10-33. Fiend Drug (3)
Satou's here. It's important to prepare things in advance. It's troublesome to do it while you're in the middle of a work, but if you don't prepare properly, you'll have a tough time later on. It doesn't feel like you need to do it until you learn it from the mistake though.
Equipped with the artificial skin that I've made in the ivy mansion this afternoon, I change into a different person by using Disguise skill in full throttle. In addition, I equip a black mask to cover the area around my eyes.
Then, I change the Companion column into these. The name is Kuro, level 50, the occupation is bounty hunter, the skills are of shooting-related ones, rare magic, elf language, dragon language, and the exact opposite of Satou's modest stats. I recorded the various stats in the memo column so I won't mistake it whenever I disguise myself. I can use Nanashi if I want, but disguising myself will have no meaning if it becomes [Nanashi appears wherever Satou is], so I've decided to make the third persona.
"Satou-sama, what are you going to do with such a disguise?"
"I'm going to eliminate the lost thieves. Leriril, I'm sorry, but is it okay if I shelter the people who have been caught by the lost thieves here?"
"Please use the surface mansion if possible. There are many dangerous equipments in the underground."
Ah, I forgot about that.
I install a carved seal board for teleport on the surface mansion.
"Well then, I'm going. I'm counting on you to receive them."
"Yes, please leave it to me!"
Ah, I can't stop feeling odd at Leriril who replies promptly.
I initially went to the safe area of Area 17 where the villa is.
First, I have to prepare the particular by finding the place where I can apprehend the lost thieves.
I mark all the lost thieves inside the labyrinth. There are approximately 300 people in total. 90% of them have committed felony like [Murder].
Next, I look for the working field that Rudaman talked about. I try searching the main ingredients of the fiend drug, Ruin Weed and Decay Stem in each area. Although there are places where they're growing wild, I pick ones where they're growing densely that have obviously been tended by humans, and have carriers and lost thieves nearby them. There are three places all in all. Moreover, the places cannot be reached without going through troublesome areas.
Next, I search to see if there's any noble or their servants. Miss Gina's party [Moonlight], and other three noble parties come up. Judging from their positions, every party is innocent. They're quite enthusiastic to hunt by staying overnight. Even miss Gina who was at level 6 when I first met her has smoothly leveled up to 9 now. They're probably leveling up efficiently by constantly fighting higher-leveled enemies.
Next, I need to prepare the place where I can temporarily put the lost thieves. I can't exactly bring them to the authority in the middle of the night.
The chosen site is in one corner of Area 37. It's a bit deep but since it's an area with plant-type monsters, it has watering holes. I've picked the place where Gushing Holes can't geographically appear, and with only one entrance to it.
I look for the shortest route there. I can likely get there in 20 minutes if I break the walls in two passages along the way.
While relying on Invisibility and Spy skills I fly on the passage ceilings with Sky Drive. It seems that no one from the explorers parties along the way noticed me. Even if they do, they will probably regard it as a new kind of monster.
The hall where I've arrived at is quite a damp place with water dripping from the ceiling.
Fern-type plants are growing in colony. It looks like they're monsters. I tried throwing an ant leg from the storage to it, and the fern leaves became like a chainsaw, cutting the leg. I'm unsure whether this monster belongs to a fantasy or a horror work. Let's check the leaf's structure later.
I catch sight of monsters that look exactly like triceratops between the trees. It's probably not a normal dinosaur since violet flashes sometimes appear on its orange-colored transparent horns. While producing chewing sounds, these monsters are munching the leaves that are rotating like chainsaws without even caring about it. There are also two-meter class dragonfly-like monsters fluttering around.
Geez, it's completely a Cretaceous era.
I pull myself together and begin the clean-up. I swiftly cut down the stronger monsters with [Flexible Swords]. Since they'll likely smell if left alone, I put them into the storage with [Magic Hand] in no time flat.
After I've exterminated the big ones, I use [Remote Arrow] to eradicate the small fries. I retrieve the bodies just like I did with the big ones.
In just 10 minutes, I've completed clearing the monsters in the hall.
In the center of the room, I put a lot of bowls with clothes inside and dried meats from insect-type monsters in jars. These dried meats were something that the mansion children had made for practice. They're terrible thing that even made the beastkin girls to put down their forks with just a single bite. It was clearly a failure, but I couldn't throw them away just like that either, so I stowed it away in the storage. Might as well use it for the lost thieves I'll be capturing.
Next, I block the only passage to the room with a big rock that I had stored in the storage from the aisle. Then I put a carved seal board on the middle of the passage. In addition, I make hard stone walls at a certain length in the passage afterward by using [Stone Wall] magic on the soil taken out of my storage.
The impromptu prison is complete with this.
I catch the lost thieves with a series of capturing combo starting with Remote Stun.
"Who are you bastard! Who do you think this great me is!"
"Yeah yeah, I'll listen to you later."
I defeat the one who seems to be the boss of this lost thief group by pounding him with Remote Stuns. I then floor the rest of the small fries with the capturing combo.
Fumu, it's 55 people with this huh. I guess this is it for this base.
I lift the captured lost thieves with [Magic Hand] and teleport to Area 37. I advance on the passage, and then put the rock that block the way to the hall into my storage, opening the road.
Since the fallen lost thieves were crowding in front of the rock, I pushed the fresh lost thieves inside, putting them back into the room. After I've finished putting them inside, I place the rock again, blocking the passage. Booing broke out from the other side of the rock, but I ignored it since it didn't interest me.
However, it was a bit of failure. I forgot that there were also women among the lost thieves. I can let them stay in the same room, but I don't want that somehow. It can't be helped, I make another room with a door in the passage and decide to confine the female lost thieves there. Just like in the hall, I've also provided food, salt, two barrels of water, an empty jar, and a partitioning screen there.
I teleport back to the base just now and this time, I lift the carriers and the slaves with [Magic Hand], and take them to the mansion of ivy.
"Onee-chan, it's stars! I can see the stars."
"Outside? It's really the outside?"
Leriril who have waited for our coming claps her hands to gather their attentions.
"Be quiet children of human. This is the mansion of ivy, the place where sage-sama lives. I'll send you back to the labyrinth if you make an uproar."
The threat seems to be effective as the worked-up people have quieted down.
"Have your representative steps up. Porina, please explain the things to the representative."
Porina is the leader of the carriers whom I've saved first. She's level 7 despite being a baggage carrier. Her skills are [Carriage], [Cultivation], and [Harvesting].
I leave here to Leriril and Porina, and go back to the field earlier. I put one of the surveillance magic tool that I've created for the villa in one corner of the room. It looks like a two-meter long pole with a skull on its tip. The skull part has surveillance and information transmission mechanisms installed. The pole part has magic circuit for circulating magic power, and it can operate for three days if it's filled to the brim with magic power. I made this for surveillance around the villa, but since its appearance was unpopular (among the girls), I stowed it away.
I attack the remaining large-scale lost thief hideout and rescue the carriers who are working there. The bigger places are complete with this. Next, I assaulted the smaller lost thief groups that had dispersed in 10 places. Dealing with them was troublesome since they were running away in small groups.
Once I throw the last lost thief into the temporary prison, I take a breath.
It should be fine to take these guys to the west guild after the day has risen.
In total, there are 220 people that I've saved. 110 people are carriers, 80 are slaves, and 30 are unexpectedly explorers. All of them are women. Apparently, men who were caught were either killed, or made to work as slaves until they made them became decoys for a special strategy (Train), killing them.
Most of the women seemed to be working on the field with shackles on their legs. Looks like they were also cultivating crops for the lost thieves' consumption besides the ingredients for the fiend drug. Due to that, there are some who have Cultivation, Harvesting, and Mixing skills.
There are a lot of female explorers at level 5, the ones who were higher than that were either solicited into becoming lost thieves, or killed.
Leriril was still up, but Porina and the others have gone asleep since they seemed to be tired, I'll talk to them again once the dawn arrives.
There are too many of them and not enough rooms in the mansion, so she has prepared beds in the hall and the corridors for them.
"Sa, Kuro-sama, actually, we have ran out of the reserve food. The vegetables grown with 『Green Hand (Grow)』 magic in the garden are at its limit too."
"Ah, sorry, I forgot to supply them."
Leriril leads me to the food warehouse and then I take out a large quantity of ingredients. Most of them are the ones I've collected in the lost thief hideouts, but I've also put things like wheat, potatoes, frog meat, salt and many other things. It should be enough for a while since they're around 6000 meal worth in all. I give her various kind of medicines since there are some unhealthy people among them.
"Is this a space magic?"
"Un, something like that."
It's dead at midnight now, and there's still quite some time until morning, so I go to the underground workshop with Leriril. Communications from Arisa comes at regular interval, reporting "No abnormal~ity" with a sleepy voice. I suggested her to alternate the monitoring work, but since she said okay, I'll let them work hard until Arisa and Mia doze off, and the regular contact gets cut off.
Sir Sokel doesn't have a peerage even though he's a noble. I feel that there's a real mastermind behind this, although I hope it's just an unfounded fear. If the mastermind is in this city, they should be raiding tonight. And right now until the early dawn is the time with the highest probability for the raid.
I thought of going back to the mansion for an instant, but I decided to prepare various things in the underground workshop and went to the streets.