“Haa… Really Nii-san, what on earth are you thinking about?” In a voice mixed with frustration and anger, Airi heaved a big sigh. The girl, Lux’s little sister, who had a doll-like beauty, was staring at Lux with reproachful eyes as she stood up before him who was for some reason kneeled on the floor. “I told you many times not to stand out, right? Because of you, just now I was tormented by my classmates as they asked me “did your brother find a lover!?”…” “Yes. I understand your feelings, Airi. But, please let’s leave it as that.” Nokuto, Airi’s roommate who was beside her, was a calm girl who was also one of the three members of the academy famous trio called the “Triad”. Being soothed by her, Airi finally muttered “I think you’ve already reflected on this, Nii-san”. “I’m really sorry…” Saying so, Lux stood up with a tired face. Here was the site of the Royal Military Academy, in one of the girl dormitory’s room. Lux, who finished eating dinner after the end of the “Lux contest”, had been called by his little sister Airi in order to handle a certain request of the academy. Since he was told that it was an important request, he hurriedly went to Airi’s and Nokuto’s room, but what was awaiting him was his little sister’s sermon. “In the first place, why didn’t you come directly to my place? If you did so, we would have settled it between us siblings, and it wouldn’t have become such uproar.” Airi seemed quite displeased by the behavior of her big brother who did not seek her help. There seemed to be also many people in the girl’s dormitory, so it was certainly a blunder that the choice of escaping to Airi’s room did not occurred to him, but–– (If by any chance I was also caught by Airi, it was likely to become troublesome, so…) If he was to say so, he would have been scolded by “are you going to doubt a blood relative?”, so he said nothing. “However, personally, I was surprised. I thought that Krulcifer-san asking Lux-san out was unlikely, considering her character.” Nokuto calmly spoke of her impression. But, the shoulders of Airi who heard it suddenly shook. “So Nii-san, what kind of happy time are you going to spend with her from now on?” “E-Errr–– basically, it won’t be different from the requests I’ve done so far probably, I guess?” While trembling to the strangely gentle smile of Airi, Lux said so with a perfunctory look. To the request of Krulcifer who won the “Lux contest”, the agreement of “becoming her lover” for about one week was established. However, the content was very vague, so except listening to her request preferentially, he should be able to spend his life as usual. When Lux finished explaining so to the two girls, “Hmm. Well, it’s fine. Nii-san is already at that age after all.” “N-No, it isn’t really me who asks Krulcifer-san this time!” To Airi who turned away her gaze as she pouted, Lux explained confusedly. “Yes. I cannot surmise Krulcifer-san’s real intention, but I think it can’t be helped.” “Is that so?” Looking at Airi who raised her face to Nokuto’s follow up, Lux was relieved for an instant. “Yes. Be that as it may, Lux-san seems certainly weak to a girl’s aggressiveness though.” “Hey!? Even though it was about to be settled with much trouble, why do you say such a thing again!?” ‘‘As expected even this Nokuto girl is a very difficult child to deal with.’‘ As Lux was once again troubled, Airi lightly cleared her throat and stood up. “About that, I will have you tell me about this matter in detail some other time. It’s time to go to the place of the request.” “Ah…, t-that’s right.” Relieved about the fact that this talk was over for the time being, Lux left the room. “I heard that it’s a request at the school site; but it’s night, so be careful.” Nokuto said so and saw off Lux and Airi. When he was outside of the girl’s dormitory with Airi, the neighborhood was already covered with a jet black curtain. “It is good and all that you enjoy your school life, but please do not forget. About our “plan”––” As they were now both alone, Airi said so as she remembered. “Ah…, yes. I know.” He intended to consult her a little about something, but in the end, he hesitated to talk about it. “Phew…” While walking along the lawn within the academy as he followed after Airi, Lux sighed softly. It was about Krulcifer that he was troubled. (––What may I do to behave like her lover?) ‘‘I mean, I have never gone out with anyone…’‘ The “true request” which was told by Krulcifer after that lover declaration. Lux hung his head as he was troubled by that request which was on a whole other level from the odd jobs he had done so far.
“––I want you to act as my lover.” About ten minutes after he was asked of that in the waiting room. Lux who was called to the deserted rooftop of the academy was hearing about the details from Krulcifer. “Pretend to be Krulcifer-san’s lover…?” “Yes, that’s right. I want you to play that role for one week starting today.” “B-But, why should I do such a thing––” As Lux was perplexed at Krulcifer who said so indifferently, she explained the situation in detail. Krulcifer was an Earl’s daughter of the large country of the North –– the religious country Ymir, and a foreign student in the academy. One of the reasons why she came to this New Kingdom to study was because she had an important goal to achieve. “In short, a political marriage of convenience.” 『During attendance at school, conclude an engagement with a high ranking noble in the New Kingdom. ––Or get married.』 Such instructions had been given to Krulcifer by the Einvolk House which was her home. Making connections with an influential person holding a strong position in the New Kingdom. She was enrolled in this academy not only to learn knowledge and technique as a Drag-Knight, but also with such an intention since the beginning. “That’s––. Such a thing is…” ‘‘Isn’t it too selfish?’‘ ‘‘No matter how much the Einvolk House is a prestigious noble family, to let Krulcifer go alone to a foreign ground and burden her with such a duty…’‘ As Lux unintentionally started to say so, “As usual, you say something unlike a Prince of the Old Empire.” Seeing Lux’s expression which showed that he did not consent, Krulcifer chuckled. “Marriages between nobles are 90% like that. It’s no use even if you mind it.” She asserted in a curt tone. “…………” About that, Krulcifer was right. A marriage between nobles was basically like that regardless of nationality. Lux who had been in the Imperial Court as a Prince of the Old Empire before, understood it only too well. ‘‘But still, it’s strange.’‘ “But then, why do you want me to pretend to be your lover?” “To put it plainly, I want to avoid trouble to the limit. Until I achieve my personal goal––” “Personal goal…?” Not answering Lux’s question, Krulcifer continued. “Several days later, it’s scheduled that a messenger will be dispatched to this Fort City by the Einvolk House which is my home. In order to confirm and report the progress of my engagement––” In short, it seemed to be about a “lover role” in order to deceive the messenger coming over. A man who was of noble lineage as well and also had a connection with Krulcifer. Lux seemed to have been chosen based on the above conditions. “Therefore, I will have you behave as my lover for one week from today on. So, is it all right?” “B-But, I –– um, I’ve never gone out with anyone…” “Oh my? Actually, I don’t have any experience, either.” “I-I don’t mean that––” As Lux was flustered, “Besides, it can’t also be just with anyone, right? You have seen my shameful side––” Slightly blushing, Krulcifer softly smiled. “…!?” Suddenly recalling her figure in underwear in the waiting room, Lux’s face became red. “If you say that you won’t take responsibility no matter what, then I will tell everyone about your peeping.” She whispered so with a mischievous tone. At her tone of voice which tickled his earlobe, Lux gave up immediately. “U-Um…, if you’re fine with me, I’ll do my best.” “Thank you. I like that honest side of yours.” To Lux who hung his head, Krulcifer replied with a smile. “I will be troubled if the fake lover thing was leaked to someone, so until this week passes, we will keep this matter secret. Can you promise that?” “U-Understood.” “Good answer. Then –– from today on, you are my lover. Please take of me, Lux-kun.” “…Yes” To Krulcifer’s smile, Lux returned an awkward smile. Thus, the agreement was established.
The library in the academy was built separately from the school building. Though he had several times used it because of the academy’s lessons, this was the first time that he came there this late at night. “Over there, Nii-san.” Since the front door was already closed, he entered from the back entrance following Airi’s lead. The space where high, innumerable bookshelves stood in a row and the old-fashion which let one feel history somewhere were of a structure harking back to an ancient labyrinth. He had the experience of being a librarian due to odd jobs in the past, so there was no resistance in particular about this atmosphere itself, but–– “Is there really a request here?” A question concerning the request of the deserted library floated in Lux’s mind. “Yes, there’s no mistake. It’s a little bit ahead.” They went through a passage between bookshelves and arrived at a door at the end. Then, she opened the door with a key different from that she used to open the back entrance. When they went down the stairs leading to the underground, there was a large stone space there. “This place is…? Is there such a place in the underground of the library?” A place which he didn’t even know the existence of let alone entered due to odd jobs. Over there, not only bookshelves, but also an iron work unit, a furnace for sublimation as well as countless experimental devices lined up. At the same time, there was also the smell of acrid chemicals. “Please, keep this place’s existence secret, Nii-san. It’s also a small laboratory after all.” “Laboratory?” Though Lux asked back, he thought that it really gave such an impression. The Drag-Knight’s atelier where Lisha acted as the chief. If Lisha’s atelier had a structure somewhere reminiscent to a blacksmith’s, this place seemed just like an atelier of an alchemist. As he followed Airi while holding such an impression, “I was waiting for both of you.” Principal Relie Aingram was in front of a small table. “Good evening, Lux-kun. Do you properly look after Philphie? Or –– have you already attacked her?” “Really, you…” Lux replied with an indescribable expression. By Relie’s arrangement, Lux was staying even now in the same room as Philphie, her little sister, in the girl’s dormitory. As Lux blushed when recalling it––, “Principal. Why don’t you leave your teasing of Nii-san for another time and begin the talk?” cough*, deliberately clearing her throat once, Airi said so. “Well, that’s also right. Then, I will ask you not to speak about what I’m about to tell you from here on.” When Relie said so, she placed a small metal box on the table and inserted a key in the lock. “It’s fairly secure, eh.” “Yes.” As Relie opened the box while nodding back, it could be seen. “Don’t tell this is––” What was inside the box was a strange-shaped golden flute. “Yes, it’s the thing which the former Imperial Guards Knight Squadron Chief Velvet, who attacked this city two weeks ago, held.” This flute possessed the power to summon and control the mythical beasts –– Abysses which appeared from the ruins. Lux and the “Knight Squadron” witnessed it and fought with them just the other day. “By the way, I reported it to the top brass, but I was told by Her Majesty Queen Raffi to have you study it while advancing the analysis here as this place is closer to the ruins.” “…………” “It seems that Velvet confessed that he bought this from a foreign merchant. He says that it’s called “horn”. Do you know anything about this, Lux-kun?” “No. It’s also the first time for me to see it up close like this. But––” His older brother Fugil of the Old Empire that Lux was after. Judging from the words “summon the Abysses” that Fugil had said, there was no doubt about the fact that this horn was an important treasure related to the ruins. “That Velvet didn’t seem to know anything else, but I think that it’s necessary to analyze this item at the same time as the investigation of the ruins.” Airi added so while opening a thick book –– a document related to the investigation of ruins. “Then, why having shown this to me––” “Because I will have you hold onto this.” Relie calmly said and closed the box containing the horn. “Eh…?” “I haven’t told everyone yet, but –– these past several days, there is a little movement on the continent. So, I will have you, and members of the “Knight Squadron”, head to the investigation of the ruins before long.” “…………” More than ten years ago –– the ruins brought Drag-Rides and a number of technologies into the world.
In that place which was protected by the existence called Abyss, many records and treasures are still sleeping. “Even including the ruins of the Atismata New Kingdom territory, it’s the present situation is that humans have only gotten until the second layer in the ruins, but it is written that to reach the third layer, an existence called “key” is necessary.” Airi spoke so with the thick ancient document at hand. It was known that each country’s civil officials had already explained the existence of a “key” in itself, but its true nature has not been established even now. “Perhaps –– this horn is the key to enter into the depths of the ruins. Or, it may become something to defend ourselves from the Abysses. Something like that, that also includes the investigation. Therefore, I intend to entrust you with this, Nii-san.” Lux noticed the intention of Airi who included an implication. She meant that this horn might become a clue for searching for Fugil. “…I understand.” While engraving her words into his heart, Lux received the horn. “By the way, Principal.” “Oh, it’s fine if you call me Relie at such times. Otherwise, I don’t mind even if you call me sister-in-law––” Smiling wryly to Relie who teasingly said so, Lux asked what had been bothering him. “Relie-san. I’m not yet a member of the “Knight Squadron”. I may not be granted permission to accompany the ruins’ investigation.” “Don’t worry about it. I will give only you a special permission for accompanying after all. There is also the achievement of having saved Lisha-sama, so I don’t think anyone will be against it.” “…………” ‘‘She is good as usual when it comes to preparation at such times.’‘ “However, can I have you keep this matter still secret to other students? It’s a fairly important issue after all.” “…Yes.” As he replied with a slight tension, the three of them went up the stairs of the basement. “Besides, also regarding the ruins’ investigation, I want results for the new layer soon. As a matter of fact, also for that child––” Turning a somewhat distant look into empty space, Relie muttered so. After having parted from Relie, Lux went out of the library along with Airi. With no trace of anybody in the neighborhood, a pale moonlight was illuminating the path to the girl’s dormitory. “It may be only today that I can be with Nii-san in this way. You will have Krulcifer-san from tomorrow on after all.” “Errr… Airi, I don’t think what you’re saying will happen though…” To Airi’s words which posed as a joke, Lux replied so while smiling wryly. “But, please be careful. Especially–– of her.” “By her… you mean Krulcifer-san? She’s amazing in various ways, but I don’t think she’s a bad person.” “Maybe. It's just a woman's intuition. It’s somehow bothers me. Not only the fact that she is a foreign student from Ymir, but it’s also as if she is hiding something––” To Airi’s mutter, Lux walked while looking puzzled. When they returned to the entrance of the girl’s dormitory, they decided to part ways there. “Well, Airi. See you later.” “Yes. Please be careful, too, Nii-san. I have discussed with them for the time being.” “Eh…?” “No, it’s nothing, Nii-san.” Leaving behind a meaningful smile, Airi left. It was the usual Airi, but Lux noticed her last concern said in a stronger tone. The obtained horn and ruins’ investigations which aren’t progressing. Though just to a few people, The “Black Hero’s” real identity was revealed. The time which had stopped began to move little by little.
“Hey, Lux-kun. May we eat lunch together?” “Ah, yes. That’s fine by me, but––” The next day at lunch break. When Lux was thinking about the ruins’ investigation, Krulcifer came over to his seat. Acting as her “lover” for one week. For Lux who knew of that agreement, this was certainly natural; but as expected when being invited by a beautiful girl like Krulcifer, it makes one’s heart beat fast. “Ah, so Krulcifer-san wasn’t joking after all.” “Yes, to think that that girl was so assertive… She’s serious.” The classroom was astir and the female students raised their voices so unanimously. (Not good, this conversation attracts attention too much…!) As Lux confusedly stood up and was about to leave the classroom, “Hey both of you, wait a minute.” Lisha suddenly stood in front of Lux and Krulcifer. The New Kingdom Princess with blond hair tied to the side and deep crimson pupils. In this academy, she was given treatment in no way different to that of other students, but as expected the students’ attention gathered. “What do you want?” “I have to talk to Lux a little, not you. So, you don’t mind if I also accompany you to the dining room, right?” “Ah, if it’s only that––” Before Lux could agreed, “Sorry, but I will have to refuse.” Krulcifer calmly declared so. “Wha…!?” “Today, I want to talk with him, just the two of us. He became my “lover” for one week, so I have at least such a right, haven’t I?” “Guh…” Lisha’s face became stiff. “Well then, excuse us. Princess” Krulcifer pulled Lux out of the classroom. “Guh, I’ll remember this!” While hearing Lisha’s frustrated voice, the two people walked down the corridor. As the foreign student Krulcifer and the man Lux sat down together on the seats of the dining room, just that was enough to attracted attention very much. (As expected, I’d better pay extra attention to this request…) Lux slowly ate lunch while thinking about such a thing.
The afternoon class was a practice of battle form. They headed to the practice field away from the school building and dormitory, changed into dress gear and wore Machine Dragons. “Well then, today, we will mainly focus on the practical skill training for the campus selection battle, which will be held two weeks later.” When all the members of the class lined up, Instructor Raigree’s dignified voice resounded in the wide practice field. The ruins where ancient weapons and technology slept were not places where anyone could readily investigate. The right and opportunity to excavate the ruins were formalized by an international agreement several years ago, and the national tournament results would decide who would have the ruins investigation rights. Plainly speaking, the country which left the better results in the tournament could acquire more investigation rights. The off campus tournament was held once every several months. The campus selection battle in order to choose participants for it was going to begin soon. Therefore, it seemed that it was scheduled to do training for actual fighting today, but–– “…Today three Drag-Knights have come from the capital’s army as temporary instructors. Everybody, do not miss this opportunity, and properly learn.” By Instructor Raigree’s introduction, the men entered the practice field. Men wearing the regular army overcoat on their dress gears. Their age was probably almost the same as Instructor Raigree, about twenty to thirty years. The female students leaked whispering voices at the army’s temporary instructor who was a man with a stern face standing at the vanguard of the other two. “This is the first time. To think that “males” from the capital would be involved in such a lesson––” “…In the first place, this was not in the schedule, right?” “There are many people with a somehow cute face. Well, it isn’t to the extent of our Prince.” “Or rather, isn’t it disgusting? How they stared at us––” When the female students were embarrassed being fixedly stared at as they were wearing dress gear which tightly fitted to their bodies–– “Hou. As expected, coming here was the right choice.” The man with a stern face standing at the vanguard smiled wryly as he looked at the embarrassed students. It appeared that this man was the leader among the three. “The Royal Military Academy for only female students established not long ago. Indeed, it looks like it’s dependent on the New Kingdom’s permissive system to women and usually does lukewarm training.” “That is because they are still receiving an education curriculum.” Instructor Raigree calmly replied. Judging from her businesslike tone and expression, the visit of these temporary instructors was not originally scheduled, and even Lux could guess the fact that it was not expected. But then, what was the reason why these men expressly came for? “No, no, Raigree-dono. We, adults must teach them the severity of battle as early as possible. No matter how high the Machine Dragon aptitude value’s average was judged to be, in the end there is no way that a woman can rival a man, so––” The muscular man with a rustic impression broadly grinned and said as to pick a fight. Then, the lean man beside him stepped forward. “That’s right. If you get carried away because of that level of military exercise in the capital –– two weeks ago, you’ll have difficulty in the future. There is just a handful of strong student Drag-Knights after all. I will also use this opportunity to firmly teach you the severity of a battle.” To the tone of the sticky man, the students’ expression stiffened. “But, I would like you to refrain from dangerous behavior. They are still students after all.” As Instructor Raigree resolutely said so, “Of course, we will be careful. However –– formal training might be somewhat harsh for these weak girls though.” In contrast, the men said so unapologetically. And, within a strange atmosphere slightly different than usual, the practice began. Beginning from the Machine Dragon’s operation check, they advanced to basic skills practice such as barrier deployment, flight or acceleration and the like, and even extended to shooting by armaments and close range hand-to-hand fighting. But at this point, it had already become something different from the usual practice. “Hey, you bastard! With such slow movements, you can’t even become a target on the battlefield!? Are you making fun of me? Huh!?” “What’s wrong!? Are you already tired? Do you think you can handle a Machine Dragon with this level?!” “Don’t be naive! Don’t ask anyone! Think by yourself and redo it!” About ten minutes after the start. The temporary instructors in question were instructing the female students with quite rough methods. Even Instructor Raigree who watched it attentively looked like she couldn’t somehow settle down. “What the hell does this mean…?” As Lux, who was taking a break, muttered as he watched the situation from the audience seating–– “It seems that there has also been something like this before.” “Eh––?” Krulcifer who was behind him before he knew it muttered so calmly. Both of them were not wearing Machine Dragons now. Since a Drag-Ride’s continuous use had a great burden on the body, they were divided in several groups in the middle of practice and two short breaks were established for each. “––May I sit next to you?” “Ah…, yes” When Lux nodded, Krulcifer quietly sat down beside him. And, she fixedly stared at the practice field and opened her mouth. “Those temporary instructors are nobles belonging to the army of the Capital, and it seems that they have wanted to come to this Royal Military Academy since some time now.” It seemed that Krulcifer, who belonged to the Knight Squadron that was the guerrilla unit of students, had also heard many times about such hidden circumstances. “But, aren’t there already Instructor Raigree and men instructors in the academy? And yet, why––” The instructors had already been acknowledged as guides who endorsed the New Kingdom’s ideas. ‘‘And yet, why have they expressly come here?’‘ “To put it plainly, people don’t change so easily.” With a tone mixed somewhere with resignation, Krulcifer said. “What do you mean––” “I’m a foreign student from another country, but I know at least this country’s history.” History –– in other words, the Old Empire’s government system. She was probably speaking about the trend and system of androcracy. “They want to shake the predominance of women. They don’t like the fact that women step into the area called Drag-Knight which was the men’s privilege in this country. It’s natural that such people would come over. No, if anything, a person like you may be rare. Former Imperial Prince.” Krulcifer jokingly said, but Lux did not laugh at it. Since there was such a long history, it was natural that there were “men” like them. Rather, although they did not take a conspicuous attitude, there were probably many people who were thinking so inwardly. (I thought I understood at least this much, but––) “Besides, this incident this time is surely their revenge.” “…? What do you mean?” “You know about the fact that the third-year students had gone for practice to the Capital last month, right? It seems that during that practice, the academy strongest third-year student, Celis-senpai had completely crushed the faces of the Drag-Knights over there. With her overwhelming strength.” “…………” Celestia Ralgris. A daughter of a Duke House and the academy strongest girl famous for being a man-hater. It seemed that she was also ostensibly calm, and she had a personality of not needlessly showing off her strength, but she was looked down upon by the men of the army, and had mercilessly beaten her opponents up in the practice. Therefore, it was more likely that several men of the army in the Capital that had their pride crushed forcibly screwed in and carried out this matter of temporary instructors. “Isn’t that–– just venting their anger?” Since they could not hold a candle to Celestia, they used the pretext of instruction to work the other inexperienced female students Drag-Knights hard. ‘‘If that’s true––’‘ “Of course. It’s just a rumor, and half is my guess; but such a rumor doesn’t seem to be groundless.” Saying so, Krulcifer slowly stood up while turning her gaze to the practice field. “Break time is over. Shall we go, too?” “Yes…” Lux and Krulcifer returned to the practice field side by side. And they resumed training.
“Kyaaaaaaaaah!?” It happened when Lux and Krulcifer returned to the practice field and was about to begin training. One female student wearing a Machine Dragon was shot down in the air and struck the ground. The present training was a mock battle of combat form, a composition of one-on-one between fellow students, but––, “Hahaha! As expected, it’s only this level, huh! You aren’t worthy of the glorious reputation of officer cadets.” A triumphant voice could be heard from the man with a muscular body standing still in mid-air. Three men came over as temporary instructors. Under the pretense of “guidance”, they forcibly constrained mock battles with students. Men should basically be inferior to women in Machine Dragon aptitude value, but they utterly defeated the girls by many years of experience and exercise performance. “I would like you to restrain such dangerous behaviors!” Raigree glared at the man in mid-air and tried to remonstrate him in a strong tone. “Raigree-dono, too, will you stop pampering them? We are only teaching them the severity of battle in this way. If the thought of ‘they are women, so go easy on them’ is rooted, then there will be no future for this country’s military force.” But the men’s faces, far from reflecting, revealed smiles of mockery. “Kuh…!” “U-Um… Sensei. I’m not injured in particular, so––” The somewhat mature girl, who was just knocked down, got up. Although she said so, her expression was still depressed. “Hey, please stop it! What are you temporary instructors doing since some time now?! Launching a surprise attack which we haven’t even learnt in class and continuing to pursuit the student who fell down, such a thing–– can’t be called training!” As a girl with a serious expression who equipped a <Wyrm> said so and stood in the way, “Hou, as expected of young ladies who grew up spoiled by the New Kingdom system. You seem to want to say that we should care about you because it’s training for battle. Hahahahaha! You’re all to stay for supplementary lessons after school today, I will be affectionate with you plenty enough!” The man with a stern face laughed loudly and the other men also laughed as they followed. “Then, I will be your opponent!” “All right. Come.” The female student, who spoke sharply, came slashing with her blade head on. However, “Haa! It’s only that?” “Eh…!?” The moment when the <Wyrm>’s blade came slashing, the instructor took distance by skillfully pulling back and aimed at the wrist armor which swung completely. The blade held by the girl was quickly sent flying and it pierced the ground of the practice field. “You’ve not enough training. Young lady.” “P-Please wait a minute! My weapon is––” When the man was about to swing downward his weapon to the girl who drew back frightened––, bashing*! A Drag-Ride’s arm parried and topped his hand. “Ngh…? What is it now?” Breaking in was Lux wearing his <Wyvern>. “I’m sorry to interfere with your guidance.” With a calm expression and tone, he lightly bowed his head first. “What are you planning, you bastard? In the first place, why is a man here––” When the man emitted a question, he glared at Lux. His gaze focused on Lux’s characteristic silver hair and black collar, “Haa…! I was wondering who it was, but it’s just the Chore Prince of the Old Empire, huh. Why are you in such a place? Were you entrusted with a weeding job?” He said so as he treated Lux with contempt. In no way perturbed by this clear insult, Lux returned a calm smile. “No, due to some circumstances, I commute now here as a student. Setting that aside, could I replace you for instruction? I promised to teach her from now on, so” “Eh…?” As Lux told so to the man, the girl with a too serious expression showed a surprised face. Of course, he did not make such a promise. It was just an excuse he thought of just now. “What did you say…?” The man in front of Lux and the other two men turned openly displeased expressions towards Lux. No, they were glaring at Lux with clear hostility. Even so, Lux not even daunted, answered with a cool face. “And –– also all the girls present here. I had a prior engagement to teach them how to operate a Drag-Ride after school, so supplementary lessons won’t be necessary.” “…!?Don’t get carried away, brat. We’re the instructors from the army! You lowly criminal and fallen Prince!” To Lux’s indifferent tone, the temporary instructor revealed anger. The atmosphere of a critical situation drifted and Lux was surrounded by the three men. “Let’s see––. Then, shall we settle it with a fight between you and us?” The male temporary instructor with a stern face which seemed to be the leader said so. “You’ve to show the proof whether you really have enough skill to replace us. If you’ve any complaint, take back your earlier words––” “I don’t mind.” Lux readily nodded. The surrounding female students who were watching the course of events became astir. The male leader knitted his brows as he got angry at Lux’s reaction, “But, we have been fighting continuously, so we’re more exhausted than you. Therefore, we will have you attached gyves of weight on your Machine Dragon, but is that still all right with you?” When Lux nodded at his question, the men smirkingly laughed. The three men also are people ranked to some extent in the Capital’s tournament. They knew about the fact that Lux was a Drag-Knight good at defense called the “Weakest Undefeated”. But, on top of the peculiarity of battles where he does not attack by himself, if you also put the difference between the number of people and a handicap, they estimated that they would easily defeat him. Beat up those who oppose as an example and make the female students who watched it surrender. The aim of the man who was dyed with the Old Empire’s ideology was transparent and visible to Lux. “All right. We will slightly tamper with your Drag-Ride.” “Certainly.” The temporary instructors began to attach parts for weights that were in a corner of the practice field to Lux’s <Wyvern>. Seeing that, Lisha who was on break also ran up. “Lux, is it all right? If you want, I can fight instead––” “You’d better stop it. I think that if you who is a princess beat them up, it will be somewhat troublesome––. So this time, let’s leave it to me.” “But––” “It’ll be all right. Please, leave it to me.” While Lux replied so, the attachment of parts for weight was over. “Kukuku. With this, we’re even. Then, shall we start the match?” The men laughed and made the female students who were on the practice field step back to the edges (of the field). Seeing the situation, the female students raised trembling voices. “Hey, what is this…? No matter how you look at it, it’s unfair!” “Aren’t the weight parts attached almost to the limit!? Such airframe–– can’t even properly fly with that overweight.” “Even if it’s Lux-kun, like that––” They forcibly attach parts for weights to Lux’s <Wyvern> which already had armor with thick weights. Even someone with little knowledge of Machine Dragon maintenance would judge that it would be impossible to control the overweight. “It’s something that you approved. You’ll surely have no complaint, won’t you?” “––I understand” The three men burst into laughter at Lux’s reply. “You fool” “This guy doesn’t seem to understand Machine Dragons” “Well it’s fine, we will fully teach him” And the lean man who drove a <Wyvern> approached Lux. “Let’s see. Then, I will test mobility which is the basics of a Drag-Ride. Of how many times I can sneak behind him within five minutes––” Though it was common in all fights, taking the opponent’s back was a basic tactic. Especially in a fight between fellow <Wyvern> that mainly assumed air battles, it could be said that how many times one could attack the defenseless back that had weak barrier was the key to victory. But, Lux on whom, weights were attached to the extent that it could be called overweighed, was already in a situation of certain defeat. Then, the muscular man using a <Wyrm> folded his arms and looked down at Lux. “Then, I guess I’ll test the evasion technique. Let’s test which one of us can fend off more attacks in actual combat.” Finally, the male leader who operated a <Drake> set up a sniper rifle and laughed. “Then, I will test attacking. It’s a match about which one can hit more than the other. Oops, there’s probably not much time left for practice, so let’s the three of us test him all at once.” Stirring voices leaked from the female students in the audience seating. “People of the army, I would like you to stop this prank.” Instructor Raigree knitted her brows to the confrontation which could not even be called a decent match, but the men ignored her and turned to Lux. “Hey, if you grovel on the ground now and apologize, I don’t mind stopping. Ingratiating yourself to people is your specialty, isn't it? Dear Prince.” “If you’ve already decided the match format, can we begin?” “What?” To Lux’s calm words, the lean man revealed an uncanny look. “Hahaha. Don’t pretend to be tough and show off. The current you can’t even take off from the ground––” When the lean man showered scornful laughter, the back wings of Lux’s <Wyvern> shone. It released wind from the jet hole and rose from the ground. Small cheers leaked out from the female students in the audience seating. “W-What…?” The lean man’s eyes were opened wide in shock. Originally, it should be enough weight to not be able to decently move let alone fly, but Lux calmly performed it. “Please, give the signal. Instructor.” “…Is it all right?” Instructor Raigree asked with a dubious face. But, seeing Lux nod without hesitation, she sent a signal to the official in charge in the audience seating. “Mock battle, start!” Shortly after, the signal of the battle starting was given. A moment later, the three temporary instructors began to move. “Haa…! You fool!” Chasing Lux who flew in a somewhat low altitude, the lean man also flew. Exactly as his words said “mobility test”, he came aiming at Lux’s back. Regardless of the fact that they both used <Wyvern>, there is a big difference in speed due to the gives of weight (handicap). “Ha, what’s wrong? What’s wrong?! Were you energetic only at the beginning?!” Although Lux was able to fly, as expected the man, who stuck on the back of Lux who could not gather speed, raised his voice and laughed. Far from turning around and taking his opponent’s back, it looked like running away by flying straight was the best Lux could do. The lean man who saw that became more arrogant. “Fall down unsightly! You fallen Prince!” The moment when the man who pressed hard on Lux’s back was about to slash with his blade–– “Wha!?” The <Wyvern> of Lux who had his back turned made a somersault and arrived exactly at the back of the man flying straight on. As a result, before he knew it the man found himself before the wall surrounding the practice field. Thus –– in order to avoid a crash, he could not help but suddenly stop (he was compelled to a sudden stop). “Gah!?” Without overlooking his defenseless back, Lux’s lightning slash knocked him down. The lean man, still wearing his <Wyvern>, violently crashed onto the ground and the wall. “––––” At the dust which rose up, and the sound, the audience seating of the practice field fell silent. “That is... no way.” When Lisha was amazed, Krulcifer beside her also nodded. “Yes, if you can’t generate enough speed to sneak behind your opponent, you should just let him stick closely on your back and then sneak behind him with a somersault. He seems to have been aiming for this since the beginning.” It was easy to explain like this, but pulling it off was an extremely difficult task. The students with the ability level to know that were speechless, and the other students raised shouts of joy. “Hmm. As expected, my eyes weren’t wrong. All right, I shall make him join the “Knight Squadron” as soon as possible, a-and as for that other request––” “That’s good and all, but right now, he’s my lover.” “Ngh…!” When Krulcifer and Lisha mutually clashed with their gazes, “Don't get carried away! You brat!” The muscular man wearing the <Wyrm> raised an angry voice and set up his cannon. Due to the load of weight parts, the mobility of Lux’s <Wyvern> was extremely reduced. Furthermore, since flight took up energy, he should not be able to fully stretch a barrier. By focusing all the energy in a single blow of the main armament, he could certainly make Lux unable to continue fighting. The man who planned so fired the cannon aiming at Lux. “...!” But, Lux deflected the main armament’s shooting from point-blank range with the point of his blade clad in energy, and evaded it. The man changed his aim and continued shooting a second, and then a third time, but the result was exactly the same. “W-Why?! How can you apply your sword so accurately and deflect the attacks?” “It’s because your aiming was relatively simple.” As Lux answered indifferently, the muscular man became speechless. “It’s basic to aim for the center of a Machine Dragon if you only think about blowing away your opponent, and it seems that you’ve also been doing so all the time even in the tournament of the Capital, but––. Thanks to that, I was able to minimize the barrier and use energy in the blade.” “Wha…!?” While the muscular man was flustered, the male leader wearing the <Drake> ground his teeth with his sniper rifle still set up. He was 300 Mel away from one edge of the practice field where Lux fought. From that safety zone where he could never receive the opponent’s counterattack, he intended to one-sidedly snipe at Lux whose attention was attracted by his two comrades, but––, “What the hell is happening––?” In a state of overweight where it was originally impossible to operate, Lux had conducted himself more than equally against three machines of the Capital’s army as opponents. The <Wyvern> of the lean man was flown by Lux as his back was taken by Lux, and the <Wyrm>’s cannon was altogether flipped by Lux’s blade, too. And, although he aimed at Lux with his sniper rifle, his attacks were all evaded by movements which, while in low speed, did not let him focus his aim; and not even one of his attacks hit. To that too much unreal spectacle, he felt irritation and shiver. The men intended to torment (bully) Lux who defied them. “But –– like this, it’s as if…!” The Drag-Knights of the army, even though there were three, were led around by the nose by the officer cadet Lux who bore a tremendous handicap. “Aren’t we the ones who have been humiliated…?!” That humiliation caused the man to make a certain choice (option).
“Gee, it’s fascinating as usual, eh. Lux-cchi’s movements––” Tillfarr of the Triad, who was the person in charge of deploying a barrier before the audience seating muttered so while watching the fight. While the other female students raised cheers, Tillfarr, Lux’s classmate who was also a member of the guerrilla unit, “Knight Squadron”, was analyzing the progress of the battle relatively calmly. “Why was Lux-cchi able to take the back of the opponent’s <Wyvern> so easily? Even though his speed should have been far inferior due to the overweight––” “It is because his flying method (technique) is quite special.” To Tillfarr’s mutter, Krulcifer who was directly behind her in the audience seating answered so. “Eh? …What do you mean by that?” “Normally, when one wants to sneak behind his opponent in a battle between fellow flying type Machine Dragons, he has to stick on the opponent’s back by adjusting up and down the propulsion output. However in Lux’s case, he pursuits the enemy by skillfully interlacing ascent and descent while adjusting the distance after having predicted his opponent’s flight trajectory.” If he took a rising trajectory while advancing, he would become temporarily slower than his opponent; and then by descending while being subjected to the influence of the gravity, he could approach the opponents more quickly. “As such, it’s a quite advanced technique, but you can’t help but say that pulling it off in that overweight state is nothing short of a miracle.” “At this rate, Lux’s victory is determined. That evil trio. It’s your reward for having underestimated my favorite (loved one?).” As she was pleased with this situation, Lisha contentedly folded her arms. “It’s amazing, Lux-kun.” “He is much stronger than the Drag-Knights of the army!” The female students’ voices began to leak so, and the outcome was certainly determined. But––, “No. I am afraid there is still one concern.” Krulcifer stared at the practice field with calm eyes and drew out the Sword Device from the sheath at her waist. It was not her personal Divine Drag-Ride <Fafnir>’s, but a <Wyvern>’s for practice. “Hey? What do you intend to do?” To the question of Lisha who looked puzzled, Krulcifer answered with her usual smile. “A little help. To my –– lover, that is.”
Only several minutes since the start of the mock battle. One of the three temporary instructors, the <Drake> with the attack role could not catch the <Wyvern> of Lux who was flying skillfully. But, covering his two comrades which were exhausted, the male leader made a certain resolution. 『Your getting carried away ends here. Fool! 』 “…!” When Lux noticed it, the man said. He spoke narrowing down the dragon voice which was the communication function between fellow Machine Dragons only to Lux. 『Do you understand? Don’t dodge it.』 With a smile filled with dark emotions, the man said so. “…?” While cocking his head in puzzlement, Lux set up his sword in mid-air and braced himself. At that moment––, paaaang*! “Kyaaaaaah!” The atmosphere of the practice field burst, and the light bullets shot by the sniper rifle reached the audience seating behind Lux. “Uah…!” The student who was in charge of widely stretching the barrier in the audience seating –– Tillfarr, one of the Triad, received a direct hit and lost her balance. The female students of the audience seating that were relieved at Lux’s odds held their breath in tension. “Oops, sorry. It doesn’t hit you easily, so I anticipated your next movement; but I ended up missing.” Unlike until a while ago when Lux was moving continuously, he was now static in mid-air. There was no way that a Drag-Knight of army would miss in these 300 Mel which was the distance of the rifle’s range. (He aimed not at me, but at everyone behind me––) 『When I said not to dodge, it also includes not to defend yourself. The next time, we’ll attack you with the three of us. If you try to dodge again––』 The male leader grinned, and at the same time, his two comrades who were heavily breathing also set up their cannons. The three men wanted to defeat Lux by shooting simultaneously at one point. If he were to either dodge or defend against it, they would probably intend on crashing their simultaneous attacks on the female students of the audience seating behind him. If the student in charge of the barrier was to receive the three men’s simultaneous attacks, she wouldn’t be able to defend against them. “I understand.” With a tone of resignation, Lux, still floating, undid his stance. And when he was about to prepare himself, *pang*!, the air burst. “Wha!?” “Eh––?” Krulcifer wearing a <Wyvern> went down to the stage of the practice field. As she fired only one shot towards the blue sky, she set up her rifle again and fearlessly laughed. At the same time, the bell rang and the mock battle ended. “It’s a shame –– but it looks like it’s time-out. The match is over.” “D-Don’t joke with us!?” The men who were thinking that they were about to defeat Lux unanimously raised flustered voices. “A little more and it would have been our victory! Letting it end like this without settling it is––” “Is that so? In that case, what about having a match with me next?” “Wha…!?” The men were flustered at the sudden challenge from the girl. “It’s clear that you weren’t able to knock him down, but it isn’t like I don’t understand your feelings of wanting to settle it by all means. Therefore, I will be your opponent. This time –– let’s do a battle of sniping at each other.” “Y-You little girl––!?” “A match of only a minute, the condition will remain a three-to-one fight. If you’re fine with that, then let’s begin.” To the smile of Krulcifer as if seeing through all, the temporary instructors revealed irritation. It would have gotten nowhere if they continued being led around by the nose by Lux like this. As each of them held their weapons, they rushed onto Krulcifer. “Krulcifer-san!” Lux called out to her in panic, but Krulcifer returned only a smile, quickly set up the rifle in her hand and shot. “Ough…!?” “What…!” A dreadful quick shot, whose alignment is determined almost instantly in one stroke, in addition, regardless of firing in three directions, the abnormal speed and precision sent the armaments in the opponents' hands flying. Moreover, when she shot the confused opponents’ feet and broke their stance, she shot at the Force Core from the slight opening in the barrier. Being accurately struck on the weak point, the three men’s Machine Dragons stopped their function. “N-No way… Impossible!?” Although the opponents were also caught off guard, the men of the army were at a loss for words at that skill which sniped at the three moving Machine Dragons in a flash from a position at the very limit of the range. “It looks like you also have no qualifications to teach attack techniques. With that said, should they be in such a place? Sensei.” “Yes, you’re right. This match is Lux Acadia’s victory.” At the same time as Instructor Raigree gave the judgment, the audience seating was wrapped in cheers. “And one more thing––, you temporary instructors will let me hear about your story later. It’s a big problem for soldiers of the New Kingdom to purposely aim at students in the audience seating. You have no qualifications to act as instructors.” “Guh…!” The three temporary instructors who were beaten left the practice field while grinding their teeth. With this––, they would not get close to the academy for a while. As Lux who heaved a sigh of relief got down to the ground, Instructor Raigree who drove out the temporary instructors came before him. “Lux Acadia. I shall express my thanks this time, but do not act rashly all by yourself.” In a calm tone with no anger, Instructor Raigree said. “Yes.” As Lux cancelled his armor while answering, he approached Krulcifer. “Was it unnecessary help?” “No…, you’ve been a big help.” To the words of Krulcifer who revealed a smile, Lux returned so. “You have predicted up to the fact that they would aim at the girls in the audience seating after all. If Krulcifer-san hasn’t been there––” “At that time –– you would have stood out more and more.” As though she saw through it all, Krulcifer muttered. “Don’t worry about it. Half of the reason was because I want you to know my ability, so I only poke my noise into this.” “Then, what about the other half––?” “Because I didn’t want you to be stolen by everyone –– what if I said that?” Saying so, Krulcifer turned a meaningful look sideways. There, their classmates who had been watching the mock battle until now were closing in. “You did it! I feel good thanks to you! Lux-kun.” “Hey, hey. Like you said a while ago, you’ll teach us after school, right? Sensei.” “That’s right. By all means, I would like you to properly instruct us.” Lux was surrounded by the girls released from the violent temporary instructors, who had smiles of relief and joy. “E-Errr… Um, saying that I will teach was a figure of speech, um––” Of course, it was an excuse to resist the temporary instructors. The girls should also understand that, but still they wanted to say so. Thus, as Lux was troubled as to what to do––, “I’m sorry. But, I already have a plan with him today. It’s me who has won the contest, so I will have you let me speak out my selfishness this time.” As Krulcifer said so, she entwined her arm to Lux’s. “Wait, Krulcifer-san!?” The swelling of the girl’s chest lightly touching him, Lux panicked. It was softer than expected even from the dress gear. “Kyaaaaah”, his classmates who saw that raised their voices further. “…………” At the audience seating of the practice field drifted the “case is closed” atmosphere. Lisha, still wearing the Divine Drag-Ride <Tiamat> was gazing at Krulcifer and company on the practice field. “I-I was completely late…” Lisha also moved a moment later than Krulcifer, but she saw through the fact that the student in charge of stretching the barrier was likely to be attacked and summoned <Tiamat>, but… “It’s strange… even though I was supposed to help Lux at this place––” It had been settled in no time with Lisha not forcing her way through. Tillfarr who was beside her smiled wryly as she saw Lisha’s whole body tremble. “W…Well, it can’t be helped. Lisha-sama has also saved everyone properly, so I’m grateful to you.” Patting the armor which Lisha wore, Tillfarr gave words of thanks. “It’s bad, it’s bad… At this rate, my partner will be––” While grumblingly muttering, Lisha cancelled her connection and stood on the practice field. “Hey, Tillfarr. You said that you were grateful to me, right?” “Eh…!? Well, kind of…” “Then, let’s begin a strategy meeting! Let’s think of a way to take back my partner!” As Lisha declared so, she found Philphie who was standing nearby and approached her. “I will also have you cooperate, airhead girl. There are a lot of things I want to ask you about Lux.” “I don’t mind.” Philphie seemed not that much interested, but did she think of something (but then she thought of something), she agreed by nodding. “Then, we will begin today after school. You will gather at my atelier.” Lisha decided so and ended the talk. “I don’t really think that Lu-chan has forgotten. About the two of us.” On the side, Philphie muttered in a subdued voice.
“Phew, I’m tired today, too…” The night of that day too, after finishing odd jobs such as the arrangement of bookshelves in the library, the care of the yard as well as the girl's dormitory bath cleaning, Lux was heading to the dining room. The request of being Krulcifer’s “lover” for one week was given priority, but he felt awkward to completely decline other odd jobs, so in the end, he ended up working. The debt which Lux and Airi who were the survivors of the Old Empire were burdened with in exchange for release on parole could hardly be paid by one person, but they must return it even if little by little. “But like this, the rest is only my personal business…” When he arrived at the dining room where there was no one, he spread the several sheets of papers and textbooks in his hands and began to study, but… “N-Ngh…” Probably because of the fatigue of odd jobs, his eyelids immediately got heavy. His eyes were closed when he noticed. ……………… “Uuh…” Lux woke up to the fragrance of vivid black tea. Before him, there were a porcelain teapot with a flower pattern and a beautiful girl in uniform. “Did you wake up? You will catch a cold if you are sleeping in such a place.” “Yes… Wait, Krulcifer!? Why are you here––?” Lux confusedly turned his gaze at the surroundings. When he looked at the big clock of the dining room, he seemed to have dozed for about just ten minutes. “Oh my? I am your lover. It won’t be strange even if I’m staring at your cute sleeping face, right?” “I-I don’t mean that––” As Lux was flustered with a red face, Krulcifer poured black tea into a teacup. And she held out the cup to Lux with her usual cool smile. “I called the manager and I had him give me an exception to use the fire.” “T-Thank you…” As he drank the tea, a nice fragrance came into his nose, and a faint bitterness got rid of his sleepiness. A little vitality returned to his exhausted body. “It’s just by coincidence that I found you. I had wanted at least something to talk about with you when we meet though. “Ah, is that so?” “More importantly, what are you also doing in such a place? I don’t intend to interfere with your odd jobs, but I think that homework should be done by the person himself.” To the words of Krulcifer which he did not know whether she was joking or serious, Lux smiled wryly and answered. “No, this is my personal self-study. Um –– I’m still behind everyone on most subjects, so…” In his tender age, Lux was taught basic manners and study from an educational staff. But, being expelled from the Imperial Court and moreover in the five years of life doing odd jobs after the coup d’état, if anything, there were many practical things which he learnt and he had not that many opportunities to touch (experience) study. Here, there were not only matters related to Machine Dragons, but also classes of education and study in order to become a military officer or civil official, so he thought that he wanted to study properly. When Lux talk about it to Krulcifer, “I see… Then, shall we study together for only 30 minutes from now? Since it will be inefficient with a tired head even if you overdo it, let’s concentrate just a little.” She calmly said and sat opposite to Lux. “I roughly know the parts you aren’t very good at. So, you should catch up by simply memorizing little by little the subjects where you can pack knowledge in your spare moments. For now, let’s focus on the premise parts in order to make it easier to understand the lesson.” “Perhaps –– will you teach me?” “Are you dissatisfied with me? I may look like this, but if it is only the results of tests, I’m the top of the second-year students.” To Krulcifer who smiled proudly, Lux hurriedly shook his head. (Or rather, even though Krulcifer-san is a foreign student, to think she is the top of the second-year…) While being dumbfounded at her excellence, he continued to study through Krulcifer’s guidance. She splendidly resolved the places such arithmetic, geometry, and alchemy which Lux had trouble with and helped him understand them. When the tea filling the pot was almost emptied and they took a short break, “With this, has it started to sink in somewhat? It seems that you are unexpectedly catching on (up) quickly, so if I teach you several times again, I think that there won’t be any place where you will have troubles at the lectures.” “…Ah, yes. Thank you for today Krulcifer-san!” As Lux turned a smile of relief and thanked her, “This much is not a big deal.” Was she embarrassed, she slightly averted her eyes from Lux and answered so. “No, that’s not right. Even in the fight at the time of today’s practice, you came to help me––” He saw through the ability of the men of the army, but the last threat was a miscalculation. ‘‘Without Krulcifer’s quick wit, I would’ve had to take a risk.’‘ When Lux once again thanked her as he thought so, “About that, there is no need for you to thank me.” Krulcifer plainly said with a serious look. “I am a calculating woman. That is something I did for me. If you were to injure yourself and fall down, it would have impeded that “lover role”, right? So –– you shouldn’t mind it.” “But––” “More importantly why did you do such a thing, too?” “Eh…?” To Krulcifer’s sudden question, Lux cocked his head in puzzlement. “You went to save the involved (bullied) girl in the practice field. As a result, after that, the party of the third-year students, those students who advocated the question of your admission, who heard the story seemed to have revoked their complaint which they were going to say to the Principal. But, it’s not as if you did something like that by such a calculation, right?” “Well, I guess––” Lux was at a loss on how he should answer. Frankly speaking, there was not a deep reason this time. He had just done it reflexively. But, if there was something which could describe such a behavioral principle of Lux–– “…………” Past memories were revived in Lux’s mind. When he hesitated for an instant to speak of it, “Oh? What are you doing at such a time, Lux?” With a surprised voice, three girls appeared in the dining room. “Huh? Everyone––” There were Lisha, Philphie and Tillfarr of the Triad. They were classmates, so it was not strange; but Lux thought that it was an unexpected combination. Regarding Philphie, she was dozing off while holding a pillow under her arms; it clearly brought the feeling that she was forcibly brought along. “To be together like this until this late hour. Not bad, you two.” When Tillfarr said so with a mischievous smile, Lisha beside her reacted twitchily. As she silently went before Krulcifer, she called out to her with an impatient expression. “Hey Krulcifer. Just because you became Lux’s, um –– l-lover by your request, don’t do strange things as you pleases.” “Oh my? Strange things? Hardly. As you see, we were just studying peacefully.” Krulcifer entwined her arm on Lux’s while lightly eluding. “Wai-, Krulcifer-san!?” To the nice fragrance which softly drifted and the softness of her body which could be felt even over her uniform, Lux’s heart unintentionally throbbed. Lisha who saw that was further upset with teary eyes. “W-What are you doing right after what you said!? Go away! We’re within the academy here!” “I see; it can’t be helped.” Unexpectedly, Krulcifer obediently parted from Lux. (Honestly, even I can’t endure it, but…!) It was certainly for the acting to the bitter end, but the stimulation was too strong for Lux. “With that said, it’s already late, so let’s call it a day! Lead a regulate life.” “I understand. See you tomorrow. Lux-kun.” When Krulcifer was about to leave so, Lisha raised her voice. “Krulcifer, I’ll tell you just in case. But I’ve already linked arms with Lux on a date. So don’t think you can easily exceed that lead!” “…………” At that proud declaration, the members who were present there stiffened silently. “Fufu. It looks like you’ve lost your voice. But, it can’t be helped. After all, the relation between Lux and I has already advanced till there.” To Lisha who crossed her arms and proudly nodded, Krulcifer whispered into Tillfarr’s ear. “I’m not that knowledgeable about the view of love in this country, but is linking arms such a great thing?” “No, Lisha-sama probably don’t know about these things at all––” “…Um, Lisha-sama” Lux who became anxious asked to Lisha’s side just in case. “Errr, do you know what a kiss is?” “Wha!? D-Don’t make a fool of me!? Of course, I know it! U-Um –– it’s something you have to do when you get married… It’s something necessary when making children in the future…” “…………” To Lisha who blushed and hesitated, all the remained people became silent. “Why did you leave things be until it became like this…? “W-Well, Lisha-sama was only interested in Drag-Rides, so…” While Krulcifer and Tillfarr whispered at each other with expressions showing that they did not know what to say, “I have kissed with Lu-chan long ago, though––” “Hey, Phi-chan! Don’t say that now––!” Hurriedly holding the mouth of Philphie who muttered in a subdued voice, Lux who also got tired returned to the room. It seemed that they would be more ups and downs during his lover life with Krulcifer.