The individuals’ tournament of the second term ended with an unprecedented lack of a champion. The semi-finals ended with an unsavory pair of a draw and a disqualification. And at this tournament that was a stream of unprecidents, starting with the headmaster, the teachers, and the staff held their heads.
The fact that Rudel was the White Knight and Aleist was the Black Knight had been relayed to the palace. The palace would be the ones dealing with them, and whatever the case, the academy would not be able to pass down any punishment. Luckily, there hadn’t been any deaths at the destroyed magic proving ground. Only a few were injured in the evacuation.
The center of all this talk, Rudel and Aleist were in the infirmary. Rudel was injured, and Aleist was hospitalized for examination. It goes without saying that Luecke and Eunius were injured and hospitalized as well.
“Oy, so how does it feel Mister Misunderstanding? How does it feel to make an elementary mistake and cause a ruckus over this whole duel mess?”
“… Eunius, so you know the whole time.”
“Aaah, what am I supposed to do now.”
“Izumi, I think I just saw a dragon! That was Lilim-san’s dragon, there’s no doubt about it!”
The four were pushed into the most extravagant room of the infirmary, and all but Aleist were in serious condition. Three of them lay in bandages and plaster, while the remaining one hugged his knees on his bed, muttering foreboding things to himself. Before the four of them, Izumi distributed fruit to them all.
“Rudel! Why didn’t you tell me either!?”
“? … About my sister? I certainly bear some responsibility for the misunderstanding that came about. However… Luecke, you knew about Erselica, didn’t you?”
Luecke was part of high society, and he knew of Erselica. He knew, but the girl Lena he met just beforehand had been more than enough to fill his head. What’s more, he didn’t quite recognize Erselica as Rudel’s little sister. To make matters worse, Eunius had long since noticed his mistake.
“Normally, you wouldn’t be able to settle an engagement to one of the Three Lords with a mistress’ child, right? And who’d have thought you’d fall in love at first sight and challenge someone to a duel?”
Eunius guffawed as he pointed a finger at Luecke. Meanwhile, Luecke resolved himself to be teased on this matter for a long time to come. But emotionally, he felt relief that he had made a misunderstanding.
“I should have thought harder too. It’s only natural for Erselica’s engagement to be decided before Lena’s. Luecke, I’m sorry, but Erselica is…” “You’re wrong, Rudel! The one I fell for is Lena!”
Luecke corrected Rudel’s misunderstanding. Looking at those three, Aleist felt a bit envious.
(How nice, I want to talk about love too. Should I bring up Millia… no, there’s no way I could consult with these members.)
As Izumi looked at the four, she felt that the cause of all this had been Lena. The line that put Rudel off, and Luecke’s love that had caused the duel. She was quite a peculiar girl, or so Izumi thought of her.
And as the four were making a ruckus, a single girl entered the sickroom. They had been informed beforehand, so everyone thought it was right about time as they turned to their guest. The girl was Yunia Luneice, the daughter of a Marquis House. Her hair cut straight at her shoulders and her glasses were the girl’s most discerning features.
The girl was a second year of the fundamental curriculum. During the tournament period, it was only natural for the fundamental curriculum students to be off in their wilderness training. Once that was over, she made a request to meet Aleist in the infirmary. As she was a Marquis’ daughter, she was let through as a special case.
“P-pardon my intrusion.”
Giving an awkward greeting, Yunia offered a bow to the Three Lords’ children before making for Aleist. Walking before Aleist as he sat on the bed, she suddenly handed over a letter. Perhaps she was nervous as her hands were shaking.
“…? What’s this?”
Aleist accepted the letter and started at it in wonder. Looking at Yunia’s reddened face and the cutesy letter, everyone thought. She didn’t have to give it to him in such a place… but Aleist hadn’t noticed. In his perplexion he tried to open it on the spot, and Yunia hurriedly stopped him.
“S-senpai! U-um, could you please have a look at it later?”
“Eh? Oh, sure.”
Leaving only those words, Yunia retreated from the sickroom. The girl herself left with quick, bashful steps.
“… I wonder what it could be.”
Seeing Aleist had still yet to realize, Rudel opened his mouth.
“Isn’t that a challenge to a duel? The way that girl carried her body wasn’t half bad.”
Realizing that Rudel hadn’t noticed either, the remaining three breathed out sighs. And opening the letter then and there, Aleist felt quite reluctant to duel a girl as he read it thought. After reading it once, his hands started shaking as he read it again.
“W-what do I do!?”
“Calm down, Aleist. Whether you decline or accept, your sincerity is what’s important. I’m sure it’s hard going up against a girl, but as you are now, you have an ample chance of winning without harming your opponent.”
“… Rudel, you still think this is a duel? And what’s gotten into you? Haven’t you been confessed to left and right?”
Luecke pointed out Rudel’s misunderstanding, but Aleist wasn’t making a fuss over the confession itself. It was only now that he realized the sender was Yunia Luneice. Yunia of the chestnut hair had been a romance target. A character with a standing as the main character’s junior.
Having come so far, Aleist’s first love event had sprung forth.
The contents of the confession in the letter closely resembled what he saw in the event. It was a confession from the game’s romance characters he had long given up on that surprised Aleist.
“She’s the daughter of a marquis, right?That’s not a bad match with you. Why don’t you try going out with her?”
Eunius gave some uninterested advice, but Aleist was in love with Millia. In-game, he had confidence he could capture five or six, but when it came to reality, his morals got in the way. The current Aleist had lost any aspirations of a harem.
“… There’s someone I like.”
On the words Aleist muttered, Luecke couldn’t overlook an individual besides himself who would concede a topic to be teased on. Knowing the time had come, Luecke tried to draw the info from Aleist.
“Oh? And who would that be, Aleist? I’d like to hear by all means.”
“The truth is, I like Millia of the elven… eh!?”
Just as Aleist called out the name, the second princess Fina entered the sick room. The sudden event surprised those around, but as Fina was a fellow student at present, they offered her some light bows.
“Oh, what might you be talking about?” (When it comes to Millia, she’s that elf in master’s year, right? When I thought he was a homo, to think he was a kindred spirit in pursuit of the fluff… looks like these eyes have a long way to go.)
Having shrewdly listened in from beyond the door, Fina chose the perfect timing to make her entrance. Having observed her from behind, Sophina was fed up by her sheer shamelessness.
Just as Aleist’s awareness of events was growing thin, ironically enough, an event had come straight to him.
In a deep and dark forest, three small monsters- a black fog, a boar and a little bird- were discussing matters to come. They had originally possessed massive bodies, but there was a reason they had shrunken to such a size. Mana deficiency. They lacked the mana required to maintain their being.
‘It’s all your fault we cannot return!’
“Curse me, so you intend to the blame onto me?”
‘I don’t really care, but seriously, what are we going to do?’
The boar chastised the fog while the bird thought of the future. The reason it had come to this was because the black fog had so easily promised Rudel it would prepare a dragon for him. Also, while they thought they would become one, that had proved impossible. The boar and the bird had tried to merge into the fog, but the wickedness of the emotions she had absorbed prevented that.
To be more precise, she had become a different existence from what she was when she was created.
‘We’re only here because you promised so easily! Yet without a dragon in our grasp, we shall fade away. When we don’t even have any means to obtain one, why did you say such a thing!?’
‘It does seem we are to face an embarrassing end. If we are to disappear without fulfilling our promise… after you put on such a cool act.’
“Erk… you needn’t say it!”
When they didn’t have any means to obtain a dragon, the black fog had promised without due consideration. But even so, they had come into contact and negotiated with the dragons. The bird had been killed by a Red dragon, so Red dragons were taken out of the running. They were dragons of violent temperament to begin with.
The murdered bird came down with a trauma and was vehemently against it.
That left the Wind Dragon, Water Dragon, and Gaia Dragon; those three species. They had come to the deep forests where the dragons lived to negotiate. But the Wind Dragon mistook them as prey and gave chase, negotiations with the Water Dragon failed, and the Gaia Dragon wouldn’t come out of the earth.
They had made zero progress.
‘More importantly, after achieving nothing in negotiations with the Water Dragon, it is strange for me to be the only one on the block.’
The black fog chastised the bird who carried out negotiations. But the bird refuted that opinion.
‘The problem came even before negotiations came in the question. The first words that came out of that dragon’s mouth were, ‘I’m not letting anyone besides Marty ride on my back’, giving no leeway for discussion.’
Surprisingly enough, there was a Water Dragon who was willing to hear them out, but that dragon had no interest in any riders but the individual who had ridden it before. So in the end, the negotiations were a failure. Even among the water dragons who inhabited the waterfront, it was quite a powerful and beautiful dragon.
‘So what are we going to do now!? At this rate, we will fruitlessly fade away.’
The three thought and decided to head for the Gaia Dragon they had yet to try negotiating with. Preferring the insides of the earth, it was the dragon that boasted the largest body among the four varieties. It was equipped with four wings, but due to its large build, flying wasn’t its forte.
The Gaia Dragon was an unpopular choice among dragoons. Its flight speed was low, making it difficult to evade enemy attacks. It was a hard-to-handle dragon that specialized in its sturdiness, offense, and defense.
‘Since it has come to this, we much negotiate with the last Gaia Dragon. If we disappear like this, it will put a scar on our honor.’
In order to negotiate, the black fog made for the caves the Gaia Dragons lives. The other two followed behind. Those three beings entrusted their deepest wishes to their last hope, the Gaia Dragon.