The main planet of the neutral state of Frodi is about 180 light-years away from the capital planet of the Monarchy of Diete. This distance was about the same as to Earth, so it would take 18 years for a one way trip at the time of independence 439 years ago.
Thanks to this, when celestial bodies were plunged into Earth, the Earth nations could not afford to fight back, and the Diete government was able to achieve independence from Earth.
In the present day, with the development of the Magic Element Engine, the long and large route became the one-way 65-day route.
Since it can travel 100 times faster than at that time, it is just the right distance for the Military Academy flight drills.
What is done in such a long-term training is to obtain a ship navigation license.
Without it, the warship could not be operated, and before that, cadets of the Commandant Department would not be able to move to the 4th Year.
On the outward journey, all cadets undergo ship maneuvering practical exams.
The written and simulation tests are completed at the Military Academy, and the practical tests are to confirm if the actual operation of the magic engine, the output adjustment, the short-range warp, etc. can actually be performed.
The test is for determining the ability to adjust magic power, and those who get the passing grade are granted a general-purpose license from class A to B, and those who fail are given a class C military license.
At that time, the spirit crystal that Hart handed out had a great effect, and all four received a perfect evaluation for perfect control, earning a class A license for ships up to standard value of 5.
The license is a perpetual qualification, and a class A license allows for unrestricted solo operation of the ship. As it was, even after retiring from the military, one can operate passenger ships and merchant ships, and not be stranded on the streets.
The cadets aboard the ship were astonished by the effects of the spirit crystals and asked where to get them.
Even with the spirit crystals, they would still be no match for a fleet of soldiers with twice the skill. Even if they were captured by the enemy, it cannot be reproduced, but if the cadets were captured and interrogated, it would be disadvantageous in the war, so it cannot be handed over to the cadets here.
After passing the exam, Hart submitted various proposals that would contribute to ensuring the safety of the fleet, assuming situations and countermeasures in case the fleet faces a crisis.
The result was simply evaluated as him being enthusiastic about strategy planning.
The natural ceasefire period was so long that even the instructors did not have a sense of urgency.
Hart, whose proposals were all dismissed, was forced to ask the instructors how to deal with the situations individually.
The purpose of the enemy in the event of an attack, the distance and content of the warnings by the Monarchy of Diete Military, the criteria for judging when to commit to a response and corresponding space tactics, the anticipated tactics of the enemy targeting from a light cruiser, the method of confirming the affiliation of the enemy ship, how to escape on the transport ship, how to communicate to the friendly forces.
After recording the various stories of the instructors, the Aladdin Troupe arrived at Nephthys, the main planet of the Republic of Frodi.
However, the group only landed at the space station that orbited Nephthys.
The cadets, who were once again informed that this was not a sightseeing trip but a flight drill, reluctantly switched their cargo and left the only other country they could enter.
And when he reached the outer edge of the Frodi system, Hart experienced the first of many hard mode developments.
It was Seraphina, an A-class spirit who was vigilant of the airspace, who first sensed the abnormal situation.
The Multidimensional Magic Conver identified a ship’s shadow approaching at sub-light speed from the port rear, where there was no target.
The ship’s Magical Conversion Output was observed to be on the scale of a light cruiser. If it continued on this path, it would intersect the Aladdin Troupe in 41 minutes.
Hart immediately issued an alert to the entire fleet with the confirmed information.
“Destroyer No. 1, Captain Hiragi to the entire fleet. Type 4, we have an abnormal situation. From the port rear, from the sector without target, confirmed shadow of one Class 6 and three Class 5 ships approaching our fleet at sub-light speed. Approximately 41 minutes to intersection. Remain vigilant. This ship will come into contact with a ship of unknown affiliation.”
Hart, issuing a warning, sent the ship to the port side of the fleet.
Subsequently, he ordered the ship to transition to a Type 1 combat formation aimed at preventing the collision of one approaching light cruiser class and three destroyer-class vessels.
First of all, a warning was issued by the magic communication and the light signal emission, and if they do not comply, it is transmitted that the propulsion engine will be bombarded and the ship will be forced to stop. Since the ship’s operations are supplemented by artificial spirits, the number of Android combat units will be increased to prepare for a battle in the event of a forced berthing.
In addition, it is reported to the instructors by attaching a countermeasure plan that was previously submitted, assuming an abnormally approaching ship.
Hart, who is moving away from the fleet while preparing for battle in an instant, receives a stop order from a light cruiser instructor.
“Cadet Hiragi, we’re not an advancing fleet. If the ship is registered to the Republic of Frodi, any indiscretion could lead to an inter-state incident.”
The instructor sternly pointed out, but did not mention how to deal with the light cruiser approaching at sub-light speed.
Even if the fleet tried to evacuate, they only had a rough idea of what they were up against, and they had no idea which direction to run.
Moreover, there are a number of new and old warships, and each ship captain was either newly licensed or under provisional license.
Even if they were told to avoid the approaching ships, they would be unable to do so.
Hart, while affirming the instructor’s words and actions, presented a feasible proposal that would currently be possible.
“Yes, sir. The dangerous approach of a ship of unknown affiliation is contrary to Navigation laws of the Monarchy, the Republic, and the Coalition. First of all, we will point out illegal maneuvering by communication and ask the ship to stop. If they do not comply, the other party’s maneuvers are either deliberate or the ship is inoperable. In either case, the ship must be stopped to avoid a collision.”
“That’s right, but it will be a difficult task against a ship moving at sub-light speed.”
“Yes, sir. This ship will approach the unknown ship for 17 minutes, then turn around and run parallel with it at an angle to issue warnings, and if it does not comply, run parallel with it and open fire. That will give you time to call a halt.”
“………… Discuss with other instructors.”
“Yes, sir. If an abort order is issued, we will abort the operation. Until then, we will take action to prevent the collision in time.”
This is the response plan Hart had submitted in advance, with modifications based on the opinions of his instructors. Instructors who understood the allegations that had been theoretically armed had to approve the action.
The crew of the destroyer, who had been silently watching the situation, including Philine, were all relieved to hear the instructor’s approval.
This will result in actions with the permission of the instructor, so the crew will not be held accountable. The movement of the ship instantly became smoother after receiving the approval from the top.
“Philine, switch all spacesuits to anti-space mode.”
“Roger. All hands, switch spacesuits to anti-space. From this point, the ship will attempt a forced stop, including artillery, against the unknown fleet.”
“Yuna, prepare the Android and Drone units.”
“Uh, yes, sir.”
“Colette, Anti-Artillery Defenses.”
“Copy that. Activating the barometric pressure regulators in preparation for artillery barrage. Blocking Bulkhead between main and secondary passages. Next, all unnecessary passages also blocked. Emergency warning lights activated on all bulkheads.”
The destroyer DD422Vel-04319, which was gradually preparing for battle, jumped to an ideal position diagonally ahead of the opponent moving at sub-light speed, guided by class-A spirit Seraphina.
If you are moving at sub-light speed ahead of the opponent’s fleet, you will never be able to catch up to the ship in front of you, even if the ship behind you fires a shell or missile
Since they can determine that the only position the ship can be attacked is at the stern, by concentrating the Protective Membrane on the stern of the ship, the other ship’s Mass Wave Agglomeration can effectively be blocked.
In other words, Hart and the others were ideally placed to send as many communication as they liked without being attacked by the other party.
From there, Hart began to send clear warnings using multiple languages, including common languages, using every possible method of communication toward the other party’s disguised fleet.
That their affiliation is a destroyer of the Monarchy of Diete Military.
There’s a fleet ahead, and if they proceed as it is, they will intersect.
The majority of the vessels are transport ships, and evasive action cannot be taken against sub-light speed approach.
The current dangerous maneuvering is in violation of any of the three States Navigation Laws.
If ignored and approached as is, they must take emergency evacuation action to avoid collision by artillery fire.
However, the other fleet did not show any signs of stopping.
When communications are received in such a scenario and they are stopped, the pretext of an on the spot inspection cannot be utilized.
Of the 12 minutes time limit, 4 minutes pass in an instant.
“It seems there is no intention of stopping.”
“What will you do, Mr. Hart?”
“Bombard as planned. We have enough records to justify the attack. …… This is Captain Hiragi. Type 1 combat deployment is issued. From now on, the ship will commence bombardment on the opposing fleet. The captain himself will conduct the bombardment via spirit crystals.”
As the alarm sounded on the ship, Hart secretly turned to Seraphina and muttered “All limits have been lifted”.
Then, Seraphina, who had appeared small on the information terminal, nodded back with a smile.
“Drop the lead destroyer.”
At the same time as the order, the golden glow stretched in layers, slightly illuminating a corner of the galaxy.
Immediately after, the energy broke through the shield of the disguised Coalition destroyer, broke through the side of the ship, burned away the interior, and pierced out the bottom of the ship.
Immediately after, a ball of light swelled up and released a dazzling flash of light, then dropped out, scattering wreckage in a ring.
“Next, drop the second destroyer”
At the moment the new order was issued, a golden light was issued without even a momentary lag, this time cutting through the shield of the second ship and penetrating through the interior of the ship.
This also scatters flashes and dropped out while emitting a flash of light.
And the enemy finally began to fight back.
First, a shield was generated at the stern of the Hart’s destroyer, followed by a red glow from two enemy ships, which was repelled by the shield and scattered.
“Enemy ships, opening fire!”
“The amount of energy observed exceeds the standard values for light cruisers and destroyers, respectively. The other fleet is clearly a military combat fleet.”
“They’re finally revealing themselves.”
Other cadets in the combat command center began to report what they could see on the monitors one after another.
Hart notified the other ships of his conclusion.
[This is the Monarchy of Diete Military, destroyer DD422Vel-04319. Captain Hart Hiragi. Your fleet is determined to be a disguised combat fleet. In addition, violations of Navigation Laws, dangerously approaching while disregarding stop orders, and unjustified artillery action against a ship under forced stop based on emergency evacuation are called clear acts of aggression against the Monarchy of Diete forces. Surrender immediately. If not, we will drop every last one of you.]
Even during Hart’s warning, the attack from the other ships continued.
However, any attack was rebounded by the shield that Seraphina automatically activated.
Hart sent the progress to the friendly fleet and ordered the resumption of the attack.
“Continue the attack. First, fire on the enemy destroyer. Then, fire on the cruiser.”
The golden lights emitted from Hart’s ship continue to penetrate the enemy ships one after another.
The destroyer, whose attitude control vent on the right side wall, the launch port of the onboard boat at the rear, and the stern propulsion port were scraped off one after another, scattered a dazzling flash of light and exploded.
The light cruiser that was targeted next was also bombarded by the golden lights that attacked one after another, the walls were scraped, and all sides of the ship were wrecked.
On the other hand, the red light emitted from the enemy ships was completely repelled by the golden walls without leaving any residue.
In the case of destroyers and light cruisers, the attack power of light cruisers is overwhelmingly superior.
In the first place, the output of the magic element engine is different, so if they fire on each other head on in empty space, the destroyer cannot win in principle.
The two points in Hart’s favor are that he is moving forward at sub-light speed while positioning ahead of his opponent, and that he is supported by an artificial spirit.
The current positioning is good enough to even out the odds.
And the support of A-class spirits had the advantage of creating a one-sided match, rather than reversing the difference in strength between the two ship types.
It was as if they had made a technological leap of at least a thousand years.
Or rather, it is simply the trump card for the true end in the Hard Mode of the Maiden Game.
The developer, Dr. Kerman, is a brilliant man unless it comes to financial management.
“Enemy ships, attempting to reverse course and retreat”
“Pursue. Follow up with bombardment and destroy all main and secondary armament on enemy ship. Then, damages each area, including energy bypasses, and destroy defenses within enemy ships. From then, this ship will forcefully berth the enemy ships and board, send the Android units and capture the enemy. We must clarify their purpose of action.”
In addition to reducing the hit rate, warships have a long, narrow rectangular shape so that their area when facing the front is reduced.
The side walls of the enemy ships, which had broken through and began to turn over, were bombarded as if with a large shower, and numerous holes were pierced.
At the same time, Hart’s destroyer also reversed and came around to a position parallel to the flank of the opponent’s ship.
In the meantime, Philine evacuates the cadets from the gangway.
Yuna made final checks of the android and combat drones units, and Colette prepared for a forced berth to the enemy ship.
“Ideally, we want to capture multiple enemy soldiers alive. If not possible, confirm their affiliation.”
On the full surface of the main monitor, the huge hull of a wounded enemy light cruiser approaches.
“Coming in for a forced port”
“All hands, brace for the impact.”
The inside of the ship, which had been heavily anchored and wired to the enemy ship, shook violently, and Hart and others were shaken up and down.
Before the impact completely subsided, a forced entryway is connected from the port entrance through the side wall of the nearly wrecked enemy ship.
Immediately after the passage was forcibly created, 300 military androids, that were standing by in combat readiness, rushed into the enemy ship one after another.
It is easy to forget, but this is a maiden game in which girls fall in love.