“N, Ngh…” With a small groan, Lux opened his eyelids. He first saw a relatively new wooden ceiling, and the fragrance of flowers, medicinal herbs, and faint alcohol tickled his nose. “…!? You woke up!? Thank god…! Nii-san!” The smile of the girl who embraced him was reflected in Lux’s thinly opened eyes. “This place––?” As he somehow spoke while blushing, Airi hurriedly parted from Lux and after clearing her throat once, she quickly made a settled expression and straightened up her back. “Um –– so, you finally woke up, Nii-san?” “Airi? Ugh…!” Trying to get to his little sister’s voice, Lux knitted his brows at the dull pain running throughout his body. Airi dressed in her uniform who saw that, sighed once on the chair in front of the bed. “You reap what you sow. After continuously using <Bahamut>’s Divine Raiment that much, it’s obvious, right? It’s better than you sleeping for one week as in the old days though.” “…Perhaps, are you angry?” As Lux laughed so awkwardly, “Don’t you understand if I don’t say anything?” She returned a grin. <Bahamut>’s Divine Raiment required a very intense consumption from the user. Even for Lux, who had a Machine Dragon aptitude which far exceeded an ordinary woman’s while being a man, it was a considerable burden. Because of that, Lux who had almost died before made a promise to Airi not to use it directly until <Bahamut>’s operation time limit including the Divine Raiment was accurately clarified. It was also the reason why Airi, as a student of civil official aspiration, was deciphering ancient documents of ruins involved with Machine Dragons And if by any chance, Lux’s talent and the fact that he was the “Black Hero” were known, Airi feared that he would be regarded as dangerous by various organizations including inside and outside the country, and would be targeted. That’s why she had tried to stop him. Until Lux defeated “a certain man” whom he was chasing, in another sense, she had tried to stop his habit of exposing himself to danger–– He knew that Airi was worried about him. So, when he tried to apologize, “Nii-san is––, a big idiot.” Airi said so and embraced Lux, burying her face in his chest. “…Five years ago. When Nii-san fell and did not wake up, do you know how much I was worried every day…?” Airi who had a usually settled attitude said as her voice got cloudy. “Certainly, I’m a big idiot”, Lux smiled wryly. “I’m sorry for making you worried, Airi.” After patting his little sister’s head for a while until she settled down, “Speaking of which…, is everyone safe?” “…………” The moment when she heard Lux’s words, Airi parted from Lux and turned scornful eyes towards him as she was amazed. She seemed to be somehow dissatisfied. “Ask that to them. I’m leaving already. Well then Nii-san, take care of yourself.” “Yes, later then.” Airi stood up and quietly left the medical office. She passed by three girls who entered the room. “Hi, it’s good to see that you look fine, Lux-kun.” “Oh! I’m glad you woke up! How is it, Lux-cchi? Do you remember me?” “Yes. It seems that it’s just fatigue, so I think it’s all right.” They were Sharis, Tillfarr, and Nokuto of the Triad. Each of them held fruits, flowers, and a silver work of charm, putting them on Lux’s bedside. “…Thank you” To the fact that there were people who would do that much for him, he was unintentionally moved to tears. “Fufu. You seemed to be so moved that you don’t know what to say. But, you shouldn’t mind it, Lux-kun.” “That’s right. You know, Lux-cchi. When a young lady gives you a present, the way to return it is with a bigger one. Let’s say that it’s courtesy in the current New Kingdom.” “Yes. All of us expected it, so.” “….Ah, what to say, I will do my best.” To the three girls’ smiles, Lux returned a complex smile. “It will be bad to stay too long in a place of convalescence. We will excuse ourselves to leave early.” (In that case, I also wanted you not to put the pressure of presents on me…) As he swallowed such words and saw off the Triad, two girls entered next. “You seem to be more all right then I thought.” “Good morning, Lu-chan.” A slender girl with a cool impression, and a big girl of chest gaving a fluffy feeling. Krulcifer Einvolk and Philphie Aingram. “Well, there are a lot of things which I want to thoroughly talk with you about, but––” Krulcifer cast down her eyes and showed a thoughtful face for a short while. Realizing that it was about the “Black Hero”, Lux was startled. “Still, you’ve quite a disadvantageous character.” Krulcifer said in a teasing tone. “If you didn’t request my cooperation, I wouldn’t have known your secret. Why?” He asked Krulcifer to protect Lisha and the “Knight Squadron”. In order to stop the enemy’s attack in case he tried to aim not at Lux, but at Lisha and the “Knight Squadron” in the rear. This time, Lux ended up defeating all the enemies as a result, but it seemed that Krulcifer had cleaned up afterwards in various ways, such as capturing those rebels whose Machine Dragons were destroyed after all was settled, and handing them over to the guards of the Fort City. “It’s because I thought that it was the only way.” Lux honestly answered back. He would have done everything he could to save Lisha. Therefore, so that he could fight without constraint, the cooperation of a talented person was indispensable. “That’s all good, but you should be careful. For some reason, you seem to be full of openings even though you are that strong.” “Eh––?” Lux was shaken by Krulcifer’s mischievous voice. “I am not a cruel woman so as to continue this in front of a convalescent person. We will talk slowly and carefully sometime soon again.” “Ah, um, gently…” As Lux somehow managed to return only that to Krulcifer whose smile contained an implication, “…Philphie?” “…………” Philphie silently approached Lux and clang her front on his. “Uwah!?” Approaching her lovely face at a distance enough to be able to kiss, Lux confusedly bent backward. Even so, Philphie showed no signs of minding it in particular. “Yes. You don’t have fever, so it’s all right, I guess.” She muttered so as she nibbled a doughnut at hand. “Welcome back, Lu-chan.” Philphie who seemed to be emotionless at first glance revealed a small smile. “…Ah, yes. I’m back, Phi-chan.” As Lux who has become slightly embarrassed blushed, Philphie suddenly left his side and went out. “Well then, see you later.” “Eh? Yes…” “You’ve quite a pretty childhood friend.” “P-Please, don’t tease me!” Krulcifer also chuckled and left the medical home. As Lux whose heart was still beating fast got up, several more classmates and “Knight Squadron” members visited the medical home. “Ah, so you were safe! You’ve a strong bad luck, eh.” “It seems that you’ve protected Lizsharte-sama. You’ve my thanks.” “Next time, you should learn how to attack. Though you won’t be as good as that, legendary –– “Black Hero”.” Hearing the talk of several female students, Lux guessed that his identity was not exposed. Lisha of course, but also Krulcifer and Nokuto seemed to exercise tact. “…Phew” After all the visitors left, the woman who was the doctor of the medical office came by at last. After asking first several questions to the awakened Lux, then taking a light examination, “I have a message from Principal Relie. She wants you to come to the principal room after you settle down. That there’s something important concerning your treatment––” “…Understood.” Lux sighed once after leaving the medical room. As expected, the important matter should have already been known by Principal Relie, too. Now that the “Black Hero”’s identity, though to only several people, was exposed, Lux could not remain here. Originally, the story that a person of the Empire took part in the coup d’état must not come to light. If a member of the Old Empire’s imperial family destroyed the Empire, it would be recognized by the citizens and feudal lords that it was not a revolution, but a fight for hegemony in the Empire or just an act, and the unifying force of the new Kingdom would weaken. Therefore, even if the rumor that the “Black Hero” was there arose, it would be bad that Lux, the Prince who was that proof remained. “Besides, it was a temporary enrolment to begin with…” It was surely about that kind of talk. (…It’s finally a good bye, I guess.) With a slightly deep emotion in his chest, Lux decided to head to a certain place.
The Drag-Ride’s workshop smelled of metal and oil as usual. Thinking about it, even though I came to the academy to do the work of a Dragon machine mechanic apprentice, I didn’t do anything in the end, thought Lux with a wry smile. <Bahamut>’s storage location was not in the hangar of ordinary Machine Dragons. It was quietly sleeping in a secret place called the top-secret hangar N° 0 which was in the basement of the Capital. The Coup d’état’s last day five years ago. After having lost consciousness in the audience room, Lux was picked up by Lisha’s aunt who became the later New Kingdom's Queen. When he woke up, Fugil had suddenly disappeared, and his whereabouts were unknown. Probably because of the collapse of the imperial castle, not only <Bahamut> was not taken to Lux, but he also miraculously regained consciousness. The revolution succeeded, but Lux regarded Fugil, who intentionally led the Empire to collapse, as dangerous and afterwards he decided to chase him. As the chore Prince of the New Kingdom. And, in order to stack training so as to be able to freely use <Bahamut> whose burden was too big while wandering–– There was the danger of being assassinated as a Prince of the Old Empire, so he could not stay at the same place. “But, I feel like I've been here for a quite long time …” He was happy for attending the Drag-Knight’s academy, and for also being able to meet friends of the same age for the first time ––or at least people whom he could called so. It was a little regrettable that she did not come for a visit, but he wanted to greet the person to whom he was the most indebted to last, and thus came here. “Hey! Isn’t it Lux?! Is it your injury already all right?” As he was thinking about such a thing, a girl who was sitting before the work unit for Drag-Rides looked back at Lux with a smile. A slightly dirty white gown put on top of her uniform. Lisha’s figure which did not seem Princess-like as usual was there. It looked like she was still working hard in the research of the strongest Drag-Knight in this workshop. Until very recently, I was thinking that she was acting like a Princess, but now –– I felt very relieved. Lux also thought that it was sad after all that he could not see her anymore. “Lizsharte-sama. Thank you for what you’ve done until now.” “Fufu. I’m moving for myself. So, there is no reason for you to thank me. More importantly, I want you to test something next time. I found an interesting equipment.” “Then, give me a request again then. I will come soon at anytime.” However –– I must already leave the academy though. Thinking so, Lux was about to leave the workshop, but he suddenly remembered his purpose. “Ah, speaking of which, it’s about my <Wyvern>, but––” It should have been greatly damaged by that fight, but he wondered how he would take it back. Since Lux had only <Bahamut>’s Sword Device at hand, the other one should probably be under repair, but–– “Ah, before that, look at this. Because you’re a special person, you mustn’t show it to other students, but –– you’re the owner.” “Eh…?” Suddenly, Lisha opened the garage storing Machine Dragons in the back of the room. There––, there was a huge jet-black Machine Dragon. It was Lux’s Divine Drag-Ride <Bahamut>. “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!? ––Why!?” He unintentionally cried out. “Now, I am repairing the very old scratches. Divine Drag-Ride repair is difficult, but I can’t let anyone help me for only this much, either. After all––, it’s an important secret in which only a restricted number of people know that this machine will be put in the academy.” “I'll go see the Principal a little!” When Lisha was going to talk again, Lux had already started running.
Running up by skipping 2 steps once while running up the stairs of the school building, he headed to the principal room. “What is the meaning of this, Relie-san!?” paff* When he pushed the large door open with both his hands, “Congratulations on your official admission! Lux-kun!” With small cheers, thunderous applause arose. In the wide principal room, other than Relie Aingram, girls whom Lux was familiar with. Krulcifer, Philphie, Airi, and other classmates had gathered. “Eh…?” Lux who thought that there would surely be only the Principal, stiffened as he was taken by surprise. And, a last person, a girl in uniform entered. “Lizsharte, sama?” “Ahem. Well then, instead of the Principal, allow me to carry out the greeting. Chore Prince Lux Acadia. I, the New Kingdom Princess, shall grant life to you, a criminal.” Lisha changed her way of speaking, said so and walked before Lux. One Sword Device stored in a brand-new sheath in her hand. “Thanks to your cooperation –– I was saved. You were able to protect not only this Fort City, but also our country. I admit that there is clear power and justice in yourself and extol you.” Declaring so, Lisha softly smiled. “Therefore, here is an order from me. You stay here. As our chore Prince, as the first male student, become our power. We shall admit you who should not originally be allowed here. There is no objection, Hero.” “Errr…” A silence as if time stopped. When Lux raised his face as he was embarrassed, Principal Relie smiled wryly. “If you’re like that, then you’ll have trouble handling girls from now on, Lux-kun.” She just said that. So, this is what she meant by “there’s something important concerning your treatment”. “Therefore, how to put it. The sword of the <Wyvern> is still in the middle of repair, but––, Will you receive it? My sword.” While her cheeks were dyed red and she slightly averted her eyes, Lisha held out the sword. The moment he saw it, Lux suddenly leaked a breath and kneeled down. “As you command, my Princess” Immediately after Lux received the sword, cheers arose from the surroundings. Hung by Lisha’s smile, Lux also smiled wryly. Thus, Lux Acadia got a place where he belonged for the first time in the New Kingdom. As the Prince of girls whom he should protect.