Chapter 0306 Golem Corps
“At long last, my wish has finally come true!”
“Uh, did you forget that you already observed a golem once before in the royal capital, the one captured from the Union?”
Ryo’s words were interrupted by Hugh McGrath, the leader of the royal delegation, who had come along as more of a watchdog than an escort.
The head of the mission was his watchdog… Ryo was being treated as a VIP.
Simply because there was a very decent chance others might not be able to keep him in check.
“That’s got nothing to do with this.”
“I-If you say so…”
Ryo’s forceful argument to which Hugh emphatically agreed.
The door to the room was marked with a plaque that read, ‘Corps Maintenance Room’.
The guide prepared by the Duchy was showing the six of them around.
“Besides, how come you guys are also tagging along…”
“What can we say, Leader McGrath, it naturally piqued our interests as well.”
“Master McGrath, stealing a march isn’t a good habit, you know.”
Hugh blurted out, former Emperor Rupert said while smiling, and former King Roberto Pirlo teased him about it.
Ryo was accompanied by Hugh, Rupert by Count Hans Kirchhoff, and Roberto Pirlo by Guard Captain Groen.
A total of six people, two from each delegation.
Very fair and impartial.
Opening the door with the plaque, ‘Corps Maintenance Room’, the guide led the six inside.
It was a huge space, about the size of ten basketball courts.
With golems lined up in rows.
The dull metallic reflections created a majestic atmosphere.
Ryo involuntarily let out a voice, veered toward a golem in the first row, and tried to touch it….
But Hugh stopped him.
“Hugh, don’t stop me!”
“No, I will! You were explicitly told to just look, not touch.”
That’s right, he was permitted to look but to refrain from touching them, naturally.
Ryo, being a member of the mission, would create catastrophic diplomatic problems if he broke a promise between countries.
“Muh… you’re right.”
Even Ryo understood right away.
The golems lined up there were about three meters tall.
With some kind of dullish metal making up the exterior.
Compared to the artificial golems of the Union that Ryo had seen before, there were some similarities and some differences.
First of all, the size of the Union’s artificial golem was two and a half meters, while this one was about three meters.
And the major difference in appearance was….
Yeah, the golems in front of him had two legs.
The artificial golems of the Union had four.
Needless to say, the four-legged were more stable.
Rather, ‘walking on two legs’ would make balancing quite challenging.
In other words, the golems in front of them were somehow different from the artificial golems in terms of their control mechanisms.
From the outside, they looked so heavily armored that their joints were barely visible.
“If possible, the magic formula…”
Ryo’s muttering seemed to have been heard by the guide.
“My apologies, sir. The magic formula is not visible from the outside. Also, they’re equipped with interference suppression mechanisms to prevent various external interferences.”
In other words, they had devised various ways to prevent outside parties from rewriting the magic formula and hijacking it….
So it went without saying that the magic formula itself would be concealed.
Well, otherwise, they wouldn’t have agreed to show the golems to outsiders, even if they had received a direct request from the Pope himself to be amenable to the mission.
Naturally, they were being considerate.
“Oh, in that case, how about we have a little…”
“My apologies, sir.”
Before Ryo could finish, the guide refused.
“He refused me right there and then.”
“What do you expect?”
Ryo muttered in surprise, and Hugh chimed in.
“I recall they were holding up halberds when they were lined up outside, right?”
“Halberd? What’s that?”
“Huh? Come to think of it…I don’t think I’ve seen one in the Central Nations yet…”
Ryo muttered to Hugh’s question as he recalled.
A halberd is a long-handled weapon with an axe or claws attached near the tip of the spear.
It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as thrusting as a spear, swinging as an axe, or hooking with its claws…only it’s quite heavy.
Even the ones used by humans are two to two and a half meters long.
The golems lined up seemed to be holding up ones about four meters long.
“I heard that it’s effective to charge into a dense enemy formation while swinging a halberd. Perhaps these golems use it in the same way on the battlefield.”
“It would be catastrophic if such a thing charges into a line…even if it’s wielding a simple club, there’s no way a human can handle that.”
Hugh replied to Ryo’s words with a small nod.
“I see, this is quite impressive.”
“So, the claim that one unit is worth five B-rank adventurers isn’t totally groundless.”
Former Emperor Rupert muttered, and Count Hans Kirchhoff, beside him, nodded as he replied.
The Golem Corps of the Western Countries was reported to have the combat power of five B-rank adventurers per single unit.
“Your Majesty Roberto Pirlo, the Union also has such golems, right? The strength of the Union is not to be underestimated, I reckon.”
Former Emperor Rupert said this while smiling, but his eyes were anything but.
Knowing the true ‘power’ that the golem in front of them possessed, and then coming to a realization that one of the Central Nations had something comparable to it, of course, he would find it difficult to laugh from the bottom of his heart.
“I wish, Your Majesty Rupert, our artificial golems are still in its infancy…and as such, still a far cry from being as sophisticated as this.”
Former King Roberto Pirlo, also answered while smiling, but of course bereft of anything deep in his eyes.
The Union’s artificial golems were built by Frank de Verde, a renowned genius alchemist.
Naturally, there was no way they were unfinished products.
Both Rupert and Roberto Pirlo understood that.
The other leader, Hugh McGrath, watching from a distance, shook his head and muttered.
“It must be hard for His Majesty Abel too… to have to run the country while keeping these monsters in check.”
Two hours later, the golem tour ended.
There was a certain water-attribute magician who still seemed reluctant to leave, but seeing as the allotted time was over, ha had no such luck.
To begin with, they ought to be grateful to be shown something equivalent to a state secret.
In fact, the three leaders politely thanked the guide and asked him to pass on their gratitude to Duke QC.
Finally, at the last minute, Ryo was pulled out of the room by Hugh, as he uttered that.
“Thank you very much”, he said tentatively.
Well, ending at just that may have been the best possible outcome….
It was only natural that the Duchy’s engineers then went around inspecting all the golems.
Even with the external interference rebuff capability, they could not afford to have anything done to them.
A detailed inspection was conducted, and it was not until late in the evening that it was determined that there was no problem.
But they failed to realize.
Later that night, some suspicious shadows had attached themselves to the golems in the maintenance room, and some kind of alchemy tool had been used to modify them….
“Should our country build golems as a force for warfare too …. What do you think, Hans?”
“Yes. Golems would help reduce human casualties, but… it’s not something that just anyone can make. The Union succeeded in manufacturing it, thanks to, with all due respect, Frank de Verde…”
Former Emperor Rupert asked as he walked away, and Count Hans Kirchhoff, at his side, answered.
“Well, I can’t deny that part.”
Former King Roberto Pirlo, of the Union, affirmed Hans’ words with a wry smile.
“Hmmm. So, it takes a genius alchemist to make one, uh…”
Then, Ryo responded.
“With all due respect, Your Majesty Rupert. Please perish the thought of kidnapping Viscount Kenneth Hayward of the Kingdom.”
“Ohh…. Of course not, I had no intention of doing so… so you were worrying about such a thing, Sir Ryo?”
Rupert replied with a wry smile.
“Of course, I do not believe that the Wise Emperor would do such a rash thing. Kenneth is my friend and mentor, to begin with, and would put me in a bind if he were to up and disappear. In which case, I’ll be left with no choice but to search all over the Empire.”
Ryo said with a smile.
“And, do you think you’ll find him?”
With a faint smile, Rupert taunted saying such.
“I will freeze the whole Empire and search for him, trust me, I’ll find him. But not to worry. Because the people will still be alive when frozen. And I can always thaw them after, right?”
Ryo replied with a smirk on his face.
Basically. A Cold War.
Rupert could have reprimanded Ryo for his behavior, which could be described as disrespectful to the previous emperor of a country, but….
He wouldn’t do that.
He understood that there was no point in doing so.
“Of course, I have no intention of messing with Viscount Hayward, but… I will come up with another way to manufacture the golem.”
“A wise decision, thank you.”
Rupert said with a smirk, and Ryo bowed his head.
“Yup, y’all are monsters, all right…”
Hugh’s muttering was heard by no one else.