Starship Commander Trapped In A Fantasy World Chapter 227"What's the situation?"
"Right away, your excellency While information at the moment is sparse and there's a lot of information we can't confirm at the moment, it seems that we're under attack from at least 5 different directions, moreover, it would appear that all hostile elements are heading this way."
Hearing his worst fears being confirmed by his trusted ministers, the Emperor let his dignified expression disappear as he realized the severity of the situation.
"What about the sanctuaries?"
"Most of them are responding and have reported extreme casualties."
Sensing something wrong with that statement, the Emperor focused on the minister of magic who seemed unwilling to fully elaborate.
"Most of them?"
"... The 22nd seems to not be responding to our hails."
"Have you personally heard anything from Eos?"
While the rest of his war council seemed to be panicking over the fact that their most powerful ally seemed to not be willing to fight, the Emperor maintained a calm and collected expression, at least on the surface.
"... I've indeed heard from her, although I don't believe it would be wise to talk about that here at the council."
"I see, then I'll talk with you about that matter in private later. Now for the defences, General Hampton recommends setting up a layered defence, but with the current situation, I don't believe that such a thing is possible."
Continuing the emergency war council, the Emperor and his ministers laid out plans for the defence of the imperial capital, ending the meeting only 2 hours after it started.
"Then we all have our roles to play, dear minister of magic, please remain behind."
"Of course, your excellency."
While the other ministers and their assistants left the meeting room, only the emperor and the minister of magic remained seated.
With only the two of them left in the room, the emperor called out to no one in particular, a muffled voice responded from a corner of the meeting room as a presence shifted into existence.
"Seal this room."
"Yes sire, at your command."
As the shadow delivered an instant response and disappeared, a formless presence seemed to spread all over the room and completely isolated it from the rest of the world.
"So, what did Eos tell you?"
While the minister of magic had obligations towards the Empire which came with her position, she was also a member of the 22nd sanctuary. Therefore, if she refused to talk about certain subjects within the range of the other ministers, that decision had to be respected. Of course, it was not normal that an archangel from 22nd sanctuary would serve below the emperor, normally it would be the other way around, but due to the achievements of this emperor the roles had changed. Still, there were some things that even the emperor had to take into account, although she was technically his underling, there wasn't really that much he said which would be outright against her.
"Lady Eos told me to come home immediately and abandon my post within the empire."
"Is that so?"
"It is indeed, your excellency."
With the minister of magic answering in an overly formal manner, there was a slight pause as the emperor didn't quite know how to respond.
"... There's no need to address me this way when we're alone, miss Artemis. I'm still very much aware of my own standing."
Offering a slight bow to signify that he was still aware of his own standing, it was the emperor's turn to confuse the minister of magic.
(What is he talking about?...)
"Could it be that you still don't understand my intentions, your excellency?"
"... Indeed, I have no idea."
While an emperor was never supposed to admit to his mistakes in front of his subjects, the emperor really found himself at a loss when it came to this particular archangel. Growing up he had been lectured at length on the relationship between the imperial family and the sanctuaries, it was only by his own hands he had changed the status quo after so long if nothing else then just on the surface at least. Even if the status quo had changed on the surface, the sanctuaries would still talk down to him, with the sole exception being the angel in front of him. Ever since he could remember, the archangel Artemis had seemed strangely approachable and respecting compared to the other angels.
"It's because I have already made my choice. Eos and I have been friends for a long time so I'm sure she understands and hasn't taken any offence."
"Hasn't taken any offence as to what?"
"To the fact that I've chosen to remain here for the time being and see how things go."
The fact that Artemis had gone against an order from her sanctuary actually didn't surprise the emperor that much, but it was still a bit strange to hear such a thing out loud.
"... 'see how things go' huh? I really envy you angels and your easy going life."
"This really reminds me of when we were travelling to the south."
"Ah, yeah it does."
Travelling down an empty highway in formation, Lilly was lazing around inside a transport AEHWP together with Alice while Terra helped Dax with equipping his XMRA armour.
"Eh? Did you guys travel to the south?"
As Alice had been recovering from her injuries doing that time she was quite surprised to hear about that journey as it was news to her.
"Yeah, we travelled down to a sphere and collected it while also somehow saving a marekin that had been kidnapped."
"This is a lot like that as we would spend a lot of time travelling in these contraptions like this, with nothing to do."
Complaining as she laid flat on her stomach with her legs swinging in the air, Lilly seemed used to travel this way, which made sense to Alice since she figured that they must have spent a lot of time inside the transport when travelling to the south.
"Is that so?... By the way, what's up with Dax?"
Switching up the subject as she figured that she could ask Terra about her journey to the south at a less serious point in time, Alice had noticed that Dax didn't really take part in their idle conversations, in fact, he hadn't said anything for the hour or so he had been slowly covering himself in layers of armour with the help of Terra.
"He's doing something else."
As to demonstrate her point, Terra poked Dax on the cheek.
"See? No reaction. He's most likely working on battle formations or something like that, it's like his body is running on autopilot while his mind is somewhere else."
Finding that somehow hard to believe Alice got up from her seat and walked over to Dax and Terra, sitting down in front of Dax and observing him for a few minutes as he continued to put on his armour.
"He really isn't here?..."
Looking into Dax's unfocused eyes for a few more seconds as he continued to mindlessly put armour on, Alice somehow found herself drawn to him, steadily edging closer and closer to his face as her own got increasingly more red.
(T-this is a great chance!)
Deciding not to look a gift horse in the mouth, Alice steadily inched her own face closer to Dax's, prompting Lilly to warn her.
"I wouldn't do tha-"
But alas, the elver's warning came too late.
When Alice breached a certain threshold and came close enough she managed to catch Dax's attention, something which proved to be an extremely poor decision when Dax mercilessly flicked her face.
"... I tried to warn you about that, if you get too close he notices. Stay outside a metre and you should be fine, speaking from experience."
"What kind of experience is that exactly?"
"T-that's a secret!"
(God, I'm going to puke)
While Terra was mentally lamenting the fact that she was struck together with the two way-too-pure lovestruck girls and their target of interest, she absentmindedly put on the last segment of Dax's armour, making the XMRA snap together as it was completed.
"There we are~"
The very second his armour was completely Dax seemed to come back to life as he stood up and stretched, making Alice who was sitting right in front of him fall on her back as she was quite surprised at the sudden change.
"D-Dax!? Did you-"
"Yeah, I heard everything. It was just too much of a hassle to answer when I was busy doing other stuff. More importantly, we're deploying."
With the AEWHP transport coming to a quick stop, Dax popped open the top hatch as he gave out orders.
"Alice, your exoskeleton is here so suit up and follow me after that. Terra and Lilly you're with the 2nd detachment, from here you will link up with Solaris and then advance."
Looking at the imperial capital in the distance, Dax's expression turned cold before he put on his helmet and completely encased himself in the XMRA armour. Jumping down from the top of the transport, Dax's internal heads up display lit up with targeting data as the first volley of Viper cruise missile which was part of the preemptive shelling flew right over his head. Weaving themselves in between trees and other vegetation the Viper missiles closed the range to the fortified capital city, popping up out of cover when they had sufficiently closed the range to their respective targets.
"Here comes the first wave! Shoot them down before they reach our glorious city!"
Having used every second they had to prepare, the proud imperial guard stood ready to defend their beloved imperial capital using whatever means necessary. While angels who called the capital home and had chosen to defend it targeting the fast moving cruise missiles with advanced spells, the imperial guard used a mix of mana powered weapons and salvaged technology to target and fight off the swarm of drones who quickly closed in on the outer wall. While the quick and agile Reaper drones proved hard to target for the defenders, they didn't have nearly enough firepower to the fight and were thus mostly ineffective in breaching the multi layered defensive barrier which surrounded the outer wall, not that they really needed to. While the Reaper drones ran distraction together with the artillery and cruise missiles which constantly rained down, the real threat slowly and magically moved into position.
[RAPIDFIRE ORDER RECEIVED, NOW MOVING TO ACTIVE COOLING MODE #4]
As it had taken up position in a nearby treeline with a direct line of sight to the imperial capital's outer wall, the high calibre Guardian-G097 railgun carrier secured itself in position with long spikes which dug deeply into the ground as its active cooling system ramped up speed in preparation for the mayhem it was about to release.
[FIRE MISSION RECEIVED, LOAD HV-APFSDS.
RANGE: 2045 METERS.
ANTI MATERIAL LEVEL 9.
UNIT 19 READY TO FIRE, AWAITING GO ORDER.]
(ICI, how's the orbital artillery looking?)
Having received a ready signal from the last G097 railgun carrier, Dax switched his attention to another element of the plan as he prepared to charge the imperial capital.
[DEORBIT SUCCESSFUL, CONSTELLATION IMPACT IN 40 SECONDS.]
"Well then, time to smash this annoying little egg with a sledgehammer~"