Chapter 52 – Battle of the Kyūyama Star System
The news of the destruction of Shinkyō, third ranked in Tenka, was immediately delivered under the invading army.
[Fortress Kerviel has raided the Shinkyō system. The defense fleet was destroyed with 85% dropped. At Suān, celestial bodies were plunged into all continents and half of the surface was burned up with fusion rounds. The death toll is 85% of the total population, estimated at more than 12.5 billion people.]
The unrealistic report was accompanied by a huge amount of video data.
Once a major city, the area was now a desolate wasteland with huge craters and no vegetation. The remnants of buildings that had been repeatedly exposed to the explosions of fusion bombs were charred and tattered, looking as if they would crumble to pieces if touched.
There was footage of celestial bodies rushing in, with defense fleets and Monarchy fighter crafts jumbled together around the planet, and Fortress Kerviel rapidly accelerating and repeatedly firing projectiles in sectors where it could not be shot upon carelessly, making it nearly impossible for the planet’s defense facilities and defense fleets to prevent the raid.
It was impossible to prevent the subsequent fusion rounds if three million shots were fired near the planet.
Fortunately, the inhabited planet of Shinkyō took a week to cycle between day and night, and because the day was midsummer and the night was midwinter, people’s living space expanded underground. As a result, 15% of the total population escaped thermal radiation and shockwaves above the ground.
However, the defensive battle has been unilaterally devastating, leading to defeat. The commander of Fortress Kerviel has a wealth of experience in actual warfare and is accustomed to battle, such as missile wave attacks that change from acceleration to deceleration, how to force a melee battle, and moving the fortress position to continue one-sided attacks. Yuen evaluated.
“Of course the Sovereign of Diete would offer his eldest daughter.”
In a royal state, the best way to control an overly competent vassal is to offer his daughter.
With that alone, the vassal becomes a son-in-law, a brother-in-law for the sons, and various restrictions can be imposed on the vassal.
By becoming a parent-child relationship, their interests would basically align. In addition, the daughter, who became a wife, acts as an intermediary between her husband and her parents’ household, so most grievances are resolved before they lead to a fatal collapse.
Should he kill the father or brother of the wife, the people would not follow the culprit from the perspective of humanity. Those who would try to incite dissatisfaction can only give up when the target is either the father-in-law who gave his daughter or the son-in-law who took her as his wife.
Commander Amakawa and his Fortress Kerviel possessed more combat capabilities than Yuen could have imagined.
Despite having consumed an estimated 30 million nuclear fusion rounds against the Tenka main force, they used about 8 million nuclear fusion rounds and deployed an estimated 7.4 million fighter crafts at the Shinkyō Star System.
Shinkyō’s defense fleet destroyed an estimated 2.07 million crafts, about 28% of the Monarchy’s fighter crafts.
In exchange, however, the defense fleet lost 33,152 ships, about 66% of the fleet. Most of the other ships that participated in Shinkyō were half destroyed, and the death toll on the inhabited planet is estimated to be 12.5 billion, which is 85% of the total population. The surviving fleet is conducting rescue operations, but the planetary habitability has collapsed, and it will take a great deal of time and effort to restore the planetary environment to a state where humans can live.
In the invasion army of Tenka, Líng Yīng, the successor of the Gāo family who ruled Shinkyō, is also participating.
Upon receiving the report, Líng Yīng did not become distraught.
This was war, and it was known before the start of the war that the people of Diete were notorious for celestial raids into enemy systems. In Shinkyō, there were voices of concern, and after many heated discussions, the decision to start the war was made in light of the various prospects for the future.
Will the descendants of Shinkyō, who will live in the new star system 1000 years from now, conclude that this battle was necessary? Or will they scorn it as folly? Which will be the case will depend on Líng Yīng’s future achievements.
With a fierce emotion that could not be hidden on his face, Líng Yīng tried to accept reality by force of will.
“To protect a planet from Fortress Kerviel, a defense fleet of 50,000 vessels is not enough.”
Líng Yīng, who was full of emotion, still issued a warning for Tenka’s victory.
Tenka’s five nations had one million warships powered by one million national mages.
Of those, 750,000 were used for the invasion and 250,000 for defense. Each system had 50,000 ships, the minimum defense force for nations with low national power.
From the battle results to date, the Monarchy’s fighter crafts are considered equal to the Tenka cruiser class Shiraki, with 75 crafts. In other words, a defense fleet of 50,000 is even with 3.75 million Monarchy-armed fighter crafts. In combat, an attack by fusion rounds involving allies is also effective.
However, when fighting Fortress Kerviel in the defense of the Shinkyō system, there was no room to shoot fusion missiles at the fighter crafts in order to prevent fusion rounds from endlessly raining down from the fortress toward the inhabited planet.
5.32 million of the Monarchy fighter crafts that participated in the Shinkyō Star System Battle have survived.
If they come to Ten-to, the first ranked in Tenka, which has abundant defensive forces, they can intercept it, but if they attack other systems, they won’t be able to withstand it.
Fortress Kerviel’s strength will be exhausted in the second system, and the third system raid will be prevented, but the damage to the second system cannot be tolerated.
“Until the movement of Fortress Kerviel is known, the reinforcement fleets issued from each nation will be returned to each country, each instructing its own nation to strengthen its defense system. Líng Yīng, return to Shinkyō with your troops, deal with the damage, and take command of the defense of Tenka territory. I will also entrust you with the command of the reinforcement fleets of each nation.”
Even if the main unit, which was about to enter the Heracles system, were to return, it would not be able to catch up with Fortress Kerviel, which is heading from Shinkyō to the next system.
Knowing this, Yuen decided to return the troops that could respond in time, and at the same time, return Líng Yīng, the successor to Shinkyō, to his home nation.
After the devastation, Shinkyō needs a leader to set the course for the future.
It would have been better if the high-ranking families in Shinkyō had escaped when Fortress Kerviel struck. However, this was the first war since the founding of the country, there was no idea that the national leader would flee when the enemy attacked.
If Líng Yīng is not returned, Shinkyō, which has lost its ruler, cannot move properly. On the contrary, even if other star systems are damaged, he will cooperate with the other families to take provisional measures and make independent decisions.
“We, the main force, will capture the Hercules System as scheduled to support the detached force heading for the Diete system and attract enemy forces. The destruction of the Spirit Crystal Factory is now essential. We will report the situation while still in communication with Yúnlán of the detached force.”
The Tenka Federation made the inhumane actions of the Monarchy its cause.
But to destroy a military factory, it is only necessary to blow the continent where they are located. Yuen reminded the detached force.
Essentially, Yuen does not want to blow away an entire continent.
It is far more reasonable to incorporate enemies as national mages like those who left Earth, rather than killing them all. The original plan was to scatter the enemy fleet and conquer the intact star system, but now there was no longer any room for that choice.
It has been confirmed that the Monarchy’s greatest force, Fortress Kerviel, will not be able to participate during the attack on Diros, led by the detached force. Yúnlán’s detached force consists of 350 fleets of 350,000 ships, including 200,000 reinforcements from the main fleet, which is equivalent to 26.25 million fighter crafts.
“…… they sacrificed a limb to ensure the kill.”
Planetary control of the MacLir system has stagnated because their force cannot gain control of the moon Fraga, but the Royal Army has been forced from the system. The Freyja system has been dropped, and a detached force is also underway in the Myrna and Thor systems. The Hercules system is about to be invaded, and Diros, the Monarchy’s capital planet, can also be hit directly.
However, of the five nations, if nothing is done, two will be attacked.
The Monarchy suffers great damage from the loss of multiple systems, but the Tenka side also suffers great damage in the short term.
When Hào Lán of Fukashiro, who chose a neutral position, came to mind with regards to the victor of this war, Yuen wrinkled his eyebrows out of discomfort.
If Hào Lán had participated on the Tenka side, another detached force could have been organized, and the Athena system and the Apollo system could have been attacked at the same time as the Diete system. The struggling nations will resent the traitors of Tenka.
Knowing that some action would have to be taken eventually, Yuen made a decision on various issues awaiting his judgment.
As Yuen had made a sort of split decision, Hart did not attack Ten-to.
The attack on the Shinkyō system was a surprise attack that could only have been carried out without knowledge of where Fortress Kerviel had gone to. There, 2.66 million Salamander crafts have been lost, and despite the fact that it will not be a surprise attack next, there is no way to attack Ten-to, which has twice the population of Shinkyō.
There were three target systems: Ōizumi the fourth ranked, Honyō the fifth ranked, and Kyūyama the sixth ranked. Of the three, Hart chose the one with the least strength, Kyūyama.
In raising Rhea to Spirit King following the contracted spirit Fleur, Kyūyama with a longer history of human habitation than Ōizumi and Honyō and a total population of over 10 billion was sufficient to meet the requirements.
To the members of the fortress command, in addition to it having low defensive capability, they are making up for it by citing the fact that it was the closest to the Monarchy’s main territory and that they can destroy and divide the system adjacent to Fukashiro, which has declared its neutrality.
Of the 9 million Salamanders crafts aboard Fortress Kerviel, 4.27 million crafts have been lost, which is 47.4% of the original. The policy of targeting the lowest-ranked Kyūyama, which had the lowest strength, was understood by Yuna and others.
For Yuna, Hart tried to gain another understanding.
“So, it was Xuě Lì who taught me about the performance of the Tenka Warships and the navigation routes within the Tenka territory.”
Hart revealed everything from Xuě Lì’s vomiting at the diplomatic ceremony, playback footage of the conversation between the father and the daughter kicked out of her home for being a shut-in, taking out the data storage from her party bag and sharing it with Hart, and Mira giving her a spirit crystal.
It’s because they are not good at hiding things that they get into trouble, but if everything is told in full and she is brought into the fold, they won’t have to make excuses. Hart thought.
The reason for involving Yuna first is to appeal to her emotionally by showing that Yuna is the one he relies on the most.
“So what do you want me to do, Hart?”
“The way I see it, knowing Xuě Lì’s character and contribution, I thought it would be better to prevent Yuna from getting angry with Xuě Lì, and not to hide her as a fiancée.”
“Oh, hmm. That’s what it is?”
In one go, Yuna was able to get rid of her harsh look, and Hart immediately erased it from his mind so that she wouldn’t realize, as he associated it with the dangerous word “simple-minded” that appeared in the game he played at his grandfather’s house.
Yuna, who understood the situation, walked up to Xuě Lì, who was frozen with tension.
“I understand what you’re asking, and I agreed to the marriage diplomacy.”
To Yuna’s greatest concession, Xuě Lì responded with a nod, her utmost response.
Because of this, his reaction was interrupted, and Hart became the relay of the conversation.
“Why don’t you let each other’s spirits meet? Even if there is something you find difficult to say in person, you will be able to communicate with Yuna’s spirit Sharon and Xuě Lì’s spirit Chloe.”
While watching the two alternately, Hart urged them to reveal their spirits.
Yuna and her spirit Sharon have been together for three and a half years, since before the Loki Star System Battle. Yuna’s trust in Sharon is unwavering, as a comrade who has survived numerous battles.
Xuě Lì, on the other hand, has a short relationship with Chloe, but Chloe is one of Xuě Lì’s greatest allies in the Monarchy. Perhaps because she is not human, Xuě Lì’s shyness has not kicked in, and she is a valuable conversation partner.
Chloe bowed to Sharon as she appeared, and Sharon nodded back and the face-to-face meeting of the two spirits before their contractors was over.
Later, while traveling from Shinkyō to Kyūyama, Hart spent the time playing the game that Xuě Lì brought with the three of them, so that Xuě Lì and Yuna would be able to get to know each other. Then, as the friendship value rose to some extent, and he thought to add Claudia to the mix next, they reached the second enemy star system, the Kyūyama system.
The battles in Shinkyō and Kyūyama will basically remain the same as they were fought one after another in less than a month.
Up to a short distance, the information received from Xuě Lì is used to approach on a route that civilian ships cannot take. Fortress Kerviel’s search range was much longer than the enemy’s, and Fleur, who gained enough power to be promoted to Spirit King, increased its jumping distance, allowing them to reach Kyūyama system without being caught by enemy search.
The increased capabilities of Fortress Kerviel will be a nightmare for the enemy.
There was no way to scatter swarms of mines throughout the vast outer rim of the star system, and the warped fortress invaded the system without encountering any resistance.
Hart, equipped with a life support device and cutting off various information, goes into a world completely different from Shinkyō.
It was a scene of walking through a spring field full of blooming flowers and grass, guided by the fairy Fleur.
A large number of colored butterflies, which seemed to be Fleur’s kin, mixed with Hart’s magic power and took the form of fortress cannons, flying through space. All of the ships and interceptor weapons in the Star System were surrounded by these butterflies and destroyed.
Red, blue, yellow, and white butterflies fly around the star system, and the space where they flew was filled with petals dancing in the wind.
Hart accelerated in the same way as Shinkyō, slowing down after 10 strikes of 500,000 missiles, and only the course in front was neatly arranged. The enemy’s attack, which came from outside the front, was erased by Fleur’s butterflies, and even if they got through, the petal shields that emerged on the surface of the fortress blocked them.
In the Shinkyō System, the flashes of fusion rounds burned up space and vision was intermingled, creating a world in which the new star explosions danced. On the other hand, in the Kyūyama system, the scene where the sector is swallowed up by a spring storm is created.
With the power of Fleur being greatly raised, Hart realized the difference in ranks that existed among the spirits. The Kyūyama defense fleet was terrified by Fortress Kerviel, which was causing an incomprehensible phenomenon.
As a result of their enemy search, Kyūyama’s defense force had increased to 65,000 ships. This is comparable to 4,875,000 Salamanders.
The number of Salamanders is 5,328,000 crafts, and the two armies have a force rating of 100:91, excluding the fortress.
They were almost even with the lowest ranked Kyūyama system, and Hart recognized that attacking the weakest Kyūyama was the right decision. The Royal Army is numerically inferior, and as long as Fortress Kerviel is the only move for a reversal, and failure is unacceptable.
Hart, who lifted the information block, ordered the Chief of Staff, who had already returned.
“Fire an additional 3 million nuclear fusion rounds, and from behind them, launch anti-missile swarm. Launch all Salamanders while blocking the enemy with missiles. Break through enemy lines in melee combat.”
A huge swarm of missiles was shot out of the fortress, and behind it, 5.328 million Salamander boats began to invade the inhabited planet Xiàshān in the Kyūyama Star System, in the form of a huge tsunami.
Hart believes that the Tenka Federation, which has invaded the Monarchy, must have the horrors of war engraved into their soul and brought into a pessimistic mindset. Whether it is a ceasefire or an end of the war, neither will be realized unless one side abandons the continuation of the war.
The former Coalition, who experienced a one-sided battle in the MacLir Star System, don’t think of starting any foolish revolts. People are forgetful creatures, but as long as the generation that experienced the war survives, there will not be a war.
Therefore, Hart embodied the unreasonableness of unilaterally burning down the enemy from outside their range.
“Distance to the enemy, 980 million km, Your Excellency, we are still out of range…”
As the Chief of Staff was puzzled, Hart’s main fortress cannon, which combined the magic power addition of three spirits, ran through the long distance to destroy the front row of the defense fleet.
As Fortress Kerviel advanced, it would continue to reliably destroy enemies at a distance that should be impossible to hit.
The enemy was like a neatly arranged target. If it were not for the fact that this sector was within the enemy’s system, that they possessed more missiles, and that their manpower and fleet would increase with time, Hart would have continued his shooting game without any harm to his allies.
After two hours of devastating the enemy, Fortress Kerviel moved toward the galactic zenith ahead of the Salamanders and fired the main cannon at the enemy fleet’s rear, forcing the enemy defense fleet into melee battle.
On offense was Yuna and Claudia, propulsion was Philine with Colette as auxiliary. Hart deploys an absolute defense called the Spirit King Fleur, and had Mira and Rhea attack in between.
The star system map projected the collision of the blue light wall representing the Salamanders and the red light wall representing the enemy defense fleet. The inhabited planet is projected at the far end, and a tsunami of blue light flows into it, mixing with red light to show a purple battle sector.
The more purple it is, the more successful the formed melee state, making it impossible for the enemy to fire fusion rounds. Almost the entire area in front is in a state of congestion, and the celestial raid into the enemy star system broke through the first barrier.
At the fortress headquarters, the fighter craft command posts and the staff are engaged in various exchanges.
“The melee situation in the right wing direction is more advantageous to me. There are many battlefields that are numerically disadvantageous in the direction of the left wing. It seems that the enemy forces are deliberately consolidating their forces and trying to destroy each one”
“Move units from the center to the left flank, divert the Salamander units from the 65th to the 100th divisions from the right wing into the hole in the center.”
Hart never interferes with the staff’s coordination. No matter how much he leads, there is no end to it, and it is a very difficult situation.
Instead, he moved the fortress to the enemy’s thin right flank, from which he fired about 200,000 fusion rounds toward the enemy planet. Enemy forces and enemy planet hurriedly launched interceptor missiles, and enemy fleets moved some units from left to right to eliminate the inferiority of the left wing.
Thus, there are other ways to eliminate inferiority besides diverting units.
In order to establish a system that makes that unnecessary, they must increase the number of command posts to every 10,000 crafts from the current situation where a command post is set up every 30,000 crafts and increase the number of personnel in the posts and the fortress headquarters.
However, the Monarchy is recruiting additional Salamander pilots in all its systems, and experienced and talented people who can command fighter crafts are indispensable for leadership roles. Even with this, Fortress Kerviel is still the most favored site in the Monarchy.
Hart thought of assigning pilots with extensive combat experience to command, but witnessing the ongoing deaths of Salamander pilots, he questioned the feasibility of the idea. However, even at the cost of their lives, celestial bodies must be dropped on enemy planet to reduce the number of Tenka’s national mages.
As the fierce battle of attrition continued, there appeared a huge hole on the left wing that the enemy could not block. The enemy’s left collapsed as Hart concentrated his attack on the right wing at that timing, causing the enemy to move to the right wing, and Fortress Kerviel’s staff diverted the fighter crafts to the collapsed left wing.
The Salamanders, powered by the information integration system and the battle link system, did not overlook the bias of the enemy. They relentlessly exploited the weaknesses and annihilated the enemies in the sector. Of course, Hart did not miss the chance at the enemy’s gap either.
“It’s time, project 6 celestial bodies!”
Six rushing objects were launched at high speeds of more than 1,000 km/h into the sector where the enemy had disappeared. The enemy fleet, which were stuck on the right wing, could not stop them, and the objects broke through the atmosphere and pierced the continent in six places.
Six fireballs are created on the planet, burning away the surrounding area with thermal radiation. Immediately after that, the shockwave pierced through and swept across the surface of the planet.
『Rhea, convert and absorb purified miasma.』
『I know, I’ve already started.』
Rhea, a spirit with elf ears and a green breeze swirling around her, stared at the void with her out-of-focus eyes, fluttering her brown stall.
Because of the large amount of magic elements being converted and absorbed, she wore an unfamiliar gold bangle on her right hand, tied a white ribbon to her hair, wrapped a belt around her waist and put on a shoulder bag, and desperately tried to disperse energy.
After confirming the situation, Hart moved the fortress further to the left from the left wing and threw four celestial bodies into the continent on the other side of the planet.
Two were shot down by interceptor missiles launched from the planet, and the other two were successfully rushed.
Instead, 100,000 nuclear fusion rounds will be fired at the two locations that could not be attacked. Although they were still absorbing the miasma that Rhea had purified, the safe continent had to be destroyed as it launched missiles at them.
The Tenka Federation had no hypothetical enemy like the Monarchy and Coalition, and was not originally designed for war. As a result, the number of underground evacuation facilities was small, and the damage caused by fusion ammunition far exceeded that caused by celestial attacks.
With enemy ships and fighter crafts flowing in on the other side of the planet, Hart called off the fusion missile attack.
“In order to force back the enemy invading the territory of the Monarchy, we will cut down the enemies in the Kyūyama System, making rescue difficult for them on their own. We will continue the battle for a while.”
Actually, he stayed because he wanted to promote the spirit Rhea to a Spirit King, but Hart, who cannot explain it, made up a suitable reason.
At the meeting of the Royal Court, Sovereign Valfrete made it clear that “Amakawa has full discretionary power regarding battles under Fortress Kerviel for the purpose of delaying the enemy”. All of Hart’s actions aimed at delaying the enemy have been approved by the Monarchy.
Hart kept waiting for Rhea’s magic absorption without rushing.
The Salamanders, who without Fortress Kerviel had no means of moving from the system, and the Tenka defense fleet, which would lose their homes and families if the planet was destroyed, fought for nearly three hours, and many enemies and allies who could not repel each other were dropped.
『It’s over, let’s go home.』
Upon receiving a report from Rhea, Hart was relieved by the success and took the fortress out of planetary orbit.
“We are withdrawing from the enemy system, all Salamander crafts, withdraw immediately.”
“Copy that, sending withdraw order immediately.”
The pilots of the Salamanders were even more pleased than the Chief of Staff to receive Hart’s order.
They hurried away from the battlefield and returned to the fortress, looking over their backs at the last torrential downpour of the last nuclear fusion rounds from Fortress Kerviel.