Chapter 246 – There Are Things People Are Good At and Things They’re Not Good At
Diplomatic delegations from the Varyag Empire were to stay in the newly born Merinard Kingdom as official diplomats. In addition, the Dragonis Mountain Kingdom, located far to the west of the Merinard Kingdom, also announced the new Merinard Kingdom, and the Liberation Army, which had liberated the Merinard Kingdom from the hands of the Holy Kingdom, had completed the domestic settlement of the country. The new Merinard Kingdom was officially recognized as a nation by surrounding countries other than the Holy Kingdom and the states that belonged to the Holy Kingdom.
It has been approximately 21 years since the former Merinard Kingdom was conquered by the Holy Kingdom and became its vassal state. Finally, the Merinard Kingdom was freed from the control of the Holy Kingdom and succeeded in taking a step forward again as a nation.
However, problems are literally piling up.
One of them is, needless to say, the Holy Kingdom. The Holy Kingdom sent an army of 20,000 to eliminate us, but the Liberation Army―or rather, just me, the gunners, and the Harpy Bombing Squadron―inflicted heavy losses on them, and those officers who survived are still being held captive by the Merinard Kingdom. As a result, the Holy Kingdom has been completely humiliated, and it is certain that there will be some sort of retaliation.
In addition, the Holy Kingdom’s army has literally suffered near total destruction not only in this battle but also in the previous battles leading up to the conquest of Merinesburg and, more specifically, the battle leading up to the conquest of Erichburg. The people of the Holy Kingdom are certain to have hostility toward the Merinard Kingdom, which took the lives of its generals, and not a few of the generals who lost their lives were from the noble families of the Holy Kingdom.
The higher-ups of the Holy Kingdom and the Adol religion would not want to send troops against the Merinard Kingdom, which uses unknown and powerful weapons, but it is certain that the argument for going to war against the Merinard Kingdom will increase in strength within the Holy Kingdom. Therefore, the Merinard Kingdom will have to stand as a nation against such a Holy Kingdom.
I don’t know what Sylphy’s next target against the Holy Kingdom will be, but as far as I can think, it will be the recapture of the people who were taken away as slaves. She may also consider dividing them through the nostalgic faction. Well, at any rate, the most urgent task will be to have the Holy Kingdom recognize the new Merinard Kingdom.
There are still many problems to be solved, but if we look at the domestic situation, in particular, we can say that the most urgent issue is to strengthen the governance system. In fact, the former territory of the Merinard Kingdom is already under the control of the new Merinard Kingdom and the Liberation Army, but it has yet to reach the level of having the new Merinard Kingdom’s eyes on every corner of the country.
Major cities and towns in the country have already shown their reverence to the new Merinard Kingdom, but there may be some who are still in a posture of disobedience. Well, in terms of military power, Sylphy, who has the command of the Liberation Army, which has exterminated the soldiers of the Holy Kingdom throughout the Merinard Kingdom, is the overwhelmingly strong one. After all, it is a matter of course that the person with the greatest violence has the greatest say, so although it will take time, the domestic pacification work will gradually progress and will strengthen the governance system. Well, I hear that many of them are not so straightforward.
The other problem is the Adol believers within the country. As for them, I would have to leave them to Ellen, Archbishop Deckard, and High Priestess Katerina. But, of course, as a visitor, I intend to cooperate as much as possible.
There are plenty of other details to be worked out.
“Well, I don’t know the details of the political game.”
“I can see that.”
Isla and Ifrita, who was here for some reason, nodded their heads in agreement with my statement.
This is the development office of the Research and Development Department in Merinesburg. The personnel are the members of the mage corps that accompanied us from Erichburg to Merinesburg, as well as the trustworthy people among the pharmacists, alchemists, blacksmiths, and engravers who were in Merinesburg. They are relatively young, so their skills are not top-notch, but they are full of motivation.
The reason I am here is clear: it is much more meaningful to do something I am good at rather than to get involved in a field I am not good at.
“So why are you here?”
“What, are you saying I shouldn’t be here?”
After saying that, Ifrita―the second daughter of the four Elven princess sisters, including Sylphy – put her hands on her hips and stared at me with strong-willed eyes.
“If you mean if you should or not, I guess you shouldn’t.”
When I said this and turned my gaze to Isla, she tilted her head.
“Ifrita-sama is a magician as good as a court mage. She is also a princess of the Merinard royal family. So there is no problem in terms of trust.”
“Ah, I see…”
After hearing Isla’s words, Ifrita was so pleased that she made a smug face with her small, shapely breasts. Well, as long as she doesn’t get in my way, it’s all good.
“So, what’s going on over there?”
I pointed to Grande, who was lying comfortably in an oversized Lime, and Beth was looking with interest at the inventions we had made so far, and there was a mithril barrel that was whining, making a crying sound.
“Beth is brilliant with magic. Poizo is good with chemicals and poisons. So they will be helpful.”
“Please forgive me; I won’t play tricks on you anymore…”
I hear a dramatic voice coming from the mithril barrel, but I ignore it. Poizo’s core is locked up in that barrel. By using mithril in the structural material, Poizo is completely blocked magically and physically, and the current Poizo is incapable of accessing her clones. Well, it is a punishment for the recent incident with Seraphita-san.
In addition to Lime and Beth, Sylphy and Melty were also sent in to capture Poizo’s main body. Poizo surrendered unconditionally to this lineup. They didn’t even get into a battle.
“Um, what was the current research project?”
“Sylphy and Melty asked us to develop a magic tool that would be useful in people’s lives. And the military is asking for mass-produced, high-performance weapons that do not rely on Kosuke’s abilities.”
“I don’t know; it’s kind of lacking in specifics… If you’re talking about a mass-produced, high-performance weapon, you’ve got the muzzle-loader magic gun, right?”
The magic gun is a weapon created in this world based on the bolt-action rifle I created with my abilities and a sample musket gun. The structure is simple: load a bullet from the muzzle, pull the trigger, and small explosive magic is activated at the back of the barrel, sending the bullet flying with the pressure of the explosion. The caliber is 15mm, a large caliber with high power, and it also has a long range of 500 meters. The barrel is made of black steel, a special metal that is resistant to heat, so it is heavy, but this does not seem to be a problem for the subhumans of this world.
“Hmm. The first mass-produced model has been deployed to a unit of the Liberation Army and is undergoing test operations. According to the reports that have come in, the feeling of use seems to be good.”
“Is that not enough?”
“They want us to make something that can counter similar weapons in case they are used.”
“That’s a difficult thing to say…”
In terms of power, it is capable of killing large monsters and even heavy cavalrymen rushing toward it. The countermeasure means equipment for defense, but it is impossible to prevent it with half-assed armor.
“It’s not that I don’t have a plan, but I don’t know if it’s cost-effective. Well, it’s time to experiment.”
I took Isla to the castle’s backyard, which also serves as a training ground for the knights. When they heard that I was going to conduct an experiment, the Research and Development Department members followed me, wondering if I was going to do something interesting. Naturally, Ifrita, Lime with Grande in her arms, and Beth with a mithril barrel in her arms also follow us.
“This is a prototype magic gun I got from the rear base. It’s supposed to have almost the same specs as the preceding mass-produced magic gun.”
“Hmm, I see.”
“Let’s see how powerful this thing is first.”
With that said, I’m going to line up 25mm thick wooden planks and broken armor that I confiscated from the Holy Kingdom’s army. First, I fired at the ten 25mm-thick wooden planks.
“…It’s all penetrated.”
“Well, that’s to be expected.”
While grimacing at the pain in my shoulder caused by the strong recoil, I now shoot at the iron armor of the Holy Kingdom’s army. They were lined up vertically in three rows, but all of them were also penetrated cleanly.
“S-such high power…?”
“The armor is just a steel plate about 2mm thick… It might be different if it had contents in it, but well, that’s about it. Then there is also the distance.”
Right now, I’m shooting from a distance of about 20 meters. If I go to the maximum range, around 500 meters, I think the power is going to be less than this.
“And, well, as you can see, it’s pretty much impossible for shields and armor to prevent it. So this is it.”
I took a steel shovel out of my inventory. And I dig in the dirt and make a little trench. Then I shot a bullet into the wall of dirt that I had dug out of the trench.
“…It didn’t penetrate.”
“To prevent bullets, it is more effective to catch them by making them land on sandbags or a dirt wall than bounce them off the armor. I don’t know the detailed theory either. Well, if it is thick steel armor, say 30 mm thick, it might be able to block the bullet head-on, but you can’t carry that around with you, can you?”
“It would be impossible without Kosuke.”
“That’s right. I also think that even thinner armor could block it if you don’t take it head-on and instead take it at an angle, but either way, you can’t carry that kind of armor around with you. So then I think it would be better to make a tool that can easily make this kind of trench. If you could make such trenches in a short time, wouldn’t it be possible to resist the assault of large monsters and cavalry? If you just heap up the soil on the ground and build a mud wall, it doesn’t seem to use that much magic power. And if it can be used for digging holes, it could also be used for civil engineering work, so it could be useful not only for military use but also for civilian use.”
“I see… Indeed, earth wall magic is low difficulty magic among earth attribute magic. Even unrefined low-quality magic stones can be expected to have some effect, and making magic tools is not that complicated. I’ll think about it right away.”
Isla nodded and led the Research and Development Department members up to the development room. I started to clean up the experimental area, but for some reason, Ifrita stayed behind and stared at me.
“I was surprised to see you thinking so clearly. I thought you were just a womanizer.”
“Thanks for that.”
I smile back at her comment, unsure if she’s complimenting or belittling me. Well, it seems that I have been reconsidered, which is not bad.
“I’ll acknowledge you for a little bit. Just a little.”
“Yes, yes, I’m very happy about that. So, you’re not joining us, are you, princess?”
“…I’m a real fighter, after all.”
Ifrita averted her gaze. I see; she’s good at throwing offensive magic but not so good at theory or making magic tools. I get it. This fellow is never failing to keep up her image.
“I can’t use magic, so I have a lot of things I want to test. Will you come with me?”
“Hmm… Well, okay.”
You’re trying to look nonchalant, but your nostrils widen slightly, princess.
I see. So this is how I can control this fellow. This is a good find. Since she seems to be free, I’ll make her spend a lot of time with me contemplating and experimenting with magic.