Zero no Tsukaima:Volume11 Chapter6
|This text is a machine translation (MTL).
Be warned that the degree of translation error may be higher than usual.
This page was created before the updated (July 19, 2015) MTL guidelines and has not been reviewed.
Chapter Six: Private Lesson
Now, in the middle of the huge uproar, Saito managed to slip away and found himself in front of a library. The library was located in a tower. At the entrance, a librarian wearing glasses sat and checked the students and teachers who went in and out. Books were heavily guarded in there because they had the components of magic potions written in them, and couldn't be handed out to a simple commoner.
A young librarian girl glanced at Saito and confirmed his mantle, then returned to reading a book.
Hm, knighthood is useful after all – thinking so, Saito entered the library.
“Wow. It’s amazing.”
The size of the library's bookcases was overwhelming.
Some were as much as thirty mails in height. It was an incredible height. Apparently, the library occupied the larger part of this tower. Anyways, facing such a huge amount of books, Saito hesitated.
It was somewhere around 8 PM. A whole eternity – thinking so, Saito took one book in his hands. The characters of Halkeginia’s alphabet were written there.
Though he stared at them for a while, he was not able to understand any of them.
“Dang, pretty tough…”
Saito came to look at the books in order to memorize what characters mean. There is a new enemy - the king of a large country. It is absurd to only swing a sword. Being a knight, one cannot just rely on talking, but needs to write as well - he thought.
“I wonder if they have a Japanese dictionary.”
Of course, there was no such thing.
But how could he talk?
When he asked Derflinger some time ago, he answered, “Though I do not understand it well, I guess it’s something you gain when you pass the gate to this world.”
Well, seems like magic anyhow. And thanks to this magic, everyone can communicate by speech.
Flying and jumping, putting out fires, healing injuries, making strong love potions – considering all that, Saito was not surprised by such magic.
Possibly, it may be related to Louise's "Void."
Being in charge of Louise, he did not understand what the magic exactly was, but it was not hard to assume that there was some kind of translating magic as well.
However, I want learn the characters in any case - Saito thought.
Wondering what to do, he turned his head, and at a distant table saw a familiar face.
It was the girl with short blue hair. Since the rescue, they had hardly talked. She had that atmosphere of not being easy to talk to, then there was going to Louise's family, thus it was too hectic.
However, why, after leaving her mother in Germania, did she return to the Academy of Magic again? - Saito approached Tabitha and said.
He thought he would be disregarded as usual, but this time it was different. Tabitha shut the book she was reading and looked up at Saito.
Tabitha answered looking at Saito with round, puppy-like eyes. Saito was somewhat at a loss by such a surprising attitude.
“No, that…it’s not like it’s my business, but are you alright...?”
“I-I see… Aah, I have something to say. Seems like Guiche, well, blurted out who you really are. You are a Gallian princess… r-right? That was stupid.”
Tabitha shook her head.
“Doesn’t matter. It’s the truth anyway.”
“I-I see. But didn’t you want to hide that? You were using a false name…”
“It does not matter now. I do not mind.”
Tabitha said as a matter-of-fact.
“Is your mother alright?”
To this question, Tabitha hesitated a little bit.
“Her mind is at peace in Germania.”
Whether it meant what it meant, he hesitated to ask any further. Surely, Tabitha’s thoughts were Tabitha’s after all.
Besides that, she was a reticent girl to start with, Saito thought the flood of questions would be pitiable. Even now it may still be impossible to answer.
“I see, understood. Sorry for disturbing your reading.”
He turned to leave while laughing.
“Do you read as well?”
Because it was the first time that Tabitha asked about something, Saito was confused.
He instinctively asked back.
“Did you also come to read?”
“Aah, it’s different, different. Far from reading, it would be difficult as I am not even able to read the letters of this world…”
When being asked back, Saito panicked.
Tabitha didn’t know he wasn’t a human from this world. It was Henrietta, Louise, Siesta, Cattleya, Tiffania, Osman and Colbert…who knew. That was pretty much it.
Even his colleagues from The Undine Knight Corps do not know.
“Hey, because I am a former commoner, I cannot read the characters. However, because I became a knight, I thought that I could learn a little. However…it is impossible after all. It’s just gobbledygook.”
Then, Tabitha abruptly stood up and left the book she was holding.
Though he called her to stop, Tabitha flew up to the high to the bookshelf using the spell. Not being able to fly and her being about twenty mails off the ground, Saito could not stop her.
And just when he started to think that they may disturb the readers and that he should get out of the library, Tabitha suddenly landed right in front of him.
Tabitha abruptly thrust out the book to the surprised Saito.
“If it’s this book - it should be easy.”
Apparently, this book was for learning the letters – just the book he was searching for. However, the really surprising thing was the usually indifferent to others Tabitha. He took it while thinking what on earth was the matter with Tabitha, when she said surprising words.
“I’ll teach the characters.”
“If you just stare at the book you won’t learn anything.”
“No, well, that is right, however…is it alright? It would be pretty difficult I think. I'm not the brightest student.
Then Tabitha took Saito's hand and walked him over to sit at the table.
The characters of Halkeginia were a little bit different when looking at the alphabet. Slowly, Tabitha taught him the pronunciation of the characters.
“A, B, C.”
Though he heard the sounds somewhere, it was not possible to recall them well. Maybe it was because he only heard them.
Tabitha continued to point at each one of the characters, patiently teaching him the meaning.
But somehow, the words started to mysteriously turn into… "Prologue" and "August" and "I."
Once he heard them, they were converted to Japanese again.
Probably, Tabitha pronounced them in Halkeginian. However, when they reached his ears, they turned back into Japanese.
But, as Tabitha continued to teach the meaning of the words little by little, sentences that he had seen only as a random mess of characters up till now, slowly gained an understandable meaning just from his watching alone. As if they were translated inside his head.
Once he got the hang of it, it started to run more smoothly.
And after one hour, he could already read basic sentences. So Saito, using an easy book as a textbook, was able to read out.
“What does it mean?”
Not changing her usual tone, Tabitha asked.
Tabitha pointed at one sentence.
“Here, it’s written ‘No use crying over spilt milk.’ However, you read it as ‘An irreparable event happened.’”
“No, that’s just the way I read. Sorry, is it a bad thing?”
Tabitha shook her head.
“No. You are not wrong. Sentences like ‘No use crying over spilt milk’ are idiomatic expressions. Their meaning is certainly ‘An irreparable event happened.’”
Tabitha continued to speak.
“It's subtly different the way you read written sentences. But it is not wrong. It is often summarized instead, to give an expression adequate to the context. Entire sentences can be grasped by just a few words. Indeed, it is like dog or cat familiar being able to speak human language. However, the summary does not explain the reason. In such cases you cannot read like you did just now.”
Tabitha looked at Saito with clear blue eyes.
In these cold-looking eyes, Saito felt a faint glimmer of curiosity. Tabitha wanted to learn the truth. Of who I am…
“That's really strange. Ah, how do I put this, well, to be honest, I'm not really reading, in a sense. I think that while the literal meanings of the individual words and phrases that Tabitha is teaching me is a clue, but what I understand directly is the underlying 'meaning' of what is written.”
“I think it’s because I am not a human from this world. Maybe it’s because my words are different from Tabitha’s and others. In other words, a word is already directly translated in my head…maybe that’s why there are those subtle changes? Aah, that’s how it is!”
Unnoticed to Saito, he started to shout.
“For the book – it is translated in my head at once, just like the words of this world are translated after they leave my mouth.”
Just like when sentences written in Japanese are translated to English. And when that English sentence is translated back to Japanese again, there are some subtle changes from the first sentence. That’s what happens when I read a book Saito thought.
Indeed, it must be so, yes, he realized, and then was asked by Tabitha.
Because of such turn of events, Saito had to explain the circumstances to Tabitha. Since Tabitha was sharp, he couldn't hide it from her any longer.
“So… A person from a different world.”
Hearing Saito’s story, Tabitha narrowed her eyes a little.
“Do you believe me?”
“You do not tell a lie.”
Tabitha said, looking straight at Saito.
These words made Saito’s heart beat faster. Embarrassed for some reason, Saito turned his face away from her. Being looked like this by this small young girl, his heart throbbed and it was hard to meet her eyes staring straight at him.
“Do you want to return?”
“To your home…to your mother, do you want to return?
“I want to return.”
Do you not return? That’s what she was probably wondering.
Saito shook his head.
“It’s because I cannot find the way to return.”
“You just have to look for it.”
“I don’t have a clue.”
“You do not seem like you are looking for it.”
Tabitha said. Hearing that, Saito lowered his head.
“No…rather than not wanting to return, I cannot afford to leave.”
“What do you mean?”
“There is a fellow who is aiming for Louise's power…”
“I understood when I saw it.”
Tabitha said calmly, leaving the other world issue behind. Indeed, it might have been useless to keep any secret from this girl who was extremely knowledgeable.
“Anyway, since I have someone to protect, I cannot leave the place. Besides…”
“I was gifted with Gandálfr’s power. Having such power, I may be able to do something for this world…that’s another reason.”
Tabitha said with conviction. “It is unreasonable.”
“Inside, you feel like you belong to this world’s people and you say what you feel."
Saito was shocked. Then Tabitha whispered silently,
“…you are a hero of this land.”
It was so quiet that he could not hear it well. Tabitha lowered her eyes and shook her head.
After these two questions, silence settled in. Somehow, the atmosphere became awkward.
The librarian stuck her head into the reading room, and informed them that the library would soon be closing. Saito happily stood up.
“Thank you. You helped me a lot. Now I can study alone.”
Tabitha shook her head.
“I will supervise it till the end.”
“There are difficult words. Runes too. It’s impossible to study alone.”
It might have been the way she said it. However, he thought that it would be bad to make her help him any further.
“No, I’d feel bad for hogging your reading time…”
When Tabitha said so, she took yet another book out of the same bookshelf.
“Now? Isn’t it already getting late?”
Showing no hesitation, Tabitha nodded.
After providing the hangout with food, Siesta and the others went back to clearing rooms and cleaning tables. When they returned and peeped into the hangout again, they could see drunken apprentice knights and students, but there was no Saito. So they never found out whether their dishes or the noble girls’ were more delicious.
I wanted to ask Saito for his impression, thought Siesta while going back to her room.
Siesta looked at the pink-haired girl who was Saito's master. No, the girl in there was…
“A bad imitation of Madam Butterfly?”
Louise walked towards Siesta with her hands crossed in front. For some reason she was swaying her hips with each step. Noticing Siesta, she let her arms drop to her sides - though she looked like the usual Louise, something was amiss.
“Who are you calling a bad imitation?”
“S-Sorry! But why are you dressed like that — is this some kind of costume party? But I haven't heard of one…”
“Why costume party?”
Louise stared intensely at Siesta.
“B-Because, for Miss Vallière to wear that…”
Shocked, Siesta looked at Louise's clothes. Usually Louise would wear a long, cute camisole.
Yet, what Louise wore today was a black babydoll.
Louise, with a composed expression on her face, sat down on the bed and crossed her legs.
Siesta tried hard to suppress her laughter. Louise quickly stood up and took out the riding crop from the drawer behind Siesta.
“Tell me. What are you laughing for?”
“I'm n-not laughing at all!”
Louise, as if remembering something, moved away from Siesta.
“I should not. A mature woman wouldn’t be angered this easily.”
“For an adult, your chest pretty much still falls behind…”
Said Siesta pointing at the chest area of the babydoll. Louise’s cheek started to twitch.
But Louise shook her head and said:
“Breast size is unrelated to the charm of a lady. The important part is behavior, education, and…”
She said lazily, curling her hair with her fingers.
Hah, seems like someone convinced Louise to wear another strange outfit. Black cat, maid…and now a mature woman Siesta guessed.
“However, somehow I think it should be a much stronger atmosphere…”
After hearing what was said, Louise turned around.
“It is different. You are mistaken. Don't you know? Saito is crazy about me.”
“Eh, then you don’t think Saito is drawn towards the Queen? Do you know Saito so well? Can Miss Vallière reach his deepest feelings? I think it's a difficult thing to know.”
Louise stopped triumphantly curling her hair.
“It’s stupid — I was chosen.”
“The Princess said so herself. Right now, Saito sees only me. What a bother! For me, even though it’s love, it is…t-troublesome. Well, I feel sorry, so I go along with those feelings.”
Louise said with glee, striking a pose in front of the mirror. Siesta coldly watched Louise.
“You look awfully happy about that, though.”
“A-Anyway, I do not value it but I do not disregard it. But it would be hard to be valued when you don’t dress well. It’s not just big breasts and the empty head of the maid, it’s different here. How about that? Does it suit me?”
Calmly, Siesta said,
After a long silence, Louise took out her wand, and started poking Siesta with it.
“What was that? What was that? What was that?”
“Because! Miss Vallière’s body is far from an adult’s in every respect. So, only cute clothes suit her body!”
Then Louise stood up and turned her back towards Siesta.
“Sooner or later, the atmosphere will come out.”
“Come out. It’s what I said. Mood is important.”
“B-Being an adult is nice but…as promised before, could you loan me something to wear for one day?”
“Something you like? I don’t mind.”
“Really? Is it alright?”
“It's alright. Can’t break a promise that’s made by a mature woman. I’ll diligently keep the promise.”
“If that's so, I'll take it then. I wonder what dress to wear. Hmm.“
“If you like, I can lend you any of these clothes.”
Then Siesta danced with joy and opened the closet.
“I can actually wear them, how about this dress? Hey, this!”
Louise had once worn it — it was a black dress. The neckline was pretty deep and it was sleeveless.
“You like something this plain? Hm, I have a lot that are similar to that one.”
Siesta gladly put on the black dress.
“Uwa…great! And this fabric stretches too.”
Siesta, wearing Louise's dress, struck a happy pose in front of the mirror.
“Uwaa, it shows the body lines well. No, it is perfect. Don’t say this dress is plain♪. Bit embarrassing though… This…”
While saying so, with a smirk on her face, Siesta bent over. Certainly, the black dress emphasized the wonderful chest of Siesta that threatened to burst out at any moment, and with each movement it sunk lower.
The white valley between her breasts, stretching the opening further, seemed to emphasize her words.
Siesta displayed her arsenal to Louise.
“How about it? Do you get a mature atmosphere from this?”
“It is different. He likes tiny girls like me. Therefore, the Princess and you should not have false hopes.”
“Tsk, but he sure watches cleavage with a great interest.”
“Only because they are unnaturally big. Surely it’s just a biological curiosity. Alright? I do not need clothes to make a mature atmosphere. I, myself, am a small lady who has a mature atmosphere around her. Moreover, that’s why I am generously not getting angry. Yeah, because I am unrivaled.”
“Is that so?”
“It is so.”
Louise hit another pose while humming. Siesta, on the other hand, did not look convinced by Louise’s performance…and when she glanced over the window, she shouted,
“Saito? The door is still closed.”
“Not there, outside the window!”
Louise pushed her head out of the window.
“W-What’s the meaning of this!?”
It was Saito and Tabitha, who was leading him by the hand, walking together up the moonlit stairs to Tabitha’s room. In an instant, Louise dashed out of the room, stormed up the stairs, jumping two steps at once, and, with a loud Bam!, tore Tabitha’s room’s door open.
The small, dark figure of Tabitha sat at her desk and Saito stood beside her. They both turned around at the same time.
“What, Louise? What’s the matter?”
Saito asked with a blank look on his face.
Louise was boiling with anger. However, she firmly held that anger down.
Control yourself, control yourself.
A mature woman would not be getting angry.
Besides, it's still not clear if he had an affair to begin with…
Looking around the room, Louise started curling her hair.
“Um, you. What are you doing in here?”
“Well, learning the words.”
“Yep. Wouldn’t it be convenient to read the words of this world?”
It seemed like Saito was learning the words from Tabitha.
Louise’s cheek twitched. Why couldn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you ask me if you wanted to learn how to read?
However, Louise swallowed the pain.
Today I am an adult. Today I am a lady. '
Louise touched the place of her palm where she had written "lady."
In her mind, the mature Louise calmed down the raging child Louise.
Alright? Child Louise. You are a mature woman, right, so do not forget that attitude.
Pretending to be all cool and calm, Louise asked Saito,
“You didn’t consider asking someone else to teach you?”
“Because Tabitha offered to teach me.”
This reticent girl started a conversation by herself?
Louise stole a glance at Tabitha. However, Tabitha seemed to be expressionless as usual. No feelings could be read from her eyes. But...her holding a romantic interest in Saito still seemed impossible.
Maybe she just expressed her gratitude for the help.
Feeling relieved, confidence boiled up again.
At any rate, the current me emits a lot of charm…
Louise saw Saito averting his eyes in embarrassment.
Augh. Not good.
I just burst in here wearing nothing but underwear!
Dressed in this, I dashed wildly through the corridor and intruded into someone's room. Though she was ready to die from shame, Louise tried to endure it. And she was so close to dying.
For something trivial like learning words…
I have to appear like the mature me again.
Coming to see the room like this would have a big impact, wouldn’t it?
Hmm, her mind started to work furiously.
Whatever, I’ll just use this mature attraction to completely turn him into my slave forever — Louise finally decided triumphantly.
Fuun, Louise nonchalantly placed her hand against the wall and thrust her hips to the side.
To fascinate Saito, in an act that she herself thought to be sexually charming, she started to lightly suck on her finger.
“W-Wait. W-What’s this. This look…”
Get it. Not get it. Stupid dog.
Do you finally notice the attractiveness of the mature me?
Caught in the moment, Louise placed her right hand behind her neck, turned her hips, and threw a tempting glance to Saito through the corner of her eyes. Louise’s slender limbs created a tense atmosphere.
Saito's face reddened more and more. The expressionless face of Tabitha, sitting by his side, was not fazed at all.
“It’s ridiculous. That…”
This is my power.
Do you notice, dog?
Have you noticed your mistress’s unexpected charming side?
Now then, why don’t you swear your eternal servitude to me?
Louise pulled out her final trump.
Guiding her right hand from her hair onto her breasts, she let her left hand slip down and slightly lift her babydoll’s hem up.
“Hey, stop doing this embarrassing stuff in front of me!”
Saito finally erupted. To Louise, it sounded like a loud hymn of her triumph.
“Siesta, is that Louise’s dress? Do not wear it! It's not your size! I can see all your parts, all your body lines clearly, so I do not know where to place my eyes anymore! What if someone else sees that!”
Louise’s triumphant song broke with a loud ugly noise.
Siesta, who stood next to Louise, tried to cover herself.
“Don’t stare at me this much, it's embarrassing!”
“You are the one who is embarrassing! Hey!”
Saito blushed and turned his eyes away.
Louise asked Saito in a tiny voice.
“W-What about your mistress?”
“Ah? No, Louise, you look kind of awkward wearing this. Is this a curtain?”
Louise's shoulders began to tremble.
Tabitha politely coughed.
At the same time, Saito burst out laughing.
“Uwaa, Louise! What’s this! Could it be a babydoll dress?! No, it hung so loosely on you that I thought it was a curtain!”
Then, Louise silently drove both of her feet into Saito’s plexus with a skillful flying kick.
Once Saito hit the wall and fainted in agony, Louise aimed her wand.
“Die you, then resurrect, and then die again — you need to die at least twice for this!”
But Tabitha, with her staff readied, blocked her.
“I won’t allow you to lay your hand on this person anymore.”
Though her words were purely defensive, Louise took them in a different meaning.
“So, you already laid your hands on her? No, it wasn’t just hands.”
“A c-child who is smaller than I, s-s-smaller than I! Smaller than I!”
Thinking that her only advantage was denied, trembling, Louise aimed and lowered the wand.
Saito covered himself.
The sound of the explosion that he feared did not come.
Louise’s surprised voice rang instead.
“What? What’s wrong?”
“It doesn't work. The ‘Explosion’ spell doesn’t work!”
“Narrow escape from death.”
Saito sighed in relief, while Louise was already half-frantic.
“Eeeeeh!? How!? Why doesn't it work!?”
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