Zero no Tsukaima:Volume19 Chapter6
Chapter 6: Second meeting with Bidashal
After about a half an hour flight over the desert they saw a sea. Adyl, capital of Elves' country Nephthys, projected from the coast into the sea. It stretched as far as Saito could see.
Countless ships were cruising between multiple concentric landfills. Saito was astonished by the scale of this city.
Next to him, Tiffania was staring at the city with wide-open eyes.
It seemed that the city was far more advanced than Halkeginia's towns, which wouldn't look out of place in Middle Ages.
This view reminded Saito of pictures of an artificial city in the Middle East.
A city built in the sea... Which country was it...
It felt good to comb through memories about distant Earth.
Ali occupied a saddle near the wind dragon's neck. Saito threw him a hateful look.
Well, considering the technological backwardness of Halkeginia's humans, the elf's disdain for them might not be completely unreasonable.
But Earth's technology is even more advanced.
The tallest buildings in this city are only tall for those who didn't see Tokyo and New York. He would weep if he had seen them, this long-eared bastard, thought Saito.
Tiffania sitting next to him noticed his stare and took his hand.
"Don't start anything. If you were hurt, Louise would be sad."
Still, suppressing the anger was hard.
Then he though about Louise and Tabitha. They were hurt, are they ok? He wanted to see Louise right now. But, being kidnapped, there was nothing he could do about it.
Maybe I will never see her again.
This thought suddenly crossed his mind. Saito shook his head to get rid of it.
Don't even think about it. We will definitely meet again. I have to believe it...
Tiffania noticed it and squeezed his hand to reassure him.
"It's ok, Saito. We will see them again. Definitely. I am sure."
It was pretty much what he had just told himself. Saito looked at Tiffania and squeezed her hand too.
Luctiana sitting behind them noticed Saito's reaction and said.
"Amazing, right? Not many barbarians have seen Adyl from above."
Saito, irritated by the elf's condescension, replied.
"There are higher buildings in my home town. Don't be so arrogant."
Ali's face expressed his skepticism but Luctiana become curious.
"Interesting. What do you mean?"
"There are buildings three times taller than this central tower."
"Really? Where are you from?"
"Earth, the country is Japan."
Saito grinned. Luctiana looked confused.
"Where is it? I never heard about it. Is it one of the city-states near Romalia? I don't remember..."
"No, it's on another world."
Tiffania pulled his sleeve.
"Huh? Well, I don't think hiding it makes much sense anymore."
"Another world, What do you mean?"
Luctiana seemed to be very interested, she leaned forward.
"Hey, Luctiana. Don't believe everything the barbarian says." Ali said turning around.
He seemed to be annoyed. Luctiana stuck out her tongue at him, then said to Saito in a low voice.
"I would like to hear more about it later."
"Sure, if you can believe it."
The wind dragon under Ali's control began to descend. They approached the Kasbah in the center of Adyl, residence of the Council ruling Nephthys.
The dragon landed on the roof and was surrounded by elf warriors looking at Saito and Tiffania with curiosity, some of them smiled.
Someone pointed to Tiffania, and the elves gasped in surprise. Apparently half-elf Tiffania was much more amusing than "the descendant of the Devil" Saito. Tiffania shyly covered her ears.
An elf approached and said something to Tiffania in Elvish. She didn't understand him and looked confused. The elf tried to grab her hand.
"Hey, stop it."
Saito tried to intervene; a few elves immediately grabbed him and started to yell something. Saito heard word "shaitan" and decided that they were cursing.
One of the elves reached for a dagger on his waist.
Luctiana yelled something angrily in Elvish. After some altercation Ali separated the prisoners from the elves.
The warriors left looking disappointed.
Scared Tiffania hid behind Saito.
"What did they want?" Saito asked Luctiana.
"To kill you for meddling." She answered cheerfully. Saito paled.
"Wouldn't it be a problem for you?"
"It would. But you are a 'Devil' here, don't forget about it."
In the eyes of the elves looking at Saito and Tiffania was intense hostility. When Saito arrived in Halkeginia he was despised but never hated like that.
For the first time he felt vividly that they were in enemy territory.
What does Bidashal want from us? What is there to discuss? Saito thought with increasing anxiety.
When they all reached Bidashal's office, the guards left.
The Kasbah building's walls were beautifully plastered. Light colored tiles created a geometric pattern that livened up a dull room. It seemed to be extremely clean, a quality unusual for Halkeginia.
It felt somewhat uncomfortable for Saito... too refined and lifeless. Maybe he had just gotten used to the messy Halkeginia...
A bit later a door opened and Bidashal entered. The last time Saito had seen him was during their confrontation in Alhambra.
Saito felt a spike of anxiety. Back then the elf attacked him and Louise using powerful Ancient Magic.
He also created the 'jewel of fire' that burned that fleet in Gallia...
However, the calm elf in front of him didn't look like a monster. In stark contrast with the young elves Saito just met, there was no open hostility.
As if their battle had never happened, Bidashal said "Long time no see, barbarian warrior."
Saito didn't quite believe what he heard.
Bidashal sat in a chair and invited them to sit. Then he started the inquiry.
"Well, I have questions. First of all, what do you call it... "Void"? Tell me the names of all the mages and describe their abilities. We know about a few of them but not everyone, I want to be certain."
Amazed, Saito answered.
"There is no way I am telling you that."
"There are many ways to get this information from you. Don't waste my time."
Saito didn't respond and Bidashal called someone. A young elf woman in a white robe came. She held something.
It seemed to be a vial of muddy liquid. A drug of some sort... Saito impulsively tried to grab Tiffania's hand and run. Immediately a myriad of tentacles grew from the floor and walls, fixing him in place.
Tentacles pried open Saito's mouth and the woman in the white robe poured in the liquid. Damn... there was nothing he could do. As if in a fever, his head became hazy.
When Bidashal repeated the question, Saito couldn't resist. The names just came out of his mouth.
Pope Vittorio, Louise, Joseph the King of Gallia, and the last one...
"What? Is she too?!" Cried Ali when Tiffania's name came out.
Bidashal was obviously amazed. Luctiana gasped. Tiffania rushed to the uncontrollably shaking Saito.
"Saito! Are you all right? Saito!"
But Saito didn't respond. He just stared into nothing in front of him.
"Devil's power given to someone of elvish blood..."
Bidashal said with a sigh. Tiffania looked at him with hate.
"I always thought elves were kind people, like my mother!"
"There are different kinds of kindness, you see. I'm just doing what's necessary for all the elves."
"The humans are in grave danger! Barbarians you call them... Certainly, their culture and technology might be inferior to yours but even they have the right to live, don't they?" Tiffania desperately appealed but Bidashal answered adamantly.
"'Shaitan's Gate' will remain closed. We can't allow the calamity to happen again. As long as we live we will protect it."
"Nobody knows what would happen! It's just an ancient obsolete tradition!"
"We can't gamble with the fate of our race like that. We will always protect it. This is not a tradition, this is our duty."
"Why do you refuse to even consider this? Why?"
Tiffania fetched a wand from her cleavage. If she could make them forget...
But her attempt was immediately interrupted. Tentacles instantly grew from the wall and entangled Tiffania.
"I will keep this. It can be dangerous in the hands of the devil's descendant."
Bidashal took the wand from Tiffania's hand.
Saito realized what was happening in front of him but the magic somehow disconnected it from reality. It felt like he was watching a movie.
Tiffania was crying next to him held by tentacles extending from the wall. There were a few elves in the room. Then the tall one, Bidashal, sat in front of him and started to talk.
"Barbarian warrior, after I fought with you I got interested in the connection between our saint Anubis and Gandálfr. I read everything I could find about it."
Saito replied indifferently. He understood what was said but magic suppressed any interest he could have.
"Saint Anubis defeated the 'Devil' who brought the calamity, that's why he became our saint. According to records, his left hand was shining. There is a connection between Anubis and Gandálfr. It appears it was the same person. Very interesting."
At this moment the door opened and a secretary entered.
"Lord Bidashal, the Council has made a decision."
"What did they decide?"
Bidashal looked at the paper the secretary passed to him and slightly frowned.
"What is it, uncle?" Luctiana asked, worried.
"The Council determined that they will take the 'heart loss' medicine."
"Impossible! I was supposed to look after them, wasn't it settled already?"
The secretary apologetically said to Luctiana, "This was the decision of the Council, Miss Luctiana. They said that they wanted to exclude any danger."
"From an academic point of view this makes no sense at all."
"Anyway, the decision is made. It will happen in a week. Until then they will be held here."
Hearing the conversation, Tiffania started to tremble.
Am I going to lose my heart? Me and Saito?
Then she remembered the face of her mother.
Country where gentle elves just like my mother live... I am a half-breed, of course they may not like me. That must be the reason...
But she didn't expect anything like that. For the first time in her life Tiffania cursed the elvish blood flowing in her veins.
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