ould intoxicate any individual, but the woman treated it as normal as breathing air.

Once the officer arrived at the throne, he thumped his chest with his fist.
”Reporting, ma ’am! Every regiment of the 3rd Imodris Legion has reported in.
The fleet is ready to transition into FTL. ”

”Has the destination been set, Sir Jameson? ”

The knight nodded submissively at the woman he had served since the start of her career in the Mech Legion.
”The fleet will arrive at the uninhabited Coxer System in approximately seven days. ”

The woman frowned.
”That is too slow.
This is only the first of seven hops.
The Duchess has commanded me to reach the Bentheim region within two months.
The entire strategic deployment of the Imodris Mech Army rests on the timing of our operation. ”

”My apologies, Lady Amalia. ” Sir Jameson bent her head.
”I shall convey your wishes to the admiral and exhort him to make more haste. ”

”That is good.
I do not wish to hear any further excuses.
Dismissed. ”

Half an hour went by as a handful of engineers across the fleet prepared their ships for a distant transition.

The further their destination, the riskier the hop, especially if they wanted to travel to a smaller star.
If they failed to navigate the gravitic waves in the higher dimensions during FTL, they might get thrown off-course and emerge hundreds or even thousands of light-years away.
Often times, they ended up in a completely random position in space as well.

Many wayward ships that encountered mishaps in FTL ended up several star sectors away.
They lucked out compared to the rest, as over sixty percent of the ships that went off course would never be heard again.

People used to believe they disappeared somewhere else, until extensive investigation revealed that they ’d been sucked into a major gravity well.
That almost always meant they crashed into a sun or a black hole.

Thus, the coordinated jump into FTL had to be done with care and precision.
The transports that carried the supplies and provisions of the fleet required extra attention in this regard.
Their engineers poured every bit of energy into pushing the transports to keep up with the rest.

Once Lady Amalia received another notice that the fleet would arrive at their initial destination a little faster, she stood up from her throne.

Hidden recorders flared to life.
The massive viewscreen in front of the command center switched to project the commanding officer of the 3rd Imodris Legion.
Almost every single projector aboard every ship relayed the same event to the rest of the fleet.

”Citizens of Imodris.
On this day, my mother the Duchess of Imodris has given me a command.
Within six months, the pathetic Republic ’s precious Bentheim region must burn and quake! The 3rd Imodris Legion will be the vanguard of their doom! As the tip of the spear, we shall drive the Brighters to tears! ”

”Imodris! ”

Every serviceman of the 3rd Imodris Legion had stood up and held their fists to their chest.
Whether they served as spacers or mech pilots, they respected Lady Amalia from the depths of their hearts.
She carried the will of the Duchess of Imodris.

”Fight well, hold nothing back, and kill as many Brighters as you can.
Their Republic is soft and ripe for the picking! We have devastated them time and time again, rendering them helpless and mewling for peace.
Vesians! Shall we grant them mercy? ”

”No! ” The entire bridge thundered.
The same word echoed throughout the rest of the fleet as the servicemen of the 3rd Imodris Legion collectively stood behind their leader.

”In the coming operation, we will transition deep into Republican space.
I hope to see the 3rd Imodris Legion smash aside their feeble in-system defenses and stomp their precious industries to the ground! The perils of fighting behind enemy lines are great, but we are doing Imodris and the rest of the Kingdom an important service! Does the 3rd Imodris Legion lack any courage? No! Because we are fearless! We are dauntless! We are invincible! ”

”Imodris! Imodris! Imodris! ”

The entire legion became invigorated by her speech.
Their hunger for glory and their duty to Imodris drove them to a state of hysteria.
Every subject of the Kingdom had been brought up to hate the Bright Republic since birth.

The Kingdom ’s conflict with the Republic was deep seethed and irreconcilable.
Conflicts of territory turned into an accumulation of grudges and a never-ending cycle of revenge.
The Vesians would never rest until they ground the Republic beneath the heel of their boots.

”Imodris shies away from battle! The other dukedoms may be dragging their feet and continue to cautiously probe the Mech Corps, but Imodris is different! We shall take the bull by the horns and teach our enemies a lesson they won ’t forget! Once the history books speak of this war, it will be the 3rd Imodris Legion who will shine the brightest! ”

”For the Third! ”

”For Imodris! ”

”For the Kingdom! ”

Lady Amalia maintained her impassioned posture and kept on grinning before the recorders.
She only dropped her performance once the transmission cut off.
Once she returned to her throne, she seated herself in a languid manner and resumed her next calculations.

She turned back to Sir Jameson, who had been quietly standing by her side.
”Major, what are the odds of success? Tell me the truth. ”

”Our analysts aren ’t optimistic about our current plans. ” Jameson minutely frowned.
”Her Grace the Duchess of Imodris expects much from the Third.
Too much, perhaps. ”

Lady Amalia smiled coyly.
”That just indicates my mother ’s regard for me.
It is true that we are about to enter head-long into the jaws of the decrepit beast that stands for the Republic, but this is a role that I volunteered for myself.
If we succeed, the 3rd Imodris Legion shall be known throughout the Kingdom as the legion that has struck the first true blow. ”

The major nodded at her words, but refrained from voicing his misgivings.
As veteran of the previous war, Jameson knew that the Bright Republic wouldn ’t roll over for the Mech Legion without a fight.

Perhaps Lady Amalia knew that herself, but she desperately needed to distinguish herself on the battlefield.
As the sixth-born of the Duchess of Imodriss, the fight to inherit the dukedom was not in her favor.
Her older siblings had decades ahead of her and built up a vast network of nobles.

No one in the noble circles favored the tragic Lady Amalia, who had been born too late.

She wanted to prove them all wrong.

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