Chapter 27 – Thief Extermination
There is a thief in the Slums.
I quickly go into cover and stealthily observe things.
I moved immediately after seeing him, I don’t think anyone noticed me.
The thief is a 38 year old man, [Thief] Lv18.
Dressed in clothes that weren’t exactly rags, he behaved like a homeless person.
But his behavior is unusual.
It can be understood while secretly observing.
The man was sometimes glancing in one direction.
Will a third party have the same feeling looking at the current me?
In my case, I’m hidden from sight while staring at him.
The thief is doing nothing but lying down on the road, but he frequently turns his body and each and every time gazes sharply in the same certain direction.
He is probably looking in that direction, at the building next to the Brothel where a thief came in and out.
I think he is scouting that place.
Are the thieves that stayed in town in that building, and the thieves who were expelled out searching for it?
I guess this man is with that gang.
Although it’s a secret investigation, it doesn’t look very skillful.
Speaking of that, won’t he be easily found out?
Or will nobody take notice of something like a homeless guy?
I stay hidden and continue watching the thief.
A stake out seems like a test of the bladder.
The thief moved and the sensation from my bladder strengthened and I almost couldn’t hold it.
The man stands up and comes over here.
Walks this way and passes by where I am hiding.
Going this way leads to exit of the Slums.
It’s good that I did not have to go deeper inside.
Another person approaches him.
Just as one is passing the other, the thief knocked the person passing by off his feet.
I am puzzled by what suddenly happened.
Was the man who got hit, not very strong?
The thief didn’t run away or check the result and casually walks away.
Was that possibly someone he knew?
The man who was hit, is lying face down on the road.
Besides, there does not seem anyone minding this.
Is that normal here?
Before I lose sight of the thief, I also move.
I follow from behind.
Looks like detective drama on TV.
I didn’t think that I would mimic a detective in a different world.
I need to be cautious not to forget to check behind me and make sure I am not being followed.
While looking ahead I pay attention behind me.
This is quite difficult.
The thief while walking, also kept glancing back.
I occasionally change between thief’s left side and back, I don’t think he has noticed.
When he is worrying too much about behind him, his movements become unnatural.
The thief does not seem to be accustomed to this.
Because half the thieves group got destroyed, do they not have any talented people left?
Or because of the rain, was the thief in a hurry?
I’m lucky if he came to check the hideout in a hurry because the rain stopped.
The thief goes across the town of Vale and leaves through the south gate.
Outside the city walls there is a field, further outside there was a forest.
It’s one thing with many people downtown, but it’d be impossible to continue to pursue outside the town.
Rice field plants are not tall. He would notice me immediately.
If I crawl he would probably not notice, but I would stand out for a different reason.
If an enemy or monster approaches he’d easily notice, seems outside the ramparts it’s all cultivated land.
When I made sure the thief disappeared into the forest, I stopped tailing him.
Are the thieves on the town’s outskirts?
It may be difficult to remain hidden in the Slums, which is home ground for the thieves that stayed in town.
I think that they are more likely to hide outside of town than in the slums.
Thieves who were driven out, are hiding outside the town. It is appropriate to think that that guy returned there.
I return through the east gate, after emptying my bladder, I go out of town through the south side.
I pay attention to the surroundings, advancing while using [Appraise].
Other people would find the appearance of me looking around restlessly suspicious.
Well, it can’t be helped.
There are few people who walk around inside the forest.
If the thief had found me previously, even if he knew me or not, he would nevertheless stay vigilant.
I can’t disregard the possibility of aiming for a surprise attack on the enemy.
If discovered by the previous thief, opportunity would become a pinch in an instant.
No matter what, I must not be discovered first.
I was walking slowly without making any noise.
After the rain it is hard to walk in the mud.
In addition, the south side of town is too large.
I was looking until evening, but couldn’t find it.
When day becomes dark, I use [Warp] to return to the Adventurer’s Guild.
After having dinner, I warp outside town to observe for a while.
Tomorrow I will continue searching the south side forest.
However, even searching the whole day I could not find it.
After dinner, I go outside of town again.
Tomorrow is the date agreed upon with the slave trader.
There is no more time.
Should I aim for the thieves remaining in town?
However, even if it’s the Slums, it would be hard attacking the thieves hideout in the city.
Irrelevant to me, those thieves are unlikely to attack me if left alone and I’m not inclined to make a move on them.
I should aim to target the driven out of town thieves.
In that case it’d practically be legitimate self-defense.
It might not hold; however, the difference between legitimate self-defense in response after one is attacked and doing a preventive attack when one is threatened is always ambiguous in reality.
When debating, I noticed a light glimmer in the corner of my view.
I found him.
Same as yesterday, Lv 18 [Thief].
The source of light is moving slowly.
Is he about to leave or is he about to return to his hideout?
The sun has already set.
The area is pitch black, each step is uncertain.
Thanks to the darkness I won’t stand out, but it would be a serious matter if I got caught in some tree roots.
If I fall down and make a loud noise, then everything would be ruined.
I assess the movement of the light and warp behind the thief.
When I come out of the dark wall, the lantern light reveals a man.
The thief with the hanging lantern illuminating his steps, walked slowly in the middle of the forest.
The lantern light faintly shines on the surroundings.
I just barely knew where I was placing each step.
Because I was following right behind the man carrying the light, I’m certain where I’m going.
Approaching the thief at this distance, there is no danger of losing sight of him.
I walk slowly. Matching the thief with short steps not to fall down, while being careful not to make a sound.
Before long, the man arrives at the hillside of a small cliff.
In the cliff there is a cave.
A door was put on the entrance of the cave and was shut firmly.
The man knocks on the door.
After a little while the door opens and someone shows their face.
31 year old, man, [Thief] Lv24.
Is that the hideout?
Lv24 thief says something and the door opens widely, he shows the Lv18 thief inside.
Lv18 thief enters the cave.
The Lv24 thief after letting in the man, carefully examined the surroundings looking left and right.
From that carefulness I can judge that this cave is certainly the thieves’ hideout.
At last, I found it.
The driven out of town thieves are hiding there.
Attacking that cave is bound to be a big catch.
When the Lv24 thief closes the door, the surroundings become pitch black.
I briefly check the surroundings.
There are no signs of lights. Nothing showed up when using [Appraisal].
There is nobody.
I cast [Warp] and return to Vale pavilion’s outer wall.
In reality, I wanted to check inside for the number of people, thieves’ levels, and their daily routine for a number of days, but I don’t have such time.
Sink or swim, I have to strike tonight.
It is hard to think what the thieves’ movements at the base will be this midnight.
Or course, because they’re being chased, I wouldn’t know unless one is captured.
There were no signs of anything around the cavern.
I don’t think anyone has found this place other than me.
Once I break in, they’ll already be awake and dangerous.
A human’s weakness is sleeping when its night time.
If I could half sleep like the Innkeeper, then I could sense danger.
I don’t know what the daytime actions of the thieves are.
But are they asleep at dawn?
Assuming they’re taking turns for night watch, that’s more than half.
Attacking at an even later time might be better than attacking now.
Even if there is a possibility they will escape in the meantime.
Can’t keep watching because I am only one person.
It’s necessary to sleep well to be in shape.
I go back to my room and lay on the bed.
From the excitement of finding the thieves, I am wide awake.
When I think that I will commit murder soon, I think about various things.
And yet, before I knew it, I fall asleep.
I woke up early.
I understand the feeling. Perhaps I can’t sleep soundly for a long time.
I might have braced myself to not oversleep.
I take out Durandal and put it on my waist, put on a cloak and carry the rucksack on the back.
Because level up is not necessary, Durandal must be used to fight.
Copper sword and scimitar are stored in the item box.
A second sword may be needed for something, but hanging on the waist, it might get in the way.
Need to calculate the advantages and disadvantages of both possibilities, it is better not to carry a hindrance.
If I am in a situation where a second sword is needed, it means I became unable to use Durandal and I fear at that point in time I’ve already lost.
I could take it out of the item box if I had some margin of time to do it.
It is the first time I leave the Inn with Durandal equipped, because the cloak is put on it can’t be seen from outside.
Kaga Michio, male, 17 years old
[Explorer] Lv26, [Hero] Lv23, [Wizard] Lv25, [Warrior] Lv16
Equipment: Durandal, Leather Armour, Sandal Boots
I take off the leather mittens. [TL Note: type of gloves]
When fighting with swords it is better to have them on, but I never know when I may need to use my fingers freely.
To catch something, climb, hold something, use something.
Human hands are a convenient thing.
It might be a good thing to add more jobs, but I am not sure.
Or it may not be the case.
I don’t know if there’s any meaning to adding low level jobs I rarely use.
There is a possibility that the average level of jobs influence the stats.
At present condition I can use magic and if push comes to shove there is [Rush] and [Overwhelming], these four skills should be plenty.
When I fought the thieves attacking the village I managed to battle in a state where I had nothing but Durandal. I should be able to fight as is.
Once the preparations are done, I leave the Inn.
Was the conversation with the Innkeeper as usual?
There is a possibility that I am unnaturally tensed in some way.
Perhaps I’m not going to commit a crime according to this world’s rules, so there is no need to worry.
I go outside the Inn and take a deep breath.
When I think about killing people it feels hazy, I suppress the feeling.
I have already killed twenty thieves in first village.
Certainly now, it can be summed up like that.
I take off the cloak, turn it inside out and put it back on.
The coat is the countermeasure against blood spurts.
I put on the hood firmly.
I pull out Durandal, face the outer wall of the Inn and cast [Warp].
I recall the area where the cavern is in the forest.
The place where I come out is pitch black.
There are no fires, nor can I detect anyone with [Appraisal].
I confirm there is no one nearby, this time I warp inside the cave.
When the thief entered through the door I incidentally saw the interior.
Because I saw, I can warp to any place I have seen.
The place I exit from [Warp] is pitch black again.
There are no lights or sound. Because there are no stars it’s darker.
No. When listening calmly, I can hear the quiet breathing of people sleeping.
There is someone.
I use [Appraisal] on the surroundings.
[Appraisal] is convenient.
I can use it without light.
Inside the cave there are four thieves.
It is perfect.
There is no-one of extremely high level.
Around these levels I can fight sufficiently and expect a bounty reward.
The underlings, have they already been done in or did they run away?
They seem to sleep deeply without putting up a night watch.
Do they have no awareness of danger?
Are there more people in other rooms?
In that case, it’s better to finish things beforehand.
I know the location of four people in the pitch black cave.
I don’t know the layout of the cave.
In the interior two people, Lv35 and Lv29. One person on this side, Lv24. One person near the entrance.
I come out of warp near the middle of where the Lv18 and Lv24 are.
It is better to gather enemies on one side, so in the beginning I go to where the Lv18 is.
Because I don’t know where I’ll stepping on, I move by slowly shifting my feet.
The Lv18 thief seems to be sleeping directly on the ground.
In order to not wake him up I lightly poked with my foot to confirm his location.
This is the lower part of the body.
I moved to the location of the head.
Crouch to check where the neck is and place Durandal on the nape of the neck.
Before the final move, I gather my resolve.
The Lv18 thief doesn’t make a sound.
I must have severed some of the arteries on his neck.
I think it went well, next I move by slowly shifting my feet to the location of the Lv24.
Half way there I turn my head to confirm, but [Appraisal] did not show any results for Lv18 thief.
The Lv24 thief seems to be lying down on a bed crudely made of boards or something.
At my feet there’s a 5 to 10 centimeter difference in level on the floor.
Probably there’s a hole there.
After confirming the same location on the neck of the Lv18 Thief, I pressed down Durandal on the lv 24’s neck.
To test I cast [Firestorm].
Magic did not activate.
As expected, [Firestorm] only seems to work on monsters.
Because the difference in levels, this time I cut by fiercely pulling Durandal from below at an angle.
“Gu … …”
The Lv24 man groans.
It’s scary when Durandal’s blade comes towards me, after I pull it until I don’t feel any resistance from his neck. There is no such concern when chopping downwards.
Hence, I put too much strength and it seems I overdid it.
With this the Lv24 is finished but there are still two people to go.
Maybe they woke up from the voice.
I turn in a hurry and cast [Fireball] at the Lv35 thief.
The ball of fire appears overhead.
Surroundings become bright.
Because I am not blinded I can cope.
Inside the cave there were plain earth floor and walls.
There are no such things as furniture.
The thief’s makeshift bed was crudely made by piling up a bunch of boards and wooden boxes.
[Fireball] hits the Lv35 thief and the thief releases a loud voice.
While hearing the voice, I run up with Durandal and prepare to face the Lv29 thief.
The Lv29 thief suddenly raised his head and shouted.
With Durandal I cut his neck and his head flew off.
The thief’s head rolled off to the other side of the bed.
When I gaze at the Lv35 thief, he is rolling around on the ground in agony.
Did you naturally roll out of bed? To put out the fire on purpose?
Because of the excessive and vigorous rolling about, I do not approach carelessly.
The fire goes out and its pitch black again.
It is pitch black but with [Appraisal] I know his location.
Man equips his copper sword. It was hidden under the bed.
I think it’s good that he’s confused, not understanding what happened. In that condition he won’t move so well.
Did he assume the possibility of being attacked?
It is difficult to jump in only knowing the location because of appraisal’s result.
I cast [Fire Wall], I remember the man was lying besides the bed.
A wall of fire appears.
I see from my position, the Lv35 thief is on the other side of the bed.
The surroundings suddenly light up, the thief turns around.
Anyone would do that if a light appeared behind them.
Because it is normally a sign that there is someone behind.
While in the dark he thought I moved there.
However, this time, that is not the case.
The thief turning around, created an opportunity against the thief.
I take a large step and swung Durandal from the left.
Dudrandal takes a chunk out of the man’s waist.
While moving to the right and cutting, the thief collapses.