Chapter Two: Kirche the Ardent
The night after Saito thoroughly shamed Louise in class with his sleep-talking, Louise unceremoniously threw his pile of hay into the hallway.
“What are you doing?”
“It'd be a bother if I snuck into your bed again, right?”
It seemed she was still upset over what happened earlier in class. “But it's kind of cold outside the room with the wind blowing around.”
“Well, no doubt I'll come and warm you in your dreams,” said Louise, arching her shapely eyebrows. What a bitter girl. She looked determined to make Saito sleep out in the hallway no matter what.
He took his blanket and went out to the hallway. The moment he left the room, the door locked with a loud click. Wind rushed in from the open window, making Saito shiver.
Muttering about the cold, Saito wrapped the blanket around himself and lay down on the hay. The chill of the stone floor seeped into his body. No heaters either. I'm freezing.
Making me suffer like this just because of a dream! Saito kicked Louise's door. Of course, there was no response.
Saito began plotting his revenge. Cutting the elastic in her panties is no longer enough. As he lay shivering in his blanket wondering how he would get one back on that little girl...
The door to Kirche’s room opened.
Her salamander Flame crawled out, with its burning tail emitting a warm glow. The two stared at each other. The salamander shuffled closer to Saito, who unconsciously began to back away.
“Wh-what are you doing?”
"Kyurukyuru," it growled comfortingly. It looked harmless before it clamped its jaws on Saito’s sleeve, shaking its head as if asking him to follow it.
“Hey, let go! You’ll light my blanket on fire!” said Saito to an insistent Flame, which only pulled harder.
Kirche’s room remained open. Is it trying to drag me in there? Indeed it was. I don't think Flame is dragging me for the fun of it. What could Kirche possibly want from me? Saito brainstormed the reasons. Maybe she just wants to lecture me about quarreling with Louise. As if in a trance, Saito stepped into Kirche’s room.
The room was pitch dark, save for Flame’s mild glow. Kirche’s voice commanded from the darkness, “Close the door.” Saito obliged.
“Welcome to my room.”
“It’s pretty dark in here.”
He heard Kirche snap her fingers. Starting from the one nearest him, lamps lit up one by one towards Kirche like lights floating above a street.
Doused in the mild glow, Kirche sat on her bed, with a look of worry on her face. She was wearing attractive underwear, or rather, just plain underwear. One thing was for sure: supported only by her sexy bra, her full breasts were the size of cantaloupes.
“Don’t just stand there. Come to me.” Kirche cooed with her most captivating voice.
Saito shakily wandered to a smiling Kirche, as if in a dream.
Saito sat by her side as he was told. His mind was filled with Kirche’s nearly nude body.
“Wh-what is it?” Saito asked nervously. Kirche merely stared at him while slowly waving her fiery red hair. Under the faint lamp light, Kirche’s brown skin looked wildly erotic, as if trying to capture Saito to do her bidding.
Kirche made a long sigh, and worriedly shook her head.
“You must think me a lowly, despicable woman.”
“To be thought so is inevitable. Do you understand? My runic name is ‘Ardent’.”
“I know that.”
That cleavage in her bra’s gaps is so sexy...
“My lust is as flammable as hay... that’s why I suddenly called you here. Don’t you get it? Isn’t this really bad of me?”
“That is indeed very bad.” Saito seemed unsure and just played along. He never had a foreign girl speak her heart out to him like this, so he was rather nervous.
“But... I’m sure you’ll forgive me.”
Kirche looked at Saito with moist, watery eyes. Any man would show his most primitive instincts after looking at those eyes.
Kirche suddenly clasped Saito’s hand, enveloping them with her warm palms before slowly caressing through every finger, sending sparks through his spine.
“Loving you, my dear. To you, my love is that sudden.”
“Yeah, that’s sudden all right!” Saito’s mind was a mess. She must be joking. Despite that thought, Kirche’s face looked serious.
“Your grandeur in defeating Guiche was... just... so cool... like a hero of the legends. Me... when I saw you right that moment I was in love. Can you believe it? I was attracted to you just like that! Passion! Oh, this is a passionate love!”
“Pa-passion, huh? Uh...”
“My runic name, ‘Ardent’, is quite passionate too. I’ve been writing love songs since that day! Love songs! Just for you... Saito. You appear in my dreams every night, so I told Flame to see how you’re doing... oh, I’m so embarrassed. You must think that too, am I right? But it’s all because of you!”
Saito just sat there, at a complete loss of words.
Kirche took his silence as acceptance, and slowly, with closed eyes, approached Saito with her lips. So sexy. I mean... Louise is attractive too. But when it comes to sexiness, she is no match for Kirche. Though Louise is really cute, that part of her is just skin deep.
However, Saito pushed Kirche’s shoulders away. He felt like something bad would happen otherwise.
Kirche looked at Saito with surprise, as if asking “Why?”. Saito looked away from her body.
“W-well... from what you said...”
“You... fall in love too easily.” Saito stuttered, hitting Kirche’s weak point. Her face turned red in an instant.
“Yeah... I guess I have more... passion than others. That can’t be helped. Love is sudden, and it burns my body so quickly...”
At that moment, a voice from outside the window interrupted her.
A beautiful playboy looked inside indignantly.
“Kirche... I came to check because you weren’t there on time...”
“Berisson! We’ll meet two hours later then!”
“That wasn’t what we agreed on!” They were on the third floor. It looks like this Berisson guy is floating on air with some magic spell.
Kirche nonchalantly took out her wand from between her breasts, and waved it without even looking at him. Flame shot out from a nearby lamp and flew into the gentleman at the window like a snake.
“What an annoying owl.”
Saito watched in shock.
“Eh... you didn’t hear all that, did you?”
“Uh... who was that?”
“Just a friend. Whatever... right now, my deepest, most passionate love is you, Saito...”
Kirche approached him with her lips again. Saito did not move a muscle, as an irresistible desire invaded him.
At that moment, they were interrupted again.
A sharp-looking man peered into the room with a sad face.
“Kirche! Who is that guy? Aren’t you going to heat up the night with me?”
“Styx! How does four hours later sound?”
“Who is that guy, Kirche?”
This Styx guy was getting mad, and as he was about to enter the room, Kirche waved her wand again. The fire flew from the lamp again, hit the man, and sent him to the ground.
“......I take that he’s your friend too?”
“Instead of ‘friend’, lets just say that I’ve only heard of him. Oh well, I don’t want to waste our time. Whoever said ‘the night is long’ didn’t know how quickly the sun rises.”
Kirche drew near Saito again. And again, a groan came from the window. Saito impatiently turned around.
Three men looked inside, and said the same thing at the same time.
“Kirche! Who the hell is this?! You said you don’t have any lovers!”
“Manican! Ajax! Gimli!”
Oh wow... five completely different people showed up. Saito was impressed.
“Well... six hours later then,” Kirche waved irritably.
“That’s the morning!!!” the three said in unison.
“Flame.” Kirche casually ordered her salamander, who was sleeping in the corner. Flame sent a blaze towards the three men at the window, and they fell to the ground together.
“And those are...?”
“Them? I don’t even know them. But, most of all, I love you!”
Kirche held Saito’s face with her hands and went straight for his lips.
Saito panicked. Kirche’s kiss felt not disgusting, but full of passion. Saito did not resist her from pinning him to the bed.
At that moment...
This time it was the door. Somebody kicked it open.
Saito thought it was just another guy. He was dead wrong. Wearing her thin pajamas, Louise stood and stared at the two from the doorway.
Kirche mildly eyed Louise, and kept her lips locked with Saito’s.
Louise murderously moved towards Saito and Kirche, knocking down a few lamps in the process. Louise’s hands moved faster than her mouth. More impressively, her legs moved faster than her hands.
“KIRCHE!” Louise howled towards Kirche’s general direction. Kirche acted like she just noticed her presence, and slowly removed herself from Saito, while waving her hand indignantly.
“Don’t you see that we’re kind of busy here, Vallière?”
“Zerbst! Whose familiar do you think you’re touching?”
Saito was at a loss. Louise’s brown eyes glimmered with fiery anger.
Kirche raised her hands above her head. Stuck between the two, Saito only panicked. It seemed that letting the whole situation develop into Kirche kissing him had made Louise extraordinarily angry.
“Love and fire are the Zerbst family’s destiny. It’s a fate that burns in our bodies. It is our lifelong goal to embrace this passionate flame. You should know that.” Kirche shrugged, while Louise shook in anger.
“Come here, Saito.” Louise stared at her familiar.
“Oh? Louise... he is indeed your familiar, but he has his own will too, don’t you think? Please respect his choice.” Kirche said at the side.
“Sh-she’s right! Who I hang out with is my business!” Saito added.
Louise raised her voice. “You... by tomorrow you’ll be run through by magic from at least ten nobles! Is that all right with you?!”
“Oh, no problem with that. Didn’t you see how good he was in the Vestri Court ?”
Louise flapped her right hand. “Hmph... so his swordfighting skills are good, but that doesn’t matter when he’s attacked by fireballs from the back and whirlwinds from the front.”
“No problem! I’ll protect him!” Kirche gave Saito a passionate look.
However, because of Louise’s words, Saito thought it over.
If those guys that just visited us at the window find out about me, maybe they would attack me. Kirche won’t be able to cover me all the time, even if she said she would. That and Kirche changes her mind pretty often. She’ll be bored of protecting me in no time.
After some calm reasoning, Saito reluctantly stood up.
“Aww...are you leaving so soon?” Kirche sadly peered at Saito, with her hair spread to her back, and her twinkling eyes seemed to painfully tear. Kirche is one addicting beauty... if a girl like her sticks to me, who cares if I get hit with magic left and right? Saito thought wildly.
“That’s her usual tactic! Don’t be fooled by her.” Louise tugged Saito’s hand, and walked out.
Back in her room, she closed the door with a deadly silence, and faced Saito. Forcefully biting her lip, she sent him a murderous glare.
“Like some stray dog in heat...” her voice was quivering. Louise’s hands moved faster than her mouth, and her feet moved faster than her hands. Her voice was getting shaky, and anger filled her face.
“I almost saw you as a person. Looks like I was wrong.”
“You’re kidding me, right?” Yeah. See me as a person? Sounds like a lie no matter how I think about it.
“And you went to wag your tail at that Zerbst witch...” Louise reached into a drawer in her desk for something. A whip.
“Uhh...M-miss...” Saito started to stutter.
“Dogs must be treated like dogs. I’ve been too soft on you.”
“But why the whip?” Saito eyed the whip in Louise’s hand. It was quite well made.
“I’m going far out of my way to use a horse’s whip on you. You’re just a dog.”
“A dog, huh?”
Louise started whipping. Pishi-Pishi-!
“Ow! It hurts! Stop, you idiot!”
“What? How is that girl better? What is so good about her?” Louise yelled and whipped.
Saito noticed an opening, and grabbed Louise’s hands. She struggled, but the strength of the girl was not enough. Saito kept his grip on her wrists, and then she stopped.
“Ahh! Let go, you moron!”
“Are you...” Saito bore into Louise. Brown eyes stared back. Up close, one can see an irresistible face.
Cute. Kirche is a beauty, quite sexy. But Louise is like an empty canvas. Not a single speck of dirt...a clean canvas. It’s just that her character is a bit... No matter how Saito said it, he liked Louise better. His heart started beating in sixteenth notes. Is she jealous? Does she have a crush on me? In Saito’s eyes, thinking like this made Louise look even cuter. All things considered, Saito was as weak as Kirche in romance.
“Are you jealous? Do you like me?” said Saito. “Were you angry because I didn’t sleep with you and went off with Kirche doing all that? Oh, I didn’t notice. I am sorry.” He lowered his head, and raised Louise’s chin.
“I think you’re not bad either. Look, when you helped bandage me you were really...”
Louise’s shoulders shivered.
“...I should be going for you because I’m a guy. Tonight, I will sleep on your bed, so you won’t have to go to mine.”
Louise’s right foot suddenly moved like a gust, and shot Saito one between his legs.
“......ahhh....ohhh.......” Saito went on his knees, his body covered in cold sweat. Oh...that hurt. I think I’m going to die. That REALLY hurt.
“Like? Why...would I...like you?” Louise angrily stepped on his head.
“Did...did I get that wrong?”
“Obviously so!” she continued stepping.
“Al-all right...I was wrong...”
Louise sat on a chair, crossing her legs, her breathing still uneven. After fiercely torturing Saito for a while, her mood seemed to slightly improve.
“Sure...you can go out with anybody you choose. But, no matter what, you must not go out with that woman.”
“W-why?” Saito hopped around as if to minimize the pain.
“First, Kirche isn’t a Tristainian; she’s a noble from neighboring Germania. Just that makes going out with her completely unacceptable. I hate Germanians.”
“How do you expect me to know these things?”
“My house, Vallière, has estates on Germania’s borders, so we’re the first on the field against Germanians the moment any war starts. Even worse, right opposite to us on that border is Kirche’s birthplace.” Louise bit down hard on her teeth. “So basically, the Zerbst family is our sworn enemy.”
“And they call themselves a passionate family.”
“Just a low, unworthy family. Kirche’s great-great-grandfather stole away my great-great-grandfather’s lover! That was around 200 years ago.”
“That’s quite a while ago.”
“Plus, that Zerbst constantly slanders Vallière. My great-great-grandfather’s fiancé was stolen away because of that.”
“My great-great-grandfather’s! His wife was taken away just like that.”
“Okay, whatever...so basically, this is all because your family lost a lover to Kirche’s family?”
“Not just that. We've lost count of how many family members we've lost from the wars.”
“I’m just a lowly little familiar...it’s not like I’m worth being stolen.”
“No. I will not let Kirche steal a single bird. I’ll shame my ancestors if that happens.” With that, Louise poured a glass of water, and downed it in one gulp. “That is why Kirche’s forbidden.”
“Your ancestors have nothing to do with me.”
“Yes they do! You’re my familiar, right? As long as you eat from the Vallière family, you are to follow my orders.”
“Familiar this, familiar that...” Saito stared discontently at Louise.
“You have a problem with that?”
“No, because I can’t live if I don’t do what you say, so I’ll just have to live with it...” Saito stuck up his lip, and sat on the ground with a thump.
“And I think you should thank me.”
“Thank you for what?”
“If the word that a commoner became Kirche’s lover gets out, do you think you’ll survive?”
Saito remembered the men Kirche shooed away, and blasted like flies to the ground...if that was me...what would that feel like? Saito also remembered his fight with Guiche, and a shiver went down his spine.
“Give me a sword. A sword.” Saito wanted to protect himself.
“Don’t you have one?”
“How would I? The one from last time was Guiche’s.”
Louise crossed her arms. “Are you a swordsman?”
“No...I’ve never held one before.”
“But you looked like a natural in that fight.”
“Hmm...” Louise went into deep thought.
“I heard familiars get special powers when the contract is made.”
“Yeah...like when a black cat became a familiar...” Louise raised a finger in the air and explained.
“It gets the ability to talk to people.”
“But I’m not a cat.”
“I know. Thing is...a human as a familiar is something totally unheard of, so it’s not impossible that you can just pick up a sword and use it like a natural.”
“Huh...” I didn’t just use it like a natural. My body felt light and fast like a feather. Besides, Guiche’s statues were made of bronze. There’s no way you can cut into metal that easily, no matter how skilled a swordsman you are.
“If it’s that incredible, we should go ask Tristain's Academia.”
“Yeah. It’s the Royal Court’s magic research agency.”
“What would they do to me for research?”
“Ah... many kinds of experiments. Like... autopsies.”
“You’re kidding me.” Saito stood up. Human experimentation? No, thanks!
“If you think that’s disgusting, then don’t spread that ‘using a sword like a master in an instant’ around for no good reason.”
“I got it. We can keep that quiet.” Saito nodded in fear.
“Ah... I get it now...” Louise nodded in understanding.
“I’ll buy you a sword.”
“Oh?” Well that was sudden. Louise is always so stingy.
“You never have enough lives if Kirche has her eyes on you. We brought that on ourselves, so we’ll have to take care of it.” Louise weakly said.
“What?” Louise stared at Saito.
“I thought you’re such a miser. You even freak out about my food.”
“I can’t let a familiar get used to luxury. It makes for bad habits. If it’s absolutely necessary, I’ll buy it. I’m not a stingy person.” Louise said proudly.
“Now that you get it, go to sleep. Tomorrow is the Day of Void, so I’ll take you shopping.”
Oh... so this world has Sundays too. Saito thought as he moved towards the hallway.
“Where are you going?”
“Where? To the hallway.”
“It’s all right. You can sleep in my room. If Kirche grabs you again it will be troublesome.”
Saito looked at Louise. “You really are...”
Louise was about to take her whip again when Saito stopped, dove on his straw bed, and wrapped himself in the blanket. He looked at the inscriptions in his left hand.
By lighting up, this thing helped me defeat Guiche, got Kirche head over heels for me, and got Louise to buy a sword for me. What else is this thing going to bring me? As he thought, drowsiness attacked him. What a long day... as he thought it, Saito fell fast asleep.