He suddenly woke up.
Hayate jumped to his feet the moment he regained his consciousness.
He seemed to be inside a room. It was a quite spacious one-room apartment of sorts. There were furnishings and carpets spread out as far as the eye could see. It appeared that a considerably prosperous individual was residing in this room.
Wait, what am I doing here?
When and especially how he had come to this room – he didn’t know.
Due to this baffling situation, Hayate was thrown into confusion.
“Who are you?”
Someone was talking to him from somewhere.
He turned around.
And then he suddenly gasped.
Behind him was… a girl. A girl so beautiful that he seemed to be unable to even voice his wonder.
She was enveloped by her light-rose-colored hair that seemed to almost cradle her upper body.
Her seemingly milk-white thighs peeked through from between her rather short skirt and knee socks.
On top of that, her looks were crisp and shapley.
Despite being slender, as if a sculptor had carved out the ideal figure, her body proportions were very balanced. The light-blue scarf around her neck was buried beneath those twin mountains on her chest.
But what attracted his eyes the most among all those things was her gaze.
If one was to describe the feel, then hers was like an arrow.
Staring straight at Hayate with those ruby eyes of hers, they were virtually piercing through him.
He was forgetting to breath out of fascination and then she suddenly started to approach him. He backed away in confusion, but didn’t pay attention to his surroundings, and consequently drove himself into a corner.
She suddenly started to touch all around his body.
Surprised by the sudden skinship, Hayate froze up.
After a while of being in such a situation and at her mercy, she started to smell his skin.
As her head drew closer, his temperature rose more and more.
“Hm… The appearance seems to be right, but the smell and softness of that body appear to be close to a human’s.”
The young girl briefly pondered about something and then continued:
“Perhaps I should check the taste as well, just to be sure?”
She said and stuck out her small tongue.
“C-Cut it out!”
Hayate instinctively stopped her and pushed her away.
“Oh my, so it seems you’re able to speak after all? You should’ve answered me from the start, then.”
“Eh… Ah, well.”
“Do you have a name?”
“I see. So you seem to have a name. Where have you been born?”
Hayate tried to answer her question, but…
He didn’t know it. Well, more like he realized he wasn’t able to recall it.
Holding his forehead, he frantically tried to remember, but his memories drew a blank.
And then he remembered the question from when he had first woken up moments ago
“How did I… get here?”
“A little while ago you came out of that.”
She said and pointed at the floor.
He lowered his gaze following her pointing finger and glimpsed at an incomprehensible, mysterious pattern drawn in a circle. Lined up around the circle were six lit candles.
“That’s the ritual needed to summon the contract beast of a hexenritter.”
“A hexenritter’s… contract beast?”
And what did she mean by summon? Did I come out of that pattern?
“W-Well then, where is this place I’m at right now?”
“This is the Starfarm Kingdom’s High-Class Hexenritter Training Institute. The student dorms of the Diaspell Royal Academy. Incidentally, this is the room of mine, Sherry Scharlachrot.”
Grasping the opportunity, the young lady revealed her name.
And then Sherry slightly tilted her head to the side.
“It’s about time that I heard your answer to my previous question. Have you remembered your birthplace?”
“…I can’t remember.”
“Not even a little?”
“No… I can’t remember anything but my name.”
In order to express the anxiety that was swirling around in his mind, Hayate spoke honestly. If he hadn’t told anyone, he might’ve gone insane.
Amnesia – that’s probably how people would call it.
And then he started to silently read the titles of the books that were lined up on what appeared to be Sherry’s desk.
…He had no trouble reading them. It seemed like he could understand both, the letters and words on them.
If he hadn’t been able to, he would’ve been a bit concerned.
“That’s right! What about my family?!”
As that suddenly came into his mind, Hayate desperately tried to search through his head again.
But, as expected, he couldn’t remember anything at all about himself.
There was no mistaking that his parents ‘existed’, he had confidence in that… However, neither their faces, nor names, or even whether he lived together with them – he couldn’t recall a single thing.
He didn’t understand what’s going on, he just wanted to see his family for now. Hayate couldn’t remember where his hometown was although he really wanted to, so there was no way for him to return.
He seemed about ready to burst into tears.
At the same time, Sherry stood in front of him, grumbling and pondering about something.
“He has a name at least, but he doesn’t know his own roots… Well, not all contract beasts know where they’ve come from, so the possibility of him not remembering anything certainly exists… That’s right, I’m sure the summoning process didn’t have any flaws, so there’s no reason for it to have failed…”
…At any rate.
Admittedly, no matter how many times he looked at her, she was an outrageously beautiful girl.
It seemed to be close to dawn outside. Though, ‘waking up’ didn’t appear to be the appropriate description right now.
He was charmed by her nonetheless… Or was it because of the situation, that he fixated his eyes on her to escape reality?
At this moment, Sherry, who had been looking down, raised her head.
“I-It’s not like that!”
“No matter whether it’s like that or not, I’ve decided.”
Saying that, Sherry came to touch his body again.
“I knew it, it seems to not be much different from a human body out of flesh, right?”
“That’s— I mean, I am human…!”
“But you got no memories, do you?”
Being told his weakness, Hayate remained speechless.
“If that’s the case, there’s also the possibility that you’re a contract beast which just very much resembles a human being. So let’s test something first…”
“T-Test? What do you…”
“Whether or not you’re my contract beast.”
Sherry replied with a cold voice.
She raised her right arm in an arrogant manner and stuck out her index finger.
Her arm and fingertip were extended beautifully, just like a blade.
“In the name of Sherry Scharlachrot, I command Hayate Mitsurugi——”
He didn’t know why, but he reflexively put himself on guard.
And then, while this beautiful fingertip was pointed at him, Sherry directly swung down her arm and shouted in a resolute manner:
One, two seconds went by.
She had said something, but… only awkward silence followed.
Wha… What’s wrong? Why this weird, disappointed atmosphere?!
“…That’s strange, isn’t it…”
Her eyebrows raised in surprise, Sherry’s face seemed puzzled.
“A contract beast is a manservant, to whom his master’s commands are absolute. If you’re my contract beast, you should obey by my name.”
In other words, this whole thing just now was to verify whether Hayate was her contract beast or not.
Was the motive behind her command to be as little harmful as possible or to make him kneel down? Depending on which, his impression of her would change greatly, but…
“A-Although I don’t understand it very well… I haven’t obeyed you, so I’m not your contract beast, animal, or whatever, right?”
“I wouldn’t say that yet. The summoning circle I used was a bit ‘special’, so… it could be different from usual. Isn’t a summoned contract beast that doesn’t succumb to a hexenritter’s enslavement power mysterious too?”
To make it short, he still understood nothing.
“Well, let’s make sure little by little. At any rate, since you don’t have any memories, I can’t find out who you really are, so… That’s right, isn’t it…”
Sherry raised her head.
“You really must be a human-type contract beast, and if you by any chance were my contract beast and fought for me…”
She then cut her words for a moment, put her arm on Hayate’s neck and brought her mouth so close to his ear that he could feel her breath. Like that, she continued her unexpected speech in a whisper:
“…As compensation for this contract, how would you like it if I became your slave?”
Translator notes and references