Friday, January 1, 2016

Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There! Volume 3 Chapter 6

Translator: Nigel
Editors: Nate, PervySageChuck, Skythewood


And so, the Japanese diplomats and the Imperial Senate could finally begin the preparations for the peace talks. Piña breathed a huge sigh of relief, having crossed a difficult hurdle. After all, she was only a mediator, and what happened next would be up to the Japanese and the Senators.


Piña’s job was to guarantee freedom of movement to the Japanese or to facilitate that movement. It was not very important, which meant that it was a job with little responsibility. Now she could start clearing up the leftover work that the official she sent to House Formal had been bugging her about, as well as managing the knight order. She could also spend time reading her beloved “art”.


Of course, as a member of the Imperial family, she was concerned about the progress of the negotiations. However, the real problem was the veteran Senators. She knew the facts and that she had no role in what was to come, but it should be fine to hope for something.


In addition, Bozes’ mistake was wiped away by the guarantee of mercy from Itami, along with her guilt, her unease and the mixed feelings of fear and regret in her heart. Because of that, she felt like the storm had passed and the sun had finally come out for her.


Piña wiped her tear-stained cheeks with the back of a hand, and smiled, brighter and more happily than before. Not long ago, she had been in the depths of despair, but now her spirits were rapidly rising, like a Patriot missile. Itami was not good at dealing with women, and seeing Piña’s unguarded, genuine smile made him nervous.


What made it worse was the feeling of her twin peaks pressed tightly against him, as well as her softness, her warmth, her floral fragrance, all of which titillated his senses. As his affection gauge rose, not just by 1 point, but all the way up to 8 (10 points would be the maximum), Itami blushed bright red, like a shy schoolboy.


“Ah, that, this, your Highness. We shouldn’t go on with this, a lot of people are watching.”


After the matter, once people started saying, “So you like it like that,” or “Having fun, were we?” even if he tried to protest, it would just look like he was making excuses. That was to say, in order not to be teased, he had to get back to work.


And of course, Piña as she was now said, “And what about that?” She was so high on joy that she scarcely knew what she was saying. Even if she knew, she probably would not care. After all, her delight sprang from the bottom of her heart.


Forget it, this is just part of the job, Itami thought. But once he thought about how he would be scolded when he went back, he fell into a funk. Those were his true feelings. Just then, his earpiece rang.


“Avenger, this is Archer. Please respond.”


His wildly beating heart immediately returned to normal and his blood and brain that felt like liquid fire promptly cooled down. He pressed his comm button and replied.


“This is Avenger. What’s wrong?”


“Sorry to interrupt your fun. A bunch of riders who don’t seem like guests have just passed the SSL (surveillance security line) and they’re headed your way.”


“One moment.”
After Itami finished, he turned back to Piña in his arms.


“Your Highness, I’ve received a report that a group of horsemen are closing in. Do you know anything about it?”


“Ah ~ I haven’t. Is something wrong?”


An old Oriental medical text once wrote that an excess of certain emotions would have negative effects on a body. For anger, the blood would rise to the head and expand the blood vessels, while for fear, the blood would rush to one’s lower body, causing the muscles to relax and leading to incontinence, and a loss of strength in the diaphragm. Similarly, excessive joy would cause a profound relaxation throughout the body. Because of her joy, Piña was now excessively relaxed in a mental sense, so her reflexes were dulled and she was useless to him.


There were also some people who thought better under stress. Piña was probably this sort of person. Since he could not get any information from her, he had to imagine that they were rogues or gangsters, or that they were elements of the Empire’s military, and think of countermeasures.


If he wanted the “S” (Special Forces Group) contingent watching over them to take care of it, he would have to hurry, but it would be unwise to take action without knowing who the enemy was. If he ordered them to go to work, it meant that every single one of them would be buried in darkness. He had to consider if his actions would make trouble for Piña.


If they were thieves or bandits, then they would have to be eliminated. The problem was if they were members of the government or the military. In that case, they could not be taken out unless there was grave danger. However, if they saw the JSDF here, it would be very bad, so he would have to think of a way to hide everyone.


Because Itami’s basic principle was “escape”, he was not particularly troubled by that conclusion.


“Tomita! Kurata! Katsumoto! Get the Senators out of here on the HMV. Sugawara-san, there’s a group of unidentified horsemen heading here, so please halt the negotiations. Get the VIPs out of here. But the garden party doesn’t need to stop. Let their family members stay here.”


After clearing up the rifles and mortar, the JSDF members ran as Itami directed. Sugawara also swiftly gathered up the Senators and his harried actions spoke of the urgency of the situation.


Itami patted Piña’s face with both hands and said “Please pull yourself together. Get a grip.” before she finally returned to normal.


The Senators who heard of the situation from Sugawara were very aware that they could not let their dealings with Japan come to light. If it was discovered that the pro-war faction was preparing for peace talks, the radicals in the faction might well have them assassinated. In addition, they also heard that the Ministry of the Interior would resort to dirty means.


They would surely conclude that “Senators together = preparing for negotiations”, and after listening to scattered fragments of news and rumours, they would blend it with their own thoughts and come to a twisted conclusion. The truth would be lost forever. This would not be an isolated incident.


Therefore, everyone approved of leaving right away. Even if the people approaching were bandits, there was no need to worry. After all, they had just witnessed the terrifying power of Japanese weapons. In addition, they wanted their families to enjoy themselves, so there was no reason to protest the evacuation.


Since both sides had already agreed to negotiations, the fine details could be handled through correspondence. Therefore, the Senators made haste in leaving.


Three HMVs threw up curls of sand as they screeched to a halt. These vehicles were left behind by 1st Recon. A total of six JSDF troopers dismounted and stood before the Senators.


After being shocked by the rifles and the mortar, they were once again left in awe of these wagons which moved at high speeds without being pulled by a horse. With these, Japan could cross the distance between here and Arnus with a snap of the finger. At the same time, it clearly demonstrated the uselessness of the barrier of distance which the Emperor was counting on.


“Are we going to board these?”


“We’re going to take you to the vicinity of one of the capital’s gates. That is to say, we will drop you at the less crowded southeast gate. Do enjoy the ride.”


The southeast gate opened into the forest, and the gate itself was small. The path leading to it was dark, and probably nobody would be walking down it. The eastern and south sides were poorly lit by the sun because of the wall, and the living conditions there were like a sewer. Naturally, the only people who lived there were on the bottom of the social run, and it was also called the Beggar’s District. It was also called Akusho because of the lack of safety there. Normal people would not go near it without a good reason.


However, because of those reasons, it was the best place to move in and out of the capital without being spotted.


In truth, the JSDF also used the southeast gate. In addition, they were already familiar with the surrounding terrain and they had bought off the guards with cash and Japanese products. They had also met and greeted the criminals of the Black Streets.


With Kurata leading the way, the twenty-odd Senators boarded the HMVs.


After that, the HMVs’ engines roared as they sped out, and everyone screamed like it was the first time they were riding a roller-coaster.


***


Zorzal led a group of his men to the forest park on the outskirts of the capital, and the HMVs left around the same time. It was a close shave. If one listened carefully, one might be able to hear the sounds of the HMV engines vanishing into the forest. They might not know what it was, but they could probably tell it was headed away from them.


Now, what Zorzal saw was children and their mothers enjoying food, drink and playing all sorts of games, as well, as noblewomen flaunting their gaudy dresses at each other. All he heard was light music, and not the scheming that Count Marx had warned him about. After seeing their merriment, all hatred faded from him, and he did not want to worry about that fading noise.


“What’s this?”


Although he had not been invited, nobody stopped Zorzal from advancing. Everyone could sense that Zorzal and his cronies were directing surprised looks at them.


After examining the women here, he realised that they were all patrician ladies or heiresses. He knew some of them from the courts.


While these ladies were surprised by the people barging in on them, after noticing that he was the first son of the Emperor, they mistakenly thought, “even the Prince was invited”, and so everyone swept forward to welcome him. After all, the organizer of this party was Princess Piña, so it was hardly unusual for her to invite her older brother as well. He was simply a guest of honor.


Zorzal and his men could not be too rough with them.


In the face of people who had nothing to do with the policy and were of patrician birth to boot, they had to treat them with respect. The way they had to treat the children running underfoot went without saying. Their fierce desire to shout “What’s going on?!” drained away. After dismounting, Zorzal ordered his men to find out what was going on.


“What are you doing here?”


“This garden party was organized by Piña-dono and Sugawara-dono. It’s not an official meeting, just a gathering of various noble families and their children to have fun together. Were you not invited as well, your Highness?”


The one answering him was the elderly head maid. She was getting on in years, but she stood ramrod-straight as she answered the Prince. The fact that she had named his half-sister Piña drew his attention, but not more so than the name “Sugawara” which he had never heard before.


The maids presented wine and all sorts of food to Zorzal and his men. The trays were loaded with many kinds of food. For instance, collagen-rich meat juices were chilled into blocks (with other foods within) and served as a jelly. Then there was the Ma Nuga meat and fruits, and then on another plate there was flatbread made of wheat, as well as all manner of vegetable and meat dishes. All these things loomed like a mountain in front of them.


Zorzal and friends nervously picked up the unfamiliar food in front of it and put it into his mouth. After that, their expressions changed.


“It’s good!”


The meat jelly bounced as he chewed it and melted in his mouth, and the flavor slowly spread over his tongue. Like a great mixologist’s drink, even kissing a thousand girls would not compare to it. Indeed, the feeling in his mouth was like a lover’s tongue at work. Size, texture and flavor, all these were the crystallization of Furuta’s efforts, producing the highest order of cuisine.


In the blink of an eye, the food in front of them vanished. Zorzal’s men spread out to look for more.


“...Mmm.”


Elsewhere, Zorzal tilted his head, unable to understand the situation. Count Marx should not have lied to him. Even if he did lie to him, it would have done no good for his Ministry. Could it be that he told that lie so he would come to this party? But there should have been a better way to put it.


At least, this place looked like a festival, and not the site of some conspiracy like what Count Marx said. He must have made a mistake somewhere. Perhaps he had gotten the place wrong, and found a place like this while exploring.


At the same time, his hands were reaching toward the rare food and drinks.


“Mmm…”


Zorzal was used to the palace’s food, but he had never tried these before.


The soup was just a simple boil-up, yet its taste was surprisingly deep. It was golden amber in color and emanated a fragrant scent.


The Ma Nuga meat felt different when he ate it. It practically melted in his mouth before his teeth touched it. This must have been the product of an incredible control of heat in cooking. And then there was the skilful use of salt and other flavors (spices). It was the best Ma Nuga meat he had ever eaten.


Zorzal took mouth after mouth of the meat, savoring the fat juices pouring out into his mouth. Then he went for the next piece. Soon enough, all three trays were empty.


“Ani-sama!” Piña shouted. Zorzal tossed the bone he had finished aside, and looked to her.


As he saw Piña jogging over, he noticed that she did not have her knight game people with her and went “oh?” Then he thought that if she was the organizer of this event, then Count Marx must have gotten something wrong somewhere.


“Ani-sama, what are you doing here all of a sudden?”


Zorzal replied, “What, can’t I be here?” as he reached for his fourth piece of Ma Nuga meat.


Piña certainly did not want him here, but under these circumstances, she could not say so directly. Instead, she replied, “Of course not, how could I leave my elder brother alone? It’s just that you hadn’t shown much interest in this sort of thing. Oh, it’ll taste better with this.”  She handed him a batch of mustard that Furuta had specially blended to go with Ma Nuga meat.


Zorzal frowned as he saw the mustard’s color, and its nose-stinging odor. When he bit into the meat, the intense flavor made his eyes water.


“Piña, who made these dishes? Where can I find him?”


He was holding his fifth piece of Ma Nuga meat, this time drizzled with the yellow mustard. He seemed quite fond of it.


Piña looked at the piece of meat before her which was practically painted yellow, and did not know how to answer him. She nervously replied, “I know that person.” Although the one in charge of the actual food preparation were the palace chefs, Furuta of the JSDF was the one who did the flavoring and directed the cooking.


“Have him prepare the royal dinner next time. His Majesty will be pleased.”


“Brother, even if you ask personally, I’m afraid I cannot guarantee that.”


In the courts, a chef did not have a lofty position. Hardly anyone would bring in a low-status chef. However, Zorzal thought nobody was looking and shrugged, and then tried to think of a way around this problem.


“That’s nothing, as long as he doesn’t enter the palace, it should be fine, right? We’ll just say we borrowed someone from a noble family. That should solve the dinner problem.”


Piña thought for a moment that this would be a good chance to let her brother meet a Japanese person. But then she immediately shot that idea down.


Yes, her brother thought he lived in a world where “everything goes according to my will”. Everything good was for his benefit in the world which existed solely to satisfy him. He would discard anything which denied this. Even the truth would become his enemy… no. It was precisely because it was the truth that it was his enemy. At the same time, he would even believe lies as long as they pleased him.


Naturally, the greatest fantasy he had was that the Empire was the strongest power in this world.


Zorzal would not understand that there was a country far more puissant than the Empire on the other side of the Gate, that had already dealt them several crushing defeats and which could not be beaten. In this case, he would turn the truth into his enemy.


Therefore, Piña gave up the idea of showing Zorzal the truth.


The problem was why her brother had come here. It could not possibly have been a coincidence. She decided to ask Zorzal, and the answer she got was “Count Marx told me to come here.”


“Did he say that, exactly?”


“No, just something like it.”


“Then, what did he say?”


Zorzal clicked his tongue at Piña’s incessant questions and replied, “He said there were people gathered here to plot and conspire. He must have messed up. Think nothing of it!”


After that, he joined his cronies in assaulting the other food stalls. They even chased away the kids gathered around the ice-cream maid.


As Piña watched him leave, she muttered “Count Marx” under her breath over and over again.


***


Zorzal and the others did not just eat their fill, but they carried a lot of food away.


There was only just enough food for the garden party, so in the face of these rapacious intruders, a food shortage immediately developed. They took the entire tub of ice cream (and very nearly the maid too). The young men and women began circulating whispers about the poor manners of the first prince.


Because of them, Piña, Sugawara, Itami, the JSDF troopers and the maids had nothing to eat. Those maids who had pinched some food were lucky, but Itami and the musicians were left without anything to fill their bellies.


Even so, they continued smiling, as they watched the patricians and their families leave, then, their faces set with a grim determination, they set about the task of cleaning up.


Piña and Sugawara stood in a corner of the forest garden, which was quiet again. As they watched Itami and the others at work, the old head maid brought out some herbal tea for them, and some of the leftovers of Furuta’s fish bone dessert (she was surprised that it could actually be eaten after suitable flavoring with salt and pepper), and then they began discussing the reason for Zorzal’s intrusion.


“We should think of this as a warning by Count Marx.”


“Could it be a recon by fire? Because he wasn’t sure what we were doing, he barged in directly to see our response?”


“It’s not impossible, but Ani-sama would not use a recon by fire or whatever. He and his men are hot-headed and a clever ruse like a recon by fire is beyond him.”


“They don’t have anyone who can make calm, rational decisions among them, so it does not follow they could perform a recon by fire. It would be best to treat their actions as a warning. However, after considering your brother’s position, he might be preparing for a direct attack.”


“Indeed, if he had seen the Senators discussing business with furtive expressions on their faces, Ani-sama would have gladly scattered the party and captured everyone. Senators gathering together to discuss things is not a crime, so even if one wanted to report them for it, nothing would happen. But Ani-sama would not think of such things. That’s just how he is.”


Because he could not suppress them using the law, Zorzal would instead openly arrest the Senators, charge them with treason and accuse them of conspiring against the Empire. Those were the high-handed means he favored.


Naturally, the Senators would object. After all, Zorzal’s actions were very objectionable. In addition, this was not a lawful arrest. And if the Senators were charged with treason, the Senate would become powerless. Even in wartime, it was only natural to maintain communications with representatives of the enemy. Otherwise, the war would go on until one side was completely destroyed.


However, regardless of the legitimacy of the approach, the hearts of the people would be more easily swayed by an emotional approach.


Although people often said, “Let’s talk it out”, when Zorzal painted the Senator's actions with the words “treason” and “defeatism”, the pro-war faction’s blood would be boiling with anger.


Once that happened, everything the Senate/pro-peace faction said would be shouted down, and the influence of the Emperor/pro-war faction would increase.


“I see, so that was what Count Marx was aiming for.”


However, this was not all.


The passionate action Zorzal incited was like getting drunk on strong wine. The next day, one would wake up and be embarrassed by their ugly actions. Even if the Senate did not recover as quickly as a man did from a night of drunkenness, they would eventually realise what they had done several days later.


After calming down from their excitement, the voices condemning the pro-peace faction, who had done nothing wrong, would become softer. At the same time, the number of voices criticizing Zorzal would increase.


Many people would frown on the disturbance caused by Zorzal’s rabble-rousing. There would be more voices calling for the removal of Zorzal from the succession and passing the throne to his brother Diabo. However, even if Zorzal was eliminated, Diabo was still part of the Senate faction, so that would not be good for Count Marx at all.


Thanks to the calming effects of the herbal tea, Piña managed to cool her head and begin connecting the dots. The points of data formed a beautiful line, which she carefully wove to prevent the whole thing from breaking down, until they finally formed a full picture for her to see.


“In any case, Count Marx has found us out. We were lucky to avoid his scheme this time, but who knows what he’ll try after this?”


“If we look at it from the perspective of disrupting the peace process, then the most effective course of action would be to assassinate the responsible people. If he goes by legal means, then he would arrest anyone with a differing opinion, any intellectuals opposed to him, as well as anyone related to the media, right? After that, he would stir up the peoples’ fighting spirit in debate in order to give the military a free hand in doing things.”


The methods Sugawara mentioned struck a chord in Piña’s heart.


“Arrest them all?” (By the way, Piña had no idea what the media was, so she ignored it.)


The words “high treason” came to mind. As she thought, “It can’t be”, she began to feel uneasy. Those words were not exactly uncommon in the Empire’s history.


“You need to remind the Senators to be watchful of those around them.”


If Count Marx was really planning to hang the crime of high treason on them, then there was no point being watchful. However, the process of arrest, sentencing and punishment would need a certain amount of evidence and witnesses, so they would need to make sure they did not incriminate themselves from normal speech.


As she thought about that, it all fell into place. She linked Zorzal to the charge of high treason.


“If Ani-sama was attacked today, it might have become the casus belli needed for a purge.”


Once the pro-war faction was roused to anger, they would damn the pro-impeachment Senators with accusations of high treason and eliminate them all in one swift movement. By the time they calmed down from their bloodlust, it would be too late.


“Your Highness, do you think Count Marx will use the charge of high treason to mount a purge?”


Piña could only shrug as she replied to Sugawara.


“I don’t think so. The jurors would all be Senators. Even the pro-Emperor faction would not find them guilty, as long as their minds were clear. False testimony cannot hold up for long under extended investigation and debate. Count Marx’s plan needs to be accomplished before the Senators regain their calm,” Piña muttered as she scratched her head.


“I’m just a mediator, why do I have to worry about all of this…”


She had just been freed of the burdens weighing her down, and now more of them had appeared. The troublesome situation, the stubborn pro-Emperor faction, the scheming Count Marx, and then the easily-used Zorzal, the list of hateful factors was full once again.


However, this concerned the country’s future.


It was precisely because Piña was a member of the Imperial family that she took her duty to the Empire so seriously. If she could do something about the situation and did not, she would be guilty by inaction.


The stress on her had just been relieved, and now the pressure was back again. However, because of that, Piña’s mind began to clear.


“In any case, today should be fine. However, if Marx really plans to use the charge of high treason to mount a purge, he will make other moves. We need to evade those and prepare for the impeachment and talks,” Piña told Sugawara.


“Right now, the most important thing is to speak with Marquis Casel. After that, we need to get the Senate to agree on the negotiations and talks, in order to tie the Count’s hands. However, this is not a job for myself as a mediator, or yourself, Sugawara-dono, as an envoy of the enemy.”


“Then, who should we look for?”


“Hm. Lord Cicero should do.”


After Piña finished, she rose, highlighting the beautiful curves of her body.


***


“Zorzal took the bait, but we did not catch a fish. What a shame.”


The Emperor, seated on his throne in the audience chamber, looked at Count Marx. He noted the man’s lowered head and sighed.


“Well, that’s fine. We will have more chances. There’s no need to be hasty.”


“However, if this goes on, the Senate will rule to begin the negotiations. Should we not do something now?”


“Don’t be mistaken, Count Marx. I have no intention to deny these talks. If they want to talk, then let them talk, as much as they like. But I will not give them so much as a hair in concessions.”


“However, with things as they are, it may be difficult to follow that course.”


“That’s nothing. All we need to do is make sure they never reach a decision. If they want to talk with the enemy so much, then let them talk forever. They need to negotiate to begin negotiations, they have to vote on when the negotiations will begin, they have to vote on the conditions they have and so on. If they have to debate over each and every little detail, they will make no progress. Sooner or later the enemy will give up on negotiations.”


“Your Majesty’s wisdom is fathomless and farsighted. Your servant is awed by your prowess.”


“Count, proceed as you see fit. However, in the end, we must secure a military victory. If you lose, I won’t forgive you.”


“Yes. Your servant shall accomplish it with all his might.”


Marx lowered his head once more.

***


Nagata-cho Prime Minister’s Residence.


“Prime Minister. The report from Sugawara in the Special Region has arrived.”


The secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered the document to the Prime Minister.


Prime Minister Morita, Motoi’s successor, adjusted his glasses as he received the document before opening and reading it.


“I see. The foundations for the peace talks have already been laid. Now we need to send Vice-Minister Shirayuro Reiko over to the Special Region. Has the Ministry of Foreign Affairs chosen the people to handle the work?”


“Yes. However, the report also indicated that forces exist which oppose the peace talks. We are somewhat worried about the safety aspect.


“Oh?”


Morita flipped through the pages. After he closed the report, he looked like he was talking about someone else.


“Well, it should be fine. There should be a way.”


“That is incorrect, sir. The report also mentions that the Empire’s military is stirring.”


“Is that not why we sent the JSDF there?”


“Indeed, that is why.”


The man from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs retreated to the back of the Prime Minister’s office with gritted teeth, thinking what do you mean, it should be fine? Morita had only been Prime Minister for several months, and already he was wondering if he should have been trusted with the position. The way he talked about things like they didn’t concern him was very frustrating. Although he hoped that Morita would be a wise and long-sighted man, he did not get that impression from him at all. For example:


“The problem should be China, Russia, and America, right?”


“And the EU, sir.”


“The matter of the Special Region should have been mentioned in the summit meeting.”


“They already asked us to disclose the details of the Special Region at the last meeting.”


“So why don’t we do that?”


“Hah? Are you serious?


If Russia, America, China or the EU knew what resources there were in the Special Region, they would be even harder to manage than they were already.


A planet’s worth of resources would be effectively unlimited. Every country in the world would kill their way to Japan, where the Gate was, in order to secure those resources.


And then, if they tried to avoid diplomatic pressure by keeping the details of the Special Region a secret, it would be a clear sign that Japan wanted to monopolize the Gate for itself. All Japan could do was keep a low profile and try to keep the surrounding nations calm. If they found out about all the treasures beyond the Gate, they would all demand free access to the Gate.


What waited there was pressure and violence.


In reality, actions took place, and then meanings were assigned to them. The final resort in reality was always violence. In the face of massive violence, no appeals to peace would be successful.


Even if they somehow survived the application of force, the enemy, would gather even more force to seize the Gate. Once that happened, reasoning and international accords would have no use. After all, there were things like Israel constantly oppressing the people of Palestine in defiance of UN decree and Korea violating the Treaty of San Francisco to illegally occupy Japan’s Takeshima islands. The only way to solve these problems was to back one’s words with force. That way, both parties could confidently make their demands and the problem could be solved.


Now, it seemed like Japan and the other nations were acting out some sort of play.


Other Nation (anyone would do): “Oh, open the Gate. Let me see. Let me in!”


Japan: “No, the Gate is here, it’s mine. I’m the one suffering over there!”


Other Nation: “Oh, shut up, I won’t forgive anyone who keeps good things to themselves!”


Japan: “Don’t be so childish. I already said I didn’t want to lay sole claim to it.”


Other Nation: “Fine, if that’s what you think, I’ll take it by force!”


Japan: “If that’s what you think, we’ll give the things in the Gate to our friends, and of course our enemies will have nothing. Where are my friends~”


(America raises a hand) “We have a treaty~ (please sir, may I have some more?)”


If the EU saw this, most of them would raise their hands as well.


In fact, just about everyone would say, “I’m your friend too, let me in, give me some”, so in the end there would be no enemies.


Japan: “Like I said, sit there and watch. We don’t know what exactly is inside.”


Then back to the top, from the beginning.


The job of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was to keep people from saying “Hey, that guy wants to take the Gate for himself, let’s all gang up and control it together!” and to keep things like that from happening.


Because of that, information about the Gate had to be kept secret. Once many nations took control of it, there was no telling how the situation would proceed. So they would keep things secret and occasionally leak a bit of information to their allies, so as to keep them docile under the expectation of more goodies.


They told the Americans that the nation called the Empire existed, as well as the state of its surrounding vassal countries, so rather than taking control through the military, they should sign a trade treaty since they had already pinpointed potential resource caches, and they had agreed.


To America, if they signed a treaty with the Empire, then their companies with branches in Japan could take economic action in the Special Region, without a need to secure their investments with a military occupation. Just handling Iraq and Afghanistan was troublesome enough for President Darryl, so he gave serious thought to the matter of the Special Region.


In truth, their Ministry of Defense had already predicted that a large-scale military invasion through the Gate — situated as it was in traffic jam-prone Ginza — would be impossible.


The Gate was not very big. At the most, it could fit one fighter aircraft or three to four large trucks side by side.


The American army used a lot of weapons, ammunition, food and fuel to mount a campaign. This would require them to completely seal off Tokyo and convert their roads into dedicated supply lines. However, the Gate’s dimensions could not be changed, so it would be like filling a 50 meter long Olympic swimming pool with a kitchen tap; it would be a waste of time and effort. And then there was the matter of the campaign’s cost.


In addition, really big transport vehicles would not be able to fit through the Gate. Perhaps it would work if they were completely disassembled for transportation to the other side. At most, they could only send tanks and helicopters through.


What this meant was that the JSDF had made the right decision by waiting around the Gate. After building up their forces, they would take the important objectives in one go. This was the best way.


The Japanese government was also agonizing over that bottleneck when it came to shipping resources home from the Special Region. After all, a financial district like Ginza simply did not have big enough roads to accommodate the flow of transport trucks needed.


If they decided to build underpasses and overhead bridges, they would need to decide how long those paths would run, and that would cause another round of problems from the resource-extracting companies.


Therefore, the secretary had not taken Morita’s “So why don’t we do that?” as a serious order. He looked at Morita like he was a lunatic.


Just thinking of Morita annoyed him.


“Of course I’m not serious. I’ve thought about it, but I’ll handle this objectively, so don’t worry.”


That was what the secretary thought after the fact, but if things went poorly, Morita might casually release information because it was troublesome.


Note


The book described Pina’s heart soaring like a PA3 guided missile, which is the latest version of the MIM-104 Patriot missile system.


25 comments:

  1. I sometimes wonder if the author of Gate is as twisted in his sense of humor as I am.

    I looked up "Ma Nuga" to see what kind of meat it was and I discovered that perhaps Takami Yanai was making a clever pun since "manuga" is apparently a word from some Polynesian language for "Shit."

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    1. Lol! So everyone ate "shit". Hahahahahahaha

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    2. Nope. It's a pun on "manga meat", you know, that impossible piece of meat shaped like a cylinder around a big bone:
      https://www.google.com/search?q=%E3%83%9E%E3%83%B3%E3%82%AC%E8%82%89&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjTt5ugjInKAhWEPhQKHRuDCrgQ_AUIBygB&biw=1920&bih=955

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    3. That is probably true...

      But I still like my version better for the laughs it gives me, and who knows, it could well be a double pun by the author for all we know. Sort of like calling it "Shitty Manga Meat" and then describing it as absolutely delicious! It does make for a good joke that way.

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    4. @pervy dont forget about pina colada in spanish

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  2. Actual number of Gate's size: GET!

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  3. Nitpick:

    Not "recon by fire" but "recon in force". It's the actual military term
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconnaissance#Reconnaissance-in-force

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    1. Implying that recon by fire is not an actual term.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconnaissance_by_fire

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    2. If you read the definition of both and what is described in the chapter it makes more sense based on Zorzal's actions that he was doing Recon in force. No violence was done so it can't be recon by fire.

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  4. typo

    "Zorzal would not understand that there was a country far more puissant than the Empire on the other side of the Gate"

    "puissant" is french for "powerful" ... but shouldn't be used in an english sentence ;)

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    1. You are right... and you are wrong.

      "Puissant" did indeed originate in the French language and originally is based on an old Latin word, but like many other countries that have "adopted" certain foreign words into their own language, "puissant" was adopted into the English language. In fact, it is in my 1975 American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary, so that shows that it has been used in the English language for at least the last forty years and according to this site:

      http://www.wordreference.com/definition/puissant

      it has been a part of the English language since sometime in the first half of the 1400s.

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    2. In addition, your statement about a foreign word not being allowed in an English sentence is a sign of either a prejudicial, bigoted attitude or a poor education. Writers from every country have long had a habit of interjecting foreign words into their writing for an emotional impact or some other reason. In this case, "puissant" would probably be recognized as being properly used ONLY by someone in today's generation with a higher quality college education. Although I, myself, first encountered this word in the science fiction novels from the 1950s written by such authors as Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov that I read in the early 1960s when I was still in elementary school.

      Reading science fiction from the first half of the twentieth century is a wonderful way to expand one's vocabulary, in my opinion.

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    3. no offenses meant, but you sound desesperate in what looks like stubborn excuses.

      the term is so archaic in english usage, that pretty much nobody uses it (or know its meaning if they aren't french/latin speaking)

      if you can give me the etymology of the word (ie: it went through a few phases) and its medieval usage in england, without googling it, I'll sincerely tip my hat off to you

      was it a voluntary choice or just a snafu ?

      well anyway, you are the proofreader
      so, I'll defer to your judgement

      thx for the chapter ;)

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    4. Dude, that's not a typo. What you said is your opinion. I'm not a native speaker and I've encountered the word several times. If you pointed out the mistakes in the usage of his/her, you would've right. I would've but I'm lazy.

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  5. pervy

    my remark may have sounded too rough

    the reason I signalled this word, is not because it's "french word in an english sentence" per se (ie: no problem with that), but because the word itself is out of place considering that this author doesn't seem to be much of a lingua franca himself

    case in point, was the previous chapter when you described a "mille-feuilles"

    some author do try to put german, french, italian (whatever ...) words into their writings
    this one, not really
    safe for english technical terms for military weapons

    anyway, if it's a voluntary choice, fine by me
    not my choice, but I'm not proofreader. you are ;)

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    1. No problem, my friend. I will freely admit that at 60 years of age, my vocabulary may be a bit archaic to today's generation, but in this case, the word "puissant" was chosen by our translator, Nigel, who is a lot younger than I am, and I saw nothing wrong with its usage here as it felt perfectly natural to me.

      I was actually pleasantly surprised to see someone from today's generation like Nigel using this word in his translation. I personally felt that it added to the impact of the sentence. But that is also a subjective opinion and obviously differs from your opinion...

      But you know what they say about opinions...

      And mine are no different from anybody else' in how much they may stink!

      And please don't stop critiquing our work. If you can change my mind with a well-founded argument based on reliable facts, DO SO!!!

      (Just be prepared to deal with an obstinate, stubborn and senile old fart like me who tends to be set in his archaic ways!!!)

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    2. Also, when dealing with a stubborn, opinionated, senile old fart like me, may I suggest having a baseball bat handy to help explain your points of debate.

      My sister uses her baseball bat frequently to "re-educate" me on the errors of my ways when I try to tell her about my "Big Brother's Sexual Rights and Privileges" over her blond, hazel-eyed, double D-cupped body. I still can't understand why she insists on staying faithful to her husband!!!

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  6. Other countries prepare for invasion -> threaten to blow up gate -> all problems solved.

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    1. That's just what Russia wants :p

      They should just research that damn thing, so they can build more gates in more convenient places.
      And if they share that knowledge the other countries will shut up, too.

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  7. "(America raises a hand) “We have a treaty~ (please sir, may I have some more?)”"

    As an American I found this hilarious.

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