Maiden Game Hard Mode – Chapter 56

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Chapter 56 – The Second Battle of the Diete Star System

October 443 of the Monarchy Calendar.

One year has passed since the Monarchy of Diete issued a second national mobilization system.

At the forefront, Fortress Kerviel destroyed 250,000 ships, 25% of the entire enemy force, and also destroyed the inhabited planets of the two enemy nations.

The destructive effect of the habitable planets is tremendous, erasing an estimated 1 million previous and next-generation national mages and 500,000 mothers who have given birth, making the same number of magic element engines inoperable. 80% to 90% of the mothers who produce national mages were eradicated, and the five nations permanently lost one-third of their future national mages.

Destroying the remaining three inhabited planets would bring an end to the war.

This was the main result of the Monarchy’s war in just one year.

“Why don’t we just give General Amakawa about 50 million Salamander crafts and leave it all to him? If he needs a promotion and a position for his military service, I can always retire and vacate the Chief position.”

It was Chief of Staff Ortiz who commented with dismay at Hart’s achievements.

As for the delayed operations conducted by the Royal Army, only the battle results of Fortress Kerviel had broken through the upper limit. On the other hand, the results of the fleets deployed to each star system remain within the expected range.

In March, they abandoned the Freyja system, which was attacked by 200,000 ships.

In April, they abandoned the Myrna system, which was attacked by 30,000 ships.

In May, they abandoned the Thor system, which was attacked by 30,000 ships.

In May of the same year, the Hercules system, which was attacked by 160,000 ships, was abandoned.

In July, the neutral Fukashiro, which was invaded by 500,000 ships, fell.

Communication with each system has been cut off, and the Solar System is already the only secure system of the former Coalition territories.

30,000 Tenka Federation ships are comparable to 46 of the Monarchy’s fleet by Force Evaluation. If the invading forces outnumbered the entire fleet of the Royal Army, there was no way to hold off the invasion. Therefore, each fleet set up a large number of mines and automatic missile launch facilities in the outer rim of the star system, and advanced into the rear sector to disrupt the enemy forces.

Anderson, the Chief of Military Affairs, affirmed some of Ortiz’s high praise, which he doesn’t often give.

“I would like to leave my seat to such an excellent subordinate, but the duties of the Chief would be a shackle for Amakawa now. His promotion after returning home will be unwavering, but the post of Chief will have to wait until next time. His majesty has prepared separate rewards that seem insufficient compared to his success.”

A promotion of only one rank is very disproportionate to the battle results that Fortress Kerviel has achieved.

Valfrete prepared a second peerage for this annihilation of two star systems.

There is no rule that the titles of the Monarchy should not be combined. The best example is Sovereign Valfrete, who himself doubles as the Crown and the Duke of Strani.

The new family name and title given to Hart is the Duke of Son. This is also the Duke peerage given to the Sòng family of Fukashiro, which has come under the Monarchy, and the Duke of Son territory will be part of the Fukashiro system.

Hart, who also serves as both the Marquis of Amakawa and the Duke of Son, will be able to pass the title of the Marquis of Amakawa to the next generation, and at the same time, let his child with Princess Xuě Lì of the Sòng family succeed to the Duke of Son.

Fukashiro is still under the control of the five Tenka nations, but Xuě Lì and her descendants have the right to claim it as legitimate successors. There is also an opinion that if Xuě Lì of the Sòng family and her descendants joined the government, it would be easier for them to rule 21 billion people in Fukashiro.

“There is no prospect of recapture, though.”

As Ortiz mentioned, the recapture of the subdued system has not yet been decided.

The Monarchy scoured 30 million salamander pilots through a second national mobilization system a year ago.

Of these, 9 million of them were given to Fortress Kerviel, while the Capital planet drew ten million people from the five local star systems and gathered them in the Capital planet to secure it.

The Monarchy then recruited volunteers in the entire star system on a large-scale, which was unprecedented.

At present, the Capital planet drew 50 million crafts, 20 million in each of the other five systems, making a total of 150 million crafts in operation.

This is the limit that the current Royal Army can operate, and they plan to continue strengthening the operational system and increasing the number of personnel in the future.

Still, the recapture of the stolen star system is undecided.

The 30 million people gathered under the re-mobilization system are the pilots of the fighter crafts gathered in early 441. Moreover, more than half of the 9 million pilots led by Fortress Kerviel had combat experience against the former Coalition in the four star system battles.

The remaining 120 million are currently in the first grade of training school, and their strength evaluation is one-third.

And even if they had experience, there is no way to send them to the enemy star system. The only exception was Fortress Kerviel, and in the end, the success or failure of the recapture operation ultimately depended on Hart.

“When this is accomplished, the two of us will retire, leaving the Chief of Military Affairs and the Chief of Staff posts to Colonel Generals Jhering and Reinelt, and the Commander-in-Chief to Fleet Admiral Amakawa. The balance between the three agencies will be slightly disrupted, but it will be within acceptable limits.”

“I understand. Amakawa not only has high magic power value, but he also destroyed enemy planets, killing 20 billion enemies. If he can command and lead the recapture of the Star System, he would be impeccable as Commander-in-Chief during wartime. If we consolidate the management of the military organization around us, will our role be over?”

Ortiz expressed full affirmation in Anderson’s vision of the future.

However, the future map that both sides envisioned was greatly upset by the news of the enemy invasion that roared across the Capital planet.

On that day, the Diete system’s search network discovered a large fleet of 350,000 ships, including the Xǔ family’s Yúnlán, who conquered the Freyja system seven months ago, and the forces that joined him from the MacLir System.

Just as Yuen of the Táng family led the war with the Monarchy in anticipation of the future of Tenka, just as the Sòng family’s Hào Lán attempted reconciliation with the Monarchy, just as Líng Yīng of the Gāo family planned to conquer Fukashiro, the Xǔ family’s Yúnlán also had his own ideas.

Yúnlán, who learned of the annihilation of Shinkyō and Kyūyama in the last communication, gained an insight into the ideology of the Monarchy of Diete.

(The enemy must be killed without fail.)

If the Tenka side can overwhelm and incorporate them under their control like the national mages after the suppression, then it is better not to kill as much as possible. It would be ideal to acquire habitable planets without destroying them as much as possible. At first, Yúnlán agreed with this idea.

However, the Monarchy of Diete proved to be an enemy with the power to destroy the Tenka Federation. Then, for the sake of Tenka, the Monarchy must be defeated at the moment it can be defeated.

Yúnlán considered this to be the only opportunity to destroy the spirit crystal production plant.

If they can no longer produce spirit crystals, it will eventually run out even if it is in stock.

On the other hand, the Tenka side can increase the number of national mages. If doubling the number is insufficient, then they can triple or quadruple it. No matter how great the Monarchy of Diete is, they will cease fire if it’s enough to annihilate each other’s entire star system.

Yúnlán, who warped out an army of 350,000 ships in all directions of the Diete system, confirmed that there was no abnormality in their magic engines like in the MacLir System, and gave necessary orders for the ending in which Tenka would not lose.

[All troops, retrieve the rushing celestial objects from the outer rim celestial groups and simultaneously invade the capital planet Diros. Target, the spirit crystal first factory in the royal capital. Annihilate the entire continent. If it’s difficult to aim, drop 100 to hit the target. You may eradicate the whole planet. I don’t care what the damage is. Accomplish this even if it means total annihilation.]

The 350,000 Tenka ships that hit the Diete System are comparable to 546 of the Monarchy’s fleet or 26.25 million Salamander crafts operated by skilled pilots.

In the Diete system, the Monarchy’s defense capabilities were only 40 million Salamanders operated by less than one-third of the pilots, with the exception of 15 fleets and 10 million skilled crafts from the other 5 star systems.

The Force Evaluation of both armies is 100:109.

In a short two-day period, civilians living on the inhabited planet cannot be evacuated to the outer rim of a warpable Star System billions of kilometers away. If enemy forces entering a star system know where to warp out, they can escape to the other side, but if they don’t, they move to the front of the enemy and fall prey.

There was no escape route for civilians, forcing them to apply for additional D-class crystals and spare Salamanders held by the Monarchy.

Approximately 30 million people, with little more than video game experience in operating fighter crafts, joined the defense by boarding Salamanders built in anticipation of the following year, supported by D-class crystals they were wearing for the first time and androids.

The weapons deployed in the Deite system are enormous, and the number of missiles overwhelms the invading army. There are 30 million volunteers, aristocratic private fleets, and civilian ships joining and becoming even and dominant … and the Royal Army did not think that either.

In the second MacLir Star System Battle, Tenka burned down swarms of Salamanders along with their own allies with fusion rounds.

Salamanders are forced to move in groups due to their fighting style of breaking through enemy shields by bombarding them all at once in swarms. If a missile explodes between a Tenka cruiser, which has a certain level of defense against fusion rounds, and the Salamanders, which do not even have countermeasures against fusion rounds it is clear to see which will suffer the most damage.

Still, volunteer Salamanders are put out ahead because it is better than the civilians of the Capital planet being burned. This was the beginning of the Second Battle of the Diete Star System, to have to choose the method of fighting.

[Proceed!]

Upon reaching the star system, Yúnlán ordered the advance, swinging his raised right hand forward.

The sight of the Tenka invasion army, comparable to 546 of the Monarchy’s fleet, descending onto the planet Diros as an enormous meteor shower was as beautiful as the god of death’s scythe reflecting light and shimmering.

Sovereign Valfrete, who took overall command of the defense, countered by creating a thick nebula that protects the Capital planet with a total of 80 million salamanders.

The Monarchy side had commanders of the rank of Lieutenant General or higher, in charge of defense in each direction. The subdivided areas were handled by Major General and Brigadier General level commanders, who gave detailed commands over the entire huge battlefield.

[Place the fleet behind the Salamanders to avoid damage while continuously shaving the enemy with long-range artillery. Aristocratic fleets should also participate in the bombardment. Don’t deploy your forces in succession. Throw in all available ships and continue to cut down the enemy with maximum firepower.]

By orders that only the current Sovereign, who had complete control of the military, aristocrats, and citizens, could give, the Royal Army, aristocratic fleets, and volunteers began to attack the enemy as a thick barrier protecting the planet. Among the artillery ships was even the mobile fortress, Sariel, on which Valfrete was aboard.

Civilian ships are stationed on the final defense line, with the only exception to the warships being Galgaliel, the defense fortress operated by the two princes.

The defense fortress has the function of planetary improvement, accepting vast numbers of refugees and restoring destroyed planets to habitable levels. Galgaliel, which had already accepted some refugees from the Capital planet, was placed in the rear, making it the most important defense base alongside the planet.

The fact that the defense fortress was designed so that it can only be operated by Royal-grade magic power holders was meant to preserve the rightful successor to the throne, and it was time for the defense fortress to utilize all of the significance for which it was designed.

The Tenka invaders attached propulsion engines to celestial bodies and preceded the fleet with fusion rounds.

The Monarchy’s forces shoot interceptor missiles from all fleet and system defenses, trying to prevent even one of the celestial bodies from heading towards the planet.

With missiles pouring in from outside the system and missiles emitted outward from inside the system, the system shone brightly with the light of energy exploding in all directions.

Eventually, the Tenka fleet emerged from the dazzling light and shot lasers at the Salamanders racing around the sector.

The two armies deployed forces more than 10 times the scale of the Shinkyō System Battle held by Fortress Kerviel six months ago. The force was so large that the Commander-in-Chief of both armies were unable to control every detail.

Yúnlán and Valfrete quickly entrusted their commanders with the details of the command.

[Fleet commanders, use your judgment on the details. Enemy fighter crafts are vulnerable to fusion rounds. Burn them down and move on.]

[Commanders of the rank of General and above, do not wait for my orders, but move according to your own judgment. Your duty is to protect the Capital planet, Diros. Take the best possible action to that end. All combat operations are authorized. There will be no problems at a later date.]

That created dominance and inferiority in the subdivided sectors, with Yúnlán adding forces to the superior side in an attempt to eat through the defenses, and Valfrete sending reinforcements to the inferior side to counter.

It was the Tenka side that gained the upper hand in the battle.

The Royal Army has only the royal citizens, and the Tenka army mobilized their Tenka outsider national mages.

Yúnlán followed the battle in the MacLir Star System and dominated using fusion rounds to erase enemies along with allies. As a result, Tenka, who had declared war on humanity as a cause, trampled on humanity, and the Monarchy, who could not be inhumane, was pushed back.

Even though they know that the enemy will blow away their army, they were forced to deploy a large number of Salamanders to protect the planet. Frustrated, Valfrete complained to the Chief of Staff.

“It’s true that the aftermath of dropping celestial bodies on Coalition planets was inhumane, but they have no right to question our humanity.”

“If we could talk to each other, we wouldn’t be at war.”

“Hmm, no doubt.”

Valfrete, who gave a bitter smile to the Chief of Staff’s accurate opinion, regained his composure and returned to his command.

The enormous force of both armies, which is equivalent to a flood of light, were swept away in all directions by the blast, canceling each other out. The battle between 80 million Salamander crafts and 350,000 Tenka cruiser class was a decisive battle of the greatest forces in human history.

When the damage to the two annihilated forces reached 20 million Salamander and 86,000 Tenka ships, Valfrete realized their inferiority. If the battle continues at this rate, about 6,000 Tenka ships will remain after all the Monarchy forces, Salamanders, and the aristocratic private fleet have all disappeared.

6,000 Tenka ships are equivalent to 9 Monarchy fleets. The number is too large to be dealt with by the combat power of civilian ships.

“The Salamander’s shipyards are still in full operation?”

“Yes sir, we’re still sending new Salamanders to the battlefield.”

“…… we need one more move.”

Valfrete, who had questioned the Chief of the General Staff, couldn’t help but think, “if only we had Fortress Kerviel at hand”. Fortress Kerviel led 9 million Salamander crafts to destroy 250,000 enemy ships and two planets. If he had ordered them to reduce the 350,000 enemy ships, they would have cut it by half.

However, if Hart was at hand, 600,000 ships of the enemy main forces and 150,000 of the separate corps would be advancing toward them, the number of national mages would have increased by conscription in the mainland of Tenka. The choice to send Fortress Kerviel to the forefront had to be considered the best course of action.

To defend the Capital planet, Diros, the moves in Valfrete’s hand weren’t enough.

As Valfrete was thinking, the two armies continued to crush each other without interruption.

Yúnlán, Commander-in-Chief of the Tenka invasion army, was an excellent man who had both a strategic eye to propose a detour invasion of the Capital planet, Diros, and the operational command ability to realize it. And he didn’t give any foolish orders to drag the foot of the forces he had deployed.

With the Salamander’s damage approaching 40 million crafts, half of which are still intact, the embattled Valfrete pondered the course of the battle between the Monarchy and Tenka.

A sufficient amount of spirit crystals have already been produced and deployed in all star systems. Regardless of which system it is, a solid defense of 100 million Salamander crafts will be established in a few years, and an invasion of this magnitude will be prevented. If the enemy tries to destroy the factory now, they will not be in trouble.

Tenka, on the other hand, lost the strength of the next generation to the same extent as it is now due to the destruction of two planets. In addition, after experiencing the advance of Fortress Kerviel, the enemy was forced to place large defensive forces on each planet, and the forces that could be sent to the invasion were greatly reduced.

The destruction of the enemy planet can be left to Hart. If they can be destroyed, the Monarchy can win, and if not, the Monarchy can wait for a generation, and let the children of Hart, who are certain to have high magical power, help push them to victory. Valfrete couldn’t help but smile as he thought of the angry face of Maina, Yuna’s mother.

Valfrete saw a path to victory. The only source of anxiety was his successor.

(Currently Bernard and Josslan can’t handle Amakawa properly. If they pull his leg because of jealousy, the existence of the Monarchy will be shaken… let’s change the order)

Valfrete’s ears on the battlefield were excellent, and as the enemy invaded, he began to hear the footsteps of the Grim Reaper.

The Salamander’s damage reached 60 million crafts, and warships and aristocratic ships were dropped one after another. The enemy is also killed accordingly, but no matter how many disposable national mages die, Tenka is unlikely to withdraw until it fulfills its purpose.

Sensing the signs of inevitable death, Valfrete was determined to lay the groundwork for the Monarchy to win even after his own death.

“Chief of Staff, I shall leave you my last will and testament, just in case the Monarchy wins.”

“…… huh, a will?”

Valfrete nodded back to the Chief of Staff, who instinctively asked, and told him that he had not misheard.

“I can see the equation that will lead to the Monarchy’s victory. Even if I die in battle, as long as the equation doesn’t change, we will win. You must notify all the Royal citizens and ensure victory.”

“Your majesty’s presence is irreplaceable compared to the rest of us. If you are to be killed in battle, would you not consider withdrawing?”

“It is unthinkable. If the Sovereign flees before his people while attacked by enemy forces, there is no value in the existence of the Monarchy. In order to ensure the fulfillment of the will, it is to be sent not only to the Diete system, but also to the other five star systems via interstellar communication. Sir, you will continue to assist in the command of the entire army. Let’s do our best to make my will a funny story.”

“…… your will.”

In other countries, the death of a leader would be a disadvantage that puts a lot of effort into restructuring. For this reason, there is no such development as having a leader fight knowing that he will die.

However, in the unique country of Diete, it is more disadvantageous for the people’s will to fight and unify their will if the Sovereign flees. If it is reported that the Sovereign tried to defend the system even if he dies in battle, the people would actively cooperate in the war and there will be no end to the number of volunteers for the Salamanders. The Chief of Staff, who understood this, even if unwillingly, was compelled to follow the will of the Sovereign.

After the Chief of Staff complied, Valfrete communicated his last will and testament throughout the Monarchy.

In the beginning, Valfrete explained the current situation.

The produced spirit crystals have been deployed in all systems, and the defense system will be in place without delay.

On the other hand, Tenka has lost two star systems, which forces their remaining three systems to allocate defense forces.

The forces of both powers are tilting toward the Monarchy side at an accelerated rate, and in the future, the Tenka side will not be able to break through the defense of the Monarchy, and on the contrary, Fortress Kerviel can step into the enemy star system, and the Monarchy will be able to win in the end.

These were facts that could not be overturned even if the communication was intercepted by the Tenka side. After finishing the preface, Valfrete began to talk about the contents of his will.

[The greatest crisis in this war is about who will be Sovereign after I fall on the battlefield. The two princes who are eligible to succeed to the throne are both minors, have no military, political, or diplomatic experience, and at this point in time cannot serve as Sovereign in a time of war when the very survival of the nation is at stake. Therefore, when I die in the war or become unable to exercise my royal authority, I appoint First Princess Yuna as the head of the Asteria Royal Family and the Queen of the Monarchy of Diete.]

The shock of the next Sovereign being nominated swept through the Monarchy on the communications network.

Valfrete, who nominated Yuna as his successor, supplemented with a pause for breath.

[Yuna’s magic power value, with the addition from her spirit crystal, is Royal-class. The reason why the Sovereign is required to have Royal-class magical power is so they will operate a mobile fortress in times of war and fight. There is no provision that spirit crystals should not be used when operating a mobile fortress. In order to prove that you are Royal-class, you must operate the mobile fortress to let it be known to the Monarchy.]

It was a confession that there was a higher level in the spirit crystals which were previously considered for aristocrats and military use. As the Sovereign speaks his will on the battlefield, doubts will arise eventually, though it may not be far from that now.

Valfrete, who threw later excuses at Hart, continued his will, cutting down the details.

[Yuna is a Royal-class magic power holder who acts as an Assistant Magic Engine Operator of Fortress Kerviel, and helped to destroy the Coalition. In addition, on behalf of the Sovereign, she signed a non-aggression treaty with Fukashiro, one of Tenka’s nations, to render one nation harmless. I’m sure she’s more than capable of handling the Monarchy’s greatest warrior, the Marquis of Amakawa. Therefore, with Yuna as Queen, survive the war against the five nations of Tenka.]

After sharing with the public his vision of the path to victory, Valfrete added more about the future.

[Once the situation is settled, the two princes or any royal may succeed the throne as per Yuna’s nomination. After abdication, Yuna will be granted the Grand Duke peerage for only one generation and her descendants shall inherit a new Duke title. The royal citizens should fulfill my will. Then the peace of the Monarchy will continue in the future.]

Having said his last will and testament, Valfrete felt emptiness as well as a sense of accomplishment.

Born as the third prince with Royal-grade magic power value, he has taken the best possible choice with all options while avoiding a battle for succession with his eldest brother. Without any interposition of his own will, he has lived mechanically choosing only the best moves, and has reached this moment.

It wasn’t the life of an individual named Valfrete.

The only thing that wasn’t the best was when he lived as a soldier away from the royal family. He was aware that he had caused trouble for Yuna’s mother, Maina, but at that time it was pleasant because of his own will. On the verge of death, he looked back.

As a result of a less-than-optimal choice, Yuna was born and that was the catalyst that led to the Marquis of Amakawa becoming acquainted with Dr. Kerman, and the decisive factor in his teaming up with Valfrete to destroy the Coalition. Now it is also a way to counter Tenka.

Perhaps you don’t have to choose the option you think is best. Shouldn’t you decide your own life choices? Valfrete couldn’t do it, but he doesn’t have to tie the young ones down.

Having reconsidered that, Valfrete reconnected the communication.

[A personal message to Bernard and Josslan. You may choose whoever you like as your lawful wives. The child of the Queen does not necessarily have to be the successor. Do as you please with your own will. You don’t even have to be concerned about the throne. There is also a way to pass it on to Yuna’s child. Also, Yuna and Marquis Amakawa, you’ll have a hard time of it, but I ask you to take care of your younger brothers.]

With a calm expression on his face, Valfrete cut off the reconnected communication again.

He closed his eyes for a few seconds, took a breath, and then looked back at the blue and red glowing star system charts.

From the front, the red light is rushing in without interruption, and the blue light is catching it as a wall. The civilian ships are also added to the wall of blue, behind it is the planet Diros.

Even the ships behind the flagship Sariel were dropping one after another, and the line of defense was in tatters. And from there, a wall of red light was pouring in.

The red wall of light was the last tsunami Yúnlán produced. They collided with the blue walls of light, and the walls flowed from the collapsed sector to the planet, Diros, destroying parts of the planet’s surface.

However, the enemy is devoting all his strength to ‘The continent of Ortegia, where the first factory of spirit crystals is located’ and ‘Sariel, the flagship of Sovereign Valfrete’ who put out the communication, and are concentrating their attack on the continent in one spot.

Then, the blue and red light had been slightly replaced to predominance, perhaps because the fusion rounds on the Tenka side were exhausted, and the Salamanders could not be defeated collectively. However, only the overall formation was reversed, and there was an overwhelming amount of red light around the Sovereign.

(Would it have been better if the force we pulled out of the local star systems had been 15 million instead of 10 million?)

Questioning himself as such, Valfrete, who confessed that the choice of abandoning the provinces was impossible because it would leave a disaster in the future, concluded that he had chosen the best way the Monarchy could win.

[The Sovereign embodies the will of the Monarchy of Diete, but is not the Monarchy of Diete itself. If the Monarchy can be saved by sacrificing the Sovereign, it will be Sovereign Diete who embodies it. And the Monarchy’s defenses are in place, and after this, it will come to a reversal.]

Valfrete, who put it into words, nodded in agreement. Valfrete can proudly assert that it was a necessary sacrifice to maintain the independence and dignity of the Monarchy.

Sensing the swing of the Reaper’s Scythe above him, Valfrete suddenly remembered Hào Lán of Fukashiro and thought of leaving behind words that seemed to be the embodiment of the Monarchy of Diete.

They must threaten them here to discourage those who would mess with the Monarchy of Diete in the distant future. Operating the communication device at hand, he issued communications to the invading army.

[I must also tell the fools of the five Tenka nations who summoned Diete’s wrath. Don’t underestimate the Monarchy of Diete. I, the 11th Sovereign of Diete, who embodies the Monarchy of Diete, fires a deadly arrow at the time of my death. The released arrow will eventually pierce and kill you all. Look forward to it.]

With a confident smile, Valfrete’s ship, Sariel, was hit by more than a dozen shells fired from the invading warships. The concentrated attack easily broke through the fortress’s slight shielding ability, which redirected its energy to offense, and laid waste to the interior of the fortress.

The explosions that occurred were cascading, and the flagship Sariel, was swallowed up by the dazzling light.

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5 thoughts on “Maiden Game Hard Mode – Chapter 56

  1. Thanks for chap
    …. Didn’t expect him to die like this. Tbh this is one of the weirdest novels where the king dies first and retreat is not an option even if available. This is prob the ideal form of democratic monarchy where the king doesn’t embody the nation but the ppl do.

    So two news mc gets :1. His father in law is dead and 2. He’s the defacto ruler of the monarchy now.

    So this also means they lost the planet right?

    Like

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