This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and Taffy.
Finding out the Purpose
Preparation for war.
After I heard those words, I took another look around. Everyone was making anxious expressions; what’s going to happen now? Why are they suddenly preparing for war? I heard, amongst other things.
“Preparation for war… with whom are they going to war with? I mean, since the last war against the Empire resulted in a large-scale demon invasion, isn’t war supposed to be a taboo?”
“That very Empire is the opponent.”
“The Empire? Why?”
“Please ask the Empire for the answer to that particular question. It seems that the Empire has publicly started preparing for a large-scale war. Because of the large-scale preparation they have been making, it is unlikely they will go to war against small countries, or so it seems. With that in mind, the most likely target is…”
“A large country, meaning Earlshide Kingdom…”
The Empire is preparing to declare war. Why? For what reason?
No, I know the reason why. If Bluesphere Empire is able to successfully seize the Earlshide Kingdom, their forces will increase tremendously. With that much power, they would be capable of conquering the world. However, why now? I cannot understand the timing.
“Well, it’s not like it has already started. When the war breaks out, there’s a chance the students might also get drafted. However, there’s no point in worrying about it now, especially since Shin will most definitely not get drafted.”
“Why is… ah, you’re talking about the promise of not being used for military purposes.”
“The possibility of demon invasion is a different matter. However, the military’s decision not to involve Shin in the war is correct. That kind of thing should never be done.”
I was looking at Sicily and everyone else. Everyone had anxious expressions on their faces.
“Indeed, the military most likely won’t draft me. However, if a crisis does approach, I will step onto the battlefield, because I think of everyone I’ve met here as irreplaceable friends.”
I felt downcast, and despite the fact the war has yet to start, I can’t help but be depressed.
“Alright! Everyone, let’s head to Mark’s house. I was told the prototype weapon would be be completed by today.”
“…You’re right, if I’m not mistaken, it will indeed be completed today. Alright, let’s go everyone.”
“Incidentally, everyone should buy accessories, and I will enhance them with defensive magic. That way, even if the war does break out, you’ll have something to protect yourselves with.”
And so, I opened Gate in the small corner of a back alley with few pedestrians. When we passed through the Gate, Bean’s Workshop was before us.
“It is as convenient as I thought. I want to learn it quickly.”
“…First things first, Rin, you should learn how to control your magic power and stop it from running wild.”
“…I’ll work hard.”
When we entered the workshop, uncle was waiting for us.
“Oh! You’ve finally arrived, Shin! The prototype has been completed!”
“Oh, as expected of a professional, you sure work fast!”
“That is a matter of course! Ah, has Your Highness has also come to observe?”
“Of course. Please let me look at it.”
What uncle brought out was nothing but an ordinary looking sword, however, the hilt was slightly different. The shape of the grip looked like a handgun, so to speak. A slide was attached to the sword guard at the trigger. With this, it became easier to safely remove the blade, and it also reduced the frequency malfunctions that could occur throughout the process.
“Amazing, uncle! Can’t this already be considered a finish product?”
“No, it’s no good if we don’t make any adjustments to it. The spring’s tension needs to be tested, as well as the firmness of the slide… and there’s still the firmness of the springs used in various places.”
“I see, but for you to be able to get to this point…”
“Yeah! Immediately after making some adjustments, it’ll become a finished product.”
Uncle laughed confidently. He looks cool when he’s overflowing with confidence. He truly is a craftsman.
“It really looks amazing. This is the first time I’ve witnessed Bean’s Workshop display a product still in development…”
“What are you talking about, Tony. Isn’t this also your original idea?”
“Oh! So you’re Tony-kun! Because of you, I was able to work on something interesting! Thank you!”
“No… That is…”
Tony was making an overwhelmed expression. It was really surprising.
“Now then, let’s get started with the adjustments. I would also like to look at the swords reserved for the military.”
“Those are also completed.”
It seemed like the swords for the military were ready for delivery. In comparison to Vibration Sword, they look thicker, and don’t look like they’ll break easily. However, it seemed as if the group was improving the durability down to the very last minute.
“These things… can probably withstand more than just practical use. Workshop Master, you’ve done a great job, I’m grateful for this.”
“N-now way! Please stop that, Your Highness! It’s because this is my job!”
Then, after making some adjustments to the spring, the new weapon will finally be complete.
It’s enjoyable to make these kinds of tune-ups. The guy team went full force with all the adjustments. Since the female team had free time, they went to look at the accessories.
Last but not least, with strength obviously in mind, it was customized for personal preference, and it was finally complete.
I named mine ‘Vibration Sword, ‘ but what about the ones used for the military? Because those are swords with replaceable blades…
“…That name sounds good. Alright! From now onwards, these swords will be called Exchange Swords! Harold, I’m sorry but, can this order be completed immediately?”
“Of course, Your Highness.”
“Well then, I’ll ask some people from the military to drop by here later. Please discuss the quantity with the person in charge. These will be making a debut in the upcoming war, I’m counting on you.”
“Yes! I will definitely do my best!”
And so, I used enchantment magic on the new Vibration Sword, and I also got a few replacement blades.
“I’m really sorry about this, uncle. In the end, you’ve given them all to me.”
“No, no. This is something His Highness have asked of me to do on behalf of the Kingdom. Shin doesn’t need to worry about it.”
“Gus, sorry about this.”
“What are you saying. These are reassuring weapons to have during the time of war. Or rather, I’m happy that the development fee is only this much.”
I’m worried that they won’t function properly when the time comes for them to make for their debut during the war, but as far as I can see, they seem alright.
And so, as I expected, the accessories were still given as a present.
Everyone was very grateful, but this time the amount was rather large. Uncle just told us not to worry about it while laughing.
As of now, every single member of the Research Society has acquired accessories enhanced with defensive magic.
When it comes to defense, the anxiety had lessened considerably.
* * *
The members of Earlshide Kingdom’s military had been given new weapons. They were in a form no one had ever seen before.
The Soldiers who received the weapons were exchanging their impressions.
“Hey, have you tried the new sword?”
“Yeah, the sharpness of the blade receives a passing grade. However, this weapon… is completely combat-oriented.”
“There is no decoration, it’s a weapon that emphasizes practical use…”
“A sword where one can replace the blade while in the middle of a battlefield is indeed effective. When one is provided with this kind of weapon…”
“…It gives off a feeling that the war is finally going to begin…”
There was no decoration whatsoever. A single sword which can slaughter enemy upon enemy. A weapon which effectively emphasizes the killing of enemies. The Soldiers felt uplifted to received such a powerful weapon, along with the complicated feelings of excitement and fear that accompany war.
Thus, with the provision of new weapons, the collection of necessary supplies, the military men scattered from various places, converging into one. Having left only the bare minimum personnel to respond in case of demon invasion, and other tasks such as the recruitment of volunteers, the troops were now all well-equipped, and ready at any given time.
And then scouts who had been lurking in the Empire brought reports.
“Reporting! The Blueshpere Imperial army has started to march towards our Kingdom!”
Despite the tension among the upper echelon, there was no confusion when the report was given. Or rather, they had been expecting this, and the King immediately issued a royal command.
“Everyone has heard it? The Empire apparently sees an opportunity. Against such a foolish act, our Kingdom has no other choice but to confront them! Let us show the Empire the strength of our Earlshide Kingdom! All armies, move out!”
The Empire had finally made their move. Because of their movement, the Kingdom responded. However, the declaration of war had yet to arrive. Because the Empire had made an act of aggression towards one of its neighboring countries one-sidedly, the country’s mobilization of their army was a legitimate action.
And so, Earlshide decreed that they were sending out their troops.
* * *
“The Kingdom has finally dispatched their troops.”
Alice called out when I arrived at the academy that day, as she had arrived earlier.
“You’re right. That’s all everyone in town is talking about.”
The Kingdom had already made the announcement, and it was also on the newspapers. And thus, everyone in the Kingdom knew.
Since the time of war had arrived, as expected, the people’s commotion over me had died down, and I was able to walk around town on the way to the academy.
“In the end, I wonder how many troops have been deployed?”
“Both the Kingdom and the Empire have a total of 80,000, each.”
“Hmm, I guess they are evenly matched.”
“However, there’s something strange about it.”
“Ah, from what we know so far, the Empire’s total troops has 80,000 people.”
“An all-out war, the Empire is desperate.”
“That’s not the point I’m getting at. In order for our Kingdom to have the same numbers, we recruited mercenaries, and volunteers from the Demon Hunter Association.”
“Heehh, as expected, the Empire really focuses on their military.”
“Not really, even the Kingdom has that many people in the military.”
“Huh? Then why recruit volunteers and mercenaries?”
“It’s because the Kingdom didn’t summon all of their troops. They left a number of people behind in order to deal with demons, just in case. Because of that, we didn’t have enough people and recruited more.”
“Eh? But the Empire deployed everyone, right? What about dealing with demons?”
“That’s why I said it’s strange. They have left their Empire defenseless against demons and marched towards the Kingdom. Why is that?”
“Did the Empire also hire mercenaries?”
“We have confirmed that the Empire has not recruited any mercenaries. They have summoned all of their troops from all across the Empire.”
“Seriously, they are defenseless against demons.”
“What is the Empire thinking?”
Because Gus was making a complicated expression, everyone remained silent.
“This is just a thought… but do you think this is what Schtrom wants?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you see, didn’t Schtrom have a variety of experiments? I was wondering whether or not demon control is included in his experiments.”
“…I see, Schtrom is originally a citizen from the Empire. “Originally, ” so there’s a possibility that he was sent as a spy by the Empire.”
“Is that’s so, then the Empire can focus entirely on war and not have to worry about demon invasion.”
“There’s a high possibility…”
“But if that were the case, there are also things that doesn’t make sense.”
“I thought it made a lot of sense?”
“What about Artificial Devils?”
“Ah… I see, there hasn’t been any report of it made yet…”
“If a devil joins the Imperial Army, there would be an uproar.”
“We’re back to… square one.”
“Well, no matter how much we speculate, we won’t be of much help. So let’s just do what we can. We might understand the Empire’s real intentions that way, as well.”
“…That’s right, let us just do what we are capable of doing…”
“That’s how it is. Also, I was thinking we should start with practicing practical magic, what do you guys think?”
“Are you finally going to teach how to use Gate?”
“That’s right, that will also be included.”
“Recently, my magic powers have increased! As I thought, is it because of magic control practice?”
Everyone had finally understood the importance of magic control practice, and their collective magic power increased. Just the other day, grandpa showed them he could use Gate, and everyone’s motivation had risen with the k