Zero no Tsukaima

Volume 3 Chapter 5

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Chapter Five: The Arsenal and the Royal Family[]

The Albion air force’s arsenal was located in the outskirts of its capital, Londinium, in the town of Rosyth. Before the Revolutionary War (which is what the Reconquista were calling the civil war that had just ended recently), that place used to be called the Royal air force’s arsenal. And thus, there were all sorts of buildings. The numerous buildings with massive chimneys were used for manufacturing iron. Next to them were piles and piles of timber used for ship constructions and repairs.

The large red brick building was the control center. The three colored flag of Reconquista could be seen fluttering proudly. But the thing that stood out most was the large battleship which seemed to reach the skies.

The Lexington, the flagship of the fleet, was anchored and covered by a cloth, similar to a large tent, to protect it from rain. The warship stretched across two hundred meters, and was placed on top of a large wooden board so that it could be remodeled as soon as possible.

The king of Albion, Oliver Cromwell, was observing the construction along with some attendants.

“What a big, dependable looking ship. With a ship like this, doesn’t it feel like we can rule the world, chief rigger?”

“You speak too highly of me.”

The chief rigger appointed to the fleet led by the Lexington, Sir Henry Bowood, replied half heartedly. He was on the Reconquista’s side and was the commander of the cruisers during the revolutionary war. Credited with destroying two enemy ships, he was promoted to chief rigger of the Lexington. He was to assume the position of captain when the remodeling was completed. It was one of the customs of the Albion air force.

“Look at those big cannons!”

Cromwell pointed at the cannons on the side of the ship.

“These new weapons are like the symbol of trust I have placed upon you. These were made by gathering Albion’s alchemists. They have an extended body, which according to the calculations…”

The longhaired woman next to Cromwell replied, “They have a firing range of approximately 1.5 times that of the cannons used on Tristain and Germania warships.”

“Thank you, Miss Sheffield.”

Bowood looked at Sheffield. She emitted a somewhat cold atmosphere. She was around her mid-twenties and wore a neat, thin black coat. He had never seen such a weird appearance. She wasn’t wearing a mantle… was she even a mage?

Cromwell nodded with satisfaction and patted Bowood on the back.

“She’s from Rub' al Khali. She designed these cannons from the technology she learned from the elves. Her insights in technology… do not follow our magic arts. She possesses knowledge of technology that is new to us. You should get to know each other.”

Bowood nodded in a bored manner. He was actually a royalist, but he strongly believed that soldiers should not get involved in politics. In other words, he was a purely militaristic person. The fleet commander, who outranked him, had joined the rebel army, and so he had no choice but to participate in the revolutionary war as a captain of the Reconquista fleet. For him, who had exerted his utmost for the sake of upholding Albion's tradition - Noblesse oblige, a noble duty, Albion was still a mere kingdom. Cromwell was someone despicable who had just seized power and the throne.

“There probably isn't a fleet on Halkeginia that can match the power of our Royal Sovereign fleet now,” Bowood had purposefully called the fleet by its old name. Noticing his cynicism, Cromwell smiled.

“Mr Bowood. The Royal Sovereign no longer exists in Albion.”

“True. However, if you attend the wedding ceremony with these new cannons, I’m afraid it will probably be seen as a vulgar demonstration of power.”

Cromwell, the first holy king and president of the council of nobles, and the cabinet ministers of The Republic of the Holy Albion (Albion’s new name) were to attend the wedding ceremony of the Tristain princess and the prince of Germania. They were to travel by the Lexington fleet.

Bringing new models of weapons for a visit of good will would be seen as something along the lines of gunboat diplomacy.

Cromwell replied casually, “Ah yes, I haven’t explained the scheme for this 'good will visit' to you, have I?”


Another conspiracy? Bowood felt a headache coming.

Cromwell softly whispered in Bowood’s ears.

“What?! I haven’t heard of such a disgraceful act in all my life!”

“It’s all a part of military movements,” said Cromwell, uncaringly.

“Didn’t we just recently sign a non-aggression treaty with Tristain! In Albion’s long history, we haven’t broken a single treaty!” shouted an enraged Bowood.

“Mr. Bowood. I shall not forgive you for any further political criticisms. This is something that the council has decided upon and approved. Do you plan on going against the council? Since when did you become a politician?”

With that, Bowood was speechless. To him, soldiers were swords and shields that did not object. They were the faithful watchdogs of the country, and proud ones at that. If it was a decision from someone of higher rank, then they could only follow those orders.

“You will soil our country’s name throughout Halkeginia. Our country will be known for cowardly breaking treaties.” Said Bowood, disturbed.

“Soil the country’s name? All of Halkeginia shall be ruled under our Reconquista flag. When we regain the holy lands from the elves, no one will care about such trivial matters.”

Bowood drew close to Cromwell.

“Breaking a treaty is something trivial? Do you plan on betraying even your own country?!”

A nearby man pulled out his wand and restrained Bowood. Bowood could recognize the face hidden underneath the hood.

“Y-Your highness?” a shocked Bowood whispered.

The face was of Prince Wales, who had died in battle.

“Captain, I wonder if you would be able to say those words to your once superior officer?”

Bowood dropped down to his knees. Wales reached out his hands and kissed Bowood. He became pale. Those hands were as cold as ice.

Cromwell walked out with his attendants. Wales also followed suit. The only one left was Bowood, standing still, shocked. Wales, who had died, was living and moving. Bowood was a triangular mage in the water arts. Even he, an expert in water magic, which governed the composition of living things, had not heard of a spell that could bring life to someone once dead.

Perhaps it was a golem? No, that body was filled with life. Being a user in the water branch, he knew perfectly well the flow of water inside living things, including that of Wales.

It was definitely an unknown form of magic. And Cromwell could control it. He remembered a convincing rumor he had heard, and started to shake.

That the holy king Cromwell could control “Void”…

Was that just Void magic?

…The legendary “Zero” branch of magic.

With a shaking voice, Bowood whispered, “…What the hell is he planning to do to Halkeginia?”

Cromwell spoke with the noble walking alongside him.

“Viscount, join the Lexington fleet as the commander of the dragoons.”

Under a feathered hat, Wardes’ eyes gleamed.

“Are you telling me to keep an eye on him?”

He shook his head, rejecting Wardes’ presumption.

“That man won’t betray us. He’s too stubborn and straightforward, which is why we can trust him. I’m just lending him your power, seeing as you led the magic defense squad once. Have you ever ridden a dragon before?”

“No. But there is no beast in Halkeginia that I cannot master.”

Cromwell smirked in agreement. He suddenly turned to Wardes.

“Viscount, why do you obey me?”

“Do you doubt my loyalty?”

“Not at all. You yield such fine results yet you have no requests.”

Wardes laughed lightly. He touched the artificial hand that was put on him recently.

“I only want to see the thing your Excellency will show me.”

“The holy lands?”

Wardes nodded.

“I believe what I’m searching for lies there.”

“You ‘believe’? You really don’t have any desires, do you.” Said Cromwell.

Cromwell was originally a clergyman, but he didn’t have a speck of faith in him. Wardes cast his eyes downwards on an old silver locket. Inside was a drawn portrait of a beautiful woman. His heart, which always appeared cold to people around him, started to warm up. After looking at the small portrait, he whispered, “No, your Excellency. I’m a man who desires the most in this world.”

Meanwhile in Henrietta’s room, inside the royal palace of Tristain, servants were busy sewing the wedding dress Henrietta was to wear. Marianne, the queen, was also there. She watched with a smile while her daughter was dressed in a pure white dress. However, Henrietta's expression was like that of ice. When the servants sewing asked her things about the sleeves and the position of the waist, she simply nodded. Watching her daughter in that state, Marianne dismissed the servants.

“My dear daughter, you don’t seem well.”


Henrietta buried her face in her mother's knees.

“I understand you don’t want this wedding.”

“No, it’s not that at all. I’m a happy person. I’m able to marry. Didn’t you once say that a woman was happy if she got to marry?”

In contrast to her words, Henrietta’s beautiful face became miserable and she started crying in grief. Marianne patted her daughter’s head gently.

“You have someone you love?”

“I had someone I loved. It’s like I’m flowing in a very fast river. Everything has passed by me. Love, kind words… nothing remains now.”

Marianne shook her head.

“Love is like the measles. If you cool down, you will forget about it.”

“How can I possibly forget…”

“You are a princess. You must forget what you must forget. The people will be uneasy if they see you like this.” Said Marianne in an admonishing tone.

“What am I marrying for?” Henrietta asked sadly.

“For the future.”

“For the future of…the country and the people?”

Marianne shook her head.

“It’s also for your future as well. Cromwell of the Reconquista, who’s in control of Albion, is an ambitious man. According to what I’ve heard, he has control over ‘Void’."

“Isn’t that the legendary branch of magic?”

“Yes. If it is the truth, then it would be dreadful, Henrietta. Having too much power corrupts people. Even though we have a non-aggression treaty, a man like him won’t just look down at Halkeginia from the skies obediently. It’s better for you to be in a powerful country, like Germania."

Henrietta embraced her mother.

“…Forgive me Mother for being so selfish.”

“It’s alright. Love is everything at your age. It’s not like I don't understand.”

They embraced each other tightly.

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