They looked at me as if they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
“What are you saying?” [Bandit 1]
“He’s really going to die, you know!?” [Bandit 2]
“I don’t know your circumstances, but right now, you people are bandits. No one will complain even if you’re killed. I don’t like killing people without any reason either, but if you try to resist and run away, there’s no reason for me to let you live either.” [Ryouma]
Generally, bandit subjugation means extermination. The guild pays more if you catch them alive, but adventurers aren’t required to keep them alive. That’s especially true for someone in my situation. After all, I wasn’t even supposed to be hunting bandits. As such, in this place, my life is a priority.
“Let me ask you again. Are you going to talk?” [Ryouma]
“Y-Yes!! Of course! I’ll say anything! I don’t want to die!” [Bandit 3]
Meanwhile, this guy is the same as ever.
“I suppose you won’t mind if you’re one person less then?” [Ryouma]
“D-Don’t joke with us!” [Bandit 1]
“How could you kill someone so easily!?” [Bandit 2]
“As if you bandits have any right to say that. Didn’t you kill someone to steal those pretty swords of yours?” [Ryouma]
The moment I said that, the guy who was being choked lost his consciousness and fainted.
…That should be enough to threaten them.
“Well, I did forget to warn you, so let’s just make this an exception and forgive your blunder.” [Ryouma]
I ordered the slime acting as a choker to loosen itself a little.
“H-Hey…” [Bandit 1]
“Is he alive?” [Bandit 2]
“Who knows?” [Ryouma]
“‘Who knows’? You…” [Bandit 1]
“His chest seems to be moving, so isn’t he fine? But if he dies, then I guess that’s that.” [Ryouma]
There’s no need to go out of my way to approach the guy to see if he’s alive. It would be a pain if he were to use that opportunity to attack me.
“Besides, my familiars love humans. Human blood, human meat, human bones, human organs… Every one of them are a delicacy to my familiars. Even if he dies, nothing will be put to waste. There’s no need to worry.” [Ryouma]
“…” [Three Bandits]
The men who still had their consciousness all simultaneously shivered when I said that.
Anyhow, it’s too late to treasure oneself after death. That’s true for me too. I got a second chance at life here, but I have no idea what happened to my body back on Earth…
“Anyway, nothing bad will happen as long as you don’t act violently. Don’t resist and just listen to what I say. As long as you do that, I won’t kill you.” [Ryouma]
When they finally quietened down, I asked them about the sword.
“I’m looking for a missing person. That person used the road over the mountain pass and is carrying a cargo of weapons to Kereban. I noticed that the swords you’re using are all made similarly. I looked through those wooden boxes a little, and they seemed to contain metal.
Let’s be honest with each other. Did you people attack the person I’m looking for?” [Ryouma]
“Y-Yes! We stole the swords we have now. The boxes too. We don’t know his name and I don’t really remember his face, but I think he is indeed the person you’re looking for… We also met him up there.” [Bandit 3]
As I thought.
“How did you attack him? I asked around, but the only thing I was able to find was that he used this road. No one noticed anything strange about him.” [Ryouma]
“We were planning on just stopping him, but when we shot him with an arrow, the arrow ended up hitting his horse. The horse went crazy and veered off the road. From there, they came tumbling down the slope… We were often tasked with covering traces of our attacks, so we hid the wheel marks and covered the cliff the carriage hit with grass, then we took the valuables and ran away.” [Bandit 3]
“…What about the driver?” [Ryouma]
“I don’t know…” [Bandit 3]
You don’t know? That’s impossible. There’s no way the carriage was driving by itself.
“Don’t hide anything and just spill everything. You killed him, didn’t you?” [Ryouma]
“No! I mean… We didn’t, Sir! When the carriage fell, the person on the carriage had already lost consciousness, so we just bound his limbs. But he wouldn’t wake up at all, so we just went and grew some grass with magic and hid him under that. We took the valuables and ran off. That’s why we don’t know anything! It’s the truth!” [Bandit 1]
“…You didn’t finish him off?” [Ryouma]
What’s the point in cleaning the scene of the crime if you’re just going to leave behind a witness?
I can’t help but be suspicious that they’re just trying to make themselves smell better.
“We didn’t! We never planned to kill him in the first place! We just wanted to get his luggage and food! We didn’t even plan to cause his carriage to tumble off the road! We didn’t kill the driver! In fact, I’ve never even killed anyone!” [Bandit 3]
Never killed anyone?
“Aren’t you a bandit?” [Ryouma]
“We’re just the clean-up crew. The boss didn’t want us around when they were doing their stuff cause he didn’t want us messing up… This is our first time attacking someone. It’s not just me, even those guys acting all tough haven’t killed anyone either. The worst we’ve done is just steal from houses or pickpocket from people…” [Bandit 3]
“So, in other words, you chickened out?” [Ryouma]
When I looked at the bandits, one of the man flaring up at me awhile ago glared at me.
“Well, yeah, I mean we might be accomplices to bandits, but killing people is scary! We’re not like you or boss who can kill people so easily!” [Bandit 3]
Really now? Considering their situation, I can’t help but think he’s just bluffing me, though.
Tl Notes: The comments should be working again, if a little slow.