminded Walm of his first battle, a sour and bitter memory. He didn’t think of anything when he first stabbed an enemy soldier. Just that, not long after, the feeling of twisting people’s viscera through his spear, which resulted in the death of the enemy soldiers, rushed back to his mind and never left since then.
“Prepare the fireeee!”
Walm, who was on the sidelines, was shouted for work. Walm manipulated his mana, concentrated it on his palm, and embodied the fireball.
“Don’t hit the people”
Another regular soldier put pressure on Walm.
In response to the commander’s words, the fireball landed next to a small group. Of course, Walm had no intention of hitting. If he did that, it would be the start of his lonely battle with the people here.
By raising the “fireworks”, it was the start of the next training, the battle virgins’ eyes were nailed to Walm. To diminish their fear of magic, he was told to launch fireworks and entertain the group.
The blast that hit the eardrum and the hot air that rushed to the skin deprived the soldiers of their concentration. There was nothing wrong with their reaction, but due to the disorder of their legs and spear tip, the accompanying regular soldiers sent a fierce scolding and fist.
Since he would be operating separately from the infantry as a magic user, it wasn’t necessary for him to participate in that play. Walm was truly relieved. In his eyes, this was just like an amusement park, only fun. And Walm, was one of the welcoming employees.
Distracted by the blue flame, a young soldier, wasn’t an exaggeration to say that he was still a boy, stumbled. The regular soldier grabbed his chest and raised him up, then slapped him from the left and right.
“If you fall on the battlefield, you’re only waiting for death. Do you want to be crushed by hundreds of soles and have a pathetic death!? If you fail, the people around you will die! If you want to die, die alone!!! Keep your concentration!!”
“I-I’m very sorry!”
The young soldier with a swollen face raised his voice and returned to the formation. Walm once again shot a fireball at the location closest to the young soldiers.
The ground was dug up, the soil fell apart from the sky, and hot air fueled the group. The young soldier clenched his teeth and endured without falling. Rather, other soldiers who let their guard down thinking that the fireball wouldn’t land in close proximity were falling down one by one.
“It’s like bowling.”
The regular soldier spread his anger as the blood rushed to his brain.
The regular soldier looked as if he was about to die of indignation before the battle with the Meisenav family.
Seeing it, Walm murmured.
The regular soldier was so desperate. The more the people collapsed in the training, the more they put their own lives at stake. Still, Walm didn’t feel sorry for the people who continued to train in a rush.
In a training, even if you failed at something, you would only be scolded harshly, but if you made a mistake on the battlefield, it might lead to your death. As an honor of the regular soldier desperately trying to attach claws and sharp horns to the flock of sheep, Walm offered to entertain him by shooting more blue fireworks without hesitation.
Kuwen, was born as the fourth son of a farmer. He had been living together with his parents for 15 years.
The parents’ house was a typical farmer, and if they filled their stomachs and paid taxes, they wouldn’t have any extra money left. His clothes and shoes were his older brothers’ clothes, but of course, those clothes were used while engaging in farm work, so they would deteriorate over time faster and were almost worn out completely due to repeated repairs.
Even if he had such complains, he was grateful to his parents for raising him and his brothers for taking care of him. Still. Kuwen wasn’t satisfied with the status quo in the family.
As time went by, the land of his parents would be inherited by the eldest son and the second son. It was just a tradition. Kuwen didn’t mean to complain there either.
There were few roads left for Kuwen as the fourth son. One would be to stay at the parents’ house as support. But, his brothers wouldn’t be unmarried for the rest of their lives. If they got a daughter-in-law and a child, Kuwen’s shoulders would become even narrower. He wouldn’t have any saying in the family.
The other would be the option to join a pioneer group that kept trying to open up the land of the Demon Territory and transform it into an area where people could live. To be clear, it would be a path of penance. Surviving the competition for survival with sporadic monsters, cutting trees, digging roots, and removing weeds and pebbles. Such would continue endlessly.
Even if he did that, it might not end with him having a successful life. There was no guarantee that the land would grow well, and although the size might be small, the cost of stationing adventurers and regular soldiers, and the funds for reclamation were debts to the former lord and must be repaid.
A powerful monster could destroy the pioneer team. His third brother had repeatedly told Kuwen about his hardships. The thing that gave hope to the troubled Kuwen was the war between the Dalimarx family and the Meizenav family.
A war. Of course, there would be a time when you must take someone’s life and someone might do the same to you. Still, this was the only way to break through the status quo. People with similar circumstances in the village and Kuwen responded to the draft. Given a copper plate instead of a promissory note, Kuwen was already a member of the military force, and the excuse of being a farmer wouldn’t work anymore.
Prewar trainings began abruptly. Kuwen was fortunate to line up with his friend of the same village, Kalim. In the village, Kalim was known as a my-pace and sloppy person. The hair was always left as it was without making it neat, before going out of the house.
Kuwen kept his pace. He was confident in his strength due to his experience in farming, but his arm holding the spear was screaming. Still, it wasn’t something he couldn’t do.
“We’ll somehow get used to this.”
Kuwen proudly said. His brown-haired friend agreed.
After that, he managed to change direction and pushed the spear with a shout. The spear cut through the sky and a wind noise remained in his ears. It was overwhelming. He had trained to swing a spear with more than a dozen people in a village, but a hundred people? Of course, it felt different.
Kuwen felt that his existence had become slightly powerful. He was in a good mood and tried to step out of his foot, but suddenly the ground exploded. The roaring sound shook the eardrum and the hot air stimulated the skin.
Kuwen couldn’t understand what happened.
The regular soldier leading the group raised his voice.
“Concentrate, don’t disturb the line!”
Kuwen realized that even the pillars of fire rising high were part of the training. He didn’t think that the training would be to this extent, but as his concentrated thoughts become distracted, he started to think more extra things.
Kuwen’s field of vision was reversed as his foot caught in a small dent. When he found out he had fallen, He heard Kalim speak unusually fast.
“Kuwen, stand up.”
His heart started to beat like a storm. Calming the confused brain, he picked up a training spear. The instructor approached fast from a gap in the group before he got up and completely grabbed his chest.
“Bastard, what are you doing?!”
When he noticed, a pain ran on both cheeks. Kuwen was unable to return from the crucible of turmoil, but the shout of the regular soldier was like a villain, ran through his eardrum and broke his leftover concentration.
“If you fall on the battlefield, you’re only waiting for death. Do you want to be crushed by hundreds of soles and have a pathetic death!? If you fail, the people around you will die! If you want to die, die alone!!! Keep your concentration!!”
“I-I’m very sorry!”
Even the heated atmosphere in the surrounding, felt cold.
“Are you OK?”
Worrying as a friend, Kuwen was asked.
Kuwen clenched his teeth and showed his determination.
“I won’t fail anymore”
Once again, the ground was scooped out by an explosion, and the soil that had been blown up in the sky poured down. It wasn’t something to be proud of, but he might have been underestimating the training too much.
Feeling the heat on his skin, Kuwen, who had regained his concentration, was shocked again. It was the same fireball as the first time, but it landed closer than before.
This time, four or five friends fell in a row. The angry regular soldier rushed and kindly gave his fist to them.
Kuwen turned his eyes to the magic-user who had scattered the blue flames. The armor on his body wasn’t those from the Archipelago. Kuwen glared at the former Highserk soldiers who recently had been talked about.
Despite the distance, Kuwen had a line of sight with the magic-user. He had golden eyes, or supposedly so, but it felt strangely dark and muddy.
Feeling a chill run through his spine, Kuwen looked away from the man. The man shot fireballs one after another and kept landing around the group. The optimistic atmosphere had now disappeared.
Then several people made mistakes, and each time the fist of a regular soldier had its fun and the number of people with swelled faces increased. Then the training ended with a sense of tension. Throw the now free limbs to the ground and opened the mouth asking for water like a dog.
Even training made his body run out of energy. Wondering what would happen in the real battle, Kuwen trembled.
“Let’s do our best”
The carefree friend said as usual. Thinking that he couldn’t show a weak behavior to Kalim, Kuwen replied with a tightened stomach.
It felt like the air in the classroom was tense because the bully had said something crazy.
Fukushima, who was swallowed by the air, swallowed his spit and sweated cold.
“What’s wrong, Fukushima-kun? Since you are trying to reach out to the existence with much history, you have the determination to fulfill the expectation, right?”
“Don’t say that you actually… don’t know anything about it, no way!? At least, you’re investigating the origin of the butler and the history, right?”
“H-history!? That… I…”
Shino-san was cornering Fukushima without moving or changing her expression.
Thanks to that, Fukushima looked at me with tearful eyes. He was asking for help. But unfortunately, Fukushima said it was his proposal, so I let it pass by.
…What? Don’t look over here.
“Hmmm? You didn’t look it up? At all? And you’re trying to do a butler cafe? Oh my, isn’t it strange? Maybe you’re underestimating what a butler is?”
Shino-san looked at Fukushima with wide-open eyes. Her brilliantly shining eyes seemed to look like someone who found tasty prey.
Fukushima-kun was trembling.
“Fukushima-kun? Say something. If you don’t say something, the talk won’t go on.”
“I-I’m sorry. I-I haven’t checked it …”
Shino-san sighed at Fukushima, even though he did his best to say an apology.
“… But as Shino-chan said, maybe we don’t have enough understanding about a butler.”
“Yes, you’re right… Certainly, there are only a few Kings in history who had butlers.”
“Wellー, most of the Kings had harems.”
“Isn’t it because a butler is a profession that requires a lot of skills? It seems like you can’t become one just because you want to.”
The girls in the class were also trying to join the conversation.
Well, I think it’s good to aim for a real butler. It’s good to have the spirit to do your best, but yeah, it’s impossible to get these crazy boys to be real butlers. I was thinking about getting rid of the etiquette and tea-making techniques, and just focusing on giving some sort of service to please the girls. I mean, as long as a man dresses as a butler, customers will come. But, Shino-san, is unexpectedly, a butler maniac, so I guess just that much won’t do…
While I was thinking such, Shino-san seemed to be also thinking about something while tapping the desk with her finger.
“Okay, I understand … Fukushima-kun.”
“Eh? W-what is it…”
“Have you ever been to this school library?”
“Then go today and take a quick look at the history of the butler.”
“Make a report of what you have investigated by tomorrow and submit it to――”
“Shino, you can’t be such a bully.”
At the moment when Shino-san tried to say something terrifying, Yuzuka-san, who had come behind her with dead eyes, swung her arm around Shino-san’s neck with a smooth movement and tightened it tightly. And she quickly caught Shino-san’s consciousness, and brought it back to reality.
As for Fukushima and the boys who saw the scene were shocked. Of course, I was shocked too.
However, the girls didn’t seem to have the same reaction as the boys. On the contrary, they looked impressed. And Minori-san had a face saying she would do the same if her seat was near Shino-san’s.
Do girls in this class always think that they would be dead if they aren’t careful? Does this class always a part of hell? Since when…?
Yuzuka-san, who slowly lowered Shino-san’s face to the desk, smiled without letting her hands away.
“Ah, I think the butler’s cafe is a good idea. If the boy treats the customers well, it’ll be definitely a success!”
As Yuzuka-san recommended the proposal for a butler café, she made a very cute gesture.
Scary… how could her expression change so quickly!
But, the other girls didn’t seem to care about it at all and began to agree with the statement.
“That’s right, I think so too! I mean, I want to come as a customer and be treated well!”
“Yeah, me too!”
“Miu too! Miu too!”
“But, I have one concern.”
“What is it?”
A natural question flew to Yuzuka-san, who made another cute gesture by touching her index finger to the cheek.
“According to a source, it seems, Seimei High may also have a butler cafe.”
“Good, let’s go!”
“That’s right, we need to give a visit and check for a “research”.”
“Can I make a reservation now?”
“Well… I wonder how much should I pay to take the butler home?”
“You, you should go to the police with me after this.”
“Ah… no, no, I don’t mean to say that… I’m just kidding, hahaha”
Yuzuka-san cleared her throat so as to not let the talk go even further astray.
“If they really do, we’ll have fierce competition for customers. We may not be able to rank in the top ranks either.”
Everyone was convinced that the words must be true.
“Furthermore, I think that everyone in Seimei will probably do it properly. There is also a point that we’ll be compared to each other. If our is clearly inferior, we’ll just be a laughing stock.”
Yuzuka-san continued to say.
“One more, they have a brand called Seimei. They’re regarded as sacred since only boys go to that school. So, if those sacred beings do a butler café, it’ll be a big topic for sure.”
What Yuzuka-san said was correct. But her words tickled my pride.
There’s no choice…
I stood up quietly and told Yuzuka-san.
“It’s true that the other side has a long history and is well known. But I, am in this class… The winner of the King of Boys. Which is still, a hot topic right now. We’re not necessarily in a bad position.”
The girl in the classroom screamed.
And Yuzuka-san, who received my words, smiled and said,
“That’s right. That’s why, let’s definitely win!”
At that moment, the students in my class shout a battle cry all at once. It was a moment when the hearts of class 1-1’s students were united toward the school festival.
The only problem was that I was the one who proposed this idea to Seimei and also the boys in my class.
I hope no one would find out that I was the one who proposed the butler cafe to Seimei. I mean, I didn’t do anything wrong! I just tried to help my friend… yeah, it’s not my fault…
94. It’s dangerous to do things in a strange tension
“―――So? Any excuse?”
Atsushi simply asked Kaede a question.
“Hmm? You don’t understand the situation? Do you say that you can’t understand why you’re now sitting in a seiza position while being surrounded?”
Current situation… Four people were surrounding her.
And at the center, Kaede sat down with her shoulders narrowed as if a child being preached. No, it wasn’t “as if”. In fact, now she was receiving a ferocious sermon from four people.
Needless to say, there was a cause for it.
“Really, I was really impatient when I saw it from below. When I thought there was a girl hanging in the air, the next moment she fell.”
『”Yeah, that made my heart stop beating for a moment. No joke, my eyes turned white for a moment… but what’s even more surprising was that the girl stopped falling halfway.”』
Yuri’s words weren’t exaggerated. In fact, Atsushi’s mind was blown away when he saw the scene. Dropping a person from the roof, wasn’t funny for someone seeing it, even from far away.
Only, this time, it could be said that the girl was lucky because she didn’t fall to death.
“Well, so, how did you hang her in the air?”
“I did my best with both hands.”
“Oi, don’t be so proud about it. Again, it’s not that. I’m talking about why the fall stopped halfway.”
“Oh, that one. It’s a lifeline. I made it with sheets and curtains I collected from the hospital.”
“A lifeline… but I didn’t see anything at that time?”
“Because I made it transparent with my power. I fainted her once, and at that time I attached a lifeline in a transparent state. Thanks to that, she didn’t even notice that a lifeline was attached to her.”
Atsushi was holding his head against Kaede who said such a thing.
Certainly, if you were in a panicked state, you might have a hard time noticing something, and if the thing was transparent, the effect would be enormous. In such a state, there was no time to feel a sense of discomfort, even if something was tied to the legs.
However. Still, it could be said that it was a sloppy strategy.
“Really, how could you do such a dangerous thing.”
“D-dangerous…? Well, it may be true that it was dangerous, but I made a lifeline. Sure, it wasn’t absolutely safe, but I was careful enough to not let her die…”
“Seriously? Really? Are you really saying that?”
“…….Umm, honestly, I think I overdid it a little.”
Kaede’s counterargument was cut off in Atsushi’s words.
It’s too optimistic to say that I’m relieved because I made a lifeline. Certainly, as a result, it was successful and was able to give a tremendous effect.
“Well, I just heard about the situation. I have no intention of sympathizing with that woman. But… still, it’s a different story. What would you do if that woman fell and died? “
“Urhhh… I, don’t know…”
Kaede couldn’t argue against Atsushi’s words.
If the lifeline broke… The result would be, something that Kaede might regret in the future.
“But, well, umm… I mean, the things that had accumulated in various ways inside of me exploded, and that made me feel weird… I couldn’t control it… Yeah, it was my fault.”
“Huff… anyway, where did that idea come from?”
“That’s, well… I got the idea from the movie I borrowed from Shirasawa the other day…”
“In other words, you are the real culprit huh?”
『”Fua!?? No, no, no, just renting a movie is not evil! Why am I treated as a villain!!?? I mean, I can’t look into the future!!”』
Only this time, Atsushi had no choice but to accept such a reason. Yuri had no intention of having Kaede do anything similar to something from her recommended movie. Normally, people just watched the movie and no one would try to do the same. So, Kaede’s case was a bit different.
Kaede’s tension led her in a strange direction so much that she acted without thinking much.
“Well, well. It’s passed already. And it seems, that girl won’t do something bad to you again, see there.”
Makoto pointed to Kana who was on the ground, wiping water falling off her eyes.
“But Kaede-chan. I’m still angry. Do you know why?”
Seeing Kaede’s attitude as if she didn’t know the reason, Makoto continued.
“I told you before, right? If you have a problem, say it properly. And rely on others. But you’ve come this far to solve it by yourself… alone. You’re a really troubling child. But… still… I’m glad you’re safe.”
Said so, Makoto hugged Kaede.
“And also, well, it’s not my place to say this but… you’ve done your best.”
He scolded what the child had done and was relieved to know that the child was safe.
The gestures and words were that of adults.
Therefore, Atsushi instinctively uttered,
“Really, your father is an adult.”
『”… No comment”』
Yuri sent such words to Atsushi.
It was just the reaction of a child whose parent got praised but couldn’t accept it obediently.
After the exam, the tense classroom softened and returned to the same calm atmosphere as before. And today, using the homeroom, discussions about what to do for the school festival were about to begin. It seemed that the motivation of the boys hadn’t diminished since I talked with Fukushima and others before. I could feel their motivation for this discussion.
“Then today’s agenda is, about school festival events. So, the committee should come forward and proceed.”
Saying so, Sumita-sensei, the teacher in charge, stepped down to the back. The girl of the committee came out.
“Well, then I’d like to decide what our class will do first. If you have any opinion, raise your hand.”
As if waiting for that word, all the boys except me raised their hands immediately.
It’s great that everyone is motivated, but couldn’t you decide who will announce it beforehand?
The boys were staring at each other, almost like they wanted to say “I’m the leader!”. As a result, all the boys were in a situation where they were having a glaring contest. Thanks to that, the committee girl was confused.
“Ummm…. Seems like, all the boys are really motivated… Umm, then, Fukushima-kun.”
Some clicking tongue sounds could be heard.
Fukushima stood up with a smug laugh.
“Hah… I propose a butler cafe”
The classroom buzzed with Fukushima’s proposal.
“Butler’s cafe? Is it definitely a café where you dress as a butler and welcome customers?”
“Yeh, that’s right. Let me correct you, the butler cafe I propose is not like those fake, but a real thing. The butler will be the boys here!”
Fukushima made an enormous appeal by spreading both hands. The classroom that was buzzing with the proposal became even more noisy.
“That means the boys of our class will treat others as a butler, right?”
“Yeah. This for sure, will gather a lot of people!”
“Maybe our class will be in the top ranking of the school festival …”
“Even if that’s not the case, there is no doubt about sales!”
Everyone’s reaction was good. Fukushima received a good feeling and laughed with satisfaction before continuing his words.
“It’s a great proposal, right!? Of course, it’s my idea after all! Hahaha…”
No, it’s not.
I turned my gaze at Fukushima, which pointed to himself with his thumb.
Well, that’s fine…
But, unlike me who thought so, other boys weren’t kind enough to forgive it.
“Wait a minute, Fukushima. The proposal may not have been yours.”
“That’s right, don’t be so shameless.”
“Really… can’t you be a little bit modest in your actions?”
The other boys were swearing at Fukushima one after another.
“Umm… so, whose ide――”
” ” ” “Me!” ” ” “
All the boys claimed that it was their suggestion. Thanks to that, the committee girl was in trouble.
“Anyway, it’s a butler’s café, right?”
When the committee girl asked again, there was an atmosphere in the class that said it was the best choice.
“Then, our class will do a but――”
And the moment it was about to be decided on a butler cafe, such a word rushed in.
“… Toukain-san? What is it?”
“Please wait a minute…”
Shino-san put her elbows on the desk and held her face with her hands. She had a serious eye, but overall, she looked so relaxed.
“Toukain!? What’s your problem! Do you have any complaint about this proposal of mine!?”
It seemed that Shino-san’s relaxed attitude was offensive to Fukushima.
Huff, this guy… can’t you stop saying that it’s your idea?
Shino-san looked cold at Fukushima.
What a rare sight. I had never thought such a sweet girl could make such a look to a boy.
“W-what is it…?”
Shino-san then opened her mouth.
“I think the proposal itself is good. I think that sales can be expected, and I think that the slogan of a boy’s butler will have a great effect. If it goes well, I think that we can aim for the first place in the school festival ranking.”
“T-that’s right. If so, what’s the problem?”
“It’s just a story if everything goes well.”
“A male butler is a very unique existence from a historical point of view. Of course, if a boy, not a girl, is the butler, the expectations of customers will inevitably rise high.”
“Isn’t it, good news?”
The boy who didn’t understand what was wrong with Shino-san’s words asked.
“Sure… but what if it doesn’t meet expectations?”
“In that case, all the expectations up to that point will turn into disappointment. That’s when you’ll end up exposing a pitiful appearance at the upcoming school festival, which attracts a lot of attention. The word butler, has that much meaning. My house only hires maids and chefs, but we don’t hire a male butler because a wannabe butler will only lower my family status.”
… What to do huh, Fukushima… Shino-san is a real butler maniac…
In front of the waterfall, where Layla and Shura had their fight, I put my hands on both knees while looking around in search of something.
When I looked into the water, I found a round object that reflected the moonlight.
Plunged my hand into the water and picked up the mysterious object.
――It was an iron ball.
Right, a large number of iron balls that were large enough to be wrapped with both hands were there.
The scooped iron balls became a green mist over time and turned into nothing.
“…Green Mana, did you make these iron balls with the Mana of Creation?”
Judging from the fact that Layla created a knife for battle, it won’t be strange that she’s good at creating other things too.
Set up the iron balls in the water with Green Mana while engaging in a close battle with Shura.
Layla leaded Shura to step on the iron ball and lost her balance, which must be what happened.
But, the scariest thing is that she could do that in that high-speed battle.
“W-what a scary woman …”
I got out of the water and walked towards Shura, who was crouching on the ground.
“Are you okay?”
Shura raised her face.
Biting her lower lip, Shura glanced at me.
Tears collected at the corners of the eyes. From the appearance of her desperately enduring tears, I felt that she would definitely cry if no one was around.
It must have been humiliating. She was completely defeated in the close combat that she was good at.
The weak expression that the normally bullish Shura showed, such a gap in her expression, somehow aroused the desire for protecting her. I was on the verge of hugging her and stroking her head, saying “It’s ok, don’t worry”, but I could imagine that things would get worse if I did that, so I held myself.
“…I’ll run for a while”
“I’ll be back!”
“W-well… be careful”
Shura ran away towards the darkness of the forest.
Is she okay? If she’s attacked by a monster―― yep, she’ll be okay.
There was a popping sound from the puddle behind.
“It was a great amount of Red Mana. I would be knocked out if I got even one direct hit.”
Layla walked beside me, squeezing her wet clothes.
The white clothes were transparent, and the skin color was faintly visible. The figure of her wiping the water droplets on her body with a handkerchief, was sexy. Naturally, my eyes were on her body.
Layla noticed my gaze as she squeezed her wet bangs with her right hand.
“Huff, you’re a man after all…”
Layla uttered as if she was amazed and looked down.
I forcibly blocked my eyes with my eyelids and scratched my cheeks, trying to get my reasons back.
“I’ll leave Shura, to you.”
“Yeah, I get it. I’ll apologize to Shura-chan. “
Layla followed Shura’s footsteps into the forest.
The sound of trampling the grass echoed behind.
When I turned around, Sonata stood with his hand on his waist.
“It’s sure nice being young. But, a duel huh… I haven’t done it for a while. I used to do a lot with friends from the same school.”
“Huh? Did you learn martial arts?”
“It’s not a martial art, it’s a school of magic. There is also a school of magic. And I belong to a magic school called, 《Yuubaku Style》. One of the Knight Elite Guards called Shinhwa is from the same school.” [TN: “Yuubaku”, roughly mean, No Binding]
A school of magic huh…
I wonder if Sealing Technique is also regarded as one.
“Huff…This is bad. It seems that the fighting spirit in me is ignited because I remembered the old days. “
Sonata’s eyes become sharper.
I was pressured by Sonata, who was supposed to be my companion, and took a step back.
“President. The night is still long. You must have felt something after seeing their fight, right? There was almost no fighting today, I think, I have a lot of physical strength to use, how is it?”
Sonata walked towards the waterfall.
“What do you want to say?”
Sonata Campbell answered my question with a smirk.
“Have one serious battle with me. Do you feel like it? Sealer, Seal Zetta-kun “
Green Mana rose from Sonata’s body.
The Mana that made the blue water surface looked green…
The fear inside me appealed to “Reject”.
However, my curiosity told me, “Go!”
“A duel, is it…”
Sonata looked at me with a relaxed expression.
He’s really annoying…
It was a face saying that you could never lose.
It was more like “Let’s see your strength”… I was seen as below him.
Well… I don’t think I can beat a Knight Captain.
But, I’m sure my power is enough to surprise him.
Above all, the fight with this guy is sure, will be fun. I mean, he’s a Knight Captain. A great magician. He must have an interesting skill. I want to see it!
“――Alright, it’s going to be a good way to kill time.”
I took out the talisman with “祓” from my pocket, held it in my right hand, and proceeded to the waterfall. [TN: it’s the dagger]
“Can I take it as a YES?”
Like Layla and Shura, I and Sonata sunk our feet into the water with the waterfall in the background.
“What about the rules? 《Sub-Source Colors》 allowed?”
“What about sharp weapons?”
“Let’s go with Yes!”
“… What about killer magic?”
“Hmm, that’s right… let’s go with, YES!”
“OK, good. Bright it on!”
With a talisman between my right index and middle fingers, I readied myself.
A month had passed since Walm refused to drink alcohol, in the meantime, he devoted himself to training to restore his dull body.
As the rising sun was rising, he stretched the magical barrier and repeated the 《Strike》stance, then he ran through the outer edge of the city. The body without alcohol felt heavy, and it wasn’t easy to regain the movement before he dived into the muddy sea of alcohol.
Once finished the morning routine, he heated the well water with fire magic, and started to pour the warm water from the head. Sure, he had gotten used to cold water, but now since he started to regain his senses, he would of course choose warm water.
After bathing in the water, he opened the door of Gangut’s store, which had changed in his mind from a bar to a restaurant. Early in the day, the hustle and bustle of the night had calmed down like a lie.
“Good morning, Gangut-san”
“You always come to eat every day huh. Let me remind you, this place, is a bar.”
Gangut, complaining, set the pot on fire and was preparing food. This was also because Walm, who had been drinking from morning till night, no longer dropped money as often as before.
The dish offered today was a pie, potato, and bean soup, where cod and salmon were having a good time together. It didn’t take long for all of them to disappear and integrated with Walm’s body as calories. After finishing the meal, Gangut called him.
“It’s a bit savage to say this as a job fits you the most, but there is a place where you can get hired and pay well.”
It was hard for Walm to believe that such a strange job was out there, but at the same time, he was excited.
“It’s a battlefield. Lord Edgar is gathering soldiers. He has come all the way to the bar to recruit soldiers. Experienced military men and magic users are given preferential treatment.”
Hearing that, Walm was convinced. If it was a “social space” called a battlefield, no one would care much about your appearance and clothes. In that respect, Walm, who had military experience and magic, could be said met the recruitment criteria and could be put on the scene immediately.
“War, huh… who is the opponent?”
Obviously, it was a well-known fact that the “Three Big Countries” hadn’t had an external armed conflict for more than a few decades. First of all, the countries where war could be launched were limited. The risk would be too high, such as if the war between the Three Big Countries that had been reigning as hegemons, were to happen, other countries would be in one or another way got involved too, and it could be said that it would be the final war of humankind in motion.
“It’s Count Meisenav. He hasn’t been on good terms with the Lord of neighboring land, ruled by the Dalimarx Family, but it seems that the relationship has deteriorated at once since the magical silver mine on the demon territory was found and captured. Looks like the war between them is about to start soon.”
“As expected of being the owner of a bar, you sure know a lot.”
“I won’t make the food free even if you flatter me… I thought you’d jump in immediately, but you don’t look so enthusiastic.”
“Because, I got tired of war.”
Walm looked back on the days since he was drafted. Although he got payments that couldn’t be compared with local income, the welfare environment was poor. He slept together with the corpse, and danced in the deadly land every day to the point even he lost a sense of time, since he must be ready every time, even when sleeping. It was a lively workplace where people and monsters were killed as many as you could, regardless of morning or night.
“That’s a heavy story you have. Walm, you’re probably from Highserk, right? A lot of your friends are there. Isn’t it perfect for a reunion?”
“What do you mean?”
“You don’t know a lot of things huh”
Gangut told Walm as if teasing him.
“For a year, going back and forth between your bar and my bed. Of course, I don’t know what’s been happening.”
“Thanks for your patronage, it was a good revenue. Should I dance as a thank you?”
“Stop it. My eyes will get hurt again.”
Who would like to see middle-aged dances? Not Walm. Especially if such had the potential to disturb the now calmed eyes.
“Well, let’s get back to the main story. The border area is said to be a buffer zone with the biggest Demon Territory, but in reality, one of the remnants of the Highserk Empire got the control of the area there, and has been holding the line against the Demon Territory since. Highserk people, who seem to be having difficulty mining and managing the magical silver mine alone, and Edgar, who wanted the underground resources, have decided to mine together.”
It was surprising that the remnants of the Highserk Empire were expanding there. After all, while watching the fall of the capital, Walm saw a considerable number of defeated soldiers.
Even when he fled to Kopetsk, the border city of the archipelago, Walm saw a decent number of the same kinds as him. However, most have come to terms with reality and found a new line of work, and the remaining few have fallen into prostitutes, beggars, slaves, and drunkards. Walm had been so corrupt until the other day that he had no right, nor the intention either, to blame them.
“So, some of the survivors were trying to rebuild at the border huh…”
“Do you feel like participating now?”
Walm went to think silently.
No decent job, and money would be needed to get a cure. And a battlefield should be a profitable place. Walm understood it.
Until now, there was a convenient reason called “patriotism”, he went to war for the homeland, but if he accepted the recruitment, it would mean that he participated in the war, just for money.
“You’re thinking it so much, how unexpected. I thought you were the type that kills people for fun. I mean, you beat a drunk adventurer to half-dead after all.”
“Really, what do you think I am?”
Certainly, Walm crushed the adventurer’s face with his elbows, shook the viscera with his palms, and was on the verge of slashing the man with 《Strike》. But that was a reflexive defense, and it wasn’t until the man pulled out his sword.
Gangut just raised his shoulder lightly and refused to answer.
Walm sighed. There was no choice. He could have chosen a profession that had nothing to do with war if he had a normal eye, but now there was an urgent need for money. The only way to make the most of the expertise he had acquired was to work on a battlefield. There is no purpose to declare it sublime, and the reality was that he had to jump into war for money. This was no different from the adventurers he had a prejudice for, or mercenaries.
Helping the former compatriots to regain their footing, and even though they would be from a different Front, to be able to stand side by side with another Highserk soldier, perhaps would be able to console his brain which couldn’t stop mocking himself for this past year. Albeit, it might be a disproportionate idea for his sense which had been drowning in alcohol.
Even with a lot of messy and silly excuses, he was impressed with himself who lacked integrity and chose to participate.
“I see. Then, I’ll buy good meat for dinner so that you won’t have any regrets. Do you want some liquors too?”
“Thank you, but no. I’m afraid I won’t stop drinking until morning.”
Walm was amazed at Gangut, who made it sound as if it was the last dinner he would have. Still, he couldn’t help but think that the connection made in foreign lands wasn’t so bad, in fact, it was quite comfortable.
People who responded to the draft were gathered on a farm in the suburbs of the city. A number of ordinary soldiers, but most of them were militias, which were most likely the second and third sons of farmers who didn’t have the land to take over like Walm, and those who had trouble eating also participated.
Although they were enthusiastic about learning some martial art of spear, unlike the regular soldiers, their bodies were thin and the loose atmosphere made them feel like battle virgins.
Many had a young appearance that could only be described as a boy. Some bring their own armor, but most were rented dust-covered armor and spears found in the warehouse. The crowded reception line was long enough to feel like an eternity. Occasionally, a dull sound echoed from a distance.
While working hard to observe the people around him for killing time, finally the turn came.
It was a man who was supposed to be an old regular soldier who was handling the people. The man who ran his gaze from Walm’s feet to his head murmured.
“I think you have military experience.”
“Yeah, I was attending the service until recently.”
“Are you from Highserk?”
Besides Walm, many Highserk people had run away from the homeland. Among them, some participated in the war to get food. The soldiers who had experienced combat looks were eye-catching, especially since they were mixed with ordinary people.
“More than half of them are inexperienced people. Still, even if they are strangers, we welcome them.”
It was about half flattery and half real intention. Even if Walm was on the side of the regular soldier, he would expect more soldiers from other countries than those amateur peoples of his own.
“What about magic and skills?”
“I can use fire, wind, and water attributes, but I can only use fire and wind in actual battles. And a skill… 《Strike》.”
The healing magician told him to refrain from using 《Demon Fire》. It now had become a skill that shouldn’t be used unless the situation forced it to. If used in a place where the operation wasn’t well known, a large number of soldiers would be involved. If most of them were regular experienced soldiers, it might not end that bad. But he would just burn his allies if he were mixed with militias who were mostly battle virgins.
“Three attributes and 《Strike》 huh. I’m not being skeptical, but I must confirm it.”
The soldier summoned a young soldier who might have been a subordinate.
“Heard him? Please check it.”
Rushed by a young soldier, Walm was taken to a vacant lot on the nearby farm. The surrounding area was filled with embankments, and like Walm, those who were taken out of the crowd were showing off their practical skills.
“Shoot magic over there. You only need to show the fire attribute.”
Traces of destruction were left on the designated embankments. The earth had been scooped out by various magic. Walm glared that the dull sound heard in the distance, thinking that the people in the magical test shot must be having fun.
It seemed that Walm was expected to use only fire attribute magic because it had more power in general. Fire magic was the most suitable power for creating a block, stopping an assault, and even a breakthrough
Walm refined his mana and aimed at the designated target. The user of the earth attribute magic politely formed a humanoid figure of a group of five with earth. When the blue fireball embodied at the tip of the hand landed, it scattered blue flames with hot air. The blast exploded the five soil masses. At the point of impact, it was as if the blue flame saying it had not enough.
“This is, amazing”
The young soldier said with excitement. Walm saw the swaying blue flame and exhaled a little. The former battlefield flashed in his mind as he saw the burning mass of soil.
“Are you okay?”
“Next is 《Strike》 “
The nimble magic-user recreated a humanoid figure with earth in front of Walm.
Stroked it with his hand and tapped it lightly. Not only did it was hard, but the hardness was close to that of a human, and was suitable for showing the cutting.
After removing the leather cover that covered the tip of the halberd, not long after Walm was in the opposite direction.
In the case of the human body, the soil mass that was cut off from the waist to the shoulder lost support and was pulled by the weight, returning to the ground.
The soldier, who raised his hand as if to surrender, took out the decorated silver plate from his bosom and presented it to Walm.
“What? Is this money?”
Walm glared at a kind of original coin that was coined as a currency in the territory. The palm-sized silver plate was bulky and didn’t look easy to use. A soldier laughed at Walm, who suspiciously distorted his face.
“I thought you were an experienced mercenary, but you don’t know it huh. It’s a silver plate that promises a reward. It’s worth it even if you melt it, but if you offer to exchange it after the war, you can get gold coins. There are several types available. However, the silver plate shows the highest treatment and compensation among the applicants. Let me tell you, but most of the mercenaries are getting copper plates, you know.”
For the time being, Walm felt fortunate to be highly evaluated. He then noticed something. That this might be their way to prevent those who might run away before the war with full advance payment.
“What if the Dalimarx family is destroyed in the war?”
“Don’t be so imprudent. It’s a battle over a magical silver mine. No matter how greedy the Meisenav family is, we won’t be destroyed. Maintaining the mine and buffer zones at the same time will only sound like a trouble for them. And if they dare to burn the urban area, most of the Central Region, which like to be a bystander, will have no choice but to move.”
Couldn’t understand the soldier’s explanation, the embarrassed Walm asked the soldier.
“So, the Meisenav family won’t burn rural and urban areas?”
The soldier opened his eyes. It was as if Walm was a monster or something scary.
“This is why the northern countries are said to be crazy about war… The only battlefield is around the magic silver mine that was recently claimed from the Demon Territory.”
Walm doubted his ears. The mission this time was purely to occupy the target, not to attack the rural and urban areas that could be the source of troops and supplies, or the source of the plan. It just sounded strange.
“Haha, I see”
Wonderful, really, wonderful. Wars in the Archipelago sounded more peaceful and intelligent. There was no defense battle where he would be required to bet his life even in sleep, no annihilation battle for the military and civilians, and no total war for the destruction of the nation. Walm was relieved of how easy the war would be.
Didn’t mean to be despicable, but if what he would do was just kill people with gold as a purpose like him, he could feel a little less guilty, and it wouldn’t worsen his muddy conscience. Of course, there might be exceptions, but no distinction could be made. Walm could only treat others as equally as possible.
When I was spending time helping the Student Council, the summer holiday was over in no time.
The first day after the summer vacation was half-day school, perhaps it was so everyone wouldn’t suddenly feel like the summer holiday had ended yet.
I opened the classroom door. And what jumped into my eyes were the girls who were sticking to the desk and moving the pencils vigorously.
“I can’t lose, I can’t lose, I can’t lose…”
“I will never fall in class. I won’t give up…!”
“… I wish the scores of other than me is bellow mine. Just one person is fine!”
Somehow, they were working hard in moving their pencils while muttering so.
But, hmm…? Do we have a test today?
I sat down so as not to disturb the girls who were studying desperately while tilting their heads.
“Hmph… Hatano, it’s been a long time.”
Soon after I got on my seat, Fukushima and other boys surrounded me.
Perhaps they enjoyed their summer vacation very much, they looked very energetic.
“Yo, good morning. All the girls are studying, but do we have a test later?”
“Yep, we are not. According to the information, only the girls will have a test. No one told anything to us since we won’t be involved, only the girls got told by the teacher.”
“I mean, the school only half a day today. It seems, the girls will do the test after that.”
“Seems to be an annual event, and it’ll affect the class changes.”
Answers were returned one after another. Surprisingly, the guys had information about this. Really, I was surprised.
A class change huh… sure this will increase the rate of students going to a good university, but for sure this school used this in a meticulous way. Probably because the school festival is coming up, they want the students to not slacking off.
“Ah, right. Hatano… I heard you stayed in the same place for a few days with the girls!”
“Really, I’m still amazed at your shameless behavior! Please don’t forget that we must live proudly as a man!”
“Huh….? live… proudly?”
…… Were the boys in my class always like this? Perhaps there’s something that these guys think of the girls interacting with Seimei’s boys?
In fact, it seems that the exchange meeting has been going on without a hitch. In the beginning, those boys in Seimei seemed to be wary of various things, but as they got used to it, they gradually began to act more considerate to the girls.
Perhaps this is a phenomenon peculiar to Seimei’s boys. Since the students there are all boys, they are accustomed to an environment where they didn’t get much attention. Even though they have high pride, their personality isn’t that bad……. Is it okay to say that most of them are naive? Well…
“Alright! It’s time for a school festival.”
“Once the summer vacation is over, preparations for the school festival will begin!”
“Since the girls are busy! We should think about what to do on our own.”
“Well… that’s right.”
The boys were wondering if they could help with the preparation, but as expected it wasn’t that simple.
Perhaps… they want to help because it would be an event attracting a lot of attention? It must be so.
“Hmph, here’s our chance to remind those Seimei’s boys of our abilities.”
“Yeah… if we rank high, even a stupid guy will be able to recognize the difference in our abilities.”
“Kukuku… I’m looking forward to their dumbfounded face from now on …”
Well, seems the reason is even more stupid. All in their heads are their appearance, laughing loudly over Seimei’s boys.
It’s true that the school festival will announce the top rank, but at this school where many high-level students are enrolled, why are these guys so confident that they’ll be at the top?
I mean, if you look only at the abilities of the boys, Seimei’s boys are overwhelmingly superior. Are they really that blind to the surroundings?
But, well, since they’re showing such motivation. I won’t say anything that’ll discourage them.
Even I, don’t want to lose to anyone either, especially if I’ve decided to give my all.
Alright, let’s fan the fire.
“Hey, cute boy over there”
“C-cute boy? W-what;s wrong with you, Hatano…?”
“You see, I caught some juicy information. It seems that Seimei may do a butler’s cafe.”
President Shirogane told me that he would put the proposal I gave to him during the summer vacation on the agenda, and as a result, it was considered to be an effective event to be ranked high. Of course, it hadn’t been decided yet, but it seemed to be strongly considered.
“Good, it seems they want to have a fight with us huh. Alright, I’ll let you know which one is the better man.”
“I see… It’s going to be flooded with customers because the girls can have a great time with us.”
Fukushima and the other boys had begun discussions with the information I have given.
Really, where does their self-confidence come from?
…But, well, if our class decided to do the butler’s cafe, I’ll discipline your attitude toward customers.
Yuri sent such telepathy to Atsushi who was holding his hand on his mouth.
“Ah, yeah… I’m okay. But sure, Store Manager’s driving skill is amazing. It usually takes two hours, but we’ve reached in less than an hour.”
『”Well, that person is amazing when it comes to driving skills. That’s why he seems to have overtaken the police motorcycle many times.”』
“Seriously, he is amazing in a lot of sense…”
Atsushi had never thought of such an ability from Makoto, but anyway, such an unexpected ability allowed them to come this far faster than it should be.
A certain mountain. To be exact, the abandoned hospital there, was where they were heading.
However, Haruna opened her mouth while frowning.
“Sorry, but, what are you mumbling alone? Also, do you really think that Kaede is in such a place?”
Her words weren’t strange.
Atsushi had explained the things about supernatural power he had. But Like others, when he said to have psychic powers, no one easily believed it.
However, Atsushi still kept his words.
“Yeah, I’m sure about that. I’ve been using my nose to chase her scent. To be honest, I was a little worried because it was the first time for me to have such a wide range, but it’s okay now. I’m sure, she’s there.”
Words full of confidence.
Atsushi’s nose was only able to smell the scent within a one-kilometer radius.
But, recently, the range had been updated.
I can’t believe, I’m really able to reach her. At first, I was really worried, but human beings, really could do anything if they put enough fighting spirit and willpower huh… But, thanks to this, my nose is not feeling well now. It’s really itchy…
Atsushi hadn’t tried to improve his power until now. He thought it was meaningless to do that. After all, unlike Yuri and Kaede, Atsushi’s abilities had no meaning even if it was strengthened.
However, no, as a result of trying to find Kaede’s whereabouts using this power, it might have been possible to search in a wider range than ever before. It was just ridiculous.
Finally, they arrived at the abandoned hospital.
“Hm!? Look up!!”
Makoto said so, and everyone looked up.
There was a figure of Kana hanging from the roof.
“Please… forgive me already…”
With a weak voice, Kana, who was hanging mid-air, said so.
The expression on her face, was as if she was almost dying. There was just no vigor left in her. But, it wasn’t because her leg was grabbed and hanging from the roof of an abandoned hospital.
By the time she came to the rooftop, she already had a lot of “discipline” and suffered a lot of mental damage. There were no external scars on her, but the trauma instilled in her wouldn’t go away that easily.
Listening to Kana’s words, Kaede, who remained transparent, opened her mouth.
『”Then, promise me that you’ll never be involved with me again. Then I will not let go of this hand.”』
Currently, Kaede was still transparent. Therefore, from an objective point of view, Kana looked like she was floating in the air for some reason.
However, for Kana, the biggest fear was that she couldn’t see Kaede. She couldn’t see Kaede’s expression or the hand holding her leg.
What would happen if she didn’t comply? When would her leg get released? What kind of expression did Kaede have now? Not being able to confirm it doubled the fear.
“I understand! I understand!!! I will never be involved with you again!! I swear! Promise! So, please forgive me … !!”
So, Kana said that she would do everything Kaede told her to.
Negotiations, solicitations, discussions… These could only be done by looking at the other person’s facial expressions and gestures. If you couldn’t see the other person’s face, or even see them, only words wouldn’t be enough to know the real feelings.
But, Kaede’s figure couldn’t be seen. And still, Kana was made to understand, how scary, Kaede was.
“Really! I swear, really, I promise! So please forgive me…!!”
To be honest, at this time, Kaede almost believed in Kana’s words completely.
What would happen if you retaliated again? Kaede had carved it into Kana’s mind thoroughly. Therefore, although it cannot be said absolutely, it was highly unlikely that Kana would try to do any revenge after this.
Some might say it was too optimistic and forgiving. But at least, Kaede was convinced that Kana wouldn’t do anything anymore.
Therefore, there was only one thing to do.
『”…Well, I said that I wouldn’t let go of this hand…”』
“T-that’s right. So please, pull me back…”
Kana begging with tears.
But, the answer was.
『”That was a lie.”』
Kaede took her hand off Kana’s leg.
The screaming of a girl echoed in the depths of the mountains.
The duel between Shura and Layla would be interesting. On one side, stood Layla could fight at all short, medium, and long distances. On the other side, stood Shura who only fought in close combat.
Without knowing the circumstances, I was excited.
Good grief, but fine, do it.
I wonder, which one is stronger?
…Wait, wait a moment, Seal Zetta. Being curious is fine, but this is bad for a new party, isn’t it? I have to stop them.
“What happened? Did you have a fight for a man?”
“It’s not a big deal, Seal-kun”
“This girl came into my blanket without permission! Even though I turned it down once!”
It seemed Layla once offered to sleep together, but Shura refused.
However, Layla invaded Shura’s blanket without permission while Shura was sleeping. When Shura woke up from the heat, Layla was in her view, and angry Shura asked Layla for a duel.
I looked down at Layla, she put her index fingers together saying, “I can’t help it…”
“Layla, you’re bad”
“I’m sorry… but let me make an excuse, okay? After Shura-chan fell asleep, she grabbed the hem of my clothes and muttered, “Mom …”, you know? In that situation, isn’t it impossible to resist hugging her?”
“…I see, seems there is a situation for it.”
“Of course not!”
If I was in the same situation as Layla, and the person sleeping beside me, muttered “Dad…” …I don’t know if I could suppress the paternal instinct.
“Isn’t it okay? Let them have a duel, if that’s what she wants! It’s briーght tonight.”
Sonata made a carefree remark.
“Also, it may be a good opportunity to know each other’s power.”
By saying such plausible good reason, I was convinced that a duel might be a better option.
Of the four, only one was reluctant to duel.
“Hmmー… If I win, I don’t think… something good will come out from it…”
Layla, who was nearby me, muttered in a low voice so that only I could hear it.
“… Sure, even if you win, Shura will just be in a bad mood.”
I also replied with a small voice.
“If I lose, I’ll do anything, even if it’s sleeping together!”
But, as expected, Shura had good ears. It seemed that our muttering was also heard by her.
Promised a great reward, Layla’s eyes were shining, she was now more enthusiastic than anyone else.
“What are the rules? Where should we do it?!”
Layla was really excited.
“I think near the waterfall is a good place. The moonlight reflects off the water surface and the visibility there is good.”
“As for the rule, what about ‘No sub-source colors. And, a prohibition of sharp weapon and killer techniques’ ?”
Wait, isn’t the rule proposed by Sonata a little more advantageous to Shura?
I mean, it basically, limits Layla from throwing knives and using Mana of Transference. She can only use ‘Ruten’. Well, I guess with her battle sense, she’ll somehow manage it? Will she accept it?
“Sure. Let’s go with that.”
“I have no complaints either!”
The rules were decided with the consent of the two.
“Shura, what do you demand from Layla if you win?”
“Eh? Well… I’ll think about it after I win!”
This girl, she asked for a duel on impulse huh…
Shura and Layla were facing each other at a distance in the front of the waterfall, which had the weakest stream among many waterfalls.
The depth of the water was just enough to sink the two ankles. It was shallow because it was quite far from the waterfall.
I and Sonata put ourselves in the shadow of a tree farther than them.
“President, which one do you think will win?”
“Well, I think 60% of chance that Layla will win.”
“She can’t use her throwing knife and also her Mana of Transference, but Layla has ‘Ruten’. Well, the risk is severely cut down if the attack isn’t close, but Shura has no choice but to have a close combat. If she countered by ‘Ruten’ at a good timing, Shura won’t be able to stand up.”
Sure, Shura trained her body. But Shura is a woman, and she is short and weight lightly. I had a hard time dealing with Laya’s ‘Ruten’, and if Shura get a direct hit, her small body won’t be able to handle it.
“I’ll vote for, Vice-President.”
“Huh? What’s that……”
Unlike us, the two girls were looking at the other person in front of them with serious expressions.
“After seeing you and Seal fighting, I’ve always wanted to fight you… don’t let me down.”
She really just wanted to fight Layla huh…
Actually, you’re not so angry, right?
“I’m sorry Shura-chan. I’m not good at holding back… I might overdo it.”
“You should worry about yourself…!”
Sonata came out of the tree shadow and clapped his hands.
“Win or lose is decided at my own discretion. Once I clap my hands again, the fight starts. Ready… “
As soon as Sonata clapped his hands, Shura kicked the surface of the water with her right foot.
――She was creating a gap.
The water kicked up by her created a wall between them.
Layla ran towards the waterfall in an attempt to dodge the water wall. Perhaps Layla’s movements with predicted, Shura ran in the same direction as Layla.
They were now close in distance.
Shura’s prepared her left fist.
Pulled her left fist and put it forward ――
Blue Mana swirled around Layla’s whole body in an instant.
It was a perfect timing counter. If the left fist hit it, the Mana covering Shura’s fist would be released, and Shura’s attack would be broken down.
“I thought it would come…!”
Shura’s left fist punched the air.
It seemed she didn’t want to hit Layla in the first place. In other words, it was a feint.
Shura jumped and kicked toward Layla, whose swirl of Blue Mana had disappeared. Which meant, no defense.
However, the kick didn’t hit Layla either. Layla bowed down and avoided it.
Yeah, Layla could still fight
She could be said a versatile fighter who could fight in all ranges. Of course, close combat too.
However, I didn’t think she could avoid Shura’s serious pursuit attack.
As expected, Blue Mana swirled around Layla’s palm.
Yeah. This blow should be what Shura must be afraid of.
Again, as expected, Shura seemed as if she wanted to retreat far away.
In a way, Shura was slowly reducing Layla’s Mana.
Layla on the other hand, was rebuilding her posture.
What would happen next was easy to guess.
As expected, Shura sank her foot into the water and tried to take a back step, but――
What happened? I can’t see it well from here.
――Shura’s feet went wild.
Shura lost her balance as if she had stumbled upon something.
Her knees sank so much that she stopped moving, though not enough to make her fall.
――Still, the winner, had been decided.
The bottom of Layla’s right hand caught Shura’s chest.
The impact of the spiral made an explosive sound.
Shura’s little body was blown away and her back was struck against a large tree outside the puddle.
Shura curled up on the spot after spitting gastric fluid out of her mouth.