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Youjo Senki, Volumen 3, Capitulo 5


Chapter V Internal Affairs


A CERTAIN DIMENSION, A CERTAIN DOMAIN OF EXISTENCE

The being there trembled with joy.

“Hoo-hoo-hoo. Wonderful!”

He was so happy he nearly praised the glory of the Lord in spite of himself. No, he did. To solemnly praise the almighty Being, he raised a pious face to the heavens and shouted hallelujah.

Of course, no one in this place would reproach him for such an act. Rather, they would join in. After all, they were creatures of that Being as intelligent as the Spaghetti Monster.

“Cherub, sir, did something happen?”

“Oh, Archangel, keep up the good work. I’m just so happy that faith has been growing by leaps and bounds lately.” Having finished his exalting prayer, he responded to the address with a smile and praised the Homo sapiens’ return to the life-and-death cycle.

What wonderful news, the cherub’s manner all but proclaimed, expressing his relief that order had finally been restored. These beings were charged with leading the creatures known as Homo sapiens, guiding their souls, and this was the first positive report they had received in quite a while.

And it was only natural that the archangel, upon hearing it, would smile and express his approval. Naturally, he celebrated that things were as they should be. It was a hymn for the Great One, nearly overflowing from his heart and very being.

O God, Creator, you are great.

“That is very good, indeed. But that’s strange hold on.”

Yet, doubt appeared on the archangel’s fine features. Restored faith and a promised return to the cycle of life and death was wonderful. If their appeals to the people had been effective, then eventually they would be able to guide their souls.

But something suddenly confused the archangel. He had the feeling that only a short time ago, he had heard something different.

They were all equal before the One-in-All, and outside the hierarchy of their obligations, rather tolerant. Thus, it was permissible for him to second-guess the words of a superior being. Which is why, perhaps it should be said…

As long as the archangel was engaged in holy work, he had an obligation to ask the cherub anything he didn’t understand.

“Hmm? Is something wrong?” And the cherub was obliged to answer.

For them, delays in holy duties were unforgivable, so any and all obstacles had to be overcome.

Naturally, the cherub politely responded with good intentions, his voice soft. To him, it was proper to work together in the fight for the glory of the Lord.

Both of them only meant well.

“I hear evil atheists have infested their world.”

That was why they had to stand up and bravely confront evil.

It was their sacred duty.

“What?! Nothing like that is happening in my jurisdiction. Do you know whose it is?”

But the archangel had raised an issue the cherub hadn’t heard of.

In his area, the people were definitely beginning to sense the presence of God.

Yes, they all clung piously to his voice, acted as was right for his creatures to act, and fervently wished for the almighty Father’s grace.

To the cherub, protecting and guiding humble believers was a delight; nothing made him happier. No, it was his raison d’être. He was created for no other purpose but this.

Which was why he smiled happily.

These beings had transcended the loathsome habit of sectionalism, but paradoxically, the news that the horrible, well-meaning evil of atheism had filled the little lambs they were meant to protect and guide pained his heart to the point of bursting.

Just hearing that atheists were running rampant cast a shadow across his beautiful face. For such a thing to happen in one’s jurisdiction was a great sorrow indeed.

Therefore.

Out of utter kindness and a sense of duty, he had to ask. If such terrible tragedy was occurring…

“I’d like to do anything I can to assist. Does anyone know whose jurisdiction it is?”

He felt he had to extend a helping hand.

“Alas, I’m ashamed to admit it is my own.”

Naturally, rather than conceal this awkward problem, it was better to solve it together. After all, that was their job as guides. No, it was their holy duty as creations of the Lord.

If they couldn’t lead the lost lambs properly, how could they claim to be guides? Ushering lost lambs down the path of righteousness with joy, to be as they were meant to be, was their raison d’être.

Anyone who neglected it could only be seen as a fallen, evil being beyond all saving.

So an offer of aid on the path of salvation was always welcome. That said, while these things sometimes happened, the unspoken expectation was that it was relatively inexperienced beings themselves, liable to stray, who would fail in their guidance.

Which was why all the beings present were shocked to hear that their supervisor wasn’t sure how to proceed with his guidance.

“The ones under your guidance, Sir Seraph? How could such a thing have come to pass?”

The seraphim served the Father most closely of all.

Yet, this one’s guidance wasn’t reaching the people? The guidance of this truly faithful seraph who was trusted just as deeply by God the Father? If a seraph wasn’t enough to save them, then it really was a puzzle.

“Yes, lamentably, the fools have not only abandoned their faith, they even, if you can believe it…blaspheme.”

Blasphemy? How could it be?

Rather than understanding the sheep, the beings could be described as basically unconcerned. Only rarely did something occur to cause a change in their attitude.

But this was even rarer than that it was that shocking. They were up against mass atheism. Not only that, but reports indicated that behavior judged blasphemous was happening on the same scale?

They were committing the sin of holy sacrilege!

But if that was true, Why? Would it spread to them all? Those were the questions on their uncomprehending minds.

“It shouldn’t be possible. I heard there is even an outrageous movement to deify their rulers.”

But the seraph spat the reply, as if saying it disgusted him, and removed all doubt from their minds.

For a moment, all were silent. A beat later, the meaning of what he had said sunk in, and astonishment followed.

“Have they really so little fear? What sort of person would you have to be to do such things?!”

“It’s revolting to even say, but apparently they lump God in with opium.”

He provided the explanation reluctantly. How could the origin of the world be equated to something so unclean? There were even some recalcitrants aiming to replace God the Father. Even the beings who fell in the past hadn’t come up with something so awful. That was why it was so unsettling; they were simply stunned.

“What…?! Is there no limit to the horror?”

That was more or less how they all felt.

There was one thought that didn’t get voiced.

How could this have happened?

“This just isn’t going very well, is it?” the cherub lamented with a sigh, in spite of himself, but it was likewise the unmistakable sentiment of all present.

His overflowing joy of a moment ago had been replaced with sadness, as if it had never been.

“But half the world is still filled with pious little lambs seeking salvation.”

They had finally managed to bring the voice of God to the believers. During the war, the humans had finally begun to seek salvation from a transcendental being.

“I can’t believe the other half have fallen to the wickedness of atheism.”

That half the world should have fallen into darkness where the Good News wouldn’t reach!

“…With all due respect, I find that hard to believe. They’ve received the Good News! How could half the world have descended into the primitive darkness of atheism or what have you? Is that really possible?”

At the same time, the archangel and other angels sighed their doubts.

They questioned whether it could really be possible. They agonized over whether it could really become a majority. It was truly unthinkable. No, they were in denial of the impossible phenomenon.

For something like that should never happen to a group who had been given the Good News.

Perhaps it could happen to a single person. There were examples in Homo sapiens history of individuals being seized by such insanity. Their policy on those isolated examples was to deemphasize them. Though they were interested in humans as a group, they were nearly indifferent to them as individuals.

But a group who had received the Good News descending into such darkness was worrisome indeed. It was virtually unheard of. If they searched the past, they could find examples of new forms of faith or reduced faith, so they had experience dealing with such problems.

But this had never happened before, and neither had they anticipated it.

“It certainly is strange. Good grief, what came over them?”

That said, they couldn’t simply weep and fail to act. They were tirelessly faithful to their duties, and as such, they scraped together all their wisdom.

“If we want to restore faith, what about sending in…you know, that one?”

“The glory of being God’s servant is too great a responsibility for just one, and a human at that.”

“I see, yes, it might be too harsh to simply say, ‘Know God’s will.’ In the past, Homo sapiens only managed it after we told them several times and they finally listened.”

“Then how about continuing to call out to them?”

“No, we can’t save them that way. Leaving faithless souls to wander would go against God’s will.”

The conclusion they reached out of their utter goodwill was to go with their “usual way” of restoring faith.

“Then wouldn’t the best way be to teach Homo sapiens of his grace through trials?”

As for the vital how, the cherub suggested a method through which he had had some success, and the others accepted.

“I see. If we give that one the glory of fighting as a servant of God, we can expect a conversion.”

After all, though they were generally indifferent to individuals, they were already keeping an eye on one of them.

Since faith had already been growing as a result, it was more than worth trying in this case as well.

“Please wait. The glory of fighting as God’s servant shouldn’t be reserved for a single individual. Enlightenment is important, but I think it’s vital to respond to the prayers of the deeply faithful as well.”

And they had good intentions. The suggestion of having that one fight for the grace of God was made with utterly good intentions.

We must convert the lamb who forgot the light of God’s protection and glory. And we must save those who pray.

“Then let’s do that. How about specifics?”

Everyone welcomed the opinion. They were saviors. The protests of an individual meant to deliver his grace were meaningless to them. No, since no one had the ears to hear them, no one would point out they should listen.

Well, if anything, perhaps it was a difference of perspective. Even humans are virtually incapable of listening to nonhuman opinions.

“Shall we ask the throne?”

“All right. I will mention it to the Lord.”

Thus, it was decided without a single objection.







AUGUST 22, UNIFIED YEAR 1925

It was two months after the fall of the mainland Republic. At the time, suffice it to say that everyone living in the Empire believed that the war was over. After all, the Empire had defeated the neighboring Entente Alliance, the Republic, and incidentally, the Principality. The boast We are the Reich, crown of the world had begun to have a ring of truth to it.

Even the news that the Commonwealth had joined in on the side of the Republic wasn’t enough to dampen the euphoria. With no major fighting or naval battles, no one expected the Commonwealth to be an obstacle to the restoration of peace. Everyone murmured as if they knew: “They joined the battle far too late.”

So when it was reported that the Commonwealth had rejected the Empire’s invitation to a peace conference, the public sentiment in the Empire was mainly confusion. They couldn’t understand what made the war so enjoyable that the Commonwealth was itching to continue it.

Of course, people in the Empire were aware that the Free Republican Army, made up of Republican troops who howled that they would resist to the end, was putting up a meager fight in some Republican colonies.

More importantly, it was also reported that the Commonwealth and its kingdoms, having decided to intervene in this war, were cooperating with the Free Republican Army.

But even knowing all that, everyone had to wonder, Why are they so interested in continuing the war? The outcome had already been decided on the battlefield. The Imperial Army had literally wiped out the Entente Alliance Army, the Principality’s army, and the Republican Army, and its power as the conqueror was known far and wide.

And while the Empire’s terms were harsh, the people believed it was fundamentally a treaty that could restore peace, so the resistance of the obstinate Republican remnants and the stubborn Commonwealth was irritating at first, then anger inducing.

Why do they want to continue the war?

Eventually they realized something. Weren’t they the ones that started the war? That was no small matter. No, it was the open truth.

Which was why in the Empire, the psychological foundation had been laid from the beginning. They believed those remnants the enemy, hoped to continue the war.

Hence their own hopes.

We’ll bring the iron hammer down on those who dare harm the Reich.

May the evil enemy be struck from this world.

So the fanatical cry of “Smite the enemy!” spread. No one questioned their belief in the righteousness of their own country and justice.

Which was why they couldn’t understand.

The Empire failed to comprehend the fear the other countries had the fundamental fear that an immensely powerful state, an unrivaled hegemon, would be established in the center of the continent.

Additionally, due to the manner in which the Empire had been founded, it had always had multiple conflict zones.

The conflicts stemmed from incompatible views: To the Empire, those places were unquestionably imperial territory, while to the surrounding countries, the land had been stolen from them.

Ultimately, that was why the Republic worked with the other powers to encircle the Empire using exterior lines strategy, and why the Empire developed its interior lines strategy to break through that encirclement. Then, finally, the Empire was overjoyed to have eliminated all the threats to its security.

But to the other parties, it looked like a grave threat to their security that couldn’t be ignored. Sadly, the Empire was so busy showing off the sharpness of its sword that it didn’t notice how much it frightened everyone.

Then nationalism and mutual distrust fanned the flames.

Of course, everyone wished for peace. Yes, earnestly. Which was why for the sake of peace and protecting everyone, they took up their guns and fought. Other countries with their own agendas added their support.

In this ironic way, the wish for peace didn’t cause the war to abate but only escalated it.







THE SAME DAY, THE UNIFIED STATES

In one room of the recruitment office, the major introduced as both the occupant of the office and the head of the department in charge of conscription spoke honestly as he somewhat awkwardly offered Mary a seat.

“Miss Mary Sue, we’re very happy to receive your application.” His voice was calm, and he looked her straight in the eye. “But the Unified States views dual citizenship as an extremely complicated issue. Especially given the citizenship laws in the Entente Alliance, volunteering for the Unified States Army could ultimately harm your status there. So I have to warn you that despite your youth, it’s very likely you’ll need to make a choice regarding your nationality.”

He continued politely, saying he didn’t mean to press her for the difficult decision but still respecting her will. The kind people of the Unified States were always so considerate like that.

Everyone said the same friendly things to the Entente Alliance refugee kids. “We’re glad you want to help, but you don’t need to worry about that right now.”

“Don’t your grandmother, your mother, and…yes, even your deceased father want you to stay safe here out of harm’s way? Isn’t everyone worried about you?”

“Yes, but that’s exactly why I want to do what I can to protect this peace. I think I can help.”

So Mary explained earnestly in her own words why she was volunteering. “I think there must be something I can do.” She appealed to the major to let her do what she could for the Unified States and for peace.

“Well, you do have a point. The Unified States Army is currently recruiting voluntary units that will be sent to our ally the Commonwealth. That’s one way, as you mentioned, to protect this peace. But there are many other helpful, necessary tasks young people can undertake inside the Unified States.”

The call had gone out regarding the Unified States Volunteer Expeditionary Forces to be deployed to the Commonwealth. It was said these troops would, as a rule, not intervene in combat actions but be “stationed” in the Commonwealth. The troops were nominally being deployed in connection with patrols to guarantee free passage and civilian rights according to the law of war.

But everyone read the move as a turning point, the Unified States’ first decisive step, which was why Mary reacted immediately.

She raced down to the nearest office to turn in her application only to be kindly told, “It’s too soon,” as usual.

“You mean as a good citizen of the Unified States?”

“Exactly. Children should be protected. Our situation isn’t so dire that we have to send them off to war. Actually, you’re only just old enough to volunteer. It won’t be too late if you take some time to make your decision, you know.

“Wouldn’t you like to try being a good citizen?” he asked. The Unified States was generous enough to interpret the law flexibly and grant dual citizenship to refugees from the Entente Alliance who had close relatives who were already residents.

In that way, by offering the refugees a quiet life and a little peace, it made a place for them. Mary understood that the reason they didn’t want to send the youth to war, as he explained to her again, was that they hoped the ones they had taken in would be safe.

But Mary could volunteer. The citizenship she had been granted and her ability as a mage qualified her. So she had already considered her position and arrived at her decision.

“I know. I thought it all over, but sure enough, I’d like to volunteer.”

The flag on display in the center of the room was not the flag of her fatherland but of the Unified States. To Mary, it wasn’t the flag of her home. It was different from the Entente Alliance flag the mother and father she loved and respected had displayed in their house.

But…it was the flag of their second home, the country that was kind enough to take them in. If my grandmother and mother, the family I must protect are here… If there is something I can do to help stop the war…

“Miss Mary Sue. If you go to battle, you might get injured. You could die. You might upset your grandmother and mother.”

“…I do feel bad about that, but I would regret not doing what I could have even more.” She had worried about that. It was the only thing she had worried about. But compelled by her inner drive to do something, she could state positively, “That may be so, but there’s something I’ve got to do.”

“…Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’ve decided to volunteer.”

In her mind, she thought of her home country and the people’s backs as they prayed at the church. Grief, sadness, and a wish for peace… She would give her whole self for those things, if it would make a difference.

For God, for their families, and for themselves, they would do what they could.

“All right. Then you need to make an oath to the flag. Do you remember how it goes?”

“Yes, I memorized it.”

“…Seems like you’re quite determined. Once you volunteer, you must do whatever your military duties require of you… Do you understand?”

The major pushed his point in what could be called his final confirmation.

Because Mary understood that he was hoping she would change her mind, she replied too quickly, leaving no room for objections.

“Of course. I’ll make the oath!” Standing, she raised a hand and swore. She pledged herself to the Unified States. “I pledge allegiance…”

It was one girl, Mary Sue’s contract with the Unified States. Power had to be wielded with justice, so she would do what she could.

“…to the Unified States and its countrymen, one nation under God, indivisible…”

She would use all of her strength for the family she had to protect, for the people. And to carry out God’s justice.

“…and to defend its Republic…”

To create a world in which she would never again have to experience the sadness of losing family to the Empire.

“…in the name of liberty and justice.”

She swore with her own sense of justice that she believed in.

“May God protect you.”

Dear God, please, oh please, protect us.

Thus, with a sincere prayer, Mary Sue enlisted and was assigned with the other volunteer mages to the Unified States–Free Entente Alliance 1st Mage Regiment.








AUGUST 24, UNIFIED YEAR 1925, IMPERIAL ARMY GENERAL STAFF OFFICE, DINING ROOM 1

The cafeteria at the General Staff Office made a rule for itself that the meals it served must be equal or inferior in quality to those of the mobilized soldiers in the field. Due to the prevalence of that touching rumor around the Empire, Dining Room 1 was deserted as usual.

The only ones to appear at the cafeteria were those required by unavoidable circumstances to eat there. The people thus in the predicament of reluctantly sipping the awful pseudo-coffee were stuck washing down their complaints about its quality with either tasteless water or said pseudo-coffee.

“I suppose it’s a reward for the victory. You and I have been promoted. Congratulations, Lieutenant General von Zettour.”

“Thanks, Lieutenant General von Rudersdorf. Now let’s get back to business.”

“Indeed. This isn’t the place for a celebration, in any case.”

And so the awful ersatz coffee put a damper on the pair’s celebration of their respective promotions to lieutenant general. When Zettour made the practical suggestion of getting back to business, Rudersdorf didn’t feel the atmosphere was right for a celebration, either. That was the General Staff Office cafeteria in a nutshell.

“All right, then.”

So Rudersdorf flatly changed gears and brought up the pending issue before them, the next stage of their operations.

Though the Republican Army on the mainland was completely under control, remnants of the forces calling themselves the Free Republican Army were holding out in the Republic’s colonies. The Commonwealth had joined the fight, and the Imperial High Seas Fleet was facing its navy, but unfortunately there was still quite a large gap between the two in terms of strength.

Even if the Empire sent its entire fleet, it would only amount to half the size of the Commonwealth’s.

Though the public and some of Supreme High Command were enthusiastic about an invasion of the Commonwealth mainland, Zettour and Rudersdorf were at wit’s end over how few options they realistically had, given their army’s fighting power.

“With circumstances such as they are, I think it makes sense to launch operations in the south with the objectives of blockading the Inner Sea and defeating the last of the Republican forces.”

For that reason, as part of their plan to handle the war situation, they first considered a southern campaign against the remnants of the Republican Army.

They would demonstrate that the Empire was capable of sending troops to the colonies. Such a reality could inspire at least the Republican Army and colonies to make peace.

To the Imperial Army General Staff, who could no longer find any point in the war, that speculation was a realistic plan of compromise to end the fighting quickly. If they could settle things without occupying every last hostile country and just negotiate, that would be easier.

“Allow me to make one point. I understand what you’re saying, but our nation has limited power projection capabilities, and our maritime forces on the Inner Sea are equally tight.”

“You’re quite right, Zettour. That’s why I’m asking you.”

As Zettour pointed out the difficulties and Rudersdorf grudgingly agreed, neither the fleet’s strength nor the Empire’s projecting power supposed even a limited-scale overseas invasion. Even the suppression of neighboring countries was a strain on the Imperial Army, since it was set up for domestic interior lines operations.

“Under these circumstances, the most we could do on the southern front would be combat on a limited scale for mainly political purposes. Will that work?”

Which was why Zettour emphasized that they wouldn’t be able to expect much from the military on the southern front, saying that no matter how effective it would be, from a purely military perspective, they couldn’t expect to have command of the Inner Sea and be able to cut off transport routes.

“That’s no problem. Our main objective is to draw the Kingdom of Ildoa to our side by supporting them down there. I get where you’re coming from, and I won’t deny an idea just because it isn’t purely military in nature.”

In response to the warning, Rudersdorf smiled and said he would readily accept politics as a limiting factor.

It would be a nerve-racking battlefield, but…even if it was as roundabout as Open Sesame on the Rhine front, Rudersdorf and Zettour were interested in any operation that would be effective. They figured anything useful was worth trying.

“Even in the worst case, having a sympathetically neutral Kingdom of Ildoa would tell the Republic and Commonwealth that we could threaten their lifelines. Especially in the colonies. That actually is something we need, but…”

“The usual logistical problems?” Rudersdorf asked with a perplexed expression. Zettour always spoke confidently, as if he were reading a formula or theory, so it was rare for him to trail off. Are our supply and communications lines really so strained?

“No, those issues I can overcome. I just can’t shake the feeling that it would be essentially a pointless deployment. Is a limited peace impossible?”

“I don’t mean to throw your words back at you, but why would a limited peace be impossible? We just do as Supreme High Command wills.”

A brief silence fell between them. And after meditating on the question, Why can’t we end the war? there was only one answer.

“Ultimately, I suppose the problem is that we haven’t completely defeated the enemy.”

It was all he could do to voice the words.

Not fully defeating the enemy was a most regrettable error. Their chance had slipped through their fingers while they were drunk on celebrating their triumph. Of course, their victory was still a victory. Encirclement, annihilation, advance, occupation. Everything proceeded according to plan, and the Imperial Army had eliminated all their enemies.

But there was one element missing from their celebration: the end of the war and the restoration of peace. Now that the Republican fleet they let escape had turned into a headache, shouting about resistance to the bitter end, peace seemed awfully far away.

Thus, both of the generals felt the need to put the last nail in the coffin.

“If we must, then all we have to do is beat them. In that sense, if you think of sending troops to the southern continent as a move for the sake of peace, it’s not a bad idea.”

Which was why Rudersdorf declared that they wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. They would simply defeat anyone who stood in their way.

“Understood. Then I’ll arrange the right troops and commanders.” Zettour’s cheeks relaxed into a smile when he nodded in response to that confident reply. Yet, something in his face said it still wasn’t sitting right with him, and he repeated his previous comment. “But I’d like you to bear one thing in mind, or rather, I want to reconfirm it with you. We’re a nation with a land army, and we’ve prioritized interior lines strategy.”

“As you say. You’ve pointed that out many times.”

The Imperial Army was designed and outfitted to move around inside the country. Sadly, the Empire was in a mad rush to give them a measure of expeditionary capability, but the army’s logistics arm had been overworked since the war started, and there were already reports of complicated obstacles.

“That’s right. Going to war in a foreign country is likely to put quite a strain on the army’s support services. Even if the sea command situation is different than in the waters near the Commonwealth mainland, an operation on the southern continent is still an overseas operation. We’ll have to be prepared for some losses.” Zettour hesitated, then continued, “But…that’s why I intend to deploy mainly light divisions. I don’t plan on sending in very large units. You’ve said you understand that, so there should be no problem.”

“As the one in charge of the operation, I don’t have a problem with light divisions. Do you?”

“No, there shouldn’t be any issues.”

They knew it would be a difficult expedition, which was why they chose light divisions. But the way Zettour said, “There shouldn’t be any issues,” Rudersdorf couldn’t help but hear some hesitation.

“…My friend, what is it you want to say?”

“We must have made a mistake, don’t you think?”

The way Major von Degurechaff had shown up at the General Staff Office, apparently wanting to say something, had lingered strangely in the back of his mind. He knew right away that she had hesitated and returned to her base, unable to say whatever it was.

Now he could only speculate, but he almost had the feeling that back then she had wanted to scream at him: You’re making a mistake! It was too late now, but he wished he had heard her out. That’s why he asked his brother-in-arms, Were we wrong?

Rudersdorf, for his part, felt much the same as Zettour. Have we made a mistake? It was a strange feeling. But now that he mentioned it, yes, it was true.

“I’m sure we did. Remember that in war, we have an opponent, so things won’t always go as we’d like. It’s not uncommon that an enemy responds in an unexpected way, right? You’re just so good at reading them that you don’t screw up often enough!”

But though Rudersdorf didn’t deny the error, he was going to cut his losses and not get overly caught up in it. In the fog of war, not every shot could hit the bull’s-eye. All they could do was their best, and if they got the second-best results, then hoping for anything more was too much.

“…If you say so. Anyhow, let’s keep the burden to the minimum.”

“Very well. Frankly, I’d like to have as many reserve units on hand at home as I can, so it’d be better if you could make do with as few as possible.”

Zettour was especially concerned with keeping the load light, and Rudersdorf nodded in agreement. It was certainly desirable to minimize the strain on logistics.

“So,” he continued. “Okay, how about you give me those guys again? Your unit, the 203rd Aerial Mage Battalion,” he added. “They’re only a fifty-man load on logistics, but they pack more punch than the usual augmented battalion, so it’d be very efficient.”

As the one in charge of the operation, he also noted that having a simple-to-deploy mobile fighting force would yield the advantage of extended range of use.

“…I need them to take out other aerial mages. Plus, if you unleash her without thinking, there’s no telling how far she’ll advance!”

But anyone would want to keep such a precious asset handy. Zettour wasn’t about to let it go so easily.

“She’ll lead the charge. I need her to mess them up down there.”

Let me have them. No. C’mon, let me have them. The exchange between the two generals nearly went on forever, but Rudersdorf’s stubbornness finally paid off.

“Fine. I’ll arrange it. Now then, I’m off to the next meeting to give formal notification of this. What about you?”

As Zettour complained about more pain-in-the-ass arrangements to make, Rudersdorf let it go in one ear and out the other and barreled right into the next topic.

“Sorry, I’m leaving this up to you. I’d like to inspect our troops, assuming we’re heading into a fight with the Commonwealth.”

“Got it. Let me know what you find out.”

“No problem.”

“Great. Then let’s both make it happen.”







AUGUST 29, UNIFIED YEAR 1925, IMPERIAL ARMY GENERAL STAFF OFFICE, JOINT MEETING BETWEEN THE SERVICE CORPS AND OPERATIONS

“It’s the appointed hour.” A young officer announced in a nervous voice that it was time to start.

“Very well. I would like to begin the meeting to consider our plan to end the fighting on the Republican mainland and in the Entente Alliance, as well as the conflict with the Commonwealth that will entail.”

It was a meeting to decide the imperial military’s basic direction.

Naturally, all the most important figures in the General Staff from the chief on down were there.

The agenda was simple.

They would iron out the conflicting opinions about what the major course of action in the war should be.

“First, regarding the end of the fighting on the northern front, please see the documents you’ve been given.”

It’s finally over. Though that wasn’t entirely accurate, it seemed the best way to describe the dispute in the north where the lines had been suppressed and a military government was in place.

Finally, the long-awaited good news from the troubles and confusion of the northern area had come, although they couldn’t deny it was a bit late. Their opponents had hung on for so long, even after their military and national strength had been overpowered.

Of course, the fact that they had help from other powers couldn’t be ignored. Even so, this had cost the Empire an awful lot of time and effort.

For that reason, the faces of the generals in attendance looked far from happy.

But they judged those thoughts to be sentimental and did not indulge them. Their job was to receive and approve the reports after the fact, but they were most interested in the current issues with the Commonwealth and the remnants of the Republic.

They were already taking the practical stance that the Entente Alliance was only a matter of military governance. All that was left to do was pull together the might the Service Corps and Operations required and choose someone to rule.

“So the military governor will be chosen after consulting with Supreme High Command and the Personnel Division in the General Staff.”

This matter was concluded quickly with no complicated debate, just a couple questions regarding the finer details.

The meat of the conference was the next item.

“Moving on, I’d like to discuss the operation on the southern continent proposed by Service Corps Deputy Chief von Zettour.”

After being called on by the leader of the meeting, Lieutenant General von Zettour stood. He had recently been promoted due to the success of his plan to lure in and annihilate the Republican Army.

His next plan was another that split opinion in the General Staff a plan to check the Commonwealth mainland using the Great Army. They would mass the Great Army in the Republic as a show of force, while continuing their struggle for supremacy.

He proposed a simultaneous operation on the southern continent using second-string units and whatever elites they could muster as a sort of offensive.

At a glance, it seemed like he was placing importance on capturing the southern continent.

But actually, as it was mainly an almost-passive reorganization of the lines, and internally in the army, they took it as a defensive plan. Naturally, making the southern continent the main battlefield and waging war outside the Empire was better for the country’s defense.

The analysis that defending the colonies, removed from the mainland as they were, would strain the Commonwealth’s supply lines also made sense. Still, on the whole, the imperial staff took the proposal as a way to buy the time to reorganize their main forces.

Zettour proposed it for the purpose of conducting effective harassment.

Some began to murmur that it was too passive. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just send the main forces over to the Commonwealth mainland? There were even whispers that it could be the deciding battle.

Naturally, the enemy had to protect both their mainland and their colonies.

As a result, the colonies would probably be short on muscle.

It went without saying, then, that the colonies would be easier to defeat.

And if they succeeded in defeating the colonies, that would shave off a chunk of the Commonwealth’s ability to continue fighting, and the foundations of the “Free Republic” or whatever they called themselves would crumble.

And that was why everyone was after a decisive battle on the Commonwealth mainland.

Still, those same men did recognize the effectiveness of an operation on the southern continent.

For one thing, it wouldn’t be so hard to get the necessary troops together.

For another, they liked that the threat of defeat in the homeland would divide up enemy troops.

Still, the majority wanted to avoid a roundabout operation and called for a direct strike on the Commonwealth mainland.

“If we do that, the war will end,” they said.

But Zettour felt the exact opposite. “We’ll force the enemy to exhaust themselves on the southern continent. During that time, the most pressing matters are putting down the partisans in the territory we’re occupying and reorganizing the troops.” He wasn’t optimistic about their ability to take over the Commonwealth mainland. Ignoring the risks, even if they managed to conduct a landing operation at the end of an all-or-nothing naval battle, he could imagine that the imperial troops would be exhausted. His greatest fear was that if that happened, some other power would interfere.

“I object! The Great Army is capable of rapid response. We should attack the Commonwealth before they fortify their defenses!”

“Kindly recall the disparity of power between our navies. We don’t have command of the sea.”

At the same time, there was the practical issue of the Commonwealth’s superior navy. The Imperial Navy simply didn’t match it in terms of quality or quantity. Efforts in recent years had seen their naval power rapidly expand, but they had to admit they were still behind.

“All the more reason to command the sky with our air and mage forces.”

Of course, any general at the meeting was aware of that. Though individually its ships outperformed those of the Commonwealth, the Empire couldn’t win with hardware alone.

The elements of training and skill were important, and neither could they discount the absoluteness of numbers.

What could compensate for those things were the Empire’s air and mage forces.

As a matter of course, they imagined the air and mage forces would be used to wear down the enemy. Achieve air supremacy and weaken the enemy with anti-ship strikes. That could be said to be a rather ordinary idea, and the imperial military was prepared for it. Having gained experience on the Rhine front, those in the rear could attempt to provide more support.

But the channel was still a big strategic obstacle for the Imperial Army.

The attack required crossing water, which was a real headache for the planners.

“Honestly, I don’t like the idea of a battle of attrition on enemy turf.”

They were picking the wrong opponent if they wanted to fight a prolonged battle to wear the enemy down.

A battle of attrition at a powerful nation’s home base was a tricky proposition. One wrong move and the Empire would be the first to exhaust itself. The fighting on the Rhine front had been along the border, so the parties had been on equal terms.

But in an air battle over the enemy mainland, the enemy’s fighting spirit would be running high. And if an enemy were shot down, they could rejoin the lines immediately; fighting on their own turf, they didn’t have to worry about being taken prisoner when they hit the ground.

But if one of the Imperial Army’s soldiers was shot down, they would be lucky to be taken prisoner. At that rate, even if they were downing each other at the same pace, the actual losses per side would be completely different.

And naturally, since the imperial military couldn’t endure the same rate of loss as its enemy, it would constantly have to limit attrition on its own side while making things harder for the Commonwealth side. It wasn’t impossible, but doing it in real life would be a challenge, indisputably.

“Time is what we should be worried about. Once the enemy strengthens their defenses, it will be too late.”

At the same time, an invasion of the enemy mainland once its defenses were fortified would be reckless.

Several staffers said a short war was the only way to resolve things and insisted on an offensive. “If we don’t attack now,” they said, “we’ll be stuck facing heavily defended enemy positions and fortifications on the scale of the Rhine front.”

“We can strengthen our defenses during that time as well. It seems to me our positions will be equal.”

Zettour’s idea was simple. He believed the army was meant to protect the Empire, not the occupied territory. Therefore, the biggest priority wasn’t to expand the occupied territory but to conserve troops. Of course, it went without saying that he wanted to do that while bleeding the enemy.

“Please understand the organizational limitations inherent in the fact that our army was arranged according to interior lines strategy with national defense in mind. We’ve sacrificed quite a lot of our expeditionary abilities in order to have qualitatively better, stronger soldiers.”

Yes, there was also the issue that doing so was really the only way to maintain such a large area.

“But ultimately, we can’t end the war without muscling into their territory and forcing them to surrender. Your concerns are valid, General von Zettour, but please understand that staying on the battlefield forever because of them will eat away at our national strength.”

In short, it didn’t matter one bit how the war was ended. In that sense, Zettour wasn’t convinced it was absolutely necessary to conquer the Commonwealth mainland.

On the contrary, he started to think it was a horrible idea that would bog them down. And the folly of going in with naval power was self-evident. He believed that their chance of victory lay not in fighting on the enemy’s turf but in drawing them to the battlefield of the Empire’s choosing.

But he was vexed because circumstances wouldn’t allow him to declare that openly. The others were proud of defeating the Republic and certain they could slay the Commonwealth in the same smooth motion.

The operation planners under Lieutenant General von Rudersdorf were more understanding, but the people and the bureaucrats had a tendency to say, “Oh, the Imperial Army can handle it,” and expect too much.

So Zettour reluctantly proposed a limited offensive. He narrowed it down to an operation that gave the best return with the most limited bloodshed.

Concealing his true feelings, he advocated for an attritional containment plan. He had no other choice.




The front on the southern continent was a desert.

Unlike on the mainland, a hard rule applied there.

Survival of the fittest.

At the time, there were three powers with influence on the southern continent: the Commonwealth, the Republic, and the Ispagna Collective. Of them, the Ispagna Collective had managed to remain neutral mainly because it didn’t have the wherewithal to intervene externally due to fierce internal political conflict.

Complicating matters was the Kingdom of Ildoa trying to squeeze itself in and “settle.” The result was an ambiguously colored map with both the group formed by the Turkman principalities and the Ildoan settlements.

The jumble of sovereignties in the region could be described in a word as chaos. Of course, one could paint the map in broad strokes. Most of the influence and puppet governments belonged to the Commonwealth and the Republic.

Even if the nations of the southern continent were officially neutral, their allegiance was clear because of how they sent voluntary armies and offered supplies.

But it wasn’t as if everyone took the Reich as their enemy. For instance, countries whose interests clashed with those of the Commonwealth and the Republic in the struggle to acquire colonies on the southern continent sided with the Empire.

A representative example would be the Kingdom of Ildoa. It wasn’t very difficult for the Empire to ask the kingdom to form an alliance, given their common interests. Irritatingly to Republican diplomats, neighboring rival countries hoping to expand their sphere of influence were glad to see the decline of the Republic.

And that was why the Kingdom of Ildoa chose to ally with the Empire.

Of course, the alliance didn’t automatically mean it was at war with the Republic and Commonwealth.

The agreement between the two countries basically provided that fighting was optional; there was no indication that joining the war was mandatory.

At the time the Imperial Southern Continent Expeditionary Army Corps was deployed, the Kingdom of Ildoa remained officially neutral.

It did, however, allow the “stationing” of troops there out of consideration as an allied country. The Empire, however, did not move on the offer very quickly.

Because the Empire had made light of the southern continent, it only sent a single army corps made up of two divisions and a support unit.

And the General Staff ended up having a heated debate about whether to commit more troops or not. The initial number of units was so few that the garrison of the Republican troops usually deployed there could have resisted them.

Everyone thought at the time that the imperial units would work on gathering more fighting power. After all, a single puny army corps didn’t pose much of a military threat. Still, they agreed there was major political significance in the Imperial Army’s presence.

The watcher analysis that Army Corps Commander von Romel was dispatched for political reasons namely, expansion of influence and respect for the Empire’s ally was widely shared as the plausible explanation.

Which was why everyone expected the lull to continue for the foreseeable future.

Even the division of the General Staff involved in giving orders to the Imperial Army was half serious about that idea. In any case, they had deployed some troops, but they weren’t sure if the front should really be a priority or not.

After all, there were no apparent gains to be made by sending troops there.

If the objective hadn’t been to wear the enemy out further in this total war, sending imperial soldiers probably wouldn’t have even been on the table.

In that sense, predicting a lull was a respectable analysis.

The betrayal of everyone’s expectations occurred because of a surprising move in the field. The root cause was Commander von Romel. Neither their enemies nor their allies thought the Southern Continent Expeditionary Corps was going to move, but the moment they arrived, they jumped into action.

The world was reminded that a capable general doesn’t waste time. The Commonwealth units who had just arrived to defend the Republican colonies probably got the worst of it.

Those fresh troops hadn’t been fully baptized on the battlefield, so they could think of no reason the two imperial divisions would be stationed on the southern continent besides a political one.

Having thus discounted them, the Commonwealth didn’t even really go on guard. And that’s how the imperial units under Commander von Romel nailed every last one of them.

The Imperial Army, waging maneuver warfare unparalleled in history against an enemy that outnumbered them by several times, simply bulldozed the Commonwealth troops in terms of caliber, partially because half of them were elites forged on the Rhine front.

Hence the Commonwealth units, who hadn’t dreamed they’d be fighting a mobile battle in the desert, were dealt an early brutal blow and sent scrambling in a disorderly retreat.

It was obvious what strategy General de Lugo would adopt in response.

He put some political moves on the Kingdom of Ildoa while simultaneously doing what he could to ensure support wouldn’t reach the Ildoans.

But Romel was quicker than de Lugo was shrewd. Future generations would rave about his clever tactics. As soon as he realized time wouldn’t necessarily work in his favor, despite having barely any units, he made a feint, hit the Turus Naval Base with a sneak attack, and captured it.

While securing a base that didn’t depend on the Kingdom of Ildoa, he dealt a serious blow to Republican and Commonwealth logistics.

The Turus Naval Base had been the Republican and Commonwealth supply base, so its fall had far-reaching effects.

In the end, contrary to initial predictions, the Imperial Army Southern Continent Expeditionary Corps asserted its presence. Most importantly, imperial citizens went wild when they saw the string of successes.

The people had been convinced the Empire had defeated the Republic on the Rhine lines after investing a vast amount of money and lives.

To then continue the war risked the people starting to hate it.

The General Staff weren’t the only ones worried about that, but contrary to their estimates, the troops dominated on the southern continent. The winning streak continuing after Dacia and the Rhine sent the people into a frenzy.

The battles unfolded as if the Empire’s army was completely unrivaled. The excited citizens became pro-war and showed their support.

…As a result, the troops were expected to achieve even more.

To the General Staff, that full picture was a big miscalculation. They welcomed it insofar as it meant receiving support for continuing the war.

At least, there were no signs that the people were under the influence of antiwar dissidents.

That, the General Staff could wholeheartedly embrace.

But the appearance of a hero in the southern continent and their growing inability to gauge a time to withdraw frightened them.

The loss control faction in particular, rallying around Lieutenant General von Zettour, put up a powerful resistance against the aggressive faction seeking to increase war gains.

To them, sending any more troops than absolutely necessary to the southern continent was a waste of resources that was difficult to accept. Even the strain on the supply lines would be insupportable.

What about convoy ships?

What about transport ships?

What about direct support units?

And it wasn’t just the loss control faction fretting about these things. The mere thought of the mountain of challenges was enough to make any logistics officer want to bury their head in their hands and groan. Though the issue went further back than that; given that the Imperial Army was organized around interior lines strategy, they weren’t even sure they could project their power properly in a foreign country.

Moving a corps on the southern continent was totally different from moving one within their home country. Even a single rifle manufactured at home had to travel a complicated route to get to a soldier in the south. And they had to assume that some percentage of them would be damaged during transport and that whole ships could be sunk on the way.

For the divisions concerned, it was worse than horrible, and in general, the Imperial Army couldn’t endure losses like that. And the imperial military had only envisioned seaborne transport capabilities as far as shuttling troops to and from the imperial occupied territory in Norden. As a result, there hadn’t been an urgent need to aggressively acquire transport ships, and maintenance was performed very slowly.

On top of that, the Empire was a land nation with very little concept of major sea route defense. Even their theoretical knowledge of convoying stopped at a basic awareness. That was sure to come back around to bite them.

The Commonwealth and the Republic, on the other hand, were self-sustaining to some extent thanks to a degree of industrial base in the colonies. Not only that, but they had more ships than they could count.

Meanwhile the Imperial Army could count on supplies from the new areas of imperial influence, of course, but the Empire was only connected to them insomuch as they had common interests.

Naturally, any respectable soldier would be apprehensive about relying on supplies from there.

So the General Staff ended up in another heated debate.

Everyone felt they had to stop the front from expanding any farther, but could they really ignore the enemy? They were right there. For Zettour, who had decided that they should consider shaping up the lines if need be, the time had come to devote themselves to overhauling the organization of their defensive lines and exercising their influence on other countries behind the scenes.

But before the General Staff reached their conclusion, another report came flying in from the south.

It was notice of what could be called a great victory. The news that the troops were in the process of increasing their gains with a follow-up attack would simultaneously send the people into a renewed frenzy and cause logistical difficulties for Zettour. Luckily, Zettour didn’t know that yet.







SEPTEMBER 4, UNIFIED YEAR 1925, THE IMPERIAL CAPITAL

He still couldn’t forget his impression the first time he saw the unit getting deployed to the southern continent. He had been excited to hear about his reports.

But then there were only two divisions on the roster.

One was a light infantry division, a new unit made up of mainly fresh troops and reserves. As for the other division, consisting of the few veterans he’d been allotted, not even a generous evaluation would say they were in good shape.

They may have had x fighting power on paper, but they had sustained heavy losses on the Rhine front. General von Romel had served in the Rhine, so he was more than well aware of how that would affect their strength. Any normal commander would despair if they couldn’t expect power commensurate to their head count.

To Romel, the order to fight the southern campaign with some scraped-together second-string troops was preposterous. Which was why he petitioned the General Staff for additional troops, but he didn’t get a proper answer.

Unable to bear the status quo, he made a direct request, and the answer he received after much pestering was the additional deployment of an augmented mage battalion. And how generous it was the fine unit reporting directly to the Service Corps and Operations in the General Staff. He was thrilled to get a first-string unit with proper gear, combat experience, and a full lineup.

But the high spirits that nearly had him shouting for joy were crushed when he received the commander’s evaluations.

No, the evaluations themselves were fine.

The academy, for instance, said she was up to the field officer standards. That alone made her a promising officer.

Also, she had completed higher education in the war college to qualify as a general staff officer, rare for a magic officer. And the war college also had nice things to say about her, that she met all standards desirable for an officer.

These were, well, fairly favorable evaluations.

They guaranteed that she possessed more than the standard knowledge of either a staff or field officer. But now it was wartime. The most important evaluations during a war are the ones from the battlefield, and those were all over the place.

There was a pile of especially severe criticism from the Northern Army Group. They said she was transferred after voicing a clear objection to those in authority.

The Western Army Group declined to evaluate her, saying her good and bad points neutralized each other, so it was difficult to rate her. Furthermore, she had attempted to resist orders.

She was truly a hard one to judge. But if her good points balanced out her bad points despite an attempt to disobey orders, he could smell some sort of competence.

But that didn’t mean he wanted the type of officer who would try such a thing under his command. And in this situation where he had so few units, the commander of the unit he should rely on the most was such a character? It was beyond ridiculous.

Romel continued reading with a fed-up look on his face, but the ambiguous comments from the tech lab that though the project she had been on had achieved things, it wasn’t worth it didn’t do anything to make him feel better.

After reading, he thought two things.

One was that almost all of these evaluations were from HQ.

Apparently, the troops serving directly under her thought she was a great field officer. Still, it was rare to receive such a difficult person as a subordinate. Mages who followed orders but objected to the brass’s plans had a tendency to get passed over.

After all, they were hard to handle.

The second was that although the evaluations were contradictory, she had achieved enough that she was considered an outstanding soldier.

Awkwardly, regardless of how she was as an officer, as an individual mage, she was thought very highly of. Her number of kills was among the highest on the Rhine front.

Plus, as a field officer, she had led breakthrough charges and ambushes unfazed. One officer called her “Mad Dog.” Apparently, the trendy nickname for her at the moment was “Rusted Silver,” and he could see how that made sense.

The ring of it was far from the elegance of her alias “White Silver,” but he found it an appropriate one. He’d heard that the Republicans called her the “Devil of the Rhine.”

In any case, strictly as a mage, she was unrivaled. As an officer, too, she was by no means incompetent. So they must have been giving her to him as reinforcements and as an excuse to get her out of their hair.

Honestly, he felt like they were foisting off their problem on him.

“…They’re telling me to take a mad dog out on a walk with no leash?” He let slip a complaint. Maybe it was just prejudice, but that wasn’t what it felt like to General von Romel. After all, he was basically being asked to bet on a bad hand.

“This isn’t some joke. I’m not going to send my men to their doom so easily. That bunch in the General Staff are only looking at the death toll as a statistic!”

Thus, he ended up muttering complaints about the General Staff’s practice of pushing its neck pains onto those in the field.

Well, I’ll at least meet her. General von Romel had decided to wait for Major von Degurechaff. That was his way of showing respect for a magic officer who had gotten results although his preconceived notions led him to brace himself when her arrival was announced.

He invited her into his office to have her report in, and once they got through the dispassionate formalities, his bad habit of trying to figure people out reared its head.

But he was already surprised to see that Major von Degurechaff, like him, preferred formal, matter-of-fact exchanges.

After all, mages and officers were a proud bunch. Perhaps you could say they were too proud, but either way, everyone in the imperial military knew it for a fact.

So he had expected the magic officer to be the aggressive, violent type despite her outward appearance.

And Romel himself expected that sort of person to get a bit upset or even angry at being welcomed with such bureaucratic fluff.

So it was a refreshing surprise to find that she calmly replied with the same empty courtesy, completely unshaken. At that point, Romel admitted to himself that his calculations had been off.

A magic officer with no sense of shame. Maybe that’s why she ignored orders and attempted to resist? His concerns as an officer in combat crossed his mind.

True, she has a stout heart, but…she’s the type to take matters into her own hands. He could sense it instinctively, and that worried him. How did she decide? As Romel started to worry, Degurechaff interrupted.

“Lastly, General, I’d appreciate the authority for my battalion to act independently.” Graciously, with a poker face, she continued, “The General Staff has approved it,” and the way she made her request was so arrogant it was invigorating.

Romel was said to be overly proud himself, so the fact that she casually made this amazingly brazen request was fantastic.

Any commissioned officer would understand just from hearing her make that one comment why the Northern and Western Groups couldn’t control her.

Having a mage battalion drop out of the command structure was almost like losing a whole division. Normally, no commander could possibly accept a separate chain of command.

“That goes without saying! And Major von Degurechaff, now that you’ve said that much, I’m sure I can expect your unit to achieve great things, right?”

But apparently, she didn’t care for Romel’s reaction.

Her silence made it clear she objected to his doubt of their ability. As an attitude taken in response to a superior officer’s question, it was unbelievably insolent. Ahh. But it actually made Romel realize why his superiors had given him the cold shoulder.

Even Romel hadn’t been this bumptious.

“Well, what do you think?” He pressed her for a response, unconsciously hardening his voice. If she didn’t answer now, he didn’t care what the General Staff said he would send her back.

“General von Romel, with all due respect…I merely omitted the effort of responding to a question that is impossible to answer.”

“…What?”

But the response he got made him answer with another question. What did she just say? A question that’s impossible to answer?

“I’m a soldier, not a smooth talker. I’m afraid I’m unable to explain our military capability in words.”

Her tone suddenly changed. In addition to her self-important attitude, it exuded heavy sarcasm.

“And even if I were, I doubt it would satisfy you, sir; therefore, I am unable to answer.”

The words rang in his ears. He heard them; they were in the official language of the Empire, pronounced correctly in the standard imperial way. He had no trouble making them out; her voice was clear as a bell.

Despite that, for a moment, he couldn’t fathom her intentions. Did the girl in front of me really just say something I can’t follow?

He struggled to understand. Then a little while later, he finally grasped the significance of the string of words.

“…In other words, you mean ‘seeing is believing.’ That’s what you want to say?”

“I respectfully leave the interpretation up to you. General, please trust me and my unit.”

Silence.

In her eyes was an earnest appeal. If it was only a ruse, it was madness.

He was dumbfounded in spite of himself. The feeling could only be described as shock at having witnessed something unbelievable.

A single thought came to mind.

Frontline Syndrome.

Major von Degurechaff had countless symptoms of it. The way she warned him, albeit indirectly: Don’t ask stupid questions. The way she threatened him at the same time: Don’t you understand how powerful I am? But then there was the logic of her sincere responses.

So not only was she arrogant, she was clearly horribly warped.

She doesn’t believe in anything. Not the power of the military’s leadership, not the strategy, and probably not even her fellow soldiers. Despite that, she’s surprisingly loyal to the Imperial Army. You could even call her a peerlessly loyal eccentric focused solely on being the nation’s guard dog.

I see… Romel understood the reason she had been disobedient in the past. She simply decided that she would be a patriot if it was good for the nation. In short, she’s a capable lunatic, but the bad part is she doesn’t even realize she’s twisted.

“…Major, I don’t have enough evidence to trust you.”

She’s crazy. And competent. And more sincere than anyone I’ve known. Rare for Romel, she was someone he was unable to judge. He did know she wouldn’t be easy to handle.

That was why he asked how he could trust her.

“It’s pointless for me to enumerate my feats. I’m at your service.”

And her response was an obvious point. Romel could appreciate the attitude that actions speak louder than words usually.

She wasn’t conceited about her ability; neither was she a slave to her power. She spoke matter-of-factly. She was probably capable of judging what was possible and what would be difficult.

If not, she couldn’t play with fire in front of an ammunition dump like she was now. In short, her insanity was backed up by limitless ability. He could only conclude she was crazy.

“I want to see what you can do. No, don’t misunderstand. I mean as a strategist.”

I’ll call her a hero, a nut, a fellow soldier.

So she needs to demonstrate what she’s capable of. Is she merely a wild animal tainted by madness? Or is she a cunning beast in possession of a deranged intellect?

Romel suddenly realized he wanted to know the answer.

“I’m sending you on a flying mission. I’d like you to take the second group. Incidentally, the idea is to give you, as Kampfgruppe Seven, authority on par with the other Kampfgruppen, even though you’re a single battalion. Don’t disappoint me.”

I’ll try her out in a somewhat independent mission. Well, I have an idea how it will turn out, but…I hope she gets results.

“Understood. We’ll meet your expectations.”

Just look at that.

That evil grin.

She looks thrilled.

She’s so happy to have a place to fight.

Without a doubt, she’s going to end up being the most horrible person I know. And she’ll probably also be one of my most reliable friends on the battlefield.

Comentarios

  1. Tanya es la encarnación de la dualidad humana.

    ResponderBorrar
  2. Ese escuentro entre el General "Rommel" ( odbiamente se trata de uno de los generales más patriotas del régimen nazi conosido por muchos como el zorro del decirto) y la Mayor Tanya jajajajaja.
    Muy bueno, y tiene mucha logoca, piénsenlo, uno de los generales más brillante y astuto de todo el régimen nazi a cargo de la feroz demonio del Rin, la Mayor Tanya von Degurechaff.
    "Brillante". no hay nada más que se pueda decir.

    ResponderBorrar

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