Chapter 188 Strongest Sage, Creates Feint
"...How's the target?"
30 minutes after we started getting tailed.
The guy who was following behind our pursuer asked him.
We're only 300 meters apart from our pursuers now.
They seem to think we can't hear them due to the distance... But a conversation done without any concealment spell can be easily heard simply by using sense reinforcement magic.
"Doesn't seem like they're on guard... More importantly, don't get ahead of formation. We'd get found out since you guys don't know how to tail someone."
"...Got it. Make it quick. We Raid Unit don't got the whole day. And killing 'em quick woulda nab us some nice buck 'fter all."
Looks like the enemies are separated by two roles, scouts and assaults.
Judging from their conversation, killing adventurers who have come to Folkia territory is a daily occurrence to them.
『Seems like they're trying to look for the right time to strike...』
『What should we do?』
Ruli and Alma who have also learned Sense Reinforcement noticed the enemy proceeding with their plan to attack.
Normally, you'd want to outflank your pursuers in this kind of situation and attack them in their confusion.
However... Considering our opponent is really weak this time, we can afford not to kill them.
『Let's put them to sleep with magic, look for something that could be a source of info and let them off.』
『We're not going to kill them? I don't think there's any worth in bandits other than their death though...』
Iris is correct indeed.
But it's not like I'm letting these bandits (or people disguised as one) go out of pity.
There's no doubt that there's a wire-puller behind these guys.
In order to defeat this wire-puller in the most efficient way, we've got to keep these guys alive.
Killing our attackers would bring unwanted attentions.
Besides, there's a high chance these bandits are carrying the thing I want the most with them.
That thing would be rendered unusable if we killed these guys.
『Yeah. Normally you'd do that. However, we don't want to alert Folkia. So let's just put them to sleep.』
『Yeah. High chance these Raid Unit is connected to Folkia. If we turn the table on them, they'll know our strength won't they? To prevent that, we'll get through this by putting them to sleep.』
『I understand! ...Should we use Sleeping magic tool?』
『Yeah. Please take care of that while I and Iris act as a decoy. Make sure not to make it lethal. I'll cast a camouflage spell in 10 seconds, erase your presence with magic and go around the enemy.』
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
After confirming their replies, I count to ten while walking with Iris.
And then I cast 『Vision Illusion』.
『Vision Illusion』 is a magic that makes an illusion of someone that shouldn't be there.
As this can be used even without having a direct contact with your opponent, even Disqualified Crest is able to deceive faraway opponent with it... But it's easy to see through the magic if you just look closely.
However--whether you allow your enemy to have that chance or not depends on your skills.
Hearing my comm spell, Ruli and Alma go separate ways from us under stealth magic.
The level of stealth magic they're using is not high at all, but it's more than enough against these guys.
Right after Ruli and Alma went away, I turn around and shout out loud.
"It's an ambush! Get ready to attack!"
Then I run toward the assailants.
Iris followed behind.
Since they're focusing on us rushing to them, they won't pay close attention to the 『Vision Illusion』.
"Dammit, they found out!"
"You shittin' me! Did you really follow 'em right?"
"Of course! You know my tailing skills don't you!?"
The assailants that carry a bow let loose their arrows toward us.
Around half of them carry a bow.
All of them are equipped with the Strength Reinforcement magic tools mentioned before.
I strike down all of those arrows with my sword.
But looking at the fact that every one of these arrows accurately flew to me... These assailants are pretty skilled for the present world.
At the very least, they're not like your average bandits.
"Wha... That guy's a monster!"
"How the hell did he strike down arrows with a sword!"
On the other hand, Iris also attempted to mimic the feat with her spear, but it was in vain as all of the arrows ended up hitting her.
Well, mere arrows are no different from dandelion's fluff to Iris though.
"The girl's real bad news too! She's crap with spear, but arrows ain't working on her at all!"
"No one told me about magic to protect you against arrows!"
And these guys went and badmouthed Iris for some reason.
Well, they're right though, Iris is bad with spear.
"Hey, what do you mean by crap! Mathias-san is the weird one here! You normally can't strike down flying arrows mid-air!"
Iris swings her spear around while getting angry.
However, it's all in vain as the spear keeps missing its targets.
"Ooh, then how about..."
Iris takes a stance as she gets ready to throw her spear.
But I stop her a moment before she could.
『Oy, they're gonna die if you do that.』
『Ah... Oh right, I can't kill them...』
『Yeah. It's annoying, but it'd be better for us in the long run if no one died.』
Ordinarily, there's no need to endeavor so hard just to avoid one or two casualties.
But, I have a reason why I try not to kill even one.
I intend to erase the fact that 『there was a battle here』.
And that's only possible if the enemy suffers no casualty.
Because these assailants themselves wouldn't want to report to their boss, 『We failed the ambush, everyone fell asleep before knew it』.
By simply creating a situation that would prompt the assailants to insist on 『there never was a clash in the first place』 narrative, they would take care of the rest on their own.
...Well, even though we're not gonna kill them here, I've remembered their faces, thus once we've beaten the one behind all this, I will tell the proper lord about their deeds, practically sending them to the gallows.
"What the? They stopped movin'."
"Dunno what's goin' on, but here's our chance! Aim at the boy!"
Our opponents saw us being immobile, since I stopped her throwing spear, as a chance.
Unlike Iris who's impervious to arrows, they must see me as someone that could be killed by one since I kept striking down their arrows.
Well, it's all pointless though.
With how slow these arrows are, I've no problem dealing with even ten times the amount.
"Oy, do it seriously! These arrows are too slow they look like stop motion here!"
I struck down all the incoming arrows while provoking them on purpose.
"That ain't no human feat..."
"What do we do? Should we retreat back?"
"Fool, like we could do that, we're just up against just four peeps! We've just gotta get close and--"
Thus while we were buying time... Ruli and Alma were done with the preparations.
『We're ready! Activating now!』