Ch. 79: Discovering During Search
"It's time to have some fun searching through the tents."
Lapis declared cheerfully with a smile on her face, but on the other hand, Loren was looking around at the campsite with a bored look on his face.
It was still dark since it was still nighttime, but the bandits, trying to run away from the undead that Shayna had summoned, knocked over all the bonfires and caused the fire to spread, so the campsite was quite bright.
The light from the flames exposed the horrifying state of the campsite.
However, surprisingly there weren't many bodies.
It was due to most of them becoming materials for the undead Shayna had summoned, or had been consumed by those undead, so although all the blood splattered everywhere was still there, it could be said that the aftermath didn't look too bad considering what had happened.
As for the undead, the undead knights were patrolling around the campsite, while the zombie dogs were running around searching for survivors and making sure that no one that that had seen or will see this horrific scene will live to see the sunrise.
"What are we going to do about this…"
The number of undead grew enough that they could easily surround a village or a town and destroy it.
Loren understood that it was needed to take on hundreds of bandits, but now it was as if an army of undead had replaced them, and in terms of threat, it became greater than before.
"Wasn't the plan to do some damage and let them scatter out?"
"I'm kind of impressed that we're a lot more capable than I thought."
'Don't worry Onii-san.'
Shayna's voice sounded in Loren's head.
Her voice, which couldn't be heard by Lapis, was a cheerful one, as she tried to clear his worries as much as she could.
'The ones that I made will disappear once morning comes.'
Shayna explained that since they were summoned to close the gap in numbers, they weren't made properly, so they would return to dust after some time had passed.
And so there was no need to worry about a pack of undead monsters attacking a city.
"You're sure they're going to disappear, right…"
Loren couldn't completely believe that the horde of undead that killed all the bandits would disappear when the sun came up, but there was no way he could deal with them all on his own either.
"Well, them disappearing will give us a whole new problem though."
"Huh? What problem?"
When Lapis responded to his muttering, Loren told her something new that started to worry him.
"Shayna says these undead will disappear when morning comes. If that happens, even if we explain what happened here, no one will believe us."
"Hmm? What are you talking about?"
With all the blood splattered everywhere, it was obvious that many people were killed, but Loren thought that without the undead, it would be impossible to explain who had done it in what fashion.
He thought so because he thought they should report to the adventurer’s guild that they destroyed a large group of bandits, but upon hearing that, Lapis' looked at him like she had no idea what he was talking about.
"Don't we have to report this to the guild or to the nation? This many people died, and a post town was destroyed as well."
"That's strange. I wonder what happened?"
As Lapis' played dumb, Loren was about to ask what she was saying, but closed his mouth as he realized what she was thinking.
As Loren continued to stare at Lapis, wondering if she was actually going to do it that way, but she shook her head with a confused look on her face, and folded her hands in front of her chest.
"This is a disaster. It’s certain that many lives were lost here, but we’re not sure how it happened. As much as we’d like to figure out what happened, we're in a hurry. Let's take only the things that the dead don't need and leave the investigating to others."
"So that’s how we’re going to play it?"
"Hmm? I have no idea what you're talking about Loren."
‘Onii-san, what is Onee-san talking about?’
While continuing to frown at Lapis, Loren explained to Shayna what she meant.
It seemed that Lapis was planning on acting like she had nothing to do with the past event.
She planned on acting like she didn't know anything about why the post town was attacked, why there was a large-scale campsite near it, and that it had been completely destroyed by undead.
‘Will that work?’
"There aren't any witnesses or evidence, so…"
The bandits had wiped out all the people in the post town, and most of the bodies were probably burnt down to ashes along with the rest of the town.
And the bandits that did it were killed by undead, and were either used as material for more undead, or sank into their stomachs.
‘That’s true. There aren't any witnesses!’
"So, if we keep our mouths closed, the truth will be buried forever…or you want to shut my mouth just to be sure?"
"Don't say scary things like that Loren. We should hurry and search for things we could take and get out of here."
Lapis was the one who was saying scary things.
But she did have a point, so Loren sighed and walked towards Lapis, who was waving at him to follow her.
The bandits’ campsite wasn't far off from the town they had attacked.
A post town was a place that adventurers and travelers stopped by to find a place to spend the night, so anyone could be travelling towards there.
What would a traveler do if he saw the burning town?
It wouldn't be a problem if he went back the way he came, but if it were a somewhat experienced adventurer or if that person decided to gather some information before he headed back, the bandits' campsite would be found in no time.
If that happened, there was a risk of them getting spotted and being asked for an explanation.
If that happened, they were the ones that would be in a tight spot.
It was because there was no way they could be honest and say that they used the power of a No Life King to summon undead and killed all the bandits.
If they did, an extermination quest could pop up at the guild with their names as the targets.
As Loren thought that Lapis was putting such things into consideration, but she said something completely different.
"If other people find this place, there'll be less things for us to take!"
"You look way more like a bandit to me."
"What do you mean!? I'm just suggesting that we collect some useful things from the campsite that people disappeared for some mysterious reason."
Loren wondered if a person could be more shameless, but he did agree that someone coming and taking what could be theirs wasn't a fun thing.
It used to be the property of someone he didn't know, but on top of not knowing whose it is anymore since it had been in the hand of the bandits, the people of the town were mostly dead, so there was no way to return it to them either.
So, he couldn't help but think that using it for their good wasn't a bad thought.
"Food and clothes will be bulky so let's leave those. I'm not sure if you need one, but you can't take a young woman back even if you find one, okay?"
"That's good. Our targets are precious metals and jewels and such. Coins are good too, but not the copper ones."
"That's the kind of words that come from a bandit, you know that?"
Loren and Lapis started kicking down tents and going through the luggage in them.
To run an organization, even if it were a group of bandits, you would need food, clothes, and other goods, but all of them were stolen items.
They might've been essentials for bandits, but they weren't important enough for Loren and Lapis in their current situation.
"If they only raided villages and post towns, the chances of finding metals would be slim."
Precious metals and accessories, which would be worth a lot when sold, were things that bandits would definitely put their hands on, but to villagers and residents of small towns, they didn't have a need for things like those since it wasn't going to feed them in any way, so they rarely had them.
Which was why Loren guessed that they wouldn't find them, and as if it were saying that Loren was correct, they couldn't many of them from the tents that Lapis went through.
It was to be expected, since it was things that were stolen from villagers and residents in small towns that didn't have the time to dress up, but Lapis couldn't hide her disappointment.
"Do you think there would be any coins?"
"Yeah, a little."
Loren guessed that there was a slim chance for that as well.
The money used in villages were silver at the most, and gold coins were rare.
Jewels were useless as well.
Silver coins were mainly used in post towns as well, and there usually wasn't a business large enough to use gold coins.
Based on that, they would most likely find food and miscellaneous items, mainly copper coins, and possibly kidnapped people.
For people, it would be troubling if they found any, but Loren guessed that they wouldn't.
The ones who destroyed the camp were undead, after all.
The undead that Shayna summoned recognized Loren and Lapis, so they weren't attacked, but for others, Loren didn't think that they were smart enough to tell the difference between bandits and victims.
"Wow. This is full of copper coins Loren. This many would be hard to carry around, wouldn't it?"
Lapis seemed to have found what she was looking for, but it seemed that Loren guessed right.
As Loren thought that there was no way she would load the large amount of copper coins and take them back, he heard Lapis' surprised voice reach his ears.
"Loren! Come look at this!"
"What is it? There's no way there'll be something to be so surprised about."
He walked towards Lapis, who had flipped over a few more tents and was going through the things in them, but he froze when he saw what she was pointing at.
It was a large box.
It looked like one that clothes would be put in, but when Lapis opened it, he saw that what was in side wasn't close to something like clothes.
There were indeed some clothes inside, but there was someone lying unconsciously in the middle of the clothes.
Smooth blonde hair reaching down to the shoulders.
Pale white skin with simple green clothes.
A small child that looked around ten years old.
With a face that made it hard to tell if the child was a boy or a girl, it wasn't surprising that the bandits kidnapped the child.
But Loren was surprised to see that the child's ears were long and pointed, like the female archer from the silver rank party that he knew.
"Looks like it. This smells like trouble again."
They couldn't close the box and pretend they didn't see anything, but if they took the child with them, they had a feeling they would be sucked into another troublesome situation.
As Loren looked up at the sky, wondering why this child had to be here, Lapis looked at him with a troubled laugh, wondering what they should do.
Hey guys Kaoto here.
I probably could’ve worked on and finished this chapter yesterday.
But I wanted to go to sleep early since for one of my jobs, I have an early morning shift every now and then, which starts at 5 a.m. and goes to noon, and then I have a shift for another job that starts from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Definitely need around 7-8 hours of sleep for that, or else I die inside midway through the day.
(I’m in break time right now, but don’t tell my boss that I worked on this chapter and uploaded…)
I saw a comment in one of the previous chapters that suggested dropping this series since the author has been on hiatus again for a while, but I’m thinking of continuing working on it, at least until I catch up to the light novel, or if the light novel continues publishing.