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Chapter 33 – Castle in the Sky
After returning to the Capital planet for the first time in five months, Hart saw a castle in the sky over the waters where his home was.
“The basic principle is the same as a floating island being kept afloat by the magnetic repulsion between its base and a fixed platform in the sea. In order to amplify the repulsive force, electricity is converted into magnetic force, and a large-scale battery converter using a microwave power transmission system is installed on the island…”
Having received an explanation from Prime Minister Stanley, Hart looked up at the huge castle in the sky as he gave a distracted, raw reply.
The original artificial floating island was one where a floating stretch of land was connected to a fixed base on the seabed.
The area of the islands are set at a minimum of 100 square meters and a maximum of 2 square kilometers, and the floating island arranged by the Marquis of Carneus was one of the largest.
Still, at the time, it was not as floating as other artificial floating islands. In a double meaning.
“The architecture was based on the now defunct Palace and Garden of Versailles on Earth, Mont Saint-Michel, and Venice, the city of water. It also has all the functions of a floating island, and it is possible to land and view the underwater scenery from the underground level.”
“Hmm, very impressive!”
Stanley’s explanation was commended by a middle aged aristocratic legislator, Senator Dryver, who had reprimanded the Prime Minister five months ago in the House of Representatives.
He asked to be present at the handover of the home.
“The area of the island was 2 square kilometers by ordinance, but we enforced the Special Wartime Law aimed at recovering from the adverse effects of the war, and adjusted the allocation of the sea area to 10 square kilometers. Here is the distribution…”
The temporary evacuation ship, which was the same as a 200-meter-long battleship, was transformed into a 5000-meter-class battleship. Before the destruction, it was smaller than a 1200-meter class destroyer, so it is about 500% of the original.
Of the 10 square kilometers of the castle in the sky, less than 2 square kilometers were built in reference to Mont Saint-Michel, and the remaining 8 square kilometers were built in reference to the Palace of Versailles, with many artistic pavilions, beautiful gardens, and forests.
The floating island is divided by rivers built with reference to Venice, and can be accessed by old-fashioned looking boats and bridges.
Each of the buildings, which are modeled after the Palace of Versailles, is a luxurious palace that is perfect for an aristocratic home, and they overlook the vast gardens and the Mediterranean Sea.
It was built to accommodate many concubines and mistresses, and there was plenty of room for expansion.
“Viscount Amakawa, what do you think?”
Stunned, Hart expressed his acknowledgment to the prime minister, who peered at Hart’s pale complexion with an anxious expression.
“Thank you very much for the wonderful restoration of my home. I accepted it as a punishment for my being unable to prevent all the enemies in the Defense of the Capital from attacking, but I’m sorry that it has caused you more trouble than it is worth.”
“No, not at all!”
“Indeed. This was a failure of our government.”
When Hart tried to make up an excuse for floating the evacuation ship to avoid guests, Dryver denied it with wide eyes, while Stanley agreed, breaking out in a cold sweat.
Hart nodded his understanding, and thanked them again.
“I would like to express my gratitude to Your Excellency the Prime Minister for such a wonderful reconstruction, Your Excellency Senator Dryver for all his efforts, and to everyone else involved as well.”
I hope this is the end. Hart thought while laughing, and then Dryver asked…
“So, it looks like you’ll be conducting those engagement interviews that have been stalled!? 」
Hart smiled with a twitch as he thought of Yuna’s face in response to the powerful question he had expected.
The Monarchy government is serious. If he doesn’t like this, they’ll build you a home as big as a fortress ship next. The number of World Heritage sites would increase by about 10, and they might even build pyramids. Hart nodded in the state of enlightenment.
“Yes. There were people I had to refuse due to the state of my home, but with the reconstruction realized, if there is still a connection, I would like to contact them once more.”
At the very least, he had to contact the little silvery fox who sent the message, “arrangements for the mansion have been made, so please be patient”. Should he ignore her, there is no telling what would happen next.
After hearing Hart’s thoughts, Dryver clapped his hands in agreement.
“Hmm. That is excellent to hear. Do make contact as soon as possible. With such a magnificent residence of the Viscount’s, there would be no issue even if the candidate were a Lady of a Duke Family. Isn’t that right, Honorable Prime Minister?”
Following Dryver, who completely knew where he was coming from, Stanley also hit the gavel.
“Of course. In fact, Senator Dryver told us in private the sort of relationship had been declined, so we made adjustments to allow no further deficiencies. Please be assured Lord Viscount that such problems will never occur.”
“…… then sincerely, I am very much obliged.”
Removing obstacles in the way of one’s objective would refer to this situation.
Hart, with a strained smile, mechanically gave his thanks.
Artificial lights lit up one after another on the dimming waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The glittering sight of numerous floating islands was like a reflection of the stars of the galaxy on the surface of the water. In the midst of all these shining stars, there was one island that shone with a particularly large light.
Viscount Amakawa’s Residence… Commonly known as the Castle in the Sky.
It is a floating island in the Mediterranean Sea that recreates several world heritage sites that once existed on Earth but disappeared during the Diete War of Independence, and also incorporates a generous amount of modern technology.
Hart, the lord of the castle, lives in the main building, which is a reference to Mont Saint-Michel. And on the walls of its passageways, from the castle’s guest room to the walkway, reliefs with the motif of the history of the Monarchy were engraved on the walls.
Today, Hart was walking down a relief-engraved passageway to meet his guest, Claudia, young lady of the Duke of Coesfeld.
The beginning of Diete was the golden age of transforming the planet into a utopia.
After crossing the sea of stars to reach the planet, they dropped equipment that induced electrolysis and photocatalytic reactions on the planets, sprinkled seeds from various plants, and worked to improve the planetary environment while increasing oxygen levels.
The first light was lit on the pitch-black planet, and it spread across the planet in an instant like a burning flame.
The green sea turned beautiful blue, and various fish carried from Earth began to swim vividly. The brown wilderness was overflowing with greenery, livestock roamed freely, and the settlers’ families laughing happily next to them.
After such a glorious golden age, came the worst dark period.
The people of Diete were long tormented by Earth’s exploitation of resources and labor. Those who tried to protect Diete were sent to the execution platform by a punitive fleet sent from Earth, and killed as a warning, their corpses left for all to see.
The people of Diete entrusted their meager possessions and their future to those with Magic Power, and the Magic Power Holders, with their parents and siblings killed, threw themselves at Earth with their ships in a desperate resolve.
The dark period came to an end with the report of the returning fleet which had been reduced to less than 10%.
The people, freed from oppression, rejoiced and embraced each other, shouting for their independence in the devastated land. The rich planet, whose productivity shifted from exploitation to advancement, developed in a blink of an eye.
While standing in the family graveyard, the elderly watched the high-rise cities stretching to the heavens, deeply moved that their deaths had not been in vain.
That era was also the beginning of Diete’s interstellar immigration.
A large-scale migrant ship project that was underway to escape to another star system should the suicide attack on Earth fail.
The man who was supposed to be the second Sovereign entrusted the Diete system to his younger brother, and became the fleet commander himself, leading the immigration to the Apollo System.
It’s more difficult, so I’ll go. The first head of the Duke of Coesfeld, who told his brother so, was sent off by his brother and those who remained in the Diete system, and traveled with a billion people to a new world on the Future Arrow.
Dozens of reliefs have been carved into the walls, depicting all the major histories of the Monarchy. If you touch each relief with your hand, you can see the image of the time with the projection device built into the passage.
At the end of such reliefs, three new pieces of relief were carved into the wall.
The Coalition surprise attack of the Frodi System. The Battle of the Loki Star System. And the Capital Planet Defense Battle.
As Hart walked on immersed in nostalgia, the last relief suddenly activated, swallowing the area around Hart in the projection space of the stereoscopic image device.
[To all aristocrats and all private vessels, emergency conscript orders have been issued. All age restrictions are hereby lifted. Immediately join with the Royal Army and get the designated warships up and running.]
An emergency alert resounded, and students from the Middle School of the Academy of Magic were transported to the spaceport using a military air route.
The worst information was brought one after another to the surrounding Middle School students, who looked anxious.
Royal Army Forces: 8 fleets and 3 fortresses, including squadrons and privately owned ships.
Estimated Coalition Forces: Estimated 16 Fleets. 1 mobile fortress.
Strength Evaluation 100 vs. 177.
Enemy Strength Rating: Approximately 1.77 times.
Enemy Invasion Imminent, Friendly Reinforcements Unlikely.
In response to the threat of the destruction of the Capital planet, the Royal Army commandeered all the old and decommissioned warships with under-aged aristocratic children as operators, as well as all private ships to begin the defense.
[Lady Claudia, the Future Arrow is not equipped with the latest armament. Please join the Duke’s private fleet.]
An escort called to Hart, who was looking at someone’s point of view in the stereoscopic image.
Then Claudia, the subject of the original point of view, spoke back to the escort.
[Warships will have their original operators, won’t they? The old-fashioned Future Arrow should be operated by me as a middle school student.]
[However, on the Future Arrow, only the shields are operational, but the main guns are a model from 60 years ago, and there are no secondary armaments]
The escort repeatedly warned, but Claudia did not listen.
[Flee on your own. I will not run away. No matter what trouble may come, the Coesfelds will lead the people to the end.]
Resolutely, Claudia eventually got the old-fashioned large immigrant ship up and running, and with the planet Diros at her back, she stood in front of the invading enemy forces.
Ships raked from all over the system were gathering at the final line of defense. Then a transmission came in.
[I am a retired Lieutenant General of the Royal Army and a former fleet commander, Marquis Arthur Zäckingen. Due to the lack of hands from the Royal Army, I have been entrusted by the Commander-in-Chief of the Monarchy’s armed forces, Colonel General Valfrete Strani, with the command of the conscripted students. First of all…]
Under the orders of Zäckingen, multiple nets to catch the enemy began to spread in front of the planet. Students formed a semi-encircling net with one large ship as the base, four in the middle row to form a four-pointed star, and eight in the front row to form an eight-pointed star.
Zäckingen watched the students’ movements and rearranged them one after another before the enemy arrived, placing the faster ships on the outer eight-pointed star and the slower ships on the inner four-pointed star.
In front of Claudia, one of the starting points of the net, the battle between the Royal Army and the Coalition Forces finally began.
The first engagement began with a blue light dot that struck the flank of the 16 red spheres.
When the blue light dot hit one of the red spheres at an extraordinary speed, it instantly emitted blue rays in all directions, scraping the inside of the red sphere.
[Fortress Kerviel destroyed one enemy fleet. About 80% of the enemy ships dropped!]
The blue light dot that destroyed one of the red spheres pierced through and collided with a second sphere. A blue light shone in the sphere, blue needles were blown from the inside like a hedgehog, and 70% of the red sphere was scraped off.
The blue light disintegrated the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth red spheres in the blink of an eye. Eventually, when it had devoured the eleventh sphere, the sphere caused a huge tremor in the shield.
The report of the communications officer reached the students who were amazed at what had happened.
[Fortress Kerviel fired about 10 million fusion rounds at the four remaining intact enemy fleets. The enemy is swallowed up by the explosions. In addition, the combat ship unit launched all at once from the fortress. They are overrunning the collapsed enemy fleet one after another.]
Fortress Kerviel, which had managed to devastate the enemy, smashed through the twelfth red sphere, laying waste to all the enemies.
[Fortress Kerviel single-handedly destroyed more than half of the enemy forces. All enemy fortress ships and the command mobile fortress have dropped out. The enemy formation has completely collapsed. The strength evaluation has reversed from 100:177 to 100:77 for the Royal Army. However, report from Fortress Kerviel Command Center, they will be inoperable for about 6 hours.]
Cheers erupted from the aristocrats of the defense network.
Claudia gazed at the star map, which showed the collapsed, amorphous, pale red color being scraped off by the cohesive blue of the Royal Army.
However, they could not block all of the red waves, and one after another, they broke through the Royal army defense line.
[All in front, move your ship between the planet and the enemy ship within your allocated area. The frontline should spread out to contain the enemy. In the middle, don’t let the covered enemy escape.]
Under Zäckingen command, students of the Academy of Magic move their huddled old ships to meet the enemy’s assault.
The students accepted most of the enemies that approached.
The enemy ships overflowing from the spread net were crushed by Zäckingen’s privately owned ship which moved at high speed. The red color on the star system chart gradually faded, and it seemed as if they could be halted.
However, a small group of Coalition ships outside of Zäckingen’s defense area slipped through the gunfire area of the defense fortress on which the Sovereign’s Grandson was in charge and fell towards the Capital planet.
Claudia’s Future Arrow unleashed its main gun at a falling enemy. An enemy ship jumped out of a small group to act as a shield and exploded under the main gun, disrupting the enemy group that was pushed by the blast.
The Future Arrow had no secondary guns. It fired its main gun multiple times, but it was too slow to shoot down all the ships of the small group. And the defense fortress operated by the Sovereign’s Grandson only shelled the large ships in front, and did not provide supporting fire to sweep the small ships behind.
The surviving enemy ships fell to the Capital planet as fireballs.
The enemy ship, which reached the sky above the royal capital, slammed into the planet surface shortly after scattering fusion rounds to its surroundings in an instant, causing a huge explosion. The fusion rounds which exploded in the sky covered the land, burning it down in a blink of an eye.
[Young brother Asteria, the people of Diros were entrusted to you 400 years ago, what are you doing!]
Claudia’s screams echoed throughout the Future Arrow Command Center. And at the end of the scream, the pseudo-universe created by the stereoscopic image device disappeared.
Returned to the aisle where the relief was engraved, Hart exhaled a heavy sigh and then began walking down the aisle again.
The end of the passageway is a white wall, where the history of the future will be carved.
Out of the passageways that traced the Monarchy’s history, Hart began to walk along the promenade beyond. In the promenade, there are many floating islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and in the distance the light from the continent shines beautifully.
A girl with silvery-white hair was sitting in a corner of the promenade facing the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
Claudia, young lady of the Duke of Coesfeld family, whose point of view was adapted in the stereoscopic image, is also the person who called Hart to the promenade.
“You set up the stereoscopic image.”
As Hart smiled, Claudia returned a proud smile, pleased with the success of her prank.
“We had half a year to prepare.”
Six months have passed since the uproar at the House of Representatives before Hart’s return home.
On the four-season planet of Diros, the royal capital has a climate close to Earth’s European Mediterranean.
Already in October, over the Mediterranean Sea on a slightly chilly night, Hart took off his coat and hung it on the girl’s shoulder.
“Thank you very much”
Claudia thanked him honestly and put on Hart’s coat.
Then they silently gazed at the lights of the Mediterranean Sea for a while.
Claudia was the first to speak.
“In the battle for the Capital planet, you defeated more than half of the enemy single-handedly, and if there were two Fortress Kerviels, that would have settled it. I’ve had it properly analyzed.”
I wonder if she’s explaining why she set up the prank. Hart thought, as he silently listened to Claudia.
“I’m a Coesfeld. What I want to do is protect the Royal citizenry. That is my personality, my disposition, my way of life, my self-chosen path as a human……. however, magic power insufficient, magic power insufficient, magic power ins… I let a billion people die.”
Tears were flowing from Claudia’s downcast eyes.
Hart took a handkerchief from the coat he handed Claudia and wiped away her tears.
After a while, Claudia wiped her own tears and resumed talking.
“I love the Royal citizens. I’m happy when everyone is smiling. I love the history of the Monarchy, and the people who move forward…”
Remembering something, Claudia sank down again.
“I can’t just sit back and let the next billion people die. That would drive me to insanity. And I don’t want my descendants to feel as sad as I do.”
Hart, hearing Claudia’s story, wondered if she was suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). However, it may be strange if everyone was calm in a war, and it seemed normal to be stressed.
Furthermore, she was in charge of a Royal Defense Fortress, but was unable to destroy the enemy right in front of her, and the royal capital was obliterated.
Claudia appealed to Hart.
“This is not the same as marrying His Royal Highness Leandre and providing political support. There are many other people besides the Magic Powered who can play politics. Even if I do such a thing, I will always regret it for the rest of my life. I know what the Royal citizens are desperately looking for in us, entrusting their wealth and their future for generations to come.”
Claudia looked up and stared at Hart.
Hart wondered how to respond to her gaze.
It’s not about whether or not to accept Claudia that he is confused about.
Regarding Claudia, 90% of the legislators of the House of Representatives and the Monarchy’s government have been dragged in and the outer moat has been filled. Not only Hart, but even Yuna is resigned to the fact that she’s his wife and Claudia will be his second wife and nothing more…… Hart wants to believe so.
Hart’s difficulty in answering the question was how much information he would disclose to Claudia.
He doesn’t want to make a deal of it, but if Claudia’s grief and anxiety is “I don’t have enough magic power. I don’t want my descendants to feel this way” it could be relieved to a certain extent. Hart decided to play the role of a wizard who soothes a crying child.
“First of all, I hear you like sky-blue and blue colors Miss Claudia, please accept this gem as a substitute for an engagement ring.”
Hart took out a beautiful blue spirit crystal and handed it to Claudia.
“Eh, why, yes. Thank you.”
Claudia was confused by the sudden gift, but accepted the jewel with a happy face when she heard that it was for an engagement.
“I’m sure you already have a spirit crystal meant for aristocrats, but I have three secrets to tell you about them. If you join the Amakawa family, please keep them from your parent household. Can you do that?”
Claudia, who was taken aback by the sudden remark, eventually answered with a smile.
“That’s fine. I will stand by Master Hart as long as it doesn’t violate the laws and ethics of the Monarchy.”
Hart was impressed by the idea that she would act accordingly if he violated the law or ethics, rather than blindly obeying him. If she acted accordingly, he would be in great trouble.
“Be gentle. The first is known to His Highness Valfrete, the Commander-in-Chief, and some of the Royal Army, so it should be fine. What I’ve just handed you is a spirit crystal above the aristocratic level. The Magic Power addition to your value will be 2560, not 810. Claudia, your magic power value will be second highest in the Monarchy with over 31,000.”
As Claudia looked back at the blue spirit crystal in surprise, Hart disclosed the second secret.
“Second, don’t tell anyone, but there is no rule that says you cannot contract with two spirits at the same time. There are conditions, and it is impossible with a spirit crystal that is available to the general public, but it’s okay this time. Give it a try.”
This time, Claudia was astonished, but Hart repeatedly urged her to use it.
When Claudia connected the blue spirit crystal to her information terminal, a white-winged nymph with hair as blue as the seas of Diros appeared from the terminal.
With blue hair and blue eyes, wearing a white two-piece and a large blue jeweled scythe, the nymph turned their gaze to Hart’s spirit, Seraphina, and then did something, before speaking to Claudia.
“My name is Cynthia. I’ve heard your story. I don’t know if this is the third one, but with the blessing of the Higher Spirits, the magic inheritance is guaranteed. If you and that man have a child, do look forward to the results.”
Claudia’s thoughts couldn’t keep up with the reality, as Hart displayed a mischievous face for having revenge for her prank.
“B-Class spirit crystals have not been produced since Dr. Kerman’s death. The remaining stock is in the single digit and was given to Viscount Amakawa. This will be limited to the descendants of Viscount Amakawa, who have the highest magical power. By the way, please keep it a secret.”
Hart gently patted the head of the saint, who was desperately trying to hold in her emotions.