Chapter 1 – The Darkness Binding Urushibara Shizuno

The chairman’s office was in a corner of the educational affairs building.

She had been called while Moroha was still in the midst of battle, so walked towards it discontentedly.

The room was spacious and luxurious. It was set up as an office, but even if a guest of honour were invited, it wouldn’t appear shabby.

The desk was Italian-made, out of Chinese Evergreen Oak.

On top of the desk, the office’s owner had his hands together.

He appeared to be an extremely able man in his mid-twenties.

Among his ten siblings he was scolded by his grandfather for ‘having no dignified presence’ and ‘looking seedy’ but for better or worse, his quick wits had been effective and he was a youth with intelligence visible in his bearing.

He was this school’s chairman.

He was a normal person, not a Saviour, but he was an investor and the chairman.

His name was Urushibara Tadanori.

Indeed, Shizuno’s older brother.

“It’s been a while.”

With his hands still together on the desk, he said without a smile.

“You returned today?”

Shizuno asked, her emotions equally removed from her face.

Doing so, her face fell into a ‘mask-like’ expression.

“I did. Starting from the Chinese branch, Russia’s, France’s, Britain’s, America’s, it’s been two months since I’ve been in Japan.”

“Thank you for your work.”

Shizuno insincerely thanked him.

The sibling’s relationship was completely frigid, even the brother knew that now.

However, it wasn’t in a serious way.

“It’s belated, but congratulations on your enrolment, Shizuno. I trust you are leading a school life befitting a woman of the Urushibara family?”

In the Urushibara household, there weren’t familial feelings between parents, children and siblings, but the cold bonds of hierarchy.

For generations they had been renowned for producing bureaucrats, a result of focussing on the family rather than the individual.

“Oh, I wonder? It’s not particularly different than a normal high school, have you no confidence?”

Shizuno replied emotionlessly, with her face like a mask.

Normally he would have appeared struck by lightning and say “And that’s supposed to be a woman of the Urushibara family!?” but this time,

“How humble. You’ve been highly active in the short time since enrolment have you not?”

He grinned broadly.

As if his race horse had won the race.

“Just the three of you took down the hydra with the largest number of heads, didn’t you? The principal praised you highly.”

The other day, a nine-headed hydra had suddenly appeared near the academy and been defeated by Moroha.

Strictly speaking, Shizuno and Satsuki had just happened to also be there, but they had lied and said the three of them defeated it.

Because if they left it with Satsuki having helped, she could join the Strikers.

“Grandfather places a great deal of stock in the White Knight agency. From here on out it will gain more and more global influence. Even our family must make inroads with them.”

“I’ve heard that so much my ears have callouses.”

“You standing out as a Saviour makes me proud too.”

It seemed her brother had bought the lie, so Shizuno relaxed.

However.

“Haimura… Moroha was it? The Ancient Dragon.”

Whatever he was thinking, her brother speaking Moroha’s name so suddenly surprised her.

He suddenly stood and looked over the courtyard from the window, at the screen there, which showed the Strikers fighting the Metaphysical in real time.

Shizuno also watched as her eyes sought out and fixated on Moroha.

His calm fighting didn’t bring forth an ounce of unease, but rather, she was entranced by his strength.

“He’s prominent isn’t he? Even more so than Captain Isurugi.”

Shizuno nodded reflexively and held silent.

“I heard from your homeroom teacher, Tanaka-sensei that you get on well with him?”

Looking out of the window, she replied with her back still to him.

“We’re good friends.”

Her answer was careful, she couldn’t tell what he intended at all.

“Right, good. That’s good.”

In the end, he only nodded, congratulating her.

This was too unexpected for Shizuno.

Compared to being told to cease association with him, it was a hundred times better.

But Shizuno couldn’t relax.

In fact, she had a bad feeling.

“Invite him to our house.”

“Why…?”

“You’re at about the sort of age you should be getting a boyfriend.”

Hearing that, Shizuno was silent.

She shouldn’t be able to ask for more than her brother, and thus the family, approving of her association with Moroha.

She’d been secretive to avoid being found out like this.

But she couldn’t honestly be happy.

“You’ve always been critical, saying not to recklessly get close to men, what’s this change of heart? After all, people of the Urushibara family can only marry for the family.”

Her misgivings grew in her chest, rising.

“Nothing so dull as a change of heart, it’s a change of circumstances. Haimura-kun has outstanding talent and will surely rise within the White Knight Agency. I can see that. So as your fiancé he already has value at the current moment.”

Her misgivings became reality.

“Do you intend to take even Moroha as a tool of the Urushibara family?”

“You must have misheard. I merely said that if possible I would like to share in his honour.”

Shizuno’s fists clenched and shook.

“What are you planning, Nii-san? What are you going to have Moroha do?”

He would do anything if it were for his own ambitions or the prosperity of the Urushibara family. He’d make anyone a victim, without the slightest guilt. Putting his decades-old friend into a trap would be nothing, even family were pawns to him.

If he were to use her precious Moroha’s life…

Shizuno shook her head in disgust at her imagination.

“Answer me, Nii-san.”

“Why should I answer that to you?”

“So you are going to get Moroha to do something you want answer about?”

Shizuno pressed, cold vigour in her voice.

“It’s our decision. You just need to agree.”

Her brother, Tadanori looked back at her, gazing with even colder eyes.

They were eyes of a powerful man, used to giving orders.

Yes, her brother was a powerful man. So would never lend an ear to others words.

And Shizuno, still a child, had no ability to resist.

Her older brother had been sick of the feudal nature of the family and ran away. However, they had made preparations everywhere he went. He was denied employment, and even when he tried to find lodging, landlords would decline him. Finally, he was retrieved by the family when he was emaciated.

Now, under the pretext of treatment, but actually as punishment for defying the family, he was confined in a remote location.

Shizuno could only do as the family said, even if she ran away, she’d merely be following the same fate. She might be a Saviour, but she couldn’t subsist on mist like a sage, and she could never live by using dark arts to steam things and money from people to live.

“Then, Shizuno, make sure to invite Haimura-kun before long.”

Her brother ordered unilaterally, and returned his sight to the screens.

“What do I do? What should I do…?”

With an emotionless expression like a doll, Shizuno suffered in secret.

She felt as if her chest was being torn between the feelings of joy from being allowed to associate with Moroha, and the pressure of what her brother’s scheming would have Moroha do, and the sadness at being brandished with her worthless family circumstances.

It seemed her heart would be broken.

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June.

Two months had passed since they had entered school and the first years were getting used to school in a bad way.

The thoughts of ‘I fight for justice!’ and ‘I’ll become an amazing Saviour’ had dulled, and a relaxed mood had spread throughout the school.

Even the daily practical lessons were they learnt Ancestral Arts with a fairly serious expression, and fought in training, the class’ relaxed smiles appeared every so often.

After training was over, the first year female changing room was awash with complaints.

“Ahh, lame, day after day it’s the same old basics, I’m tired of it.”

“Tanaka really likes boring practice, maybe it’s ‘cause his face is boring?”

“Oh no, my sweat’s made my makeup run.”

“It’s only June, it’s way too hot.”

“We’re going to have a dry rainy season this year, the weather said it’s already the average temperature for early summer.”

“I knooow, right! Argh, this is the worst.”

Drawing out getting changed would only make them even warmer, but everyone was sluggish.

They stripped off and scattered their combat uniform, and carelessly put on their school uniform.

They might make you ask ‘were they really heroes, a cut above the rest in a previous life?’ but those who didn’t remember much of those lives were like that.

One alone, Satsuki, was glaring at her surroundings in a huff.

“They’re all slacking… Just yesterday, a metaphysical appeared here, in Japan, and Nii-sama risked his life to defeat it… But do they think it happened in another world or something? They don’t have enough self-awareness as Saviours.”

She was in the middle of changing.

Standing proudly and indignant in her bra and panties, hands on her hips.

“Is losing any shame because there are no men around not proof of slacking?”

“Ugh.”

Next to her in a similar state of dress, Shizuno retorted and Satsuki clammed up.

“I-I-I-I-I-I don’t want to hear about shame from you,” with reddened cheeks, Satsuki dodged that embarrassment, changing the topic “you press your breasts into Moroha at any chance and try and seduce him!”

She then braced against the inevitably sharp-tongued response from Shizuno.

“I guess so…”

Shizuno replied half-heartedly and let loose a tiny sigh.

Satsuki was shocked. This wasn’t like the woman, who like a naked blade loved assaulting the lovely Satsuki-chan with words (these are the individual’s impressions).

“W-what’s up? You seem… a little… strange today?”

“Aren’t I always strange?”

“You actually realise you’re doing strange things!?” Satsuki retorted in surprise but soon cleared her throat and continued, “That’s not what I mean, like, are you not feeling well or something?”

She looked at Shizuno seriously worried, someone she’d have no hesitations in calling her natural enemy.

“Ever since this morning… actually no, now that I think about it, it’s been since that state of emergency yesterday, you’ve been strange.”

“Isn’t that your imagination?”

“Did something actually happen when you were called by the chairman?”

Shizuno was putting an arm through the sleeve of her uniform, but stopped for an instant.

“It was nothing major, I told you yesterday, didn’t I?”

Her face was unreadable, but her voice sounded slightly hoarse.

“Moroha’s really worried too, you know?”

At that name, Shizuno shut her eyes, and let out a big sigh this time.

She looked like she’d given up, or resolved herself.

“You’re right, I’m sorry, I don’t like worrying people.”

Shizuno put her head through her collar and looked straight at Satsuki.

It was impossible to tell what she was thinking, her eyes were like frosted glass.

“I want you to listen and not be surprised. The chairman is my brother.”

“Seriously!?”

Satsuki was astonished, telling her to not be surprised was absurd.

But it wasn’t like she had no clue – whilst they weren’t great friends, Shizuno sometimes seemed awfully knowledgeable, so she could accept her family being part of the school’s management.

“Shh. It’s not something to shout about.”

Shizuno put up a single finger and placed it against her lips.

Satsuki truly understood those feelings. Just having influential family members would mean there could be people looking to spread malicious gossip everywhere. Being a princess in her past life, Satsuki knew this well.

So she glanced around to check that no one seemed to have heard, and when there didn’t seem to be anyone there, she relaxed.

“I’m sorry for hiding it.”

“It’s fine, it’s not like I cared about the chairman until yesterday.”

If she’d had the interest, she’d have known his name, and if she’d known his name, she’d have soon noticed that he and Shizuno shared the same surname. However, the chairman didn’t have much to do with the students, so he hadn’t even come to mind until now.

“And then, and then?”

“Unlike your brother, mine is not a nice man, we’ve never gotten along. We fought about something pointless yesterday, so I’m a bit melancholic.”

“Ah, I see. I get it, there aren’t that many wonderful brothers like Moroha.”

“Indeed, I’m actually really jealous of that, Ranjou-san.”

The reason for Shizuno’s sadness was clear. Satsuki heart cleared hearing it wasn’t anything big.

And Shizuno was envious of Moroha, so Satsuki was suddenly in good spirits.

“So tell your brother too, it’s nothing big.”

“Right, got it! Leave it to me, Urushibara! Fwoo fwo fwo fwo.”

Satsuki thumped her slim chest.

Shizuno had tired of lies, in the end she skilfully dodged the issue without the slightest bit of notice.

“That reminds me, you’ve been in high spirits recently, haven’t you?”

Furthermore, she skilfully changed the subject.

“You can tell!?”

“I can, it’s like you’re shining.”

Satsuki bit like a fish, giggling shyly at the transparent flattery.

If Satsuki was an ESPer, she’d probably see the image of Shizuno leading her by the nose in Shizuno’s mind.

“I heard from Sophie-senpai,” Satsuki was a member of the Strikers and brought up the name of a senior she got along well with, and after checking for anyone listening, whispered to Shizuno, “there’s a rumour that the English Branch Head will be inspecting the school soon.”

“Yes, I heard Sir Edward planned to do so.”

Informed as always, Shizuno calmly nodded.

It wasn’t a competition for Satsuki, but thanks to her, the rumour gathered evidence.

The Order consisted of six organisations.

The English main division, and the Japanese, American, French, Russian and Chinese branches.

The six founding Saviours were in command of the organisation under each country’s command, so it federated like that.

They were called the Six Heads, each an unparalleled Saviour.

For example, the head of the English division, Sir Edward Lampard was known as the Invincible White Iron.

Though it more or less appeared to be a branch of the U.N., and the official name was the Anti-Metaphysical System, its popular name of ‘The White Knight Order’ was due to it being modelled on his flashy Ancestral Arts within those circles.

That alone made him someone who lives above the clouds. And so.

“…Does his inspection have anything to do with you, Ranjou-san?”

Asked Shizuno, as if she really didn’t understand.

Still whispering into her ear, Satsuki checked once again that no one could hear and started speaking as if her words were precious.

“It really does. The English head is the highest in the White Knight Order, right? If I can show off my amazingness in front of him, he’ll say something like ‘Oh, what a wonderful nadeshiko girl! The Japanese branch doesn’t know anything, making you a rank D. By my authority I’ll make you a rank C right away.’ I think.”

“…Do you seriously think that?”

“Well, aren’t I being underestimated? Moroha’s too amazing, so I can’t stand out next to him no matter what, it’s like the sun and the shade, you know?”

“…You are a hard worker, and you progress several times faster than normal people I think.”

The first year White Irons would first, as a foundation, train to be able to move prana from the seven gates around the body. Satsuki had already succeeded in using both arms and legs, and her forehead’s gates. Compared to the majority of the first years, who couldn’t open more than one or two, it was a jaw-dropping success.

“Right, right, the Amazing Satsuki-chan, yeah.”

“But that’s just compared to the other first years… right? Do you not know the difference in strength between you and the senior Strikers, even though you train with them every day? Isn’t that what they call living under a rock?”

“They’re mostly rank Bs! It’s because I train with them every day that I’ll be a rank C soon, fwo fwo fwo fwo!”

“…Even though you still can’t form the foundation.” Shizuno’s murmur was too quiet for Satsuki to hear. “I’m sure you’re made of sweetness inside.”

“W-what are you praising me for all of a sudden? Am I that cute inside? Ehe he…”

Satsuki lowered her head in embarrassment.

Shizuno watched expressionlessly. However, her eyes that had lost their light spoke more eloquently than anything, saying. “She’s an idiot.”

“Do your best, Ranjou-san.”

“W-what’s this turn of events, are you supporting me?”

“Is that a problem?”

“N-not at all… it makes me happy, but… won’t it be annoying if I become a rank C and a full member of the Strikers before you?”

“You’re a hard worker, effort should be rewarded properly.”

“Uuuh… Thank you, Urushibaraa!”

Satsuki was moved, and grabbed both of Shizuno’s hands and swung them back and forth.

If Shizuno, with her mask like expression looked dejected, that was surely a trick of the light.

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While Satsuki and Shizuno were playing in the girl’s changing room, Moroha changed quickly and headed towards the school affairs building with the principal’s office.

He was awfully curious about what kind of connection Shizuno had to the chairman. Asking her just lead to her evading the question, so he thought he’d investigate himself and ask someone who should know.

He only had the time until home room was over, so he was hurrying. Despite that, as he walked rapidly through the corridors,

“Ah, it’s Haimura-kun!” Three senior girls saw him and called out to him.

He didn’t know any of their names or faces.

It was just after practical lessons, but the three’s makeup was soft and well done.

Even though they were average looking to begin with, they worked hard to be stylish and were the type good at showing their charms.

This kind of girl was often the most popular with men.

“You were awesome yesterday. We were cheering you on.”

They bounced over and surrounded Moroha.

He didn’t really have time to chat in the corridors, but he could tell at a glance that they had no ill will, so it was hard to be cruel to them.

“Hey, hey, you were training in Ancestral Arts before you came here, right?”

“How old were you when you remembered your past lives?”

“Oh, oh, and what’s it feel like to have two past lives you remember?”

Shrill voices barraged him with questions.

In the confusion, they were feeling all over his upper arms and stomach.

Girls lost their reserve when they made up groups.

“Again, huh…”

Moroha smiled wryly mentally.

As Moroha had become famous within the school, this kind of thing happened constantly.

He was a supernova, the first since the founding of the school to immediately join the Strikers.

And, he was the first Ancient Dragon in recorded history.

He understood the sense of curiosity. Moroha himself didn’t think the rapidly swirling and changing events surrounding him were normal.

The days he just wanted to learn the Ancestral Arts he could and slip into an office job with the White Knight Order felt like the distant past.

“Hey, hey, you’re good at teaching too, right? You’re always in demand, yeah?”

“Haimura-kun can take on White Irons and Black Mages, lecture us too.”

“In exchange, we’ll teach you something nice. ♥”

Regardless of being in different years, girls would often gather around him and talk like this.

“Ah, I’m sorry, but I’m booked for quite a while. Actually, I’m a little busy right now.”

With a troubled face, Moroha explained, but.

“Kyaa, he’s so popular! ♥”

They screeched in what sounded like an ultrasonic voice.

“Ah no, it’s like he’s not taking notice of us.”

“Is it because we didn’t joing the Strikers reserve corps? No waay.”

They were lightly playing as they clasped their hands in front of themselves. They didn’t appear shocked at all as they giggled.

“So, I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go.”

“Bye bye, see you lateer!”

If he was free, he wouldn’t have minded chatting for a while, but he was in a hurry today.

With the three waving him off, he quickly headed to the principal’s office.

This time he made it, and knocked on the door.

“Go ahead.”

A sweet voice came from within.

It still had the remnants of youth but it was a serene, clear voice.

If angels existed and were to speak, they’d probably have a sweet voice like this.

“Excuse me.”

Moroha entered the room politely where a roughly ten year old girl waiting for him, smiling.

She looked like a young version of the principal, and angel like girl with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Actually, she was probably a relative. He imagined her always with the principal, like an extra.

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Her innocent smile was lovely too.

She was sitting on the sofa for guests, chewing on a rice cracker and watching television.

On the other side of the room, the desk was empty, it looked like the principal was out.

“Umm, do you know where the principal is?”

“You can wait here until Mari-oneechan comes back.”

Still with her carefree smile, the angel patted the sofa next to her.

“Let’s do that I guess.”

Rather than going searching for her and possibly missing her, Moroha sat on the opposite sofa.

As he did, she got up, purposely moved over to Moroha and gripped onto his arm.

“W-what is it?”

Moroha shifted back.

He had a sense that this girl would be hard to deal with.

If he thought back, after the bout with the class’ tyrant Isurugi, she’d used mana to heal him.

And given him a chaste kiss.

Even thinking “That was a medical treatment! It doesn’t count!” his heart still wept with the guilt of kissing a little girl.

“…Why are you clinging to me?”

“If I don’t cling to someone, I’ll die.”

He did remember her always hugging the principal, but.

“That’s a lie, right?”

“That’s a lie.”

The angel smiled happily.

Moroha was suddenly tired, but she held on tighter.

“Ehe.”

Seeing her happy smile like this was bad for his heart.

“Don’t you go to school?”

To distract himself from his embarrassment, Moroha began talking with her.

She gave a bright and happy smile and smoothly brought up something rather heavy.

“I awoke as a Saviour much younger than most people, so the rules say I can’t go to elementary school. The lofty spirit of compulsory education is dead.”

Moroha’s expression froze.

“So I’m with Mari-oneechan every day.”

“I-I see, don’t you play with friends?”

“I don’t go to school, so I don’t have any, teehee.”

“That’s… not something to smile about. Yeah, it’s not…”

A heavy gloom settled around Moroha’s shoulders.

He couldn’t look at that angelic smile, and hesitantly offered.

“I-I see… then how about we talk until the principal gets back?”

“Wah! I’m so happy!”

He couldn’t help but pity her being so excited about that.

The angel called herself Shimon Maya.

She used katakana for her first name because the kanji were difficult and she didn’t like the impression they gave, and she asked him.

“If you can, lengthen it to ‘Maaya’ and it’ll be cuter.”

Girls were fussy over their charming points, so Moroha readily agreed, and told her she could just call him ‘Moroha’ in return.

Just by changing what they called each other, the atmosphere became friendlier.

It seemed she thought so too, changing her seat again, wriggling into the space between his legs and leaning her back against him.

“Err.”

Moroha tilted his head.

It was fine because she was a child, but if she was a little older and still this defenceless, she’d probably give men the wrong idea.

“Well, I’ll leave teaching her how to be a lady to the principal.”

Moroha came to a decision and looked up, chuckling at the same time as Maya who was doing the same thing nearly directly beneath his head.

“I’ve actually wanted to speak with you for a while, Moroha.”

Maya started the conversation with a smile.

“I’m hope I’m good to speak with then.”

What was popular with children these days? TV, manga, games, the internet? He hoped they’d be able to find a topic, but there might be a generation gap, he’d grown up as a poor boy, so wasn’t really familiar with games or the internet.

“There’s something I really really want to ask you.”

What could it be?

Most likely she was like those seniors from earlier and curious about being an Ancient Dragon?

Maybe it was about what it was like to have two past lives, if it was chaotic.

Well, she was a child, so he didn’t really mind.

“You can ask what you like.”

He was in a brotherly mood, and promised without thinking about it properly.

And then, with an angelic smile, Maya asked:

“What’s it like having two girlfriends? Is it chaotic?”

Moroha’s smile stuck on his face.

His mind froze on what she’d said, on what she’d asked.

This angel.

He couldn’t believe what he’d heard from her adorable face!

“Ha… ha ha ha… you’re precocious aren’t you Maaya.”

“It’s rude to treat me like a child. And that’s a transparent evasion, teehee.”

Don’t you teehee me.

Moroha looked glumly at the angel.

And now she was teasing him!

“I don’t know what kind of rumours are going around school, but I’m not two timing or anything.”

He answered with dead eyes.

“So if you’re not two timing, you’re a harem king?”

“What’s with that broad interpretation, it’s scary…”

“Can I be a candidate?”

Maya raised her hand with an angelic smile.

“Think about your age.”

Looking like he was dying, Moroha lowered her hand.

“So I can be in your harem in a few years?”

“Don’t say it like that, there isn’t a harem.”

“So just loving two girlfriends fills your capacity?”

“I won’t deny that Satsuki and Shizuno are special and precious but…”

“Got it, then I’ll work hard to be precious too.”

“You don’t get it at all…”

“I’m a hard worker you know?”

Maya nonchalantly reached out her hand and stroked Moroha’s lap.

“Uhh…”

Moroha groaned in dismay.

He’d thought it was fine because she was a child, but having Maya sat between his thighs felt wrong now, like he was committing a crime.

“Why are you that attached to me?”

Moroha turned eyes that you’d use to implore a child on her.

Praying that she’d say something like “It was all a joke.” He’d wholeheartedly forgive her.

Without the slightest hesitation, Maya beamed with all her might and said.

“Because you have poor fortune with women.”

“Isn’t that weird logic!?”

Also without hesitation, Moroha retorted with all his might.

He remembered her saying “You’ll suffer greatly with lots of girls, and make lots of girls cry.”

He didn’t want to, but he reluctantly admitted it was true.

“So wouldn’t you avoid me? You don’t want to cry, do you?”

“Rather than a tedious peace and quiet, I want a life filled with excitement and adventure.”

“You think more dangerously than you look, don’t you.”

He’d thought she was a pure angel, but she was a girl that would risk herself on a gamble.

The feelings of “Then I’ll protect her!” that this evoked made it worse. She was a bad girl that would make a lot of men cry.

“So let’s get on well from now on, Moroha.”

“Y-yeah… sure.”

Moroha smiled somewhat haggardly at Maya, who seemed to be in a good mood.

At that moment, the bell signalling the end of home room sounded.

If he didn’t go back to the classroom now, he’d be late.

“The principal sure is late.”

Moroha glanced around restlessly.

“Mari-oneechan will be a while longer.”

“Tell me that earlier.”

“She’s meeting with the chairman at the moment, so waiting here was certain.”

Maya’s words were logical, and it’s not like she’d lied.

But Moroha suspected she’d purposely not said much because she wanted someone to talk to. He half closed his eyes.

“Well, whatever.”

He soon changed his mind, he wouldn’t have been able to meet the principal anyway, and it wasn’t a bad thing getting to know Maya. It wasn’t a waste of time at all.

“I actually wanted to ask something about him. I’ll come again then.”

“Umm, you can ask me too you know?”

Moroha looked at her in question.

“I’m not with the principal all day for nothing, I know a lot about the school.”

Maya cleared her throat and threw up her arms in celebration.

Now that he thought about it, she seemed fairly clever. Despite that, he’d been careless and overlooked her as a child.

“You know Urushibara Shizuno? You know her right, you said I was two timing her earlier?”

“You’re harsh, Moroha…”

“Anyway, I want to know why the chairman called her suddenly yesterday.

“I don’t know why either, but they’re siblings.”

“So that’s it.”

Moroha had investigated himself and found they had the same surname and guessed that.

The problem was why Shizuno acted oddly right after a meeting with her brother.

“But, they don’t seem to get on well as siblings.”

He was satisfied with Maya’s addition.

“Do you know about the Urushibara family, Moroha?”

“No, Shizuno doesn’t really talk about her family…”

So Maya told him everything she knew.

The family was an investor in the school and had strong ties to the Japanese branch of the White Knight Order.

The chairman was more of a politician than a teacher, and an ambitious person too.

For example, he’d had Saviours from the Japanese branch train Shizuno before she started school and recommended her for the Strikers through the principal.

He intended to have Shizuno excel as a Black Mage and rise through the ranks of the White Knight Order, so had given strict orders to people involved in the school to train her properly.

It was as if he was the sort of person that thought of even his own sister as a tool for his ambitions.

Moroha listened without a single interruption.

“Considering all that, it’s surprising the teachers leave her lack of motivation alone.”

In the school, Shizuno’s name was like a synonym for a lantern at noon.

But he’d never really seen anyone condemn her for it.

“The chairman is a politician, so he doesn’t understand, Mari-oneechan and the other teachers are Saviours before they’re teachers. They work by their own creed, and don’t oblige organisations or the courts. No one will treat her preferentially.”

It felt strange to hear such difficult topics one after another from an adorable girl, but Moroha stroked her head.

She seemed to enjoy it, rubbing her head up into his hand.

“I don’t think Shizuno-oneechan will stop worrying with a brother like that, but while she’s here, Mari-oneechan and the others won’t let it go like the chairman plans. They all respect Shizuno-oneechan’s desires.”

“Yeah… I see. That was reassuring.”

Thinking of the principal and his class’ teacher’s faces, Moroha earnestly replied.

Moroha had always been wary of exaggerated claims of creeds and such, but even he felt that self-respect.

“I think I get it now…”

He remembered before he came to Akane Academy.

He’d earnestly considered a shady offer worded “Why don’t you enter a school for Saviours and learn to fight Metaphysicals?”, and the interaction and explanation from the agent that came was extremely sincere, so left a lot of good will.

Moroha wasn’t afraid of danger.

However, he was fussy about fairness, and things being done in the proper way.

At the school’s root was that young and completely clear cut principal.

“Is that enough for you?”

“Yeah. You’ve really taken a load of my chest, thank you, Maaya.”

He stroked her head once more.

“I’m going back to class then.”

He half rose to his feet.

“I want to talk more.”

Before Maya pushed him down with all her weight.

“Wait a minute, I have home room now.”

“Skip it, teehee.”

Don’t teehee me.

The angel said something awful with a cute face.

“I can’t skip without a reason though.

Moroha was a student with high morals.

“It’s fine if your stomach hurts.”

“My stomach’s not often like that.”

“Oh no, my stomach is hurting.”

“Your stomach sure is flexible.”

“If you won’t speak with me, I’ll come with you to the classroom like this and sit in your lap and hug you.”

“Are you joking?”

“I’m serious.”

She knew how to threaten with a smile!

Moroha was at a loss.

Eventually, Maya cried.

“Uuugh, I’m so sad. I finally found someone to talk to after having no friends. But when he got what he wanted, he just threw me away, like I was a woman of convenience to him. As if I were a scrap of cloth. Moroha really is an awful person that makes girls cry.”

Even though she was a child, she’d mastered threatening with complaints!

“I get it, I get it.”

Moroha raised his hands in surrender.

“Isurugi-senpai and the demon vice-captain are super scary when they’re angry, so I’m not skipping after school, okay?”

Telling the angel he’d play until then.

“I’m so happy.”

Maya lifted her head and smiled without worry.

It was an innocent smile from the bottom of her heart.

In the face of that satisfaction, Moroha’s ‘high morals’ were flexible.


←:Prologue|Contents|Chapter 2:→

7 comments on “Chapter 1 – The Darkness Binding Urushibara Shizuno
  1. baseball3b says:

    I just want to say how much I love you guys for translating this.

    Like

  2. sfcipher says:

    Thank you for the chapter.

    Like

  3. kenchan223 says:

    Maya is cuute!!! I want her as my dakimakura!

    Like

  4. dragonmaou says:

    I couldn’t find a prologue comment section, so I am commenting here.

    ‘He raised his sword over heat, and with a downward slash, released the prana he had thickened inside.’

    It should be ‘He raised his sword over HIS HEAD ‘

    Like

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