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Two hours have passed since they started battling the enemy cruisers.
The enemy cruisers were not foolish enough to plunge head first toward their battleships as they were committing to a hit and run tactic.
It was a passive tactic but it’s still effective in slowing down the rate the Calencians are sinking their ships.

“Enemy group A has switched direction to 37.”


Schleer growls.
The enemy is getting away from them.
If possible, she wants to chase them down but her fleet mainly consists of battleships while the enemy is using cruisers with superior speed.

The [Radiant] which is also a cruiser and the [Prussia] which is a battleship that boasts its speed might be able to do that but the Calencian fleet which mainly consists of [Harima] class battleships (The same as Calencia’s original flagship, the [Glorious]) can not keep up with the enemy cruisers.
The same goes for Valentina’s fleet which mainly consists of the [Ilcol] class battleships.
Even if they only send out their fast ships, it would be dangerous if they get too far ahead.

Rearrange the formation.
Keep an eye out for enemy strikers and destroyers.”

In the end, Schleer decided to remain passive.
It would be bad if they got distracted by the big enemies and the small enemies with high mobility use that chance to flank them.

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And sure enough, a swarm of strikers rushed toward their fleet with enemy destroyers following shortly behind them.

“Set target to track No.33 and 34.
Fire all autocannons.”

The escort fleet and the battleships greet the enemy strikers with barrages from their autocannons.
Unlike last time, their barrages were extremely fierce because they now have doubled the number of their ships.
Even the elite Noredian pilots would find it difficult to get through.
As a result, the enemy strikers had to spread out to avoid their AA guns.

“Be mindful of the enemy strikers’ movement, shift our main turrets to destroyer No.56!”

While listening to the captain’s command and the noise from the AA turrets, Schleer started considering her next move while crossing her arms.
They have managed to merge with the Melemheim fleet and the threat from the enemy space carriers and their strikers has significantly lessened.
However, it would be difficult to maintain this status quo forever.

“How are we doing on the ammunition?”

Not just the ammunition, but the fatigue of the crew is something that she needs to worry about as well.
Both will eventually get depleted in a prolonged battle.

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“…….from the report, it seems most of our ships’ particle bullets are down to 30%, ma’am.”

“Hmm…….it seems we can’t keep bombarding them from afar much longer huh.”

AP and HE rounds that use shells can be quite slow in a space battle.
They can’t expect much accuracy unless their targets are close.

“We need to bring the battle to the surface before we run out of particle bullets but……….”

While checking her watch, Schleer strokes her chin.
It is still too early for them to withdraw to Galea-E.

It seems like she will have to do her best here for a while longer.

When she thought so, she felt even more fatigued.
She wants to just drag Kisei to bed right now and sleep for 12 hours straight with him in her arms.
Still, she didn’t voice her desire out loud.

“Incoming report from our recon unit! Enemy battleships were spotted in the L field.
30 ships confirmed!”

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However, her delusion was interrupted by the operator’s tense voice.
When more than 30 enemy battleships are spotted, it probably can’t be helped for the operator to panic like that.
After all, if 30 battleships fired at them from the front, even their main fleet would be evaporated in the blink of an eye.

“There are a lot of them.
Perhaps the cruisers here are only buying time for their battleships to arrive?”

Solana groaned.
In the middle of the battle, the enemy cruisers here suddenly opted for a passive tactic.
The frequency of their reinforcements also decreased.
It appears that the enemy is also switching tactics.

“But, the L field is it………it would take another 30 minutes for them to get here huh.

Schleer thinks of a countermeasure while looking at the tactical map.
Judging from the number of their battleships, it must be the Noredian main force.
From the report, there should be more though………no, perhaps the Empress and her guards are still in the rear.

“Withdraw the fleet to D field, maintain fire on the enemy cruisers.
After we buy enough time we will descend to the surface.”

The place they designated as the D field is in the low orbit of Galea-E.
They can quickly descend to the surface if the need arises.
In the worst-case scenario, they can also expect fire support from the surface so it’s a good place for them to conclude the first phase of the battle.

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At Schleer’s command, all ships turned back and fired their thrusters.
Without missing that chance, the enemy cruisers who were taking their distance immediately chased after them.

The rear guns of the [Radiant] began firing at the enemy ships to keep them away.

“Use alternate fire to save our ammunition.
Even a large cruiser can be sunk with a well-placed AP round.”

It’s pretty dangerous to approach a battleship in space but large cruisers including an old-fashioned one like the [Radiant] still have high firepower.
At worst, they might even take advantage of their speed and block their path.
Moreover, the Calencian side also wanted to save their particle bullets for the enemy battleships.

“Contact Kisei and the others, tell them to be ready to sortie at any time.”

Calencia has an overwhelmingly inferior number of battleships.
If they want to buy time, they will have to resort to their trump card again.
While apologizing to Kisei in her heart, Schleer gave her order.

This battle will probably be the climax of the first phase.
Thinking so, Schleer slapped her cheeks to fire herself up.

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