Vol 4: Chapter 16
After the break, we resumed moving – led by the leader of the reconnaissance team.
We were more than 50km away from Dragonewt city. I was honestly amazed that the reconnaissance team managed to grasp a firm understanding of the terrain in such a wide range.
「We’ll be arriving soon, nu.」
About fifteen minutes passed after the leader said that. My nose caught a burning odor.
It seemed to have just finished raining, as the forest was high in humidity and a strong scent of vegetation.
The trees around here were thick with leaves. Somewhat reddish sunlight filtered through the foliage.
「It’s the airship!」
The military airship I saw in the “Front World” lay within a small crater on the ground surrounded by a number of crushed trees. They were crushed probably because the airship failed to make an emergency landing and crash landed instead.
Traces of ruin can be seen everywhere. The timber used for the airship was burnt and dark. The steel plates of the hull and broken glass fragments of the window were scattered about. Water droplets on the ship reflected the sunlight. The surroundings were still.
「So, is it really the ship you know, nu?」
「Yes, it’s definitely a military airship owned by the Lev Magic Empire in the other world. The flag on the ground undeniably belongs to the Lev Magic Empire.」
「Do you know what that wreckage was originally, and what technology was used to build it, nu?」
「No– More importantly, is it okay to check if there are any survivors? The survivors are definitely related to this airship.」
As soon as permission was granted, I jumped out toward the wreckage.
「Is there anyone out here? I am an adventurer from the Lev Magic Empire!」
I called out loudly. Even inside the partially destroyed hull.
However, there was no reply from anyone.
No, there was something strange. There were traces of blood, but no corpses.
(Why? Were they eaten by a monster? It’s strange that there isn’t even a bone left…)
Just as I was leaving the airship, my ears – thanks to【Hearing Enhancement】- picked up a soft creaking sound of wood. It was accompanied by the sound of a string pulled to the limit.
——It’s a bow!
The dragonewt reconnaissance team did not carry a bow. And Levs use modern bows such as “steel gear”, and do not use traditional bows and arrows which require to be pulled and released.
An arrow was let loose. It cut through the air towards me.
It was considerably faster than any I have ever seen.
Magic cannot be activated in time. So I twisted my body and dodged it. The arrow pierced the hull behind me.
Standing upon a thick tree branch, it was a person wearing a camouflage hood of grass and twigs. They had already nocked the next arrow—at which point I started sprinting like a rocket.
I ran in a zigzag towards the enemy, which seemed to have induced discomposure in them.
Even so, the next arrow flew straight at me without fail. The enemy was quite skilled as an archer. …Well, I just have to shift the trajectory of the arrow slightly with the【Wind Magic】cladding my body and it won’t hit me.
「This is bad.」
When I had closed the distance to 10 meters with the enemy, about 5 other enemies donned in camouflage suits jumped down from above. It seems that the one with the bow will remain at the top and keep sniping.
…Well, I won’t let you though.
I kicked the ground with【Support Magic】and【Body Enhancement】at full throttle, easily jumping over the enemies who came to intercept me, and closed in on the archer standing atop a tree branch.
The archer – they had pale white skin, red eyes, and close resemblance to the human race – was surprised by the sudden jump and hurriedly pointed the bow at me, but it was too late.
I landed a flying kick square in their chest. The enemy was sent flying to the ground.
One of the enemies opened both hands wide towards me — and a rock appeared.
「Go to hell, bastard!」
The rock was shot with tremendous momentum aimed at my head.
But, I’m quite proficient in this type of magic myself.
「Wha!? He dodged it!」
「Who the heck is that guy! He painted his skin yellow!」
Oi! This is not paint.
I narrowed the distance with the guy who shot the stone, evaded his scimitar, and drove my knee into his abdomen. The man collapsed onto the ground.
The next target is…
When I turned to the remaining 4 people–
All four were stepping back in fear.
「Hey, bastard! Look over here!」
Then I heard another man’s voice from a distance.
「Don’t you care what happens to this man?!」
One of the members of the reconnaissance team was held hostage at the pointy end of a scimitar.
…I messed up. There were more enemies in hiding?
With a quick scan, I found the reconnaissance team leader and the other member, a female Dragonewt, hiding in the shadows. They were quite good in concealment.
…No, rather, why did this one guy get caught? He’s supposed to be an elite reconnaissance team member, right?
「Throw away your weapon!」
「I didn’t have a weapon from the start, though.」
「Ah!? Are you trying to be smart?」
「No, it’s the truth…」
I can’t talk to this guy. Is he a bandit-type?
(If there are only three races left in this world… these people are probably the “underground human”.)
When I glanced at the enemy lay sprawled on the ground, his hood had come off and I could see his face clearly. The ears were the same shape as the human race and the hair was brownish perm.
「Bastard, are you in cohorts with the Dragonewts!? We found this wreckage first!」
「So you were the ones who took away the people in this place, correct?」
「What if we did? The dragonewts have not been in contact with us recently, but suddenly they attacked with such a goddamn huge thing… You know what this means, right?!!」
Ah… I see. Levs look just like Dragonewt, so they think the Dragonewt tribe suddenly attacked with a huge weapon, huh?
「Hmm, does that mean your village is nearby?」I asked.
「It’s not a village! It’s a big city!」
It seems that I was right.
「Bastard, you came this far because you knew that, right!?」
「No, we are not–」
「I don’t care! You will come with us now! Oi, tie him up!」
The four people who were between us approached me cautiously.
(What should I do? …I guess I’ll go with them. It’s quite different from what I planned, but I could probably get more information from the underground humans.)
I can manage things if I’m on my own, but it may be a little troublesome if the reconnaissance member is also taken hostage.
「Umm… I’ll be your hostage instead, so can you please release him?」
「The hell?! Are you looking down on me?! You think you can just order me around?!!」
「It’s not an order. I am negotiating.」
「Don’t make me laugh! Idiot! Stupid! Fool!」
Man… it’s like talking to a child.
I stuck out my right hand towards the dragonewt who was held hostage.
I immediately invoked【Wind Magic】and caused a gust of wind.
I combined it with【Earth Magic】to mix sand into the gust and created a smokescreen. If it hadn’t rained, I would have just used the soil on the ground.
I shouted to the dragonewt who managed to escape from being at scimitar-point.
「Please run away!」
The reconnaissance member ran away with tears, perhaps because sand got into his eyes. …I’m sure the leader will take care of the rest.
「C-Chase him! Don’t let him escape!」
「No, it will be more troublesome, so please just let him go.」I said.
I used magic again to put out the smokescreen. The underground humans came to a standstill.
「Didn’t I say I would be your hostage instead? Okay?」
I smiled brightly to show that I’m harmless, but the underground humans slowly retreated with a startled look on their faces.
No, please tie me up and take me to your city.
I’m looking forward to it.