Grandson of the Holy Emperor is a Necromancer - Chapter 83
Chapter 83: 048. Imperial Prince is Enjoying the Festival (Part One)
I was at the shooting range inside Hilda fiefdom.
There were targets meant for bows and crossbows placed in intervals of 100 to 200 metres, while even bigger targets for siege weapons were placed over 400 metres away.
A bird flew in and settled down on one of the branches of a tree.
The dwarves were sitting near the entrance of the forest with expressions of anticipation on their faces. In their hands was a combination of a pen and paper.
I put on some gloves and raised a musket rifle.
“Oh, dear Gaia. Grant me your blessing.”
A minute to gather enough divinity, then another thirty seconds to offer up a prayer.
Divinity visibly coalesced and began spinning wildly within the musket’s barrel. I even activated Divine Aura too.
A new skill [Divinity Storage Expansion] was added on top of the already-existing [Burst Fire]. Even the range had expanded too.
I took aim at the target located at about one hundred metres away and pulled the trigger. My hands, currently strengthened through body reinforcement magic, felt the strong recoil.
A loud gunshot rang out and the projectile flew with an explosive burst of speed. The divine bullet not just destroyed the target, it even shattered the rock behind it.
The dwarves immediately jumped up to their feet. They began clenching their fists tightly and cried out in elation, while some others couldn’t even hide their excitement and began bouncing around.
Heck, some of them dropped their pen and paper, completely forgetting to evaluate what just happened.
The dwarves were clearly having a jolly good time right now. On the other hand, I was being tormented by them.
After exhausting some more of my divinity, I lowered the musket and wiped the sweat off my forehead.
It had already been two weeks since we subjugated the lycans.
As soon as my body recovered to its full health, the dwarves wanted to evaluate the performances of their musket rifles.
“…It’s truly excellent, your highness.”
I glanced to my side and saw Belrog walking up to me.
He still seemed to be in disbelief while he stroked the musket that had been enhanced by the Divine Aura.
Belrog observed the bluish light in the shape of a magic rune letter enveloping the weapon and spat out a string of appreciation. “No, it’s beyond excellent, your highness. It’s like the weapon itself has come to life and is even breathing right now. It’s evolved to the next level after coming to life, by the looks of it.”
As expected of a master weaponsmith, his appreciation of the musket came across as rather emotive.
“Okay, so what did you think?” While asking, I handed the musket over to Belrog. However, the moment it left my hand, the rune letter simply disappeared.
Belrog muttered to himself, “Divine Aura only activates when it’s being held?”
He then took aim at another target with the very same musket, and began chanting some incantation. He injected Mana into the weapon, focused for the next five minutes, and pulled the trigger at the distant target.
The dwarf sucked in a deep breath then resumed injecting Mana through his hands.
He fired the third and fourth shot in the same manner.
Projectiles of Mana left the barrel and a little while later, the target standing about one hundred metres away from us shook around while making ‘Bang, bang!’ noises.
I was totally dumbfounded by this sight.
“Your highness, this is the actual power of the musket.” Belrog was panting heavily as if he had exerted himself to an extreme degree just now. “This particular weapon is one of the finest examples we have crafted, and this level of ability to rapidly fire is only possible through a lot of training as well.”
“…Rapid fire? But it looked to me like you were firing one shot, reload, and then fire another one?”
Belrog replied testily with a dissatisfied expression. “This is the so-called rapid firing as seen from our standards, your highness. This is already five times faster than existing muskets.”
“Well, to begin with, you’ve been flooding the weapon with a stupid amount of divinity, so your level of firepower displayed isn’t surprising, and also…” Belrog tutted a little. “…Through the mysteries of [Divine Aura], it seems that the internal structure of the musket itself has been modified as well. Now, originally, a musket shouldn’t even be able to withstand the amount of divinity you normally injected into it and end up breaking apart. So, when I first heard the report, I assumed it’d be only on the level of reinforcing the weapon. But now, this…”
Belrog looked excited as he lifted the musket above his head. He placed it to block the sun’s rays and then narrowed his eyes.
“…This is true advancement.”
The ability to reinforce regular weapons, and to make those very magic weapons leap past an entire generation of advancement – this was how Belrog evaluated my Divine Aura.
Now that I think about it, notifications kept saying something about ‘advancement’ or some such whenever I used Divine Aura, didn’t it?
Belrog seemed to be in deep contemplation, but he eventually addressed me again. “While you’re gathering divinity and praying, wouldn’t you be exposed to danger many times like that?”
“Oh, yeah. That happens a heck of a lot too, I tell ya.”
It sure had been dicey during my encounters with the Vampires and the lycans, and the story shouldn’t be too different if I need to confront humans at a later stage.
Especially in the cases of bows or crossbows – they could be reloaded very quickly and that would be quite dangerous for me.
Of course, if things do get really dangerous, then I was planning to summon my undead and use them as shields, regardless of whether there were witnesses or not.
“Wait, now that I recall, your highness, isn’t your body reinforcement magic already on the level of being monstrous? It must be at least half, or more than half, of an Ogre’s physical strength. And an Ogre is often referred to as the king of forests. So, how about…” Belrog raised his head in my direction and asked, “…Putting on some kind of armour?”
I tilted my head.
Belrog tried explaining. “If you put on some armour and use Divine Aura to reinforce them, then well, the likes of mid-to-lower tier magic spells won’t even…”
It was then, another dwarf approached us in a leisurely gait of a man on a stroll, and waved his hand at us. “Preparations are complete now. Lady Hilda is calling for you, your highness!”
Belrog smacked his lips ruefully before looking at me. “Let us discuss the matter of your armour at a later stage. I might as well gift you with a set later on.”
He bowed his head as his goodbye and then walked over to the other dwarves. “Fire up the smelting furnace. Prepare forged steel, some gemstones of spirits Eltera, white silver and mistletoe grass. And also, Alchemists…”
While I eavesdropped on him, the dwarf who was strolling up to me tugged at my clothes. I turned my gaze to him.
He grinned brightly and spoke, “Let’s get going, your highness. A festival meant for you is about to get underway!”
In the middle of the village’s plaza.
Hilda walked up to an elevated platform with no noticeable expression on her face. On her right hand was a liquor bottle, while her left was holding a cup.
The villagers were staring at her, their hands holding baskets of fruits.
Hilda poured the liquor in the cup, and once the crimson-coloured liquid filled it up, she took a hearty swig of the aromatic drink.
After she cleanly emptied it, she began spraying the villagers below the platform with the alcohol in the bottle.
She shouted out, “I declare the festival of blood now open!”
The villagers loudly cheered on.
Flower petals were scattered from the vicinity of the village. At the same time, red-coloured fruits were tossed in the air.
This fruit reminded me of a tomato; they jiggled in the air and burst into bits after hitting their intended targets. The villagers exploded in loud peals of laughter as they began tossing these squishy fruits at each other.
The ‘festival of blood’ – as it turned out, it was an actual festival that Hilda fiefdom was preparing to hold. It was a festival where people popped the crimson fruits to substitute for real blood and get rid of all the misfortunes that might befall on them.
The closest equivalent that I could think of back on Earth was the annual tomato festival in Spain. This also happened to be the festival Luan was telling me about earlier too.
I shifted my gaze.
It seemed that even the Crimson Cross and Verdant Cross folks were enjoying the festival as well. But uh, weren’t they going to take off their bird beak masks and balaclavas? How were they going to even eat and drink like that?
I looked away from them and began admiring the villagers enjoying the festival. “Well, there really are a lot of beauties in this place.”
I was currently sitting by a table placed on the street. After picking out a tomato-like red fruit nearby, I sliced a piece off before munching on it.
My eyes went round from surprise and I hurriedly looked down at the fruit.
Wow, as expected of the fiefdom’s specialty product, it tastes really great! I should take some with me and give it to Charlotte and Harman later. That’ll probably make them happy.
It was then, a massive cup was placed on my table with a loud thud.
“Your highness! How about accepting a shot from us!”
The dwarves were gathering around me.
They seemed to have knocked back a few already, as evidenced by their complexions being beet-red.
The dozens of dwarves were grinning away as if they were feeling rather pleased about something. One of them then began pouring the red liquor from the bottles held in both of his hands into that large cup.
Although the cup in question was as big as my head, the alcohol was actually spilling from the top now.
“Here you go! Go ahead, your highness! Enjoy!”
The dwarves were pressing their faces real close now.
I could only smile awkwardly at them.
Maybe this world didn’t have a minimum age for drinking? Well, I did drink back in Ronia, so it’s not going to be an issue, I guess.
I lifted up the hefty cup.
Wha-? This thing tastes like soju mixed with ground tomatoes!
My head spun. Holy cow, this is pretty strong, innit?!
When I managed to gurgle down the whole cup, a loud cheering exploded from all around me.
“Alright! One more, your highness! Just one more!”
More alcohol was poured into the cup.
“Your highness! Us too…!”
The villagers walked up to me and poured even more alcohol in my cup.
My head was really spinning now, But hey, it didn’t feel all that bad.
Actually, a pleased grin was spreading on my lips all by itself.
Genuine laughters were overflowing from seemingly everywhere.
Despite going through a horrifying event just recently, it looked to me they were ridding themselves of the nightmare through their laughters.
Also, it felt like they weren’t conscious of my station of being an Imperial Prince. The reason for that must’ve been….
“Everyone, raise your cups for a toast!”
…Probably because of Hilda.
Rather than an Imperial Princess, she looked more like a regular citizen enjoying the village’s festival right now.
Her outfit was simple and plain. In fact, she didn’t even try acting elegant and cultured, either.
She was holding a bottle to pour the alcohol into the cups of her villagers while merrily laughing alongside them.
“The monsters have vanished. This is the blessing of the goddess, Gaia! And to my dear younger brother who has accomplished this wonderful feat, a toast to Allen Olfolse! Cheers!”
Cups and glasses clinked noisily against each other.
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