There was a colour of the skin. A white steam that covered all of the sight. At the other side of the steam, there was a wall and a marble pillar that was visible due to being lit by the lamp. And the feeling of the warm water that wet his cotton trousers. No matter how you thought about it, this was a bathroom. “……U-Umm?” (How did this happen again……?) That question was going through Lux’s mind. “……!?” Lux looked down while he tried not to look at the naked girls that were standing there shocked at the other side of the steam. “…………Fu.” Underneath Lux who was inside the hot water with his clothes on was a girl who made a laugh. Unlike her slim body, there was a mature smile on her expression. Her smooth white skin turned red due to being inside the bath where her cheek also became red. (She’s cute.) He could have said that if he was looking at her from the side, but Lux not only couldn’t speak, but also couldn’t move an inch due to the dangerous feeling and the steam coming out from the girl. “……Hey, pervert. Do you have anything left to say before dying?” Scary words came out from her lovely face where she had forcefully made a smile. Well, it wouldn’t be weird for her to be angry. That’s because—, he could see her. Inside the spacious bathroom, the towel that was wrapped around her body fell and her fresh looking naked body became visible. Her cute looking breast that was shivering while hitting back the hot water. Her collarbone that rose above the hot water and the tight curve on her hips. And also, even places below her silky stomach were—. “…………” His fate might be decided with his next word. Lux started to choose the words carefully with his panicked head. (I, I should praise her first……!) In the past when he did chores while working as a bar waiter, he was taught the technique of how to praise a girl. Before he could come up with something, his honest opinion came out from his mouth. “……Hmm, the thing is. You are cute. Your whole package itself is like that of a child……no, even though you seem young, you have quite the chest—and it’s quite tempting. ……Wait, what the!?” (I’m dead.) (What on earth am I saying! That’s not what I’m supposed to say!) (Who was it!? The one who taught me the wrong way to say it!? That damn perverted bar owner!) “…………Fu.” The naked girl who heard that released a bitter laughter. For an instant, she made a bright smile as if she was satisfied with it, and then—
“How long are you planning to ride on top of me, you fooooooool!”
She made an angry voice. “Kyaaaaaaaah!?” At the same time, there were many screams coming from the girls of the whole bathroom. The naked girls started to throw anything they could find at Lux with all their might. “I, I’m sooooooooorry!” Lux tried to escape in panic. “H-How did it turn out like this!?” With teary eyes, Lux started to remember what happened several hours ago with the bag he was carrying in his hand.
“Stoooooooop!” The voice he let out from his stomach echoed through the buildings. The cross-shaped fortress town made from block of five towns, “Crossfield”. At the first district which was located at the centre of such place, there were two shadows that were sprinting. One of the shadows that was running ahead was a cat with tiger stripes and it had a small bag within its mouth. The shadow belonging to a small build boy was chasing after the cat with all his might. The sprint started from the third district that is located to the west of the town shaped in a cross. The boy, who already ran a distance which normally made you think whether you should take a cargo, had already ran across a single town, was already at his limit in terms of exhaustion. Even so, the silver haired boy with a choker continued to run. The girl from the liquor store who gladly allowed Lux who didn’t have a place to sleep to stay over last night. When he saw her again, the small bag that she was carrying had been taken by a cat nearby all of a sudden. “Ahaha……, you know you don’t have to force yourself?” She put on a bitter smile when Lux was about to go after the cat, but—. “I will definitely bring that back.” To serve and to help the people of this country. That is an obligation and aim for Lux who is put in a special position of this country. Even if that wasn’t the case, he wouldn’t allow the cat to run since it’s a belonging that belongs to someone who had helped him. Lux raised his spirit once again and sprinted up the slope that was located on the main street. “……Oh, if this isn’t the young lad. It’s been a while. Will you be able to work at my place next time? I don’t have much manpower to plant some seeds during this season……” “I’m sorry! I’m in a middle of something, so I’ll get back to you next time—” Even though an old man stopped him from the side of the street, Lux replied back politely even though he’s in a rush. (This isn’t the right time!) Even though he was panicking in such a way, he saw an old woman with good physique far away this time. “Oh my, its Lux. Can you help out at my kitchen next time? It’s almost the time for the anniversary for the establishment of the New Kingdom of Atismata. You can also make a bit of dishes fitting for a party, right?” “I’ll come to you when the time comes!” Lux took out a notepad and a pen quickly from the bag equipped on his belt and wrote down some memo. He was out of luck to have shown some confidence due to the cat slowing down its pace up the slope. “What, you came back from the kingdom? You should have come to my atelier to give your greetings to me. You were still in the middle of your training as a blacksmith at my place.” The stern-looking worker turned around and said that to Lux. “Umm, I have a bit of free time in five days so—” “Hey, Lux. Can you help out at taking care of the cow—” “Can you become a play buddy for my daughter—” “Hold on a sec……, I can’t! I’m sorry, I can’t do all of this now!” He was trying to write all of that down but had put away his notepad and gave up. Now wasn’t the time to taking request for his “labour”. His first priority was to capture the cat. Putting that in his head, Lux sprinted as he put the last energy he had in his legs. One hour later. About time when it became dusk. “I, I should have given up already……” Possibly due to the labour work Lux had done from morning to noon, he was simply exhausted. Apparently it was a part of organisms’ instinct to chase after those who ran away from them. Despite breathing violently, he climbed up a tall wall and continued to chase after the cat. “Huh……? Where is this place?” For an instant, Lux panicked thinking that he had entered military area due to the spacious area and atmosphere. But there should be something else in this first district of the central. (Then I would be able to come up with an excuse.) As he thought that, the cat climbed onto a different building while it carried the girl’s bag in its mouth. “W-Why did you have to go over there……!?” Lux didn’t have a choice but to kick the wall and jump onto the other roof. Since he had experience repairing roofs many time as a part of his labour, he had good grasp of climbing the roofs safely. He wouldn’t have to do this normally, but he was already doing it basically due to obstinacy. “—Alright! I’ve finally arrived!” There was basically no place left to go, so Lux closes the distance between him and the cat slowly. He then became resolved and went for the cat. “Nyaa!” He will obviously lose to the cat in terms of speed, but his target was the girl’s bag from the beginning. When Lux grasped onto the shoulder belt of the bag with his fingers, the cat finally let go off the bag it was holding onto. “Hooray!” (I finally retrieved it!) Lux started to smile due to the relief and accomplishment. This might be a small achievement, but this was still an act of goodwill. (If I report this to the administration, they may help me by lowering the debt I have by a bit.) “……No, this kind of selfishness isn’t right.” No matter how much huge debt Lux had been burdened by this country, he should simply be happy that he was able to become a help for someone. “Now then. If I don’t get back soon—” It has completely become dusk all of a sudden, so the surrounding has become dark. (Not being able to see the surroundings once I become too focused on things is my bad habit.) As Lux reflected on his own action, he was about to jump of the roof, but—
A nasty sound like that was made. “Eh……?” The source of the sound came from the single part of the roof Lux was holding onto while he put all of his weight on it. “H-Hey!? Don’t tell me this is—” Lux tried to get away from the spot in a hurry. But he was too late. While the crack was made below his hand while making so much sound, the speed of it breaking increased and then shattered. “Uwaaaaaah!?” Lux fell along with the sensation of losing the sense of his weight.
Lux fell into the water after a second. “Uwaaaah! Cough! ……Huh?” Apparently there was water under him. Lux became relieved for a moment that he wasn’t injured, but he realised the strangeness right away. (This is—a hot water?) When he looked, his body from his hips and below was covered by hot water. At the other side of the white steam, he was able to see an expensive looking marble pillar and wall due to the faint lamp that made the surroundings look orange. “Don’t tell me this place is—” Lux realised it the moment he was trying to grasp hold of the situation. The fragments of the roof he fell from. Those fragments fell, and even from above the small build girl who was nearby—. “Look out!” Lux jumped towards her by reflex to push her away and jumped on her.
“How long are you planning to ride on top of me, you fooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!” —And Lux’s conscious connects to the present. “Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” Several loud screams echoed throughout the bath. “I-I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorry!” Bath tub, chair, soap. Various things were thrown out, and Lux retreated towards the washing place. (What do I do? To think that I would fall into the women’s bath of the large public bath…!?) Starting to despair so, Lux confirmed that there was a girl’s pochette, which got a little wet with hot water, in his hand. “I-I’m sorry. I-I fell here because the roof broke; I just wanted to get this back––” While turning his face away from the girls’ naked bodies, Lux hung up the pochette which he had in his hand. Then, the pochette’s mouth opened and two pieces of clothes fell flutteringly. “Huh…?” It was two pieces of underwear white above and below. The owner of the underwear was certainly a woman, but––. “Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Underwear thief! On top of being a peeping tom, he’s an underwear thief!” “The guards! Call the guards quickly!” “Fetch your swords! Legitimate self-defense is approved as of now!” “P-Please wait a minute! This isn’t mine, um –– it belongs to a girl who happened to pass by––!?” As he desperately tried to explain, Lux noticed. (Damn! Any kind of excuses won’t work!?) “How to put it, um, sorry!” As Lux hurriedly jumped out of the bathroom, he passed through the dressing room and started running. He had the feeling that there were girls who were taking off their clothes also there, but he decided to pretend that he saw nothing. “H-How did it turn out like this…!?” “Catch him! Don’t let him escape!” Lux, who somehow managed to escape the danger zone, while being chased by girls who wore their clothes, ran with all his energy in an unknown building. A red carpet of high quality was spread out on the floor. There were a large dining room like a party hall, a playroom and countless guest rooms. Refined paintings and furnishings were put here and there. “Huh? This building is––” At first, he thought that he fell into a high-class hotel with a large bathroom, but it was too wide for it. It was not the Imperial Court of the Capital, why was there such a building in this Fort city––? “Ah! He’s there! The pervert who touched my chest is here! Bring me a spear quickly!” When he was thinking so, the girls who ran into him in the front suddenly screamed. “Wai…!? How did it become something this big!?” No…, since he was chased as he ran away, if he wanted to prove his innocence, he should just behave himself, but –– he instinctively ran away. Like wanting to chase when one runs away, wanting to run away when being chased may also be instinct of a creature. Lux ran while thinking such a trivial thing in the corner of his head. “I-It's already hopeless! I’ll just go through with it––” For now, he had to run away on until the uproar settled down. When he arrived at the entrance of this big building while thinking so, “Eh––!?” Lux stopped, and once again doubted his own eyes. Under the stairs of the colonnade where he stood, there was a large space decorated with a chandelier of candles. Three girls armed with swords were standing there. “Royal Military Academy regulations, article 18.” A quiet voice which was that of one of those three girls. It was emitted by the blue-haired girl with a dignified face. The three girls’ figures and atmospheres were completely different. However, only the uniform and the sword belt which they wore were alike. “Regardless of within and outside of the academy, it is forbidden to draw out a sword device without the permission of a superior officer. However, only in case of flagrant delict’s confirmation or when danger befalls oneself is one allowed to draw sword and use a Drag-Ride.” With a well-projected voice in the large entrance, the blue-haired girl smiled. Lux who heard it forgot even to give an explanation to the girls and was driven in confusion. …Eh!? Just now, what did she say? Sword device and –– Drag-Ride? Why did these names come out from such girls––? “Hmph. For a pervert, you are the first with the best look so far. You’re good looking enough to be even added as a candidate for my marriage meeting.” “Um, sorry. A while ago, what did you––?” To the dazzlingly beautiful blue-haired girl who seemed to have the leader status, Lux asked. “But, it’s regrettable. There is no pervert who creeps in this women’s dormitory and succeeded in escaping when being found by the us –– the Triad.” “Eh!?” Women’s dormitory? What is she talking about? “Let’s do it. Tillfarr! Nokuto!” “OK!” “Yes, my lord. But, just in case please be careful. Sharis.” The blue-haired girl called Sharis and the two girls who were standing still on both her sides. These three girls simultaneously unsheathed their swords. With a dark gray blade, a sword on which a shining silver line floated –– sword devices. “No way!?” When Lux opened his eyes wide in surprise, he heard Sharis’ voice. “––Come forth, Wing Dragon of the crest which is the symbol of power. Fly in accordance with my sword, <Wyvern>!” At the same time, the space of the sword tip which Sharis swung shook and warped. What gathered there at high speed were grains (particles?) of light. Countless pale lights tinged with undulation formed one single entity. “…!?” What appeared was a mechanical dragon twice as big as a human. A streamlined form where metals with an acute angle were connected lay innumerably on top of one another. The wet luster was abominably beautiful like an embezzled famous sword. “A Drag-Ride!? Why––” Drag-Rides. They were ancient weapons which were summoned by drawing sword devices used as a pair, mechanical armors, which copied legendary dragons, worn on one’s body and with which one acquired the war potential of thousand soldiers. Seven Ruins were discovered in the world. Those weapons which were excavated from there possessed power enough to overturn the war concept, which had been cultivated several hundreds of years in the past, in an instant. Humans who wore those Drag-Rides and could master them were called Drag-Knights. But, Drag-Rides were scarce and very expensive and only knights of the Kingdom and some influential persons could basically possess them. Why do these girls possess them–– “Connection On.” Sharis muttered, during the opportunity when Lux was dumbfounded. The blue streamlined machine opened from within, and was unfolded to innumerable parts. The parts went towards Sharis’ both arms, both legs, trunk and head, connected at high speed –– it was equipped. The Drag-Ride covered its master’s body with non-stopped movements and changed into armor. “Oh my, did you creep in here without even knowing where it is? But, it’s useless even if you are befuddled, Pervert-kun. Give up and make a Dogeza there. If you do so, I can get it over with about ten whiplashes.” “Uh-huh. Peeping is a crime.” “Yes, my Lord. Either way, you will be punished.” At the words of Sharis who was the leader, the girl with a light tune, Tillfarr and the girl with a calm atmosphere, Nokuto agreed. These two girls were also wearing other kinds of Drag-Rides on their bodies and took a stance of combat as well. “…Ah, wait a minute!?” Isn’t this a very dangerous situation? Within a building like this –– no, in the first place, it wasn’t an equipment to use against a flesh-and-blood opponent! “Haa!” Sharis who wore <Wyvern> on her body kicked the floor and flew. From the armor of both wings of legs and back, she sprayed wind wearing light. With a single leap from the edge of the entrance of the building, she attacked Lux who was in the open ceiling of the second floor. She greatly swung the arm covered with metal armor and suddenly struck it as she used it like a sword. “Uwaaaaaaaah!?” Lux abruptly turned sideways and dodged it.
Though he was able to evade it by a hairbreadth, the wooden handrail which was over there was smashed to pieces. “Oops! Did I hold back the speed too much?” “No! You use too much power! I’d have died though!?” While putting a riposte to the surprised Sharis, Lux went down the stairs as he rolled over. Then, the Drag-Ride for land battle which was at the entrance up to now. Tillfarr who equipped a jade green Drag-Ride –– <Wyrm> immediately blocked his way. “Hyaffuuuuh. Uh oh, test, test. Notification to Pervert-san there. As of now, your crime is light.” “In a sense, I’m treated more severe than in an average punishment, though!?” “It’s bad”, thought Lux while riposting. The flight ability could not be fully used indoors; on the contrary, it became a hindrance to the movements. That’s why Sharis’ flight general purpose Drag-Knight <Wyvern> was still good, but it was dangerous here. The limbs covered with thick armors possessed a high mobility due to multiple variables frames and could let power likely to explode at any time swell. After all, the land battle general-purpose Drag-Ride <Wyrm> was a Drag-Ride with property most suitable for close range combat. “Well, anything is fine, so behave yourself. If you struggle strangely, it’ll be rather dangerous.” “At this rate, I would rather be killed!?” Lux put his feet on the handrail, and jumped down to the first floor without going down the stairs where the path was blocked. However––, “U-Uh-oh! I won’t let you pass here!” Floating a confident smile, Tillfarr instantly stood in the way. Together with the armor worn on her body, she made a side fall down centering on the handrail of the stairs and landed. A Drag-Ride was not just a merely heavy and hard armor. The kinematic performance of the installation part was also greatly strengthened by the energy brought from the Force Core which was the Drag-Ride’s power “Haaah!” The right arm of Tillfarr clad in that armor was swung downward. “Kuh…!?”
- BANG*! With a crushing sound, the wooden floor was smashed and dust soared. There were a light shout and movement, but the power was very great.
While Lux shuddered at the performance of a Drag-Ride which he felt with his own body––. “…Huh?” Tillfarr wearing <Wyrm> looked at the floor where her fist was driven in. Its disappeared. The figure of Lux, in front of whom she displayed her power just now, and who should be surprised. “Under the floor! Tillfarr!” “Eh…?” Sharis’ dignified voice overhead reached Lux who ran under the floor. The blow which Tillfarr let out as intimidation. He went through the hole which it made, escaped under the floor and was running. “Mmm…” When Tillfarr who was pointed out looked into the hole of the floor with a discontented face, “Don’t chase him, Tillfarr.” Sharis’ calm voice stopped Tillfarr. “No matter how effective <Wyrm>’s maneuverability is, the bottom of the floor here is too narrow. If you destroy the dormitory any further, it’ll be a written apology. I won’t chase him anymore, either.” “But, but! If we let him escape like this––” “It’s all right. Nokuto has already moved. She won’t let him escape.” While calming Tillfarr, Sharis let her gaze wander about at the surroundings. “But, what is the meaning of this? He manages to hold on without equipment… Those movements. It was as if he saw through the special characteristics of our Drag-Rides in an instant––” To the perplexity of the girl who was usually very confident, Tillfarr tilted her head to the side. “Hmm? What is it? Sharis.” “Silver hair and black collar. No…, don’t tell me that boy is––” With a serious tone, she just coughed so.
“Uwaaaaaaaah!” Escaping to the outside of the building from under the floor, Lux dashed on the road of the ground. The <Wyvern> of Sharis and the <Wyrm> of Tillfarr. Also the moment when he escaped from two general-purpose types Drag-Rides. The third person –– the girl named Nokuto came chasing Lux. Her orange Drag-Ride was a general purpose Drag-Ride called <Drake>. In contrast with the flight type <Wyvern> and the land battle type <Wyrm>, it was a type classified into special equipment (customized) type. Although it was a Drag-Ride equipped with special functions such as searching for the enemy, camouflage, support, assistance, restoration and the like, and its basic performance (ability) was somewhat lowered, its strength under a specific situation surpassed the other two. Its special characteristic –– visually checking Lux even within the darkness by means of the goggles which were worn on her head, Nokuto accurately ran after him. “Stop. If you don’t stop, I will shoot. If you stop, I will shoot kindly.” At Lux who ran in the vast site towards the main gate, Nokuto called out to him while chasing him. Needless to say that Nokuto clad in <Drake> was above in speed. However, Lux ran as he wove his way through the bush with many trees and weakened her momentum of chase. “Kindly? What do you mean!?” Lux answered only with his voice without looking back. “Yes. It'd be great if you didn't die. In that sense.” “It was only the problem of feelings!?” “Yes. And, I will do so that you won’t suffer as much as possible. In that sense.” “You have the atmosphere of ‘however much I kill you, it won’t be enough.’!?” As expected, I couldn’t stop her. I will be killed if I stop. And just in case, if his identity was exposed, it would become something terrible––. “Yes. ––Then, it can’t be helped.” At the same time she leaked such a dangerous mutter, Nokuto set up a Breath Gun. It was a rapid-fire (blaze) type rifle which let the Drag-Ride’s energy converge and began to shoot. It was an armament of low power against a Drag-Knight, but if received it with a human body, one would fall easy victim. “Kuh…!” Lux, who sensed the presence where the trigger was pulled on his back, jumped diagonally forward with all his strength. From within the darkness in order to conceal his figure, to the way to the main gate brightly illuminated. There –– there was a bonfire to illuminate the passage up to the building. “…!?” The next moment, Nokuto obstructed the goggles of the armor with her hand. Because the bonfire itself was used as an obstacle (wall), it was too dazzling in the view which raised sensitivity. “Yes. It looked like you know the <Drake>’s special trait. However, with only that––” The view sensitivity which was provided through the goggles of the <Drake> could be immediately adjusted. When Nokuto exposed her face which she covered with her hand so as to take aim with the Breath Gun again, “––!?” Before her eyes, fire was approaching. It was firewood with fire that was a part of the bonfire. Lux which gripped one of it threw it aiming at Nokuto’s rear. “Kuh…” She swung the armored arm in a hurry and flipped the firewood. With a Drag-Knight as opponent, ordinary attacks would not work; throwing of smoke screen would be better. But, at that opportunity where Nokuto suddenly stopped, Lux reached up to the way near the main gate. Exactly at that time, a girl wearing the same uniform as Nokuto and company walked as she slowly headed to the women’s dormitory from the main gate. Since there was danger of involving the girl, she could no longer shoot with the Breath Gun. While thinking so in the corner of her head, Nokuto was astonished. “Why? It can’t be…” No matter how much they were going easy on him, to succeed in escaping against three Drag-Knights without equipment––. “Who is he? That boy––” “Ok, with this, I somehow––” Lux looked back behind and checked that Nokuto lowered her gun. It would not be wise to escape as is though. When the other side settled down, he would properly explained himself and apologize. “––––” When he thought so, as he noticed before his eyes, the girl was there. The breathing of Lux who was running away with all his power stopped for an instant. It was a beautiful girl. She had a slender and well-proportioned body, noble features and cold eyes. Just like a perfect work of art, the girl, showing neither strain nor slack, was standing before Lux. “You do not need to chase him. Since I will stop him.” “Krulcifer-san…” The girl in front of him lightly raised her right hand called out to Nokuto behind. To her movements which had not that much hesitation, Lux instinctively stopped. “Haa, Haa… Um… Excuse me. I’m, errr––” From the building behind, screams such as “pervert!” or “underwear thief!” could be heard small. “Yes, I know.” Looking at Lux who hurriedly tried to explain, the girl smiled. “What a fairly pretty peeping tom, pervert and underwear thief, eh. He’s still a child.” “Eh…!? …N-No…, I––” While shaking, Lux was, just a little, irritated. Certainly the girl in front of him has a grown-up atmosphere, but she should be about the same age as him. And yet––. “…I may not look like this, but I’m 17 years old. Well, I’m often told that my face looks childish, but––” Forgotten that he was in a situation where he was cornered, Lux rebutted. The fairylike girl suddenly showed a sad expression. “…Is that so. But, I’m sorry. I don’t like it, but even with a child as opponent, I can’t overlook an offender.” (C-Child, child, doesn’t she care about what someone told her…!?) In a part totally unrelated to this turmoil, Lux inwardly decided further. He understood that he, who suddenly plunged into the large public bath and could not make any excuses, was totally in the wrong. But, be that as it may, there was the problem of pride. Even though he might not like this, he intended to pile up (acquire) even the training of hand-to-hand combat as such. In that case––. I will show her how much even that ‘child’ can do as such. Of course, he did not intend to attack her or even use attacks as intimidation from the start. He would dodge her and escape outside with just mere footwork. “…Haa!” With such a scream, Lux began the bout. In order to dodge the girl in front of him, he made a feint to the left, turned and went to the right. The girl could not react. He overtook her.
The moment when Lux believed so––, “––You’re naive, eh.” At the same time as the voice of the girl called Krulcifer, the world turned upside down. “Eh––!?” After the question of the moment, a shock ran throughout his body. What on earth–– “Well then, I leave the rest to you. I’m going to the bath. There is no more peeping tom, is there?” Soon after having heard her indifferent voice, Lux’s field of vision blacked out. It was after he woke up later that he noticed that it was due to the shock when he was flung by Krulcifer. The long first day ended, and began.