Hey ya’ll. Sorry it took longer than usual for a post to come out, I decided to post the whole chapter instead of breaking it into pieces. Once again if you find any mistakes or have any tips please let me know. The next chapter might take a minute due to obscure references and explanations. I also forgot to post the illustrations from the previous two parts (Bernard getting punched and Eleanor in a dress) so you can check that out.
If you want another novel to read in the meantime I recommend Der Werewolf: The annals of Veight
The first part of the dance competition ended without delay ── and now, it moved onto the semifinal rounds.
The conductor enthusiastically swung his baton through the air. The orchestra responded perfectly to his demands.
They played their instruments to the upmost limit of their ability; it didn’t seem possible that this quality of music could exist anywhere but the heavens; the audience felt the vibrations of the music reach deep into their cores.
The musical selection was the of the Sinfonia di Sylphide No. 5.
Additionally, the dance paired along with it was the Slyph・Waltz’s fifth movement──
” ……Fuu “
Glenn and Rumia──
“Un, I’m fine Re=L. But that tune.”
Sistina and Re=L──
Tonight, all the dancing couples were aiming for the [The Gown of Fairies] ── by any means possible each couple tried their best to express their ultimate dance under the watchful eyes of the judges.
Some danced with zeal and nobility.
And others with grace and subtle beauty.
The audience erupted in cheers for the beauties of the world before their eyes.
“Student council president Liz! It’s turned out great this year!”
Watching the state of the affairs of the ball, the management committee officers broke out into grins from how successful the dance has been.
“Yes, although this is the third time I’ve done it……this is the first time it’s been this successful.”
Liz looked happy while agreeing..
“The old professors too, they’ve said it’s been almost 10 years since they’ve seen a ball this lively!”
“It’s all because of Liz’s gift in planning this!”
“Of course! Whenever Liz-senpai helps, everything is able to go smoothly!”
The other officers of the student council wasted no effort in praising Liz for what she’s done.
The other student council officers noticed that Liz looked both somewhat happy and lost at sea…..she appeared to be lost in thoughts.
“Has something happened? President. Is there something on your mind?”
” … No. I just got a little tired … I’m sorry, I shouldn’t act this way.”
Laughing, Liz turned around to face the student council.
“I’m sure the success of the ball is not just due to the efforts of the management committee, but also the school and students coming together as well. Saa, tonight’s banquet has not yet come to an end. Stay sharp everyone, and please do your best till the end.”
On another hand.
As the couples danced with all their heart and soul, the ballroom reached its peak climax. And then, it could be seen that the conductor and musicians began to wind down ──
(…..Yes. It seems that those three outside were defeated right now….)
Zayeed was using telepathic communication magic to talk to someone right now.
[I see…..that’s a shame….]
A solemn male voice reverberated throughout Zayeed’s mind.
[……But, it’s going as planned.]
(Yes, you’re right.)
Zayeed lets out a chilly laugh due to the conversation with the man.
[The Imperial Court Magicians…..and Eve = Ignite…..are splendidly dancing within the palm of our hands.]
(Although it seems the three people cooperating with us got the short end of the stick……)
[Don’t worry about that. They were necessary expenses.]
The voice of the man was grave as if he believed in the success of the plan.
(Then, am I….?)
[That’s right. You are to come to the usual point as planned. Then everything will be settled.]
That man heartlessly sent out his orders.
[….Yes, everything will end.]
(I see, I understand. … Glory to the Researchers of Divine Wisdom…)
He chanted that in his heart.
Zayeed secretly left the dance hall without anyone noticing.
It took but a second for him to exit through the doors.
Ooooooooo ── !
Finally, the result of the dance competitions semifinals came out …..The audience hall once again broke out into applause.
Zayeed who had left the area of Eve’s domain, quietly walked along a corridor in the student center where the ball was located.
As he climbed the stairwell, before long he reached the lodging floor provided for guests.
Of course, right now everyone was gathered in the ballroom, this floor was void of any presence. In the first place, a certain person used a [person clearing field] on this area beforehand.
Due to his usage of magic, Zayeed gave off no presence as he walked down the hall.
(Eve = Ignite should’ve been monitoring me till now via her magic…..but now, she should be quite confused now that she suddenly lost sight of me….fufufu…)
*Thump, thump, thump…..*
The sound of Zayeed’s footsteps rung out as he walks down the hall…..he stops before a certain door.
Opening that ordinary door revealed just an ordinary room. But with drawing a special rune on the door…….it led to pitch black area that seemed to extend endlessly.
That world, that existed on the lower levels of a certain room, that existed in no other place ── the spirit world.
This dimension was a world separate from our true world.
When Zayeed stepped foot into this spirit world, he saw a middle-aged man standing there.
Although it was a pitch-black world, the figure of the man could be seen clearly floating in the air.
He was a man with a burly physique. Although he was middle-aged with a gut, he did not give off the aura of sloppiness, rather one of dignity.
That man ── diligently guided Zayeed throughout the institute grounds tonight.
“….Fumu, so you’ve came.”
“Yes, I came as ordered. Now, shall we immediately start the mobilization then?”
Zayeed approached the man with a feeling of camaraderie.
It was exactly at that time.
“You’ve finally let your guard down!”
Suddenly, a crack appeared in the empty space accompanied with a sound like the shattering of glass ── a person dropped down from the gaping hole in the air and gracefully landed in the center of the room.
The two males were surprised at the sudden surprise attack entry.
“Ah, that woman is ──!?”
The shadow of the woman who had swooped down. The identity of the woman covered in crimson flames head to toe was ──
“Eve!? You’re Eve = Ignite!?”
She was the leader of the Imperial Court Mage Corps Special Missions Annex, the head executor, the first operative, [The Magician] Eve.
“I believe this is the first time we’ve met. I am pleased to make your acquaintance, [The Demons Right Hand] Zayeed. And you as well….the true mastermind of the princess’s assassination plot….Professor Lawrence Tartaros!”
The flames coming off Eve illuminated the room, casting light on that man’s face ──
As a professor of the institute, he worked as the music ensembles adviser.
That plump face was dyed in an astonished expression due to the sudden appearance of Eve.
“Hmm….at face value, showing off an appearance of humbling serving Her Majesty the Queen, but in all actuality, you were cooperating with that organization the whole time. Your death will be well deserved, Professor.”
“W-……Why!? How did you know!? Why about this place ──!?”
“You ask why? Isn’t it because Zayeed showed me the way right now?”
“Maa…..an operator skilled at [camouflage ・construction]….this level of [people clearing field], the making of this spirit world….could’ve unraveled all of it with the slightest hint.”
“I-impossible….you saw through my plans!? That’s ridiculous!”
“Ahaha….it was your failure to contact the mastermind correctly, Zayeed! What else could it be? You thought that if you put pressure on the outside using those three as decoys, that you could sneak in that easily!? How naive!”
A triumphant smile leaked out of Eve.
“Y-you bitch….You dog of the Empire! Zayeed!”
At the order of Lawrence, Zayeed kicked off the ground and rushed towards Eve.
That [Demon’s Right Hand] extended towards Eve ──
“Fufu, if you try attacking me from that distance ──”
At that moment, flames swirled around Eve, stretching into a whip like figure ──
” ── at the very least, if you aren’t as fast as that gloomy Re=L ── “
A moment later the whip-shaped fire approached Zayeed and wrapped around him, restraining him…..as well as sealing his mouth from moving.
” ── compared to her, you’re too slow. You move like an amateur.”
Zayeed, who’s movement was completely sealed, couldn’t help but let out a muffled scream.
Black Magic [Frame ・Bind]. Burning in pain that covered his whole body, receiving the gift of seared flesh, it was a technique that both restrained an opponent and tortured them at the same time.
“── !? ─── !? ────── !?”
Zayeed who was wordlessly screaming, rolled along the floor in a rampage.
Trembling in fear, Lawrence took one, then two steps back.
“Don’t worry. I will not kill you. I have various things I want to hear from you.”
With a joyously sadistic smile, Eve raised her left hand towards Lawrence.
“…..Just barely. Although it’s possible what you’re about to experience will leave you wishing you died.”
Once again Eve prepared her spell. The whip-shaped fire of the magic [Frame ・Bind] appeared in countless numbers behind her….like a snake chasing its prey, it slowly began to move.”
Completely enthralled by Eve’s previous actions, Lawrence forget to recite a magical defense spell.
A ear-piercing screech could be heard reverberating within that spirit world.
── And after that, everything came to an end.
“….How foolish, The Researchers of Divine Wisdom.”
Eve smiled at how successful she’s been tonight.
“Haa…. honestly speaking this is a bit of a letdown…it’s unbelievable that the Imperial Empire has been played with to this extent by this level of careless people…this world is beyond saving.”
Before her eyes, rolling on the floor in pain and bound in blazing chains were Zayeed and Lawrence. In the chains that prevented them for slipping out consciousness, they also contained a seal that prevented any magic from being refined.
“In the end, the true from of [The Demons Right Hand] assassination technique will still remains a mystery….Maa, I’ll make sure he slowly confesses it later.”
The recognition operation set on this floor, [the people clearing field], and the spirit world-ification of this floor were dispelled. This room has already returned to a normal room. Zayeed and Lawrence were deliberately put into a deep slumber by [Sleep・Sound]. There could’ve been no better outcome than this.
All that was left was to protect these two from their organization targeting them to seal their mouths till they were delivered to the Imperial Army. By using the magic passed down through her clan it turned into a simple task.
“Fufu……fufufu…I’ve done it….I’ve finally done it….”
Eve is giving off an expression like her joy cannot be suppressed.
After all, of The Researchers of Divine Wisdom’s Second Order, [Adeptus]….she was able to capture two core members unscathed. This unprecedented level of military achievement will forever leave her name in the history books.
As one would expect of the Ignite household. Without a doubt, it’s place in the forefront of the Empire’s magic ability was not just for show.
It seems that she could already imagine herself surrounded by the admiration of other people.
“And that’s why, with this Glenn will surely give me….fufu I can’t yet…..I still have to be on my guard.”
With focusing her mind, Eve concentrated magic into the communication device on her ear.
“……..Hello, can you hear me? This is [The Magician], Eve. I’ve actually ── “
Through the communication device, she reported what happened to Glenn and Albert, and uninterestedly rattled off her next orders for them.
“…..And that’s it.”
After a short while, Eve who had finished her work, looked around the room.
With this type of situation, she got a little bored. She leisurely made her way to the top of the stairs.
“Now then…..what should I do?”
And then, at that moment, Eve finally noticed.
From the center of the room, faint music could be heard playing.
When Eve turned to face the source of the sound, there was a phonograph there, playing a record.
“….Ara? This tune is….?”
She remember hearing it from somewhere.
“If I remember it correctly, it’s [Sinfonia di Sylphide]…..the musicians downstairs are playing the exact same music that is recorded right here…..”
That song, with its elegance and ethnic tribute, really was pleasant to the ear. Unlike the original from where [Sinfonia di Sylphide] came from, it was quite a calm composition.
“Maa…it isn’t necessarily bad to listen to this type of music while searching for other clues concerning the organization.”
So alone, Eve began to carefully look in the room where the Zayeed and them were based at, with [Sinfonia di Sylphide] playing in the background.
“Un…traces of magic…it’s not a trap….but, I can’t be too careless….there’s no such thing as being too careful….”
── Turning back time a little.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaa ── !
At that time, enthusiastic loud cheers and applauses arose in the ballroom.
The semifinals, which had been divided into two competition groups, had finally come to an end.
In the ballroom, the ones who were at the center of everyone’s attention was ──
“We did it, Sensei!”
“……Fuu…..somehow we’ve made it this far I guess…..”
Rumia, whose face was flushed red, was excited from the bottom of her heart, but looked a bit tired as she faced Glenn.
And then ──
“It seems that….the other teachers will decide the winner with a final showdown!”
Sistina who burns with a fighting spirit and Re=L who is sleepy and expressionless as ever.
Glen & Rumia, Sistina & Re=L. The two couples who topped each competition group finally will compete in the finals together.
“Rumia’s also been working hard toward [The Gown of Fairies]…..but, I’m not going to go easy since I’ve come this far. I will try my best to win the competition!”
“Un. I understand, Sisty. But I won’t l lose either okay? After all, since I was a child it’s been my dream to dance with a lovely gentleman while wearing [The Gown of Fairies]!”
“”W-What lovely gentleman….?”
“Sisty, don’t hesitate go all out, okay? If not….fufu I might steal Sensei ne? Hey? You know the couple who wins [The Gown of Fairies]……?”
Sistina became flustered at the Rumia who was laughing like a devil.
“Uguu…..I don’t know…. W-Why Sensei’s name suddenly came up……fine! If you say that, let’s fight fair and square! Whoever wins there’ll be no hard feelings right!?
“Un. Of course! “
And thus Rumia and Sistina were giving off sparks before the final match.
“Oooh ~, aren’t they energetic ~ ….”
“Nn. Those two are intimate friends.”
Glenn shook his head while Re=L gave a short agreement.
[The final match will be held in thirty minutes after the break. Ladies and gentlemen, which young maiden’s hands this year’s [Gown of Fairies] will fall into, please watch attentively till the end to find out.]
By using voice-amplification magic, that announcement was carried throughout the ball room, and drowned the applause from the dance performance Glenn’s group put on.
The conductor renewed the excitement while swinging his baton around, the musicians playing to the utmost of their ability, once more resumed their splendid musical performance.
People gathered one after another on the center stage, listening to the music, they once again gave themselves up to song
“Nice! Glenn-sensei! Sistina! “
“Hmm….first of all well done, you did a good job.”
Following Kash and Wendy, Glenn’s students gathered around him.
“Please win, Sistina! At this rate you can make Sensei go broke!”
“Oi, Kash. You, come to the back garden later!…..”
“Sensei! Now that it’s come to this, please win at any cost! If Sistina wears [The Gown of Fairies] instead of this I, it’ll be such a disgrace to me ──
” … Wendy. Um, I can hear that? How should I put it, since I’m standing right here?”
The students slowly got more and more excited.
“That’s amazing. Sistina and Re=L too! I wish I could dance that well too.”
“Please do your best in the final, Rumia. If it’s you and Sensei who win I’ll accept it, because I splendidly got defeated by you two♪”
Not sparing any expense, Cecil and Teresa gave words of encouragement to Glenn and Rumia.
“….Seriously, I’m amazed that our class could be this amazing……. at being stupid”
“So you say…but you’re still here and haven’t gone home yet have you?”
With a sarcastic smile, Kash muttered that under his breath in order to tease her.
Standing a bit apart from the group, Lynn gazed intently at Rumia standing next to Glenn…..
“Hey hey!? In the final, who do you think will win? Who would you like to see wearing [The Gown of Fairies]!?”
“I absolutely! Want Rumia to win!”
“Oh you want to see Rumia wearing the dress!?”
“No way! I’m team Sistina! I haven’t noticed it till now…. but if you get past her constant nagging, isn’t Sistina kind of high class!?”
“Ooh, now I really want to see Sistina wear [The Gown of Fairies]!?”
“I-I……I want to see Re=L wear that dress….”
“Oh, we also can’t disregard that option either!? But is that within the rules!?”
Right now it was not just the male students of Glenn’s class were discussing who they would like to see dressed in [The Gown of Fairies].
“Hey, heey heey! Re=L! When the competition is over …… will you dance with me?”
“Ah!” Annette, no fair!”
“That’s right, that’s right! Stealing a march on us isn’t allowed!”
“Haa….. Re=L….tonight’s you, is very dreamy…..you look almost like a prince….”
“Aaa….I just might melt….”
” !?!?!?!? “
On the other hand, the girls of Glenn’s class surround Re=L, who rarely wears an expression, is now darting her eyes about in confusion.
” …… ♪ “
And since the ball began, Rumia has been constantly smiling like she’s been in a good mood ….
Glenn is looking at his students with a bitter smile.
(…. Seriously, I thought Albert and them who are fighting have it tough…..but this is just as bad….)
Honestly speaking, it was fun. It can’t be helped that I have fun while mingling with my students playing around.
Oops, that’s bad, I have to focus my mind. I’m still in the middle of a mission.
Glenn pulled himself together…. but at that time.
Through the communication device on his ear, he heard an incredible report from Eve──.
(── What did you say!? It’s over!? You caught Zayeed and the mastermind!?)
[Isn’t that what I just said. I’ll repeat it however many times you want okay.]
It’s over. The enemy’s scheme….Rumia’s assassination plot was completely destroyed.
It ended before anything even happened.
With the fall of the last curtain, Glenn didn’t really feel so much relieved, more disappointed.
[That’s why I said it you know? If you follow my plans, then there’ll be no danger.]
[We’ve now entered post-operation. Thank you for your hard work, Glenn. Your role has come to an end. Now then…. that’s right why don’t you give your very cute and precious student [The Gown of Fairies] as a gift?]
Although he wanted to stay something in response to the sarcastic Eve, Glenn wasn’t able to say anything and remained quiet.
[…. Then, have a good night. Glenn.}
Saying that, Eve unilaterally cut off communications.
(…. Is it….really…..finished….?)
In all reality though, Eve had caught the mastermind. Additionally, the magicians lying in wait outside were easily defeated by Albert’s group.
If he couldn’t say it was over with this…. what the hell would it be over with?
(…..I-I see….it’s really over huh….what I was worrying for nothing….well Eve might not be a pleasant woman but she is competent….additionally Alberto, the old geezer, Christopher….they were also there….I guess I was just a bit too nervous…..?)
After Glenn took a quick glace at his students who were nosily bustling about, he breathed a sigh of relief.
Taking a short breath…. It finally ended safely. There was no longer any threat.
Without a doubt, the enemy this time didn’t amount to much.
He was bent on believing that. Trying to persuade himself of it.
── Without a doubt, [The Gown of Fairies] will be a lovely final outfit for her. ──
Such words that Eleanor left behind…..like small fish bones stuck in ones throat, they remained deep in his chest….almost like they were impossible to escape.
── Meanwhile, around that time. On the roof of the ballroom, engulfed in the cover of night.
“…..I see. Rodger……But…….I understand. We’ll do something about it.”
Albert, who received Eve’s report via magic, responded dispassionately.
“…..How was Eve-chan?”
Bernard who had lost his communication device immediately asks Albert.
“Eve seems to have caught Zayeed and the mastermind.”
“Hou?….. Fumu, as expected huh?”
“Up till now…. it’s gone according to Bernard-san and Albert-san’s prediction hasn’t it?”
Bernard and Christopher made comments to show that they were paying attention.
“It’s not so much something like a guess. It’s the same as a game of chess. “
“You have to properly crush your enemy’s plan to utilize their assets. Maa, well that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
“…. The existence of the mastermind manipulating Zayeed…..really was a surprise wasn’t it….even more so that Eve-san was hiding it from us from the beginning….”
Somewhere, Christopher disappointingly whispers that.
“Maa, it was needed. It really isn’t that strange. If you know the true capabilities of your enemy, then that itself will give you a leg up over them. If you’re able to keep a calm tactical eye, it’ll be beneficial for you.
“It’s too late to question Eve’s true intentions.”
Albert thinks so calmly, and then turns to explain what next they should do.
“We’re going to prepare outside for new enemies that may come in to silence the secured enemies.”
“….Hmm? With three people? With all of us here, wouldn’t it be better if one went inside to help Eve-chan?”
“”I don’t need your guys help, guard the outside.”….is what she insisted on.”
“Hahaa! That Eve-chan really wants all the glory to herself huh!? Until she hands them over to the Imperial Guard, she really intends to do it all by herself!”
” … What will you do? Albert-san, Bernard-san?”
“It’s unavoidable. Among us, the 100-year-old Ignite clan sits atop the military command. Obeying the commander’s order is absolute unless one falls into an emergency. That is how the military works.”
“The army huh…aah, you’re not wrong, as a matter of fact…it can’t be helped that we just have to sit around….”
Grumbling about that type of thing, Bernard shook his head back and forth.
“You’re angry because you have no choice but to stay here? Reluctant to get ahead in life by violating military regulations, conceding one’s own achievements to another, clinging to idea of being in charge…..”
Christopher glares at him with a shocked expression.
“I-I mean, even if you’re in charge of 100 men or 1000 men or even an officer, you shouldn’t get the chance to go to the front lines should you!? I mean look at Eve-chan, even though she’s in charge doesn’t she reek of trouble!?”
While Bernard sloppily tried to explain himself. Christopher drooped his shoulders from exhaustion.
Giving a sidelong glance towards those two disturbances, Albert looked up into the sky.
The thing that was causing his chest to tighten repeatedly, was the precious scene seared into his memory…. of the students in Glenn’s class happily playing around on that Southern Island.
(…. Now then, it’ll be nice if this ends without any incident but…..)
Of course, the night sky’s moon held no answer for Albert.
And then ──
Finally, that time has come.
Only for this moment, the ballroom which has been bristling with energy all night. has fallen silent.
Everyone present held their breath as they watched two couples take the center stage.
Glenn and Rumia.
Sistina and Re=L.
The ball’s dance competition. The final round.
The woman of the couple who wins this match, will be this year’s top woman ──
And by tradition, will be able to wear [The Gown of Fairies] for tonight.
“Sensei….thank you very much.”
Rumia who stood properly before Glenn, smiled sweetly at him.
“Thanks to Sensei….. tonight was a very enjoyable memory for me.”
Glenn blinked his eyes. Rumia wore a completely transparent and calm expression on her face.
“With this, even if we win or lose….. I, won’t have any regrets. Without a doubt….. tonight…will remain as one of my life’s most treasured memories.”
Why now, at this time, did such words come out? Glenn tried to guess the meaning hidden behind her words, but for a man who was ignorant of the subtleties of the female heart, it was a challenge.
“I….tonight…if only for tonight, will try my best.”
“….? Don’t you always try your best?”
“Fufu, it’s because tonight is an especially special night. ……Yes, just only tonight…..”
After all, he still doesn’t understand. Glenn has no clue what Rumia is trying to say.
“Sensei…..please. Just this once, together with me….to the audience…..and to the judges….without holding anything back….show them everything we got?”
It was a request, and yet, Rumia had an eager expression.
Glenn couldn’t help but nod his head.
“….I understand. Yoーsh, it might be unfortunate for Shiro-Neko….but tonight will be just about you. Rumia…without a doubt I’ll make sure you wear [The Gown of Fairies].”
Such were the words of Glenn.
Rumia who was looking happy, smiled like a blossoming flower.
And, while all present held their breath watching the couples onstage.
The conductor passionately raised his baton overhead ──
The last performance of the dance competition started with a calm tone.
Sinfonia di Sylphide’s No. 6. And the dance to match it was the Sylph Waltz.
Glenn and Rumia bowed.
Sistina and Re=L also did likewise.
Quietly accepting the presence of the other competing couple….they calmly began their dance.
Sinfonia di Sylphide’s No. 6 is a music piece that starts with a mild prelude and then rises to a dramatic tune as it moves into its latter half.
They start off dancing with gentle and refined movements ──
Eventually, as the tempo increased, it gradually becomes more intense, brilliant and feverish.
Glen and Rumia.
Sistina and Re=L.
Dancing. dancing. They continue to dance.
In the blink of an eye one could hear the breaths of admiration the audience set free──
Escorted by Glenn, led by his hand, she was innocently dancing ──
(A little more…. Just forgive my selfishness a little bit more, Sisti…..)
Is what Rumia is thinking.
(Because…. I…How often will I be able to make these types of memories….I don’t know…)
That’s why, at least for tonight, I won’t give up. I won’t surrender at all.
Only tonight will I beat you Sistina. Just for tonight.
Up until now, it’s possible she’s been secretly going easy on Sistina during this competition.
(It’s a match, Sisti….It’s rare that I ever compete seriously with you…but it’s a match.)
Of course, if she fights fair and square with Sistina, that would be fine.
Such a thing has happened before….. and even if that wasn’t what she hoped for, it was an irreplaceable, precious memory for her.
Losing is okay. However, she would not give up [The Gown of Fairies] without a fight.
That’s because she was always a step behind Sistina, always avoiding competition and hiding in her shadow…..Ever since she became a member of the Fibel household, she always upheld the ideals of a [good child]…….This is the first time she’s been this selfish.
Rumia closed her eyes, and the recalls a memory ── she remembers looking at the ball through the eyes of a child.
She will not forget it. After enduring a tough battle for [The Gown of Fairies], the young maiden had tears stream down her face as she danced in it with pride and joy.
I’m sure, my mother also tried her best to wear [The Gown of Fairies]. And everyone else who won probably proudly wore it.
That were was meaning in ── fighting fair and squarely ── putting one’s everything into the competition ── in order to win.
However, it’s no good if you wear some ordinary [Gown].
What meaning does wearing a medal made of papier mache have.
(I just ──)
I think I also just want to wear that dress like my mother did.
How beautiful, elegant, and precious that lady looked is what made me fall in love with the [The Gown of Fairies].
That’s why, on that day, I felt that she was beautiful enough to rob me of my soul──
That’s why ──
(Please come with all your might, Sisti….I want to beat you when you’re serious and earn the right to wear [The Gown of Fairies], I’m sure it’ll be more meaningful that way….)
With her unconveyed feelings, she steeled her resolution.
Rumia who was brought under Glenn’s arm, left with a vivid turn.
Elegantly dancing as the tempo increased.
At the same time, while she was innocently dancing with Re=L ── Sistina began to think.
Sistina was unconsciously diverting her eyes toward somewhere ── towards Rumia’s facial expression.
(Rumia…I’m really trying my best…I’m seriously trying to win this competition…With all my strength….)
Suddenly, Sistina remembers the days that she has spent with Rumia so far.
Rumia was a little girl who never got serious with Sistina.
Any time Rumia and Sistina wanted the same thing…Rumia would naturally take a step back….and let Sistina have it.
If there was anything to compete over, Rumia would avoid it.
But this time Rumia spontaneously stood up to Sistina.
There were various reasons Sistina had in mind as to why.
As a cast-aside princess, there may have been some reservations about freeloading in the Fibel household…..At the beginning of being adopted by the Fibels, the bad tempered Rumia continued to treat Sistina coldly. Eventually, Sistina forgave that and accepted Rumia into the household, and Rumia has had a debt of gratitude since then.
Anyways. If she thought about it, Rumia has always been standing next to Sistina but let’s her have whatever she wants…and at the same time smiling happily for her…. that’s the type of girl she was.
(….. And if I point that out you’ll probably just say “It’s not that? It’s just your imagination”……)
There is no doubt that Sistina actually knows the truth.
(Because….You and I are family…)
This time, by just a little bit…. changes have occurred in their relationship dynamic.
(Rumia….You’re…. serious aren’t you…)
The longing target of the female students, the beautiful [Gown of Fairies].
This time, Rumia and Sistina both wanted it.
In fact, not so much for Sistina, but it was unusual that Rumia wanted [The Gown of Fairies], and with both wanting it they had to face each other ── it had become that type of situation.
Till now, that’s not something they’ve done.
If it was the Rumia of the past, she would quietly make way for Sistina and let her win.
Only this time though it was different.
In the end, the Rumia of tonight was seriously trying from the bottom of her heart.
(Despite that, I don’t know why I’m….being such a hindrance with my jealously…it was just a stroke of luck that Rumia was being serious while paired with Sensei….I’m not as interested in [The Gown of Fairies] like Rumia is but…I’d still be happy to wear it though.)
It may be too late but, I’m really sorry to get in Rumia’s way with this half-hearted resolve.
Now that I think about it, I’ve always been selfishly relying on Rumia till now.
(I’m sorry, Rumia. I’m really sorry. I’m sorry for getting in your way despite your serious feelings.)
That’s why I said.
Now that we’re here, I can’t go easy on her. It’s too late to step aside.
(That look in Rumia’s eye….that serious….Rumia seriously wishing to beat me….wanting to beat me and win the rights to wear [The Gown of Fairies]….I’m sure she doesn’t want me to lose on purpose….if it’s Rumia then she’ll probably think that type of victory is meaningless….)
In the first place, losing on purpose is an extreme disservice. It’ll be an insult to Rumia, Re=L whose been trying her hardest, and all the people in the dance competition so far.
(…. That’s why, I’ll put in my all. In this last dance I’ll use all my skills, all my heart to win. I absolutely will not…go easy on her…..)
That’s why, at the very least that’s what she’ll do.
On top of that, Sistina sincerely wishes. Prays that.
To her irreplaceable best friend ──
(….Good luck. Don’t lose, Rumia. From here on out we’re fellow rivals but…. I’m cheering for you from the bottom of my heart!)
Yes, from the bottom of her heart she is praying.
And with that, Sistina will be able to focus her mind and concentrate on winning with Re=L ──
Everybody’s breath was caught in their throat as they watched them dance.
They’re dancing. Sometimes passionately, sometimes relentlessly, and sometime elegantly.
Gently, softly, they continuously dance to the music.
And then ──
It changed like a storm reaching its climax.
The reverberation leaving behind a silence only one who was sleeping in a forest would hear, marked the end of the song.
And accordingly, Glenn and Rumia, as well as Sistine and Re=L, elegantly finished.
Similar to when they first started, the ballroom was wrapped up in an eerie silence.
But….before they realized it someone started to clap, and then one more…and before long it was like a storm had overcame the room.
Aaaaaaah ── !
The enthusiastic cheers of tonight’s audience dominated the entire venue.
“W-Who!? Who won!?”
“I-I can’t decide which was better!?”
“Both of the couples danced magnificently….”
The students of Glenn’s class were cheering loudly.
“Since they’ve both made it this far…. I want them both to win….”
“Hmm. It’ll be hard to make a decision…. it’s not black and white. It’s like a game of chance.”
“…Gibul. It’s kind of hard to say, but you really are that type of person till the end….”
On the other hand.
Rumia and Sistina who put everything they had in this one dance, while trying to recover from their rough breathing, were watching the judges attentively.
The judges all wear an equally troubled face and are deep in a heated discussion….and then.
Before long, with a ring that silenced the roaring crowd, the judges finally published the final score on the board.
The result is ──
It was a close victory.
An extremely close victory.
If even one judge changed their mind, without a doubt it would’ve been a different result…that level of closeness.
The paring of Rumia and Glenn ── emerged triumphant.
Uaaaaaaahh ── !
Once the results were released, the cheers start again an octave higher.
“….I… won? ….. Really?”
As if she were a confused child, Rumia was looking at her victory as if it were a dream.
“….. Congratulations, Rumia”
Sistina was smiling sweetly at her.
“…I was completely beat. I seriously went at it with my all. I was unusually stubborn for just a competition…but, my performance earlier really was everything I had…. I put my whole into that dance.”
So there would be no regret or animosity, Sistina wore a refreshing expression.
“It couldn’t be helped that I lost to something of that level.”
“Nn. I don’t understand it well….but I lost. Rumia’s amazing.”
Re=L had her usual disinterested, half-opened eye look and as if to bless her, stared intently at her with a “jiiiii” sound.
“Fufu, it hasn’t ended yet Rumia. Next is the final dance of the night. Rumia wearing [The Gown of Fairies]……I’m looking forward to it.”
“Nn. Looking forward to it. By the way, this [Gown]…..what is it? Is it candy? Is it yummy?”
Rumia was immediately overcome with emotion…..and tears startdc to fall out of the corner of her eyes.
“…..Un, un! Thank you very much! I really enjoyed it!”
“Kyaa!? Wh-….We’re in public!?”
“Nn. Rumia’s embarrassed.”
Sistina and Re=L hugged Rumia like they were a lovey-dovey couple.
“I don’t really understand it….that sense of youth….” said Glenn feigning ignorance.
Watching the three girls get carried away by the jubilant music performance flowing throughout the venue, the feeling of tension that had been building up all night in Glenn started to wash away. Finishing his duty of guarding Rumia, Glenn felt a sense of accomplishment and freedom which gradually lifted his spirits.
“By the way, White Cat-chuwan? Whaaat happened to that “I absolutely won’t give up [The Gown of Fairies]? *Serious face*” Eehh was thaaat all for show, cause it still ended up like thiiiis eehh, hey hey, how does it feel? Hey hey, tell me how it feels?”
Without delay Glenn started to tease Sistina like usual.
“It looks like you’re trying to make small taaaalk but ー I won’t be tricked. You want to forget it but I won’t let yoouu ー. That smug face of yours…..”
“Gyhahaha! Are you disappointed!? I bet you’re disappointed!? Right ー hahahahha!”
“You idiooooooooot ー !”
Before anyone noticed.
Before Glenn himself noticed.
That gut-wrenching anxiety pricking Glenn’s heart had completely vanished.