Chapter 55 – Scorched Earth Operation
July 443 of the Monarchy Calendar.
Since the disappearance of Fortress Kerviel, a separate force of 30,000 ships of the Tenka Invasion Army have attempted to subdue the MacLir system for three months.
It was the military-fortified moon Fraga that continued to resist suppression.
Inside the 900-kilometer-diameter moon, a large number of unmanned weapons and combat drones were deployed, as well as millions of heavily armed military android soldiers. In order to take control of the interior, a planetary capture-scale suppression unit must be rushed in.
The number of ships in Tenka’s fleet overwhelmed that of the Monarchy, but the weapons and personnel that can be mounted on warships are limited. If the planetary suppression unit is deployed against a mere moon, and the moon were to self-destruct, the original goal of controlling the planet will be impossible. Therefore, suppression from within was impossible.
However, it was extremely difficult to destroy it from the outside.
The interior of the massive fortress was equipped with enough fusion rounds to suit it, and it was possible to mass produce nuclear fusion rounds inside. In addition, a large number of Magic Element Engines, Mass Wave Agglomeration Cannons, Protective Membrane Generators, and Propulsion Engines were installed.
The Tenka invaders, exhausted by the battle against Fortress Kerviel, were outgunned by the moon Fraga, which continued to fire large amounts of fusion missiles generously. Furthermore, even when they got into close combat, they were attacked by lasers, defended by shields, and evaded by propulsion engines, with disastrous results.
The separate Tenka force mistakenly thought that the Monarchy had deployed a large defense force on the moon Fraga.
The commander, who was entrusted with 30,000 ships, abandoned the attack after making great sacrifices.
[The MacLir system will be captured with the subsequent arrival of our reinforcements. Currently, Fortress Kerviel is rampaging through the Tenka Territory, and the Lord Líng Yīng of the Gāo family is responding to the situation. The main force and another detached force are also on their respective missions. Of all battlefields, the MacLir system has a low priority. We will maintain the status quo for several months.]
What Yuen expected of the separate force of 30,000 ships was the capture of the MacLir system.
The commander of 30,000 ships was forced to choose to maintain the status quo in order to prevent the destruction of the troops, even though he understood that his own reputation would suffer.
The moon Fraga, which was imagined to have a large Monarchy force stationed within, was actually an unmanned satellite. Seraphina, who can freely use the magic elements of the star system, was moving it by imbuing magic power.
The Tenka invasion army, from Seraphina’s point of view, is an intruder who stepped into her spirit world to attack her contractor, Hart. It was Seraphina’s rule to cooperate with the interception by pouring magic power into the moon Fraga, which was prepared by Hart.
As a result, the MacLir system was able to resist the invasion of the Tenka army for three months, with no Monarchy troops.
“There is a souvenir of Dr. Kerman in the MacLir system.”
As Sovereign Valfrete mentioned at the Royal Court meeting, this phenomenon is supposed to be a gift of the doctor.
No one has the means to question the dead.
Hart was able to feign ignorance to those around him, leaving Seraphina to defend MacLir, and returned after attacking the two systems of Shinkyō and Kyūyama.
『I’m back. How was the situation while I was away?』
After arriving in the system, Hart casually checked in with Seraphina, who remained at home, as if he had been away on a business trip for several days.
If the moon Fraga remains, a report will be received from the military android soldiers.
However, the arrival of information is slow because it does not use Magic Communication. It was quicker and more reliable to ask Seraphina, the spirit king, whom Tenka had no way to defeat.
『Welcome back, the mass of the moon has decreased by about 10%. It was quite a sight to see so many celestial bodies heading towards them all at once. Instead, about half of the remaining 30,000 ships were returned to magic elements.』
Seraphina’s military achievement was a great battle result of shaving 1.5% of the enemy’s entire army of 1 million ships.
Tenka’s 15,000 warships surpassed 1 million salamander vessels in terms of Force Evaluation. She defeated that many enemies, with zero casualties to the allies.
If the enemy had attacked the moon Fraga with the 300,000 ships they had left, it would have been destroyed. Hart wondered if the Second Battle of MacLir Star System had cost them more than he had imagined and they had temporarily pulled out.
『You have done me so much? Thanks for the help. So what are they doing?』
『Retreating to the outside of the outer edge of the system and simply monitoring. The number of ships is decreasing.』
『All right. A repair ship will be sent to the moon Fraga. We will carry on to purify and absorb the miasma of Myrna, Thor, and Freyja, and promote Mira.』
『It’s time for Mira to pay tribute, Fleur and Rhea have already been promoted to Spirit Kings. I’m looking forward to seeing what Hart does with the extra Spirit Kings.』
Fleur and Rhea were stunned to learn they were promoted before they were even aware.
After absorbing the purified miasma in Shinkyō and Kyūyama, the presence of Fleur and Rhea, which their contractor Hart could sense, had increased dramatically.
Since entering the MacLir system, their appearance had also changed.
Fleur’s appearance had changed from a fairy with innocence to a Fairy Queen with an adult atmosphere, with an invisible depth behind her eyes.
Rhea’s appearance changed from an elven girl wearing a breeze of green light to an elf-like figure manifested by the spirit king of the wind with a unified green light.
They can already do the same thing as Seraphina, the spirit king.
For example, creating a realm by connecting their own spirit world to the Diete system. Alternatively, they could create a realm in the Ten-to star system, first ranked in Tenka, and dramatically reduce the performance of the Tenka fleet. And if the spirit kings cooperate, they can do more than that.
Even if the MacLir system was temporarily abandoned, the counter-invasion was well worth it. Hart affirmed his own action.
As soon as Fortress Kerviel entered the MacLir system, a report arrived from the surviving androids of the moon Fraga.
“Hart, we’ve received a war report from the remaining android units on the moon Fraga.”
“It’s here? What is the situation?”
“The moon Fraga seems to have held its own.”
The report given by Colette was consistent with what Seraphina had previously informed him.
The former Coalition of the MacLir system had quickly surrendered to the Tenka invasion army, and since the Tenka invaders were defeated by the moon Fraga and retreated to the outer edge of the star system, they also surrendered to the Monarchy forces of the moon Fraga. As there was no damage to the planet, Hart thought his call to allow the surrender in advance was a good one.
The stationary communication satellites were destroyed, and the reconnaissance ships that relayed the communication also withdrew, making it impossible to communicate with each star system.
Additional resources were needed to fully restore the functions of the moon Fraga.
Hart sent 300 craft ships inherited from Colonel General Reinelt and 140 craft ships from Fortress Kerviel to restore the moon Fraga.
The remaining 60 craft ships will be instructed to create 60 pieces of tungsten with a diameter of 1 kilometer with a heat-resistant coating for entry and put them in the fortress.
Scout ships belonging to the fortress were sent to the rear to report the current state of the MacLir system and the destruction of the three systems.
During that time, the 15,000 Tenka units remaining in the star system did not move at all.
The strength of Fortress Kerviel is known from the battles with Shinkyō and Kyūyama. Its 2,928,000 fighter crafts are comparable to the 39,040 Tenka ships, so a Tenka force of less than half that number cannot handle them.
Moreover, though limited to the MacLir Star System, the output of the magic engine will be drastically reduced, and the strength will be reduced to one-fifth. It would take 200,000 warships to defeat the current Fortress Kerviel.
Hart worked majestically, completely repairing the moon Fraga, and procuring rushing celestial bodies in the system. After that, he set out to destroy the three star systems of Myrna, Thor and Freyja, which have become former Monarchy territories.
“It’ll be four months before we come back from the three star systems. Whether the moon Fraga will hold depends on the reinforcements from the Tenka army.”
Colette, who heard of Hart’s monologue, pointed out the difference between the common sense of the Royal Army and the perception of Hart.
“With the unmanned moon Fraga alone, we’ve dropped half of enemy’s 46 fleets by the new standard. If we can do this, we should fundamentally review our defense plan and deploy huge Fraga-class celestial bodies in all Monarchy systems. I don’t see why we can’t do that outside of the MacLir System.”
There are no other members working the shift of the magic engine operator’s seat where two were sitting.
Hart thought it would be better if his assistant, Colette, and him talked about the future prospect.
“We couldn’t do it before, but eventually we’ll be able to in the Diete system.”
“When will that be?”
“The next time we return to the Capital planet.”
It was sooner than she imagined, and Colette was amazed.
“I wonder why we couldn’t do it before.”
“The price was too high. We have to sacrifice an inhabited planet where people lived on the scale of Shinkyō and Kyūyama. Or render the three star systems of Myrna, Thor, and Freyja unusable for a century. We couldn’t sacrifice a whole inhabited planet in peacetime.”
“Hey Hart, you’re the head of one of 15 Marquis Households in the Monarchy, but you’re too powerful. The Sovereign, His Majesty Valfrete, his eldest daughter Yuna as your first wife, and Claudia of the Duke of Coesfeld, who founded the String Society, as your second wife. Be careful with your self-preservation in the future.”
Hart nodded in agreement to Colette, who gave sincere advice.
Even if Hart’s contracted spirit could be taken from him, no other person can re-contract them. If the three unused B-class spirit crystals in his possession were taken, no other person can promote them to spirit king.
But if the Sovereign had not been Valfrete, but the former Crown Prince Gracian, who died in battle, or the former Royal Grandson Leandre, who became a national traitor, Hart would have been restricted in his actions even if they could not take his spirit crystals.
Even if they didn’t cripple him so as not to offend the spirits, it is very possible that he would be kept in a formless chain, without being allowed from the Capital planet and having no real authority.
The legal wife would be changed to Leandre’s younger sister, and the successor to the Marquis of Amakawa would also be changed to Leandre’s younger sister’s child, effectively completing the takeover.
The Gracian faction has disappeared, but without the patronage of the Sovereign and the Duke of Coesfeld, the Dukes of Takrham would probably be making a move.
The relationship between Alisa of the Count of Harvist, who Hart and his allies provided a chance to play an active role in the Battle of the Hercules System, and the Laurent, Duke of Mauriac, who was saved by them, is not bad.
Other than that, they should also be careful not to come into conflict with the Dukes of Takrham and Dauphin…. Incidentally, Hart recalled the past when he and Yuna were outplayed by the Duke of Coesfeld due to their devastating political sense.
“I think I’ll leave the political negotiations of the Amakawa family to Claudia.”
‘That’s a good idea. You earn the best results in battle, so show off your worth there, Hart. Just like you can’t do everything on your own, no one else can do everything. So you just have to skillfully separate the two.”
“Yeah, thanks for the advice.”
Having lost two-thirds of his fighter crafts, Hart first headed to the Myrna system to destroy the three star systems in the former Monarchy territory before returning to his homeland.
Yuen, who led Tenka’s main force, sent a fleet of 30,000 ships to take control of the system in April in place of Yúnlán, who was leading a separate force to the head star Diros.
The Myrna system was dropped in May and the Thor system was also dropped in June, but at the same time the Shinkyō and Kyūyama systems of Tenka’s main territory were attacked and destroyed by Fortress Kerviel, the troops were ordered to withdraw from the three uninhabited and low-priority star systems.
With the exception of a small number of troops maintaining the systems, the detached force has returned to the Heracles system or the main territory of Tenka, leaving only a small fleet of 2,000 ships in the Myrna system, where Hart rushed.
Hart, on the other hand, had 39,040 ships worth of fighter crafts, making the Force Evaluation of 100:5.
[Fusion rounds can also be manufactured at Fortress Kerviel. Don’t spare missiles. Use the main and the secondary cannons to destroy the enemy with an overwhelming force advantage. This is a war of attrition, and the Salamanders will suffer casualties. Be on your guard, and do your best to reduce the friendly casualties by even one craft. Salamander pilots, bow to your spirits and ask them to help you.]
With a 20-fold difference in strength, the result of a battle in which the supreme commander on the dominant side ordered all the troops to stay alert ended with the total collapse of the Tenka army. No matter how competent the commander of the Tenka army is, with such a force difference, and the enemy being alert, there was no overturning it.
As a result of the battle, the wreckage of 485 Tenka ships and 16,490 Salamanders were added to the man-made objects flowing through the Myrna system.
And 20 tungsten pieces with a diameter of 1 km, were dropped on Fynn, the former head planet of the Myrna system.
The appearance of Hart’s contract spirit Mira changes from a girl with an apparent age of 10 to a Naiad, a mysterious ageless fairy who lives in a fountain or river that he saw only once at the time of contract.
The girl’s mischievous eyes turned into a mystical gaze that looked through Hart, as she stared at him.
『We can still absorb more. Next is the Thor system, then the Freyja system.』
『Mira just didn’t have the keys for promotion, but she had enough energy as a spirit king from the beginning. If Mr. Hart provides three keys, and she undergoes promotion, you can triple the additional magical power of her A-Class.』
The contents of the words told in a casual manner did not appear in the maiden game “The Galactic Prince”, from which Hart gained prior knowledge.
The magic power addition of the Spirit King is 6250, which can operate a third-class battleship. If it is tripled, it will surpass the Marquis-grade magic power value that can operate a second-class fortress ship by the additional magic power alone.
Mira informs Hart, who is surprised that such a thing can be done.
『Three keys will open the door to the accumulated energy, and it is likely to burst open. Please return to Seraphina’s realm as soon as possible.』
『That sounds dangerous.』
Warned by Mira, Hart jumped between star systems at high speed with the power of Fleur and Rhea, who had become spirit kings.
There were two Tenka fleets stationed in the Thor System, but it seems that they had received invasion information from the Myrna System, and as soon as Fortress Kerviel attacked, they turned their heel and fled.
20 celestial bodies were also dropped in the Thor System, and Mira’s power rose to a self-proclaimed AA+, while the habitable planet was rendered useless for the next 100-years.
The damage was so great that even if the Monarchy were to remodel the planet as a national project, it would take 100 years to return it to habitable status. If they do not insist that the scorched earth operation is to prevent Tenka from using it, they would not be able to get any support for its destruction.
The situation may change if he explains the promotion of his spirit, but Hart has no intention of doing so.
Originally, the existence of the maiden game “The Galactic Prince” was kept hidden in order to avoid retaliation from the Duke of Takrham. And since the war with the former Coalition blew up the royal capital of the planet and erased the game archives along with the residence of the Baron of Hiragi in the royal capital, the information only currently exists in Hart’s memory.
Hart was going to continue to keep quiet about the whole thing.
After destroying the Thor System, Hart attacked the Freyja System, dispersed the stationed fleet, and destroyed the third system.
With Mira, who had powers beyond the normal spirit king, he returned to the MacLir system, and after promoting Mira, Hart returned to the Capital planet.
Hart, whose means of communication had been disrupted by the Tenka invasion forces, was still unaware that two irreparable events had occurred at the same time.