Chapter 1051 Narrowly Avoiding All Out Warfare Part I
Both the German and j.a.panese Empires were facing an imminent crisis. The war rooms of both palaces were filled with generals, admirals, and politicians alike, all of whom coordinated together with their forces who, as of this moment, had begun mobilizing to war.
Itami was anxiously staring at the map, which was continually updated by one of her officers to represent the latest news they had received from their forces on the front line. It would appear that the Germans had responded to this crisis in the same manner she had. War seemed to be inevitable, and the j.a.panese Empress knew that her armed forces were currently not up to the task.
However, as Itami struggled to keep herself from biting her nails, a message came through from the German Emba.s.sy, who had contacted a j.a.panese relay s.h.i.+p stationed in the Bohai Bay. Just when she thought that all hope was lost, the other side had reached out to her, which was reported by one of her comms officers.
"Tennoheika-sama, it would appear the German Amba.s.sador in Beijing has sent a priority message declaring that the Kaiser wishes to speak with you! Shall I patch you through?"
Itami could hardly believe her ears when she heard this, and as a result it took several minutes for her to understand just what she had been told. However, after a few moments of awkward silence, she quickly responded with a nod of her head and a voice filled with anxiety.
"Y..Yes! Absolutely, give it here!"
Itami then walked over to the radio and picked up the headset, which allowed her to speak to the other side. She heard a familiar voice, one which was usually filled with a taunting tone. However, today the voice was grim, as if he were preparing himself for the deaths of thousands of his own people.
"h.e.l.lo, Empress Itami Riyo, it's a shame we must speak again under such dire circ.u.mstances. However, I have been instructed to tell you that my Kaiser wishes to speak with you about today's incidents. Are you willing to accept his call? Or shall I tell him that our two nations are now officially at war?"
Itami's heart pounded rapidly as she heard these words spoken by the German amba.s.sador. Though she was outraged that her own forces were attacked without provocation, or at least as far as she was aware. She was not so enraged that she would throw away an attempt at peace. Thus, after taking a few breaths to calm her anxious mind, she responded with a nod of her head.
"Yes, I would very much like to speak with your Kaiser. Patch me through!"
Gerhard's voice immediately erupted on the other end of the line with what appeared to be an excited tone in his deep voice.
"One moment, please..."
Berengar was standing in his war room with a smoking hemp cigarette placed firmly between his two fingers. He exhaled a great puff of smoke before immediately taking another drag of the herb. Though his appearance was as calm as can be, his actions spoke otherwise. In the past five minutes, this was his third cigarette. He was smoking like a chimney as he attempted to calm his nerves, which seemed to be lit aflame.
Then, the comms operator handed him a headset and informed him that the j.a.panese Empress was on the other line. He took one last drag of his cigarette before stamping out its flame and reaching for the device. Despite the fact that his heart was beating like a steam piston, he spoke with a voice that was filled with tranquility.
"So, we finally meet at last..."f?????????l.c??
There was total silence on the other end of the line for roughly five seconds before a hyper-feminine voice appeared in his ears. Itami sounded shocked as she voiced her disbelief.
"You speak j.a.panese?"
Berengar had to prevent himself from scoffing as such a gesture would appear rude, and instead spoke with a warm tone in his voice, as if he were chatting with an old friend.
"But of course! I knew our meeting was inevitable and so I took it upon myself to learn your language, I must say I'm rather surprised you have not done the same..."
Despite the fact that he could not see the face which the voice belonged to, he could definitely see a scowl on the woman's face within his own mind as she spoke back to him with a rather bitter tone in her voice.
"You think awfully highly of yourself, don't you?"
Berengar immediately pulled out his pack of hemp cigarettes and lit another one aflame, the sound of his drag was overheard by the j.a.panese Empress along with his exhale. She remained silent, patiently waiting for his response. Which eventually came with a rather stern tone in the man's voice.
"I'm afraid Empress Itami, it is you who thinks awfully little of me, after all, is that not how you and I got here to begin with?"
Berengar gain could see in his mind's eye the woman frowning at this statement as she began to question his words with a rather shrill tone in her feminine voice.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
In response to this, Berengar sighed heavily before responding in a rather cryptic manner.
"There can only be one! Can't there? Or so you thought when you first learned of my existence. I'm not wrong, am I? When you finally realized that there was another person like yourself on the other side of the world, you immediately thought the worst of me and plotted to interfere in my affairs. If you had just stopped to think for a moment that perhaps I am not a wicked man, then maybe we would have gotten along, you and I..."
Itami held her breath for several seconds, and it was clear to Berengar that she had been bewildered by his comment, it took her a moment or two to grasp hold of her thoughts, which she was quick to speak with a venom laced tongue once she had done so.
"Your men shot down my planes!"
Berengar's brow raised ever so slightly as he swiftly responded to the woman's claims with a confident smirk on his face.
"Only because they were fired upon first, naturally they had a right to retaliate, or do you believe they simply should have waited for their deaths at the hands of your fighter pilots? Funny, isn't it? This seems to be a perfect example of the relations.h.i.+p between our two nations. You attack us, we retaliate, and then you blame us for the blood that has been shed.
However, I am not a particularly vicious man, nor am I a warmonger like you seem to think I am. In fact, every war I have ever fought in this life has been defensive or retaliatory in nature. I don't believe you can say the same. Despite our differences, I think it would be prudent if we could come to a compromise before we start blowing each other's heads off.
I must inform you that my men are willing to die for kaiser and fatherland, even it is in some foreign part of the world. I have already deployed a carrier strike group to intercept your fleet, which is heading to my base in Singapore.
A thousand planes have launched from our bases in Singapore and the Maj.a.pahit Empire, and as we speak, two armored divisions are making their way across the sea to reinforce our allies in Borneo. I dare say this is more than enough to counter your efforts, is it not?
Now, I think it would be best for everyone if we can come to some kind of agreement that will prevent the deaths of tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, but to do so I need your word that you will immediately tell your forces to stand down as we negotiate things, I am more than ready to do the same."
There was utter silence on the other end of the line for nearly a minute. Berengar had no way of knowing that Itami was confirming with her generals whether her forces had opened fire first, and then screaming at them when one of them finally revealed the truth of the matter. Finally, after waiting some time, her voice, which seemed to be in a state of suppressed rage, responded.
"I am willing to negotiate a ceasefire. If you are, I have just ordered my troops to stand down, and I expect you to do the same! If not, then there is nothing we need to talk about..."
Berengar looked over to his generals and placed down the headset for a second to confirm that the j.a.panese military had indeed stood down. Once he was ensured of this, he ordered his men to do the same before placing the headphones back on his skull while responding to Itami.
"Very well. I have just ordered my men to do the same. Now shall we begin?"
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