Damage and Strategy

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“Communication coming in from the Advance Fleet! The enemy Zenith have withdrawn, ma’am.”

At the [Odelvansen], flagship of the Calencian Expeditionary Fleet.
Inside its poor taste and needlessly luxurious bridge, Diaroze squinted her eyes at the reports from her operator.

“Damage assessment.”

“Yes, ma’am……the battleship [Argostar] was incapacitated.
The commander, Countess Rosia of Alfen was defeated in single combat.
However, she is uninjured and can return to frontline immediately, ma’am.”

“I don’t care about that sorry old hag.
I can replace her anytime I want.
I’m talking about the strikers.”

“14 were destroyed but it appears that all pilots are safe, ma’am.”

Diaroze cracked her whip.
In response, the operator slightly jumped.

“What a ladylike thing to do.
It brings tears to my eyes.
Don’t you think so? Hmm?”

“Y, Yes, ma’am.”

All strikers were destroyed with their pilots spared since the enemy only targeted the engine.

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Saki also disliked useless killings so all Noredian pilots were unharmed and rescued later by their battleships.

“How is the state of the [Argostar]? Is it possible for it to join the operation later?”

“It appears that the propulsion engine has been completely destroyed, ma’am.
It is currently being towed by its escort vessels but…..it needs to be docked for at least half a month to repair to the extent that it can navigate on its own.
Two months would be required for it to operate at full capacity again.”

“So the enemy was that thorough huh.”

While stroking her own cheek, Diaroze’s lips curved up.

“If they had targeted the bridge instead of the propulsion engine, that ship would have turned into space debris already”

The propulsion engine is a known weak point so it is carefully armored.
Because of that, its durability is comparable to other important sections………one could say that it’s a vital part of the ship.
It is unusual for a striker that only has access to minimal anti-ship armaments to cause that much damage.
After all, the Battleships reign as a symbol of power on the battlefield because they are not easily sunk.

“And they did that with only two strikers……no, if we count only the one with anti-ship armament then it’s actually one huh.
Kukuku…….such disgrace is unheard of, don’t you think?”

In ancient times, there were many cases where strikers sank battleships.
But that only happened because one side deployed a large number of strikers and overwhelmed the other side in a saturation attack.
No matter how powerful the Zenith-types are, Diaroze has never heard of a case where two strikers taking down a battleship before.

“It, it is exactly as you said, ma’am…….our deepest apology.”

Intimidated by Diaroze, the operator reflexively apologized.
Of course, she is in no way to be blamed for this loss.
However, Diaroze’s reply was sadistic all the same.

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“Seriously, what a bunch of incompetent dogs!”


If the operator had defended herself or taken the punishment while showing her dissatisfaction, she may be at risk of getting beheaded without trials.
That’s why she didn’t say anything extra and kept shaking in fear.

“So……the enemy pilot, is it confirmed that it’s the rumored mercenary?”

“Y, Yes.
In the single combat against Rosia-sama, he announced himself as Hokuto Kisei……..reports from those on-site also confirmed that it was a male’s voice.
There is no doubt that it was him, ma’am.”

“Fu, Kukuku……..I see.
So there really is such a strong male pilot huh.
This is going to be fun.”

Diaroze speaks to herself with an amorous smile on her face.
There is not even a shred of any anger or dissatisfaction of seeing her war potential diminished in her expression.
She truly is enjoying this.

“Your Highness……this still hasn’t changed the fact that this is a terrible situation for us.
After all, we have already lost one of our battleships even though the full-scale offensive has not begun yet.”

A middle-aged officer nervously cautions Diaroze.
The Noredian side still hasn’t discovered the location of the Calencian main force.
Not only that, the position of their main force is currently known to the enemy.
This disadvantage in information and the loss of one of their battleships may impact negatively on their overall war effort.

“There’s no problem with losing one or two ships right? Not to mention that the one we lost belonged to an aristocratic army.
In other words, they are just outsiders.
The elites under the direct control of the Empress are still completely safe, no? What do we need to be afraid of?”

“Certainly, we still have an overwhelming advantage overall.
However……..I think that even a single defeat albeit an insignificant one would taint Your Highness’s glory.”

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The difference in strength is overwhelming.
It would be strange if they can not obtain an overwhelming victory in this war.
The staff is worried that if they show even a small sign of struggle, it would tarnish Diaroze’s reputation.

“Let the incompetent dogs bark all they want.
No matter the process, the victory will be mine in the end.
After all, I am the great Diaroze Vista Argarine.”

Diaroze proudly declared so.

“…..Understood, ma’am.”

The staff nodded with a small sigh.
Diaroze’s track record is enough to support her arrogant words and overbearing attitude.
She has a long experience in the army.
Moreover, every battle she commanded resulted in victories.
The fact that Diaroze has risen up to the first in the succession line despite having multiple older sisters is attesting to that.

“Then let us rethink our strategy, ma’am.
Now that the enemy has discovered our location, they should be able to predict our first target.
Perhaps it would be unwise to retain our course?”

“No, the frontline is already being established.
We have no time to withdraw and draft up a new plan.”

If she turns her fleet back here, she would be effectively abandoning the vanguard fleet that is still in the middle of combat.
The vanguard fleet consisted of smaller vessels like destroyers and cruisers so it is true that they are easier to replace than battleships.
However, considering that such replacements would have to be dispatched from their homeland, it will take some time for them to get here.
This operation will decide the fate of the Calencia empire.
It would not be wise to give them more time to prepare.

“The operation will continue as is.
Our course will remain unchanged.
What, even if they know where we are heading, it should be easy for us to predict where they will place their defense.
We just have to be well-prepared and breakthrough.”

“Your wish is our command, ma’am”

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Diaroze grinned at the staff who accepted her order with a bow.

“That being said, leaving one or two battleships aside, we managed to obtain some valuable information.
Don’t you think that luck is on our side?”


The staff was puzzled.
Right now, she can only think about how the enemy’s previous assault would leave a negative impact on their operation.

“I’m talking about Hokuto Kisei.
Don’t you get it? The more something is difficult to obtain, the more valuable it is.
I want him all to myself more and more now.”

“Do you want to get your hands on that man to such an extent, Your Highness?”

“Of course.
I started to get interested when I heard that he beat back my sister.
But if he’s going to appear in front of me and stand in my way…….Kukuku, it would be impossible for me to say that I’m not interested at all right?”

“……I will inform our personnel to try and capture him alive if possible, ma’am.”

The staff answered with a bitter expression.
The opponent is no ordinary pilot.
She doesn’t know how much damage he will cause once they meet him in battle.

I will leave that to you.
Kuku, I look forward to messing him up…….”

While gazing at the image of the universe displaying on the monitor, Diaroze muttered.

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