The Return of Anya
The first day of the month of Libra.
Ansarivan Dragon Riding Academy had finally entered the latter part of the teaching course. The Academy City seemed to have become deserted over the summer vacation period, but due to the students who were returning to school for the beginning of a new term, the City’s vitality was restored. In the morning, all of the students were gathered in the auditorium to attend the opening ceremony. Ash and Raymond were unenthusiastically standing at the back of the line for the first year Senios Course students. Unlike Silvia and Max who were standing upright at the very front of the line, both of these people appeared somewhat lazy. It was just that, Ash had a certain worry on his mind.
“It really hurts…”
“What’s wrong, Ash? Do you have back pain? Did you take the stairway to adulthood this summer vacation?”
While Raymond grinned, he patted Ash’s back *pan pan pan* roughly a few times. Ash seemed as if salt had been rub on his wound, and cried out angrily in pain.
“Don’t talk nonsense! All of my muscles are aching.”
“A couple’s bedroom activities are indeed a type of full-body exercise huh. Eco-chan didn’t come along today, but is that also the reason for it?”
“Please don’t twist that topic around anymore! Also, Eco is simply resting in bed!”
“Well, you still do have the body of a boy , so I understand even without you saying it.”
“Since that’s the case, stop talking about nonsense!”
“Incidentally, I’m also starting this new term with the body of a boy…”
Raymond’s mood seemed like it had hit rock bottom. He was clearly a handsome and self-confident male, yet the blossoming period of his life didn’t come. Ash couldn’t help but smile wryly to that.
“I feel sorry for you.”
“Well then, why are the muscles all over your body aching?”
Having no other alternative, Ash recounted the events which had transpired a few days ago. About the matter where Oscar had attacked. After he equipped the Ark that Eco had constructed, he had finally succeeded in repelling him. It was just that the Ark would put a very heavy burden on his body, and although he did not wear it for a long period of time, it had the after-effect of intense muscle soreness…and so on.
“Is that for real!? If such an amazing thing happened, why haven’t I heard any sorts of rumours about it?”
Raymond turned his head from one side to the other in puzzlement. The truth was just as he had said, it was an incredible battle fought between two sides, but he had not heard anyone speaking of such a topic.
“It’s because at that time, it was summer vacation, and the majority of students went home, and hadn’t returned yet. Moreover, if news of the President and Vice-President of Ansarivan’s Student Council duel leaked out, both of them would most likely be arrested by the City Council.”
After hearing Ash’s words, Raymond revealed an expression as if he had suddenly realised something.
“The conflict between President and Vice-President is an unheard of scandal. That’s why Princess Mirabel kept it quiet…”
“If she wasn’t here to help with supressing it, I think something like this would’ve already become a newspaper article…”
Ash sighed and hung his head down. As soon as that battle concluded, Ash and the others were taken to the Headmaster’s Office by Mirabel, and were given a serious warning. However, Mirabel let them off with just a verbal warning, so that could be considered quite fortunate for Ash and the others. That was because Ansarivan traditionally imposed heavy penalties on fights within the Academy. Although Oscar was the culprit behind the whole incident, he quickly escaped, and was thus untouched. Although the bulletin boards in the hallways had an announcement of ‘Grounded for one week as punishment’ posted on them, he was afraid that it was nothing more than a harmless announcement for them. It really was quite ridiculous.
“Wow, look at everyone—”
Raymond’s gaze suddenly turned towards the stage. The headmistress Mirabel was preparing a speech.
“Dear students. I am the headmistress, Mirabel Lautreamont.”
The Third Princess Mirabel was sent to Ansarivan after the incident in which the unconscious Eco lost control and attacked Fontaine City. Although she was a Princess, he dress style was rather simple, but regardless of whether it was her silvery white hair or cold eyes, it made her presence rather overwhelming. Even her gestures had an eye-catching charm, as if she was illuminated by moonlight.
“Now…I will hereby declare several regulations, which I hope you students will strictly abide by.”
Although her voice was not particularly loud, a clear voice reached every corner of the auditorium. Her cold statement caused the majority of students to feel nervous, and some even found it difficult to swallow as they gulped.
“First, do not interrupt my personal research. Second, do not interrupt my teatime. And next is—”
Mirabel suddenly stammered, and her cheeks became flushed. That adorable look seemed to captivate all of the students below the stage regardless of their gender. Ash and Raymond were not exceptions to that.
“T-That…since I took up the post of headmistress, l-love…”
“It’s love letter, Hime-sama.”
Eunice quietly reminded her from the side.
“Y-Yes, there have been students who have constantly sent love letters to me. But this kind of behaviour has already caused trouble for me…so please do not send love letters in the future, students.”
Mirabel quickly turned around to hide her face, stepped down from the stage, and then exited the building. Eunice was like a shadow of the Princess, and quietly followed behind her. Mirabel, who was usually cold towards others, actually didn’t seem to be very good at dealing with relationships with the opposite gender. Since even the two words ‘love letter’ caused her to stutter for so long, she probably was not very used to it…Ash silently thought to himself. After all, she was the Princess of a country, so perhaps it was not strange for her to be a bit more conservative in that regard. But, for her who previously studied abroad at Espada St. Law University, she actually became so embarrassed after receiving just a few love letters. Perhaps while she was studying, she secluded herself in the laboratory, and rarely or never interacted with other people.
“Princess Mirabel…that’s too cool!”
Beside Ash, Raymond gave a thumbs up as he praised her, and suddenly gasped with excitement.
“Alright, now I also have send a love letter to Princess Mirabel!”
“Hey wait! She just said not to send them anymore, didn’t you hear it!?”
Ash had a look of astonishment on his face as he said that to his friend whose habits never changed.
(Part 1 of 4) (Draft 2/5) (Revised 30/5)
Because a staff meeting was scheduled for the afternoon, an announcement was made that classes would be finished for the day when the noon bell rang. While Ash collected his belongings and prepared to head back to the dorm, he thought about the matter regarding Oscar Brailsford.
“Hurry up! I’m hungry and my stomach is grumbling.”
Because she was still in bed, Eco didn’t make it in time for the opening ceremony, but she put on her uniform afterwards and snuck into the classroom; she was currently beside Ash, hurrying him up to return to home. It felt like it had been a long time since Eco was in her uniform.
“Come on, delicious meat is calling for me!”
Although he replied like that, Ash still found it difficult to disengage from the depths of his thoughts. Ever since that major incident in Fontaine City, the Imperial Army of the Zepharos Empire had quietened down, and had not made any obvious moves so far, so Ash and Eco relaxed a bit — but this time, a man named Oscar showed up to cause trouble. Although he shouldn’t be as dangerous as the Imperial Army, he was nonetheless still of the Chevron aristocracy. Also, because Eco didn’t possess much influence, if there were any errors, the worst situation could turn into a diplomatic issue. Anyway, Ash decided to rely on Raymond’s intelligence network for help.
“Sorry, Eco. Please wait a bit longer, I have something that I want to ask Raymond.”
Seeing that Ash pleaded with both hands together, Eco reluctantly accepted it.
“…It really can’t be helped. Hurry up and ask your friend, okay?”
Ash quickly ran over to Raymond’s seat and asked
“Hey, Raymond. I wanted to ask you about the things related to Oscar…your contacts are really vast, so you should know something about him right?”
“Ah, I’ll check.”
Raymond took out a treasured book and began to flip through it. That book was filled with records of each female student’s full profile. In fact, many male students took money out of their wallets so that they could purchase the information that was recorded in Raymond’s book. Ash suddenly realised that something wasn’t quite right.
“Hold on, Raymond. Oscar is a boy, so which did you take out a tool for scouting girls?”
Raymond made a calm smile, and then pushed his fringe back.
“‘Cute’ and ‘beautiful’ are things that sometimes transcend gender. One day, you’ll come to understand this principle.”
“…I’m starting to get worried about your future.”
“There’s no need to worry, Ash. You’re not my type anyway.”
“Don’t make up things like that without hesitation then! You’re scaring me!”
“Alright, I was just joking with you — Oscar Brailsford comes from the Chevron Kingdom, and is currently studying as a second year in the Senios course. Although he’s often away from classwork and school activities, his test scores are among the best. Because he has a way to maintain his ranking within the top five, the teachers don’t seem to be able to do anything about him.”
Because it didn’t seem like Oscar was a diligent student, Ash was quite surprised by Raymond’s information.
“Also, he’s the child of the current king of Chevron and a mistress, thus, he’s not just an aristocrat, but also has the right to inherit the throne. But, because his mother is a commoner, his succession to the throne is ranked as one hundred and eighth — in other words, last.”
“Huh? Isn’t Brailsford a noble family of Chevron? I thought his mother was born from that family.”
“I’m not clear on the details, but Oscar’s mother passed away when he was young, and so it seems like the Brailsford family took Oscar in as an adopted son.”
“I see. Seeing as how he was so arrogant, I couldn’t tell that he had gone through so many difficulties in the past…”
Raymond then revealed a few more pieces of information to Ash. They were things such as; although he completely qualified as a candidate, he declined to participate in the Allonnes Selective Training Camp. Also, he couldn’t live in the student dormitory unless it was a private room…and various other things. After Raymond closed his book, he raised his head.
“The bottom line is that the Hime-sama probably knows more about the Vice-President than me. After all, the Chevron Kingdom’s family and the Lautreamont Knight Country’s family have quite a deep relationship with each other, so perhaps she may have heard of some information that only royalty would know of.”
“I see, that does make sense.”
Ash calmly cast his gaze towards the front row of the classroom. Silvia was packing her things away as she prepared to go home. All of the injuries that she suffered in the fight against Oscar and Tristan seemed to have healed. It was probably the result of healing based Dragon Magic. Although it was a good opportunity to call out to her right now, Ash was hesitant. The scene of their kiss in the novitiate that night flashed across his mind.
“What is it, Ash? Your face is quite red.”
Raymond curiously asked.
“N-Nothing, it’s nothing, really! You’re right, Hime-sama should probably know something…”
“No! I forbid you from asking Silvia for help!”
Eco suddenly interjected. Unknown to him, she had slipped behind Ash’s back as she may have become tired of waiting.
“Huh? Haven’t you been getting along pretty well with Hime-sama lately, Eco-chan?”
Raymond didn’t know what had happened during the summer vacation, and so he was looking at Eco in surprise.
“A-Anyway, if I say no, then it’s a no! You can’t ask Silvia—”
Raymond ignored the angry Eco, and quickly shouted out
“Hey~ Hime-sama! Ash said that there’s something he wants to ask you!”
Ash anxiously tried to stop him, but it was too late. The instant that Raymond said Ash’s name, Silvia’s shoulders momentarily trembled in an exaggerated motion.
“Hey hey, what’s wrong with you? You’re so familiar with each other, so what’s there to be embarrassed about right now?”
Raymond didn’t seem to have the intention of pulling a prank on Ash, as he simply had a puzzled expression on his face. Even if it was just an action with good intentions, it felt like something unnecessarily nosy to Ash.
“T-That thing…it’s because of that time, which is why it’s embarrassing…”
When Ash said so evasively, Raymond’s eyes instantly sharpened.
“You bastard…something good must have happened between you and Hime-sama! So that’s why Eco-chan is avoiding contact with Hime-sama?”
“N-No, the situation isn’t what you think it is…!”
“Y-Ye-Yeah! You’re misunderstanding!”
Having the truth seen through by Raymond, both Ash and Eco quickly denied it, as they thought about ways to get out of the current situation.
“Hmm, very suspicious…”
When Raymond narrowed his eyes in suspicion, Silvia hesitantly walked over, after having packed her things away.
“Umm…what did you want to ask me?”
Ash was wrought with nervousness, and could only murmur in response.
“If you don’t mind…then why don’t we have lunch together? <La Tene> seems to have just finished its renovations and reopened. I-It’s a bit embarrassing for me to go there by myself…”
Silvia’s delicate and adorable attitude caused Raymond to affix his eyes straight onto her. Furthermore, Silvia also invited Ash to lunch of her own accord. Ash was probably even more surprised than Raymond about this.
“Umm…are you really Hime-sama? You aren’t actually Cosette-san in disguise are you?”
Hearing Raymond ask such a silly question, Silvia’s eyebrows curled in anger.
“H-How could I possibly be Cosette in disguise!? That’s right, I’m inviting Ash! Do you have a problem!?”
“No, no, I don’t! Uh, I just remembered that I have something urgent to do…see you tomorrow, Ash!”
Raymond gave Ash an indignant look, and then rushed out of the classroom. He would probably prepare a number of irritating questions to pester Ash with tomorrow.
“T-Then, are you willing to accept my invitation? Or reject it?”
Silvia continued to press Ash.
“Wait a minute, what are you trying to do!?”
Eco jumped out as if to protect Ash. And without saying a thing, she grabbed onto Ash’s right hand tightly.
Eco had abnormal strength which was on par with that of a dragon despite her body, and for a moment, Ash thought that his wrist would be dislocated. Nevertheless, he clenched his teeth, and swallowed the pain.
“Why don’t the three of us go together? Hmm, let’s do that!”
A sense of rivalry seemed to have been ignited within Silvia, and she grabbed onto Ash’s left arm. Then, like a pair of lovers, she entwined her arm around Ash’s arm.
If it was the Silvia of the past, she never would have been able to take such bold actions. Perhaps she had loosened up a bit as a result of her confession and kiss.
“Hey…what are you doing!?”
Eco protested, but Silvia didn’t heed her at all, and simply urged Ash to hurry up and leave. Eco was on his right side. Moreover, Silvia was on his left side. The students who had remained in the classroom watched in amazement as Ash left, with the fortune of having a girl in both arms.
(Part 2 of 4) (Draft 16/5) (Revised 30/5)
In order to celebrate their reopening after taking advantage of the vacation period to complete their interior renovation, <La Tene> had all of their waitresses wear a variety of fancy outfits to serve their guests. There were some like cats or dogs, while there were also those like female knights and young dragons; they had all kinds of strange outfits on. The store’s business was booming, and there were only a few seats remaining. If they acted even a bit slower, they might have had to wait in line.
“It’s my treat today.”
Ash sat down at the empty table, and picked up a menu as if asserting that he was going to be paying the bill for this meal. In fact, after being appointed as an Ark Dragonar, Ash’s wallet had received a monthly salary. Even under the assumption that he came to <La Tene> as a customer every day, it would not result in a great blow to his wallet. Compared to his days as a poor student, his current lifestyle was like a dream.
“Oh. You actually volunteered to treat, it looks like you’re slowly becoming financially capable.”
The generous Ash had become a reliable man in Eco’s mind. Strictly speaking though, Ash had shouldered the burden of Eco’s meal costs ever since she was born.
“Well, you just rely on a man to earn money and support you, so it seems like you don’t amount to much yourself. As a woman of the Knight Country, you should learn how to live independently, instead of being like a Chevron woman who only knows how to flatter men.”
Seeing Silvia speak as though she were attacking Eco, cold sweat dripped down Ash’s body. Sure enough, Eco began to counterattack against Silvia.
“What did you say? How about you treat for this meal, Silvia! You were the one who invited us to eat here anyway!”
“Eco! How can you speak like that to Hime-sama?”
“What, are you helping Silvia’s side now!?”
Eco’s face dyed red in anger.
“Fighting over such a thing is too shameful, you two. We just came to a students’ restaurant to have a meal, so what is there to argue about? Eco is right, I was the person who invited you to this restaurant. That’s why I’ll be paying for this meal.”
Silvia’s generous statement caused Ash to feel admiration for her, but he immediately realised that something was off.
“Hold on, I’ve never seen you pay for anything before, Hime-sama.”
“Hmm? What are you trying to say, Ash?”
“Well, Hime-sama. Pardon my rudeness for asking this…do you have any cash on you?”
“Cash? I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
Silvia furrowed her eyebrows in surprise.
“You didn’t bring your wallet, right?”
“Why does the princess of a country need to carry a wallet? I normally give my wallet to Cosette to manage.”
“Where is Cosette-san right now?”
“Because the essential oils used for bathing have run out, I remember her saying that she was going to buy some new ones. However, I just need to give the name of the Lautreamont Royal Family, and the restaurant should allow us to eat as much as we like on credit.”
“No no, that might be all right in a three-star restaurant in the capital, but this is the Academy City, you know? Hime-sama, you also shouldn’t want to give out the name of the Royal Family in a public restaurant as well, right?”
“Uh…that is true.”
“Today will still be my treat, since I have a lot of questions to ask you anyway, Hime-sama.”
“I’m sorry, Ash…”
“Hmph, it’s my win this time!”
Seeing Silvia become disappointed and downcast, Eco seemed proud and overjoyed.
“Hey hey, I’m the one treating so don’t get so cocky, alright?”
Just when Ash said that to Eco with an amazed expression—
“W-Welcome back nyan…master!”
A waitress wearing a maid outfit, with cat ears on her head, and a cat’s tail attached behind her suddenly ran out, giving Ash a surprise. What was even more surprising was that this waitress’ face was very familiar.
Ash stared blankly at the waitress’ face. Eco and Silvia also followed suit, and were speechless. Tan skin, dark black hair, and piercing eyes. She was small, but she had a beautiful figure like a female leopard — it was most definitely the Anya who was previously the enemy of Ash and the others.
“Wanya! It’s Ash Blake and the young dragon Eco! A-And Princess Silvia as well nya!”
“Why is your speech so strange?”
After Ash calmly pointed out her speech issue, Anya’s entire body become so red that it seemed like she was puffing out steam.
“T-This is because of the manager’s orders, I can’t just…”
Anya’s gaze wandered as she spoke vaguely and inarticulately. Ash couldn’t stop himself from being mesmerised by the attraction of her exotic beauty. With the cat ears and tail as accessories, it made Anya look even more adorable. She was like a black cat that people only wanted to hug and pamper. Along with the frilly maid outfit, it was surprisingly well suited for her. The length of the skirt was above her knees, and her slightly concealed thighs would make one nervous.
While Ash was looking on in wonder, he was suddenly struck in the abdomen by an elbow on both sides.
“What…what the heck! Eco! And even you’re being so rough too, Hime-sama!”
As soon as Ash opened his mouth to complain, Eco and Silvia gave him a foul look as they both stiffened and immediately replied
“Hmph! It’s your fault for staring open-mouthed at girls!”
“Indeed, I can’t help approving of what Eco has to say this time.”
“I can’t stand you guys, you’re both getting so worked up about such a perplexing thing.”
Ash lamented as he clutched his stomach.
“Anyway, you’re called Anya, right? Why are you in Ansarivan!?”
This time, Eco directed her anger towards Anya as she spoke.
“Shouldn’t you have been left in Fontaine City for interrogation? Surely, you don’t plan on engaging in more plots, do you?”
Silvia aggressively followed like Eco, and cast a cold gaze towards Anya.
With an enemy on each side, Anya appeared to shrink back timidly.
“Ara , Anya-chan, could these be your friends?”
Then, the manager of <La Tene> came over from behind Anya. Although the manager was rather tall, the perfect proportions of her body were comparable to a model, but she always had a warm and friendly smile on her face, so it didn’t give people the feeling that she was difficult to approach. At around twenty years of age, she was greatly admired by the students of the Unios course, which even gave her the nickname of ‘okaa-san’ , as a so-called popular manager.
“M-Manager, there are people who know my true identity…”
Anya was on the verge of tears as she turned around and looked at the manager.
“Well well, aren’t you Princess Silvia? For the Princess to visit the lowly students’ restaurant <La Tene>, it’s my honour.”
The manager noticed that the customer sitting down was Silvia, and immediately bowed with respect. Then, she began to explain about Anya’s situation to the three people.
“—That’s basically how it is, so this girl is no longer the enemy of the Knight Country.”
In short, when she was being interrogated by Veronica, because of her cooperative attitude, she obtained a pardon afterwards, and it was arranged for her to live in Ansarivan. At that time, the one who volunteered to be Anya’s observer and guardian was the manager of <La Tene>.
“Umm…I’m really sorry for troubling everyone. Although I know it’s not something that can be forgiven with just an apology…”
Anya sombrely bowed as she apologised to Eco.
“What’s with that tone?”
Eco angrily puffed out her cheeks. Before, thanks to Anya’s doing, Eco had suffered a lot in Fontaine City, so it was hard to blame her for not forgiving her so easily. It was just that, seeing Anya maintain her deeply bowed posture without moving, the steel-hearted Eco seemed to relent.
“F-Fine…if you let me have some delicious meat, I’ll consider forgiving you.”
Hearing Eco’s words, Anya’s face suddenly brightened up a bit.
“Really!? The chef’s recommendation for today is [Grilled Lamb]!”
“Look at you, you’re even drooling!”
Ash quickly picked up a napkin and helped Eco to wipe the edge of her mouth, then looked at the interaction between Eco and Anya, and suddenly had mixed feelings.
“Thinking back about it now…Eco’s birth actually has an inseparable relationship with Anya. Didn’t you attack me in the forest at first?”
“I-I’m really very sorry…”
Anya’s shrunk back more and more.
“You don’t need to be afraid, I’m not angry anymore. On the contrary, if not for you, Eco might not have awakened yet.”
After Ash said that with a wry smile, Eco cried out.
“What! Are you mistaken!? If your life wasn’t about to end, I could’ve slept for another three good years!”
“Just how much do you like sleeping!? If I really let you sleep for that long, I would have graduated!”
Seeing Ash and Eco both arguing, Anya couldn’t help giggling slightly.
“Hmm? What’s so funny?”
After Ash asked out of puzzlement, Anya gave a wry smile as she replied
“I just think that a Dragonar and their Pal really have a good relationship.”
“I-I don’t have a particularly good relationship with him!”
Eco crossed her arms, and turned her face away dismissively. Ash inadvertently noticed that her cheeks were slightly flushed, which in turn caused him to feel embarrassed.
“Yes yes! Anya has recently been talking all the time about Ash-san. She looks as though she’s anxious to start—”
“M-Manager! What are you saying, really!”
Anya’s ears reddened and she pushed the manager from behind as she left. Not long after, she was seen pushing the restaurant manager outside, and then dove into the kitchen.
“Wait a minute! How are we going to order? What about that tasty [Grilled Lamb]!”
Eco shouted out loudly, but Anya refused to come out no matter what.
“It’s rather strange, what could’ve happened to Anya?”
Ash honestly wondered about that, and Silvia, who had been silent until now, finally broke the silence.
“It’s like you’re completely off guard. Could it be that even Anya…”
Silvia muttered incomprehensively, but it was nearly impossible to hear the latter half of what she was saying. Thus, Ash put on a serious expression, and looked at Silvia.
“Hime-sama, why are you angry?”
“You should ask yourself that question!”
(Part 3 of 4) (Draft 28/5) (Revised 30/5)
“Wow…it looks delicious!”
Seeing the dishes arrive at the table one by one, Eco cheered in excitement. Facing the large and steaming hot leg of grilled lamb, it felt like it would be more than enough to eat even if it was split between five people. The surface was grilled to a golden-brown colour and was crispy, which simply stirred up one’s appetite.
“Hmm, it’s certainly not bad…”
Even Silvia, who had a displeased expression before, seemed to have her appetite aroused. Aside from lamb, the dishes on the table also consisted of Allonnes mushroom pasta, a salad with autumn’s seasonal vegetables, pumpkin soup, as well as stone oven baked bread.
“This is mine!”
Right after offering a prayer to Saint Rosa Maria, Eco couldn’t wait any longer and prepared to bite into the lamb.
“Eco! The meat needs to be cut up and divided to everyone first!”
Ash quickly stopped Eco, as he picked up a knife to slice up the meat. The moment that the knife cut into the meat, a lot of the juices ‘pochi’ spilled out. After he placed the sliced up meat on a small plate for Eco, she grinned as she tossed the meat into her mouth with large bites.
“Hafuhafu…mmm~ that was delicious!”
Recently, Eco had been becoming more and more feminine, but only when it came to food, she would return to childlike appearance. At that time, Ash felt that there was a strong gaze looking at them from the opposite side, and couldn’t help looking up in surprise. It was actually Silvia, who was staring at his hands.
“Is there a problem…Hime-sama?”
Hearing Ash talk to her, Silvia returned to her senses, and exaggeratedly shook her head.
“N-No! There’s nothing!”
Although Silvia said that there weren’t any issues, she was holding onto a small plate in her hand. Looking at her awkward demeanour, Ash understood what it was. He couldn’t help exposing a wry smile. Silvia probably never had the experience of cutting a large platter of meat by herself. Cosette probably did this kind of task for her all the time. However, Silvia had a lot of pride. She almost definitely thought it too humiliating to ask Ash to help her carve the meat, and was wondering in her mind about what to do.
“Here, give me your plate.”
After Ash took Silvia’s plate, he picked up the knife and cut the meat into slices. The meat juices ‘pochi’ gushed out again. Ash cut the slices of meat into sizes which were easy to eat, and then placed them onto the plate.
Silvia took the plate, and then used a voice as quiet as a mosquito to thank him. This time, that exchange caused a killing intent to stab into his cheek, and Ash involuntarily stiffened up.
“Eco? What is it?”
Turning to look beside him, Eco held out her small plate with a serious expression. Having a delicious meat dish to enjoy, Eco was originally overjoyed, but she somehow now had a straight-faced expression.
“Ah…okay, there is a lot anyway.”
Cold sweat continued to roll down Ash’s body. Eco was clearly in a fit of anger. It must have been because she saw Ash and Silvia’s interaction that caused her to become angry like this. Ash cut slightly thicker pieces of meat and placed them onto Eco’s plate.
In an instant, a hand suddenly extended out from his side and snatched the plate away, which greatly surprised Ash.
“Oh…I thought that a students’ restaurant wouldn’t be able to produce any decent dishes, but the taste of this dish is actually worthy of a three-star rating.”
Ash hastily glanced back, and saw Oscar Brailsford standing behind, with an indifferent look on his face. He held a piece of meat up with his fingers, and then gobbled it with delight; those actions were a complete contrast to his elegant appearance.
“That’s my meat! How dare you snatch it away!”
In anger, Eco stood up and threw a punch, but Oscar easily avoided the attack. As if he had come late to a gathering of friends, he casually sat down in the vacant seat as if nothing had happened.
“Hey! Don’t just sit there so naturally!”
Oscar handsomely brushed his fringe up, and ignored Eco’s angry roars.
“What’s wrong, we’re all members of the Student Council.”
“You have the nerve to say that? And that’s not even counting the fact that you’re normally absent.”
Ash grumbled that with an expression of surprise, but Oscar simply returned a graceful, cheeky smile.
“Oscar, what are you planning? You did such an inexcusable thing to us before, do you really have the right to appear before us?”
Silvia glared sharply at Oscar. Within those icy blue eyes of hers, were scorching red flames. Having recently been defeated by the pair which consisted of Oscar and Tristan, she was presumably not too happy about it.
“Fuu. I remember you looked quite pathetic when I dealt with you, Princess Silvia-dono.”
Silvia’s face was dyed red with anger, and her lips were trembling. But, the next thing that she was going to say was stuck in her throat and wouldn’t come out. Despite cooperating with Lucca, Silvia was still defeated pathetically. That’s why she clearly understood that no matter what she said right now, it would just be the cries of a sore loser.
“Anyway, as a dragon, Eco likes to eat meat the most, right?”
Oscar suddenly asked a question which seemed to have no correlation to the previous topic.
“Yeah. So what?”
After Eco snappily replied, Oscar smiled.
“If you consent to be my partner, I can treat you to the highest grade of Chevron beef every day. Whether it’s grilled steak, sautéed beef, or roast beef, you can eat whatever you want to eat. By the way, do you know the part that people call ‘toro’? Eating beef toro raw is one of the most delicious things in this world.”
“Eating Chevron beef toro raw…?”
Eco quickly revealed a greedy expression as she drooled.
“Hey hey! You’re being kidnapped by food!”
Ash quickly doused Eco’s desires, and then glared at Oscar.
“Stop going overboard. Eco is my Pal.”
Ash boldly declared his full authority as the master, but it didn’t seem to have any effect. Oscar sighed, and then exaggeratedly shrugged his shoulders.
“You really are carefree. Did you know that the Chevron Kingdom has already been informed of Eco’s true identity?”
“So what if they know? The Kingdom and Knight Country are allies.”
Even though Ash was annoyed by studying and exams, he still knew the common knowledge of a citizen of the Knight Country.
“Also, these two countries don’t just have any ordinary bilateral relationship. Like a knight pledging allegiance to their monarch, the Knight Country has always done things for the sake of the Kingdom. Even if both countries share their intelligence on Eco, it’s nothing to make a fuss over.”
“What naïve thinking…what [Avalon Knight], this is a joke. Do you really think that the Kingdom and Knight Country acting like lovers in a drama will continue to play out forever?”
Oscar suddenly shifted to a serious expression, which caused Ash to shudder.
“Oscar-dono! Be mindful of what you’re saying!”
Silvia couldn’t conceal the anxiousness in her mind, and glared at the side of Oscar’s face.
“Thinking about it realistically, allowing us of the Chevron Kingdom to exclusively manage the dragons would be more convenient and time conserving, isn’t this the undeniable truth? Yet, the Kingdom entrusted the Knight Country with the management of the dragons. It’s just that, the Kingdom believed that regardless of the era, the Knight King would whole-heartedly pledge his absolute loyalty to the Chevron King — this model of thinking may have been established five hundred years ago, but the problem is…”
“Hey hey…is it really possible for these two countries to break off their diplomatic relationship?”
Ash nervously gulped, as he awaited Oscar’s reply.
“Eco’s awakening in Fontaine City amidst the disorder has shocked the world leaders — that incident will definitely invoke a gradual change in the situation of the world. Were it not for that riot, the Chevron Kingdom also wouldn’t suspect the Knight Country’s government of disloyalty for no reason.”
“Moreover, the current Chevron King, Zacharias III is rather old, and the old days of naming the next monarch are long gone. Not only that, he complains that he’s gotten weak in his old age, and is planning to seek out some secret medicine which will grant him eternal youth and immortality. With his personality declining to this point, this so-called King is nothing more than an ugly old man. Regardless of the era, the ones who lead a country to ruin are always old fools who only fill their minds with their own selfish desires.”
“Hey hey, what’s this about eternal youth and immortality…did the King really say such nonsense?”
Ash timidly asked. Could it be that the Chevron King really wanted to imitate the specialists of witchcraft from folk stories?
“Of course he’s serious about that, it’s because the Princess of Avalon’s Dragons’ Emperor has been born into this world.”
Oscar nonchalantly replied.
“Hold on…how is this related to Eco?”
“Simply by drinking the blood of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor, you’ll be able to obtain eternal youth and immortality — this is a long-standing legend.”
“What did you say…”
Eco wrapped her arms around herself and shuddered in fear.
“That’s ridiculous! I’ve never heard of such a legend!”
“I heard that you went to visit the Mother Dragon during the break, so she didn’t tell you anything?”
Although Ash felt surprised by the intelligence network that was easily available to Oscar, he gave a serious reply to his question.
“That’s right, I didn’t hear her speak about such a thing at all.”
Oscar nodded as if he had understood the main point.
“Is that so? The Mother Dragon didn’t say anything at all — that verifies one thing, and it’s that eternal youth and immortality is an impossible existence. Don’t you think so?”
“What you’re saying does make sense.”
Ash expressed his agreement towards Oscar’s words for the first time. If there really was a secret existence such as obtaining eternal youth and immortality through drinking the blood of Avalon, the Mother Dragon definitely would’ve warned Ash about it.
“The legend of eternal youth and immortality which has spread across the continent probably became a superstition around the time that Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Family was established. When Zacharias III was young, he probably also dismissed legends such as this. But, the process of aging can change a person. Sooner or later, Zacharias will die, hence he is seeking out Eco for the medicine.”
“You came to tell us this information, so what are you planning to do?”
“My aim is of course to become the next King of Chevron. I swear that after I succeed the Chevron King, not only will I protect the personal safety of Eco, I will also maintain the alliance with the Knight Country.”
“Are you serious?”
“Of course. However, in the case that the successor to the throne is another one of the candidates — like that Uriel who has an irritable temper, my guess is that the Knight Country probably won’t be able to escape from the destiny of being annexed by the Kingdom. Uriel holds the ambition to dominate the entire continent, and in order to accomplish that goal, he’ll definitely want to abolish the old system so that he can manage the dragon race himself. After everything is ready, he’s bound to declare war against the mechanised forces of the Zepharos Empire. That situation is bound to set off a world war—”
After saying up to there, Oscar suddenly stopped speaking, and unceremoniously grabbed the glass near his hand and drank it in one gulp. Silvia’s facial expression conveyed shock. That was because the cup that Oscar snatched away was the one that she had just drank from. With her straitlaced personality, Silvia may have gotten the thought of it being an indirect kiss when watching that.
“Umm…would you like to order?”
At that time, Anya appeared with a timid voice. Seeing that she had a pen and paper in her hand, it was probably because she noticed that Oscar had just taken a seat in the restaurant, which is why she came to ask whether they wanted to order. Ash also noticed the reason that Oscar suddenly became silent, and was afraid that he might have some sort of close connection to the waitress. It showed that while he appeared frivolous on the surface, he actually had a cautious and serious personality. Oscar glanced at Anya, and then revealed an arrogant smile.
“I see, so you’re Anya — no, I should call you Shamara Kiltzkaya, right? The rumours say that you were pardoned because you made a plea bargain, it seems it really is true.”
“What…how do you know that!?”
Anya raised the corner of her eyebrows, and immediately put on a defensive stance. Even though she was currently wearing a maid outfit with cat ears and a tail, she was previously a spy for the Imperial Army, and the chief of the Tantalos Tribe; the killing intent that she was giving off was definitely not a bluff. The sharp end of her pen was pointed squarely at Oscar’s eye.
Ash was worried. It was unusual that Veronica would spare her, so if she used force against a student, she would be recaptured and sent to serve time in prison.
“Fuu, that’s right. Those are the eyes. No matter how hard you work to make yourself look like an ordinary citizen, you were born as a warrior after all. You carry the bloodline of the fighting Tantalos Tribe, so you’re not allowed to lead a serene life—”
Oscar said that while putting on airs, as he slowly stood up from his seat. His eyes pierced into Anya’s with a gaze that wasn’t any less sharp than Anya’s.
“It looks like I need to give a good lesson to this neko-chan  with a bad upbringing.”
“You can’t summon your Pal in here, so do you really think that you can beat me in a close-quarters fight?”
At that time, Anya revealed the expression of a warrior.
“Stop! There is no reason for you two to fight!”
Ash desperately tried to stop them, but the two people emitting a killing intent were evidently not going to allow a third person to get in the way of the fight between them. As the place was filled with a tense atmosphere, the sharp killing intent emitted by those two people gave everyone the illusion that they would be slashed if they made any careless movements. This fight had also unwittingly attracted the attention of the seated students all around them, and everyone watched on in amazement of the scene.
“—Hey Oscar! What kind of trouble are you giving me again, you bastard!?”
At that moment, an aggressive voice was heard, and a figure dressed in black rushed in.
They also came in with a flying kick. Oscar was blown away by a single kick.
“T-Towards your master, is that the…attitude that you should have!?”
The shameful appearance of Oscar sprawled on the floor and writhing in pain was an affront to the handsome face of a noble that he had.
“…Geez, Don’t increase my workload any more, you filthy insect!”
With a silver ponytail hanging behind her head, it was a girl wearing a black eyepatch — after Celes came to the side of her useless master, she roughly picked him up by his collar. In front of the crowd of stunned onlookers, Celes didn’t say anything and dragged her master out of the restaurant.
“The New Term ~A.S.B.1365.10~” is closed.
(Part 4 of 4) (30/5)
 Implied to mean virgin.
 Ara: ~ Oh my.
 Okaa-san: Mother.
 Toro is the fattiest part of meat, which is usually also the softest and juiciest.
 Neko-chan: Little kitten.
Note: The sentence at the end of each chapter, e.g. [“The New Term ~A.S.B.1365.10~” is closed.] is an alternate chapter title, followed by the year and month.
Continues on to Chapter 4 – Chevron Royal Family’s ‘Iron Rule’