Eishiro, not doing anything in particular, was just gazing at the moon after the rain from a treetop.
How much time has he spent sitting like that?
Eishiro suddenly heaved a heavily deep sigh.
“Oh boy, I’ve done it……”
As expected, he went too far this time in various ways.
It was not like he regretted it, but he didn’t think that it’d end with just a scolding this time. After all, he had clearly backstabbed Bujinsai.
No, accurately speaking, he sneakily stabbed at him; but there was no way that Bujinsai has not noticed.
“I might as well seriously become a nukenin, I guess……”
Although in that case, it was regrettable that he would have to leave this academy.
Even if one searched around the whole world, you would only find one crazy city like this, and he would not also get tired to watching Ayato, Julis, Claudia and company…… And well, his club president.
“Now then, what to do now?”
When Eishiro, whose motto was to always live leisurely, was unusually racking his brains seriously, he received a call on his portable terminal.
Though he leaked out such a voice as soon as he checked the one calling, he couldn’t afford not to pick it up.
When he opened a s.p.a.ce window, Bujinsai’s sullen face was projected there.
“Greeting, Father. The failure of the mission this time is truly regrettable.”
Eishiro was quite impressed at himself, who could talk so frivolously even in such a situation.
『Shut up, stupid son; do you know how much the clan’s name has been stained because of you?』
Though Bujinsai’s tone was openly displeased, on the other hand, he looked healthy enough that you wouldn’t be able to tell that he had previously been beating into the ground by Ayato.
“Dear me, what are you talking about? I really have no clue……”
Just in case, Eishiro tried feigning ignorance.
『Well, there’s a lot of things, but…… what p.i.s.sed me the most is the fact that you gave Eika and company’s whereabouts to that World Dragon’s brat.』
But, it seemed like he was completely found out.
Eishiro sent to Arema the data of the siege formation that Bujinsai lay out, and moreover, even informed her of the whereabouts of Eika and the other healing ability users.
“Just going against me is still better, but to think that you’d go as far as to sell your big sisters who have been affectionate to you…… I’m so ashamed that I’ve no words to say.”
“But, they weren’t injured that seriously, right?”
At that point in time, Arema was already injured quite severely. No matter how low his sisters’ battle ability was as healing ability users, the most that Arema could do, would be to stun them with a surprise attack.
『Even so, it’s not something that can be forgiven. According to the home’s rules, I want to sever that head of yours even right now, but……』
Saying up to there, Bujinsai made a sour face as if having swallowed a bitter bug.
『Unfortunately, the masters seemed to highly value your work.』
It was a story like a bolt from the blue.
“The big shots of Galaxy think that of me?”
『Thus, we can’t lay a hand on you. But, don’t ever think to come back home again.』
Since he did not have such intention in the least from the beginning, there was no problem.
“Got it, Father. I’ll bear it in mind.”
Bujinsai glared at Eishiro until the end, but his severe face vanished along with the s.p.a.ce window.
Still, what was strange was that Galaxy’s treatment towards Eishiro.
Far from punishing a p.a.w.n that utterly hindered the orders they themselves handed down, they even valued him highly.
While folding his arms, Eishiro pondered on the fact that he has narrowly escaped from disposal.
But, even when spending some time thinking about it, he could not find a reason he could consent with.
However, if there was a reason he could not consent with, he happened to know only one.
“……No, it can’t be, right?”
There could not be such a thing as a top executive of Galaxy concerned about her daughter’s safety. In the first place, it contradicted in every aspect.
“Well, whatever. I shall soon go back to my room, I guess.”
As Eishiro threw such a thought in the trash box of his thoughts, he disappeared from the treetop.
“……Yes, yes, you do not need to remind me that! You, too, do your utmost to win and advance to the final!”
Such a voice could be overheard from the other side of a half-opened door.
Laet.i.tia, who opened that door and came back to the office before long, had a somewhat satisfied face.
To the point of even lightly humming to herself.
“You look quite happy, Laet.i.tia. Has anything good happened?”
When Ernest asked so, Laet.i.tia’s face became bright red like an apple and she quickly shook her head.
“N-Nothing in particular! I-It’s really nothing!”
“……I see. Well anyway, the matter of Miss Enfield seemed to have been settled well. The Sinodomias have also confirmed that the Yabuki Clan left Rikka.”
Ernest lightly smiled and joined his fingers together.
“I-Is that so? That’s certainly good to hear.”
“Miss Enfield’s injuries don’t seem that serious, right?”
“Yes, she says that she received treatment from a healing ability user, so there’s no need to worry on that side…… Ah!”
To Laet.i.tia who was easily tricked, Ernest continued while suppressing his laughter.
“There’s really no need to hide the fact that you got in contact with her. It’s not like you talked about anything bad, is it?”
Even Laet.i.tia was not that stupid. She should greatly be aware that the normal line’s use had the danger of leaking out to the Sinodomias, so she would not do something like being caught by the tail.
“T-That’s right, but……”
As she only moved her mouth mumblingly, Laet.i.tia’s words were incomprehensible.
It looked she was only embarra.s.sed.
“Oh, also ── tomorrow, or rather, it’s already today, huh. Anyway, it looks like we won our semifinal by default.”
“Oh my…… As I thought.”
“It couldn’t be helped considering the situation. I think that it was a decision of last resort even for the Steering Committee…… Now then, fortunately we will go to the final in perfect condition, but I wonder how it will be for them.”
To Ernest’s words, Laet.i.tia kept silent with a serious expression.
Although they successfully got over this incident, Team Enfield’s next opponent was an extremely powerful one.
“There is a great possibility that Team Yellow Dragon will be the one confronting us to the final. No, rather, looking purely at the probabilities of either side winning, theirs might be higher.”
World Dragon Seventh Inst.i.tute’s Team Yellow Dragon was a team that might be said to be Team Lancelot’s exact opposite. Although it was a powerful team gathered with the overwhelming individual strength of Woo Xiao Fay aka as the core, from Ernest’s viewpoint, it was quite lacking in charm after all. And for some reason, that Xiao Fay just couldn’t peak his interest.
“Preferably, I rather want them (Team Enfield) to win and face us.”
Then, Laet.i.tia said in a strong tone.
“It will be all right. They will definitely win!”
Ernest, though slightly surprised, greatly nodded.
“Yes, you’re right. I shall wait for a fun final.”
At any rate, the result should already be given tomorrow about this time.
Ernest put strength into his linked fingers so as to suppress the flame which burned in his heart.
──World Dragon Seventh Inst.i.tute, audience room.
“Yup, yup, you’ve done well. It’s a splendid result, Arema.”
The cheerful XingLu shook her feet on the chair as she said so.
“With this, it looks like tomorrow’s match will be fun.”
『……As for me, it’s not really a result I can be very proud of though.』
Arema, whose body was covered all over with bandage, said so and grieved at her own pitifulness.
Although she was able to achieve her goal, she has been completely defeated by Bujinsai. What’s more, she was in this state.
“Now, now, isn’t fine? I told you that that guy’s void tide technique is troublesome, right? Even among my disciples, only Xiao Fay and Fuyuka are the only ones, who look like they can do something about it.”
『Even though that young lady Fuyuka is a guest, is it fine to include her as one of your disciples?』
“She’s saying so herself, so I don’t mind it.”
XingLu said so and cacklingly laughed
Arema, who was looking at such XingLu with an amazed face, suddenly remembered Bujinsai’s words.
『That reminds me, I happened to hear something.』
『Is it true that the current you don’t possess even half of the power you had a long time ago?』
Then, XingLu who heard it broadly grinned.
“Hou, so the Yabuki’s head said something like that.”
『Well as for me, I’m half in doubt about it, though.』
Of course, there was no doubt that it would be interesting if it was true.
But, as someone, who know a fragment of XingLu’s strength, there was also the feeling that she could not completely believe it.
“Let’s see, if I have to say, I’d say that it’s half true.”
“Restricted only to martial arts (as in Taijutsu), it’s certainly true. a.s.suming that I was at 100% in my golden age, I’d say I’m at 30% to 40% at best with this current body. But when it comes to techniques (as in Jutsu such Senjutsu, etc), then it’s a different story. After all, now I’m overflowing with mana, and both the power and accuracy can’t be compared with the ones at the time.”
Though Arema could consent, at the same time she keenly realized again how frightening the little girl before her eyes was.
This was because when XingLu spared with Arema, she has never used those techniques even once.
『Great, I’m getting excited……!』
And, she could not help feeling excited at that.
“Hohoho, I see you never change.”
Seeing such Arema, XingLu nodded contentedly, but she suddenly clapped her hands before long.
“That’s right; shall I teach you something good as a reward?”
『Hou, what is it, what is it?』
“It’s a plan that I’m secretly working out currently for the . If things go well, I don’t mind making you join, too.”
As XingLu beckoned her, Arema approached her face.
Arema who heard it could not stop her face becoming unintentionally loose.
『I like it! That seems quite interesting!』
“I know right? I’ve already chosen several people at my own discretion. Well, they’ll actually begin to move about when the New Year starts though.”
『Kakaka! I’m looking forward to it!』
Arema said so and struck her fist on her other hand’s palm.
“Ah, I’ll tell you just in case, but make sure to keep it secret from HuFeng. If he were to know it, he’d absolutely stop me after all.”
“Master, I would like to consult a little…… Is something wrong?”
HuFeng, who entered the audience room, looked at XingLu and Arema with a puzzled face.
“No, no, don’t mind it. So…… what do you want to consult me about?”
At XingLu’s words, HuFeng said while taking a stance of Bao Qan.
“With all due respect ── I would like you to allow me the use of that ogre lux for tomorrow’s semifinal.”
Translator and references notes
 meaning runaway shin.o.bi
 speaking here of Galaxy, I guess
 looks like here, we catch a glimpse of Isabella still slightly concerned about her daughter despite having undergone a mind adjustment program; which would normally be impossible
 shook her feet because they don’t touch the ground when she is sitting on the chair as she is small