Editor: Thor’s Stone
The next day, everyone gathered after breakfast in order to discuss the plans and strategies for the upcoming bandit subjugation.
A lot of ideas got proposed, and after consolidating everyone’s opinions, we decided to open with an Air Bullet barrage to disrupt the bandits, and once they are all down, a separate group will rush in and disable them by hitting them on their weak spots with wooden swords. We decided to make use of wooden swords instead of real ones to ensure we only injured the bandits and don’t accidentally kill them.
We then proceeded to the square in front of our Home in order to practice our coordination. Since a lot of the members can cast Air Bullet, both A and B teams ended up with more than twenty casters each.
We practiced the cooperation between the Air Bullet casters and the rush-down groups for a good while until we were satisfied. Now all that’s left is to put it into practice out in the field.
“Alan-sama, do you have plans for this afternoon?”
“I have some business to attend to. We only have one enclosed carriage in our possession, right? Using an enclosed carriage to conceal our men during bandit hunting operations would be ideal, so I was thinking of purchasing more today.”
“Is that so…? Understood.”
Captain Dalshim looked quite disappointed for some reason. Wait. Don’t tell me…
“Oh! Selena-dono! Sharon-dono! Are you both free this afternoon?”
When Selena and Sharon said they were free, they were immediately dragged by Captain Dalshim to the center of the square.
I knew it! It seems I dodged a bullet there. Phew…
I was able to quickly find a suitable carriage at the Commerce Guild. It didn’t look all that aesthetically pleasing, but it was practical and sturdy. We should be able to use it for quite some time. Its price was 20,000 Guineas, and I immediately had it delivered to our Home.
Selena and Sharon were still busy teaching the knights Imperial Arts, so I pretended to be busy and quickly ran inside our Home. I ain’t gonna go through harsh sparring sessions with a hundred knights two days in a row, man.
The next day, the A and B teams departed from Gantz together and split up once we reached the first split in the main road.
(Selena, Sharon. I’ll leave them to you.)
I sent a drone to monitor the status of the A Team from above so they should be fine.
Selena and Sharon looked pretty pumped up for this time’s mission. They re-watched the information footages Iris compiled a couple of times and presented the refined strategy they came up with to me for verification.
I didn’t see any flaws in their plans, and we expected a rather easy victory anyway, so I guess there’s no need to worry much about them with this.
Our B Team had a rather uneventful journey and reached the area near the bandit hideout on the second day since our departure from Gantz. Our strategy will be what we previously used on our first bandit subjugation. We sent two ambush teams to circle around the position of the bandits and will launch an attack after my signal.
“Start the operation.”
The two ambush teams started going up the mountain. From the drone footage, there were eight bandits hiding within the bushes on the right side of the road and ten bandits on the left side.
After confirming that the two ambush teams were safely in position, we started advancing as well. The carriage and horses already made quite a lot of noise while traveling, and I added to it by placing a bell on the carriage. The ambush teams will make use of the sound of the bell to judge our distance from their position and advance accordingly.
Even if a bandit or two notices that something was wrong, the ambush teams had double their numbers anyway, so they should have no problem overcoming them. The operation was nearly foolproof.
There were ten men stationed on the carriage. I and the party leader of Satellite Squad 6, Sir Novalta, sat on the driver’s seat. The remaining eight men were hiding their presence within the carriage.
Due to the bell equipped on the carriage, the bandits noticed our group quite early on. There was no lookout on top of a tree this time. I sent up a Fire Ball once we were only ten meters from the bandit’s positions.
Frantic yelps and intimidating shouts rang out from both sides of the road along with the sound of the spell’s explosion. We leaped off the carriage as well and charged toward the bandit’s positions, but it was already over when we arrived.
The bandits were kicked toward the open road one after the other.
“It was over in an instant, Alan-sama.”
“Yeah, you’re right. We didn’t even have any chance to act.”
Once all the bandits were kicked out to the road, the ambush teams also showed themselves.
“Was there anyone who got injured?”
It looks like there was no one who got hurt. We secured the bandits via chain cuffs immediately. The bandits still looked shell-shocked. It seems what happened to them still hasn’t sunk in.
“Yosh! Good work, everyone! We couldn’t have done this any better. Let’s proceed to the bandit hideout then. Oh, and can ten of you stay behind here and guard these guys?”
Everyone was excited about their success as we walked toward the bandit base. It was about 3 kilometers away from our current position.
The hideout this time was quite unique. They actually built a large cabin on top of a tree. It was a treehouse base. The construction was rough though, and it looked like it wouldn’t be able to keep the rain and moisture away. Geez. If they were gonna build something like this, couldn’t they have done a better job?
We surrounded the treehouse with forty men. We already knew there were two bandits inside the house, but they still pretended to be out.
“Oi! We know there are two of you inside there! Just give up and get out of there obediently! If you don’t, I’m gonna set fire to that house!”
……It looks like they were determined to ignore me. Fine. You got some guts, huh. I aimed at one of the cabin’s windows and launched a small Fire Ball spell inside. We heard some frantic noises. It looks like they were trying to put out the fire in panic.
“Oi! Don’t make me angry. I’m gonna spare your lives at least if you surrender now!”
After a short while more, the two bandits finally used a rope ladder to go down. We captured them immediately.
“Yosh. Sir Walter, it’s time to search for the loot.”
We went up the rope ladder one at a time to ensure it doesn’t snap on us. There were fewer items stored inside the treehouse than I expected. There were a few boxes containing bows, arrows, foodstuffs, and alcohol piled up in a corner. I managed to find a leather pouch with Guineas in it, but it contained less than 50,000 Guineas. Damn! This one’s a bust huh.
We brought down the items that would be worth money using the rope ladder and walked back to the highway. Oh, man. Since we didn’t find that much loot, everyone’s mood seemed to be a bit down. But we did achieve an effortless victory, so it’s not so bad.
I left the job of driving the carriage to Sir Walter and we traveled back to the place we camped on last night. Selena and the others should have started their operation as well.
I displayed the image taken by the drone flying above Selena’s group on a virtual window. Their ambush teams were about to pounce on the bandits.
Selena and Sharon led an ambush team each. Selena’s group had Cleria, while Sharon’s group had Elna with them.
They planned to spring their ambush once the carriage came into view. It looks like they’re already in position behind the bandits eyeing the road.
As the carriage got near the bandits, the ambush teams carefully inched closer to them as well. When the bandits started stringing their bows, Selena’s signal went up.
Just like what we did earlier, they also pounded the bandits with Air Bullets and incapacitated them with wooden swords. It looks like they’ve finished. Well, that’s just as expected.
They didn’t have anyone injured, so the operation was a resounding success. All that’s left are the four bandits inside the cave they made into their base. I can’t see them losing with that difference in manpower. I hope they don’t make any careless mistakes though.
At 14:00 hours the next day, we finally arrived back at Gantz. We were stopped at the gate by the guards again.
“Oi, uh… Hey, aren’t you Shining Star’s party leader!? ……Your party members just came back earlier with captured bandits in tow, you know?”
“We also went out to capture some bandits. We acted separately this time.”
“P-Please wait a bit!”
The gate guard called for some support. Shortly afterward, several more city guards arrived along with Captain Guido.
“Hey, it’s you guys again. Just what happened this time?”
“We just captured some more bandits. Here you go.”
“……Understood. We’ll need to borrow your chain cuffs again. Oi!”
One of the captured bandits started making a fuss when the guards tried to take him away.
“You’re wrong! We’re not bandits at all. These guys just suddenly attacked us for no reason!”
Captain Guido approached them to settle the commotion.
“It’s true! They just attacked us all of a sudden while we were traveling down the highway!”
After taking the hint, the other bandits started kicking up a fuss as well. Captain Guido held up one hand to silence them.
“Hou? A mistake, you say? But you lot don’t look like adventurers or merchants though.”
“You can’t be serious! You’re judging us just based on our appearances!?”
“Now, look here fellas. Between you guys who definitely look the part of bandits, and a man who’s both a certified B-rank adventurer and leader of a Clan boasting a hundred members, who do you think I’ll be more inclined to believe?”
“Okay then. If you insist you guys are innocent, then obediently subject yourselves to questioning. If you manage to withstand our interrogation methods, maybe I’ll think about it. No one has ever managed to last that long by the way. Bring them in, boys!”
The bandits were forcefully taken away even as they made a loud racket.
“Nice work, everyone. We’ll return you the cuffs right away after we’re done with them.”
I felt that I managed to witness a glimpse of the harshness of this world just now. How people judged good and evil here was pretty ambiguous after all and could be influenced by one’s authority and backing. But in this case, it would have been better if those guys didn’t perform that little act of theirs. There could have been better options.
When we arrived back at our Home, we found that Selena and the others had just returned as well.
“We managed to come back safely, Alan. There wasn’t anyone who got injured.”
“That’s great. Good job.”
Selena and Sharon looked really happy.
“We were able to secure a lot of loot! They’re worth over 150,000 Guineas. What about you, Alan?”
Oh, so Cleria and the others managed to hit it big huh…
“Uh, we did okay, I guess. Isn’t that right, Walter?”
“……Um, yes. It was pretty okay.”