Comeback Signal

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The news that the Noredian Fleet had made a move quickly spread through the Calencian army.
The target of the Noredian’s offensive this time is the Calencian capital in the Alp system.
If the capital is taken, the Calencian will no longer stand a chance of turning the table.
Naturally, the Calencian is mobilizing all of their remaining ships to intercept it.

“14 battleships and 30 large-type cruisers belonging to the Noredian Fleet are in formation.
A large number of enemies is yet to be confirmed.”

Kisei was listening to the operator’s report inside the cockpit of the [Caliburn-Revive].
With a straw in his mouth, he is drinking strawberry milk while looking at the star chart displayed on the console.
Since this is going to be a decisive battle where two major forces collide, the predicted battlefield is a gigantic one.

“The plan is for our fleet to take a detour route and flank the enemy from behind.”

“So basically, what we are going to do here is a hammer and anvil strategy.
We are going to act as the hammer in this battle, Kisei-san.”

Schleer further elaborates on the operator’s explanation.
The essence of this operation is for the main Calencian Fleet to hold back the Noredian Fleet while the 3rd Fleet under Schleer launches an assault on the enemy central command.

It may seem difficult to even identify the battlefield in the vast void of space but in reality, that is not the case.
FTL (Faster Than Light) navigation for ships usually requires a fixed route called [Starway] where it is completely safe to travel and has many unmanned lighthouses installed at regular intervals.
An implementation of [Starway] is very costly and there are not many of them around.
That’s why the enemy’s invasion route can be easily predicted.

“This will be a long and dangerous mission.
I’d like——-”

“Your Highness, communication just came through from the 1st Fleet! They’ve made contact with the enemy’s vanguard fleet, they are in the middle of combat, ma’am!”

“This is too early! They already started!?”

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Initially, they predicted that the Calencian main fleets would come into direct contact with the enemy in half a day.
It appears that the enemy’s advance is much faster than they expected.

“Due to the enemy’s electronic warfare and sabotage, the main fleet’s detection network has been paralyzed.
They want us to perform a reconnaissance mission and confirm the location of the enemy’s main force for them, ma’am.”

“Certainly, our fleet is located far away from our main force so we would stand a better chance to pull this reconnaissance off but……this is going to be a dangerous mission right off the bat.”

The commander of the 1st Fleet is Queen Alisha Henrietta.
Queen of the Calencia empire and Schleer’s mother.
Schleer can not afford to disobey her order so she can only groan on her command seat.

As an aside, although she is on the bridge, she has already changed into her pilot suit and is ready to sortie at any time.
Naturally, she has the responsibility to command her fleet but in a Vuld army, it is common for the commander to take to the field herself.
Since her staff and other high-ranking officers can handle commanding the fleet in her absence there is no significant impact even if Schleer goes to the frontline.

“There’s no other way.
Let’s sortie the 3rd and the 4th companies to conduct a reconnaissance.
Considering the safety of our fleet, we can not dispatch too much force though.”

Within the 3rd Fleet, only the [Radiant] has a decent operational capability to dispatch strikers.
The Destroyers escorting the [Radiant] only have 2 strikers onboard each at most.
If they dispatch too many strikers on this recon mission, the fleet would be practically defenseless if the enemy launched a surprise attack on them.

“I will sortie too.”


Schleer thought for a moment about Kisei’s proposal.
It’s a dangerous mission but with Kisei’s ability, he should be able to deal with the situation even if it turns into a battle.
If that’s the case then she will be able to conserve her forces as well.

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“Then please do…… Lt.
Makishima, please accompany him.”

“Yes, Leave him to me.”

Schleer sighed a little at Saki’s triumphant face on the monitor.
This is bitter for her but she can’t assign herself to a recon mission.
After all, the time that Schleer has to head out would be when they are in a decisive battle.
Even with her officers around, there is still a limit to how much they can do.

“Operator, send the predicted location of the enemy fleet to Kisei-san’s striker.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

An electronic sound rings out inside the cockpit of the [Caliburn-Revive].
Displaying on the console now is the location data that the operator sent over.
It’s a place not that far from their current location.

“We have prepared ride boosters at the launch deck.
They can sortie at any time.

Kisei-san, Lt.
Makishima, please scout ahead for us.”

“Roger that.”

After acknowledging their order, they proceed to the launch deck in their strikers.
Inside the catapult deck, a large motorcycle-like machine……a ride booster was there, ready to launch.

Kisei made the [Caliburn-Revive] straddle on it with no hesitation.”

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[[Ride Booster Connected.]]

The AI announced.
Besides using it to break through the atmosphere, a ride booster can help increase the operation range significantly in outer space using its large amount of propellant and high-performance boosters.
They were indispensable for long-range operations.

“Course cleared, Catapult’s voltage level normal.
Launching permission granted.”

“Aye Aye.”

After confirming that the blast deflector had shut behind him, Kisei activated the thruster at full power and the blue jet flame burned the deflector.

“Hokuto Kisei, [Caliburn-Revive] launching off!”

The moment he pressed the switch on the control stick, the catapult deck accelerated the striker with a tremendous force and launched it out to outer space using electromagnetic induction.
When the G-force from the acceleration assaulted his body, Kisei let out a small groan.

“…..Ugh, Makishima-san’s also safely launched huh.”

After completing the initial acceleration, Kisei looks back and sees that Saki’s [Dainsleif] was also catapulted out from the deck and is now flying behind the [Caliburn-Revive].

“So the target location is the Slaga system? Let’s take our time so that we don’t exhaust our propellant.”

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While Kisei nodded at Saki’s reply, he pressed the switch on the console.
The FTL navigation technology is a technology that frees objects from the constraint of relativity by reducing the apparent mass of the striker to zero and accelerates it to a faster than light speed in an instant.
That being said, although it is a mature technology that has been developed for more than a hundred years, it is still not completely safe.

[[Entering FTL Navigation Mode.
Energy Bypass Check………Normal.
Reverse Gear Connected, Flywheel Reversal Starts.]]

When the AI announced so, a golden wheel appeared behind the striker.
The main engine then makes a strange growl and the tachometer immediately shoots to the limit.
Taking a deep breath, Kisei pushed a button on the control stick.

[[FTL Navigation, Starts.]]

The light of the numerous stars on the main monitor bleeds into lines.
And eventually, the lights change into seven psychedelic colors.

“Alright, Good boy.”

Kisei was a little worried about the FTL Navigation since he’s piloting a modified striker but there seems to be no particular problem.
Looking at the instruments inside his cockpit, it appears that the striker is steadily breaking through the speed of light and is now moving across space at tremendous speed.
After sighing in relief, he operated his mobile terminal and played light and easy pop music in the cockpit.

“I guess this will take some time huh, let’s prioritize the safety here……”

Whispering so, Kisei gazes at the rainbow-colored space flying past him on the monitor.

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