Remrest Kingdom. Its land and population are said to be about one-eighth the size of the Balshine Kingdom. It is a small kingdom surrounded by a small coastline and three kingdoms.
One is the Balshine Kingdom, and the other two are large kingdoms with power comparable to the Balshine Kingdom.
Surrounded by such large kingdoms, Remrest’s survival is largely due to luck.
If any major power, including the Balshein Kingdom, attempted to meddle in Remrest, the other major powers wouldn’t let it happen idly. By being buffer zones between the major powers, they have survived the threat of invasion.
That is how it is in terms of military power.
Economically, this kingdom is doing quite well. While not as large as the surrounding major powers, it is the most advanced country when population ratios and other factors are considered.
The Remrest magical tools are famous all over the continent. The lighting in our home is made in Remrest, and I’m sure many others were made in Remrest as well.
There has been a lot of research and development, not to mention popular magical tools. Some rare magical tools from dungeons must have been researched and even produced here.
I had done some research at school, but I found that the research on monster summoning flute was untouched, which made me lose interest in it after that.
Here we are in a technologically advanced country.
The carriages were moving automatically, a mysterious train-like thing was going through a transparent tube, small aeroplanes were whizzing by, and another mysterious person was dressed in colourful full-body tights.
You wouldn’t know it was a foreign country if you weren’t told. They have the same architectural style, the same street clothes, and the same language.
I felt disappointed. It was the same as when I visited a college town in my previous life.
What you imagine when you hear college town isn’t a near-future town, but only residential areas overflowing with nature and research facilities with a lot of wasted land area. The research facilities looked like ordinary college facilities from the outside.
But the particle accelerator that we were allowed to visit was amazing. There is a doughnut-shaped tube and a large monitoring device in the basement. They collide with small particles and observe even smaller subatomic particles.
It was such a disappointing neighbourhood. Although much more prosperous than my territory, it is still far inferior to Balshine’s capital.
Despite my inner excitement at sightseeing in a foreign place, I felt zero sense of foreignness because I wasn’t on a plane and could understand the language.
The idea of illegal entry without a passport makes me a little bit excited, but that’s as far as I’ll go. There are no passports in this world.
Now that we are in a technological nation, I want to see the magical tool store. Regrettably, I don’t have enough money with me. I should give up souvenir shopping and enjoy window shopping.
There are specialty stores for magical tools because they need to be maintained. Some big merchants have their own specialists, but some stores specialize in it.
Like many other places, finding a magical tool store in Remrest wasn’t difficult.
There is a magic tool shop with a sign on the door that reads, ‘We can take care of lighting repair’. There must be a great demand for lighting repair since they go out of their way to put up such a sign.
As one would expect from a kingdom that produces magical tools, magical lights seem quite prevalent.
Yet, it is a small shop. It looks like an electronics shop in town. I want to visit an electronic retail shop but can’t find one.
I would have to go to a big trading company mainly dealing with magical tools. But I know that kind of company checks your ID at the entrance. To avoid being identified, we must put up with this little shop.
Entering the shop, I thought about how rude I was to the shopkeeper.
An elderly woman was tending to the shop. Every strand of her hair had turned white, but she was sitting on a chair with a straight posture and looked young.
She was at her desk in the back of the room, shifting her thick glasses to catch a glimpse of me.
The old immediately put her glasses back on and returned to work. She seemed to be disassembling a magical tool. She was looking at the small parts picked out with her hands, holding them away from her eyes.
I looked around at the magical tools placed randomly in the shop. Since no price tags or product descriptions were attached, there were many magical tools whose uses were unknown. Was it a private shop with face-to-face sales? It wasn’t suitable for window shopping.
“If you just gonna look, get out.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to disturb you.”
The shopkeeper, who was still keeping an eye on the work, looked pissed at me.
Uh, let’s leave. There is nothing to buy, and I doubt I will ever have the opportunity to buy goods here again. Someone who’s not gonna buy anything just gonna get in the way.
Bowing my head, I was about to leave the store when something caught my eye and stopped me.
“What is it? If you want something just say it.”
“Um, may I hold this?”
“…Be careful, it’s heavy.”
The old woman confirmed what I was pointing at and permitted me to touch it.
The thing that caught my attention was a metal tube propped up in the shop’s corner. It has a shape that looks somewhat familiar.
It is a long, thin metal tube with a round hole on one side. A wooden part that looked like a handle and metalwork like a trigger was also present.
This is a gun. It is getting more and more exciting. In terms of appearance, the closest match is a musket gun. The muzzle is about the size of a gold coin. Not quite a canon, but if an ordinary person were to fire it, the recoil would injure them.
Gripping the handle with my right hand, I support the barrel with my left hand. The stock is placed against the shoulder in a shooting position.
I have some familiarity with guns. Once, I completed a special operation with a Captain, parachuted onto a deserted island and fought my way down to the last man standing. I’m talking about the game.
“Dadadadada… why can’t it be full auto? I’m not a fan of single-shot gun.”
The only acceptable single-shot gun is a shotgun.
And the fact that there is no magazine or loading mechanism in hand suggests that it is a muzzle-loading gun. Each time it fires, it must be loaded with gunpowder and bullets from the tip.
While I think the bolt-action type with a clanking lever is cool, I don’t like the idea of loading it like a matchlock rifle.
If I can only shoot once, a sniper is probably more realistic.
With the gun firmly in place, I hold it steady and aim with my cheek attached to the barrel.
“The distance is 900 meters, no wind… and fire.”
One shoot, one kill. What am I doing? I’m old enough to know.
This musket would be stronger if it were wielded as an iron rod. They should have designed it for close combat from the start. It would be cool to put a bayonet on it.
Recalling my age before calming myself, my enthusiasm for the bayonet overcame me.
“All hands, ready… charge!”
Firing a single shot at an oncoming enemy, the rest is a hand-to-hand combat with a bayonet. It’s a fascinating development.
Don’t be so boorish as to say that we should have proper swords separate from guns or that we should have separate armies because of the different skills required.
I like how the gun transforms into a sword, but I love how the sword breaks up the straight, sleek gun form at the tip. Bayonets are good.
“And… bam! It’s fun to stab after shoot.”
The actual physical movement of the body is interesting, as it is different from swordsmanship.
I played with it for a while, muttering to myself.
But this is not a gun. This world hasn’t developed gunpowder technology due to the presence of magic. The gunpowder itself is there, and there seems to be a simple bomb like those in Mongol invasions of Japan, but they’re not very widespread. Given the cost of producing gunpowder, it is better to train wizards.