Zero no Tsukaima:Volume8 Chapter1 - 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 One: Each End of the War
“How about it? This was a reward from bristle spirits of the dead.”
Guiche, proud as a peacock, showed his Medal of White Hair Soul to his classmates.
“Waah,” classmates sighed.
“Could it be that it’s not White Hair but Bristles?”
Someone commented, Guiche blushed.
“Aah! Don’t say that! It's White Hair reward!”
Guiche glimpsed the nook of the classroom. Montmorency was there. Though all his classmates had gathered around Guiche, Montmorency, on the other hand, rested her elbows on a desk and stared outside the window, looking disinterested. Hey, look this way, I want you to hear the story… Guiche felt hurt for a moment.
“Great… Guiche, you commanded the company that lunged first into the city of Saxe-Gotha?”
“Don't mention it,”
Guiche proudly nodded. Everyone praised their classmate who had great military achievements.
“No way, Guiche. Honestly before now we thought that you were just a big mouthed rascal, but now we can recognize our mistake without fail!"
“Great! Guiche! You are awesome!”
Guiche leaned back listening. Then he crossed his legs, and put up a finger still looking as proud as a peacock.
“Now, I will tell you the story about the brave army fight against the orcs.”
Aaaah, the stir happened.
Guiche looked at Montmorency again. And sighed painfully. The reason was that Montmorency still looked the other way... why was she acting this way… Guiche became sadder. He then raised his voice higher than needed. “When the wall broke, orcs came from inside, one after another! At that time, I calmly commanded my subordinates from the gun corps. First platoon! Load! Aim! Fire!”
When saying "Fire" Guiche raised and lowered his wand.
“Still, the enemy didn't flinch! Magic was needed! I rose and started casting - Earth Hand!”
He cast the spell where the hand expands from the ground and grabs one’s feet.
However, there was no soil in the classroom. Nothing happened. A strange silence swelled.
“Ka-boom! Valkyrie emerged!“
Guiche rejected the cane trying to cover himself up again. Petals of the artificial rose scattered around… and changed into seven Valkyries.
“Towards the upcoming orcs, my brave golems jumped out!”
Valkyries began to dance imitating the fight.
Someone recited the winds spell towards Guiche’s golems.
Valkyries were blown off and fell on the floor.
With a sarcastic smile on his lips, De Lorraine watched Guiche. Before Tabitha’s fabulous results, he was counted to be the strongest in duels among the boys.
“If your golems were blown off by Wind magic, how were they able to withstand orcs' blows?”
Guiche dropped in a cold sweat. Feeling on a roll, he had enlarged the story without thinking.
“Well… A decoy! My golems were a decoy, used to distract the attacking enemies!”
“Hey hey, I heard a while ago, that it was all the musketeers' doing. Did your magic fail? You are not so great, Guiche!”
“S-Subordinate soldiers were under commander's control!”
“But didn't you just say that it was all about your magic? Please give my sincere admiration to your company once you meet them. However, were you really a decent lead? Maybe you were leaving most things on your sub-commander's shoulders?”
Bull’s eye, Guiche felt petrified. This revealed a contradiction in Guiche’s story. Well, he needed to keep on talking to buy some time… meanwhile Montmorency stood up and left the classroom.
Guiche ran after her in a panic.
Guiche shouted in a corridor paved with stone. Yet, Montmorency didn’t turn around, she just walked away briskly. Feeling anger emanating from her shoulders, Guiche ran up closer.
“Oi oi, please wait! Are you mad because of what I said? Darling! Hear me out, stop ignoring me!”
Guiche put a hand on Montmorency's shoulder and made her halt.
“Here, look at it. A medal! Be happy! You are the girlfriend of someone worthy of an award! As I said, here, you...“
“That doesn’t make my opinion of you any better.”
After finally turning around, Montmorency declared.
“Is the reward all that you care about? You left me without saying anything, that’s the problem!”
Not expecting such an attack, Guiche flinched. Spoiled by the praises, he could not imagine being blamed this way. “D-Don’t you know?! As a Royal Army volunteer, I could not write you letters!”
Montmorency, stared at Guiche with cold eyes. Feeling that this anger was different from usual, Guiche become silent.
“Even if it was so! That didn't mean you could not contact me! There are some things that are more important than a reward!”
He thought for a while.
Because Guiche asked seriously, Montmorency’s cheeks turned red.
“Aya! Why you are hitting me!”
“Aren’t you my knight? Haven’t you told me, that if there would be a war you would stay near, protecting me? Remember?”
Guiche stood upright and nodded.
“Since you left with the boys, dreadful things happened in the Academy! Meanwhile, you were going crazy attacking enemies for medals!”
That’s right… Guiche nodded. Upon returning he heard the story.
“Because you were not here, a teacher saved us, paying with his life. If only I was more skillful in water magic…”
Montmorency closed her eyes, recalling that time. She started curing Colbert who was wounded by the magic arrows, but even though water magic was used... she reached her willpower’s limit and fainted.
Guiche quietly lowered his head.
“I, I will study more. As a member of the Montmorency house that negotiated with the Water Spirit for generations… I will ask for help to train more. If I were better at water healing… I might have helped the teacher.”
Since Colbert didn't have any relatives, Kirche took his remains. Since Kirche left home for now, she wasn’t around. It was unclear if she was going to bury the similar Fire element user in the land of Germania. The tiny girl with short blue hair, disappeared as well.
"Furthermore, even that child lost her important person. So be a little more considerate. Is this really a time for joy? Even you should not be so happy."
There was a rumor that Louise’s familiar Saito fought alone against Albion’s army and allowed them to retreat from Rosais.
Shaken, Louise met many times with the generals, but even though she made lots of noise, the escaping fleet would not turn back for the familiar.
Moreover, the warship commanders just laughed at that rumor. They thought it was impossible for a single person to stop an army. You cannot stop 70,000 soldiers all alone.
As for the Albion army's delay, there had to be another reason. It was blamed on their poor army management. They also thought that this familiar boy just simply ran away.
All the people around Louise kept on saying that.
And even if you assume he confronted an army of 70,000 – there was no way he would still be alive. Sadly, she should give up…
However, Louise was not content with such an opinion and kept denying it. Once the fleet returned, the news about Albion’s army surrendering to Gallia raised the confusion to the maximum. They stopped worrying about the rumors of the boy who stopped Albion’s army, thinking it to be a madman’s palaver.
After all, besides Saito, there were many people missing or killed.
As a result, after returning to the Academy of Magic Louise became severely depressed and hadn’t talked to anyone. As if her mind was somewhere else, she shut herself in the dormitory room and did not go out.
Saito’s fate was also part of the rumors in the Academy. Anyhow, right now Saito was famous in the academy for two things: for being a "legendary familiar" and for being the one that "should be credited for everything".
Montmorency, who also heard these rumors, was worrying about Louise who had shut herself in and had not left her room.
“At the very least I want to comfort. I'll pay her a sympathy visit for now."
“Now you're talking. Montmorency, you are very kind.”
“I am not really kind. You know, until now, though we are in a war… Even though it was a war, I never really fought in a war until just now…”
“I am like 'water' in so many different ways. I will fight my way ... I only wish I were stronger.”
Through the window, Montmorency looked up at the sky and muttered.
“I can’t allow this sadness to exist. I cannot cure if I feel sorry for myself.”
And so the war between the Holy Republic of Albion and the Tristain-Germania alliance ended with the ringing bells of the Advent Festival.
Due to Saito's sacrifice, all the Allied Forces withdrew safely, while Gallia’s fleet left the alliance and entered the war, blowing up the command base in Rosais with Cromwell, and causing Albion’s army that was stationed there to surrender.
With overwhelming difference in numbers and with the Emperor being blown up, Albion’s army had lost their will to fight. Moreover, the Allied Forces' revolters returned to themselves, as if waking up from a long dream, and went against Albion’s army again. Because of all this confusion, Albion’s army surrendered without a fight.
Gallia’s army settled in Rosais, stopping a war for now to clean up the mess…
Thus a war which lasted for eight months was ended by an active intervention by the kingdom of Gallia.
Two weeks passed since the Holy Republic of Albion's fall…
On the third week of the New Year's, Yara’s month - week of Eolo - the Allied Forces were officially disbanded and the temporary officers from the Academy of Magic students returned to the school one after another.
Those who had military achievements and those who didn’t, returned with pride. They fought in fierce battles, and accomplished their duty even if there were no fabulous military results.
Because Academy of Magic’s students, with a few exceptions, were used as the army’s back-up, there were almost no casualties and no military achievements either.
Due to that, those students that were militarily successful were head-and-shoulders above the rest and their popularity skyrocketed.
So Guiche boasted about his military achievements as well…
Driven from Montmorency’s room, Guiche, feeling a little down, strode. Not many people walked here, in Vestri Courtyard.
When you think about it… It was here where Saito and I met and dueled, he thought. At that time, Saito kept on standing up no matter how much damage he received.
Next thing that caught his eye was the bath Saito made and a tent next to the artillery tower. When he was driven out by Louise, he set up a tent and kept on living and sleeping there for a while. Guiche also recalled how he and Saito drank all night in there.
That’s the Saito burned into his memory…
Somehow, his eyes turned moist. Guiche felt sad. Because he was sad he made so much noise back at the classroom.
Saito. Except Louise, no one believed… that he fought against Albion’s army of 70,000 and stopped it. But for a man who stood up even while being hit by my Valkyrie… this may be not so impossible after all.
Guiche scrubbed below his eyes.
“Though just a commoner, you were my friend.”
Wiping off his tears, he noticed someone moving inside the tent.
However, the one that came out was…
It was a huge mole, Guiche’s familiar.
“Where were you…?”
Guiche squat down and began to pat his beloved familiar.
“After all, you also miss him?”
The huge mole rubbed his nose against Guiche. Somehow, his round eyes looked sad.
“I see, so you were sad….”
Guiche held Verdandi in his embrace for a while… then he slowly stood up.
“Saito, I think you are a hero. Therefore there is something I have to do. Verdandi! Make a big pile of soil!”
Verdandi nodded and began to grub up earth with severe power. In front of Guiche the mountain of soil rose.
“I am an earth element user. Therefore I’ll send you a salaam with this soil. I’ll make a huge statue, so that you’ll be remembered.”
Guiche cast a spell upon the pile of soil. Then, the soil turned into clay. Thrusting out both his hands, Guiche started making a statue.
“Saito was a great guy. So he deserves a great statue, at least five meters tall. Because you could not use magic… I will make this statue with my bare hands as well. That’s respect to Saito. Noble’s way of respect. Be happy!”
Though Guiche and Montmorency grieved at heart… The one who mourned the most was Louise.
In her room, Louise was sitting on the bed, hugging her knees. Dressed in usual school attire, she wore a strange looking hat on her head.
It was the sweater she gave as a gift to Saito. It looked similar to a rather avant-garde art piece. Even though no matter how hard she pushed, she couldn’t get her head through the collar, she still felt more comfortable when wearing it.
Next to Louise was Saito’s notebook computer, his only personal thing. Because there was no power supply, the screen was completely blank.
Louise stared at the computer’s black screen. She remembered how, on the first day when Saito came, he showed the screen to her.
It was beautiful.
When thinking so, the back of her eyelids became hot again.
Saito… showed some scenery to me. Though I did not understand it, it was still beautiful and that mysterious scenery made me feel somewhat excited.
One by one, different thoughts, scenes, actions… were revived in her heart.
Louise looked down at the pendant on her neck. Held back tears started rolling down her cheeks.
Saito… he always defended me. Like this pedant hanging on my neck, he was always near, he became my shield.
When I was almost crushed by Fouquet's golem.
When I was almost killed by Wardes.
When I faced a huge battleship.
When Henrietta, who was deceived by the enemy and forgot herself, cast Tornado of Water.
And… when I was ordered to hold back the enemy back till I died…
Saito, with his sword unsheathed, stood in front of me.
Legendary Gandálfr, just as his name suggests, became my shield.
But did I treat Saito kindly?
No, I was always a stubborn, selfish, hard-to-please idiot.
Tears were burning.
“I was just caring about myself. Such an ungrateful, selfish, not cute me should have been left and ignored.”
Louise did not try to wipe away the falling tears, and quietly whispered to herself.
“Even though you said that dying for honor was nonsense… you did not come home with me.”
Her blaming words against Saito were now returning back at her. Her own words became a spear that scooped the wound in Louise’s heart deeper.
“Though you said you love me… you left me all alone.”
Louise muttered staring at the black screen.
“Without you, I cannot even fall asleep.”
Hugging her knees, Louise continued to sob.
In the capital of Tristain, in the work room of Tristainia‘s Royal Palace, Henrietta sat on a chair with a discouraged look on her face.
Part of the army revolted in Albion; the deaths of General De Poitiers and Marquis Handenburg, commander of the Germanian army; a complete rout of the army… and a withdrawal request.
When the report came from the Chief of the General Staff Wimpffen, every one in the royal palace, including Henrietta and Mazarin, were confused. Was that a fake report by an enemy? They doubted.
To withdraw or continue to fight? It was Cardinal Mazarin who brought the conference together.
“This is the Royal Palace and not a battlefield,” his words silenced the ministers that did not want to withdraw.
However… The withdrawal became insignificant in the end.
The Gallian fleet that appeared suddenly and forced the Albion army to surrender. After that, not long ago, Gallia sent a special envoy to Tristain, who informed them to attend a conference held to decide Albion’s future...
Though Tristain’s Royal Palace was pleased with Gallia’s attitude, there were no peace treaties with Gallia.
Today was the day when two weeks passed since the invitation for Henrietta to attend the conference which was scheduled in Rosais.
Henrietta took in her hands the letter that had been sent by Gallia’s ambassador.
“Halkeginia’s disturbing turn towards Republicanism has been stopped; Gallia’s Royal government feels that all Halkeginia nations should build up closer relationship with each other from now on…”
And the preamble continued.
However, though words caught her eyes they lost their meaning in her head.
Henrietta’s heart felt like a cave. A deep, cold, dark hole, in which one could fall. Even if you look into it, you still could not see the end - a hollow hole.
Cromwell, whom she hated so much, died. Albion’s noble faction was annihilated.
Therefore, why was there no satisfaction?
She said to no one in particular.
“The noble faction that killed Wales-sama is no more. Men who had cheated me are dead… And?”
Did anything change?
Nothing changed at all.
Henrietta buried her face in her hands. She could not do anything about the overflow of feelings that drowned her like a floodwater.
Though someone knocked against the door… Henrietta was not able to answer. The door opened and when Cardinal Mazarin entered, Henrietta remained sitting under the desk with her face buried.
“Are you tired?”
As if seeing him for the first time, Henrietta looked up slowly and nodded.
“Yes. But it’s all right.”
“Shouldn’t you be happy? First of all, the war ended. Even though the whole army is broken, even though we only won thanks to unexpected help - a victory is still a victory. No matter how many times we thank Gallia, it would still not be enough.”
“Is that so?” Henrietta said, staring into space.
Mazarin, worried about Henrietta, continued speaking.
“However, we cannot be careless, Your Majesty. We still should be ready for war, despite Gallia’s sudden intervention. Their motives are still unclear.”
“Is that so?” Henrietta answered lifelessly.
Mazarin placed a bunch of papers next to Henrietta’s elbows.
“Yes. By all means, these are documents that Her Majesty should have a look at.”
“Can it wait? Right now…”
“No, now. You can’t afford not to look through them.”
“I leave everything to your discretion. Cardinal, you know better. I won’t have to worry…”
“Look through them.”
Henrietta shook her head.
“I am sorry. Honestly, I am tired.”
“Look through them!”
Mazarin repeated his words in a stronger tone. Not used to such determination from a thin middle-aged man, Henrietta took one in her hands.
From top to bottom names were written down.
What do these names mean?
Mazarin said in a stony voice.
“It is the list of names of those that died in action during the war.”
Henrietta became speechless.
“Nobles, commoners, officers, soldiers…regardless of rank, all names are listed."
“Oh…” Henrietta said, coverning her face.
“You Majesty, do you know why they died?”
Henrietta shook her head.
“…I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? No, you do know. They died in the name of Your Majesty and the homeland.”
Henrietta deeply hung her head.
Mazarin spoke in an icy tone.
“To some of our ministers, this was just a ‘war diplomacy’, officers and soldiers just the number figures of loss and gain. It may not be a mistake altogether, but these figures had families, lives and loved ones. But they all believed in something.”
Mazarin jabbed his finger into the paper.
“The King is the one who decides to start a war. You can send officers and their men to death, but you cannot forget them. This list of names you have to honor. This list of names you have to protect.”
Henrietta began to weep.
Crying like a child, she buried her face into Mazarin’s legs.
“How many times will I burn in the flames of hell? Tell me. This sinful repenting queen is at your feet, spokesman of God, Cardinal. Oh, I am honest. During this war my heart was only driven by revenge. I was obsessed with it and did not care even if had to sell my soul to the devil to get revenge. However, even if you sell your soul... there‘s nothing after. Not even regret. Just a chasm. A deep, endless chasm.”
“I… I did not notice how foolish I was. I have lost myself in love, and brought mages to their deaths, even unleashed a frightening spell at a friend. I did not notice. Even while starting a doubtful war, I did not notice. Though I used dear friends as a means for my revenge, I did not notice. And only when revenge ended… I noticed. I noticed that nothing had changed at all.”
Henrietta muttered, begging for forgiveness.
“Please tell me. What… should I do? If you cut my throat would my crime disappear?”
Mazarin pushed Henrietta away. She looked up like a frightened child.
“I am not the one to judge, Your Majesty. You are not the one to judge as well, Your Majesty. That’s only God’s, in the name of the Founder, majestic prerogative. The burden may be hard, may be heavy, but do not try to throw it off. No matter how long the sleepless night continues, do not forget it. Because they died for Your Majesty and for the homeland. It may be just a royal ornament, but they died for this ornament. Death and crime will never disappear. The sadness will not heal. It will quietly sit behind and watch Your Majesty."
Henrietta’s heart turned stone cold, denying any interference as she read through the list of names… and muttered.
“I never was… to be ruler.”
“There are no unexpected kings.”
Then Mazarin bowed deeply and left the room.
Bereaved, Henrietta was quiet for a while. She was motionless.
Messengers of the night, two moons started to shine and illuminated the room… with much effort, Henrietta looked up.
Through Henrietta’s window… two moon sisters watched.
Tears dried on her cheeks.
“Well… nothing left. Not even tears come.”
After that, Henrietta called the page and asked to bring the Minister of Finance. Once the Minister of Finance ran over, Henrietta blandly reported.
“This bedroom… No, the Royal Palace of the Royal family, sell everything here for money.”
“Everything. All right? Leave only small amount of clothes. All furniture, the bed, the desk and the dressing table too…”
Puzzled, the Minister of Finance said,
“Bed? B-But where will Your Majesty sleep?”
“Bring a pile of hay. It will do.”
The Minister of Finance became speechless. A queen sleeping on the floor was unheard of.
“Please give the money that you receive from selling those things to the families of war victims. Nobles, commoners – it does not matter. Distribute it equally.”
“The treasury is in a difficult state? I know.”
Henrietta removed all of her jewels.
The Minister of Finance eyes were wide open in shock as he was handed the jewels one by one. Upon reaching her wedding finger, Henrietta noticed the Ruby of Wind, Wales's keepsake. She closed her eyes for a moment and then removed and handed it to the finances minister.
“Sell this one as well.”
“Yes. This one as well…”
She pointed at the Founder’s portrait, to which she prayed to during the war. For hundreds, thousands of years, this portrait watched over the royal families.
“Now, what the homeland needs is not prayers to God but gold. You disagree?”
The Minister of Finance violently shook his head.
But before the man left, Henrietta called him to stop.
“I am sorry. Please come back for a moment.”
“Thank goodness! You snapped out of this!”
Henrietta reached for something from the Minister of Finance's treasury tray.
It was a crown. In their haste, neither of them had noticed it.
“Without it, no one would ever admit someone as foolish as I as a ruler.”
After the Minister of Finance left, grateful that he was not needed anymore, Henrietta began to look through the list of names.
Of course, she could not remember them all.
But she wanted to engrave them firmly in her mind. Their lives and ideals hid behind these names. She thought about begging for forgiveness, but stopped.
By the time she had finished reading through the list, dawn had begun to break.
Henrietta took the last piece in her hand.
And held her breath once she saw the name at the very end.
An unusual sounding name, that she had heard before, was written there.
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