Hellping

“…Captain Nouzen.”

After a long silence, Chief of Staff Willem Ehrenfried spoke up. It was a rare act of Shin, who disliked having his heart detected, and everyone knew this well.

Willem’s following words left everyone flabbergasted.

“Your learning skills are a little lack, I suppose? Given what was in the mission recorder of the Federacy Feldreß—the “Reginleif”, I suppose you returned all your knowledge to your teacher again, did you not?”

Chief of Staff Willem and the Generals in attendance had their eyes focused on a certain spot, and Shin remained on a temporary folding chair, frozen like an ice sculpture.

A General pressed the play button displayed on the holographic window, acting like a grandfather who wanted to see the result of a grandson’s prank.

The ice sculpture on the folding chair seemed to cringe, but Chief of Staff Willem ignored it for the moment.

“Captain Nouzen, it is true that you are 18, and what you did is understandable. Understanding is another matter altogether, so can you be a little more careful in combat? Do you have any idea what the atmosphere in the room was like when this record was shown?”

After all, those present were all generals—soldiers who had risen to the highest positions in the army.

After ten years of war, the average age of these generals were a lot younger, but they were at the point where they could have children. Or rather, the only one without wife or children was the Brigadier General Willem.

They were of similar ages, and had reached the age where they could define their priorities, responsibilities and egos. They could not be as reckless as they were in their youth, and it was the age when they could quietly recall the black history of their youth with a part of their rampant memories.

So when they heard those words of youth

Ahh

What way to express so?

Youth is a wonderful thing after all…

Or sorts. All the Generals had their eyes widened, for it was so surreal.

Grethe, who too had listened to the recording, found it to be really youthful. She could not play a prank during the mission playback while reporting, and was prone on the table, unable to control herself.

And the Generals were not too different, for there was a devastation clustered in the meeting room.

“Hahahaha. Why, the Captain is experiencing the peak of his youthfulness after all. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”

“Calm down! You’re going to be reminded of your past rejected confessions!”

“Amy…I want to meet Amy…I want your apple pie right now…”

“Remember to call. Don’t cry and snivel now. Everyone wants to go home.”

“That little girl…if my daughter is taken away from me one day like this…I’ll…simply…!”

“…Does it really matter in the face of the 30mm anti-human machine gun?”

“…Captain has suffered a great deal this. Seriously, be careful.”

“Repeating this twice as this is very important.”

“I’ll say this first, Willem, I did remind you to exercise caution when you were of Captain’s age. You can’t always cling onto Grethe—“

“Speaking of which, senior, I do remember the contents of your letter to your wife when you first started dating.”

“!? H-How did you know?”

“Your writing is remarkable, so I thought I should see what was inside it, as reference of course. I forgot though…I should have made a duplicate.”

“What do you mean by that! Ah seriously…!”

Brigadier General Ehrenfried, and Major General Altena, please resolve this on another occasion.”

“Now I’m mad. Altena, you can’t go about doing that. If you’re writing to express your love to the woman you admire, you need to express yourself in your own words, no matter how clumsy it is. That’s how an Imperial nobleman should be.”

“Then again Ehrenfried, you’re writing love letters…I’m surprised you can actually do that.”

By the way, there was quite a quarrel at a corner the table, to the point of boiling over.

And aside from that, the others were laughing to the point of being sprawled over the table, probably remembering their spouses at their hometown or evoking their homesickness; a certainly someone seemed to have flashbacks to the black history, and was completely devastated.

The oldest Major General looked as though he was going to witness his grandson’s road to love, and happily took out sweets; while the Lieutenant General, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Front Army, was trying to hold back, to the point where his face was twitching.

All dignity befitting a General was gone without a trace.

If the minutes of this meeting were to be leaked out, there might be military turmoil.

That was why they never prepared any to begin with.

And Shin, the only outsider who witnessed the tragic situation before him, remained as unmoved as an ice statue.

One had to wonder if it was out of sympathy, but the adjutant who always followed the Chief of Staff went diagonally behind Shin’s chair, crouched down, and whispered into Shin’s ear.

“First Lieutenant, I’ll whisper to you later how to delete the data files.

“I heard you, Second Lieutenant. You cannot be teaching others to do bad things so overtly. Believe it or not, I shall change the deletion procedures…speaking of which.”

Hmph, Chief of Staff Willem grunted.

“Our protagonist, the Captain, has not been listening…are you still not saying your true thoughts?”

 

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