After taking on Alaia’s role, Harumi added something to her daily routine, the maintenance of Signaltin. Signaltin could be called part of her, if it wasn’t always clean, she couldn’t be satisfied. If it was dirty when Koutarou held it, it felt like Harumi was meeting him with her appearance ruined, so she was passionate about keeping Signaltin clean.
“… Hmm, let’s clean the scabbard today…”
After gazing at the beautifully sparkling Signaltin for a while, she decided what she’d maintain that day. Harumi didn’t miss maintaining it, so it was already shining beautifully enough, but as a girl, Harumi wanted it to shine even more beautifully. To her, Signaltin really was the same as her body.
“Ah, there’s a little scratch.”
Harumi dilligently examined the surface of the scabbard, and each time she found some dirt or a scratch, she would polish the area. Signaltin was made up of magic, so large scratches could be simply restored with magic, but minor scratches and dirt couldn’t be. Fine control of the magic was difficult, so the cleaning was finished by hand. Besides, Harumi felt she could put her feelings into the work, so she enjoyed it.
“It’s gone, it’s gone. Now for the finishing touches…”
Harumi kept working with practised hands. She had several metal accessories, so the skills she learnt maintaining them were useful now. Thanks to that, Signaltin shone just as beautifully as those accessories.
Harumi actually had a companion while maintaining the sword. That was Theia, she would often polish Saguratin together with Harumi. Their circumstances were similar, keeping the sword forged for her birth beautiful was part of the etiquette of a princess, and at the same time, it showed her feelings towards Koutarou as he wielded it.
“Harumi, I’m sorry it’s abrupt, but would you teach me something?”
“Yes, what is it?”
“How should I fix scratches like this one?”
“In this case…”
The two of them worked together, Theia was weak with this kind of work, on top of not being good with fine work, being raised as a princess, she would leave weapon maintenance to machines, or the family’s retainers, so she was uneasy working on something precious like this on her own. It wasn’t something she could leave to others, so she borrowed Harumi’s knowledge like this.
“…and then it’s like that.”
“I see, so you can’t just rub it any which way.”
“If you want a mirror finish, you need just the right amount of force.”
“I’ll be able to do it eventually.”
“Fufu, let’s try together.”
While sometimes asking for help from Harumi, Theia worked on Saguratin. Originally all she could do was wipe off dirt with a soft cloth, but working with Harumi, Theia became more skilled, and the sword was starting to regain its original sheen after the tough battles it had been through.
“Speaking of this.”
“The other day, Koutarou said ‘Don’t make it too sparkly’ when he saw this.”
“It’s like he fusses when he uses it.”
Actually, Koutarou thought they were going too far, maintaining them neatly like this. They shone like accessories or works of art, more than actual weapons, so he worried when he used them.
“It’s stupid, right?”
“If I had to say, wanting it to shine is a maiden’s desire, right?”
“Exactly. He doesn’t understand our delicate emotions.”
“We just want to dress up and stand in front of him.”
“That’s exactly it. But… he may not understand his feelings either.”
“Fufu, a sword is a knight’s soul after all.”
The reason he felt nervous, was probably himself. A sword was a knight’s soul, so if it sparkled, Koutarou also sparkled. Thinking of his own balance, he didn’t feel being any cleaner than he needed to be was necessary.
“That just makes me want to make it sparkle though.”
“He’s unaffected and sincere, he doesn’t go for splendour – Satomi-kun’s a real Japanese man after all.”
“I think being flashy is good though.”
“I agree with you there, ufufufu.”
The two stopped and smiled at each other.
“That’s right, Ruth’s started polishing his armour.”
“The overhaul’s finished then.”
“It is, she’s choosing the coating agent with Clan now.”
“We could use something like that in the future.”
“I want to too.”
“A knight’s soul doesn’t want coating.”
“That’s true, fufufu.”
Thanks to the girls’ desires overlapping, though he didn’t know it, the plan to make Koutarou sparkle progressed. They worked while thingking of the face he would make when he found out, looking forward to that day.