Youjo Senki, Volumen 3, Capitulo 4

Chapter IV, How to Use Victory


“Reporting in!” Second Lieutenant Grantz runs over and delivers the words the moment he arrives in a tone that is kept crisp out of a sense of duty despite the tension.

First Lieutenant Weiss gathers from his expression that preparations are complete and promptly straightens up and faces him, feeling quite tense himself.

“Lieutenant Weiss, all battalion members are present!”

“Thanks, Lieutenant Grantz. Any logistical delays?”

“None at all, sir! We’re fully equipped with both provisions and gear!”

That meant everything was ready. It was such a significant report, but it went not to Major von Degurechaff but the second-in-command, of all people.

He made his judgment upon receiving it.

Considering how important the matter was, the commander herself should have made the call, but the senior officer at the moment was First Lieutenant Weiss.

The duty and the tension of being in command… Above all, the immeasurable anxiety of assuming the position instead of Major von Degurechaff… She told me I might be promoted before the year is out. The world is a strange place.


“Ah, it’s nothing, Lieutenant.”

But now was no time to hesitate. This moment called for his decisive judgment as commander. He knew as an officer that throwing cold water on this strained, expectant mood would be an unforgivable error. What his duty required of him now was to carry out his responsibility.

“Company leaders, report your status!” he cried.

Though he was endeavoring to maintain the composure of a pro, he couldn’t hold back his anticipation entirely.

“All units present. Type one battle stations manned!”

In response to the roared order, a report of readiness.

“What’s your status?”

The voice indicated the start of a battle was near.

“Beer, check! Wine, check!”

The response was proud.

“Meat, fish, check, check!”

Their extra rations were so generous that it seemed like the food and drink was challenging them to finish it off. The battalion’s full fighting power was unsparingly committed to cleaning out all the items they’d swiped and stashed.

“Ocean, check!”

And Weiss had unwavering confidence that he had chosen the right spot for it.

“Great, troops, this operation is go!”

Clear water, blue sky, and the refreshing sunshine of early summer… The grills and cooking tables were equipped with mountains of many varieties of meat. Naturally, cases of bottled beer had been delivered by the cooler. There was even wine and champagne from who knew where.

On this day, the elite mages of the 203rd Aerial Mage Battalion were resolved to devote their bodies and souls to enjoying the beach.

Everything had been for this day.

“To victory!”

“To my brothers-in-arms!”

“To the Reich!”


Three toasts and a hearty shout.

With that, the men dropped all formalities for this day only. Beer-drinking contests ensued. Champagne corks flew. Then shoulder to shoulder, they all sang “We Are the Reich, Crown of the World.”

Their voices thundered from the pit of their stomachs to fill the Republican vacation spot. The beach was the best chance to sing uninterrupted odes to the sweet, ice-cold nectar of victory in their hands.

“To the Empire,” they cried and downed their beers. They would take full advantage of this opportunity to sing praises. Several soldiers took their shovels to the sand and began to play, never mind that they were grown men; soon, platoons were pitted against one another in digging competitions. Others jumped straight into the water, while others still made a beeline for the grills with a shout of “First, the meat!”

Everyone there was right and truly intoxicated on victory, on the joy of surviving, and on the sense of accomplishment they got from carrying out their duty.


Reading the message her adjutant handed her, she rubs her temples and groans. Then, clinging to the overly optimistic hope that her conclusion will change upon a second reading, Magic Major Tanya von Degurechaff of the Imperial Army, General Staff officer, looks at it again.

But it doesn’t matter how far between the lines she reads. After all, it’s clearly an official notice from the General Staff.

“…Sorry, Lieutenant Serebryakov, I’m going out for a moment.”

So with a word to her adjutant, Tanya puts her cap on in annoyance, slowly rises, and heads for the residential building adjacent to battalion HQ.

Looking up, she sees fair skies, in contrast with her mood.

“It’s almost summer, huh…?”

It isn’t too hot yet, but summer is probably near. Tanya was the one who cleared First Lieutenant Weiss and the others to take leave and go on vacation. It was also she who approved expenses from the battalion’s coffers, as a recognition of her subordinates’ services, for them to spend a day having a barbecue at the beach.

That’s…well, it’s fine.

They’re just officers serving in the field. It’s only natural that they should have the right to taste the sweet nectar of victory. And Tanya is not at all averse to respecting the rights of others. She knows it’s unforgivable for a superior to take advantage of their subordinates simply because they are subordinate and infringe on their rights.

So Tanya doesn’t blame the troops for celebrating their victory. It’s fine. They gave their all from the positions they were in.

The problem, laments Tanya, just barely holding back her hellish rage and looking to the heavens, is that the same optimism has tainted the brass. It’s hopeless.

Her pent-up anger and distrust completely exploded with this congratulatory message from the General Staff. A personal congrats would be one thing, but this was an official statement from the General Staff, of all people, aimed at the entire army and naively praising our “great victory,” of all things.

The moment she understood, she had a hard time reining in her emotions. With her scant remaining self-control, she avoided a total explosion on the spot, but she was literally seething with anger.

The moment she closes the door, she hurls her cap to the floor and screams her true feelings. “Shit! The sweet nectar of victory?! We missed our chance to end this war! You may know how to win, but you don’t understand how to use it!”

With the coolheaded corner of her mind, Tanya understands that telling everyone to piss off is pointless. That’s why she has enough sense to get it all out in her room where she doesn’t have to worry about anyone overhearing.

But once she is in her room, she can’t hold it back: How stupid must the General Staff be to get so giddy over this “great victory” when the war isn’t even over yet?! What are they thinking? She curses them as the urge takes her.

“This can’t be possible! Why isn’t the General Staff putting this victory to good use?! Why?! Supreme High Command isn’t even doing negotiations! Are they not interested in ending the war?!”

A war is broken into multiple stages. Yes, the officers and men carried out their duty fine as far as the front lines; they were able to contribute to this great victory. As such, they should be allowed to celebrate. They have that right.

But if the General Staff, meant to be directing the war, and the organization above it, Supreme High Command, are getting all excited about winning and breaking into the celebratory wine…

That’s negligence.

That’s a mistake.

No, more than that, it’s evil. It’s a criminal lack of action.

“Shit! Why is this happening? How did the General Staff suddenly get so…?”

How did they suddenly get so dim-witted?!

In any case, practically pulling her hair out over this mess, Tanya turns on the alcohol burner in her room to boil some water and reaches for her mill.

She carefully grinds the fine arabica coffee beans she acquired immediately after the capture of Parisii and readies a drip filter. Then, with the water at the right temperature, she lets the bloom form on top of the grounds before meticulously pouring and transferring the results into a mug. Finally, she takes a deep breath, seeking peace of mind in the fragrance, and relaxes.

“The General Staff doesn’t understand the situation. But why is that?”

Her question is genuine. Why did this happen? The Imperial Army is bunch of sticklers for efficiency who make sure even lower-ranking officers are well versed in planning and drafting operations. At the war college, they hammered in how to not only cope with encounters under unknown circumstances and make snap decisions but also plan as far as possible to minimize the fog of war, among other things.

“…I just can’t understand it. What happened?”

Which is why, having regained composure, albeit temporarily, Tanya cannot fathom why the General Staff is so high on victory.

The General Staff was supposedly of particularly rational officers, even considering the makeup of the Imperial Army at large. Probability theory doesn’t seem to allow that every last one of them would lose their minds at the same time.

How is it, then, that they’re all wasted on the wine of victory?

“Yeah, I really just don’t get this change in the higher-ups. Agh, well, a picture is worth a thousand words. I guess I have no choice but to go over there in person.”

So she makes up her mind as she finishes off her coffee. There is nothing for her to do but go ask them herself.

Luckily, the battalion is not currently on rapid response standby. It’s not ideal for a commander to leave their unit, but no one should object to her visiting the General Staff for a few days.

In that case, thinks Tanya, time is a finite resource, so I can’t waste it. Once she decides on a course of action, all that’s left is to promptly act.

She picks up the internal communications device in the corner of her room and calls up battalion HQ.

“Duty Officer Second Lieutenant Serebryakov speaking.”

“Lieutenant, it’s me.”

“Oh, Major. What can I do for you?”

With a slight sense of satisfaction that Serebryakov was quick enough to pick up in two rings, Tanya briefly states her business. “I’m going to pop in on the General Staff. While I get permission from HQ, please prepare our bags yes, mine and yours. And get word to Lieutenant Weiss.”

“Understood. I believe he’s currently on leave, but I’ll let him know. Shall I reserve long-distance railway tickets?”

“Oh, if he can’t come here, you can just radio him. And we don’t need tickets. I’m getting authorization to fly straight to the General Staff Office. Do, however, secure accommodations for us in the capital.”

Time is short, so we don’t have the leisure to take it easy in a train. Tanya has already decided on cutting across the former Rhine lines and flying in directly.

Luckily, perhaps it can be said, Type 97s will allow them to get to the capital with plenty of energy remaining. Regardless of how it would go if it were a combat flight, simply passing through friendly airspace should be plenty doable.

“Understood, Major! How many days will you spend in the capital?”

“Not many, but three for certain.”

She knows she has to take General von Zettour’s schedule into consideration, so she’s already resigned to the fact that this will be a time-consuming endeavor and figures it’s best to overestimate the length of her stay.

Of course, really, she doesn’t want to be away from her post for long…but she’s already decided that she’ll wage a fierce battle of words in the capital if necessary.

“Understood. Right away, ma’am.”

All right, then. Tanya gets her things together and packs her type I dress uniform. Then she turns in two flight plan approval forms, one for her and one for Serebryakov, as well as a plan assuming a direct flight, and receives authorization almost immediately.

Meanwhile, Visha had received the orders and was making her preparations for their trip to the capital just as briskly, not about to let Tanya outdo her.

She contacted the magic officers’ club and reserved two rooms. Then, using her status as the adjutant of the commander of a battalion reporting directly to the General Staff, she secured the use of one official car from the General Staff’s rear section.

Times like these it really hit her. The 203rd really gets a lot of respect for being directly under the General Staff. Usually the higher-ups hate doing anything over the phone where they can’t see your face, but even a young officer like me calls and the staff in the rear generously consents.

“So instead of the beach I’m on leave in the capital…? Well, it’s not so bad. Maybe I’ll get to see some old faces.”

Which is why, for just a moment, she thought maybe she should be able to enjoy her vacation as well. If I can make time, maybe I’ll be able to talk to friends in person instead of updating them in letters.

Of course, she would only do that after quickly accomplishing the things she needed to do. So Visha proceeded to take care of those tasks in an orderly way. Lodgings were arranged; transportation was locked down. The report for the incoming duty officer she put with the battalion logbook and the report of her activities. Lieutenant Weiss would be able to glean all he needed to from a single read through.

Major von Degurechaff told her that she understood Lieutenant Weiss was on break, so all Visha had to do was contact him and her part was done.

“Excuse me, this is Second Lieutenant Serebryakov. May I speak with First Lieutenant Weiss?”

Okay. She called the vacation facility number she was given “just in case” via long-distance telephone and asked for Lieutenant Weiss.

“This is First Lieutenant Weiss.”

“Lieutenant, this is Second Lieutenant Serebryakov. So sorry to call you while you’re on leave.”

And because he was on vacation, Visha had intended to say only the minimum: Please contact the major.

“Oh, Visha. Are you calling to cry to me that you wish you were at the beach, too? We’re having a grand old time.”

Yes, it was unexpected.

Usually, Lieutenant Weiss was more composed and thoughtful, but this time he was drunk and slipped up, and what he said made Visha just a little bit mad.

Up until that moment, her thoughts on the matter had been, Well, of course I’d like to go with everyone, but if the second-in-command is out and my superior the major is staying behind, then as her adjutant I have to serve as duty officer.

But things didn’t play out that way.

“…No, I have a message for you. The major has some business at the General Staff Office, so we’re leaving for three or four days.”

So Visha was true to her miffed feelings. Taking advantage of his slip, she matter-of-factly stated the truth.

“So you’re letting me know so I can take over?”

“Yes, I was to inform you.”

That was everything Major von Degurechaff had told her. We’re going to the capital, so contact Lieutenant Weiss to let him know. Since that was her assigned duty, she was telling the truth.

“…I guess now that you told me that, I should go back and talk to the major, huh?”

“As you like. I’ve delivered the necessary message, so I don’t presume to have anything else to say on the matter.”

Sadly, that was the unadorned truth. Sticking her tongue out in her mind, Visha took a bit of revenge.

The major had told her not to force him to come. Put another way, she didn’t say clearly to have him come or not come, and guessing what she meant was not part of Visha’s job. Of course, given their superior’s utilitarian mind-set, Visha personally felt that over the phone was good enough.

But she had no obligation to say as much to him.

“Got it, Lieutenant. Yeah, I should talk to the major directly about this. Okay, Lieutenant Grantz! The rest is up to you! As for me, I’ve received an invitation from a beautiful lady!”

So when Lieutenant Weiss, seeming to have decided on his own what needed to be done, left everything else to Lieutenant Grantz in a voice more cheerful than he ever used, Visha couldn’t help but laugh.

“Yes, sir, Lieutenant! Don’t worry about a thing! Every last one of us will stand our ground against this formidable enemy and fight through!”

Then, imagining the scene on the other end of the line, something occurred to Visha. Lieutenant Weiss is probably actually drunk and not thinking up to his usual speed…

“Aww, shit! I’m so lucky to have a report like you!”

“Lieutenant! If you’re going to meet a lady, I’d sober up first!”

“Hey! All you all better have hangovers tomorrow!”

Having left them with that, he grabbed a ride to the base and sobered up on the way. When he arrived, he changed out of his civilian clothing and promptly went to battalion HQ.

If his superior was going to the General Staff Office now, maybe something was happening. If anything, it could be related to her attempt to act independently that nearly violated the cease-fire. The possibility might have caused him to overthink it.

Hoping his breath didn’t stink of booze, he entered the room and announced himself. “First Lieutenant Weiss reporting in.” The first thing he saw was Major von Degurechaff and Lieutenant Serebryakov with their flying goggles on and their luggage ready.

“Oh, Lieutenant. Good timing. The situation is a bit of a mess. It seems like the staffers are so excited they’re not even thinking about how to end the war. There’s nothing else I can do but go over there personally. It’ll only be a few days, but take care of things here while I’m gone.”


He would be in charge while she was away.

That was exactly the same as what he had already heard on the phone. So now she must have something important to tell me. He braced himself and devoted his entire being to hearing the words she would say next.

“I did call you, but I knew you were on your vacation. I didn’t think you’d come all the way here when a phone call would have sufficed. You were probably thinking of me, but I’m sorry I interrupted your party, Lieutenant.”

For a moment, his superior’s nonchalant tone had Weiss at a loss. He had been convinced there would be something important he would need to hear in person, but it turned out she was simply getting in touch about being away.

…And that was when he finally realized he’d been putting in way too much effort and running around for no reason.

“Oh, uh, no. It’s no big deal.”

He was confused until he carefully remembered the earlier conversation and realized just what “As you like” meant when he had asked if he should return or not.

“Hmm? What is it, Lieutenant Serebryakov?”

“Oh, I’m just impressed by Lieutenant Weiss’s kindness and attention to detail.”

After all, Major von Degurechaff wasn’t the type of officer to give vague directions. Weiss should have understood the moment Serebryakov said, “As you like.”

He regretted being under the influence while receiving a message. If his head had been clear, he probably would have been able to catch Serebryakov’s drift, even over the phone.

Well, I was on vacation…but I guess I should be ready to be called up at any time, even on leave, he thought and then added, I probably shouldn’t have made that remark, either.

Well, the unfortunate truth was that for Weiss and other imperial soldiers, “wartime leave” usually amounted to medical treatment in the rear or being off duty in the trenches, so he had been enjoying his first real vacation.

“Yes, he’s a model communicator. Well, we’ll be off. Take it easy while I’m gone. Drilling just enough to maintain discipline is fine.”

“Understood. Have a safe trip, Major.”

“Will do, thanks, and sorry again.”

“…Hello, I’m Major von Degurechaff. Please get me General von Zettour; it’s urgent.”

“Oh, Major, I’m terribly sorry, but the general is currently out.”

Hmm, that doesn’t happen very often, thinks Tanya, but she figures if he’s busy with military affairs, it can’t be helped. She adjusts her expectations and tries again. “Then, sorry, may I see General von Rudersdorf?”

She says it simply, expecting to just see General von Zettour’s friend first, but she gathers immediately from the troubled look on the staffer’s face that this request is also impossible. She asks with her eyes what it could possibly mean.

“You’ll have to excuse me, Major von Degurechaff, but, well, everyone from the General Staff Office is out…”

Tanya had braced herself for some reluctance to reply, but the duty officer revealed the issue with unexpected readiness.

“I see. And where might they be?”

But actually, the answer came so readily that all she feels is a sense that something is amiss. After all, she’s certain that the General Staff officers are terribly busy at all times. And she knows from experience that she can drop in unannounced if something is critical and get them to look at it.

That adaptability, that flexibility, is the Imperial Army General Staff’s strength, and it only works because of the close contact between the officers directing the operations.

Which is why Tanya can’t believe it.

Even when she is informed that the office is practically empty, she doesn’t quite get it.

So compelled by necessity, she comes up with a reason. For example, maybe their attendance was required at some big function at court. Or maybe they had to show up for some occasion, a party or whatnot. That is her naive expectation.

That straitlaced bunch would never leave the General Staff Office empty at such a critical juncture for no reason.

“…I think they’re at the beer hall.”

“The beer hall?”

Which is why all she can do at that moment is parrot the words back at the duty officer.

What did he just say to me?

Beer hall?

What’s a beer hall?

Beer hall.

It’s a place for drinking alcohol.

So what need can there possibly be for the entire General Staff to go there all at once?

“Yes, they were shouting about drinking to celebrate our victory. I wanted to go, too, but you know how it is.”

“Yes, thanks for your service. If you’ll excuse me, then.”

Hearing this reply, she is forced to devote nearly her entire being to maintaining her blank expression and nodding.

“All right, Major. Good night.”

After receiving an easygoing send-off from the duty officer, Tanya burrows grimly into bed.

The next day, the staff officers, having drunk like fish for the first time in quite a while, are also nursing their first hangovers. It’s been so long it’s almost nostalgic competing to see who can feign normalcy most skillfully, until into the General Staff Office marches the fierce Major Tanya von Degurechaff.

“General, excuse me, but…”

She has resolved to speak directly to General von Zettour, at the center of the General Staff, and find out the whole story.

“Oh, Major. I heard about the fleet. And the base commander’s gripes. But my conclusion is that both of you erred in the course of your duties.”

But what the hell is this now?

“As long as you are both correct, it’s only a matter of reprimanding the pair of you to exercise more self-control. That said, Major, it seems you went a bit far this time.”

The answer she is given misses the mark so completely she finds herself glaring at him, despite realizing it’s rude. What the hell is wrong with all my superior officers?

“What? Don’t worry, Major.”

But he continues to astound her.

“We beat the pants off them. No one’s going to get upset at you now that the end of the war is near.”

But she freezes at the sound of “the end of the war.” Those words can cause so much damage. Apparently, Tanya is the only one who knows. It won’t happen.

Then, having trouble holding her expression steady, she averts her eyes to the window and realizes she was wrong.

The staffers going to and fro in the office look so ecstatic. Catching them out of the corner of her eye, she’s racked with grief. They’re all so excited about the great victory.

They’re all savoring the taste of their triumph on the Rhine front and the capture of Parisii. Swept up in a euphoria, they are living in a moment so happy they went to the beer hall to let themselves go for once.

Ahh. It dawns on Tanya.

Major General von Zettour is an outstanding officer on both the political and military fronts. On top of that, he’s a pragmatist who sees things objectively and, when necessary, as numbers or statistics.

Even he is drunk on sweet victory.

…Probably he convinced himself of the victory with his logical prowess.

He probably thought that any further fighting would not only be useless to the Republic but harmful. And if waging war no longer benefited them, then the war would surely end.

…General von Zettour must not understand that the Republicans will continue to resist with no regard for odds, rationale, or profit and loss.

But in the next moment, Tanya wonders objectively if maybe she has only lost hope because she knows the outcome of being Dunkirked.

The remnants they let escape are seeds of resistance, so to speak. Some will fail. Some can be stamped out under the Imperial Army’s boots, while others can be plucked out by air force attacks.

Many of them won’t have the moisture of the people and will thus dry out completely, unable to produce a resistance bud. But if those seeds are sown in the soft soil of a colony, eventually they will bear fruit capable of launching a counteroffensive. That is a real threat.

But even with that in mind, objectively speaking, the current situation is one of great victory. Anyone would agree that the Empire won.

Despite the Commonwealth’s intervention and ultimatum, the Empire performed this amazing feat in no time.

The Republic was slain in the blink of an eye, the Entente Alliance is being brought under imperial military government, and the governance of Dacia is proceeding apace. The world can only watch transfixed. The Empire’s victory, its glory, is genuine in this moment.

That’s why, thinks Tanya darkly, seeing the point of divergence between the truth that she knows and the conclusion reached by logic in reality.

The attitude she’s getting from General von Zettour that, thinking rationally, this is where we end the war is correct. After all, the Empire succeeded in annihilating the Republican main forces. It’s a triumph that will surely be remembered in military history. The Empire achieved an overwhelming victory in the field and has only a very few things to worry about.

Victory, oh, how spellbinding you are. The Empire has earned the right to be drunk on your sweet wine.

“I’m relieved to hear that, sir. I only hope there will be a chance to make up for the trouble I caused.”

“That’s fine. Then to victory.”

“To victory.”

She suppresses her emotions with sheer self-restraint, exchanges salutes, and maintains proper manners as she exits the room.

But even Magic Major Tanya von Degurechaff is human. So when Lieutenant Colonel von Lergen passes by her on his way to get General von Zettour’s approval on some documents, he notices that her expression is more warped than he has ever seen it before.

“Excuse me, sir… Did something happen? Major von Degurechaff had a strange look on her face just now.”

He hesitates to say it looked like a tearful grimace befitting a girl of her age. After all, the dark expression belonged to Major von Degurechaff. That could be worth worrying about.

“Oh, Colonel von Lergen. What do you mean, ‘strange’?”

“Well, it just seemed to me that for a moment she looked awfully grim…”

“Hmm? Oh no. Perhaps she had some advice for me.”

So Zettour would never learn the truth that she looked like she was about to cry from hopelessness.

Though he sensed that something had been left unsaid, even Zettour didn’t intuit that she gave up in resignation.

“Shall I call her back?”

“No, I’ll talk to her the next chance I get.”

He decides to wait for her to come to him again and turns to the countless papers he needs to approve. After all, he is the deputy director of the Service Corps, so he has a mountain of important work to do.

At that time, everyone had faith. The war would end, and the Empire had won.

But it wasn’t a future they were glad to welcome, which was why various countries, the Commonwealth at the forefront, roared that they would resist to the last in order to avoid that nightmare.

The remnants of the Republican Army that escaped from the mainland joined the remnants of the Entente Alliance Army, and together they based themselves in the Republic’s overseas colonial holdings and declared that they would continue the war against the Empire. They called themselves the Free Republic, and their opposition was already posing a challenge to the military government the Imperial Army was establishing on the mainland.

And near Mary Sue, people were both hostile toward and frightened by the Empire.

She was being raised among people who had escaped the Entente Alliance to hope for peace from a safe place. To the majority of the refugees, the fact that even the Republic had dropped out of the fight was a huge disappointment.

They had anticipated the fall of the Empire. That was why they were so happy to see the Republic’s offensive. So when they saw the deadlock, they tasted despair, and everyone was shocked to witness the collapse of the Republican Army.

Can no one seal away the evil of the Empire?

But they couldn’t accept that. So the refugees immediately rejected their own weak-willed doubts.

That can’t be. Believing that justice wouldn’t overlook this wrong, they hoped and prayed. Many refugees joined their voices and protested further expansion of the horrible Empire.

“We’ll fight, too.”

Inspired, or perhaps intoxicated, by that cheer, people began to volunteer for the army. And touched by their passion, the countries began accepting them.

And it wasn’t just the refugees. Young people of each nation raised their voices in a frenzy. We must join the Commonwealth Army confronting the Empire and fight!

At the same time, newspapers began to print editorials cautioning against the birth of an Empire too large, complete with expert comments, and even in the Unified States, some sounded warning bells that they were not so terribly removed from the situation on the continent.

Everyone, whether they wanted to or not, had to understand that a period of violent upheaval in the balance of power had arrived. The tone of the debate stemming from that anxiety eventually began to naturally turn to exhorting countries to prepare, for their own safety, against the Empire.

Hence, everyone’s heartfelt cheers for the remaining troops of the Republican Army, who reassuringly declared they would continue to resist the Empire as the Free Republican Army.

The Commonwealth had also declared that they would resist the Empire to the last, and everyone expected much from its new prime minister, the Duke of Marlborough, and his war leadership. Likewise, they felt they should fight under said leadership and began to join forces.

She had power.

That is, she had magic abilities she inherited from her father, Anson. And they were a gift that put her in a league of her own. If there hadn’t been a war, her talent wouldn’t have been much use to her, so perhaps it would have remained hidden.

In fact, Anson had always explained to his family that just because they had the aptitude, that didn’t mean they had to become mages.

Mary could still remember the kind voice of her father telling her not to limit her options. He had encouraged her to walk her own path and always said he would support whatever future she chose. That was precisely why she was so determined.

Meanwhile, the Empire was reluctantly coming to terms with continuation of the war and readying itself to claim another great victory.

However, perhaps it should be said…

Unlike with the other countries the Empire had fought, the army couldn’t avoid crossing a sea to do battle with the Commonwealth. Of course, this was the Empire that had cut off the Entente Alliance’s supply lines by conducting a landing operation in the enemy’s rear territory, so it wasn’t as if the option of an amphibious operation wasn’t on the table.

But as always, that entailed a caveat: “as long as it could secure command of the sea.” And when asked about the prospects of securing command of the sea, Fleet Command only answered that it might be possible if they risked annihilation.

So the Empire was facing a serious dilemma.

If it engaged in a naval battle, maybe it could eliminate or check the Commonwealth’s resistance for just long enough to get troops onto the mainland.

But if the Empire’s fleet got wiped out, it wouldn’t have the wherewithal to take on another naval battle. At that point, no matter how many units landed, it would mean nothing because their supplies would be cut off, and they would be annihilated just like the Republican main forces were.

That said, leaving the Commonwealth mainland alone would be tantamount to ignoring the enemy’s powerful strategic base. Of course, the Commonwealth Army had a limited number of soldiers, so it wasn’t a terribly worrisome direct threat, but… At the rate things were going, it would be an endless draw.


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