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School Arc – Chapter 1

The waiting room for the imperial matches, which doubles as the welcome party for the new students, was brimming with excitement.

Particularly for the students aspiring to be knights, who were now rejoicing at the results of their matches.

Nonetheless, maybe the reason the tension in the air feels somewhat weak was because, at the end of the day, it was for the sake of a school function. Or, since the champion and the runner-up champion was almost decided, it could be that taking it easy was the manifestation of the sentiment.

「Wolf. Shade.」

Calling out to the two who were in an area far back, my fiance was the first to look over his shoulder.

「Lycoris」

Those purple eyes smiled gently.

Having remarkably matured in these last few years, not only had Wolf’s body structure become taller, he became tougher as a whole, even when compared to the the muscular students gathered in this place, his difference from the rest was striking.

Since I had to look up at him when talking even though I was fairly tall for a girl, I understood the value of the time we’d first met, when I could look down just a little at him.

Though he had quite well-organized features, ever since growing up, people often talked about a sharp, discerning image when talking about him. Since Wolf’s almond pupils had an impressively vivid color, with his hair and even his clothes centered around black, I believe, owing to that, a misunderstanding of some sort occurred. Because matters where he omitted his facial expressions when appearing in public and the like were many, his handsome face ended up giving a sagacious impression to others.

「Elder sister. Even at a place like this, are you planning to give your encouragement by slapping this cute little brother of yours on the butt?」

Pleasantly and light-heartedly smiling while saying uncute things, this little brother through mysterious circumstances, nowadays really resembled Father in my opinion. Rather than saying it was his features, it was more of his behavior that resembled him. Well, even though it wasn’t his real father, since they had a blood relation, it wasn’t really that strange though.

Nevertheless, speaking about this smiling face. This was the sort of expression which, when I squint slightly at it, could probably pass exactly for my father’s.(Father was a bit baby-faced)

Though the hair color that settled in could no longer be branded as gold as compared to when he was a child, part of his quirky hair, when exposed to light, still sparkled and glimmered. Coupled with the whiteness of his skin as the center of a glamorous impression and his deep reddish-brown eyes being of a prominent dark color, he was hugely popular with charming young ladies who had commented, 「I end up wanting to take a look」, or「it’s mysteriously dreamy, for some reason」.

Although when standing next to Wolf, he had a sense of slenderness, Shade also winded up having a solidly-built, manly physique. That is to say, he wasn’t cute.

「Since I probably can’t watch the outcome of the game, I thought to give my support right now」

Because my seat was in a conspicuous location, I’d probably be exposed anyway, so I came here to tell them in advance.

「Did something happen?」

Since Wolf immediately let out a concerned voice, I shook my head in denial.

「I just wanted to check something for a bit. I’m already used to seeing Wolf’s and Shade’s bouts, so in that time, I’ll finish the errand」

「Despite trying to raise the men’s morale for their battle, your words seem to douse cold water. Elder sister」

「”Because of that, since I was caught off guard, I couldn’t participate in the finals at all”, if you used such an excuse, you’ll be laughed at, you know. Shade」

Having fiercely and deliberately scowled at him, Shade faked an exaggerated expression of fright.

「I’m sorry, Wolf. In the box seat, I really wanted to watch you beat Shade in the overall championship, but...」

“You all treat me harshly”, though Shade wedged in that remark, it was ignored.

It’s not like a section of the female graduates threw a fit at the end because they didn’t want to part with Shade at the previous year-end; the riots which lasted until just before the start of the school term didn’t necessarily mean they were angry about it. Yeah, not at all.

「I’m okay with it. But, are you sure there aren’t any problems?」

「Yeah. I’ll go see how the underclassmen are doing, that’s all」

「But, your face... isn’t it a bit pale?」

「...yeah. As expected, I grew tired of sitting at that seat. It’s way too close to the direction of the royals, you know. Since the leaders of the school were with them, they weren’t concerned with doing things such as starting a conversation with me, but somehow, I ended up strangely tensed」

When I conveyed the excuse I had prepared without hesitation, Wolf, at last, nodded his head consenting.

「They’re really not horrible people」

「But, that’s how you think because you’ve been going in and out of the royal palace since you were a child... ah geez, there’s not really much time left, I’ll be going then」

「Alright. Give me a shout if something happens」

With our exchange, Shade started poking fun.

「Ah- ah- you know, this is what I mean. I think Sir Knight’s side of being a worrywart has long since become abnormal, don’t you agree? In the midst of the matches that have the tight security of the attending royals, are you actually saying that something could happen?」

As Shade picked a quarrel, Wolf gave a wry smile. Shade sometimes intentionally calls Wolf a 『knight』to make fun of him.

「Well then, my dark Lord Knight. Make sure to smite my evil little brother down, okay? And Shade, just be careful so that you don’t have any injuries. If even a cut grazed your face, the other person will be resented by your devotees, you know」

I deliberately cracked a joke, then left the room.

Like that, the battle commenced. The battle card of the last friendly match, was quite reasonably decided to be the favorite to win, Wolf, vs the rival candidate, Shade. (1)

In that circumstance, I quietly stood up from my seat.

...although I said “quietly”, en route, 「where will you be heading?」and「just a bit more, and the most important match will begin」were dropped while I profusely troubled everyone about.

「It’s a shame, but because I was asked for help by the teacher, I have to leave my seat for a bit. If it’s alright with you, please tell me how the match goes afterwards」, having informed them with a face showing admirable disposition, the ladies gave a look of great sympathy and with the caring words of「I understand 」 and「thanks for your hard work」, they sent me off.

The ladies, which were my peers and juniors, were fundamentally raised to be quite mild-mannered. Distrusting a person’s words was something they didn’t do... Their future is a little worrying. Though it would be good if they could be blessed with an honest spouse.

During the time I was moving, I winded up attracting a bit of attention, however, once Wolf and Shade came into sight, the spectators’ gazes narrowed to one point in the stadium.

Moving while avoiding the public eyes, I came closer to the freshmen’s seats.

The whistling sound announcing the start of the match, echoed high in the blue sky.

And then, almost at the same time, Shade fired magic as a distraction. This very aspect of materializing flower petals was a playfulness so like Shade. Unfazed, Wolf subsequently showed how to magnificently cancel Shade’s attack.

Although the match started with them messing around a little, the offense and defense after that were almost like scattering fireworks.

As Wolf ventured forward, he moved at lightning speed. Shade leapt backwards in order to evade. Wolf did not run after him. In the next moment, Shade broke into his opponent’s side and came advancing. Once again, Wolf elegantly warded him off, gaining distance.

Whereas Shade dished out countless troublesome attacks, Wolf moved at critical moments. If it dragged on, Wolf would likely be declared the winner in the match’s development, but if one lost his focus even for a moment, either one could lose all the same.

Sometimes, there was a visiting silence while the pair glared at each other – a moment of equilibrium.

The audience watched with bated breaths.

Among them, was a young lady with hair of gold.

She watched the battle with her vivid emerald green eyes sparkling.

Flushing with excitement, her cheeks were rose-colored. Her small lips pink.

Although she wore a comparatively modest dress with a white and sky-blue theme, there was no way to conceal her loveliness.

This was no doubt, the game’s opening. It was a spectacle taken from that

scene.

(1) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_(sports)

TL notes:

Brought to you by the generous Hime Takamura, who was kind enough to share the wonderful pictures for volume 2. I must say, because of her generosity, this chapter got uploaded earlier. I’m totally hyped up from the spoilers I saw...

Of course, special thanks to midoriha who is always there to help proofread everything. Unfortunately, my JP editor is caught up in RL issues, so this chapter will have to make do unedited until she comes back. I got Este to help me edit some of the chapters I have right now, so thanks for him!

I’ll try to upload more chapters this month as I promised. But not too fast... else I won’t have any spare chapters to pass as buffers when I’m burnt out... OTL

Fighting~!!!

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