Beginning of Act 3, Part 4
To the east of the Jugfena Great Plains, is a flatlands littered with small hills that look like floating islands from a distance, and castles are built as defense bases in those hills. Rindarl’s army has abandoned these bases after suffering some defeats, and we’ve been occupying them as our most frontline position, for just over eight months. Currently, autumn is almost upon us.
Marquis Rolentsor left the defense of those bases up to Ergnade and the Fort Jugfena troops he took with them, while he returned to the fortress with the royal army soldiers that had been guarding the bases up until now. There’s the fact that we can’t just leave our most frontline position unguarded, but right now Eric won’t be any use in encouraging the soldiers, and it may be a bad idea to have the royal army soldiers continue with that task with their morale decreasing after such a long time stationed there.
“The costs to maintain our frontlines are getting ridiculous. If it increases any further, we might as well just annex all of Densel and make it into our vassal state.”
When Marquis Rolentsor returned from the frontlines, he was complaining in dissatisfaction. The irritation from not knowing what Rindarl is thinking and being in a continuous state of war must be adding to his fatigue from having to have a meeting with us right after returning.
It seems that with the considerable time of eight months having passed, the royal army soldiers at the bases added many modifications and paths in order to make life more convenient there. They’ve put enough investment into it to where it would be almost impossible to accept returning those bases to Rindarl in any sort of border and peace agreement with them. It would be a sad story, having to develop the enemy country’s infrastructure for them and then giving it back. That’s why, even though it wasn’t Arxia’s original intention, it might end up having to expand.
“The economic benefits from researching the new weapons we captured should more than make up for our expenditures.”
“That’s just the thinking of a military officer without any citizens, Wiegraf. Even if we increase the number of new weapons, that doesn’t increase the amount of food. Since they can’t see the war for themselves, the interior nobles won’t agree to increasing our funding.”
I touched the metal tube in front of me that was approximately four feet long. It’s a gun. These were discovered abandoned in the bases that we captured.
These guns are quite different from the weapons I captured in the battle where I got promoted to an earl as a result. The guns my army captured before were six feet long thin metal cylinders with what looked like ladders attached, but these have a much closer resemblance to the guns I remember. The enemy’s succeeded in significantly decreasing the gun’s size, and I had the chilling thought that it was now much easier to maneuver.
“Well, we don’t have the right to talk about what’s in Arxia’s national interest, so we’ll have to leave these negotiations to the general commander. …………Anyhow, compared to the last battle we fought at the Great Plains, they seem to have made additional improvements to this new weapon of theirs.”
The last battle, for me would be when I was defending Ritox Plateau. The enemy soldiers there only had conventional weapons, but it seems that guns made a reappearance on the Great Plains during that time.
“……They seem to use these stones.”
A white stone cut into a hexagonal pillar shape was attached to the side of the tube, also reaching inside the cylinder. The mechanism seems to have some sort of function similar to a gun trigger, and when you remove its clasp, the stone will vigorously retract inside.
“Mm. It seems to be a device to trigger sparks for gunpowder. It’s very similar to luminescent lamps made from fire moth powder……”
“Fire moth powder lamps can only produce light, nothing else. It doesn’t have the ability to start fires.”
Wiegraf’s comment caused both me and the general commander to shake our heads again.
“This is probably why we were able to capture a stockpile of these so easily. It’s likely that this mechanism is quite efficient already, but we aren’t able to make use of it because we don’t understand the principles.”
“In other words, we won’t be able to make use of this short-tubed fire arrow unless we build another mechanism for it to prevent fires. Although, speaking of mechanisms. We could use the other bigger version of this for reference.”
Apparently, it seems that Arxia is now calling this weapon short-tubed fire arrows, although I know it as a type of gun. It seems that several hundred years ago, there existed a simple cannon-like weapon that shot out large stones and other similar ammunition, which was simply called the “big tube” back then, which is where guns got this type of name from.
Now, the technology on how to make the cannon has been lost, and I think that most people probably forgot about its existence, until the appearance of these short-tubed fire arrows.
“Well, we have no choice now but to research it.”
“I concur, Earl Kaldia. This could be a wonderful weapon, depending on how we use it. I want to spread it to the royal army as fast as possible.”
I averted my gaze from Marquis Rolentsor who said that with sparkles in his eyes. It must be his personal interest, as a military person from the family obsessed with all things related to martial arts, weapons, and combat strategies.
“More importantly, the most critical thing now is getting permission from Baron Dovadain.”
While his primary purpose here is to give inspiration and encouragement to the soldiers in a formal speech, he’s also the representative of the king and can authorize us to take the initiative and do battle. Although I called it something formal, it isn’t really something all that pompous.
However, the problem lies with Eric.