Good news and bad news. Good news is that I’M BACK!!!! YAAAYYY! and this chap is long. Thanks Fraiziar for this. Bad news: Fraiziar has left sincee RL is busy for him. Wasn’t long was it? Winter break is here for me, so I hope that I will have more chap for you.
Chapter 25 First time
The First Time. (Pengu: it’s in the raw)
Black powder is one of China’s four great inventions.
While it isn’t something significant enough to require an explanation, it is what is generally referred to as explosives.
It can be made by mixing charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate.
Though cannons can be made of wood, they are likely to explode.
The handling of black powder is complicated, so I’m unsure how to properly come into contact with it.
I don’t want to die from doing a poor job.
It can be used to launch things like iron, or it can be set into the ground and be exploded using flaming arrows.
That’ll be our main weapon.
I expect it’s effectiveness will improve when combined with Tetra’s magic.
But I don’t expect it have the ability to cause bloodshed very much.
I wonder how far the crude gunpowder made by a novice such as I can go?……
However, the sound and shock wave should have quite the impact.
It may be able to lower the enemy’s morale, and perhaps could be used to frighten King Ferme before the war.
Will they get scared I wonder?
Or maybe due to him drawing back because of my skeleton remark, it’s probably impossible for him to be frightened.
Continuing from what I said earlier, black powder is made from charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate.
The first ingredient is no problem, since charcoal can be produced by ourselves.
Although it seems hard to obtain sulfur, since there are a lot of volcanoes in this area sulfur can be found.
Worst case scenario, we can import some from the Kirishian merchants.
I’m sure the well informed Kirishians should know of sulfur.
There are two ways of obtaining potassium nitrate.
Either from mining saltpeter or from producing it ourselves.
Since I don’t know where saltpeter is buried, this time around we will have to make it ourselves.
The material we will use is the black soil under the cattle shed.
Although the soil from under the cattle shed couldn’t possibly be enough, however I plan on getting some from King Rosaith.
“Tetra. Can you develop an ignition magic matrix. Within a year.” (Almis)
(Darknari: could also be called square or formation, but matrix sounds cooler)
“Roger that. But writing with my blood does not have sufficient magical power. Curse stones….. it is one of the handy stones for using magic, I want to stock up on magic stones.” (Tetra)
“Gotcha. Since I don’t know what kind of stone is best, for now I’ll make an order for all types from the Kirishian merchants. Ron, Roswald, Gram. Will you come with me to where King Rosaith is?” (Almis)
My goal of course, was to get the black soil.
Soil is plentiful anyhow, so he should give it to us for free.
I want Ron, Roswald, and Gram to learn how to lead troops.
I must ask King Rosaith to have you mix in.
Of course I want to observe as well if I get the chance.
But before that I need to negotiate with that Kirishian merchant to prepare some high performance horses, bows and arrows, and arrowheads.
I might even purchase some combat slaves if necessary.
“I see. Tribute. Giving tribute for the protection of your home.” (King Rosaith)
“Unfortunately, it was a state of emergency.” (Almis)
At the moment, I’ve come before King Rosaith to request for aid, and I feel like I’m gonna die.
“Cough, cough.” (King Rosaith)
“Are you okay? Father.” (Julia)
Lying on the futon, King Rosaith was getting his back rubbed by Julia.
There’s no way I can ask a sick person for help!
“Here. Some honey.” (Almis)
“….Sorry for the bother.” (King Rosaith)
I handed over the honey as usual.
“Now then, surely you didn’t just come to tell me that information, did you?” (King Rosaith)
King Rosaith was grinning. Shaddup you.
“I have four bits of business. To start, the first thing is…… wheat. Please lend us some wheat.” (Almis)
“Sure. How much?” (King Rosaith)
I firmly request King Rosaith for the wheat.
“Ha….That’s quite a bit. Didn’t you say before that you’d have enough? Just how much did King Ferme take?” (King Rosaith)
“Well, you know….” (Almis)
There is a different reason why I am demanding so much.
We need some time to strengthen the defense of the village. Which means we won’t have enough time for farmwork…..
That’s why that much is necessary.
“You must pay it back in three years. Ten percent interest will be sufficient. And in exchange you have to pay with your methods of making pottery, honey, and paper.” (King Rosaith)
“You ask too much. You know, I do have the means of negotiating with King Domorgal.” (Almis)
As I said so, King Rosaith shrugged.
“I understand. It was just a joke. Just choose one.” (King Rosaith)
“I’ll teach you how to make our pottery.” (Almis)
Since it’s the simplest.
I explain the structure of the climbing kiln to King Rosaith.
“My second request is that I want cattle shed soil. In large amounts.” (Almis)
“I don’t really understand what you are planning but…. oh well. Do as you wish.” (King Rosaith)
King Rosaith gave us permission with a mystified look.
“Next is something I just want to ask but…. about a yellow stone that burns, are there any? We plan to mine some from a volcano.” (Almis)
Unfortunately, I don’t know what they call sulfur in this world.
Conversations with children rarely contain the word sulfur after all.
“Ah, we’ve collected some of those stones from near one of our hot springs, it’s called sulfur isn’t it? If so, quite a bit of it can be found in that mountain. Take whatever you like.” (King Rosaith)
“Is that okay?” (Almis)
“Sure. Since you always bring us honey.” (King Rosaith)
Well, I guess it’s cause they don’t have much use for sulfur. Is it not used very much to light fires in this ancient world?
During the Edo Period sulfur was used instead of matches a lot.
“Fourth, could we watch the military training of King Rosaith’s army?” (Almis)
“I see. Measures against King Ferme? I don’t mind. If it’s just watching, that is.” (King Rosaith)
“Is it okay if I watch with my comrades?” (Almis)
“Sure.” (King Rosaith)
Okay, we all got permission.
“Julia. You go guide them.” (King Rosaith)
“How is it? This is my country’s army.” (Julia)
Before my eyes a thousand men are training in ranks.
At a glance, it seems this corps is heavy infantry.
Similar to the so-called phalanx.
“Y~eah, is this skill level considered high?” (Almis)
I’m not sure since I’m an amateur, but frankly they don’t look all that strong to me.
In the first place, a phalanx needs a strong force of unity and a powerful fighting spirit.
That can’t be gained from a bunch of conscripted soldiers.
“Ahaha. It’s as you say. The same thing was said by the Kirishian merchants who visited before. As for this, we’ve been unsuccessfully trying to imitate the military tactics of Kirishia. From what I’ve heard, the Kirishians don’t have a king but rather everyone goes into politics. That’s why everyone’s morale is high, and whenever they have free time they train and get stronger. But in my father’s country, these soldiers are from two years worth of conscripting so….” (Julia)
I see. In that case it can’t be helped.
It may be a bit bad that the Kirishians are so advanced.
The drop in quality from indiscriminate imitation is blatant.
“Over there is where we are training archery.” (Julia)
Looking at the place where Julia pointed towards, I saw about 200 men training by firing arrows at targets.
“Those guys aren’t people brought in from the draft. So their morale is high.” (Julia)
Since archery is a more advanced skill, huh.
Conscripted soldiers wouldn’t necessarily be able to use them right away.
“How about it? Gram. Could you beat them?” (Almis)
“With the distance of that target I could hit it with my eyes closed. I don’t know how experienced they are at shooting arrows so I don’t know if i’d win or not but… I’m confident.” (Gram)
“And over there are the Imperial Guards. They are the elites you know.” (Julia)
Julia pointed her finger to about fifty men having a mock battle.
“Those are the elites? Ron’s or Roswald’s movements seem more precise to me though….” (Almis)
I used to do a bit of kendo.
I was taught by the orphanage’s director. (Self-styled Four Steps, validity unknown).
Looking at what was before me, I noticed a lot of unnecessary movement.
Of course, there might be a difference in technique.
The technique I taught Ron and Roswald was kendo, which has been studied and perfected in Japan over a long period of time.
On the other hand, these people are all probably swinging their swords using a self-taught style.
Since I see no uniform movement at all.
Therefore it’s obvious that the Ron and Roswald who know kendo would be stronger.
But that’s not where I’m concerned.
It’s physical ability.
It’s blatantly obvious that these guys were less physically fit than Ron or Roswald. (Fraiziar: we get it, they are OP in this world due to japan’s superior culture and shit.)
“Aren’t these guys slacking in their training?” (Almis)
“Hey hey, don’t just say whatever you want.” (???)
A voice came from behind.
When I turned around, I saw a large man with a huge scar on his face.
He was pretty young. And smelled of liquor .
“Who are you to be deceiving our family’s princess?” (scar man)
(TL Fraiziar: I’m assuming うち in this means “my spouse”) (Darknari: here it is one’s family or household)
“Hey, Bartolo! What are you saying!” (Julia)
Julia blushed, shouting in complaint.
“I don’t really know what you mean by ‘deceiving’, but my name is Almis. Are you the person recognized as the general of this country?” (Almis)
“That’s right. The king entrusted me with the army.” (Bartolo)
He barely looks to be in his thirties.
Is he that talented?
He’s a drunkard though.
Maybe it was because he saw my surprised expression, Bartolo placed his arm on my shoulder in an overly-familiar way.
You smell of liquor, get away from me.
“You know how King Ferme recently attacked our country, right?” (Bartolo)
“Yeah, I heard. It seems to have been a crushing defeat.” (Almis)
King Ferme attacked with 500 soldiers while King Rosaith fought with his 1000 troops.
After King Rosaith’s defeat, he was deprived of much of his grain.
“And because of that defeat the responsibility went towards the head of the general (literally, not figuratively). So I was placed in this position.” (Bartolo)
Bartolo said happily.
“Anyways, did you say our family’s soldiers are weak, eh?” (Bartolo)
“Well… yeah. At least that’s how it seems to me.” (Almis)
I answer honestly.
“Then, let’s find out, eh? You and our soldiers….” (Bartolo)
“That’s not necessary.” (Ron)
“There’s no need to fight our leader. I’ll do it. Since, sadly, I’m the weakest out of all of us.” (Ron)
Ron said while patting the hilt of his sword.
Maybe when Ron said “out of all of us” he meant out of me, Roswald, and Ron. Gram doesn’t count since he’s an archer.
“Sounds good! I love high-spirited guys. Let’s do it right away.” (Bartolo)
“”You’re kidding me……”” (Bartolo & Almis)
Those same words spill from both Bartolo’s and my mouth.
Bartolo probably thought that Ron’s strength was a lie.
And I thought that the weakness of Rosaith’s soldiers was a lie too.
No, I think I’ve somehow gradually understood that the ‘lie’ was Ron’s strength.
In front of my eyes, the ten men who challenged Ron to a rematch were downed with surprising swiftness.
Judging from how Bartolo had spoken, he should have had considerable confidence.
Which means that the basis of his self-confidence in the training of the Rosaith soldiers is appropriate.
Therefore, they aren’t weak.
Which means the only remaining option is that it’s just Ron who is too strong.
No, maybe it’s just that our village’s specs are too high.
Since certainly, Ron is the third strongest from our village (counting me and Roswald), but that doesn’t mean you can conclude that he was strong.
In fact, there is something I have been wondering.
Why have we never gotten sick?
In our village everyone was a weak child from the start, it wouldn’t have been funny if someone died from disease in the first year. However, there wasn’t even one death.
No, that has to be from our effort and good luck. (Darknari: denial much?)
The biggest mystery was about the fields.
Every year I expanded the fields, and plowed them.
Right now we are plowing fields 1.5 times the size of the original fields.
Despite the workforce being nothing but children.
And we even had time left over for studying and practicing martial arts.
That’s just weird.
‘Maybe it’s normal’ I thought, but after all it’s weird. It’s strange. It’s abnormal.
Suddenly, I saw Julia laughing next to me.
She must have been holding her laughter back.
At my glance, Julia turned towards me and adopted a more effeminate demeanor.
“Sorry about that. The fact that you were surprised was funny. You weren’t aware, were you?” (Julia)
“What do you mean by that?” (Almis)
“Heehee, very well, I’ll enlighten you. Hey, Roswald-kun, Gram-kun, I’m borrowing Almis for a bit, okay?” (Julia)
Saying that, Julia began pulling me away.
“What is it?” (Almis)
“Truth is, I also possess divine protection. In fact, quite a lot of them.” (Julia)
Julia laughed mischievously.
“My handiest blessings are probably [Divine Protection of Perception] and [Divine Protection of Clairvoyance]. The former allows me to observe the divine protection of other parties. The latter is a divine protection that lets me see far away places. In truth, I found you after playing around with clairvoyance in the forest. I wanted to come meet you since it seemed to be very interesting. That’s why I called out to you with a butterfly.” (Julia)
(TL Fraiziar: I’m not sure if 「看破の加護」should be translated as Blessing of Mind Reading or something like “Blessing of seeing through shit”, suggestions are welcome) (Darknari: I’m going with perception since that fits better with what it does)
This is pretty sudden…..
But it was a long standing mystery as to how Julia had found our village.
This clears up one mystery.
“And, as for my divine protection?” (Almis)
“Geez. You sure are impatient.” (Julia)
Julia let her face become a little slack.
“That’s right. If I had to give it a name, it would be [Divine Protection of a Great King] I guess (大王の加護). The ability depends on the number of people who trust in you, the ability of that person would grow….. if it’s a man than physical ability and if it’s a woman than sorcery talent. And then, those who also swear absolute loyalty to you, even without a divine protection of their own their abilities will increase. It’s something like that. It’s an amazing ability isn’t it?” (Julia)
I never intended to be sworn to though.
“That’s unexpected. Are you not surprised?” (Julia)
“I have been aware of the divine protection. Though I didn’t know that it spread even to my surroundings.” (Almis)
Incidentally, I don’t know the conditions either.
Well, I guess I’ve gotten used to strange things like this happening.
“So, why are you bringing this up now?” (Almis)
What Julia wanted to talk to me about wasn’t such a insignificant thing…. right?
“In truth, I sorta thought it’d be interesting to just keep silent and watch you try to figure it out yourself. But you know, you still haven’t realized so…..” (Julia)
Julia’s words cut into me for a moment.
“Soon, I won’t be able to meet with you. Today is the last time. Father’s death, it’s coming soon. So I decided to get married while my father is alive….. it’s necessary that I bear a child. That’s why I can’t meet you anymore.” (Julia)
Julia was crying.
“That’s why I am explaining to you now. Since there wouldn’t be any more chances to explain. Aaaah, I wanted to see a bigger reaction you know~” (Julia)
Julia said with a bright voice, laughing while in tears.
“Before, I refused when my father told me to quickly find someone.” (Julia)
Saying that, Julia got closer to me.
Approaching with tears in her eyes.
Julia pressed her lips against mine. (Fraiziar: Though I feel a little sorry for her cause she’s crying, I still am upset 😡 Tetra 4 lyfe!)
Julia’s tongue entered my mouth.
She kissed me with a lot of force.
Unable to reject her, I remained as I was.
After what felt like forever, Julia and I separated.
There was a string of saliva between our lips. (Darknari: that was some kiss O.O)
“From here on you’ll probably get married to various people, right? Since you are cool and strong, and you have the calibre of kings. I’m sure a lot of girls will make a move on you. And you are too kind to refuse them. I also wanted to be part of your harem…..but unfortunately it seems impossible. But at least I can leave behind this memory.” (Julia)
Julia turned her back towards me.
“The memory that I was your first kiss.” (Julia)
Julia ran away.
I slammed my fist into a tree.
Julia completely had the air of dejection and loss. (TL: Idk how to phrase this) (ED: reworded it)
Is this okay?
But for now since she forcibly took ‘victory’ for the scramble of my first kiss, she has one win and one defeat. (Darknari: wow what an ego)
It has become difficult to gradually reply to all her thoughts.
Perhaps, it may become impossible to answer them all.
I should diligently look over all her thoughts.
From now on, please treat me well.
Her thoughts are very likeable so I want more of them. (Fraiziar: TLC please! idk ;-;) (Darknari: did my best, I think he found that the fact that she exploded on him adorable)
By the way, the Rosaith soldiers that were dissed by Almis, had a higher skill level and morale compared to Adernia Peninsula’s standard.
They were the imperial guard so it’s a matter of course.
Almis’ standards had become a little strange since he was too accustomed to his divine protection.