Zero no Tsukaima:Volume19 Chapter5
Chapter 5: Ali's visit
Saito was awakened by sunlight flowing through a window. Tiffania occupied the bed, so he was sleeping on a couch. He couldn't sleep in the same bed with Tiffania again, even though Tiffania had said "we're friends, so it's fine;" Saito realized that it wasn't.
For example, he could touch something while tossing in his sleep. It was obvious for him that that touch, like a drug, would just switch his brain off; so he slept on the sofa. The view of her cleavage convinced him that it was a wise decision.
Tiffania slept peacefully. The spacious robe went awry in the night, and the resulting view was captivating. Saito tried to look away, but about ten seconds later he childishly convinced himself that it was an encouragement from God.
Actually, a difficult mission was ahead of them both. It would be a waste if only he received the encouragement.
Saito thought about it and shook his head.
This is wrong.
Tiffania tossed in her sleep again. The loose robe shifted even more, and the Grand Canyon came into Saito's view. It was amazing.
Saito almost cried with excitement and joined his palms. Then Tiffania woke up. She noticed the state of her robe and Saito's gaze, blushed and covered her cleavage with her hand. Saito was very embarrassed.
It was just a peep, wasn't it? Knowing me, would Louise be disappointed? Saito mentally bowed to his sweetheart.
Is there an instinct below love? Can I be above this instinct? Then I act like that not because of a flaw of human nature. It is because of my own flaw. Saito mentally vowed to Louise to be strong.
I will not look anymore. Because Louise is the best... he muttered in his mind. He gave a promise to Louise. It didn't happen often, but Saito made a mental promise of loyalty.
Tiffania murmured something almost crying.
"...weird. Definitely my chest is weird. It bothers you, doesn't it? Sniff..."
"No! Don't worry about it!" Saito hastily shook his head.
"What is happening?"
Door opened and Luctiana entered. Saito pretended that nothing happened. Tiffania gulped, she looked nervous.
Saito winked to Tiffania, she nodded.
"Did you have breakfast? Some fruits in this oasis are very good."
Saito raised his hand, Luctiana noticed.
"Huh? What happened?"
"I have something to discuss. Let's negotiate?"
"Negotiate what?" Said Luctiana with blank expression.
"I would like to talk with the Elf leaders."
"What? Again? You want to see Shaitan's Gate and the so-called magic equipment?"
"Didn't I say already to forget about it?"
Saito nonchalantly declared.
"Then I will die."
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
Tiffania was looking at Saito waiting for signal to intervene. He nodded.
"Ah! This guy will do as he says!"
"Yes I will."
"Die! Stop this nonsense! Hey Saito!"
This was the strategy they came up with yesterday. The Elves needed Saito alive. They had agreed to keep Tiffania's ability to erase memory as a trump card.
Luctiana looked at them alternately and started to laugh.
"Funny! You guys sure have strangest ideas!"
"Why are you laughing? If I died, wouldn't it be a problem for you? A new familiar..."
"I can see it in your eyes. You are not really intending to die, are you?"
Saito didn't have a response for that.
Luctiana stared at him.
"You'd better not say something like that in front of other elves. Suicide, huh? You would lose your heart."
Lose heart... Saito remembered something Tabitha said about it.
Tabitha... an elf almost forced her to take medicine... If they hadn't rescued her in the last moment at the Alhambra, she would have 'lost her heart'.
"You should be grateful. The Council wanted to use it from the start. It would be safer. Only because I and my uncle vigorously objected can you guys still think clearly."
Tiffania and Saito paled. It was horrifying.
Luctiana mentioned someone else.
"Why did he protect me?"
"Hmm. He seems to think you are unusual. He said that he had a lot of questions for you, so you will meet him soon. My uncle is great. It's almost what you wanted. And please no more crazy ideas."
Saito and Tiffania exchanged embarrassed glances.
Then Luctiana continued her inquiry. This time she was mostly asking Tiffania.
"Who is your mother? How you were born?"
Tiffania glanced at Saito for support. He was sitting nearby.
Somewhat frightened, she started slowly describe her upbringing. Her parents were the Grand Duke of Albion and his mistress, an elf woman. Then her uncle, the King, sent soldiers to kill her parents.
She escaped and lived in a forest. And met Saito and his friends...
She told everything except for the fact that she had Void magic abilities.
Luctiana listened her story with interest, taking notes.
"What was your mother's name?"
"Father was calling her Shayal."
"It means 'pearl' in our language. I am sure she was beautiful."
Tiffania smiled shyly.
"Yes. She was very beautiful. Even though my childhood memories are faint, I remember this..."
"I will check. It is very unusual for an elf to go there. Maybe I can find out more about her."
Tiffania was delighted.
"Yes. Maybe you have relatives."
Tiffania's smile faded.
"Right... But... I think..."
"My parents loved each other very much. So, I think humans and elves can understand each other."
"Well, yes. That's why we can talk like this."
"In this case please take us to the 'Holy Land'! Otherwise a lot of people will die! And those who survive will lose everything!"
Luctiana become serious. It seemed that it wasn't a trivial matter for her.
"Frankly I was thinking about it. The cataclysm might be a part of the Great Purpose but just accepting it as such doesn't feel right. But keep in mind, very few elves would see it like this."
"Thank you very much!"
Tiffania and Saito bowed.
"For six thousand years we protected Shaitan's Gate. They say opening it would cause a horrible disaster."
"What kind of disaster?"
Asked Saito. Luctiana opened eyes wide.
"But what is it?"
"People believe that six thousands years ago the 'Devil' came from Shaitan's Gate."
"What happened then?"
"They say every second elf had died."
Saito gulped. Tiffania paled.
"Did it really happen?"
"Who knows? Not all elves believe it. After all it was so long ago. But this is why Shaitan's Gate must be protected at all costs. You guys may be in big trouble but this is far from a trivial matter for us."
Saito and Tiffania looked at each other, both very concerned.
Something large splashed into the water outside.
Luctiana went outside to meet her fiancee, Saito followed her. A large Wind Dragon was swimming to the pier with an elf on his back.
As the elf approached in long strides, Saito noticed a frown on his face. The elf's aversion to humans was rather obvious.
With an arrogant expression on his delicate face the elf was examining Saito as if he were a wild animal. It gave Saito a new appreciation of Luctiana's attitude.
Ali looked around the room and said in a sullen voice.
"Hey, I hope a barbarian wasn't sleeping in my bed."
"It's not yours, it's a guest bed."
"Anyway, I don't like a barbarian sleeping in an elf's bed."
Replied Ali glancing askance at Saito.
"Hey, you guys. We are leaving. Get ready."
Is he the fiancee Luctiana mentioned yesterday? He is probably the one who put Saito to sleep. And Louise and Tabitha...
Saito couldn't suppress his anger anymore. It wasn't a good time for it. But he just couldn't.
Yelled Saito and threw a punch. As if he expected the attack, Ali dodged and knocked Saito down. He moved very fast, like a professional boxer.
Saito spectacularly fell. Tiffania rushed to help him get up. Ali wiped his fist with a handkerchief.
"Hey! Ali! Stop it!"
"He started it."
Saito tried to stand up.
"Bastard, how dare you... Louise and Tabitha..."
However, Tiffania firmly grasped his hand.
"Stop it. Saito, stop!"
Ignoring them, Ali said to Luctiana.
"You should modify the 'defense' spell so that it protected me too. Anyone visiting you can be attacked like that."
Saito gripped his katana. Ali noticed it and frowned.
"Hey, barbarian, don't. If you draw the sword even I can't go easy on you."
"Did you injure Louise and Tabitha?"
"Louise? Tabitha? Ah, right, they tried to stop us. I didn't kill the descendant of the Devil. Relax."
There seemed to be regret in his tone, as if he felt sorry about missed opportunity. Saito groaned and pounced again. Annoyed Ali dodged and responded with a sharp kick.
Saito blocked the kick with both hands and kept pressing.
"How dare you to attack my Louise!"
A full force hit reached Ali's face, he winced.
"This is for Tabitha!"
Another punch in the face. Ali tried to cast a spell but at that moment an umbrella hanging from the ceiling suddenly opened and fell, covering the heads of both fighters. They tried to get rid of it but for naught. The umbrella closed tight.
"Guys, so irresponsible! It's my house! You wanna fight, go outside!"
"Are you taking a barbarian's side now?"
Exclaimed Ali from under the umbrella.
"No, I am not! You just tried to use spirit magic in my house!"
Replied Luctiana glaring at Ali.
"Anyway, promise not to fight in the house. Otherwise you are not welcome here."
Luctiana snapped her fingers and the umbrella obediently returned to the ceiling. Ali, suppressing his anger, turned to Saito.
"Don't forget it, barbarian."
Excited, Saito was about to complain but was chided by Tiffania.
"I understand your feelings but... calm down. Please."
Saito came to his senses and nodded.
"I'm sorry, Tiffa..."
"You have dangerous guests. Are you ok?"
Ali said to Luctiana, she nodded.
"Indeed. We had a lot of fun talking."
Ali become sullen.
"I wish you weren't so passionate about barbarians. Anyway, barbarians, get on the dragon. Lord Bidashal is waiting."
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