First Move

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“They are here……”

Schleer bitterly muttered on the bridge the Calencian flagship, the [Radiant].
She sits in the old command seat and stares at the schematic of the battlefield displayed on the large LCD monitor.
An overwhelming number of red glowing dots are surrounding a group of blue dots which represent their side.

“As we expected, their number is overwhelming.
They came at us with everything from the start huh.”

“However, we still can not confirm if the mass we detected was the enemy main fleet or not.
It’s likely that the enemy main fleet is still on standby in the rear, Your Highness.”

Solana, who was at her side, gave her opinion.
Information is being relayed to the HQ in real-time but judging from the enemy’s skills, equipment, and coat of arms, what they can confirm right now is that their force is currently engaging the enemy noble army.

In other words, the enemy has only sent in their disposable soldiers.
Even if they repel this wave, the enemy elites would be left unscathed.

“I don’t want us to engage the enemy vanguard directly like this though.”

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While groaning to herself, Schleer impatiently tapped the armrest with her fingers.
She then pulls out a resin bottle from the cup holder and takes a sip of the water inside.

“Tell the troops to continue intercepting their advance and slowly move back.
Our first objective is to buy time, avoid damage to our side as much as possible.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

One of the staff acknowledged her command and relayed it to her subordinates.
As Saki pointed out during the briefing, taking on a larger army that has also incorporated mercenaries on an empty battlefield with no cover will put them at a disadvantage.
If they are not careful, their side will be crushed in no time.

“By the way, what about the time? At which point should I guide the enemy to that location?”

For this operation, their strategy is to lure the enemy’s main force into the kill zone at a specific timing.
Moreover, that specific timing is fairly tight to pull off.

“…….ETA 11 hours and 23 minutes, Ma’am.”

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In response to the report, Schleer averted her eyes away with a cramped expression.
After all, even after deducting the time for their reentry into the atmosphere of Galea-E, they will have to endure the enemy attack for quite a long period of time.

“So half a day huh, I see……..”

Schleer growls while rubbing her chin.
Various plans are swirling in her mind but none of them seemed to be very effective for them to hold out that long.
At this rate, their side will suffer fatal damage before they can even move on to the second stage of the plan.

“Can I say something?”

While she was wondering what to do, Diaroze called out.
She’s sitting in a temporary seat in the corner of the bridge but her presence looked as imposing as though she’s sitting on a throne.

“I will allow it.”

Despite being former enemies, Diaroze has received almost complete trust from Schleer.
Besides, with her being the greatest commander among Schleer’s allies, she’s the most qualified to help her when Schleer finds a situation she can’t control.
That being said, some of the staff members still have a clearly bitter look on their faces……

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“How about forming a unit with Tersis and Eleanor as the lead and having them perform reconnaissance-in-force on the enemy position? If we can locate the enemy’s main force then we should be able to cut down on their offensive.”

“Are we going to have the Melemheim and Fafleta fleets separate from the enemy now?”

The enemy fleets also include those from Tersis and Eleanor’s houses.
These houses had already made a secret agreement with them to switch sides.
Naturally, if their allies suddenly turned against them shortly after the battle started, even for the powerful Noredian army, chaos would spread through their ranks.
The damage they would suffer would not be insignificant.

“I was hesitating on when I want them to make a move but it would certainly be better if they do it before things get confusing huh.”

After tapping her armrest several more times, Schleer agreed.
With the intense jamming rendering their communication with the two houses impossible, they originally planned to dispatch a messenger to signal them after the battle started………..
Moreover, with Tersis and the others as the lead, it would not be impossible to break through the enemy vanguard troops.

“Very well, form a unit to break through the enemy line.
We will focus the members around Tersis-san and Eleanor-san and have our reserved force escort them.”

“Your Highness, should we not also include someone from our side to show them our sincerity?”

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“Right, I planned to go with them myself when the time comes but…….”

Schleer glanced at her elderly chief of staff.
The old woman sternly shakes her head in silence.
After all, no matter how this will benefit their side, it is too early for the commander herself to go out to battle.

“Let’s have my sister accompany them inside Lt.Makishima’s [Dainsleif].
If we attach Kisei-san as her escort then there should be nothing to worry about.

In truth, Schleer wanted Kisei to standby in a safe place but with this much difference in numbers, she has to use everyone she can.
After all, it is still true that Kisei is an extremely powerful piece she can mobilize.

Fortunately, she can trust in the ability of the 4 Heavenly.
Even though breaking through the enemy line will definitely be dangerous, she can relax to some extent knowing that they are with him.

While regretting the fact that she can’t go with them, Schleer quickly made her decision.

“Advance our battleships forward and provide covering fire for them.
Make sure that our troops on the frontline were notified.”

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