Third Death Row Series: According to God, Death Is Salvation and Killing Is a Good Deed. The Source Is Me. - Chapter 2
- Third Death Row Series: According to God, Death Is Salvation and Killing Is a Good Deed. The Source Is Me.
- Chapter 2 - The Agony of Interpretation
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
T/N: Unless stated ortherwise, the majority of Arc 1 will be written in Thilia POV
From the moment we stepped into the room, we were subjected to a number of penetrating stares.
No, those glances were most likely not directed at me, but at the young man standing next to me. Even so, at the sight of so many faces staring back at me, it made me shrink as if I were being confronted with a muzzle.
“Excuse me, I am late.”
And yet, the young man next to me seemed not to be aware of these things and entered the room with an apologetic look on his face as usual without a care in the world. Was being stared at a symbol of friendship or something in the country he was from? No, that can’t be right.
“Second Lieutenant Schubert.”
My name was called out by an icy-cold female voice.
As if I had been drenched with cold water, I came to my senses and remembered my obligations.
“I-I apologize for the delay!”
Interpreting the words of the young man who did not understand the sacred language was my job, but it had already become a rule in my mind to interpret his words by applying a little modicum of politeness. Otherwise, he would have long ago been designated as forlorn hope by Lieutenant Colonel Brownie and his life would have been dissipated by now.
“There is no time. Let me explain the situation. Keep your ears open since I’ll only say it once.”
Lieutenant Colonel Leila Brownie spoke in her customary cold tone of voice. Her eyes were already not fixed on me. Without seeming to wait for our preparation, Brownie, who cast her gaze down at the enlarged map, unilaterally laid out the situation.
“In a word, the war situation is extremely dire. Five minutes ago, the troops deployed on Uranus Hill were ambushed and almost completely annihilated. The spirit knights were wiped out and their spirit armament was deprived. Other than that, we also lost nearly all of our infantry with regular equipment. The number of confirmed enemies was five spirit knights. Of the five, three are E-class spirit demi-series. The remaining two have been found to have a significant amount of “curse power,” therefore it is reasonable to presume that they have C-class or higher spirit armament. They most likely used the rumored vernier or something similar to sneak over the steep precipice on the west side of Uranus Hill and launch a surprise attack there where protection is lax. At present, the second and fourth units deployed nearby are on their way.”
I tried my utmost to interpret the war situation, which contained technical terms, into simple words for the young man to grasp. Aside from the widely implemented E-class, the young guy, who had only been here for less than three months, had no chance of comprehending a C-class spirit armament with vernier that unleashed a tremendous amount of curse power and utilized it as a propellant. Needless to say, this was Brownie’s intention.
The young man listened to what I had to say and then pointed to the spot on the map with a tap of his baton. Where he pointed to was obviously Uranus Hill, which was the issue at hand. Then he made an unexpected statement.
“Yeah, it was pretty much as I expected. Then, I have a proposal as a special military tactician. How about destroying Uranus Hill as a whole after drawing in the opposing forces in as much as you can, as it is predicted that they would gather there to form a base?”
With my voice breaking out unintentionally, I was greeted by Brownie’s grim expression and a bitter smile from the young man.
“…Second Lieutenant Schubert… What did he say?”
Having been urged to interpret by her in a blatantly unpleasant manner, I, who nonetheless was not inclined to do so, answered falteringly, choosing my words wisely.
“E-Excuse me. Um, First Lieutenant Taiga suggested that… that since the enemy’s medium-sized troops are anticipated to deploy there… we should detonate Uranus Hill as soon as they congregate… What do you think…”
“…What did you say?”
Brownie, whose sagacious attractive looks were distorted, slammed her clenched fist down on the table. I was smart enough to swallow the screech that almost went up to my throat. Yes, I did that wisely.
“What are you thinking! Uranus Hill is a holy place where the Aether God is said to have once descended! That hill is an irreplaceable place for our country, even though you don’t know what savage tribe is to blame or what its worth is!”
“Thilia, what did Ms. Brownie say?”
“Oh, um, about that…”
Had the young man also started yelling and speaking, it would have taken less than five minutes and I would have had a pit in my stomach. Fortunately, though, his voice sounded as calm as ever, so I didn’t feel nervous interpreting.
“…I see. Perhaps from the way she was swearing, it sounded like she was going to say something worse, but I got the gist of what she was going to say. Then could you please say this to her―is there anything more valuable than human life?”
“Go ahead, just tell her exactly that.”
Even though I knew what Brownie’s answer would be and I was in doubt, I still told her exactly what he told me to say.
“Nonsense! Of course such a thing exists! The Aether God is the one ultimate existence that must not be tainted, not even if we—no, not even if every citizen of this nation—were to leave die! The only life you can account for is your own, unlike us!”
The remarks from Brownie were as expected. The young man’s face lit up softly when I conveyed this to him.
He asked me to do the real-time translation.
“I see, that may indeed be true. I apologize for my lack of consideration for your culture. But then again, Uranus Hill should be abandoned. It is indeed heartbreaking to see the destruction of a holy place, but it will prevent the invasion of the enemy, which in turn will be a protection of St. Arnold Empire from the invasion of the barbarians. Faith in the Aether God was the foundation of the St. Arnold Empire. In other words, to say that it is faith in the Aether God itself is not an exaggeration. To mourn it is synonymous with the loss of faith in the Aether God. That is something that should be avoided at all costs… but then! There would not be any measures used here to fend off the barbarians, even if we were to grieve one of the holy places here in order to uphold our faith. Isn’t there a saying in the teachings of the Aether God that ‘faith is nothing less than the heart’!”
Interpreting the young man’s words without any time lag was quite a challenge, but as I interpreted them, I found myself admiring his words. Despite the reality that he had only been in this “world” for a little over six months, his statements highlighted that he had a thorough comprehension of the believers in this country, as well as a rational and well-structured logic that was grounded on that understanding.
The other officers put on a reluctant face at the young man’s words. Although his justifications were compelling, they were not something that they would voluntarily embrace as a self-sacrificing devotional act, such as the desecration of a holy place. Eventually, everyone’s gaze inevitably turned to Leila Brownie, the chief executive of the place.
She then spoke with a tight-lipped expression, looking down at the map.
“…If you were to destroy it, is there any way to do it?”
It was Lieutenant Colonel Brownie’s practical declaration of defeat.
The young man replied, his expression as soft as ever, “I have taken the liberty of setting up several sacred nukes with detonation properties at the point in advance. The deployed Zaghir forces should be vanquished if Lieutenant Colonel Brownie can strike Uranus with just one ‘Eirik’ strike.”
Sighs of both admiration and amazement escaped from the Operations Control Room. Did he even do that behind the scenes? If it hadn’t been for this situation, he would have been disciplined or even hung with a noose, but perhaps he was some kind of future prognosticator? The smiling young man next to me suddenly caused me to become terrified of him.
“…I understand. I’ll support your proposal. However, please refrain from such arbitrary behavior in the future.”
“Yes, I shall endeavor to do so.”
No, he definitely would not refrain from such behavior.
I didn’t expect the young guy to notice when I directed my stare toward him with such emotion, but he turned his head to look at me.
His expression was not very appealing, so I hastily composed a smile, which he reciprocated with his own. The bottom of his smile was obscure to me but it was a smile that, even if I couldn’t create one like it, somehow soothed my heart when I saw it.
Now, with the strategy settled, the only thing left to do was to execute it. In the abruptly bustling Operations Control Room, there was little for me to do at this point. I gazed absentmindedly at the map with the figurines on it that represented the relative powers of both sides, aware that all I had to do was interpret the words of the young man who would occasionally give me some instructions.
“Are you exhausted?”
So when the young man suddenly called out to me, I was so taken aback that I uttered a strange cry of “Ho!”. Fortunately, the officer who was walking nearby only took a glance at me, but the young man who was standing next to me chuckled with amusement.
“Thilia, you’re so competent, but you’re a little loose, aren’t you?”
“…Please leave me alone.”
I thought about this young man as I turned away.
In a nutshell, he was different. And that too, by a considerable measure.
To begin with, he impacted me from the very first time I saw him. It was not because of his cool face or instantaneous swooning. The way he made his appearance was simply extraordinary. Not only me, but many others who were there must have shared the same impression.
The forces that were shifting about on the map quickly became secondary to the events that had occurred at the cathedral around half a year earlier in my mind and I was recalling them.
Check out the series: First Death Row Series: Results of Psychopathology Diagnosis of Kanaki Taiga, Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic, Third Death Row Series: According to God, Death Is Salvation and Killing Is a Good Deed. The Source Is Me.
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