Zero no Tsukaima:Volume12 Story2 Chapter2
 Chapter 2
The next day...
In the hangout of The Knight Corps of the Water Spirit, the conversation flitted. The content of the conversation ran like this....
“Oi, Guiche! What a wonderful bouquet!”
The one who shouted that was the big Gimli from The Knight Corps of the Water Spirit. Rather than a mage he looked more like a warrior and whenever he laughed ‘Ghahahaha’ the muscles on his shoulders bulged.
“Noo, that’s not it! It’s because I’m so popular!”
Saying so Guiche laughed, sinking within the presents from the girls. Being an attractive commander of imperial guards, Guiche was quite popular. And since Guiche was a handsome boy to begin with, his popularity was a given. Oh dear, there was a good reason for Montmorency’s tears after all.
However, it wasn’t just Guiche who was popular.
When you look around – there isn’t a single boy without a present. Not only that, the popularity of The Knight Corps of the Water Spirit rose significantly after the last fight against the dragon knights.
No, there was a sole boy without a present.
In the corner of the room, with his lips placed on an empty wine bottle neck, Saito played a sad tune.
When he got into the fight with Louise, Saito flew out of the room burning with anger… but as time passed, anger was replaced by tiredness and sadness.
Why was she so angry over a silly misunderstanding?
Except for kissing, all other things should not be a reason for such anger.
No, more than that, what does Louise see in me?
When you think about it… sometimes Louise acts like she loves me, but she never puts that into words. Even when her behavior tells, she refuses to mouth it. Surely, there has to be some reason why Louise cannot take another step.
Saito did not know what.
Maybe because familiar relationship is lower than the one between lovers, she refuses to make me her lover…
In other words – I am not Louise’s lover yet.
The more his lips repeated, the more believable it seemed.
Maybe it’s because I am seventeen and thus one year older than her… No, since one year passed, I am eighteen now, right? Well, it doesn’t matter.
Anyway, because Saito convinced himself that Louise doesn’t like him, he became depressed.
The thought that ‘Louise loves me’ was just being caught up in the moment, felt like it pushed him into the bottomless pit. Saito felt like he was sinking in a swamp, in total darkness.
Aah, I’m so jealous of everyone here. Everyone has a sweetheart… except me. I have a selfish mistress… Saito sighed - it felt like there was an empty hole in his chest. Malicorne dressed in a blatant color shirt talked to him.
“Yo Saito. How is this? Does it suit me?”
Saito glanced at Malicorne. It didn’t suit by any means. He saw comedians do something like this in a punishment game on some old television show. Even his plump belly was sticking out through the gap of the shirt.
Still Saito gave a lukewarm smile. He was tired.
“Looks good. Suits you well.”
Malicorne’s nostrils widened and he tapped Saito’s shoulder.
“If you say so, then I will absolutely wear it! Noo, it’s so hard to be popular!”
Haha – Saito laughed dryly. Probably because some students already know that Saito had yet another quarrel with Louise and left the room, they tried to avoid him more, differently from Malicorne just now.
“Good for you, Malicorne! Now, go over there!”
“No, I want Saito to hear it. Listen, Saito. It is unbelievable - I am to escort TWO girls to the current ball! Even this belly is fine. No, in fact it was the girls who said that! The women really think I’m special. No, really, the word ‘special’ is not good enough to describe me. But I have to express somehow! Unbelievable, right? Now, Saito, tell me – which of the girls you find to be better? The neat brunette or the passionate girl with red-hair?”
Saito’s eyes became distant… and he started humming. Giving warning signs, Guiche approached Malicorne and tried to push him away.
“Hey, Malicorne. Saito now…”
Guiche whispered something into Malicorne’s ear. Then Malicorne started laughing loudly.
“What Saito?! You had another fight with Louise again? It can’t be helped, since you are so thick! Maybe I should teach you how to handle a girl? Naha, naha!”
Malicorne slapped Saito on the back while laughing. Guiche’s face turned blue, but Saito just gave abject smile said thanks and looked unaffected.
Not able to stand Saito being like this, Reynald looked at Guiche.
“Hey, Guiche. Say what you want, but Saito is in a bad shape.”
“Hm? Yeah, right…”
Guiche, who was high, had to consider the not so merry condition of his friend. Not having to bear the unhappiness of Knight Corps of the Water Spirit alone, he sympathized with Saito.
“Somehow, I'd like to make him to feel better.”
“There is not much we can do alone. Because this guy’s curse is love.”
Guiche nodded quickly. Meanwhile… the always lively Gimli, whispered to Guiche.
“Commander-dono. I have a good idea.”
“What is it?”
Wondering Guiche looked at Gimli’s face.
Normally, anything but ‘good idea’ comes to this fellows mind. Could it be that during the fight with dragon knights, the spell hit him straight into the head?
“Who can help a man who has troubles with a woman?”
Guiche answered in an instant.“A woman.”
“Exactly. A woman can comfort a man wounded by another woman… we, men, are sad creatures.”
“What are you suggesting?”
Urged by Guiche, Gimli narrowed his lids. This made him look unusually fiendish.
“You know that large indoors bath? Currently boys and girls sections are separated.”
“Right. Back in our grandparents' days there was no separation between women and men bathing.”
Back in those days, bathing together was a symbol of equality. But you had to wear swimsuits like in Saito’s world.
However, since Romalia’s orders became severe, that custom was forbidden for a religious reason. Since Guiche was born that custom was gone already, and he carried a deep grudge for that. It was changed so that after the bath one had to give bedtime prayers.
The bath in the present Tristain Academy of Magic, was a tower built under the ground, with a huge pool made from white marble. It had two similar passages – one for women and another for men.
“And what does it have to do with the bath?”
“How about using the women's bath as a theater? More so, nothing else would inspire man more. Right?”
Guiche’s eyes opened wide.
“Peeping into girls bath?!”
Gimli pressed his palm against Guiche’s mouth.
Following the insolent remark, boys from the Knight Corps started to gather around.
“Puaah!” When Guiche’s mouth is free he exhales loudly, his face - crimson red.
“D-d-d-don’t you think it’s shameful for a noble?! To peep at girls bathing! Was there anything more shameful than this before? No, there was not!”
“But as a member you cannot overlook the falling of your troop’s morale. Moreover honestly, wouldn’t you like to have a peek? Nono! This is serious! ‘Frigg’s dance ball’ will take place soon. Which girl will you escort? There is nothing more important for a noble than this! And with them wearing clothes you will not be able to tell which girl is most excellent in dancing. You should properly examine all possibilities to decide with which girl you want to dance with. No, it's judging whether you should dance. One could say it is a noble’s obligation!”
Though the reasoning behind it was confusing, Guiche could slowly see a point in it. Well, it was a tempting proposal to begin with. Guiche started trembling.
“Can’t go! We can’t go! Girls bath is severely protected by spells!”
“Heeeh, is that so?”
Gimli gave a composed answer. Guiche looked like he was about to cry.
“It pains me to say, but the first time I entered the academy I investigated this. The girl’s bath takes pride in being defended like a fortress! Though one can do nothing but approach land route to peep into the structure of a half underground… firstly, you are denied to come closer by a Golem. And even if you bypass that, there are still difficulties remaining! There are magical glass windows! You can’t touch them! And you cannot peep from there as you cannot get a full view! To make the matters worse, because it has a strong ‘immobilization’ spell it makes alchemy helpless! Moreover, because it is equipped with magic detection devices, one cannot use spells!”
Seems like ideas like ‘Noble's pride’ was completely blown out of the minds, and nobody worried about it now. Everyone was occupied with one problem.
“Is it possible to peep?”
“It’s a dead end. For a mage it is useless!”
Guiche muttered in a tearful voice and cross-legged plumped down on the floor.
Between members regretful “Damn!” “What to do!” “It’s too much of a risk!” spread.
Gimli tapped his commander’s shoulder.
“Now, if the plans of the bath are same as old plans of the tower, then nobles are blessed with honorable sight.”
Guiche’s eyes sparkled.
Everyone let out a loud ‘Uwoooo” so that windows almost cracked.
“The other day, when I went to the library… I examined the history of the school. The Tristain Academy of Magic takes pride in a long history. In other words, the shelf of the academy’s record books is very long too. What if during the centuries, there is a part that no one touched. When searching there… I found such copy. This paper.”
All members, holding their breaths stared at the paper pulled out by Gimli. On that parchment old plans of the tower were shown. The number of comments were written in faded black ink.
“How is this? The part of "Immobilization" placed on this tower is thoroughly recorded. Perhaps, the engineer who undertook the design or someone who saw it, copied it for keeping. However, it is enough for our plans.”
Gimli showed a fearless smile.
“Once I become a general… I will give you a reward.”
Other members too, one after another, were trembling from excitement – one tearfully looked up into the sky, another grasped the fists and nodded many times..
Meanwhile, one boy, blushing furiously, said.
“Everyone! Aren’t you nobles everyone! Don’t you feel shame?!”
It was Reynald. As he always was a serious boy, he could not permit such a plan. Everybody looked embarrassed at each other. However, Malicorne said looking seriously at Reynald.
“We are nobles. Not to mention Imperial Guards. We are always ready to throw our lives away for the motherland and the Queen. Death is always next to us. Death is our friend, our second half.”
“That’s right! And for such nobles like us… to do peeping…”
“Well now, how can we die without knowing if Tiffania’s things are real or not?”
Facing Reynald, Malicorne continued in a serious tone.
“I can not.”
Reynald seemed to be fighting with himself for a while. But… not able to endure it anymore, kneeled down on one knee. Reynald squeezed the words out of his throat.
“I-I want to check it…”
Malicorne smiled like a saint, and stretched out his hand for kneeling Reynald.
“Let’s go. To our battlefield.”
Everyone crawled through the hole that Guiche‘s Verdandi dug. Following right behind the mole – commander Guiche himself. Gimli followed behind him. Then Malicorne. Saito at the end of the line. Since he was depressed, he considered it to be someone else‘s affair, not understanding where he is going and what for.
One said “I’ll show you something good” and Saito came along.
“The stone walls underneath do not have the ‘Immobilization’ spell placed under them. As far as the plan goes. You are sure right?.”
In an anxious voice Guiche asked Gimli, crawling behind him. Within the darkness, Gimli nodded.
“Yeah. In that plan, design chief of the time, marked the area permitted for the Earl of Elmon. Seems to be genuine. If you think about it, the underground was a blind spot! Indeed, the bath is a half-way underground structure. They only paid attention to the window and not the wall buried under the ground. They protected the head but not the buttocks, just like every living thing.
The digging of Verdandi stopped and it turned around.
Guiche’s face grew tensed. They seemed to have hit the wall. Then…
“Gentlemen, we reached our destination.”
Everyone let out the sigh of admiration.
“Seems like the earth Golem can sense underground. So keep quiet.”
Guiche lightly waved a wand and a magic light appeared on the very tip. The hazy light enlightened the hole that Verdandi dug.
There where Verdandi’s nose pointed, they could see the grey stone of the wall.
“Verdandi, please make a hole through this wall, so that every member could fit.”
In the blink of an eye, Verdandi satisfied Guiche’s demand.
Meanwhile, the lovely voices of unsuspecting young maidens could be heard behind the wall.
The bathtub was roughly 25 mails in width and around 15 mails in length. So that all the schoolgirls of the academy could fit in together. Like in noble’s bathhouse, the hot water was mixed with perfume.Louise placing her back against an arc wall, was soaking in the tub. She was casually swaying her slender arms and legs under water, watching the shivering surface of the water.
Tensed, she looked around. After seeing a familiar face she relaxed again. Kirche, as always showing off her body, sat crossing her legs on the bench, right under the stream coming from the wall.
Next to her, Tabitha who was reading book and brought a cane despite the baths. One could wonder why she always brings her cane with her, but considering her upbringings its not that surprising. The way her life was, one could never know when and where she could be attacked by an enemy. Though she could be more relaxed now, she was still bringing the cane out of habit.
In front of the mirror, Montmorency was shamefully lifting her chest. Removing the ribbon, she let her hair fall freely across her back, making her look younger. Looking at her chest, she pouted unimpressed. Nothing wrong with that. I am better anyway.
Now, when Louise watched that view before her, her thoughts subconsciously brought her back to Saito again.
When she woke this morning, Saito was not besides her.
Just this thing alone was enough to depress Louise a lot. After their heated quarrel he left and did not return this morning. Though she could understand why, her feelings still sank nevertheless. Certainly she was too angry, she thought.
For three days, making him write a remorse sentence in only underwear and having him read it repeatedly – she honestly went overboard this time.
But… she just could not simply forgive.
She was prepared, going for a stroll every night… thus she could not forgive Saito, who did not notice it at all.
And when she goes to infirmary worried, she finds Saito groping Tiffania’s breasts – she could not forgive that.
Excited cheers from the entrance of the bath echoed, Louise lifted her face. There stood the blond, long-eared elf with massive breasts, shyly hiding her body behind the cloth.
However, the chest was just too large.
The size that peeked through the towel, jumped into Louise’s eyes. The size of the chest was unbelievable.
Worried Tiffania looked around, before seeing Louise staring at her and then smiled. A friend whom she could rely on could make her more at ease.
But now, she could not tell such a thing to Tiffania. When she looked at that fairy like figure… she herself felt awfully tiny and inferior being.
Sulkily she submerged her half of her face into the water, blowing small bubbles through her mouth, while Tiffania timidly approached Louise.
“Umm, can I sit beside you?”
“Hot water everywhere anyway, your choice.”
Inadvertently, speaking harshly, Louise was embarrassed. Louise again buried her face under the water, blowing bubbles.
Tiffania scooped the hot water with her palm and looked at it weirdly. Then hesitantly opened her mouth to speak.
“Such a wide bath. I am surprised. The bath that we were using was greatly different.”
“What kind of bath did you use?”
“A steam bath… the bricks were laid out together, like the kitchen range, then sprinkled some water on the heated stone and bathed in the steam. I was bathing in the nearby fountain during summer.”
That’s why Tiffania smiled seeing such a great bath for the first time.
“I really want to thank you.”
Tiffania said abruptly.
“To Saito and Louise… everyone who came to meet me. Her Majesty Henrietta and people of Tristain… I am grateful to everyone.”
“Because if it were not for everyone I would have never seen such great things. The outside world is wonderful. Like I could not even imagine for such a bath to exist.”
Tiffania lifted both her arms and looked around.
“…Even though bad things happen to you?”
Louise asked recalling the incident with Beatrice.
“It can’t be helped. I have such ears.”
Tiffania laughed touching her ears.
“And thus I could not take a bath with everyone. Secretly at night, when no one was around I used the opportunity. But now I am not scared anymore. I can show them proudly. Due to that accident.”
Louise looked at Tiffania giving a dazzling smile and with a slight sadness in her voice said.
“You are dangerous not only because of Elf blood. You are a “User”. At any moment, one cannot know how this power will be used.
“You see Louise, there is no need to worry. You use your power by your will, so I will do with mine.”
Louise was touched by Tiffania’s carefree attitude.
And I feel like I am getting smaller and smaller, not only the chest, but my whole existence is small, I always felt tiny. Tiffania was allowed to grow up without interference.
On the other hand, as I grew up I was always bound by many things.
Those things that determine my behavior before myself. Because of that my and Saito’s opinions cross so much.
Some students saw Tiffania soaking in hot water and sighed. Tiffania was almost as beautiful as a fairy. She looked like a beautiful fairy from long ago, I read fairy tales come to a child, and looks like a beautiful fairy.
She was like fairy from children books long time ago. While her chest, visible under the hot water… seeing her child-like body, the volume of difference was making Louise sad.
It’s only natural that Saito wanted to touch her.
It wasn’t just the body
Though having a noble’s blood, Tiffania grew up as a commoner, thus she and Saito from another world could understand each other better…
There is nothing I could win against Tiffania. Such inferiority complex wrapped Louise.
“Call me Tifa.”
“Tifa, Umm, forgive Saito.”
“He, umm, is a helpless pervert, but he is not a bad person. You probably were surprised from having your chest groped all of a sudden… but he really didn’t mean any harm. I think his hand went out of control. I apologize for him as his mistress.”
Tiffania gave Louise, who suddenly started apologizing, a confused look. Then suddenly her face dyed red.
“I-it’s different. I asked him myself.”
Louise’s eyes opened wide.
“I… thought that not only my ears… but also my chest is weird. Because it is too big, no matter how you look at it.”
When other people could use the sentence as an ironic one, Tiffania was honestly wondering about it.
“Therefore I asked Saito to make sure.”
“Oh, didn’t you find it strange asking such a thing from a guy?”
With a dumbfounded look on her face, Louise asked. Then Tiffania blushed.
“T-true. I was thinking so myself.”
Louise was shocked. Tiffania’s naiveté was beyond Louise’s imagination. Maybe not as badly as a child’s, but the gap was rather significant still.
“Because Saito was a first friend of the same age group… he did not feel as much as a boy. But if for example you were to become his girlfriend, you cannot allow that…”
Dejected Tiffania hugged her knees. Her breasts rose from the water just like two islands.
“It’s no good once you are touched. Such kind of thing.”
Louise coldly stared at Tiffania’s chest. Because her heart was wounded, she could not stop staring.
“Sorry, Louise… You are Saito’s lover.”
When Tiffania said that, Louise jumped up with a gush.“I’m not his l-l-l-lover!”
Blushing violently, Louise trembled. Seeing Louise like this, Tiffania too dyed in red.
“L-Louise… umm…what are you doing? You are in a plain view….”
Louise face crimsoned even more. Indeed when she stood up her bath towel fell off and now she was standing completely naked before Tiffania. Louise sank herself in the hot water again.
While being embarrassed, thoughts about Saito crossed her mind again.
What Saito said was true.
Yet I… with my head filled with inferiority complex towards Tiffania, could not believe his words…
To that degree, Saito was fighting for himself…
Louise became very depressed. What to do if Saito won’t return.
Even so, if it happens, it’s only natural. She did not believe his words and just treated him cruelly.
Louise started shaking.
“What’s wrong? Are you cold?”
Worried Tiffania asked.
“I am not.”
Answered Louise. Tiffania leaned closer and her unbelievable chest and waist filled Louise's eyes again. If there were ten boys… between me and Tiffania, all ten of them would likely still choose Tiffania.
Though we are both Void users… I wonder why we are so different.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the bathroom wall, the men's plan was about to be completed.
Within the tunnel which Verdandi dug, boys from The Knight Corps of the Water Spirit lined up in a row, side by side lying on their bellies, all had their powers concentrated on the wand. And were chanting a spell of their lifetime.
A basic spell of earth element.
To make twenty small holes in the thick stone wall of the bathtub.
Diameter of one Santo.
All Knight boys concentrated to control the power of alchemy. So that they would not be exposed to the ‘Detection’ and the ‘Immobilization’ in the wall above.
Even though its effect doesn’t reach under ground, it doesn’t mean it cannot detect by a chance either. It would not only mean their plan failing, but also ruin for them as well.
That’s why such careful control of ‘Alchemy’ was demanded. Power should not be too strong. But not too weak either, to keep a hole in the solid stone wall.
It was tough and consumed a massive amount of willpower. A drop of sweat fell from one boys face and he coughed. Then he shook his head mortified.
“No good. I am at the limit. I cannot endure such delicate chant anymore…”
The boy next, scolded his companion.
“What are you saying? Our glorious moment soon will be here. Do you really want to lose in here?!”
He grasped his shoulder and cried out from pain.
“Just imagine! Imagine with your heroic mind! The wonderland that lies behind this wall! The Valhalla where soldiers souls are healed! A lot of holy women and legendary fairies wait for us on the other side of this wall! The glory is right here! Do not give up now!”
With tears in his eyes the boy nodded, picked up his wand and started chanting again.
Between the spells all Knights shouted in unison.
“Imagine the Valhalla!”
Saito watched his colleagues dumbfounded. He had no idea what was happening. Why did these guys go under ground and try so hard to make holes in the wall? Malicorne looked darkly behind, at Saito and gave a thumb down.
“Wait a moment, sub-commander. I’ll let you worship the spring of the world!”
Apparently the holes were directing to the ‘spring’. Just what kind of spring that was – Saito thought warily.
And why they keep on chanting the ‘alchemy’?
In a dark hole, the passage of time passage was hard to understand. It could be five minutes, or even one hour. No, it could be even longer.
Anyway, the efforts of The Knight Corps of the Water Spirit, in a moment came to fruition..
The darkness inside… was lit by the light pouting through the small hole that opened.
Though someone tried to shout from joy, someone else just held his mouth shut. Since opening the holes, loud noises were prohibited.
One after another small holes opened up.
“…can you see the holes from the other side?”
Concerned, Guiche asked. Gimli nodded.
“…unless something unusual happens, it should be ok. As you may know, the bathroom wall is decorated by the colored, curved sculptures. It is of a similar design as the men's bath, so the holes should be of this pattern.”
“You know, I’m thinking about naming this hole a ‘Gimli fort’ The impenetrable fortress has been defeated – a wonderful fort. May your wonderful achievements be honored for ever.”
They both embraced each other.
Malicorne poked Guiche.
“A very level-headed commanding, commander. It was our first campaign.”
“G-glorious first lunge?”
“I’ve decided. It should be Saito here.”
Guiche pointed at the Saito who was on his knees behind them.
Silent applause rang.
“Saito, I’m envious.”
“Do it well.”
Energetic voices came. What on earth is happening? Why are these fellows… giving their all for these small holes in the stone wall? For the light to come in? He could not understand the reason.
However because he was called, Saito crawling faced Guiche. Then Saito moved closer and brought his face to the hole.
“Show the spirit of men, Saito.”
The first thing he saw was… steam.
Cloud of steam… and steam across a white wall.
The next moment, something skin-colored passed.
“Eh? Could it be a bath?”
The moment he muttered in an innocent tone, his mouth was pressed shut.
“Sh! You voice is too loud!”
“Y-you… could it possibly be the girl's bath?..”
“Because we wanted to cheer you up.”
“S-stupid. I won't be happy from peeping… hu...”
At that moment air was knocked out of Saito’s lungs. On the other end of the hole was paradise. Naked girls were taking their bath comfortably.
The only barrier was towels that girls wore like clothes, wrapped up around their bodies when they walked. They still seemed to be reluctant to get completely naked even around other girls. Well… the towels could roll down to the waist anyway – Saito thought.
Beyond the steam, on the other side of girls bath, Tiffania was facing Saito. Next to her was Louise. Both of them were using the hot water from the wall. He could not see lower their breasts due to the steamy water surface.
The moment when Saito uttered that name, all knight corps rushed to the hole.
All rights and wrongs were in an instant forgotten when Saito watched the scene before him. Louise and Tiffania were friendly sitting side by side.
Except for clothes that didn’t cover much, Saito has never seen Louise completely naked before. He did see her underwear a lot, though…
When he was helping Louise to get dressed, she was wearing her underwear already.
The girl he loves was wearing nothing but a hot water steams. All morals were blown off.
Any reasons were not needed. Naked Tiffania could be described by a single word – ‘Absolute’. It was a spell that no man could resist.
Saito was glued to this theater play.
Every Tiffania’s word and act burned deep into Saito’s mind. He saw the top of her bust. A small hill slowly pushed out of the hot water surface.
When Tiffania pulled her knees together, the hill rose even more.
Ho-hoa-hoaaaa… every member of The Knight Corps of the Water Spirit found it difficult to breathe.
At that moment Saito, not only saw that spectacle but also recalled that feeling.
Though near sides Louise was floating on the water, wearing nothing at all, no one bothered to look at her…
Tiffania saw something and whispered to Louise. The next moment, Louise pushed her body under the water.
Saito did not understand what was the meaning behind Louise’s actions. Its like she was frustrated about something that has been said. Like…
Louise was about to stand up!
For a few seconds in his dizziness, Saito waited and then….
“Look over hereeeeeeeeee.”
Screaming Saito started to roll from left and right.
“W-what is it?!”
“Stop it, hey!”
The boys who lay on their stomachs, lined up shifted their eyes from the spy hole. That moment Louise stood up.
Annoyed by her inferiority complex, Louise kicked the water...
The girls who were bathing by the other wall, for some reason started to stir.
“Now, did you hear a boys voice?”
“I heard it!”
Tiffania’s face clouded with worry.
“Who is it?”
“Maybe someone from Gallia?”
However, apparently, it seems to have been different. Montmorency who was washing her body, noticed a hole made in a wall.
“Hey guys! A hole opened in a wall!”
Though it was hard to see with all the steam, but it seems like in a thick wall under the window small holes appeared with around one mail space between them.
And then from the other side of the wall a voice echoed… like from far away.
Schoolgirls who had been taking a bath shouted together.
Montmorency wrapped a towel around her body and ran out shouting.
“Hurry up! Wands!”
“A peep” girls shouted loudly while running to grab their clothes.
“Peeping in this Academy of Magic?! What daredevils!”
“Everyone! Do not let them escape!”
Louise and Tiffania looked at each other and ran out too.
Like rats from poisoned nest, The Knight Corps of the Water Spirit were running away in a haste. The frantically crawled to the exit of the tunnel. There were bushes next to the fire tower.
“Gentlemen! If we stay like this together, they will catch us all at once! Spread out!”
The schoolgirls were reacting quickly – their angry shouts echoed in the courtyard already.
“I heard a voice over there!”
The boys, with abrupt nods to each other, scattered around
At that time, Saito, who was lagging behind, was still at the hole. Because, once other boys with light spells left, the tunnel became pitch dark.
When he somehow found his way to the entrance, it was already too late.
“They went through this hole!”
“Is there still anyone inside?”
The entrance was completely surrounded by the enraged schoolgirls.
Aah, I will be the only one held responsible and probably will be beaten to a pulp…
Someone, using the light spell, entered the tunnel…
Then earth and sand around Saito were blown off.
Girls screams soared.
Saito’s body, together with sand and pieces of earth were sucked in by a tornado… and Saito’s body was thrown into the air.
“Uwaaaaaaaa! What is this?!”
The moment Saito thought he was about to crash into the ground, he was caught by something. A shadow chanted spell.
“Window. Open up.”
The lock of the tower window is unlocked and the window is opened by ‘Psychokinesis’.
Saito’s falling direction was changed and the shadow caught him in its arms.
It was alviss dinning hall.
The shadow pulled Saito behind the pillar.
With much effort, after his eyes became accustomed to darkness, the outline of the person who secretly pulled him behind the pillar and pressed close against him became clear.
The first thing that caught his eye was Tabitha’s blue hair.
“Shh. Close your eyes.”
Tabitha muttered and for some reason pushed her cane in front of Saito, blocking his view.
He said and felt that his lids suddenly became very heavy.
“I am protecting you. Whatever the situation is.”
Surprisingly blunt answer came.
“B-but… We peeped…”
“I do not care about the situation.”
Tabitha said plainly. It seems that even though he peeped Tabitha was still on Saito’s side. Perhaps, she recognized Saito’s yell and correctly decided who was the last one left in the hole and helped him out. Indeed, a formidable warrior’s intuition.
Saito said in an emotional voice.
Despite peeping during the bathing… Tabitha still said that she will help him. He was moved by that.
“…Thank you. But why I am not allowed to open my eyes?”
“Why? Would something wrong happen if I were to open them?”
What on earth could that be?
“You avoid telling me. It makes me feel insecure.”
Tabitha said silently.
“I am not dressed.”
Saito’s body suddenly grew tensed. Then, Tabitha’s body which now presses tightly against me is…
“There was no time to get dressed.”
Then… pursuers entered the room.
“How many people did you catch?”
“Approximately half. Surprisingly it was the members of The Knight Corps of the Water Spirit.”
Some boys apparently got caught. From the distance a few more screams echoed.
Then sounds of spells. And then sound of something heavy collapsing followed. And then screams again. And pleading voices. Saito trembled in the dark. If I get caught too… I won’t be able to get away with this. That he knew nothing about the plan until Saito went with them was a poor excuse.
The door of the dining room opened and the girls footsteps approached. Pursuers finally reached here as well.
Tabitha pressed Saito’s body firmly against the wall. The tiny body of Tabitha snuggled up to him, her bust rubbing against him. Behind his parka, Tabitha was in her birthday suit. Imagining Tabitha’s young body, Saito felt strangely excited.
When Tabitha excited you are on the verge of losing your humanity… Saito.
Though Tabitha’s figure is very childish still, she was only two years younger than me.
Then… it is a safe zone?
Safe or not, such judgment was impure.
The girls got closer to the Saito behind the pillar. Saito’s pulse quickened. As if trying to calm him down, Tabitha placed her palm against his chest. But this, in addition to his thoughts, only made his heart race faster… Saito opened his mouth trying to catch his breath like a goldfish.
One girl came behind the pillar. Saito moved his face away from Tabitha’s cane but so that Tabitha would not be in his sight. The face lit by the moonlight belonged to Montmorency. Monmon, do not come here… forgive me… Saito prayed silently.
The prayer reached the heaven.
Outside a weak Guiche’s cry could be heard.
Seems like he was caught as well.
“…It was a sudden impulse”
Montmorency’s eyebrows lifted.
“I knew it.”
With a brutal smile of a person ready to kill on her lips, Montmorency ran out. The rest of the girls followed her.
“That was dangerous… n?”
When he sighed in relief, Saito felt something move behind him.
It was a sound of something coming closer. Saito’s head cooled off rapidly.
“…Tabitha, did you hear that sound?”
For some reason Tabitha’s voice trembled.
“What sound that could be?”
“Do not know.”
To relax the atmosphere, Saito made a joke with overly light voice.
“Maybe some kind of ghost, huh?”
Tabitha suddenly clung to Saito. On his chest and belly Saito could feel the slender lines of Tabitha’s body which occupied his thoughts.
Bit by bit, Tabitha started to tremble.
“C-could it be that you are scared of ghosts?”
Tabitha gave a small nod. Saito was surprised to see weakness in Tabitha. She was cute – he had an irresistible thought.
God-sama… would I be better off dead?
Then his shoulder was tapped.
Obviously not human. Saito thought.
“S-something hit my shoulder.”
Tabitha seemed to loose her strength. Her body became stiff as she fully leaned against Saito for support.
Saito’s eyes opened. The first thing that entered his vision was the fainted Tabitha’s slender, white back. A gentle curve leading to the hips. Naked female back was surprisingly attractive and Saito had to force himself to tear his eyes away.
What the hell was that sound just now, he looked around…A surprising thing was in there.
“You… you are the alviss from yesterday, right?”
The last night, when Saito was spending a night in the dining hall, he helped a female alviss that was trapped under the vase.
The alviss bowed many times. Seems like it was it’s way of expressing gratitude towards Saito.
“No, it’s alright… I helped you because I wanted to.”
Alviss disappeared in the dark again.
Because Tabitha’s naked situation had to be changed, Saito took off his parka and placed it on Tabitha’s body.
The couple’s eyes avoided looking at each other, as she lay down behind the pillar while he, as if guarding, sat down in front.
The Alviss dance party in the moonlight began.
Surrounded by the moonlight, the Alviss danced silently.
Such a fantastic spectacle brought back the memories in Saito's mind, on the ball in the past.
The one that happened one year ago.
Indeed, it was Frigg’s ball wasn’t it?
That day, when Saito was bored and alone, Louise came into the veranda. Dressed in a dazzling white dress, her hair tied in a pink bundle on her head, Louise looked like a beautiful goddess.
The girl alviss approached Saito, who was emerged in his past memories, again.
The alviss, as if asking Saito for a dance, bowed.
“You are going to take care of me? Haha, you are very kind… But my size differs from yours too much. Listen, find a companion to dance with among your friends.”
After a while, alviss turned from Saito, and disappeared into the crown of her dancing friends.
Louise too, asked me for a dance like this…
Blushing Louise was really cute back then.
“May I have this dance, sir?”
When you think about it, those were the words that made me fall in love with Louise.
And, one year later, those feelings still haven’t changed.
The proud, selfish, short-tempered mistress… but sometimes, Louise's sweet gestures spoke volumes to Saito.
Friendship with Guiche and Malicorne, the people he was indebted to take care of - various reasons were stopping Saito from leaving this world…
All in all, the strongest bonds he had, from the whole Halkeginia, were with Louise.
And when she asked Saito for a dance, Louise’s profile was glowing with embarrassment, almost like she was mad at him.
Until now, for this very profile, Saito leaped into various death jaws.
And yet, blinded by the temporary fury, I left Louise’s room.
Really… after all this time, we cannot fall apart just like this.
And when he hugged his knees thinking what to do…
Having his name called, Saito stood up.
“Is that you? Come out. Just now I saw the moonlight with your eyes.”
Accepting his fate, Saito pushed his body out of the shadow of the pillar.
Louise, who changed her clothes, was standing there and staring at Saito. It was this look of Louise’s eyes that made Saito to give up. Like Guiche, he might as well receive his punishment from Louise.
Even though he never intended to peep…
“Were you in that hole as well?”
In a tired voice Saito answered.
“Yeah. Do with me as you please. It’s pointless to run away and hide.”
However Louise pushed behind Saito’s shoulder, and faced the darkness.
Standing alone, Louise said while looking away.
“If you have anything to say – then say so.”
Saito, with resignation on his face, explained the circumstances.
“They said they were taking me to the place to lift my spirits… and it turned out to be the girls bath. But honestly I didn’t notice until I had a peek.”
Louise said no word.
“Haha… even I do not believe it… But it’s alright – you would not believe me anyway. Whatever I would say…”
Louise said, determination in her voice.
Saito muttered at a loss.
“I hate it. Really, I hate it. I thought you were lying before, and was angry because how unbelievable it was. I…”
Louise said angrily.
For a moment he was doubtful. With a skeptical expression on his face, Saito opened his mouth.
“You are saying you trust me?”
Then Louise nodded, shocking Saito. Even if whole world shakes, it hardly can change the stubborn Louise, Saito thought.
“Therefore I do not think you were at a fault.”
Louise glared up at Saito with a scowl.
“Yes, you, so do not break my trust…”
Louise said emotionally.
It was mortifying. And sad. Though Saito left the room less than a day ago, she could not bear the thought of not being around him ever again.
With various feelings battling inside her, her eyes became wet with tears.
Louise hit Saito’s warm chest.
“Why are you always so mean? Why am I always so mad? Why? I hate it… waaah.”
Louise buried her face into his chest and burst into tears.
Helpless against crying like this, Saito was at a loss. He felt bad for being the reason for her tears.
When one thinks about it, I was as wrong as Louise.
Louise may still be a child… but she could at least admit her mistake just fine.
“I am sorry.”
“… Stop it. It is pointless now.”
Louise rubbed her eyes.
Not knowing what to do, Saito placed his palm on top of Louise’s head and patted her peach colored hair. Though Louise continued to cry for a while… after a few moments she stopped and glared at Saito, while pouting.
“Wrong. If Saito doesn’t say it - it’s not good.”
“Lets make up. Wha-“
Saito held out his hand, but Louise brushed it away.
“Your apply for reconciliation was insufficient. More.”
“In that case, what do you want me to do?”
Louise murmured angrily.
That moment, when Louise turned her face away angrily, she looked dazzling cute. Hesitantly, Saito’s trembling fingers touched Louise’s cheek. Louise’s eyelashes trembled as she slowly opened her mouth.
Pursing her lips, Louise slightly opened her eyes before closing them shut again, feeling his lips brush against hers.
After dozen of long moments, when their lips finally separated again, Louise started to complain again. Mainly, the center of her ramblings, was Saito’s behavior. Not really following her, Saito continued to nod his head. Finally, after a deep sight, Louise asked Saito.
“Tell me the truth.”
“After all, you like a girl like Tiffania more, right? You don’t like my child-like body…”
Saito looked deep into Louise’s eyes and said clearly.
“Because I am a man… I cannot deny that I do feel attraction. This is a basic instinct. But you…”
Looking straight into Louise’ eyes, Saito said.
“But you I love, Louise. No… more like I totally lost my head over you.”
That moment, Louise’s cheeks dyed scarlet.
Saito said with a straight face. And gave a refreshing smile.
Bashfully, Louise’s slender fingers played with the neckline of her shirt. This gesture, for some reason, made Saito’s heart pound madly.
“’So’, what? ‘So’, what?”
Saito sucked in breath as Louise sidled up to him.
Louise took a deep breath. Then she looked up Saito into the eyes. Her cheeks burning red.
At that moment, a small shadow appeared from behind Saito’s back. And that small figures hands clung to Saito’s back.
In a weak voice, figure muttered. That was… Tabitha, naked as the day she was born. Seems like she was still half-asleep and had a far-away look on her face.
Just because his parka fell – in one moment, hope turned into despair for Saito.
Louise’s eyes moved between the girl with short blue hair, the parka on the floor and Saito.
Every time, Louise’s sweet expression turned more and more grim.
Wide eyed, her shoulders, back, head and legs… started to tremble.
“It’s a misunderstanding.”
Saito said in a resigned voice.
“Hee, heeeeeh…. Sosososoooo…. I-I-I-I seee…. You really like child-like girls like me, huh?”
Louise began to utter an incantation. Trying to protect Tabitha from harm, Saito tried to pull her away, but the still dreamy and scared Tabitha, clung to Saito like a child.
“A flaaaaaaaaaat! Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl! Like meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
The power of Louise’s spell was cracking in the air.
Haha, it may be my true fate to begin with.
With a wry smile, Saito stretched out his arms, accepting his fate.
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