Zero no Tsukaima:Volume7 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 Reason To Fight
Full-bloomed fireworks went up, illuminating the night sky.
From under the many tents placed in Saxe-Gotha's main plaza, people shouted with joy.
Because the Allied Forces were stationed here, the city was filled up with almost twice as many tents. There were only a limited number of lodging houses that soldiers could rent. Merchants came from various places to sell soldiers a variety of things. The city of Saxe-Gotha was wrapped in an unprecedented vigor.
And, heralding the beginning of the month of Yara, today was twice as vigorous than the first day of the first week.
The biggest festival in Halkeginia, the Advent Festival, started. For ten days starting today, one could drink, sing, and cause a fuss every day.
Louise and Saito drank alcohol in the grand tent of the "Charming Fairies" inn, which was opened in the plaza.
Surrounding Rene, there was everyone from the 2nd Dragon Knight Squadron. Every main officer, including Guiche, could have been seen in here as well. Both senior military officers and soldiers were prohibited from eating and drinking in the inns of Saxe-Gotha. They would get drunk, causing the local residents trouble – thus it was easier to monitor them if they were all held together. Because of that, the inn, which made a business trip from Tristain, was full.
After the black cat clothes were seen, Louise did not talk at all except when necessary. She was very embarrassed. She silently sipped her drink alone.
Because Louise was weak to alcohol, only a little bit of wine was poured in her glass. The rest of her drink consisted of fruit juices, honey, and water. She kept on drinking it little by little. Still, her face was already red.
She was casting glances at Saito through the corner of her eyes.
Saito was drinking with the Rene party as well as Guiche, whom he met again a little while ago. Differently from that time with Louise, he was relatively happy. Seeing that, Louise poured in more wine.
A bleary-eyed Louise rose her glass.
Louise saw a waitress running up to her, turned her face away, and tried to call another one.
“Someone serve me. Someone.”
“Place your order,” Siesta called out to Louise with a calm expression.
“I didn’t call you.”
Louise glared at Siesta. And then, muttered,
"Running around… like an idiot.”
Siesta, keeping on a cheerful face, said,
“I'll do extra, if you dress in a black cat’s suit.”
Louise blushed. Siesta quietly drew her face to Louise’s, and murmured, while smiling,
“You are my master for today.”
Louise jumped up, shaking.
But then she had a second thought. There’s no time to banter with that maid. Besides, I know the outcome of this war anyway. I’ll tell her that. She chuckled in her mind. Louise put on a shy face and muttered,
“I-I was confessed to.”
Siesta’s eyebrows shot up. Louise did not miss her love rival’s reaction. That’s because Louise was a girl. She doesn’t have what I do. I won, after all! Louise became happy, and in order to sweeten her victory, she pressed Siesta on.
“That’s right. He said he favors me. 'What to do I wonder, I cannot stop thinking of you,' he said. Really, such an impertinent familiar.”
Siesta listened to it with a smile.
“Heee. I am glad to hear that,” she said, though her eyes were not smiling at all.
“Besides, he pushed me down. Of course, I did not permit it! I mean, I do not like things like that. It's not natural!“
“Flirting but not selling is repulsive.”
Siesta said. Louise caught a glance at her forehead and answered back.
Two people continued to stare at each other.
At that moment… a muted sound of something hitting the tent was heard.
“Look snow! Snow!” voices rang outside.
Indeed, through the entrance of the tent, one could see it snowing..
“Advent Festival of Snow…” Louise muttered.
“I dreamed of the Advent Festival of Snow…” Siesta murmured with an enchanted expression.
“Yes. In Tarbes, it is warm even during the winter. Without too much snow…”
With her eyes sparkling like child’s, Siesta watched the snow outside the tent.
Then Siesta noticed Louise looking at her. The pair looked at each other, blushing. Then returned back to watching the snow.
Louise said, hiding her awkwardness,
“…It is calm somehow. Maybe we should also make a truce for the Advent Festival.”
Louise urged Siesta to sit. Yes, Siesta sat demurely next to Louise with a nod.
Accepting Louise’s pre-offered drink, Siesta bowed.
Feeling strange, the pair let their cups clink.
“Nice,” Siesta said, with a blush from the alcohol on her cheeks.
“Feels like really being a noble.”
They watched the snow falling through the opening of the tent by the snow.
“Beautiful… Snow covering the buildings… like sugar,” Siesta muttered.
“Though it’s such a beautiful land, why is there a war…?”
Siesta said, while looking at Louise.
“S-sorry… I am not blaming Miss Vallière… I know you work hard for the country.”
Louise cast her eyes down.
Siesta muttered, staring at the wine in the bottom of her glass,
“… To tell you the truth, I hate this war. Many people die. For what reason?”
“For what reason?”
“Why do you fight? Father… said that the reason is money. Capturing an enemy country can also be beneficial for a ruler to establish one's self. Is that it? Do you kill others for such reason?”
Louise thought. It might be true considering surrounding ministers. However, Henrietta was different. Because of the time they both spent together during their childhood, Louise understood her well. For Henrietta, this war was about revenge. To defeat a hateful enemy who killed a beloved person. This was the only intent in Henrietta’s mind.
Siesta asked Louise, who was lost in thought,
“Why is Miss Vallière fighting?”
Is it because I wanted to help Henrietta? A little bit. But not really that.
For Louise, this fight…
Seeing Louise being silent, Siesta looked down.
“I’m sorry. Its not a thing for me to ask about, but…”
At that moment… a loud yell coming from Saito’s table could be heard.
“Really! Don’t be a fool!”
Louise and Siesta, startled by the voice, turned around.
“Ha! Who is a fool?! What is so foolish about it?!”
Guiche roared, while standing up.
Saito also stood up and pointed his finger at Guiche.
“What are you telling me?! You are just doing it to score some points in Montmorency’s eyes. Fool! If you would die, Monmon would be really sad!”
“A-are you insulting my actions?!”
Guiche brandished his artificial rose.
Seems like it was a quarrel. Rene, who was drinking with them, said,
“Yeah, because you are a commoner, pride does not matter for you, but it is different for us.”
Saito stared at Rene and said,
“Honor this, honor that – it's just foolishness. Didn’t your Dragon Knight unit die once already? Fear it a little! It’s weird! Aren’t you afraid of dying for honor? That’s stupid. Only fools think that way. Honor? It’s not worth dying for. Such a thing that you are doing – I think it’s silly.”
At that moment… Saito’s name was suddenly shouted. It wasn’t Rene or Guiche. It was Louise, who stood there, shaking in anger.
Saito slowly turned towards Louise.
“You, apologize. Apologize to Guiche and Rene!”
“Insulting ‘honor’ cannot be permitted.”
Louise said while trembling.
And Saito was the reason behind that.
I am being misunderstood…The things she thought to be important, had completely no importance to Saito, which made her annoyed.
Because of Saito’s fight… she completely forgot about her bad mood. Only Saito’s "Failed a mission, so what?" remark came into her mind right now.
Saito answered back in an angry voice,
“The ones that you defend are them and not me?”
“Defend, what are you talking about? To me, honor is more important than life. If I were to lose it, I would not be a noble anymore. And if I am not a noble, then I am not me, either. That’s why I can’t stand remarks denying honor right in front of me.”
Louise said clearly.
On the other hand, Saito noticed it, too.
Saito knew that from the look of Louise’s eyes. When she was almost crushed by Fouquet’s golem, Louise showed the same expression as well.
At that time, Louise shouted “I will not run away from the enemy, because I am a noble!”
At that time, he thought such a Louise to be marvelous, but it was different now.
Aah, Saito understood.
He remembered Louise’s recent words.
“A death is sad, however… They died with honor … Honor… They died for a great victory. Therefore, don’t feel sorry for them.”
Saito understood the true reason why he was sulky. Julio wasn’t the reason that separated them.
For Louise, was this duty… this word "honor" really that important? Because he felt so, he got depressed so much.
Therefore, he made remarks about Guiche a little while ago.
What is it?
Is this honor so important?
Saito stared at Louise.
“If you were ordered to die, would you die like these unreasonable guys?”
Saito said, pointing at Rene and others.
Louise bit her lip.
“Isn’t it unreasonable? Such impertinent…” Louise interrupted before he could finish,
“Die. I would.”
Her voice trembled.
Saito was shocked. Louise, completely composed, said,
“F-for the Princess and for the mother country. If ordered, I would give it away with pleasure.”
This Louise made Saito clink.
She said she would be ready to die so thoughtlessly.
And what about their teacher's, Colbert, letter. To be accustomed to death because of war! Seeing people die, the words resounded.
It all came back now. Really, is honor more important than us?
Saito pressed Louise on.
“Then what about me?”
“If you are ordered to die, then should I die as well?”
Louise, looking perplexed, muttered, misunderstanding,
“Wh-what… are you so afraid of death?”
“What are yo-“
“Coward! Everyone is ready to die, when agreeing to coming here!”
“Am I determined? Wasn’t I brought here by force as your attendant?”
“Then why haven’t you said so?!”
“I haven’t been given time to think! It was just – go here, go there, all the time!”
The two people shouted at each other in angry voices. People, eating and drinking within the tent, dumbfounded, watched the exchange of words between them.
“That… could you ease up little now?” Rene, standing next to Guiche, finally brought Louise back to her senses.
She shook her head, and calmly informed Saito.
“Well… it’s embarrassing. Now, Saito, return to your room and get some rest. After that, we can calmly clear things out… This kind of anger won’t solve anything.”
What… the talk isn’t over, and yet, she still feels uneasy in front of others?
The moment he thought so…Saito realized one more thing.
He did not want to think about it for a long time… The distance felt between him and Louise, the true reason behind this sense of incompatibility…
Could it be what Louise thinks of me?
He thought that this question and the sense of distance between them was related.
Generals… used Louise’s “Void” as a tool…
I am only a “tool” for Louise as well.
The legendary familiar, Gandálfr.
The purpose of his existence was only to defend the master while he or she cast a spell…
In other words, I am an important tool on her road of defending honor…
Then, she surely needs to take care of his mood. Giving an occasional touch, as a reward.
“Then you are the same as those generals.”
“Ha! That, what are you saying…”
“I am just a ‘tool’, right? A familiar.”
Then he thrust Louise aside and walked out of the tent.
“Hey, wait!” she shouted, but Saito did not stop.
Siesta, who was sitting near by, stood up and ran after Saito. Then Louise angrily grabbed the jar of wine and poured her glass full, instead of honey and fruit juice, and drank it all in one gulp.
Saito meandered through the snowing city. Though it was called an old town, the stones were perfectly shaped, without cracks or misses. Though it was hard to believe, the city stayed the same for thousands of years, because the "Fixation" spell was placed on it a long time ago.
It was a white city, because of the snow. The walls around the city and ramparts were all covered with scattering white snow that danced in the sky.
And so he passed through such a burningly, white street, when, he was called to from behind.
Turning around, he saw a sad Siesta standing there. She wore black clothes and an apron designed different from the one seen at the Academy of Magic. The design of her dress had a slightly revealing neckline as well. This could be the preference of the "Charming Fairies" inn.
Siesta ran up to Saito and clasped his hand.
With a blush on her cheeks, she hesitatingly tried to say something.
“S-snowing, y-you’ll catch cold…”
“Cold? Not really…”
When he said so, Siesta started to weep.
“It’s bad. You will catch a bad cold…”
The passers-by watched the couple with curious expressions. Saito panicked.
“Making a girl cry! Lady-killer!”
“What, going after a country girl?”
People on the street started hooting.
Saito was embarrassed.
“Siesta, for now, let’s keep going…”
He began to walk while holding the crying Siesta’s shoulder.
Since they could not return to the room rented by Louise or to the “Charming Fairies” inn, Saito and Siesta had to rent a room at a distant inn instead. In the city that was overflowing with soldiers and merchants, it was very hard to find an empty room, but somehow, in the basement of one tattered tavern, they were able to find a room and entered it.
“Taking one écu for such a shabby room.”
Saito complained while taking a seat on the bed. It was dim because the room was windowless. Though Siesta was still crying badly, she stopped once Saito gently patted her head.
Siesta said while biting her lower lip.
“Poor Saito–san… Though he works hard, he gets such cold words…It is very saddening…”
“It’s all right.”
Saito said, in hopes of lightening up the mood for a moment.
Siesta started to shiver.
The unheated room grew colder. Saito stood up and threw a few pieces of firewood into the fireplace. They were given some when booking the room. Other heating conveniences were not invented in Halkeginia yet. He stared blowing to make the firewood burn more… and was silently hugged by Siesta from behind. Instinctively, he held his breath.
“I’m sorry…” Siesta said in tearful voice.
“Eh? No, it’s okay… I had no use for the money anyway…”
He thought she was grateful about booking the room, but he was wrong.
“Running off to such a place… is troublesome.”
Siesta tightened her hug.
The fire spread upon the firewood… burning brightly. The room was half way underground, so the window still provided some of the light up. Facing towards the street, one could see feet of passers-by.
“Am I a nuisance?”
“Not at all. Feels very good.”
Siesta muttered in a weeping voice again,
“Even so, isn’t this a war? If something happened to Saito-san, I, I… I hated not being able to see you again, so I decided to come. Thus, I came with Jessica and Uncle to Albion…”
While speaking, she gave in to her emotions.
Siesta began to weep raggedly again.
“I wanted to see you so much. And I am happy to see you, yet I cannot express myself. When speaking, I am blathering about various, non-important things. Terrible.”
Siesta pressed her cheek, wet from tears, against his back.
“…I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for crying.” Siesta muttered over and over again.
Saito turned around, taking off Siesta's hand and patting her head with his left hand and wiping away the tears with the fingers of his right.
“Poor Saito-san. Brought from another world, yet keeps working hard without complaints. Cruel. It is so cruel. M-my important person… used as a tool…”
Saying so, while sobbing, Siesta looked at Saito’s face. Then, suddenly, Siesta tried to bring her lips close to his… but once he noticed what she was attempting to do, he tried to pull away.
But Saito could not pull his hand from her cheek. I do not want to separate, he thought.
Siesta, noticing the hesitation of Saito’s hand, wrapped her arms around Saito’s neck and quickly kissed him.
Being the first time that Siesta kissed him, her lips felt warm. Like everything about Siesta – warm and soft. Just like that bread that she allowed me to eat in the kitchen.
Siesta pulled away for a moment and looked at Saito's face through moistened eyes.
And then, she pressed her lips fiercely again. Using her body weight, Siesta pinned Saito to the floor.
Siesta’s black hair looked slightly red from the fireplace. Her cheeks glowed as well.
She was a gentle girl who was always near.
Siesta, with a determined look in her eyes, pushed back the black hood and tried to remove her robe completely.
He wanted to say, “W-wait,” but was silenced by the kiss.
The kiss was both sweet and fierce at the same time. While blushing, Siesta placed a hand on her breasts. Leaning herself upon him, Siesta traced Saito’s lips with her own over and over again.
Slightly separating their lips, she muttered.
“I love you.”
All lit up by the burning flames, Siesta looked pretty and wild, she was very tempting. Even when they shared a bath together, she did not look as tempting.
Love and kisses must be what made her so tempting.
Capturing like a flame it makes a girl look better.
Siesta herself was not aware of her coquettish charms.
Still, not noticing that Saito stiffened, Siesta puckered up her lips.
“Jessica said – when you meet a boy that you like, you will do everything for him. I think it might be true, as right now I am ready to do everything.”
Saito tried to squeeze words out of his seemingly dry throat.
“So, please touch me.”
Because of the way she was clasping hands, the valley of her breasts peeping out of her black dress was clearly visible, Saito turned his face away. Siesta gave a confused look.
“Do you hate it?”
She asked, Saito shook his head.
“It isn’t so. It isn’t why.”
Saito said in a tensed voice. He was a healthy boy. It was hard to endure. Almost dead-hard. Such a cute Siesta embracing him tightly… he wanted to make her his. But at the same time… he thought that it would be a lie. He would be lying about something important.
Therefore, Saito shook his head.
“... Saying that, it would feel like a lie.”
“Yes. Because Siesta is an important person to me… That’s why that… I am not saying that…” he started stammering incoherently.
Did it reach her, what he wanted to say?
Siesta thought for a moment… and then smiled.
“In Tarbes… some time ago. You promised to take me back to the other world where you came from.”
“What you said that time was not a lie, because I still believe it.”
“Then I will wait. It will not be a lie when your feelings will grow… Though it might never happen… I’ll wait. Then…I…”
Saying that, Siesta was so lovable that Saito couldn’t help himself and embraced her tightly.
Siesta looked at Saito with puppy eyes and said,
“For only tonight. Hug me tightly…and kiss me. Is it all right? Would it also be a lie?"
“About the k-kiss...”
“Then skip the kiss part.”
Because there was no need to hold himself back now, he embraced her.
Such words of Siesta, should not be said when being rejected. When Siesta reposed herself on the bed, Saito looked down at her. There were no sign of tears on her face. Just a simple melancholy.
Then Saito embraced the girl, who said that she loves him, tightly.
Siesta had a very nice aura around her. Different from Louise, it was tender, it was an aura of a tender girl. Saito, holding her firmly, spoke about everything and nothing.
About being lost in a forest as a kid.
About his favorite syrup for the pancakes.
About taking a whole-day nap during the holidays.
When he ran out of topics, Siesta piled up her lips.
Then… Siesta passed a small jar to Saito.
“What is it?”
“Magical medicine. I bought it with my saved money. ‘Sleeping pills.’”
“Right. If you were to drink those with wine, you would fall into a deep sleep.”
“I can fall asleep without those things.”
He said, but Siesta shook her head.
“I did not buy it for Saito-san.”
Siesta lowered her voice.
“It’s for, for Miss Vallière… if she would make Saito-san to do something dangerous… then make her drink it and escape while she’s asleep.”
Saito laughed spontaneously.
“Muu… stop laughing already… I am serious!”
“Well, I do not think it's dangerous," Saito said.
The war is a winning battle. Scaring the enemy's main force and making them shut themselves up in the capital without going out… it is said that there should be a lot of soldiers who could revolt, too. It was an easy victory for the generals, the officers, the soldiers – for everyone.
“I hear that now we just have to take down Londinium. Everybody is saying that the enemy has lost their morale so the war will end quickly.”
Though Louise had been strangely sent to a dangerous duty… since they failed the other day, there might be no more of that. Besides… Louise does not expect much from me either. So, I do not think that generals will entrust us with an important assignment again.
“But I am worried. My younger brother… my younger brother will also go to the war soon. My brother also said not to worry. But I am worried. And if I start thinking about Saito-san, I become worried too. I can’t leave while being so worried…”
Siesta looked like she was about to burst into tears again.
“Everything is all right.”
“…I have a bad premonition. If something not good were to happen to Saito-san, then I, I…”
Saito firmly held Siesta close.
“Siesta, calm down. It’s all right. Everything is all right. When you return back to the school, please make the stew for me again.”
Siesta nodded "Yes" and smiled.
The flame of the fireplace trembled gently.
The snow was falling outside, reflected in the moonlight it bathed the world in silver light
“…An argent Advent Festival,” Siesta said.
“What is this festival enshrining?”
“Founder Brimir - the festival celebrates the day when he landed on this ground.”
“But today marks… the start of a new year. Does this festival enshrine New Year's as well?”
“Indeed. The day when Founder Brimir landed on this ground became New Year's Day, too.”
He remembered Louise.
The user of the Founder’s element "Void"…
Why such great magic power was given to a human… was it a blessing or a curse, contemplated Saito.
In her own rented room, with a blanket over her head, Louise was waiting for her familiar’s return. Though it was the middle of the night… Saito was not returning.
Outside the window… the snow stopped falling a while ago…
Thick layers of snow, illuminated by the two moons, dyed the whole city silver.
The thought of the two people together watching this beautiful scenery right now made her body burn with jealousy.
“Muu, I don’t want to know,” she muttered, hugging her knees.
I can’t permit Saito to hurt me this much.
*Knock knock* someone knocked against the room doors. He came back, she lifted her head. Her face softened.
However… it wasn’t Saito’s voice that came from the other side of the door.
“It’s me, Miss Vallière. Can I come in?”
It was Romalia’s priest, Julio’s voice.
“Did something happen? It’s midnight already.”
“I have to talk with you about something.”
Once the door was opened, the handsome Julio was standing there with a smile on his face.
When entering the room, Julio gracefully bowed.
“Something to talk about?”
Julio silently took Louise's hand. Her body started to tremble spontaneously.
“Relax. I won’t do anything strange. The royal ring is what interests me.”
Louise looked doubtful… but, deciding not to refuse, she thrust her finger out.
On the ring finger of the right hand, the Ruby of Water, given by Henrietta, started to shine. A legendary ring, used to read the Founder's Prayer Book…
“Beautiful blue… Have you wondered?”
Louise tilted her head. What was he talking about?
“Why is it a blue ruby?”
“That…” Louise faltered. Once asked about, it indeed was mysterious.
“It is called ‘The Ruby of Water’ gem, I know.”
Startled, Louise looked at Julio.
“The Ruby of Water is vivid blue, the Ruby of Wind is transparent, the Ruby of Earth is brown…”
Louise held up her wand.
“Who are you?”
“I’m a priest. Really, just a priest of Romalia. The Pope's messenger. Well, I‘ll continue the lecture. The legendary gems are called rubies... even though they are not really red. It‘s because they are said to be made from the Founder's blood. However, it is unknown if it‘s true or not.”
“It’s very detailed.”
“Aah. We study a lot of things for divine purposes in Romalia. One with nature and learning. It makes me be me. The gems were given to Halkeginia a long, long time ago... Water to Tristain, Wind to Albion, Earth to Galia... and Fire to Romalia.”
“I’m searching for Romalia’s Ruby of Fire. As the name suggests, it’s a red gem that looks like fire. There is a strange story concerning this ruby. It was stolen from Romalia… and rumors said that Tristain had a hand in it. Have you heard about it?”
Louise shook her head. She never saw nor heard about such thing.
“You are not lying?”
“Yes. I cannot stand lying.”
“Then I guess that’s the way it is.”
Julio gave up suddenly and sat on the bed.
“Are there more stories left to tell?”
“I'm very interested.”
He gave a charming smile. A smile that made every girl helpless. However, Louise was not in a mood today and did not want to see that handsome smile at all.
“This late? I’m sleepy.”
“We could sleep together.”
Such an over confident attitude ticked Louise off.
“Julio Cesar is not my real name. It’s a name of an ancient great king of Romalia.”
“Why did you take the name?”
“I was abandoned. I grew up in an orphanage. I was a leader among other kids, therefore, I was nicknamed after the great king Julio Cesar. Because it was troublesome, I introduced myself this way as well. Arrogance is inborn.”
“Will you leave already?”
Julio stood up.
“Surely, sooner or later… You will be interested in me. I promise.”
Louise pointed to the door. After bowing, Julio left the room.
“…Why are all men so arrogant?”
Louise laid in bed, waiting for her familiar to return.
However, Saito did not come back.
|Back to Chapter 6 - MTL||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 8 - MTL|