Zero no Tsukaima:Volume9 Chapter5
Chapter Five: Ondine ・ Knight Corps of The Water Spirit
Saito publicly became a noble, but his life did not change very much.
Because the "Chevalier" title came with an annuity, his financial status became somewhat more stable, although his life did not change drastically.
Despite the different places, the living expenses in Tristain per person was 120 Ecu. The sum of annuity Saito received was 500 Ecu. It was a sum with which a commoner's family of four could live quite comfortably. It was something like the income of the lower class nobles without any lands.
At the start of every month, he would receive a sum of money which amounted to one twelfth of his annuity from the finance office. Therefore, every month, Saito had to bring his “Chevalier” letter of appointment, and squeeze with the other lower class nobles who would be trying to take their salary or annuity at the Tristain's finance office's counter.
The place he lived in was still unchanged- Louise's room. Although there were other rooms available if he wanted to rent a room, Louise disliked the notion. "Aren't you wasting your extra money?" Louise said.
For the time being, according to Louise's suggestion that it was indispensable in his service to the knight corps, Saito borrowed the annuity in advance and bought a horse.
It was grey and sleek-looking, and was quite a good army horse.
And influenced by Louise's advice that a good rider needed not just a good horse but also a good harness, he bought a good harness as well. His two months' annuity almost disappeared just like that. Because an angry Louise would not cease to bother him and let him win, Saito bought the horse and the harness reluctantly.
But, he was not satisfied, and in the beginning, Saito named the horse “Louise.”
“Louise. If you want a carrot, neigh.”
“Yo! Louise. We're having a long ride today, hang on there, run! If you're slow, I'll punish you! Get it?”
While he was mimicking Louise's mouth, him releasing his small resentments was quickly discovered.
“I prohibit you from naming the horse 'Louise'!”
His cheek was twice its size after being hit by Louise, so Saito changed the name of the horse.
As for the rest of the money, a hangar for the Zero Fighter, which was taken down from the Varsenda, was built beside Colbert's laboratory using wood and metal sheets for protection from the rain.
He thought of visiting Colbert's grave, but apparently Kirche had taken the corpse of the teacher, who did not have any relatives, to her parents' home. Tabitha had gone along as well. He did not understand the reason Kirche did so, but once she comes back from Germania, he would ask her about the location of the grave, and would visit him someday, Saito thought.
Well then, regarding Louise's familiar who had become a noble suddenly, the people at the Academy of Magic had different responses.
The headmaster, Osman, was delighted.
“You can bury your bones in this world, huh?” His eyes narrowed. “I don't have any intention to do so,” when Saito explained, “In the future you'd say that because you don't have a wife, so to commemorate your becoming a noble, why don't you marry my niece and fortify your body? Although she married four times, failed them, and is forty-years old, she is still not bad.” At those words, Saito ran away.
As for Chevreuse the Red Clay, “Well...” she narrowed her eyes and was pleased.
Miss Vallière was also proud at this, as her feelings leaked out. “Are you taking classes here as well? If you are, buy this book and this book and that book. Although they are expensive, they are useful.” She started recommending her books which were used as textbooks. Saito ran away again.
Well then, the ones among the teachers who were happy were only those two. The rest did not look very happy. Just like before, they ignored Saito like the air. There were also teachers who whispered, “I don't agree with his promotion.” As expected, the ones who were angered, because Saito who was once their companions, was now their superior, just ignored him.
The students' reactions were different as well.
Making fun of the ascent of a commoner, their minds did not think properly. Things like being afraid to approach Saito because of his war achievements, indifference...
That incident is fabricated, he is just a commoner, don't be so proud, et cetera... Students who did this consisted of about half of the total ones. “Well, it's okay if you want to challenge me,” whenever Saito said that, duels would be provoked.
Well, they were at Guiche's level for him to defeat, at most. “I stopped the 70,000, there's no mistake about it.” Saito caused them to change their opinion about his ability after they tasted defeat from him.
He had beaten the hell out of at most three persons simultaneously at Vestri Courtyard, and they did not insult him anymore.
A fortnight after Saito became a noble...
In the midst of the morning haze, at Vestri Courtyard, one by one, students appeared. They were all participants in the Albion war in one way or another.
With easily nervous-looking appearances, they stared at the two persons who were standing in front of them.
In a black mantle, Guiche, and Saito.
Whether or not it was due to nervousness, Guiche stiffened.
Saito poked Guiche's elbow.
“Aren't you the Commanding Officer? Address them properly!”
“What's the problem!?”
“My stomach hu-hurts...”
The students who gathered exploded in laughter.
“...Hang in there!” Mixed with sighs, Saito said.
“As I thought, isn't it better for you to become Commanding Officer? I am too heavy a baggage to be the Commanding Officer of Ondine ・ Knight Corps of the Water Spirit.”
Troubled, Guiche said.
Under the prodding of Henrietta, this Imperial Guards corps was formed 3 days after Saito returned to the Academy of Magic. After making his resolution, he immediately went to Henrietta and was informed of his assuming the position of Commanding Officer of the knights. After that, Henrietta suggested the forming of a new knight corps, and this was carried out.
The legendary Imperial Guards had a glory which existed in the past. That knight corps, which was capped with the name of the Water Spirit in the deep waters of the Tristain royal family and its surrounding, was established thousands of years ago.
However, during the political disorder a few hundred years ago, it was abolished, until now...when Henrietta picked that name again.
“Don't care what type of history it has.”
Saito said to Guiche.
Guiche and the others thought that it was possibly the name of the legendary knight corps, but, as for Saito, when he thought about it, he neither had awe nor yearning.
“B-But...though I am the commanding officer of the legendary knight corps, it means, umm...”
Guiche rolled his eyes in difficulty.
At first, Saito thought he would be the Commanding Officer, but... “Someone who was promoted from a commoner to suddenly become a commanding officer, he'd be under a lot of pressure.” Listening to Agnes' words, he abandoned his plans. He did not want to provoke needless jealousy.
Eventually, after discussions with Louise, for the time being Guiche would be the Commanding Officer, and Saito the Assistant Commanding Officer.
Henrietta wanted Saito to be the Commanding Officer, but, as expected, Saito was not well-rehearsed with the rules of this world, not a mage, and a formally strange human who could not do things.
Guiche had made some achievements at the city of Saxe-Gotha, had received a medal, and besides, his father was a general in the army. Although his appearance, ability, or experience might be insufficient, based on his lineage and war achievements, there would be no objections to his becoming the Commanding Officer of the knight corps.
“Oi, Guiche! Saito! Until when do you want to talk? Start the training! Don't you all want to train us until we're exhausted!?”
At these two slowpokes, the students who had become the members of the knight corps, shouted.
Anyone who looked around could tell that Ondine was made up of students from the Academy of Magic. Henrietta had established the third Imperial Guard corps after the Magic Imperial Guards and the Musketeer Corps with youths who were not from the factions of the society or the palace.
“Hey, because you are slow, shouldn't you not complain?”
Saito spoke while poking Guiche's cheek. Guiche answered back undauntedly as well,
“Aren't you the one who does nothing but complain?”
“Because you're pathetic!”
“That's why I said that you should become the Commanding Officer!”
Both of them glared at each other. Suddenly, Saito turned his face away, and declared in a slightly contemptuous tone,
“...Damn. Because of that, Monmon did not forgive you, isn't it?”
At that instant, Guiche cut in.
“My affairs with Monmon has nooooooothing tooooo doooooo wiiiiiiith yoooooouuuuu!”
Half weeping, Guiche pulled out his wand.
“Interesting... Oh right, I haven't settled the score with you the other time!”
Saito let out a bellow and grasped Derflinger with his hand. The runes on his left hand shone. Guiche put down his wand and clenched his fist. Chevalier Saito was the man who stopped the 70,000. When he has a weapon, I have no chance to win.
“Because you can't use magic, too bad! Let's fight bare-handed!”
Saito released Derflinger, and leaped towards Guiche.
The gathered students were ecstatic as well.
“Get him! Punish that impertinent commoner! Guiche!”
“Oi, Saito! Go get that prideful Guiche!”
From a bench a distance away, two girls were watching the beginning of the loud scuffle between Saito and Guiche. They were Louise and Montmorency. For some reason or another, every morning before breakfast, they would watch the scenery of Saito and the others' trainings.
“Geez. After the war, now it's make-believe knights? No matter how you think about it, looks like it's a quarrel this time. Huh, boys... Guess it really can't be helped, huh?”
Montmorency said in an amazed voice.
Speaking of Louise, since some time ago, she was doing something with an unusually nervous look.
“...What are you doing?”
With a slightly irritated voice, Louise replied.
At one look, it was indeed the parka Saito wore. Holes where everywhere all over it. Louise was mending it somehow with great difficulty. But...no matter what, she was unskilled. With her thread entangled in a complicated way, the holes which were supposed to be mended were conversely bigger.
“Aren't you making it worse?”
“To mend something, isn't it better to call a maid to do it?”
“It's alright. I'll do it.”
While Louise was groaning mmm... she started mending the parka again.
“Louise, you haven't changed at all, huh?”
“Nope... mending a torn boy's shirt... girls who fall in love change, huh? I wonder.”
Louise lifted her face hastily. Her face reddened.
“Love, neeeevvvveeeerrrrr! A t-torn parka is pi-pipi-pitiable, so I'm s-sewing it. That's all!”
“You're so disorientated. As if you had admitted it yourself.”
“Truthfully, I don't want to do it! Aaahh, sorry! Geez!”
While she said that, she was moving the needle painstakingly.
Louise was trying to think of a way to help Saito who was engrossed in the knight corps. But, she was not a member of the knight corps... No matter how much she thought about the things she could do, she did not know of any at all. For the time being, she would just mend his parka.
When it came to Saito, like an idiot, he became engrossed in striving for the organization and the training of the knight corps. Because of that, the moment classes ended, he would train them. Returning to the room after he was worn out, he would sleep after that. Every morning, just like that, since dusk, he'd be very busy gathering with the other knight trainees, swinging their swords, practicing using magic all at once, and sparring.
He practically left Louise alone.
It was just like an attitude of “I don't need your help.”
That is, well...maybe because Louise was not a member of the knight corps, to which nothing could be done.
Huhhh... Louise let out a small sigh.
She could not amuse Saito well, and could not help him as well. As she thought of that, her self-confidence wavered even more.
As I thought, I can't do it, huh...? Tears welled in her eyes. With the sharpness of a Water user, Montmorency noticed Louise's agony, and narrowed her eyes.
“Whhhhat? Are you uncomfortable anywhere? Well, a lover who neglects you and engrosses himself in other things; so you become dispirited, huh?”
“Haah? What are you talking about? What lover? Stop it!”
“Am I wrong? Weelll, is it a secret crush then? Naturally, you towards Saito.”
“Wrong! Absolutely wrong! Completely different from love! I never think of him at all!”
Blushing deeply, Louise protested.
“It's fine. But let me give you a warning.”
“What is it!?”
“Although you like him, you cannot allow him immediately.”
“Haaaa! What are you saying!? Isn't that stupid!?”
“A person like you appears to be firm on the outside, but you flow according to the ambiance easily. Listen. Men are all unfaithful beings. 'A little bit is okay,' when you unintentionally allow him too much, he'll lose interest in you and go find other girls.”
“St-Stupid! There's no reason to allow them! Allow what!?”
Ignoring the things she did in the past, Louise yelled.
“Your voice is shaking. When you are struck at the bull's eye, you would be shaky immediately, eh? But you don't have to worry. Lately you are left aside by him, right? A completely frustrated woman is a no-no. Because of only little things, you get irritated, huh?”
“Haaaaahhhh!? The one's who's left aside, isn't it you!? Montmorency the Fragrance. What are you doing at such a place? To look out for Guiche? That idiot unexpectedly received a medal, and now he's getting more attention than before, eh? The girls who like him even like that, should have increased, right!?”
Chonchon. Montmorency hit Louise's shoulder, and pointed towards Saito's direction.
She looked, and noticed that the scuffle had ended before they realized.
Louise stared, pop-eyed.
A certain girl wearing a light brown mantle was handing something to Saito.
“Looks like the one getting the attention isn't Guiche, eh?”
Saito asked the girl in front of him.
The one in front of him with her cheeks crimson red was the girl who had once two-timed with Guiche... Katie. Beside them were a few fellow female academy students who were staring at Saito with similar expressions. All of them were wearing light brown mantles... which meant that they were first-year students.
“Um-Umm... do you want to read this?”
With a bashfully radiant face, the long-haired, lovely Katie took out something which looked like a letter.
“I-I wrote it as well.”
“Please look at it.”
The other female students handed their letters to Saito one by one as well.
“Umm... I wrote a poem. By all means, please read it.”
With his mouth agape, he asked the girls of the lower grade.
The girls exchanged glances and nodded in unison.
“Because, you are so cool. You could stop 70,000 military troops alone right?”
“Next time when you are free, could you please tell us more about it?”
From behind, Guiche's bitter voice could be heard.
“Wh-What about me? No letters for me!?”
“Guiche-sama already has Montmorency-sama right?”
Aloof, Katie declared clearly.
“You girls are always the best, all the time! Montmorency is Montmorency, you are you! I say! A valorous man only has love for courage and achievements! Please understand!”
Shouting that, Guiche bit on his rose and put on airs. But at that moment, a cluster of water enveloped Guiche's body.
“Ugh! Aargh! I-I! I can't br-breath... ughhh...”
In the water column, Guiche was in agony. Before they noticed it, Montmorency was already on her feet, wielding her wand. Expressionless, and very frightening-looking.
“Uuuuuwwwaaaaa, Monmon is scarrrryyyyy.” While she was saying shakily, Katie quickly handed over a package to him.
“Umm... I'm not sure whether it fits your taste or not, but I baked these biscuits myself. Please try them.”
A gently and softly luscious smell from the bag was hanging in the air.
Apparently delicious, involuntarily he extended his hand... and a small hand stretched out from beside him.
That hand tore up that bag, and removed the biscuits from the inside.
He timidly looked beside him, and saw Louise's face which was as if the biscuits were extremely awful.
“Wh-What are you doing?”
“What is this? It tastes awful.”
“I tried so hard in making them!”
“Don't give pet feeds to other people's pet dog.”
“What 'pet dog'!? Saito-sama is a hero!”
Without thinking, Saito puffed up his chest.
The next moment, Louise's knee struck his stomach, and Saito tumbled to the ground. Louise placed her feet firmly on Saito's face. In a completely typical style, Louise yelled.
“You had merely stopped the 70,000, what are you so proud of? It's just like stopping a farmer's cattle. What's so great about it!?”
Next, Louise trampled Saito's groin, delivering the finishing blow. Oouucchhh! Saito groaned, and became silent.
Everyone at that place thought that Louise was great. She had referred to the 70,000 military troops as farmer's cattle. The female students were frightened of such a person with unusual strength, and running away, dispersed.
Louise seized Saito who had fainted in agony by the legs, and dragged him along.
Meanwhile Montmorency took Guiche, whose limbs were locked together by ice loops and was floating in mid-air, away.
With the Commanding Officer and Assistant Commanding Officer absent, the assembled male trainees exchanged troubled glances. Malicorne let out a sigh, and said,
“Wouldn't it be great if Louise and Montmorency become our Commanding Officers?”
The male trainees nodded their heads unanimously.
In the room, Louise who had been dragging him all along, thump!, chucked him onto the bed.
Saito came to, and shouted angrily at Louise.
“What the hell are you doing?”
Louise's cheeks puffed, and she folded her arms.
“There's no problem being enthusiastic about it. I thought it's good for you to let you do as you please, but...”
Louise became silent.
“What's the problem?”
At his inquiry, huhh... Louise let off a weak sigh, and slipped into her bed.
“...Damn. You just carry on with your busy life.”
Saito was hit by those words. Evidently, because he was too busy lately and did not care about Louise, she was sulking now.
That was inevitable. His recent self was somehow full with fervor.
New position, new events which he had not experienced before...
Such things made his heart beat in excitement. Naturally, the time he spent with Louise decreased as well; nothing could be done about that.
Besides, those guys who attacked us the other day...
“Those guys who attacked us before this... it would be troublesome if they strike again right? Isn't it good to have more allies now?”
Well, that's true, but... Louise pursed her lips.
“But during the other time, you managed to win by your own.”
“That could not be told at all!”
Saito bellowed angrily, but Louise was more displeased with his not spending more time with her than that incident.
“Which means that you can't spend time with your master, eh?”
Louise kicked her legs around under the blanket, and complained.
“Why the displeased look?”
“Nothing... but that means that I don't have to call you master now.”
“Well, I'm a noble now right!? We are equal now right!”
“Haaah? What the heck are you talking about!? I've said it already! Don't confuse a mere 'Chevalier' with the Duke of La Vallière's position! We've only risen from the status of a human with a dog to a human with a MONKEY! That's all! Don't get the wrong idea!”
Louise combed her hair up and declared.
“Ah, I see...” Saito was further unamused.
And he had been thinking for a while that he could be equal to Louise. Looks like that wasn't the case at all.
Saito became quiet, and looking bored, Louise crawled into her bed... and pulled the blanket over her head.
Louise was not seriously thinking that they were "not equal". In other words, she did not care about the difference in their social status. Saito is Saito. That's all that matters.
It was simply that she did not know her feelings, and felt that Saito who was engrossed in the knight corps was a little unforgivable; at which she unintentionally insulted the Chevalier title.
At Saito's silence, Louise poked her head out from under the blanket.
Like a rabbit, the face which was peeking out from the hole stared at Saito, after which it slipped back in again.
“Think about what you should do to improve your master's mood.”
“Although you say that.”
Seemingly troubled, Saito scratched his head. From the bed, Louise extended her hand, with a finger pointing up.
“Hug me tightly? A-And whisper at my ears 'I would like to serve you.'...or something like that.”
What do you mean by “Hug me tightly”!? Saito was a little angry inside.
So you want to tie me down using that bait...? He was thinking that, but not unwillingly, he still hugged Louise from on top of the blanket.
Under the blanket, Louise became quiet like a cat.
Louise... unconsciously relaxed her face.
No... Being hugged by a boy one likes somehow feels good. Although it is from the top of a blanket.
If possible, I want it like this all the time. But I cannot permit that. Aah, but what should I do if he requests that? If I allow him once, will he really be unfaithful as Montmorency said? What should I do? As she was thinking about that... Saito opened his mouth.
“Is that enough?”
In the blanket, Louise squinted her eyes.
“How do I say it? Everyone is waiting for me since I am an Assistant Commanding Officer... if I skip practice, how could I discipline them?”
Leaving those words behind, Saito left the bed immediately, and went out of the room.
Left behind, Louise was in a daze for a little while, and she shook...
She sprang up from the bed swiftly, and started kicking the wall.
“What was that!? What does he mean! All my pride is shattered now!”
After kicking the wall for a while, Louise muttered while panting.
“You just wait and see... When I am serious... Be it a maid or an elf... All of them will wag their tails and run away!”
The next day...
After school, Saito went to the kitchen to greet those over there.
He remembered that he had not seen Siesta's face for a while. He ought to inform her about his becoming a noble properly in person.
Siesta's figure could not be seen. Saito asked her boss, Marteau, who was tasting a stew.
“Do you know where Siesta is?”
At his question, Marteau glared fiercely at Saito.
“I won't tell someone who has been wagging his tail at nobles.”
He declared. As if having the same opinion as their master, the other cooks who once praised Saito so much, were now watching him with cold eyes.
Compared to the times when he was insulted by the students, Saito was many times sadder now.
Being told such words by such kind people, Saito gradually broke out in tears. Subsequently, Head Chef Marteau panicked.
“Oi oi! You had taken all the trouble to become a noble, and now you're crying?”
“But... you all were so kind to me... and you had changed... but I didn't change at all...”
“Don't cry! Geez, for God's sake, why on earth did you want to become a noble!?”
Saito bit his lips.
“I don't know how to put it properly, but... somehow I wanted it. Hey uncle, you can touch people's hearts through your cooking. So you became a chef, and this is somewhere you would be. Am I wrong?”
“Hmm, well... now that you say that, maybe that's true.”
“I'm like that as well. I want a place I belong to, a place where I can have a go at the things I can do. I believe that my position as a noble would make it easier for me to do so. It doesn't mean that I specially wanted to become a noble. If that place is near the thing I want to do... I would use that place conversely, I think.”
At his words, Head Chef Marteau shrugged.
“I don't have much knowledge. You tell me difficult things, but I don't get it. Just that, didn't you become haughty...?”
Seemingly embarrassed, Head Chef Marteau muttered.
“Haughty? I don't have any such intention at all!! Please treat me the same way as before! If you think I'm unreasonable and detest me, then don't say anything.”
Head Chef Marteau snorted. After that, he promptly hugged Saito.
“S-Sorry... To tell you the truth, I am jealous of you... To become a noble from a commoner, that is as hard as a human becoming God! But hearing your words, I am now relieved. You are you. Right? 'Our Sword'!”
“Although I don't really understand, I am glad to become your sword, as always!”
Guriguri, Head Chef Marteau stroked Saito's head.
“Tell Siesta the same thing! That girl is feeling really down now...”
At that instant,
Bang!, The kitchen door was opened hard. Thump thump thump Siesta rushed in.
“Waaaah waaaaah! This is bad! Waaah, waaah!”
It was a somewhat huge pandemonium.
Head Chef Marteau asked.
“I! I have been transferred! Aargh!”
Saito and Head Chef Marteau exchanged glances. Then Siesta noticed Saito's presence and blushed furiously.
Filled with emotion, Siesta murmured.
“Wh-What on earth... aren't you feeling really down now?”
“You're right. I am a bit down. Because Saito-san had become a noble. I thought after you became a noble, you would forget about me.”
“I won't forget!”
“But it's alright now.”
“What the heck is going on!?”
Head Chef Marteau asked as Siesta lowered her head.
“Thank you very much for taking good care of me so far.”
Siesta showed a paper she was holding to the blank Head Chef.
“Isn't this the signature of the Queen?”
Sure enough, that was an official document on which Henrietta's name was written. Underneath it, there was Old Osman's signature as well.
“What, what? "Arrange a servant from within the academy to serve Mr. Saito Chevalier de Hiraga". What is this?”
“This morning, this letter from the Royal Palace arrived at Osman-sama's. After that, he ordered the head of maids to choose someone. But the head of maids chose me. To wait on him, someone who's close to him would be better, which is me.”
Not understanding why it happened, Saito became nervous, and Siesta quickly bowed her head.
“Because of that, please treat me well.”
Meanwhile, Louise... was trying to carry out the strategy which she had been scheming secretly for the past two days.
“Until now, the way to do things is wrong.”
“How is it wrong?”
The one asking Louise, who was murmuring continually, was Derflinger. As usual, Louise had appointed the intelligent sword as her fellow staff in her operation plans.
“How should I say it? I had been trying to win at places outside my field. Be it a black cat appearance, or a maid-like appearance...anyway, these are not things nobles do.”
“For the time being, while satisfying my pride, I should go back to basics.”
Louise exaggerated. The clothes she was wearing were... that legendary “sailor uniform.” Some time ago, she had bowed her head low and borrowed it from Montmorency. It was a present Guiche gave her after he had received it from Saito. It was tailored to fit the lean body of Montmorency, but somehow it fitted Louise as well. Obviously there was a lot of space left in front of her breasts, and the clothes were too long as well... but Louise held it together using pins.
“Yes. It's useless parading in weird stuff. The ears of the cat were overdone. Anyway, after confirming that your ideas are out of the question, I will win by using my own thoughts and my inspirations. That is what a real noble would do.”
Louise folded her arms, and peered into the mirror, satisfied.
With her body wearing the baggy sailor uniform, Louise turned around the spot. Her pink hair, scarf, and the pleated skirt of her uniform flew up simultaneously.
“Aren't you imitating that maid?”
“Shut up. Between the maid and I, our power varies a lot!”
“Aren't you the weaker one? It looks a little saggy on you...”
Inhaling a deep breath, Louise reached out for the wand on top of the small desk beside her. Derflinger's attitude changed completely.
With a triumphant face, Louise posed before the mirror.
Holding the hem of her skirt up, Louise put her little finger into her mouth. At her look, Derflinger put in.
“Anyway, if you really like partner that much......why don't you try being more frank? Don't beat around the bush, and just say something like what you said before, 'do the same to me', and it will just work, won't it? He'll just surrender and give in immediately.”
“Why is that so?”
“Well... if I do that, won't he get carried away? It is not like the other time. As I said, he groped those breasts, so I put him down. He is unforgivable.”
“You're not honest.”
“Or perhaps I should say.”
Louise gripped the sword, and peered into the hilt part with a scary face.
“I did not like him specially.”
With a voice of complete disbelief, Derflinger muttered.
After that, Haaaaaa..., let off a deep sigh.
“What's the matter?”
“I am still cute after all. This is, another sin.”
“...My dear, you are really calm huh.”
“After seeing such a tidy and cute me, that insect would have to fall on his knees.”
“Sorry, I'm scared.”
“He will surely feel like this eh?”
Carried away, Louise crawled at the bed. Under Derflinger's amazed scrutiny, Louise's favorite monodrama of late began.
“Louise~~~ Louise~~~ You are so cute... Your appearance is better than the time you wore maid clothes~~~ I had fallen madly in love with Louise~~~!”
After that, Louise stood up quickly.
“Hmph! Isn't this obvious! Now you notice my charm? Aah, I can't do anything about it!”
Again, Louise knelt at the floor.
“I'm sorry~~~ Sorry for ignoring you~~~ I got carried away after becoming a noble, sorry for that~~~ Sorry for engrossing in the knight thingy~~~ Sorry for looking for at the maid~~~ Sorry for groping that half-elf's ridiculous breasts~~~!”
Louise stood straight.
“If you want to apologize, you know how to treat me right?”
Flat on the ground, Louise licked dust.
“Yes! I am a humble dog... Louise-sama's vile pet dog... I would do anything... Please let me stay by your side...”
Standing up, Louise folded her arms. She was carried away excitedly, as if her familiar was just right there. With a smile full of bizarrely swelling excitement an a victory boast, she looked down on the imaginary familiar.
“If you understand, li-lili-lick my sh-shsh-shoes.”
“Yeeess! I will lick it! This Saito-dog will lick it!”
Louise cringed down and lowered her head.
“What!? Now's the climax! Don't disturb! It's really exciting after this!”
“The door is...”
“What's with the door!? What happened to the door!”
Louise turned around. With eyes as if they were looking at a miserable creature, Siesta and Saito who were present there were staring at her. Louise's face paled.
Siesta rushed over to Louise, and held those hands.
“Let's go to a place with free medical treatment, okay? You're affected from the warm spell of spring huh... It's all right. You'll be healed quickly.”
Saito approached her, and peered into Louise's face.
“Say honestly. What did you eat?”
Strongly, Louise shook both of them off, and went to the window. From there, she tried to jump down.
“Louise! Oi! This is the third floor!”
Siesta and Saito ran after her. Louise yelled frantically.
“Leave me! Please, leave me alone!”
After they managed to calm Louise down, two hours had already passed.
With her face fuming, Louise glared at Saito and Siesta. Both of them drooped their heads. To hide her embarrassment at their seeing THAT, Louise muttered with a sullen face.
“Why did you bring her back?”
“Please take care of me!”
Beaming, Siesta bowed down at Louise.
“If you come here to wait on me, there is no need for me.”
Gazing at Siesta who was looking at her, Louise declared.
“That... Despite your words, I did not come to take care of Miss Vallière. I came to take care of Saito-san.”
“He can take care of himself.”
“It is the personal command of Her Majesty The Queen.”
“The Princess did!?”
Louise shouted wildly.
“Yes. Please look at this.”
Siesta showed the official documents from Queen Henrietta which had been going around, to Louise.
“...That's true, huh. A servant for Mr. Saito Chevalier de Hiraga.”
“Although it's me, I would still not come here to intrude.”
“I don't know,” Louise shook her head.
“What about it?”
Louise glared at Saito.
“Yes. You want to be with Siesta, right? What about it?”
With a jerk, Louise glared at Saito. Looking troubled, Saito scratched his nose.
“Lately, I became busy... honestly, I can't clean the room...”
Upon a closer look, one could see a layer of dust had settled in the room. Previously, Saito was the one who cleaned the room. But since the formation of the knight corps, he had no time to clean it.
“I would do anything!”
“Is that okay? I have a bad feeling about this...”
“To take care of Saito-san is my happiness.”
Siesta smiled pleasantly.
Oh no, Louise thought. Wh-What noble words. As usual, Saito's face reddened a bit.
For guys, there aren't any words which would make them happier than this. And Siesta had declared those words.
Because of the grave situation, Louise counterattacked from another angle.
“Well, since you're unwilling to give in... it's bad, but never mind... Where are you going to sleep? There's only one bed.”
“Isn't it okay for us to sleep together? Because the bed is big enough.”
“No! No! Noooooo! It's too small! Besides, isn't Siesta...”
A commoner; as Louise was about to say this, she swallowed her words. She remembered her debt of gratitude towards Siesta. And now, she could not bring herself to treat commoners with disdain.
But still sleeping together is an absolute NO. Louise did not know what this Siesta would do to Saito when she was sleeping.
“Well then, okay. I will sleep in my straw again. It should be okay for you two to sleep together.”
Saito said dryly again.
In a daze, Siesta shook her head.
“The idea! Saito-san is now a knight! You MUST sleep in a bed! Well, I'll accompany you!”
Saito's face reddened all the more. Louise was trembling all over. And finally, she said those words which she did not want to say.
“O-Okay. No pr-problem. Let's sleep together.”
“...But, sleeping together with nobles...”
“Saito is now a noble as well.”
“But, Saito-san is Saito-san...”
Siesta shifted uneasily.
With a stiff smile, Louise said.
Apparently embarrassed, Siesta hung her head in shame.
After that- “Well then, first of all, cleaning!” -Siesta started cleaning the room, apparently enjoying it.
“Let me help,” Saito suggested, and started helping Siesta's cleaning. For a while, Louise fixed her eyes on the two who were cleaning the room, seemingly enjoying it... Eventually, she felt somewhat unable to stay there any more.
“I'll do it as well.”
Siesta and Saito opened their eyes wide.
“What? Is it funny for me to clean up?”
“Yeah, because this has never happened even once before.”
Louise snatched the dustcloth from Siesta's hand, and started polishing the bed. Yet, no matter what, she was inept at it. Because she had crumpled the dustcloth into a clump and did it like that, it did not become cleaner at all. Finding it hard to continue looking at her- “This is the way to do it.”- Siesta explained to Louise.
After a few hours, looking at the sparklingly clean room, Siesta said joyfully.
“We had made it clean!”
“Yeah,” Louise nodded. Looking at that clean room, somehow her anger subsided...Huh, well, forget it... She felt like this.
During that night.
The three of them slept “like the character for river. Saito was in the middle, with Louise at his right and Siesta at his left.
Louise felt rather embarrassed at sleeping like she did on other days, which was to lay her head on Saito's chest. So she separated herself a little from him, with her back facing him. Siesta had the same feelings, or else she was thoughtful; but she slept apart from Saito as well. Initially, Louise could not sleep, and kept an eye out on the two of them. If they did anything strange, she planned to jump up and whack Saito.
Nevertheless, Siesta and Saito were perfectly still. Not used to cleaning, Louise slowly fell asleep.
Saito really was Saito, stiffening just like that. At any rate, beside him were Louise and Siesta who were sleeping. With two sleeping girls beside him, he did not have any fantasies at all.
...This isn't really a good thing.
Saito thought. Because he was too nervous, he did not even feel a tinge of sweetness. Or perhaps, stuck between the silent pressures from the feelings of animosity, anger, and not knowing what to do, which were not visible to Louise and Siesta, he was about to be flattened.
But...now isn't the time to worry over these girls.
Louise had said that as “That is a reward...”
I am loved completely by her, but if I have any feelings left for other girls, I can't do anything weird to Siesta...
His mind became more and more troubled.
First of all, I have to forget the girls' affairs.
Somehow or another, right now the organization of the knight corps is the most important, so...
I have to focus completely on doing a man's job, so...
Saito drove Louise and Siesta out of his head... and thought.
In this world, what can I do?
I don't know.
Even if I devote myself to training, as I thought, the answer did not appear.
Oh well... it has just begun. Just understanding little by little will be good enough.
Displaying his optimistic characteristic, Saito closed his eyes.
Teacher, I will do my best...
He whispered softly.
Worn out by the noon's training, Saito slowly went into the dream world.
After she dozed off for a while, Louise suddenly opened her eyes. She was sleeping lightly.
She had an unpleasant premonition, and she looked towards Saito... and without her knowing it, hadn't Siesta been using Saito's upper arm as a pillow? But until just now, she was still apart from him! Louise ground her teeth.
Fuuunn, and she placed her head on Saito's left arm. After that... Siesta's head moved, and this time, assumed a part of Saito's shoulder as her pillow.
Louise clenched her fist, and just like her, placed her head on his left shoulder. Siesta's head moved all the more, and finally reached his chest.
“...You are already awake, right?”
Siesta's face blushed a bit, and snored unnaturally. As if she wanted to say “That's my place!”, Louise placed her head further up Saito's chest.
Siesta's eyes opened slowly.
Between Saito's chest, both of them glared at each other.
When Louise said that, Siesta counterattacked.
“If Saito-san says that, only then will I leave.”
“Because he's sleeping, I'll give the command. Leave.”
“You surrendered at Albion right? You backed out.”
“Wrong. That was merely because I pitied Miss Vallière.”
Louise trembled for a while. Huuuuuu..., she took in a deep breath, and gently pressed her lips against the sleeping Saito's.
And then, she inserted her tongue flamboyantly.
“Mmph, mmpppphhhh, mmm...”
Dumbfounded, Siesta looked at them. Or perhaps, at the terrible intensity of Louise. Much greater than kiss, it was like the force of stabbing with a knife.
After turning her tongue around in Saito's mouth forcefully, Louise's lips left, and declared to Siesta.
“We are not really lovers. But, he is my property. It's awful for you to interfere between us,"
Louise stated, with a heavily implied killing intent in her voice.
For a while, Siesta was overwhelmed by Louise's force... but eventually regained herself. Facing Louise's glare straight on, she grasped Saito's right hand.
And before Louise could even stop her, Siesta inserted his hand into the gap between her nightclothes. Grandly, she held his hand in her cleavage, making Louise feel suffocated.
“Until now, I knew nothing at all about how to attract boys.”
“It's true. But the girl who could not stand looking at such a me... taught me various things. Various things.”
“I-I see. Because of that you let him touch your breasts? And you said you knew nothing at all?”
Louise asked, her face twitching.
“Different from Miss Vallière, I can't go on just waiting. Please treat me well.”
“Take care... Well, I'll try to do my best. But, I still think that's useless. This guy has fallen madly in love with me!”
Louise exclaimed triumphantly.
“Ah... He must have been confused by that noble ambiance.”
“That's not true at all!”
“If that's the case, he likes every part of you?”
Louise fell silent. She was not sure about that.
Siesta peered into Louise's face and said.
“So how about this? In the coming Sleipnir Ball, if Saito-san can find Miss Vallière... I'll admit that Saito-san really likes Miss Vallière. When he does that, I will truly give up.”
“Isn't this interesting?”
Blowing her top, Louise accepted that proposal.
“You won't regret? On the other hand, if he does not find you...”
Saito was unaware of the girls' fight which was unfolding on top of his chest...
At this time, Saito, who was possibly the most fortunate and unfortunate man in Halkeginia, was having an ironic nightmare consisting of him being wooed by both Guiche and Malicorne in the midst of the training of the knight corps.
On top of Saito's right arm, Siesta started to snore. After scowling at her face... Louise let off a sigh.
Is Siesta right about Saito being only attracted to me because of my noble ambiance? Her self-confidence was increasingly swaying.
And he was so near to her... but she did not know his feelings at all. This thing had made Louise really uneasy.
At the same time, a question arose in her mind.
It was about Henrietta.
No matter how great Saito's achievement was, it is impossible for a queen herself to assign a personal maid to him.
That is too kind.
What on earth is Henrietta's motive?
Don't tell me that she intends to assign another dangerous task to him?
If Henrietta is going to visit this time..., Louise fell asleep.
Translator's Notes and References
- The Japanese character (kanji) for river is kawa （川）. It looks like 3 (approximately) straight lines being put together. The author is implying that the three of them slept parallel together, just like that character.
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