City Series:Volume5a Chapter1
Chapter 1: Rain
We aren’t like the people in this world.
Beretta’s Write Bring: Entry in Heavy Barrel Protected Empress’s Memory Bank
I performed a Write Bring.
That is, I completely broke down the Lives of my body and combined them with the Lives of the 8-yard-tall Heavy Barrel.
It was to grow stronger.
Everyone knew that a Knight Striker’s duty was to use that strength to protect people.
Doing so required stripping naked, entering the conversion device known as the Study, and to hold a powerful desire to combine with this thing.
You couldn’t find this sense of actual battle in Heavy Barrel class at college and I hadn’t felt it since arriving as an “exchange student”.
Just a few seconds before, my body was broken down into nothingness inside the Study and it was now passing through the intricate conductive panels and tubes to spread through the machine’s cylinders, frames, and sense devices for sight and hearing.
I felt like I had mechanical flesh and blood.
Borrowing the machine body brought an incredible high of objectivity. I “Signed” what my will was doing by writing it to the Heavy Barrel’s memory bank.
I had to use powerful thoughts to write down everything that happened. Yes, this city was a textual world where things would disappear if not written down, making it a contrast to Aerial City – London.
To use London’s terminology, things only existed once they were Opened.
Sound, taste, and everything else only existed once they were written down.
That was why I focused on the fact that I had performed a Write Bring.
I used that awareness to Sign that fact, which allowed me to continue to exist.
I wrote that my feet could feel the cold floor.
And once I wrote it, my feet really did feel the cold.
At the same time, the Heavy Barrel’s armored will directly sent a system message to my will.
“Write Bring complete.”
I had interfered in my own Lives to combine with the 8-yard Heavy Barrel that had a will of its own.
The memory bank was currently in Continuous Complete Sign Mode. That was normally only used during military action, but in this city, nothing I did would happen unless I wrote it down.
In this textual world, you had to constantly express yourself or you would disappear.
For the time being, I wanted to remain in the high of having my thoughts leaking out.
“Sight Devices: Sign.”
I opened my eyes.
In this textual world that existed on paper, the Heavy Barrel’s visual receptors viewed things using printed drawings or text. But I wasn’t skilled enough to express myself using drawings, so I had to write down what I saw in text to see this world.
I could create my own reality in this city by Signing a “1st person narration”. Even if I didn’t find a certain document, I could Sign that I did find it and that would mean I had found it.
But there was also an “actual reality” separate from my own opinion of whether or not I found the document.
To “Point” was to insert that objective “actual reality” into my own narration.
In battle, what I and my opponent wanted to do were the competing Signs and the actual result was the Point. If all I did was Sign my own actions, my and my opponent’s actions would fall out of sync.
And what happened then?
The one with more accurate information would win.
That was why you would think you had won and all of a sudden find yourself defeated.
On the other hand, while you were Pointing the surrounding information in this world, where being written was to exist, you couldn’t do anything yourself.
If you spent a line Pointing, that was a line in which you couldn’t Sign. So you couldn’t just sit around Pointing the reality around you. You had to Sign if you were to do anything yourself.
So I made a quick Point of the current situation.
<I am inside a large and dimly-lit wooden warehouse.>
I see. Then this time I’ll Sign that I’m inside there.
Umm, I’m on my knees, but my gaze is really high up. The bottom of the warehouse’s sheet iron roof is just barely above my head…I think.
Before I did the Write Bring, the pile of wooden containers had looked like a wall, but from this viewpoint it looked surprising small. The warehouse was large enough for a small ship to fit inside, but it was no more than a backyard shed for an 8-yard giant.
But this wasn’t the time for that.
I was so focused on the Write Bring that I had forgotten what I needed to do: escape the warehouse with the Heavy Barrel.
The current situation was, um…
Oh, right. Wasn’t there a searchlight shining on me from outside?
<A blinding light arrived suddenly.>
The light lit up my metal skin…oh, no. I’m naked. This girl isn’t wearing an armor dress. But there was no point in acting tough and telling people not to stare, so I just looked away.
I looked down.
I knew the 5 corpses of the Resistance members I had been working with were down there. There was a lot of blood.
Wait…oops. They might have still been alive, but after what happened, I carelessly Signed them as corpses…
I might have been wrong, so I tried Pointing.
<Just as expected, 5 corpses are lying on the concrete floor.
There is a lot of blood.>
Oh, no. The Heavy Barrel itself is probably reacting and working with the Write Bring to give me an emotional high. Both the Lives of my body and my will had completely synched, so if my emotions got worked up…
Heavy Barrel Protected Empress’s System Message
Emphasis of Write Bring user’s thoughts confirmed. Beginning mind sympathy preparations for the body.
Beretta’s Write Bring: Entry in Heavy Barrel Protected Empress’s Memory Bank
I just remembered.
Three days before in the library, the Resistance man known as Bluebeard had scouted me out and asked if I could test out the Heavy Barrel they had snuck in from outside.
I can’t believe it.
And I was told so many times during the exchange student testing that I wasn’t to get involved in anything deadly.
We aren’t like the people in this world.
I was too naïve.
And this was the result.
Just as we finished the initial preparations for this girl, the German Army had surrounded us like they were waiting for that moment. A firefight had broken out all at once. The Resistance crew I had known for only a few hours had shoved me into the Study to keep this girl alive. Since they were all spies and Resistance members, none of them had given their real names.
There was the man known as Bluebeard, Spirit who treated me like a kid, the unwomanly Calamity, Napoleon who had seemed like a little brother, and Emperor who always seemed to be looking for a fight, but they were all collapsed on the floor now.
Bluebeard’s team had probably been wiped out.
The only survivor was the anachronistic Knight Striker girl who was not even an official part of the Resistance.
I can’t believe it.
Why did I survive? They were the ones working so hard to liberate France, so they should have been the ones to survive. …So why?
I wanted to Sign something more convenient, but I decided against it.
I had to move.
“Hearing Devices: Sign.”
Oh, gunfire. They must think we still have some soldiers left.
Did that mean they weren’t going to enter the warehouse quite yet? This was my chance to get moving.
They had briefly shined their light on it, but they wouldn’t think the Heavy Barrel could move right away.
Farewell. I’ll bring some flowers and come see you some time.
But first I had to help them out by hiding this girl where the German Army couldn’t reach her and then make sure I survived myself.
And then I would never again Write Bring into a Heavy Barrel for no good reason.
I had to remember why I had come to this city as an exchange student and get serious about that. I had to focus on reading the letters my grandma had given me and pursue the identity of the Attesor Project that my great-grandfather Jack McWild had left behind.
I can’t believe it.
Luck simply had not been on my side recently. Mallette had grown more distant after getting a guy and that idiot Phillip had been made an honorary officer in the German Army despite being from the Chevalier de Paris family line. Why did the people living in this era insist on doing the exact same thing as in the records we had made?
<More gunfire is heard.>
I’m going to fully activate my body. HLF087 13-LL Protected Empress, can you hear me?
“Spirit Engine – Direct Link Complete.”
Good, good. Now my heart is active and not just my mind and senses.
I’ll run out and hide you in a handy spot. Then I’ll leave the Study.
Let’s go with that.
I stood up.
The sheet iron roof could not contain the power of the curved cylinders that moved me.
My head and the backpack I wore pushed on the roof to crash right through it.
…Maybe I Signed too light a sound there.
But the roof had to have been blown away. The ceiling only had its framework left and my upper body stuck out into the night air. Umm, how were things outside? Was it raining? Yeah, it was.
Then I’ll write that.
It was raining.
When I stood up, my view widened considerably. To the left was an art museum’s large warehouse, identical to the one that had been hiding me. To the right was the Seine, wet with the night rain.
This was a sandbank of the Seine. It was near the city hall.
How was I supposed to escape?
While I asked myself that, I shuddered from the rain dripping down my metal skin.
Why did I have such poor focus anyway? I really only needed to Sign what was absolutely necessary, but I was getting more and more carried away with it. I was waking up.
I looked forward.
I thought the searchlight would be shining directly on me through the rain, so I half-closed my ground-directed sight devices to bear with the brightness.
And I Pointed.
<There are two armored trucks in front of the warehouse. There is a full company of military police.>
Despite it being night and raining, they were bustling around and looking up at me.
Can I hear their voices?
“It’s a Grösse Panzer!”
Let’s just say they were shouting something like that.
You can tell it’s a Heavy Barrel just by looking at it, can’t you? If you’ve got a problem with the Heavy Barrel, then I’m heading out there to show you what’s what, you bastard.
The 1st step.
This was my first time Write Bringing into a curved cylinder style of Heavy Barrel. You could say this girl was the first one I’d used for real, so I couldn’t get the pace quite right. The legs weren’t anywhere near as heavy as I’d expected and I was surprised at how well they moved.
The 2nd step.
I’m guessing this Heavy Barrel was meant for my grandma to use. She was in Paris 55 years ago. She had been young, but after demonstrating her skill as a Knight Striker, she had become an American spy and infiltrated the city as an exchange student.
The 3rd step.
But she became one of the First Erased, so Paris continued its Format without her information included and I was thus able to Write Bring into this girl now.
The 4th step.
I checked my footing a little. I moved forward while making sure not to step on the others. I had already reached the warehouse’s entrance, so I destroyed the roof’s frame with my left fist.
Ow, ow. The hand structure is surprisingly delicate.
<The armored trucks are facing this way. They have machineguns on the roof.>
That ain’t good. My current skin was a Pearl Coat with detailed emblems. It was strong against wide-range weapons, but it was weak against actual bullets. I think the armor dress was still inside its container.
I didn’t have time to put it on, so I had to keep on going.
The 5th step.
My legs’ curved cylinders sank low as I continued forward.
I used that to shift into a run for the 6th step.
I leaned forward and dashed.
There were about 17 yards between the warehouse and the enemy formation. Since I was 8 yards tall at the moment, that was only 3 steps. But I didn’t get careless and Pointed for just a moment.
<The armored trucks fire.>
Whoops. Now that was good timing.
I held up my right hand.
The lower arm was a large shield with a Valkyrie Strike pile bunker contained inside. The giant metal shield was hit by a Lanze that could probably destroy a light tank, but it was deflected.
I’ll write here that the sound reminded me of the glass instrument I had heard at the modern art museum.
It was actually an awfully unpleasant noise, though. Wait, there’s no point in lying if I also write that here.
The armored trucks fired more, but it was no use. No use at all. I had a shield. It would just be a repeat of last time. …And while they were doing that, I arrived!!
<I charged into the enemy formation. An armored truck is right in front of me.>
It was only the size of a puppy from my point of view. And if a puppy tried to bite you, it needed to be punished.
I decided to send it flying with a kick I’d learned from my former Knight Striker of a grandma. Let’s do this like I’m playing soccer.
I got it good using the curved cylinders of the ankle.
It felt nice.
This girl was pretty sturdy. Wondering how it had turned out, I Pointed.
<The armored truck was crushed as it flew away from you kick.>
OK, OK. Let’s say it caused a nice splash when it fell right into the Seine.
And that there are screams all around.
Oh, shut up. Men aren’t supposed to shriek like that. I don’t think my comrades screamed.
Then I Pointed to the side.
<The other armored truck is withdrawing.>
Don’t run, you fool.
I stuck my toes below it and cheaply flipped it over. It wasn’t even worth checking with a Point. I knew it had flipped over.
But the heavy armored truck had felt awfully light. This girl had a lot of power. She was the best and the strongest of any I’d piloted before.
<The ankle is undamaged.>
Damn, she’s sturdy. I see. I guess I should’ve expected that from a special order F-number.
I could see why she had been worth bringing even just one of them into the city. Just as Bluebeard had said, she might have been a great asset toward liberating Paris. Heavy Barrels had always been more about being a symbol and raising morale than about their pure strength. I was sure her Over Emblem was powerful too.
To put it another way, things would be bad indeed if she was taken away.
Germany and Europe as a whole had yet to develop curved cylinder tech and I didn’t want history to take that turn, even if it was just for this one loop.
Now, then. Time to run away.
Some guys were probably shooting submachineguns my way down below, but they couldn’t even scratch me at that caliber.
If you wanna fight me, get some real equipment first.
But for now, toodeloo.
The bridges weren’t blockaded and the moon wasn’t out, so it was time to escape Paris real quick!!
Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s Entry #1
It is very noisy outside the mansion
But despite that I am writing my journal entry for the day just as the master told me to
It is eight in the evening which is when I always write my journal entry
The master ate dinner and went to the second floor
While eating he said something about the German Army occupying Paris but I did not understand since I seldom leave the mansion
He sometimes talks about this city and he said something odd today
It had to do with August 6
He said he learned a lot from a Correcteur friend of his but I did not understand any of it
After talking about that or about the German Army or about his own past the master always goes up to the second floor
He has ordered me not to go up there
I am only allowed on the first floor rooms and hallways and kitchen and the mansion cellar and the mansion yard and the storehouse and the backyard and the yard cellar and the water well
I always use an Ajouter to watch him climb the stairs with only one leg
He lost a leg doing something or other long before I was made
Everything was normal today so I am writing my journal entry like normal
I am writing all the normal things
The master left in the morning like normal and returned in the evening like normal
Just like yesterday I predict this entry will end at 35 lines
I will write about the weather I watched with Ajouters throughout the day
It was raining since the morning today
I will write what I see with an Ajouter now
<I can hear noise out the window
A loud sound much like the noon bell is repeating too many times to count
I see some red light outside on occasion>
That is not fire because the red is more like the color of my tie
<I hear the master shouting down from the second floor
He is saying to close the shutters because this is dangerous>
The master uses the word dangerous a lot but I do not know what it means
It apparently refers to a situation that requires closing the shutters but I have never seen a dangerous situation since I seldom leave the mansion
<Two more red lights appear outside the window
Another sound can be heard within the pouring rain out the window>
Some food delivery men brought some corn over three days ago and this sounds a lot like when that was cooked over the fire
The master smiled for once when he saw the white result of the corn swelling out even larger than it already was
He said a dead friend of his had liked that food
I remember that because he normally looks frightening me when he talks about that person but three days ago was an exception
I will close the shutters before writing the rest but I do wonder what is happening outside
German Army Paris Branch Telegram: To the German Army Military Police
1 unidentified American-made Grösse Panzer of model HFF Unknown is fleeing west at 30 mph from a warehouse near the Théâtre du Châtelet. Use the above information to Verbesserung its form onto the document as soon as possible. Send the Special Police 8th Platoon to the scene and send the 6th Platoon to western Paris. The combat number is 431021-18P. The 6th Platoon must confirm its equipment and has permission to fire. We look forward to your results. There was some firing at the scene. Enemy casualties: 5 killed (all of them). Own casualties: 2 killed, 18 wounded. Provide aid and confirm the status of the scene. Pursue the fleeing enemy. Over.
Beretta’s Write Bring: Entry in Heavy Barrel Protected Empress’s Memory Bank
I felt so cold with the rain directly hitting my body.
Running around naked doesn’t feel so great, so I shut down my senses.
“Sense resonance system: lowest setting.”
Good, good. Now it’s just the sexy feeling of water droplets dripping down my skin.
Anyway, I needed to run as far away as I could get through the streets of Paris. I was pretty tall, but the appartements around here were tall enough to hide me if they were a street away.
But after shining their light on me before, they might have Pointed my detailed appearance. If so, this girl would be wanted for the rest of her life. Written descriptions were everything in this city, so you could fix something’s existence in place by accurately describing it. Even if they didn’t know this girl’s model number, it would be bad if they completely Pointed its form.
This is no fun at all~
But anyway, um, what’s this? It couldn’t be fun for them either. When I Pointed earlier, there were sirens blaring all over, so good luck, I guess. I wanted to say something too, but I couldn’t.
“Voice device: Sign impossible.”
She didn’t seem to have a voice component installed. Well, we were attacked in the middle of putting her together.
But that didn’t affect my performance, so it was all good. My thoughts were written to the memory bank plenty fast and there was no echoing. If I had to point to a fault, it was a good body, but it was a little too honest. If I started up the Full Drive, I suspected it would respond too much and my mind wouldn’t be able to keep up with the body’s movements.
But really, I’m sorry, everyone. I was right to Write Bring. If I hadn’t combined my Lives with this body…no, with this girl, I would’ve died and then we really would’ve been wiped out.
So I had to escape. As long as I wasn’t caught, this girl’s origin would remain a mystery to the Germans.
I was a little worried about the fact that the knowledge of Paris I had memorized before arriving as an exchange student had included nothing about an incident on this night. That meant this was a change to history.
It was a temporary change that would be erased by the Format on August 6, 1944.
I had made a few changes already.
I took part in a Heavy Barrel battle at the year-end festival. I was the neighbor of Mallette Harculia, the prodigal daughter of a wealthy Jewish merchant. And I had a bit of a personal relationship with Phillip Missel, who infiltrates the German Army as a part of the Resistance and meets an untimely death. I even kissed him.
But this was the biggest change. After all, people had died. And I was on the run.
I couldn’t forget that I absolutely had to survive this.
The problem was that I only had two pieces of equipment: the Valkyrie Strike on my right arm and the Over Emblem activated with the emblem on the body’s surface. The gun barrel from which the Heavy Barrel got its name was still in its box back in the warehouse.
But oddly enough, I wasn’t afraid. My grandma had trained me, so I had experience with battle from a young age. Back in ’98, I had enjoyed messing with our vigilante Heavy Barrel just as much as maintaining Sein Fraus for the family business.
Oh, where’s the enemy? I had a bad feeling.
<I hear an engine.>
I only had the lower sight devices open, so I opened the compound eyes as well.
“Primary sight devices: Sign.”
My vision widened and I shuddered. I loved this view.
And I saw it.
<A platoon of military police has formed up on the street.>
Sorry, but you’re too close, so I’ve gotta charge right in. I’ll kick you out of the way without killing you, so don’t move!!
I raced forward.
I crashed into them and passed right on through.
I said “crash” myself, but my hearing picked up a much worse sound. Yeah, I really am sorry. I just can’t seem to hold back.
Why is that? Well, when I Write Bring into a Barrel, the conversion device breaks down the Lives of my original body and combines them with those of the Barrel’s body, so, um, how should I put it? I’m not wearing an armor dress or anything else right now. I feel like I’m naked and I’d love to cover my chest, but my right arm has the Valkyrie Strike and I can’t allow you to capture me. Ha ha ha.
Laughing seemed to help calm me down a little.
And I needed to escape somewhere.
I was headed west, so I decided to turn left and head toward the Boulogne Park. If I could cross the river there, I was pretty sure I could lose them. Not that I wanted to swim through that dirty river naked.
Meanwhile, the Arc de Triomphe came into view in the distance.
This was a rainy night, but they had it lit up. It was pretty. It was strange how the German Army understood its charm.
It was about time for the enemy to be showing up, so I made a Point.
<A platoon of special police has formed up on the street. They are prepared to attack the approaching Heavy Barrel.>
Hey, wait!! I was way too late on that dangerous Point!
This isn’t good! If they’re ready to attack-…!!
Heavy Barrel Protected Empress’s System Message
Due to an impact, the Write Bring user’s thought connection has been shut down for 0.00000002 seconds.
Special Police 6th Platoon Telegram: To German Military Police HQ
Report on 431021-18P. We have intercepted the unidentified American-made Grösse Panzer of model HFF Unknown. By our Lernen, 15 T-Gew anti-tank rifles fired three Lanze which did medium damage to its right femur. The target has changed course and has entered the Boulogne Forest to the southwest. Its speed is mid-level. The area has cultural value, so we await instructions on whether or not to send the armored trucks in. The road at the interception point received minor damage, so we have called in a Stimmer Unit. Over.
Beretta’s Write Bring: Entry in Heavy Barrel Protected Empress’s Memory Bank
I somehow managed to get into the forest of Boulogne Park.
The pursuing sirens were really annoying, so I really wished I had the gun barrel on the shoulder to fire back at them, but I just didn’t have the proper equipment this time and I had no backup. I could never destroy the stationed German troops with one incomplete Heavy Barrel. What a pain.
But my right thigh really hurt where they had shot me. Write Bringing into a Heavy Barrel meant to fully combine with it, so any damage to it would remain with me when I released the Write Bring.
When I left the Study, I’d have a full-on bullet wound in my right thigh, goddammit. Those guys really don’t know how to treat a girl’s skin.
Inside a forest taller than I was, I ran down a stone path only meant for carriages.
The rain was cold and my wound hurt.
I had stopped shutting down my senses, so the cold, the exhaustion, and the pain all violated my Lives.
If I cut off my senses, I wouldn’t be able to tell how bad the wound was. There was currently a bullet hole in the right thigh made of an American curved cylinder frame. I could feel the lubricant oil gradually leaking out, so it felt like I was bleeding.
The leg would stop moving after a while. I belonged to a family of Sein Frau technicians and my Knight Striker grandma had taught me everything she knows, so I could tell. If I shut down the senses here, I was done for. I wouldn’t be able to tell how far the damage would grow.
I had to use my pain to consider how far I could run.
I Pointed to see if the enemy was around.
<Your mechanical feet step on a stone in the path.>
Oh, ow, ow. Was that stone there for decoration? Don’t leave those things in the middle of the walkway. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be art or what, but I’m gonna destroy it if it’s in my way. Or rather, it was right in front of me, so I destroyed it. It only took an instant. Man, that’s a really dangerous ideology I’ve got going there. But it isn’t quite as cool when I’m on the run.
My injury, the chill of the air, the sound of the rain, the rustling of the forest. They all came together into a single sensation... Am I a poet or what? But really my thoughts just happened to flow together pretty well there.
Anyway, time to Point the upcoming intersection!!
<A black Middle Barrel is entering the intersection.
It is an MMP055 07-LC Jagdhund. It is the German Army’s average Barrel with a black coloration and large shoulders.>
That was close, but I caught it in time. A Middle Barrel showed up, but it was a cheap one. If you’re gonna send it to Paris, get yourself a higher quality Barrel. Do you really think that mass produced P-number stands a chance against my special-ordered F-number?
Well, I will admit a Middle Male (MM) model has a bigger frame than a Heavy Lady (HL) model like mine.
And as I wrote that, I reached the enemy.
Your mistake was not knowing the movable range of your own head.
The Jagdhund have a heavy frame to support their own weight, so the neck vertebrae can barely turn to the side at all. So at an intersection like this, you needed to face your enemy and walk out sideways, but you didn’t, did you!?
I Signed that you didn’t!
If you think otherwise, then prove it by dodging this!!
I stepped forward.
I charged toward my opponent’s left side.
I used the ram at the end of my right arm’s Valkyrie Strike to hit their side.
And right as I made the attack, I Pointed their movements!!
The Rare Material ram easily pierced the cheap armor and the metal body wobbled.
I fired the right side of the two installed Valkyrie Strike spears.
It was a solid hit. It pierced right through with the pile bunker motion.
But that wasn’t gonna cut it at all. With a slight time lag, I pushed my right arm out further, retracted the right side spear, and fired the left side one.
<The left spear pierces the center of the opponent’s chest at an angle.>
I decided to make extra sure.
I gathered strength in my outstretched right arm and focused on its details. The emblem engraved in the skin reacted to its own Message and the strength of the Write Bring user’s will, so ether was concentrated there.
This was the original version of a Panzer Emblem. An Over Emblem caused an ether weapon to appear on a portion of the armor. That portion became an ether weapon by converting its Lives into something other than a Heavy Barrel.
My heart cried out.
I needed my will and my emotions. I controlled all of the pleasure I felt at being able to perfectly control myself through the Write Bring. And the emblem realized that power.
<The Valkyrie Strike on the right arm has transformed into a giant spear with bluish-white light surrounding it.
The bottom end sticking back behind the elbow is more than 6 yards long. Including the spear tip, it is a spike more than 8 yards long.
The Protected Empress’s Over Emblem “Spartaness” has been fully summoned to the right arm.
The glowing spear has the same functions as the original device.>
In other words, it was a pile bunker.
I fired the large spear toward the Middle Barrel in front of me.
A spear of light raced along fixed rails of the same substance and it struck the Middle Barrel while emitting a spray of light.
The Middle Barrel was blown away more by the impact than it was pierced.
<The glowing spear has vanished.
The fallen Barrel crushed the armored truck behind it.>
Okay, I checked everything with a Point, so it’s time to get out of here.
I felt a slight tingling in my right arm. My will may have weakened a little. Historically, very few Knight Strikers could activate a full body Over Emblem and I could only manage it on a single part of my body. My emotions were too weak.
But I could look for ways to improve myself later. An injured girl on the run was a beautiful thing, but it became nothing more than a farce when she started beating up everyone after her.
I ran and ran.
It might be a little late to be saying it now, but I kind of hoped the soldier Write Bringed into that Middle Barrel hadn’t died. He should’ve been fine if he had immediately canceled the Write Bring, but…well, it wasn’t worth worrying about. I had to focus on escaping.
I couldn’t use the river with my injured leg.
If possible, I wanted to leave this girl somewhere in the forest, get dressed in a hurry, and erase the thoughts that were being automatically recorded like this.
I just needed to find somewhere that would give me even 10 minutes of peace.
I kept running.
But the pain in my leg was definitely getting worse. It was due to that battle. If my grandma back in 1998 San Francisco had seen that pathetic battle, she’d probably kill me.
Dammit. Meanwhile, I saw a wall beyond a road cutting through the forest.
A wall? No, think carefully. There’s no wall here. Signing lies isn’t going to help you. Umm, oh, right. The map I studied before arriving in Paris said there was a hill here. It was a dirt hill with a bit of grass on it and a bunch of white flowers at the bottom.
<There is a large mansion at the top of the hill.>
Huh? That’s not right.
I didn’t learn anything about this mansion…
Wait, this isn’t the time to worry about that! What should I do? Circle around the hill and escape!?
Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s Entry #2
Tonight we had a strange guest named Beretta
She is Lady Beretta
I have determined I should refer to people politely even in writing
I cannot determine how to explain why she visited us tonight
At times like that I will do as the master once told me and simply write out what happened in order
I walked out into the hallway with a light in hand to close the shutters
My Ajouter told me it was noisy outside and that something like loud footsteps were approaching
Those footsteps stopped and then it was like the sky had fallen into the mansion courtyard
The courtyard is surrounded by the mansion so it can only be accessed through the mansion
But something fell from the sky just as I made an Ajouter
It was a large machine
It was a machine just like my own body but it was far larger
Its arms were much like the largest false arm I have
Its legs were much like the largest false legs I have
I used to have a similar waist back before my growth through the Coppelia effect
My body can no longer function to my satisfaction without being closer to that of a human
This clearly had a much larger body since my body is not large enough to crush the courtyard pond
I decided to call for the master because he decides what happens in the mansion and what I do
But a person left the back of the machine before I could call for him
It was Lady Beretta
Her white and red clothing seemed to glow in the rain
She headed for the north entrance so I went that way as well
Lady Beretta opened the door and entered the mansion just as I stepped the northern hallway
She held a large bag in her hand and she collapsed on the spot
I did not know what to do so I stopped making Ajouters and propped her up
Unlike the usual food delivery men she did not name herself and she asked me to shelter her
I did not know what that meant
I picked her up and carried her to the bottom of the stairs to call for the master
When the master descended the stairs he said the wooden box he held contained tools for repairing humans
On his instructions I carried Lady Beretta to the living room and laid her down on the sofa
I made an Ajouter and found my false arms had the red soup of a juice that comes out of meat while preparing it so I felt the need to wash up
The master pulled up her skirt and began repairing her
I will now write down all of his questions and her responses while he repaired her
Are you not you going to ask who I am or if I am with the Resistance
Why would I bother asking that of a Lourd de Écrivain who was piloting an Allied Lourd de Marionnette
But I am not part of the Resistance
Are you saying a civilian was piloting that
Well it is kind of a long story
From there Lady Beretta told the long story
While she was being repaired she explained how she ended up using that machine and the master nodded after hearing her out
I will now write down what they said
Why would you tell me all that
As selfish as it is I was hoping you could make a decision for me
A decision about what
Whether you are with the Resistance or not I want you to decide what you are going to do about that girl in the courtyard and me
Why must I make that decision
Her leg is damaged and she cannot move any more but leaving her here could drag you and your maid into this whole mess
What would you do if I decided the only way to stay out of this is to hand you over to the Germans
I would fight it like hell and if I was still caught I would apologize to the others who died
If you are going to hand me over to them then just open the window and shout down to them They are wandering around at the bottom of the hill so hurry up and decide if you are going to hand me over or not
Pipe down while I try to think little girl
If you are going to hand me over to them then stop healing me because I am not going to have you staring at my leg like this if you are only going to turn me in
If you do not quiet down I really will throw you to the Germans
Oh so you are not planning to do it for the time being
Hmm I do not like something about this
The master spent a long time thinking and eventually decided to shelter Lady Beretta
He repaired her relatively quickly and he said she would not even have a scar afterwards
She seemed to still have trouble using her leg so I attached my large false arm meant for carrying things and carried her to the bath
On the way she saw the large machine collapsed in the courtyard and asked me my name
I told her my name
She told me to put her down in front of the bath and I complied
She reached out her hand and grabbed my hand
She said thank you but I did not understand why she was thanking me since I had only done what my master instructed me to
But that question was immediately erased from my mind when I made an Ajouter and saw Lady Beretta smiling for the first time
It was unlike how the master smiles and it told me why she had thanked me
Even if I was only following my orders Lady Beretta was glad that I had worked for her sake
I think that is what her smile was expressing
This might trigger the Coppelia effect so that I can smile when someone does something for me
I do not know if that is a good thing but gaining more functions is a good thing
It is about time for Lady Beretta to leave the bath
It has been 40 minutes which is 4 times as long as the master takes
She may have a lot of places to wash
The master covered the machine in the courtyard using a sheet from the storehouse
I tried to help but he ordered me to write this journal entry and to look after Lady Beretta
Lady Beretta will apparently sleep here tonight and go home early tomorrow morning
I will now bring Lady Beretta a change of my clothes
Then I have to get to the kitchen
I only have to reheat something so I can finish before she dresses
That ends this journal entry
I wrote a lot today
I doubt as much will happen tomorrow so fewer lines should suffice
I will write another entry tomorrow because that is one of my jobs
Today I’m writing with the view from a 1st floor guest room instead of the usual elevated view from my appartement. I’m feeling pretty good after getting a bath and some dinner, but my mood is not exactly great.
What am I supposed to do tomorrow?
The old man who healed me will apparently repair the Heavy Barrel. (He claims to be a Knight Striker himself.) He hasn’t asked all that much about my identity either, so who even knows.
I was only involved in the Resistance for 3 days, but it looks like I’m back to my usual life. Maybe I should think of it as a valuable experience as an exchange student. At least the changes to history will end here.
Maybe I just haven’t calmed down yet. I took part in combat back in America when I helped out the city’s vigilante group a few times and I’ve fought a triple digit number of mock battles.
I think it’s really hitting me hard that people died because of me. I shouldn’t have agreed to that just because I was itching to Write Bring into a Heavy Barrel again. After assembling it and doing a test run, I was supposed to officially join the Resistance, but I don’t feel like doing that anymore.
My motive there wasn’t exactly pure, was it? They all took it seriously enough to face death.
I bet this is all from the stress of fighting with that idiot Phillip a week ago. That idiot said he’s quitting college and joining the German Army just because they’ve prepared an “honorary officer” position for him.
History proves he can’t afford to go there. Phillip Missel uses his position as an honorary officer to act as a Resistance spy. And during the Resistance uprising on August 1, he takes part as a Knight Striker and dies. With that, the Missel family, a former Chevalier de Paris family, is destroyed. Everyone in Paris recognizes that family’s Signe de Épée, but it will die out once that happens.
But there was no way he would believe me if I told him that and he was sure to ask how exactly I knew. And so we’ve ended up fighting every time we see each other recently.
I can’t believe it. As if today wasn’t bad enough, the more people I get to know, the more stressed out I get.
I almost wish I hadn’t done any research into this era. Instead, I made sure to learn about the people who died as part of the Resistance, the activity of famous people, and the conflicts that crop up here and there.
The railroad in Champagne is bombed tomorrow afternoon and the Normandy landings begin on June 6. Plus, Mallette gets caught in the Format and Phillip dies on August 1. On August 3, the German Army invades Bourgogne, angers a black dragon, and gets trampled along with an entire village.
From outside the closed-off city, France was swallowed by the Rondeau in August of ’44, so the European battlefront had to avoid France. The Allies were forced to invade Germany from the south and north to finally drive Germany to surrender.
That was all in the past.
As long as my involvement today wasn’t found out and everything around me is fine, I can return to my normal life tomorrow. I need to seriously focus on why I came to France.
I have two reasons for being here.
The first is pretty much the same reason I became a Knight Striker: The Attesor Project. That mysterious French Heavy Barrel development project was written of in a Death Techno compilation book sold before the war. I wanted to see if it actually existed. After all, some documents concerning it turned up in my great-grandfather’s things back home.
My great-grandfather, Jack McWild, was originally an American technical officer and he had visited France as an adviser. That was when the Attesor Project began.
My grandma had always been proud of him and I think it must have spread to me. The next thing I knew, I was a weird girl who was interested almost exclusively in Sein Fraus and Heavy Barrels. As my curiosity grew, I found myself dying to investigate the Attesor Project and to find out what my ancestor had done.
The other reason was my grandma.
Her parents, Jack McWild and Rose Francisca, had broken up for a few reasons. Jack McWild had taken my grandma with him when he moved to San Francisco where he built the Sein Frau maintenance factory where the family still lives, but in ’39, his corpse was found floating in the Seine here in Paris.
And in ’43, the Allies recruited my grandma for her skill as a Knight Striker and she infiltrated Paris as an exchange student. But while she was sent in to support the Resistance as a Knight Striker, I think she really went to investigate my great-grandfather’s death.
In the end, she escaped to America just a few days before the Wort Bombe detonated. I’m sure a lot happened, but from what I’ve heard, the failure of the Paris Resistance’s uprising on August 1 hit her pretty hard. Some people consider her a traitor and a deserter, but I don’t mind.
I mean, it’s thanks to that that she happened to miss the Format and became one of the First Erased. If not for that, my father and I would never have been born.
But my grandma did have one regret. She knew that Jack McWild and Rose Francisca broke up due to a misunderstanding between them and he apparently went back to Paris to make up with her.
After Jack McWild went to Paris, my grandma found a letter in the study of our home. It was addressed to Rose Francisca, but only with a name; there was no actual address given. He had likely thought she would understand once they found each other, decided not to mail it, and forgot about it without ever writing in the address.
I came to Paris with that letter.
The exchange students like me are supposed to investigate France and help create a backup before France fully closes itself off. In other words, the world is going to abandon France without liberating it.
However, it can’t be liberated.
The world has reached the year 1998, but France is still connected to the years of 1943 and 1944. If France is liberated, it will be restored within 1944. My world of ’98 has been a world without France ever since ’44, so that restoration would create a 54 year paradox that would destroy the world of ’98.
I don’t have the guts to remake my “world without France” into a new “world with France”.
I want to investigate the Heavy Barrel development project known as the Attesor Project and I want to get Jack McWild’s letter to Rose Francisca to accomplish what my grandma failed to do.
My grandma has thought about this for a long time and that’s why she named me Beretta.
Beretta is her name too and according to her:
“That way your great-grandmother will recognize you right away.”
There’s a lot I want to say about that, but she hasn’t used her real name since leaving Paris and instead goes by Sword Lady, her Urban Name as a Knight Striker. She must have her reasons.
I need to give all of this more thought.
I’ve Signed what I need to do, so I guess I’ll read my grandma’s letter when I get back to my room.
There’s so much I have to do.
But I am little worried about that Heavy Barrel and…yes, about those two in this mansion. They live in a mansion here, but there is no information at all about them in ’98.
I wonder why. Well, I’ll leave all the thinking for tomorrow.
1: Old Blue Eyes’s Negotiations
Old Blue Eyes had his son and daughter-in-law taken to Germany as hostages and his grandson has been taken into the German Army as an honorary officer. To clear up any fears that he was colluding with the Germans, he escaped Paris on his own, negotiated with the national assembly members outside, and returned today.
He was negotiating for the sovereignty of the Free France faction of the Paris Resistance group I lead, to rid us of our obligation to work with the communist faction, and to give us the discretionary power to act freely.
It was a major negotiation, but he somehow managed it. We can now act at our own discretion when necessary while also awaiting instructions from the national assembly. That old man did well. It certainly helps to have the former Chevalier de Paris family as your second-in-command.
I think I will give him some time off starting tomorrow, but I’m worried that stubborn old man won’t accept it.
2: Slaughter of Bluebeard’s Team
Blue seems to be a popular color today.
Bluebeard’s material acquisition and management team was slaughtered. The Allies must have messed something up because they certainly bungled smuggling in the female Lourd de Marionnette being sent in for support. According to Bluebeard:
“I found a Lourd de Écrivain girl with a nice anti-German spirit, so I’ll have her check over the Lourd de Marionnette and try to bring her on as a Lourd de Écrivain when I see a chance.”
But ironically, it was that Lourd de Écrivain girl who reported Bluebeard’s death to me.
That said, the Lourd de Écrivain that Bluebeard found is definitely a good one.
But I will not recruit her. She’s just that type of girl. She doesn’t have the most important aspect of being a Lourd de Écrivain. She clearly enjoys performing the Recréa with a Lourd de Marionnette.
Yes, she’s just like I was 25 years ago. And we can’t have that.
Plus, that Lourd de Écrivain girl has far too many strange symbols to her.
3: The Prophecy
Everything that happened today was written of in a letter that Rose Francisca sent yesterday under a pseudonym for some reason. I thought it was all nonsense at first, but I was gradually forced to believe it. I ended up explaining my thoughts to Rosetta at dinner, but she did not seem to understand. That would be the normal response, though.
Who would believe that Paris is actually stuck in a loop?
Tomorrow, I will write letters for the families of Bluebeard and his team members. Only I can do this since Resistance members rarely if ever meet each other. I really shouldn’t have let them make me their leader. All I end up doing is manage addresses, approve strategies, give orders, and look after the dead.
Heinz Berge’s Journal
Today at 10:00, my 72nd mechanization surgery was completed at Berlin’s general hospital. Now the German Army’s Panzer Ritter Project has advanced to the next stage.
At 12:44, I began healing from the surgery. I was freed from my restraints and allowed to wake up. At 17:07, my body’s senses recovered.
At 19:21, my Grösse Panzer unit, the 1st Grösse Panzer Platoon of the 352nd Infantry Division, sent their 1st aide to inquire about the progress of my surgeries. After some quick questioning, he left.
At 20:00, I went for a quick walk inside the hospital. With the strengthened optical nerves provided by this surgery, I can now see through the darkness out the window. My body is now nearly 70% mechanical, so it is predicted I will have a reaction speed approximately 117 times faster than a normal person when combined with a Grösse Panzer. The mechanization of my body that began shortly after the previous Great War has successfully increased my reaction speed. I should probably celebrate that this surgery has allowed an old soldier of 58 to continue fighting, but the surgeries have erased my emotions and memories, so I have no memories of anyone to celebrate with.
Currently, something the 1st aide mentioned is sticking with me.
While our German Army has spent many long years experimenting on my body to create a true Panzer Ritter, France has long had its own project to create the strongest Panzer.
Theirs is named the Attesor Project. The Attesor Project’s existence has long been rumored and, if I recall correctly, the German-born traitor and current adventurer named M. Schrier wrote about it in the 7th volume of his children’s book series known as the Ober Geheimnis Compilation.
There are no known witnesses and very little material evidence, so it was thought to be no more than childish rumors and guesses born in Bourgogne. But it seems that they have discovered there is more to it.
Our army is investigating the existence of that strongest Panzer development project. I feel no surprise our doubt about this. As a Panzer Kavalier, I simply leave it in the back of my mind as I go to sleep.
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