Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance:Volume1 Chapter7
 Chapter 7: Contracted Spirit Est
 Part 1
.....He remembered that he was taken into a black room.
A room like a prison cell without windows.
He recalled being taken by people in black, also on that day he met her for the first time—
It was eight years ago when the young boy became The Strongest Blade Dancer — Ren Ashbell.
Before that, he was at an orphanage.
It was no ordinary orphanage. It was a so called «Instructional School» of a town that didn't exist on any maps.
From every part of the continent, young girls with talents as an elementalist were gathered from orphanages or relief institutions, and received special training in the secret facility. Those who were raised there were exceptional assassins. The emotions of the girls were killed by the crazy education, and nothing but killing techniques using spirits were thoroughly drilled into them.
On that day eight years ago, a young boy who was taken in by the Instructional School was able to communicate with the spirits.
The Demon King's Reincarnation— called a miracle child by the training instructor, that young boy was trained with the highest priority.
He was subjected to assassination training of the highest caliber, as well as handing to him their treasured spirit, one of the most powerful Pillar Spirits.
Formerly, a Sealed Spirit because of the Demon King, the Dark Spirit.
But, four years ago, a freak accident of unknown origin suddenly destroyed the Instructional School.
Thanks to the incident, the hideous truth of the Instructional School was brought to light, and the aristocrat faction in charge of the scheme was purged; its existence was erased from all the records of the Ordesia empire.
The young boy escaped with his contracted spirit.
Running away from his pursuers, he disguised himself as a girl. Originally the young boy had well equipped features; his voice had yet to break, and nobody thought that he was a boy.
Also, three years ago. The strongest blade dancer magnificently debuted.
Winning the 'Blade Dance', in order to fulfill her one and only 'wish'.
But, it was— something humans must never wish for.
 Part 2
Kamito opened his eyes and found himself lying in bed.
Birds were chirping outside the window. Bright morning light entered into the room.
He strongly felt that he had a very nostalgic dream, but couldn't remember what it was about.
His head hurt. Kamito slowly turned his head and sat up. Then he noticed.
What he was wearing was not the the Areidesia Spirit Academy school uniform. It seemed that someone had helped him into pajamas. The freshly washed clothes were very comfortable.
"By the way... where am I?"
Kamito looked around the room.
The layout of the room was very familiar. This must be the dormitory of the academy.
However, this was not Claire's room. It was impossible for her room to be so clean. The furniture and household items looked very upscale and was polished spotless. The room was like a luxury hotel. It did feel like a girl's room, but with a different perspective from Claire's.
He moved his arms to get out of bed— but a sharp burning pain shot up from his right hand.
Grimacing from the intense pain, Kamito finally remembered.
(At that time, I......)
In order to protect Claire, Kamito had surpassed the limit to release the contract spirit's power.
Conjuring up a powerful Elemental Waffe was of course good. But since the spirit was too strong, his divine energy was exhausted all at once, and he had passed out.
(Right, ...How was Claire?)
Kamito was going to get up from bed, but at that moment—
Something squirmed inside the sheets.
"Wow! What... What the hell!?"
Kamito bounced up and quickly yanked the sheets aside.
Something unbelievable was there.
A silver-haired girl.
And she was naked, stark naked.
No, more precisely she was not completely naked; she had black knee socks on.
A knee socks wearing, nude, silver-haired girl was there.
...Silence for about a full half minute.
"...Who are you?" Asked Kamito. His head was spinning, and he couldn't come up with any other questions.
"Est." The girl expressionlessly replied. It was a cold and mechanical-sounding voice.
"Est... so that's your name?"
"Right. Human vocal organs are incapable of pronouncing my true name, so call me Est."
One would blink in amazement at the clear violet eyes of the beautiful silver-haired girl.
She seemed to be younger than Kamito.
Her body was very petite, maybe even smaller than Claire's.
"Uh... Why... are you... in my bed?"
"Because I belong to you, my master."
The girl answered with no hesitation.
Cold sweat flowed down from Kamito's forehead.
...Wait. Calm down. He had no memory of such a thing. Wrong, isn't the fact that he didn't remember anything about it even worse?
(Why am I in bed with a naked girl? Kamito Kazehaya, were you really such a despicable pervert that stripped innocent little girls and then brought them to bed?)
(NO! Absolutely not!)
"Why are you calling me master? Please briefly explain."
"Because master is my master. Was there any self-contradiction? "
Est replied expressionlessly.
"Or would you like me to call you differently?"
"For now, anything other than master."
Kamito averted his eyes slightly. Involuntarily, he felt that the last one was quite good.
"My bad. Kamito, please call me Kamito."
"Got it. I'll call you Kamito."
The knee-socks wearing nude silver-haired girl nodded.
Kamito... Kamito... my master is Kamito... the girl murmured, as if constantly chewing these words.
Kamito's head gradually started aching. What is with this girl?
"Why are you wearing nothing but knee socks? Isn't it odd?"
"Are you saying that I should take the socks off!?"
Est's normally expressionless face showed a sign of wavering for the first time.
"Actually demanding me to show my bare feet... Kamito is such a pervert."
"No, aren't you naked? What is this mysterious sense of embarrassment?"
Kamito sighed. Oh, well, perhaps it was due to cultural difference.
At this point, suddenly the sound of someone coming up the stairs was heard through the door.
"...Oh, no! Someone is coming!"
It would be bad, regardless of whom, for anyone to see this situation.
"Hide somewhere now!"
"No questions! Hurry up!"
"Oui, roger that."
Est wiggled deep into the sheets.
"Why there out of all places!"
At this instant, the door opened.
"Kamito, you woke up!"
Rinslet's maid Carol appeared. She was carrying a basin and towels.
"Carol!? That you are here means this is—"
"The room of milady, Rinslet."
I see. Indeed she was a daughter of the Laurenfrost family. No wonder the room was so different from Claire's.
"By the way, why am I in Rinslet's room?"
"My lady was very worried because you fainted and had you carried here. She and I took care of you."
"......So that's why. Thank you."
Kamito felt very grateful. That girl was surprisingly a good person.
Carol walked over towards the bed.
The moment Kamito put on the alert posture, Est squirmed in the sheets.
Kamito's body suddenly involuntarily froze.
(Hey... Hey! Come on. Please stay still!)
"You woke up, Kamito Kazehaya."
*Snip*— this time the uniformed Rinslet came in.
Although he thought Rinslet would breathe a sigh of relief, but she put two hands upon her waist, and glared sharply at Kamito.
"...I was so startled because you suddenly fainted."
"Ah, My bad. I heard that you have been taking care of me. Thank you."
"Humph! Taking care of the servants is also the duty of a master!"
Rinslet's face suddenly became red and she looked away.
"...Besides, you saved my friend..."
Rinslet suddenly folded her arms, and turned her face aside.
Her behavior of not being frank with herself was somehow quite lovely, actually.
"By the way, how is Claire?" Asked Kamito. Back then Claire looked very haggard, and something was obviously wrong.
(...Hopefully she was not thinking something strange.)
"She locked herself in her room the moment she came back to the academy and has stayed there since then. No matter how much I provoked her from outside the door, she completely refuses to come out."
Kamito sighed. It seemed that even that defiant princess could suffer from depression. Although she acted very tough, she was just an ordinary girl after all.
"Milady is really worried about her childhood friend Miss Claire."
"Carol! what, what are you talking about!" Red faced Rinslet repeatedly beat Carol on her back.
Looking at the exchange between the two girls, Kamito smiled bitterly.
(...Ah. That girl, even though she was seemingly convinced that she was alone,)
(She does have good friends.)
"What is it, Kamito Kazehaya? Why are you smiling?"
Rinslet puffed her cheeks and stared at Kamito.
"Since you have woken up, get out already. Men are prohibited in the female dormitory!"
"Ah, Oh. I'll go out now...... uh!"
Just then, Kamito suddenly froze.
...That couldn't be. He absolutely could not get out of bed now. Hidden under the sheets was a young, beautiful nude girl who was wearing knee socks.
This was bad. Extremely bad. If she was to be discovered by these two girls, his life will be in danger in all kinds of ways.
(What should I do... right!)
Kamito needed to change from pajamas into his uniform. Using that as an excuse, he could send Rinslet and Carol away, then take this opportunity to escape with Est from the window.
No, no good. To go out with Est in her current state, they would surely be caught.
If they were to be dragged to that stubborn leader of the Knights, he would end up even more miserable.
That being the case, he had to—
"Uh... right! Can I ask for a favor?"
"What's that? Do you... want to lick my toes?"
"No one asked for such a thing!"
Kamito retorted out of reflex... Why was there an expectation in her tone?
"That's not what I want to ask. I was thinking... if you could lend me some clothes."
"Clothes? Oh, of course, your uniform is right here."
Rinslet snapped her fingers, and Carol immediately brought out the folded uniform. The ripped uniform from battle yesterday was mended, even the buttons were sewn back on neatly.
"That's not what I meant. I would like to borrow a girl's uniform. "
(Eh? I feel like I have made some kind of fatal mistake just now...)
Rinslet stared at Kamito as if looking at a cockroach on the roadside.
"Oh? What do you plan to do with a girl's uniform, Kamito Kazehaya?"
"No... No, not what you think... uh... that..."
Kamito stammered, trying to find excuses to gloss over the question.
"Then it can't be helped. Although it is a bit embarrassing, I'll lend you my clothes..."
Carol's face turned red, and she started to remove her clothes uneasily.
"Not your clothes! And that's not even a uniform!"
"So that's how it is. What Kamito-sama desires most is a uniform of milady."
"What? ...My uniform?"
Rinslet suddenly blushed totally red, and quickly covered her chest.
(Ah ah ah ah! These two are so troublesome!)
Kamito cried in his mind. Just at this time.
From the abdomen of Kamito somehow came a wiggling sensation.
(...! Est! What are you doing!)
"Hmm? Kamito Kazehaya, what are you doing?"
"You have been acting strange since earlier. Come to think of it, the sheets are bulging mysteriously."
"Milady, men are the kind of creatures to bulge in the morning."
"Yes... a normal physiological phenomenon, it can't be helped... That's not what this is!"
"Out with it already, what exactly are you hiding there!?"
*Paa-tsu*— Rinslet forcefully yanked the sheets off.
Rinslet and Carol simultaneously covered their mouths, and opened their eyes widely.
It was no wonder. In the bed, after all, there was one beautiful knee socks wearing naked girl.
"Kamito, we are caught."
Still expressionless, Est suddenly hugged Kamito tightly.
"Wh... Wh... What!"
"Hold on! Rinslet, don't misunderstand! This is because—"
Kamito frantically shook his head, trying desperately to explain.
"This is because what?"
"Uh... because... that..."
...Uh, no good. Even Kamito didn't know why the young girl was here.
Having said that, regardless of what excuses that Kamito came up with, he had no confidence to convince these two.
"—I see, that's how it was."
Rinslet grinned, and a chilling smile appeared on her face.
An elegant, graceful, and truly aristocratic smile.
"You... You understand?"
"Yes, I completely understand. While I was worried about you, you...you secretly brought such a lovely girl to bed—"
Rinslet's freezing cold stares repeatedly stabbed Kamito.
Or rather... it was really cold, cold enough to freeze one to death.
Unknowingly, the windows were covered with frost. Just as one thought that a blizzard was bursting around in the room, the wolf spirit of demon ice suddenly appeared on top of the bed.
"...Wait! This is no joke— I am really going to die!"
"Then... Then die! You pervert——!"
Demon Ice Spirit «Fenrir» let out a terrifying roar, then started attacking Kamito.
"...Wahh! For real!?"
Kamito nimbly jumped out of bed and fled around in the room.
Baring its fangs, the Demon Ice Spirit chased Kamito back and forth.
At this moment, Est quietly rose up and stood in front of Kamito as if to shield him.
The white wolf bared its sharp fangs fiercely, and then leaped.
Still expressionless, Est thrust her hand in front of the nose of the white wolf.
Fenrir's movement suddenly froze.
"Stay back! How dare you as a Demon Ice Spirit try to defy me, the «Demon Slayer»? "
The moment Est calmly finished her words, Fenrir began to tremble.
Kamito was speechless. Rinslet's mouth also hung wide open.
Even spirits of the rank of Fenrir were lead by the nose. This girl, could she be—
"Might you be a spirit!?"
"Yes, I'm Kamito's contracted spirit."
Stroking the head of the tamed Fenrir, Est nodded expressionlessly.
 Part 3
"Unbelievable. I never expected you to be the «Sealed Spirit» of that sword."
Having left the female dormitory and walking in the academy's courtyard, Kamito took a glance at the girl next to him.
Of course, she was not naked. Currently, she was wearing the school uniform of Areishia Spirit Academy.
The spirits that had a human form were the highest rank in Astral Zero. So it is understandable that Kamito did not immediately discover the girl's true identity.
"I mean, you can reconstruct clothes, so why were you naked?"
"I thought you would be pleased that way. Or do I really have to show you my bare feet?"
It seemed that this spirit would be embarrassed if she exposed her bare feet. Such an obscure type of shyness.
Kamito sighed, and tried to sort out what he had talked about with Est.
— Back then Est resonated to Kamito's strong will, and was summoned in the form of an Elemental Waffe. However, at the same time when Kamito lost his consciousness, the PathMagic Circuit was once again closed, and she ended up not being able to return to Astral Zero.
"Why was the PathMagic Circuit not connected? We did form the contract after all."
"One factor is that my original existence is an overly powerful being, but probably the main cause is from Kamito yourself. Subconsciously, Kamito was rejecting the contract with me."
Kamito had an idea. His eyes rested on the left hand in the black leather gloves.
Back then to save Claire, Kamito strived to not ponder over it.
But it is undeniable, her presence still haunts the heart of Kamito.
"...Sorry. It is not that I was unwilling to contract with you. That's not how it was."
Not being able to return to Astral Zero puts an enormous stress on the Spirits.
However, most of Est's power was left in Astral Zero, so at the moment she's seemingly unable to display her original strength.
Perhaps because Est took the form of a human girl, Kamito became more distressed.
"It does not matter. Anyway, I'm tired of being sealed inside the sword. It has been hundreds of years since I last came to this world, so I decided to enjoy everything here. Say, Kamito—"
Est pulled the sleeve of Kamito's uniform.
"It feels like I have a good impression of you."
"...A good impression?"
"Meaning that I might like you."
"Ah. So... thank you."
Kamito could not help but blush, and averted his eyes.
Despite being a sealed spirit with extraordinary power, her appearance was that of a lovely girl.
To receive such a straight confession... Kamito did not know how to respond.
"But when you were sealed inside the sword, haven't you rejected contracting with all the other elementalists?"
"Yes, Kamito. So far, I have rejected 53 elementalists."
"Then why has such a high rank spirit like you chosen me?"
"Well, if I had to guess— it might have been an intuition."
Est watched Kamito with the pair of clear violet eyes.
"Because I felt- that the two of us are alike."
"...What do you mean?"
Est suddenly held out her forefinger and gently pressed it against Kamito's lips.
"Do not pry into a girl's secrets!"
A completely unexpected reaction. Kamito's heart raced at the soft touch of her fingertip.
Then, her skirt twirled as Est quickly turned around. She ran forward lightly.
Going a long way from the dormitory, Kamito finally arrived at the school building of the academy.
(Could Claire be here?) After being driven out of Rinslet's room, Kamito immediately went to Claire's room to check on her, but she was not in the room.
Maybe she had already recovered, and went to the class to attend the lectures.
It was good if that's the case- but somehow his heart jittered anxiously.
While walking together with Est in the corridor, Kamito heard whispers constantly coming from all directions.
"Look. Look. There's that male transfer student."
"As expected, he has already laid his hands on a new girl."
"What a pretty girl... did we have such a student in our academy?"
"Hey. Is it true that Ellis' group engaged in a duel with him?"
"He can't be planning on laying his hands on every girl in the academy, can he?"
"What a pervert... or rather, a lewd beast?"
"Definitely a lewd beast."
"Yeah, a lewd beast."
"Public enemy of the girls..."
...Kamito's heart hurt. The target of this chattering had heard everything.
"Is Kamito really a lewd beast?"
Est dealt a further blow. Well, she meant no harm.
*Clink*— the sound of a sword being drawn came from the back at that moment.
"—Kamito Kazehaya, you indecent man!"
With no time to turn around, the blade had come to rest on the back of his neck.
Kamito raised both his hands, and timidly moved nothing but his line of sight—
Standing there was the pony-tailed leader of the Knights, emitting a terrifying murderous intent.
"I misjudged you, you sex maniac! How could you lay your hands on such an innocent girl!"
Kamito sighed, and said with half squinted eyes: "You have just made a very rude misunderstanding about others. She's my contract spirit."
Ellis raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"You are saying this girl is that Sword Spirit that slayed the Demon Spirit with one blow?"
Ellis skeptically stared at Est for a moment, then turned back to Kamito again.
"Stop making lame excuses, Kamito Kazehaya!"
*Clang*- the blade came to rest on his neck again.
But the next second, Ellis's startled eyes widened.
The blade that was stabbed towards the back of his neck turned soft and bent down.
"What is going on?"
"HowlingProperty Resonance- as a sword spirit, I can freely interfere with various blades. Are you willing to believe us now?"
Ellis, with her eyes wide open, examined the bent sword.
Spirit magic could bring about similar phenomenon, but Est bent the sword without even lifting a finger.
"I see. ...Sorry for having doubted you."
Ellis put away the sword, and apologized seriously with a bow.
"No. Originally, even I did not think she was a spirit."
Kamito shrugged and shook his head.
Although there were times where she was overly stubborn, but this candor was also endearing.
"By the way, how are the other two? Hm, from the Knight Brigade—"
"You mean Rakka and Reishia? They regained consciousness this morning. They were beaten pretty badly by you guys. They need to rest for a while before they can control spirits again."
"Sorry... Once I use an Elemental Waffe, it is difficult to calibrate my strength."
"It was a duel. Please do not mind it. For them it was a good lesson."
Ellis deliberately coughed, and then—
"I said, I'm sorry. I disliked you for no other reason except that you are a boy. So I feel compelled to apologize."
With her cheeks blushing red, she stared into the eyes of Kamito.
"When you stood up to the Demon Spirit to save Claire Rouge, you looked really... really cool. To be honest I was petrified with fear."
"I had to deal with frenzied spirits several times before. It was just experience."
Kamito, scratched the back of his head, like he was feeling a bit shy.
"Kamito, I dislike being ignored." Est said, puffing out her cheeks.
Then, Kamito suddenly recalled his purpose here.
"Ellis, do you know where Claire is?"
"Isn't Claire Rouge still locking herself in her room? Losing the contract spirit seemed to be a very big blow to her."
"But she doesn't seem to be in her room. Do you have a clue?"
Ellis raised her hand to her chin and pondered a bit.
"Come to think of it, the «Militarized Spirit» Contract Ceremony will be held in the academic town this afternoon."
"Ah, volunteers are recruited among the students of the academy to form a contract with Militarized Spirits."
In short, it is scouting from the military— Ellis explained.
In return for the powerful Militarized Spirit provided by the Ordesia Knights brigade, the academy presents the students. Once the student forged a contract with the militarized spirit, he or she becomes part of the army, and as a cost for the powerful militarized spirit, he must obey the orders and be dispatched immediately whenever requested by the brigade.
"Although there are a lot of troubles in becoming a military personnel, there are many voluntary participants seeking to form contracts with powerful spirits. From the very beginning, there are many students who entered the academy aiming to become Spirit Knights."
"With so many participants, how do they pick candidates?"
"Of course— with a Blade Dance."
The format of the competition was a free for all battle royal.
Serving also as a demonstration from the Ordesia Knight Brigade to the public, the Blade Dance would be held in the arena of the academy town, rather than in Astral Zero.
"Having lost her contract spirit, it is possible that she will volunteer to participate in the ceremony."
"However, without her contract spirit, to enter a Blade Dance is—" Kamito stopped in mid-sentence and swallow the remaining words.
Impossible— but he was not sure.
To perform Blade Dance without the contract spirit, that kind of action amounts to nothing but suicide.
Without the power of spirits, there was absolutely no way to beat other elementalists. Such a no-brainer simple truth.
But Claire now—
Kamito recalled how she looked like that day when she stood in the rain.
"...Ellis, where is the ceremony going to take place?"
"If I remember correctly, just go straight along the Olivier Avenue- Kamito?"
"—Got it. Ellis, thank you!"
Kamito took Est's hand and started to run.
(Do not try to shoulder everything by yourself. Idiot!)
 Part 4
Claire walked alone in the alley within the academic town.
She looked dejected, and her steps were very heavy.
However, she had to go. There is no choice but to move forward.
For the sake of Scarlet who shielded her with its own body, she must obtain an extremely strong spirit— an overwhelming power that will not lose to anyone.
...It could not be reconciled. In front of that terrifying Demon Spirit, she couldn't do anything.
Moreover, because of her own arrogance and stupidity, she had lost Scarlet, her most important partner that had accompanied her since childhood.
Further, had Kamito not come to her rescue, she would surely have been killed.
"...Why did I think of that guy's face again!?"
Claire shook her head, trying to get rid of Kamito's image in her mind.
"—I do not need that guy. I survived on my own in the past and even now."
Yes, she would not stop here. Claire Rouge must face the battle alone.
—I want more power, a strong power that will not lose to anyone.
A strong power so I will never lose anything again. A strong power to take back what I have lost.
For example— like the power of that girl that I admired on first sight three years ago.
The overwhelming power of the Strongest Blade Dancer, Ren Ashbell.
"—You desire power so much?"
Hearing the sudden voice, Claire quickly turned around.
There stood a beautiful girl.
It was a girl in a dark dress with lustrous black hair.
Her refined face exhibited a subtle grace, and a beauty that somehow looked like a dissociation with normal humans.
She had pitch black pupils, as if one will be sucked in with one look.
Claire instantly discarded her alertness, charmed by the beauty of the girl.
"Thank you. Because of you, Kamito has awoken."
"Who are you? What are you talking about?"
"However, this is not enough, his true self is much more than that."
The girl giggled, and slowly approached Claire.
Claire did not move. No, she couldn't move.
"If you seek more strength, please accept this."
The girl gracefully stretched out a slender hand.
Above her palm, a mass of ominous fog-like black object floated.
"This is a spirit!?"
"Yes, it can help you draw out your real strength."
"My real strength..."
Claire absentmindedly murmured.
Had it been the usual Claire, surely she would not hesitate to brush that hand away.
The contract spirits were to be gained by one's own hand. They are not something received from others.
However, the flame in Claire's heart was gradually diminishing.
So weak that it would likely extinguish at any time.
Therefore— Claire took that hand. She accepted the spirit presented by that girl.
The black mist gradually seeped into her hand and disappeared.
Sharp pain instantly shot up from the left hand, an ominous black spirit seal was engraved on it.
"The frenzied spirit «Gespenst»— Do you like it?"
The girl in black smiled.
Like a cruel little girl.
Like an innocent demon.
 Translator's notes and References
- An extremely respectable way for calling an elder brother in Japanese.
- A casual and cute way of referring to an elder brother in Japanese.
- French for yes or other confirmatory word
- Sound of sitting down