All at once they activated 『Body Enhancement』 and pulled back their bowstrings. If they used their legs to push the crossbow into the ground to reload they wouldn’t be able to fire enough arrows.
Next they needed to set their bolts, they removed 『Body Enhancement』, and activated 『Perception Expansion』 and 『Windbreak』.
For Elves other than myself it was impossible to activate these three spells all at once no matter how much they lightened their usage of 『Perception Expansion』.
Two of them at once became the practical limit. For that reason once they only needed to aim and fire they could remove 『Body Enhancement』. With normal bows they would still need to utilize strength to hold back the bowstring and changing spells would be impossible. This was one of the advantages of the crossbow.
Maybe it was the results of daily training, but almost every one finished preparing and fired at the same time. All twenty arrows flew straight towards the targets 200 meters ahead.
Because of 『Windbreak』 the arrows didn’t get affected by air resistance and flew straight ahead without losing power.
The hit rate of the arrows were around 80%, it looks like the time limit and pressure was doing its job.
As expected the first set where they were not used to the blindfolds, the pressure, and the time limit caused only Lucy and Roleau to succeed in hitting 8 out of 12 arrows.
However, as the exercise went on their accuracy increased. By the fifth set the majority were passing the accuracy mark.
Then, by the end of the tenth set there were only five who had not passed the required mark and the remaining fifteen could now rapid fire while maintaining at least 70% accuracy. For the first day this was great progress.
「Good job everyone. Those who failed today should try hard next time.」
「Cyril will those who failed really only get that ‘cookie’ for dinner? It’s too cruel…」
「That was the arrangement.」
I couldn’t be weak on them at this juncture. If I did then they would lose their tension and the group would lose its driving force.
Also, as the instructor I could not be seen as a liar.
「Today’s training ends here. From now till the sun sets it will be free practice. For a while we will do this daily. If you don’t want to feel this kind of frustration again then do your best to improve. Well then, I’ll be off. All of you return when it’s time for dinner.」
I left those words behind as I walked away.
I glanced back to see that the group, including the five who failed, were advising each other on improving.
It was a good outcome. The fact that they would naturally come together to aid each other naturally was big. Because they worked together through good times and hard times, they were able to form bonds.
It will facilitate communication and improve cooperation.
「It looks like Nettle should end up doing well…」
Once everyone was able to clear the rapid fire training, I would begin their mental training.
Training to have them sit in a tree for an hour without moving yet prepared to fire. Training to have them snipe only once at a high speed target and take it down. I wanted to try and do that daily.
A hellish survival training where they only had 10 special cookies to survive for five days in the snow.
A game of tag where it is me vs. Everyone. If no one catches me within three hours they go without dinner. If they are able to catch me then I suppose I can let them pass.
There’s a lot to do and not much time left. Even so…
「It’ll work out somehow.」
I looked at it objectively. The members of Nettle would become Elite Soldiers.
Next to the workshop was a new 3 mat size cabin.
Inside it were six young pigeons. They were a breed of pigeons that lived around the forest and would grow up to have a wingspan of 50 cm, a large species.
I had caught them inside the forest and brought them to this small cabin to raise them.
As I entered the cabin the chicks raised a ruckus all at once. They were within their growth period so their desire for food was at an all time high so they continued to call out to be fed.
「Okaaay~, eat a lot and grow up big and strong.」
I gave the young birds plenty of feed that had barley as the base.
I had used some magic to adjust these pigeons so their homing instinct was even stronger than normal.
Unlike humans, these pigeons were much simpler and I could adjust them slightly even without using 『Samsara Recursion』.
「Grow up well and work hard. You guys will be our saving grace.」
Of course I hadn’t been raising these pigeons on a simple whim. In a certain sense these pigeons were one of the keys to save Erucy.
Once the snow melted and they became adults they would fly freely in the sky.
As I continued to indulge the chicks with food I smiled.
After I finished caring for the pigeons I headed towards the Fire Foxes’ building. I was going to check and see if the request I had given them was complete.
「Good day nano Cyril-niisama」
The first one to spot me was the yellow fox Kemin and the black fox Kurone who greeted me with smiles.
They were my adorable little sisters but I felt like something was missing.
That’s right, the silver fox Yukino who was always with them was missing. It was almost natural for the three of them to always be together.
「Good day. Is Yukino not with you two?」
「Yukino and Kuu-anesama are off doing special training.」
「They’ve been doing it almost every morning once they finish work. Yukino-chan will be doing dangerous things so Kuu-anesama said to train for dangerous things so they won’t be dangerous anymore.」
「Well that’s great.」
It looked like Kuu was seriously training Yukino.
「Kuro…wanted to train with Yukino and Kuu-anesama too, but they said that Kuro has her own work to do so no. So Kuro is doing her best to do that.」
「Me too! I didn’t want to leave Yukino alone to do painful and hard things, but at least if we do our best to do Yukino’s work too she can train without worrying.」
They said seeming frustrated.
I’m sure the three of them wanted to be together. However, they thought properly about what would be best for their friend and the rest of the Fire Foxes. They continued to do their best to do what they could.
「You two have done well. I’ll brush you later.」
「Yay~ Kuro loves Cyril-niisama’s brushing….but…Kemin-chan…」
Kurone and Kemin both looked at each other before Kemin spoke up.
「Cyril-niisama, the one working hardest right now is Yukino so…please brush her instead.」
She said with a serious look on her face.
I couldn’t help but laugh unintentionally.
Yukino had worked hard and asked to share the cream stew with the other two. Now these two offered to give up their favorite brushing so that Yukino could get a turn.
Really, what good friends.