Suddenly, I felt very dizzy. I felt sick. I couldn’t stand…
“See, they came for you. Go and have fun.”
She slapped me on the back. I was already feeling horrible, but that hit pushed me over the edge and my vision went black. It was almost like the time I got stabbed…? The thief? That memory…yes. It had happened.
“Ah…what. Oh, it was a dream…that’s why it had seemed so nostalgic…”
□ □ □ □
“…up, Asagi. Hey…”
“There you are. We must leave at once.”
“Is it bandits…?”
When I got up I felt a drop of something fall into the palm of my hand. What the… Ah… Damn it. It was not as if I would ever be able to return. I’m so weak.
“It might as well be. This place was only disguised to resemble a hunting lodge. So… Hmm? What is it? Are you alright?”
“It-it’s nothing. So, how did you know that it was disguised?”
I wiped my eyes with my sleeve. Daniela was looking at me with worry. I smiled and said that I was fine. Daniela nodded and then got to her feet before opening one of the boxes.
“Hey, should we really be doing that?”
“No one can win against the power of curiosity. However, there are times when it shows you the answer to your problem.”
She pointed at its contents, so I came next to her and looked. The box was packed with magic ore of many colors. Huh…this was awkward. Why would such a thing be placed in a hunting lodge?
“It is horrible. I am not sure all of this would fit in the hollow bag…”
“Are you the devil?”
What kind of person has the immediate impulse to rob some bandits of the fruit of their efforts? Wait, no. That actually sounded like a great idea. Now that I think of it, the hollow bag had also been taken from bandits as well.
“It doesn’t seem right…”
“To be very honest, this is probably the funds that they use to operate. We can force them into disbanding if we take it all.”
“Won’t they just steal back what they lost?”
“Regardless, taking is what bandits do. But take away their funds, and they will not be able to buy food or equipment. They will be vulnerable to attacks then.”
I wasn’t sure the people of Nicora would help in taking down the weakened bandits… Sometimes Adventurers or caravans did. And I suppose it was true that having money would make a difference in how they could fight. It was something we experienced first hand.
“So it is settled then. We will take it.”
“You’re really set on this, huh…”
Years of traveling alone had shaped this Daniela. I would definitely have to hear more of those years, later on.
And so Daniela and I put the boxes into the hollow bag. I had felt for a while that the capacity of the bag seemed to have expanded, and because of it, all ten of the boxes fit comfortably inside. It really was a cheat item. But then I remembered where it had come from, and felt weary again.
“Now, let us make our escape before they come…!”
“You know, you’re really starting to sound like a thief yourself!”
Damn it…Daniela. I sighed. This was thievery no matter how I looked at it. But, thank you.
“Asagi. Are you against taking something that is not properly owned by anyone?”
“That’s an interesting way of putting it.”
“Then think differently, Asagi. Treasures are always acquired by taking them for your own.”
“Either from humans or monsters. That is the only difference.”
Daniela looked as if what we were doing was the most natural thing. I felt that my incredibly nostalgic dream had pulled my sensibilities and morals back to that old world.
Now, I was an Adventurer. If this would lead to the weakening of bandits, then it was quite normal. It was like taking food from your enemies.
“Yes…Daniela, you’re right.”
“Of course, we are still stealing.”
Daniela laughed, a little self-deprecating. I felt bad that I had pushed her into feeling even a little guilt. While it wasn’t direct, we were fighting bandits in a way by doing this. As long as we had discovered it, we could not ignore it.
We erased all traces of having stayed there and left the lodge. The moon was still sitting in the sky, but it was only a matter of time. It would sink into the west soon and the sun would rise in the east. Just where would we stay until then? That was the current problem.