Episode 20: New Strength and Lurking Shadows
After being called by Gaton, Yamato returned to the village square.
“Hmph, kid. You sure took your time.”
“Is that the custom longbow?”
“Here, I’ve already adjusted it for Liscia jou-chan’s use.”
Gaton handed to Yamato the bow he had requested so that he could confirm its performance. It was a smooth work crafted accordingly to his design and with a suitable finish.
“As expected from Gaton jii-san. Such a skill, it’s hard to believe a person made this.”
“Hmph. It doesn’t feel sincere coming from you, who came up with such a strange mechanism.”
Yamato had already grown accustomed to Gaton’s mocking manners. However, he was sincere about how he felt regarding Gaton’s skills.
“Yamato-sama… is that the Marionette Bow… for me…”
“Yeah. I just need to do the final checks, just one moment, Liscia-san.”
It was a type of compound long-bow that Yamato had previously requested Gaton to make.
Its user was to be the hunter girl Liscia.
The design was a rough blueprint drawn by Yamato, and it was completed in around a month while refining and discussing details with the old Gaton.
But seriously, Gaton’s skills are so amazing it’s even scary….
Yamato felt deeply impressed as he was appraising the bow.
This Marionette Bow was very different from an ordinary bow. It was in theory an adaptation made based on the compound bows of his former world.
Compound bows were complex modern bows made using several mechanic elements and principles, such as levers and pulleys.
When Gaton made the crossbows, Yamato got a hint about combining gears in the final product.
And from that hint, an idea was then developed which further evolved into this compound bow, the Marionette Bow which he then drew a schematic of it with Gaton.
“Did you hide the gears and pulleys inside its body?”
“It is rude to the God of Iron to expose such design on the outside. Worry not, I properly made it.”
“I see, so that’s it.”
What surprised Yamato the most was its sophisticated design.
The Marionette Bow on the outside appeared almost like a regular long bow. However, a complex mechanical system was designed and concealed inside the bow.
“Go ahead and try it, Liscia-san.”
“Ok, I’ll do so.”
After finishing the inspection of the Marionette Bow, it was handed over to Liscia, who would actually shoot with it.
Even if the appearance and design was excellent, it could be considered a failure if it presented a problem of power or usability.
“Well, here I go.”
After taking a deep breath, Liscia moved into stance and drew the bow.
Her aim was a metal plate previously placed in the village square.
Holding their breath, the villagers who had gathered before were quietly watching her. All the eyes in the square gathered on her as she let go of the bowstring.
“Haa! ” Along with her voice, the arrow cut through the air as it was released.
In the next moment, surprised voices rose from the villagers. Many of the people had missed the arrow since it flew at a tremendous speed.
“Amazing… it even penetrated the metal plate…”
But the most surprised of them all was Liscia.
Penetrating that thick metal plate was something she could never do so far with her favorite bow. Yet, she felt as if she was using her usual bow.
“Ok, next is to check the fire rate and accuracy.”
Said Yamato as he took a few fruits the size of a thumb. He wanted her to try and shoot the moving fruit next.
“Here it goes.”
With her voice as the signal, Yamato threw the tree nuts, one after the other high into the sky. The throwing intervals were considering the ‘continuous shooting’ timing that Liscia had with her normal bow.
Even if its fire power was high, if the fire rate and accuracy dropped, he would consider this prototype a failure.
But those worries ended up being in vain.
“Oh! You hit them all! ”
“I was so fast, and what’s more, that destructive power. I’ve never seen a bow like that…”
Cheers erupted from the villagers.
This test also ended in a great success.
Liscia quickly shot all the tree nuts thrown by Yamato, one after the other. Her form was beautiful, without any wasted movement.
“Yamato-sama… Gaton-san… this is really amazing…”
Due to the excitement and shock, Liscia was at lost for words.
She kept looking at her hands and the bow alternatively over and over. Her mind still couldn’t believe such an incredible result.
“Its power is slightly inferior to the crossbow. However, the Marionette Bow has a superior flying distance, and better fire rate and accuracy.”
“Hmph. Why are you surprised? it was made following your design after all.”
“Yeah. But the result far surpassed my expectations.”
“Well, I too felt a little surprised to be honest.”
Both the designer and maker were actually dumbfounded.
Neither of them thought the performance of the finished Marionette Bow would be so high.
“Obviously, in the same way as the crossbow, nobody would be able to replicate this.”
“I can tell.”
“Maybe neither I could make a second one.”
“That would be a problem.”
Yamato’s mind settled as he jokingly discussed with the old craftsman.
“Liscia-san. You should start getting used to that bow starting from today.”
“Yes! Truly, thank you very much, Yamato-sama…”
“Hmm? What’s wrong?… why are you crying?”
“When I thought now I could be of help to Yamato-sama, tears just started flowing…”
“Don’t push yourself. I have high expectations of you.”
“Yes! I’ll give it my best! “
A maiden’s heart was a mysterious existence.
But Liscia was pleased to have a new and powerful weapon to protect the village.
Combining her superior skills as an archer with the high performance of the Marionette Bow, she was sure to become a force to be reckoned with.
Yamato felt he could rely on her even more now.
It was at that moment.
While shouting his name, a small figure was running towards the plaza.
“What’s the matter?”
One of the village children was breathing hard as he arrived running. He was one of those patrolling the outskirts of the village today.
“Yamato-niichan! Something serious happened! ”
“First calm down, let me hear it.”
Ha passed some water for the child to drink and waited for him to regain his breath. Calmness was something important to have at any time, and this was something he had already taught the children.
“Today again, we found those footprints. There were a lot this time! ”
“I see. Alright…”
Some truly unpleasant news arrived at a time just before the rice planting began.
What the boy had found were traces of intruders who were foreign to the village.