Author Note: Well, it's been a long time, but I'm back in action. These 60-80 hr. work weeks kind of suck, but after they started airing the new season of Zero no Tsukaima I decided I could remain silent no longer. This story was what I wrote while waiting for the new season to be released and was pretty much my vision of season four. I've written up to Chapter 13 already, but haven't finished the ending. For those who love this series like I do, take this as my humble gift to celebrate the new season.
Jus Primae Noctis
A Zero no Tsukaima fanfiction
Dawn arrived as it usually did over the land of Tristain, light pouring over the countryside filling in the cracks where night reluctantly let loose it's tenuous grip on the morning. At the magical academy of Tristain, the peaceful morning was getting off to its usual start.
"SAITO!" Louise was screaming at the top of her lungs.
Saito ducked a lethal barrage of rocks from the explosive spells his master was wielding and dove for cover behind a bush. "Louise! I'm serious! I didn't know she was there!"
The most powerful familiar in the entire academy barely dodged another shot from his irate girlfriend before rolling and taking off at top speed for one of the gardens on the other side of the castle with her hot on his heels.
"You stupid dog! I'll teach you to go fondling that cow!" Louise screamed after him.
"Why are you getting mad at me? SHE was the one that put my hand on her chest!" Saito screamed back at the diminutive mage, jumping over a rail to drop athletically onto the turf below. This would give him some lead since Louise would have to take the stairs instead of just vaulting over the side.
Saito lost the furious girl around the side of a tower, and quickly hid. Louise went running past as normal with her wand held high over her head ready to visit death and destruction on her minion. As the girl disappeared around the corner, Saito sighed and flopped back on the ground to rest.
As his head struck something soft, Saito realized his morning wasn't getting any better.
"Good morning Ivaldi." Tabitha said looking down at him.
Saito looked up at the foreign princess' quiet eyes from her lap where his head had landed. He didn't even have time to think before a pair of lips captured his in the second 'good morning' kiss he'd had of the day.
"Um... good morning?" Saito said uneasily when he'd finally been released. Looking up to confirm his worst fears, he saw Louise coming back for more.
"You perverted dog! What are you doing, making your rounds?" Louise cried chasing him once again around the castle blasting anything that got in her way.
Saito cleared the stairs in one leap, this time heading in the opposite direction. He really loved those stairs. The young Japanese boy had just rounded the wall when he stopped and began walking sedately. Louise came running in behind and crashed into his back.
"Good morning headmaster." The two said politely, walking quietly in front of the old man.
"Good morning you two. You're energetic as usual this morning I see." Headmaster Osmond said as the two put on their most innocent smiles.
"Just a normal morning around here." Saito chuckled sadly as he looked at Louise's expression promising bloody murder as soon as the headmaster was out of earshot.
The headmaster nodded and started off towards the main tower of the campus. Saito stopped and watched him go. Louise stepped forward to watch and began slowly raising her wand the further he got away from them. As soon as he rounded a corner, Louise rounded on him. "Now I'm going to... mmpfh..."
Saito kissed the girl like his life depended on it, (which it probably did). His hand covered hers as it held the wand aloft and gently brought it down to her side. As he deepened the kiss he felt the young mage melting into his arms. When he was done, she was needing help to stand. "Good morning."
"I'm going to... be late for class. I'll deal with you later." Louise said shakily as she pushed the boy down before turning to run off for class.
Saito sighed and managed to stand. Life had definitely been rough for the past few days. Not really having much to do, Saito headed off to find someplace to hide for the day until Louise could calm down. Not having anywhere else to go he found himself outside Professor Colbert's lab. The young man knocked uncertainly hoping the older man would be working instead of already in class.
"Oh, Saito, come in my boy." Colbert said when he answered the door. "Looking for a place to hide from Louise again?"
"Yeah." The familiar answered sheepishly.
"What was it this time?" Colbert asked conversationally as he went back to his bench of reagents he'd been mixing.
"I woke up this morning with Siesta more on top of me than off, and before I could say anything she put my hand on her breast and kissed me." Saito said miserably.
"I see." Colbert said without paying much attention.
"I don't see why Louise always gets mad at me. It's not like I told her to do it or came on to her or anything." Saito said angrily. "Every time any girl so much as winks at me though Louise flies off the handle and starts beating up on ME."
"I see." The professor Colbert said mixing two more vials together.
"You're not even listening." Saito deadpanned.
"Frustrating, isn't it?" The absentminded fire mage said as he examined the contents of the flask and put it on to boil.
"Yeah, kind of." Saito admitted.
"Well then, let's step out for a moment while this boils." Colbert said picking up his trusty staff.
Saito followed the teacher out into the large commons of the school where other students who didn't yet have class were hanging out drinking tea and eating cake like proper nobility. Professor Colbert lead the way over to a table where Saito saw Malicorne pigging out for breakfast.
"Hey, Malicorne, we have practice later. Aren't you hitting the sweets a little hard?" The young swordsman scolded.
"Of course Saito. I'm just making sure I'm stocked up before practice. The way you and Guiche have been drilling us I'm in danger of wasting away." Malicorne complained around a mouthful of cake.
"Like it'd kill you to lose a few pounds." Saito griped as Professor Colbert bent over to whisper something in Malicorne's ear.
Malicorne looked from Professor Colbert to Saito and then back again. Finally, the portly noble jumped up grabbing Saito's hand and planting it firmly on his breast declaring, "Saito I love you!"
Laughter erupted all around as Saito yanked his hand away as if it had been scalded and smacked Malicorne upside the head. "I am NOT gay! YOU GOT THAT!"
"And that concludes our lesson." Professor Colbert announced.
"What lesson?" Saito asked the smirking professor.
"Are you going to drop my lowest grade now professor?" Malicorne said looking around at his classmates and blushing heavily. "That was embarrassing."
"Of course, my boy. A deal is a deal. Consider it dropped." Professor Colbert told the large boy as he wandered off. Saito raced to keep up with the man.
"Wait a minute, you put him up to that?" The void familiar demanded.
"Yes, an interesting display I might add." Colbert affirmed.
"Saito, every day I see Louise chasing after you, getting angry because of what some girl did to you. Might I suggest that if you gave all the girls who made advances on you the same treatment that you just gave Malicorne that she wouldn't be as angry?" The older man advised. "I don't think that Louise is angry that the incidents occur, I think she's angry that you never rebuke these young girls."
"But... then they'll hate me!" Saito whined. "I don't want to be cruel."
"And Louise doesn't want to be hurt because the person she cares about seems to be enjoying the advances of so many lovely girls." The teacher lectured.
"I'd never hurt Louise." Saito disagreed.
"Probably not intentionally, but I think she feels frustrated at someone not paying attention to her feelings by not making his preferences plainly known, and that can hurt in its own right." Professor Colbert continued to advise. "Now, I suggest you think about these things until Louise gets out of class and then go talk to her. I don't need you hiding out in my lab for the next few days while I'm running my latest experiment."
"Thank you professor." The admonished young man said sadly. He remembered how annoyed he'd been thinking that Colbert had been ignoring him and if Louise was annoyed it would figure she'd approach it like she always did.
"Don't mention it lad. The headmaster asked me to speak to you two about it recently. It seems he's getting tired of having to have the castle repaired." The professor said before turning to go. "Oh and one last thing. From one man to another, I have a piece of advice on dealing with Louise."
"I'll take all I can get." Saito said earnestly.
Colbert looked around to see if anyone was in earshot and leaned close in seriousness. "I don't know if she's the type or not son, but sometimes girls like that are just looking for a good man to smack them on the tail and make them behave. Something to think about."
Saito stood there slack jawed as Colbert hurried away as if he had just past on some sort of terrible secret in some sort of political conspiracy. Saito mentally corrected himself. He'd been told terrible secrets to political conspiracies before, they were much less likely to get him killed. Shaking his head in amazement Saito wandered off to find some breakfast and think about what he'd been told. Louise was probably still going to be steamed later.
"My queen, please be reasonable." The elderly advisor Bishop Madolene admonished. "I realize that you find such things distasteful, but please think of the kingdom."
"I have no intention of continuing with these politically motivated marriage proposals your grace. Now that I have inducted Louise into my family, she is second to the throne and will take her place in succession should anything happen to me." Henrietta pronounced.
"Your majesty, please, you have no idea what this is going to do to the kingdom. While the Valliere family is respected, you are STILL expected to at least TRY to produce an heir to the throne. The shift in power within the country could cause strife and civil war. The duke is not without his enemies who would be most discomfited to find his house in power. The simple fact of the matter also stands that Lady Louise is also as yet unmarried and has not produced an heir either." The old advisor ranted.
Henrietta sighed. She had wanted to avoid this situation as much as possible, and now she found herself cornered. If she didn't find someone to marry there was going to be civil war as power suddenly shifted around where people stood with the Valliere family. Her thoughts went back to Wales, and it felt like getting married to anyone would be like betraying his memory. Not for the first time Henrietta wished she could be free to do as she pleased like Louise. She envied the girl all the things that she took for granted. Then unbidden her thoughts drifted like they always did when she thought of her friend. Before she knew it she was seeing his face in front of her eyes as she stared out the window.
"Perhaps her majesty has someone already in mind, and for that reason wishes to distance herself from all other suitors?" The bishop asked hopefully.
Henrietta was startled out of her reverie to see the old man staring at her kindly. If the man only knew...
"No your grace, no one in particular. Please tell me, is there anything in the law that would allow me to remain unwed? I'm sure if we can wait until Louise has given birth that I can adopt her child as my own or something." Henrietta bargained.
"It still doesn't solve the problem of having the throne connected to the Valliere family name. Surely there's some nobleman who can win your majesty's heart?" The aged cleric bargained.
Henrietta thought of Saito again and shook her head. While he was now her knight and a noble, he was also in love with Louise and would most likely be marrying her. True, it would solve a lot of her problems since he belonged to no established house and as such wouldn't shift power towards anyone, she just couldn't do that to Louise. "I do not wish to marry anyone I do not love, and the only man I've every loved is dead your grace."
The old bishop scratched at his chin and idly pulled his fingers through his beard like he always did when he was thinking. "There is, perhaps, another way your majesty..."
A/N: I'm hoping to keep a weekly posting schedule, since the only REAL off time I have is on Saturday nights when I can write/post. Join us next week when we'll hear Siesta say... "Now master, let's get you out of those clothes..."