Zero no Tsukaima:Volume16 Chapter8 - 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 8: The Basement of the Residence
Louise was about to make Saito into a ‘gorgeous aristocrat’ and her interest in his education burned more intensely. Initially, Saito was under the impression that he would be under strict etiquette disciplining involving suffering and was shaking from head to toe, but things were not so simple.
On the whole, during meal time there was only one etiquette that must be followed: wipe the mouth before drinking wine.
In addition, so long as using silverware, no one should be making a sound, so he can’t chatter about things with Louise.
What gave Saito a headache was the social etiquette. Take for example banquet etiquette, it seemed like there’s a certain way to invite someone to dance, and one had to be very careful when taking leave... this meaningless conduct demonstrated the nature of nobles. However, in the end, Saito came from a Japanese born on Earth, and at the time period he was born in was when it wasn’t common for people to act as such. They did not have such manners.
So he often suffered which is why he wanted to get out, Give me a good reason to leave, raising his hands as a gesture was not enough for this lesson, Saito could not bear it anymore. If it is like this, perhaps by meal time the ‘no good’ lesson could be a little bit better. Louise’s education was already integrated into his life... training started from the moment he got up in the morning from bed and continued until night time when he went back to bed until it got to the point where he stopped putting the lessons into practice...
However, even so, starting this time, Saito had better try harder, Louise thought... To please Eleonore, she tried hard to change his behaviour to be more refined. But in this world what seemed to be an impossible issue existed. Being born without something, even no matter what is done, it can not be imposed on. Among the things that are achievable and things that aren’t exists a clear boundary, and Saito is the type of person who is unable to overcome that one boundary in any way.
“Hey, when it comes to this, can you understand anything? You act like a cow simply eating grass and not tasting any of it!
Special training would start five days later... when he was told this, Saito finally exploded.
“There’s no way to do this! What you say is like asking a chicken to fly! You are forcing me to do something I can’t, even if you say it’s simple, it’s impossible to understand, I don’t have any basic foundation to refer from. Even if you plan to continue, just make the bothersome lessons simpler!”
“Don’t tell me that what I teach you isn’t simple already! Watch, just like so, bow!”
While saying this, Louise easily and fluently bowed in front of Saito. Even dancing could not match the gracefulness, the precise movements combined with accuracy resulted in the perfect curtsy. If one only fancied to take a look, one apparently can experience the essence of the aristocratic history of Halkeginia.
By demand, Saito followed and also did one curtsy. However, although he himself thought there was basically no difference between his and Louise’s, the teacher did not think the same way.
“No! Everything was not good! This will be absolutely impossible to get approval from Eleonore onee-san!”
“I said...” Saito paused at once, afterwards the emotions that he had restrained and accumulated towards Louise for the past several days all came out.
“Who was the one that wanted to live with me? Eleonore onee-san? She is not you! Is this what you think about all the time? Could it be that you hope I will be like this? Hope that I will pose and ask, ‘How do you do, ma’am?’ saying children’s lines?”
“Not like that, not like that.”
“If that’s the case, let me stay the way I am, alright? This stuff can come in handy. I can observe manners, and keep up a demeanor of a gentleman. However, to change the behaviour I was already born with is quite strange.”
Louise, with a dissatisfied look, bit her lips.
She did not expect to allow her lover to act in this way... this man will become her husband in the future, she will be looked down upon by her family.
As a result, she fiercely resolved in her heart to carry out her special training, but Saito did not pay attention to it.
“I won’t permit you to be only looked down upon by my family.”
However when Louise said it like that, Saito instead became more angry. He made a ‘why must I be with her’ kind of sound.
“If it’s only my behaviour that will be looked down upon, I have nothing to say. If you’re a so-called noble, your stubbornness would be enough. I don’t need to be with you because I don’t come from a noble background!”
“You don’t understand at all!”
“Who doesn’t understand!”
“So you don’t expect to live together with me?”
“I never said that! But if I have to do everything you want in order to live together, then that’s not going to work.”
“If you plan to live with me, then it is good to be a noble! If you don’t want it like this, then the partner I danced with at the ball sure fooled me!”
When she said that, Saito felt like a hammer heavily pounded and attacked his heart. “What... so you care more than I do about what other people see of you?”
Seeing the two people like this, Siesta had a helpless look on her face. It seemed like the rest of the servants like Helen have already chosen to flee as the best strategy.
In conclusion, Louise didn’t say anything again, she simply stood up and ran away trying to contain her tears. Even though Saito chased after her, Louise was a step ahead and bursted into her bedroom and locked the door.
Showing a tired expression on his face, Saito returned to the dining hall and then sat down into a chair. Siesta stood showing a nervous expression on her face.
A disharmonious atmosphere circulated around the place.
“Siesta... what do you think?”
“To be honest, I think what Saito-san said is reasonable.”
“But I also understand what Valliere-sama feels.”
Even with this much said, to do what Louise actually said, to turn ‘noble’ manners into habits anyhow would be awfully difficult. Maybe if he had one year and concentrated on the training, it would be a possibility. However, Saito still had work, it would be impossible to complete it all with the time he had.
“For this matter you might entirely not care about my words but... nobles have various sorts of troubles.”
“Really, eh? If I had known earlier that this issue would become so bothersome...”
“‘Become,’ you said?”
“Not becoming some noble precisely because it’s hard to act like a noble, this dog here sure complains a lot.”
“Well!” Siesta’s eyes opened round.
“What is it?”
“Don’t use that careless tone of voice to speak about this situation that you don’t know of its importance. From a commoner to a familiar... and after that you now are a noble. Don’t tell me that you didn’t rise straight up to a clear sky, got promoted so fast?”
“Rising up to a clear sky? I, that’s just the way it is... as long as I get along with everyone it’s all good. I don’t want to wear fancy clothes while attending parties and issue lousy and long greetings flattering each other.”
Saito became agitated as he spoke. Louise was half crying when she ran into her room... in this way the heavy atmosphere became even heavier, and Siesta did not withdraw, but persevered, went to the kitchen and brought back a bottle of grape wine.
“Here----drink some now. This is most important.”
Siesta held a glass and poured wine in it, then Saito drained the cup in one shot.
“In a single day life became peaceful, yet this kind of peace brought about a bunch of inconveniences...” Saito came to trance and talked to himself.
Siesta heard him and nodded her head: “So it’s like that. Although war is no good, but everyone knows clearly who the enemy is. Peace sometimes becomes troublesome. After all, who is a foe, who is a friend, there’s no way to be happy when you realize that.”
Saito admired Siesta and looked at her eyes: “You said something truly mature.”
“It is from Mother, who studied all that she could,” Siesta said in a way that appeared to be bashful.
“What’s more... in a relaxing time like this, the eyes and ears naturally become keen. Up until now the little subtleties were not really noticed in this place... For example, during mealtime the sounds that are made, the way the door opens and closes...
“These tiny details can make it hard to show restraint. I was in a dormitory in a maid school at the time when something like that happened. I just entered the dormitory and being too nervous, I didn’t care about almost everything... but after I was settled, the girl who shared my dormitory made noise by grinding her teeth, and the method used to wash stuff, they all caused me to feel very unhappy.”
“So that’s how it was before.”
“Anyway, if it’s for Saito-san, I can actually be patient.”
Siesta smiled sweetly and leaned against Saito’s body. Seeing his bewildered appearance, Siesta got off and released the next wave of attack.
“Wha--what! What is it?!”
Siesta looked confused and put her hands on her chest. “Bug, bug...”
“A... bug got into my shirt. Please help me take it out.”
“Because... I’m terrified of insects...” As she was speaking, Siesta shyly undid the first button of her blouse. Even so, Saito did not move. Thus, the second button was also undone.
“ ... ”
“Eh!” Making this sound invited Saito to gaze up, and also took out the third button, yet indeed Saito still did not move.
“I don’t dare to grasp.”
Siesta yawned ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ and in a high pitched sigh, said: “Could it be that I am not charming?... Normally in these circumstances, not even if you knew there was no bug, would you put your hand in?”
“It’s not like that...” Saito bitterly muttered.
“I know. It’s because you already have Valliere-sama. Huh, Saito-san is really good. However, please thank me, because the last battle was not serious.”
“... Battle? Serious?”
Siesta glared with ice-cold eyes. Then, she lightly whispered into the side of Saito’s ear.
Although it’s not like Saito to vainly attempt to exaggerate, but if it’s from what Siesta said with her fresh and pure lips, she possessed matchless power. Even if he immediately covered his nose, one could still see what flowed out from within.
“What are you ultimately thinking about...”
“This is what the same girl in the school dormitory taught me! Although I’m starting to think this is unlikely. But!”
Her whole face blushing, Siesta stood up. Silence drifted between the two of them. Next, Siesta appeared to have set her determination and in a tone that inhaled air, then she lifted her skirt to cover her mouth and spoke in a low voice, “But do you want to try a little?”
He really wanted to peek. However, Saito nevertheless forcibly suppressed his desire. He clutched his thigh and thought back to an angry Louise.
Siesta not long after gave up, then took the wine, splash, splash, and poured some into her own cup.
After some time, both people were openly drinking wine. Siesta laid her stomach on the table and began to fall asleep. Saito went to a room to get blankets to cover her.
He was thinking about how it was time to cool down and checked out Louise's room, but the door was still locked like before.
Waiting for his head to gradually calm down, Saito started to ponder: Just now it seems like I was a bit impatient. Then he also thought, Since she already decided to live with me, compared to the household I came from, she attaches more importance to her own ideas, and so on. Saito previously wished Louise had answered Eleonore like this: “Even if he is already successful, Saito is still Saito! I’ve decided to live with this man! There’s no need to put on the appearance of a noble, isn’t that so?”
Of course, Louise never said anything like that, but rather, “Let me change him into a gorgeous aristocrat!” Furthermore, if Saito’s manners aren’t up to Eleonore’s standards when she is informed, Louise will be sent back to her home.
In short, Saito reached a conclusion.
Which means I cannot be accepted at all... From this conclusion his confidence bit by bit withered away and Saito soon thought: Their demand should not have to be by the end of the month. Thought there were some recent changes, but Louise, after all that happened, was still by the side of this man. The development of noble conduct was estimated to have already penetrated deeply into his bones.
Just as he intended to pour more wine, Saito discovered the wine bottle was empty already. “I really wanted to drink some...”
Saito carrying a candle headed toward the kitchen. He looked beside the cabinet, but could not locate any wine. The kitchen was managed by Helen-obasan and Siesta, so he was completely clueless as to where anything was. Anyway, because he couldn’t find anything, he instead wished more to drink some more.
While Saito overturned boxes and containers scouring the kitchen, he found something out of his expectations.
“What is this?” He looked through the depths of the cabinets and found an old key.
“Key? Where does this key go?”
At that moment, a location suddenly flashed through Saito’s mind. The very bottom of the stairs that lead to the basement entrance... indeed if there was no key inserted no one could go in, right? So far, there was no plan to make use of the basement, so when it was time for renovation that area was ignored. Also wanted to make the cost a little cheaper.
The very old, very round key had faded scratches everywhere.
Saito arrived in front of the door at the bottom of the stairs, slowly took the key, inserted it in the keyhole and turned it. The lock core made a ka-chink sound.
With the door opened, Saito saw another staircase leading farther underground. At the end... what does the basement actually have? The end of the staircase was encircled by deep darkness. Without thinking he gripped the katana he brought back from the weapon storehouse in Albion. In response to dangerous situations when Saito was unable to carry Derflinger, he often brought this katana and pistol. Although Derflinger complained a little excessively, but because they’re inside a house Saito can’t wave around a huge sword, so there was no other method besides this.
The inscriptions on his left hand glowed, and immediately Saito’s heart felt secure. Soon after he took his hands off the weapon. Because he was Gandalfr, his time was limited. Of course, he also had timid feelings inside.
This is just a basement.
Although his logic thought in that way, but he was unsure about why he felt frightened. This fear must not be allowed, and Saito, having an interest for wine, was facing the flight of steps and took the first step. Ghosts are fine, and vampires are fine, they’ll give me courage. You will all drop dead when I’m done dealing with you...
The stairs weren’t as long as he imagined. In the blink of an eye he reached the basement. From what he saw from the candlelight, the room didn’t have anything. Probably beforehand this place was used as a storage room, there were many ruined barrels, planks, what could possibly be props used to fix the courtyard, and such things that were covered in dust.
On the other hand, Saito was thinking about whether there could be some wine, and began searching everywhere.
While he was thinking This place won’t be any good if it’s not cleaned... Saito felt a subtle protrusion in the gap of a wall.
Unaware why, the protrusion seemed like it could be pressed to go to the interior. Before his eyes the wall produced a series of muffled groaning and creaking sounds and shifted open. It appeared to be magic. Saito watched the places where it combined one after another and nodded his head.
“This is... that. The place used to hide secret treasure.”
Indeed, this is worthy to be a house for nobles. A customized mechanism built to deposit treasure, it’s no mistake.
So it turns out this way. God is really powerful, not only did I receive territory, He also pointed out this buried treasure. What could this treasure really be... Saito thought excitedly, and used the candlelight to look inside.
There was a stone reinforcement, one person alone was able to crouch and make his way into a passage.
“The end has a concealed room I think.”
Although he felt uncomfortable and the darkness was pitch-black... Saito could not overcome his curiosity and longing, and hunching his back, he took the first step. Forward 10 meters, 20 meters... suddenly a door showed up in front of him.
Saito swallowed his saliva... and pushed the door open.
“ So this is...” This is... Saito felt that the room would have tens of piles left and right. “... a bedroom?”
An unexpected underground bedroom, what a really weird design. Placed in the center of the room was a bed with an overhang.
Around the room had what looked like wardrobes and other things arranged. Saito found the furniture to be quite beautiful. The bed overhang was decorated with lace, some parts had gems embedded.
“These things are valuable no doubt, but I think it is overall a little strange.”
Exactly who before would live underground? The room looked like it was still in use, like it was never abandoned. However, the basement of the house was in a whacky mess, the extraordinary difference was obvious.
“Or was magic applied...?”
Is it because a permanency spell was used to protect the room? That appeared to be the correct answer. Even though the room was not neglected, but Saito could not sense... the feeling that anyone lived here.
Displayed on the wall of the bedroom was a huge full-body mirror. Indeed, it was a mirror more or less as tall as Saito. Saito crept slowly towards it. Then... for a reason unknown, the mirror started to sparkle with dazzling radiance. The gate that looked like the one he encountered before, and the surroundings were brimming with light.
Basically, this mirror seemed to be an enchanted gateway. ‘What should I do? Go in to see? No... isn’t this how I ended up in this world some time ago?’
“Maybe the reverse is true...”
Maybe it’s possible to freely come and go through this magic gate, but it can’t be said for sure. Saito, unable to take his eyes off, stared intently at the mirror.
Henrietta was thinking about issues in her bedroom. Just a moment ago, Mazarin and Marian visited to inquire pertaining to her answer in choosing a marriage partner. However, up to now she was pondering over national affairs, not even having a thought about her future. Yet, both these matters were intertwined, which felt like being bound to herself by chain shackles that can’t be broken.
If I consider things at the standpoint of what’s best for the country, then I should do what Mother and the Cardinal suggested. In fact, a year ago didn't he himself say he intended for the queen to marry at Romalia.
However, she was different now from herself one year ago. She already learned that if she made a decision, she must follow through with that decision completely. Even if it’s a mistake...
Well, why do I not wish to get married? I don’t have a designated lover. Could it not be that there's no problem whatsoever?
Am I already fond of a man? Thinking about that, Henrietta stopped pondering. That... is not love at all. That was her conclusion after asking herself.
Only one, if she could permit herself to try willfully.
I wish for him.
She wished to show herself by means of her own willpower to decide on that young guy.
“... What a stubborn lady.”
Henrietta bit her lip and gave up, and then stood because imagining things like that was really too shameful. Originally she wanted to call in a female officer, but suddenly changed her mind. Embracing her desire and foolish idea to be alone, she took off her indoor clothes near the wardrobe. When she opened the drawer, intending to take out her pajamas... There came a thump, thump beating sound from something heavy. She immediately turned her head, what startled her was that a portion of the wall was actually moving!
With an astonished look she watched, a portion of the wall, like a rotating door, reversed. When she noticed that inside there seemed to be a person, Henrietta let out a sad cry.
Now coming through the shining gate before Saito’s eyes... was a stone wall. Behind the magic gate that was a full-body mirror shining with light, and at the end of it was a ten meter square, the whole thing a stone wall.
“What is this place?”
Not thinking much of it, he extended his hand, Upon examining this wall in front of me, can it move too?
After putting more force into pushing the wall, it swiveled around. The next thing that caught Saito’s eye was... by candlelight, a woman’s figure.
At this split second, the woman let out a sad cry.
After the voice stopped, just now he realized that who he saw was a familiar face.
Henrietta finally took notice of his voice.
Saito was excited among the confusion. First, he found the basement of the mansion in the Des Ornières territory, then found a secret passage... and just now found another strange room, and finally passed through to the other side of the mirror because of his insatiable curiosity...
“Why is Princess here?”
Saito was completely confused. Henrietta stood there with her mouth open, not knowing what to do.
While both people were in a state of confusion, the inside of their ears echoed with Agnes' bellowing, “Your Majesty! What happened?”
The unlocking sound that Agnes made, ka-chink ka-chink, made Henrietta resume her consciousness. She seized Saito's hand and shoved him onto her bed. If Saito was seen here in the middle of the night, things would become a little troublesome, even for Agnes.
Right when Henrietta covered Saito with a blanket, the door opened and Agnes dashed inside with her sword unsheathed.
Henrietta pushed Saito on the bed and got on top to obstruct him from view, then acted like nothing had happened.
“Well, I heard Your Majesty moan... so I hurried over here,” Agnes explained after seeing Henrietta's puzzled expression and calm demeanor.
“Sorry for alarming you... I just saw a mouse a moment ago, I couldn't help but call out.” Henrietta used this excuse as a cover up.
“So that's what it was...”
Agnes, having a somewhat blank expression, retreated from the room. Henrietta sighed with relief, and Saito pulled the covers from the bed.
“What exactly happened? At such a late time...”
Saito didn't know anything, and he turned over with a haughty look... but from the small light, he realized Henrietta was only wearing underwear, and without delay opened his eyes.
With such thin silk underwear, the fervent figure of Henrietta could be clearly seen.
Blushing across her whole face, Henrietta wrapped herself in the same indoor robes she had just took off.
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