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「自殺、ですか?」

「信じがたい話だがね。......『死霊の声』とやらに、退役してなお付きまとわれたのだそうだ」

「......」

それはやはり、まるきり怪談の類に聞こえるのだけれど。

沈黙するレーナを何と思ったか、カールシュタは気遣わしげに首を傾げる。

「君も嫌ならそう言って構わんよ、レーナ。今の部隊に残りたければそれでいいし、スピアヘッド戦隊は先刻も言ったが古参兵の集まりだ。話を聞くでは出撃時に同調するのがいけないらしいから、最低限の監視だけ行って、指揮は現場に任せても何の問題も......」

What does を何と思ったか mean in this context? Interpreting を何と思ったか as "think of ... as what" doesn't make sense here.

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    "Not sure what to make of レーナ's silence..."
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 21 at 19:39
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This AをBと思う is "to think of A as B" or "to regard A as B". Here A corresponds to 沈黙するレーナ and B corresponds to the interrogative 何. か is a question marker. So you can imagine a question like this:

沈黙するレーナを何と思った(の)か?

What did [he] think of silent Rena as?
→ What did [he] think about Rena's silence?

Since it's placed at the beginning of a sentence, it expresses the speaker's (or the narrator's) speculation about the reason for the subsequent part. See this for other examples.

沈黙するレーナを何と思ったか、カールシュタは気遣わしげに首を傾げる。

(literally) What did he think about レーナ's silence; カールシュタ tilted his head in a caring way.

→ Looking at レーナ's silence, カールシュタ thought of something and tilted his head in a caring way.

(If the narrative part is written in the first person's view, see Eddie Kal's translation in the comment section.)

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  • Thank you. If B (AをBと思う) refers to the silence rather than レーナ, that would make more sense to me. Can I alternatively think this 何と(なんと) is one word that means どのように? Nov 22 at 12:31
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    @chinoalpha In this context, どのように思ったか and なんと思ったか are interchangeable. In general, どのように and なんと are different. For example, なんと言ったか is "what he said" but どのように言ったか is "how he said it".
    – naruto
    Nov 22 at 15:28

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