Editor: Thor’s Stone
We advanced via carriages again and were now just 500 meters away from the position of the bandits. I displayed the aerial video feed taken by the drone on a virtual window. There were fourteen bandits on the left side of the road and another fourteen on the right. I witnessed them chatting leisurely with each other as well. They haven’t noticed us yet.
Selena and Sharon’s squads were positioned about 70 meters behind the bandits. They would probably begin sneaking up on the bandits once we’ve closed the distance further.
Once we were just 400 meters away from the bandits, a bandit scout up on one of the trees finally noticed our presence. He quickly signaled to his comrades and informed them to get ready.
We’re now just 50 meters away. Selena and Sharon’s squads have closed upon the bandits gradually. They were now just 30 meters behind them.
“Fifty meters to target. One scout armed with a bow on top of the tree on the right. Thirty meters from the scout are other bandit bowmen. There’s five on each side of the road.”
Elna didn’t show any outward signs that she had received information about the bandit’s positions. They were probably planning to surprise us with arrow fire first. Let’s not give them the chance to fire their bows and take them out right away.
When we neared the scout’s position, he and the other bandits started raising their bows but didn’t pull them yet. They also didn’t aim their bows on the right side of the carriage where Elna was. They probably planned to capture Elna after noticing that she was a beautiful woman.
I pointed toward the sky and launched a Fire Grenade spell. With the explosion as the signal, I started the attack by launching Light Arrows toward the ten bandit bow wielders I locked on to earlier. Next was the scout on the tree. After incapacitating him with a Light Arrow, I shot down the arrow he fired with my rifle.
Everyone then jumped out of the carriages and bellowed a loud war cry as they charged toward the bandits.
I stood on the coachman’s seat and scanned the battlefield with my rifle in hand. Screams resounded one after another from the hiding places of the rest of the bandits. It looks like Selena and Sharon have also begun their attack.
Elna blew away the bandits who ran to the highway in order to attack the carriages with Air Bullets. Screams and angry shouts echoed along the road for a while, but they soon died down.
The bandits were kicked out onto the highway one after another.
“Did somebody get injured!?”
It looks like there was no injured personnel this time.
“We really did finish them all in a flash, Alan-sama! I didn’t even have the chance to make my move.”
Captain Dalshim sounded a bit regretful, but he also looked relieved because there was no one injured among our men.
“I’m the same, Alan. I was late in getting off the carriage so I didn’t get to defeat even a single bandit.”
Cleria sulked cutely on the side.
“Yosh. Disarm the bandits and gather them on one spot. Oh, and don’t forget to collect the bandit’s belongings, including their equipment, weapons, and valuables!”
Sharon and Selena’s squads also came out to the highway. I checked up on them and found them all safe as well. The ambush team played a big part in our success, so they were all in an elated mood.
“Sharon-dono’s lead was splendid. We moved to a perfect spot behind the bandits and caught them unawares the moment the signal rang out.”
“Selena-dono’s lead was more impressive! We were able to approach within an arm’s length of the bandits without getting noticed after all.”
It looks like both of them managed to get along with their respective squads. I bet the bandits were far too focused on the carriages so they failed to notice the threat directly behind them.
When the ambush commenced, the remaining knights positioned behind the highway also joined the fray, so the bandits stood no chance.
The surrounded bandits were all in a daze. Since I instructed that the bandits should be kept alive if possible, there were none of them who were unable to walk due to their injuries. The knights gathered them up and secured them all with the chain cuffs I ordered from the blacksmith workshop.
“Let’s head to the bandit hideout next, Captain Dalshim. It’s about four kilometers east of here. Twenty men should be enough to keep an eye on the bandits here. It isn’t exactly necessary to bring a lot of men to subdue the remaining bandits, but there may be items worth bringing back with us inside their hideout.”
Captain Dalshim bellowed commands in succession and organized the knights. It looks like one squad from the ambush team would be remaining behind.
We then entered the mountain and headed for the bandit hideout. After about an hour, we finally reached an area near the bandit hideout. From the info gathered by the drone’s multi-sensor, all the people present within the hideout were bandits, and there was a low chance of kidnapped people being kept inside. We should finish them off quickly then.
“That’s the bandit hideout over there. There are two guards outside.”
“…That certainly seems to be the case. What is our next move?”
“There’s only seven of them left. Let’s charge in openly.”
The guards noticed us approaching and ran inside their hideout in panic. The hideout, which was another cave, was a dead end. The bandits had nowhere left to run.
We approached the cave openly and entered straight away. Of course, I was keeping eye on the location of the bandits with the drone’s multi-sensor.
Once we arrived at a corner at the deepest part of the cave, I signaled for the men to stop. I then called out to the cornered bandits.
“Oi! We have eighty men with us here. I’d just obediently surrender if I were you guys!”
“Shaddup! Jus try an get closer, ya bastards! We’ll skewer you full of arrows!”
This is just a waste of time. I copied what Elna did earlier and blasted all the spots within the cave that provided cover with multiple Air Bullets. There’s no need to aim, so it was pretty easy.
Screams like ‘Gyaaah!’ and ‘Arrrgh!’ echoed within the cave. Oops. I didn’t think the spells would kick up this much dust. When the dust cloud settled, we found the bandits sprawled on the cave floor. After seeing that, some of the knights behind me threw themselves at the bandits and apprehended them all.
“Don’t forget to secure the loot, everyone.”
In the innermost part of the cave, we found several wooden boxes and chests piled together. I wonder what’s inside them all.
“Captain Dalshim, check the containers and retrieve all that we can carry out.”
Everyone started opening the boxes and chests one after the other.
“Captain! We found a locked chest over here!”
I and Captain Dalshim approached the knight who called out. Hm. It really was a locked chest. And a pretty large one too. I took out my electromagnetic bladeknife and cut the locks in two.
What was contained inside was a huge stockpile of Guineas, as I expected. Oh, aside from Guineas, there were also gems, necklaces, bracelets, and the like inside. There were lots of gold coins. Looks like we hit the jackpot.
This is the true charm of bandit hunting!
“This is quite the big haul!”
“Yes. It was worth coming all the way out here. Divide the loot and carry them out of here.”
Captain Dalshim continued checking the contents of each of the boxes and chests and gave his orders. I wasn’t familiar with which stuff was valuable, so I refrained from participating.
In the end, we only left less than ten percent of the items inside the cave. The loot was divided between the eighty knights we brought with us and carried out. We then walked back to the highway. It took us another hour or so. However, the knights didn’t look tired at all. Instead, their faces were all radiant and their steps were light. Of course, they would be happy. It was a rather good haul after all.
We loaded all the loot inside the carriages, secured the remaining bandits with chain cuffs, and finished our preparations for departure.
“Yosh! Let’s go back to the campsite!”
We drove the carriages and traveled back. Hmm. It should be fine at this distance.
(D-1, go back to the cave and destroy it thoroughly. Make sure that no other bandits will be able to make use of it as a base again.)
“Um, Alan… Did you hear something just now?”
“No, not really. What’s wrong?”
Wow. Elna has some really sharp ears. I’ll have to take note of this next time.