The Queen

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The only planet in the Leboir system, Leboir Alpha is a small planet covered in whitish rocks.
Its gravity is extremely weak and its atmosphere is thin enough that it’s practically a vacuum.
Although it is a barren planet that is unsuitable for terraforming, its characteristics give quite a convenient environment for a space military base.

“How’s our battle formation.”

At the bridge of the [Glorious], flagship of the Calencian army, which has landed on the pure white plain of Leboir Alpha, Queen Alisha Henrietta asked with a dignified voice.
Her long shiny white hair and valiant expression are so beautiful that it’s unbelievable that she already has a 20 years old daughter.

“The 1st and 2nd fleets have arrived at their designated positions.
All ships are deploying [Active Stealth], ma’am.”

The Active Stealth device installed on Calencian ships are all outdated models but it should be effective enough since their ships are hiding behind the planet.
They have already predicted that the Noredian fleets would rush straight to Leboir Alpha and deploy their ground troops to try to take control of the base.
Being inferior in terms of fighting power, the only hope the Calencia empire has to win this war is to avoid frontal engagement and rely on guerilla warfare.
In that sense, the strategy the Nored empire chose this time is convenient for them.

(Even so, our chances are not that good………)

While muttering to herself, Alisha looks at her available forces displaying on the monitor at her hand.
6 battleships and 14 large-type cruisers.
Even if she counts the 3rd fleet, the number of fleets they have is only half of the Noredian fleets.
Their number is not nearly enough even if they take their defensive advantages into account.

(It’s sad to say but the only hope we can count on is a single mercenary.)

Alisha also received the report that Kisei incapacitated one of the enemy’s battleships.
For the Calencian army that has been suffering a losing streak, it’s the first good news in quite a long time.
It is idiotic to count on a single soldier to change the tide of war between nations but they have no choice but to place their hope on him.

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“What about the forces outside our fleets?”

“300 strikers and 50 missile vessels of the based squadrons have arrived, ma’am.”

The staff replied.

“In addition, 200 multi-legged tanks from the planetary defense force have joined us as well.”

The bridge’s front monitor displays crab-like metallic vehicles climbing the steep hill of Leboir Alpha.
All of these crab-like machines have a large turret mounted on their back.

These weapons are called multi-legged tanks.
Equipped with a fusion reactor, each of these tanks can traverse any terrain using their legs and anti-gravity lifters.
They can be used not only in a 1G environment but also in low gravity environments like this planet.
Since their mode of mobility relies on their legs, they are significantly slower than strikers.
However, this is compensated by their superior firepower.
They are quite reliable in a defensive battle.

“I see.
We have enough.”

That was a lie.
This is far from enough.
However, she can not make herself look weak in front of her subordinates.
So, she half-forces her face to smile.

“What about the enemy? It wouldn’t be strange if their scouts are here already……”

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“It’s no use, ma’am.
Our sensors can not pick up anything from the surrounding star systems with this much jamming signal.”

“They strengthened their jamming to counter the 3rd Fleet’s reconnaissance huh.
Certainly, the enemy seems to have a fairly powerful electronic warfare cruiser……”

Remembering her previous battles, Alisha moans.
There were a number of battles where their search and communication capability were compromised and they’ve lost even before they can make heads or tails of the situation.
Judging from this, the Noredian’s capability of electronic warfare is quite high.

“Still, we have the advantage of the land.
Once the battle begins, we shouldn’t fall behind that much.”

The fortified Leboir Alpha already has a wired communication network for the entire planet.
If they link this communication network with a communication method that can not be easily jammed like Laser Communication, no matter how strong the enemy jammers are, they should be able to coordinate their army.

“However, we still do not know when they will launch their attack, ma’am.
Should we dispatch a recon unit?”

“No…….even if we send out a recon unit, the enemy will just shoot them down.
We can not afford to lose our fighting power any more than this.
Tell the pilots to standby for scrambling.”

“Roger that.”

The staff did not protest and acknowledged her order.
However, her expression is anxious.
If the Leboir system is taken, the Calencia empire’s defeat would be certain.
Conversely, telling them to relax would sound unreasonable instead.

“Is… my striker ready to deploy?”

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“…….at any time, ma’am.”

depending on the situation, I will head out myself.”

In the worst-case scenario, she may need to take command at the frontline herself.
No army can recover if their morale is broken.
Still, if it comes to that, it might be too late already.
Alisha thought to herself and let out a small laugh.

“If Misha is here, she would be able to take that role for me.
Well,……..there’s nothing I can do about that.”

Misha is Schleer’s sister.
She is both an excellent commander as well as a great pilot.
If Misha hops on a striker and commands the frontline, she would surely do a better job than Alisha.

However, unfortunately, Misha was seriously injured in the previous battle and she is now being treated at the hospital in the capital.
There is no danger to her life but she can not possibly return to the frontline in her current state.
Alisha has many daughters besides Misha and Schleers but the two are the only daughters that have any talent for warfare.
That’s why Alisha has no choice but to go to the frontline herself.

“Well, for the time being, there’s nothing we can do but wait.”

The moment Alisha said that, the operator in charge of the detection network shouts.

“The reconnaissance satellite detects high-mass reactions! They are exiting FTL navigation, ma’am! Judging from the number and size, there’s no doubt, it’s the enemy’s main force!”

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“They’re here!”

Regardless of the jamming signal, if it’s within the same star system, their detection network would naturally work.
Hearing the report, Alisha sprang up from her command seat.

“They immediately sent in their main force huh, it seems they are planning to go all out from the start.
How long do we have until contact!?”

“20 minutes to contact! They exited right between the Connecting Sector and the closest route to Leboir Alpha, ma’am!”

The Connecting Sector is the space suitable for entering and exiting FTL navigation.
Since FTL navigation can be strongly affected by gravity, it is necessary to operate the FTL drive in a specific sector at the outer edge of star systems for safety’s sake.

Once you arrive at your destinated star system, what you will use instead is the sub-lightspeed means of traveling which has the FTL technology applied.
To modern warships, a small star system like this is but a small garden.
This means that the enemy fleets will arrive at Leboir Alpha in no time.

“Ugh, they aimed for this timing since they planned a surprise attack on us from the start huh! Prepare for combat!”

Alisha loudly yelled out her command.
However, some of the based squadrons and planetary defense forces have just arrived at Leboir Alpha.
It would be difficult to get them all ready for combat in just 20 minutes.

(The 3rd Fleet…..No, can’t Schleer get here soon? Aah, God!)

Alisha prayed in her heart.

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