Seikai no Senki:Volume4 Chapter3(jp)

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Chapter 3: Temptation[edit]

“To be able to take up Your Majesty’s precious time is an unrivaled honor.” Tin Kuihan said as he bowed deeply.

“Time is short, Ambassador.” Ramaj said as she waved her hand to display her frustration. “Although I do not mind time wasted on formalities, I however do not plan on sparing you anymore of my time.”

“Your Majesty’s words are just what I was thinking.” - Tin

“Then come.” Said Ramaj inviting Tin Kuihan upon the mobile platform.

A bodyguard in the outfit of the platform operator is awaiting orders. Tin Kuihan stares at this bodyguard with unease.

“You can be rest assured, Ambassador.” Said Ramaj: “A servant’s greatest asset is the ability to ‘forget’. No matter what you say from this point forth, this person will not utter even one word of it. If you do not believe my guarantee, then you will be wasting your time with pointless courtesy.”

“No. Not at all.” Tin finally joined Ramaj on the mobile platform.

“Then we shall proceed to the main topic.” Ramaj nodded and gave the bodyguard a sign.

The mobile platform began to move.

“Has the Prime Minister ever briefed Your Majesty on my reason of coming?” Tin began.

“Yes he has.” Ramaj thought to herself that it was that business again. “If you are referring to the alliance deal, I trust you already know what my response was to the Prime Minister, and my response has not changed since.”

“Perhaps Your Majesty is having a negative opinion.” the ambassador bowed down for his words.

“Regarding which part of the alliance do you have in mind?” Ramaj asked. “The enemy may destroy it. However, what will a friend do?”

“It would be sharing eternal friendship.”

Ramaj smiled. “That would be impossible, Ambassador.”

“Your Majesty does not believe in a lasting friendship?” Tin's eyes turned to a grave look.

“I will believe it if it is between one individual and another individual. Even if it is eternal, it is after all for the endurance of a person's life. However, a nation does not disappear easily. Especially regarding my Empire.” - Ramaj

“My country wishes for permanence in particular, too.” - Tin

“That is only natural.” - Ramaj

“However, this desire is unlikely to occur.” - Tin

“Why do you think this?” - Ramaj.

“It does not matter how this war will progress, our country is already pressed on the verge of destruction.” - Tin

“That is unlikely.” Says the Empress with an indifferent tone.

Ramaj actually has no interest in whatever fate that awaits the Hania Federation and does not hide this fact. It is only courtesy that she did not state it openly.

“No, it is so. Indeed, although to speak of... it would be inappropriate...... that is.....” - Tin

“You need not worry, Ambassador.” Ramaj guessed why Tin was hesitant, “Naturally, from your respectable country's point of view, you would consider all options shall my Empire fall. Fortunately, we do not have to pay any mind, as above all, it will not fall.”

“However, that is my greatest fear.” Tin lowered his head, “Under those conditions, the Three Nation Alliance would not easily forgive our nation, and when that time comes, they will find any excuse to declare open war on our nation.”

“I believe when that time does come, it would be the critical time when everyone considers their own worth.” - Ramaj

“Of course there are those among us that trust we can clear this difficulty on our own. In my opinion, our country is certainly one that relies on the tactic of slipping between powerful nations to maintain our status. To my country, our greatest weapon is our diplomacy and we are very proud of that fact. To that extent, we are certain that after this war is over, we would no longer be able to maintain friendly relations with the Three Nation Alliance. This being the case, the Hania Federation is ramping up our diplomatic efforts, however, we believe that this line of thought will not get us our desired result.” - Tin

“When you say ‘we’ who do you really mean?” - Ramaj

“We are certain that over the course of this battle, Your Majesty’s enemies will gradually dwindle down to the United Mankind.” - Tin

“Basically, the other two countries will be swallowed (annexed) by the United Mankind?” - Ramaj

Ramaj is actually not surprised by this line of thought because there already has been serious discussion within the Empire about the likelihood of this very scenario.

The United Mankind is a country comprised of a coalition of various subordinate star systems. By gradually annexing more and more nations, they further increase their territories. This type of development is actually quite similar to how Abh Empire came to be. However, their greatest difference is that the United Mankind does not have one dominate race like the Abhs. Because of the Abh’s personalities, they bear the responsibilities for the development of the nation. Therefore the Abh Empire has since the beginning been the core race and that has not changed since. However despite the United Mankind’s fundamental unchanged policies at its core, it is flexible and tolerates how each country goes about implementing them.

If the United Mankind were to actually annex The People's Sovereign Stellar Union and Greater Alkont Republic, even though its core will likely see some changes in makeup, but will unlikely encounter any difficulties in internal integration.

However, if the newborn United Mankind were to, in-the-end, become a part of the Empire, then the Abh Empire can no longer ignore the situation of the Hania Federation any longer.

“Then your people should all be cheering on for a victorious Empire. Is my thinking correct?” - Ramaj

“Certainly, at the very least if we are talking about this war.” – Tin

“So what you are saying is that if we were to form an alliance, then it could bring the Empire to victory, correct?” Ramaj said doing the best she can to suppress emotions from her tone, out of courtesy, otherwise it would be too obvious that she was mocking the Ambassador’s naivety. “Unfortunately Ambassador, we don’t have any tactics that involve working side-by-side with others. To fight alone, even in defeat would be better than to die alone with no-one to mourn for you. This is the Empire, or rather; this is the Abh’s reason for existance.”

What Ramaj just said came straight from her heart, but she managed to hold back a part. In reality she never did consider revealing all their battle tactics to the Hania Federation based just on their alliance.

Even though their military's forces are sizable, but their equipment is outdated to the point where even their command systems have problems. If confronted with an all-out war, the Hania Federation would probably have difficulties with just defenses alone. This is the current assessment from the intelligence.

Even if an alliance were struck between the two nations, then the Empire would probably have to send part of their forces to help defend the Hania Federation: isn’t this the very definition of to be bounded.

“No matter what, you need not trouble yourself.” Ramaj already decided to end their conversation with the Ambassador with these words. “This war still has a long way to go. When that time does arrive, I hope that both our nations could peacefully co-exist, but I fear that the person holding the position of Emperor then would no-longer be I.”

“Is that so? Well, I do not expect this war to end before my life’s passing, but from the perspective of my country, the end is already near.”

“How about this,” Ramaj asked feeling her patience at breaking point. “After the Empire’s victory, the Hania Federation would become only other race that can exert an influence in this galaxy. Is the Hania Federation prepared to confront the Empire? Or is the Hania Federation prepared to extend eternal friendship to the Empire? Or is the Hania Federation confident that it can defeat the Empire?”

“I think I may have crossed the line.” The Ambassador said with a bitter smile, “It’s like trapping an elephant and a mouse together in a cage: no one would even consider the possibility of peaceful co-existence between the two. Of course as the mouse, we could never attain the confidence of defeating the elephant.”

“Then does your nation plan to extend eternal friendship to the Empire?” – Ramaj

“In a certain sense, yes.” – Tin

“In a certain sense?” Ramaj for the first time became interested in what was being said, although that interest is still only a tiny sliver.

The mobile platform is at the halfway point. Ramaj directed the operator to decrease the mobile platform’s speed. Even so, the mobile platform’s original speed was already considered to be above average pace. Basically, the platform went from a light jogging pace to a normal walking pace, but in reality the difference is quite minor.

After the mobile platform has slowed down, Ramaj gestured with her eyes for the Ambassador to further explain himself.

Tin’s expression all of a sudden became tense. “What I am about to tell you now, I have not informed the Prime Minister beforehand.”

“So, you have something that you wish only I hear?” – Ramaj

“Correct.” – Tin

“If the Prime Minister were to hear of this, I am sure he will not be pleased.” – Ramaj

“I realize doing this may undermine the Prime Minister, but the matter at hand is quite grave.” – Tin

“Oh?” Ramaj smiled, “If there are people with differing opinions within your alliance, then all the more reason for the Empire not to strike an alliance you.”

“What I am about to propose will definitely have no negative impacts on an alliance between our countries. It’s just that if the citizens of my country were to learn of this, then I may be mistakenly labeled a traitor.”

Ramaj stops smiling, “Even if it’s an enemy, the Empire does not look kindly to traitors, much less to people from countries that are not of that status. Although I must admit that relations between our countries are not even that friendly, but hopes that we can maintain whatever positive relations we have between us. For us to accept a traitor would be an act of betrayal from the viewpoint of your country. This will undoubtedly tarnish our prestige and creditability. To put it more clearly Ambassador, I don’t think this alliance deal has any value to justify any cost from the Empire to acquire.”

“This is why I said there could be misunderstandings. In addition, I believe the only reason that Your Majesty would think this way is because of your the deep emotional connection with ‘country’. Provided, to accept a traitor is an act of betrayal, then the Empire has already committed this offense, more still is this was a recent event.”

“I am unable to turn a blind eye towards this accusation; you don’t truly believe that I have committed such a treacherous act before?” She said as the form of her mouth once again returned to a smile; a smile infamously known as the ‘Abh’s Smile’.

“It is this type of treacherous act that Your Majesty must undertake to bring about peace and prosperity.” Tin firmly meets the Empress’s gaze.

“I request that you clearly explain your words.” Ramaj said with a stiff tone.

“The Hyde Country.” The Ambassador said only these words.

‘Oh? This is interesting.’ Ramaj thought to herself; this time she is no-longer ‘just interested’. She has already aware of what Tin’s words were getting at as a wave of interest and dislike starts to interweave, stirring up a violent wave in her mind. “That is to say that your country plans to become a part of the Empire…”

“Your Majesty!” The Ambassador interrupted the Empress's sentence with astonishingly reckless bravery. “Provided that I have the fortune to accompany Your Majesty onboard the most famous ship in this galaxy the Gaftnosh, I will definitely explain everything I have said.”

A smile has once again been revived on Ramaj’s face, but this time it’s a warm smile even though it is but a tiny sliver of warmth.

“Very well. Ambassador, I shall accompany you back to the imperial palace. You should expect two others joining us on our passage.” – Ramaj

“May I ask who these two are?” – Tin

“The Prime Minister and the Chief of Military Command.” – Ramaj

“As you wish.” Tin’s face displays a smile of confident victory as he took a deep bow. The mobile platform came to a stop.

Upon leaving the imperial throne ship, the ‘Gaftnosh’, Ramaj has yet the luxury of even an ounce of rest as she heads down towards the Hall of Larkspur in the Imperial palace.

Normally, she would have enjoyed some solitude on her way back, but the ambassador from the Hania Federation has happily snatched that joyous time away from her. However, she believes that her time spent with the ambassador is not without meaning.

“What do you think?” Ramaj asks as they have just stepped into the great hall.

Both the Prime Minister Burashu and Chief of Military Command Faramunshu have followed the Empress off of the Gaftnosh as they proceeded towards the palace.

“Although it sounds hard to believe, I think we can still trust him.” Burashu says. “Originally, the Hania Federation’s citizens lack interest in outer space, but when the population became too great for one system, they had to look for other star systems to colonize. Although their ground worlds are very similar, or perhaps because of it, many of the planets are self-sufficient and the level of interplanetary exchange is surprisingly low. Even if in the next moments, they are completely cut off from Plane Space, each planet could quickly adapt. Perhaps they would not even feel the least bit inconvenience from it. I believe their only reason for uniting in the first place was to avoid absorption by the other nations.”

“Is that so?” Ramaj asks as she nods.

Ramaj actually has little interest in the citizens of the federation; rather her only interest lies in their military strength. At most she would want to know a bit about their political organization, but regarding any other facet of the federation, she could care less about it. After all, she is the empress of an empire and the commander-in-chief of the military; therefore she will leave the governance of the people in the hands of the feudal lords.

“In this sense,” Burashu continued, “The ambassador's proposal would leave the problems of space to the Empire, while they would happily live on their ground worlds. Ideally they would like to preserve some influence on matters of space.”

“But we cannot allow that to occur.” Ramaj replied casually.

“Your majesty is correct; therefore the ambassador’s proposal is the next best thing from their view point. If they are to be annexed by some nation, it might as well be by the Empire because it’s a good fit for them, and there is also a certain level of trust between the federation and the Empire.”

So what the ambassador was discussing all along was actually for the Empire to annex the Hania Federation.

After all, if the federation is bound to be doomed, then at least they are more receptive to the Empire being their new ruler. But things are not always so pure and simple, even though the federation hopes to eventually let the Empire take care of matters in space and allow themselves to happily go about their lives on land.

In addition, the ambassador insisted this would not be submission, but rather "permeation" to describe the proposal’s intentions.

In other words, from the view point of the Empire, the Hania Federation would be annexed. But from the view point of the Federation, an element of the Federation would permeate through the core of the Empire to become a part of the Human Empire by the Abh.

During the discussion, the Empire brought up a question: if the Empire were to be defeated, wouldn’t this proposal worsen the Hania Federation’s positions?

The ambassador feels that the end result would matter little. Even if the Hania Federation were to be ‘liberated’ by the Three Nation Alliance, the territories that sold themselves to the Empire will become territories of the alliance, and the central government that allowed it to happen would simply be dissolved.

What the officials of the Federation's central government demanded in return was surprisingly simple. First, following the precedent of Hyde country, for a few of their important star systems, the lord appointed must be a prominent person from the Federation. For the rest of the star systems with little importance, the Empire could appoint whomever it deem fit.

Secondly, the ambassador hopes that the Empire could provide a few uninhabited, but habitable planets not within the territory of the Federation. After all, there would be those in the Federation who sees the deal as betrayal, so the officials who would dissolve the Federation would want a place where they could live with their relatives and supporters without fear of retaliation.

Of course, if the Empire were to be destroyed in this war, then those officials who dissolve the Federation and their descendents would surely face severe punishment. But as stated, these people are all ready to face the risks and consequences of their actions.

Ramaj suddenly remembered the late Prime Minister. If it were he, surely he would not think of living in the same star system as with these people.

“What is your opinion on this commander?” Ramaj urged for his response.

“I believe we should reject this proposal.” Faramunshu responded in an expressionless tone.

“Explain your reasons.” Asked Ramaj.

“The problem lays in the ‘other condition’ that we must split up our forces and defend the Hania Federation territories, or rather, the former Hania Federation’s territories. Even before that, we must first send troops over to relieve their military of their duties. Quite frankly, we will be hard pressed to find enough ships to accomplish this in a timely fashion.” - Faramunshu

The ‘other condition’ that Faramunshu spoke of is the demand that the Empire must defend the territories of the Hania Federation at all costs.

In comparison to the other conditions, this one is rather troublesome. After all, this will greatly restrict the Empire’s military operations.

“So you believe it is not possible?” – Ramaj

“I cannot be sure.” Faramunshu responded, “But your majesty must realize that this condition is difficult to implement. It is my hope that we can negotiate a more lenient agreement so that as long as the Empire is victorious in the end, then it should be doable.”

“If this is so, do you believe we need to further negotiate?” – Ramaj

“No, I believe further negotiation is not necessary. In fact I am really in favor of the rest of the ambassador’s proposal because if we can cut Hania Federation’s motivation to go to war, then I believe we can spare enough ships to relieve their military of their duties.” – Faramunshu

“How fast can this be accomplished?” – Ramaj

“With respect, grant the command staff about three days of leave. Also to finish disarmament approximately one more week is necessary.” – Faramunshu

“Looks like this is not so difficult after all.” – This is Ramaj’s assessment.

“If this is so, then we may move up the estimate end of the war.” – Faramunshu

“How much faster can it be moved up?” – Ramaj

“Perhaps your majesty can see the conclusion of the war within your lifetime.” – Faramunshu

“As the war to end all wars, this may seem like an excessively dull ending.” – Ramaj

“Your majesty surely jests, to later generations; the only difference is only a figure. And if we were to see the end of this war, we can boast of our accomplishments to our children.” – Faramunshu

“Don’t tell me that you choose to skip over the excessively tragic events and just to boast of trivial victories?” – Ramaj

“Exactly, I will tell my children that before they were born, there was a beautiful and fascinating phenomenon called war.” Faramunshu’s tone seemingly joyous. “I can almost see the expression of endless remorse on the faces of our decedents.”

“Perhaps our decedents will start their own wars out of envy.” Ramaj said as she lightly laughed.

“As long as the Empire is not divided,” Faramunshu suddenly said in a very serious tone, “This type of thing will definitely not occur.”

“I believe that we cannot modify the defense condition without authorization.” Burashu spoke, “It is true that from the Empire’s perspective, even if a star system is occupied by enemy forces, as long as we are victorious in the end, then it matters little. However, for the people living on those planets, such things are not so simple.”

“What you are saying is that the process is more important than the results for landers?” The commander asked but could not help expressing a frown on his face.

“No, not only that.” Burashu explains, also dawning on a perplexed expression. “If the ruler of an area is under constant flux, then the society on the planet will be thrown into chaos and confusion, and will negatively impact the daily lives of those people. Indeed for the Hania Federation, what they care most about is the life of those people on those planets. They judge that the Empire is the nation most likely to defend their ground worlds. That is why they have courageously raised this proposal. They would not be willing to allow for any modifications to this requirement.” Having said all this, the Prime Minister added in a low voice, “Those who are born on Lakfakalle sure are carefree about matters concerning landers.”

“Well, your predecessor would sometimes say such things as well.” Ramaj says.

“Being born of royalty, your tendencies towards it are probably more severe.” Burashu said.

“Perhaps.” Ramaj admits what the Prime Minister is correct.

In actuality, Ramaj has many worlds with inhabitants under her control. But as she dispatches officials to govern these worlds, she has actually never set foot on any of these planets and certainly never considered the well being of these people.

It is not that the Empress expresses any ill will towards them, she only feels that her familiarity with landers is but of a clean sheet of paper.

“In addition, we have never guaranteed that this condition is to be fully fulfilled.” Burashu continues.

“The word of the Empress is not enough guarantee?” Ramaj asks as she raised an eyebrow.

“Please allow me to reiterate, the federation’s trust in the Empire is rather high, and because of this, they have the courage to put forth this proposals. In other words, your Majesty’s words are more than enough for them.”

“What are you trying to say?” Ramaj asks in confusion.

“Even though your majesty gave your word, in practicality it may be almost impossible to accomplish.” Burashu comes out and directly say it.

“You would have me enter into an agreement that I know is impossible to fulfill?” A feeling of uneasy began to brood in Ramaj’s chest.

Burashu felt what is bothering the Empress. With great degree of calm in his tone, he continued, “This way of doing things is very common among humans.”

“Is that so?” Ramaj can’t help but frown, because the uneasy she felt has yet to subside.

“In addition, this is the best way to decrease casualties.” Burashu looked over towards Faramunshu. “Does the commander have any better alternatives?”

“The Prime Minister is correct.” Faramunshu has already brought his light grey braid from his shoulders to his chest, only toying with his braid and exposing a mysterious smile.

“Even so, when we go to the Hania Federation capital to take over their territories, even if we engage in an elegantless battle to fulfill this unmodifiable condition, when the Empire is seemingly on the verge of defeat, they should realize that the agreed upon terms are just goals we are striving to achieve and will not see it as a breach of agreement.” – Burashu

“The Prime Minister sure has thought this out.” Faramunshu says, “Of course, we must consider all possibilities. For example if the enemy were to forcibly invade, I cannot, after all, build a perfect defense system. Therefore, I believe what the Prime Minister has said has no further value in consideration. If the Federation expects us to be some all powerful god, then we would have to decline.”

“No, actually the Hania Federation doesn’t believe in an omnipotent god, in their religion…” Burashu originally thought he should continue, but he decided not to. “Anyways, this subject is trivial. Please ask the commander. Do you have any more hesitations? I feel that the commander is pursuing a dead end.”

“There is still the difference between withdrawing from a system if the defense fails and abandoning the battle at the outset. I hope to keep the freedom to abandon a sord if necessary.” The commander clarifies. “If we were to follow the terms of this condition, as long as it is an inhabited system, then we must dispatch ships to defend it even if they are undefendable to begin with and have little or no value to the Empire. This is no different than us offering the enemy hostages on a silver platter.”

“I believe this is just a matter of interpretation.” – Burashu

“Although what you have proposed is indeed logical and sound, but this is still very much a deception, worse, we are aware of this fact.” – Faramunshu

“However, if this were to allow the war to end earlier, then we have nothing to be ashamed about. Although I respect your values commander, but I believe that minimizing our losses on the battlefield should far outweigh those values.” – Burashu

“Besides,” Faramunshu retorts in an unrushed manner, “Was it not you that brought up the fact that frequent changes in rulers will be troublesome to people on land?”

“That is only because you asked why the ambassador would not yield to modification of this condition. If we are to look at this from our viewpoint, then we would not even have considered this. In order to protect their comfort, we must send many of our soldiers to their deaths, which are seemingly a senseless sacrifice.” – Burashu

“Enough.” Ramaj interrupts their debate. “Whether the Empire should or should not become deceivers are not yours to debate, you are overstepping your authority.”

Both of them simultaneously lowered their heads.

Ramaj continues, “But remember, Prime Minister, there is one thing you must keep in mind: when the time comes thatI were to take over their territories, I must respond to the ambassador’s conditions. In other words, if we were to use your methods, we would have affirmed ourselves to the United Mankind that the Abh Empress has indeed lied on purpose. You should know that in the past the Empire has profited greatly from people's knowledge that the Emperor does not lie. It is why the ambassador has even come forth with this proposal. But with just one lie, all that trust will collapse. Thereafter, every person that has to sit upon this throne will have to make huge efforts to gain the trust of others or else they would not be able to govern. This will also make the accumulated reputation that our ancestors whom have worked so hard to achieve disappear, and collapse the confidence of the abilities of the Ablïarsec to rule.”

“Of course when the Empire no-longer has any enemies, this indeed is of great harm to the reputation of the clan.” Burashu says as he slightly raised his head, “Your Majesty, I hope in the end you are still not concerned with whether not you can still protect the honor of the Ablïarsec.”

“That is also within my strategic consideration.” – Ramaj

Burashu bowed deeply to the Empress as if to say that he will no longer debate this issue.

“For now we will not discuss whether or not we should accept this condition. What is the feasibility of relieving their military?” Ramaj asks Faramunshu.

“I am afraid I do not have an answer at the moment.” – Faramunshu

“Could it be that military command has not looked into this?” Ramaj asks in a harsh tone.

One of the duties of military command is to plan for contingencies for a number of different scenarios. Under the ideal circumstance, even if something that cannot happen occurred, the Empire would have a plan to deal with it. Even though the Hania Federation would surrender without resistance was difficult to anticipate, it was not impossible to predict.

The Empress can’t help but feel that the military command’s lack of diligence to have not planned and prepared for this.

“Your Majesty’s criticisms are correct.” Faramunshu said without making any excuses.

“Whatever, it is after all war time; your department is also very busy.” – Ramaj

“I’m afraid so.” – Faramunshu

“Looks like rejecting the proposal is the best course.” Ramaj said casually.

“However, if we do that then the Hania Federation could join the enemy and enter the war.” Burashu says, “After all, the opinion of the ambassador is not unanimously shared in the federation.”

Ramaj knows well that Tin Kuihan’s views are not shared by the majority of the federation. There is another element inside the federation that strongly supports entering the war. According to them, they are striving for an advantageous position for when the war is over, and at present time, they feel that the federation must be the Empire’s enemy. Victory is preferred, but if defeated, at most the federation is dissolved. To this end, both their positions are identical, however, they over looked one critical factor: all the numerous people that may die due to their decision.

If the Empire ultimately rejects annexing the Hania Federation, then the war supporters will undoubtedly gain a great amount of influence.

“The Empire is at a difficult fork in the road.” Burashu reinforces his point, “And the question remains, this fork in the road is created by the inconsistent views held by the federation.”

“Even if the Empire were to annex the federation, wouldn’t they be likely forced to go to war?” Ramaj asked.

“In reality, both paths are quite troublesome.” Burashu replied.

“That I understand.” – Ramaj

“However,” Faramunshu begins to speak, “Perhaps allowing the federation to join the war, from our perspective, will be simpler for our military operations. Although we won’t have to debate about the ‘other condition’, but consider the disadvantageous rigidness of defending their ground worlds, then perhaps allowing them to become the enemies of the Empire may be less burdensome.”

“Have you not looked into this point as well?” – Ramaj

“Because protecting anything other than Lakfakalle is outside the scope of anything we have previously anticipated we have not. Of course if your majesty approves, we would look into it right away.”

Ramaj was somewhat taken aback by the commander’s reply, “Why would you need my approval?”

“If we were to only occupy the territories of the Hania Federation then that would be fine, but to defend it at all costs, then this idea will definitely never come from within the Empire. In other words, my department cannot be aware of proposals that come from outside the Empire. Even if I were to say this idea came upon me during a drunken stupor and forced them to look into this option they will, but not everyone would be so easily fooled, much less that they strictly follow the rules. Even if they were to act like they were being fooled, it would still be quite difficult. Even if I were to tell them this was a proposal from the federation, the results would be the same. Of course I know that there should be no one in my department that would knowingly leak military secrets, but without your majesty’s approval, I would still avoid telling those under me of this proposal.”

“Those under your command are also under my command, and I also believe there are none who would leak military secrets, so you should quickly begin your research.” – Ramaj

“Yes ma’am.” Faramunshu bowed deeply towards the Empress.

“Then, if we reject their proposal and should they enter into the war, you at least should have looked into their combat capabilities right?” – Ramaj

“Of course, although I sometimes wonder if I am too lenient with my subordinates, fortunately, their work ethic is endlessly diligent.” – Faramunshu

“But I have never heard from others that you are a commander who is lenient towards your subordinates.” – Ramaj

“That is because I would use every method at my disposal to make sure your majesty would not catch wind of my true colors.” – Faramunshu

“Whatever you say.” Ramaj prepares to make her verdict.

Regarding the matter of annexing the Hania Federation, there are still many factors and variables that are uncertain and right now the Empire simply does not have the luxury of risking uncertainties.

“I believe we should still accept the proposal.” Burashu decides to voice his objection.

‘Could it be that he plans to take this debate back to square one?’ Ramaj warns herself. Although she appreciates the efforts of the Prime Minister, but if Burashu proves to be one with little ability, then him being replaced would not be out of the question.

“What are your reasons?” Ramaj says.

“Your majesty please factor in the consideration of the impact of the citizens on those planets. If the Hania Federation were to surrender without a fight, then this event might be a shock for the citizens of our current enemies.”

“How is this different?” Ramaj asks tilting her head.

“This may sap the will of the citizens from other enemy nations and they may surrender star system by star system to the Empire.” – Burashu

“I don’t see any difference.” – Ramaj

Traditionally, the Empire can care less about whether landers prefer to surrender or go to war because the main enemy for Star Fleet has always been another enemy fleet. So even if the government of a star system surrenders, this may not be any particular advantage.

In addition, it would be disadvantageous in the short term because the Empire would have to protect the planet from economic collapse, and from the viewpoint of the Empire, to garrison troops there would pose a burden on the flexibility to wage combat.

“However, at least when the empire takes over a system the transition of governance is usually a smooth one. In addition, I believe The People's Sovereign Stellar Union and the Greater Alkont Republic may follow the Hania Federation’s footsteps.” – Burashu

“Wouldn’t star systems only submit if the enemy’s faith in the word of the Emperor still remained intact?” – Ramaj

“Your majesty is correct. In my opinion, even if your majesty promises to keep your word to the last letter, we should still accept the proposal.” – Burashu

“I will not dispatch the military based on mere speculation.” Ramaj said dramatically, “I hope you can bring me numbers to back up what you are saying.”

“Indeed.” Burashu declared, “I will calculate the probability, that once the Hania Federation is annexed by the Empire, how likely the Three Nation Alliance are willing to surrender without a fight and how many individual planets are likely to surrender without a fight. In addition, I will also calculate the time necessary for the these newly surrendered planets to be integrated into the Empire’s economy. After we have figured out the estimates for the things mentioned above, we can clearly estimate how long this war will last.”

Faramunshu gazed deeply at Burashu.

After the Prime Minister gave the commander a quick glance, he continues, “Of course, I will do everything within my ability to keep this a secret.”

“I’ll leave it to you.” Ramaj nodded, “I will withhold my decision for now. Both of you should present your findings as soon as you can.”

“I will do my best.”

“Yes your majesty.”

Both Burashu and Faramunshu salute the Empress.

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