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Chapter 30 – Everyone, grab your weapons! Let’s go!
“Get ready! Fire!”
The sounds of plucked strings echoed in the air. I could barely hear the sound of the bolt’s arrow feathers cutting the wind. The crossbow bolt during flight is very quiet, probably because the arrow feathers are originally small. Perhaps, those who have crossbows pointed at them may hear the sound of death’s wings.
I can barely hear the sound of the bullet impact. The only sound that can be heard is the cries of Gizmas.
Yeah, let’s conclude.
“Our soldiers are overwhelming, aren’t they?”
“Hahaha. This weapon is overwhelming when you have the right numbers.”
Jagira laughed as she pulled the string of the improved crossbow. Yes, that’s right. The crossbow’s simultaneous firing was very effective against Gizmas. No, it worked too well. After all, the number of shooters is the key.
“How many of us are there?”
“I just heard that there are a little over 200 people.”
“A simple calculation shows that there are about twenty of us shooting at once… That would be too much for them.”
Gizmas have been crawling out of the dark forest from time to time, but the first thing that happens is that countless obstacles stop them, and many of them are shot dead. Then, the dead bodies become a hindrance, and Gizmas, who are gathered together on the border between the forest and the kill zone, are torn to pieces by the next round of shots.
In the end, even those that were safe were unable to move forward due to the dead bodies in their way. Eventually, some of them started to move around to the left and right, but they were shot in the side with many bolts, making them immobile. Some of them tried to break through the defense line by climbing over their companions’ corpses, but these individuals were very conspicuous from the top of the walls.
“Don’t let them break through! Fire!”
As a matter of course, they were destroyed by the intensive fire.
“Reload fast, everyone.”
“The beastmen are basically strong. Maybe the rate of fire won’t drop that much even if everyone uses the improved crossbow.”
“I see… Should we consider mass producing the improved crossbow?”
By the way, the crossbow-crazed Jagira, who has been standing next to me for some time now, shooting the improved crossbow, seems to have taken up a position here because she thought there would be no shortage of crossbow bolts if she stood next to me. This scout has a good eye.
“There is no room for an elven spirit archer in this situation, is there?”
“I guess not.”
There are already countless dead Gizma bodies filling up the kill zone. They’re slowing down now, but right after the attacks started, we were firing simultaneously at a pace of about once every ten to fifteen seconds. If we continue to shoot at the initial pace, we’ll be able to shoot out 500 arrows in about four minutes.
“Kosuke-san, we are running out of arrows.”
“Take as many as you want…”
I left 20 arrows for Jagira and me, and I gave all the rest of the bolts to Melty, who came to demand them. I’m really glad I made a total of 10,000 bolts.
Within an hour, the attacks by Gizmas became sporadic, so Danan stopped the operation of firing all at once and changed the instructions to shoot after drawing them in, perhaps to conserve bolts. It’s easier to have Gizma itself approach the wall when considering the hassle of retrieving it.
“How long does it take for Gizma’s meat to go rot?”
“Hmm? I think if you leave it for half a day, it will go rot.”
“I see… let’s go collect it.”
“Huh? In here?”
“We’ll be fine as long as we stick with people who can fight in close quarters. Gizma’s meat is quite tasty, and it’s a shame to let it rot.”
I left the dumbfounded Jagira where she was and headed for Danan, who was in command. Danan’s position was at the top of the gate in the wall, a place that I had made a special effort to improve under Danan’s direction. The space is large enough to be used as both a command center and an interception base.
“Mm, Kosuke. What’s wrong?”
“Yes, Gizma’s attacks have become sporadic, haven’t they? That’s why I’d like to retrieve Gizma’s corpse that’s lying in the kill zone. I can use my abilities to retrieve them quickly, and the flesh won’t spoil while they’re stored in my possession.”
“I see… I will gather those who excel in close combat to form a recovery team. Worg, you’re in charge here.”
The wolf beastman Worg saluted Danan. Apparently, Worg is in the position of Danan’s second-in-command.
“When it comes to close combat, I’ll go as well.”
It seems that Gerda, the bear beast-man, is coming along with us. She’s indeed a large woman and seems to be very powerful. But it feels like she likes to lay back and relax, but can she fight? The sword that I repaired and gave to Danan seems to be hanging on her hip, but… an iron sword for humans is not a very reliable weapon for a large bear-beast man like Gerda.
Hmm, oh shit. I didn’t plan on doing any close combat, so I didn’t make any good weapons. I thought of something that could be used… Oh, how about that?
“Yes? What is it? Oh, you can just call me Gerda if you like.”
“Ah, yeah. All right. Well, I think that sword looks a little awkward on you.”
“Oh, yes, you’re right. I’m a bit of a fool, so to be honest, I’m afraid I’ll break it soon.”
Saying that, Gerda puts her hand on her cheek and smiles bitterly. Yeah, Gerda has a big body. I think a standard longsword should be sufficient for her, but the iron sword hanging from her waist looks like a shortsword.
“Can you tell Danan that I’ll be waiting near the gate? I’ll see what I can do to make a weapon that will fit you. By the way, what’s your preferred weapon of choice?”
“Wow, are you sure? When I was a heavy infantryman in the Merinard Kingdom, I used a custom-made tower shield and long mace.”
“Tower shield and long mace… understood.”
I leave the place to the smiling Gerda and head to a slightly open area near the gate. I think I spend a lot more time here than I do in my workshop at Sylphy’s house… Maybe that’s why the refugees are starting to recognize that this is my workspace these days.
Well, that’s fine; I’ll just quickly make melee weapons while Danan is organizing a recovery unit. I set up the blacksmithing facility, fuel it up, and look at the weapons list. I don’t have a long mace on the list.
A mace with a long handle, strong and sturdy at the point of impact. I imagine it as a larger version of a mace.
・Long Mace――Material: Steel Leaf Spring x 3, Iron x 3
The material is heavy. Well, I guess that’s what happens when you’re made entirely of metal. The rest is the tower shield. Tower shield, tower shield… I can’t find the tower shield as well… No, there’s Scutum. Will this be all right?
・Scutum――Materials: Animal Skin x 3, Cloth x 3, Iron x 1
Scutum is like a leather shield reinforced with iron. If Gerda were to use it, wouldn’t a tower shield with a higher percentage of metal be fine? I imagine a tower shield reinforced with thin, sturdy steel plates, wood, and leather while keeping the image of Scutum intact. For joining, I can use the glue I got from the elves’ warehouse.
・Heavy Tower Shield――Materials: Steel Leaf Spring x 3, Wood x 2, Animal Skin x 2, Glue x 1
Yes, this should be fine. Let’s start making it. I’ll try to find a weapon for me as well. Hmm, I’m just an amateur. I’m probably best suited to use a crossbow or a gun, but the possibility of getting caught in a melee should always be considered. What’s better? There are only a few weapons that an ordinary soldier can carry. It could be a spear or a club.
・Steel Spear――Material: Iron x 3, Wood x 2
・Spiked Club――Material: Iron x 2, Wood x 2
・Mace――Material: Iron x 4, Wood x 2
So I’m going to make these. The spiked club is a kind of vicious version of a nail bat. Let’s see how it compares to the mace.
While I was making equipment like that, Danan and the others came walking by. Seeing that Sylphy is also present, the elven spirit archer must have taken a position on the wall. It took quite a while for them to get there.
“Welcome back, Sylphy.”
“Oh, I’m back. Are you sure you want to go, Kosuke?”
“It’s a shame to let something that can be used go to waste. Gerda, the weapon is ready. Try it out.”
“Wow, thank you very much.”
When I gave Gerda the long mace and the heavy tower shield, she was as happy as a child who received a new toy. I know that you are happy, so I want you to swing it around a little more over there. I’m afraid of the wind pressure and the noise.
“The weight is good, too. With this, I can smash Gizma.”
“That’s good to hear.”
I cleaned up the smithing facility and tried out my quarry. The spear is heavier than I expected. I can also use it as a blunt weapon if I smash it. As for the spiked club and the mace, the spiked club feels more comfortable in my hands. The mace feels a little heavy to me.
“Is that new?”
“Yeah, just trying it out. The mace doesn’t feel as comfortable in my hand.”
“I see. Well, give me the mace.”
“Eh? I don’t mind.”
Since Sylphy wanted the mace, I decided to give it to her obediently. Oh, she’s wielding it as lightly as if it were a twig or something. Sylphy’s hands are not very thick, and when you touch them, they are soft and yet strangely powerful. I’m not sure if it’s due to magical powers or what.
“Are you ready?”
Oh! The recovery team members raise their voices with enthusiasm. The team consists of me, Sylphy, Danan, Gerda, a red-skinned oni-like woman with horns (equipped with a big club made from a log), a lizard-type person equipped with an iron spear (I can’t tell the gender), a lion-faced man equipped with two iron swords (the one whose leg was healed during the lunch), and Isla with a staff.
“Isla? Are you going to be okay?”
“I’m fine. My title as court mage is not just for show.”
I wonder if she shoots beams from her eyes. No, I’m just kidding. I bet she’s going to fight with some kind of magic. I’m looking forward to it.
“The goal of the mission is to recover Gizma’s body. Kosuke will retrieve the body. All other personnel will make it their priority to protect Kosuke. Is that clear? Then open the gate!”
The iron-reinforced huge gate is opened. All right, it’s material recovery fever time!