After some prompting from Undying Corpus from AQS, I’ve decided to take down the Q&A’s for now and put them in their own page later, when I’m done completely translating them again – all-in-all failing of spot checks and general stupidity was involved.
But anyway, on with the chapter.
Negi and co. leave the Diorama and immediately Paru tells them about a transmission from Ostia; it’s from Takamichi, who explains that the poor quality of the reception was due to the instability caused by the surrounding ‘demonic elements’.
Kurt is also there, and repeats what Konoemon had said several chapters back: from the amount of mana present in the deepest parts of the Ostia ruins, Kosmo Entelekheia is planning to reenact the same ritual as 20 years ago.
“What you and I had discussed until now is a danger in tens and hundreds of years.
The danger facing us will come in hours.
Due to the situation, the forces of the Empire, Confederacy, and Ariadne have joined together and formed an ad-hoc fleet, headed there right now.”
Several pages of reactions as familiar faces all over Magicus witness Apocalypse How. Random points of note: Kristian and Lynn are still alive, you can totally see Paio Two now through her eye slits, Donette is at M.M. at the moment (and I think this is the second time we’ve seen it, ever).
“You may have already realised this, but only a small part of our forces here will be capable of standing against them.
By leading the charge, you are a very important asset to us.
I need your strength, Negi-kun.”
“Don’t be tricked, Negi-kun. The only time he shows honour is when he is plotting something in the shadows.”
“Shut up, Takamichi. There’s no point in plotting anything in an emergency like this.”
To repeat after Chisame, they seem to get along quite well.
In any case, Negi wants time to explain to and ask everyone’s opinion before leading them into danger.
Negi explains his plan:
“No matter what happens, our objectives will be to rescue Anya, and to secure the Code of the Lifemaker.
If we take the Great Grand Master Key, we can put a stop to the enemy’s designs, and more importantly, bring back the ones who have been erased.”
Of course, certain members of the group are getting eager and/or excited at the chance to save the world while also bringing back their friends.
The analysis by Asakura, Haruna, and Chachamaru:
“The signal of Anya-chan’s badge is coming from here, the Gravekeeper’s Palace. The enemy’s leaders should be here as well. Which means this, is our target.”
“What’s that white cloud of light that’s covering the whole thing?”
“It’s a gigantic magic shield layer created from the huge amount of mana.
Basically, it’s a barrier.”
“According to our calculations, even the main cannon of the Confederacy’s flagship won’t work against it. Most likely, even my Al-Iskandariyah will not be able to destroy it.”
Luna tries to help:
“Um, Paruna-san, about that… there’s a place at the very top where you sneak in. (…) It’s like the eye of the storm for the concentration of mana, so the barrier doesn’t cover that spot. This is really secret, though…”
“Wait, how did you know that, Asuna?!”
“How…? Oh! Hey, what’re you doing?! Eh? Ah, sorry. I’m happy to be able to help, but now you just sound completely suspicious. Switch over! Sorry, I just… Wait, is it okay for you to say this? Well – yes, it’s what I’ve decided after mulling it over… I’ll switch over now, hold on… It’s, it’s nothing! I’m fine!
You can get in from the top, but the turbulence is really strong, so you should be careful. Uh… and with the Gravekeeper’s Palace, it’s safer to enter from the bottom than the top… the defenses are tougher there, or something…”
“…Are you, like, hearing voices or something?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?! It’s from a reliable source!”
Anyway, the plan boiled down:
1) Penetrate the barrier (infiltrate the royal mausoleum)
2) Break through the lightly-defended lower section
3) Rescue Anya (up the “Endless Stairs”, through the “Tomb of the First Queen”, and across the “City of the Gravekeepers”)
4) Take the “Last Key”!
Konoka mentions how moving (emotional) this is, being also “the place where Negi-kun’s father fought”… but illustrated by Haruna this way, it feels like a movie or game.
I bet they’ll be waiting for us in a setup like this!”
Room 1: Space-time Nopan Combo
Room 2: The Killer Sound Wave Girl
Room 3: Crazy Slasher with Glasses
Room 4: Tough Old Guy
Room 5: Fate
Negi will split Ala Alba into four:
1) Stand by in a relative safe zone (Johnny’s flying manta, “comparatively safe”)
2) Stay in the air around the Palace and secure a path of escape (Great Paru-sama, “quite dangerous”)
3) Secure Anya (Assault Team A, “Stealth insertion recommended”)
4) Secure Great Grand Master Key (Assault Team B, “Anticipate direct combat with enemy leaders”)
…and gives everyone handouts listing each team’s composition.
“Well then, everyone…
“Hold it! That’s no good for a leader! Put some spirit into it! And stop with the honorifics!”
“Um, well, I’m not too good at this, but…
Ala Alba! This is it, our final battle! Let’s do it!“
A short moment with the Valkyries:
“Once this is all over, let’s bring the Class Rep and go for a trip to Japan!
Yue, Nodoka, make sure to show us around, okay?”
And of course, the moment which everyone should know of at this point… Tsukuyomi literally comes out of the blue with possibly her most psychotic face ever.
“I’ll be seeing you off, then…
…starting with the puppet.
Just before her sword reaches Collet, Tsukuyomi gets totally grabbed by
the Watcher Mega Dunamene Negi, one-handed.
…To make a random observation, Tsukuyomi must have a really small neck.
And that’s another chapter. I think it’s safe to assume Tsukuyomi won’t leave the stage right away, so I’m betting on some unexpected reversal in 293. In any case, the upcoming battle is set… assuming things actually go as planned.
In other news, I’ll try to get the Nazenani stuff back up soon.
PS: From AstroNerdBoy’s 292 spoilers’ comments…