Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Youjo Senki [WN] - Prologue

Young Warrior - Kill them all, God will sort them out.

A politician once said:
“It (war) has at least been stripped of glitter and glamour. No more may Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon lead armies to victory, ride their horses on the field of battle sharing the perils of their soldiers and deciding the fate of empires by the resolves and gestures of a few intense hours. For the future they will sit surrounded by clerks in offices, as safe, as quiet and as dreary as Government departments, while the fighting men in scores of thousands are slaughtered or stifled over the telephone by machinery. We have seen the last of the great Commanders. Perhaps they were extinct before Armageddon began. Next time the competition may be to kill women and children, and the civil population generally, and victory will give herself in sorry nuptials to the diligent hero who organizes it on the largest scale.”
This is the fate that mankind has reached at the end of their glory and hardships.

The arrival of glory and hardship at the front lines barely remained at the point of equilibrium. There was an alliance to defeat and an empire we had to protect, but they were unable to move another step. The Empire’s forces were being pushed back and just barely able to hold on as their defenses were weakened.

While fire was exchanged every so often, the earth was cultivated with shells.

Still, the Empire has already begun to gradually reduce its reserve capacity. The maintenance required for the front lines was already a heavy burden on the empire. The Sashimonos (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sashimono) and machines of war had begun to be eaten away by rust.

However, on the front line, it was far from showing any signs of collapse. The sounds of erupting gunfire that became a regular occurrence was substituted by the ticking of a clock, and everyday life was carried out as usual.


"The company commander," he thought, "when was the last time there was contact from the observation team?"


He tried to extend this question to the communications officer but at that same time his consciousness ceased to exist.

His head blew off, leaving with the sound of flesh twisting. Somewhere on that body, that now laid on the bare ground, was the remnants of electrical signals causing the body to twitch in rhythmic spasms. However, there was no time to notice that his surroundings were now covered with scattered cerebral plasma. The bullets that had turned his head into meat would continue to fall under the company. Some were shot through the lungs, others were taken by the head just like the commander. Those few who were not so lucky were scattered to such an extent that they could no longer be distinguished after a direct hit from a shell. Those who managed to raise up their hands and feet also raised their voice in agony. Then the second strikes are released to respond to the survivors screams.


"Run!"


It was a storm of iron.

With the experience of understanding the battlefield, the survivors jumped into the entrenchment and lowered their heads to endure it. Yet, unlike the squall of wind, it does not leave like a rain shower. Every so often, with a roar, the earth announces the landing of shells with an unpleasant vibration. The observation team noticed the revolting sounds that came along each impact and the ensuing tremors.


"What’s going on?!" said the officer raising his voice.


They were bewildered, but they understood the situation.


"This was ... foolish!"


"No, this was a mistake!"


"There’s an enemy, an enemy is here!"It was the enemy commencing a full scale attack, this bombardment far from the regular violent gunfire. It was a thorough and well prepared assault that struck as our heads were hidden from the infantry that fired upon us.

The soldiers who were carrying the observation equipment could not help but feel shaken up. Even the surviving officers were speechless. They slowly realized that the full offensive counterattack had already begun. It was anticipated to happen, but what does it mean for us to be standing right in front of the offensive line. Unexpectedly each one of us had a similar expression spread across our faces as we looked towards one another.
What we commonly saw in one another was the fear of death. Some were trembling from this unavoidable situation while also holding a slight grudge against our unreasonable fate.


"Enemy, platoon size, penetrating!"


Did the United Kingdom not plan for a firefight but instead an infiltration assault? Is the enemy changing their method of attack?! Such a terrifying thought crossed the minds of the officers. Yet the fact remained, the enemy was getting through. In the beginning of the war this was a tactic the Empire was efficient in, but now it's about to be overrun by the enemy.

At the beginning of the war the enemy's command wasn't even a threat.

Of course they had to decide the situation of replacing their leader, there was a need to regroup and establish what had to be done. Previously, we had been prepared but this time it’s different, now the enemy's firepower had us pinned down. Even when left to hand to hand combat our enemy still would not retreat.

There was only death.


"Everyone, enemy forces are infiltrating nearby. The enemy fire is merely to gain control of the surface! It's in favor of the infantry!"


A surviving senior officer would generally command to fight back. The officer returning with few men would even be promoted under these circumstances. Yet, everyone would still quickly accept the order to enter the battle. However they still would not be in time. A single residential platoon would be long overdue to the fight because of the chaos. To the enemy it was to be worthy of valor. It was a very admirable judgment I suppose. It was difficult for us to fall in line and follow blindly jumping into the abyss.


"Second Lieutenant! The enemy is coming through!" 


"Push them back!"



It would require another command for that to take effect.

Some were cursing as mages who could create belching huge flames with a bayonet and rifle along with an operation orb in their hands stood in their way. Still though, both were human beings, you will die if you are shot, and you can kill if you shoot.

Suddenly the enemy mages bullets had pierced through flesh as gunfire rained down without mercy. In the distance, a bunker exploded into flames at the hands of the mage, leaving only the harrowing sound of screaming behind. The artillery retaliated and together we tried to blow the mage from the sky, but it was too late as the mage had already evacuated.

However it was impossible to pull out all at once as we sent them a gift of bullets. In return, we were met with magic-powered lead bullets being frequently exchanged.

Still it was important to recognize that the enemy was still overwhelmingly dominant here and we were regrettably inferior. Really, I wanted to spit curses in order to spite the enemy.


"An enemy battalion is 2000 meters away and closing in! They're approaching rapidly!" 


"Eliminate the enemy mage platoon! Once their battalion arrives here, it's their checkmate!"


The soldiers believed the mage platoon to be vastly superior. We stayed here to stir things up and create more time for reinforcements to arrive. However we were having trouble, under these circumstances our defense wasn't going to last much longer.

The exchanging gunfire fueled by magic was an impeding matter. Their shots pierced flesh, crushed bones, and a pillbox was blown away, our men were dying. It was a seemingly simple operation they devoted themselves to, but it may have been too late. It was too dangerous and time was running out.

The enemy battalion was imminently approaching. A defense had to be prepared ahead of time to be ready for this situation. I don't want to die. Nobody wants to die.

Just as we prayed to God for salvation, he answered.

Suddenly the enemy mage platoon was thrown across the sky to the right and left by a disperse of energy. Immediately following was red, a red magic that spread across the sky. Falling from above was an enemy mage who didn't repel the attack. He was falling towards the earth, with his flesh shred to pieces and freshly burnt from the heat.


"It's one of ours!! A friendly mage company is here!"

The communications officer's job was to call good news with a loud voice indicating the friendly troops arrival. There was a small exaggeration of smiles from everyone towards him from the bottom of their heart knowing they'll be relieved and survive this crisis. Of course it was also a good opportunity to reorganize. Surviving veterans knew how to establish what to do and how to do it. To survive you have to make use of opportunities.


"Hurry! Do not go near the enemy battalion! It's a careless thing to do!"


"Injured soldiers don't pull back! Dead corpses are fine afterwards!"


The noncommissioned officers almost didn't regain control. In this situation, the interception seems to have barely made it in time. The mage company reinforcements were already in defensive position. Until now coming out alive against an enemy brigade was impossible.


"224th company respond! 224th company can you hear me?"


But the voice that jumped from the radio did not come from the surviving command post. It was a rather depressing thought. Still their young voice did not change. Even if it was a girl’s voice, the feeling of something bizarre was clear. It was a voice belonging to a child, and on the battlefield.

However I decided to ignore my human sentiment and regret it tomorrow, right now I had to survive. Everyone had to perform the necessary action in accordance to the situation.


"224th responding. We're here 224th. Thanks for coming to our aid."


"I’m only fulfilling my duty."


Several people believed there was only one answer to what this child was educated in.

It's in discipline and the battlefield.

I panicked hearing someone old enough to be my daughter speak nonchalantly about duty. Is this the progress of mankind? . . . It would lead to our defeat. In the future how would they be able to believe this is reasonable?



"This is reinforcements commander Second Lieutenant mage Tanya Degurechaff. What's your respective highest surviving officers rank?"


Yes, the Empire has been trapped to the extent of even relying on a child girl who was already suitable in the use of magic. In order to fight the war, even half of the total population was still not enough, requiring more by any means necessary. I guess it truly was cornered.

It was already too late, it was nothing but the military taking children when the education trained officers were already on the front lines in a blood filled slumber. She was one of them, one of the trained officers. Even though she was a child, she was already a bloody and mud-soaked warrior who has experienced killing.


"I am the commanding officer and First Lieutenant."


"Where is your Second Lieutenant?"


To see a child speak naturally like an adult was bizarre. An officer who could do that without being afraid despite their age makes for an ideal soldier. Being far from an adult, she was a child on the battlefield. Right now is a difficult time to live in for humans with a sense of decorum.


"He was killed in battle."


"Well today is also just a big stage for special field promotions."


That was everyday life.

It was common for non-commissioned officers to work their way up to Second Lieutenant under the command of a superior. When a subordinate was an officer just commissioned they were either recently transferred or had just finished their education.

Everyone, if competent, can rise quickly in the battlefield.


"By the time this war is over, you and I will be generals."

This wasn't ordinary for a little girl to come to grips with shouldering this, it was madness. Nothing was more crazy than a complete child becoming the likes of a soldier, but for a madman it wasn't too far for survival.


"Well then, now to deal with the pigs. The task of slaughtering the enemy on my own is becoming quite a pain." 

The mage company that drew near would kill the enemy like normal, the same as us. So what's the difference? It's the insanity of the commander and where the weapon they wield is pointed.

The mage battalion company who came was an elite group who has survived flying around the battlefield without any bad luck. Literally, worked their way up to become representatives in the madness that is war. Their leader is a child. It was evident this child was a talented killer.


"We will attack the enemy battalion from the sidelines, can we count on your support?"


"Of course First Lieutenant."



We are fucked. We are really fucked. Yesterday was the same hellish pattern as today.

It was evident we were sitting ducks, yet the Lieutenant was like the devil.

However we were ordinary soldiers, just for a minute there was comfort in that evil.


"I apologize if my company were to make an eating contest out of this war, it’s first come first serve."


Some of the men were reluctant to hear such a joke made by an officer old enough to be their daughter. I could understand why some of the soldiers here were officers, but this was a strange situation I couldn't comprehend. There is some abnormality everyday.


"Oh, don't worry about it Second Lieutenant."

This was not a part a radio report, but a simple conversation between fellow unit. Especially with the troops on the unencrypted general-purpose line enjoying the conversation. Meanwhile the enemy was attacking in the middle of the battlefield. Yet, nobody paid them any heed.


"What do you mean First Lieutenant" 


"There's too much to eat, perhaps there’s enough to share?"


Just now there was a joke about their conversation together being that of an adjutant and her superior with how the little girl from the company responded. Not in any world. Everyone had doubts that this just might be a nightmare. Suddenly the soldiers sadly realized that the gunfire ringing intermittently in their ears was not a dream.


"I am a growing child, so it seems I have to eat somewhat more."


"You should be sure to eat aplenty when you’re growing."


It was only a joke from a girl who was a child, and even though I am not a child I could make sense of what she meant. Yet no ordinary child should be making a competition out of the amount of corpses. She was a child who wore a military uniform, carried a rifle with an operation orb and killed her enemies using it.

-- END


Translator's Note: I can't promise this will be absolutely accurate word for word. I spent awhile translating what I have and often times I came across segments harder than others. I believe the WN deserves its own translation because people still wish to read the material that evolved into the Youjo Senki we all know and love. If something looks wrong please comment for me to fix.

Special thanks to the anon who has seriously helped me revise this story.









2 comments:

  1. Translator's Note:

    Tech and I are currently translating it. So expect a long weekend of non-stop waiting for another chapter XD

    ReplyDelete