As someone who once had no one, and also betrayed both by my colleagues and superiors, I never expected anything from anyone; and that goes the same way to others that they shouldn't expect anything from me. But after getting stabbed by a former friend, it only got worse, to the point that I would want to be stuck in this pool of nothingness instead of facing someone again.
But light pierced through everything, not a single speck of darkness was left and I found myself alive and well, again. Suffering once is enough but suffering one more time will probably turn me into something the world will once fear.
Although all of my worries were instantly crushed to smithereens. This world is different from Earth, at least that's what I'll call it.
They have one that Modern Earth doesn't have; and that is magic. Fire coming out from thin air, water being a slave to a mere human, wind mercilessly manipulated, and nature bending to one's will. This world, in itself, is supernatural, at least for me.
The key difference between this world and earth is that they do not have modern technology. Cars, Planes, Elevators, and much more are non-existent, or at least they are substituted by Horses, Wyverns, Magic-infused platforms and anything that magic can be used at.
In my 20 years of existence here, never once did I experience war, everybody lived in peace and harmony in the Kingdom. Until the Empire on the north decided that they'll destroy peace and take over the lands.
Every male above sixteen is enlisted to the military to serve the Kingdom. In short, I— no, we are going to war. And in order to do just that, the King decided to strengthen the military even further. As he ordered that, he called upon everyone who has a knowledge in engineering to participate in undisclosed research. It made me remember the second world war back from earth where they would experiment on humans. But in this case, it is highly unlikely that they'll do it, probably. They called the engineers not the biologists, wait, do they even have biologists here? I sensed that science here didn't exist.
But, nevertheless, I participated in the research alongside some big muscular guy who has bear ears, as well as some other beast men present.
I already have an idea on what and how they want to fight this war. Considering that the Kingdom isn't all that rich compared to the empire, supplies and funds will easily be consumed. In that case, they'll recommend an all-out offensive that will swiftly wipe out the forces of the Empire.
Not so long after, a man wearing a military uniform came inside the room, behind him were two women. The one on the right has blue hair tied in a single ponytail, next to her is the same other woman with platinum gray hair with two braids going around her head in a 45° angle. Lastly, a man with a white robe who looked to be in his 30s entered.
The guards bowed their heads when the King sat on the throne. Behind him, the two girls stood left and right. The white robed man stood in front of us, but on the right side of the throne. No doubt about it, this is his Majesty and her Queens. The white robed man is probably the prime minister.
Not so long after, I can view the void while feeling that gravity pulled me down. A resolute voice echoed through the room.
"Raise your heads." This time his voice didn't seem intimidating, but it was also not that soft.
The Prime Minister spoke after him.
"I'm going to be straightforward; we have next to little chance of going against the Empire. They are the powerhouse of the world in all aspects. They’ve got a vast variety of weapons and troops, they are also a decade ahead in technology. And lastly, their military showed dominance by taking over three small countries up north. Now, the reason why his Majesty called all of you here is to help us overturn those odds." He glanced at us, "In relation, I take it that all of you here, the geniuses from the country, have resolved to offer your services?" After continuing, he gave us meaningful eyes, which in turn, we nodded.
I know what he's trying to get to. Us engineers are the ones who lead the next generation of technology. But the technology they expect from us is likely going to be used to end the war as swiftly as possible. War is a showdown of not just bravery, courage, or patriotism, it is also the showdown of who has the better weaponry and technology between countries or factions.
The king reviewed each of our ideas. They started from the left most part of the horizontally aligned group I'm in.
One has the idea of using rhinos to pull troops, the other tried to create a cart budget-friendly enough to carry half a hundred men, the one beside me has an idea to use wyverns to drop troops from the air.
Honestly, I was quite impressed at the idea the one beside me presented. It closely resembled the Marines of the USA back at Earth. It is something that can be pulled off without a butt ton of problems, on top of that it can truly revolutionize the art of war of this world.
However, despite its greatness, the troubled face of the king probably dictates that this method is a hard one to pull off for the kingdom.
In his stead, the prime minister spoke.
"Your idea is actually a good one—No it is something that will change the definition of air battle. Wyvern troopers, or as you call it Air Troopers, will literally give us the victory without wasting a lot of our troops. However, the Kingdom only has a fraction of what you have in plan."
So, it's not possible, then?
"Wyverns are hard to acquire En masse. Furthermore, they also cost a bit much to buy and maintain. There's also a fact that I have to keep some within the castle to protect it from surprise attacks. So, in short, it's possible but it has a lot of drawbacks." The king continued.
Like on Earth, these air troopers he mentioned is something only a great enough nation could pull off this idea. The Empire likely has the money and resources to do so, considering that they also have a strong air military composed of dragons. In contrast, the Kingdom only has wyverns which are a lot weaker than dragons.
A soft but resolute voice echoed through the hall.
“This is a great idea; we will consider it. Back in my world only some great nations can have an air military like this. They’re called paratroopers though.”
Back in my world? Paratroopers?
“Now, let’s continue with the last one. You there!”
The king pointed at me. I set aside those thoughts for now although I already know the answers for those. I passed down the notebook I’m holding to the Prime Minister which he accepted and he opened it on the spot.
Bringing my two hands to my face, I lightly slapped my cheeks. Probably to boost up my confidence, I don’t know.
As he inspected the contents, I noticed the Prime Minister’s eyes open wide. Which is what I’m expecting.
The King noticed the shock on his retainer’s face then asked, “Hey, Ivan, what happened?”
Before the prime minister could even utter a word, I spoke.
“Your Majesty, I know you know of the word ‘nukes’, right?”
The eyes of someone familiar, someone who came from the same world as you—excitement showed up in King Kasumi’s eyes.
“You’re from Earth?!” The softness from his voice vanished and what I heard was a scream as if meeting a family member. Not that I am though, I’m sure.
“Yes, I am, Your Majesty. And this idea will be something that will truly revolutionize and change the art of war of this world!” I said and when I took a peek at them, all their eyes narrowed, as if looking at an antagonist of some novel.
“So basically, this is just a weapon similar to nukes.” I said with a calm voice after clearing my throat.
“Hmm… You’re actually right about that. But this will render the surrounding lands unusable. Furthermore, are there any radioactive elements in this world?”
“Radioactive? Sorry, what?” A soft and somehow gentle but feminine voice devoured the whole hall.
“Oh, sorry Olivia. Radioactive is something that emits ionizing radiation or particles which is somewhat harmful… Well, I guess you still won’t get it though.” He slightly nodded his head, probably sighing, and turned to look at me. “May I ask, where on Earth were you from?”
“Oh, from the motherland; Russia.”
“No wonder you chose this method.”
“Is that an insult?”
He sighed once more then gave me serious questions.
“But still, how are you gonna power this? I can’t recall that this world has any radioactive elements… much more so that science isn’t even developed yet.”
“I also haven’t found any radioactive elements here…”
“Then?” He slightly raised his voice, looking agitated.
“But I’ve found a substitute for this, do you know of the thing called Soul Orbs?”
The sound of intakes echoed in the room, I looked upon them and what I saw were grim faces. I guess it’s only natural.
“How could you use such a cursed thing?” the prime minister uttered while stuttering, his tone slightly higher.
“What are you a demon?” A condescending female tone overpowered every murmur inside the hall. The girl with the platinum hair looked agitated.
“No, I’m Russian.” I exclaimed. Clanking sounds of metal took over, the next thing I knew was that I was surrounded by guards.
“Oh, he’s in for some trouble.” “Well, he is dangerous to keep alive.”
The King, seeing all this unfold, raised a hand. The guards then composed themselves then bowed, seeing their backs, I nodded lightly. I cleared my throat then talked again.
“Your Majesty, I will now explain about my proposal. As you might've noticed, this is based on two types of bombs; the one dropped on your homeland, Little One, and the other is just a newcomer called a vacuum bomb.” I paused as the prime minister passed the notebook to the King.
The King’s eye moved from left to right and vice-versa as he inspected my notebook which contains a blueprint and a summary of the materials needed. The Queens who were both on his side peeked at the notebook.
“In figure 1, you’ll see the finished product’s diagram. Figure 2 is a propulsion device only I can make. I’m sure the complexity of the design will just prolong its production. Next is Figure 3, the warhead. As you can see, the design is quite similar to the Little Boy, the mechanism is also borrowed from that. Its efficiency however isn’t hindered by its design, I’ve refined it to the point where it’s more efficient than a Thermonuclear bomb.”
I paused for a moment. I massaged my throat as I felt a tingling sensation. As the King witnessed it, he signaled to one of his retainers and after a short moment, that same retainer offered me dihydrogen oxide in a glass. As the cold rim of the glass touched my lips, I felt a calming sensation in me.
“Where did I leave off?... Oh yes! So basically, this is a more efficient version of any bombs that are created back at earth. Now, to answer as to why I used a soul stone as its core is because of the extreme energy it releases when you mix normal magic into it. So, to conclude this, I can say that 5 kilograms of soul stone can theoretically give us a yield of 57-64 megatons of TNT. Much more powerful than the Tsar Bomba.”
King Kasumi’s eyes narrowed; he’s probably thinking of the drawbacks of the project. ‘Strike when the iron is hot’ is a saying back at Earth.
“One must swiftly eliminate the enemy with the minimum troops required—was something only ideals could take us. With this, we can change the art of war and eventually take superiority over the Empire. Although I seriously don’t advise you to use this against civilians.” I exclaimed, doing my best to convince the King.
The Prime Minister already said it, we don't stand a chance against the Empire. But with my proposal, I’m confident enough to say that we could even conquer and take the Empire’s lands.
“Hmm… Ivan, what do you think?” The King asked, looking at the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister then closed his eyes and asked a question.
“You said this will be self-propelled, right? If so, then how can you produce the contraption needed to do it?”
Nice one, Ivan.
“I already have a working prototype back at my lab and I could say that you can just use that for now. One bomb is enough to win us the war–No, it’s more than enough to impose fear to those who thinks that the Kingdom is weak. They will be wary of us, and some of them will plan to invade our lands. But, once they do that, they’ll face our superior power.”
Patriotism is born even before you get born, the love for a country will always live on you, whether it did you good or bad. In fact, my view on this is that a country will always remain good until a corrupt one leads it. Corruption will never be resolved, unless someone who truly loves the country and its people leads it.
“Alright, Ivan, I want all of the craftsmen of the kingdom to coordinate with him… what’s your name again?” King Kasumi asked.
“Oh, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I am Hedeon Mikhailov, an engineer and an otherworlder.” I said as I shrunk in height, bowing my head to his majesty.
“Alright, Hedeon you are to work with every engineer present as well as the craftsmen which we’ll put under your command. Ivan will be your supervisor. I want this to start as soon as possible. All of you are dismissed except for Hedeon, Ivan and Molly.” He ordered, everyone then bowed their heads and left the main hall.
Me, King Kasumi, Prime Minister Ivan and Queen Molly were the only ones left. We basically discussed the details and they had me explain as to how I got ahold of the materials I mentioned, but I only chose to answer them as vaguely as possible. As someone who got betrayed once, trust issues are something that will be stuck with me until I die.
After a week, the project began with all the materials being present in the factory his majesty lent us. Everything went surprisingly well. I was tasked to lead this project as well as the one who’s in charge of producing the core of this beast: The Soul Stone. I’ve gathered around 3 and a half kilos of it from the graveyard near my place.
By the time we finished this weapon, 2 weeks had passed and up till now, there’s no sign of the war ending. Well, at least that’s what they all think.
Today is the day that everyone shall know the true essence of war, and that mercy only exists to those who are weak. I was invited to the castle to detonate the war head, which was successful. The hope in King Kasumi’s eyes were visible, but apart from that the mushroom cloud was also visible. A body rattling shockwave also reached the castle, given that the frontline is about 400 kilometers away.
Still, this should destroy the Empire’s ideals in going against the Kingdom. The bomb was named ‘Gottes Geschenk’ by me, which in German, translates to ‘God’s Gift’. At this point, we can say that we won the war against the Empire.
I turned to look at King Kasumi, but all I saw was the face of a lion eyeing its prey.
“You are too dangerous to be left alive.”
Following that was a loud metallic whistle and a loud explosion before everything went black. What is this again? This feel oddly familiar? Ah, I got betrayed again. Once again, the void looked pretty nostalgic. After a brief moment, I think? Does time even exist here? Well, light ate the void and I am revived.
Yes, revived. Everything went well, as expected. The blueprint I gave to his foolish Majesty and Prime Minister was incomplete. The second blueprint which contained everything inside was hidden.
From this, the liquid mana used in pressurizing the soul stone core of the bomb was actually infused with my own magic.
Soul stones are actually banned because when someone mishandles it, it rips the soul of that someone causing them to turn into an undead, and it’s not just limited to that someone. Anyone within that area may or may not turn into an undead. But once you handle it properly, it gives you immortality and the power to control the dead, turning you into a necromancer.
As I stood on this wasteland where the castle once stood, the place where I met all of my colleagues, I glanced at the beautiful ruins my bomb created which is placed below the castle. I raised my hand; countless magic circles erected and glowed a variety of colors.
After a short moment, tattered bodies with each of them groaning arose from the rubbles. Each and every one of them faced me then bowed. Nothing is even worth hiding at this point, suppressing the demon within me was once a decision I made. Now, it’s just a bother, releasing it from the shackles will be much easier.
The hunger that this demon has will never satiate.
Demone Dentro by Asamin 1st placer