356 – 152!

Disclaimer:

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

 

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64 thoughts on “356 – 152!

    1. He said ‘three bursts of rapid fire’; I think the meaning is along the lines of “immediate reload and fire”.

      Since it’s a more modern design, it can be fired in rapid succession since they only have to wait for it to return to original position after recoiling and then it has a simple reload (unlike a cannon). So if they immediately reload and fire, there’d be 3 shots in rapid succession.

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      1. Someone once said, that the most important turning point in the evolution of firearms was moment, when they turned from frontloading to back loading – it moved world from muskeet type era to carabin type era. And as A. Ziemiański pointed in his books – now, all they need to prepare, is something to stop beasts. ONly for a second. Make them do a longer jump or just sit for a second. Because in this second, someone will snipe head of this movementless piece of meat 😀

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    2. Nah.
      From the description it seems, Quick Firing Breach loaded 152mm
      its was fairly modern design, A trained crew can load and fire those in seconds. 5 round a min is possible

      the most current advanced one today would be the artilery system with autoloader. it could achive 12 round a min

      anyway, Roland should develop rocket artilery.
      Gun artilery can deliver sustained suppression to enemy, but nothing can match the firepower that delivered by rockets when opening combat.
      like Katyusha and Nebelwerfer, rockets were cheaper weapons and require less effort than production of cannons

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      1. Even if Roland had the necessary modern metallurgy and chemistry to mass produce rockets, the devils don’t have tanks or bankers so there’s no use for high penetration ordinance like shaped-charged warheads.

        Right now, he needs to figure out explosive charges (contact fuses) and percussion caps for the artillery. Hell, he still hasn’t finished mass-producing smokeless gunpowder and getting rid of his reliance on saltpeter…

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        1. you missunderstood
          Rocket artilery like katyusha or nebelwerfer is area saturation weapons,
          those shapped charge for tanks and bunker were diffrent category altogether, which were Anti tanks weapons

          and about fuse, rocket fuse even more simple than Shell use
          considering roland have made breach loaded artilery which require impact primer – that should be no prob

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          1. But my point still stands. He doesn’t have the materials or the production means to build rockets. Rockets have a limited carry weight so they need, at least, high-explosive war heads. Again, he’s still struggling with gun-powder…

            > breach loaded artilery which require impact primer

            No it doesn’t require that. He’s likely to be still using guncotton and shooting big iron bullets. Since he’s firing repeatedly without cleaning the barrel between shots he’s likely only just now started using smoke-less gunpowder.

            As for area saturation, artillery gets the job done. Rocket trucks are more effective against contended air-superiority since artillery is vulnerable and takes time to deploy while a rocket truck can be moved into firing position immediately… But for Roland whose defending a town and marching soldiers by foot against other infantry, those factors mean nothing.

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      1. It has been a standard feature from the beginning.

        Mind breaking Carter with the steam engine. Mind breaking Iron Axe with gunpowder. Sichi and Elementary Chemistry (though his mind break is somewhat different). Barov and the new political system (this one was more gradual). The natives have just been so accustomed to the regular mind breaks that it no longer phases them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t think Iron Axe ever has mind break. He is too adaptable. He never wanted/expected to be a lord,. He is true blood of the warrior, the fact that a ‘savage’ is Roland’s general shows that he is adaptable and intelligent in all the ways needed for a modern warrior, demonstrated by his position above Carter in the army. I wouldn’t be surprised by drama to fuel this scenario imo

          Liked by 1 person

          1. When Roland demonstrated gunpowder in the beginning, it was quite close. After that Iron Axe got used to it.

            Carter has essentially become the head of police, he is like the head of FBI now, which will cement Iron Axe’s position as head of military. Especially with Carter getting married, Carter will prefer internal local affairs over ones outside of Border Town.

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    1. The original real-life howitzer has a maximum range of 24km (with rocket-propelled projectiles) and an effective range on 17.4km. If Roland’s is close to the design, it could probably be effective to 15km or so, so 5km could count as close-range.

      The more modern howitzers have a range of 22.4-30km, with 30 also being rocket-propelled projectiles.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. 152 mm howitzer 2A65: Maximum firing range 28.9 km (18.0 mi)

      152 mm gun 2A36: Effective firing range (OFS): 30.5 km (19mi)

      152 mm howitzer-gun M1937 (ML-20): Maximum firing range 17.23 km (10.7 mi)

      Get fucked devils

      Liked by 2 people

      1. i think he used post WWI as standard
        their artillery can fire in short distance about 7km range if i correct (i use old model naval ship as standard)

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  1. He shouldve just used demonic beasts as a marker instead, if he had shown her the regular cannons, and then told her this next cannon was even more powerful start off small so she understands what she is seeing, puts it all in perspective.

    Then show her guns that humans can carry around, have Ashes and Carter have a duel again, even though I find her annoying and a real snotty bitch, I can appreciate that she has the ability to understand various things better than most witches outside of Tilly and Anna. So in that alone she is worth the effort of bringing into the fold.

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    1. Well if they need to be able to deal with those invisible enemies, then Sylvie or Nightingale. Otherwise their elevated position and maybe a simple scope is more than enough to range targets once you have your angles and elevations worked out. You also need good, consistent munitions production to get consistent fire.

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  2. At times i hate the author… why stop every chapter were he does… it pisses me of to no end… its like a shot of a drug but never enough to get you the full effect…. asshole….

    Thanks for the chapter keep up the good work, please note my above comment if my own personal rage to how the author ends his chapters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems more likely that the prince is asking for 3 rounds in rapid succession. When calling for a fire mission unless you are confident in or have predetermined firing coordinates you would usually fire one round to make sure you are on target. Once the round lands, the forward observer would then either adjust fire if necessary or call to fire for effect. Now that they know where the rounds are going to land they can fire for effect, in this case, likely 3 rounds.

    This is my guess on the meaning of the last sentence.

    Infantry is queen, artillery is king…

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    1. No they were testing its accuracy via close range shot (aka 5km)

      Now hes letting them fire it at range in a barrage fire.

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  4. I don’t know that mind break can be this… good?. Cmon Roland, raep her mind till shes broken and make her to shot blood from her ears and cry with bloody tears begging for more rounds ~choughon~ I mean artillery rounds. muahahahaha rawr

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  5. The prince touched his chin and said, “the next test will be three bursts of rapid fire, since the close distance attack was satisfactory
    … Its 5 km THAT close distance? /annoying bwitch faints

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  6. Oh Shit 152mm with recoil system! Too damn huge step up from 12-pounder! He can shot those Devil’s encampment from the Border Town already! And it too fucking cheat already given that most ranged weapons are ballista, bow, and magic that have shorter range and less destructive. I wonder when the God will give divine punishment to him, maybe Satou already stopped the god.

    And it looks like Agatha’s mind have some resistance to Mind Break effect, but resistance is futile!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Here it is. Honestly, I come to read this story only expecting to see Roland mind breaking people like it’s not his business.
    Thanks Seki! Have a good day!

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  8. Agatha, just give up on that high horse attitude of yours. Its value is next to shit. Oh, wait! the current borer town uses shit as fertilizer, right? So even that’s useful. This attitude is just so sakura(useless).
    Thanks for the chapter.

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    1. If you’re trying to say it is useless and/or hopeless, I believe what you mean to say is that her attitude is a Steph. It’s the ultimate derogatory term for pathetic things!

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