Mile Chapter 123: Riding carriage
「Well, sorry for the trouble …」 (Merchants)
The merchants and their family said their gratitude to the Red Oath party as they chewed on the cooked meat.
Yes, just like usual, 「Red Oath」hunted the animal/monster nearby, cooked it and then shared it with the merchants.
「Is this the storage magic…?
I had met a magician that can use storage magic before, but his capacity was only a little bit.
… to think you have such magic, I’m so jealous …」 (Merchant A)
For any merchants, storage magic is enviable.
Moreover, this girl can even pull out an assembled tent. Just how much is this girl’s storage limit?
「Well, to be honest, since your party was only made up of young girls, I was a bit worried, but I guess this is …」 (Merchant B)
Another merchant was sitting next to the campfire, looked up at the large amount of firewood available, the state of their energetic horses (horses that should have been tired from pulling carriages the entire day), the availability of a lot of rabbit meat and murmured so.
Maevis chose a fallen tree because it’s easier to burn than raw trees, and she had made a lot of firewood by cutting with her sword in a matter of minutes.
Rena burned the firewood to make the campfire in an instant without chanting.
Pauline used recovery magic to cure the horses’ tiredness.
And, Mile pulled out a tent and a lot of prey.
These merchants also hired escorts many times before.
They understand the Average ability of C rank Hunters well enough.
And the 「Red Oath」are clearly above Average.
There is no need to see how they fight to know their power.
The carriages had already crossed the border in the evening.
Even if it’s the country’s borderline, it isn’t separated by a wall or a steel wire net.
And there isn’t any watchmen’s soldier either.
There’s no budget, personnel, or meaning to deploy such things on a long border line that runs through an unmanned wasteland.
Only important cities like the capital or the main trading city are built as castle cities surrounded by walls.
The country didn’t have the budget to build walls for towns with no strategic importance.
The defense of such a town was the reliance on soldiers, mercenaries, and fighting power provided by the hunters.
Even in modern Earth, the borderline of a considerable country is completely free.
No, of course not every country.
There are still many countries where the borderline was strictly protected.
And the main purpose of those is 「monitored border lines」and to block incoming people.
Some countries have border lines to stop and repel people escaping from their country.
It was around the afternoon of the next day.
Mile detected suspicious movements ahead, stopped the merchant and called everyone.
「There is a group with strange arrangements ahead,
There’s a horse carriage stopped on the highway, 8 people riding on it and 6 people surrounding that area」 (Mile)
「Well, that’s … 」 (Rena)
Mile nodded to Rena.
「Yes, most likely…」 (Mile)
「 Bandits who tried to attack a carriage, right」 (Maevis)
「If there are eight people on a horse-drawn carriage, it isn’t a merchant wagon but a carriage …?」 (Pauline)
Maevis and Pauline also roundly guess what’s happening.
「There are no other bandits in the surrounding area that can ambush our carriages.
So … Can we go? 」 (Mile)
Mile asked the merchants for permission.
As the girls were hired and in an escort request right now
The girls can’t leave their employer without permission.
It is these merchants who are paying for Red Oath to escort them.
Besides, there are six bandits over there, this party only have 4 young girls. Two of them even look like underage children.
If these girls get caught up, the Bandits will know the existence of this merchant group
There is a possibility that they will be attacked as well.
With a fully loaded wagon, there’s no way these merchants can run away from Bandits.
It’s a foolish thing to do, get all that trouble to face a danger that should safely be avoided if the merchants wait for a while.
And doing a foolish thing isn’t suitable as a merchant.
「Please go ahead!」 (Merchant A)
… It was an immediate answer.
3 girls are happy hearing that, and Pauline looks like a little surprised.
For Pauline, who was raised as a merchant that was an unexpected reply.
But Pauline smiled immediately as if she loved the reply of the merchant.
「There are three kinds of rewards for exterminating thieves.
The highest one is if we can capture them alive.
If we take them alive, we will get 7 gold coins per bandit sold as criminal slaves,
we also get 3 gold coins per bandit subjugation, a total of 10 gold coins each bandit
Because they have 6 people then we will get …
Heh heh heh … 」 (Pauline)
… That smile was a bit black.
Actually, the merchants gave permission to help because they believe in the ability of 「Red Oath」
But rather than worrying about if either Red Oath can win or not when they heard Pauline’s monologue as if it was decided to capture all of the bandits alive. All the merchants had a bitter smile.
「Just give up and come out!」 (Bandit leader)
The bandit who seemed to be the leader of the bandit group who surrounded the horse carriage, shouts loudly to threaten the people in the carriage.
Because the bandits already came close, the horse-drawn carriage can’t forcibly run away anymore.
If the driver dares to do so, he will be slashed before the carriage gets enough speed to break through.
There are customs that bandits try not to harm the people as much as possible, in order to avoid getting attention from the country. But it isn’t so if the merchant tries to escape or resist.
So, usually, the merchants don’t go against the bandits, nor resists running away.
Even the goods in the wagon are important, it can’t compare to the life of the merchant himself and other people.
Besides, passengers won’t get killed if they follow the bandit’s demand quietly.
However, women may be taken away. It is bad luck for them, but at least they won’t be killed.
We never know if the bandits will have their way with the women or sell them somewhere. Still, it would be better than to be killed.
With that thought, the guard freed himself from the guilt feelings, sitting in the seats without doing anything, watching the situation.
But for the passengers, it’s completely unacceptable.
For ladies, girls, and their families, that is the end of the world. Even if they can be tolerable to bandits taking away all their money, including their luggage and accessories.
Because sometimes there are some guards or hunters who happen to ride along with the carriage.
Also, the bandits can’t be sure that there will be no one who’s willing to die in order to protect his wife and child.
Thus, the thieves ordered the passengers to go out without carelessly approaching the carriage.
However, the seven passengers on this carriage didn’t seem to be able to fight with the bandits.
There is a young hunter, a middle-aged merchant with a dagger for self-defense. A little girl around 10 years old.
A young couple with nearly zero fighting power and a small girl who is 5-6 years old that seems like their child.
And a thin old man with a staff.
「I’m sorry, I can’t fight with as many as six bandits, I will surrender from the beginning」 (Young Hunter)
There was no one blaming the young hunter when he said so.
He didn’t receive an escort request, so they can’t force him to die in a battle that he can’t win.
Another concern of the passengers was the 2 young girls and the woman with them.
But then the girl said unexpectedly:
「I can use a little magic, I may deal serious injuries to about 1 or 2 bandits.
That way, the bandits won’t have enough hands to capture other people and give up taking your child along.
It’s not a high probability, but it’s better than not doing anything」 (10 Y.O Loli)
「Huh…」 (Young couple)
The young couple opens their eyes in surprise at the girl’s words.
「But, if you do such a thing, you will be killed …」 (Woman)
「If you think about what will happen after you were taken alive, getting killed maybe better」 (10 Y.O Loli)
The young girl said that and shrug her shoulders.
「Then, Let’s undertake it」 (Old man)
Everyone is surprised at the old man’s word and looked at him.
「What? I have already lived long enough and I don’t have anyone left, even if I die now, it’s still better than to let such a young girl die」 (Old Man)
「Well, I am alone too …」 (Middle age Merchant)
The middle age merchant with a dagger also followed after.
「Well, of course, we also fight!」 (Young Couple)
The young couple also said so, but they do not seem to be able to fight properly.
「You guys, don’t be foolish! Well then, I guess I have to do it, too!」 (Young Hunter)
The young Hunter irritatingly said so, but his face was smiling.
「As you said, we can’t kill all of them but at least we can seriously injure two or three bandits so that they can’t take the women away.
Even if we are killed, it’s still a victory. (lost the battle win the war or something like that)
Once the fight is over, they will not try to kill the survivors.
If they do such a thing, it means that thieves have killed everyone and it will be quite troublesome for them, too.
I would like to appeal that we choose to fight and surrender after seriously injuring at least 2-3 of them.
But if we are still surviving and have enough combat power …」 (Young Hunter)
The young Hunter raises his voice.
「We will annihilate the remaining bandits, triumphantly return to the kingdom and divide the reward」 (Young hunter)
And a strategy meeting began.