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Chapter 79 – Solar System Invasion Project
November 444 of the Monarchy Calendar.
The Monarchy, which had recaptured both the MacLir and Fukashiro Star Systems, temporarily halted its advance.
Three battles had been fought since the Battle of Athena, but the Monarchy’s forces have not suffered damage that could make it impossible to continue fighting, nor has it experienced any problems with supply systems or morale.
Perhaps if Hart had ordered an advance, Fortress Kerviel, packed with 9 million fighter crafts, would have entered the Solar System, and by this time the fourth Solar System Battle would have taken place.
When the former Crown Prince Gracian invaded the Solar System, the Coalition headed to the Diete System, so a large-scale engagement that could be called a “battle” did not occur.
Also, during Tenka’s invasion of the former Coalition territories last year, the Tenka side avoided attacking the Solar System, which would have triggered the Monarchy’s forces to gather in Diete, in order to support Yúnlán’s detour to the Diete System.
Therefore, if a battle were to take place in the Solar System, it would be the Second Battle of the Solar Star System, the first time in 462 years since the Diete War of Independence in 3282 AD.
The conquest of the Solar System has an ideological value for the Diete people, who are independent of the Solar System. Therefore, there were many opinions that the army should be advanced immediately.
“The Athena invaders, who have retreated, are expected to enter the defense of their homeland. Now the Solar System and Hercules System can easily be taken. Also, if the enemy remains in the Solar or Hercules System, we have the opportunity to cut them down before they rejoin their home country.”
General Bertrand, Hart’s long-time Chief of Staff, was among the majority in favor of an early attack.
And when the Royal Army acquired both systems, he suggested that 500,000 crafts be transferred from the Israfel deployed in defense of the two systems to Fortress Kerviel.
If operated by pilots with ordinary skills, the 500,000 Israfel crafts are equal in strength to the 33,333 Tenka ships. For Tenka at present, 30,000 ships are a force that cannot be easily deployed, and the more the war rages on, the more dominant the Monarchy becomes.
As for the base of operations within the star system, by having the magic power holders of Count-grade and above send fortress ships, a huge home port capable of mooring Israfel can be deployed. Those Lords who want to contribute to the state in order to maintain the aristocratic system would be willing to cooperate.
Israfel’s hull could be left behind in the two systems, and if only the pilots could be put on warships and replaced periodically, they can continue to keep their forces deployed for years.
Even if Tenka invades with a large army that cannot be handled, they could retreat with only the flesh-and-blood pilots on board the warship. At the time of withdrawal, if 500,000 Israfel crafts are self-destructed, they will not be handed over to the enemy.
Therefore, the Chief of Staff advised that they should invade.
Hart understands that the proposals made by the General Staff are not so bad.
The problem, as Hart sees it, was that Fortress Kerviel was necessary to retake the Star Systems that was stolen by Tenka, and only Hart could respond.
Hart, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Army, the main ruler of the Fukashiro System, and depending on the situation, the trump card for attacking Tenka directly, was not the type of personnel to be deployed in a battle for an undervalued and unsustainable Star System.
Hart himself thought that they would have to invade both star systems eventually, but it is not enough to simply rush in like a wild boar just because there is an enemy, and there is a timing to use the trump card.
“If anyone other than me could load Fortress Kerviel with a lot of fighter craft and head to the battlefield, I would immediately give permission to advance.”
Bertrand withdrew his suggestion after Commander-in-Chief Hart said no. However, those who wanted the next invasion operation were not confined to the Royal Army.
[Now that the enemy is weakened, it is our greatest chance!]
[We must reclaim our Solar System and Hercules System before the enemy can regain their stance.]
[Reclaim all the systems of the Monarchy from the Tenka Federation.]
Behind the Monarchy wide rise of public outcry is the fact that after 3 billion people were killed in the Second Battle of the Deite Star System, the Monarchy side made a big turnaround in the last three battles.
In other words, the enthusiasm of the Royal Citizens was contrary to their fears, and Hart, who was touched by the enthusiasm, felt that they wanted to dispel their fear by accumulating victories.
Of the last three battles, the MacLir and Fukashiro Systems, which mobilized 50 million people, saw a total of only about 200,000 Monarchy casualties.
The death toll was about 0.4%, and the majority were fighter craft pilots, which can be easily replenished. However, the results of the war are enormous, acquiring two habitable systems and 28.7 billion people, destroying the Shinkyō army and absorbing the Kyūyama army.
The Royal people screaming to move on is an unavoidable flow.
“This is such a hassle.”
Hart, who had ordered the reinforcement of the defense posture by switching to the large fighter crafts, complained with a disgruntled expression at the irresponsible voices of the people.
In the Monarchy of Diete, the supreme leader, Queen Yuna, has the final say. And military decisions are left to Hart by Yuna.
However, the will of the Royal people cannot be completely disregarded.
The members of the Monarchy are mostly ordinary royal citizens.
And the Royal Aristocracy was established by the will of the royal people.
If actions that are too far removed from the will of the people continue, the system itself will be called into question.
As a result of the energy of enthusiasm sweeping the Monarchy, the members of the National Assembly, pushed by the people, began to take action. Then, when the members of the House of Representatives officially questioned the government, the government made an inquiry to Hart, the Commander-in-Chief.
It is not an invitation as a witness by the Parliament, but an inquiry. Because the Monarchy council had its own reason not to invite Hart as a witness.
Four years ago, during the invasion of the solar system that was approved by the majority of the Parliament, the Monarchy was counter-invaded by the Coalition of Humanity and a billion people were killed in the planetary defense battle. And Hart is formerly of Valfrete’s faction, which was not involved in the failure of the Gracian faction.
If Hart was invited as a witness, it was assumed that the failure of the Solar System Invasion Operation would be taken up in Congress as a reason for Hart not to invade.
“I, as a military expert and Commander-in-Chief with the greatest results, ordered the reinforcement of our star systems defenses. The amateurs in parliament are asking me to disregard defense like the former Crown Prince Gracian did to earn achievements. Would you have me re-create the defense battle of four years ago where we were counter-invaded and 1 billion people were killed?”
If the members of the National Assembly who supported the invasion of the Solar System were condemned by Hart, the supreme military authority, saying, “You caused the deaths of a billion Royal Citizens. How have you taken responsibility for it?”, they may lose all the honor they have built up as politicians.
Fearing a counterattack, legislators made a safe inquiry through the government to avoid the extremely dangerous act of summoning Hart and questioning him in parliament.
In the Monarchy government, there is an organization called the Ministry of Military Affairs, which has jurisdiction over the military, and its minister is the Military Advisor.
Minister Elliot Burns, a retired Major General who once served as commander of a fleet division, has by far the highest military knowledge among members of parliament.
After observing the National Assembly members raising their voices in the parliament hall and Prime Minister Stanley, whose eyebrows were furrowed at the National Assembly, Burns, who was well versed in military affairs, asked Hart, who was his subordinate in the organizational structure, a question.
“Commander Amakawa, what will you do?”
Regardless of the fuss made by Congress, the decision to invade is in Hart’s hands.
Because only Fortress Kerviel can capture the Tenka systems. If Hart says he will not go, the invasion will not succeed no matter who else is sent.
In addition, Hart received the Order of Merit eight times and Yuna six times, fulfilling the duties of the Royal Aristocrats for several generations.
Suppose the royal people tried to dismiss Yuna in accordance with the official procedure and make Bernard or Josslan the next Sovereign and forcibly order a sortie. In that case, if Hart, angered by the proposed dismissal resolution, retires, he cannot be forced to go as an aristocrat.
The legislators, who cannot capture the Tenka systems no matter how hard they tried, will be blamed by the Royal people, who are impatient as Tenka restores their war potential, and will eventually be forced into resignation from Parliament or hold a general election for dissolution.
And if Hart, who was apologized to by the new parliament, came out saying “it can’t be helped” and invaded Tenka after the defenses were in place as planned, in the end, things will eventually go according to Hart’s plan.
Burns’ question was based on his understanding that the choice was entirely in Hart’s hands.
Hart decided to follow the policy of the royal people and parliament.
“It’s unavoidable. The invasion of the solar system and the Hercules system will be moved up in accordance with the request of the Congress. Taking into account the participation from Podalley and Machaon, which takes two months each way, the next invasion should take place after the beginning of the year.”
“It’s different from the Commander’s schedule, but is that okay?”
“Of course, it’s not okay. An unplanned invasion carried out at the will of the people while the defense posture is inadequate…”
Nevertheless, Hart accepted it because he did not want to do anything dictatorial with Yuna and Hart in anticipation of Yuna’s abdication.
If there were reasons such as the obvious great sacrifices, or a known failure from the beginning, Hart would have opposed it decisively, citing his reasons, considering that it was his duty as Commander-in-Chief to oppose it.
However, the defense forces of Salamander and Israfel deployed in each system are so high that they cannot be easily broken through even if a Spirit King does not deploy a realm.
If Tenka were to invade with a large fleet of hundreds of thousands that could destroy the Monarchy’s systems, Tenka would have depleted almost all its military power. In that case, in exchange for the destruction of one Monarchy system, the three Tenka Nations could be destroyed and the war ended.
Such a meaningless invasion would not be possible for the Tenka side, which calls itself rational.
Therefore, Hart was reluctant to take any risks, but allowed an early invasion in the form of making the Congress responsible.
“Very well. Then I’ll explain it to congress. The Minister should proceed with his preparations.”
Burns fulfilled his role as a military attaché, even though he was surprised by Hart, who followed Congressional policy while leaving the Defense Enhancement Plan half-finished.
Since then, the movement of the Monarchy Parliament has been quick.
After a vote was held in the National Assembly and the Solar System Invasion Plan was passed, the House of Lords approved the bill and the invasion was decided.
The specific operational strategy was left to the Royal Army.
The mobilization force determined by Hart is Fortress Kerviel, 1,125,000 Israfel crafts, 10 regular army fleets, and 15 aristocratic fleets. In addition, a General officer of Kyūyama who has insider information on the five Tenka Nations will join as an information staff member.
The conscription of the aristocratic army was based on the criteria once convened by former Crown Prince Gracian. Dukes provide five fleets, Marquises three fleet, Counts one fleet, and Viscounts and Barons battleships along with appropriate magic power holders, subject to conditions that exempt them for past service, emerging peerages and so on.
Even though Hart narrowed the scope of the conscription, the aristocrats volunteered to participate.
It is unthinkable for an aristocrat of the Monarchy of Diete not to participate in an “Operation to Invade the Solar System,” in which the invasion was decided by the will of the Royal Citizens, and in which they would be officially considered aristocrats once they earn military achievements and a Medal of Honor.
Rather, Hart was worried that they would gather too many people, even though they did not represent his family, he even mentioned the importance of star system defense and the fact that if they died in the battle, it would affect the survival of their households, and asked that they respect the set quotas.
Hart also informed them that Queen Yuna and the Mobile Fortress Ramiel would not participate in this operation because the transition gate cannot be used in the Solar System.
“In the two Diete Star System Battles, if His Majesty the former Sovereign had not been present, the Capital Planet would have been destroyed. It would be dangerous for everyone to charge in and leave the person in overall charge of the defense absent. From now on, I will be the aggressor, and Her Majesty the Queen will be the guardian.”
Yuna, the Queen and General, and Hart, the Duke and Fleet Admiral, will both be obeyed at the time of the battle, no matter who they may be against in the Monarchy. And if they are on the battlefield and on the Capital planet, they can deal with any situation by force.
Burns, while showing understanding, referred to the unwritten law of the Monarchy.
“The Royal people have a deep-rooted belief that Royalty should be on the battlefield. If the Sovereign is elderly, it is understandable that the Prince will stand on the battlefield in his place, but Her Majesty is still 21 years old. How do you explain that?”
Hart is convinced that if Yuna did not go to the battlefield, her aptitude as a country ruler will not be questioned.
But instead of ignoring it, Hart thought that it would be better to prepare one of the official conditions, and responded to Burns’s question by bringing up the Monarchy’s conscription system.
“Her Majesty has been awarded the Order of Merit six times and fulfilled her duty as a royal aristocrat. In the first place, Her Majesty is engaged to me, a high magic power holder, and met the conditions for exemption from military service. If you ignore the system and force Her Majesty into service, other aristocratic women will have to follow suit, and we may not be able to stably secure the next generation of high magic power holders.”
In the Monarchy, there is a condition of exemption from military service that “high magical women who are married or engaged to high magical individuals are excluded from the target of recruitment”, and Yuna is a representative of the side which defends the system.
If Yuna takes the initiative and enters the battlefield, other aristocratic women will not be able to use the military exemption system. With the advent of spirit crystals, the value of high magic-powered people has declined, but they are still necessary for interstellar travel and cannot be eliminated.
Moreover, Yuna’s partner is Hart, who operates Fortress Kerviel.
The Royal people, who want the next generation of mobile fortress operators, will have no choice but to accept the reason why the Queen, who was named by Hart, will not enter the battlefield.
Burns nodded, expressing his willingness to accept the explanation.
“If a clearly stated system is presented, the parliamentary side of the system will have to accept it. There are two royal candidates who will go into battle besides Her Majesty the Queen. Their Highnesses the Princes. Since both are candidates for the next Sovereign, it would be just right as replacements in Her Majesty’s name.”
Bernard and Josslan both plan to take the throne or the Duke, and both understand that it is better to have the appropriate military achievements in either position.
Although they will not be able to win the Order of Merit because they do not have enough enemies in the Solar System and the Hercules system, their achievements of serving in the operation to recapture the Solar System and successfully capturing it will be useful in the future when they hold the throne or Duke title.
Burns, who was convinced that both princes would become representatives, accepted Hart’s claim, confident that the Parliament would agree that the Queen would not serve in the army.
Most recently, Hart was beginning to question the old belief that Royal-grade magic power holders operated the mobile fortress to shoot the enemy.
Fortress Kerviel can accommodate 1,125,000 Israfel fighter crafts. The strength rating of one craft is 0.4, but if you multiply it by the number crafts on board, it will be estimated at 450,000.
On the other hand, the strength rating of the Fortress Kerviel itself is about 8,000, the magic of Hart accounting for 6588, and only about 500 to 700 added with each operation assistant.
It cannot be said that the strength of 700 destroyers was marginal, but unlike during the war with the Coalition, the strength of Fortress Kerviel can no longer determine the outcome of the battle.
The current role required of Fortress Kerviel is as a supermassive carrier craft for transporting fighter crafts, and Hart alone is sufficient for that role.
Even if another royal family member came in place of Yuna, it would only be a formality.
For the time being, Hart suggested that the operation of the fortress be revised.
“Your Excellency, Nowadays, the number of fighter crafts that can be deployed into battle determines the outcome. As for Fortress Kerviel, it seems better to operate it as a flagship and home port than to deploy it to the front lines with a full complement of personnel to operate the magic elemental engines. We will change the operation in the future.”
“I’ll tell Congress about that, too. Even so, when I was in active service, having a large ship was the top priority, but things have changed dramatically in a few years.”
In response to Burns’ recollection, Hart believed that the form of war had not changed, but that history was simply repeating itself.
“This is just a repetition of the history of the evolution of the Battleship Artillery Principle with the advent of aerial warfare. It was just time for a change”
“I seem to be getting older and not thinking as flexibly as the Commander. I will leave the building of new things to the younger generation, and I, as the older generation, will deal with the old dogs.”
Thus, the Royal Army, requested by the Congress, was to conduct an invasion of the Solar System.