Chapter Twenty-Three

The mercenary captain, Carl, who had gone to the Banco to deposit the advance payment they had received from the Lord of the Montefeltro estate, returned to the campsite. 

He had returned on horseback, and one of his subordinates approached, walked alongside his horse as soon as he returned. That subordinate was Sett, one of the three mercenaries who had previously warned him about the Banco. 

Sett approached their returning captain without hesitation and began talking to him, 

“How was your trip to the banco?” 

Seeing him ask so eagerly, Carl supposed they had probably made bets among themselves – the contents of the bet was obvious. 

“Were you ripped off too, Captain?” 

As soon as Sett asked the question, the group who was standing not far from them began eavesdropping on their conversation. 

They were one of the parties who had played along with this bet. 

“Nothing happened,” 

Carl responded as calmly as possible but he couldn’t avoid Sett’s intuition after having spent many years with him. 

“Captain was ripped off right? Right?” 

“Kehum!” Carl cleared his throat and avoided answering, Sett immediately whistled, drawing the attention of the group and raised his voice, 

“Hey! I told you! I’m sure even the Captain who went there was completely ripped off!” 

Although he hadn’t even said anything, seeing as he wasn’t able to move past this quietly and even had his subordinate start making noise like this, it felt very unpleasant. 

“I’m telling you, nothing happened,”

“Really? Nothing happened there at all?” 

When Sett asked again, Carl just nodded with a solemn look. He was one of the most experienced mercenaries here, there was no way he could become a laughingstock to his subordinates because he couldn’t manage a little kid. 

While Carl returned to the barracks, Sett’s expression crumpled.

He had thought that the Captain would definitely be ripped off – but that didn’t seem to be the case…

“Ah dammit!”

***

Immediately after returning to the campsite, Carl began preparing for the orc subjugation. 

Compared to their experiences so far, the orc subjugation was really nothing to worry about so they had no intention of spending too much time on this mission. 

Finishing this mission as soon as possible and moving on to the next job – that was what he had been planning. 

“What?” 

But there was a problem. 

The men he sent out first on a reconnaissance mission, returned with unexpected news. 

“An Orc Sorcerer?” 

“We’re certain. There was a sorcerer among the group,” 

“And the tribe was quite big too – not your typical village level, I’m pretty sure that was several villages untied together,” 

When the two experienced subordinates, who were just as rugged and rough as Carl reported, Carl and the rest of the mercenaries couldn’t suppress how flustered they were. 

This simple orc subjugation mission, which they had dismissed as a minor job, had suddenly become complicated. 

“To think there was a Sorcerer,” 

At that moment, Carl recalled the boy at the Banco who had asked him several questions about all of his useless worries. 

That boy had certainly been stuck on the idea of an orc sorcerer. 

‘I had thought it was nonsense at the time – but how could this happen?’

At the time of the conversation, Carl had thought it was annoying and simply tried to ignore the conversation itself, saying that an orc sorcerer showing up was ridiculous. 

The chance of encountering one in a normal subjugation mission was pretty much zeo. 

“If that’s true, then it’s a headache, to think there’s a sorcerer,” 

Carl was truly flustered and so were his men. 

Soon, his men began to speak up, 

“If there’s a sorcerer..  Magic spells are too much for us,” 

“There’s no answer we can give to orc magic, it’s not our speciality either,”

“What the heck is this? They didn’t say anything about a sorcerer to begin with!” 

There were more than one or two of his subordinates who were complaining, and soon, several of them began to question the request. 

“I somehow thought this job was too easy. Why would they even call us to subdue mere orcs?” 

“I thought the same thing, the Lord here cheated us,”

“He hid that and called us here? Is he crazy?” 

“Maybe. If he had told us everything and called us here, we probably wouldn’t have accepted the job,” 

“But what are we going to do now? Are we giving up this mission? Or are you going to do something after all?” 

“An Orc Sorcerer isn’t an existence we can do something about,”

In their common sense, there were very few occupations that had the ability to fight against an orc sorcerer. 

“We can’t do this without a Mage or Cleric. There’s no way to block the magic,” 

“Is there a Templar around here? It should work out somehow if there’s a Templar,” 

“Or do you want to try finding a Witch? The Witch-Doctor issue from last time was resolved with the help of a Witch,” 

“What Witch! What if the Church says something? Do you want to be chased out by the Church for conspiring with a Witch?”

“So we should just do it quietly! Who’s going to go around chatting with the whole neighbourhood?”

As the voices of his subordinates began to rise, the captain, Carl, who had been lost in thought alone, raised his hand to quiet everyone. 

The silence that fell lasted for some time. 

As the gazes of the men gathered on him, Set finally spoke out, 

“So, what are you going to do?” 

At that question, Carl explained his own thoughts, 

“Well, we can’t just give this job up like this since we have our own honour and reputation that we’ve built up so far,” 

When his men were about to start voicing their protests again, Carl quickly continued, 

“It will work out somehow if we can just get ahold of a mage, it’s just the fact that there’s a sorcerer that’s the problem – the scale of this mission is something that’s otherwise plenty easy for us to handle,” 

Sett expressed his doubts,

“Then you’re going to invite a mage? It’ll cost more than we got paid for this page – it’s not like we can just call down a mage with a penny or two,”

Most of the other mercenaries agreed with Sett’s words, 

Captain Carl responded to the remark, 

“The cost of the mage will be charged to the Lord who deceived us,”

New chapters will be released every Tuesday!

Published by Tani

24, Taurus

One thought on “Chapter Twenty-Three

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