Chapter 21:

Chapter XIX – Ye who hath (re)invented.

His Soul is Marching On to Another World; or, the John Brown Isekai (Fall of the Slave Harem)

84th of Spring, 5859
Mount Curry, Azdavay / Casamonu

“Soo… Do enlighten us o’ Lady Orange, what’s this?” Hakim was holding an odd device that looked like a wooden pot with a very elongated handle. “Do I throw this at the enemy? I don’t think throwing spoons is going to help much.”

“Indeed, young lady. I appreciate your enthusiasm to the cause, and I’m sure that the Almighty is pleased with your hard work, but…” Brown scratched his head “Pray tell, what are we supposed to do with this?”

“It’s an ‘Orange Spear-Thrower M1’, or the M1 for short.” She took the M1 off of the hands of Hakim. “It’s like a pot, but instead of launching soap, it launches spears.”

Hakim’s confusion wasn’t cleared up on bit. “Pots… they don’t usually launch soap either.”

“Watch and learn.” Ayomide felt pretty cool after saying such a cliché line. She took one of the spears, and set it to stand on the ‘cup’ of the M1. Then she held the handle of the M1, while still holding on to the shaft of the spear, and swung the M1 around like how Hakim swung the pot without letting it go.

Much to Hakim’s and Brown’s surprise, the spear flew off in at an impressive speed of around 80 mph (~140 km/h), lodging itself into the ground over a hundred feet (30 m) away from Ayomide. “I think this pot’s done quite a good job.”

Brown couldn’t help but clap at the performance. “Oh! May God bless you, young lady, that’s excellent!”

“Can I try?” Hakim took the M1 from Ayomide, and imitated her in readying the spear. He swung it around, and the spear flew properly unlike his other tries. The only problem was the fact that he had instinctively let go of the device during launch, and the poor M1 flew along with the spear. “I guess… I could get used to it if I played around a bit more.”

Tater had been watching them from afar. “Maybe we could find some bird feathers to add to the spears? You know, like arrows have. I don’t know what those feathers do, but they must do something since they keep adding them.”

“Well, don’t matter whether we’ve got feathers or not.” Hakim readied another spear to be thrown. “We’ve got something that we can make a tasty shish kebab with, that’s all that matters.”

21 May 2023 / 86th of Spring, 5859
Casamonu, Empire of Gemeinplatz

“I thought that you might be joking about all this ‘fantasy’ stuff, but… It’s real.”

Kim Seong-Min was taking a walk in the bustling streets of Casamonu along with his little sister, Kim Do-Yun (and his secretary, Mr. Nirmal). Flanking him were five bodyguards, all armed with the M1 Garand and an equally deadly sense of fashion.

Kim never felt this gratified in his life, turning so many heads with his designer suit and entourage of fancy bodyguards. All the time he had spent grinding dungeons and mastering the system for them felt worth it. Everyone on the street, from the paupers to the nobles, were removing their hats in salute at this impressive group of otherworlders.

A drop of sweat, formed from stress, dropped down from Do-Yun’s brow. “Wow, I’m getting a bit nervous from all the people staring at us…” She nervously laughed as she waved back at the passersby saluting them.

“Don’t worry, you get used to it.” Kim adjusted his sunglasses (bought for an amount that equaled a couple months’ minimum wage in Korea) “Besides, don’t we deserve this?”

“I guess we do.” Do-Yun continued smiling and waving “You must be very respected around here.”

“Indeed! Your brother is the richest person in all of Northern Gemeinplatz. Ha-ha-ha!” said Kim. He cracked a laugh that sat somewhere between evil and forced laughter. He stopped to point at a castle that sat atop a hilltop. “Look, here’s the castle of a genuine count. That’s where we’re going.”

“A count? A real one?!” Do-Yun was excited at the prospect. According to her extensive knowledge, derived from the genre of otome isekai that might not be all too familiar to some of our readers, she… didn’t know much about counts. She knew a lot about dukes, especially cold dukes from the north, but she hadn’t seen many counts.

Still, a count was like a smaller, more compact version of a duke, what could go wrong? Nothing, obviously. Maybe this’d be the start of a beautiful love story. The story of a beautiful girl from another world and the aloof count of Azdavay…

Kim and his sister hopped on a carriage that stood on the bottom of the hill, and began their ride up the spiraling road. The bodyguards marched in formation; Kim had made sure to drill them in formation marching beforehand. Everything was about prestige, after all. His bodyguards were actually a bunch of random Korean guys without actual combat experience, but to outsiders their uniforms and march made them look like elite units. A man commanding such elite units looked elite himself, obviously.

They got off the castle gates, which looked mighty tall. The rest of the castle, compared to the 3D-generated marvels that Do-Yun saw in manhwa, looked less mighty. It was a castle after all: a military building made for a military function. The walls were made of drab brick, with there being only a few walls to break the monotony of endless brick. Thankfully the castle was redeemed, in Do-Yun’s eyes, by the impressive mansion it contained within its walls.

“Is this the count’s mansion?” Do-Yun stared in awe. It was a bit smaller than she imagined it, but the mansion stood ever so grand nonetheless.

“It sure is!” Kim laughed in a most smug and boisterous fashion. “His is not that big. Mine is bigger.”

“I know. I’ve seen it multiple times.” She was referring to the Kim family’s estate, where their family had lived after Kim’s fantastic business ventures bore fruit. “And I still can’t believe the fact that I believed you got all that money for the mansion by investing in crypto.”

“It wasn’t a total lie. I sold all the Bitcoin I had bought in 2016 to fund my initial ventures into this world.” His other ventures into crypto hadn’t gone well. Eventually, even a man like Kim was able to realize a fundamental truth: one didn’t get rich by investing in crypto, one got rich by making others invest in crypto. So, he had stopped trading, instead making plans to open an exchange operated by his own Isegye Company.

They passed the castle gates with no problem, Kim’s countenance was well known around these parts, and were greeted by maids who began leading them towards the count.

Do-Yun was watching the maids with respectful intent as they travelled through the many corridors of the mansion. “They’ve got real maid outfits! Brother, can you get me one? I want to wear it as cosplay for a convention that’s coming up…”

Kim didn’t exactly want to order a maid outfit for his sister, wearing clothes of servitude weren’t exactly a thing of prestige. Not to mention the fact that ordering such a thing for his own sister would feel really, really creepy. He was a sleazy bastard, even Kim was self-aware enough to admit that, but at least he was not a sleazy bastard. “I can buy you a dress that’s far fancier than the daughter of the emperor himself would wear, how about something like that instead of the maid outfit? Though, maybe not too fancy as not to offend His Imperial Majesty.”

“Ah? There’s an emperor too?” The emperors tend to be the most handsome ones… I’d love to meet him, along with the crown prince. “I’d love to wear something like that to meet the emperor.”

“Then I’ll be commissioning one for you. The tailors in this world are pretty good, so expect something good.” Kim turned around to Nirmal, who nodded to show that he was already making plans to commission the dress.

The group finally arrived in front of the most decorated room in the mansion: the door leading to the throne room. “Right this way, sir and madame.” The heavy door needed one maid at each side to open, and even then, the maids struggled to open them. The hinges made a horrible creaking sound as the doors opened to reveal the grand throne room.

Count Leon was sitting on his throne at end of the room, he jumped up from his throne upon seeing his visitors. “Welcome Sir Kim. How great it is to see your presence in my throne room. Who would the fine lady next to you be?”

Kim bowed down to Leon. “Greetings, Your Excellency. This is my little sister, Kim Do-Yun.”

Do-Yun politely bowed upon seeing the count approaching him. “Mannaseo ban'gapseumnida.” Of course, she didn’t know any Gemeinplatzian, so she did her best by greeting him in Korean. She was slightly disappointed upon meeting Leon: he was a decently handsome man, sure, but a man in his forties was way outside of her preferences.

“Ah?” Leon cleared his throat; he hadn’t expected this sudden usage of Korean. He did his best to remember an accurate response. “Bawn… Bawngeibduh.” He had completely butchered the language. The count understood this by the way Kim was staring aggressively at him. “Apologies, my Hangvuki is a bit rusty you see…”

Kim was grinding his teeth in anger. “A-ha-ha. It’s no problem, Your Excellency.” He was trying his best to avoid saying anything unsavory after seeing the Korean language be butchered by the count. “Let us get to the main event.” He stepped aside to reveal his band of five merry men. “Here are the men for the Anti-Fugitive Operation.”

The count examined the soldiers carefully, making brief noises like ‘mhm’ to indicate his approval. “They’re only five men, but they seem to be of the highest quality anyone has pledged.” He pointed at the bayonets adorning the M1 Garands “Especially the blades on these spears. I’ve never seen steel like it.”

“Those are not spears, Your Excellency. They’re… hand cannons, manufactured on Earth.” He took a rifle from one of the men. “I’d like to have a demonstration, if that is not a problem.”

“Sure, Sir Kim. I could bring you a few live specimens to-”

Kim interrupted Leon as soon as he could. “No- No, that’s not necessary!” ‘Live specimens’ in this case referred to using injured and sick slaves, those who were already slated to die as healthy slaves were expensive, as target practice. Kim didn’t want his sister to see that, nor was he a sadistic person who’d want to shoot someone else for fun. He was a sleazy bastard, not a sadistic bastard. “Just any far away target will do, let us go to the garden.”

“Of course, sir.” The group quickly marched on down to the vast personal garden of the count. There was a great, pale tree down there, which had a few bolts already stuck to it.

Kim raised his rifle, disabled its safety and appropriately sighted it to 100 yards (91 m) to shoot at the tree. Leon watched him, curious as to what enigmatic machinations the earthlings had cooked up. “Watch, Your Excellency, as I now fire eight shots at this tree in less than ten seconds.”

“Wait, eight shots in… That’s ridicu-” Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang, ping!

The now emptied clip of the M1 Garand made its iconic clanging noise as it was ejected on to the ground. Kim wasn’t all that impressed, the rate of fire from a semi-automatic rifle wasn’t that awe-inspiring for a modern man like him who had operated a fully automatic assault rifle before. In contrast, Leon’s jaw had dropped (literally) in observance of the machine spewing fire. He had only heard rumors of earthling weaponry before, to see one in action was something else. Leon approached the tree to saw how many bullets this enigmatic device had lodged in the tree.

“…one, two, three, four, five.” He counted five bullet holes on the tree. “This is…” A very important question popped into his mind. “Can we buy these rapid hand cannons?”

“I’d love to sell these but…” Kim loaded another clip into the rifle. “…the Awmereighkan military would personally fly over from Chanakburg and annihilate us all if they caught a whiff of any native Gemeinplatzian troops using imported firearms.” He pointed at the tree, filled with bullet holes. “Those guys have an entire continent for themselves, with a massive military all armed with weapons that are far, far more terrifying than what you’ve seen here. This hand cannon is just an antique used by their civilians. For recreation. You don’t want to mess with them, I don’t want to mess with them, nobody wants to mess with them.” Kim was one of those overly nationalistic types, but even he had enough of a self-preservation instinct to stay away from provoking the Americans.

“…this thing is used by civilians?!” Leon instinctively took a few steps backwards from the rifle, afraid that he might touch it and be cursed by the Americans. “What… what has the Otherworld wrought upon us?”

Steward McOy
Taylor J