Author/TN note: Not sure when I’ll get the next OVRMMO up, but it’ll probably be before the end of the week. Ganbatte, me.
Chapter 6: Think Before You Act … Unless You’re Out of Time. Then Just Don’t Think.
Thanks to the echoing cliff-side our ruckus at the snipers’ perch has attracted some of the bandits’ attention and two of them have branched off to receive me as I descend the mountain pass. At least it’s taken two men off from sieging the wagons.
I say I’m “descending” the mountain pass, but really, I’m falling. Sure I’m trying to bounce from foothold to foothold, but my momentum down this particularly vertical part of the cliff carries me faster than I can find stable points to land and I’m falling further than I’d like before finding the next foothold.
There’s lots of shale, too, and I have to concentrate to avoid twisting my ankle on some of the footholds.
It’s terrifying! I’m seriously going to crack my head open if I lose focus even once. And there’s the issue of two men with swords waiting to receive me.
Oooph! I manage to find more of a landing and my knees nearly buckle from the momentum. I recover, barely, and continue the flow of my movement to make a spectacular flying leap.
I leap towards the men waiting below while pulling two bolts from my Inventory. It’s nice that I can pull exactly what I want out, and the image of the bolts materializing is truly a fantastic sight.
One to parry, the other to strike. I plunge the tip of my right-hand bolt/spear into the shoulder of one of the bandits while deflecting his wide swing and allow my momentum to somersault me over him. The carry of the trajectory rips the spear in his shoulder out at a bad angle. It’s blood all over.
Though I prepared myself for the gore, it seems it wasn’t enough. My stomach twists and the hand holding the bloody spear goes limp, the palm slick with sweat.
Ignore it, me. Keep going, this has to be done. There’s no time.
I mentally chant these thoughts like a mantra, trying to numb my revulsion to the actions I was about to do.
Since my grip on the right spear has already been compromised I toss it away and take hold of the left one in both hands. Rather than a spear I use it more like a bo staff. A pity the balance is too different to use as a bamboo sword since my skill in staff fighting is at the “copying martial arts movies” level, but at least in my chuunibyou days I secretly practiced all sorts of flashy martial arts. Secretly because it would have been too painful for others to have known about them.
Not that it ever stopped Masaki from spotting me in my “secret training” sessions and teasing me endlessly.
The second bandit is disarmed quickly and the butt of the spear hits him in the pit of his stomach. I leave him winded; it’s best to just take the rearguards out as fast as possible.
With the disaster of the wagons, many of the wagons’ group were injured by the shrapnel and the horses going berserk. They are only just barely able to fend off the bandits now. With the archer and magic castor over there adding to the mayhem, it’s hell.
The bandit leader, though, is perceptive. He had been circling the scene leisurely, but apparently he didn’t expect me to come out unscathed from the fight with two of his men. Now he senses the danger and decides to intervene himself.
“Where did you come from, you bastard?!”
As he screams he whips his horse into a frenzy and thunders towards me. But, like the entirety of this fight, I don’t have time! The castor is preparing another chant like before. What magic will he make rain on the wagons’ group? Their magic shield-thing was destroyed earlier; that they’ve survived this long is a miracle! Like before, make the distance shrink!
Fully concentrating on that thought in the blink of an eye I once again find myself where I wanted to be in far fewer steps than it should have taken.
No time to ponder, as usual! The tip of the spear slices the bowstring. The butt whips around and cracks the castor in the jaw, then whips around again to crack across the back of the archer’s neck.
Both were sickening cracks. Neither archer nor magic castor is moving. Broken jaw, broken neck … I forcibly numb the sympathetic part of my brain again as I turn to face the bandit leader. He’s reared his horse short at my disappearance, and his look at me is of horror.
“You … chantless magic?!”
I’m not sure what that means, but he is clearly moving far more cautiously now.
There is no translation for what he is saying. Is there no meaning to the words in the chants? His sword glows a dark color, rippling down the blade, and he urges his horse towards me.
It looks like being hit with that would be bad. The difference in height is bad. Getting kicked in the face by a horse … also bad. But …
Spears are for throwing, you know?
I throw it as hard as I can, since he’s still a bit away, and … miss. By only a little, but it’s a miss nonetheless. It hurtles past him like a speeding train and disappears into the distance. Oops.
The backlash seems to have been enough to make him go pale. It’s definitely enough to make the horse give in. It rears and tries to break away.
The bandit leader didn’t brace himself and is tossed from the saddle, and the horse stumbles, breaks away, and flees off to the side.
Falling hard on his left side, the bandit leader is dazed but somehow he gets up shakily. I am amazed at his guts as he readies himself to fight. He doesn’t look like he wants to though.
“B-back up! Regroup!”
Oh? I thought maybe he’d be like a bandit NPC in a video game who would continue attacking until they were all dead, but life is precious after all. That makes it harder to face the fact that I might have killed three men.
He’s facing me, glaring as if he’s wondering what to do. Ah, it’s because I’m standing over his maybe dead comrades. I look over and see that the bandits sieging the wagons have backed off, also watching me carefully.
Eh? The wagons’ group is also watching me warily!?
The bandit leader laughs hollowly as he backs away slowly. He’s favoring his left leg and limps.
“Fine then, give us our men and we’ll go for today. Shit, hiring such a monster!”
Monster… I’m not being viewed as human. I replay my actions. Descending down an over 6 kilometer cliff-face in seconds, defeating all his men in one blow each, and moving so quickly it looks like I’m teleporting. Well, I’m not sure I’m human anymore either.
I step back from the archer and castor. Oh, the castor’s moving and the archer looks to be breathing … but neither can stand. The bandits move to collect them … I look over at the wagons’ group to see if they’ll object but they look to be in no mood for justice.
Medication and recovery seems to be both sides’ priorities right now.
With the frenzy of battle gone my limbs suddenly feel weary, but I don’t let it show. It would look stupid after my superhuman moves, right? I focus on the wagons’ group that’s left behind after the bandits retreated.
The four guards who had surrounded the wagons have various scrapes and bruises, and the leader-looking man took a blade to the shoulder. All in all they don’t seem to have taken any life-endangering wounds, though a few of their wounds seem nasty. The group in the middle … they are not so lucky.
There’s a very obvious reason the guard in the middle didn’t resurrect her magical barrier. “Couldn’t” resurrect her magical barrier. When the horses … and donkeys…? panicked, one of the remaining wagons had broken it’s rear wheel while the other toppled over, threatening to squash the people in the middle of the formation. The third wagon is in splinters from the snipers, and the shrapnel has injured animal and human alike.
Straining with all her might the guard in the middle has been using her body to keep the toppled wagon from falling on the four injured merchants. It’s barely a success; her body looks like it will give out any moment, and wooden splinters are embedded all over. She’s likely only managing through sheer willpower.
That’s the first priority for everyone. Despite their wounds, the guards and even some of the more lightly injured merchants struggle to her as soon as the bandits are out of sight.
“Hang on, Miinalya!”
She groans weakly as the merchants are moved out from the crash zone and passes out before they can rescue her.
I grab the wagon frame with both hands and stop it from falling on her as she collapses. Though they had been acting as if they were ignoring me, I see that they’re actually still quite wary of my presence. The leader-like man has tensed up as I hold the wagon, and he’s watching me out of the corner of his eye … That kind of hurts, y’know?
“We thank you for saving us, but aren’t looking to be in the debt of a Noble-sama. If there is anything in our power we can reward you with, please take it and go back to your master.”
“… eh? Noble-sama? No, a reward, that’s …”
One of the merchants, a strong-willed looking woman, approaches me with such startling words. This world seems like it has some issues. Even this woman has been pierced with wooden splinters and nurses her leg. And she’s one of the more unscathed. Who is heartless enough to demand something like a reward from injured merchants who just had most of their new stock destroyed?
… The bandits maybe.
“That’s … no, sorry, I don’t know any Noble-samas, and a reward is not …”
Suddenly I feel extremely dizzy. Instead of standing the wagon up like I’d hoped to do, I am barely able to set it down gently. My temples are throbbing and I sit down, trying to look as if I’m alright even though I want to curl up in a ball and clutch my head.
Sitting helps a little bit and I focus on regulating my breathing.
“… a reward … well, a little bit of water is enough?”