Thursday, March 8, 2012

Queen's Blade Rebellion Illustrated Stories: Upheaval, chapter 10

In theory, this chapter would be the end of the 2nd volume, but we know better than that :p

The Inquisitor Sigui goes all out in the battle, guided by her faith!

Upheaval, chapter 10: Beginning of the Showdown

It was a memory from the distant past.
Sigui had grown up in a poor farm village, and when she was still a young child, she had left her home to begin working as a live-in maid in a monastery located in a far away land.
In a poor farm village, that was a scene that could be seen from time to time. Although they were prestigious for producing a large number of priests to serve God, of course, they couldn’t completely deny that there was a side to it that was to reduce the number of mouths to feed.
But, Sigui was not like other maids. With her diligent enthusiasm, her deep faith stood out from the crowd, and when she caught the attention of the priest, it didn’t take much time for her to receive education and change from a mere servant to a superior nun.
A senior nun is the elite of the religious world, who show people the way to the faith. The “education” of her training school was close to what is called “brainwash”.
Her new life was tough but not as hard as the one she used to have, so the devout Sigui wasn’t afflicted by it. On the contrary, she was delighted, as her good luck had brought her closer to God.
Some time ago, when Sigui asked a question about the contents of a theology lecture she received, “God has appeared in public in various shapes, giving a trial”, the priest’s facial expression became severe.
“Mister Priest, the mayor of my village was praying in the middle of the night to the image of a goddess I’ve never seen, as Mister Priest previously said, has God changed his figure to give a trial to the people, or might it be the figure of a different God?”
But, due to either selfishness or caprice, or out of pity, the priest didn’t inquire into Sigui’s question on that occasion. So Sigui, unable to obtain the answer to her question, continued her training, harboring a slight feeling of indigestion in her chest.
Wanting to understand the real motive why the priest had kept his mouth shut, several years passed, until the day Sigui was recognized as an Inquisitor by the pope’s agency.
The trial executive who became her boss, with a still expression of one that gave the oracle of God, said to Sigui.
“Inquisitor Sigui, your first trial will be to capture the heretics that are said to live hidden in a certain village, and bestow the judgment suitable for their sins.”
Sigui condemned the mayor of the village that had been her hometown, with the sentence of burning to death as a heretic.
The mayor had been worshipping a demon from the underworld, a succubus. No matter what, her faith didn’t allow that.
The villagers had loved the mayor for a long time, and he had been kind to the young Sigui.
Against Sigui, who executed the punishment cool-headedly, her parents screamed that her daughter had become a monster.

If she had refused her duty that time, what would have happened? If she could go back in time, would she have spoken frankly to the bishop about the question that crossed her mind?
She had thought about it many times, and the answer was clear.
To serve God as an Inquisitor, she couldn’t do that.
Even if it was a blood relative, she couldn’t overlook it if they did something to disrespect God. Because, carved on Sigui’s body, was her responsibility as an Inquisitor.
Since that day, she came to spend more time devoting herself to practice and discipline than ever before. Even if she had to judge as heretics her true family that called her a monster, she wouldn’t lose her way, and she thought that she couldn’t stop.
Like that, she, who belonged to the fundamentalist school of the scriptures with the severest doctrine, received the initiation of Cardinal Dantan, and was led to master the “Holy Poses”.
“That’s wrong! Go farther, the angle is essential. With such a pose, God’s message won’t get through, Sigui!”
“Y, yes! Cardinal, how about this?”
“Yes, that way!”
Though the training was painful and very severe, Sigui didn’t hesitate anymore.
If she hesitated, beginning with her family, she’d become a traitor to everyone she had condemned until now.
That was how Sigui felt.
“Therefore… therefore, I cannot yield to a heretic like you… “Princess Knight” Annelotte!”


It was a bizarre view.
On a hill, every human who had set foot on the battlefield, soldiers from the Rebel Army, the Queen’s Army, or the pope’s agency, were equally kneeling on the ground, without moving, as if they had been frozen.
No, only one person in the middle, the “Inquisitor” Sigui, raising her nun garbs solemnly with both hands, stood quietly covering her eyes.

“Even if it is for defeating Annelotte… this is overkill…”
The “Leader of the Fang” Elina from the Queen’s Army muttered while kneeling.
“She doesn’t care about friends or foes… No, she might not even consider us her allies… Our Sister, as expected, is so dangerous…!”
Against the Queen’s Army and its allied forces, the pope’s agency, that supposedly outnumbered them, the Rebel Army was showing a high proficiency in the battle so as not to be outdone.
If they failed to crush the Rebel Army here, the latter would gain momentum once again, and they wouldn’t be able to deal with them anymore. That had to be prevented at all costs.
Therefore, Sigui released the “Holy Pose: Worship” in every direction at its maximum power.
Those who saw this pose instructed by God, would kneel down immediately, and it’d become impossible for them to move even one finger until Sigui, God’s representative, allowed them to.
“I, I can’t move… Sister Annelotte… If you… If you… If you see her panties, your body… acts of its own accord…!”
“M, Mirim…! Don’t… Don’t give up yet…!””
“Rather than giving up, it’s accepting it. “Princess Knight” Annelotte. My “Holy Pose”. The power of God… Your body has already accepted it, is that not why you’re kneeling down like this?”
“Ku, uuh…”
Friends, and foes, everybody would be prevented from moving, and the Rebel Army’s ringleader would easily be defeated.
That was Sigui’s intention, however, it was shattered by one person.
“What… is that…”
Among all the soldiers who couldn’t move, their mind deeply captured by God’s power, one person slowly stood up.
“Ku… a, aah…!”
She was moaning painfully, and yet the “Princess Knight” Annelotte was standing up. Her beautiful silver hair was becoming jet black as if it was discoloring.
That was a phenomenon they had seen before.
“D, demonification…”
“Sister… Sister Annelotte!”
Mirim shouted with a pale face.
As she once faced her as an enemy, she remembered Annelotte’s demonic power, the demonic power that would cut down everybody without regards to friends or foes.
“Kuaa… uu, u, uuuh…!”
Baring her teeth like a beast, Annelotte groaned. When she opened her eyes, they were dyed deep crimson as if bloodshot, and even though her armor’s helmet was down, there was really no trace at all of the graceful dignity she once had.
God… let me drive away this wicked demon…!
In order to shake away the fear that had surfaced in her heart for an instant, Sigui grasped tightly the mace shaped like a holy symbol.
The “Demon” Annelotte… turned towards her.
“I… I, won’t…”
Annelotte murmured with a desperate expression.
“I, won’t… u, kufuh, b, be defeated… by you all… nor by the Queen, n, nor by the blood… that, runs… through my body, this demon blood…!”
“Sister… Annelotte…!”
While still kneeling, Mirim mustered the strength to raise her face, and called the name of her beloved “sister”.
It wasn’t only Mirim.
“Miss Annelotte!”
Everybody in the Rebel Army was shouting the name of the recovered Annelotte.
Looking around her with smiling eyes, Annelotte spoke to the people who supported her.
“I’m OK… this, power of mine… this cursed blood, I’ll prove that I can control it…!”
In Annelotte’s mind, she recalled the faces of each person who had helped her out through her journey so far.
“Tomoe… Maria… you taught me. To accept a fate with adversity… and the way to change it into a good opportunity…”
The many times she had gone on a rampage due to her demon blood, she had almost destroyed everything, and yet they didn’t fear Annelotte, and placed their trust in her.
Therefore… Annelotte also had to live up to their trust.
The freedom they fervently expected to grasp to live they own lives, had to be shared with everybody.
“Yuit.. and Tarnyang and Sainyang, they’re probably doing well.”
“Y… Yes! If it’s those people, they’ll be fine! Absolutely, they must have succeeded!”
“Is that so…? Then, we can’t fail here, and hold Yuit and the others back.”
Saying so, Annelotte continued further.
“When this is all over… Let’s go to Hinomoto again. Tomoe said so. The cherry trees in Hinomoto are said to be very beautiful flowers.”
“Yes! I’ll row the boat myself!”
“Haha, Yuit would probably get worked up and make a boat that runs on alchemy on its own.”
“Really? That’s really convenient, it’ll be easy!”
“However, since Yuit would be making it… we might need to be careful for a while.”
“Ahaha, you could say that! Maybe it has an awesome speed, but it can’t stop!”
Giggle, what if we let Yuit do the test operation by herself?”
Leaving the form of a demon, Annelotte was back to being her old self.
Involuntarily, tears rolled down the eyes of the happy Mirim.
Sigui was hearing the exchange of the two girls, involuntarily grinding her teeth.
“What’s that nonsense…! With such heretic reasons, there’s no hope for you! Annelotte, for you, and for all the people that were fascinated by you, veredict: guilty. Every one of you is to be rightly burned to death!”
Shouting just a little, Sigui had noticed one thing.
She hated Annelotte.
Annelotte hadn’t given up until that day, and had protected them even by rebelling against God.
Her strength was somewhat dazzling.
She wouldn’t allow herself to think something like that.
So, she hated Annelotte.
“That’s probably fine, “Inquisitor” Sigui.”
Annelotte spoke Sigui’s name slowly.
“Just like you, I’m faithful to my duty, and I won’t run away from the fate that I imposed on myself! My comrades who trust in me, the people whom I call my teachers that instructed me, besides, the innocent people who help me and smile at me like this… if I lose to you here, if I give up, it’ll be like I’m betraying them!”

Two people who weren’t able to understand each other’s reasons.
If both were forced to face each other, they’d make full use of what each had learned and clash, and it could only be settled with a showdown.
Will the “Princess Knight” Annelotte win?
Will the “Inquisitor” Sigui win?
They… won’t know that unless they fight.

-To be continued-

Even if we left Elina heavily wounded last chapter, she has probably had the months Annelotte spent training to recover.
And well, the mayor of Sigui's village wasn't exactly praying to a "Succubus", but to a japanese demon known as "Imma", though I'd be hard pressed to find any differences.
Also, Annelotte keeps on not mentioning Alleyne, and whatever little she learned from Risty was omitted as well.
Aren't they sly though, to leave this expected battle as an extra...?

Next chapter: a fight with no holds barred!

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see what happens next! By the way, the Holy Pose for some reason kinda reminds me of that silly thing I heard about Mormon holy undergarments.