Zero no Tsukaima:Volume8 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: Louise's Decision
The cold night continued.
It seemed like the night would last forever. But, when at last morning came, she fell asleep. She woke up at noon and went to sleep again. It was a mentally exhausting cycle.
Two weeks passed… after using Summon Servant and learning about Saito’s death. All during this time, Louise never even took a single step out of her room. From time to time she got off the bed to eat the dishes placed at her door. She didn’t care anymore who was placing it there.
Only in her dreams could Louise meet Saito. So Louise tried to sleep all day long. Whenever she could not fall asleep, she drank wine. For Louise, the distinction between morning and night had already lost its meaning. The curtains in her room were always closed, so it was always dim.
Such a way of life gradually devoured the boundary between day and night.
The boundaries between dream and reality became ambiguous too.
However, that was the only world that Louise longed for.
She wanted to stay forever in that dream world, where she could meet Saito.
Even if someone knocked on the door, Louise did not answer. In order not to hear if someone called for her, she stuffed her ears with cotton. All locks were locked, preventing anyone from entering the room. She hugged her pillow as if it was Saito… closing her eyes and pressing her cheeks against it.
Saito in her dreams always… gently embraced Louise, holding her close.
And did it many times with love.
This was the ideal Saito of Louise’s subconsciousness.
From the bottom of her heart, she wanted to be with her beloved familiar.
…On the evening of that day, Louise had a dream about Saito.
They were strolling together besides Ragdorian Lake.
“The water is beautiful.”
Hand in hand, the couple walked around the lake.
Louise was wearing a black dress and black beret, like on her first date with Saito. That appearance was mirrored by the beautiful surface of the water.
“Here, the Water Spirit was seen, right?”
Louise could not express herself at all. Even though she had things she wanted to say to him, she could not say anything at all.
It felt that uttering them would break this little world of theirs.
Louise felt as if, as soon as she opened her mouth, this mirror that reflected such a warm and fake world would shatter, and she would be swallowed by unending darkness.
“Louise, hey, come here. This light reflected on the water is very beautiful.”
“Waa, truly beautiful!”
“But, not as beautiful as you, Louise.”
“S-stop saying silly things!”
“It is true. I think you are more beautiful than anyone. So, I want to be together. Always together.”
“Then, you won’t go anywhere, right?”
“Aah, I won’t go anywhere.”
Deep inside Louise knew; this was just a dream. But she kept on repeating a badly acted play between Saito and herself. In fact, she was the only spectator watching it.
“I have something to tell you.”
Louise muttered embarrassed as she stepped into the water.
“Stop it Louise. The water is cold, you’ll freeze.”
There was something special about words spoken in this lake. Perhaps it was because of the Water Spirit, the spirit of oaths; oaths forged here could never be broken.
In the dream, Louise wanted to tell it to Saito.
“…I want to swim. Why don’t we swim together?”
“All right. If you get cold, I’ll warm you up.”
It was a dream.
True, Saito was not that gentle.
Still… she was happy. Because it’s impossible in reality for her and Saito to meet again…
-Pachpach- Saito entered into the water.
She thought he was going towards her, but was wrong.
Steadily, Saito went further into the lake.
“Saito… Where are you going?
Saito waved her back with a smile.
“Stop! You’ll drown!”
Slowly… Saito's body disappeared in the water. Louise ran after him.
“Wait! Do not go! Please!”
However, Louise's shouts did not reach him. Saito went fully under the water.
Louise ran towards him, splashing the water.
Seeing Saito, as if asleep, sinking further to the bottom of the water, Louise went in a half-frenzy.
“Wait! No! No, don‘t go there! I said stop!“
Saito’s figure became smaller and smaller.
Louise sprang to her feet. It was pitch-dark in the room. It was night, apparently. Waking up at night led her to despair. Though it was not much different than waking in the morning, waking at night was more exhausting.
Yet, Louise was not relieved that it was a dream. It was the same – dream or reality. Either way, she felt the same pain, the same guilt.
That day, when Saito left, she berated him non-stop.
“Where are you, Saito?”
“Is it… cold in there? Like on the bottom of Ragdorian Lake… is it cold and dark?”
Saito stands in the place where I can’t go… where my voice will never reach him. Though she knew that, she could not help but say it.
“I want to meet you.”
Louise closed her eyes.
And… she muttered in a fading voice.
“Can I go too?”
No tears left. Just a body, dully wrapped in helpless numbness.
“I can't bear it anymore. I can't bear the parting in the dream. Therefore, can I go to the place where you are?”
There’s only one way to get there…
But, this would mean betraying everything.
Betraying her duty to her mother country, her mission as Void user, her hopes and beliefs, loved ones… and Saito too, who died to save her… she would be betraying that too.
Louise understood that well. However, she could not think of anything else.
But now, being saved meant to meet her kind familiar again, only this way.
“I want to tell you those words. Those that I could not utter even in my dream… So, can I go to meet you? I want to say them by all means. I want to tell them to you… So, forgive me.”
Louise rose from the bed and headed towards the door barefooted.
Louise chose the artillery tower, where people rarely came. She could not remember how she got there. By the time she noticed, she was already standing on the roof. There was nothing on the circular roof except a hole that led to a staircase going down the tower. A low stone fence enclosed the circumference of the roof.
-tap tap tap- Louise approached the stone fence and climbed on top of it.
When she stood there, she looked down to the ground. It was pitch-dark and nothing below could be seen. Yet, she felt that somewhere on the other side of darkness, Saito waited for her.
“If I go to the same place… we can meet.”
She whispered and tried to take that one step into the space.
However… she couldn't take that step forward. Her legs were not obeying her. Contrary to her will, her body still wanted to live, which angered Louise.
“Even though Saito......is just right in that dark place......Why do I still want to stay in the light?”
When she decisively bit her lip… the voice came from behind.
“Miss Vallière! Please stop!”
When she turned around, she saw Siesta standing there.
Apparently, Siesta was worried about Louise. She might have been the one that brought her food as well.
Unable to look straight at her face, she subconsciously averted her eyes.
“What are you trying to do?!”
“Even if you do that, it will not bring Saito back!”
"Maybe so… but I cannot meet him anyway. Upon casting the Summon Servant spell, the gate opened. I’ve got to do it, or I will never meet him."
“Summon Servant, so what?!”
Siesta ran up to Louise, trying to catch her.
However, her feet tangled with her long dress… and she fell down.
Siesta fell forwards… pushing Louise.
Feeling her body in the air, Louise closed her eyes.
In her mind, words flashed.
I can meet Saito…
In there, you will warm me up, right?
It must be really cold in there…
And then, I will tell you those words.
The words that has not been said for a long, long time… I will say.
“Say. To say. Will say…”
She muttered softly, waiting for the impact with the ground that was about to come…
Yet, there was nothing.
Louise timidly opened her eyes.
Then… she saw the shape of the tower lit by the moon. However, it was not up above. When Louise looked up, she saw Siesta gripping her ankle.
It looked like a tough position. Siesta was barely hanging by one foot on the stone fence.
“W-w-won’t let go.”
“Do you want to fall down as well?! It’s all right, let me go!”
“Han, ngh, won’t!”
Siesta said fiercely.
“If Miss Vallière dies, Saito will be sad. He… used the sleeping pills that I gave to him… to let you go, didn’t he? Even though I told him to use them! Therefore, I won’t let you go. Saito-san didn’t want you to die! So, I won’t let you die either! Absolutely not!”
Louise said weakly, yet Siesta still kept shouting.
“Please do not misunderstand me! Miss Vallière is still no good! But, I do not want to see the tears of the one I love… gugugu…”
“Saito cannot shed tears anymore!”
“Why? Do you have evidence of his death?”
“Haven’t I told you already?! Summon Servant-“
“I don’t understand these magic things! Summon Servant, so what! Rather than those things, I believe in the one I love!”
Once she said "believe in the one I love", something lit up in Louise's heart.
Feelings to which she had not been able to be honest with, while timidly crying in her bed.
Siesta repeated it loudly.
“You love him! So why don’t you believe in him?!”
Her dried up tear glands… were filled with tears again. Because she was hanging upside down, the tears ran down her temples.
“Even I… was depressed. But, if we don’t believe, then who will? Right?”
“Saito-san in Albion said to me, when I was worrying, if something bad might happen to him, he said ‘Calm down. It’s all right. Everything is all right. When you return back to the school, please make the stew for me again.‘ I don't believe in God, Founder Brimir or the kind… I believe just in these words!”
Saito said it to me.
"I’ll protect Louise."
For Saito, going somewhere alone, where Louise could not be defended, was impossible.
Because Saito protected me from all the things.
When in need, I was always saved by him. Therefore…
Louise wiped the tears away with the back of her hand.
I was embarrassed, thinking that there was no other way.
I was weak.
Siesta, who cannot use any magic, was much stronger than me.
Even if you can use the legendary element… it is only a wasted treasure when one’s mind is weak.
Seeing the weeping Louise, Siesta said.
“…Uhm, Miss Vallière. I’m sorry for what I said.”
“It’s all right. It’s all right. I'm the one who's sorry…”
“Really, that, umm, I'm sorry. What I just said is about to become completely useless."
“It is not useless. You taught me an important thing… I won’t forget it. So, don’t worry.”
“My foot is at its limit.”
Then the foot upon which Siesta was desperately supporting herself slipped off the wall.
They both plummeted directly towards the ground, screaming.
In Vestri Courtyard…
Montmorency asked Guiche at her side…
“…What do you want to show me, in the middle of the night?”
When she was sleeping, she was asked to come here. But… even if you came here, was there anything? Could he be having some strange thoughts? Montmorency glared at Guiche.
“No, it’s because I completed something with great effort. And I called you at such time because… I wanted you to be the first to see it.”
“Completed? What did you make?”
Guiche quickly pulled something, and where a moment ago was nothing, appeared…
“What… A statue?
What showed up in there was… a huge statue of at least five meters tall.
Because a magical cloth that imitated surroundings was used, there seemed to be nothing there. Guiche nodded in satisfaction, while pointing at the statue.
The splendid statue stood with both hands on its waist and thrusting out its chest. It was made with precise details.
“Took me weeks; I worked fiercely during nights. It was a very tough time, but I finished it up unflaggingly in here.”
“You have skills.”
Montmorency watched Guiche with an admiring face.
“I will put an Alchemy spell on it now, and change the soil into bronze. And… this way, I will praise the hero forever.”
“I will show it to Louise later, Surely it will comfort her a little.”
Montmorency looked down slightly, with an unusual blush on her cheeks.
“Forgive me Guiche. It seems I had misunderstood you. I thought that you were lacking in delicacy.”
“R-really? Oh dear, even if you thought so…”
“However, now my thoughts are changed. You are a gentle, wonderful man, Guiche.”
Guiche became embarrassed and rubbed under his nose.
When looking up, Montmorency, in a shy way, placed her finger on her lips. Guiche, not waiting, brought his lips close to Montmorency’s.
Montmorency, though hesitated for a moment, did not move away from Guiche.
When the pair of lips were about to touch… Montmorency closed her eyes, and opened them.
“G-girls are falling.”
Guiche moved his lips away.
“And? Whenever you try to kiss me, such words come, cheating on me! Like that day when you imagined the Princess naked!”
“Now it’s true! Hey! Kyaa!”
Montmorency opened her eyes.
Hearing a strong sound from behind, she turned around facing the same way as Guiche.
“M-my art. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
Guiche’s masterpiece turned miserable. It was crushed back into the dirt by the fallen girls.
On the heap of earth, two girls were lying, tired out.
It was Louise and Siesta.
“What is this?! Do you have some grudge against my art! Choosing such a place to fall! Such a place!”
With a blank surprise, Louise who was now covered with soil, asked.
“Saito’s statue! Aaah, for several weeks, every late evening, little by little, I finished it with just my hands… I can’t rebuild it!"
Louise looked next to her. There… was Saito’s face. Siesta and Louise knocked against the right and left shoulder of the statue, thus, though the statue crashed down, the part of the head of the statue was still all right.
And the soft soil served as a cushion for the two falling people.
“…Saito… Saved me again.”
Louise muttered. Siesta grasped her hand.
“Hey! Saito-san helped us even in a form of a statue! Therefore, he must be alive! Absolutely!”
Her beautiful eyes regained its shine.
Then Louise stood up. Montmorency ran up to her.
“Louise! What were you doing?! Are you all right? Are you injured?”
“I’m all right. Not injured at all.”
“No, you cannot decide about your injuries just by yourself…”
Louise glared at Montmorency.
“I said so. Thus it is decided. Now, Siesta, let’s go.”
Siesta gladly stood up as well.
That strange pair, her classmate and a maid, amazed Montmorency. They fell from the sky, almost dying… so why were they so energetic now?
“To search for Saito.”
“He is alive.”
Louise whispered with a great confidence.
Montmorency, anxiously watched her classmate's face. She thought that Louise, because of the shock, became mad.
“Relax, I am not mad.”
“B-but… the gate actually opened…”
“I have been depending for so long… On that foolish familiar. Even now, that idiot protected me!”
“Louise, Louise, calm down. Summon Servant is absolute. As long as the contracted familiar exists in this world, the gate can not open!”
“I thought so too. But he can’t be gone so easily.”
“Louise!” Montmorency shouted.
However, Louise's complexion didn't change. There was unwavering power in her eyes.
“Yes. Even if everyone in the world says 'Saito died', I will not believe it until I see it with my own eyes. Even if magic tells that he is dead, I will not believe it.”
She held her breath, amazed at Louise's strength.
“He said to me. ‘I will defend you no matter what’. And I believe in those words. Therefore, he is alive. Absolutely.”
Firmly watching straight in front, Louise said.
“That’s right, he is my familiar, and he cannot die without my permission, and I don’t permit it!”
Meanwhile, when Louise was falling down the tower…
In the Westwood Village, the devoted, tough practice continued at night.
Agnes decided the time to practice was like this:
Night, morning… and dinner.
Suddenly, a wooden sword was thrown. It was in the place of training.
The front yard of Tiffania's house…
In front of Saito, who wielded the wooden sword, Agnes was standing. Though Saito's breath was rough, Agnes' breathing was calm.
Saito set up the wooden sword, and Agnes swung hers and lowered it. Though he dodged it, his arm was severely hit, and the sword fell from it…
Saito held his arm while kneeling.
“Uh, arm hurts.”
“It is natural. It's painful if you're hit. It is more painful if cut. Thus, it is good if it is a wooden sword.”
The wooden sword hit the ground next to Saito.
“Auh… why didn’t you hit me?”
“Think about it, dog.”
“I am a human, so-“
Agnes said, beating Saito's head with the wooden sword, hard.
“Think well. It is you who swung the sword previously. I, following, just swung my sword back. If you see it many times, you can remember an opponent’s sword movement. Matching it is the very point of a little training. The thorough analysis of technique.“
“But, when I attack Agnes-san, I cannot even touch you. Like the previous technique…”
“Range. I have judged the limits of your range. It can be easily tracked by the position of one’s feet. If I move, staying out of your range, your sword will never hit me.”
“Have you seen my sword movements?
Agnes set up the wooden sword.
“Alright. Range. Remember to keep it.”
And then… she swung it.
Saito bent exaggeratedly backwards in panic.
“Don’t look at the sword. Look at the legs.”
As she said… Saito watched Agnes' foot. Agnes started to slowly rise the sword.
Seeing Agnes's feet, Saito felt her natural range and pulled himself away.
“Do not try to block the sword with a sword. Dodge the opponent's attack.”
-swing swing- Agnes’s swings quickened with the course of time.
“When attacking for a moment, the swinging sword is lowered. If you move your body at that moment, when the opponent swings and lowers it, your attack can reach them. Measure the timing.”
Saito, watching Agnes's feet, turned his attention to the sword.
And… is this the right moment? He thought, waiting for the moment.
While seeing it many times, he could judge it safely. Keeping the timing… the moment when half of her body was averted, he launched into attack.
Saito's sword hit her shoulder.
“I, I hit it! I hit it!”
Saito was making an exaggerated noise. Agnes finally laughed.
“Now this was timing. Even though you did it right, there could be also feints, but eventually you would learn it all.
“Follow the body.”
That time, the sword practice continued, all night long.
Morning started to break… finally released from practice, Saito was washing himself.
He was pouring water from the wooden bucket onto his head. The water felt cool on his burning body. However…
The cold water permeated into his wounds.
His body was filled with bruises and abrasions. Agnes didn’t have any mercy on his body.
“That person is a real bi… dog." muttered Saito, looking down shamefully.
However, the pain felt good.
Little by little, Saito felt he was stronger.
Not by the power given by Gandálfr, but by true, self power…
Such feelings of growth every day, were not bad feelings.
Saito forgot his towel; flustered, he tried to wipe his upper nude body. It was a season still near winter. Even though his body burned, it still got cold.
When he, startled, turned towards the voice – Tiffania stood there with a towel. Seeing Saito’s upper-body's nakedness, an embarrassed blush spread on her cheeks.
“Thank you,” Saito said, receiving the towel, and started to wipe his body.
Tiffania looked hesitant, as if wanting to say something.
Urged, Tiffania opened her mouth.
“Aye. Because I want to be stronger.”
“Can I ask something?”
“Uhm… recent injuries. They were from confronting Albion's army, right…? You stopped that huge army from advancing?"
Shaking his head, Saito replied,
“Who told you that?”
“That Sword-san – Derf-san.”
“He can’t stop chatting…”
“Did you really confront 70,000 troops, how did it feel?”
“100 more or less. Well, even I could not understand how many there were of them. It felt like jumping into a huge typhoon.”
“No… that's what a severe storm doing huge natural damage is called…”
“You are courageous.”
Saito shook his head.
“It’s different. Because I was powerful then… Hey, remember the power I talked about before?”
“Something about ability to use all weapons?”
“Indeed, Because I had it, I could stand against 70,000. Today, I do not have it.”
Saito said, staring at his left hand.
“No matter how powerful one is… still nothing can be done. To defend the one you love, one you trust. You said it the other day – important person…”
“Now… are you training yourself to defend the person you love?”
“It’s different. I already said I am not worthy of defending her.”
Tiffania became silent.
“Her enemies are strong. Her goals are big. She will not need someone who can barely swing a sword."
“Then why you are training so hard?”
“Aye. The other day… when I heard Tiffa’s performance, I remembered my home and became homesick. I thought about returning there. This thing I should do. Louise has things that she should do… And I have mine. For this purpose, I try to improve my sword skills. This world is a dangerous place. I have to find my own way to defend myself…”
Said Saito, in a somewhat settled voice.
“That person is named Louise?”
Saito feeling a little shy, nodded.
“…What kind of person is she?”
“Pink hair... short...”
Saito didn’t answer. He began to put the clothes on.
“You are great.”
“It’s not about greatness. Yet, as I said, I only want to return.”
“You work hard for that. It is great. I…”
Tiffania said, choosing her words carefully.
“Even if you are not doing this for a person you love, you still had something to work hard on. However… I absent-mindedly wanted to just live quietly and stay out of trouble. Though I wanted to go to my mother’s hometown, I only thought about it, but never acted.”
“It’s not true. You are serious.”
“No. It is all because of my cowardly nature.”
Tiffania clasped Saito's hand.
“Thank you, Saito. I want to see more unique things. Before, I just lived in an old house… and then in this village for years, but now, for the first time, I want to see the world. The world is not just unpleasant things. There are also joyful things for sure… After seeing you, I realized that.”
“Hey, do you want to be my friend? My first… friend.”
“When you first came to the village, though I thought about erasing your memory… I didn’t. For a long time, I wanted a friend.”
Saito said, turning crimson for a while.
With his face close, he got a perfect sight of the valley of her breasts.
Noticing Saito's glance, Tiffania quickly pulled herself away.
“I-it’s all right. Since you are a friend, it is all right.”
An embarrassed silence followed.
“F-food is ready. Let’s eat.”
Saito nodded, and began to walk. From the house, a nice smell flowed, making Saito notice for the first time that he was hungry.
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