Chapter 20 – Haulin’ Meat
The next day, I got onto the horse cart and headed toward the large town.
It would take about eight hours by horse and cart.
「Mister Al…are you comfortable in your seat?」
Millet, who was the driver, asked me.
Femm and I were sitting behind her as guards. Millet was also acting as the seller of all this meat.
Also, Vi-Vi and Collette were with us, as we couldn’t leave them alone.
The chief stayed behind as there was a lot of work for him to do.
When we left Mulg,
「Millet! Do your best!」
The chief yelled at her loudly.
He was hoping that she would get an excellent deal on the sale.
「You’re thso thsoft, Femm.」
Collette happily brushed away at Femm’s fur with her fingers.
Half of the insides of the canopy over the cart was a magic bag stuffed with cow meat.
The other half was space for those riding. Enough for three people and one wolf.
「Millet. Would you like me to drive?」
「I’m fine. Thanks.」
「If you get tired, let me know. I have enough experience as a driver.」
「Sure. When I get tired I’ll let you know.」
「Sthister alwaysth worksth hard.」
Collette said with a look of pride.
Vi-Vi rolled over and put her head on my right knee.
The left was the one the hurt, so it was no big deal, but I had to at least complain.
「I’m not heavy!」
「My leg’s falling asleep.」
When Collette heard this, she commanded to Femm,
「Femm, go get her.」
Femm got up and started licking Vi-Vi’s face.
「S, stop that!」
Seeing all this go on from the driver’s seat, Millet said to herself,
We were two hours out of Mulg.
Femm was lying down, but suddenly stood right up.
「What is it?」
Femm’s ears and tail stood straight up. Complete caution.
Femm had much better perception of danger than I did.
「Femm. Watch behind us.」
I jumped up on the driver’s seat and rode next to Millet. Just then.
I formed a magic barrier in front of us.
Then suddenly an arrow came flying at Millet.
It was just like bandits to shoot first at the driver. After the driver was dead, they would drive away with the horses and cargo.
Millet ducked after seeing the arrow shot at her deflect off the shield.
「Millet, get under the canopy.」
There were about 10 bandits waiting for us. They had toppled a large log so that the wagon couldn’t get past.
A pretty good plan.
「Give us the horses and cargo AND WE MAY LET YOU LIVE!」
「It’s important cargo. Sorry!」
「Whoever says that to us DIES!」
「You kill those that obey you too, right?」
「No…we don’t! Humans are easy to sell too! They make nice slaves!」
Saying that, the bandits laughed together.
「Either way, I can’t let you bandits stay here. I’ll have to wipe all of you out.」
「Now YOU’RE REALLY PISSING ME OFF! KILL THEM ALL!」
The bandits began their attack.
Too slow. Just like normal bandits.
This fight wouldn’t be any fun for me.
「Time to calm you all down!」
Using a magical net, I bound all ten of the bandits coming at me.
The bandits all fell to the ground.
Idiots. But, usual for bandits.
The boss of these bandits screamed at me while rolling on the ground,
「Don’t think you’re so TOUGH! Right now, another bandit is inside your canopy…」
It was good for bandits when they found a cart with no bodyguard. Even if there was one, you could still beat him up with a lot of men.
Even if you couldn’t beat him, you could sneak a guy in the back to take hostages, and that worked to…
That was their strategy.
They were used to it.
The bandits that had snuck in the back were getting chomped on and flung around by Femm.
「An arrow! Shoot an arrow!」
At the bosses’ cry, an arrow shot from the forest.
「As expected, your arrow won’t reach its mark.」
I shot wind magic at the arrow and changed its direction.
At the same time, I saw the direction of the arrow and knew where the shooter was.
I threw another magic net over him. As soon as the net was over him, I pulled the net out into the open.
I tried to perceive any other enemy, but it felt like there were no more.
Just in case, I yelled back to Femm.
「Femm! Any more around?!」
『No, that’s all.』
I relaxed after hearing Femm’s reply.
「Femm, let’s put them all in one place. Bring the bandit you caught out here.」
There were actually three bandits Femm had defeated. I bound them all just in case.
Then I looked back into the canopy.
「Millet and Collette, you okay?」
「We’re okay. Thanks.」
「I’m fine, old man!」
They looked untouched.
「W…what…you’re not complaining, are you?」
Vi-Vi had quickly etched a magic circle on the floor of the wagon.
Vi-Vi had prepared a magic circle for arrow defense.
She was trying to protect Millet and Collette. But it wasn’t complete yet.
It wasn’t as good as those made by professors of magical academies, but Vi-Vi still had etched it out as correctly as possible.
「Vi-Vi. Instead of writing magic circles in battle, why not just attack with magic instead?」
「Al, you’re the one that said chanting takes too long!」
When I first met her, I have to admit…I did kick her ass while she was chanting.
「You don’t have to chant though.」
「But if I don’t…the effect weakens.」
「It’s not a dragon you’re fighting. Just a weak chantless magic is fine.」
Vi-Vi nodded with respectful acknowledgement.
「And even if you’re going to make a magic circle, while you’re in battle, you don’t have to make it pretty, okay?」
「But what then it doesn’t work?」
「It doesn’t have to work!」
「Listen. You’re in battle. Getting 70% of them right is enough to be effective. If it doesn’t work, just etch it all over again!」
「Oh…I get it.」
Vi-Vi now considered the matter seriously.
「But, if you’re a magician, you should just let loose some chantless magic without doing that anyway.」
While I was lecturing Vi-Vi, Femm came behind me and poked my butt with its nose.
「Hey, just don’t sniff down there okay? It’s embarrassing.」
Femm turned his head in confusion.