Zero no Tsukaima:Volume22 Chapter 4

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Chapter 4: The Cruel Reality[edit]

Just after Louise left the room... Saito, lying alone on the bed, arranged his thoughts. Not daring to close his eyes, he thought about what he should do in the future.

The truth of the "Holy Land" revealed, the opposition between "Magi" and "Varyag".

If the Pope's words were true, it meant that the "Magi" were the ancestors of Louise and the other nobles of Halkeginia, and that the people of Earth, like himself, are the descendants of the "Varyag".

However, Saito thought that this was suspicious instead.

It should be said that the "Varyag" army, seen in the dream of six thousand years ago, was wearing armor that resembled the heavy infantry of Ancient Greece. However, the Earth 6,000 years ago would still be in something like the Stone Ages... They wouldn't possess that kind of military equipment.

Were the "Varyag", like the "Magi", an ancient civilized nation that used to exist on Earth....

However, those things weren't important. Whether or not the current people of Earth were the direct descendants of the "Varyag" didn't matter to the Pope at all.

Although Louise was very resolute, Saito didn't think that she could convince the Pope. The Pope would definitely use any means necessary to force Louise to cast Void magic on Earth.

"Say, is there a way to inform the Earth about this crisis?"

This was the first thought that came to Saito's mind. Previously, a signal got through to his laptop once, and it received emails from Earth. If the "Door" to the Holy Land was opened, it could be possible to send a message to the Earth from this side. But that an army from another world was about to invade the Earth... Who would believe that kind of absurd story?

"I could simply take Louise and fly away."

No, even if they really did this, could they shake off pursuit by Romalia, not knowing how long his body would last at present?

"No, that won't do... I can't think of any good method."

Saito sprawled on the bed and held his aching head. Even if he wanted to discuss it with Derflinger, his partner was still asleep and not responding.

Just then, someone knocked on the door.

"Saito, I heard Ms. Vallière say that you're already awake."

It was Siesta and Tiffania holding replacement sheets. When Tiffania saw Saito, her deep blue eyes suddenly burst into tears and she hugged Saito.

"God, Saito... that's great...."

"Ti-Tiffa...wow!"

On the body of the half-elf girl, miraculous objects holding the mass of melons, but also with a marshmallow-like "squish~", squeezed against Saito's body.

Seeing the blushing Saito, Siesta smiled sweetly

"Oh, Saito has completely recovered his vigor. I'll report this to Ms. Vallière."

"Don't do that!"

Hearing Saito's cry, Tiffania suddenly came back to herself, and released Saito.

"I'm sorry. I was so happy to hear the good news about you, Saito, I couldn't help it...."

"Oh, uh, it's okay...."

After Saito coughed, Tiffania said with a depressed look.

"Saito, I'm truly sorry...."

"It doesn't matter. Besides, I totally enjoyed it...."

Saying that, Siesta immediately glared at him. Saito promptly covered his mouth.

"No, it's not... It's all my fault that Saito fainted."

Tiffania's long ears sadly hung down limp, and with this Saito figured it out. Tiffania still believed that it was her fault that Saito became the "Lífþrasir".

"It's not your fault Tiffa. And thanks to Tiffa making me her familiar, I can protect Tiffa and Louise."

"Saito...."

Large tears overflowed from Tiffania's deep blue eyes.

At that time.

"Hey, Saito, you awake? People are worried about you."

"As soon as your eyes open, you're already busy flirting, lucky you."

Guiche and Malicorne leaned their heads through the opened door. Behind them was also Colbert, Kirche, and Tabitha.

"Wait, everybody shouldn't rush in here all at once. Saito just woke up!"

Siesta reminded everyone with her hands on her waist.

"Sorry, there are some things I'd like to ask Saito."

Colbert said.

"I don't mind, I can already get up."

"No, I don't mind if you continue to lay down, it's alright to relax."

Reaching out to stop Saito from getting out of bed, Colbert sat on a chair beside the bed.

"Saito, what happened in the "Holy Land", can you tell us?"

Saito just realized this. He linked eye with Tiffania, and saw her shake her head. It didn't appear that they'd been informed about the details.

"I know. Although it might be a little unbelievable for everybody...."

Then, Saito told the truth that the Pope revealed in the "Holy Land".

Including that there was no "Magic Device" there to stop the wind stones from going out of control. The true face of the "Holy Land" was actually Saito's homeland. Also about the "Magi" and the "Varyag", and the fact that the Founder Brimir and Saito were the same, both of them from a different world....

"......"

After Saito finished speaking, the room was shrouded in a heavy silence.

Colbert, Kirche, Tabitha, Siesta, Tiffania and others already knew that Saito was a person from a different world. But this was actually the first time that Guiche and Malicorne had heard, and their mouths stupidly hung open.

"Wa-wait, you mean that you're a person from a different world!"

"Ah, yeah...."

After Guiche spoke, Saito awkwardly nodded his head.

"So before, you said you came from Rub' al-Khali....

"Sorry, because I thought it would be too much trouble to explain... sorry."

Saito brought his hands together, and apologized to Guiche and Malicorne.

Although the two were stunned for a while,

"Well, I originally thought there was a lot of differences between you and the people of this world... Oh, I really can't think of you as a person from a different world."

When Saito asked, "Are you angry with me?"

"No, even if you're from a different world, Saito is still Saito.", Guiche shrugged as he responded.

"Oh, you're just a normal pervert, who's become nothing more than a pervert from another world."

Malicorne also cheerfully patted Saito's shoulder.

"You guys... thanks."

Seeing the normal attitude of the two towards him, warmed Saito's heart.

"Say, are there cute girls in your world?"

"Oi, you."

Faced with Guiche's serious question, Saito answered, astonished.

"Hey, you always pay attention to that."

"A-are there girls that like short, fat guys?"

"Oi, you guys, this ain't a place to talk about those kinds of carefree things. Saito's world and Halkeginia are currently facing the possibility of war breaking out."

With Kirche's glare, the two immediately shrank back politely.

After hearing Saito's story, Colbert continued to ponder with a thoughtful expression.

Saito had never seen him show such a sharp expression in class.

"Mr. Colbert?"

When Saito asked, Colbert finally cleared his throat and murmured.

"There's no chance of winning."

"What?"

"If war breaks out with Saito's world, Halkeginia will undoubtedly lose."

"...!"

Saito was shocked to hear how quickly Colbert reached that conclusion. He deserved to be called a scholar who had thoroughly studied the weapons and tools of Saito's world, and his understanding on this point was faster than anyone else.

"Ri-right! It should be said that it's absolutely impossible to win. On Earth at present, there are far more advanced weapons than the Zero fighter and the Tiger Tank."

"Hey, what you said, it's an exaggeration, right?"

Guiche responded.

"After all, that tank's main cannon can even passed through the Elf's 'Reflection', and the 'Dragon's Raiment' that you pilot can fly faster than any Wind Dragon. How can those legendary weapons be everywhere?"

Saito held his head in worry, in the end what was the best way to explain it...?

"This, what if you compare the "Tiger Tank" with your broken golem?"

"Hey, that was rude."

"This is just an example, so listen to me. If that 'Tiger Tank' is your golem, the tanks currently on Earth are like the 'Knight Doll' operated by Mjöðvitnir. Roughly speaking, the gap in performance is that big."

"Wh-what did you say!"

This made Guiche shout.

The difference between the "Jörmungandr" made by Mjöðvitnir, and magically created golems was huge. Jörmungandr almost had the same mobility as a human.

Although Saito was also unsure, the performance of current state-of-the-art weapons definitely far surpassed the antiques of the Second World War.

Not only tanks and fighter aircraft, but also combat helicopters, bombers, aircraft carriers, submarines, and destroyers [1].... Even a light machine gun can kill hundreds of people, while Halkeginian wizards chant their long spells.

"Saito, is this true?"

Guiche asked with the corner of his mouth slightly twitching.

"Yeah."

"Are there really such terrible "Weapons" in your world?"

"Not only that, but thousands and thousands of them. And there are weapons that are dozens of times stronger than the "Jewel of Fire"... It wouldn't be a problem to destroy a town, no, a country."

Everyone fell into silence.

They were probably remembering when Gallia's amphibious fleet[2] was destroyed in a moment, and the nightmarish power of the "Jewel of Fire". Weapons that were dozens of times stronger than the "Jewel of Fire"... the power was so unbelievable that even Saito couldn't imagine it.

"Yet ultimately, His Holiness insisted on starting a war?"

This time Kirche spoke.

"Um, the Pope said he had a chance to win...."

"Don't tell me the chance is Louise's amazing magic?"

"Pretty much."

Saito nodded. But it didn't matter how amazing Louise's "Void" was, it was unlikely to win against the Earth relying solely on that.

At that time, terrible thoughts appeared in Saito's mind.

What if after a country was attacked from an unknown location with "Void", another country would be counterattacked with nuclear weapons? What if the country that was attacked retaliates with nuclear weapons?

He heard that there are enough nuclear weapons on Earth to destroy it several hundred times over. If this kind of thing really happened, wouldn't it lead to apocalyptic mutual self-destruction...?

"Don't tell me the Pope has already thought that far?"

"Alas, this seems to be related to the issue of Halkeginia's survival."

Colbert whispered with a severe expression.

"But the 'Door' is clearly at the bottom of the sea, so how do you send the army?"

Kirche spoke the key question.

Saito definitely had that question as well. It was hard to imagine sending a large number of troops and vessels to that place. They wouldn't send them one at a time... anyway, the Pope must have a method.

Guiche raised his hands, and looked up at the ceiling.

"Hey, Albion, Gallia, the Elves, and next we're going to fight with another world... things are getting more and more outrageous, aren't they."


---


At the same time... Louise, who used an owl to find the Pope of Romalia, took a pegasus arranged by the templars and boarded the "St. Mark", the warship exclusively used by the Pope.

The visit request was immediately accepted. Under the guidance of a young nun named Michaela, Louise went to the waiting office of Vittorio. Sure enough, as an important piece in the Pope's plan, Louise wasn't stopped.

Walking through the quiet atmosphere of the passageway, Louise chewed her lip.

To be honest, she didn't hesitate to board the Pope's private vessel.

Considering the things that Romalia had done previously, she couldn't preclude them grabbing her on the spot and using the Elven drug to deprive her of her reason.

"If they dare to do it, I'll use the "Void" to bomb the ship."

In her heart, Louise resolved herself.

She had been protected by Saito many times before. Desperately protecting her willful, sour, totally uncute self yet actively expressing his love. No, it's not only that. He clearly had an opportunity to return to his original world, but he voluntarily stayed for himself.

So how did she repay Saito. Not only did she only think of herself every time, she was jealous of Tiffa, Siesta, and the princess, but she also acted childishly.

"This time, it's my turn to protect Saito."

I promise to let Saito return to his original world....

"Your Holiness, Ms. La Vallière has come."

Arriving at the office's door, Michaela calmly spoke.

"Please let her enter."

After Michaela opened the door, she let Louise enter the office.

The determined Louise walked in. She was determined that until she changed the Pope's mind, she would refuse to leave this room.

"I am Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière, I thank your Holiness, the Pope, for allowing me to pay my respects, I feel truly honored."

Using all of Tristain's aristocratic etiquette, Louise paid her respect.

"I made you wait, Ms. Vallière."

Vittorio stood up, and urged Louise to sit in a chair.

"No, it's okay if I stand. Today I've come here to advise your Holiness, the Pope. I implore you to reconsider launching a "Holy War". It is difficult for me to agree that using the power of the 'Void' to conquer Saito's homeland is correct."

"I know very well that you care about your familiar's feelings."

Vittorio answered with a steady smile.

"But I can't agree with your request. This is certainly not a correct move. However, this war isn't a confrontation between good and evil, but simply a battle for survival. If we don't obtain new land to live on, sooner or later we'll perish. So we can only choose, Ms. Vallière. Weigh faith and compassion on the scales and choose to save Halkeginia."

The light of strong determination was contained in Vittorio's eyes, and made Louise feel a little timid.

What the Pope said was correct, that Halkeginia would perish again... that was a fact. Additionally, the power of the "Void" that was passed down to her by the Founder should really be used to save the world.

However, Louise didn't retreat.

There was an unbending belief in her own heart that resisted this correct argument.

Louise said as she glared at Vittorio with a provocative look.

"I don't plan on helping with the wild ambitions of your Holiness. If your Holiness will use the power of the Void no matter what, then I will kill myself right here."

"You have no way to do that."

"I'm serious, please do not underestimate my determination."

Louise answered resolutely.

"If this goes on, do you not care if you sacrifice your beloved familiar?"

"What?"

Louise's eyes expanded when she heard the Pope's words.

"Your Holiness, please, this... I don't understand what you mean."

This made Louise's voice tremble.

She suddenly felt a tremendously terrible, detestable premonition flowing over her whole body.

Vittorio continued to speak.

"You should know, the ability of the final familiar 'Lífþrasir' is the 'Magic Power Supply' for those who possess the void. As long as 'Lífþrasir' is still alive, he will continue to supply his life to all who possess the Void."

"Life...?"

Louise couldn't help but be struck dumb.

"It seems you didn't hear this."

"Because Saito didn't say a thing...."

What the final familiar supplied those who possess the Void wasn't spiritual power, but his life.

There was no way Saito didn't realize this. No, it wasn't possible. In order to not worry me, he definitely kept it to himself and didn't reveal it.

"Ms. Vallière, even if you don't use the power of the 'Void', his life will run dry one day. This is the fate that the familiar 'Lífþrasir' bears... and even if you and the other contractor, Miss Westwood, lose your lives, once the familiar runes have been engraved they won't disappear."

Even the Pope's words did not enter Louise's head anymore.

Saito would die. Just this thought caused Louise's mind to furiously spin.

It turns out that at that time, Saito fainted because of this!

"Even if Ms. Vallière doesn't use the 'Void', his life will be exhausted. At most it will support him for a few more days, so do you want his death to be pointless?"

Louise fell to the floor like a puppet with its strings cut.

If she were to continue to do nothing, Saito would die. Even if Louise, the master, died, it wouldn't change his destiny.

Saito, would die?

For Louise, that was like the end of the world.

At that time, Vittorio, with eyes full of compassion, spoke to Louise.

"But there is only one way to save him. And it's the only way to save Halkeginia and stop the revival of the Void."


Notes[edit]

  1. TL: the raws say "Aegis Ship", but Aegis is a defense system that is normally installed on a destroyer. So with a list of combat equipment, I listed the vessel the system is installed on as opposed to making up a ship type
  2. TL: Previously referred to as the dual-use fleet, but militarily amphibious is a more accurate translation
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