Seikai no Senki:Volume4 Chapter5(jp)

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Chapter 5: Imperial Order[edit]

"Number one space-time fusion (Gor Putarloth), enemy 907 destroyed. Number two space-time fusion, enemy 632 destroyed. Number six and seven space-time fusion ......" a stream of monotonous reports from the communication officer (Drokia) echoes through the bridge (Gahorl) of the battleship of the line (Alaicec) ‘Kaisof’. 
On this warship, the current reporting communication officer was Duhir.
While Duhir observed the space-time bubbles (Flasath) fusing on the plane-space projection map (Ja Fad) he was busy using his tongue.
"Number eleven space-time fusion (Gor Putarloth). There is no change to enemy 915. Oh, it's destroyed now. Number twelve space-time fusion, enemy 336......"
"Very well," Hecto-Commander (Bomowas) Bersot began.
"Quite so." Kazuvu joined in.
Duhir was silent.

Mines (Hoksath) destroy enemies and disperse them as space-time particle (Supflasath) ripples going through plane-space (Fath). The majority of enemies are also mines.
But it is consoling to know that friends are being avoided.
"Is there something out of order?" Bersot asked.
If the Captain (Salerl) asks something then it has to be answered.
The flight officer (Lodair) on the bridge reported no abnormalities at his station.
"Very well. Ready the next wave of mines. Have we received any target yet?"
Usually, a battleship of the line cannot choose its target. Squadron headquarters will determine the targets beforehand, and the ship just fires according to the instructions.
Senior communications officer (Alm Drokia) Vonyu answered, "Not yet."
"What is the senior officer doing? Can't we occasionally fire at will?"
"Please do not say 'cannot do it' just because everybody expects something else," lectured Vonyu.
"Target has been transmitted by the flagship (Glaga)."
"Is that so? Enter target information!" Bersot ordered casually disappointed.
"Target information entered." said Kazuvu.
"Commence space-time separation (Gor Lyutcoth)!"
"Space-time separation (Gor Lyutcoth), aye."
Mines (Hoksath) have been fired beforehand and placed stationary within the space-time bubble (Flasath) of the ‘Kaisof’.
Now, the order was given and one after another began space-time separation (Gor Lyutcoth).

"Number 21 space-time separation (Gor Lyutcoth), number 22nd, space-time separation." Duhir read it aloud while the ‘Kaisof’ shot all munitions until exhaustion as time went by.
Duhir returns to gaze once again at the plane-space projection map (Ja Fad).
Mines (Hoksath) were shot from each ship of the Strike Half-Fleet ‘Guderusu’ toward the enemy Fleet. Patrol warships (Résic) deployed at the front along with assault ships (Gairh) waited a moment before moving out. They mixed into the group of mines (Hoksath) in the attack.
Mines (Hoksath) were also released from the enemy Fleet.
Space-time bubbles (Flasath) are shown to be merging.
"Number 24, space-time fusion (Gor Putarloth), enemy 117 destroyed. Number 25, space-time fusion, there is no change to enemy 532. Number 26, space-time fusion ......" Duhir read off the battle results without excitement.
Mines (Hoksath) destroy each other creating a big tide within plane-space (Fath) while the patrol warship and assault ship kept pushing forward. Eventually, all mines (Hoksath) are destroyed.
"Retreat signal from squadron flagship (Glaga Sov)." reported Vonyu.
Duhir glanced at the plane-space projection map (Ja Fad). The squadron flagship already started to withdraw.
"All stop, that's it for today," Bersot stretches himself, "Full movement state (Noktaf), course 95. Follow the squadron flagship (Glaga Sov)."

"Are we leaving the battlefield just like that?" Duhir blurbed out carelessly.
"Do you think a battleship of the line (Alaicec) without mines (Hoksath) has a chance?" Bersot asks surprisingly gently.
"No." replied Duhir.
A fierce battle continues far at the front.
However, a battleship of the line with its big body is only a decoy in such a battlefield.
And the Star Force (Laburéc) was not desperate yet to have to use them as decoy.
However you might think the order is right.
Above all, since an order was given by the squadron flagship, the Captain (Salerl) has no choice.
However, Bersot's joyful voice felt inappropriate.
Duhir felt ashamed. He seemed to have accused unjustly.
For a person having the family name (Fiith) Abriel it has been taught to be careful when criticizing his superiors.
There is reason to believe his superior may take it wrongly because it comes from a member of the Imperial family (Fasanzoerl).
Bersot was not his only worry, Duhir thought.
"His Highness the Prince (Feia Larsol) is dissatisfied," Bersot went on while smiling.

Duhir was not able to come to like his smile.
"That is not the case." he denied.
Bersot expressed bluntly his unbelief under the circumstances "That's so dishonest."
"I'm not dishonest." Duhir denied.
"It's becoming to deny the Captain's (Salerl) every word," Bersot said smiling wryly.
"I'm really sorry."
The Captain does not seem to be so unpleasant.
"Look, Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel," called the Captain in order to be effective, "this is good as this makes you a special person."
"Yes," Duhir accepted it plainly.
The Imperial family (Fasanzoerl) is at least one of a kind in the Empire (Frybar).
He did not depend on his birthright, but no matter what he cannot show a behavior of opposing the order of the armed forces or denying his right to the Royal Throne.
The important thing is to think that you are a talented person.
The Star Forces (Laburéc) does not regard hiding one's talent to be a virtue.
"In fact," Bersot said proudly, "we who are assigned to you are special."
"No," said Duhir reflexively.
"I was posted under the Captain (Salerl) not the other way around."
"According to procedure it is," asserted Bersot matter of fact.

"It is truly so." Duhir added immediately.
"Is it so?" Bersot's confidence became uncertain.
"I think." replied Duhir feeling his confidence fading away.
"What does it matter?" Vonyu inserted.
"Whether or not you are special is not important to you?" Bersot asked mysteriously.
"Everyone is unique, don't you think so?" Vonyu replied and as if to end it, "There is no need to assert this every time."
"You are avoiding the topic."
"That is not my intention, but," said Vonyu unexpectedly.
"what you called special is related to human individualism. It can also be found in me as with every other Abh. Indeed what refers to 'special', or whatever you call it, relates itself to the Empire's position in the matter. Simply speaking ......"
"In other words the Captain (Salerl) is interested if you will have an outstanding career" summarized Vonyu her conclusion.

With a look of a well-mannered cat Bersot asked, "Are you not interested in an outstanding career?"
"I could be," Vonyu asserted flatly.
"As the Empire (Frybar) is at war this is my duty as a landed gentry (Ryuuk). Being aboard a warship (Wakreurl) can be fun in this world."
"That is obvious……" Bersot said woefully, "however, don't you want to at least set some goal for yourself?"
"I didn't think about who I kill whom I have never met before." replied Vonyu ill-humored.
Bersot dumb founded by the statement said. "The way you say it is very blunt……"
"That is the nature of war."
"I don't think someone who is not a field army officer (Bosnal) can lecture me about war."
"I have no intention to lecture" he stated furthering his line.
“Further even if the army officer (Bosnal) starts thinking about the meaning of the war, I don't think that it has any influence.
Anyway……" Vonyu cuts off.
"What is it?"

"It's alright. It would have been an impolite speech to the senior officer."
"Brilliant turn around."
"In fact the dream of becoming a squadron commander (Lesh Sov) is a lofty aspiration for a small man." Vonyu whispered.
But it was enough to reach Bersot's ear.
"This may not be the dream. I mean it is 'the least' rank I hope to serve with. It certainly comes true if I do not die. It is not a dream."
"Please do not think aloud. And……" Vonyu suddently gazes directly at Duhir.
Conscious of it, rather than looking involuntarily turns her eyes away in a hurry.
"Well, so it is" Bersot stared at Duhir without concern and smiled mischievously.
"It is wrong to talk about a career in front of the boy who may sit down on the Jade Imperial Throne (Skemsorl Roen)"
Imperial throne (Skemsorl)…….
It would be a lie to say that he would not have thought about it.
Whenever he thought of the Alpha (almfac) with Gaftonosh (Gaftonosh) which is a symbol of the Emperor (Spunej) he inevitably sees his older sister Lafiel connected to them.
He cannot imagine her accepting any gratitude from her subjects.
Lafiel is not the first female candidate for the next Empress.
There are some people who are nearer to the Royal Throne than him in the eight royal families (Lartei Ga).

Besides, there was no clear intention to want to become Emperor (Spunej).
The Kryb King (Larth Crÿub) Dubeusec who is his father was meant for it at one time —— being born into the Imperial family (Fasanzoerl) has various obligations.
However, to become Emperor (Spunej) is not included.
After all, a lot of candidates are prepared even if he says anything.
When he heard the words, Duhir did not feel any emotion in particular.
He knew it.
He thought he understood it after this long, but he is still insecure.
But, now, living among the people with whom the Imperial family (Fasanzoerl) has little contact with made him realize the weight of the words of his kingly father.
The people seem always to expect someone from the Imperial family to become Emperor (Spunej) even if you are not.
Even if there is nobody saying it out loud, he feels the strong pressure as if going for the Imperial throne is his duty.
Duhir fell silent.
It was not required to talk about his feelings which he felt was relieving.
"Captain (Salerl)" it was Vonyu who held his Alpha (Almfac) lightly down to the eyebrows.
"A message?" asked Bersot.
"Yes, please wait." Vonyu concentrated on her spatial-sensor organ (Frosh).

"Is the message from that space-time bubble (Flasath)?" Bersot asked pointing his command stick (Greu) at the plane-space projection map (Ja Fad).
There was a space-time bubble of a friend. The space-time bubble of a communications ship.
It was not strange that a communications ship (Longia) was in the battlefield at all, but the position was strange and unnatural.
"Copy" Vonyu noded, "from fleet headquarters (Glagaf Byral) for the Captain (Salerl). Transfering it to the wrist computer (Kryuno) of the Captain."
"From fleet headquarters directed at me?" Bersot mutters with a surprised expression while looking at the same time at his wrist computer (Kryuno).
And snorted "Senior communications officer (Alm Drokia), inter-bubble communication (Drosh Flaktedal) to squadron flagship (Glaga Sov)"
"Contents, please" replied Vonyu.
"With permission from fleet headquarters, this warship takes individual action."
Vonyu carried out the order promptly. "Communication completed."
"Now, does Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel know where we will be going to?" Bersot asked out of the blue.
"No, I don't" replied Duhir without emotions.
How should I possibly know, he thought, and felt his chest become heavy.
"Captain (Salerl), inter-bubble communication (Drosh Flaktedal) from squadron headquarters" Vonyu reported.
"It says, permission for individual action granted."
"Very well." Bersot began ordering, "senior navigator (Alm Rilbiga) perform space-time fusion (Gor Putarloth) immediately with communications ship ‘Tokrool’."

‘Tokrool’ was the warship which sent the inter-bubble communication (Drosh Flaktedal).
"Is it by any chance, Captain (Salerl), that this is your the long time dream coming true?" Vonyu teases.
"My long time dream is what?"
Vonyu was about to answer.
"That's alright," the Captain waves with his hand. "No need to answer. I understand."
"And what about that?"
"It is different. To grant the dream of this little man, fleet headquarters (Glagaf Byral) would not have come down," Bersot gazed at the senior communications officer (Alm Drokia).
"What words did you probably have to say?"
"May I say it out loud?” Asked Vonuy quietly.
"If I'm not around" the Captain allowed this liberty.
"But where there are more people around?"
"Do not ask for permission to talk dirty behind someone."
"You don't think so? Great, then I won't ask for permission."
"I do not understand how it's like for you to keep a secret," Bersot sat down into the captain's seat.
"Anyway, our duty is to let Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel transfer to the ‘Tokrool’."

"Me?" Duhir was surprised.
"So it is," Bersot noded to him, "you have been summon by fleet headquarters."
"It is a summoning?" he asked again thinking it was stupid to do so.
"Do you know why?"
"No, no" Duhir shook his head.
"You are being modest. As a young one you are being spared."
"I'm not polite" Duhir felt he understood nothing.
"It is impossible to tell what will happen if I let you say what you want."
"The military academy (Kenru) does not teach such etiquette."
"I know. Even I graduated from there."
Duhir let loose a deep sigh from his heart while keeping a serious appearance.
He wanted honestly to keep arguing with this captain, but feared that he will lose out first.
"In short, you are to appear there. That's all."
"Captain (Salerl), do you know something?"
"In a sense." Bersot was confident.
"It probably is what?" Duhir's eyes twinkle.
"Your Highness (Feia) that is your title (Traiga). Or, is there something else special about you?"

Only he could not think it would be that certain.
However, Duhir never heard of a case before in which a lowly Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) was called to fleet headquarters (Glagaf Byral) even if he is part of the Imperial family (Fasanzoerl).
"Although, fleet headquarters may have given some thought about the Imperial family (Fasanzoerl), but I did not think that the senior officers would give special treatment."
Except that, duh! as if thought — no, another special meaning? Did he have something special other than being from the Imperial family (Fasanzoerl)?
"I presume they didn't call you for social activities." Bersot interrupted.
Because the Emperor's (Spunej) grandchild happens to be a subordinate of a commander of the Star Force (Laburéc) he would never think of saying hello for nothing.
Rather it would have been an insult to the Abriel.
"Alright. I don't have the slightest idea what it's about." Duhir said honestly.
"Hm." Bersot pondered with his hand to his chin
"I do not know about a special status or the special circumstances why a Hecto-Commander (Bomowas) would not dream of becoming a squadron commander. But it must have something to do with your birth."
Or something like that, Duhir thought.
"Space-time fusion (Gor Putarloth) with communications ship ‘Tokrool’ in 70 minutes." announced the senior navigator (Alm Rilbiga).

13th Twin Thorns Fleet Flagship (Byr Lobina Bolpel Glaga) ‘Shykau’ made a sortie from the Elkon gate, but it had been located at the rear of the front. A few warships are accompanying it, making it difficult to think of as the fleet headquarters' warship.
The simple fact that the communications ship shuttle(boat) frequently makes space-time fusion (Gor Putarloth) and separation with it, makes it the flagship of the fighting Fleet.
The communications ship ‘Tokrool’ is alongside the ‘Shykau’.
The ‘Shykau’ is a patrol warship. But has been given modifications to become the fleet headquarters’ warship.
As a squadron flagship must participate in a battle as well as their limited number there is no distinction between itself and other warships.
As headquarters equipment and facilities are bigger than are necessary for a Half-Fleet Flagship (Glaga Yadobyral) or patrol warship they have (not) been mass-produced.
However, when a Half-Fleet Flagship (Glaga Yadobyral) like the ‘Shykau’ becomes the fleet headquarters warship it does not have all the required equipment.
Still the low number does not necessitate mass production. Therefore, extensive modifications are made on a patrol warship to become a Half-Fleet Flagship.
This includes carrying six communications boat (Peria), a conference room, various department offices, and provide living quarters for the necessary headquarters personnel.
The space of 12 enormous mine (Hoksath) must be sacrificed for this.
Even this is not enough. Therefore, the inside of the ‘Shykau’, is the answer to the challenge to put the many functions into such limited space.

Duhir walked the complicated passageway.
It was beyond luxury for a Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) to use a mobile platform (Yazuria).
There are probably many outside visitors when it becomes a fleet headquarters.
Many improved signs prevent getting lost.
Here and there guards (Sash Leitofec) are posted.
It is unthinkable that a hostile person can invade headquarters.
Rather than patrolling, it is probably in order to kill time to stand guard.
When there is something to prepare fleet headquarters must have a lot of guards.
Before long he arrived in front of the entrance to the bridge command seat (Gahorl Gral).
It is being protected by honor guard (Sash Idar).
They are security experts traditionally selected from the guards or paratrooper (Sash Wakerol).
As expected, there is genuine tension.
They seem to have known of Duhir's visit beforehand. Certainly, they knew about his standing.
"Line Wing Officer (Fektodai), I regret to inform you, that it is my duty to make a body inspection." said one of the honor guard.
"I respect your duty." replied Duhir from the service platform. Duhir is being searched to the skin.

The physical examination was over.
"I beg your pardon." said the honor guard who turned his back on Duhir.
The door opens before him.
The honor guard (Sash Idar) led Duhir with their peculiar unique walking methods.
A few steps upfront, a honor guard steps forward, and gave the announcement.
"Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel has arrived."
The flag officers of the 13th Fleet (Byr Lobina) were on the bridge command seat.
Most of the people here should have been in military service since before Duhir was born.
Duhir saluted them.
"Hardships, Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel" came the greeting from the woman with blood colored lips who was on the single step elevated platform.
It was Fleet Commander in Chief (Glaharerl Byral) Star Force Field Marshal (Spainec Laburar) Kotoponi.
"Commander in Chief (Glaharerl)" Duhir saluted her again.
"Guide Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel to the Commander in Chief (Glaharerl) office" ordered Kotoponi to the honor guard.
It seems his business with the bridge command seat ended with this.
Disappointed at the thought, Duhir saluted and left.
Two guards were waiting when he left through the door. These two seem to be guiding to the office.

The Commander in Chief’s office is a room mainly used for meetings, and its wide space is to allow all the Fleet staff officers to fit in.
The floor was laid with a long and thick carpet, a conference desk made of ebony wood was installed which seem to fit a modest family.
Duhir is led to the last seat.
The guards who accompanied him stand firmly at attention across the door.
Of course they did not talk idly. They were quiet.
Duhir put both hands on a knee and kept still.
From a very early age, in public display before a crowd, he learned and got used to sitting well.
His father used to say, that the most important quality for a person born into the Imperial family is to have strength in patience.
But Abriels by nature had little of this nature.
There is little public attention here which is better. He was confident to maintain such a posture for one or two seconds.
If the Commander in Chief (Glaharerl) does not want to torture the Royalty (Fasanzoerl) for some reason, he cannot be left unattended for long.
On the other side of a large desk was the chair of the Commander in Chief.
Behind the chair hung ‘the three headed dragon (Larth Biharel)’ which was the symbol of the post of the Fleet Commander in Chief (Glaharerl Byral),
the imperial headquarters (Rue Gla) with the Gaftonosh (Gaftonosh), two crossing-over spines and the stylized figure of 13 combines with fleet headquarters (Gla Byral) design.
And the crest banner (Gal Gura) of the Kotoponi family, black with a silver cross which is called (Kuroti).

The Kotoponi family coat of arms is known to be the most simple among the 29 Abh founding families.
Rumor has it that the ancestor of Kotoponi spend three seconds to finish it; conveniently drew two lines to work as coat of arms, which in his mind had to intersect at a right angle.
Kotoponi's reputation is not to take time for decisions.
However, the ratio of the length of the drawn lines has been passed on to the present time.
It was a crest Duhir was used to see but the cross always raised uneasiness he thought.
Somehow, he felt he could not calm down.
Could the vertical axis be extended a little, if it's not possible, could the crossbar be lowered a little, he thought.
He was criticizing the crest of another house; this rudeness cannot be forgiven even for an Abriel.
Only a Kotoponi is qualified to criticize the cross of the Kotoponi.
That is why nobody says anything, but if there is a brave man to break the taboo or if a Kotoponi is born with proper aesthetic sense won't they agree with him?
"His Highness the Commander in Chief (Lonyu Glaharerl)" the guard shouted.
Duhir stood up and saluted toward the chair.

The commander in Chief was alone. She returned the salute lightly, and took a seat.
Duhir finished saluting and began to sit down when Kotoponi ordered in a low but clear voice "go down."[1]
Was it for herself or him he thought; Duhir was puzzled.
But the words were meant for the crew member (Sash) behind her.
"Yes" he heard an answer immediately from the back.
"Let nobody in" Kotoponi added an order.
The crew member left, Duhir and Kotoponi were the only two left.
If here was the Imperial Court, Kotoponi must express respect.
His imperial prince (Rue Kler) is his status in the Imperial palace (Ruebei) should be respected, but Duhir is also a prince (Lars) and the grandson of the master of the Imperial palace.
But, above all here was a battlefield, the positions cannot be described as reversed.
As a Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) he cannot look straight at a Star Force Field Marshal (Spainec Laburar).
"An Imperial Decree (Bisozerl Kimna) was send out", the Commander in Chief (Glaharerl) said without any introduction.
"Do you know the procedures for an Imperial Decree?"
Royal seal means top secret.
The contents are encoded within the wrist computer (Kryuno) of the Emperor (Spunej), and except for special cases, never sent with an electromagnetic wave;
It is delivered in a memory sheet (Jesh).
The memory piece is put in a box, and a seal is made by the Emperor himself, too.

Only a limited number of wrist computer (Kryuno) can remove the encryption on the Imperial Decree. Their number is not a 100 within the Milky Way.
Furthermore, when solving the holder of the wrist computer itself must be fitting to decipher the text, and there are many restrictions such as immediate deletion of the decoded text after reading.
Kotoponi inserted the memory sheet (Jesh) into the slid.
"It is in. Your status should be able to decipher it."
"Yes", that ability is surely given to a flight officer (Lodair) from the Imperial family (Fasanzoerl) to decode a code exclusively used by the Emperor.
The information is transferred from the memory sheet (Jesh) into the wrist computer, and only displays the content the person is allowed to know.
Of course, Duhir's wrist computer had that ability.
"How does it go? Are you afraid that I would ask about the secret content?" Kotoponi asked.
"No. It's not so."
"Finish it quickly. I am busy."
For a person with the family name Kotoponi the most unbearable thing will be a human being who spends wasteful time on conduct.
If that human being may become the monarch of himself in the future it would come with even more uneasiness.
However, Duhir could not hold asking the question. "Why would you share it with me?"

"The permission to this information was granted because Your Highness (Feia) are an officer with the title (Traiga) suitable for the Royal throne" explained Kotoponi in one breath.
"So your superior officers are not entitled to know this. I already read it enough to know so it's your turn."
Duhir felt his question was not being answered.
As Kotoponi says, there is surely both the qualification and the ability to read an Imperial Decree.
However, there is no obligation that he must read it.
But should he press on with one question after another.
Fortunately, the Commander in Chief (Glaharerl) seemed to have sympathized with him.
"Conveying the contents is what I had in mind."
"I understand."
That reason was enough.
As the Commander in Chief wishes to discuss an order, the conclusion is that Duhir has to know the contents of the order beforehand.
Although he did not understand yet the reason why she had to inform him about the order, he had to refrain from asking more questions.
"The story is not over yet." Kotoponi's dark blue eyebrows showed a glimpse of unpleasantness at the edges.
"Excuse me, Ma’am" Duhir was rather relieved.
"According to the Imperial Decree contents, it is possible that my Fleet will be given a serious task."

"Yes," a more serious task than the present combat operations — Duhir could not imagine what.
"As a result, depending on the state of things, my Fleet may stand alone from the Empire mainland."
This wasn't particularly surprising. In addition, it is not worrisome if the isolation is temporary.
In the history of the Empire, there were cases where it was impossible for a Fleet to connect with the supply line.
Sometimes, contact was impossible to reestablish even when it was there.
But, he did not really know how this kind of situation is related to him.
"In that case, as noble officer we will consider you as representative of Her Imperial Majesty (Spunej Erumita)."
"What?" He could not but be surprised by this. "I will take command of the Fleet?"
He knew enough to know that this day would come, but he was not ready yet in all aspects.
He will have to be at least a graduate from Military University (Voskura) or the army officer (Bosnal) of the Fleet will be annoyed.
"Hypothetically, if I transfer command authority to your noble officer then it will be so. But it is perhaps a symbolic position to be filled.
The final decision is my job. I will observe your performance as officer, and will consider this.”
"There is another question," Duhir cut in unwanted. "May I?"
Kotoponi's position on the battlefield cannot be reversed forever, he thought.
Even if Duhir became Star Force Field Marshal (Spainec Laburar) by that time she will already be killed in action or have retired.

He could not but be upset now that the day of reversed roles has arrived.
A reason for him to clarify and check the reason behind her decision.
"Permission granted. Ask your question." Kotoponi fortunately noded.
"My understanding is that should a military unit however big become stranded then the supreme commander will become a representative of Her Imperial Majesty (Spunej Erumita).
"Your understanding is completely correct."
"Supposedly, an unfortunate situation like this happens, would not the Commander in Chief (Glaharerl) act as representative of Her Majesty (Erumiton) in this case?"
"And, there is no problem when a representative decides to rely on another representative of Her Imperial Majesty."
"Although this conforms to military regulations, but why would you make such a decision?"
"Because under certain conditions, I must enhance the vigilance for a long-term isolation."
"I do not understand," Duhir was confused again. "I thought that under this kind of condition there shouldn't be any danger coming from the duration of the isolation."
"Perhaps 'long-term' in your mind has a different quality from the 'long-term' I said a moment ago."
"A difference in quality, what could that be?"

"You will understand when you finished reading the order. If you don't then I have nothing to say."
So that's how it is. By that time I will be revealed to be an idiot — Duhir thought to himself.
"However, not every Fleet (Byr) has a Royalty (Fasanzoerl) serving. If it were so what would you do?"
"But, you are here."
"Isn't this hypothetical question allowed?"
"It is not necessary." Kotoponi shook her head.
"There may be more or no Royalty (Fasanzoerl) available. As said, as an officer I will assume authority on behalf of Her Majesty (Erumiton). But not considering a better way, it cannot be said to be wise."
"Placing me as representative is a better way?"
"That depends on your qualification as an officer. I do not know my insect shellfish[2] officer well.
I know you at most only as Her Majesty's (Erumiton) grandson or the famous new flight officer (Lodair). I do not know your qualification as an officer.
If you are not suitable for the position, and judged as such, then I will drag you down without hesitation."
"I'm relieved I asked you about that."
"As an Abrial you lack ambition" Kotoponi glared slightly at him.
"I'm failing because of my response?"

"No. It is too early for a conclusion."
This was the biggest surprise. Kotoponi was withholding a decision.
"You have no questions anymore?"
"No, you want another question?"
"You can ask until you don't have any more, but I don't mind if you don't have one. I am taking the time to do so."
Indeed, a Commander in Chief (Glaharerl)'s time is as precious as the water on a rocky planet.
"Where is the meaning in telling me beforehand the strategic content?"
"To prevent confusion in time," Kotoponi paused a moment and added, "even if you are not, a time of great confusion will probably come. I want to get things done quickly.
In addition, I must consider the possibility that fleet headquarters and your communication officiers are going to be cut off."
"In that case, who will judge over my qualification?"
"No one will judge. Before you return to your ship, I intend to give you your own orders personally. Its content will state that in case of an emergency you must go to the fleet headquarters and must not hesitate to make any sacrifices.
Submit it to your immediate commander at the time you can contact.
If fleet headquarters has been destroyed he can make his own judgment."
"Paying any sacrifices?" Duhir looked at Kotoponi steadily.

"So it is. I emphasize that it is not rhetoric. It is a priority to bring your Highness in even if the Fleet is close to be pulverized."
"Now" Duhir stood up bewildered. "It seems to me I'm guarded or is it not!"
"This is exactly the order given to guard your Highness."
"I cannot accept that!" Duhir got enraged.
Abrials are soldiers. They felt that to fall on the battlefield is a good way to end one's life.
Even for the Emperor (Spunej) there is no difference.
Of course, there is always the personal guard; when the imperial state ship (Rue Ruhorl) is moving out a number of warships on guard duty will escort it.
To go down under the fire of an enemy ship is preferred but not limited to being killed by an assassin or a madman.
In a manner of speaking they are the same in terms of health care.
However, when being with the Fleet, the Emperor is the commander who can lead the Fleet to victory.
A Fleet is never meant to protect an Emperor.
Besides, Duhir is a mere Royalty (Fasanzoerl), not even an Emperor.
He joined to fight as an Abh. There was no reason to be looked after.
Being guarded by a Fleet only calls feelings of humiliation for Duhir.

Even if it's a Star Force Field Marshal (Spainec Laburar), where does he even have the right to force a humiliation?
"Dissatisfied?" asked Kotoponi.
"Yes." Duhir replied calmly.
"Sit down, Line Wing Officer (Fektodai)"
"However, fleet commander (Glaharerl)"
"Hold on chick. You are still a Line Wing Officer (Fektodai). This here is my flagship (Glaga).
You will follow my orders."
"Yes." it was all too true, Duhir took his seat. But it didn't mean he accepted it.
He waited for the opportunity in which his raging blue flame-like anger in his chest to latch out.
"Concerning the pride of the Abriels, it is of no concern to me.
I order you, and you will accept it whether you like it or not.
Or have you been complaining when you were escorted here, and now you demand me to take them away when you leave?"
"No……" Duhir could not object.
"How can your mind be clear if you cannot control yourself?
If you cannot then you cannot even be called a chick.
Perhaps being on the battlefield is in itself a mistake. The Star Force (Laburéc) hasn't come down enough for me to rely on eggs.
As it is possible to return you along the sick and wounded back to the capital (Arosh), you can take care of the hatched, at least you can provide warmth."

Yes. He disregarded the pride and courage to protect someone.
"My apologies Madame fleet commander. I will follow your instructions."
"You should have understood" Kotoponi relaxes her shoulders, "I didn't expect to find a weakness, but you are an Abriel. I got a chill from your expression a moment ago."
Kotoponi did not appear to have a chill.
Most of all he was unhappy with his 'superior act', but he decided to keep quiet for now.
Still, did he look that scary?
"Does Your Honor (Lonyu) think that it is likely that we will be isolated?" Duhir asked her the question.
"I don't know." Kotoponi replied. "There are too many uncertain elements to determine.
Even if I know, it may cause unnecessary confusion to discuss it now."
"I understand."
"Any more questions?"
"Frankly, I still cannot accept Your Honor's idea. However, knowing the imperial order might clear my doubts, therefore, I'm going to hold my questions back."
"Very well. Then start decoding."

Duhir began to decipher.
Decoding and reading were over in no time.
"This is……"
"Your impressions?" Kotoponi smiled poisonously with her red lips.
He was still unable to express well in words.
"However, this is……" Duhir is halting, "is not decided yet."
"My instructions might come to naught."
Imperial Decree (Bisozerl Kimna) contents:
Prepare a study for the Fleet to enter into ‘Hania Federation〉 space, to disarm Federation Forces, and to be stationed there.
In other words, make studies and preparations for the decision, but whether it is going to be given is unclear.
"Her Majesty (Erumiton) really likes to give unreasonable requests.
Without telling the purpose you can only do a study or not. She just wants to prepare a magic act."
Duhir was relieved to know that even Kotoponi complained.
"The Chief of Staff (Was Kasaler) should know this."
"Yes. I appreciate the note." Kotoponi smiled, "magic acts are exclusively her work."

"Are you telling me now that this jam-packed......that the fleet commander thinks that it's not for nothing?"
"I don't know. I'm just a front line commander. This is beyond my area of responsibility.
Not to be modest. Regarding my field of responsibility, the range in front of a Commander is limited. I cannot prepare for every case, but if it's within range of possibilities then I can anticipate it. I think that's good enough."
"In the current situation it is my duty to keep the imperial order in mind, is it?" Duhir varified.
"Yes. Keep it in mind only."
"Understood." Of course he had no intention to tell anyone.
"Return the memory sheet (Jesh) with the decoded message erased now."
Duhir did as told.
"Well then, it's farewell Line Wing Officer (Fektodai)," Kotoponi said. "Return to your warship."
Duhir saluted and was about to leave. However, he turned around when he realized a possibility.
He saw Kotoponi returning a suspicious look.
"Fleet commander, you should......" Duhir was unable to continue.
"What should I?"

"No, nothing. Excuse me. With your permission." Duhir saluted again, and was going to leave this time.
"Line Wing Officer (Fektodai)!" However, Kotoponi hailed.
"I will only worship and kneel in front of the Jade Imperial Throne (Skemsorl Roen).
I do not wish my flagship (Glaga) to have a temporary Imperial throne.
Even if you assume absolute military authority afterward,
I do not wish to meet you again before the end of the operation."
"So am I" agreed Duhir, and corrected himself in a hurry.
"I hope that your fondness to me will let us meet again in front of the Imperial throne's ornament instead of a temporary one."
"As you say." Kotoponi joined in. "Once the chick has grown, it would be my pleasure to meet it again."

Translator's Notes[edit]

  1. “go down” a naval jargon for “stand down” from Earth.
  2. 虫貝=insect shellfish, shall not be changed or removed, it is explicitly used, it is not a real lifeform as in "hermit crab".
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