Legend of Galactic Heroes, Part 1 – Dawn
Prologue A Brief History of the Milky Way
...Anno Domini 2801, the center of the government moved from the third planet of the Solar System (太陽系), Terra (地球, テラ), to Aldebaran (α Tauri) (アルデバラン系) system's second planet Deolia (テオリア). There, the humans pronounced the creation of the Galactic Federation (銀河連邦), and changed the calendar to the Universal Calendar (UC) (宇宙暦), Year 1. At the same time, they began to expand infinitely towards the deepest regions and the edges of the Galaxy (銀河系). After AD 2700, the most prominent characteristics were the frequent warfare and the lack of order. This had caused mankind’s expansion towards the outer world to come to a halt. Just like energy that is about to explode, a deep crisis had been brewing.
The development of the "Three Goddesses (三美神)" that enabled humans to fly between star systems – Sub-Space Jump Navigation Method (亜空間跳躍航法), Gravity Control (重力制御), and Inertia Control (慣性制御) – had improved leaps and bounds. Humans, in order to explore the unknown outer space, piloted spaceships and sailed towards the end of the sea of stars.
"Forward! Keep moving forward!" was the common language of mankind during that era.
All mankind appeared to be in the most vigorous state of their biorhythm. Everyone was focused, determined, and enthusiastic. Even in the face of adversity, they did not dwell in the pathological state of self-pity. They were filled with masculinity. Perhaps all people of that era could be described as hopelessly incurable eternal optimists!
This was a golden age resonating with the essence of vigor and progress.
However, a few small blemishes of history were still unavoidable. First, there were space pirates. In AD 2700, two nations, Terra and Sirius (シリウス), in their battle for hegemony over human society, had privateers plunder ships as a part of their strategy. The pirates were the deformity birthed from this strategy. Of course, there were a few chivalrous pirates, and their confrontations with the Federation Armada (連邦軍) aiming to capture them were often the theme of 3D television shows and movies.
However, the prosaic fact is that the majority of the pirates were just criminal organizations allied with corrupt politicians or entrepreneurs for illicit gains. For the residents of the frontier planets, the pirates were as frightening as the plague. Along the border routes where pirates were active, the number of spaceships of course decreased. This not only caused supply replenishment to become problematic, but it also caused the prices of the supplies delivered to skyrocket. After all, a security guarantee fee had to be added to the original cost. The severity of the issue could not be understated, or the victims' discontentment and trepidation would deepen, and they would in turn mistrust the federal government's ability to govern, resulting in substantial reduction in their willingness to develop the borders.
In year 106 UC, the Galactic Federation attacked in full force to raid the space pirates. The operation was led by admirals M. Cuffren (Ｍ・シュフラン) and C. Wood (Ｃ・ウッド), among others, and mostly completed after two years. This raid operation was not easy. Admiral Wood, famous for his sarcastic dig at others, wrote this segment in his memoir, “…in front of me there were intelligent enemies; behind me there were incompetent comrades. I must fight both simultaneously. Besides, I am not entirely reliable either.”
Admiral Wood, after becoming a politician, had always played the role of a “stubborn old man.” He therefore sunk into frustrating and bitter fights with malfeasant politicians and entrepreneurs.
Societal lesions such as this occurred repeatedly and uninterrupted. If one considers the entirety of mankind to be one human body, then this was tantamount to skin cancer. Just as how we could not completely isolate ourselves from dusts, these lesions could not be completely removed. However, if proper treatment could be given, then the lesions would not worsen or lead to death. The human could then avoid the operating table and enjoy over two centuries of healthy life.
There was only one place where mankind’s prosperity and development flagged with time, and that was the former sovereign state – Terra. All of this planet’s resources were slowly depleted. Its political strength and economic potential also plummeted. Population sharply decreased. In the end, it became an old and frail country maintained only by relying on its antiquated traditions. It carefully defended the autonomy it secured through hard work.
The strangest thing was the enormous wealth Terra hoarded back in the days when it was still the ruler of the Milky Way, wealth pillaged from frontiers such as Sirius’ planets, seemed to have also disappeared.
…Not long after, the cancer cells multiplied. The human society was enveloped by the shadow future generations would term the “Mid Century Stagnation (中世的停滞).”
In people’s hearts, fatigue and burnout overwhelmed hope and ambition. Negativity replaced positivity; pessimism replaced optimism. New developments and inventions in science and technology could not find successors. The collective governance of democracy also lost its ability to self-regulate, and it sunk into obscurantism fueled by power struggles.
Plans to develop neighboring starzones were abandoned. Countless livable planets, their abundant resources, and the many facilities under construction were also abandoned. Society and culture fell into deep decadence. People lost the values they had followed and indulged in drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, and mysticism. Crime rates rose steadily, but reporting rates plunged. People no longer valued life, and moral values became a laughing stock.
Of course, many people were worried about this phenomenon. They were unwilling to sit on the sideline and allow humans to, at the end of mankind’s decadence, follow dinosaurs into the brutal path of extinction.
They believed the illness infecting the human society had progressed to the point where it was absolutely necessary to begin treating the root. This belief was correct. However, the majority of them, in order to more quickly begin treatment, did not choose the long term treatment that required patience and perseverance. Instead, they chose to swallow the fastest treatment where side effects could not be avoided. This strong medicine was named “dictatorship.”
This was the kind of environment that set the stage for the future debut of Rudolf von Goldenbaum.
……Rudolf von Goldenbaum (ルドルフ・フォン・ゴールデンバウム) was born in 268 UC into a military family. When he grew up, he joined the military as a matter of course.
He was summa cum laude in the Galactic Empire Armada Officer Academy (宇宙軍士官学校). At a height of 195 centimeters, a weight of 99 kilograms, and with a heavy build, when one looked at him it was as if they looked up to a great iron tower.
On his enormous body there was not a chunk of fat.
At 20 years old he was an ensign, and when he was working under the Rigel (Orion) Space Route Security Force’s Legal Officer (リゲル航路警備部隊、法務将校), he first set out to reinstate discipline within the unit. He worked thoroughly to remove alcohol, gambling, drug use, and homosexuality: the “Four Sins.” Even in cases where superior officers were involved, he still waved the flag of justice and law and investigated without mercy. Therefore, the superior officers who could not cross him had to allow him a promotion to sub-lieutenant, and they made special efforts to transfer him to Betelgeuse (α Orionis) (ペテルギウス) in order to rid themselves of him.
Betelgeuse was a dangerous area nicknamed the “Space Pirate Boulevard.” Rudolf, who arrived in high spirits and was widely accepted as “the second coming of Admiral Wood,” demonstrated his tough iron-fist style. He ingeniously and mercilessly initiated fierce attacks, annihilating the pirate organizations. Even those who surrendered or were awaiting trial were burned to death along with their spaceships. This ruthless and cold blooded practice of course brought criticisms, but the waves of praises soared even higher. The praises engulfed the criticisms like a flood.
Because they had long lived in this stagnant age, whose dreary stuffiness was almost asphyxiating, when this young, intrepid, and spirited new hero appeared, most citizens of the Galactic Federation welcomed him with applause, celebration, and open arms. Rudolf debuted in this murky era and instantly became the world’s new superstar.
By 296 UC, the 28-year-old Rudolf was already a rear admiral. At this time, he resigned from the military, transitioned into the political arena, and gained a foothold in the parliament. Soon he became the leader of the “National Reform Alliance (国家革新同盟).” His fame attracted many young politicians.
Within a few elections, Rudolf rapidly expanded his sphere of influence. Among the complex interwoven feelings of zealous support, anxiety, opposition, defeat, and apathy from various sectors, he successfully laid a solid political foundation.
He first became the Prime Minister via national referendum. Then he was elected President through a parliamentary election, using a loophole in the constitution where it did not expressly bar individuals from holding concurrent posts. According to the unwritten rules, an individual may not serve both positions concurrently, and each position may only exercise the powers within the scope of its duty. If both positions were held by the same individual, a terrifying chemical reaction would occur. But an individual with the power to rival Rudolf’s regime in fact no longer existed. Future historian, D. Sinclair (Ｄ・シンクレア), recorded this passage:
“What the public loves is not independent thought or its resulting responsibility; instead, it is orders, obedience, and the elimination of responsibilities. The debut of Rudolf was a historical witness. In a democracy, the responsibility for poor governance lies with the people who elected an unsuitable political leader. A dictatorship is different. The people do not want to self-reflect; they like to secretly and severely criticize those in power, yet bear no responsibility.”
Setting aside the question of whether his commentary was correct, the people of that era indeed were wholeheartedly supporting Rudolf.
“We need a strong government! We need a powerful leader! Restore society’s order and vigor!”
It was unknown when this beloved “young, strong leader” became an absolute dictator who would not allow forces of criticism to exist. He called himself a “life-long administrator (終身執政官)” until 310 UC, when he finally became the “Sacred and Inviolable Kaiser of the Galactic Empire (神聖にして不可侵なる銀河帝国皇帝).” Many people started cursing their own stupidity and ignorance for not learning the lessons of history, and those who had always lambasted Rudolf were now bitter and furious to the extreme. However, the people who loudly cheered for him were still greater in number than the former.
During that time, a Republican politician (共和主義者), Hassan Ayer Syed (ハッサン・エル・サイド), on the date of Rudolf’s coronation, wrote the following in his diary:
“In my room, I can hear people chanting, ‘Long live Kaiser Rudolf!’ How many days would it be before they start cheering the hangman?”
This diary was later banned by Empire authorities.
This was also the day the Universal Calendar (UC) was abolished and the Imperial Calendar (IC) (帝国暦) was adopted. As of this moment the Galactic Federation completely disintegrated. The Galactic Empire – The Goldenbaum Dynasty (ゴールデンバウム王朝) – was born!
Galactic Kaiser Rudolf I became the first autocratic monarch to rule all of mankind. His extraordinary ability was unquestionable. Under the thorough implementation of his powerful political leadership and his strong fortitude, discipline was restored, productivity soared, and corrupt officials purged.
According to the standards Rudolf established, “inefficient,” “decadent,” and “degrading” lifestyles and entertainments were eliminated. Cruel and draconian methods were employed to sharply reduce criminal acts and juvenile delinquency. In short, the abominable parts of human society were totally eradicated.
However, Kaiser Rudolf, “The Iron Giant,” was not satisfied. His ideal society was one that was governed and managed by a strong ruler and displayed a high degree of uniformity.
Rudolf not only believed in his own strong aptitude, but he also believed he was doing heaven’s work. As far as he was concerned, critics and those in opposition were radicals damaging society’s unity and order. Therefore, in the end, he commenced a brutal campaign to suppress dissent.
The suppression campaign was ignited due to the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act (劣悪遺伝子排除法) that was introduced in Imperial Calendar Year 9.
“The rules of the universe have always been the laws of the jungle: survival of the fittest!” Rudolf thus disclosed his conviction to his “subjects.”
“The human society is no exception. When the number of 'abnormals (異常者)' in a society increases above a certain level, the society will lose its vitality and gradually deteriorate. I fervently wish to see the eternal prosperity of the human race; therefore, as the ruler of mankind, it is my sacred obligation to remove the weak and disabled.”
Essentially, the goal was to bring about the extinction of the physically disabled, the needy, the poor, and the “non-excellent (優秀でない).” The Act would allow the mentally ill to be euthanized and social programs to be dissolved. According to Rudolf, being poor and frail was, in itself, a sin that could not be forgiven. The weak needed protection? The weak of the society were simply objects to be detested.
When this law was revealed to the citizens, even those who had always worshipped Rudolf and blindly followed him were chilled to their bones. After all, not many people were confident that they were excellent human specimens. Everyone privately thought, “Is this not going too far?”
A portion of the lingering Republican politicians in the parliament, with public opinion as their backing, criticized the Kaiser’s faults. To deal with them, Rudolf decided to launch a full counterattack.
He immediately ordered the permanent dissolution of the parliament.
The following year, under the Imperial Ministry of the Interior (帝国内務省), he established the Department of Social Discipline (社会秩序維持局) and vigorously pursued political criminals. Rudolf’s confidant, Interior Minister Ernst Falstrong (エルンスト・ファルストロング内務尚書), served concurrently as the department head. Under the premise of “the law is invalid; subjective judgment rules,” he started arresting, detaining, imprisoning, and punishing political criminals.
This move was no doubt the merger of power and violence. This period provided the incubator for the hatching of terror politics. Within a short period of time, it became the tsunami that devoured human society.
At the time, dark jokes secretly spread.
“If you do not want to be sentenced to death, let the police catch you. Those caught by the Department of Social Discipline always die.”
That was fact. None of the political criminals or thought criminals arrested by the Department of Social Discipline were sentenced to death in the official records. However, the number of prisoners who were shot without a trial, tortured to death, exiled to barren land and never heard from again, received frontal lobotomies, force fed narcotics until completely nonfunctional, or who died in prison due to “illness” or “accidents”…totaled more than four billion people. This number, as a ratio of the Empire’s total population of 300 billion people, is a measly 1.3 percent. Therefore, those in charge of the Department of Social Discipline were able to argue unashamedly:
“In pursuit of the peace and well-being of the vast majority of the people in society, some dangerous elements must be eliminated!”
Of course, what they called “the vast majority” did not include the four billion people who suffered tragic fates, or the countless people who harbored silent resentment, anger, and hatred.
In addition to the suppression of opposition, Rudolf also selected what he called “the exceptionals (優秀な人材).” Rudolf gave them privileges, creating aristocrats (貴族階級) to support the imperial family. All of the nobles were Caucasians. Rudolf also bestowed upon them ancient Germanic surnames. Could it be that Rudolf’s intellect was starting to show signs of deterioration?
Falstrong (ファルストロング) was also bestowed the title of Count due to his achievements. However, one day, on his way home, he fell prey to the plot of underground Republican terrorists, and died tragically after being hit by a neutron bomb. Rudolf was filled with grief. He executed all 20,000 plus suspects to comfort the hero’s soul in heaven.
In year 42 IC, Rudolf the Great ended his lengthy, 83-year-long life. His enormous body was still strong, but it was said that emotional pain caused his heart to give out from stress.
The Kaiser had not been fully satisfied. All four of his children with Kaiserin Elizabeth (エリザベート) were daughters. He did not have a son who could inherit the throne. In his senior years, his favorite concubine Magdalena (マグダレーナ) gave birth to a son for him, but rumor has it the boy had congenital retardation.
The official records of the empire were silent in regard to this matter. Thereafter, not only Magdalena herself, but her parents, brothers, and even the doctors and nurses who helped her deliver were put to death. It could be inferred from the above fact that the rumors circulating the streets might have been the truth.
This matter, for Rudolf, the man who introduced the “Inferior Genes Exclusion Act” in an attempt to develop a superior human race, was no doubt a bolt from the blue!
In order to comply with Rudolf’s conviction, “genes decide all,” Magdalena must die. After all, Rudolf the Great most definitely did not have the genetic disposition to have an offspring with mental retardation. All of the responsibility lay with Magdalena.
After Rudolf’s death, the person to wear the crown of the second generation Galactic Empire kaiser was the son of Rudolf’s eldest daughter Catalina (カタリナ), Sigismund (ジギスムント). The 25-year-old Kaiser, with the assistance of his father, Duke Joachim von Neue Stauffen (ノイエ・シュタウフェン公ヨアヒム), ruled the Milky Way.
… After the death of Rudolf I, Republicans rebelled simultaneously all over the empire. Many people thought, now that Rudolf’s guiding force and personality had disappeared, the Empire would soon collapse. However, they might have cheered a little too early. During Rudolf’s long, 40-year-reign, he cultivated a tripartite system that united the aristocrats, the military, and the bureaucrats. This group of confidants was far more robust than the Republicans had imagined.
The one who controlled this group was the Kaiser’s father, the Empire’s Prime Minister, Duke Joachim von Neue Stauffen. He was a son-in-law Rudolf hand-picked. Now, he displayed his calm, stoic leadership, and stomped the already disadvantaged rebels to eggshell-like pieces.
The over 500 million people who participated in the rebellion were all executed. Their family and relatives, a total of 10 billion people, were stripped of their citizenship, and reduced to serfs. He loyally guarded the Empire’s tradition: when it comes to opposition forces, always shoot to kill.
The Republicans sunk into yet another harsh winter.
Under the strong authoritarian governance, would the harsh winter last forever? This was a question people were most concerned with. After Joachim’s death, Sigismund personally reigned; after Sigismund’s death, Richard (リヒャルト) succeeded the throne; after Richard, Richard’s eldest son Otfried (オトフリート) reigned. The highest authority could only fall into the hands of Rudolf’s descendants, generation after generation.
However, underneath the thick layers of ice, currents were quietly moving.
In year 164 IC, the rebel families and Republicans who were demoted to serfs and forced into hard labor in the Altair (α Aquila) Star System (アルタイル星系), successfully escaped using a self-built spaceship.
Their plan was not one that was rehearsed and practiced through several generations before it was a success. Planned schemes like that all failed. The tombstones of Republicans increased by the day, and their elegies were replaced by the Department of Social Discipline’s mockery. This kind of tragedy reoccurred endlessly. However, eventually, they succeeded. This plan, from proposal to implementation, only took three standard calendar months.
The plan began with children’s games. On the cold, harsh, seventh planet of Altair (α Aquila), the slave children mining molybdenum and antimony would sneak out of the surveillance officer’s sight, shave little boats out of ice chunks, and place the boats on the water surface to play. A young man, Arle Heinesen (アーレ・ハイネセン), unintentionally saw this, and a light bulb went on in his head. Apparently, there was an unlimited supply of spaceship material hidden on this abandoned planet!
Altair VII had little water, but it was rich in natural dry ice. Heinesen chose the massive dry ice buried at the bottom of the canyon. It was 122 kilometers in length and 40 kilometers in width. After hollowing out the middle of the ice chunk, and dividing it into engine space and living space, the ice could be made into a flight worthy spaceship. Before this, the difficulties in escape plans had always been the acquisition of spacecraft materials. It was impossible to obtain illegal material. If the Department of Social Discipline detected any trace of action, it was bound to trigger another wave of ruthless suppression and storm of slaughter.
However, this time, it was discovered here laid natural materials unnoticed by authorities.
In the absolute zero universe, one need not worry about the dry ice vaporizing. If the heat from the engine space and the living space could be blocked, then long-term flight would be possible. Then, during this period, one could search for interstellar materials or spacecraft materials that would allow for interstellar flights to unsettled planets. Then, the original spaceship would not need to continue flying and it could be abandoned.
This white, crystalline, dry-ice-spaceship was named “Ion Fazekath (イオン・ファゼカス号).” That was the name of the young boy who made the ice boats. Four hundred thousand men and women rode this ship to escape the Altair system. They took the first step of what future historians would term the “Ten Thousand Light Year Long March.”
In order to avoid the pursuing Imperial Fleet, they soon hid underground on a nameless planet. Here they constructed 80 long-range interstellar spaceships, and step by step sailed toward the depth of the Milky Way. This was a great danger zone filled with supernovas, dwarf stars, and binary stars. Time after time the creator flirted mercilessly with the fates of the escapees.
During the unrelenting journey, they lost their beloved leader – Heinesen. Heinesen’s good friend Nguyen Kim Hua (グエン・キム・ホア) took over his role. As Nguyen gradually aged and lost his eyesight, they finally left the danger zone and entered a zone with stable, middle aged, constellations. It had been half a century since they left the Altair system.
Constellations in the new world were named after Phoenician (フェニキア) gods. For example: Baalat (バーラト), Astarte (アスターテ), Melqart (メルカルト), Hadad (ハダド), etc. They used Baalat’s forth planet as their base, and named it after their past leader Heinesen to immortalize his achievements.
The “Ten Thousand Light Year Long March” ended in 218 IC. At this point, the people who escaped the authoritarian regime decided to abandon the Imperial Calendar and restore the Universal Calendar. They boasted that they were the orthodox successors of the Galactic Federation, and Rudolf was just a despicable traitor of the democratic system.
Just like that, the Free Planets Alliance (自由惑星同盟) solemnly announced its establishment. It was 527 UC. The early citizens only totaled 160,000 people because most of their comrades perished during the long journey.
…To say this divided the human society into two might be a little early, but the zeal and diligence seen on the founders of the Free Planets Alliance was historically rare. Under their hard work and dedication, their force rapidly increased and stabilized. The government implemented fertility incentives, so the population rapidly increased. The national system was complete. Farming and industrial productivity soared.
The golden era of the Galactic Federation once again arrived!
In year 640 UC, the two major forces, Galactic Empire and Free Planets Alliance, finally had first contact, and it was contact between warships.
Compared to the Alliance Space Fleet, which was psychologically prepared, this was a bolt from the blue for the Imperial Space Fleet. Therefore, there was no doubt as to who would capture the fruit of victory. Before being hit directly by a neutron beam, and vaporizing into a ball of fire, the Imperial battleship continuously sent emergency signals to the Empire home planet.
The Galactic Empire officers located the antiquated documents from their computers before finally realizing the slaves who had escaped from the Altair system at least over a century ago were still alive!
Consequently, the Empire organized a vast expedition fleet and pointed their weapons at the “traitor base”! Yet the fleet was vanquished. Completely annihilated.
The reason the Imperial Space Fleet, the fleet with the overwhelming advantage in ship numbers, lost, was because: the ships forced on this long-distance-expedition were physically and mentally fatigued; there was a supply shortage; they were unfamiliar with the geographical environment; they underestimated the enemy’s strength and will to fight; their strategy was overly simplistic; and the Alliance Space Fleet had a brilliant commander.
The Alliance Supreme Commander was Lin Pao (リン・パオ). Not only was he a drinker and a gourmand, he was also a womanizer. Therefore, he often received dirty looks from Alliance politicians who followed the spirits of ancient puritans: live simply; want nothing. However, he was also a prodigy when it came to commanding the military. His chief-of-staff, Yūsuf Topparol (ユースフ・トパロウル), often was nicknamed “The Wailing Yūsuf.” This was because whenever he encountered laborious or difficult tasks, he always made his grievance known. He therefore gained this reputation. Having said that, he was a precise and careful theorist! It was not at all an exaggeration to describe him as a “breathing tactical computer”!
Both of them were only thirty years old, but this pair, on the outer rim of the Dagon Starzone (ダゴン星域), performed a historical and rare siege of annihilation, and became the greatest heroes since the founding of the Alliance.
This victory gave the Free Planets Alliance an opportunity for expansion in quantity. After dissidents within the Empire learned that there was an independent power fighting against the Empire, in order to find a safe haven, a large group of people fled the Empire and flocked into the Free Planets Alliance. It had been three centuries since the death of Rudolf the Great. The once solid foundation was starting to waver. The Department of Social Discipline that was once rampant due to crackdowns also lost its former grandeur and glory. Within the Empire, popular discontent seethed. An avalanche of resentment and dissatisfaction attacked like raging waves!
The Free Planets Alliance accepted these waves of men and women pouring into the country with the spirit of “all are welcome.” These people, in addition to Republicans, also included royals and aristocrats who failed in the court’s internal struggles. After accepting them, the population surged, and the Free Planets Alliance’s own constitution also gradually changed.
Since their earliest contact, the Galactic Empire, or the Goldenbaum Dynasty, and the Free Planets Alliance had been in a chronic state of war. However, sometimes there were illusions of peace. The product of that was the “Dominion of Fezzan (フェザーン自治領),” an autonomous district in the Fezzan stellar system sandwiched between the two superpowers. It was a subject of the Galactic Kaiser, and it paid tribute to the Empire, but when it came to internal affairs, it was completely autonomous. These internal affairs also included diplomatic affairs and commerce with the Free Planets Alliance. Leopold Lappe (レオポルド・ラープ), a business magnate from Terra, was quite enthusiastic in the movement to establish this unique dominion. Through petitions, lobbying efforts, and large-scale bribery, in fact, it was he who manipulated it all behind the scenes.
The dominion’s representative also served as the Landesherr (自治領主, ランデスヘル). He was a subject of the Kaiser. He governed the dominion, supervised trades with the Alliance, and sometimes acted as the diplomat. Because Fezzan monopolized commerce, its wealth accumulated incessantly. Therefore, even though its territory was small, its power could not be overlooked.
The Empire and the Alliance were not completely disinclined to improve their relationship. In 398 IC (707 UC), the Kaiser who ascended the throne was Manfred II (マンフレート二世), one of Kaiser Helmut’s (ヘルムート) illegitimate sons. When he was still the crown prince, due to power struggles in the palace, he had fled to the Free Planets Alliance after narrowly escaping assassination. Afterward, he grew up immersed in the air of freedom, and spent his adolescence there. As a result, when he later returned to ascend the throne, he was committed to peace, diplomacy, and equal status between the two superpowers. He also attempted to carry out political reform within the Empire. However, the young Kaiser, shouldering great expectations, was assassinated less than a year from his coronation, and the relationship between the two superpowers rapidly chilled. The hope for peace came to naught. On the surface, the assassin who murdered Manfred II was an opposing aristocrat, but rumors suggested it was Fezzan, which hoped to monopolize trade, that secretly manipulated the event. This argument was rather credible.
… Until Universal Calendar 8th Century, Imperial Calendar 5th Century, the Empire still had enormous territories and no discipline or system to speak of. The Alliance also lost its original ideologies. The two countries were separated by Fezzan, and they continued their antagonistic state indefinitely. Economists have attempted to quantify the national strengths of the three countries. The results were: Galactic Empire 48%, Free Planets Alliance 40%, Fezzan 12%; a tripartite stalemate.
In its heyday, the total population of the Galactic Federation was 300 billion people. After the long periods of war and fragmentation, only 40 billion remained.
The population distribution is as such: Galactic Empire, 25 billion; Alliance, 13 billion; Fezzan, 2 billion.
The person who suddenly altered the current situation was a young man who appeared on Valhalla Starzone’s (ヴァルハラ系) third planet, Odin (オーディン). Odin was named after a major god in ancient Norse mythology. It was also the planet the capital of the Galactic Empire migrated to during Rudolf’s time. This dazzlingly handsome young man, was named Count Reinhard von Lohengramm (ローエングラム伯ラインハルト).
Reinhard’s last name was originally Müsel (ミューゼル). He was born into a family that held the undeserved name of an aristocrat but was in complete destitution. The year was 467 IC (776 UC). When he was 10, his sister Annerose (アンネローゼ), who was five years his senior, was summoned by Kaiser Friedrich IV (フリードリヒ四世) into the Imperial harem. This event forever changed the young man’s fate. This blond haired, blue eyed, handsome young man became an ensign of the Imperial guards (近衛師団) at the age of 15. The Kaiser’s favor for Annerose, along with his own talent, ensured he was rapidly promoted.
At the age of 20, he was awarded the title “Count Lohengramm,” and he afterwards discarded “Müsel.” Along with the new last name, he was promoted to Imperial high admiral. This is a personnel system that could only be found in an authoritarian country. With each advancement came increased responsibilities. In order to prove he was not just “the Kaiser’s favorite concubine’s little brother,” Reinhard must demonstrate competency commensurate with his status.
In the meantime, the Free Planets Alliance also held a trump card. He was born on 767 UC, joined the military at the age of 20, and was a strategic expert. His name was Yang Wen-li (ヤン・ウェンリー).
Originally he did not intend to join the military. If it were not for the few coincidental acts of fate pushing him, he would not have ended up a creator of history. He would instead have been a common spectator, obscure until the end of his life.
“There are things I can accomplish, and things I can’t accomplish,” was Yang’s usual philosophy. When it came to destiny, he was more passive than Reinhard, and more inclusive. When it came to the profession of war and the execution of war, he always felt he could not fit in; he always hoped to give up his rank to live a lifetime in retirement, but he was never able to bring his wish into fruition.
…In year 796 UC (beginning of 487 IC), Reinhard led a fleet of 20,000 vessels and embarked on a long expedition. He planned on making the “Free Planets Alliance” rebels get down on their knees and beg for mercy in order to solidify his position through merit.
The Alliance Fleet organized a fleet of 40,000 vessels to engage him, and Yang Wen-li was an aide.
At this moment, Reinhard von Lohengramm was 20 years old; Yang Wen-li, 29.