Zero no Tsukaima:Volume8 Chapter8 - 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 Eight: The Users of Void
After two weeks, the Nations Conference ended without too much trouble.
The result: Tristain and Germania claimed a vast territory in Albion and added it to their territory.
The remaining lands were under the joint rule of three countries: Tristain, Germania and Gallia, as it was decided to restore the monarchy. Therefore, the regions, including the capital city of Londinium, were managed by the three countries as a joint ruling territory.
As a ruler, Tristain’s old noble Duke of Marcillac was recommended. He was aged and didn’t have much ambition. His excellent domestic affair abilities made sure that the troubled Albion would be restored. From Germania and Gallia, representatives would be elected, and placed as the king's advisers.
And, with four countries taking part, the monarchy of Halkeginia was defended, the rise of republics stopped, and the monarchic alliance of four countries was announced.
If a new believer in democratic ideology started to cause a revolution in a kingdom, the other three countries would be allowed to start military intervention. As a result, new attempts at revolution would be noticed by the four governments at the same time.
With the establishment of this alliance, the nations conference was closed.
They were told to return to their countries tomorrow…
In Havilland palace, Henrietta was desperately looking over documents. Cardinal Mazarin could be seen next to her.
“Your Majesty, get some rest already… Lately you hardly sleep.”
Henrietta attended the Nations Conference almost round-the-clock. For Tristain’s interests, she took part in heated discussions. Albrecht the III concluded in a whisper, "Not accepting the marriage was the correct choice."
“Even if we return home, there will be piles of work. I want to do as much as possible.”
“However, it is already 12 o'clock.”
“I will rest later.”
However, the Queen did not go the bed.
“Leave such table work to the secretary…”
“I want to look over everything. Otherwise, there would have been no point of coming on the cloud.”
Mazarin sighed. Because Henrietta was so young, he couldn’t help but worry. However… Mazarin watched Henrietta through half-way closed eyes. He wanted to keep the princess, whom he had watched over since she was just a baby, out of danger forever.
As if preparing to lecture a student, Mazarin cleared his throat.
“Your Majesty, as I have said repeatedly, we have to be careful of Gallia.”
Henrietta nodded, not lifting her face from the documents.
“Though it was… Gallia that brought an end to this war. Yet, their demands were insignificant… They only wanted one port. Also their words, ‘All that we wanted we already obtained.’…”
In terms of direct control of territory, Tristain and Germania obtained a considerable amount, but Gallia did not want it. Mazarin was suspicious of Gallia’s disinterest.
“Fuaah.” Mazarin let out a big yawn.
“You seem to be sleepy. Please take some rest.”
“No… I won’t leave until Your Majesty goes to bed.”
Henrietta smiled, putting away the documents.
“Will you get some rest?”
“Yes. Because I cannot risk your health.”
“Stay healthy not just for me. Sleeping is also part of work.”
“Yes,” Henrietta nodded obediently.
Then… reassured, Mazarin left. Girlishly, Henrietta fell onto the bed. And muttered absent-minded…
Right now, she could sleep like the dead. But, there was one thing left to do before that. An act which became every days custom before sleep.
Henrietta pulled out a rope next to her pillow.
At once… a court lady appeared in front of the door.
“You called, Your Majesty?”
“Did Agnes return?”
“The Musketeer Commander, Agnes–sama, hasn't returned yet.”
“I see. Thank you.”
After hearing the footsteps of the court lady disappear, Henrietta shut her eyes tight. Like a child, she bit her fingernail. Looking troubled, Henrietta buried her face into the pillow, with her eyes closed.
At that time, in another room of the Havilland palace…
A lord sitting with his back to a burning fireplace, with his elbow placed on the sofa‘s armchair, was watching the guest with great interest.
“Hmm, what does the great ambassador of Romalia want from the ‘incapable king’ of Gallia?”
King Joseph, while giving a barely contained smile, looked down at the ambassador of Romalia who had "A personal message from the Pope".
He had outstanding blond hair… It was Julio.
While kneeling on one knee on the floor, he answered.
“Incapable king?… Your Majesty is far too modest.”
“Not modest at all. It is a fact that government and assembly officials, nobles too – they all laugh at me. Calling me ‘incapable’ in the shadows. If you look at it – the domestic affairs and country diplomacy is weird and wrong. Just like playing with a toy.”
“Your Majesty ended the war. History will remember your name as a great king.”
“Is such compliment of any value? I am not interested in history at all.”
Joseph took a music box that was on the table, and placed it on his hand. It was an old, worn-out music box. It was brown, with the varnish completely fallen off. It was cracked in some places. However, Joseph patted it dearly.
“Aye. I received it from Albion’s royal family, an excellent article; it's called the ‘Founder's Music Box’.”
“The Founder's Treasure?”
Joseph's eyes shone.
“Romalia, Gallia, Tristain, and Albion… Each royal family received something called the Founder's Treasure.”
“I wonder what would happen if the people of Halkeginia were to learn about that?”
“And the ring of the four elements…”
Joseph showed Julio the ring on his finger.
“Hmm, so what business do you have? I am slowly getting sleepy. After all, conferences everyday are tiresome. Like that greedy lass, who never seems to get tired. I want you to be brief.”
“I’m afraid, though Your Majesty doesn’t like it much, it is connected with history. Those treasures, with the Founder’s will and blood were said to be placed in Romalia… And recently a certain prophecy was excavated.”
Joseph watched Julio evaluating him. So beautiful, that it made all words of description seem banal. Poets would have to invent new words for this… And his eyes, both different color, had a strong light in them.
This fellow… Julio Cesar named priest… to take part in the nations conference, he could be useful. He might be Romalia’s best man in terms of diplomacy.
“Fum. What prophecy?”
“The Founder's power was great. He divided his power into four parts, putting it into the treasures and rings. There were four people to keep it too. The Founder said, ‘Four treasures, four rings, four familiars, four users… when all four gather again, my Void power will awaken.’”
“What was that?! In other words, four users of Void exist?! Really?!”
Joseph laughed aloud.
“Stop saying foolish things! Users of Void, and four people at that! The Founder’s Void can be replaced by four people? This is a masterpiece!”
“It’s not a lie. Romalia collected true information. Two users' existences were confirmed.”
“I cannot tell. Only when I am convinced of Your Majesty’s cooperation, will I reveal it. ”
“Well, that’s easy. As soon as you discover a user of Void, I want you to inform our country about it. Don’t worry. Our country doesn’t have great ambitions. However, we want to accompany the Founder's mind in the fullest sense… only that purpose. Royal alliance concluded today… The alliance between three kingdoms might correctly lead to the Founder’s true intention - one united country.”
“Tsk…” Joseph shook his blue head.
“About users of Void... I know nothing at all. Because I am an ‘incapable king’, the arriving vassals will not inform me about most essential things.”
“There is a way of discovering Void users. With one of the four rings, open the music box. If that person is a user, he will hear the Founder's melody.”
“I agree. Let’s try it.”
“Well then…” Julio stood up.
“What about sharing Romalia’s true information of everything?”
“Because you are tired, so…”
“What, it may be just the right entertainment to kill ones' time during this long night.”
“I am sorry. But it is as I said – only when Your Majesty's cooperation is assured, will I get the the permission to reveal it.”
“Though young, the king is stronger than the pope.”
“More than others, he has more faith. Therefore, the corresponding level of faith from others is demanded.”
“Then are you saying - a faith like one in the Founder and God awakening?”
Julio gave a smile.
“This topic of Your Majesty’s interest is closed, but there’s another one.”
“All substance in the world is made from small grains. Grains smaller than water drops or sand. As clarified in our recent theology, the four elements' spells control them.”
“But those grains are made from even smaller grains. It is said, that those smaller grains are what Void controls.”
“Following the Founder’s mind, and ‘four of four’ would gather… It would be a completely loose situation… in case of the complete Founder’s Void’s power resurrection, the Void spell might have a dreadful effect. Furthermore, the smallest grains' effect could be so big that it may change this world’s existence completely… In fact, there is such a spell mentioned in the prophecy.”
“I would hate to obstruct Your Majesty’s rest any further.”
“Priests always seem to be ardent in propaganda.”
Julio, who tried to leave, was called back to stop by Joseph again.
“Has your faith in the Founder’s and God’s truth been reignited?”
“I have a question concerning that faith. You, Romalia and these provoking Reconquista… is there any difference between you?”
With a smile on his lips, Joseph gave the profound question to priest.
“Reconquista was a disorderly crowd after all. They were just bunch of kids against the king. They used term ‘to recover sacred ground’ just to unite themselves. I don’t think they seriously thought about getting back the sacred ground from the elves.”
“Our Romalia is just trying to recover the sacred ground. Besides that, there are no other motives.”
Joseph buried his eyes into the Romalian’s.
“Against Elves' Ancient Magic used to control the sacred ground, there is only the Founder’s Void left as a counter. Well, in any case if we were to use it…”
Julio murmured to himself while turning to leave. Joseph said in a happy voice.
“You are mad.”
With his different-colored "moon eyes"’ shining, Julio answered gleefully,
“This is what faith is about.”
After Julio left, Joseph took up the doll from the table. The doll had a shape of a thin, brunette woman. After patting it dearly for a while, Joseph brought his mouth close.
“Did you hear it too, cute goddess? Yeah! That’s the right thing you heard! Romalia still does not know truth about us. The fellows that were running after the Founder’s tail for thousands of years, still do not have enough knowledge!”
Joseph brought his ear close to the doll.
“That’s right! It’s like you say, Myoz! They have information, but not the tools. Haha, in this game, we have an unquestionable advantage. The Ruby of Earth, the Founder‘s Censer, the Founder‘s Music Box… three parts are already ours. Aye, Tristain has three too… but they do not have the information. With the knowledge about prophecy and Albion‘s royal family treasure, it could be worrisome. Yet that lass is only interested in money and land. Haha, stupid beyond help! In other words, only we have information and tools. It‘s more than anyone else has.”
Joseph shut his mouth.
“What? Is that so?! Tristain’s user is coming to Albion? Moreover, alone? It’s like a chicken waiting to be cooked! Capture it immediately. We need to get the Founder’s Prayer Book and the Ruby of Water, before Romalian raccoon-dogs do. Hurry up!”
After giving instructions to the doll, Joseph sank into the sofa.
It seemed like he would be able to sleep well tonight.
Joseph, opened the lid of the Founder's Music Box, which was on table’s left.
And… closed his eyes.
After a while, the door next to his bedroom opened. Mrs. Moliere, in slovenly night clothes, showed up.
“Your Majesty, did the guest leave?”
“Such a rude person, barging in, in the middle of the night! I hate that priest! Just because they believe in the Founder and God, they think they can obstruct lovers!”
Mrs. Moliere ran her hand up Joseph’s neck. And combined hair in lover’s way.
“Hey, Your Majesty. Is it all right?”
“You always listen to that music box… Isn’t it broken though? I can not hear anything. Maybe I should have a master to mend it? I know a master with good, crafty hands, who makes me nice jewels. Now, look at this godly necklace. When it comes to that, he is really skillful…”
Joseph interrupted Mrs. Moliere's chat with an annoyed waving.
“You are impeding the appreciation of a beautiful experience. Shut up.”
“Let me listen.”
On his finger… in a vivid brown color, the Ruby of Earth shone.
Louise and Siesta arrived to Rosais on the third week of February, it was the fourth day of the Eoro week, and an evening of Raag day.
Usually, it would take twice as much time.
The shipping service between the Albion continent and Halkeginia had many people to serve. There were long lines of people who waited their turn to leave to Albion from the port in La Rochelle.
Unless one uses Her Majesty’s commission to get on board of a private ship.
This way, Louise interrupted the regular order of flights, and arrived in Rosais in just one week.
Louise, upon arriving at Albion, was amazed again.
The reason for that was that port Rosais was even more overcrowded than La Rochelle.
Peddling merchants whose business was war in Albion, speculators trying to get rich, government officials, people who were visiting the ones that they could not due to the war… it was overflowed with big crowds of people from all over Halkeginia.
Louise, who descended from the port, muttered and sighed. From the port, the road to the city was framed with arsenals and commanders, like an exposition of Halkeginia.
Along side the road, a lot of people stood with wooden signs with names on them.
“What are those names?”
Wearing an apron and coat taken from the Academy of Magic's housemaid clothes, Siesta stuck out from under her cap and asked, wondering. She was carrying a big bag over her shoulder. It was packed with their traveling needs.
“They are looking for people who have gone missing during the war.”
Louise said in a sad voice. Though she was wearing the usual Academy of Magic uniform, she had a big leather rucksack over her shoulders as well.
“I wonder if we’ll find… Saito-san.”
Their only clue was an order note given to Louise. There, it was written:
“Stop the enemy at the northeast hill, 50 leagues away from Rosais.”
Though she inquired to the army about the missing Saito, no clues were obtained. Though she thought about meeting Henrietta, she was not in the royal palace. Seems like she went to some conference in Albion.
“Mo, after all, the only ones that we can rely upon are ourselves, right?”
“But, why couldn’t we borrow a horse?”
Looking at her, Siesta said,
“We go by foot, there is no distance we can not walk.”
She began to walk… while Louise slumped onto the ground.
Because she was dragging a heavy bag since she came here, her body screamed.
“We've been on foot since we left the ship. It’s late already, let’s stay for the night and start searching by tomorrow again. You have some stamina, don’t you?”
Saying that, Louise looked over at Siesta’s bag on her shoulder. It was three times bigger than Louise’s rucksack. She was carrying such a big bag, which looked to be heavy.
“I grew up in the countryside. It‘s nothing special,”
Siesta explained nonchalantly.
Of course, there were no rooms to rent. A lot of people that failed to get a room gathered around the hotels and spread their clothes there, preparing to sleep. Trying to find a vacant slot somewhere, led them to the front yard of the command base that Gallian fleet had blown off. The red brick rubble left by the bombardment looked miserable.
However, humans are so tough that even though a terrible incident had happened here, they could still open up a tent nonchalantly and rest for the night. Some were even selling red bricks as symbols of the end of the war.
Siesta took out a cloth from her bag and skillfully started to set up a tent. The poles were set, the cloth was set. A sleeping place for two people was made with surprising swiftness.
Then she collected a few bricks and, drawing few surprised looks, made an improvised kitchen. Then, after some rustling, she took a pan out of the bag and started preparing a stew.
After finishing, she placed it into the wooden bowl and hand it over to Louise.
Louise looked suspiciously at the presented stew. She could not see the color of it. A peculiar aroma of mountain herbs and meat drifted.
Anxiously, Louise peeked inside…
“It's good, don’t worry. It’s my village’s special dish - Yosenabe.”
“Yes. A dish made by my great-grandfather.”
Louise timidly took one sip.
“Eheh. It suits everyone’s taste.”
Then Siesta muttered,
“My great-grandfather came from the same country as Saito-san.”
“Yes. Umm… He came to this world with the ‘Dragon's Raiment’, 60 years ago…”
Louise was surprised to see such a link between Siesta and Saito.
“You did not know?”
-nodnod- Louise nodded.
Siesta gave a smugly smile.
“Why are you smiling?”
“One thing that I win. Ehehehe.”
“Win what?! Hey!”
Thrusting herself towards Louise, Siesta began to sing a strange tune.
“Great-grandfather and your lover are from the same country♪, Same country, ♪Same country♪”
“Lover who?! Hey!”
When Louise boiled over and shouted, Siesta said in a triumphant voice.
Louise tightly clasped a fist. Losing her temper here would be what the enemy wanted her to do.
After taking a few deep breaths, she shook her head. Then slapped her own cheeks.
Then, desperately fighting for composure, she fixed her hair and placed her arms together.
“I-I did it a lot of times too. Or I should say, it was done to me.”
“Heeh. How many times?”
Asked Siesta with cold eyes.
“W-well… the first one was when we made familiar contract, sealed with a kiss.”
“A contract? It doesn’t count.”
Ignoring Siesta, Louise looked up.
“Then, the second time! On the dragon! It was when he kissed me while I was sleeping!”
“That’s impossible! Saito-san would never gloss over such thing!”
“Possible! Because, I was pretending to sleep!”
Louise declared triumphantly.
“What about it, he forcibly did it while I was sleeping! Then, why he was giving me, his master, those kind of looks – starestarestarestarestaaare. In bed, at the table, even in the classroom, everywhere! With perverted dog’s eyes too! Why would a servant force his master? When I was unaware too! Aren't those stuuupid ideas? Phui! Such feelings!”
Phui! Louise was showing off.
Siesta, watching Louise's exaggerated reaction, coldly and calmly delivered a blow.
“But if you were unaware, how can you know everything in such detail?”
Louise was at a loss of words.
“It wasn’t forced. You could resist, but you didn’t, right?”
Bulls-eye. However, she would not be Louise if she admitted it. Averting her eyes, she muttered to herself.
“I, I became numb.”
“Why did you become numb?”
“I was s-stung by a bee… Yes, a bee.”
“Think of a better lie next time!”
Not able to trick her, Louise decided to go on instead.
However, the third time was certainly done by Louise herself. For some reason, she couldn’t resist while watching Saito’s sleeping face and kissed him. Therefore, Louise decided to skip the explanation.
“Wait a moment! What happened with the third time?
“Not nothing! Explain it properly! Don’t lie!”
The fourth time happened on the shallop.
The reason they kissed that time… was because Louise said that he could touch her anywhere he wanted to, and then they kissed. Louise was worried. She decided to not explain it in full details to the maid again. Therefore, Louise skipped.
Though as far as memory reached… there was no fifth time. To deceive, Louise pointed her finger at Siesta.
“So this is it! I was kissed five times overall! No, I didn’t like it! I was embarrassed!”
Louise glared at Siesta with killer eyes.
However, Siesta didn’t give in to Louise’s stare and returned it.
“I did it seven times!”
“During a single night, however.”
“Then it was a single time! A single one! After the sun rose, you were not kissed even once!
Siesta looked at Louise with fake sympathy, and, with triumph in her eyes, she dully stated.
“Please listen to me carefully. Don’t use a spell on me, ok?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I used my tongue.”
Even Louise's ears crimsoned. Her body shook with anger.
The two kept looking daggers at each other for a while, and then sighed together.
Then, Siesta muttered.
“He is absolutely alive.”
Though Louise was looking down, she looked up at once.
“We have to believe it.”
Then it became silent…
The shouts of joy came from behind.
When turning around, they saw a crowd gathered.
When they approached it, they saw a lot of small dolls dancing on their feet. Knights, mercenaries, demi-humans, griffons and dragons… It appeared to be some kind of play.
Louise whispered silently
“What is Alviss?”
Siesta asked blankly.
“A gargoyle species.”
“Yes. Unlike Golems, these are magic dolls with their own will and movement. Alviss are said to be small ones. Hey, remember all those small statues standing in the school's dining room? Those are Alviss'. When night comes, they magically start to move and dance…”
On the other side of the dancing Alviss', a highroad artist could be seen. It was a beautiful woman with a big hood put on her head. Long black hair poked out from under her hood. She, without stirring, gazed at The Adventure of the Dancing Men.
The dance seemed to imitate the fight.
When a single fencer attacked dragons and mages, shouts of joy boiled from the viewers. Commoners received it well, when a fencer was the plot hero.
When the last dragon was knocked down, Fencer Alviss bowed to the viewers. All other mages and dragons stood up and bowed to the spectators as well. The people who gathered threw coins one after another and left. Siesta also took out of her pocket, one copper coin and threw it.
Then… Two Alviss' ran up to Siesta's feet and sat down demurely on her shoes.
“Ara, araarara. I can’t walk this way.”
Siesta quietly reached for them.
Siesta gave a small yelp. She touched the sword of the fencer doll that began to move suddenly. Her finger got cut, and blood started dripping out.
“Don’t touch Alviss' with your hand.”
Louise kicked the doll to the ground with her feet.
“Let's go,” Louise urged Siesta, and they returned back to the tent.
Watching Louise’s and Siesta’s figures disappear, the hooded woman smiled.
Quietly, she lifted the hood up.
Ancient runes could be seen on her forehead.
When she gripped the Alviss', they started to shine.
It was Sheffield.
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