The epic space opera, the Legend of Galactic Heroes, is based on a series of novels and short stories written by Tanaka Yoshiki from 1988 to 2000. The novels have been published in Chinese and English, and there is (at present) no indication of an English-language publisher picking up this fantastic series.
The following English translation is entirely unofficial. The text was originally translated from Chinese to English by Peter Tan, and edited by Jeremy Naidus.
There was a dry moment at dusk. The inner walls of the room were beautifully sculpted and made with special glass. The cave-like design of the walls made the entire room appear to be in a shade of green, and it seemed especially quiet this night.
A man with his hands behind his back stood with his backside leaning against the wall. He looked around and finally settled his sight on the other person in the room, standing by the military table.
The man leaning on the wall began to speak. His voice resonated deeply, a strange sound from a portly man.
“The Imperials won when they shouldn’t have. Isn’t that right, Boltik?”
“Yes, sire. However, although the Alliance lost, they didn’t do so completely.”
“Has there been any change in the entire situation?”
“Maybe the Alliance can turn the tide again, but currently, the Empire won and the Alliance cannot strike back. For the Phezzan Dominion, it isn’t a bad thing. What does my lord think?”
The man who leaned on the wall was the fifth generation leader of the Phezzan Dominion, Adrian Rubinsky.
His appearance was very odd. Although only around 40 years old, he was bald. His skin was light black, and his eyebrows, eyes, mouth, and nose were all large. He really could not be called a handsome man, but this striking appearance also left a deep impression. His body was robust and broad, and thus he seemed energetic and vigorous.
The Phezzan Dominion was a neutral, commercialized nation. Because the leader, Rubinsky, was very shrewd, he had earned a nickname from both the Empire and the Alliance in his five years of governing: Phezzan’s black fox.
“Is this satisfactory, Boltik?” He looked at his confidante and said with a twinge of sarcasm: “This victory was because of luck, not strength. Next time, the Imperials may not be so lucky. They should strengthen their intelligence gathering and analysis. That is the critical part of a victory.”
Rubinsky slowly walked towards the military table. He wore a black, high-necked shirt with a lavender suit. This kind of informal dress could easily have made it hard for people to believe that he was the head of a nation.
Boltik pressed a button and the military table immediately showed a map.
“This is a map of both fleets’ positions. Please look at the forward position.”
This map was strikingly similar to the same map that Kircheis and Rheinhard had looked at, with red representing the Imperials and green representing the Alliance. There were three green arrows positioned on the red arrow’s forward, left, and right sides. It looked like the green arrows were shaped like a triangle surrounding the red arrow.
“The Empire has 20,000 ships and the Alliance has 40,000. Therefore, the Alliance has total numerical superiority.”
“The Alliance’s strategic positions are also advantageous. They have the Imperials surrounded. But this man …..”
Rubinsky’s fat hand covered his forehead as he said: “They used the same formation as their ancestors used a hundred years ago in the “Dagon Annihilation.” They are a bunch of stagnant thinking bastards.”
“But the whole purpose of military science is to form theoretical battle tactics.”
“Hmph! Of course empty discussions of military strategy seem perfect in theory, but when used in actual battle, it’s a totally different situation. The commander of the Imperials is still that golden haired young man?”
“That is correct! It is still Count Lohengramm.”
Rubinsky laughed out loud.
He thought back to about five years ago, when Phezzan’s previous leader Walenhoff had just died, and he had assumed political power. The opposition, however, thought that since he was only thirty-six, he was too young. They proposed to support a tactful compromise candidate who was more than fifty years old. This Lohengramm was sixteen years younger and his prestige was growing rapidly. To those old soldiers who only know how to complain but had no talents of their own, an unhappy era seemed to have come.
“My lord, do you know how Count Lohengramm resolved this dangerous situation?”
Boltik asked excitedly. His superior, on the other hand, calmly looked at him and walked toward the military table. Then he pointed out the exact spot on the map: “He used his enemy’s current spread out situation and destroyed them one by one. It‘s that simple!”
The assistant allowed his surprised expression to show. “You are right. No, it is just simply unique.”
Rubinsky smiled and seemed to agree with this praise. “Experts can often perceive a dangerous situation and change it into an advantageous one. For example, in this battle, any observer would think that the Imperials were surrounded and would be easily defeated. However the surrounding net was not complete. For the Alliance, this instead showed the danger of not consolidating its forces.”
“The important point is that the Alliance looked down on Count Lohengramm Rheinhard's ability to command too much. But that is not surprising. Tell me, did the battle situation turned around in the end?”
Boltik operated the settings on the military table again. The table brought up another map. A red arrow quickly advanced toward a green arrow and destroyed it. Then it turned around and destroyed another green arrow. Now the situation had become a one on one battle. The leader of the autonomous nation fixed his eyes upon the changing situation. When the situation had progressed to the current one, he finally sighed: “A very powerful one by one rout. The speed of execution is just too beautiful!”
He tilted his head and said: “So according to the current scenario, the Imperials should have won since the Alliance was very unlikely to turn this situation around. So why was the third fleet not defeated? Who was commanding it?”
“It was originally commanded by Vice Admiral Paeta, but after the battle began, he was heavily wounded when the flagship was hit. Then he gave the command to this man.”
“Yang Wei Li ….. His name sounds familiar.”
“Eight years ago, he was the one who commanded The Great Retreat of El Facil.”
“Ahh!” Rubinsky remembered. “I was thinking at the time about how the Alliance could have such an extraordinary person. This hero of El Facil, what did he display in this battle?”
The assistant operated the table and showed his superior the last stage of the Battle of Astate.
On the map, the green arrow split in two and made the red arrow’s attack go through. Then the split green arrow merged again at the back of the red arrow and attacked the red arrow’s flank …..
Rubinsky crooned. He hadn’t expected that within the ranks of the Alliance military there existed this kind of tactical commander.
Despite the danger of utter defeat, Yang Wei Li could still coolly analyze the situation and turn it around. This kind of talent was definitely on par with Lohengramm.
“It looks like very interesting magic.”
Rubinsky waved his hand, signaling his assistant to stop explaining. Boltik then retreated one step while waiting for further instructions.
“Yang Wei Li! His performance this time was splendid. This also showed me that his last success in El Facil was not an accident.”
“It appears not.”
“It is useless to have the best organization and weapons, as the person who is controlling them is most important. Those in the upper ranks without ability or tolerance will fail no matter how good their situation is.”
Rubinsky thought about this while sending away his assistant.
The Phezzan system was made up of four planets. Three of the planets’ surfaces had super heated gas. Only the second planet had a crust. Its air quality was the same as the third planet from the sun and humanity’s birthplace –eighty percent nitrogen and twenty percent oxygen. However, the biggest difference was that the second planet didn’t have carbon dioxide. Therefore, molecular-engineered plants could not exist there.
Water was also scarce on this planet. However, the spread of blue algae and other primitive plant seeds by settlers made it green and fertile. This greening project made areas with plentiful water green, while red areas still represented barren wastelands and deserts. The total polarity of these areas formed a spectacular view of the planet.
Since among the planets of the Phezzan system, the only place where humans could live was on the second planet, the autonomous Phezzan Dominion was created with the second planet as its center of authority. They had a population of two billion while only having a few garrison ships, but dominated all trade from both the Alliance and the Empire. From an outside perspective, they seemed to be a part of the Empire, but in truth, they had a virtually independent government and their economic power was far greater than both other nations.
Since the creation of a nation by Leopold, every generation of leaders of the Phezzan Dominion were forced to think hard about their nation’s safety. When compared to the Empire’s or Alliance’s share of military strength, the Dominion’s power was lacking as the Empire had 48 percent, Alliance had 40 percent, while it had only 12 percent. But if it helped the Empire, then the Alliance would be put in a disadvantageous situation, and the Dominion might possibly be destroyed as well. On the other hand, if Phezzan helped the Alliance, the combined strength would be more than the Empire. But even so, destroying the Empire would still not be easy.
Phezzan could maintain such a subtle and balanced position in its international policy only because of its well-performed political and strategic artistic performance. If Phezzan became too strong, then it would be noticed by both the Empire and the Alliance. They would likely to ally together and destroy Phezzan. In that case, the combined power of both nations would be 88 percent. It would only require one battle to destroy Phezzan. On the other hand, if Phezzan was seen as too weak, then it would carry no weight in international politics. Neither the Empire nor the Alliance would respect its independence and freedom.
In the current situation, if the Empire wanted to take over Phezzan, Phezzan would gravitate towards the Alliance and perhaps even ally with it against the Empire. If the Alliance had any ideas about controlling Phezzan, Phezzan would then get closer to the Empire. Therefore, while Phezzan gave critical supplies to both nations, it also stayed on the good side of both nations’ rulers as the means of its survival.
The ruler of a nation with such an important international position was he, the fifth generational leader, Adrian Rubinsky.
It would have been very difficult for the Empire and the Alliance to destroy each other, since they were closely matched in power. If they fought seriously, then Phezzan would only profit.
Phezzan’s significance wasn’t because of its military, but rather its wealth and tactics. The Empire and the Alliance both had huge militaries and long-term wars, draining each of vast amounts of finances and manpower. This made Phezzan even more important. While the Galactic Empire’s absolute dictatorship and the Free Planet Alliance’s democracy fought against each other, Phezzan was quietly winning against the both of them.
Now, with Lohengramm and Yang Wei Li’s appearance, Rubinsky felt that the beginning of a new era was approaching. Later, he knew that the development of both of them would become the focus of many attention spans. Perhaps it was too rosy a judgment for them, but to prepare for more was always better.
The western hemisphere of the planet Odin was covered in soft darkness.
Whether in the Alliance’s or the Empire’s territories, the rotation of planets and the night and day would never change. Even Kaiser Rudolf who controlled the Milky Way Galaxy couldn’t change this celestial fact. But each planetary cycle wasn’t the same. Some planet’s self-rotational cycles were eighteen hours long, some were forty hours, and all were different.
At the birthplace of humanity, the Solar System’s third planet, the planetary cycle was twenty-four hours long. Such tradition made people everywhere in the galaxy also use a twenty-four hour day cycle. Therefore, those who flew between planets faced different night and day cycles, and were forced to make the necessary adjustments in their biological schedules.
Those spaceships and cities on recently colonized planets usually needed artificial equipment to adapt to the twenty-four hours a day cycle. For example, during the day, the artificial light would be turned bright. At night, it would be dark. Temperature adjustment led to night being cooler and the day being warmer. Winter would be colder and summer would be hotter.
For planets whose rotational cycles were much longer or shorter, some forceful implementation of the twenty four hour day cycle was necessary and some special systems needed to be applied. For some planets, an entire day would be considered daytime, and the next day would be nighttime. Some planets even had systems where the sun would rise twice in one day.
The most uncomfortable environments were on those planets with rotational cycles of twenty-one hours, twenty-seven hours, and other uneven cycles. Although their rotational cycles were still relatively close to the “normal” twenty-four hours, implementing the twenty-four hour system was problematic, as there was often one or two hours difference. This difference grew exponentially every day, so the time adjustments had to grow as well. It caused many headaches for people living on these planets.
Whether living in the Empire or the Alliance, everyone used the twenty-four hour day cycle, with one year being 365 days. The Galactic Empire’s January 1 was the same as the Free Planet Alliance’s January 1.
Perhaps some people would ask: “Today’s human society doesn’t think of Earth as its center anymore, so why do we need to continue Earth’s tradition? The Empire has already issued the ‘Universal Calendar’. Couldn’t we think of a new time system?”
People with these kinds of questions usually thought that the old ways were not relevant and should be replaced by something new. But then, who could make a new time system? No one attempted it, so the ancient system was still used to this day.
As for a measurement system, Earth’s rule was that one cubic liter of water at four degrees Celsius was one gram. This weight was measured using Earth’s gravity. One centimeter was also equal to four billionths of Earth’s longitudinal diameter. These units were still used by all of humanity.
Kaiser Rudolf tried to change these units of measurement. He thought he could use his height and weight as criteria to make new units and equations. But those were only researched, and never made it into common practice.
The reason that the revised units plan didn’t made into common practice was not that the plan itself was unreasonable, but mainly due to the size of the area that would be affected. If the basic units were changed, then all of humanity’s computer memory circuits and calculators would need to be replaced. Therefore, the price was too high. The head of the Empire’s Ministry of Finance, Cliff, calculated the required expense. Rumor said that when he showed his calculations to Kaiser Rudolf, even this self-aggrandized man was too surprised to move.
Everyone said that Cliff’s calculations were exaggerated. However, since Rudolf was clueless about expenses, Cliff had effortlessly stopped Rudolf’s self-righteous attitude and preserved the metric and volume systems.
The Galactic Empire’s Imperial palace stood majestically under the night sky.
This was an independent building with connections to many other buildings of all sizes around it. It had many fountains intermittently placed around. It even had natural and artificial forests, rose gardens, sculptures, flower gardens, gazebos, lawns, and other amenities. The entire structure was covered in a silvery light that made those who gazed upon it very comfortable.
This palace was the political center of over one thousand planetary systems. Although nearby there were some governmental buildings, they were nowhere near as tall or majestic. These buildings were underground for the most part. The most important reason for this was that imperial subjects were forbidden to be at a higher position than the Kaiser’s palace. Nor could they look down at the palace from high buildings. These were all disrespectful acts. Even patrolling satellites couldn’t pass directly over the palace.
There were over 50,000 palace servants and maids. They were responsible for cleaning, sweeping, receptions, gardening, animal care, and other jobs on a daily basis. They too lived very luxuriously, and reflected the power and ascendancy of Kaiser’s position.
The palace had no elevators. Everyone was commanded to use stairs instead, as the great Rudolf believed that a strong body was a requirement for rulers. His thinking was that if a man could not go up and down the stairs without using his own feet, how could he be responsible for the heavy burden of a nation?
This night, all officials gathered at the palace’s Black Pearl Chamber, celebrating Count Lohengramm’s ceremony where he would be promoted to Admiral. Count Lohengramm had defeated the rebel fleet in the battle of Astate, showing the Kaiser’s power to the enemy, and thus was granted this reward.
Although Imperial rank of Grand Admiral was only one higher than Fleet Admiral, its position was much more valued. It had an annual salary of 2.5 million Imperial marks and with the exception of treason, all other crimes would be pardoned without punishment. Also, he could set up an official mansion and freely promote or demote any aides and staff he needed or currently possessed.
Currently in the Empire, there were four Grand Admirals. With Count Lohengramm’s promotion, there would now be five. At the same time, Count Lohengramm was second in command of the Imperial fleets. Half of all of the Empire’s eighteen fleets were under his command.
“One more rank above a Count would be a Marquis.”
In the corner of the broad Black Pearl Chamber, someone was whispering. Since ancient times, rumors always followed humanity, no matter what the situations or generations.
Tonight in the Black Pearl Chamber, all the officials and royalty were gathered together. They were standing on two sides beside the red carpet that was six meters wide and made by two hundred workers spending four and half centuries of time. One side had all the bureaucratic officials, and the other all military officials.
The first official on the nonmilitary side was Marquis Lichtenlade. He was the Prime Minister of the Empire and the highest cabinet minister. He was seventy-five years old. After him were the Ministers of Finance, State, Law, Science, and Palace, followed by state secretaries.
On the other side stood the military officials. At the front was the Minister of War Grand Admiral Ehrenberg, followed by Imperial Military Commander Grand Admiral Steinhoff, Assistant Commander Grand Admiral Clargy, Space Fleet Commander Grand Admiral Muckenberger, Armor Artillery Commander First Class Colonel General Olfasser, then the eighteen commanders of the eighteen fleets.
The ancient horn sounded, and all stood up and were quiet. Then it was announced: “The ruler of all humanity, the controller of all the universe, the protector of heaven and law, the Holy Galactic Empire’s Kaiser Friedrich IV has arrived!”
The national anthem was played and all the officials bowed.
The Kaiser walked on the carpet and passed all the officials, then sat on the luxurious golden throne in the front.
The Galactic Empire’s 34th Kaiser, Friedrich IV, was sixty-three years old. He looked like an old, tired man, and his appearance seemed much older than his age suggested. This wasn’t due to stress about national affairs, but was caused by previous intense power struggles. His weak body structure was exactly the opposite of Kaiser Rudolf’s.
The Kaiserin had passed away ten years ago. She suffered from a cold-induced pneumonia, and had never been able to recover. In an age where even cancer had been cured, the common cold was still a sickness that even Kaiser Rudolf’s mighty light couldn’t prevent.
After the Kaiserin had passed away, the Kaiser elevated his favorite concubine Annerose to the position of Countess Grunewald. In truth, she had replaced the Kaiserin. However, because this Countess wasn’t born into the nobility, she was not permitted to join any political gatherings. Tonight, she wasn’t here for this promotion ceremony.
“Announcing Rheinhard, Count Lohengramm!”
This time, the officials didn’t salute. They were all looking at the arrival of this young military officer.
All the noble women gasped in admiration when saw this young man. Even those men who disliked Rheinhard, which described most of the officials at the ceremony, privately agreed that he was a very handsome man.
His beautiful features made him look like a doll that was made from the whitest porcelain. But doll eyes were not this sharp, nor their expression this unmoving. If it weren’t for the Kaiser’s love for his sister Annerose, or this cold expression, his liege relationship to the Kaiser would surely have become the source of some rumors about their sexual proclivities..
He prepared the proper pose, and awaited the Kaiser’s command. According to the rules of a formal gathering, subjects could not speak before the Kaiser did.
“Count Lohengramm! Your exploits this time were astounding!”
A statement with no particular meaning.
“You flatter me! It was all due to your Majesty’s support!”
Rheinhard's answer was also without any personality, but this was a result of his iron self-control. An ironic response, the Kaiser would nevertheless not understand why this was so, nor would it turn those around him against him. For Rheinhard, the importance of Kaiser was meaningless. What was important was just that paper announcing the Kaiser’s decision to promote him.
“Excellent! We therefore give you special permission to see your sister!”
Rheinhard felt his heart quake with anger. A lightning bolt flashed across his eyes, but since he was lowering his head and didn’t show any movement, no one had seen it.
“Special permission? The meeting of a sister and brother needs you to give special permission? You used your own special permission and took my sister, Friedrich! The only reason that you can sit on this throne was your blood, not your abilities! Right now, my strength is not great enough, but one day I will drag you down from your position! I will make you know the feeling of losing the most important thing in the world!”
The master of ceremony’s voice brought him back to reality.
“For his victorious crusade against the rebels in the Astate System, Count Rheinhard von Lohengramm is now promoted to Imperial Grand Admiral, with the responsibility of being the subcommander of the Imperial Fleet. Half of the Imperial Fleet will be under your direct command. Galactic Calendar year 487, March 19, decreed by the Kaiser of Galactic Empire, Friedrich IV.”
Rheinhard rose and walked up the stairs, respectfully accepting the promotion being offered and taking the Grand Admiralty staff. From this moment, Rheinhard von Lohengramm was officially a Grand Admiral of the Empire.
Although Rheinhard's face was full of sunshine, inside he wasn’t satisfied. This was only a first step toward his ultimate goal. He had finally taken some power away from the inept man who had taken his sister.
“Amazing! A twenty year old Grand Admiral!”
This was a whisper from the Armor Artillery Commander First Class Colonel General Olfasser. He was nearly fifty years old and still possessed a strong body. His left cheek had once been hit by an Alliance soldier’s lightning gun, and the wound still appeared fresh and purple. He purposely had refused to cure his wound to show others that he was an experienced military officer.
He was also tremendously agitated, since he had just lost half his officers to Rheinhard
Space Fleet Commander Grand Admiral Muckenberger raised his half white eyebrows at the other officer’s words: “Although you are right, I can’t deny that golden haired brat’s military talent. Now that he has defeated the rebels, even the experienced Merkatz cannot say anything bad about him.”
“Look at his shameful feebleness!”
Everyone looked at Merkatz, who was standing by silently as Olfasser shamelessly criticized him.
“We did win, but just one time! It was all just a coincidence! I’m positive that it was only because the enemy was inept. No matter what the result, victory and defeat are relative.”
“You’re speaking too loudly!”
Although the Grand Admiral rebuked his tone of voice, he clearly wasn’t arguing with the first class Colonel General’s views. For these high-ranking noblemen and senior officers, to openly accept Rheinhard's victories was not easy! However, the Grand Admiral thought they should change the topic.
“You’re probably right. Speaking of the enemy, have you heard of that commander, Yang?”
“That man ….. No, not really! Who is he?”
Olfasser couldn’t remember the El Facil incident.
“In this last battle, he prevented the rebels’ complete defeat and even killed Vice Admiral Erlach!”
“He seems to be a very talented officer! I heard that the golden hair brat also agreed with that!”
“Isn’t that satisfying?”
“Only if that is Rheinhard's personal matter! When you are fighting your enemy, you won’t be able to choose who to face, right?”
The Grand Admiral spoke evasively. Olfasser didn’t understand his words, and simply shook his shoulders.
Music once again sounded in the Black Pearl Chamber. This music praised those who had performed meritorious services for the Empire. It was called “The Valkyrie’s Cheer.”
Captain Siegfried Kircheis and the other junior officers were waiting in the Amethyst Chamber, across a wide corridor.
He was neither a noble nor a high-ranking officer, so he didn’t have the position to go into the Black Pearl Chamber. But in a few days, his rank would jump up to Rear Admiral and enable him to be called “Sir”. After that, he would also have a position in this kind of magnificent ceremony.
Every time Rheinhard advanced through the ranks, Kircheis went with him. His body wavered slightly as he thought about this. Although it would be foolish to deny that he also had talent, the speed of his promotions was really too fast. He inevitably had doubted that his abilities would be appropriate for his new position.
“You are Captain Siegfried Kircheis, right?”
Someone whispered beside him.
A Captain who looked about thirty years old stood in front of Kircheis. He had a big body, black hair peppered with white, light brown eyes and bluish white skin.
“Yes. Who are you?”
“Captain Paul von Oberstein. A pleasure to meet you.”
When speaking, this Oberstein’s eyes displayed strange colors which made Kircheis cringe.
“I’m terribly sorry! …..” Oberstein apologized as he noticed Kircheis’ expression.
“My artificial eye seems to have had a malfunction. Sorry to frighten you. I’ll change it tomorrow.”
“Oh, it is an artificial eye. No, it was I who was discourteous!”
“No, don’t worry about that! Inside it is a light-sensitive computer. When it is fully functional, I can freely move around. But, its duration is too short …..”
“Were you wounded in battle?”
“No, I was born with this condition. If I had been born in Kaiser Rudolf’s dynasty, I might have been executed under the ‘DNA Inferiority Act’.”
His voice vibrated in the air, slowly dissipating. Kircheis breathed in sharply. His criticism of Kaiser Rudolf was really disrespectful.
“You have a very good superior, Captain Kircheis!” Oberstein said, raising his voice a little. “A good superior should unleash his subordinates’ talents. Looking at the current Imperial military, this kind of superior seems to be rare. But Sir Lohengramm is different. He is doesn’t have a young man’s frivolity, but is instead experienced and prudent. Those noblemen with only their own petty interests in their minds probably find it very hard to understand him …..”
In Kircheis’ mind, the word “trap”, a dangerous signal, suddenly flashed. This man who called himself Oberstein could easily be a puppet of one who desired Rheinhard's downfall.
“Which branch are you from?”
With perfect composure, he changed the topic.
“At the moment, I’m working with the intelligence department for the Grand Admiral. But later, I will be the assistant to the Iserlohn Fortress guard fleet.” After answering, Oberstein smiled a little: “You seem to have some wariness about speaking to me.”
Suddenly, Kircheis’ face whitened. At that moment, Rheinhard walked in. The ceremony seemed over.
“Kircheis! Tomorrow …..”
He spoke loudly while subtly observing the bluish white-faced man standing beside his subordinate.
Oberstein saluted him and gave his name and rank. Then he mouthed a few congratulatory lines and left.
Rheinhard and Kircheis walked out to the corridor. They were currently using the palace’s guest hotel. They would need to walk about fifteen minutes through the garden to get there.
“Kircheis! Tomorrow I will meet my sister. You come too!” Rheinhard said.
“Is it all right if I go with you?”
“What are you worrying about? We’re family!”
Rheinhard smiled like a flower, but then suppressed it and asked quietly.
“By the way, who was that man before? I felt a little uneasy about him.”
Kircheis simply repeated what had happened.
“He seems to be unfathomable.”
Kircheis spoke his feelings. Rheinhard raised his eyebrows as he listened to the description.
“He really is unfathomable!” He agreed with Kircheis. “Why he is trying to get close to you is unknown, but he could have other purposes. These types of enemies are many. We must be very careful!”
Both looked at each other and smiled.
Countess Grunewald – Annerose’s official residence was in the corner of another smaller palace. Taking the luxury palace car would mean spending more than ten minutes to get there.
Both of them would feel happier if they walked, but they couldn’t ignore the Kaiser’s good intentions. Therefore, they had to take the internal palace vehicle there.
Her official residence was beside a pond with a bodhi tree trove. The structure was simple and bright, much like its main female resident.
When he saw Annerose’s beautiful shadow, Rheinhard didn’t wait for the car to come to a complete stop. He immediately jumped out and ran toward her.
Annerose’s spring-like smile greeted him.
“Rheinhard! You came! And, Sieg also …..”
“….. Miss Annerose’s complexion looks as wonderful as ever!”
“Thank you! Come! Both of you come in! I’ve been waiting for both of you a few days ago.”
“Ah! This woman is the same as before. She hasn’t changed at all,” thought Kircheis. Even though she was under the power of the Kaiser, her grace and innocence were still intact.
“Have some coffee! Then eat some almond cake. I made this myself. I don’t know if you will like it or not, but please try it.”
“It really hits the spot!”
Rheinhard answered quickly. The room suddenly filled with pleasant warmness that was reminiscent of the times from ten years ago.
The sound of friction caused by coffee cups, the clean tablecloth, the slightly sweet smell of the almond cake ….. Right now, a simple happiness permeated all around.
“I often heard that Countesses don’t have to cook …..”
Annerose cut the cake and smiled: “It doesn’t matter what they say! I really like doing this! I don’t want to rely on machines. Cooking with my bare hands makes me feel good!”
With the coffee mixed and the butter spread, the three old friends tasted the dessert while they chatted. A soft and warm current flowed between their hearts, and time slowly passed by.
“Rheinhard always talks carelessly. He must be giving you a lot of trouble, right, Sieg?”
“Of course not …..”
“Tell the truth!”
“Rheinhard! Don’t joke around! By the way, a viscountess gave me a very good pink grape wine! It is in the basement. Imperial Grand Admiral, would you mind getting it?”
“You’re the one who like to joke around, sister! Eh! Getting the wine would be fine. Doing anything would be fine, really. I’m at your service!”
Rheinhard, with a stoic expression, stood and left.
Only Annerose and Kircheis remained in the room. Annerose showed her warm smile and said to her brother’s best friend: “Sieg! Thank you for caring for my brother!”
“Please don’t talk like that! I’m the one being taken care of! I’m not a noble, but now I have the rank of Captain. It really makes me feel a bit guilty!”
“In a few days you will become a rear admiral, won’t you? I heard that from someone. Congratulations!”
Kircheis felt his ears redden.
“Although my brother wouldn’t say anything or maybe he doesn’t even feel it yet, but in truth, he really does rely on you! Please help him with any troubles he will go through!”
“I don’t know if my strength will be enough.”
“Sieg, you must have more confidence in yourself! Rheinhard does have talent, perhaps a little more than others. But he is not mature like you are. He is like a sprinting antelope, only knowing how to quickly run ahead. One day, he will fall from a cliff. From the day that he first left, I started to feel this way. So I’m telling you this now.”
“Miss Anne …..”
“Sieg, I will leave him in your hands! Please protect him. Don’t let him fall off that cliff. When you discover such an omen, please tell him to stop! Wake him up! He will listen to your advice. If he doesn’t listen to even your advice, then ….. maybe it will mean the end of the road for him!”
Her smiled disappeared, and her sapphire colored eyes were covered with shadowy clouds of melancholy.
Kircheis suppressed his emotions as best he could and accepted her request.
“Please believe in my loyalty to Rheinhard! I will not disappoint you!”
“Sieg, I’m very embarrassed to have put this troublesome burden on you. But I don’t trust anyone else besides you. So please forgive me.”
“In truth, I always hoped that I could take care of both of you!” thought Kircheis. “Ten years ago, when you asked me ‘Please be a good friend to Rheinhard!’, I had already made the decision to watch over both of you …..”
Ten years ago, if he had the experience that he did now, he would never have let Annerose be taken by the Kaiser. Perhaps he would have overcome all difficulties and brought them both to the Free Planet Alliance. They could both be Alliance officers now. At the time, he didn’t have the ability to do so, and in any case didn’t know what he really wanted. Now, it would be different! But ten years still had passed. It was too late now! Why was it that when someone wanted to do something, his age was never right?
“….. You should really put this in a place that’s easier to find!”
Rheinhard spoke loudly, returning from his task.
“All right! Sorry to trouble you. But this trouble has its reward! Give me your cup!”
“Although the time for our togetherness is brief, it gives me great happiness.” Kircheis thought to himself. In his heart, he loathed the next battle that would come in the future.