202 Mercenary's Way Awesome
They're three mercenaries who once killed Forest Seeker magic beasts in our path. Plus three other mercenaries.
Noticing that, I pulled down my hood and retreated my face deeper inside. Gotta keep them from noticing me and raising a flag.
"This much just from an escorting job to Kingdom eh, easy money."
Each of the mercenaries spoke as they walked up here.
"Here to Kingdom, Kingdom to here. Round and round, it never ends tho'."
"S'long it pays the bill, no complaints here. We're pretty much wagon escort specialists. What else it's gonna be."
They went to the elderly coachman earlier and began discussing things.
Must be about schedule. It was over quick. They're used to it I'm sure.
"Dear passengers. We shall be departing. Please take your seat on the stagecoach."
A lots of passengers got on. There were also those who saw them off and said parting words.
I got on the last, and the stagecoach departed.
The start of a trip.
(Ah, never asked how long till we get there... Ah well.)
We're gonna get there on schedule for sure, I muttered as I saw the empire gate getting smaller.
"Please be a smooth journey."
I should have taken more consideration and fantasized what would happen more.
Since time immemorial, traveling in 'Fantasy' is always without fail accompanied by events.
But it's far too late. I was already in one without ever realizing it.
A proof that no matter how much I seek 'Ordinary', it always comes to vain, in fact, getting involved in a mess is the default for me.
As someone who doesn't believe in destiny, I am currently heading straight toward the classical 'that'.
Three days had already passed since our departure. A completely peaceful trip so far. I sighed a breath of relief at this uneventful-ness.
The passengers all acted in various manners whenever we camped out. Those who ate the meals provided by the coachman, and those who brought out their own.
And then there's those who didn't bother to eat the provided dried jerky and hard baked bread and went to sleep early.
As for me, I didn't take out my own meal and had them together with the other passengers.
(Ah, my camping experience had always been extravagant huh... this is how ordinary camping looks like...)
Despite all the longing for ordinary, my common sense is still world apart from this world's. I gotta shrink that gap.
As I keep chewing on the jerky in search of flavor, I heard the mercenaries grumbling.
"Haa, this shit sucks. My strength ain't gonna come out eating this junk."
"Drink yourself dead once we arrive at the Kingdom. Bear with it."
Even these mercenaries started getting fed up by the fourth day but it's obvious they're used to it.
They alternated the night watch shift like usual that day as well.
But apparently they didn't overlook the bandits lurking in the forest.
They only acted like usual to prevent alerting those bandits.
I was impressed by their account on it the morning after.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
The mercenaries were quick to act. I couldn't sleep that night yet I never even noticed the lurking bandits inside the forest.
I only did after hearing the groaning of a bandit who had his stomach pierced by a sword as he fell.
The mercenaries had secretly contacted other mercenaries during their night watch shift change. Readying their combat formation in secrecy.
It came as a surprise to me when they halved the number of a dozen or so bandits in a flash. It was done so quick.
First, they left their sleeping bags and stuffed them full to make it look like they were still sleeping.
Then they went around the bandits under the cover of darkness and ambushed them swiftly. They were so smooth at it they looked like some sort of special force.
Must be proof of their long experience in battle. Them saying they're specialists in escorting jobs is no bluff.
The operation started at the most exquisite timing just when the bandits were closing in on the camp site.
The bandits fell into a disarray, all but the leader got done in.
These bandits were routed out so brilliantly and yet, unluckily, yes unluckily enough that leader pointed his sword at me.
He must be trying to take me who just happened to be awake as a hostage.
"Stay away! What the hell are you guys! Dammit! Just when my luck finally turned around in this banditry business!"
"Man, that was over so quick... I mean. Aren't you mercenaries folk way awesome?"
As I sighed at the pitiful bandit, the mercenaries were quick to point out my situation.
"Oy oy, you ain't gonna get nothing praising us, y'know? Appreciate that tho'. More importantly, shouldn't you mind more 'bout your safety?"
That warning was directed at me and the bandit leader.
My life is in danger with the sword pointed at me, while the bandit leader is gonna meet his end the moment he killed me regardless.
The tension must be at max. But this stand off was just a waste of time to me.
"Help me. Please."
I'm aiming for 'Ordinary'. Thus I pleaded for help even with a monotonous tone.
The bandit leader turned his sight at me with a puzzled look on his face then he got his arm cut a moment later.
The mercenaries didn't miss their chance. They zeroed in on him at once and slashed.
That was the decisive strike. The mercenary swiftly lopped off the leader's head afterward.
(Whaa! Stop that, quit it with splatter in my sight would you! Why do I gotta watch this when I've done nothing?)
Criminals receive harsh treatments in this world. Arresting them here would just mean more work. They'd likely get the capital punishment anyway at the Kingdom. Villains virtually have no human rights in this world.
However, the opposing side saw this as an extra income. They immediately began looting the bandit corpses once the battle was over.
"Bwahaha, easy peasy amateur bandits. Made a killing!"
And now these mercenaries look like the villains here. However, they're always treading the line between life and death in this line of work, so this extra income is part of their motivation, their reality.
And thus the problem settled without me raising unnecessary flags.
But, this creates another worry.
(So this is mercenaries' 'Ordinary'... What a dangerous world.)
It feels so far away from the 'Ordinary' I yearn for.
(No wait, I've done something similar too, quite a few times... but they were all out of necessity.)
I'm not like these mercenaries, I'm better than them. However, I still did the same thing at the end of the day. Acting like I'm better than them is just an excuse.
"Alrighty, we gotta move ahead a bit. Smell of blood gonna attract beasts. Wake everyone up."
Other passengers who never noticed the assault got woken up.
Some of them screamed when they saw the bandit bodies, but that was it. We moved our camp site smoothly.
The new site was about 100 meters ahead and the fourth night of this trip ended without any other issue cropping up.