My Children Swarm the Cosmos – Chapter 67

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟕: 𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐥 (2)

The Vehlpciaarct ships looked like mechanical sea urchins for the most part.

A single metallic base from which protruded a multitude of metallic spikes haphazardly, pointing in every direction.

There was no discernible pattern to the ships in terms of size, and there didn’t seem to be any kind of flagship to indicate a command vessel. No ship stood out from the rest.

About 200 flotillas of these ships.

The Nanozator fleet.

➖I will proceed with force.

The communications with Force Core had been cut off after their one-sided declaration.

“Retract the satellites we sent to the Crolr capital! Spread out our fleet as well!”

Anima’s Euryale moved back, accompanied by numerous escort ships. And the Chimeraz fleet, which had been engaged in battle with the Crolr, accelerated towards the location of the Nanozator fleet on Anima’s orders.

“I don’t know how they’re going to fight. Their ships all look the same, so we can’t tell them apart.”

The satellites that had been heading to the Crolr’s capital structure quickly changed course. They accelerated back towards Gorgo’s Star and Anima.

The surviving Chimeraz after the battle with the Crolr numbered 190 flotillas. When the 65 flotillas that had sortied from Gorgo’s Star joined them, they boasted an impressive number.

the Chimeraz fleet and the Nanozator fleet were now facing each other head-on.

➖I will attack first.

The countless Organic Accelerator Cannons that had sprouted from Gorgo’s Star fired beams of purplish plasma. The vibrant energy crisscrossed a wide area, targeting the ships of the Nanozator fleet that were lined up in formation.

“Don’t the Vehlpciaarct have shields?”

➖It seems not.

The Nanozator fleet intercepted every single plasma beam fired from Gorgo’s Star without exception.

They fired some kind of crimson particle weapon that precisely countered the energy of the Organic Accelerator Cannon’s plasma beams.

And their cannons extended from the spiky mechanical protrusions, or the tips of the protrusions themselves became muzzles.

It was impossible to tell what was a cannon and what wasn’t just by looking.

Even without shields, the Nanozator fleet’s defensive system seemed to be highly effective due to its computational capabilities. If this continued to be a fleet battle of exchanging cannon fire, the Chimeraz would be at a disadvantage in terms of casualties.

➖Their defensive system is annoying. Should we overwhelm them with sheer numbers?

“They must know that we can overwhelm them with numbers.”

A fleet battle of exchanging cannon fire was disadvantageous. They needed to get close and engage in ship-to-ship combat.

To create such a situation, they had to press forward, taking fire from their cannons.

“If they were observing our battle with the Crolr, they might have prepared, knowing how we fight.”

On the other hand, they knew nothing about the Vehlpciaarct’s way of fighting or the capabilities of the Nanozator fleet.

They needed more recon.

“Send 30 Euryales and the Lemegetons and Cresecters that are assigned to them to approach from six directions.”

➖Understood.

Of the 255 Chimeraz flotillas, 30 were divided into five flotillas each and accelerated towards the Nanozator fleet. At the same time, the rest of the Chimeraz fleet accelerated at a slightly slower pace, slowly closing the distance with the Nanozator fleet.

As the distance closed, the areas where the weapons of both sides could reach overlapped, and the battle intensified. A few Lemegetons were damaged, and a few Vehlpciaarct ships were hit.

The Organic Accelerator Cannons of the Lemegeton battleships pierced the Vehlpciaarct ships.

However, the ships that were hit by the purplish plasma beams did not explode.

The part hit by the plasma beam was simply pierced through.

➖Their ships are hard to sink.

“There’s no gas inside.”

And Anima’s crimson eyes saw it.

The Vehlpciaarct ships had no breathable air inside, no crew, and no fighters.

“I see now.”

The damaged section of a Vehlpciaarct ship that had been hit by plasma was exposed.

Inside their broken metallic armor was a complex arrangement of machinery, and beyond that machinery was something that moved like waves of metal.

“They’re a swarm of machines.”

It looked like mercury floating in a vacuum, or iron filings drawn by magnetic force. Countless tiny machines gathered together to form a single entity. Inside the ship, they moved strangely, repairing the damaged machinery and fixing the pierced armor.

Could such a thing be called a ship?

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call it a ‘collective’ of conscious machines of the same species?

“Any attack is meaningless unless it’s powerful enough to prevent repairs.”

➖It seems we have no choice but to get closer.

At this distance, no attack other than the Euryale’s main cannons could penetrate.

“Have the ones I sent earlier fight.”

the Chimeraz fleet that had been divided into six directions earlier engaged in combat. The Euryale and Lemegeton battleships fired their Organic Accelerator Cannons. Some Lemegetons released hundreds of Cresecters each, dotting space with crimson lights.

A few Euryales that had gotten closer released thousands of Cresecters each, swarming the Nanozator fleet at close range.

It was a battle without explosions.

And it was a very tenacious battle.

Cresecter swarms that approached despite the Nanozator fleet’s interception fired lumps of deep red plasma. Some of the Vehlpciaarct ships intercepted the lumps, while others were hit.

The lumps that hit the ships disappeared with just a small spark, leaving a gaping hole in their place. Then, the hole was sealed with something like metallic dust.

Gorgo’s Star, which had reabsorbed the satellites into orbit, accelerated to close the distance with the Nanozator fleet. The Nanozator fleet, in turn, skillfully retreated their entire fleet, being mindful of the distance to Gorgo.

Gorgo’s Star launched the satellites towards the Nanozator fleet, just as it had done to the Crolr.

A satellite with countless Organic Accelerator Cannons mounted all over its surface. It accelerated towards the Nanozator fleet at a terrifying speed.

Much faster than the speed at which the Nanozator fleet was skillfully retreating.

Then, the Nanozator fleet did something strange.

It was something so tricky that it made Anima frown.

“Huh, what’s that now. . .”

In some areas of the Nanozator fleet that had been spread out in space and engaged in battle, the ships ‘disintegrated’.

The ships that had looked like mechanical sea urchins turned into dust, drawn to other ships by some unknown force, whether magnetic or gravitational.

And the living satellite that had been charging towards them lost its targets. The satellite’s Organic Accelerator Cannons fired wildly, but the rapidly changing distance reduced the accuracy of the plasma beams.

The ones that had absorbed the disintegrated Vehlpciaarct ships roughly doubled in size.

Their firing rate per minute also roughly doubled.

Still, the larger ships were easier to target than the smaller ones. And because of their sudden repositioning, the Nanozator fleet had effectively halved the area they occupied.

Seizing the opportunity, Gorgo’s Star, the satellites, the Euryale, the Lemegeton battleships, and the Cresecters concentrated their fire in a short burst.

The Euryale fired all of its high-output Organic Accelerator Cannons and miniaturized Organic Accelerator Cannons, while the Lemegeton battleships fired their Organic Accelerator Cannons from the closest possible range. The Cresecters that were scattered across the battle area closed in almost like they were charging, firing from behind or even crashing into the enemy ships and self-destructing.

Again, there were almost no explosions in the battle.

Many Chimeraz ships were destroyed, and many Vehlpciaarct ships were destroyed.

It was a favorable exchange rate.

the Chimeraz would replenish their numbers as they died from Gorgo’s Star. So, if they could continue to gain an advantage like this a few more times, they could win.

That’s what she thought.

Until she saw the wreckage of the destroyed Vehlpciaarct ships turn to dust and get absorbed by nearby ships.

➖All this and they’re still not completely destroyed! They’re really persistent!

➖Ugh! Those damn machine ships are even regenerating!

“We need bombs, it seems. . .”

➖Pardon?

Anima muttered something as if she was possessed.

“Nuclear bombs. . . Hydrogen bombs. . . Atomic bombs. . . Particle bombs. . . Antimatter. . . Missiles. . . Something like that. That’s what we lack.”

➖Anima-nim?

Gorgo remembered more and could handle more things at once than Anima, but she could never match her speed and complexity of thought.

“Gorgo.”

➖Yes.

“Did you receive everything we could remotely receive from the Crolr?”

➖Yes?

“I mean the blueprints for the fleet technology and weapons technology.”

➖Oh, yes. We received everything we could receive right away. When you asked the leader of the Crolr just now, they sent the data right away. They were afraid of the satellite. . .

“Retreat.”

Gorgo wondered if he had misheard the order. Was she saying they should make such a judgment after such a brief engagement?

➖Are you sure?

“I said retreat. We’ll all die if we stay.”

➖Is the Nanozator fleet that strong?

She was taking more things into consideration and making more calculations than Gorgo realized.

➖I will prepare for a retreat, leaving some of our forces behind for now. . . But I would like to know why we, who defeated the Crolr, have to retreat against a fleet of that size and firepower.

She spoke quickly.

“This is a war of attrition with little gain. We are depleting our stockpiled resources to replenish our forces, but they are recycling their forces almost perfectly.”

“At this rate, only our resources and our numbers will dwindle. Then, the Crolr behind us might intervene during the fleet battle. The Crolr is probably grinding their teeth, waiting for the main force that went to the Human Galaxy to return. We need to clean up the Crolr, finish our diplomatic work in this galaxy, establish a foundation, and then return to the Human Galaxy to check on the situation there. We must have the leeway to do that at any time in the near future.” 

Even at this moment, their people were dying. On the other hand, even if the Nanozator fleet was destroyed, it would be recycled as dust.

Time was poison.

“And even if we win this battle, if we have to fight the Crolr again and then the Nanozator fleet, our numbers and resources will be severely depleted by then. If there is an army on the Vehlpciaarct side that is similar to or stronger than the Nanozator fleet, we will be in a very difficult position.”

➖You mean that might not be all of the Vehlpciaarct?

“Yes. And of course, if we lose or decide to retreat too late, we will lose much more. Moreover, regardless of whether we win or lose, if our forces are reduced now, my voice will be weakened in diplomacy as the Vehlpciaarct emerges as a rival. Furthermore, we may not be able to fulfill our promises to other species due to our lack of resources and numbers.”

She had come to such a judgment after fighting the Nanozator fleet for less than 30 minutes.

“Now that we know how the Nanozator fleet operates, we can get past this situation, prepare countermeasures, and face them again. There are many ways to defeat the Nanozator fleet, whether by persuasion, coercion, or force.”

“So, if this fleet battle continues, we will lose more than we gain in many ways, regardless of whether we win or lose. Retreat quickly.”

➖I apologize. My insight was lacking, and I did not consider such things.

Gorgo realized at that moment that there was a reason for every order the ruler gave.

➖Understood.

➖I will send 30 more Euryale swarms into the fray and form a large, ring-shaped formation.

Thus, under Anima’s quick judgment, the majority of her forces retreated, and the Nanozator fleet, which had expended considerable energy, was left to face the remaining Chimeraz fleet.

【Force Core. Anima and Gorgo’s Star are distorting gravity and retreating faster than light. If we expend more of the Nanozator fleet’s remaining energy, we can pursue them. Requesting judgment.】

【It is a reckless judgment to pursue them after a fleet battle of that scale. Considering the possibility that the remaining Chimeraz fleet will deploy colonies, we must prioritize and eliminate them 100%.】

【Wasn’t the goal to eliminate Gorgo’s Star?】

【Correct. However, I did not expect them to abandon the fleet battle so soon.】

【True.】

【The fact that such a judgment was possible at this moment means that the Chimeraz must have a high-level computing device like ours.】

【Understood. In that case, let’s abandon the pursuit and proceed to 100% annihilation of the remaining Chimeraz fleet.】

【However, Force Core. The Crolr’s main force did not appear even when Grand Lord Carrd surrendered.】

【That is correct.】

【In that case, it seems certain that the Crolr main force has gone to fight a powerful species in another galaxy where real-time communication is impossible.】

【That is correct. Also, the ‘Deal Core’ that went to the Human Galaxy has not yet returned. Therefore, the probability that the Crolr main force went to the Human Galaxy has increased.】

【We need to find out the whereabouts of the Deal Core. Also, the priority of humans is higher than Gorgo’s Star. Do you have a next plan based on this?】

【The humans have long considered the Crolr as a potential future threat. It was the right judgment to wait until the Chimeraz greatly weakened the Crolr forces.】

【We need to intimidate the weakened Crolr and find out where the Crolr main force has gone. We also need to compile information about the events that have taken place in this galaxy and report it to the humans. The human high-ranking officials will be curious about where the Crolr main force has gone.】

【They might not be curious. That is, if the Crolr main force is already at war with the humans.】

【That is correct. It is of utmost importance to compile the information quickly and inform the humans.】

【I will change the Nanozator operation plan with the authority of the Force Core.】

【Noted.】

【Our Nanozator fleet will eliminate 100% of the remaining Chimeraz individuals here and then intimidate the Crolr to pinpoint the location of the Crolr main force.】

【Confirmed.】

【Next, send a single messenger ship fleet to our territory to report everything.】

【Confirmed.】

【Next, the Nanozator fleet will proceed to the Human Galaxy based on the priority determined by the new variables we just obtained.】 

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