BBYW Vol. 3 Chapter 18 (WN)
Chapter 18 – The Man Who Stopped a Cannonball
【 POV: Brutos Security Corps Captain – Randy】
After the unidentified attack destroyed one of the port storehouses, a pillar collapsed on me.
“Captain!! Watch out!!”
One of my subordinates yelled.
I tried to twist my body out of the way, but a sharp pain from my ankle stopped me in my tracks.
The instant I spent thinking that I had probably sprained it, the pillar had already come too close to be dodged.
I pulled back my neck, bracing for the impact, but the pain I expected never came.
“Now you’ve fucking gone and done it!!”
A young man, probably in his early 20s, had smoothly stepped between me and the pillar.
As he swung the sword in his right arm, the large pillar was cut in two, just like paper, and tumbled on the ground.
I was still stupefied: it took me a few seconds to recognize the man I had mistaken as a pirate, earlier that day.
He was alone: the young girl that was with him before was probably somewhere safe.
“You are…but why…?”
“The sheer audacity of it all! If you start this fireworks show right in front of my eyes, it means you’re picking a fight with me, right? And they blasted my ship too! Makes my blood boil!!”
The young man ignored me completely, his piercing gaze pointed towards the sea.
He glared at the pirate ships at the bay and picked up the lance on the ground.
“Ah, that’s my…”
It was my trusted weapon, so I couldn’t help but react.
The next instant, however, a hair-raising explosion was heard from the pirate ship.
I shouted, then crouched to the ground, holding my head with my hands.
The other guards quickly followed suit, but the young man remained standing, lance in hand.
“You too!! Get down!!”
Again, the young man ignored me. He held the lance aloft, taking a low stance to sink his center of gravity as much as possible, then threw it.
My trusted buddy ripped through the air, eventually meeting the cannonball shot by the pirate ship and blowing up into pieces.
Thanks to the sacrifice of the lance I had bought with my savings, the cannonball did not destroy the port town as intended, and sank into the sea instead.
“What!? It can’t be!!”
To precisely target a flying cannonball and shoot it down with a lance. I could not begin to imagine the technique and visual acuity needed to perform such a feat. At the very least, I was sure I could not do such a thing, even if I tried one hundred times.
“That was just instinct. Nothing to make a fuss about.”
So casually stated the young man, who then picked up a brick from a collapsed building and threw it. Again, the trajectory perfectly coincided with a flying cannonball, which dropped into the water.
“When I was a brat, to escape from my mother’s ‘pranks’ I stole a boat and ran away from home. And that damn hag started throwing iron balls at me. Since then, I can kind of tell how these kinds of projectiles fly.”
The young man then threw another brick.
I looked at yet another cannonball fall, speechless. If it works with bricks, then what about my lance? Or so I would have said, but the words stayed stuck in my throat. I owed the young man my life: so I swallowed those words back.
“Looks like they’re not firing anymore.”
I looked up towards the sea, and what the young man said was indeed true: the cannonfire had stopped.
The harbor was now so quiet that the earlier commotion seemed almost a dream, though we could still hear screams in the distance.
Soon enough, a boat left the pirate ship. Rowed by two men, it was heading in the direction of the port.
“Messengers, I’d wager. What could they want, after making all this mess?”
“Nothing good, that’s for sure. However…”
I looked over at the destruction in the harbor. Wrecked buildings and ships, debris everywhere: in just a dozen of minutes it couldn’t be recognized anymore.
Not only the guards, but also the guild‘s mercenaries were frantically helping those still trapped under the wreckage.
(We cannot let them get away with this…but do we have a chance against them…?)
If they are capable of this level of destruction without even giving us a chance to fight back, how can we make them pay for what they did?
I then gave myself a firm, slap, to wipe away the fears welling up in my mind, and headed towards the approaching boat.