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After the capture of the underground fortress, the Calencian army set out to take control of the surrounding area.
The resistance from the Nored side was surprisingly weak and they continued to make good progress with only some losses from their occasional ambush.

“The capture of the underground base at point R118 is completed, ma’am.
With this, this continent should be completely under our control.”

In the command center of the underground fortress, a staff member reported to Schleer.
There was no sense of tension in her voice.
With each battle, their controlled area continues to expand.
Even a common military training would provide more challenges than their current situation.

“It was……too easy, don’t you think.”

Groaned Schleer, who seated herself in the middle of the command center.
Their progress is obviously too unnatural.
[[So this is what the Nored amount to huh!]] Schleer is not foolish enough to spout such an optimistic remark like that.
The enemy general, Diaroze, is an opponent that she must be on guard against, and honestly, seeing how overly smooth their progress is, Schleer can not help but feel anxious.

“What’s the damage to our side?”

“Regarding that……I’m sending the data to you now, Your Highness.”

When Schleer took a look at the data she received via her terminal, her expression immediately stiffened.
The scale of the base they launched their attack on is by no means large but the damage her force still suffered considerable damage.

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“The looted supply…….I don’t see much of it at all.
Only some food and propellant?”

“I was told that the ammunition depot discovered there was completely destroyed as well, ma’am.”

“Scorched earth huh.”

Kisei, who was listening in on their conversation nearby muttered with a bitter expression.
With no major battles taking place, Kisei practically spent his time on standby at the underground fortress.
He’s probably standing by in the command center right now in case Schleer needs him to sortie in an emergency.
As usual, he was forbidden to walk around by himself so there’s nothing more boring for him at the moment.

“To think they are resorting to such a nasty tactic.
They must be waiting for us to exhaust our strength first huh.”

The battle reports she received mostly share similar results.
While their force is suffering substantial damage, what they gain is very little.

“Even so, if we ignore the enemy bases and forcibly mobilize our main force, we will surely suffer great damage from their ambush.
We have no choice but to solidify our foundation, Your Highness.”

Solana replies to Kisei with her arms crossed.
If they leave minor enemy bases alone in fear of suffering damage to their forces, the enemy will mobilize guerilla units from there and attack their supply route along with their less protected personnel.

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“Our objective is either destroying the Nored’s main force or taking control of all 3 underground fortresses on this planet.
The latter is preferable.
After all, we will gain a tremendous advantage over the Noredian Fleet if we can restore our defense network here.”

The Nored empire still has the upper hand in terms of overall strength.
Nevertheless, they are avoiding confronting them in a decisive battle to prevent the miracle of Leboir from happening again.
The Nored’s tactic this time around is undoubtedly to weaken the Calencian side as much as they can before striking at the most opportune time.

“Taking control of the surrounding area with as little damage as possible and safely capturing the remaining fortresses…..I don’t think that our current strategy is mistaken.
However, I am still uneasy to be dancing to their tune like this.”

“With the losses we suffered from each battle, I don’t think that we can call this ‘safely’ anymore though…….our supply is being exhausted.
If we run out of bullets then we would not have any chance of winning after all.”

Solana averted her eyes from Kisei.
What Kisei is saying is correct.
To deliver supplies to this planet, they would have to enter the Nored-controlled territory.
Naturally, their enemy would never miss such a defenseless transport unit and as a result, the supply would run dry on the frontline.

“Certainly, the more time we spend here, the more disadvantageous we will be.”

“I thought that we can procure supply from the enemy but it seems like I was too naive.
If possible, it would be better if we can bring them into a short-term decisive battle……”

Still, is it not too ironic to be wishing for such a thing when they are taking their time to thoroughly clean out the enemy underground bases like this? Schleer wondered with a frown.

“Well, our next action is already decided anyway.
We are going to take the next underground fortress.
The Chief of Staff is formulating the strategy for our next operation at the moment.”

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As Solana says, even though she is not with them in the command center, the Chief of Staff is currently groaning while looking at maps and various data inside her room onboard the [Radiant].
There is no other underground fortress on this continent.
They will have to cross and make their way through another continent for that.
The operation plan must be as foolproof as possible since an ambush on the ocean can severely damage their ground forces.

“Well, in other words, I’m free until then right.
I’m bored.”

It is the officers’ job to come up with their plan of action, something that’s unrelated to Kisei who is only a pilot.
Basically, he has nothing to do until the next sortie.
With no sign of attack from the 4 Heavenly, he’s pretty much bummed out.

“Even if you are bored, please don’t go wandering around our prisoners okay.”

Schleer warned him with a strict expression.
During his free time here, Kisei was accompanied by Saki and often went to see Melange.

“Well, that person has a lot of sweets after all…….she always gives me some every time I went to see her.”

At the moment, Melange is subjected to house arrest inside her own room.
Since aside from some items that might pose danger to them, her personal belongings were left untouched and she seems to be enjoying her time here as a POW.

“You are just being lured in by her sweets right!!”

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Schleer shouted as though she received a shock.
‘If I knew there’s such an easy way to spend my time with him then I should’ve done this from the start’ was her true intention.

“In the first place, I think I have placed an order forbidding anyone from entering her room aside from authorized personnel though…….”

Saying so, Solana stared at him.

“Rather, this place is also off-limits except for some officers and operators too you know.
For some reason, it seems you are quite free to come and go anywhere you want aren’t you.”

“Eh, is that the case?”

When Kisei looked back at her like he was surprised by her words, Solana averted her eyes again.
His appearance is too dangerous for her to have a conversation with him face to face.
Thinking so, she gently pressed her palm against her chest to calm down.

“W, Well, I will make an exception for you.
B, Be grateful for it.”

In the end, Solana allowed Kisei to stay.
In the first place, when he entered the room, the guards couldn’t stop him because of the same reason.
So this is what is called a [Beauty].
Thinking so, Solana heaved a sigh inside her heart.

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