Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 4 FDF D
「He-hey! There are people falling down!」(Castor)
Castor shouted in a flustered manner…… For those who “didn’t know”, this would be a natural reaction.
「They’ll be fine. Please look at that.」(Souma)
As I said this, a round parachute bloomed open from the backs of the falling people in the air almost simultaneusly. Perhaps, they had already experienced this many times. Hal’s group was opening their parachutes without panicking. When seen from the ground, they looked like a firework display. Although…… If the parachutes disappeared like fireworks, Hal and the others will be heads over heels, in a literal sense. When he saw that the falling soldiers were visibly slowing down, Castor was stunned.
「What…… what is that thing?」(Castor)
「Do you mean the equipment? Or the soldiers?」(Souma)
「…… Both of them.」(Castor)
「The equipment is called a parachute. When it is deployed, it will reduce the falling speed so it is possible to land safely. It was something that was created after I had explained 『this kind of thing』 to the R&D Department. As for the soldiers….. They are Flying Dragon-dropped paratroopers, abbreviated as Dratroopers.」(Souma)
「It is a branch of the army where the soldiers are dropped from the sky to conduct surprise attacks on the enemies, to cause disturbances on the enemy’s rear lines, or to capture positions. Even though, originally it was a type of military branch that was first created by using aircrafts, this world had wyverns instead, so I judged that there was already a suitable framework to develop and organize it.」(Souma)
When I thought about whether it was possible to introduce military organization of my previous world to this world, the first thing that crossed my mind was using paratroopers. These soldiers, especially the Fallschirmjager in Germany, had been employed since World War 2. Their main function was just like what I had mentioned: surprise attacks, disturbances, and securing positions. Its members were often muscular macho men, I could name novel characters from Japan’s 1st Airborne Brigade and there were many anecdotes about them (example: they could cut 2mm wire barehanded).
Early airborne soldiers had their equipment dropped in containers, so it seemed that if they dropped at a position away from the containers, they ended up had to fight only with handguns. Because this world is a world of swords and magic, if they could bring the weapons that were they specialized in, then they could enter into battle immediately. In case of Hal, as long as he had one spear, then he could do a Musou on the enemy lines when he landed. The parachutes themselves could be strengthened with support magic. So from this point of view, this army branch was compatible with this world. However, Castor tilted his head.
「Even though they were dropped from Wyverns, why are they called Dratroopers?」(Castor)
「I-it sounds better, right?! Dratrooper is way cooler than Wyvtrooper.」(Souma)
「…… Ah, that’s true.」(Castor)
Well, sounding cool is important. Since they could also even be dropped by actual dragons, too.
「Leaving that aside…… There is another purpose for organizing these Dratroopers.」(Souma)
「? There is still another thing?」(Castor)
「You will understand when you see it…… Kaede-chan.」(Souma)
「Yes nanodesu.」 (Kaede)
When I gave the signal, Kaede raised her right hand and the anti-air ballista located in the center of the chalk double-circle immediately shot its arrows. The arrows, that were enhanced with magic to increase their range and accuracy, flew toward Hal and the others. Just in case, the arrow tips were not sharp headed, but instead were balls wrapped in cloth. However, with the momentum at that speed, if they hit, it will be painful no matter what.
「D’d damn it, oraaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!」(Halberd)
Then, Hal yelled out an unintelligible roar, as he began to strike down the arrow flying towards him with the spear in his hand. The others also cut the rain of arrows with their swords, blocked it with big shields, or parried them with bucklers. As soon as they approached the ground, Hal clad the spear in his hand with flames…… or not, he launched the spear at the anti-air ballista instead.
The spear pierced the anti-aircraft ballista. If Hal had clad the spear with flames, the pierced anti-air ballista would be completely silenced. In other words…… This was the end of training.
With my signal, the anti-air ballista stopped. Inside the double circle, Hal and the other Dratroopers landed one after another. I explained to Castor who was observing that scene.
「This is the other purpose, to serve as anti-air ballista killers.」(Souma)
The anti-air ballista was developed to oppose the powerful air force elements, such as Wyvern Knights, Griffons, and Dragon Knights. The repeating crossbows that had their range and homing ability greatly increased with support magic was the natural enemy of air force units like the Wyvern Knights. Due to this, the air force units couldn’t just perform bombardments on a city. If the air force wants to bombard a city, it was first necessary to destroy the anti-air ballistas installed on top of the walls.
In order to perform this, it was necessary to conduct a siege with the army or other ground forces. Only after the army had controlled the walls or destroyed the anti-air ballista with siege weapons, then the air force could finally perform the decisive bombardment of the city…… However, if the city fell into a situation where it could be bombarded, the defender had already been "checkmated", so they would likely immediately surrender if the airstrike possibility became apparent. Hence in a siege battle, the air force's role was mostly to defeat the opponent's own air units so they wouldn’t attack the ground army.
Then, I thought to myself: If there was a simpler means to attack the anti-air ballistas, wouldn’t it be possible to deploy the air force units more quickly and then promptly finish the battle?
「So what I organized was this, the Flying Dragon-dropped paratroopers. I believe that you could understand this just by looking at Hal’s performance, as elite soldiers will be able to strike off the arrows that flew towards them. While fending off the arrow rain, they descend down near the anti-air ballista and render them useless.」(Souma)
「Tsk…… Don’t say it like it’s such a simple thing……」(Halberd)
The tired-faced Hal, joined us while panting for air. It seemed that the training was extremely difficult, and even thought we were still in the Second Month of the year, he was drenched in sweat. He had detached his parachute, and perhaps because he felt hot, he only wore wear a tank top.
「Geez, I’ve had enough of falling from the sky over and over again.」(Halberd)
「More or less, we are properly taking your safety into the consideration, you know. In case the parachute doesn’t open when reaching the critical altitude, the Wyvern Knight will retrieve you.」(Souma)
「That’s not the problem! Falling from the sky is freaking scary! The wind even roars in my ears! It's too damn fast!」(Halberd)
「Yup. I absolutely don’t want to experience it.」(Souma)
Hal and I cracked jokes like this and then Castor gave me a question.
「But, in order to drop the Dratroopers, there is a need to break the opponent's air force beforehand, right? If the Wyvern Knights also hold the Dratroopers, then won’t they be unable to fight properly?」(Castor)
……. As expected from the Air Force Marshall. That was a good point he brought up.
「That's why we strengthened our wyvern’s flight capabilities with 『Susumu-kun · Mark V · Light』…… Well, since we still couldn’t mass-produce it yet, we are only at a stage where we prioritize their deployment first. At any rate, this a monumental reform, as the members of the Dratroopers is from the Army and the Wyvern Knight are from the Air Force. This was something that could only be done because of their consolidation into the FDF.」(Souma)
「I-I see…… I see……」(Castor)
Castor nodded in admiration. Then suddenly, he looked at the flight formations of the Wyverns Knights and whispered in a slightly lonely tone.
「Recently…… I didn’t regret that I became a member of the Navy……」(Castor)
「Sigh…… At the same time, it made me bitter at my former self, who opposed you for insignificant pride.」(Castor)
「…… I never expected to hear such admirable words from you.」(Souma)
「Well. It's just the grumbling of a loser, so just ignore it.」(Castor)
「…… Is that so.」(Souma)
This was a strange exchange if you think about it. Since I was looking at the sky besides my former enemy, after all. Excel watched our conversation while smiling wryly.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Now then, let’s inspect the underground.」(Souma)
We parted ways with Hal and Kaede and walked once more back to the plains. As a reply to Castor's question, I pointed at a hill-sized rocky mountain, which we could see even from this place.
「That rocky mountain. Should be close from this place. Well, shall we start moving?」(Souma)
When we reached the foot of the rocky mountain, the Wyvern Knights, who had just finished training, landed. At the foot of that rocky mountain, there was a huge cave opening that could even be passed through by the gigantic rhinosaurus. The wyverns were entering that cave. When he saw this sight, Castor asked me.
「Is that place the stable for those wyverns?」(Castor)
「Yes…… Good observation.」(Souma)
「Wyverns originally make their nests in such caves on rocky mountains. Even in the Red Dragon Castle, we created similar facilities, because the flying dragons can relax more in those compared to ordinary man-made stables.」
I see. He really knew his trade well.
「Just like you said. That cave is connected to the lower level, where about 100 small-sized caverns are located, the resting place for the wyverns. But currently we only have around twenty wyverns or so.」(Souma)
「A hundred!? That’s a tenth of the force at the time when I was still a Marshall! Do we really need to deploy that many on this island! Is this a front line base!?」(Castor)
「Now, now, you are minding things too much.」(Souma)
While calming Castor down, we entered the cave. When we entered, there was a smell like a ranch (or rather like a zoo). I had put ventilation in at my consideration, more or less, but this was the only part that I couldn’t do anything about.
「So, this is what My King wanted to show to us, the wyverns’ nests?」(Castor)
Perhaps because his frustration accumulated since there were various secrets hidden from him, Castor asked dejectedly.
「No, it’s further down. Come, enter here.」(Souma)
Just before our eyes was a man-made door that was out of place for a cave’s interior. There were things like handles on both sides of the door and there were guard soldiers stationed beside each handle. The other side of the door was a small square room.
「Ano, Your Majesty…… isn’t this a rather small room?」(Juna)
Juna asked with a question mark over her head. Ah, this is Juna-san first experience of “this thing”. I enjoyed her reaction.
「Come now, everyone. Get on board.」(Souma)
「Get on board? Is this a vehicle?」(Castor)
「Don’t ask too many questions. Then, the lowest level, please.」(Souma)
I called out to both guards and then they saluted 「「Yes, Your Majesty!.」」 After they confirmed that everyone had entered that small room, the guards yelled at the voice tube, 「This is the middle level, descending to the lowest level」, then there were a reply from the voice pipe 『Top level, acknowledged』 and 『Lowest level, acknowledged』, afterwards they turned both of the handles beside the door. Thereafter, the small room swiftly descended to below ground.
Due to the sudden feeling of falling (though it was ever so slightly), Juna-san lost her balance and so I hugged her in my arms. The soft sensation felt a bit nice.
「A-apologies, Your Majesty.」(Juna)
Juna-san apologized while blushing.
「It’s not a problem, but are you alright?」(Souma)
「Y-yes, I’m fine…… But is this small room descending?」(Juna)
「Yes. There are handles beside the door, right? You could turn that handle to raise or lower this small room.」(Souma)
You might have already realized it, but this room was a very simple manually operated elevator. The designer was that Ginya Maxwell. I didn’t really understand the principles (because I am weak with physics), but with numerous pulleys and by attaching a counterweight at the opposite sides, they could raise and lower the elevator just by rotating the handles like a bicycle.
I am told that Ginya intended to install this in her dungeon’s workshop. However, considering that the home-staying Ginya didn’t go outside (even if we disregarded the hurdle of climbing the stairs), she didn’t construct it and shelved that plan away. Then since she stored things in such a disorderly manner, I dispatched the Ginya’s Blueprint Arrangement Corps. Of course, the leader of these corps was Ludwin. Then they discovered this plan, so I tried to install it in this place as an experiment.
Because it was human powered, the speed wasn’t much and a personnel was always needed to turn the handles. However, since they changed shifts every hour, it shouldn’t be too taxing. For the present time, there were only three exit points for the elevator, 『Near the Cave Entrance』, 『Lowest Layer』, and 『Top Layer』, and so there were only six soldiers needed to turn the handles and man the elevator. (At first, I thought that if the passengers relayed the order in the voice tubes, then two people will be enough. However, since they would be confused if there were many orders, it became the current six man system, where the passenger gave the order to the soldier who then passed it around……)
There were several elevators of this kind installed at this place (only those on the rocky mountain had three floors). I planned to install this in the Royal Castle and other places, too in the near future. Since it was a pain to travel the vast Royal Castle just by stair-climbing alone, after all…… When she listened to my explanation, Juna-san sighed amorously.
「…… I feel that I now understand the reason why Liscia-sama occasionally makes such a tired expression.」(Juna)
「Why Liscia do that!?」(Souma)
「I understand that this is an amazing and wonderful thing, but if things that go beyond my understanding keep appearing one after another, my comprehension wouldn’t be able to keep up with the,.」(Juna)
「……There is no need to think that deeply, right? The people in this place also only think, “what a convenient thing”, you know?」(Souma)
「We can’t do that.」(Juna)
Juna-san said this and while clinging onto my arms, she smiled softly.
「Even if we become tired…… we want to understand you.」
Just as we were talking like this, we arrived at the lowest level.
The Secret Laboratory.
 Dynasty Warrior reference?
 This is… A rather untranslatable part. You see, Japanese had a quirk where the reading might be different from the written word (jukujikun), for example: 竜挺兵 (Ryuuteihei – Dragon-borne Soldier) is read by Souma as ドラトルーパー (Doratoruupaa –Dratrooper).
Castor asked since 飛竜 (hiryuu, but read as ワイバーン – wyvern) and not real 竜 (ryu read as ドラゴン – dragon), they should be called飛竜挺兵 (Hiryuuteihei) read as ワイブトルーパー (waibutoruupaa – Wyvtrooper). After all, 竜挺兵 is an acronym for : 飛竜降下式空挺兵.
Just a small word difference.
 February in Earth’s term. A chilly month.
 Juna used “Anata-sama”. Anata could means you, but in this case, it means: Darling or Beloved, since it’s how a wife would call her husband with.