Chapter 1 - My Desire Is To Win
In Ornielle mansion, a few years after the Ancient dragon's fall, Louise and Saito quietly slept in their room… actually, Saito was the only one who was sleeping. Louise's eyes were wide open, her heart sinking. Now an adult, she had become beautiful and bodacious, much like her beloved sister Cattleya. She was still the same Zero Louise by heart, though. Saito wasn't invincible against age either, much to his chagrin. Stress from being a feudal lord had grown him a few grey hairs here and there. Nobility wasn't his style, but he agreed to the conditions that were set for Louise's sake, and his status soon rose to that of a Duke.
"I'm worried, Saito."
"About what?" Saito asked groggily, quite disappointed for being waken up while he dreamed of a hot day and hot bods in bikinis.
"Claire's summoning ceremony happens today… What if something goes wrong?"
"Relax. Our daughter isn't an expert, but it's not like she keeps blowing everything up like you did. Honestly, I'm worried too, but I bet she'll summon a great familiar."
The noble Vallière was slightly offended by her husband's comment. "Hmph. I hope she doesn't summon a perverted dog like you!"
"And I pray the poor sap won't go through what I went through! She doesn't just look like you, she's as stubborn as you too," Saito shot back.
That was the last straw. Louise took her wand from the nightstand beside the bed and looked at Saito with flaming eyes, her wand glistening light blue.
"L-l-louise! Sorry! I didn't mean it!" Saito profusely apologized.
"Really? I can't bring myself to believe that…" Louise pointed her wand at her husband's forehead, and just when Saito was silently wishing for a quick, painless death, the glow subsided, and he let out a sigh of relief. "You're lucky that I'm too worried about my daughter, and since I don't want her to have to attend her father's funeral so soon, I'll forgive you for today..."
He nodded gravely. "Still, I bet her familiar will be good enough to please her."
The man gave the woman a kiss to appease her, and turned to sleep again, hoping the barely-clad angels of dreamland hadn't left him yet. Louise stayed awake for a while longer, fretting for her daughter. After a deep breath, she decided to sleep a little. After all, she had but three hours to go to the same magic academy she'd attended and support Claire as she summons.
At the academy, Claire was just as awake as her mother, and bided her time through studying. Curiously, the girl was a clone of her mother at sixteen; the same pink hair, same sharp eyes, same miniscule height, same zero breasts, and to her father's dismay, the same personality and temperament.
Claire was slightly more advanced than her mother was at her age, though, in terms of magical prowess. She could perform some basic spells without it blowing up on her face, but advanced spells were another story altogether. She felt quite pressured; being the daughter of Louise de la Vallière and Saito Chevalier de Hiraga set the standards she was supposed to reach a bit too high, and all she did was let them down. This was her chance, though. She could reverse everything. Impress her relatives, especially her grandparents, silence her snobbish classmates and prove that she was worth something once and for all.
"Claire, are you still awake?" A blonde girl entered the room, head scanning back and forth for the mage she'd just addressed.
"Elizabeth?" Claire responded, half surprised.
"If you're too sleepy tomorrow, you'll end up doing stupid things."
"Says someone who's also awake."
"I'm still awake, for it is my duty as your best friend." With a giggle, Elizabeth her friend to the bed and laid her down. "Listen, my father will examine the familiars during the ceremony, so you must sleep well. You know how strict he gets."
Claire shivered at the thought. The Summoning Ceremony had become a lot stricter than it was when her mother was a student of the academy. Now, the familiar's strength would be tested, and should they fail, the master would be deprecated and sent back to their first year of study to polish their skill. Worse, now the ceremony was open for all parents to see. Elizabeth didn't seem too tense, though.
"How about you? He is your father… Won't he be stricter with you?"
"I am a bit worried, but I have an affinity to water, so my familiar will probably be a frog. The test should be easy, maybe swimming or something."
"I don't have an affinity to anything. All I know are the basics…"
"Calm down dear, you just haven't awakened yet. I'm quite sure I've told you this before in passing, but I'll repeat in case you forgot. There are five of us sisters, and my eldest sister was the last to awaken her talent, and in no less than thirty years!"
"Maybe? You know I'm right!" Elizabeth spoke in a tone which made her laugh, and she exploded in a fit of giggles right after.
"I just hope my familiar would be as strong as father…" Claire said, catching a short glimpse of a picture of her and her parents on her bedside table. "Thank you, Elizabeth. I think I'll sleep now."
Her friend simply smiled fondly. "Good night, Claire."
The blonde bid her goodbye and closed the door behind her, making sure to lock it to keep anyone from intruding her friend's beauty sleep. Claire tried to push herself out of bed to get herself some more last minute cramming about summoning spells, but her strength failed her, and her eyes began to flutter to a close as she allowed the sandman claim her once more.
The sun had begun to rise, somewhat hindered by some morning clouds. The duke and the duchess quickly got up. Saito quickly put on his formal clothing while Siesta, the chief maid, assisted Louise in putting on her dress and fixing her hair. In record time, they were all set to go, a lot faster than any other noble in the land. One could hear the maiden's screams from a distance, pressuring the coachman to make his 'horses that moved like turtles' as Louise had called them run faster. Every servant in their manor had made sure to send their best wishes to the young mistress Claire through her parents; they knew she'd need all the luck she could get.
When they arrived at the academy, Claire was next in line to do her summoning, with the one preceding her just starting to approach center stage. Saito sighed in relief; they'd made it to the magic academy with time to spare. Among the parents crowding the perimeter surrounding the summoning area, the couple spotted a familiar face. Montmorency had just witnessed her daughter, Elizabeth, summon a frog familiar like hers. Her daughter's familiar passed the swimming and agility test with flying colors, and she smiled approvingly at her daughter. Now she awaited Claire's performance, expecting something surprising; after all, this was the offspring of the same Zero Louise who had summoned Saito a few years ago, and almost every person who had witnessed that spectacle-slash-debacle were eagerly awaiting this moment.
For now, they had to wait for the Princess of Germania, Cassandra von Steinberg, who was taking her time insulting Claire about her poor grades and lack of affinity, to finish. Blonde, with a well-developed body, sensual speech and sweet voice, she was the perfect worthless princess. She reminded some of the spectators of somebody, and Louise couldn't help but feel the urge to use Explosion on the brat for more reasons than one. Thankfully, Saito had managed to rein his wife's temper while Montmorency chuckled quietly in the background. Cassandra casted her spell, and in a matter of seconds, which seemed to go on for minutes, Cassandra ended her spell, and from the pentagram on the ground rose an Ice Dragon, standing tall and proud.
Cassandra sealed the deal with a kiss on the reptile's forehead, making the tame beast her servant. Her familiar was then tested through freezing various objects and aerial agility. The Princess of Germania completed the tests without incident, and was greeted by thunderous applause from the audience and several boos from Louise.
It was now Claire's turn. Professor Colbert called her out, and Guiche had a look of nostalgia plastered upon his face. It was like watching Louise preparing herself to summon all over again. Saito had emerged, and he eventually grew to be his greatest comrade. Claire scanned the audience and found her parents, smiling and wishing her the best of luck. She calmed herself with a deep breath.
"Miss Vallière, you may begin," Guiche said.
"Yes, sir!" She took another deep breath and began her enchantment. "Pentagram of the five elemental powers, hear my voice and take it to the one whom you think will be my perfect servant. Strength and loyalty, bless this creature and bring to this mage, Claire Hiraga de La Vallière, my familiar!" May it be as strong as my father, the Gandalfr! She added as an afterthought.
With the wand raised, the etchings on the ground glowed a bloody crimson, instead of the natural blue, and a gale without comparison blew upwards. It was a dragon, certainly. Claire thought that only a creature of that level would cause such radical changes to the pentagram of five elements.
From the ground, red hair as long as Claire's began to rise, ponytailed along the back with a few loose locks of hair in front. Something was amiss; this obviously wasn't a dragon. The familiar continued to rise, revealing a visage clothed with grey trousers, a sleeveless black vest, black gloves that went up the elbows, and black military boots, topped off with a mantle much like Saito's. Now clearly recognizable as a boy, he stood with an air of apathy, one hand in his pocket; the spitting image of controlled strength.
Some murmurs emerged from the stands.
"Oh! Louise! Claire also summoned a commoner! It must be a family legacy." Montmorency said fondly.
However, this fell on deaf ears as the mother had been chanting "Please don't be like Saito! Don't be like Saito!"
"Don't be like me! Don't be like me!" Saito wasn't faring any better.
"Claire, you may finalize the contract now." Guiche snapped the girl out of her trance.
"So now I'm a familiar?" The boy with red hair was slightly confused. "Before anything else, let me just ask this. Why did you call me, mage?"
Claire, who was just as confused as most of the people in the crowd, barely managed a reply. "I dunno! It was the pentagram that brought you! I wanted a dragon, or a griffin, or-"
"I see." The 'familiar' cut her off. "In that case, there must be some reason I'm here. Guess I'll just play along for now, though I have no idea why Brimir would make me the familiar of an arrogant washboard."
"Who do you think you're calling a washboard?" Incredulous, Claire tried to hit the redhead with a stone, who dodged almost effortlessly.
The boy sighed. "My, what an aggressive person this mistress of mine is. Well, my name is Siegfried Zweihander, and if your desire is to win, then I think we'll have an agreement."
The young mage pouted in annoyance, and as though remembering something, her cheeks flushed, and she gritted her teeth before speaking her next words.
"Familiar, bend down and kiss me. If we don't…"
"Kiss? Aren't we going a bit too fast?"
"It's to establish the contract, you commoner! You should be honoured that you get to do this with a noble, despite the circumstances!"
"I understand… In that case, I'll just lift you."
True to his word, Siegfried had taken Claire in an embrace, and lifted her until they were face to face, leading his lips to hers for a few seconds. Saito would have jumped off the stands and claimed the neck of the daring brat who dared take his little girl's first kiss, had Louise not held him back; she knew well enough that this was just a formality for the contract. Honestly, though, she would have given anything to break the bastard's neck herself. Soon, but not soon enough, the redhead returned the girl to the floor, and he then felt something like fire on his right shoulder, the wind causing his hair to rock along with it. The contract was sealed, and nothing would break it. Siegfried decided to stay by his master's side and face the test out of sheer curiosity.
"You may now come at me with all your might, blondie!" He announced jokingly, though it worked a lot better than he expected.
"You little…" Guiche instantly had a Bronze Valkyrie by his side, now ten times stronger than in his youth. "You must defeat that Valkyrie to pass my test! Go, Valkyrie!"
The redhead simply fisted his right hand and hit the advancing bronze warrior's face with a punch, scattering bronze everywhere.
"This was my test? You'll need at least a dozen of those pieces of junk to make me draw my sword."
Guiche, still as prideful as ever, could not allow himself to let that comment pass. "Why, you… Let's see you take down twenty more!"
"Mistress, take a close look at what your familiar can do." He winked and charged.
"Insulting the opponent to make them lower their guard? This guy is smarter than you were, Saito." Louise, who had regained her calm, quipped at his husband.
Saito simply glared back as Derflinger finally decided to talk. "He isn't insulting anybody, he's just telling the truth. And yes, it's true that he's smarter than you were, partner."
"Yeah, team up against me." Saito said, dejected. Louise giggled.
"Anyway, partner, the sword he's holding… It's from your world too, isn't it?"
"Yes." Saito responded, now with a more serious expression. "It looks like a wooden sword, but I'm pretty sure that's a nodachi inside."
Saito's judgment proved to be true. As five of the inanimate soldiers advanced, the redhead drew his three foot long sword and sliced the hostile units in half. The crowd went wild; it was the first time the nobles had seen a blade like that. It was ninety inches long, three inches wide, an inch thick; the slightly curved blade had just one cutting edge, no hilt, only a handle, and was disguised as a simple sword. In a few more seconds, the rest of Gramont's mineral army was down for the count, and his blade was less than an inch away from the said noble's neck. Claire gasped. The crowd gasped. How could a commoner with a sword defeat Guiche de Gramont? Has this ever happened before?
"I see that Miss Claire is in good hands." Guiche sighed in relief as the familiar sheathed his blade. "But how? Your runes are not those of the Gandalfr…"
"Of course not. The Gandalfr's still alive, isn't he?" He stated, pointing at the general direction where one would find one Saito Chevalier de Hiraga. "It's impossible to-"
A kick to the face silenced him. "Lord Gramont, please excuse my familiar! Please rest assured that I will impose the proper punishment for it later!"
Rubbing his poor, aching head, he complained. "What's this? I help you achieve your goal, and this is how I get thanked? Nobles are horrible."
"Shove it! You almost killed a Lord! Do you know what would have happened to me if you so much as injured him? You… you… stupid dog!" Claire began to hit Siegfried again and again, while the familiar simply screamed for help, despite knowing that it was all in vain.
"Told 'ya she had your personality." Saito jumped from the stands, followed by a glaring Louise, and pulled her daughter off the now unconscious young man.
"Hey, is it my fault he almost got her arrested?" Louise answered, grabbing the boy by the collar and dragging him out of the summoning area.
They left behind a rather rowdy crowd, still surprised by the fact that a mere commoner had beaten Guiche de Gramont. Louise and Saito followed Claire to her bedroom where to treat the poor familiar wounded by his own mistress. This wasn't what she had been expecting. Still, Claire wanted a strong familiar, and she got what she wished for.
"That's not how you treat a familiar, Claire." Saito lightly scolded her daughter. Somehow, seeing the young man get beaten up had made him recall some really bad memories. "He'll fight for you when you're in trouble."
"But it's just a dog! A dog that nearly got me arrested!"
"Claire…" Louise was silently treating the young man by the bedside. She shook her head and sighed at her daughter's antics. "There's no point in discussing this with you, is there? I guess you will learn in time. Anyway, congratulations! Your familiar is a very strong one."
"Thanks, lady with big tits." Siegfried had regained consciousness, and decided to butt into the conversation. "To be honest, though, I'd have been happier to be summoned by that blonde from Germania than by this ungrateful plank, but…"
"Blonde from Germania…" Claire growled. "You mean Cassandra?"
Saito grabbed Louise by the wrist and fled from the room for two reasons. One, visiting hours were over, and two, he did not want to be in the vicinity when her daughter blew up, because she'd be mad at him too for defending Siegfried. All they heard were the boy's screams for help, and Saito couldn't help but cringe as he remembered lash after lash after lash of punishment from a whip.
Have strength, Siegfried, he prayed. It wouldn't do for her daughter to lose her familiar right after the summoning ritual.
In his room, the Old Osmond couldn't keep the surprise off his face as Guiche explained what had transpired during the ceremony. A commoner familiar who wasn't Gandalfr had managed to defeat twenty Bronze Valkyries without a scratch!
"Who was the summoner?" The old man asked seriously, though he already had somebody in mind.
'Claire de La Vallière, director. I wasn't too surprised, since she is Louise's… protégé. Still, for the familiar to do something like that…"
"Brimir only chooses a familiar which complements the summoner, so Ms. Vallière will surely find something she lacks from the familiar, and vice versa. That aside, I don't doubt that he's from our world, as he wasn't too surprised about the Summoning Ceremony. I'll keep an eye on him, Lord de Gramont. I think he's done something to spark my curiosity."
Siegfried woke up, head still ringing from his second knockout. Her mistress looked at him with dissatisfaction and distrust. She rose from where she was seated and sat down on the bedside beside the redhead.
"You do know that Lord de Gramont was holding back earlier, right?" She asked.
"That's why I tried to put up a fight. It won't do to have an opponent underestimate me in battle," he responded, still lying in bed.
Unpleased, the mage kicked her off the bed. "That's the place for you, dog! Never raise your sword at someone when you're inside the Magic Academy of Tristain. Got it?"
"Ouch… Okay, I understand. You could have just told me to leave the bed, you know. Jeez." Rubbing his aching buttocks, he tried to sit up. "You're even more aggressive than I thought… uh, I still don't know your name."
"Claire Hiraga de La Vallière, but I'll allow you to call me Claire or Mistress."
"Claire… It's a beautiful name. It means 'bright,' right?" He smiled.
"A-ah, yes, though I think it's natural that the familiar would grow fond of the Master's name." Claire tried, and failed, to hide her red cheeks. "I guess I'll call you Sieg."
Siegfried was taken aback. "You don't like my name?"
"Ah! It's not that I don't like your name! Sieg is just more convenient."
"I see. Well, you can call me whatever you want, so long as I know you're addressing me. Um, master. Can I take a walk outside?"
"Promise you won't run away."
"Heavens, no. The Creator dropped me here, so he must have some good reason. It would be a shame to run from my responsibilities, now would it?"
"Then go. Don't take too long, though. I'll prepare your bed in the meantime." Claire was slightly surprised by the boy's answer, but she felt a bit happy that there was now somebody who had her back.
"Ehhh? So you're the kind of master who'll take good care of me," Sieg asked, leaning against the door with a silly grin.
"You want me to make you sleep again?"
Siegfried vacated the room like lightning. Maybe he should be a bit more careful around the girl. Okay, more like a pink rabid badger than a girl, but what's the difference?
Outside, one could see the two moons watching over Tristain. The stars were shining brightly; the night was beautiful. Siegfried had his eyes glued to the beautiful sky as he walked across the yard, waiting for a response that will never come.
"Sensei…" Sieg sighed. "I know you said everything happens for a reason, but… your sudden death, and me becoming a familiar, it makes no sense. Sensei, I'm in need of your guidance… or at least some your advice…"
"I can give you some if you want." A man appeared without any indication, though the redhead knew better than to show his surprise.
"Ah, are you Saito Chevalier de Hiraga? Gandalfr?"
"Yep. I'm also Claire's dad and Louise's husband. Speaking of which, hold up your hand in front of your face, boy."
He did as he was told, and just when he was wondering why the Gandalfr had told him to do this, the back of his palm hit his face. Saito had punched his hand. Before he could complain, though, another one came. "What the heck?"
"First one was for taking my Claire's first kiss. Second one was for calling my wife a lady with big tits. Consider yourself lucky to get off with such light punishment, though that's mostly because you'll be going through a lot more of that in the future." Saito stated matter-of-factly.
"Fair enough…" Siegfired relented, rubbing his nose to make the pain subside. What a violent family.
"So... Want some advice to calm down?" Back to his cheery self, Saito resumed the conversation.
"I'm plenty calm now because of what you did, but advice sounds good."
"Well, when I became Louise's familiar, I was totally lost. I had no idea how to fight, and I was very confused. You don't seem to have either of those problems, though… Anyway, I can say for certain that your Sensei was right. Everything happens for a reason. Don't go trying to figure out everything on your own, though. Trust my daughter, and let her trust you."
"So, I should just wait for things to happen? Is that it?"
"Kinda. Anyways, I gotta run now or my wife will hit me again." Saito tapped the boy's shoulder and started walking away. "Right. Before I forget, remember that Claire is exactly like her mother, so it'll be a bit difficult to handle her, but she's a good girl. I'm sure you'll understand each other just fine."
After that, Saito left in a carriage with his wife. He looked up and saw a bright red star that stood out amongst the others. "I'll accept my fate, Sensei… and I'll win!"
The young boy didn't realize that somebody was watching him from the top of the tower, as he was too engrossed in thought. He decided to return to the room before the angry badger became too furious. As he entered the room, Claire greeted her with an unfriendly look.
"You sure took your sweet time."
"I kinda ended up in a conversation with your father and lost sense of time."
"Whatever. This is your bed. Drop dead." Claire pointed to an old mattress on the floor.
"An old mattress," he deadpanned. "Seriously?"
"Be grateful! Mother made father sleep on a pile of straw!"
Now I know what you mean, Mr. Hiraga. The familiar sighed resignedly. "Fine. Good night." He laid down and covered himself with the holey blanket.
"Same to you."
Claire faced her covers to get some shuteye. Sieg soon followed suit after some more puffing. Tomorrow would be his first official day as a familiar.
The night passed without much fanfare, and soon the morning sun peeked along the horizon. Claire was awakened by her familiar, somehow already dressed and ready for the new day. The girl stood up and pulled off the sweater she was wearing, then shortly after she took off her panties. Then she remembered that her familiar was no animal. She screamed loud enough to scare the wits out of old Osmond, who was in his office in another tower. The noble La Vallière threw various objects at the redhead who stained her body with his dirty stares.
"Pervert dog!" The pink-haired girl tossed a mirror at the Sieg.
"But it was you who suddenly started to undress!" the redhead tried to explain as he made use of the table as a makeshift fortress wall to protect himself from debris.
"You should have warned me that you were still here!" Countered the girl. Her wand was now in hand from seemingly out of nowhere.
Sieg froze. "Claire! For love of the Creator, don't!"
It was too late.
"Levitation!" Claire lifted the boy off the ground with magic, and with a flick of the wand, tossed him out the window.
Siegfried screamed as he flew towards the garden in a swan dive and approached the ground at a breakneck speed. Some of the students who were on their way to class stopped to see the familiar falling. Sieg hit the ground headfirst, rolling a few times before regaining his balance. Then he fell flat on his face and lost consciousness. Meanwhile, Claire had finished changing clothes and went straight to the classroom, leaving her familiar to rot in the garden.
Sieg awoke some time later, thoroughly infuriated. That badger… He thought about what he could do to get the girl back. Skulking through the corridors, he met a teacher who advised him to wait in the dining room, where all students were enjoying their short break. Sieg thanked the man, who was kind enough to heal his wounds with magic, and went to the dining room.
There the chef had prepared some food, which Sieg devoured with such gratitude that he had won an extra portion.
After a while, the students began to arrive, and among them was Claire, who was talking to a boy with dark skin and red hair, though not as alive as his own.
"This one is Krieger Zerbst. Claire had liked him since the first year." Elizabeth approached the familiar. "My name is Elizabeth Montmorency de Gramont, pleased to be of your acquaintance."
"Siegfried Zweihander." Sieg's eyes narrowed as he stared at the unsavory scene. "Is she declaring her feelings for him?"
"Yes, though I am quite sure that the boy won't reciprocate her feelings." The blonde sighed. "Rather, he will humiliate Claire."
"Why? Isn't being rejected humiliating enough?"
"Claire has much trouble with magic and does not have a… body… like the other girls. Apparently, that's all that matters to Krieger."
"How do you know?"
"This has happened enough times that I had lost count."
"I see. Can you go talk to her, please?" Sieg pleaded upon seeing his mistress leave the venue teary-eyed. "I'll settle things with this Krieger fool."
"Beware, Siegfried. Krieger might be snobbish, but he is strong." Elizabeth left to follow her friend, while Sieg stalked to the table where the arrogant noble was.
"Pigs must eat on the floor." He said after grabbing the boy by the collar and throwing him on the ground, then throwing a plate of food at the guy's face.
"Who do you think you are, commoner? Know your place!" Krieger stood, wiping the food off of his face.
"I am Siegfried Zweihander. You hurt my mistress' feelings." The redhead's demeanor had completely morphed into something else, something more fear-inspiring.
"That useless plywood is your mistress? Worthless Claire aside, though, who would like to have an idiot commoner like you as their familiar?" The noble laughed.
"No one offends my mistress in front of me and gets away with it. Krieger Zerbst, I challenge you to a duel!" He knew it was rash, but he felt it was the right thing to do.
"Boys, duels are prohibited within the academy!" Professor Colbert intervened in an attempt to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible.
"Duels are forbidden among the nobles, but among familiars... It's a different story." Osmond countered, coming out of nowhere.
"Director!" Colbert decided to hold back his complaints at the old director simple but stern shake of the head.
"Then it will be a Familiar Duel! Let us go to the main garden!" Krieger gestured for Siegfried to follow him.
The other students, intrigued, decided to follow the two duelists to the appointed location. Krieger's familiar was a lava ogre, an unintelligent creature, which made up for it with unmatched physical strength. The two familiars were in the midst of the garden, facing each other. The giant ogre held a club in its hands and Siegfried stood with his sword still sheathed.
"Won't you draw your sword, commoner?" Krieger provoked.
"Claire told me to never raise my sword in this school."
"In that case, this duel will be quick. Slave, crush the bug."
Sieg managed to dodge the first blow, a single punch to where his gut was a second ago, but was caught by the enemy familiar's club. Soon after this, a giant foot stomped on Sieg's back which made him scream out loud. Claire thought she'd heard it from afar and quickly ran from the bathroom where she was, her eyes red from crying, followed by Elizabeth, who was quite confused as she'd heard nothing.
Outside, Siegfried continued to receive very strong blows without being able to retaliate. Indeed, a lava ogre wasn't the kind of creature one should challenge without a weapon. But he won't disobey his mistress, nor back down. His pride wouldn't let him.
"Oh, you're still awake? You're tougher than I thought. I must give you credits for that. You'll need them for your imminent game over." Krieger was a little surprised.
"It has nothing to do with resistance. I just can't allow myself lower my head to a pig like you." Siegfried smiled rebelliously, even though he was eating dirt.
"Sieg!" The voice of his mistress echoed through the vicinity. "You stupid dog! Elizabeth told me everything! Look at you… You're bruised all over! Why you didn't draw your sword?" Claire knelt beside the fallen redhead.
"You told me to not wield my sword in the school, remember?" The familiar grinned, then grunted in pain.
"Idiot..." Claire took Sieg's head and placed it on her lap. "Nobody needs to get hurt for my sake… You don't need to fight anymore. The only one I've ever seen withstand so much damage was my father, and for matching that, you have earned my respect. Now, let's rest..."
"Shall I take that as a concession, then?" Krieger yawned, taunting the opponent. The guy wasn't just a stupid fart, he was insensitive too.
"Claire... I'll beat this fool for you." Sieg wiped the tears from the girl's face, giving her a disabling smile as he did so, and then stood up with some difficulty.
"At least draw that sword." Claire wiped the rest of the tears off her face and gave her familiar a serious look. "Make sure you win..."
The runes on Siegfried's right shoulder began to glow a deep red. Krieger ordered the ogre to crush Sieg and Claire with one blow. The air shrieked as the club fell mercilessly towards the two, but Siegfried simply blocked it with his right arm. Every spectator was surprised, even Old Osmond. Sieg took Claire into his arms and moved so fast that he had seemingly vanished. Sieg put Claire somewhere relatively safe, and then returned his attention to the fight, which was now going his way. He cricked his neck, left and right, before charging, even faster than before.
"Now I get it…" Osmond shook his head, an amused expression on his face.
"Director?" Colbert was surprised. Osmond was talking to himself. Was the Old Man becoming senile?
"That rune the boy had received is the Ardens Victoria, Burning Victory. That rune increases the familiar's strength and the speed in proportion to the master and familiar's mutual will to win." The old director stated. "First, Louise summons the Gandalfr, and now her daughter summons the Ardens Victoria. Their bloodline carries lots of surprises, it seems."
Sieg was stopping the ogre's blows with his bare hands, almost as though he were bullying a fourth grader. When he got bored of that, he decided to give the onlookers another glimpse of his extreme speed by suddenly appearing behind the ogre and giving it a drop kick, sending it face first towards the ground. Krieger began to get desperate. His familiar couldn't even touch the guy, and the students who were laughing with him were now laughing at him, and some had seen it fit to cheer on Claire's commoner familiar. Siegfried then got serious. He bent down to evade the ogre's swing, leaped into the air, and slammed his sword's handle at the familiar's head, knocking it out. As a final show of his skill, he disappeared in mid-air, only to reappear in front of the now cowering noble. Krieger tried to escape, but Sieg wouldn't let him, his face twisted from hostility.
"Apologize to my mistress."
"Now!" Sieg roared.
"Sorry!" Krieger then ran away as fast as he could, wetting his pants as he did so.
"Thank you Sieg." Claire held her familiar, who nearly fell. He was more tired than he let on. "No one has ever fought for me like that before."
"You are my mistress. I will fight for you even if you do not want me to." Sieg received a hug from the girl, which took him completely by surprise. Oh, Brimir! Her small breasts are touching me! Thank you! The redhead let his perverted side manifest itself a bit.
"I-it's not like I'm happy that you did all that! I'm just rewarding you for being a good familiar!" Claire blushed profusely and released the redhead when she realized what she was doing.
"Siegfried, Director Osmond wants to see you in his office." Colbert grabbed the familiar's arm and pulled him along, all the while hoping that the day has had its fill of nuts already.
In his office, Old Osmond explained everything Sieg needed to know about the rune on his right shoulder.
Sieg wasn't exactly paying attention, finding the shiny magical trinkets around the room to be more interesting than boring runes, but he managed to listen enough to get a basic grasp of how it worked.
"So the more the mistress and I desire victory, the stronger and faster I become?" Sieg summarized for confirmation.
"Exactly. However, your desire for victory must be pure and true for it to work, got it?" Osmond received a nod from the boy. "I'll have to report this to the nobles, so you and your mistress can expect to be called upon for assistance in the near future."
"I will keep that in mind, director."
"Well then, if you'll excuse me, I must now continue to catalog the costumes of the female nobility." Osmond tried to be cryptic about what he was going to do.
"If you want to know more about 'noble panties,' I'm sure Claire Hiraga de La Vallière wears size "P", and prefers colors ranging from white to pink." Sieg killed the old pervert's riddle with ease.
"My, have I found another admirer of the noble art of underwear observation?" Osmond's eyes almost twinkled.
"One day, I'll write a book about it to guide the new followers of this forsaken and sacred path to nirvana!" The familiar rose from his chair, determination burning in his eyes.
"Together, we will catalog all the panties of the nobility!" Osmond shook hands with Sieg. ChuChu the mouse squeaked happily; his master had found another partner in peeking.
"Director, adopt me!" The two embraced each other with glee.
The office door opened slowly, creaking. "Here I am, worried about your well-being, while you're making perverted plans and talking about my panties with the director?" Claire looked possessed, but the familiar knew better; his mistress was certainly scarier than any spectre you'd find.
"C-Claire! This is a misunderstanding! I-"
Outside, some students who were drinking tea after the exciting duel heard two screams from the director's tower, and shortly after that, they heard an explosion from principal's office, then saw two people flying out the window. Claire left the tower nonchalantly, and then proceeded to sit next to Elizabeth, taking a sip off her cup of tea.