Oof, these are not my favorite chapters, but they are Deer B’s, so I guess at least someone’s happy. Mainly just all the technical speak and orders given aren’t as fun to translate.
Chapter 11 – Intermission: The Great Empire of Another World
Gra Valkas Empire (a.k.a. the Eighth Empire) Information Bureau
The row of electronic receivers beeped relentlessly. One could easily mistake them for emitting Morse code, but the pattern was actually different.
“Your Excellency, we have just received an update from a local informant to append to our information on Rodenius,” reported a man in a sharp, glittering black suit.
“Yes sir! Due to the intervention of Japan, Rowlia’s invasion of Kua Toine and Quira failed. The Rowlian royal family was deposed and the country has apparently shifted to a form of democracy.”
The man being addressed as “Your Excellency” raised his eyebrows. He had always been satisfied with the report summaries, so he left all the work to his retainers and simply took responsibility himself if anything went wrong.
“Based on our predictions, the Kingdom of Rowlia should have overwhelmed and gained control over the entire continent of Rodenius, but… I’ve never heard of this ‘Japan’ country… what do we know about them?”
“After Japan joined in, the state of war changed completely. Rowlia’s grand fleet of forty-four hundred ships was unilaterally defeated by Japan’s escort fleet. On the ground, Rowlia’s forces were routed without even scratching Japan’s.
“Furthermore, after analyzing eyewitness reports from Rowlia’s capital Jin Hark, Japan’s military includes a 10,000-ton heavy cruiser and a 5,000-ton light cruiser. There were also reports of an aircraft carrier. The cruisers were equipped with a 80 to 130 millimeter cannon, but only a single one could be confirmed on each ship. The carrier was transporting rotary-wing aircraft.”
“Were any fixed-wing aircraft spotted?”
“There were no reports of any fixed-wing aircraft, sir.”
“Peashooters, huh? Their naval technology seems to have developed somewhat strangely. I guess it’s been sufficient for the enemies they’ve faced so far. We ourselves are still developing rotary-wing aircraft, so they’ve got us beat in that corner. But, based on their ships’ armaments, and considering the way their military operates, it seems like they came from a rather peaceful world.
“Compared to the technology in this world, they appear to have developed in isolation. Rather than that, I’m guessing they were also sent to this world, like we were… However, with only single-gun warships, and using peashooters at that, we need not fear them. They might get in our way a bit, but they won’t be much of a hindrance to our larger goals.”
The man lost interest in the topic.
“That reminds me, what’s going on with the Leifor fleet?”
“The national oversight army has already finished resupplying. They should be fit for combat soon, but the admiral is being whimsical and doesn’t want to use an aircraft carrier against barbarians, so he’s only sending a single dreadnought.”
“In this world, one dreadnought is enough to become a legend.”
Mu continent, western sea
Second Civilization superpower, Leifor
The 43 ships in the Leiforian fleet sailed west. The Eighth Empire, an emerging country that appeared out of nowhere, conquered and assimilated the surrounding primitive countries, then declared war on the entire Second Civilization. They were written off as just some country of barbarians, but they then invaded the Kingdom of Paganda, a small island country under Leifor’s protection, which provoked the ire of the Leiforian emperor.
The emperor deployed a fleet including a dragon carrier and a 100-gun ship-of-the-line and ordered them to destroy the enemy fleet docked in Paganda. The Leiforian fleet raised their sails and used the magic tool Tears of the Wind God to accelerate to an unbelievable speed of 12 knots (“unbelievable” in this world) towards the south.
“General! Our dragon rider scouts report that they have spotted the enemy fleet!”
The wyvern lords, sent from the dragon carrier to scout, used magic to report back.
“There’s only one enemy ship, but… it’s over three hundred meters long, and it’s fitted with gigantic cannons!”
General Bal wrinkled his brow. “Leave three escorts with us; send the rest of the dragon riders to attack! All ships, set course for the enemy ship!”
Pushing aside the waves, the fleet changed course for the enemy’s ship. The fleet’s movements were very coordinated, a testament to its discipline. Wyvern lords were launched from the dragon carrier into the blue sky. They flew beautifully, in formation, heading west.
The Gra Valkas national oversight army’s super-dreadnought, the Grade Atlastar, was slowly moving east. Its enormous body carved through the water, nearly splitting the ocean, as it trudged along. 46cm cannons were installed coaxially in three places, and the 9 guns shined proudly, as if aiming at the horizon. It was a solemn ship, with the bridge rising like a castle from the center of the ship. There were 3 high-angle guns pointed at the sky like hedgehog spines. They fired shells with proximity fuzes, recently developed by Gra Valkas. These shells emitted radar waves and would explode automatically when anything reflected those waves back, dealing damage with shrapnel.
Until a few years ago, the empire also used timed fuzes, but, with the introduction of the proximity fuze, the accuracy of their shells jumped up by a factor of 20. The 46cm main guns also began using targeting radars, which further improved their accuracy on top of their world-class firepower.
The Grade Atlastar’s captain, Rockstar, gazed out at the sea.
“Captain, we’ve detected something on radar. There are numerous flying objects approaching, from the Leiforian fleet.”
The report came from one of the radio operators: they were a type of dragon known as “wyverns.” When they had destroyed the royal guard’s dragon rider squadron, it was their first time fighting against wyverns, but their own fighter squadron suffered no losses and shot down every enemy. The wyverns couldn’t even scratch the empire’s Antares fighters.
The Antares-type fighter plane had adopted an advanced low wing from the biplane and used a reliable 1,000 horsepower engine. Like sharpening a sword, they obsessively iterated on a lightweight design and, as a result, created an aircraft that could achieve speeds of 550 km/h while boasting the best maneuvering capabilities in the world (at least, in their previous world). Equipped with a high-power 20mm machine gun in addition to a reliable 7.7mm machine gun, its offensive capabilities were nearly perfect.
In comparison, Paganda’s wyverns could only fly at about 230 km/h. They could shoot fireballs from their mouths, but only one at a time. It was such a slow attack that could be avoided by simply changing directions a bit. To the highly-refined empire, the fireballs felt like they were barely moving. In conclusion, there was no way a wyvern could ever defeat an imperial fighter plane.
“Their current speed is three hundred and fifty kilometers per hour.”
The radio operator reported in again. Compared to Paganda’s wyverns, these were much faster. Well, in this world of barbarians and their so-called “superpower” countries, the only way to improve was to breed a better species.
“They’ll be visible in about eight minutes.”
The enemy’s ships weren’t shooting or bombing them at all. But they also didn’t have any air support, either. They had anti-aircraft guns and proximity fuze weapons, but they still felt somewhat worried.
“We’ll be able to see them soon.”
From the sky to the east, they saw numerous black dots. Because they were too slow, they didn’t really get much bigger over time.
“Prepare for anti-air combat!”
The dreadnought’s operations shifted into full battle mode.
“Captain, should we use the standard anti-aircraft shells first?”
The standard anti-aircraft shells had timed fuzes and were fired from the 46cm gun, but they now also had new proximity fuze shells that were distributed for testing purposes. These shells couldn’t be used in short-range combat, so they had to be used at the start of combat, when their targets were still at long range. The enemies were about 30 km away, and, considering their relative speed, they would want to use them soon if at all.
“All right then… prepare to fire main guns. Number one and two guns, load standard anti-air shells, coordinated fire. Evacuate all crew currently above deck.”
After the crew evacuated, the main guns began to move. The front 2 guns (of 6 total) slowly angled upwards, to point into the sky. The process felt very solemn…
“Firing preparations are complete.”
The target’s relative distance was roughly calculated using laser sights.
All six guns fired at the same time.
The air shook.
Leifor army, dragon carrier, mobile troops, attack squadron, size: 40
They were heading to attack the enemy’s giant ship. They flew in a tight formation minimizing dead space in order to mitigate potential enemy attacks. There were two groups of twenty; one group flew at standard altitude, the other group flew above the rear of the first group.
Someone noticed something strange. There were a bunch of black dots in the sky.
(What are those?)
An explosion, a loud noise—
In a flash, twenty densely-packed riders received direct hits from the six fuze shells shot by the 46cm guns. Unbelievably large flowers of fire blossomed in the air. The forward squadron had just been instantly annihilated. The rear squadron milled about in confusion.
“EVERYONE, SPREAD OUT!!!”
Against an opponent capable of explosion magic of this potency, it was suicidal to remain grouped up. Before them, the giant ship was now in visible range. It was gigantic! And it had no sails!
True to their reputation as elites of the powerful Leifor army, the wyvern lord squadron quickly shook off their fear and dove right at the Grade Atlastar.
“There’s… too much!!!”
It was like rain; a rain of light. Within the rain of light, they tried to keep pushing forward towards the enemy ship. One rider was shot down, then another. Whoever the rain of light hit died, but apparently even if they just got too close, they would also be killed… These conditions were way too harsh!!!
10 minutes later, there was no longer anything flying in the sky.
“Co… communications have been interrupted. The dragon rider squadron… has been wiped out.”
“Whaaaaaaaat??!!” bellowed General Bal at the operator’s words. “To those damn uncivilized barbarians…? They brazenly brought only a single ship to face the illustrious Leiforian fleet, yet our riders were defeated?! This cannot stand!!! Our ship-of-the-line will eat them alive!”
“The entire Leiforian fleet will soon be within firing range,” reported the radio operator.
“Hmm… they may be within acceptable firing range, but our accuracy will still be quite poor… The range for shelling was… about two kilometers for non-flying targets according to the documentation, I believe. Does that sound right?”
“Yes, that’s right. However, while the shells are indeed powerful, they must properly explode to reach the ideal power level. Also, they aren’t like cannonballs, I guess they explode differently from gunpowder, but I’m not really clear how it works. The explosions are on par with black gunpowder, though.”
“…They’re all a hundred years behind our civilization, yet they’re the ones calling us ‘barbarians’ instead… What pathetic leadership. When they’re almost within firing range, say about five kilometers away, show them our broadside. Command will coordinate targeting to avoid overlapping. Main and secondary guns, use radar targeting.”
The orders went out.
The 43 ships in the Leiforian fleet under General Bal’s command had their sails filled with wind generated by Tears of the Wind God. They were quickly closing in on Gra Valkas’s dreadnought, the Grade Atlastar. Based on the wyvern lord squadron’s last-known position, they were able to infer the location of the ship and headed in that direction.
“We should be able to see the enemy ship soon.”
Bal opened his eyes wide and scoured the horizon.
“! I see it!”
??!! It was much closer than they had calculated based on the location information they had. The ship was also so big that his sense of perspective began warping. However, the Leiforian fleet had been undefeated for over 300 years, with a 100-gun ship-of-the-line in command of 43 other ships; no matter how big the enemy’s ship was, they were helpless with only one ship.
The entire fleet continued forward, side by side, forming a line as they charged the giant ship.
“What hit our elite riders were probably cannon shells enchanted with explosive magic. Let’s get a taste of that for ourselves!”
The fleet, sails billowing, surged forward. They were about six kilometers from the Grade Atlastar. The enemy ship began to turn, showing its belly to the fleet, as it were. They could see three giant turrets on the ship; the aft and midship ones both turned to point at the fleet.
“It… it can’t be… Are we in range all the way out here?”
Smoke began to rise from the enemy ship.
“We’re too far away, it’s a trick!”
Five giant, ridiculously tall columns of water sprouted in front of and behind the Leiforian fleet.
“W-What power… They’re so accurate at this distance!”
Again, they saw smoke rise, this time from the secondary cannons. They loaded so quickly!!! Another two pillars of water jumped up right next to the ship-of-the-line.
“!!! Ship-of-the-line Gaofors was hit!!!”
The 80-gun ship-of-the-line Gaofors was hit by one of the three secondary cannon shots. The 15cm shell easily pierced the Gaofors’s antimagic steel plating and, unluckily, burst within the ship’s magazine.
The remains of the ship sent up trails of black smoke.
“The Gaofors has been sunk!”
“What?! …Those bastards!!! All ships, continue forward!”
Yet again, the enemy’s main cannons fired. This time, three ships were hit. After the pillars of water had fallen back into the sea, two of the ships were simply gone.
“Ship-of-the-line Toronto has been sunk!!! …Sh-ship-of-the-line Leifor has also been sunk…”
Everyone was stunned. The ship-of-the-line Leifor, which inherited the name of the country, was the symbol of Leifor’s invincibility. It was a 100-gun ship-of-the-line, it had the latest antimagic steel plating, and, at least within the country, it was boasted as the world’s most powerful ship… And that ship easily sank to a single volley from the giant cannon on the barbarians’ giant ship, when they weren’t even within firing distance.
Sadly, reality did not allow them any time to despair. The cannons kept on firing. Stalwart sailors, strong ships with strong crews, without letting off even a single shot, were one-sidedly destroyed by the bombardment. Even though the Leiforian fleet used Tears of the Wind God, the enemy’s giant ship was still much faster. It kept itself outside of their firing range! And ship by ship, the fleet was sinking beneath the waves.
“Dammit! Dammit all!”
Aboard the 100-gun ship-of-the-line flagship Holly, General Bal shook with fear. All other ships in the fleet had now been sunk. The enemy ship slowly turned in the water, and all its cannons spun around to aim at the Holly.
“…Raise the flag of surrender,” he ordered.
They raised that flag on the Holly’s mast, which symbolized the declaration to surrender in this world.
“Enemy ship approaching.”
“Those bastards… Those bastards! When those barbarians get close enough, all cannons fire, sink that monstrosity to the bottom of the ocean!”
“B-But, to attack after declaring surrender… that would stain the honor of Leifor!” one of the ship’s officers objected.
“He was lost to the enemy’s cannon fire… You understand, don’t you?” asked General Bal as he approached the ship’s captain. He had just shot the officer to death.
“What’s wrong? There isn’t a ship in the world that could withstand a full barrage from our cannons and remain afloat… And there’s only one enemy ship. If no one rats, no one will know what we’ve done.”
Bal looked at the approaching ship.
“Ready the cannons.”
The idiots kept on coming closer. They stopped about 300 meters away. There was basically no way they could miss now.
“Fools… The price for destroying my fleet is high! FIIIIIRRRRRRE!!!”
From one side of the ship, 50 cannons fired at the same time. A navy’s weapons were its men, and their methods of attack in this world were usually ballistae to draw enemies closer, fire arrows, and directly invading enemy ships. However, the prosperous superpower Leifor secretly built ships equipped to wholly destroy enemy ships. They would now use their hidden power on this monstrous enemy.
The giant ship took the cannonballs directly, and there was a huge explosion. With smoke pouring out of the cannons and plumes of smoke coming from the enemy ship where the cannonballs hit, all anyone could see was smoke.
“All cannons scored direct hits!”
“GAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Take that, you bastards! That will teach you barbarians to mess with Leifor, hahahaha… hah?”
The smoke cleared up.
The enemy’s… rotating turrets… leisurely…… turned… and took aim at the Holly…
“Enemy ship is still active!!!” the radio operator screamed.
“There was… absolutely… no effect? …Cursed monstrosity…”
The Grade Atlastar fired all nine of its 46cm guns simultaneously at close range, and the Leiforian fleet’s last ship-of-the-line, the Holly, was erased from existence.
“…They fired at us after surrendering… So this is all a ‘superpower’ amounts to… I think a little punishment is in order. What is our remaining ammunition?”
“Each gun has about seventy shots, sir.”
“I see… the enemy’s capital sits on the ocean, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, it should be about three hundred and fifty kilometers straight ahead…”
“They shall be punished by bombardment, then.”
The next evening, the capital of Leifor, Leiforia, was burned to ash after being bombarded by the dreadnought Grade Atlastar. The emperor perished, the remaining armies surrendered, and the Gra Valkas Empire annexed Leifor and began settling in their land. The Grade Atlastar, which sank the entire Leiforian fleet by itself and then burned the Leiforian capital to the ground, driving the entire country to capitulate, became feared as the world’s largest, strongest ship, and turned into a legend.
It was an event that shook the world.
TL edit: Whoops, totally brain-freezed on “Grade Atlastar” and originally TL’d it as “Great Atlastar.”
Also, here is the cover art for volume 4 of the light novel adaptation, which features the Grade Atlastar: