Four days have passed since Borudo Gaian became the slave of a little girl called Bela Heiroh.
There were many opportunities for Borudo to talk to Bela during this time, but all he got to know about her was a bunch of things you would hear from those “heroic tales” people would tell to their children. He heard how she killed a whole bandit group that was attacking a village, the two times she killed a group of bigrobears, and also how before all that she used to be a normal child that lived at a village.
Obviously, Borudo didn´t believe those things, but by considering the words of Bela Heiroh herself, it seemed that she used to live at a village called Laila.
Apparently, she was good with her head since back then. She would learn so fast that was as if she was only reexperiencing things she already knew about, and she would be called a prodigy since she was little because of her eloquent pronunciation.
It wasn´t definite whether her current personality came from her treatment as a genius or whether she was like that since the beginning, but there was no doubt that even for Bela, who was like that, some days ago it had been a turning point to her.
This was her seventh year since Bela was born. It seems that Bela´s family got into a situation they wouldn´t be able to make through this winter without selling her because of the bad harvest.
It wasn´t that Bela´s parents wanted to throw her away. That was all the more when thinking about her future prospects. However, if they continued to live together, they would rot together. For the two western immigrant farmers of the Rahsa race struggling in poverty, they had only two choices: Whether to sell the daughter or the mother.
Besides that, because of the good looks Bela had, her parents also though she would be able to live a good life even as a slave. It seemed that that was told her many times while Bela was being brought to the slave company. Of course, her parents were conflicted since they wanted to avoid having their child sold, but in a realistic perspective, they had done the right choice.
Regardless of the details, Bela was able to get her hands on a machiini and a slave, and now was working as a capable mercenary. While she was only a young girl of six years old, she was able to learn methods of being able to live alone. The more he asked her about it, the more he convinced himself she was a terrifying kid.
That is, if what she said was [reality].
Borudo thought all that had obviously been just bull. The contents of her story wasn´t something that could be believed after all. However, in case all that story was the truth, Borudo had one thing that was bothering him.
“”But what is bothering me is what happened to the slave merchant that had bought that brat.””
Borudo uttered inside his heart while looking at Bela, who was walking in front of him. Actually, back at the Vagahte company, Borudo had also heard Bela talking about the incident the slave merchant had died. With that in consideration, there weren´t many different possibilities…
“Well, this has nothing to do with me though.”
This was something he had no evidence of. Generally, there was nothing that could be done about things that would happen outside cities such as things related to demon beasts or bandits unless there was evidence. Besides, Borudo guessed his treatment at the Vagahte company wouldn´t get better if he was to tell them about that.
“So, our target is supposed to be somewhere around here, right?”
“Aren´t we already looking for one of them to guide us there right now?”
Bela answered Borudo. Right now, Bela and Borudo were walking at the main road. Bela´s machiini was now hidden inside a forest away from here. Because Borudo´s gnome has to be summoned, it wouldn´t be there without his call in any case.
Borudo had a thick piece of cloth over the armor that was bought for him at the battle-crazed city of colossus, thus hiding the armor, and also was carrying a huge rucksack that was mostly empty . Bela was having her appearance hidden by a mantle. It was to the extent that she could have her body covered, but it still couldn´t hide the handle of the war hammer she was carrying at her back.
The handle made them look very suspicious, but in terms of appearance, they still somewhat seemed like an old merchant that was being accompanied by his grandchild. But more importantly than these details was the “heavy” rucksack that was being carried by an old man and the child. No matter what angle were they to be seen from, they reflected as a delicious prey for “them”.
“See? They came.”
Looking at Bela´s proud face, Borudo answered back while having cold sweat
There were three men standing in front of Bela and Borudo. Behind them, two men jumped out from the shadows of the trees, taking away their path of retreat. By looking at their equipment, it could be seen that those men were your everyday bandits. They were Bela´s prey this time.
He used to be a pilot of a knight group of the Paroma kingdom, which had become disarranged by the attack of the soldiers of the Ruiin kingdom in the territorial war at the Moro region. Their leader was the single child of a mid-classed noble. With all that happened, if he was to go back to his country, it was clear that the noble father would have him punished for having abandoned his leader. Because of that, in order to keep living, Abares had no choice other than to desert. At least, that was what Abares believed.
And so, together with his comrades of the knight group, he crossed the country borders and started to in the kingdom of Ruuin. Fugitives and other people that were already used to deal with that business would join them and become his subordinates. By then, Abares was commanding a bandit group that was so big to the point that it made his head have a price in only a single year.
Just like Abares had predicted, the kingdom didn´t have the spare time to be going after bandits that would only attack villages that were so close to the battlefield. Hence, Abares and his group were able to do well.
Right now, Abares´ group were using a ruin of the old civilization of Ishtaria as a base and were living their days.
“I wonder if I will be able to go back to Paroma if I just keep up with this for just a bit longer.”
Lying on his dirty bed, Abares muttered.
Next to Abares was a sleeping girl that was of an age which she could already be called a young lady. It was a girl that used to live at a village his group had raided half an year ago whose name was Yunan.
She didn´t have a good head, and it seemed she would obey anything anyone would tell her to do. She was a weird girl that would gladly keep shaking her hips enthusiastically without shedding any tears even when she was being embraced by Aberas and his group. She was probably being treated the same way in her village. However, it was nice for her that it could be said she was living a good life compared to the others that would cry as they were treated as playthings even after all this time. It wasn´t clear whether she aware of it herself, but right now, she was in a position where she was considered the “boss´ wife”. In fact, she was probably living her best period of her life right now.
She wouldn´t be hit and wouldn´t be looked at with scornful eyes. She would be given food. To the girl, that place was like heaven. To Yunan, Abares was like the prince of a fairytale.
“What, did you wake up?”
Seeing that the girl that had just woken up, Abares stroked her cheek with a smile.
“That´s right. It is my birthplace.”
After he said that, his face became dark.
“But yeah… My birthplace. For me to keep up as a bandit there… I would rather go to Oubo and become a mercenary there or something, I guess.”
Arbas was someone that already had a price for his head, but that was at most only in the Ruuin kingdom and in the mercenary associations of its allied countries. If it was him, a machiini pilot, he would be able to earn money for the food expenses as much as he wanted. He still could start over. No matter how much he had done.
“When that time comes, will you come together with me?”
Arbas smiled with Yunan´s words. The way he had raided villages, killed defenseless people and raped girls out of their volition agonized him. While he would be all for it at the time of excitement, when it was over, he would be filled with guilt. While he got used by now, there were those lingering regrets remaining somewhere in his heart.
He used to be an elite machiini pilot even among other pilots in his knight group and used to be a man that walked the path of righteousness. He would always be having the desire to start over.
“”This kind of lowly life style isn´t for me.””
Abares thought as he stroked Yunan´s head.
“”For me, I want a more peaceful…””
“Leader, its bad.”
His mind that he had momentarily abandoned to his delusions was immediately turned over by the sound of the door that had suddenly opened and the voice of his subordinate.
“What is it at a time like this!?”
Right now, the sun had just started to rise outside.
“It´s an attack. A group composed of a machiini and a machiini carrying a giant shield that is probably a gnome are attacking us.”
“What did you say? How many? Which knight group?”
“Two… Uh… They aren´t a knight group.”
“”Well, since they are using a element, I guess so.””
Knight groups wouldn´t let the spiritual races join them. While there was the racial problem, there was also the problem how the spiritual races couldn´t use pilot machiinis. Thus, if there was a element pilot, it definitely shouldn´t be a knight group.
“But even so, there are only to, is it? It seems we are being underestimated.”
Including Abares himself, Abares´ bandit group had five machiini pilots. They also had a Salamas pilot of the dragonyutte race.
One time, they had driven away a knight group they had clashed against. But even so, the report he got from his subordinate made Abares throw away his composure.
“Gukuru´s Salamas and Ron-aniki´s machiini had already been destroyed. Makk and the others are waiting for leader to come.”
Abares was able to guess from those words that those people weren´t the average guys.
”Tch, alright. I will also go there soon. Prepare the chains and arrange everything else. Quickly.”
“Yes. Please, come fast.”
While looking at his subordinate leaving his room, Abares wore the first shirt he could find and jumped off from the bed.
“Well then, I will go now.”
And then, after stroking the head of the girl who was making an anxious face, he left the room. Once the door closed, Yunan had the feeling that she saw an old woman she had never seen before.