Chapter 6. The Past and Present

 

 

While walking to the first conference room, Kaito explained to Al about their school.

“The first conference room is located on the first floor, whereas the classroom we were in, 2-A, is on the second floor, which is mostly used by the second-years.”

“I see…by the way, what age group is that?”

“17.”

“So you’re the same age as me.”

“You’re 17 as well?”

“Yeah. We have schools in this world too, but I skipped a grade and graduated earlier than others my age.”

While listening to Kaito and Al discuss about the school, Sora fell into a deep thought.

Sakura and Tina, on the other hand, were happily having their own conversation behind them.

“Everything alright, Sora?”

“Oh, it’s just, I was wondering why you can speak Japanese.”

Al laughed upon hearing Sora’s question.

“I’m not speaking Japanese. It’s all thanks to the earrings that I’m wearing. Numerous races inhabit this world, each with their own languages and sets of alphabets. Remembering them all would be absolutely impossible, and that’s why these earrings were invented.”

As he said so, Al pointed to his ears. The earrings he wore had small stones embedded in them.

Truth be told, both Kaito and Tina were wearing earrings as well, but they had been modified, and their designs were so different that Al failed to notice them, thinking they were normal accessories.

“Nowadays, people can get these earrings by showing their birth certificates to the country. I’m sure you guys will get them eventually as well. After all, they’re neither rare nor expensive to make.”

“Man, magic’s so convenient. Just imagine not having to go through the struggles of memorizing English vocabulary…” Sora muttered with a slumped back.

“That said, what a sight…”

Students that couldn’t stand up due to fear were everywhere. Even worse, many of them had outright fainted, and yet no one seemed to care.

“No sh*t. There aren’t that many people like you who would get excited over a dragon.”

“Well, in a situation like this, I’d say it’s more unusual to remain as calm as you and Tina.”

“Oh, believe me, I’m not calm at all. See this.”

Kaito tried to wipe his sweaty hands on Sora’s clothes.

“Hey, don’t use my clothes to wipe your hands! It’s disgusting!”

“See? Faced with a creature like that, there’s no way I’m feeling calm.”

“Haaa…you’re right.”

“Did your world not have monsters like the Lesser Sky Dragon? If so, it can’t be helped. When it comes to lesser dragons, ordinary people of this world would faint under their intimidation as well.

“Is that so?… By the way, what are Lesser Sky Dragons?”

“It’s the name of the monster you saw earlier. We classify those that can fly as Lesser Sky Dragons and those that can’t as Lesser Earth Dragons. They make up the species known as the lesser dragons.”

“Are they strong?”

“Their strength varies greatly. But be careful not to attack a member of the dragon race thinking it’s a lesser dragon. It could lead to diplomatic issues.”

“Dragon race? What’s the difference?” Sora asked curiously.

Through the effects of the earrings, he could tell that dragons and lesser dragons were regarded differently.

Al had to think a little so that he could reply in a concise manner.

“There are a number of differences between them, but the most important difference is that we can converse with the dragon race. Also, members of the dragon race are capable of transforming into humans.”

“It’s starting to sound more and more like a fantasy…”

They arrived at the first conference room while they were on this topic.

Sakura knocked on the doors, only to be greeted with silence.

“We’ve arrived, but the teachers have probably fainted as well…”

“Probably.”

“Shall we enter for the time being?”

Kaito opened the door.

They entered the conference room to check what was going on but ended up sighing the next moment.

They were used to it by now.

“As expected…”

All the teachers had collapsed inside the conference room, and many of them had fallen off from their chairs.

Seeing this, Al frowned.

“It appears a conversation would be impossible.”

In order to offer protection to everyone present, he’d have to ask for permission from the higher-ups first. Though he trusted Kaito and his friends, he couldn’t say the same for the school’s management. It wasn’t Al’s intention to do so, but an order for arrest might be issued against the school’s personnel. As such, he couldn’t make a move here carelessly.

“Yeah…what should we do?”

“Let’s wait for my colleagues to arrive so that they can lend a helping hand. Would that be alright with you?”

Al’s question was directed at Sakura, and the latter nodded.

“Yes, we would be much obliged.”

“Great. They should be here soon.”

The roars coming from the Lesser Sky Dragon were becoming faint, and so were the sounds of explosion. The subjugation of the lesser dragon was reaching an end.

“How many people are there in your group?”

“Only a select few are fighting the Lesser Sky Dragon, but our main force consists of around a hundred people. We’ve only come here to survey the magic power that we detected earlier, so our numbers are few. Having said that, we’re a special unit under the Duke’s command, and we have particularly high combat capabilities. Our vice-captain is a rare beauty with a fiery temper, but everyone’s a knight through and through, so there’s no need to be too nervous.”

The part about the vice-captain was probably meant as a joke. However, Sora took a step back when he heard Al’s description of his unit.

“Ueee. Then does that mean Al’s a member of the special forces?”

“Yeah. For the time being, I’m known as the strongest in the Duke’s regular army. But then again, I’m really no match against the Duke and some others that have been around for 300 years…”

“The strongest in the Duke’s regular army, you say…”

Sora looked up and down at Al’s body. He stood at around 165 cm, with silver hair, blue eyes, and a baby face. His arms and legs were anything but thick, and if someone from Earth were to look at him, they wouldn’t think he was a strong fighter.

“I can enhance my body’s performance through magic, so muscle training isn’t all that important, thank-you-very-much,” Al replied with a slightly displeased look.

From his behavior, it was clear that he wasn’t all that satisfied with his appearance either as he would often be picked on because of it.

“Is that true?”

“Yeah. If you judge a book by its cover, you’ll lose in no time. Despite how Nee-san looks, she’s regarded as the second strongest after me.”

“Nee-san?”

“Oh, here she comes.”

Following Al’s gaze, they looked outside the window and spotted the figures of around a dozen men and women in armor that had been fighting until a moment ago.

They were huddled around a certain woman, who approached them after catching sight of Al standing inside the building.

“Al, glad to see that you’re safe. And these people are…?”

“They’re people I found inside the building. Apparently, they’re from Japan.”

“Japan? You mean the country of the hero?”

“Precisely.”

“Is this true?”

“Yes, we’re indeed from Japan.”

Sakura stepped forward in response to Ryiru’s question, and though she was surprised, Ryiru performed a military salute.

“Apologies for the delay. My name is Ryiru Bernstandt, the eldest child of the Bernstandt Family. I belong in the same unit as Al, and we’re childhood friends.”

(Bernstandt? Is she a descendant of Old Man Ballan? No, I refuse to believe that’s possible. There’s no way that the old man’s descendant is this pretty. Hmm, or maybe a mutation arose along the way. 300 years have passed, so that might explain it.)

Kaito’s eyes shook when Ryiru mentioned that she was a Berstandt. However, upon seeing how beautiful she was, he immediately denied the possibility of her being Ballantine’s descendant.

Ryiru was a beauty with great style, always carrying herself with dignity. Her long, red hair was tied in a ponytail, and her skin was as fair as could be.

In contrast, Ballan was a musclehead with tanned skin and shaved head. He had a bold personality and was only rational when it came to combat.

Simply put, there was nothing in common between them except their red eyes.

“We are grateful for your help. My name is Tendou Sakura, and I’m the student council president of Tenou High.”

Befitting a daughter of the prestigious Tendou Family, Sakura greeted them gracefully. After the two were done with their introduction, Kaito, Sora, and Tina also introduced themselves. Then, they explained how they got there.

“So what you’re saying is that a mysterious magic circle transported you here… It must have been scary for you guys.”

Ryiru had discreetly asked a mage to confirm whether the students were lying, and when it was judged that they weren’t, she truly began to sympathize with them.

“As for the matter of taking care of the school’s students and teachers, we’ll first have to request permission from our captain.”

“He’s just the actingcaptain though,” Al added.

Now that she knew they weren’t lying, Ryiru promised to help the school as much as they could at her own discretion.

“So we’ll first contact my older brother.”

“Yes, if it’s Lucius, he’ll get in touch with the Madam as well.”

“…You’re right. The Madam will definitely not abandon them. In fact, they might even get better support.”

Sakura suddenly lowered her head while Ryiru and Al were discussing.

“Thank you for all that you have done for us. We’re blessed to have you here.”

Following her example, Kaito and the others also bowed their heads.

Seeing this, Ryiru rushed to help Sakura up.

“Please, there’s no need for this. We should help each other in times of need. Our ancestors also received help from the hero.”

“She’s right, you don’t have to thank us. We’re friends already, aren’t we? There’s no need for such formality.”

Hearing this, Sakura raised her head and smiled.

“Thank you.”

While they were having this exchange, something resembling a ship approached the school from the sky. Noticing this, Ryiru and Al reassured them.

“That’s our main unit.”

“Yeah, it’s probably going to land a short distance away from here.”

With the ship approaching them, Sora became agitated again. Airships were staples of fantasy novels, and he couldn’t hold back the excitement from seeing one.

“Hey, Al! That’s an airship, right?”

“Yeah, that’s Lux, our airship. It’s named after one of the hero’s companions.”

“The hero’s companion? Must’ve been an amazing guy!”

“Of course, he’s my ancestor after all! His name was Lux Lott Weissritter. Ryiru nee-san’s a descendant of Ballantine Bernstandt, another companion of the hero.”

Al’s chest was puffed out proudly as he said this. He wasn’t trying to be pretentious or anything. He was simply proud to be a descendant of one of the legendary figures.

Sora grew even more excited when he learned of the two’s backgrounds.

“Amazing! Tell us an anecdote or something!”

It was a request he could only ask of heroes’ descendants, yet Al gave him an unexpected response.

“About that…for some reason, we only hear of the hero and his companions’ achievements, not of their personalities and anecdotes. Some people know of them, but they don’t speak about it. All we know is that our ancestors were known as Lux the Paladin and Ballan the Fiery Fist…”

“Lord Ballantine and Lord Lux both possessed great martial prowess, and it’s said that they made immense contributions to the duchy’s development.”

As the three were having their discussion, Kaito and Tina reminisced about their former comrades. However, hearing Ryiru and Al sing praises about their ancestors, they let out a sigh.

“Despite being weak against alcohol, that old man liked to drink so much that he’d often get beaten half to death by his wife and thrown out into the cold…She was one heck of a fighter…”

He had no relatives to speak of in Enefia, but Mrs. Ballantine used to treat Kaito like her own son, so he was always grateful to her.

“Lux, on the other hand, used to flee from military meetings, only to head to a bar where he would flirt with women. In the past, he was a serious fellow befitting of his title, but…”

“He probably had the makings of a womanizer from the beginning. The fact that he had a good relationship with his wife is astounding…”

For obvious reasons, they made sure to keep this conversation from Ryriu and Al. Since they were so reverent toward their ancestors, there was no need to wake them up from their dreams.

While this interaction was happening, a young man with blond hair came down drom the ship that had landed on the ground, surrounded by a number of people wearing armor.

“It seems Nii-san has arrived.”

“Then we should go greet him. Would you mind coming with us?”

“No.”

And with that, they collectively walked toward the blond young man.

Notes

N/A

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