Zero no Tsukaima:Volume12 Story1 Chapter4
At that same time…
Siesta, who was currently cleaning Louise’s room, heard violent sounds coming from outside.
“Hmm…I wonder what that could be?”
Siesta walked over to the window, taking a peek outside. However, the tower and the surrounding walls blocked the view of where the sounds came from.
The violent sounds continued for a while. Somehow, the sounds seemed to be explosions of magic. The sound of raging flames, the sound of ice spears smashing, the sound of lumps of earth collapsing, along with various other sounds reached her ears. In addition, cries and roars could be heard.
“I don’t like this. Did another war start again?”
At that time, the covers on the bed slowly shifted. Underneath was Louise clad in a negligee. She slowly got up, her eyes clearly red from crying. Her hair was all crumpled, and lines of tears had dried over her cheeks. Overall, she was a mess.
“Oh, Miss Vallière. Have you woken up?”
Without giving a reply, she turned towards the window, staring at the sounds of violence outside. With an irritated tone, she mumbled,
“It’s so loud… Even though someone is trying to wallow in sorrow here…”
“Hey, it sounds pretty serious out there. I wonder if a war has started…I don’t like it. Hm? Miss Vallière?”
Louise had wandered out of the room, still wearing her negligee. In her hand, she firmly grasped her wand.
Siesta was just about to chase after her, but a dark aura emitting from Louise’s back made her retreat back in fear.
“Hauu. Somehow, Miss Vallière right now is scarier than any dragon.”
Saito’s breathing was getting pretty ragged. His fists which had been used repeatedly were swollen red, warping their shape. Next to him was Guiche with his blond hair dyed with blood, who was still holding onto his rose wand. Waving his wand, he weakly muttered out,
However, the petals on the rose wand had finally all fallen off, leaving a bare stem.
Guiche said amongst his panting. The blown away foe revealed Malicorne behind him, who then came forward to breathlessly inform the commander and assistant commander,
“Our remaining troops are only the six of us.”
Beside Reynal, whose glasses were broken, stood only two people. The rest of the squad had fallen and were lying stretched out on the ground. There was no more water magic to heal them nor did they have the strength for powerful magic.
On the other side, the Luftpanzer Ritter squad still had ten people standing. They were the ones that had cast off their bulky armor. The remaining ten were looking pretty beat up as well. Some of them had blood running down their faces or a broken arm dangling to the side.
Around them, the students all watched holding their breath. Not just to the eyes of the supporting audience, but the Undine knights truly had done considerably well against the much more experienced dragon knights.
“The other side looks like they are also on their last leg.”
“Ah. This will most likely end with the next attack…”
Malicorne replied. Perhaps…the remaining Undine knights would not be able to withstand the next attack. Since the battle had been long, it was a matter of experience and ability. This fact had become clear to the remaining few.
Saito looked feverishly at his worn down friends. Although his body screamed here and there with pain, he was still feeling bright.
In fact, he couldn’t help having fun.
“Ha…ha…, I can’t believe I’m saying this at a time like now.”
“What is it?”
“I can’t help but find this fun.”
Hearing this, Guiche laughed loudly. Malicorne also laughed. So did Reynal and the rest of the remaining boys.
The commander ordering the dragon knights to line-up, they all charged forward.
Guiche waved his wand and commanded in a loud voice.
“Gentlemen! Advance forward!”
Using all of their last strength, the Undine knights dashed forward.
At that moment…
Between the two squadrons, a small ball of light formed.
As soon as they all noticed it, the light swelled up into a large ball…and exploded.
The flash of light blew away both sides as it gradually brought an end to the battle.
The ground on that spot was smoldering. Plowing her way through the audience of students, a pink-haired girl suddenly appeared. Although it was only a little girl, the aura wrapped around her spoke differently.
The veteran dragon knights and the courageous, high-spirited Undine knights were both sprawled on the ground in a daze as they stared at the girl slowly walking to them. To both of the squads, it was as if a dragon had blown away their fighting spirit.
It had been due to this one girl, that the battle had abruptly ended.
One of the dragon knights staggeringly got up.
“What the hell are you!?”
He only shot himself in the foot for that. The pink-haired girl waved her wand, and an explosion popped right in front of his eyes, blowing him away.
Including Saito, the Knight Corps of the Water Spirit shouted.
“You guys are really noisy, you understand? I’m losing sleep here. When I finally think I’ve fallen asleep, all I hear is boom, boom, boom, boom…”
With Louise’s own words, she was gradually getting more and more irritated.
“If it’s bb-booming you want… Do your ff-fireworks ss-somewhere else…cc-cause it’s keeping me up.”
Louise was clearly biting down on her lips and starting to fiercely tremble with anger. The anger was building up to the point where her body was spasming. An aura of anger floated all around her. The students got really scared. The dragon knights also got really scared. The wind dragons around them also got scared. Louise was really pissed.
“I can’t sleep at all!”
After Louise screamed out, she then began chanting another spell. The Undine knights and dragon knights both tried to escape in the meantime, but they were not able to make it in time.
Bringing down the wand like before, another bright ball of light formed…and with that the sound of another ear-deafening explosion rang in the ears of all the on-lookers.
After the dust from the explosion settled, the on-looking students that had witnessed Louise’s “Explosion” spell saw that all of the members of both squads had been cleared from the field and had lost consciousness.
The students that had been in the middle of the explosion looked dazedly at Louise who was still standing there half-asleep.
“Louise’s explosion has gotten pretty strong…”
“It has totally become a weapon.”
As to the students who didn’t know “Void” existed, they simultaneously let out their impressions. In no way did they suspect that a legend was unveiling so close at hand.
Beatrice, who had been watching outside of the explosion radius, trembled as she approached the negligee clad Louise standing around. Even still, she tried her best to maintain her pride as she called out.
“Y-You! What is the meaning of this?!”
“Huh? Who are you?”
Louise scratched her shoulder with her wand as she asked in a lazy voice. Beatrice answered with a tone implying that ‘you better listen.’
“I am Beatrice Yvonne von Guldenhorf! The Guldenhorf family that is connected to the Tristanian royal family and owner of a respectable, independent country! I will definitely report this rudeness to her Majesty Queen Henrietta!”
“Guldenhorf? That Germanian born, money grubbing clan is what you are muttering about in your sleep? You say you are going to report what to her Majesty? Don’t make me laugh. I’m telling you that I am in a really foul mood right now. If you keep griping, I’m going to crush that crappy family of yours.”At Louise’s words, Beatrice’s face got completely red.
“Wha, wha, money-grubbers, you sayyyyy!”
“You bring up your family’s name so readily, which makes you one, right?”
“I haven’t heard your name yet! Tell me now!”
“Louise de La Vallière.”
Beatrice’s eyes opened wide.
“La Vallière? As in the Duke of La Vallière?”
“Is there any other Vallière out there?”
Shaken, Beatrice was biting her lip. The words she was told as she left her home popped up. Her father had told her that there were three opponents that they could not go against in Tristain.
One was the Tristain royal family.
Another was Cardinal Mazarin.
And the last one was the family prided with the greatest social status in the history of Tristain, the La Vallières. Other than those three, it was OK to pick a fight with anyone else, her father said.
But the blood had rushed up Beatrice’s head. Who the hell are the La Vallières? Her family also had duke status. History and social status aside, her family had more property and land hands down.
Furthermore, she was also holding a trump card.
Beatrice crossed her arms, continuing to call on her bluff.
“La Vallière-sempai. Do you realize what I am doing now? A heresy inquiry, got that? I was just now in the middle of that inquiry. Because you ruined the ceremony, shall I also consider you in cahoots with that group of heretics? The duke having a heretic for a daughter! What kind of scandal would that be!
But Louise was not affected at all.
“Heresy inquiry? Do you have permission from a bishop?”
Beatrice paled. She didn’t have such a thing. The qualification that her family supposedly had when she had told Tiffania was actually a blatant lie. She had thought that Tristainian nobles would not question the matter, but Louise was sharp.
“Uhhh, it’s at my family’s place!”
Louise’s eyes narrowed.
“You’re lying about having one.”
“Eh? It’s not a lie! I don’t know what you are saying…”
“To perform a heresy inquiry, not only do you need permission from a bishop, but you also need an approval form from the church of Romalia. Why is it that you don’t know of this?”
At Louise’s words, the surrounding students looked at the situation differently. With the cries of ‘heresy inquiry,’ many of them had blanked out, but what Louise said was definitely true. Most of Beatrice’s statements were far too suspicious.
“Oi! Beatrice! Using the Founder’s name to torment a girl you don’t like, is that how nobles do things!?”
“For impersonating a bishop of Tristain, you will get burnt at the stake, you know!”
The students sidled up to Beatrice. They were by nature highly-prided nobles of Tristania. Having her prided dragon knights blown away, the now defenseless Beatrice was being cornered.
Beatrice was trembling as she dropped to her knees. Her trusted Luftpanzer Ritter couldn’t be reached. It was a dire situation for her.
It was such an atmosphere that even if she were to be hung right there and then, it wouldn't be strange, but a golden-haired fairy scurried her way to Beatrice.
It was Tiffania.
One of the students called out to Tiffania.
“Miss Westwood. You have the right to judge this girl. Deal with her as you see fit.”
Tiffania walked right up to Beatrice. With a moan, Beatrice turned away while still on the ground. Behind her, the students formed a wall, blocking her retreat.
Biting her lip, Tiffania looked down at Beatrice. Then, as if she knew what to do, she looked up.
The blood drained from Beatrice’s face. Preparing for the worst, Beatrice shut her eyes.
Everyone present was waiting for Tiffania’s judgement. That would be the price Beatrice would have to pay. Normally for this kind of situation, Beatrice would not complain even if she were killed…
However, Tiffania’s next words were out of everyone’s expectations.
Tiffania had taken the hand of the kneeled down Beatrice.
“L-Let’s be friends.”
All the students there were speechless. Such an unexpected event was anti-climatic.
“Miss Westwood? You have the right to judge this girl, you know?”
One very shocked student said to Tiffania. They thought that there was something strange about her head. But, Tiffania shook her head.
“This is an academy, right? It’s strange to judge someone at a place of learning.”
“But…but still! No matter how you think of it, this is...!”
“Also, I…came here to make friends, not to make enemies.”
Tiffania said with a determined look.
With those words, no one could say anything further. What broke the silence was the sound of Beatrice crying,
With the string of fear and anxiety cut, the moment Beatrice knew she was safe, tears spilled from her eyes. As if she were a child saved by a hair from falling off the edge of a cliff, Beatrice cried,
“Uu, uuu, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunn.”
Only the sound of her defenseless crying rang across the now empty field. Turning towards her crying voice, the students scratched their heads. It was only the selfishness of a child after all, so they lost the will to further denounce her.
“Is it over?”
Squeezing through the wall of students, the headmaster, Old Osman, appeared. Old Osman rubbed his beard as he grinned.
Then, in front of just about all the students, he placed a hand on Tiffania’s shoulder and informed everyone.
“Ah. Just now this girl said that she would stake her life to learn here. There is a lot to learn from these words. Do you understand, everyone? Originally, the will to learn is not a matter of life or death. Sometimes though, sticking to one’s own beliefs will turn the world into your enemy…don’t forget that.”
The students had a look on their faces wondering just why Old Osman chose this time to come out, but they just nodded for now. Content with the nods, Old Osman continued,
“However, taking matters to the extreme every time is stifling. While a fight here or there is expected, when someone dies, it’s too late. Furthermore, it becomes very bothersome, so I would like for this bickering to end now. This girl is under my guardianship, understand? In addition to that, Miss Tiffania is a guest entrusted to me by her Majesty the Queen. From now on, if there are students that wish to insult this girl’s lineage, be prepared to make enemies with the monarchy, understand?”
Entrusted to him by her Majesty the Queen?
The students all became nervous at once. This transfer student who had elf blood was a person connected to her Majesty the Queen.
From these words, they came to the realization that even though it was rather peculiar, instead of being something feared, they felt that her elf blood could even be something most admirable.
On top of that, the students, for the most part, had never seen a descendant of an elf. Because of Old Osman’s statement, they became more curious than afraid. Soon, they were favoring her dazzling appearance, disregarding the ill-feelings for man’s supposed mortal enemy.
The students approached Tiffania, requesting to shake her hand.
“Pleasure to meet you. This is the first time I’ve met an elf, but you are quite pretty.”
“I had imagined that elves were something along the line of orcs.”
“You had such an earnest composition that thought only of how to look ahead. It makes you seem nobler than us human nobles.”
With a moved expression on her face, Tiffania shook hands with each person one by one. Looking at such a scene with satisfaction, Old Osman looked around and said.
“Well, now that you have made up, please transport the injured to the infirmary and clean up this area. It looks like a storm blew through here.”
The students face-faulted, and then proceeded to transport the all but forgotten Undine knights and dragon knights.
Old Osman nodded at this scene and turned towards Tiffania beside him,
“I apologize for helping you so late. If I had helped you normally, it would have been hard for you to make true friends. Especially since it’s you, a person descent from an elf.”
The shy Tiffania hung her head with an expression that implied, ‘not at all…’
Old Osman coughed as if clearing his throat, and then put on a serious face.
“Well then…one last thing. There is something that I want to ask you.”
With an uncertain look, Tiffania tilted her head.
“It is a question of utmost importance. Understanding this is a matter of life and death… This is a question that I ask with all of my being, so properly answer me.”
With a serious look, Tiffania nodded.
Old Osman pointed nobly.
Right at, for the lack of better description, Tiffania’s huge chest…
There wasn’t even a speck of hesitation. Even giving off a dignified, calm aura, Old Osman gave his question.
“Are those real?”
Tiffania’s face was completely dyed red. Since it had seemed to be such a serious question, Tiffania couldn’t help but answer it, yet weakly.
“…Yes. They are.”
Old Osman put his hand to his ear and got closer to her face.
“More clearly, please. Say it such that this old man can hear you. Being this old… well, my hearing is going.”
Tiffania’s face got even redder. Drooping her head, she bit her lip.
“Th-They are real!”
Old Osman mumbled with a slightly flushed cheek. Mrs. Chevreuse, who approached them, gave Old Osman’s stomach a taste of her fist.
‘Guh!’ went Old Osman as he rolled his eyes back. With a teacher each lifting the unconscious, old headmaster by an arm, they dragged him away.
For the moment, Tiffania was still looking down with her face deep red. As the wind blew around the field, as if beckoning her, she lifted her head up.
The wide field stretched on endlessly. Looking back, many fine towers were seen, giving the location of the Academy of Magic. This was the place she would study for the next three years.
Tiffania touched her ears. They were the proof that her mother’s blood ran through her body. These long ears…
Somehow feeling really bright, a smile floated on Tiffania’s face.
The infirmary of the Academy of Magic was built on floors 3 through 6 of the Water Tower. On the fourth floor were the Luftpanzer Ritter members laying in bed side by side, while the Knight Corps of the Water Spirit were on the third floor beds.
Saito woke up from the voices of some girls.
“Guiche-sama! Will you allow me to change your bandages?”
“Nooooo! I’m in charge of taking care of Reynal-sama! Please let me take your glasses.”
‘Huh?’ Saito thought as he shifted the curtain to look. In the adjacent beds, Guiche, Reynal, and the rest of the Undine knights were being doted on by the ladies.
The reddish-brown haired Katie appeared and called out to the rest of the girls.
“You girls, the assistant commander over there is in need of care!”
Saito’s heart skipped, but the next statement made him depressed.
“Ehhhh, but Saito-sama was kind of pathetic. I was completely disillusioned.”
“That’s right. When he suddenly begged, I was really disappointed. The thing about him stopping an army of 70,000 must have been some kind of misunderstanding.”
“Yeah. Looking closely, he seemed rather weak…”
In any case, because he begged in front of Beatrice, it seems that Saito’s popularity had hit rock bottom. On the other hand, Guiche and the others that fought bravely went up in popularity. ‘Honestly, what a simple bunch of people,’ Saito thought.
Turning his eyes in the other direction, a completely wrapped up Malicorne was there with his index finger pointed right at Saito.
Malicorne muttered happily. Apparently, the only presence around Malicorne was that of a cuckoo-ing clock. It was kind of sad that both of them were like this, but there was a slight warmth in his chest.
There was not really any deep meaning to it, but Malicorne’s simple utterance of ‘friend’ strangely made him happy.
Also, they had helped him by standing against the feared Luftpanzer Ritter squad. Although there was the simple reason that ‘everyone was watching,’ it wasn’t just that.
Ahh, at that time…, when Guiche asked him ‘what he would do if he stayed in this world?’ he noticed that the strange pang in his heart was the same as it was now.
Basically…they had become his friends.
Friends that he laughed with together, talked with about dumb things, and stuck his neck out for…that kind of touching feeling. Abruptly, the curtain was drawn back, and the golden-haired fairy poked her face in.
“I’m glad…it didn’t become too serious.”
Saying that with a relieved face, Tiffania sat on the bed.
Being thanked by such a beautiful girl like Tiffania made Saito blush awkwardly.
“No, I’m not the one you should be thanking. You should say that to Guiche or Malicorne over there. If they hadn’t got rough…”
“No, of course I am very grateful for that, so I plan to thank them properly later. But first, I wanted to thank Saito.”
“Because, Saito, you begged for my sake, didn’t you? Even though Saito had done nothing wrong… That was something very difficult. You know, that made me very happy.”
“Th-That’s a given! It’s because we’re friends.”
Tiffania was smiling widely, a smile that was gentle and warm like basking in the rays of the summer sun.
“But Tiffa, you surprised me.”
“Yeah. I mean, you suddenly gave away your secret.”
Then, Tiffania said shyly,
“Saito, you told me, right?”
“Yes. Saito, didn’t you tell me at Westwood Village? ‘To have more confidence.’ I remember those words. And when I do, I think about how embarrassing it was to hide the truth about the blood running through my body…”
‘I see,’ Saito mouthed. Recalling that, he had casually said those words. But Tiffania had treated his casual statement as something dear to her.
“But I still do not have enough confidence.”
Tiffania muttered, looking a little lonely.
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
Saito said surprised as Tiffania lowered her voice. Her cheeks were flushed as she timidly stared.
“There are still many things that seem strange.”
Tiffania bit her lip as she pointed to her own chest. The material of her academy uniform top was stretched to its limit. Two humongous melons were pressing against the top button, which looked like it would pop off any moment. Ahh, Tiffania’s chest was truly frightening. Instinctively, Saito clamped a hand on his nose so that he would not lose any more blood, thereby endangering his life.
Certainly if one had a chest like that, it would be easy to monopolize the popularity of her class… As he wondered what she was thinking, Tiffania started talking in a sad tone.
“Just now, Old Osman had asked me, ‘Are those real?’ I must be strange after all. I mean, there is no one else in the academy with breasts like these.”
“Do these things seem that unreal?”
As Tiffania asked with worry on her face, Saito shook his head fiercely.
“N-No. I think they’re real…I mean, they look real. Yep, real.”
“Saito is a friend, so you’re just saying that.”
“No, not at all.”
Tiffania was still worrying for the moment, but then she looked like she decided on something. She grabbed Saito’s hand tightly.
“I think that there is certainly some reason as to why they don’t seem real. So can you check them a little for me?”
Saito didn’t really understand, as he replied with a ‘Huh?’
“I can only rely on a friend about this. So please, Saito.”
“Wh-What do you mean?”
In a faint voice, Tiffania muttered,
“…ch them and check.”
Taking a deep breath, Tiffania said seriously,
“Touch them and check.”
Although Saito fully understood what she said, there was a pause. At the moment he understood, feelings of joy, confusion, and fear attacked him all at once, leaving him on the verge of tears. No, he was indeed in tears. As the tears flowed, he was left not knowing what to do next.
“You know? Because I was thinking that there was a reason that they didn’t seem real, I thought about asking you in this way. Since I don’t understand it myself, I was hoping you could check and tell me.”
“I-I can touch them?”
Tiffania nodded quickly looking embarrassed.
The Tiffania that would allow this simply because they were friends was dazzling. From the bottom of his heart, Saito was glad that he was alive. After all his patience and hard work, God had finally awarded him in this manner. If there was a god that threw him into a pit, another god was there to lift him out of it.
Saito’s whole body was trembling…trembling with excitement.
“W-Well, rather than anyone else, it’s better for me to check. Or rather, if it wasn’t me that was here…”
“I-I think so too.”
As if Tiffania had readied herself, she stuck out her chest. Having never seen any this big before, the superbly humongous melons were right in front of him. Saito raised his hands up, slowly reaching forward. His fingers touched her shirt. Then, he was not able to go any further… If he continued, he thought he would die. Tiffania moved a bit.
The palms of his hands squished the melons.
They were soft, but firm. Due to the nervousness and joy he felt, the palms of his hands got numb, so Saito couldn’t fully enjoy the feeling. But this was enough. If he were to enjoy this feeling fully, Saito would most likely drop dead from shock.
“…H-How is it? Is there something strange?”
“I don’t know. In any case, I’m about to die.”
Saito’s prediction had hit the mark.
As he replied straightforwardly, the curtain was pulled back.
Turning his eyes in that direction, Saito saw Louise and Siesta standing there. Louise had changed into her academy uniform. Siesta was in her usual maid outfit.
Seeing Saito groping Tiffania’s melons with both of his hands, the two of them continued to stare with a blank expression. Louise then called out to the infirmary nurse.“I would like permission to move the patient on this bed.”
Siesta then said to Louise in a slightly shaken voice.
“He needs treatment. What do you say, Miss Vallière?”
Louise replied with a tone that oozed with malice from her very core,
“There’s too much to deal with...I can’t begin to count them. For now, we’ll start with his…”
Both of their faces were stiff as the same word left their mouths.
Saito’s body ached in pain as he used the last of his energy to forcefully spring out of bed. As he jumped through the window next to the pillow, shattering the glass, he suddenly realized that he was on the third floor.
Due to the sound of glass breaking, the screams of the people in the infirmary resounded.
Although it was the third floor and he was heavily injured, Saito decided that it was much safer than staying in that room.
He thought this as he watched the ground quickly getting closer.
If he only broke a bone…
If he were to miraculously be able to greet tomorrow…
‘Tiffania, we just need to find a way to hide your ‘miracle’ (her chest), like finding a loose enough shirt for you to wear.’ This was what Saito thought about telling her.
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