Was she hurt by my hesitation, or did she suddenly remember something hurtful? Sh*t, I had no experience with this sort of situation…where do I even put my hands?
This bit of clumsiness didn’t escape her eyes as she giggled amidst her sniffling. She lowered her head and without wiping off her tears, took a few steps back and said: “Like this is fine, this distance is fine…”
As she said that, she continued her emotional roller-coaster of crying and laughing; however, she no longer tried to approach me.
Was she belittling herself? I guess if a fat ugly chick were to force herself on me…I would want to kill myself as well. Even if Duran was handsome, it still felt bad as long as it wasn’t consensual.
Should I give her a hug and tell her it’s alright? Wait, that would make it sound like we had a special relationship though….and it sounded so hypocritical as well. Would I be any different from that bast*rd if I did that?
Besides I didn’t even have a pee pee…wouldn’t it make me seem kind of immoral to talk about that stuff now?…No that wasn’t right, I meant to say, shouldn’t I at least have some moral standards if I wished to start a harem? Oh…why am I even talking about standards when I’m trying to start a harem?! Damn it, could someone please tell me what to do?!
However, in the midst of my delusions, the problem solved itself the moment Regine squeezed herself into our already small enough tent, and fell asleep without a word on my lap without her mask on. Was this…the legendary lap pillow?
Regine’s hair felt slightly wet to the touch, she probably just took a bath…didn’t she just take one three hours ago though? So why was her hair still wet? Did she take another shower again?
Speaking of which, she was a rather silent character most of the time, but who knew that she could be so considerate at the right moments; to think she could do something so charitable. From her stiff body and twitching long eyebrows, I could tell that she wasn’t that comfortable about this either.
However, after ten seconds of lying on my lap without being chased away, she finally calmed down; she gently turned her body and hugged my right leg with both of her hands. This posture…she almost seemed like a baby…
Seeing my panicked reaction, Ancarin gave a sniffling laugh as she wiped her tears dry and without saying another word, took over my other leg; hugging it in the same fetal position as Regine.
If all of you are sleeping here, then what about our carriage? If the matter about Duran was found out we…forget it, as long as you guys were happy.
This was the first time I had ever slept with a beautiful girl other than Nicole, yet I felt no lust towards them…only…pity. They had suffered so much already, if possible, I hope that they could live a happy life from now on.
Not knowing how to react, we ended up spending the night in this manner without saying another word, until finally we all fell asleep unknowingly.
The next day, I woke up to find both of them already gone and both my legs numb from a night of being used as a pillow. Thankfully, it wasn’t so serious that I couldn’t move.
As if nothing had happened last night, Ancarin prepared breakfast for me as usual while Regine quietly checked her gear. After ensuring that Duran was still safe and secured, I made way towards George to enquire about the day’s mission.
If everything else went as planned, Dawson would arrive with a large group of bandits to exact his revenge. The spot we chose was a route he had to take in order to reach Plateau Village. While there were other routes as well, this was the nearest; while the others required a large detour on his part. As such, we merely had to wait here for them to take the bait.
Yet despite waiting past a third of the day, the bandits had not show up. Instead we found several people from the other villages. Their numbers were not many, with a total of over ten and all of them were injured. Though they weren’t serious injured, due to the fact that they had to rush over to us, they were deathly pale by the time they reached us.
Some of them were let go on purpose by the bandits while others were those fortunate enough to escape right when the attack started. While their survival was fortunate, it also brought with them a terrifying piece of news.
The bandits hadn’t followed George’s plan, and instead attacked the other three villages first; kidnapping all of the villagers…taking into account the time they needed to move the kidnapped villagers, they should be arriving in Plateau Village soon.
George and the other three-stars nearly had a heart attack upon hearing this piece of news.
“Im…impossible…how could this be…” stammered a defeated looking George.
Reality was no game after all, while we were busy plotting against them, they were busy plotting against us as well. Due to our recruitment, the four villages were basically defenseless right now and could barely defend against a wild beast attack. The bandits didn’t even need to send that many men to raid them in that state.
What a devious backstab on his part…now the bandits had a grasp on our lifeline; if they used them as hostages, this entire coalition could fall apart. While the other three villages might not agree to turn on us, the bandits could still force them to stand aside and leave us alone.
The command tent immediately erupted into chaos; with Io and Eddison requesting for leave to lead their hunters away in order to save the other villagers. As for George and Moranthal, they wanted to stay behind and defend Plateau Village instead. They felt that the situation wasn’t as simple as the other two thought it was and allowed no rashness on their part.
Thus the debate became a stalemate that swiftly devolved into a shouting match which nearly came to fists.
At that, I could no longer stand by the sidelines and watch. “Stop arguing! Right now the most important thing is to try and save whoever we can and not turn against each other. All you’re doing now is playing right into the palms of their hands. Whether or not you wish split up to save the other villages or defend Plateau Village, we still have to make that trip to Plateau Village.”
“Our first goal right now should be to save the one village that hasn’t fallen, rather than start regretting once even that is gone. Arguing is the silliest thing we can do right now!”
No matter what they thought of the situation, that scolding did indeed touch upon the crux of the situation; thus they unanimously decided to return to the village.
Leaving behind all non-essentials, we made our way back to the village as quickly as possible. All those traps…sigh.
Thankfully, the spot we chose to set up camp at wasn’t too far from Plateau Village, so by the time we returned to the village the bandits had not arrived as yet; they were probably delayed by the sickly and elderly they had to move. Seeing that, the hunters who wanted to split off stirred once more, and soon the four three-stars were engaged in another verbal fight in the old village chief’s home.
“The ones who were captured weren’t your villagers, of course you’re calm!”
While Eddison’s words weren’t all that helpful, George couldn’t refute it either as the fact was only Plateau Village was unharmed while the other three had been raided.
“Eddison, you’ve gone too far with that remark,” said Moranthal, the calmest of the three at the moment. He knew extremely well what the true goal of capturing those villagers were: to stir up conflict and hopefully destroy their coalition without lifting a finger. While he was anxious as well, he knew that the best thing to do now was to remain calm.
Unfortunately Eddison wasn’t the only one who had lost his cool, Io was ready as well with some choice words: “Of course you aren’t worried, you don’t have a family to care about, my wife and son are still in the hands of the Wolf’s Fang…oh right, wasn’t your fiancee kidnapped by Dawson, haha, I guess you’re already used to such matters.”
“…you bastard!” Yelled Moranthal with fists raised. However, all that earned him was a scornful spit by Io and another insult: “Oh, the cuckold is angry?”
Seeing that the two parties were about to fight, George immediately stepped forward to stop them. “Everyone calm down, now’s not the time to fight amongst ourselves.”
At that, Eddison who wasn’t too willing to join us in the first place, lost his temper and snapped: “Easy for you to say, the ones who got captured weren’t from your village.” Like a raging fat bull, he shouted with eyes fuming: “What dog sh*t opportunity, I just knew that I shouldn’t have joined!”
To be honest, even if you didn’t join us the outcome would’ve just been the same; seeing as you would be the last village standing once we lost. The Wolf’s Fang were afraid of all four of the villages uniting, not just one or two villages.
The old village chief stepped forward to try and mediate this dispute, yet was completely ignored by both Eddison and Io; which left him in an awkward position. Thankfully, both of them still had the state of mind to not insult the old man.
Had this continued for any longer, the two men would’ve probably lost their cool and started fighting. Lucky for us, the bandits showed up before that could happen. Congregating slowly in front of the village was a contingent of bandits with a stream of villagers they captured in tow. This black mass of people was at least 3,000 strong.
The over 2,000 villagers were kept under heavy watch by several hundred bandits with over a hundred trained wolves backing them up. Their fierce growling, glistening fangs and predatory green eyes were more than enough to scare the children into tears. The remaining young men in the village had been bound up while the other women, children and elderly were forced into one spot.
The one silver lining in this whole situation was that due to the lack of time, the bandits weren’t able to violate the women. Still, there were some women who were visibly underdressed and shaken. There were a number of young women who were dressed in nothing but rags and had to walk around with their hands wrapped around their breasts. Evidently, they had been targeted by the bandits.