"Run Through the Battlefront (Start)" (ラン・スルー・ザ・バトルフロント〈上〉, Ran Surū Za Batorufuronto (Jou)?) is the second volume of the 86 -Eighty Six- light novel series written by Asato Asato and illustrated by Shirabii featuring mechanical designs by I-IV. The volume covers the first-half of the second story arc of the series, depicting the life of the Spearhead Squadron after being saved by the Federal Republic of Giad as they find their purpose on the battlefields once again.
"The word on everyone's lips was "Why?" They couldn't know that for them, asking why is an insult."
"Why? Everyone asked. Without knowing it is insult."
"The word on everyone's lips was "Why?" They couldn't know that for them, asking why is an insult. For they are... the Eighty-Six." ― Frederica Rosenfort, Recollection of the Battlefield
Let's go back to where we belong
Having bid Lena farewell, Shin and the surviving members of the Spearhead Squadron continue into the heart of Legion territory. There, they endure countless hardships until they're rescued by the Federal Republic of Giad, a reformed nation that offers them a second chance at a peaceful life. But it isn't long before a sense of duty calls the Eighty-Six back to the battlefield. Choosing to enlist in the military, they willingly walk back through the gates of hell, this time joined by a peculiar new ally-Frederica Rosenfort: a haughty young girl with a rare ability and wisdom far beyond her years.
- Her Majesty is Not on the Battlefield
- Chapter 1: Ride of the Valkyries
- Chapter 2: Panzer Lied
- Chapter 3: Wild Blue Yonder
- Chapter 4: Beneath the Two-Headed Eagle
- Chapter 5: Cries "Take Aim"
- Interlude: When "John Doe" Comes Marching Home
Shin and the others continue on their journey eastward, taking turns piloting the Undertaker. They had left Fido and four of their inoperable Juggernauts behind on the old border between San Magnolia and Giad, along with the box of name tags Shin has carried since the beginning of his service. Knowing that an unavoidable battle with the Legion was ahead of them, Shin tricked Anju into switching turns early and insisted that his friends escape into the forest while he acted as bait. The others were infuriated by his actions; rather than listen to reason or to Shin's request, they chased after Shin into battle with only assault rifles in hand. During the battle, Shin could hear the vengeful cries of the Morpho's Shepherd—Kiriya Nouzen—as it fired upon him. Spearhead was overwhelmed; the four members on foot were rendered unconscious while Shin's Juggernaut had become inoperable. Shin pondered suicide as a Löwe approached him, but refrained before falling unconscious.
Unbeknownst to Spearhead, Rei had been following them in a backup unit ever since his defeat. As his data transfer was unstable, he was corrupted, leaving him not long before he shut down. He wished to spend this time before he perished to watch over Shin on his journey. Before the Löwe had the time to call a Tausendfüßler to assimilate Shin, Rei fired upon and destroyed it. Rei would carry Shin and the others until they reached the patrols of the Federal Republic of Giad, where he would be destroyed.
The five survivors of Spearhead were taken in by the soldiers of the Federacy and cared for. For a month, they were placed under quarantine and monitored for any signs of suspicious behavior. While they were confined in the quarantine zone, the Federacy took it upon them to study the Juggernaut and Para-RAID devices they had brought with them. Once the chances of them being spies or of that ilk were deemed to be low, they were given citizenship and placed under the care of the Federacy's interim president—Ernst Zimmerman. They spent another month at Ernst's home in the Federacy's capital of Sankt Jeder, where they would live a peaceful life with the Empire's incognito last empress—Frederica Rosenfort.
During this time, Shin became acquainted with a noble boy his age named Eugene Rantz, whom he met at a library he frequented. As he was a former noble, he was shunned by the middle class and did not attend school because of that. Eugene told Shin of his intention to enlist as an officer in the army in order to support his sister's education.
Once the month of respite came to a close, the survivors of Spearhead decided on their futures. They would enlist in the military and continue the fight against the Legion. Ernst was stumped at how they could throw away the life of peace they had been granted, but Frederica convinced him that forcing peace onto them would be no better than caging birds that whished to fly. Ernst acquiesced on the condition that they would join the military as officers. Frederica also reveals her past as the former Empress of Giad and requests the five for their help in putting her personal knight—Kiriya Nouzen—to rest.
Thus, they each entered officer academies for three months; Shin joined the Special Officers Academy along with Eugene and Erwin Marcel. Once they finished their education, the five survivors and Frederica—who enlisted as a Mascot—officially joined the military.
The 1028th Trial Unit's Nordlicht Squadron would be formed to test the new equipment—the XM2 Reginleif and Para-RAID system—gained from researching the old equipment of Spearhead. The five survivors would be commissioned to join the unit as test operators by Lieutenant Colonel Grethe Wenzel. The survivors tested the new Reginleif along with other Federacy soldiers and Vargus mercenaries. Once the Reginleif was fielded in battle, only the Spearhead survivors and the Vargus mercenaries survived deploying in the machine.
The remainders of the Nordlicht Squadron were then split up into platoons and sent as reinforcements to requesting bases. In one of these reinforcement operations, Shin reunited with Eugene in Forward Operating Base 15, where they ate together and talked. Through this conversation, Shin further questioned his reason for fighting. During another sortie, Shin came across a dying Eugene, with his bottom half completely missing. Shin's habit took over as he cocked his gun and aimed for his head. Eugene apologized that Shin had to grant him this mercy. Eugene's euthanization was witnessed by their classmate, Erwin Marcel, who flew into anger at Shin as he did not try to save him.
The divided Nordlicht Squadron was finally consolidated in preparation for a forecasted Legion offensive. The Nordlicht Squadron was assigned to operate under the 177th Armored Division. As the Federacy had retaken a sizable chunk of Legion territory over the months, they were able to recover the Juggernaut fragments left behind by Shin, as well as Fido. Fido's core was extracted from the damaged unit and installed into another scavenger unit, then activated by the mention of Shin's name. Fido would be reunited with the rest of Spearhead.
On August 25th near midnight, the Legion executed the large scale offensive they had meticulously prepared. The first rounds fired by the Morpho signaled the beginning of the Legion's greatest assault yet. The Republic of San Magnolia's defenses fell instantly, causing Lena to work tirelessly to mitigate damages and secure the cooperation of the Eighty-Six. Meanwhile, on the Federacy front, the large scale offensive was intercepted by the Federacy's early mobilization urged on by Shin. Despite their success, many lives were still lost. Just as the Federacy's soldiers returned to their bases, the Morpho struck.
- Main Characters
- Supporting Characters
- "Run Through the Battlefront" is a reference to the rock song Run Through the Jungle by Creedence Clearwater Revival.