Escape from Slavery—Theo Grune
We would need at least several hundreds of Radol soldiers to enact out the plan to recover our lands that our new lord, Grey, had suggested.
So as of now, Teo was in Camelot’s plaza explaining the details to some young representatives of each tribe who were confident in their skills, but……
“Even if it’s coming from you, Theo, I just can’t believe you,” said my childhood friend, Calogero. The other representatives nodded in agreement with a bitter look.
Our new lord is a person from the empire. The Radols had suffered defeat at the hands of the empire, were separated from their families, and forced into a lifestyle no different than that of slavery. In fact, there’d be something wrong with them if they were on board with just this.
I knew because we had no other choice. The Amrzs Kingdom’s forces were strong. Without the Radol’s supreme commander leading their forces, they wouldn’t even be able to hold a candle to the experienced forces of the kingdom.
But our new lord was the real deal. He had easily annihilated the powerful troops that had taken a hold of Camelot.
And as he had said, the Amrzs Kingdom would soon come marching in full force.
Our only option left was to follow Lord-dono’s instructions.
Besides, even if the empire didn’t come marching, we were soon to run out of food. Us Radols would be wiped off the map in just a few months, just as Lord-dono had said.
Yes, there’s no other choice. No matter how improbable, reckless, dangerous it is.
“Lord-dono is—” I began but was cut off by one of Lord-dono’s subordinates, a young man with red hair and one eye.
“That much is to be expected. Even we couldn’t believe Grey’s abnormality until we saw for ourselves.”
He introduced himself as Aquido, someone who had fought against the Radols in the previous war.
I had mixed feelings. I couldn’t sense any negative feelings of hatred towards Radols, and I myself had led an army in the war. Of course we were on opposite sides. I knew that I’d never be satisfied if I grew to hate everyone with a reason as small as that.
“Where have I seen that crest before……”
I feel like I had seen that red bird embroidered on Aquido’s right sleeve before.
Well, he was an enemy. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had seen it somewhere on the battlefield.
“Seriously. It’s like I’m looking at our ignorant selves from a few years prior,” added Judo, a man with long black hair tied up into a ponytail, to which all the representatives began seething with anger.
“That’s quite some confidence. We’re up against one of the most powerful countries in the world, the Amrzs Kingdom, you know?” said Calogero.
“Boss said it’s possible. We will annihilate their forces on Radol land,” declared Judo. He was the lord’s right hand man and had immense faith the lord.
“Do you think that’s at all convincing?” Calogero asked dubiously.
“Everyone will come to understand when we begin our training in two-days’ time.”
“Save your objections for after.”
“So, where are you planning to start?” asked Aquido.
“I’ll have them observe a demonstration of the weapons we’ll be using.”
“So after that……” replied Aquido, annoyedly tugging at his hair.
“Well without further ado, let’s teleport.”
A circle of light rose from under their feet and began rotating when their scenery suddenly changed to one of inside a building.
“Where are we?”
Calogero frantically looked around in dismay, and the other representatives weren’t much different.
A spell that can instantly change your position? That’s incredible! So the empire already has a rule-breaking spell like this?
“In just a bit we’ll conduct a certain experiment here, with you all as the subjects.”
Experiment? He called it training earlier; things just aren’t adding up.
“What is this experiment?”
“Take a gun from the table over by the corner. One of the employees will show you how to use it.”
“Gun? Is he talking about that?”
About 50 iron pipe looking things were sitting on the table along with pointed semicircles of metal.
I picked up the iron pipe and several complex pieces of metal, after which I was ordered to exit the building. With the items in hand, I passed through the wooden door into a huge empty plot of land. To describe it more specifically, it was like an oval plaza surrounded by tall stone walls.
I followed Judo’s instructions and walked over to one corner.
“Is that armor?”
As soon as I thought that, the imperial armor was fastened onto a tree far away.
“As Grey-sama as instructed, I am Pause, the on in charge of gun development. I will now explain how to use one. Like a bow, the gun is a weapon that can strike targets from far away. First, stand on that white line and fire at the target.”
“Huh? How far away even is that thing? There’s no way it’ll reach!” Calogero instantly retorted with doubt.
“It will reach. Although whether it’ll hit or not is an entirely different matter,” replied Pause. Then, paying their bewilderment no mind, he continued his explanation.
The iron gun, a rifle, shoots this small metal bullet.
The important parts are relatively simple.
Pull the lever, what he called a bolt, back, and load the bullets into the ejector.
After pushing back on the bolt, pull on the part that’s called a trigger, and the bullet will come flying out.
“I’ll do it,” said Calogero, snorting at the gun’s ridiculousness. Geez, he has no faith at all.
A piece of metal this heavy will come flying out at the pull of a trigger? There’s no way that’s possible, and everyone here was thinking the same thing.
He loaded the gun as instructed, pushed the bolt back, and took aim at the armor.
I stiffened at the thunderous boom.
“Wait, are you serious? He hit it on his first try?” Aquido said with a voice full of astonishment.
He hit it? No way!?
I focused my eyes forward to see the armor that was fastened on the tree now on the floor in two pieces.
Calogero stared at the hand he had used to shoot the gun, and his fellow Radols looked on with gaping mouths.
“Hm. You’re an interesting test subject,” said Pause, eerily grinning before giving out his next instructions.
After the gun experiment in the morning ended, we were guided to a dining hall.
“Amazing! It’s amazing! That gun’s amazing!!” Calogero exclaimed over and over, his face red with excitement.
“Yeah, to think it was that powerful……”
It’s power and range were incomparably higher than a bow’s, and the bullet would hit where you pointed the gun. You didn’t need that much skill or strength like you did with a bow, so anyone could use it. Even a woman could if worst came to worst, and it didn’t take a genius to figure out how insanely powerful this weapon was.
“But why didn’t the empire use a weapon this powerful?”
I was thinking the same thing. If they had a weapon this ridiculous, it wouldn’t have even been a war.
The one to answer their doubts was Judo, who came carrying their food.
“There’s no way those useless court noble pigs could create a weapon like that. It’s one of Boss’s newly-created weapons.”
“Created……Lord-dono did? Isn’t he just a child though?”
The imperial government leaving this lands in the hands of a child was already ridiculous enough, but he had also created that transcendent weapon? An early mental development wouldn’t cut it as an explanation. Can a kid like that really exist?
“I understand where you’re coming from, but it’s the truth. If you’re still able to say something like that, then you still don’t a lick of Boss’s true capabilities.”
“Well, you’ll soon find out over these next two days,” Judo said as he began to line up the dishes on the table.
“D-delicious! What is this meat!?”
Is this meat? There’s almost no gaminess to it, and it’s scarily soft—enough to melt in your mouth.
“That’s Hamburg steak, one of the items on our popular menu list,” replied Judo as he sliced into the Hamburg steak and chomped into it.
“Yes. You finely mince the meat, mix it with an egg, and cook it.”
“This……flavor. I wish I give the villagers at home a taste of this,” mumbled one of the representatives as tears streamed down his face.
Judo narrowed his eyes and replied, “You’ll be able to soon. Boss became the lord, after all.”
They sank into silence with complicated looks on their face. After all, how great would it be to have a lifestyle like this?
But at the same time, it was like surrendering yourself to the empire. The empire had killed an overwhelming number of us and had taken away our pride and our strength. The more benevolent a ruler Lord-dono was, the stronger the conflict between these two emotions.
Even though we had no other choice, we couldn’t let loose with happiness.
“My circumstances are similar to yours, at the very least,” Judo said. “I feel like I can understand you guys, so I’ll say this: Boss isn’t the type of person who’ll treat you like livestock.”
“What do you mean—”
“You’ll soon understand.”
Then, Judo said no more and only urged them to continue eating.
That afternoon, everybody was made to wait at a log house after being asked their preferred attacking style.
Aquido handed them each a book and said, “This is a grimoire. After you make a contract, we’ll begin activation training.”
Grimoires were miraculous books that granted those without talent to receive the blessing of magic. Naturally, any such items in the empire were regarded as national treasures.
“I’m sure you have your doubts, but please do as I say for now.”
After making sure everyone understood, Judo instructed them to place their hand on the cover.
After obtaining the gift of magic, the Radols burst into cheers, but Theo aimlessly looked at this abnormal scene and thought back.
In this world, magic proved one’s strength. Anyone who could skillfully wield the gift of magic would control history.
At the same time, wielding magic generally needed a ton of talent, and only a select few would have the capability to do so.
Radols in particular were dispositioned to be on the less talented side or, rather, they were losing their touch as time passed.
In the war with the empire, those who could wield magic were even regarded as their ace in the holes.
Because of that, Theo and the others knew deep down just how miraculous these grimoires were.
Lord-dono had numerous grimoires, and he gave them to people he had just met. It didn’t take a genius to realize just how abnormal that was.
Now, it wasn’t just grimoires. The guns were also capable of turning an entire war on its head. They turned a rank of foot soldiers into mere targets for practice, and any army that thoughtless charged in would be turned into a mountain of corpses. They’d probably start operating in small groups from here on out.
Judo had said we would gradually find out more about the man called Grey Ines Navarro, but I feel like we know even less now.
Truly, this boy was the epitome of irrationality. If he actually went all out—
I spotted Judo, who said, “Today I’ll take you back to my hometown.”
He then brought us to a certain city.
The city had a beautifully paved main street, and buildings neatly lined the sides of the road. Every building sported a mysterious transparent board that allowed one to peer inside.
There were many types of people walking the streets, from those wearing luxurious clothing like that of a wealthy merchant or a noble to farmers who had finished up their work and whose faces were splattered with dirt.
Was this the rumored capital?
Judo walked down the main street and led us to a four-story building.
“I-is that a monster?”
A boy with transparent wings stood at the counter.
“Good afternoon, Judo-san. What business do we have today?” the boy asked.
“Yeah, is the Village Head here?”
“Yes. He’s still s taring down a document in his room.”
“That’s just like him. Please let him know I’m here.”
“Of course, with pleasure!”
The boy flapped his wings and ascended the stairs.
“Who is……he?” I asked, having lost to the peer pressure of those around me.
“He’s Mumu, an employee of the town hall of this village, Tote.”
Village? Town hall? This developed city is a village? No, there’s something more important at hand.
“Is he a monster?”
“No, not a monster, but a fairy. He’ll cry if you treat him like one so be careful.”
I somehow manage to nod. Of course, I was asking if he was actually human.
Still, that boy’s, Mumu’s, servility didn’t seem like the same as the Radol’s. And judging by the kind and gentle interactions around him, the village probably treated him like one of their own, as hard as that was to believe.
Both the empire and the kingdom thoroughly oppressed Radols, despite the fact that we were all human. But I didn’t find that strange, every country had their heretics after all. In fact, a city that regarded a boy not even human as one of their own was far stranger.
“He said he’ll come out soon so please wait,” said Mumu.
“Got it. Let’s go then.”
As we stood their aimlessly, our brains having completely short-circuited, Judo gave us a sidelong glance and headed up the stairs.
“Sorry for the wait.”
After a brief moment, a fatigued old man with white hair appeared and sat down at the table nearest to us.
“Village Head, they are the Radols as mentioned.”
“I see. So they’re the ones from Zem-dono’s hometown that Mos was talking about……”
The old man who seemed to be the Village Head wiped the sweat off his balding head and curiously stared at Theo.
“Then can I leave these guys in your care until tomorrow? Having them live here in the village rather than in Sagami Co. would be much more exciting for them.”
The Village Head nodded once and called for an employee. He then stamped down on a document and began reminiscing about the bast.
It was about a poverty stricken village.
Many of the young and healthy had died at the hands of goblins during a raid, and they wouldn’t be able to survive the winter. A priest from an organization known as the committee of elders ran an oppressive rule through the lord of the land. And in the bottomless pit of despair appeared Lord-dono.
He banished the priest and the committee of elders from the land and gave several instructions and pieces of advice, all leading to the village seen today.
Basically, it was an incredulous story about how a child—not one with the authority of a lord, but just a normal child—had developed this village that was so poor nobody would have bat an eye if it collapsed into ruin right then and there. However, the Village Head told his story earnestly, and it didn’t seem like there were any lies.
“We were in a similar situation for years on end as well, so we aren’t in a position to talk, but let me say this: now is the time to stand your ground. Run forward, recklessly and with that guy!” he said. He then stood up and slapped us on the back before leaving the room.
“I’ll show you through the village now,” said Judo.
“Please do,” I managed to squeeze out.
That day, we stayed the night at Tote.
Tote’s agriculture, business, and protection were all maintained at an unbelievably high level.
First let’s talk about agriculture. I could only understand about half of the explanations I had received, but they had had barely any productivity, even compared to us Radols.
With regard to business, I managed to get out the fact that wealthy merchants and nobles were in this land.
Every building had transparent plates of a substance called glass, and you could just look outside with the windows shut on a cold day.
The inns were equipped with hot water facilities and I found them extremely relaxing. Moreover, the food was absolutely delectable.
The fluffy beds in the private rooms and a heating device called a “stove” quickly warmed up by cold body.
The shopping districts were lined with clocks, which were apparatus that told time, beauty products that kept women’s skin smooth, a device that fixed blurry eyes, and other unimaginable products.
A medical facility featuring absurdly cheap rates even had at least two people called doctors stationed within at all times, much to my disbelief.
What’s more, dozens of mages specializing in battles protected the village.
The village had both an absurdly powerful economy and defense and was open-minded enough to accept even non-humans.
This village felt like a heavenly city that might appear in a fairy tale.
No matter who I talked to, they all boasted that the cause of all this abnormal development lay in a single boy named Grey.
“Our wise mountain king will always save us from any crisis!” said one of my brethren, and nobody bat an eye at that title. In fact, as the time to leave approached, more and more of them began to use that title.
Wise mountain king—we Radols were much accustomed to that title. It was a title bestowed upon a messenger of god that had descended from the heavens in order to save the Radols from a crisis.
We weren’t particularly religious, though, and the elderly laughed whenever they brought up the title. And yet they all saw Lord-dono as a wise mountain king that would surely save us from any crises.
I think these past two weeks had been so surprising that it made them come to hold that belief.
We regrouped at the first floor of a certain inn in Tote and found Judo waiting there.
“How was it? Have you come to understand Boss a little better now?” asked Judo.
“Almost too much.”
Lord-dono was a person who had invented that rifle weapon, had handed out grimoires, and had even created this dream-like world. That same person had declared we would stand victorious. The word defeat that I had known all too well up until now had disappeared from my vocabulary.
“So do you understand what Boss meant when he said he’ll industrialize your land into the best in the world—to turn it into a city of science if we triumph over the kingdom?”
According to the Village Head, Lord-dono was only managing Tote behind the back of the original lord, which meant he wasn’t even taking it seriously due to his position. Developing this heavenly land might have only been the tip of the iceberg.
He also saw the Radol’s land as his own. In other words, as a land he would freely develop, and Lord-dono had even said he would industrialize our land into the best in the world.
“Don’t you want to see for yourself? Where Boss will end up?”
It would be not imperial land, nor Radol land, but a utopia.
“Then let us advance together,” said Judo, sticking his fist out.
I lightly tapped his fist with my own, turned around, and stared at my brethren.
“So you were listening.”
“We’ll persuade the others, no matter what!!”
“Yessir!!” they shouted, a new determination now brewing within.
This was the very moment they escaped their fateful life of slavery.