Kingdom of Magic Chapter2
Louise the Zero
When Saito woke up, the first sight to greet his eyes was the underwear that Louise had stripped off.
It had somehow ended up in his line of sight, having been carelessly tossed away.
Louise was still asleep in bed, snoring gently. Her sleeping face was simply cherubic. Now she seemed a lot more childish. She was a loud and annoying girl when she spoke — "noble" this, "magician" that — but, while she slept, she was cute. Saito almost wished that she wouldSpecial:MovePage/N1-Kingdom_of_Magic-Chap2-_Louise_the_Zero stay that way forever.
Then reality sank in. So, last night really wasn't a dream. He had thought he would find himself back in his own room, but, obviously, it hadn't happened. He felt dispirited.
Still, it was a refreshing morning. Dazzling light shone down into the room.
Saito's characteristic curiosity was reawakened. Now that I think about it, this is kinda like a sightseeing tour. I wonder what kind of world this is? While I don't like the idea of being the familiar of a rude magician girl who snores her head off, I should try to make the most of it, in any case.
First things first, he flung the blanket off Louise.
"Wh-What? What's going on!"
"It's morning, Milady."
"Huh? O-Oh... Wait, who are you!?" Louise yelled in a slurred voice. Her expression was vacant as she trailed off into a pitiful mumble.
Is this girl okay?
"Oh, the familiar. That's right, I summoned you yesterday, didn't I?"
Louise got up and yawned. Then, she ordered Saito:
He tossed her the uniform that had been draped over a chair. Louise began to sluggishly undress.
Saito quickly turned the other way to hide his blushing face.
"G-Get that yourself."
"They're in the lowest drawer... Of that closet... Over there."
It seemed she thoroughly planned to make the most out of Saito.
Holding his tongue, he went and opened the indicated drawer. Lo and behold, it was packed full of underwear. It was the first time he had seen women's underwear, except for his mother's. Grabbing a pair at random, he threw it over his shoulder without looking back.
Once Louise had put them on, she mumbled again.
"I just gave them to you."
Don't push it. Saito turned to object angrily, only to find Louise sitting sleepily on the bed wearing nothing but the underwear he had thrown at her. He suddenly didn't know where to look.
Louise pouted in displeasure.
"You must not know because you're a commoner, but nobles will not dress themselves if a servant is available."
That irked him.
"You can at least dress yourself."
"Right then. As punishment for being a disrespectful familiar: No breakfast," Louise declared, raising a finger triumphantly.
Reluctantly, Saito picked up her blouse.
When he left the room with Louise, he saw three identical wooden doors along the wall. One of them opened, and from inside appeared a girl with flaming red hair. She was taller than Louise, roughly the same height as Saito. She gave off a strongly flirtatious aura. Her face was attractive, and she sported a captivating bustline. Her breasts were like melons.
The top two buttons of her blouse were undone, highlighting an impressive cleavage which impulsively drew the eyes in. Her skin was tanned, giving her the look of healthy and natural beauty.
Her height, skin color, bearing, and breast size... It all made for a strong contrast with Louise, who lacked in those charm points.
When she saw Louise, she grinned broadly.
"Good morning, Louise."
Louise returned the greeting with a frown.
"Good morning... Kirche."
"That... is your familiar?" Kirche asked somewhat mockingly, pointing at Saito.
"Ahaha! So it really is a human! That's amazing!"
Saito resented that. Sorry for being a human. What are you then? He stared at Kirche's breasts. You're just a big-breasted alien. Yeah, a big b-b-breasted alien. His stare intensified.
"It's just like you to summon a commoner with 'Summon Servant.' What else to expect from Louise the Zero?"
Louise's white cheeks flushed scarlet.
"I summoned a familiar yesterday, too. Unlike a certain somebody, I was successful on my first try."
"And, if you're going to have a familiar, it should be a good one, like this. Flame!"
Kirche called her familiar triumphantly. From her room, a large, dark-red lizard slithered out. A wave of heat hit Saito.
"Uwah! What the heck is this red thing?"
"Ohoho! Don't tell me this is your first time seeing a fire lizard?"
"Put a chain on it or something! It's dangerous! And just what is a fire lizard?"
"Don't worry. As long as I order it not to, it won't attack. Aren't you the scaredy-cat."
Kirche put a hand to her chin and tilted her head teasingly.
The creature was at least as big as a tiger. Its tail was tipped with flame, and its mouth emitted sparks and embers. "Don't you feel hot being near it?" Saito asked. He calmed himself down and looked at it again. "Wow, it's a monster... Fantastic!""It's actually fairly cool to me."
"Is that a salamander?" Louise asked jealously.
"That's right! A fire lizard! See, look at the tail. A flame this vivid and large means it's without a doubt a salamander from the Fire Dragon Mountains! It's like a brand! Collectors can't even put a price on these!"
"That's nice," Louise said, her voice bitter.
"Isn't it? It matches my affinity perfectly!"
"Your affinity is Fire, isn't it?"
"Of course. After all, I'm Kirche the Ardent. The ardent of gently smoldering passion. Everywhere I go, I have boys falling for me. Unlike you, right?"
Kirche puffed her chest out proudly. Not wanting to lose, Louise did the same, but the difference in volume was just too striking.
Despite this, Louise glared at Kirche. It looked as if she really hated losing.
"I don't have the time to go around flirting with everything I see, unlike you."
Kirche only smiled calmly. Then, she turned to Saito.
"And what's your name?"
"Hiragasaito? What a strange name."
"Well then, I'll be off now."
She stroked her flaming red hair back and dashed off. The salamander followed her with a cute shuffling movement that looked odd with such a large creature.
As she disappeared, Louise shook a fist in her direction.
"Ooh, that girl gets on my nerves! Just because she summoned a salamander from the Fire Dragon Mountains! Argh!"
"Calm down, it's just a summoning."
"No, it's not! You can determine a mage's true power just by looking at his/her familiar! Why did that idiot get a salamander, while I got you?"
"Jeez, sorry for being a human. But you're one too, y'know."
"Comparing mages and commoners is like comparing wolves and dogs!" Louise exclaimed haughtily.
"...Okay, okay. By the way, she just called you 'Louise the Zero', but, what's the 'Zero' stand for? Is it your surname?"
"No way! My name is Louise de La Vallière! 'Zero' is just a nickname."
"A nickname, huh? I can understand why she's called 'Ardent,' but why are you 'Zero?'"
"You don't need to know," Louise answered uncomfortably.
"Is it your breasts?" Saito asked, glancing at Louise. Yup. Flat as a board.
Louise's hand flew out. He dodged it.
"Come back here!"
"Don't hit me!"
That reminds me... This girl... Yesterday, even when everyone else flew away, she walked. And, last night, when I grabbed her, she kicked me in the groin.
If she really wanted to chastise me, wouldn't it be better to use magic instead of hitting or kicking me? That would be more effective, and more mage-like. Why is that? Saito wondered.
The Academy of Magic's dining hall was the tallest and centermost building on the premises. Inside, three extremely long tables were arranged parallel to each other. Each one looked like it could easily seat a hundred people. The table at which Louise and all the second years sat was the middle table.
It appeared that students could be identified by the color of their cloaks. Viewed from the entrance, everyone sitting on the left-hand table looked a little older and wore purple cloaks — third years.
The students sitting on the right-hand table wore brown cloaks — first years. So they're like year-level jerseys, Saito thought.
Every single mage on the school grounds, students and teachers alike, gathered here for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
On an upper level, he could see teachers enjoying pleasant chatter.
All the tables were magnificently decorated.
Numerous candles, bunches of flowers, baskets full of fruit...
Saito's mouth was agape with amazement at the sheer grandeur of the dining hall. Louise raised her head imperiously and began to explain. Her hazel eyes twinkled with mischief.
"Tristain's Academy of Magic doesn't teach just magic, you know."
"Almost all mages are nobles. The saying 'nobles achieve nobility through the use of magic' is a foundation for the education we receive as nobles. Thus, our dining halls must also be fitting of a noble's status."
"Understand? Normally, a commoner like you would never set foot inside the Alvíss Dining Hall. Be grateful."
"Right... Hey, what's an 'Alvíss'?"
"It's the name for the little people. See all those statues over there?"
Where she pointed, lined along the walls were elaborate sculptures of small people.
"They're well-made. Err, those things don't... like... come alive during the night or anything, do they?"
"Oh, you knew that?"
"So they do?!"
"Well, they dance. Enough of this, pull out my chair, will you? You're not a very competent familiar," Louise remarked, crossing her arms and tilting her head, which made her strawberry-blonde hair ripple. Oh well, ladies first. Saito pulled Louise's chair out for her.
Louise didn't even thank him as she sat down. Saito also brought over a chair to sit on.
"This is amazing!" Saito cried. It was far too grand for a breakfast. A huge roasted chicken taunted Saito. Other than that, there was also wine and a pie baked in the shape of a trout.
"I can't eat all this! I'll die if I do! Hey, Miss!" He prodded Louise's shoulder, only to find her glaring at him. "What?" Saito asked dubiously. Louise kept her gaze fixed. "Right, I'm getting ahead of myself. I should act more like nobility! Even though I'm not a noble."
Louise pointed to the floor, where a bowl had been placed.
"It's a bowl."
"Yes. It is."
"There's something suspicious in it."
Louise propped her chin on her hands and spoke.
"You know, familiars are supposed to stay outside. You're only in here because I especially requested it."
Thus, Saito found himself sitting dumbly on the floor, staring at the bowl sitting in front of him. In it were some sorry-looking scraps of meat floating around in a thin soup. On the edge was half a loaf of hard-looking bread.
Extending his neck, he peered over the edge of the tabletop.
He could only gaze longingly at the spectacular feast that was laid out on it. It was far beyond comparison with his meager bowl of scraps.
"Oh, Great Founder Brimir, and our lady, the Queen, we thank you for this humble meal that you have graciously provided us this morning," the harmonious sound of a prayer sounded. Louise joined in as well, closing her eyes.
Just how is that a 'humble meal?' Saito griped, still staring at the food. That's more than a banquet. If anyone's got a 'humble meal,' it'd be me. I mean, just what the heck is in this bowl? This is worse than what you'd feed a pet. He wanted to protest. Even pets in Japan eat better than this!
Irritated at this mistreatment, he laid a hand on the tabletop, only to have it slapped away by Louise.
Saito looked up resentfully at her.
"What are you doing?"
"Give me some chicken. Just a little bit will do."
"Jeez..." Grumbling, Louise stripped a bit of skin and dropped it into Saito's bowl.
"What about the meat?"
"No, I'm not going to help start a habit."
Louise herself began digging enthusiastically into the grand feast.
"Ah, it's delicious. Delicious! I think I'm going to cry," Saito muttered, while he gnawed on his hard bread.
The classrooms in the Academy of Magic were similar to university lecture halls. And like everything else, they were constructed from stone. The lecturing teacher stood at the lowest level, and the seats were arranged upward like stairs. When Saito and Louise entered, every student in the room simultaneously turned their heads towards them.
And then the laughter began. Kirche was there as well, surrounded by a group of boys.
I see, so she really does have them wrapped around her little finger. She's being treated like a queen by all of those guys. Well, it's not surprising with her impressive bust. I guess big breasts are big breasts, no matter where you go.
The familiars that everyone had brought along were a varied bunch.
Kirche's salamander was curled asleep under her chair. There were students with owls resting on their shoulders. From a window, a gigantic snake peered into the class. One boy whistled, and the snake withdrew its head. Other than those, there were also ravens and cats.
But what drew Saito's attention the most were the creatures that would've been considered fantastic monsters back in his world. He was suddenly excited. All sorts of amazing beasts were milling around him.
He spotted a lizard with six legs. That's gotta be... Saito tried to recall what little fantasy lore he knew. A basilisk! I've seen one in a game. There was also a huge eyeball floating gently in midair. What could that be? He decided to ask Louise.
"What's that freaky eye monster?"
"Then what about that octopus thing?"
"A Skua," Louise answered him in a sullen voice and sat down. Saito sat down beside her. She glared at him.
"That's a mage's seat. Familiars aren't permitted to use it."
Begrudgingly, he lowered himself to the floor. I wasn't allowed to eat breakfast at the table either. And this desk is really getting in the way. I'm not sitting here, he resolved, and sat back on the chair.
Louise glanced at him, but didn't say anything this time.
The door opened, and the teacher entered.
She was a middle-aged woman dressed in a voluminous purple robe and wearing a hat. She had a plump, round face with a friendly expression on it.
"Is that lady a magician too?" Saito whispered to Louise.
"Isn't it obvious?" Louise hissed back.
The woman gazed around the classroom and spoke with a satisfied smile.
"Well, everyone, it seems that the Springtime Familiar Summoning was a great success. I, Chevreuse, always enjoy seeing the new familiars that are summoned each spring."
Louise cast her eyes downward.
"My, my. You've summoned quite a... peculiar familiar, Miss Vallière," she remarked as she looked at Saito. The comment was fairly innocent, but the classroom exploded with laughter.
"Louise the Zero! Don't go around grabbing random commoners off the street just because you can't summon anything!"
Louise's long blonde hair billowed as she stood up. She raised her cute voice in anger.
"No! I did everything properly! He was all that appeared!"
"Don't lie! I bet you couldn't even cast 'Summon Servant' properly, right?"
The other students chuckled.
"Mrs. Chevreuse! I've been insulted! Malicorne the 'Common Cold' just insulted me!"
Louise banged her fist against the tabletop in protest.
"Common cold? I'm Malicorne the Windward! I haven't caught any cold!"
"Well, your hoarse voice sounds exactly like you've caught one!"
The boy called Malicorne stood up and glared at Louise. Chevreuse pointed at them with the wand in her hand. The two suddenly jerked about like puppets on a string and rigidly sat back down.
"Miss Vallière, Mister Malicorne. Please stop this unnecessary argument."
Louise looked visibly dejected. All the vivacity that she'd shown just earlier seemed to have evaporated.
"Calling friends 'Zero' or 'Common Cold' is not acceptable. Do you understand?"
"Mrs. Chevreuse, I'm only called that as a joke, but for Louise, it's the truth."
A few giggles broke out from somewhere.
Chevreuse looked around the classroom with a severe expression. She pointed her wand again, and, as if from nowhere, the mouths of the students who'd giggled were suddenly filled with lumps of red clay.
"You people shall continue the lesson in that state."
This put a firm stopper on any further outbursts.
"Now then, let's begin the lesson."
Chevreuse coughed heavily and waved her wand. A few pebbles materialized on her desktop.
"My Runic name is 'Red Clay.' Chevreuse the Red Clay. This year, I will be teaching you all the magic of the Earth element. Do you know the four great elements of magic, Mister Malicorne?"
"Y-Yes, Mrs. Chevreuse. They are Fire, Water, Earth and Wind."
"And combined with the now-lost element of 'Void,' there are five elements in total - as everyone should already know. Of the five elements, I believe Earth holds an extremely important position. This isn't just because my affinity is Earth, nor is it simply a personal preference."
Once again, Chevreuse coughed heavily.
"The magic of Earth is very important magic that governs the creation of all matter. If it wasn't for Earth magic, we wouldn't be able to produce or process necessary metals. Raising buildings from large boulders and harvesting crops would also involve much more work. In this manner, the magic of the Earth element is intimately related to everyone's life."
Aha, thought Saito. So in this world, magic is the equivalent of science and technology in my world. I think I understand now the reason Louise is so proud to call herself a magician.
"Now, everyone, please recall that the basic magic of the Earth element is 'transmutation'. While there will be people here who have already learned this in their first year, basics build foundations, so let's review it once more."
Chevreuse turned her attention to the pebbles and twirled her wand over them.
She then whispered a spell, and they began to glow brightly.
When the light dimmed away, the pebbles had been changed into sparkling lumps of metal.
"Is that g-g-gold, Mrs. Chevreuse!?"
Kirche leaned forward over her desk.
"No, it isn't. It's plain brass. Only Square-class mages are able to transmute to gold. I'm just..." Chevreuse gave a self-important cough. "A Triangle mage..."
"Louise." Saito poked her.
"What? We're in the middle of a lesson here!"
"What's all this about squares and triangles supposed to mean?"
"It's the number of elements that they can add to a spell, which also determines the level of a mage."
"See, for example, you can use an Earth spell on its own. But if you add Fire magic to it, the overall power of the spell increases greatly," Louise explained to Saito quietly.
"Oh, I see."
"Those who can stack two elements like Fire and Earth together are called Line mages. Mrs. Chevreuse, being able to combine three elements, Earth-Earth-Fire, is a Triangle mage."
"What happens when you add an element to itself?"
"It reinforces that element and makes it stronger."
"I see. So in other words, you could say that the teacher over there is a fairly powerful mage, because she's a Triangle?"
"How many can you add, Louise?"
She didn't answer.
The teacher noticed them talking.
"Please refrain from private chatter during lessons."
"Since you have the time to chatter, perhaps I should have you demonstrate for me?"
"Yes. Try changing these pebbles here into a metal of your choice."
Louise didn't stand up. She simply sat there looking troubled and fidgety.
"Hey, come on! She's pointing at you!" Saito nudged her.
"Miss Vallière! Is something the matter?"
Mrs. Chevreuse called for her again, but Kirche raised her voice in concern.
"I think it would be better if you didn't let her..."
"And why is that?"
"It's dangerous," Kirche answered plainly. The majority of the class nodded in agreement.
"Dangerous? How so?"
"This is your first time teaching Louise, right?"
"It is, but I hear she's a hard worker. Now, Miss Vallière. Don't you worry, just try it. You won't be able to do anything if you dread making mistakes."
"Don't, Louise!" Kirche cried, her face pale.
But Louise stood up.
"I'll do it."
With a nervous expression, she walked briskly up to the front of the room.
Chevreuse stood next to Louise and smiled.
"Miss Vallière, you have to visualize vividly the metal that you wish to transmute them into."
Giving a cute little nod, Louise waved her wand. She had never looked as adorable as in that instant when she pursed her lips to begin chanting the incantation - it was almost otherworldly.
Even knowing her true personality, Saito was momentarily enamoured.
In the morning sunshine streaming in from the window, Louise's strawberry-blonde hair sparkled enchantingly. Her hazel eyes shown like jewels, and her skin was a flawless white. Her sculpted nose was befitting of nobility.
If only her breasts were more filled out, she'd be perfect - almost too good. But no matter how cute she is, that personality of hers is a real pitfall, Saito lamented.
But as he sat there pondering, the students sitting in front of him had for some reason hidden under their chairs. Don't they see how cute Louise is? Still, she doesn't seem to be very popular. Rather, she gets called 'the Zero' and made fun of. Just looking around here, there aren't any girls nearly as cute. Only Kirche rivals her in looks.
Closing her eyes, Louise uttered a short rune and flourished her wand.
The pebbles on the desk promptly exploded.
Louise and Chevreuse caught the blast full-on and were thrown against the blackboard, as people screamed. Frightened familiars added to the chaos. Kirche's salamander suddenly woke from its sleep and stood up on its hind legs, breathing a jet of flame. A manticore burst into flight and smashed through a window to escape. Through the hole, the giant snake that had been peeking in earlier slithered in and swallowed someone's raven.
The classroom was in pandemonium.
Kirche stood up and pointed a finger at Louise.
"That's why I told you not to let her do it!"
"Jeez, Vallière! Save us some grief and just quit school already!"
"My Lucky got eaten by a snake! Lucky!"
Saito stared in shock.
Mrs. Chevreuse lay on the floor; judging by her occasional twitching, she wasn't dead.
A soot-blackened Louise rose slowly. She was a miserable sight to behold. Her torn blouse revealed a slender shoulder, and her panties could be seen beneath her ripped skirt.
Still, what an amazing girl. She didn't seem at all fazed by the discord in the room. She pulled out a handkerchief to wipe the soot off her face.
"Looks like I messed up a little..." she said, in a weak voice.
Of course, that elicited a vehement response from the other students.
"That wasn't 'a little!', Louise the Zero!"
"Your success rate is always ZERO!"
Saito finally understood why Louise was called "the Zero."
From http://www.baka-tsuki.org Go to there for full translation