Zero no Tsukaima:Volume15 Chapter6
Chapter 6: Tabitha's Long Night
On this night, Tabitha had a hard time falling asleep, most of the time spent lying on the bed and staring at the patterns on the ceiling, self-consciously reminiscing how her younger self used to stare at the ceiling as well when not being able to fall asleep.
The Palace of Orléans of which she used to live in had ceilings decorated with pretty shapes related to religion, her bedroom one of the scene "Arrival of the Founder".
The Founder came down to the Holy lands under the blessing of angels. His face was deeply veiled by his hood, so his exact looks could not be seen. Angels circling around him held his hands, faces full of heartwarming smiles.
The younger Tabitha was terrified of the hooded Founder. She would even imagine how pale would she turn if one night bright shining eyes appeared under the hoods.
After all these years, a sense of fear would still surge from staring at the ceilings, not because of the religions drawings on them, but of herself, fearing the true intentions of her hooded self.
If others noticed this, how would she handle it?
These things cannot be discussed with Kirche, or even Slipheed in human form. If they knew, they would probably say "I'm always on your side" or that sort of thing.
That would "speed up the process" even more.
Suppressing her true feelings from bursting was no easy task. True, even Tabitha thinks that the way Louise treats Saito is a bit overboard, seeing how Saito is doing all he can to protect her.
If it were her instead, she could never do so.
But now Louise is also an important friend of hers, she had once ventured dangerously into Gallia with no regrets just to save Tabitha, according to others, she even gave up her nobility to do so.
Louise and Saito are both valuable companions, being the third person is not an option. It would destroy the relationship between the two.
Although she is very clear of this, yet why
Why every time she closes her eyes, the scene of Saito and herself riding Slipheed in the night sky appeared again and again, impossible to neglect.
Tabitha stood up. In order not to wake up Slipheed, she tiptoed across to the large mirror embedded into the wall.
The two moons brought moonlight in from the crevasses between blinds. With the help of the pure white moonlight, the mirror displayed the blurred figure of Tabitha. That's alright, Tabitha reassured, nodding to herself, even though I'm already 16, I'm still so thin and weak, as if an underdeveloped child. Compared to the Louise a year ago, more-
Being charming is not possible.
That's why it's alright
Tabitha suddenly felt very shocked
She had never considered the question if she had any charm
There is definitely something wrong with her, every thought is conflicted by another. The reason she came in front of the mirror was to reassure herself her looks are plain, not attractive to boys
Yet as soon as she realized, she feels extremely depressed. Tabitha stood still and stared at herself in the mirror. A random thought came across her mind and told her to take off her glasses.
Her blurred face appeared in the mirror.
Would she look more charming without glasses?
Tabitha edged close to the mirror, just to discover a teary girl. Finding it hard to believe her eyes would look like that, she gently hugged her own shoulders.
At this moment, someone knocked on her door
Deep in the middle of the night, who could it possibly be?
Expectations ran wild in her head, her heart pumping excitedly.
Yet at the same time, Tabitha rejected her own expectations.
How could it be possible?
It can't be that person, perhaps it's Kirche, visiting her in the middle of the night. Other than her, no one else seems to fit.
Tabitha, as if frozen, stopped moving.
Hearing this faint voice, Tabitha's heart leaped. In a rush to put on her glasses, she ran towards the door
"Is something the matter?" Even her questioning voice was slightly trembling.
"I have something to talk to you"
What could it be? Tabitha opened her door without a second thought.
Outside her doorstep was the familiar face appeared in her dreams countless times.
Using his Chevalier cloak to cover his face, Saito slipped into her room. Tabitha's looked everywhere, trying to avoid Saito noticing her expressions. With a small voice, she asked "Did you want to say something?"
Tabitha eyed Slipheed, who was sleeping soundly as indicated by her snoring. Looks like a bit of a rustle won't wake her up.
Saito revealed a solemn expression
"It's about the things we talked last night, I've considered it seriously"
"About Tabitha succeeding the throne"
What exactly is Saito trying to say?
"What about it?"
"As the rightful heir to the throne, I reckon Tabitha should announce about succeeding the throne after all" Saito said a firm voice. Tabitha looked slightly darker than before.
"Were you also convinced by Romalia?"
"No, it's something I considered on my own. I was thinking about how to end this war as soon as possible, and this seems to be the best method"
"From our situation right now, an attack from the Gallian army is bounded to happen soon. If so, it would really evolve into a war as crude as hell itself, there's no more time to wait for her highness"
Tabitha closed her eyes ‘‘Why am I hesitating?
Didn't I already make my choice to follow his decisions?
"I understand" Tabitha said with a voice as low as taking a breath. "Since you say so, I'll do it"
Saito looked at Tabitha with promising eyes "Relax, I will definitely protect, no matter what happens"
Tabitha was soon over taken by joy, and replied with a shaking voice "No, it's me who has to protect you"
"I want to protect you" Saito insisted, holding Tabitha's hands tightly. The powerful pumps from her heart echoed in her own ears. When Tabitha realized that it was her own heartbeat, she was already close to the point of stop breathing.
In this moment where everything seemed to stay still, Tabitha asked the other "Why"
What's wrong with me? The calm part of Tabitha questioned herself
If she heard Saito's reply
If she was able to hear the same line said a million times in her dreams
"Because I love you"
To Tabitha, this sentence felt as if the tide from a distant beach, completely virtual. Thoughts stopped, her mind completely blank.
With no preparation beforehand, she unconsciously repeated the same lines in her dreams.
"It's true, right now my mind is only filled with you"
Hearing this, Tabitha felt her barricade easily flooded and broken by the feelings long suppressed behind it. Although deep inside it silently cried out "these things are impossible", the cries where drowned by the wave of happiness. The feelings gushing out turned Tabitha into a completely defenseless weak girl.
Saito reached out his hand and lifted Tabitha's chin, slowly coming close with his lips. Tabitha also felt her breathing become hot, and closed her eyes self-consciously.
Tabitha felt a million years fly pass while their lips connect, Saito's lips, expanding on her small mount, freely shifting into other shapes.
Saito left softly from Tabitha's lips, then pressed forward to kiss her neck. Tabitha gently pushed Saito away.
"Don't you want to?"
Tabitha shook her head and pointed out Slipheed, still snoring peacefully on her bed, and replied with a voice close to crying "It’ll wake her up"
"I guess that's true, I'm sorry, I could control myself back then" Saito left from Tabitha's side, his hands on the handle of the door
"I hope you can promise me, please take this plan as the ultimate secret, because it would be disastrous if the other side heard of it. I will pretend as if I don't know anything during the day, I hope Tabitha will not reveal anything either. Although it may make you wonder, it's only because walls have ears will I play dumb till the very end. Do you understand"
Tabitha nodded her head willingly
"A few days later a messenger from Romalia will arrive, please do according to his orders"
"I will come again at night, I'll clarify things with you by then"
Tabitha nodded once again, completely oblivious from suspicion. All Tabitha cares now is their meeting next time, all other things can wait.
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