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Chapter 09: I tried to save the mermaid (part 1)
“It’s about time, you two.” [Youki]
I would like to give the two of them some time alone as much as I could, but I was worried about Shike-chan’s friend. It has been three days since we caught the bandits in the cave, so their cronies must be feeling suspicious by now. I wasn’t sure how often they kept in contact with each other, but it was best to get this resolved before they could make their escape.
“Sorry, I’m ready to go, but… Happiness, could you please wake up?” [Raven]
This fellow had actually woken up for some time already. I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything since I didn’t want to ruin the mood. However, when Raven shook Happiness again, in an attempt to wake her up, the latter’s eyes snapped open.
“Are you still half-asleep? Youki’s waiting for us. It’s time to head to the bandit’s hideout.” [Raven]
“Mmm… Got it.” [Happiness]
She rubbed her eyes sleepily then stretched herself as she yawned.
Was she really asleep? Wasn’t she just pretending? No, she was probably feigning in the beginning, but ended up dozing off for real. Well, whatever.
“It’s time to put an end to this mission now. Let’s go!” [Youki]
“What has gotten into you all of a sudden?” [Raven]
“…It’s nothing unusual of him.” [Happiness]
My chuuni switch had been flipped. I thought that this would boost our morale but, when Happiness replied to Raven in exasperation, I felt discouraged.
“W-Well, at any rate, let’s prepare ourselves.” [Youki]
As Raven fixed his scabbard to his waist, Happiness whipped out her folding fan, and I clenched my fists – the three of us were armed and battle ready.
” Lead us there, Raven. We are ready to go.” [Youki]
“…Understand. Let’s head off.” [Raven]
Since I didn’t know where the bandits’ hideout was, there wasn’t any reason for me to lead the party, although, the urge was undoubtedly still there. It was probably just my anxiety kicking in.
“…You just wanted to show-off.” [Happiness]
“That’s not it! Seriously, we’re leaving now.” [Youki]
“Yes. We’ll definitely get back the stolen goods and save the mermaid.” [Raven]
“That’s the spirit, Raven. Just make sure you don’t lose your composure.” [Youki]
Raven was the one who was most emotionally unstable among us this time, so I had to keep my eye on him. Seeing him in an uplifted spirit was a welcome, but I wanted to prevent the same incident from happening again. It was understandable, though, for one to lose their common sense when they were confused.
“…It’ll be okay, this time. Definitely.” [Happiness]
“Why are you the one making that assurance?” [Youki]
“…I’ll stop him.” [Happiness]
Happiness clenched her fist, attempting to reassure me.
Ah, I see.
“Then I’ll leave it to you. Make sure to stop him if he goes out of control.” [Youki]
“…Roger that.” [Happiness]
“Hold on a second there. Why are you both convinced that I’ll go out of control? Nothing of the sort happened!” [Raven]
Raven tried to argue, but upon looking at Happiness’s determined look, a wry smile crossed his face.
We should be rushing for time now, but I supposed it was fine to take a breather once in a while? No, in truth, we were merely dawdling.
“Seriously, let’s get going for real. We’re running out of time.” [Youki]
“I understand. Let’s go.” [Raven]
Raven then led us to the bandits’ hideout, which turned out to be somewhere in the mountains. Shike-chan was instructed to sing near the harbour to put the sailors to sleep so the bandits could invade the ship. The stolen cargos must have been transported to the hideout before dawn. It seemed that their base was located nearby, probably to prevent potential witnesses from happening upon them if they took too much time moving the items. However, fortunately, based on the information acquired by Raven, a merchant had seen a group of men entering the mountain with a load of items. Upon an initial survey, Raven discovered two men seemingly standing guard in that area.
“I’m surprised you didn’t rush into the place by yourself. From how you were behaving the other day, it wouldn’t even have been strange if you’d ended up trashing the whole hideout on your own.” [Youki]
“…I was only planning to scout the area at the time. It’s dangerous to charge into an enemy camp alone without knowing about the enemies. I don’t know how many of them are there.” [Raven]
“Besides, I’ve told you guys to leave the information gathering to me, but I did not mention anything about solving everything myself. My selfishness ends there. I shouldn’t make any more move without first consulting you two.” [Raven]
It seemed that he had really reflected on himself. That aside, it would also be hard for him to save Shike-chan’s friend and retrieve all the stolen cargos by himself.
“I’m worried that they might escaped after sensing that something went wrong.” [Youki]
“…It should be fine. I’ve already asked the knights in that area to keep an eye on that place, just in case.” [Raven]
That’s Raven for you. He’s not going to let the bandits escape.
We followed the mountain path carefully to avoid detection by the bandits. To complement the plan, I also enhanced my sense of smell and hearing to investigate the movement of the enemies, although this was not disclosed to Raven. It seemed that the enemies had gathered near the entrance of the cave.
…Had they noticed the knights who were monitoring them? Their movements looked organized. It was possible that there was a sharp cookie among them.
As we proceeded along the path, we suddenly heard a voice. We instantly hid ourselves behind the trees and surveyed the area where the bandits were. Several of them were seen lugging the boxes out of the cave and loading them into a carriage.
So are they really planning to escape?
“…That was dangerous. They might have fled if we hadn’t made it in time,” [Raven]