Zero no Tsukaima:Volume8 Chapter9 - 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 Nine: Myoznitnirn
Louise and Siesta were standing on the hill where Saito fought, looking down at the wide meadow below.
The morning sun rose from the other side of the mountain range, and light cracked through a crevice between the mountains, making the scenery more beautiful.
The previous day, both of them had walked almost 50 leagues. Even though the tent was put up and they slept at night, their legs still felt like a pair of sticks.
However, the spectacle before them was like medicine for their exhaustion.
With the mountain range far away, the faint fresh green grass was everywhere and contrasted it. It seemed unbelievable that this place, just one month ago, was a battlefield. The spectacle in front just could not be related with a tragic feast of iron, blood, and magic.
However, Saito held the enemy back, here.
“…Saito attacked 70,000 here.”
Here, my shield took my place.
What was he thinking?
The wide forest line could be seen off to the side. After explaining the issue, Louise borrowed a map of Albion from the Academy of Magic, made by the Tristain Academy of Geography.
Siesta looked over her shoulder.
“This is a map of the whole Albion continent.”
Louise cleared her throat and folded the map.
“I wonder if there is a village nearby…”
Siesta looked into the distance and pointed at the corner of the forest.
“There is a path there.”
There was a path that they didn't notice at night.
“It leads into the forest.”
“It’s easy to miss, but it doesn’t disappear within the forest.”
Though the path was not wide enough for a carriage to pass, it was wide enough for a person, and it seemed it was tread down rather firmly.
“Someone lives in there.”
During those days…
In the forest of Westwood Village, Agnes and Saito set up their wooden swords.
Though Agnes said that technique was not important in war, she taught Saito some techniques. Techniques for rolling, cutting swords, and using swords; also the way to feint.
And now… Agnes talked about an "examination".
Saito was told to use all the tricks and techniques he was taught in this one.
“Then, I will call you by name.”
Until now, Saito has always been referred to as "dog".
“What is needed to be done?”
“Imitate actual combat, naturally.”
Then Saito inhaled deeply and lowered the sword.
“…What? This stance…”
Then Saito scooped the soil off the ground with the point of his sword, and threw it, aiming at Agnes's face.
But… Agnes stood stone-still.
“The soil won’t be caught into one’s eyes as easily as sand.”
Saito put on a serious look on his face and set up his sword.
And for a while, the feud continued.
“You are not charging in? Then, I will go.”
Agnes took a wide swing.
Fast… however, he did not hesitate.
Saito was moving according to it.
Once it started, he decided.
First, taking full-length swings with his sword…
Agnes taught him that striking from the beginning may not always pass. As taught, he kept dodging and adjusting his timing.
Therefore, long swings with the sword.
Bonnnn! The sound of a wooden sword hitting a shoulder echoed.
Garan! Followed by the sound of a wooden sword falling to the ground.
Saito dumbfounded, stared at his own hand.
It was firmly gripping the wooden sword.
Looking up… He saw Agnes kneeling on one knee and picking up the dropped sword.
“A-are you all right?!”
Saito ran up panicking. Agnes calmed Saito by standing up.
“I’m all right.”
After that, Agnes gave a smile.
“Surely, I'm matched with your sword's full-swings…”
“I thought it was the only chance of winning.”
Saito said in disbelief. He was really excited to be able to take out the musketeer commander.
“Moo, as promised, now I will call you by name, Faito.”
Said a disappointed Saito.
Leaning against a tree… Saito and Agnes were having some rest.
Agnes began to talk.
“Now then… since you passed the examination, I have one more thing to tell you.”
“The techniques I taught you have one thing in common.”
“They are all useless.”
“In actual combat, an opponent is not always armed with a sword. You’ll never know, it could occasionally be a spear or a gun. Or a frightening mage. It may not even be human to begin with. You will not know if it’s a magical beast or demi-human. Even more, it could not be a one on one situation to begin with. If so, how long could you hang in there dodging? Sword fighing is not always useful.”
“What did you do when you attacked me the first time?”
“Erm… I swung and lowered the sword.”
“That’s right. This is the basic movement of real combat: swing, lower, pierce. It is good. Yet, you have to adapt to the situation.”
“First of all, a surprise attack. Try to hit from behind. If it fails, and you have to fight face to face, wait for a chance. Search for a chance. Create it if there is none.”
“…And when I cannot create one?”
“Give your life up.”
“No, in real combat if you think you are defeated, you will be defeated. Technique and skill are worth nothing without self-confidence. So fake it, convince the opponent that he won. Lure him out of reality. This is the essence of victory.”
Saito recalled Agnes's swinging. Somehow, it felt as if it lacked his usual speed. In other words, Agnes…
”Of course, the purpose of it was to build up your confidence. Yet, that technique was worthy of victory.“
Saito face glowed.
“Now if you understand – wash your face.”
As said, his face was covered with sweat and dirt.
Saito cheerfully ran up through the field towards the stream.
“Fuah,” Agnes sighed shaking her hand, and Derflinger, who was leaning against the tree, asked.
Staring at Derflinger,Agnes answered.
“…Mo, it is still too early to evaluate his progress. But he has already forged a year's worth of practice, that of a considerable fighter.”
“Of course. He has more actual battle experience than you do. Even if the head does not remember, the body still recalls the threat on his life.”
Agnes quietly watched her hand, and then shook her head.
“Well… I went 80 percent. Yes.”
“Well, I may have gone fierce and went out 90 percent. Maybe.”
“You too have an unyielding competitive spirit, huh?”
As Saito was washing his face in a stream... Tiffania ran up, accompanied by a small girl.
He asked Tiffania, who ran out of her breath.
“The Louise-san of whom Saito talked about, had pink hair and was a short girl?
While trying to figure out what was so urgent about it, Saito nodded.
“She has long-hair, small chest, is cute, but a very rude girl?”
Dumbfounded, Saito nodded.
“T-that’s right… what’s wrong?”
“Then, it could be Louise-san after all…”
“Emma, while picking mushrooms in the forest, saw that person, together with another woman with black hair, walking.”
“Woman with black hair?”
“That person called her Siesta…”
Saito as shocked.
“Louise-san! Waah, she seems to be heading straight here! What to do!”
Searching for me?
His chest was filled with various emotions. A huge desire entered his thoughts. It swelled like a balloon pumped with gas.
I want to meet her.
I want to meet her a lot.
Louise… his cute master, whom he protected for so long.
I want to meet her.
Tears started flowing.
That noble girl came to look for me.
Louise and Siesta reached Westwood Village.
They wandered half of the day following the footpath in the forest, which they entered from the highway that lead to the city of Saxe-Gotha. Fortunately, they found a girl who was gathering mushrooms.
But when they asked the five-year old girl “Have you seen a boy?” while describing Saito’s features, she ran away surprised.
Maybe they can find adults to talk to, the two thought. Then… they found this village.
It was a tiny village, of only ten houses, hid well in a small glade within the forest…
“Is it a pioneer village? Yet, there doesn’t seem to be too much left after it was made…”
Siesta shared her impression.
“Let’s ask around.” Louise said, looking for an adult to talk to.
Then… a nice person showed up.
A girl placed a basket filled with vegetables down and stepped out of the house,
She was a beautiful girl with blond hair waving down from her wide hat.
“Um, can I ask you something?”
When Louise asked, the girl made a scared gesture.
“It’s all right. We are not anyone suspicious.”
Siesta impatiently asked.
“Um… have you seen a boy around here? He has a black hair like me… and is around seventeen years of age…”
The girl with the blond hair, turned her face sadly down. And saying “Come”… leading the pair back to the forest, to the opposite direction from which Louise and Siesta came.
“When I found him… It was already too late.”
The girl with blond hair, who introduced herself as Teifutenia, brought Louise and Siesta to the old oak tree. A big stone was placed there, decorated with blooming forest flowers.
And on it… Saito’s parka was placed.
Stupefied Siesta collapsed.
“He had injuries from magic and the bullets all over his body. Look… this cloth. It’s worn out, right? His body was the same. It was hard to look at it. It wasn’t a pleasant sight. The strongest Water spells would not have healed him.”
Siesta began to cry and tightly embraced the grave.
“Why… why did you die… I told you to run away…”
Seeing Siesta acting like that, Tiffania continued to talk painfully.
“And… in the end… that person who found him, said that he had something to say.”
“What did he say?”
Louise asked in distant voice.
Then, she held sobbing Siesta’s shoulder.
“It’s getting cold… please, at least, come to my house. Spend a night in there.”
Siesta, unthinkingly stood up.
“You too… please come. It is getting cold.”
Though she said so, Louise did not answer. She just quietly… stared at Saito’s parka.
Tiffania shook her head and said to Louise.
“Well, we’ll wait in the house…”
Left alone at the tombstone, Louise lifted Saito’s parka up.
Then she gently pressed her lips against it.
“Saito… can you hear me? First of all, I’d like to thank you. All right?”
Of course there was no answer.
“When I was about to be crushed by Fouquet's golem… and when I was about to be killed by Wardes… you always saved me. When the Albion fleet attacked Tristain. When the Princess was reckless, when… I was ordered to stop Albion's army of 70,000 from advancing - you always stood in front of me. Even when I was selfish, demanding and bossy – you always protected me without fail until the very end. Even though I complained, you saved me.”
And… Louise continued to pour words.
“You said you liked me. Do you know how happy that made me? You said 'I love you' to someone like me. I am not pretty and I am not a girl to whom one says 'I love you', only you did.”
Louise closed her eyes.
“To you, I wanted to say those words. But in the end, because of my pride, I couldn’t say… those important words.”
Louise lifted her hand up to her chest and pressed it to her heart.
“But, I won’t say them here. I will say them once we meet again. Until then, I will never give up. Even if everyone says you're dead… even if the spells show you are dead… even if your grave stands before my eyes, I won’t believe it. I’ll wait for you for the rest of my life. But, even that won’t repay the things that you did for me. I will call you back to life. Even if I’ll be called stupid, I will wait for you. With all my being, I will deny your death.”
Louise put on Saito’s parka.
“I am a mage. I have the power to turn words into reality. Therefore, I say - I won’t admit your death.”
Louise softly gazed at Saito‘s tombstone and said.
“We will meet sometime. We will meet for sure. I believe.”
Squating down on the back side of an oak, Saito heard the footsteps of Louise leaving. Next to him there, was Agnes, who helped to make the grave.
“Are you sure?”
Agnes placed her hand on Saito’s shoulder, who had his face buried in his knees.
“I am sure. I am not Gandálfr and I cannot protect Louise, so…”
“I see,” Agnes said…
And kept quietly patting the head of the silently sobbing Saito.
That night… Louise and Siesta stayed over at Tiffania's house.
Louise got the room where Saito used to sleep, while Siesta slept in Tiffania’s room. Tiffania moved to sleep in the living room. She offered the beds to the tired travelers.
Louise laid in the bed where Saito was sleeping before, quietly staring at the ceiling.
She silently drew the blanket to her nose.
It smelled like Saito’s smell.
If I don’t do anything, I will go crazy for sure. She tried to think about something to steady herself. But, the voice of regret and blame, brought back the images of Saito over and over again to Louise’s mind.
It was hard, it was painful. It hurt so much in various ways. She couldn’t bear it much longer.
It seemed like another restless night without a wink of sleep awaited her…
The door opened.
It was indeed Siesta.
“What’s wrong? You couldn’t fall asleep as well?”
Siesta shook her head. Her body was trembling.
“Wha-what happened to you?”
Louise sprang to her feet from the bed.
“What about Saito? Hey!”
“In the forest…”
Louise rushed out, gripping the Founder's Prayer Book. Saito was alive after all! Was the only thought she had. She wasn't alerted by Siesta's tone.
Louise started to run after Siesta.
The light of the two moons falling through the openings between the trees was their only signpost.
Their feet were almost completely covered with darkness.
Louise fell down many times. However, Siesta, as one would expect from a peasant girl, accustomed to the forest, went fast ahead.
By that time, Siesta’s silhouette was swallowed by the forest darkness.
Only her voice could be heard in the dark.
Desperately, Louise ran after that voice.
Meanwhile, the moon came out and illuminated the opening. Everything shone under the silver light. Even mushrooms looked like they were glowing.
Siesta stood up and looked at something.
“Hey, Saito-san is there…”
Though her eyes were searching frantically, she could not see Saito anywhere.
Can’t she see because of the darkness?
Impatiently, she tried to recite ‘light’ spell, but then…
Siesta gripped the leash of the bag on her shoulder with Founder's Prayer Book in it.
“Hey! What are-!”
However, Siesta didn't change her expression. With a strange smile on her lips she continued to pull it forcefully.
“You… are you being controlled?”
Seeing an odd sparkling in her eyes, Louise kicked Siesta away. If so, she could not afford to hold down at a time like this. Siesta fell to the ground.
Louise promptly pulled out the wand that was attached to her thigh.
Quickly, she started to chant:
Because the spell cast time was short, the range was very narrow as well. Yet, it was enough to put Siesta under Dispel.
Siesta's entire body became covered with light.
She is indeed controlled by some spell… she thought.
“…No it is not a control spell.”
Siesta suddenly disappeared. What on earth?
Louise blankly stared at the empty space where Siesta was lying.
Then… she saw a small doll lying there.
She saw that doll before.
The other day, back in Rosais… it was the same doll playing a hero.
It was a downsized version of a gargoyle, moving on its own will due to the influence of magic.
So why was it here?
Hearing footsteps echoing behind her, Louise turned around.
It was a black shadow, covered with a black robe. The shape was one of a woman. Louise recalled the figure of the highroad artist in Rosais.
It was her.
“What are you trying to do? Who are you?”
Louise at the same time set up her wand and started to chant.
“Well… what do you think my name is?”
“You don’t know me as it seems, I introduce myself as Sheffield. Yet, it is not my real name.”
Louise uttered a spell.
The spell was unleashed at once. The explosion launched towards the woman in black robe.
However, after the spell hit the robe, she was not there anymore. When she came closer she saw another small doll lying there. Apparently, Alviss, with the help of magic, could become human-sized.
“That’s cheating! Show yourself!”
From the dark, many women clothed in black robes showed up.
She couldn’t tell which of them were Alviss' and which was the real highroad artist.
All of the black robed women opened their mouths at once.
“Nice to meet you, Miss Vallière. User of the great Void.”
She knew that I am Void's user, just who is this woman?
“I can use more than gargoyles.”
Louise tried to chant the cantrip.
She was going to finish Dispel Magic in a dash.
“Stop. Your spell is useless against my dolls.”
Suddenly… the women clothed in black robes turned into many knights - gargoyles.
One after another, the number of dolls increased. Their swords and spears… were looking frightening.
Surrounded by tens of gargoyles, the woman, who called herself Sheffield, muttered.
“Shall I teach you about my ability?”
“God's left hand, your Gandálfr, can use all weapons. Right?”
Louise did nothing, but silently glared at Sheffield.
How does she know that?
And who is this woman that knows it?
“I am god’s mind, Myoznitnirn. I can use all magical items.“
Though not a mage, she can use all magical items?
Are gargoyles moving because of that ability?
Unlike Golems, which require constant control after creation, gargoyles move by their own will. Therefore, the corresponding spell is needed. Using a great number of gargoyles at the same time is impossible even for an experienced mage. How did this woman have so much magical power?
The woman in a black robe, abruptly took off her hood.
Characters where shining on her forehead.
Ancient runes. It had been some time since Louise saw those.
The runes imprinted on Saito’s left hand…
“Do these ancient runes look familiar?
Louise’s face turned pale.
“Indeed, I am a familiar of Void.”
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