I don’t guarantee a 100% perfect translation. Feel free to correct me in the comments.
Still feeling pretty bad, but i managed to do this chapter. Hopefully i feel better tomorrow.
Off to bed again, enjoy the chapter.
Unedited chapter, will update it tomorrow.
Weapons capable of making even ordinary men, able to defeat an Exceed.
After Wendy left, Agatha had these words on her mind, did they really know what an Exceed was?
It was a pity she did not have an assessing magic stone at hand, otherwise she could understand the amount of magic power and types of these people more clearly.
As she was feeling impatient, Nightingale appeared in the doorway, “His Highness has invited you to observe the test of the new weapon, but if you don’t want to go…”
“I’ll go,” she quickly replied, “please lead the way.”
After seeing the sleepy face of the yawning prince Roland, Agatha felt the urge to ditch him and have him completely wake up and clear his mind. However, this kind of behavior would be easily misunderstood by the other witches, so she could only endure.
After leaving the castle, it was her first time seeing the whole picture of this small town during daytime.
Against the snowy background, the first thing that came to her mind were the neat, orderly, two story houses. Their sizes and shapes were almost identical. The white outlines and the sloping red-tiled roofs seemed to have a special harmony. The black colored streets were all completely straight, dividing the town into squares of similar sizes. From a distance, the repeating pattern of buildings, a cycle of trees, streets, trees, streets, was like an orderly stack of layers.
Even in Taqila, the inner city was unable to be so neat and orderly!
But those were all the feelings she had for such a city. In this town, apart from the castle, there were no buildings worth seeing. Even the castle itself was far less grandiose than Taqila’s Exploration Society high tower.
It’s just a small town after all, Agatha whispered in her heart with disdain, then turned towards Nightingale and asked, “How many people live here?”
“Well… At first, there were only 2,000 people. But now, with the refugees from the northern and southern regions, it’s close to 30,000 people”
Daring to say that 2,000 people would defeat the Devils, it’s simply nonsense….
30… 30,000? Agatha was startled, even Taqila at its peak had 50,000. How can this palm-sized piece of land have 30,000 inhabitants? She didn’t count the population of the surrounding villages, did she?
Although these square brick houses seemed to hold more inhabitants than the wooden one-story houses, the increase in population was not a simple problem solved by stacking houses on top of each other. When the population exceeded a certain threshold, the demand for services would multiply. First, the demand for food and potable water will increase dramatically. Second, the public security of the new housing areas and the slums will worsen. And finally, the disposal of human excretions would become a thorny issue.
In the latter half of the second War of Divine Will, Taqila had encountered such problem. As the major cities fell to the enemy, the surge of people pouring into the Holy City sharply increased the population. But instead of enhancing the defensive strength, it almost paralyzed the city. It wasn’t until the Federation forced the removal of a group of refugees that the situation finally stabilized.
Because she experienced it firsthand, Agatha knew the difficulties of expanding the urban population. Looking at the other party’s careless appearance, she was skeptical. Maybe Nightingale didn’t know the answer and was just teasing her.
Maybe in the future she should ask this kind of questions to Wendy, she thought that at least, her attitude looked more sincere.
Across the crowded streets, Agatha followed the prince and the others to a city wall. This type of low wall was the completely opposite to the towering walls she remembered, strong but not crooked. The wall had no spikes and there were no moats around it. The Devils would not need any siege equipment and could only depend on their own hands and feet to climb it.
The disappointment in her heart only grew.
Every hundred steps in the wall had a protruding, more spacious platform, like a bed to set up a big ballista. Not long after reaching the top of the wall, Agatha soon saw the object of this test.
The shape of the weapon was quite peculiar, making it hard for people to ignore its existence.
It was a long tubular object apparently made of metal, a bit like an iron spear enlarged several times, but without the typical spear head. Its whole body was smooth, with a silver-grey color, likely not made of iron. The parts at the controlling end of the tube seemed complex, in addition to the fixed rest, and it had two shorter tubes fitted in the lower side. It neither had ropes nor arrows. In light of such design, it didn’t look like an enlarged version of a ballista or trebuchet.
But she also did not figure out how this weapon would attack the enemy.
“This is the latest developed weapon of Border Town, a symbol of justice and glory, the 152-millimeter fortress-type standard artillery!” The prince Roland exclaimed, “Compared to the 12-pound field cannons, it has a number of improvements, all of its characteristics are outstanding, surely worthy to be called an era-changing weapon!”
Agatha frowned, a what of justice and glory? Fortress standard, they all sound like frivolous feelings. But behind the very awkward introduction, the chance that all these words were made up were low. Is he really a well-read and accomplished man, this prince that is deeply trusted by the witches?
Clap, clap, clap The only person applauding in the scene was Nightingale, turning the atmosphere a bit stiff.
Cough, cough Roland cleared his throat, “It’s useless to continue talking, lets carry on with the test. Iron Axe, begin.”
“Yes, Your Highness.” The three people wearing uniforms immediately moved into action.
Agatha stood at a side, staring intently at every movement of these people, trying to figure out how this weapon worked.
She saw a man sliding down the metal slab at the back end of the long tube, then another man immediately stuffed an orange-yellow pointed object into the pipe, and then closed up the metal slab.
“Report, preparations are complete, ready to fire!”
“Everybody, cover your ears,” said the prince as he made a motion with his own hands. “Open fire.”
Wait… The preparations are already complete? Just as Agatha wanted to ask, a loud bang suddenly resounded in her ears, leaving a buzzing sound inside. The surroundings seemed to suddenly become distantly quiet, a red-orange flame erupted from the front section of the metal tube, it was a dazzling and short moment. The explosion contained a powerful force, making the wall beneath her feet tremble, feeling the heat wave head-on made her drew back a couple steps. The cannon itself was too heavy and sank backwards, but it soon returned to its original position.
“…” Nightingale supported her from behind and appeared to be saying something, but she could only faintly hear some intermittent words, as if she talked from a very faraway place…
Until the buzzing sound gradually faded and her hearing returned to normal she heard Nightingale asking, “Are you okay?”
She shook her head and turned her eyes to the snowy open area ahead, but no changes could be seen.
Is this flame only to intimidate the enemy?
“Did you see the point of impact?” The prince asked a green-haired witch.
“It landed in the hill close to the red flag,” the witch waited for a moment, “but it still went further.”
Red flag? Agatha casts a doubtful glance at Roland, what the hell are they talking about?
Fortunately, the prince soon answered her doubts. “This weapon is somewhat like a ballista that you know of, it launches a projectile out and it’s used to fight enemies that are far away. In order to observe its range, I had Lightning drop a marker every 1 kilometer, the red flag was the last one at 5 kilometers from here.” He continued to explain, “According to the measurements you are familiar with, 1 kilometer is almost 300 zhang (3.33m), close to 2 li (0.5 km) of distance.”
Agatha stood still, did the prince mean that he had just sent a ballista bolt 10 li into the distance? With no rope or any other means to gather power, just how did he do that? Even the magic-driven Siege Beasts only had its farthest shooting distance be 3 to 4 li. If he didn’t lie, as long as they are built atop of a big wall, with this weapon they could be capable of effectively blocking the Devils’ attacks.
But… for a weapon of such an amazing range, continuous fire was not easy to achieve.
“I can’t see where the shell fell.” The prince touched his chin and said, “The next test will be three bursts of rapid fire at a flat trayectory, the close distance attack is next.”
Edited: changed the last paragraph