The Calencia side carried out the operation as planned.
After the fleet unloads the strikers and ground troops, they proceed toward the underground fortress in the inland area.
Since this was their second landing operation, everything went smoothly.
“The enemy’s resistance is strangely weak as always……”
Schleer muttered inside the cockpit of [Mistilteinn] as she continued making her way to the fortress.
She is constantly checking the data sent by her vanguard unit on the sub-monitor but it appears that the vanguard has no trouble repelling back the enemy so far.
Compared to the last landing operation, the enemy’s resistance this time is even weaker.
“It smells like a trap doesn’t it.”
“Should we withdraw for the time being? If they launch their attack, it might be bad if our main force and our fleet are separated after all.”
“That is true but……”
Schleer growls with an unpleasant expression.
She then checks the surrounding area using the topographic map and lets out a small sigh.
She knew from the planning stage that it would be a bad move to separate the main force from the fleet.
However, there is a good reason why she ordered her troops to push on despite the risks.
“We won’t be able to do anything if we head back to the fleet now.
Our fleet has no safe route to reach the underground fortress anyway so we must do this by ourselves.”
The terrain around here is rough so if their ships that have poor maneuverability have to fly at low altitude, it’s more than likely that their hulls will be damaged by the protruding rocks.
On the other hand, if they decide to fly at a high altitude to avoid the rock formation, the enemy will be able to concentrate their attack on the fleet.
“Right now our best course of action is to capture the fortress as soon as possible and use the defense equipment there to repel the enemies in the surrounding area.
Our staff has taken many scenarios into account but one this one is the strategy that gives up the highest chance of winning……”
This strategy was also approved by the Chief of Staff.
It is close to a gamble but since Schleer herself can’t think of anything better, she decided to go with it.
“So, the enemy might be aware of that so they are deploying such a blatant defensive strategy huh? Normally, if they plan to lure us in, they should put up more of a resistance though.”
“I think so as well.
It’s like they are looking down on us……..this is pretty irritating, to be honest.”
Schleer responded to Saki in a frustrated tone.
That being said, if they already anticipated that the enemy is laying a trap for them, they can just deal with it.
The fact that the three Zeniths including Kisei’s are not leading the charge was to prepare for such surprise attacks.
“Well, if they went out of their way to lay a trap for us all we need to do is crush them.
Kisei happily replied to Saki’s enthusiastic words.
One of her good points is that she’s not the kind of person that would be discouraged by a situation like this.
“What our enemy wants to do is divide us and take us out one by one.
In other words, they do not want to fight us head-on.
If something happens, we need to be prepared to group up immediately…….”
Schleer checked the map again.
So far, none of her troops are rushing too far ahead or straying from the group.
They are marching in an orderly fashion.
“For now, let’s see how our opponent is going to play their hand.
I’m sure that they will start soon.”
About an hour later, Schleer’s prediction was proved to be correct.
“Enemy incoming! Multiple heat signatures detected 120km to the southeast! It’s a striker unit, ma’am!”
Schleer narrowed her eyes at her soldier’s panicked report.
The surrounding terrain is a mountainous area with large trees that were over 20 meters high.
A great location to plant an ambush.
Currently, they can only confirm the presence of hundreds of strikers using the data-linked tactical map.
It’s likely that there are still enemies that they still haven’t detected yet.
“As I thought, they blocked the path behind us.”
The location of the detected enemies is right behind them.
Leaving strikers aside, their multi-legged tanks can not put out any more speed in this kind of mountainous area.
Their enemy will catch up to them soon.
“If they are playing this by the book then there will surely be enemies lurking ahead of us as well.”
“No doubt about that, they must be trying to launch a pincer attack on us……”
“Our vanguard has encountered the enemy! It appears that an enemy unit consisting mainly of multi-legged tanks is blocking the path ahead, ma’am!”
Schleer’s expression turned severe.
Their vanguard is engaging the enemy tanks.
If it’s like this then their main force is practically being sandwiched by the enemy.
“It would be bad if we turned our back to them but…….it would be worse if they cut off our retreat and supply route.
The 4th and 7th brigades are to intercept the enemy on our rear…….your designated name is now Group-A.
Artillery unit prepares to fire.
We will crush the enemy before they can deploy a more sturdy unit behind us.”
“The remaining units are to prepare to move.
We have to prevent the enemy in front from pushing Group-B, our vanguard while being ready to support Group A behind us.”
With swift judgment, Schleer issued her orders.
As long as she can not see the enemy’s overall formation, there’s not much she can do at the moment.
That’s why she decided on a wait-and-see approach.
“What about me?”
“Please don’t move out yet.
There are many enemy units that we have to look out for like the Imperial Knights and the 4 Heavenly.
We have to preserve our trump card for now.”
Kisei is probably someone that the Nored side is most on guard against.
It is necessary to avoid exhausting him as much as possible in preparation for the enemy elite units.
“……if it’s just the ammunition then I can just grab it from the enemy though?”
The particle magazines used by the Noredian and Calencian are different types but they should be interchangeable using the conversion adapter.
They can just take the enemy’s rifle as well.
“Even if we don’t have to worry about ammunition, the amount of propellant and your physical endurance is limited.
Our army can not win this without you.
I understand your feelings but…….please stay put for now.”
“…….Alright, I understand.
I will do as you say, Schleer.”
After thinking over it for a moment, Kisei agreed.
If the general is ordering him to stay put then he can’t just run off and fight after all.
While glancing sideways at Schleer from the cockpit of [Dainsleif], Saki pouted a little at how Kisei called Schleer by name.
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