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Chapter 09: I tried to save the mermaid (part 2)
In the worst-case scenario, I would enhance all of my senses to the fullest, and pursue them to the ends of the earth, although, that is probably not a wise course of action. Not only would Happiness not agree with it, it would arouse Raven’s suspicion, as well. Thankfully, there is no need for me to consider that option now.
“Hold it, hold it! Are you just going to charge in blindly?! You do know that there are a lot of things that we’d need to retrieve, right?” [Youki]
“…Yes, I agree. Let’s launch a surprise attack. There’s no way they can escape now. I’d like to crush that carriage first.” [Raven]
“So why don’t we do it this way? Happiness will first destroy the carriage wheel with her magic while Raven and I will launch a direct assault. Happiness will then guard those stolen goods as we take care of the bandits.” [Youki]
“That would put Happiness at risk…” [Raven]
“…Bring it on.” [Happiness]
Happiness whipped out her fan, as if telling us indirectly to leave it to her. More importantly, where did she learn that phrase from? She has been picking up strange phrases and gestures from someone as of late. I decided that I would make her spill the beans on who the culprit was.
“Raven, she is far stronger than you think, so there’s no need for you to be worried. I can attest to that. Besides, she would like to help Shike-chan and her friend as well, so don’t you think it’s wrong for you to leave her out of this?” [Youki]
“…You’re right. Let’s work together and complete this mission.” [Raven]
Raven seemed convinced. We had also decided on our respective roles to play. It was time to put this to action, which was what I wanted to do, but it was still not the right time to pull this out. The bandits, from what we could see, were still in the midst of transporting the stolen goods and uploading them into the carriage. It would be ideal to hold back until they were done with all that. I conveyed my thoughts to them and so, we continued to keep ourselves hidden. Before long, the bandits could be seen carrying out another box, one that seemed to be rattling for some reason.
“…Hey, don’t you think that box looks suspicious?” [Raven]
“Indeed. That box seems to be shaking hard. There’s no doubt that there’s some sort of creature captured inside. But, don’t you think it’s shaking way too much?” [Youki]
It looked like a coffin-shaped box that could easily contain one person, but it was shaking really hard. If there really was someone captured inside the box, it wasn’t surprising that he or she would try to break free. However, I couldn’t confirm if the one trapped inside was Shike-chan’s friend.
“Youki, they could finally hold the box down with six of them.” [Raven]
“Yeah. Well, that box looks like the last piece of the stolen items. Shike-chan’s friend must be trapped inside then. Let us begin.” [Youki]
Tired of this slapstick routine, I decided to put our plan to action. The two of them nodded as well. To start with, Happiness shot ‘Gale Rush’, an intermediate magic, towards the carriage as planned. A number of wind spheres in the shape of balls materialized and destroyed the wheels, causing the upper carriage to collapse. As a precaution, I had asked her not to launch any attack indiscriminately so as to avoid hitting the carriage’s main body. As a result, the bandits were momentarily stupefied due to the sudden surprise attack. This gave us the opportunity to put the second plan into motion. Raven and I then leapt out from our hiding place and dashed towards the bandits at full speed, ambushing them. Ordinarily, if we were main characters of a story, we would be making a dramatic appearance with a cool line, however, we didn’t do any of those.
“Youki, guard the carriage! Don’t let them get any closer.” [Raven]
“That is Happiness’s job. We have our own role to play.” [Youki]
Our ambush threw the bandits into disarray; there were those that started running away, those that resisted by attacking back, and those that stood rooted to the ground, not knowing what should be done.
“Calm the heck down, you wussies! There are only two enemies. We can take care of ’em!”
A leader-like bandit tried to mitigate the situation. However, he had already gotten it wrong. Firstly, there weren’t just two of us. Happiness, who made a fashionably late appearance, used her fan to take out the bandits who were in her way. Although, it made me wonder if they were okay since they were literally blown off in a flashy way. She had probably enchanted her fan with wind magic. In addition to that, her fan was made of her own feathers, so it must have been further powered up compared to a normal enchanted weapon.
“…That is amazing.” [Raven]
I could hear Raven’s murmuring even as he was cutting down the bandits – or that is what I hoped he was doing. When I took a quick glance, I could see him taking out a bandit, as is he was supposed to. That’s good. I was afraid that he might have become mesmerised by Happiness’s brilliant, dance-like moves, that he may have lost concentration for a split second.
“Damn it! Who are these people?! I knew the guild has put up a quest, but I have never expected them to send this kind of people!”
The bandit leader was in a fluster apparently because he never expected someone like us as their opponents. It was unfortunate for them that we were the ones sent. Raven swiftly took down the leader while we incapacitated the rest of the underlings. Since all of them ended up unconscious, I bound them and left them as is.
“We’ve cleaned up this mess… Wait, this box is still shaking non-stop.” [Youki]
“…For now, let’s free the person.” [Raven]
The moment Raven cut the rope bindings, the lid flew off into the sky with great force. Stunned, Raven and I continued watching as the poor lid met its end before turning our attention back to the contents of the box. Inside laid a girl with hands bound and mouth gagged. She was no doubt a girl, but her lower body was covered by a mantle. This was definitely Happiness’s doing.
She then pulled the top of the mantle to adjust it so the girl’s lower body would be fully covered.
“No way…” [Youki]
Upon hearing her cold voice, Raven and I instantly stopped in our tracks. We were then ordered to give them some space, to which we complied and waited patiently before being given the green light to come back.
“Thank you so much. I’m really grateful for your help.” [Misaki]
The girl, who was tied up in the box earlier, lightly bowed to us.
Is she Shike-chan’s friend, Misaki-chan?
As that doubt lingered in my mind, Raven showed her a memo: ‘Why are you in that box?’
“Hmm? Ah, they mentioned something about changing their base, so they tied me up with a rope and threw me inside that box.” [Misaki]
She kicked the motionless bandits after she explained, clearly resentful towards them.
“You’re Misaki-chan, am I right?” [Youki]
“Yes, I’ve heard it from that lady there. I’m indeed Misaki, Shike’s friend.” [Misaki]
It seemed to be a needless worry. The girl before us was undoubtedly Shike-chan’s friend.
“I see. If you’ve heard it from Happiness, then it makes things easier. I’d like you to relay us what had happened, if possible.” [Youki]