༺ Cultist Nymph and Pluto’s Underground Labyrinth (7) ༻
“It’s true, just as big brother said, there really was a carriage that looked really luxurious! Wow, we’re so lucky!”
“It’s not luck. It’s my faith that informed me about their arrival. It came to me just like a revelation in my mind. Zod, get up from your seat and head to the plains— Like this!”
“What revelation are you speaking of? You don’t even pray.”
As I stepped out of the carriage while wielding my weapon, I saw the scene of a group of ten men surrounding our carriage from all sides.
Most of them were dressed in worn-out leather armor and armed with long swords and maces. All of them, more or less, had bushy hair and scruffy beards and generally ugly appearances.
To describe their appearance in one word, they were like beggars who just happened to be wielding weapons.
To sum it up, they were a gang of bandits.
Among them, there was a man holding two impressive-looking swords in each of his hands and was flashing us with a glare while shouting at the top of his lungs.
“Don’t harm the horses and the carriage! We can get a lot by selling them!”
“Brother, what about the coachman?”
“Why bother asking? Are you new to this or what? We take the horses and the carriages, the rest is unnecessary!”
“Shit, if I don’t ask, you’ll just complain about me acting on my own again. Damn it! You’re such an unreasonable bastard.”
From the way the bandits were talking to each other, it seemed that the man wielding those twin swords was the leader of this ragtag group.
Leading a group of about ten individuals instead of three or four… was this punk famous around here or something?
Damn! I found it already challenging enough to lead a group of five people. How the fuck was he able to lead a group of ten bandits like that?
With that thought in mind, I upped the level of danger that the leader of the bandits posed in my mind by a slight margin.
Next to me, the dwarven warrior, Didier, wielding a double-edged axe, approached me calmly while vigilantly assessing the bandits with his gaze.
“Party leader bro, what should we do? Shall we abandon the carriage and run away? They seem to be after the carriage and we’re also outnumbered, so…”
Didier’s opinion was absolutely reasonable.
There were about ten armed men surrounding us. Even though I wasn’t sure about their individual skills, they seemed to be an experienced band of bandits even at first glance. So, it was evident that they had an advantage over us in terms of tactics and manpower.
I felt bad for the coachman, but wouldn’t it be wise to just abandon the carriages and flee? Though I doubt they would let us go so easily like that.
How could I solve this—
At that moment, a loud shout could be heard coming from Velmina, who was standing behind me and Didier.
Soon, strange and eerie formations resembling crystalline constructs manifested in the air above.
Pew—! Swooosh—! Thwack—!
It felt like literal arrows made of chilling frost zoomed through the air and pierced the necks of the two bandits, causing blood to spurt out incessantly.
“F-Fuciking hell! A mage!!”
“There’s a mage among the carriage passengers!!”
The bandits seemed to have gotten momentarily startled as they witnessed two of their colleagues being killed in mere seconds. However, this state was momentary and it didn’t take long for them to gather their bearings again.
“Fuccck! It’ll take time for them to attack again! Take them down before the mage casts another spell! The longer we delay, the worse off we’ll be!”
As soon as the bandit leader shouted, the rest of the bandits swiftly drew their swords out of their waists and charged toward us like well-trained soldiers.
“Damn! Didier, protect the women!”
My eyes soon settled on the guy who had charged straight toward me from the group of bandits.
“Barbarian, let’s see your skills!”
Despite being a bandit, the bald-headed bastard seemed to be in good physical condition. He had a similar build as mine. Under his torn leather clothes, his tanned muscles appeared quite sturdy as well.
“Is your attire made of crocodile skin? Our physique is similar, so it seems that it will be a perfect fit for me! Hehe, I’ll take those clothes from you, thank you very much!”
Indeed, he seemed to have targeted me due to our similar physiques. You know, when one’s physique reached the size of that fellow and mine, it became really difficult to find clothes that fit our clothes in this world.
The bald guy ran swiftly across the dry grounds and swung his long sword at me without any hesitation or tricks.
His attack was more like a beast chomping down its front teeth at the foe rather than the swinging of a sword.
However, the pace of his attack was faster than expected. Therefore, I chose to raise my club above my head and block the attack instead of dodging it.
Soon, the guy’s long sword got stuck along the edges of my thick club without being able to completely split it into two. There was a momentary shock that traveled through my wrists and elbows, but I managed to endure it somehow.
“Damn, what the hell! It’s stuck!”
Perhaps, the bald-headed bandit didn’t expect his weapon to be blocked like this. He struggled and attempted to pull out his weapon like his life depended on it.
Not missing the opportunity, I lifted my leg up with all the strength I could muster and kicked the bandit in the guts.
The bald-headed punk leaked out a pained gasp as my foot kicked into the pit of his stomach. If it was anyone else, they would have already fallen flat on their faces and screamed out in pain and agony by now.
Despite the fact that he was in a lot of pain right now, he didn’t budge from his spot. It seemed he had quite a bit of physical strength in him. Therefore, using all my might, I swung my club at his bald head while his long sword remained stuck in my weapon.
With a sharp sound, the long sword was pulled out and fell to the ground. Then, I gave another blow to the head of the bulky punk who began convulsing from head to toe while groaning in agony.
The bulky bandit collapsed to the ground with a cracking sound coming from his head, his body not moving an inch any longer.
Holy hell! I managed to defeat a bandit that was the same size as me with just a few moves! I was really happy about that outcome, but there were still many motherfuckers left to deal with, so I had to save my sentiments for later.
“Damn! Why won’t this break already?”
“Hit it with more force!”
“S-Shit, come out, bitch! Come out already!”
I heard sharp sounds akin to the continuous hammering of thin metal plates coming from the distance. The cracking noises were quite painful to my ears.
As I turned my head in with a frown, I saw Velmina trapped in some kind of strange crystalline structure and the bandits swinging their swords and iron maces to break it down.
Following that, another sharp scream was heard from somewhere else.
“Wow, I didn’t expect to see a nymph again in these lands. She looks so delicate.”
“I’ll curse you if you come closer! I warned you already!”
“Hehe, what do we have here? A peculiar pink-haired lady. You don’t look like the type to roll around in the dirt like the typical adventurers. Are you out here to pick flowers?”
I saw the sight of Paranoy, trembling in fear, and Luna, holding a menacing obsidian dagger in her hand while standing in front of Paranoy and shielding her from the bandits.
Defenseless women exposed to the armed bandits? I suddenly had a bad feeling about this.
What the hell happened to the dwarven warrior, Didier? Didn’t I tell him to protect the women?
As my eyes quickly scanned the surroundings, trying to assess the situation—
I spotted Didier, wielding a massive double-bladed axe, engaged in a fight with the leader of the group of bandits. That idiot! I told him to protect the women, so why was he fighting that damn leader instead of doing what I instructed?
But I didn’t have time to dwell on such a question. I stopped thinking and dashed toward Luna’s direction.
“Hehe, just come here obediently, ok?”
However, the bandits seemed to be reaching for Luna at a speed that was faster than the time it would take for me to hit their heads with my club.
Shit! What should I do? Should I throw my club at them?
When I just clenched my hands tightly—
“S-Shadow Binding Curse-! Hiyaaaattt!!”
Ducking her head to avoid the man’s touch, Luna plunged her dagger deep into the ground and shouted out some strange words. Instantly, the bandit’s body froze with his arms still outstretched.
“Ugh, w-what, what the hell… M-My body… what the hell is this—”
“I-I guess I succeeded! I’ve successfully cast an advanced curse! Wow! Holy shh!”
I didn’t know what it was, but it certainly bought me a little more time to reach those dirty bastards. So, I swung my arm to throw the club as hard as I was able to and it soon collided with the waist of the frozen bandit.
Moments later, with a loud thud, the body of the defenseless bandit was struck heavily by my weapon and flew away into the distance as a result…
“D-Dorka! Damn it! How can a person’s body fly away like that!? B-Boss, what should we do?”
“I, I don’t know either! Damn you, fucking dwarf! You’re so fucking tough!”
Clang— Clang— Clang—!
As the clash of metal against metal created sparks in the air, the dwarven warrior, Didier – whom I thought would struggle against the leader of the bandits – led the fight against the man twice his size in quite an admirable fashion.
Even though I was a bit worried about him since his hobby was making pancakes, as expected, he was indeed worthy of someone labeled as a promising member with infinite potential by the guild.
Damn! At this rate, we might be able to defeat the bandits quite smoothly! Was this what a normal party vs party fight looked like?
Just then, an arrow flew out of somewhere and struck Didier’s back in a flash.
“Argh! How cowardly, relying on the help from your comrades—! Aren’t you ashamed as a warrior?!”
“Damn that! I’m not a warrior but a bandit, you fucking idiot! I never intended to engage in an honorable duel from the get-go! Well, whatever! Everyone, hurry up. Attack him all at once!”
As Didier crouched down after being hit on the back with an arrow, he began to be trampled by the combined assaults of the bandits.
“Ugh, urrgh! I-It hurts like hell! Y-You cowardly bastards! Attacking me in a group like this, how cowardly—!”
“Damn it! The ice has almost broken down; let’s keep at it! Come out, you cowardly spell-shitting bitch!”
“Let’s take her to the cave and turn her into an ice-making slave! We’ll have a cool summer this time.”
“Hehe, let’s make shaved ice and enjoy it with all our hearts!!”
Velmina, who had tightly wrapped herself inside a solid wall of ice, seemed to be slowly reaching her limits.
With a cracking sound, the ice around her body began to break down further and further.
“S-Spell-shitting?! I-If you break my ice, I won’t let you get away with it! I won’t, I won’t let you!”
“H-Hassan! Help me quickly!”
Chaotic fights erupted everywhere. Was it really impossible to win in a fight when we were outnumbered like this? It was a crazy thing for five people to deal with nearly ten bandits at the same time.
Damn! Was this beautiful field of flowers going to become my grave at this rate?
Fucking shit! I couldn’t stand watching this happen any longer!!
“These damn criminal bastards! If you guys are making money, then just pay the taxes, you motherfuckers!!”
I erupted in a fit of anger and charged toward the bandits who were beating Didier down like he was some two-shit trash.
It would take a little longer for the ice mage Velmina’s ice barrier to shatter. So, she still had some time before really needing any substantial help from us.
Meanwhile, Didier was skilled enough to hold his own against the leader of the bandits until he was beaten unfairly in a one-vs-many fight, so I decided to quickly rescue him before his small body shrunk down even more from the constant beating!
“D-Deforma. Kalmar Nanae—!”
Just before my club swung onto the bodies of those dastardly bandits, a powerful spell-like incantation erupted from Paranoy’s mouth, who was crouching behind Luna.
Soon, the grass and flower petals that had been growing on the ground began to intertwine into bizarre, horrific shapes, merging with the soil and mud to form a peculiar figure or rather a construct.
“W-What the hell—?”
It resembled a sandman that a young child would roughly make using soil and grass. However, its size was the problem.
It was so huge that it was nearly twice my size. Just by looking at it, one would feel small and insignificant in front of it. It was probably bigger than anything I had seen or experienced.
“W-What is that—?”
“Damn! It’s a golem—! Fucking shit! it’s a fucking golem!”
“I-It’s Pluto’s spell. T-These damn bastards weren’t adventurers, they were filthy cultists! Damn it all!”
Just a moment ago, the bandits were still exuding endless confidence… but now all of them were left trembling in surprise at the sudden appearance of the gigantic mud golem, seemingly greatly taken aback by its appearance.
It seemed like an opportunity had arisen for us, who were in a disadvantaged position in this fight and were even thinking up of retreating at any moment.
“There’s a chance!”
At that moment, the dwarven warrior Didier, who was curled up in the middle of the bandits’ encirclement, defending himself against their relentless attacks, swung his axe forward at all the bandits’ legs and cut them off in one swing.
In an instant, all the bandits lost their balance and fell to the ground. They clutched their now cut-off feet and dangling Achilles’ tendons, then started writhing on the ground.
“My, my foot! My foot eekkk!”
“Now you’re shorter than me. Good, I’m satisfied.”
I didn’t know how it happened, but the tables had turned really quickly in our favor.
There were about three bandits remaining, including the leader and the ones who were busy breaking Velmina’s Ice Barrier.
While we five were still standing strong!
They who remained were fewer in number than us, so they couldn’t escape our powerful tactical encirclement and would surely have to face annihilation at our hands.
“Hehe, damn it! Give it all you’ve got, you motherfuckers!”
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