Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Altina the Sword Princess Volume 6 Chapter 4

Battle of Épée Prière Bay
Translator: MythosIX, Skythewood
Editor: Skythewood, Darkdhaos, Rockgollem, Teddy Miao, AMetroid




Chaineboule’s Harbour——


The High Britania’s ‘Queen’s Navy’, ninth vessel Garnet, a class three Princess Class high speed steam warship.


On the Princess Class warship, in place of where the third mast should be, was a smokestack so tall that the sailors didn’t seem to be able to use it to expel smoke.


Ship No. 1 only had one smokestack while ships that were built after Ship No. 6 had two. Though this would vary depending on the size of the hull, the sails and the position of the gun deck.


That being said, they were fundamentally the same.


The ship was 120 Co (53m) long and 34 Co (15m) wide. When the steam engine was switched on, the sails would be kept. Out of the three masts, the middle mast which was 130 Co (58m) in height was the tallest.


While they could control the numerous cannons, the cannons’ position was not much higher than the waterline.


Belgaria’s Athena class battleship was tall and looked like a fortress floating on the ocean. The ship was also beautified and  majestic.


Conversely, High Britannia’s Princess Class battleship was rather short, giving it a simplistic feel. This was likely to lower the chances of getting hit——


Though when the ship was at sea, water could easily enter the third deck which happened to be the gun deck. At that point, the gunners had to clear the seawater out with buckets.


As the boat was loaded with coal, the waterline was higher than expected.


Compared to other countries’ ships, the steam battleships were superior, though they were not completely flawless.


There were many practical problems since this was High Britannia’s first time installing a steam engine on a big ship.


Princess Class battleship’s quarterdeck had a low ceiling. Five floors below the deck, there was a small door behind the ladder. The size fitted children better than adults, though they had to deal with it as the ship was constructed this way to add in armour.


After opening the door, there was another flight of stairs leading downwards. After that, the space became wider and ahead of it was the bridge.


In the middle of the room was a steering wheel.


There was also a steering wheel on top of the quarterdeck with a clear view of the sea. Normally, one would direct the ship from above with broad vision, especially in times when they required precise movement as to link up with their allies.


On the other hand, this steering wheel was used during battle. With the quarterdeck above it, they could continue their work even if they were hit by cannonballs.


Further in would be the Captain’s room.


The door here was large, unlike the door earlier that was small.


Inside the room——


There was a girl in sailor uniform who had a sweet smile.


“Ara, thank you for your hard work, Captain Molins”


It was a blonde-haired, blue eyes girl. She looked around nineteen year old.


Her beautiful hair that could reach her waist was tied up behind her nape. Her skirt was laced while her top was fastened with a belt. As she was not that tall, it looked like she was wearing a dress, though she was actually wearing pants.


She was Lorraine, the captain’s aide.


While it might be rare in other countries, High Britannia had female soldiers. After all, it was a country that was ruled by a queen, so there were no strong patriarchal thoughts.


“Captain Molins, is the conference over?”


“You can understand from just hearing it, my stomach’s growling already.”


“Really?! Lunch was sent back already…”


“Everyone is consoling MacCunn who was dispirited as his son was on Ship No.6.”


MacCunn was the captain of Ship No. 1. As he believed that being overprotective would bring a negative effect on his son, he did not put his son on his ship. Now, it was too late to regret about that.


“That, I can only say that he was just unlucky.”


“That’s right. After receiving such a surprise attack, he probably didn't even have the time to jump into the sea.”


“Don’t even have time to eat lunch.”


“Are you referring to me? Well, it’s not right to go on with an empty stomach.”


“Do you want to some red tea? There are biscuits too.”


“I would prefer jam.”


The captain of Garnet, Huey Molins, blinked his eyes and leaned against the chair.


The captain’s living quarters was not only a conference room, but also acted as a canteen for non-commissioned officers to have their meal, exchanging strategies, a tea break, a tea break or a tea break.


Citizens of High Britannia loved to drink tea.


Lorraine boiled a pot of water.


She weighed out some tea leaves and poured them into the pot.


The slight fragrance of the tea caused Molins to relax. After recovering from the previous tense state, he started to complain.


“The admiral believes that the Belgaria Army will attack once more.”


“Huhu… … If they dare to come, will we strike back? As long we are not close to that cape, we won’t be attacked like today.”


“That’s right.”


“Here’s your tea, captain.”


The red tea that was placed on the table had steam coming out of it.


Molins picked the cup up and placed it near his mouth.


The sharp fragrance of the tea dispelled his sleepiness while the sweet taste healed his fatigued body.


“Hmmm… The tea brewed by you is delicious as always. Now I don’t feel like going back home.”


“What are you saying, Madam would be angry.”


“Ah, my head hurts once marriage is mentioned. I didn’t want to be an adopted son-in-law.”


“Is it really fine to tell me about this?”


“Guess you’re right.”


“I heard that your father is an Admiral of the Fleet, correct?”


“I used to be conceited, wanting to be a battleship captain. I didn’t want to command those small supply ships, big ships were more suitable for me… … Then, my wife was introduced to me at a party and she loves me from her bottom of her heart. Well, partly because I’m handsome. After marrying her, I became the captain of this new battleship via my father-in-law’s recommendation and things became successful for me. A bright and sunny future awaited me.”


“Are you using past tense?”


“However, women will change after having a child.”


“I can’t relate to since I never had a child… …”


“Do you want one?”


“Are you some old man?”


“Don’t I look manly?”


“I prefer gentleman-type.”


“Things like being a gentleman, you’ll know it once you’re on the bed.”


His stretched his hand and caught Lorraine’s scarf.


And pull her red lips towards him.


Her blue eyes kept looking at this direction.


“It’s still daytime, captain… … What about the conference?”


“Don’t be bothered about it. If it’s about the Belgaria Army, they would only be able to attack tomorrow morning earliest. And about the conference, the Gorilla’s strategies are the same as those of the textbook.”


“As this bothers me very much, so let me confirm. The Gorilla refers to the admiral?”


“What, could it be that you like those wild type? You’re not interested on those who are not boorish? If that’s the case, I could satisfy you too.”


“That isn’t it… … Gorilla as the admiral’s nickname… … Fufufu…”


Gradually, there was no conversation between them.


There was only some wet sound.


Some kind of sticky sound, produced by the tip of their tongues intertwining between their lips.


Slurp… … They separated.


Lorraine’s eyes were unfocused and she was blushing.


“You’re always like this… … So forceful.”


“Forget about that admiral. I already forgot about him.”


“He’s just behind you though?”


“Are you kidding me?!”


Molins turned his head back in a panic.


A hairy hand grabbed Molins’ head.


A creaking sound could be heard.


It looked as painful as getting cut.


The owner of the hand had red hair that looked like mowed grass and on his head was an admiral hat. His amber eyes were looking over here. Despite wearing the military uniform, one could clearly see his muscles all over his body.


He was the admiral of High Britannia’s <Queen’s Navy>—— Vice-admiral Goliath Oxford


Exactly how did this giant pass through the small door?


“Ah—— Ah—— Can you hear me, Captain Molins?”


“Yes! Yes!”


“You suspended the conference earlier due to some urgent stuff. Have you finished your business, Captain Molins?”


“Yes! Yes!”


“Do you want to continue the conference?”


“That’s a yes for sure, admiral! For the sake of my beloved country, crews and family, even if have to give my life, I’ll fight til the end! Did the admiral hear the jokes I made?”


“Gorilla?”


“I’m an ape! Ahh!! Rather than those jokes, the Belgaria Army are still here, admiral! They will surely attack us tomorrow morning! So this isn’t the time to be bothered about those jokes! They are just jokes!”


“What evidence do you have that the enemy will attack us tomorrow morning?”


“The wind blows from the sea to the coastal area at daytime. This would be the optimal time to attack us when the wind is not in our favour. Clearly their target is the supply ships. It takes about two to three days for us to unload those supplies. So tomorrow would be their last day staying in the port. Once those supply ships sail out, coupled with our fierce attack, it will be hard for the enemy to find out the actual supply route.”

“What about counter-measures?”


“Our fleet has four Princess Class battleships. We can station one of them outside the cape to ambush them. Once the enemy pass through the cape, we will let that battleship block the route they use and strike at them using a pincer attack. While the Empire has lots of battleships, most of them are fourth class, so they can’t be effectively count as firepower. From the battle earlier, we found out that the enemy’s main fleet does not have durable armour. It would be easy for us to decimate them once we block off their escape route.”


“How are we going to hide our battleship?”


“The Empire’s fleet came from northwest direction. It will be fine if we station our ship slightly further in the southwest.”


“Oh?”


“Ah, the reason why I guessed they came from the northwest is because the wind at the Trouin Sea is blowing at the southwest direction at this timing. Normally, any sailboat will choose to attack from the southwest. However, a commander choosing to attack from the southwest in an orthodox manner would not be able to pull off a surprise attack like today.”


“So it’s the commander’s personality… …”


“Belgaria fleet commander is vice-admiral Bertram. He is someone who prefers to use orthodox methods. I believe the commander this time is someone else who came after their defeat at the battle of Trouin.”


“Hm, that’s possible. How does everyone else feel?”


The admiral finally released his hand which was grabbing onto Molins’ head. As his head was grabbed with a large amount of force, it still hurt even after being released.


Molins rubbed his head while shedding tears.


He did not notice that the other captains had already gathered at the mess hall due to the conversation earlier.


This bunch of people… How dare they enter other people’s ship without asking for permission—— Molins thought so without daring to say it out loud.


Lorraine adjusted her scarf and moved further away from the table.


She went to brew tea.


Seawater is enough for them! Molins thought so but he still swept away the dust on the table.


“Please take a seat. Welcome to the Garnet.”


“Really, you’re still such a smoothtalker.”


The captain of Ship No. 1, MacCunn, was a middle age man. A black cloth was tied at his arm, most likely for mourning.


His eyes were red. Even though he just lost his son, he was a man who was committed to his work. As such, he was dissatisfied with Molins’ frivolous attitude.


The captain of Ship No. 5, Ballista, was an energetic youth. He was born in a noble family and was very prideful. He preferred to use aggressive strategies, which resulted in him gaining some achievements.


Be it the battle of Trouin from before or today’s battle at Épée Prière Bay, he was the first one in the fleet to attack the enemy.


“I don’t need red tea. That reminds me, while this strategy is not bad, I do not like it since it came from Molins.”


Do you think I like you?!


While Molins wanted to shout it out, he still tolerated it since the other party was a youth.


The Captain of vessel number eight, Olsen, was the only captain who was older than the Fleet Admiral. He was a rare sight, from an accountancy background. He even worked as a palace chef before that.


The old-style battleship he was on before was decommissioned. Just when he thought of retiring at the same time, he was recommended by the previous queen, Queen Charlotte, and thus became the captain of a Princess Class battleship.


“Our priority is to protect the supplies that are meant to be sent to the frontline… … That is why we took up the role of protecting the supply ships and the harbour… … Aren’t we getting our priority backwards if we just think about attacking the enemy? I do not agree with this strategy even if there’s only one ship sent out for ambushing them.”


The old captain spoke words of caution.


Molins lowered his head in resignation.


“My apologies! Everyone is right! I failed to consider the big picture.”


In actuality, Molins didn’t care about the strategies.


He just wanted to muddle past the thing about him avoiding the conference.


The gorilla——No, Admiral Oxford was considering his options.


It seemed that a decision was made.


“Hmm, while Captain Molins’ idea is unique, we should prioritise our strategy in protecting the supply ships.”


I knew this would happen.


Is such a passive strategy really fine? Despite what Molins thought, he still smiled and listen silently.


The admiral continued:


“However, I still agree with his conjecture that the enemy would attack tomorrow morning. We have to increase our security. I’ll leave this responsibility to captain Ballista.”


“Aye aye, admiral. If you leave it to me, not even a fish will escape from my watch.”


“We have to finish unloading by tomorrow and leave the port the day after. We have to hurry up if we want to finish this within the scheduled time. I’ll leave this to captain Olsen.”


“Aye aye, Sir. I’ll try my best to hasten the progress. I’ll just throw those supplies that we couldn’t unload in time into the sea.”


“Hm. Ship No.1 to Ship No. 9, remain on standby. Do not let the fire in the steam engine go out even during the night.”


“Aye aye, Admiral!”


MacCunn saluted.


Naturally, Molins also saluted.


Lorraine brought the tea over for everyone.


“Please have some Syrian Tea.”


Oi oi, don’t serve such high quality tea to them. Dish water is enough for them—— Molins was complaining in his heart.


Admiral Oxford saluted solemnly and spoke.


“My apologies, but I have to excuse myself as I have matters of grave national importance to attend to..”


After saying so, he left the officer’s mess just like this.


The other captains also returned to their own ships.


It was finally peaceful once more.


There were five cups of tea on the table.


Molins who was still in the room leaned against the chair once more and picked one of the cup up.


“Haa, they sure are busy enough that they do not even have the time to drink a cup of tea, isn’t that right?”


“Is this really fine? After all, we are in a crucial moment.”


“Even though they think that the enemy will be coming tomorrow morning, we still have to be on standby. In the end, we don’t even have the time to land.”


“Since it’s just til tomorrow morning, just bear with it for now… …”


“Is that so? How about we continue til morning since we can’t alight the ship anyway?”


“Looks like you have yet to learn your lesson… …”


“Life would be too brief if we have to rein ourselves in all the time like some saint. Don’t you also prefer to spend your time meaningfully, rather than being bored while drinking tasteless tea?”


“Didn’t the navy’s rules state that while being on standby, we need to be able to carry out the orders of the flagship at any moment.?”


“That rule does exist. Though I had already prepared everything. What comes next is to wait for your signal?”


“Even though you do not intend to wait… … Always… …”


“It’s just that you didn’t notice it, but I have already sent a signal long ago.”


He stretched his hand out and lewdly wiggled his fingers.


==================================================


Tonight would be busier than the battle that happened this morning.


Regis was working around the clock


In order to avoid the enemy’s surveillance, Regis sat on a wooden raft that was even smaller than a fishing boat and slowly moved towards cape.


Under the guise of darkness and sounds of wave, Regis gave details instructions to the sailors.


Making full use of the sailors’ skill, Regis conducted some work on the Poseidon class ship that sunk.


The sea at night was cold even if it was June right now and there were High Britannia surveillance boats around, so they did not have the time to work leisurely. Swimming towards the precise position of a sunken ship during night time was not an easy feat.


Starting from two spots that were near the cape, the sailors tied a black rope around them and jumped into the sea.


The area where the two ropes intercept was likely to be position of the sunken Poseidon class ship.


The longer the rope, the heavier it became. Many sailors needed to work together to pull it taut.


While this was suggested by Regis, it was not a totally new idea. This was usually used when making a map.


“You sure are smart, to realise something that most wouldn’t… “


“… I just happened to read about it before.”


Regis who was praised for using this method said humbly while waving his hands.


A really capable strategist would be able to prevent casualties on their side and able to finish off the enemy’s ships without the sailors needing to swim at night. This kind of magic-like strategy was something Regis could not do nor could he even imagine it.


This was why Regis felt like he was not competent and did not deserve their praise.


At the very least, I have to fulfill my role——  Regis thought as he fought off the urge to sleep while listening to the reports and gave out orders.
While this kind of battle was written in the book, it was not an orthodox strategy. Just simply giving out instructions would not work, which was why Regis came along personally. There was no one capable enough that Regis could entrust the job with.


The worse thing was that Regis couldn’t swim, but that couldn’t be helped.


Even if they were near the cape, there were still waves and the vision was not that good.


If Regis, who could not swim, was to go into the sea, they would need to prepare for a drowning accident before preparing for the actual battle.


Regis suppressed that idea as the sailors repeatedly told him ‘don’t ever fall into the sea’.


The water in the bay was not that deep, which was why the sunken boat was quite near the water surface.


What the sailors had to do was not complicated at all as the equipment that was required was placed under the Poseidon class ship’s deck beforehand


After opening the specified box in the sea, a rope was tied to the buoys and sent out. After exiting the cabin, the buoys slowly floated to the top.


Naturally, some of the equipment was damaged during the crossfire.


After which, the buoy was tied with some heavy objects, making it sink down while surrounding the sunken ship.


The sailors did as they were instructed without understanding what was the point of doing so.


When Regis and the sailors finished their job and left the cape, the eastern sky had begun to brighten.


While withdrawing, they were discovered by High Britannia surveillance boats!


Even though their raft was disguised as a fishing boat… ...


The surveillance craft made a show of pursuit, but thought it wasn’t worth the effort — It probably decided that and returned to its original position. The sailors on the raft all sighed in relief and thanked god for watching over them.


As the sky brightened, the mountains at the eastern side were dyed in red.


The third rendezvous point chosen by Regis was a small island located at the northwest of the Épée Prière Bay. Ships that sailed from here would move southeast.


It was like what Narissa said. The wind would blow southwest at this time.


In accord to the wind, the ships began to move into position according to their ship’s height.


Sailing with the wind, the Western Liberation Fleet began moving towards the harbour.


The vanguard consisted of four Athena class battleships.


However, these ships had unloaded provisions, shuttle crafts, gunpowder and excess ammunitions. Even the number of sailors on board was kept to a minimum. It did not even reach three hundred despite usually holding up to five hundred sailors.


To reduce the number of casualties—— That was not the case. The main point of this strategy was speed, so they would do anything to increase their speed even if it was just a bit.


Furthermore, the eight Ouranos class ship which were on standby were added into their formation.


There should be around twenty battleships as admiral Bertram had called in the nearby ships. Though most of these ships were made to maintain order in the sea and losing these ships would result in safety-related problems in the future. Furthermore, they were not effective against Princess Class battleship, which was why these ships were left out of the formation.


The four Athena and eight Ouranos ships were moving in a double column.


The other battleships were stationed behind them with quite a gap in between. Two Athena, fourteen Selene and twelve Ouranos Class ships.


It looked fine for a fleet.


However, losing too many ships in the war would bring lots of trouble to the nation’s coastal security.


Perhaps another harbour would be occupied or merchant ships would be attacked by pirates. In the first place, the empire had lost a fair bit against High Britannia, so they might collapse financially.


This was not as easy as defeating the enemy and retaking the harbour.


Protecting the citizens was the army’s duty.


The empire had already lost if it had to rely on reserves.


Inside the quarterdeck of the Western Liberation Fleet’s new flagship, Brouillard——


While they were still quite a distance away from the bay, Regis returned to the conference room. Rather than for a discussion, he came here as he could not handle how rocky the ship was.


There was a wide table with chairs around it.


There was only Altina right beside Regis.


She seemed to be quite sleepy as she kept yawning. She was most likely awake waiting for Regis and the rest to return.


Perhaps she might complain that I didn’t tell her before leaving—— Regis thought. Unexpectedly, she did not do so and complimented the sailors who returned instead.


While this might be inappropriate, but I couldn’t but think that Altina is growing...


After wiping the tears away, Altina opened her eyes.


“Hm? Is there something on my face?”


“Ah, there’s nothing… …”


Regis was staring at her unconsciously.


It’s likely that I’m going to get scolded for yesterday night. Though, I didn't really want to do it.


“Well… you’re quite calm…”


“That’s right. After all, what I can do on the sea is limited.”


“That’s the same for everyone. Everyone has their own task after all.”


“Yes, that’s right. Looking at them made me think quite a bit of things too.”


“Like what?”


“Well… … I began to wonder whether it’s right to keep charging ahead in the battlefield.”


Regis widened his eyes.


“Are you having a fever…?”


“That’s rude!”


“Ah, that, my apologies but didn’t you keep ignoring my advice of not charging ahead of your guards? Why did you suddenly changed your mind?”


“Uh, well… … That might be so… … I don’t intend to keep staying at the back? During battles, what’s important is to help our allies and fulfill our roles. The guards have the role of protecting me, don’t they? If I wasto push ahead too much, I would put the guards in danger. Eric’s injury was likely my fault… …”


Altina’s bodyguard, Eric, was injured by the enemy when the enemy was fighting Altina.


Currently, he was recuperating at Fort Volks. Though he would definitely participate in this expedition if he was not injured.


Even though Altina just celebrated her fifteenth birthday, she suddenly seemed to have grown so much when she began to consider things seriously.


She wanted to be the empress.


To achieve her ambitious goal, it was necessary for her to win in the political struggle. And to achieve that, her growth was indispensable.


Being just honest and kind disqualified her as a ruler, she must be able to think for her citizens.


If Altina obtain such valuable experiences from this battle because she took part in it, that would be wonderful.


Seeing the growth of the young princess, Regis had forgotten about the tension, anxiety and the fatigue he felt.


The door  connecting the deck and the conference room  opened from the outside.


It was the adjutant, Spark, who came in and saluted.


“Admiral, it’s about time to come up to the deck.”


Regis was the acting-admiral, and would be treated with respect as the figurehead on the battlefield. However, it might delay orders if they kept calling him acting-admiral, which was why the adjutant shortened it to admiral.


Even though they were calling him, Regis thought he wasn’t worthy.


“Alright… Thank you, I’ll be right there.”


“Understood!”


The adjutant left the room first.


Regis followed Altina who stood up and left the quarterdeck.


The wind was blowing.


“It feels rather nice once you get used to the sea wind.”


“You’re right…”


As there was the adjutant beside them when they went out, Regis called Altina as ‘Her Highness’ and spoke formally.


The wind came from the front.


“Sails sure are amazing. How can we still move forward even though we’re going against the wind?”


“...Actually, no matter the direction of the wind, if you are on a ship moving forward, you will feel the wind blowing at you, right?— No, I mean the breeze seem to be directed at you.”
<TL: Latter half is formal speech.>


“Ah, is that so?”


“If Your Highness wishes to know the wind direction, please look at the wind vane at the top of the mast… … Ahh, the wind is blowing at us diagonally”


“Isn’t the wind blowing against us after all?!”


“That… … Did you know, about a century ago, a scholar named Bernoulli wrote a thesis. In the thesis, it was stated that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure?”


“What is the fluid?”


“In this case, it would be the air.”


“Just say it’s the air then! Why do you always use words that are hard to understand?!”


“Ah… That… Even though it’s air, but it’s actually the characteristic of the fluid that’s at work here, so it’s better to call it fluid.”


“Arghh… …”


Altina pouted.


Regis decided to raise the white flag and spoke once more.


“It’s a long story… … First, we have to change the direction the sail is facing. In any case, let’s have the back of the sail face the wind.”


“If the ship is sailing forward, even if the wind is coming from diagonally ahead, you only need to adjust the angle of the sail to catch the wind. The wind will put pressure onto the sail this way. The shape of the ship is important at this point. A ship is narrow in the front and back, but broad at the side. It would be difficult to push the ship sideways. After that, only the forward moving force would be left behind. Since the bow of the ship is narrow, it can advance through the sea easily right? So in the end, even the wind coming diagonally at it could push the ship forward. There is the disadvantage of slight lateral movement though.”


Which was why the boat could sail against the wind—— Even so, if the angle of the wind was less than 45°, the ship would not be able to sail forward. Furthermore, if the sail was directly facing the wind, the sail might break in the worst scenario.


Regis did not know whether Altina understood it or not, but she had a look of admiration.


“Oh——”


“Well, going against the wind is always dangerous no matter what kind of sailboat it is. Like the retreat yesterday, they almost caught up with us because we were really close to going against the wind.”


“Hmm, so it’s like that.”


“Ships going with the wind would have a more ideal speed. If the sail is big, that’s even more…”


“Ship spotted ahead!”


Hearing the lookout’s voice, Regis looked ahead.


What he saw was a ship.


A small craft.


The crow’s nest gave better vision than on the deck, not to mention that spyglass was used.


Thanks to that, they identified the craft that was spotted as being their own unit that was sent out for scouting. The signal they sent to the flagship could be seen clearly.


The adjutant reported to Regis.


“It’s our own scout. Erm… … its report is ‘No sign of enemy vessels in the vicinity. Coast is clear at the entrance of the bay..”


Regis lowered his head and muttered to himself.


“Looks like the enemy reduced their defense around the bay… … I see, so they decided to do this.”


While adjutant Spark was a little nervous, he still smiled and opened his mouth.


“Looks like the enemy thinks that we will be coming from the southwest. After all, that’s what we did for yesterday since it’s common sense to sail with the wind.”


“Why is that so…? If it’s me, I will consider that there’s a fifty percent chance of them attacking from northwest.”


“Is that so?”


“We have to consider about unexpected strategies that the enemy could use… … Since they don’t have any intention to engage outside the bay, it’s natural that they’re not interested in which direction the enemy might attack.”


“Will the enemy place an ambush outside the cape?”


“That wouldn’t be too big of a problem… But it would be troublesome for us if they ambushed us with a pincer attack. We might sustain a heavy loss from it.”


“Indeed, that’s dangerous.”


“Well, didn’t we send out scouts as to prevent that from happening?”


“Understood!”


While there was only one ship ahead of them, twenty small-scale ships were sent out for scouting the area near the bay.


They had begun since the battle ended yesterday.


While some sacrifice was made, it was worth it as they obtained valuable intelligence.


At this moment——


The lookout reported once more.


“An enemy ship spotted! It’s a scouting boat!”


“What are your orders, admiral!”


The Adjutant Spark became tensed.


Altina also had a nervous look.


Regis nodded his head.


“It’s fine. Unlike land battles, the surveillance made by the defenders on sea does not have much effect.”


“Eh? Why is that?”


“... If it’s the land, one would normally send an unarmoured soldier with a fast horse for scouting. If they noticed the enemy, they would return to headquarters immediately. As the enemy’s infantry move rather slowly, there’s ample of time for the army to prepare against the attack. On the other hand, the enemy’s scouting boat uses sail just like us, so our speed is about the same.”


“Ah, I see!”


Even if they were discovered, there was no meaning if the scout could not report back swiftly.


“Well… The problem now is whether that ship is faster than us.”


Listening to Regis’ words, laughter could be heard from the side—— He was the captain of the 4th Athena Class Ship Brouillard, which was the new flagship.


He was one of the rare fat people in the army that was filled with muscular soldiers. Though he had excessive fat, there was some muscle too. In addition, he was rather short, so he gave an impression of being a meatball.


Currently, he was personally manning the helm.


“Buahaha! Don’t worry! Brouillard will not lose to that kind of small boat. I bet my bacon on that!”


The bacon was already in his mouth, betting that kind of bacon was…


Leaving aside the bacon, the captain wasn’t just boasting, and they were not losing in speed.


Rather, they were closing the gap.


Regis was impressed.


“I see, how impressive.”


“Buaha! It’s time to determine the winner——”


“It’s the difference in seakeeping… is it?”


“Oh?! That’s correct! As expected of the admiral! The waves  are higher today than usual, so small-scale ship will have their hand full stabilizing the ship.”


“Haha… … In any case, please maintain your current state.”


“Yes Sir!”


“Understood!”


Looks like he’s an approachable person.


Regis was not used to people who were rather forceful, however, he felt more relax conversing with someone who did not care about ranks.


When the sun had emerged from the eastern mountains——


Épée Prière Bay was already right in front of them.


==================================================


The bells were ringing.


This bell meant that the enemy had come.


The steam engine which was inside the ship let out a sound that was like a giant beast roaring.


Princess Class, Garnet’s quarterdeck——


“Orya Orya, so noisy!”


Soon after adjutant Lorraine entered the steering house, Molins came out from the conference room that doubles as the Officer’s mess..


“You haven’t put on your clothes yet, Captain?!”


“Eh? Oh, I forgot to put my pants on.”


“You’re no longer a sailor, please do not come to the deck like this. If you’re seen by the admiral…”


“I would be scolded by the gorilla.”


“At that point, you’ll be attacked.”


“Hehe, it’s fine.”


Lorraine ran into the captain’s room and brought his pants, which were on the floor, over.


“Quickly put them on!”


“Right! Help me put them on!”


“Do it yourself!”


Lorraine brought the pants over with a cold expression.


A shrill sound could be heard.


“How cruel. It’s just the bell signalling the enemy’s attack, you don’t have to panic that much.”


“When will captain start panicking?”


“When returning home… …”


Lorraine nursed her temple and lowered her head.


Within the time span of Lorraine praying to the Lord five times, Molins had no choice but to put on the pants himself.


He was done soon after donning his belt.


“Done!”


“The front reported that the enemy have four Athena ships… … and numerous small vessels.”


“Those  are probably scouting crafts. Looks like the enemy’s commander is quite cautious. In that case, it would be hard to do a pincer attack even if we placed an ambush outside the bay.”


“We should be thankful for the admiral’s calm decision.”


“Hehe, that gorilla who only follows the textbook wouldn’t use such strategy at all though? He was just finding an excuse to reject it.”


“That… What do you think we should have done then…?”


“The plan was to escort an entire fleet of supply ships with six battleships. Now that we have already lost two, we should have withdrawn last night.”


“I believe the admiral would not agree…”


“Perhaps I would be labelled as a coward, or be treated as a traitor. However, Lorraine, no matter what results Oswald achieve inland, he’s just using strategies that rely heavily on the new cannons and equipment. The key factor behind it is the supply ships. Which is why it is necessary to have outstanding battleship to control the sea. Even if we can replace the supply vessels, there isn’t anything to replace the battleships.”


The capital, Queen's Thames’ harbour should have three more Princess Class ships… …”


“If the three Princess Class ships were to move out, what’s left to protect the harbour would be those old-style battleships. This would greatly reduce the harbour’s defense. The parliament wouldn’t agree with it.”


Although Lorraine wasn’t done, she still stopped this topic.


“Captain… In any case, please go to the deck.”


“Oh, what’s coming after this will be on the bed tonight.”


“Can you please be serious?”


“I wonder when you will make me serious?”


“...”


It’s not bad getting glared by a beauty—— Molins thought.


Upon reaching the deck, there was no need for someone to urge the crew to get into position. Since the enemy had already appeared at the cape, one would quickly move to their position no matter how lazy they were.


Soon after that, Ship No. 1 and No. 5 began to move out.


Lorraine shouted.


“Captain! We receive the order to move out!”


“Got it. Well, our crew is outstanding, so don’t panic that much.”


The engine room was located several floors below the deck. Even though it would take up some time to relay the orders, it could not be helped.


Beside the steering wheel was a device that looked like a punctured barrel—— the engine order telegraph.


The function of the device was to relay messages to the engine room.


Even the relaying of messages was done by machines.


As the engine room was noisy, this device was necessary.


Metal pipes known as speaking tubes were installed in other places for communication.


By utilizing such technologies, it was not that dangerous even if the enemy was attacking with conditions favouring them. That was because they could still give orders out in the bridge that was located under the firm deck.


Oh, I didn’t give any commands yet.


Molins was just looking at the scene.


He turned and shouted at the helmsmen.


“Garnet, full speed ahead!”


“Oh!!”


Most of the navigation duties were performed by the crew.


When Lorraine was first posted here, she complained that this system was a violation of the navy rule as Molins neglected his work and was passing his responsibility to others. However, she was already used to this, so she did not panic nor complain. She simply looked at Molins with cold eyes.


“How exciting.”


They just went through a battle yesterday and now they were off to battle again.


Though, it could not be said that there would be no losses.


Reports of water leakage and damages had increased and the one responsible for this was the repairs department. It was arranged that the engine department was responsible for the steam engine, the artillery team was to measure the distance while the logistic department was in charge of the supplies.


Furthermore, there were medical officers performing the work of doctors when not in battle to keep the six hundred men on board healthy.


The most relaxed person was Molins.


On the bridge, there was a rather large and tall table without any chairs.


Beside the table was the captain’s chair, and the sea chart on the table was marked by chalk to indicate something.


The enemy’s route was even more to the north than yesterday,


Lorraine went to report to Molins when the lookout relayed the message via the speaking tube.


“The enemy had steered to the left! The distance between Ship No. 1 and them is about 3800yd (3475m)”


“Oi oi, they turned?”


Molins furrowed his brows.


Lorraine was also surprised by this and confirmed with the lookout once more.


“There’s no mistake, Captain. The enemy battleships are forming up into a double column. At this moment, the front row is moving perpendicular from the left to the right… Maybe they are executing a manoeuvre to outflank us?”


“It’s plausible if their speed is fast. However, they will still lose out to the steam engine within the bay even if the wind is in their favour.”


“The enemy’s vanguard consists of four Athena class in the front and eight Ouranos in the back. Maybe they want to engage in a cross fire?”


“You’re kidding right?”


It was impossible for the Ouranos class to contribute in a firefight. The main purpose for Ouranos class was for sea rescue or to apprehend smugglers.


Generally, battleships would maintain distance, then turn to bring their broadside to bear and fired their guns at the enemy. Even though there were other strategies like close-combat, the Princess Class which had the advantage in range would not allow the enemy to engage them in such a way.


If their allied ships turned after getting into range, they could keep firing at the enemy while maintaining the distance. The enemy would be attacked without any chance to retaliate.


With the supply ships behind them in this narrow bay, they could not retreat backwards. However, the enemy would be eliminated before it came to that.


Lorraine said softly.


“Could they… have made a mistake…?”


“Normally, that would be the case… ...The Empire’s fleet will continue to advance when we turn and fire on them, then they will turn when they are in range, just like yesterday.”


“Did they replace the commander?”


Perhaps.


Even so, Molins did not feel relieved at all.


“Currently, the commander of the fleet… should be the one who sunk two of our Princess Class ships with an ambush. Could it be that he does not understand the current situation? Or that he received an oracle?”


The air shook violently.


It was due to cannon blasts.


Lorraine once again relayed the message she got from the lookout.


“The enemy has fired, but it’s short.”


“Don’t be bothered by it… … They are just telling us their range by firing so early.”


“Isn’t this an opportunity?”


“That’s right. Normally, we would change our course and fire at them once they are in our range. It’s not like they can hit us anyway.”


As long they maintained a safe distance and fired at the enemy, they could easily break the enemy’s main fleet.


Any admiral who followed the textbook would not miss out this opportunity.


Molins poked at the sea chart in irritation.


“What exactly is the enemy admiral thinking? This movement seems like the preparations of a course menu of an imperial cuisine, it feels unbearably suspicious, isn't it.”


“That’s right… Ah, the flagship has turned! Right rudder!”


“Of course, the gorilla would do that.”


Even if it was not him, no admiral would let this opportunity slipped away.


Unlike yesterday, they were quite far from the cape.


They were at the centre of the bay, slightly closer to the outside.


No matter what kind of trap awaited, it would not be dangerous if they remain outside the enemy’s range—— That should be the case.


Molins spoke.


“Engine room slow ahead! Right full rudder! Maintain distance from them. No matter what, let us enjoy first.”


“Aye aye Captain!”


The helmsmen operated the telegraph to relay the message.


At the same time, the steering wheel was turned to the right.


They were not following the flagship, but were sailing to the rear of the formation.


Molins actually wanted to turn to the opposite direction…… However, he would not be able to explain himself if he really did that.


The cannons were fired.


But it was just a one-sided battle where they suppressed the empire’s fleet with their range.


Nothing unexpected occurred.


Molins looked through the narrow window to observe the battlefield.


Maybe I’m overthinking it?


Ship No.1 and No. 5 were firing their cannons ferociously.


Slightly further was Ship No. 8.


Molins’ Ship No. 9 was stationed at the rear.


At this point, it could be seen that the flagship, Ship No. 1, had changed it course.


This was the moment when the cannon fire was the fiercest. Since they were not within the enemy’s range, there was no need to execute a Zig-zag maneuver.


However, the ship was turning at a wide angle. If they were not careful, the ship could even capsize.


What is MacCunn doing?!”


Suddenly, he remembered the enemy’s large-ship sunk around that area.


Lorraine tilted her head.


“This reminds me, that seem to be the area where the Empire’s Poseidon class ship sunk… … However, isn’t their technique that bad if they really hit the sunken ship?”


“Uh… … Perhaps…?”


Even if the firing of cannons were at their fiercest, they were in the middle of the vast sea, so it was unlikely that they would fail to avoid it. Furthermore, the sunken ship’s mast could not be seen, so Ship No. 1 should not have collided with it.


It was likely that Ship No. 1 panicked as they were late in realising the position of the sunken ship. Though, it would be fine once they avoid that dangerous area.


Basically, it was not a big problem.


That was supposed to be the case.


The enemy steered their boat at that distance wisely and fired the cannons even though they could not hit us, all of this was to lure Ship. No. 1 to that position. While they were quite capable, there was not much point in doing this.


This should be what the idiom ‘the strategist dies by his own strategy’ is trying to say.


Molins wasn’t completely relieved, but he still relaxed a little.


At this moment——


From the window, Ship No. 1 rapidly decelerated, as if they were caught by a large net.


“What?!”


“Eh… … Did they collide with the sunken ship?!”


“Even so, it’s too strange for them to decelerate so rapidly! There should be a large hole in the hull if they were hit!”


Even though it was quite serious to have a hole at the bottom of the ship, it should not be able to cause the ship to decelerate that rapidly.


It was hard to see clearly what had happened from the small window and no message had come from the lookout.


Molins started dashing.


He dashed up the stairs and pushed open the quarterdeck door that led up to the deck.


Ignoring the surprised sailors, Molins leaned his body on the portside railing.


He took the spyglass from his waist and looked at Ship No. 1.


“What exactly happened?!”


Soon, Lorraine came in a hurry.


“Please calm down, Captain! Perhaps they slowed down to put some distance between them and the enemy!”


“That isn’t it. Even a Princess Class battleship cannot do that kind of deceleration. Maybe they caught onto something… Oi! Can you see something in the water?!”


“Eh? There’s nothing… …”


“Move closer to Ship No. 1! Ah, don’t get too close!”


“I’ll go relay the order!”


Lorraine began running.


Molins looked at Ship No. 1 once more.


There were sailors had gathered at the quarterdeck. Some even climbed up the intersection of the rope that was hanging at the mast.


Are they trying to open the sail?


——Did their steam engine malfunction?


Ship No. 5 passed by Ship No. 1 which stopped suddenly.


Ship No. 8 also move close behind Ship No. 1 like a loyal dog. Most of the High Britannia ships had stop moving. Though, it was not surprising at all since only a fool would move close to it without knowing the reason why it suddenly decelerated and stopped.


“Ah! This is bad!”


While they were not moving, the enemy ships continued to move.


The wind was favouring them before, but the wind had changed in the enemy’s direction.


Really, this is such a wretched day—— Molins cursed.


Originally, it was his style to delegate the tasks to his subordinates while he sipped on red tea. But, he was running around the deck as if he was a fresh trainee now!


He quickly ran to the bridge and shouted a command.


“Steam engine full ahead! Right full rudder! Quickly!!”


“Aye aye, Captain!”


The helmsman was confused because of the incident, but he still relayed the message with the telegraph and steered the ship without any hesitation.


“Captain, the lookout said there’s something like a rope in the water!”


Lorraine asked the lookout to explain in details upon hearing his words.


Molins’ face almost came in contact with the speaking tube and spoke.


“Molins here! Report!”


“This is from the Top! Something similar to ropes can be seen near the stern of Ship No. 1!”


“What does it looks like?”


“Perhaps the ropes are from the sunken ship! The propeller seems to be entangled!”


“Damn!”


“There’s another report! Ship No. 5 is heading towards the enemy fleet!”


“Ballista that idiot! Is he thinking about ramming them?!”


The enemy was currently closing the distance while maintaining their firing formation.


Even though they would be bombarded before they drew near, the enemy still wished to close the gap and focus fire at a close distance.


Even so, considering their firepower, before one ally ship was brought down, they could sink four to five enemy battleships.


Going by that logic, Ship No. 1 which could not move was the best target since it could not point its broadside at the enemy.


Ship No. 9 turned and aimed its cannons at the enemy fleet.


However, Ship No. 5 was in the middle.


To prevent friendly fire, Molins did not give the order to fire.


Ship No. 8 made the same judgement too. Even though they moved to the front of Ship No. 1 to protect it, they did not fire after steering.


In such situation, Molins was thinking.


——This is the same as yesterday when Ship No. 4 and No. 6 were ambushed.


==================================================


In front of the quarterdeck of the flagship of the Empire’s Western Liberation Fleet, Brouillard, Regis held the portside railing and looked at the enemy fleet.


In order to pass down the next command, the adjutant walked towards the signalman.


Altina was standing beside Regis.


“The front most ship isn’t moving. Did you do something to it, Regis?”


“Yes, I tied some floating ropes around the sunken Poseidon Class.”


“What’s that for? That ship is being hindered by the ropes?”


“While there isn’t any problem for sailboats, the steam ship uses a propeller. The propeller works by expelling the water to the back, thus moving the ship. Think about it—— For the Princess Class ships that’s so huge to move faster than the cavalry, exactly how much water is required to be expelled? Furthermore, the volume being expelled is equivalent to the intake.”


“It looks like they have to expel quite a large volume of water…”


The propeller does not simply suck in water, but also trash. And of course, the floating ropes are no exception.”


“Can the ropes really stop them?”


“That depends on how you use them. If it’s just one rope, wouldn’t it be cut into pieces? But the propeller is delicate. Though if it got entangled with the propeller shaft, it would increase the burden of expelling the water, or it might even break in the worst case… … Just like cleaving at a tree with a sword.”


Altina pouted


“What a subtle comparison. Well, I understand now.”


“Hahaha… … Though to set this trap, we had to dive into the sea and work at night. It’s great that the efforts were not wasted since the plan worked.”


“You were able to find out the position of the sunken ship at night?”


“I already marked several positions when it sunk, since it’s impossible to just rely on the moonlight to find the ship in the water. After that, we just needed to dive down to the sunken ship with ropes. The rest of the job could then be done even with our eyes closed.”


Though according to the sailors, entering the damaged sunken ship took them quite a bit of effort.


“Did you dive into the sea too, Regis?”


“Do you think that I can dive into the sea and finish the work within five minutes without any sound like the fishes?”


“Ahaha… That’s impossible. After all, there are waves too.”


“Since when did you begin thinking that I could swim if it’s not the sea?”


“Arara.”


“Not that I’m bragging… But I almost drowned in a washbasin.”


“Eh? Is that when you’re still a child?”


“A, ahh… … There’s that… … Though it still occurs even now.”


Regis smiled weakly.


Altina pointed at the enemy ship that was not moving.


“What about that? Are we going to borrow the ship from the enemy…? That reminds me, but isn’t our goal this time is to obtain the enemy ships?”


“I do wish to have it… If we can obtain that kind of high performance ship, we can still produce ships similar to it even if the ship itself isn’t considered a fighting force. Though the problem is that whether this trap would damage the propeller… … It’s impossible for the Empire’s current technology to repair it if it’s broken.”


“What? Isn’t it meaningless then?!”


“That’s right, even if we capture it, if the key component is broken… … Then that isn’t something that I like.”


“Something that you like?”


The voice of the returning adjutant covered Altina’s voice.


“Admiral! The enemy ship is approaching!”


“Ah, I see it.”


Overtaking the Princess Class Ship No. 1, the Princess Class Ship No. 5 had sailed towards them.


Altina pointed at it.


“Open fire! Open fire!”


“Don’t be too hasty, I’m thinking here… …”


“Ah, sorry. We can’t execute the command if it isn’t from the admiral.”


“Haha… … It’s fine. Rather, there isn’t the need to worry.”


Regis showed a smile to Altina as to stop Altina from worrying.


The adjutant widened his eyes.


“Although this may be rude, I think that admiral is an incredible person.”


“Someone that would be fired by the military…?”


“T,that isn’t it! It’s just that you can still remain calm and smile even in this kind of situation. I had been the adjutant for three different admirals. No matter how they were normally, they became serious once they entered the battlefield.”


Speaking of which, admiral Bertram was also a serious person.


“In my case, it’s not like I’m trying to show anything… … It’s just that this situation isn’t something that I have to worry about… … The orders have been relayed, right?”


“Yes, that’s the ship!”


One of the Ouranos Class ship overtook the four Athena Class ships and sailed forward.


The ship charged ahead.


Altina leaned her body out.


“What is it doing?!”


“Your Highness… It’s dangerous, so please come down… … Otherwise, you might be hurt by the shrapnel.


“Eh?”


Only the Ouranos ship could compete with the Princes Class in speed. Both ships were on a collision course with each other and the distance between them disappeared in no time.


“Regis, are you planning to let that ship ram them directly?!”


“That’s right… … Well, since the Ouranos ship is that small, no matter the angle, it won’t deal much damage even if it collides.”


The size of the Ouranos Class was not even half of the Princes Class. It was like comparing children to adults.


“Since it is ineffective… … There’re still people on board?!”


“They already made preparation to jump into the sea just before the collision... “


Even so, the enemy might be able to avoid it if there were no helmsmen on board at the critical moment. However, Regis could only leave it to the sailors’ judgement.


“Regis, can’t we fire at them?!”


“With just four Athena ships, even if we cross the ‘T’ on the Princess Class, there’s still a chance that the enemy ship won’t sink. Furthermore, we can’t lose anymore battleships. Also, I won’t allow it if I can’t see what I like.”


“See?”


“The scene that I read in a story before… It illustrated the daily lives of the people there…”


Regis smiled at the sea.


==================================================


Lorraine ran to Molins to report.


“An Ouranos ship is approaching Ship No. 5!”


“What?!  I still have no idea what’s going on… … What exactly is the Empire’s admiral thinking?”


Molins had been thinking until his head hurt.


The speed of the ships from both sides were very fast.


It was impossible to be unscathed if they collided.


Even so, their ship should be fine even if they collide since the enemy ship was not even half of their size. The Princess Class ships were not that fragile.


This was something the enemy should know.


Perhaps Ship No. 5 could even approach the enemy fleet without receiving any bombardment.


If this went on, they could brush aside the Ouranos ship and open fire at the enemy at a close distance.


Maybe they could even destroy the enemy’s main fleet with just Ship No. 5.


“Oura oura… Is Ballista going for a Victoria Cross?”


“Are you interested too, Captain?”


“After all, it comes with a tidy bonus several times my pay. But for me, I won’t even get any allowance.”


“It doesn’t seem that way when you’re this calm… …”


“That’s because I can’t do anything but watch.”


As the two ships closed the gap, Ship No. 5 considered for sometime before deciding to maintain their course. Furthermore, they did not think of firing at them even if they knew they would collide.


The two ships were about to collide in between the two nations’ fleets.


In Molins’ eyes, the small Ouranos ship would be wrecked by the large Princess Class. Most likely, this was what everyone thought.


The sailors on board on the Ouranos began to jump overboard like rats abandoning a sinking ship.


Suddenly, Molins felt a chill.


——Could this be a trap?


The Ouranos made a small crack on the bow of the Princess Class number 5.


The collision was like caressing its face.


As expected, the Ouranos’ bow shattered and the mast had fallen. The whole ship broke into pieces.


In that case, Ship No. 5 would break through and move ahead.


After this——


A blinding light prevented their eyes from opening.


An explosion.


Molins could feel the explosion even though he was in the bridge.


“...?!”


The glass panels shattered.


The crew wailed.


His blood was boiling and his heart was beating furiously as if he was awakened in the middle of a night.


——What happened?!


It exploded.


Ship No. 5’s bow… ...


Exploded along with the Ouranos ship it rammed.


There was whirring black smoke and the wreckage of the Ouranos ship could not be seen on the sea.


Not only that, Ship No. 5’s bow and some areas at the side was gone.


Small scale explosion such as the bore of a cannon discharging happens from time to time.


Before the ship even caught fire, Ship No. 5 had already begun sinking.


Even a ship that had a large hole torn in it would not sink that fast.


It was like glass dropped into the sea.


The sailors did not even have the time to abandon ship.


In an instant, the large warship vanished.


“...?!”


Molins was speechless.


That was the same for the other crew and his aide.


The menacing Ship No. 5 about to swallow the opposing ship disappeared without a trace, just like a piece removed from the chessboard.


Ha! Lorraine ran to the speaking tube.


“All stations, status report! Is our ship alright?!”


Her voice snapped them from their daze.


Molins ran to the helmsmen.


“How’s the engine room?!”


“Confirming now… … Aye! There isn’t any problem!”


“I see.”


Lorraine grabbed the speaking tube and spoke.


“Captain! The empire’s flagship has sent out flag signals!”


“Hm, they finally came.”


From the small window, he could see the message the enemy was sending.


——Halt the ship. We will not attack if you surrender.


Molins nodded.


“Fufu… … Do you take me as an idiot!”


“Captain, are we going to fight?!”


“Are you serious, Lorraine? Are you going too? We’re fleeing right now!”


“Ehh?!”


“How can we surrender when we still have the advantage in speed! Oi, Full speed, right full rudder! Sail out of the bay!”


The helmsmen replied: “Aye aye Captain!”


How can you do that! Lorraine ran over.


“Aren’t the supply ships still at the harbour?! Also, Ship No. 1 can’t move!”


“What about it?! We are only left with Ship No. 9 and that old man in No. 8!”


“There’s still two princess ships, while the enemy only has four Athena ships… …”


“Who knows how many more of those they have! Did you not see what happened to Ship No. 5?!”


“That… … what will happen to the supply lines if we lose the supply ships at the harbour…?”


Molins thrust his finger-tip at her breasts.


“Listen carefully, Lorraine! Use your smart brain and remember this—— Compared to those things, I’m more concern about the lives of me and my crew!”


“Even if we lose the war...?”


“We will think about it after we survive—— Alright, sail out of the bay!”


The blasting of cannons rang.


Looking back, it was Ship No. 8 that had fired.


From the looks of it, it did not attempt to escape or surrender, but decided to continue fighting.


You’re just recommended by the queen, do you need to be this loyal?


Lorraine kept staring at him.


While Molins relaxed his shoulders.


“I’m sorry… I can’t be like a knight like Olsen who can sacrifice himself for the nation.”


“Even if people would call you a coward if you run away?”


“Let them be. I’m fine with whatever they want to call me…”


Molins’ mouth turned crooked with a smile.


He averted his gaze away from Lorraine who looked at him with cold eyes.




He swallowed back the latter parts of his words.


——I just don’t want you to die.


Saying those words out would only make her blame herself.


Ship No. 9 which raised its speed almost reached the bay entrance.


“Hm? Oi, what’s that?”


Molins widened his eyes.


Cold sweat was dripping down his back.


Those things were hidden behind either side of the cape.


He was had.


Molins laughed weakly.


“Haha… … Is everything up til now within your control? Did you expected this? Oi, what kind of person are you, you devil of the empire… ...Damn it!”


He grabbed his captain’s hat and threw it onto the floor.


The helmsmen paled when they heard the gloomy report from the crow’s nest.


Lorraine went weak in the knees and knelt.


Her face was pale while her body kept trembling.


“How… Even to this extent… … Why?”


The bridge door was opened as a panting soldier entered. The soldier was the one responsible for reading the flag signals.


It seemed that he did not use the speaking tube and came directly instead.


“Haa… Haa… … Captain, it’s the enemy.”


“Ah, I saw it, what a shame.”


“Two Athena ships and over twenty different ships of various models… …”


“When did the empire gather so many battleships? Did they call in the ships from nearby?”


“Most of them are small crafts… …”


If the previous incident did not happen, he likely would have forged on ahead with a laugh.


With the overwhelming firepower of the Princess Class, this kind of encirclement was nothing to be afraid of.


That should normally be the case.


“Isn’t this bad? Even though they are small ships, but they will explode if we collide. Well, I’m not too sure what will happen though. Perhaps we won’t be as bad as Ship No. 5… Do you want to give it a try?”


“Ah… No… …”


“I’m joking. After seeing that and still asking the crew to fight to the death, I think the crew would mutiny before the enemy could defeat us.”


“T-That is… …”


“I wonder what would be the result.”


Ship No. 8’s cannon had stopped firing.


It was not that it got hit. Instead, the smoke coming out from the smokestack had lessened, indicating that the engine was switched off.


Molins walked to the steering seat.


He placed his hand on the helmsman’s shoulder and pushed him aside.


“Ah, captain… …”


He held onto the lever for the telegraph.


Pushing the lever up and giving the commands to the engine room. That was it—— But he wouldn’t forget about this action for the rest of his life


Finished With Engines.


Following that, he smiled bitterly towards the flag signalman who was on the bow.

“The white flag… Can you let me raise it personally?”




==================================================


“...It’s great that we made it in time…”


The supply ships at the harbour surrendered without any resistance.


Athena Class Ship No. 4, Brouillard, sailed into Chaineboule’s harbour which they recaptured. Altina and Regis alighted the ship and landed.


As Regis did not get any sleep nor ate anything, his seasickness was pretty bad. He did not even have the strength to stand as he used an empty box as a chair.


This was the central plaza of the harbour city.


It seemed that this area was filled supplies up til morning.


Currently, there was nothing here and the eastern gate was open. It seemed to indicate the fact that the supply division had moved out.


Afternoon——


The navy was patrolling the surrounding area. This was because the city was occupied by the enemy till recently, and they might be lying in ambush somewhere.


Furthermore, Altina was that prominent.


“Regis, the supply unit seems to have set off?”


“... Well, they saw that powerful explosion.”


“There isn’t anyone who can still move leisurely after seeing an explosion like that.”


“...Yes… Looks like the Mercenary King Gilbert’s unit is going to link up with the supply unit, so don’t let your guard down.”


“Eh?! Weren’t they heading towards the capital?!”


“It seems that he brought along some of his subordinates… After all, the supplies are the kingdom’s lifeline, so they will send their best general to protect it. As expected of Commander Oswald Coulthard.”


This piece of information was obtained when Regis interrogated one of the captured soldiers.


That said, the one interrogating was someone else. Right now, Regis was worried about the captive’s body.


Altina clenched her fist.


“Ah… So it’s the mercenary who injured Latreille with a trident. So he came here.”


“... Erm… I will say this upfront, don’t even think of charging ahead…”


“I-I know that! Though I don’t intend to run!”


Her sword was damaged and was sent for repair, so she was using a normal longsword right now. In addition, it could be seen from the battle on the Founding day that Latreille was more skilled than her with a sword.


If one could injure Latreille, that would mean Altina did not have much chance.


As a strategist, after taking her personality into account, it was important to come up with a strategy that prevented her from engaging Gilbert.


In the first place, the headquarters being attacked meant that the strategy failed.


Hoping for Altina to beat the Mercenary King in a one on one duel was a fool’s errand. However, she wasn’t the type who would reject a challenge, which would lower morale anyway.


“Hmm… Mercenary King, Gilbert… I must take him into consideration… My head hurts…”


“If that situation really happens, I will get rid of him personally!”


“Please don’t!”


That reminds me—— Altina asked.


“Hey, why did that ship explode?”


“That ship? Oh, you mean the Ouranos that rammed the enemy. It exploded because it was filled with gunpowder. The storage for food and water, the gundeck and the passageways were filled with the gunpowder unloaded from the Poseidon. There was a mechanism that would ignite it on impact. That being said, it was just a torch placed on top of the bags of gunpowder.”


“Was it the same for the other ships?”


“No. If the enemy didn’t lose their will to fight after witnessing that scene, I would have used another strategy.”


“You had another strategy?!”


“... If they were that willing to fight, I had a way of catching them before they could escape out of the bay. The cannons that were unloaded from the Poseidon ship were stationed on the cape. Furthermore, there’s also the method of lighting ropes that were dipped in oil… … Though I’m glad that I don’t have to use that since oil is expensive.”


“Were all of these done last night?”


“No… The work on the Poseidon was done yesterday morning. As for the oil, I got an envoy to prepare it when the Western expedition was decided, just in case the fleet was already lost.”


“Hah.”


She seemed to be stunned from that and took a deep breath.


Regis stated an example that was recorded in books and explained how it was effective, and how it was presented brilliantly in the story. He also told her examples of failure in the stories, and what the circumstances was— He lectured on eagerly.


“Well. I had to use my imagination for a lot of the parts in stories about the sea, but this part was even more interesting.”


“Regis is Regis after all.”


Altina shrugged and looked towards the mountain range in the east.


“Hey, the supply unit have set up, what should we do next?”


“... Wait for a moment, then link up with the Fourth Army.”


“Eh, with Jerome and the others?”


“... They are hiding along the hills… So they could keep an eye on the harbour. I considered attacking overland directly if the sea battle didn’t go well. If they could seize the harbour, they would then raise our flag.”


Just like the time they conquered Fort Volks.


They should be able to rejoin the unit today.


“But how would they fight? Even if Fort Le Troyeti had adequate forces, that would only be 14,000 men right? Can they defeat the enemy supply unit equipped with the new rifles and cannons?”


“That’s true.”


“If the large amount of supplies is sent to the front lines, the capital’s defence would be even more trying…”


“... Hmm, how about this? We just try to stop them from completing the delivery.”


“Hah~~”


Altina sighed deeply.


It was a rare sight for the energetic Altina.
“Are you tired?”


“My heart is full of worries and unease, I can’t sit still! I want to chase after the enemy supply unit right now!”


“... It would be better to link up with Sir Jerome’s forces first.”


“That’s how anxious I am, Regis! And you are still so calm! Keep saying that it’s fine it’s fine!”


She flailed her hands around.


Like a child throwing a tantrum.


“Hahaha…” Regis laughed.


Thanks to that, “Really~~~” Altina got even more agitated.


“... I didn’t insist that it will be fine all the time. There are plenty of things we don’t know, and there are many times when I couldn’t help. But it will definitely be fine this time. The supply unit set off at dawn, so we will catch up to them at a nice plain— Hmm?”


At this moment, Adjutant Spark walked over.


He had a really cheerful smile.


“Please come this way, Admiral!”


“... Erm… I’m no longer the Acting Fleet Admiral.”


“Ah, my apologies, Sir strategist!”


Spark saluted respectfully.


Regis returned the salute that didn’t look too shabby.


He had yet to recover from his seasickness, and was still sitting on a crate.


“What’s the matter?”
“Admiral Bertram woke up just now!”


“Oh! That’s—”


“Wah, awesome!!”


Altina clapped her hands.


Regis nodded happily too.


“... How is he?”


“He is wide awake, and heard my report just now. He told me to convey his thanks if Sir strategist is still in the harbour.”


“I see. I need to thank him for granting me command of the fleet. Hmm? Ah, there isn’t enough time.”


“Ah!!”


Altina walked briskly to the east.


The figures of the cavalry riding in the dust could be seen between the gaps of the building.


It had only been a few days, but he missed the sight of them.
The Black Knight Corps of the Fourth Imperial Army.


The unit led by the hero Jerome.


Spark nodded with a regretful expression.


“... Seems like you all are in a hurry… I will pass your message to Admiral Bertram right now.”


“Ah, thank you. Please tell him ‘Thank you for lending the fleet to me, please take care of your health.’”


“Understood!”


Spark saluted again.


Regis stood up this time and saluted formally.


He then reached the right hand that was before his chest out.


“It was thanks to your effort that an amateur like me could command the fleet so well.”
And shook Spark’s hand happily.


“No such thing! Sir strategist is the best Admiral I have ever served! I will work hard and plan a miraculous strategy like you one day!”


“Ha… Hahah…”


Altina seemed to be amused.


“Regis is a wizard!”


“Erm… Alti…?!”


“I see!” Spark also laughed.


“Indeed, that was magic!”


“No… That… That was just something similar to the books…”


“Sir strategist really loves to read. If possible, can you tell me which books I should study?”


Regis seemed troubled for a moment.


He could talk about the contents of books all day, but it was hard for him to express his thoughts, and it was also embarrassing.


There wasn’t time too.


Both Spark and Altina were waiting for Regis to speak.


Regis scratched his forehead.


“Well… Actually, just read any books you find interesting will do. Even books that seem boring aren’t actually that dull. It’s just that the reader couldn’t find the interesting parts.”


==================================================


Imperial year 851, 2nd June. The fleet commanded by Acting Fleet Admiral Regis d’Auric successfully seize back Chaineboule Harbour.


But more than half of the supplies had been loaded onto wagons and sent out. If these resources reached Oswald in the frontlines, the Imperial’s defence would become incredibly difficult.


Regis and Altina joined up with Jerome and the Fourth Imperial Army.




Although the soldiers were tired from the long expedition, they had recovered after a few days of rest.


According to reports, soldiers from the Beilschmidt Border Regiment, Fort Le Troyeti and volunteers numbered 16,000 in total.


At the center of the huge Army——


There was a white carriage, and Clarisse sat inside. If there were many people around, she would be as silent as a doll.


However, the moment she met the eyes of Regis who returned, her smile was gentler than the night. Her light coloured lips moved a little, as if she was saying ‘welcome back’.


In front of Regis and Altina who were walking towards Clarisse—


A knight in black riding a dark horse with a stern expression appeared.


“Hey, Regis!”


“... Ah, Sir Jerome.”


Jerome was showing a scary face.


Altina was beside Regis.


“Jerome, where is my horse!? We are setting off right now!”


“Hmmp, seems that just taking the harbour… isn’t enough.”


“... That’s right, they unloaded plenty of supplies yesterday.”


Regis pulled his neck back a little.


With the supply fleet defeated, further supplies would be cut off. However, the supplies that had been unloaded were heading towards the front lines, they had to do something about them.


Jerome’s expression was more sinister than ever.


“Hey Regis, before we came to the sea, you said it was impossible to defeat the 10,000 strong supply unit right?”


“I did say that…”


“But this supply unit already loaded the gunpowder, and is heading towards the capital. What do you plan to do?”


“... Well, we have to think of a way to deal with it. It’s fine, I have a plan.”


“Ku! You have a plan!? Then explain it! Why did we attack from the sea!?”


Jerome placed his hand on the sword on his waist.


It seemed that Regis wasn’t allowed to muddle his way through.


His back broke out in cold sweat.


“... Even if we defeat the land based supply unit, they will still send the resources via sea route, so it would be meaningless. It would be best if we can take back the harbour they use to unload the goods. Cavalries can’t match the speed of ships after all.”


“So that is the reason you attacked the supply fleet? Did you try to pull a fast one on me?”


“That’s a troubling way to put it… Well, to be frank, that’s true… After all, if I didn’t say ‘even if defeat the land supply unit, if we don't cut off the sea route, the supplies will arrive eventually’, wouldn’t such a half hearted proposal be hard for others to accept?”


Further to that, the Belgaria Imperial navy challenged the High Britannian supply fleet before, but lost the battle.


If Regis told the truth, Marshall Latreille would probably gave the order ‘if we can stop the supply via land, then don’t do anything more’.


Altina frowned.


“Indeed, before we won the sea battle, I was thinking that we should avoid the disadvantageous sea battle if we can win on land.”


But even so, she still supported Regis’ proposal firmly.


Jerome nodded.


“Well, that’s fine… But I won’t be fooled by you again!”
“... I-I didn’t lie though.”


“Hah!”


Jerome snorted on his horse and turned.


The horse snorted too.


Even Altina was mumbling “This shouldn’t be… a lie right…?”


Regis was on the verge of tears.


“How strange, I tried to play the best move… But, this is the result?”


Jerome asked again.


“And so? The enemy is an army of 5000 armed with the newest rifle. They are not just delivering provisions, they even have cannons. There isn’t any dangerous terrain from here to the capital.”


“... On top of that, the Mercenary King Gilbert is there.”


“Ku!”


When he heard the name of the strongest mercenary in the continent, Jerome laughed. How unfathomable.


“... But we have a near complete understanding of the new rifles. The Mercenary King doesn’t have many underlings too, so it should be fine…”


“What?”


“Are you worried about something, Regis?”
Jerome and Altina waited for Regis’ reply.


Regis looked to the east.


“... It will take more time than expected… I am worried about the fight in the capital.”

He felt the words and actions of Latreille back then was a bit off.


Volume 6 End






35 comments:

  1. YES! thanks for the chapter! love this LN.

    ReplyDelete
  2. umm, end of the chapter repeated twice?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Part of the chapter was posted twice, starting from “...It’s great that we made it in time"

    ReplyDelete
  4. I concur

    when the battle finishes and they enter Chaineboule, right after the adjutant Spark informs them that Admiral Bertram is fine, we have a double of story (starting at "afternoon")

    it resumes later on when they talk about rejoining Jerome's unit

    ReplyDelete
  5. Praise the translators!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the chapter!
    I read two times the same thing near the end.

    I hope that there won't be another break of months since the volume has ended. (like after every volumes)

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ty for hard working transtator and the owners of this site

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the chapter ! It was a great volume.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you very much!
    umm.. Am I the only one who got goosebumps reading 'that' part?


    p.s: ofcourse its the battle I am talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  11. they are some repeated section

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for this chapter! It was very exciting! Dogeza. Orz

    ReplyDelete
  13. Altina PDFs 1-6

    https://www.mediafire.com/folder/9x86qdvcv4iv9/Altina_the_Sword_Princess

    Thank you for the hard work everyone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for making the PDFs!

      Delete
    2. Thanks:)
      Do you have pdfs for anything else?

      Delete
  14. Thank you.

    It seems that High Britannia is not so disciplined. I hope that we get another battle soon :D .

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the chapter and this complete volume 6 of Altina. Can't wait for the next volume

    ReplyDelete
  16. So... What happened to the real Queen from Britânia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Currently? Incognito without the ring. Because of that she has no power and is on the wayside, presumed dead by all. Might come back when the current Queen gets a sword threw her stomach.

      Delete
  17. Thanks for the chapter! Regis is so swag.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for translating bro. thanks to your hard work we get to read a really interesting story. thanks again :D

    ReplyDelete