Zero no Tsukaima:Volume12 Prologue
Magic academy, Alviss dining hall.
It was customary for young nobles studying in the Tristain Magic Academy, to eat all three meals there.
A week had passed since the day Henrietta requested Tiffania to be brought from Albion.
Today, as like any other, Saito's group ate their breakfast at the table for third years as usual.
The three long dining tables were placed in parallel to each other, as seen from the entrance. The one on the far left was for the third years, while the middle one was for the second years, and the right was for the first years.
"She's really popular, you know."
Saito mumbled lightly as he stopped cutting meat with the knife. A light, ignorant voice replied,
Guiche, who was sitting in front of him, asked back with his eyes wide open. Around Saito and Guiche, was the usual gang of the Knight Corps of the Water Spirit. Already drunk in broad daylight, all of them turned their eyes to look in the direction Saito and Guiche were looking.
In that direction was the figure of a dazzling fairy with golden hair and a slender, charming body. However, her facial expression suggested that she was quite bewildered.
It was Tiffania.
With Henrietta acting as mediator, even though she was late by a month, Tiffania was enlisted as a first year and immediately became the topic of discussion for everyone.
Not to mention, the result of the mixing of elf and Albion royal blood made her beautiful face more dazzling than fine art.
Of course, both of her bloodlines were concealed. The few who knew her true colors were Henrietta, Principal Osman, Saito, and Louise. Plus Tabitha, Kirche, and Guiche. Outside this circle, no one knew about her secrets.
Of the two secrets Tiffania concealed, one could be figured out just by seeing her. So in order to conceal that, she wore a hat to cover her ears.
Normally, she would be forbidden from participating in class dressed like that. But with the ostensible reason that “her body is extremely weak to the sun's rays,” Tiffania had been permitted to wear a hat indoors. “If sunlight reached her fragile skin from the window, she would be sunburned,” was the reason Henrietta, as Tiffania's guardian, came up with in front of Principal Osman, the teaching staff, and the students.
Normally, nobody would have believed this reason.
However, Tiffania's skin was so pale that no other noble girl in the school, even those who hated going out under the sun, could be compared to her. Everyone who saw her skin believed that she could not stand the sunlight.
She was a being as ethereal as the faint glow of the blue moon. A figure that betrayed any ethereality she had, her reason for coming here from Albion, and what she has gone through as a noble.
With those three characteristics, an unknown fascinating aura seemed to be emanating from her. Tiffania was surrounded by male students who had completely fallen for her.
Surrounding Tiffania, who was wearing the Academy Uniform, were around ten male students, like ants around a sugar block and were ogling her.
“She is popular, to be more precise, highly popular.”
Guiche muttered while absentmindedly opening his mouth and gazing at Tiffania.
“Those guys, what could be in their minds? Their actions seem more like those of servants towards a princess.”
Reynal replied while lifting his glasses. He sat to Guiche’s right, bearing the same duty as a member of Knight Corps of the Water Spirit.
I see, it's just like Reynal said.
Not only the brownish capes of 1st years, but dark blue capes of second years, and dark mantles of 3rd years could be seen around.
Immediately after Tiffania took a sip of her tea, they would pour it full. Immediately after she took a bite of her meal, they would give theirs to her. Immediately after Tiffania stretched to take a portion of something, they would deliver it to her, cut and served. Something like that.
Tiffania was troubled. No less than ten people of waiter-like attitude simultaneously offered their services to this golden haired beauty, competing bluntly by showing each one's special talents. It was a complicated situation where one couldn’t say a word carelessly, so the stalemate continued.
The crowded male students' eyes were focused at several visual points: her transparent white skin, her outrageously beautiful face, and one other point that was moving right then.
When that part moved, Guiche's feelings overflowed.
“You know, since the return from the Albion trip, I've always been thinking deeply. There's only one conclusion that can be made.”
Just left of Guiche was Malicorne, whose lips' outer edges were rising, beginning a nihilist smile.
“Now then, I, the Windward shall listen to your conclusion, Guiche.”
Like a class debate, full of confidence in his opinion and with an excellently polished voice, Guiche replied.
“Very well, the result of my conclusions. The two hemispherical objects on Miss Tiffania's chest are, in fact, magical weapons that can make half of the world's population mad over it.”
“So, half of world population meaning...”
“You are a man, aren't you?”
Malicorne, placing a finger on his chin, thought deeply. A few moments later, he seriously opened his mouth.
“Weapon. In other words, you mean lust for sex?”
“No doubt, it is lust for sex.”
Saito, who was watching the two’s foolishness, also nodded as if agreeing “it is reasonable.”
“You are a genius, Guiche.”
“Even so, this is just a half-assed conclusion. My hypothesis still needs to be proven.”
Guiche swallowed a whole wine cup with a gulp.
*Bang* Guiche stood. Malicorne too made a grand gesture and rose. With a 'We are now granted an audience with her Majesty' kind of act. The two began arranging their appearance.
The two fools nodded to show their readiness, and slowly approached the table for the 1st year students.
Reynal asked Saito.
“Those two, what could be in their minds?”
“Intoxicated with stupidity. Leave them for the time being!”
All the members of the Knight Corps of the Water Spirit watched Guiche and Malicorne with worried faces.
Like drunken men, the two pushed through the 1st year students that were swarming around Tiffania. Not one of the first years were brave enough to resist Guiche and Malicorne, who were not only third years, but also part of the defense squad. The formation scattered, the path to Tiffania was open.
Guiche and Malicorne walked the path leading straight to the breasts.
Guiche stood beside Tiffania. Filled with nervousness and furthermore feeling inferior, she bowed deeply.
The next instant, “that” happened.
Without saying a word, Guiche's hand reached to the two ragingly magical weapons. He reached the breast. Feeling distortion, Tiffania's expression sharpened. At that instant, the dining hall's atmosphere froze.
Saito stood up.
But in the next few seconds, Guiche's body was wrapped in a huge waterspout that suddenly materialized like an underwater flower. In the middle of the waterspout, Guiche's body wriggled. Further behind, as usual, Montmorentcy stood expressionlessly swinging her wand.
*Zerrt*. The air inside the dining hall froze. Synchronizing the waterspout with the movements of her wand, she took it outside.
By the time they reached a corner, unseen by the crowd in the dining hall, the sound of the waterspout bursting open could be heard. Soon after, Guiche's yells echoed through the air.
“Wait, I just wanted to make sure, because I saw that thing my scientific curiosity grew, bigger, and bigger, and bigger until the point I couldn't resist it! I! Uaa! Whuarrgl!”
Saito heard the sound of a huge torrent assaulting Guiche.
The sounds of raging water continued, after a while, the hall turned silent.
Saito helped himself to the food while sighing. Reynal whispered to Saito,
“Incomprehensible, isn't it?”
“I think it's normal for them, getting drunk and going crazy... touching anything in front of them until they feel satisfied.”
“That's not what I mean, I'm talking about you.”
Saito looked blankly staring at Reynal.
“Usually, you would accompany them.”
“About making sure whether Tiffania breasts were real or not? Only an idiot would go to that extent. Don't put me in the same class as them.”
Reynal fixed his glasses, staring at Saito.
"Certainly, there is a possibility you were being shy, if we're feigning ignorance to your drunkenness' extent. In the middle of the day when there's something out of the ordinary, wouldn’t you want to make sure, like your hands were itching and you were being uncomfortable in your seat so you attempted to fix your waist, something like that?"
Reynal’s analysis was sharp.
“Even though you're like that, what's wrong? With that attitude of yours...”
“Whatever, just eat, it's going to get cold.”
Saito put on a calm face and started to eat his food. In the next instant, several girls gathered, surrounding him. The first was the 2nd-year Katie. The rest of them were a flock of first year girls.
“Sir Saito! Would you mind eating this pudding as your dessert?”.
The pudding was made from milk and fruits utilizing cold magic, making it appetizingly cool and delicious. With a clear, composed attitude, Saito nodded “Thank you,” and received the gift.
Each member of Knight Corps of the Water Spirit watched Saito, their faces filled with enviousness.
“Saito-sama, you looked so cool just now.”
“No, no, it's nothing.”
With a light, affectionate attitude, Saito mimicked Guiche and groped at his feet. But even that appearance created an oblate illusion in the girls' mind that made them cheer.
“Coool! After all, Sir Saito is really different than Sir Guiche.”
Katie, with cold eyes, threw a glance in Guiche's direction.
“That's not it. I'm no different at all. One might say that it's just them that turned into fools. Ahhahaha.”
As if in trance, the girls continued to stare at Saito.
“Really... Sir Saito is really a wonderful person.”
“It's not only that. But also super powerful.”
“That's right! A person who could somehow stop the Albion army by himself.”
Being fully absorbed, Katie said that.
“If it's Sir Saito, even those rascal Sky Armored Knight Corps would be beaten completely!.”
“I see, Katie, do you hate those knights from Kreudenhorve house, too?”
A question was asked to that girl, Katie.
“Of course, because that group always follow me whenever I take a stroll to the place I usually go! ‘Do you want to pick a flower?’ What a kind of talk is that!?“
“What a rascal!”
“I agree! That's a big difference from Sir Saito!”
“Kyaa kyaa” that was the commotion created by the crowd of girls.
Being stared at like that, Saito was thinking,
Composure is important after all.
Not guts, but composure and attitude - he felt like a flower being sucked by a bee.
Ahh, have I ever experienced this breezy mood before?
Siesta cheers “kyaa kyaa,” but... that's not too often.
Large numbers of girls yelling “kyaa kyaa.” This sensation, filling one with happiness...
Louise's magic, “The reason to stay in this world”. When I was under that influence, this kind of reality wouldn't make me feel joy. The encouragement from the flock of girls were like distant sounds. This could be a hallucination... But see, I'm a simple minded person...
However it may turn out, I better enjoy it to the fullest for now.
The sound of “kyaa” resounding from the girls' voices, the sweet endorphins permeating the brain.
While the sounds vibrated 'kyaa kyaa', Saito snuck a glance at Louise's table. There, Louise's face could be seen clearly. She continued to eat breakfast.
However, he knew... once in a while she peeked his way with glittering eyes. With those same glittering eyes, once in a while Louise boisterously used her fork on her plate.
Saito's nasal cavity widened, absorbing a lot of the sense of superiority in his chest.
The kitten couldn't take it much longer.
He whispered those words inside his mind.
Now let's stop for a moment, why was Saito feeling victorious like this?
What's with the real intention of “Composure is important” that Saito declared?.
What could be the meaning of the cat-like attitude that Louise presented?
The answer for all of that, laid in the return trip from Albion, because on that ship there existed the root of the misunderstanding.
During the journey from Albion, on that ship that Saito rode... inside that certain cabin, he pressed against Louise's lips.
Transmitting his feelings to Louise, it was a hot kiss.
Even that small heat was straining, they were exchanging a kiss with each other, naturally of course Saito's hand reached to Louise. He only did it because he felt that Louise was also filled with passion.
That was Saito's judgment.
But instead, when Louise was laid down looking embarrassed... she turned down Saito's reaching hand. And with a silent, vanishing tone muttered something.
“...so, I don't want to.”
Saito was hurt by that rejection. He couldn't believe it, even when she was in that heat, why? This was the inner Saito talking.
“W, wh, why?”
Louise reacted, shouting with anger,
“I won't repeat a second time.”
Actually, as Louise said that, Kirche slipped in from the adjacent room because of the noise.
“What's the matter, Louise?”
Somehow, that indecisive situation was ended... the sweet atmosphere that was drifting along had gone somewhere. Both of them looked at each other before slipping into bed, their faces dyed red.
A moment later, they closed their eyes and fell asleep.
That time, Saito didn't notice... that Louise did not actually mean to reject Saito.
It was only the place that was unsuitable.
The words Louise uttered with a quiet voice before they were lost, the first part of the words did not reach Saito's ears.
“...so, I don't want to.”
Before this sentence was another sentence, “Because we're in a ship”.
“Because we're in a ship, so, I don't want to.”
Louise once said that.
It didn't really mean she was rejecting Saito.
However... Saito was feeling down already, he did not notice that, on the bed inside that cabin room, Louise's words were echoed several times, the obscure conclusion eluded him.
Our mutual love should be enough.
Certainly, Louise's feelings were directed towards me.
But still... in the end her high pride did not permit it, I'm sure of it.
What am I supposed to do?
In that instant, an idea flashed in Saito's mind.
He recalled the time when Louise wore the black cat clothes.
I see now, Louise is a cat through and through.
Her large eyes, round and round, made him excited. Her way of flirting with Saito looked exactly like that of a cat.
Now, for a cat... to tame that animal, what am I supposed to do?
Cats, when they notice us drawing closer, they run.
And then they clearly disregard us.
That's totally Louise-like.
Then, what about if we ignored one, what would happen?
When that happens, the cat will first observe the situation... Even in this case if you continued to ignore it, eventually it will become impatient and draw closer.
In the end, saying 'meow meow', cuddling its face against me...
This is it, this is it!
In the middle of the bed it was the only conclusion that came to his mind. He nodded.
Heh, no licking, you insolent cheeky pink-haired girl... who makes fun of me on a whim... The moment when you cuddle your face against me, Huhuhu, I will catch the scruff of your neck. Huhu, I am looking forward to that moment.
The conclusion was one that was only reasonable to Saito's misconceived mindset.
For now, let's utterly ignore Saito and his paranoid misunderstanding. At midnight of the day after her return from Albion, Louise entered the bath looking charming and thoroughly washed her body. After that she proceeded to the altar room and did a long, long confession to Founder Brimir.
Founder Brimir... before marriage, that's, how should I say it, the thing that shouldn't be said, that's, what's it called, I mean, the thing I want to do, that's, please forgive me, but because it's not that I can't help it... that fellow for sure, he would absolutely do that with other girls, I mean, no seriously, helpless against the empty-brained maid, or, once acting strange with the respected princess, or lose himself to the strange breasts of the half-elf woman who's been here lately or maybe not... true, not only to the woman that have comparatively nice body, even to the small blue-haired princess of Galia, I mean, it's not he really has the feelings for that woman, but with the 1000 to 1 chance, it does not matter small or big anymore, just the dangerous elements have increased, in any case that's the situation, please forgive me. Amen.
After this strange and delusional confession, Louise's right hand and left foot that moved simultaneously entered the room.
What kind of expression Saito will show I wonder. I wonder if he is nervous, while thinking that she entered the room. However her familiar's attitude instead was quite calm, he was drinking tea.
Even though I'm greeting this special night with tenseness, his attitude hasn't changed. On the contrary, with eyes narrowed, “Yo, Louise. Isn't tonight a bright night”, he said those incomprehensible words.
What's with that? Louise entered the bed with that thought.
Next, followed by Saito.
Next, followed by the maid.
Unbeknownst to the three persons living in this room, sleeping together like three parallel logs, had already become something normal.
Louise was quite tense, as if being in trance. But, it's still too soon. Saito himself is not an idiot. Until Siesta falls asleep, I have to act, and after thinking that, she feigned sleep with all of her might.
Soon, Siesta's sleeping breath could be heard.
Louise's nervousness had reached its peak. She was quite tense, grasping the blanket tightly, biting it as if wanting it to rip.
Next calmly... Saito's hand placed itself on Louise's shoulder.
Shiver shiver, her whole body was trembling.
“...Idiot, Si-Siesta is still here, see? Despite that, you're re-reaching your hand out to your master. What could you be thinking!?”
Beyond doubt, Louise spoke with a small voice. I thought we would go to somewhere private like a warehouse. No, I mean I expected a good, ideal room. However, in this bed just next to Siesta who was sleeping. How could this familiar be so bold!?
She was surprised, but it's not about Siesta, it's about the overwhelming sense of superiority in Louise because his hand reached to her. Louise's heart was overflowing.
Even though it's just next to Siesta...
Even though the maid was just beside...
Despite this foolish maid was! Beside! here!
That's right, maid.
How dare you until now... well whatever... the victory... is mine? With this, this is my victory!
But, as I thought to do that in front of the other girl... somehow...
That instant, Saito's hand slipped into the center of Louise negligee, her moaning voice leaked through her throat. Louise's mind was filled with white.
Although the maid is here! Even though the maid is here, despite the maid is here... pyun!
Saito's hand moved daringly, rolled the negligee and exposed Louise's thin breasts. Louise's eyes were closed, her face dyed red. Both her breath and her pulse ran ragged.
At this rate, I can't think straight much longer.
But I can still think one thing... the pulse beating fast in my heart, this is the first time I feel it.
Saito still hasn't said anything from his mouth but, many kinds of imaginative words drifted along in Louise's mind.
Could it be the orthodox one, “I will treat you gently.”
Or perhaps, “Don't be afraid?.”
What could it be? Hey you, what will you say at this time? I can't think. It must be the words he will say to me. “Let's forget ourselves in this moment.” The embarrassment, just don't forget the sensation. Ah, I can't think...
However... the first words that slipped from Saito mouth were...
That was leagues out of Louise's expectation, something that have soared past the fire dragon mountain.
What was just said?
Was that a sleeping breath?
No, that couldn't be...
His natural sleeping breath could be heard. Louise turned impatient.
Did he fall asleep? Why?
She held Saito's hand that slipped on her breasts to make sure. No response at all. On the contrary, the hand swiftly fell from the center of her negligee.
Louise turned with fearful anger.
In that direction she found Saito's sleeping face. His face filled with happiness, wasn't that drool that just dripped from his mouth?
Louise's face turned blue and at the same time reddened. The other side of her lips were raising. Leaking the sound “ku ku”.
Normally this would deserve a death sentence.
What should it be?
Despite all the preparations that have been made, despite this cute master just lying beside him. Putting on a sleeping breath is really something.
She got her wand. For the time being let's convert him to ash. But after that though...
Hhhh. Perhaps he's really tired...
With the futon covering her, Louise closed her eyes. Quite a sleepless night began.
The next day, Louise was thinking. After all... doing that just beside the sleeping maid is unpleasant. Feels like being in another person's room... that kind of feeling. Of course that applies to nobles, too.
Therefore, Louise, when Saito muttered, “It's time to sleep,” and then fell to bed, stood awkwardly from the chair.
“W, wa, wa.”
“Walk, I think I will take walk for sometime!”
“How refined. Tonight is quite cold, you'll catch a cold”.
Saito laughed, when he uttered that nonsense. Having gone too far to turn back, Louise slipped out wearing her negligee.
She waited for two hours, but Saito didn't come. When she came back to the room... he was sleeping and his mouth was opened wide. Today too, let's turn him to ash. She thought, instinctively holding her wand tightly, but her senses returned to her mind.
Perhaps he is really tired. For sure.
The next day, Louise once again took a stroll. This time she waited for four hours, but Saito still didn't come. When she returned to the room, Saito was crawling on the bed with a deep sleeping breath.
The same thing happened the next day.
For three consecutive days, Louise stubbornly took a stroll.
After waiting for a long time, Saito really didn't come. So, to kill time, Louise took a tree branch and sketched a drawing on the ground. The content of the drawing, the thickheaded Saito was kneeling before the wonderful noble Miss Vallière asking for forgiveness.
When the morning came, the drawing had turned into an artistic masterpiece.
Gradually this become a habit, and the next morning Louise took a stroll too.
Still, Saito didn't come.
Half crying, Louise began to draw some sketch, and the subject of the sketch was the idiot familiar being judged by the noble Miss Vallière herself, and he was swiftly being hanged. When the morning arrived, the sketch had become an epic tale.
This consecutive event, happened for one whole week.
Between these intervals, Louise added to the sketches day by day, Saito in the center of the sketch being whipped twenty two times, being hanged twenty times, being thrown to hell eight times, and being reincarnated four times as an insect to be trampled by Louise.
At this point Louise's rage reached its absolute peak. Finally, she came to a realization. After that, something cold enveloped her heart.
However, this is just something normal, so she shall not show her anger.
This is something that Louise, with pride tougher than diamond, would not permit.
Suppressing her anger as much as she could, Louise commented to Saito, with a trembling body and contorted face, that he could continue if he could do it.
However since Louise expressed the opposite reaction, Saito remained gleefully ignorant of her anger.
Saito is really thickheaded.
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