|Author: Bankuru||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2419 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1149 words|
A few days have passed since then. We’ve gone back and forth several times between the town and the mountain range in search of them but they were nowhere to be found.
And since I can’t get some quality sleep, I’m getting increasingly worn out as days go by.
『I hope we find them soon…… I’m getting really tired these days……』
『True. At this rate, you’re going to collapse from exhaustion, Natsuki-san…..』
We were doing our usual post-breakfast talk but it seems like although Nera-san is still physically okay, she’s also getting mentally exhausted from being on alert for multiple days straight. She’s sighing more than she did before.
In our current state, it’s only going to get worse from here on. Isn’t there something we can do……
And as we were trying to think of something, the inn’s entrance door suddenly banged open and someone came clattering in. It’s really noisy. I turned my still tired head towards the door and vacantly stared at what it is.
「Ohh, thank goodness! The two of you are still here!」
「What’s the matter?」
「There was a report of a wagon attacked by bandits just moments ago! I rushed to inform you two as soon as possible!」
What? Dammit, the casualties increased before we could even find their hideout.
「Natsuki-san, let’s hurry. This is our chance. If we follow them, we can find their hideout. Mayor, we’re very sorry but we will be prioritizing the pursuit of the bandits. We’ll leave the reception of the attacked wagon to you and this town’s guards.」
I see, so we’re prioritizing our main mission, searching for the bandits’ hideout, so that we can prevent any future casualties too. That’s a really quick decision.
We asked the town mayor for the general location and quickly left the inn.
Since it’s an emergency, we ignored the gate. I immediately embraced her and took to the skies.
『That’s the place, right?』
Just moments after I started flying, we immediately saw the crime scene. It seems like the bandits have already retreated and since the driver went to contact the town, there aren’t any signs of people near the wagon.
We immediately look for routes leading from here to the mountains. We saw a spot where the grass seemed somewhat flattened, so we followed where it led to.
『Please follow them while maintaining our current distance!』
The bandits are running while pulling a wagon…… But what’s with their speed? They’re just as fast as us when we were running with magic power.
『Hey, Nera-san. Look, they’re circulating magic power, aren’t they?』
『I’m afraid so…… We still don’t know whether they can use magic or not, but it seems like we can’t let our guard down.』
It looks like just being able to circulate magic power doesn’t assure that they can use magic. It can be learned naturally when training to move one’s body efficiently and such.
It might be like how I naturally learned to fly, huh.
After pursuing the bandits for a while, we can now see the mountains. The place they’re going to is…… wait, isn’t that where we searched the other day?
I don’t really think that we missed something that time but we are actually heading there, so yeah.
Since the trees were blocking our sights, I landed and we started chasing them on foot. Yeah, this really is a place we investigated before. Straight ahead of us is something like a wall, or rather the face of a cliff.
The bandits went to the face of the cliff and, for some reason, started banging on the cliff.
After that, a part of the cliff changed and it now had a cave-like hole. So them banging on it was some kind of signal, huh.
『To think that they closed it off with magic. It’s frustrating but finding that would have been absolutely difficult. I can only be glad that we stumbled upon this chance.』
『For now, it’s great that we found their hideout but… Doesn’t this confirm that there’s someone that can use magic among them?』
『That’s true. Besides that, it seems like they’re quite proficient with magic. It’s as the leader imagined, avoiding an extermination mission was the right choice. It seems like we need to be careful in investigating and report this to the leader straight away.』
The bandits were more troublesome than we expected. This might be the first time I was ever glad that Ruti wasn’t here with us. I might need to thank the leader for this.
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To know how many of them there are and stuff, we hid somewhere nearby and observed what they were doing. Occasionally, some armed bandits would come out, probably to patrol the surrounding area. They have swords on them, but are they trained in these too?
While we kept observing them, behind us came a different wagon dragged to this place. I thought that it might have been from the new victims, but it looks like the wagon was carrying some food-like(?) and vegetable-ish stuff.
We’ve been watching them since without eating lunch, so it’s just making me more and more hungry. Ahh, I want to just munch on some really thick meaty steak.
『Natsuki-san, you’re drooling, you know? I feel the same way as well, so please bear with it for just a bit more.』
Ugh, this is killing me. But still, they really have a lot of food, huh. And it’s not even preserved food, it’s the fresh stuff, so this means that there’s a lot of them, right? The team needed to suppress these bandits would probably need a lot of people.
「Ah, it’s already time to switch, huh. Could’ve let us rest a bit more, really.」
「Man, don’t be like that. We’ve been eating a real lot these days, so it’s not that bad.」
「Well yeah, it’s pretty nice to eat but I just want to rest just some more. Besides, there just aren’t any women here. And it’s not like there’s a red-light district nearby, so can’t they do anything about this?」
Well, that was some really indecent exchange. I mean, it’s not like I don’t understand his point, yeah? I was a man before after all.
「Well, guess it’s time to wor-…… Hm? Is it just me or does something smell good?」
Saying so, the beastkin man headed towards our direction while sniffing the air.
『Eh, wait a minute. Your magic didn’t run out, right?』
『Like heck it would run out now! I just cast it again earlier, didn’t I! Are you kidding me!? This magic doesn’t only hide things, it inhibits recognition, you know!?』
Nera-san is really panicking. That’s quite rare……. No, not that! What do we do about this!?