“Let’s get moving. I know a good place to ambush them. Follow me.” (Erwin)
After glancing at the bandits in front of the cave, we jump down the tree and run.
There is an open space north of here. It is in the middle of the way to the city. The bandits passed through here earlier so they most likely will use it again.
Mary is also using her magic to track them so we won’t lose them. Somehow, we aren’t found like yesterday. I wonder why.
We reach the open space a few minutes later. The rundown cabin stands before us. The space is pretty large after I look around.
“We will set up an ambush here. Where are the bandits?” (Erwin)
“Okay. They are heading here. ETA five minutes.” (Mary)
“Alright. I will be under that tree. You will be in the cabin.” (Erwin)
“Will you... kill them?” (Mary)
I look back at Mary. She stares at me with a hard face. I can see her trembling hands though.
I stare back at her with a smile.
“I will. To protect the innocents from them.” (Erwin)
“What if… they are not bad people? What if they are forced to?” (Mary)
“Well. The least I know is that they aren’t good people.” (Erwin)
“How do you know?” (Mary)
“From the carriage yesterday.” (Erwin)
The execution, states of the corpses and the carriage’s damages. Just remembering them is scary enough.
“If you can’t kill them, it’s fine to just knock them down. Let me do the dirty work. Just don’t let any of them get away.” (Erwin)
I pat her shoulder and walk to a tree nearby. Under the tree I check my rifle.
M-AK45. An upgraded version of the famous AK47. It has higher firepower and penetration with a built-in suppressor.
I touch my sidearm, an USP pistol and open the holster for immediate usage.
After waiting for a while, the bandits arrive at the open space. There are seven of them. They walk while talking loudly in unknown language. I release the safeties on both my rifle and sidearm.
Fifteen meters of open ground, fifteen meters of kill zone.
One by one they step inside the zone. Without knowing when, sweats have started to roll from my forehead. The nearer the bandits come, the more sweats falls.
‘It’s harder to kill the closer the moment to kill come.’ I thought in my mind.
I have to kill them or else there will be more innocent victims fall by their hands. I repeat the words over and over again.
The moment the last bandit steps inside the zone, I steel myself and fire at the leading bandit. The bullet pierced through his leather armour, straight through his chest and killed him instantly.
The other bandits freeze in place. In that moment I fire another time at the rear bandit. The bullet pierces through his shoulder.
By this time, the bandits have recovered. They look at me with my rifle aimed at them. The one hit on the shoulder starts screaming and run towards their cave.
A gust of wind flashes pass. A big cut appears on the running bandit’s thigh and he falls down.
A magic that condenses the air and fire it at high speed and high pressure. The more mana given, the larger and deadlier the blade. Silent and deadly.
I glance at Mary who peeks out from behind the cabin. Her outstretched hand is holding a staff while trembling.
I look back at the five standing bandits. They have taken out their swords and shields. They didn’t noticed Mary because they are too focused to my rifle. Even their screaming friend doesn’t draw their attention.
The one in the middle shouts out and they take a formation. Three at front and two at rear.
All of their shields are up and the two at the rear pull back slowly to their screaming friend. The three at the front including the supposed leader charge at me.
I fire at the leader’s shield. The bullet pierces through the shield but its trajectory changed. It veers off to the side and hit one of the bandit at the rear in the head.
“Three down.” I murmur.
Another [Wind Blade] flashes pass and hit one of the bandit at the front. A big cut appears at his left shoulder and he drops his shield in response. I take the chance and fire at his chest.
By this point, the bandits realized that there are another ambusher. The leader shouts out and the three remaining bandits starts to gather around with their shield still up.
The stand-off lasts for a while.
I try to change my rifle’s bullets with armor piercing rounds. The moment I take my eyes off them, they see it as chance to run. They run with their shields up against Mary.
‘Such a stupid decision.’ I thought while still holding my magazine.
It only took around one second to relock the magazine on the rifle. The moment they showed their backs, I don’t even need those AP rounds to kill them.
*Bang* *Bang* *Bang*
Three bullets hit their backs simultaneously. They collapsed right after with small groans. A few seconds later, they are dead.
After looking around, I remember about the injured one. I walk to the injured bandit. He is no longer screaming. Most likely dead or lose consciousness.
Mary is peeking from the cabin while trembling. A horrible stench comes over. Looks like she pukes.
I check the injured bandit’s vital. After a while, I know he is dead of blood loss. The cut on his thigh hit his artery and large amount of blood gushed out. I glance at Mary. She is staring at the bandit.
‘Will she have nightmare if she knew she killed someone?’
I stand up and pull out my sidearm. I aim at the bandit’s head.
‘Better not letting her know.’
I put on the safety on my rifle and sidearm. After securing them, I turn to Mary. She has hid herself behind the cabin again.
I turn around again and look at the dead bandits. After calmly looking at them now, I notice my trembling tighten hands. Ignoring them, I walk to the bandits and gather them in one place.
I take off their armours, swords, and shields.
The shields are hardwood round shields. One shield has a hole in it. The rest can be used.
Five of the armours have holes. The other two is fine. They are sturdy so I guess we can use it. The blood stench is bad though.
The swords are all fine iron swords. They are well maintained. Sharp and sturdy.
I put the fine items in my storage except for a shield and a sword. I take out a iron plated heater shield soon after. I compare the shield with the bandit’s shield.
For some reason their shields are much harder. They can’t be compared with the shields of the one who attacked the HQ but this is bandit’s equipment. If even bandits can get such a strong shield… I can’t imagine how horrible the battle between our two worlds can be.
I search through the bodies of the bandits and acquire some silver and copper coins. After ensuring that there are no more things to take, I take out a shovel.
A moment later, a big hole is dug and the bodies are dumped in. When I turn to the soil mound, the mound arises by itself and closes the hole.
I look back to the cabin. Mary lowers her staff at that moment. Her face is a bit pale but I think she is a lot better now.
“Are you fine?” (Erwin)
“Yeah, a bit.” (Mary)
“I am going to their cave now to put a stop to them. You can wait here.” (Erwin)
“No. I am going too.” (Mary)
“You sure?” (Erwin)
I look into her eyes. She stares back with a clear eyes. No hesitation at all.
“Fine then. Let’s go.” (Erwin)
I store the iron heater shield into the storage and take up the round shield. A fine iron sword is hung on my waist. The rifle is placed on my back with the exoskeleton holding it in place.
I pull out the sword and walk forward. I cut a path through the forest to the cave. Mary follows right behind me.
The silence on the way is a bit suffocating.
After a while we arrive at the cave. The two guards spot us right away and ready their spears. They shout out something and move out to our left and right respectively.
“Mary, stand back. I want to try out my swordsmanship.” (Erwin)
Mary falls back to the forest and raise her staff. A glowing orb appears at its tip and then it flies over and enters my body.
I can feel my strength is increased a lot and the outside world is a bit slower.
A magic that stimulates our body for higher performance. Increased muscle strength and bone hardness. Increased blood circulation that leads to more oxygen and nutrition to brain for increased reflex and reaction speed.
I dash to the left with my shield up. My opponent raises his spear and thrusts forward.
Spear is a powerful mid-range weapon. It has a much longer reach than sword. The blow is also powerful. Usually used as a main weapon for foot soldiers as it is cheap and easy to train in.
However, its weakness is in close combat which is a sword’s speciality.
I parry the spear to the left with my shield and close the distance. Noticing my advance, he swipes his spear to me.
I jump to the left and duck down. The spear passes through above my head. The next moment I lunge forward and stab my sword into his chest.
The spear drops and the wielder follows shortly after. I pull out my sword and look at the other bandit.
He is staring dumbfoundedly for a while. Maybe he thought he has no chance against me, he runs to Mary. She is still maintaining her magic, neglecting her surrounding.
[Body Reinforcement] is a complex magic that require the caster to cast in full concentration as it involves the complex bodily function of the target. The disadvantage is that the caster has to maintain the magic, leaving them vulnerable.
Looking at that, I panic.
I run quickly behind the bandit, trying to catch up. Mary raises her head to look. The bandit sees that he is discovered and he thrust out his spear.
Mary quickly jumps back. She swings her staff down and knocks the spear. The spear thrusts the ground right below her.
I reach her in that moment and stabs out my sword to his hand. It stabs through his leather gauntlet and arm. I bash his head with shield, pull out the sword and then stab his chest.
The next moment the effect of the magic disappears. Strong tiredness strikes me and I drop down along with the dead bandit.
“I… am fine…. Just… a bit…. Tired…” (Erwin)
“Ah sorry. I still can’t control my magic so the effect is bigger.” (Mary)
“What… do you… mean?” (Erwin)
“This world has much more mana than on Earth so I unconsciously draw more mana. My magic is now much more effective with less effort. Your strength increased a lot because of my magic but in return you will feel more tired than normal.” (Mary)
Mary smiles wryly while scratching her head timidly. I laugh dryly for a while. I push the dead bandit aside and sit up.
I search through his body and found some silver and copper coins. Mary timidly walk towards the other bandit’s body.
“You don’t have to force yourself. I will handle it later.” (Erwin)
“...I can do it.” (Mary)
She walks resolutely to the corpse. I smile wryly when she timidly reaches out her hands to touch the corpse. I stand up with a bit of effort and walk to her.
I stand guard behind her when she timidly searches. There is one more bandit inside the cave. However, he never appear ever since the guards started fighting.
“Here. The loot.” (Mary)
“Alright. Let’s go.” (Erwin)
I accept the coins and then we walk to the cave. The cave is quite large. It is half circle in shape and has a radius of three meters. Five meters inside the cave suddenly widen. There are a few rooms in here. One of them has lock.
“Mary, where is the last one?” (Erwin)
“Behind that door. Middle of the room. Unarmed.” (Mary)
Unarmed? That’s strange. There is no way that he didn’t know about the fight outside.
I put up my shield in front of me and step in front of the door. I glance at Mary.
“Is there anything around the door?” (Erwin)
“Nothing. It’s clean.” (Mary)
“Get ready to breach.” (Erwin)
Mary put her hand on the knob. I pull out my sword and stand right in front of the door.
Mary turns the knob and push it. I run in and directly bash the bandit. He stumbles back immediately and falls down. I pin him down immediately.
Mary moves in right after me and look around. The room is just a simple cave. There is only a table and chair nearby. A pile of clothes and fur is on one side of the cave.
“What are you doing?” (Mary)
“Tying him up.” (Erwin)
I pull out a disposable handcuff from my pocket and cuff his hands behind his back. Then I throw him to the corner.
“Your turn.” (Erwin)
“For what?” (Mary)
Mary looks anxiously to me while backing away.
“Intelligence gathering. I need your magic now.” (Erwin)
“Ah! O-okay. Wait a minute.” (Mary)
'Did she think I want her to kill him?' I thought while smiling wryly.
Mary raises her staff and a white light appears on its tip. It slowly grows to a small orb and enters the bandit’s head.
“Mary, why is it only one orb when the one you cast at me had a lot of orbs?” (Erwin)
“Yours had my full comprehension of my language. It took quite a while to gather and assimilate so you can understand. This one is just a basic so we can talk.” (Mary)
“I see. So it’s a simplified version.” (Erwin)
“Not really like that but yeah. It is much more simple than yours.” (Mary)
“Now, we wait.” (Erwin)
“No need. It should have already finished.” (Mary)
I look back at the prisoner. He is staring at us with a wide open mouth. Time's up for the surprise. Now then. Let’s start the interrogation.