I’m the Evil Lord of an Intergalactic Empire! - Volume 6 Chapter 6 – The Expeditionary Force
Somewhere in the vast universe, over 6 million battleships were gathered.
Although it was a sight to behold, the cost required to move such a fleet was equally astronomical.
Even for the huge Empire, an interstellar nation, the expense was nothing to scoff at.
Nevertheless, it was necessary for the Empire to repel the United Kingdoms of Oxis at all costs.
Inside the fleet’s flagship, Klaus, who was essentially forced to become the commanding general, was standing besides His Highness Cleo, enduring the pain in his stomach.
(We hold a numerical advantage, but that doesn’t mean much when it comes to wars of such scales. Can we really win?)
Numerically speaking, they had prepared a force that was double that of their enemies’.
However, it wasn’t as if they would all be fighting together.
The universe was such a huge place.
Their enemies would be dispersed over a large area.
As such, the Empire’s fleet would also have to disperse and fight at different locations.
In that case, they would have to deal with several battlefields at once.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of battlefields, big and small, would be generated.
If they were to include the skirmishes, the number could grow to be in the tens of thousands.
In the grand scheme of things, even if they lost a battle, it wouldn’t matter if they won the war.
Having said that, nobody knew how things would play out given the number of troops involved.
Operators were screaming left and right.
“Deputy Commander Klaus! The patrol fleet is complaining about the lack of supplies!”
“Deputy Commander Klaus! The aristocrats that joined the expeditionary force are complaining about the lack of banquets!”
“Deputy Commander Klaus! There seems to be a conflict between the allied forces! A battle has begun!”
Complaints were flooding in from the patrol fleet that contained all the aristocrats that had been sent to pull the leg of the Cleo Faction.
Some aristocrats that had no qualms with the Cleo Faction were also trying to drag them down.
It was clear as day that they had made a deal with the Calvin Faction.
People that belonged to that category were the ones that were starting all the fights.
The outcome of the war didn’t matter to them.
If they were about to lose, they would simply run away.
Desertion was punishable by death, but the Calvin Faction would no doubt interfere and blame everything on Liam in order to smear Cleo’s image.
(My stomach hurts.—In actuality, we only have around 3 million troops at our disposal. The rest are just enemies.)
It was 3 million against 6 million, not the other way around.
The sole saving grace was that the other half was on their side, and this was only made possible thanks to Liam.
(This must be because Lord Liam stayed behind to provide logistical support. In that regards, his arrangement makes sense. Still, why am I here?)
Beside Cleo was the figure of Lysithea, his knight.
A short distance away, Chengshi, their guard, was sitting down on a chair, grooming her nails without a care.
(His Highness Cleo has zero experience in commanding a fleet, and Her Highness Lysithea has never participated in a war of such magnitude.—This is the first time for me as well. As for Chengshi, she’s completely indifferent to this matter.)
If it was Liam in command, Klaus would have followed orders without any hesitation.
Unfortunately, Liam was providing the logistics instead.
If not for Liam’s logistical support, the fleet wouldn’t have been nearly as large.
Everything from the replenishment of supplies to their distribution was being handled by Liam, and he was also making sure that things were stable on the rear.
If Liam had left the Capital with them, they would’ve had to suffer from the sabotages of the Calvin Faction.
Enduring the pain in his stomach, Klaus turned his attention to Tia, whose eyes were shining.
“What a bunch of problem-causing idiots. Operators, write their names down on a list. Their existence won’t be necessary for us.”
Liam wasn’t a fool either.
Knowing full well that Klaus couldn’t operate such a huge fleet alone, he had assigned Tia to assist him.
In a sense, Klaus was just there to act as an overseer.
Even so, being the hard working man that he was, Klaus dealt with many of the small tasks which Tia could not be bothered to do.
“Tia-dono, do you have a strategy in mind that can be used against the United Kingdoms?”
Cleo looked nervously at Tia, who he was acquainted to.
This was something that Klaus had gone over with Tia beforehand. However—
“We’ll be going with the flow of the situation. When it comes to battles of this scale, nothing goes as expected anyway.”
Lysithea appeared uneasy.
“Can we really win? Our enemies essentially outnumber us two to one.”
Lysithea was also aware that not all the troops would follow their instructions.
Facing her unease, Tia tilted her head and laughed.
“Two to one? Your Highness Lysithea, you have misunderstood something. This is more like a three-way battle. The United Kingdoms’ army won’t be able to differentiate between friend and foe when they confront our army.”
The figure of 6 million battleships moving in space was projected in front of Cleo and the others.
They were about to arrive on the battlefield, yet a portion of the fleet was moving independently and defying orders.
It was a mixed fleet, and it had the patrol fleet within it.
While the other fleets were busy moving to their assigned positions after arriving on the battlefield, the mixed fleet was ignoring the orders given to them.
“Oya, traitors right off the bat.—I guess we’ll begin by exterminating these people.”
Tia tapped away at the screen in front of her and gave out instructions to the rest of the fleet.
“Our ultimate goal is Lord Liam’s victory! ——Traitors have a part to play as well.”
The people around her were surprised by how cold she sounded as she said that last sentence.
“Norden—you will regret ever betraying Lord Liam.”
-The United Kingdom’s Army-
The 6 thousand ships under Count Norden’s command had formed a fleet with the ships of several other aristocrats.
The fleet comprised of nearly 100 thousand ships, and they were currently occupying one of the planets in the Empire’s territory.
While blowing a cigar on the bridge of one of the battleships, Count Norden listened to the message sent from the Imperial Army.
“Lord Count, the Empire has contacted us for their regular report. They have announced their next strategy.”
Count Norden received the report from his subordinate and checked its content.
“Hmm, His Highness Cleo has reduced the number of ships around him and planted a fake flagship—so the real flagship is hidden within the smaller fleet? It seems like the Imperial Army doesn’t know how to properly wage a war.”
A strategy to blind the enemies’ eyes.
There had been successful cases in the past, so Count Norden did not doubt the content of the report.
‘There’s no way that a flagship would be moving with a smaller fleet!’
Some interstellar nations had lost their wars having made such an assumption.
Count Norden decided to report this to his superior.
“Report this to my lord. What a nice thing it is to watch the war unfold from a comfortable position. I almost feel sorry for those that are desperately killing each other.”
Count Norden was thinking of staying away from the front lines until the war ended.
The same went for the aristocrats around him.
“Don’t think bad of me.”
No one knew whether Count Norden was addressing Liam or his allies.
A new piece of information had arrived at the flagship of the Imperial Army.
‘Using 300 thousand ships, the United Kingdoms has defeated a mixed fleet! We have lost 60 thousand ships!’
Upon hearing the report, Tia pretended to be in pain.
She clutched her chest with one hand and covered her face with the other.
“What a tragedy. I told them to return to their positions so many times—in the end, the mixed fleet never listened.”
With a single piece of information, they had gotten rid of numerous soldiers and aristocrats with bad intentions.
Most of the aforementioned aristocrats were officials of the Calvin Faction.
In other words, they were Liam’s enemies.
However, that did not change the fact that they were a part of the Imperial Army.
Despite that, they had been erased through information manipulation.
A shiver ran down Klaus’s spine.
(This woman—she dared do so!?)
They had suddenly lost 60 thousand ships, yet there was no trace of remorse to be found.
After all, it was their enemies that suffered the damage.
Cleo’s eyes contained some fear as he looked at Tia.
“It isn’t right to intentionally pull the legs of your allies—”
Having perceived what Cleo was thinking, Tia smiled.
“—or so I once thought. However, Your Highness, please understand that things like these are inevitable, especially when it comes to battles of such scale. If we had made a mistake, we would’ve been the ones to disappear instead of the mixed fleet.”
Lysithea’s face was pale.
In contrast, Chengshi, who was sitting on a chair, was grinning.
This event had sparked Chengshi’s interest.
“This is what war truly entails. It reveals people’s true nature. The ugliest and the most beautiful side of humanity can be witnessed on the battlefield.”
Klaus felt an acute pain in his stomach.
(These people—why are normal knights the overwhelming minority in this knights order?)
Tia issued her next command.
“Okay, spread the words that His Highness Cleo managed to escape amidst the chaos. Our enemies will be confused by the discrepancy in the information we spread and the information that their spies are sending back. We’ll strike at enemies that respond slowly and only fight easy battles!”
Following her command, Cleo’s fleet destroyed a confused fleet of 100 thousand ships that belonged to the United Kingdoms.
Afterwards, they moved to the next phase of the plan.
“From now on, we’ll be on the hunt for confused enemies. Our enemies are bound to be in disarray and suspect everything they see. Moving forward, the battlefield will only become more and more chaotic.”
Tia was feeling properly pumped up.
“Everything’s for Lord Liam’s victory!”
9 million battleships were waging a war on the battlefield known as space.
It was almost like a strategy simulation game taking place in a vast universe.
Conquer planets, build bases, rob, be robbed, betray, and be betrayed.
One heck of a story was being created through this war.
This was a war which could have easily continued on for hundreds of years, but its end was drawing near earlier than anyone had anticipated.
Count Norden was being chased down by his allies, a fleet affiliated with the United Kingdoms.
His fleet only had 3 thousand ships left.
In comparison, 20 thousand ships were chasing after them.
“Norden, how dare you fool us!”
“To think that you were pretending to be an ally after joining hands with the Empire!”
“No matter what, I’ll have you dead!”
Hot on his tail were aristocrats and military officers whose family members, friends, and lovers were killed in the war.
It was all because of the information from Count Norden.
They were told that the Empire’s Imperial Army was regrouping under the Cleo Faction’s leadership after going through an internal divide.
They were to aim for that moment.
The portion of the Imperial Army that was hostile to the Cleo Faction had also promised their cooperation.
Having defeated a lot of their enemies, the morale of the United Kingdoms’ army was at its peak, and they chose to believe in his words.
However—the Cleo Faction wasn’t regrouping there.
Instead, the ones that were there were their collaborators who were fleeing.
Oblivious to this fact, the United Kingdoms attacked their allies and caused massive damage to them.
After the battle, the United Kingdoms’ forces had exhausted their supply of ammunition.
It was then that the Cleo Faction swooped in with a fleet of one million battleships.
Tia then sent a message to the United Kingdoms’ forces.
“You’ve performed well, Count Norden. Thanks to you, the Empire will be winning this war. You have my words that you’ll be rewarded for your hard work.”
In addition to the Calvinist aristocrats and military officers that survived the battle, Count Norden had unintentionally made an enemy out of the entire United Kingdoms.
“Why! Why is this happening to me! Didn’t the liaison confirm the validity of the reports!?”
After being hounded by his former allies, Count Norden fled back to his territory with only 300 ships remaining.
Men dressed as Calvinist spies gathered around Tia.
“—It’s over now. Thanks for cooperating.”
The next moment, a black liquid substance wrapped around the men, changing their appearances.
They were members of the Black Ops, and they each had a mask on their faces.
“We simply followed Lord Liam’s orders.”
“We’ve also eliminated the other spies that infiltrated our ranks.”
“As we expected, Norden had turned coat.”
Tia grinded her teeth.
“He actually had the guts to betray Lord Liam—what an ignorant man.”
If he had sided with them during the first information leak, he would’ve been treated much better.
“He will definitely betray us—those were Lord Liam’s words.”
When a member of the Black Ops said so, Tia smiled and said, “As expected of Lord Liam.”
“The United Kingdoms’ army has requested for a ceasefire agreement. Three months—this ended surprisingly fast. I’m not complaining though; with this, I can give Lord Liam a good report. After all, we’ve also eradicated a good number of enemies within the Empire.”
Nearly one million, to be exact.
Although many people still ended up slipping past the net, they had won the war.
Some damage was done when the Calvinist aristocrats and military personnel fled, but the overall result was satisfactory.
A member of the Black Ops cackled.
“The damage done to the army is ridiculous though.”
If one were to judge based on results alone—this could barely be considered a victory due to the astronomical damage that had been done.
“But our side barely suffered any damage. Anyways, a win is a win, right? Oh, and I hope those despicable deserters get their just desserts.”
From the Empire’s standpoint, it was a pyrrhic victory.
However, from Liam’s standpoint, it was a victory by a landslide.
“After we return, we can use this to put pressure on the Calvin Faction.—Ah, I can already foresee Lord Liam’s glorious victory! And the one who would have supported him in his endeavor would be me!”
The Black Ops faded away into the shadows, leaving behind Tia who was immersed in her own world.
“Aah, I can already foresee Liam’s defeat!”
In recent times, the Guide’s mood had never dipped.
He grinned when he read the news, which stated that the Imperial Army had won the war after suffering great damage.
“The Imperial Army suffered severe damage while Liam was partying around. He will now have to bear the responsibility.”
The Guide couldn’t stop laughing as he watched Liam fall down the rabbit hole of misfortune.
He was always smiling nowadays.
Now, he could even laugh off the burning sensation that came from Liam’s gratitude.
Liam, on the other hand, couldn’t seem to suppress his anger anymore.
He had been furious when he heard the news that arrived from his territory.
The Guide was certain that Liam’s territory wasn’t doing well.
“The time is nigh. Soon, Liam will learn the truth and become miserable.”
The Guide skipped around the Capital planet, sucking in other people’s misfortune.
Sitting in an alley, there was a man drinking alcohol with a desperate look on his face.
“Damn it all! Nothing works out for me. Why do I have to—”
Passing by the drunkard, the Guide sucked up the man’s misfortune and used it as his nutrition.
“Oya? This man’s misfortune tastes pretty good. Mmmm~, today’s dosage of misfortune was as delicious as always!”
It was then.
Someone had called the transceiver in the man’s breast pocket.
The man answered the call in an unfriendly manner.
“What is it!? A man like me can never—Eh!? R-really? An aristocrat took a liking to the clothes that I designed?”
Someone had apparently requested the service of this man who was a nameless designer.
The pay was good as well.
The Guide harbored no interest in other people’s happiness.
“Whenever I take in people’s misfortune, this happens. Haaa~not good, not good. I should be focusing on making Liam unhappy—no, making him as happy as possible.”
The more he blessed Liam with happiness, the unhappier Liam became.
Just like any other day, the Guide worked hard in collecting others’ misery and blessing Liam with happiness.
As the Guide left, a dog emerged from the back of a trash can which was situated in the alley.
—Watching the Guide’s behavior, it tilted its head.
The drunkard was enthusiastic about his upcoming work.
“Count Banfield’s wife and her maid? Designs for their dresses? How many? —At least ten!? And for how much!? —I’ll do it! Not to mention ten, I can design twenty of them! Thank God. I can support my family now.”
The designer shed tears of relief and ran off in delight.
The dog followed suit.
Klaus (;∀;): “All my colleagues are maniacs. My stomach hurts.”
Brian (´；ω；｀): “As a fellow brethren suffering through ulcer pains, it’s painful to hear that Klaus is in a pinch.”
Monica (゜∀゜): “I’m fine though! One could even argue that I’m in great shape! The 9th Volume of ‘Seventh’ where a coward strives to make achievements will be on sale from today onward! Please purchase them in bookstores or online! E-book versions are out as well, so e-book readers have no need to worry.”
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This translation is hosted by Nocturne Translations.
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