Maiden Game Hard Mode – Chapter 50

Previous | TOC | Next

Chapter 50 – Seraphina’s Realm

In the space 1.6 billion kilometers outward from the outer rim of the MacLir system, ephemeral stars occurred in the millions.

The Tenka officers in charge of searching for the enemy were terrified by the flashes that filled the screen with pure white during optical observation. Hundreds of thousands of fusion rounds without magical elements were flying through the sector.

In the field of magical observation, it is impossible to find missiles that do not generate magic. The explosions caused a large amount of warship wreckage to fly around, making Mass Wave Observations useless. Even optical observation is sealed, so how can the missiles be found?

Deprived of sight, three million Salamander crafts of the Royal army attacked the right wing of the Tenka Army, which stretched the shields to the limit all at once.

[All fighter crafts, from the 1st command post to the 100th command post, successfully linked to the information integration system of the General Headquarters. Battle interlocking system of each post has launched simultaneous attacks on enemy army right wing in response to enemy magic response.]

The Tenka Federation Army was advancing toward Fortress Kerviel. Therefore, the swarms of Salamanders coming from Fortress Kerviel could not be avoided.

In the blink of an eye, Tenka’s Vanguard Fleet, which fell into a state of battle, was irradiated with rays of light from three million laser light guns flying around the sector, melting one after another like snow in a torrential downpour.

The Salamanders have been instructed to attack targets in the fortress’s combat interlocking system, but not by the pilots. There were a certain number of pilots who cited results that greatly exceeded expectations.

Second Lieutenant Alois Kahn, a pilot in the 42nd division that just dropped an enemy ship, was one of those pilots who accumulated such extraordinary results.

Alois volunteered as a fighter craft pilot for the Royal Army two years ago, and was appointed as a Corporal after leaving the short-term training school.

At that time, he was given a military grade D-class crystal, and since then, he served in the 4 consecutive star system battles that took place, starting with the Battle of the Myrna Star System, achieving great results, and was officially appointed as a Second Lieutenant under a special promotion system.

In the four battles, Alois felt as if he was one with his fighter craft. While flying around at high speed, he perceived the enemy’s attack and evaded by twisting his body, going around enemy ships with the sensation of kicking the ground with his feet, and shot his lasers with the sensation of hurling his will.

It was during the 4th battle, in the MacLir Star System, that his senses became more pronounced.

In a world repainted with white light, Alois saw a clear blue lakeside with white lilies blooming on the water. It was a world like the midnight sun, where instead of fixed stars, the world was illuminated by a single large star and countless smaller stars.

There was a nebula-like zone between the MacLir star and the planet Whispa in the MacLir system, and the large star, and some kind of communication was going on between them.

In a mysterious world, Alois, in the midst of a huge flow of magical elements, managed to release the converted magical elements as they were pushed out, and achieved great results in single-handedly dropping a destroyer much larger than a fighter craft. For his achievements in the 4 Star System battle, Alois, who was highly decorated with the Order of the Procyon, 4th Class, was called out by the army to become a royal military officer.

The same feeling was felt during the Second Battle of the MacLir Star System.

While using his senses to avoid the tens of millions of debris flying around the sector at high speed, he put up his shields to repel shockwaves and borrow the magic flowing in this special star system to flow like a missile.

Beyond that were dozens of allied vessels, and they were fighting cruiser-class enemy ships.

The Salamander, driven by Alois, ran through the countless short-range cannons fired by the enemy ships, closing in on the enemy in an instant, shot the main gun  on the unshielded bow from the zenith, destroying it, and ran straight to the nadir as it was.

The exploding enemy ships scatter shockwaves and debris as they spread out in a circular pattern. The military android soldier assisting with the fighter craft operation praised Alois for his achievements in battle.

“Defeat of enemy cruiser-class Báichéng confirmed. Second Lieutenant Alois has met the criteria for Medal of Honor and promotion. Congratulations.”

“He’s next in line for Lieutenant. A Second Lieutenant is the standard for a pilot of a fighter craft, but what happens when he gets promoted?”

“Lieutenant as platoon leader of 5 crafts, Captain as squadron leader of 25 crafts, Major as commander in charge of 100 crafts, 100 crafts are assigned a carrier craft. The fighter craft commanders in charge of 100 bases and the fortress fighter craft commanders are Lieutenant Colonels and above. The current fighter craft commander at Fortress Kerviel is a Brigadier General. The highest ranking fighter craft commander in our military is a Major General.”

“I see. I’m glad to see you have a future.”

There was no platoon leader among the millions of fighter craft pilots who were recruited en masse.

Of the 9 million Salamander crafts on board Fortress Kerviel, the commander of the 300 command centers, which oversee 30,000 crafts each, is like a Captain to Alois. At least four veteran fighter craft pilots are assigned to the command center to help coordinate issues that cannot be addressed by Android.

As for himself, Alois believes that he will probably continue to be promoted.

Not only because he is good at what he does, but also because the spirit he has attached is diligent.

Suddenly, Alois’ left hand grabbing the control stick was pushed to the left by the spirit on its own. After the Salamander flew to the left, the original path was bombarded by Tenka ships.

『That was dangerous.』

『Ah, you saved me.』

In a situation when he should have died, Millie, Alois’ spirit, helps avoid attacks by forcibly pushing Alois away. Not only that, Millie was always assisting in maneuvering the craft, sensing magic reactions, and coordinating with the other crafts.

『A stray enemy ship is heading toward the fortress, I’ve informed the spirits around us, so let’s work together to defeat them. Don’t worry about the fighter crafts in front of you, they’re foolish little children who were given up by the girl they were following. Let’s earn more results and head straight back to the fortress.』

『………… got it.』

『Don’t tell anyone about me. I wouldn’t be troubled, but you would.』

『I know, I won’t tell anyone about my partner.』

『That’s good.』

In the royal army, there are a certain number of ace pilots like Alois who have achieved remarkable results like Alois.

Although not as good as the Ace Pilots, there were many others who came up with big achievements, and on the other hand, there were some who died right away.

The original Salamander was rated 0.08, while the standard Tenka ship, the Báichéng, was rated 6.

75 Salamanders are an even match with a single Báichéng. The Báichéng, which could not operate its magic engine properly, was targeted at the part of the hull that could not be shielded, and was in an even trade-off with about 15 crafts.

The same is true for the Tenka’s battle boat, the Yunfu(Yúnfú). Originally, with a strength rating of 0.04, one Salamander and two Yunfu should have been evenly matched. In reality, ten crafts were evenly matched by one Salamander.

The Royal Army’s Salamander raced through the sector, dropping a large number of enemy ships, while cutting down on the enemies that were newly stepping in after them.

While the Salamanders were destroying the enemy, Fortress Kerviel attempted to make a large turn towards the right wing of the enemy and correct its course to a clockwise rotation when viewed from the zenith.

Major General Colette, the acting commander, received a report from the Chief of Staff, who has the rank of Brigadier General.

“Salamander damage is 280,000 vessels, 9.3% of the 3 million crafts in sortie. Enemy dropped is about 15,000 ships, about 3.3% of the remaining 456,000 ships. Approximately 80,000 enemy fighter craft dropped, 5.8% of 1.37 million.”

280,000 fighter pilots were killed in just three hours after engagement with the enemy.

Colette, who sent them out, turned pale as an individual, but from the perspective of the General of the Royal Army, she recognized that the results of the battle exceeded expectations.

There are a total of 9 million Salamanders in three shifts. If 300,000 crafts can cut 3.2% of the enemy, 9 million crafts can cut 96%. With the enemy’s fighter crafts being exhausted, they can concentrate on warships, so it’s not impossible to cut down enemy forces with 9 million crafts.

The mission of Fortress Kerviel is to buy time on the front lines until the home country can gather conscripted fighter craft pilots. It is a cruel way to use up soldiers, but it serves the original purpose.

The fighter craft pilots in Fortress Kerviel are those who volunteered to protect their families in their homeland, so they are willing to defend them… there was no other choice but to think that way.

“Fortress Kerviel will continue to move clockwise through the system, and when the Salamander’s shift time comes, second wave will deploy. Fighter craft leaders, prepare to launch.”

“Understood”

The fortress cannon cannot be used because the course change uses the Salamanders as a shield. Feeling frustrated by this, Colette corrected the fortress course clockwise.

In exchange for the first wave of Salamanders pulling up after the battle, five million new fusion rounds were fired, and three million second-wave crafts sortied from behind them.

The Royal Army released as many missiles and fighter crafts as during the first wave, which caused quite a stir on the Tenka side.

Fortress Kerviel had stockpiled missiles and fighter crafts throughout the fortress, just like a squirrel in winter gathering nuts. The amount of missiles and fighter crafts stored in the fortress’ overly huge space is unimaginable. Therefore, Tenka imagined that if the conflict continued, they could be defeated.

“Lord Yuen, from Fortress Kerviel, a second wave of missiles and fighter crafts.”

“Fire counter-missiles, Deploy Yunfu to the front against enemy fighter crafts. All ships, continue close combat. Fire fusion rounds at the expected path of Fortress Kerviel and lead the fleet ahead.”

“Sir, sending instructions be executed immediately. But our missiles are not infinite. If we continue to consume at this rate, we will exhaust them during the battle in this system.”

“I know.”

Yuen, who received an obvious report, gave an abhorrent expression.

The content of the report is true, and at this rate, even if they win, they will need several months to resupply and replenish their forces.

The Monarchy’s fighter crafts were equipped with measures against electromagnetic pulse cannons, and their fighting power was also increased. Also what was completely unexpected is the output abnormality of the magic element engine.

At the pre-conference of the six Tenka Nations, Yuen was keenly aware of what Hào Lán of Fukashiro meant when he expressed concern about the “threat of technology that the contents could not be understood at all”.

If the results of the battle in the MacLir System had been brought by exiles of the former Coalition, Yuen might have chosen other means, such as advancing the Tenka immigration policy to the former Coalition planets. However, the war has already begun, and Yaai, the heir to the Cáo family, which is one of the six Tenka ruling families, has died in battle, so it cannot be stopped.

Realizing that the war situation was far worse than expected, Yuen was forced to use an undesirable strategy.

“The enemy fighter crafts have no measures against fusion weapons. Put ally Yunfu to the forefront and engage the enemy fighter crafts. Then blow up enemy fighter crafts that have swarmed with fusion rounds along with allied crafts. It doesn’t matter if 20 allies are lost from a fusion round, as long as 10 enemies go with them.”

“Huh … but will they be shot down by allies?”

“Let them shoot. Four nations are gathered in this sector. Each nation only has to shoot in the form of involving Yunfu operated by Tenka outsiders of another nation, not Yunfu with their nations Tenkans. As a result, the Báichéng’s damage will be reduced and the shooter will be saved. Tell them that, and they should be able to do it.”

“………… understood.”

“When there are no more fighter crafts, we’ll use the vanguard Báichéng as bait to do the same thing. At first, however, there is no need to tell people about using Báichéng. First of all, shoot at ally Yunfu and destroy the psychological brakes.”

The severe strategy came at the moment when the second wave of Salamanders entered the battlefield and engaged the Yunfu.

When Salamander began to overrun the Yunfu, Tenka’s fusion missiles, which had been launched to avoid allies until now, began to burn Salamander engulfing their allies without mercy.

“Tenka Federation forces fired millions of fusion rounds all at once, involving the Tenka fighter crafts. The second wave of Salamander that was dispatched is swallowed by the localized supernova explosion class energy.”

On the main screen of the Operation Command Room, which shows the surrounding system map, a huge white light lit a sector with 100 blue and many red light points.

The white light never disappears, and the blue and red light that invaded the sector is completely wiped out. Each blue light point represented up to 30,000 fighter crafts, but dozens of lights disappeared at the same time.

In addition, in the turbulent space of both armies, close-range bombings of nuclear fusion rounds continued, and Salamanders of the Royal Army were also erased in exchange for almost extinguishing Tenka’s fighter crafts.

“Retreat the second wave of Salamanders to the fortress. Launch interceptor missiles. Cover the Salamander’s withdrawal.”

Colette reasonably suppressed her urge to complain loudly, thinking that it would hinder the Chief of Staff’s orders.

Following the rapidly reversing Salamanders, Tenka’s fusion missiles were approaching. The missile swarm of the fortress intercepted them, and the explosion which occurred there swallowed a part of the Salamanders that had failed to escape.

In exchange for almost all 1.29 million Tenka fighter craft being destroyed, the same number of Royal Army fighter craft was lost.

The three million crafts of the second wave that the vanguard fleet had displayed on the subscreen had now been drastically reduced to 1,795,000 crafts. The tentative strength evaluation was 100:94, in favor of the Royal Army, but if the same hand is used by the Tenka Army, the fighter crafts moving in groups will be unilaterally shot down regardless of the strength evaluation.

“Acting Commander Listner, the fighter crafts are operated by a battle-link system. If they don’t move in groups, they won’t be able to use the battle-link system. However, if they move in groups, they will fall prey to fusion missiles, and if they engage individually, each will be destroyed by the enemy ship’s automatic interception system.”

“I know, abort all fighter craft launch. Commander Amakawa will decide what to do next after the change.”

“Understood. Aborting all fighter craft deployment.”

After the Chief of Staff issued the order, Fortress Kerviel retreated while continuing to respond to the missiles.

Colette herself had dismissed the Salamander as expendable and used them to cut down the enemy forces, but she would not engage in combat where she shot the enemy along with the Salamander.

If the Capital planet was attacked and they could break through, she would shoot without hesitation if cornered to the situation where civilians living on the planet will be killed, but it is unethical for Colette to shoot her own allies while invading a planet in a war of aggression.

During the 12 hours under Colette’s command, about 1.6 million Salamander crafts were destroyed and 1.368 million Tenkan fighter crafts and about 17,000 warships dropped.

Under conventional assessments, this result would have cost 1.96 million Salamanders, and under the special environment, which was five times more favorable, it was a result that would have cost 392,000 crafts in damage. Of course, Colette believes that she lost to the enemy commander.

When Hart came to the operational headquarters an hour before the shift time, Colette reported the worsening situation.

Hart had no intention of blaming her for his own judgment, including leaving it to Colette.

“We had three shifts, so the damage was only one third, and the decision to withdraw was quick and decisive. It could have happened on my shift, and I think Colette did well, this was just bad luck. I mean it.”

“Thank you for saying that, but what about Hart?”

One command post operates 30,000 fighter craft units, and there are 300 of them.

If the fighter crafts are to be subdivided, it is necessary to increase the number of posts, but the commanders of the post are veteran former pilots, who have coached the current fighter craft pilots as instructors since the time when volunteers were gathered.

Because they take charge as the commanders of the post, it is possible to command well, and even if they support those who have never moved the fighter craft, the operation execution ability of the fighter crafts falls greatly.

As with fighter crafts, the posts have three shifts, but the commanders of the command post, who need to make decisions, cannot be kept awake with drugs. Even if the commanders are overworked, the backlash will result in reduced combat efficiency and fatal mistakes.

Any further combat by fighter crafts, Hart decided, would not be profitable.

“From now on, we will temporarily abandon the MacLir System and invade Shinkyō, the third largest nation in Tenka, closest to the MacLir system. The aim is to destroy the inhabited planet, reduce the number of national mages that can be recruited, disperse planetary attack weapons, and force the enemy invaders back to their homeland for relief. We will then determine the next system to attack based on the system’s defenses at that time.”

“………… are you serious?”

Colette, who has been assisting Hart in the position of Deputy Director, is more accustomed to Hart’s ideas than others. Even such a Colette had to reaffirm Hart’s statement when he suggested a counter-invasion of the enemy’s home base even though his mission was to buy time in defense.

Of course, Hart was serious.

The damage to Tenka was significant, with 176,000 of the 600,000 invading vessels and 1,368,000 fighter crafts dropped, bringing the total to 31.3% lost. It is estimated that half of their fusion ammunition was consumed.

On the other hand, about 1.6 million out of 9 million Salamander crafts were destroyed, totaling 17.7% lost. The two forces are evenly matched in the special environment of the MacLir System, and it can be said that Fortress Kerviel has achieved great results.

Even so, the invasion will not stop unless their base is destroyed by a reverse invasion.

『Seraphina, I’m going to crush the enemy system for a moment to gain energy for the promotion of Fleur and Rhea. Kindly block enemy warps, radar observations, and communications to the extent possible. Also, feel free to use the moon Fraga’s magic element engine. In this star system, you can do whatever you want.』

When he called out with magic, a nostalgic voice echoed in Hart’s brain.

『We have constraints because we need them. But this time, the enemy has invaded my territory to attack my contractor, Hart, so it is acceptable.』

Although he could not see Seraphina, Hart felt a connection of magic power to his left and turned around.

With blond hair and light purple eyes, ears as long as half-elves, wearing a ultramarine blue two-piece, lily floral decorations on the chest and white wings on the back.

From such a temporary form tailored to human visual information, the current Seraphina has simply returned to her original form. Even if he can’t see her, Seraphina is still by his side. Hart pretended to be unconcerned and casually called out to her.

『I’ll leave it all to Seraphina. Then I’ll be going.』

『I’ll help you out for the first time in ages. Have a safe trip.』

The magic power of Hart and Seraphina, as well as some of the vast amounts of magical elements flowing through the system, flowed into the magic engine of Fortress Kerviel.

The world reflected in the visual field of Hart and his people shone blue, then the stars surrounding it solidify four times and become smaller, and as he narrowly swam through the space where countless rivers of stars flowed in the pitch-dark, Hart saw the small, solid stars spread four times.

Despite being in battle with the Tenka Federation, Fortress Kerviel, which skipped the route calculation, quickly disappeared from the MacLir System in an instant.

Before the eyes of Yuen and his colleagues, who were engaged in the MacLir Star System Battle, Fortress Kerviel suddenly glowed blue and immediately vanished.

“Fortress Kerviel has warped out, its magic conversion reaction has disappeared from within this system”

The Tenka Federation invaded and the Monarchy of Diete withdrew. It was undeniably a victory for the Tenka Federation, but Yuen didn’t feel like he had won.

“Has the abnormality of the magic engine recovered?”

“No sir, even after the withdrawal of Fortress Kerviel, the power output, radar, and communication are all in an abnormal state, It is the worst in the star system, and an improvement of about 8% can be seen in the current space area 2.1 billion kilometers away from the outer edge. It is estimated that 1 light-day radius from the star system is an abnormal region.”

If they can’t shield the entire ship, they can’t enter high-dimensional space and warp. If the radar and communication are also malfunctioning, they can’t track the enemy’s movement at all, and it is not possible to contact the outside.

With this, even if the MacLir system is secured, it cannot be used as a territory controlled by the Tenka Federation.

“Is it always active even without the Monarchy Army? Can’t you identify the source?”

“Unknown at this time. If there are any broken and drifting enemy fighter craft, we will order them to be secured for interrogation. We will also interrogate the conquered MacLireans.”

Upon receiving a report from the staff officer, Yuen recognized that the results were not promising. Even if Yuen had special military technology, he would not be able to teach the lowest-ranked soldiers or MacLireans.

He ordered the planetary assault force he had brought to suppress the inhabited planet Whispa and the moon Fraga, and the main force was forced to leave the abnormal territory by normal navigation.

Regarding the planet Whispa, the other side informed him of their unconditional surrender. The preservation of the system was given the first priority, so Hart allowed their surrender to the conquerors.

However, the moon Fraga was equipped with a large amount of fusion rounds by the Royal Army, and mass-wave agglomeration cannons and protective membrane generators connected to a large number of magic engines installed throughout the fortress.

The moon Fraga has no atmosphere and its facilities are located inside the satellite, so attacking it from the satellite orbit would be ineffective. It was also speculated that there were a large number of personnel and weapons inside.

If the moon Fraga is not subdued or destroyed, the planet Whispa would remain within the attack range of the Royal Army.

The moon has a total length of 900 kilometers, so it is possible to produce fusion rounds in the moon. They wanted to capture it quickly, but the counterattack from the moon was fierce.

An anomalous system where they could not fully deploy shields was too dangerous to perform landing battles. In order to attack with great firepower, he used too many missiles in the battle with Fortress Kerviel.

The commander, who was instructed by Yuen to take final control of the MacLir system, was forced to half-destroy the moon Fraga in order to control the planet.

However, when he sent a celestial body towards it, it was not only deflected from its orbit by a counter-propellant fusion missile from the moon, but also avoided by the propulsion system despite its huge size, leaving him helpless.

On the other hand, Yuen, who took three days to leave the abnormal region, made contact with Yúnlán(Un ran) of the (Shu) family, the fourth ranked in Tenka, who was attacking the Freyja star system as a separate unit.

Communication between star systems that have just been snatched by the Monarchy is possible because they deployed a large number of reconnaissance ships and communication satellites in the invading area to relay magical communications.

In a communication with Yúnlán, Yuen revealed what happened in the MacLir system. And in the Freyja system that Yúnlán invaded, they also learned that there was no abnormality and the enemy immediately withdrew.

[I understand the situation on the main side, and I also understand why the former Coalition exiles could not obtain any communication from the MacLir System. It has not occurred in the Freyja system, so it cannot be used extensively. If so, the Xǔ family will propose a drastic solution.]

“What drastic proposal?”

[We, the detached force, will cancel all plans, divert from the galactic zenith direction, and hit the Diete System directly. Completely destroy the spirit crystal factory on the capital planet Diros.]

“………… I see”

In Yúnlán’s proposal, Yuen found a way out of the current situation.

The former Coalition was also successful in attacking Diros, and production of the spirit crystal factory has been temporarily suspended. At that time, Dr. Kerman, the developer, died, and the spirit crystal factory could no longer be expanded.

If a situation similar to that of the MacLir system occurs, the detached force could be destroyed. But if they don’t proceed because it’s dangerous, it would be impossible to win the war against the Monarchy.

Yuen decided to take Yúnlán’s bet.

“Very well, what do you need?”

[Hold Fortress Kerviel at the front and buy us some time. They will most likely go into the Hercules system to defend against an invasion of the Monarchy territory. Go along with it. And I’ll ask you to take control of the Myrna and Thor systems that we won’t go to.]

“I will take care of everything, and if we’re going to attack the capital planet, we will send 200,000 ships from the main force there. With Yaai dead, Honyo’s troops will not be able to return to their home country unless they destroy the planet, Diros. Use them in suicide operations with fusion rounds.”

After communicating with Yúnlán, Yuen took various measures.

In order to control the Myrna and Thor systems, 30 separate fleets of 30,000 ships were organized from the main force. Carrier crafts that lost ships and fighter craft that needed repairs in their home countries were returned to their respective countries. At the same time, each country was instructed to conscript former national mages and send reinforcements to the front lines.

The main forces advanced to the Hercules System, where Fortress Kerviel probably retreated to.

Hart, on the Monarchy side, determined that the invading forces worn out in the MacLir system needed to be replenished and reorganized. And he thought that if the bases were attacked one after another, they would not be able to invade Monarchy territory.

On the other hand, the leaders of the Tenka side also decided that Fortress Kerviel needed replenishment. They never imagined that the third wave of fighter crafts were halted, and that after engaging the main force, a reverse invasion was underway, ignoring both supply and defense.

Both armies marched under common sense assumptions.

Previous | TOC | Next

Volume 2 of the light novel will be released November 16. Also volume 1 is now available on Bookwalker!

Advertisement

2 thoughts on “Maiden Game Hard Mode – Chapter 50

  1. The preview is still the same chapter!

    Lots of maneuvering this chapter, not much I can comment on but fun to read all the same.

    Hart done fucked up, probably? Both fleets aren’t going to meet at all, and are going to rampage across each others territory freely. I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen next.

    Thanks for the chapter!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s