§054 Dragon? 11/28 (Wed)


<– Previous Chapter | ToC | Next Chapter –>


 

Even after having obtained the <Immortality> orb, we focus on walking around and exterminating undead, using the good opportunity of not spotting any explorers with <Detect Life>. Yesterday we had to be careful, but because the surprise attacks out of the hidden shadows of gravestones, and the hide n’ attack approaches of lurking zombies, are completely blocked by Miyoshi’s watchdog clique, our efficiency has gone up even further. We quickly finish a complete set of skeleton orbs, and our collection of potion types is proceeding well, too.

I’ve been hesitating to kill 373 skeletons because it’s too early in the day, but even without that, it doesn’t look that easy to reach that quota, since the number of skeletons is somewhat lower than that of the zombies.

“Going by this, isn’t it quite hard to kill 373 monsters of the same type in one day?”

“Sure is. Maybe if you come up with a plan that would make the same monsters gather, or if you continue hunting for 24 hours, starting right after midnight…”

That got quite the black flavor to it. 1

If carnivorous plant monsters exist as well, I feel like they could drop items and skill orbs that lure in monsters…

“In the end, there are probably enough slimes on the first floor to test it out right away.”

“Right? Won’t it be okay if we do it deeper inside the floor then?”

Since Ms. Mitsurugi established the great record of 300 slimes in six hours the other day, I’m pretty sure that it’d work out if we focus on killing slimes without going back to the entrance area.

Because there’s a lot more zombies than skeletons, I’m tuning the last digit to match on my side. Miyoshi’s iron ball + storage combination seems to exhibit its devastating power as usual. Her annihilation drive on the tenth floor is far above mine. After all is said and done, withdrawing and depositing things in <Storage> doesn’t seem to use any MP.

“It might consume some if you repeat the process several times over, but it feels like my natural MP recovery covers that part,” or so she says.

For that reason it looks like she can use it indiscriminately without any need to pay attention to her MP recovery timer. Since close combat, which had been her weak point until now, is dealt with by her four hound servants before anything gets close to her, you might call her peerless on the tenth floor, as long as she doesn’t run out of iron balls and no unique monster shows up.

“The costs are the problem here.”

“Costs?”

“Senpai, we’re nonchalantly using iron balls, but one 6 cm ball costs roughly 6,000 Yen, if it’s one of the 8 cm balls, the price is 12,000 Yen.”

“Ooohh? T-They’re surprisingly expensive, aren’t they?”

Iron balls are worth that much? If we don’t recover them whenever feasible, we’re quite likely going to go into the red.

“The small ones are cheap, but the big ones hurt. I had also considered getting them to cut out rectangle steel material without processing it into balls, but nothing like that was for sale.”

Well, it might be a question of what you’d use a rectangle object for. Besides, I wonder, will a rectangle steel sheet fly straight if you shoot it out at high speed?

“That’s why I’ll try to use 2.5 cm balls with low precision as a test, too. Those cost 200 Yen a piece. Recovering them will be close to impossible, though. If you shoot three at once at a zombie, it’d become kinda like firing a shotgun using larger buckshots.”

I think that only applies to <Storage> though. Throwing 2.5 cm balls by hand will surely be difficult.

“It sounds like I could use them by flicking the balls with my finger…”

It’d be what you commonly call a finger flick.

I tried doing it at once, but leaving aside the fire power, I didn’t even hit the targeted spot. I guess this will require a bit of training.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

Four men wearing combat uniforms with MultiCam Camouflage Patterns walked in the direction of the stairs leading to the 11th floor, while uncomfortably looking at the undead around them.

“Damn it. Just when I wondered why I had been transferred here from Fort Bragg, I gotta deal with spooky graveyards and zombie assholes. What shitty luck.”

“What, so you were a Delta?”

Reed Chapman, who had been swearing just now, was certainly a soldier transferred from 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment, but upon being asked by someone he’d met here for the first time, he clad his body in a faint aura of bloodthirst.

“…Why do you say that? There are many other units stationed at Fort Bragg, aren’t there?”

“No need to get so defensive about it, is there? You see, I simply heard that the field units of the DoD belong to the SMU.”

Among special forces, units that have their existence and activity concealed are called SMU (Special Mission Unit). On the other hand, units acting in the open are called SOF (Special Ops Forces). The most famous SOF is the Green Berets.

“Unless you provoke the other side or step off the road, you’ll be OK for three more hours.”

“You ─ Duncan, was it? ─ are who?”

“A PMC team. I’m this guy’s companion.” Duncan Lane pointed with his thumb at a small, taciturn man while asking himself, ‘You ask that only now?’

During regular missions several specialists would be dispatched from PMCs (Private Military Companies). The small man called Rat was also one of them. Chapman was fed up with the hasty measure of dispatching two people from a PMC in one team and moreover having met them just a few days ago, but a job was a job.

“So, what’s the situation, Mr. Human Radar? Did you find the targets?”

The small man merely shook his head as if the faint scorn mixed into the questions didn’t bother him at all.

As far as I can tell from observing the Japanese and Britain teams, they apparently haven’t spotted the missing targets as of yet either. It looks like they moved in the direction of where the guys from China suffered a terrible fate, but I’ve got absolutely no interest in moving towards a place where such strange things might happen. If we’re not going to find them anyway, it’s better to keep the danger level low, Chapman judged.

And then, after they had walked on for a while, the man called Rat suddenly lifted his head. It was an act completely similar to an animal that had sniffed out its prey.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

Having strayed off the common route, we’re nonchalantly exhibiting our peerlessness within a graveyard.

“So, about the next orb, senpai…”

“Next? Going by the usual fiction tropes── Ohaa!”

Suddenly an arrow comes flying in, aimed at my head. The instant I begin to worry about what will happen if it hits me, a black dot appears in front of me, and spreads to a diameter of several centimeters. The arrow fully disappears into the black hole.

“Eeehh!?”

Miyoshi destroys the skeleton archer while I remain surprised.

“Right, there are archers around here too, huh?”

“They seemed dangerous enough back when I experienced it back then on Dolly.”

“Accidents still happen, even when you’ve gotten experienced at driving a car.”

“Well, yeah. Anyway, that just now was…”

I say towards Cavall, who looks proud of himself as he throws out his chest.

“You guys’ work?”

“Wau.”

I smile bitterly in my mind in response to Cavall’s attitude that seems as if he’s braggingly asking for praise, but it doesn’t change the fact that he saved me.

“Thanks. I guess we can let you eat human food every now and then.”

“Wauwau?”

“It sounds like he wants to haggle here.”

“Don’t get cocky.”

“Kuuun.”

Still, those guys can do things like this as well, eh? I wonder, maybe they can even block bullets for us.

“So, what were you saying?”

“About the next orb.”

“Oh, yeah. With item box and appraisal having appeared, the next would be healing magic, I’d say? However, I don’t know of any monsters that could have it.”

“Yet, it’s safe to say that such a monster exists.”

“Eh? It’s already known?”

“No, something like Heal hasn’t been registered as of yet, but…senpai, do you know of the saint?”

I’m taken aback by the topic Miyoshi has suddenly brought up. Sure, if you speak of healing magic in fantasy settings, saints would come up, but…don’t tell me, the female ninja handed down in legends of the Matsushiro Domain…no way, right? 2

“Someone like Jeanne d’Arc?”

“Not quite…or wait, maybe it fits?” Miyoshi tilts her head in doubt while telling me about her research.

“A secret society?”

“That’s the feeling I get from them. I haven’t looked up anything that goes beyond common rumors, occasionally they pop up as hot topics on SNS.”

It appears that posts about someone being saved by the divine act of the saint come up sometimes. However, rumors like that tend to just fade away over time.

“Is it a con using potions or something like that?”

“The costs would be way high, I’d say. Besides, I hear she’s healing big injuries by just holding her hand above them.”

The heck? It might be amazing if she’s the real deal, but considering it normally, she must be a fake.

“Such posts would be normally ignored, wouldn’t they?”

“That’s true, but a fairly well known celebrity once dropped their name in reference to religion.”

“That sounds like a totally calculated comment. The punch line here is that it was immediately deleted anyway, right?”

“It’s as you say, but…senpai, your mind’s corrupted, you know?”

“Shut it.”

While shooting a Water Lance at a skeleton readying its bow in the distance, I try to chop the back of Miyoshi’s head, but she nimbly dodges.

“Fufufu, I won’t let you do that so easily!”

Tsk, not bad.

“Anyway, some people looked into it, and they legally exist ── as a French corporation though.”

I’d expect nothing less of an era where all humanity acts as net investigators.

“Once they did, they apparently discovered a proper notification to the Conseil d’État.”

Religious groups in France can legally establish nonprofit organizations and corporations. Normally, the founding of a nonprofit organization doesn’t require a license or notification, but in order for a religious group to become a legal corporation, they need to file a notification with the Conseil d’État, and in the case of a monastic order, a license becomes necessary on top of that. It’s said that this system was originally set up to tighten the regulations on monastic orders and other religious groups, which have historically opposed the government on many occasions.

“This sounds more and more like stealth marketing. So, the saint of that organization is going around healing celebrities or something?”

“Looks like it.”

“Stuff like that is a story you could hear from any religious group, no? Leaving aside whether it’s the truth or not.”

If I had to comment on it, I’d say most people would believe that to be a publicity stunt using comments on the web. Normally, pretty much anyone with a decent education would likely be skeptical about such a story. As long as they look at it rationally, that is.

But then again, nowadays everything’s possible thanks to the dungeons…like <High Recovery> or all kinds of potions.

“Okay, I got the part about the saint now, but how does that link to healing magic?”

Miraculous cures exist in great numbers in this world, even without using Lourdes 3 as an example here.

“The name of the organization is Altum Foraminis.”

“Foraminis as in 『Hole』?”

There’s a similar term in English as well.

Miyoshi nods at my comment, and says, “If you translate it into Japanese, it’d be Deep Hole. Don’t you think it’d be a really weird name if it had nothing to do with dungeons?”

After all, it’s a country with 80% catholics that had a concordat (an agreement between church and state) until less than a hundred years ago. If the cult named itself following the same nuance, I think 『Abysm Ilento』 would have been more appropriate. That’s the place those demons begged Jesus not to send them to in The Book of Luke. Why just 『Hole』 instead of Hades, the Abyss, or Tartarus?

“In this world it sure sounds dungeony.”

“Right?”

“However, why haven’t I heard of them at all? It’s something that should make a lot more waves, no?”

“Senpai, would you want to become famous after obtaining healing magic?”

“…Definitely not.”

Just imagining the mob swarming around me like biting lice already gives me headaches.

“I think it’s a pretty clever setup to use a religious organization as a front, manage the usage of the healing skilfully, and get big shots, who idolize the occult, to cover for you.”

“Oh come on.”

Having said that, I’m doing something similar, am I not? The one I’m having cover for me is Miyoshi, though. …Ugh, I feel like it’s slightly pathetic, hearing it out of my own mouth.

“And in the meantime, they also get plenty of donations!”

Donations to religious organizations are exempted from taxes in France as well. Moreover, if you donate as a company, up to 0.3% of the company’s turnover can be treated as financial loss, on top of a carryover across five years. Certainly, if it’s under the pretext of donating in exchange for receiving free healing, both sides can avoid taxes, so it’s a win-win, so to speak.

“Anyway, with that as a background, I think that healing magic might actually exist.”

“A saint who possesses healing magic, eh…? Did she obtain it in a French dungeon?”

“I’ve got absolutely no idea. In the first place, it hasn’t even been registered in the skill database, you see? So it was probably some kind of special procurement method, right?”

Special, huh? Like dropping rebars into an earth fissure?

“And thus, senpai, do you remember the clan monsters back when we talked about <Different World Language Comprehension>?”

“Hmm? Oh, yeah.”

It was a talk about the prediction that shamans might possess a language-based skill, I think.

“I don’t think it’d be odd for priests to exist as well, if shamans exist.”

“An undeveloped nature worship as a primitive religion of monsters? It’s one thing if we talk about shamans who are all crazy about playing around with stuff, such as communicating with supernatural beings, but would priests in the sense of clergymen serving the gods really appear among monsters?”

“What if we put aside the idea of a belief system, and think of them more as sacred monsters then?”

“Let’s see. Imagewise I feel like unicorns would possess such a skill if they actually exist.”

This dungeon world was definitely built based on the imagination of humanity. That’s why I’m pretty sure that monsters that seem like they would have such skills really will possess them.

“Sacred monsters, hmm? Let’s have a look at the WDA’s monster database once we get back home.”

“Sure──mmh?”

Four dots have appeared at the edge of my <Detect Life>. Furthermore, they seem to be headed straight this way.

“What’s wrong?”

“There are folks heading this way after having left the road.”

“Huh? Won’t they get attacked if they leave the road?”

At that moment, we can hear gunshots in the distance.

“Evidently.”

“You think it’s a coincidence?”

“No, it seems like they’re making a beeline for our location. Besides, two of them appear to be quite good.”

I won’t say that they’re at Simon’s level, but their stats appear to be far above those of the scouts so far.

“Since the stairs to the 11th floor are a bit further ahead, let’s hurry and go down. How about hunting lesser salamanders later?”

“Sure, I guess we’ll go with that.”

We keep going towards the 11th floor as we put some more distance between ourselves and the dots chasing after us, while preparing the kill count for the next orb.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

 

“How about it?”

Around the time we arrive at the stairs down to the 11th floor, the folks that have been pursuing us pass outside the search range of my <Detect Life>.

“I’m not sure, but I think we gave them the slip for the time being.”

“Do they possess some kind of detection skill?”

“Most likely.”

Leaving aside that we’re in a maze-like dungeon, the distances are too great for some small device to track us, so there must be someone who possesses a skill like <Detect Life> among them.

“Still…”

I survey the 11th floor at the base of the stairway. The 11th floor is what you’d call a volcano area. The temperature has jumped up, and smoke is rising into the sky all over the place.

“It’s something I’ve suddenly thought of, but…”

“What’s up?”

“You think we need something like <Fire Magic>?” Asking that, Miyoshi intensely stares at me, with her arms folded and both hands grabbing her elbows.

“W-What?”

“Senpai, if you hate the heat, being clear about it is…”

“Isn’t it wrong to suspect someone unjustly, Ms. Miyoshi? Look, if it’s just about starting a fire, a lighter or a Chakaman would suffice, right?”

“Senpai, haven’t you been totally devoted to using <Water Magic>?”

“Well, it’s convenient after all.”

“What are you going to do if you encounter an enemy who’s immune to water magic?”

“Run away.”

At the same time as Miyoshi rolls her eyes at my immediate response, a fireball with a diameter of around 50 centimeters comes flying our way.

“Uwah!”

I reflexively grab Miyoshi’s head, lay down on the ground, and shoot several Water Lances without aiming in the direction the fireball came from.

“W-What’s going on!?”

“Well, I think something shot a fireball at us, but I wonder from where?”

The four hellhounds smoothly slip out of Miyoshi’s shadow. One hound dashes to the front, and crushes a rock cluster underfoot with crunching sounds.

“GYOWAAAANN!”

In the next instant, something that looks like a rock starts to rampage around, as if wiggling back and forth. It has the shape of a big salamander, with its body covered by rock, and an overall-length of around 1.5 meters.

“That’s a lesser salamander?”

“What we saw on the picture was its figure after its camouflage had come undone, huh?”

While it’s camouflaging itself, it apparently won’t be shown even by <Detect Life> as long as it’s not very incautious.

At that moment, its tail, which the hellhound has been pinning down, suddenly snaps off loudly, and the main body quickly runs away.

“Whoa, it’s just like a lacertid!”

“Senpai! The tail is a rare item! Please defeat it quickly!”

If you leave the snapped tail alone, it’ll eventually dissipate into black light. It appears that you have to defeat the salamander, after it has amputated its own tail, before the tail disappears, in order to get it as a loot item.

Hearing that, another hound catches up with the tailless salamander, which is trying to swiftly get away, and crushes its head within its jaws before I can even shoot a water lance.

“Yahoo, got it!”

『Tail: Lesser Salamander』 is being displayed in front of Miyoshi.

“I hear it’s an ultra-high-class ingredient for Chinese medicine!”

“Kinda like pilose antlers, eh?”

Miyoshi approaches the hound who defeated it, and strokes its head while saying, “Well done, Drudwyn.”

“Good job on telling them apart.”

“I just somehow know. It was Cavall who pinned it down first, and Drudwyn who crushed its head.”

As expected of the summoner. To me they look completely identical.

“Wait a sec, won’t we be unable to achieve our objective if it’s not me who kills a salamander?”

I’ve taken such great pain to adjust the kill count.

“Now, now, senpai. Let’s consider it a good thing, since we managed to obtain a tail! Well then, Arthur’s, you’re going to find the next salamander, right?”

“”””Gau.””””

The hellhounds’s noses seem to outclass my <Detect Life>, as they easily see through the camouflage of another lesser salamander. This time it’s Aethlem (I think) who tramples down on its head. Going by the fact that no fireball has come flying, that might actually be a kind of fire breath rather than magic.

As I make sure to finish this one off with a Water Lance, the usual orb selection screen gets displayed.

——–

Skill Orb – Fire Magic 1/40,000,000
Skill Orb – Self-Amputation 1/200,000,000
Skill Orb – Self-Restoration 1/200,000,000
Skill Orb – Ultimate Flame Magic 1/1,700,000,000

——–

Putting aside our objective, <Fire Magic>, the likes of <Self-Amputation> and <Self-Restoration> sound utterly dangerous.

“<Self-Amputation>…a human has no tail, right?”

“If it’s men, they have something similar, though…”

“Hey!”

Spare me from any Abe Sada Incidents4, moreover, doing it yourself…yep, no way.

“Won’t it grow back with <Self-Restoration> anyway?”

“Now listen…”

“What’s on your mind, senpai. Hair, I’m talking about hair. It’s your looong friend.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.”

I guess this girl has also watched old CMs. There’s various of those on YouTube. Sooner or later, she might start yapping about “Look, look” or similar. 5

However, if we’re talking about regrowing lost parts unrelated to hair, it’s a good skill, easily on par with <High Recovery>. Moreover, the cooldown timer should be far shorter than with <High Recovery>, too.

“Still, with things like this, <Self-Amputation> and <Self-Restoration> are probably pair skills, right?”

“I think so as well. Isn’t <Self-Restoration> a skill allowing you to regrow the parts lost through <Self-Amputation>?”

Considering that it’s a skill that will regrow anything, I kinda can’t come to terms with the monster dropping it, and the drop rate is too high as well.

“If monsters called Planarians or similar exist, a true <Regrowth> might exist as well, though.”

“I can live without a kind of regrowth where two body halves become identical replicas of yourself after your body is divided.”

“Nevertheless, even humans do similar stuff like cloning.”

Well, if she says that, it might certainly be true, but still…

I remain silent, acquiring the skill <Ultimate Flame Magic>.

“Are you going to use it?”

“Well, as long as it seems alright after using <Appraisal>.”

Miyoshi casts a glance at the orb, and only says, “It doesn’t really seem like a trap.”

Feeling relieved after hearing that, I hold up the orb, “Well then, I will stop being a human, yup!”

Alongside the typical line, the light shining from my right hand melts into me.

“<Ultimate Flame Magic>, somehow that sounds quite nasty, doesn’t it?”

“You used <Appraisal> on it, didn’t you?”

“It’s not like that tells me the exact spells.”

“Seeing how it has no Roman number attached to it, it’s an unspecified skill. I guess I’ve got no choice but to keep searching along the lines of what’s imaginable from its name.”

“Time for even more super hero stuff!”

Miyoshi giggles, seemingly recalling the time when I was muttering Making under my breath.

“Just leave me alone. Besides, it’s not like there’s absolutely no hint either, you know?”

“Hint?”

The magic’s name is ultimate flame after all, so this one should definitely be included.

 

 

A ring-shaped fortress, scorched red by eternal flames, filled with felons and fallen angels, and a brilliance of benevolence burning everything to cinder in an instant with its bluish white flames──

 

 

While imagining Dante’s book, I quietly extend my right hand, and shout its name, “Inferno!”

In the next instant, something like a pure white flash shines in front of my eyes, and alongside the thunderous sound of something evaporating, I feel like large amounts of something escape from within my body.

“Nuna!?”

While frantically trying not to fall to my knees, I let out an overly stupid sound as I watch what I did with my recovered eyesight.

“Senpai, this…”

There’s nothing there. Rocks, weeds, magma, steam, smoke, and even the monsters that might have been there; only flat ground, solidified into black glass and covered by something similar to a fine, white, powder, is silently spreading out before us.

There weren’t any people around, right…? I think there weren’t, but if I’m wrong, they’ve probably completely evaporated just now. I can only beg pardon if some amazing scouts, whom even I haven’t noticed, had been there. Well, I don’t think that’s the case, but…

While storing away the items that have appeared in front of me into <Safe>, I see in my stats that my MP has decreased by 100.

“Yep, I think I’m going to seal this one away.”

“…If someone were to see this place, they’d think that a dragon has gone on a rampage here, I’m sure.”

“Guh…”

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s the lively group of four.”

It seems our shadows are about to descend to the 11th floor.

“Let’s escape!”

With those words, Miyoshi quickly moves in the opposite direction of the four behind us, with her four dogs timidly peeking their faces out of her shadow.

“Ah, oi, wait for me!”

I chase after Miyoshi in a hurry.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

“They here?” Lane asked Rat.

“For an instant it felt like they were here, but they immediately disappeared.” Rat answered and pointed in a certain direction.

“Disappeared? What’s that supposed to mean?”

Lane answered Chapman’s question in Rat’s stead, “Just what he’s said. They vanished, ran away, or hid themselves. We’re going to give chase?”

While gazing in the direction that the finger was pointing, Chapman thought about the consumption level of their equipment. They had used their guns too much on the tenth floor.

“Thanks to that crazy shortcut, we’re short on ammunition. We’ll go after them for the time being, but we’ll retreat immediately if it looks dangerous.”

They began to move again, abiding by his words. Rat quickly led them to the place where their targets had disappeared.

“What the hell…is this?” Choline Allenby, a former Delta, who had stayed silent so far, spoke up.

“It totally looks like a super-high-temperature bomb exploded right above a city. Everything and anything has been vitrified.”

The area was still maintaining a fairly high temperature.

“You saying they did this?”

Allenby shook her head, answering, “Something like this is impossible, unless they brought extreme nuclear weapons with them.”

“Then, what the…”

“Hasn’t a dragon appeared?” Lane said casually, but they were surrounded by a volcanic area that made the appearance of a red dragon quite likely. None of them could laugh at that as a bad joke.

“What’s the probability that the targets disappeared after getting dragged into this and evaporating?” Chapman asked Rat while looking at him seriously.

“It’s not zero.”

Hearing Rat’s reply, they immediately decided to withdraw.

 

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

 

4:18 p.m. – Director of Cabinet Intelligence Murakita visited the prime minister’s residence.

“The very best for the world; that section chief sure talked big there.”

Saiga’s proposal had been brought up with Murakita by Terasawa through Tanaka.

“But, if you consider it calmly, it’s not that bad of an idea.”

Murakita explained to Prime Minister Ibe while being reminded of the many scenarios drawn up by his subordinates.

“In the end, no matter which country wins the bid, it will create friction with Russia. Even the EU, which depends on Russia for its energy, isn’t a monolith by all standards. I think there will also be many countries who want to avoid any possible trouble.”

In regards to the future, the dungeon issue also affects national interests, but there are many countries who will be in quite a pinch if the pipe-lines were to be cut off at once.

“Won’t all countries be able to keep face if we stop competing among the Western countries, including the EU, and let America win the bid on the condition of sharing information in exchange for monetary support?”

“So you think, by unifying and guiding everyone towards that end, it will also lead to a strengthening of our country’s influence, and the reinforcement of our position in the international community?”

“Yes.”

The end of the year period is also a time of meager budget. America, which runs a budget deficit even under normal circumstances, will likely go along with this plan, as they consider the orb a shield rather than a weapon. So they’ll be able to pretty much maintain their budget and their reputation this way as well, won’t they?

“We will urgently get in touch with England, France, and Germany, and have them consolidate the EU. Also the European Commission, I guess.”

Even though they have relatively little clout due to being manipulated by the steady members of the UN, economic powers, and large countries, the European Commission should have some influence as well. The current commission president Juncker is a man who places importance on growth and employment. I don’t think that he’ll oppose the avoidance of pointless expenses.

“Afterwards, India and Oceania. I don’t think that Africa and South America will pose much of a problem.”

I doubt they have either the motivation or the funds to actively get involved with this issue.

“Then, the Middle East, huh…?”

The Middle East at present is complicated. The circumstances surrounding the Islam are way too tricky.

“Won’t it be impossible to get them to cooperate with America in the current state of affairs, since America’s withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement?”

Ibe nodded at that remark. “Having said that, it might be possible to get them to passively enter the support frame. Mr. Chamenei continues his opposition towards America, but he has stated that he won’t go to war with them. France might be able to get them to cooperate.”

France has a deep relationship with Iran, and the current president has been trying to build a framework of financing on the assumption that payment will be done through crude oil in the future.

“If we manage to get them to join the support framework, even passively, it might alleviate their bilateral issues a bit, right?”

“Well, America’s approach is based on their connections with Israel.”

“In the eyes of us Japanese it’s at most an issue of religious beliefs, and thus we can only consider that twisting and complicating of the real world as unbelievably foolish.”

“Well, it’s because they’re hoping for a world in which it’s not just ‘at most’, correct?”

“There doesn’t exist any solution besides accepting foreign cultures, though.”

“Even people using that── no, don’t mind me. This discussion won’t lead anywhere.”

“I suppose the problem will be China.”

Although they have only a few dungeons, it’s a country that places extreme value on honor, while also boasting economic strength. Telling them to line up with America in political measures against Russia is far too unreasonable. All the more nowadays, when suspicions about Chinese companies spying for the state have been raised.

“I believe we won’t be able to avoid a confrontation on this with them.”

“Very likely.”

“Anyway, we have no choice but to do what we can do. Cooperate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and put all efforts into reconciling all nations until the very last minute when the auction ends.”

4:31 p.m. – Director of Cabinet Intelligence Murakita left the residence.

“If America hides something, Russia will disclose it, and if Russia hides something, America will, huh? You could call that the perfect balance.” Ibe muttered, while reflecting on Saiga’s statement, which had come up as part of this scenario of the future.

 

 


T/N: Sorry, I made a little mistake with my templates in §053. I added the missing content there. You should go back and read up on it. 🙂

 


<– Previous Chapter | ToC | Next Chapter –>



Translation Notes:

  1. The black here refers to black companies which exploit their employees by working them to the bone.
  2. The Matsushiro Domain is the former seat of the Sanada clan. It’s said Umemura Sawano, a kunoichi, worked for him. So maybe it’s a reference to her, seeing how many various works of Japan’s Warring States era are around.
  3. Spa at the border between France and Spain
  4. A homicide with pennile amputation
  5. This seems to be a reference to extendable camera CMs, on Narou one user has linked it to Pentax. But I don’t really watch commercials, be it Japanese or not, but if we’re talking about funny Japanese CMs related to looong…have a look at this, it’s hilarious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZsJyCyGBSI

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.