Reborn as The Underdog First Prince Volume 1 Chapter 4 part 1

Onward, to the Ernesia Mountain Range!

“So those are the mountain tribes…”

Disguised as a troupe of traveling performers, Todd and his companions had made their way eastward through the kingdom and arrived at their target, the Ernesia Mountain Range.

The mountain tribes would not form a nation without Tottila establishing a Kingdom of Rynsgaya style rule over them.

Since they lived in a loose confederation, there were no clear borders, making entry easy.

But soon after entering, they encountered a single small group on watch against intruders.

Their number was around twenty.

As the game knowledge indicated, they were quite literally all soldiers.

Even children visibly shorter in stature carried bows on their backs.

“Such barbaric courage, not even trying to hide,”

Raienbach said as he stroked his beard bundled around his chin.

With narrowed eyes, he steadily surveyed his enemy without arrogance or complacency.

Wearing his tuned magical plate armor, he vigilantly watched the enemy.

As Raienbach said, the mountain tribes on the other side showed no sign of hiding as they approached.

Their current location was near the site of raids that happened annually.

They were likely licking their chops thinking prey had conveniently come to them.

“I had heard of the barbarians, but…”

“The man who seems to be their leader… truly a demon.”

“What on earth is he doing this for?”

Raienbach had brought three members of his personal guard, Landon, Mikito, and Soot.

They wore enhanced armor, covering their entire bodies with black bodysuits.

Over the past year, there had been some improvements, and the magic stones that had been in the chest part of the enhanced armor were now gone.

As a result of trial and error to see if they could do something about the magic stones that were clearly a weakness, Haruto and the others succeeded in incorporating them into the magic circuit.

This reduced the output slightly, but it made it possible to continue fighting even if the enhanced armor was damaged to some extent.

By the way, Landon and Mikito were wearing enhanced armor special type for magic users, while Soot had the enhanced armor type for non-magic users, the second type improved.

The man riding a small chestnut-colored horse had an uneven face.

The eyes of the three of them were fixed on the face of a big man riding at the front of the small chestnut-colored horse, which had become uneven. There were many marks on his cheeks, resembling the squirming of earthworms, and it was creepy, reminiscent of monsters and yokai.

“He’s filling his face with quicklime. I think he’s intentionally trying to look creepy because it’s advantageous if the opponent gets scared.”

“It’s a pity. If you’re going to do body modification, you should do it functionally, like that girl.”

“…Could it be that Haruto knows Dr. Haleeda?”

“Oh, His Highness knows very well.”

“Hey, you two, this is not the time for that kind of conversation!”

Feeling ridiculed by the two of them as they chatted amiably and watched Haruto and Todd, the mountain people increased their marching speed.

Seeing that, Renge grabbed Haruto by the neck and pulled him back.

By the way, she and Haruto were wearing enhanced armor special type, just like the royal guards.

The only ones fighting for now were Todd and the knights.

Haruto and the others were supposed to act as support this time.

Renge seemed relieved to hear that, but… she would soon realize.

How much easier it was to fight than to just stand by.

“Your Highness, everyone has their first battle. It doesn’t matter if you urinate or vomit. But please, never stop your hands and feet.”

“…Thank you for the advice.”

When the enemy’s expressions were visible to the naked eye, both sides were ready for battle.

A petite woman among the group on the other side raised a bow without arrows high into the sky.

She repeatedly plucked the string and looked up at the sky.

This act was their way of signaling the start of the battle to their ancestral spirits, promising not to be ashamed in battle.

It would be rude to start a fight without doing anything about it.

When Todd snapped his fingers, Haruto behind him reluctantly took the bow he had been forced to hold.

“Why me… My hand will blister from this… Ugh…”

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Despite his grumbling, he mimicked the mountain tribes and plucked the bowstring.

What Haruto held was a prototype bow weapon they had brought just in case, considering future possibilities.

(It’d be nice if there was someone who could use this…)

Todd cut off his thoughts and gulped loudly.

The group across from them began charging.

The sound of dozens of galloping hooves stirred up latent fear in humans.

Between visual and auditory effects, the intensity made one instinctively want to cower.

(But I can’t lose here. I have to stop being an uncool older brother for my siblings’ sake.)

He banged the back of his iron-plated hand against his mythril-covered body with a clang.

Then he took a deep breath and shouted loudly to overcome the horse noises.

“Rai, I’ll handle the big one. Lead the Royal Guards and scatter the small fry. Renge, support as needed, and Haruto, watch out for stray arrows.”

“Understood.”

“We pledge our loyalty!”

“I’ll…do my best.”

“I’ll just run away quickly, so hurry everyone!”

All the combatants steeled their resolve.

Haruto had already calculated the distance where arrows wouldn’t reach and fled slightly away.

Todd inhaled deeply and yelled.

“Shiranui, come forth! Follow me!”

Compared to powered armor, the reinforced mobile armor’s construction was quite simple. Since magical energy engines and thrusters hadn’t been developed yet, it had almost no internal combustion mechanism. You could think of it as basically wearing enlarged iron armor about a size larger than the original. It reinforced the entire body with red orc muscle and layered red painted iron and mythril plates over that.

Todd effortlessly wore the armament that normally even walking would be impossible under its tremendous weight, and strode forward.

Of course, there was a trick to a twelve-year-old using the reinforced mobile armor.

First, enhancement magic had been cast on the red orc materials, allowing the enhancement to be activated by the wearer’s magical energy. This enhancement could be channeled not just to the wearer’s body, but to the red orc muscle fibers through the magical circuits.

In other words, Todd could control the enhanced red orc flesh using his abundant magical power.

With bows and cleavers, stopping him was nearly impossible.

Todd sprinted vigorously, heading toward the men’s leader. He could output enough speed to easily outpace a horse at full gallop if he got serious, but he didn’t do that now. Rather than letting them scatter every which way, he wanted to kill their top in one blow and make the remaining tribesmen his allies.

The fewer casualties the better.

Raienbach followed dignifiedly a short distance behind Todd, maintaining an optimal gap to jump in anytime. Between the two’s heavy armaments, the shoddy bows of the mountain tribes couldn’t inflict damage.

The enhancement gear could deflect arrows too, but hits in bad spots could still injure, so the three Royal Guards were positioned a few steps back from Todd and Raienbach.

“You grass eaters should bow before our Gil clan!”

Thanks to the game setting, all people in this world spoke the common continental language, so Todd could understand their words and they could understand his. With English being a weak subject in his past life, not having to use foreign languages was a blessing.

The charging mountain tribes began loosing arrows.

The distance was around ten meters, but every shot aimed at vital points on the human body like the face and torso.

While some shots went astray, the accuracy was fearsome.

The kingdom’s archers would be hard pressed to compete with this.

With a clang, all the arrows bounced off Todd, unable to pierce the iron plating, let alone reach the red orc flesh inside or inflict any exterior damage.

Todd calmly sprinted through the downpour of arrows.

Seeing arrows had no effect, the barrage halted.

Then the leader and some other men approached wielding cleavers.

(Just as planned.)

Unrefined horses were tough and inexpensive to maintain, but had small builds and slow speeds.

Chuckling internally, Rai shouted loudly.

“Protect His Highness!”

Raienbach and the Royal Guards behind him fanned out, heading toward the men other than the leader. With Raienbach taking two and each Royal Guard one, the area around the leader and Todd became empty.

The man dismounted and approached Todd alone.

“The woman back there doesn’t look bad. I’ll take her as my fifth wife.”

He was likely referring to Renge behind them.

If Todd recalled correctly, the mountain tribes practiced polygamy.

As the vulgar-faced man advanced straight toward him, Todd breathed a sigh of relief.

(I’m lucky the first enemy I fight is a nasty guy. I can bury him with a clear conscience.)

Seeing the man charge at him, Todd channeled magical energy into the Shiranui.

The energy flowed through the circuits, circulating throughout the reinforced mobile armor.

The man’s self-taught stance was awful to the point of being laughable. His speed was painfully sluggish. Even Renge in enhancement gear could probably move better than him.

Todd sprinted, pumping the orc muscles.

A thunderous noise that made one think the earth was shaking sounded, leaving huge footprints in the ground.

In less than the blink of an eye the distance between them closed.

Todd drew the greatsword Kusanagi from his back and immediately swung it down on the man.


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