Isekai For My Ex Chapter 72: Seeing Claire
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I went outside the room confused about what happened to Michaela and me, but still, nothing registers into my mind, it's not that I am forgetful, more like I was so tired that I immediately fell asleep, if Claire was there, I'm afraid that metalworks would have been flying at me endlessly.
Then, at the moment I thought of her, I felt my chest burning in anxiousness.
"What if she doesn't wake up?"
The thought registered into my mind and stabbed like a dagger into my heart, maybe I was too traumatized of being powerless again, I don't want to fight for someone I love again, against an enemy I know I can't defeat. Just thinking of being in the same position again, I felt my body engulfed in coldness, that it made me hold my arm to suppress it.
"No, nothing bad will happen again, but still its been weeks already, why can't they even show her to us?" I muttered angrily as I walked through the hall towards the training grounds to meet up with Gideon, not just for the new bullet that created the accident, but to also ask about Claire, the waiting time has been taking a toll on me and Michaela.
"Hey Andrei, its been hell in there huh?" before I knew it have already arrived at the training grounds, on the section where we can test out our weapons, I'd like to avoid setting fire on those stakes again, and garner the animosity of the knights, I heard the voice of the energetic viscount, isn't he too excited? I'm gonna tell Layla about what he did earlier, so he can get scolded.
"Yes, thanks to you," I annoyingly crossed my arms and glared at him. Why are you brightly smiling when it's your entire fault, is he really a noble? He's not as cranky as those nobles I met regularly when following Michaela around which is a relief. But thanks to him, I almost got roasted inside my room.
"So, what was that bullet earlier?"
I asked him, to verify the details about the bullet, magic to me seems to be surreal, I don't know the laws around it, so my old world knowledge is useless on this part. I have to rely on this overly enthusiastic viscount who seemed to be proficient in it.
"Yeah, it's a magic stone, that I carved to look like a bullet, remember those swords of the magic knights? It's something like that"
"But doesn't it have to be channeled with magic in order to set off?"
"Yes, but the stone itself packs some power that has been stored in it through time, when you told me to research about how to imbue magic to the bullet, I thought that it might be very inefficient because the magic imbued would eventually wear off, but these stones although expensive have magic sleeping on it that can be awakened through channeling mana to it, or by destroying it completely where the base element of the stone gets out, just like the fire that you have witnessed earlier"
"Well, that's awesome, but I hope this stone wouldn't break during firing, or else it would be a catastrophe for the shooter" in the table beside Gideon, I saw stones lined up and the gun and I gave him, I inspected them one by one, inside the perfect sphere there were icons with colors and shapes I recognize; wind, lightning, flames, light, and flames the same one that I dropped ealrlier.
"Gideon, can you tell me what happens when each of them breaks?"
"Want to try it yourself?"
He took the gun I gave him and handed it to me,
"Don't worry, it won't break within the gun, trust me!" he smiled brightly at me, seeing that he's confident I took the bullet that I was familiar with, the flames bullet, judging on what I have seen this morning, when this breaks, the target should be engulfed with flames.
I load it to the gun and got ready to fire, and I aimed at the nearest target when I was sure of my aim I pulled the trigger.
The sound of the gun echoed once again in the training grounds, the bullet traveled at a high speed and hit the wooden target burying itself to it, with the force applied to it, the bullet turned into dust and flames appeared on the wooden target,
"Awesome, it works Gideon! This will do!" I was astonished to see what happened, and thinking of the choices of the bullets, this will become a great asset for the Ethareri! I looked at Gideon who for some reason was overjoyed of what he saw, didn't he have tested this already? Isn't this the reason why he let me test it?
"Amazing! It really did not break during firing!"
Wait... What did I just hear? Did he just make me a guinea pig?! Unbelievable! This insane viscount, what would happen if it indeed exploded in my gun! This idiot! Come to think about it, he doesn't even know how to load the gun yesterday.
I was about to protest when I saw the other bullets, there was still wind, lightning, and land, I became curious about what it can do. I took the lightning bullet and loaded it to see how it would work.
The bullet buried at the target practice and a surge of lightning engulfed it, that lasted for a half minute. The scene looks familiar, it looks like those rifle stun guns they use at the US, except that this doesn't have that safe voltage, once someone is hit with this, he would either die of the lightning or have wounds all over and would be taken of his ability to reproduce.
Next, I loaded the wind bullet, and shot it, what happened next surprised me, the target practice that the bullet hit, was engulfed by a gale and was uprooted, and flew, and was never seen again as it made a farewell spark in the sky.
While I'm doing this Gideon was making strange noises of amazement, but I'll ignore it, out of respect for him in discovering the use of magic stones and turning it into these bullets.
Finally, I tested the bullet with the earth icon, I'm curious about what will happen, will the earth rise and form a wall? Unlike the previous tests, I have no idea about the form of the release of magic energy from it.
The earth element in anime and movies to me looks bland and was rarely the element being used the main protagonists, so I'm really not that excited when it comes to this bullet. But I'll test it anyway. I immediately loaded the bullet to the gun and shot it.
What happened next was the opposite of what I thought, the bullet broke when it hit the target practice and in its place appeared a large boulder that, crushed the target practices, and rammed over the targets behind it until an unfortunate tree hit it and stopped its momentum! Isn't this like artillery?
"Hey Gideon! How many of these can we make in a week?"
My eyes shined on his discovery, this middle-aged guy is really smart isn't he? It doesn't show on his face though.
Well, I don't even know how Matthias even made those metals into those shapes, but I can remember him huffing angrily to me, complaining about how hard it was to make the mold for it when I placed the order to cover for the number of green soldiers.
Each soldier was given at least fifty bullets to budget, and they were put into specific positions in their body so they can get the bullets if a fellow soldier was to die in the battlefield, luckily none of them died, and the supply line wasn't cut off making it easy to transport additional bullets and gunpowder.
But still, bullets are valuable and hard to make, if those metal bullets were hard to make I can't imagine the struggles in making these from expensive magic stones.
"Make? well, it depends on the number of magic stones, plus the crafting process, so about ten bullets per week"
"Crafting process? Ahhh, so it wasn't you who made this into a perfect sphere... how is this possible in the first place?"
"Ahh, I made that order from magic craftsmen in Kydus,"
As I expected from this lazy middle-aged viscount.
"Really? How much does it cost?"
The viscount went silent and put up one finger.
"A silver? That's cheaper than expected"
According to what I know in this world's currency system, 1000 coppers equals 1 silver, 100 silvers are equal to 1 gold, I don't know if there is any currency beyond that, but I remember Kydus transferring lots of gold to Ethareri, a single metal bullet costs about 500 coppers, Michaela should approve the budget, it's for defense anyway, in my past world it would have gone through government to government procurement to purchase defense articles, but strangely in this world, the head of the state has the last say, so as long as she maintains good relations with Rara, Kydus's head of the state, Michaela should be able to make continuous orders.
"Silver? It's gold though?"
"W-W-What? That's expensive! Come to think about it, there are only a few magic knights in Ethareri..."
"Yes, they aren't meant to be disposable after all, but there's currently a surplus of magic stones due to the death of many Kydus knights lots of magic stones were taken from their swords, if the timing is right you should be able to buy them for a cheaper price, but they differ in size, the bigger the stones, the more bullets we can deform from it, and they are sold according to their elements, then in exchange for guns, Kydus would help in producing the bullets, it's fair right?"
I can't follow him anymore, but I can't trust him being deciding things about trade, so I'll leave it to the old prime ministers and Michaela, if only my buddy Kazu was there he could do the maths, but that stuff is outside my specialty.
While lost in discussing the magic bullets, I nearly forgot about the question I needed to ask him the most.
"Gideon, I think it's about time... to tell me about Claire's condition? I really appreciate all the work you and Layla have done so far for our recovery, but we have been feeling anxious these days, we can't even see her, its been weeks already, at least just let me see her even from a window would be enough"
Wanting a serious answer, I put up a grim expression and as if my thoughts have been relayed to him, the same expression appeared on his face.
"Okay, I understand, but let me tell you one thing... "
He closed his eyes, steeling himself as if it was something hard for him to say, I remember the same expression from Ann's parent's faces when they told me that she had cancer, I felt my heart sinking, thinking about it, it's like having a premonition.
"What? Just tell me quickly!"
"... Claire, have already recovered, she is just sleeping, and not waking up, Layla will explain the rest"
"What the hell does that mean? So she's in a coma? Then why can't we visit her!"
I raised my voice without thinking, due to the emotions I have been holding in, seeing the viscounts expression unchanged I realized I took back my composure as I inhaled deeply and look at him in the eyes unwavering waiting for an answer.
"Because, she has been cursed... right? Gideon?"
The answer didn't come from the man himself but from a sobbing voice behind me, when I turned around it was Michaela, standing drenched in her tears, as she sobbed and held herself in her arms.
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