Chapter 157: Fate of the assailants
Since then, we could not find the slave merchant no matter how hard we searched.
Although there were many with serious injuries among the former slaves who received the attack from that slave merchant, miraculously, there were no casualties.
I had no choice but to drink MP potions and heal the former slaves until the point where they would not pass away.
“Nevertheless, I did not expect the ones who were slashed by Shisho and Lionel to still be alive.”
At that time, I saw them heroically slice them so I thought that they had been killed for sure but I was amazed when I found out that every one of them was still alive.
“Luciel, look at them closely. These guys are not all slaves right? The attackers were actually a coalition of slaves, bandits, adventurers and some country’s private soldiers. We tried to deceive the enemy to extract information.”
“Information huh … Shisho. Even so, don’t you think you went a bit too far?”
Just as I was about to ask if he didn’t understand what I meant, Lionel also grinned and answered for Shisho.
“Luciel-sama, even if it’s Whirlwind, it’s impossible to completely defend against that number of combined attacks. Though he would not suffer any injuries if he stood at that front during his prime …”
“He probably totally hasn’t noticed but there’s no need to lie to Luciel. Both this guy and I intentionally made it look like we were injured.”
Question marks lined up within my head.
“Ha~. Just by showing cuts on a single layer of thin skin to make an advantageous situation for the enemy, he will usually get drunk on himself and willfully become talkative right?”
“That’s right. By showing like we were injured, we finally got the mastermind to appear just when Luciel-sama arrived.”
Shisho spat out a huge sigh as he taught me the strategy of pretending to struggle like in a difficult fight.
Furthermore, Lionel explained to me the situation at that time but there were points where I was unconvinced.
However, was everything Lionel said just now a lie? I considered if that was Lionel’s own way of accurately discerning Shisho’s condition.
When I thought about that, I felt that perhaps Shisho’s combat intuition might have dulled.
… Shisho spends most of his time in the Adventurer’s Guild’s training ground.
Was that not meant to cultivate combat intuition? It is often the case in my previous life, as the years go by, what could be done in the past can no longer be done.
I don’t know the Shisho of the past but compared to his adventuring time where he fought with burning life force, it’s possible enough that the sense that is not reflected in skill and status may be dulled for the Shisho who continuously stays inside the Adventurer’s Guild.
The highest numeric value for status exist but it does not mean that a person will consistently remain in the state of having the highest stats.
Is Shisho not still in the condition of test running if he can regain his actual combat intuition?
I reached that conclusion.
“Shisho, has your combat sense and combat intuition returned? Didn’t Shisho intentionally allow a thin layer of skin of yours to be cut for the sake of cultivating them?”
Like in combat training? I posed that question.
” … Just a bit. These guys’ individual abilities are so-so but they were able to cooperate to an abnormal extent so I’ve returned to having combat power equal to current A-rank adventurers. Well, even though their quality was poor maybe because it’s a coalition, regardless of their scattered attack timing, they launched the worst kind of attacks where they attacked even their own companions so it was fun.”
Shisho said as if to shake off the anxious expression on my face as he gave his report on his analysis of the opponents and the situation.
I realized it was rather foolish to worry about this battle maniac.
“I don’t know how strong an A-rank adventurer is but if it was me, I would have died multiple times.”
“If you’d die from something of that extent, you’ll really die during training.”
Ah, I dug my own grave … those eyes were eyes that told me he’ll half-kill me if I disappoint him.
My knees trembled at the sight of those eyes that I have not seen in a long while.
I’ll change the topic.
Since I might die if the topic continues …
“Ev, even so, you did a good job not killing them despite having to fend off that number of attacks.”
“In the beginning, I thought that it couldn’t be helped if I killed them but the ones apart from the slaves who had no choice but to fight were weak. If it’s just to hold out against those people, Luciel should also be able to do it.”
It seems like Shisho acknowledged my growth.
“Since I trained you so much, you won’t lose consciousness just from pain right? Also, if you can use healing magic as well, it shouldn’t be a problem if you only need to stall for time.”
Well, he didn’t say that I would be able to fight them though.
I wonder if I have grown as a warrior?
“Luciel-sama, that’s Whirlwind’s way of hiding his embarrassment. This time, your excellent judgment of the situation and healing magic saved everyone including me. If you were slightly later, we would have no choice but to kill them.”
“Well, that’s true. Since the slaves were tied down by a curse. There should definitely be ones among them who were forcibly turned into slaves. That’s why it was a great help when you dispelled them from slavery.”
… Even though I’ve been thinking about this and that since just now, I was still convinced that these 2 are in another dimension.
They probably thought of disabling the enemies without killing them even under those circumstances.
If they unleashed their full strength, it would have ended without my intervention.
Well, thinking about it calmly, that’s only natural.
But then, I was curious as to why these 2 did not capture the slave merchant.
” … But, I’m curious about that slave merchant.”
“Luciel, I’ll tell you beforehand, the one we saw was a fake.”
“I threw a stone at him when I saw a chance but it passed through him.”
There’s probably a reason why they didn’t tell me that.
If that’s the case, I’ll ask about another question I had.
” … We were targeted because I purchased the sisters but even so, didn’t he take action too soon?”
“You’re right. For him to invest this amount of combat force that can be said to be abnormal just to capture the sisters. His aim might possibly be Blange instead.”
“What do you mean?”
I didn’t understand how it led to Blange.
“He had eyes fraught with madness … those are eyes from a person who was robbed of people or something important to him by an unreasonable power. Because Grandol is a country where the Adventurer’s Guild operates in, even though it looks uncivilized but an adventurer’s rank is everything. If something evil is done, a high ranker from the guild headquarters will mobilize to fix the problem so even if it’s a grudge towards a single person, he won’t think of destroying the world. … If it reached that point, his opponent should either be an organization, nobility or a country. It’s because those sisters were born in Blange. Although we won’t know the actual truth without catching him.”
This person really puts the pieces together quickly.
If it’s an organization … won’t it be fine if we ask the attackers who these 2 thought they seem to be a country’s private soldiers?
“Even so, why Blange?”
“Intuition. However, without knowing who the sisters know, why they were so persistently attacked and if I am to elaborate further, looking at the private soldiers there, it might be violence that can escalate to an international issue.”
Even though the combat just ended, he did well to deduce that from such scarce information.
This reasoning ability might be this person’s greatness.
However, one thing that I was curious about arose.
” … If that deduction is true, won’t that slave merchant hold quite a serious grudge against me?”
“Didn’t he already declare that?”
He certainly did specifically name me and declared that he will destroy my dream.
To want to crush the wonderful dream of having a peaceful life …
” … Well, what’s done is done. Leaving that aside, regarding these people’s treatment, what should we do with them?”
“If they were regular bandits, more than half will be killed as an example. Since it would take time to interrogate them. Well, this time it can’t be helped so we should probably transport them to the Adventurer’s Guild headquarters in Grandol and request for the professionals to handle it.”
While half will fall into despair, I was too scared to ask Shisho about which professionals he was referring to.
It took us 3 hours to return from the journey we took an hour to traverse previously. We plan to call a slave merchant at the Adventurer’s Guild headquarters, drop off all the slaves, and leave it up to the Adventurer’s Guild headquarters to interrogate them.
“Shisho, is it really all right to entrust this to the Adventurer’s Guild?”
“Yeah. I don’t really care at all if the guild headquarters think that Meratoni’s guildmaster is incompetent. The information we are looking for would probably come up if we just do an investigation. As a result, I would be able to earn a favor as well.”
This person is a genius in thinking ahead.
“Is it regarding the matter you were investigating yesterday?”
“Yeah. Since the ones who will get into trouble if this incident comes to light are the management in charge of requests and adventurers as you can immediately tell that it is a result of negligence.”
“As expected of Shisho. Okay. What should I do?”
“Let me see … it’s fine if you don’t do anything. Maybe just make sure these people don’t escape?”
“Okay. I don’t mind doing that … no, thank you. I’ll also give instructions to Lionel and the others to cut them down if they escape.”
“I see. Then, wait here for a bit.”
Shisho said as he entered the Adventurer’s Guild.
That person’s greatness was his ability to reliably determine the important points.
Nevertheless, it’s great that Instructor Broad looks like he is somewhat having fun.
“It seems like I am always being spoilt by Shisho … Lionel, what do you think would have appeared if that slave merchant’s summon succeeded?”
He’s the same level as Shisho so he probably understood something too.
“If it’s such a huge magic circle, it might be a large monster or if we’re unlucky, a demon might appear.”
” … There were also demons at the village we stopped at before reaching Meratoni but what is your opinion on that?”
I was surprised nonetheless when I heard him say demon.
A person who can employ such a being would be monstrous.
I thought that the demons in that village were only affiliated with the Empire but maybe I was wrong?
“This time would have been different. This time, it would have been a summon subjected to subordination to the slave merchant who made the magic circle. It would clearly be a demon of different status compared to the ones we fought with.”
“Now that I think about it, the Empire is close to the demon’s territory but have there been wars?”
“Yeah. There were frequent conflicts up until about 20 years ago.”
” … That’s the period when there were changes to the Emperor, Prime minister and influential nobles right?”
“I’m surprised you know about that. After the death of the previous Emperor, the representatives were replaced altogether. Well, it was unrelated to me who worked as a general at that time though.”
” … Just since when did you become a general?”
“Since I was 20. So nostalgic.”
He was even younger than I am currently … thinking about it that way, I could tell just how excellent Lionel was.
When I was able to verify that Lionel is not an ordinary person, Shisho came over with a couple robust men and told the attackers to enter the Adventurer’s Guild and took them along with them.
“Luciel, the attackers will be turned to slaves. Their sale returns will all be credited to your account.”
“Is that all right? It would be fine if Shisho accepted it instead. Since I had you accompany me in Grandol …”
“Then, for the sake of appeasing everyone when we return to Meratoni, help me treat everyone to alcohol.”
“All right. Oh right, if the rookie adventurers who Cathy and Kefin captured didn’t realize they were working for evil and were deceived, please release them. Since they should be able to start over.”
During the journey back to Grandol, there were some among the rookie adventurers who cried towards the prospect of becoming slaves.
Seeing that, I decided to release them if they really didn’t know anything about the incident this time.
Even if their luck was bad, holding the feeling of being saved, they should be able to work hard to crawl up from the bottom.
I believed in that.
” … So naive. However, without such leniency, it might give birth to men like that slave merchant. All right. I’ll put in a word for them. Well then, the time now is not here nor there so what should we do?”
“We can camp out as well so let’s proceed on. Instead of getting caught in a trap again, I think we should move forward to polish ourselves even if only slightly.”
“Hou, well said. As expected of my disciple. Then let’s get ready to depart.”
Thus, we entrusted the attackers to the Adventurer’s Guild and we departed for the ant labyrinth for the sake of polishing ourselves.
Thank you for reading.