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Youjo Senki Volumen 3, Epilogo


Afterword

To everyone who picked up Volume 3, long time no see. I’m terribly ashamed to have kept you waiting this long. And to the heroes here for the first time, who have purchased all three books at once, may you have a bright future on “this side.”

Anyhow, this is for a limited time only, but you can download an audio drama—an audio drama! Wow. Unless I’m constantly hallucinating without realizing it, you may already be enjoying that content now.

Surprisingly, it can be said that everything went according to schedule (per an announcement from General HQ). Last time, my productivity was hindered by that “east-side company” and their malicious interference in what Clausewitz would call “friction.” This time, with no such malicious interference, things went accordingly…things went according to schedule.

Actually, I’m even ahead of schedule, aren’t I? Even though it’s fall, I’m writing this in my room with not my heater but the AC on.

This is not a lie. At the time of this writing, the temperature is a ridiculous eighty-three degrees Fahrenheit.

Let me explain. My manuscript and real life overlapped with each other, and it was an extremely bitter fight. Having gotten through it, I headed jauntily for the airfield and quietly boarded a plane to the United States. I was so proud of myself for successfully balancing my manuscript and real life that I was happy-go-lucky.

Then as I was chilling in the American South, suffering from the gastric strain of American-sized food portions, I saw news of a terrorist attack in Canada. What the heck? I reached for my tablet to check a news site, when Oh? I had a new e-mail. I opened it with warm fuzzies, wondering who was concerned for my safety, and was shocked.

It was an e-mail telling me to write an afterword by [X-Day]! Oh my God.

So it is that I’m coming to you, banging away on my keyboard, thinking, It wasn’t supposed to be this way, from where I’m staying in the southern United States. I imagine that by the time you get this volume in your hands I’ll be back on Japanese soil. <Maybe.>

Humans are always falling into the same trap when they accomplish something. I feel like I must have been taught the importance of vigilance, how the most dangerous moment is when you think you’ve defeated your enemy. In other words, this is what I get for forgetting the proverb “One must tighten one’s helmet straps even after a win.”

And so, I’ve realized that I need to reflect on the things I’ve done.

For example, how about that wonderful beach scene I delivered as promised? Now I feel nothing but regret for how ingratiating it was. Though it was a desire imparted to me by you, the readers, I am doing some serious, gentlemanly reflection on whether I might not have been too true to desire and worldly passions. Wondering if I will be scolded, I am unable to face my conscience. This is a book for good citizens with an established reputation as a wholesome novel, so next time I’ll try to portray things a bit more moralistically.

I hope you’ll forgive me for this volume’s unscrupulousness.

I am leaning toward giving you my word that I will deliver Volume 4 at blitzkrieg speed (compared to previous efforts), and I swear to you now, though it’s only a personal promise, that I will make my decision as soon as possible.

Last but not least, thanks to Tsubakiya Design who did the great design, the proofers who worked with me on all the obnoxious proofing, the team who combined their powers to make the audio drama, and many, many others.

November 2014 Carlo Zen

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