Got snowed in today. Ruined all my plans. On a positive note, I had nothing better to do than finish this chapter. As always R&R and let me know if you find any typos or grammar mistakes.
As a note, the events of the Flame Dragon hunt occur concurrently with the chaos in the capital. Anyways, in this chapter we see how picking a hot blooded, glory-seeking, nationalist as the leader of your strongest combat unit may not work out too well.
Colonel Kamo Naoki was a true patriot. Unlike so many Japanese today, he believed that the fortune would smile again on the land of the rising sun. And now he had been blessed with the opportunity to make Japan great again with his own two hands.
Right now, Colonel Kamo was furious. A company strength formation of Elbe Kingdom soldiers was holding up the 1st combat team’s vehicles as King Duran, now under JSDF custody, attempted to negotiate with the border fort’s commander about 50 meters away. Apparently, these idiot border patrol men cared more about bothering the JSDF than letting Japan get on with killing the giant Flame Dragon roaming their country side.
‘Who the fuck gave these people guns!’ Kamo seethed. “Did the Chinese or the Russians get their own GATE? Was it the Americans?’
The burly, hot-blooded colonel gripped his radio tightly as he leaned from the cupola of his special terrain type 74 tank. Kamo stared intently at the Elbe soldiers’ weapons, looking fruitlessly for any give away on their manufacturer. Kamo noted pleasantly that the weapons seemed to be long rifles and anti-tank rifles from the time of the World Wars; in other words, nothing that could seriously harm 1st combat team’s tanks and IFVs.
‘Has to be the Russians, they’re the only ones who still have large stocks of Second World War weapons lying around in working condition’ the Colonel thought. ‘Although, I’ve never seen these models of Mosin-Nagant or PTR before’
His musings were interrupted as Duran rode back to the JSDF lines on a Type 87 recon vehicle.
“Looks we’re out of luck. They won’t let us use the bridge across the Tullius river until their superiors arrive. That prick is one of my Eldest son’s men no doubt.” Duran sighed as he fiddled with his JSDF radio headset. “They wouldn’t say where they got the staves from though. I wonder what my dear boy Eldias has been up to.”
“No matter, we have a way across without their help. It’ll take them days for their superiors to get here by horse and we don’t have that time.” Kamo snorted and set his radio to broadcast across the entire unit. “Deploy the type 70 bridge layers! All units prepare for river crossing!”
As one, hundreds of tons of quality Japanese steel rolled forward on growling engines towards the river’s edge as a quartet of massive flatbed bridge layers began unfurling their cargos. Kamo noted unpleasantly that the Elbe troops were only barely phased by the show of strength, unlike the Saderans who panicked and fled like rats.
A trio of riders in Elbe officer’s cloaks rode forth on brown stallions, short wooden body carbines and revolvers strapped to bodies, trying to physically intersperse themselves between Kamo’s men and the river.
Kamo roared into his radio. “All units halt! What the fuck do they want!?”
Duran popped out of the top hatch of his Type 87 recon vehicle again and shouted into his mic. “They say that they cannot let us pass the river on their honor as warriors for they are oath bound not to let foreigners pass without approval from the Ambassador or the King Eldias.”
Kamo felt the venom the old King Duran put into those last two words could melt steel. But there was something more curious in that statement.
Duran shouted more words in his language at the officers, then translated the words to Kamo. “An outworlder ambassador. Says he calls himself Tau and represents some… ideology or whatever called the Greater Good”
‘Tao? Greater Good?’ That nailed it Kamo thought. It had to be the Chinese, spreading their disgusting Communist ideology into sovereign Japanese territory! Kamo would show this Chinese Ambassador Tao that the Jietai, the JSDF, wasn’t to be trifled with!
“Fuck them! All units continue advance!” Kamo roared into his mic. Duran’s eyes widened in shock as the Japanese vehicles rumbled back to life.
The panicked horses of the Elbe officers finally lost composure in the presence of so much diesel exhaust and rumbling combustion engines. The Elbe officers only barely managed to get their frightened steeds to panic gallop back towards the wooden palisades of their fort.
Then the first Elbe rifle rounds began pinging off the hull of his Type 74 tank. A toothy, feral grin split the Colonel’s lips. These little shits and their bolt action rifles didn’t stand a chance against a proper armored battalion.
“1st combat team. Weapons free, light them up!”
Some hours later
Itami scratched the back of his head nervously. In truth, he wanted nothing more than to run screaming back to Japan and do nothing watch the reruns of Mei Kon for a week straight. What the fuck had happened to the normal, original plan of killing the Flame Dragon with Panzerfausts and C4? Ok, no wait, that wasn’t normal either.
“On behalf of the Tau’va, I, Ambassador Coldwind, accept your salutations and lay the warmest greetings of the five castes of T’au upon you.” The blue, nose-less alien said in archaic, rigid Japanese. Itami could’ve confused the alien for a Buddhist monk straight from a Heian period historical drama what with the disk-like hat, flowing robes, and flowery speech patterns. “I hear from the Dark Elves of the valley that you hail from beyond the Gate at Alnus hill.”
“Yeah, I’m from Japan. The Saderans kind of invaded us randomly one day and now we’re here.” The hapless Lieutenant sweat-dropped. First contact with an obviously technologically advanced alien species was way, way beyond his comfort zone and pay grade. “I’m Lieutenant Itami Youji by the way.”
“My condolences for the senseless deaths they no doubt caused during the attack.” Coldwind replied. “If it is possible, I would wish to extend my well wishes to your countrymen.”
“You want me to take you to my leaders eh?” Itami smiled, happy that he could offload this problem to someone else. “I can do that.”
The alien gave him a quiet smile. “I bid you many thanks Lieutenant. For now, let us join hands and defeat the Flame Dragon tormenting this land.”
“~Itami~” Rory Mercury giggled as she skipped up the mountain path, the black lace of her Apostle outfit swaying in the wind. Itami noticed Coldwind’s Honor Guard grip their rifles more tightly.
“You are friends with one of the local priestesses?” the Ambassador queried.
“Oh, no, she’s an Apostle of Emroy.” Itami replied casually.
Instantly, a half dozen long barreled pulse rifles were lowered, aimed square at Rory’s head, their power capacitors whining with excess energy charge.
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Calm down. She’s not dangerous. Please!” Itami shouted as he threw himself in the firing line between the Fire Warriors and the murderous Goth Loli Apostle.
Rory did not help his case when she sensually licked her lips and drew her massive half ton axe halberd into fighting stance. “Oh-hoh, is this a fight? Good! I was getting bored waiting for the dragon!”
“Rory, please! Put the Halberd down! Please for the love of the Kami!”
“Well since you invoke the Gods, even though it be the heathen ones of your homeland, I will grant this boon” Rory snarked as she returned to a more peaceable stance.
The Tau diplomat barked something gruffly in his own language and his honor guards lowered their frighteningly large rifles. Itami breathed a sigh of relief as he silently raged against the fact that the JSDF was legally a civilian government organization, placing limits on the amount of hazard pay they could receive compared to other armies.
“My apologies for the commotion Lieutenant Itami. We have had… less than satisfactory engagements with the Apostles” Coldwind spat the word, the first time Itami had heard anything other than serene calm from the alien “in the past. Though if we have her word that she will not attack us then we may yet reach an understanding.”
“Rory.” Itami snapped. He was burnt out dealing with all this shit.
“Fine. I give my word as an Apostle of Emroy that I shall not bring harm to the warriors of Sir Coldwind without just cause.” Rory groaned.
The Tau merely nodded, before turning to walk away with his honor guard in tow. “I would speak with the Dark Elves of the valley now. My sincere apologies for any unpleasantry.”
‘The Apostles and Gods of this fantasy world had encountered the aliens before?’ Itami groaned mentally.
He turned to Rory. They needed to talk. Now.
The meeting with the Dark Elves, another one of the various human offshoot species of this strange world, had gone quite easily. The tribe’s elders had been quite impressed that the Tau had brought a small army replete with what they considered magic war engines to slay the flying reptile irritant. They granted him a chest filled with diamonds and crystals of substantial size and unnaturally high purity.
In a pinch, the Earth Caste scientists could use these to repair or make internal components for some of their Ion and Pulse weapons. Por’El Aloh beckoned for his personal comm-drone to convey a message to Por’ui Ul’toh, one of his apprentices, to take over the conversion of the Dark Elves into the Tau empire at his earliest convenience.
‘Ul’toh needs to build his confidence’ Aloh thought ‘and this easy, simple mission would give him a taste of the intricacies of leading a diplomatic mission.’
The Water Caste ambassador’s thoughts were interrupted as Shas’el Shi’ur, or Cadre Leader Strong Triumph, in the languages of the lesser species, stomped towards him in his towering, five ton XV8 Battlesuit, a command pattern suit equipped with a shield generator, a plasma rifle, and fusion blaster.
+Honored Por’El. Our sensors have detected a force of late industrial age Gue’la armor and rotary craft inbound. What are your thoughts? +
“Ah, these must be Lieutenant Itami’s ‘JSDF’ comrades. Prepare the Honor Guard for a formal welcome ceremony.” Coldwind ordered as he scratched his chin in rumination. “I suspect that they are here to slay the beast too. Let us delay our hunt until they arrive. We would not want to be graceless hosts and steal their quarry.”
+I understand Por’el. There is one more matter though+ The battlesuit commander intoned, flexing his weapon limbs menacingly. +One of our auxiliary manned border posts has gone silent. We suspect that this ‘JSDF’ is responsible. What then? +
“Stay your weapons Fire Warrior. You need not do anything about it.” The Ambassador smiled. “See now that without proper guidance of the Tau’Va, the Gue’la will inevitably devolve into kin-strife. But this is to our advantage. With their deaths, these Elbe soldiers have given us quite the diplomatic leverage over this nation called Japan.”
+Of course, Por’el. I bow to your mastery of word and state craft+ the Firewarrior stated impassively, begrudgingly depowering his suit’s weapon limbs. +I shall prepare for joint operations against the Flame Dragon with these Gue’la newcomers+
“Go in the name of the Greater Good Shas’el and may fortune smile upon you.” Coldwind paused. “One more thing, if the Apostle ‘Rory’ makes any trouble for us, you know what to do.”