From the Sea, Sky, and Space!
Barry returned to his post at the Cimon’s combat command center.
Kou was currently cutting a swath of enemies in the front line as part of the vanguard.
「Like I said, you’re a lot more suited to being the commander, Jenny.」
「I’m already fed up with constantly looking at the big picture though. I’ll be here to support you until my Tachycineta is repaired, so place take command of the troops again.」
「I’ll leave the battlefield to you and Rick then. Fortunately, Big Boss seems pretty motivated.」
Barry confirmed the status of Fortress Area P336 and the R001 Orbital Elevator.
「Admiral Aimer, sorry, but I’ll need you to change course. Please rendezvous with the Aristides and Pericles.」
「Do you need Kou?」
「It would be great if he could come over, but I will not force it.」
「Mm. I understand.」
Barry contacted Unit 5 next.
「Kou, do you read me? Sorry for interrupting your rampage on the battlefield, but I need you to immediately head to Fortress Area R001 and join up with the Astraea.」
「You sure are a slave driver! I just arrived here!」
「Thanks to you, our situation here has turned for the better. We’re grateful. So now, please go and help Aimer-chan out. Return to Cimon first. We’ll send you over in the Harmonia.」
Once Aimer’s name was mentioned, Kou didn’t ask any more questions an complied immediately. His first priority now was to protect her.
「Kawakage-san, Palm, we’ll leave the front line to you.」
「Understood. Though not as good as the chairman, we have a good number of masters within our ranks.」
「Please leave it to us! We’ll take care of things here in Big Boss’s place!」
The TAKABA elite squadron and the Quattro trooper unit seemed highly motivated. Barry felt relieved to leave the front line to them.
「Admiral Aimer, please launch immediately once Kou joins up with you. He’ll be flying there on the Harmonia.」
Originally, the Trooper unit was supposed to board the Astraea as well, but due to the Cimon’s predicament, that plan was cancelled.
「Thank you so much, Commander Barry. Both Aki and Astraea look very happy. Yes. A little too happy, even.」
「I-I see. Cut him some slack, alright? You guys.」
Barry asked for mercy on behalf of Kou.
「I’m here, so it will be fine.」
「That’s true. You’re the most reliable person there after all. I’m counting on you, Admiral Aimer.」
Jenny, who was listening in on the exchange, couldn’t help but display a wry grin.
「Good grief. What is going on with those ladies? To think the young admiral over there was actually the most reliable among them.」
「That just means that Astraea wasn’t wrong in appointing her as admiral.」
『She is similar to me after all.』
Dike nodded with satisfaction.
「Dike’s indeed excellent. I think we’ll be able to hold out here with the help of the reinforcements from TAKABA and Landstrom. We’ll have to defend P336 next. Thankfully, reinforcements made it in time over there as well.」
「That’s right. Just rest for now, Jenny. Our Metal Iris troops along with the reinforcements from Ulysses will launch an attack on the enemy aerial carrier fleet tomorrow.」
Barry ran his hand over the terminal.
The direction 10 o’clock of Fortress Area P336 was projected on the screen.
The Argoforce aerial fleet with their large-class aerial carrier as the flagship was on standby in the skies of Planet Asia.
There were three ships in total centered around the first ship of the Ostrog-class super aerial carriers. It was a fortress-like aerial carrier powered by a high-output A-Carbuncle and was outfitted with a deck more than a kilometer in length.
「Two amphibious assault spaceships are approaching us.」
「They appear to be the Pericles and Aristides.」
「Just how do we compare in terms of weapons on board……? But with just those two ships, I don’t imagine they’d have that many.」
Then, an emergency report came in.
「Urgent! A ship is rapidly approaching us from the sea!」
「It appears that ship is joining up with the Pericles and Aristides.」
「Tsk! The Astraea huh?」
A huge aircraft carrier even larger than the Ostrog appeared from the sea.
However, it wasn’t the Astraea.
「Enemy carrier confirmed! ……It’s not the Astraea. It’s the flagship of the Atou Group of Transferee Companies, the Jeanne d’Arc!」
「The Atou Group, you say?! Even a French transferee company has joined Ulysses?!」
「There’s one more. We’ve confirmed an enemy carrier flying over from outer space. We believe it’s the Astraea!」
「So, they are launching a three-pronged attack from the sea, sky, and space huh?」
The fleet commander was a demigod. His name was Iphiklos.
「It can’t be helped. We’re withdrawing. Either way, we’ve already failed to suppress the northern and southeastern fronts. It’s probably about time to concentrate our forces. Are you in agreement, Castor?」
A hooded Castor was on the other end of a transmission.
「That is fine, Iphiklos. The siege has failed. Now, let us focus on concentrating our forces.」
「That’s if we are able to safely withdraw from here.」
Iphiklos sighed. The enemy probably wouldn’t allow them to retreat so easily.
「Have the Coulsons sortie. The Arulars should stay on standby until further notice.」
A large number of Coulsons sortied from the aerial carriers and transport aircraft in order to intercept the Metal Iris forces.
「This is the flagship Jeanne d’Arc of the Atou Group. As the notice stated, we have also decided to join Ulysses and will act together with you all.」
Kieffeff, the captain of Jeanne d’Arc, contacted Fuyuki.
「This is Fuyuki of Fortress Area P336. Thank you for your cooperation.」
「We will now engage the enemy aircraft carrier in combat.」
Kieffeff dropped the transmission.
「We’ve really fallen behind the other companies. To think we were even bested by BAS.」
The Atou Group was a huge European transferee corporation.
It consisted of various companies such as Atou Systems which manufactured land-based combat weapons and warships, and Atou Aviation which specialized in the production of aircraft and transformable Silhouettes.
「Since we were late to the party, we have to make a big splash to make up for the lost time. Flame Mirage, launch!」
The Flame Mirage was a single-engine fighter with a distinctive tailless delta wing configuration. A good number of them launched out from the Jeanne d’Arc one after another.
The Aristides and Pericles landed on the water and launched their complement of Type-0s and Yoanias.
Sensing danger, they began moving from the Fortress Areas they were previously located in.
The Type-0s were OEM products of Misumaru Heavy Industries. Since their production scale capacity was better compared to Gogyou, they were able to easily mass produce the relatively cheap Type-0.
「The enemy is retreating. Just let them go.」
Aimer conducted an analysis.
Edge Swifts started taking off from the Astraea as well.
「Once we secure this water route, it will be easier for us to travel to and from R001 as well as the Silhouette Base. So, it seems we’ve successfully defended this area.」
「Let’s proceed to Fortress Area P336 next. Judging from the deployment of the enemy siege, it looks like they haven’t grasped the location of the Silhouette Base yet.」
「That seems to be the case. Let’s make sure not to come within range of the Megareus to the north. It’s all thanks to Blue and Fuyuki’s hard work.」
The enemy forces have begun their retreat in earnest.
The only enemy planes that appeared were Coulsons. They couldn’t confirm any Arulars.
「The last active battlefield is the defense line being held by the tank corps and train defense network where Hyoue-san and Kurt-san are huh……?」
「I’ll go out in the Epona. Please go and rest, Kou. You’ve been pushing yourself too hard.」
「Not yet. Those two can be considered my masters after all.」
「I understand, Kou. But take the time to rest a little before heading out again, at least.」
Kou decided to comply with Aimer’s words.
He proceeded to take a short nap within the MCS of Unit 5.