I'll start by describing the bees' battle formation. Some may question my use of the term "battle formation" with respect to this conflict, so let me address such doubt first off. Most folks, when they hear the word "battle," think of Shaka, Hōten, Ryojun, or other such pivotal sites where Japan confronted the Russian Empire's armies. Those schooled in Western verse might imagine Achilles dragging Hector's copse round the walls of Troy. Others, again in grandiose fashion, may call to mind Zhang Fei of Yan, planted on Chōhan Bridge with his long serpentine lance, defying the advance of Cao Cao's hordes. To each his own when it comes to visions of battle, but one mustn't overly restrictive. Our unenlightened past may be punctuated with profligate wars, but in this present day, secure in the middle of Greater Japan's imperial capital, such savage acts are utterly out of the question. Should trouble arise, a few police box burnings, as witnessed in Hibiya, is about as far as it goes. That being the case, this battle taking shape between master Kushami of Garyōkutsu and some eight hundred stalwart youths of Rakuunkan has to number among the epic battles that the city of Tōkyō has witnessed since its founding. The Zuozhang, in recording the Battle of Yiling, begins with a sizing up of respective forces. From times of old, any and all skilled narratives adopt this same approach. Such being the case, the reader should find no objection to my leading off with the bees' battle formation. First to note is that one company of bees formed a column just outside of the lattice fence. Their duty, it seemed, was to mark off a battle line and goad the master on to engage them. "Does he know he's lost?" "Not yet. Not yet." "We've got him. He can't win." "Where is he?" "Does he know what's he up against?" "How could he not know?" "Let's make some noise." "Wan! Wan!" "Wan! Wan!" "Wan! Wan! Wan! Wan!" This was followed by a great battle cry from the full company. A bit to the right of this company, and further into the grounds, a gunnery crew had taken up strategic position. Their general, armed with a giant pestle, was turned toward Garyōkutsu and stood ready to fire. Another stood off at ten or so meters' distance, facing the first. There was one more, in back of the one with the pestle, crouched in place, also facing Garyōkutsu.