Chapter 10 – The Birth of a Sparkling Name
A few days after leaving the combat sector.
Hart, who shook off his pursuers and secured his safety, decided to attempt a cross-examination of the prisoners.
Rightfully, it should be left to the specialists after bringing them back to the home sector, but then he would miss the opportunity to obtain advanced information about the enemy’s operation.
Thus, as the Captain, Hart made it a pretext to confirm the minimum necessary information, such as why the ship attacked and whether other enemy ships were lurking around, in order to ensure the safety of navigation.
The interrogation method in this case is quite simple. They simply injected a powerful truth serum and asked questions that needed answering without fear of breaking their minds.
Of the 142 people secured prisoners, 14 died of battle wounds, but the rest are still alive.
From the survivors who were isolated separately, they could extract a few who are likely to break and question them even if some of them died.
But ahead of the interrogation, Hart handed over a personal information terminal with a spirit crystal connected to the captured handsome guy via Android and secretly interviewed him.
“I am the captain, Hart Hiragi. Major Alexis Hume. Sorry to keep you waiting, but I’ll be questioning you from now.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve had a good night’s sleep. My body has become a little sluggish, though. Captain Hiragi.”
The handsome guy, who had been completely cut off from information, did not show any signs of anxiety, and on the contrary, responded to the conversation in a calm manner.
However, his smile only went so far.
“That’s an enviable story. I’ve had a lot of trouble here. By the way, Brigadier General Marcelino Salinas. Although the mission to create an easy-to-understand pretext for the Coalition starting a war has failed, I would like to talk about the forces that are gathering in the Loki star system, which will be the forward base.”
Salinas suddenly lost his expression and closed his mouth in a single line for a while, looking at Hurt’s expression.
What answer he found from there was that Hart was sure of the information.
“………… that’s quite straightforward. Captain Hiragi.”
While Salinas has been trying to get some information out of the conversation, Hart spells out even more important words.
“As for Operation Fenrir, it’s quickest to ask the Brigadier General, one of the Fortress Operators. If you use deception or silence, we will continue to administer truth serum until your mind breaks. After all, the Capital Planet Diros is a danger of the destruction. First of all, let’s talk about the number of mobile fortresses.”
Salinas’s expression changed to a half smile.
The words are so accurate that there was no longer any doubt that the other party had already grasped the information. In that case, it is impossible to deceive with the tip of the tongue, and even if he resists, it will result in nothing but a truth serum overdose.
In the first place, as he was trapped on a fast destroyer for several days, he could not hope for rescue from his allies, and returning to his home sector was near impossible.
Salinas had no choice but to think of his position and personal safety.
Hart, on the other hand, personally wanted to kill Salinas.
He was a fearsome opponent with genetically engineered high-spec abilities and royal-grade magic power, who could hunt down and kill his allies one after another, and even ensnare the heroine depending on the situation.
But his value as a prisoner of war is extremely high.
By obtaining information about the invasion from the captured Coalition Brigadier General, he can be much more persuasive than if it was heard from other lieutenant-level prisoners of war.
Therefore, if he speaks honestly, he will be treated as Brigadier General Marcelino Salinas, but if he remains silent, he will be secretly killed via a spirit as Major Alexis Hume.
Knowing him, Hart expected the latter choice, but he chose the former after much deliberation.
“In order to tell you everything, I would like to seek asylum in the form of being killed in the official records. Otherwise, my tentative family would face death over there.”
“I can stage Major Hume’s death, but I don’t have the authority to grant asylum. We will take you to Diros and hand you over to General Command at the request of Brigadier General Salinas.”
“All I ask is a new identity and security of life. And as an asylum seeker, I would be grateful if you could take the food rations here into consideration.”
Salinas, who was mentally revived in a short time, declared with a smile.
Hart, who saw the situation, reluctantly approached him with a deal in mind.
“Then, I have a proposal for the Brigadier General.”
“What kind of proposal do you have?”
“Since we will take the official record again from the beginning, after the threat of administering truth serum by an interrogation specialist, the brigadier general, who feared for his subordinates, agreed to cooperate himself in exchange for their safety. That way, the brigadier general can be judged highly willing to cooperate and more valuable to the Monarchy.”
“That’s a very nice offer. But what are your merits.”
“The duty of the royal military is to protect the Monarchy. If we can get the cooperation of the brigadier general and learn more about the coalition’s operations, I have decided that the rest is trivial. Regarding the future of the Brigadier General, I will also ask for assistance from the Marquis of Carneus.”
“Then I see no reason to refuse.”
Hart’s idea was to make Brigadier General Salinas the first witness to the Coalition’s Fenrir fleet rallying in the Loki system.
It’s strange that Hart knew about it from the start, and Salinas had no doubt that he had the advantage.
As a result of the agreement between the two parties, a communication record was created in which the Brigadier General spoke himself.
Thus Hart, who secured the first witness, made a report based on the confession.
After that, the crew’s non-commissioned officers and other cadets were added, and the prisoners of war were extracted and cross-examined.
Interrogations revealed a great deal of information that was crucial to the Monarchy.
The reason for the deliberate unusual approach with the disguised ship was an attempt to test both the disguised ship and the royal fleet under the pretext that there was navigation that could lead to a major accident, and if the royal army resisted, it would give the reason for the war to start.
All of the disguised ships were carrying high magic power holders, and they should have been able to overwhelm them in battle.
In the Loki system, which is 110 light-years from the Diros system, a large-scale provision stockpile has been completed, and a large force and mobile fortress have been assembled.
When the prisoners of war, who were told that Salinas had opened his mouth out of concern for their safety, they revealed the secrets they knew one after another as if a dam had broken down.
The cadets and non-commissioned officers who heard them were in an uproar over the gravity of the situation.
“In the name of the Marquis of Carneus, I promised to give the greatest consideration to their lives. But to those who perjure or refuse to cooperate in this situation, we will not be forgiving.”
“Yes. I know what my priority is.”
After obtaining approval from Philine, Hart listened to 20 of the 128 survivors and obtained information from 13 obedient prisoners and a confession via truth serum from 7 prisoners who were uncooperative.
The remaining 108 were left untouched and isolated from those who were questioned, to be taken to their home sector and handed over to the regular army.
If amateurs got them all involved, it would hinder the investigation back home.
Besides, the essential information that Hart thought that it was necessary to be extracted was sufficient enough.
With the information secured, he greatly increased the warp frequency with the help of the artificial spirits and sped toward Diros, the capital planet, at twice the normal speed.
20 days later.
After the final warp ended and they reached the capital planet, Hart immediately declared a state of emergency to the Royal Army’s Navigation Control Center using multidimensional magic conversion communication waves.
“Emergency declaration. Declaring a state of emergency. This destroyer DD422Vel-04319. Cadet Captain Hart Hiragi. Royal Army Navigation Control Center, please respond. The ship declares a state of emergency. I repeat, the ship declares a state of emergency…”
After sending communication and waiting for about 40 seconds, a multidimensional magic conversion communication wave responded.
“This is the Diros Central Royal Army Navigation Control Center. DD422Vel-04319, Report your status.”
A young controller, slow response time, and a not-so-serious expression.
Hart communicated the critical situation at once in order to convey the gravity of the situation.
“The 47th space drill fleet to which the ship belongs was ambushed by a Coalition fleet of 50 Ships at the outer edge of the Frodi system. The ship was ordered to disengage when 22 allies and 12 enemies dropped out, and was forced to evacuate from the battle sector while drawing an enemy force 10 times its size. Information on the engagement is also widely known throughout the Frodi system. The main force was besieged, with the high possibility of total annihilation.”
After a beat, he continued.
“This ship holds a record of the engagement with the Coalition Forces. We also hold 128 captured Coalition prisoners. By questioning the prisoners, we also obtained detailed information on how the enemy’s attack was a disguise to gain a pretext for war, that a large force and a mobile fortress are gathering in the Loki star system, and that Operation Fenrir, a mission to invade the capital planet, Diros, is underway. The safety of the ship was critical to the fate of the Monarchy. Hence, handle with the highest priority. There is also a high value prisoner who wishes to seek asylum. I request a communication from a person of general authority before we enter port.”
“This is the control center. Cadet Hiragi, this communication is part of a training exercise, right?”
The navigation controller of the control center seemed doubtful about the situation since the reporter was just a cadet.
Or perhaps they didn’t want to believe in a national crisis for the first time in 439 years.
Hart, who had decided he would not speak, sent a record of the encounter with the Coalition Fleet to the Navigation Control Officer, who seemed eager to hear words of denial.
“Captain Hiragi here. This is not a drill. I am sending an excerpt of the engagement record with the enemy fleet, as well as the final communication from the fleet flagship. Please confirm with the highest priority and the largest number of people possible.”
Hart forwarded the last record sent by the instructors on the light cruiser.
It is a record of a fleet battle with the enemy, and there were images of friendly destroyers, escort ships, transport ships, etc. exploding one after another.
The instructors in command are heading inward of the Frodi Star System, desperately slowing the rate at which allies are destroyed, besieged by an overwhelmingly superior enemy fleet. But with the emergence of a new fleet ahead, they were completely surrounded.
After a few moments of waiting after sending the desperate footage, the correspondent replaced the young controller with the pale-face of the control center commander.
Behind the commander, a red alert resounds, signaling a state of emergency, and the center’s staff were running around screaming.
“This is the Communications Command of the Royal Army Navigation Control Center. A state of emergency has been declared. Capital planet General Headquarters please respond urgently.”
“A fleet battle between the Royal Army and Coalition forces has broken out. Numerous friendly ships have been dropped out. Apparently, it was a surprise attack operation by the Coalition of Humanity. One friendly destroyer disengaged the combat sector with a record of the engagement. There are 128 prisoners of war onboard. Also confirmed pursuit by the enemy fleet. Urgent request for rescue of friendly destroyers.”
“Communications Command of the Royal Army Navigation Control Center to all battleships within the star system. A fleet of the Royal Army has engaged with Coalition forces. The enemy fleet is in pursuit of a friendly ship in retreat. Request support for omnidirectional search of hostiles by Multidimensional Magic Conversion Observation Waves”
“Access to the third space port and the surrounding sector is prohibited. All ships in the vicinity should evacuate promptly. All personnel within the restricted block must evacuate immediately.”
“The Capital planet General Headquarters issues a Type-2 combat deployment to all forces in the Diete system. As soon as each fleet is ready for launch, depart the port as soon as possible.”
The communications command center was in an uproar, like a beehive being poked.
The source of the uproar looked on and wondered if his remarks might have oversold the threat.
The destroyer warped by the artificial spirit based on Hart’s magic power had already shaken off the enemy. In other words, all the actions of the friendly fleet, which were rushing out in a hurry, are futile.
However, it was still a situation that should be dealt with on a national level, and it did not matter if the report is determined to be exaggerated at a later date.
Therefore, Hart didn’t regret what he had done.
From then on, as Hart’s destroyer approached the capital planet, Diros, the Diete system became so hectic like a beehive smashed with a stick.
Battalions of warships, battlecruisers, and suppressors poured out from the military space port and space fortress, and the orbital satellites of the capital planet began to operate in battle mode one after another.
The thousands of warships that emerged from them formed a wall of light, and they made their way to the outer edge of the system, passing Hart’s destroyer.
Wary of the pursuing enemy fleet, the Grand fleet received battle records from Hart and pushed toward the Republic of Frodi.
From the wall of light, hundreds of beams split off to create a sphere, which thickly surrounded and protected Hart’s destroyer. Surrounded by such a sphere of light, Hart’s ship was given top priority to enter one of the gates of the spaceport.
Two fully armed combat android corps were waiting at the port of arrival.
The prisoners were transported individually while being monitored by more than 100 androids per person. Hart and his colleagues were also requisitioned, made to submit all records, and taken to a military facility for debriefing.
This overly strict treatment is the fault of the man who never took measures to calm down the turmoil.
In a blink of an eye, a week passed.
By the time Hart returned, he had already completed a report detailing the enemy’s operational objectives and forward bases.
The testimonies of prisoners of war, which were extracted using knowledge of the precognitive dreams, were summarized in a consistent manner, all warnings and battle records were secured, along with the navigation method used as the basis for the attack.
And Brigadier General Salinas, who held the highest rank among prisoners of war, is also cooperative.
Therefore, Hart was kept on stand-by until the Monarchy confirmed the facts.
With so much spare time, he asked if he could do some curriculum during the waiting period, but he was kicked out and told not to do anything unnecessary and overwrite his memory.
Afterwards, he just rolled around on the bed and went through the delusional days.
The more free time he had, the more frequent the delusions.
For example, in this raid, the heavy battleship department issued 176 out of 180 as unrepatriated.
Then, what happens to those who were captured instead of dropped out? In addition, do the four who survived take future classes together?
There is no choice between 176 and 4 cadets.
Of the four survivors, including Hart, three are girls with Duke-class high magic power value with a reference value of 13 capable of operating first-class fortress ships, and an ultra-high magic power boy who can operate the mobile fortress. Their education will be carried out without delay, as four people are cost effective.
In addition, the Monarchy of Diete has a huge fortress that was operated by the villainess, Digitalis, in “The Galactic Prince”, which is essentially moved using multiple magic element engines with multiple people. Omitting the education of Hart, who can move it between star systems, is an impossible decision.
Therefore, the birth of a department with only four people since the start of the academy is almost confirmed.
After repeating such unrelenting delusions, the confirmation process of the Monarchy was finally completed.
In conclusion, Hart’s actions were recognized as a great achievement for defending the Monarchy from the vicious Human Coalition’s schemes.
“Cadet Hiragi. For thy service and devotion to the Monarchy, we are truly grateful. The Monarchy acknowledges thy achievement by granting thou honors with a new Viscount peerage and a place in the aristocracy.”
“Thank you for the blessing. I will continue to do my best and show loyalty to the Monarchy.”
Hart, who was only the grandson of a Baron, originally ordained as a quasi-aristocrat, but he was knighted and allowed to start a new Viscount family.
Peerage higher than a Count with territory cannot be granted unless the person already has a decent vassal corps or their parents are senior aristocrats and in a position to give support.
Therefore, this bestowal was the highest evaluation that could be given to the current Hart.
Moreover, Sovereign Asteria himself conducted the Conferment Ceremony, and praised Hart in front of the Royal Family and high-ranking aristocrats gathered in the audience chamber, making it an investiture with both name and reality.
An aristocrat of such a Monarchy comes with rights and obligations.
The rights include institutional protection of pedigree and a wide range of tax exemption privileges.
The duty is to cooperate in the fight against the Coalition of Humanity.
This award is not only a recognition of his achievements, but also a desire on the part of the Monarchy to impose the obligations of aristocracy on Hart, a quasi-aristocrat who is a high magic power holder but is not obliged to mobilize. However, if the war is left unattended, the future destruction of the planet will come to pass, so Hart has no choice.
The status of consideration and tax exemption privileges are attractive to Hart, who has a monopoly on shares in Second Systems Inc. In addition, the state system guarantees that Hart’s title and property can only be inherited by himself and his direct descendants.
In this case, both the Monarchy and Hart are in a win-win relationship.
Therefore, Hart accepted the conferment of the peerage according to the pre-established schedule.
“Hiragi is the family name of thy grandfather. Henceforth thou shalt take a new family name.”
“Ha. Then, with all due respect, I would like to be known as ‘Amakawa’ from now on.”
“I deem this Acceptable. Hereafter, thou shalt be the Viscount of Amakawa.”
Amakawa, his desired family name, written “ 天川” in Japanese kanji, which is his roots.
The name of the galaxy, “Milky Way Galaxy” is the origin of the new family name.
The reason it was chosen wasn’t too deep, he liked it and it sounded good along with ‘遥音‘ which was the Chinese character for Hart’s name.
It was a truly brilliant name, like the stars twinkling in the galaxy.