PLEASE GIVE DUE CREDITS!! THANKS!!
This is still a draft version. Feel free to use it (and give due credits, please!), but be aware that it may be edited afterwards.
Upper note: Comics volume 1 on sale!
Side note: Hirano's previous work, "Hellsing" also on sale!DRIFTERSChapter 19 - Dive for you
[T.N.: song from Appleseed the movie.]
Splash: Yoichi, the finest archer
From the Genpei Wars,
engages in battle in an alien world...!Kohta Hirano
Box: Orte Empire
The House of Lords
Man: The war is getting worse as we speak.
The eastern front is now at a total stalemate.
We are in dire lack of soldiers.
After all, we have been fighting for 40 years.
Even the soldiers who should patrol the safer territories are now in the front line.
We lack resources, every kind of them.
Taxes and confiscations can only do that much.
Shouldn't we think about an armistice...?
Man 2: IMPOSSIBLE!
Man 3: The "Father" dreamt of an eternal empire.
Man 2: That is the goal of our nation.
We can't stop right now.
Voice: MY, MY! I'M SOOO LATE! I'M SOOO SORRY, MY DEARS!!
[A man (looking and acting like a gay) shows up at the door.]
Gay man: Sorry for making you wait, honey!
Long time no see!
Count Saint Germi...
Count Saint Germi (CSG): Woo, I got really, really late!
I had a handful and a mouthful of stuff to deal with before I came here.
Soldier 1: What's with those fudge packers?
Soldier 2: Shut up!
Don't let them hear that, or else!
He's Count Saint Germi.
Soldier 1: What?
S... so, that's...
Soldier 2: He is a powerful nobleman who owns 1/4 of the empire.
When the Father built this country, he was the first nobleman to offer full support to him.
Box: It's said that Orte would have never existed without Count Saint Germi's betrayal.
Since then, nobody can speak anything against him.
He lives as he pleases, without taking part in the war.
Soldier 1: He offered full support to the Father... 50 years ago?
Soldier 2: Yeah.
Soldier 1: Wait a sec...how old is that ass pirate?
CSG: As a gift to make up for my tardiness, I brought some good news.
I bet you'll all get surprised.
Remember the cargo ship fleet
that was supposed to send supplies to the frontline in the west?
Hey, don't we have anything to write?
Give me something to write! Quick!
CSG's Aide 1 (man): Princess, please use my lipstick!
CSG's Aide 2 (man): No, please use mine!
CSG: Quiet, you two!
And give it to me!
[CSG draws on a map]
CSG: Remember that I warned you many times about this route?
Remember that I told you it was sheer folly to choose it?So, the entire fleet has been seized and is being sunken as we speak.
[At the sea, the fleet is on fire]
Soldiers: It is foundering!!
Damn! Another ship sunken!!
There they come!!
Freaking Gu Binnen Trade Federation bastards!!
[A giant bird approaches the vessels, carrying several explosives. The rider is from the Trade Federation.]
Rider: A timely delivery by Gryphon Seal from Shylock Trading Co.,
Thanks for waiting, sirs!!
[Lots of explosives fall onto the ships.]
Captain: My dear Orte gentlemen, do you like the taste of Gu Binnen's specialty, the dripping oil and fat from our fish 'n beasts!?
Eat as much as you want, idiots!!
Take them as our gift to your moustache Father!!
Man: Captain, what's that "Tora tora" stuff?!
Captain: It was the Admiral who told me this!!
To shout this when our surprise attack was successful!!
Men: Hahaha! TORA! TORA! TORA!
TORA! TORA! TORA! TORAAAA!!
Box: Gu Binnen Trade Guild Federation, Shylock Trade Co. Fleet
[The Gu Binnen men leave; the ships are utterly destroyed.]
CSG: That's what happens when you wage wars in every corner.
At the very least, you shouldn't have declared war against the Trade Federation in the east.
Hohoho, what a foolish mistake.
And now, you have unrests in the occupied territories.
I've heard about rebellions breaking out in the elvish territories.
Oh, elves? Hey, aren't they cute?
Man: That's a minor issue!!
It's nothing but a petty unrest by powerless farmers!!
The current situation in the west is way more...
CSG: As I thought.
They don't understand a thing.
CSG: Orte was a country who expanded by invading and annexing the neighboring countries.
This elvish unrest won't be limited to the elvish territories.
All occupied territories may face similar insurrections!
And in no time,
all occupied territories will be boiling in turmoil.
Figure (from right to left): Country of Orte
Regions in upheaval
West front of war
CSG: And if the upheaval spreads, it will naturally spread to the west, where most of the Orte army is deployed.
That means, Orte will be cut off from its own army.
Oh, my.This country
Woo, I just remembered I have some affairs I have to see to.
Good luck on your war!
And now, please excuse me.
Aide 1: What happened, princess?
CSG: I'm going back! I can't stay here any longer!
Oh, take that candlestick!
And that painting too!
You must contact the elvish forces as soon as possible!
Wait, if I'm not mistaken there are Drifters with them.
Wait, I'm going myself to talk to them!
Aide 1: Elves?!
I want to go too!
Please, take me with you!
[In the Ancient Forest of Elves, near the castle in ruins, an elven batallion walks.]
Shara (elf): Hey, if you aren't the guys from Fizona village!!
So, you did come!!
Elf: Hey, so it's you, Shara.
After reading that letter,
we wouldn't be elves if we did nothing.
Elves: Don't you think you'll be the only heroes around!
Hey, Shara, you finally did it!
I've heard that your dad was killed.
He was a great guy, we can't let this go unpunished.
Yeah, this is kind of a revenge for me.
People from other villages are coming one after another as well.
We can win this war.
Elf: And what about the Drifters who started all this?
What can you tell me about them?
Shara: That's sort of a tough question...
They're some queer folks.
Elf: Those Drifters may have saved us,
but they aren't elves.
They are humans, "short ears", right?
Are they trustworthy?
Shara: Yes, they are!!
I trust them!!
[In another place, Nobunaga can barely hold his anger.]
Toyohisa: You still angry?
Yoichi: Don't you think it's time to cheer up?
You are a grown up, don't act like a child.
To begin with, you are a former Udaijin, right? [T.N.: Udaijin (lit., "Minister of the Right") was a government position in ancient Japan.]
Toyohisa: To begin with, why are you so angry?
Oda: OF COURSE I'M ANGRY!!
WHY DID YOU CREATE A COUNCIL SYSTEM HAVING THE ELVISH ELDERS AS COUNCILLORS?!
AND WHY DID YOU LEAVE THE POWER IN THE HANDS OF THAT DAMN COUNCIL!?
YOU COULD BE KING!! YOU COULD HAVE ALL THE POWER IN YOUR HANDS!!
Toyohisa: ... I'm not good at strategies.
I don't know how to read the minds of people.
Nobu, you have the ability to read into the mind of anyone you want.But you don't know how to read the thoughts they have in their hearts.
Toyohisa: Certainly, the "elves" will follow us for now.
We can be kings, emperors, anything we want.But, someday, you can be sure
that they will draw their weapons against us.
They will do so while we're asleep in some temple.
And when we wake up, we will be surrounded by fire and arrows.Do you want to go through
[T.N.: The temple Oda Nobunaga died after being betrayed.]
[Oda is taken aback.]
Oda: I can't read the hearts of people... right.
Your words were something I didn't want to hear.
But I don't want another Honnouji!!
I've had enough of betrayals.
Yoichi: How many treasons did you face?
Oda: (grumble: UUUUUUU)
(beside the grumble: I will never forgive...)
Well, let's see...
My younger brother Nobukatsu x2 & Katsuie & Hayashi, Asai, Matsunaga x2, Araki, Hatano, Bessho, Mitsuhide and...
[T.N.: Oda Nobukatsu (Nobuyuki), Shibata Katsuie, Hayashi Hidesada, Asai Nagamasa, Matsunaga Hisahide, Araki Murashige, Hatano Hideharu, Bessho Nagaharu and Akechi Mitsuhide. By the way, this is indeed just a small subset of warriors who betrayed Oda Nobunaga.]
Toyohisa: That's way too much!
(How are you still alive!?)
Oda: But I will do what I have planned!!
I will make you king!!
Side note: In this turbulent era, will Drifters' power rule this country.....!?TO BE CONTINUED
Foot note: Drifters 19 end
Continues on the next issue (on sale February 28th).
1) The "Gu Binnen" - perhaps from "Gumbinnen" or even from "Great Britain" - stuff comes actually from a character HiraKo imagined for a RPG - which seemingly never came into existence.
The character was a certain "Bunzelmachine Shylock the 8th" ("Banzerumashin Shairokku") , the head clerk of Shylock Bank and Shylock Trading Co., as well as member of the Council of Gu Binnen Sea Trade Guild Federation and Admiral of its 1st Fleet.
HiraKo wrote a rather cool speech for him in the character profile, which was up at his site some time ago (now unavailable). The speech itself can still be found in the net.
2) I'm sure most people already know, but "Tora! Tora! Tora!" was the famous telegraphic communication confirming that the Pearl Harbor attack had been a success. It was sent by Fuchida Mitsuo, Colonel of Japanese Imperial Navy and captain of the squadron who carried out the attack. This message got quite popular thanks to the 1970's movie, "Tora! Tora! Tora!", one of the few movies to offer a historically accurate view on both sides (USA and Japan) in the Pearl Harbor attack.
3) HiraKo apparently changed the name of the Count - it was Count St. Jarmes in the previous chapter and now it's Count St. Germi. And the count is not using the -nya stuff anymore - unless we're talking about two different people with very similar names. We'll have to wait and see.