Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume1 Chapter4
 Chapter 4: The Wolf, the Cat and the Knight
 Part 1
Yare, Yare. I have suffered quite a lot since coming here.
One hour had passed since then. Slowly rubbing the pain in his back away, Kamito walked through the courtyard of the academy.
Although he had not been turned into cinders after receiving a hit from that flame whip, maybe Claire had held back some of her power. Still, it didn't change the fact that it was quite painful.
Claire must be harshly admonished by Madam Freya in the punishment room.
Having eluded those female classmates who had enthusiastically pursued him, Kamito finally obtained a moment of peace.
Unlike other students, he had no classes for the afternoon. After all, he had entered the school just now and had not registered for the courses.
Areishiya Spirit Academy operated on a credit system in which the students could freely choose their preferred courses so long as they could meet the requirements. Because of the enormous diversity of the contracted spirits of the students, a uniform curriculum wouldn't be able to fully develop the potential of each and every princess maiden.
"For the time being, I'll make some preparations for school life starting tomorrow."
Kamito finally reached his specially prepared dormitory, a hut erected on the side of the stable.
Its appearance now looked even worse than when it was seen from the window. On top of that, it had the smell of cattle.
The door opened with a squeak. Kamito timidly stepped in.
"Hmm, surprisingly, it's not too bad."
Kamito expressed his impression of the interior.
First of all, the bed was clean. Looking from the inside, the room itself was spacious. Straw bed, table, chair, cabinet and other furniture were prepared after all. Cooking utensils were present as well. Anyhow it wouldn't be too troublesome living here.
Kamito immediately laid down on the straw bed, and although it prickled his back a bit, the smell of sun dried straws was good for a comfortable sleep.
"Oh, well, no matter how I look at it, I just need to endure it for two months."
Lying still on the bed, Kamito fixed his eyes on his left hand, covered by the black leather glove.
Two months from now, the Blade Dance would be held in Astral Zero.
Before that, he must find four more teammates in order to enter the contest.
It was not clear what Greyworth would have him do.
But there was something he had to check with his own eyes.
A name that was deeply tied to the fate of his own self.
Participating in the contest of the Blade Dance 3 years ago, the Strongest Blade Dancer.
That accompanying her was a spirit of darkness that took the form of a human girl.
Who on earth were they?
Ren Ashbell shouldn't exist in this world anymore. Besides Greyworth, only a very small number of people were aware of this.
Even though one was just an impostor who gained the title of Strongest Blade-Dancer by fraud, it couldn't be for this reason that the witch took this much trouble to summon him here. Greyworth must be holding a huge secret.
No matter what, to find out the truth, the only way was to directly cross blades with her in the Blade Dance in two months.
"But, in your current state, you won't be able to defeat her." Greyworth had said.
That is most likely true. The witch was not lying. But surely she was not telling the truth either.
In the end, it all comes down to 'the current state'.
But in merely two months, he had to regain what was lost in the past three years.
....*Guu*, suddenly his stomach growled.
Feeling exhausted, Kamito lowered his arm that was raised towards the roof.
After all, he had not had anything to eat since wandering into the Spirit Forest this morning.
However, he decided to endure his empty stomach.
The reason was that he was out of money. Although there were restaurants for the students in the academy, the price was surprisingly high. This had already passed the level of a school for high class ladies, a school for princesses indeed.
What's the point of one cup of soup being as expensive as a normal folk's salary?
"It can't be helped. Maybe I'll ask Ellis to show me around the academic town tomorrow."
One should be able to find cheaper and delicious restaurants in the academic town at the foot of the hill.
With the cooking utensils, he could also just buy the materials and cook it on his own. For the fire all he needed to do was to go to the Spirit Forest and catch some low level fire spirits.
"Bacon and mushroom pasta sounds really good..."
He got more hungry by thinking about food.
"Should I go to the Spirit Forest and collect some mushrooms now?"
As he started to seriously entertain that thought, from somewhere, the smell of delicious soup flowed in.
Frowning, Kamito got up from the bed.
It seemed the smell was coming in from the gap of the half opened door.
Twitching his nose to inhale the smell, Kamito opened the door...
In front of him was a bowl of soup that gave off white steam.
Filled with a lot of onions and chicken with bones, the soup looked delicious.
"...Am I imagining things, or is this the kindness from heaven for my unending misfortune?"
Drawing a blank because of the hunger, Kamito reached out with his hands towards the bowl without any suspicion.
Suddenly the bowl rose up a bit.
He stretched out his hand again.
Once again the bowl was raised.
Then in front of the Kamito was the face of that princess with platinum-blond hair.
Her name should be Rinslet Laurenfrost if he remembered correctly.
Behind her, the girl Carol in a maid's uniform stood courteously.
"What's the meaning of this?"
Kamito asked with half-closed eyes.
"Fuu, you must be hungry, right? Kamito Kazehaya?"
Kamito nodded honestly.
"Bark, woof, and then swear that you will be my slave, and I'll let you have this bowl of soup."
Rinslet held the bowl still, and puffed up her large chest.
"I refuse. Bye Bye."
"Ahh, wait, wait a second. Listen to what I say, you insolent person."
*Bang!* *Bang!* The door was kicked repeatedly.
It would be troublesome if she breaks it. Kamito opened the door again.
"What's that? Are you going to let me have the soup now?"
"Right away if you lick my foot... Ah, why are you closing the door again!"
Rinslet quickly stuck her foot into the gap of the door, like a veteran debt collector.
"Ouch! That hurts!"
That looked painful... What the hell was she here for anyway?
"Are you alright, my lady?"
Worried about Rinslet, the Maid, Carol, asked.
Kamito had no choice but to open the door, Rinslet glared at him with tears in her eyes.
"How can you be so insolent after I offered my hands of kindness towards you?"
"No, you... Hands of kindness?"
It appeared that she was serious. Slowly, Kamito's head starts aching.
(Sheesh, all the princesses of this academy are so troublesome.)
Kamito complained inside his mind.
After Rinslet got a glimpse of the inside of the hut, her face started to twitch.
"Ah, you, why are you living inside a stable?"
"The stable is next door. This is my dormitory. Home is where you make it."
"Stop looking at me with such pity. It makes me feel sad."
Her face looked like that she was seriously concerned about it. Kamito's attitude softened a little bit.
"Rather than living in a condition like this, you should come to my house. I'll specially hire you as a servant."
"Ah, my lady, I believe he will look great if we dress him as a maid."
Carol showed her support with a big smile. (This girl is troublesome as well.)
Well, even so, it seemed as if Rinslet was genuinely worried about his circumstances.
"Your sympathy is appreciated, but I don't plan to throw away my pride." Kamito shook his head.
Displeased, Rinslet perked up her lips.
"So you don't like becoming my servant?"
"That's right. It is no use to try to placate me."
"So full of yourself, even though you wag your tail at Claire Rouge."
"When did I wag my tail at her?" Kamito grumbled with half-closed eyes. Well, many people might think the same—
Could it be that this princess was trying to get close to Kamito mainly out of her rivalry with Claire?
(Yare yare, such an unexpected annoyance.)
Kamito let out a heavy sigh.
"I got it. That's fine with me if that's how you want it." Rinslet cleared her throat, and placed the bowl on the ground.
"I'll leave the soup here. From the very beginning it was because Carol cooked too much of it and it will be a shame to waste the leftovers. You should be grateful for my benevolence."
(This young lady, by any chance)——
Rinslet turned around elegantly and was about to leave.
"Ahh, Wait, Rinslet!"
Kamito suddenly called out.
Rinslet winced and stopped in her steps.
"Wh-What is that? Suddenly calling other people's first name—"
"I can't be your servant, but we can be friends."
Rinslet's emerald green eyes open wide.
"Thank you for being worried and coming to see me."
"Wh-Wha, you, you insolent. Of-Of course that's not true."
Rinslet suddenly blushed and turned her face away.
"Fufu, my lady is so..."
Carol covered her mouth and giggled.
 Part 2
Right at that moment—
A voice, with which had become familiar to Kamito,, suddenly passed into his ears.
Claire was walking towards them, her red pigtails swaying.
It appeared that Madam Freya's admonishing session was finally over.
"Don't feed my contracted spirit without permission, you thieving dog."
"You... Who are you calling a thieving dog!?"
Here we go again, Kamito let out a tired sigh.
"What's that? Isn't your family crest a dog?"
"Why you— Laurenfrost's family crest is a proud White Wolf!"
"White Wolf? Changing it into a Chihuahua fits you better."
Provoked by Claire's words—
"Claire Rouge... You really got my dander up." Rinslet said with a suppressed voice.
In a flash, a fog-like chill hung around them. The temperature dropped dramatically.
"Wait, you can't be calling your spirit—"
Kamito hastily called out, but it was too late.
The cold wind swirled. Rinslet's hair flew up, rippling.
—Oh freezing beast with Ice-teeth, merciless hunter of the forest.
—Now is the time to abide the contract of blood, hasten to my side as commanded!
As soon as Rinslet finished chanting the summoning spirit spell, a gust of ice storm engulfed all of the surroundings.
Amid the roaring and swirling blizzard, a figure appeared.
A beautiful wolf, with a coat of silver white fur.
Its body exuded a freezing chill.
"It is the contract spirit of my lady, the demon ice spirit «Fenrir»." Carol said with a smile.
The imposing aura that white wolf carried, was definitely incomparable to a low level spirit.
In regards to ranking between spirits, the white wolf was unmistakably higher than mid-level. To have made contracts with spirits of this level, this young lady was definitely not an ordinary person.
"Well, your dog is still the same, with its coat color barely meritable."
Claire shook her pigtails in disdain.
"You... You called it a dog again, You flat chest! I absolutely will not forgive your insult to the family of Laurenfrost!"
Covered with the chilling air, the white wolf roared, and dashed toward Claire.
"Who are you calling flat chest!? Come, «Scarlet»!"
Claire lashed at the ground with her whip. A scorching hell cat immediately appeared from the twirling rising flames.
It appeared that Claire had long conjured up her spirit already.
"—Hey you two! No fighting with your spirits here!"
Kamito cried out. The horses in the stables neighed in fear.
"I will not forgive you for putting your hand on my slave. I'll end it here today, you thieving dog."
"I'll surely steal your servant and make him mine!"
Sparks burst out between the two girls.
If one listened to these lines only, it sounded like two women in love, fighting over a man.
"The two ladies look like lovers fighting over a man!"
"Carol, you don't have to say that." Kamito looked at the maid standing next to him with squinted eyes.
"By the way, is it really OK to not stop them?"
"That's right. They have always been like this."
"These two girls have always been behaving like this towards each other...?"
"Yes, the relation between the two ladies is very good."
"Is this irony?"
Kamito grumbled with a sigh.
"You have always been an eyesore, Claire Rouge!"
"You are the same, Rinslet! Why do you have to always cause me trouble!"
Demon ice spirit Fenrir—
Flame spirit Scarlet—
The two spirits suddenly jumped up in the air and clashed.
Ice and Fire collided, sending a storm bursting around.
From Kamito's point of view, the levels of the two spirits were almost the same. But it seemed that Claire had an advantage in the skill of mastering the spirits.
However, the flame spirit in her command was apparently quite spent out.
(Because she was beaten up by the sword spirit a few hours ago—)
Receiving such a large amount of damage, she couldn't possibly have recovered by taking a short break.
Kamito observed the fighting of the two spirits.
(Eh? What? ......A burning smell?)
Kamito frowned and looked around.
When the sight came into his eyes, his expression suddenly froze.
It was burning.
Kamito's hut was burning fiercely.
The straws that were stocked next to his hut had caught the sparks of the flame spirit and started burning.
"Ah, mmmmmmm-my home!"
Hearing the cries of Kamito, Claire quickly turned towards him.
"Rinslet! Pause! We got a fire!"
"It is no use to distract me... Huh? It really is burning!"
The hut on fire burned more and more violently. Sooner or later the stables would catch fire too.
"Calm down. A fire of this scale, I'll put it out in no time— Fenrir!"
Rinslet cried out, the ice demon white wolf instantly came back to her side.
Just as one thought that, the white wolf suddenly disappeared in the air, and in Rinslet's hands, a huge «Ice Longbow» appeared.
Spirit waffe — the second purified form of the spirit.
"Oh freezing ice fang, pierce your target! «Freezing Arrow»!"
Rinslet drew an ice arrow and shot.
The arrows turned into countless shards of ice and rained down, causing the burning flames to instantly be extinguished.
"Well, with me here it is a piece of cake!"
Rinslet stroked her long platinum blond hair and puffed up her chest proudly.
Kamito stood motionlessly with a dumbfounded stare.
By raining-down ice arrows, the hut was smashed into pieces.
"Kohon", Rinslet let out a dry cough.
"...Seems like I went a bit too far."
"This is not called a bit! Don't you have any control over your power?"
"You... Shut up! From the very beginning it was you who lit it up!"
Ignoring the stunned Kamito, those two engaged in an argument again.
At that moment—
"What are you doing!"
The footsteps of several people running from the middle court could be heard.
One of them was the ponytail girl in a silver breastplate.
Ellis Fahrengart, the commander of the Sylphid Knights, whom was in charge of upholding the Academy's discipline.
Behind her there were two girls in the same attire.
Claire clicked her tongue, and Rinslet also didn't bother to hide her face of displeasure.
"It is prohibited to fight due to private matters in school... What!?"
The hastily running steps suddenly stopped.
Her eyes widened, looking dazed at the pile of rubble that was Kamito's home.
Black smoke slowly rose from the charred rubble.
"This is...... What on earth is this?!"
Ellis questioned Kamito, her voice charged with fury.
She drew the sword that hung at her waist, pointing it at Kamito's throat.
"You, you hate the house that I made! Is that it? Is this your act of protest?!"
"No... There is absolutely no such thing! This is because—"
Kamito quickly explained.
"It was this stupid dog who blew it up to dust."
"Before that, this pitiful chest lit it on fire!"
Hearing the voices from behind, Ellis turned around.
Claire and Rinslet, pointed their fingers at each other in accusation.
"... So that's how it was. It was your work, just like always."
Ellis sighed with an expression that said 'I understand'.
"Knight commander, your greeting is more enthusiastic than usual."
"It is the usual greeting, isn't it? Problematic students of the Raven class?" Ellis looked sharply at Rinslet.
Soon, the girls from the Knight brigade who were following Ellis finally caught up.
A girl with tea colored hair tied in braids, and another girl with black hair in a tomboy style.
As soon as they saw Claire and Rinslet, the two girls put on expressions like they had bitten some bitter worm.
"...Hell cat Claire! And Ice Wolf Rinslet!"
"What did they do again this time, these guys from the lowly Raven class?"
In the eyes of the girls plainly floated a contemptuous look.
"...What did you say?"
"What did you utter just now?"
Claire and Rinslet glared at the two girls at the same time.
But the girls completely ignored them, focusing their eyes on Kamito instead.
"Are you that newly transferred male elementalist?"
"Oh, not bad. Very handsome."
The girl with braids looked at Kamito up and down like she was evaluating his value.
The girl's scrutiny made Kamito shrink away in discomfort.
"Wait, this guy is my slave spirit that I caught!"
"I tamed Kamito Kazahaya: he is my servant!"
Claire and Rinslet arbitrarily declared their ownership of Kamito at the same time.
The knight girl with braids sniffed with disdain, and said: "Alas, because nobody wants to form a team with you, you use your sex appeal to seduce the transfer student. Such a fitting style for countryside nobles."
"You dare to call me a countryside noble!"
Rinslet's face suddenly turns livid.
It appeared that the girl stepped on a mine that should not have been stepped on.
"Sure I did. The Laurenfrost family has only a big-name, they are really just country bumpkins."
"You... You... You...!"
"My-My lady. Please calm down—"
"Fu-Fufu-Fu, ...Carol, I am quite calm."
Rinslet revealed a bright smile... Although she tried to be ladylike, her face was still quite scary.
Another girl knight turned to Claire, and scorned: "As for Claire Rouge, although she is a noble, isn't she the sister of a traitor? Really, why did the Academy accept this person for admission—"
At that instant, Claire suddenly lashed at the ground with the whip.
"—Shut up. Or I'll turn you into charcoal cinders."
Claire snarled with a suppressed voice, her voice trembling, her red eyes quietly burning with anger.
(...Claire is the sister of a traitor?)
(...What on earth is the meaning of this?)
The two girls felt the sudden change of atmosphere and fell silent.
"You went too far." Ellis chided the two, then turned to Claire.
She cleared her throat and said: "In short, I will report this instance to the knight headquarters. The charge will be using spirits to start a small fire and and causing property damage. We'll give you notice for the specifics of the punishment at a later time. Please refrain from doing such stupid things again. We are busy, you know?"
"Let's go." Ellis said and was about to lead the other two away.
However, from behind came a voice.
"Hold on! Ellis Fahrengart, are you trying to run away?"
Ellis stopped, and turned back to Claire who called out to her.
"What did you say just now?"
The calm tone of voice was full of anger. Ellis's hand was on the hilt of the sword at her waist.
"Oh, you heard it? I did not expect the Sylphid Knights to be cowards."
"Claire Rouge, do you think I'll just let it go if someone insults the Sylphid Knights?"
Ellis unsheathed her sword. The other two drew their swords at the same time.
"I'll return that line intact right back at you. You may insult me as you please, but I will not forgive anyone who insults my sister."
Claire struck the ground with her whip.
"I request a duel, Ellis Fahrengart, with the other two as well."
"Let me join as well, Claire Rouge. It is the Laurenfrost family's injunction to take revenge at those who dare to smear the Laurenfrost family name."
Rinslet ruffled her hair, and showed an undaunted smile.
At this point, Ellis pointed the tip of her sword towards these two.
"Well, it will stain the name of the Sylphid Knights if we are accused of running away. I accept the request. I can't stand the mess of your Raven class any longer."
"Hey, isn't it prohibited to fight for private matters?"
At such a precarious intense moment, Kamito instinctively spoke out.
"It is forbidden to fight for private matters within school grounds. Anyway, I have no intention of doing it here."
"What do you mean?"
Ignoring Kamito who was tilting his head, Ellis turned to Claire.
"The time will be 2am tonight, in front of the «Gate». I'll leave it to you to decide the format."
"...One-on-one is too much trouble. How about a three-man match."
"That will do."
Ellis nodded and put away the sword, then turned around and left.
Claire glared at the back of the knights and cursed viciously:
"Well, I will let you regret this, especially that short haired girl. I'll definitely kick her ass!"
"Such a good opportunity. I have disliked the bunch from the Knights since long ago."
"Rinslet, try not to be a burden."
"Huh? Who are you saying that to?"
"...Why you two. After destroying the hut, now you are having a duel. Please take mercy on me."
Kamito sighed deeply. Then suddenly he realized.
(Battle as a team of three. So, who will be the third person?)
"As it turns out—"
Claire placed one hand on her waist, and pointed a finger at Kamito.
"It is time to show us your strength, slave spirit!"
"Ahhh... I knew this is how it would be..."
In front of rubble heap that was his former home , Kamito reluctantly dropped his shoulder.
 References and Translation Notes
- The term Yare, yare can be loosely translated as Oh dear, basically it's like an exclamation of slight weariness.
- An expression one shows when humoring another especially when it is too bothersome to go against the other.