Weekly chapters (1/2)
Sorry for the delay, was busy with various stuff IRL.
Oh yeah, please be careful with Corona virus. Make sure you wash your hand, wearing flu mask when you go outside, and avoid to travel to the nations that your nation government give travel warning.
Enjoy the chapters~
Chapter 115 – Magic Gun
After joining up with Liliana-sama, we left Redgear about a week later.
We now arrived at our next destination, Leblanc, an industrial town south of Grants.
I’ve been spending our days treating everyone’s needs alongside Theta-neesan.
Both Theta-neesan and I don’t actually have to do it, actually. But… since I originally worked as a caretaker… I just couldn’t stand lazing around doing nothing. So I begged the others to allow me to do what I want.
Becoming Ares’ fiance…..makes me uneasy. The other girls are mostly aristocrats after all.
Most of the aristocrats I knew of weren’t exactly good people… wouldn’t they bully me?
But all of the other girls turned out to be nice and kind. My life so far has been like living with my own family.
It’s a bit lonely being away from Sera-sama, even if only temporarily, but the girls have been like my own sisters. It’s like having a lot of sisters.
Anyways, we arrived at Leblanc. I learned that the one in charge of this town was someone named Francesca, the secretary of industry.
[Pardon me… the secretary… said that she’s currently busy with research so she’s unable to show up…]
And that’s why Eugene-san, the deputy secretary acted as Fran-san’s proxy to guide us around during our stay here.
Apparently, Fran-san who mostly cares only for technology and arts was no good at town governance… On that consideration, Eugene-san was in charge of the town’s general affairs in her place. I heard from Ares that Eugene-san was a talented man who originally worked at Schwarzer Territory.
He seemed to be in his early thirties. With an honest face and short, well kept black hair.
[It’s alright. Someone is actually coming here to guide us… is more than enough.]
Following Sharon-neesan’s response, everyone else also nodded.
[I’m glad to hear that… then I will return later during lunch time. Meanwhile, please have a rest. Excuse me, but there is an urgent matter that I have to attend to.]
Eugene-san said before leaving the room in a hurry. It seemed that there was something urgent.
[What a busy man.]
Liliana-san seemed to be a bit dissatisfied with this treatment.
[It’s at least better than when we first met. And I’ve met him before back at the Schwarzer territory, but he’s not like this back then… I wonder what happened?]
Miria-san also spoke up following Sharon-neesan’s comment.
[Anyways, why don’t we go to our room already? I’m really tired…]
And so each of us entered the rooms that had been prepared for us.
At the dining room.
[The buffalo magic beasts are attacking the town at night?]
Theta-neesan involuntarily raised her voice.
[Shouldn’t this town be safe?]
[Yes…. it’s embarrassing, but…]
Eugene-san replied after a bow.
[There is a buffalo magic beast breeding ground in the town’s vicinity… apparently some of the buffalo magic beasts escaped during transport. They’ve been attacking the town at night recently. It just so happened that the escapees were all the largest of the group. Their more advanced intelligence allowed them to elude the adventurers we’ve dispatched to hunt them so far…]
[What about sending in the army?]
[If we dispatch the army to this town… I’m afraid that there will be damage to our equipment. Thinking so… I’m hesitant to dispatch the army…]
Hearing this, Liliana-san stood up.
[Then it’s my turn! Let me handle it!]
[Hold it, muscle brain!]
Nina-neesan held her back before Liliana-san could go. Always aggressive like that…
[!? What is it?]
[Don’t you think that the situation will get messier than sending in the army if you go? The same applies to Sharon as well as Roxanne and her sisters… no you shouldn’t.]
[You’re right… Unfortunately, activating the valkyrie armor here… might destroy an entire area…]
[We’re the same… I even had prior experience…]
Both Roxanne-neesan and Sharon-neesan regrettably admitted.
[Then….is there anything we can do?]
Cynthia-chan looked sad. Ah, even when she’s sad, Cynthia-chan somehow still looks cute…
But Nina-neesan came up with a solution.
[No, there is one. She can probably solve this.]
Everyone’s eyes turned to Nina-neesan on the spot. I also did. All of us were curious about what Nina-neesan said just now.
[Maria, surely you can do something about this?]
Ha? What did she say just now?
I felt my field of vision turned white for a second after I heard that.
And naturally, everyone’s gaze switched to me.
[Eh!? What do you even mean!?]
[Speaking of which… I think it’s been mentioned before… Is there something you want to hide?]
As she was upset, Liliana-san turned her cold gaze at me. Certainly I haven’t told her about my secret… and I don’t want to say this, but your gaze is scary, Liliana-san.
[Liliana… stop threatening her like that…]
[Maria, you say? Certainly if it’s Maria, she should be able to do it.]
[If Maria uses “that”, she’s indeed the best candidate. I agree.]
Roxanne-neesan also unanimously agreed.
The discussion went on arbitrarily, leaving me on the side.
[Wait, what is this “that” you are talking about…?]
Impatient. I’m getting impatient.
This ability of mine… I don’t really like it to be honest…
But someone tapped my shoulder gently from the back. It was Theta-neesan.
[Maria, will you do it?]
When I turned around, I saw Theta-neesan looking back at me with a gentle smile… but I could sense some sort of loneliness within that smile.
[I’m jealous. Among all of us, I’m the only one who couldn’t fight…]
I heard someone else, who sounded like Nina-san, whisper [I also couldn’t fight though.], but I decided to ignore it for now.
After hearing Theta-neesan’s words, I felt my determination rising.
[Understood. I will do something about it.]
I stood up from my chair. When I realized, everyone had gathered around me.
[Theta can do something that no one else among us can do. So no need to be jealous. This time around… only Maria can do this. All of us need to show our support. right?]
Sharon-neesan said so as she also tapped my shoulder. Everyone nodded to her words as well. Seeing this, I’ve decided. I’ll use 『that』 for this.
A large clock tower stood tall in the center of Leblanc town. And here we are on the uppermost part of the tower.
[What is Maria’s ability anyway? Can someone tell me already?]
Liliana-san was getting impatient. Well, she’s the only one not in the know. Even so, everyone seemed to ignore her. Roxanne-neesan, Millia-san, and Cynthia-chan were charging their magic power. Meanwhile I searched for my target.
By the way… everyone seemed to treat Liliana-san badly. Was it because she threatened me earlier?
[Found it. They’re going through the bushes toward the town from the northeast.]
[There are three of them huh? Those are quite huge. I wonder what class they are in. But the price will certainly be high right? Are you doing okay?]
[It’ll be troublesome if they’re allowed to let loose much longer… Maria-oneesama, are you ready?]
I steeled myself up upon hearing Cynthia-chan’s prompt.
[Yes, I’m okay, thank you. Ready to go]
[Come on now… don’t ignore me! What is Maria’s ability…]
Since Liliana-san kept nagging, I let her see what I’ve been holding.
[What is that??]
Sharon-neesan who was lying next to me replied.
[It’s a magic gun.]
[Yes. What Ares made for Maria… was a weapon to snipe its target from afar.]
The first who noticed my talent was Carla, the owner of the Black Cat. At first, she thought that I just had a good pair of eyes… or something like that. However, as she witnessed me doing things casually… like when I threw garbage into the trash bin, or when I always hit the bullseye while playing with the kids… she started to reevaluate her previous thoughts. Does this child actually have a really good talent there, she thought.
My aiming skill only improves after learning how to play with a bow and arrows. I myself wasn’t actually interested, as it was just a game back then… but after a while, apparently I became even better than those who’re supposedly masters in shooting.
Even so… bows and arrows were a very inconvenient weapon for me. As I have a weak physique, I couldn’t actually draw a long bow. The same goes for the crossbow as I had trouble when reloading the bolt.
Therefore… I couldn’t help much in the end. I could only laugh wryly at that. But… Ares created something that changed this.
Hearing about my talent, one day, Ares gave me “that”.
[I’ve heard from Carla. Why don’t you try this out and see how it goes?]
It’s something he called a 『handgun』. Apparently, it’s a trial product that uses magic stones as its basis.
Ares was pleasantly surprised seeing me using the product with ease.
[That’s awesome… I should try making a better one for self defence.]
And that’s how… the magic gun ended up in my hands.
Then, after repeated improvements, came this gun I had on me right now.
Its mechanism uses a thunder element magic stone power to accelerate a projectile along its barrel at extreme speed. Its power had gone beyond that of bow and arrow as its projectile can easily penetrate a solid object.
I also heard that he used a small amount of Divine Metal 『Orichalcon』 to forge the barrel in order to prevent it from breaking due to the sheer power of the magic stone used.
I’ve only heard about 『Orichalcon』 in fairy tales or myths before. Even if it’s only a small amount, it’s still a high class material… which made me reluctant and scared to use it.
But Ares laughed it off, pushing the gun back to me and said that he doesn’t mind.
[Fumu… A gun? But for self defense… isn’t it a little too big…?]
This time I replied to Liliana-san’s curiosity.
[The self defense version is much smaller than this. This one… is specifically for sniping long range targets.]
That said, I set the barrel out, and searched my target. So I could see the buffalo magic beasts had begun to rampage.
[I… have a weak body that doesn’t allow me to directly dive into battle. I hate conflict… but I still wish to be able to help Ares even if a little, that’s why I kept this gun.]
I pulled the trigger as I said so. In a flash, a bullet was fired from the muzzle.
A blink of an eye later, one of the buffalo magic beasts collapsed.
Liliana was shocked to see it.
[If this ability… can somehow be useful for everyone, then, shouldn’t I try to embrace it?]
I said as I moved on to my next target, aimed and pulled the trigger. Another buffalo magic beast fell.
Without a break, I took aim for the last one.
[I used to hesitate when pulling the trigger… but not right now. It’s all… thanks to everyone here.]
And I pulled the trigger one last time, killing the last buffalo magic beast.
[Alright. It’s done. Can you please confirm the kill?]
Probably entranced by the whole scene, Eugene zoned out a little before responding to my request by hurriedly ordered one of his subordinates to check the situation. Some time later, the said subordinate returned with a report.
[According to the report, all of the beasts died from a puncture wound in between their eyebrows. Truly amazing marksmanship.]
Hearing Eugene-san’s report, I felt relieved while the others cheered.
[That was shocking… so this is a magic gun…]
Liliana stared at my magic gun with a look of approval.
[I’ve seen firearms before… I thought it was only a weak weapon used by those who couldn’t use magic. But… with this kind of power, if it keeps being developed, this will certainly change how battles are fought.]
[Even so, I don’t think it’s possible to mass produce this though?]
I had to deny Liliana-san’s idea. Un, it’s still impossible to mass produce this. Especially if it has to be the same as this.
[But why? With this kind of power, even regular soldiers will be able to compete with mages, wouldn’t they?]
[This weapon is certainly strong. But a magic gun like this is way too expensive to make. On the other hand, general firearms that use gunpowder are still in the prototype stage. Loading takes a long time and the accuracy is horrible… It’s for those reasons that no country is willing to adopt it as their weapon. I’ve heard that some mercenary groups use it… but aristocrats didn’t even bother with it.]
[Fumu, certainly the firearms I know of took quite a while to load… and the wielder is totally defenseless while doing so.]
I nodded at Liliana-san’s assessment. Yes, those are the currently existing firearms’ weakness.
[How unfortunate. With that kind of power, it will certainly make a great change.]
Right afterward, a voice could be heard coming from behind us.
[Yess~ exactly~. That’s why~ I need Maria-tan’s help to help further my research~]
When I turned around… there was a glasses-wearing messy haired woman… no, a ghost probably?
[That doesn’t matter~ all that important is to have Maria-tan cooperate~]
[You mean me?]
Feeling doubt, I unconsciously stepped backward.
Because… think about it. The woman in front of me had such a messy appearance, coupled with baggy eyelids. She also approached with zombie-like gait.
[Eeーrrm, who is she?]
It was Eugene who answered to Sharon-neesan’s question.
[…..she is the secretary of industry herself, Francesca-sama. Pardon her somehow.]
He said with a bow.
No, please raise your head for I need you to manage this looming zombie (Fran).
[Uhihihihi. It’s really been awhile~ since I got such a good guinea pig~]
I involuntarily started screaming and running away. Behind me, Fran-san chased after me with equally fast speed…. Eugene-san was busy apologizing on the side… while everyone else smiled looking at such a scene.
Maria Schwarzer, one of Hero Sovereign’s queens, was born a commoner. She was more modest and inconspicuous in comparison to figures like Cornelia, Sharon and Liliana.
Which made it so… only few knew of her expertise in handling firearms.
But thanks to her, Ares later founded the Dawn mercenary group that would eventually become the key figure in spreading『Guns』to the world at large.