Lux was running in the school building on a bright day after school.
As if being chased by an invisible predator.
Or, he was running gasping for breath as if running down an endless steep slope.
Now everyone else was the enemy.
In an overwhelmingly disadvantageous situation, Lux kept running.
He ran out of the Principal’s room, passed through the familiar corridor and went up the stairs.
Isn’t there any good hiding place somewhere?
Though he thought so in the corner of his head, he immediately realized that there was no place where he could feel at ease.
Therefore, Lux could not help but keep running.
“Phew… I somehow manage to get away for the time being, I guess––”
The corridor of the school building’s third floor where the neatly tended green courtyard could be seen from the window.
When there was finally no one around, Lux heaved a sigh of relief and stopped.
At that moment,
“Oh! Found you!”
The female students who appeared from the corner of the corridor shouted as they saw Lux.
“Over here! Everyone, come help catch him!”
“Wait!? It’ll be bad if you call even the third years! Otherwise, they’ll monopolize him!”
Immediately after, several female students appeared one after another before him.
What’s more, their hands were holding various tools.
Staffs for self-defense and ropes for arrest.
Furthermore, they had prepared up (instead of up maybe change it to even) to a huge catching net, handcuffs and a collar.
(What the hell do they intend to do to me after catching me…!?)
He could not help but think so.
“Fufufu. We finally cornered you. Just let us catch you without resisting.”
“Right, right. You’re usually monopolized by the Princess and company after all. You should occasionally become our toy… not that. You have to do decent odd jobs––”
“You, you’re drooling…?”
To the mutter of the girl who held the collar, the girl beside her retorted.
As Lux reflexively stepped back, before he was aware of it, other female students made a wall even behind him.
He was completely caught in a pincer attack.
“You have nowhere to escape. Give up.”
The large number of girls smiled as they were convinced of their victory.
Afterwards, it was no longer the outcome between Lux and the girls.
But, a fight between girls to know who would get the reward from the victory.
With the momentary opening that this state of war brought, Lux immediately put his hand on the side of a window.
“W-Wait a minute!? This is the third floor, you know!?”
The eyes of the female students who had cornered him stared in surprise.
“I’m sorry. I’m a bit scared about what you’ll do to me if I’m caught.”
Immediately after, Lux jumped down outside of the school building through the open window.
Small screams rose from the female students who were there.
Lux kicked the outer wall in the middle of the fall, seized a branch of the tree on the other side in an instant, and landed after reducing the impact of the fall.
“Kuh…!? I-I guess the third floor was reckless indeed…”
Although he considerably reduced the impact of the fall, even so numbness ran throughout his body from the bottom of both his legs.
“But well, with this, I’ve considerably bought time––”
As Lux heaved a sigh of relief as such,
“He’s there! Over here!”
The female students who heard the commotion further gathered from here and there.
“There are more people than before!? You’ve no mercy at all!? Even though my legs hurt from having just jumped down!”
While resuming his escape in panic, Lux was thinking in the corner of his head.
(W-Why do I have to go through this––!)
To know the cause of this festival, we must go back several minutes ago––
“Lux-kun. How do you spend your school life?”
One day after school in May.
It was Principal Relie Aingram who called Lux to her room.
The Royal Military Academy of Drag-Knights existing in the first district of the Fort City Cross Feed.
It was an academy of noble girls that raised female Drag-Knights who had not been trained due to the system of excess andocracy of the Old Empire.
It was about only two weeks since Lux who was a Prince of the Old Empire was admitted into the academy, taking advantage of a certain incident.
An exceptional admission made by the New Kingdom Princess Lizsharte’s strong demand, and the consent of the head of the academy Relie.
Lux, whose existence was accepted as the only male student at present in anticipation of a future coeducation, probably had troubles and problems in the field of cohabitation.
Hence, Relie called him like this to ask about it.
“I think I’m somehow doing well. I didn’t know what to do in the beginning though.”
Lux’s answer was what he really thought.
Princess Lizsharte and most of the female students of this academy that originally had a hostile relationship with Lux treated him kindly now.
Even among the third-year students who came back from the practice at the Capital. While being surprised at Lux’s presence, there was no one who raised an objection to Lux’s admission after being told stories about the fact that he evenly matched Lisha in a duel ,and that he protected the students from the Abyss attack.
It seemed that they were watching the situation for the time being.
“Well, it might be thanks to the fact that Celis-san’s return was delayed.”
Relie said so at last with a bitter smile.
Celestia Ralgris, the top of the third-year students, the strongest of the academy and the daughter of a renowned Duke House.
She, who was from one of the four Great Nobles and seemed to be famous to be <–(for being) a man-hater, was left in the Capital for a little while for the subjugation of insurgents discovered over there.
Therefore, Lux was able to lead a peaceful school life for now, but––
“But you know, Lux-kun. Many students’ complaints towards you have gathered now at my place.”
Relie suddenly sighed with a troubled expression.
Did I do something wrong?
Or were there after all objections among the third-year students regarding Lux’s enrollment––
When such an uneasiness crossed Lux’s chest,
“Ta-da! Yes, this!”
With a smile all over her face, Relie slapped a thick bunch of papers onto the desk.
There were probably more than 100 sheets.
“Errr… Could it be that these are––”
The criminal Lux, who was a Prince of the Old Empire signed a certain contract at the same time with an acquittal as the amnesty by the New Kingdom.
The obligation in which he must undertake odd jobs from anyone of the nation, and do works as a “Chore Prince”.
That work was currently performed in the form of “handling the requests of this academy’s staff including student’s”, but––
“These are odd jobs requests to you. There are too many, eh… Therefore, it was decided that you would handle them by choosing requests you consider high priority. But, if they pile up this much…”
As Lux stiffened with an indescribable expression, Relie showed a mischievous smile.
I-I’ve a bad feeling…
From his past experiences, Relie making this face, was always thinking about nothing good.
“B-But, it can’t be helped––”
When Lux tried to explain in a hurry, shouts from female students could be heard somewhere.
The source of the voices seemed to be from the classrooms in the school building and the school premises, but––
“I know that. That’s why I’m now explaining it to the students. The event that I planned –– the “Lux-kun contest”, that is.”
As Lux looked puzzled to these words, Relie spread one red request form on the desk.
“An event of canceling dissatisfaction of students whose requests aren’t received by you. “A special request form, whose request is able to have priority over Lux-kun for only one week” –– in other words, the girl who snatches this away from you within a time limit can monopolize you for one week.”
“I-It’s a joke, isn’t it!? Don’t tell me you seriously––”
Lux’s face unintentionally became stiff.
Relie, not answering his question, showed a smile all over her face.
“The game’s time is one hour from now. I leave this request form to you; so you won’t have to hear orders from anyone if you manage to hold on until the time limit. Ah, you are all prohibited from using Drag-Rides, so you must not let the young ladies hurt themselves as much as possible, okay?”
“P-Please, wait a minute!? To suddenly say that––”
No matter how you put it, it’s unreasonable.
When Lux was going to rebut so, a sound like that of the ground rumbling could be heard outside of the Principal room.
“Oh my? Everybody seemed to have come over at once. If you don’t run away quickly, you’ll be caught immediately.”
“What are you thinking, really!”
The next moment, Lux jumped out of the Principal’s room and began to run.
Soon after, shouts arose from female students who were going up the stairs of the school building.
Thus, the “Lux contest” which was Principal Relie’s plan started.
And, after having run around the school premises from place to place for about 40 minutes from the start, he was at last cornered in the corridor of the school building and he jumped off outside––
In addition, Lux avoided the female students who gathered there and fled.
Since it seemed to be a violation of the rules to leave the school premises, danger always remained.
It was good that he somehow escaped from the predicament, but as expected he was out of breath.
Even though he had stamina thanks to the fact that he had been handling odd jobs since a long time ago, it was unbearable when being targeted by the female students in the academy.
There was also the option where he could let himself be caught and hand over he request form, but as far as he could see the girls were in a festive mood, it looked like he would be made to do a ridiculous request and he felt like it was bad.
Lux who found a familiar girl promptly hid behind a weedy thicket.
When she lightly winked as she caught a glimpse of Lux who was hiding, she went into a building different from the school building.
(That place is––)
Lux understanding that the girl’s wink was a signal to him began to walk slowly as he slipped through the surrounding stares.
And he ran into the big building where she entered.
A large stone-built space where the smell of metal and oil drifted.
In front of the central work unit, a small-sized girl wearing a white gown was sitting with a smile.
The chief of the building greeted as she raised one hand.
The girl, who was the New Kingdom Princess and a genius engineer of Drag-Rides, looked at Lux who entered and showed a sweet smile.
“Don’t be so scared. You want help, right? You can hide here for a while if you want.”
Lisha said so and once again moved her look to the work unit.
“T-Thank you. Then, I will accept your offer.”
While heaving a sigh of relief, Lux sat down on the nearby sofa.
Other unrelated students couldn’t enter the Machine Dragon development atelier without the permission of Lisha who was the chief.
In other words, it was the safest place now in the school premises where the “Lux contest” was held.
As long as Lisha herself did not set up something––
(Well, I don’ think that Lisha-sama whom I’m usually with a lot would participate in this contest, but––)
Thinking so, Lux suddenly relaxed his whole body and slightly leaned down.
“Are you making something again?”
A disassembled green Drag-Ride was put on the work unit before Lisha.
“Ah, this is a new experiment.”
For a small-sized body, Lisha who greatly stuck out her chest replied so.
“Yes. Shall I show you a little?”
As Lisha suddenly smiled, she picked up a Sword Device on her side.
At that moment, the silver line which ran through the surface of the sword blade shone with a pale light.
“Capture him! <Arms Wyrm>!”
The moment when Lux cocked his head in puzzlement, the Drag-Ride which was on the work unit changed into the shape of a huge arm and grappled hold his body.
As Lux stared in wonder at the unexpected occurrence,
“Fufu. You fell for it, Chore Prince. As expected, you’re too soft-hearted.”
Like a child whose trick succeeded, Lisha turned an innocent smile.
And with a finger, she morosely poked at the waist of Lux who was raised in the air.
“W-What is this!? This Machine Dragon –– or rather do you possibly intend to catch me…!?”
“Well, yes. It didn’t feel like I could catch you by squarely running after you. I used a technique still under study where I can operate a Drag-Ride to some extent without equipping it.”
“Wasn’t the use of Drag-Rides prohibited in the rules of this time?”
“Yes. Like I said, I’m not wearing it, look.”
(T-That’s plainly cheating…!)
Lux wondered whether that was the way of thinking of a Princess, but now that he was captured by the Drag-Ride like this, there was no helping it.
“Or rather, even if you don’t participate in something like the “contest”, haven’t I properly received Lisha-sama’s requests until now!?”
As Lux said so, trying to persuade her,
“I-It isn’t really like that. I may not look like this, but e-even I’m usually holding back myself… Besides, there are also things to consider in the future, and I can’t hand you to other people––”
Lisha who blushed bashfully twined the fingers of both her hands and muttered so.
“W-With that said, resign yourself. Even if it’s you, you can’t escape from a Machine Dragon’s restraint without equipment.”
Lisha thrust her hands into Lux’s clothes and began to touch them as she looked for the red request form.
“Let’s see. That request thing, where is it––”
“H-Hey, please stop…!? I surrender!”
To the touch of her small smooth hands stroking within his clothes, Lux began to feel strange, but, he somehow endured it and spoke.
“The request is in my coat which is held by the Machine Dragon’s hand, so––”
“I see. All right, I understand.”
Lisha raised the Sword Device and made a mind operation by thought.
The moment when the restraint of the <Armed Wyrm> grasping Lux’s body loosened,
“I’m sorry. Lisha-sama––”
Lux slipped through the Machine Dragon’s hand by using that slight opening.
He kicked the stone-paved floor at the same time as the landing, flew and quickly went out of the atelier.
“Thats sly, Lux! Waiiiit!”
Lux ran as to shake off Lisha chasing him with teary eyes.
As he shook off the chase of the female students who were outside, and somehow hid between the bush of plants and the wall of the Machine Dragon Hangar,
“…Ah, it’s Lu-chan.”
A young girl was standing on the side of the brick wall.
“What the, Philphie!? Why are you here––?”
Lux’s childhood friend who always had a fluffy, loose atmosphere, Philphie Aingram.
The impressive girl with pink hair and a big chest was chewing a snack-like rusk.
As Lux unintentionally halted at this meeting in an unexpected place,
“It’s Phi-chan, right?”
While expressionless, she said so in a voice mixed with a slightly sullen nuance.
Among his close friends, she asked for a relationship where they called each other by their nicknames.
It was less objectionable now since there wasn’t the public eye, but it was pretty embarrassing because he was coerced even in the classroom
“S-Sorry… But, Phi-chan. Why on earth are you in such a place––?”
Since Philphie had for better or worse an easy-going character, it was hard to think that she would participate in this event.
When Lux asked so as he was puzzled,
“It’s for cake. *gulp*…”
Swallowing the rusk which was in her hand, Philphie said something which he did not understand well.
“It’s because Onee-chan said that she would give me cake if I caught Lu-chan.”
“W-What is that person thinking…!?”
Lux was bewildered at Philphie’s mutter.
Going as far as to incite her own little sister; is she really the Principal?
(…No, Even Philphie who is lured by one cake is also to blame though.)
“With that said, I’m coming.”
Philphie took a stance with unhurried movements.
In the Royal Military Academy, one learnt not only handling as a Drag-Knight, but also taijutsu and fencing for self-defense.
Lux had never properly seen Philphie fight, but––
(Philphie is a girl and she seems not very good at exercise, so I can probably dodge with my legs.)
Thinking so, Lux planned to breakthrough head on.
Since he would be found by other students if he dodged her too greatly, he planned to forcibly go through Philphie’s side.
“Phi-chan. It’s dangerous, so be careful.”
As he urged her so, Lux started running.
When he was going to slip through Philphie’s flank as he kicked the hard ground and changed the trajectory––
“I’ll be careful not to hurt you.”
She whispered in a subdued voice close to his ears and Lux noticed for the first time.
About the fact that Philphie was bending his joints behind him to the extreme, as she grasped Lux’s wrist when he tried to run through her.
Furthermore, she quickly took his remaining arm with her other hand and entangled one of her leg around Lux’s legs.
Lux’s movement was completely sealed in an instant.
(W-what was that? That movement just now––!?)
Philphie’s movement was by no means fast.
Rather, it was a movement which could be said to be loose, and yet Lux could not avoid it at all.
Fluent movements without any waste at all, like a feather fluttering about in running water or midair.
With her beautiful taijutsu, she easily caught Lux.
“Kuh…!? ––Or rather, I can’t move at all!?”
Since his childhood friend was the opponent, he intended to not act violently as much as possible from the start.
But, as he put all his energy to undo the restraint with brute force, Lux was not able to move an inch.
“Just for a note, its been about seven years, since I learned martial arts a little.”
In a serene tone, Philphie whispered.
“I-Is that so!?”
Lux was surprised at the revelation of the unexpected fact.
However, aside from her refined taijutsu, is this superhuman strength a talent?
Even though he did not feel that she did not put that much power, he could not move at all.
Like the power difference between an adult and a child.
“Thank god. Like this, I can also eat the cake together with Lu-chan.”
Holding Lux’s body as such, Philphie smiled slightly joyfully.
The swelling of Philphie’s chest pressing from behind was squashed with a sweet sensation.
(A-As expected, Philphie’s are pretty big…!)
Towards the feel of those two with elasticity, whose contents were plumply jam-packed, Lux felt his heartbeat speeding up.
In a sense, at this rate it was a situation where it seemed like it would become painful indefinitely, but––
“Ah, the request…”
At that instant, a red request felt to the floor from Lux’s chest.
When Philphie stretched out her hand to pick it up at once––
Rapidly removing the restraint, Lux succeeded in escaping.
As he quickly collected the request with the momentum, Lux ran through the shadow of the Machine Dragon Hangar.
“Haa, haa… It’s becoming gradually hard..!”
Although he somehow managed to escape from Philphie, Lux’s stamina was already at his limit.
While hiding from the female students still looking for him, he headed to the waiting room of the practice field.
(Wait –– if it’s now when lessons are over, there should be no one!)
Lux thought so and crept in the waiting room.
As expected, there was no one in that wide space.
So as not to be found, he moved to the other side of the compartment for changing clothes just in case.
As he hid himself sitting on the wooden floor, Lux heaved a long sigh.
Another 10 minutes like this and the game will be over.
When Lux thought so, the sound of the door opening could be heard.
Lux promptly stopped his breath and erased his presence.
He wondered whether it was some kind of mistake that a female student came here now, but––,
“Haa, it became really unpleasant, eh. Even though now is a rare chance to catch Lux-kun––”
“Ahaha. Well, it can’t be helped; the Drag-Ride’s repair is over, so I have to properly to test it––”
Judging from the voices, there were about five or six people who came over.
They seemed to be female students who were members of the academy guerilla squad, the “Knight Squadron”.
It looked like the Machine Dragons’ test run which was not scheduled would be rapidly carried out.
(W-What to do? at this rate––)
Unfortunately, since the door and windows were far from the back of the compartment, there was no way to go out without exposing himself before the girls.
(Even if I hide here, they should come to this side of the compartment after changing into the Dress Gear. So, I should already stop hiding––)
The moment when Lux resolved himself so,
The sound of the rustling of clothes could be heard.
“Oh my, that underwear is pretty. In which store did you buy it? I’m envious, eh.”
“D-Don’t look at me too much… It’s embarrassing––”
“What are you talking about? Even though you have such a splendid thing unlike me.”
To the girls’ innocent voices, Lux’s heart throbbed.
Don’t tell me it’s the ones I think it is––
Lux stealthily peeped on the other side from the shadow of the compartment.
There was a heaven-like sight there.
There were familiar female students of the “Knight Squadron” and probably unfamiliar third-year members.
All of them took off their uniforms and were joking with each other in underwear.
(…W-What is it!? Why are they already getting dressed up!?)
When Lux’s head was about to become blank, he finally understood the reason.
In this academy where there were basically only female students, those expressly changing their clothes behind the compartment were few.
Moreover, Lux who was the only male student had not officially joined the “Knight Squadron” yet.
Now when only the members of the “Knight Squadron” use the waiting room after school, it was inevitable that it became so.
(W-What to do…!? I can’t go out from here…!)
If there is any student who comes on this side of the compartment on a whim––
“––Speaking of which, that boy of the rumor. Was he called Lux Acadia? Is it really all right to let him attend this academy?”
He suddenly heard such a voice of a female student who seemed to be a third-year student.
Though there was no anger or displeasure, her tone of voice was tinged with caution.
They received tyranny and discrimination from the Old Empire just only five years ago, so for a third-year student who did not know Lux well, they were reasonable words, but––
“Hmm. When trying to speak to him, he’s a really humble and good person. Also as a Drag-Knight, he’s pretty amazing––”
“Yes, besides precisely because he is a former Prince, he also has a cute face––”
“Hmm. But, isn’t there any worry of him being a pervert and peeping tom? Like he looked at you with indecent eyes. After all –– most of the “men” are such creatures, right?”
To the words praising Lux, the voice of another girl who seemed to be a third-year student rebutted.
“No, there is no such thing in the Lux-kun’s case! I don’t think that he will do such cowardly things!”
“Yes––. We, who have seen his way of fighting, trust him.”
He was very happy that the second-year student members supported him, but
(Wait, it becomes more and more a situation where I can’t afford to be found…!)
When, although unexpected, Lux harbored feelings of guilt about the fact that he had seen them in their underwear,
“Ah, Krulcifer-san. Good morning.”
To a bright voice emitted by a female student who was changing her clothes, Lux’s body froze in surprise.
A foreign student of the academy and daughter of an earl of Ymir, a large and religious country of the North.
A mysterious girl with perfect beauty and ability.
Lux panicked even more since even a girl who was his classmate came.
(This is bad! I have to get out of here as soon as possible by any means––)
However, not eventually coming up with any way to evade well, time passed.
“Speaking of which, Krulcifer-san. The Drag-Ride’s guidebook. Do you know where it is? If I remember correctly, I think that I had put many volumes in this room, but––”
“Yes… The book would get damaged if exposed to sunlight, so I think I put it here––”
Soon after this voice could be heard,
The eyes of the girl who came to the other side of the compartment and Lux’s met.
It was Krulcifer who had already taken off the top and bottom of her uniform, and was in underwear.
For a moment, Krulcifer looked at Lux with a surprised face.
The cheeks of the usually composed girl slightly reddened in embarrassment.
Similarly, Lux averted his eyes from her while confused to the point that he could not even utter his voice.
A slender body without any waste at all.
However, a bodily build with a chest and hips which let one feel a feminine freshness.
Bewitching snow-like skin and a sweet fragrance of perfume slightly drifting.
Krulcifer’s appearance in underwear that he saw for the first time was preposterously attractive and beautiful.
Immediately after, Lux’s face quickly turned pale.
At this rate, Lux would be handed over as a peeping tom and expelled from the academy.
Inside a cage as a criminal who betrayed the girls’ trust––
“Krulcifer-san. What’s wrong? Is something the matter?”
When such despair floated across his mind, he heard the voice of a female student from the other side of the compartment.
Lux promptly hung his head as he prepared himself for the worst, but––
“––It’s nothing. I found the guidebook.”
Krulcifer returned her usually refreshing expression and walked to Lux’s side.
And when she picked up the book put nearby, she returned to the other side of the compartment as if nothing happened.
“I will quit today’s training after all. I remembered that <Fafnir>’s maintenance wasn’t over yet, so––”
“Is that so? Then, we’re going.”
After Krulcifer said so, the presences disappeared from the waiting room with lively voices.
The other female students, who were inside, seemed to have gone to the practice field.
As Lux timidly let his face peek from the compartment,
“It’s all right now. Cute peeping tom.”
Krulcifer had put back on her uniform and was reading a book before the table.
Making a small smile on her mouth, she sent a fleeting glance at Lux.
From that gesture, Lux was able to grasp her intention.
“…Um, thank you.”
As Lux thanked her for having helped him,
“If you are so pleased, then it was worth it that I have also felt embarrassed.”
Being said so in a teasing tone, Lux’s face turned red.
“I didn’t say thank you in that sense, um––”
“Oh my! Didn’t you have any interest in my naked body? Considering that, you seemed to be fairly looking thoroughly though.”
Krulcifer coiled herself with sweet voice as to feel even composure.
(S-She noticed my eyes…!?)
“ah, uh…, errr –– I’m sorry.”
As Lux, not being able to endure it, apologized, Krulcifer suddenly returned a serious face,
“It looks like I pushed the teasing a little far. It’s a bad habit of mine.”
As to let Lux calm down, she softly put her index finger at the seat next to her.
It was a signal to ask him to sit beside her.
“Errr, do you forgive me?”
“Yes, I intend to do so, but–– I wonder why; but when I’m looking at you, I want to tease you so badly. There is no malice, so it will save me if you don’t let it bother you.”
Krulcifer’s words which were muttered with a smile were probably her true intentions.
(It’s quite bad for my heart…)
While having mixed feelings, Lux sat down next to her.
“––But, you should be a little more careful. You’re at present the only boy in this academy after all.”