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Chapter 041 – The Attack!
The next morning, I slept, woke up in the real world, and had some food while my mom was in the middle of preparing breakfast. I logged in again immediately, but Crash was still asleep. The newly-risen sun was shining high in the sky outside, indicating the early morning. I was more sleepy when I had to wake up early in the morning than staying up late at night.
Groaning, I got out of bed while stretching and checked my inventory.
Potions for delivery, all good. Potions for my personal use, check. All kinds of potions and drugs to use against monsters, check. Hmm, I wondered if this one was possible to use against humans? I kind of bought these wide area-of-effect blinding potions and brought them with me. If I couldn’t use them on humans, maybe they could be used as a smokescreen at best.
After confirming all of the items in my inventory, I said quietly to myself, “All set.” By this point, Crash had slowly gotten up from his bed. Uwa, he looked really sleepy! It was such a funny sight to see his usually neat hair become a bird’s nest when he woke up.
“Ah, morning, Mac. Let’s just have our breakfast here with the prepared meal.”
“Mac, your hair around the top of your head is all tangled up.”
Crash chuckled after giving me a meaningful look and headed to the washroom attached to our room. Weren’t you also in the same condition as me, all tangled up!? Confused by the meaning of his look, I followed behind him to wash my face too. Ah, but my hair got tangled up as well? Was this because of my bad sleeping habits? Or was my avatar still rolling in bed while I logged out? The mystery of the avatar while I was logged out only deepened.
We got ready for the day without stepping out of our room and went outside, passing by the inn’s reception desk, as we had already paid in advance.
When the quick horse, which was tied to the back of the inn saw us, he snorted. The quick horse was full of spirit. Attaching him to the carriage, Crash and I set off.
If we were to be attacked on any day, that day would be today. The last time I passed through this desert, I remembered that there was a forest after it.
If they were going to attack us, I suspected the location would be there. Forests make an excellent place for an ambush.
While using my enemy search skill, I looked at the passing scenery from my coachman seat. If we were this fast, wouldn’t it be more difficult to attack us? If I were to become complacent like this though, I would probably fail this quest.
Thinking about the forest ahead, I remembered what Yuuta told me about it.
It was a forest with a monster that even a top-ranked player over level 120 couldn’t win against.
It would be nice if we could safely escape to the direction the city was located, but I didn’t think things would work out that smoothly.
While driving through the seemingly endless desert, I yawned a little, watching all the unchanging scenery.
The marker warned me we were approaching an enemy’s position, but before the system could confirm it as the enemy, it was already out of the search range. This had been going on and on for quite some time. Even if the monsters appeared in front of us, I seriously thought that they would just be sent flying by this quick horse and be done with it. Yuuta said he once saw a monster get run over by this quick horse. Somehow, this didn’t feel fair.
“Mac, are you tired? I’m sorry that I made you go through this expedition.”
Crash, wearing a hood that almost covered his entire face peered concernedly at me.
Ah, was my yawn seen by him or something like that?
“No, not at all. I’m not that strong, so I’m more worried about you, thinking that you’ll have to drive through this route by yourself alone,” I explained quickly.
“I’m not worried about your skill at all. That’s because you’ve been collecting all kinds of materials by yourself alone. You’re really amazing, beating and defeating all those monsters all by yourself.”
“It’s because the monsters around Tre’s forest are much weaker. But even then, it’ll take some time for me to defeat the monsters beyond this point by myself.”
“I can’t even beat the monsters in Tre’s forest, so I honestly respect you.”
Hey, was this sarcasm? Or was this some kind of flag?1
Why did you bring this up all of a sudden!? These words were definitely a flag saying we won’t come out of this in one piece.
Nothing’s going to happen. Nothing’s going to happen.
Nothing is going to happen, right!?
My concern became a reality as soon as we entered the forest.
Countless numbers of markers appeared on my enemy search screen.
Once we were inside the forest, the road wasn’t a straight road anymore, we had to slow the pace of the quick horse carriage down in order to not tip over. Although it slowed down, it was from the speed of a bullet train to the daily express train. Because we were still fast, all of the markers immediately disappeared from the screen.
There was no sign of people in my sight, so they might be hiding in the trees or something.
“Hey, Crash, I think our carriage is being targeted.”
Crash’s eyes widened in surprise when he heard my words. He didn’t have any enemy search skills like me. This was getting dangerous.
Just as I was thinking it, something flew quickly from the direction ahead.
With a ‘thwap’ sound, several arrows pierced the wagon’s cover one after another. The ambush was finally here!
Looking ahead, there was a thick rain of arrows blocking our view. Just how many people were planning to ambush us!?
While desperately repelling and deflecting the dense cloud of arrows. I was silently screaming inside.
The quick horse squealed and with a jerk, the carriage slowed down. When I looked at the quick horse, I could see that several arrows pierced the horse’s leg joint and back legs.
But this still didn’t stop him from running. Hang in there, quick horse, I thought desperately. This was also painful for me that I couldn’t use a High Potion on him because it was an injury from an arrow.
I took out a one-handed shield from my inventory, which I normally didn’t use, and gave it to Crash.
“Just cover your head with this for now! I can heal any injury on your body!”
Crash obediently took the shield and, with one hand, shielded his head and drove the carriage.
After a short ride, the arrows stopped raining down on us, so we looked ahead, relieved that we had passed through the initial ambush point.
Just as we were driving the carriage like that for a while, about 10 men riding on horses appeared from the forest and followed behind us.
“There’s that guy! Kill him!”
Hearing their angry shouts, I already knew just from their words.
This quest, Crash’s life was at stake!
Our last hope, the quick horse, most likely because of the injuries, could only run a little faster than a normal horse. The horse pulling the carriage versus the horses ridden by humans; it was frustrating but they were quickly gaining ground on us.
“Crash, we’re going to get surrounded at this rate! The quick horse can’t go any faster than this, so we need to start thinking about an escape!”
With a grim face, Crash nodded. It would be nice if we could still escape like this. But if our quick horse’s stamina ran out, we would get surrounded by those guys that were chasing us and it would be game over for both of us. While they were still behind us, I wondered if there was something I could do against those rough-looking thugs.
How about throwing my blind potion over the wagon’s cover to confuse them? I think that will work.
I stood up from my seat, tightly grasping the wagon’s cover with my hands, and hauled myself up to the top of the wagon. Finally on top of the wagon, my view widened, clearly showing the scene behind us.
All the guys who were attacking us were equipped with swords in their hands. The group looked at me, pointed, and shouted, “Kill him too!”
While watching the whole scene from above, I took out a blinding potion for use against monsters from my bag.
I aimed and hurled it at them. Here goes nothing, I hope this works against humans. It was surprisingly nice and easy to hit things from this position. The bottle hit the one in front, and with an explosion, the powder in the bottle spread around in a cloud.
“What the hell is this!? Gyaaaaaa!”
In the midst of the rising smoke, the screams of those thugs echoed around the area.
Yep, it seemed to work well on humans.
The markers finally stopped moving and disappeared into the distance.
When I returned to my seat, I turned to Crash and said, “I somehow took care of those guys in the back.”
“As expected of Mac! Then, let’s hurry ahead.”
Turning to the horse, I was really sorry that I made him run while he was pierced with arrows, but if we ever stopped, I was sure the quick horse’s life would probably end too, so please continue to do your best.
There were still a lot of red markers on the map indicating the presence of enemies.
One by one, those enemies were swarming our haggard-looking group.
I held my sword in one hand and cut down the enemies that were closing in on us.
Those guys that appeared a short while ago kept showing up one after another. It made me wonder where they lived and where they kept all of those horses?
The quick horse had already slowed down to that of an ordinary horse. We were now closer to the enemies.
“Crash, I don’t think we can shake these guys off.”
“I know, but if we get off of the carriage, we’ll just be surrounded by them.”
I could see his hands trembling as he was holding the reins. It was scary, right? I was pretty scared too. Probably because the opponents were not monsters, but humans.
But if I hesitated any longer, I knew that we would be killed, so I was desperately trying to think of a solution.
Crash was also grasping the reins with one hand and holding a sword in the other. Exchanging blows using this sword, he was somehow able to defend against the enemy’s attacks.
The clattering sound of the swords clashing and the rattling sound of the carriage wheels running on the road was almost deafening.
The quick horse’s injury had worsened and his speed was now reduced to below that of a normal horse.
What should I do now? What should I have done to escape this situation?
We were almost completely surrounded.
If I just threw the blind potion at each one of them, it would only run out from my inventory, so I knew this wasn’t a solution.
Was this really a game that I couldn’t play alone?! But if I was like this, Crash’s life would be in danger! He could die!
I cut down the enemies that were beside me and leaned forward to look at my surroundings.
Just looking at the markers, it seemed impossible for more horses to appear, however, there were still a lot of them. Roughly 10 people were closing in, surrounding our desperate group.
All of a sudden, I heard Crash’s voice, when I turned to look at him, I saw that he was about to be dragged down from the carriage.
I immediately jumped out of the carriage, following him.
Crash was completely surrounded and his expression reflected nothing but despair.
The carriage we jumped off from advanced forward, unmanned.2
But because the enemies were surrounding Crash, it meant they were all in one place!
“Crash! Close your eyes! Also, hold your breath! Don’t breathe in the air!”
After warning him, I threw the blind potions which I had thrown at the enemies earlier as hard as I could towards the cluster of horses.
“That hurt! My eyes, huuurrrt!”
The moment the powder was scattered, the screams of the enemies echoed throughout the forest. Taking this chance, I pulled Crash’s arms to take him out of the encirclement and ran blindly into the forest.
I could hear the horses neighing, so I was sure they couldn’t follow us!
“Crash, are you alright?!”
When I looked at him while we were running, he looked grim, but he nodded firmly saying, “I’m fine……!”
Relieved to see that there was no serious injury on him, we continued running deeper into the forest.
Those that shot at us with arrows seemed to ambush us at a fixed place, so they still didn’t appear on the map for now. The only enemies right now were those guys who were screaming a short while ago.
“Now we can escape, so just run as fast as you can, even if you’re tired!”
While checking the map, we ran away from the main road as fast as our tired bodies could carry us.
The monsters inside this forest, even if they appeared alone and not in groups, would still be difficult for me to defeat by myself, so I ran in the direction where there were no monsters.
After running through the forest for a while and confirming that no enemies were around us, we finally stopped running.