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Chapter 07: I listened to the mermaid’s story (part 4)
“Then we’ll let you handle this.” [Youki]
“…Thank you.” [Raven]
Raven gave us his thanks and pulled his sword from its sheath. He did not assume any fighting stance, but merely stood there, gripping his sword.
Before long, the ones we were waiting for finally came into view. Though they were initially surprised to see us, they were soon grinning broadly.
“Y-Yo. So you’re safe, swordsman. I was worried, so I called up a couple of friends to check on yo-…”
Raven pointed the sword at the man’s face in silence, interrupting him mid-sentence.
“W-What’s wrong, swords bro? Are you doing some sort of pla…”
With an angry yell, Raven struck the guy in the pit of his stomach with the hilt of his sword causing the latter to collapse on the spot. His unfortunate victim didn’t even have time to utter a single sound before he was knocked out.
“W-What the– you asshole!”
Perhaps because their companion was defeated, the other four pointed their weapons at Raven.
“…I’ve heard everything from the mermaid. Prepare yourself.” [Raven]
“So that mermaid has screwed up? Well whatever. We’ll just let you have it then! You’re just a man with a womanly voice. You all, go get’em!”
At that man’s command, all the bandits leapt at Raven at once. However, just like the earlier bandit, Raven merely incapacitated them with his weapon. He used only the hilt of his sword as he probably did not want to take their lives. He then proceeded to knock down the leader’s weapon and swept at his feet, making him fall.
“W-Wait a minute. You got it all wrong. That mermaid is the real mastermind behind this…”
It was astounding for him to come up with such an excuse in a moment of desperation. His miserable explanation seemed to have also struck a nerve in Raven, causing the latter to thrust his sword, stopping only a mere inch before the tip of the sword tore into that man’s face.
“…Shut up.” [Raven]
The man, presumably lost his fighting spirit, passed out in that instant, foaming at the mouth. After confirming that all the bandits were unconscious, Raven returned his sword to its sheath.
“Well done.” [Youki]
“…Good job.”(1) [Happiness]
Happiness and I gave Raven a pat on the shoulder.
I had wanted to retort at Happiness when I heard what she said, but decided against it due to the situation we were in. What crossed my mind was; Where did she learn those words from?
“…Thank you. But, it’s not over yet. I’ve got a lot of questions for these guys… I’ll definitely make them spit out the whereabout of their hideout.” [Raven]
It would seem that he had not fully vented his anger yet – a dark aura was enveloping him.
“…Calm down.” [Happiness]
Happiness squeezed Raven’s hand.
I was doubtful if that attempt would really soothe his nerves, however, I was proven wrong. That gesture itself was more than sufficient for someone who was at the stage of adolescence like Raven.
“I-I got it…” [Raven]
Raven looked away, apparently so we wouldn’t notice his beet red face, but the fact that he had refused to let go of Happiness’s hand despite his embarrassment was just like him.
“Just go easy on Raven’s reward. Well, shall we wake these dingbats up for some questioning?” [Youki]
Those two could flirt all they wanted. Rather, I had hoped that they would go all out at it as I had originally planned.
“H-Hold on, Youki! Could you leave the questioning task to me?” [Raven]
“… Are you still bothered by it? Shike-chan also said she’d like to thank you for helping her, so you don’t have to shoulder all the responsibilities by yourself.” [Youki]
“Still… I can’t forgive myself. So, please…” [Raven]
Happiness gave him the go-ahead before I could make a decision.
“Hey, don’t go deciding that arbitrarily.” [Youki]
When I expressed my displeasure, Happiness looked at me pleadingly. She was usually expressionless, but her face spoke volumes this time; she looked like she was on the verge of tears, yet had a determined look in her eyes. If I were to turn her down even after this, Duke and Sheik would be furious with me.
“Okay, okay, I got it. I’ll leave it to you then, Raven.” [Youki]
“…Sorry for giving into my willfulness. Since I’ve said I’ll do it myself, I’ll make sure to extract all the information from them. Of course, that includes their hideout. Well, then…” [Raven]
Raven tied all the bandits up with a rope from his possession and dragged the five of them towards the exit.
…Seriously, he had single-handedly handled everything. I supposed he would return to the inn once he had found something out.
“…Thank you.” [Happiness]
“I don’t know what you’re thanking me for, but for now, all I can say is… don’t worry about it.” [Youki]
I patted Happiness on the head, but just like earlier, she slapped my hand away.
“Harsh, but I guess that’s what makes you you.” [Youki]
Not only Raven, but Happiness is also herself again. I am not sure what the future holds, but things seem to be going well. All that is left is to rescue Shike-chan’s friend, and hopefully, with no issues.
After we bade Shike-chan goodbye, Happiness and I decided to return to the inn to wait for Raven.
(1) Happiness literally said ‘Good job’ (Gujjobu – ぐっじょぶ).