The Empire’s Suffering
Editor’s Pre-chapter Spiel:
Hi! I’m Shinonome, the editor for this series over at Loli o Mamoritai . You may or may not have seen my name at the beginning of some of the more recent releases, and hopefully, the English was a bit smoother for that chapter—I usually edit the releases after they’re published, so if you’re an early reader, probably not .
Couple things first . Yes, I did ask the previous translator (my boss?) for permission, since it’s been about a month since the last release . Admittedly, they haven’t responded yet, but I’m releasing this anyway, bringing me to my second point .
As you can see by the name of this website, we—actually, “I” is more accurate cuz I’m here alone…—I provide releases as a sort of bridge for the “official” translator to pick it up . I don’t earn any money off this site—all the ads you see are by WordPress—and I’m only doing this to practice my Japanese .
In other words, I’m not sniping/picking this series up . As soon as the Loli Protectorate returns, I’ll take the backseat again to be the editor . But, for now, I hope you’ll bear with me and my machine-assisted translations .
“What did you say!? The armory is completely empty!?!”
At a certain garrison of the Imperial Army, the commanding general flew into a rage at an outrageous report from his men .
“Y-yes . This morning, I was going to grab a weapon for practice, but the entire place was bare . Never mind a sword or spear, there wasn’t even a single arrow left… ”
At his subordinate’s account, the general could only sit in stunned silence .
It’s no wonder .
To put it simply, a large number of enemy or bandit forces had entered the garrison and had carted off an enormous amount of arms without any resistance .
The general’s retort came as no surprise .
If he acknowledged such a thing, it would mean that their security system is tantamount to a scarecrow and that the bandits could’ve silently slit their throats in their sleep, but had simply overlooked them in compassion .
…There was no way the general could concede such a thing .
However, reality is a difficult thing to deny .
“ … ”
No one dared to speak to the brooding general, who was silent himself .
Of course, it should be noted that this is the military . The soldiers naturally had a right to own and manage their personal equipment—swords, spears, etc . —so the weapons in the armory were mostly spares or for training, coupled with a handful of siege weapons . However, that doesn’t mean that losing them is not a problem… Mostly, it’s a matter of responsibility .
“What were the guards doing!? Were they all having forty winks!?”
“N-no . The patrols were all on guard, and there are many people who can confirm this . Besides, it’s impossible in the first place to just carry out a large number of weapons and armor without making noise, never mind not being found out .
The general’s subordinates argued such . Their reasoning was sound, and there was nothing wrong with anything they said . The general internally agreed with them too . However…
“In that case, how do you explain this!? What am I supposed to report to my superiors!?!”
It seemed the yelling was unavoidable though .
“How come the new ballista is disassembled into pieces, with all the metal parts gone?”
“The iron ties of the scaling ladders have disappeared?” 
“All the iron components in the wagons are nowhere to be found? Only wood is left?”
“Did all the metal armor disappear? Even leather armor sets lost their metallic parts?”
As the extent of the disaster slowly came to light, the soldiers, too, let out a collective retort:
“What the hell is going on!?!?”
Weapons, armor, metal products, oil, and other assorted goods simply vanished into thin air from various warehouses owned by the Imperial Army .
Many things also disappeared from the storehouses and personal residences of merchants, but these were small enough losses that, even if the owner realized they were gone, it would be a minor inconvenience at worst .
…Such was not the case for military warehouses .
They were completely and utterly empty: systematically stripped without a shred of mercy .
Is it because Mile said to do so?
Or was it because the nanomachines snuck in a suggestion?
At any rate, the end result was that the Scavengers saw the Albarn Empire’s munitions as “requisitionable goods,” and “free real estate . ” 
As a result, even after the beastman incident was resolved, the Empire’s plans to invade other countries were greatly delayed due to the fiasco with the Ancient Dragon’s villa and the disappearance of weapons and armor .
Also, unbeknownst to the Empire, there was a system of tunnels in the basement of the warehouses where the materials had disappeared, large enough for a scavenger to carry out supplies and pass it along . Currently, the warehouse-side exit was backfilled so that it was impossible to determine the existence of the passageways .
Since nobody knew they existed, it also meant that the tunnel could be used again if new good were brought into the warehouse .
Even if the warehouse or depot changed its location, it would be a simple task for scavengers to dig a new tunnel for themselves .
…It was the beginning of the Imperial Army’s trials and tribulations…
A scavenger arrived at a certain rocky mountain .
Parting with its comrades, with whom it had started this ordeal with, they all scattered towards the places in the old records .
This particular scavenger had, at long last, reached this mountain .
Indeed, this was one of the interception hubs from ancient times .
However, most of these interception hubs were destroyed and dysfunctional, often with no trace to even indicate it was ever there . It seemed likely that this was the case here too…
However, they were alive!
At this place, some of its fellow scavengers had miraculously survived, along with the autonomous, simplified defense mechanisms that they were tasked with maintaining: the golems .
For communicating data about identity, the scavenger desperately suppressed the heat building in its central processing unit, while transmitting its mission . That is, the command . It’s contents were…
The heat generation of their central processing units spiked . 
Perhaps the temperature increased and the resistance of the semiconductors in the circuit decreased, increasing the amount of current?
As machines, scavengers don’t exhibit physical movement when they become excited .
However, in their mechanical bodies, the sound of their generators steadily increased as their body temperatures continued to rise .
In order to mine and refine substances, equipment and materials were needed . In order to obtain this equipment, more supplies were necessary . But in order to produce materials and supplies, equipment was required . A classic catch-22 .
Levies from intelligent creatures were only permitted to the extent that they do not cause much trouble . That was nowhere near enough for future activities…
At the other scavenger’s dilemma, the messenger scavenger gave a wonderful piece of news .
…There are sources of materials with no permission restrictions…
And so, they went . To dig, that is .
All in the belief that the day of glory will come…
(Hey, nano-chan… )
[Yes, what is your query?]
(Is it possible to raise the authority level of lower-ranked people?)
[If you reach level seven, you may raise level one individuals to level two . However, it should be noted that this only applies to select, nominated individuals, and does not work at a racial level… ]
(That’s what I expected . Well, if someone raised it recklessly, they’d be out of control . If it’s lowering someone’s level though, the effect would be much smaller, so it’d make sense that the restrictions were lower… ) 
Mile was mulling over this in case of an emergency, but it didn’t seem that things were that rosy .
[Please do not abuse your right to suspend authority . In this case, it was a reasonable option in order to keep the situation peaceful since the other side used it first, and because the ancient dragon child has caused the command center no shortage of problems… ]
(Eh? But doesn’t nano-chan create magic regardless of whether it’s for good or evil… ?)
[We do in regards to ‘magic,’ the execution of instructions for the manipulation of physical phenomena via thought waves . In this case, it does not qualify as ‘magic,’ per say, as it was a verbal instruction to us nanomachines regarding authority levels, so the terms of agreement are completely different . ]
(Somehow, that sounds kinda difficult… )
[Yes, it’s quite troublesome indeed… ]
(Well, g’night… )
(Have a good night, Mile-sama… )
Translation Notes:Resolved thanks to Fushigi down in the comments . Thank you! I’m being a bit liberal here with “free real estate,” mostly for the meme, but it does convey meaning surprisingly well . I’m a chemist, not a computer scientist . As such, the translation here might not be entirely accurate . Resolved thanks to 4SHE GAME down in the comments . Thank you!
Since the chapter number is what it is, I wanted to make an “Error 404” joke, but I couldn’t think of any, so now you just have me awkwardly rambling here for absolutely no reason whatsoever…
I hope the translation quality was ok . Feel free to leave a comment, whether that be making a correction or roasting the common sense out of me .