Chapter 69 – Battle of the Athena Star System
Eight light-years away from the Athena System, the search network of the Athena system, which had deployed a large number of interstellar communication satellites, captured the invasion force of hundreds of thousands of Tenka ships.
[Captured Tenka invasion force. Total number, an estimated 500,000 ships. Declaring a state of emergency. All star system residents, proceed to evacuation ships immediately. Repeat. Get to the ships now. The Monarchy shall compensate for any loss. The enemy is approaching. More enemy ships than in the Second Diete Star System Battle when 3.7 billion people were killed. Evacuate now, or you’ll be killed!]
The evacuation order was issued by the Communications Commander of the Communications Control Center, who has a rank of Brigadier General.
Commander-in-Chief Hart had fundamentally reworked the reporting system from the bitter experience of being ambushed by the former Coalition during the Space Flight Drill in the Republic of Frodi.
- If there is a report that even one enemy ship has been detected, immediately connect to the Star System Regional Army.
- Brigadier Generals and above belonging to the Star System Regional Army are to immediately issue an evacuation order to all the system’s citizens when information of enemy invasion force with more than 50,000 ships is received from the reconnaissance units, even if the information may be incorrect.
- Even if the report is from a private ship, issue an evacuation preparation order in the same manner.
- The Monarchy shall compensate for any damage caused by the issuance within the bounds of common sense.
A severe content was added to the order which enforced them.
- In the past, when Commander-in-Chief Amakawa reported a surprise attack by the former Coalition, a Non-Commissioned officer of the Navigation Control Center who received the report wasted time without immediately reporting to his superiors. As a result, a destroyer carrying enemy prisoners with evidence of the Coalition’s attempt to fabricate a cause for the war and details of the invasion information was in danger of being dropped.
- Information on enemy invasion directly affects the life and death of the entire system population and the victory or defeat of the war. The actions taken from reporting to processing will be verified by the Military Command Office at a later date, and all troops involved in the report will be thoroughly dealt with, from promotions, pay raise, relegation, demotion and dismissal to execution by court martial. In the name of the Queen and Commander-in-Chief, there will be absolutely no mercy, no matter who or what is protecting them.
Hart himself felt that “if emphasized to this extent, the report will be processed with positive results”, but the psychological impact suffered by the threatened party was extremely enormous.
Recently, the story of two Marquises, who were counted among the unreachable top 20 in the Monarchy, were demoted to the rank of Count, faced the simultaneous condemnation of the aristocracy and the people, and driven to suicide, was well known throughout the Monarchy.
Upon receiving information on the invasion of Tenka, the Brigadier General trembled as he imagined the future of his family being attacked from all over the Monarchy, desperately manipulated his fearful fingers to activate the emergency call system, and issued an evacuation order with a pale complexion and a deathly cry.
After receiving the evacuation order from their communication terminals, the residents propagated the Brigadier General’s depression and rushed to the nearest medium-sized container in a panic as if they were being chased.
Some of them were late, but military android soldiers who judged that they were “slow” based on the location information and movement speed from the information terminals, used every means possible to collect those who lagged behind and throw them into the containers.
The 5 million Salamanders deployed throughout the system were ready to launch with the nearest pilots rushing to them. As soon as they packed the evacuees who rushed in, they immediately took off from the planet and plunged into the green-shining transition gate in the Athena System.
By the time Fortress Kerviel reached the Athena Star System, one day after the announcement, 5.9 billion people, more than 98% of the total population, had been evacuated.
“Should all those involved in the handling of the report be given a promotion and a lump-sum payment after the battle?”
Hart, who was shown a video of the Brigadier General with a deathly pallor desperately pleading for the evacuation, muttered, feeling like he had done something wrong, even though he was convinced that his orders had merit.
However, making the Athena System into a realm was the right decision. Hart looked back on his own judgment.
Initially, for personal convenience, he considered creating a transition gate in the Apollo System, where Philine and Claudia’s parents’ homes are located.
Spirit crystals are Hart’s private property, and as the Apollo System is in the central territory of the Monarchy, where it’s easy to gather supplies and reinforcements, it is a simple reason for the creation of the transition gate. Philine, who will succeed the Marquis of Carneus, will find it easier to take over the Marquis if there is a transition gate.
However, the transition gate was opened in the Athena System because he was convinced that as the closest star system to Tenka and the Diete Systems, it was easiest to target alongside the Diete System.
In the Athena system alone, only 45 million Salamander crafts had been deployed. In the Battle of the Diete Star System, 80 million crafts faced against 350,000 enemy vessels.
If Hart did not create a realm and a transition gate in the Athena system, 45 million Salamander crafts would have had to intercept an enemy force of 500,000 ships, and it is estimated that all 6 billion inhabitants would have been killed.
The Diete and Athena systems have a total of 70 million pilots.
The large fighter craft Israfel, which is finally ready for mass production, was not ready for the switchover. The fighter craft to be deployed is the Salamander, of which there are about 10 million fewer crafts than the previous battle and will face about 150,000 more enemy vessels.
The strength evaluation of 70 million crafts and 500,000 ships is 100:160.
Even if the fighter crafts and the pilots were only gathered in the Athena System, they would not have been able to win. The only option that could protect the Athena System was to create a realm.
There is an estimated 23 hours left until the enemy forces reach the outer rim of the star system. The action to call on all residents to evacuate was swift, but there was no time to have them escape to a warpable sector.
[Salamanders are being distributed to each sector of 2 billion kilometers from the Athena star before the enemy reaches the outer rim. We will shut down the magic engines at the fighter craft command posts in each sector and wait until the enemy approaches. We are also pre-positioning fusion rounds in the intermediate space between us and the enemy.]
Lieutenant General Marcel Bertrand, a staff officer who served as Major General when Hart was Wartime Brigadier General and had recently been promoted to the position of Chief of Staff, reported the situation while observing the movements of the entire Star System.
Four years ago, he was a young major, but Hart, who raised his promotion speed to the shelf and was indulged in a light emotion, decided that he had no particular instructions for Bertrand, and asked Rhea, who had created a realm in the Athena System.
『Before the enemy’s leading forces arrive, close the transition gate. Don’t interfere with the enemy’s magic conversion until just before engaging with the enemy. I want to trick the enemy and draw them to a range where they can’t escape, and then destroy all enemy ships.』
『Why don’t we just fight them head on and destroy them all with a bang?』
『I’d be troubled if the enemy escaped to another star system, so let’s finish them here.』
Hart, cautioning Rhea who wanted to rush forward, looked to the seats of the magic engine operators of Fortress Kerviel.
Yuna, Colette and Philine were not on board.
The three are aboard the newly built mobile Fortress Ramiel, which was given to the Queen Yuna and was orbiting the planet Aegis on satellite orbit as the last refuge for the evacuated residents who failed to escape.
The Sovereign of the Monarchy of Diete is required to operate a Mobile Fortress and play an active role on the battlefield.
If you show the people Yuna’s Medal of Honor, they will be convinced if told that “the more active she is on Fortress Kerviel, the better the results of the battle”.
However, Yuna, who is only a Duke-grade magic power holder without spirit crystals, is better off actually standing on the battlefield in a mobile fortress that only Royal-grade magic power holders can operate to avoid argument on that point.
Thus, Ramiel was deliberately painted white to show that the Queen is on board. The fortress is also decorated with numerous ornaments, making it look like a real royal throne ship.
Colette, who is on board the flagship Ramiel, is the assistant to the Queen on the battlefield. With the rank of Lieutenant General, and standing as Count, Colette is in a very good position to assist Yuna, as she can use her Duke-grade magic power for the shield and propulsion.
Philine is responsible for the preliminary fleet deployment to retrieve the residents who failed to evacuate and bring them to Ramiel, and escorting Ramiel during the battle.
Thus, the three usual Operating Assistants were absent from Fortress Kerviel.
In addition to Hart and Claudia, there were five other people aboard Fortress Kerviel as the magic engine operators. Princes Bernard and Josslan, the Princes’ fiancées Beatrice and Lysine, and Xuě Lì, the Duchess of Son.
In the first half of the battle, both princes will work with Hart and Claudia. In the second half, it will be Hart and Xuě Lì along with the fiancées of the Two Princes. The members will operate Fortress Kerviel and, according to the arrangement, earn the Medal of Honor by setting them up to fulfill the duty of the royal aristocracy.
The fortress’ strength evaluation is 8,442 in the first half and 8,600 in the second half.
Even if you multiply the overestimated strength evaluation of 9000 by 5 times the strength of the star system to get 45,000, by destroying 7,500 Tenka cruisers with a force evaluation of 6, members who served in the battle will be awarded a Medal of Honor.
The reason why two princes are paired at the same time is that if they are made to fight separately and make comparisons possible, it may be said that one of them had a higher military achievement.
In addition, the plan is to activate the visual and audio blocking devices on Xuě Lì’s seat and make her fight against vegetables, fooling her into thinking she was playing a game with numerous cartoon characters in vegetable costumes.
Hart considered that it was necessary, in terms of the arrangement, for Yuna to award both princes and their fiancées so that she could abdicate, and to have Xuě Lì of the Sòng family, who is not educated in the Monarchy but is essential for the governing of the Fukashiro system, fulfill her quota.
Therefore, Hart himself proposed to bring these five people along.
Things are well arranged so that no one will be able to point fingers.
“Evacuation sites after the transition gate is closed are essential. If it is the Queen’s mobile fortress, the safety of evacuees will be the highest because the Royal Army will defend it with all their might. It would be safest to have Her Majesty the Queen protect the Royal citizens who failed to escape.”
“The last evacuation destination, the mobile fortress, should be equipped with an auxiliary magic engine operator. As a high magic powered individual, a Deputy Commander of the Royal Army with the rank of Lieutenant General, and the status as Count, Lieutenant General Listner can also give orders to the military and aristocrats to protect the fortress.”
“It is also necessary to repair ships that actually carry evacuees to the fortress, the fleet that protects the fortress, and ships damaged in battle. The best solution is to have Lieutenant General Carneus, who is a special-class unit with many auxiliary ships under her command, take charge of them.”
Thus, Yuna, Colette, and Philine were removed for the sake of the royal people, and the operation of Fortress Kerviel, with four magic engines, was left to two people, Hart and Claudia.
Therefore, both princes with Royal-grade magic power value, their fiancées, and Xuě Lì, who had Duke-grade magic power value, became the necessary personnel to operate the magic engines of Fortress Kerviel.
If the five people contribute, prove useful to the Monarchy, and if the criteria of the Medal of Honor are met, it is a natural decision to make.
With this set up, Hart was ready to award the five people a medal.
“Major General Bernard Asteria, and Lieutenant Josslan Asteria, are sure to receive the medal of honor. I also have plans to promote the Lieutenant. Even if the opportunity does not come this time, it definitely will in the future. So don’t rush, take it easy. Be sure to obey the orders of the military.”
“Yes Sir. Your Excellency, Commander-in-Chief.”
Nodding at Bernard’s cool response and Josslan’s affectionate salute as a cadet, he turned his eyes to the outer edge of the Athena System.
Eventually, the transition gate closed behind Fortress Kerviel, and when Rhea sensed the actions would precede the warp out of the enemy’s leading forces into the system, Hart immediately told the magic engine operators to rest. Even after entering the system, there is some time before the battle begins.
Due to the closure of the transition gate, the evacuation destination of the residents was switched to the Mobile Fortress Ramiel.
From within the star system, tens of millions of salamanders drowned out their magic reaction as if to hold their breath.
The 500,000 ships of the Tenka invasion force that reached the Athena System were a mixed force of the five nations that pulled out as much strength as possible from the fleets that reached the frontline of the Solar, Hercules, and Fukashiro Systems.
As a feature, many previous generation national mages, who were considered expendable, were assigned there.
It was the goal of Yúnlán, the Commander-in-Chief of the expeditionary forces, to use up those disposable personnel and cause tremendous damage to each star system of the Monarchy.
“Warp out, the outer rim of the Athena System, sector is 5.7 billion kilometers from the planet. As reported by the preceding assault reconnaissance fleet, there is no pre-placement of fusion rounds. Also no rapid magic reaction decrease phenomenon. Observation results are normal.”
Upon receiving the Chief of Staff’s report, Yúnlán was deeply relieved that they hadn’t been caught in a fusion storm upon their arrival, like the one in the MacLir system.
In the MacLir System, the 600,000 ships of the Tenka invasion force were bombarded with 20 million fusion rounds immediately after warping out, causing them to lose 140,000 ships in just six hours.
Yúnlán, who was with a separate force, was not a party to the attack, but when he invaded the Diete System, he took the measure of dispersing in all directions and warping out.
This time as well, he took the same precaution of dispersing in all directions and warping out their main force after confirming the safety of the preceding force, so they would face the battle in perfect condition.
“Chief of staff, what are the enemy numbers?”
“Optical observations have identified a number of fighter craft mooring facilities 2 billion kilometers from the planet. System forces estimated to be between 60 and 80 million fighter crafts. And although there is no magic reaction, optical observations have confirmed what appears to be Fortress Kerviel.”
When Yúnlán heard about the strength of the Monarchy’s forces, he frowned at two problems.
One problem was that there were more defensive forces deployed than expected.
Since the Diete System, where the capital planet was located, had 80 million crafts, he thought that the Athena system, which was not the main star system, would only have about half that number.
Even if the defense force is 80 million crafts strong, Yúnlán, who brought 150,000 more ships than last time, will not be defeated. However, the force needed to advance to the next star system is insufficient.
Another problem is the existence that appears to be Fortress Kerviel.
If there is no magic reaction, it is unknown whether it is merely papier-mâché or the real thing. However, if it was genuine, it means that the invasion of Yúnlán has been read.
They were not attacked immediately after warping out like in the MacLir system, so there is a possibility that it was a fake. And even if it is the genuine article, they wouldn’t be able to take as many countermeasures as in the MacLir system, but it was a situation worthy of alarm for Yúnlán.
In any case, there is no option not to attack the Athena System.
Yúnlán, who was prepared to use up all his war potential, gave orders to the Chief of Staff to advance.
“Be wary of Fortress Kerviel, just to be safe. Order each fleet’s Lóngshèng flagship to lead from the rear of the fleet. Command ships from the flagship to rank 10 are not to enter the system. Give advance orders to the national mages of the entire fleet.”
The Tenka Invasion Army, which received orders from the flagship, began to advance toward the center from all directions of the star system, bringing their national mages to the forefront.
A meteor shower pushed forward from the whole sky, and towed celestial bodies follow from behind. The thin membrane that had been spread out in the star system gradually became thicker and smaller.
Watching the movements of the national mages from the outer rim, Yúnlán felt that the Monarchy force was well controlled.
The Monarchy’s forces in the Athena System are waiting for the invasion force of 500,000 ships, much more than in the Diete System, at 2 billion kilometers from the planet, without moving.
In this situation, it is not easy to make even the lowest-ranked soldiers comply with orders.
If the reason was to bring it into a development like the MacLir System, the Tenka invasion force would be destroyed due to the large number of Monarchy forces in the Athena System.
The Diete System did not experience the same phenomenon as the MacLir System, but it may not always be the case. Yúnlán, who had a bad feeling, changed his orders somewhat.
“All command ships from the flagship to rank 10, move back to the rear with the escort fleet. In the event of a magic engine malfunction and communication interference like the MacLir System, inform the flagship of each fleet in advance to order a retreat. The retreat destination will be the Solar System.”
Eventually, when the Tenka invasion’s vanguard approached the 2.2 billion kilometer mark, the Monarchy’s fighter crafts began to operate their magic engines one after another and assumed their battle positions.
By that time, fusion missiles from both armies exploded several times in the mid-space sector, disrupting the optical observation of the two armies, and their search for the enemy was mainly based on Multi Dimensional Magic Conversion Observation Waves.
The magic reaction observed by the Tenka side is about 70 million crafts.
Although he thought that he would win with just that, Yúnlán kept his eyes on the results of the frontline observations.
Then, the Multidimensional Magic Conversion Observation Wave on the frontline was interrupted, and the inside of the star system was painted from black to green, and immediately after the reaction of the magic engine fell, he shouted.
“All troops, retreat. Turn the flagship around and break off!”
Yúnlán’s order was carried out, but the invasion force, which had been drawn close to the enemy, plunged into an all-out clash with the Monarchy’s fighter crafts due the law of inertia.
The first to fly out was Fortress Kerviel.
Fortress Kerviel, which had been stationary, was pushed by the muddy stream of magic elements swirling through the system, accelerated with explosive momentum, and attacked the invasion force.
“The enemy can’t properly put up a shield. Even if hit with secondary armaments, they will explode. Fire a few shots at once from the many sub-cannons. Leave the shielding and propulsion to me and keep firing on enemies in range with the help of your spirit!”
Pushed forward by Rhea, the Spirit King who controls the magic elements within the star system, Fortress Kerviel flew around the system at high speed, keeping the invading forces within range one after another.
The first to make a move among the magic individuals of Fortress Kerviel was Claudia.
Receiving the support of her B-class spirit Cynthia and C-class spirit Sofia simultaneously, she immediately activated the secondary armament of Fortress Kerviel all at once and began turning the surrounding Tenka Ships into shining stars in the blink of an eye.
The torrential rain of light that has been transformed from Claudia’s magic power violently poured down and struck the Tenka fleet, which was swarming in large numbers, transforming each ship into a bright new star.
The many emerging stars were soon erased from space, scattering shockwaves and debris in their wake.
Claudia sharply called out to both princes as she continued her attack.
“Both of you, fight quickly and defend the Royal citizens and the inhabited planet behind you!”
Ordered by Claudia, the two princes came to their senses, hurriedly activated the magic engines and sent their powers into the secondary cannons and scattered them around.
The efficiency is inferior to the B-class spirit, but the spirit crystals worn by the two princes are also C-class. While the two men achieved excellent results for amateurs, Fortress Kerviel ran clockwise through the fiercely embattled sector, riding the flow of magic elements swirling through the system.
The Spirit King Fleur was responsible for the defense of Fortress Kerviel. Around Fortress Kerviel, partial shields danced wildly like flower petals, catching attacks fired from enemy ships one after another. It is not clear how the enemy’s attack is perceived, but all enemy ships’ attacks were being repelled.
Mira seemed to be moving the fortress while receiving the power of Rhea to drive Fortress Kerviel forward by pouring in the magic elements in the system. Seeing how it was conveniently flowing into the sector with good combat efficiency, Hart entrusted the defense and movement of the fortress to the spirits.
As Fortress Kerviel created new stars in the system, the intensity of the battle in each sector also accelerated.
Within the green-dyed star system, 500,000 Tenka ships and 70 million Salamanders clash, creating a mess of vast rays of light that can’t be processed by the human brain at all.
The wreckage of the ships that occurred swallowed both armies in a frenzy while randomly blowing in all directions at a high speed that could not be evaded even with the processing power of the computers mounted on the warships and fighter crafts.
The strength evaluation of both armies, including the strategic satellite Sandalphon, is 100:32.
However, the Tenka invading army has turned to retreat, showing their backs in a decelerated state trying to reverse the direction of the movement, and many are being swarmed with Salamanders that fly freely in the sector and falling prey one after another.
“All troops, push forward. The enemy has lost communication and their chain of command has collapsed. They can’t even put up a shield. It’s a good opportunity to destroy them individually!”
The Tenka side has introduced 2 million vessels, including 500,000 cruiser class ships and 1.5 million crafts launched from mother ships. In contrast, the Monarchy side has 70 million Salamander crafts.
The ships on the Tenka side, which had reversed and slowed down, were pursued by the Salamanders and while they were resisting, reinforcements were called in one after another, and they were swallowed by the swarm and crushed in order from the front row.
For the Royal Army, it was the Athena system that they were familiar with, and since they do not suffer communication interference, the battle linkage system from the main planet and home port is fully functioning.
For Tenka, on the other hand, this is the first time that they have entered a star system with insufficient information, and due to communication interference, they were unable to coordinate within the same fleet.
As a whole, the Salamanders were chasing the fleeing enemy, gradually heading towards the outer rim of the system.
The Tenka side is trying to break away by the strategy of blowing up the pursuing Salamanders with the nuclear fusion missiles along with their allies who have failed to escape.
The Salamanders were forced to stall somewhat, which created a great opportunity for Fortress Kerviel to attack the enemy without risk of friendly fire.
“Your excellency, the private fleet of Marquis Sharett of the Athena system and the accompanying Fortress Ships are on the frontline and jumbled with the enemy. It appears that the two second-class Fortress Ships have already achieved 1.5 times the standard of receiving the Medal of Honor.”
Two 17,000-meter-long Second-class Fortress ships and a fleet of hundreds of ships gathering around them were projected on the screen of Fortress Kerviel command center.
The operators of the Fortress Ships are listed as Leon, son of the Marquis of Sharett, and Therese, Young Lady of the Count of Jerome.
The two Fortress Ships are hurling a huge bundle of light forward, biting into the backs of the reversing enemies and burning them from behind.
“Leon of the Marquis of Sharett, was the fiancé of the demoted Count Jerome Young Lady, right? I undid the restrictions on Jerome and so the parents withdrew the insulation… I see.”
After pondering for a bit, Hart reached for the communication device and sent communication to Leon and Therese simultaneously.
“Colonel General Amakawa, Commander-in-Chief, to the Marquis of Sharett fleet and the Fortress ship of the Count of Jerome.”
First, Hart clarified the position of himself and the other party.
It was a communication conducted by the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Army to the conscripted aristocrats in the midst of battle, so both families were obligated to comply. It was an unexpected order issued to the families who were bracing themselves.
“I will arrange for Leon, the Marquis’ son, and Count Lady Therese, who have achieved remarkable results in battle, to be awarded the Order of Merit from Her Majesty’s hands after the battle. In addition, I’ll send them a congratulatory telegram for their wedding, and gift some aristocratic spirit crystals for their children. So back off a little bit. So far, no conscripted aristocrats or Generals have been killed. Neither house should tarnish the glorious accomplishments in the first battle of Her Majesty’s enthronement.”
Leon, who appeared on the communication screen, responded resolutely.
[…… As you wish. As per Your Excellency’s orders, we will fall back a bit. Allow me to express my gratitude for your consideration.]
Following Leon’s response, Therese also bowed deeply and disappeared from the communication. Soon, the Marquis Sharett fleet and Therese gradually slowed down, and the fleet, which had been in chaos at the frontline, gradually separated.
Hart said nothing in particular to Bernard and Josslan, who watched on with interest.
Fortress Kerviel, having single-handedly destroyed about 8,000 enemy ships, replaced its operators with the second-half members.
When the fortress single-handedly destroyed 7,500 ships, it met the criteria for earning medals, but it had to defeat more to avoid any stroke of bad luck in the future.
Claudia, who seemed like she could fight on with a little more time to spare, and the princes, who looked mentally exhausted in the first round, stepped down, and Fortress Kerviel, which replaced the three in the second half, went on a rampage again.
“Their vegetables, vegetables, just vegetables…”
“Fufufu…… I feel like I’m crushing ants.”
“The more ships we defeat here, the closer the Monarchy will be to victory!”
Seeing the bizarre combination of Xuě Lì desperately deceiving herself, Beatrice happily muttering disturbing things, and Lysine, the most decent member of the Duke of Takrham, Hart turned his gaze away and concentrated on the battle at hand.
The entire area within the star system has already been overrun by the Royal Army.
The Salamanders, chasing the enemy’s backs throughout the area, continue to produce military results, but the destruction efficiency of Fortress Kerviel decreases against the increasingly spreading enemies.
“If you don’t earn achievements soon, you might not be able to meet your quota.”
After forcing the noble fleet to fall back, Hart continued to move forward and hunt enemies in the second half to achieve the quota.
After that, the Royal Army chased the Tenka invasion force for about two days, but they were able to reach a warpable sector and took off.
In the end, Fortress Kerviel dropped 24,174 enemy ships, which is 3.2 times its strength evaluation.
The damage to the Royal Army in the Athena Star System Battle was 7.43 million Salamander crafts. The Tenka federation, on the other hand, lost 356,000 ships, 71% of the 500,000 invading force.
In this battle, the Royal Army had 10 million crafts less than in the Second Diete Star System Battle, but repelled an enemy force with 150,000 more ships than in the previous battle, and suffered less than 1/10 the damage.
The planet Aegis was unharmed and no civilian casualties were recorded.
It seems that Rakuten Books has 41 books in stock by mail order.
Such information deeply digs into the author’s heart (； ´Д ｀)
If you want to be able to go anywhere…I’d like Volume 1, ( っ゜、。)っ please
Q．What will the author do if the inventory display decreases from 41 books?
A． Next chapter…… I will post an additional chapter!