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Chapter 3 ~ Journey ② Thieves Suppression
I took more time than expected to catch him. The remaining six don’t seem to notice, as they remained in their positions. But, if I don’t hurry, the horse carriages will approach soon.
“I was caught in the moment. I wonder if things are still fine.”
Tilika listened to me whispering.
“Nobody will complain if you killed them in a place like this. There is no need for you to be sorry.”
If I did a Dogeza, I wonder if I’ll be forgiven.
“I’ll start interrogating him. Please apply Recovery Magic.”
“Please make it as quite as possible.”
For the time being, we’re going to act in assumption that this guy is a thief, and threaten him by placing a knife at his neck. Since there’s a (considerable) distance between each of them, it’s fine even if we make some noise. Now that the idea seems plausible, I apply 【Heal】on this guy who is currently on the ground.
What if he really is not a thief? Won’t he get extremely pissed?
I wish I’ve hidden my face.
“Answer me. Are you a bandit?”
Tilika gets on the ground and pointed the knife on the thief’s cheek.
Since she has positioned herself behind the thief, that guy can’t see Tilika at all. Her ability, Evil Eyes of Truth or Lies, works just fine without looking at the guy face.
“Y-you’re wrong! I’m just a hunter. Don’t think you can get away by doing this! I’m going to report you to our lords!”
What, so we really get them wrong!?
But, Tilika looks at me and shook her head. So, he was lying? Thank God. I’m relieved.
“Have you killed a person before?”
The bandit turned silent.
Tilika pushed the knife to the thief neck.
Towards his answer, Tilika looks at me and shakes her head again. Looks like this guy has killed people too.
“That person, is he your companion?”
“N-no. I don’t know them.”
He answered in plural form. This is a lie as well.
“Are you going to attack when any travelers passing here?”
“I am just a hunter! I will not attack a traveler or something!”
“How many people have you killed? 1 person, or more than 5, or 10?”
“No, no. I haven’t killed a single person!”
The thief has started sweating bullets, and from my observation he’s getting impatient.
“A liar. This guy is a murderer and a bandit. At least 5 people has fall prey on his hand.”
Tilika stand and reported it to me.
I see. This scum has killed 5 people.
“What to do? Would you like me to join?”
Tilika shows her interest.
“Oi, release me from this rope at this instant!”
“Shut up. If you don’t, I’ll kill you.”
I lightly kick the thief belly.
There is no reason to hold back. I don’t have the intention to kill, but leaving him with some injury is fine I think.
“T-to think this is the way you treat an innocent hunter……”
This guy keeps on talking, then Tilika bring her face close to him.
“In my eyes, you’re a bandit and a killer.”
After that, Tilika takes off her hood.
“A-a Truth Officer!? Why is there a Truth Officer here in this place!?”
“Shut up. It’s an easy feat to dispose of you right here and right now.”
While saying that, she strikes her knife to the thief hand.
Tilika-san is frightening. It’s scarier now when she gets so motivated.
“Y-you, just shut up quietly. At this rate, you’re going to get killed.”
A Truth Officer words can’t be taken lightly. That’s because they can’t lie.
I think the thief finally get that. Now he become completely silent.
“Tilika too, calm down a bit. Let’s go back and join our carriage.”
I tie down the adult thief mouth with a cloth. Thinking for a while, I’ve decided to freeze his lower body up to his hand by using Earth Magic.
Like this, he can’t do anything.
Tilika gets on my back and while grabbing the thief with both hand, I activate Fly and went back to the carriage.
It’s easy to catch back the carriage if I fly alongside the highway. I land in front of the carriage, and shakes my hand, asking them to stop.
“There are thieves! If you continue, we’re going to get ambushed.”
I tell Fabio-san who is sitting at the front carriage.
“This is one of them. We already interrogated him.”
I pointed to the thief who is rolling on the ground.
“What’s the situation?”
Fabio-san get down from the carriage and asked.
“There are 6 people more.”
“That’s not much……”
“What? Is there anything wrong?”
Ellie, Ann and Sati comes from the back of the carriages. I explained it to them again.
“Let’s defeat them.”
What to do? Right after I asked, Ellie chimed in.
Compared to our merchant group size, theirs can be overlooked, but it won’t hurt to play safe. Since they don’t know that we’re aware, it’ll be easy to fend off their surprise attack.
But, we need to make haste. It’s a matter of time before they realized that this guy is missing. If they decided to run away then thing will get awkward.
We briefly formed a strategy meeting. There are six enemies. As for us, we have twice the number of that. Plus, we have mages here as well.
We’re going to pass the road acting like usual. When the thieves ambushed, I’m going to launch my magic. After my magic hit them, Sati will rush in together with Fabio san and myself. We’ll capture and clean up the rest.
If they surrender after my magic assault, we’ll capture them. If they resist, then there is no holding back.
In other words, kill.
I checked again with the captured guy and confirm that there are no mages among the thieves. It was mentioned that their boss is extremely powerful foe, but if he turned out to be crap then I alone am enough to handle him. I have Sati too, and it’s unimaginable to think that someone that can oppose both of us exist.
“There are lots of strong thieves out there too. They’re so strong that they are comparable to a soldier or an adventurer.”
I think Fabio-san is worrying too much about the thieves’ strength.
“There is no need to refrain yourselves. Just think of them as Demons. Just do it usual.”
During our preparation, I asked Ellie about how much strength should I put this time. Her answer, slaughter them all.
“Isn’t that better? If we don’t clean them up here properly, then surely in the future another innocent traveler will suffer.”
I understand that. I get what she is implying, to do it myself…….
I don’t know, maybe we can inform the soldier stationed at the nearby town or something. Well, I better not. If I did that, someone might get attacked in the meantime.
“If Masaru don’t want to do it, then I’ll do it instead of you~?”
“I’m doing it.”
“No, let me do it.”
Both Tilika and Ellie offered, but unlike me they don’t know the exact position of the thieves hidden in the woods. As for me, I’ve got detection skills. If I leave it to both of them, then there is no doubt that they will use excessively strong magic. Like that, the thieves are confirmed to die.
“If you can, make it so that we can catch them, without any blood spilling.”
Ann too, doesn’t enjoy the act of killing.
We rearrange our coaches so that ours is the one in front. As soon as all the adventurers are in position, we started moving.
Without any mercy, the carriages started moving. I don’t have much time to think anymore, and there is no way I can consult them for an idea. I have no choice but to do it. It can’t be helped even if it will leave a bad after taste. My resolution is firm.
Fire Magic is a no go. We need to put down the fire afterwards, and it can hardly be used to catch person alive, since it packed too much firepower.
Wind Magic is good. I can use Wind Cutter to chopped them up. It will be to the degree that’s not enough to kill, yet wounded them enough that they can’t counter attack anymore.
No, what if my control is not good enough? Then the thieves will survive the wound and launch a counter attack……
Right now, I’m situated inside the first carriage, at the side facing to the thieves. I’m going to be the first to receive the counter attack. The bandits, they have a bow too. For the time being, I’m going to go with a slightly larger shield. But I need to make sure that the thieves are not alerted.
While thinking, the thieves finally entered my detection range.
I told everyone to get prepared. This is not the time to be thinking anymore.
Demon, that’s how I’m going to view them. They are Orcs. Both of them attack humans. It’s either kill, or be killed.
“I’m going to start chanting.”
I declared. Start chanting, 【Wind Storm】.
Did the thieves noticed us? There are slight movement from their side, but that’s it. While the carriage is getting closer, the thieves start creeping for the best possible position.
Tilika already interrogated one of them. There is no mistake.
If I release this magic, they will definitely get hurt.
No, that’s a fact since I’m using a Level 3 magic. The overall power is lesser than that time I used it on the Orc Settlement, but it’s enough to kill a human.
Casting complete. After a moment of hesitation, I released the magic. They’re enemy. Enemy.
A raging storm that occurred magically instantaneously overwhelms the trees inside the forest.
Not good. This magic is this powerful!?
The carriages stopped, and the adventurers saw I’m taking my sword. There is no time. I’m going in first.
Getting off the coach, I see that Sati is ready as well. Together, we charge into the forest.
We both split to right and left respectively. When I check again with my detection, four of them are not moving. One person is slowly moving. The last one is escaping at a reasonable speed. Apparently, I’ve done it without killing them all.
After entering the forest, I found four people rolling on their own blood. The wounds are deep, but all of them are still breathing. One person is trying to escape into the depth of the woods, but maybe due to the magic damage, he is tottering. Since there are not much distance between us, I hit him down with Air Hammer.
“I’ll leave her to you guys. I’m going to pursue that one guy leftover.”
I tell Fabio-san and co. Five of them should be good enough.
Sati, follow that escaping guy. I’ll fly and track him from above.”
I activated 【Fly】, and take flight at full speed.
Since I know the fleeing thief position, I quickly catch up with him.
I went ahead of him and dropped five boulders, taken from my Item Box.
*crash*. Now that the boulders have been dropped, I pulled out my sword and descended.
“…….urh, ah, ahhhh!”
The thief screamed.
The thief stopped his movement since there boulders-make wall, and afterwards, an arrow pierces him. Following that, four arrows pierce him at his shoulders and knees, and then he collapsed.
Sati, no mercy at all.
While holding her bows, she caught up.
“Un well done.”
The fallen thief is suffering. I solidified his limbs with Earth Magic. Then I picked up his sword.
“Kuhh……uuuh……why this happen…”
The collapsed thief trembling due to the pain.
“I wonder. Even I’m not sure why this happen.”
Why am I catching thieves in different world? I thought my job will be primarily to hunt monster. It’s unexpected to hunt human.
“I’ll pull the arrow out and treat your wounds, so be quiet.”
I’m relieved that this guy is not dead even though he is bleeding badly. However, he doesn’t seem to retain his consciousness. He was hit by four arrows. It must hurt like hell that he fainted.
I instructed Sati to take out the pierced arrows. One of them are stuck at his shoulder, and another three at his legs. Looking closely at him, his body is full of scratches. This must be from the Wind Storm.
【Heal】 【Heal】, is this enough? He is not completely recovered, but right now he should have avoided death. Also, some purifying magic. Need to make sure his open wounds won’t get infection.
After collecting back my boulders, I lifted up the bounded thief with Levitation.
“Let’s go back.”
“Yes, Masaru sama.”
While walking together with Sati inside the forest, the thief woken up and start talking to me.
“I’m not one of their group, you know.”
“I was caught by them.”
Yet, you’re well equipped with sword?
“That’s why, can you free me?”
No way I’m doing that.
“I need to return back to my village. My sick mother is waiting.”
I stopped, and look at the thief.
“You just want to escape.”
“Why did you become a thief?”
“……our crop failed.”
He doesn’t deny that he is a thief.
“There is no rain at all and our crops all died. I tried borrowing some money, but after a year I still can’t get other decent job. In the end, both my house and my fields were taken.”
“You’ve got some rough time.”
I can understand his situation somehow……
“That’s why! I beg you. Please release me.”
Even so, becoming a thief and attacking the traveler is not a commendable thing.
“If you’re not driven by a bad motive, then there is no harm to explain them in front of the Truth Official. That’s a nice trade off, no?”
“That’s right! I’m going to tell you the location of the treasures! They are the collected goods that I’ve save so far, and I’m going to tell you how to get them!”
If you have such treasures, then you wouldn’t become a thief in the first place.
“Why don’t you give up already?”
“I won’t! Let me go! Release me this instaaaantttt!”
He furiously moved, trying to escape. However, the restraint made of Earth Magic is solid. There is no way it can be broken by human power.
“You’re damn noisy. Why don’t you quiet down a bit.”
I increase the Levitation higher and higher.
I lifted him up for about five meters, and move him in circle. Afterwards, the thief shuts up.
“What, the cat gets your tongue? You were noisy just a while ago.”
Fabio-san and the others arrive while I’m playing around.
“He is quite noisy, so…”
I pointed to the thief who is currently high mid-air.
“How about the others?”
“All tied up and carried to the carriages.”
“Well then, shall we go back?”
My sympathy towards the thieves have completely lost.
When we returned to the carriages, I saw Ellie and Norman-san are discussing about something outside. The bounded thieves were put aside the road, around them are guards with swords. I lifted up the thieves and put them inside the carriage. One of them is injured, so I treat him.
“So, what should we do after this?”
“I’m waiting for you, Masaru.”
Ellie explained that we have two options.
The first one is to turn back to the nearest town that we came out this morning and handed down the thieves. Though nearest, it’ll take the whole day.
The second one is to bring over the thieves until the next village. However, it’ll take until tomorrow afternoon to arrive at the next village, and another day for bigger town. Today, we’re supposed to camp out. That’s why, it’s dangerous to camp while carrying seven thieves together. And honestly, that will increase the number of baggage that we need to bring, and we couldn’t afford that.
“I’m fine with bringing them along, but where to put them? There is not much place, no?”
Ellie points inside the carriage.
“One more thing, you should take all the baggage from the carriages.”
She is right. there are still rooms in my Item Box.
“Masaru is going to decide what our next course of action.”
“Eh? I’m going to decide?”
“Right. Because you’re our leader.”
Ellie want us to move on. She wants to meet Nania-san as soon as possible. The merchant leader, Norman-san wants to go back, but he said that everything is up to me. Whichever it’s, I need to be responsible for the thieves.
I’m on the quest, so I don’t want to disturb our schedule. I’m a bit skeptical, travelling together with the prisoners, but if I keep on them tight with my Earth Magic, then they won’t get away.
“Then we’re going to proceed.”
Norman-san quickly approved my decision.
According to Ellie, a B Ranks opinion has that much weight. General public expectations towards the adventurers ranking system is quite high.
The important requirement to ascend to B rank is the suppression of a large species. In other words, the approval will be denied unless it’s proven that the adventurer has defeated something like a dragon, and they are expected to subjugate a dragon monster level if they appear. I was shocked when I heard that.
“I finally get it after defeating a dragon.”
“That is that, but it won’t be easy like that all the time……”
One failure, and you’re dead.
Though, even if a dragon did appear, they won’t actually be forced to subjugate it. Of course, the stories are different if the dragon is attacking the town.
Previously, during the investigation of the forest, there are four parties involved, including the B Rank Dawn Battle Axe. Alternates party also presented that time to further strengthen the group and increase the chance to defeat the dragon.
But, the difference between a C Rank and B Rank is as clear as the day. Usually, a normal adventurer will never be able to defeat a dragon. Most probably, they will either die or retire half way.
Rather, being able to defeat a dragon is stranger.
I remember how Olba-san and Lazard-san charge in towards the dragon. Unlike a mage class, a warrior won’t rank up to B Rank unless he can do something like that.
That’s why B Rank is amazing! That’s how they get it.
Actually, the dragon that we’ve defeated, together with B Rank Dawn Battle Axe are more towards regular one, which is a far cry compared to a higher-level dragon.
Then what kind of power does an A Rank and S Rank hold?
According to what I heard from Sati, Sergeant-dono is capable of ripping off a 5 meter Wyvern in half with a single blow.
That’s a strength of a retiring warrior. How stronger he was, during his heyday? And even back then, he is only A Rank.
It’s fine to aim for an S Rank, but we need to have corresponding achievements. For me, B Rank is more than enough. But that Ellie will never agree with my sentiments……