Crushing the Pursuers

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Around the time when Kisei’s group was resting.
The Calencian battleships advanced to the frontline to face the enemy’s large-type cruisers.

“Destruction of enemy cruiser No.3 confirmed!”

Shouted the operator as she confirmed that an enemy cruiser received a direct hit from the bombardment by their battleships.
Even though their fleet has both old and new ships mixed together, the bombardment from 18 battleships was more than enough to sink the enemy elite cruisers.

“Enemy reinforcements detected 55 degrees ahead! 6 large-type and 10 medium-type!”

However, the enemy’s number is still overwhelming.
They simply replace the sunken ships with more ones.
Hearing the operator’s report, Schleer’s furrowed her brows.

“Any battleships?”

“They are likely large-type cruisers, ma’am.
The size would be too small for an imperial battleship.”

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As long as they are cruisers then there’s no problem.
The range and firepower of their battleships are far superior to that of the enemy cruisers.
Even their old-fashioned battleships with 41cm turrets can take advantage of that difference.

“But we can not let our guard down.
We don’t know when they will send out their battleships after all…….we have to take down as many of their cruisers as we can.”

Schleer growls while scanning the tactical map.

“But the enemy’s movement sure is strange isn’t it.
Their attack doesn’t seem to be organized at all.
If they come at us with a proper formation then even cruisers would give us a challenge after all.”

For a while now, the Noredians have been sending in their small and medium-sized fleets intermittently.
For the Calencian side, it’s convenient as it is easier for them that way but Schleer doesn’t understand why the enemy still doesn’t organize their ships and attacks in waves.”

“These are the Noredian aristocrats after all.
Because they rarely fight a foreign enemy, they usually treat their fellow aristocrats like their rivals.
Perhaps they are not cooperating well with each other because of that.”

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The Chief of staff replied while thoughtfully tapping her forehead.
With more than 50 years of commanding experience, she’s very proficient in warfare.

With a mentor-like expression, the Chief of Staff continues.

“With a big enough threat, they would unite under one the princess the imperial family sent but in case of the enemy that they have enough manpower to win against……..they often push the burden to other aristocrats to deal with.”

“Even if they serve the same lord, when it comes to their own power and territory, they will prioritize their interests first huh.
I see…….”

In a small country like Calencia, it’s something that is rather unusual.
After all, if they have infighting, it will only give their enemies the chance to invade.
On that point, they are quite different from Nored which can afford such internal conflicts.
Schleer ponders while stroking her cheek.

“Then let us make use of their arrogance.
Crush them all!”

In response to Schleer’s order, the [Odelvansen] fired all its main turrets.
The beams that are incomparably thicker than those of any Calencian ship immediately flew toward the enemy reinforcements.
Even though it was formerly an enemy ship, Schleer grinned at the fact that she now has such a powerful ship under her command.

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However, unfortunately, the beams wildly missed their target.
Even though the enemy was within its effective range, the beams flew past the enemies without hitting anything.
Seeing that, Schleer let out an exasperated sigh.

“………that said, we still have a lot of challenges ourselves huh.”

“Half of its crew were new recruits who’s just finished their training and the other half were the discharged veterans we called back in after all.
No matter how good the hardware is, if the crew is not accustomed to operating it then it will not be able to exhibit its full power.
The training period we had for them was simply too short……..”

The Chief of Staff tiredly let out a sigh as well.
The [Odelvansen] has only been incorporated into the Calencian army for a short time and the proficiency training was cut short due to this operation.
It’s probably unreasonable for them to put too much expectation on it.

“No.7 cruiser’s destruction confirmed.
It’s the [Prussia].”

“As expected of them huh.”

Contrary to her words, Schleer’s expression was slightly bitter.
They have a battle log that recorded the battle from the beginning to the present.
Apparently, it seems that Valentina’s fleet has way more successes than the actual Calencian fleet.

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The Calencian fleet is not inferior to Valentina’s crew in terms of command and skill but the difference in their equipment is clear and it’s reflected in the battle results.
Even though Valentina’s now their ally, that’s still unamusing for her.

“She might turn into an enemy depending on what’s going to happen after this after all……..?”

“Did you say something, Your Highness?”

Schleer silently shook her head sideways at the Chief of Staff’s question.
She doesn’t want to carelessly affect her troops’ morale.
Besides, Valentina has not been making any suspicious moves so far.

Valentina will probably not betray them during the battle.
It’s not like the Noredians will just stop firing if the Calencian fleet is gone after all.
Convincing that they can leave their back to them for the time being, Schleer switched gears.

“Once this battle is over, send my regards to the [Prussia]’s crew.”

Besides, it would be better to have Valentina do her best here.
The more she fights, the fewer supplies she will have later and the more fatigued her soldiers will be.
While hoping that she can exhaust them to the extent that they wouldn’t even consider pointing their guns toward her, Schleer continues commanding her fleet.

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