Chapter 23: Water mirror

TN: this chapter contians sexual assault/attempted rape and is an extension of the 18th chapter of the manga. If you feel offended by this kind of stuff and have read the manga it is not necessary to read through this chapter to follow the story

Zeshald returned to Paula after receiving the circlet created by Yuusuke. The circlet was said to be a sacred treasure that was bestowed by her majesty queen Rishause. The queen had also made a major announcement at the opening speech during of the harvest festival. Using the combined turmoil of these two events, Zeshald announced the establishment of the [Water Mirror], an organization that was under the queen’s direct control.

As the supreme commander Izapnar had mostly foreseen this, he called a meeting of the royalists of the former king and advocated to restrain the forming of [Water Mirror] and avoid putting the country through the Fonclanc’s conspiracy.

Still, the former royalists disliked Izapnar’s current policies and his view towards the queen so they ignored his warnings. One by one they announced their wishes to become the members of the [Water Mirror] and were welcomed into the upper echelons of the organization. Even if they weren’t part of the commanding executives of Paula, they had prior experience of running the country during the former king’s reign.

Using their experience and skills from their time on active duty, they had started the [Water Mirror] in no time and turned it into a functioning group. At the same time, as there were a lot of supporters of the queen within the active duty soldiers, many hopeful applications were coming in every day.

Although the members of the elite groups, mostly loyal to Izapnar, skeptically viewed the [Water Mirror], some of them, who were loyal to the former king, saw some meaning in the queen’s faction and showed some interest towards its activity.

By the second day of the harvest festival, members and executives of the [Water Mirror] had expanded to one fourth of the general population and the elites of the Blue Garden. And it could be felt that this expansion would further increase after the end of the harvest festival.

“Almost all of the royalist members have been confirmed. There are also signs of some members of the elite groups being swayed towards them.”(Volmes)

“Khe… I have expected this, but their influence is becoming bothersome. Where are they planning to create their base of operations?”(Izapnar)

“I’m afraid they seem to be using the empty rooms in a section of the main fortress. They are based in the upper levels. While their defenses are not hard to attack, they are also easy to defend…”(Volmes)

“They are not hard to attack, but spying on them is meaningless, eh?. At any rate the assassination of the queen is now out of the question.”(Izapnar)

If the queen would be assassinated now, it would be obvious that the culprit would be the Izapnar’s faction. Zeshald’s assassination was difficult for the exact same reason, but in this case it could somehow be disguised as an internal strife.

Presently they had to undertake urgent measures to stop the expansion of the [Water Mirror]. Using the festive mood of the harvest festival this organization could gain sufficient power to undertake political actions and increase the influence of the queen. In the worst case scenario there was a possibility of them using the queen’s influence to dismiss the supreme commander from his post.

Although it was regretful, Izapnar could not publicly denounce Zeshald’s actions to be a plot of Fonclanc.

Although he successfully started rumors that queen’s treatment of [artless] in Cofta was like that because [of her wounded heart], he had no leads pointing to Zeshald being a spy of Fonclanc.

Zeshald arrived to Blue Garden after receiving a personal invitation. If he blamed that such a person gained the queen’s trust, was directly appointed as her personal aide, and yet was a spy of an enemy country, it would also destroy their own reputation as that would also mean that Paula’s central command was also deceived by Fonclanc. They were also in no place to make a protest so, in the end, they would have to deal with the [Water Mirror] as an internal problem.

“There are also reports of Fonclanc movements within their side of the national border.”(Volmes)

“Esvobus, that sly rat, order the troops to strengthen the security at the border.”(Izapnar)

In this critical moment, Izapnar struggled to deal with the government’s affairs trying to preserve the foundations of the Blue Garden dynasty that he had laid during the long years.

***

Third day of the harvest festival, morning. Fonke, performing the duties of a messenger, arrived on a fast horse carrying a message that an emergency meeting was being called and Yuusuke was hurriedly preparing for his departure.

As this was the third day of the festival, a lot of villagers gathered to bid him farewell. Having said that, everyone hesitated to talk. Yuusuke, clad in the uniform of the darkness god corps, returning back to the appointment in the city with a palace knight as his subordinate, it has finally started to sink in for everyone that he really is the man from the gossips, the elite of the palace, the hero of Gearhawk.

“Y-you somehow look like an entirely different person.”(Bahana)

Muttered Bahana in an unusually nervous voice. Sun stepped out of the crowd, approached Yuusuke, and softly grabbed his hand before withdrawing her’s after a moment, just like that time in the carriage on their trip back from the palace. That made Bahana’s eyes go wide from astonishment, as she could only gasp, “Oh my!”

“Good bye Yuusuke san. Take care of yourself.”(Sun)

“Ah, I’m off, goodbye Sun.”(Yuusuke)

To Yuusuke, this seemed like some sort of good luck charm from Sun, so he received the act naturally. Bahana helplessly hung her head regarding Sun’s innocence as Yuusuke waved goodbye to the villagers and boarded the carriage.

***

On the way back to the city, Fonke was responsible for using the wind arts to speed up the journey, thus as simple as the carriage the one they rode in seemed to be, it  was able to travel at high speeds. Furthermore, the carriage had its drivability customized so it was able to go at the speeds beyond the usual “high speed” that the wind arts allowed them to.

“I say, isn’t the carriage running too fast?”(Fonke)

“I did some reinforcement to the frame, so its fine.”(Yuusuke)

After arriving at Sanc Adiet ahead of their schedule, the travelers passed two district gates and arrived at the Volance palace. Along the way, they passed several different divine knights corps carriages. Upon arriving at the parking section of the palace, they saw a number of corps groups that took turn in boarding the carriages and leaving the palace.

“Yuusuke!”(Violet)

Violet, smiling broadly, ran up to Yuusuke and jumped at him and the black haired boy had caught her by pure reflex. While this action caused an uproar amongst the bystanders, Violet continued embracing Yusuke and cried out about Zeshald.

“The grandpa did it! I knew that he was on our side!”(Violet)

Violet was beyond herself because of the recent change of status in Blue Garden. Zeshald’s purpose of going there was to create this situation, which meant that he did not betray Fonclanc.

As Yuusuke was not really surprised by that, Violet cheerfully asked him, “Did you already know about it?”

“Princess, please calm down a little bit.  …Sir Yuusuke, this time it is an emergency situation, but–“(Krielov)

Having made a short pause, Krielov seemed to intend to brief Yuusuke in on the situation. As it was very urgent, he even seemed to postpone the rearing (education) of the princess. Yuusuke listened carefully for the briefing with the princess hanging slantwise on him.

This time, an organization under the direct control of the queen of Blue Garden started rapidly gaining influence in Paula and a huge coup movement is anticipated in the neighboring country. In response of this situation, a decision for emergency deployment of troops near the Fonclanc-Blue Garden border was announced.

According to these orders, a new fortress was to be urgently constructed at a site slightly away from the ruins of the Gearhawk fortress, and knight corps are to be stationed there. Their orders are to monitor the movements inside Blue Garden and, in case of emergency, respond with utmost haste.

“The advance party has already arrived at the construction site and secured the perimeter. Some time ago, a huge material caravan has departed along with the construction personnel. The first combat detachment along with the military personnel is currently departing as we speak.”(Krielov)

“Your orders are to depart with the corps tomorrow and, after arriving at the site, proceed to help with the construction of the fortress and the necessary facilities.”(Krielov)

“Understood. We are to leave tomorrow and head towards the construction site of the new fortress.”(Yuusuke)

As this was the second time that darkness god corps were ordered to help with the construction of the fortress, Yuusuke headed towards his room to quickly review the model data of the Gearhawk fortress in preparation for tomorrow. Fonke tactfully pointed at Violet, still hanging on Yuusuke’s figure and asked, “Are you alright with this?”

“Princess!”(Krielov)

“Wahaha~”(Violet)

After some time, wrinkles at Krielov’s forehead had yet another chance to become deeper.

***

Paula central command. Congress hall.~

Plausha was walking towards her personal room through the corridor of the lodging section which acted as the barracks for the members of the elite groups. As she was given a room in the elite quarters, it took her an entire day to move her clothes and other belonging from her previous room. When she finally finished moving, the uniform that the other members of her group were wearing had arrived as well.

Afterwards, she proceeded to the headquarters of the [Water Mirror] to apply to become a member there. This was her first step of the secret mission that she was given… but she didn’t feel like she was doing anything at all.

“Haaaah….”(Plausha)

She sighed involuntarily. It looked like the [Water Mirror] was steadily increasing in members in between both the elite soldiers and the common folk. She wanted to get in contact with head instructor Zeshald as soon as possible after joining the organization, but such an important decision was not her’s to make.

[I will go there tomorrow. It is already late today, so I will surely go there tomorrow,] while worrying whether she should delay her action, she noticed a group of four red haired youths, clad in fire troupe uniforms, and she retreated towards the wall. The four also changed their direction and approached Plausha.

Feeling like she’s in a marriage interview, Plausha slowly raised her face. Before she noticed, she got surrounded by the members of the water mirror.

“What’s this? Even though she is wearing the troupe’s uniform, she’s still a brat.”(Redhead A)

“An unfamiliar face… has this kid joined the water troupe?”(Redhead B)

“Eh… uhm…”(Plausha)

“Hey, are you really allowed to be here? Show us your permit!”(Redhead A)

Somehow mistaken for a suspicious person, Plausha tried to take out the facility’s entry permit, but she remembered that she left it somewhere in her room as she did not have to use it since she had shown the first time she had entered the facility. Instead she showed them a tentative water troupe member card.

“Temporary member, is it. In whose name, the leader of the water troupe?”(Redhead A)

“N..no. I was recommended by captain Volmes…”(Plausha)

As Plausha mentioned the name of the captain of the fire troupe, the guys exchanged glances, wondering [Why would their captain of all things recommend someone to be a tentative member of the water troupe?] They became even more suspicious of Plausha as there was no reason nor pretext for why would someone put a person who even had not reached the enlistment age into another corps.

“It-It’s true. Please check with Mr… Captain Volmes! He will confirm it to you!”(Plausha)

“The captain is currently busy. Tell us the reason of why you were given the enrollment permit.”(Redhead C)

“That I… I mean… I have special orders…”(Plausha)

It was impossible for Plausha to disclose her secret mission so she started beating around the bush by only replying, “It’s related to my mission.” The four exchanged looks after hearing this reply and as they started to understand what was happening here, the tension dropped down.

“Oooh, so that’s how it is.”(Redhead A)

“A mission by our captain eh…”(Readhead D)

However, the atmosphere that was supposed to be easing was actually turning into another, improper direction.

“Well, she is pretty nice for a woman.”(Redhead C)

“Well, it’s clear that our captain is not gay.”(Readhead A)

“…?”(Plausha)

Plausha stared blankly at them, thinking [“What are they talking about?”] when one of them suddenly grabbed her from behind, causing the girl to panic. One of the remaining three guys approached Plausha from the front and put his hand under her skirt.

Plausha was of course scared and tried to resist, but the remaining two guys held her hands down so she could not move at all.

“Wha-what are doing! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!”(Plausha)

“Truth is, we are also on a special mission.”(Readhead A)

“We also want to enjoy a little street singer who found her way here.”(Redhead D)

“NOO! Let me go! LET ME GO YOU BASTARDS!”(Plausha)

The man in front of Plausha inserted his finger into her private parts as she was twisting her body in a hopeless attempt to escape and whispered a threat into her ear.

“Go on try screaming once more and I will cook you down there.”(Redhead B)

“?!!”(Plausha)

Plausha stiffened, her entire body shaking while she even forgot how to breathe. [“So she finally became obedient?,”] thought the four fire troupe dickheads as they started dragging her off to the nearest room.

As Plausha was in a panic, not knowing how to act in this state, the things that she had heard about the elite troupes from her sister were swirling in her head. Her sister mentioned that there were some of these kinds of guys in the troupes, but the elite groups enforced discipline so they had acted gentlemanly– (TN: nice way to think of after one of them just casually fingered you, girl)

[“Why? Why did such things had … at the central command… Sister…!”](Plausha)

As Plausha was praying to her sister, a familiar voice resounded in the hallway.

“You, what the hell are you doing?!”(Volmes)

It was none other than Volmes, confidant of the supreme commander Izapnar, who was walking towards Plausha with a stern look on his face, the clanking sound of his boots resounding in the hallway. Plausha looked at him, pleading for the help, but her voice was still paralyzed from the fear of the finger.

The four exchanged perplexed glances after the entrance of their commander, but soon the relaxed their shoulders and confronted the commander in a light manner.

“Nothing, just training for a special mission.”(Redhead A)

“This cute junior asked us to help in her training.”(Redhead B)

They said this with a wide grin on their faces as they raised up Plausha’s uniform skirt. Plausha’s face blazed red. The next second the cheek of the man that raised her skirt became red along with a dull sound.

Slapping each of his subordinates in succession, Volmes protected Plausha behind his back as he calmly spoke with a disgruntled expression.

“You seem to have misunderstood something. She is a… relative of a wind troupe member who was killed at the Gearhawk. She is her younger sister.”(Volmes)

“!!”(Readheads)

“We—we are deeply sorry for our actions…”(Redheads)

The four were visibly disturbed, having learnt of Plausha’s circumstances. The four, now visibly depressed, were ordered to reflect on their actions while Volmes escorted Plausha back to her room.

“I am sorry, it happened due to my lack of supervision. I promise you that this will never happen again.”(Volmes)

“N-it’s nothing.”(Plausha)

After apologizing to Plausha, Volmes talked to her about the circumstances of those guys for a little while. They too have lost their close friends all at once. They had not been able to mourn their friends due to all the bustle with military reorganization. When the bustle had seemed to settle down, the [Water Mirror] incident happened and the situation got worse as the turmoil spread again. Plausha was able to relate with this situation as she had seen the unrest in the city.

“I am sorry for requesting the impossible from you…”(Volmes)

“I.. I will do my best!”(Plausha)

As Volmes said that [Water Mirror’s] influence was approaching threatening strength, Plausha hardened her resolve to complete her mission. She would carry out her mission to search for [Water Mirror] from tomorrow.

“Take a rest today.”(Volmes)

After saying that Volmes left Plausha’s room.

***

As various recreational facilities were installed below the lodgings, barracks also had recreational facilities and bar built in the underground section. After leaving Plausha’s room, Volmes headed towards the resting room. The four guys from before were drinking there.

“Captain, did you really have to hit us so seriously there?”(Redhead A)

“It looked more convincing that way.”(Volmes)

“Did we really had to go so far with that act?”(Redhead B)

“You had to precisely because it was an act. The bait had to look real in order to get the most out of it.”(Volmes)

Volmes replied to a playful complaint of one of the guys and flattered him, “The act looked to be pretty real.” His subordinates also laughed, remembering Plausha’s face.

(TN) there was no paragraph separator here so I assume that the same discussion with the 4 guys is continuing. In manga it was a short dialogue between Volmes and Izapnar)

“Now I expect that girl to start carrying out her mission. If she manages to lure him out into our territory, we can let a specialist handle the rest.”(Volmes)

“So, you already have someone in mind?”(Redhead A)

“I plan to use Belushya from the water troupe.”(Volmes)

“Oh that ice woman?”(Redhead A)

Water troupe, similar to water god corps, was a group focused on healing type divine arts, however if it had to be said, they were more of a militia than a support group.

The members of the elite group were split almost evenly between the support types and the offence types. Belushya was a top class divine arts user of this elite group. Drinking a glass of alcohol that was offered to him, Volmes turned to leave to proceed with his other tasks.

“Don’t forget to keep up your act. If you meet her you have to look depressed.”(Volmes)

“Yeaaah, yeah.(Redheads)

Volmes left the resting room, listening to their halfhearted reply.

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26 thoughts on “Chapter 23: Water mirror

      • I agree, even with Sun’s incident in the previous chapters it was handled quickly and the attempted rapist even suffered a fitting end which we could laugh off.
        Here its impossible to simply laugh it off.
        Like many others I long since lost my innocence and naivety of such things in anime and manga a long time ago, I had once believed that I could watch and read anything and everything and simply enjoy it. School Days completely erased that thought from my mind and others since then continue to reinforce that.
        I have to admit by and large even though I live in the UK my exposure to western literature and media’s is fairly low(since I’m always reading LN WN manga and watching anime), and from what little I do watch and read such scenes never seem to appear, at least not in such detail and tend to be passed over. I’m really not sure why there is such a need for these types of events, even in Coiling Dragon that I’m currently engrossed in it sometimes feels practically every male character is drowning themselves in lust and views the world with desire to have any woman that takes their fancy. In that respect I enjoy Against the Gods better, so far the few arseholes attempting such things have suffered, or at least been cock blocked before even starting.
        Anyway rambled on too much but bottom line is, surely this was unnecessary and the plot and motivation could of reached the same conclusion without this

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yep. The story flow is kinda random sometimes, one chapter we have violet playing around with yuusuke, the next a sewer with a mountain of corpses (fortress arc). Plausha here also got a huge chapter with played out rape attempt, but I fail to see all this buildup going anywhere close to the payoff value, one would expect for (until now) nearly two chapters worth of this poor useless girl.

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    • The only explanation for me will be to gave her more confidence in Volmes so she doesnt betray her for Zeshald, since in her POV she almost never see Volmes and its often said (in other books and stuff) that when someone has to spy or even keep watch to someone who is close with them they tend to overlook some stuff or just plain help the other person. Still a dick move tho.

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    • Well i somehow missed this comment… shame on me. In the manga Plausha was ordered to spy on Zeshald, but her motives were pretty vague. Novel goes a bit “deeper” into her 🙂

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  1. Thank you so much for translating this because.. yeah i won’t say anything more, but remember that this guy appreciate your effort to the fullest.

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    • I wonder, where did you put your head?

      Suffering is suffering. Why condemn one malicious act over another? They should both be equally condemned. Not compared to diminish one over the other.

      Rape is wrong! Killing is wrong! Need more be said?

      Like

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