Chapter 2 – Maiden of the Sun
Kurou dragged the maid outfit wearing girl by the hand and led her into the depths of the school.
Once there, no other figures were in sight. Interrogating the baffling girl in a place like this seemed profoundly fitting.
“So what’s with all this?”
The girl known as Hinako kept her back against the wall and raised her head as she blankly looked towards Kurou. If other people were to witness this, they may misconstrue this as Kurou coercing a girl. However, regardless of how other people viewed him, Kurou could not even comprehend what was going on himself.
“These were my orders, to serve you starting today. That’s why I came here.”
“Serving me……who ordered you to do so?”
“That’s not an issue at the moment.”
“It’s a huge issue!”
Does this girl even know what she is talking about?
During that one night while attacking the Sun Cultists, her appearance was indeed very bizarre.
No, this was perhaps not on outlandish levels.
That was because the mysterious light phenomenon wasn’t something that could be just promptly understood. As a result, he just forgot about it after writing the report, yet…….
“Anyways, I’ll be working for you. Anything outside of that isn’t my problem.”
Kurou weakly muttered. Following that, he sensed that class was about to start. There was no time to be engaging in nugatory disputes with this uncanny girl.
“Let me confirm something first. You’re a human right?”
“Well, I believe so.”
Although it was an amusing reply, Kurou was nearly certain that was the case. This girl appeared to be very feeble, completely different from a Swordie.
“Even though I have no idea what’s going on, you might as well go back. Other than humans who stroll around here working as servants, anyone else would be driven out.”
Within the academy, there was quite a large group of humans. They were not students or teachers but rather servants.
Other than the people employed here or those taking care of miscellaneous tasks within the school, the servants brought along by the students were largely comprised of humans as well.
Despite the academy disallowing humans from enrolling into the school as students, it was ok for them to be at the campus if it was purely work related.
However, if a human did not possess a permit to enter the Swordie school, things would inevitably get chancy.
“It’s fine, I already have a permit.”
“Huh? Where did you get it……hmm?”
Kurou suddenly turned around.
There were several colossal trees planted there. Just as Kurou was scrutinizing one of them————
“As expected of Kurou, you’re quite sharp.”
“It’s easy to detect your aura. Do you get that often?”
Lars walked out from behind the tree. He was wearing his school uniform and carried his sword by his waist just like Kurou.
“Was it you that brought her along?”
“All I did was lead her here. Afterwards I handed her over to you. Like raising kids, as long as they can work for you it should be fine.”
“No no, suddenly bringing up servicing or being serviced is too out of the ordinary! I don’t have the money to employ a servant!”
“Is the issue money? Well, I believe this aspect has already been taken care of! It’s because of————the director.”
“So this stunt was her doing!”
Thinking about it for a second, there was no one else who was capable of meddling to this extent.
“It’s still quite perplexing why she’d tend to the money related problems behind my back. What the heck is going on, explain yourself.”
“There’s really no other way it seems.”
After Lars took a glimpse at Hinako, he urged Kurou to move to somewhere else in order to get some separation from her.
Following that, he gave a run-down of the situation with a nonchalant tone.
Lars was most likely called to headquarters early in the morning by Manaka. Once there, he encountered this maid attire wearing girl and was imparted with all the details.
“She’s————the cult founder’s daughter.”
“Daughter? You mean there’s a founder or something within the Sun Cult?”
Although the people the Sabers suppressed were practically all followers of the sun, Kurou had limited knowledge about their higher-ups. What he did know was only the cult’s battle strength————equipment, and battling personnel count.
“Well, I guess a founder probably does exist. Story has it that it’s been over ten years since he last publicly appeared. However, the Sabers did receive reports indicating the cult founder has a daughter. Since DNA confirmation was not utilized, we don’t know whether or not she really is a legitimate daughter of his but she did say so herself.”
“Herself————sounds quite suspicious. We still don’t even know what she may be plotting.”
Hinako seemed to be completely uninterested in Kurou’s conversation as she leaned against the wall and leisurely stared into the sky. No matter how one looked at it, she did not resemble any of the dangerous Sun Cultists.
“That girl seems to be harboring some secrets. At the very least, she doesn’t seem to be the cult founder’s daughter, having not been placed on that high of a pedestal.”
If she was a human who was influenced by the Sun Cult to oppose Swordies, then she probably would not have been inserted into a school filled with them. At the very least, she wouldn’t have shown up early in the morning wearing a maid outfit.
“Except, the so-called daughter of the cult founder isn’t a known truth. It’s a matter still under investigation. What is known is that the Sun Cult members seemed to be very focused on her, this is without a doubt. During that night, the Sun Cult’s movements appeared to be very flurried. Even that secretive criminal ringleader made her move. We questioned the apprehended Sun Cult followers numerous times, they appeared to have been ordered to ‘retrieve the package.’”
“That package probably referred to the girl. If she is the cult founder’s daughter, presumably that was a huge event back then……”
“Besides, even if that Hinako girl is really the cult founder’s daughter, there doesn’t seem to be a trace of criminal activity linked to her. Even if she was a follower of the sun, as long as she’s just a believer, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Just like Lars said, the Sun Cult itself didn’t face restrictions from the law.
In the words of the Swordies, they were just a group of people with extremist values……
“When facing opponents who carry weapons, we Swordies will show no mercy in routing them. However, one of our rules is that we don’t harm those who don’t carry weapons. In short, it’s just the cultists who are armed.
“What a peculiar group of people.”
Kurou wryly smiled.
Even seventy years ago when the Swordies fought against humans during the Great War, the Swordies would not attack civilians. Especially those who were defenseless, they definitely would not have crossed swords with them.
It could be said that this was one of the restraints of a Swordie swordsman. Even if they strongly detested the opponent, they would not attack someone that was defenseless. What an extreme moral idiosyncrasy.
“However, Kurou wants to add himself to this group of bizarre individuals right? Thus, take her as your maid!”
“Well……wait, I need to attain a Swordie ID, what does having her be my maid have anything to do with that!?”
Kurou couldn’t help but shake his head towards Lars’s enthusiastic urging.
Kurou wished to protect Hinako, that was all. Anything after that should be dealt with by the upper management of the Sabers. Basically, handling this fell on Manaka and the others.
“However, even the Sabers would have a hard time dealing with a child. She may be the cult founder’s daughter, but there’s no reason to arrest her because she isn’t a criminal. That said, we could fabricate an accusation but for it to be something done by a girl like her, there’s no way something like that would pass. Nevertheless, if we were to leave her alone then……hence, it was determined that she would be handed off to Kurou.”
“What an absurd leap of judgment!”
Why was there a girl with such a problematic standing, so much so that she was strongly forced onto the hands of a normal member like Kurou.
“Furthermore, humans can live normally within the academy so her guise is quite well-done. That said, her identity may lead to some trouble but as long as Kurou is around, no matter what happens she should be fine right?”
“So you’re saying for me to become her bodyguard and guardian?”
“Kurou is also about to receive his pay from the Sabers so you can’t decline. This is an order———I believe that was what the director had said.”
Kurou seemed to have no room to voice complaints once again.
Indeed, even if he had already earned his money, Manaka’s orders were final. In addition, if he loses his earnings from the Sabers, then there would be no way for him to maintain life down the road. Although his current gains from reward money were kept in his savings, he didn’t want the path to a steady future to be discontinued.
“Well then, good luck Kurou.”
Lars stated as he was beaming with excitement.
The Sword Academy covered a lot of ground. There were numerous facilities and it even had a courtyard constructed.
In accordance with the Swordie’s love for greenery, countless plants were planted within the courtyard. Throughout the year, there would be flowers embellishing the flower terraces and very beautifully well-kept grass fields.
In one of the corners of the gorgeous, vast courtyard sits a small piece of forest. Within the forest was a small wooden hut.
“Is this the place……”
Kurou stopped in his tracks. He lifted his head and gazed attentively at the small hut. Lars and Hinako did the same.
The person who constructed this courtyard was a human landscaper. In hopes of taking care of the landscaper, the school prepared a small hut for him.
That landscaper passed away a couple years ago and since the current landscaper was away on official business, there was no one else living here.
“So I’m suppose to live in this comfortable room?”
Kurou harshly glared at Lars who was explaining things nonstop.
“Pretty much. A couple of the higher-ups even wanted her to be placed under house arrest within this academy.”
If it was house arrest, then this facility would probably be even more suitable————Although they figured it was just going to be Kurou by himself, the entire Saber’s upper management still completely shifted this task to Kurou.
“Well then, I’ll leave the rest to the two of you.”
“Wait Lars, where are you going?”
Kurou grabbed Lars as he was about to leave.
“I’m going to school of course. First period has already started, if I don’t leave now……”
“So you’re seriously going to leave all the troublesome matters to me……”
“I’ve been told by my parents that I have to graduate. Well, it is what it is.”
After giving a slight smirk, Lars left without further interruptions.
Since Kurou understood that what Lars said about his parents was true, it was hard to keep him here.
“……There’s really no other way.”
Kurou muttered and proceeded to open the door to the hut using the key Lars gave him.
The interior setup was in a Japanese style. After removing his shoes, he entered inside and thoroughly scoped out the place.
There was an eight tatami living room along with another six tatami Western style room. There was also a conveniently placed kitchen, shower room, and bathroom. Even though from the outside it looked like an outdated tiny hut, the inside decor was exceptionally well adorned.
There was a TV, fridge, and what appeared to be a washing machine. Other things such as tables and chairs were already available. The preposterous sense that this place was not inhabitable was completely absent. It was probably because there was someone who would tidy up around here on occasion.
“Well, living here doesn’t seem too bad. Walking to school only takes five minutes and the facilities here are quite complete.”
According to what Lars said, there was no need for room and board. It seems even the electricity and gas costs were already covered by the school.
To Kurou, it did not seem that bad.
“Ha——, so this is a tatami. It’s my first time seeing one.”
Hinako took a seat in the living room and affectionately stroked the tatami mat.
It wasn’t that bad but————that was with the prerequisite that this annoying girl wasn’t living here as well.
Except, if protecting her was part of the objective, then there was nothing he could do about it. Kurou had already come to accept this worst case scenario.
“I believe I haven’t made a proper introduction. My name is Kurou.”
“Well the sounding is a bit off……whatever, it’s fine.”
“Are you a human? You’re different than the Swordies, do you have a surname?”
“Yes I do. My original name was Katsuragi Kurou. However, if I were to live within Swordie society, there’s no need for a surname.”
“So it’s like that.”
Hinako seems to have understood and nodded.
“By the way Kuro!”
“Calling me by my name directly already? Whatever, what’s the matter?”
“What should I be doing?”
Regarding this matter, it was something Kurou really wanted to inquire from her instead.
She obviously dressed up in maid attire and told him that she would serve him. However, he didn’t actually know what in particular she should do.
“……For now, just stand up.”
Hinako mannerly nodded and stood up. Kurou once again inspected her.
Her body was extremely petite, approximately 150 centimeters tall. Her hands, legs, and even her waist were slender to the point of seeming unstable. However, there were two massive bulges coming from her chest.
It was probably because that green and black colored maid outfit was quite exposing around the chest. That captivating deep ravine was pretty visible. The skirt was short, as if it was meant to be worn while in combat. It would seem that if there was even the tiniest of movements, her panties would be exposed.
However, did she not have any thoughts at all about this maid outfit seeing as she was completely unprepared for this.
Kurou couldn’t help but think who was the one that picked this outfit.
No, it should be obvious. It was the one who sent Hinako here————in other words, Manaka. She was someone who kept up with fashion trends. Within the Sabers, her uniforms were always accompanied by a beautiful overcoat stemmed from her interest in these matters.
In the end, if he were to become Hinako’s bodyguard, then there was no need to call Lars in. Calling for himself instead would most likely be a much better option. Instead, she specifically sent Hinako over to the academy thinking this would perhaps be much more interesting.
“About how old are you? What’s your age?”
“I’m 15, turning 16 this year.”
In other words, the same age as Kurou.
There was really no choice but to live with a beauty around the same age under the same roof……of course, if it was a mission then there was no way he would try anything unreasonable.
“……Well, whatever. For now just tidy up the place a bit. Seems like there’s plenty of dust around here. Since there’s a lot of useless stuff piled up in that room, I’ll go ahead and straighten things out over there.”
Kurou decided to first clean up the stuff he saw in front of him. Although he skipped school on just the second day since he transferred, he probably wouldn’t be forced to drop out just because of this.
In another room was a bed. Having this room designated as Hinako’s room should be ideal. As long as Kurou could set up a shakedown in the living room he should be fine. He wasn’t one of those sensitive sleepers who couldn’t sleep without a bed. Even though he had a dream the previous night about sleeping on a comfy bed with a lovely wife, that kind of situation was something he was expecting in the years to come.
“I’ll leave tidying up the living room to you. No need to overdo it.”
Kurou pointed to the vacuum cleaner located in the corner of the room and then walked towards the bedroom.
Compared to a casual conversation, Kurou much preferred staying active.
This was because he didn’t know what to do with this————human girl of the same age.
“This must be a vacuum cleaner, it’s my first time near one.”
As soon as Kurou heard this eye-opening statement, he rushed back to the living room.
“You haven’t even used a vacuum cleaner before?”
“I’ve seen other people use it. However, this thing must be broken. It’s not making that whirrrr sound.”
“……Did you plug it in and press the on button?”
He knew that she wasn’t someone who was accustomed to the ways of normal life, but who would have thought that she was clueless on how to use a vacuum cleaner.
Hinako followed Kurou’s instructions, unraveled the power cord and plugged it in.
“Well then, it should be ready now.”
Hinako muttered and began cleaning up the tatami. Although she wasn’t familiar with the fine details, she did pretty much get the gist of operating the vacuum cleaner.
With that daringly skimpy miniskirt along with having to lean over as she moved the vacuum cleaner around, it was quite difficult on the eyes. Every day from now on, he would probably be in the presence of this appearance constantly. Kurou felt a bit tired from this. Being unable to rid himself of this overly revealing maid outfit wearing girl all because of his boss, it was really quite tragic.
“I should probably tidy up here a bit too.”
Hinako suddenly began to move the vacuum on top of the table. Kurou did not even have time to stop her. Once the table was thoroughly cleaned up in this fashion, she started to shift the vacuum on top of the TV placed in the corner of the room.
“Hey hey hey! H-H-Hold on a sec, you shouldn’t be cleaning these places! No, just forget about this place……oh yeah, I’ll have you clean up the shower room for now.”
Hinako nodded her head. It would be disastrous if she were to break the TV or some other electrical appliance.
“Well then, I’ll be going now.”
“Hold on, first set aside the vacuum cleaner.”
Stupid wouldn’t be the right description for her since Hinako seemed to be quite diligent.
It was more than just having a bad premonition about this. If Hinako were to be allowed to mess around with the household equipment, the result would be something quite frustrating. Although this was the case, it would be unbearable if he were to clean the entire place by himself.
Kurou explained in detail how to clean the shower room to Hinako and then sent her off.
“She should be fine……although it won’t be smooth sailing, I should be getting to work myself.”
After depositing the unnecessary furniture the landscaper had into the hut’s storage room, he began sorting through the necessities sent to them by Manaka and then he redid the vacuuming for the living room.
“That’s about it. Well then, is she still cleaning the shower room……”
Suddenly, Kurou’s face tensed upon hearing a cry from the shower room.
He had considered ignoring it but that was out of the question. Kurou despairingly looked down.
“I must say, having warm water enter the shower room makes it much more tiring.”
“This sort of thing, I already know.”
Hinako was sitting inside the bathtub in an unnatural position with her legs laid spread out.
Her tiny skirt curled up, revealing her white striped panties.
In addition, the showerhead that fell into the tub was spraying out water. Her maid outfit was tightly stuck to her body after being drenched.
“Let me first ask, how did it turn out like this?”
“After the water came out, the showerhead started to go out of control. I wanted to grab it but then I fell into the bathtub.”
It was just as he predicted. Having someone who was incapable of even operating a vacuum cleaner go tidy up the shower room was never going to work.
Kurou took Hinako back into the living room and was currently drying her soaked long black hair with a towel.
Hinako did not reveal an annoyed expression, continuing to let Kurou dry her off.
If he were to remove the maid outfit and rub her body dry, she probably wouldn’t even mind————these types of diabolical thoughts coursed through Kurou’s mind.
“……Well then, you can dry yourself off now.”
“Ok, I’ll do my best.”
Just like that, Hinako dried her half exposed chest and legs.
“Looks like the only thing qualified about you is your body.”
If she had denied that statement then he would have felt quite troubled. Rather, with her nodding in agreement, it was hard to respond to that. Kurou couldn’t help but clutch his head.
“With this, you’re pretty much just a busty freeloader right?”
“That’s how it is.”
“In that case, stop nodding and agreeing so willingly. Jeez……”
Kurou helplessly stated as he stood up. He glanced over at the time and noticed it was approaching noon. It was most likely due to the heavy task at hand. Or was it because it was tiring having to deal with Hinako. In any case, he did feel quite hungry from all of this.
“First let me ask, are you able to cook?”
“I can eat but I can’t cook.”
The task of cooking will probably be Kurou’s responsibility for the most part.
From the materials Manaka sent, there seemed to be a large quantity of instant ramen and other instant food products. If it was only for today, this should suffice.
“However, even though you’re a highly regarded girl of the Sun Cult, it’s surprising that you can’t even handle tidying up. Just what kind of caged bird are you…”
“I’ve never been in a cage before.”
“It’s a figure of speech. Just who in the world raised you……”
“Even if you ask, there’s nothing to say really. It was my first time going outside not too long ago, that’s all.”
“Eh, in that case it’s pretty much like being in a real cage……that said, hmm? For the first time?”
As Kurou walked out of the kitchen, he immediately stopped upon inquiring as such.
“You said you’ve never been outside before……why is that?”
“I was locked within a room.”
Kurou pressed his fingers against his temples.
In other words, the cause was most likely her imprisonment. If what she said about this being her “first time” was taken at face value, then the reasoning behind “you can’t even handle tidying up” would change once again.
If she were to be raised away from the masses and prevented from doing anything during her entire life up to now……
“Gurr——”. Suddenly, a silly sound echoed.
“Well then, we’ll continue this later.”
It was improbable that anyone could be focused on a conversation when their tummy was growling.
Kurou once again headed towards the kitchen.
“Thank you for the meal.”
Hinako set her spoon down and mannerly pressed her hands together.
Despite it being instant curry and instant rice, Hinako held no complaints and finished all her food.
After Kurou finished eating the same thing, he drank a cup of water in one go.
“Well then, for now just let me listen to what you have to say for a bit. You said it was your first time stepping outside, what exactly did you mean?”
“I’ve stayed in one room the entire time ever since my childhood, maybe even from the moment I was born……”
“On the subject of where this place was, I don’t know even to this day. Although I don’t think it was a Sun Cult facility.”
This was a serious topic. However, Hinako narrated with a stoic expression.
“A room you say? Then, what kind of room was it specifically?”
“It was quite a spacious room with pure white carpeting and a glass ceiling. There was also a bookshelf, bed, and cushion……there were two doors, one leading to a bathroom and shower room and the other leading to the outside of the room. However, I wasn’t able to leave.”
“Haven’t you ever thought about going outside to take a look?”
Kurou raised a question. It wasn’t exactly a thought-provoking question. If he were to listen intently, it may cause her to feel anxious.
“Of course, but there was always people waiting nearby to stop me. They told me that I didn’t have the founder’s permission……”
“Are you saying that the people you’ve encountered were the ones that have been taking care of you the whole time? So what do you do inside the room all day?”
“Read books, which included holy scriptures and even history books. Although when I was young, I would frequently play around with everyone within the room. However, I’ve spent my entire time reading these last few years.”
“You said you’re only fifteen years old right? Before you were fifteen, was your life always like this?”
Hinako gently nodded.
If she was the cult founder’s daughter, then having a completely different lifestyle wasn’t exactly something unimaginable.
That was because the religious organization frequently engaged itself in terrorist activities.
However, the possibility of her receiving the cult’s teachings or training in order to take part in fighting against the Swordie government should be set aside for now. Why would she be imprisoned though?
Objectively speaking, Sakurai Hinako was truly a beautiful girl. She even had this air of mystique surrounding her.
If they were to set her out in public, she could even become a major spokeswoman. There would be a lot of value in this. Why they would take special measures in concealing her, it was really quite baffling.
Or rather, what was the meaning behind not letting her out of the cult followers’ sights?
No matter how he looked at it, since the information available was lacking, a judgment could not really be made.
“However, right now you’re here. Was it because you escaped?”
“I want to see the world with my own two eyes. It’s not enough to satisfy me just by hearing about it through books and people……those who understood me allowed me to leave the room.”
“Was it those people you had frequent encounters with before? Were those guys followers of the sun as well? Had they been ordered to do unlawful things by the cult founder?”
Kurou tilted his head and pondered.
Even though he didn’t understand the fine details about the Sun Cult, he was clear on the fact that they complied with the cult founder’s orders, thus risking their lives in combat.
He had experienced that multiple times. The one named Akari also battled for the sake of the organization, this was undeniable.
“I don’t understand either. However, everyone wanted me to escape, for this I wanted to express my gratitude. Although, I’ll most definitely never see them again……”
As Hinako spoke, a fleeting expression surfaced in her eyes.
When Kurou first met her, she was located in the van of the Sun Cult.
There was probably the fear that she was captured while escaping. Within Tokyo Swordia, the Sun Cult had their own information network. Escaping with a burdensome girl was certainly not possible.
It would be troublesome for the group that released the cult founder’s daughter. Perhaps the whole crew was captured or more likely, killed. Furthermore, Hinako realized this aspect.
Hinako, she wasn’t just a girl with a complicated standing, she was also burdened with this extremely serious matter————
“Nevertheless, you easily mentioned all these things. These are probably matters that you don’t really want to discuss with other people right?”
Hinako stolidly shook her head.
“That director named Manaka told me that we should be having this kind of conversation right away.”
“Eh, so that’s why?”
“Yes, she said ‘Kuro is a cynical person, therefore it would be best that you say whatever you can say as early as possible.’”
Kurou did not hold any particular interest in Hinako.
If he were to become her bodyguard, his impression of her didn’t really matter.
However, even if that was the case, Kurou would want to protect Hinako even more if she honestly told him about her personal matters compared to if he knew nothing about her.
Kurou once again faced Hinako.
He wanted to impose one more question.
“Do you know why you were imprisoned?”
“I’m not sure. However, one of the people who set me free told me this, ‘You, you’re this organization’s————no, you’re the hope of all humans.’”
Indeed, there was something unusual about Hinako. She could already be considered as an anomaly.
When Kurou first encountered her that night her entire body was enwrapped in light.
“However, calling you the hope of all humans is quite the exaggeration. As far as I know, humans aren’t in despair.”
The people who allowed Hinako to escape were also dangerous Sun Cultists, this was without a doubt. Nevertheless, wasn’t this just a vain hope instilled in her?
“I don’t completely understand what that meant. However, he also said something like this.”
“What would that be?”
Hinako gazed out the sunlit window and took her time in responding.
“He said, I was the————’maiden of the sun.’”
On the following day, sword training once again commenced with a lecture.
Even though Kurou diligently went to class, he didn’t see Lars anywhere. This golden white-haired teenager had always been quite capricious.
Sword training was still the same as two days ago. The students would train with one on one matches. There also seemed to be team battles, studies on the various measures to deal with ranged weapons, as well as practice with the lance, daggers, and other weapons. However, the first years were not at this stage yet. Although Kurou felt that it would be more interesting the way it is.
Kurou leisurely tilted his head and looked at Hinako who was standing by his side.
“Why are you here as well? You’re not planning on studying at the school are you?”
“The director told me to stay near Kuro at all times.”
Just a while ago during the other classes, Hinako would grab a chair from who knows where and sit in the corner of the classroom. The teachers didn’t mind her doing this. Perhaps it was because Hinako greeted the teachers beforehand.
What was unexpected was Hinako being completely attentive during class. She probably felt invigorated at the idea of going to class. However, this invigoration was also the same for Kurou.
“Guess there’s nothing I can do about it for now. I even thought about you as a possible conversation partner beforehand……”
“Kurou doesn’t have any friends?”
This ojou-sama really hit on a painful subject.
“It’s not that I don’t have any friends. It’s……”
Kurou took a brief glance at Sefi.
She seemed to be surrounded by a couple of girls. It was the girl with the short hair and the plainly dressed glasses girl he met yesterday.
Sefi had just caught eye of Kurou and immediately revealed an astonished expression. Following that, she sharply glared back at Kurou.
It seems she intended on keeping her friendship with Kurou hidden from the public, but why would she be angry?
“Well, humans are shameful beings in modern Japan, especially within this academy.”
“I see, although I had already known about this, I never thought it would turn out like this. Kurou is the guy that’s rejected by everyone.”
Known as the maiden of the sun, it appeared that she had a grasp of this superfluous information.
She probably didn’t realize that she herself was being excluded in the same way as well.
A female student approached Kurou with a rather serious expression.
Her long brown hair rested on her shoulders. She was a very cute girl.
However, unbefitting of her cute appearance was that she exuded a clear sense of enmity. She was holding her sword firmly in her hands.
“Well then, who are you?”
Kurou inquired frivolously. If he responded to her hostility with the same sort of animosity, then he would be stooping down lower than a child.
“My name is Freya! I feel honored to be speaking with the disciple of the Sword Saint! Don’t shy away just because I’m the number two ranked swordsman in our grade!”
“Oh, number two?”
Once Kurou finished his whimsical response, Freya raised her brow. He was probably seen as an offender for not being surprised upon hearing her number two ranking. Although, Kurou could care less about placement.
“……As for you, just forget about it. You seem to have entered the academy through standard procedures, however……this girl is different! These are the sacred training grounds of the Swordies! Humans who are not servants can’t just visit this place whenever they please!”
Emotions sure run high for this Freya person. Although, being energetic is a positive trait.
“It’s like that? Well, although I do feel apologetic, there’s a reason behind this. I won’t let her hinder you guys so please bear with it for a bit.”
“In that case, I have a proposition for you!”
As if she had predicted what Kurou’s response was going to be, Freya swiftly replied.
“Battle me! I heard you beat Sefi-sama while I was on break. If that was for real, I wish to confirm it myself!”
“Then, if I win, will you approve of her visitation?”
Even if she approves, it wasn’t an official approval. However, if he was able to receive the number two ranked student’s support, then perhaps his situation might somewhat be improved.
“Ha——, you want to determine a winner?”
The person who asked was only watching on with a blank stare. If only Hinako possessed a fraction of Freya’s domineering attitude.
“Everyone wants to see your strength again. I’ll be straightforward, before everyone was only focused on Sefi-sama and probably didn’t notice you at all.”
“I wish to be in the spotlight even more! I would hate to be wounded without being noticed.”
No one laughed at Kurou’s wisecrack.
Even Freya, who was slightly chuckling before, had now kept her lips sealed. They seemed to be uninterested in the jokes of a human.
“Hmm, if that’s the case then you must try your hardest under all the attention. You also have this one advantage.”
“You’re the Sword Saint’s disciple, plus you’re a human living among Swordies. Us Swordies————you probably understand the tendencies of Swordie women right?”
“……Well, more or less so.”
“If you are truly strong, then this academy might become your harem one day.”
After that profound statement, Freya raised her wooden sword over her head.
As Kurou was keeping a vigilant watch over her, he felt somewhat stunned.
Although she had joked about monopolizing the girls here, but in actuality, if you thought about their tendencies, the possibility of forming a harem wasn’t completely out of the question.
Kurou took a peek at Sefi.
His goal was to marry and establish his own household, which was the complete opposite of a harem. He had never carefully thought about that sort of thing before. However, upon reflecting over it, just what would be the best choice?
“I won’t go down easily, otherwise I’d make Sefi-sama look bad!”
Freya got into her stance, she was pretty much set.
The number two ranked student didn’t appear to be a pushover. Kurou confirmed this within himself. Although Sefi was ranked number three, there seemed to be quite a gap in strength between the two placements.
In addition, the other party knew about Kurou’s win over Sefi so she probably won’t be negligent in this regard.
Sefi on the other hand revealed a worried expression that was poles apart from her previous unhappiness. She probably understood Freya’s strength very clearly. Of course, she was even more familiar with Kurou’s strength. To still feel worried for him, that says a lot about how powerful Freya is.
No, compared to this, he perhaps felt quite honored to be instilled with a bit of anxiety by Freya.
Kurou slowly began posturing his wooden sword.
The students’ chitter chatter suddenly ceased.
Everyone wanted to pay close attention to who wins this matchup.
A human who could beat Sefi, his strength was certainly genuine.
Haha, ok, you guys can have a look. It’ll be displayed for you all to see.
Kurou finished preparing his stance and pointed the tip of his sword to Freya.
At this moment, Freya made her move. It was hard to follow her visually.
In an instant, the distance between Kurou and Freya became increasingly close————
The two of them began their clash of swords.
“No matter how many times I run it over, it still doesn’t make any sense.”
Hinako blankly muttered.
After lunch, in the corner of the living room, Hinako was currently reading through the cooking books that Kurou had borrowed from the library.
However, she didn’t really take note of the book’s contents very assiduously. In Hinako’s mind, she was replaying the events that occurred earlier today.
“What doesn’t make sense?”
Kurou, who was wearing casual attire consisting of a T-shirt and shorts, leisurely rested on the tatami mat and was reading a manga magazine before standing up impatiently.
“I’m referring to you Kuro. During today’s sword training……”
“Ah, that, you don’t need to worry about it.”
“I want to know even more about matters regarding the outside world.”
Hinako looked towards Kurou once again.
“The Sun Cult pretty much only reject Swordies. However, those kinds of cultists would only acknowledge the battle strength of a Swordie.”
“Even if they reject them, there’s no point.”
“I also heard that about some of the horrors regarding Swordies. Kanae, who was present during the massive anti-government protests that occurred in some district eight years ago, was someone I used to have numerous encounters with. She would frequently tell me, at that time there was a Swordie sent to suppress the rebellion who possessed monstrous strength.”
Kurou lightly scratched his forehead as he spoke indifferently.
For Hinako, Kanae’s words didn’t present much of a true image.
At the time, Kanae was only a middle-schooler when she had said “the Swordies were swordsmen that could easily cut down humans who were armed with weapons”, yet it was hard to forget those words.
“However, against those monstrous Swordies————Kuro only needed one strike to take her down.”
The strike that Hinako saw from Kurou today seemed to be etched into her mind.
The one known as Freya, who was somewhat of a typical Swordie girl, the moment she raised her sword————the victor had already been decided.
When in the world did Kurou raise his sword, and when did he swing down?
Hinako could not comprehend any of it. In the end, she wasn’t even sure if he had attacked.
By the time she realized it, Freya’s body was already shaking and soon toppled to the ground within the classroom.
Once the sound of her impact dissipated, the spectators who were holding their breath began to whisper to each other.
“The Swordie students all appeared to be staring in disbelief. Kuro, what in the world did you do? I have absolutely no idea.”
“Did the one-hit KO ruin it————, everyone seemed completely disappointed.”
Kurou still maintained his indifferent expression as he smirked.
It looks like Hinako was trying to reconcile the teenager in front of her with the swordsman who knocked out Freya.
He was completely inconceivable.
No matter how unworldly of a person Hinako was, she did realize that the number of humans who were like Kurou were numbered to just a few. A human living among Swordies and able to win against them in swordsmanship, just what path of life results in such a rare existence?
“I want to know. It’s only because I want to experience and witness various things that I would come to the outside like this. I have a great deal of interest in you. How come you can defeat a Swordie as a human? Although it is said that you are the disciple of the Sword Saint, but in the end, why are you the one that she selected as her disciple? Swordies teaching humans swordsmanship, besides you, are there any other instances?”
“If you excessively dig at the roots of someone’s past, you will be seen as quite a nuisance.”
“What did I do that’d be considered annoying? This I want to know as well.”
Hinako undauntedly spoke. Although she felt Kurou was a human full of mysteries, she wasn’t terrified of him at all. Because it was impossible for her to understand his swordsmanship, she wasn’t able to understand the horror behind it.
“Well, there’s nothing about the past that I want to conceal anyways.”
Kurou nonchalantly spoke.
“When I was seven years-old, my parents died. However, my master who I happened to meet by chance————the Sword Saint took me in. From then, during that seven year span until I was fourteen years-old, I put all my effort into learning the ways of the swords……not too long after the Sword Saint’s whereabouts became unknown, I worked for the Sabers. After that, I entered the Sword Academy and even carried an unexpectedly heavy burden with me. That’s pretty much it.”
“What a troublesome life.”
“Don’t indifferently deny another person’s hardship. Furthermore, that last bit of what I said was referring to your annoying comments.”
“Ha, annoying? Since no one has ever said anything like this to me before, it does feel quite refreshing.”
What the heck, Kurou revealed a complicated expression.
Having been surrounded by the people who treasured her throughout her life, there were many things that felt like a change of pace for her.
“However, I still don’t understand any of this based on your simple explanation. Plus, to easily take down someone like Freya is very baffling. Please go into more detail.”
“Geez, still not letting that matter go I see. That said, even if you were a swordsman you still wouldn’t be able to understand my swordsmanship. Well then, if I were to tell someone like you who doesn’t even have the battle capability of a little dog, there’s no chance you would understand————”
Suddenly, Kurou ended the conversation.
He gestured Hinako to stop with his hand as he gazed out the window.
“Quiet. Listen to me, don’t leave my side.”
Kurou picked up his katana that was nearby and stood up.
His previous smirk was now replaced with an anxious expression. Is he the same person from just a moment ago? Hinako carried this suspicion.
This further deepened the enigma surrounding Kurou.
Hinako closely followed Kurou outside.
In order to learn what was unavailable from within that room, Hinako received help from a group of people and was brought to the outside world.
In addition, Kurou was someone who kept provoking her curiosity.
It didn’t need to be said that Hinako would never leave his side.
The small hut Kurou and Hinako resided in was located in a small forest deep within the courtyard.
Although it was a forest, it was also equipped with a pathway leading to an open clearing with the hut and its surroundings. In front of the hut, there seemed to be a parking area that could hold three or four vehicles.
Kurou stood waiting in the center of this clearing as something was approaching them.
Kurou leaned against his katana as he groaned.
Overall, there was this very strange sort of feeling. There was actually a suppressed light force closing in on him, but for some reason a sense of hostility wasn’t detected.
If he knew it was an enemy, he could engage in a pre-emptive strike. However, in this situation where it was still up in the air, he was unable to freely take action.
“Whoever it is seems to have arrived.”
Hinako quietly spoke from behind him.
She was also capable of keeping a calm demeanor and sensing the bizarre aura. Despite her believing Kurou was an odd person, she was somewhat mystifying herself.
“It’s coming from over here this time.”
Kurou redirected his attention and faced the incoming person head on.
From the depths of the shadowy forest, a figure appeared.
The person walked towards them with an exceedingly languid pace, their hair and dress swaying in the light breeze. Indeed, the person was a girl.
She was wearing the Sword Academy’s uniform and hoisted a massive object over her shoulders.
Even though the darkness made it hard to visualize, the object appeared to be both long and wide.
“Ah, it’s her, the one who for some reason kept glaring at me during sword training. She’s also quite cute.”
“……However, the object being held over her shoulders isn’t cute at all.”
Kurou distinctly saw the object being carried on Sefi’s shoulder as she was approaching.
Sefi’s height was about a hundred and sixty centimeters. The scary thing was the object she carried was a sword that was about the same length as her. Furthermore, the width of the blade was abnormally wide and the metallic sheath which contained the blade must have been more than thirty centimeters wide.
Rather than calling it a sword, it appeared to be more like a cannon that she was carrying.
“Umm, Sefi-san? What in the world is that……”
“That means this must be the first time I’ve shown this thing to you.”
Compared to her unexpected entrance, Sefi instead used her usual manner of speaking in response.
Sefi’s cannon————no wait, her sword was being held upright by one hand.
Hinako was astonished.
Well, can’t blame her for that. To be able to single-handedly grab that ridiculously long and massive sword was unthinkable for any human.
Sefi pressed a button of some sort located on the metallic sheath. After that, the sheath fell onto the ground and a thick blade appeared. Although the light blade wasn’t activated, he understood it was still an extremely ferocious weapon.
“Let me introduce you to my personalized sword————the Starbreaker.”
“Woah, even the name lacks charm.”
This time even Kurou became somewhat surprised.
When Swordies attained their Swordsman title, they were able to receive their own personalized swords.
They were modeled after their parents or master’s style. There were numerous circumstances to be taken into account when having a swordsmith forge one’s personalized sword. At that time, the swordsman would relay all of their preferences and details to the swordsmith and the result was a sword that suited them greatly.
“Starbreaker……Swordies give their swords names?”
Having not understood the prior situation still, Hinako asked in admiration.
“To Swordies, the sword is an object that is comparable to a clone of themselves. Before, the name was given in Swordia’s language, but nowadays using Japanese to name a sword is becoming more and more common.”
“That has nothing to do with it.”
“Isn’t it great though? If you were Japanese, say for example you named your dog Taro——, if other people didn’t know the language, then they might instead call your dog John.”
“Using pet names as an example……speaking of which, does Kuro’s sword have a name?”
“I have nothing of the sort.”
The weapon Kurou used was a katana received from his master. Although it was a good quality sword, to Kurou it was just an object. For someone who wasn’t even a Swordie, he had no intention to name his own sword.
“This stuff doesn’t matter!”
Sefi spoke with a piercing tone, cutting off Kurou and Hinako’s carefree conversation.
“Rou! Don’t you understand the present situation!?”
“No, I don’t get it at all. Sefi, why did you suddenly pull out your sword? Since it’s you, you didn’t have to barge on though, you’re always welcomed in my bed.”
“Quit joking around! That said, what in the world do you call this? Why did it turn out like this!? You bring over a maid all of a sudden and you guys are living together in this kind of place!”
“Haha, I probably didn’t mention this to you yet Sefi. Eh? So you know why we are living here?”
“For this sort of thing I had immediately figured it out. That’s because I have people looking into Kurou’s tendencies.”
“I think I know the motives of those investigators.”
It was unlikely that it would be anything such as assassination related activities.
“Before that, I should have asked what Sefi’s motive was. Why did you come here? Why are you pointing your sword towards me?”
“W-Well you see……Rou, your sword goes beyond all expectations…..ah, forget about my motives and all that. Once I cut you down you need not mind that!”
“Of course I’m going to mind!”
As Kurou sharply snarked, he took a step back. Kurou understood Sefi didn’t have any killing intent but he also knew that she wouldn’t threaten and jokingly point a sword towards others.
Even if there was no killing intent, there was no doubt that she was going to take on Kurou seriously.
Regarding the reasoning behind Sefi’s actions, Kurou could only think of one explanation.
“……In that case, there’s something I want to say to that overly inquisitive maid over there.
Kurou looked towards Sefi as he spoke.
“What is it?”
“During the day, Freya probably mentioned it, something regarding a Swordie’s tendencies.”
“Yes it has been mentioned before. However, Kuro rendering that girl to a state where she couldn’t stand up anymore after combat left such a deep impression on me. I had forgotten about what she said accidentally.”
“What an unpleasant manner of speech you have. Whatever, let’s leave that aside for now……Swordies are known as the sword loving race.”
Hinako was dumbfounded while Sefi on the other hand frowned in dissatisfaction.
Kurou paid no heed as he continued his explanation.
“Just like how humans can be drawn towards appearances, smarts, physical capabilities, economic potential and many more things, a Swordie will be drawn towards a strong swordsman. Especially among female Swordies————just when a girl hits puberty, that kind of inclination appears to strengthen intensely.”
“By a strong swordsman……? Hey Kuro, within the Swordies, aren’t females overwhelmingly strong? That means……”
“That’s precisely the case. Normally speaking, Swordie girls always take a liking to other strong girls.”
“It’s probably hard to bear children like that.”
Hinako straightforwardly pointed it out.
Although it was just as Hinako said, however, for her to clearly draw this type of conclusion was really quite impressive.
It was also said that male Swordies were not really obsessed with swords. Usually, they were still into cute girls.
As a result, male Swordies usually will not end up as opponents to the females. Although this could be described as quite tragic, it doesn’t necessarily equate to a lower birth rate.
Another thing was, once puberty ended for a female Swordie, their infatuation with the sword weakens. Additionally, the habits of a female Swordie————usually does not result in many problems in regards to procreation.
“I’ve said it before, I will never have an affinity towards other girls. I don’t have that habit of being attracted to those who are strong. Just like how humans appreciate looks and personalities, there are swords I do like and ones that I don’t.”
“So you mean to say, you like my sword right?”
Kurou maintained perfect composure as he asked.
Right now, Sefi was blushing profusely.
“T-T-T-This cannot be! I have seen Rou’s sword countless times! Why would I even care about that sort of thing! If I were to see it again, there’s no chance that I’d be shocked or anything!”
As Sefi was denying this, she rambled on for quite a bit.
Although the possibility of a harem was quite low, it seems that Sefi had been hooked by Kurou’s sword.
“……Hmm, it’s really quite strange. I understand being fond of a stronger swordsman, but that blonde girl with the ponytail doesn’t seem to have a reason to cross swords with Kuro.”
Hinako remained calm the entire time. Was there anything that could rattle her?
Kurou wryly smiled and continued to elucidate.
“Being drawn to swords, this topic has to be explained further. Under this sort of state, the girls seem to want to battle against their favorite swordsman.”
“So it’s another particularly frightening display of affection.”
“Well, it is what it is. That said, your response is so insensitive.”
For it to be a good, overly inquisitive attitude, it would be nice to see her express some type of shock after learning about the essence of these things.
“I-I already said it isn’t like that. I’m not battling him because I like him! It’s just that, I’d like to slash apart the unfathomable Rou!”
“That’s a very pathetic excuse.”
Kurou wryly smiled and pulled out his katana in one swift motion. With the moon and starlight reflecting off of it, the blade flashed with an icy luster.
“……Overall, it leaves a despairing impression.”
Hinako stated as she slowly walked away from Kurou.
In fact, it was basically as she said.
Sefi was holding her massive sword that resembled a chunk of metal.
In contrast, Kurou carried a katana that was of ordinary length and width.
From a spectator’s point of view, it would appear to be a fight between a cannon and a pistol.
“You should stop spitting out all that nonsense! Rou, if you don’t focus, you’ll die!”
“I won’t die if Sefi doesn’t slash me!”
Sefi turned a deaf ear towards Kurou’s snark reply. After lifting the sword with both hands once again, she suddenly swung downwards.
As Kurou barely dodged it, that thick blade slid right past his body and created a loud impact when it hit the ground. The soil was immediately sent flying and the ground caved in as if there was an explosion.
“It’s not over yet!”
Sefi did not pause one bit as she raised her sword from the ground and slashed at him from the side.
A roar akin to a ferocious gale accompanied the swift sword slash. With much difficulty, Kurou backed off this time to dodge the strike. However, that heavy, thick blade just barely brushed past him and he felt the impact of the ensuing wind pressure.
With this, even Kurou broke out in a cold sweat.
Even if he was hacked by a normal Swordie, his body would probably turn into scraps. If he were to be cut by Sefi’s Starbreaker, then perhaps not even the tattered pieces of his body would remain. Although the burial process would be rendered unnecessary, this kind of death was really quite undesirable.
Sefi’s lightning quick blade came flying by his side as if she wanted to cut him into two. In one swift motion, three trees were even severed. In addition, the trees that were chopped had been sent flying like a twig. The base of the chopped tree carried a gruesome look. It appeared completely mutilated as if it was mauled apart.
Kurou unwittingly gulped.
Going way back, Sefi had always been this straightforward. She was the type to pour all her strength into one attack. With that kind of style, using a long and heavy blade like this was probably the ideal choice.
Kurou would never be able to utilize her type of sword. Even though Kurou’s katana wasn’t necessarily light, it did allow him to make use of his body’s natural movements. Despite that, he might not even be able to lift Sefi’s Starbreaker let alone wield it. As expected, there was an impassable divide between the physical capabilities of a Swordie and a human.
“Rou! If you keep slacking off like that, even you will be…!”
From Kurou’s perspective, Sefi’s sword had numerous weaknesses.
If the strikes were dodgeable, he could continue evading them no matter how many there were————as much he would like to think that was the case, Kurou’s stamina was not on par with hers. Under the pressure of the Starbreaker, who knows how long he could keep up his focus.
Kurou tightly clenched his teeth.
There was no choice, if this were to keep up————
Having seemingly been blown away, after he dodged Sefi’s overwhelming downward sword slash at the very last second————
Kurou sprung forward, putting so much power in his takeoff such that it was as if he wanted the ground to cave in behind him, and then slashed downwards.
Sefi let out a small shriek as she backed off.
Her suit, jacket, and shirt were cut right down the middle as if the strike had been precisely measured. It wasn’t just that though, even her bra was beautifully cut into two halves.
However, the skin beneath the bra remained perfectly unharmed.
With that divine maneuver, Kurou managed to only cut Sefi’s clothes.
“Very impressive Kuro. Even though it would seem that you are a pervert, that technique was truly excellent.”
Hinako stated with a completely composed demeanor.
“Every Swordie can manage this sort of maneuver. It’s nothing impressive really.”
“……No, it’s not like that. To be able to evade my sword, slash my clothes, and do that without harming me or cutting a single hair on my body……there are only a few who could do this even among Swordies.”
Not letting his guard down, Kurou maintained his stance and tilted his head.
Originally he had thought that if her clothes were cut, Sefi would waver a bit and cease her actions. However, Kurou’s expectations appeared to be completely falling apart.
“You’re very strong Rou. So strong, so strong, so strong, so strong, so strong……”
While single-handedly wielding her sword, this time she attacked in succession.
She repeatedly struck without any hesitation at all. Her strikes were carefully aimed at his weak spots. Even though Sefi’s face was flushed red, she seemed totally elated. Despite that, her attacks were still pinpoint sharp. It really made him think, “as expected of her”.
“Rou, more, more, come on give me more! Let me feel satisfied!”
In actuality, this was practically the first time Kurou had witnessed this habit of “Swordies loving swords”. Seeing a girl take this much enjoyment from it all, it was without a doubt a first time experience for him. Sefi was still very powerful even out of her usual serious demeanor.
Kurou’s last strike was unable to stop Sefi and instead added more fuel to the fire.
Well then, what should he do?
Kurou was evading Sefi’s strikes as he contemplated. With that said, even though he was pondering while dodging like this, Sefi’s attack was not to be underestimated.
“What are you doing Rou! You’ll die if you don’t counterattack, didn’t I say this before!? You are not allowed to die!”
“My goodness, just who is the one trying to kill me here————ah ha, damn it!”
Just as an idea surfaced in Kurou’s mind————he had lost his train of thought.
He no longer had the leisure of idling away in thought. He also couldn’t slash Sefi directly. If he were to kill the princess of the four generals, even if he had a valid defense, there would be no way around the death sentence. Furthermore, Kurou did not wish to harm Sefi in any way.
As a result————
Kurou instantly closed in and proceeded to tightly grab the wrist of Sefi’s right hand which was holding the sword. Just like when he sexually harassed her back then, Kurou’s movements completely caught Sefi off-guard. She revealed a stunned expression the moment her right wrist was seized.
Sefi’s eyes opened wide.
However, Kurou disregarded that as he inched his face closer————
His lips overlapped with Sefi’s. Her half opened lips looked as if they were being clamped as Kurou’s lips tightly held on.
He only had three seconds to savor her soft lips.
After Kurou separated from her lips, he kept his close distance and stared at Sefi’s face.
Sefi’s already flushed red face became even redder this time.
Following that, Sefi suddenly turned away and darted off like an arrow.
The Swordies were practically all fast runners. Even Sefi, who was wielding her Starbreaker, disappeared into the forest in a flash.
“……Hmmm, she ran away. Does that mean she doesn’t like me?”
“Is that your impression?”
Hinako snarkily replied as she walked by.
“Even if it’s a girl I meet by chance, I’ll get excited as long as she is cute. Although that doesn’t mean I’ll take a liking to them……do you think it was the same for Sefi just now?”
“You’re asking someone who has been under house arrest for over fifteen years……so……”
Indeed, Hinako wasn’t very familiar with the relationship between boys and girls.
“However, that’s probably what they call a kiss right? It’s my first time seeing one. If you could have sustained it for a bit longer, I would have been able to observe it more closely.”
“Even with this kind of request……I’m not the type to get excited over someone watching me.”
If it were to have lasted a little longer, he probably would have been chopped up by Sefi at that close of a distance.
“How regrettable. Well, she already left, isn’t that a good thing? Although being under attack was a catastrophe, you also got to enjoy a piece of it.”
“That couldn’t be more true.”
With just a quick kiss, she pretty much returned back to her normal state————although this was a simple solution, there were definitely other methods.
The tender feeling of Sefi’s lips, he was able to clearly describe them————if it weren’t under these conditions, he would really like to savor them again some time.
“It was clearly sexual harassment, but to have only been called an “idiot”, I am really quite fortunate.”
“Even so, it would be best if you apologized. Furthermore, the things she left behind must be returned to her.”
With that, Kurou glanced at the sword sheath Sefi left behind.
Although it was just a sheath, it appeared to be quite heavy. If he were to drag this along the ground all the way to the girls dorms, it was very possible that his back would break.
Suddenly, a desperate cry was heard in the distance.
The person was without a doubt the same girl that was on a rampage here earlier. The melodious sound of her voice even made that shout a pleasure to the ears.
After that, Kurou took action without a second thought.
Grabbing Hinako’s hand, he ran off.
He had a very bad feeling about this.
In a scenario where even Sefi, who was holding onto her personalized sword, unwittingly cried out for help————
No matter what, he felt what was awaiting him would definitely not be pleasant.
Kurou’s night seems to have been dragged out longer.
As he traversed the forest, he noticed Sefi’s figure on the school’s pathway which led into the forest.
She was currently sitting on the ground and pressing against her right hand. Upon closer inspection, her Starbreaker was located a few meters away from her.
Sefi spoke with a sigh of relief. However, Sefi wasn’t looking at Kurou, she was eying the other silhouette standing beside her.
Kurou directed his gaze towards the other figure.
She was wearing a loose fitting robe and because of the hood draped over the person’s face, he was unable to see their expression. However, the petite figure along with the curves showing from the seams of the robe would indicate that she was a girl.
Her right hand was carrying a sword. It was the type of single-edged blade that most Swordies used.
Kurou grasped the katana he had pulled out in his hand and stood in front of the robed girl.
“Who the heck are you? What did you do to my woman?”
“Wait, what!? What do you mean by Rou’s woman!?”
“There’s no need to worry, I’ll definitely make you feel very happy.”
“That’s not the problem! My f-first kiss……was clearly taken away from me, and yet you’re still boasting!”
“Oh, that was your first kiss?”
“……These two really lack any sense of worry.”
Hinako’s muttering could be heard.
It was exactly as Hinako described, plus Kurou was not the serious type.
“Well, what happened Sefi? Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine, my right hand just feels a bit numb. When I was about to go back to the dorms, I was suddenly attacked by this person.”
“Without any explanation, she just charged right at me……it was really hard to believe.”
“You have no right to be saying this.”
It would probably be best if Sefi did a bit of introspection.
Although she did say it was a surprise attack, to be able to send her sword flying meant the opposition’s swordsmanship wasn’t exactly your everyday type. If the average swordsman attacked Sefi’s heavy, thick sword, their own sword would most likely be severed.
“Well, if you’re ok then it’s all good. If you had harmed my girl, I wouldn’t be able to let things end like this————!”
Kurou leaned back and dodged the enemy’s sudden attack.
The robed girl smacked her lips. Based on the faint sound that was heard, it was a girl after all.
Kurou positioned his sword and entered his battle stance. That last attack was aimed at Kurou’s throat. In other words, the opponent didn’t have any qualms with taking his life.
“Am I no different? Or rather, you don’t show any mercy to anyone who gets in your way? Well, it doesn’t matter either way. Furthermore, it’s getting late, I should probably dispose of you immediately.”
Having caught a glimpse of the girl’s face, it appeared that she revealed a twisted smile————
Immediately afterwards, the girl jumped into the air.
She sprung high up, as if she had vanished from Kurou’s line of sight. That jump had to be at least four, five meters high.
She descended like a bullet. The sword she was wielding clashed with Kurou’s katana. An ear piercing sound echoed and sparks violently erupted from the two blades.
The girl then wielded her sword in a dance-like fashion. On the other hand, Kurou consecutively parried her second and third strikes.
“……Guh! This is really dangerous!”
The robed girl jumped back a few meters. Without even a running start, it was hard to imagine that she was actually able to leap that far away.
“So you are a Swordie after all. In addition, it appears you are knowledgeable in the ancient battle styles.”
The robed girl did not respond.
The blade she wielded was cloaked by a faint light. It seemed that she was able to jump and utilize the light blade at the same time.
It was quite easy to see that she possessed superb swordsmanship. It was different compared to the battle against the toughened criminal ringleader and the fights against Sefi and Freya, who both lacked actual combat experience. The robed girl possessed this reliable technique and honed her strength by overcoming many hellish trials.
“However, you’re strong, really strong. Seeing someone like you, it’s clear to see how humans lost during the Great War a couple decades ago.”
The battle between humans and Swordies commenced when a massive portal opened which resulted in an abnormal atmosphere.
Furthermore, there were three reasons why Swordies were able to triumph over humans under those circumstances.
The first was the Swordie’s undeniable overwhelming physical capabilities.
Viewing it from the perspective of a human, an ambush with a sword versus an automatic rifle or machine gun was a completely illogical action to take under a normal state of mind. All you do is become a target.
However, from a Swordie’s perspective, humans were the ones who were inscrutable. Many of their soldiers would be bunkered down in narrow entrenchments in an unnatural kneeling or prone position. Leisurely using long-range weaponry when attacking was just asking to be sliced to death.
In what ways were the Swordies even targets? They were able to use their swords to reflect bullets, dodge artillery shells, and close in hundreds of meters in distance instantaneously. The human soldiers using these rifles were just cut down one after another.
And it didn’t just involve head on surprise assaults. Like this robe wearing girl, they hacked at them from outside their line of sight. There was nothing the human soldiers could do against a Swordie’s three-dimensional attack range.
“That said……this is the first time I’ve seen Kurou’s sword clash with another person’s.”
“When you’re unable to evade, that is the only option.”
Kurou slightly waved the blade of his katana.
The blade of the sword didn’t get bent in the slightest. He was left unscathed after clashing against the sword of a Swordie. Under normal circumstances, this was an impossible scenario. That girl’s attack clearly had the force to blast away Sefi’s ridiculously heavy sword……
“As a matter of fact, there’s nothing about it that’s hard to believe.”
The robed girl did not initiate her next attack. Perhaps she didn’t know what to do next.
Kurou smiled for a moment and then decided to enthusiastically answer her suspicions.
“If I were to evade your sword using normal methods, it’d be very challenging. However, I can read the path of your sword————right before you swing it. As long as I can read your planned attack and sense your aura, dodging you won’t be hard at all. It’s all due to Swordies being stubborn in using their speed and strength to wield their sword. With that, I’ll be fine as long as I slightly duck away from the path of your sword after our swords clash.”
“It sounds easy. If it’s easy to accomplish that sort of thing, there shouldn’t be any difficulty then……”
Sefi grudgingly spoke with admiration.
Using the minimum amount of strength required while utilizing the opponent’s momentum in parrying away their sword, thereby breaking up their strike. If there was just one instance where the sword wasn’t wielded properly, not only would the sword be snapped apart but he would most likely end up dead as well. The only time a Swordie’s strike can be parried is when executing top notch techniques in the instant he sees through the opponent.
“In the past, there were people known as samurais within this country. Many of them would wager their life on their sword and were not inferior to the Swordies in any way. Of course, their physical strength was weaker than that of a Swordie. However, to compensate for this————the samurais had ingenuity.”
Hundreds of years ago, even though they only numbered a few, Swordies had already started visiting this world. The number of samurais who fought them seemed quite plentiful in number.
It was said that among them, there were warriors who were capable of winning against the Swordies.
“This swordsmanship was created by the numerous powerful pioneers who used it to battle against Swordies. The remaining records from them were gathered, and codified as————the Olden Style.”
The robed girl once again jumped into the air.
The moment she landed, she unleashed a full force attack that was repulsed by Kurou’s sword. Following that, accompanying this choreographic movement was a fury of attacks which was fearlessly parried away by Kurou.
The two blades collided, sparks flew in all directions, and a sharp metallic clash sounded.
In a flash, three instant kill slashes came at him, but they were also deflected by Kurou’s sword.
No, it wasn’t just that————
The robed girl was stunned to the point where she couldn’t even utter a sound. That was because there was a small slit in her robe by her shoulder and the skin beneath was faintly bleeding.
“Eh, my slice was too shallow. I really did focus on cutting in deeper.”
Kurou wryly smiled.
As he countered those three strikes, he also slashed at the robed girl.
“You’re very strong. However, you’re nowhere near good enough. Well, you shouldn’t be discouraged just because you can’t keep up with me. I measured my strength against the world’s number one monster every day. Although I was reluctant to do so, I have become quite strong from this.”
Indeed, the robed girl was very competent. Her skills were much more powerful than anyone he had seen in the Sword Academy.
However, no matter what there was no way it could match the world’s most omnipotent, the Sword Saint. Compared to her sword, this robed girl’s sword was not even close in terms of speed and technique.
“If you stop resisting, I won’t take your life. Furthermore, I want to know the reason why you attacked Sefi.”
The robed girl did not reply. Instead, she suddenly motioned the tip of her sword in a swift circle.
What was the meaning behind this? Just as Kurou thought to himself————
“Flames, go forth!”
The robed girl spoke in a low voice, resembling a voice from hell.
At this time, a flame appeared and wrapped itself around the white light blade————the slender flame was akin to a snake and it shot out straight towards Kurou.
Kurou was unable to fully evade this unforeseeable attack. The snake-like flame swept past Kurou’s elbow, burning his skin as it sailed through.
“Could it be————mystic arts!?”
Kurou stated in shock.
It was said that Swordies could utilize powers that were the equivalent of magic————
This was the second reason why humans lost the Great War.
Being able to attack from long-range by manipulating flames, water, wind and such, basically the power of the mystic arts, caused a great deal of trouble for the humans during the Great War. Due to the assistance of these dynamic mystic arts, the Swordies were capable of cutting into enemy lines. Mystic arts were without a doubt the deciding factor during the Great War.
“These mystic arts……were supposed to have vanished a long time ago!”
Sefi picked up her sword and stood alongside Kurou.
It was just as she said. After the Great War ended and the portals closed, for some reason the Swordies lost their ability to use mystic arts.
Even those who participated in the Great War were completely unable to use mystic arts in the many years after. Plus, the next generation after the Great War were incapable of using mystic arts right from the start. That was how it turned out————
How odd. The robed girl and Kurou were both different from any other Swordie. Whether it was swordsmanship or mystic arts, there was something peculiar about their essence.
“What the heck is up with you? Are you really a Swordie……?”
The robed girl responded with a grunt of contempt towards Kurou’s suspicions and produced another flame snake.
Kurou smacked his lips and charged forth. This was so Sefi and Hinako wouldn’t be caught in the flames.
The robed girl expelled one scorching flame snake after another. Since he couldn’t defend the flames using his sword, Kurou could only rely on his predictions to evade the flame snakes.
In terms of swordsmanship, Kurou’s was still better.
However, even Kurou did not anticipate there would be an attack involving mystic arts.
If he wasn’t careful, he might be immediately defeated even with the kind of strength he possessed.
As the robed girl was manipulating the flames, she also mixed in some direct attacks. After Kurou did his best to evade her sword, he was able to maintain his distance to her.
Setting aside the fact that he was able to do it against just her sword, he was even able to exercise such patience when successively attacked by mystic arts as well.
He was already incapable of saying “I won’t take your life”. Not only that, there were only going to be two outcomes if things continue like this, either being slashed or roasted to death.
Suddenly, a brief voice was heard.
Kurou unwittingly looked in the direction of the voice.
The normally stoic Hinako now displayed an expression full of animosity, something Kurou could have never imagined.
Following Hinako’s shout, the robed girl stopped in her tracks.
The flame snakes that were fired off in quick succession were instantly dissipated. An inconceivable silence shrouded the entire area.
It was hard to believe that the robed girl, who was an exceptionally skilled swordsman, would cease her actions upon hearing Hinako who wasn’t a swordsman or powerful in any way.
However, right now there was only————
Just as Kurou repositioned his sword,
From a far distance, multiple shouts and footsteps were heard.
Someone was closing in, shouting as they sprinted.
After the robed girl abruptly pedaled off Kurou’s shoulder, she forcefully jumped back. She then hopped onto the branch of a nearby tree.
Just like that, she leaped across the trees along the school’s forest pathway and disappeared.
“……She got away. No, rather we were the ones who were rescued……”
Kurou pressed on the shoulder that she had pedaled off of as he muttered.
Neither Sefi or Hinako had anything to say.
“Sefi-sama, are you here!?”
Leading the pack of people who were approaching them from a distance was that short-haired girl who was always around Sefi. The others consisted of quite a few people from Kurou’s class.
“Since it was already this late at night and you guys still had not returned to the dorms yet, everyone here decided to scatter around in search of you all. However, you guys being unharmed was the best result we could’ve hoped for!”
“Um, thank you, but nothing really happened.”
“……Eh, however, the front of your uniform has been cut open. Don’t tell me……”
The short-haired girl sharply glared at Kurou.
However, Kurou turned his head away, pretending he had no clue to what was going on.
Although he should be grateful for everyone’s overprotectiveness, right now wasn’t the time to relax and smile.
“What in the world, that person just now……”
Hinako once again returned to her stoic expression and quietly muttered.
What just happened? Kurou wanted to ask Hinako.
If that wasn’t Kurou imagining things, the robed girl actually stopped her attack right when Hinako shouted.
Hinako, just what did you do?
“I get the feeling that we are caught in a mess……”
Kurou voiced his complaints and sighed. He had already lost count of how many times he had sighed these last couple of days.
There were numerous things he had to reflect over. However, he still had to send Sefi and the other girls back to the girls dorms.
Afterwards, in terms of what he could do————
He can only pray that nothing else will happen tonight.