Chapter 34 [Outing]
TL : Cnine
ED/PF : MystiKnight
On Saturday they allowed their tired bodies to rest so that they would be at full strength on Sunday.
Souji and company were wearing civilian clothes for the first time in a long time and had gathered on the first floor of the dorm.
「Well then, we should get our permit」
After worrying for about three hours, eventually Hinata decided on a matching white blouse and red flared skirt, walking ahead of the group.
Moving across the lounge, they stood in front of the dorm leader’s room.
「Can I have a moment, dorm leader-san？」
After knocking and say her greeting, a brusque and hoarse voice answered back to them.
When she opened the door as asked, she saw an old woman inside that narrow six tatami room sitting seiza below the chabudai*** who was leisurely watching the television.
She was the dormitory leader of the 12th dorm, Shirahama Torami.
「We want to go to out after this, but」
「I got it」
Torami left the chabudai, picking up her tablet PC as she bluntly answered Hinata.
And then, after operating it with a speed that didn’t match an old lady like her, her eyebrows frowned quickly.
「You can wait outside for around 30 minutes」
「No way, couldn’t you grant the permit!?」
With the worst case scenario really happening, Hinata’s face become gloomier.
Since no one knew when the CE would come to attack, the special forces couldn’t be completely unprepared, even on a holiday.
For that sake, it was decided that only some students were permitted to leave.
「E~h, even thought it’s our first outing you kno~w~？」
Even Kokoa, who was wearing black gothic lolita clothes, pouted as if dissatisfied.
The outing permit was basically first come-first serve, but as for those who managed to get a permit, they were the kind of people who left to play around often.
Around one month after the entrance ceremony, everyone in the 1st year’s D class who were too tired to go out expected to get preferential treatment for permits.
When they spoke their dissatisfaction, Torami slowly shook her head.
「You already got your permit you know, just wait for a while and enjoy some tea cakes」
「What da heck？ We’re about to be late for the bus」
Eisuke was stuffing his mouth with senbei while complaining.
Meanwhile, Seiji, who was waiting behind everyone, was glaring at something outside which made his eyebrows twitch.
「Whose voice is that」
Itsuki, who was wearing short-pants which showed off her slender legs and a knit top that revealed her naked shoulders – high exposure attire which would make one say (and this was not limited to just Eisuke)「Are you trying to tempt me！」, was trying to listen carefully with a hand cupped to her ears.[ED Note: Not gonna lie, I forgot what gender Itsuki was supposed to be]
It was definitely as Souji said – they could hear someone’s voice from a distance.
「So you noticed it. Well, you’ll know what it is soon」
Torami sighed with an ‘I’m giving up’ expression as she operated the tablet PC in her hands.
Thereupon, the television screen changed to display the surveillance footage from the front gate of the compound.
Gathered there was around 50 renowned old and middle aged people, each of them holding picket signs and hanging banner while shouting with loud voices.
「What the hell is this…？」
「A demonstration, opposing the special forces」
Torami spit those words out with a feeling of disgust to the dumbfounded Eisuke and co.
「Those adults with too much free time are shouting things like 『Aren’t you ashamed for making the children fight』, 『The CE are attacking because of this place』, or 『Get out of Maebashi city』」
「W-What the hell is wrong with them！」
Hinata’s rage was clear as she said that with a choked voice.
「The reason we’re fighting, is to protect everyone from the CE right！ Even the other day when we were suddenly thrown into battle, we’re doing our best despite the possibility of dying in battle――」
「I know that, what you’re saying isn’t wrong」
Torami’s voice was full of composure, and although her blunt tone remain unchanged, a light of kindness shone in her eyes.
「You fought a splendid battle, you should know that the best. But you know, there’s some people who don’t understand that」
Torami pointed at the television screen as if to show her annoyace towards those ”people“.
「They’ve calmed down recently, but you see, they’re making a ruckus about it again since there were some damages after a long time in the battle sometime ago」
A small force of CE suddenly appeared from Kurobe mountain northeast of Maebashi city, in addition to that was the appearance of a small-sized pillar.
During that incident 5 people lost their consciousness from CE attacks, 12 people were severely wounded while taking shelter and, thinking about how grievous the situation was, the number of victims are too few.
Nevertheless, that fact didn’t put the victims’ family members at ease.
「The idea that ‘we couldn’t do anything because we’re weak’ won’t be accepted. That’s why it’s become like this, they’re shouting like idiots and blaming people」
The figure of Kanna in a one piece spacious enough so as not to make her big breasts stand out was hanging her head after receiving such a shock.
If only they tried harder, these people didn’t need to feel sad or angry.
Maybe because she could see and feel her kindness, Torami muttered after a short period of hesitation with mixed feelings.
「Don’t worry about such a thing. No matter how many of those guys there are, it’s not like they’re the victims, they’re not even citizens of this city」
Despite not being citizens of Maebashi city who received the damage, they were conducting a demonstration to criticizing the special forces.
Unable to understand the meaning of their actions, Torami was pointing at the television again as if interrupting Souji who was about to ask a question.
「Good grief, they’ve finally shown themselves」
When they looked at the screen, a police transport vehicle painted in white and blue came and entered the scene, stopping in front of the crowd.
And then, the police officers coming out from the inside mercilessly restrained the violent middle aged man and threw him into the bus.
「They’re really doing that… If they move with this kind of hard-line policy in this era, the mass media will make a fuss about it」
「E～h, this is just like how they surpress biker gangs you kno~w？」
To the side of the surprised Eisuke, Kokoa was yawning with an uninterested expression.
「As expected, a former delinquent is really knowledgeable about this huh」
「I’m don’t understand something like that～」
At this late hour, no one would be tricked by her unnatural innocent act.
「Here you go. Since the school gate has already given the permit, leave right away」
Driven away with a sushing hand by Torami, Souji and co left the dormitory leader’s room.
「Geez, although it’s our long awaited outing, those misers just came so suddenly」
「That’s’ true, they’ve just spoiled our mood right?」
Standing in front of the bus stop after missing their ride, everyone was grumbling unhappily.
Souji picked up a paper that landed on top of his shoes.
Along with poisonous words which read『Making Children Fight – The Prime Minister Should Resign！』 was a picture of parents who were crying for their unconscious child.
「Was it spread during the demonstration？ Just throw it away, this kind of thing is extremely annoying」
Nodding to Eisuke, Souji looked for a garbage can but decided on folding it and storing it in his pocket since he couldn’t find one.
「Now that you said it, it’s strange that we’re the ones doing the fighting」
Though no one complained about the demonstrator, the opposition of the public would be terrifying if they were concerned about making children fight.
But, the special forces were created so that the ACE troops could fight against the CE. Even if it sounded terrible, it was all they could do.
「Are ？ Hasn’t Souji-kun seen the news？ 」
「The prime minister has announced the matters about Phantom Weapons and the special forces you know?」
「If you say so, maybe I have seen it before…」
The trump card that could beat the CE, Phantom Weapons.
They’re scouting youth from all over Japan to find those who have talent and can become the next batch of first years.
Despite there being rumors about it on the internet since three years ago, the existence of the special forces and Phantom Weapon which had been strictly hidden from the media was revealed in that moment.
Though the general public wasn’t going to miss such big news, since the CE didn’t do much damage to rural areas, this kind of news didn’t remain in the memories of Souji, who normally only checked the news for weather forecasts.
「What was the news again…」
「Look, it’s about this you know」
Because of his hazy memory, Itsuki showed him a video on his smartphone.
The video was a recording of an energetic middle aged man, the prime minister whose personality remained unchanged even now, who was answering questions with vigor.
『To protect our country, we have no choice but to rely on this new weapon. And then, although it’s really hard for me to say this, this new weapon can’t be used by anyone but young children』
He was quickly pressed back by the questioning of the opposition who said things like “It’s inhumane to make children fight”, or “You’re a demon”.
And, 『Well then, will you fight the CE instead of them？ Do you have something that can be relied upon to beat the ＣＥ？ 』
Faced with such sound logic, whether it was the opposition, the media, or the citizens, no one could raise any arguments.
Because 200 million in the Nagano prefecture were massacred by the CE in under three years.
And then, Okinawa, Hokkaido, Kyuushuu and Tohoku, despite being far away from the frontlines, began to feel the threat of CE thanks to talk shows on the TV and the rising price of commodities due to the lack of resources. There was even the fear of prolonged war which starting to spread around.
Nobody wanted to make children fight. But, it can’t be helped since there’s no other solution.
With that said, the ACE troops and special forces were created.
「You should watch the news properly, brother」
Souji could only nod after hearing such rare advice from Eisuke.
Finally, the bus arrived.
After everyone had gotten inside, Souji asked another question.
「By the way, are everyone’s parents okay with this？ 」
They had no choice but to make their children fight for the sake of defeating the CE.
But, they absolutely would refuse something like letting their own children fight.
Though it’s really selfish, most parents would think that way.
After being asked about this, first was Eisuke who answered cheerfully.
「My parents are really cruel, they said『If you’re becoming a soldier, we’ll receive bountiful payments and can pay our debt』, and then sent off their son with smile. What do you think？ They really are ungrateful fellows, those senile hags！ 」
Eisuke hit the back of the bus in agitation.
But the truth is, he didn’t even listen to his parents crying out to stop him. While he was shoved out of the house so he could help with the family’s debt, they would never say such a thing to their beloved cute son.
「At my house, my father was crying and stopped me but my mother said 『We’re doing this because we love you』」
「It’s the same for me. My mother scolded my father to stop him from weeping like a child」
Hinata aside, Itsuki’s father crying to stop his son from going… though he noticed that there was some kind of mistake, Souji deliberately didn’t say anything.[TL : Fathers usually cry for their DAUGHTER, and mothers for their SON]
「As for me―― Mama sent me out delightfully～」
Kokoa was still playing innocent, but it’s because everyone was convinced that her mother kicked her out saying 「Make sure you train this delinquent girl harder than everyone else！」 after all.
「M-Me, my parents was opposing it but, g-grandmother permitted it…」
―― It’s for the sake of our country, our beloved girl. It’ll bring benefits to your generation, and for your neighbours too, and so we’ll send you off with our chests filled with pride as your parents.[TL : They’re a good parent and good neighbour, try to read again to understand the meaning behind this line]
Though in reality she worried about her cute grandchild, she rebuking her parents and chose to oppose them by saying “Let Kanna do what she likes“.
「You have such a lovely grandmother huh」
「Y-Yeah, she’s protected me even when I was scolded by my parent when found out that I was drawing manga…」
Your parents weren’t scolding you because you were drawing manga, wasn’t it because the contents were naked man aesthetically intertwined with oneanother? ――And, though Itsuki thought that, it’d be bad if he retorted now so he intentionally didn’t say anything.
「Come to think of it, what about you, brother？」
「My case is, regretful」
「Grandfather said 『One spear is plenty enough for them, you’ll go as my representative』, so I went by myself」
「…You have a strange grandfather huh」
This grandfather decided that his grandson, since the people of the Sorachi house were simply battle fanatics, should go explore and find his own way to live. [TL : Not too sure about this line- この祖父にしてこの孫あり、空知家の人間は何だかんだで戦狂《いくさぐる》いなのであった。] [ED: Yeah, I went wild interpreting this one, so its probably kinda off]
「Nevertheless, everyone came to the special force huh」
Guessing from the way they’re talking, Souji felt it was especially strange.
Though it’s strange for parents to send their child into battle, it was even stranger for high school students to willingly head towards their own death.
To that remark, Eisuke answered with a dumbfounded expression again.
「Well, we’re receiving a salary. Moreover―― Becoming something like Setsuna-chan seems cool right」
Tendouji Setsuna, the first user of Phantom Weapons, a female swordman.
Becoming a chosen hero like her.
All youth would have a dream like that, and these kind of thoughts wouldn’t be suppressed by words alone.
「The truth is that I also have some parts of me that want to be like Setsuna-san」
「Same for me. It’s a little embarassing but, it just like liking an idol」
「I-It’s because Setsuna-san, is so pretty…」
「She’s strong on top of having a great body, adding to that she’s beautiful, god is so unfair～」
Except for Kokoa who’s a bit jealous of her, everyone was yearning for Tendouji Setsuna, and it seems this became a trigger for them to walk on this path.
「She really was an amazing person right」
「I’ve said it so many times before, right? Setsuna-chan is a hero！ 」
Eisuke stressed his admiration for Setsuna to Souji again.
Her death only made it clearer what a hero she was.
Etched in the memories of many people, forever.
Becoming a part of history, everybody’s wishes came together and gave her a form――
「What’s matter, brother？」
「…No, It’s nothing」
Souji, who was trembling in fear, deceived him by shaking his head.
（Hero of Fantasy…）
He somehow felt a strange anxiety because of the words that popped into his head.
But, for Souji who wasn’t treading the path toward darkness yet, he couldn’t guess anything beyond that.
It might be him feeling anxious or guessing wrong due to motion sickness. With this, those thoughts were chased away to the corner of his mind during the relaxing talk with everyone.