Chapter 5: Take Out the Snipers First. They Ruin Everything.
As I glance about me to determine the safest route to descend un-noticed a glint catches my eye from the cliff-side. I quickly duck down behind the rocks to conceal myself better. I hadn’t thought to hide from people on the mountain!
I stare hard at the glint and my sight zooms in again.
It’s a sniper. There’s another one, stationed several meters away at another point along the cliff. Though they’re snipers they’re not holding sniper-rifles propped against the ground but dangerous-looking, large crossbows. The bolts are HUGE.
They might be called something else, but I’m not too sure with any ranged weapon that’s not the Japanese bow.
Carefully surveying the cliff I confirm that there are only two men on the cliff-side. They haven’t noticed me yet, focused solely on the fight down below.
An incredibly bad feeling washes over me.
The sniper closest to me is ready to fire, but the bad feeling is coming from his bolt. It vibrates and glows dimly with a dangerous power that I can feel from over here. It’s aimed at the wagons’ guard who looks like the leader.
Make it in tiiiiime! As I kick off, the ground suddenly seems to shrink and I reach the sniper’s location in two steps. Impossible! Fantasy, you are impossible!
But it still wasn’t fast enough. Even as I strike at the sniper, even as he just begins to notice me, the trigger has been pulled and the bolt shoots through the air.
Thankfully sound travels faster than objects through air.
Unfortunately, not much faster.
The leader-looking guard looks up and manages to dodge but there is nothing else they could do against it in the seconds it flew through the air.
The bolt pierces through where the magic and arrows couldn’t and there’s a shattering sound. It lodges itself – no, it completely skewers one of the wagons and the wagon erupts in splinters. The terrified horses rear and cause a disastrous display.
Breathing hard from my miraculous speed I look down at the unconscious man I had slapped into the rocks. The whites of his eyes are showing. I’ve powered up it seems.
I just barely manage to dodge another bolt, glowing ominously like the first. Something like a shockwave resonates from where it pierces the rock face behind me and I stumble as it crumbles through the ground and affects my footing. I feel the searing heat from the implosion where the bolt has sunk in.
The other sniper has targeted me, huh?
If this bolt was the twin of the first one, I’m relieved it didn’t manage to hit a human.
In one smooth movement I grab an extra bolt lying in the sniper’s arsenal – not the one embedded in the ground as it still gives off a murderous aura – and hurl it like an Olympic javelin thrower. I’m sure someone from somewhere will complain about my form, but right now I don’t have the time to be particular, do I?
Oh. After releasing the bolt I realize my limbs are shaking a little. Being that close to death isn’t something I’m used to. My stomach’s in knots.
I hit my target since the second sniper was only a little more than 10 meters away and the second crossbow splinters. The bolt isn’t glowing like the others. I am curious about it. Magic weapons are romantic after all.
Is it the crossbow then? Oops!
As I’m distracted, the second sniper swings at me with a short sword.
“You, who the hell are you?!”
Ah… yelling like that has surely announced my presence to the bandits below too. Well, so be it. Looking at the battlescene, I think that I should step in after all. The chaos below has destroyed the formation the wagons’ group had been, throwing the stalemate into a losing battle.
“If you won’t answer, just die!”
Nonono, I’m not doing it to be rude, I just don’t know how to answer you!
I dodge her wide swings easily despite the bad footing. This isn’t a power-up after I woke up inexplicably in this world. This woman just really sucks at close combat. I’m not too sure how to deal with her. I don’t like the thought of hitting her, and now that I think about it I wonder if I’ve almost killed that man.
This isn’t the time for this!
Part of me screams that, but I can’t help it. The only fights I’ve had were sports matches and fist fights that never carried anything close to the intent to kill that I feel now. In modern day society no one needs the determination to kill anymore so give me a break. I won’t be able to do it so easily.
Well, even with the intent to kill she’s still really bad at this. Thank you for allowing me the time to sort out my philosophical issues, but this way you really aren’t much of a threat. It makes it even more difficult for me to try to muster any intent to kill.
Drawing it out any longer than this, though, and the situation down below will get bad. And, this woman DID try to kill me in an awful way.
Stepping in easily, I disarm her and deal a blow into her stomach.
Ah, that’s right, I’ve powered up in this world. She makes a strange noise as she flies back a ways into the rocks. The woman twitches a bit then rolls over weakly.
Oh. She’s throwing up now.
I can’t bring myself to deal a finishing blow but I can’t just leave these two up here. It’s dangerous to leave your enemies alive in a strategic location.
There’s no rope so I improvise some restraints with the two snipers’ bag straps and belts. Sorry unconscious man, I suggest you to find pants that will stay up better without a belt if you get out of this situation alright.
The woman has recovered enough to glare at me at least, but it doesn’t stop me from quickly swiping the remaining crossbow and a number of bolts. Even if I don’t know how to use a crossbow now, I’m sure I can figure it out later. And the bolts are big enough to use as spears, which beats my current weapons of … nothing.
It’s after I leap off the snipers’ perch that it hits me that I could have hunted around for a weapon that suited me better. Or water. I probably could have found a lot of things that would have helped me in my complete poverty.
Too late. No matter how much I’ve increased in strength and agility there’s still not much I can do against gravity. Besides, there’s no time. Even the necessity of restraining the snipers took too long. Need over greed – I’ll have to pass up looting this time.