Hunter Academy’s Battle God
[Translator – SCM]
[Proofreader – ilafy]
Since she was the granddaughter of Italy's pride and the hero known as the Ice Queen, Adela's return stirred excitement at Bianca Academy and throughout Italy.
The one who welcomed Adela's return the most was Leo Este. Due to their party leader being absent, Bianca Academy had been unable to conduct a proper team meeting.
'I'm glad she returned on time.' There were many strategic meetings awaiting them, but Leo couldn’t bring himself to express his feelings to Adela.
'Her atmosphere… I won't be able to talk to her.'
Adela seemed lost in thought, and her lips were tightly sealed. Was there something wrong? Her eyes looked droopy and deep, like a lake.
'Yes. The International Competition is coming up, so it's natural for Adela to be tense.' Leo could guess what she was tense about, but Adela wasn't tense at all. Instead, she was lost in thought over something completely unrelated to the International Competition.
[Kyahang~ Mommy Adela’s hands are so cold, it feels good! My body is always too warm!]
She was thinking about Velvet, who used to like it when she softly patted her hair.
Or when Velvet comfortably fell asleep on her lap.
'Velvet…' Adela felt the urge to return to Gaon immediately as she remembered the crying dragon. 'Once the International Competition ends, I'll return…'
Just when Adela was consoling herself with that promise, Leo approached her with a bright smile and said, "Adela…? I understand. You must be nervous, but it isn't just you who's deeply concerned about the upcoming International Competition."
Adela turned her head to give Leo an expressionless look.
Leo tried to look cool and extended his hand. "Now is the time for us to unite and join our strengths-! Isn't that right, Sophia?"
He had a bright personality, and his unique way of leading made him popular, but neither Sophia nor Adela reacted much.
"Well, I guess so…" Sofia answered without even turning her head from her book, and Adela ignored his handshake.
Leo thought he'd correctly guessed her concern, so he became even more intense. "Adela, have more confidence! You and Arden are the pride of Italy…"
Leo offered sincere consolation and encouragement with a long speech, but there was a problem. "You are truly amazing!"
Leo's comfort oddly overlapped with a certain memory.
[Mommy Adela is amazing!]
Adela’s eyebrows twitched. 'What am I thinking…?' How could the world's cutest Velvet and that excessively talkative man overlap in her mind? She blamed it on her fatigue and leaned her forehead on her hand.
Leo chuckled and spoke in a deep voice. "Adela… There's no need to be so moved. You, Sophia, and I are on the same team, after all." He naturally took Adela's hand, which was something he did when he wanted to win someone’s favor, but Adela frowned.
[No matter what lies ahead… You have to open the door yourself to see what happens.] Comforting others requires you to understand them. The warmth Adela felt in the castle from YuSung was nothing like what Leo was giving off.
"So if you have any concerns, feel free to come to us… Ugh!" Leo, who'd been smiling warmly, suddenly pulled his hand back as if he'd touched hot water.
"Don't touch me…" White smoke rose from Adela's hand, but her voice was even colder. "Ever again…"
After her warning, she withdrew the cold flowing through her hand.
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Translator - SCM
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
Even though the Academy City coffee shop was bustling with students, those from Gaon and Choten stood out.
"It's been a while, everyone! It’s hard to believe we’re a team now! It's reassuring to have you on our side!" Of course, most of that atmosphere was due to Seiji, who was single-handedly creating a 'hot-blooded' atmosphere.
Isshin, seemingly not fond of Seiji's energy, clicked his tongue in disapproval and spoke to YuSung. "More importantly… who are you sending to participate? For us, Sakura and I are confirmed." He tried to feign disinterest, but his gaze kept flickering toward Sumire. He was curious about whether she would participate.
Seiji answered with a laugh instead of YuSung. "Ah, by the way! Sakura said that SiWoo is participating! That being the case, the other one is…" He looked at Sumire, who was sitting next to YuSung.
YuSung nodded. "Yes. The other participant we're considering is Sumire."
"I'll be counting on both of you…!" Sumire bowed.
Seiji's expression brightened. "Sumire! You've gotten really strong lately! We're more than happy to have you, but I guess you guys had a lot to think about since our opponent is Ireland, right?"
Seiji casually sipped his smoothie, but he had a point.
[Team A - Gaon Academy (South Korea)]
[Team A - Choten Academy (Japan)]
[Team B - Blin Academy (Ireland)]
[Team B - Munich Academy (Germany)]
Japan and South Korea against Ireland and Germany…
The biggest variable in the matchup was the 'compatibility' between participants, and the problem was the data Amy had given them.
"Ireland has a Blue Priest and someone with an earth-type Trait."
Sumire handled the undead, so a Blue Priest was her natural enemy, and the person with the earth-type Trait was the perfect counter against EunAh's electricity.
YuSung had thought about it for some time before reaching a conclusion. "I believe Sumire has a higher chance of winning than electricity would have against earth. Also, the quantity of undead she can control is always strategically valuable.”
Breaking through a solid dirt wall was almost impossible for EunAh's electricity, so if it came down to her and someone with an earth-type Trait being the last two left, there’d be almost nothing she could do. Sumire was a better pick since she could create more variables.
"Great! Now that we've decided on the participants, let's go submit the application as party leaders… No, as comrades!" Although Seiji said that, he laughed awkwardly.
YuSung seemed happy to hear Seiji speak about being comrades. "Yes, let's do it!"
Thankfully, there was a warm atmosphere between the two.
"YuSung and I will be going!” Seiji said. “You two stay here to talk. If you come up with a strategy, then that would be great~!"
YuSung and Seiji left the coffee shop, and Sumire watched them leave for a few moments before awkwardly shifting her gaze to the table. Since the party leaders were gone, the atmosphere between her and Isshin was awkward.
Eventually, unable to bear the silence, Isshin opened his mouth. "It's been a while…"
"Ah, yes… The last time we saw each other was during the International Competition."
Their awkward conversation didn’t last long.
Isshin took a sip of his drink, gathered some courage, and said, "I… want to apologize for what happened in Japan."
"Yes? What for?" She looked puzzled to hear him suddenly apologize.
"For many things… I said some harsh words to you in Choten."
"It's okay! It was also my fault, after all!" Sumire waved her hands at Isshin's apology.
What she said next, though, unintentionally had a huge impact on Isshin. "After that, YuSung comforted me a lot, so don't worry…"
"Ah, Shin YuSung. Yes. I'm glad…" Isshin responded calmly, but he felt oddly uncomfortable at the mention of YuSung's name.
"Ah, expected,” she said, quickly changing the subject. “Even the coffee is good in Academy City! Is it because there are so many coffee stores?"
"Yes. It does taste really good." Isshin nodded, then, while looking at Sumire, gathered some more courage. "I also wanted to apologize for calling you a traitor. If I had paid more attention to you as the party leader after that incident…"
"That's not true! Even though it was hard, I left without saying anything, and…" Sumire thought the fault was hers, so accepting Isshin's apology felt uncomfortable. More importantly, that’s how she’d met YuSung. "Thanks to that, I met YuSung…"
As Sumire mentioned YuSung's name with a very happy expression, Isshin hurriedly averted his gaze. He'd apologized to Sumire and received forgiveness, so why was he still feeling uneasy? Could it be that guilt wasn’t the only reason he couldn’t stop thinking of Sumire?
Why did his heart feel so tight every time Sumire mentioned YuSung's name? While Isshin was sorting out his complicated thoughts, Sumire became more talkative.
"Although we're always together, YuSung's amazing. He's very strong but also kind… I've never met someone so thoughtful. Of course, there's a lot for someone like me to learn from him. I even feel that I might be a burden…"
With every sincere word, Isshin felt like he was being hit with a wooden stick. He wanted to praise himself for not losing his mind.
"He's also very—"
Isshin interrupted her. "Th-that's why…!" He brought out a specialty only available in front of the station—it was a set of six types of dango. There was one that was milk-flavored, a honey-coated dango, and even a soy sauce-grilled dango. "This is a gift I bought for my apology. It's a small gesture, but I hope you'll accept it."
His words were plain and courageous. Sumire, having felt something from Isshin's actions, accepted the dango. "Isshin… Yes! Thank you!"
Isshin felt relieved when he saw her genuine happiness, but YuSung and Seiji returned to the coffee shop at that moment.
"YuSung, you are amazing! A free pass?!"
"It's not me. The Association president was just considerate to us."
"That's what's amazing!"
YuSung and Seiji approached the table in a friendly manner.
Sumire naturally took out a dango. "YuSung! It's the honey dango you like!"
"Yes! It's the one we ate in front of the station!"
Upon encountering an unexpected dessert, YuSung made a pleased smile, and Sumire fed it to him right in front of Isshin.
"Hehe… Does it taste good?"
Seiji, who was standing next to them, also looked happy when he saw the dango.
"What's this?!" he asked.
Sumire offered him a dango as well. "Seiji, would you like one too?"
"Isshin brought these!"
"You prepared a gift because we were going to meet Gaon? Hey! Isshin, not bad!" Seiji happily ate the dango while Isshin watched with a blank expression.
Sumire smiled brightly at him and said, "Isshin, thank you for the dango, and… I'm fine now. You don't have to worry about me anymore!"
Instead of replying, Isshin weakly nodded.
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