Zero no Tsukaima:Volume21 Afterword
Replacing Yamaguchi Noboru-sensei's afterword.
To the fans of Zero no Tsukaima all over the world, we have kept you waiting. (This is an international release) 
We present to you, "Zero no Tsukaima 21 - The Truth of Six Thousand Years". Since the book that was released on the 25th of February 2011, "Zero no Tsukaima 20 - The Holy Land of the Ancient Abyss", we have indeed waited for five years until this next book. What is the fate of Louise and the others of the 'Ostland' after invading the Elf Capital? Are the runes that have appeared on Saito's chest, the marks of being Tiffania's familiar? What is the true aim of the perishing Halkeginia, led by the Pope Vittorio? And then, what happened between the Founder Brimir and the first generations Gandálfr and Sasha six thousand years back? At last, the conclusions to the many riddles, magnificent stories, and so on, become clear.
As many of you already know, Yamaguchi-sensei is no longer in this world. This 21st volume is written, and the next, 22nd volume will be written according to Yamaguchi-sensei's plot, but I will again explain the circumstances on how it arrived to this.
In the afterword of the 20th volume, Yamaguchi-sensei narrated that "In another two volumes, I expect to finish.". Welcoming the story as well as the climax, being at a place where one could steadily see the conclusion, he wanted to start the countdown together with the long-time fans that had supported this for a long time. If it had gone to plan, the last volume could have been published a year later or so, and the initial topic back then was on how to continue after this story was written.
When the 20th volume was released however, Yamaguchi-sensei was diagnosed with a critical illness. The situation was hopeless, he was initially informed that even an operation would not be able to save him. However, the result of his wonderful stamina, and him fighting strenuously against his illness, was that Yamaguchi-sensei forced back the illness, until he was able to be operated on.
After the surgery, Yamaguchi-sensei had to enter and leave the hospital for, in order to continue the treatment. According to Yamaguchi-sensei, the potent medication he had during hospitalization made his stamina decline, and thus, he had to wait for his body to recover during his temporary discharge, before being hospitalized again to consume the potent drugs again.
However, in the middle of harsh fighting against his illness,
"I want to write such a story."
"I want to write this kind of story."
"I am still not done with what I want to write, there's a lot of it left."
Yamaguchi-sensei was filled with the desire to write, not only 'Zero no Tsukaima' itself, but also many other stories he came up with, his creative spirit being huge.
However, in order to write novels, you need to have enormous amounts of energy and concentration, which the illness shaved of bit by bit.
And then, before we knew it,
"I really want to complete Zero. I want someone to help.", he said.
And from them on, he took into consideration an author that could expand on the plot, going through through authors with utmost effort, with the time that was left.
And then, regrettably, painfully, deplorably, during the 4th of April 2013, Yamaguchi-sensei, after entrusting the work to a splendid author, with the editorial department's assistance, departed this world.
From here on, we will not mention this author's name. You fans are not to have pre-conceived notions, we think that you should enjoy the story of Zero that you have received.
The feeling when your read this is that, as you can see, Saito and Louise in this text remain the same as before. I did not feel anything awkward when reading the initial drafts, and it feels as thought Yamaguchi-sensei himself wrote the story.
When I read the manuscript, I truly, unknowingly, had no uncomfortable feelings, as it felt just like Yamaguchi-sensei had written it himself. More importantly, the story of Zero no Tsukaima remains riveting, heart-thumping and comedic, as always.
This may be slightly imprudent to say, but if Yamaguchi-sensei were to take a look at it,
"This is very interesting! It's just like how I would have written it. Perhaps, if this was from me, it might not have been that interesting, aye?"
And, that roguish way of speaking does not differ.
And then, this long, continuing, "Zero no Tsukaima", has one book left. Yamaguchi-sensei's remaining aspirations, and our promise that we would implement them somehow. And to all of you fans, we are most obliged to all of the warm support that we have been continuously able to receive.
Heisei 28 (2016), January
The issuer, Taiji Misaka (ex-MF Bunko J editor-in-chief)
- Both Japanese and Taiwanese versions were released on the same day.
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