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C.455: Some People Sure Are Lucky

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Is it a trap?

Well, Im not sure. I wonder.

It had already been three hours since we received the encrypted transmission. Since then, weve abandoned our defensive positions twice and retreated further within the star system while our battleships and cruisers chipped away the enemy numbers little by little through suppressive fire, fully engaging in a battle of attrition.

Finally, we managed to lure the Vereverem Federation forces to the asteroid belt which was supposed to be the ambush point, but it went a bit too smoothly. It was surprising that the Federation forces didnt hesitate to set up camp within the asteroid belt, just as we intended. They were acting far too careless as if they werent wary of ambushes at all though they should at least be on guard to an extent.

Even if this was really a trap and they were actually prepared to intercept us, theyd still suffer quite a bit of casualties in the process. Or rather, instead of a hit-and-run ambush, a straight-up melee seemed like it would be more effective. Why were these guys gathering up into such an impressively packed formation?

What should we do, My Lord?

Well go through with the ambush. Depending on the situation, it might be a good idea to stay put and suggest engaging in an all-out melee The risk is high, but wed pull off an upset if we succeed in beating down the Federation forces here.

However, I didnt have the right to command our forces, so if our allies started to back down, Id be forced to pull back as well, or else Mimi and Kugi would probably complain. I suppose I cant be too reckless. Well, a competent Imperial Space Force pilot or commander would probably give the order to press the attack anyway after seeing such an opportunity.

Afterward, I shut the main generator down and waited for about ten minutes with only the minimum life support functions, passive sensors, and the main screen active using the power supplied by the capacitor. An artillery battle between the large-class ships of the Vereverem Federation forces and the Imperial Space Force had already commenced. It seemed that the enemy side also dispatched some carrier-based aircraft as a precaution, but there were far too few of them. For some reason, the Vereverem Federation Space Force didnt seem to have that many small-class combat ships or carrier-based fighters among their ranks.

Oh, a Vereverem Federation cruisers shield and armor plating were penetrated by a shot, destroying it in a flashy manner. It was probably a shot from the EML of the Black Lotus. It seemed that an armor-piercing shell equipped with a shield neutralization warhead did the trick.

Hiro-sama!

Its time huh? Right, lets do this.

Mimi was paying close attention to the readings of the passive sensors, and at her signal, I re-activated Krishnas generator, activated its weapon systems, and immediately began an assault on the Federation forces.

Im gonna go first.

Whatll be my first target? Naturally, its the large-class ships that could each serve as their fleets flagship. While attacking the Vereverem Federations small-class ships and carrier-based fighters with Krishnas four heavy-caliber laser cannons, I deployed the weapon bay on Krishnas lower hull and fired anti-ship reactive torpedoes at each of the enemy large-class ships.

I targeted all the large ships in my range because I wasnt sure which one was actually the flagship. Since I fired four torpedoes at once, Id probably hit the jackpot as long as all of them didnt miss their marks.

Krishna fired out the four anti-ship reactive torpedoes, which accelerated to top speed quickly, and pierced the respective sides of four Vereverem Federation battleships, resulting in massive explosions.

Did that do it!?

Nah, we wont be able to finish them off with one shot unless theyre very unlucky. But theyve probably lost most of their combat capabilities.

Their armor was blown right off and parts of their hulls disintegrated. The rest of their hulls suffered major cracks, and unless personnel were assigned to damage control quickly, they would probably get sunk completely before long. Naturally, theres little room for allocating manpower to damage control due to the ambush, and depending on the situation, further explosions might occur unless they deactivate their generators as soon as possible. It would be a bigger achievement if we managed to finish them off in one shot, but winning the overall battle was more important. Either way, Krishnas attacks were still the decisive blows, so the resulting rewards should still be quite substantial.

Whats next, My Lord?

Lets break through the enemy formations and destroy the large-class ships main thrusters with our shot-cannons. Large-class ships are inherently slow as is. Once their main thrusters are down, theyd become even slower.

Basically, when operating as a fleet, the speed of the slowest ship becomes the speed of the entire fleet. When operating as a fleet, the group couldnt afford to leave the slower ships behind.

Hit-and-run attacks were pretty effective in slowing down an enemy fleets advance, and in the case of mop-up battles, it would be easier for marines to perform boarding actions if the enemy ships propulsion systems were neutralized. Either way, it was an effective move.

Fight back! Shoot them down!

Our allies are too close!

Unit 104, please respond! Unit 104! Dammit! What about the other command units!?

Unit 203 and Unit 322 are both down. Our Unit 251 also has a problem with its life support systems and wont be able to last long.

I listened in on the enemys transmissions that Mimi managed to intercept. Hm? Command unit? Thats an unfamiliar term.

Attention, all Imperial Space Force Assault Fleet ships. Carry on with the attack. Well strike the enemy forces down while theyre still addled. Handle the ships smaller than corvettes appropriately and focus on the ships larger than destroyers. Crush their propulsion systems and your allies will do the rest.

Roger.

The Assault Fleets commander ordered us to press the attack, so we decided to cancel the hit-and-run tactic and aimed to neutralize the combat capabilities of the enemy large-class ships instead. The priority targets are the main thrusters of the large-class ships, and the small-class ships should be dealt with accordingly. Hm.

Lets follow the commanders orders. Well earn more merits while dealing with anti-starship fire and shooting down the small fry. freewebnov(e)l

Yes!lightsnovel

lightsΝοvεl ƈοm

Ill leave the small-class ships to you, Elma. The Antlion is more suited to that instead of dealing with large-class ships, right?

Aye aye, sir. Leave your back to me.

Im counting on you, partner.

While making sure not to leave the Antlion behind, we engaged the Vereverem Federation forces which were currently unable to mount an effective counterattack. Even the Krishna would be helpless if anti-starship fire came for it from all directions. However, due to the fact that they were so densely packed together, the enemy ships couldnt unleash a full anti-starship barrage due to the risk of friendly fire. And if they couldnt get a proper lock due to their chain of command falling into chaos, there would be nothing to fear. Its not like anti-starship fire thats unleashed at random would be able to hit me.

Now then, where are the vitals?

Utilizing the ability of the shot-cannons to penetrate and damage the hulls of ships at close range while ignoring shields and armor, we continued to plow holes into the ships of the Vereverem Federation forces. Since their generators were located deep within them, it was difficult to take down large-class ships with a single shot from a shot-cannon.

However, the capacitors that stored energy for supplying to a ships systems such as the bridge and weapons, the shield generators that emitted energy shields, and the conduits that carried energy from the main generator to the capacitor and shield generators, were prime targets as well. Destroying these targets would greatly reduce a ships combat abilities.

Were gonna unload all the shot-cannon ammo on those guys. Lets go.

Aye aye, sir!

Yes!

After hearing Mimi and Kugis cheerful replies, I made the Krishna accelerate.

The remains of soldiers impossible dreams huh?

Huh? What?

I muttered to myself while gazing at the tragic-looking remains of the Vereverem Federation Space Forces ships, and sharp-eared Mimi heard and questioned me. I suppose she was simply curious.

Oh, its a poem written by a famous poet in my world.

What does it actually mean?

Hmm. I believe the full poem wasWaves of Summer Grass: All that remains of soldiers impossible dreams. There were once warriors who fought bravely, but now they have all died and have been forgotten, and there is nothing left but thickly growing grass. Well, something like that.

Its kinda lonely. Or rather, melancholic.

Maybe that famous poet also felt the same when composing the poem. No idea if that was really the case though.

Saying you have no idea certainly ruined the atmosphere, My Lord. I believe its a wonderful poem thats capable of stirring ones emotions. freeweb(n)ovel

It was rare for Kugi to display a cheeky smile on her face. Well, the author was actually a haiku poet instead of a regular one though. Uh, but its not like I was familiar with the distinction between a haiku poet and a regular one. The most I knew was that haiku was composed in a 5, 7, 5 pattern and included a seasonal reference. In the first place, I had no idea about what actually qualified as a seasonal word or reference. It was incomprehensible, right? Well, it was for me. I mean, how the heck do they determine if a word or phrase actually represents a certain season? It was kinda vague.

My Lord, Ive detected a life signature.

It looks like someone got pretty lucky. Is it an escape pod?

No Its something Ive never seen before. It doesnt appear to be an escape pod.

Well, its a bit late, but we achieved a complete victory. We successfully pulled off the ambush, and the enemys chain of command completely collapsed with the first blow. The Imperial Space Force Assault Fleet that carried out the ambush decided not to go ahead with the hit-and-run tactic and pressed the attack instead, leaving the Vereverem forces in further chaos. The main force led by Captain Serena closed the distance by slightly detouring around the asteroid belt, got the enemy ships into range, and caused devastating damage. Ultimately, the casualty ratio was 1:10 in our favor, resulting in a great upset victory for our side.

And currently, we are looking for survivors who went overboard during the battle in the spirit of humanitarianism. The survivors who were still on the ship wreckages were the responsibility of the Imperial Space Force, while mercenaries like us were assigned to the ones outside along with the small-class Imperial ships and carrier-based fighters.

Well, there werent that many people who could survive being thrown out of a starship. And even if they were wearing space suits, combat armor, power armor, and the like, explosions and similarly destructive impacts during the battle could damage their protective equipment, compromising their structural integrity and airtightness. Thats why most of them rarelyif eversurvived.

Therefore, the survivor we found this time around could be said to be pretty lucky.

What the heck is that? A coffin?

Its cylindrical, so its more like a canned good, isnt it?

Ill retrieve it now.

Kugi operated a recovery drone and retrieved the mysterious object. In any case, with this, weve secured at least one live prisoner. I do hope the life signs inside that uncomfortable-looking object belong to a human. It probably wont be some sort of biological weapon, right?

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