Chapter 30: Chapter 3
3 hours later.
“I can see them.” Athos screamed, waking Khali. there was a small caravan with three carriages approaching in the distance. The carriages moved in a row, with horse-mounted guards escorting the carriage in formation and a mana user at the front of each of the carriages.
“Have they arrived yet Theyre early.” Khali said looking at the position of the sun.
“I still havent seen the bandits. Will they make it in time” Athos surveyed the surroundings, but found no trace of bandits.
“No problem. I made sure the ambush took place here.” Khali smiled in anticipation, like a kid hoping his prank will work.
“What did you set up this time” Athos asked suspiciously.
“Just watch it, youll love it.” Khali was suspenseful, refusing to speak up.
Athos sighed and gave up, knowing it was impossible to convince him when he was like that.
He watched intently as the caravan approached. The caravan followed the road until it reached a small clearing in the open. The guards looked around intently, but the threat came from an unexpected place.
As the leading caravan moved forward, the ground began to crack under the weight until it gave way completely.
“What is it” The platoon leader at the front of the caravan exclaimed, quickly jumping off his horse to save himself. Unfortunately for him, his subordinates were not so lucky.
The carriage sank and with it, all the guards in formation around it.
“Ack, **!” One of the guards yelled.
“Help, I need help!” Another guard screamed in pain, having the misfortune to fall under the carriage. He survived by chance, but his right leg was completely crushed by the weight of the carriage.
“Were under attack, were under attack!” The platoon leader yelled at the top of his lungs, snatching his shield and axe from his back. He became alert and looked closely at his surroundings.
The two carriages trailing behind him came to a quick stop and the guards around him dismounted from their horses and positioned themselves, ready for combat.
“...” 10 minutes passed, but no enemy appeared. The only sound they could hear was their mate screaming in pain.
“Isnt anyone going to show up” The platoon leader asked confused, starting to think that this hole was just a random monster lair. He let his guard down and ordered the guards to assess the damage to the carriage.
At the same time, Athos and Khali were cackling as they watched the guards search for enemies that didnt exist.
“Pffttt, HAHAHA! Youre a genius, professor. Look at their faces.” Athos held his stomach with laughter.
“I said youd like it. I used the rock worm to dig a hole in the road and the idiots went straight for it.” Khali laughed at them when he spotted something. “And look who just arrived”
Athos turned in the direction Khali was looking and saw dozens of bandits. They had already spotted the caravan stopped and were hesitating about what to do.
“Do you think theyll back off” Athos asked.
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“Of course not. Theyre going to send someone to investigate and as soon as they find out theres no problem, they will attack with everything.” Khali said and it didnt take long for two hooded people to walk away from the bandits and approach the guards.
They moved carefully, using the trees for cover to avoid being seen. They got as close as they could, mixing their mana with their surroundings, showing that they were both mana users.
“Do they have two assassins capable of using mana The leaders head will roll before they know what hit them.” Athos joked.
“Shouldnt you be getting ready too” Khali asked, seeing Athos just watch and do nothing.
“Dont worry, Ill move as soon as the attack starts and both sides are too busy to pay attention to me. For now, Ill just enjoy the show.” Athos spoke, without moving.
Khali nodded and watched silently as the assassins returned to their group, before the bandits began their attack.
“Apparently, the caravan stopped because the first carriage fell into a hole dug by a monster. There is no trace of a struggle in the area.” One of the assassins sent reported.
“So its just a coincidence Looks like Mr. Eishin smiled at us today. Our informant warned us that the caravan left earlier than expected and we ran as fast as we could here, but it looks like it wasnt necessary.” The bandit leader laughed heartily upon receiving the good news. She was wearing green and brown hunter clothes and a long wooden bow on her back, with a short sword at her waist.
She was a former adventurer named Evylin, who had been turned into a debt slave, for failing a quest. She was stripped of her title and all her possessions and sold to a wealthy merchant who ran numerous shops in the merchant city of Shiima, a large city two weeks carriage from Faltra.
The turning point in her life was when the citys gangs attacked the slave carriage she was in, killing all the merchants and freeing all the slaves. This had happened at the beginning of the blockade, when merchants were still visiting the city.
The bandits had confused the carriages, their target was a carriage carrying metals, but they confused it because the company symbols were similar. Even so, the feeling of gratitude Evylin felt upon being rescued did not change, causing her and all 18 other rescued slaves to swear allegiance to the bandits.
She had formed her own team with the rescued slaves and as the only mana user among them, she naturally became their leader. She had built up her reputation within the gang during these two years and when she learned that the baron was extorting nearby villages and that the gang leader was planning to attack them, she promptly volunteered for the attack.
She was born in one of the villages in the barons territory and knew how difficult life was there. She had left the village behind in search of a better life in the city, but her family still lived in one of the villages. With winter approaching, their family would die of hunger or cold if what little they had was taken from them.
The other two gangs in the city also participated in the attack, sending their own teams. They totaled exactly 43 members, 5 of them mana users. It was a great force compared to the guards, but its leaders wanted to be sure of victory. This was the gangs first joint operation and as the person appointed to lead the mission, she had to ensure it was a success at all costs.
The gangs had wanted to take over the city for a long time, but the baron was an obstacle in their way. They attempted numerous assassination attempts, but were never successful. The mage who protected the baron stopped them every time.
As a last resort, the leaders got together and decided to put their differences aside and unite into a single criminal organization. This was their first joint mission, a way to test whether they would be able to work together or not.
Evylin took a deep breath to hide his nervousness and began shouting orders: “All of you, stay alert! We will follow the previously agreed plan and split into two groups and attack them separately. The first group consisting of the heavyweights will attack from front and get the guards attention The second group is smaller and is made up of fast attackers and will quickly attack you from behind when they are distracted.
I and my archer friend here, will cover for you and kill the guards from a distance, while the assassins will sneak around and wait for the opportunity to kill the enemys mana users.” Evylin spoke, before looking at an armored bandit with plate armor.
“Dave, youre the only mana user whos going to be on the front lines. Youre going to command all 24 men in the first group while Im gone. Any problem”
“No problems.” Dave nodded, tapping his gauntlet against his chest, showing he was ready.
“Good, lets start the attack.” Evylin smiled determinedly and started to run to her position.