Maiden Game Hard Mode – Chapter 93

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Chapter 93 – Realm of the Daemon King

Yúnlán may know the past, but he has no way of knowing the future.

When should they have started war with the Monarchy, what star system should they have invaded, and how could they have limited the damage?

All of these are events of the past, and Yúnlán knows all the things that can be improved upon, and if he could start over, he would never make the same mistakes. However, the Battle of the Apollo Star System was a future event, and Yúnlán did not know the optimal solution.

“Then, we will now begin the territorialization, shall we?”

At Ishidor’s final confirmation, Yúnlán nodded back.

The Apollo Star System, which is at the center of the Monarchy’s sphere of influence, had not been territorialized by the Spirit King.

In other words, they can expand the realm of the Daemon King, and connect it to the Ten-to Star System and the Hercules Star System through the transition gate. The forces sent in from both star systems will surely drive out the defensive forces of the Royal Army.

The move of a lifetime has pierced through the body of the Monarchy.

“Of course. That is what we are here for.”

Yúnlán, unable to foresee the future, cannot predict how the Monarchy of Diete will react after the acquisition of the Apollo System.

It could trigger a retaliatory war that would continue for the next 1,000 years, or the Monarchy could install interstellar navigation in Israfel and flood the Hercules and Ten-to Star Systems with a fleet of 100 million ships.

If they cannot capture the Daemon King’s realm, the Monarchy may develop a degenerate reactor that can destroy enemy star systems, or a gamma-ray burst cannon that uses the ergo region of the black hole.

The Monarchy, with a realm of the Spirit King in at least four star systems, cannot be destroyed during Yúnlán’s lifetime.

That is why, in order to extract better conditions in the negotiations at the end of the war, they decided to launch an attack on the Apollo Star System in order to tip the balance of power too far to one side.

“Then…’Daemon King Heidi, if you please. The word of the direct contract is Water Lily.'”

『The contract has been made.』

Heidi, the Daemon King who responded to Ishidor’s call, turned her fiery red eyes toward the Apollo Star System, raised the sword in her left hand aloft, and swung it down with great vigor.

From the tip of the sword to the forward space sector, a wild storm of magic elements was generated, and countless black wings swept through the sector with ripples.

“Multidimensional Magic Conversion Observation Wave is showing abnormal phenomenon. The source is this battleship… right here!?’

Without even receiving the communications officer’s report, Yúnlán saw the anomalous phenomenon with his own eyes.

“I can see ruins of weathered stones.”

In the sector where the storm of magic elements had blown through, the weathered stone ruins were spreading.

The stone ruins are not man-made, but are heaped up like an anthill. There were countless holes, perhaps to allow some kind of creature to enter and exit, and they were completely weathered and partially collapsed.

The world was dry and devoid of moisture, the sky was covered with dirty black clouds, there were no vegetation, and there was no sign of life at all. But the scars of strife were etched in the ruins, and resentment was swirling around the world.

Eventually, the black clouds that spread across the Apollo Star System gradually gathered, creating a vortex of dirty transition gates in the sector ahead of the battleship on which Yúnlán and his crew were onboard.

“Now, the Transition Gate has been created. It’s time to go back to Ten-to and gather our forces and resume the advance.”

Urged, Yúnlán gave Ishidor a bow, even though he was terrified and had goose bumps.

“Thank you for your cooperation. As soon as we determine the next star system, we will contact you.”

“You may do so. I will return to Hercules, but Heidi will reposition the transition gate to a more convenient location for the Tenka fleet.”

Nodding in a hawkish manner, Ishidor passed through the transition gate that appeared in front of him and disappeared from the Apollo Star System.

Since the start of Heidi’s activities, a magical anomaly had occurred throughout the Apollo System.

In the Apollo Star System, all the Multidimensional Magic Conversion Communication Waves mounted on ships, regardless of whether it was military or civilian, were rendered inoperable.

At the same time, the spirits possessing most of the Royal people lost a great deal of power.

C-class became D-class, D-class became E-class, and E-class and F-class, which were worn by the majority of the general population, disappeared all at once.

『What the hell is going on here!?』

General Griete, the commander of the Apollo Star System Forces, who was building the defense system, sharply questioned Luciana, the C-class spirit he contracts, about the abnormal state of the spirits.

Luciana, who had a disgruntled expression on her face, retorted emphatically.

『We are currently in the same state of turmoil as humans are. By remaining in a world like this, the lower spirits will be swept away and disappear immediately. So I called out to the spirits below intermediate to escape to the spirit world as much as possible before they disappeared!』

『Tell me in advance.』

『You should be thankful that I told you after the fact. Since the intermediate class can move, build up the defense with fighter crafts. If you operate Salamanders with C-class crystals, you will be able to move it fully. Move quickly!』

It was not clear which of them was the commander of the Star System Forces, but after Luciana kicked him in the ass, Griete immediately requested the various aristocratic households to gather up their defensive forces.

Fortunately, in the Apollo System, the major Senior Aristocrats are very cooperative. They had as many as 80 million pilots when the Monarchy government was targeting 100 million crafts in each star system.

As for the spirit crystals, the Marquis of Carneus, who had supported the business activities of the supplier, Second System Company, have been receiving the supply with the highest priority. Therefore, prior to the deployment of Israfel, the pilots had already fitted them with C-class crystals.

With a C-class crystal that can add 810 magic power value, even if the capability is reduced to 1/5, on a Salamander with a total length of 160 meters, it is possible to fight without worrying about a reduction in power output.

As a result, Griete’s Force Evaluation report was much better than he had imagined.

“General Griete, with the equivalent of 446,000 battleships in our system against 500,000 enemy ships, the estimated Force Evaluation is 100:112.”

The atmosphere in the Apollo Star System Command Center was one of relief.

If you can fight with nearly 90% of the enemy’s strength, it will not be a one-sided massacre. If they hold out, they will be able to let the people of the star system escape, and eventually Fleet Admiral Amakawa and Fortress Kerviel will come to reinforce them.

“Deploy to the sector where the transition gate appeared. We can hold them back until Fleet Admiral Amakawa arrives.”

The intention of the Apollo Star System Forces was to create a melee state.

Fighter crafts have a short range and can only fight in close quarters. Also, if a melee situation was created near the transition gate, the enemy side with a longer range would be unable to fire indiscreetly because of the possibility of misfiring.

Immediately after the transition, it was the best choice to drag the enemy who had not formed their formation into the melee battle. Thus, while the fighter crafts buy time, the star system residents were allowed to disengage, and the arrival of Fortress Kerviel would break their inferiority.

Foreseeing the enormous pilot casualties, Griete wore a bitter expression at the humiliation that would be inflicted on him by the label of the first to be defeated after Queen Yuna’s accession to the throne, but he did the best he could think of.

After deploying his troops, Griete braced himself for the enemy to come in at any moment, but contrary to his expectations, the Tenka side did not rush in.

“What the hell are they doing?”

It was a time lag in Ten-to, which occurred because their fleet was not on standby. The date and time of Yúnlán’s arrival was unclear and communications had been down for more than two months, so the troops could not be stationed.

The time lag gave them more time to evacuate civilians in the Apollo System and to gather fighter crafts near the Transition Gate.

On the planet Delphoi, conscripted aristocrats and aristocratic interstellar ships, headed by the Duke of Coesfeld, accepted 6.6 billion royal people. They were all on the side of letting the people of the star system escape.

The conscripted aristocrats did not hesitate to choose between evacuation and defense because they were encouraged by the Marquis of Zäckingen’s statement.

[This is the Marquis of Zäckingen, announcing to all aristocrats of the star system. Marquis-grade magic power value of 18,000 will fall to 3,600 under the realm effect. We are no match for the enemy’s estimated 500,000 cruisers at all. The Lords should use their power to evacuate as many people as possible.]

The Marquis of Zäckingen, a Lieutenant General and Fleet Commander of the Royal Army, acted as a liaison between the Military and the Aristocracy, striving for a smooth evacuation.

Preparations for the defensive battle were also steadily underway, and a large number of mines were placed in front of the Daemon King’s Transition Gate, which appeared 200 million kilometers away on the planet Delphoi.

Around the transition gate, towed missile launching facilities, fleets, and numerous fighter crafts gathered together to create a huge sphere of light.

The anomaly occurred shortly after the Royal Army was ready to intercept.

Without warning, the Daemon King’s Transition Gate, which had appeared, moved in an instant to a space about 100 million kilometers away from the planet.

“The enemy’s transition gate, has changed spawn position. The re-emergence coordinate is 300 million kilometers from the planet Delphoi to the outer edge of the star system.”

Shortly after the Chief of Staff, Major General Scotty, shouted in surprise, the transition gate transformed again.

It swelled up greatly, and from the tip of it burst out a large number of Tenka ships covered in a black membrane all at once. Numerous fleets descend on the Apollo system.

“Enemy fleet, has appeared! The enemy rushes in all at once through the transition gate that has changed position.”

The communications officer’s screams were full of urgency.

[All forces, intercept immediately. Move mines and missiles to the new transition gate and deploy your fleet and fighter crafts immediately.]

The mines and missiles of the Royal Army that had gathered in front of the disappeared Transition Gate began to move to the Reemerged Transition Gate.

On the other hand, the Tenka fleet took advantage of the sufficient distance of 100 million kilometers and began to intercept with plenty of leeway.

In the middle sector between the two armies, hundreds of millions of weapons repeatedly collided, creating countless giant spheres of light and burning the sector with scorching heat.

The enormous energy released by both armies generated a powerful shockwave in the surrounding sector, sending the mines and missiles behind them flying in unexpected directions.

The deflected mines and missiles exploded and engulfed warships in their path, and even the Salamanders that ran on the front lines were overrun.

In the aftermath of the battle, the Salamanders were blown apart and slammed one after another into the surrounding allied vessels, destroying them with their allies as collateral damage. Griete shouted at Scotty at the sight of this appalling state of affairs.

“What’s going on with the Battle-Aid system!?”

“Due to the magic element anomalies occurring in the star system, the search system, the information integration system, and the battle linkage system are all impaired, and each ship personnel is forced to fight as a single ship.”

“Don’t be a fool. You can’t fight blindfolded!”

Scotty’s report revealed a far worse situation than the force assessment calculated by the Royal Army.

The Royal Army, whose radar does not function because the Multidimensional Magic Conversion Observation Waves are inhibited, has not been able to grasp the position of its enemies and allies.

In addition, the Multidimensional Magic Conversion Observation Waves is hindered, and the information integration system and the battle linkage system shared by the communication wave are not functioning.

As a result, fighter crafts that are supposed to break through the enemy shield in group battles will not be able to break through the defenses of enemy ships individually and will be destroyed one by one by enemy counterattacks.

“Optical communication is possible as an alternative.”

“In outer space warfare, there is no way we can fight with communication speeds at the speed of light.”

Old-fashioned optical communication would not be hindered, but the speed of light is only 1.08 billion kilometers per hour.

In other words, on a battlefield of 100 million kilometers, a single order sent from the home port or mother ship at the edge of the battlefield to the frontline fighter crafts takes as much as six minutes each way. If a report from the front line is received over a six-minute period, and then orders are given based on that report, the round trip takes 12 minutes.

After 12 minutes, the situation on the frontlines has changed.

They are not able to gather information from the frontlines and conduct combat commands based on it. Therefore, the fighter crafts launched from their home port were forced to fight as individual crafts.

It is no wonder that the Royal Army was overwhelmingly victorious in the three territorialized star systems.

Griete, who is in charge, strongly realized that the impact on the territorialized side would be fatal and that they would not be able to compete at all.

“Enemy missile swarm is uninterrupted. They are pushing back our missiles. In the meantime, the enemy fleet has secured a bridgehead area near the transition gate.”

Bad reports from Scotty continue, tormenting Griete.

“Have they been stockpiling for months in anticipation of an invasion operation from the Ten-to Star System?”

The production capacity of the Apollo System, with a population of 5.8 billion, and the Ten-to System, with a population of 30.3 billion, is greater in the latter. Also the latter has been preparing weapons for two months. The Apollo Star System had no way of fighting the sheer volume of the Tenka invasion army.

Eventually, the Royal Army fighter crafts and the Tenka fleet began to cross ship shadows in each sector, as if floating in the flashes of missiles that both armies kept releasing.

Against the Royal Army Salamanders, who are desperately resisting alone, the Tenka fleet lined up their huge bodies and intercepted them in an orderly fashion with their connected communications.

It was Griete’s honest impression that they could not hold out much longer.

Pushed by the pressure of the Tenka Invasion Army, the frontline gradually moved towards the planetary side. Scotty complained with frustration as to what the consequences of a simple retreat would be.

“General, the enemy is closing in. We will retreat our flagship and escort ships by 100 million kilometers, but if we continue at this rate, the planet Delphoi will be within range of the enemy.”

The occupancy rate of the inhabitants shown on the subscreen of the command center was currently showing 78%.

Considering that Tenka attacked from close range using the transition gate, rather than invading from the outer edge of the star system, it should have been considerably faster. But the evacuation situation was far from perfect.

Still, Griete decided, as commander of the Front, that the only option was to get the ship out of there before the enemy arrived.

“Notify the conscripted aristocrats, [The last line of defense has been breached, and the planet Delphoi is within range of the enemy ships. Have the royal people on board escape immediately. Leave the delayed star system citizens to the military transports.]”

“Understood, Notifying them immediately.”

Ruthless orders were issued to the aristocrats to abandon their subjects.

In space, a convoy of ships of the Tenka Fleet, which has turned into a huge tsunami of light, is rushing in.

The Royal Army is exerting deadly force, but it is inferior in terms of Force Evaluation, their support system does not function properly, and they are pushed in unilaterally. The Apollo Star System looked like prey before a predator in the ocean.

『Luciana, what is the situation of the spirits assisting each ship?』

『The worst of the worst. We’re screwed. I wish we had escaped too.』


Griete turned his angry eyes, and Luciana the Contracted Spirit glared back.

『Intermediate spirits are being eaten by the Daemons. Within the realm of the Daemon King, there is no escape for us anymore. As you can see.』

The large and small screens of the command center show various information as well as the battle between the Monarchy Ships and the Tenka Ships. Fighter crafts, which extended their magical element trails into the sector, attacked the Tenka fleet from the top, bottom, left and right, and were intercepted in an orderly manner and scattered in vain.

The bombardment of the Monarchy Ships strikes the Tenka Ships, but it is only able to make the Tenka Ships shine after being repelled by the Daemon King’s realm and the thick shield emitted by the Daemon.

Bombardment fired back from the Tenka ships, and the Monarchy ships that were bathed in light emitted a white flash from the inside, slicing through the hull and shattering.

And the spirits who were bathed in the energy of the Daemon could not escape back to the spirit world, and were eaten by the Daemon and erased.

In the midst of the unsightly devastation, the Royal Army was barely able to fight because it was retreating to the side of the planet Delphoi, while exchanging fire with the enemy in front of it.

As it stands, Griete has decided to abandon the Apollo System.

[General Griete, commander of the Front, orders the conscripted aristocrats and the entire fleet to abandon the Apollo System. Leave this system immediately. It doesn’t matter if there are still star system people on the planet. Let the people onboard the ships escape now. The defense line cannot be maintained any longer.]

The Apollo System, where the Monarchy made its first interstellar migration, is a star system to which the Royal people emigrated for the purpose of dispersing their settlements so that they could survive even if the Diete Star System was destroyed.

The coordinates of the Apollo System are located behind the Diete System relative to the Coalition of Humanity, which was hostile at the time. Therefore, it should have been safe as long as the Diete System did not fall.

However, the planet Delphoi was now within range of the enemy fleet. Deciding that the fall of the planet was inevitable, Griete also switched the military’s response policy.

[Commander of the Front, General Griete, announces to the entire army of the Apollo System. At this time, we will abandon our mission to defend the planet Delphoi. From now on, focus only on the departure of the royal people from the star system.]

Taking a deep breath, after one pause, Griete dared to speak.

[The fall of the planet is inevitable. In order to withdraw the greatest number of Royal citizens, abandon those who are on the planet and concentrate your forces on supporting the withdrawal of ships with interstellar navigation. That is all.]

In order to save the majority, Griete had ordered the abandonment the Royal people.

The Star System Forces mustered its last bit of strength and threw all its missiles and numerous fighter crafts to increase the distance between civilian ships and enemy forces.

After a brief pause, the Tenka Invasion Army charged again and reaped the Royal Army, creating a long yellow spring road in the star system that was created by the wreckage of the Monarchy ships.

And the brunt of the Tenka fleet also reached the planet Delphoi.

Satellites in orbit are destroyed one after another, regardless of their type.

Then the last remaining fortress ships and some of the military transports exploded, and the wreckage began to fall into the atmosphere with searing heat.

Countless wreckage turned into meteors and fell all over Delphoi.

Fireballs rose one after another on the surface, staining the blue planet dirty with countless red spots.

“The Marquis of Zäckingen’s fortress ship has exploded. The fleet around the planet is being destroyed. We also confirmed what appeared to be a planetary invasion by Tenka. The death toll of the delayed residents, at least tens of millions…”

It occurred as the Apollo Star System Army, exhausted, stared in despair at the ships and satellites crashing on the planet.

From the outer edge of the star system, a huge green light stretched out in the blink of an eye toward the Apollo star.

“What happened?”

What Griete and his crew witnessed was a beautiful Milky Way with so much light that it created a river of light in the sector.

From the gleaming river, a pale green light overflows with melancholy.

These green lights seeped into the world of ruins created by the Daemon King, giving a beautiful color to the sepia-colored world.

Illuminated by the fantastic green light that welled up, the dark clouds that covered the star system were cleared as if they had been repainted. In the sky where the dark clouds have been blown away, a transition gate of pale green light slowly emerges.

As Griete gazed in amazement, a vision of the man with whom he had exchanged words the previous day echoed in his ears.

[Commander-in-Chief, Fleet Admiral Amakawa, orders all forces that are massing in front of the transition gate of the Diete system. Immediately rush into the Apollo Star System, destroy the Tenka Invasion Army, and reclaim our planet.]

A second gate opened in the system, and a new swarm of light overflowed, filling the space in the blink of an eye.

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