It had been two days since she said something so embarrassing that it made her want to roll in her bed at the mere thought of it.
Ria was standing up on the platform that was specially prepared in front of the branch’s counter.
“And now we’ll begin the opening ceremony for the first (temporarily named) game competition!”
Applause and cheers sprung up. Taking that as the right time, Ria left the platform, allowing for Cynthia, the host, to step up.
With a simple review of the rules and other things such as prizes, everything moved forward without any problems in particular. By the way, there were prizes for Shogi, Go, and Chess, with other prizes that would be awarded like how they were in the Snow Festival after the games.
Naturally, the end of the opening ceremony was left to Hector.
“Although I will be joining in for the chess games this time, I won’t forgive anyone if you go easy on me. The main purpose of this competition is to enjoy it. Don’t forget that. I want you all to compete to the best of your abilities.”
And thus the opening ceremony was concluded.
Going up onto the platform again, Cynthia began to read out the venue’s locations.
“The Shogi, Go, and Chess meeting location is in the branch’s dining hall on the first floor. The location for Reversi and Jenga is the first floor of the main building, with card games on the second floor. The tournaments’ seating and tables are assigned in their corresponding halls, so please make sure to find yours upon arrival.”
Once Cynthia finished speaking, a strained tension ran through the room.
“Now then, please make your way there!”
The participants started bustling away as though to use some of their building excitement.
Waiting tables, keeping track of the progress schedule, and keeping an eye out for cheating. For all staff members that weren’t left to stay on reception work, the real thing started now.
“Does everyone have a wind magic stone?”
The staff nodded at Ilya’s question. The fist-sized stones that everyone was carrying were sort of like simplified versions of the Dragon God’s Earrings.
They contained a sliver of Ilya’s mana in them, and although they were only effective within the range of her mana, the stones would resonate with the other magic stones and turn into transceivers and serve as speakers.
“Please use them as we practiced. I believe that you are all well-enough acquainted with the method, but please note that if you do not make sure to cut off your mana to it, anything you might say to yourself will be leaked across to others.”
“”” … … … “””
During their practice the previous day, Bard embarrassed himself by saying what was on his mind when he looked at Ria, “She really is suited for it…” His face turned red when he felt everyone start looking his way.
It was the duty of the person in charge to make note of it, so there was no use even if he scowled at Ilya.
“Well then, please make contact once you arrive at your stations.”
“”” Roger! “””
“”” Roger~! “””
The personnel all responded properly.
Ilya was in charge supporting each venue and the kitchen while also working at the reception desk.
“Haku, let’s stay together today, how about it?”
Sitting on the chair that was specially placed behind the counter, she gently pet Haku who had jumped up on her apron.
If everything advanced as planned, no one would need to visit her.
Ilya looked towards the window once more.
A very, very far distance away from the view of the cityscape coming through the window.
A great chase was unfolding above the Note Sea between Sylph and Nina, who had taken the birdkin.
[Ahaha! Amazing! You can do it too!]
“H-he suddenly turned energetic.”
Sylph was resentful at first, thinking that they disturbed his enjoyment, but his mood did a one-eighty once it saw Nina’s uncommon flight magic. Ever since then, he’d been chasing after Nina with a smile on his face.
[Hey hey, I’m catching up ya know~!?]
“H-here I am…! See, Elias too!”
As something that was obsessed with playing tag, Sylph didn’t notice that he was being lured onto land.
—that included not noticing the existence of the great earth spirit.
Drawing closer, ever closer, Gnome released its existence.
[Wha—….! What’re you doing here!]
[You noticed too late!]
Due to their conflicting element attributes, Sylph of the Wind and Gnome of the Earth weakened each other.
Sylph, annoyed at the unexpected hindrance, bolted straight down towards Gnome while rapidly using wind magic.
He made use of many techniques—blades of wind and bullets of compressed air, as well as other things such as helical vortexes.
However, they all had their elements severed, disappearing.
His hair drawn into a ponytail and waving due to the wind elements that had become a breeze, the one who swung the long sword in his hands was the Demon God youth.
[Why, why, why!]
“… It’s useless.”
Gabriel swung his sword as though to defend Gnome. It was a speed that couldn’t be followed with the eyes of an ordinary person. The red light coming off of the blade seemed to be sucked in by the sheath, giving it the alias of Soul Blood Devourer.
[Why can you use that!? That’s—]
“Yeah. I learned it from Ilya.”
[Sword Draw] was derived from the skill [Swordplay], it was able to sever the connection between elements without having to itself use elements as a medium, this was also part of the swordplay he had learned from Ilya.
Due to his anger and bewilderment intensified by paranoia and envy, Sylph had started focusing on them, sacrificing his greatest advantage.
[Then I’ll just blow everything away—!]
[I won’t let you!]
The gathering wind elements were blocked by a suddenly appearing earthen wall.
And that wasn’t Sylph’s only mistake.
“I will capture you!”
[Nee-chan!? Wait, you’re so not her!]
Sylph’s eyes widened upon seeing the shape of an elf make its way through a crack that appeared in the wall, however, he was disappointed as it wasn’t the person he thought it was.
He didn’t have the chance to say such a deliberate thing as that, though.
[Woah! What’re you doing now!]
Having drawn close to the enemy, the elder attacked. He wasn’t able to catch the soaring Sylph, but he was able to suceed in hitting with his magic as planned.
However, he was in return blown back by his own magic as it made contact with Sylph, flying backwards.
Sylph, finally able to settle down for a moment, calmed down somewhat.
And what it saw was magic shot by the group of elves.
(Hmph, there’s no way those’ll hit m—)
With Sylph’s flight speed, them hitting him was very unlikely.
However, his expectations were betrayed as the magic Sylph should have just avoided amended their trajectory back towards him.
[Uwaah, the heck!?]
Sylph was taken by surprise at the phenomenon of the trajectory being revised. After all, there had been no corrections like these sharp turns and sudden elevation changes until now.
The magic that the elder shot at Sylph had the effect of being a pointer to act as a beacon for elements.
[Uwaah, uwawah! Dangit—!]
He was invoking magic while avoiding the elves’, but any great magics were obstructed by Gnome and Gabriel would sever anything aimed their way.
Even so, as Sylph’s speed was definitely out of the ordinary, time dragged on as both sides were worn down.
Did Sylph slow down a little?
—Now was his chance.
The elder chuckled. However, a person moving at twice his speed bolted past him.
“Wha—… the girl!?”
Even if she could fly quickly, it wasn’t as though she could use a decent magical attack. She was a burden.
As such, he didn’t take the time to stop her.
Nina approached Sylph.
“Sylph-sama! Hear me!”
“—This one speaks in words older than time!”
Noticing the mana flowing from the young girl, Sylph tried escaping while holding its ears closed and shouting.
However, what had been altered into her love charm was a binding magic spell composed of nine verses and three declarations that were split into introduction, body, and conclusion which penetrated into the spirit. 
“—By the order of Humans, Dragons, Demons, The Three Lords, and God. Thou, spirit, obey!”
Mana flowed out between the two. At the start, Sylph was trying to run away, but they were gradually attracted towards each other.
The two were enveloped in glowing green light, eventually turning into one large green orb as the two drew closer.
[… Awww, I got caught.]
“Sorry about that.”
[Pfft, no need to apologize~. I mean, you’re on pretty good terms with those wind spirits right?]
“You know? Yeah! All of these good kids helped me!”
Just as Sylph turned his head away, he took a peek back at Nina.
[I don’t really mind helping you, but you know~… If you plan on using me, you can’t keep associating with other spirits.]
“Eh, no. Pass.”
Sylph was surprised by Nina’s quick response. Sylph opened his eyes at first, followed by his mouth, eventually turning to stare at the girl.
[Why? I’m something like these guys’ boss you know?]
“… Even so, I don’t want to leave these kids that have helped me.”
Filled with vigor, her eyes looked straight at Sylph.
Their mana bound though the binding magic spell, she realized that Sylph’s strength exceeded human capability.
Sweat ran down Nina’s cheeks as she stared at him.
However, their deadlock was quickly broken.
[Ahahaha! Good~! I acknowledge you! But you deeeefinitely have to play with me!]
“Eh? Ah, un. If that’s all…”
Like that, their contract concluded successfully.
There were three methods to form a contract with a great spirit.
The first, contract through mutual consent.
The second, completion of contractual terms presented by the great spirit.
Finally, a contract coming from the human, as it was this time.
It was possible to force the great spirit into complying by weakening it, as the contract was done through this binding magic spell.
Although it is possible to do so, as it required having the ability to cause a great spirit to surrender and have a personality that worked with the great spirit’s, this method was even more difficult than the other two.
It was more accurate to say that this third contracting method was a method that caused the great spirits that would only do troublesome things to be more docile.
Even the super uninhibited Great Spirit Sylph, who would refuse to conform his personality while saying something or another, had a good compatibility with Nina to begin with. As this girl had gotten the generally capricious wind spirits to lend her their help even in Ilya’s memory, this could be said to be a natural result.
Meanwhile, there was a person standing nearby in stupefaction, just now understanding the situation.
“… It’s… over…”
Far from him having Sylph surrender, the girl had managed to snatch the fruits of his labor. The hope that his wishes would be granted severed, Fountain Elder Reginald Fritz earned the sympathy of the surrounding elves.
Even so, this was also Ilya’s intention.
[Ilya, we have a problem.]
Ilya canceled her [Clairvoyance] upon hearing a voice coming from the stone.
The owner of the voice coming from the stone was Katie, who was located on the first floor of the main building… just next to where she was.
[The cakes are quickly running out. If this continues, they won’t even last until noon.]
When she turned her gaze towards the dining hall, Katie was anxiously looking over all of the tables that had sweets on them. Ilya let out a sigh with a hint of exhaustion, talking into the stone again.
“Roger. I will start cooking more now.”
“I will be cooking servings for the staff as well, so—”
—Please concentrate wholeheartedly on your duties.
Her voice tried saying that, but…
[[[ YAY~~~~~!! ]]]
It was drowned up by a loud chorus of voices.
It might have been a mistake to make the variety of one-bite cakes that never appeared in their shops.
Even if she was reflecting on it, Ilya was unable to feel regretful after seeing so many people eating them with smiles on their face.
- This line was crazy. A chuuni line that could be taken many ways… I might have to come back in the future to alter it, depending on whether we ever learn more about what the love charm was hiding. Return