Editor: PervySageChuck, Nate
“Mister, Mister President, how did you obtain this data?”
“Motoi, the question is not how I got it, but what will be done with it. Am I wrong?”
“N-no, you’re absolutely correct.”
There was a pile of faxed documents from America beside Japanese Prime Minister Motoi, whose forehead was covered in beads of greasy sweat. These Japanese documents detailed the secret donations, corruption, and bribery committed by the members of his cabinet. Although this information came from America, the contents suggested that they had been produced locally.
It had been only two months since the cabinet was convened. The conservative councillors were already asking hard questions about the deployment of the JSDF through the “Gate”. Then there was the ugly news like the corruption of cabinet members, the injustices they committed, and the suicide of one of the current ministers. All of these together made Motoi break out in goosebumps.
If these documents were released under these conditions, Motoi’s tenure would end here.
“Fortunately, our investigative agencies managed to intercept these documents before they reached the editor of the morning news.”
“Thank you very much, Mister President.”
“Oh, think nothing of it, we’re all friends here, aren’t we? That’s the proof of it, right there.”
“Even so, I must still thank you for your kindness. I owe you a debt of honor.”
“Well, about that… actually, I had a request for you, Motoi.”
“What would that be?”
“I heard that there are some high-ranking guests from the Special Region in Japan, no? I was hoping to invite Her Imperial Highness to visit the United States by any means necessary.”
“How did you come to know about that?”
“How do you think those documents came to be on your desk, Motoi?”
All Motoi felt was despair born of the grief that national secrets had been so easily leaked.
This situation was basically like showing your opponent your entire hand in a card game.
“If that was what you wanted, you should have told us. I would have gladly relayed your invitation to our guests. I will immediately pass it on when it is ready.”
“No, no, there is no need to worry yourself. I planned to extend the invitation directly.”
“And by directly you mean—”
“Directly. I have already sent my agents to bring word to them.”
“Is that so, but in that case, you will only be able to meet tomorrow. The guests are to return to the Special Region tomorrow. Were you not aware of that?”
“That won’t do, Motoi. When you invite a lady guest to your home, if you don’t treat them poorly enough that they want to go home, I’m sure they’ll enjoy themselves thoroughly in the party to come. I believe that moment of joy will make the perfect going-home present. Don’t you think they would agree?”
“But, Mr. President, it is midnight here in Japan. The guests must be resting.”
“No, no, good news must be delivered right away, even if you have to get them up to do it. I believe the guests will joyfully agree, with help from your side, that is.”
“That makes no sense!”
“That just won’t do, Motoi. You can’t be shy and timid around women. Even at the risk of being scolded for being insensitive, one must still bravely forge forward. After all, the willingness to use forceful means on occasions is the key to success. I know you Japanese feel that reservedness is a virtue, but I feel that is your greatest weakness. Perhaps you think I am unfairly criticizing you, but do bear in mind that if you continue down this path, you will gain nothing of value. As a host who is expected to entertain guests, providing too little entertainment will only upset everyone. Which is why I’m asking, what exactly should be done if that happens?”
“I thank you for your valuable insights, but I am afraid your methods are not compatible with our national sentiments.”
“Is that so? Then I shall directly order my agents to directly present my invitation to the guests from the Special Region. However, your bodyguards are quite something. So far, we have not yet been able to make contact with the guests. What should we do, Motoi? I trust you still remember the proof of our friendship?”
That “proof” was obviously referring to the incriminating documents sitting on his desk. The Americans had him firmly by the balls and he would have to give in to them. Even so, he had to minimize the damage done. That was his duty as Prime Minister. Therefore, Motoi thought as hard as he could about his present circumstances. He thought about the situation, what cards he had to play, and what tricks he could pull before giving his final answer.
“...All right, but all I can promise you is the removal of the security. If anything happens to the guests, or if they disappear, I trust you won’t blame me for that?”
“Of course. My country’s agents are very capable. They will take good care of our guests.”
Good, he’d gotten the promise.
As Motoi thought about the American President, who was acting like he’d won this round, he couldn’t help but feel the need to avenge himself on him somehow. He had made these concessions to avoid opening up fatal weaknesses in the US-Japan relationship, but it also meant that he had a chance to foil the President’s plan and reverse their situation. However, the moment he decided to do that, it would mean the rest of his political life would be a lost cause. But then again, when you looked at it a certain way, this Cabinet was riddled with holes, and since it was filled with rot anyway, he had no qualms about putting it to the torch and going out with a bang.
“Then, I hope you will take them safely, Mister President. Please have a good rest.”
“Of course we will, Motoi. I’m glad you said that. Have a good rest. Oh, I’m about to have lunch.”
The American President hung up. He seemed to be in a good mood.
“Terminate? What do you mean, terminate the security operation for the guests?!”
Kanou was shouting at the person on the other end of the connection.
Even if it was the Prime Minister himself, Kanou’s tone did not sound like he cared who the other party was. The orders he had just received had left him in disarray.
Motoi, on the other end of the line, briefly relayed the intentions of the President of the United States. If they abided by Motoi’s words, it meant that they would be allowing enemy armed forces to take away their guests. As he watched Kanou gripping the handset in silence, Ltc. Ryuuzaki turned to his subordinates to order them to obey the Prime Minister.
“The Grail is broken. Repeat, the Grail is broken. All teams cease combat operations and fall back to the designated points.”
Nobody would be pleased to be ordered to give up on a job that had been going very well. But the JSDF troopers had been trained to execute an order upon reception.
No matter what each of them thought, their training had already taken over their bodies. They fell back by leaps and bounds, covering each other as they abandoned their mission.
And so, the points of light on the monitor stood down from their defensive posture and moved westward.
“What’s going on?”
Kanou had not hung up, and he asked that question angrily. Therefore, Motoi answered him, “I’m sorry, Mr. Kanou. I’m not happy about it either. However, they have their hands on the ugly news about the cabinet members. Our regime is doomed for sure.”
“So in order to keep yourself in power, you’ll give up everything else?”
“I never said that, it is absolutely not the case. Fortunately, I never promised the President anything like that. I only said I would withdraw the guards. I never guaranteed that I would hand our guests over to the US government. Although I’m not too sure whether it’ll turn out that way, I’m going to resign my position. I was stuck with a lousy hand anyway, and once I’m gone, how valuable do you think those secrets they’re holding will be?”
“You... resign… Motoi, do you know what you’re doing? Your career as a politician will be over.”
“That’s fine. Besides, I’ll be leaving my name in the history books, so I’m glad that I made it this far. Then, Kanou, I’ll be leaving the future of Japan to you.”
Motoi’s final words sounded like he was weeping, and the grinding of teeth that Motoi heard from Kanou suggested he was not happy at all that it had turned out this way.
Wars were not just fought on the battlefield, they were also fought in the meeting room, the Diet, and in the Prime Minister’s Office. War was just a thing that changed depending on the theater that it occurred in. In this way, Motoi had lost his war. However, even in his loss, he revealed that he had the guts to not accept a complete defeat just like this.
“That... idiot. He was a coward, but he was still trying to look cool until the end.”
Kanou bit his lip and slowly hung up the phone.
Itami woke from his dreams.
In the corner of his dim vision, he saw an unfamiliar ceiling. Normally speaking, he would not be awake at this hour. He had passed out after being hit on the head and then fallen asleep, which was why he had woken up like this. In truth, he would have liked to be able to sleep until daybreak, but maybe it was because he had been knocked unconscious that he had woken up so soon. In any case, it was far too early to wake up.
When he raised his head and looked around, the first thing he saw were the female members of the group sleeping together, covered in blankets. Surprisingly enough, they were not in a drunken heap, but were simply sleeping normally.
There was a window in the depths of the resort room, to allow guests to enjoy the scenery outside, and by the window was a chair.
On the chair was a person.
He heard the sound of ice cubes swirling in a glass as someone poured an amber fluid into it. That someone was soaking in the moonlight, luxuriating in the scenery outside.
Slow, lazy breathing. Slightly hurried breathing.
Flushed cheeks. Legs so slender and fine they looked like they were about to snap.
The person sitting there was Rory Mercury.
She was not wearing her usual black gothic lolita priestess’ outfit, but a cotton kimono. Her limbs stuck out of the garment, and her long hair which reached down to her waist swayed in the wind. Her skin was spotless. As he watched her, he imagined that he was spying on a young girl having fun by herself. However, it was because he was a man that this taboo act excited him. Itami’s attention was thus seized, never to be released. Her pupils shone lewdly. Her vacant gaze floated through the air. She moaned softly and sweetly, and her powerless eyes lazily looked into Itami’s.
Rory did not seem frightened by the way Itami was looking at her. Rather, her expression seemed to say, “You saw it, didn’t you?” She smiled gently, and then laughed quietly. After that, a wicked, playful look crossed her face, and she extended a slender finger on her left hand. “Come,” she said as she beckoned him over. Itami felt like he had been hypnotized.
While Itami was thinking about whether to move, his body had already made the decision for him. His doubts and his hesitation were wiped away instantly. Of course, it was only natural that he would be this way. But as he stood, he felt a heavy weight around his waist.
That was because someone was holding on to it.
Because of this weight, Itami snapped out of his daze, and his consciousness returned to him.
He pretended he didn’t hear Rory going “Cheh!” and finally found out who was holding on to him.
It was Lelei.
Itami carefully disentangled the arms that were holding him, carefully covered her up with a blanket, and then headed toward Rory.
Itami did not know where the whiskey on the side table had come from, or when the glasses or ice had appeared there. The way Rory bathed in the moonlight while holding a slightly trembling glass looked like she had come out of a picture. Regretfully, she looked far too young. If she were 20 or so, a lot of men would want to come near her. As a demigod, her physical age was fixed. “Is it a shame not to be able to grow up?” Itami asked.
Rory turned to face him.
“Of course not. Once I ascend to divinity, I can change my form at will… but in exchange, I will lose the pleasures of the flesh.”
“Isn’t that boring?” Itami asked as he took a glass, added some ice to it, and then poured roughly half an inch of whiskey into it.
Rory lightly bit her lip and stared at Itami.
“There seem to be people fighting near this place.”
How did she know this? As he thought about it, Itami remembered what had happened in Italica, the way the spirits of the war dead passed through Rory’s body to go to the god she believed in. When that happened, her body would react with sexual excitement. Her sensual writhing from back then had been seared into his mind. Now that he thought about it, perhaps the hot breaths she was exhaling were not entirely due to the alcohol.
“I couldn’t sleep at all because of that, what’s going on out there, anyway?”
“Even if you ask me, it’s not like I can tell-”
“It’s like being tortured, Youji, hurry up and think of something!”
“Think of something? What are you saying?”
By now, Itami was too nervous to speak clearly.
“You won’t get it if I don’t say it?”
“Ahhh, in our country’s laws, there’s something called the Child Welfare Protection Act, so if I touch a kid, I’m doomed.”
“Ara~ so I’m a child, then?”
“You, you look like one, everyone in the world would think so too.”
Rory made a show of looking around, and then said, “I don’t see everyone in the world looking”. Then, she placed her lips next to Itami’s ears and whispered “And even if we ended up in that kind of relationship, I wouldn’t go around talking about it.”
“Ah, but… it’s really not a good idea…”
“Kukuku… do I really look like a child?”
Rory’s liquid eyes pierced Itami’s soul. The tiny, dextrous tip of her moist tongue played in the gap between her pink lips. Under Rory’s skilled hands, Itami was little more than a child. She knew exactly how to manipulate a man’s heart, and she was very experienced in that field. She did not need an ample bosom or a slender waist to seduce a man; they were nothing more than decorations. Leaving lechers aside, there was no doubt that Rory could easily charm anyone.
“Really, am I a child?”
He couldn’t do this!
Run, run, run! Alarm bells were ringing in Itami’s head. However, his body betrayed him. Rory drew close enough that he could hear the rustling of her clothes, and slowly climbed up onto Itami’s lap. She skilfully used her shoulders, back and waist to press as much of her left forehead into Itami’s chest as possible. The movements of her hands made his heart beat harder, and the slight pain of her fingers digging into him felt incredibly good. After this sensual assault, Rory breathed warmly into Itami’s ear, and then she whispered two or three sentences into his ear, which put him on the ropes. The proof of that was the fact that his hands were starting to go to her waist.
At this moment, if she wanted to deliver the finishing blow, she could softly whisper “Hold me”, or playfully say, “Hey, let’s have some fun”. Which approach she chose was up to her. Catching the prey, removing all resistance, and then, the feast. Just as she was certain victory was within her reach, the loud ringing and vibration of a mobile phone interrupted her.
This was probably what they meant by the word, “Cockblocked”. It was like pouring a basin of cold water over them, and all her effort was wasted.
What is this, Rory asked with her eyes, and so, Itami began explaining what a mobile phone was.
“It doesn’t know how to pick the right time and place, that useless thing.”
The angry Rory slid off Itami’s knee and left. Itami thought he could see a black aura rising up from her back, and he thought, “I’m saved”. After he got his breathing under control, he picked up the mobile phone he had placed in a pocket. He took a look at the caller: on the name field were the two words “His Excellency”.
Kidel Heidegger had never heard of Japan’s freshly founded Special Forces Group being so strong, and he clicked his tongue.
Heidegger had come from the Marines, but under the CIA, all he did nowadays was clandestine activities. Because of that, it had been a long time since he had taken part in combat. The US army’s fighting style relied on overwhelming firepower, raining bullets on their enemies’ heads like sand and attacking with vast quantities of ammunition. If the enemy hid in a building, they would chuck in a grenade. If they hid behind a wall in ambush, they would blow away both the wall and the enemy in one shot. The doctrine they had learned in officer school was simple and plain — attack the enemy with six times his amount of firepower. That was focused in his mind. However, they could not do this during CIA missions. This was because CIA missions usually took place in locations where such brutal methods were not viable. For instance, they might take place in peaceful streets, in residential areas and sometimes in the commercial areas. They could not use guided missiles or rockets like in the military, and of course, there would be no supporting artillery fire. What weapons they had were basically technical skill combined with teamwork, and their tactics were to swiftly locate the enemy, silently approach to an ideal distance, and defeat him quickly without giving him any time to react. However, these tactics were based on extensive information and intricate planning.
The original plan was to assault the resort used by what they called “the guests”, eliminate their guards (two to three JSDF personnel, according to their sources), then swiftly take their two targets away. The reason why they could not act incautiously in Japan was because their police response times were very fast. In an instant, they could block off roads, set up checkpoints, and lock the entire area down. Therefore, the crucial part of the operation depended on whether or not they could swiftly escape after doing their job. They had mobilized twenty agents for this, and after the enemy camouflaged themselves, they set up in ambush in the forests surrounding the resort, waiting for the enemy to walk into their trap. The CIA men were not familiar with the area, they were in darkness, and they were attacked from multiple sides. On their part, they did not have black fatigues or body armor used for field ops, and their weapons were only pistols and MP5SD3s. Once they came into contact with the Japanese Special Forces, even a skilfully assembled task force would not have been able to do anything.
To think the opposition had such firepower. Somehow, Japan had gotten wind of an attack and had made their preparations. Half of the twenty men lying in ambush had been wiped out in an instant.
In any event, it was just bad luck that their attack ran into the powerful Japanese defense. And this might be the first time the Far East Japan branch had taken so many losses in a single operation. In truth, once they had been ambushed, the operation had failed. If they continued taking losses, even retreat would be difficult. Once Heidegger realized this, he suggested to his team leader that they retreat. However, the team leader, Chuck, shook his head.
He ordered everyone, including Heidegger, to wait for instructions, and then picked up his radio handset.
“Roger! Kim, don’t touch Goldman! Is Tanaka still alive?”
“No, he got one between the eyes.”
“Son of a bitch. Didn’t they say the opposition was just a bunch of bodyguards? This is completely different from the briefing!”
The normally calm and collected Roger could not help but curse and swear at this.
The Japanese did not like guns, and when they opened fire they would aim for the limbs, and they only used handguns, so they would be easily defeated. Roger and the others had heard the rumors, and their personal experiences confirmed it. However, the actual conditions on the ground were different. Those bastards had not shown a single scrap of mercy as they fired on him and his guys.
“All right, Top’s settled things. After a while, the JSDF will withdraw, and then we’ll proceed as planned.”
The team leader Chuck said this in a tone that suggested that everything had been taken care of, but when Roger heard those words:
“What! As planned? Was losing this many guys part of the plan?!”
“The Japanese defense was stronger than anticipated, but Top’s dealt with that by political means.”
“So why didn’t they do that from the start? That way we wouldn’t have had to sacrifice so many guys for the job!”
“The White House had to burn a valuable card that they were going to use elsewhere because of your incompetence.”
Just as Roger was about to strike Chuck, Heidegger sensed that something was wrong, and hastily interposed himself between the two of them.
“Get a grip, Roger! We’re still on the mission! And Chuck, you’d better watch your mouth.”
With looks of mutual hatred, the two of them spat and turned away from each other.
“All right, since the problem’s been settled by political negotiations, then let’s make good use of this chance. It should be about time. Peter, Roger, you two are on point. Move out.”
Roger was thinking, ‘Why are you treating me like this?’, as he glanced at Heidegger, but after Peter tightened his grip on his weapon and whispered, “Move out”, Roger had no choice but to follow.
Using their trump card meant that Top did not trust anyone on the ground at all. After they stood down from their alert state, they closed the distance to the resort, keeping an eye open in case there were still more guardians within. They sent people to watch the exits and picked the garden for an entry point. They already knew where the target room was from the resort employee they paid off, and with their eyes on their surroundings, the CIA team slowly approached the “Guest’s” room.
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