Continues on from Chapter 4 – Chevron Royal Family’s ‘Iron Rule’
Continues on to Chapter 6 – Ansarivan’s Five Hundred Years Festival
Oscar’s Deeply Laid Plan
The new school term had just begun, so Ash was kept busy from morning till night with the preparatory work for ‘Ansarivan’s Five Hundred Years Festival’, and time passed by in the blink of an eye. There was now less than a week’s time before the first day of the Five Hundred Years Festival. Even on a holiday, he was unable to rest, as Ash and Eco were currently walking together towards Julius Hall. There was also going to be a meeting today.
Eco drowsily yawned while she walked across the campus grounds.
“You don’t need to force yourself to get out of bed, you know?”
Previously, Eco would’ve overslept and stayed in bed all the time, but she was now nearly able to get up early. Although she was grouchy when getting out of bed each morning, she no longer stayed in bed. Eco’s role in the Student Council was the ‘mascot’, so there was no real need for her to show up to meetings, but she still dutifully attended every meeting.
“What? Are you complaining about going to the meeting together with me?”
“Not at all. Don’t you feel weak when you get up in the mornings? I’m just afraid that you’ll find it difficult.”
“…I don’t find it difficult. Also, aren’t you my knight? You’re the ‘Avalon Knight’ and I’m the Holy Dragons’ Emperor Family’s Imperial Princess! That’s why it’s very natural for me to follow you! Am I wrong?”
Ash was rather embarrassed, and he replied with a volume that surprised even himself.
He had almost forgotten that Eco was the descendant of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Family, and was basically a Dragon Princess. In fact, the identity of the noblest person on this planet could actually be her. When she was first born, she did not forget to emphasise ‘I am your master’. Ash smiled wryly.
“I remember that you used to say that I was your meat slave.”
“T-That is…uh…I’m sorry.”
“Haha, I’m not angry about it. I’m now acknowledged as a knight properly.”
Ash suddenly thought of something. Speaking of a knight in the Lautreamont Knight Country, most people would think of a Dragonar, but the neighbouring Chevron Kingdom was not the same; the image of their knights was closer to strong lady warriors who served the people. Although many stories of chivalry and knighthood were also published in their country, the majority of them were love stories.
—In other words, I shouldn’t be thinking about the problem of how to train Eco, but rather following the example of the knights in neighbouring countries, so that I can aspire to become a knight that can serve this princess, Eco.
As he thought of that, the image of another princess appeared in Ash’s mind.
—<Ice Blue Princess>.
It was Silvia, who had confessed to him with ‘I love you’. The girl that he had met in Albion Forest when he was seven years old — even after being separated, Silvia still kept the memory of Ash in her heart. She had only met him once, a boy whom she didn’t even know the name of—
The sudden pain that Ash felt almost caused him to jump.
Eco scowled and pinched Ash on his side. Eco was also aware of her own strength, so she did somewhat show some mercy, but even so, Ash felt as though the skin of his abdomen was being clamped down on by a vice.
“W-What are you doing!?”
Eco loosened her grip, and angrily looked up at him. Her face appeared to have an uneasy expression.
“…Just then, were you thinking about other girls?”
“N-No, I absolutely wasn’t thinking about any other girls!”
“Your eyes were wandering.”
Eco emitted a terrifying aura that could almost be heard rumbling, as she took a step towards Ash. Ash involuntarily retreated backwards.
“Ara, why are you trying to escape?”
Eco was smiling, and she had a pretentiously sweet tone when she asked, but this actually showed that she was even scarier than when she showed her angry face.
“O-Of course, it’s because you’re so scary!”
“…And why would you feel afraid?”
The image of Eco’s true appearance as a Holy Dragon Emperor manifested behind her — although Ash knew that it was his own imagination, it still frightened him to the point that cold sweat streamed down his forehead.
“Y-Yeah! We had better hurry over to Julius Hall, otherwise we’ll be late again!”
Ash swiftly turned around and ran off.
“Hey! Why are you running away!? So you really were thinking about other girls!”
Eco brandished her fist as she angrily chased after Ash.
“If you don’t wait for me — I’ll crush you!”
When the two of them arrived at Julius Hall, most of Eco’s anger had dissipated. However, as soon as she took one step into the meeting room, her mood turned sour again. Ash was also frozen in place.
“Yo, Ash and Eco, I’ve been waiting for you two for a long time.”
That Oscar Brailsford occupied the sofa that was used for resting, and cordially greeted the two of them. The way that she elegantly sat with her legs crossed seemed much like a noble, and seeing that simply aroused a sense of loathing within them. As for the maid with the eye patch — Celes stood behind Oscar with a frown on her face. Only she and her maid were in the room, no one else was present. It seemed as though Ash’s group had come too early this time.
“Why are you here!?”
Although he asked rather bluntly, Ash was thinking about the incident which had occurred in the depths of the forest. Furthermore, it was Oscar’s carelessness which lead to her being seen in that state whilst straddled on top of Ash, a dreamlike appearance… The instant that Oscar’s and Ash’s eyes met, the same scene probably emerged in their minds. Her cheeks reddened, but she still looked calm as usual.
“I am the Vice-President of the Student Council after all, you couldn’t have forgotten that, right?”
“The class-skipper has the nerve to say that huh, so what has brought you here today?”
Ash quietly stood in front of Eco. Oscar desired Eco’s power. He did not forget this. However, Oscar’s reply was outside of Ash’s expectations.
“My purpose here today was not to seek out Eco, I came here for you. Ash Blake.”
“Ah, that’s right — my future second queen.”
“Who the hell is your second queen!?”
“Yes, when it comes to your name as the queen…how does ‘Ashley’ sound?”
“Please don’t say any more…just thinking about it makes me want to die…”
“You’re so unromantic…I see, I understand now! Are you unhappy that Rebecca is the first queen?”
“That’s not the problem!”
“Whew, I really can’t persuade you. I’ll let you be the first queen as you want, and as for Rebecca, all I can do is to ask her to take the position of second queen. Rebecca is very generous, so she wouldn’t care about such trifles with me.”
“Can you please listen to me seriously!?”
After Ash showed an impatient look, Oscar’s face suddenly tensed. Ash felt like a chill ran down his spine, and he stood there frozen in place.
“As long as you become one of my people, Eco will also fall into my hands. In this way, the throne of the next Chevron King will easily become mine.”
Oscar composedly pushed her fringe upwards.
“Ah geez, I’m sick of this, what the hell are you guys saying! What’s going on between you two!? T-Two men getting married, how disgusting!”
Eco’s patience finally wore out, and she stuck her face out from behind Ash. Her cheeks were dyed bright red in annoyance. Ash was unsure of how to explain the situation to Eco. In fact, up until now, he still had not told her about the secret that Oscar was actually a woman.
“Oh. I thought that you surely would’ve told Eco, I didn’t expect you to actually keep my secret.”
Oscar looked at Ash with a gaze of admiration.
“Don’t look down on me. I’m not so low that I’d go around distributing other people’s secrets.”
“Hey! What secret!”
Eco snappishly asked, and Ash hesitantly replied
“Umm, that is…y-yeah, you could call it an agreement between men. Sorry, but it’s inconvenient for me to disclose it to you. I hope you can understand.”
Ash placed both of his hands on top of Eco’s shoulders.
“Hmm…between men huh. So you can’t be forced to speak about it then? But I just heard that — that guy wants to marry you as his bride?”
“T-That’s actually a secret code that only men will understand! It can’t be judged from its literal meaning!”
Although she was still dubious of Ash’s explanation, Eco gave up on pursuing the matter.
“You really are a good person. I’m starting to like you even more now!”
Oscar snapped his fingers with a ‘click’, and gave an order to Celes who was behind him
“Celes! Prepare project A!”
From beginning to end, Celes continued to have a displeased look on her face. Please reject Oscar’s orders…Ash silently hoped to himself.
“Fine, I’ll take it as a way to kill time.”
Unfortunately, Celes instantly made a decision that was contrary to his expectations. She abruptly stepped forward, and extended her hand out towards Ash. Her movements looked as though she were naturally petting a dog’s head, but—
Ash’s vision suddenly tipped upside down, immensely startling him. In just the blink of an eye, Ash was grabbed onto and was being held underneath Celes’ arm.
“H-Hey! Let me down!”
Ash constantly swung his limbs around in a struggle, but it was helpless as his body was being firmly held onto, and he was unable to break free from the predicament. It was almost as if his entire body was suspended in mid-air right now.
“Hey, you filthy insect. Who allowed you to order me around! Shut up and stay quiet! Stop struggling for me! Do you want me to throw you out the window?”
After Celes made such threats with a fearsome tone, Ash became silent. It was because her cold tone showed that she was clearly not joking around.
“Hold on! What are you trying to do to Ash!?”
Seeing Celes about to leave the room with Ash captured, Eco hurriedly tried to catch up and stop her, but her path was blocked by Oscar, who calmly stood in the doorway. The sound of Celes’ footsteps gradually receded.
“Don’t worry, I promise you that we won’t hurt Ash Blake. Anyway, let us sit down and have a cup of tea while we wait first. Don’t look at me like that, my tea-making skills are actually first-class. Since you’re a dragon, how about a cup of Ansal tea?”
Oscar held a teapot in her hand as she smiled.
Eco swallowed as she began to salivate. The Ansal herb was too strongly stimulating for a young dragon like Eco, so simply ingesting a small amount would make her immediately drunk. That was why Ash normally prohibited her from having it. But her great desire for Ansal wasn’t something that could be satiated with just words. It was a dragon’s nature, so Eco couldn’t be blamed.
“I can’t! I’ll get drunk!”
Mobilising all of her rationality, Eco finally rejected the temptation. If Ash heard me say that, he would praise me…such thoughts floated into Eco’s mind. Even so, Oscar continued to smile as she persuaded her
“You don’t need to worry. The Ansal content of this tea is very low, so young dragons won’t be affected by drinking it.”
After saying so, Oscar indifferently began to brew the tea. After pouring water into a kettle which had a Bright Dragon Crystal installed in it, she then activated the Dragon Magic. A few minutes later, the piping hot Ansal tea which let off white steam and many pastries with fresh cream were placed in front of Eco.
“Will I really be fine after having it?”
Oscar nodded confidently as confirmation.
Eco remained highly sceptical as she frowned. She put her nose close to the cup, and sniffed the scent of it like a puppy.
“Ah. It has a delicious fragrance…”
A rose-like aroma entered her nostrils, captivating Eco. It was an aroma that would naturally appeal to a dragon. Eco could no longer withstand the temptation, and she lifted up the teacup for a sip.
“Mmm, it has a very mellow and rich taste…it’s delicious!”
“Of course. That’s because this tea uses the highest grade of Ansal.”
Oscar smiled widely as she replied.
“So this is what the adult taste refers to! It is perfectly suited for a dragon of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Family to have!”
“I’m very glad that you like it. Would you like a refill?”
Eco beamed with joy as she pushed her cup out. This time, she carefully savoured the flavour of the tea while she enjoyed the pastries.
“Fuwaa, I’m so happy~”
The flavour of the Ansal tea and the sweet pastries were in perfect harmony on her tongue, when the two of them were put together, they were both delicious and smooth.
After a while, Eco found that her own body was becoming very hot. A familiar sensation surged forth from her mind. Her vision became began to spin for a moment, and it then became blurry. Eco could no longer hold the cup up, and it fell onto the floor with a slip of her hand. The shattered fragments of the cup scattered near her feet.
“Y-You…lied to me…didn’t you…?”
Eco finally realised that she had taken the bait. The so-called ‘Ansal content is very low, so young dragons won’t be affected by drinking it’ was a big lie. Eco’s consciousness went completely hazy, and she lost her ability to understand the situation.
“Come on, hurry up and take your clothes off.”
After Celes brought Ash to the changing room, she roughly opened a locker. Hung upon a coat hanger was the uniform of Dragonar Academy — but more specifically, it was for girls. Inside the locker was a chestnut-coloured wig and some underwear. Simply looking at the contents of the locker gave off a strongly girlish feeling.
“Do you really want me to wear that thing?”
Ash nervously asked.
“Yes, do you have a problem with it?”
Celes narrowed her eye which did not have an eye patch covering it, while the rest of her face remained expressionless. Ash felt a powerful cold chill run down his spine, and he couldn’t help shuddering. With her black leather eye patch, fully black-coloured maid outfit, and the feeling of oppression from that single eye of hers all at once — the atmosphere that she exuded was like that of a soldier, rather than a maid.
“You’ve got to be kidding! How could I possibly wear a girls’ uniform! I’m a guy!”
“So, to make you give up the identity of a man, the first step starts by cross-dressing as a woman! Don’t make me have to talk so much!”
Celes didn’t say anything else, and grabbed Ash’s collar; without caring about anything else, she began to peel off Ash’s coat. Ash writhed around as he struggled, but that actually played into her hands. Taking advantage of the moment when Ash desperately struggled to escape, Celes easily snatched away his coat.
“Do you want to take off your shirt next? Or your pants?”
Celes looked at Ash audaciously as she asked.
“I certainly don’t want either of them! Hurry up and give my coat back!”
“Hey, I would advise you not to test my patience, alright? Taking care of Oscar is already a lot of trouble for me, and this lady here has accumulated a lot of stress.”
“No no! Although you say that, didn’t I see you send Oscar flying with a kick as if it wasn’t a big deal?”
“What did you say?”
After being stared at intensely, Ash quickly shook his head. After Celes took a step forward, she extended her neck and stared into Ash’s face.
“Listen up alright, Rebecca is the most perfect bride out of a million  candidates, but it’s a pity — that she’s a woman. But if you’re able to make Oscar pregnant, then we’ll be able to let that guy’s lineage continue.”
“What pregnant…you don’t have to speak so crudely!”
“You really are noisy, filthy insect! Regardless of whether it’s you or Rebecca, since you both know Oscar’s secret, unless you want to get tied up and tossed into Rubina Lake someday, you have no choice but to accept your fate! All you have to do right now is marry her, and your crimes can then be annulled; it’s truly too cheap for you two.”
“What do you mean by ‘all I have to do is get married’? This is a matter which concerns my entire life!”
“How immature. Marriage is just a form of contract in human society.”
“No, please don’t destroy people’s dreams like that!”
“You talk too much! Stop giving me excuses, and quickly take off your clothes!”
Celes acted indiscriminately towards Ash as she extended her hands out, much like a female leopard eyeing a cute little lamb in a dry savannah.
His desperate screams did not help, and Ash was easily subdued to the ground. His shirt, pants, underwear, and so on were forcefully removed one after the other. Finally, even the bandage wrapped around his left arm was relentlessly pulled off by her.
“I can’t get married anymore…”
Having his pride harshly torn to shreds, Ash hugged his knees, and curled up into a ball. Because he was stark naked, he felt somewhat cold from the wind which poured in from a slit in the window. However, not the slightest sign of pity could be seen on Celes’ face, and she held out the coat hanger upon which the uniform was hanging.
“Hmph. You don’t need to worry about the problem of getting married. Because Oscar will be — your bride.”
“You originally said that I was some kind of stallion!”
“Stop being so noisy! Hurry up and put on the uniform! Or you’ll get downgraded from a filthy insect to a piece of shit!”
“Please just let me be an insect…”
Ash gave up his resistance, and accepted the girls’ uniform as he resigned himself to his fate.
Facing the drunken Eco, Oscar revealed a wide smile as an indication that his plan had succeeded.
“Fufu, according to my investigations, you become extremely promiscuous as soon as you have a bit of Ansal. Come! You’re drunk now, so throw yourself at me!”
“Ha-Haa…hey, where’s Ash?”
With hazy eyes, Eco sought only to look for Ash. Looking at her entire body burning up as she seductively panted, it was obvious that she was in a state of lust. However, Eco was clearly not looking at Oscar at all.
“Hmm, what is this? After she ingests Ansal, doesn’t she go after any man who comes? It seems like my investigations were not thorough enough…”
Oscar could see that the drunken Eco only seemed to desire her master Ash Blake, but not all men.
“Haa, haa…Ash! Ah, Ash…you’re here aren’t you?”
Eco began saying strange things to herself. It was as if Ash was standing in front of her eyes, as she acted incomprehensibly.
Is she seeing hallucinations?
Oscar’s eyes looked straight ahead. Eco placed her lower body against a corner of the table in the meeting room, and she slowly pressed her body against it. She probably imagined that the table was Ash.
“Hey, that’s too disgraceful! This isn’t worthy of Avalon’s Dragon Princess!”
Upon seeing this, Oscar couldn’t tolerate it any longer, and sharply raised her voice.
“Ash…I love you…”
However, Eco completely ignored the reproach, and continued to murmur to herself as if in a dream. With a blank look, she clung onto the table and didn’t let go. After Oscar let out a long sigh, she carried Eco over to the sofa so that she could lie down. When she looked down, she had a truly innocent sleeping face, which caused Oscar to smile wryly. She could only laugh at herself right now.
“It’s my defeat. I thought that I had succeeded in bribing you when I brought out the Ansal, but it looks like I’ve underestimated the bond between you two.”
“We’re back, Oscar!”
Then, along with the loud sound of the door being kicked open, Celes appeared as she came through the door. And there was also another female student shyly following behind her.
“Ho. The outcome is better than I imagined. I was unable to recognise him for a moment!”
Oscar squinted her eyes as she laughed loudly. Ash, who had dressed as a female student had given her quite a surprise. Although he really wanted to run away, Celes was staring intently at him from the side, so it wouldn’t be so simple even if he did want to escape. The chestnut-coloured wig gave off a false impression of purity and innocence. After applying some cosmetics, regardless of how one looked at Ash in the Academy’s uniform from head to toe, it looked like a female student who was around fifteen years of age. The wig was unexpectedly heavy, and it pressed down on top of his head. It was the first time that Ash had been forced to wear a skirt, so it felt somewhat chilly underneath the skirt, causing him to feel uneasy, and he was also even forced to wear knee socks. In fact, he was also wearing a bra underneath his uniform, with breast pads stuffed inside them. Simply by bending his neck and looking down, a pair of curvaceous twin peaks would enter his vision. A short while ago, after he finished dressing himself and went to look in the mirror, Ash doubted his own eyes as he thought ‘Is this person really me?’. In addition, he almost fell into the trap of cross-dressing as a girl, since he thought to himself that he didn’t look too bad when dressed up as a girl.
“You’re very pretty, Ashley.”
Oscar’s face was plastered with a smile. It seemed like she really liked Ash’s appearance as a cross-dressing boy.
“Who the hell is Ashley!? Don’t change people’s names for them!”
“Uh-uh, that can’t do, how can a lady speak so crudely? By the way, I’ll help you make a personal dress another day.”
“Who are you asking that?”
“Fufu. There’s no need to be so courteous even if you don’t need it. The current you is like a white lily that is just beginning to quietly bloom in the Xenoglavia Mountains. I didn’t think that you would actually be reborn, turning into a lovely young girl beyond my imagination, I’m truly so happy.”
Just when Oscar was softly muttering poetically and seemed lost in her thoughts—
“You’re Ash? Why do you need to pretend to look like a girl…?”
Eco got up from the sofa, and rushed up to cling to Ash. Perhaps because she was his Pal, she was able to recognise Ash in an instant. The appearance of Eco’s moist and dreamy eyes looked rather enchanting. She stuck out her bright red tongue and began licking Ash’s neck.
As if being struck by a current of electricity, Ash suddenly shivered. At the same time, he detected a sweet aroma from Eco’s body.
“Hey, Oscar! You better not have given Eco any Ansal!”
Ash began to get angry, as he sent Oscar an accusatory look.
“Don’t get so angry, I was just performing a little experiment.”
Oscar didn’t pay it any heed as she replied nonchalantly.
“Wah…Ash smells very nice today…”
Ash was alarmed. Eco then raised her nose to Ash’s neck, and continued to sniff it.
Ash remembered something highly important. After being forced to dress as a girl, Celes sprayed perfume onto his body.
“This perfume also has Ansal in it! Get away from me!”
“Don’t want to…I can’t wait anymore!”
After Eco fervently cried out, she savagely pushed Ash down.
“Calm down, Eco! The Ansal has caused you to lose your sanity! Uwah! Don’t lick me!”
Cheeks, neck, earlobe…Eco was like a small animal playing with its master, constantly using her tongue to lick everywhere. She was obviously a proud dragon, but her behaviour was the same as a puppy’s right now. Of course, Ash was surprised by her actions, but Eco’s licking also brought about a very intense feeling of pleasure.
“Hmm. So if it’s to Ash, then Eco will have this sort of a reaction huh…interesting.”
Oscar muttered with a calm tone.
“Don’t sit on the sidelines there so coldly, come and help me!”
“If I help you, will you agree to be my bride?”
“You can’t put two separate things together like that!”
“Then I’m not helping you.”
“To begin with, this is the mess that you started!”
Just when Ash was angrily growling and shouting out…
“This is simply too amazing. At first, I couldn’t tell who it was, I really didn’t think that you’d look quite so pretty when dressed as a girl.”
A cool voice entered Ash’s ears. While Ash tried to resist Eco’s caresses of love, he looked towards the door — only to see a smiling Rebecca standing there with her arms crossed in front of her chest. Seeing Ash’s cross-dressing appearance, she could barely hold back a heavy stream of laughter.
Ash blushed deeply. As if being seen dressed as a girl wasn’t humiliating enough, there was currently also the wildly drunken Eco. The saying ‘embarrassed to the point that one wants to hide in a hole’ would quite accurately describe the current situation. Aside from Rebecca, following behind her was dazzling blonde hair that also greeted Ash’s eyes.
“A-Are you really Ash? Deliberately dressing up as a girl to play with Eco…even if you’re playing perverted games, this is going too far!”
That person was actually Silvia. Her face was pale as she stared wide-eyed at Ash and Eco.
“You’re mistaken, Hime-sama! There’s a reason…”
Silvia was not listening to anything that he was saying right now.
“The person that I l-l-like is actually such a p-p-pervert…huh…?”
Silvia was dealt a heavy blow and was immensely shocked, she knelt down and hit the floor with both of her hands. Today, unusually, she did not unleash ‘My family’s motto punch’ to teach Ash a lesson, it seemed like she didn’t even have the strength to raise her hand against someone.
Afterwards, the Student Council meeting began as scheduled.
Because Oscar was also present, today was the first time that all members were present ever since Ash joined the Student Council. Although he was worried about Eco who was lying on the sofa to become sober, Ash still attended the meeting. However, he was still dressed as a girl. One reason was that they couldn’t wait for him to change clothes by himself, thus taking up meeting time, and the second was that Rebecca thought that it would be ‘interesting’, so she told him to wear the girls’ outfit for the meeting. And also because of this, Ash often felt the strong gazes of others during the meeting, making him so embarrassed that it felt like he was sitting on pins and needles. He soon realised that the people staring at him fiercely were mostly composed of Silvia, Lucca, and Jessica. Every time Ash lifted his head, Silvia and the other two quickly averted their eyes. Having dressed up like this, Ash thought that it couldn’t be helped that he would be stared at. It was just that, when he looked up and locked eyes with Max, it felt rather embarrassing. At the same time, Max also showed a slightly awkward expression. Max’s cheeks were dyed slightly red and he seemed somewhat uncomfortable, so Ash couldn’t help feeling nervous.
—Max couldn’t possibly be fascinated by me, right?
In the end, while Ash was absent-mindedly imagining such things, the meeting finally concluded.
“Would it be convenient for me to express my opinion?”
Oscar, who had a bored look on her face ever since the meeting began, suddenly raised her hand to speak.
“There’s something that I’ve been troubled about for quite a long time now; don’t you guys think that the rule about prohibiting Student Council members from participating in competitions is rather unfair?”
Upon hearing Oscar’s words, everyone’s expressions became serious. Every time similar events were being planned, ‘Whether the Student Council members will participate in competitions’ was a topic that always came to the meeting table.
“Have a think about it. From the students, to the spectators, to the guests who will come to visit, what is the thing that everyone wants to see? It is nothing more than a fierce competition between Dragonars that gets them enthusiastic. If the Dragonars of a mighty Maestro were to show their true skill — don’t you think that the audience will surely be thrilled?”
Oscar seemed to become more and more ecstatic as she continued to speak, and Rebecca answered
“No, in fact, there are no rules which strictly prohibit us from participating. It’s just that the members serving on the Student Council have declined in the past, so it became a tradition over time. Moreover, using Maestros to compete against ordinary students may cause us to be accused of bullying; without a fair contest, wouldn’t a competition in which the winner is already decided quite boring?”
Oscar was not discouraged, and continued to bring up new ideas.
“Then aside from the ordinary competitions, how about we also hold a <Dragonar’s Gunnar Bout> ? In addition, since this year is the Five Hundred Years Festival, I don’t think having an exception like this will pose any problems.”
Rebecca gracefully stroked the contour of her chin with her finger as she sank into deep thought.
“Hmm, a traditional combat tournament between Dragonars? Hearing that, it does sound interesting, so what does everyone else think?”
Rebecca looked around at everyone who was present. It didn’t look like anyone was particularly opposed to it. However, Jessica had a troubled expression on her face as she raised her hand to speak.
“I’m not opposed to holding the <Dragonar’s Gunnar Bout>. It’s just unfortunate that my Rhiannon is an ordinary Hydra, so it won’t be able to participate…so I’ve decided to focus wholeheartedly on cheering Ash-sama on.”
“I’m sorry, Jessica. Is there anyone else with an opinion?”
Ash timidly raised his hand. Because he was cross-dressing as a girl, every action he made amplified his sense of shame.
“What is it, Ashley?”
“Hold on, why is even Rebecca-san calling me that?”
“No, I’m so sorry. It’s because you were so cute, I accidentally…”
Rebecca made a wry smile.
“Well then, please state your opinion.”
“Umm, I wanted to ask what I should do? Although I have essentially been appointed as a Dragonar, we can’t let Eco awaken in the arena, right? I was thinking that it might be better if I was retracted from the competition like Jessica?”
Jessica’s face lit up, and she watched Ash with intent eyes. But Oscar helped him cool her down.
“No, Ash, by all means, I hope that you will also compete.”
“Hey hey…you know about the situation between me and Eco, so please don’t say something unreasonable!”
After Ash firmly refuted her, Oscar revealed a somewhat pleased smile.
“Did you forget? You’re the ‘Genius Dragon Tamer’. So what if Eco can’t be your mount, can’t you just pick any dragon that you like?”
“That method is not unfeasible…”
Recently, because Eco was occupying more and more space within Ash’s mind, he actually forgot about his own nickname and talents. That was why he didn’t even think about an alternative in which he could use other dragons as his mount.
“Right? I propose that if I defeat you in the competition, then you need to abandon your identity as a man, and take on the name of Queen Ashley which is to be engraved in the royal history of the Chevron Kingdom.”
“Please don’t go and decide things on your own! No matter how you think about this proposal, I’m the one that it’s unfavourable to!”
“Is that so? If you can defeat me, I’m willing to withdraw all of my demands. In addition to that, once I become the King of Chevron, I can make a promise to you that the Chevron Kingdom and Knight Country will have an everlasting alliance.”
Ash thought, if it was such a generous condition, competing against Oscar in the arena wasn’t so bad. Oscar truly desired to become the King, so that was why she was so eager to get her hands on Eco’s power. She was also the type who would do whatever it took to accomplish her goals, and Ash had already personally experienced the horror of that from her. And that was to say nothing of her forcing him into accepting Ashley as his ‘second life’ at the moment.
More particularly, for the sake of the future of the Knight Country, perhaps accepting Oscar’s challenge would be a wise move. Although I’m not sure whether the words of Oscar can be trusted, it feels far better than the Third Prince Uriel and his like.
The problem was that Oscar was a powerful opponent whose strength was nearly tied with Rebecca’s. In contrast, Ash would have to borrow someone else’s dragon to compete. In terms of combat compatibility, Ash was at an indisputable disadvantage.
“What’s this, you’re hesitating? If you’re the kind of coward who flees before a challenge, I would advise you not to call yourself the ‘Avalon Knight’.”
Even though he knew that it was an immature provocation, Ash couldn’t help swallowing and holding himself back when told that in such a way.
“Fine, I’ll accept your challenge. For me, for Eco, and for the future of the Knight Country! One more thing. If I win, you also need to give up on forcing Rebecca to marry you!”
Oscar nodded contentedly.
“It’s settled then. If you win, I will no longer ask for anything from Eco or Rebecca. However, the probability of this occurring could be described as minimal.”
Oscar casually accepted the request.
“Ash, are you really okay? You don’t have to take even my problem into your considerations.”
Rebecca’s voice revealed a rare tone of worry, but Ash firmly nodded and said
“Leave it to me. Ever since Eco was born, I can’t remember how many battles I’ve experienced. I won’t lose.”
Although it was only a verbal display of gallantry, Ash still made that promise to her with resolute confidence.
“You’ve become stronger, Ash.”
Rebecca narrowed her eyes, and cast a gentle smile towards him.
Silvia, Lucca and Jessica all showed expressions of wariness as they watched the way that Rebecca was acting towards Ash.
“Now then, it’s time to discuss our final topic for today. Who is willing to lend their Pal to Ash…”
“I-If you don’t mind my Lancelot, I’m happy to lend it to you, okay?”
“If it’s now…Gawain would definitely be quite happy to be Ash’s mount.”
The first people to express their willingness to lend out their Pals were Silvia and Lucca.
“Unfortunately, I cannot lend you my Arianrhod.”
Max coldly turned his face away, but his response was already within Ash’s expectations.
“Aah! I have never hated myself for not being a Dragonar like today…”
Jessica, who was still in the stage of being a Breeder lay on the table as she clutched her head and wailed.
“So, your decision, Ash? How about I lend you Cú Chulainn — but you need to have the ability to control it.”
“There’s no way I can do that! Even if I spent a few months of my time, I don’t know if I’d be able to control Cú Chulainn freely…”
Ash didn’t simply express that out of modesty, but because he truly thought so. Even though Ash was known as a Genius Dragon Tamer, it would be extremely difficult for him to control Cú Chulainn in such a short amount of time. Even if he devoted all of his efforts to it, it was also highly possible that it could end up as a repeat of Gawain’s predicament before the challenge. If things didn’t go smoothly, let alone taking a few months, it was possible that it would even take several years.
“Indeed, everyone, do you think you could allow me to express my thoughts again?”
At that time, Oscar raised his hand to speak again.
“With only me and Ash holding a bet in the outcome of the battle, don’t you think that it’s a little unfair? Since it’s rare and we’re going to the trouble to spar like this, why doesn’t each participant ask for a reward that they hope to obtain when they win? However, I cannot agree to conditions that will mess with people’s lives.”
“As if you’re one to talk! You clearly enjoy toying with my life!”
Oscar turned a deaf ear to Ash’s protests, and looked towards Rebecca instead.
“What do you think, Rebecca?”
“Indeed. I think this proposal isn’t a bad idea either. How about everyone else?”
“President! I-If I win, I request to become engaged to Ash! A-Also, Oscar-san must withdraw all of his unreasonable requests to Ash!”
When Rebecca looked towards everyone else, Silvia immediately stammered as she made that declaration. She openly demonstrated her love for Ash, she no longer wanted to hide it — even though her entire face was blushing such a fierce red that it seemed as though steam was about to burst out of her head.
“What engagement? T-That can’t be allowed!”
Seemingly completely sober now, Eco suddenly stood up. But Silvia’s determination remained firm.
“If you think so, then do your best to assist Ash, and help him to obtain victory. Isn’t that right, Eco?”
“Kuh…you dare to oppose me!”
The two of them stared at each other while fierce sparks crackled in the air between them. On the side, Lucca slowly and timidly raised her hand.
“If I can obtain victory…I want to take Ash to the Ecbald Village…so he can meet…the chief — ogifu-sama .”
Although her attitude was somewhat timid, a firm will could be seen in amethyst-like eyes.
“So, Lucca. From the perspective of an Ecbald, what is the meaning of going with you to see the chief?”
“Of course…to hold a sacred wedding.”
Although Ash had already vaguely expected that answer, but when he actually heard such serious words, he still felt incomparably frightened.
“Ah, I’m really too incapable!”
Jessica, who was not qualified to partake in the competition, had a heartbroken look as she held her head and groaned. Ash pretended to inadvertently look at Max. The control of the meeting was now in the hands of the passionate Oscar, and the sensible-natured Max didn’t seem to have joined in to the conversation. Aside from occasionally fixing the position his glasses with his fingertips, he continued to look down in silence.
“Hey, do you have any conditions to set, Max?”
Seeing Max like that, Ash began to talk to him. After Max seemed to have steeled his determination and lifted his head, he steadily looked at Ash, but in a fluster, he wildly averted his gaze elsewhere, before returning his gaze to Ash’s body after a moment. For some reason, Max blushed.
After Ash perplexedly tilted his head, Max made a shocking declaration that caused his eyes to nearly pop out.
“I-If I win, I request to go on a date with Ashley for one day!”
After he spoke out his wish like the bombardment of a cannon without warning, Max suddenly shut his mouth again, seemingly returning to his usual state. And then his face suddenly went pale and he trembled.
“N-No! I’m not a pervert! Even if Ashley is the ideal appearance of a lover in my dreams, he is actually Ash, I understand that! But when he looks so cute, I can’t help it! Ahh what am I saying! It’s all Ashley’s fault!”
After Max shouted that out loudly with a sense of self-abandonment, he dashed out of the meeting room.
“…It looks like Ashley has awakened a certain something within Max.”
After watching Max’s figure as he left, Rebecca said so with a wry smile. Jessica then asked her a question
“Then Rebecca, what conditions do you want to set?”
“Me? I still don’t have a clue right now, so I’ll think about it again when I win.”
After Rebecca skilfully deflected Jessica’s question, she suddenly revealed a somewhat troubled expression.
“But now that everyone has the motivation to win, it looks like the naïve idea of finding someone to lend Ash their Pal has been reduced to empty words. Moreover, this is going to be an official competition, so it’s necessary to keep one’s Pal in the best condition.”
A solemn silence filled the meeting room. What Rebecca said was correct. Just earlier, Silvia and Lucca were vying over who would lend their Pal to Ash, but they were now burning with competitive spirit.
—Damn it, that Oscar! The present situation was the whole purpose of the proposal that you made at the beginning!
Ash resentfully clenched his teeth, but unfortunately, it was too late. In this way, originally, the best dragon candidates of Lancelot and Gawain could no longer be lent to Ash. Max also seemed unwilling to lend out Arianrhod, so Ash was now caught in a dilemma.
“Ah geez! That’s enough! We’ll be fine if we just take Brigid!”
Ash quickly raised his head, as Eco suddenly interrupted the meeting. She seemed to have fully recovered from her drunken state, and had changed back to her usual tone.
“Hey hey, what are you saying? This can’t be compared to the ‘Aries Dragon Riding Festival’, do you understand?”
“Brigid? I have not heard of that name.”
Ash explained to Oscar, who had a look of surprise on her face.
“Brigid is an Asia. It’s helped me out numerous times before Eco was born. It’s my friend Raymond’s Pal.”
“Using an Asia to compete! What a ground-breaking idea! You want to fight against me and Tristan with a mere Asia? Let alone mentioning their strength, simply using an Asia as a mount to compete in the <Dragonar’s Gunnar Bout> defeats the purpose of the rules.”
Ash was not in a particularly good mood. To begin with, if Oscar didn’t make such an unnecessary proposal, Ash would’ve been able to borrow Lancelot or Gawain. In addition, Oscar was also right, the <Dragonar’s Gunnar Bout> was a tournament meant for Dragonars and their Maestros. Allowing Brigid to compete was basically against the rules. But Eco didn’t back down on this.
“In that case, I’ll also ride Brigid together with Ash. With me as a far more noble Maestro than any others, Ash and I will compete together, do you have a problem with that?”
Eco placed her hands on her hips with a haughty look. Oscar couldn’t help laughing upon seeing that.
“Oh, what a hopeless horse.”
“Who did you call a horse!? I’m clearly a dragon!”
Oscar didn’t look at the fuming Eco, but instead looked at Ash solemnly.
“I would advise you to practice cross-dressing as a girl more often, Ashley.”
Even though the end of the meeting had not yet been announced, Oscar elegantly walked out the door after leaving behind those arrogant words.
“You should work on your feminine charm, you filthy insect.”
After also leaving behind those foul words, Celes, who had been standing beside the door the whole time followed Oscar and exited.
—There were five days left until the beginning of the Five Hundred Years Festival.
“Lovely Ashley ~A.S.B.1365.10~” is closed.
(Parts 5 of 5) (10/9)
 Not meant to be taken literally.
 Kanji was Holy Knight Combat Tournament. The word Gunnar has Norse and Viking origins which means brave and bold warrior. Thanks @Ariel Saeba for finding the reference.
 ogifu-sama: Respectful way of addressing one’s own stepfather, foster father, or father-in-law. In this case, Lucca is referring to the chief as her foster father.
Continues on to Chapter 6 – Ansarivan’s Five Hundred Years Festival