Saturday, February 3, 2018

Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There! Volume 10 Chapter 9

Translator: Nigel
Editor:Deus Ex Machina

“Ooogg! I, I’m going to die! I’m going to die! I’m going to die!”
Itami rolled around amidst the chunks of concrete and debris that had fallen from the Gate.
“Are, are you alright, el-tee!?”
Tomita, Kuribayashi and Tuka had come down right after him, and they ran over to Itami as he rolled around on the ground, heedless to the circumstances. The agents around them stared in stunned silence at this development.
The people present all had weapons drawn, and they were getting ready to kill or be killed. They they had not yet adjusted to that mood in the air being thoroughly shattered.
“Look what you did, Shino! How could Youji be alright after that!?”
Tuka worriedly ran over to Itami and put her hand on his back to help him sit up.
“P-please, please, Tuka, Stop shaking me. I’m still sore.”

Kuribayashi could not bear her guilt as she realized the magnitude of what she had done, and so she tried to duck her responsibility by saying, “Ah, let’s, let’s get this straight, it’s the el-tee’s fault for suddenly appearing in front of me.
But she was immediately rebuffed by Tuka.
“Are, are you kidding me!? What’ll you do if he can’t use it any more!?”
“What’s wrong with that, It’s not like it’ll inconvenience anyone, right!?”
“It’ll be troublesome for me!”
“Then what should I have done back then!?”
Tuka pointed at Kuribayashi’s chest and said, “You shouldn’t have kicked him, you should have just hit him with those. You’ve got such thick cushioning that it wouldn’t have ended up like this!”
“You, you want me to hug the el-tee!?”
Beside the feuding pair, Tomita broke out into a sweat as he hit Itami in the waist as hard as he could while going, “calm down, calm down.”
“What, what the hell are you all doing?”
The first person to react among everyone present was Hazama. He knew the intruders, so he was the quickest to snap back to reality,
“Ah, General!”
Tomita stood up to report, but one of Liu’s men shouted, drowning out his voice.
“Ling! Ling! What are you doing! Wake up!”
Looking back they saw that Ling ― who had been holding the hostage ― had fainted, probably because she had hit her head when she was being knocked away.
And so, Wolf and the others seized her without any resistance.
“Excellent, take her, take her!”
The Arnus townsfolk recovered Lelei too, and her safety was given over to the head chef.
Hazama was clearly relieved to see this, and he turned to address Liu and Jenkins.
“Looks like the tables have turned. The girl you wanted has come back to us.”
“Dammit! Give her to us!”
But Jenkins turned his gun on Liu.
“Things being what they are, there’s no point in resisting. You’ve failed! Give up and surrender!”
“As if! Besides, is America really going to allow Japan to monopolize the rights to the Gate!?”
“We are allies of Japan. We know where to find what we want. That being the case, all we need to do is conduct official diplomatic negotiations to have them give it to us. Our plan was always to take the Jade Wall from you by force when you took it from Japan. Now drop your weapons!”
Liu and Wu looked at each other.
They could not possibly beat both the US operatives and the JSDF at once.
Moreover, their hostage had also been taken back. The JSDF might have hesitated over shooting unarmed people, but now that Liu and the others carried weapons, they would probably open fire without hesitation. If fighting broke out, they could not defeat the Type 74 tank in the dome either.
“Director Liu!?”
“What, what a shame.”
Liu glared at Jenkins and Hazama, then put his gun down and raised his arms.
“Director, we can’t be taken alive.”
“I know, so are you ready?”
However, another voice interrupted this development.
“No! There’s no need to surrender!”
A cry came up from the Special Region’s side.
Who was that ― everyone turned back to look.
This time, it was the head chef and Diabo who had a knife to Lelei.

“I don’t care who does it! Make me Emperor! I’ll be your puppet or whatever! How about it, Japanese general!? How about using me!? I’ll do a better job than Pina! I’ll make the Empire a vassal of Japan. How about it? I don’t care who uses me! Doesn’t anyone want me!?”
Perhaps Diabo had shouted all that because he had been pressed to his wits’ end.
Panache went pale, and she reproached Diabo:
“Your Highness! That’s pathetic! Do you know what you’re saying!?”
But Diabo decided to disregard her.
“I know, I know that, Panache. But if this goes on, I’ll never be able to amount to anything! In that case, I need to become famous, even if it’s actually infamy I gain! I’d rather have people frown when they hear my name than have them say, ‘Diabo… who’s that?’”
“But in that case, the Empire―”
“Who cares about that? I am everything to me! Without me, there’s no point in this world! A world that treats me unfairly and refuses to acknowledge me can go die in a fire! Alright, isn’t there someone who’ll use me? I’ll do anything!”
“Your, your Highness!”
Panache crumpled to the ground. She knew that she could no longer persuade him.
“Diabo! I like your strength of spirit!”
However, someone answered Diabo’s plea for approval.
“Who’s that? Who wants to use me?”
Diabo searched for the person who wanted to employ him.
“Over here.”
Rory showed herself. Everyone’s eyes went to the person who parted the wall of people before her with one hand on her massive halberd.
“Your, your Holiness… Rory Mercury…”
Even Diabo was speechless. That was because he had not expected that one of the demigods, who typically distanced themselves from the Emperor and politics, would actually say they wanted to make him Emperor.
“Don’t be mistaken. All I’m giving you is an opportunity.”
“An, an opportunity, you say?”
“Yes… for some time now, I’ve been looking for someone to govern Arnus. You can be the puppet of the Arnus townsfolk, gather their opinions, and govern them. Let everyone decide what you’ll do. Once this land is prosperous, you’ll live a life as luxurious as the Emperor’s… but if you fail…”
Rory touched her halberd to Diabo’s neck.
“In any case, I’ll give you a first term of four years. If you do well, I’ll extend it by another four. If everyone puts their trust in you you, it’ll keep renewing. How about that?”
“But, surely this land should belong to Nihon. In the first place, how should I develop this land? How about resources? How about talent?”
“That girl ought to know.”
Rory pointed at Lelei, who was being held by the head chef.
“Come to think of it, she mentioned something about inviting settlers here and building more towns like Arnus…”
The head chef shouted, “That’s impossible!”
After Diabo shut the head chef up with, “You’re a pain in the ass! Shut up! You’re not the one doing it! Don’t judge things by your standards!” Diabo pondered the matter again.
He acknowledged that he would need to discuss the plan with Lelei.
“It’ll surely be tough. If you don’t like it, you’re free to refuse.”
“Indeed, but…”
Diabo whispered back to Panache.
“Your Highness, please do it. It’s better than destroying yourself here asking for something impossible. Surmount the trial her Holiness has given you and redeem your name. If it works, you’ll go into the history books.”
“But will everyone accept me?”
Diabo looked around himself, at the Arnus townsfolk.
“Well. You did trick everyone once, so nobody’s going to trust you. It’ll be very hard to regain their trust again in a situation like this. But then the alternative is being forgotten, and wouldn’t death be better than that? In that case, you should be able to manage it.”
“Yes, that’s it. It’s exactly as you say.”
DIabo gulped.
Rory poked Diabo’s neck with her halberd.
“You will become the puppet of the demihumans and paupers you’ve looked down upon all this while, their governor. While we can open the Gate again, and this land will become Japan’s, if everyone accepts you as their leader… I think you said something about a ‘chiji’?”
Rory turned a questioning look at Hazama, and he nodded.
“Becoming a ‘chiji’ means becoming the official who administers Arnus... ’
Diabo replied, “So this ‘chiji’ thing is something like a regional governor. And if possible, it might be a stepping stone into Nihon’s politics… then I’ll do it. Please allow me to take on this task,” Diabo nodded.
Rather than vanish here, Diabo decided that he would use this as a springboard for his future.

“Sunagawa-kun, over here, this way!”
Trailed by her cameraman, she infiltrated the Ginza Garrison that was the NGO’s base and began interviewing people. After speaking to the people here, she discovered that the NGO’s members, who hailed from many nations, had decided to take the Ginza Garrison but had not decided what to do after that.
“Who could we talk to in order to learn about the situation?”
“I don’t know. Surely the organizers would know, though?”
She got the same answer from everyone she asked.
Quite a few of them were suspicious about the unplanned takeover of the Ginza Garrison. Given what she had seen, once they got tired of the fuss, everyone would just up and leave. And in fact, while they might have resisted the police fiercely, quite a number of protestors had slunk out of the public view and taken their leave.
“I’d like to interview the organizers. Where are they?”
There was a black man hoisting a placard demanding recompense for the foreigners killed in the Ginza incident. Nanami called out to him, and after speaking to him, he told her, “They went into the dome to negotiate with the Japanese soldiers from the Special Region. But it’s best you didn’t go near. The Japanese soldiers from the Special Region aren’t like the ones over here, they’ll open fire on you…”
Perhaps everyone had stayed away because they believed the JSDF personnel would shoot with little provocation. However, Nanami felt that this was where the heart of the protestors lay, and knowing she would be placing herself in danger, she approached the dome.  

“Alright, we’re done here.”
After seeing this sequence of events, Hazama breathed a sigh of relief before turning to Liu.
“Now that things have ended up like this, what do you intend to do?”
“How, how, how could this be!? Diabo, you’ve been tricked. Hand the girl over. If you do, I’ll make you a real Emperor.”
After Panache translated, Diabo replied:
“I won’t believe you anymore. In order to become an Emperor, I’ll need a great deal of military might, and you haven’t brought that with you. And you even tried to destroy the Gate. I will obey Her Holiness and become the puppet of Arnus’ townsfolk. I will become the regional governor of this territory. That’s a more realistic goal.”
Now that Liu was out of options, he turned back to Major Wu.
“In this case… Major, you understand, don’t you?”
“Yes. We can’t be arrested.”
After doing all this, their country’s foreign relations would be in trouble if they were taken alive. In order to prevent such an occurrence, the operatives here would have to flee or die. Of course, suicide was a last resort. Fortunately, they were not surrounded. It would not be impossible to escape the dome.
After thinking about this, Major Wu signalled a general retreat to his men.
They pulled out offensive grenades and smoke bombs and threw them to the ground.

The battle in the dome was on the airwaves, just in time for the people on their long commutes and the people preparing for work and having breakfast to see it. Even the ones who were half-asleep woke all the way up the moment they saw the news.
“What, what’s this?”
Billowing white smoke filled the air and there was the sound of explosions and bullets flying.
This scene, which might have come from an action movie, froze the tea-drinking salarymen mid-sip.
“An intense battle is taking place between an armed group and the JSDF!”
Sunagawa’s camera captured Liu and his men firing wildly through the smokescreen.
Nanami asked Sunagawa to film their weapons.
“What’s happening in Ginza!? This was supposed to be a peaceful protest, but why are they all carrying weapons and shooting each other!?”
Nanami shouted so loudly that it overloaded the camera’s speaker.

Below the bullets flying around the Gate, Tuka, Tomita and Kuribayashi moved Itami to safety.
“El-tee, stand up quick!”
“I, I can’t. It really hurts!”
However, Itami knew he had to get somewhere safe, and as the smoke from the smoke bombs and the exhaust of the Type 74 tank filled the surroundings, he forced himself to his feet.
The ricochets bouncing off the tank’s armor and the bullet fragments grazed Itami and Tuka.
“Get down! Get down!”
The bullets after that struck the nearly-destroyed Gate, gouging out chunks. Thanks to that impact, a big rock began falling from it.
As mentioned earlier, structures made by stacking stones could only stand because each part was in the right place. Even if only one component was missing, it might result in a catastrophic collapse. Moreover, the Gate was already half-wrecked because of the trucks ramming it. The fact that it was not yet destroyed was truly a mystery. They keystone, made of several small rocks, was what barely kept it standing. They promptly fell.
In other words, that was the last straw.

The battle for Formal Manor had turned into a chaotic melee.
The Haryo warriors Bouro had sent were singlemindedly rushing into the depths of the manor house, headed for the Emperor’s bedroom.
In order to stop them, House Formal’s private troops and battle maids stepped up to hunt down the interlopers. However, the Haryo warriors fought without any concern for their lives, and so bloody battles broke out all over the place.
The corridor was stacked with the bodies of soldiers, and a Haryo warrior pressed on his knee  to get to his feet.
“Korme, Nerya… is anyone still alive!?”
Nobody answered his call.
He looked around and saw that his friends lay dead among the bodies of the demihuman battlemaids. They must have fought to their very last breath.
“Dammit… Bouro, you bastard!”
Uxi spat the name out, as though merely vocalizing it had stained his mouth. Then, he leaned against a wall and limped ahead.
“That bastard left this shitty job to us, he must be trying to use us to make a name for himself!”
Their aim was to infiltrate the Empire, spread through it, and devour it.
That was not a bad plan. However, the only one who would enjoy its fruits was Bouro, while he and his buddies ended up doing dirty work like this.
Was he cursing Bouro, or himself, for obeying orders and taking part in this mission where he would have to bet his life? Uxi was not sure either. All in all, everything upset him.
He walked down along the corridor, and his eyes met a cat-eared maid coming the other way, holding her arm.
“Dammit.. Another enemy, huh?”
As he saw that her skirt was so short that it no longer qualified as part of a maid’s uniform, Uxi wished that he had met her elsewhere. She has great legs, he immediately thought.
“Nya? They’ve gotten all the way in here?”
The enemy had penetrated far deeper than she had expected, and in order to eliminate him, Persia reached for her inner thighs. However, there were no more daggers there.
“Oh no, I’m out of knives ~nya.”
“What, empty-handed? Then get out of my way. I’ll let you go, so just back off.”
“I can’t ~nya. This manor is my manor ~nya.”
“You say it’s yours? You’re just a demihuman maid for a noble house and you say this place is yours?”
“Yes ~nya. This is our home ~nya. What’s wrong with saying it’s ours ~nya?”
Saying so, Persia reached behind her waist and pulled out a tanto with a reverse grip.
“Kurata-san gave me this knife ~nya.”
Katanas were permitted to be made as works of art. However, certain bladesmiths made their knives as weapons more than as artistic pieces.
The words carved on it read “Man-Carving Butcher Knife. It was as heavy as a bill, and just as tough.
The hilt was wrapped with paracord, and its tempered blade shone with the light of sharpness.
Kurata had spent the money he had saved from two years of living in barracks to buy this for Persia.
He actually bought a knife for a woman? That thought had occurred to her as well. However, to Persia the battle maid, weapons were something that her life depended on. Persia would surely be happy to receive a nice present, and once she was moved, she would not be able to reject him and she would finally accept his love ― that was what he believed.
“It cuts really well ~nya.”
As he saw the light gleaming off the honed edge, Uxi trembled for a moment.
“You serve a noble, yet you claim this place is yours. Is that why all the maids here were so hard to deal with? But I can’t lose here!”
Their battle cries tore through the air between them, and that signalled the start of the battle.

“Haaah, haah, hah…”
Shandy had been given the task of serving as the last line of defense for the Emperor’s chambers, and she fought battle after battle against the Haryo warriors.
Holding her saber in one hand, she nimbly moved her body and took aim at her foes’ limbs. She did not make grand flourishes, but rather, she sliced at her enemies’ vitals with the minimum possible movement. However, even after stabbing them in their vitals, her enemies tried to grab her with both hands or bite her with their fangs, all to try and break through the final barrier in their way.
They firmly believed that so long as they did a bit of harm to Shandy or give her some pain, their friends behind them would eventually be able to break through Shandy the obstacle. Their belief slowly became reality.
Suisses took her enemy’s charge, prepared to die with him, and fell after exchanging stabs with her foe.
That left Shandy, who was covered in wounds dripping with fresh blood.
A bit of luck saved Shandy, and after feinting, she thrust deeply into her enemy’s chest.
She almost could not pull back her sword due to her enemy’s weight. Even ripping it out, flesh and all, was also very difficult. After exerting all her strength, she pulled her sword free and collapsed on her butt.
“Hah, hah, hah!”
The edge of her saber was chipped, and the clotted blood dulled its edge. She was covered in wounds, but she did not feel pain so much as heat. The fingers of her left hand could no longer move freely. Perhaps her arm had been wounded. Perhaps her enemies’ blades were poisoned.
Her hands were trembling, her legs were trembling, and her voice was trembling.
“Hah, hah, hah… I guess nobody’ll want to marry me now… huh.”
She was covered in wounds. She might have to find a weird man ― one who would not mind her baring her flesh in bed.
“Ah, yes.”
If her enemies’ blades were poisoned, then she could not just sit idle. She sucked out as much blood and poison as she could fill her mouth with and then bound her wounds with a handkerchief.
If it was a fast-acting toxin, then it would probably be pointless, but it was better than doing nothing. That thought went through her mind as she carried out the procedure.
She checked again. There were roughly ten bodies around her. That meant there would be nobody else coming ― if only she could believe that. However, Shandy sensed two more people approaching.
“Come on, give me a break. I don’t want to die.”
Shandy fought back the urge to cry, and hoisted herself back onto her feet by pressing on her knee.
After that, she levelled her saber at them and shouted, “Who goes there!? This is his Majesty’s bedchamber; are you still going to be so rude!?”
I told them the Emperor was here while questioning them ― that thought flashed through her head. However, that was the way a palace guardian did things.
Shandy stretched out her hunched back so she could stand straight up and then faced forward.
Then, she suppressed a bout of panting, affected a calm smile, and asked again;
“Who goes there!?”
And then, a man and a woman emerged from the darkness. The man looked like an older human male, but he seemed to have the blood of other species mixed into him. The problem was the woman. Shandy remembered that woman.
“Don’t tell me, it’s you?”
The person in front of Shandy was Nora, and it would seem Nora remembered Shandy as well, because her attitude seemed to say, “is that you?” as well.
“I don’t think I’ll make it.”
Knowing she had no chance to win, Shandy bit her lip.
Furuta grabbed Tyuule’s hand and they left the camp.
Borhaus had let them go.
“In other words, you’re not a supply trooper, but Zorzal-sama’s chef, and you came to this camp in order to take this woman away?”
“Er, yes, that’s it.”
“How did you do it? The journey here was top secret.”
“I snuck into Zorzal-sama’s luggage.”
No matter what route they took, Zorzal’s belongings would eventually end up by Zorzal’s side.
Borhaus could swallow the story that Zorzal’s personal chef could easily sneak into his cargo train.
And then, he studied Tyuule, who was embarrassedly hiding behind Furuta.
“I see… indeed, it seems that woman has special feelings for you.”
However, Furuta had a look of surprise on his face as he asked, “Really?’ His expression suggested he did not know how Tyuule felt for him.
“If not, then why would that bold woman suddenly become a meek little maiden? That’s because you showed up. Why else would she do that unless she was in love with you? Don’t tell me you’re the sort of man who can’t tell a woman’s feelings unless she tells you straight up? What kind of a man does that make you, huh?”
“Er, ah, sorry. I really didn’t notice.”
He’s a total blockhead ― Borhaus threw a sympathetic look in Tyuule’s direction.
“I understand. No matter the reason, you came to save this woman. The two of you should slowly figure out how you feel about each other afterwards.”
“Mm, I’ll talk with her about it.”
“Right, understood. Then take her and run! Don’t get caught by anyone! Even if you do get caught, don’t mention my name!”
“But… won’t this cause trouble later on?”
“The supply troops were never figured into our fighting strength, so we’ll figure something out. And as for this woman, that Bouro chap is the one they’ll question, not me.”
And so, Furuta left Zorzal’s camp with Tyuule. They headed for the helicopter landing site.
Furuta lent his kantoi to Tyuule, and took out a map and a compass from the bag on his shoulder. He studied the terrain around him and found the direction where he should go.
“That hill is 323 and that swamp is 53…”
“Haaa, haa… Furuta-san, where are you going?”
“I’m going to Arnus. They’ve sent out an evacuation preparation order, so someone will come get us. You’ll be fine once we get there. Come on.”
“Really? You’re taking me with you?”
Tyuule looked at Furuta in a vaguely suspicious way.
She had not expected anyone to rescue her, to take her away… it was impossible, it could not be ― she had denied it all this time. She could not believe something like this could happen.
“Didn’t you tell me that I needed to show that I’d snatch you away? I’m taking you with me. Please help me with my shop.”
“Your shop? I, I can’t, not someone like me… you saw it, didn’t you!? Me, and those men…”
Furuta simply said “that’s enough” to drown out Tyuule’s words.
“In any case, please, just come with me! Nothing good will happen if you stay there! Alright, now stand up, we’ll be there once we get through this patch of forest.”
“I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it.”
“Trust me.”
Furuta put away his compass, then took Tyuule’s hand and ran once more.
Finally, they heard the sound of an engine in the distance.
They entered the forest, moved past the trees, then reached a large clearing, where a UH-1J helicopter was landed. It had already started its engine up while waiting for Furuta.
“Oh, you’re finally here.”
He looked over and saw Yanagida and his men were waiting for him.
“Oi, over here, hurry!”
The troopers raised their weapons and kept watch around themselves, and when they saw him, they breathed sighs of relief and waved him over to them.
“Great, you made it.”
“What are you saying, we waited so long for you, now we’re late!”
“We rushed all the way here too. Took us a lot of effort.”
Yanagida and the troopers boarded the helicopter. Furuta was going to board too.
And then, they found that there was a guest inside already. She was a girl who looked like she was in middle school, holding a big bag.
“Yanagida-san, who’s this?”
“This girl is the Imperial ambassador to Japan. I’ll tell you the details later. Come, get on.”
“Er, alright.”
Furuta looked back and reached a hand out to Tyuule.
“Come, Tyuule-san, hurry.”
However, Delilah ― who was waiting inside the helicopter ― suddenly leapt at Tyuule as Furuta held his hand out to her.
“You traitor! Meeting me here is your end!”
A spray of blood followed Delilah’s shout.
“Wait, what are you doing, Delilah!?”
Furuta made to stop Delilah as he shouted in her direction.
“Mister Furuta, this is to make up for a sin, so please bear with it. She can’t be allowed to live! Because of her, our nation of Warrior Bunnies―!”
Although Furuta and Yanagida tried to stop her from either side, they ended up being dragged along by her.
Her target, Tyuule, backed off quickly, a knife sticking out of her left shoulder.
“Stop now, Delilah!”
“Master Yanagida, please forgive me, but I can’t let her live! Because of that traitor, we―”
“Now’s not the time for this!”
Furuta left Delilah to Yanagida, and ran over to Tyuule.
“Are you alright?”
“There’s no need to sympathize with her! Everyone had to suffer because of that woman! We were killed, we were enslaved, we were disgraced, we were bought and sold, we suffered…”
“Listen to me! It’s a mistake! It was all a conspiracy!”
“What do you mean a mistake!? Everyone suffered! Who’s going to believe you now!? It’s your fault! You’re the cause of all this! While we were going through hell, you became the toy of the enemy, turning your coat when it suited you, and now you’re planning to drag down Master Furuta!?”
Delilah, still restrained by Yanagida, shouted loudly and her body trembled.
“Master Yanagida! Just think of this as avenging a wrong or making up for past sins, but please let me kill her!”
However, Yanagida pinched Delilah’s ear to turn her towards him, then coldly said:
“Shut up. If you don’t listen to me, I’ll abandon you here.”
“Ah, noo! Please don’t!”
“Then listen to me.”
Yanagida ordered Delilah to get back on the chopper obediently.
“Get back on.”
“Please, please don’t leave me!”
“That’s why I told you to get back on.”
“I know, I’ll be a good girl. Please.”
Furuta saw that she had calmed down, so he invited Tyuule to board the chopper with him.
“That must hurt, huh. I’ll give you a morphine shot, so please don’t move the knife in your shoulder. If you pull it out now, it might cause bleeding. I’ll get a doctor to look at it in Arnus, so please hang in there.”
Saying so, Furuta took an injector from the first aid pouch and jabbed it into Tyuule’s arms before bringing her aboard.
However, Tyuule looked at Furuta’s face and her expression turned complicated.
“No… I won’t go. I don’t want to go.”
“Lieutenant Yanagida. We ought to go, it’s time.”
Upon hearing the pilot’s urging, Furuta shouted, “Wait a bit, I’ll be right over.”
However, Tyuule had suddenly backed off to avoid the hand Furuta was reaching to her, and smiled in a hateful way.
“You idiot. Why did you think I’d go with someone like you? Don’t tell me you were mistaken because I was a little nice to you? Sorry about that. I’m not interested in you at all.”
Perhaps a weaker man might have been defeated by such a cold statement. But Furuta grit his teeth, like he had been slugged heavily, and then retorted:
“I know that. You’re Tyuule-san, queen of the Warrior Bunnies, and the favored slave of the Empire’s Crown Prince. How could you be the boss of a food stall? Still, you can say I don’t know my own limits, but I want to take you with me. I’ve already made up my mind.”
Tyuule froze, like someone had struck her.
“You idiot. You stupid man. You’re such a stupid man! Why do I have to go with you? Have some common sense. Go back to your country. Find a nice girl and open a little shop of your own.”
Tyuule glanced at the man who was in charge. Yanagida understood what it meant and signalled to his men to grab Furuta.
Even as they pinned him from behind, Furuta shouted, “Wait! Let go of me!”
“Take off!”
“Yup, moving out.”
Under Yanagida’s direction, the helicopter rose into the sky. It gradually drew away from the earth.
Tyuule continued looking at Furuta, who had his hand held out to her all this while.
“You can’t! You can’t leave Tyuule!”
Furuta’s voice delighted Tyuule for the first time in her life. She was certain that Furuta could make his dream come true.If she had made up her mind to go with him, she could have become part of his dream and become happy too. No, she would definitely have been happy. It was not optimism or hope, but a fact.
Even she ― whose heart was filled with despair and destruction ― could have chosen to be happy. Just that point filled Tyuule with the sheerest joy. One could say that was the best possible reversal of fortunes with which she could end her life.
Tyuule imagined the future Furuta had in mind ― the future they would share.
The two of them would eat together in their empty store, easing the fatigue of their hearts and bodies from the day’s work. As Furuta agonized over what color of wallpaper to use, she would suggest, “a light color might be good”. That was neither a dream or an illusion, but a future that she could have chosen.
“Ahhh, it feels great!”
And so, without needing to hope, Tyuule’s joy would be realized.
In that case, all she had to do now was finish up what was left. She had to put an end to things on the other side. Because that too was part of her fate, what she had determined for herself. If she did not do that, if all she did was enjoy her happiness, it would leave regrets in her heart.
“Ow, guh!”
Tyuule pulled out the blade stuck in her shoulder, gripping it with all the hatred of her tribe, and as she imagined the happiness she and Furuta would enjoy together, she ran to Zorzal’s side with all her might.

“I can’t see Beefeater-san anywhere!”
“Don’t tell me!?”
As she heard the report, Pina suddenly stood up. The staff girls wailed and some cried. Beefeater was a straightforward person, and the lady knights admired her, and the old soldiers felt her tomboyish attitude were adorable.
But the White Rose banner was no longer visible amidst the fighting. Worse, there was a surge of enemy forces in its place.
“She won’t die so easily, go check it out!”
She clutched her red hair as she gave her order, and then Pina called for Hamilton.
“Aren’t they here yet!?”
“Not yet.”
They were waiting for reinforcements.
It was true that, Zorzal attacking Italica by surprise was one of the first scenarios they had envisioned.
No, one could say they had set themselves up to be ambushed easily. Therefore, Zorzal had not quit the field and fled, but had engaged them in a pitched battle.
But Kengun, the JSDF and the regular government’s forces had not yet returned here.
They had waited and waited, but help had not arrived. Moments, seconds and minutes had passed. As they did, her men’s lives faded away.
Pina bit her thumbnail. She bit so deeply that it bled, but her anger inured her to pain.
Gray Co Aldo looked sympathetically at Pina, but he was in charge of the infantry, so he gave orders to his men.
“The enemy’s coming! Don’t move before the NCOs give the order!”
A mixed Centaur and cavalry unit had emerged from the chaos of melee and they were thundering toward Pina’s command unit.
They collided with the infantry. On Gray’s command, the infantrymen thrust their pikes out at once, meeting the mounted charge head-on. The Centaurs ducked their heads in order to get past the forest of points. However, they were run through by the other pikes around them and they collapsed to the ground. Even so, the weight of their charge broke through the human wall, and upon seeing an opening, the enemy took it.
The pikes receiving the charge pierced through the bodies of horses, men and Centaurs alike.
Unable to bear the weight, the pikes snapped and cracked.
The riders in the rear trampled the corpses of horses and men and continued forward. The horses impaled by the pikes cried out in pain and thrashed about, striking the nearby footsoldiers. The infantry that were kicked by their hooves or trampled underfoot expired with a last gasp of pain.
A pile of corpses soon stacked up during the course of this intense melee.
At their head was Gray, who used the wall of the dead as an obstacle as he fought. He was covered in arrow wounds and blood oozed out from all over his body.
“Now’s the time, beat them back!”
Spurred on by Gray as he swung his sword, the infantry advanced.
Buoyed by their momentum, they advanced the frontline 50 yuns forward before the enemy could finish their current attack. However, that did not alter the disadvantageous circumstances they were facing. The troops that broke out of the melee and rushed toward Pina’s headquarters only increased, and the number of friendlies who could maintain the line of battle and continue fighting had visibly decreased.
The infantry led by Gray were also flanked as they intercepted the enemy on either side, and they immediately lost the 50 yuns they had fought to gain. They wanted to fall back to consolidate their forces, but there was nowhere for them to retreat. This was because Pina was behind them.
Gray was fighting very close to Pina, and the blood from the enemies he smote splashed on Pina’s face.
“Your Highness, with all due respect, it is time you retreated back inside Italica.”
“No. I will not leave this place.”
“But if this goes on―”
“Deal with it.”
Even if you tell me to deal with it… They had no reserves or traps laid beforehand. All Gray could do was encourage the men to fight hard.
No, they had already fought hard. During this long battle, every man had held the line, but now their stamina and strength were depleted. They could no longer fight hard, even if they wanted However...
A troop of cavalry cried out like the wind as they returned from behind to smite the foes in front of Gray in the back.
While there were only half their number from when they had first set out, the tattered banner depicting a white rose still fluttered at their head
“It’s the White Roses’ banner! It’s Beefeater-sama!”
“I knew she was still alive!”
“Was the report from earlier in error!?”
The staff girls exclaimed in delight.
Just as the men shouted her name, Bozes’ Yellow Rose knights returned as well.
They had returned to rescue Pina’s command, which was being threatened. However, that meant that they had abandoned the soldiers fighting at the frontline. They were the force supporting the line of battle, and after they pulled back, the line they had struggled so hard to maintain swiftly collapsed.

Helm clapped and shouted:
“Good, we’ve won!”
The battle-line of the legitimate government’s forces, led by Pina, finally collapsed under the repeated charges like a dam bursting.
“Your Highness! Zorzal-denka, now’s the time!”
“Hm, mm.”
At this moment, Zorzal also believed that victory was at hand. He even leaned forward past his horse. It was clearly evident how much he thirsted for victory.
Perhaps he sensed others looking at him, but Zorzal straightened up, coughed, and adjusted his bearing, then raised a hand and chopped it forward.
“All forces, charge!”
Helm thought, Zorzal was quite calm as he gave that order.
However, this uncharacteristic calmness was instead a sign of how excited Zorzal was. Yes, right now, Zorzal was so happy that he had forgotten himself.
That said, all this was irrelevant to his men. They would follow anyone’s orders so long as they knew it would take them towards victory.
Upon receiving the order, the men marched forward as the coppery disc of the sun peeked out over the land, in order to trample the legitimate government’s army underfoot. Pina’s forces, situated at the gates of Italica, had already lost their coherence and were merely thrashing in pain.
Zorzal’s horse moved forward, its hooves thundering the earth, and he spurred his speeding horse onward, feeling the glory that covered him.
Bathed in the exultant cheers of his men and his minister, filled with the joy of an Emperor, he raced out forward unto dawn with all his might.
But then there was darkness before him, as though the sun had been eclipsed.
Darkness filled the eastern sky.
The gale from the east blew with tremendous force, strong enough to fell trees, and heavy particles of sand blocked his vision.
And then, the earth trembled with a vibration that far surpassed those of the horses’ hooves, telling Zorzal that an earthquake had come.
“The earth is shaking”
The ground shuddered violently. Even the four-legged horses were so startled they tripped and fell. The men could not remain standing and they collapsed one after the other.
“Save, save us!”
The cheers of imminent victory had turned to pleas for help and cries of despair.
The earthquake’s magnitude was a 5(lower) on the JMA seismic intensity scale.
(TL Note: this is the 6th out of 10th grade
This earthquake was far more powerful than the one which had rocked the Imperial Capital, and the temblor at Italica seemed to signal the end of the world for the soldiers.

This earthquake had also affected the various combat groups heading back to Arnus.
“We’re almost at Arnus.”
“There’ll be a huge snarl-up if we approach Arnus… it won’t be so bad if we sort out traffic ahead of time.”
The commander of the first Combat Group, Colonel Kamo, spoke to Lt. Col. Tsuge.
“We won’t lose any vehicles from the convoy, will we?”
“Yes. Although each vehicle is spaced out from the others, they’ll all continue forward. However, since we were the closest to the Imperial Capital, we’ll probably be at the tail end. So the road ahead might end up being blocked and we won’t be able to advance.”
“If they give the White Rabbit order now, the consequences won’t bear watching… at the very least, we need to get our men back. We’d better prepare for the possibility of abandoning our vehicles by the roadside and having them run back. We’ll need to distribute the stores we need to bring back among the men.
“Roger. We’ll let the ones who want to stay behind deal with the abandoned vehicles, then.”
“According to the emergency response manual, White Rabbit means nobody stays, everyone returns. We can’t leave anyone behind, even if they want to remain here. That’s how it is.”
However, a sudden sandstorm from the direction they were heading toward blocked their vision. The view outside their windows was soon occluded by cloudy darkness.
“Column halt! Halt! Halt!”
Kamo ordered everyone to stop in order to prevent an accident. Right after that, the tremor hit them.
“An earthquake!?”
“Looks like it. Pretty strong one too!”
Even for the Japanese, a magnitude 5 (lower) earthquake was not everyday fare.
That said, they were not worried about anything happening to the world. The personnel waited quietly, thinking that it would soon blow over. To them, the problem was not the earth shaking, but the problems that would accompany it.
“Maintain a lookout in all directions! Watch for fissures, avalanches and landslides!”
As the officers shouted their orders, the troopers stuck their faces out of the vehicle flaps to see what was going on and received a faceful of dust for their trouble.
“Can’t see shit, captain!”
“Dammit! Hold position for now!”
The sandstorm that heralded the earthquake faded away the moment the shaking stopped.
All that remained was the sand-covered scenery. The drivers dismounted and cleared the sand off their windshields by hand to maintain visibility.
“How about it… can we advance?”
Kamo leaned out to ask his driver.
“Yes… as long as we move slowly.”
“Mm. Good. We’ll move out after verifying everyone’s safety.
But as they advanced, they found that the sky ahead was gloomy and dark.
A black funnel cloud moved toward Arnus, like a coiling dragon, and their instincts told them that something strange was about to happen.

On top of Arnus Hill, the world twisted.
At first they thought the Gate had collapsed, but then the earth groaned, followed by a sudden earthquake, and then a black sun appeared at the top of what should have been the dome. It was a swirling sphere of red and violet, and looked very ominous. The floor of the dome should have been flat, but for some reason it seemed to have sunk downwards, like a funnel. It looked just like a 2D model of a black hole, the depression growing deeper the closer one got to the center, and there was a hole in the center of it that led to parts unknown.
“What, what on earth’s going on!?”
Directly underneath the black sun, Major Wu and Jenkins stopped shooting as they experienced this abnormal phenomenon for themselves.
However, due to the sudden deformation of the floor, the two of them lost their balance and they could not even remain standing.
Their surviving men frantically scrabbled away to avoid the black hole at the bottom of the depression.
“This is bad…”
After her bonds were cut and her gag was removed, Lelei announced the occurrence of the anomaly with a blank look on her face.
“What, what happened?”
“If the Gate was destroyed, the two worlds should have separated. But something else is at work here, which is trying to join two, no, more worlds than that together.”
“Which, which means!?”
Itami approached Lelei hoping that she would be able to explain.
“In other words, many worlds opened Gates at once. Which means the other side…”
Kato-sensei explained on Lelei’s behalf. The fact that even Liu and Jenkins on the Ginza side of the Gate were in the Special Region’s dome was a clear sign of the abnormality of it all.
“What’s the reason for that?”
“And while you can see what you might call a black sun, can you also see that six-pointed star? That’s a magic circle...:”
Kato pointed to a massive six-pointed star floating in the air around the black sun like a fence.
“Who drew such a huge magic circle!?”
This was the first time the hitherto expressionless Lelei had spoken in such a frightened voice.
Hazama answered them.
“That might be… yes, that’s not a magic circle!”
“Then what is it?”
“Those are the defensive fortifications around Arnus, sensei. I’m sure of it, given its unique structure.
“But why would something made on the ground be floating in the air? How about the dome?”
Itami, who was being supported by Tuka as they stood on the warped ground, pointed to the sky and said:
“That must be a mirror image. The real thing’s on the ground. The black sun floating in the sky is a reflection of the dome and Arnus itself!”
“In any case, now that all the worlds are jumbled up, if we don’t do something now, something bad will happen.”
Itami recalled the other world he had glimpsed for a moment through a briefly-opened Gate. Some creature had laid countless eggs in the wilderness. He imagined what would happen if they all hatched, and the hatchlings were free to run around. But someone loudly denied Itami’s warning. It was Jenkins.
“What’s so bad about this? What’s so bad about many worlds being joined together? Doesn’t this mean mankind will have more worlds? We have to take from each other in an unsightly way because our world is too small. But if we could live freely over a multitude of worlds, we wouldn’t need to envy, hinder and exploit each other! This is a blessing from god! We might have suffered in our cramped little world, but now we don’t need to worry about that any longer. The ability to infinitely expand our borders will free us from the problems of ideological and religious conflicts! After all, you just need to go to a place where the people you hate don’t exist. We can just draw our boundaries and never emerge from them. This is a good thing! There’s no need to do anything about it!”
However, Lelei voiced a rebuttal.
“That’s not all! Every world has its own residents. Suddenly contacting them will cause disaster.”
“If there are natives there, then we’ll just have to eliminate them! We’ve got these, don’t we?”
Jenkins held up his gun to show off its strength.
Perhaps Liu agreed with him, because he nodded as well.
“Just so. If we could expand our living space without limit, we wouldn’t need to say, ‘the west of the Pacific belongs to us and the east belongs to the Americans’ and other petty divisions of land like that!”
As he shouted that, Liu approached the black abyss.
“Does this lead to another world? What kind of world is it?”
Liu seemed more curious than afraid, and so he poked his face out to take a look, gazing into the depths of the abyss. Itami had once had a terrifying experience due to his curiosity, so he shouted, “Wait, wait!” But nobody could stop him.
As Liu leaned out over the abyss, his body froze, spasmed, and then collapsed limply.
Major Wu and his men hurriedly ran over. In the moment they approached, countless tentacles seized them and dragged them into the abyss or simply impaled them. Wails and shouts and wild gunshots rang out.
Jenkins realised he had been wrong.
The worlds on the other side of the Gate were not necessarily hospitable to humanity and full of resources. The natives might not necessarily be weaker than mankind. Just like how one might alarm a snake by striking the grass, humanity might end up drawing the attention of a dreadful foe.
As they looked on, countless things crawled out of the abyss.
“They’re coming they’re coming they’re coming out! It really is them!”
The creatures which emerged were just as Itami had described. They were too large to be called insects. These insectoids were about the size of a human being.
Itami had probably stimulated them to hatch, and then Liu had brought them to this world.
In order to fill their bellies, the bug-things attacked Liu and Jenkins’ men.
“This isn’t a joke! We’re fucked!”
Rory charged in with her halberd, sweeping out their legs from under them. She evaded their razor-tipped forelegs and chopped through their chitinous carapaces with her backswings.
Purple fluid sprayed all over, and Rory frowned at the stench.
“Ew! What is this!”
Perhaps she was repulsed by the bugs’ bodily fluids, but Rory leapt backwards in retreat. However, the moment she jumped up, she was intercepted by a diving winged bug. One of its mandibles pierced into Rory’s slender body.
Tuka’s bowstring hummed as she loosed an arrow, which penetrated the winged bug’s body.
The winged bug which had mauled Rory collided with the wall of the dome.
Rory tried to stand up, gritting her teeth against the pain. But countless winged bugs gathered in the sky and then dove down at Rory.
Kuribayashi and Tomita hip-fired their PDWs to cover Rory.
“Guh… killing them one by one is nothing, but there’s too many of them!”
Itami was shocked as he saw Rory’s expression. Even a Demigod was blanching at the thought of fighting these bugs. Itami used his shotgun to blow away a winged bug trying to attack Rory from behind, but he had to hold his nose because of the bug juices which had gotten onto him. Then he grabbed Rory’s hand and helped her up.
“This is bad, General! This is super bad! We need to stop them from coming through!”
In manga and anime and movies, enemies like these were always bad news.
Whether the world was covered by a sea of corruption and became uninhabitable, or if mankind had been parasitized and used as food, or the sun and stars were eaten up… whatever the case, the world of the future would not have a place for mankind in it.
“Open fire!”
Perhaps he had been influenced by Itami’s wariness, but Hazama immediately ordered an attack.
The surrounding troopers raised their weapons and fired on the bug horde, and soon their massive corpses fell to the ground.
However, the bugs kept pouring out like a geyser. In addition, the Type 64 rifles were no good against the larger bugs, and they could not stall their advance.
“Dammit, bring up the tank!”
The Type 74 tank’s main gun spurted flame, and the shockwave blew the bug horde apart. But it was like hitting fleas with a hammer; terribly inefficient. Also, there was the fact that the tank shells were damaging the dome which kept the bugs from spilling into the Special Region, so they could not use it often.
“I’ve had it with them!”
Rory frowned, stomping on the medium-sized bugs that bullets could not stop and swung her halberd, hacking, smashing and crushing the bugs around her like she was dancing.
Tomita and Kuribayashi guarded Rory while Itami shot the flying bugs out of the air with his shotgun.
Even so, the bugs retained an overwhelming advantage. Their sheer numbers were such that they could swallow up even Rory’s destructive power and the JSDF’s firepower.
Just then, Lelei jumped up.
She wrapped the bundle of hair around her fist, incanted a quiet verse, and then enlarged the portal to Itami’s world.
After that, the depression below the dome regained its flatness and the black sun vanished, showing the ceiling. There was something which looked like a colorless puddle over the debris pile of the Gate.
The bugs which seemed to have taken over the interior of the dome for a moment lost their advantage in numbers.
Under a fusillade of gunfire, the number of bugs steadily dwindled, and the dome’s floor was stacked high with corpses.
“Youji! I’ve widened the path to Ginza. If this keeps up, the Gate to the other world will be destroyed and the bugs won’t be able to come through! Hurry up and take care of the magic circle while there’s still time!”
“The only way to turn things around is to destroy that magic circle!”
“Leave this place to us and go!”
As he heard Lelei, Rory and Tuka speak, Itami turned to Hazama with a doubtful look on his face.
“Lieutenant Itami, I authorize you to take any measures necessary!”
“Eh… but…”
Itami did not know how to destroy the magic circle either.
“Kato-sensei, how can we destroy it?”
The old man went “hmmm~”  as he delivered his postulation in response to Hazama’s question.
“An effective magic circle must be carefully and precisely made. It will lose its power if just a corner or a small portion is damaged. If the magic circle is made of fortress walls and trenches, then all you need to do is destroy the walls or fill up the trenches with sand.”
“I see… we’ll go with explosives, then.”
All eyes went to Itami once more. Now that you know what to do, hurry up ― that was the pressure everyone’s eyes seemed to be exerting.
“Still, why me?”
“There’s nobody else but you, right?”
Setting the demolition charges would take a few hours. Given the look on Lelei’s face, she could not hold open the passage to Ginza for that long.
“Wait, doesn’t this mean I won’t be able to go back to Japan?”
“Most definitely.”
Hazama nodded.
“And you’re still sending me to do it?”
“Who else is more suitable?”
“But, this year’s Comiket…”
After saying that, Lelei, Rory and Tuka’s gazes grew very oppressive as they focused on Itami. Overwhelmed by their presence, he looked at Rory, Lelei and Tuka in turn.
Their individual intentions and something formed between the three of them seized Itami and bound him.
“It, it can’t be helped.”
Itami turned to Tomita and said, “come with me,” and then he broke into a run. Kuribayashi said, “Ah, I’ll go too,” but Itami replied, “You stay here” and stopped her in her tracks.
“But why!?”
“Do you have a reason to stay here?”
Itami tilted his head, a look of bafflement on his face.
“Ah, but because… that…”
Kuribayashi muttered as she glanced at Tomita.
However, Tomita said, “Kuribayashi. Go back to Japan.”
“I’m very grateful that you feel that way, but I’ve already decided be with Bozes. Sorry!”
Saying so, Tomita pushed Kuribayashi on the back.
Kuribayashi stumbled away, her eyes leaking tears. Perhaps she had been serious about him.
But Itami and Tomita turned their backs on Kuribayashi and ran off.
“What, don’t tell me Kuribayashi was really into you?”
“It must be the suspension bridge effect. As for you, seems you’ve finally given up, el-tee.”
“Well, the three of them were looking at me that way. What could I do once they went that far?”
Having just exited the dome, they saw Yao, who was commanding the mercenaries. Itami shouted, “I’ll leave everyone to you!”
“I shall complete my task even if it costs me my life!”
“Tuka especially. I have no idea what on earth she’s thinking, setting off all those death flags.”
After that, Tomita told him the truth.
“She felt that tripping a death flag in front of someone else who had a death flag would transfer misfortune to the person who last tripped the flag.”
“At first, she wanted you to trip the death flag. Don’t get me wrong, she didn’t mean anything by it. She just felt that you wouldn’t go to the battlefield if you were in hospital. However, things didn’t work out as she planned. Therefore, Tuka planned to take that misfortune onto herself.”
“That idiot…”
Itami clicked his tongue, a dumbfounded look on his face. He looked back to Tuka and the others and shouted:
“Oi, Tuka! After all this is over… we’ll have a date with tea and cakes!”
Itami’s sudden move made Tomita and Yao’s eyes go wide.
“This way, the death flag will go to me, right? Do I need to talk about how relaxed I feel?”
“I don’t know. Not sure how this trope works, and I can’t really comment… Still, is this really okay, el-tee?”
“Well, we’re just planting explosives. We’re not fighting anything, so it’ll be safer than over there. Same with the explosives, as long as you’re careful, you won’t die!”
After saying that, Itami added, “Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.”

Hazama looked back at his men and announced:
“Alright! This is a general retreat! Issue the White Rabbit order!”
“It’s White Rabbit! White Rabbit!”
The men echoed Hazama’s order down the line, and it spread rapidly. The troops standing by outside the dome lined up and passed through the Gate Lelei had made.
Behind them, Rory waved to Yao, indicating that she ought to have the townsfolk and the mercenaries organize a defense.
“While Youji takes care of the magic circle, you must stop those bugs from escaping!”
“What’s this?”
“It’s the document that Minister Kanou asked me to give you.”
Hazama thanked him, opened the brown envelope, and quickly paged through its contents. It contained information about Japan’s current situation and Prime Minister Morita’s words. And then, there were the orders from the Defense Minister.
As he saw Hazama’s face, the staff officers gathered around in curiosity over the document’s contents.
“What’s the matter?”
“It’s an order from the Minister of Defense. Good, this means communications with the government have been re-established. We have also verified the safety of Lelei-san. I’m altering part of the retreat order! Everyone who wishes to stay can stay!”
“Still, is such a document really binding?”
Hazama did not let his staff officers say anything else.
“No. But since communications with Ichigaya have been severed, this is the only directive from the government. All we can do is obey.”
“In that case, can’t we sneak through the Gate and ask for clarification over the wireless?”
“The Gate is now one-way.”
“...Ah, alright.”
“All we can do is carry out this order. You understand, right?”
The staff officers smiled as they drank in Hazama’s meaningful words.
“General! What should we do about the bugs?”
“True, we can’t let the people staying behind be attacked by the bugs.”
“Let them form a defensive perimeter inside and outside the dome, then.”
“Alright, defensive line to keep the bugs from breaking through! Everyone who’s not staying, return to Ginza! Hurry!”

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