As expected, the attack came on the third day of our trip. However, what I didn’t expect was the assassins to use a chemical attack, a gas called ‘Mage Masher’, which was extremely lethal to mages. Let alone Laptiricia-sama and Ashley, the entire convoy was in grave danger.
Leaving Laptiricia-sama and Ashley’s side temporarily to the escort commander, I first went to the servant tent nearby. Raising the curtain that served as its entrance, I found the servants huddled together towards the back.
“Does anyone here suddenly feel sick?”
An elderly woman in a maid’s uniform shook her head.
“If that’s so, please stay inside. Don’t come out until it calms down.”
“E,excuse me… What happened to Laptiricia-sama?”
“She’s alright, but she’s out because of the fog. The escort commander is watching her and I’ll repel the attack. I’ll leave the aftermath to all of you.”
I left the tent after I said that.
I needed to take action before the enemy completely took over the campsite – to clean them all in one fell swoop!
There were 11 bandits and it hadn’t seemed to decrease. The convoy guards were almost wiped out as well. In such a short time the sound of battle began to die along with the guards.
I tossed a tomahawk with my right hand into a bandit who had his back to me, too occupied with a dying guard. Maybe because he heard something, but he turned around as the weapon lodged itself center forehead – instantly splitting his skull. It passed through with enough momentum to hit another bandit who’d been behind my target.
I got a two-in-one throw, however, now the other assassins seemed to have noticed me. I went to aim for another, I found that they’d begun to surround me whilst keeping their distance from each other. I took out another tomahawk as I began moving to avoid being surrounded. First, I slid-jumped left where their encirclement hadn’t been completed, followed by a strafe jump forward. From there, I engaged a third target.
I took another tomahawk from within my overcoat as I started moving in order to avoid being surrounded. Firstly, I did a slide jump to the left where there’s some space left followed by a strafe jump forward. From there, I engaged my third assassin.
My sudden burst of speed startled the bandit I engaged. Tossing my tomahawk halfway through my jump, and of course, he tried to deflect it with his slender longsword. He was still decapitated. His head twirled through the air for a moment – blood splashing about – before it hit the ground. I realized the bandit was wearing something akin to a gasmask. Attached to the mask’s sides were two cylinders. Glowing green stones were fitted to the cylinders’ centers.
A magic tool, most likely using wind attribute stones to purify the inhaled air. It’s a shame that my attack just now broke it. I’d like to secure a few, if possible, for Laptiricia-sama and Ashley.
With my eyes still locked on the dead man’s head as it rolled on the ground, the remaining bandits took that moment to strike. They simultaneously came at me from both sides in a pincer attack. The tomahawk left my hand with the sap of my wrist. Thanks to the power suit, even that small movement produced sufficient strength. It flew sideways, passing through the bandits sword and into his now undefended torso. His chest was ripped apart as a result.
The bandit on my left hesitated at his comrade’s sudden and swift death. I took advantage of that opening and activated my CQC — ending a left and right punch combination to his chest. Following up with a palm strike to his head, he bent from the impact before I launched a knee strike to his head that neutralized him. Unfortunately, because of the suit’s strength, I ended up breaking the man’s neck and his gasmask.
There were a few more left as I pulled out the Welrod from my waist and entered a shooting stance. I checked the remaining bandits – two to the side and four to the front. Although there was still 10m between us, I decided to take the initiative away to avoid a melee. I spun the weapon, turning the muzzle forward. I aimed at the two at my right and pulled the trigger in two quick shots. Thanks to the silencer, it only made a small bit of noise before the 9mm rounds dug into the mens’ chests.
I fired another two shots at the two bewildered men on my left, probably dumbfounded at the sudden development. Each round found their target and left them eah with a bloody hole. With that, I’d dealt with four.
“Bastard, how come you can still use magic…”
Of the remaining two, I heard one of the men mutter/ Like the bandit who’d attacked us before, he wore a black outfit with a hood. Only with a gasmask this time.
“ ‘Black Mask Shaft’ huh… That mask must be a magic tool. Did that help you survive the mage masher?”
“I don’t have time to lose, so let’s get to the point. Do you have the antidote?”
“Fuhn, I’d be a fool if I carried one. It’s your fault that Enjuu got obliterated. Anyway, if I kill you, my rank will surely go up”
“Rank…? Come to think of it, Yagoche also mentioned before. Those three who snuck into the LAvian rose were also with you, weren’t they?”
“Yagoche? Ah, that well-off merchant from the capital. As for those three, I don’t know anything about them. Do you think this is me, the master of the darkclan ‘Enjuu’, Leif-sama is the kind of man who’d speak so easily?”
Already introducing yourself, huh — While listening to this Leif-sama’s rambling, I reloaded the welrod as I tried to digest the bulk of the information. First of all, none of them brought the antidote. No, infact, I don’t even think they even had it to begin with. And the trio who’d snuck into the banquet had no relation with these people. It might’ve been too early to assume, but as it turned out, Yagoche and Enjuu belonged to the Cactus as well. Cactus itself may also be a part of a different organization. Yagoche and Enjuu weren’t the only two striving to up their ranking and Cactus may not be any different.
Like playing a magic trick, Lief pulled a broadsword from the pouch attached to his hip. Meanwhile, I was focused on something else. Who was the man in all black behind him? A member of Cactus, perhaps? The moment that thought crossed my mind, Lief approached me with a sudden burst of speed.
“ ‘Dash’ !”
I heard him mutter in a muffled but strong voice.
Using the momentum from his dash, Lief swung at me, but I simply blocked it with the welrod and launched a palm strike at his head. Unfortunately, he managed to evade using a headslip technique. He even managed to slash at my abdomen. I once again deflected the sword’s attack. I switched hands, aiming for Lief’s throat with the pistol’s handle.
A muffled voice escaped the gas mask as I hit him. I quickly followed up by hitting his hit repeatedly on both sides with the welrod’s front. Afterward, the bandit swayed as if he was about to faith, and I ended it with a kick.
He let out a scream that sounded like he’d puked in his mask before he crumbled to the ground. He barely moved as I placed a well aimed strike with the welrod to the nape of his neck. Thus, he was out cold. That left one more person.