After rallying our forces we had about five-thousand ships on our side.
Even if we had a total of eight-thousand ships, many of them were unoperationable because of problems that had arisen during maintenance.
However, even if we were only able to gather this many, things should still be fine.
On one of the space battleship’s bridges, I was sitting down in a specially prepared chair.
The bridge was currently in a frenzy, there were over a hundred people scrambling to do their jobs.
Because it was also the flagship I personally boarded, more personnel were assigned to it than normal.
While I looked over all those hard-working people,
“Are we ready for departure yet?”
The militants looked slightly peeved, but they couldn’t go against me, their lord.
This was a normal relationship dynamic seen in the Empire.
“We’re still getting some last-minute preparations done, and my lord, are you sure about this?”
I looked at the concerned expression of the commander, and I couldn’t help but feel how pitiful he was.
This war was a joke.
Our victory was a matter of course.
I alone smiled with this knowledge.
The treasures and bounties possessed by the pirates were within my grasp.
“More importantly, do those pirates have a lot of money?”
The soldiers turned to look at each other.
“Well… they do.”
“And to think all of that is going to be mine soon- I can’t wait.”
The soldiers all stared at me while I laughed.
◇ ◇ ◇
As you would’ve expected, the biggest ship was Goaz’s personal flagship.
Ever since he used it to destroy an entire star-country, it became his favourite ship of them all.
It was remodeled to the point that you could barely make out it’s original appearance.
Relaxing at the bridge, Goaz was laughing as he placed a hand on his forehead.
“They’re coming out to meet us? Looks like the kid has some fight in him.”
The surrounding pirates joined in on the laughter.
Goaz’s pirate fleet has never lost.
He thought they’d surrender, as most small frontier houses with limited forces normally did.
“I have to admit, they have spirit. Let the men know if they capture the brat alive, I’ll double their share. I want that kid as my next toy.”
The adjutant was smiling.
“You truly are charismatic, Boss.”
“Well, it’s interesting to have an immature brat as my opponent for once. Once this is over, I wonder how we should enjoy the people who had just lost their last line of defense.”
Goaz still hasn’t had enough.
He was a man who has lost count of how many lives he has taken over the decades.
All of this was due to the golden box that he owned- the [Alchemy Box].
Simply put, it was an artifact capable of producing gold from any substance except for living organisms.
It was a piece of lost technology that was impossible to recreate.
In addition to gold, it was even capable of producing mithril and adamantium.
It was an artifact of dreams.
“Now then, how about we teach what true war is to an ignorant boy who knows nothing?”
The pirates believed that victory was assured.
Anybody would think that.
They outnumbered their enemy six-fold.
Even if they didn’t plan anything, they’d be sure to win in a head-on fight.
◇ ◇ ◇
Only a few days had passed before we were set to collide with the pirates.
I listened to the commander’s orders as I relaxed in my chair.
I could barely hear him now.
The chair I sat on was comfortable to a frightening degree.
No matter how I sat, my back didn’t hurt at all.
I could totally sleep there if I wanted too.
The moment I closed my eyes, my lights would be out.
Over the last several days we had worked out our plans and formations.
Everyone was assigned to the role they were most suited to, so I left it all to the military personnel while I just watched.
Just by looking at things as they were, it didn’t look like the battle was going to begin anytime soon.
I understood that everyone thought that this was a last-ditch struggle of resistance due to the difference in numbers.
I called out to a soldier who was stationed nearby.
“When will it start?”
“My lord, it has already started. Once battles reach scales this large, you can’t just run recklessly into the blackness of space- we’re already struggling enough as it is.”
“I can’t even see the enemy.”
“When considering the size of the universe, please imagine that the distance the enemy is at could already be considered fairly close.”
“Come to think of it, it’s true that I never really learned anything about war.”
While I did study many things in the educational capsules, I did neglect a military education.
Even while knowing that, the soldier explained how ignorant I was without remorse.
He really didn’t mince his words, but I did like how honestly he spoke.
Because he was working for my sake, I’ll allow him at least that much.
It looks like the two forces were slowly reducing the distance as they repositioned the armies to counter each other.
It seems that checking the radars and instruments for the enemy was considered part of the battle as well.
With that said, how many days was this supposed to go on?
The commander was scowling.
“With forces that large, the number of soldiers the enemy has is nothing to scoff at.”
Seeing how firm the pirates were caused him to frown.
I turned to the soldier again.
By his behaviour, he was probably someone that used to be in the imperial army.
“Is the battlefield always like this?”
“It’s not very common, even the commander is growing a bit impatient.”
To slowly close in while adjusting formations.
Although they weren’t at visual distances, they had confirmed each other’s presence.
Then one of the operators shouted,
“We’re experiencing jamming interference! Enemies have been spotted closing in directly above the fleet! Their number, five-hundred strong!”
Apparently five-hundred pirate ships are attacking from above the fleet, somehow avoiding the detection of our radars.
The commander immediately started sending out orders.
“So they’re making the first move? Prepare for interception! Don’t let them out of your sight!”
Our fleet quickly altered our formation into a bow pointed straight up and ready for the incoming pirates.
The commander had a bitter look on his face.
I turned to the soldier,
“Isn’t it bad for the enemy to spread out their forces like that?”
“They did it in order to break our formation. No matter how quickly we intercept it, we’ll be leaving ourselves open to retaliation for a moment.”
“It would’ve been better if they just charged at us with all their forces at the beginning.”
As I complained, the enemy started coming into view, and the soldiers’ faces started to drop.
“My lord, those aren’t pirates. Well, they are but… they’re people who have stooped to the level of piracy.”
They didn’t look like imperial ships, so they must’ve been the fleet of another nation.
They’re the people who were assaulting us.
For some reason, the thought made me a little sad.
“Did he make the people who’ve surrendered to him in the past into his strike force? But why would they send out troops while also launching jamming signals?”
“Orders given after communication interference occurs is bound to be delayed before the units can carry them out. They sent these people knowing this.”
If you can’t talk to your soldiers, you can’t give out orders, to put it simply- it’s a lot of trouble.
Still, those who’ve been put in charge of this assault are probably disposable pieces in the pirate’s viewpoint.
As the pirates started to attack, we shot back to intercept.
We were shooting each other with beams and lasers.
I couldn’t help but think that the flashes of coloured light that zoomed through space were a bit beautiful.
◇ ◇ ◇
Goaz was clapping his hands at the bridge.
“Now what are you going to do, kid? Are your pieces ready?”
Five-hundred allied ships had been repelled, but Goaz didn’t really care.
He had overwhelming dominant forces, if he had only lost that much then it didn’t really matter.
His adjutant smiled as well,
“Boss, the enemy should be confused now, it’s time to go on the attack.”
The Banfield house’s fleet should’ve been thrown into confusion due to their jamming attack by now- Goaz decided his orders after hearing the adjutant’s report.
The pirates had already closed the distance while the enemy was fighting the five-hundred abandoned pawns.
So Goaz shouted in a brave voice,
“Okay boys, it’s time for an assault! It’s only natural for pirates to attack a panicking enemy!”
All of them were going to attack at once.
The crew was a little surprised, but they didn’t seem to mind.
They thought the enemy would be in a state of panic.
However, trap-mines were waiting for the ships that charged forward.
Several dozen pirate ships were caught up in the explosion and were destroyed.
“What a clever little trick.”
He wondered if they knew that this was going to happen.
But even this wasn’t that much to worry about.
The adjutant wasn’t panicking either.
“They’re doing better than I thought.”
Goaz started laughing,
“It wouldn’t be any fun if they couldn’t do at least this much. Either way, this much damage is-”
Immediately after, the vanguard was caught in another enemy attack and exploded.
Goaz turned to his adjutant and asked for a report. Although his aide seemed a little shaken up, he was able to squeak out a reply,
“It looks like their fleet is really well-trained. Even the quality of their equipment isn’t that bad.”
Goaz slammed his hands against his armrest.
They couldn’t grasp the situation of the enemy because of the jamming singles, but apparently the fleet they assaulted had already regained their formation and was waiting for them.
“I don’t want to admit it, but I guess that’s what happened.”
They still outnumbered them though.
Pirate and enemy clashed and started attacking each other.
The enemy’s vanguard was fighting hard.
But even then, none of their attacks came close to Goaz’s ship.
They had defense-focused escort ships protecting his surroundings, so he had no fear of an enemy attack.
“Press on fast! We have the number advantage, so gang up on them!”
They were putting up a small, but intense resistance.
Goaz’s saw it as something only to that degree.
In actuality, the distance from the Banfield fleet was shrinking.
They could already predict the enemy’s next moves.
“If it’s like any normal aristocrat’s private army, then at least one of them will try to desert.”
If one ship runs away, then a chain reaction of desertions will occur and their fleet will collapse.
Since it’s easier to chase fleeing enemies, the adjutant was hoping it would happen.
“There’s always a fraction that doesn’t run away, we can mess with those ones as we wish.”
The naively-trained ships of lesser nobility were bound to flee a disadvantageous battle.
Because they lacked discipline.
The Banfield house’s forces only seemed like they were fighting together.
The pirate’s assault continued.
But as the battle progressed, the two noticed that something was wrong as they got closer.
Goaz stood up from his chair.
Displayed on the monitor was the enemy fleet still fighting at maximum strength.
What he saw was an enemy whose fleet didn’t collapse– none of them had run.
For some reason, they still haven’t lost the will to fight.
The adjutant was also surprised.
“They haven’t run yet? No, they even closed the distance!”
Goaz shouted at his amazed aide,
“Send out the mobile knights! Break their formation!”
The distance was reduced to the point in which humanoid weapons could participate in the battle.
As if to ridicule his order, the enemy was already dispatching knights to attack their vanguard.
“You’re just a boney little brat, don’t get full of yourself. I’ll catch you and make you my toy.”
Goaz felt frustrated with Liam for the first time this battle.
◇ ◇ ◇
At the bridge, officers who stood near the commander were issuing instructions one after another.
Staff members were also issued orders after confirming the current state of the battle.
In any case, things were pretty hectic.
One soldier- the man who used to be positioned near Liam turned towards the now empty chair.
“He really sortied.”
—this puzzled him.
He was assigned to the flagship to be Liam’s aide, but Liam himself said that he was going to join the battle in his mobile knight.
He ordered the commander to charge, and left to join the battlefield.
As such, now the commander and the surrounding staff were in a panic.
“Send some knights out immediately! Don’t let anyone harm the lord!”
“The escort knights are still being prepped for launch!”
“What the hell are they doing?!”
The bridge was in a state of disarray because of Liam.
The soldiers looked up at the monitor and took in the sight of Avid that was projected there.
“That’s a knight?”
The special existence known as ‘knights’ are different from the usual military officer.
In layman’s terms, they have almost superhuman abilities.
Knights were the result of many years of physical and mental strengthening from education capsules from an early age, which general soldiers didn’t have access to.
Even basic movements would be different if the two piloted the same machine.
If they fought, it’d be impossible for the general soldier to make up the difference in ability and win.
Projected in the monitor, Avid was dual-wielding a bazooka in its left hand and a sword in its right.
After slicing through a pirate knight who approached with its sword, it proceeded to destroy a pirate ship with its bazooka.
After throwing away it’s bazooka, Avid stretched its arm into a magic circle that manifested nearby and pulled out a new armament.
It was space magic, in which a large-number of weapons had been pre-stored.
Weapons were pulled out and used one-after-another as it went wild.
Liam’s voice could be heard mixed in amongst the noise.
“AHAHAHAHAHA!!! Just try and stop me!”
The soldier wiped the cold sweat that fell by his cheek as he watched the figure of Liam cutting down enemies and sinking pirate ships without hesitation.
“Just… what kind of life has he lived?”
Liam, who still hasn’t had his coming of age ceremony, was still only a child in this universe’s perception.
Such a child was fighting pirates with glee.
The commander who overheard this approached the soldier.
“Does he scare you?”
“C-commander, please excuse my words!”
The commander sat down in his chair saying “Don’t bother,” to the soldier who had suddenly stretched his back, stiff.
“…if he wasn’t born a nobleman, would he have been an ordinary child?”
“What do you mean?”
The commander whispered,
“When he was only five years of age, he was abandoned by his parents and forced to rule a territory that was on the brink of collapse on the frontier. After many struggles, he somehow managed to develop the devastated land, only for him to be forced to do battle with pirates to protect it. I really want to see how he’ll grow up in the future.”
The commander started to grumble, “I want my children to serve this lord as well.”
Many former imperial soldiers were forced into Liam’s territory.
Lots of them were inflexible and stubborn people.
People too serious were relegated there.
People too virtuous were relegated there.
People who refused bribes were relegated there.
Simply put, there were many kinds of serious people gathered there.
The reason why is because the guide wanted to gather people who would oppose Liam, who was aiming to be an evil lord in the future.
From the perspective of one of such individuals, the lord named Liam was-
“After I was expelled from the army I was regretting my life, but looking at things now, I didn’t think I would find a lord worth serving all the way out here.”
The surrounding soldiers agreed.
“Yes, he’s truly a virtuous ruler indeed.”
The figure of a lord who stood at the frontlines and fought.
To the soldiers standing behind it, it was truly an inspiring sight to see.
It was inefficient for the leader to spearhead the charge in battle.
However, it raised morale and instilled the idea that ‘as long as we follow this person, we can win.’
Liam had shown them this form without even realizing it.
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com