Sometimes I feel that all editors are sadists……or maybe, to be an editor, one must naturally have a sadistic inclination. Un. Sounds about right.
Because of some of the words used in this chapter, I’m officially changing the translation of “mamono” (formerly ‘monster’) to “demon”.
On another note, I’ve got an exam coming up this Saturday, so there probably won’t be another chapter until next week……maybe. Much exams make Kiriko sad. 😥
Anyhow, hope you enjoy the chapter!
EDIT: Also, here’s a small skit(?) from how Ghost learned about TMBRFNL! –> CLICK HERE
TMBRFNL Chapter 13: Mountain Bandits
“P-Please wait!! Don’t kill me! Please!!”
Syltina watched expressionlessly as the man crawled upon the ground in an unsightly manner, wearing a desperate expression as he pleaded for his life.
“P-Pl-Please!! Just my life!! P-Please, have mercy!!!!”
“Just what are you saying now that it’s come to this……?”
“Y-You’re mistaken!! We were originally just villagers!! Y-You know, from Rufhanna Village that’s up ahead!!! Because that village became tainted, people couldn’t live there anymore!! But the other villages and towns wouldn’t take us in!! That’s why!!!! We had to do this!! In order to survive!! See?! You understand!! Right!?”
With snot and tears soaking his body, the man frantically begged.
“Yes. I do understand.”
Syltina smiled at the man’s words.
Why(1), her grin was an extremely strange one.
Encircled by trees as tall as a man stood an old mansion that towered over its surroundings.
In order to explain why Syltina and co. had to come to such a place, we would need to look back to the events that occurred just a few hours ago.
After coming back from bathing, Syltina quietly muttered as she looked at the scene before her eyes.
A campground that had been laid to waste. The figures of the people that were supposed to be there were gone. What was left was only evidence of a fight and smoke from the smouldering campfire. As well as…
“Tiel. And Karen too.”
Together with his beloved horse, Karen, Alhart’s familiar, Tieltinkle, emerged from the trees.
“Could you explain what happened here?”
While soothing the agitated Karen, Syltina sought out an explanation for the current situation (although she could somewhat predict what had happened). That her voice revealed a tint of exhaustion probably couldn’t be helped.
“A few minutes after Syltina-sama went to bathe, we were attacked by mountain bandits. Although the Knight and Prince returned fire, they had the tables turned on them splendidly. Then the two of them, the Saintess, Miliane-sama, Master and Kuroitsu-sama in his human form – all 6 of them were abducted.”
“Kuro and Al didn’t try to resist?”
“Master’s message to you is: ‘Ahh, these guys probably won’t do anything to us for the time being, so I’ll just get caught obediently. I’ll leave the rest to you’.”
“He just thought it was a pain, didn’t he?……well, fine. Luckily, they took everything, including the carriage; so if I follow the wheel tracks, I should be able to reach the headquarters of those mountain bandits.”
“Will we be going in with just us?”
It was reckless to make an attack without even knowing about the opponent’s numbers. Syltina laughed and stuck up her index finger, indicating the first point of her answer to Tieltinkle’s question.
“Even if reinforcements come and try to ambush us, we would definitely notice. And even if Al and I don’t notice, Kuro and Tiel would notice, right?”
Indicating her second point, Syltina raised her middle finger.
“If this was a planned crime, they would have investigated the number of targets in the group. However, right now I’m completely unharmed. It’s possible that they purposely aimed for the time when I wasn’t around, but if they took the 6 of them without killing anyone, then the probability of them selling people off is high. It would be strange that they’d purposely overlook potential ‘merchandise’.”
At her third point, Syltina raised her ring finger.
“Normally, they’d leave behind a carriage, which could possibly reveal their location through its tracks, and just take away the food and valuable items. That’s because having to move it is a hindrance. This time, however, the mountain bandits left a beautiful set of carriage tracks. Well, there is a possibility of it being a trap, but it’s unimaginable that there was a need to specially make a trap to catch a single person. At worst, there would be a possibility that I’d bring people from the Knight’s Order from a nearby village or town after all.”
‘Based on those points’- said Syltina, as she gazed at the carriage tracks up ahead and continued talking.
“The opponent is a complete amateur that hasn’t done this before, and had absolutely no plan. No matter how many small fry group up and come at me, I know I’ll be able to handle them. That being the case, it’s plenty even if we’re the only ones that can fight.”
“That’s true. Incidentally, there were around 15 attackers. All of them were wearing fairly crude equipment that could be considered mere decorations.”
“Then, their headquarters’ defense should consist of approximately 30 people. Well, once we find their hideout, we can just sound out their numbers. Anyhow, let’s just get going.”
Tieltinkle followed after Syltina as she straddled over Karen.
They reached their target destination after about one hour.
In one section of the densely overgrown trees, within a man-made clearing, stood a towering mansion. It probably hadn’t been repaired for several years. Ivy creeped up its walls, drilling into the cracks that could be seen here and there, while the window glass was shattered. The garden was left in ruins. The door had just barely managed to remain hanging on its hinges.
It was unfit for human habitation, but as the “bandit’s” headquarters, it fit well. The carriage tracks continued into the mansion grounds.
“Tiel, can you figure out how many people are inside?”
“Yes. According to the wind spirits(2), it seems there is a total of 37 people inside. Amongst them, 12 of them are women and children and 6 of them are Master and co. The remaining 19 people are the men who abducted them. It appears that Master and co. are in the underground dungeon.”
After receiving Tieltinkle’s report while she hid near the mansion, Syltina gave her a single nod and began doing stretches as she stood up.
“Then I guess we’ll head for the dungeon. Could you guide me there?”
“I’m sure the wind spirits in the mansion will tell me if I ask. What shall we do with the bandits?”
“If they are hostile towards me and attack, then they’re ‘enemies’. We’ll turn the tables on all of them.”
“Understood. Where shall we enter from?”
“Well, of course, ‘from the entrance, fair and square’.”
Thus, Syltina and co. boldly entered the mansion from the main entrance. What greeted them there were men that were far too shabbily dressed to even be calling themselves “bandits”.
“W-Who the heck are you!? What business do you have here!?”
The men’s bodies all tensed up at once. After looking around and surveying them, Syltina glanced at Tieltinkle, who was floating next to her.
Although Syltina had only called out her name, Tieltinkle understood what she wanted, shutting her eyes as she began to concentrate her senses.
“At the end of the hallway on the right is a stairway to the basement. After that, the structure gets a little complicated, so I shall give you further instructions once we reach it.”
“At the end of the hallway on the right, huh. Shall we go?”
Syltina boldly began to walk without even looking at the wary men. Their gazes focussed upon Tieltinkle, who was floating next to her.
“What is that thing?”
“It spoke. Is it human?”
“Like hell there’d be a human that tiny!”
“Could it be……a demon?”
“Then, that woman is also……”
With that one man’s words, the spreading wave of confusion instantly transformed into animosity.
“The situation’s become rather dangerous.”
“Though it probably can’t be helped for those that don’t know of the existence of ‘familiars’, as expected, to be mistaken for a demon is a bit……”
In front of the men that began to put strength into the hands holding their weapons, Syltina and Tieltinkle shrugged their shoulders while sighing.
“I’ll just say this beforehand: we are not monsters. We just have business in the dungeon of this mansion. If possible, I’d like for you to just stand by quietly.”
“Sh-Shut up!! Who would listen to the words of a demon!!?”
“That’s right!! And we can’t let you go to the basement!!!”
“Is it because there is ‘something’ there that you guys don’t want to be seen?”
“Thank you very much for your easy-to-understand silence. Unfortunately, we came here for that ‘something’.”
“Are you their friend!?”
“I can only call about 2 of them my ‘friends’, but……well, yes, I suppose so?”
“……which is it?”
“……….they’re my friends.”
“Sylti-sama, the displeasure in your heart is showing in your voice.”
“But, Tiel, just think about it carefully. Amongst the 6 people who were abducted, only 2 of them can be called ‘friends’, you know? As for the rest of them, well, I don’t mind saving the Saintess who is ‘the subject of the request’ and Miliane-sama, but the last two are ‘inconsequential’. They’ll probably just end up being saved on the side as a result of our actions, right? Rather, I feel like Al and Kuro are the only ones who don’t really need us to save them. That being the case, isn’t it fine if we just have them bring the Saintess and Miliane-sama with them as they escape? Since Al left a message saying something like ‘I’ll leave the rest to you’ I felt a weird sense of duty and came all the way here, but wasn’t it kind of pointless?”
“……that’s true, but since Master said ‘he’ll leave the rest to you’, I’m sure he’s not even thinking of trying to escape using his own power. With Master’s personality, since there’s the possibility of Sylti-sama coming, he will not even think of moving on his own.”
“I thought it’d be like that.”
While the two of them were talking, the men slowly began to approach.
Seeing the two of them appearing completely unperturbed despite being completely outnumbered, one of the men grew indignant and started to attack on his own.
“If they’re friends of those other guys, then that makes things quicker. We’ll catch them too!!”
Though he raised his blade overhead, it was blocked by an invisible wall just as it was about to reach Syltina and co., causing a large clanging sound to reverberate.
“It’s an invisible wall made by solidifying air.”
A light tap rang out. Syltina spoke as she tapped her finger on a place in the air in front of their eyes where nothing existed. At that moment, the body of the man who attacked was cut by an invisible blade.
“Eh, hah……? What just……”
“Now then, will the rest of you become our ‘enemies’?”
At Syltina’s question, the men moved forward, despite making expressions of complete bewilderment and fear.
Those quietly muttered words resounded in an incredibly cold manner.
It was no longer something that you could call a “battle”.
The numbers of the men that headed towards Syltina were decreased to less than half without giving her even a single wound.
“After calling me a demon, now you’re calling me a monster?”
Amongst the men that could still move, more than half had already turned tail and run away.
Syltina made a bitter smile at the words that one of the remaining men shouted.
Using the first man’s life as an example, she had given a sufficient warning. Even so, the fact that they had still turned their blades towards her meant that they probably had a reason they couldn’t surrender.
Their shoddy swordsmanship couldn’t even be called “elementary”. That, combined with their magic and their battle sense made her understand that, up until now, they had lived a lifestyle that had nothing to do with combat.
However, all Syltina had to say about something like that was: “So what?”
They were the first to pick up their blades and wield them. That being the case, Syltina had no duty to go easy on them for their sake.
She gazed at the surroundings. Those that could move had already run away. After confirming that there was nobody else left standing, Syltina continued walking towards the stairs leading to the basement.
“Several people have run to the basement. They are probably intending on using Master and the others as hostages.”
“Even though I wouldn’t be troubled if anybody there became a hostage…well, I do need the Saintess and Miliane-sama to be safe so……let’s hurry up a little.”
Speaking of it as though it were troublesome, Syltina increased her walking speed just a little.
- ^Here, the wording of the RAWs kinda makes it sound like a happy old granny is narrating the situation. Sort of like a “My, oh my, it was an extremely strange grin.”
- ^She says “kaze-tachi”, as in the “wind and everyone”, but I assume she means spirits, so I’ll be using that from now on. (ED: Japanese is weird.)
- ^This is a different ‘monster’ compared to the ones that cause the taint. The taint monsters are more like ‘demon’, while the term used here is ‘bakemono’, which literally means monster. (Taint ‘monsters’ will now be translated as ‘demons’)
This chapter took a long time to edit. While it was hard to do so, which contributed to the time it took, it was mostly because Kiriko was
lazy busy. Seriously though, this chapter was annoying. There’s so many of my notes around, it’s kind of hard not to find one.