翻訳:Walter Islands


I hope that I am insane. I wish that I am insane. These are my first thoughts upon waking from a nightmare. Make the nightmare real and this waking world the fiction of a despoiled mind. But I know it is not true, for the dreams change night to night but reality maintains continuous. I remain Jamyl, first Empress of her name, leader of the Amarr Empire in both body and soul.

自分が正気を失っていますようにと祈るべきだが、神が答えないのは分かっている。乱れたシーツから身を起こせば自嘲せずにはいられない。そもそも、答えてくれる神はいるのだろうか? かつての私はこの質問に簡単に答えられた。世間知らずの女の子だった頃なら、イエス。冷たい笑みを浮かべる女だった頃なら、ノー。今はどうだろう?

I should pray that I were insane, but I know God would not answer me. As I sit up from my tangled bedsheets, I have to laugh to myself. Is there even a God to answer me? Once, I would have had a simple answer to that question. Yes, when I was a naive girl. No, when I was a cynical woman. Now?

だが、神以外の誰がこんな呪いを与えられるだろうか? 神以外の何者が?

Who but God might inflict such a curse on me? Who but God could?


It has told me that we are God. Before us, there was no God, but now there is one. I think we may be the Devil. My legacy will meet the Deceiver's and the Mad Emperor's once I am dead.

「ええ、そうね。でも私たちもいつかは死ぬ」 頭の中に居座りつづける声に答える。今では自分の声と同じくらいよく聞こえる。時には自分の声よりもよく聞こえる。“それ”が話すと、私はその声が自分の考えだと思いこむけれど、数時間か数日もすると自分の考えではなかったのだと気づく。

“Oh, yes, we shall one day,” I answer the ever-present voice in my head. I know it as well as my own, now. Better than my own, at times. It speaks and I think they are my own thoughts and it is only hours or days after that I realize they were the Other.


I ignore its temptations for now. There are times when I relent, but just woken, I am fortified against its assaults. When I fail to answer, it falls silent. I breathe out a sigh at the small reprieve though I know it will not last forever. The Other shall eventually return.


I rise from my bed and walk slowly across the spartan room. It is a small, insignificant thing, nowhere near grandiose enough for an empress. It sits deep beneath the ground of the Imperial Palace in Dam-Torsad, far from the traditional Imperial Bedroom. It is not what I once imagined, as a little girl, dreaming of becoming empress.

「私はここで眠るしかない」 私は言う。「さもなければ、召使いたちは女帝が狂ったと考えるわ。霞にむかって話しかけ、眠りながら暴れるなんて」

“But I must,” I tell it. “Otherwise the servants might think their empress mad, speaking to thin air and thrashing wildly in her sleep.”


I sigh and say, “Only because that would make you unreal, just a figment of a shattered psyche. Besides, if I was thought mad, someone would depose me. Ardishapur surely, or if not him, Aritcio.”

私はその考えに身震いする。でも、悪くないのではないだろうか? 正体が何であれ、コルアゾール家当主を狂わせていた悪魔は追い出されたのだ。囁かれている噂が真実だとすると、むしろ正義を重んじる人間へ変貌を遂げてさえいる。

I shudder at the thought, then wonder, why not? Whatever demons plagued the Kor-Azor heir had been driven out. Or, if one took whispered rumors to be truth, transformed into a more righteous sort.

「いいえ、私はそんな結果を望むほど甘くない」 あっさりと拒否する。この方法では私自身が追い出される悪魔になるだろう。この呪いから解放されるかもしれないが、残された臣民や帝国はどうなってしまうだろうか?

“No, I am not so naive as to hope for that,” I answer flatly. The demon driven out would more likely be me. And though it would be a release, what would become of my people, my Empire, then?

「そう簡単にやり込めることはできないわよ」 無理をして微笑みを浮かべ、“それ”に告げる。私は悪夢の汗で湿っている皺の寄ったシュミーズを脱ぎ捨て、今日の執務にふさわしいローブを見つける。

“You won't have me so easily,” I tell it, forcing a thin smile onto my face. I throw off my wrinkled chemise, still damp with the nightmare sweat, and find a proper robe to face the day.


Caretaker drones dress and bathe me. Once it would have been slaves. In my earliest days as empress, before the Other gave me such fits as to frighten them and reveal to them I was possessed, I would know the warm touch of a human hand, gently washing away the thin sheen of grime that even an empress accumulated over the course of a day. But Lord Victor, wonderful Victor whom I had shoved away, had been the one to insist on the change, initially only during my episodes.


Now I knew not when they might come.

「ええ、あなたは突然やって来るわね」 苦々しく認める。介護ドローンは飛び回りながらその言葉を理解しようとしたが、AI医師のような初歩的な知能さえ持たないドローンだ。しばらくすると、部屋に誰もいないにもかかわらず自分たちが話しかけられたのではないと判断し、髪を編む繊細な作業へと戻ってしまった。

“Yes, you come suddenly,” I bitterly admit. The caretaker drones whir as they try to decipher my message, but they are too stupid, not even possessing the rudimentary intelligence of an AI doctor. After a moment, deciding that I had not been speaking to them despite the lack of any other tangible occupants in the room, they return to delicately braiding my hair.


The rumor of the palace was that I was practicing due caution. My predecessor, Doriam II, had been assassinated in his own bedroom, an event which left the Empire in the hands of a heretic for half a decade. Though I never claimed it, the servants had decided for themselves that I insist on sleeping in a hidden room, only attended to by incorruptible drones, in order to spare the Empire the same fate a second time.

「私の帝位継承は幻想の上に成り立ってるのよ」 “それ”に思い出させようとする。「もし人々が私は神に遣わされたと信じていなければ…」

“My very claim to the throne is built upon a delusion,” I remind it. “If not for them believing I was divinely sent - ”

「私たちがみんなを笑うなら、まず私は私自身を笑わなければね」 そして私は笑いはじめる。無理やり虚勢を張って高笑いするけれど、しばらくすると子供っぽいクスクス笑いに変わってしまった。まるで冗談で笑いが止まらない女の子のよう。

“If we're going to laugh at everyone, I must laugh at myself first.” And I begin to laugh, forced and full of false bravado, but after a moment it degenerates into the childish giggling of a girl, unable to extract herself from the mirth of a joke.

「陛下?」 声をかけられて、ようやく笑いは収まった。声の主はポミク・ハロミ。私に忠誠を尽くす数少ない権力者の一人だ。彼には宮廷侍従長の地位を与えているが、前任者のような悪行が繰り返されるのを防ぐという理由で実権を取り上げている。

“My empress?” a voice calls out, finally breaking my fit. It is Pomik Haromi, one of the few remaining in a position of power to have utmost loyalty to me. And yet I gave him the role of Court Chamberlain, then neutered it in the name of preventing the depravity of his predecessor from repeating.


I stiffen my back and let the drones begin the process of correcting my braid, which had been set awry by the laughing fit. “Yes, chamberlain, you may come in.”


He enters modestly, head bowed and alone, only slowly raising his eyes in the event he might catch a scandalous glimpse of inappropriate flesh. His chasteness is more embarrassing to me than if he caught me in a state of undress.


I catch myself before responding. It would not do to snap at the Other in front of Pomik and have him misinterpret the anger. Instead, I force a smile upon my face and hope it doesn't resemble a grimace. “I am decent, chamberlain.”

彼はやっと頭を上げたが、視線はやや下に保ち、私のあごを見つめている。「陛下、皇家当主らがダム・トーサッドに到着しました」 ポミクは抑揚をつけずに続けた。「参議卿もです」

He raises his head finally, though keeping his eyes low, aimed firmly at my chin. “My empress, the Heirs have arrived at Dam-Torsad,” he says in a flat, even voice. “As well as the Lord Councilor.”

クーニッド王に授けた称号を聞いて苛立つ。「彼には出席を命じていない」 穏やかな声で言ったが、どれだけ不快に思っているかは確実に伝わったはずだ。

I bristle at hearing the ceremonial title I bestowed on the Khanid King. “I did not order him present,” I say in a soft voice that nonetheless carries the weight of my displeasure firmly to Pomik.

「承知しております、陛下」 ポミクはまだ私と視線を合わせようとしないが、声に反感の響きは一切ない。「私は参議卿に召集状を送りませんでした。しかし彼が皇宮におり、枢密院の一員である以上、審議に出席する権利があります」

“I know, my empress,” Pomik says, still refusing to look me in the eyes but without a hint of chastisement in his voice. “Nor did I send him notification of the meeting. Yet he is here and, as a member of the Closed Council, it is his right to attend.”


I sigh and bring my fingers to the bridge of my nose. The Heirs I can all manage, with varying degrees of difficulty. Garkeh Khanid, however, is a bag of vipers dressed as a man. Despite my generosity toward him, I still have no idea of his true intentions. I wished him absent from this meeting.


No, I will deal with him. Alone or together, I can deal with all of them. I am the empress of the Amarr Empire. I am the most powerful woman in the cluster; the universe, perhaps. I will not be cowed by any of them, no matter how they wish it.

私は“それ”を黙らせようと頭の中で叫ぶ。一日中あざけりに悩まされたくない。今日は駄目。今は駄目。帝国が必要とする務めを果たすため、ほんの少しだけ沈黙が必要なの! あなたに黙るよう命じる。

I shout in my head for it to silence itself. I do not need its voice taunting me all day long. Not this day. Not now. A moment of reprieve, to do work the Empire needed done! Give me that, I order.

「陛下?」 ポミクが動揺する私に声をかけ、私の手首に手を置いた。

“My empress?” Pomik's voice cuts into my turmoil as he lays a hand on my wrist.


A memory flashes. Soft skin, tips of fingers running across lips. Young girl, wrapped in the arms of a scandalous lover. Laughter and happiness. Someone raps on the door. Giggling, find a place to hide.


I gasp and Pomik pulls his hand away. I look down and see my knuckles white, fingers tangled with my robe. I try to open my hand, but it is frozen in a fist. A deep breath and a moment of concentration and I am able to relax it enough for my fingers to uncurl.


There, then, is another reason I forgo servants as frequently as possible. Certain sensations bring these memories flooding to me and I don't know if they are my own or merely some trick the Other has planted in me. Maybe they are memories of the Other, fragments of its dreaming sleep.


I can't truly tell any more. It doesn't deign to tell me.

「問題ない、ポミク」 私は腹立たしさを隠すために力を振り絞った。介護ドローンが三つ編みの最後を仕上げる。「準備はできている」

“I am alright, Pomik,” I say, mustering the strength to hide my annoyance. The caretaker drones affix the last braid in place. “I am ready for them.”


I walk into the room several steps behind Pomik. The Heirs all rise, though Khanid and Ardishapur compete to see who can do so the slowest. My nephew, of course, is the quickest, though it is perhaps his youth more than respect and admiration for me that prompts it. I stand in front of my throne for several moments, passing my glance over each of them but lingering on none, before finally sitting. They all drop gracelessly into their seats; only Pomik spares a moment for decorum.


The Heirs are arranged by some intricate calculations Pomik made to present the proper amount of respect and offense each deserves. To my left is Aritcio Kor-Azor, due to his to rank as Imperial Chancellor, then Merimeth Sarum, probably granted that spot thanks to his relation to myself. Next is Catiz Tash-Murkon and beside her, furthest from me, was Khanid II.


To my right is Pomik first, awarded the chair due to his position, then Yonis Ardishapur, the furthest the most powerful man in the Empire could rightly be placed without too-grave an insult, and then Uriam Kador, the least concerning of those present.


The oval table we occupy supposedly dates back to the first Council of Apostles founded thousands of years ago by Emperor Amash-Akura. I run my hands over the smooth wood and wish the Ametat and Avetat had survived instead of a powerless table.


Though I wish profusely to snap back at the Other, I merely let its suggestion roll through me. I can not afford to battle it now, in front of the Heirs. I already allowed myself a moment of weakness in front of them once. The eyes of each are upon me intently, waiting to see another moment and pounce on it.


For a brief second, I consider crying out, “Kill me!” to them. Such a command would not be refused by any of them, I should think. Would Yonis strangle me with his own hands or would he refuse to dirty his pure flesh by bringing it into contact with mine? Aritcio, the whispers say, had dirtied his hands a hundred times over now…


It doesn't matter if the Other would allow it or not, for as terrified as I am for the future of the Empire under my leadership, any one of these might destroy in one century what had endured for seventy. I swallow my loathing.

「我々は女帝を称えるためだけに集められたのですか?」 そう尋ねるヨニスの声は、私たちが沈黙の中でどれほど長く座っていたかを気づかせてくれた。

“Were we called only to admire the Empress?” asks Yonis, causing me to realize how long we have been sitting in silence.

私は顔をまっすぐ向けたまま、視線だけを彼に転じる。「アーディシャパー家当主は激務のためにそのような焦りを強いられているのか。ならば当人ではなく甥を出席させればよい。我々は喜んで譲歩しよう」 私は長年かけて完璧なものにした重みのある声色で言い放つ。

I turn my eyes to him while keeping my head straight ahead. “If pressing business forces such impatience on the Ardishapur Heir, perhaps he can send his nephew instead. We would gladly make that concession,” I say with the weighty timbre of voice I have perfected over the years.


Despite the taunts of the Other, I imagine a smile for myself as Yonis bites his tongue and keeps silent, though I dare not allow it to show. I rest my hands atop each other on the table and allow a few more moments of contemplative silence. None interrupt it again.

「皆、カルダリの状況は聞き及んでいることと思う」 審議の口火を切る。もちろん、彼らが知らないわけがない。いったい何が起きたのかと色々な噂が渦巻いている。私は真実を知っている。愚かなヘスがようやく私の警告を聞き入れたのだ。だが、他の者たちはどれくらい真実をつかんでいるだろう?

“You are all aware of the situation in the State,” I begin. Of course, they could not help but know of it. Rumors swirl about what was actually happening. I know the truth; the fool Heth had finally heeded my warnings. I wonder what the others knew, though.

「カルダリの友人から連絡がありました」 最初に答えたのはカティズ。「陛下が一度は重んじておきながら最後は失敗作として処分した、テンプラーのような兵士に関する話です。友人たちが言うには、連合は兵士を完成させたのにヘスが狂って処断し始めたとか」

“My contacts in the State have been whispering to me,” Catiz offers first. “Something like those Templars you once bragged about, but then swept aside as a failed mistake. They say the State perfected their own, but Heth has gone mad and turned against them.”


I want to laugh at her. Mad?


No, I am not mad. Nor is Heth, not in the slightest.

「ヘスとカルダリ企業の関係は限界に近づきつつあります」 カティズが話しつづける。「企業連合はヘスが破滅を迎えたとき、我々の支持を得られるかどうかを気にしているようです」

“Heth is finally beginning to reach the end of his rope with the megacorps,” Catiz is continuing. “They've wondered if they can count on us to stand beside them when he finally hangs himself.”


I allow my head to turn to her. “Tell me, Tash-Murkon Heir, how our loans to the megacorps are being repaid?”

カティズは攻撃を受けても顔色一つ変えない。称えるべきだ。「一部は予定通りに返済されています」 ほとんど予定通りではないという事実を省いた答え。「カルダリは経済的覇権を取り戻そうとして予期せぬ障害にぶつかりました。ヘスの改革によって経済成長が妨げられたのです。しかし、だからこそ企業連合を支援すべきです。多くを提供すればするほど彼らは早く行動できるようになり、委員会が権力を回復した暁には…」

To her credit, Catiz does not blanch at the challenge. “Some are being repaid on schedule,” she says, leaving out the fact that most are not. “There have been unforeseen impediments to the State's return to economic supremacy. Heth's reforms have stymied growth. That, you see, is why we need to offer our support to the megacorps. The more support they have on their side, the sooner they can act. Once they are back in power - ”

「ヘスの台頭を許した環境をまた復活させるというわけだ?」 私が遮るとカティズの目に炎が灯ったが、彼女はすぐに怒りを押し殺した。私はこの話を終わらせるために結びの言葉を継ぐ。「駄目だ。同盟国の内政問題は彼ら自身に処理させなければならない。我々は彼らの政府の面倒を見る立場にはない」

“They can bring back the conditions that allowed Heth to rise to power in the first place?” I interrupt. Catiz's eyes briefly flare, but she quickly hides her displeasure. I turn away to put an end to this line of conversation. “No, our allies must deal with their own internal problems. We are in no position to play nursemaid to their government.”

「それでは陛下、我々はカルダリの内部対立へどのように対応いたしましょうか?」 アリッツィオは礼儀正しく、ほとんど崇めるように言う。この男の変化を目の当たりにすると、いまだにぎょっとしてしまう。私が生まれ変わる前、彼はコルアゾールの家名を台無しにしようとしている癇癪持ちの悪ガキでしかなかった。しかし今では帝国で最も愛される男の一人となり、臣民は彼の名と、彼の国教と伝統に対する敬意を称賛している。

“Then, my empress, how shall we react to their strife?” Aritcio says politely, almost reverently. The change the man had undergone still makes my breath catch in my throat. I had known him only as the petulant brat destined to ruin my rival's family name prior to my rebirth. Yet now he is one of the most beloved men in the Empire, with subjects who praise his name and a respect for the great promise of our religion and traditions.


My lack of faith is what cursed me with you, I tell it.

信仰に身を捧げればあなたが祓われる? そう簡単に片付くのなら、何年も前にやっていた。

Would dedicating myself to the faith now cleanse me of you? I don't believe it would be so simple or I would have done it years ago.


I would -

「陛下?」 アリッツィオの声が私の考えを断ち切り、彼は私の背中にそっと手を置いた。

“Empress?” Aritcio's voice cuts into my thoughts and he places a hand gently on the back of mine.


A wormhole closes. Locks set. Traps laid. Ancient enemies destroy. Enraged, finding a place to hide.


I yank my hand away from him as if it burns. They are all staring at me, mostly in exasperated confusion. Only Aritcio shows what I believe is actual compassionate concern; Yonis wears derision as if it were tailored for him.

どのくらいの時間を“それ”との争いに使ってしまったのだろう? 「カプセラ以来、星団ではテンプラーほど強力な兵器は見つかっていなかった」 アリッツィオに何を問われたのかも忘れ、私は話す。「彼らはニューエデンに解き放たれた力のなかで、もっとも危険な存在だと言える。私がかつて気づいたように、ヘスもようやくそのことを理解した。しかし、あの兵士たちを持っているのはカルダリだけではない」

How long had I allowed my thoughts to drift to argument? “The templars are the greatest weapon the cluster has found since the capsuleer,” I tell them, having already forgotten what question Aritcio posed. “And they are the most dangerous force to have ever been unleashed on New Eden. Heth is finally realizing that, just as I did. But the Caldari are not the only ones who have them.”

「他の誰ですか?」 メリメスの言葉からは熱望がしたたっている。もし彼があんな恐ろしい兵器を手にしたら、一体何をしようとするだろうか。考えただけでも身震いがする。

“Who else does?” Merimeth asks. Eagerness drips from his words. I shudder to think what he would do if we placed such a terrible thing in his hands.

「連邦」 そう言ってから一拍置いて続ける。「そしてミンマター」

“The Federation,” I tell them, then pause. “And the Minmatar.”

ヨニスはすぐさま拳を机に叩きつけた。「敵がみんな持っているというのに、あなたはそれほど重要な兵器を捨てることにしたのか?」 彼は叫ぶ。「次はサビクか? サンシャも持っているとでも言うつもりか?」

Immediately, Yonis slams his fist into the table. “You decide to throw away such a weapon while all our enemies have it?” he shouts. “Are you going to tell me next the Sabik have it too? The Sansha?”


I believe he must not have realized. Yonis Ardishapur is many things, but an actor he is not. His outrage is genuine.

多分あなたの言うとおり。クーニッドはどうかしら? 誰も彼のことは…

I think you are probably right. And Khanid? Who knows what he -

ヨニスの怒号はクーニッドの突然の大笑いによって打ち消された。「あいつらはみんな悪魔だったのだよ」 その言葉で私は息ができなくなる。

Yonis's rant is cut off by Khanid's deep, booming laugh. “It's because they're all demons,” he says. My breath catches in my throat.

ヨニスはただ、うんざりした一瞥をクーニッドに投げた。「老いぼれの不信心者が」 そう吐き捨てる彼は、私とクーニッドのどちらがより嫌いなのだろう? クーニッドを憎むべきだという教えは何世代も受け継がれてきたけど、私もかなり異常な玉座に座っている自信がある。

Yonis only spares Khanid a brief, disgusted glance. “You senile miscreant,” Yonis snaps. I wonder which of us Yonis hates more? There are generations of teachings to tell him he should hate the Khanid, but I am confident I sit upon that particular throne as well.

罵られたクーニッド自身はヨニスの言葉をなんとも思っていないようだ。「老いぼれ? おいおい坊主、俺は昨日生まれてきたばかりのように感じてるよ」 枢密院の席を与えてから、クーニッド王はこんな憎まれ口ばかり利いている。彼はこの部屋にいる次点の年長者より3倍も長く生きているにもかかわらず、メリメスと同じくらい若く見える。メリメスの兄と言っても通じるだろう。

Khanid, for his part, is unphased by Yonis's rudeness. “Senile? Why, my boy, I feel like I was just born yesterday.” This is the sort of needling I have come to expect since I granted the Khanid King a seat on the Privy Council. Despite being three times the age of the next oldest person in this room, he still looks nearly as young as Merimeth. He could pass for an elder brother.


There are rumors he cloned to keep himself young, but any evidence was expertly covered up. A few times he joked he had been granted “divine youth”, always with a twinkling, smirk-scrunched glance at me. I despise the man and regret every day that I had to make my political bed with him.

「貴様がここにいることで枢密院の名が汚されている」 私をその関係へと追いこんだヨニスが言う。彼は椅子から立ち上がり、机に手をつき、クーニッドへと身を乗り出した。「この部屋にいることで私の名前が汚されている」 クーニッド以外の当主たちにも向けられた挑発。彼らは売られた喧嘩を買うだろうか?

“You tarnish the name of the Privy Council by sitting here,” says the man who had forced that pairing. Yonis rises from his chair, hands planted firmly on the table, and leans across it at Khanid. “I cast my own name in filth by being in the same room with you.” I wonder, would the other Heirs respond to the insinuation?


But no, they know not to turn Yonis's wrath on them. Their own reluctance to test the Heir – Catiz's needlings aside, which grew less frequent yearly – is what pushed me toward Khanid. I thought myself so clever, burdening Yonis with the weight of the Mandate.

「だが事実だ」 ヨニスが次々に侮辱を浴びせても、クーニッドはまったく動じない。「兵士たちは悪魔に憑かれていた。彼女は星団にモロクを放った。そうでしょうが、陛下?」

“It's true, though,” Khanid says, his composure not even wavering in the face of Yonis's torrent of abuse. “They were possessed by demons. She unleashed Molok upon the cluster. Isn't that true, empress?”


I will tell them the truth that suits them to know.


If Khanid wanted to tell them everything, he would have already. He might not even know it all. He could simply be bluffing to see what I will say. I must choose my words carefully.


You will never speak if I have a say in it.

「では…陛下?」 アリッツィオがふたたび私を引き戻してくれた。

“Well, empress?” Aritcio rouses me.

「確かに事実だ」 注意深く言葉をつなぐ。「実務的に言おう。我々はテンプラー計画により、アノイキスから回収した技術をもとに不滅の兵士を開発した。しかし、兵士たちを危険な存在へと変えてしまう重大な欠陥が見つかった。彼らを制御できなかった我々は、兵士たちを殲滅し、スリーパーとは無関係な技術を用いて計画を再始動した。だが遅かった。他の国々もスリーパー技術を使った計画を進めていたのだ。今やカルダリも完成した兵士を目の当たりにし、そのために国が二つに引き裂かれることになった」

“It's true,” I say carefully, “in less majestic terms. Our templar project had developed these immortal soldiers based off technology recovered from Anoikis. But there was a flaw in them which made them dangerous. We could not control them, so we eradicated them and started anew, using technology not tied to the Sleepers. But it was too late; the other empires had already begun their own programs. The Caldari are now reaping the fruits of those programs and it is ripping their State asunder.”

「そして、あえて我々に隠していたというのか?」 ヨニスが問いつめてくる。「一体いつから隠していたのだ? 明らかに極めて危険な兵器を作り、しかも自らの手で破壊しなければならなかったにもかかわらず、一から十まで隠していただと? 正気か? これは帝国を破滅させる行為だ! 皇家当主はこの計画を最初から知らされていなければならなかった!」

“And you dared to keep this from us?” Yonis demands. “For how long? You create a weapon which is apparently so dangerous, you have to destroy it, but you keep the whole process hidden? Are you insane? These are the actions that would doom the Empire! The Heirs should have known about this project from the very outset!”


Father, screaming. Mother, powerless. Girl runs. Weeping, find a place to hide.


My hands are quivering; beneath my robe I am slick with sweat. No longer was touch required to set the memories flowing.

言葉が自然とほとばしり出て、ほとんど窒息しそうになる。「もうよい! 自分に力があると思っているのだろうが、お前が口を利けるのは私が許しているからに過ぎぬ。私をずいぶん侮っているようだが、我が力は人智の及ばぬところにあると知れ。無意味な戯言はここまでだ。私の言葉をさえぎるな! お前のひとりよがりな狭量さに付き合ってやる暇はない」

The words come so unbidden I nearly choke, “Enough! You believe you hold power here, but you speak only because I allow it. You think me weak, but I am strength beyond your ken. Now silence your pointless prattling and let me speak without interrupting! I will not have all my work undone due to your self-righteous pettiness.”


Yonis stares at me, eyes wide, then does something I would never expect. He sits respectfully and says, “My apologies, my empress.” The others all hold the same tepid look. Even Khanid has lost his irritating haughtiness.

口のなかが急に乾いてきたが、無理やり話しつづけた。「カルダリが兵士を処分した今、我々の敵だけが恐るべき兵器を握っている。だが、すでに手は打ってある」 仲介人を通してひそかに交わした黒い契約、自分が何をしているのかも知らずに仕組んだ策略のことが頭をよぎる。「次は間違いなくミンマターの番だ。ガレンテもすぐに続く。彼らは侵された兵士を狩り立て、ほとんど皆殺しにするだろうが、一握りの兵士は追手から逃れる。私はそうなることを知っている。なぜかといえば、すでに幾人かが逃げおおせたからだ」

Though my mouth is suddenly dry, I push on. “The Caldari are destroying their soldiers now, which leaves only our enemies with them. But I have already laid plans to deal with that.” Thoughts of dirty contracts signed in the dark through intermediaries come unbidden to my head and I know I have done things without knowing. “The Minmatar shall be next, surely. The Gallente, soon after. They shall run down the tainted soldiers and, for the most part, eradicate them. A few may escape their grasp. I know this to be true, because a few already have.”


My insides shake, wondering just how many had. Would it be too many?


Shut up. You don't control me as much as you've claimed.


A fear grips me.


This time, none question my lapse into silence. I lick my lips and continue. “The Caldari have made a mess of their purge. It is too public. Too many people are asking questions. The others may try to hide their actions, but it will not succeed. Soon, the entire world will know about these immortal soldiers. People will learn of the danger they pose and hate them, more than they even hate the capsuleers. Only in the Empire, where we kept our failures hidden, shall the sane not be seen as monsters.”

「それで、陛下はどうなさるおつもりですか?」 ウリアム・カドールが初めて口をひらいた。彼は良い声をしている。

“And what then, my empress?” asks Uriam Kador, speaking for the first time. His voice is cool.


“I shall give them a home.”


And I shall hide.


  • backstory/and-i-shall-hide.txt
  • 最終更新: 2020/11/10 13:51
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