- OFB4 Chapter 6: Annihilation

ZAC 2101, November   |  Continent of Nyx   |  Imperial Capital of Valhalla

 The snow dancing through Valhalla was gradually growing in intensity. Winter was about to arrive in force on the Dark Continent. The snowfall was stained with the blood of the PK Division and the Allied Forces.

 The Helic-Guylos Allied Forces had rushed into the Imperial capital with an overwhelming advantage in strength, but the PK Division, which was fighting to the death in defense of the imperial palace remained steadfast. They still hadn't been able to cross the not-so-high walls, even though an hour had passed since the start of the battle.

"One hour..."

 As he spoke, Schwarz felt a hopelessness. If Prozen had kept Rudolph alive, he would've used him as a bargaining chip long ago. He was growing impatient.

At the same time, Rudolph was also fighting. However, the Gold Tiger, already severely wounded, was on the verge of shutting down.
 Meanwhile, Hermann, who was leading the urban battle, was also growing suspicious. Soldiers who found themselves surrounded with no hope of escape or victory only had so many paths they could take. Normally, they'd either surrender or go on the offensive, determined to crush the enemy. Why, then, were their enemies now so tenacious? It was as if they were using themselves as shields to buy time.

"But for what?"

 Hermann was no ordinary commander. He had often saved his troops from danger simply based on his wild instincts, especially when leading them on the front lines. His intuition was now warning him of danger. Screaming that warning at maximum volume.

"Summon Lieutenant Colonel Schwarz of the Palace Attack Force!"

 He shouted to the radio operator, but at that very moment, one of the walls of the Imperial Palace collapsed, and Schwarz disappeared at the head of the Assault Force. Their communication was cut off.

"The Division Commander is leading the charge!"

 Hermann slammed down the microphone with all of his might.

- OFB4 Chapter 6: Annihilation

 The Death Saurer's massive claws tightened around the Gold Tiger's neck. It didn't look like the Tiger had any strength left to break free. With just a little more force from the Death Saurer, the cockpit would shatter and Rudolph would be crushed into a twisted lump of flesh.

 The fight had lasted less than five minutes, and the Death Saurer hadn't sustained so much as a scratch. Still, Prozen was secretely a bit impressed.

 Rudolph's performance had been commendable. There was an expression, 'Let them cut your flesh to break their bones.' Instead of cutting his flesh, the boy had tried to tear out the pipes. He'd given up his position as emperor for the tens of thousands of people he could save. It was a brilliant move. The reason Rudolph had been able to fend off Prozen was because his intentions were clear from the very start. This boy, who didn't even know how to properly pilot a Zoid, had brilliantly maneuvered a high-speed Zoid that was difficult to handle even under normal circumstances.

 Come to think of it, when was it again? Just once, when Rudolph was still a crown prince, Prozen had told him about the principles of Zoid piloting.

 — Zoids are controlled not with skill, but with strong feelings.

 He thought he'd said this.

 — The Zoid will respond to those feelings.

 He'd said that too. Did Rudolph remember that day? At the very least, the Gold Tiger had sensed Rudolph's feelings and tried to respond. That was how it had acted.

 The Tiger was still digging its claws in, trying to resist.

"At the end of a life lived only for scheming, I feel blessed to have fought a true Zoid pilot."

 The formality had disappeared from his deep voice. Prozen's hand quietly reached out to the red button. The detonation switch.

"It's time. Let us die together, Emperor Rudolph."

- OFB4 Chapter 6: Annihilation

 The next moment, the wall collapsed behind them with a terrible roar, and another Zoid rushed in. It was an Iron Kong. The Schwarz Spec. Kong, equipped with a Gatling Gun on its shoulder.

 But how could Schwarz have appeared at this moment? He'd rushed into the Imperial Palace, entrusting command of the battle to his subordinates, and headed for the passage himself. A secret underground passageway known only to a limited number of people. The passage led to shelters and exits built to protect the emperor from unforeseen circumstances. The exit of the passage was top secret, and even Schwarz didn't know about it. However, if it was on the premises, he could guess. Schwarz, who'd invaded, tracked back through the passage and had arrived at the hangar.

 Prozen turned around reflexively. Then came the Kong's Gatling Beams. The Death Saurer, which boasted super heavy armor, wasn't necessarily ironclad in its defense. It had several weak points, including the Charged Particle Intake Fan and its joints. The same went for the mouth, where the particle cannon firing mechanism was located, and that was the target of the blow. Schwarz's precision shooting belied that he was seriously injured. The beam passed through the upper jaw and the top of the head where the cockpit was located. The Death Saurer was rapidly losing power. The Gold Tiger writhed out of its hand, slid down, and blindly tore at the pipes with its claws and teeth.

- OFB4 Chapter 6: Annihilation

 The battle of the Dark Continent was coming to an end. Little by little, the bombardments ceased, both in the city and in the palace.

 The PK Division fought bravely until the very end. Some challenged the Geno Saurers to melee combat with their Hammer Rocks, which were out of ammo. Others crawled out of their destroyed machines and charged the enemy Zoids with rifles.

 Zero surrendered. Never had there been a unit that had fought so fiercely, even in the long history of war on Planet Zi.

 Snow enveloped the soldiers that were no longer moving. As Hermann gazed at their dead, satisfied faces, he noticed a peculiar similarity between them. They were all old soldiers. There was only one reason why an old man would willingly fight a battle like this.

"The PK Division are dead stones!"

The PK Division had been annihilated. Prozen, too, was approaching his final moments amid the flames of his Death Saurer's cockpit.
 Dead stones that would pass their dreams down to the next generation. If that were the case, though, it still didn't seem like they had enough companions to be satisfied with their deaths.

 His impending intuition now turned to conviction. He grabbed the mic and gave an evacuation order to the Allied Forces that now filled the Imperial Capital.

 As he shouted into the microphone, Hermann unconsciously looked back toward the southern sky. The sky leading to his homeland.

"Are the Eisen Dragoons... on the Central Continent...?"

- OFB4 Chapter 6: Annihilation

The detonator activated. With a flash, the Bloody Death Saurer's Zoid Core began to internally collapse.
 The cockpit of the Bloody Death Saurer was engulfed in flames. The canopy had shattered and electrical discharges were coursing through the panels. The damage was minor for what the Kong's bombardment could have been. Maybe it was because of the angle the beam had entered through, or because it was shallow.

 Even so, a point-blank shot from a heavy cannon was enough of an impact to deal fatal injuries to a flesh-and-blood human. At this point, it was doubtful whether Prozen was breathing. But in that moment between life and death, he definitely had a vivid dream. A dream of the Zenebas flag waving across the entire Central Continent.

At the moment of the explosion, Schwarz's Kong slammed its fist into the floor of the hangar as it shielded Rudolph.
 He could hear the cheers of the masses in former Zenebas territory. Their voices praising his son Wolff Muroa, who had released them from the tyranny of the Guylos Empire and the Republic. Along with those masses, Wolff would accomplish the unification of Planet Zi that his father Zenebas Muroa had dreamed of. And with overwhelming military power, they would construct true peace on this immature planet that knew nothing but fighting.


 Somewhere in his mind, different thoughts surfaced. About his son Wolff's kindness, quite unlike himself. And about the purity shown by Rudolph, Emperor of the Guylos Empire. Perhaps a new generation was about to be born, different from himself and his father who had lived through a history purely of combat and chaos. Did his life exist to nip off those new buds?

 Amidst satisfaction and regret, hope and anxiety, Prozen's thoughts ceased and only his fingers moved, searching for the detonation switch.

The Imperial Palace disappeared. Immediately after, destructive flashes erupted one after another all throughout Valhalla.

- Translation Notes

  • Green text is translated courtesy of Falcarius!

  •  The phrase 'Let them cut your flesh to break their bones' is a Japanese idiom meaning to carry out an action even knowing that you'll suffer from it with the goal of dealing greater damage to your opponent. It's often used in the context of facing something stronger than yourself.

  •  Dead Stones is a reference to the popular board game Go. A Dead Stone is a stone that is surrounded and has no chance of escape or avoiding capture, so is considered dead, even if it is not fully surrounded / captured yet. When Hermann realized this, he knew that it meant these soldiers had been placed here with no hope of survival, which implied some deeper ulterior motive to their actions.

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