Chapter 31 – Exoneration and Letter of Commendation
The Battle of the Hercules System was a defeat for the Monarchy.
The Royal Army failed to subdue the Battle of Hercules, which was their operational target, and even Crown Prince Gracian, the Commander-in-Chief, was killed in action. The Coalition, on the other hand, repelled the invading forces, and killed the Commander-in-Chief and Second-in-Command of the invading forces.
Royal Army (including convoys and Fortress Kerviel)
Mobilized Force: 23 fleets, 4 Fortresses; equivalent to 87,506 destroyers.
Remaining Force: 11 fleets, 2 Fortresses; equivalent to 50,940 destroyers.
Lost Force: 12 fleets, 2 fortresses; equivalent to 36,566 destroyers. 41.7%.
Major Casualties: Commander-in-Chief, Crown Prince Gracian; Deputy Commander, General Bödeger.
Coalition Forces (including detour forces)
Mobilized Force: 28 fleet, 18 Fortresses; equivalent to 97,070 destroyers.
Remaining Force: 18 fleet, 6 Fortresses; equivalent to 58,920 destroyers.
Lost Force: 10 fleets, 12 Fortresses; equivalent to 38,150 destroyers. 39.3%.
Battle results of Fortress Kerviel: 11 Fortresses; equivalent to 14,344 destroyers. 14.7%
Initial Force Assessment of both forces: 100 to 111
Final Force Assessment: 100 to 116
As far as the losses inflicted on each other are concerned, it may be close to a painful split. Still, a defeat is a defeat.
The death of the Crown Prince is a serious matter, so the question of responsibility was raised in the Royal Army.
At the forefront, even General Lautenbach of the Solar System, who was not a part of the expeditionary force, began to worry about who was responsible for the death of the Crown Prince.
“I’ve seen the battle progress, but if it was Fortress Kerviel, couldn’t you have fought better?”
At Lautenbach’s question, Hart sensed the degree of confusion among the Generals.
“By your leave, I can proudly say, as a petty official who was assigned to the transport convoy, although I may be presumptuous, I was first to propose a withdrawal plan to all forces after the explosion of Fortress Raguel, sent fusion rounds to various sections of the battlefield in advance, and in the battle sector, have destroyed more than 30% of the enemy forces, thereby reducing the damage to our allies. And initially, orders from General Command were to remain on standby.”
Hart began to operate the terminal and play back the video recording.
[We will use Fortress Kerviel to bring in the Coalition members and transport resources. Major General Amakawa may have done well in combat, but the people want their Crown Prince, who will succeed to the throne, to make further historical achievements, like the great ancestors who succeeded in the War of Independence. In consideration of the political decision, General Command orders Fortress Kerviel to refrain from participating in the battle.]
It was a record of the orders by General Bödeger, deputy commander of the General Headquarters, at a General meeting before the expeditionary forces invaded the Hercules system. Participants in the meeting included General Lautenbach of the Solar System Forces, who was also shown participating in the video.
Hart pressed Lautenbach for a response.
“Even after entering the enemy star system, General Command ordered us to ‘refrain from participating in battles and to stand by in the safe sector’. A direct order that even refers to political decisions cannot be overturned by a Major General.”
Upon receiving the explanation, Lautenbach gave up on holding Hart responsible.
In the first place, Hart thinks that the person responsible for the death of the Crown Prince is Prince Gracian, the Commander-in Chief, himself. He joined the battlefield himself. Hart thinks.
The invasion of Hercules was an operation conducted by the Crown Prince, who enabled the attack on the Diete Star System by counter-attack during the invasion of the Solar System, all in order to stabilize his succession to the throne, on the basis of political propaganda to the Royal people.
As a result of the political propaganda, the enemy forces were made aware of it via the Frodi system, and they waited in full readiness. Otherwise, the enemy main force would not have drawn the Royal Army into the system, while a separate force with 12 fortresses and 12 fleets attacked from behind via warp over a very long distance.
However, if you say, “We lost because of the Crown Prince,” the royal system of the Monarchy of Diete could collapse.
The Generals of the Royal Army were also bewildered by the unprecedented situation.
“Do we need to present a letter of resignation?”
General Jhering, who commanded the right-wing forces, muttered about his departure, and General Reinelt of the left-wing forces also frowned.
“Quitting does not mean you have taken responsibility. It is only in the manner of the young lady of Count Harvist that one proves they have fulfilled their responsibility to the Monarchy.”
Jhering sighed deeply at Reinelt’s analogy.
Of the mobilized aristocratic forces, six fleets, about half, survived. Among them, the survival rate of large ships operated by aristocratic magic power holders was high, and most were rescued from the retreat path that Alisa and the Harvist fleet had opened.
Hundreds of aristocrats and the soldiers who were saved with them have given thanks to Alisa and promised to help restore her honor when she returns home.
Among them, Laurent, the Duke of Mauriac, whose life along with the Duke’s army were saved directly by her actions, was deeply grateful. He said he himself died once in the Hercules system, and declared that he will use the life he was given for Alisa in the future.
And Alisa, whose engagement offer with the Grandson of the Sovereign was canceled and would have been unable to marry an aristocrat, was courted by the Duke’s heir, Laulan. Alisa accepted the marriage proposal, and the two were blessed by many aristocrats and military personnel.
“It’s also difficult to hold the aristocrats accountable for their selfish movements.”
“It would be impossible.”
Most aristocrats were granted free reign as fleet commanders or division commanders. However, it was Crown Prince Gracian of the General Headquarters and General Bödegar who allowed it.
Jhering and Reinelt, who were Generals of the expeditionary forces, entrusted the evaluation of the battle to their home countries.
Then, a communication from Colonel General Valfrete Strani, the Commander-in-Chief of the Monarchy Armed Forces, who received the news of the defeat, ended the fruitless debate.
“Reorganize the depleted fleet and immediately rebuild a regular fleet capable of combat. The remaining fleets of invasion forces and the Solar System forces should reinforce their patrols and watch out for enemy movements until reinforcements arrive from the home sector.”
Valfrete, who was at the home sector, was the first to restructure the defense system.
Jhering and Reinelt were ordered to reorganize their remaining fleets, and Lautenbach was forced to build a search network to keep an eye on the Coalition’s movement.
And to the relief of the generals, the following words were spoken.
“The reason for this defeat was that the information about the invasion was widely publicized, forcing the enemy to take a defensive stance, yet no countermeasures were taken. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince is a nominal Commander-in-Chief who served as an aristocratic conscript. The responsibility for the defeat lies with General Bödeger, the Second-in-Command, and General Command, who assisted His Highness as military experts. They are considered to have taken responsibility by their deaths and will not receive any posthumous promotions.”
The blame for the death of the Crown Prince and the defeat of the battle was placed on the General Headquarters that had exploded.
On the other hand, all the living were praised.
“Although the withdrawal plan itself was suggested Major General Amakawa, it was due to the skills of both Generals Jhering and Reinelt, who accepted it, and the Commanders, who actually executed it, that damage in the difficult retreat battle was mitigated. 12 of the Monarchy’s fleets were saved by the swift decision of the Generals to withdraw and their precise command.”
Both Generals and the Commanders of each fleet were praised for their efforts in battle.
After returning home, it was decided that promotions would be given not only to transport convoys that had performed exceptionally well, but also to those who had been killed in action, in order to fill in the gaps.
These were objective assessments from the Commander-in-Chief who is unrelated to the defeat, and there was no way the exonerated servicemen could argue with them. The fleet commanders unanimously agreed with Valfrete’s decision.
“It was General Command who directed the entire matter. It would be unnatural to hold anyone else responsible for the defeat.”
“It certainly would. Even after the General Headquarters exploded, the best was done.”
Among the generals of the expeditionary force, the conclusion was settled that the defeat was the fault of Bödegar’s General Command, which is no longer of this world.
And Valfrete also took action against the aristocrats.
All the aristocrats who served in the army were honored, and a Letter of Commendation was presented from the Commander-in-Chief to all aristocratic households that sent them out.
The words aristocrats most desire are “contributed in the fight against the Coalition”.
All aristocrats, who have enjoyed privileges for 441 years since the founding of the country, must prove to the royal citizens why they are aristocrats.
In his own name, Valfrete gave the certification that the aristocrats wanted most.
- Operated a battleship as an aristocrat, and successfully defeated the enemy ship.
- Facing the enemy ship to reduce the threat to the Monarchy and the royal citizens.
- Dedicated a fleet as an aristocratic household, shot down the Coalition Fleet.
- Assaulted the enemy force approaching from behind and rescued allies.
- Broke through the siege of the enemy detour force and rescued a number of allies.
- Bravery, courage, resolve, dedication to the nation.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Army praised each aristocrat by name, presented each with a personal Letter of Commendation and military service insignia, and also presented the prestigious Medal of Honor to those who met the conditions.
Alisa, the young lady of Count Harvist, was also presented with a Medal of Honor and a Letter of Commendation, and is praised for her great contribution to the nation by fulfilling her duties as a royal aristocrat under extreme conditions.
“Your family has successfully fulfilled the desire of Diete, which has been passed down from generation to generation since its founding.”
The aristocrats, who were presented with a Letter of Commendation and a Medal of Honor, embraced them carefully and withdrew, and accepted the defeat summary in the Battle of the Heracles Star System.
At the same time, the aristocrats thanked Valfrete and understood that they owed him a great debt.
Looking at the battle progress record of the battle, it was evident that the aristocrats and their fleets were acting on their own and putting the main force in danger, which did not necessarily follow the Letter of Commendation.
『With the death of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, the only successor to the throne is His Royal Highness the Sovereign’s Grandson. This is unfavorable in times of war. Shall we not restore the royal title of Prince Strani, who was the third prince until last year?』
The first to make the proposal was one of the senior aristocrats who had ignored orders during the Battle of Hercules and caused casualties to the Royal Army.
The idea, which was inspired by his guilt, was surprisingly favorable for the aristocrats. Just by supporting the restoration of Valfrete back into the royal family with the justification that “the Prince Leandre is the only successor to the throne during wartime”, it is possible to repay the great debt of one’s own family made with the Letter of Commendation.
If the Crown Prince was alive, it would have been an impossible option.
By displeasing the Crown Prince, all the efforts and private promises they had made in order to be remembered and favored by the Crown Prince had gone to waste.
However, the situation had changed when the Crown Prince died in battle and the Sovereign’s Grandson is a teenager who had just graduated from the HighSchool of the Magic Academy in March.
“Most aristocrats have only met His Royal Highness briefly at garden parties. We shouldn’t expect the ledger will be taken over.”
For most aristocrats, their investment in Prince Gracian was reset by his death in battle.
“Not only that. The Duke of Langlois is surrounding us. Her Highness the Crown Prince Gracian’s consort is the Duke’s sister, and the close aide to the Sovereign’s grandson Leandre is the Duke’s eldest son. His Royal Highness Leandre, who has not inherited any relationships and oral agreements, will simply give preference to the Duke of Langlois.”
Even if Leandre becomes the next Sovereign, the investments cannot be recovered and it won’t be of benefit to them.
On the other hand, in the case of Valfrete, circumstances are different.
“In the case of Valfrete, the former Third Prince, none of the aristocrats in his social circle expected him as future Sovereign. No one made any promises in private. And, every aristocrat who participated in the battle was given individual Letters of Commendation. That is to say, rather than giving preferential treatment to the Duke of Langlois, he will give us all the same consideration.”
It is preferable that the Letters of Commendation be in the name of the future Sovereign than the Commander-in-Chief.
For each aristocrat, there were great merits of Valfrete’s restoration in the royal family, but no particular disadvantages
The concern for them is that Valfrete, who has the political considerations to issue a Letter of Commendation, is a far more formidable political opponent than Leandre, who has just graduated from the High School of Magic Academy.
“Former Prince Valfrete is wise and too smart to be a godsend. His Royal Highness Leandre is a child, so he seems easy to deal with.”
The aristocrat who said that he looked easy to handle was stopped by another aristocrat.
“His Royal Highness Leandre was defeated by the Viscount of Amakawa with the magic power value that was once the highest peak in Monarchy, lost to Amakawa in academics, and was delusional that he was being criticized behind his back by the aristocrats, and in the Capital planet defense battle, he was there when the final line of defense was broken through by the enemy, causing damage to the Capital planet, and continues to fail in the selection of his fiancée. In the last four years, he’s become quite warped.”
“What is his entourage doing… no, the more distorted he is, the easier it is for Lord Langlois to handle him.”
The aristocratic heads were imaginative about the developments after the revival of Valfrete’s royal title.
Leandre, the Sovereign’s grandson, and Valfrete, the Sovereign’s third son.
Leandre is likely to repeat the same thing as his father, who reduced the fleet by half. Valfrete won the Battle of Loki Star System, where he served as Commander-in-Chief, and successfully accomplished the cleanup in this instance.
Leandre, who has to invest more than before and has the barrier of The Duke of Langlois. Valfrete gave those Letters of Commendation even before they invested in him.
Which is preferable for the households to have become Sovereign?
The scales of their minds leaned toward one side each time they ran with their imagination.
“Let’s all join together in calling for the restoration of the royal title of His Royal Highness Valfrete.”
“The legitimate reason is the crisis of having only one successor during wartime. As long as this is a reward for issuing Letters of Commendation, I doubt anyone will object.”
The correct answer was not that they won’t disagree, but that they can’t.
Even the Duke of Langlois, who had also provided fleets to the Crown Prince, was named in the report, and Valfrete’s royal title was to be restored.
At the same time, the summary of the Battle of Heracles was officially finalized by the upper ranks of the Royal Army and the senior aristocracy, and was reported to the Sovereign and formally confirmed
Later, as the Royal Army reinforcements arrived in the Solar System, many of the aristocratic and frontline forces gathered and were on their way home.
TN: Just letting you know, the Light Novel for this will be released on the 16th of this month. I intend to purchase it and help support the author as well as get a hold of the yummy illustrations. Here’s a look at the cover. Surprised it featured Philine instead of the Heroine Yuna.