Jul 15, 2017

Rakudai Kishi V7 Chapter 9

Chapter 9 - Warriors' Slightly Boisterous Break

Part 1
After that, Ikki went with Stella to her room to pick out a dress.

Then they returned to the Bay Dome. Stella went towards the Medical Room where Sara was waiting, while Ikki went to the meeting place after contacting Arisuin along the way.

The waiting place was at the third entrance of the Bay Dome.

Once Ikki arrived, Arisuin, who was at the bench in front of the fountain, waved his hand.

“Ikki. Here, here.”

Ikki jogged towards them after being guided by the voice.

Sitting next to Arisuin was Shizuka, who looked like a high-quality doll.

“Sorry for calling you out all of a sudden, Alice. Oh, Shizuku also came.”

“Wherever Onii-sama goes; be it into a fire or a bath, Shizuku will join regardless.”

“Stop that.”

“Fufufu. It’s a joke. As expected, going into a fire would be troubling.”

“What I am troubled about is not that......But is it alright? Shizuku has another match today. I think that it’s best to preserve your stamina.”

More importantly, it was about the third round battle at night.

The one who would be competing for the victor in D-Block against Shizuku was the one who had already won two consecutive matches without fighting, a member of the Akatsuki Academy, Bad Luck Amane Shinomiya.

An eerie contender who possessed Nameless Glory, a bottomless causal interference ability that could bend all causal effects to his wishes.

Since he was her brother, it was natural for him to be worried about her.

However, Shizuku returned that worry with an elegant smile.

“It’s alright, Onii-sama. Shizuku has a grand secret plan.”

“Now that you mention it, you seem to have said that before. I have not heard of the details though.”

“Yeah. As it concerns the outcome, the details cannot be revealed to Onii-sama after all. But it’s alright to not worry about me......Or rather, doesn’t Onii-sama also have a match? Even though your opponent is that Akatsuki’s exhibitionist, you want us to go to the department store with her. What exactly happened?”

“Ahh, that’s......”

Ikki explained the sequence of events to the doubtful Shizuku.

About how Stella had torn her apron.

And how Sara still intended to wear that apron to the match.

And how it was decided that Stella would bring her to the department store after half-threatening her.

“Certainly......Stella-san can be unexpectedly attentive.”

Shizuku commented with an impressed feeling after grasping the situation.

Though he felt that some parts were unnecessary, Ikki nodded without touching on that part.

“Honestly speaking, it really helped me. If she had fought in that attire......it would’ve been hard for me to fight.”

He did not intend for that to disrupt his concentration......

No such intention, but............he had no confidence.

Even Ikki was a young man, so it was a physiological phenomenon that could not be helped.

“I see. So that’s the reason you called me.”

“Un. Alice is well versed in that, right? That’s why I hope that you can teach Sara-san the joy of dressing up, or at least wearing a minimum amount of clothes.”

His skill in makeup and coordinating clothes could clearly be understood from seeing Shizuku.

If she saw her own figure after he seriously coordinated her clothes, Sara might also get interested.

And then once she was interested, she might not show up topless before others anymore.

That was what Stella considered.

Ikki also agreed on that point.

He believed that the fundamental feeling of shame was non-existent in Sara.

She wore an apron to avoid the paint, it could count as having a minimal amount of clothing to cover herself with, but she would probably go out without even wearing an apron if she was not drawing.

He could not understand the reason as to why she was like that.

She was that much of a genius. It would not be strange if one or two wires in her head were connected differently from normal people.

Or rather, she did not understand the concept of wearing clothes as it was shameful to be naked in the first place.

Then, what they could do was......only to rouse her interest.

They could only make her like the act of dressing herself up.

In consideration of Arisuin’s feelings, Ikki asked him apologetically.

Arisuin, on the other hand, showed a refreshing smile and positively replied.

“Sure. It’s true that I was once part of Akatsuki Academy and their comrade, but I have not met with them directly.”

The only ones Arisuin had met directly were Puppeteer Reisen Hiraga and One Armed Swordsman Wallenstein who originally came here as a teacher of Akatsuki Academy.

Hence, he said that it would not be awkward.

“Also......That girl only became like this due to her negligence of health and tardiness, but she’s like a gem in the rough. I also have the motivation.”

“It really helps if you say that.”

“......Even so, I’m astonished. That exhibishionist is still aiming for Onii-sama. I will do another drop kick on her stomach when she arrives.”

“I-It’s not a good idea to do that to someone who is having a match today......!”

While getting cold sweat at his sister’s disturbing words, the three of them chattered as they waited for Stella and Sara to arrive.

However, those two had still not arrived even after they had waited for a while.

Ikki looked at the time on his student datapad.

It was already five minutes past the meeting time.

(Speaking of which, they are really slow......)

He acknowledged that the preparation for girls was slow, but in Sara’s case, it was just putting on clothes.

More or less considering that she also had her preferences, they even prepared four sets......

(Could it be that she had already awakened to dressing up and took her time to pick out the clothes, or something like that?)

If that was so, then it would help save the talk, but......

Meanwhile, as Ikki was thinking about that...

“Ah. Stella-chan and Sara have come.”

Arisuin stood up after seeing those two coming out of the third entrance of the Dorm.

Ikki and Shizuku also stood up and welcomed them.

However......as they shortened the distance, Ikki felt something wrong.

Somehow, Stella was not energetic.

“K-Kept you waiting............”
Nor was her voice full or spirit.

Her back was also hunched, she seemed to be really tired.

“......S-Stella, you seem somewhat worn out? What happened?”

As he asked if something happened...


Stella glanced at Sara who was brought along.

Sara’s attire was just a jersey.

Just hearing that did not seem to suggest any sex appeal.

However, the impression of her cleavage peeking out from the zipper opened up at her chest betrayed that.

Although this attire should not have anything to do with sex appeal, wearing it sloppily only added to that sensation.

They could see that the passersby also took glances at Sara’s cleavage.

“It’s not good for a girl to be wearing such a shameful attire. You’re not Fu○ko-chan[1], so close up the zipper properly.”

Arisuin complained about her appearance and zipped up the jersey up to her neck.

However, the instant he let go...


The zipper returned to its original position after opening up with that noise.

“O-Oh my......”

“The chest area is too tight to be closed up. Other dresses had their buttons pop out, so nothing worked out.”


Stella leaked out a groan as if Sara’s words were brass knuckles that punched her stomach.

Ikki also understood her reason for feeling down from that appearance.

“I s-somehow understand the reason why Stella is like that......”

“......I t-tasted a humiliation that I have never experienced before............”

That’s probably true.

Girls with chests as big as Stella were not common.

Even in Hagun Academy......probably only Kanata Totokubara could match her.

“My condolences.”

“Honestly speaking, I may feel depressed for a while......”

Stella, who became groggy from an unprecedented psychological impact, had her waist bent like a granny, trembling all over, and raised her face in agony.

And then......she suddenly stopped moving.

Stella stared straight at Shizuku, who was in front of her......

“──Now then! Since everyone has gathered, let’s hurry up and leave for the department store!”

Her back suddenly straightened up, as she announced with vigor.

“Stella-san, where did you look just now to recover yourself?”

“Now, we don’t have much time because the match is at night! Let’s make haste!”

“Stella-san, please answer honestly. Since I will kill you.”

Part 2
It took a twenty-minute-long bus trip from the Bay Dome to reach a certain large downtown street.

Three large shopping malls whose names everybody knew faced one another; it was a fierce battle zone in the middle of commercial metropolis Osaka.

Ikki’s group reached the JR station which overlooked those three shopping malls and alighted the bus at the rotary.


The expressions on the five of them were all worn out after the ride.

Even though they didn’t walk here.

That reason was...

「Kurogane-san! I am definitely going to Hagun next year! Please remember me!」

「Thank you very much for your signature, Stella Onee-sama! I will treasure it for the rest of my life!」

「Shizuku-chan! Please look over here again! With those despising eyesー!」

「Everyone, I will be cheering for you! Please do your best!」

The windows of the bus were all fully open and a group of middle school students stretched out their bodies and waved their hands.

「Dear passengers, please do not lean your faces outside of the windows!」

Ignoring the driver’s pitiful warning, those girls continued to wave their hands at Ikki’s group with their eyes glittering in admiration.

That’s right: the five of them shared a bus with some middle school students that were moving in a group for some club activities or such, and were asked for signatures and handshakes, receiving a one-sided admiration from those students as they were swarmed upon them.

Even their friendly smiles as they saw off the bus were cramping up.

“This is......I have underestimated it.”

As Ikki murmured with a sigh, Stella nodded as she fixed up her disheveled hair with her fingers acting as a comb.

“U-usually, they’re not so persistent......today is really above the norm.”

“I’m sick of people......I’m feeling sick......”

“Are you alright?”

Sara rubbed Shizuku’s back, who had a poor complexion.

If it was the usual Shizuku, she would have put up a strong front to people other than Ikki and Arisuin, but...

“Mu, thank you very much......Uu.”

Shizuku, who had originally already disliked crowds, was further showered with praise and admiration, causing her to be too fatigued to be able to put up a front.

“Well, they used to hold back for privacy reasons, but now everyone is in a festive mood......Not to mention, there are four out of the best eight in the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival gathered here. This development should’ve been expected.”

All of them nodded to Arisuin’s words.

However, that regret was a little too late──


A sudden rumbling noise resounded in the five’s ears.

As they raised their heads to see what was happening...


「Oi over here, over here! They are in front of the bus stop!」

「Kyaー! Ikki-kun in person! Just like the information on Tweeter mentioned!」

「Quick, let’s share this with everyone!」

「Stella-samaー! Please shake hands with meー!」

It was literally a 「Human Wave」 that was rushing towards Ikki’s group from the shopping mall, where they were heading to, towards the bus stop where they had alighted.

Someone, or possibly everyone on the bus that they rode......had probably leaked Ikki’s group’s location onto the Internet.

“Information society is scaryー”

“Now is not the time to look afar to escape from reality, Alice! If we don’t do something, someone will get injured!”

“C-Certainly, with such a number of people, if someone fell down, it will be terrible.”

“However, Onii-sama, what should we do to calm them......”

「Breasts! Imperial princess’s breasts! With such a number of people, we can do it!」

「Must try to touch them in this commotion!」

「Aim for the s-sswitch at the center! Center switch!」 (TL note: Yeah, you perverts. It’s the nipple of course.)

「Shizuku-sama! Please use your adorable little feet to step on meー!」

““Let’s kill them, for the time being.””

“C-Calm down, you two! I understand your feelings, but you will be expelled at once if you do that!”

As Ikki was calming down the rising killing intent of the two, he made a suggestion at the same time.

“Anyway, let’s escape! If we were caught by that number of people, let alone buying clothes, it wouldn’t be strange if we couldn’t make it back by the time the match begins!”


“That may be a little too late.”

When they turned behind after hearing Sara’s voice, people sprang out from the station behind them with mobile phones in their hands, wanting to get a closer look at the best eight in the whole country.

In other words, they were surrounded on both sides.

“Well, if it’s like this, it doesn’t seem possible to escape.”

“It can’t be helped.”

“Yeah. At first, I didn’t want to resort to violence, but it can’t be helped.”

“The expression of you two is not ‘it can’t be helped’ though, but rather, it’s filled with killing intent!?”

(What to do? At this rate, it will really turn into a bloodbath......)

However, Ikki did not have any alternatives.

As far as he could see, with the tension over there, they would not listen to him properly.

What should he do?

Just as he was in a dilemma...

“......In short, it will be fine as long as those people cannot see.”

As Sara told him, she took out her device Brush of Demiurge and palette.

“What are...”

‘You doing?’, before Ikki could ask her, Sara had already finished her business with a god-like hand speed.

As she mixed the paint on her palette to grey color...

“Color of Magic ── Stone Grey of the roadside.”

She then painted it onto the back of her hand.

In that instant, Ikki’s group who were at that place felt that they could no longer focus onto Sara.

The Color of Magic Noble Art that controlled the concept associated with colors.

One of those was that stone grey.

Those who were painted that color would make themselves difficult to be noticed, just like a stone at a roadside.

It was to the point of being unable to sense the existence itself by anyone except those like Ikki’s group, who were knights that routinely trained their concentration.

......They did not receive an explanation about that technique from Sara, but they all felt it themselves, and understood the effect of her Noble Art. At the same time, they also knew how to handle the current situation.

“I see. It would be fine to use magic and make myself invisible. I never thought of this since I have never used it this way.”

“......If there is another way, then it can’t be helped.”

As they murmured somewhat disappointedly, Stella and Shizuku closed their eyes...

“Flame Veil.”

“Blue Fantasy.”

Along with the chants, Stella using heat, while Shizuku using water, they each deployed a membrane to bend the light.

They made their figures unseeable only to the crowd.

It was an application for those two who both had excellent magic power control.

“As expected, these three are skillful. Then I will use my ability to make Ikki’s shadow thinner.”

Arisuin deployed his Device, Darkness Hermit, as he said so.

His ability was to control the concept of shadow.

If he used that power, it would literally make the shadow thinner, possible to obtain temporary stealth against people.

Originally, they were not allowed to use their ability in public areas, but at this rate they were bound to cause a major incident.

Ikki also did not point that out as he understood it. However...

“No, it’s fine.”

Ikki declined Arisuin’s assist.

“Oh? But Ikki’s magic is unable to do it, right?”

“Well, that would be the case if it’s about magic, but it’s more than enough to handle normal citizens with just my body control.”

As he answered such, Ikki turned his focus to the gazes of the human wave pushing towards them.

Then he read the gaps of blind spots, thinner than a string, from all those paying attention to him, and strolled in there.

Ancient Stepping, Trackless Step ── he used it against the opponent that was the crowd, with their gazes filling almost every corner.

Not a single person noticed Ikki who was travelling against the human wave.

His vision that could pinpoint the blind spot of that many people's’ gazes, and the body control technique that did not make a single millimeter margin of error, caused Arisuin to be astounded.

“Oh my. Your stealth makes even an assassin lose face. I’m really amazed by you, Ikki.”

Leaking out a voice of admiration at Ikki Kurogane’s bottomless technique, Arisuin followed after those four.

Once Darkness Hermit permeated into his own shadow......that shadow immediately thinned out.

At that moment, the figure of those five people, who had gained the attention of every person gathered there, disappeared.

「H-Huh!? Not there!? Disappeared!?」

「Hey wait a minute! What do you mean!? Ikki-kun is not there!」

「That’s strange. They were there just a moment ago, huh?」

The confused crowd made a commotion as the five people suddenly disappeared like smoke.

With their targets lost, the passion that had nowhere to go soon dispersed after stalling in place for a while.

There would probably be nobody who would get injured anymore.

Seeing that, Ikki’s group passed through the crowd of hundreds of people right from the center, and entered the shopping mall.

Part 3
After the five of them entered the nearest shopping mall, they took the escalator to the sixth floor where female clothes were sold.

Coincidentally, it was the ‘Summer Lady Fashion Exhibition’, so some partitions of the whole floor were temporarily removed.

“Heeh. There’s quite a variety of stores.”

“They also seem to be displaying limited overseas brands during this Exhibition period.”

Shizuku had supplemented Stella’s impression after looking at the flyer that was given out at the entrance of the floor.

The human traffic during the Seven Star Sword-Art Festival had increased to an amount incomparable to the usual times.

When would they make a showdown if not then?

In another sense, it was obvious that the shops on the whole floor would give it their all during such an event.

“If there is such a variety of clothes, you are sure to find one you like! Now, let’s hurry up and go browse around!”

However, Sara simply showed an unmotivated expression to Stella’s instruction.

And she randomly grabbed a nearby piece of clothing.

“......Then this will be fine.”

“Eh? You have already decided? Huh, this is a negligee! It’s what you wear for sleeping!”

“It’s fine if I can wear it.”

“There is a big problem! This is pretty much see-through! The image won’t be shown if you wear this with your proportions! Don’t just randomly pick, choose properly!”

“......Muu, then this.”

“What? Now it’s not even clothes anymore! This is a belt! Just a belt!”

“It can cover my breasts if I wrap it around myself.”

“Wouldn’t that just make you look like someone who has a unique sexual fetish!? Make sure to choose clothes, only clothes!”

“I got it. I will choose properly after looking............I’ve made my choice.”

“In the end, it’s an apron!? Are you somehow cursed to only wear aprons naked!?”

“It’s quick to wear, quick to take off, and feels cooling too. It’s the best choice from a logical perspective.”

“......I wonder if that is what it feels like after marrying a husband who has no interest in food......”

Next to Stella, who was holding her head, Arisuin mumbled ‘You’re right’ as he held his chin with his hand.

“This is even more severe than I had expected it to be.”

Her reason for wear clothes was at a somewhat obligatory level.

It would be a truly difficult challenge to make her interested in fashion.


“Are you able to do it somehow?”

“Well, leave it to me.”

Arisuin believed that there was no way that there wouldn’t be a method.

If there was no reason to wear them, he just had to give her one.

“Hey, Lily. Why are you not interested in fashion?”

“......There’s no reason for me to decorate myself. Since I don’t really have anyone to dress up for.”

“However, you want to make Ikki your nude model and draw him, right?”


“Then, isn’t that a reason?”


As Sara tilted her head in confusion, Arisuin got closer to her ear and whispered with an evil expression.

“Make yourself pretty and become cute......you just need to make Ikki fall for you.”

“Wha, A-Alice!?”

“W-WWW-What are you saying!?”

Hearing bits of Alice’s disturbing words, Ikki and Stella changed their expressions.

The friend who knew about their relationship was trying to create a discord between them.

That was probably an obvious reaction.

However, Sara also knew about their relationship.

“......That’s impossible. Another One already has Crimson Princess as his lover. It’s not possible for him to fall for me.”

She showed disapproval to Arisuin’s suggestion. However...

“Ufufu. That’s not true, you know? Man is a creature that says ‘I will only love you for my whole life’ but will easily have an affair. Lily is a famous painter, so you should know, right? Even Zeus was like that, so it isn’t certain that Ikki, who is just a human, won’t have an affair. Not to mention, this country also has a nonsensical saying that ‘Affairs are the proof of a husband’s worth’.”


“Yeah. You just need to work hard and make yourself pretty, then snatch Ikki away, see? Won’t you be able to draw him all you want if that happens?”


Arisuin looked like the Serpent that was tempting Eve, gradually guiding her into the taboo.

Stella could not keep quiet about that anymore, and interrupted the two.

“A-Alice! Don’t teach her strange things! And Sara, don’t make that ‘maybe I will try working hard a little’ face! Ikki is my boyfriend, got it!? S-Seduction is immoral, it’s absolutely not allowed!”

However, Arisuin only showed a provocative smile towards Stella who had interrupted him.

“Oh my, oh my~? Isn’t this opinion really unlike Stella-chan?”

“W-What do you mean?”

“Do you think that you have won after becoming a couple? I thought that Stella-chan would say something like ‘I will continue to capture Ikki’s heart with my charm, so try snatching him away if you can’.”


Stella slightly wavered after Arisuin’s provocation.

Shizuku, who was observing her until then, slid in and hugged Ikki’s arm like a tangling ivy, and  dealt another blow to Stella.

“Well well, there’s nothing as unbearable to watch as a woman who has turned prudent. A female should chase after a more charming male. And a male should chase after a more charming female. Even though this is a philosophy similar to the survival of the fittest in the law of nature, saying things like morality, clinging onto concepts that humanity has arbitrarily made on its own, you are a pretty boring woman......Onii-sama, women will fall into depravity like that. It’s better that you abandon her now. This woman will become someone who will not do housework, just watch TV drama while lazily lying around when her husband is working hard, and she’ll waste all the savings on stocks and investments. Of course, Shizuku will not become someone like that.”


“G-Geez, Alice and Shizuku, don’t bully Stella so much.”

Ikki also joined in as he couldn’t bear to watch it anymore.

In the end, if Ikki had no such intention, there wouldn’t be any affair in the first place.

And Ikki was confident that such a thing would be impossible.

That’s only a matter of course. How would he be unsatisfied with such a wonderful girl beside him, a girl that he was unworthy of?

Hence, Ikki said those thoughts out loud...

“Stella, you don’t need to take them seriously. My feelings will absolutely──”

“Wait, Ikki.”


However, those words were physically blocked by Stella’s hand.

Sealing Ikki’s words, Stella spoke.

“......Just like those two said, I was wrong.”


“I understand what Ikki was going to say just now, but Ikki saying those words himself and me forcing you are two entirely different matters.”

Stella cautioned herself in her heart.

Did it mean that she had won if she became his lover?

It was absolutely like that.

......She felt that she had become too dependent on their relationship after it was revealed recently.

(In the first place, I don’t have the qualification to suppress the girls gathered around Ikki.)

Of course.

Ikki Kurogane was a man loved by none other than Stella Vermillion.

He was that charming of a man.

In a sense, it was only obvious that those who knew about his story and received his gentleness would come to like him.

......In addition, if she kept making a fuss with ‘I am her lover, that’s why!’ to every single person that got close to him, it would not be elegant at all. It was not charming.

(If I relax just because of our promise, I will be finished as a woman......!)

It was the heart, and not the promise, that bound the lovers.

To keep on loving him, and keep being loved by him.

Only by working hard like that, could she honestly accept Ikki’s words── !

“Fine! Sara Bloodlily! Do as you like if you feel like it! I won’t stop you! But I won’t let you steal him! Ikki’s heart only belongs to me, Stella Vermillion!”

As she thrusted her finger high in the air to make her declaration of war, Stella immediately left the group and walked towards the exhibition by herself, not wanting to waste a single moment.

She was probably thinking about how not to lose to Sara who had Arisuin to coordinate for her.

“Since it’s a rare chance for me as well,then, Onii-sama, see you later.”

After Stella, Shizuku also walked away by herself.

Seeing off those two, cheerful giggles spilled out from the mastermind, Arisuin.

“Ufufu. Ikki sure is being loved.”

Before his gaze as he said that, was Ikki who was fuming in anger.


“Aww, don’t show such a scary expression. You’re ruining your cute face.”

“How can I not get angry? You purposely provoked Stella since you know that she hates losing.”

“It can’t be helped. This was the only reason I could think of for Lily. And I mean every single thing that I told them as well. Ikki also doesn’t want to chain Stella-chan down with just some promise, right?”

“............Well, that’s also true.”

After hearing his explanation, Ikki couldn’t make a rebuttal either.

He also didn’t want to chain Stella down with a promise.

“Then I will bring Lily around, but do you want to come along as well?”

“......No, Shizuku also seems to have gone before I know it. Since I also have something I want to buy, I will be going there.”

“I see. Then in two hours, let’s meet up back here. I will also mail everyone.”

Part 4
As the shops were having a showdown, it could be seen that the contents of the exhibitions were very diverse.

From casual wear to formal dresses, there were even native outfits as well.

Three floors of the department store were used to display lady wear from classic to modern, Eastern to Western.

The main goods were displayed using mannequins that attracted attention, pushing for the summer’s trends and brands.

A mild milky-colored one-piece.

A refreshing striped flared skirt.

Even just seeing those brought about a joyous mood.


“......It’s cute, but...”

It was not something like that.

Stella thought that it was weak.

Not to mention that her opponent had Arisuin.

Shizuku appeared to be three times cuter the last time he seriously coordinated for her.

As Sara didn't even bother coordinating herself, she might have an even greater potential.

The mainstream ones she held in her hands......putting it in a negative way, they were ordinary choices. She was slightly worried.

............However, going too far into the unorthodox path would also be dangerous......


At that moment, the melancholic Stella was attracted to a corner of the exhibition.

What she saw in that section was 「Chill! Yukata Summer Exhibition! (You may try them on)」 written on a pamphlet.

It was a corner specially for handling yukata.

“This may be good!”

It was a mainstream one, yet highly unexpected choice.

It was also a proper choice for the season, and she did not have to worry about clashing with Sara, since she was going to wear clothes with ease of movement in mind as she was going to use it for her match.

In addition, as Stella did not have a single set of kimono, it wasn’t a bad chance to buy one.

Stella made up her mind and walked towards the corner.

And after browsing through the merchandises that asserted beauty, she eventually picked one out.

It was a yukata with a red and white base which matched with her hair color.

She released Flame Veil as she took it into her hands.

Then she walked towards the shop attendant.

“Excuse me. I want to try this on.”

“Welcome. You want to try it on, right? Then this way......!?”

In an instant, the middle-aged woman attending her froze her expression.

Because she realized who the person talking to her was after seeing her face.

“Y-YYY-You are, could it be that you are Vermillion’s Princess Stella? W-Why have you come here!?”

“Like I said......Umm, I want to try this on.”

“A-Ahh! That’s right! That’s what you said! Our shop has that service! I forgot about it as I was too surprised! T-Then please, wait a moment! I will prepare tea and some tea cakes! Saitou-san! Please go and buy some top-grade tea cakes and tea! The most expensive ones!”

“No, you don’t have to do that! There’s no need for that, please let me try this on!”

Stella stopped the middle-aged woman who was trying to take out her wallet from her pocket to let her colleague nearby buy tea and tea cake in a hurry.

“I came with my friends today, so I can’t stay for long. But I appreciate the thought.”

“S-Sorry for my impoliteness. We have no experience in receiving state guests, s-so I got a little overexcited......ahaha.”

“I’m just a student now. Please, do not mind.”

“I understand. Then please wait in this dressing room. I will help you try it on immediately.”

She was guided to the partitioned space in the middle of the kimono corner.

Its size was about twelve tatami mats.

Stella went through the entrance hidden by the curtain and walked towards the center.

And then, she saw a familiar figure.

“Is that Shizuku? Why are you here?”

In the dressing room that Stella entered, Shizuku was already inside before her.

“Is there any reason other than trying on clothes?......Since it’s such a rare chance that Stella-san herself is allowing others to tempt Onii-sama, I was thinking of showing Onii-sama my appearance in yukata after such a long time.”


Stella frowned as the reply was just as she expected.

Even though she purposely made a choice that wouldn’t clash with Sara, she clashed with a different side.

However, Stella would not retreat as her feelings were already put into the kimono.

“I don’t remember you ever being considerate though......Fuun. Well, just do what you want. Since it will be fine as long as I can win over Ikki’s heart.”

Hearing Stella’s powerful declaration, Shizuku showed a meaningful smile.

“Heh......I will need to congratulate you on that, huh?”

“Mu? What do you mean?”

“Even though I have chosen a yukata, you are going to choose the same. Are you sure that’s fine? You won’t stand a chance, you know?”

“Y-You don’t know that if you don’t try it out first!”

“Pfft. Well, that’s true. You will know when you try it.”

(W-What’s with that overly confident attitude of Shizuku.....)

Even Stella knew very well about how competitive Shizuku was.

However, rather than saying she was competitive, she believed that there was some sort of certainty in her.

(But, I also won’t lose!)

She had experienced a moment of insecurity, but Stella still received the yukata from the female shop attendant and tried it on.

As expected of the shop attendant delegated to that showdown period, it took almost no time for her to smoothly finish assisting Stella wear the yukata.

“Alright. It’s finished. How is it, Stella-sama?”


Confirming her appearance after they were done with it, Stella raised an excited voice.

The yukata Stella chose had bright red thistles with a tint of yellow decorated over a white base.

Her shoes were changed into geta[2], and she carried a string purse in her hand.

Her obi was of a red darker than that of the thistle, tied in a big knot around her waist.

“It’s so cute, just like a goldfish......”

She turned her body around once, the big knot swayed just like a goldfish’s tail.

Stella liked that very much.

She would probably stand out if she wore that to stroll in a festival.

And, at that moment...

“Heeh. It looks pretty good on you, Stella-san.”

Shizuku, who had finished wearing hers at almost the same time, praised Stella.

Shizuku’s outfit was a yukata, just like Stella.

Her blue fabric had white iris and ripples of water drawn on it.

In contrast to the lively tone of Stella’s, hers was a calm color tone.

It had a synergic effect with Shizuku’s mild colored hair and skin, showing a level of coolness.

......Hence, perhaps because of that...


(H-Huh? Somehow......)

Seeing Shizuku’s appearance, Stella felt that the insecurity in her heart inflated.

She confirmed her own appearance again in a panic.

And although she still didn’t know the reason, she definitely felt it.

(......Compared to Shizuku............it doesn’t really seem to fit me............)

“Pfffft. You seem to have noticed it yourself, Stella-san.”

“Wha! What are you saying, I wonder?”

Shizuku hit the bullseye, and expected Stella’s panicked reaction.

“You don’t have to play dumb. Compared to me, it doesn’t seem to suit you, isn’t that how you are feeling?”

“T-That’s not true! Rather, mine is definitely cuter!”

“I see. Then let’s return to Onii-sama together.”


That would be troubling.

She could not appear before Ikki while holding such insecurity.

However, why did it seem not to fit her as well as Shizuku?

She stood before the full-length mirror and looked at herself after changing various poses, but she couldn’t think of the reason.

Hence, Stella asked the female shop attendant who helped her to wear it.

“H-Hey shop attendant-san. Between me and Shizuku, who do you think fits better?”


That question was probably troubling considering her standpoint.

The female shop attendant showed a vague smile as if to dodge the question.

“Both of you have worn wonderful clothes that brought out your own personality, I think that they fit really well.”

That answer came from her heart.

In the first place, Stella’s original looks were already outstanding.

She could wear most of the clothes.

However, the shop attendant had noticed one issue.

“It’s just that, the person over there feels more used to wearing a kimono.”

“Used to......”


Shizuku confirmed shop attendant’s words.

“I am still a woman from an honorable samurai family. As I prefer dresses personally, I usually wear what I want, but I had plenty of chances to wear a kimono in the past for family events. And at the same time, I have received training for how to behave myself when wearing a kimono. I will not mess the hems like Stella-san when walking, neither will I look straight at the other person.”


Shizuku pointed her finger at a spot.

Looking at the hem of the yukata, it was indeed messed up after moving around in front of the full-length mirror.

“You must straighten your back when talking to another person, but show some reservation in your gaze instead of looking straight at the other party. The position of your hands must not exceed your shoulder line, and aligned at the front. Individually, everything makes a small difference, but after accumulating together, it has a bigger impact on the impression. Kimono is different from a dress. It’s not good just be glamorous, only by using your inner beauty along with it will then let you reflect the Japanese beauty. ──In other words! Both your body and your movements are lacking in modesty!”


Exactly. In the first place, kimono was a clothing nurtured from combining Japanese culture and physique.

Which meant that to Shizuku, it was a home game, while to Stella, it was an away game.

The difference was obvious.

And it was not difficult to imagine that every one of the actions they’d make would increase the gap.

The weight of accumulated training would show itself in the slight angle of their postures and reflexive actions.

It was not something that could be imitated in a short amount of time.

Stella had also received training for table manners when wearing a dress, so she understood that well.

“......Certainly, this won’t work.”

“That’s not true at all. It also looks very well on Stella-sama!”

“......Thank you very much. However............”

‘Very well’ was no good.

She had to win.

That was a battle with a woman’s, Ikki’s girlfriend’s pride on the line.

There was still Sara, who would be coordinated by Arisuin, awaited.

It would not do to lose against Shizuku there.

It would probably be better to give up on the kimono.

However, what else would there be?

Stella was troubled. And to her...

“If you are fine with it, how about letting me coordinate for you?”

Shizuku said that as she gracefully walked closer to Stella and whispered near her ear.

“You will?”

“The other side has Alice helping. Even if I help, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?”

However, Stella only showed her a suspicious gaze after hearing that suggestion.

“......You’re full of lies. It’s impossible for you to help me. You’re probably just thinking of some evil prank. I won’t fall for it.”

Considering their relationships that were like between a bride and her sister-in-law, it was only obvious that she would react as such.

However, Shizuku showed a rather depressed expression hearing that.

“I’m really not trusted. Well, considering Stella-san’s perspective, distrusting a sister-in-law like me is obvious, but saying that much still makes me feel a little depressed......I have acknowledged Stella-san to some extent despite how I feel, you know?”


“That’s right. Otherwise, I would have never allowed you to be together with Onii-sama. I would use all illegal means possible and chase such a woman all the way to the end of the world to eliminate her. Stella-san should know that I’m that kind of a woman, right? However, since it’s you......for the first time, I acknowledged another woman. But because of that, I am very displeased when that country bumpkin woman is buzzing around Onii-sama, and is even aiming for his body. I won’t allow the woman I had acknowledged to lose against her.”


“Won’t you let me help? ──Onee-sama.”

Shizuku held Stella’s hands by overlapping hers and requested.

She called her with a term she had never used before.

Stella’s eyes flickered in delight after hearing that word.

She didn’t know that she was acknowledged to such an extent by that girl.

Hence, Stella grasped back Shizuku’s hands and replied with a smile like fully bloomed flower.

“I’m sorry for suspecting you! Let’s chase away that woman together!”


“Then let me hear Shizuku’s opinion immediately! What do you think is the outfit that will make me the cutest?”

“It’s simple, Stella-san......That red hair of yours that seems to be on fire. That feminine body shape even kimono could not hide. You don’t have to dress up at all. You are already very charming in your original appearance.”

“I-Is that so......Ehehe. Somehow, hearing those words from Shizuku makes me happy.”

“In other words, Stella-san just needs to make use of the weapons you were born with. And the best choice to go with that is this!”

“T-This outfit is......!?”

“Since it’s a festival, various clothes will be displayed. I have procured this for Stella-san’s sake. A woman like Stella-san will be able to wear this perfectly. And in addition to that, if we mix in some wildness as spice......you will be able to catch Onii-sama’s heart!”

“For my sake......! Thank you, Shizuku! This certainly feels like it will do! Alright! Let me change into this quickly!”

Part 5
As for the other two, it was around the time Stella and Shizuku had made an alliance.

Sara and Arisuin took the escalator to the floor below the lady’s outfit department.

On the way, Arisuin asked Sara just in case.

“We don’t have much time, so I want to hear it from the start. Do you have requests like ‘this kind of design is good’ or ‘this brand is good’? Or will you leave everything up to me?”

Sara shook her head and answered.

“......I don’t understand much, so please.”


(......That being said, there is a match today, so clothes hard to move in are NG[3].)

Not to mention, Akatsuki was a private school without a school uniform.

The clothes chosen there would just become her battle attire.

Overly decorated clothes would reduce her mobility.

That would not be good.

Although he was once in Akatsuki, there wasn’t any particular lingering feelings, so it didn’t really matter to Arisuin anyway, but to Ikki......that serious youth would probably not be happy about it.

However, regardless of which clothes they might choose...

There was something he had to do before that.

“......Whatever we may need to do, first is your face.”


“We won’t go that far. However, since your original face is good-looking, it will be a waste to go without makeup. Therefore......we first start from here.”

As they were having that conversation, they reached the cosmetics department on the third floor.

Milky-colored marble.

Golden lines drawn on the black pillars in some of the areas.

On the floor that had a clean feeling and chic color tone, the unique fragrance of female cosmetics wafted around in the air.

“Let me ask for the sake of it, do you have experience in makeup?”

*Furu furu*

Sara shook her head.

“Well, that’s true. You don’t have a fashionable aura......”

Her hair still had bed hair paint sticking to it. Her lips were also dry.

There was no way she had used any makeup before.

(It’s incomprehensible that her skin does not have a single flaw, though.)

Well, she probably had that kind of constitution.

It was not as mysterious as Stella’s weight.

“Then you also don’t have any knowledge about makeup and skin care, right?” (TL note: Me neither, so you should appreciate the pain of translating all those knowledge.)

“I never did it myself, but if it’s about puffing some skin-colored powder onto your face, then I know about it.”

“You are talking about foundation. But I will tell you just in case, makeup is not just about that.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah. Since it’s a rare chance, I will teach you from the beginning. Please listen carefully.”

“Got it.”

“First, before putting on makeups, it is important to do skin care. Use this cleansing foam to remove the dirt and oil from the sebum. If there are any impurities, the makeup will not be able to stick well, so this is a necessary process.”

“I see......”

“Next will be this toner’s turn. This has many active ingredients that will maintain the moisture of your skin.”

“Hmm hmm............”

“After that’s done, next is the lotion. Lotion contains reagents that retain the elasticity of your skin. Its usage is mostly similar to toner. Finally, don’t forget to apply this day cream to confine the active ingredients from the toner and lotion onto your skin.”


“After covering with the day cream, apply the base makeup next for the sake of improving how well the makeup sticks. This is very important as it also has the effect of protecting your skin from UV light. At this stage, you need to use different control color in accordance to the state of your skin for the sake of adjusting its color. Use purple type if you are concerned about the redness of your skin, use silver type if you want to show its glossiness. After coming this far, it’s finally the foundation’s turn that Lily spoke of. But this puffing of powder foundation Lily spoke of has other types apart from powder such as cream or liquid and it is important to use either one based on the skin type of the person but if there is still any spots or acne that cannot be hidden by the process up to this point then use concealer to reinforce and lastly use face powder to suppress the stickiness of the foundation followed by the finishing touch of highlighter and blush which can be used in either sequence depending on case-by-case and now we are finally done with base make up so the next is eye makeup but I wonder if you have understood so far?” (TL note: The lack of punctuation is on purpose.)

As he looked at Sara, white smoke could be seen rising up from her head.

And then Sara answered Arisuin’s question with dead-fish eyes.

“..............................I understand that living as a woman is very difficult.”

“Oh, you are unexpectedly good at comprehension. That’s right, a woman is always putting in tremendous effort into making herself beautiful everyday. Men call that deception and don’t really understand those efforts.”

“......You are also a man......”

“I’m a maiden at heart.”

“......Weird person.”

“I don’t want to hear that from you.”

It was truly regrettable.

“......Somehow, I don’t feel like I can do it properly............”

“Well, I just explained the process in great details, but there are products that can cover lotion, day cream and base together, so it’s unexpectedly manageable. As the saying goes ‘practise makes perfect’, let’s run through it once for a trial run, for the time being.”

As he said that, Arisuin snapped his finger.

His thinned shadow regained its color immediately.

He released his Darkness Hermit’s presence blockade.

In that instant...

“The beautiful mister over there, are you buying a present for your girlfriend~?”

It didn’t take even three seconds before a young female shop attendant went to Arisuin’s side.

Sales performance would directly affect personal evaluation in those kinds of places.

Hence, they tend to flock to the customer like piranhas in Amazon after taking one step in.

A weak-willed person would be pressured by the shop attendant’s spirit to go along with the flow like that, and probably get eaten to the bone before they realized it. (TL note: Metaphor using piranha to indicate the salesperson wringing out all the money the customer has.)

However, as expected of Arisuin who was used to it.

Unfazed by the shop attendant’s attack, he stated his needs with a smile.

“No. I am just accompanying the girl over there who wants to choose some makeup. However, it seems that she has never even applied a toner before.”

“Not once until now!? And yet she still looks so pretty!”

Noticing Sara’s existence for the first time after looking at the pointed spot, the female shop attendant stated her honest thoughts with a slightly surprised expression.

“But if she’s so pretty, it would be a waste not to do any makeup.”

“I know, right? However, since she has never done any makeup before, she totally has no idea what suits her skin.”

“I see, I see. If that’s the case, could you come over to the counter, please? I will show you all of the samples of our cosmetics.”

“Thank you. That will be helpful.”

That female shop attendant probably had no interest in the Seven Star Sword-Art Festival.

She did not realize that Sara was a contender even after seeing her, and was able to speak smoothly.

Arisuin received bags of samples and brought Sara out of the shop.

What he received was the sample set from an organic cosmetic maker.

“Are these all free?”

Sara’s eyes went round after seeing the samples contained in those beautiful little bottles that would not lose out to the products on sale.

“Yeah. Since makeup also has compatibility with certain people, most producers will provide samples to try out. Some of them also offer refunds.”

“......So generous.”

“Depending on the content, this small bottle can worth up to ten thousand yen. Organic cosmetics aren’t risk-free either, so customers wouldn’t take the risk if they didn’t offer this much.”

As expected of the cosmetic sample set targeted towards female customers, there were many pretty items that also gave a feeling of unity.

Some people even became sample maniacs after being charmed by those small items.

......That would seem to make the sample lose its meaning.

However, there were maniacs regardless of what world it was. There was no point worrying about that.

“Fumu. There is a blindspot from the camera over here, so it will be alright.”

Arisuin used his observant eyes from his career as an assassin to determine the position of the surveillance camera and calculated its range of sight.

Seeing through the blind spot instantly, and bringing Sara along, they entered the shade at the edge of the floor, where the surveillance camera’s blind spot was located.

And then...

“Hermit’s House.”

He struck the wall of the department store with the blade of Darkness Hermit, and pulled it down just like that.

A dark hole opened up that seemed similar to unzipping a zipper.

“Now, enter it.”

Sara followed Arisuin’s words and stepped into the dark hole.

Passing through the black veil, there was a six tatami wide room in a monotone color.

“......This place is?”

“The other side of the world using my shadow’s ability......In other words, its a hidden room made using the space between the shadows. You can’t just put on makeup in front of other people, right?”

Although electricity couldn’t be used, water supply and gas were available, and there were even some rations prepared.

If he felt like it, he could hide for a few days in that convenient space.

That was also the place where he had confined Kagame after assaulting her some time ago.

“Here is the washing room, please come.”

Washing the face was required before putting on makeup.

In the case of Sara, who had never done any skin care before, it was not just washing, peeling......removing the old stratum corneum was probably also a necessary process.

Hence Arisuin brought her to the bath unit deep inside the Hermit’s House.

On the way, Sara suddenly stopped on her tracks.

And she asked him with a doubtful expression.

“......Why are you helping me?”

“Oh. Don’t you feel like polishing a gem that can shine brightly if you find one?”

“You should have betrayed us.”

“It’s true that I have betrayed the Rebellion. And I don’t intend to move for them a second time......But that and helping you as an individual are different matters. Of course there is also the matter of being requested by Ikki and the others, but Lily doesn’t have an unpleasant smell either.”

“Because yesterday was the day I used the shower.”

“No, I didn’t mean it that way......More importantly, what’s with the ‘the day’!? A girl must shower properly everyday!”

As Arisuin sighed in amazement, he continued.

“......The smell is a metaphor. Most of my life was rough, so I can tell. The rotten sewage-like smell that those trash who willingly fell into the corruption have.”

Terrorists that were called Rebellion overall had various backgrounds.

For example, people like Puppeteer who executed evil acts, survivors like Tatara who lived through an environment where they didn’t know anything other than evil.

......Arisuin did not believe that those two evils were the same.

The former was already beyond saving, but the latter was......just a victim of circumstance.

Because there was no such thing as equality in life.

Arisuin, who had crawled through the bottom of the snow town, understood that very well.

That was why he would not differentiate people by the organization they belonged to.

He would only rely on his own sense of smell that he had developed  over the past ten years of his life.

“As long as my sense of smell does not reject Lily, there is no reason for me to hate you.”

“............I see.”

“Speaking of which, rather than me helping you, I want to hear something from you instead. Mario Rosso is a famous artist that even I know, so why are you working as an underling for Rebellion?”

Sara shook her head to deny that question.

“I have no intention of joining Rebellion. I’m just......repaying my debt.”


Sara nodded in affirmation.

“There is a painting that I want to finish no matter what. But before I can paint it, I need to go around the world to widen my knowledge. I have to find my ideal model......For that sake, I received an operation from Grand Professor for my illness. I sold my paintings to pay for the treatment fee. I also borrowed their route to enter into conflict zone to look for my model, that’s the entire relationship that I have with them.”

The reason she was participating in this battle was also one part of her search for her model.

She wasn’t interested in the Rebellion’s ideals, either.

She was just using Rebellion for her own objective, and Rebellion was also using her for their own benefit.

Sara explained that her relationship was just like that.

“That’s how it was......But in that case, you have been ripped-off. I don’t know what kind of operation it was, but considering the value of your paintings, they were probably worth enough money to buy a country.”

“I don’t care about that. If I can get my hands on the body I want to draw, I have no need for money. There’s nothing else I want.”

Sara’s voice was plain and emotionless.

However, its will was heavy.

Arisuin understood that that was the weight of her determination.

It was probably so important that it would be very difficult to replace that.

It was heavier and stronger than what had Arisuin had expected it to be......he caught a glimpse of a kind of sadness in Sara’s thoughts, and felt a bit guilty for using that feeling.

“......It would be nice if you could finish it.”

“It took quite a long time, but I finally found my model. I will definitely finish it.”

“You’re talking about Ikki, right?”

“Yes. Devils crawled over every part of the painting. The figure of a Messiah who is standing bravely without fearing anything, with unparalleled braveness and a maiden-like pure gentleness, he is an existence possessing these two contrasting impressions. He is an ideal representation of a male.”

......In order to find that, Sara had travelled around the world.

And she finally encountered him.

“The moment I saw Another One, my senses started screaming out. He is exactly the existence that I was searching for.”

Sara’s expression as she was talking seemed somewhat feverish.

As if, it was as if......she was showing off her lover.

“Fufu. Which means, it was love at first sight.”

......? Is that so?”

“Because, in other words, Ikki is the ideal male to Lily, right? Isn’t that the same as a woman falling in love at first sight?”

Sara was confused by what Arisuin pointed out.

“......I don’t understand......Since I have never considered such things before............”

Did she fall for Ikki?

Even as she asked her heart, she could not get an answer.

It was the same as not being able to understand the meaning of a foreign language when hearing it for the first time.

It was an emotion that a girl’s heart, which was like a bud without knowing the ‘L’ of love, could not understand.

Part 6
The first to return to the place for meeting up was Ikki.

Since apart from him, the others were all girls(?), he knew it would probably take some time, after all.

Hence Ikki sat on a resting bench nearby, and read a literary work he bought from the book shop as he waited for the female group to return.

It was around five minutes after the promised time.

“Sorry. Did I make you wait?”

He heard Arisuin’s voice.

Ikki closed his book and looked up.

“No, I didn’t wait that............”



He stiffened from doubt.

Standing next to Arisuin was Sara.

She probably had been coordinated by Arisuin. That outfit was not a jersey, and of course not a topless apron. She was also wearing a brassiere properly. Rather, her brassiere was totally exposed. Moreover, she was wearing a pair of denim hotpants remodeled from jeans, and her overall exposure had only increased.

“......U-Umm, Alice.”

He questioned him with a glance that said ‘What is the meaning of this?’

Arisuin sighed in response to Ikki’s confusion.

“I understand what you are trying to say......I worked hard, you know? However......”

He explained.

How it became like that.

It wasn’t anything complicated. There was a plain and simple reason.

After finishing her makeup, when they were choosing her outfit, she randomly tried on a pair of jeans designed towards summer female wear. Of all things, Sara suddenly collapsed. Then she said with a pale face......


“Simply put, it was weight overload. I also heard that because Stella-chan was scary, she was forcing herself to wear that jersey. But she eventually used up all her strength.”

“Isn’t that way too weak!?”

“I was also surprised......”

“......Because I have never carried things heavier than my brush.”

“Sara-san, how have you actually managed to live until now......”

“However, I have put in effort within her weight allowance so that she doesn’t look like an exhibitionist. You don’t have to worry about that bouncing around when moving if she’s wearing a bra.”

Arisuin went behind Sara as he was speaking, then grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her towards Ikki.

He signaled him to see it for himself.

Well, certainly, he didn’t take notice because of the sudden increase in the exposure rate, but Arisuin had put in a lot of effort into Sara’s outfit.

Her upper half consisted of a show-off bra and long sleeve summer cardigan.

Her lower half consisted of hot pants and boots.

The front of her cardigan was not closed up, showing the appeal of her hourglass body line from her bust to her thin waist. The choice of her sleeves was a long type that covered up to the second joint of her fingers, her bed hair was left as it was, and the whole style had enhanced Sara’s sexiness and downer atmosphere. It was as expected of Arisuin.

In addition to all that, her makeup was also perfect.

Her white skin gained elasticity with the use of toner and lotion, and her eyelashes were beautifully curled. The exquisitely used highlight and shadow shaped out Sara’s facial features, and her previously dry lips had the freshness of a ripened fruit, radiating vividly.

There was no oversight, no excessiveness, everything was in just the right amount.

Honestly speaking......he thought that she was beautiful.

“......It’s strange, after all?”

“Not at all. This is definitely better than before. You’re really pretty, Sara-san.”

“............I see.”

Ikki relayed his impression directly to Sara.

Sara replied indifferently and averted her gaze, but......her averted gaze wavered slightly, her cheeks faintly dyed in the color of cherry blossoms.

It seemed like she was embarrassed.

That was the first time Sara behaved like a girl.

“As expected of Alice. Doesn’t she look a lot better?”

The voice directed to Sara was Shizuku, who was just returning a while after their meeting time.

Shizuku was walking towards them with *karan koron* steps wearing geta, taking small steps so that her hem would not get messed up.

Then she leaned next to Ikki’s side as if saying that it was her spot, and grabbed his sleeve with her small hand.

“Shizuku, did you buy these clothes?”

When Ikki asked her about the clothes that were different from a while ago, Shizuku nodded in delight.

“Yes. Since I still have not used the reward from the time we defeated those terrorists in the department store before, I bought this. How does it look, Onii-sama?”

“An iris pattern, huh? Looks good with the cool colors. It really suits you.”

As Ikki answered Shizuku, he patted her silver hair with just enough strength so as to not mess up her hairstyle.

“Thank you very much for your compliment.”

Shizuku gave her gratitude, feeling happy as she narrowed her eyes.

However, at the same time Ikki’s hand stopped patting her, that expression......changed into an evil smile.

“But Onii-sama must be looking forward to Stella-san the most, right?”

“Eh, n-no......that’s...”

“You don’t have to make excuses. Wanting to see the cuteness of the person you love is an obvious thing.”

As Shizuku said that, she turned towards the path she came from and called out.

“Now, Stella-san! It’s time for the finale! With your charm and cuteness achieved thanks to that new outfit, beat the new contestant over here to a pulp!”

“Leave it to me!!!!”

The reply came from an empty space.

No, she just made herself invisible with Flame Veil.

Stella immediately released her Noble Art that had bent the light, and jumped out before Ikki.

And then...

“I’ve become a cute bunny-chan and I’ll jump into Ikki’s heart pyon♪”

With bunny ears attached onto her hairband, and clad in fishnet tights, she hugged Ikki in her bunny girl appearance.


In an instant, everyone went dead silent.

Nevermind Ikki, even Arisuin and Sara, as well as the passersby had lost their words and expressions after seeing the rather bizarre look of Stella.

“Fufufu. Shizuku, look, Ikki seems unable to even utter a sound from my cuteness!”

Only she herself had not noticed.

Ikki put his hands on the shoulders of that overly positive Stella, and pushed her away.

Then......looked far away and spoke.

“For the time being, please change your clothes, Stella-san.”

“Huh!? Your way of calling me seems somehow distant!? I didn’t jump into your heart!?”



Mocking laughter came from next to Stella.

As Stella turned around, she saw that one girl mocking her with her eyes dyed in pleasure of sadism.

Seeing that figure, Stella’s face immediately paled.

“......Shizuku, you, don’t tell me............you deceived me!?”

“Saying that I deceived you, pffft, how disreputable. Please think for a bit. In the first place ── I will never become your ally.”

“Then, then ‘because Ikki likes rabbits,  the bunny girl outfit will get lots of points’ was also......!”

“That kind of bonus exists only in Dragon Quest.”


Realizing that she had been toyed with by that little devil, Stella’s face boiled from shame and anger.

“Y-You! Ikki, you’re mistaken! I was deceived by Shizuku.”

“Un. I know. I know already, so please change your clothes, Vermillion-san.”

“Noooo! The distance between our hearts is widening at an accelerating rate! It became somewhat like the time when we first metーーーー! Guuu! Shizuku! You will get it from me later! Remember thisーーーー!”

Stella cried out in anger, and ran away with her hands hugging her own body.

She probably wanted to change back into her uniform.

Behind Stella’s back...

“Pffffft. Aah, so funny.”

Shizuku’s shoulders shook as she laughed.

“Hey, Shizuku. Don’t bully Stella too much.”


Ikki cautioned Shizuku as he couldn’t bear to watch it anymore, while Shizuku rejected him without any hesitation.

Ikki was slightly surprised at her strong rejection, which was rare considering that she fundamentally abided him all the time.

“A-Are you so unwilling to the extent of a curtly rejection?”

“Yes. This is my special authority, I won’t stop even if Onii-sama asks me to stop.”

As Shizuku answered Ikki as such, she looked towards the place Stella ran off to again.

“......Pffft. Really, such a cute person.”

The side profile of Shizuku as she muttered such......for some reason, stabbed at Ikki’s heart a little.

(......Huh, why is it, this?)

He was confused by that incomprehensible feeling.

What did he feel when he saw her side profile just then?

Love?............Or was it sorrow?

He couldn’t understand. And then, while he was still unable to reach an answer...

“──Then Onii-sama, I will retreat before the cute bunny-chan becomes a red demon and returns. It’s about time for me to make arrangements for the round three battle tonight.”

Shizuku informed Ikki that she would be returning first.

......There was no reason to stop her.

Even more so if it was an arrangement for the night.

Currently, there was nothing else more important to them than that event.

Hence, Ikki pushed aside the pain in his heart out of his mind, and nodded.

“Got it. I will appease Stella.”

“I leave it to you......Alice, I hope that you can help me, do you want to come together?”

“Yeah, it’s alright. My work over here is done as well.”

“Thank you. Now then, please excuse us, Onii-sama.”

“Goodbye. Please return on time before the match begins, ok?”

Shizuku and Arisuin left the group together.

As they were leaving, Ikki looked at Shizuku’s distant figure...

“I’m looking forward to fighting you in the semi-finals.”

He said so with his cheering included.

Shizuku turned back once after hearing that, then after using her loudest voice to reply “YES!”, she took the elevator with Arisuin and went off.

......And then, after a few minutes, Stella returned after changing back into her uniform.

“Huh? Where’s Shizuku and Alice?”

The first person she looked for after returning was of course Shizuku, who was going to receive her vengeance.

However, Shizuku was probably no longer in the building. Ikki told her about that...

“She had to do some warm-ups for the round three battle, so she returned......fir............?”

First......he stiffened again.


He received another strong impact to his brain, even stronger than the bunny girl costume before.

The source of that impact was in the arms of the angry Stella.

What she hugged there was......an infant sleeping with eyes closed.

“I guess she ran away, huh......that brat!”

“S-Stella, that......infant is?”

“Did you give birth to him?”

“No way!”

Part 7
It happened after Stella took off the bunny girl costume and changed into her uniform.

「Annoying bitch annoying bitch annoying bitch! Today, I will absolutely not forgive that woman! I’m going to use Ar○ Alpha and stick cat ears on her head when I return!」

With a half-crying face, Stella, who was enraged by Shizuku, was checking her attire before the mirror by the sink, in that moment──

Suddenly, an infant appeared without a sound in a space diagonally above her back that could be seen in the mirror.


She was so shocked that she held her breath.

However, there was no time for her to stiffen up.

That’s because the infant that appeared from nowhere was falling due to gravity.


“......And that’s how it happened.”

“You did a great thing.”

After that, the three of them brought the infant to the lost child center in the department store, then sat down at the sofa inside the center and waited for the guardian of the infant to be found.

As for the infant......a boy probably not even one year old, was sleeping in Stella’s arms at the moment.

Stella lowered her sight onto the infant and asked Ikki next to her.

“......This child is a Blazer, right?”

Ikki nodded.

“Probably. I think he probably has a teleport type ability similar to Jougasaki-san.”

If not, there was no other way for him to suddenly appear out of thin air.

Normally speaking, Blazers’ abilities were discovered after they had gained their egos, but amongst the possessors of strong abilities, during their infantile period when their egos were still blurry, there were occasions where a portion of their ability suddenly activated even though they didn’t materialize their Device.

The infant who couldn’t even stand on his own had no control over his abnormal power.

......That was of course very dangerous.

It could endanger his life, depending on where it happened.

In the case back then, if Stella hadn’t caught the infant and if he had hit his head onto the hard ground as he fell, causing a heavy injury......in the worst case, he could have died.

“It’s really great that Stella was there.”

“That’s true......I wonder if his parents can find him soon.”

“I wonder about that. We don’t know what was the extent of this child’s ability when he awakened it.”

If they were lucky, his parents might be in this department store.

However, depending on the situation, it was also possible that he flew over from a place far away.

Seeing that 「Makoto Nitta」 was written on his nameplate, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the infant was a Japanese, then in the worst case, they were probably in Japan.

“However, since we have already contacted the staff of the department store, let’s leave him to them and only stay with the infant for as long as our time allows.”

“That’s true......Ah.”

It was at that moment.

The infant in Stella’s arms twisted his body and opened his eyes.

“Aa, bu............?”

And then his big and watery eyes saw Stella’s face as she was carrying him──


He cried out loudly.

No, it was not only that, he wriggled his small body around, trying to escape from Stella’s arms.

It was probably because he began to panic after not seeing his mother’s figure.

“H-Hey! Don’t flail around! It’s dangerous!”

“W-WWWWhat should I do!? What should I do, Ikki!?”

Despite being kicked in the face, Stella still hugged onto him to prevent him from falling down, and asked Ikki for help.

However, Ikki also didn’t know how to approach an infant.

Although Ikki had Shizuku as his little sister, they were only one year apart.

For the time being, he tried out the classic ‘peek-a-boo’...


“S-Somehow it got worse!?”

“H-How troubling.”

The two of them looked at the infant, who had no intention to stop crying, worriedly.

As if breaking through between those two...

“Give him to me.”

Sara took the infant from Stella’s arms.

“Sara!? You have no stamina, so it’s dangerous! What are you going to do if you drop him!?”

“Shut up. You are a bit too loud.”


Stella tried to snatch the infant back in a hurry, but was restrained by Sara’s never seen before strong gaze.

She sat down on the sofa, and as she stroked the back of the infant’s head...

“It’s alright. Your mama will return soon.”

She spoke in a calming tone.

Soon after...

“Au, au?”

“He stopped crying......”

Surprisingly, the infant that was rampaging a while ago had calmed down.

“You’re amazing, Sara-san. Are you used to it?”

“Not really......It’s just that I have observed various things during my trip around the world, so even without words, I can somehow understand what he wants, how he feels......This child is feeling insecure because his parents are not here. If at this time even we become unsettled, it will increase his insecurity. Therefore, we have to calm down. Even if he is a child, he is sensitive to an adult’s emotions.”


Being reprimanded with a criticizing gaze, Ikki and Stella lowered their heads in apology.

Children would also feel insecure and scared if the adults were in a bad mood.

Certainly, it was as she said, it would not be good if they were unsettled too.

Although she felt some frustration as a woman, as well as concern about Sara’s arm strength, it would seem that leaving the infant to Sara was the best solution. Stella had decided so and pulled back her arm that was trying to snatch the infant back, then made preparation in case Sara were to drop the infant at some point.

And a while after calming down, the infant started rubbing against Sara’s breasts.

“Uー pai! Pai!” (TL note: The incomplete word Issei loves the most)

Stella spilled out a smile unconsciously at that lovely gesture.

“Ahaha. I also know what this means.”

He probably wanted breast milk.

“But sorry, we can’t produce milk yet.”

“I will get some milk from the staff-in-charge here.”

The considerate Ikki was about to stand up, at that moment.

Sara took a shocking action.

She pulled aside the show off bra Arisuin had chosen for her, and exposed one of her white breasts.


“Wai, Sara!? What are you──”


Sara stared at Stella who was making a loud noise from the sudden shock, and scolded her.

“Ah, s-sorry......but............!”

“......Although I can’t produce milk, I believe that doing this will give him a peace of mind.”

Just like Sara said, the infant, who was sucking on Sara’s nipple even though no breast milk would come out, showed a satisfied expression.

He was definitely not hungry.

What the infant was seeking was not food, but warmth.

Sara understood that, as she had the observant eyes of the world’s number one artist.

And then, as Sara was imitating breast feeding to the infant...

“Ninna nanna ninna oh; questo bimbo a chi lo do~♪”[4]

With a beautiful voice, she started singing.

Stella, being well versed in languages as an Imperial Princess, immediately understood that it was in Italian.

An Italian lullaby.

“Se lo do al lupo bianco; me lo tiene tanto tanto.”

A melody that was weaved with love.

The infant wasn’t able to understand its meaning.

Even so, he definitely felt it.

The love, which surpassed borders, words, meanings, that were contained in the lullaby.

Most likely, that was what motherhood was all about.

“Ninna nanna nanna fate; il mio bimbo addormentate~♪”

In the meantime, the infant once again let out a small sleeping sound from between Sara’s breasts.

The figure of Sara holding that little life form while singing a lullaby......Be it from Stella’s eyes, or from Ikki’s eyes, it was more beautiful than any appearance or expression until then.

Part 8
After the infant fell asleep again, Sara left him to Ikki.

Her arms were probably reaching their limit.

“He’s sleeping well.”

Ikki was smiling at the tiny life sleeping peacefully in his arms.

“......Stella as well.”

“Zzz. Zzz.”

His smile turned bitter.

Stella was also lured by Sara’s lullaby into the dream world.

She had perfect attack, defense, and speed, but it seemed that she was not prepared for abnormal status resistance.

On the other hand, after passing the infant to Ikki, Sara opened up her notebook on her knees, and started sketching the infant that was sleeping in Ikki’s arms.

It was not like the godspeed drawing she used during her battles, rather it was done slowly and carefully.

On the neat white notebook.

With a single pencil, she was shaping a world with depth.

It was at the level where if one stretched out his hand towards it, it felt as if his finger would sink into the notebook and touch the infant’s soft cheek.

To Ikki who had no knowledge about painting, Sara’s technique seemed to be just like magic.

“............Hmm? What?”

She probably noticed Ikki’s gaze peeping at her notebook.

Sara faced Ikki’s gaze, and tilted her head as if asking ‘what is it?’.

“Ah, sorry. Just that, I thought you are good at this.”

Well, she was a world famous painter whose paintings were worth an astronomical figure of fourteen billion USD per piece, according to Stella.

It was obvious that she would be good at it, but he still could not help himself from voicing out his opinion.

Although Ikki had no knowledge about painting, he possessed excellent perceptive eyes that could precisely observe a person’s movement.

Therefore, he understood.

Even with just one casual stroke, from her arm, fingers, and the pencil movements, he could tell that it was the result of an out-of-norm training, making that single stroke of hers one-of-a-kind.

It was the same as a genius swordsman’s way of sword.

It was a territory that couldn’t be reached without extraordinary love and passion, and the resolve to follow the path to the end no matter what.

“......You really love painting.”

Honestly speaking, to Ikki, Sara was a troublesome person who was after him to be her nude model, to the point that he didn’t even want to be near her, but he sincerely respected that strong will of hers.

However, to those words from Ikki, Sara...

“......Currently, I like it.”

Replied with a meaningful response.


Ikki showed his doubt at that meaningful response, and Sara peeked at Ikki’s eyes for a moment......

And then......muttered bit by bit.

With a voice filled with hatred──

“In the past, I hated painting the most.”

Part 9
Sara Bloodlily.

The girl who was called that was living on the bed of a small Atelier during her childhood......in the mountains of the outskirt of Italy.

She was born with an illness that had weakened her bones, making her unable to even walk on her own.

Therefore, the scenery that could be seen from the bed of that Atelier was her world.

It was her father.

Her father was not a famous artist, and he just continued to draw on a huge canvas.

It was a religious painting of a Messiah burning down many devils with his holy light, saving the world from Armageddon.

He had been drawing that, throughout the years, regardless of any year──

Only the profile of his back had remained in Sara’s memory.

She did not even have a single memory of him turning around.

Even if she called out to him, she did not receive any response.

Hence, she did not know her father’s face.

She didn’t even know if she had ever seen it before.

He had always, always, as if he was being possessed by the devil, been indulged in the painting before his eyes.

Therefore ──

“......I hated it. The existence of painting that took my father away from me.”

She wanted his attention.

She wanted his love.

Sara let out her feelings of the time when she was young.

Ikki asked her.

“Then, why did Sara-san......start painting herself?”

Even though she hated painting so much.

Sara answered Ikki’s question.

The trigger was......her father’s death.

On a certain day, her father fell onto the canvas and died.

According to the housekeeper who had brought her father to the hospital, the cause seemed to have been the worsening of his chronic disease.

What remained in the Atelier were just the lonely Sara and a huge incomplete oil painting.

After crying for about three days, when her tears  dried up, Sara......stared at the painting which had killed her father with eyes burning with hatred.

That huge canvas which could just about fill the area of an entire wall in the room.

In the end, the center where the Messiah was supposed to be drawn was left blank, incomplete after her father’s death.

And then, she made up her mind to destroy it.

It was obvious. She only felt hatred towards that painting.

Because of it, her father had never once turned around.

Sara exhausted all of her strength to inch closer from her bed to the front of the canvas after a whole day, and stood before it by leaning on a chair.

Then she grabbed a painting knife lying nearby and held it up.

In order to rip apart the painting with the knife.


“I was not able to swing the knife down............”

What was the reason for that?

It was because in a place away from her bed, she noticed something she wasn’t able to notice from her bed.

That was......a number of empty paint tubes that she could not even begin to count, littered on the floor.

The remains of tens of paint brushes with their bristles disheveled.

The palette with multiple layers of hardened paint, and then, the tattered blank on the canvas that was left behind after being painted and scraped off countless times.

......Its existence emitted heat that felt like the obsession of her father’s passion.

The moment she felt that, the hatred in Sara’s heart......was overcome by sadness.

The tears she thought had dried up flowed out uncontrollably again.

He had spent a great amount of time, even disregarding his own daughter, shaving away his own health, and painstakingly drew it, but in the end, he couldn’t complete it.

Her father was unable to complete it.

Even after putting in that much thought and passion, her father did not receive the favor of the Goddess of Beauty, Muse.

How much regret would that cause her?

Thinking about her father’s regret, she stopped crying.

She knew just how much effort he had put into that drawing from how much hatred she felt.

......Therefore, Sara resolved herself as her tears flowed.

She would complete the painting that her father was unable to complete before he died.

“Because I think that rather than shedding tears of sadness, or holding flower of mourning, doing this, only this, is an act of filiality towards my deceased father.”

It was the only single bond that remained between her and her father.

──After that, her father’s acquaintance, Kouzou Kazamatsuri, came to Sara saying that 「I was told that if anything were to happen to him, please take care of his daughter」 when her father was alive, took her in, and loaned a large sum of money to let a doctor in Rebellion, Grand Professor, who was one of the executives called Numbers, treat her illness.

Then, Sara had obtained a body that could move freely to some extent despite not being completely cured. She practised her painting skill in order to fulfil her father’s regret, while looking for a model for the sake of filling up that blank, the brave Messiah who stood before all of the malice sprouting out.

A single girl, wandering around the world, meeting dangers that threatened her life many times, even so, she did not compromise.

She had spent ten years, more than half of her life.

If her technique or the model were half-baked, the passion, that could be called a grudge, contained in that painting would’ve consumed her completely.

“As I was doing that......before I knew it, I started to like painting......When I realized that his blood was flowing in me after all, I was slightly happy.”

“......I see.”

From Sara’s confession, Ikki was convinced of one thing.

The abnormal obstinance she had towards him. It was the reason for that.

So that was why, even though Ikki’s senses could not understand which part of him made her go to such extent, but if he was the model she had found after spending half of her life searching for it, it would not be easy to make her give up......However...



“Why are you doing that much? You don’t even know your father’s face, right?”

Ikki was convinced of the reason for Sara’s obstinacy, but on the other hand, he could not understand it.

Why would she go to such an extent for her father, who had never once cared for her?

That was......probably a question that overlapped with his own situation.

However, to Ikki’s question, Sara answered naturally without a shred of hesitation.

“Because I love him.”

“Even though you can’t remember his face? Even though you had never received his love?”

“It’s true that I cannot remember my father’s face. I don’t have any memory of him turning his head back. I know that he isn’t a praiseworthy father. But......I have never once hated my father. In that case, that’s fine. It is fine with just that.

If that feeling comes from within my heart ── It doesn’t matter if my love is one-sided.”

Sara said.

It could be that her father was seriously neglecting her.

No, even if that was not the case, her father probably would not want his daughter to add anything onto his legacy.

However, she did not care about that.

Because they were father and daughter.

“My selfishness for loving him on my own, allowing me that much should be obvious, right?”


At that moment, Ikki found the answer to one of his own question.

That answer could also be used in the relationship between him and his father──


Ikki had been......thinking that he had no other choice but to cut his ties with his father.

Their paths would never intersect no matter how far they walked.

That was......the only conclusion in the end.

(But──that’s not true.)

No matter if his father wished to cut their ties.

No matter how much his father thought of alienating him.

Those were not problems he should be considering himself with.

Of course.

The other party was never once concerned about him.

Then, why must he be considerate of the other party?

(That’s right......This is not someone else’s, but my own feelings!)

It had nothing to do with what Itsuki thought.

If he did not hate his father himself──there was no need to unreasonably hate him.

That sounded fine. Just be on their own separate paths.

Be it him or his father, they were just a person with one heart.

Desperately travelling on their own lives, even if their paths wouldn’t meet as a result......

──It wouldn’t change the fact that they were blood-related father and son.

(I will be willful. This is my special privilege.)

That was Ikki Kurogane’s answer to all the problems revolving around the Kurogane household.

The moment Ikki arrived at that answer, his heart, which had always......felt like it had a lead weighing down on it since his childhood, felt refreshed as the weight was lifted.

Finally, the honest feeling of wanting to be father and son with Itsuki, even if it was twisted......he had confirmed it.

He was so happy that he unconsciously smiled.

Taking a glance at Ikki’s expression, Sara muttered in relief.

“That’s a good face. If my model has a depressed face, I will be troubled.”

Ikki did not notice those words.

Earlier in the morning, Sara had wanted to say something from seeing his appearance from meeting with Itsuki.

At that time, Sara probably saw the relationship between Ikki and Itsuki reflecting her and her father’s.

Like what Ikki had done just then.

And, that was why she asked him ‘Is that so?’.

It was because she knew.

That kind of complicated matter.

And then......she had just conveyed that.

Not for others, it was for her own sake.

“......I have settled one of my concerns due to Sara-san. Thank you.”

“If you want to show your gratitude, become my model.”

Ikki smiled bitterly at Sara’s reply.

However, since he found out about her background, he could also understand the reason for her obstinance.

Putting it simply, all her motivation was concentrated onto that single point.

And then......if she had that kind of reason──

“I got it. It’s fine.”


Ikki’s response caused Sara to open her eyes wide.

She probably did not expect him to respond positively.

However, Ikki obviously would not accept it without any condition.

“However, I have one condition. You have to defeat me in the upcoming match.”


“Yeah. The upcoming third match, If Sara-san can win, then I will be a model like you want. But if you lose, then you have to completely give up on making me your model......How about it?”

It was at the same instance Ikki finished his words.

Ikki felt all of the hairs on his body stand up and his whole body was shaking.

Before his eyes was......the figure of Sara, who was clearly different from how she acted until then, with a changed look in her eyes.

“────......I understand.”

In the depth of her eyes, a strong will that was blazing could be seen.

The pressure emitted from her seemed to be burning his bangs.

Ikki held his breath at that feeling.

──She was on a different level.

In the first place, Seven Star Sword-Art Festival was a ceremony of knights.

It was a battle for glory to people living in the way of warrior like Ikki and Stella, but Sara was different.

He understood it after hearing her story.

She had a rare talent, a high combat power, but she did not have anything to bet during that event.

In addition, she was definitely not passionate about the activities of Rebellion.

What she wished for was at most completing the legacy of her father.

Everything was just a process for the sake of that goal.

Hence, her motivation was low.

She also showed a glimpse of it in her battle against Kuraudo.

That was──

(Isn’t it a waste?)

The passion Sara had towards arts was the same as what they as knights had for battles.

Their direction was different, but that heat and strength of will were──the same. No, perhaps even greater?

He could not understand.

That was why──he wanted to affirm it.

Hence, Ikki added one matter into the next fight.

The direction of her will......he wanted to redirect the maximum of that into the next battle.

With that promise, Sara would probably be serious.

She would probably come at Ikki with all her strength.

However, that was fine.

He would face that with his own passion, sharpening it.

Because that was what the Seven Star Sword-Art Festival was all about.

Part 10
After that, the mother of the infant rushed over from the adjacent department store, and they returned the lost infant to his guardian safely.

Then the three of them ate a light meal, left the department store, and returned to the event venue.

The time was 4:30pm.

Two hours had already been shaved away before the moment of their decisive battle.

1 不○子 - Fujiko Mine from Lupin III  
2 Geta - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geta_(footwear)  
3 NG - No go/good.  
4 Ninna nanna ninna oh - An Italian lullaby. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd5sO3gRGeo. http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=2168 for lyric and meaning.  


  1. Thank you for the translation!

  2. Thank you so much

  3. So fkn hyped for the next chapter!!!!!


  4.   ∧,,∧
      ( *¯ㅿ¯* )
      U   U Thanks..
    / ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄\ Nepu.....
    |二二二二二二| Now......
     |    |  Working.....

  5. Amazing work. Thank you!

  6. thankyou for the translation! : D

  7. Thanks for the update!

    It's good to be able to read about Sara's past a bit, and the reason she's so obstinate about making Ikki into a nude model for that painting. But I'm a little worried - if she loses the match against Ikki, what happens to the painting? Can she find a good model other than Ikki?

    I feel sorry for Stella, though. Poor girl got tricked completely by her mischievous future sister-in-law. I think there should be some kind of payback, but we also can't have Stella acting like a child over this. What could she do?

  8. thank you so much.... was waiting for this for so long....

  9. My god, I love the Issei reference cause I just got caught up to the latest DxD translated volume. Glad to see more translations! Man everything is happening today, first DxD then Re:zero, and finally even trinity seven got an update. Thanks for your hard work!