Youjo Senki, Volumen 3, Capitulo 2, Parte 6


The Imperial Army had breached the defensive lines outside the capital and entered the urban area, and the report stating as such reached the naval base at Brest promptly. Vice Minister of both Defense and the Armed Forces, Major General de Lugo had complicated feelings about the awful news.

Though he had been expecting the notice, to actually get it was incredibly irritating.

He was the one who had drafted the plan for just this sort of scenario, but he had only done so shamefully, weeping inside.

A plan to withdraw from the continent…

No other job in his life was so humiliating as drawing up this plan. Major General de Lugo had walked the path of light during his time as a proud Republican soldier, and now he felt utterly disgraced. Even more than that, however, he was filled with anger.

So many soldiers, his brothers, had died believing in the glory of the Republic. It was because of their voluntary efforts that they had been able to draw the Imperial Army’s attention to the capital.

He knew that the time they were giving their all to buy would do more than anything else to keep the pulse of the Republic beating, so he couldn’t waste a moment of it.

But as a Republican soldier, he couldn’t help but feel disheartened. Shouldn’t I be there lined up with my brothers-in-arms? The conflict plagued him.

As a commander, though, he knew he had to lock those feelings up deep inside. Everyone was carrying the same burden.

Which was precisely why he couldn’t undermine the importance of fighting through. He had managed to gather all the ships he could at the Brest naval base in the department of Finistère without the Empire noticing.

To make the most of the opportunity, they were departing packed full of heavy armaments and resources, from the common to the scarce, in addition to many soldiers. The land and people they were meant to protect they left behind.

The collapse of the Republican Rhine Army Group was more than the fall of a mere army group. It meant the Republic’s home army had been virtually annihilated. That is to say, the Rhine Army Group included the majority of the home army units, and most of them had been lost. All that was left in the Republic’s home country was a vast, empty military organization and the stunned bureaucrats at the top. Most of the combat units critical for the fatherland’s protection had been lost in no time. That meant there was no longer an army standing in the Empire’s way.

When the issue of how to reorganize the lines in the battle with the Empire to patch the gigantic hole came up, it seemed like collapse would be impossible to avoid. The Republican government and military leaders were prepared to mobilize every last unit along with Commonwealth assistance, though, frankly, some knew that it was only delaying the inevitable.

One of them was Vice Minister of Defense, Major General de Lugo, and though he was executing the plan to abandon their home territory, he certainly had more than the standard reservations about it.

Logically, if they had built trenches and put artillery and soldiers in them, the lines could have been protected.

He knew that was a reasonable thing to order.

But the hole ripped in the front was so gigantic that units that could have held the line had been erased from their formation forever, not to mention the loss of munitions and the heavy artillery. Having lost the majority of their war production and other heavy industry capabilities, they wouldn’t be able to sustain the same level of consumption as before.

But still.

If we could have gotten a hand from our allies. If the Commonwealth had only hurried up and intervened two weeks ago. Or even ten days ago. If only their forces could have made land by the time the Republican Army’s central forces were getting surrounded and annihilated…

If the expeditionary force had arrived and fought a delaying battle, maybe there would have been enough time to prop up a new front line. Even if they couldn’t save the entire army, maybe they could have gotten some units out of the encirclement.

Having thought that far, de Lugo had no choice but to recognize that nothing good would come of going any further.

It was too late now. Anything else would be of as little use as crying over spilled milk.

The glorious main forces of the Republic were forever lost to the possibility of reorganization. Their home territory would be trampled beneath the loathsome Imperial Army’s boots. That damnable prediction was now an inescapable future.

“…How’s progress?”

He switched gears to dismiss the thoughts of missed chances.

The Imperial Army had wiped out their trained and outfitted elites. Forged in the endless combat on the foremost Rhine line, they were literally the best the Republican Army had. It was an utter shame to lose them. Sadly, the Republic would probably never, not during this war or any other, be able to muster a group of such elite soldiers ever again.

But the Republic still had a fair amount of men left, if it brought them all together. In their vast colonial holdings, they had troops and a wealth of natural resources. Of course, scattered as they were, they were only targets for slaughter or surrender and disarmament.

However however… This also meant that if the Republic could band them together, could harness those human and natural resources, it could safeguard a bright future for itself. And if they looked at it as a means to control the weakened influences in the colonies, if they could get the remaining troops out organizationally intact if, in other words, they could preserve the cluster of troops they had, they could build an immensely powerful anti-Empire army.

If they bided their time, it wouldn’t be impossible to deal the Empire a painful blow.

“Armored Division 3 has finished boarding. A provisional brigade from Strategic Mobile Army Seven is boarding now.”

That’s precisely why I have to protect these heavy troops no matter what, thought de Lugo with a pained expression as he watched over the loading process below, practically praying. Armored Division Three was a precious asset, a tank division. And Strategic Mobile Army Seven was equipped with the latest computation, hot off the presses, as well as the newest capital tank model.

The combination of these forces was the blessing in this tragedy. That these two units had been in the rear training with their new equipment was surely unlucky for the front lines.

If they had been there, perhaps they could have saved the day. But if they’re here now, the Republic can still fight. The Republic had managed to preserve units that could combat even the remarkably improved imperial mages, troops who could fight on a level battlefield with the enemy in this new mobile style of warfare.

Most of the mages were already gathered, thanks to their mobility. Meanwhile, given how doubtful it was that Strategic Mobile Army Seven would even be able to meet up with them, the way they rushed over showed their fighting spirit and indomitable will both rock-solid.

You didn’t even have to be de Lugo to be sure the Republic could still fight. Yes, the Republic, as a nation, had not by any means lost yet.

It still had cards in its hand.

True, many of the Republican Army troops had been stationed on the Rhine front, and the shock of losing them all was enormous, but it wasn’t as if the Republic had lost everything.

In a way, maybe he was putting up a brave front. But Major General de Lugo still had fight and drive left, so he scolded his discouraged heart.

What kind of soldier leaves the fate of his country dependent on the goodwill of another nation?

A soldier who can’t save his own country is better off dead. They must stay on the lines of battle, fighting for the fatherland, their country, until the very end.

He wanted to scream that even if their opponent won the first round, the Republic would be the one left standing in the end.

So de Lugo wanted to gather all remaining forces in anticipation of a counteroffensive. He wanted every soldier he could get his hands on.

But due to the nature of the operation, he was up against every commander’s eternal scourge: time.

On the one hand, the longer it took, the greater the possibility the plan would leak. If that happened, the would-be core of his resistance army could get attacked.

On the other, considering the psychological effects of abandoning allies who were racing to be with them, he couldn’t leave so easily.

Naturally, the decision was pressing.

“…What about the special-ops team? When will they be here?”

It was under those tight circumstances that de Lugo was expecting the elite special ops team.

They were a group of mages created to carry out special missions. General de Lugo expected the strength and experience of Lieutenant Colonel Vianto and the others who survived Arene to be a huge help.

The General Staff knew, too, that if those mages managed to join up with the others, the number of options they had would increase dramatically. But it was true that waiting posed a risk.

“Their estimated arrival is in about ten hours. Since they’re coming from Parisii, however, it’s possible they’re being pursued…”

…If they’re being followed, worst-case, imperial troops realize we’re here.

If they do, all our work so far will be for nothing.

That was a fearsome possibility. Under their current circumstances, that would be unacceptable. Should we abandon them? Some of the staff, especially officers of the fleet, were of that opinion.

“…We’ll leave in ten hours. Mages should be able to catch up to us over the water, right? For now, load as much as we can in that time.”


But de Lugo decided to wait right up to the last second.

He was making a gamble, pushing both cargo space and time to their limits. Yes, it was high-risk. But those mages were a valuable asset. If they could manage to accommodate them, it would absolutely boost the resistance’s firepower later on.

“More importantly, what about the route?”

“The latest check-in from Escort Fleet Two says it’s all green.”

And most crucial of all…

Luckily, the sea was still free of imperial influence. The Imperial Navy was confident they had suppressed the Republican Navy, but that was just barely true, under a limited set of circumstances.

They still had enough muscle left to show the Empire that attacking head-on wasn’t the only way a navy could do battle.

Furthermore, the Imperial Navy, with their objective of putting a check on the Commonwealth and Republican navies, tended to fall into the “fleet in being” pattern of thinking. It was hard to imagine them coming out for a decisive battle.

After all, with the Commonwealth’s Navy on his side, it was de Lugo and allies who would prevail. The imperial military didn’t seem to have much strategic flexibility.

“Telegram from Independent Submarine Squad Fourteen. No contact. The route is clear.”

They were lucky that the Imperial Army hadn’t caught on. There was no way ships full of supplies would be allowed to escape if they were detected. For now, at least, there was no sign of interference.

Given the way the imperial troops did things, it could very well be a while before they realized. Of course, once the escape operation was under way, they would figure it out. He was sure their pursuit would be fierce.

So they only had one chance. He was betting the future of the fatherland on this one venture.

The moment the cease-fire was called that was their chance. The success of the operation depended on whether or not the Empire found the movements suspicious. Or whether they could distract the Empire somehow.

“Report from the embassy in the Commonwealth. The main enemy forces are busy monitoring the Commonwealth Navy’s ‘exercises.’”

Were they idiots? Or was it just business as usual?

The Commonwealth’s home fleet was performing emergency exercises as “surprise training” right on the edge of their territorial waters, completely distracting the imperial forces. Their fleet, air force, and mages were all paying attention to the exercises, which gave de Lugo a free hand.

Given that there were apparently no complications that would damage the gathered ships, the Empire must not have realized what was going on. Neither were there any reports of imperial scouts or suspicious characters in the vicinity of the naval base.

He didn’t want to jinx it, but the situation didn’t seem so desperate.

“…Good of them to assist.”

“Let’s get through this and retaliate.”

“Even if I have to eat that stinking Commonwealth food, I’ll fight through. Can’t wait for the counteroffensive from the south.”

His subordinates’ spirits were unflagging. The troops could still fight, at least. Even if they had to give up the fatherland to the Empire temporarily, in the end they would take back the land that raised them.

“Well, it all starts here.”

His resolve was firm.

Though he was suppressing his emotions, his voice brimmed with the spirit to fight the Empire to the last.

Major General de Lugo was a patriot.

He loved his country. He loved his fatherland. He was a firm believer in his country’s glory.

If the Republic was no longer great, it was no longer the Republic.


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