「I see…then Lucy try what I taught you yesterday.」
Lucy calmed down thanks to the joy she felt after properly using the crossbow to pierce through the armor. She grabbed the crossbow, placed the iron loop on the ground and stuck her foot through it before stepping down.
Then she took out the S-shaped tool I gave her yesterday and hooked it onto the crossbow string. She held it with both hands and pulled using her back muscles to pull back the string.
Using simple arm strength to pull the string would be impossible for her, but using both arms and her back muscles she could do so fairly easily.
「Okay, I’ll shoot another for you.」
「I’ll leave it to you Lucy.」
I said and Lucy set the arrow into the groove, aimed, and pulled the trigger. Then, once again the arrow pierced through the armor.
「As you can see, even a girl like Lucy can pull this bow. Plus, unlike a normal bow you can move while having the bow drawn.」
「Certainly even a young girl can pull it. However, unlike a regular bow you have to point it down to reload so you can’t rapid-fire.」
「That kind of thing is dependent on training and effort anyways. Plus do elves like us need rapid-fire? It’s fine as long as we take them down in one shot.」
I said confidently and took out another crossbow before walking 200 meters away from the armor.
「We elves have good eyes, a great sense of distance, and are loved by the wind.」
It was why we elves were known as transcendent archers.
We can see far away, have good dynamic vision, and near perfect sense of distance. These were all things needed to master the bow.
「The arrows we put our spirit in won’t miss.」
I cast the windbreak magic on my arrow and released it.
The arrow was now unaffected by the wind. The only thing that would affect its flight was gravity.
Furthermore I had tested and found out that this world was unaffected by Coriolis Force…..there was no influence from the planet spinning.
With this all you needed to do was calculate the drop distance and you could hit what you aimed at.
Originally the crossbow’s weakness was in its shortened bolts that couldn’t utilize a longer design with feathers on it. It had trouble with inertia and dynamic lift so the distance it could fire was limited. However, with Elven abilities these weaknesses could be ignored.
「As you can see.」
The bolt flew at 104m/s and reached the armor in 1.9 seconds. The drop distance I calculated was around 181 meters. I aimed slightly higher than the center mass of the armor and fired.
It looked like the armor had sucked the bolt towards it as it was once again pierced by the crossbow.
Thanks to the blessing of the wind the crossbow bolts could move through the air without resistance. It allowed a minimum of power loss before the bolts reached their target.
Furthermore, for Elves Blessing of the Wind was one of the first spells they learned. Any one of us could use it.
That’s right. Everyone here could fire a bolt from 200 meters with deadly force.
After seeing my long distance shooting the villagers boiled with excitement.
I checked how everything had gone before approaching the crowd once more.
「Even if you’re unable to fire from 200 meters, us elves can do so from 100 meters with a trifling amount of practice. Before the Empire’s soldiers can get close enough we can massacre them.」
「Impossible, training with bows takes years. Five years ago our best archers died. Bows are out of the question.」
The Chief continued to uselessly resist.
In truth using a bow was quite difficult. The stance, proper angles, and release timing…all of them needed proper training. It would take several years to produce a top rate archer.
「If it was a normal bow that might be the case. However, you only need to pull the trigger on a crossbow. I’ll prove it. If anyone here wants to try it please step forward.」
Several people quickly made their way forward to give it a try. Lucy and I handed over our crossbows.
Lucy and I showed them how to pull the string, nock the arrow, and finally allow them to pull the trigger at the armor 20m away. They fired and the bolts pierced through the armor once more.
This was another attractive aspect of the crossbow. Even if elves were naturally predisposed to be archers we couldn’t simply use them without any training. As the Chief said, most of our experts had died in the previous war. Now there were only a few people left who could properly handle a bow.
One of my goals for crafting a weapon was that anyone could use it after a few days of practice. That was the lowest requirements I had.
Our elf village did not have the leisure to train up a batch of experts. It was only meaningful if the weapons would allow our farmers and ordinary people to fight.
「Do you still have complaints after we’ve come this far?」
「Yes…yes I do. What do you think we can accomplish with only two bows!? Do you think they’ll only send one or two soldiers to fight us!?」
It was the reaction I expected. I had been waiting for those words.
「Who said I only had two?」
I utilized partial 【Samsara Recursion】 and used Deet’s 【Item Box】. I took all 50 of the crossbows I had completed out of storage.
There was a strange soul shaking feeling at the sight of all those crossbows with overwhelming power all lined up.
「If there aren’t enough I can prepare more. Look everyone, as you can see we have plenty of bows. Anyone who wants to shoot them can shoot them.」
At my words the villagers gathered closer.
Each of them shot at the armor until it was more holes than armor.
It was the moment when normal villagers transformed into warriors whose attacks could pierce through a muscular soldier’s armor.
「Now you can all see! The Empire’s armor is no longer something to fear, it simply makes them into cattle to be lead to slaughter!」
The Empire’s soldiers were established on a simple foundation. Give up on long distance attacks they were not good at and instead wear impenetrable armor to close the distance and cut down their enemies.
These weapons had now destroyed the very foundation of their military might.
「We can win! I won’t let them take away any more of us! We’ll take back our freedom!」
Up until now these words had been naive and childish. However, the crossbows now leant those words power.
Those who fired the crossbows knew…they now had the power to kill the Empire’s soldiers. Once they truly pierced through the hated armor with their own hands they could no longer restrain their emotions.
「We can do it! We can win!」
「I’ll avenge my mother!」
The anger from having their loved ones stolen from them exploded and shook off the yoke of fear and oppression.
I just needed to let things run their course.
「Calm down. Calm yourselves everyone. Certainly Cyril has crafted weapons that make it possible to fight the Empire. But…we may lose! If we fight many will die! Isn’t it fine to stay as we are!? If we obey the Empire then only 10 people will die in a year.」
「Chief…I don’t believe that you can say that ONLY 10 people will die.」
「But if we fight then more will die.」
「I won’t let that happen. The crossbow is only one of the weapons I had in mind. I will show you that I can prepare many different ways to prevent our friends and family from dying.」
I declared loud and clear. My actions up till now gave my words credence.
「Let me ask you a question. Why are you resisting the idea of fighting so much?」
「I’ve said it many times. I want to reduce the sacrifices as much as possible!」
I stared him down as I interrogated him.
「Isn’t it because you’re satisfied with your lifestyle right now Chief?」
「Wh-what are you saying!? There’s no way that’s true!」
「I see, then that’s good. I think that the villagers should be able to decide their own future. So let’s listen to what they have to say.」
I looked at each of the villagers around us.
「Please make your choice now! To live as cattle under the rule of the Empire…..or to fight for our lives, our pride, and our freedom!? Which will you choose?」
After hearing my question the surroundings grew silent and tense.
「First, those who want us to live as we have been clap your hands!」
I said and the Chief and his followers began clapping enthusiastically. On the whole it was only about 10% of the villagers.
「Finally…those who want to fight…those who choose freedom! Clap your hands.」
A great cheer rose up. Almost all of the villagers were cheering and clapping with all their might. That’s right, all of them wanted to change these desolate conditions they lived in.
「As you can see Chief…the villagers have chosen to fight. Will you ignore their will!?」
「Shut up! Everyone’s just caught up in the moment! There’s no way we can decide such an important thing right here and now! I’m going home.」
The Chief said and disappeared.
And so the villagers gathered around me.
「Cyril this is amazing. You really made a weapon that can pierce armor! Where did you get the materials?」
「I stole armor and swords along with the food last time I went. I melted them to make the crossbows. The rest is made of maple wood. Most of it is wooden so I could make quite a few.」
「Is it true that you have other ideas other than just these bows?」
「Yes of course. I’m making lots of preparations so you guys don’t die. If you get injured I’ll heal you. So please fight with me.」
I said and bowed my head.
Everyone came together and agreed to my request.
The villager’s will and emotions had solidified. I’d deal with the Chief later.