Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume1 Chapter5
 Chapter 5: Claire's Feelings
 Part 1
(...Sigh, I have totally gotten myself into something troublesome.)
While walking on the stone pavement of the academy, Kamito sighed quite the number of times today. In front of his eyes was the culprit with her red twin-tailed hair swaying about.
As before he had an empty stomach, he had lost his house and to make matters worse that was the outcome from a duel by fellow elementalists.
...No matter what the circumstances, this is beyond misfortune. It has to be none other than the Dusk Witch's curse.
"Unh, are you grumbling? How unmanly!"
Claire turned around and snapped her fingers.
Kamito groaned with his eyes half-opened. Claire averted her eyes to look far away.
"...I... I get it! I also feel a little bad!"
She blushed and pouted her lips. It seemed she was at least aware of her crime.
As it was the right moment, Kamito blatantly sighed.
"Oh boy, the homeless me will have to sleep out in the «Spirit Forest»."
"Sleeping at night in the Spirit Forest is seriously a suicidal act. But it can't be helped, after all, my house has been completely burnt down."
Kamito dropped his shoulders unnaturally for Claire to see.
Claire gnawed her lips. And then, she tip-toed—
And stared into Kamito's eyes, motionlessly.
Her face was near. Kamito was involuntarily startled as his nostrils were lightly tickled by the scent of a girl.
"...Okay then. I...I'll compensate you, properly!"
Kamito's face somehow twitched with a bad premonition.
 Part 2
— Kamito was brought to the front of the female dormitory of the Raven class.
Although it was called a dormitory, it was not a normal building. It was an elegant mansion akin to the residences of upper aristocrats.
"...Eh, what's this?"
"For a while, I'll allow you to freeload in my room. Please be grateful."
...What did she suddenly propose, this ojou-sama.
"After all, if I left you outside, Rinslet would come meddling. And because you are my slave spirit, it is natural for me, the elementalist, to take care of you."
Claire informed him, bending her empty chest.
"No, that's not it... you are still a girl of age and I may do something, did you not consider that?"
"D...Do you plan to do something to me?"
Claire glared. Kamito shook his head horizontally.
"Scarlet will stand watch. If you try to do something...cinders."
"Isn't it a violation of the dormitory rules? A guy like me, entering the female dormitory."
"It's alright, because you will be treated as my contracted spirit. The same as Scarlet."
"That is completely not alright."
Kamito retorted with his half-opened eyes, Claire was fidgeting with her hair irritatedly and thrust her finger.
"Ahh, come on, do you want to stay? Or do you want to turn into cinders? Which?"
"... Why are there only those two choices?"
Kamito dropped his shoulders and sighed in resignation.
Claire's room was on the second floor of the aristocrat residence-like female dormitory.
"Don't make too much noise, because the dormitory secretary is super scary."
"A...aah...pardon my intrusion."
For Claire, who is ideally pictured as arrogant, to be afraid of the dormitory secretary, his interest got piqued a little.
While thinking of that, he timidly stepped into the room.
No matter how rough her personality was, Claire was a girl.
In addition, she was an outstandingly, pitifully beautiful girl; even Kamito could not help but admit that.
As expected, when he entered the room, he grew tense.
Claire recited the spirit magic and the room was lit up.
Claire's room was—
In senseless disorder.
There was a collapsed mountain of a large number of books. Clothes were left crumpled, plush toys and small items and so on, were scattered here and there till there was no place left to stand.
It did not look like a room of a pedigree ojou-sama.
"...You should at least do some cleaning."
"U...Usually, Scarlet does the cleaning. Come on, quickly get in."
Claire kicked Kamito's back, sending him to the middle of the room.
"Ouch...good grief, you actually use such a powerful fire spirit to clean the room, if the elementalists across the world hear about it, they'll all cry you know."
"Hmm, Scarlet is different from you, she is clever you know. She also burns the trash."
"Ahh, I see. It is good as long as it's convenient."
As soon as they were arguing, a hell cat, cladded in flames, manifested and started to put the room's trash together and tidy up. ... Indeed, there seemed to be a place where the wastepaper was incinerated.
"...Are you fine with just that?"
If that fire spirit of Claire grew, it could match up with even a large dragon type.
...What a sorrowful sight? Was it being made to do things like cleaning the room?
"Thank you, Scarlet. Good girl."
"Are you a cat!?"
Kamito retorted, without thinking, to the fire spirit fawning happily.
(...That proud spirit has been completely tamed...)
Well, if one was gently stroked like that by Claire, whose outward appearance at least was that of a beautiful girl, it was understandable to be completely attached.
For now, since there was no place to stand, Kamito too helped with the cleaning.
A long time ago, because of Greyworth working him hard, housework became his forte.
He started carrying the books that were in a huge pile at his feet to put aside at a corner of the room.
Then, he caught sight of the titles written on the books' front cover.
'The Count And The Naughty Princess', 'Tease Me More, Master!', 'The Princess Abducted By Pirates'... Indeed these are what teenage girls like. There were ten-odd such romance novels, which were intended for teenagers.
"Hmm, so you like this kind of stuff. That was a little unexpected."
"...D... Don't look!"
The pillow, Claire threw, landed a direct hit on Kamito's face, and he toppled over and was squashed by the books.
"If you don't want anyone to look, you should have tidied up. I feel that it's no big deal to like such novels."
"S...Shut up, it...it's not like I like them! ... Err, yea, I borrowed them from a friend, so I have no choice but to read them!"
"Hmm, I see. You borrowed fourteen volumes worth of novels that you do not like."
*Poka poka poka*.
Claire got partially teary and hit Kamito. It was weak, possibly due to her being embarrassed.
Kamito shrugged his shoulders and placed his hand on the floor to stand up.
And, just then, that hand came in contact with—
A cloth that was somewhat nice to touch.
Was it silk? It was soft, silky and very nice to touch.
Unintentionally, he grabbed it. At its edges, white flutters were attached to it.
(—..., white flutters!?)
With his face twitching, he stared at his hand.
Kamito's hand tightly grasped an undergarment attached with fine laces.
...Surprisingly, it was a rather mature silk panty.
Cold sweat broke out on his forehead.
"Hn, what are you doing?"
Kamito got flustered and stuffed it into his pocket.
—..., what was he going to do stuffing it in!
(What am I doing! Doesn't this make me a real pervert?!)
"What? Why are you so shocked?"
Claire frowned and drew her face near with suspicion.
"N...No, it's nothing!"
Kamito stood up while shaking his head. Was there a topic he could distract her with? He looked around... then he realized.
"...By...By the way, about this room, don't you have a roommate?"
Even if this was a dormitory of the academy attended by princesses, the room was a little too big for one person to be living in it.
With the room so messed up, wouldn't the roommate girl get angry?
Speaking of which, was it good to take in a guy without even getting permission from her roommate?
Thereupon, Claire tightly bit her lips and looked downwards.
"I don't. Nobody wants to be in the same room as someone like me."
"...? Don't tell me, you do not have a single elementalist partner?"
"W...Who needs things like partners. As long as I have a strong spirit, I, alone, am more than enough."
Claire folded her hands and declared so; she looked like she was pretending to be tough with all her might.
(...Why is it so?)
This person sure had a hard personality but, as an elementalist, her ability was top class.
He thought with such ability, she could ignore any team, however.
"But without gathering 5 people, you can't enter into the «Blade Dance»."
"...I... I'll manage it somehow. If I have to, I'll somehow gather up just that number of people."
Claire averted her line of sight awkwardly.
It seemed like she did not want to touch on this topic.
"Ig...Ignoring that, you are hungry, right?"
Claire cleared her throat forcefully.
"Hn, Ah... your long-awaited soup, which you blissfully received, was wrecked."
It was a certain somebody's fault, Kamito glared scornfully at Claire.
"Hmm, it can't be helped. Today, I'll specially feed— treat you."
"Did you say feed? Did you say that?"
"It was your imagination. Come on, bring out that table."
While sighing, Kamito took out the table.
Claire started lining up a large amount of canned food, taken from the shelves.
Canned tuna. Yakitori. Salted cod. Vegetables boiled in soy sauce. Beef stew....etc.
Kamito was dumbfounded and looked down on the pyramid of cans. Canned foods are preserved foods that soldiers carry with them on a long campaign. It was at least not dinner for an ojou-sama attending the academy.
"...W...Why is it nothing but canned food? It is definitely bad for the body, you know."
"What a foolish question, it's because I like canned food."
"No, no matter how much you like it, having just canned food is just—"
"What, it's no problem, after all I like them. If you have any complaints, then I won't give them to you."
Claire embraced the mountain of canned food with a sullen face. That face of hers was subtly red.
With that, he got it.
...Aha. That's right.
"You can't cook, right?"
After directly pointing it out, Claire stiffened her back.
"Th...Th...Th...That's not it!"
"That reaction revealed it all. Even if the mouth lies, the body is honest."
"D...Don't speak so lewdly, idiot!"
"To misinterpret a very normal speech, I think that you're the lewd one. You read too much of those novels. Claire is a lewd ojou-sama."
Tears flowed out faintly from her red eyes, Claire bit down on her molars.
...He's done it. He had teased her a little too much.
(...What should I say, I unintentionally ridiculed her.)
The result of going overboard was frightening. Kamito honestly apologized.
"S...Sorry... It was my bad. I said a little bit too much."
Claire was groaning. Like a wild animal of the feline family.
"S..Such a glare... how about, to make it up to you, I'll make dinner?"
With that, Claire, with her bristled hair, opened her eyes.
"You can cook?"
"Well, it's pretty much my forte. Do you have seasonings?"
"Such things are at the shared space at the front of the dormitory."
"Okay, if I arranged things a little, even these canned foods will become something like a cuisine. As for the fire—"
Claire snapped her fingers and Scarlet breathed out a small fire ball.
The fire ball drifted lightly in the air and stayed still on top of Kamito's hand.
"...This is convenient."
—And with that, after a few minutes.
In the room, the sound of something being fried resounded.
Spinach, bacon and sliced garlic were fried with butter.
Next to the frying pan, there was pasta just enough for two, boiling in a pot.
"If I recall right, she said she likes it al dente."
He chewed one piece of pasta to check.
"Hn, this is just right. Claire, where are the cutlery—"
He put down the frying pan and turned around... There was no one in the room.
"...Eh? Where is she?"
He looked around the room restlessly.
The hell cat, lying down near his feet, purred and reached out its forelimb.
Once the fire was extinguished, he looked at the front of its forelimb—
From the other side of the door in the room, a faint water sound could be heard.
"Oh, she's showering."
The shower installed in the room was a type of spirit device, which used the power of the water spirit.
To be clean in both mind and body at any time was— the ironclad rule of elementalists.
Kamito, feeling relieved, ignited the fire once again—
He turned around again.
(W...Why... is she so thoughtlessly defenseless at such a vital moment!)
Kamito swallowed his saliva.
Once he was aware of it, the sound of running water, which resounded in the room, sounded strangely bewitching.
Even if she has a child-like chest, she is still a sixteen year old girl.
Furthermore, her face, without flattery, was cute. Extremely cute.
Her chest was quite a shame but... nevertheless, it was there.
Suddenly, the memory of meeting her in the forest this morning revived.
Her beautifully nude body, with red hair clinging to it.
That properly elastic sensation his hand touched.
(Waaa, don't recall it, me!)
He shook his head, shaking off his worldly desires.
At that moment.
He heard a shriek from the bathroom.
Kamito was taken aback and came to his senses.
(... A scream?)
Perhaps she lost control of the water spirit, causing cold water to come out.
(No, an elementalist of her level should not fail in controlling the spirit device—)
*Bam!* The bathroom door suddenly opened and Claire dashed out.
Her dripping wet hair disheveled—
She ran nude towards him in a straight line.
"... Hey, what's with your appearance—"
Then, Kamito's hair froze.
She was— not nude.
She was nude, but she was not exactly nude.
Transparent jelly-like water was twining itself slimily around her smooth, bare body!
"What's wrong!? What the heck is—"
"...K...Ka...Kamito, he...lp me...!"
In front of his eyes was Claire, who collapsed on the floor and was gasping in agony.
"...No, don't look... idiot....Aaaa!"
Claire turned red and her nude body was jumping about like it was convulsing.
(...Sorry. It is impossible to not get excited!)
Kamito got flustered and averted his line of sight. On the other hand, hearing the heavy breathing, stimulated his imagination.
"Ah... Hyaa... don't...do... that..."
It seemed that the water spirit of the spirit device went wild. Claire was frantically trying to control it, but there was no way she could do it in that condition.
"Hold on, I'll help you right now!"
Kamito closed his eyes and concentrated.
"Unruly spirit of water, comply with my command and settle down!"
While he softly murmured the spirit words of Chinju, his right hand was charged with divine power—
"Claire, grab my hand!"
While Claire lets out a hot long breath, she somehow reached out her hand.
The moment the tip of their fingers touched.
The water spirit, which was running wild, had its form dissolved and immediately returned into water.
Claire stayed collapsed on the flooded floor and with her face flushed; she was breathing roughly.
Her untied red hair clinging onto her skin was strangely erotic.
Kamito turned away in a fluster.
"What's wrong? With an elementalist of your level, how did such—"
"U... Erm, when I was using the shower, the water spirit suddenly went crazy... such a thing has never happened before."
While Claire moaned, she slowly got up.
"Fo...For the time being, why don't you wipe your body. You will catch a cold after all."
Kamito, with his face turned away, took out and handed over a handkerchief from his pocket.
Claire nodded and accepted it—
"Hn. What is it?"
"What is the meaning of this?"
Claire's voice trembled.
Moreover, somehow the room's temperature had rapidly risen.
Kamito finally realized it.
....That was right. What was in his uniform's pocket was not a handkerchief.
That was something he hid in a fluster a while ago.
That silky panty.
In Claire's hand, an earnest flaming ball of spirit magic was born.
"Wa...Wait, calm down. You're mistaken, this is a mistake, if I explain, you'll—"
"Shut up! T...Turn into cinders, you pervert—!"
 Part 3
"Kamito, get me another serving!"
"...You sure can eat. You'll get fat, you know."
It was minutes after that event. The table was lined up with numerous plates of Kamito's home cooking.
There was tuna potato salad to go with the spinach-and-bacon pasta. Pumpkin potage with gratin from the canned salmon, and for dessert, there was fruit yogurt.
They were made using the canned food, of which a great amount was found on the shelf as ingredients; however, Claire seemed full of praise. The act of her gleaming her eyes and stuffing her cheeks with pasta was somewhat awfully cute.
The fire spirit, in the form of a hell cat, was also devouring the canned tuna beside Claire.
Spirits can maintain their own existence, so they do not need material sustenance. However, among the high ranking spirits, there were also some rare ones that like human food. Although, it was only as a luxury.
"No problem, I have a constitution that doesn't get fat."
Claire placed pasta on the plate and said that with a nonchalant face. Certainly, using spirits consumed physical strength, so it was true that there were a lot of ladies with a slender figure.
"Hey, don't eat the dessert early. Despite being an ojou-sama, you have bad manners."
"Unh, shut up! That's up to me, right, you panty thief!"
Kamito groaned. Once she said that, he could not say anything back.
"You are demoted from slave spirit to panty thief spirit."
"... What kind of spirit is that?"
Somehow, another new variety of spirit was born.
"You really are the worst. O...Of all things, you stole my number one favorite panty!"
"I have been saying it wasn't on purpose!"
"What? Are you being defiant?"
Kamito bowed his head in embarrassment. Well, no matter how much he thought about it, it was his own fault this time.
While Claire put the tuna potato salad into her mouth, she caught a glance of him.
"Well, I'll recognize your cooking skills at least. This is very delicious. If you make meals for me every day, I'll promote you to cooking spirit."
"I'm grateful for that. By the way, those are almost like words of proposing."
Upon pointing that out. Claire's face turned bright red.
"D...Don't be an idiot! Do you want to be turned into cinders? Come on, do you want to be turned into cinders?
"I..I get it, so stop pointing the fork at me."
"Hmm... n...next time you say such idiotic things, I'll really burn you!"
Claire pouted her lips and turned away.
Kamito sighed in relief while he cut and divided the salmon gratin.
"...If only there was some soy sauce, this would be much better, but..."
"What's that? Food?"
"It's a seasoning circulated in my hometown. Well, you can't get it here though."
Kamito shrugged his shoulders and said that—
Claire murmured with her eyelashes slightly lowered.
Somehow— she had an awfully lonely expression.
After that, for a short while, there was only the sound of cutlery being used.
After eating that satisfying dinner, Claire's mood also got a little better.
Somehow, there was a calm atmosphere.
Kamito suddenly raised his head and looked at Claire.
—He felt that it could be asked now.
He had wanted to ask her, since meeting her this morning in the forest, but did not have a chance to.
"By the way, you—"
Claire placed down her cup of black tea.
"Why do you want such a powerful spirit?"
It was a simple question.
Despite using a spirit such as Scarlet, she still risked harming her body to reach out to a «sealed spirit». He wanted to know the reason for that.
Cast her slightly perplexed eyes down and murmured.
"There's someone I want to meet no matter what."
"Someone you want to meet...?"
Kamito dropped his sight to his left hand, concealed in his black leather glove.
What he lost three years ago, an irreplaceable, important bond which was there—
(So, she's the same as me...)
The scar engraved at the back of his hand ached.
Claire sighed and inserted her hand into the neckband of her uniform.
"...Yeah, I'll say it. Something that I can't help but hide."
What she took out from her chest was a small pendant with silver chains.
At the very center, a shiny crimson red spirit crystal was inserted in it.
Kamito saw a crest engraved there— and raised his voice in surprise.
"A flame lion... the crest of Elstein duke family!?"
Claire silently nodded.
The Elstein duke family. The grand nobles who had served the royal family for generations ever since the founding of the Ordesia Empire.
It was the noblest of the nobles, turning out one of the five princess maidens, who stood at the top among all elementalists, — Queen, who served directly under the five great Elemental Lords.
No— that should have been so.
—Till four years ago, when that incident occurred.
The one who brought a great unprecedented calamity to the Ordesia Empire— The Calamity Queen.
She too, same as the girl in front of him, had burning-like crimson red hair.
"Don't tell me, you're..."
"Yes, I am the Calamity Queen —Rubia Elstein's— little sister."
Claire looked straight into Kamito's eyes and nodded.
Claire Rouge. He had thought that it was an alias.
But, by no means—
(... I see. What she cast away was the Elstein family name.)
In this large continent, there was no one who did not know about that incident.
Four years ago, the Queen, serving under the fire Elemental Lord— Rubia Elstein, suddenly snatched the strongest flame spirit, «Laevateinn» from the shrine and disappeared.
After learning of the Queen's treachery, the outraged flame Elemental Lord got fired up and went into a frenzy.
It burned everything related to Elstein duke's territory, including the Ordesia Empire's land, the empire took enormous damage. And that did not put the Elemental Lord's anger to peace, about a year after that, no matter what method was used, not a single fire could be lit within the Ordesia Empire.
Nobody knew why the fire Queen disappeared.
The Ordesia citizens furiously cursed her and, filled with hatred, called her-
—The Calamity Queen.
"I want to meet my elder sister. When I meet her, I want to hear the truth."
For that, she had to get strong.
She had to obtain the strongest spirit.
With the reward given to the winner of the Blade Dance—
For the sake of obtaining the right of granting just one desired 'wish'.
Claire's expression was filled with a tragic determination.
Claire slightly looked down and muttered.
"This round's Blade Dance has that Ren Ashbell participating."
"...!? Kehoo, kehoo—"
Once that name came out from Claire's mouth, Kamito reflexively coughed.
"...? What's wrong?"
"Aaah, that's bad..."
Ren Ashbell was the winner of the last Blade Dance.
She suddenly appeared three years ago, the strongest blade dancer.
That Blade Dance was splendidly vivid. At the finals, even with Numbers candidates of elementalists, she overwhelmed them.
Due to her dedicated Blade Dance, the flame Elemental Lord's rage was finally appeased.
"Three years ago, I saw her Blade Dance at the assembly hall. I also feel that I want to be like that, a noble, strong elementalist."
Claire blushed and looked down a little embarrassed.
"Ever since that day, I've always admired her...."
Kamito looked at Claire with a complicated expression— calmly grasping his fist tightly.
...After that, it was a strangely quiet time.
They tried to talk about anything a number of times, but all of it did not last long.
Claire yawned cutely after eating up the dishes on the table. After filling her stomach, she seemed drowsy. Well, she did use a spirit of Scarlet's level twice in one day, so it was natural.
"Wake me up when it's time. If you do something funny, cinders."
"...Wait. Does that mean I have to stay awake for the whole time?"
Kamito complained, and in front of him, Claire was making sleeping breaths.
She had an astonishing ease at falling asleep.
"...Good grief, you'll catch a cold!"
Kamito carried Claire's petite body up like a princess.
He carried her to the bed in the corner of the room.
Scarlet walked and jumped onto the bed.
(...Even so, this girl's sleeping face is truly angel-like.)
While looking at the face, making the gentle sleeping noise, Kamito smiled bitterly.
When he put Claire to the bed, her cherry blossom lips faintly moved.
He seemed to have somewhat heard something he should not.
Certainly, after the incident of the Calamity Queen disappearing, Elstein duke family's territory should have been seized and the duke and his wife imprisoned in the Balsas prison—
He was shocked when his name was called suddenly.
"Ahh, what are you doing, pervert...idiot."
"...What kind of dream is she having!?"
Kamito muttered while sighing, as he stared at his hand.
After that day three years ago, he hid his left hand with a leather glove.
(You and I are the same, Claire.)
(These three years, I have stayed alive to get back my important person.)
Due to his error, he had lost her, his former contracted spirit—
 Part 4
At the same instant, in every room of the female dormitory Claire lived in, a little incident occurred.
The spirits used in the spirit devices in the kitchen, bathroom and etc. suddenly began to go out of control.
After the spirit investigation party investigated the dormitory, it brought it to an end with meager words that the incident was of an unknown cause—
In the darkness illuminated by the blue moon— a black-winged angel gently alighted at the academy tower.
It was a black haired girl, dressed in a jet black dress.
The girl landed gently on the roof of the female dormitory and smiled pitifully.
"—I wanted to meet you, Kamito."
On the girl's palm, wriggling lumps of darkness were floating.
"But you're still not the true you."
She reached her hands to the empty sky and the darkness colored orbs drifted and disappeared in the night sky.
"That's why, I'll offer up my memories."
The girl chuckled.
Like a cruel little girl.
Like a pure demon.
 References and Translation Notes
- Ojou-sama is the Japanese term for a high born lady, one who is well refined and often lives a sheltered life.
- The sound/feeling of a cat skimming over your cloth
- Petting and fondling sound
- Sound of being hit