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By the time I finished my work and returned to Carol, the night had already dawned.
Carol, who raised her face, seemed to tremble in the cold. I kept walking, so my body was warm, but Carol was spending the night exposed to the wind without a bonfire. I didn’t think she slept.
I dropped the load I had with me. It wasn’t baggage necessary for sleeping, but a baggage carried as a mere weight.
If I left both Carol and luggage, my weight would be less than half, so I thought that footprints would be unnatural, so I carried it on my back.
“Did something happen?” (Carol)
“Yes. About thirty minutes ago, there was a shout…” (Yuri)
“Is that so?” (Carol)
‘I was surprised at how impressed I was. We’re accepting the facts. My hands are no longer shaking. There’s no sign of trembling, no drowsiness, and the physical strength was moderately lacking.’
‘Excessive tension makes nerves hypersensitive and loses muscle control. The hands trembled because the nerves are invaded by excitatory substances and the muscles move freely. In such a state, raw power may come out, but the delicate movement will be lost.’
‘Now, that’s not the case. The body moves freely as I thought. I don’t know if it was because I made up my mind, but I’m good.’
“I’m sorry, but I have to borrow your dagger.” (Yuri)
“In exchange, I’ll give this knife to you.” (Yuri)
I gave Carol the knife I used to cook. The blade length was short, and it wasn’t a much sharpened knife, but it would be enough to the extent that self-harm was possible in the case of emergency.
Carol looked back at me in doubt, staring at me silently. She tried to say something, but she couldn’t.
“…See you.” (Yuri)
In the end, I couldn’t think of anything to say, leaving only short words and waved lightly.
“…Yeah, good luck.” (Carol)
I walked away without replying.
From Carol, I walked a bit away while hiding my footprints, and I arrived at the place where we slept yesterday.
Yesterday, I carried Carol from here, moved in a different direction and left Carol. Then, with a handmade torch in one hand, I carefully erased the footprints by hand, and returned to the original place. Then I walked to the depths of the forest again.
They would find the place where we slept last night. They should know that we took a break there and slept.
If there were no footprints left from there, they would find traces of erasing. However, the footprints which remained clearly extended further from the traces of the camping. If so, there would be no doubt.
In reality, a lot of footprints seemed to be heading towards where I walked last night. If not, Carol wouldn’t be safe either.
And last night, I thought it would be an alternative to the alarm, so I set a trap there. When I approached secretly, there were traces of being caught in the trap.
First, a thin twisted string was tied between trees at the height of a snare.
The string was strode over. Whether the victim was in a hurry or was afraid to get his leg caught and activated the trap, the string remained uncut.
However, this string was really just strode sideways, and even if it hooked the foot, they would just fall. The main target was the holes over there.
After digging lightly with a shovel, an arrowhead was erected, and if they stepped on the hole where dead leaves were placed, the arrowhead would pierce into the sole of the feet. The first step of striding the rope was supposed to be the weight, so the rope was supposed to be extra tight.
The two holes that I dug were clearly traced on one side, and the fresh blood was bleeding into the soil. After stepping on it, it seemed that he fell down on the spot and hit it hard, and there were signs that the ground was messed up.
The other hole was lightly dug up and the arrowhead was removed, probably because it was detected before stepping on it. Well, it would be too stupid to step on both of them.
The reason for making two holes was that one hole couldn’t cover both the case of striding with the right foot, and the case of striding with the left foot. Therefore, I expected that one of them wouldn’t hit.
The arrowhead, that didn’t stab them, was thrown around and disposed of, but I couldn’t find it. However, the other arrowhead was covered with fresh blood and fell to the nearby ground.
I wiped it lightly with a rag and put it in a storage case. Incidentally, I also collected the strings.
Looking at the footsteps again, it seemed that the bleeding was stopped hurriedly and the injured person was walking with another person.
Even if they tried to stop the bleeding, they probably just tied the leg tightly. It didn’t seem to be perfect since there were traces of blood made footprints like stamps.
Following that blood trails, I went further.
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After walking a few hundred meters, there was a person there.
He followed with his injured leg for a while, but I thought that he was left behind. A man was sitting with his back against a tree.
Blood was bleeding from the right foot, creating a blood clot on the ground. Even with tight sutures, it was quite impossible to walk on the road with an arrow wound on the sole of the foot. It was even more unreasonable to just tie it up.
‘For humans, if even one liter of blood flows out, blood pressure would drop considerably. If you bleed as much as two liters, you will die. If you walk with the foot where the wound is open, there would be much blood flowing out soon.’
Although he wasn’t dead, his consciousness should be considerably hazy. The complexion was also very bad.
“Did they leave you?” (Yuri)
I approached him while talking in the Kura language. The man raised his face and looked at me.
I hid my ears and wore the clothes I stole from the dragon rider. Although the design was different, the clothes were from the same Kuran, so they wouldn’t look as different as those from Shaalta.
Since it was a collection of a wide variety of army attire, he shouldn’t feel suspicious. If he felt it, it was probably because he was too young.
The man, who was in a dire situation, looked at me with his face shining as if he had no doubt. He was an adult who was probably in his thirties. The beard was growing a lot.
“Ouh… sorry, but help me.” (??)
“Alright. That’s my duty.” (Yuri)
When I answered, the man looked down again.
I approached the man. I pulled out the dagger out of the sheath…
“Oi, are you alright? Look me in the eye.” (Yuri)
…and said it.
The moment the man raised his face, I inserted the blade into his throat.
The sharpened blade of the excellent dagger pierced the man’s throat with almost no resistance.
The blade inserted sideways to block the airway.
It would be a problem if he shouted. There was still a good chance that the others were still within the reach of a loud voice.
The man touched the handle of the sword. However, he couldn’t pull it out.
That was because I was holding the handle with my free left hand, so that he couldn’t pull out the sword.
When he found out that the sword couldn’t be pulled out, the man grabbed my arm and resisted as hard as he could, but he seemed to have no strength probably because he was suffering from blood lost to begin with.
While doing so, the struggling disappeared and he completely stopped breathing. Then, I waited for another ten seconds before pulling out the dagger. Even after the heart stopped, blood overflowed from the hole where the dagger was pulled out, probably because it had accumulated in the throat.
However, it didn’t blow up like a fountain. There was a problem in fighting with clothes that were sticky with blood, and it looked like thick leather. Although it had made me feel difficult, I couldn’t afford to think about how the enemy died.
That was the correct answer.
I felt a bit sick looking at the dead body, but I immediately went to the man’s belongings. First was the sword.
I was more familiar with daggers, but I might want to use this. As I thought so, I pulled out the sword from the sheath. It was a double-edged straight sword.
Except for the short length, it was an ordinary sword with no features in thickness and length. If I had to classify it, it should be a short sword.
I had been trained in using warped daggers, so I wasn’t used to double-edged straight swords. I almost lost interest, but I tried to bend the sword using the ground to see how much it was.
It didn’t bend at all.
The squeaky feel of the layering the blade of the cutter knife hit my arm. The sword that had been burned until it became red hot was dropped into the water in winter. It pulled up as it was and sharpened likely. That was the mechanism to produce the sword.
With something like this, even a single blow of a sturdy spear would snap it like a dead branch. I didn’t expect much, but I didn’t think I would use this sword for anything.
I looked for other luggage.
In addition to food, a pouch-like bag wrapped around the belly came out with gun tools for some reason. The man didn’t have a gun, and as far as I could see, there was none in the nearby area.
The pouch contained a bag filled with lead beads and separate gunpowder. On the rope flint, the fire was still smoldering.
‘Lead beads would be heated, melted and made into a bullet. The tool for making lead beads into a bullet simply shaped like a taiyaki. Instead of taiyaki, the cavity would be used to make a round bullet. The size isn’t so big. It’s generally a palm size tool.’
‘The caliber of the gun wasn’t fixed by a common standard, such as how many millimeters, so even if they bring 10000 pre-made bullets and distribute to each soldier, the bullets may not enter the gun cavity, and it may be small to use.’
‘Therefore, the gun comes with a set of equipment that has the same caliber in advance, and the soldiers are given lead beads, and each bullet is made by melting lead. Lead melts at a temperature of a little over 300 degree Celsius , so a bonfire is sufficient enough as a heat source. They hold a small egg-like tool over fire, melt the lead beads, and pour it into the taiyaki-like machine to complete the bullet.’
The man had lead grains, but he didn’t have the essential taiyaki-like tool. That one is always treated as a set with a matchlock gun, so I guess they collected it.
The fuselage, lead beads, and gunpowder aren’t needed. Based on that, they probably have enough.
The enemy has at least two guns.
For a moment, I felt that my heart became heavy. I immediately got rid of that feeling. It wasn’t the case when it was dark.
‘If you think about it, you can think that this guy is an archer because he has such tools. Even if someone has a gun because somebody passes to him, the guy won’t be a gunner like the original owner.’
‘Anyhow, I got the gunpowder. Can I use it somehow?’
‘Gunpowder can only be used for guns. Even if you just burn a handful of gunpowder, it emits enough heat to cause burn if it’s exposed to the skin at close range. Even if you just burn it, it can be a deceptive means. Let’s think for a moment.’
I spend about five minutes thinking.
As I thought, when I got the man’s luggage again, there was something in good condition. It was a copper plate. It was roughly polished since it was full of scratches and there was even copper rust.
‘When going for an expedition, a ceramic plate will break, and a wooden plate is too thick and bulky. So, a thin copper plate may be useful.’
‘With this, it seems that something with some uses can be made.’
I walked a little in the surrounding forest and searched for a large rock. When I walked a little, a rock about the size of a human head was found on the ground.
The sword that the man had, which I gave up using it, was put on the rock. I searched for another stone that would fit in one hand, and hit the sword with it.
The sword sandwiched between the rocks broke in two easily.
Several pieces of debris flew vigorously.
‘Now, I realized that it was dangerous. It would be difficult if the debris got into the eyes. And it seems it’s going to hurt if it pierces clothes.’
I went back to the man’s corpse. I was reluctant to take off his clothes. I recovered the bag he was carrying, threw away all the contents, and thrust his sword instead. Since it was made by a durable cloth, it wouldn’t penetrate and scatter.
I returned to the rock, wrapped my hands with a rag, and continued working.
I smashed the sword. When it was almost over, I wrapped it in a bag full of holes and brought it back.
I returned to the corpse, I used the broken sword handle and made a straight line groove on the copper plate. I repeated it several times to deepen the groove. Then, I lined up the sword pieces. I took out a small amount of gunpowder from the gunpowder bag, sprinkled the gunpowder on the rag, and inserted it into the gunpowder bag as a fuse. I put it in the middle of the plate.
Then, I noticed it suddenly.
‘Let’s add the lead beads. It might look like a shotgun.’
I tried to put in a handful of lead beads and then, I stopped to think for a moment.
‘I should keep a little. If the mass becomes too large, the force will be dispersed too much, and it may stop at the skin instead of the flesh. It makes no sense to go for that outcome.’
Finally, the copper plate was bent by force along the cut and folded across the fuse to make a copper plate sandwich of gunpowder, iron pieces and lead beads. The power of such explosives increased when the container was strong to some extent.
That took a long time. It would be nice if it was worth the time.
‘If I don’t hurry up…’
- Lead’s melting point is at 327 degree Celsius
- Special thanks to the picture owners.
- On the next turn of translating this chapter, I’m going to spend a day to post an introductory chapter, the Kururuan Dragon Empire. Then, on the next day, I will post the main story chapter.
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