To the Other Side of the Gate
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Chapter 16 of the Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There! manga title, "To the Other Side of the Gate."
Itami Youji looked through Risa's messages first only to be bombarded by pleas of needing financial support on an emergency basis as she expressed how she didn't have any money to even pay for food, gas or even water. Having known her for some time, Itami could only groan inwardly as he concluded that she must have spent all her money on ball-joint dolls like she used to. As for Kano Taro, he only asked Itami to pass him a catalogue at the usual place. This reminded Itami that Japan was actually starting to enter winter on the other side of the Gate and vowed to make in back in time for the winter Comiket as the Summer Comiket was cancelled due to Empire's sudden invasion.
As the shops should have already closed for the day, Itami decided to settle his craving for food with some military rations he had stored away in his office drawers. Just as he's opening one of the canned food, he was surprised by the unexpected appearance of Lelei La Lalena. However, he instantly came to a conclusion that Lelei had only finished the translation work for the meeting between the people from the two sides of the Gate; mainly Pina Co Lada, Bozes Co Palesti, Hazama Kouichiro and Yanagida Akira. Approaching Itami slowly, Lelei requested that she be brought back to camp before falling down to her knees and fell into deep slumber seconds after. Left with no other options, Itami carried her in his arms and walked not towards the camp but rather an empty room of a nearby military barracks. Once there, he made the bed and then carefully put the sleeping Lelei onto it while thinking how much Lelei actually reminded him of a doll. Realizing that what he was thinking was actually wrong, he tried to shake the feeling off. Slowly but surely, Morpheus beckoned to Itami and he lost all his consciousness when sleep finally took hold of him as a result of the collected fatigue.
Tuka Luna Marceau was taken aback when Kuribayashi Shino informed her that she was to accompany Itami to Japan as a representative of the Special Region. Kurata Takeo and Tomita Akira were both standing beside her. Kuribayashi explained that it was an act of showing to the people of Japane that there were actually members other than the "human-type" to be found. Hearing that, Tuka was excited to be given the chance to go and was even moreso to be given a chance to actually see the streets of Japan for herself. The door opened and Tuka noticed Lelei entering the building. She called out to Lelei, asking where she had been the previous night to actually return right in the morning. Lelei replied that she had simply stayed over at an acquaintance's.
As if making her presence known to the people who had ignored her, Rory Mercury spoke up and asked whether she was invited along for the trip. Kuribayashi suddenly found her lost for words as Rory simply looked too much like a adolescent girl in a Goth Lolita outfit and wouldn't really give the impression of an outlander. Rory then suggested that she would show her "miracle" during Diet. This rattled the three members of the Third Recon Unit as her "miracles", particular the ones displayed during the Siege of Italica would be too much for the people of Japan. Clearly agitated by their indecision, Rory simply asked them whether they actually intended to leave her behind. Feeling the burden of the silence too much to bear, Kurata gave Itami a call on his cell phone requesting confirmation whether Rory could come along and Itami just gave him the green light without any sort of hesitation.
The heat of approaching noon bore down on Itami as he had dressed himself in full winter attires and waited near the dome that housed the Gate all by himself. Several times in passing a few soldiers walked pass him and saw the clothing that was worn and some even commented of the winter back in Japan. It wasn't long afterward that a vehicle driven by Takeo dropped the passengers off near Itami. Tomita, Kuribayashi and Tuka had all changed to winter clothing though Lelei and Rory wore their usual attires but Rory's halberd was wrapped up with thick cloth to hide it from public view as it was illegal to show any blade in Japan or risk getting arrested.
Just as Itami told all the gathered members to move, another car stopped right in front of him and out came Yanagida Akira, followed by Pina Co Lada and Bozes Co Palesti. Yanagida informed Itami that the both of them would be going to Japan and Itami was left in charge of their well being and it's already been made official though Itami was not informed beforehand. Yanagida explained that Pina's visit would allow her to learn more of them and that would prove to be useful if the JSDF really wished for her to mediate any sort of situations between Japan and the Empire. The second reason was that the JSDF was short on staff proficient in the Special Region language to be of any use and Itami was already well versed in that department and the fact that he would go back to Japan meant that they could kill two birds with one stone. As Yanagida left the spot, the rest of the group approached the monument after passing the checkpoint to be ready to go to the other side.