301 Disorderly Crowd
As it turned out, 'everything went as expected', for better or worse.
I was waiting behind a tree when 'Ring of Light' party led by Barido arrived at the stairway to floor four.
"Scout, how is it? Any sign of 'White Fang' going down this stairway?"
Barido called out to his party, a group of 30 people.
They must be a joint group of the next party that went down after 'Ring of Light'. They then met up inside the dungeon.
Apparently there's no hard rules to the size of a party, however you can't have a party too big entering a dungeon either.
You generally don't want more than 15 people per party due to issues with luggage, coordination, fighting and traversing in narrow dungeons and so.
Yet despite all these issues, Barido still opted to lead that many people.
Yes, in order to crush White Fang and conquer this dungeon for real.
"I don't see traces of anyone treading this stairway. What's your order? Should we go ahead and clear the dungeon first?"
"The fact that White Fang didn't go down despite all the signs of them heading here bothers me... Check the perimeter. We must eradicate them once and for all here! Just you wait!! 'Ring of Light'! This great Barido! Will be the one standing at the adventurer zenith!"
(Oh boy, his small man aura is in full throttle... Yup, it's pitiful how tiny he is. But thanks to that, I can leave my mercy behind.)
"Hey? Care to have a little talk? It's to decide whether you guys get to live on or not."
I came out of hiding while saying that.
"What? Who the hell are you? You realize you're speaking to 'Ring of Light'?"
Barido didn't have that composure he showed in our first meeting.
Then I noticed he too must have not been given another chance by his backer.
"Yeah, I know. I heard you just now. Eradicate White Fang, was it? What does 'eradicate' mean here anyway?"
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I decided to ask directly. I know there's no point in prolonging talking with someone who's been driven to the corner.
"I see, I must have you dead along with them if you heard us... the dead can't talk, can they? Exactly that. I shan't let those White Fang folk die easily, not until I'm satisfied. Aah, we're gonna sell the women as slaves once we're done with them. I'll make them regret for making a fool out of me!"
Everyone in the group smirked grossly while slowly encircling me as Barido made that speech.
(Ah, it's all of them huh... guess I don't have to hesitate then. Makes things easy.)
"Really now, well I'll put up a resistance since I don't wanna die. Have you guys prepared yourselves? You know that you can't complain about getting killed if you're going in for the kill, yeah?"
"Fufufu, hahahahaha! What a funny man! How do you propose to go up against us all by your lonesome! I don't care who you are and why you talked to me here. But this is where you die all the same. There is no turning back! Now dance for me until your last breath!"
(Here we go with the long monologue. I took care of three men while you were busy.)
I swung my sword at one of the mob surrounding me.
The second one with a return swing. And then the third one with a look of surprise on his face.
Why should I keep listening to the speech of someone aiming for my life?
The speech isn't even interesting or insightful. Barido was drunk with his own garble and didn't spare a glance at me.
I have not used Acceleration. I've broken through the encirclement around me.
So now I just gotta keep going after them one by one to prevent another encirclement.
But all the men here stayed still with a stumped look 'What happened?' without even attempting to draw their weapons. These guys are really inexperienced.
I did karate in my previous life. I've gone through quite a number of practices.
Practicing the know how on how to position yourself, footing, observing the surroundings and field of vision in one-against-many scenarios.
The dojo I went to was an old one that focused on actual combat situations, the basics I learned there worked even with a weapon in hand.
Thus, I'm able to find openings while slipping past their besiegement and avoiding hits.
These guys' biggest shortfall is getting cocky on their number.
Creating a fatal gap in their head, thinking 'What can a lone man do?'
All despite lacking information on what I'm capable of, thinking the power of number make them superior.
'Someone else is gonna do it, someone else is gonna take care of things', they all have the same thought running in their heads despite the lack of actual combat experience, simply carrying weapons to hit on things. Honestly they're no better than straw man practice targets.
By this point I had already cut down 15 people. It took a bit of time because there were many of them.
They surrounded me once again. Barido's voice finally cracked here.
"B-b-b-bastard, what have you done! Unforgivable! I won't stand this!"
In contrast to the reddened enraged face of Barido, the people surrounding me turned dead pale.
My head was occupied by something else.
(Barido... You... don't remember me...)
We met once during that time I was on my way back from the forest with White Fang after a test of strength. The fact that he didn't remember strangely saddened me.