Dream Life Vol II Chapter 60.1: “The First Body”

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 We were attacked by bandits on the Ars Road – the main road connecting Ars, the royal capital of the Kingdom of Caum in the south, and Pericritor, an adventurer’s town – at the most difficult point, the Karsh Pass.


 Fortunately, the bandits were caught off guard by the overwhelming difference in strength. Because of this, we were able to inflict heavy damage on the enemy through a preemptive attack with magic.


 We were lucky enough to get information from the surviving bandits that they still had friends, and we decided to defeat the bandit survivors in order to eliminate the fear of retribution.



 According to the information we received, there were two bandits with horses about a kilometer down from the top of the pass, and Beatrice and I decided to sneak up on them.



 We split up with Liddy and the others, and, being on the lookout for the bandits, we hurried down the pass. We were the only two survivors of the bandits, but the smell of blood from the battle might unnecessarily attract monsters.



 About 500 meters down the road, the surrounding landscape changes from rock walls to wasteland. Beatrice and I decided to take cover and stay low, just in case.


 We then carefully descended the pass, being even more vigilant of our surroundings.



 After about five minutes, we heard the faint sound of horses neighing.


 Beatrice signals me to stop with her hand.



“Looks like they’re hiding in the bushes on the east side. The grass here is tall enough for me to hide. Come with me.” (Beatrice)



 With that, she started to walk into the grass with a rustling sound.


 I followed closely behind her, bending down to keep up with her.


 I am nervous, but the sight of the tiger’s thick tail swaying in front of my eyes is very distracting. So, I force all my mental strength and concentrate on launching a surprise attack.



 After about five minutes in the grass, the neighing of the horses becomes louder.


 Beatrice stood up slowly and checked the situation around her.



“It’s just as we’ve been informed. They seem to be behind the bushes. No magic this time. Got it.” (Beatrice)



 I gave a small nod.


 The reason why I won’t use magic is to make sure that I can defeat the enemy.


 With my wind attribute magic, two enemies of the size of the bandits that attacked us can be sufficiently defeated by deploying multiple spells at the same time.


 However, since I cannot see the enemies from my current position, I need to get very close to them even if I use magic. Of course, there is also the option of using magic after getting close. However, Beatrice and I were afraid of unforeseen circumstances. For example, the enemy might notice the magic, or the horse might be surprised by it. In such a situation, we would have to launch a strong attack after all.


 In that case, I decided that it would be more reliable to challenge them to a close combat where we could mutually support each other instead of using magic from the beginning.



 I pull out the bastard sword from my back and grip it tightly.


 I slowly stand up and check the bushes she mentioned.



 About 30 meters east of the pass, a dozen low pine-like trees were growing in a clump. The bushes were either hollows or tall grasses growing in the wasteland, and I could not see any horses or bandits.



 Beatrice moved slowly ahead of me, and I moved through the grass with the same cautious gait. The rustling sound of the grass is unusually loud, but it should not be audible due to the wind blowing around us shaking the grass.



 We arrived at a spot about 10 meters from the bushes.


 With the sound of horses’ hoofs, I heard a man’s vulgar voice, which sounded like a bandit.



“A big girl of all things, but to a beast with good color, I hear there are brats from a rich man’s family. And I heard that the brat has a beautiful face, both the boy and the girl. Well, either way, they’re all just toys…” (Bandit)



 It seems that the target was not only the merchants, but also us.



(I see. So, it wasn’t an ambush as we passed by, but as we climbed the pass. Even if we tried to escape back from that position, the wagons of the merchant caravan would be in the way, and we would not be able to escape easily. So, they thought we were sitting ducks and ready to use us as playthings…) (Zack)



 We approached more cautiously, crawling along.


 We were only a few meters away from the farthest horse.



 We made rustling noises as we approached. But the bandits with zero wariness, perhaps thinking it was the sound of the horses grazing, did not seem to pay any attention.



 Looking through the grass, two bandits lean against a pine tree without drawing their weapons and without keeping watch, engrossed in conversation.



 Beatrice tells me with a hand sign to kill the one on the left. I nodded in agreement and looked to observe the bandit on the left.


 The bandit was a young man in his early twenties, probably not much older than twenty. But his face was dingy, and the word “thug” came to mind.



(The fact that there are so many gaps in his defense probably means that he never received any good training. It’s like a young man who has become a thief and joined the ranks of bandits. I’m going to go and throw away my so-called “virginity”…) (Zack)



 I’m going to kill a man with my own hands for the first time.


 The first time I realized this, I was a little shaken. But I soon regained my usual calm. To me now, the young bandit was mere prey, not much different from a monster. At the time, I considered the young man nothing more than a “thing” to be exterminated.



 I signaled with my eyes that I was ready to go at any moment to synchronize my timing with Beatrice. She nodded firmly and immediately took action.



 She held her spear low and darted out as if launched by a spring.


 The horses were startled by her movement and began to run wild.


 The bandits wondered what was going on and tried to stand up.



 I was also using my Magical Combat to increase into a blinding speed in order to follow Beatrice’s movement. Then I leapt straight at my target, the thug-like man.



 The target man’s eyes widened when he saw me. However, he was so shaken that he couldn’t even think of drawing the sword in his hand.


 I gripped the bastard sword in my right hand with both hands and swung it at the man’s neck in a single motion.


 The man stared at me in disbelief.



 A few moments passed.


 The man, unable to acknowledge the fact that his neck had been slashed open, tried to speak. But his voice did not form into words, only a hissing sound of air leaking from his throat.



 Immediately after that, bright red blood spurts out like a fountain, falling slightly on me. I took one look at the young bandit and quickly left the scene.



 It took me only a few seconds to kill the bandit. It must have taken less than ten seconds.


 I move away from the bandit’s corpse, and as usual, I swing my sword, brush off the blood, and keep a wary eye on my surroundings.



 In the end, I was able to do all this without feeling anything.


 Even though they were not monsters, I was not at all upset, perhaps because I had already taken nearly a thousand lives. On the contrary, that was more surprising.



 Beatrice, who attacked at the same time, also finished off the man on the right with a single blow. She, like me, waved her spear to wipe out the blood.



“You were brilliant. But this is your first time killing someone, isn’t it? How can you stay so calm.” (Beatrice)



 Then, with a smile that could be described as gentle, she adds, “No, this is not a bad thing. I mean it as a compliment.”


 I chuckled and replied, “Yeah, I know.”



“I’m surprised at myself. I’m surprised at how calm I am.” (Zack)



 I said, looking around to make sure there were no other enemies.


 Beatrice exclaimed at this move,



“You can be a first-rate adventurer fighting against monsters, but you can also be a first-rate mercenary, or in your case, a knight… a knight, against humans. Did you really tremble against wild dogs?” (Beatrice)



 She seemed to be asking me about that because I had told her that I trembled during my first battle.


 I didn’t know how to respond to that, so I couldn’t say anything in the end.



 To change the subject, I removed the magic crystal, orbs, and anything else I could use from the two corpses.




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