The Asterisk War
Chapter 2 Anger
Ayato caught it almost by reflex as it fluttered down from the sky.
Appearing to shine brilliantly in the first rays of the early summer sun, looking for an instant so much like a snow-white feather––what he grasped in his hand was nothing quite so spectacular; it was just a handkerchief.
Judging from the embroidery of the lovely, yet clumsy flower pattern, it was likely not a manufactured item, but handmade. It seemed a little worn, and closer inspection revealed the vestiges of past repairs.
The deep sentiment its owner held for that handkerchief was conveyed. It was inconceivable that it had been intentionally discarded.
”…Was it stolen by the wind? ” If that was the case, then where on earth did it come from…? Looking around as he thought that, Ayato smiled wryly.
After all, Ayato had only just now arrived at this city––and also only just arrived at Seidoukan Academy. Having arrived a little earlier than expected, hed gone for a stroll around the school grounds to kill time until his appointment, but the site was so large that he had no sense of his current location. Even if hed followed the footpath, and thus wasn lost per se, there was still no way for a newcomer to find the handkerchiefs owner.
”It can be helped; Ill turn it in at the office later. ”
Anyway, since he would meet with the Student Council President after this, he could hand it over then. Thinking that Ayato carefully folded the handkerchief and put it in his pocket.
The current time would still be regarded as the early morning, and birdsong echoed through the boardwalk surrounded by bright green trees.
Looking at the scenery, so abundantly favoured with natures grace, it was hard to imagine this was an artificial island. Nonetheless, this was one section of the War-Academy City Asterisk, well-known throughout the world. It went without saying that no expense had been spared when it came to groundskeeping.
However, Ayato was brought to his senses after hearing a faintly panicked voice from the other side of such trees.
Clear as a bell, and lovely enough not to lose out to the small birds singing, and yet a voice which revealed a strong will.
”Ahhh! Of all the things that could happen, why at a time like this…! ”
But, listening carefully, the content of what he overheard could hardly be referred to as lovely.
Turning in the direction of the voice, he looked up at a room with a large, open window. Standing in a location set a little away from the footpath was a building of a neat and classic structure.
”Anyway, Id better go after it before it flies far away…! ” The voice, which floated over from the other side of the fluttering curtain, was filled with urgency.
”… I see. ” Ayato turned his gaze to his pocket before looking up once again at the room.
Originally, Ayato was not that perceptive a person.
Nonetheless, if it was, after all, a situation as easy to understand as this, then it was another matter.
”The fourth floor, huh… Well, since there are also footholds, I think there shouldn be a problem. ”
Though there was an iron fence about two meters high between the walkway and the building, Ayato jumped over it lightly, without needing a running start. Taking hold of a nearby tree branch, he casually climbed up.
For Ayato, a member of the Genestella
The target room was located further above the trees, but Ayato jumped from a handy branch to the window frame in one go. Arching his body like a cat, he landed almost soundlessly.
”Errr, sorry to just pop in like this. By chance a little while ago, this handkerchief… ”
Ayato had chosen the quickest way. Since the voices owner seemed to have been quite in the hurry, hed thought that handing it over the sooner the better was best after all.
It was a simple, pure intent. Assuredly.
Nevertheless, his good intentions had resulted in problems –– and big ones at that –– of which there were two.
One was that the building was the High School Girls Dormitory of Seidoukan Academy.
And another was that the owner of the room was just in the middle of getting dressed.
The girl, who was slipping her foot into a skirt, and Ayato stared at one anothers faces with altogether dumbfounded expressions.
The girls age seemed around the same as Ayatos, 16 or 17 years old.
With pale green eyes like young leaves. With the bridge of the nose straight (high straight along the nose), and skin as white as fresh snow.
The color of the long hair which flowed down to her waist was not so deep as to be called scarlet, though also too bright red to call pink. If you had to pick a colour… it would be rose.
Her face was also stunningly beautiful. Though it was his first time meeting her, Ayato was captivated.
Besides, the girl was now half-naked.
The two people, for a while, did not move, as if frozen solid.
The uniform buttons were undone on her upper body, and even her underwear was exposed. Since her body was bent, her bosom was also completely visible.
The swelling of her bosom was modest, but the curves of her body were distinctly feminine, and her waist was slim.
Her healthy and flexible legs were nimbly stretching on her toes, and drawing his gaze, shining between her thighs, was lovely, pure white underwear.
This sort of clumsy, half-naked appearance was more sensational than full-on nudity.
The two people, for a while, did not move, as if frozen solid. Since the girl was in a situation where she had one leg raised, one could say that she had an amazing sense of balance.
It was as if time had stopped, but of course, things could not simply continue in this manner.
It was Ayato who came to his senses first.
”So-Sorry! No, errr, I never meant to peep! ” Although he somehow tried to explain himself, his words fumbled as they came out.
He tried to cover his eyes with both his hands for the time being, but he could perfectly see her charming appearance from the gap between his fingers.
The girl, on the other hand, had finally grasped the situation. Her face dyed bright red, and she flapped her mouth open and closed.
Was it out of shame, anger, or both?
Ayato resigned himself to the scream that was inevitably coming.
As the girl deeply inhaled while hurriedly covering her body, with tears in the edge of her eyes, she fiercely glared at Ayato.
”––Tu-turn the other way! ” She said in a low voice with barely repressed emotions.
”Its fine, just turn around already! ”
At that peremptory tone, he obeyed in a hurry.
The light sound of clothes rustling came from behind him. In addition to that, there was also a somehow strangely nice smell.
Ayato was unable to settle down.
Furthermore, he was still situated on the window frame. A moment of carelessness would be all it would take to plunge below. Almost losing his balance to occasional bursts of wind, he waited for several minutes.
”Phew… O-okay, its fine. ”
Finally hearing her voice, Ayato turned his head back and saw a splendidly beautiful girl.
That figure, which was wearing an impeccable uniform, was filled with grace and elegance, to the point that her earlier appearance seemed to be a lie. Though her moody expression and her severe gaze conveyed her bad mood, it still looked somehow lovely.
As Ayato was unintentionally admiring her, the girl cut straight to the point.
”So, the handkerchief? ”
”Didn you mention it earlier? Something about a handkerchief. ”
”Ah, oh yeah! well, its this… ” Ayato took the handkerchief from earlier out of his pocket and presented it to the girl. ”The wind carried it to me earlier and I picked it up. Here, could this be yours? ”
The girl opened her eyes wide for an instant, and soon after breathed deeply as she felt relieved.
”Thank God… ”
And after she received the handkerchief from Ayato, she gently held it to her chest. ”…Sorry. Its something very… very precious to me. ”
”No, I just happened to come across it, totally by accident… ”
”Even so, you saved me. Im grateful. ” The girl bowed deeply and politely to Ayato, who scratched his head while embarrassed.
”Now then, do you think that its all settled? ” With her head still lowered, the girl muttered so.
Her voice was different from that of until now, filled with emotions that could explode at any moment.
The face of the girl, who slowly raised her head, was wearing a smile.
But her eyes did not laugh at all.
The edge of her lips which drew an arc with a smile was convulsively twitching.
”Then –– go to hell! ”
The next moment, the whole atmosphere of the room changed.
The PranaStar-Power of the girl increased explosively, and the atmosphere rumbled. A chemical element was converted by the Mana, which given direction, awakened the phenomenon.
(This presence, don tell me she is…!)
”Come into bloom – AmaryllisSix-Petal Burst Firebloom! ”
At that moment, a huge fireball appeared before the girl and was aimed at Ayato.
Suddenly jumping from the window, he adjusted his posture in the air and landed.
A roaring sound echoed almost at the same time. Looking up, a huge fire bloom (flame flower) opened its bud in the air. It was a large flower of exploding flame, with overlapping blazing petals.
The air vibrated as the gust of heat rushed past. It showed just how the explosion possessed tremendous power.
”…No, no, no. ”
As Ayato was taken aback… Inside the window, where some sparks still poured down, the girl appeared and let her body lightly leap from the opened window. Like Ayato, she gracefully dropped to the ground without any problem from the height of the fourth floor.
The girl was a Genestella
Including Seidoukan Academy, almost all of the Students of the six Academies present in Asterisk City were Genestella
According to a theory, even among the Genestella
Ayato himself had so far come in contact with only one Strega
”Oho… to be able to dodge that, you are pretty good. ” The girls anger spread in her voice, even though she offered some admiration.
”Fine then, if thats the case, I will take you a little more seriously. ”
Sensing the girls PranaStar-Power rising again… Ayato hastily raised both his hands, in an attempt to control the already tense situation.
”Woah, Woah, just wait a minute! ”
”What? If you would have just stayed still, I could have just cooked you too well done and let you off. ”
”Are you overflowing with desire to roast me alive? ”
Without even feeling the slightest hesitation.
”Or rather, I want to know why you
e going for my life… ”
”Since you peeped on a maiden changing clothes, it would be only natural to compensate with your life. ”
The girl calmly declared such a dangerous thing.
”If thats the case, then what were the thanks you gave me earlier…? ”
”Im of course thankful to you for returning the handkerchief. But… this and that are different issues. ”
”…Couldn you be a little flexible about this? ”
”Unfortunately… I hate the word flexible. ” While smiling, she drastically discarded this option.
There seemed no way to get along.
”In the first place… There was no need to return it by coming through the window, right? Besides, its not unreasonable to beat up a pervert who sneaks into the girls dormitory. ”
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