The field designated for the Night Party’s battle wasn’t an outdoor field.
Behind the central auditorium, there was a field sandwiched between the faculty of medicine and the faculty of law. It was the current stage for battle. White stone pillars had been set into the ground in the vein of Stonehenge, demarcating the field of battle.
In front of that, students were lined up neatly in rows.
Raishin headed over while being given strange looks by those in attendance. At the head of the students, the principal was on a stand, saying,
“— and I hope you all will apply yourselves diligently in all your activities.”
He arrived in time to hear the ending of the opening speech. It seemed he was late for the ceremony. The professors all had stunned looks on their faces. Charl was wearing a particularly upset expression on hers, but Raishin just nonchalantly strolled behind the last line.
The only ones who were obligated to attend the ceremony were those possessing Gauntlets. Even so, those in attendance seemed to number over a thousand. However, it wasn’t because the students were diligently fulfilling their duties as students. The school store had opened a mobile stand, and the vicinity had been decorated in the style of a festival. For those not battling, it was comfortable sight for them to enjoy themselves.
After the end of the principal’s speech, the participants in the Night Party were lead in a pledge.
The representative was the top rank- needless to say, it was the Magnus.
The six maidens in gothic lolita dress were by his side. They looked as beautiful as flowers, but they were the Squadron. Their strength was equivalent to several battleships.
“Gathered here, upon this hallowed ground
We make a promise by which we are bound
To guard the magic arts with our life
We pledge ourselves to eternal strife.
The kingly seat, the throne is sought.
All other else is but naught.
So as we partake in this bloody game,
We swear to uphold the Walpurgis name.”
The accompanying band played fanfare music, and the gathered crows scattered into the evening sky. The students who were watching broke into applause, and right on cue the clock tower began to chime.
Once, twice, thrice- Finally, the chime echoed for the sixth time.
“I now officially declare the commencement of the 49th Walpurgis Night.”
At the same time of the principal’s declaration, those with the Gauntlet in their possession put it on in unison. Having forgotten the procedure, Raishin hurriedly removed his own glove, inscribed with Second Last, before hastily putting it back on.
One of the female students from the executive committee stepped forward, and in an opera like voice announced,
“The 100th seat, Second Last, please head to the stage.”
He was already being called. Raishin left the line, and passed through a wreath of flowers that seemed to function as the entrance. Stepping into the field, Yaya followed behind him.
Once he was in the centre of the field, his opponent was called to the stage as well.
“The 99th seat, Sacred Blaze, please head to the stage.”
The bitter feeling in his chest and his gloomy mood was blown away in an instant.
The crowd behind his back was stirring, and a youth appeared before him.
The announcer wasn’t mistaken. It was Sword Emperor Loki, one of the Rounds. The clink of metal announced that his steel automaton was right beside him.
Murder in his eyes, Loki spoke with annoyance in his voice.
“I told you to withdraw, didn’t I?”
“… I told you I refused, didn’t I?”
Their gazes clashed. And with that, the opening night of the Night Party began.