My attempt at translating a battle scene from Dies Irae as a challenge. I’m by no means a professional writer, so…err hopefully, my prose won’t ruin Dies Irae for you. I tried to convey the “nuance” of Masada’s writing as best as I could, so I had to take a couple of liberties with a few passages which wouldn’t make sense in English if translated literally (or would flow like liquid glue xD).
Special thanks to GareJei for helping me out with the chants.
You can check out the subbed videos here:
BGM: Letzte Bataillon
Eleonore: “And so it begins.”
Eleonore von Wittenburg narrowed her eyes. As an einherjar, she could tell the state of her master’s mind.
Eleonore: “Lord Heydrich is pleased. Aren’t you glad, Kircheisen? The little cur will become one of us.”
Beatrice didn’t respond to her words. She just glanced around the room in silence, only letting out a low mutter.
Beatrice: “I see, so that’s how it is.”
As an initial member of the obsidian round table, she, of course, knew this hall, knew this castle.
Beatrice: “What a depressing Valhalla, major. I can’t say I have a single good memory of this place. Now I see why Lord Makina would be suicidal.”
Eleonore: “Hah. I see you still haven’t learned how to speak to your superiors.”
Not many can taunt the stern and short-tempered Eleonore without their blood freezing in terror. Yet, there is but one person in this cosmos whose insolence she welcomes.
Eleonore: “Like I care about Makina and his suicides. Has one of Brenna’s hypocrisies infected your mind? You mutts always just sucked your thumbs and watched *us* do all the work.”
Beatrice: “I can’t deny the truth in those words.”
Two sisters getting along precisely because of their polar opposite personalities; there are no better words to describe their peculiar relationship. Yet, those sisters were about to enter a bout of death.
Eleonore: “Kristoff, lost in the depths of self-condemnation. Brenna, always trying to look the other way. And you, just loitering around with nothing to do. Has anything changed? No! Mongrels, dimwits and failures.”
Eleonore: “And even in the very end, you only cause me trouble. *sigh*”
After a short pause, Eleonore let out a muffled giggle. As if reveling in the situation, unable to contain its jubilance.
One could perceive glimmers of affection even in her cursing words.
Beatrice: “I take it you wore the same face when you killed Lisa.”
Eleonore: “Oh? So you could see then?”
Beatrice: “No. But I can tell.”
As the fourth Tubal Cain, Beatrice was indeed a witness of Lisa Brenna’s demise. Even though her memories had faded, the tiny traces still lingering behind were enough to give her a vague picture.
Beatrice: “I see you still take good care of your subordinates, major, however unbefitting that might be to your usual image. Me, and Lisa…
Kei and even Kain.
Beatrice: “You orchestrated everything, haven’t you? I never took you for a scheming type… you’ve changed.”
Hiding behind the veil of comradery, she was, in truth, collecting sacrifices for The Divine Vessel. And not even soiling her hands directly, she just manipulated Kei, Ren, Beatrice and Kain to do her bidding.
Beatrice: “You’re acting like His Excellency the Vice Commander.”
The vicious bite of sarcasm stings; there is not a single member of the obsidian table who would enjoy being compared to Karl Kraft.
Beatrice: “Kristoff is cancerous. I had to find a way to do away with him.”
However, her answer was serenity itself. It is certain that it is not in her nature to take the roundabout approach, she would have much loved to take care of everything with her own two hands, but…”
Eleonore: “She had both motive and will to eradicate Kristoff. She only lacked in power. Then what do you suppose should be the approach in such a situation? Easy. Stir the pot so she has no choice but seek allies.”
Eleonore: “It struck my mind just as I found out about Brenna’s plans. I knew a little cur like that wouldn’t be able to handle the truth of Valhalla. As long as I could get the whelp to help her somehow, them confronting Kristoff was unavoidable.”
Eleonore: “I didn’t expect to lose Schreiber in the mix, however. Well, I guess it’s fine since they managed to pull you out in exchange.”
The Divine Vessel shattered and the hole of albedo filled full. There was nothing left to hinder resurrection of Gold when the two women finally could meet.
Eleonore: “In other words: no problems. Everything is going according to the plan.”
Eleonore: “It wasn’t something you weathercocks who can’t even pick a side could ever hinder.”
Eleonore: “A mere child’s play, Kircheisen. You compared me to the Vice Commander, but I wasn’t even close. Just a crude imitation you’d rather see someone like Kristoff do.”
Eleonore: “And you’re not showing any progress. Don’t you get tired of dancing on the palm of that mongrel’s hand?”
Beatrice: “Well, I don’t think I can argue that at this point…”
Only eight still live. Seven without Zonnenkind.. As an acting commander of the obsidian table, Divine Vessel controlled everyone like his own limbs for over fifty years.
Some he used without their knowledge, some only took into his words hoping to eventually outsmart him, while others, the ones who rebelled, he simply ruined. Yet, this man, whom they did not stand a chance against, was easily outmaneuvered by this crimson knightess, looming before Beatrice’s eyes this very moment. And in a game that wasn’t even her suit.
She didn’t have enough time to weave her plans. It’s likely that over half of her moves were ad-libbed in the midst of action. The true shape of her approach was rough, and the victory she boasts about was but a fruit of luck.
Therefore, Beatrice had one question she just couldn’t help but ask.
Beatrice: “Just tell me, for future reference. Where does your power come from? How can you maintain this strength?”
Eleonore didn’t even need a second to consider her answer.
Eleonore: “I have absolute faith both in my loyalty, and the capabilities of you mutts. Kristoff probably only thought to use you to entice me in the pentachroma reformation, but I knew you were not such an idle woman.”
Eleonore: “I had faith in your victory, in your ability to exterminate the fool. For it is the nature of this world that my actions can never work in Lord Heydrich’s disfavor.”
Ironclad zeal. Loyalty fervent enough to scorch one’s body from inside out. The faith in its absolute veracity was precisely the foundation of Eleonore von Wittenburg’s heroic spirit.
Eleonore: “Therefore there is not a speck of doubt within my soul. I stand firm and certain; never will I sway.”
Eleonore: “How can you trick one who has no gaps in his heart? Do you understand, Kircheisen? Your own frivolity has ruined you.”
Eleonore: “Kristoff, Valerian Triffa, was only left in charge of The Divine Vessel — a task that was clearly too grand for his meager abilities — for incipiently he could invade the hearts and minds of others. Anyone could have filled that role.”
Eleonore: “In a different sense from Lord Heydrich, he too, is an abyss of boundless chaos. Prying into the hearts of others, he can produce countless identities, acts for any situation: faces that induce affection, shadows that provoke resentment and clowns that incite belittlement.”
He might have lost his inceptive abilities along with his body, but the sixth sense he had built up over the long years was still more than enough to cause turmoil. For mind control already is one of the strongest suits of the clergy.
Eleonore: “You mutts are just weathercocks. For him, reading your actions and emotions was hardly more intricate than inhaling and exhaling air.”
Eleonore: “A wicked saint… don’t make me laugh. A man carrying two names contradicting his own nature. What else can you call him but ‘legion’?”
Eleonore: “You must have thought him insane. But that’s not the case; just remember that you are talking to a different person each day.”
A woman whose heart and behavior never change regardless of who she is in parley with.
Unhesitating, unbending, a straight, ever-consistent vector.
Yet Eleonore is not an exception; all three grand captains of Reinhard’s legion are precisely that kind of souls.
Souls even the Divine Vessel could never hope to seduce.
For nothing but ‘gold plating’ could ever entice the three.
Eleonore: “He should know his station. Becoming Lord Heydrich was a fantasy fit only to his wildest dreams.”
Spitting the contemptuous words out, Eleonore lit up the cigar between her teeth and added, billowing smoke escaping her lips.
Eleonore: “Is that all?”
Beatrice: “Yes. I guess, it was enough to ease my mind, somewhat.”
Beatrice just shrugged her shoulders. All the old grudges and regrets meant little to her at this point.
Beatrice: “I even managed to meet the little lass and help prevent her death somewhat.”
Though it does seem they have only jumped from the frying pan into the scorching flames.
Beatrice: “Mother hen… huh. Can’t say I like the word much; I really enjoyed being able to remain young forever, you know.”
Beatrice: “And it’s the extent of what I can really do already. I guess, I’ll leave the rest to the younguns. It’s not like looking after others was ever my strong suit anyway.”
Letting out a self-mocking snort, Beatrice readied her blade. From now on it’s the time of her own, time for the personal business.
Caring, protecting and guiding the young, like some elder or something, was a lovely experience… but it was never the true face of Beatrice.
She should take heed in her superior’s words, and believe in the younglings.
Beatrice: “For I am the person who ‘chases’.”
Yes, she chased ‘her’ all her life. In the midst of bullets and tempests of insanity, through the ages of bellowing, swirling mayhem.
Nor misery, nor anger, nor tears could stop her relentless flight.
Beatrice: “For you were there, Major Wittenburg.”
From the time she was just a naive little girl fresh from the officer’s school.
Beatrice: “There is a person I respect from the bottom of my heart. ‘She’ is a bit intimidating, somewhat haughty and unbelievably idealistic.”
Beatrice: “You ever try working under such a person? ‘She’ believes that everyone is capable of the things ‘she’ is; what’s worse: ‘her’ innate abilities are unparalleled to begin with.”
Beatrice: “I always made ‘her’ angry; the words “idiot”, “fool” and “dimwit” became my second name.”
‘She’ taunted her, ‘she’ smacked her, ‘she’ kicked her… and ‘she’ waited for her.
Beatrice: “I chased and chased and chased.”
Where will ‘she’ take her? What new scenery will ‘she’ uncover for her?
Will, by the time, she be a better subordinate? A bit closer to ‘her’ ideal?
Will ‘she’, finally, praise her? A fickle dream, like that of a maiden in love.
Beatrice: “Is this travesty here that promised paradise of your deepest dreams?!”
A ray of lightning burst out the tip of her blade, cutting through the cigar between Eleonore’s teeth, returning it to nothingness.
Beatrice: “Don’t make me cry! Major!”
What happened to you? What has changed you so much? Did your true righteous self perish along the walls of Berlin that day?!
Yet her poignant imputation fell but on dead ears.
Eleonore was smiling, her eyes hidden from sight by her eyelids.
Eleonore: “I was expecting something more sensible from you. But it’s perfect, for I, too, had a similar question for you.”
The lightning speed of her charge was lauded by everyone who had braved the battlefield. Closing your eyes before Beatrice Kircheisen in the midst of battle is nothing short of a suicide. Certainly, it’s not an attitude befitting a grand captain with countless battles under belt.
Then is it foolery? No, not at all.
Eleonore: “Lately I’ve been thinking. It’s just a little thing, but, adding your twaddle just now to the mix, got me even more confused.”
Full of openings. Defenseless. Her eyes closed, hands locked with each other, head cocked to a side; Eleanore was deep in thought. However you look at it: a perfect chance to strike; what is it but foolery not exploiting this situation?
But the things are not always as they seem.
Beatrice: “What is it?”
No openings could ever taint the crimson rubedo, the fieriest of einherjars. Those who know ‘how to look’ would be able to tell.
For the nuclear heat itself was just waiting to burst out of her skin.
One can stop a gas leak. One can stop a fire.
But no one ever thinks of even coming close to an erupting volcano.
Eleonore: “Well, I guess I can just ask later.”
Her eyes still closed, the ‘signal of battle’ echoed almost tenderly.
Eleonore: “Come. The moment I draw is your last.”
No words were necessary for the remainder of their parley, for battle itself would continue their conversation.
BGM: Thrud Walkure
A lightning flash; the supersonic blade of valkyrie was already at Eleanore’s throat. Beatrice had no intention to wait for a non-existent opening to begin with.
A foe with fangs that will instantly send you to your grave if you just as much allow it bite. The moment you stop your advance is the moment you meet your maker. All three grand captains are that kind of adversaries.
Determination and willfulness to leap into the scorching flames is what one needs to meet Eleonore’s blade in battle. The act of false vulnerability before was merely her test for Beatrice’s capability to waltz her.
And Beatrice passed it.
Yet, the sudden slash could only cut the air in front of Eleonore’s nose. Rubedo was retreating; valkyrie was chasing.
Beatrice: “I won’t let you. No need to tell me.”
Beatrice couldn’t let her get away, nor could she retreat. For maintaining this distance, where the two could almost touch each other, was her only means of victory. Allowing Eleonore pull out her projectiles, allowing her to open the gates of the infernal canon, would mean certain defeat.
Her blade was lightning itself. Dancing in the air viciously, without mercy, yet beautiful at the same time. A genuine knight, a soldier; Beatrice’s strength came from a completely different vector from wild beasts like Wilhelm or Schreiber.
For her finesse was the result of countless years of training. And the countless battles she had braved through only infused her blade with murderous techniques that are, by this point, nothing short of artwork.
In other words, she had reached and mastered the utmost limits of human possibilities. She might have received some tutelage from the devil, but she never sold her soul.
Nonetheless, all her slashes could only cut air. From the first glance, the retreating Eleonore might appear to be at a disadvantage, but her arms were still locked together, her expression still gleaming in superiority.
There is no way she can seize all of the Beatrice’s slashes with her eyes, for they are but momentarily glimmers of light. There is no way she can surpass the speed of lightning.
Nonetheless, she dodges. Nonetheless, they can’t find their target.
Eleonore: “How many times do you think I saw you dance?”
The difference in experience. It might be the first time the two actually fight, but Eleonore has observed, knows the habits of her subordinate’s blade. How could one not know the partner with whom they braved countless battlefields, the one responsible for protecting their back?
To add to this, Eleonore had fought Schreiber, the beast of scurry itself, in the past.
When they were still humans, only once.
Eleonore: “And here—”
Eleonore: “I spent almost everyday watching the very same speed.”
That is Valhalla. That is the einherjar. For them: morning is the time for deadly duels; evening is the time for resurrection. Sixty years of such days; no wonder lightning doesn’t scare her anymore.
Eleonore: “Though my battles with him are little different from perpetual check; they never conclude.”
Absolute accuracy versus certain evasion; a bout of contradictions themselves.
A flock of sub-machine guns manifested behind Eleonore’s back.
A tempest of fire and explosions just in front of Beatrice’s face. It took but a moment for the twenty guns to empty their 32 bullet magazines.
Not a number she could deflect, not the distance at which she could evade without breaking pursuit.
Changing the direction of her step, she plunged sideways to escape the barrage. The smithereens of once-gorgeous floor tiles scattering in the wind, the once-magnificent sculptures taking the shapes of beehives and shattering to dust.
What the hell—
Eleonore: “Wipe that stupid look off your face.”
A distance of over ten meters has opened between the two in an instant, and with that, dozens of flaming “spears” appeared aiming at the bewildered Beatrice.
What is going on? Neither are her weapons.
As if scolding a dull student, Eleonore’s voice echoed behind the oncoming projectiles of annihilation.
Eleonore: “What’s so surprising? How many thousands do you think I prepared to operate ‘it’.”
You need over a thousand to just operate ‘it’. With maintenance and defense staff you need three times that number. For her ‘real’ weapon is a whole army and a portable canon it operates.
Eleonore: “Tactical corp maneuvers are within its capacity.”
Beatrice: “—I see.”
Comprehending everything in an instant, Beatrice calmed down her senses. Compared to the barrage just before, the “bullets” right now were not only slower but also lower in number.
Evading the explosives like a thread going through needles, Beatrice closed in on Eleonore once again. As long as no gapless barrage shielded her, the lightning, exceeding the speed of bullets by a margin, could still get through and pierce the marksman.
Oh, but only if she was just a regular marksman.
Eleonore: “And who do you think dictates their actions?”
Is the crimson Rubedo just a commander overlooking the battle from afar?
In harmony with the oncoming Beatrice, Eleonore, too, took her step.
Her speed was not a big concern, but her timing was.
The moment Beatrice leapt for her instantaneous ten meter long advance, Eleanore shortened the distance by three steps.
Not even valkyrie could adjust a leap this fast.
With the sword still held high above her head, defenseless, she rammed her face into Eleonore’s crafty kick.
The strength of a clash between the kinetic energy of lightning and a kick infused with monstrous power defies the scope of language.
Beatrice flew, crashing through a pillar, smashing into the wall with force that made the bedeviled castle itself quaver. She might still be alive, but will she stand?
Eleonore: “You are still green.”
The shafts of rifles peered at the mantle of dust that was still enveloping the air.
Schmeizers opened fire. A scream from within the mantle, followed by the sounds of a blade piercing through the metal.
Eleonore: “Yes! That’s better! Come at me!”
As if answering Eleonore’s cry, the maiden of war surfaced from the dusty mantle, pressing ever onwards. Her platinum blond hair flowing in the air, though soaked in blood and covered by dust, still shining in brilliance as ever.
Defying subjugation. Defying defeat. Unbending determination was rumbling inside her emerald eyes, now fixed on her superior.
The tempest of schmeizers could no longer hinder her advance. Cutting down the bullets from the air, she was already at Eleonore’s feet again.
Beatrice: “Forgive me, for I have sinned”
She begun her aria of self-discipline, self-scorn and self-deprecation, and maybe with one or two redundant phrases mixed in that she added just because she liked them.
Beatrice: “Borne of loyalty, your will I once defied”
She had knitted those words as if predicting the future; was it premonition, or was it the ‘prior knowledge’?
Beatrice: “Forgive me, for I am naught but a fool, never your equal”
It’s time for me to embrace the sentence of eternal slumber.
For my blade and soul already belong to the champion that had awoken me.
I won’t obey a man who can’t surpass you.
Beatrice: “Let your crimson pyres have their fill”
I won’t let anyone else touch me; I won’t let anyone else have me.
Even if I was a dimwitted, useless subordinate, please, say you won’t let anyone else lay their hands on me.
Ah, I can’t believe the childish naivete of my own self. Such words would only crawl back down my throat from embarrassment.
Eleonore: “Fare-thee-well, my dear, bright child.”
So how could I expect for you to answer this drivel befitting a daydreaming child?
Happiness intertwined with bashfulness within my heart; and yet I still didn’t want you to take me for a little girl—
Eleonore: “I’ll present you with the most fervorous of flames, no bride will ever be your equal!”
I have to show her that Beatrice Kircheisen is no Brynhildr.
I have awoken, Major Wittenburg.
As a blade that can pierce even through the blazing flames, I will redeem you!
Beatrice & Eleonore: “For he who fears the tip of my lance, could never even hope to cross the scorching flames!”
Her sword enveloped in lightning, her body taken in strife; she could feel her soul rumbling in divine thunder.
It was the ‘craving’ of a girl who prayed for light in pitch black battlefield.
So that her comrades wouldn’t lose their way underneath that bloody, smoky sky.
So that the ideal of her beloved superior would shine through.
She wished to guide the warriors to Valhalla, to become the maiden of war, the sole beacon that would pierce through the darkness.
Thus, this virtuous prayer of hers itself was her ‘creation figment’. The strength she has shown when still imprisoned within the fake lance, when still unconscious, was but a shimmer of her real power.
Now she was on a whole different paradigm from the fourth Tubal Cain.
Yes, laid before our eyes was the true form of—
Beatrice: “For I am Valkyrie!”
Even the most incandescent of flames could no longer scorch her.