One year, two years, ten, twenty, fifty—
Things changed. They always do. People give their birth cries, live, grow old, and die. Fana and Charles were swallowed away by that very same flow of time. That's the way of the world.
And also … no matter how closely-guarded a secret is, time eventually reveals all things. That is also a way of the world.
Even after the end of the war, Operation Black-tailed Gull remained a secret for many years.
The Levahm imperial household's biggest secret was revealed when most of the people who fought in the central ocean war had died away, in an era where their grandchildren worked as pillars in society. The kings of the skies were no longer propeller-based fighters but rather stealth jet fighters.
One day a writer accidentally stumbled upon a secret record. After five years of intense research, he wrote a book, and opened the doors of Operation Black-tailed Gull to the world.
The book caused an incredible flurry of discussion between the two great countries on either side of the ocean, the Levahm Empire and the Imperial Amatsukami. Empress Fana Levahm had devoted her life to bridging the barriers between both countries, bringing an end to the long central ocean war despite the malevolent rumors of the Levahm imperial court. She was considered a beloved and revered figure even to the Amatsuvians, and had been given the name “Mother of the Western Sea”.
The truth of her escape from San Martilia was revealed.
The book became a best-seller in every bookstore for quite some time.
The contents spoke of the bombardment of the House del Moral, the formation of the Eighth Special Mission Fleet, and the development of and execution of Operation Black-tailed Gull in secret. At the time, fortunately, one of the Shinden pilots that had chased the Santa Cruz before the Great Fall was still alive, and men who read it were excited by the raw, intense depiction of the dogfight. The author, in turn, used the fullest of his imagination to capture what Fana and Charles went through in those days on the Sierra Cadis archipelago, the heartrending nature of which captured the hearts of women.
After describing their farewell over the El Bastel, the author left behind one, resigned note.
"There is no record of what happened to Karino Charles after that.
His existence was eradicated from the records of both the del Moral Aerial Knights as well as the Levahm Air Force after the completion of Operation Black-tailed Gull. It was probably done by Captain Antonio, who'd devised Operation Black-tailed Gull, and it was truly a thorough work of eradication, as no matter how many records, how many related people I chased down, I could never find out what happened to him afterwards.
It's a bit shameful, but I can't even say if Karino Charles died in combat, or survived to the end of the war.
Were the two of them able to meet again?
Or were they forever apart, unable to overcome barriers of their social class?
I do not have every answer the reader desires.
That's why you'll have to decide what happened to them yourself.
As an author, it's not an ideal conclusion, but I pray that their story came to a happy end, and I hope every reader can do the same."
The title of the book is "Remembrances for a Certain Pilot."
The great Empress who carved her name deep into history, and the nameless pilot who vanished into the blank pages of the past.
It is a story of these two that takes place over one summer—a story of love and aerial combat.
Back to Chapter 11
Return to Main Page
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter