Zero no Tsukaima:Volume4 Chapter7 - 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 Seven: The Ring of Andvari
Saito, who had his eye healed by Montmorency's Water spell, had begun questioning Kirche, who was roasting meat with Tabitha around a bonfire. Guiche appeared to be completely content and had been talking loudly to himself with a glass of wine in his hand. He seemed only too content to be traveling. It was well past midnight, and the twin moons glittered beautifully over the surface of the lake. It was a wonderful sight.
Kirche approached Saito asking if his wound had recovered. Though Saito felt slightly bitter about being defeated, he could not help but admire both their team work.
"You are really good, we stood no chance."
"Victory or defeat is also dependent on luck. If your luck were better, we could only have run. Besides, you were fighting alone, Guiche was useless, Montmorency was only watching and Louise only dealt the final blow."
Kirche proudly brushed up her hair.
"But why are you attacking the Water Spirit?" Saito asked, sitting near the bonfire.
"Why do you need to protect it?" Kirche countered.
Louise, who had been nestling up to Saito's back for some time, pulled the sleeve of his parka sadly.
"Do you think Kirche is better than me?"
"Ah! No - that's not true! I was just asking about what's going on! Why don't you get some sleep?"
"No way, I don't need to rest! Don't you want to talk with me? That is the 32nd time you've told me to sleep today."
It seemed as if Louise had been counting the words Saito had said to her. Although a little scary, Saito felt that Louise was really lovable at that moment. But right now he was busy so he gently placed his hand on her shoulder and spoke as if she was a small child: "We can talk afterwards, you should go to sleep. You just cast a major spell, aren't you tired?"
Louise was bashfully tracing circles with her finger on Saito's chest.
"Then... promise me with a kiss."
"Kiss me or I won't go to sleep."
Kirche's stared at them, her mouth agape. Looking at each other, Guiche and Montmorency giggled. Kirche and Tabitha were still unaware of what had happened.
Saito reluctantly kissed Louise's cheek.
"Cheek isn't enough!"
Louise puffed up her cheeks and muttered bluntly.
Saito felt extremely awkward, it would be too embarrassing to kiss Louise straight on the lips with everyone watching. He worried for a while and finally kissed her forehead. Louise was reluctantly satisfied, and crawled into his lap, resting herself between his knees and pressing her body against his chest she closed her eyes. Soon her breathing slowed and light snores escaped from her slightly open pink lips.
"How did you manage to domesticate Louise to this degree? I didn't think you were the kind of guy who was able to entice a girl, yet she is already treating you like a god!" Kirche asked in admiration.
"It's not like that, Montmorency made a love potion and Louise accidentally drank it. The first person she saw was me and now she has fallen in love with me."
"Love potion? Why did you make such a thing?" Kirche asked Montmorency, who was nibbling some meat.
"Oh, I was just curious to see if I could do it."
Montmorency had sidestepped the question with a trivial answer...
"Really, a woman who has no confidence in her charms is the worst. Don't you agree?"
"Go die! Anyways, it's all Guiche's fault, if he had drunk it we would not need to search for the antidote now!"
"Are you saying it's my fault to begin with?"
Saito explained the situation to Kirche. In order to make the antidote, they needed the Water Spirit's tears. And in exchange for it they needed to repel the attackers...
"So that was it, that's why you are protecting the Water Spirit?"
Kirche looked awkwardly towards Tabitha who had been staring into the fire with a glazed expression.
"This is bad; we can't fight you, but if we don't stop the Water Spirit, Tabitha's family will be in trouble..."
"Why is it necessary to get rid of it?"
Prompted by Saito, Kirche replied hesitantly. She could not openly tell the private matters of Tabitha's family for sure.
"You see, the water levels have caused damage to the surrounding area. Tabitha's family has suffered losses because of the damage so we have been entrusted to get rid of it."
So that was it. They couldn't go home empty handed. Then how should they handle it... Saito considered it for a while and concluded.
"That's fine, you can stop attacking the Water Spirit and we can find out why the Water Spirit is raising the water level so much and ask it to stop."
"The Water Spirit will listen to us?"
"This morning we negotiated with it and it agreed to give us a part of its body if we stop the attackers."
Kirche considered for a second and asked Tabitha, "As long as the floods stop and the land is restored to its original condition would that be ok?"
"Great, it's decided! We can carry out the negotiations tomorrow!"
Early the next morning, Montmorency, like the previous day, released her small frog familar into the lake to call the Water Spirit. The water parted and the Water Spirit rose up through the morning mist.
"Water Spirit, the attackers will no longer bother you, as per the agreement will you give us a part of your body?"
As Montmorency finished talking, the Water Spirit's body trembled and a portion of its body was repelled as a thin line into the vial Guiche was holding.
Its promise completed, the Water Spirit sunk back towards the lake, however Saito quickly called for it to stop.
"Please wait! I have something to ask you!"
The Water Spirit rose up from the water's surface, taking, to Montmorency's displeasure, a naked Montmorency's shape once again.
"What, mere human?"
"Why have you raised the water? Please, if there is a reason can you tell us? We would be willing to help if you can stop."
The Water Spirit's body grew in size and assumed various positions. It concluded by twisting its form into that of Montmorency in a gesture that seemed to express feeling. Perhaps its form reflected its thoughts.
"I will consider entrusting this task to you. Since you honored our previous contract, I think I can trust you."
Suddenly seeming angry, the Water Spirit paused. Saito said nothing, but waited for the spirit to continue. After several shape changes, the Water Spirit had settled once again in Montmorency's form and continued to speak.
"A long time ago, your kind stole one of my treasures."
"Yes, my most important possession was stolen from the deepest part of my lake, about thirty months before the moon's crossing."
"Approximately two years ago..." Montmorency murmurs.
"Are you trying to take revenge on humans by increasing the water level and flooding villages?"
"Vengeance? Our kind does not have that purpose. I am simply trying to retake my treasure, and even if it takes an eternity water will slowly erode the land. Even if I must sink the entire continent I will regain what I have lost."
"You're willing to do so much?"
This was going too far, the Water Spirit was willing to submerge an entire continent in order to reclaim its treasure in a process that could take hundreds, even thousands of years.
"You sure are patient."
"Our concept of time is different, for me the whole is the same as the present. All time is the same to me, regardless of the present the future will always come. It makes no difference as I will always exist."
The Water Spirit did not seem to have the concept of death. Time on this scale would be unimaginable to a human.
"Well, we can help you retrieve your treasure. What is it?"
"My treasure is the Ring of Andvari, it had been with me until now."
"I think I have heard of it."
"A legendary magic item of the water system. It is said to give false life to the deceased..."
"That is not incorrect, but death is a concept that I do not understand, therefore I cannot understand your description. The Ring of Andvari does not simply bring false life, it is the embodiment of the ancient "Strength of the Water", it is not simply a magical item."
"Then who stole such a thing?"
"Using wind magic, several humans came into my dwelling. They did not disturb me in my slumber and took away my most prized possession."
"So you don't know their names?"
"One of the people went by the name Cromwell."
Kirche said to herself, "If I haven't misunderstood, he is the new Emperor of Albion."
Everyone but Saito could not help but look at each other in dismay.
"Could he be a different person? There could be two people with the same name... If he has gained the power of false life, what will he use it for?"
"Those who are revived have their freedom stolen. They must obey the owner of the ring."
"It is a truly evil ring, animating the dead is a disgusting power." Kirche said in a low voice.
Kirche continued to mutter to herself, she felt as if she should have remembered something but couldn't grasp the thought.
Saito nodded with a firm resolution, and turned towards the Water Spirit.
"I understand. Please stop raising the water level and I guarantee you I will return your ring."
The Water Spirit vibrated.
"I believe you, if you can bring back the ring I will no longer raise the water."
"Then when should I bring it back to you?"
This time the Water Spirit shook and trembled.
"Before your life ends, otherwise I am unconcerned."
"You don't mind such a long time?"
"I don't care, to me tomorrow is no different from any other part of the future." After saying this, the Water Spirit returned to the depths of the lake.
In that flash, Tabitha stopped it by calling out.
Everyone stared at Tabitha in surprise. Although she had been with them all this time, this was the first time she had spoken out.
"Water Spirit, I wish to ask you something."
"What is your question?"
"We humans have always called you the "Spirit of Oath', I would like to know the reason."
"Mere human, my and your existence are completely dissimilar. I cannot understand your question completely, but I can speculate. My existence in itself is the reason for this name. I do not have a fixed shape, yet I will never change. For uncountable generations I have always been here with the water."
The Water Spirit, trembling, spoke. The sound rang in the air.
"Because you are eternally unchanging, therefore you will forever carry our hopes."
Tabitha nodded, then shut her eyes. In the end, who had she made an oath to? Kirche gently put a hand on her shoulder.
Montmorency, having seen such Tabitha's appearance, immediately poked Guiche.
"Quickly, make an oath too."
"What did you think I made the Love potion for anyways?"
"Mmm! Ah... I swear that I will consider Montmorency above all others from this point forward..."
She poked Guiche again.
"Oww... Ah...! Really! I swear!"
"I don't want to be above others, I want to be the only. Swear you love only me!"
Guiche forced sad words out in a tone that most people would find hard to believe.
Louise had also pulled on Saito's sleeve, her eyes were gazing up at him.
"You too - swear to me."
Saito looked into Louise's face. Today he must tell this Louise goodbye and he couldn't help but feel somewhat lonely. Even though it was only because of the Love potion, how many times had she told him that she loved him?
But Saito preferred the original Louise. Even if he was beaten by her and treated like a dog, he thought the original was better.
"You are not willing to swear to me? You don't love me?"
Tears filled Louise's eyes.
"Sorry... I cannot swear to you... I cannot make a promise to you the way you are."
When Saito said this, she began to cry. Saito gently stroked her head.
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