Akuyaku Reijou ni Koi wo Shite – Chapter 19:
“The Desires of the Villainess.”
The surroundings were still dark and the sky was shining with starlight. In one of the quiet school backyards so densely covered in trees that one might mistake it for a forest, only the swings of Rion’s sword could be heard.
That was the place where Rion conducts his daily practice sessions.
His morning training consisted solely of practice swinging to enhance his physical strength and foundations. He had to do it alone and there was no other than that place where he could practice in seclusion
He started with sprints and then switched to muscle building afterward. Before, his training regimen finished at this point, but now he could even increase the intensity up to two-fold with no problems.
The thought of increasing duration also came to his mind, but it was rejected due to time constraints. He had to obtain the strength to kill Maria within the three year period he would spend at the Academy. Any spare time needed to be directed towards acquiring skills that could be used in actual battle.
That being said, Rion knew very little about live combat. Although he was able to accumulate experience by fighting demonic beasts from time to time, in the end, that was still fighting against a kind of animal. It was different from a battle with a human able to use magic and swordsmanship.
Because of that, he had to rely on his own imagination to figure out things that could work in that scenario.
His deliberations led him into concluding that he needed to polish his magic. The reason being that he couldn’t improve swordsmanship much by self-study anyway and if there was something that could be counted as his advantage over Maria, it would be the multiple magic attributes that he could use.
He thought that using this to the fullest was the wiser course of action.
As he drawn his sword numerous motes of light began surrounding Rion. Looking closely, one would notice that they were not uniform in color. The ones tinted brilliant crimson belonged to the spirit Rion named 『Sarah』, the ones shining blue on the other hand belonged to the water spirit 『Diane』.
The color of their attributes was hard to distinguish because there was no need to use their power at the moment. What was currently happening could be in simple words, a formation training.
Rion figured out the way to call the spirits without unnecessarily expending their strength by himself.
The normal way was using your own mana as an offering to call out the spirits and then using them to activate your spell by channeling your mana. Rion was able to call them without expending mana because they were always beside him at all times and they decided to lend their strength to him on their own. That relationship was not like a contract with mana as a currency, but rather something more akin to a friendship. Rion was not aware of this distinction, but despite that, he was still able to develop the relationship further.
「Sarah, Diane, let’s start with the first formation, the F1」
That was how Rion usually gave his spirits instructions. Since he was doing this subconsciously and was interacting with them as if with an equal, the spirits really liked that part of him.
Expecting that following his request might make him happy, the spirits assumed formation. Diane was assigned defense duty, Sarah’s role, on the other hand, was offense. The water spirit was swirling around Rion’s body while Sarah was spreading out in front and above him.
With their formation in place, Rion lunged forward at a conspicuously huge tree. Diane kept circling around him without separating and Sarah awaited further instructions while above.
On Rion’s order, Sarah dived forward towards the surrounding trees, a weaving streak of light like a cruise missile.
It hit the targeted tree but there was no explosion, the light motes only floated around it. A moment later Rion’s sword struck the tree he aimed at.
「…The timing was perfect. We need to test this on some demonic beasts afterward guys.」
Just like this, he was figuring out a better way to utilize the spirits in battle but this was not merely using his multiple attributes anymore, he was simultaneously using both types of magic. Furthermore, while he was doing that, it was not a distraction for his bladework.
Like this, there would be hardly anyone within the school premises that could stand their ground against Rion in a duel. However, what Rion aimed to defeat was the protagonist protected by the world. No matter how much he trained, he could not be certain of victory.
Knowing that himself, Rion wouldn’t be satisfied with just this. Utilizing the knowledge from his previous world, he wanted to attempt transcending current world’s norms.
Had someone asked him what he wanted the most, this would be his answer. Rion thought that there was no way of defeating the world other than breaking past its norms.
Concentrating deeply he faced the spirits with his full power to forestall the resistance they tended to show at this moment.
「…Guys, please get along.」
Again, he outlined his thoughts to them with his words. Although visibly reluctant, the spirits gave consent. Having that, he conveyed a specific idea.
The color hues began mixing and from that fusion, a lance made of ice was born.
His hand, that was raised in the air, swung downwards. The icy lance flew straight at the tree that Rion’s hand was pointing at.
「…A hit …But.」
The magic projectile successfully made a hole in the tree. But despite that Rion was not satisfied. The damage didn’t look any different to using the water lance that Diane could make on her own.
Even though he carefully checked the surroundings, there was a sound of a new voice that wasn’t supposed to be there. Furthermore, it belonged to someone that he knew.
He timidly turned his head towards the source and sure enough, Ariel was standing there.
「…Good morning, milady.」
「Good morning to you as well, Rion」
「Isn’t it too early for milady to be awake? Is there something you require urgently?」
「I knew you would be up early to train and I wanted to watch.」
「…I find it quite amazing that milady was able to find this place.」
「Somehow, I managed.」
「I have a good sense of direction. Thanks to that I got to see sooo many interesting things.」
「…Is that so?」
Although he knew it would end like this the very beginning, Rion’s attempt at diversion ended in failure
In his mind he was complaining to the spirits with all his might as he told them to warn him if someone was approaching. Sarah and Diane were having none of that, they expected that meeting Ariel would make Rion happy and they did not understand why was he complaining at all.
Due to that Rion understood why Ariel was able to find the place. Clearly, the spirits helped her find the way.
「What was that magic just now?」
Ariel asked the question that Rion didn’t want to hear from her.
「It was my attempt at a new water attribute spell milady.」
「What was that magic just now?」
She repeated. However this time with knitted eyebrows, clearly angry that Rion was lying.
「…It was a fusion of two attributes.」
Being seen through, Rion felt he wouldn’t be able to defy her anymore so he replied honestly.
「Fusion? What do you mean by that?」
「It’s like mixing them together and using both at the same time?」
「…So you mixed two different attributes into one spell?」
「Rion, you really are…」
Ariel always accepted all the outrageous things that Rion showed he was capable of. For example, that was the case when she found out that he had two attributes when she had already deduced that it might’ve been the case from the beginning rather than doubt him.
However, in this situation even she was surprised by his preposterous attempt.
「…I beg your forgiveness milady.」
「What for? You did nothing wrong. I just can’t imagine how did you manage to pull this off.」
「I… just asked?」
Because she thought that Rion was making a fool out of her Ariel’s eyes narrowed and her gaze turned cold. Naturally, that was never Rion’s intention.
「How to explain this… They were not getting along at first, so I tried to make it possible by having them reconcile.」
Although he tried following up with a more comprehensive explanation, that, unfortunately, didn’t seem to work either.
「…You …are actually serious?」
「Sarah and Diane don’t seem to really like each other that much, so I tried meditating between them and begged for cooperation.」
「Who are Sarah and Diane?」
「My… I guess it would be fine to call them spirits? Those beings that give form to the spells.」
「Spirits… Right, you said before that you thought that spirits were the origin of magic.」
「Well, I am still not sure if that is the proper way to call them. However, I am certain they have a sentience, distinct personalities and are able to understand requests.」
「…This is not something I am capable of.」
Ariel had confidence in her magical prowess. However, she couldn’t feel the same sort of connection to spirits that Rion had and that made her be a little bit down.
「Is that so, milady? I am confident this is not unique to me and everyone should be capable of that. Milady too.」
「…Why do you think so?」
「I believe the reason why milady was able to find this place was because you were guided by your spirit. With a little help from Sarah and Diane.」
In regards to the source of magic she called mana, Ariel was not conscious of them to the point of calling them her possession. If being aware of them was the only qualification for using magic, that would make anyone in the world able to cast spells.
However, Rion gave them names and discussed the matters about his magic like he would do with his friends. And he was saying that it was that kind of entity that guided her towards this place.
「Will be able to interact with them as well, I wonder?」
「Milady can feel them already. So all that’s left is giving them a name, though that will be hard as we won’t be able to tell the gender yet, and accepting them as a partner.」
「Even if you say accept….」
「Why won’t milady give them a name for a start? Things feel more familiar and closer once they are named.」
「Name… I wonder what would be nice?」
Seeing that Rion actually came up with names himself, Ariel naturally wanted to imitate him. Although she was still in doubt, she tried to think of a name just as she was told.
「Would Sylph suffice with it being a wind attribute spirit? Sylphine seems fine as well.」
「Rion, like this…」
「…Ah, like this it won’t do, will it? Do excuse me. It will not be a personal bond if the name doesn’t come from you. But if I might offer a tip, how about taking a part of a longer or complex name that you like? That is what I did.」
「…What did “Sarah” and “Diane” come from?」
「Sarah is a fire spirit, so I shortened the word Salamander, while Diane comes from the word Undine.」
「…I see. This makes sense, if it was just me, I’d come up with something weird.」
「I’m sure that’s not true, milady. What is the name that comes to your mind?」
「Right… I thought about *『Rufii』? Is it odd?」
(*TN: Because Shirufiine / EN: I will drop this series if Ariel learned how to use Gomu Gomu no Fuusen or the Third Gear or if she got weird ideas such as becoming the Pirate King. /CEN : My Google-fu says this may be from Yu-Gi-Oh, don’t hate 😛 Rion’s last anime is Yu- Gi-Oh)
「Not at all. This is milady’s spirit, the name you like will definitely be fine.」
「Alright, let’s call it Rufii. What comes after naming it?」
「Please raise your hand like you would feed a bird and call it over audibly. It will eat some of your internal mana, do not get angry about that.」
Ariel did as Rion told and raised her right hand, palm up, like feeding an invisible bird.
She called out the name timidly.
The response arrived immediately. Numerous particles of light, like a swarm of fireflies, began to flicker around her hand. The number of light motes began to steadily increase and they started getting brighter.
Before long, not just her arms but her whole body became clad in the light.
「Ohh, as expected of Ariel-sama.」
Rion couldn’t help but voice his admiration. The contrast with the time when he first called upon the spirits was obvious. The number of the spirits in Ariel’s surroundings was way higher than in his and Rion thought that she was clearly loved by them very much. He also had one more impression.
The sun began peeking from beyond the horizon painting the eastern sky. In the dim, wooded backyard, Ariel dazzling with the spirit-light illumination looked like an angel or a goddess descending to earth.
After school that day.
On Ariel’s order, Rion guided her within the school premises. It wasn’t really needed, though, Ariel only used that excuse to make him accompany her.
Probably due to the incident from this morning, Ariel was in a good mood. Her outward appearance might not differ from usual, but Rion could see it from her demeanor. Aside from him, the only other people that would likely notice such a thing would be Vincent and their parents.
Rion wanted the day to end on the same note, but the situation didn’t develop as he wanted it to.
「Hmm, what are they doing over there?」
Letting Ariel notice the spectacle was Rion’s mistake. He wanted to guide Ariel away before that happened.
「The mood over there doesn’t seem to be very good, milady. I’m somewhat curious too, but it would be probably prudent not to get involved. 」
Although he attempted to divert her attention from the scene, it was futile.
「It seems the sour mood is the fruit of his majesty labors.」
「…That does look very likely indeed, milady.」
In front of Arnold, the central figure of the gathering in question, there was a group of, judging by exquisite hairstyles, noble ladies, trembling and looking overwhelmed. Behind him, one could spot a sheltering figure of Maria.
With this, Rion was able to get a good idea of what was happening.
「Come Rion, let’s join them.」
「Milady, please, we should really not interrupt…」
「This looks like a very delicate situation and we are not certain what caused it…」
「That much is obvious, I wish to know the reasons.」
「Stay if you wish, I’ll go on my own.」
「If milady goes, so do I.」
There was no way to stop her. Rion knew that from the very beginning, but he still cursed his incompetence. Forcing his heavy-feeling feet to move forward, Rion followed after his mistress.
When they approached closer, they heard Arnold demanding an explanation from the ladies he was facing.
「I will ask once again. What are you all doing to Maria?」
「N-Nothing, your highness.」
「Why is she crying then!?」
「T-That woman selfishly…」
「You don’t have any valid reason, do you!?」
As Rion suspected, Maria was being harassed and Arnold who happened to see the situation interfered to help her. There’s no mistake that it was one of the events that would make her get closer to the Crown Prince. Or one of those that would involve Ariel getting entangled to be worthlessly concluded with her getting angry.
「Good day, your highness, I’m happy to meet you here.」
Oblivious to Rion’s uneasiness, Ariel entered the scene and greeted the Crown Prince in a perfectly inoffensive way.
Sure enough, Crown Prince Arnold was facing the female students with a scolding look and if things went badly that gaze would turn to Ariel.
「May I ask why is everyone in such a place?」
「This has nothing to do with you.」
「Nevertheless, it is sad to see a group of ladies being chastised by a lord in public.」
「What did you say?」
She did not clash with Maria but spoke as if trying to pick a fight with Arnold instead. It was an unparalleled impertinence for Rion to cut into their conversation, but even knowing that he felt he had to.
「Milady, wouldn’t it be prudent to learn all the facts first.」
「That’s perfectly unnecessary.」
「May I ask why?」
「The situation is clear. The ladies here did something to the commoner girl and that made his highness angry.」
「Aren’t they at fault then? Isn’t a scolding to be expected as a consequence?」
「That way of thinking is naive and simplistic.」
「Could I ask for explanation?」
「Disputes among high society ladies are commonplace. Having a man, and a royal at that, get involved in those is just not done. Elementary etiquette, Rion.」
「Is that the case?」
What Ariel was saying was an unspoken rule among the ladies of the high echelons of society. Bringing in a man’s authority into a conflict between women was considered tasteless. A person that did that, even if it brought them triumph, would be later on shunned in the social circle.
She was trying to apply that convention to the situation at hand. Although Rion didn’t know if that was an appropriate thing to do, he was able to guess why she tried.
「However, if a conflict like this escalated, wouldn’t that call for outside mediation?」
「It absolutely would.」
「Who would be the best-suited person for that role?」
「The most senior lady of the aristocratic world of course. The Queen herself.」
But there was no way the Queen would bother coming to the Academy just to settle a squabble between female students. So would it mean that a dispute between the female students in the Royal Academy could not be resolved?
「I doubt you failed to notice, but mother is not here, do you intend to replace her as the mediator?」
Arnold interrupted the explanations with his usual displeased expression.
「Your highness, why would I ever wish such hassle on myself?」
「Wasn’t all this just now to use your position as my fiancée to do it?」
「Highness, I am neither a princess nor a Queen yet. Just a candidate for one by virtue of betrothal. I am under no illusion about being granted special privileges just with this.」
The way Ariel phrased this brought up a possibility of breaking off their engagement.
「What your highness should do now, is to designate someone from the Academy to be your esteemed mother’s surrogate in matters like this. It would help resolve this and any future disputes that are bound to happen.」
「I do not necessarily have to nominate you, do I?」
「Of course not. I have just enrolled here, this kind of burden would suit an upperclassman better.」
This could be easily understood as Ariel’s refusal to mediate as the Queen’s surrogate, and Arnold did actually take it this way.
「…Well then, I’ll nominate anyone other than you.」
「That is perfectly fine, your highness.」
Arnold’s attempt at sarcasm was shrugged off by Ariel. Having run out of rebuttals, the prince left the scene looking vexed. Maria, following right after was clearly delighted. Although at first she was perplexed about Ariel’s attitude, she became happy with the gap between Ariel and the prince obviously expanding due to this direct confrontation.
Although Rion understood Maria’s feelings, he couldn’t suppress his annoyance.
「I kept you waiting Rion. Now that this is over, where will you take me next?」
「I want to fully enjoy my Academy life. I do not welcome any extra tasks that would be a distraction from that.」
Rion was able to deduce from those words that Ariel wanted a change of mood. Although his irritation at Maria didn’t lessen, he agreed with Ariel’s sentiment.
「All of you as well, won’t you stop wasting my precious time on such trivial things?」
The female students that felt relieved after the Crown Prince’s departure instantly turned pale at Ariel’s words. They immediately knew that she was genuinely angry. They were also aware that a genuinely angry Ariel would be incomparably scarier than Arnold could ever be.
「Milady, should we go to the cafeteria next? There are some inexpensive but delicious desserts I wish to recommend. Because milady doesn’t usually get to taste such things, why not use this as an opportunity?」
Once Rion stopped indulging himself with idle thinking and noticed the shivering female students, he made a light-hearted suggestion.
「Let’s do that. If that’s what Rion suggests then that’s fine.」
Ariel’s severe expression changed into a sweet smile as she faced Rion.
「Well then, lead on.」
「At once, milady」
To Ariel, everything other than spending her time with Rion was pointless. She wanted to make as many sweet memories with him as she could within the time she had left. That was Ariel’s only wish for her school life.
Did our pace just became a little bit faster? I don’t know lol. Anyway, this chapter would probably be followed up by another one in a few days.
Thank you for the support.