—The curtain was closed on the [Ansarivan Five Hundred Years Festival] due to a major unprecedented incident. In the top floor of the hotel for royalty in Ansarivan’s city—
“Fufu. So it failed in the end.”
The Knight Country’s Second Princess Cassandra Lautreamont leisurely admired the night view of Ansarivan’s city. Sitting on a sofa, Uriel revealed a bitter smile while holding up a wine glass. The bullet that Silvia fired at the Pluto embedded in Tristan’s forehead had caused some kind of effect. But it clearly wasn’t destruction. If the Pluto was destroyed, then Tristan would have died. The only thing that could be determined was that Oscar and Tristan had overcome the control of Pluto, and Celestina was arrested by the authorities — just these two facts. In the end, after seeing Oscar and Tristan emerge from the control of Pluto, Uriel and Cassandra returned to their hotel. As for what kind of punishment would be given to Celestina, Uriel didn’t know and he didn’t have any interest in knowing either. Needless to say, he wasn’t worried about her in the slightest. Even if Celestina revealed Uriel to be the mastermind, it wasn’t a big deal to him. As long as he argued that the opposition had no evidence to serve as proof, he could quickly return to his country to avoid further commotion.
“…Indeed. The original plan was to make Tristan go berserk, and if that was successful, use it to assassinate Zacharias III and in turn kick Oscar out of the succession to the throne — both goals were defeated. But, the whole process was quite interesting. Despite being last in the succession to the throne, I’ve once again recognised that that child…no, that girl truly cannot be underestimated.”
“You’re such a strange person. All you have to do is reveal the secret that Oscar is a woman, and once that is done, she’ll lose her right to the throne.”
Cassandra’s tone was filled with sarcasm.
“Haha. Even if I win the throne in that way, it wouldn’t really make one feel happy, right? Moreover, to abandon her identity as a woman for the sake of the throne…that’s not something that can be done so easily. As her adversary, I can’t help but admire her determination.”
“You have a lot of room for leisure, but in the off-chance that Ash Blake and Oscar join forces, won’t that pose a threat to you?”
“No, I actually expect that the situation will develop in that direction, and then we’ll be able to have a fair contest. Because I still have you as my trump card. As things are right now, it’s simply too unfair.”
Uriel stood up from the sofa and then walked over to the window. He placed his hand around Cassandra’s waist, and then pressed his lips against her bare neck and began to caress her.
“…No. I’m not in the mood for that right now.”
Cassandra smiled seductively, and then turned her back to him.
Uriel didn’t seem too disappointed, rather, he just stared intently at Cassandra’s back. The dress that Cassandra wore had a highly exposed back. Upon her bare skin, there was a tattoo-like pattern. It was only a few months ago that Uriel was told that the pattern was in fact the family crest of the Nehalenia Underworld Dragons — it was a <Seikoku> of incredible size. It was something that had happened not long after the dragon attack on the capital of Fontaine City.
“When will you awaken — Dark Dragon King Mordred?”
Uriel spoke with an eloquent tone towards Cassandra’s back.
After the Five Hundred Years Festival ended, a week had passed, and the month of Scorpio approached. On the anniversary of the establishment of the Dragonar Academy in Ansarivan, the academy’s uniforms changed along with the seasons, and all students transitioned into their winter uniforms. Once this season began, the temperature in the Knight Country would suddenly drop. With the arrival of the end of autumn, the atmosphere of winter gradually began to become stronger. Ash was still recuperating in the hospital. Half of his body was covered in bandages. The wind that poured in from the opening in the window sent a chill through to his bones. When he was brought into the hospital, the attending physician was astounded and said that it was already a miracle that he was still alive. The basic role of the Oracles used for healing was to improve a patient’s ability to recover. If the injuries were minor, then the effect could be described as immediate, but it was impossible for immediately treat severely injured patients. It seemed as though his hospital life would have to continue for some time. But Ash didn’t feel that a life like this was boring. After all, aside from Eco and Silvia, Rebecca, Lucca, Jessica and the others would often come to visit him. Moreover, Raymond, who had officially restored his connection to Brigid and Max, who had been discharged earlier also came to visit him in the hospital occasionally. Anya also came around to show her face on holidays. However, whenever Anya’s name was brought up in any conversation, Eco, Silvia, Lucca and Jessica would all become rather vigilant. Thanks to the constant and frequent stream of visitors, even though Ash was hospitalised, there was no shortage of people who passed on news of the incident. In response to this incident, the statement published by the Knight Country’s official government body was ‘There were unknown persons who abused a sacred relic to cause Oscar and Tristan to go mad’. As a result, Oscar was also regarded as a victim, and thus pardoned on the grounds of innocence.
—…knock……knock. At around ten o’clock that morning, someone knocked on the door of the patient room. The way that the person knocked on the door seemed a bit hesitant. As the examination rounds had been completed not long ago, it seemed unlikely that the person who knocked on the door was a doctor or a nurse. It wasn’t noon yet either, so it definitely wasn’t Eco who had difficulty getting up in the morning. But then again, Eco never knocked on the door when she entered.
“Please come in.”
For the time being, Ash sat with his upper body upright, and then called out towards the door.
“…Long time no see, Ash.”
Surprisingly, the person who appeared in the doorway was Oscar. Celes was behind her. It was the first time that both of them had come to visit. Both of them had rather serious expressions. After Ash gave a wry smile, he invited the two of them in.
“Don’t just stand in the doorway, come in.”
“Ah…pardon the intrusion.”
After Oscar walked over to the side of the bed, she sat down in a chair. Celes silently stood behind her. For the first time, Ash thought to himself that Celes was ‘acting like a maid’.
“I’ve really given you a lot of trouble this time…I’m sorry!”
After Oscar said that, she lowered her head to apologise. Celes also lowered her head while she lifted the hems of her apron with both hands.
“It’s fine, Prince Uriel was the real culprit anyway. It’s just good to see that Celes was willing to return to your side.”
A slight smile finally appeared on Oscar’s face.
“…It’s fair to say that Celes was supposed to have been executed as a criminal, but Princess Mirabel seems to have secretly helped to change that decision. It seems Princess Mirabel is rather interested in Pluto.”
After saying that, Oscar turned around to look at Celes who was behind her.
“Leaving those things aside, what really pained me was convincing Celes to come back to serve me.”
“Idiot! Why do you have to mention that…”
Celes immediately blushed, seemingly embarrassed, and acted in a rather self-conscious manner.
“B-By the way, Ash.”
Oscar suddenly turned back and looked up. Ash couldn’t help but take a deep breath. Although she was currently crossdressing, the way she acted still caused Ash’s heart to race. He couldn’t see the Oscar in front of him as anything more than a sweet and beautiful girl.
“Do you remember…you said that you would help me?”
“Of course. If it’s within my capabilities, I’d be willing to help.”
Ash nodded enthusiastically…this actually caused him some sharp pain in his neck, almost causing his expression to distort. But he didn’t want Oscar to worry, so he clenched his teeth and tried to remain calm.
In that instant, perhaps because Oscar felt deeply moved by his words, she leapt across and embraced him. Ash’s body couldn’t resist the shock, and he finally cried out in pain with ‘oww!’. Even so, Oscar still hugged onto Ash tightly. A sweet fragrance unsuited for the patient room wafted around, making Ash feel a bit dizzy. Although Oscar had cross-dressed today, it seemed that she had put on women’s perfume.
“I’ve already resolved myself.”
With a particularly enticing tone, Oscar whispered into Ash’s ear
“When I defeat Uriel and officially take the throne, I will openly reveal my identity as a woman to the nation. I want to be the first ruling queen in the history of the Chevron Kingdom. And during my reign, I will also abolish the rules that dictate only men can succeed the throne.”
“Your ambition is incredible! Although I can imagine that the process will be extremely difficult, I think it’s a wonderful dream.”
“So that’s why, when the time comes…I hope that you’ll marry me…not as Ashley, but as Ash Blake.”
“What did you say!?”
Ash’s eyes widened.
“The queen’s husband. That’s not a bad position, right? Of course, if we get married, and your status is still that of a commoner, it would be rather unbecoming. So please become a Chevron noble by then.”
“Slow down, aren’t you speaking too far into the future? Celes, help me persuade her!”
“The decision was made by Oscar. As her personal maid, I can only give my full support.”
After Celes coldly replied, she turned her face away. It was certainly a good thing that her attitude had returned to normal, but it looked like he would have some rather difficult days ahead of him….
“—We’re here, Ash!”
At that time, the door was suddenly pushed open as Eco rushed in like a bullet. Immediately afterwards, Silvia, Cosette, Jessica, Lucca and Rebecca also entered in that order. Although they were regular visitors of this room as well, they had chosen to appear at the worst possible time today. Oscar was still clinging onto Ash’s neck.
“Hey, Oscar! Everyone’s watching!”
“It doesn’t matter. We’re going to be a couple sooner or later anyway.”
Oscar effortlessly and expressionlessly replied.
“You two b-boys…what are you doing!?”
Eco was trembling with rage.
“Oscar-san, you couldn’t have gone mad and crossed the gender barrier to fall in love with Ash, right!?”
Silvia’s face turned pale and her tightly-balled fists constantly trembled.
“But, with such a fine man like Ash-sama…it’s hard to blame you for falling in love with him.”
Unexpectedly, Jessica looked at Ash and Oscar with an inexplicable sense of enthusiasm in her eyes.
“The sin of lusting after a male…you would be sentenced to death in the village of Ecbald. You would also be hung up in public for a week…”
After Lucca muttered such a terrifying story, she shrank back like a rabbit. But among those present, aside from Ash, Rebecca and Celes, no one else actually knew that Oscar was a woman. Ash was actually quite a tight-lipped person, so he hadn’t particularly publicised that secret. And then, Rebecca stepped forward to talk to Oscar.
“Oscar…our student council hopes to become your comrade. So why not tell the truth to all of these people?”
“…Yes, I guess you’re right.”
In response to Rebecca’s suggestion, Oscar seemed slightly embarrassed, but she nodded with agreement in the end. While she continued to hug Ash, she turned around and looked at everyone.
“Umm…to be honest, I’m actually a woman. Once again, please look after me from now on.”
“Hey, that’s way too sudden!”
Ash shouted out, causing an abrupt pain at his ribs. There were a thousand different ways to reveal the truth, and it could even have been turned into an emotional story, but Oscar chose the worst possible way. As expected, the patient room was suddenly overwhelmed with noisy voices.
“Y-You say that you’re a woman!? That makes the problem even worse!”
“That’s right! Let go of Ash right away!”
Eco and Silvia shouted loudly one after the other.
“A-A woman, and also so beautiful…and also royalty of the Chevron Kingdom…”
Perhaps because she felt dizzy, Jessica’s entire body became unsteady.
“Another strong rival…has appeared again.”
Although Lucca’s face appeared to hold no expression, she was tightly clenching both of her fists in front of her chest.
“Ufufu…it looks like the coming days will only get more chaotic.”
“You’re right about that.”
Rebecca echoed Cosette’s words with a wry smile. And right at that moment
“—Pardon the intrusion, Ash Blake!”
A woman in a wheelchair rushed in through the open door. That woman was not wearing her amour today, so for a moment, Ash was unable to recognise her—. Surprisingly, it was Veronica. The person pushing the wheelchair from behind was Glenn. It was only now that Ash realised Veronica was also staying in this hospital for recovery. Veronica had been sucked into Tristan’s body, and although her life was not endangered, a lot of her spirit had been drained, and both of her legs were also fractured. Glenn, who was pushing the wheelchair, had also been seriously injured, but he returned to his job very quickly as the captain of the guard. He was one of the best examples of a Dragonar. As soon as he saw Veronica’s face, Ash couldn’t help but feel a tingle. He had this nagging feeling that he had forgotten something very important.
“…It seems like this isn’t a place where I should stay for long.”
Oscar’s instincts seemed to sense danger, so after letting go of Ash as if nothing had happened, she retired back to the wall. Unintentionally, Ash’s eyes met with Silvia’s. Silvia blushed shyly and then averted her gaze. At last, Ash finally remembered. Before the final battle began, Silvia made an oath on behalf of the other players. When he recalled the contents of that oath, Ash’s cheeks began to burn. Silvia didn’t publicly state the name of the person who had won over her heart. But, to Veronica, the answer should have been obvious. The most worrying issue for Ash was the fact that Veronica absolutely adored Silvia.
“Ash Blake! Silvia has become rather fascinated by you, so I’ve come to make things clear today!”
“What, there’s no need to be afraid. After all, before the two of us fully recover, there’ll be plenty of time. My precious Silvia, I never imagined that you would actually, that you, that you w-would a-actually…damn it! Just thinking of that contestant’s oath makes me furious!”
“Princess-sama, please calm down. Be careful with your body.”
Glenn attempted to soothe the emotional Veronica.
“Aneue, you’re forgetting that Ash is still severely injured!”
Although Silvia had summoned her greatest courage to help Ash, she was still silenced by Veronica with a single sentence.
“Listen up, Ash! I will also live in this room from today onwards! I will thoroughly investigate to see if you’re a man who’s truly worthy of Silvia!”
“No no, this is a private room!”
“What are you afraid of? I’ll have Glenn bring my bed over soon. Wash your face first and wait for me!”
“I must be having a nightmare…”
Ash hugged his head and lamented.
I have to get out of the hospital as soon as I can — Ash quietly decided in his mind. Inadvertantly, Ash looked at Oscar and Celes who had retreated back to the side of the wall. Oscar had vowed to become the first queen in the history of the Chevron Kingdom. Having set her sights on a new aspiration, her eyes appeared to shine brightly. Celes simply stared silently at the side of Ash’s face. It seemed unlikely that Oscar and Celes would ever go their separate ways in the future again. They would both work together from here on towards that path — its name was supremacy.
“The Avalon Knight Dragner II” is closed.
(All 3 of 3 parts) (26/3)
Continues on to Afterword