Seikai no Senki:Volume4 Chapter9

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Chapter 9: Mairal’s snow (Gyushu Mairal)[edit]

Mairal star system—.
It's a 'United Mankind' Frontier star system. Immediately close by is the border of the 'Hania Federation '.
Furthermore, the 'Greater Alkont Republic' is near, too.
Therefore, it was once a major trade star system. The articles, which had been carried, were accumulated here at the collection and distribution center, and delivered to the 'Hania Federation' and the 'Greater Alkont Republic'.
Of course, a large number of ships from the two countries entered port, too.
In order to handle the enormous freight, the 'United Mankind' constructed an artificial planet.
Since the start of the war, the star system has become livelier. Compared to an era of peace it has a burned flavor (Kinakusa) now, but it has increased the volume of goods being handled.
The amount of goods that flowed into the artificial planet, and which cannot be process kept flowing out. It was the center of the main current of goods.
To support the 'United Mankind' with weapons, the 'Greater Alkont Republic' kept passing by the Mairal star system mainly.

When Operation Twin Thorns began, the flow of supplies was reversed.
In order to support the Fleet, which had been cut-off from the center of the 'United Mankind', the supply had to be sent from the 'Greater Alkont Republic'.
However, the traffic of supplies decreased sharply because the 'Greater Alkont Republic' had to support the troops.
Now, even that has ended.
At last, a Star Force (Laburéc) advance force passed through the Mairal Sord (Sord Mairal), and brought the star system under control.
The artificial planet, which was a symbol of prosperity of the Mairal star system, was exposing its paled and miserable form.
It was not the work of the Star Force (Laburéc). It was done by the 'United Mankind' bureaucrat who decided on the destruction of the artificial planet.
This was done so that it could not be used by the enemy, but this was a needless act.
As they did not consider the Star Force (Laburéc) own practice, who never thought of using something made by someone else as their military base in the first place.
Without any artificial planet, the Mairal star system had played its mother-in-law role nicely for the Star Force (Laburéc) military base.
It could rival the bustling capital (Arosh).
Since its inception, the Mairal star system had never received such a large quantity of interstellar ships.

"What a view, as expected, the 'Gate' (Sord) is crowded." battleship of the line (Alaicec) 'Kaisof' Captain (Salerl) Bersot said admired.
The 'Kaisof' belongs to the Strike Half-Fleet (Yadobyr Votout) 〈Guderusu〉. It had been waiting for three days before finally allowed to enter the Mairal Sord.
And, everyone knew a large Fleet had been assembled in the Mairal star system.
"Data concatenation (Lonjhoth Rirrag) completed" Vonyu reported.
"Well done." Bersot has been waiting to ask the questions.
"Thus, do you know now what is going on here?"
"It's the first time the 13th Fleet (Byr Lobina) had gathered here." Vonyu began.
"The 11th, the 12th, and most of all the 14th had gathered."
"Oh. I thought our Fleet was not the only one, but even the 14th Fleet......" Berso... looked dazed "Is the side/flank all right?"
14th Twin Thorns Fleet (Byr Logona Bolpel) should be prepared for the 'Greater Alkont Republic'.
Knowing that the Fleet had gathered, and exposed a defenseless side, he felt uneasy.
"Well, it does mean we are not worried." Vonyu said to soothe him.
"Fleet headquarters should have some thoughts there."

"Let me do worry." Captain (Salerl) became sulky, and added. "Being attacked without understanding the reason is too unpleasant to accept."
"Well, please worry about appearance as much as you desire. Then, it seems the name of the Fleet will change."
"A change?" Bersot asked surprised. "What name is it?"
"I don't know yet."
"As for me, I am pleased with the name Twin Thorns (Bolpel)."
"Therefore, please enjoy it as Twin Thorns (Bolpel) for a few days before it's too late."
"Who knows?" Vonyu turned her head.
"Anyway, a name change also changes the mission itself."
"Do you know about the new mission?"
Vonyu worked on (a pad), and silently showed the Captain the display.
There were twinkling 'military unit' letters.
Bersot, immediately, shot a meaningful look at Duhir.
"Hey, it's time for some insights." Bersot said. "What was the Commander in Chief (Glaharerl) talking about, Your Highness the Prince (Feia Larsol)?"
"I cannot say yet." Duhir replied. "I cannot break the military discipline."

"I thought so." he shrugged/hung melancholic. "It is probably not just the military discipline, isn't it?
It is also an obligation as a Royalty (Fasanzoerl) not to say something, isn't it?"
Duhir did not directly answer to that, "I am sorry." he said casually.
"Don't apologize."
"Well, I have some idea."
"Is it the 'Greater Alkont Republic'?" Kazuvu asked.
"That's one possibility."
"There are other possibilities?"
"No way!" Kazuvu is not convinced. "I mean, the Empire (Frybar) had never initiated a war with another country!"
"This is the last war. There is a variety of ways (to wage it)."
"It's still not the last yet."
"If my thoughts are right, then it's mankind's final war."
"Are you seriously thinking that?"
"Oh, yes" Bersot looked at Duhir again. "I will stop here. 
It is useless to guess this and that in front of a human being(person) who knows the correct answer.

Furthermore, unless he will tell us, we won't know whether or not it is right."
"It pains me in my ~heart/mind." Duhir ~blurbed out carelessly. "I truly mean it."
"I know, I know, Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel. How about it, want to go in circles talking to ourselves?"
Duhir answered earnestly. "I don't have a go in circles talking habit."
"This is bad for your mental health. At least, how about leaving scribbles about the new Fleet name?"
"I also don't have a scribble habit. Besides, I don't really know anything about the Fleet name."
"But, as a member of the Imperial family (Ruejhe), you must be used to this kind of matters." said Vonyu.
"You get used to what matter?"
"The matter of keeping a secret."
"Something like that, a army officer (Bosnal) has to know about. In any kind of situation, is there someone who would chatter about military units?"
Vonyu shot a suspicious gaze at her superior officer.
"What's with this look?"
"By the way, Captain (Salerl)." Vonyu changed the topic. "We have been given 72 hours of leave."
"Such an important matter should have been told first. Where is it?"

"Everywhere nothing else but mobile city (Laknebh Hoka)." Vonyu said with disgust.
"What were you expecting coming over here? This is a battlefield, you know."
"It is appropriate for a warrior, who goes to mankind's final war, to be entertained. Don't you think so, Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel?"
"If it's against a warrior headed towards mankind's last war, than that may be so." said Duhir casually.
"Damn it, I put my bet on the jackpot and lost." Bersot looked frustrated.
"It was a jackpot?"
"It was indeed, Your Highness the Prince. Well, as expected from an Abriel."
"Huh" Duhir was confused.
Bersot changed the topic. "However, the mobile city will be crowded anyway."
"Should I make reservations?" asked Vonyu.
"How thoughtful."
"Where do you want to make the reservation?"
"Reserve the best room. If there is a casino nearby the better."

Observing that Vonyu really began to make reservation, Duhir thought, mixing public and private matters. He did not like such behavior.
"I got it. The place is called 'Swallow Inn'."[1] Vonyu threw a memory sheet (Jesh).
Bersot received it. "I don't like the name."
"(Fine) then, please do it (the reservation) yourself (then)." said Vonyu in an offended manner. "but it's a minute's walk to the casino."
"Well done, I will bear with the name. By the way, when does the leave/break start?" Bersot asked.
"I wouldn't believe it, but you're not going to tell me that it already started are you?"
"If I were to say so, what would you do, honey?"
"I would cause a rebellion." Bersot replied immediately.
"I won't go/participate along with you."
"I wasn't expecting anything from you." Bersot pated Duhir's shoulder.
"For us there's a prince (Lars)."
"Are you taking a hostage?" Kozuvu hung(/shrugged) his shoulders.
"I don't think it's a very good idea, Captain (Salerl)."
"I don't think so either. I want no part of a trip to hell. As a leader, I look up to him."
Duhir was shocked.
Would it be possible for the Captain to know the Fleet Commander in Chief (Glaharerl Byral)'s secret order? he thought.
Of course, if he thought calmly, something like that was impossible.

"I'm pleased to hear that." said Vonyu. "But unfortunately, the leave begins after we are docked at the city."
"Is that not good enough? What a pity."
"What is (disappointing), I wonder." said the senior communications officer (Alm Drokia) as if singing.
"Oh, well. When do we arrive at the city?"
"22 hours later."
"Is that so. Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) Abriel. Notify the crew about this happy news."
Duhir did as told.
24 hours later, Duhir was in the mobile city.
The name of the mobile city was called 'Dau Sureuk'.
The construction of 'Dau Sureuk' had just begun a week ago, and there were many parts/sections which it did not have yet/unfinished.
Unlike the Captain (Salerl), Duhir did not make a reservation at an inn, and wandered aimlessly through the city.
He verified the location of the 〈Swallow Inn〉, and walked in a direction leading away from there.

As Bersot predicted, the city was overcrowded with army officer (Bosnal).
Compared to the number of warships the city was probably too small.
When he passed through the bright brand-new street, he appeared in an ancient/antique/very old area.
The mobile city was probably connected with a portion of an automatic canteen/alcohol market that was no longer needed.
Here he found a coffee shop named 'Cat's cradle'[2] and entered.
He ordered hot peach juice (Tyl Nom). He dropped several drops of white liquor into the peach juice.
As he was on leave, the luxury will do him good.
The shop there had been crowded.
But, he did not recognize a single person, he knew, in the customers around him.
However, the people around Duhir probably knew him. After all he is a Royalty (Fasanzoerl), and the Emperor (Spunej)'s grandson.
However, there wasn't a single army officer who attempted to do a vulgar act such as call out to him.
After a long time, Duhir could feel at ease. However, it did not last long.
"Do you mind (me sitting) here?" a sudden voice asked.
Vonyu had placed her hand on the back(rest) of the seat in front (of him).
"Yes. Of course, please." Duhir gave in and smiled.
"You don't look like you are delighted."
"No, I was just surprised. Doesn't the senior communications officer (Alm Drokia) have any plans?
"Nothing has been planned. Such a sudden leave is not easy to prepare for." Vonyu laughed lightly, and ordered coffee (Surgu).
"It is." Duhir agreed.
He didn't know what he should talk about.
Since she called him, he thought, she may have something to talk about. He decided to wait.
The coffee came.
"Well, for now, you will accompany me for a while."
"Yes." Duhir replied obediently.
"You are so unfriendly."
"Because I am an Abriel."
Vonyu sipped at her coffee.
Duhir also drunk his peach juice.
"Line Wing Officer (Fektodai)." Vonyu finally started a conversation.

However, I might have illusions, rather than living a pleasant life I think it is a lot of fun as army officer (Bosnal).
But, no matter what, I would like to begin anew, something other than as flight officer (Lodair). I don't have (enough) self-confidence to be able to adapt immediately."
"I see."
"So you see, Line Wing Officer (Fektodai), there's no need to force yourself to blend in."
"Do I appear to overdo it?"
"I don't see it." Vonyu rested her cheeks on her hands.
"When one feels like they're floating, a normal human being (person) would try to blend in, or completely turn their back to it, but you just stand there aloof/remain indifferent."
"It is not my intention."
"I understand that. You were just acting normal, right? That's what you call aloofness."
To be seen in such a manner by others, Duhir felt fresh thinking about it.
"And so, what I want to say is, I don't mind if you stay as you are now, but there's just one thing that I want you to remember."
"What does it matter?"
"Don't be contempt."

"Contempt for what?" Duhir looked puzzled.
"Now you belong to this small society/community. The atmosphere on the warship 'Kaisof' is pretty good."
As I have been to many (different) warships, I can tell. Often, it was that I didn't like it.
Therefore, disliking being in the society/community of the warship 'Kaisof' isn't a wrong manner/behavior. But you wouldn't be only contempt."
Duhir stared straight into Vonyu's withering brown pupils/eyes, he answered. "I will try."
"This is not a goal." she said in a harsh tone. "It’s an order from a senior officer."
Duhir got more and more confused. If it was, as she said, for the actions on outside behavior then many things are possible.
But, how should he have control over the feelings?
"I will try. That is all I can tell you."
"The Abriel who cannot lie, is it? That's the answer."
"Have you been hating it?"
"No, never." answered Duhir.
"Ah. I'm relieved."
"May I ask a question, please?"

"Please, go ahead."
"Front Flyer (Lekle), do you have any contempt towards the ship at all?"
"You have been thinking, if there is respect or contempt towards the Empire (Frybar), haven’t you?"
"No. That is, I don't need to think about it."
"For me the warship and the Empire (Frybar) are the same. However, my true home is the 'Telkes', but that warship does not exist anymore.
Now, all the warships are my home. Yet, I only know the Empire through a warship.
In other words, to disdain the atmosphere of a warship, it is the same to me, as disdaining the Empire."
"I understand."
"After all, making an effort is all you can say?" Vonyu asked, looking as if she was looking at a mischievous child.
"Yes." Duhir nodded.
"I thought so."
Suddenly, a voice came out of the loudspeakers.
"Attention, attention!" a woman's voice hailed. "This is from Fleet headquarters.
This a temporary message. Please listen now. This message is for the army officer (Bosnal) from the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th Fleets from the Twin Thorns Fleets."
Duhir listened carefully. Including Vonyu, the other customers stopped talking, and strained their ears.

"Only now, the name for the operation which we are going to begin has been decided." the woman's voice echoed.
"The operation's name is 'Snow Crystal (Gyknel)'. I repeat. The operation's name is 'Snow Crystal (Gyknel)'.
In accordance to Empire (Frybar) procedure/custom, our Fleet will subsequently be renamed to Snow Crystal Fleet(Byr Gyknel).
Fleet Commander in Chief (Glaharerl Byral) will be the former Twin Thorns Fleet Vice Commander in Chief (Roiglaharerl Byrar Bolpel) and 13th Twin Thorns Fleet Commander in Chief (Glaharerl Byrar Lobina Bolpel) Star Force Field Marshal (Spainec Laburar) Kotoponi.
The 13th Twin Thorns Fleetheadquarters will become the headquarters. The contents of the mission, and order of (combat/)battle will be announced later.
These will be from the Snow Crystalfleet headquarters then."
"Snow Crystal Fleet(Byr Gyknel) or......" Vonyu shook her head. "The Captain (Salerl) is not going to like it."

Translator's Note[edit]

  1. 〈燕亭〉=>〈Swallow Inn〉燕 = swallow; also means: a young lover of an older woman
  2. 〈綾取り〉=>〈Cat's cradle〉"Ayatori"; strange name for a café

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