「In this case I’ll prove the dream I’m talking about isn’t simply sleep-talk. From now on I will show you two things. First, how to solve the food problem.」
After hearing my words the villagers had bitter looks on their faces.
In truth this was one of the most recent problems.
「As you know the Imperials won’t let our village cultivate anything except wheat. We rely on them to bring anything else we need.」
This was one of the greatest chains that bound our village.
Forcing us to produce only one type of crop not only increased the yield of that crop, but at the same time prevented the village from being self-sustainable. It tied us tightly to the empire.
「The village storage can last for two months right?」
What’s more they took everything except the bare minimum away from the village.
Even worse was that there was only three months left until winter.
If we didn’t take any measures we would starve to death. This world’s winter was harsh. The snow would pile up and nothing would grow, even the blessings of the forest would become scarce. They had no choice but to raise crops themselves, but there was no way to obtain a harvest in the three months left before winter.
「If you knew that then why did you perpetrate such a thing! It would have ended with only four dead.」
Those words struck my nerves.
「Just four? Don’t screw around! How many people have been killed up til now? In the five years since the Empire has taken control….every year they’ve taken ten people you know? That’s already 50 murdered. If we don’t move now then the dead will only pile up further. Is that fine? I never want to lose Lucy, ever. Every one of you has someone important to you right? You have people you want to protect right? Don’t you hate the ones who come to steal your loved ones from you!?」
I cried out desperately.
The villagers’ faces warped as sadness and anger mixed in their eyes.
「Even so it’s better than everyone being massacred.」
「That’s right. Even your father Kurtz-san couldn’t win.」
「It can’t be helped. There’s no way we could win.」
Words filled with despair and lamentation.
But hearing this I could tell…not everyone was resigned to this.
「Listen to my words and I will let you believe in our victory. I will remedy our food problems. I will go to their supply base and steal back the food we need!」
That’s right, the easiest way to supplement our food supply was to pillage it.
Plus if I thought about the amount I needed then the only solution was to attack their supply lines.
Our elf village was nearly 220 Km away from their home country. Their soldiers wearing full mail could only move 20-30 Km a day on horseback even using relay points along the way. This was one piece of information that had been confirmed back in my father’s day.
That place was a kind of terminal. A starting point for the soldiers to control the elf villages and the surroundings. There was a number of personnel and plenty of supplies.
That was the place I would attack.
……it was naturally a checking station and would report back to their home country if a revolt occurred. There was plenty of equipment and people for defense.
「Idiot are you trying to die!?」
「I’ll show you. Once I accomplish this I ask you to trust me. If by any chance I do not return I would like you to report the truth, that I did this all by myself. It was all me. Most likely my attack on the supply base will happen faster than the investigation of the village. If I fail then I’ll be captured at the supply base and die. It’ll be over with one idiot going crazy and dying.」
In that case the village probably wouldn’t end up destroyed. Those bastards probably wouldn’t risk losing an entire village that can produce magic stones for a long time. They would receive some kind of penalty but it wouldn’t be deadly.
「In that case it would be better for us if we capture you and turn you in. We’d be able to safely appease their anger.」
「That’s certainly true…but if I’m not here then you’ll be the humans’ slaves for the rest of your lives. Are you really okay with that?」
I laughed boldly.
The headman laughed scornfully. I could see that some of the villagers that witnessed my power held some expectations.
「Then the second thing. The biggest reason I have to say I can lead you to victory. It is these guys’ armor. As long as one or two arrows can pierce through it they will die. That’s why I will create a weapon that anyone can use to kill them. With that we can fight.」
「Is there even such a thing?」
「There is! If we have the right weapons then anyone can kill them. I’ll show you that I can pierce their armor right before your eyes. I won’t even use it, Lucy will use the weapon I created.」
Back when we elves were fighting against the empire’s oppression, the empire developed more advanced metal armor to defend against our arrows and magic. After that we were defeated easily.
The armor that could deflect our bows was our arch-nemesis.
When put another way, as long as our weapons could deal with their armor we could fight.
I would make such a weapon and show the villagers that we could pierce their armor. I would make them believe in our victory.
I had been able to kill the soldiers without weapons so my usage of the weapon wouldn’t have much impact. That’s why I decided to use Lucy as an appeal that anyone could use it.
「You can laugh at my words as if they were a pipe dream for now. But be sure to remember the two things I have said today. If I fail then you can tie me up and present me to the humans without resistance. It won’t take much time. I will reclaim the food within five days and within another five days I will show you the weapon that will guide us to victory. Can you at least give me ten days?」
The people looked at me with some bewilderment.
They couldn’t believe me completely, but cutting me down now would be a complete waste.
Just a little more and they’d trust me…just a bit more…..
「I….believe in Cyril.」
Lucy’s voice echoed out. She didn’t speak loudly nor emotionally. But even so her peaceful voice pierced through the din.
「I want to see the same dream Cyril sees. I’m sick of living like livestock. I don’t want to lose anymore friends…anymore family. I don’t want them to be taken from us anymore. I don’t want the children that are born one day to be stolen from us the next. I want to laugh and live with our loved ones as it should be.」
I could see anger dwelling within their eyes. The mask they had placed over their true feelings was cracking.
Her simple and clear reasoning couldn’t help but ignite their true emotions.
「We…we aren’t livestock.」
「If we’re going to die anyways then dying in battle…」
「If I can kill their enemy then I don’t care if I die…」
The atmosphere was getting heated.
However, the grim looking headman Nietzsche opened his mouth.
「Calm yourselves everyone! It is certainly as Lucy says. But fighting a hopeless battle isn’t courage but recklessness! Fine Cyril. Show me the things you have promised. If you die in the attack on the supply base then the entire town will blame you as a fool who went crazy and got in over his head. If you succeed but cannot show us this so-called weapon then we will tie you up and deliver you to them as a rebel. Is that alright with you?」
「That was my intent from the start. But if I succeed in that then will you fight with me?」
I didn’t receive an answer.
But the villagers’ eyes told me…that if I could show them, then they would fight.
「……Very well. Do as you will. But we will fight with you once we see the weapon and the proof you speak of. Well, you’ll fail in the end anyways.」
And so, this was how my fight began.