Adoration Day 1EditMakabe Seijyurou, an Imperial Royal Guard Eishi Officer Cadet in his final year of the two years long course, arrives at Dover Base for 10 days of inspection training attachment, as part of the foreign exchange program for elites. Since he arrived an hour earlier than expected, he decides to take a walk to calm himself, having worked himself up thinking about the expectations placed upon him as a representative of Japan visiting a foreign country. Having wandered onto a dirt path in the woods, he is surprised by the appearance of a beautiful girl riding a horse. The girl initially apologizes for surprising him in German, which Seijyurou does not understand, but soon they converse in English. Speaking formally, the girl gives her apologies again, which Seijyurou returns as he was at fault for wondering onto the trail. The girl explains that the area was actually a restricted zone which is restricted to outsiders, which was why she did not expect to see anyone. Not wanting to be recognized (thus giving a bad image of Japanese people), Seijyurou quickly compliments her riding skills and parts from her presence without exchanging names. He then returns to the meeting point and is brought to Dover Base.
He is brought to Dover Base, and is introduced to Major Wilfried von Aichberger, one of the "Seven Heroes of Britain", nicknamed Schwarzekonigwolf (Black King Wolf), commanding the 44th West German Army Tactical Armor Battalion ‘Cerberus’, and the 44th's 1st company "Schwarze"(Black). Seijyurou would be attached to his corps for the 10 days of the inspection training. “On behalf of the West German Army, welcome to the “Gates of Hell, Officer Cadet Makabe Seijyurou”, were his words of welcome. It is stated that out of the 18 years that the exchange system started by the U.N. forces, this is the third exchange to his corps from Japan, and they are honored to receive the son of a renowned Major General. Seijyurou is also introduced to Lieutenant Sigelinde von Fahrenhorst, known by the nickname of Weißwolf (White Wolf), and the second in command; Captain Gerhard von Ralerstein, “Sonic Baron”, in command of the 2nd Company "Rote"(Red). Both are of the "Seven Heroes of Britain" as well.
Placed under Captain Gerhard’s fabulous care, he is introduced to Lieutenant Brigitte von Wästernach, commander of 2nd Company 3rd Platoon. In turn, Lieutenant Brigitte introduces him to the primary personnel in charge of his welfare, 2nd Lieutenant Ilfriede von Feulner, who happens to be the beautiful girl he met before. Angsting about the encounter, he returns the greetings. Seijyurou is given his ID card and told that its use is required for everything from entering rooms to using the drinks dispenser, and that the loss of the card would cause international problems. As Seijyurou is swallowing this, he is subsequently told that was a joke by Lieutenant Brigitte who kept a straight face on throughout. Told to wait outside for Ilfriede, he overhears some German, which were Captain Gerhard and Lieutenant Brigitte telling Ilfriede to be sure to take care of their visitor who is the son of a VIP. While Ilfriede reassures them, they are still uncertain, commenting that the analysis results shown Ilfriede was the best match, and that a full maintenance of the main computer should be done, which Ilfriede laughs off as a joke.
They encounter another member of 2nd company, 2nd Lieutenant Wolfgang von Brauer, who behaves in a very rude and familiar manner (in Seijyurou’s opinion) as compared to Ilfriede’s polite speech. Cracked up by Ilfriede’s tone, and calling it her new new murder technique, Brauer tells him not to judge them all too quickly by Ilfriede’s example, before Seijyurou is lead away by Ilfriede by the hand.
Seijyurou, flustered by the close contact with Ilfriede (and exhibiting a high level of agility in tight situations by doing a leaping somersault to get away from her), retreats to the toilet to calm himself, learning that the facilities are separated by gender. On returning, he attempts to rapidly apologize to Ilfriede for their first meeting (they meet at a restricted zone, so he thought she was covering up for him being there), but Ilfriede explains that as he is a trainee in the corps, he is actually authorized personnel. She also explains that though she should have already known his identity at that time from the files, but was since she was not expecting to see him there she never thought to recognize him, thus actually she had given him the wrong impression. This, coupled with her dropping the polite form of speech as being too tedious, shatters Seijyurou’s preconceived image of her. He is minded of Brauer’s comments which he now regretfully admits is true, and the comments about Ilfriede’s suitability for the task.Lead by Ilfriede to the hanger (holding his arm to her chest), he has his first sight of the EF-2000 Typhoon, the primary TSF used by the battalion. They both look upon it admiringly, showing an expression held by true pilots. Allowed to see the machine up close, he makes comparisons to Japanese TSFs in the designs, which makes use of the arm blades and head fin as aerodynamic control assistance, impressing Ilfriede at his knowledge (she attempts to hug him as he evades). She then mentions that it would be boring to see similar machines in action on his learning trip, to which he replies it is never a waste, but rather an obligation to learn and integrate all aspects of knowledge in the operation of the machine. She rewards him with a hug (successfully).
They head outside to show him the view of the Dover complex, which is constructed along the south most Great Britain islands. It is explained that this spot was used since 1986 as a bastion of defense against the BETA invasion on the euro front, having a success rate of 98% at preventing landings. The Dover castle base was built as a monument of the successful recapture of Britain by the European forces in 1985 (The "Seven Heroes of Britain" legend was started in this battle), and called the “Gates of Hell”, as the entrance to the hell Eurasia had become under BETA occupation. The guardian of the gates was then called “Cerberus“, which is the name of their battalion. The landing fleet assigned to their base was called “Charon“, and the strait “Acheron“. The complex houses many underground ports with facilities for multiple aircraft carriers, together with underground storage of munitions and supplies, allowing spontaneous deployment of the regiment stationed there. Also has hidden underground catapults for direct deployment of the Tactical Machines. The fleet covers defense from Northern Europe to North Africa, and is referred to as an efficient delivery service. All these hardware and facilities makes Seijyurou envious of the setup.
After dinner, which was held with the senior officers (with real ingredients, not synthetic), Ilfriede presses Seijyurou on his impressions on having a meal with Major Wilfried (tricking him by saying a pilot needs to have good situation awareness), which he relates on the large amount of fried potatoes which the Major had, a portion making it more the main dish than the side, and even had it again after dessert. The only words spoken by the Major other than a short answer to a superior officer, was to request for more potatoes. This information is enough to send Ilfriede into cuteness mode (slapping Seijyurou hard enough to send him flying in her embarrassment). Seijyurou heads back to his room, and spots a green haired girl coming out of it. On entering he notices a hot towel on his table, and assumes the girl had left it there for him. Enjoying having the room to himself (calling it Makabe’s Castle), he writes his daily report and retires.
Day 2:EditSeijyurou wakes up to a female voice, which reminds him of his lost mother, but is actually Ilfriede. Having woken him up an hour before revelry, she tells him to change. When he hesitates because of her presence, Ilfriede, thinking that he needed help changing, tells him to hold his arms up (Banzai~), and promptly strips him. While he is in shock, she observes his red fundoshi, and naturally misunderstanding his explanation, refers to it as the spirit of the Japanese Empire (is a Red T-back/G-String). She ends him by mentioning she would purchase one from the PX next time for luck, prompting him to imagine her wearing it over the Fortified Suit, before bleeding out.
The itinerary of the day is to show him to the Command and Control room, Main Reactor, Environmental Systems Circulation Plant, Tri-service integrated arsenal storage, which are all found underground (Very important facilities for front line bases, and which Ilfriede considers boring). Before that however, she drags him along to see her favorite scenic spot, out on an open grass lawn. Seijyurou praises the beauty of the landscape, to which Ilfriede comments on the sensitivity of Japanese culture for artistic works in their tools of war. She also expresses interest in seeing the beauty of a Japanese castle if she gets the chance. Seijyurou spontaneously promises to take responsibility for showing them to her should she come to Japan, to which Ilfriede accepts lightheartedly. However, Seijyurou is fully aware that both are putting their lives on the battlefield fighting BETA, and if the war never ends it might never be more than a dream. Until the day he can keep the promise though, he plans to survive.
In the middle of the conversation (and his internal promise), they are interrupted by two girls, who have overheard their conversion. The two are 2nd Lieutenant Helgarose von Falkenmayer and 2nd Lieutenant Lunateresia von Witzleben, both from 2nd company as well. Seijyurou recognizes Luna as the green haired girl who brought him the hot towel the previous night. They brought a packed picnic lunch, which Ilfriede confirms was not made by Luna (not wanting to cause an international incident). As he greets them both, his impression of Helga is of a dignified and noble sharpness akin to a knight or samurai. For Luna, he feels that she is an aristocratic lady, extruding a neat and modest atmosphere of harmonious compassion. He is informed that the two would be supporting Ilfriede in taking care of him as well.During lunch Seijyurou is charmed by the elegant behavior and modest attitude that Luna shows, as compared to the casual open attitude of Ilfriede. Helga also spikes his interest by engaging him in a conversation about Chivalry in Europe and Samurai honor in Japan. Later, he is told that the recreational activities to be had tomorrow would depend on who he decides to go with out of the three (they thought it would be hard for him to choose on the first day, so they only introduced themselves now). Feeling annoyed at having this sprung on him, he faces away and comments he thought he would be with her no matter the choice. This makes Ilfriede pounce on his head to cuddle him from behind at his sulking. This causes him to blow a fuse.
During dinner, he hears a joke about Lieutenant Brigitte’s eye patch, which Ilfriede tries to make him believe it hides the evil eye, whose output is stronger than the laser class. Helga explains its actually covering an electronic replacement for precision shooting. Returning to the topic of the Cerberus three heads, they inform him of the 3rd company “Blau”(Blue) which is led by Captain “Impact Rose” Deyuon Sturmmugeist (? Needs verification). The commanders of the three companies have their TSFs painted in the iconic color of their company, 1st is Black, 2nd is Red, and 3rd is Blue, with the rest using the standard Grey.
The only exception is the fourth head, the White Wolf. It is explained that Lieutenant Sigelinde has refused promotion above Lieutenant to remain with the Major, though she is recognized by all as the battalion’s second in command. As Ilfreide goes into moe mode, the others explain that even the Lieutenant is a subject for her affection as well (as part of the package).Luna states that the best image of them would be in their TSFs, as they dance in battle. Helga and Ilfriede note that Luna’s TSF love switch has been turned on, and caution’s Seijyurou about mentioning Japanese TSFs… thereafter Ilfriede makes her escape leaving Helga and him to listen to Luna. At the end of the day, Seijyurou writes his report, and enjoys the hot towel (he forgives Luna with this), and starts entertaining thoughts of romance with the two new girls, going as far as to run a mental simulator for which girl would be the best (Arcade style of selection).
The 3rd day starts in the officer mess. As he joins Ilfriede for breakfast, when Seijyurou says he isn’t picky about food, she offers her some of synthetic Haggis to him. Though it was awful, he manly finishes it, in the interest of culture exchange. After praising him, she transfers the rest of her share to him, forcing him to struggle to finish it once again. Acting cool, he tells Ilfriede to think nothing of it, he is adaptable to the taste, comparing his experience with British traditional food (British rations have been compared to recycled BETA by many other cultures), at which point she tells him actually no one else likes it, leaving him to question why it was still on the menu. 2nd Lieutenant Wolfgang happens by at this time, and noticing Seijyurou has finished the Haggis, asks him if he was okay. Wanting to show Wolfgang up, Seijyurou gives a badly timed reply that he is fine with the food as a soldier. Wolfgang promptly shoves his portion over, and announces to the whole mess that the Japanese kid eats Haggis, which has everyone still in the mess offering their Haggis to Seijyurou, horrifying him.
Finally finishing the all the Haggis, he now has a choice to play Indoor Squash with Ilfriede (Campion Squash player), Fencing with Helga (Campion Fencer), or Swimming with Luna (Campion Swimmer).
Ilfriede route:Expressing her happiness she hugs him to her chest, nearly suffocating him. They retire to change and meet at the indoor sports room. Seijyurou is shocked (pleasantly) at the thin and short clothes that Ilfriede shows up in, being his first time seeing tennis wear, which gives him a good view of underskirt. Captain Gerhard appears as the umpire, commenting on Seijyurou’s fluster as the spirit of youth. Ilfriede explains about the benefits of squash in training for coordination between flight elements (2 TSFs), as it requires partners to move in rhythm, especially in enclosed areas like hives. After a couple of rounds in which Seijyurou is tired out (Ilfriede is not even tired), they carry on, and while rushing to the ball, he collides with her, ending up in a compromising position. As the Captain comments on the tactical positioning, Seijyurou attempts to get off, with corresponding sound effects by Ilfriede (and commentary by the Captain on his status). Finally touching something, Seijyurou is powered up enough to do a full leap away, making his escape.
Helga route:Wanting to experience the difference in Western Fencing compared to Japanese Kendo, Seijyurou selects Helga, which prompts Ilfriede to tease him. However, he is surprised when he appears at the room, which seems to have been redecorated as a traditional Japanese Tearoom, with Helga in a Kimono. Helga says she is interested in learning about the various Japanese cultures such as calligraphies and tea ceremonies, not just martial arts. Looking at her attempt at decorating the room according to her (mistaken) interpretation of the culture, Seijyurou feels that it is critical to have a special culture exchange envoy to be sent to Europe at once to properly educate the Japanese culture (Equivalent to an American seeing a Hamburger made of raw fish between two pieces of crackers in terms of reverse culture shock). Helga offers to have afternoon tea, Japanese Tea Ceremony style, to which Seijyurou diplomatically accepts the pleasure. Helga boosts of being the most familiar with Japanese culture in the corps. They sit in seiza, which soon has Helga twitching in pain and gritting her teeth as she tries to start the ceremony. Trying to ease her pain, Seijyurou explains about the meditation of Zen to center oneself, while at the same time he privately admires the tearful beauty. He gets her to stop by telling her to take it slowly, and that he can help her with proper leg techniques (a foot massage). He massages her foot, to accompanying sound effects. At the loudest point, Captain Gerhard walks in, apologizes for disturbing, and leaves. A few seconds later, Ilfriede and Luna bursts in demanding where the international problem was, having been informed by the Captain (he is not known as the Sonic Baron for nothing). Wolfgang appears as well, asking how he was getting it on with Helga, and close behind him are Lieutenant Sigelinde and Lieutenant Brigitte who stand silently. At this point Helga recovers enough to stand up, and mentions that it was intense but refreshing while fixing her clothes.
Luna route:Seijyurou mentions it has been a long time since he last swam, and wants to see the swimming style of the veteran who swam the Strait of Dover. Ilfriede teases him about wanting to be with the graceful Luna, who is like the Yamato Nadeshiko (perfect Japanese woman). At the pool he observes Luna in her swim suit, who mentions Ilfriede had went back to find her swimsuit as well. Eying Luna assets, he makes the comparison in size to Jupiter (Ilfriede is Saturn). Luna leads him into the pool to teach him, assuming that Seijyurou cannot swim from what she heard from Ilfriede. While leading him, Luna wants to let him try on his own, but he doesn’t let go of her hand not wanting to be found out that he can actually swim. She leaves him while he treads water, but suddenly develops a cramp, causing Seijyurou to swim to her rescue, giving him a face full of natural buoyancy when he supports her. Actually, Luna tricked him in an attempt to give him confidence in swimming over to her, and praises him for being able to swim. This time she supports him as they are at the deeper end of the pool, which has Seijyurou enjoying his time.
After the activity:On the way to the baths, Seijyurou encounters Wolfgang, whom he tries to avoid. One mentioning he was going to the baths, Wolfgang implies that he was going to peep on the girls. Seijyurou leaves to a warning to remember that the woman’s side is indicated with an arrow with the circle, which he refutes instantly as the opposite. Patting himself on the back at having avoid the trap, Seijyurou is leisurely taking his shower… when he hears the voice of a woman entering. Ilfriede, Helga and Luna enters the showers, and converse about their day (depending on the route, Ilfriede defends her position in Squash, Helga defeats challengers in Fencing from first platoon). Lieutenant Sigelinde and Lieutenant Brigitte enter as well, though they soon leave. While Seijyurou is panicking, he tries to make use of the time when Sieg and Brigitte leaves to escape (wishing for a cardboard box to hide in), but was unsuccessful when he slips on a piece of soap. He lands in full view of the three. However, Ilfriede mentions that one of the Samurai’s cultures of Japanese is mixed bathing, and thoughts that’s what Seijyurou wanted to do. They thought to go Nippon style then, and offer to help wash him. Helga mentions that the frontlines would have no barriers between the sexes, so its fine, while shying her face away. Luna just says he is a child so it can’t be helped. Unable to take more, Seijyurou beats a hasty retreat.
The day ends with the report writing and hot towel, and he goes to sleep recalling how Wolfgang tricked him by changing the signs beforehand, and luring him into a false sense of safety by letting him avoid the first verbal trap. The recollection of meeting the two Lieutenants who were still in the changing room sends a chill down his back. He was surprised that Wolfgang freely admitted to being the mastermind behind the prank though, but cannot believe that such a chaotic person was allowed in the Cerberus battalion.
In the morning Ilfriede sneaks into Seijyurou’s room an hour early again, but this time he is ready and already awake underneath the blanket. He questions if it was the habit of the West Germany front line army to get up so early, which Ilfriede replies of course not, it’s only in his special case, and tries to change the subject. The schedule for the day was for all trainees to attend a lecture held by the Dover Base CO (Overall Commanding Officer) in the morning, followed by a CO sponsored lunch and inspection of the Main Headquarters layout. Seijyurou laments that he still has not learnt anything of significance even though it is already the fourth day. Ilfriede reminds him that there will be the European joint tactical exercise tomorrow.
Dinner time, Seijyurou and Ilfriede talks about the day’s activities. Seijyurou is privately concerned about the laid back attitude the West Germany army has, compared to the high level of strictness and discipline that Japan, another front line army, has. He has the thought that this experience of how Europe forces live on the frontlines might also be an objective of the exchange program. Ilfriede brings up the topic if he has befriended any training friends at the lunch, and he mentions meeting a short female officer from the French army, who stood out among the western cadets for having the most passionate eyes. She also seems to be an expert Storm Vanguard making use of 4 guns at once in close ranged combat.
Seijyurou asks Ilfriede about her first time in combat and 8 minutes of death, which she relates to him. She was assigned to Dover base after graduating from the U.N. pilot training, and had several weeks of training, in which she tried to keep her position as a front assault Storm Vanguard. However as she was not suitable, she was switched back as an Impact Guard fire support role. Though she was mortified at the change, she soon found she enjoyed the new role as well. Two months later she had her first campaign. Though envious of Helga who remained as a Storm Vanguard, she soon had no time to think, and was lost in the firing of her weapons. Despite the training and stimulations, she lost herself in the heat of combat, unable to respond to her comrades and commanders, and never noticed that the battle had ended until after being shouted awake by her platoon commander. Checking her timepiece, only 12 minutes had pasted for the engagement, which was when she realized she had survived the ‘eight minutes of death’, having passed it without her knowing, despite it being heavily on her mind before. As she apologizes for not having an interesting story, Seijyurou denies that, as any real life experience is valuable to him.He reveals that he had listened to the story of the French Officer from before, and had a different impression from that story, which made him fret uneasily. Frowning with a serious expression, Ilfriede asked if that officer was named Bernadette, which he replied the family name was La Rivière. Ilfriede comments that he was unlucky to have befriended her, and starts listing 2nd Lieutenant Bernadette Le Tigre De La Rivière’s flaws (Meddlesome, arrogant, smug, and a Fierce Beast who complaints a lot during combat, sarcastic and uses indiscriminate force despite being small), who pilots a (graceless) Purple Rafale with a Rose emblem. Ilfriede states that the Rafale is a downgrade from the Typhoon, at which point Luna arrives to debate the point. Seijyurou brings up Japanese TSFs in comparisons as well, seeking to hear their opinions. Despite Ilfriede’s warnings to drop it, he carries on (wanting to repay Luna’s kindness). Sometime later, he regrets his decision. Helga and Ilfriede rescue him by stating he needs time to do his report. Ilfriede slips the rumor that Luna’s objective is to marry a TSF someday. She also pokes fun at Helga dignified exterior, describing a holiday in Liverpool that the three of them went together. Helga tries to stop Ilfriede, but is restrained by Luna, as Ilfriede reminisces about the time where Helga had separated from them, only to be found enjoying an ice-cream alone. Helga cutely defends her taste for sweet things. Ilfriede had also consumed half of Helga’s Ice-cream and Luna’s Fish-n-Chips, though she promises to make it up to them the next time.
Day end, the report is written as usual, and his thoughts were of the lack of tension in the atmosphere by the European forces, and doubts of the stories he heard of the fierceness of the soldiers here. He goes to sleep after using the hot towel.
Day 5:EditSeijyurou got up early to prevent Ilfriede’s intrusion (and to protect his vulnerable sleeping face from being seen). Today is the simulator training for the corps in preparation for the Joint Tactical Exercise. Ilfriede promises to work hard for Seijyurou’s sake. He tolerates her first hug, resigned to her close physical contact which is unique to her, but evades the next. She mentions that Seijyurou has grown up, to which he replies he is an adult from the start!
Captain Gerhard gives the briefing for the simulator training. Their operation would be at the Shetland Islands in the north seas of the Dover Straits. The objective is to prevent BETA landings using U.N. forces and the European Union Army. During the Briefing, members of the force are heard complaining of the waste of ammunition and time for this, that it was under United Nations bureaucratic civilian like control. Wolfgang comments that the UN are here to inspect their readiness and make sure they are not freeloading, else why would they bother to come to such a dirty dangerous place. Lieutenant Brigitte agrees, commenting that though the food tastes like shit (British rations) those who don’t work don’t eat, so work hard for your dinner. The battalion members come to attention and replies “Yes Mum! For Shit!!”
Seijyurou processes the tactical significance of the briefing while listening, though he was surprised at the level of derision against the U.N. forces. He wonders if this attitude was common among the European forces or unique to Cerberus which is the quick reaction force (Such forces tend to feel used and taking it up the unmentionables once too many times). He is told to head to the simulator room, where he can observe the viewpoint of Ilfriede through the headset link at the CP (Control Point) air traffic controller position. Using JIVES (Joint Integrated Visualization Emulator System) the TSFs can see and feel simulated enemies with feedback, sampled from real combat data, both during full simulation and live simulation (where actual TSFs are used, with live ammo. Only the enemies are fake holograms).
2 hours later, the simulation exercise ends, and Seijyurou feels that though there was nothing wrong with the performance of Rote squadron, he feels it was not up to the standards of the history of the battalion and his expectations. Ilfriede meets him, and apologizes for not showing him any good points. Helga and Luna joins in as well. Ilfriede loudly declares she is hungry, though when Luna chastises her for being so graceless in front of him, he mentions he is used to it. Following them to dinner, he thoughts that although today was disappointing, perhaps the real live simulation of the Joint Tactical Exercise would give him more things to learn, so as not to have wasted the national expenditure and time to send him here (he takes this really seriously).
Back in his room, he is excited about boarding the aircraft carrier in the morning. Everyone else was busy with preparations, and he had had to have dinner alone. Finding that he is lonely without the company of Ilfriede, he tries to change his train of thoughts with other concerns, such as not being able to receive the impression of chivalry spirit up to now. Unable to sleep because of that question, he wonders to Helga’s door, and while debating whether to knock (mindful of her words before that one has to experience in person before understanding), he hears Helga making sensual sounds in her room, as if she had someone over. While standing frozen at the door, Helga opens it, and seeing him there, asks him how much he heard with a teary expression.After saying he had wanted to ask her a question, she invites him inside, and looking for the person she was speaking to, he sees no one but a teddy bear on the chair, which was what she was apparently engaging in pillow talk to… There is a strained minute of silence in which Seijyurou feels he has received the meaning of chivalry, watching her stand by silently, entrusting him with this shameful side of her in a dignified manner. Finally she asks him what was it he wanted to ask her, which he relates his unease at not being able to learn much in his time here…
Finally on the Aircraft Carrier “Typhon” in transit to the European Joint Tactical Exercise, having been in transit to the Shetland Islands which will take 20 hours, Seijyuruou had received a tour of the interior of the ship in the past day. He is looking forward to observing the live-fire exercises, and seeing the ability of the Cerberus Battalion in action, hoping to answer some of his questions about chivalry. Recalling what Helga told him the day before (some disambiguation here, as this is day 7, and it was day 5 he met her), in which she apologizes for not having an answer, since if he cannot solve the problem for himself, the answer would be meaningless. He accepts this with good grace, having reached the same conclusion while hearing her words. Before he leaves, she comments that a person with similar concerns like him does not exist in her corps. Rather, everyone struggles on alone. As Seijyurou struggles to understand Helga’s closing comments, he decides to focus instead on what he can learn in the exercise.
Hearing people run around on deck behind him shouting, he turns to see members of the battalion playing a game of soccer, with Wolfgang participating. Surprised at the sight, he laments the loss of the serious train of thoughts he had. Observing other members sunbathing and even having a tea party on deck, he wonders at the vacation like mood, thinking that even as a means to reduce tension and stress, this was going too far! At this point Ilfriede comes over. Seeing him brooding at the empty sea, she offers to show him her EF-2000. Hearing her comment that if they were going to the Mediterranean, she could have swum in her swimsuit, he questions why they are not more serious, to which she replies that they would get serious once the exercise begins, but if they start to worry about it they would be stressed out before it starts. Seijyurou rudely considers if this was the resignation attitude of those who had lost their country.
Suddenly, the 991 alarm sounds!
Suddenly everyone is rushing to their positions, dropping everything at hand. As Seijyurou asks what was going on, a serious Wolfgang tells Ilfriede to get moving. In the CP, instructions were passed down from U.N. Atlantic Ocean 1st Army HQ to suspend training operations and move into combat operations. They are required to go to the assistance of the 38th Northern Europe Union Special Task Force “Auzu” (STF “0th”, German for Zero is Null, Japan pronounced it as Auzu?) at once and relief them. While the U.N. North Sea fleet is moving over as well, the closest fleet is the Typhon Strike Group. As Ilfriede and Seijyurou gather in the briefing room, the Cerberus command team enters to conduct the briefing. The urgent rescue signal was received before dawn from the 38th Northern Europe Union task force at the Norwegian west shore at the outskirts of Stavanger when a BETA group came from underground, causing large-scale damage. U.N. HQ has just tasked this fleet to their rescue. Hearing this, Seijyurou comes to the realization he would be entering actual combat. He notices the change in atmosphere and character of the corps around him, which brings home the point that this would be real war. The briefing continues, with Major Wilfried telling them not to scrutinize the meaning of the strategy and to follow orders as usual, giving the scheduled time of arrival as after midnight. Stating that was the bad news, the good news was that it is now impossible for them to participate in the Tactical Exercise, which had everyone cheering. Seijyurou notes that despite being suddenly told to put their lives on the line, there were no doubts by the corps. He recalls Ilfriede’s description of the 44th West German army TSF battalion as a quick reaction force, and the fact the battalion was fully combat ready on this trip with all TSFs, despite the loose atmosphere from before. He comes to the realization that their commitment to the purpose was genuine after all. Accustomed to being activated at any time, they still maintained a natural lifestyle. The briefing continues, and information that the stranded force had their carrier ships destroyed by laser class was passed down. As the Third company is away on maneuvers, the Major would be sortieing as well with First company.
At this point, the Major informs Seijyurou that this warship would be approaching the zone of battle. If the laser class appears, there would be no guarantee that the warship would not be at risk. The Major asks if his Will has been written. After a moment of silence in which Seijyurou struggles with his emotions, he comes to grips with his determination, and announces that as his Will was written before having left his country, there is no problem! The Major apologizes for asking a silly question of a Japanese empire Samurai.
In the Aircraft Carrier CIC, Seijyurou is given a head set with visual link to the 44th battalion. After putting it on, Lt Fahrenhorst (Cerberus 2) comms him, informing him he will be given privileges as an Observer with access to the battalions commo network and visuals. His main channel would be set to Rote 12, 2Lt Feulner. She promises to do her best as he is watching, but Seijyurou is worried, as there are no guarantees that they would return safely, especially for Ilfriede, Helga and Luna, would have only 6 months in the battalion. Ilfriede notices his expression, and mistaking the reason, vows never to let him die in her presence, so believe in her a little. Seeing as she has not changed (in coming to the wrong conclusion), he loses the tension he had. Opening a channel to all members of Cerberus battalion, he wishes upon them the Fortunes of War.
The battalion sorties. They will soon reach the outskirts of Stavanger and the heavy metal clouds, and have to watch out for laser irradiation warnings. The Major sends to the battalion: “Do it as usual, and return as usual. For the mother land and the human race!” As Seijyurou watches, he recounts the plan, to rush into the zone of battle before splitting into two groups to hunt down the laser class and secure “Auzu”, before regrouping to retreat towards the Typhon, and withdrawal. The difficulty is increased by having to travel the surface of the sea (with no covering terrain), and only 40 minutes worth of propellant. Such is the duty of the quick reaction force, in which normally there is no time to plan a full strategy, or collect strategic intelligence beforehand. For them this is a constant tension and pressure, which is why they do not have fixed training scenarios conducted. Without time for preparation, they have to adapt to any situation immediately – such is the battlefield of Cerberus.
While in transit, and minutes away from laser bombardment, Rote 11 (2Lt Brauer) addresses Rote 3 (Lt Wasternach), that she still owns him money, to which she says she does not remember. Saying it was from the card games, she denies it, and when Rote 11 asks Rote 12 who was there to confirm, Ilfriede replies in the negative. Rote 6 (2Lt Falkenmayer) and Rote 8 (2Lt Witzleben) both denied having knowledge of gambling as well. Rote 1 (Captain Ralerstein) announces that they are soon to be welcomed (by laser class). Rote 11 finishes by saying not to die before returning his money. Seijyurou wonders at their ability to joke around at such a time.
They enter the Laser zone, and as “Auzu” retreats to the Island Utsira, the BETA forces give chase, and Cerberus changes their objective to Utsira. They enter range of the laser class, and as Rote 11 has a close shave, Rote 12 jokes too bad, if only he was higher a little. They all engage in random evasion, and Cerberus 1 announces weapons free, engage at will. All units reach the shore safely, and proceed to mince the BETA forces. Rote 1 leads Second Company against the laser class, and Rote 3 gathers platoon 3 to form up on her. Rote 12 becomes hot blooded, spewing taunts like “Plenty of depleted Uranium is served!” and "Is the product of Britain not to your taste?!”. Rote 3 breaks through the BETA guarding the laser class, and saying “Lock On!” with a lick of her lips, terminates them (Her mechanical sharpshooter’s eye is uncovered). Rote 12 continues to provide fire support with her Mk. 57, taking out 4 Grappler class in as many shots. Rote 3 praises her accuracy. Rote 8 supports Rote 6 as she melees in the front ranks. Rote 1 upholds his nickname as the ‘Sonic Baron’ by fabulously taking out the enemy three times as fast in his Red EF-2000. He then regroups the Second Company and heads to Utsira.
Back at the CP, Seijyruou is astonished at the flawless coordination of the units’ positioning and maneuvers without any guidance. He notes their flexibility to the changes in combat situations, and how each unit can function to show their individual strengths while still being integrated with each other’s movements. He notes the difference in performance compared to the simulated battles. He chaffs at not being able to do anything. Noticing his restlessness, the Captain of the warship comes over, telling him to relax, as there is nothing he can do for them, and anyway they are coming into range of the laser class, so be resolute. Addressing his second in command, he questions what the hell the U.N. reinforcements are doing, to which the comment that since when was the U.N. forces relied on. The Typhon prepares itself, as they close in to recover the stranded “Auzu” and the TSF forces, risking attacks from the laser class. The Captain tells them to prioritize the recovery of the pilots using the recovery helicopters, that he will take responsibility if they have to abandon the Tactical Machines. Seijyurou is awed by the responsibilities and decisions the commander has to make on the spot, and the work the support crew has to do as well.
On the battlefield, Rote 1 gathers his company, heading to Utsira where they will link up with First Company and “Auzu”, before boarding the Typhon which has entered the range of laser class to pick them up. They charge through the BETA as if they weren’t there at all, too fast for Seijyurou to catch all the action. Looking at Ilfriede’s POV, it seems the BETA are at wherever she fires, and can’t believe she only has 6 months of experience, admitting it must be her natural talent. He observes that Helga and Luna are the same as well, as the two move in perfect coordination in close combat with the enemy, with Helga attacking with the blade while Luna provides cover fire and tactical advice, using the minimum amount of bullets for maximum results. He hears Rote 1, Captain Gerhard laughing loudly, proclaiming “whatever stands before me, shall be cleaved!”, as he charges into a charging group of grapplers, slicing them at the speed of sound. First and Second Company links up, and Cerberus battalion heads towards “Auzu”, the Major commanding “No one gets left behind, Move on!”. Seijyurou wonders if he can become just as good in half a year, believing that human’s can do it, so he should be able to as well, but acknowledges it would not be possible alone.
After the battle, the corps returned to Dover base, taking the most of two days.
Seijyurou spent the time to return shut in his cabin, composing a long letter in English, having broken out a dictionary to ensure his meaning is gotten across, as the only communicable language. Since the day before he has had no contact with the people of the corps, with them being busy in debriefing and AAR (after action reports), no one has time to take care of one Cadet. Even the change in his schedule for the day was issued to him by a U.N. forces attaché.
Looking back on the ten days, he feels it will be a memory he will never forget for life. Having seen the guiding light the “Hellhound” corps has, he feels he has something to work forwards to, something that lights him up inside. Seeing the noble glory of the “Hellhound”, and their richness of individually, he contrasts it to rigid discipline and adherence to dogma, which can result in narrowed-mindedness. In his mind he has been enlightened, and plans to take it to heart back home.
Finally as he prepares to leave for the last time, he says goodbye to his room, the mini castle that was his, with a bow. At which time Wolfgang shows up. Seeing Seijyurou get upset at the intrusion, he tells him not to sweat the small stuff, since he came all the way to escort him to the Major. Surprised, he asks where is Ilfriede who is the usual one to accompany him, which Wolfgang replies as Ilfriede had made a series of mistakes in yesterday’s debris report, ‘Medusa’ had called her to task just a while ago. Wolfgang tries to convince Seijyurou that ‘Medusa’ was Lieutenant Brigitte’s real identity, bringing up her evil eye again. “Any guy she glares at gets turned to stone” is his reasoning. Seijyurou gets up to leave as Wolfgang continues how the brain is turned into a crystal and scooped out, leaving Wolfgang to catch up with him. At the Major’s door, Seijyurou thanks Wolfgang for guiding, to which he says the face shows that was a plain lie. He guesses that the one Seijyurou wants to meet is Ilfriede, judging by the black look on his face the whole time. He reminds Seijyurou that a women is deeper than the surface, to which Seijyurou admits, but says it is fine as well. He states that one thing he learnt in Europe, is that even if he has the vision to see something, and the knowledge of it, unless it is experience in person, it cannot be comprehended. Seijyurou says he is of the opinion that women are the same as well.
Wolfgang says to stop hiding his true feelings, joking that he would be lonely not seeing Seijyurou, to which Seijyurou replies that’s only because he would lose his target to make fun of. Wolfgang reminds Seijyurou that because of him, he has great memories to take home, which was of the showers. Heart pounding, Seijyurou decides to be honest and agrees it would be a treasured memory. Wolfgang then brazenly asks, should he come to Japan, Seijyurou should know what to do to repay the favor. Seijyurou agrees, and when Wolfgang questions if someone of such strict discipline and morals can bend enough to do such an act, Seijyurou swears on his honor as a Samurai to return the favor, Japanese style. Wolfgang states this is an agreement between a Samurai and a Knight, that until he can collect, death is not permitted. At this point Seijyurou realizes that in his own way, Wolfgang was being concerned, by telling people not to die until they can return their promise. Exchanging salutes, they bid farewells, before going into the Major’s room.
Present in there are Major Wilfried, Lieutenant Sigelinde, Captain Gerhard and Lieutenant Brigitte. The Major starts by announcing the end of the inspection training attachment of his corps by Seijyurou. Expressing the hope that what he experienced would be of use to the Japanese army, Seijyurou replies to the Major that he will never cease learning so as not to sully the name of his corps. The Major praises his courage in the face of unexpected real combat, and asks Lt Sigelinde to present a gift to him. As prove that he has served with Cerberus in action, Seijyurou is given a medallion, on which is inscribed the Triple head of the Hellhound, emblem of the Cerberus Battalion, with the numerals XXX VII below, recognizing him as the thirty-seventh member of the battalion, one of their comrade-in-arms. Captain Gerhard and Lieutenant Brigitte both speak their approvals and welcome, with Lieutenant Brigitte thanking him for the assistance of developing Ilfriede as well. The Captain states as part of his corps, he is not allowed to die without permission. As he gives his salutes, Major Wilfried bids him farewell as a comrade, with a promise to share more fried potatoes the next time they meet.
Taking a last look over Dover Base, he recalls the things he had experienced first hand, of how helpless he was in combat; and how the people on the ship and the TSFs were dependent on each other to do their jobs well; the most important thing on the battlefield, the trust forged between everyone who fights on the same battlefield, regardless of rank and function. He now feels he understands Helga’s words, and the truth behind them.
Hearing the sound of a car as he walked down the road, he is surprised by a Jeep racing at high speed towards him. It does a sliding break just before it hits him, shocking him senseless. It is apparently driven by Luna, who was speeding to pick him up, and Helga with her. Mistaking his frozen rigidness for courage in the face of danger, Helga praises him. Apologizing for Ilfriede’s absence, who was apparently busy, they load him up and drive off. They drop him off at the train station 1 hour early. Recovering from the ride, he equates it to flying in a TSF, and thought he had seen his end. Finally, they bid him goodbye. Seijyurou also thanked Luna for the hot towel, that he uses it every night to refresh himself and regain his energies, and bows to her. Mistaking his words, she replies that she was glad to be of service in his mind at night. Helga explains that the hot towel was not given by Luna, but by Ilfriede. The first day he saw her, she was just carrying his luggage, and the towel was already in the room. Thinking of giving their young guest who will be in a strange land something that feels familiar, she had researched hard, and ended up with the wet towel custom. When he explained that it was not really his culture, they told him it was found in a service hand book from a post WWII Japanese airline. This service was discontinued regretfully in the world after the BETA invasion.
Helga explains all this research was done by Ilfriede, who collected material concerning the Japanese culture, in preparation of his arrival. Realizing how he had taken her knowledge of his culture for granted, he asks how he can relay his thanks, to which Helga replies that it was not necessary, as she did not do it with expectations of thanks in mind. He asks why she would go so far, to which the reason was given: she had thought that, as the child soldier who would be place in battle immediately after returning, she wished to give him some “memories” where a person’s warmth is felt. Ilfriede is such a person. Finally as they leave, Seijyurou thanks Helga again for the advice, and bids them both farewell.
Still having some time before the train comes, he wonders over to the dirt path again, thinking about his first meeting with Ilfriede. Although he had left behind a letter with his thanks, he still wished to have been able to say them in person. Lost in his memories, he didn’t notice when in exactly the same way as their first encounter, Ilfriede had come riding up to him on her horse, having rushed over to see him off. He had confused the present with the past, and only noticed after she called him a few times. She commented that it was regretful they do not have more time, seeing his liking for the wilderness, as she would have shown him more. She teasingly reminds him again that this area is off limits for outsiders. This time however, he shows her the medallion, proof that he is the 37th member of the corps, which pleases her greatly. Thinking at first to take the chance to apologize and thank her, he is minded of Helga’s words that she did not do it for recognition, so he rethinks it, and saluting, gives heartfelt thanks for her kindness to him. He states that the memories and teachings from his time here would always be with him, and would be an unforgettable and important treasure. Ilfriede returns his salute, telling him he would definitely become an excellent Eishin. Pushed by his desires, he recalls his promise to show her the castles of Japan, and vowed he would get over the “eight minutes of death”, and fulfill this promise with her. She accepts his promise as a Samurai, and he vows to definitely send her an invite. Embracing him, she tells him that she would look forward to that day. She gives him a kiss on the forehead, telling him this is a Knights oath, proof of the promise between them, and that she would work hard until the day that they meet again.
Several years later:Edit
Sitting in his Takemikazuchi, Seijyurou thinks back on his past, recognizing his actions back then as something that a child would do. And, that it might have been his first love. He now understands that what he received was nothing more than the feelings of an elder sister worried for a younger brother. “I understand it now. And thus it was good." Holding the medallion with XXX VII engraved on it, he thinks on the meaning of chivalry/bushido, and on how he had learned to depend only on himself in imitation of the German knights, and had finally reached the meaning of true bushido. HQ chimes in, ordering all attack waves to prepare to engage in battle. As Wolf Blade 1, he instructs all forces to go to immediate combat power from standby mode. Speaking to himself as he powers up his Red Type-00F, he states “Red is the color of zeal that burns, huh. A relationship with Rote squadron, I would like to believe in this coincidence.” Even if it was made in assumption, he believes a Samurai should never go back on his words. A promise is certainly achieved .... and .... the favor received is definitely returned! Addressing his battalion, he commands them: “Fight as Usual, with all your might for the sake of the mother land and the human race. And, Return as Always!” “Come Wolves, follow me!”
Ilfriede meets up with Helga and Luna after Seijyurou has left, and Helga comments it was lucky that Ilfriede was able to make it in time, as she thought Ilfriede would miss Seijyurou when he had started to unintentionally walk off towards the woods. Ilfriede, confused at that comment, asked them where they had been up to now. On hearing their reply that they had been returning the jeep to the garage, she mentions that the orders issued were for them to wait together with Seijyurou at the station until he departs. Helga answers that they did wait up till the last minute, but Ilfriede refutes that, saying she did not see them anywhere. Luna promptly repeats Seijyurou’s promise to survive the “eight minutes of death” with her, revealing the two had actually been watching them in secret all along. Asked why could they not have said goodbye together, Luna states that they could not have done such a boorish thing. When Ilfriede expresses confusion at what her meaning, Luna talks about how he is a cadet with strong prospects in the future for promotions, and as such not a bad catch, and how wonderfully romantic a relationship beset by age, distance and the enemy can be, which has Ilfriede dismissing it as one of Luna’s romantic delusions. Helga apologizes for her role in secretly observing them, for which Ilfriede forgives as she predicts it was Luna who dragged her into it. Luna replies that they were only trying to assist her, which had Helga denying any involvement.
Ilfriede rebukes Luna, saying Luna was being impolite to Seijyurou, as he is still a young child, having to travel across the half the world to learn to be a fabulous Eishi, after which he would be facing war once he returns. A sad reality common around the world, where children have to fight as soldiers. Which was why she wanted to let him have as enjoyable a time as possible. She states that in any case, she would be a poor match, as he would probably see her as an old lady by the time he reaches the age of marriage. At which point, Helga and Luna, staring at Ilfriede, asks her how old does she think Seijyurou is. Ilfriede replies that base on how young he looks, she thought he must be of grade school age (13 to 14). Helga stares in shock, and Luna states that as oriental people look younger than them, he should be around Junior High school age (15 to 16). As Ilfriede dismisses Luna statement as another one of her delusions, Helga, with a weird expression, asks them what are both of them saying, and if they had read the report on Seijyurou that was distributed by command before his arrival. Ilfriede replies that as it was too thick, she only memorized the name and photo. Luna states as she was only expecting to have to be supporting Ilfriede, so… Helga, after exclaiming at their stupidity, looks on silently as Ilfriede starts to ask her what she meant by that. Helga’s last statement were “Seijyurou, he received a beautiful memory to take home. Let’s leave it at that.” When an exasperated Ilfriede asks Luna to say something, Luna’s reply is that sometimes happiness is not knowing the truth. Ilfriede exclaims at her sudden change in attitude, and Luna wonders with a sigh why Seijyurou has come to depend on Ilfriede of all people. The game ends with Helga and Luna looking on Ilfriede with pitying eyes as she continues to exclaim at them, asking them on what they meant and just how old he is…