As I was speaking with Luxon, Chris came out onto the deck.
He had a face of exhaustion.
“Good grief, I have no time to be by myself.”
Judging from what he said, it seemed that he had escaped from some girls.
Was this guy trying to get guys to pick a fight with him?
Luxon hid behind my back.
Before I knew it, he approached me with a fearless smile. His blue, well-groomed hair fluttered a bit in the wind, making me irritated at how stylish he seemed.
He took off his gla.s.ses and spoke to me.
“Baltfault, it seems you had a match with Brad. Why not have a fencing match with me?”
It seemed he wanted to beat me in his own field of expertise.
I laughed scornfully.
“Brad challenged me in a field he was weak at, and yet you're challenging me to one you excel in? You've got a lot of nerve.”
His facial expression warped as soon as I compared him to Brad.
He was childish.
He shouldn't have gotten disordered by only this much.
“I'll take you on in a field I'm not skilled with, so come at me!”
Chris was a guy who specialized in swordsmanship. Due to that, he was a character that was useless when it came to anything else.
Huh. He was the same as Brad! These guys were too unbalanced.
“I, I──never thought of myself as being skilled with swordsmanship.”
I was shocked at Chris, who hung his and put his gla.s.ses back on.
“How disgraceful. An expert swordsman should be more dignified.”
“I'm not lying. I've been practicing the sword for a very long time. Yet, my father told me that I had no talent. Just a while ago, I was told that a failure me would be excommunicated.”
Had he been scolded when he got back home?
He looked quite concerned about it, but considering what he and the others had done, it seemed inevitable.
If I remember correctly, Chris had an inferiority complex centered around his father, who was a master swordsman, or some kind of troublesome setting like that.
All of them had unthinkably troublesome settings. Settings that would fill up dozens of papers.
When I grumbled in a low voice about how tiring I thought of it, Luxon said [Then there's you on the other end of spectrum, living a shallow life,] while still hidden.
How noisy! I already knew there was nothing else about me other than the fact that I had reincarnated here.
Even so, I was better than those troublesome guys──I think.
“So you're trying to say that you became an expert swordsman from being a hard worker, huh? So what, are you saying that we, who can't even become expert swordsmen, are lower than a talentless hack like you?”
Chris glared at me.
“If you can still say that after devoting everything to swordsmanship, then I'll do whatever you want, whether it be apologizing or whatever. Just what do you know about me?”
Did I know him?
“I don't know anything. I don't want to know you either. So let's turn the question around, what do you know about me? If you're here to and talk about how pitiful you are and gain sympathy, then go talk to Marie. You probably told her this before, though.”
“I hate guys like you who don't even have to put in much effort.”
Effort? I had to put in effort.
I had been working in the fields in order to survive, study under the light of a lantern, among other such things.
Meanwhile, the second and third daughters of the household got to study inside rooms lit by electricity and didn't have to work in the fields.
And what's with the shoddy excuse they gave about the girls needing to be treated with care?! Hmph──it was sickening.
They treated guys way too cruelly.
“What a coincidence. I also hate you people. I especially won't tolerate guys like Brad and Greg, who betrayed my hopes.”
Of all things, they did exactly the what that I hated the most. I would definitely seek revenge.
As we were deep in our discussion, glaring at each other, an alarm quickly went off.
I surveyed my surroundings.
“Nothing had been happening up until now!”
As Chris said that, a large number of monsters appeared from white clouds.
They came out from the clouds in tens, hundreds, and continued to increase.
“──Hey, you've gotta be kidding me.”
The monsters mimicked the appearance of aquatic animals, and flew through the air as if they were swimming in the sea.
Although their numbers reached a point where we could no longer count them, more were still rushing out from the clouds.
We were a distance away from the floating island, and there weren't any other airships in our surrounding area.
Sailors came out onto the deck carrying weapons, but flinched from the overwhelming number of monsters.
There were even young sailors holding their weapons while trembling.
Chris drew closer to a sailor.
“What the h.e.l.l happened?! What's with that number?!”
“I, I don't know. The monsters suddenly appearing like this──i, is a first.”
Chris was losing his composure, but it seemed that the crew were also the same.
I observed the state of the monsters.
“Why are they only surrounding us, but not attacking?”
Usually, monsters would attack upon sight, but they were strangely surrounding the airship while being quiet.
Luxon appeared around my shoulder.
If it made an appearance despite others being around, then it seemed to have judged that this was dangerous. Chris glanced at Luxon for just a moment, but ignored it in light of the impossible scene around him.
[They're being commanded. Their current behavior does not align with my data.]
a.s.suming that they were operating as a group, I had never heard or seen a group of monsters this big being controlled.
Someone seemed to emerge from around the forehead of the white, slightly pink monsters.
I couldn't make it out, but Luxon projected an image of it to my surroundings.
“A crest? I feel like I've seen it somewhere.”
[It's the crest of the Fanoss dukedom.]
“Fanoss? That has to be a lie!”
The Fanoss Dukedom. A nation originally affiliated with a duke of the Holfault Kingdom, but had long since declared itself an independent dukedom.
My familiarity with them was a necessity.
After all──they were enemies from the final stage of the game.
[Do you know something?]
“In the game, the Fanoss Dukedom started a war. Even so, this is still too early. I thought that I would have three years to prepare for this.”
[Is that related to the monsters?]
“There's a magic flute in the dukedom. According to the game's setting, it can command monsters. However, I didn't know that it could command this many.”
There were thousands, or even tens of thousands.
That many monsters were surrounding the luxury liner.
The girls who were on the deck began causing a commotion.
“Hey, someone do something!”
“D, don't we have weapons?”
“I've never seen that many.”
Perhaps we would be able to hold out if there were only dozens or hundreds of them, but it was futile for this many around a luxury liner.
The weapons were loaded, but even so, this was an airship that prioritized comfort.
It would be unwise to a.s.sume that this would be the main battle.
The girls and their exclusive servants fled inside. The noise gradually got louder, then a sailor fired a gun, perhaps losing composure.
Luxon was calm.
[I can form a sortie out of my main body and Partner. Master, I request permission.]
“Do it right now! How long will it take to arrive?”
[I can hurry it, but even so, an immediate──]
Thereupon, an especially large monster appeared from the clouds. Its figure was like that of a whale, and on its back was some structure that looked to have been prepared by people.
“Will the princess make her entry on that monster turned into an airship?”
The one who operated the magic flute was the princess. If it came to that, then things would really get bad. I never thought that I would have to deal with the dukedom during my time as a first year student.
I thought that I would have been a third year student by the time this would happen!
There were airships around the large monster the princess was riding──flying battleships displaying the crest of the dukedom.
From the clouds behind them emerged a floating island remodeled into an airship. Before anyone was aware, the large clouds scattered off.
They were torn into by the dukedom's fleet and the monsters, causing them to vanish.
When Chris adjusted his gla.s.ses with his slightly trembling fingers, he squeezed out a voice.
“A dukedom, you said? What are they thinking, entering the kingdom's territorial airs.p.a.ce?”
Without a doubt, they were planning to invade.
The number of airships they had were small, but they compensated with monsters.
While many students from the deck were taking refuge inside the ship, Anjie and Olivia came out. They rushed over when they saw us.
“Leon, so you were here!”
“Leon! ──Err, Leon, there's something floating next to you!”
They seemed alert about Luxon floating beside me. Did it judge not to hide itself since this was a matter of life or death for me?
Certainly, it was dangerous to have this many foes.
The two watched Luxon. They also looked at the image being projected next to me.
“I, is it safe to touch?”
In contrast with the concerned Anjie, Olivia touched the projecting image in mid-air with her fingers. It seemed her curiosity got the better of her.
Then, she looked at Luxon.
“Leon, this sphere──”
I was troubled with an explanation, so I went with──
“Oh, this? This is my familiar, Luxon. Look, introduce yourself.”
However, Luxon seemed to dislike it.
[Familiar? No, I will not agree to that. I am the labor of science, not to be affiliated with magic. I absolutely will not yield on this. Nice to meet you, lady. I, Luxon, support my master. I'm not a familiar, but an AI──”
Olivia was listening to Luxon's explanation while impressed, but Anjie ignored it. She seemed to judge that the current situation was more important.
“A strange familiar. Leon, so you have talent in magic as well? Though, I suppose the matter of focus right now should be those people. They look like they're from a dukedom, but why are there monsters with them?”
Monsters attacked people.
It seemed that she couldn't believe how monsters weren't attacking despite being so close.
I shrugged my shoulders.
I knew the reason, but it would seem strange for me to know at present.
Chris stared at the large monster and then spoke.
“Wait, someone's coming out.”
Anjie squinted her eyes. The princess of both the dukedom and the enemy nation, “Hertrude Sera Fanoss”, appeared.
While paying attention to Luxon, Olivia asked about the princess.
“U, um, do you know her?”
“I've only met her once before. However, why is she in a place like──”
Upon which, Princess Hetrude's figure was projected above the big monster.
Everyone was astonished at the image of the princess being magnified into the sky.
While everyone was on alert, she spoke to us using a megaphone.
“This is the first princess of the Fanoss Dukedom, Hertrude Sera Fanoss, reporting. We are declaring war on the Holfault Kingdom.”
The young lady declared war with an expressionless look.
I knew this would come, but I still wasn't adequately prepared.
“Hey hey, there's a limit to how rushed things can move forward.”
Just where did the schedule go out-of-order?
There was normally supposed to be time before the war would happen.
“Aristocratic children of the foolish kingdom. It's time to prepare yourself. Do you surrender, or will you die? You have one hour.]
We were given a grace period of an hour.
Anjie struck the handrail.
“Does she plan on keeping us hostage? ──Coward.”
I suppose that we were going to be used for negotiation material as they declare war.
My sight glanced around.
The sailors were in a panic, but some of the students who remained on the deck were relieved. Being taken hostage meant that they wouldn't be killed.
A small boat with messengers appeared from beside the dukedom.
Luxon spoke to me.
[Master, this has gotten dangerous.]
“It seems so.”
I looked at Anjie. Unlike nameless people like me, she was the daughter of a duke household with connections to the royal family.
Perhaps from the perspective of the dukedom, she would make for an attractive hostage.
“Just where did I go wrong?”
Why was a third year event happening now?
I was at my wits' end.
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