Zero no Tsukaima:Volume16 Chapter10 - MTL
|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 10: Elemental Siblings
When Henrietta returned to her own bedroom, Saito took a breather while in the underground bedroom. After staying there for about an hour, he left the room. The tunnel was so narrow, he had to bend down, and then he saw something on the floor.
The pair of slippers gave him an odd feeling. Is this not Louise’s? How could she have gotten here? Saito suddenly felt his blood run cold. Was it possible that she heard it all?
It must be. Louise came here and saw everything, from start to finish. Saito hurried along through the tunnel and hastily made his way to the bedroom on the second floor.
The door was not locked. Saito charged inside.
“What is going on?”
Louise’s clothes were scattered on the bed. Thief? The thought flashed for a moment.
Louise’s bag was not here. On the bed was a piece of parchment, and Saito’s face turned an ashen pale. There was a single phrase written.
In that moment, Saito was ready to burst into tears. Just imagining the pain Louise must of felt when she saw him and Henrietta cooing affection for each other, and then leaving this note, made Saito dizzy. All her sentiments were conveyed in two words, and Saito understood.
“That girl... after seeing me getting close with Princess... she wanted to give up.”
He knew her personality: stubborn, does not listen to reason, dead serious.
However, all she really wanted was for him to find happiness. If it was for him, she would not hesitate to sacrifice herself. Like at Romalia, she already gave her all to let Saito return to his home in his world . . .
And again this time: she probably believed that if she disappeared, then he would become happy.
Saito grabbed the handle of Derflinger and yanked him from the sheath.
“Derf! Where is Louise?”
“Huuh, what now? Hm, about an hour ago, Louise was crying--I don’t know why--and she packed up her luggage and ran out. Was there another fight?”
Saito, clutching Derflinger, rushed out of the room. When he arrived at the dining hall, he shook Siesta awake.
“Siesta! Have you seen Louise?”
“Nope... What happened?”
“It seems like she ran away.”
Siesta sighed. Then she stared with wide eyes at Saito, unable to take her eyes off.
“What did you do? Since you made Miss Valliere angry enough to run away, then surely you did something really unacceptable. Sure, she always throws tantrums, but it’s not like her to truly be this furious.”
Saito winced, “Let’s talk about this later. I have to go after her on horseback.”
“I am going to help--”
“No. Siesta, you will stay here. It is already late, it might be too dangerous.” Saito took an oil lamp off a table, used a candle flame to light it, and hurried outside. When he got to the stables, he discovered his horse was not there.
Louise rode it and left. Saito, enduring the torment of despair, started to dash onward.
“So, how’d you guys start fighting today?” Derflinger asked Saito from behind.
“It wasn’t a fight.”
“Then what was it?”
“It was my fault. Everything.”
Saito ran while it was dark. He was speculating on where Louise would possibly escape to. Home? Or the Magic Academy? But if she wanted to really disappear, she wouldn’t go to those places.
Saito from those brief words on the parchment came to an understanding that Louise wanted to completely vanish from his eyes. From within, he did not blame himself, yet hated his own words. (!)
I must hurry. This is my only chance. If I cannot find her soon, it’s possible I won’t see her ever again.
“Even if you pursue after her so urgently, she might not be willing to see you. She was quite angry, no? Well, what is said doesn’t matter, she would eventually run away on an impulse,” Derflinger said in a carefree voice.
Saito could not answer. His mind was preoccupied with Louise.
“In addition, you can’t outrun a horse,” said Derflinger.
Despite the odds, Saito did not slow down his pace. His feet would not stop.
In an instant, a peaceful and contented life crumbled. It was not an ordinary way to spend time everyday.
It was a time when one has to diligently take good care of themselves.
It was too easy to lose Louise now, Saito had realized at last the circumstances. At the same time, he realized how much he loved Louise. Then he thought that he might of come to that conclusion too quickly . . .
It is not being hasty.
I was enticed by the charms of Her Highness, it was my choice to kiss her. He told himself how fond he is of Louise’s mouth, and so it was just Her Majesty’s will to come together...
I really am the worst guy ever.
After thirty minutes of continuous jogging, Saito still could not see any sign of Louise. The open night sky covered everything in profound darkness. Only having an oil lamp to depend on while walking through the street was extremely challenging.
“Should I continue down the way I was heading? Or take the other path on this forked road? Maybe after seeing me give chase, she hid somewhere?”
He gathered his strength to go in the same direction, and he was beginning to get short of breath. The next moment, two noble horsemen appeared up ahead who were holding staves in front of them which were illuminated by magic. They appeared to be arguing about something, coming nearer.
“Really! How stupid is brother! You manage to lose things so easily!”
“Sorry...” said a young voice. He sounded similar to Saito’s age. Excitedly, Saito stopped jogging in order to inquire them.
“Excuse me! I would like to ask something if you don’t mind.”
Saito noticed their exceptional capes, and the two nobles stopped their horses.
“What is the matter?” the young man asked. He was wearing a black, feather-plumed hat and a feathered cape.
“Have you seen a noble woman riding a horse pass by?”
The two, one a young man and the other a young woman, looked at each other.
“Was there someone who just recently came by?”
“Are you looking for a lady with long pink hair?”
In response to what the young noble described, Saito nodded.
“Yes, exactly! So she must of went on toward this direction.”
Wanting to continue the conversation with Saito, the nobles hollered for him to stop.
“Hey! Wait! Do you intend to go after her! We have missed her but an hour ago!”
“I intend to somehow catch up with her! Thank you!”
As Saito was starting to run again, the young noble immediately called out, “If you don’t mind, we can send you to the next relay station.”
The relay station was a place where horses could be rented for public use. A horse could be rented after paying some money.
With a firm voice, the female of the party raised a protest. She was wearing a shiny, gorgeous and a monochromatic black-and-white dress. A finished lace weave cloak surrounded her face. She looked like a beautiful doll.
“But now we’re in the middle of a task! This is exactly why I don’t like to go with you, Leu Leu brother! Really, another brother should have come along with me!”
Nevertheless, the young 'Leu Leu' still urged Saito.
“Oh, thank you very much. However, you don’t have any issues? Don’t you still have work to do?”
“Since I lost something... I would like to go back again.”
The horses resuming cantering. It looked like the two people were brothers and sisters.
“It is just the same as when we didn’t have work! While we were on our journey, Leu Leu unexpectedly got sick in the stomach. There was nothing we could do, so I had no choice but to go alone.”
“Forgive me, Jeanette! After we arrive to Tristaina, I’ll buy you all the candy you want.”
When he was done speaking, a broad grin appeared Jeanette’s face.
“Well! You better!”
As the two were discussing, Saito anxiously stared ahead. Jeanette, noticing Saito was like this, said, “Bleu, why don’t you ask this guy?”
“But, that might not be an easy topic to talk about?”
“What are you saying? You carelessly lose things and you still dare speak against me!”
The dialogue was a bit peculiar, but Saito did not pay any attention to it. At the time he didn’t notice much.
After his younger sister made a point, Bleu seemed to have come to a decision. He turned his head towards Saito to ask him.
“May I ask you about something? I heard that nearby there is a noble known as Chevalier De Hira...”
Although the noble started to sound funny, but Saito kept it to himself.
“I guess that would be me.”
It could be made out from Bleu’s face that he was quite startled.
Next to him, Jeanette also opened wide both of her eyes. Bleu showed a pleased expression to flaunt at Jeanette.
“See! Do you see this! Jeanette! I am special like this! When we are trapped Founder Brimir is always standing at my side!”
“You just have good luck, that’s all.”
“What is so great about finding me?”
Regarding to Saito’s confusion, Bleu, in an overdone nonchalant way, said, “So we could kill you!”
Saito’s body suddenly became rigid. So much that he felt it was only a joke. Next to him, Jeanette laughed cheerfully.
“So this is how it is. Only this guy. The most important part of that file that you forgot where you left behind. That, brother. You could take one glance at it and remember everything if this was all it described.”
“That wouldn’t work either. I’m kind of absent-minded.”
The siblings started to argue, and Saito stared blankly at them. They said they wanted to kill him, and now they suddenly are bickering with each other. He really could not make sense of the situation.
“Because it has to be like this, it seems that I have no option but to kill you. Please, if you can, do not offer resistance. It is inconvenient for both parties and will also be a waste of energy.”
“Uh-huh. If you are like an obedient lamb, then it will be just like going to sleep and you’ll be sent to the Founder."
Saito asked in a low voice, “So, you’re not really joking?”
“I’ll ask again...”
“It’s quite a pity...”
When Bleu made that comment, Saito swiftly reacted. He leaned to one side, and immediately gripped at the handle of the katana that was hoisted at his waist, and swung the blade.
It was quicker to take the katana out compared to pulling out Derflinger from behind or taking out the pistol that hung from his jeans. Using the sword directly would be the fastest way to strike.
However, he could not see Bleu in front of him anymore. Effortlessly he had dodged Gandálfr’s lightning speed attack, and rose into the air. From horseback he didn’t even use magic, but simply leaped.
It was a frightening display of skill.
Bleu landed on the ground. Facing Saito, he was about to rush towards him when he felt a powerful gust of wind coming from his right, and Saito tumbled onto the ground. It was Jeanette’s wind magic attack.
“It’s clear that this swordsman, it seems, has already surpassed the majority of magicians.”
Bleu pulled out his staff. It seemed to be a kind of flexible, whip-like staff. With it in hand, he lifted the brim of his hat in a classy way. The face under the hat was someone similar in age to Saito. It can be said that he was quite the elegant gentleman. When he slightly rubbed his nose, his expression was wonderfully cute.
He really looked like one of those kids at the Magic Academy that was a noble official’s son, which made Saito feel unsure of what to do. But, he could not become careless. That cute little face just announced that he wanted to kill him, and it was evident he possessed formidable skill.
“Who are you!?” Saito turned over to stand up, using his katana for support.
“Should we tell him?” Bleu asked Jeanette.
“No way! Seriously! You are such an idiot!”
“Don’t call me an idiot! The other brothers used to be in charge of these things, so I just don’t remember the procedure!”
Then he turned to Saito, “My apologies. I cannot tell you. Anyway, that first strike was not bad! Looks like that legendary familiar stuff is true.”
Bleu’s face gradually became a smile. Saito felt that he had seen that kind of smile before. Oh yes, in the past he had seen this expression often in an arcade with those wrestling video games. He would use all his pocket money to play them. There were a ton of game addicts. Whenever these guys met a good opponent, they would have this kind of smile...
“Can’t you let me have some fun?”
“Even if I say no, you’ll just do whatever it is that’s in your head. Eh, I don’t care. After this our brothers will just scold you and it’ll all be your fault.”
“Of course that’ll happen. But you don’t have to care or get involved.”
Bleu turned towards Saito again.
“Very well. You, what’s your name? Hira... Hiragu... Hirago...”
“Yes, that’s right! You’re Hirako. Your luck isn’t bad. It’s only a little, but you get to live for a while longer. And I’m different from my brothers, who are only interested in money. I purely enjoy fighting. Especially someone as challenging as you.”
“Our brothers do not just like money alone! Our brothers serve a greater purpose!”
“You really are so noisy, and as far as I’m concerned it’s the same.” Bleu wrinkled his eyebrows.
During the random arguing, Saito could not launch an offensive. Bleu did not show any openings. Sweat dripped down his forehead.
“Eh? Why didn’t you attack? I obviously left a lot of opportunities... how unusual. Oh well! Then, let’s start from my side! C’mon!”
Bleu waved his whip-like staff. Saito distanced himself about 20 mails. He was on the alert for some type of ice-arrow magic. Within his view, the tip of the staff gathered magical energy, shining with pale rays of light, and it starting forming into a rough tree-like shape.
The huge tree-like blade was going for Saito’s head. In a critical moment, he jumped to the side and avoided the attack.
The strength of this “blade” could not be underestimated. The dust on the ground swirled into the air. If he used the katana to make an attack... the whole sword would probably shatter.
“Not bad. That was ‘only’ a blade. Although, it was a bit bigger than the usual. And about you! That was terrific! You’re the first to be able to dodge that attack!”
This is gonna get messy, thought Saito as he stuck his katana into the ground and unsheathed Derflinger from behind him.
“Oi, partner, looks like we came across a formidable opponent!”
“What’s with him... I’ve never seen as thick a magic “blade”... That guy has some extraordinary power.”
But... I cannot lose here. I must get a horse to find Louise. Thinking about this, Saito’s body was shaking.
The glowing runes on his left hand glowed intensely. When Bleu saw Saito like this, he grinned more gleefully.
“Excellent. Quite excellent. Worthy to be known as the swordsman that overwhelmed many mages. But...”
Saito concentrated on Bleu. He watched every move that he made. With the experience of countless battles, he was accustomed to predicting when his opponents would strike.
Not yet. Not yet. No, not yet.
Bleu proceeded to speak, “You, it seems, only know about the mages of light. Why is it that we mages for 6,000 years until the monarchy were above everyone else... for this reason, let me tell you. Square level, triangle level, all these levels do not mean much of anything. Let me teach you something. As your “mage assassin.””
Bleu raised his own “blade” up high.
Saito flung himself, charging directly towards Bleu’s chest. His right hand firmly held Derflinger and he swiped. In a split second Bleu reduced the size of his “blade” to block the assault.
A fierce sound exploded, with sparks and pale rays of magic clashing. Almost simultaneously, Saito retrieved the automatic pistol with his left hand. He loaded a cartridge into it.
He jabbed the gun’s muzzle into Bleu’s abdomen, then pulled the trigger. With invisible speed three consecutive rounds were shot out. His hand felt like it really hit the target. However, Bleu had not collapsed.
“Well done! Well done! Unexpectedly you put out a lovely sword-and-bullet combination attack! But regarding to that gun, we are experts on protecting ourselves from them.”
Pop, a deformed bullet came out of Bleu’s abdomen and fell on the ground.
“This is the simplest method. In the area about to be hit, hardening that part of the body is good enough. With practice, it becomes second-nature.”
Saito suddenly tilted the pistol, firing at Bleu’s head. If he didn’t get rid of the enemy, the enemy would get rid of him. This kind of terrifying attack would overwhelm anyone. However, Bleu’s forehead flashed with a silver glow, and the bullet was flicked out. Until then, Saito continued to shoot in vain, but there was no opening, and Bleu using the ‘Harden’ technique deflected each one.
“It’s surprising that your gun can fire continuously! When did they come out with such a remarkable model!”
From Saito’s stunned hands, Bleu came toward him and abruptly seized the automatic pistol. It appeared that his gaze was transfixed on the weapon for a while, and then grinned at Saito.
“This looks like it has been elaborately wrought! It’s not bad! Can I have it?”
He was not kidding about it. The mood was like that of a casual conversation between friends. Saito could tell from his tone, he had not revealed the true reason for wanting it (!)
“You taking my gun...”
Saito grabbed Derflinger with both hands and slashed with all his might. Bleu moved backwards a little, avoiding the sharp point.
“If you weren’t a familiar, you wouldn’t be able to move so fast, and in my opinion your achievements are just third-rate. The cream of the crop would be someone who uses magic as well as I.”
Once more, he lifted up his “blade” and it was expanding rapidly.
“All of my power is going into this spell!”
The huge “blade edge” was brought down onto Saito. But, Saito was not going to wait an eternity, and dodged it. While in the middle of evasion, he inquired Derflinger.
“That guy... why does he have to move so fast! I can’t hit him at all!”
“There are those who are like that... In the long history of mages, some guys are born to fight... Basically, you’ve got really bad luck this time.”
“Even so, attaining that kind of speed is inhuman!”
Thinking that the attack was avoided, Bleu still brought down the “blade.” The force blew Saito rolling onto the ground.
“Aww. Aww! Don’t tell me it’s all over!”
Saito sprung onto his feet. No big deal, it was only a scratch. However, the next time could still be highly unpredictable.
“Eh?,” at this moment, Derflinger said in a low-voice.
“What is it, Derf?”
“Originally, it was like this. During when the “first life” was made. Well, granted that it was so, but after all, that is how they become so strong.” (!)
“What are you talking about?”
The giant “blade” spell that smothers. The unnatural leaps of evasion.
“It’s not complicated, see. That guy’s body, if I’m correct, is not his true original body. Foot... wrist... knee... elbow... there’s an ace up his sleeve. All these parts, had magic applied to the “first life.” Thus they have the ability to move so fast. But, who would do these things?”
“Stop trying to escape!” Bleu’s impatient cry could be heard.
Derflinger’s words exposed the truth, and it allowed Saito to keep a level-head. Now, the smallest movements of the opponent were seen through clearly, as he dodged attack.
“Well, if we know the reason, then there’s a way. Even if you’re an elf, you still wouldn’t be able to achieve such fine control. It’s like using a dragon’s flames to toast bread. It would just turn into ash.”
“Then, what should I do?”
“Alright, I will absorb his magic. Using this opportunity, you go get that sword that’s from whatever country, and rush to stab him. Although, that guy’s magic power is weird... It’s excessively powerful. I can’t be certain...”
“You can’t be certain about what?!”
“Well, there’s no choice. Try to kill him, alright?”
Saito inched toward the katana stuck in the dirt.
“Hey, hey! Don’t tell me you’re trying to run away!” In a moment, Bleu waved his “blade.”
Derflinger shouted unexpectedly. “Partner! Now! Stick me into the ground!”
Saito did as he was told, and thrusted Derflinger into the earth.
“What!?” Bleu let out an astonished sound. Right away, his own magic “blade” was steadily sucked in with a ‘whoosh’ by Derflinger.
Saito flung himself towards the standing katana.
“Screw him good, Derf!”
“Yuh--your... it’s clear this is not just any sword!” Bleu’s leisurely facial expression disappeared. The next moment, he took something out from his chest. Indeed, it was a bottle containing some liquid. Sensing what it was, Derflinger yelled out.
“This is BAD! Partner! Hurry!”
Just as Saito was going to charge into Bleu, he stopped in his tracks. The next instant, Bleu exhausted the whole bottle. Then, he emitted a deafening roar.
The range of the “blade” increased two-fold in an instant. Incredulously, Saito stared at it. It began to burst out with power.
The “blade”, like a python, started to wreck Bleu’s surroundings. If anyone were to rush into it at this point, even Gandálfr would not be able to withstand it. There were no openings to break into.
However, even though the “blade” was a chaotic hurricane now, Derflinger unceasingly continued to absorb it.
Saito noticed a crack appeared on Derflinger’s surface.
“Listen well, partner. When I’m done absorbing all of his magic, use your sword to chop him up. Got it?”
“Hey, hey! Stop it!”
Saito became aware of the situation that was shifting slowly, not towards his favor.
The crack on Derflinger’s surface continued to grow larger. Unable to restrain his emotions, Saito threw himself at Derflinger. However, the energy waves from the “blade” magic sent him flying.
“I can’t stand... I can’t bear it. I’m afraid that because of the drug, this guy’s power is too much... It seems like my body cannot resist much longer.”
“Don’t. Although our time together was short, but I am truly happy. Living for six millenium really has its advantages.”
“Stop casting! Stop casting your spell! Derf!” cried Saito.
The frantic, uncontrolled magical “blade” began to swell. Derflinger’s sword body was slowly splitting apart.
“You had better apologize to the arrogant young lady.”
When the moment came that the immense “blade” was fully absorbed... Bang! As if coming from inside and the magic energy reached critical levels, Derflinger exploded into millions of bits and fragments.
Bleu received the force of the explosion and flew out, eventually landing on the ground.
From the sky, like little specks of stardust, the fragments of Derflinger slowly floated downwards, and Saito could only stare at them stupefied.
What had just happened did not register in his brain. The whole world, in a split second simply froze.
Suddenly, a hotness flowed into his cheeks. Finally, Saito recovered from the shock. With a calmness that was cultivated from battle, which didn’t give Saito any chance to soak in his grief, he spoke faintly about the present situation:
“Derf... You bastard... I thought I told you to stop...”
Containing indescribable grief, the runes on Saito’s left hand erupted in a radiance never seen before, made brighter by the dark night. It looked like his whole hand was shining, and holding firmly to the katana, the blade reflected out scattered rays of light.
“I clearly told you to stop!”
From the past, during the battle with Wardes, Derflinger’s words echoed in Saito’s mind.
'Gandálfr's source of power is feelings! Anger! Sadness! Love! Pleasure! Anything is good! And now you seem to be really shaken, my Gandálfr!'
He was a snarky, slow and muddled partner.
But even so, when trapped, he always could find a way out.
After all, how many times had he helped Saito?
After all, how many times had he saved Saito?
“I don’t want to be shaking like this!” Saito howled.
The blown away Bleu had recovered at last and stood up. The blast still left him a bit dizzy.
“That was really an outstanding sword... he actually sucked up all my magic... what a pain in the ass.”
While Bleu was shaking his head, from twenty mails away, Saito holding the katana charged at him. What, with my speed I can still make it even from this distance!
Saito was running fast enough that to him, Bleu looked like he was immobile. Undaunted, Bleu raised his arm and started to chant a spell.
... by that guy...
Derf was killed by that guy.
His body was light and graceful like a long wing, the opposite to his heavy laden heart. He was unable to hold back the tears that were rising forth. A fierce, unstoppable emotion was inside him, the feeling that it was too easy to lose close friends, and Saito knew this well.
If only I tried harder.
If only I was stronger.
If only I was more. If only I was better. If only I was greater...
'Wow, amazing. I look down on you. You are a "useless familiar."'
'But, don’t worry partner. I’ll help you by absorbing the spells! That’s me, Gandálfr’s left hand: Derflinger!'
'Partner, go above the ship. It’s a blind spot, where the cannons can not reach.'
'Don’t just stand around. Blocking that tornado is your job. Gandálfr.'
'Hey, lady, when I give you the signal, just pull the lever down there below the seat. That’s the latest weapon that Mr. Colbert installed.'
'Partner, you are were always very brave.'
'Have confidence. You are strong. Just listen to my instructions now. Follow them, all right? If you do so, you can surely win.'
'This fellow is like that. She has the movements of an assassin.'
'Cast that 'Dispel' on me!'
All of what Derflinger had said in the past flashed by in less than a second. Saito took a leap and during that moment, Derflinger’s words pushed through his head once more.
'Don’t forget! I’m not the one fighting! I am just a sword!'
What are you saying. You’re not just a sword.
He was a partner that always gave reliable advice. It did not matter what time of day it was, he was always an amusing, fun friend.
During Saito’s proud moments; chaotic times; cheerful memories; sorrowful moments; even on the brink of death, he was always by his side.
But, he has already passed on.
A wild, animalistic roar came out from Saito. It was the sound of great sorrow. The indescribable emotions made his heart fill with rage, as his runes were shining ever brighter. The glowing hand held the sword; from handle to tip the katana’s edge had a marvelous luster. This light no doubt shows that he has been greatly affected by this one fact:
Derf was gone.
Right when Bleu was gathering on the staff tip the magic for a “blade” attack... Saito ran even faster, aiming at Bleu’s chest.
“Whuh... now he’s faster than me?”
Saito practically wanted to bury the whole sword into him, and he stabbed the katana into Bleu’s abdomen.
“Derf. You’re really an idiot.”
Jeanette either did not want Saito to finish victoriously, or she was stricken with grief.
The next moment, Saito felt a blow to his head, and he toppled onto the ground.
There was still another enemy. In the remote parts of his mind, Saito cursed himself many times.
Seeing both her older brother and Saito lying on the ground, Jeanette gasped.
“What a fool. I can’t imagine how he’s my brother. How about I just leave him lying here...”
Even saying this, Jeanette held her unconscious brother, and starting treating the sword wound with magic. It was evident that the wound was fatal, but it gradually closed up. That was the astonishing power of water magic.
While trying to get her fallen brother onto a horse, Jeanette glanced at Saito sprawled on the ground.
“You chose life.”
She looked at the letter in her hand. While the two were in combat, the brother’s familiar delivered it. It contained some writing:
“To beloved Jeanette: You and Bleu are doing fine? In that case, I pray your ‘work’ has not been completed. Just recently Jack contacted us, and apparently the client is unable to garner enough funds. Stop what you are doing, and return immediately. We have prepared for you nice, hot soup.
Born with a purpose,
“Seriously... we don’t work for free. Ah, was the down payment received already? But even then, it’s not worth the effort.”
Mumbling to herself, Jeanette mounted her horse.
“Well, in this place it’s hard to find business.”
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