Chapter 19 –Coalition Forces Destroyed the Home Planet
The Kingdom of Diete noticed the Coalition of Humanity’s circumvention force in a sector completely off-route, 10 light-years away from the Diros system.
10 light years are separated by 3.6 days in time in time without the use of spirit crystals.
In three-dimensional space, it is extremely rare to encounter another spacecraft with pinpoint accuracy in a sector that is completely off course. It is safe to say that there is no such thing as a chance encounter.
On the resumption of the war, the Royal Army was running reconnaissance ships into each sector to set up a search network.
On the other hand, the Coalition drew information from the Monarchy prisoners of war they had acquired in the Loki Star Battle and implemented a method that allowed them to approach the Diete system without being caught in the search network.
This resulted in the Royal Army finding the enemy ten light-years away from the Diete system.
“According to information from the reconnaissance ship, the enemy force is estimated to be 30,000 to 34,000 ships, 15 to 17 fleets.”
When he was told that the size of the enemy was equivalent to that of the Earth Invasion Force, Hart stared in the direction of Earth.
The Royal Army plans to build up to 35 fleets, with 29 fleets now in force, after deducting rapid construction, aristocratic offerings, and damage from the Loki Star System battle.
However, 19 of the Royal Army’s fleets have left for Earth for political reasons.
4 of the 10 fleets left in the home sector are deployed in the Athena system, with only 6 left in the Diete system.
Two more fleets could be incorporated by adding the division fleets, squadrons, and private aristocratic fleets on the capital planet, but against the approaching 15 to 17 enemy fleets, only about half of the 8 fleets are available.
Adding private ships would have outnumbered the Coalition fleet, but considering that the surprise attack of the Frodi system had to use the transport ship as a shield, the private ships would only serve as shields.
No matter how you think about it, the cause of such a crisis is the invasion of Earth.
As the enemy moved towards the Diete system, the invasion of Earth was confirmed to be a crushing victory.
But the solar system is a frontier system for the Coalition, and the Diete system is the heart of the Monarchy. To be attacked in the Diete system for the sake of the solar system is not worth breaking one of the enemy’s legs, only to be pierced in the heart.
Proponents of the House of Representatives (Senate) and the National Council (Lower House) of the Monarchy Parliament, who resolved an early invasion of Earth despite the military explaining the risks, for reasons such as giving the First Prince the prestige, will be blue by now.
Hart can’t help but hope that at least Yuna’s father, Commander-in-Chief Valfrete, would not be held accountable.
“It would have been better if the Earth invasion forces had either postponed until our defense forces were in place, or had met the enemy forces and fought a frontal battle.”
Hart, who was excluded by the First Prince’s faction and left house-sitting, was greeted by a sudden visitor.
Fortress Kerviel, which can only be operated by Hart, remained on the planet, and Hart’s role as Acting Commander had not been lifted. After spending half a day rushing to Fortress Kerviel, which was located in a sector away from the Diros, Hart and the others immediately sent an arrival report to General Command.
General Command had already issued various orders, and Hart’s report was immediately responded to by an operations chief with the rank of Brigadier General.
Hart, who has the same Brigadier General rank but is under the General Headquarters in the chain of command, saluted first. The chief of operations responded to Hart’s salute and briefly began to outline the point.
“It is estimated that the enemy’s objective is to reduce the Monarchy’s ability to continue the war by dropping celestial bodies or plunging ships into the Diete system, which has a population of 12 billion. The purpose of our army is the complete defense of the planet Diros.”
Hart agreed with that view.
The Monarchy of Diete has a total population of about 40 billion people, of whom 30%, 12 billion people, live in the Diete system. If the capital planet, Diros, is lost, the total population of the Monarchy and the Coalition will be leveled at about 28 billion.
Against a Coalition of Humanity that can increase its High Magic power holders by ignoring their human rights, if they are lined up in population, they will clearly be disadvantaged by the number of magic powered people. In other words, the Coalition will be closer to victory, and the Monarchy will be closer to defeat.
“We will gather private ships to defend Diros. However, in order to defend the capital planet, we must defeat the enemy in the sector as far away from the capital planet as possible. The first battlefield is a sector 7 billion kilometers away, where the enemy ships were broken up at warp out and were chased in parallel and cut down by friendly forces distributed in each area. Fortress Kerviel is to strike the strongest portions of the enemy.”
It was an explanation that was more than enough to send them into despair.
The ideal intercept position for planetary defense is outside the system, away from the planet. However, due to the lack of forces, they can only be prevented by pulling them into the system and using civilian ships to destroy them individually.
After the communication, Hart wondered about how to stop the enemy with maximum efficiency, and sent magic power to his spirit to convey his will.
Seraphina replied in a light-hearted manner, as if she was responding to a request for a dinner menu.
In the game, the spirits lent their strength to the heroine, Yuna, to move the fleet. The conditions for standing up to Fortress Kerviel, which was the ship of The Villainess Digitalis, are not currently met, but there are things that are only possible with Hart’s Magic power and Fortress Kerviel.
“Head towards the Diete sun, the center of the magic elements blowing around in the star. From there, we ride the waves of magic to gain acceleration, and while semi-encircling the invading forces, penetrate from the flank. I’ll use my magic power conversion to defend and maneuver.”
A blond purple-eyed, white-winged half-elf laughed with tears in her eyes as she put her white hand over her mouth after hearing the strategy.
And then, it calls out to the surroundings in a good mood.
“Eleanor, Sharon, Angela, it looks interesting, so give me a hand.”
Then a blond elf appeared by Philine’s side, a light green-haired nymph beside Yuna, and a peach-haired half-elf by Collet’s side, nodded lightly to indicate their willingness to accept.
It seemed Philine and the others could only see their own spirits, and they appeared to speak to them with magic power while looking only at their own spirits.
“All right, I’ll declare the operation. This fortress will accelerate towards the Diete sun and use the waves of magic emitted from Diete to gain acceleration. We will attack the enemy fleet heading towards the planet Diros in a clockwise direction while semi-encircling it, and thoroughly destroy them by any means. Commence.”
Hart’s explanation startled the command center. It is common sense that magic is blowing from the center of the system, but to gain acceleration on them was unprecedented.
The Operations Chief raised doubts on behalf of the crew.
“Please wait. There’s no precedent for this.”
“With my magic, the Kerviel Fortress and the spirit crystals, it is possible. Even if it’s not, we can still intercept the enemy without getting the expected acceleration. If there’s no loss, there’s no reason not to try.”
When Hart saw that the rebuttal had stopped, he quickly made a statement.
After informing General Command of the action, Fortress Kerviel began moving toward the sun, away from the fleet clusters floating in the Diete system.
The surrounding ships were skeptical of moving in the opposite direction of the enemy’s arrival, but regardless of that, Fortress Kerviel pushed toward the sun.
It took four hours for the fortress to get close enough to the sun to reach its limit, and then, while riding a huge wave of swirling magical elements, it gained explosive acceleration and flew out from the sun as if blown away.
The fortress deployed its shields and glowed like a racing meteor, leaving a trail of light in the system.
The Coalition Fleet warped out one after another at the outer edge of the Diete system, breaking into 16 portions before entering the system. One of them was attacked by Fortress Kerviel, which protruded from its allies.
Eight golden glows extended to the enemy fleet, and six large enemy ships, including a fortress ship, were blown away.
The glow immediately increases to 16, 32, and 64, blinding the center of the enemy fleet one after another. A bundle of red light was also shot back from the enemy fleet, but the shield covering the fortress partially thickened at the moment the enemy attack hit, repelling the attack.
“Gunners, the attack targets are in order of energy response. Take out larger ships that are difficult for allies to destroy with the attack power of Fortress Kerviel.”
“Copy that. All artillery, priority targets are large ships. Take aim from the largest enemy first.”
Information gathered by hundreds of thousands of observation devices in the fortress is aggregated into the fortress’s quantum computer. The quantum computer and the organically linked spirit crystal immediately prepare to fire, distributing energy according to priority.
Then, the artificial intelligence and android in charge of the artillery made sure that there was no accidental fire on friendly ships, and released a powerful golden shower that devoured the enemy ships one after another.
The counterattack of the smaller enemy ships was also fierce, and they came close to the fortress and began to crush its turrets.
Enemies that caused more damage to the fortress were moved up in the order of battle and showered with golden light. However, there was no end to it, as new enemies continued to invade the battle zone.
Fortress Kerviel and a single enemy fleet shoot at each other, and a corner of the outer edge of the system glows with light.
Fortress Kerviel, whose main engine was strengthened after the Battle of the Loki Star System, combined with the power of Hart and class-A spirit crystals, to enable the use of combat power of 6,588 destroyers.
Combined with the secondary armament attacks of Philine and Yuna and the assistance of Collete, the addition of 556 + 572 + 421 is equivalent to the power of 8137 destroyers.
The combat power of a single fleet of enemy battleships is equivalent to 3065 destroyers.
Instead of defeating each of them individually, the prominent Hart defeated each of the dispersed enemies with more than twice the combat power.
“Enemy fleet’s counterattack breached part of the fortress shield. Damage to external armor. Damage is minor.”
After hearing the report of the general staff, Colette moves the propulsion engine at the rear of the fortress to slightly change the trajectory of the fortress. One after another, the enemy lasers extended into the star system, deviating from the fortress that had shifted its course.
Some of the enemy ships had huge explosions that seemed to be fusion missiles.
“Broken through the enemy fleet. Damage done is 80%.”
Fortress Kerviel, which plunged from the side of the enemy fleet and pushed through the opposite side, hit the flank of the next fleet in a clockwise direction.
The second enemy fleet to be hit was struck in its side, and kept being stabbed in the stomach by each turret of the hedgehog-like fortress and dispersed in a sprawling manner. The long-range Fortress Kerviel pierces the rear of the fleeing enemy with a series of laser needles one after another.
All over the outer rim of the system, allied fleets were beginning to exchange missiles with enemy fleets. The capital planet had greater number of missiles, but the enemy won in number of fleets, so the Monarchy’s forces were pushed into the system on several battlefronts.
“Broken through the enemy. Damage done to the enemy is 70%. Fortress armor has not been breached, but some of the external turrets have been destroyed.”
Not much damage, Hart decided.
Fortress Kerviel, which was 81 km in diameter with 3 km thick armor, has been enlarged to a diameter of 90 km to match Hart’s magic power value, and its armor has been reinforced to a thickness of 8 km. The larger ships that came within range were defeated by the first shot, and the spirits blocked the laser attacks of the smaller ships.
“Launch into the third fleet.”
The battle between Fortress Kerviel and a single enemy fleet is almost a one-side game.
For a brief moment while passing each other at high speed, the Coalition Fleet was burned by a series of golden lights one after another, exploding and blowing its debris out of the star system.
As they pass by the enemy, fusion rounds are relentlessly fired from the fortress, exploding inside the enemy fleet, obliterating them.
“On to the fourth fleet!”
Moving clockwise, Fortress Kerviel skipped one enemy fleet to face the next.
Because the third fleet was in the zenith of the galactic reference plane, and the flying enemy was in the nadir range, Fortress Kerviel, which was moving too fast, could not change its trajectory.
Fortress Kerviel, which mowed down its fourth fleet, was hit by fusion rounds from an enemy fleet that flew in towards it, burning the outer walls of the fortress, and losing a few percent of its external turrets.
Instead, Fortress Kerviel, which pierced through the enemy’s larger ships, scattered more fusion rounds than it had taken and flew away.
“To the fifth fleet.”
At various locations on the outer rim of the system, the both forces are shooting lasers at each other. Battlecruisers flew around, electromagnetic pulse artillery bombarded the space, and missiles and anti-missiles brightly lit up the system.
The fleets of both armies were moving toward the center of the star system over time, reducing each other’s numbers along the way.
The current situation seems to be a reenactment of the attack on Earth by the Diete government forces 457 years ago.
At the time, the Diete government conducted the same operation, because there was no other way to escape colonial rule. It’s not Yuna’s point, but why would the Coalition side, which is not under colonial rule, risk their lives in a similar suicide attack?
The answer is that the historical background of the colonial rule of the Coalition countries had been altered or trivialized to make the Monarchy of Diete the villain. Simplifying the education of the Coalition citizens, they are taught that “if we do not defeat the heinous Diete system, our planet will be destroyed”.
All of the Coalition soldiers who received such patriotic education are pushing their ships towards the capital planet, Diros.
Hundreds to thousands of people are killed each time an enemy or ally ship explodes, unlike when playing a game. If it continues as it is, the requisitioned private ships in the rear will receive damage as well.
The conscripted civilian ships have operators with the status of knight or baron. Hart was relieved that they weren’t commandeering full-fledged civilians, but he didn’t want the enemy to reach their line of defense as civilian ships couldn’t defeat warships.
“The 10th Fleet”
Hart had already lost count of the number of enemy ships he had dropped.
He was unconsciously firing and exploding ships one after another as he raced through the sector.
It was becoming a pattern in Hart’s mind, and while he was desperately defeating the enemy in front of him, his consciousness was obscured.
Hart consciously swallowed his panting breaths, and sent magic power to the magic element engine to make it shoot out a rain of light around him.
The golden light was showered on the enemy fleet, and the enemy ships constantly turned into photospheres.
“Engaging the 11th fleet. The enemy’s attack speed is about 50% of the speed of light. About 7 hours to the capital planet, Diros.”
Determining that the interception would not make it in time, Hart expanded his hand further.
“Fire 20% of the fortress fusion rounds at each enemy fleet advancing through the sector. Launch all fortress battleships. Disrupt the formation of the enemy fleets that we missed so friendly forces may destroy them individually.”
Initially divided into 16 sections, the battlefields of the two fleets began to narrow in relative distance as they approached the planet. In that narrow space, hundreds of thousands of fusion rounds that Hart had shot exploded in rapid succession.
In the burst of light, many black shadows of Coalition ships emerge, half of which are swallowed by giant fireballs. Even the ships which were not swallowed by a fireball were blown away by the energy wave, and their course was greatly derailed.
Then, swarms of lights flew out from the fortress one after another, swarming around the small enemy ships whose formation had collapsed and fallen apart. After flying out of the fortress, the ships engaged in a fierce battle for the sector against the enemy’s ships.
Small ships caught in a rain-like bombardment of enemy and friendly shelling are constantly exposed to attacks that exceed energy limits and take damage.
“We will engage the 12th fleet. This is the last enemy fleet moving in a clockwise direction.”
Raging in a vortex of magical elements, Fortress Kerviel flew into the last enemy fleet. The decelerated fortress continued to fire its lasers and half-reduced external turrets at the enemy fleet, piercing and reducing them to dust in exchange for the destruction of the fortress’ outer hull.
“Lots of damage caused by the enemy close range missiles. Majority of movable gun gates are unusable. Space combat capacity almost lost.”
“The third armor of the fortress has been damaged. About 4 hours needed for repairs. If the battle continues as it is, fatal damage will occur inside the fortress.”
“90% of the fortress’ fusion rounds have been consumed. Anti-missiles are available. However, counter-fusion explosions are not possible. Any further consumption will have a serious impact on fortress’ defense capabilities.”
“All battleships have been launched, sir. The fortress is severely losing its close combat capabilities.”
Each situation monitor at the Fortress Command was filled with blinking red warning lights. The Operation Chief was also repeatedly calling out the danger, and even Hart understood that the situation was dire.
If you think of the fortress as a warship, it has already been wrecked, and it continues the fight as it is, it will drop out. Determined that they could no longer function, Hart thought of the battle results achieved by Fortress Kerviel.
12 fleets have been scattered, and each was reduced by about 60%. The damage done to the enemy is roughly calculated to be 14,400 ships, which is more than 7 fleets. Other fleets were also roughly scrapped, and all mobile fortresses were destroyed. 8 of the 16 enemy fleets were destroyed by them alone.
If Fortress Kerviel, which had a strength rating of two fleets, had defeated 8 enemy fleets, that was enough.
The Royal Army of the Diete system had about eight fleets gathered together. There were also mobile fortresses and defense fortresses at the Capital Planet, and a vast array of weapons were in operation.
The numerical disadvantage should have been overturned. After doing the calculations in his brain, Hart exhaled a rough breath, judging that he should have fulfilled his role.
The fortress is broken, and its personnel are busy working to restore it. Even if Hart wants to move, he couldn’t do it now.
“It looks like it’s over. Thank you for your hard work.”
Seraphina appeared and smiled at Hart, who lifted the tension and relaxed his shoulders.
“You’ve done a great job. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. It was fun. If it’s just me, I’d be happy to play with you again.”
“I see. I’ll be counting on you.”
Of course, Hart wasn’t looking forward to the next opportunity.
The Coalition’s remaining fleet was pushing inside the system and finally entering direct combat with the battleships launched from the planet Diros. Private ships are also participating in the defensive battle, and a large number of light balls are shining enough to make you want to turn away.
The Monarchy was overwhelmingly dominant in the total number of ships, and the Coalition vessels were in a position to be hunted down.
Colette offered coffee to Hart, who looked at them in a daze.
“I’m sure you’ll be promoted after the battle. I think Hart will be the first teenage Major General since the Monarchy declared independence.”
“That’s probably true. There hasn’t been any fighting since independence, so there’s no way it was possible.”
After a dry chuckle, hot coffee passed through his throat.
Hart gave a frank impression while looking at the planet.
“Looks like we’re going to miss at least a couple of ships.”
The final line of defense is a large number of civilian ships that have been requisitioned.
Unlike the Monarchy Army fleet, civilian ships cannot see the overall movement and coordinate with their allies, nor can they maneuver quickly enough. They are being caught by the enemy, and their defenses are being punctured and breached.
But the battleships and soldiers that could fight went ahead of them and engaged the enemy in a fierce firefight. Hart brought the situation to a more than even level playing field, but that was not enough to keep any of the enemy from getting through.
“We did the best we could.”
Hart nodded and turned his attention to warships fighting in front of private ships.
The ships of both forces continued to drop in response to heavy artillery fire, and as new ships flew into the vacated sectors, they disappeared one after another as they melted away. Large-scale relief effort was needed to rebuild, and there seemed to be no time to spare for civilian ships.
As a result of the relative distance between the two forces shrinking too much, collisions between ships were occurring. The collisions made both sides twist and get swept away from the planet Diros into a misplaced sector.
In the intense conflict, a small group of the Coalition forces finally broke through the final line of defense and fell while shielded toward the planet Diros.
Heavy artillery fire is shot from surrounding ships and orbital satellites.
However, due to the large ship that served as a shield, smaller ships that could not be burned broke through the atmosphere, and plunged directly into the surface as a fireball.
From the large ship that exploded as a shield, a mass of ice covered with a metal film was separated, and fell as a huge fireball.
From the moment the defense line is broken, the second and third wave of the enemy rushed in.
Most of them were destroyed by warships rushing in and intercepts from the ground, but some of them could not be extinguished and fell to the capital planet.
A huge hemispherical explosion on the continent of the capital planet, which can also be observed from space, occurred and blew away its surroundings.
An unidentified moan escaped from the Command Center of Fortress Kerviel.
Several enemy ships, half-destroyed by orbital satellites, fell into the waters of Diros.
The monitor observing the planet showed how a massive 1,000-meter tsunami was triggered by the explosion of fusion rounds.
Enemy ships and debris were falling across continents of the entire planet. Already there was no safe place on the capital planet.
One of the most deadly places observed was directly above the underground evacuation facility of the royal capital, the military production base, and the first production plant of spirit crystals. A fusion explosion caused by a ship plunging into the sea caused a huge tsunami to flow into the underground evacuation facility of the destroyed royal capital, dramatically increasing the number of casualties.
Looking at the scene, Hart eventually closed his eyes quietly.
The death toll of the Monarchy population in the Diete Interstellar War was over one billion. And among the dead was Dr. Kerman, the developer of spirit crystals.