Thursday, March 29, 2012

Queen's Blade Rebellion Illustrated Stories: Upheaval, chapter 11

Extra chapter! Closing the curtain on the second volume, here's my favorite character.

 When they find themselves in the desert of Amara, what's Menace up to?

Upheaval, chapter 11: Ruler of the Desert

The scorching from the Amara desert.
With nothing in the middle of the desert as far as the eye could see, a rocky mountain was swaying in the heat haze, as if it was moving.
…No, it was actually moving, slowly. Emitting a low growl, blowing up gold dust like a puff of smoke, the huge fortress that could pass for a rocky mountain was advancing, cutting through the desert.
The Sacred Treasure Fortress Bligh.
The legacy from an ancient civilization, it was actually the base of the Rebel Army, and was currently moving, carving its way through the desert as if to turn it into a dry arroyo.
“Elder Sister, it’s about time, Tarnyang and Sainyang should return soon.”
“U, uuh… yeah.”
The Inquisitor Sigui drew closer, and the leader of the Rebel Army, Annelotte, answered worriedly. Reconciled in the battle, they were supposed to act together but after some time had passed, they were more familiar but hadn’t still gotten used to each other.
“Even so, if you think about the desert of Amara… if we move regularly like this, the Queen’s Army won’t be able to know our location.”
“Yeah, the traces of our movement are immediately covered by the sand.”
“That’s because, this Bligh can move by itself, like I told you. Yuit really went and discovered something amazing.”
“Eeh, such terrible heresy… burning it just once won’t be enough.”
“Ah, no, I didn’t say anything.”
Although Annelotte felt like she had heard some inappropriate remark, the Hyper Vibration Valkyrie Mirim came running, calling out to her, and Annelotte turned towards her.
“Sister Annelotte, Tarnyang and Sainyang are back with supplies!”
“Ooh, it took longer than expected, are the two of them okay?”
The Taimashi Tarnyang and Sainyang, in order to procure goods from the caravan around the small villages in the desert, had led members of the Rebel Army and left to an oasis. Although providing supplies was outside of their area of expertise, they had succeeded at supplying goods at Gainos once, and they completely expected they could fulfill the role.
“The supplies went well, and we even obtained properly the alchemy materials Yuit wanted.”
Despite the Rebel Army having obtained that huge military power of the so-called Sacred Treasure Fortress Bligh, that was the reason why they were hiding in the desert of Amara.
Bligh had been out of order for too many years, and though it could move freely, the fortress couldn’t display even ten percent of its functions.
Even if the Alchemy Strategist Yuit descended from the Great Alchemist Cyan, she didn’t have enough raw materials to restore it.
Moreover, this vast desert of Amara was a suitable place to practice Bligh’s move operation.
Because of such circumstances, the Rebel Army was hiding temporarily in the desert, and was dedicated to getting its system ready.
“Is that so? In that case, even repairing the fortress should proceed smoothly.”
Annelotte said so, smiling sweetly to Mirim. But Mirim made a glum face, and continued like this.
“However, it seems… we may have a little problem somewhat.”
“A problem?”
“Yes, could you come here for a minute?”
I wonder what it’ll be, thought Annelotte as she and Sigui went with Mirim.


“Ah, big bro!”
Led by Mirim, Annelotte went to the room that was the heart of the fortress, and the Alchemy Strategist Yuit ran up to her.
“Though I heard from Mirim that there is some problem…”
“Y, yeah…”
“Didn’t the supplies go well?”
“There is no problem with that. But… just look a bit over there.”
Saying so, Yuit pointed ahead of them with a sigh…
“W, what… is that?”
There, where on the previous day had been nothing at all, a luxurious throne had been built.
On the throne that imitated a snake, a woman wearing a crown was sitting calmly, and fiddling with the staff she held in her hands, she partly closed her eyes as she was revered by a sturdy servant with a huge fan.

"Annelotte! "
Tarnyang and Sainyang spotted Annelotte’s face, and approached her with an apologetic look.
“I’m sorry… that weird thing caught us…”
“…We’d better not get involved with something that suspicious, I told you.”
“Tarnyang, Sainyang, what do you mean?”
“In the village of the oasis, we were accosted. I wonder if you’ve heard any rumors about the Rebel Army, they said.”
“That’s why, Tarnyang spoke fluently about our gathering place.”
“I’m ashamed…”
Tarnyang bowed her head in a really apologetic way.
“No, we need to have more comrades now, and to call out and spread our voice, so with what you said, Tarnyang, you did nothing wrong. Nevertheless, that one there…”
Annelotte glanced at the woman sitting on the throne with a worried expression.
 “Big bro, do you know who that is?”
Yuit mumbled in whispers, and Annelotte nodded and replied.
“Uh-huh, even someone ignorant of the ways of the world like me knows who that is. She’s… one of the participants of the latest Queen’s Blade, lady Menace… probably.”


“Therefore~, during Queen’s Blade, a merchant came and offered me support~”
Menace had left the throne, saying that she wanted to see the interior of her future royal palace, and to accompany her as she walked towards the fortress, Mirim walked the passage towards the fortress with her.
(Hauuu… they’re all so cruel… forcing me to accompany this person, I should have gone somewhere else…)
Not noticing the sighing Mirim’s state, Menace kept on talking while smiling calmly.
“This merchant had been making and selling dolls of us beautiful fighters who participated in Queen’s Blade~”
“Uh-huh, they were well done. After hardening the materials into a mass and baking them, and shaving the body like a sculpture, the craftsman colored them. I think he was able to reproduce them quite well. Especially popular were the dolls that reproduced the damage in the middle of a fight.”
The talking scepter in Menace’s hands, Setra, interjected.
“Eeh, they were very lovely and beautiful, but since he had made business with dolls in my likeness just as he pleased, Setra threatened him…”
“You mean, persuaded him.”
“Yes, persuaded him… so, he presented me with all the money he had earned~”
“On parting, the merchant was caressed by Milady’s cursing fingertips, I don’t know how he’s doing by now.”
Setra laughed with a hihihi.
“Well, like that, Milady and I have come back to our nostalgic Kingdom of Amara.”
“Though the desert doesn’t have any traces at all of the period when I lived, I don’t think I know of a better place than this~”
“Is… that so.”
That land hadn’t been a desert in the past, but a very prosperous kingdom, Mirim knew that much.
But, the person before her eyes was a living witness who was acquainted with that era.
…This person had died once, and then had been revived, so one could wonder if she could be called “living witness” or not…
“When we received that money, with the power of a hidden treasure we found at the ruins of the Kingdom of Amara, we founded the village of the oasis as the new Kingdom of Amara… as a small Kingdom of Amara, so we’ve been accumulating power to rebuild the genuine Kingdom of Amara.”
“Then one day, we heard a rumor about the Rebel Army.”
“A… rumor?”
“Yeah, about them obtaining a moving fortress, that increased their military strength. Such a thing didn’t exist in the ancient Kingdom of Amara. Milady and I are quite intrigued by it.”
“Yes, I thought it would be a perfect fit for the royal palace of my new Kingdom of Amara, I think I’ll accept it if you present it to me as the royal palace of this “Queen of Amara” Menace, since you came all the way here to greet us~”
“E, even if you say to “present it to you”…”
No matter how many times Mirim tried to persuade her, Menace had an absent-minded, ecstatic expression and wouldn’t hear anything at all.
“Haa, anyway, for such a fantastic fortress to become my new royal palace, I’m so happy~”
“T, that would also trouble us… we, the Rebel Army, absolutely need the Sacred Treasure Fortress Bligh.”
After she nervously said that, the wise scepter in Menace’s hands, Setra, stifled a laugh and uttered.
“Apart from Milady and I, and the Rebel Army, Claudette’s kingdom is also interested in it. It’s alright, isn’t it, if you give us this fortress, and you’ll just have to wait for the day when the revived Kingdom of Amara conquers the whole world.”
They were saying that they could beat Claudette, without needing the Rebel Army at all.
“B, by the way.”
To change the subject, Mirim asked Menace.
“Miss Menace’s kingdom… the Kingdom of Amara, it doesn’t exist anymore, does it? I heard that it was lost a long time ago, and had become a desert…”
“That’s right~, though the kingdom was very prosperous, the passage of time is relentless~”
With a mood as if she wasn’t very worried, Menace still looked slightly doubtful when she replied.
“If I haven’t been revived, I think I’d have accepted this fate, but since I was revived, I want to restore my kingdom~”
“You were…  revived.”
Smiling sweetly, Menace nodded quickly.
“Though I died once, recently, after a long period of time, the person called “the Marshland Witch” was able to revive me~”
“The Marshland… Witch.”
That was a name even Mirim had heard.
A cursed being that planned to govern the continent.
An evil being, that after waking up from her longtime sleep, was said to be bringing calamity everywhere.
“Although I didn’t hear from the Witch for a while after Queen’s Blade ended, one day a messenger from the Marshland Witch came all the way to this small Kingdom of Amara, because I had to start working on a new operation, I was told~”
“That fellow, what a thing to say to Milady, who is the Queen of the great Kingdom of Amara.”
Though Setra, in Menace’s hands, raised his voice in indignation, his mistress kept going her own pace.
“But, I was satisfied if the Kingdom of Amara could be revived, and because I had just created this small Kingdom of Amara as the first step, I thought I could try to refuse…”
But from what she said, she was told she couldn’t refuse.
“Because I got revived by the Marshland Witch, I was told I had to listen to what she said, and though it troubled me~…”
“Though I still think that was a mistake… Milady lent Amara’s treasure to the Marshland Witch.”
“Amara’s… treasure?”
“Yes~, in this era such things as the treasures from the Kingdom of Amara had already been lost, but it was left in the ruins of the ancient Amara~.”
Matching Menace’s explanation, Setra arrogantly puffed up with pride.
“I, the great “Wise Scepter” Setra, am also one of them.”
“Huuh… that’s great…”
The Hyper Vibration Armor and the Hyper Vibration Sword Mirim was carrying, had been made gathering the best of the current era’s cutting edge alchemy.
However, the sentient, talking scepter in Menace’s hands, Setra, was way more advanced than Mirim’s weapon and armor, that was something even Mirim, not interested in alchemy or magic, could clearly understand.
“Then… uh, that treasure you said you handed over to the Marshland Witch, what was it?”
“The “Controlling Treasure”.”
It was Setra who replied, instead of Menace.
“As the name suggests, it’s a treasure that can control any person. It can only be used on people, but since its power would be wasted, we restricted its use… we lent it to her under the condition that she wouldn’t use it on Milady.”
“Since we handed it over, none of the messengers of the Marshland Witch have come at all, it’s so nice this has become quiet~”
“Is, is that so?... Is this, okay…”
And it was then, when Mirim had begun speaking.

Rummble! And, making an earth tremor, the fortress shook.

Mirim involuntarily fell on her backside.
“Oh my, what’s wrong~?”
“It’s not… an earthquake, did the fortress stop…?”
Bligh had been moving slowly, they’d find out later that it was the emergency stop.
“Such a screeching halt like this, how unusual… There may be something. I need to check on it.”
“Ah, then, I’m coming along too~”


Inside the huge structure that was the Sacred Treasure Fortress Bligh, the watchtower was the highest place.
By the time Mirim rushed in there, the Alchemy Strategist Yuit was already there with the Alchemy Android Vante.
Mirim asked Yuit, who was riding on Vante’s shoulders, staring at the horizon with a grim expression.
“Miss Yuit, we stopped suddenly, what’s wrong?”
“…Look over there.”
“Over there…?”
Mirim narrowed her eyes and looked at the horizon Yuit was staring at.
Her eyes opened wide in astonishment.
“Eh, ah, over there… what’s…?”
It was a bizarre sight.
The heat haze that was shaking in the desert’s horizon, had been replaced by a sinister miasma, they could clearly see it from the distance.
“To the east of the desert, there was originally “Marshland Miasma”. Where human beings of flesh and blood cannot set foot, the cursed Marshland. However… the stories had it that it was much more far away, the Marshland couldn’t be seen from here… at least, it wasn’t supposed to.”
Biting her lips, Yuit said.
“Until recently, it was supposed to be a desert around here. And yet, it’s quickly becoming a marshland… Since we would be getting deeply into it, I used the emergency stop.”
“B, but… then, that’s…?”
“In other words, the marshlands, the territory of the “Marshland Witch”, has extended rapidly… and I think, we could be overthrown.”
While she said that, Yuit’s expression wasn’t convinced somewhat.
“However, why is it so sudden, I wonder how she’s using such powerful magic… if there was something that changed.”
And, sighing and adding in a low voice.
“Yes, for example… like she obtained a powerful magic item, or…”
“Eh, what? Mirim, anything ring a bell?”
“T, that’s, let me see…”
Mirim became confused. Next to her, the one in Menace’s hands looking like it didn’t concern him, Setra, grumbled with a rotten mood.
“Look there, Milady. As I thought, handing that over may have been a mistake.”
“What is “that”?”
“Auuuu, that’s…”
He whispered into her ear to answer her question, “Controlling Treasure”.
“Such a thing… when she obtained that treasure, the Marshland Witch’s power grew… It doesn’t seem like you thought it through.”
“I was troubled~, it’s regrettable that the Kingdom of Amara’s territory was infringed~”
Saying so leisurely, Menace suddenly chuckled and burst into laughter.
““Regrettable”, “was infringed”, I said~… isn’t it funny~?”
Looking at each other, Mirim and Yuit gave a deep, deep sigh.


“Anyways, I was troubled~”
Menace had come back to the throne, and told Mirim so with a look that didn’t seem to be very troubled.
“I asked everyone, and I’m afraid they say I can’t transform this Sacred Treasure Fortress into my royal palace, the Marshland Witch will try to reduce the territory of my Kingdom of Amara… what should I do.”
“W, well…”
Because she didn’t have an aggressive personality in the first place, Menace had somehow become Mirim’s responsibility, and she answered worriedly.
“But, about this Sacred Treasure Fortress of ours, it really is something important… that’s why we can’t give it to you, miss Menace…”
“Then, give us something else instead.”
When she heard what Setra said, Mirim was puzzled.
“Something instead…?”
“You can’t just not present anything to the Great Queen of the Amara Kingdom, commoner.”
“Auuuu… ah, that’s right.”
“What is it~? What did you think of~?”
“The Rebel Army… if we can subdue the “Marshland Witch”, the witch’s castle and her territory… what if we give them to you then?”
“The witch’s… castle, you say~?”
When she heard that, Menace’s face lit up.
“That’s a very wonderful idea~, in that case, I’ll wait until then in the small Kingdom of Amara~”
Speaking so, Menace sat back on the throne and raised her scepter overhead, and the servants who were waiting around grabbed the throne and raised it.
“Wah! W, why is that?”
“Since I got you, Mirim, to promise me that, I’ll return temporarily to the small Kingdom of Amara~”
“Eh, r, really?”
“Eeh, but on the other hand… it’ll be no good if you forget the promise you made~”
Poke, and Menace’s index finger poked Mirim’s forehead, pressing just in case.
Although a little overawed, Mirim nodded a couple of times.
“Y, yes…”
Looking at her and smiling with satisfaction, Menace spoke to her servants.
“Alright, everybody, let’s return to our kingdom~”
Following Menace’s orders, the servants walked carrying the throne.
She waved back at her… then Mirim was finally released from the tension, and breathed out deeply.
“I, I’m so glad… I have to go back…”
Of course, that was an outrageous promise she had made of her own accord, but that’s why she was badly scolded later by Annelotte and Yuit.


Although, Mirim’s verbal promise wouldn’t be completely pointless… but that’s another story.

-Upheaval arc end-

Poor Mirim, Menace may be the end of her yet. Or maybe it is her the one who ends up saving the day...?
Of course, if Menace matured a little more, she wouldn't be herself anymore.
Still, the witch is expanding her territory, who did she use her new item on...?

Before we plunge into the third volume, though, there's a couple of loose ends.
So next chapter: can they find Hinomoto's great swordswoman?


  1. That Menace never changed. Still single-mindedly wanting to rebuild Amara, still waifish in physical combat despite being supposedly good at martial arts. Hell, even her voice actress, Yuko Gotou was a huge fan of Fist of the North Star; it would have been nice if Menace had some of Souther's moves.

    1. Actually, one that one psp game she have a move based off of one of Souther's attack.