Chapter 15 – Ambushes Seem To Be In Fashion
As the twins had learned self defense arts, they had a decent amount of stamina.
Tor looked over his shoulder at them as he led the way.
They were running with good posture. Perhaps thought sharing allowed them to get a sense of how they were running, which helped polish their form.
But even still, that was not enough to keep up with an Adventurer like Tor. And while the Magic Centipede Adventurers were on their trail, the caltrops seemed to have an effect, as they were nowhere in sight.
When he looked ahead again, he saw a small woman jump down from the roof of the two-story inn.
The twins stopped in surprise, but Tor reassured them.
“It’s fine. That’s the messenger who was waiting at the inn. An ally.”
The twins nodded and began to run again.
The messenger waved, gesturing for them to follow after her. And then she began to run ahead.
When they finally caught up with her, the woman opened her mouth.
“Sorry. There was a mistake, and contact was delayed.”
“That’s fine. Tell me about the situation.”
What they wanted right now was information. Tor urged, and the woman continued with a relieved expression.
“First, I’ve told the manager about the smuggling method. From there, word was sent to the guards. I confirmed all of this myself.”
The woman explained that she had been waiting at the inn after contacting the guards, and so that everything after that was known to her through messages.
“At first, it was suggested that they should close the gates entirely. But then the guards were able to confirm that Magic Centipede was indeed using a great amount of firewood at their inn every night, and so they decided to catch them at the scene of the crime.”
“…Ah, so that’s why. It’s no wonder.”
Why hadn’t he realized it sooner? Tor cursed his own carelessness.
Eufie and Mailey also seemed to understand why the guards had acted quickly.
“When Magic Centipede pass through the gates as escorts, they are completely armed.”
“So if they are shown proof of their smuggling at the gates, then they will likely try and force their way through the gates and escape.”
“Even if they are taken by surprise, a battle against a group of Adventurers will mean great losses for the guards as well.”
“In that case, it would be better to ambush them now, while they are still at the inn and unprepared.”
The twins understood why there was so much noise around the town now, and they looked apologetic.
The messenger shook her head.
“I don’t think you have to worry about any damage towards the people of the town. The guards are professionals, after all. But once again, I’m sorry that contact was delayed.”
“But why was it delayed?”
Tor asked, and the woman explained with a troubled expression.
“As the suspects in this case are an Adventurer clan, the guards were afraid that information could leak from us, and that they would find out about the attack. And so they reported it after the fact. We can do nothing but feel regret about it now.”
“Aye, then it is no one’s fault.”
Even the manager was unable to trust his own Adventurers. That’s why Tor had been made to guard the twins. In order for the guards, who didn’t know what was happening inside, to be absolutely sure, they had to report after the fact.
“And so, how many people were able to escape?”
“I’ve heard that they captured ten people at the inn. However, we don’t know where clan leader Wenz and a few other important members are. An inspection of the Ubaz Company had been planned, but due to an attack from Human Centipede on the way, they are still regrouping. It seems like a carriage charged into them.”
Tor recalled the underlings with the carriage that he saw when jumping out of the building.
Magic Centipede had likely been thinking of using the twins as hostages when getting through the gates.
And then they would unite with Haran.
Right now, the main members of Magic Centipede would have united with Haran and others from the Ubaz Company who were involved in the smuggling.
“Still, it is odd. I don’t see why they would target the twins at this point.”
If they really wanted hostages when going through the gate, it would be much easier to take a random citizen off the streets instead. After all, they were not being guarded by Tor.
They could now see the defense walls that stood near the Adventurers Guild.
If they turned the corner, then the guild would be straight ahead. It was then that they saw that men were standing there as if to block their path. And so Tor and the others stopped.
“Haran and Wenz…”
The messenger muttered with a bitter expression, and then she took a step back.
It was Wenz and ten other Adventurers from Magic Centipede who blocked the road. On top of that, there was Haran and three employees they had seen before at the Ubaz Company.
It looked like they had taken a carriage and arrived here first. This suggested a strong will to capture the twins, no matter the cost.
Haran looked at Eufie and Mailey angrily.
“To think that leaving you alone for just one night would result in you exposing our methods… This is why I had geniuses. Or have you made a contract with the devil?”
Eufie and Mailey sighed with exasperation.
“Don’t be afraid. Just admit that you are ignorant.”
“How pathetic. His fear has led him to falsely accuse us of learning from the devil.”
“Not only will he not admit his lack of study, or have any respect for those with knowledge, but he will even try and eliminate them in order to bring balance to his heart.”
“It’s no wonder that people have left the Ubaz Company. Of course, we are partially responsible for not stopping it.”
“However, as someone who is running from his responsibility, you have no right to judge us.”
Woah, they are tearing him apart. Tor almost felt sorry for Haran, even though he was an enemy.
Haran’s face grew red as he saw the looks of pity he was getting.
“You two sure have a lot to say. But you wouldn’t understand the feelings of a commoner. In order to run a company of that scale…”
“Master, that’s enough talk. They are just trying to buy time. They aren’t even listening to you.”
As Haran spat and was about to argue back, Wenz stopped him.
If they bought some time here, the guards would arrive. Wenz saw what the twins were thinking, and he unsheathed his greatsword and looked at Tor and the others.
“It so happens that we are out of time. Now quietly surrender. And we will spare their lives. With the knowledge the sisters possess, we can always start again with the funds we have saved.”
Wenz’s blade was nearly two meters long, and to his right and left stood Adventurers. They were not wearing Magitec arms or legs, but brandished weapons. Small shields, short swords and spears. There were two of each on either side of him. The main members of Magic Centipede, Wenz’s own B-Rank party.
Upon seeing this fighting force, the messenger began to retreat as she whispered to Tor and the twins.
“We can’t go to the guild like this. We should head to the guard house instead.”
It was an obvious suggestion, but Tor looked like he thought it was too much trouble as he held up his chain chakrams.
“That won’t be necessary. I’ll deal with them here.”
Wenz snorted as he saw this.
“Hey, hey. This is no place for a B-Rank loner. You won’t even be able to delay us.”
“…I haven’t slept for two days.”
“I stayed up last night playing a board game, and the night before that I stayed up drinking to celebrate an anniversary. And so I’m very tired. I want to get this over with.”
The chains jangled as Tor held the chain chakram and took a step forward.
“Don’t underestimate loners. But if you think relying on numbers will save you, come at me.”
The moment that Tor threw the chakram with one hand, there was a thunderous roar.
It sounded like the strike of lightning.
But by the time that Wenz and the others realized it was the numerous sounds of metal chains scraping against each other, they heard the thuds of something heavy falling behind them.
They realized it was the subordinates who had been waiting behind them. They fell without being able to do anything.
The chain jangled and danced as it retracted back towards Tor. It was enchanted with Tor’s magic, and enveloped in red electricity.
This special weapon had attacked them with a roar, and knocked his men down.
There was no longer even a hint of disdain in their eyes as they looked at Tor.
“…Enchanted with red thunder. A solo B-Rank Adventurer.”
Once they realized who Tor was, all the confidence seemed to drain from them completely.
“…17th in the rankings. Red Lightning!?”