The Asterisk War

Chapter 6 : War-Academy City part 3

Signalling the end of this phase of their conversation, Claudia turned her chair to face Ayato once more.

”The fact remains, however, that our schools performance in the Festa these past years has been anything but stellar. Last season, we placed fifth in the overall rankings. With that said, the sixth-ranked Queen Veil is so ranked by design only, the official rankings notwithstanding. The reality of things is that we are currently last. This is not a situation we can allow to continue; for this purpose, we need every talented individual we can get our hands on. ”

Although the Festa is described as a single competition, in truth, it is composed of three separate parts.

In the summer of the first year is the partner battle PhoenixPhoenix Star Warrior Festival, in the fall of the second year is a team battle, GrypsGryphon Star Warrior Festival, and finally in the winter of the third year is the individually fought LindvolusDragon King Star Warrior Festival.

Those who perform well can have their scores substituted in place of their traditional school grades; their final point accumulation at the end of the Lindvolus becomes their grade. Thus three years of grades can be summed up by this one cycle.

As Claudia has just mentioned, Seidokan Academys performance these last few cycles have consistently lingered near the bottom.

”Students have the opportunity to participate in the Festa three times. Unfortunately, looking at it in another light, our best students only have three chances at most to participate. To be frank, our current numbers are inadequate. ”

Students may register for the Festa when they are between the ages of 13 and 22, for 10 years. During this time, they may, of their own free will, choose to participate in any Festa, even if only a part thereof.

For example, there are those students who will participate in all three Festa segments in one cycle, departing at the end of the three-year cycle, as well as those who, in their nine allotted years, will opt to take part in the Lindvolus only.

The more excellent students, the better. Taking this attitude, each of the six schools spares no effort in seeking out the very best and brightest, leading students from all around the world to gather here.

Free tuition, living stipends, and sponsored equipment; each of the six schools had its methods for attracting students. From the point of view of these schools, these special invitees were to be had no matter what.

”On that note, why was I invited to come here? Although its a little strange to be saying this myself, I don think theres anything particularly noteworthy about me. ”

”Thats certainly the case. Because of your utter lack of a reputation, I faced quite the opposition pushing your name through. ”

”Eh? You
e the one who recommended me!? ”

The majority of those who were sought out as special invitees were those who had performed well in the Festa. The exceptions to the rule were the StregaWitches and the DanteMagicians. However, these individuals were duty-bound to heed the will of their respective nations and were not free to escape the fate of being selected.

When it came to this point, from the time when he was young, Ayato had been raised as a practitioner in a kenjutsu dojo and had never before participated in the Festa.

”Just so; it was I who forced the school to admit you. At that time I was truly appreciative of the position of student council president. Three cheers for power! ”

”…don you mean force? ”

”If youd rejected my invitation, that would have been rather embarrassing for me. Your change of heart was quite fortuitous. ”

”Who said anything about a change of heart? ”

Ayato shrugged as Claudia narrowed her eyes.

”If thats the case, then why did you accept my invitation? ”

”… ”

Turning serious, Ayato placed his hands on the table and looked Claudia in the eye.

”Claudia, the news that my sister – Amagiri Haruka – attended this school…Is it true? ”

”Hmm, well, how to put this? ”

Claudia directly accepted his gaze, extending her forefinger.

”All I know is a rumour, that she once attended this school. All information regarding her stay here has since been deleted by an unknown party. ”

”Deleted…Is that possible? ”

”Generally speaking, of course not. ”

”Even for the student council president? ”

”Even someone in this position is hardly omnipotent…although, if it were someone a step above that, thats another matter entirely. ”

Continuing to stare at Claudias bitter smile, Ayatos serious expression didn fade.

A position even higher than the student council president, in other words, the Integrated Enterprise Foundation.

Sponsored Content

”There are no records of her ever having taken part in the Festa, nor is her name recorded in the Named ChartsBattle Omnicon. To be frank, whether or not she ever attended this school is unknown. Assuming she did indeed attend here, that was but some five years prior. There are both students and faculty here who have been here this entire time, and yet none remember her. The strange point is this, though. ”

”Any possibility the competition records were altered? ”

”None. For starters, hiding someone means pulling the wool over the eyes of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, of fans who watch the Festa. Each Festa is broadcast live all over the world, and the Named Charts are updated in real-time, as well as online. Even small incidents like the occasional intra-school duel are immediately captured by the media, and immediately spread to every corner of the city. Take, for example, the duel between you and Julis; its already on the web. ”

”You mean… ”

Almost as if to interrupt Ayatos words, Claudia operated the computer beside her.

A screen dropped down, depicting a young woman.

”! ”

Ayatos eyes opened wide.

”This is all weve been able to recover. She entered five years ago, departing after just half a year for personal reasons. Her name, birthdate, background; almost nothing remains. ”

Nonetheless, for Ayato, that was already more than enough.

This was it! Without a doubt!

”…How did you come by this, Claudia? ”

In order to recover lost information, one obviously had to be first aware it had been discarded. However, of this student, neither records nor memories remained.

That being the case, how did Claudia know?

”I apologize. Im afraid I can reveal that. Do you not trust me? ”

”Oh, no, thats not what I meant at all, ” Ayato frantically responded.

As a student council president, she definitely had her own sources of intelligence.

It went without saying that such things were confidential.

”Its just that, the way I see it, regardless of whats occurred since, its almost a surety that she is no longer here. If your reason for coming is her… ”

As Claudia spoke, she grew increasingly flustered, however, Ayatos expression quickly returned to normal, and he shook his head.

”Thank you. Don worry about it; my reason for coming wasn just because of her. ”

In response, Claudia inquired further with a questioning gaze.

”Then…why did you choose this school? ”

”Hmm- ”

Ayato folded his arms, lost in thought, before answering with a smile.

”If I had to say, its probably because I would like to discover a goal to seek after. ”

”How terribly abstract. ”

”Eh, really? I wouldve thought most students answer similarly. ”

”Ahh…Im more and more intrigued by the moment. ”

Claudia felt that Ayato sought to muddle the issue with his answer.

The truth, however, was that hed honestly tried his best to respond.

If it was at this school, he sincerely felt hed be able to find a goal worthy of striving toward.

If his sister truly was here-

”Oh! Thats right; I almost forgot to tell you something. ”

Clapping her hands together, Claudia suddenly cut in.

”Our special invitee students, aside from waived fees and the like, have several other privileges. One of these is priority access to the schools Ogre LuxPure Star Type Armaments. ”

”Ogre Lux refers to those which use a special type of Mana Dite, right? ”

”Thats correct. They use an Ulm Mana Dite. ”

Among the meteorites that had fallen to the Earth during the Ember Tears, accompanying the unknown element now known as Mana, was also the unique ore; mandate. A ”Mana Dite ” is the crystallization of the element Mana, from the Mana-bearing ore mandate, and recent advances have allowed for its artificial production.

Meteoric engineering research into Mana, manadite and Mana Dites had paved the way for new industry, not the least of which was centred around the ability to employ the Mana (in Mana Dites) as an energy source for weapons; the LuxShining Type Armaments.

When activated, Lux weapons materialize and focus Mana, producing a blade of light (there are also arrow and bullet forms).

The might conferred by Lux weapons exceeded those of existing weapons and carried other beneficial properties (for example, a Lux gun needs no ammunition). For this reason, for the most part, Lux weapons have since replaced traditional weaponry. They have become popular to the point that they now see such widespread use as weaponry, self-defence tools, and even childrens toys.

Among the types of Mana Dite is one of exceedingly high purity, and equally rare. These are the so-called Ulm Mana Dites, which form the core of the Ogre Lux weapons. Their capabilities are incomparable to those of normal Lux weaponry but are rumoured to be even more difficult to control than the unique Mana abilities of the GenestellaStarpulse Generation Strega and Dante.

The vast majority of Ogre Lux weaponry belongs to the Integrated Enterprise Foundation, although a select number are provided to each school for research purposes.

”If youd prefer not to utilize an Ogre Lux, then, of course, we won force you. They do carry some side effects, after all. Thats the price of using something like that. What do you think? ”

”Ive heard you first need to verify compatibility? ”

All users of an Ogre Lux, when drawing out their weapons power, experience some sort of change.

If rumours are to be believed, then Ogre Lux weapons are self-aware and choose their owners.

”More than that, you should say its the most important factor. Here at Seidokan Academy, the minimum requirement is an 80% compatibility rating. Any lower than that, and we can accommodate the wishes of the student in loaning out the item. ”

”Hmm… ”

Putting aside for a second whether or not he was interested, having to go through procedures to borrow the item in question each and every time struck Ayato as troublesome; in any case, to begin with, he had no idea if he was compatible or not.

Knowing Ayato had his thoughts on the matter, and seeing his wavering expression, Claudia was mindful of his concerns.

”Whats the matter? ”

”Well, this isn something Ive been able to verify, so take it with a grain of salt. Truth be told, the requirement to register to use an Ogre Lux is a little suspicious. ”

”What do you mean? ”

”The management of Ogre Lux weaponry is necessarily strict. But using who is currently borrowing what Lux records seem almost like a pretext for something else. More specifically, its almost like by using verified combat data, they
e trying to isolate that combat data which has no associated registration information. ”

”By that you mean… unregistered Lux use? ”

”Well, if the records been altered, yes. I think the probability is quite high. These records are housed within the database of the management department, which has accumulated untold amounts of Ogre Lux combat data. As its inner workings are far from clear, its impossible to eliminate the possibility of tampering. ”

”Let me guess, that data remnant is from five years previous? ”

”Exactly. ”

Ayato sighed heavily.

”If thats how it is, it seems best that I take a look myself. ”

According to this reasoning, the probability that his sister had used an Ogre Lux is quite high. If that was the case, he wanted to confirm with his own eyes the Lux weapon shed used.

”I understand. Ill look into this more thoroughly and then notify you of my findings. For now, please use this. ”

What Claudia extended to him was a Lux activation tool.

”This is a traditional sword-style Lux. Its already been configured with your settings, but if youd like to make any modifications, please visit the Equipment Division. ”

”Ah, thank you. Oh, that reminds me. ”

Seeing this Lux reminded Ayato of the one hed borrowed earlier, the one that a member of the crowd had thrown for him during the duel with Julis.

”This is troubling, how do I return this…? ”

Ayato pulled out the Lux from earlier, but unfortunately, as expected, there was not a name engraved there.

”Oh, don worry about it. If its just that, the school just hands them out. ”

”Really? Thats pretty generous. ”

This kind of combat-refined Lux is of course not cheap. Nevertheless, when compared with the potential benefits that came from the Festa, they were of small value indeed.

”Switching topics for a second, I just thought of something. Mind if I ask? ”

”Sure, go ahead. ”

”Youd mentioned one last procedure…what was it? ”

”Oh, that. Well- ”

Saying that Claudia suddenly stopped.

Stopping to contemplate for a moment, she quickly glanced around.

”…Is something the matter? ”

”Oh, not at all! Its nothing like that. ”

Claudia waved her hands frantically, giving off an appearance utterly unlike that of just earlier.

Her cheeks seemed to have taken on a slightly reddish tint, and her gaze was lowered.

”Er, how do I say this, would you mind closing your eyes for just a moment? ”

”Alright. ”

Why would this last procedure require closing ones eyes?

Despite this thought, Ayato had no intention of investigating further and obediently shut his eyes.

He heard the slight whine of chair wheels, and not long after-

”-Ei! ”

Ayato felt a slight impact on his back.

Though he was slightly taken by surprise, it wasn like itd hurt; in fact, the sensation was rather soft.

Sponsored Content


Or rather, wasn it too soft?

”Huh? ”

Theres no way, Ayato thought, as he opened his eyes. Opened to his gaze was a pair of hands, enclosed around his abdomen. In other words, hed been hugged from behind.

”Wah! Cl-Claudia!? ”

”Ufufu. ”

The unbelievably soft yet overwhelming mass pressed into Ayato from behind.

Ayato, anxious, was unsure what he should do.

If there was anything he could do, that is.

”…Finally…Finally, I get to see you… ”

The bits and pieces of muttered words he heard were faint, but spoke clearly of long repressed nostalgia.

Though he was slightly taken by surprise, it wasn like itd hurt; in fact, the sensation was rather soft.

Although the feeling was indisputably conveyed, Ayato could only shake these thoughts from his mind.

”Claudia..? ”

He received no response.

Ayato briefly considered turning to look behind him, though, the fact of the matter was, he was completely at a loss.

More importantly, someone who left such a strong impression on others such as Claudia could hardly be forgotten, right?

For some indeterminate length, that moment in time simply continued, the two of them unmoving and silent. Finally, the two arms released him.

”-Fufu. Im just teasing. Were you surprised? ”

Ayato finally turned to look, finding a thoroughly genuine smile awaiting him.

It was just a gut feeling, but he felt like hed lost the opportunity to inquire further.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like