Chapter 68 – The Israfel Project
No mediator appeared in the grand quarrel between the Queen and the Command-in-Chief and Counts of Draghi and Jerome.
This is partly because Hart threatened the same experience as the two households to any who sideswith them, but also because there were no relatives who could urge Yuna and Hart to change their minds.
In the Second Battle of Diete, Hart lost his parents and brother, and the Baron of Hiragi on his father’s side and the Baron of Melendez on his maternal side were also killed in action. The same is true for Yuna, whose parents and grandfather, the Baron of Takamiya, died in the battle.
Therefore, even though the former Marquis tried to set up an intermediary to encourage them to reconsider, there were no relatives to do so.
The Marquis of Carneus could talk to Hart as the family seemed very close to him, but the Marquis of Carneus family is in a position where their superiority through gene donation has been compromised, so the former Marquises could not ask him for mediation at this time.
The ones who were mentioned by the Duke of Takrham, the Marquis of Ornelas, the grandfather of two Princes, and the Duke of Coesfeld, Claudia’s grandfather, were among the few aristocrats capable of being intermediaries.
The Counts of Draghi and Jerome eventually brought the matter to the Marquis of Ornelas, who was not leaning towards Hart, and were casually turned down.
“Certainly, I am the father of the First Queen and the grandfather of two Princes, but know that I have no kinship with Her Majesty the present Queen. Not even as her grandfather-in-law. If you expect my mediation as a member of the Royal family, I can’t help you.”
Ornelas was concerned that if he tried to mediate between the furious Yuna and the Counts, and as a result, a confrontation occurred between Yuna and the princes, who were the grandchildren of Ornelas, the situation would develop into a royal family dispute.
As it stands, even if he remains silent, one of the two princes will be Sovereign and the other will be the Duke of Strani. At least Yuna publically professes so.
However, if Ornelas defends the Counts, it could be considered that ‘both princes of the Ornelas bloodline, who engaged in an act of hostility by using the position as the grandfather of the princes, were not worthy of succeeding to the throne because they both allowed the tyranny of their vassals’, and succession would be transferred to Yuna’s child. Also there was a danger that the princes would lose the protection of the spirits.
Even if they try to prove that the spirit crystals have become unusable and seek compensation for damages, they cannot establish the causality of the event that the spirit attached has returned to the spirit world by Hart’s proclamation.
If it can be proven, the compensation for damage that made C-class crystals with a selling price of 500,000 Rhodes unusable is only a little more than 500,000 Rhodes. The thought of the spirit crystal being unusable in exchange for such a small sum is unbearable.
Ornelas had no particular reason to step on the tiger’s tail and risk being mauled to death by the seriously angry tigers just to defend the two Counts.
“I’m sorry, but as the Marquis of Ornelas, I intend to remain neutral in this conflict. A repeat of the confrontation between his Royal Highness Gracian, the former Crown Prince, and His Majesty the third Prince, would only undermine the national constitution.”
When the two former Marquises were being rejected by the Marquis of Ornelas, Hart was performing his duties as Commander-in-Chief after completely banning both Counts from entering the residence of the Marquis of Amakawa, which served as the Royal Palace.
It was currently wartime, and Hart, the Commander-in-Chief, has an appropriate job to do.
As the Commander-in-Chief was concentrating on his work, Lieutenant General Elmer Schmidt, former Director of the Salamander Project Division, who had been promoted to Director of the Planning Bureau due to the success of the project, approached him with a new project.
“The misunderstanding was caused by a leading statement. To be precise, it was a project for a large fighter craft, which was submitted along with the Salamander Project a year and ten months ago, but was postponed due to a political decision.”
Schmidt himself made the proposal, and the former Sovereign Valfrete and former Chief of Staff Ortiz rejected it.
The Salamander, which is currently in operation, is a new fighter craft developed based on reflection of the MacLir Star System Battle, where they were overrun by electromagnetic pulse cannons.
The old fighter craft is 120 meters long, 60 meters wide, 40 meters high, and 288,000 cubic meters in volume.
The new fighter craft is 150 meters long, 75 meters wide, 50 meters high, and 562,500 cubic meters in volume.
Although its military power was 1.6 times higher than the previous model, the Salamander, which could be mounted on existing carrier crafts, quickly drove out the old model and became the standard specification for the modern age.
The Israfel project was proposed at the same time as the Salamander project.
Israfel, which means “burning”, is the name of an angel that blows a trumpet to signal the coming of the apocalypse, causes a great fire, and presides over the Last Judgment.
Israfel, also the angel of music, has the most beautiful face of all creations. It is also said that it is his job to visit hell three times a day and three times a night. When he sees the suffering of man in hell, he bursts into tears and washes away the earth with a great flood of tears.
In other words, the large fighter craft, Israfel, symbolizes the beautiful figure of the royal people protecting the nation with their own power. It is a ship that controls stronger flames than the Salamander, flies around the hell of the battlefield, and washes away enemies in huge numbers.
After Schmidt explained the reason for naming the ship, Hart demanded that the main points be summarized, although he understood that the name affected military morale.
“Please state the performance of the large craft, why it was rejected, and why you brought it back up.”
“The performance is here, Sir.”
Looking over the data sent by Schmidt, Hart was convinced that Israfel was rejected on the basis of a political decision.
The large fighter craft is 600 meters long, 100 meters wide, 75 meters high, and has a volume of 4.5 million cubic meters.
The C-class crystal grants a magic power addition of 810, and it easily enables the operation of the large fighter craft Israfel, which is four times the length and eight times the volume of the Salamander.
The auxiliary ship capable of interstellar navigation is 600 meters in length, the same as the Israfel.
In other words, the introduction of the large fighter craft Israfel means removing the title of being “essential for interstellar navigation” from magical individuals.
From a purely military point of view, it is a superior craft.
Since it is the same size as an auxiliary ship, the magic engine, propulsion engine, outer wall and coating can be used as a whole. The plan is to appropriate the main armament from the battleship.
In other words, the large fighter craft Israfel does not require any development, has a track record in the operation as an auxiliary ship, and can utilize the existing warship shipyard as it is. It can be mass-produced immediately in order to be used by the warships currently in operation.
The strength evaluation is 0.08 for Salamander and 0.4 for Israfel, which is five times higher.
One Monarchy destroyer with 150 crew members is even against 2.5 large Israfel fighter crafts with a crew of one. The Tenka cruiser is even with 15 Israfel crafts. Moreover, auxiliary ships are taking measures against fusion rounds, so large fighter craft of the same size can be equipped with the same countermeasures.
As for why the Royal Army was unable to introduce such a superior weapon, Hart imagined that it could put the aristocracy of the Monarchy in crisis.
Aristocrats who can move large ships are not worthless, but they would no longer be worth granting provinces because they can be replaced by 10,000 600-meter-class transport ships.
Although they adopted the Salamander, which cannot navigate between stars, they could not make the decision to adopt the Israfel and put an end to the aristocratic system.
“I understand the performance and why it was rejected. It’s a weapon that would kill aristocrats in society.”
When Hart gave his assessment, Schmidt partially affirmed it.
“It was, indeed, a danger before. However, the reason I brought it back was because the preconditions had changed.”
Schmidt explained why the Israfel had become necessary.
The five Tenka Nations that they are at war with, used nuclear fusion rounds to destroy the Salamanders along with their own allies on all sides. Therefore, it became necessary to have a large fighter craft the size of an auxiliary ship that can be equipped with nuclear fusion missile countermeasures.
If Salamanders can move through the transition gate, the Israfel can be expected to play an active role beyond the defense of a single star system.
And although there is concern about the survival of the aristocratic system, if Hart is the producer of spirit crystals that can realize essential interstellar navigation, then the aristocratic system can be maintained if Hart does not cater to the private sector.
The only problem is the opposition of the aristocracy.
“Your Excellency may have been in a position to be considerate of the aristocracy, but now you have the pretext of claiming they are forming factions and picking a fight. Because they sought the quarrel, the Israfel was also introduced. How about saying something like that? Her Majesty the Queen and Your Excellency, who threatened the reversal of the spirit crystals, are not afraid of the aristocracy forming a faction.”
In response to Schmidt’s suggestion, Hart was silent for a while and pondered.
If the aristocracy wants a fight, Hart will also allow the people to operate warships.
If the aristocrats are shown that things can be managed independent of their cooperation, the aristocracy’s attempts to use cooperation as a shield to make threats will be blocked.
The introduction of the Israfel would weaken the position of the aristocracy, but Hart thought that it would be fine to weaken the system that was protecting those who wanted to claim his descendants as their own property. Rather, if it is a system that becomes a fetter of the descendants, it is the obligation of ancestors to destroy it.
Even if the aristocratic system was broken, the Amakawa family, which has a monopoly on spirit crystals, would not collapse.
If the Amakawa family were to be destroyed, the spirit crystals and the transition gates would no longer be available, so the Royal people could afford the collapse of the aristocracy, but not the Amakawas.
As Schmidt pointed out, Hart is not afraid of the aristocrats forming factions, even without relying on Yuna’s Royal Authority.
If the Israfel was deployed, the strength evaluation will be five times that of the Salamander, so the number of casualties on the battlefield where it is deployed will be 1/5.
If replaced on Fortress Kerviel, with the volume of Israfel being 8 times larger, only 1,125,000 Israfel crafts will be accommodated in the fortress’s containment compartment which could hold 9 million Salamanders.
If the number of crafts is reduced to 1/8 and the strength evaluation is multiplied by 5 times, the simple calculation of the fortress’ strength will be 5/8.
However, if you put the most skilled of the eight pilots on board, you can create a combat unit with only the pilots employed during the war with the former Coalition.
Recruited in the year 441 of the Monarchy calendar, they have more than three years of experience and have survived a total of seven battles: the four-star system battles of the former Coalition and the three-star system battles against Tenka.
The skill level is not only one serving but two, and there are rumblings of ace pilots and pilots whose results are clearly extraordinary. With such fierce pilots on board, the results will not fall to 5/8, but will exceed 10/8.
The stationed force of Fortress Kerviel will rise from 120,000 vessels in Tenka to more than 150,000. And the death toll should be reduced to less than 1/8.
The first rank to be given to the pilots of the Israfel would be somewhere between Second Lieutenant, the regular pilot of the Salamander, and Lieutenant, the captain of an auxiliary ship. And, special allowances for war results should also be established.
The surplus pilots after the switch to the Israfel will not be wasted.
They can operate 40-meter-long suppressors equipped with Magic Element engines and engage in planetary control operations, reconstruction work, and development work within the star system.
Even so, the remaining personnel should continue to operate Salamanders without receiving C-class crystals, and be sent to handle the high-speed movement of the suppressor and the transportation of people from one star system to another via the transition gates.
Hart, who had a general idea of the various developments that would occur in the Monarchy by introducing the large fighter craft Israfel, told Lieutenant General Schmidt, who brought in the project.
“We’ll get permission from the Queen, the Chief of Military Affairs and the Chief of Staff to formally introduce it today. You will also serve as the Director of the Israfel Project as of today. Replace the shipyard construction line and bring it into full production. I will ask Her Majesty to issue a Royal Decree.”
“If Israfel achieves significant results, I will recommend you to the rank of General. The appropriate position would be the vacant Deputy Chief of Military Affairs. Keep up the good work.”
“Sir, I will do my best for the Monarchy.”
After the decision, Hart immediately moved to get permission from Yuna and the two Chiefs, and two hours after the action, he prepared the necessary orders and forwarded them to Schmidt.
Fortress Kerviel, which had just been renovated, once again pulled out its composite fluid metal layer and was refurbishing the space reserved for 9 million Salamanders to accommodate 1,125,000 Israfel crafts, which has eight times the volume.
Due to the unmanned operation, workers did not complain as a large number of urban construction facilities started to move and rebuild the interior of Fortress Kerviel.
In the meantime, the following five items were jointly announced in the names of Yuna and Hart.
“We will introduce a 600-meter-long large fighter craft, the Israfel”
“The number of pilots from each system will be 40 million by switching to the new craft.”
“The necessary C-class crystals will be produced by Amakawa at the second factory of the Capital planet.”
“The surplus personnel will be assigned to various missions of the Salamanders and suppressors.”
“Demoted aristocratic households will be exempted from military duty and recruitment targets due to their heavy burden.”
The decision to target unspecified descended aristocrats, rather than the two specific Counts, was a statement of intent that all cooperation from hostile descending families was unnecessary.
With respect to the initial target of 100 million Salamander pilots, pilots for 40 million Israfel crafts, whose military strength evaluation is five times higher, would be twice as strong as the 100 million Salamander crafts.
The 40 million Israfel crafts are on par with 1.6 million warships, far more than the total strength of the five Tenka Nations before the war.
40 million large fighter crafts are too powerful, and even half of that, 20 million crafts, are sufficient for interception. Even if all aristocrats stop cooperating at once, they can defend each star system with only the royal citizens who have volunteered.
In addition, by announcing that Amakawa could produce C-class crystals that could move 600-meter-class vessels capable of interstellar travel, it was shown that the royal people would not have trouble with interstellar travel even if the aristocracy formed factions. As a result, the conventional assertion that the presence of aristocrats was required was no longer valid.
It was clear that these announcements were a continuation of the “all-out war on hostile houses” declared by Hart at the second Lords’ Conference. At least that’s how the Lords understood it.
The two Counts, who had suffered a second fatal wound in their pursuit of Hart, had no choice but to ask the Duke of Coesfeld, who had little to do with them than those close to Duke Takrham, to act as mediator.
[We didn’t expect our request for gene donation through Her Majesty would arouse so much anger. I am withdrawing the request altogether. I would like to ask Lord Coesfeld to mediate for us.]
[In exchange for the Marquis of Amakawa undertaking marriage diplomacy, all requests to him for gene donation within the nation were to be suspended. Even though Fukashiro was conquered, his marriage with the Duchess of Son continues, and I was late to realize that the royal order was still in effect.]
Grudgingly declaring so, two Counts made their request over the communication with Coesfeld, who opened his mouth after a short while.
“I thought it would be better to increase the number of magic power holders, so I actually recommended some Young Ladies and offered my granddaughter as the second wife to the Marquis of Amakawa.”
The preface of two counts was uttered, and the complexion of the two who applied for the median suddenly became brighter.
“However, I reviewed the footage from that time, but I never forced the issue. Although I might have made some moves, I left the right of choice to the other party, who seemed to have a line that one should not step over in consideration of his feelings. Given the feelings of Her Majesty the current Queen, it is unethical to form a faction and accuse the Duke of Son of not fulfilling his aristocratic duties and demanding him to share his genes.”
To the two men, whose expressions were stiff again, Coesfeld mentioned the Israfel, which was recently announced.
“You may have heard of the introduction of a large fighter craft of the same size as an interstellar ship. It seems that this was adopted as a result of the conflict with your two families.”
[…… If it is introduced, it will undermine the aristocratic system itself.]
When Jerome affirmed, Coesfeld nodded and agreed.
“This bloodless civil war has caused a collapse in the Monarchy’s aristocracy. Even so, as declared at the second Lords’ Conference, the other side is willing to fight against unjust treatment that goes beyond limits, even if it means stabbing themselves.”
Pointing out that the conflict was a type of civil war, Coesfeld anticipated the actions of Hart and the others, then cut off his words and looked closely at the two parties involved in the civil war.
The aristocrats who had gathered in both names when they were struggling to realize the gene donation are now refusing contact for fear of chained punishment.
With the announcement of the Israfel Project, the conflict between the Queen and the Commander-in-Chief has spilled over to the status system, and now they are looking at each other with resentment.
Leon, the Young Lord of Marquis Sharett in the Athena System, who declared that he would continue his engagement to Therese, Young Lady of Count Jerome, was expelled from his family’s aristocratic registry by his father, who has also announced that he will be separated from the family after graduation.
“If the protection system for magical powers disappears and there are no magical powers left, there will be no way to recover the unfathomable spirit crystals when they are lost. The system should be preserved, but……… how about you two leave a will of apology and submit to self-judgment.”
For a moment, neither Count was able to understand the meaning of the words uttered by Coesfeld.
After their brains understood what the word “self-judgment” meant, they looked questioningly at the proposer, not understanding the meaning of the word that had been uttered.
“If both men judged themselves with an apology, the struggle for control over the Amakawa family’s genes may come to an end and the constraints imposed on their descendants may be lifted. Isn’t an end to the civil war the best course not only for both families, but also for the Monarchy and the aristocracy?”
[Is that a condition for the cancellation?]
Coesfeld shook his head and replied to Draghi.
“I don’t know. However, if such a harsh response was made to the gene request of two people, it will be settled by the self-judgment of the two people. If an end is prepared, it will be easier to lower the fists that have been raised. If that’s the case, I would take the risk, but I am willing to take the pains for the sake of my family.”
[………… is there no other way?]
Instead of the silent Draghi, Jerome sought other solutions.
Coesfeld again says, “I don’t know”.
“The previous idea is the approach that I would take if I were in the position of those two. Each of you can think about it and come to your own conclusion. However, even if you take your time, I think that both families will continue to be used as a source to take a scalpel to the aristocratic system. This is a general statement, but the sooner you apologize, the better.”
Later, the bloodless civil war that broke out in the Monarchy was ended by proclaiming that Hart, who put up the face of Coesfeld as an intermediary, would lift the restrictions imposed on both families.
Once adopted, there was no need to stop the construction of the Israfel, for C-class spirit crystals, it was announced that mass-produced products would have a service life of about 20 years, indicating consideration for the preservation of the aristocratic system.
Energy is required for the activity of the spirits, and if the contractor is a magical individual, it can be supplemented with their magic power, but in the case of a non-magical person, it is supplemented only by the crystal itself, and there is a limit to the energy allocated to each crystal at the time of production.
C-class crystals distributed to pilots for fighter crafts are free of charge, and as long as the manufacturer says that they cannot allocate energy, the recipients, regardless of the facts, have no choice but to accept the conditions.
Consideration was also given to the pilots who would lose their contracted spirits in 20 years, and it was announced that mass-produced C-class crystals and old D-class crystals could be contracted at the same time, causing new confusion.
Nevertheless, as far as defense systems were concerned, both the Deite and Athena systems combined gathered fighter craft pilots that were comparable to the Second Diete System Battle.
Thus, as the Monarchy turned most of its line of sight inward, the 500,000 Tenka invasion force led by Yúnlán attacked the Athena System.