Next time I’m going to spit some of Mary’s milk on you!
Don’t underestimate the strength of my stomach!
「You’re just acting like some suicide bomber without a fuse.」
Oh! That’s right! Well, no crying over spewed milk.
「…I had thrown my bow away once, but that was when Wendell was caring for me. Now, I can use it to protect my child. Thank you, Wendell.」
She took a strangely shaped bow from the closet.
It looked like an M, flattened in the middle, and it was already stringed.
She thanked father again and kissed the bow.
「This is the other Melville family secret.」
…a composite bow?
I’ve seen it every 108 life I’ve lived.
It was a very strong bow used by horsemen that could shoot far away.
They shot with these long-ranged bows as they rode horses.
Their secret was this bow.
The bows we used had to be lengthened to increase power and extend range…a longbow.
And this longbow was the natural enemy of the cavalry. It had the power to pierce armor.
Hydrangea’s proud cavalry entered a border dispute years later and was forced into a bloody struggle against the Melville’s bows’ ferociousness.
The army licked its bitter wounds thanks to their enemies, and eventually formed a longbow unit themselves.
But because of the size, the bows were inconvenient to handle.
You had to pull them back very strongly to fully unleash its power.
So riding and shooting the bow became a dream.
A composite bow, on the other hand, used special fibers that contract after stretching with the back of the bow restrengthening after shooting. The swelling and contracting assists the bow in doubling the speed of the arrow. In fact, it can penetrate armor just as a longbow, but with the size of a smaller bow.
I knew the theory behind it, but the method of making them was very difficult, and it was an impossibility to reproduce when I was queen.
Yet the method was given to the Melville family, my mother’s parents’ house!
「I want to test fire it. Follow me. I want you to see me use it and be of some use as well.」
My mother put on her bow gauntlet, tied her hair up, put a quiver on her back, and walked out of the room.
Um, mother…your breastplate…
But I guess she didn’t need one. Her boobs shouldn’t get in the way. I should know, I inherited her smallish breasts.
In fact, when I wore an evening dress with an open section between my breasts, I had to be careful in many ways.
If my boobs were several inches bigger back then, that dress might have changed history…in different ways.
But whatever, at least when I got older those things weren’t going to sag down to my waist.
Small boobs just get more beautiful as you age!
But…I only lived to 28, so I never got to find out.
Mom looked back at me and Bradd as I spoke.
「I don’t understand what she’s talking about, but something about her chest hurting…」
Bradd then laughed and I glared at him.
With big-boobed Mary feeding me all the time, this 109th time might turn out different. Don’t laugh at the future of a maiden and her dreams.
Also, even if heaven forgives you for mocking small breasts, I WON’T.
「…sorry, sorry…I said earlier, I think you’ll become a beautiful woman.」
My cheeks were puffed out in anger, and Bradd simply adjusted my ribbon as if to calm me.
「Don’t get so angry. You’ll ruin your face.」
Then he poked my fat cheeks.
Heh heh, I guess he’s right.
I can’t help it. All girls love the boy that bullies them.
Well, fake-girl, I’ll forgive you THIS time.
Mary then sighed when she saw me forgive him as he poked my face.
「You’re too nice to him, I worry about your future, mistress.」
I’m…the most angry evil queen you’ll ever see!
. . . . . . . .
My mother chose a long gallery on the east side of the manor for her test shot.
Just a vacant hall with no paintings or furnishings.
The Vygods had taken all the gold and loot with them.
Just one wide corridor.
Even the scattered Romania-style columns are empty.
The garden pool outside flooded part of it and the basement below it was submerged. No way I could ever use it as a playground with it being so humid and wet. Even the floor’s wood is squeaky and rotting.
I didn’t have the money to fix it either while I was growing up.
Poor and miserable.
「The Melvilles were feared for having “magical bows” and being “magical hunters,” as this technique was passed down to me.」
She held her bow, breathed twice, and focused.
「First the technique “zig-shot”! Go!」
There was a rumbling in the way she said it as she fired four arrows at once, but the sound of the FWUMP from the bow was singular. It was such a wild technique, I couldn’t believe was I was seeing.
The arrows would have hit the pillar in front of them, but bent sharply as they went around it…to the left and right, and the same to the pillars behind them, as they slipped through the gallery unimpeded.
The arrows had turned into flying snakes.
I see! So there’s the zig! It shook me up a bit…you could shoot through a crowd and still hit a target.
No obstacles could block her shot. Even with a shield blocking you, nothing could prevent her strike. It would just wrap around and strike you from the side.
And so the arrows whistled through the air.
The four arrows all struck simultaneously.
The end of the gallery’s wall shook with a THUD.
「Using this “zig shot” does take the power out of the pull, I’m afraid.」
I saw mother had missed her intended target, as she lightly bit her lip with regret.
We just stood there for a second, forgetting to do anything.
Finally Mary said,
「Amazing, madam! Impressive!」
Her cheeks were red, as she continued,
「So that’s how you put Cupid’s arrow in the Duke’s heart.」
Ah, not that romantic stuff again.
I agreed, it was amazing.
Far from being just impressive, it was scary.
A genius shot even comparable to Arnold, one of the other five heroes, the Shadow Hunter, who had killed me many times in my previous 108 lives. And even more, my mother’s arrow is filled with the strongest poison.
One scratch and it’s over. If she shot at you, you had no hope for survival.
I said, trembling.
Seems like someone other than Bradd and I had a cheat here.
I guess my existence as the only protagonist is getting less and less impressive.
What’s with the TITLE?! What are you doing?!
Am I becoming the least noticeable here?
Let’s write a little better, author!
「Next is the “sickle” and “bellows”…Go!」
What? Are you showing off MORE techniques?!
Mother, take it slow! No need to make me look even more meaningless!
My heroine HP is almost at zero!
At this rate, I’m just commentary! Right?!
「Wait a second, Ms. Cornelia.」
Bradd stopped my mother.
Oh! Bradd, are you thinking for me now?
But in the next moment, my joy was pummeled into dust.
「Ms. Cornelia, you can use fire arrows, right? If you do, the Duke’s manor will burn, right?」
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!
Hello? Police?! There’s an arsonist in a maid suit over here!!
「I can…and if I do, there will be no problem with burning the manor.」
Why is my mother answering him that quickly?
Oh! Maybe she means THAT!
As soon as I thought about it, I interrupted as well.
There IS a better idea there.
And since it’s so good, we can make it a flashy attack in a two-sided strategy!
Deep in the shadows of the bushes on the manor’s grounds, four ghosts were looking up at the sky.
Dusk was changing into night. The setting sun was approaching the horizon, blazing like an unreliable fire. And soon after that, all fell to darkness. The wind roared and flailed the branches and shrubbery in the darkness.
「A storrmmm is coming. Before the royal guardd arrives, and the duke.」
The warrior ghost roared,「It’s a terrifying monster. Human malice and bestial fangs combined, creating a horrid behemoth. How many children met their fate in those fangs.?Too much to even think about.」
「No joke about it! That horrific armorrr as well! No arrows or blades can pierce them! Those poor, brave old men. If it wasn’t for them though, thatt girl’s bow would never be able to hit the dogs.」
The skinny female ghost grinned in a painful look.
The girl she meant was Scarlet’s mother, Cornelia.
「Yeah! If I had a body, I would take a bow and fighttt them myself!」
The fat ghost said, sad to see the female ghost so sorrowful.
「Well, the woman does have the skill of the magicall bow…」
He said, looking at her,
「I can smell iron and horses, oil, and it comes closer, but the guards won’t arrive for another hour. The horses are making such noise…but I can already smell those dogs near the mansion.」
「The three old warriors were the leadersss of the Royal Guard. Perhaps they heard news of them men’s disappearance and are ready to retaliate. Can’t theyy make it in time?」
「Well, well, let’s see how destinyy will play out.」
The tall ghost had two will-o-wisps in his hand like dice, rolled them in his hands, and then peeked inside to see the result.
「Okay! I won’t tell you the resultt! Whether the future is lightt or darkness!」
He then looked bitterly over at the manor.
「Haa. Some of their souls will join uss soon enough.」
The female ghost’s expression changed as she pleaded,
「Well! What kind of fortunetellerrr are you! Poor Cornelia! She came from the mountainss, and relied on that Duke! Don’t try to make me cryyy! And ten years of painn to be where she iss now! I might like the miseryy of others, but not for that childd! 」
The skinny ghost snorted at her.
「It’s not decidedd that it will be herrr yet.」
「Of course nott! She hasn’t experienced anyy love as a wife or motherr! I won’t forgive you if she dies unhappyyy! I want her to survive! Stop laughing! There’s enough painn in this world!」
The sorrowful voice of the woman ghost calling to Cornelia was drowned out by the wind.
「Goddess of the moon, please defend the daughterr of my rival’s descendants…」
「See! The flame of revenge, delusion, protection, all together! The last flame being life! We are ghosts! Useless for us to bickerrr! But we all shall see!」
And so the ghosts rode up into the whirlwind and disappeared. The white souls burst and split, swirling up into the winds.
「…young wolf. I longed to be like youu.」
The ghost of the warrior alone, said, while squinting over at the manor.
「Our kinship isn’t justt about the blade, but also the shieldd that protects…Protect motherr and child.」
He then turned his back, alone.
「Here turns a demonn dog in the search of prey…so I have no room to say any more.」
But his words of encouragement did not reach Bradd, as he also disappeared into the whirlwind.
The time for a decisive battle had come.