Translator: Saitama-sensei Editor:Ryunakama
49. New Semester and First-Year War 
After returning from Vesteria Kingdom, I wanted to spend a peaceful summer vacation.
However, life was not so merciful and I was hit by various troubles.
(That’s right… It was when I went to see a movie with Ria and Rose.)
Ria blurted out that we went to Vesteria – and made things unnecessarily complicated.
Naturally, Rose was offended for being left out.
I promised to go alone with her next time, and managed to settle the situation peacefully.
Besides that, I encountered a robbery by chance and subdued the criminals, and I was also harassed by Cain-san from Ice King Academy, who had turned into a passionate stalker. To be honest, I never got a proper break.
(It was a really busy summer vacation…)
I managed to survive such an intense holiday safely and,
「Well then… Ria, did you forget anything?」
「Nope, everything is perfect.」
The first day of the new semester – I went to Thousand Blade Academy with Ria.
Because it was the height of summer, the scorching sun rays blazed down on us.
However, today, the humidity was low and there was also wind blowing, so it was a refreshing feeling rather than the usual suffocating feeling.
As I observed Ria with a fleeting glance, she seemed to be humming in good spirits.
(…It was worth going to Vesteria)
I am able to attend Thousand Blade Academy with her – I’m genuinely happy about that fact.
「…What’s the matter, Allen? By any chance, is there something on my face?」
Ria, who noticed my gaze, said that while touching her face.
「Fufu. No, it’s nothing.」
We went to the classroom, listening to the singing of cicadas in the summer along the way.
When I opened the door of Year 1 Class A, many of our classmates were already inside.
「Oh! It’s been a while, Allen!」
The first to call out was, Iron Cutting style swordsman, Tessa Burmond.
「Good morning, Tessa.」
When I raised my hand and gave a greeting – he analyzed me from top to bottom.
「W-What’s up, Tessa…?」
All of a sudden while I was confused,
「Allen, you… have gotten considerably stronger, haven’t you?」
He muttered with a slightly frustrated look.
「I-Is that right? I can’t really tell for myself… Well, I can say the same for you too, Tessa. You’ve improved your skills quite a bit, haven’t you? That palm… You’ve been swinging a lot, haven’t you?」
His hand, which was covered in calluses, was clearly stiff and strong.
「Oh, you realised! But it’s not just swinging, you know? We went through a harsh training to not lose to you. Be prepared for when we fight next time, okay?」
「Aa, I’m looking forward to it.」
「Good morning, Allen!」
「Good morning! Allen-kun, Ria-san!」
Beginning with Tessa, everyone in the class greeted me.
「Good morning everyone.」
「Good morning! Let’s get along in the second semester as well!」
After I finished greeting everyone, I dropped my belongings into my seat. And then the back door of the classroom opened weakly.
It was Rose, who came in from there, seeming to be more sleepy than usual.
When she came to me with unsteady steps,
「Fuwaa… Morning, Allen, Ria.」
She raised her right hand weakly while stretching.
「Good morning, Rose. You look as sleepy as usual.」
「Good morning, Rose. Your ahoge is amazing as usual…」
When the three of us were gathered as usual, the familiar academy chime rang, and everyone got to their usual seats.
The seat by the window for the first time in a month.
The scenery outside seen from here also felt somewhat nostalgic.
Then, a little while later, the door of the classroom opened with a rattling sound,
「-Good morning, everyone! We’ll begin the morning homeroom right away!」
As usual, Leia-sensei came in full of vigour.
「I have some announcements, but… let’s do that at the final homeroom today. -Yoshi, let’s start right away! Everyone move to the Soul Dress Area!」
After that, we took the soul dress class without a break in the first period.
Some classmates have already manifested their soul dress, and are now working to control and strengthen them.
I looked at them with a sidelong glance and… felt a little envious of their talent.
(…No, in the first place『talent』 is different for me compared to everyone else. They entered Thousand Blade Academy with their abilities, instead of a recommendation – they are elites among the elites. I have no time to be jealous… Ordinary people like me, simply have to work hard non-stop…!)
Then, I shook off the miscellaneous thoughts, and assumed a stance with the spirit sword in hand, and concentrated my mind.
Inhale deeply and exhale slowly.
I went deep into my consciousness – sinking towards my soul.
And then I opened my eyes – withered wilderness spread before me.
(How many times have I come to this desolate world…?)
Then I called out to that guy, who was lying on a huge rock.
「Yo… it’s been a month.」
「Oo…! Despite the previous experiences… you’ve come again… E”e?」
I threw one question at that guy, who had a heinous smile.
「Hey… If I defeat you, I can attain soul dress, right?」
「Oo, that’s right. Well, even if you had 10 billion years, it would be impossible for a green ass shitty brat like you… A”a.」[1. TL Note: “green ass” in this context means “greenhorn/wet behind the ears”, but I kept it as is because it better suits “white Allen’s” character.]
「I see, I’m relieved to hear that.」
There is a『way』.
The possibility is not zero.
If I beat him, I can use my soul dress!
「Here I go! First Sword – Flying Shadow!」
「Haa, a boring slash… E”e?」
The first fight in a month – it was incredibly one-sided.
「Eighth Sword – Yatagarasu!」
「Ora Ora, what happened…! Is this all you’ve got…!」
Without caring the least bit about the direct Yatagarasu – that guy raised his fist high up to the sky, and casually brought it down.
Despite my perfect defense, the blow dealt fatal damage to me.
I thought I overcame a lot of things and got a little stronger, but… I was still no match for that guy.
Rather, the difference in strength between us felt even wider now.
(No, this isn’t just my imagination…)
That guy is definitely stronger than when we fought for the first time.
As though regaining his original strength in tandem with my growth…
I took damage beyond my limit, and fell face down.
「Haa, so weak, O”i… This doesn’t even serve as warm up… A”a?」
He spat and jumped onto the usual rock and sat cross-legged.
「…N-Not gonna take my body?」
As I asked with my fading consciousness,
「I’m sure Black Fist is nearby anyway… Your weak vessel can’t even endure a weak ass punch from her… If only the initial stiffness wasn’t there, I could manage it one way or another…」
That guy made a wry face as though truly irritated.
(…As expected, that guy’s strength seems to depend on my strength.)
And finally, when I got that big piece of information – I completely let go of my consciousness in this world.
「…Tch, shitty brat. To think he could bruise my skin… He’s grown a little, I guess…」
And when I came to,
「Haa haa haa…」
I was drawn back to the real world.
Too far. The road to attaining soul dress – was steep and seemed to last forever.
「…Like hell I’m gonna give up.」
No matter how reckless it might be, as long as I don’t give up, there’s a possibility.
When I gripped the spirit sword again, the chime rang, signaling the end of the class.
Looking at the clock, it was already the end of the second period.
「Yoshi! That’s enough! We will take an hour of lunch break from here on! Fumu, oh right… Gather back at Soul Dress Area instead of classroom for the afternoon lesson! Well – Disperse!」
Then, I, Ria, and Rose, went to the student council room with a lunch box in hand to attend the regular meeting.
The large academy building of Thousand Blade Academy was already familiar, and we arrived at the student council room in no time.
And when I knocked on the door in front of me,
After a short pause, the president replied.
It was a little strange, unlike the usual bright voice.
Although I felt something was out of place, I opened the door slowly. The whole room was filled with darkness.
The lights were turned off and curtains were pulled shut.
And at the far end of this dark, large room – the president was sitting all alone.
Secretary Lilim-senpai, and Accountant Ferris-senpai, were nowhere to be found.
「What’s wrong, president…? I’ll turn on the lights for the time being, alright?」
When I turned on the lights,
「Nee, Allen… I have something to tell… will you listen?」
The president slowly rose from her chair and came up to me.
「Y-Yes… what might it be?」
No matter how I looked, she was not normal.
(What on earth happened to the president…?)
When I gulped a breath,
「I am… hopeless… Please, help me…!」
Suddenly, she leaned over my chest.
A gentle, sweet scent filled my nostrils. An indescribable soft sensation was transmitted through.
Naturally, my heart started beating faster and I was confused about what to do.
「No, no, president! Please move away from Allen right away!」
「Too much contact is a No!」
Ria and Rose pulled off the president at a surprising speed.
(Haa… I wonder what it is this time…?)
Just when I thought I’d get a break after the summer break…
As soon as the new semester started, another trouble seemed to have arisen.