Campione! / Campione! Vol 9 Chapter 2


Chapter 2 – Devil King and School Festival
Part 1
The great god-slaying Devil King.
In addition to that identity, Kusanagi Godou was also a high school
student.
Thus it was only natural he would be participating in the school festival
held at Jounan Academy where he studied.
Godou’s class had decided to put up posters in the classroom about the
local history of Bunkyo ward — a rather easy and uninteresting activity.
Hence, Godou was originally supposed to be relatively free after
completing his assigned duties at the festival.
However, he never expected to be roped into helping friends out with their
“shop” project.
The day before, he spent the first day of the festival helping the shop at the
kitchen and procuring supplies. He was also supposed to be helping out on
the second day which was also the last.
However, the planners of the project, Nanami, Sorimachi and Takagi
(unofficially known as the Three Idiots) suddenly changed their minds in
regard to Godou who was helping out despite having no original
involvement with the “shop.”
“Take the day off… That’s what they said to me, but what was that about?”
On the first day of the festival, Godou was on the road home from school.
Making his way through the streets at night, Godou was deep in thought.
It would be a shame to waste a rare opportunity of leisure.
“In that case, why not spend tomorrow experiencing the school festival
together with me, Godou-san?”
Mariya Yuri extended an invitation as she walked beside him on his left.
A soothing smile appeared on her beautiful gentle face.
The way she carried herself was the embodiment of the perfect Yamato
Nadeshiko; with long lustrous hair tinted a shade of brown, her striking
beauty contrasted strongly against her conservative and prudent
personality.
“My duties at the tea ceremony club will be finished in the morning… In that
case, it will be fine. Hikari will be coming in the afternoon as well. It will be
more lively than going around alone — ”
The young high class lady lowered her gaze slightly after mentioning her
little sister’s name.
“1-1 feel that it would be most delightful if Godou-san could accompany
us…”
Yuri added shyly. Her appearance and manner of speaking were most
adorable.
The sheltered young lady who was not only prim and proper, but also
solemn and serious, noble, and sometimes angry.
Godou found her frequent bouts of shyness extremely adorable.
“I see. Well then, let’s go together tomorrow.”
Thus he went with the flow and accepted immediately.
Somehow, Godou felt a kind of guilty feeling that “it is embarrassing to be
together with girls.”
“In that case, Kusanagi Godou, will you allow my accompaniment as well?”
“Of course, I can’t leave Liliana all alone.”
Godou also readily accepted the request of the girl on his right.
Liliana Kranjcar. A fairy-like beauty of Eastern European descent. The one
who called herself his knight and grand chamberlain.
…Completely unaware he had just set himself up for the situation
commonly known as “a lady on each arm,” Godou continued on his way.
Thus began the second day of the school festival.
Meeting before his house at 10am sharp, Godou and Liliana set off for
school together.
Recently, Godou found himself frequently spending time with her. The two
of them would meet at his door without agreeing beforehand. It always felt
like things happened naturally as a result of mutual desire.
Furthermore, the two of them had recently gained a kind of silent
understanding requiring no words to communicate.
“In spite of everything, Japanese schools also have this kind of planned
activity.”
Liliana murmured to herself as she passed through the new school
entrance.
This was a handcrafted entrance created specifically for the school festival.
“Schools in Italy would hold celebrations during Natale^ and Easter, but
never on this kind of scale. Though this kind of large scale activity takes a
lot of time and effort to organize, I think the enjoyment of everyone is well
worth it.”
Liliana smiled. For someone who always insisted on being a “knight,” this
was a rare and gentle smile.
“Could it be that Liliana enjoys these kinds of activities very much?”
“Yes. I love decorating the home to make it all pretty for family parties and
doing lots and lots of cooking. This festival is like expanding that kind of
gathering to include all the students, right? I want to take part next year
too.”
The silver-haired knight spoke with a slight expression of delight.
It was unlike the occasional frantic expression she bore when faced with
unexpected failure that broke her out of her usual solemn and imposing
demeanor. Currently, Liliana’s innocent expression made her no different
from an ordinary sixteen-year-old.
“That’s right. It should be very fun, isn’t this great?”
Nodding, Godou recalled the other knight.
“A school festival… A festa^ which student volunteers organize for
themselves, ah… Basically just having fun, that’s the main idea, right? It
doesn’t feel classy enough to welcome a guest of honor such as Erica
Blandelli.”
That was what the red knight said a few days ago before she flew over to
Italy to handle some matters.
Smiling wryly, Godou tried to explain.
“I can’t say your description is entirely wrong. However, it’s a rare occasion
in a Japanese school so I think you should at least show up. It should be
okay for you to postpone going back a little, right?”
Well, a relative in Italy fell acutely ill… That was her fabricated excuse for
returning home.
Was there a serious situation over there? Godou refrained from prying.
“You do have a point. Even if I have to suffer through a meaningless
engagement, or tolerate an uninteresting salon in a residence of
Philistines, as long as my adorable Godou is there, I feel like I can still
make memories to savor after the fact.”
Erica smiled as she pressed her bosom against him.
Displaying her glamor through unintentional acts like this must be one of
her true qualities.
“However, I’m afraid I’ll have to pass, because there is a meeting I wish to
finish as soon as possible. If I don’t go to Italy now, I don’t know when will
be the next time my wish could be fulfilled… So Godou, please endure the
void of my absence that no other girl can fill.”
“…That was what Erica had said.”
“It cannot be helped. To Erica and me, that matter is an issue of life and
death.”
Godou entered the rowdy and bustling school festival together with Liliana
as he recalled the red knight’s parting scene.
“So Liliana knows something about why she has to return over there?”
“Ah well, the fact is… Erica will explain in full detail once she returns
successfully. Please forgive me for now is not the right time to let you
know.”
Something like that could happen. Godou’s eyes widened in surprise.
Though Erica and Liliana were rivals, their fates were frequently bound
together as one in various ways.
Godou decided not to pursue the matter any further, turning his gaze
towards the interior of the school.
The path from the entrance to the school building was transformed by the
festival from its usual appearance. Snack stalls were tightly lined against
the two sides of the road.
Beverage stalls sold chilled drinks. Food vendors sold takoyaki^,
okonomiyaki^, roasted squid, crepes, fried noodles, baby Castella
cakes^, and various kinds of snacks. Furthermore, there were other stalls
offering fortune telling, portrait sketching, photography, karaoke, flea
markets etc.
People were really putting forth great effort.
Perhaps because Jounan Academy also included a university section, the
high school’s festival was influenced to some extent.
Walking further for ten minutes or so, weaving through a corner of the
woods, they reached the destination.
The building known as the Japanese block.
“Last time we came here, Seishuuin Ena was also present. Will this
occasion be the same?”
“Who knows? I tried calling her before the festival but couldn’t reach her.
Maybe she used up her batteries like always or went into the deep
mountains with no reception again…”
Godou answered as he recalled the Hime-Miko of the Sword.
Despite being a high school student, she was a mysterious unpredictable
traveler.
She could suddenly appear in unexpected places, but fail to show up when
wanted.
The two conversed as they walked into the traditional Japanese room that
was the size of twenty tatami mats.
This was the location for the “tea party” held by the tea ceremony club.
Godou and Liliana entered after paying the entrance fee.
The room was furnished with a stove for boiling water and a few tea mats.
The members of the tea ceremony club were serving customers with tea
and snacks.
“Welcome to the two of you.”
Yuri came over before Godou and Liliana who had sat down on the mats.
“My shift will be over soon, so please wait a while.”
“Ah, understood… By the way, Mariya Yuri, so this is the attire of the tea
ceremony club?”
The silver-haired knight spoke as if greatly impressed.
The members of the all-girls tea ceremony club were busy stirring and
preparing powdered tea. This was a common club activity.
They were wearing kimonos rather than school uniforms as they sat on the
mats.
“Yes, as a member of the tea ceremony club, I can only speak to you
dressed like this.”
Yuri replied slightly shyly.
She was wearing a beautiful kimono in the color of cherry blossoms.
Frankly speaking, the other members of the club seemed to be
unaccustomed to their attire and were quite stiff in their tea-pouring
motions.
On the other hand, Yuri stood out with her natural movements and refined
manners.
“I see, so it’s like that… I was thinking why it was so strange.”
Godou surveyed the place as the truth dawned upon him.
Offering only powdered tea and snacks, this place normally would not be
popular with boys.
Nevertheless, one third of the current customers were young men. There
were male students from Jounan Academy, male students wearing
uniforms from other schools, and even older regular customers.
Naturally, their target could only be the girls dressed in kimonos.
It was an unpleasant thought…
Godou unwittingly reached this conclusion as he savored the taste of the
powdered tea Yuri brewed for him.
Within the tea ceremony club, Yuri was also rather striking in appearance.
All else aside, she epitomized the term “beautiful young lady.” It was
apparent from a single glance that her graceful sitting form was in a
separate class apart from all the other girls.
Kusanagi Godou was currently being served by such a girl, and had even
brought along a silver-haired Caucasian girl.
“Is this the state otherwise known as overabundant self consciousness?”
“What’s wrong, Godou-san? Does the tea not suit your tastes?”
“I, on the other hand, find the taste to be most exquisite… Or perhaps you
are worrying over something?”
“Ah no, nothing much, don’t be too concerned.”
Though he forced a smile before the two observant girls, Godou shook his
head.
Godou found his mind wandering into strange thoughts as a result of being
accompanied by overly attractive girls. One should handle things with
greater composure…
However, this thought was completely overturned within the span of a
mere hour.
Part 2
“It truly was a wrong decision.”
Godou grumbled with heartfelt emotion.
“What should we do now? How could this draw so much attention, I really
don’t get it… It’s so vexing…”
Yuri, who was dressed in a kimono, carried a conflicted expression.
“We three should find a place to figure out why others are so interested in
us. But even then, discussing furtively in secret is not an option, we might
as well act with resolution.”
Liliana stated with an awe-inspiring tone.
— Just before the lunch break, they had met up with Yuri at the end of her
shift at the tea ceremony club. Yuri had appeared before Godou and
Liliana in the same kimono she had been wearing at the tea party earlier.
“To create publicity for the tea ceremony club… The other members
decided together that I should go outside like this…”
Yuri bowed her head shyly as she explained.
Since the school festival was in full swing, it was not particularly strange for
people to be wearing exotic outfits. Nevertheless, Yuri in her cherry
blossom-colored kimono was far too striking in appearance. Having Liliana
by her side further exacerbated the situation.
Passersby were subconsciously or even overtly staring at them as they
passed. Perhaps purely in terms of publicity, it was not a failure.
The trio went to watch drama and band performances, konto skits^,
friendship matches held in the sports grounds by the athletic clubs. Within
the school building, there were also exhibitions, shops and other
performances, etc. Though there were still quite a few attractions they
wanted to visit, it was already time for lunch so they decided to stop for a
meal first.
And so, the trio went over to the food stalls.
Godou: “(noticing Yuri’s gaze of curiosity) Mariya you’re actually interested
in okonomiyaki? How unexpected.”
Yuri: “Ah yes. Actually I have never eaten it before…”
Godou: “You can make it at home, right? I think for Mariya, it should be
really easy for you.”
Yuri: “(steady smile) “My mother made it before in her own home, and
knows the method. As for eating this kind of food sold in festivals, I have
yet to — ”
Godou: “Never!?”
Yuri: “You are correct. When we were young, our parents never bought
food at those kind of places because they were concerned with hygiene.
So all this time until now…”
Liliana: “(looking like a know-it-all) It is true that one cannot expect too
much in terms of hygiene. On the other hand, because it is this kind of
place, that is why you can get a delicious taste that cannot be found
elsewhere. If you do not give it a try, you will be missing out on one of life’s
pleasures.”
Godou: “That’s true. I often eat this during festivals like temple fairs.”
Liliana: “Back in Italy I would frequent sandwich and crepe stalls. Eating on
the roadside is nice sometimes.”
Yuri: “Is that really true!? (frantic expression) T-Then in that case, now that
there is this rare opportunity, I shall, umm — ”
Godou: “(staring at the school festival program schedule) In the schoolyard
there’s Sanfu-sensei offering his hometown’s Hiroshimayaki^, and
Ganba-sensei from Osaka with his takoyaki stall, wanna try them out?”
Yuri: “Yes, great!”
Yuri: “(violently knocked off balance by a passerby in the
schoolyard). . .kyaah!?”
Godou: “(catches Yuri in his arms) Are you okay, Mariya?”
Yuri: “(smiling in Godou’s embrace) Y-Yes, thank you very much.”
Godou: “(gazing at Yuri’s smiling face) Oh that’s good.”
Liliana: “(began counting as the two of them remained tightly held together.
10 seconds, 20 seconds passed. Then she coughed deliberately) …You
two, do you not feel that your faces are a little too close? Kusanagi Godou,
even though I know that you have an unusually deep relationship with
Mariya Yuri, in such a situation could you not handle things in a simpler
manner — ”
Godou: “(frantically separates from Yuri) — !”
Yuri: “(gazes wistfully at Godou) ”
Godou: “W-What nonsense are you saying, I only caught her because I
happened to be next to her, it’s not like that.”
Liliana: “Is that so…? My apologies. Regardless of your intentions, it is
clear that your natural instinct is to eliminate distances between you and
other females…”
Godou: “As if that kind of instinct actually exists! By the way, if it was
Liliana instead, I would have done the same.”
Liliana: “Eh?!”
Godou: “It’s obvious. If I saw a friend in danger, I will surely offer help
straight away.”
Liliana: “(putting up a stiff front but appearing to be very happy) ”
Godou: “Well anyway, actually it’s Liliana who always protects me instead.”
Liliana: “T-That’s right. Hypothetically, if such an emergency occurs, I do
not mind being saved by you.”
Liliana: “(having bought Hiroshimayaki) With such large portions, let the
three of us share it together. Come try this, Mariya Yuri.”
Yuri: “Thanks, (looking at the massive Hiroshimayaki) You are right, I
would not be able to finish this alone.”
Godou: “Certainly, this is a portion size more fitting for a male.”
(The trio began to use their chopsticks to eat sliced pieces of the
Hiroshimayaki.)
Godou: “(accidentally dropped his chopsticks on the ground) Ah, damn it.
I’ll need a new pair.”
Liliana: “No need for that. Just share mine.”
Godou: “Uhh, sure — (realizing this is an indirect kiss) W-Wait, that’s not
very appropriate.”
Liliana: “D-Do not be concerned. Just like your relationship with Mariya
Yuri can be described as unusually deep, the same can be said for our
relationship as well…”
Godou: “*^tf9!?”
Yuri: “E-Excuse me! If that is the case, then you can share my chopsticks
too!”
Godou: “*^cr9 ox n!?”
(All of a sudden, the trio was caught in a three-way dispute.)
Godou: “Fine, in that case, I will humbly accept your wishes with thanks…
(ended up alternating between using Liliana and Yuri’s chopsticks to eat
the Hiroshimayaki)”
Liliana: “Exchanging chopsticks repeatedly is a bit troublesome, l-lf you do
not mind then I shall feed you personally, (using chopsticks to bring
Hiroshimayaki to Godou’s mouth) T-This might be better.”
Yuri: “N-Now that you brought it up, that is right… (with shy awkwardness)
Uh, umm, if Godou-san wishes, I can also do the same… P-Please open
up and enjoy.”
Godou: “I’m not a child in kindergarten! I can eat by myself!”
Suddenly, they noticed that a crowd had gathered around, staring at them.
Due to it being the school festival, not only were there students from the
school but also those from other schools as well as all kinds of residents
from the neighborhood — male and female, old and young. This was the
nature of the crowd gathered here for a spectacle. They were watching
with shocked expressions that seemed to be saying “this is really novel”
and were whispering to one another and secretly laughing to themselves.
“Isn’t this getting a bit too crowded…?”
“I do not think that we were that loud, right…”
“Why are so many people gathered here to watch? We cannot be that
interesting to them, right?”
At some point in time, some of the surrounding people started tailing
Godou’s group and maintaining a certain distance.
The most obvious group was all male and composed of youthful
schoolboys. Bearing rude and hostile glares with impatient expressions…
These were all signs that betrayed the negative emotions swirling in each
one’s heart.
Godou pondered with uneasiness. How exactly was this commotion
caused? He’d better reflect well on it.
“For some reason we seem to be causing trouble for others. We should
pay more attention.”
“But Kusanagi Godou, even though I believe your behavior just now could
do with a little improvement, you have done nothing wrong. So what should
we do now?”
“Liliana-san, perhaps it is something we failed to be aware of? …Ah,
maybe eating like this on the roadside obstructs traffic, and causes trouble
for others?!”
“There are many others eating the same way like this. I really doubt that
possibility… Anyway, let’s be more mindful, and go to the cafeteria — ”
The three of them finished buying food and made their way towards a little
unoccupied space beside a corner of the stalls.
Godou nodded in agreement with Yuri’s suggestion and Liliana’s
observations. At that very moment…
“You people, what were you doing just now chattering away in some kind
of discussion? Are you trying to perform some kind of three-man comedic
routine?!”
Godou was shocked to hear this authoritative voice. He never expected
this girl to appear here.
Turning back to look, he found his childhood friend, Tokunaga Asuka,
standing before him with a furious expression.
“I wasn’t even paying particular attention, but you three have been
displaying public affection… I turn my gaze for a moment and there you go
starting to become even more intimate. Well, if it was just between an
ordinary couple, it’s not completely unforgivable. But what on earth is this?
A lady on each arm? Or simultaneous two-timing? What is going on in your
mind to flaunt this kind of ridiculous relationship out in public!?”
Asuka expressed her displeasure, firing accusations like rapid fire.
She possessed a prim and proper face as well as the twintails hairstyle she
maintained since long ago. Like the Kusanagi household, she was also a
resident of Nezu’s Area 3.
“Well, Godou, got any retorts to defend yourself? If you have any, be out
with them.”
“What retort… We weren’t doing anything intimate. It’s just normal contact
between friends, that’s all.”
“Yes… My humble apologies, I cannot understand what you are trying to
say.”
“It is true that there exists a strong bond between us that surpasses normal
‘friendship.’ However, you are mistaken if you believe it is of the sort of
indecent relations you were insinuating.”
Yuri was perplexed. Liliana spoke with agitation. Godou nodded in
complete agreement.
After all, Asuka had always been the type to get angry over reasons that
were far removed from the actual truth.
“Really! Embracing each other in public, having indirect kisses and then
being fed with ‘yes, ah~’ Well, since it’s Godou, it’s expected… Let me ask
then, what are these people like normally?”
Asuka turned to the people behind her.
Standing there were Yuri’s classmates, the girls Sawa-san and
Miyama-san.
“There had been some restraint before, but recently it’s always been like
this.”
“Yes yes. Previously, it’s even worse when Erica-san was around. In fact,
today’s situation can be described as rather subdued instead…?”
The lenses of glasses-wearing Sawa-san flashed as she spoke. With an
immature face and undeveloped body like an elementary school student,
Miyama-san responded with a question.
Yuri nodded to greet her classmates who had suddenly appeared.
But just as Godou was wondering why these two girls were together with
Asuka…
“Sawa-san and Miyama-san both work together with me at the same shop.
Yeah, the family restaurant on the side of the main street. You should
know it, right? Anyway, they invited me to the school festival today.”
Extremely observant, Asuka immediately explained for Godou. She was a
girl with a strong intuition and quick wits.
“Right, though Liliana-san had already been introduced to me at Godou’s
house, who is the beautiful lady here? She looks very graceful and
lady-like.”
“Ah, now that I think about it, you two have never met.”
Seeing Asuka’s slightly concerned gaze towards Yuri, Godou replied.
“Mariya, this fellow here is my long time friend Tokunaga Asuka. We live
on the same commercial street. She goes to school at Tokyo Metropolitan
High which is closer to home. Also, this — ”
“My name is Mariya Yuri. It is my pleasure to be acquainted with
Godou-san’s close friends.”
Yuri, who was dressed in a kimono, calmly bowed her head.
Though she was not particularly talkative, her greeting clearly displayed
her excellent upbringing.
“H-Hello, nice to meet you. The silver-haired foreigner, the super perfect
high class lady, as well as the rumored blonde girlfriend, things are really
developing towards complete despair for me… Truly an extraordinary
fellow. As expected, I can’t let you out of my sight — hmm, I cannot allow
myself to become one of those old ladies crying tears of sorrow over
grandpa Ichirou…”
Backing down uncharacteristically, her mumbling speech after “nice to
meet you” was difficult to make out.
Being eloquent in virtually all situations was one of Asuka’s qualities.
“I think we should leave first. Being the center of attention is disruptive to
the surrounding people, so let’s go somewhere else.”
Wary of people’s gazes, Godou made a suggestion.
The interference of Asuka had only served to further garner the attention of
bystanders.
Yuri and Liliana immediately nodded in agreement. Sawa-san and
Miyama-san were also planning to leave, having made their greeting.
— But then someone stopped them. Of course, the one calling out was
Asuka.
“W-Wait a minute. Are the three of you planning to continue your flirting
elsewhere!?”
“Like I said already, what flirting! You’re always trying to find strange bones
to pick.”
“Still completely oblivious… You really are a great big idiot who makes me
want to despair!!”
Still as sharp-tongued as ever. And scolding all the time.
However, witnessing the familiar antics of the childhood friend gave an
oddly reassuring feeling.
Godou wryly went “So, see you later” and continued walking ahead.
“No other way, with agonizing contemplation I have made my decision!”
Thus, Asuka declared out of the blue.
“It looks like I can’t limit supervision to just the school festival. Sawa-san,
Miyama-san. I am very sorry but there are things I must do. Please allow
me to remain behind and act independently — I have the duty to keep this
idiotic man under surveillance!”
Part 3
Thus, Tokunaga Asuka added herself to Godou’s entourage and they
entered the school building together.
In contrast to Asuka’s complete hostility towards Godou, Liliana and Yuri
were acting in a subdued manner.
“Listen to me, Mariya-san and Liliana-san.”
Asuka chatted eloquently as they walked.
“Even if this guy frequently speaks of ‘common sense,’ don’t be taken in by
those lies. He is completely untrustworthy. I will help and support you girls
if you tell me you were victims of his deception. If you run into any kind of
trouble, feel free to discuss with me no matter what.”
She showed concern for them with great gentleness while disparaging
Godou at the same time.
“Is that so? Rather, I feel that Godou-san is a person who works hard at
acting sensibly.”
Yuri objected with a conservative description.
“If Mariya-san really believes that, then I have nothing further to say. Or
perhaps you might recall all sorts of little things? Once anyone gets into a
certain level of familiarity with him, I’m sure they will notice something is
amiss.”
“…Nothing like that. Right, Liliana-san?”
“…Ah. The nobility of Kusanagi Godou’s character and behavior is fit to be
a knight’s role model. I think you are slandering him most inappropriately,
Tokunaga Asuka.”
Repeatedly questioned, Yuri and Liliana seemed to be responding
hesitantly for some reason. Not only did the two of them avoid making eye
contact with Asuka, the one posing the questions, but also with Godou as
well.
The atmosphere turned awkward and unpleasant all of a sudden.
“Ah, isn’t this Uncle? Good morning to you.”
A passing “maid” greeted him.
In actual fact, she was dressed in a sleeveless mandarin gown with a frilled
apron, a costume differing greatly from a traditional maid outfit.
Furthermore, she was wearing cat-eared decorations on her head.
“G-Good morning to you too.”
It was clearly noon already. However, there existed many service
industries that used “Good morning” as a greeting regardless of the time of
day.
The China-themed cat-eared maid was running around dressed like that,
carrying a stack of flyers, most likely trying to promote publicity.
“…Wait a minute, Godou, what was that about?”
Asuka immediately questioned him.
“That kind of cosplay girl not only knows you, but even calls you ‘Uncle’!?”
“Hmm. It’s a long story. There’s a shop in the festival opened by some
acquaintances. I helped out for a bit, so that’s why they call me that.”
“What kind of suspicious shop is that!? I must check it out.”
“Eh? Now?”
Asuka’s threats seemed to be giving Godou pause.
It’s not a particularly strange shop anyway, so I might as well take her
there. But that also meant taking everyone else along.
“It is the shop opened with Lu Yinghua’s support, right? I have no
objections.”
“Ah, the one from Hong Kong… Right, I too, feel a little curious.”
Since Liliana and Yuri supported the motion, Godou yielded and nodded in
agreement.
They arrived at a certain classroom on the third floor of the school building.
Nanami, Sorimachi and Takagi, backed by Hong Kong’s Lu family, had
opened the “China Cat-Eared Maid Cafe and Tea House” with business in
full swing.
“Business today is lively as ever.”
Upon witnessing the prosperity of the shop, Godou commented casually.
A continuous stream of customers had formed a long line at the entrance.
The place offered brewed Chinese tea as well as Chinese dimsum
delivered directly from the “main store” at Akihabara. The cosplay team of
China cat-eared maids was standing on duty to serve customers. The
mandarin gowns emphasized the curves on their body, and the high-slit
dresses were quite daring and sexy.
Authentic Chinese style. The reason for the long wait in line was obvious.
The team of China cat-eared maids was composed of employees sent
from the Lu family’s maid theme park in Hong Kong (to customers they
appeared to be girls studying at the school).
The Three Idiots’ original proposal of “Cat-Eared School Swimsuit Maid
Cafe” was vehemently opposed by the girls, and was thus altered to the
current form.
“I knew it, wearing swimsuits when there’s no pool would have been quite
strange…”
Godou concluded as he surveyed the surroundings.
However, the girls eventually relented on the cat-ear issue as a result of
the Three Idiots begging on their knees.
“Not some kind of suspicious shop, right?”
“It’s really borderline… However, why are you the ‘Uncle’?”
Asuka glared at Godou as they waited in line.
In truth, it was the maid team’s boss, Lu Yinghua, who addressed Godou
as “Honored Uncle”… However, let’s keep quiet about that. Trying to
explain the whole story would take forever.
“Ohoh, it’s my dear friend!”
The one calling out was Nanami.
He had just stepped out of the neighboring classroom they had borrowed
to use as the kitchen and backstage.
“Thanks to you, the shop’s business is booming on its second day…
Though losing the “Cat-Eared School Swimsuit Maid” concept is painful,
we obtained the current overwhelming success instead. This is all thanks
to your introductions — don’t be modest, Kusanagi.”
“Hmm, well, it’s good to be of help. But ‘dear friend’ is too much.”
“Kukuku… What a modest fellow you are. However, thanks to this I finally
understand something. Kusanagi, your satisfaction as a riajuu^ only runs
skin deep — you are actually tired of plain and ordinary life, for you are a
man who yearns for excitement and the extraordinary!”
Godou was shocked to hear his secret exposed.
The deadly battles of the Devil King Campione were obviously unknown to
Nanami.
“I… As a fellow comrade, I understand. Kusanagi, your eyes swirl with dark
burning flames only possessed by men who pursue the way of the maid
enthusiast.”
“Ah, this? No, I don’t have that kind of interest, you must be mistaken.”
“Hohoho, you have yet to realize it, that’s all. I feel it is necessary to guide
you along that path with something I have specially prepared. Here, borrow
this for now.”
Nanami went back into the classroom and took out a paper bag.
He shoved the object over. Contained in the bag was a handheld gaming
device and a software package.
“But I don’t usually play games.”
Godou looked at the software. Its title was “English Proper Maid Story —
Maid Amy.”
On the packaging was an illustration of a girl. Without particularly
ostentatious colors, the modest yet subtle design somehow felt rather
attractive.
“Try playing it when you have the time. You should be able to experience
the shocking revelation of a lifetime… Oh no, I was in the middle of going
out to buy something. Sorry I have to go. See you later!”
“You sure make strange friends everywhere…”
Seeing Nanami leave noisily, Asuka was just about to have another
outburst.
” — Ah, Hikari. Yes, so you have already arrived at the school?”
Yuri had taken out her cellphone to answer.
She was giving directions to the China Cat-eared Maid Cafe.
“Will little Hikari get lost? Let me go pick her up.”
“I believe she is very competent. Do not worry, we will wait for her here
while we line up for the shop.”
Yuri offered her opinion with a gentle smile.
It was true. Godou recalled Hikari’s personality and nodded in agreement.
After ten minutes, the Mariya family’s second daughter arrived.
“It’s been a while, Onii-sama. Same for Liliana-neesama… Ah, I’ve never
seen you before. Hello, nice to meet you. I am Mariya Yuri’s sister, Mariya
Hikari.”
Hikari not only greeted the people she knew but also bowed her head
towards Asuka. Her attention to detail was well beyond a typical sixth
grader’s. However, her next words belonged to no ordinary elementary
school student.
Witnessing Asuka’s familiarity with Godou, Hikari suddenly commented.
“I can see that you are quite familiar with Onii-sama. In fact, once I’m a
little older, I also want to stay by Onii-sama’s side to receive his love.
When the time comes, I will be in your care? …Ah, but who knows, I might
have more seniority by then!”
She was displaying an innocent yet “womanly” smile.
Hearing Hikari’s statement, Asuka’ face began to convulse.
” l-ls that so? Just to make sure, in what year is Mariya-san’s little sister
currently studying?”
“Sixth grade. I will be entering middle school next year.”
“Oh, I see… Wait a minute, Godou! Are you going to let this complete mess
develop further? You have truly overturned all of my expectations!”
Godou answered Asuka’s furious snarls with irritation.
“Don’t go accepting strange ideas so easily. Do I really have to take an
elementary school student’s words seriously? Use your brain a little. Hikari
only says that because she looks up to me, that’s all.”
“Yes. To me, Onii-sama is even more important than a real elder brother.”
Giggling cleverly, Hikari responded.
Even though she sounded like she was hiding some sort of subtle hint,
Godou was not concerned. She was just an elementary school child. It
would be ridiculous to take her words seriously.
Now that he thought about it, the other girls had also been more or less
alarmed by Hikari previously.
“Liliana also makes strange statements all the time. If you insist on
interpreting things that way, Asuka, you’re going to make Hikari and her
sister Mariya feel uncomfortable.”
“Yes… Kusanagi Godou is correct.”
“Right. After all, Hikari is still a child, yes…”
Liliana spoke knowingly as Yuri nodded in agreement with a conflicted
expression.
As the subject of discussion, Hikari smiled sweetly in response to the
comments of the older girls.
“Yes, I am still a child, so the future is far away. I look forward to receiving
everyone’s care in the future.”
Then Hikari leaned tightly against Godou. This was a rare display of open
affection that felt a little different from a younger sister’s.
Godou stroked her head a few times. Hikari smiled in return.
“…In three years, no, two years, that kind of future will be here.”
“…Actually, I would not be surprised if that stage arrives in two months.”
“…If the child has already decided herself then there is no helping it…”
Asuka, Liliana and Yuri murmured softly amongst themselves.
What do they mean? Godou was perplexed. Furthermore, for some reason
the situation felt like an alliance was being formed between the three girls
Not too long after that, the group was finally able to enter the shop.
“China Cat-eared Maid Cafe and Tea House.”
Despite the small budget, the interior of the classroom was well-decorated
in Chinese style.
Godou and his group were seated next to the window. They ordered
Pu-erh tea^ and several snacks according to their numbers.
“Well then, Uncle, your order will be here shortly.”
The China cat-eared maid spoke cheerfully and returned to the kitchen.
Of course, she was greeting Godou who had been helping out at the shop
yesterday.
“On further thought, this shop is really suspicious after all. The waitresses
don’t really seem like students and they look especially well-trained.
Furthermore, that maid’s Japanese is a little awkward, could she be
Chinese or Korean?”
Asuka calmly pointed out.
Since she had been working at a family restaurant, she was probably
familiar with the skills of the maid team.
“Godou sure knows some really weird people. What kind of connections
caused you to help out at this shop?”
“Well, all kinds. It’s purely by chance that I became friends with a certain
someone who is bad news.”
“Ah, Onii-sama also helps out at this shop? I didn’t know this shop
happens to have connections with Hong Kong’s Lu family.”
Hikari glanced repeatedly at the striking and elegant figures of the China
cat-eared maids with great wonderment.
“Could it be possible that Onii-sama has this kind of preference? Cosplay
or the like!?”
“No, not at all. I’ve never even paid attention to it.”
“Really? If you don’t mind being honest, I can do it too. I can wear those
outfits for Onii-sama to see!”
Hikari’s words nearly made Godou spit out his Pu-erh tea.
“1-1 really appreciate your offer, but it’s not going to happen.”
“What’s going to happen? Then it’s really true after all?”
Asuka interrupted with skepticism.
Treating me like some sort of eccentric again — Godou decided to just
ignore her.
“Hmm, Tokunaga Asuka, can you tell me the reason you think that?”
Suddenly, Liliana began to pursue the matter.
“It had already occurred to me before, that you seem very familiar with
Kusanagi Godou’s past. What is the basis for your judgment? For example,
did he ever display an obsession over any type of clothing or the like?”
“Certainly, I have also had my suspicions.”
Even Yuri was nodding in agreement.
“Like Liliana-san said, Tokunaga-san is someone who can offer special
insight into Godou-san’s personality. If you do not mind, pray enlighten
me.
Yuri and Liliana were consulting Asuka together!
Why? Godou was shocked. In this gathering here, why was there a certain
sense of consensus appearing in the eyes of the childhood friend, the
Hime-Miko and the knight — ?
“Eh, well it’s not really definite proof…”
Suddenly faced with these requests, Asuka seemed to be in doubt.
“But I get the sense that he keeps changing his mind rapidly for things he
claims to have no interest. Whenever he says ‘isn’t this fine?’ I keep
wondering if he actually thought before speaking?”
“…No, the ability to make bold decisions is one of Kusanagi Godou’s strong
points after all.”
“…I agree. Godou-san’s reaction speed towards changing circumstances is
exemplary.”
Asuka’s words seemed to have struck a deep chord with Liliana, and Yuri
murmured in agreement.
Could this encounter turn out to be highly unfavorable for me? Godou was
beginning to feel a vague sense of unease.
Part 4
The second day of the school festival had finally reached dusk.
Since dusk had arrived, it was time for the usual campfire and evening
festivities. The packed and eventful schedule included folk dancing and the
announcement of the Miss High School winner.
…As a side note, this year’s winner of the Miss High School title was Erica
Blandelli.
Hearing the announcement, Godou was completely bewildered.
Obviously, she was not going to appear here, having excluded herself from
participating in the school festival. Even when asked earlier, she had
replied:
“If you really miss my beauty then be my guest and use photos or
whatever… But I’m not going to do anything troublesome. I participated in a
similar event once in Italy and found it completely tiresome.”
That was how she had declined.
Along with the participants gathered on the stage, the screen was playing
a video of Erica that was clearly filmed in secret. (As another side note,
Erica had been recommended by an acquaintance to enter a regional
preliminary round of the Miss Italy competition. Though she qualified
straight away, she grew impatient and left halfway through the
proceedings.)
In spite of all that, she still won by a landslide.
On the other hand, this could also be attributed to her rivals Yuri and
□liana’s resolute refusal to participate. Still, it was rather telling that a
voyeuristic video was able to overwhelm all the other competition.
Godou marveled in amazement at Erica’s ridiculous exploits as he climbed
the stairs, finally reaching a door at the top.
“That guy must be up here, right?”
Beyond the door was the roof which had been shaded orange by the
setting sun.
A cursory glance found no one there. It was still early so the late night
festivities had yet to begin. Otherwise, the movement of lively fire light
would have been visible from participants surrounding the campfire below.
Godou had received a text message earlier that told him to wait on the
roof.
“My apologies for calling you here, Honored Uncle.”
The greeting arrived with the wind.
What an incredible voice. It almost sounded as if the autumn breeze was
whispering in his ear.
This was a technique of qigong masters. By infusing “qi” into their voice,
they could converse with cult members across vast distances.
Godou walked to the center of the roof and looked around… And finally
found him.
Standing in a corner was the young master of Hong Kong’s Lu family, Lu
Yinghua.
“Sorry to have you wait, Yinghua.”
“No, not at all. Compared to Honored Uncle giving up time that could be
spent with the various Nee-san, this is nothing.”
Lu Yinghua smiled with candor. Despite his handsome youthful
appearance, it was a rather acute smile.
Inserting biting commentary into a simple explanation. Pointlessly
provocative. Eccentric and hard to get along with.
However, from Godou’s point of view, he was the arrogant and reassuring
“nephew.”
It reminded Godou of the personality of the genius pitcher he had worked
with back in his baseball days.
“By the way, Honored Uncle, what do you have there?”
“Hmm? Ah, Nanami lent this to me just now… No, actually he just shoved it
over.”
Lu Yinghua had noticed Godou’s paper bag which contained the game
“English Proper Maid Story — Maid Amy.”
Opening the paper bag to have a look, the young martial arts master
stared with dumbfounded amazement.
“…I’ve actually heard quite a few rumors about this game.”
“Eh? Is it actually quite famous?”
“Yes. Ever since the computer version was first sold at a doujinshi fair
several years ago, its development has expanded over time to become a
commercial success known all over the world. It has also become a
consumer game. Last year it was even animated, with DVD and BD sales
reaching ten thousand.”
“…Looks like Yinghua is quite knowledgeable about it.”
“Well, it is related to our business after all. I only started researching it
recently.”
What would his master say if she knew her disciple had begun honing
expertise in this area?
Godou was reminded of his beautiful sworn elder sister.
“Anyway, I plan on checking out the game’s content to catch up with
Honored Uncle.”
“But I haven’t even decided when I’m going to play this. How about we
start it together?”
“Good idea. In that case, Amakasu-san appears to be an expert in this
area, should we call him as well? As for the location, let me make the
preparations…”
As the casual male talk(?) reached a conclusion, Lu Yinghua brought up
the next issue with unhurried words.
“Actually, the purpose of my visit is to inform Honored Uncle about the
Divine Ancestors.”
“…Ahah. The one called Asherah, right?”
The witch who was mind-controlling the young master of the Kuhoudzuka
family. Godou had completely forgotten about her.
“I remember it was Liliana who told me. A bunch of eternally young witches
who were transformed from goddesses of ancient times, and much
stronger than ordinary magi?”
“Yes, though they cannot compare to the various Campiones.”
Godou felt puzzled, was it because they were fallen goddesses?
However, how did it come about in the first place?
“Back then, I spent a fair amount of time with Asherah. She frequently
contacted someone and I managed to overhear the name. Another Divine
Ancestor called Guinevere. She is the mastermind who provoked the fight
between Master and the Great Sage Equaling Heaven.”
“So that was what happened!”
“It should be unlikely for this woman to embroil Honored Uncle in her
schemes immediately, but I just thought it’d be best to report to Honored
Uncle first.”
“Thanks. Sorry for troubling you with all sorts of things.”
“No, don’t mind it. When I get abused — no, scolded… Or rather, when
Master gives me special training, I hope I can depend on Honored Uncle a
bit. It’s good to know I have someone to rely on in case of emergencies. So
anyway, you are really welcome!”
Lu Yinghua spoke in a rare moment of passion.
This guy admires and worships me for very practical reasons. Godou
understood very well. It was only natural given the existence of a master
like that. Oh well, I’ll try to be as good an uncle as possible.
Just as the thought crossed Godou’s mind, Lu Yinghua suddenly perked
up his ears.
“Ah, I can hear Liliana-neesan and Yuri-neesan’s footsteps coming from
downstairs. Aren’t they looking for Honored Uncle?”
“That’s some superhuman hearing… Even though Seishuuin can do
something similar.”
“Compared to that Nee-san, my eyes and ears are still quite sharp.”
Hearing footsteps through thick layers of steel-reinforced concrete, and
even identifying their owner from the sound —
Lu Yinghua, the one who had showed off such ridiculous hearing, began to
laugh.
“By the way, I am stronger compared to Erica-neesan while my body is
lighter compared to Liliana-neesan’s. On the other hand, I cannot cast
spells, so that means we’re basically equals… Right.”
From the tone of Lu Yinghua’s voice, it was clear he did not actually
believe in his assessment of “equals.” Seeing those eyes of disdain made
Godou feel like objecting. What was this feeling that compelled him to
defend his female companions?
“But last time, didn’t you end with a draw against Liliana?”
“Under those conditions, it was impossible to tell who would be the victor
between Master and Honored Uncle. I couldn’t commit the folly of
unintentionally killing a Campione’s close associate and incurring a king’s
wrath… Well, I did show my true skills back then and didn’t make any
mistakes, but I refrained from using any truly underhanded tricks of
murder.”
Lu Yinghua had not reached Erica’s level of subconsciously expressed
arrogance. On the other hand, his personality did have calculating and
tolerant facets. Godou found him to be an interesting fellow.
“However, in order to face an unfair technique like Ena-neesan’s divine
possession, it’s necessary to completely master a life-risking trump card.
After all, Erica-neesan, she…”
“What about Erica?”
“That Nee-san is a true female fox and a real warrior. After all, she must
have grasped the subtle truth and is now training accordingly. She’s not a
swan that shows off its appearance while struggling with paddling feet
underwater!”
Ultimately, was Lu Yinghua a genius who could analyze everyone to their
core? Rivals who were constantly evaluating, contending, and sparring to
gauge one another’s ability. Realizing he was surrounded by an amazing
group of people, Godou was deeply impressed.
Part 5
While Godou and the rest were enjoying the school festival —
Erica Blandelli was at the ancient city of Siena in the northern Italian region
of Tuscany.
It was a little city with a long history of prosperity dating back to the Roman
Empire. The remnants of medieval streets and historical areas were
famous World Heritage Sites.
Piazza del Campo was probably the most highly renowned of these sites.
The plaza was built on a gentle slope and shaped somewhat like a bowl. It
was surrounded by structures such as medieval palaces, water fountains,
and bell towers.
The world’s most beautiful public square — indeed, that was what it was
called.
Erica’s destination was a place near Piazza del Campo.
A Sicilian gelato^ store which must have been quite popular with the
locals.
However, no matter how delicious gelato tasted, it was merely ice cream.
Going home for this purpose would have been ridiculous.
Of course, Erica was meeting a certain character well-known for
troublesome antics and often criticized as a fool.
“Vanilla, strawberry, pistachio, almond… I’m having such a tough time
choosing the flavor. But if I eat all four, surely it’s too much.”
“Having three in November is also too much.”
“I’ve always had a habit of visiting this street for gelato whenever winter
approaches. It’s like eating hot food in summer is good for the body, you
should eat cold stuff in chilly weather to get used to the cold. If you do that,
you’ll avoid catching colds for the winter.”
“In short, you have further plans to visit other places to feast on frozen
desserts, is that correct?”
“Yup. Today I’ll be going to as many shops as I can, so I’m holding back a
bit at the first one.”
“…Did you know, Salvatore Doni?”
“Know what, my dear and trusted friend, Andrea-kun?”
“In certain countries, it is commonly believed that the ignorant do not catch
colds. Perhaps that is the reason why you were safe…! Have you any idea
how much your sudden notion to return home has disrupted the
schedule!?”
“Andrea, you’re usually such a wise man! But ‘Fools don’t catch colds’ has
no basis, you know. For you to believe such a superstition, it looks like
you’re quite ignorant in certain areas!”
“Stop spouting nonsense, you idiot!”
It was a conversation that would give anyone listening a headache.
Indeed, Salvatore Doni the “King of Swords” was a knight from Siena.
Erica had hurried back to Italy as soon as she received news that he was
returning to his home town under the supervision of his butler, Andrea
Rivera.
…A short while later, a blonde young man stepped out of the store carrying
a triple portion of gelato accompanied by a haggard glasses-wearing
young man.
“Eh, it’s been a while, Erica Blandelli.”
“Oh, what a rare visitor. When did you return from Japan?”
The two greeted Erica as soon as they noticed her.
During their first meeting, Doni had completely failed to register Erica’s
name in his mind, but now he was able to greet her normally. This was not
because he memorized her name after so many encounters…
It was purely due to Kusanagi Godou’s existence that finally made him
recall Erica’s name.
Doni’s inability to remember names was not due to poor memory but a lack
of interest.
Anyone not an enemy was like a roadside pebble to him. That must be the
way he thinks.
“We have not met since Sardinia, Sir Salvatore. Thank you for taking care
of me back then, Sir Andrea.”
The king whose foolish appearance disguised his horrifying unorthodox
talent. And the butler who assisted him.
Erica displayed a gorgeous smile.
“If you have any matters to discuss, please be my guest and talk to
Andrea? I’m going to eat my gelato…”
“No, that is not the case this time. I have a request to make of Sir
Salvatore.”
Erica swiftly addressed the [King] who instinctively avoided cumbersome
responsibilities.
“Me?”
“Yes. Remember the first time I met Sir Salvatore, when you dueled with
Dame Saint Raffaello?”
“Hmm, this is really bothersome. But now that I recall, you were there too.”
“At that time, Sir Salvatore had inherited the ‘Book in Praise of David’s
Great Works’ from Saint Raffaello. I would like to request permission for
myself, as well as Dame Liliana who is not currently present, to read that
book once more.”
“Master’s book? Book eh…?”
“Sir Salvatore, I once accepted Saint Raffaello’s request to safeguard the
San Gimignano grimoire.”
Aware of his master’s vague memories, Andrea Rivera stepped in to
provide assistance.
Even when addressing his longtime friend, he was a righteous and
honorable man who always kept personal and business matters separate.
Certainly, the “book” must be under his safekeeping.
Erica nodded.
Exactly as expected, which was why she deliberately approached them
when they were together!
“Dame Erica, that book has been expressly ‘concealed’ under Saint
Rafaello’s orders. Even as the curator I have never read it. Permission is
only granted to those who are about to rise to the rank of paladino. In
regard to your request, I regret…”
“That’s what I thought.”
As befitted the fair and righteous “King’s Butler.”
Erica greatly admired his strict adherence to noble principles, not even
excepting himself, but she continued to plead.
“However, please be informed that granting permission to me would be
favorable to Sir Salvatore’s interests.”
“My interests? What is going on?”
“Yes. If I were to master the secret arts of battle magic that can rip apart
fallen angels and pagan gods, then that will contribute to Kusanagi
Godou’s combat potential… Rather, perhaps I can become something like
a shield that can bolster his development.”
“…Really? I see, I see. That’s the implication.”
Licking his gelato, Doni’s expression changed.
A certain sense of acuity had subtly crept into the handsome face that had
been like a carefree little baby’s. Anyone unfamiliar with his personality
would likely have missed it.
“A more hot-blooded fellow would have gone ‘That’s about it?’ ‘Sure, let’s
go again?’ when things ended. But to reject outright, Godou sure is a tough
customer.”
This acuity was not exactly fighting spirit or murderous intent.
A belief that the so-called “friend” and rival will inevitably be encountered
again on the battlefield. This much was certain.
“Having a decisive duel with that fellow requires an appropriate time. He
needs to have the proper motivation, otherwise he’d try to run away and
end things meaninglessly. But while I’m waiting, I can’t have Godou getting
killed so easily.”
Doni looked upon Erica with an expression of utmost joy as if he was
Cupid having spotted true love.
“What a fellow who always worries others. Even though he says he hates
fighting, he keeps charging into the battlefield. Is this what Japanese
culture call tsundere?”
The “King of Swords” chatted away, discussing the good rival he
acknowledged.
His assessment was surprisingly accurate. Perhaps Salvatore Doni was a
kindred soul who could understand Kusanagi Godou very well.
“Very well then. I have great hopes for him. Until the day we meet each
other again on the battlefield, having him work hard on all sorts of things is
not a bad idea.”
Rivera frowned in response to this statement of approval. But a [Kingj’s
decision could not be reversed.
Erica reverently bowed her head in gratitude towards Salvatore Doni.
Part 6
On the coast of Kisarazu City in the Chiba Prefecture.
Nearby was the Trans-Tokyo Bay Highway — a toll route from the
Kanagawa Prefecture to Kisarazu across Tokyo Bay.
This place was also next to an industrial zone, and quite close to the
Kisarazu city streets, as well as the prefectural administration at Chiba
City.
However, this beach was extremely quiet. In warmer times there would be
waders and summer swimmers. But it was currently November, and the
marine breeze was mixed with rather chilly air. It was not the season for
outdoor activities.
“…How relaxing, Amakasu-san.”
“…Yes, it is very relaxing. Ena-san.”
Ena mumbled as she nibbled at her cup noodles while Amakasu
concurred, munching away at his bun filled with red bean paste.
The food had been bought from a rustic fishing village next to the beach.
“Will someone suspicious really come? We’ve already staked out this place
for three days already. Not a single soul appeared… And this is the first
time for me to find out this place is also managed by the Committee. But
isn’t there nothing here?”
Ena grumbled as she looked down at the place.
The beach was opposite the windbreak plantation. Directly before their
eyes was a red torii. Other than the lone torii standing in the empty
seaside, there was nothing else. Not even a shrine or a little hut.
“You’re very right. I’m surprised too.”
The indifferent and insincere History Compilation Committee member
agreed.
Both him and his boss belonged to the Tokyo branch of the Committee.
However, its territory was actually more vast than the name implied, for it
extended all the way from Tokyo to Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Ibaraki,
Gunma and Toshigi…
In actual fact, it would be more accurate to call it the domain of the Kanto
region supervisor.
“By the way, Ena-san, aren’t you going to the school festival being held at
Kusanagi-san’s place?”
“Eh? What is that?”
“At the school where he studies. I remember the festival was scheduled to
start yesterday. But because I had to be careful to avoid mentioning
anything to do with ‘going over there,’ I kept silent about it.”
“Hmm… Now that I think about it, that kind of activity should be occurring
this time of the year.”
As for Ena’s habit of not attending school seriously, it began all the way
back in middle school, no, elementary school.
Although members of the Seishuuin family were obliged to go into the
mountains for serious Hime-Miko training, it resulted in Ena being
unfamiliar with basic facts of school life.
“Damn it- It’s not that often for festival events to be held, if only I could
have a chance to have fun with His Majesty… That’s so bad of you,
Amakasu-san, why didn’t you tell me sooner!”
“Wait a minute, it wasn’t just me. Kaoru-san also knew and withheld the
information.”
The History Compilation Committee Tokyo Branch Chief was the
Hime-Miko, Sayanomiya Kaoru.
Without any hesitation, Amakasu outed her as an accomplice.
“On the other hand, even though he looks like he can’t be bothered to deal
with women, he is a king who is unexpectedly diligent in all the crucial
areas. It is possible that he called to ask ‘come if you are free’ on this
occasion. Did you charge your cellphone properly?”
“Forgot all about it… Which means it hasn’t been charged for a week…”
“May I express my utmost sympathies. Well, as compensation, let’s kill
time by chatting instead.”
Amakasu said to Ena, her shoulders slumped in disappointment.
“This area used to be called Kazusa Province, Awa Province, or something
like that in ancient times. To us, it is a location that is a little special.”
“Really? But I still don’t see it.”
“What are you talking about? Isn’t this ocean the tragic stage where the
hero of our nation, Yamato Takeru, had lost his queen? As an outdoor
shoot location, this place is not bad at all.”
Amakasu cast his gaze beyond the windbreak plantation, upon Tokyo Bay
extending into the horizon.
This finally prompted Ena’s memory. A famous story in Japanese
mythology.
m 11
“You should know the story where Yamato Takeru 1 J used the Sea of
Bousou as his stage. Yeah, the one where Oto Tachibana-Hime cast
herself overboard to calm the stormy seas.”
“Of course. ‘I pray thee let me go into the sea, and so let the person of thy
mean handmaiden be given to redeem the life of the Prince’s
Augustness’… Something like that.”
Ena was the Hime-Miko well-versed in classical learning and martial arts.
She had just quoted from the Kojiki’- 12 -‘.
The hero Yamato Takeru was crossing the sea at Sagami Province — in
modern terms it would be taking a ship to cross the Tokyo Bay from
Yokosuka City to the Chiba Prefecture on the opposite shore — to reach
Kazusa Province and the events were passed down as legend. The ship
was met with a violent storm after setting off, and the sea had become
dangerously turbulent. In order to restore calm to the crisis, the queen, Oto
Tachibana-Hime jumped into the ocean to “redeem the life of the Prince’s
Augustness.”
“Occasionally — perhaps once every couple of decades, strange
phenomena related to the legend starts circulating. Here, please have a
look at this.”
“Hey… This is pretty interesting.”
Amakasu had taken a book out of his bag.
It had a rather nondescript title of “Oral Traditions of Kazusa Province,
Complete Collection.” The binding of the book was also extremely modest
and plain.
Ena quickly browsed through a short passage on the page in front of her.
“…’Queen Oto Tachibana-Hime, jumped into the sea with sword
embosomed. Sea currents carried her sword to a landless location,

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