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  Inviting Unrest  

“Pray, forgive this sudden visit… I am Empress Kaguya of the Yamato Empire. As ye Seven Luminaries and your Republic of Elm promote the doctrine of equality for all, I have come seeking salvation for my country, now oppressed by the wicked Freyjagard Empire. If ye would remain true to your convictions, then might ye find it in your hearts to aid us?”

After a mysterious plane crash, the Seven High School Prodigies found themselves in another world.

It was only thanks to the good people of Elm Village that they survived, and the Prodigies chose to repay that kindness by helping them fight to win their safety and freedom.

They did so by borrowing the name of this planet’s ancient Seven Luminaries’ religion. After some hardships, they managed to wrest independence from the hands of the ruling Freyjagard Empire and successfully founded the Republic of Elm.

Afterward, the septet made peace with the empire and signed a treaty with a one Grandmaster Neuro ul Levias—a man who, like them, originally hailed from another world.

Then, through a trade conference with Freyjagard and several other foreign nations, they issued their new goss currency and thus solidified their young republic as a full-fledged country.

Now the Prodigies were beginning their final major undertaking. With Elm solid and able to stand on its own two feet, it was time for the seven high schoolers to hold national elections to transfer power over to the native inhabitants of this planet. However, the moment they tried to announce the news to the whole of their country via broadcasting “obelisks,” a pair of young women crashed their event.

The two of them leaped over the crowd astride a massive white wolf and landed atop the stage where Prodigy politician Tsukasa Mikogami was announcing the election.

One of the interlopers was the light-haired byuma Shura, who had previously rescued the Prodigies back in Freyjagard. The other had dark hair and claimed to be the princess of the now-defunct nation of Yamato.

Prodigy businessman Masato Sanada clicked his tongue from beside the stage.

“Tch. Well, ain’t this a fine mess…”

“Huh? What? Masato, you know what’s going on?”

Masato gave Prodigy magician Prince Akatsuki’s bewildered question a succinct answer.

“She’s using our public stance against us.”

“Our what?”

“We employed the noble cause of ‘equality for all’ to unite the masses, so the chick’s holding the legitimacy of our claim hostage to pressure us into saving her country from its invaders, too. And because of our standing, we’re in no position to turn her down.”

“H-how’s that?”

“’Cause as the Seven Luminaries, we don’t have any good reason to. If we ignore her plea, then the people’d start wondering why Yamato isn’t included in the idea of equality for all. And it gets worse… ‘Equality for all’ is the backbone we founded our democracy on. If we want Elm to stick around after we’re gone, we can’t afford to besmirch its fundamental principle here.”

If the Prodigies, as the exemplars to the masses and the objects of their devotion, compromised on that philosophy, it would be sure to cast a dark shadow over the nation’s future.

But on the other hand, if they accepted her request, it’d be like declaring war on Freyjagard all over again. Their hard-won cease-fire with the empire would have been for naught. Worse, Masato feared it ran the risk of souring their relationship with Grandmaster Neuro.

Not only was Neuro from another world like the Prodigies, but he also held the only method they knew of to get back to Earth. The seven high schoolers didn’t want to get on his bad side. They couldn’t afford to.

How you gonna play this, Tsukasa? wondered Masato.

“I implore ye, oh angels. Just as when ye fought the empire for Elm’s sake, it is now Yamato that hath need of your strength. Canst ye afford to refuse our plea if ye would stand by your ideal of equality for all?”

Once again, Kaguya used the Republic of Elm’s creed as a weapon to strong-arm Tsukasa into agreeing to help liberate the Yamato Empire.

Masato and the other Prodigies waited with bated breath for their leader to give his response. With all eyes on him, Tsukasa gave his answer.

“Whether we help you or not, there’s another matter that needs to be addressed first.” Then he called out to the soldiers surrounding the stage. “Guards! Arrest these two for the crime of illegal entry!”

“Understood, m’lord! To arms!”

“““Yes ma’am!”””

When Tsukasa gave the order, Prodigy swordmaster Aoi Ichijou rushed onto the stage and leveled her blade at the intruders. The soldiers around her followed the young woman’s lead and aimed their guns at the two intruders and the wolf.

“Freeze! Drop your weapons and put your hands above your head!”

“How cruel. Be it the way of the Seven Luminaries to flog poor lost lambs seeking aid?”

“ ”


The silver-haired byuma, Shura, responded to their hostility by stepping in front of Kaguya and reaching for her sword, and the large wolf behind them bared its fangs and growled. It was clear that they had no intention of coming quietly. They were prepared to do battle, if necessary.

Though her opponent’s name was Shura, Aoi Ichijou knew that defeating her would be anything but sure. She felt the hair on the back of her neck rise.

Aoi had seen Shura fight when the Prodigies had been ambushed on the way back from the peace summit, so she knew exactly how formidable the young woman’s skills were. She would have been a fierce opponent at the best of times, and with Aoi’s beloved sword Hoozukimaru lost and no suitable replacement yet found, the circumstances could hardly be described as ideal.

If things got violent…

…I shan’t emerge unscathed, that I shan’t.

With that being the case, Aoi knew she had to protect Tsukasa at all costs.

Aoi was but a vassal. She could be replaced. To lose Tsukasa, however, would be no less than to have their proverbial head chopped off. With her resolve firm, Aoi placed herself between Shura and Tsukasa.

Despite the crackling tension in the air, Tsukasa replied to Kaguya without so much as a hint of alarm or trepidation.

“As I said, this is an issue that has to be resolved before we decide whether we help you. At the moment, we have no proof that you’re actually the fugitive Princess Kaguya of the defunct Yamato Empire that you claim to be. As such, yours is not a request we can afford to answer lightly.

“If you were an impostor, doing so would strew unnecessary discord between Freyjagard and us. There could even be negative repercussions for the people of what was once Yamato. And more importantly…even if you are the real Princess Kaguya, I don’t recall authorizing you to enter our borders.

“As Elm’s secretary of the interior, I go through and check the records of all who have entered or left Elm. If I don’t know how you got in, then that’s proof enough that you didn’t do so through legal channels. That makes you an illegal alien.

“In times like these, a nation must ensure that its laws are upheld and that any who break them face justice. If what you say is true, and you truly are royalty, then I’m sure you understand the position I’m in.”

“…So stubborn,” Kaguya replied with a shrug and a bitter smile. “Very well. Thy point has merit.”

She raised her hands in the air—the universal sign of surrender.

“Shura, throw down thy weapon.”

“…Are you sure?”

Shura cocked her head to the side, and Kaguya nodded.

“All is well. He hath not refused us outright. Besides which…this is a conversation he would rather not have in front of a crowd.”

“By your command.” Shura obeyed her master’s order and dropped her nodachi greatsword on the ground, sheath and all. Then she shot a meaningful glance at the wolf baring its fangs behind Kaguya.


The beast responded by leaving the two young women behind and leaping away. After getting to the roof of one of the buildings surrounding Dulleskoff’s central park in a single bound, it continued jumping from the top of one structure to another until the beast made its escape.

“I-it’s getting away!”

“Dammit! Follow that wolf!”

When Kaguya saw the Elm soldiers about to race off after it, she gave them a smile and a pithy remark. “Oh? Doth Elm require entry permits of its beasts of the wild, then?”

“…No. No, it does not.”

Elm’s laws regarding border control didn’t extend to animals. Tsukasa took the hint and told his soldiers to stand down.

He knew how foolish it would be to get hung up on a single wolf and risk having the pair of unexpected guests change their minds about surrendering.

Instead, he ordered the soldiers to detain the two young women in a cell in the barracks.

After Kaguya and Shura went along peacefully, the flustered crowd settled down, and the illegal-entry incident ended without a fuss.

“Th-thank goodness… I was afraid we were to get in a fight…,” Akatsuki said with a sigh.

“Yeah, that coulda gotten ugly. Good thing our glorious prime minister managed to dodge the issue so smoothly,” Masato responded.

Once things calmed down, Tsukasa proceeded as planned and announced to the nation that the Republic of Elm would be holding its inaugural elections. Seeing him stand at that podium as confidently as ever filled Akatsuki with reassurance, a sentiment Masato shared. However…

“This ain’t over, though,” Masato remarked.

“It’s not?” questioned Akatsuki.

“Our man Tsukasa was able to get away with not giving them a clear answer this time around, but thanks to our broadcast, all of Elm got a front-row seat to the debacle. Sooner or later, the Seven Luminaries are gonna have to give her a formal response. She knew that. It’s the only reason she left so quietly.”

Would the Prodigies save Yamato or forsake it?

Everyone was dying to know how Tsukasa would answer. Try as they might, though, none of them could see through his poker face.

Both Princess Kaguya of the defunct Yamato Empire and Shura the White Wolf General were wanted in the Freyjagard Empire as war criminals. Thus, news of the capture was swiftly sent to the Freyjagard government through their embassy in Elm following the two nations’ joint security agreement.

Due to the emperor’s absence, the staff member who received the report quickly headed to one of the four people entrusted with managing the nation in his absence—Grandmaster Neuro ul Levias.

“I’m terribly sorry for interrupting you on your holiday, Grandmaster Neuro!”

“I would certainly hope so. I made it abundantly clear that I was taking today off.” Neuro continued reclining slovenly on his sofa as he replied to the man.

It wasn’t even noon yet, but snacks and bottles of liquor had already joined the books and documents on his table. The telltale light of drunkenness accompanied the displeased look in the man’s half-open eyes. It would appear that alcohol had featured prominently in Neuro’s plans for the day.

“Again, my sincerest apologies. However, I’m here about a matter of some urgency,” the messenger answered. “We just received word from our embassy in Elm that the Seven Luminaries arrested a pair of women claiming to be the notoriously elusive Kaguya and Shura of Yamato on charges of illegal entry. The Seven Luminaries have requested through our ambassador that we help verify their identities, and—”

“…I know.”

“What? You’ve already heard, Lord Grandmaster…?”

Hearing that gave the messenger pause. Who could have reported the news to Neuro before he got there?

Unconcerned with the servant’s consternation, Neuro issued orders in a listless, almost exasperated tone. “Someone from our old Yamato embassy can tell whether we’re dealing with the actual princess. Go find one and send them up to Elm, although ten to one says she’s exactly who she claims to be.”

“At once!”

“And if that’s all, then scram. I’m in a sour enough mood as it is.”

“O-of course, sir! Forgive me!”

The messenger bowed and beat a hasty retreat. After watching him close the door, Neuro heaved a deep sigh.

“Well, this is unfortunate. I hate it when things don’t go as planned.”

The Yamato survivors had made contact with the Seven High School Prodigies. It was a turn of events that Neuro had been hoping to avoid. Contrary to what he had told the Prodigies, he was no mere immigrant from another world. Neuro was a man with an objective. And those seven being here interfered with his goal.

If possible, he wanted them gone from this planet as soon as could be. He certainly didn’t want anyone stirring up any unnecessary commotion. Moreover…

Yamato is where the roots of her household lie.

“Does the phrase evil dragon mean anything to you?”

“…Should it? Sorry, I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.”

During Neuro’s meeting with the Prodigies, he had concealed the truth from them. Their knowing would lead them to uncover some rather unsavory facts. Should that come to pass, then peacefully resolving things would no longer be an option for Neuro. His relationship with the septet would be damaged beyond repair.

They had only stumbled into this world by accident, but it was clear that they held a sense of responsibility toward it all the same. There was little chance they’d remain idle if they discovered Neuro’s true mission.

Perhaps she had lost as much of her power as they had. Regardless, the heroes’ summoning had been imperfect, and they didn’t seem to know why they’d been called here in the first place. Neuro would have been perfectly happy maintaining friendly relations with them, sending them back to their home none the wiser, and then going and capturing the Key Maiden afterward.

I really, really hate it when things don’t go as planned.

Violence wasn’t his style. It required far too much effort.

This world’s primitive inhabitants were one thing, but going up against powerful folks like those seven was a tall ask for Neuro’s feeble husk of flesh. He had to make sure it never came to that.

“I guess I can’t afford to keep sitting around like this, then.” As he murmured to himself, Neuro retrieved a sheet of parchment from his drawer and began composing a letter. It was addressed to Jade von Saint-Germain.

Jade was the man the empire had assigned as the Yamato dominion’s administrator to serve as their watchdog. If the Seven Luminaries started poking their noses around Yamato, they would eventually cross his path. In the letter, Neuro gave Jade instructions on what to do if that happened.

As he scribbled across the parchment, Neuro cast his gaze toward the crystal ball sitting among the mess atop his table. An image danced hazily on its dimly glowing surface. It was of a beautiful girl with long blond hair and pointy ears.

There could be no mistaking her.

It was, without a doubt, the girl who had looked after the Prodigies when they first crash-landed in this world—Lyrule.

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