—Year 1366 of the A.S.B. calendar, the month of Pisces.
The magic ship Escavaron of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights had already been moored in the Academy City Ansarivan for quite some time.
“Huh…as expected of super-ancient magical engineering technology, it’s quite intriguing.”
Whilst in the cockpit, Mirabel wiped sweat from her forehead as she held a tool in her other hand. She lay prone on the ground under the navigator’s seat. Driven by her insatiable curiosity, she would observe how internal mechanisms worked so long as she found any panel that was seemingly removable. Mirabel had already repeated such a routine here for a while.
Last month, Oscaia I had just ascended to the throne in the neighbouring country. After that, the tumultuous days of the past vanished as if they had all just been a lie, and they enjoyed a smooth, trouble-free period that continued to this day. Mirabel considered this to be an excellent opportunity for her research activities.
“—Princess-sama, excuse me.”
The door was pushed open, and her personal maid Eunice walked in. Mirabel rescinded her status as the Third Princess of the Lautreamont Knight Country in exchange for joining Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights. Yet, Eunice continued to address her as ‘princess-sama’, nonetheless.
“Oh, is it already teatime?”
Mirabel glanced back in surprise. After all, she had only just tasted that black tea at nine o’clock in the morning.
“No, I’m here to deliver letters.”
Eunice said, while presenting a stack of letters at the same time. There were so many that she had to secure them with both hands.
“What is all of that?”
Mirabel frowned as she asked, and in response, Eunice made a wry smile.
“They’re mainly petitions sent by students because they want to join Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights…”
Mirabel was both amazed and proud of the number of letters before her. She understood the thoughts and feelings of the students. After all, Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights had just shown off their incredible aptitude, and they were anchored right next to the Academy. Moreover, including Knight Commander Ash, most of their members were also students. Mirabel had actually foreseen that people would want to join their group. Having said that, she couldn’t simply accept everything with joy.
“We’re really popular, but I still want to avoid accepting too many students if possible. Our foundation as an independent country isn’t solid yet, and the number of people that the Escavaron can accommodate is limited.”
“Aside from these petitions, are there any other letters?”
“Yes. We have also received interview requests from media outlets all over the world.”
“Again? They certainly don’t know when to give up…”
As the commander, Ash did his best not to appear in public so as to avoid the spotlight. Nonetheless, given his immense achievements, it was only natural that reporters would come knocking on his door.
“It would be best to politely decline. Our actions are most certainly not for the sake of status or honour. And, perhaps…spies from the Empire might disguise themselves as reporters.”
“That is indeed a possibility. The Empire seems to have been somewhat quiet as of late, but…by the way, Princess-sama?”
Mirabel couldn’t help but feel a bit curious when Eunice suddenly switched to a serious tone.
“It’s about time that you get dressed…”
“Oh, sorry. How forgetful of me.”
Mirabel hadn’t realised until now that she was dressed only in her underwear, which was rather inappropriate. After acquiring her long-awaited holy relic — the magical ship Escavaron, its analysis was just about the only thing that weighed on her mind. Following the same routine this morning, she went straight to the cockpit and didn’t even bother spending the time to get dressed after taking a bath.
“Here, princess-sama. Please put this on.”
With Eunice’s assistance, Mirabel slid her arms into the sleeves of a blouse. It was at that moment when the door suddenly opened…
“Good day, Mirabel-san — uwah!?”
Ash appeared at the doorway.
Mirabel’s face immediately became hot. Eunice was buttoning up her blouse, but she hadn’t put her skirt on yet.
Mirabel made a high-pitched shriek as she crouched down on the spot. She was so embarrassed that her cheeks felt like they were about to burst into flames.
“You mustn’t look, Ash-sama!”
Eunice exerted an impressive amount of strength as she pushed Ash back out through the doorway.
…A few minutes later.
Ash made a deep bow and apologised when he was finally allowed to enter the cockpit. In actuality, a clear view of Mirabel’s underwear had already been imprinted in his mind — that included details such as its violet silk material and bright lace decoration.
“…No. It’s my fault for getting dressed in the cockpit.”
Let’s put this matter to rest — Mirabel lightly coughed a few times as if to convey this, and then sat down in the captain’s seat.
“So, what’s the matter today?”
“Well, there’s isn’t actually anything in particular, but…I just felt like talking to you, Mirabel-san.”
Mirabel’s cheeks were dyed an even deeper shade of red compared to when she was seen in her underwear. She fidgeted shyly, her thighs rubbed against each other, and she exuded an alluring charm.
“I wanted to talk to you about Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights.”
“About the Knights?”
Mirabel’s expression seemed to indicate a complicated blend of simultaneous relief and disappointment.
“Yes. It’s been a month now since Oscar’s ascension to the throne. I’ve thought about it a lot during this time, but I just can’t see what we should do or what we should be aiming for…”
Ash expressed his feelings in a sincere manner.
“Indeed, we’ve made great progress in the past month. The Chevron Kingdom and Lautreamont Knight Country have signed a treaty of alliance, and Raquel has also officially recognised us as an independent country.”
“Yes. With things going so smoothly, I’m honestly a little scared, but I suppose it’s only natural when reflecting on the achievements of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights.”
“Yes. And in terms of funding, both Paladin Oswald and Oscar have offered their assistance. Thanks to them, the cost of maintenance for the magic ship has fallen — but it feels as if something is still amiss.”
“That’s probably because of the relationship between Mordred and Cassandra-anesama, right? The whereabouts of Kiira Brava Henriksen are still unknown as well.”
“That’s one of the reasons. However, there are still other things that worry me.”
When Ash said that, for some reason, the corners of Mirabel’s mouth formed a smile.
“Hey, Ash? Aren’t you forgetting something important?”
At that moment, Mirabel’s demeanour shifted to that of an educator admonishing a student.
“There is no doubt that you are now the Commander of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights, in other words, a head of state. The people praise you as a Nation-Saving Hero…but in reality, you’re still just a student.”
“Yeah, that’s true…”
Mirabel gazed at the puzzled look on Ash’s face and then stood up.
“Your current priority should be your academic studies.”
“Can I really do that?”
Ash gazed back at Mirabel with a slightly anxious expression.
“You’re still a student of this Dragon Riding Academy, and that fact has not changed. I will also continue to serve as this Academy’s headmistress for a while.”
Ash had already heard about this matter. Although Mirabel wanted to quit her post and devote herself to research, both the Knight Country’s government and the students hoped that Mirabel would continue.
“That’s right. How about this?”
Mirabel clapped her hands together in a rarely seen gesture.
“Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights can just inherit the functions of the entire student council.”
Ash couldn’t help but exclaim in surprise.
“Yes, that would be for the best. After all, most of the current members are also officers of the student council. As the headmistress, I’d like to make it a formal request. Will you accept?”
Mirabel seemed quite pleased with her sudden flash of inspiration, and her expression was rather bright in comparison to Ash’s confused look. Upon seeing Mirabel’s expression, Ash also began to think that it was a good suggestion. Rather than a half-hearted approach where he was neither fully the Commander of the Knights or a student of the Academy, the best option was to fulfil his duties as a student first and foremost. Moreover, as for the future of the Knights, he had time to think about it while continuing his studies.
“Thank you, Mirabel-san. Thanks to you, all of my worries have cleared up!”
Ash stood up on impulse and took Mirabel’s hands. He clasped both of Mirabel’s slender hands with his own.
Mirabel’s eyes widened as she froze on the spot.
Ash tilted his head in confusion.
“Umm, Ash-sama? If this continues, it might be a bit too much for princess-sama to handle…”
Eunice said to Ash with a wry smile. At that moment…
“—I know you’re here, Ash!”
When the door was pushed open, Eco unreservedly appeared.
“What are you dawdling for? We have a meeting in Julius Hall soon!”
Silvia followed after her.
“Good morning, Ash-sama.”
A few seconds later, it was Cosette who offered a gentle greeting.
“…Hey, Ash. What the hell are you doing to aneue!?”
Silvia’s expression instantly changed.
“You’re not planning to make a move on Mirabel too, are you?”
Eco’s infuriation seemed to resemble a dragon baring its fangs.
“I-It’s not like that! This is a misunderstanding!”
Ash hurriedly let go of Mirabel’s hands.
“The enemy of women must be dealt with by the hammer of death — that’s my family motto!”
“I’m going to trample you!”
Silvia unleashed her iron fist, while Eco erupted with a heavy kick.
At eleven o’clock in the morning, in the meeting room of Julius Hall.
“The reason that you’ve all been gathered here today is—”
Rebecca coolly stood up and began to speak.
“I’m going to announce what should have been decided last autumn.”
“Why so formal…what is it?”
Jessica asked with a look of surprise.
“Yes, it’s about the student council’s new organisational structure.”
Those words caused Ash to breathe a sigh of relief. Just as Rebecca said, the student council’s new structure was supposed to have been decided in the autumn of last year. If two or more people wanted to have the same position, it would be put to a vote. However, because the <Schwarz Drachen Panzer> led by Klaus had destroyed many Academy facilities, the students spent a lot of time rebuilding the Academy.
The devastated Apollo House had just been rebuilt, and its inauguration ceremony was only a few days ago. Including Ash and Eco, the male students of the Senios course who originally lived in Apollo House moved back into the dormitory and enjoyed peaceful lives. Along with the completion of the new Apollo House, most of the Academy City had also been reconstructed. As such, it was only natural that Rebecca would bring up the topic of a new organisational structure at this time.
“Even the graduation ceremony for the third years of the Senios course was postponed again following a postponement. I should’ve graduated a long time ago.”
Rebecca smiled as she looked down at her uniform. She then cast her sharp gaze towards Ash.
Ash sensed the unusual atmosphere and hurriedly stood up. Rebecca gazed straight at Ash and awe-inspiringly declared,
“I hope that you can take over as the next Student Council President.”
“I’m going to take over as the Student Council President!?”
Ash’s entire body tensed up. He recalled what Rebecca said to him last summer. Back then, Julius Hall had just been unsealed and Ash was cleaning the interior. When it was just him and Rebecca…
—I want you to become the next Student Council President. I’m going to graduate in half a year’s time, so I need to start looking for candidates to be my successor.
Indeed, it had already been more half a year since then. The time for a successor to be determined had finally arrived. The air in the room was filled with tension as everyone focused their attention to Ash. Ash suddenly recalled the events that transpired a year ago. Back then, Eco wasn’t born yet, and he was still regarded as the Academy’s Number One Problem Child. The idea of holding such a position would’ve been a dream as distant as clouds in the sky. Unexpectedly, he had just been nominated as the successor by the current president, Rebecca. The heavy responsibility that came with it caused Ash to tremble. However, he was no longer the same person that he once was. In addition to his irreplaceable partner, Eco, he was also blessed with the support of many friends, such as Silvia. I should be able to do it now — Ash thought to himself. As if everything had been arranged by the hand of fate, Ash naturally answered,
“I humbly accept.”
Following a moment’s silence, Ash was surrounded by a warm round of applause.
An impromptu assembly was held in the auditorium, and a grand announcement of the new student council organisation was made.
President: Ash Blake
Vice President: Silvia Lautreamont
Secretary: Lucca Sarlinen
Treasurer: Maximillian Russell
Disciplinary Affairs Officer: Jessica Valentine
General Affairs Officer: Raymond Kirkland
The only member who could be considered as new was Raymond. They had worked together since Ash’s foundation of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights, so he was entrusted with general affairs. On the other hand, Jessica’s appointment as the Disciplinary Affairs Officer was a subject of much debate. Because Jessica always coveted Ash’s seed, there were doubts as to whether she could be the Disciplinary Affairs Officer…although some people raised such objections, it was decided because of Jessica’s overwhelming enthusiasm and the fact that there were no other candidates. The impromptu assembly concluded with Mirabel’s declaration.
“I hereby announce — Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Knights will henceforth be provisionally based in Ansarivan. At the same time, they will carry out activities as members of the Academy’s student council.”
“Prologue of Part III ~A.S.B.1366.03~” is closed.
(All 3 of 3 parts) (17/4/21)
Continues on to Chapter 2 – Rebecca’s Graduation Ceremony