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I don't believe myself to be an exceptional person in any way, but I can't deny that I've been able to translate a lot faster this week… I won't “officially” b.u.mp up my release schedule, but I suppose you'll all simply reap the benefits if or when I get stuff done much faster than I expected…Chapter 27 - The Empire's Distress (3)
Kingdom of Fenn, the waters off Nis.h.i.+nomiyako
The Papaldia Empire's imperial navy had 183 s.h.i.+ps-of-the-line in their grand fleet of 284 s.h.i.+ps. They were getting into combat positions to engage the sixteen s.h.i.+ps sent by the j.a.panese navy. Their 100-gun s.h.i.+ps-of-the-line came to the forefront; they were the pinnacle of Papaldia's technology and the apotheosis of their pride as a superpower. General Cius observed j.a.pan's fleet from the deck of Papaldia's largest, strongest s.h.i.+p, the commander of this enormous fleet, the super-F cla.s.s s.h.i.+p-of-the-line Pall. This flags.h.i.+p monitored the fleet from its center.
"Darda, do you think you'd win?" he asked the captain standing next to him.
"With this giant fleet and our latest s.h.i.+ps-of-the-line, I don't think I could even lose against the Holy Miris.h.i.+al Empire's famous Zeroth Magic Fleet. Strength in naval combat is based on both the quality and quant.i.ty of s.h.i.+ps-of-the-line. We have a hundred and eighty-three of the best gunboats in the Third Civilization; there does not exist a fleet that can surpa.s.s ours. Even if the j.a.panese navy's wars.h.i.+ps were stronger than ours, they have fewer cannons, and there are only sixteen of them. They're helpless before our fleet."
Captain Darda had absolute confidence.
The fleet of s.h.i.+ps-of-the-line poured as much magic power as they could into their Tears of the Wind G.o.d, filling their sails with wind and tearing forward through the waves. The j.a.panese navy advanced with all their s.h.i.+ps in a horizontal line. General Cius kept constant watch on the j.a.panese navy.
He had never seen any s.h.i.+ps as big as j.a.pan's. They only had a single cannon, installed in the front of the s.h.i.+p. From the size, the cannon was probably similar to the gun turret found on Mu's La Kasami. j.a.pan's s.h.i.+ps also, just like in the magic pictures he'd seen of the La Kasami in the past, had no sails.
He had a bad feeling about them.
As far as aggregate firepower, their 100-gun s.h.i.+ps-of-the-line had far more.
The enemy s.h.i.+ps' speed was well beyond their own sense of how fast s.h.i.+ps could travel. If they were that fast, it would be rather difficult to hit them with their magic cannons.
"Well, it's the same for them…"
The j.a.panese fleet was about ten kilometers away from them. He started to feel tense.
He saw a light, then smoke coming from the mouth of the cannon on the closest j.a.panese s.h.i.+p.
"The enemy s.h.i.+p fired!!!"
"But they're still about ten kilometers way. Is this some kind of ritual or ceremony?"
"Are they trying to intimidate us, maybe?"
There was no way the cannon sh.e.l.l could reach this far, so General Cius and Captain Darda hypothesized about what the j.a.panese were doing.
Suddenly, the foremost 100-gun s.h.i.+p-of-the-line in the imperial navy flashed.
The sh.e.l.l fired by the guided missile destroyer Kongou's 127mm single-mounted rapid-fire gun easily pierced the 100-gun s.h.i.+p-of-the-line's antimagic steel armor and sparked an explosion in the s.h.i.+p's magazine. The pressure from the explosion pushed outwards, pulverizing anything made of wood and escaping upwards through the deck. A magnificent pillar of flame blazed upwards, splitting the s.h.i.+p in half and sinking it.
"s.h.i.+p-of-the-line Ropuhle has been sunk!!!"
They were dumbfounded…
"Wha… ho… how did this happen?!"
General Cius and the Pall's Captain Darda stuttered at what they just witnessed.
BAM! BAM! BAM!!! BAM!!!
"Enemy s.h.i.+p has fired consecutive shots!!!"
"How… how can they reload that fast?!"
Pillars of fire went up all around the front of the fleet.
"s.h.i.+ps-of-the-line Mishra, Lessine, Kusion, Paus have been sunk!!!"
s.h.i.+ps were sinking so quickly that the reports were falling behind. The enemy s.h.i.+p was still way outside the range of the fleet's magic cannons.
"The enemy s.h.i.+p's course is changing!!!"
Still firing its cannon, the enemy s.h.i.+p was now moving towards the imperial fleet's center. It was about six kilometers away. The other s.h.i.+ps behind it joined in, drastically increasing the number of shots fired. Every shot was a direct hit, and a friendly s.h.i.+p sank every time a cannon sounded.
"What kind of magic is this, for none of their attacks to miss?!"
"This can't be happening… This can't really be happening!!!"
General Cius saw a flash of light then stumbled when the Pall shook violently, slamming into a wall.
"We've been hit on the port side!!!"
A large hole had been blasted open on the port side of the 120-gun s.h.i.+p-of-the-line Pall. Seawater began to flood the s.h.i.+p, destroying its balance and gradually causing its large body to tip to the side, eventually capsizing entirely. The weight of its metal plating slowly caused it to sink into the ocean.
General Cius was floating in the water. He hung onto a piece of wood that drifted near him, and he looked at the remains of the imperial navy. In an incredibly short amount of time, the superpower Papaldia Empire, the Third Civilization's strongest country, lost every single one of its s.h.i.+ps, its entire fleet sunk beneath the waves.
The Papaldia Empire's imperial navy, 284 s.h.i.+ps, engaged in combat with the j.a.pan Maritime Self-Defense Force's 16 s.h.i.+ps, and lost 284 s.h.i.+ps. They were all destroyed.
A short time later, having lost its main force, the remainder of the imperial army surrendered to the Fenn army when they came to take back Nis.h.i.+nomiyako. The battle between a superpower and the alliance of two countries ended in the alliance's complete victory.
In remembrance of this day, the town of Nis.h.i.+nomiyako in the Kingdom of Fenn now holds an annual festival where bundles of wood are shaped into boats then set on fire, creating great pillars of flames.
Papaldia Empire, imperial capital Esthirant
Within the department head's office in the 1st foreign affairs department, the military's Supreme Commander Arde was holding a meeting regarding measures that should be taken with j.a.pan in the future. Normally, for a single barbarian country outside the civilized areas, the Supreme Commander would deal with it himself and someone in the imperial family like Remille wouldn't interfere. However, because the emperor was interested in them, and because failure was unacceptable, all of the empire's executives had gathered to contribute.
"The imperial ground legion should be conquering Fenn's capital Amanoki right about now. Miss Remille, is it acceptable to execute the j.a.panese tourists on site again?" 1st department head Elto asked.
"Yes. This time we'll be able to catch many more j.a.panese people. Barbarians need to be thoroughly educated or they'll never learn. …The j.a.panese people from Nis.h.i.+nomiyako were killed too quickly. Arde, this time, drag it out a bit."
"Yes, I understand."
"Then, regarding next steps…"
Someone used the door knocker, interrupting their discussion.
Deputy Head Hans entered the room, sweating bullets. "This has to do with your meeting, so please forgive the interruption, but I have these doc.u.ments here…"
His face was drained of color. Hans thrust the papers at Elto.
-Emergency Research Report-
That was the t.i.tle of the simple, five-page doc.u.ment on Elto's desk. Deputy Head Hans summarized the report verbally.
"We were concerned about why the Second Civilization superpower Mu sent an observer to j.a.pan for the conflict with Fenn. This is the result of an investigation based on some information we received when the Mu amba.s.sador was questioned about his country's reasoning."
The 1st foreign affairs department knew that Mu sent an observer to j.a.pan, so they were trying to figure out exactly why they did so. There was a theory that they were keeping tabs on a new magic spell that j.a.pan developed. If that were so, then they sent an observer to j.a.pan who was fully prepared to not make it back alive… But even still, it would be strange not to send an observer to the empire as well, which was why they were puzzled.
"To just skip to the conclusion, Mu determined that j.a.pan would be the victor of the Fenn conflict."
""What?!?!"" Elto, Remille, and Arde all exclaimed at the same time.
"Hans! What does that mean?!"
"Mu's a.n.a.lysis on information that they themselves collected concluded that j.a.pan will defeat our forces."
Everyone was stunned silent.
"It couldn't possibly…" Supreme Commander Arde muttered. "What if we considered that, hypothetically, j.a.pan was aiming for all-out war with the empire? If that were the case, their preparations would be considerably far along by now. Thus, they could predict that we'd send our forces to Fenn and counter with a few thousand wars.h.i.+ps and a hundred thousand ground troops. Based on the military's a.n.a.lysis, j.a.pan has gunboats. We believe that their level of technology is low for an average country inside the civilized areas, but extraordinarily high for one outside the civilized areas.
"Even if they're inferior to our country, if faced with a few thousand gunboats, the fleet we committed to Fenn would have a hard time. The biggest problem would be a lack of ammunition for their magic cannons. Our ground legion as well only has three thousand men; if the enemy ground forces exceed fifty thousand, it would be problematic. At any rate, General Cius is leading them. If he needed more forces, he would simply ask for them. We could send the western fleet. But… what information did Mu have exactly…"
"If your scenario were true, could they defeat us?" Elto asked.
Arde replied with a smile. "Sir Elto, have no fear. While there is some concern that a drawn-out battle could result in a lack of cannon sh.e.l.ls, it's impossible for thousands of s.h.i.+ps to use blitzkrieg tactics. Our fleet wouldn't take any damage. Furthermore, our Tears of the Wind G.o.d are the best in the world. With our s.h.i.+ps' speed, once again, we would avoid all damage. Even if this hypothesis were correct, our forces would simply need more time to destroy Fenn. I will check with General Cius later to see if we should send reinforcements. Fenn is close to the empire; even if the enemy attacked with all those forces at once, our reinforcements would arrive well before they ran out of ammunition."
The tension in the room finally relaxed.
"If it's true… then j.a.pan… those d.a.m.n barbarians!!!" Remille spat out angrily.
A young 1st department official entered the room covered in sweat.
"I have a report from the Kingdom of Fenn. s.h.i.+ps-of-the-line, attack transports, supply s.h.i.+ps, dragon carriers, and the ground legion have all been eliminated. Our remaining forces garrisoned in Nis.h.i.+nomiyako have surrendered to the allied forces of j.a.pan and Fenn."
"What… What did you just say?!" 1st department head Elto asked, distressed.
"Tha… That's impossible!!! Are you sure that information is trustworthy?!" Arde cried out, hoping it might have been misinformation.
Cras.h.!.+ The sound of porcelain shattering. Everyone in the room turned to look at what made the noise. What they saw was a demon shaped like a woman.
"…What was that?! Those piece of s.h.i.+t barbarians, even if it was a local war, they defeated our empire!!! Arde! This is your fault! How did your military fail to a.s.sess our enemies?!"
The Papaldian military deployed more than enough fighting power to demolish the Kingdom of Fenn. If j.a.pan weren't there, Fenn wouldn't have had the ability to repel them.
"My… My deepest apologies! I will immediately restructure the military. The empire shall never be defeated again!!! Let me excuse myself now to get it done!!!"
Supreme Commander Arde left the room in a hurry, as though escaping from the situation.
"G-G.o.ddammit!!! f.u.c.king barbarians!!!"
Remille's eyes were completely bloodshot. Word of the empire's defeat in the Kingdom of Fenn would quickly spread to other countries. Remille was well aware of the meaning and a.s.sociated danger that this loss would have on the 73 countries the Papaldia Empire had under its thumb. Rule through fear would crumble if the suzerain states perceived their sovereign to be weak. This was the ultimate weakness of using fear as a collar.
"We'll exterminate them! The immaculate Papaldia Empire has never been played for a fool like this before! j.a.pan must be annihilated! Elto!!!"
"I will inform His Grace and seek his approval. Prepare for a genocide! Tell Arde too!!!"
Remille stormed out of the office.
Kingdom of Altarus, royal capital Le Brias, underground organization
Resistance movements continued while the Kingdom of Altarus functioned under the Papaldia Empire's control. However, the strength of a superpower was immense; even if they somehow disposed of all the empire's people from the country, the empire would simply send another army to enforce their rule. The underground organizations felt like they were fighting a battle they could never win.
Regardless, they would never think of stopping.
As per usual, Captain Rial was monitoring the empire's movements. At the very least, if anyone from the royal family were still alive, by establis.h.i.+ng them as the leader of the resistance, the citizens would endorse their activities. However, the king had died in battle and nearly everyone else in the royal family had either been executed by the empire or was currently missing.
"d.a.m.n!" Rial cursed, exploding from stress as he thought things over.
All of a sudden, the door to the room slammed open. The operator in charge of intercepting magical communications from other countries rushed in.
(He didn't even knock… what a rude guy.)
"Captain! Come to the comms room, now!!!"
"What's going on?!"
"Just come on, hurry up! Hurry!!!"
The operator grabbed him by the hand and pulled him out the door. In the communications room, among the many magical communication devices, one receiver was faintly glowing green.
"I've tapped into the Mauze Kingdom's communications, a Third Civilization country! This is Mauze's news!!!"
They focused on the device.
It appeared to have a poor connection.
"zzz… zzKSHzzz… -ryone, I am the princess of the Kingdom of Altarus, Lumiess."
Rial's entire body convulsed, like he had just been punched in the stomach.
"Princess… Princess Lumiess, you're alive…!!!"
"Shh! Quiet! You're not listening!!!"
"…know, our kingdom is currently being unjustly occupied by the Papaldia Empire. Therefore, we have established a temporary government within the country of j.a.pan with myself, Lumiess, as the head, which I hereby declare the legitimate government of the Kingdom of Altarus. The Kingdom of Altarus and the nation of j.a.pan are in talks regarding a security treaty, and we are making progress.
"To the Papaldia Empire: withdraw from the Kingdom of Altarus at once. If you do, there will be no needless loss of life. People of Altarus! If you can hear my voice, then prepare yourselves for 'that time'! Let all the people in our kingdom know that 'that time' has come! To those currently living under Papaldia's rule, to all peoples across the world who are suffering! Today, the forces of Papaldia were driven out of the Kingdom of Fenn by the allied forces of j.a.pan and Fenn.
"The Papaldia Empire, a superpower, is truly strong. However, they are not invincible!!! We will not lose!!! When the time comes, we will have need of all of your strength! But for now, wait and prepare!!!"
"As you've just heard, Princess Lumiess of the Kingdom of Altarus has just formally announced the establishment of the legitimate government of Altarus. The j.a.panese government has recognized the princess's claim, as well as her announcement that they are in talks regarding a security treaty. They are also urging other countries to recognize the government in exile.
"…Uhh, we've just received breaking news. This concerns the comment Princess Lumiess made earlier about how the Papaldia Empire was defeated in the Kingdom of Fenn. Earlier today, Papaldia's military, which had invaded the Kingdom of Fenn, was defeated by the alliance of j.a.pan and Fenn.
"Huh?! …Hey you, are these numbers right?
"…I apologize for the interruption.
"In the previously-mentioned battle, the Papaldia Empire lost over three hundred wars.h.i.+ps. This is… they were almost completely wiped out, the Papaldian navy suffered enough damage to almost completely incapacitate them.
(whisper whisper whisper)
"Ehh, the Papaldian navy's dragon carriers, their main force, were also lost, all of their dragon carriers were also lost.
"What do you… I'm just reading the script, I can't believe it either!
"And now, for our next story. The mage Candee has developed a new spell to to help make your skin healthier and more beautiful……!"
The broadcast ended.
The room was totally silent.
Everyone was quietly trembling with smiles on their faces.
"The Papaldia Empire was completely routed in Fenn!!!"
"Princess Lumiess is still alive!!!"
"All right, until the time comes, we'll keep giving our all!!!"
Morale in the underground resistance soared.
Papaldia Empire, imperial capital Esthirant, 1st foreign affairs department
"What the h.e.l.l was that magic broadcast just now?!"
The recording that j.a.pan sent to various countries was intercepted by the empire. An angry roar echoed throughout the building. The empire's va.s.sal countries were starting to declare their independence. Not only that, they were encouraging others to stand up to the empire as well.
This was an erosion of the very foundations of the empire.
"Um… Miss Remille, about your request to His Grace for a war of genocide, I believe you missed his response. His Grace has approved it."
"j.a.pan has done something very stupid. We'll soon engrave the true terror of a superpower on all of their bodies."
The executives continued talking in the office. Then, one of the window clerks burst into the room.
"What is it this time?!"
"Two envoys from j.a.pan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs are here. They said they already sent word in advance that they would be coming for a meeting with the department leaders.h.i.+p…"
TL note: So I was previously translating the terms “army” and “navy” pretty strictly based on the text, since “navy” is simply “sea army” in j.a.panese and the author has used it before, so I was just trusting that he kept saying “imperial army except it includes wars.h.i.+ps” intentionally. I changed my stance on that this chapter and will be changing it as it makes sense in context for future releases. I… don't think I'll go back and fix previous chapters, though, so yeah~
— — Chapter 28