Book 2, Chapter 29

Trap

The battle in the manor ended quickly, and the battle outside was reaching a close as well. The women and children had been chased to a side hall, while the surrendered soldiers were locked up in several rooms. If anyone tried anything silly, there would be nothing a fire inside a sealed room would not fix.

It was only then that Richard entered the manor— such close-ranged battles were far too dangerous for a mage, especially at his level. He searched for the three raptors in his mind, trying to determine how much they had left in them. All three still had more than half their strength remaining, so even if they’d been unavoidably hurt the result was pleasant. He ordered them to search for any hidden soldiers, bringing his own out. Dead beasts were replaceable, but his knights were not.

There were more than ten women in the side hall, with about seven or eight children as well, all huddled together in fear. They’d watched helplessly as their enemies appeared suddenly, and while the thick stench of blood had made a few of these ladies swoon at first, they had persevered on.

Richard paced from side to side in front of these ladies, memorising the reactions of each. He then spoke up, “If any of you here can point out Kojo’s wife or children, you will immediately be released.”

The women all kept their calm at first, but the vicious gleam in these thugs’ eyes and the blood still dripping from their weapons was a constant reminder of what would happen if they didn’t leave this dangerous place immediately.

A horrendous wail suddenly resounded throughout the building, striking fear into the hearts of those present. A young woman who was dressed like a peasant immediately jumped up, pointing to one of the ladies and shouting, “It’s her! She’s Kojo’s wife!”

“Plebeian! You will die a death by whipping!” the lady screamed, her voice a mixture of extreme terror and fury.

With someone opening it up, the rest of the women followed. Their only fear at that point was that the others would give up a name before they could. “That’s Kojo’s son! That hag is his mistress!”

All of Kojo’s family had been named within the blink of an eye. He had a main wife, two mistresses, a son, and a daughter. In a rare gesture of generosity, Richard waved to the women dressed like peasants, “Very well. You are free to leave.”

The women trembled as they slowly dragged to the door, but when they realised that there was nobody stopping them they ran out screaming.

“Olar. Bring two men with you. Take this esteemed lady for a walk. Please apprise us of the Knight’s collections, my lady.”

“Your wish is my command, Master!” Olar answered politely. His extensive background with the wealthy and influential had given him a keen perception that made him the ideal candidate to confiscate Kojo’s possessions.

“You only have ten minutes,” Richard reminded the excited elf.

“If that is the case, it will be necessary to use some slightly unscrupulous methods,” Olar replied.

“That’s up to you,” Richard waved him off. Olar took two of the knights along with him, pulling the wife and mistresses from their positions as he headed upstairs.

Just as expected, the bard managed to clear out Kojo’s treasures in the ten minutes he had been given. Gold, jewels, and precious metals, the total value worth about 5,000 gold coins. 

That was all expected, however. What Richard hadn’t expected was an ornate box with three mana crystals the size of a finger within. Those were really useful— they could be used to enchant equipment, or create potions. The crystals could also be used to power a magic formation as well.

These crystals looked and were structured the same as the ones Richard was used to, indicating that mana worked pretty much the same way in this plane as in Norland. It also implied that there was a vein somewhere here— something that was great news to a mage like him.

The expressions of the three women were quite unnatural, especially of the prettiest of Kojo’s mistresses. It was obvious that Olar had cast his charms on them, and the effects were more than desirable.

Richard took note of the time, immediately giving the men their next missions. He stuffed the women and children into two horse carriages, ordering someone to escort them back to the base. At the same time, the five defectors led twenty men who’d surrendered to ambush the reinforcements from the training camp.

Richard cast a glance at the arrow tower of the manor before setting off, ordering it lit up in flames. Smoke shot up into the sky as the building became an enormous torch, visible more than ten kilometres away. This was a hint that the invaders had already retreated, also preventing the reinforcements from Joven or elsewhere from running in the wrong direction.

The defectors had provided the ambush site, and they succeeded in catching more than ten cavalry and twenty infantry from the training camp. A wave of soldiers rushed forth under Richard’s command, comprised of the newly surrendered soldiers who’d been armed with weapons. The trolls were right behind along with Richard’s knights, while the three raptors stealthily flanked to the enemies’ rear, ready to attack.

These reinforcements didn’t have powerful knights like Kojo’s original army, and they were crushed almost immediately. Richard didn’t even get a chance to use magic. They just cleaned up casually, before moving on to the next point of ambush. These were the guards from Joven.

This ambush was slightly more difficult than the previous one. Aside from the guards, there were more than ten adventurers as well. An old level 5 mage had actually showcased his power, launching a fireball at the army. However, that had also made him a target for execution, and Olar had sent an arrow punching through his chest in a matter of moments.

Still, they’d only lost two of the defecting soldiers and had three more gravely injured by the time the enemies were annihilated, all due to that old mage’s spell. However, with Flowsand’s healing magic the injured would only need to rest for ten days before they could enter the battlefield once more. The very fact that they’d been healed greatly boosted the morale of the surrendered soldiers.

One attack and two ambushes had completely destroyed all remnants of Kojo’s power. At least for that night his fief was like a young lady with her clothes ripped off, about to be raped and pillaged at will.

Even outside of the treasure, Richard had gotten more than thirty new soldiers. They’d gotten armour from the training camp, along with more than twenty warhorses that allowed Richard to form his own cavalry.

……

They moved on Joven at dawn. The trolls and the raptors had been left behind, in case they scared the citizens.

“Enemy Attack!” “Lord, it’s the devils from another plane!” “Quick! Get help!”

Amidst the tense, chaotic screaming and warning alarms were a few tragic wails, fragmented and dispersed. Any guard that rushed towards Richard’s contingent was hacked to death in seconds. His knights were well-rounded soldiers, able to fight on horseback or on foot.

Eventually, nobody outside of a few rash idiots came forward anymore. All the buildings shut their windows tightly, and the people hid behind their doors with bated breath.

Richard moved along on his warhorse, gradually coming up to an empty square in the middle of the small town. He asked indifferently, “where is your mayor?”

He hadn’t been loud, but with the utter silence in that moment his words had travelled far. A two-storeyed building opened after a moment, the wizened mayor shuffling out from within. He stood in front of Richard’s horse, mustering all his courage to ask, “I am Joven’s mayor, my Lord. Might I ask what brings you here, and what you require? I will try my best to satisfy your needs, but I have one tiny request: please stop the massacre!”

The townspeople had quietly followed the mayor’s lead, gathering in the empty square. A few corpses were still strewn on the ground, the blood barely coagulated as its stench wafted out with the morning wind.

Richard glanced at the gathered crowd, “Anyone who dares touch my men will be killed immediately. I will brook no discussion.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: JH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA