“E-Everybody, you say?”
Due to Erika asking back partly dumbfounded, Kisa clearly declared,
“Of course your captured elder sisters as well!”
This time she asks back with a faint hint of expectation in her tone. It’s not like Erika wants to offer her body to the bandits because she enjoys it. Her true wish is to go to Bolnis with all of them, including her captured elder sisters, if possible.
However, Kisa’s reply wasn’t what Erika had hoped for.
“I will come up with that from now on!”
As expected, even Erika was utterly stunned by his irresponsible manner of speaking. It felt like just another rash comment, and she ended up unintentionally leaking an exhausted voice. However, without any dampening of his motivation, Kisa begins to ask Erika,
“Now, how are we going to save the elven women who have been captured?”
The simplest method would be to get help from the people who will likely come searching for me. If I can get everyone to cooperate, bandits – no matter how atrocious they might be – are nothing special.
However, the problem is that I don’t know when everyone will arrive here.
Since I was accompanied by others until right before I fell off the cliff, a notice about me being missing will probably take a day or two, even if using a fast horse, to reach the city of Bolnis. I think that’ll happen around this evening or tomorrow, after which, it’s likely to turn into an uproar.
At the time his thoughts reached that point, cold sweat ran down along Kisa’s spine as the faces of those, who are definitely going to be in the center of that uproar, cross his mind.
“…Crap. I will be scolded since I slipped out without saying a word.”
All blood drains from Kisa’s face as he imagined the angry look of a certain girl with all her fur standing on end. Once he ponders how he’s going to pacify that girl, Kisa became even more desperate than compared to the prospect of fighting against the bandits.
However, shaking his head, he focuses his mind on how to rescue the elven women from the bandits.
At any rate, once everyone learns that I’ve gone missing, they should send out a search party. At the very least, if it’s her, whom I know very well, I have no doubt that she will come flying without any delay, putting aside whether it’s for the sake of rescuing or strangling me.
However, no matter how much they might rush, it will still take another day or two from the city. I estimate that the search party will arrive here three or four days from now on. As such, it’s doubtful whether they will be in time for the set date announced by the bandits.
“Besides, it’s also a problem how I’m going to get in contact with everyone.”
If a military force flashily moves around in this area, which is next to the area under Holmea’s control that’s bordered by the river, they will needlessly provoke Holmea. Hence they have to keep the search party as small as possible. In such a situation, where they have to search a wide range for me who was washed away, they probably won’t run into me that easily, no matter how elite all of them might be.
Even so, if I spend time on it, there would be ways to contact them. However, I don’t have that time.
It’s likely the deadline of three days is to prevent Erika’s group from going somewhere else for help.
Kisa touched the collar of his clothes with his hand. What he can feel there are several coin-sized hard objects.
Those were signal flare pills that had been sewn into the collar of his clothes for emergencies. If he throws these into a fire, a colored smoke will rise into the sky.
If he causes a signal fire after choosing the time when the search party would have come close to his location, they should come running over right away.
However, at the same time the bandits will probably discover that signal fire as well.
Even if they don’t consider it to be a signal fire caused by the escaped elves, they should guess that someone is trying to contact someone else.
The bandits are a wary group that have evaded arrest many times so far. It’s very probable that they will cut their losses and flee with the elven women they have if things appear dangerous.
Even if I didn’t do something like that, the people that come searching for me will probably approach the area as obviously as possible in order to make it easier for me to find them. It’s set in stone that the bandits will escape without any hesitation if such an armed, conspicuous group approaches the area. If they were to cross the river due to that, it would become impossible to make a move on them.
In the end we have to manage with those present at the moment, Kisa decided.
“Think, you have to think! First, what are our military forces?”
Erika widened her eyes in surprise due to Kisa suddenly shouting. However, without paying any attention to her look, Kisa immerses in his own thoughts.
“Our weapons are just that one crossbow!”
How are we going to fight with only a single crossbow? Kisa questions himself.
“How about sniping them?”
We will snipe the enemy from a place that the enemy can’t see.
Fortunately there’s nothing to criticize about the accuracy and power of a crossbow handmade by a dwarf. Moreover, the one who is going to use it is an elf, even if she might be a girl. Going by the weapon and its wielder, there’s plenty of possibility for us to achieve our goal.
However, he immediately rejected that idea.
“No, it’s not that simple.”
If the bandits realize that their comrades were shot to death, they will immediately grasp that the escaped elves have come to recapture their friends. If the bandits threaten her to come out while turning the captured women into living shields, Erika likely won’t have any option but to obey them.
For the sake of the situation not taking such a bad turn, we have to either secure the elves, who have become hostages, first, or defeat all bandits without them noticing our attack.
“Since it will be troublesome as long as we can’t save the hostages, guaranteeing their safety is impossible from the outset. Moreover, immobilizing that many bandits without getting noticed is even more impossible.”
Kisa roughly scratches his head.
“How about giving them a scare instead, if we are going to be noticed anyway? If we can have them fall into a state of chaos due to that, it will also serve as a cover for our attack. If it goes well, things might end without us having to fight?”
Kisa once again touched the signal fire pills.
If these are thrown into fire, it will create large quantities of red smoke. I wonder, can’t I frighten the bandits with that?
However, he immediately rejects that idea as well.
“No good. At that level it might surprise them, but it surely won’t panic them. At most they will consider it eerie.”
To make them frightened to the extent that they would run away while abandoning their prisoners, we have to do something that scares the bandits out of their wits even more.
Even bandits that are no more than ruffians have things they fear.
However, what might those be?
As if to cheer up his discouraged heart, Kisa persuades himself with,
“Think, you have to think! Isn’t there anything? Something that will frighten bandits?”
But, no matter how much he wracks his brain, a good idea doesn’t come to mind. Before long, his head felt all mushy due to his brain completely overheating.
Erika reveals a faint, wry smile, seeing Kisa’s state. She’s happy that he’s frantically considering all options for their sake, but even she understood very well that the current situation isn’t that forgiving.
“You don’t have to fret over it so much. Even I already understand that it’s a helpless situation with no solution unless there’s some kind of divine intervention.”
Those are words said after her being unable to just watch Kisa suffering.
However, seemingly not having expected to be admonished to give up by Erika, whom he’s trying to save, Kisa ends up in a stupor.
When Erika started to worry about Kisa, who had completely stopped moving, Kisa’s lips moved at last, muttering just a few words,
Erika tilts her head to the side in confusion wondering whether she said something overly strange while answering,
“Ah, yeah. That’s how desperate this situation is, but…”
It should have been an often used expression, Erika curiously wondered whether it’s not used in the place where Kisa has been living.
But, unclear whether Kisa has heard Erika’s words or not, he muttered in a monologue,
“Which reminds me, the esteemed wind god revered by the elves is a big tree, isn’t it?”
Erika frowns due to him expressly asking what shape The Seven assume, which is something even children should know.
“Isn’t it the tree that’s similar to the wind god? The trees have only imitated the form of the wind god.”
I feel as if it’s no big issue as to who’s resembling who, but in the end everything concerning the god they worship is something they can’t yield on.
“A god appears to help…divine intervention…”
Kisa repeatedly mutter the same thing under his breath for a while, but suddenly a strong will is lit within his previously unfocused, hollow eyes.
Kisa cried out once and then started to check his own belongings once more.
Each of the things he has at hand are completely unrelated to the current situation. But, he tried to shape them into a single painting as if solving a jigsaw puzzle in his mind.
“This, won’t that work…? This and, this… Yeah, that’s no good. That is…no, wait. Come to think of it, Knurl had…”
Continuing to fill the missing pieces one-by-one, it finally turns into one whole.
“I-I wonder, is it possible? It should be! No! I’m certain, it’ll work!”
Declaring as if persuading himself, Kisa turned around on the spot and started to run all of a sudden.
“Hurry, we are going back! There’s something I have to confirm!”
Erika was overwhelmed by Kisa who began to run down the mountain as if rolling downwards, but suddenly coming to her senses, she called Kisa to a halt in a hurry.
“Hey, idiot! Not that way! It’s the other way!”