The Town in the Castle WallsEdit
The chapter begins by explaining Oluga, the wall that surrounds the city. Oluga is a gigantic Zoid, with the ability to cast a barrier over the entire area within its walls.
It is revealed that the person in the wheelchair (seen last volume) is Lulu, the partner of Oluga. Lulu Gramaggio Mule was also the leader of the city, inheriting the role from her late father. During the introduction, Van is criticised for attacking the Redler previously. It was explained that although Mule was a republican city, it used water from a river originating in the Empire's territory. The Empire therefore requisitioned that the crops rightfully belonged to them. Although the concept was inane, the Empire had staked troops nearby to enforce their position, forcing Mule's citizens to abandon their crops. Van protested this, as he knew how important crops were to the farmers. As night fell, he set out headed for the Imperial base camp nearby.
At the base, Major Schubaltz had just arrived. He was greeted by Lt Kirsche. Schubaltz wanted to greet Lt Col Henkel, the man in charge of the base. However, Kirsche revealed he was not there. He had found some rare local wine and was taking it back to the Empire to present to the Regent. Schubaltz criticised this "brown nosing" as Henkel had abandon his duties at the base.
As they talked, another Lieutenant made her appearance. Lt Hana of the Prozen kights greeted Schubaltz in a brash mannor, pointing out that he was being stationed in this base due to his failure to capture the spy previously. Although Kirsche was annoyed at Hanna's manners, Schubaltz was unfazed.
Only moments later, Van arrives at the base demanding to speak to their leader. Schublatz, recognising the Zoid (and realising that Van had come alone) agreed to greet him in a formal manner.
Van is initially suspicious of the Imperial troop's behaviour, but is quickly put at ease when Schubaltz introduces himself. He begins by thanking Van for stopping Raven, saving Wendeen from needless destruction. As they talk, Schubaltz realises what had happened with the Redler, and agrees to report it as a "accidental emergency crash landing" - absconding the Republican forces of wrongdoing.
As Van leaves in the Blade Liger, Zeke begins acting strange, and fuses with Caesar. From the river below, a Death Stinger appears and grabbs the Blade Liger. Van uses his shield to break free, but Lt Hana (the pilot of the Death Stinger) quickly engages her Charged Particle Canon. As she charged her weapon, she revealed she was under instructions from Prozen to start a war - something she was going to do by fighting Van.
The mighty Death Stinger fires on Van, waking Fiona telepathically with its ominous presence. Although Van shields himself, Hana boasts that it won't keep him safe for long.
The Demon Scorpion's Brutal StrikeEdit
Van survives the particle cannon blast, but takes serious damage in the process. He immediately strikes back using the blades, aiming for the Death Stinger's tail. Lt Hana blocks his attack with the Death Singer's claw, becoming enraged that Van could even scratch a Zoid given to her by Prozen.
As Van attempts a second charge, Lt Hana manages to meet his blade with her own. As the two Zoids clashed, Hana fired the particle cannon from point-blank range. Van again shields himself, but the deflected particle beam heads towards the city. The barrier manages to save the town from any damage.
Van is surprised at the fact that the Death Stinger could fire in such rapid succession. Hana explained that "G" (Raven's Genosaurer) was just a prototype used to create her Death Stinger.
Van is then left in an extremely difficult predicament. He couldn't move from his location, else the fields around Mule would be vaporised by the Death Stinger. He couldn't take any more hits, and Mule couldn't lower their barrier to assist him lest they endanger themselves.
Just as Van though the end was nigh, a single flare was launched into the sky. Herman had arrived in a Storm Sworder Stealth Special (S4). Herman boldly announced that the battle was now being recorded, and that the Death Stinger was clearly on Republican Land. He continued to announce that an Imperial Zoid trying to murder a Republican one in open battle would be enough to act as a declaration of war.
These were well-spoken words, as Hana immediately remembered her instructions from Prozen. She was given orders to start a war, but the first shot must come from the Republic. Faced with this revelation, Hana promptly leaves, but not before swearing to send Van to his grave, next time they meet.
Van and Caesar are sent back to Mule in a critical state, his life wasn't in danger, but he was still unconscious from the fight.
The others surround Van, the president tactfully advises Lulu that her decision not to assist Van (and instead protect the city with the barrier) was the right one - but before she could say any more, Fiona interrupts. She demands Lulu leave, and should Van not wake up, Fiona would hold Lulu solely responsible. Lulu accept's Fiona's scorn, but Van doesn't. Having just woken up, Van tells Fiona that Lulu isn't a bad person, she was just trying to protect the city.
The next morning Van was already out of the hospital bed (although still in crutches) Fiona had helped heal him and Zeke. The president finds Van and introduces him to Lulu's mother. Van immediately, and profoundly, apologises to her. This was a shock to Lulu's mother - she was expecting to apologise to Van, not the other way around. Van explains that it was his fault for leaving that Lulu was forced to make a tough decision, and that he had left without proper permission. Lulu's mother bursts out laughing, she was overjoyed at Van's personality and mentioned to a confused Van, that he would be the one able to save both the city and Lulu.
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