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~3rd Person Perspective~
Northwest of Canale.
There used to be an important mine here, and near the mine was a town where the miners lived. Because of its importance, a fort and a wall were built to protect it, but after the mine’s resources were depleted, the importance of the place diminished, and it was abandoned.
The place was supposed to be empty, but now it was bustling with activity. The place was now crowded with wild bandits who had gathered there to make it their stronghold.
Zat was visiting the castle with four selected members of his team.
All of them were dressed in dirty clothes as if they were bandits.
All of Zat’s chosen men were a bit tough-looking, and from the outside, they looked like bandits.
The forest had a gate, and two gatekeepers stood in front of it.
Zat approached the gate without hesitation.
“Who are you guys!” (Gatekeeper)
“This is Boss Buigo’s territory!” (Gatekeeper)
The two men standing guard at the gate said threateningly to Zat and the others approaching.
“I came here because I have something for Boss Buigo.” (Zat)
Zat had never heard the name Buigo before, but he got along with the conversation.
“What do you want?” (Gatekeeper)
“We were bandits in the mountains near the state of Paradile, and recently our hideout was attacked by Paradile soldiers, who took out a lot of our men and we lost our hideout. I was wandering around trying to figure out what to do when I heard about this place.” (Zat)
Zat’s tone was completely different from his usual.
“What, you’re here to join us?” (Gatekeeper)
“Yeah, I am.” (Zat)
“Unfortunately, this place has become too big. Boss Buigo’s idea is that we don’t take people unless they’re really good. Go home quickly.” (Gatekeeper)
The gatekeeper’s comment was unexpected, but Zat did not change his expression.
“No need to leave then. I’m confident in my skills, and I can tell you without a doubt that we are a useful bunch.” (Zat)
“Oy really, it seems like you have a lot of confidence, huh?” (Gatekeeper)
“You can say spew anything your mouth.” (Gatekeeper)
The two gatekeepers burst into roaring laughter when they heard Zat’s comment.
“I understand. I’ll show you the proof.” (Zat)
“Let’s have a little tousle, you two against me. You can come at me ready to kill me. I don’t want to incur a grudge, so I won’t kill you. If I win, you will admit me, got it?” (Zat)
“Was it not enough? If you want, I can also add a condition that the fight should be settled within ten seconds.” (Zat)
As Zat says this, the two gatekeepers furrow their brows.
“You… are you looking down on me?” (Gatekeeper)
“You’re the one who will die in ten seconds!” (Gatekeeper)
The two gatekeepers pull out swords from their waists.
Zat also has a sword but does nothing.
“Hey, you pull out your sword, too!” (Gatekeeper)
“If I use a sword, I might kill you, you know? This is enough.” (Zat)
“Grr, you pompous f*ck!” (Gatekeeper)
The two gatekeepers, their anger reaching a peak at Zat’s words, jumped at him at the same time.
Their movements were slow. It was a simple attack, not particularly coordinated.
Zat avoids it casually.
Then, he stuck one of the bandits in the jaw with his elbow.
His brain is shaken, and he falls limp.
While the other bandit is stunned, Zat delivers a sharp punch to his face.
While he is still in a slumped position, he kicks the elbow of the arm that was holding the sword as hard as he can.
The gatekeeper lost his strength and dropped his sword.
Zat quickly picked it up and pressed his sword against the gatekeeper’s neck.
“Is it my win?” (Zat)
The gatekeeper let out a groan.
“Tsk… I understand. I’ll guide you to Boss Buigo…” (Gatekeeper)
The two gatekeepers accepted their defeat and let Zat and his party into the fort.
They passed through the gate and entered the fort.
Although the fort had been renovated somewhat by the bandits, it was still a mess compared to the newer fort.
However, it was still much better than the places where ordinary bandits live. Usually, the bandits live in battered houses they built themselves or in caves, and in very few cases can they live in decent dwellings.
As they made their way to the Buigo, Zat was thinking about the mission in his head.
First, he would sneak into the castle and become one of the bandits.
At night, he would take out the gatekeepers and the bandits on the watchtower. Wait for the allied soldiers to come from the watchtower.
When they arrive, open the gate.
This is a nighttime raid. The bandits will be asleep, and they will catch them by surprise.
If they were normal thieves, they would be able to easily defeat them, but this time, they were former Sights soldiers.
They may be able to deal with nighttime raids to some extent.
Therefore, if there is an opportunity, we would like to assassinate the leader of the enemy, Buigo.
Without the leader, they will not be able to cope with the night raids, and the bandits will be in a state of confusion and have an easy fight.
Of course, it is dangerous, so they will assassinate him if there is an opening.
Even if they do not assassinate him, they will still have an advantage at the time of the night raid, so even if Buigo is a good fighter and handles the situation well, the probability of winning the battle is high. So, it was safer not to attempt the assassination than to force it and have the strategy exposed.
While Zat was thinking about it, they arrived at Buigo.
He was a muscular man. He had a beard and shaggy hair. His equipment was that of the Sights military. He must have been an ex-Sights soldier.
“Who did you bring?” (Buigo)
“They came here because they want to be Boss Buigo’s underlings.” (Gatekeeper)
“What? I don’t need any more underlings, you know? Or are they that useful?” (Buigo)
“Yes, boss, both of us were defeated by this one… This guy is pretty strong.” (Gatekeeper)
Buigo looked at Zat and the others with a look of interest.
“What’s your name?” (Buigo)
“It’s Rubeus.” (Zat)
Zat was not that famous, but there was a non-zero chance that the ex-Sights soldier would know him, so he gave a false name.
“If you are so strong, why did you come to me? You’re not trying to kill me and become the new boss, are you?” (Buigo)
“Unfortunately, I’m not the type to take that kind of risk. I heard about your reputation and thought we’d be safe for a while if we become your follower. With a base in a fort like this, we won’t be easily spotted by Canale’s army. I don’t think they can beat you that easily.” (Zat)
“Hmm? You’re a strong guy with an interesting way of thinking. Well, if that’s the case, this place is the perfect place for you. If you don’t have anywhere else to go, you can stay here for a while.” (Buigo)
Buigo gave his permission without hesitation.
He must be a big man by nature, as he is expanding his power rapidly.
“I’m glad you’re here. When the enemy comes, we’ll fight them with everything we’ve got.” (Buigo)
Buigo, however, said something that didn’t make sense to Zat.
“However, even if you don’t bother coming here, don’t you think that since you’re strong enough, you could become a soldier somewhere and make a name and get ahead in the world?” (Buigo)
“I wish there was a place where a former bandit like me could get ahead.” (Zat)
“Until a few months ago, I was a soldier in the Sights Army, but before I joined the Sights Army, I was a bandit like now. I made a pretty good name out of it, so you can find a place like this if you look for it.” (Buigo)
“But you’re a bandit again, aren’t you?” (Zat)
“Well, yeah. The nobility that I served under became short of gold due to their defeat in the war, and because of that, the soldiers hired from the outside were cut off immediately. I had nowhere to go, so here I am. Then, out of the kindness of his heart, he told me about the existence of this castle.” (Buigo)
“Oh, that’s how it happened…” (Zat)
While That said that with his mouth, the part where Sights had told him about the existence of this fort was stuck in Zat’s head.
It might really be due to passion, but maybe it is artificial.
If the dismissed Sights soldiers were allowed to live in the old castle in Canale, they could cause damage to Canale County.
The motive could be either payback after the defeat or weaken Canale and ensure victory next time.
(In any case, I will have to tell this story to Sir Ritsu when I get back.) (Zat)
Zat was about to grin, thinking that if he brought back the information, his reputation would rise, but he tamped the feeling down.
“I’m fighting for my life and sometimes I get a slice of the action. I’m more suited to being a bandit.” (Zat)
Buigo replied with a chuckle.
Buigo then showed them around the castle without any suspicion.
Zat and his group succeeded in infiltrating the gang of bandits.
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