Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Raid on the Etsuato company」Part 2
“What is that? Do they have a Magician!?”
The water wolves summoned by Chiome’s ninjutsu evaded the sword swings of the guards and began to bite into their arms and legs, making them scream and roll on the floor in agony.
Occasionally a sword would hit one of the wolves, but the blade would pass right through it, making me think that normal swords couldn’t affect them.
Ariane was about to jump into the fray but she stopped for a moment in order to analyze Chiome’s movements.
Since her face was covered by the mask her expression couldn’t be seen, but her astonishment easily came through.
However, the pause was only for a brief moment, immediately after that the two of them started to cut down one injured guard after another.
My heart was conflicted since I knew that these were just guards hired to keep the peace and arrest thieves.
But looking at the way humans treated the People of the Plains and Mountains, I couldn’t help but question this ambiguous situation and the ever changing values of an era.
I shook those thoughts out of my head and focused on the present where I needed to do my job and free the slaves.
There were about twenty people in this cell and I just finished cutting the last of the chains.
However, there were still a significant number of people chained up in the other cells.
I opened up the next cell like the first one and start cutting chains one after another. The freed people took the initiative and started working on freeing the others.
Thanks to that the rate at which the slaves were freed increased.
The number of guards continued to increase, but as you’d expect from a race with high physical abilities, once they picked up the scattered weapons and joined Ariane and Chiome, the guards were instantly repelled.
Meanwhile, the number of people freed numbered almost seventy, and a considerable amount of them had joined the battle against the guards.
The number of guards coming here has increased and the building was already under siege.
Simply put, we were approaching the limits of this passageway and this situation was highly advantageous for the high-spec People of the Plains and Mountains.
Because of the indoor guerilla warfare the kingdom’s army couldn’t make use of their numerical advantage, but there was still a chance for them to grow impatient and level the entire building with a barrage of magic.
We could not afford to take things slow and steady.
Since others were now helping me free everyone, I made destroying the cages my top priority and moved deeper into the building.
Before long I came across a large gate with a group of guards glaring in my direction.
One of the larger guards was holding up two struggling children by their necks. The long rabbit ear and drooping dog ears made it clear that the little girls dressed in old rags weren’t human.
“You! That’s quite the fancy outfit you got there! Bastard do you think we don’t know you’re beastman from ‘Emancipator!? It’d be a shame if something happened to these kids, right?”
“I am not part of Emancipator, I am Arc. Why don’t you just let the children go?’
It was only after I introduced myself and requested the release of the children did I realized my mistake.
───Crap, despite going through the trouble of wearing a mask I just gave them my name.
Internally, I was tearing out my hair for my carelessness. The opposition took my silence as an indication that having the hostages was effective because the large man gave a vulgar smile as he tightened his hold on the girls’ necks.
“Bwaha! Don’t resist if you want them to live!! A good deal, right? Be sure to behave yourself!”
Spit flew from the man’s mouth as he shouted while the other men started to smirk as they draw their weapons and gradually shrink their encirclement.
As the distance between myself and the other men shortened, the corners of the large man’s mouth began to raise as he was assured of his victory.
The moment the men were about swing their weapons, I used 【Dimensional Step】 to transfer behind the large man.
I grasped the man’s head with both hands and twisted with all my might.
There was a dull sound of bones breaking and the man was now making eye contact with me.
The man’s eyes widened in surprise for a moment as the muscles beneath his neck gave out, his pants darkened with waste, and the children fell from his arms.
His body fell to the floor like a doll that had been smashed against the wall.
The girls freed from the chokehold coughed for a bit before they looked up at me in fright.
“Close your eyes for a bit. The scary men will be gone soon.”
I softly patted the heads of the two five or six-year-old girls, who had to see Ponta around my neck, before giving me a nod and covering their eyes with their hands while calmly sitting down on the spot.
“Shit! What did you do!?”
The men that had been smirking just a second ago as they surrounded me were now shaken and trying to figure out what happened.
I took advantage of their confusion and struck down the closest men.
I swung my fist with explosive force into the man’s face and chest, and the resulting sound of bones shattering caused the others to scream.
Not even ten seconds had passed before the heads and chests of the remaining men were all completely deformed.
I had thought that a battered corpse would have been better than a bloody one, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
When I returned to the girls that had kept their eyes closed as promised, I whispered to avoid startling them.
“It’s alright, you can now open your eyes. The scary men are gone.”
Inside I was sneering at myself for saying that while wearing a feather decorated ogre mask, when I heard familiar voices from behind me.
“Arc, we’re finished over there. The next area should be the only place left, right?”
“Arc-dono, sorry for making you wait.”
The introduction of Ariane’s masked form frightened the girls, but when they saw their stealthily dressed, cat-eared brethren, they calmed down again.
“Once things are finished here we can escape with transfer magic.”
I spoke my confirmation while opening the large door that led to the last area of the building.
The nice looking furniture and the table surrounded by chairs gave the place the atmosphere of a small, clean residence.
It must have been a conference room used for business negotiations.
While I looked around the room, the two little girls peeked through the door before entering the room.
Chiome entered after the two, followed by Ariane while I brought up the rear.
After opening another door, we followed a long passage when we started to smell something rancid.
The room at the end of the passage reeked of sweat and dried grass, and was filled with almost completely nude People of the Plains and Mountains chained to the wall.
Many of the women here had bulging stomachs that indicated a pregnancy and all of them were frightened the moment they saw me.
The girls ran up and tearfully embraced two different women that were both dressed in rags and had large stomachs.
This couldn’t be anything but a breeding pen…
They were impregnating these women to sell the children as slaves… I doubted the practice would be very profitable, but judging by the scale of this company it’s likely that this was a small, experimental farm.
There was no way to not feel nauseated after looking at this.
“Ariane-dono, could you please see if you can find them something to wear.”
“……Yeah, I got it……”
When I called out to her, a speechless Ariane quickly left the room in search of something to dress these poor women in.
Chiome frowned and had to close her eyes and calm herself down before she started to speak in her usual, monotonous voice
“I know how to pick locks, let’s hurry up and get away from this place….”
Chiome kneeled down in front of one of the women’s fetters before taking out a set of small metal tools from her breast pocket. After fiddling with the keyhole for a moment, the fetters came off with a ‘Gachari’ sound.
Following her example, I cut the chains of a nearby dog-eared man with my sword. Since it was difficult to use a two-handed sword in such a situation, I was thinking about getting a sharp dagger.
Ariane finally returned after everyone’s hands and feet had been freed.
“There weren’t many clothes, so we’ll have to make do with these.”
She was holding out a bundle of cloth in her hands.
A closer look at the larger pieces of cloth revealed that they were actually bed sheets and curtains. I suppose that wearing these was better than nothing.
I took a few and started handing them out along with Ariane.
“Arc-dono, let’s move these people first.”
“Fine, let’s used the hall from before as our base of operations.”
Following my reply, Chiome started to lead the people to the hall we passed through.
The people started to stir and question what was going to happen as I stood at the center of the room and invoked the spell, pouring in more mana than usual.
Once the magic was invoked, a larger than normal magic formation spread out across the hall’s floor and illuminated the whole room.
The gathered people went stiff and the animal ears atop their heads stood up in attention.
Things went dark for one moment and in the next moment the petrified people were standing in a plain illuminated by moonlight.
The wind carried the sounds of insects as it blew across the surrounding grass. Visible in the distant south was the royal capital Olav.
After we bought the masks from the street vendor we had come here to perform a preliminary inspection of a possible transfer destination. Though I couldn’t see the entire capital like I did during the daytime, it still had more street lights than other cities.
When people started to understand the situation, some began to cry tears of joy while others asked Chiome for an explanation.
Space opened up around us since no one wanted to approach the two cloaked figures that wore strange masks.
Or that’s what I thought until the rabbit-eared girl I saved and the women that seemed to be her mother walked up to me with tears in their eyes and half sobbed “Thank you” while bowing in front of me.
“Uhmmm, as long as you take care of your daughter……”
As I nodded and responded to her thanks, I noticed a group of people approaching from the shadows.
Although I couldn’t make them out all that well in the moonlight, they were dressed in ninja garbs similar to Chiome’s and they all had cat ears atop their heads.
Chiome went over to have a long talk with the new group before she turned and began to speaking to everyone in her usual monotone voice.
“These people will lead you to a safe location. Follow the instructions they give.”
After speaking amongst themselves for a bit, the freed people began following Chiome’s cat ninja companions.
“Leave things to them. Let’s return and free the others.”
“Alright. Let’s go!”
The magic formation of 【Transfer Gate】lit up and I set the hall back at the Etsuato company as the destination.
The moment we returned to the hall we found ourselves surrounded by weapon-wielding People of the Plains and Mountains that were staring at us in surprise.
They were all surprised when three people suddenly appeared out of nowhere, but they calmed down when they realized that we were the same people that had freed them.
“Sorry, we didn’t realize it was you all. ……You wouldn’t happen to know what happened to our brethren that were imprisoned in this area?”
One middle-aged looking man with dog ears stepped forward as the group’s representative and asked for the whereabouts of the others.
“They have already been moved out of the building. My companions are already taking them to a hidden location.”
Chiome moved down her face mask before offering a brief explanation. The surrounding people sighed in relief once they heard her answer.
“How goes the rescue operation and the battle against the guards?”
“Everyone is out of the cells, but half of them are still in chains. The guards have fortified their cordon around the building but only attack sporadically.
The dog-eared man gave Chiome a report of the situation.
She lightly nodded at the report before prompting me with a look.
I nodded to her before invoking 【Transfer Gate】 once again.
After leaving the new group with Chiome’s companions, we immediately went back and returned to the passage with all of the cells.
A number of people hung around the cell and were in the middle of getting the fetters off the remaining people while others were fighting off the guards that occasionally attacked.
The People of the Mountains and Plains were basically the only ones left, since all the human slave traders and guards had been almost completely wiped out. A couple of guards would occasionally launch an attack, but every time the fight started to turn into a match of endurance they would immediately retreat.
Since there wasn’t a lot of time left we began to gather the clamoring people into groups and taking them to the grass plain with 【Transfer Gate】.
When we had finished making all the round trips, more than a hundred People of the Plains and Mountains had been freed from the Etsuato company building.
They had all been confused and surprised by the situation, but once they realized that 【Transfer Gate】had taken them away from their prison to this grassy plain, one after another started to bow their heads towards me.
The only real problem was that some pieces of the destroyed cells and chains came along with everyone, which ruined the atmosphere.
“Everything has gone according to plan.”
Ariane muttered that as she removed her mask and lowered her hood as she stared back at the capital.
Pushing that thought into the back of my mind I nodded and said.
“I’ll go finish the job then.”
I used 【Transfer Gate】 and returned to the Etsuato company alone.
There were no other people inside the company’s building, and everything was covered by an eerie atmosphere because of the silence.
After making sure that not even a shadow of a living person was left inside I invoked a magic spell.
When the intermediate level spell activated, stone spikes started to pierce the building from the ground, easily passing through the second floor at a sharp angle.
As all this was happening, the sound of the rumbling floor and the creaking building started to rock the area.
As a finishing blow, I began to fire 【Rock Bullet】 at the support pillars on the opposite side of the yard. When the dust settled, the pillars looked as if they were blown away with a howitzer. The sound of creaking started to get louder as the building could no longer support it’s own weight thus was on the verge of collapse.
It wasn’t long before the building started to collapse in on itself like a chain of dominoes.
Witnessing the events unfolding till the end, I invoked 【Transfer Gate】for the last time and returned to the grassy field.
Chiome called out to me while I was brushing off the dust from the collapsing building.
“Arc-dono, thank you for aid in this matter.”
Several of Chiome’s ninja companions turned in my direction and started to rise. Among them was a figure that I recognized.
He was dressed in similar ninja garb as Chiome and had triangular ears atop his head. He was two meters and thirty centimeters tall and had a body packed with steel-like muscle, he also projected the same atmosphere as the conqueror of century’s end.
This could be no one other than the turban wearing man I had seen in the capital earlier today.
Chiome introduced him as Goemon, one of the Blade Heart Clan’s six best ninjas.
I could totally believe that he could have destroyed a building’s gate with a single punch.
The man named Goemon held out his rough hand and silently demanded a handshake. I merely nodded and accepted the handshake, after which he began to flex his right bicep.
I didn’t understand the meaning but when I assumed a flexing pose he nodded in satisfaction before walking away.
I unmasked before giving Ariane a questioning glance, but she simply shook her head in response.
Without minding the atmosphere, Chiome continued to offer her thanks in a light tone.
“Ariane-dono, Arc-dono we can’t thank you enough for the help you provided this time.”
“This job helped us furthering our own agenda, so we didn’t mind.”
“As long as we could lend a hand. Where will you go from here?”
Our response was natural since we only helped Chiome for the information we needed.
Chiome looked up at a mountain range that laid in the horizon.
“I will be heading to the hidden village located in the Calcutta mountain range.”
“Havn’t your brethren built a large country on the southern continent?”
Ariane suddenly approached Chiome with a question about a country on a whole other continent.
The only change in Chiome’s express was a lowering of her eyebrows.
“Yes. However, it’s difficult to cross the sea with a great number of people and the climate here is acceptable for our people.’
As the group of freed slaves began their trek to the Calcutta mountain range, their numbers quickly swelled beyond two hundred.
Those simultaneously rescued from the other locations were meeting up here.
Considering the number of people heading to live in the hidden village and their limited means of transportation, there’s no doubt that they would be targeted by mercenaries sent out to reclaim the slaves.
“It would be acceptable for you to know the location but……”
Chiome thought aloud as she stared at them before she uneasily shook her head and looked back at me.
“No. More importantly, you two should receive your reward.”
Chiome straightened up before changing the topic.
Ariane and I looked directly into Chiome’s eyes when she said that.
“Drusus De Barishimon, the person that you two are looking for, is a viscount of the Holy Leburan Empire.”
The sound of the blowing wind became louder as it runs across the grassy plains and caused my cloak to greatly flutter.
……It seems that this tale wouldn’t just end in the Rhoden Kingdom.