Zero no Tsukaima:Volume15 Chapter5
Chapter 5: Honeymoon
On top of Louise's desk was an opened diary. Looking at this diary, Louise couldn't help but sigh.
The diary was written by Louise herself. Although the events that happened during her memory loss about Saito, the sequence of events had already been imprinted in her mind. Filling it back again wouldn't be a difficult task.
The contents detailed all the hardships Louise and Saito went through together, from the war of Albion all the way to Louise getting hurt by Bowood to protect Saito.
At the same time, the diary included enjoying being teased by Saito, etc. Even though the pages filled with these were as few as the number of clouds on a clear day, they were still an irreplaceable part of this diary.
Even though I care about Saito so much..... Louise thought, gritting her teeth. Yet that guy always sticks with that maid.
"How do you expect me to forgive you!"
Louise raised the diary, then slammed it hard on the desk. Putting her chin on top of the diary, swaying her crossed legs lightly, she closed her eyes.
While feeling the book's hardcover pressing against her face, Louise pondered .....If say, Saito secretly read this diary, what would I think?
It would feel very uncomfortable.....
This is different from the memories flowed in from Saito, isn't it? But then again, he's not reading it intentionally, just taking a glimpse accidentally.
Still, this is.....
Louise's eyes landed on the mirror hanging on the wall. In it was the face of a gloomy girl. Is it because he always sees me like this, Saito tends to get close with other girls?
Louise forcefully squeezed a smile. Maybe a bit too forceful, because after a while, it gave her cramps.
And so, she continued to use the diary as a pillow..... self-consciously staring outside the window.
By this time, the sky was starting to turn to a faint white.
In the morning, Saito came home with a very distressed look.
Turns out Louise didn't get any sleep from being depressed after having no avail searching for Saito for a day. By the time Saito entered the room, she had dark circles around her eyes.
Before Louise had the chance to stand up from her chair and question Saito where he went last night and what he did, Saito had already slipped passed her expressionless, and snuggled into bed.
"Wait a second" Louise tugged her own sleeves with force. Seeing Louise's look, Saito's guilty conscience kicked in and he avoided looking her in the eye, fuelling more of Louise's suspicion. "And?"
"Yesterday, who were you with?"
Saito answered with difficulty. "Ta-Tabitha"
Louise took a deep breath, then raised her hand high.
And they were together for the whole time!
Just the point that Louise spent the last night troubled, she had more than enough reasons to condemn Saito. Should I just slap him here.... Louise thought.
The words Kirche said a few days ago came to mind, Stand in the shoes of others, if you aren't able to see the problems in their point of view, you may unknowingly make them angry.
Just like how she needed time alone every now and then, the same went for Saito. Besides, given the current situation, if you had to meet up with someone in secrecy, it'd take time. Plus, being with Tabitha doesn't necessary mean he's having an affair. Perhaps he had something important to discuss.
I better confirm it first. It's not too late to get angry afterwards...."
Trembling all over, Louise slowly put down her hand. "What were you doing with Tabitha"
Saito himself was also distressed. Should he honestly tell Louise everything he discussed with Tabitha last night? Tell her that in the Gallian camps there are people who wish for Tabitha to be Queen and guide them? But if he told Louise directly, the news would spread as quickly as fleeing ants. It was good to keep things quiet right now.
Moreover...... there's this annoying bunch of people from Romalia. Walls have ears. After considering all the dangers Saito decided to play dumb.
"That.... how should I say, we discussed problems related with her future."
Louise pouted and stared at Saito. Looking at those poor dark circles around her eyes, Saito hanged his head apologetically. After enduring the stares from Louise for a moment....
"I get it." And laid down. Saito was stunned. He was expecting her to scream 'What were you doing!!!' and deliver a kick between his legs, flipping the entire hotel upside down. To his surprise Louise actually believed his words......
"Uhh, you're pretty amazing...... I expected that I wouldn't be spared without being beaten all up after this."
"Huh? Do you want me to do that?"
"No! Absolutely not! Not a chance!"
".....Between you two, what did you talk about."
Saito bit his lips, displaying a serious face. Seeing Saito's expression, it actually confirmed Louise that the things she was worried about did not happen at all. If otherwise, there would be no way Saito could have made an expression like this.
"Is it something you can't tell me?"
"Oh, then never mind."
Just like how she didn't want her diary to be read, but since what's done is done..... Louise thought she might as well believe Saito.
"Then I'm going to sleep. I'm exhausted!"
As if feeling very relieved, Louise laid down on the bed after finishing her sentence. Saito was still wondering if she was still suspicious, and therefore put his hand on Louise's shoulders while taking a peek at her expressions.
"I'm really sorry. But when the time comes, I'll definitely tell you. I promise. I'm not hiding it from you on purpose."
Louise's cheeks almost instantly turned red. The feeling of being valued made Louise excited enough to blush.
However, since she didn't want her happiness to be seen by Saito, Louise shut her eyes tight and crossed her arms as if angry, but at the same time flirting, she said
"Shouldn't you have more secrets? Come on, spit it out honestly. You actually did something with her that would have made me really angry."
Before Saito had a chance to deny, Louise's thoughts came out already.
To Saito, Louise looked just like a pretty goddess, putting him at a loss of words.
"I-isn't it more like I've never done these things?"
"You liar. You must have absolutely done the same things to her as what you did to me in your fantasies." Trying not to display her pleasure in peacefully enjoying this, Louise blamed him directly.
"I, didn't I already tell you I don't want to?"
"I don't believe you. You're too despicable. You're only a dog with wild fantasies. Just because you look like a person, you think you're a handsome knight? What a joke!"
Inside Saito's head, there is this vague, inexplicable sense of excitement. His body began to be enveloped by passion of an unknown source.
"You insensitive idiot!"
Saito held down Louise's lower chin, attempting to forcefully plant his lips on hers. Louise somehow managed to evade with agile and counter with a bite on Saito's shoulders.
Louise let go with a "fwah", just to begin her scolds again.
"What's with you? Don't tell me, you done the same thing to many girls in your dreams? Now you're trying to do the same thing to me?"
However there was not a sense of harshness, as if mumbling to herself and whining weakly.
As if trying to hide her embarrassment.
"Hmmph, if you were to do it with other girls you would be overjoyed wouldn't you. If it wasn't me everything would be fine. To you, you don't care who it is. Hmn...." Once the two's lips connected, Louise became honest with Saito.
"Idiot, you are so adorable, I would never..." As their lips parted, Saito said. With this, Louise's face turned fiery red
"I'm not adorable...." Other than this sentence, she could not think of anything else to say.
Saito's mind became blank. In front of this adorable Louise, lots of different things popped into Saito's head. Although these are difficult times, but what comes next..... after everything has settled down, like Guiche said, "buy clothes and jewelry and whatnot"....
"Um, Louise, I, I saved a lot of money"
"I, I know. Are you dumb? Her Highness already told you to take care...."
"Um, after this war ends.... don't we have a lot of things to do?"
"Eh?" Surprised, Louise raised her head.
"Guiche mentioned something about purchasing a castle.... needs around 10,000 écus. But if it was split with everyone, it should be enough to buy a mansion, those around 2,000 to 3,000 ones by the forests."
"What is this! Don't tell me, you plan to live here permanently?"
"No....sigh, how should I put it. If there was really a method to return, I will still go back after saying goodbyes properly. But, somehow, feels like this world is just like my other home." Saito said, holding Louise, surrounded by her fragrance.
"Heh, if that weren't true, I would have passed that gate a long time ago" Saito insisted with force in his voice.
"Then.... if we were to buy a house, that..." Saito words cut short from embarrassment.
Marria... just as the word was about to come out, Saito stopped. It was still too early to talk about these things. "Live, live together. Even though we are living together already... at the dormitory, wouldn't it be better if we had more space. We should start considering things afterwards."
At this moment, Louise was about to be drowned from being filled with joy. When she heard Saito suggest living together in the future, she felt as if she was flying in the clouds. The thought of this bright future, none of the hardness endured mattered anymore.
"It would be great if the furniture were the beautiful ones"
"I understand. Nm. Then let's use just those."
"The furniture shop in Tristain has good taste." Subsequently, Louise began to plan every minor detail, such as how white walls would be better, how there should be a pond in the gardens, how many horses should be raised and so on.
"Wait, as for maids, we won't need any."
"....Speaking of which, will your father and mother agree with the two of us being together?" Saito asked worriedly.
"That's alright. After all I'm not a child anymore. Once I've decided, they won't say anything. More importantly..."
"It wouldn't matter if it weren't a mansion. Even if it were a small clean cottage I wouldn't mind"
"Why is that?"
"B-because...., if so we will be able to stay closer to each other." The Louise saying this shyly could not be more adorable.
"Louise....., you, you are so cute..... See, if you try even you can do it."
"What are you saying, I'm not cute at all."
"Very, very cute. Exactly like Lemon-chan."
"Am-am not. Besides, what is Lemon-chan?"
"Such smooth skin, just like Lemon-chan." Saito was completely obsessed, muttering this while kissing Louise's neck. All the grey matter in his brain turned completely into cotton. Saito had no idea what he was saying anymore.
"Stop it.... I don't like Saito doing these kinds of things..... Wait, ah, don't...."
"Waah, isn't this more Lemon-chan than Lemon-chan. Th-this is perfectly Lemon-chan."
"Awww....although I, I don't really understand, is it really like Lemon-chan?"
"It is. Anyway, try saying 'Lemon-chan is embarrassed'." This was a line that popped up randomly from a Saito hyped up to a degree too large to measure in light years, but Louise was already too far gone. Whatever came into her ears automatically turned into romantic lines. Or rather, at this stage, Louise didn't care about what was going to happen anymore. In some sense, she herself was even more passionate already than Saito.
"Le-Lemon-chan is embarrassed."
Finally. Along with her reddened cheeks, dreamy eyes, half closed lips, Louise said it, pushing Saito to the very edge.
"Moe! Lemon-chan is incredibly cute! Very adorable! Hurry! Take it all off! These clothes are really in the way, covering up all your attractiveness." Just as Saito blurted out lines even a dirty director wouldn't say while putting his fingers onto Louise's bedclothes..... from the other side of the wall came knockings from a neighbor.
"Ah!" Louise and Saito froze hugging each other. The knocks on the wall came again. Louise and Saito stared into each other.
"Wh-what is it?" Feeling weak all over, Malicorne's voice could be heard from the other side of the wall.
"This is news brought to you by the wisps of the wind."
The two realized that Malicorne seemed to be staying next door. Actually, all Tristain students were living in the same dormitory.
"The walls are thin in this dormitory you know. Even Mr. Wisp himself was shocked. Nevertheless, whether it's your crusade, or the walls being too thin, or the pride of a noble, or shame, none of these matter to me. You should be considerate of your neighbors. Otherwise, I would have no choice but to blow you all up with wind magic."
The couple looked at each other and buried their head in embarrassment.
"It's nothing like Lemon-chan."
Louise's face turns purple in an instant and started yelling "It's not my fault! It's Saito, Saito told me to say it!"
"Lemon-chan is embarrassed."
After Saito have rapidly calmed down did he realize that what he said seemed a bit inappropriate. Like what Malicorne said, all the Lemon-chan never existed to begin with.
"Lemon-chan is embarrassed." Malicorne continued to imitate sarcastically. With that kind of tone, Louise began to become furious.
"I said stop it!"
"Lemon-chan is so embarrassed."
"I said stop iiiittttt!" Louise bellowed while gripping tightly on her wand, starting to chant spells.
"Explosion" sent the wall and Malicorne, who was directly behind it, flying. Saito gaped at the gigantic hole and sighed.
Malicorne stood up from the debris, blood still dripping from his forehead, yet still he cheered happily. "Ha! Now we're roommates! No more weird stuff for you!"
Saito lightly bumped Louise's forehead and said "What were you thinking! You destroyed the entire wall! Now we won't even have time to ourselves."
"Shut up! It was you who told me to say iiiiittttttt!"
Sent flying by Louise's second explosion spell, Saito smashed onto the wall on the other side, which gave way to allow Saito enter the next room.
Sleeping in the bed in what used to be that room, Tiffania stared wide-eyed at the Saito flying into her room.
"Wha, what? What happened!?"
Tiffania's bedclothes were merely a thin cloth wrapped around her body. When sleeping, she always wore more spacious and comfortable, traditional elven clothes. It was only because she had to travel with the Romalian army did she store it away.
Just like how Saito saw Siesta in his dreams, dressed revealingly by wrapping herself in a long cloth, this made Saito turn red. This is completely against the rules, using only a thin cloth to shield such big breasts.
"Me-melon-chan...." Saito uncontrollably reached out his hand.
Tiffania shrunk away from him by twirling out of his reach.
"Why am I Lemon-chan while Tiffania is Melon-channnnnnn!" Mixed emotions of shame and anger, Louise pounced on Saito and stomped all over his back. Still uncertain of the events going on around her, Tiffania buried her head in fear.
While despising the gasping Saito, Louise sat down softly and looked at the newly formed 4-people bedroom, then sighed.
Because of Louise throwing tantrums all over the bed, Saito was ultimately forced to sleep in the corridors. Still better than being bitten everytime he tried to get in. Yawning tiredly, Saito decided to come down to the bar for an early breakfast.
Everyone was there eating. The just-awoken Tiffania already changed into a new set of clothes and was taking tiny bites of some bread. Probably due to Malicorne's announcement, seeing Saito come in, the Ondine Water Spirit knights began to giggle with suspicious intentions.
Saito sat down exhausted, supporting his head with his arm.
"Lemon-chan, are you planning to strike today as well?" Guiche nudged Saito softly with his elbow.
"We're only 3,000 écus short from a castle! A castle, Lemon-chan!" Reinard whooped with glee.
"Stop calling me Lemon-chan!" Saito complained with an annoyed face.
Because after hearing Tabitha's message, their mood to fight wasn't really there. Although there were some stupid duels across a river right now, under the peaceful environment all sorts of conspiracies were brewing.
Just like what they experienced at Albion, before a bloody war began, they would first try to defeat King Joseph himself.... as for how exactly they would do it, a plan was still yet to be made.
Anyhow, the end to the war didn't seem like it was going to come anytime soon. Most probably Romalia would push forward with the idea of Crusade.
In the middle of conflicts of countries, the power of Gandálfr was nothing more than how a stone is used to construct a castle. Barely worthy of notice.
The only person reliable right now was Henrietta, who was making her trip back to her country. There was no contact from her so far, so no one had any idea how she was doing.
How exactly should this time be spent..... Saito pondered while drinking juice lazily.....
"Hey, Saito" An energetic voice called out.
Turning around, Julio appeared in front of them. Since arriving at Carcassonne, he had disappeared without a trace, conducting his own suspicious business....
The memory of almost meeting death because of Julio immediately resurfaced, giving Saito a spur of anger. The sudden desire to beat him up fought desperately to control his mind, but was eventually kept under control.
It'd be a bad idea to touch this guy, he's even more deadly than the Gallian king. Plus, with Henrietta not around, it would be best not to make any more trouble.
The Water Spirit Ondine Knights noticed the murderous tension between Saito and Julio and stopped talking.
They may have sensed that something happened between Saito and Julio, but Saito wouldn't bother to tell them anyway, so they had pretty much no idea what was going on.
....Determining from Saito's murderous eyes, obviously something ended very badly between the two of them. Moreover, they didn't like Julio much to begin with, so they all stood up looking very solemn.
"What brings you here today, Priest?"
Julio waved his hand and shook his head "It's nothing as serious as you think. It must have been hard work, everyone. I also heard news on how everyone has been active at the sandbanks, delivering a huge blow to their morale. Therefore, the Pope his highness entrusted me to specially hand this to you."
Julio drew out a small pouch from a parcel he was carrying with him and laid it on the table. Golden coins from the era of the last Romalian pope made clinking sounds from colliding against each other. "Please accept this, it is a blessing from God."
The knights' eyes were dazzled by the bright golden shine of the coins, but they quickly resumed a solemn expression. "We don't need some charity. We can make money from our own salary."
Hearing Reinard say so, Julio's mouth turned into a smirk "Please don't refuse it. More money can never be a burden."
Julio then swiftly turned to Saito ".....now, I have something to talk to you about."
"Saying it here would be kind of..... could we talk about it outside?"
Saito's eyes surveyed the room while standing up. The Ondine Knights simultaneously stood forward, blocking the path between Julio and Saito.
"I'm sorry, I'll have to borrow your co-captain for a while....."
"We are the Ondine Knights, you know?" Guiche started, but Saito stopped him. "It's alright."
Saito was surprised when, after heading outside, Julio bowed towards him. "I don't really know how to put it.... but I'm really sorry for what happened before."
Not really catching up to the situation, Saito scratched his head sheepishly.
What the heck?
This guy... would he ever apologize and bow towards someone? Saito kept a close eye on Julio. When Julio finally lifted his head, the usual smile that looked down on other people was gone, his eyes sparkling.
The tension surrounding them softened to a point where it seemed it would be easily shattered by a single touch, giving anyone a feel of how his usual attitude was all an act, whereas this is the real Julio.
".....You tried to kill me. You really think we'd be fine after a simple apology?"
"Just like how you would do anything to protect the people important to you, when it comes to reclaiming the Holy lands, we are the same as you."
"The Holy lands is just another piece of land, don't put the two things together."
"It's not just any piece of land, it holds the future of all the people of Halkeginia." Julio's voice sounded ridiculously genuine.
"People? Isn't it just for religion?"
"You have completely misunderstood our religion. To all believers, the idea of anything for God eventually ends up the same as being for us."
As if overwhelmed by a mysterious charm, Saito felt it hard to breathe. The environment was relaxed to a degree far surpassing one when someone has successfully convinced another person to solve some problems.
"Well, I know you people are serious about it, but like I said, I won't do anything for the cause of a 'Crusade'. I have my own beliefs in my own Gods." Originally planning to fake an act, things took an unexpected turn and Saito ended up blurting out everything.
"If you dare do anything to Louise or me again...." Saito glared at Julio with the most condemning face he could come up with.
"If so, you can stab all you want into my chest. Oh, but I will resist, just so you know."
"As long as you are in this world, we will never do anything to you. Right now you are Romalia's most important shield."
"Let me be honest. I will only help you until the defeat of Gallia. We'll have nothing to do with each other afterwards."
"You're giving up too easily."
"I have confidence in swaying you guys as long as I can talk to you."
Cunning bastard, Saito thought. Originally trying to kill Saito with a gun pointed at him, yet now he's saying these surprising things...
"So, we're good?" Julio reached out his hand. Saito considered for a moment, then snorted. "Looks like is still too early to shake hands"
Julio was about to say something.... when something brushed across Saito's face.
Speeding before their eyes was an owl. It swiftly landed on Julio's shoulders, shaking its feathers.
"Oh, if it isn't Nero? Welcome back."
"It's an owl I raised. Oh, that's bad; you're bleeding." Julio reached for a handkerchief in his pocket and dabbed it on Saito's face. Looks like the owl's talons scratched Saito's face.
"No thanks, it'll stop on its own."
"Oh?" Julio commented, storing the handkerchief away.
"How long are you planning to continue this stand off with Gallia?" Saito asked. Julio laid out both his hands and shrugged. "Who knows. From what I see, the wind is about to blow again though."
Embarrassed to the degree of fainting, Louise ended up never leaving her bed. While lying on the bed, she imagined all sorts of things. The more she imagined, the happier she became..... Lemon-chan slowly turned into nothing, the words Saito said today of "living togther" chimed again in her head, and all was soon forgiven.
Louise wrapped herself in the quilt and rolled around for a while, then suddenly jumped off the bed and began writing in her diary.
It was an interior design of the house for both of them.
"This will be the bedroom, this is the guest room. But this is the dining room, we might hold balls occasionally, so we need a hall. This should be the kitchen, housing around 10 chefs. Anything less than that would be pointless."
The feather pen scratched across the paper, Louise drawing a floor plan of the mansion. Whichever way you look at it, it seemed more like a mighty castle than a comfortable home.
Louise contemplated the castle a while, then started to seriously consider how to turn their "lovenest" into something similar.
"Oh, one thing, we don't need maids."
Squinting her eyes, as soon as the note "No maids" was jotted down, Saito came back. Louise hurriedly shut her diary, yet Saito paid no attention nor attempted to greet her and sat down in deep thought.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"Oh, erm, I just had a talk with Julio"
"....about?" Louise's face became serious as well. With whispers, Saito reported everything discussed in their conversation to Louise.
"In short, Romalia seems to sense danger in the current situation. Somethings feels fishy."
Louise placed her hands on her hips and also sank into deep thought.
Despite their efforts in thought, they still had no idea what exactly Romalia was planning. Mixed with a sigh, Saito said "Really, what's with the Holy lands?"
"It's the lands where founder Brimir came to the world."
"Is something there?"
"Dunno.... all we know is that its location is somewhere around the centre of the desert..... througout the long history of Halkenia, we've never successfully seized it back from the hands of the elves, so we have no idea what exactly lies there. Perhaps a castle our Founder lived in or something."
"Can't believe that kind of unfamiliar land would be the Holy lands. Why is it so important?"
"Can't help it. We were only taught that it is the most important thing in the world."
Saito sprawled on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Unconsiously, the visions from his "dream" came to mind again.
"Was it real?"
"Hmm? You mean that an elf was the first Gandálfr?.... who knows, perhaps it's just your fantasties? You know how adept you are at that."
"That's right, I should ask Derflinger."
Saito drew Derflinger out of its sheath. He planned to ask him from the start, but the matter was soon forgotten due to other matters.
"Hey, legendary sword."
"Hey partner. Even if you were to complain about how lonely you are, no one would listen."
"Say, I had a dream of being together with founder Brimir."
"Oh, I remember you said something like that."
"Were those things real? Or was it some sort of hallucinations due to being stressed out?"
Hearing this, Saito and Louise couldn't help but widen their eyes.
"The runes store memories which made you have that dream, just like appearing in a show."
"Then founder Brimir's familiar truly was an elf? Wouldn't it become a great historical discovery?! Why did you never tell us about it?" Louise cried out in surprise.
"Well, you never asked. Besides, I myself forgot. Now that you speak of it, I'm starting to remember, oh right, that's what happened...."
"Then tell us everything you remember!"
"Impossible... my memories are all in fragments, such as what breakfast they ate and all kinds of boring pointless stuff. On the other hand, key points, not so much. Randomly telling you that Brimir didn't like onions would be stupid."
"Brimir said his name was 尼達貝利魯...."
"Probably a name he used when younger. He did go through a lot, you know."
"Saito, was there anything valuable in that dream?" Louise stretched her neck like a giraffe.
"Hmmm...., elven women are terrifying."
".....ohhh, so Tiffania really is just an exception....."
"No, I don't mean like that. When she's angry, she calls founder Brimir a barbarian, going so far as using violence, just like Louise...."
"What do you mean? You really remember pointless stuff, don't you..." Louise's curiosity quickly turned into displeasure.
"Aww, those were nice times. Sasha, a noble elf with long ears in the middle of the desert...."
"Right right, that's the name, but I don't recall seeing you."
"I was still yet to be born when Brimir was still using that name, but Sasha and I were great partners, going all over the world..., she was an honest and direct kid, though sometimes too focused on winning. She had quite a bit of pride in her, but at the same time cried a lot...." Derflinger seemed to be mesmerized in the past long forgotten...
"What kind of adventures did you have?" Louise came close to Derflinger with deep interest. Undoubtedly everyone would be interested when it came to things about Brimir.
"Like I said, I don't remember actual details." Derflinger suddenly talked with a lonely tone. "But then, just...., something sad undeniably happened." And stayed silent afterwards.
"Don't harass Derflinger." Saito lightly scolded Louise. The latter displayed a shocked expression. "What's with you! Brimir summoning an elven familiar means that the relationship between Brimir and elves were great, we have no reason to be hostile against elves!"
"Really, you're so slow!" Louise raised her finger in glee.
"But then again, founder Brimir did say something about seizing land back from the hands of the heretic elves or something similar, right?"
"Or so it's said, but if we understood what exactly caused the demise of the relationship between founder Brimir and elves, then we would have no reason to open war against them, would we?"
"Something so distant, how are we supposed to...."
"We have this talking sword; we have the dreams you had. It won't be impossible if you try." Louise said, determined. It may seem easy with words, but this was just as hard as solving the true meaning of ancient mythologies; it was not something that could be done in an instant.
Still, Saito felt how touching a determined Louise could be. The justice she follows is not used to lecture others, but to help her make decisions. Filled with admiration, Saito nodded towards Louise "That's right... let's work hard to do this."
"This is an amazing card we drew by chance. If we use it carefully, we may even manage to crush the entire Crusade!"
Saito hurriedly covered Louise's mouth. "Idiot, you're too loud."
An eavesdropping Romalian spy could be just next door.
"....anyways, as soon as the Queen her highness comes back we'll tell her. This will definitely make her happy."
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