It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (122/130), enjoy~
Chapter 187 – Riflemen’s Training
The sound of ear-splitting gunfire is incessant. It is like the roar of a beast――.
It is like a roar――.
“That’s the roar of a real beast!”
I shouted and stomped on the ground.
No, I’m not, am I? I was heartbroken that I would be forced to unilaterally kill the Holy Kingdom’s army by providing them with a weapon that was too powerful, you know? I was unwilling to force them to do it, you know?
And look what happened! The riflemen were firing as if they were relieving their frustration at not having been able to shoot very well with their bolt-action rifles. And all of them are shooting with the bipods still in place. Are your shoulders okay? Can you control the recoil? Oh, no problem at all, you say? I see.
Come to think of it; you guys have absurdly high physical capabilities compared to humans in my original world, don’t you? Even Jagira, who looks thin at a glance, has more physical strength than me, right? That’s right, even a general-purpose machine gun weighing over 11 kg can be wielded with ease.
“It’s not a good idea to walk around with a loaded belt hanging from your body, is it?”
I took out a drum magazine from my inventory and handed it to Jagira, who was complaining.
“Hmm? How do you use this?”
“You see, this is…”
I showed her how to use the drum magazine, which can hold up to 50 rounds of ammunition. This drum magazine is like a round ammunition box that can be attached to a machine gun. The only difference is that the round container holds a coil of ammunition, and the loading method is exactly the same.
“Hmm, there are advantages and disadvantages. If you want to use it sitting down, you can use the ammunition belt straight from the ammunition box.”
“I guess so. The actual ammunition belt is usually a very good choice for the people who are looking for the best ammunition for their particular needs.”
“Right. So, that’s the thing about giving this stuff to us. You’re going to put us against someone who needs this kind of thing, right?”
“That’s what it means.”
No matter how I answered, it was obvious from the weapons I had given them that Jagira was right, so I decided not to play dumb.
“Well, don’t worry, I’m not going to throw you guys into the danger zone on foot. I’m coming with you too.”
“Is that so? Well, if Kosuke’s there, I guess we can manage.”
“I’ll take care of the ammo supply.”
As a matter of fact, bullets are still being mass-produced at this very moment. The recent discovery of a cave near Erichburg yielded a large amount of raw materials for gunpowder, so there will be no shortage of gunpowder for some time to come.
Eh? What is that, you ask? It is an accumulation of feces from the big bats that live in the cave. In other words, it’s poop. It’s good stuff that can be used as fertilizer, yes.
As for metal resources, I have Grande carry them to the mountains during the standby time when I am manufacturing weapons and ammunition and mine them for guns, so I am not worried about depletion at the moment.
“I’ll have you train with special care on how to replace and reload the barrel, and this guy is next.”
The next thing I pulled out of my inventory was an airboard. It was not a prototype that I had made but an advanced mass-production model that had been repeatedly tested and modified by the Research and Development Department members.
“What is this?”
“It’s a vehicle called an airboard. It has the mobility to run from the rear base to Erichburg in a day with a single magic crystal.”
“Eeh? From the rear base to here in a day?”
“That’s right. Yes, it can run over any rough terrain. It can travel over bumpy grasslands and wilderness areas with no problem at all. Not in the woods, though.”
The appearance of the airboards of the first mass-produced model resembled the lower half of a pickup truck cut out and placed on a board, with a tubular propulsion system attached to either side of the board. It looks like only the cockpit is covered by armor.
“It certainly looks somewhat like a carriage, but… where are the wheels?”
“There are no wheels on this airboard.”
The machine gun is mounted on a gun rack installed in the rear part of the cargo bed of the preceding mass-produced airboard. This rack was designed to hold 250 rounds of steel ammunition boxes so that the machine gun could fire smoothly without the help of a loader.
Actually, I wanted to install a turret that could rotate, but I had to abandon the idea due to weight and technical considerations. However, the riflemen were able to swing the machine gun without using a gun rack, so there was no need to be concerned about a revolving turret. I am now thinking that the gun racks could be simply attached to the sides and rear of the cargo bed to hold the ammunition boxes.
The weight limitation could be addressed by increasing the output of the levitation device or by increasing the number of levitation devices, but this has been postponed because the first priority is to have a certain number of devices, and, in any case, there is not enough time to balance the buoyancy and thrust.
“Alright, we’ll do a test run. Jagira will be the shooter, and another person will be in the back to assist with loading and changing barrels. The rest of you will gather here and stand by.”
Following my instructions, Jagira and a small squirrel-type Beastwoman climbed into the back of the vehicle, and the rest of the personnel settled down at the designated standby point. We’re going to be performing some shooting on the move, so we can’t afford to lose any points if an accident should occur.
“Jagira, fit these Wyvern-leather gloves for changing barrels. After 250 rounds per box, the barrel will be replaced. While Jagira is replacing the barrel, you will load the gun. Make sure you know how to secure the ammo box and the loading procedure. I don’t think it’ll be too bumpy, but when turning, you’ll feel your body being pulled in the opposite direction of where it is trying to turn, so don’t get thrown off.”
The squirrel-type Beastwoman nodded, and Jagira also put on the Wyvern leather gloves. After confirming this, I inserted the magic crystal into the fuel slot in the cockpit and twisted the starter to activate the airboard. Immediately, magic power spread from corner to corner of the airboard, and the entire airboard lifted off the ground.
There was much debate in the Research and Development Department about the control system.
If it is to be used for combat, it would be better to use the same control system that I have created, which allows precise operation. I also suggested that the current system should be operated with a steering wheel and foot pedals, just like the car I once told them about.
In the end, we decided to go with the twin-stick control system that I had created for the first time in the interest of mass production. After all, we had so little time to spend on development that we did not have time to develop a new control system. The use of a steering wheel and foot pedals was considered, but it was clearly incompatible with the airboard, which uses levitation and propulsion systems for maneuvering.
The maneuverability of an airboard is more similar to that of a ship than that of a horse-drawn carriage or a car, and it was thought that a complex turning system using only a steering wheel and foot pedals would require advanced Golem control.
Therefore, we settled on a twin-stick control system that simultaneously controls the left and right propulsion systems and the levitation system and a foot pedal to operate the directional rudder. The improvement of the directional rudder and the propulsion system has increased the turning performance and speed and, furthermore, improved the magical power efficiency.
“Oh, it floats!”
“The height can be changed somewhat by operation. It can float up to a maximum of 1.5 meters, but it is not recommended to float too high because the higher it floats, the less stable it becomes. Now let’s get it moving!”
First, the vehicle begins to move slowly, using a moderate amount of thrust. Jagira and the squirrel-type Beastwoman on the back and the riflemen watching from a distance were surprised to see the cart move even though it had no wheels.
“The speed gradually increases, and Jagira, you shoot at the target from the back of the cart.”
The propulsion system increases its output and approaches the target, turning as it passes by and pointing the rear of the cart in the direction of the target. Then, “Ratatatata!” A continuous roar began to echo from the rear. It seemed that she started shooting immediately.
After firing and reloading for a while, we returned to where the other riflemen were waiting.
“How did it go?”
“I thought it was amazing that you could run around without much shaking and without regard to the condition of the ground. The speed is great, and it seems to be able to turn around as well as or better than a horse. But did you need the gun rack?”
“I guess so. With the gun rack, you can only attack the back of the vehicle. Maybe we should have an ammunition box fixture that spins around in the center of the back of the vehicle?”
“Oh, that’s a good idea. That way, you can fire in either direction.”
“Not a gun rack, but an ammo rack… I hadn’t thought of that idea.”
The fact that you can control the recoil of a machine gun without a gun rack without any problem and not suffer from the weight of a machine gun is unexpected to me.
But it is true that if there is a fixture for the ammunition box that spins around in the center of the cargo bed, in other words, an ammunition rack, it would be possible to feed ammunition from the ammunition box smoothly. If there were such a thing in the middle of the cargo bed, it would definitely be in the way during normal driving, so it would be better to make it removable or to make it so that it can be integrated with the floor of the cargo bed when it is not in use.
“I will pass on your feedback as soon as possible. However, I don’t think it will be ready in time to add a rotating ammunition rack in the center. I’ll make sure to put fixed ammunition racks on the front, back, left, and right.”
“Understood. Shouldn’t we have the rest of the team practice?”
“Yes, that’s right. I’ll make sure everyone learns how to fly it too.”
So, I spent the day teaching the riflemen how to handle the machine gun and operate the airboard.