“So? Do you think you can get enough soldiers for the war?” I asked Aquido.
“Despite the strict conditions we’ve given, including how volunteers must be 18 or older, each tribe sent many soldiers and we’ve just crossed over 800.”
Eight hundred people. That’s more than I expected given the fact that they were on the brink of starvation. The guns and grimoires must have worked wonders. In any event, that’s more than enough for this operation.
“But is tricking them like this really okay?” asked Aquido, sharing the sentiment that everyone else was holding.
We had enough food to easily stave off their starvation for another year. On the other hand, we had told them that they only had a month of food left, and that they would need to take back the food that had been stolen from the Radols imprisoned in Fort Arkroy.
“No. Theo-dono and those around him have probably already realized that it was all just an official stance,” replied Kurama as he rubbed his chin.
“I agree. They’ve already figured it out,” Judo agreed with so much confidence that he must have done something when he was showing the guns and grimoires.
“True, the representatives from the tribes seem to be encouraging the Radols to eat their fill. They also should have figured out that there’s no guarantee of any food being left in Arkroy.”
“You’re saying that the Radols themselves must make Arkroy surrender, right, Grey?”
“Of course. Doing it ourselves would only make things worse.”
“While Boss is their lord, he is also a member of the company. Charging in recklessly would cause friction with the Commerce Guild members based in the kingdom, right?” confirmed Judo.
He’s sharp as usual. In fact, he might’ve gotten used to thinking in pros and cons like a merchant.
“That’s true as well, but even if I were to hand out food and save them from the kingdom with our own power, they would never truly listen to me.”
I wasn’t a politician or anything, so I didn’t know how a ruler should act, nor did I care.
However, there was nothing more disagreeable than someone giving without any return. Even a new evil religion wouldn’t do that.
Leaving that aside, I had suggested a plan based on plenty of investigations and research, so they would definitely succeed if the followed through, and it was much more believable that I was serving as an adviser.
The same applies to all rulers, or so I believe.
“Grey trying to win the trust of others is, in a way, quite refreshing.”
“Seriously. And it’s disturbing, frankly.”
The room erupted into laughter. Geez, these guys are so rude.
Personally, developing the Radoa area was a huge project. If successful, they’d amass a never-before-seen amount of fortune, and we’d be able to conduct research on an entirely different level. Failure was not an option, and gaining their trust pointed the needle in the right direction. It’d be stranger not to, in fact.
“Explain the situation!” I yelled, prompting for the report in an attempt to end this ridiculous conversation.
“Construction Team,” said Judo.
The employees in charge stood up, bowed once, and launched their explanation.
“We are currently constructing a base near the top of the Radoa mountain range. It’s still in the works at the moment but should finish within a week.”
The base was being build roughly ten kilometers from Fort Arkroy. We would camouflage it when the time arose, but once completed, it would turn into a nigh impenetrable fortress high on the mountains.
“Weapon Manufacturing Team.”
“We already have 200 bolt action rifles, 30 fixed cannons, 40 mobile cannons, and roughly 10,000 bullets.”
A collective sigh escaped from everyone. This much was to be expected from Sagami Co.’s manufacturing department working at full power.
The bottleneck was with bullets. After all, just 10,000 meant only a hundred people could shoot a hundred shots. Manual labor just didn’t cut it.
After our brief collision with Laguna, I gave a certain set of instructions to Sagami Co. in order to remove that threat as soon as possible. Namely, to develop firearms and fully automate the production of bullets through steam engines.
Bullets consisted of four different parts: warheads, cartridges, powder, and the detonator.
Among them, warheads and cartridges could be easily created by melting and then molding lead and copper, and powder and detonators had already been completed during the undead assault.
Furthermore, once the parts had been made, all you had to do was place the detonator at the bottom of the cartridge, fill it with gunpowder, and cover it with the warhead. This kind of simple procedure didn’t necessitate anything precise like a refrigerator or a computer, and the prototype steam engine was more than enough.
“How many bullets are we making per day?” I asked Leroy.
“Hm, not a lot.”
“Don’t ask for the impossible. That’s the most we can make with this power.”
Yes. A steam engine was, in the end, extremely energy inefficient. But there’s a reason I didn’t jump straight to energy and had instead fumbled around with steam engines.
Science is deep. If you jumped in without any foundations, you’d run into insurmountable problems left and right. As my goal was to progress this world’s science, I’d need to have everyone else improve their own technical capabilities. I can’t create new technologies with just my own knowledge.
Still, we’ll definitely need an electric generator for a project this large. I’ll say the steam engine experiment was a success for now, and maybe we should just move onto developing electricity.
“As instructed, I am training up the 32 tribe heads in magic,” said Aquido after standing up. “The 260 I have selected will enter training for the rifle squad and the cannon squad. Now, anything more than magic is sure to raise a commotion, so we’re sticking with mock training for now, but I plan to move to live-ammunition exercises as soon as possible. The rest are training themselves for the infantry squad and archer squad.”
I planned to give the archers and infantry a couple of tricks up their sleeves—we had a lot of gunpowder after all.
“I’m sure it’ll be a test, but good work.”
“Got it. I’ll show you what we can do.”
Aquido nodded and rested himself back down on his chair.
“Next is the Reconnaissance Team.”
Kurama stood up and bowed towards me before launching into his report.
“In Fort Arkroy there are a general, 16 officers, 40 in their mage battalion, 97 in their horseback battalion, 2320 archers, and 5511 infantry. There are 300 citizens who seem to be merchants conducting business with the army.”
“Eight thousand soldiers. That’s almost ten times our size, and there’s even citizens inside. Is Fort Arkroy sturdy?”
“It’s surrounded by a tall wall of stone, and any normal means of attacking would result in heavy casualties.”
It would take a lot of time and manpower to move so many weapons and getting attacked while moving them would end in disaster. What’s more, civilian casualties was almost unavoidable, so I wanted to avoid an all-out-brawl as much as possible. We’d need to cut the enemy forces by more than half in order to smoothly progress operations.
“Then once the fortress atop the Radoa mountain range is completed, deliver the document garnished with the heads of the military officers who had invaded Camelot,” I said.
“Whose name shall it be under?”
“Let’s see. Put down The Supreme Commander of the Radols, Theo.”
There’s no way the kingdom is unaware of the undead assault incident, so penning my name would only serve to put them on guard.
However, a Radol, who they underestimate as mere savages, was a different story. If they were simpletons like I expected, they’d be sure to come charging in with their full force. After all, they’d have to capitulate Fort Arkroy without any bloodshed in order for us to not massacre them, and the most humiliating thing for a person is to be shown mercy by someone they considered inferior.
“Heartless as usual. I really feel bad for them, given that a monster like you has set his sights on them,” said Aquido, to which everyone else nodded in agreement.
“Stop joking around and get a move on.”
“No, I think he really meant it,” added Leroy.
And so, we approached the final stages of my plans.