|Author: Kashiwagi Masato||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2393 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1186 words|
After catching the thieves, our schedule was pushed back a day and we stopped by a village that was some distance away from the main road. It’s because we’re still about two days away from Gateskeep and it would be dangerous to keep the thieves near us in the duration of the trip.
First of all, we need to tie the thieves with rope and restrain them so that they wouldn’t escape. However, the other passengers wouldn’t like being together with them while inside the carriage, especially from a hygienic standpoint, and if by any chance they get free from their restraints, it would be dangerous for the passengers. That’s why there was no other choice but to make them walk alongside the carriage but since doing that would slow the carriage down, it was inevitable for our trip to be delayed for about one day.
The carriage slowing down also means that it’ll make us an easier target for monsters and thieves. Well, we already captured the thieves here, so I don’t think there’ll be others appearing anytime soon.
With that said, since we’re already going to be delayed anyway, it’s decided that we hand the bandits over to the village to make our travel much safer. Since it’s only a town, they didn’t have a proper prison or anything, but it seems like they still have some sort of small cabin that they can imprison the bandits in, so they crammed the half-naked thieves in it. Just to be sure, I upped the strength of the small cabin with magic in secret, so there shouldn’t be any problems.
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The village is… currently in a really festive mood. With the arrival of outsiders, the thieves who had been stealing their crops were captured, and receiving a share of the money from the slave sale, the village decided to throw a party.
It seems like the thieves have been targeting five nearby villages and because of that, the villages were already considering putting out a subjugation request at either Gateskeep or Motsi’s guild. Unlike monsters or magic beast subjugation, bandit subjugation requests cost a large sum of money. A part of it is because it’s against other people, but it’s also because monsters and magic beasts have parts that can be sold and used as valuable tools, weapons, and food while thieves, bandits, and pirates don’t have those kinds of utility on them. If they’re captured alive and sold as slaves, then they can be used as manpower but capturing someone alive when they’re seriously going for the kill is pretty difficult unless you’re really strong.
For that reason, bandit subjugation requests would be the work of high-ranking adventurers and mercenaries. Naturally, the request fee would be expensive when requesting for high-ranking individuals, so it’s difficult to put out a request just for some crop theft. By the way, if there are any victims as a result then it would be a different story. In this case, it would be reported to the fief lord governing the area and a subjugation unit would be assembled for sure. That’s why cunning thieves would only stop at things that can be easily sold for money, they should but……
「In the first place, it’s really strange.」
「Well, see? There’s no way that some bunch stealing food from the villages here would go attack a guarded carriage, you know?」
「But they just did, didn’t they?」
Gerald said something weird. Even though there are escorts, there are only 6 of them, and the 10 or so thieves should have no problems defeating them. Though this time, 3 adventurers, Urania, Gerald, and me, were also in the carriage, so even if the bandits did defeat all of them, they probably wouldn’t have gotten any of the carriage’s payload.
「Hmmm…… you don’t get it?」
「Lily, in a 6 vs 10, the 10 might be able to win. But, both sides will definitely have casualties.」
「Hm, yeah, that’s right.」
「Thieves can’t go to a doctor in town. If they can’t use healing magic, anyone suffering from an injury can only wait to die.」
「Anyone that can use healing magic wouldn’t be just stealing things here. They can earn money anywhere.」
「Ahh, I get it.」
So even if defeating the escorts is possible, any resulting injury would be a loss for them. Thieves can’t just easily find new people after all. Even if they can, it’ll naturally be hard for them to trust their new accomplice. In this case, it’s not smart to risk losing their current allies. It might be a 10 vs 6 for them now, but if 4 die here, I’ll be a 6 vs 6 the next time around. They might even lose 3 more people at that time. If that happens, they might fail in stealing even simple things. Villagers can’t really fight but they should have enough strength to beat 2 to 3 thieves if they gang up on them.
「More than that, once a carriage gets attacked, it’ll definitely get reported to the lord. Kidnapped passengers generally get illegally sold as slaves, and illegal slaves coming from your own dominion is nothing but humiliation for a lord. They’ll be on a bloodshot frenzy smoking the thieves out, you know?」
Naturally, there’s no way to know where an illegal slave came from unless they say it themselves. There’s no way, but when slave dealers selling illegal slaves or criminals and other people that have illegal slaves get caught, the background of the slaves will always be confirmed. While it’s said that any dominion would still have about a few dozen illegal slaves, once it reaches a certain point, the lords and nobles will start doubting your ability to govern your dominion.
Furthermore, if this reaches the royalty and other people at the top, it seems like in the worst case scenario, your whole household might get exterminated as well. In reality, there are quite a few nobles that were destroyed like that, Gerald says.1
「Being a lord is pretty tough too, huh.」
「Yeah, it’s pretty tough.」
Seeing Gerald mutter seriously like it’s his own problem instantly made me burst into laughter. He looked at me confused, but in the first place, this Gerald talking seriously is somehow unbelievably amusing.
「O~i! Little lady! Join us here!」
「Hm~? Sure! I’ll be going! Sorry about that, I need to go.」
「Haha, being a hero is pretty tough too, huh.」
One of the mercenaries, Dane, called me. Beside him is the village head. I just greeted him earlier but since I left the full explanation to the mercenaries, they got slightly angry at me and exaggerated my introduction seeing as we’ve caught all of the thieves unscathed. (Even that guy doesn’t have a single scratch. Though, he still can’t stand up.)
After that, I was greeted with the villager’s cheers, danced with Urania, ended up dancing with Gerald for some reason, and enjoyed the village-hosted party.