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Legend of Galactic Heroes

Chapter 7: The Center-Stage Comedy

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The epic space opera, the Legend of Galactic Heroes, is based on a series of novels and short stories written by Tanaka Yoshiki from 1988 to 2000. The novels have been published in Chinese and English, and there is (at present) no indication of an English-language publisher picking up this fantastic series.


The following English translation is entirely unofficial. The text was originally translated from Chinese to English by Peter Tan, and edited by Jeremy Naidus.

Part IEdit

The Imperial representative in the Phezzan Dominion was the High Commissioner, Count Jochen von Remscheld.

This silvery hair and almost clear pupils of royalty, was sent from the Imperial capital when Rubinsky became the leader of Phezzan. He was also named “White Fox”. No doubt an opposite comparison of Rubinsky’s “Black Fox”.

This night, he openly accepted Rubinsky’s invitation. However, the reception took place not at the leader’s office, his official residence, or even the private residence, but a private villa beside an artificial lake which the owner was one of Rubinsky’s mistress.

“How many mistresses do you have?”

People had asked him about this before. Rubinsky didn’t answer immediately but used a serious expression as a disguise, then smiled. “It is uncountable if we use the single digit”.

Although it was a bit exaggerated, it wasn’t too much of brag either.

Rubinsky was a purely one of pleasure seeker. Sweet smelling wine, delicious foods, expressive music, and gorgeous women were all his hobbies.

But to him, these were only second-class entertainments. The most interesting were political and strategical games. They were games using a country and mankind’s fate as poker chips to gamble with. The fun within them was too good to compare to wine or women.

Rubinsky believed that skillfully using non-violent means to gain power was a form of an art. Threaten with force was one of the lowest way of doing things, no matter under what idealistic banner. But the Empire and the Alliance were no different from each other in this point. Rubinsky thought that these two were twins born to hate each other from the loin of Rudolf.

“Sir, there must be something that you want to tell me for tonight’s invitation?”

Count Remscheld asked as he put his cup on the marble table. Rubinsky replied happily while observing his wary expression. “Of course. I believe that you will be most interested ….. The Free Planets Alliance is planning a massive offensive against the Empire”.

For this Imperial noble, the full gravity of this news needed a few seconds to swallow.

“The Alliance? Eh, are you saying that the rebels are planning something devious to the Empire?”

“After taking the Iserlohn Fortress, the Alliance seemed to fill with a warring atmosphere”.

“Taking over the Iserlohn Fortress does let the rebels gain a bridgehead for invading the Empire. That is the truth, but an immediate invasion?”

“But, according to my trustworthy intelligence sources, the Alliance is planning a massive invasion!”

“And this massive invasion is made of …..?”

“More than 20 million soldiers. No! Perhaps more than 30 million”.

“30 million!”

The Count’s pupil flashed white.

Even the Imperial military can’t muster a huge force so fast. The problem of this scale of mobilization is not just in the numbers, but it involves organization, management, schedule, and utilization. Does the Alliance have such powers? No matter what, this really is a valuable intelligence.

“But why do you want to tell me about this? Do you have any other reasons?”

“I’m surprised at what you said. Did Phezzan ever do anything to hurt the Empire before?”

“Oh no. The Empire completely believes Phezzan’s loyalty and trustworthiness.”

Both sides deceitfully mocked each other. They both knew the truth, but didn’t say them out loud.

Soon after, Count Remscheld left. Rubinsky smiled sinisterly as he watched the count’s car left on the video screen.

Will the High Commissioner immediately send this information when he gets to his office since this is a critical intelligence?

After losing Iserlohn, will the Imperials change their tactics to meet the Alliance? If so, the leading commander perhaps will be Count Lohengramm Rheinhard? I can only hope that the Imperials don’t win too much.

If not, then it will be troublesome.

Before when he received the report that Yang took over the Iserlohn Fortress with half a fleet, Rubinsky didn’t say this to the Empire. One, perhaps he didn’t believe it would succeed. The second, perhaps he wanted to see Yang’s tactics.

“Such a strategy exists? It is most impressive!” Rubinsky was very surprised to hear the news. “But shouldn’t just be impressed! The balance of military power now had shifted to the Alliance and it should be balanced. The Imperials should be let to recover a bit.”

“They must be allowed to decimate each other.”

Part IIEdit

The State Minister also the acting Prime Minister, Marquis Lichtenlade, received a visit from the Finance Minister, Viscount Kleinghelt.

The purpose of this visit was to report the progress on the management of the aftermath of Kastrop Upheaval. It was considered very impolite for a subordinate to report to a superior using TV communication in his residence.

“Duke Kastrop’s territorial finance investigation is almost complete. The total sum is more than 500 billion Imperial marks!”

“He really knew how to save.”

“Yes, but still, it is a pity that after all that effort, everything will go to the Imperial treasury.”

The Finance Minister tasted the red wine. The State Minister put down his cup with a slightly different expression.

“I have something to discuss with you.”

“What is it?”

“Recently, Count Remscheld from Phezzan had sent an emergency communication. The rebels seemed to be preparing for a big invasion of the Empire.

“The rebels?”

State Minister nodded. The Finance Minister shakily put his cup of wine on the table.

“That is a big problem.”

“Yes, but also it is a good chance.” The State Minister’s hands were crossed in front of his chest. “This time, we must win. According to an internal report, the populace is getting restless in a revolutionary atmosphere. They must have felt the loss of Iserlohn as well. To clear this atmosphere away, we must defeat the rebels and restore the prestige of the royal family. Also, we have to give them some incentives such as give a few ideological prisoners special pardons, reduce taxes, lower wine prices, etc..”

“Don’t treat them too good or they will take advantage. I saw some underground essays which wrote “Men should have rights before responsibility” and other craps. If give them special pardons, wouldn’t it help to increase their momentum?”

“Perhaps, but just tightly grasp people’s neck cannot rule effectively.” The State Minister pointed out.

“Although what you are saying is not wrong, but do we have to cater to the populace? ….. No, we can discuss this later. The source of the intelligence that rebels will invade our Empire is from that Rubinsky?”

State Minister nodded.

“The Black Fox of Phezzan!” Finance Minister unhappily cursed. “I have a feeling that compare to the rebels, Phezzan’s money-grubbers could be more dangerous to the Empire. What is his true purpose?”

“I also have the same feeling. But right now, we need to take care of the rebel threat first. Who should take that important defense position?”

“The gold hair brat probably wants to take it. Shouldn’t we let him take care of this?”

“Don’t let your emotion cloud your judgment! If he wins, then he will be famous even more and perhaps then, we won’t have any power left to oppose him. If he loses, we will fight in an extremely disadvantageous situation against the rebels. It might even be possible, that we would fight in the middle of the Empire with 30 million confident rebels!”

“Perhaps sir, you are too pessimistic.”

The Finance Minister began to explain.

“After a battle with Count Lohengramm, even if the rebels win, they will have heavy losses. The Count does have talent and will damage the rebels considerably. Also, the rebels would be far from their bases so they will not be easy to resupply. They don’t even have the a space geography map. Then, we can attack a tired enemy with fresh troops. Under this situation, we might not even have to battle, just make this into a prolonged war. The enemy will feel insecure and have problems with supplies. Then they will have to retreat. If we take this chance and strike them, it won’t be too difficult to win.”

“I see. But that is only after the gold haired brat failed. What if he wins? Even now we couldn’t control him since he is using the Kaiser’s favor and his military merit. If we let him continue to grow, the result might be disastrous.”

“Let him grow is not necessarily a bad thing. He is only a brat who rapidly advanced. We can take care of him at any time. He cannot stay with his troops every second, right?”

“Mmm…”

“When the rebels are defeated, that gold haired brat will go down too. At this time of need, shouldn’t we effectively use his talents?”

The Finance Minister cold said.

Part IIIEdit

Universal Calendar 796, August 12. Heinnesen, the capital of the Free Planets Alliance, held invasion of the Empire strategy meeting.

Those in the Logistics underground meeting room included the Logistic Chief of Staff, Fleet Admiral Sitolet and thirty-six other officers. Yang Wenli was among them as well.

Yang’s face didn’t have any relaxed expressions. Just like what he had said to Captain Schonkopf, he felt that if Iserlohn Fortress was taken, then the dangers of war would be removed. But the truth was just the opposite and Yang felt himself too young and naive

But even if he were young and naive, Yang would never agree to move to the offense and broaden the war.

The victory over Iserlohn was just Yang’s victory. The Alliance didn’t have the true ability to match it. The actual situation was that the soldiers were tired and the Alliance’s power to support the military was at the lowest limit.

But seemed this truth was not recognized by the heads of the military.

Military victory was like a hallucinating drug. This “Iserlohn Fortress Victory” poison seemed to bring out the explosive warlike nature of mankind. Even the supposedly calm press media also rallied to “attack the Empire!” The government propaganda group and the intelligence department had also actively pushing such opinions.

Perhaps the sacrifice to take over Iserlohn is too small! Yang thought. If this victory had caused tens of thousands of people’s blood to achieve, people perhaps would say: “It is enough already! We won but are tired. We should rest a little. Then think about the past and hope for the future. What other things should we fight for?”

But the truth was not so. The people were thinking that victory was easy to achieve. The victory was too sweet. Ironically, this delusion was caused by Yang himself. For this young commander, this was not his intention and his drinking increased as a result.

The formation of the expedition fleets, though not announced publicly, was already roughly determined.

The Chief Commander was given to the Alliance’s Space Fleet Commander, Fleet Admiral Lasarre Lobos. He was the second in command just after Sitolet in Logistics and had a half a century power struggle with Sitolet.

The Lieutenant Commander position wasn’t used. The Chief of Staff was given to Admiral Dwight Greenhill, who was Frederica’s father. Under him, he had Battle Director, Vice Admiral Konev, Intelligence Director, Rear Admiral Birolinen, and the Rear Director, Rear Admiral Cazellnu. It was Alexander Cazellnu first front-line duty in a long time.

Under the Battle Director, there were five Battle Aides. One of them, Commodore Andrew Fork, was the top graduate of the academy six years ago. It was this young officer who had suggested the expedition plan.

The Intelligence Director had three Intelligence Aides and the Rear Director had three Rear Aides each.

The above sixteen officers plus lieutenants, communication, guards, and other personnel formed the Chief Command.

The actually battle personnel were formed by eight fleets.

Third Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Lefebres; Fifth Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Bucock; Seventh Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Hoghwood; Eighth Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Appleton; Ninth Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Salem; Tenth Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Uranff; Twelfth Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Borodin; Thirteenth Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Yang.

This time, the remnant ships from the second fleet were also given to the Thirteenth fleet. Therefore, the ten fleets of the Alliance’s Space Fleet, only the First and the Eleventh fleet will remain within Alliance territories.

Also, mobile infantries, atmospherical fighter planes, amphibious marines, water units, mounted units, and other independent units, even internal security forces were enlisted.

The non-combat personnel in the areas of technical, engineer, supply, communication, management, equipment, electronic intelligence, medical, social, and others were enlisted to the upper limits.

The total personnel numbered at 30,220,7400, which was about 60% of Free Planets Alliance’s military forces. And this number was 13 billion Alliance population’s 0.23%.

Even to those experienced commanders, the historic battle plan wasn’t taken lightly. Some were wiping away non-existent sweat, some were constantly drinking prepared ice water, and some were talking quietly with their neighbors.

At 9:45, the Chief of Logistics, Fleet Admiral Sitolet, along with his lieutenant walked in. The meeting started immediately.

“The Imperial Territorial Expedition was approved by the High Council, …..”

Fleet Admiral Sitolet’s voice didn’t gave anyone a sense of high-spirit. Everyone there knew that he was against this expedition.

“But the details of the expedition fleets are still not determined. Today’s meeting is for this purpose. The Alliance’s army is a free nation’s army. I hope everyone can discuss and suggest ideas according to this spirit.”

Perhaps someone saw the chief’s anguish from the lackluster speech, or perhaps someone was feeling a slight dislike toward dogmatism. When the chief closed his mouth, the room was quite.

Recent conversation with Cazellnu’ played repeated within Yang’s mind.

“Anyway, there will be an election in three months. In these days, the negative effects of war made economy, society, people, and other problems worse. Unlucky events happened increasingly. To win the election, they must distract the eyes of the public to the outside, which is the true purpose of this expedition.”

Yang thought. “This is a method for the leaders to cover up their failure to govern. If the founding father, Heinnesen sees this, would he be disappointed? His ideal wasn’t for people to build his 50 feet white memorial statue, but to build a social structure that will prevent leaders to violate people’s rights and freedom, and do other dangerous actions.”

Just as mankind became weak, nations would also become depraved and decadent. But even so, to win an election and to maintain four more years of power, sending 30 million people to the battlefield was beyond Yang’s comprehension. 30 million people, 30 million lives, 30 million fates, 30 million emotions, ….. Those who were in safe areas would be the only ones to enjoy the benefits of these sacrifices.

The uneven relationship between those who fight and those who instigate fighting was historic. After all of these eras, it still didn’t improve. Perhaps ancient overlord types who put themselves in front of the formation and face the same dangers as his soldiers, were better than now a days? Perhaps this was the proof of the low ethics of those who instigate war …..

“I believe this expedition is the greatest feat that the Alliance had ever done. It means very much for a soldier like me who will participate in it as an Staff Aide.”

That was the first speech.

Something seemed to be missing in this voice and made it very uncomfortable to hear. This monotone recitation-like voice was from Commodore Andrew Fork. Although he was twenty-six, he looked much older, even more so than Yang. He had a pair of prideful eyes and a twisted lip which made his impression upon others dark. After Fork praised the expedition plan – his suggested plan, the next to talk was the commander of the Tenth Fleet, Vice Admiral Uranff.

Uranff was a descendent of a horse people who once had conquered half of ancient Earth. He was a strong and healthy type of man with a pair of intense, light black eyes. Among the commanders of the Alliance, he was the one of the bravest and beloved by its citizens.

“Since we are soldiers, no matter what, we must bravely go forward when we receive the order. And we are duty-bound to destroy the bases of the tyrannical Goldenbaum Dynasty. But, such great undertaking doesn’t mean we have to rush. All kinds of preparations are needed. First, I like to ask, what is the strategic goal of this expedition?

Are we to fight a battle with the enemy in their territory? Or will we occupy a part of the Imperial territories? Will it be temporarily or permanent? If permanent, do we need to transform it to a fortress? If temporarily, does that mean we have to deal a fatal blow to the Imperial military to force the Kaiser of the Galactic Empire to sign a peace treaty before returning it to them? The expedition itself will be short or long? …..

I want to ask these questions.”

Uranff then sat down. Fleet Admiral Sitolet and Lobos looked at Commodore Fork as if to hurry his response.

“All we need to do is to get our fleets deep into Imperial territories. Then those Imperials will be terrified!” That was Commodore Fork’s answer.

“After that, what then? Retreat?”

“It depends on the situation and we must maintain high levels of flexibility to adapt to any situation.”

Uranff was unsatisfied and furred his brows. “Can you say it in more detail? It is too abstract.”

“Simple, it is first go in then decide what to do, right?”

That sarcastic voice made Fork’s lip twisted even more. It was from the commander of the Fifth Fleet, Vice Admiral Bucock. He was one of few old and experience commanders besides Fleet Admiral Sitolet, Lobos, and Admiral Greenhill. Since he wasn’t a graduate from the academy, but was promoted from a simple soldier, his age and experience were more plentiful than most others.

Fork seemed to fear to answer him. Since it wasn’t a proper speech, he ignored it.

“Any other questions?” He purposely asked.

After some hesitation, Yang spoke up. “Please tell us the reason why you choose the timing to invade the Empire at this time.”

Of course it won’t be for election. Yang thought.

“Timing is very important in battle.” Fork began to answer Yang like a teacher. “If we miss a golden opportunity, the result will be against fate. Later when regretfully say ‘only if did that back then …..’ is already too late.”

“Anyway, do you think now is the right time to start an offensive against the Empire?”

Although he thought it is a bit silly to purposely confirm this, Yang still asked.

“a BIG offensive.” Fork corrected Yang.

Yang thought in his heart. “He really likes to exaggerate.”

“Because of the loss of Iserlohn Fortress, the Imperial military must be in chaos. So if we take this chance, using the snake formation, and march forward while proudly raise the flag of freedom and righteousness, of course we will win!”

Fork’s voice had mixed in a degree of euphoria.

“But this expedition is too deep into enemy’s territory. When the formation is too long, it will cause supply and communication problems. Moreover, if the enemy attacks our sides, it will easily break our forces in two.”

Although Yang’s argument had some heat, but it might not be the same as what he was thinking inside. It is pointless to think about the detail of this operation while its strategical structure hasn’t been setup yet ….. But, this must be said.

“Why do you only say the dangers of splitting in two? The enemy will no doubt lose since charging in to our middle will have to face attacks from both sides of our forces. This danger is not important.”

Fork overly optimistic argument made Yang felt extremely tired. After controlling himself, he argue back again. “The enemy commander will likely be that Count Lohengramm. He is a most talented tactician. Perhaps we should take this into account and find a more prudent course of action?”

Before Fork could answer, Admiral Greenhill spoke.

“Vice Admiral, I know you have a high opinion of Count Lohengramm, but he is still young and still can cause errors and mistakes, right?”

Admiral Greenhill’s words didn’t meant much for Yang.

“Of course! But win or lose is opposite ….. If our mistake is more serious than his mistakes, then he will win and we will lose.”

What Yang really wanted to say was this whole conjecture itself was wrong.

“No matter what, this is all just guess right now.” Fork decided. “To be scared by overestimating the enemy is shameful to soldiers. Moreover, no matter purposely or not, if this dampers the morale and slows down the decision-making and operation, it will be advantageous to the enemy. Please be careful in your words.”

Someone pounded the meeting table. It was Vice Admiral Bucock.

“Commodore Fork, could your words be impolite?”

“Which part?”

The old commander’s eyes sharply looked at him and that made him twitch.

“Is saying it will be advantageous to the enemy just because an opinion that doesn’t agree with you a good demeanor?

“I wasn’t implying anything. I am confused to why my words were treated as a slander.”

Fork’s thin face slightly twitched. Yang saw that clearly but didn’t get angry about it.

“….. After all, this expedition was meant to liberate the 25 billion people of the tyrannical Galactic Empire. Those who are against it could be suspected as Imperial sympathizers. Am I right?”

Comparing to Fork’s uplifting voice, everyone else was quite. They were unmoved.

“Even if the enemy had huge military forces, have all the spatial terrain advantages, or have a never imagined super weapon, we cannot stop. As long as we are in a role of a liberator and people protector, the Imperial citizens will all welcome us and help us …..”

Fork ranted on.

Never imagined super weapon doesn’t exist. Between two opposite forces, creating and using such a weapon by one group, the opposite group could achieve, at least in theory, about the same weapon, no matter it was submarines, nuclear fission weapons, or energy beam weapons. The other group who didn’t develop it would never say “how is that possible” but will say “it really is possible”. Mankind’s imagination differs greatly between individuals, but the same difference would be very much less so within groups. Besides, the appearance of new weapons depended on the combine technological and economical factors. Therefore, during the Stone Age, airplanes could not have appeared.

From a historic point of view, only the Spaniards who won against the Incas were using new weapons, but even that was using ancient Inca myths. The ancient Greek, Archimedes, also designed many scientific weapons, but still couldn’t withstand the assaults by the Roman Empire.

Those that were thought impossible but appeared were how to use military forces. New ways of thinking that incorporated new weapons did exist, such as the broad usage of guns and cannons, sea power supported by air power, or combine vehicles and airplanes to achieve super mobile tactics. But Hannibal’s surround and destroy, Napoleon's one by one rout, Mao Zedong’s guerrilla warfare, Genghis Khan’s mounted group tactic, and Sun Tsu’s psychological intelligence warfare were all created without new weapons.

Yang didn’t fear any Imperial new weapons. He feared Count Lohengramm’s military talents and Alliance’s mistake of thinking that the Imperial citizens thought that the dream of freedom and liberty were more important than the actual peaceful existence and stability. It could only be said as a hope and not a prediction. It wasn’t a factor that should be included in the calculation to determine a strategical plan.

Yang thought with a bit of grief: “This expedition, an irresponsible feeling exists not just in the conceived motive, but also in the operational planning as well.”


The expedition deployment was decided. The vanguard was Uranff’s Tenth Fleet, the second position was Yang’s Thirteenth Fleet.

The expedition headquarter would be setup in Iserlohn Fortress. During that period, the Chief Commander of the expedition would also be the commander of Iserlohn Fortress.

Part IVEdit

To Yang, this worthless meeting was finished. Just as he was leaving, Fleet Admiral Sitolet told him to stay.

“I think you probably want to say ‘I should have resigned before’, right?”

Fleet Admiral Sitolet’s voice had a kind of futile tone. He sighed, then continued. “I’m also too naive. I thought that when the Iserlohn Fortress was taken, then everything else after that would be fine. But now it is not so.”

Yang didn’t know what to say so he kept quiet. Of course, Sitolet was trying to use peace to fortify his position and strengthen his voices and influences. But, that was easy to forgive compared to the war hawks’ irresponsible adventurism and naive strategical plot.

“Looks like I was tripped by my own designs. If we didn’t take over Iserlohn, then war hawks will not gamble so heavily today. I’m tasting my own bitter fruit and had dragged you into it as well.”

“….. Do you want to resign?”

“Right now, I cannot. But after this expedition, whether win or lose, I will have to resign.”

If the expedition were defeated, Fleet Admiral Sitolet would have to take responsibility and resign. On the other hand, if the expedition succeeded, the reward for the Chief Commander of the expedition, Fleet Admiral Lobos, could only be the Chief of Logistics position. Plus, he didn’t approve of the expedition in the first place, therefore would be forced to leave this position. No matter what, it seemed that he knew what would be in store for him. Sitolet himself could only accept his fate.

“At this moment, I can only hope that this expedition will be victorious with a minimal amount of sacrifice.”

“…..”

“If terribly defeated, then the lost blood is for nothing. If win, the war hawks will then gain control. No matter in common sense or political strategy, they will slowly make controlling them impossible for the government and the people. There existed countless nations in history that won in an impossible scenario, but lost everything after that.”

“Mmm…..”

“Now do you understand why your resignation was rejected? It wasn’t due to I have foreseen today’s event, but your existence for the military will be more important than ever.”

“…..”

“Because you know history, and sometimes you are disgusted toward power or force. But no matter what kind of a nation, it is impossible to exist without them. So it’s better for someone who has morals and senses to govern, than those without talents and corrupted. I am a soldier and shouldn’t get into politics, but looking at the internal military organization, Commodore Fork is a despicable character.”

Yang was greatly surprised by his strong words.

Sitolet slightly controlled his emotions.

“He used private channels to pass his battle plan to the secretary of the speaker of the High Council. I also know he used reasons that his plan is the best way to maintain the current power structures to convince the secretary. But his motive is just to raise his own fame. Although his goal was to gain the highest position of the military, right now a super strong competitor appeared. So he wants to get a bigger military merit than that person. Perhaps he has a queer notion that he was the top graduate from the academy and shouldn’t lose out to a mediocre classmate.”

“I see.”

Seeing Yang’s unconcerned composure, Fleet Admiral Sitolet finally smiled.

“Sometimes you are very slow. His competitor isn’t anyone else but you!”

“Ah ….. Me?”

“Yes, you.”

“But chief, I …..”

“This situation has nothing to do with your opinion of yourself. Fork’s thinking and his ways of achieving this goal are the source of this problem. It is similar to a political method. Even if it is not so …..” The Fleet Admiral sighed. “….. You probably know by now what kind of person he is during today’s meeting. To show his ability, he can argue without truth, even put down others. In truth, he is not that talented like he thinks ….. It is too dangerous to give other people’s fate into hands of this person.”

“You just said that my importance is increasing …..” Yang said while he thought. “….. Do you want me to go against Commodore Fork?”

“It is not that you purposely chose Fork to be your opponent. As long as you stand in the highest position of the military, you can naturally control or get rid of people like him. I have this kind of expectation, although I know it will cause your confusion.”

Quietness covered both people like a wet cloth. To take off this cloth, Yang slowly shook his head.

“The chief always gives me difficult tasks, just like the attack on Iserlohn Fortress …..”

“But wasn’t you successful?”

“At that time ….. but …..” Yang went quiet after saying only half sentence. Then he thought a bit more and said. “I’m not disgusted at power or force. No, I am only afraid. Once gotten power or military force, almost everyone becomes ugly. There are too much examples that I know of. I am not confident that I will not change when that happens.”

“Didn’t you just say ‘almost’? Just like that, not everyone will change after having power.”

“In short, I just want to maintain a honorable style, and not get close to dangerous things. I only want do well in my job and live a comfortable and easy life. Perhaps this is a kind of slacker attitude?”

“That’s right, a slacker attitude.” Fleet Admiral Sitolet smiled strangely after seeing Yang’s speechless expression. “I also had to do many hard tasks. When myself was doing them and saw other people’s easy and loose lives, I didn’t felt pleasant. But think about the other side, if I don’t let you do what your talent could do, then it is also not fair.”

“….. Not fair?”

Yang didn’t know what other ways he could express his feelings besides forcing a smile. He thought, Sitolet, not me, wanted myself to find hard tasks to do. In the end, he understood the truth that he had wasted a chance to resign.

Part VEdit

In front of Rheinhard, young commanders belonged to his Grand Admiral Mansion had gathered.

Kircheis, Mittermeyer, Reuenthal, Bittenfeld, Lutz, Wahlen, Kempf, and Oberstein. Rheinhard believed that they are the Imperial military human resource’s elites. But, he must still raise the quality and the quantity. Everyone must agree that working for the Grand Admiral Mansion means that person was able and talented. Although right now it was already so, Rheinhard wanted to move one step further.

“The Imperial intelligence has the following report.”

Rheinhard looked around once. The commanders all intentionally raised their heads and push out their chests to greet his glance.

“Sometimes ago, the so called Free Planets Alliance border rebels successful took the forward Imperial base, the Iserlohn Fortress. Everyone here knows that. Now, the rebels are gathering their strength at Iserlohn. According to a conservative estimate, it will gather about 200,000 ships and 30 million personnel.”

The commanders’ eyes brightened. To command such a big force was a soldier’s dream. Although it was the enemy’s, its great size was still admirable.

“The meaning of this is very clear. The rebels are preparing an all out war to invade the Empire.”

Rheinhard’s eyes lit up like fires.

“To respond to this greatest military threat that the Galactic Empire had ever seen, the State Minister had send words. I am chosen to lead the defense and counterattack force. Around two days, I will receive formal orders. This is the highest honor for a soldier. I am looking forward to all of your displays.”

He used a serious tone to finish this sentence. Then his face suddenly smiled, and it was a kind of energetic and imposing smile. It was not the kind of innocent smile that he had done in front of his sister Annerose and Kircheis.

“In short, other units are palace ornaments and cannot be relied on. This is a good chance to get promoted and rewarded.”

The commanders also laughed. They had the same kind of dislike toward those power lusting and special privileged nobles. Rheinhard didn’t enlist them just for their abilities.

“Next, I want to discuss with everyone where should we counterattack the enemy? …..”

Mittermeyer and Bittenfeld suggested the same idea. The rebels would need to pass the Iserlohn Corridor to invade. How about attacking them just as they emerge from the corridor and into Imperial territory? We can estimate where the enemy will appear, and then attack its vanguard. Also we can use half surround tactic which will be even easier and more advantageous …..

“No …..”

Rheinhard shook his head. The enemy perhaps already predicted that they would be attacked when they emerge from the corridor to the Imperial territory. The vanguard will be very elite so we shouldn’t attack them directly. Also when they are under attack, the rest of enemies can just hide in the corridor to prevent us to attack further..

“We need to draw them deeper inside.”

Rheinhard told everyone of his view. After short discussions, the commanders all agreed.

Draw enemy deep into Imperial territory, and then attack them when their supply lines and formation lines had stretched to its limits will make the victory almost inevitable.

“This will waste a lot of time.”

Mittermeyer said. He was a short but strong young officer. He also had a head of honey hair and gray pupils.

The Alliance rebels used such a huge force. Its formations, supplies, and equipments must be ample. Mittermeyer’s “waste time” was conceivable to ask. But Rheinhard confidently looked at all of his commanders.

“No, it won’t use too much time. Maybe around 50 days will be enough! Oberstein, explain to them the basic battle strategy.”

The half white haired staff aide walked forward and began to explain about the basic battle strategy. As the explanation went on, the commanders were slowly awed at the magnitude of this plan. == Epilogue== Universal Calendar 796, August 22. Free Planets Alliance' Chief Commander of the Imperial Territorial Expedition had finished making preparations inside Iserlohn Fortress. An enormous fleet with more than 30 million soldiers began its slow march from Heinnesen and the surrounding planets to Iserlohn Fortress.

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