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Episode 10: Negotiations(Physics)
The arrows released by the hiding soldiers came flying at me from five directions. I could see them – No, I could feel them.
Before the negotiations began I activated【Enhanced Perception】and【Program 】. As such I could realize the fact that there were soldiers hiding and slowly getting closer.
The speed of the arrows is, at most, 180km/h.¹
With a distance of over 20m separating us, it will take about 0.4 seconds to arrive.
If it’s that much it’s enough.
At the same time the arrows are released, the angle of approach, speed, everything is told to me by the wind. Everything is converted to data by 【Program】and it automatically calculates the optimal course of action and moves my body.
With one step forward, I lower the upper-half of my body, and twist.
Doing so, all the arrows pass me by a hair. From the calculations to the start of the movement, 0.1sec. The following takes another 0.2secs evading the arrows with a little leeway.
The faces of the Lurvishe soldiers in front of me distort with shock.
Well that’s to be expected. The attack came simultaneously from five directions by soldiers who had hidden their presence in the trees. And with the short distance of less than 20m. Along with the fact that the plan was based on the common sense that no one would use bows against elves. If it was any elf other than me they would certainly have died.
Even if you say elves are strong with bows, to defend against them is limited to attacks from a certain distance and simple patterns. When the distance is short, the influence of the wind is barely known. Also, to use wind to obstruct attacks from multiple directions is impossible.
It’s not that you can’t create winds like a hurricane centering on yourself but, controlling it is very difficult so it’s limited to a few elves and can’t be used in an instant.
The soldiers are also skilled. The distance was irregular but all the arrow arrived at about the same time. If I hadn’t moved all would have hit. Not only that, the trajectory of the five arrows was like a cage and no matter with way one dodged one would be hit.
Even though the soldiers were surprised I dodged their movements didn’t stop, they were already nocking the next arrow.
「It’s regrettable to die in vain isn’t it?」
Let’s give credit where it’s due. Even within the elvish master archers there’s not many with this level of skill.
That’s why they’ll die here.
I touch the bow installed in the mechanism on the back of my left hand.
The part that becomes the body of the bow is usually folded and the string is stretched so it does not look like a bow at all.
But with the push of a button the limbs open and the string is affixed, creating a perfect showbow.
I stretch my left arm towards one of the soldiers.
In a slit on the hand cover² crossbow bolts are stored. I remove three and hold them between my fingers in my right hand.
The size of the shortbow is small, but the special alloy it’s made of allows a tension strength of 55kg, about six times stronger than the crossbows used in Elucie. The size is about 1.3 times the standard and thanks to the metal arrowheads its barely able to penetrate the Empire’s armors.
I load a bolt in the shortbow and while pointing straight ahead pull with my right hand.
I made it this size for ease of operation and also because while using 【Body Enhancement】to it’s fullest, it’s the limit of what I can pull with one hand.
Due to consuming the souls of several hundreds my magic power has increased but, the amount that can be released at one time has barely changed. To release in excess can destroy the body so the use of 【Body Enhancement】is already at the limit.
However, if I want to exceed this limit I can use underhanded methods like using 【Reincarnation Recall】to change into a body that can handle the stress of the excessive magic discharge.
I release the bolt and due to 【Wind Evasion】affecting it, the flight is frighteningly straight.
The bolt hit one of the soldiers between the eyes and he falls down before he can even scream.
Before the first one can fall down due to the fatal wound, my fingers already nock another bolt and I fire at the second target.
This shortbow hidden in my hand cover doesn’t have a clasp like a crossbow, nor a trigger. The greatest importance was given to rapid fire so such things were deemed unnecessary.
「Be careful! That bow can penetrate our armor! Archers provide cover, Knights charge!」
With Baron Lurvishe’s order, about seven armored knights slash at me.
I understand that although the maneuverability is good, the shortbow can’t be used at close range. So I’ll have to think of another way to penetrate their armour.`
While thinking that my hand keeps moving, and I shoot the third target.
However, there’s no time to shoot a fourth. The knights are right in front of me.
Without panicking, I pull out the knife in my belt. The same moment the black luster of their blades appears. I let the magic power inside me flow, a sharp whistle like sound begins to ring.
Even I call it knife, the blade is 50cm long and it’s closer to a hatchet.
Then, on purpose, I attack in a huge arc.
「Hey, you shitty elf I can see through you」
The knight I slashed at tries to stop my attack with his blade.
Because of the opening in the attack he says that he has “seen through” with a lofty expression.
Parrying my knife lightly, then proceeding to cleave me in half with his sword. Even if I somehow dodge, his companions coming in from the sides would get me. That’s probably what he expects.
I swing the knife putting some strength in it.
The knife goes through the sword, armor, flesh, bones with no resistance at all he is sliced in a moment.
This knife was made for Lucie. Science, alchemy, magic, it’s a tool made with full use of all my abilities. Resembling iron, it cuts things like they were paper.
Without understanding and with a stupid look on his face blood flew out and the man died.
Without even confirming it, I crouch down. An arrow flies by where the back of my head used to be. The arrow was shot by a soldier who concealed his presence and moved into the blind spot on my back.
If it wasn’t me who has【Enhanced Perception】, dodging would be impossible.
Still crouching I stretch the hand holding the knife to it’s limits and rotate it.
Doing so, the body of the two soldiers coming at me from the sides are separated at the ankle and they fall down.
Seeing that, the remaining four soldiers hesitate and stop their assault.
This grants a moment of stillness. During this time I hold the knife in my right hand and point towards the archers, while also removing two new bolts from the slot and holding them between the fingers.
Unlike the knights who stopped, the archers kept firing from different spots.
For them, the best way to prevent death was not to stop, but to kill me.
But the arrow didn’t hit. One step, two steps, I move my feet forward. While doing the minimum amount of movement, the arrows hit only air.
「Should have just run away sooner.」
That was the only way to survive.
I dispose of them while moving forward. After releasing the bolt and confirming the hit a blink later the soldiers crease their browns and fall down.
Soon there’s only one archer left.
At this moment, the knights finally snap out of it and slash towards me.
The archers are good, but these knights are also elites.
Firstly, (they have) good discernment. They cover my line of sight, leaving no gaps, positioning themselves to see through everything I do.
Next, they are all using the difficult 【Body Enhancement】. Their control of the centre of gravity is impressive. Normally when using 【Body Enhancement】the movement recognition becomes different and the movement can become stiff but all their movements flow perfectly.
Finally, there’s no hesitation in their sword arm. That can only be achieved with rigorous training.
「Really, no problem at all.」
At this level, they can’t even touch me.
Due to 【Enhanced Perception】, the bulging of muscles, the volume of sweat and even the changes in the line of sight, I can pick up on every single thing. It is literally a few thousand times more what the empire soldiers can pick up with their five senses.
Furthermore, such a thing like swordsmanship is limited to a number of optimal movements/patterns. It can only try and get the body as close as possible to the speed of natural reflexes.
Compared to that 【Program 】can calculate and put into action the most optimal movements the body is capable of. The quality can’t even be compared. All movements are made at a speed that excels that (the speed) of (normal) reflexes.
I bend my body to dodge the sword coming down at me by a paper thin margin. I stab my knife in the now exposed back of the knight. It goes through the armor into the heart and the knight dies instantly.
Then I shoot the last bolt in my right hand at the remaining archer.
「The knife, and the shortbow as well, very good.」
The knife fills my, until now, lack of close combat capabilities. The combined shortbow in the hand cover allow me to freely show the advantages of rapid fire.
Not only that, the combination shortbow has two distinct advantages over the other bows so far.
First, despite the maintenance issue you can free both hands at the same time, thanks to that there’s no need to change weapons. Just like now I can keep a knife in my right hand and change immediately to close quarters combat. The inverse is also true. If the opponent opens up a distance, to follow up with the shortbow is not impossible.
Secondly, because it folds, carrying it is very easy. Because it folds, production cost, productivity, serviceability, power, weight and durability had to be sacrificed.
When it was done, I realized the demerits outweigh the benefits but to remove the folding gimmick and redo everything was silly so I left as is.
As expected since close to ten people died in such a short time, the empire’s soldiers stopped moving.
This is my chance.
I fold the bow back, return the knife to the scabbard, raise both hands to show no hostility and say.
「Well, the archers you pinned your hopes on were decimated, there are only 3 knights left who can still fight, those waiting in the back don’t reach up to twenty.
They are probably meant to be your trump card. I also already detected the two archers standing further away trying to hide their presence. So let me ask, wanna keep going?」
This is a threat. If this keeps going they’ll be annihilated.
「Fine. We surrender. I’m sorry. It’s like a nightmare. Who would have thought that against a single opponent the elite of the knight corps would still fall short. Never would’ve dreamed of it. Should have known this before we started fighting…
Well, It’s not like you are immortal like our Hero-sama. At least you avoided the swords and arrows. If you’re hit you’ll die right?
Doesn’t change the fact that you’re a monster. You can probably kill us all, why are you letting us go?」
With a sharp gaze the Luvishie Baron glares at me.
While speaking of surrender, he guarantees a path of retreating and looks over the remaining soldiers.
「We want the empire to know that from now on, we are an opponent that merits negotiations. This time since we received the ransom we’ll let the hostages go. Everything proceeded as planned and will serve to establish a precedent. Also to show you should not look down on the power of elves too much.」
Thinking of the future, that is for the best.
Even in this situation, if there’s a chance for peace I want to try it. Even if it comes to all out war I want to establish a common ground for negotiations.
Be it elf or human, no one wants to wage war to the point of destruction.
「I understand. Nevertheless… to push us this far. I thought we could kill you at close range at least. Never mind the bow, I didn’t hear anything about that knife.」
「Of course, this is a tool I finished just a few days ago.」
「Yes, it’s a tool designed for making decorations.」
The knife i’m holding is a Ultra High Oscillation Carbon Alloy knife。
Carbon Alloy was used to increase the hardness, while maintaining a bare minimum of flexibility.
Also Kuiro’s alchemy was used together with magic, so by pouring magic into the blade you can cause it to vibrate rapidly and increase the toughness of the blade.
Because that when cutting something the vibrations cause a repelling force to appear. The friction caused by this wears down the resistance of the objects allowing it to cut through like a joke. The enhanced toughness of the blade also limit the abrasion of the blade.
It was made to manufacture the ring I want to give to Lucie.
Since it’s a wedding ring I want to make a diamond ring. Diamonds are after all made of carbon so by using Kuiro making them is possible. But it’s a crude diamond so cutting it is a necessity.
A uncut diamond is not different from any other stone.
By all means necessary I needed a knife that could easily cut the diamond.
To create a high quality alloy, to engrave complex magics, to create a base suitable for high speed vibrations, all have a extraordinary level of difficulty and even as Kuiro each one took a full use of 【Reincarnation Recall】to produce. But thinking it’s for Lucie none of the difficulties matter.
「That’s just a tool!? There’s nothing else?」
「Yes, that’s correct. That’s what I said. Like the empire created countermeasures to our bows, we created countermeasures to that. 」
At my words, Baron Lurvishe seems to contemplate something.
He grumbles in an almost inaudible voice but with 【Enhanced Perception】the movement of the wind carries it to me.
「Who’s backing them? A technique from the Korine Kingdom ? No they can’t make something like this. Then, from where? From where did he get something like this? What’s their motive? To use the elves to chip away at the empire strength? No there are a lot of better ways to do that. 」
Completely off track, but that he thinks like this is expected.
It doesn’t look like i’ll get any useable information listening, so i’ll stop pretending I can’ hear to gather intel.
I’m getting tired so let’s stop the conversation.
「Then, since you are no longer hostile, I’ll no longer draw any blood. Let’s call this to a close. Thank you for today.」
「Wait, there is two things I want to say. First is a question, Cyril you said? Your equipment is impressive but your own abilities are outstanding. The elves, can they all fight at your level?」
「I wonder. Even if say strong, I’m just a chief not a knight. 」
Interpreting my words the wrong way Baron Lurvishe’s face goes white.
I didn’t lie.
The real intention behind these words was to bring out the informant.
Is the knife I’m using being mass produced? Are there fighters other than me? Lurvishe can’t dispel the worries in his chest. So he will have to contact the informant.
Of course they’ll see through my bluff then, but it’s the best way to find the informant.
The truth is if there were a hundred elves who could fight like me, I could rest easy… I end up thinking now and again.
「……. The second thing. Please excuse today’s impoliteness. If you came only to negotiate today that is best. What do you want? 」
This was what surprised me the most today.
I never thought he would say something like this. Then, if it’s like this let’s get something I’ve been wanting.
「If it’s like that then, firstly would you give me a horse? Because mine was shot by one of your archers.」
In the middle of the battle, the horse I set running was shot down.
Like this I can’t return with the carriage.
「Very well. Since you said firstly you must want something else right?」
「Yes, one more thing, would you give me one of those bags in the carriage?」
After seeing it【Enhanced Perception】, i demanded one of the bags that were interesting me.
「You got sharp eyes. Since you saw them. They are meant to be gifts to a higher-up, but one bag should not matter.」
Then, a soldier carried a bag weighing about 10kg and put it into the carriage, and a empire horse was tied to it.
After that the soldiers began to take care of the bodies.
While looking over them I make the horse run.
「That was tiresome.」
If you look at the margin of error I had in this battle, it was very close.
【Enhanced Perception】and【Program 】are powerful but not almighty.
The use of magical power is small, but the calculations put a strain on the mind. Prolonged use is difficult.
I train my calculating abilities every day so I can use them for about two hours with full magic power but even so, tiring is tiring.
And above all, these abilities let me move my body at the most optimal way, but that is far from being invincible.
For example, if a rock with a radius of 1km falls from the sky, no matter how well I move I’ll still die. You don’t even have to go that far. If an attack leaves me with no way to escape, there’s nothing I can do.
In the first place, there’s still a 0.1sec delay from the calculations to the movement of the body.
An attack using sound from 30 meters away takes 0.08secs. 【Program 】can’t react to that. Even if there’s a way to predict the attack like the trigger on a gun and I can detect with 【Enhanced Perception】, without extraordinary movements you it’s hard to avoid.
Moreover if there’s an enemy that can carry out an attack at the speed of sound with no preparations before hand I’ll certainly lose. I can actually do something like that. (ED: Basically, if he went up against himself, he’d lose. Lol.)
By my judgement if I’m thrust in the middle of a few hundreds of the Empire’s soldiers I can kill a few dozens of them but will eventually succumb. No matter how I struggle 【Cyril】 does not have the power to change the course of a war.
To have a plan, and cooperate with your companions is essential.
「But this tiredness bought some results. There’s 2000 gold coins(120.000.000 yen), with this the firefoxes food and clothes, livestock and the next year produce variety can increase.
We can put together what they still need, and their quality of life will improve.
The quality of their meals is poor, because the variety of ingredients is too limited. I want to grow at least onions and carrots. But what I really want is corn, rosemary, sage and all kinds of herbs.
「I got something beyond my expectations, I never thought I would end up getting something like this.」
Inside the sack I took from Lurvishe, there’s something whose worth is comparable to the gold.
When I take the opportunity to use this. If I apologize sincerely I’m certain Lucie would forgive me for what I did with Kuu… Is what I want to think.
While thinking that, I whip the horse towards Elucie and start to hurry.
²Tekkou: some sort of hand cover, couldn’t find a specific translation.