Chapter 21: 014. Imperial Prince is Toiling Away -3 (Part One)
“I’ve read in a book that guns existed in this world, but I didn’t really figure it’d be so commonplace.”
Firearms were probably the best, and at the same time, the worst invention humanity has come up with so far.
Unlike weapons such as swords or bows that required one to be proficient with them, using guns as weapons of war were far easier to familiarise yourself with. As a matter of fact, a person only needed to pull the trigger to ‘kill’ your opponent.
However, the guns in this world were treated as more of ‘decorations’, and for a good reason, too.
Instead of using gunpowder, these musket rifles relied on the concept of requiring ‘Mana’ to fire, which was why they were used mainly by the magicians.
Did that mean only they used it, though?
Whether you were a knight, a mercenary, or even a commoner, as long as you knew how to wield Mana, divinity, or even demonic energy, you could potentially use guns.
Many magicians and alchemists spent the past 200 or so years researching the ways to further refine this advantage of firearms. And the eventual result arising from all that was… them being simple ‘decorations’.
What was the reason for this, you ask?
“…Utterly nonsensical Mana consumption.”
Firing just one shot consumed an exorbitant amount of Mana, that’s why.
I read that even the most skilled magicians would exhaust all of their Mana reserves after firing only about five rounds or so. It was also said that you’d need at least five minutes to gather enough Mana to generate a bullet, too.
Meanwhile, the firing range was even more pathetic at only around 50 metres. And so, a question related to this whole thing that required an answer: was it powerful enough to compensate for its shortcomings, then?
Nope, wrong again.
Right after firing, the coagulated Mana would begin breaking down and scatter away in the air. It wouldn’t even be able to fatally wound an enemy 50 metres away.
Investing that five minutes in casting an AoE(Area of Effect) attack magic instead would actually deal a greater level of damage to your enemy. When considering the required Mana expenditure, you could safely say that this method was much more efficient overall.
Nevertheless, guns still existed in the world, and there were two reasons for it.
One, for the purpose of ‘dieting’.
There wasn’t any proof of a correlation between one’s fatty tissues and Mana, but even so, I learned that ladies of nobility had taken up range shooting as it was apparently a good way to lose those extra kilos.
Another one was with affluent nobles and their maniacally obsessive hobby of collecting stuff.
The firearms served well as decorations, and since rich nobles only wanted the ‘authentic’ stuff, so I assumed that magicians were probably crafting these firearms as expensive ornaments and nothing more.
It seemed to me that these nobles could be pretty dumb sometimes. They would invest a hefty chunk of coin just because they wanted to put the guns on display, even though these things didn’t serve any other purpose than losing weight.
Well, plenty of normal people also collected all sorts of junk for the purpose of their hobbies so there’s that, I guess.
I wonder, how much was this particular musket rifle? I heard that each one of these things could cost an arm and a leg…
“Still, what a waste. If only I knew how to make gunpowder, I’d be living large as a munchkin by now…”
What could I even do? It wasn’t as if every cat or dog could learn how to mix and match chemicals, and I certainly didn’t think about studying the related subjects while knowing that I’d be thrown into another world.
I lightly shook my head and moved to put the musket rifle back on the wall, but then, I had a change of mind after sneaking a glance around.
“Should I try firing it, at least once?”
All of a sudden, I felt unnecessarily curious.
It was fun to mess around with a musket rifle of this world, but it might be even more fun to actually fire one.
Besides, I figured that injecting a tiny sliver of divinity wouldn’t result in anything too powerful anyway. I’d probably just scratch the furniture or some such.
With this thought in mind, I sneakily took the rifle off the wall once more.
Rather than shoving an iron ball and gunpowder down the barrel using a rod, this particular rifle was a breech-loading type. The reason for a lid in the chamber must’ve been to let off the heat accumulating inside it after firing, or so I thought after looking at the design.
I took the rifle, and quietly breathed into where the bullet was supposed to go in, or in this case, Mana.
[A bullet has been generated through the usage of divi…]
[You have entered Divinity Control state.]
[Divine Aura has activated. The equipment will temporarily be enhanced.]
[An even more precise bullet has been generated.]
Messages began filling up my head. Since I had already seen some of them pop up like this before, they didn’t really fluster me, but the ‘Divine Aura’ one did.
One loved by the gods, or the one blessed by the gods, whatever – that was one of those unexplainable powers where all kinds of modifiers found in this Continent would be attached to.
The [Divine Aura]…
This ability was a supernatural power unrelated to Mana, divinity, or
even demonic energy.
“It’s supposed to be treated like some kind of superpower in this world, right?”
Hang on, could it be that this body wielded this power even before I took over? Sure, he belonged to a super-duper important bloodline, but still, I didn’t expect him to possess such an ability despite that.
Now that I thought about it, I involuntarily used this power while facing off against the zombie bear back then, didn’t I? My shovel got reinforced and I was able to defend against the monster’s vicious attack.
“So it temporarily enhances any equipment…”
I guessed that it’s quite similar to ‘reinforcement’.
Maybe that was the reason? The divinity consumption wasn’t as high as I feared. Although I did feel a bit dizzy, it wasn’t as bad as when I created holy water.
I had no trouble moving my body afterward too.
The time it took to generate a bullet was about a minute or so.
That could be because I ended up making a rubbish bullet, but I had no way of knowing that yet. Even the skilled magicians supposedly needed around five minutes to do this, so there was no way that I could’ve done it in only one.
I raised the musket rifle and aimed it at a vase resting on a shelf. I was really curious about its firepower now.
I felt like a little kid experimenting with his newly-purchased BB toy gun. With an expectant face, I pulled the trigger while murmuring a soft little sound effect.
What started off as me fooling around…
…Ended up becoming a huge problem.
A humongous explosion noise reverberated throughout the mansion.
I fell on my ass with a dumbfounded face as I let go of the rifle. Not because I was too shocked, but more to do with the fact that I couldn’t deal with the weapon’s recoil.
I heard servants and maids scream outside the window. They were shocked by the sudden explosion.
“Your highness! What happened?”
In the next second, I heard the urgent voice of the Paladin from beyond the door. He sounded rather different from his previous machine-like calmness. Yup, he must’ve been shocked silly by the explosion a second ago too.
Since my response was late, the Paladin simply decided to break open the door’s lock.
I quickly got up and pushed the Paladin back out of the door before he could set foot inside.
“It’s nothing,” I responded.
“Pardon? But, your highness…”
The Paladin’s eyes quickly shifted inside his helm, trying to observe the state of the room. It seemed like he wanted to confirm something, so I summoned all of my strength and pushed him back.
“Come on dude. It’s really uncool to intrude the room of a boy going through puberty, you know?”
I actually had half a mind to kick him in the shins if it meant making him retreat. Of course, I knew it’d be my leg bearing the brunt of the pain from that action due to his armor, so I could only pound on his chest plate and push him back.
After finally forcing the Paladin outside, I quickly shut the door.
While breathing a sigh of relief, I alternated my gaze between the musket rifle lying on the floor, and the hole as big as a person’s head in the nearby wall before frowning deeply.
“Decorative ornament, my ass!!!”
Who the f*ck was it? Who said that these guns were useless ornaments only good for some diet routine?!
With that much firepower, a regular person or even an undead would definitely get killed in a single shot.