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Honestly, all that meant just one thing…it was just too late to run away now…
“If the enemy is truly that strong then that’s all the more reason I won’t let you guys off the hook.” It was then that Ancarin showed a side of her which I had never seen before. While she was still smiling, that smile had a sinister undertone to it. “If you’re so adamant about rejecting us then I’m afraid I’ll have to employ certain measures instead.”
“Hmph! A one-star like you?” Eddison said scornfully. A one-star mage’s powers were clear for all to see. Even if she was a hundred meters away from him, he would be able to deflect her spells easily with his aura, let alone at this close distance. With a few rapid dashes, he could easily cover a hundred meters in mere seconds and punch her. Of course all this was under the assumption that she had no enchanted gear.
“Of course not, I still don’t have the strength to defeat a three-star warrior, but in terms of forcing a person to listen to my whims, I’m a lot stronger than you.”
As those words left her mouth, Eddison furrowed his eyebrows partly in confusion and partly in alarm. Even I was confused by her baseless declaration.
“What do you mean by that?” Asked Eddison.
“I know that you’re unwilling to participate in a battle you aren’t sure of, and I also understand that you’re concerned about the wellbeing of your village. However, seeing as you aren’t able to make this decision yourself, I’ll just have to make it for you.” She declared once more with that sinister smile on her face.
“Just now, I mentioned that we killed a couple of trained wolves and ended up implicating Plateau Village. From this point alone, one can see that the bandits see us as enemies. Given their nature, what if we were to…flee to the East Plateau Village in the event of our defeat? I wonder what those bandits would do then.”
“…” His face darkened in an instant, his gaze a bone-chilling cold. His eyes no longer held the admiration they had before and instead contained an undisguised hostility. “I’ll hand you over to them then!”
“Hah, the fact that I dare to say this now means that I’m more than confident about being able to evade capture. Even a three-star like you wouldn’t be able to catch a mage dead set on escape.” Ancarin tossed him a disdainful smile as she casually brought out several low-grade equipment and fiddled with them.
“All these are magical tools meant for escaping. This piece here increases my running speed. This hinders my enemies’ movements. As for this, it has a levitation spell built into it, this…”
As if reading off a catalog, she began introducing every piece of magical tool she had. With each piece she brought out, Eddison’s face became increasingly more sullen. The moment she mentioned that she still had much more in the carriage, the fatty had basically given up on trying to capture her.
According to her, should this plan ever fail we would flee to East Plateau Village and use it as a shield. While the village fought with the bandits, we would make use of that opportunity to escape. As we still had Duran’s sports car of a carriage ready in the wings, being able to flee from the bandits was a guaranteed fact.
When the bandits discovered that we were gone, the first people they would blame would be the villagers. Even if they knew that they weren’t sheltering us, the bandits would make use of this excuse to raid the village. After all, by the time they reached the East Plateau Village, they would still be in the midst of a bloodthirsty frenzy after massacring the three other villages.
Even if the intention wasn’t to wipe them out, the bandits would still make use of this chance to show their dominance in order to deter any future resistance.
“So that’s your plan?”
Eddison naturally wasn’t foolish enough to doubt what a bunch of strangers would do, so he posed this question to George.
“…I’m sorry but I do not wish for the villagers to get massacred, so I chose to resist.” George avoided answering his question directly, but even so, his apologetic tone was evidence enough. While he wasn’t going to take part in this scheme actively, he still gave his tacit approval to it. Deep down, he desperately wanted Eddison to join their side even if it meant resorting to such a threat. With several hundreds of lives in his hands, there’s no trick too dirty to use.
“But I do not wish for my villagers to get embroiled in a battle we are bound to lose!”
By now, he had completely abandoned his calm demeanour as he glared furiously at the girl. Yet just as he was about to continue yelling, the beautiful lady servant came in with a platter of portioned out fish.
As if she hadn’t heard a word we said, she silently served us our fish and ended with a “I’ll go prepare the mashed potatoes.”
Eddison calmed down slightly at that. After waiting for her to return to the kitchen, he let out a long helpless sigh. “Even if I join you guys in fighting them, you still won’t win against Dawson. If that story is true, then even if he isn’t a four-star, he still possesses the strength to kill one.”
“Four-star…even if four of us gang up on him, we still can’t defeat a four-star. Not to mention that there’s still Dohby, the Second Chief, and at least 500 bandit minions…”
After a short introduction, I learnt that Dohby was the older brother of Doran, and was even stronger than him; making him at least a three-star peak warrior. While he might not be able to defeat George in a one on one, he could still stall for time.
Thus, we were placed in a precarious stalemate; we wanted him to help us defeat Dawson but he was unwilling to do so as Dawson was too strong. If this farce continued any longer, the situation might take an unexpected and fatal turn. We might end up pushing him towards Dawson or force him to attack us instead. Even if he didn’t do so, there’s a chance he might fake allegiance and backstab us at the crucial moment.
Looks like it’s time we show him our trump card…
I nodded at Ancarin to show my approval, after which she reached into her robes. “Even if he’s really a four-star warrior, there’s no need for us to be too concerned about that either because we still have this trump card.” As she said that, she pulled out a bunch of magical scrolls. Each of these scrolls had a three-star spell enchanted onto it, which If used at the right moment, would even be able to kill a four-star.
“Those are…magical scrolls!”
Eddison’s eyes widened as he fixed his gaze onto the magical scrolls. As a merchant, he knew better than anyone how expensive these things were. A scroll with a three-star spell enchanted onto it could easily fetch over a thousand gold coins. Furthermore, this was a consumable item, meaning it disappeared after one use.
“All of these scrolls have a three-star spell on them and are a perfect counter to a four-star warrior.” She took out six scrolls in total and laid them out one by one on the table. “I have more scrolls like these stored away in our carriage. Against a four-star like Dawson, that should be more than enough to handle him.”
“Not only that, we still have more magical tools in our carriage. While they’re only low-grade enchanted gear, they are all high quality gear that can amplify a warrior’s might. All these will be made available to you all as a loan.”
Not like we paid for those things anyway…even if we end up losing them, we don’t really lose out much. Plus, I truly hate bandits…I’ll never forget what those fake bandits did to Morran and Rhona (TL:Dad and Mom if you don’t remember)…I know that technically had nothing to do with bandits, but imagine for a second if this world was peaceful and there weren’t that many bandits roaming about; those bast*rds wouldn’t have dared to pose as bandits! No matter where they were, as long as they’re active bandits, they all had a part to play in my new parents’ death.
“Magical scrolls and magical tools…” Not only did this revelation stoke the already raging fires in George and the others, even the leery fatty began to salivate at this idea. No matter how you looked at it, this was a great opportunity, an opportunity to kill off Dawson once and for all! With these gears, George and the other three-stars would definitely be able to increase their might by at least 50%.
Ever since these bandits started muscling in on their business, the four villages had grown increasingly impoverished with time. However as the villagers had lived there for generations, none of them were willing to leave in spite of this. Yet this was a problem as living in such conditions not only made them poorer with each passing generation, sooner or later they would become accustomed to such treatment and end up as slaves.
Right now with George and the other three-star warriors guarding villages, the bandits didn’t dare to go overboard in lieu of the potential losses; this also didn’t fit in with Dawson’s policy of interests first. However if this balance was to change, you could be sure that these bandits would leap at the opportunity to return to their deplorable roots.
Having been to all the villages, a certain fact was now apparent to me. Except for Plateau Original Village, the other three villages all received a challenge of sorts.
Was this a deliberate move on Dawson’s part? After all, the combined might of the four villagers was a force to be reckoned with. Even if they were weaker than the bandits, the difference wasn’t that huge.
Plus defeating the strongest warrior of the village in front of the villagers was a quick way to quell any resistance and thus gain true control over the village. There was, after all, a limit to how much killing and suppressing one could do before the villagers end up banding together.
The four villagers of Plateau all had a three-star of their own while the bandits only had three; namely, Dawson, Dohby and Doran. Of the three only Dawson was a match for George. As for the other two, I was not familiar with Dohby, and Doran’s dead so he’s definitely out of the picture.
With that in mind, the might of our experts was clearly greater than the bandits. If you add in the aid of the scrolls and tools, there’s basically no way those bandits could win.
“We still have a bunch of potions on hand, they can heal injuries, cure poisons, recover mana…hmm, I think we have some that can restore Fighter’s Aura as well although it’s only a few bottles.”
“I…I don’t think I have a reason to reject your proposal anymore.” That last revelation was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. As Eddison said that, he let out a drawn-out sigh of relief as if a heavy burden had been lifted off his back. He flashed us a sheepish smile and asked:
“Do you know why I insist on conducting those secret trade runs? It’s because I know that the combined might of our villages isn’t a match for these bandits and that’s why I wanted to save up money to hire some mercenaries…”
While these bandits were relatively restrained in their actions, they were a plague on the villages. After all, they were bandits and bandits relied on robbing to feed themselves. These despicable bast*rds would often raid the villagers’ homes and empty them of whatever valuables they could find. However with the three-star warriors watching over the village, Dawson knew not to push his luck and only settled for stealing their wealth and not their wives.
It was this bit of foresight that prevented any serious uprising against the bandits since none of them were actually in any mortal danger. What they lost was merely wealth and that could be re-earned given time.
This was also the reason why George acted so passively in front of Doran. If it hadn’t been for Dioh’s provocative actions, George definitely wouldn’t have killed the Third Chief.
With that in mind, I could understand Eddison’s wariness. He wanted to accumulate enough money in secret to hire some mercenaries to wipe out the bandits. Unfortunately, this required a large sum of money in a range of at least several thousand gold coins. If this was the Plateau Village of yesteryear, they might still be able to scrounge up this sum, but now…well, dreams are dreams for a reason.
Having heard this, I now knew that this fellow actually had the mind to resist the bandits as well. It’s just that he was lying in wait like a deadly viper waiting to strike. Unfortunately for him, we came along and now his plans had to be pushed forward.
Synopsis: The online game <