Chapter 1:

I am but a young girl, but I have weird powers!

Summoning Trebuchets To Survive A World At War!

Let me introduce myself. I, Ramee Au Firas, am a noblewoman. Though I say that I am a noblewoman, I am merely a baron family. Despite our low rank, we do hold some sway due to producing many capable knights skilled at war. From a young age, I trained to master the skills for knighthood and could wield a large variety of weaponry from swords to bows. Sort of.Bookmark here

You see, I had a slight problem when it came to using weapons - they were too weak and brittle for me. If I struck anything with a weapon, eventually the weapon itself would shatter - as would most targets.  My weapons needed to be custom made to be extra thick and durable. I could even lift a carriage above my head if I really wanted to, but let us keep that a secret. It wouldn't do for my image of a noblewoman if I was known to lift up weird things just to test my strength.Bookmark here

Oh, and I never had any issues after lifting, so I guess my bones were pretty tough too, though I never quite managed the courage to test just how tough. Unfortunately, I was all but barred from playing or sparring with anyone else after I once snuck out to play with some of the commoner kids. The reason being... I snapped a poor kid's arm after playing with some sticks. Fortunately, I only hit the stick and not the kid himself, but even that was enough to break his bones.Bookmark here

I can't count how many pieces of silverware I destroyed before I managed to control my strength. Fortunately, my strength seemed to mainly apply to muscles, so I didn't crunch my way through bones or anything. That would've been pretty horrifying. It was bad enough that our maids trembled in fear whenever they tried to dress me or bathe me or anything to do with me. It was common knowledge that I could easily put them out of work for months with a casual mistake.Bookmark here

Of course, given that such an incident would be entirely my fault, we would pay for their services during their recovery and for the doctor, but that did nothing to stop the pain of shattered bones. With extreme care, these incidents have vastly reduced in frequency, but I did contemplate asking for the maids to not care for me. Unfortunately, this was not an option for if I were ever to marry into another family, I would need to, for appearance sake, have maids care for me. This meant that having them care for me now acted as training to control myself for the future.Bookmark here

Now, I had two brothers and 2 sisters, with one of my sisters younger than me. My brothers were frequently out these days helping the war efforts and my elder sister was married into another noble family, so I only had my younger sister. She showed plenty of potential as a knight, but she hated training and would often run away. Normally, as the oldest sibling available, I'd be in charge of finding her during these incidents, but given my abnormal strength, they avoided asking me to bring her back.Bookmark here

Really, how in the world did I end up with such absurd strength? Oh, and keep this a secret, but apparently I can also summon these giant structures called trebuchets. They were sort of similar to catapults, but worked on a somewhat different mechanism. I could lift these and swing these and they were surprisingly sturdy for being mostly made of wood. Of course, I hid this ability from my family because the ability was just too absurd.Bookmark here

That said, they made the perfect weapons for me since they didn't break easily and once they break, I could just summon a new one. It looked totally absurd for me to be swinging something many times my size though. At least, it did in my mind. Just imagine some tiny butterfly swinging a full sized chair around. That would look pretty ridiculous, right?Bookmark here

As for what I was doing now... I was in a hidden part of a nearby forest and seeing just how high I could throw the trebuchets and catch them. The wildlife here long since learned to avoid me. I mean, I was far enough from the city walls that most people wouldn't notice. I caused a bit of a commotion when I practiced closer to the walls, but I managed to hide the evidence by summoning a new trebuchet some ways away. Bookmark here

Don't know why, but summoning a new trebuchet made the previous one disappear. Perfect for eliminating the evidence of my practice... and starting a rumor about the phantom trebuchets flying into the air. People avoided going into the forest now because of that. I gave a quick apology to the people for causing them problems, but there was no way that I could admit to being the cause.Bookmark here

And right then, my finger slipped a little and I ended up flinging the trebuchet far away. From the trajectory, it looked to be flying towards... I immediately summoned a new trebuchet, then ran to a nearby pit I dug and summoned a new one inside, covered the pit with a sizable boulder, and ran off.Bookmark here

Perhaps a few hours later, I found myself at the gates where the ground was quite soaked despite the lack of rain. As were the lower clothing of most of those lined up waiting and the guards as well. No giant splatters or anything, so I must have managed to summon a new one just in time. I felt a bit guilty, but I lined up at the entrance for nobles and managed to pass through relatively quickly.Bookmark here

The following day, the town was full of rumors about how some phantom was threatening the town and the governing body planned to send out a subjugation force full of priests to deal with the enemy. It seemed a bit overblown, but I supposed the guards needed to save face. Mentally, I apologized again. It seemed I wouldn't be training in that forest anytime soon.Bookmark here

This seemed completely unnecessary to me though. If there was a group large enough to require a full subjugation force, then we weren't in danger at all due to the rules of war. If such a group did harm us, they would be destroyed. While the occasional wild beast might attack without repercussion aside from the guards eliminating them, any sentient force of arms needed to obey the rules or the god of law, Abrams, would destroy everyone involved in breaking the laws.Bookmark here

This included us if such a force did exist, so sending a full battalion was nothing more than a show of force. They couldn't do anything but request a war even if they found the threat. The laws were firm, but fair. All wars against a sentient group must be declared and arranged. The wars would be conducted through daily bouts scheduled ahead of time. Unless specifically arranged for, the battles would last from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. At noontime, there would be a 30 minute ceasefire for a lunch break.Bookmark here

The number of bouts was determined before the start of the war and the goal was to capture or otherwise defeat the enemy general. There was to be no hostilities outside of the arranged time and location. Attacking anything not within the arranged location was forbidden as was any attacks outside the arranged time. This meant that even sneak attacks needed to be within the scheduled time.Bookmark here

Because of these rules, sometimes the troops of enemy nations would end up visiting the very nations they were invading to drink and sleep. The foreign troops could sometimes get a bit rowdy, but if any fool was to try to start anything with the locals, their more sober companions would frantically stop them. Likewise, the locals wouldn't start any trouble with the foreign troops.Bookmark here

It made me wonder what even was the point of the wars if we could get along so easily. Certainly, for us nobles, we might lose our titles and power, but we could always regain these titles under the new rule. I guess the only ones in a position to really lose anything was the members of royalty, although examples of marriage after a war did exist.Bookmark here

With nothing more to do, I decided to go ahead and take a look around the marketplace. I was, for better or worse, well known as the girl with abnormal strength. Fortunately, this meant that all the shopkeepers knew better than to make a direct transaction with me and would instead very carefully drop whatever I bought into my hand or handed it to my maid if I had one with me.Bookmark here

I bought some meat skewers and some fruits to eat while I wandered around. My family lectured me when I first went eating around the marketplace, but they quickly gave up. Sorry, but I much preferred this food. Why eat something that isn't tasty if you have a choice?Bookmark here

Now that I thought about it, I really wasn't much of a noblewoman. I mean, my family didn't even insist on me bringing guards with me. It was already common knowledge that trying to kidnap me was pointless and I could beat down most assailants with my bare hands. Not to mention most assailants I beat down would be in such horrible shape that they were better off just avoiding me altogether. Bookmark here

Not even pickpockets went after me after I crushed one of their hands. Not that I meant to do it since I merely went to grab at the hand reaching for my purse, but even that casual, absentminded action ended up with the pickpocket losing their hand in a rather painful fashion. Since then, I've apparently been on a special list of people not to disturb. In fact, pickpockets with coins in hand would run to the guards and turn themselves in if their only other option was to cross my path.Bookmark here

Was I really that scary? I mean, losing a hand was a common punishment for theft, but I guess it was pretty scary when someone could crush your hand to pulp just by batting it away. And when that person could break solid chains wrapped around them with just a little effort, it was probably a bit unnerving. And I could fling a person clear out the city if I wanted to.Bookmark here

Okay, now I was just scaring myself. Seriously, what kind of monster was I? And to top it off, I loved training myself to grow even stronger. The training wasn't particularly effective given how absurdly powerful I already was, but even so. Still, I wouldn't be training for too much longer anyways.Bookmark here

In just a few months, I'd be approaching my 15th birthday. With that, I'd be a fully fledged adult. Why was this important? Adults can participate in wars! With my ranking, I could secure a nice position as a knight or really any decent position. The best positions would go to the higher nobility, but knights were normally even lower than baroness, so being part of a baron family gave me some options - even if my position was already laid out.Bookmark here

My family already arranged for me to be in charge of my own group. Our general also agreed to let me do my own thing - I was too abnormal for him to use in his plans. If I got sick and had to take a day off, plans revolving around me would crumble. Being a soldier was a pretty cushy job. Sure, you had the risk of dying and the base pay wasn't that great, but if you were injured, you'd get paid recovery time. If you got sick, you could take some days off and receive recovery pay as well with the okay of a military doctor. If you died, your family would get bereavement pay. There were tons of other benefits to being a soldier, so it was a highly desirable job despite the somewhat low pay.Bookmark here

My unit consisted of about 5 people other than myself. It was small for a unit, but they were more for show than anything. If anything, the small unit was better for making use of my strengths. We had a field doctor, a shield bearer, a standard bearer, a supply carrier, and a mounted archer. All of them were trained to ride on horses and were there mostly to support me. I already met them all and they knew my reputation.Bookmark here

Fortunately, none of them had any particularly great rank aspirations and were content with supporting me. This meant that I could really show off my skills. I'd gain prestige and become a most desirable bride, then I'd triumphantly take my pick of the lot. Yes, for the sake of increasing my options at marriage, I trained my skills most seriously. Being that I was certain to be mounted, I'd especially made certain to train with mounted weaponry.Bookmark here

For the time being though, I munched on some local fruits as I continued to explore the marketplace. After all, until the investigations ended, the people would be in high alert for any signs of my trebuchets. And, really, nothing else weighed quite enough to train with. It wasn't like I could just lift an entire city up and throw that. I looked forward to my birthday.Bookmark here

Taylor Victoria
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