GDoc is here. No Wynn for three consecutive chapters. Expect either KuroKishi(Black Knight) Chapters, or a demotivated elephant.
Approaching Shadows (1)
In order to subjugate the bandit group, the group of adventurers Abel joined advanced from the Capital, and made camp near Torc Village, an ordinary village that could be found anywhere.
Judging by previous raids, that village would be one of the possible targets in the next raid.
A lone adventurer ran from within the forest at full speed towards Torc Village.
He was an adventurer that had gone to scout the surroundings.
Since scouting was his specialty, he would normally have been able to traverse through the poor footing in the forest quickly.
However, he moved with a limping gait.
Even when he tripped over roots or ditches, and fell in dangerous places, he frantically got up and continued running.
Due to his haste, his judgment had declined.
He had joined a group of adventurers who specialized in scouting, and left the village a little while before.
Thus, was it good luck, or bad luck, that some of them were able notice it?
As they walked along the narrow forest trail, they suddenly had a bad feeling.
They listened closer, and heard a sound that didn’t belong in the forest: the clanking of metal.
He signaled to his partner, then concealed their presence as they advanced.
Before their eyes, they saw a scene in the clearing below the cliff.
“Wh-what is this? These…”
He was in the middle of reconnaissance.
Even though they eliminated as much noise as they could as they moved, he accidentally let out a groan.
There were hairy men clad in leather armour
Freely holding weapons, they occasionally let out vulgar laughs.
They were most likely members of the bandit group.
They numbered about a hundred people.
That was a bigger scale than they had assumed, but there was a more pressing problem.
The problem was that, mixed among the bandits, marching silently— the word marching was truly appropriate— was a group of people clad in uniformed armour and spears.
They also numbered around a hundred people.
In total, it was a group numbering two hundred people.
‘This… Isn’t this a bandit group? It isn’t an army, right?’
The number of adventurers participating in the bandit subjugation was around 30 people.
All together, they were a medium-sized fighting force.
Even against a group of one hundred bandits, three times their numbers, the adventurers would have had no problems, since they could use magic and cooperated well.
However, marching before their eyes was a group clad in armour.
They were definitely different.
When they looked closer, they could see that their faces differed from those of the empire.
‘The neighboring country, Petersia Kingdom!’
Once the scouts realized the true identity of those men, their backs trembled.
They had heard rumours that the Petersia Kingdom had expanded its military.
But even if the tense relationship between the empire and the kingdom deteriorated, they shouldn’t have ended up at war.
Despite this, they had entered the empire.
Moreover, despite the substantial information network of the Adventurer’s Guild, they had not noticed their movements.
If it were a wet-behind-the-ears bandit group, even though two hundred people would be a bit much, they weren’t unbeatable.
However, if among them were a hundred trained soldiers, it was a different story.
There were undoubtedly knights among them.
Almost all of the knights would be able to use magic.
Moreover, when comparing their magic to that of the commoner adventurers, they were generally stronger.
That word hung in their heads.
Just when he was about to give the evacuation signal to his partner—
He saw his partner on the ground, an arrow sprouting from his temple.
As he hurried to get up, something pierced his left shoulder.
Enduring the pain, he desperately ran for his life.
It was natural, if one thought about it.
Unlike if it were only a bandit group, the armour-clad soldiers from Petersia would definitely have sentries in their surroundings.
As much as he could, he avoided going in a straight line, and hid behind the thickets and groves as he ran desperately.
He absolutely couldn’t let this go unreported.
If the ones who were based in the village didn’t know about the army’s existence, only annihilation lied in their future.
‘Those bastards! They killed him!’
He was crushed by vexation as he ran.
What happened to the army guarding the border?
Out of the whole imperial army, only a small fraction were involved in the coup d’état incident.
Though a hundred people was relatively small, it was impossible that there was no news of foreign soldiers within the country.
He kept running as fast as he could.
Luckily, there were no more arrows fired at him.
He was anxious to speed up his pace, but he was already faster than the average person.
He wasn’t worried about the footing in the forest, which was his specialty, but the pursuers behind him filled him with great dread.
He didn’t realize it.
His pursuers, as scouts, were also practiced in moving through the bad footing of the forest.
So, they made full use of the signs pointing the way to their base…
The big wooden building in the center of Torc Village was used both as an assembly hall, and as a space for festivals and celebrations.
The adventurers who were visiting to subjugate the bandits were borrowing the space.
However, since it wasn’t big enough to accommodate everyone, they mostly camped outside of the small huts around the assembly hall, while female adventurers and night sentries stayed in the buildingcabin.
In that small hut, the adventurers undertaking the bandit subjugation mission gathered, as the villagers anxiously surrounded the hut, looking at them.
Seated in the center was the leader of the adventurer alliance, Riggs.
In front of him, the adventurer who had just returned from scouting was undergoing treatment for the arrow wound to his shoulder, reporting how his comrade died.
“…The Petersian Army…”
Everybody was lost for words.
It was a threat beyond their expectations.
Even those who were normally very optimistic were silent, uneasily looking at their comrade’s faces around them.
Soon, the scout’s report finished, and the surrounding adventurers’ gazes all focused on Riggs, their leader.
Riggs sat cross-legged and with his arms crossed, silently listening to the report with his eyes closed.
“Hey, what do we do? Riggs?”
At last, an impatient voice addressed their silently thinking leader, and Riggs opened his eyes.
“There is no choice but to run away.”
Every person drew their breaths when they heard that.
SInce it was within their expectations, there was a general mood of acceptance.
Previously, they had investigated the bandit group they were to subjugate in various ways.
They visited the damaged villages, and the sites of the raided caravans and investigated the areas carefully.
A peculiar point arose as they investigated each site.
All of the people in the villages and caravans that were attacked were killed, without exception.
There were varying intervals between raids, and the locations were widespread.
Many times, the imperial army had organized a subjugation mission, but they all ended up empty-handed.
However, if the Petersia Kingdom was involved, that meant that it was the result of some sort of military maneuver.
But the piece of the puzzle that didn’t fit was…
Among the adventurers who had agreed with Riggs’ judgement to run away—
“Please wait a minute!”
Riggs shifted his attention to the owner of that voice.
It was Abel, who was in the corner of the hut.
“Running away means that we aren’t fighting? Riggs-san.”
“Do you think you can win? If you think so, then you would never be an accomplished adventurer. Only death awaits in your future.”
Riggs cool-headedly pointed that out.
Abel momentarily looked downwards, but then looked up, straight at Riggs’s eyes.
“If we run, then what will happen to the people of this village? They can’t fight. Won’t they be killed?”
“I guess so. That’s why we get them to run away. Well, there’s no time. We need to hurry up and prepare to escape!”
Riggs clapped his hands once.
At that, the adventurers nodded emphatically, stood up, and left the hut in groups.
“Hey, wait a minute. We, being more or less trained, can run away. But, what about the villagers?”
Abel tried to talk to his adventurer mentors, who were busy moving about, but they merely smiled, and patted his shoulder without saying anything, before leaving with only their equipment.
Soon, only Riggs, several female adventurers, and Abel and two other novice adventurers remained in the hut.
The other two novices, like Abel, also harboured doubts ㅡ unlike the other veteran adventurers who knew what to do from Riggs’s command ㅡ and were left in the hut.
Riggs gestured for them to come closer.
“Now then, you all should prepare to flee. It will be really soon yanno? I’ve said many times that we have no time.”
“Riggs-san, what about the villagers?”
“Isn’t that why I said that they would also flee?”
“If it’s only us, then we might be able to flee, but I don’t think the people of the village can fight, nor can they flee.”
Abel’s red-faced outburst reminded Riggs of himself when he was a novice.
He had thought that he could do anything.
In other words, trying to be a hero without understanding the circumstances, from an adventurer’s perspective, it’s obviously a bad aspiration.
Of course, everybody went through a phase where they aspired to become an adventurer.
If they didn’t die an early death, and were lucky enough to survive until they gained enough experience, they would become excellent adventurers.
That was why:
“Who did you say wouldn’t fight?”
These young, inexperienced adventurers hadn’t realized his own heroic aspirations, but would grow to become great adventurers.
“The ones running away are the villagers, you guys, and the women. The remaining adventurers will fight against them.”
Unable to understand what was just said, Abel just blinked, and the energy he had until then dissipated.
Riggs smiled at that sight.
He honestly had not expected that the bandit subjugation mission would turn out like this.
He was prepared to some extent, so he brought along some green adventurers, planning to let them gain experience, thinking they would have that much room to spare.
However, it was the worst case scenario.
If he had to pick the best card to play, it would only be this card.
‘So, in the end, even I also want to be a hero, don’t I?’
Mentally, Riggs laughed at the irony.
Well, they are people who aim to become adventurers.
Now, the adventurers who all followed Riggs’s plans and began to prepare for battle, also, held that same heroic aspirations.
“I’ll also fight.”
‘Sheesh, I can’t laugh at his resolve.’
Concealing his inner thoughts with a glare, Riggs shouted with a strict voice.
“You’re a burden. You can do nothing but escape.”
Then, Riggs gave another order.
“You all will run to Nest Village. With your pace, if you leave now, you should arrive in the afternoon. There, report the situation to the soldiers. The Petersian army is hiding in this territory.”
Nodding, the female adventurers immediately began to collect their luggage.
They were also experienced adventurers.
They weren’t being kept away from danger because they were female.
They understood the importance of conveying this news.
Also, they would be able to guide others back here.
Then, they could fight.
Riggs gave the excuse of reporting the information for them to run away.
With that, they wouldn’t be filled with a desire to be a hero and return to the village.
The female adventurers hurried the two novices out.
Even Abel. although he was unable to agree with not fighting, he was also pushed out.
“Abel. You are going to the capital.”
“Why, why am I the only one going to the capital!?”
The capital would take a week to reach by horse.
If he went to Nest, he would have time to join the soldiers and fight.
However, he couldn’t possibly make it to the battle if he went to the capital.
“It’s not just you. I don’t think that the invading Petersian army is just this. That’s why, the capital also has to know.”
“But even then, why me?”
“If it’s you, you can tell Wynn, right?”
The boy who aspired to be a knight.
Abel’s rival in love, who was a knight cadet.
Of course, if it was his words, they would reach the capital.
In the end, Riggs’s real intention was to report this to Leticia
As the Brave, Leticia wouldn’t be able to move, but if it were a request from a Duke’s daughter, even the slow-to-act imperial army in the capital would seriously act.
“That’s why, hurry.”
“But, Riggs-san and the others…”
“Hey, hey, do you think we’ll die that easily? Are you making fun of us? We fight monsters more atrocious than humans. Also, if you guys hurry, the chances we will be saved will increase.”
“Riggs-san… I’ll believe in you!”
Cursing under his breath, Abel ran out.
A small smile broke out on Riggs’s face as he watched that back.
His gait was unsteady.
His heart pounded furiously.
‘No doubt, I will die.’
He believed it.
But even then—
He wouldn’t just be killed.
He would keep on struggling to the end.
Anyhow, he had a girl he was close to.
She wouldn’t expect that they were in a hopeless situation.
However, she will overcome this and live on, and find happiness with her loved ones.
‘Compared to Leticia-chan, this sort of crisis isn’t a big deal.’
“Okay, we’re gonna do this!”
Riggs raised his voice.
In unison, the other adventurers replied with an “Oo!” and raised their spirits.
- ペテルシア —back
- This kanji appears multiple times, and seems to have something to do with a heroic altruistic self-sacrifice 英雄願望 (hero complex, maybe) —back
- The closest Idiom/metaphor I could remember —back
Well, I’m back with another chapter! This was released after marathoning Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei, aka Tatami Galaxy. It has motivated me even more to no waste my college life away. As a result, Yoru wa mijikashi arukeyo otome caught my interest as a fun translation project. We’ll see…
Anyways, this Approaching Shadows mini-arc is three chapters long. Then, Wynn reappears. As I said above, this may lead me to either translate more Black Knight chapters or procrastinate.