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Chapter 84 – Underwater Corridor
December 444 of the Monarchy Calendar
After receiving two Advanced Spirits from the Spirit Emperor Janet in the Diete Star System, Hart went on vacation.
Hart is trying to get rid of the Tenka problem, the greatest burden, in order to relieve the pressure on his fiancé Yuna, but he understands that it is unwise to shortsightedly do everything by himself, and then to collapse under the burden.
“Maintenance is necessary not only for warships, but for military personnel as well.”
There aren’t that many jobs that can only be done by Hart.
Fortunately, the Monarchy of Diete dropped 509,000 Tenka ships in the three previous battles. In addition, they have obtained most of the information on Tenka’s strategy and defense from Liú Hào of Kyūyama, who was drawn into their camp.
The invasion schedule has been decided, and the defense of each star system is well underway with the deployment of Israfel. And recently, he also increased his contracted spirits.
In the current situation, it is better to refresh the spirit of Hart, the Commander-in-Chief of the invasion force, and restore his judgment before the next battle takes place.
With that in mind, after clearing up the spirits-related problems that only he could handle, Hart assigned the other Chiefs and Generals to prepare for the invasion, leaving the internal affairs of his territory to the government, and decided to take a leave of absence.
During the vacation, he declined all visit requests, and spent three days in the Marquis Amakawa’s residence and the castle in the sky. Hart’s consciousness was at sea, eight kilometers off the coast of the Marquis’ estate.
The Marquis of Amakawa, facing the Mediterranean Sea, has opened up part of its territorial waters for private leisure use. The aim was to increase the surplus in the territory, and tax breaks and subsidies were offered to attract a large number of private resorts to the territory.
Hart has come with Claudia to one of the many resort facilities that have opened up one after another.
Above the sea where Hart floated, there were many hang gliders flying around, and it was so crowded that it was hard to believe it was wartime.
Some of them occasionally fail and crash to the surface of the sea, but since the people are operating them via remote control robots, the crash does not cause injury.
Therefore, Hurt was spending his time peacefully, casually watching. Claudia, who accompanied him, was flying in the sky.
“Master Hart, the race is about to start. Would you like to join us?”
“I’m tired, so I’ll refrain. If you want to participate, go for it.”
“Okay. Please cheer me on.”
“Sure. Good luck.”
In the sky above Hart, a large group of hang gliders that had been switched to autopilot by the built-in device flew up one after another.
They gathered in a corner of the sky and soon began to fly in a wide circle outside the no-fly zone set up in the castle in the sky, one of the tourist attractions in the Marquis of Amakawa.
A cluster of colorful wind-driven aircraft took off toward the castle in the sky.
After admiring the scene, which was very archaic and fantastic from the perspective of an interstellar civilization, Hart eventually closed his eyes peacefully and sank to the bottom of the sea.
The Mediterranean Sea of the Diete System is a safe sea for humans.
Only safe fish, screened by humans and excluded parasites, swim there. Other shellfish include scallops, oysters, abalone and clams. In crustaceans, shrimp and crabs. Among mollusks, only edible ones such as squid and octopus inhabit the waters.
At one time, bottlenose dolphins were also mixed with the marine creatures that swim in the Diros sea.
When the Continent of Ortegia, the previous location of the Royal Capital, was blown away in the Second Battle of the Diete, a group of bottlenose dolphins brought from Earth escaped and swam around the Mediterranean Sea.
Royal Diete’s people do not have the custom of eating dolphins.
If only one species of giant marine creatures that are not targeted by humans, the greatest predator, thrive in the ocean, dolphins may multiply and devour all edible fish in a few hundred years.
With that in mind, Hart had biologists formulate an opinion based on the assumption that the dolphins would be recovered, and based on that opinion, he collected the dolphins and returned them to the Marine Aquarium before the children pleaded with them to “let the dolphins swim freely”. Thus, the marine life of Diros is now back to its original state.
The opinion of the Royal People on the matter is divided into those who felt the recovery was inevitable, and those who felt sorry for the dolphins. That’s why Hart is convinced that it was best to collect them as soon as possible.
The sea of Diros, where Hart sank, was so peaceful.
An hour later, Claudia, who had completed the race, contacted Hart, whose consciousness returned to the leisure facility that connected to the swimming robot.
The seabed reflected in the field of vision slowly darkens and becomes pitch black.
Then, a dim light shone into the darkness-shrouded field of vision, and it transformed into a world seen from the enclosure placed in the couple’s room of the resort facility.
From the next enclosure, Claudia popped out like a little fox, looked at Hart and smiled. And she regretfully reported the results.
“There were 87 of us, and I came in seventh place. It would be nice if 6 people above me could become the operators of the fighter crafts that handle logistics.”
With 70% admiration and 30% frustration, Claudia, the top Cadet of the Military Academy with high performance in the fighter crafts maneuvers simulations, praised the six people who beat her.
The operation of a fighter craft and a hang glider are two different things, but since a machine is responsible for most of the operation, what is required of the operator is the feeling of flying. Hart, who thought the top six had talent, affirmed Claudia’s remarks.
“You can issue a letter of recommendation, as long as it is in a way that does not force them to accept. A Major General is qualified to recommend Non-Commissioned Officers.”
“Okay. Then I’ll send you a letter of recommendation later.”
Claudia, who came to a conclusion on the outcome of the match, clung to Hart’s arm after regaining her composure and walked out of the room where the enclosure that operated the remote-controlled robot placed to the underwater corridor of the aquarium.
“The facilities were pretty well equipped, even for a private recreational facility. Technically, they are at the level of military equipment from about 20 years ago. I didn’t feel any particular discomfort.”
“That’s right. Aside from the operational function of the magic engine, that technology might be about the same. Shall we go out to eat?”
The leisure facility that Hart visited doubles as an aquarium where they frolic with the fishes of the Diros Sea.
If you share a common experience with your family or lover by actually watching the fish swim, you can deepen mutual understanding. While it’s fun to watch fish in a virtual space, aquariums have value that cannot be replaced by a virtual space.
Even knowing this logic, Claudia, who was looking at the fish in the aquarium with Hart, looked very happy as she gazed at her surroundings.
The underwater corridor that Hart’s party walked in was a transparent tubular pathway built into a huge aquarium.
Everything above, bottom, left and right is an aquarium, and the two slowly walked through the world opposite as if Hart and the others were being observed by marine life.
The world outside of Hart’s party was home to a diverse array of marine life, including dangerous creatures that could not be unleashed in the waters of Diros.
“Oh, it’s a pod of dolphins. These are the ones that Master Hart brought from Earth, aren’t they? I wonder if there is a second generation.”
Claudia pointed overhead, a group of bottlenose dolphins, which were huge to Hart’s party and small in the eyes of Earthers, were swimming gracefully.
“I transported them in Fortress Kerviel about four years ago, so the young dolphin must have been born in Diete. It’s been four years since then.”
Hart looked back at the time when he carried the dolphins and reminisced.
The invasion of the Solar System by Former Crown Prince Gracian was a fiasco that greatly reduced the Capital planet’s defensive strength and killed 1 billion of the Royal people.
To cover it up, dolphins that do not exist in the Diete Monarchy were brought as one of the easy-to-understand results of the Solar System conquest.
Although a large amount of Coalition technology and resources have been recovered from Earth, it was the dolphins, which are giant marine creatures, that were popular with the general Royal people.
“There are much bigger whales and giant squids swimming on Earth, aren’t there?”
“Oh. We couldn’t carry them, and even if we could, we didn’t have any facilities in Diete that could handle them.”
The bottlenose dolphins filled the entire field of view, so how much bigger would they feel if they were ordered to take whales or giant squid?
If he had carried whales and built a dedicated facility, Prime Minister Stanley, blamed for building a non-essential whale-only facility instead of fixing Hart’s home, which was destroyed in the defense of the Capital planet, might have been driven even further into a corner.
The Monarchy has collected the sperm and genes from the marine life that inhabit Earth, and can artificially hatch whales and giant squid, but it is far from the exquisite environment of Earth in that it has connected life since ancient times.
There are many pests, but Earth’s global environment, including the corresponding biological evolution of humans, is extremely valuable to mankind.
With that thought in mind, Hart walked through a huge aquarium where dolphins swam and emerged onto a terrace floating in the sea.
The Mediterranean Sea was spread out in full view, with peaceful tunes playing, and the table with lunch for two that had been ordered in advance.
There are several terraces in the surrounding waters, but they are not visible from the outside so as not to destroy the scenery. Seeing the Mediterranean Sea as if the two of them had the whole area to themselves, Hart felt the same sense of majesty as when he looked up at the sky from the sea.
He led Claudia to the table, pulled a chair for her to sit, and then Hart sat down to eat the prepared lunch.
“Peaceful, and tranquil isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is. I think it’s quite refreshing.”
And it was also a date with his fiancée, and Hart, who is usually so busy that his personal life tends to be neglected, was relieved that he was able to resolve some of his problems.
“After lunch, let’s stop by the gift shop and buy something to commemorate our date. I hear dolphin merchandise is popular, but I’ll give you anything you want.”
When Hart clearly mentioned that it was a date, Claudia’s expression brightened.
“Thank you. Besides the shipment, I’d like to take some of them home right away. Also, I want something to match. Please let’s choose one together, Master Hart.”
“As you wish.”
Three hours later, a girl with a group of stern-looking android soldiers carrying dolphin souvenirs left the aquarium, arm in arm with her partner.