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Chapter 8 of the Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There! manga chapter title, "Altus Hill."
Itami Youji played around with his mobile phone, checking on the update of a web novel while completely unaware of Kuribayashi Shino and Kurokawa Mari who were trying to get his attention. Fed up with him not paying attention, Kuribayashi kicked him right up his left thigh. The immense jolt of pain dragged Itami back to the office and Kurokawa was finally able to address her concern over a certain person in Alnus, Tuka Luna Marceau.
Kurokawa explained how Tuka had been acting weird ever since she arrived in Alnus, mainly about how she always requested everything in the amount for two people from clothing, food, shelter but would generally leave the food of one person untouched. Itami wasn't that much interested at first as he took a sip from his cup but the mention of Tuka requesting for male clothing surprised him. When Itami asked if Kurokawa had understood the underlying reason, she said she could only get broken phrases of "don't understand", "during meals", "not there" from Lelei La Lalena as the translator herself wasn't too proficient in conversing in Japanese yet.
Trying to make the two lose interest in the subject, Itami joked that Tuka might have some imaginary boyfriend or something. However, as a combat medic, Kurokawa was not deterred so easily as she explained that Tuka might be under the influence of PTSD and was continuously imagining that a deceased family member had continued living still after his demise. After knowing that even the great sage Cato El Altestan to be unable to give any sort of useful insight, considering the fact that Tuka comes from a race that's even considered rare among the elves, the three were left with no viable options at hand. They were further forced to put the situation aside for the time being when the Third Recon Team was ordered to mobilize. Arriving at the refugee settlement, the JSDF vehicles were loaded with the scales previously collected from the dead wyvern around Alnus while the entire process was looked upon by Rory Mercury, Lelei, Tuka and Cato. It didn't take long before Third Recon packed everything up and began their trip to Italica for the first business transaction ever since arriving in the Special Region.
In a faraway monastery, Pina Co Lada looked upon the gravely wounded King Duran who lied in bed, having lost his left arm and leg together with an eyepatch over left eye. She was shocked as Duran would actually be alone in the place. Duran said that whatever was left of his troops had left for Elbe, leaving him alone. When Pina asked what had actually transpired back at Alnus, Duran slowly began recounting his experience of how the 100,000 good men of the Allied Army had faced off the invaders from beyond the Gate.
The sight of the assembled military might from Elbe, League, Mudwan, Alguna and many other countries marched towards the Alnus Hill, in preparation of engaging the enemies who had appeared from the Gate. The Duke of League was particularly excited about engaging the enemies that await them together with the soldier from the Empire. However, something was nagging at Duran when he thought about the true reason such a great force of military campaign was needed. Duran advised the Duke to be watchful for anything out of the ordinary but the Duke simply laughed at him, claiming that age was affecting his mind because there was no reason they would lose with such a large army at their command. The first wave consisted of the combined army from League, Mudwan and Alguna and they advanced on the enemy position, fully expecting to meet up with Imperial soldiers on the battlefield.
However, what happened afterwards was something nobody from the Allied Army had ever expected to happen. The scout first came back with a report that he couldn't find any Imperial forces in the area. Before anyone knew what had happened, there were explosions everywhere. The ground shook under the tremendous force, soldiers and horses blown to bits and there was not an enemy in sight. The battlefield was instantly covered with the countless dead from the three kingdoms, including The Duke of League. The two leaders from Mudwan and Alguna were not exempted from the same fate. Two more waves were planned with the third being a night raid. The armies' advance was stopped halfway by some unknown iron thorns while rain of light blew the ground apart. Whoever was alive at the end of the skirmish left the vicinity of Alnus Hill.
Finishing his story, Duran demanded the truth from Pina about how the Empire's own troops had actually been decimated before the gathering of the Allied Army and how the act was actually a ruse to make sure that the unknown enemy would crush all the gathered Kingdoms to the point of not being able to revolt against the Empire should they ever find out that the great nation had actually been weakened. The Empire had actually been the enemy for the Allied Army. Pina replied that she knew of the defeat of the Empire but nobody knew what sort of an enemy they were actually facing and she asked once more so that Duran would at least reveal anything he could. Duran would not say a word and told her firmly that she should just see for herself. Understanding that she would not be able to sweet talk Duran into giving her what she wanted, Pina threatened to burn Elbe to the ground. Duran actually found that funny and claimed that it would be a wonderful reunion in the Underworld should that ever happen.
Pina claimed that the Empire would not lose as she prepared to leave. Duran scoffed at her claim and reminded her that the enemy which the Empire had called upon from the Gate was an army that could be considered an army of the Gods and the Empire's defeat was just a matter of time. With her men at the ready, Pina ordered the members of Rose-Order of Knights to travel to Alnus but before that they would have to pass through the realm of the Formal Clan, the city of Italica.