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This is in a Manga where B is asked by A:

A: お前たち恵み多き地に住みたくないか?
B: それは… 我らに戦えと? かつてはそういった土地を手に入れるため戦{いくさ}に明け暮れましたが[...]

While I get the meaning of the rest, I don't know how to deal with 我らに戦えと, because of following problems:

  1. I guess that 戦え is the potential ます-stem form of 戦う. If this is correct, why does the に-particle point to 我ら? What or who would is the subject of the sentence?
  2. If 戦え is NOT the potential form, it would leave only the option to be the imperative form of 戦う (at least in modern Japanese). As the characters in the Manga are using a bit more archaic forms I am not completely sure that this is the case, though. So, in other words, is there an archaic version that is similar to the potential or imperative forms, but actually isn't either of both?
  3. The と-particle at the end of the phrase: is this the conditional と? Is this the quotation marking と? In general I'm relatively confident that I know how to deal with both, so maybe it becomes clear to me as soon as I understand the 我らに term, but as of now, I'm just asking this to be sure.
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    It's a quotative と. The way I read it:「我らに戦えと言うつもり?」
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 27, 2021 at 23:46
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    Also, 「土地とち手を入れる」 doesn't sound right to my ear. Are you sure it's not 土地{とち}を手に入れる?
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 27, 2021 at 23:53
  • @EddieKal コメントみる前に直しちゃいました…
    – naruto
    Nov 28, 2021 at 4:44
  • @EddieKal, of course, it must be 手に入れる
    – Quit007
    Nov 30, 2021 at 13:29

1 Answer 1

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戦え is the imperative form of 戦う, and this と is a quotative-と. The corresponding verb (言っている) is omitted.

それは… 我らに戦えと?
Are you saying to us that we must fight?

The imperative forms of some verbs did look different in archaic Japanese, and they are sometimes used today (see this). But the imperative forms of godan verbs like 戦う do not have old forms.

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