Chapter 41 – Joint Defense Exercise
In the war against the Coalition of Humanity, the Monarchy of Diete made two major blunders.
One was at the Battle of Diete in 440. A billion people died on the Capital planet.
The other was at the Battle of Hercules in 441. The army had no control over the aristocracy.
Therefore, in the Monarchy, star system defense exercises were added to the Military Academy from 441, and joint defense exercises with students of the Academy of Magic were added in 442.
Once a month, those who are registered as aristocrats at the Magic Academy High School and volunteers from the Military Academy, enter the virtual space with an extremely high-performance military simulation machine, and operate the given warship.
Maneuvering a ship in virtual space is almost the same as in reality.
This is because each person emits real magical power through the spirit crystal, and their movements are reproduced according to the measurement results and the abilities of the ship. This simulation machine is only available to the military.
This is the third joint exercise to be held since July 442.
Because the star system to be defended is different every time, the assigned ships are also different every time.
Reserve military ships, defense ships for aristocratic conscripts, newly built ships that have yet to be launched, old ships that have not yet been decommissioned, and defense satellites that use magic engines are all eligible.
The announcement by Major General Philine Carneus, Third Director of Instruction in the Instructional Bureau of the Monarchy Ministry of Military Affairs, was broadcast in the chassis of the simulation exercise machine that each participant was in.
[We will now engage in a defense battle. Your duty is to prepare for emergencies and to protect the Monarchy and the Royal citizens in the event of an emergency. Even if the Coalition is destroyed, anything can happen at any time: remnants of the Coalition, a domestic revolt, encounters with neutral nations, the Herculeans, the Tenka Federation or other immigrant nations that have not established diplomatic relations, and encounters with hostile invaders.]
The countries and powers lined up did not make the trainees feel as threatened as the Coalition did.
However, this exercise is not done because it is currently urgent, but to ensure that they can move properly in an emergency.
Military cadets and training school students are obliged to perform their duties. Those who are in the aristocracy are also obliged to respond to the conscription. And if they don’t like it, they can quit, but at this point, they are not fleeing from the enemy.
[If you are not motivated, please drop out of the military and training schools and abandon your aristocratic titles. If there are rotten oranges in the mix, the other oranges will also end up rotten. And, we do not seek any rabble either. First, listen to your commander’s orders. I will now activate the simulation machine.]
Claudia Coesfeld, a freshman at the Military Academy, watched the moment when the virtual space, which had been pitch black, was flooded with an enormous amount of stars and artificial light.
The two largest celestial bodies in space are a G-type main sequence star and a planet 1.4 times the size of Earth. The name of the star Diete, and the planet Diros.
A large number of warships are flying out of the military space port in orbit one after another.
“………… is it the defense battle of the Capital planet?”
The friendly force consists of 8 fleets, 2 mobile fortresses, 1 defense fortress, and Fortress Kerviel.
The enemy force consists of 16 fleets and 1 mobile fortress.
The force evaluation is 100:150.
Although the force evaluation is the same as it was then, the defense fortress has two sons of Sovereign Valfrete on board and one of the mobile fortresses has Claudia, who joined the Royal Army.
Other than that, the commander is a senior cadet of the Military Academy, the warships are operated by junior cadets, the fighter crafts are operated by students of the training school, and the students at the magic academy operate the scavenged warships that have been gathered. Everything else is run by the computer.
Philine’s announcement interrupted her emotionally charged hearing.
[The non-negotiable line is less than 1 billion deaths. No matter how great the process is, the result is everything. Each commander can’t just say, ‘I couldn’t do it’. You absolutely must learn to do it. This concludes the communication from the Instructional Bureau. Situation initiated.]
When Philine’s communication screen disappeared, Claudia sent magic to the magic engine of Zophiel, a mobile fortress, converting a huge amount of magic elements into energy of the propulsion engine, turning it into a star flowing through the system.
Cadets and aristocratic children also use C-class spirit crystals, but only Claudia has a higher-grade B-class spirit crystal, in addition to the C-class spirit crystal to support her.
Claudia is not sure about the difference between C-class spirits and B-class spirits.
As for the appearance, they are obviously different.
Sophia, the spirit of the C-class spirit crystal, appears as a girl of the same age as Claudia. She has light purple hair and eyes and white skin. She wears crimson clothing with a large ribbon on her hair, white gloves and white boots, and a white cane with a golden-white stump with a blue jewel floating on top.
She has a mild-mannered and highly cooperative personality, and she is the type who lets Claudia choose her path and follows along behind her.
Cynthia, the spirit of the B-class spirit crystal, appears as an adult female, and is a white-winged nymph. She has blue hair, blue eyes, wears a white dress-like two-piece, and holds a tall white sickle with a blue jewel at the tip.
She has a winning personality and will take the initiative to show the best path, and if asked, will inform on the results of multiple paths.
The difference between the two that Claudia was curious about is the blue gem that they were carrying.
Sofia’s jewel looks like a land-free water planet, surrounded by five moons. And Cynthia’s jewel is like the dark and deep blue of Neptune.
Perhaps the difference in power between C-class spirits and B-class spirits may be reflected in their jewels. As Claudia pondered this, she received a communication from the General Headquarters.
[I’m Elias Laurent, 4th year senior Cadet of the Royal Military Academy. I will be in charge of General Command, I and Garcia, a 4th year cadet as Deputy Commander, will be in charge of the military forces, and Deputy Commander Faure, the 3rd year Senior student, will be in charge of the General Headquarters of the Magic Academy students. Now, we separate the communication channels.]
After the communication between the military cadets and the Magic Academy students was split, Laurent gave instructions to the cadets.
[We are receiving a transmission from Fortress Kerviel that they are going to attack from the enemy’s right flank. The attack is expected to break through the entire enemy force and cause the enemy formation to collapse. Therefore, we will deploy the 8 fleets into 2 vertical lines and four horizontal rows. Furthermore, in the sector under the charge of each fleet, 10 fleet divisions will be subdivided into 3 vertical lines, 3 horizontal rows, and 1 rear division to ensure no enemy will overflow.]
Despite not being aware of the contents of the simulation exercises in advance, Laurent quickly distributed eight fleets into the space sector.
The star system map of Fortress Zophiel Command shows a series of virtual fleet formations.
First, the fleet spread out in a rectangular shape in two lines vertically and four rows horizontally in the direction of the enemy attack. Each of the 8 fleets was then deployed in a 3 by 3 square of 9 fleet divisions, behind which a single division with the fleet commander was placed for command and support purposes.
[The flagship is the mobile fortress Sariel. In case of emergency, Deputy Commander Garcia and the First Sub-Command will operate the mobile fortress Zophiel, Deputy Commander Faure and the Second Sub-Command to the defense fortress Galgaliel. I will command the army, but I will leave the deployment and command of Fortress Zophiel to the judgment of Deputy Commander Garcia. Now then, get into position.]
The flagship Sariel will be placed in the center of the 8 fleets.
The path of the meteors running through the star system rapidly turned, leading towards the center of the Royal army, which built eight walls.
Meanwhile, communication came in from Garcia to Claudia.
[That’s why I’m on board with you, but as a fortress commander, do you have any opinions about the operation of the fortress?]
“Please let the spirits run free. We just need to defeat as many enemies as possible without dropping the fortress. If you leave it to the spirits, you can achieve the greatest results. Like Fortress Kerviel.”
[………… All right. I leave it to you.]
After the communication with Garcia was cut off, Claudia called out to Cynthia and Sophia, with whom she had a magical connection.
“Then, I look forward to working with you both.”
“It was the best choice. Leave it to me. Let’s run clockwise in Nadir bearing. That way, the enemy won’t be able to get below you, so you can limit the direction in which the enemy arrives to the zenith.”
“That’s fine. Sophia will operate the propulsion engine.”
After the meteors moved to the center of the fleet to recover Garcia, they accelerated and continued to speed up from the bottom left of the fleet.
Fortress Kerviel has already launched a suicide attack at the enemy right flank.
When Fortress Kerviel fights first, it was believed things won’t end up a straight star system defense battle, but if it was omitted, it would not be possible to protect the star from enemies with a force difference of 100 to 189. Also, if the current defense system is reflected, in which fighter crafts would be deployed in large numbers, on the contrary, it will be an overwhelming win and no longer count as training.
This may be the best exercise because each person will become more serious if the engagement actually happens and has dire consequences.
With that in mind, the meteor began to whittle away the far right wing of the enemy fleet from the bottom.
Garcia, who was a deputy commander stationed at Fortress Zophiel, began commanding fortress personnel on Claudia’s behalf.
Laser attacks are carried out from the main and auxiliary guns, and enemy ships scattered by Fortress Kerviel begin to drop out one after another.
The two-spirit operated Fortress Zophiel emerged when there were few enemies, dived to the bottom when there were many enemies, unilaterally hunting enemy ships from beyond their attack range.
The thinning out of the enemy became bolder as the fortress advanced.
Even if the enemy attacks, Sophia will deploy her shield in time to protect the fortress, and Cynthia will immediately shoot down the enemy with the main and auxiliary guns. For the enemies on the battlefield, it would have been as if a second smaller Fortress Kerviel had appeared.
Following the preceding Fortress Kerviel, Claudia continued to run across the battlefield. The enemy ships approaching the Capital planet are turned into momentary light spots one after another, and red lights are deprived from the system chart. The scythe wielded by Cynthia caught and killed the enemy, the staff held by Sophia repelled the enemy’s attack, and the fortress broke through the enemy mostly unscathed.
As a result of the battle, 315 enemy ships were dropped, a total strength evaluation of 1188. This was more than double Fortress Zophiel’s military strength evaluation of 506.
“I can’t believe how easy it is. Is there a problem with the machine?
“It’s because you went in after Fortress Kerviel rampaged and disrupted the enemy, but before they could rebuild. In battle, an opportunity presents itself. Keep that in mind. Next time we’ll go from the top. Their formation has already been rebuilt, so the difficulty will be a little higher.”
“Yes yes. We’ll go a little carefully. Claudia, we’ll protect the Capital planet.”
If only I were born four years early and had been in the same grade as Hart and others.
Claudia, who prevented Sophia from reading her negative thoughts, ascended toward the zenith as if pulled by Cynthia.
The enemy has already given up on winning the battle, and will push through as a group to destroy Diros.
The majority of the enemy was intercepted by the fleet deployed by Laurent, the Commander-in-Chief. Even so, the density of the enemy was so high that the fleet divisions could not prevent them all from breaking through.
At that time, instead of fortifying the fleet formation and repelling the denser parts of the enemy, they allowed a small number of breakthroughs from all directions.
And this time, instead of distributing the fleet and preventing it broadly in general, the dense enemy group passed through as it was.
Of the two, which is better?
Claudia, from her experience defending as a conscripted aristocrat, thinks that it is better to keep the enemies apart. If they approach a few ships at a time, they can be dealt with by the rear line. When they come in a group, they will be coordinated and instantly become stronger.
Laurent has failed. Claudia thought.
After breaking through the frontline of the Royal Army, the enemy also began battle with 3rd year Faure’s response unit, who was in command of the Magic Academy students.
The conscript fleet did its best to fire from the front, but it was not as flexible when it was under the Marquis of Zeckingen, a former fleet commander. They were easily caught, a gap was made, and they pushed towards the Capital planet as a group.
The Future Arrow, which was operated by someone else, shone its shield with the bombardment of the enemy ship. The defense fortress moved to cover it, and defeated the enemy ship which was attacking. However, enemies who had passed through the empty sector created by the movement of the defense fortress rushed to the Capital planet one after another.
A high-speed suicide attack by an enemy ship with an incident angle of nearly 90 degrees was enough to shatter the ground and expose most of the underground evacuation zone. The planet surface was blown away, and the heat from the fusion rounds detonated by the enemy ships laid waste to the underground without mercy.
Half the planet was burned by the rain of the scattered fusion rounds. The death toll of the Royal citizens who had evacuated to the underground shelters exceeded 2 billion.
“Bernard Asteria, do you know what you’ve done?”
Claudia revealed her anger at the foolish prince who was operating the defense fortress as she cut down the remaining enemy ships.
This is a simulation exercise and is done to educate them. After reconsidering it, Claudia closed her eyes, adjusted her breathing, and calmed her anger.
At the end of the exercise, the students were reviewed while still in the housing of the simulation machine.
In the end, the death toll exceeded 2.6 billion, but the enemy fleet was successfully eliminated. Still, the evaluation from the Instructional Bureau was harsh.
[First, I said the result is everything. Two years ago, we fought a defense battle without knowing the movements of our enemies or our allies. But now you know this as a part of history and you should have been able to improve on it. So why did the results get worse?]
The problems with the movement of the Royal Army and the conscripted aristocrats were exactly as Claudia had imagined.
The Royal army was deployed evenly, and although the number of enemies that had breached was lower than last time, the rear could not respond to the large group of enemies that passed behind them without breaking up.
The conscripted fleet, although each of its capabilities was different, operated at the same level as the Royal Army fleet, and therefore, could not defend the final line of defense without the arrival of their allies.
After warning the cadets of the Military Academy, Philine finally warned the students of the Academy of Magic as well.
[Trainee Bernard Strani Asteria, operator of the defense fortress. Why did you not follow the Deputy Commander’s order, and directed the output of the attack to the propulsion engine and headed for the Future Arrow?]
[Our allies would have been dropped if we hadn’t.]
Bernard, who appeared on the communication screen, answered Philine’s question indifferently.
Philine, on the other hand, even though he was the First Prince, resolutely informed him.
[As a result, the final line of defense was breached, resulting in a large number of deaths among the Royal citizens. In fact, if you had followed orders, the death toll would have been less than the level of the battle two years ago. You acted on your own initiative and caused the death of 1.6 billion people. The selfish actions of amateurs will drag our feet on the field. If you serve as a conscripted aristocrat, be sure to absolutely obey the orders of the Royal Army.]
[What is your answer? His Majesty has given me a decree not to go easy, even if you are a prince, so I will mercilessly lower credits. Can you understand the obligations of royalty and aristocrats or will you suffer the humiliation as you retake this course with your junior students next year?]
[………… I understand.]
Bernard replied in a dejected manner to Philine, who smiled pleasantly.