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Chapter 044 – A Desperate Struggle
Author’s Note: This is a continuation of a battle scene from the previous chapter. There is less portrayal of cruelty, but it’s still there.
If you’re not good with it, please be careful reading this.
I’m sure that the blinding potion I threw was quite effective. It even affected the dragon, so we would probably be alright for a while.
But a part of me was still panicking. I knew it would’ve been best if I could– no, should’ve killed him so that he would never find out about our location. But this was still something that was impossible for me to do.
Crash and I just continued to run through the forest.
What if that guy caught up to us?! What are we going to do?!
I took a peek at my inventory while we were desperately running away from that bandit.
The only items that I could’ve used were only the two items I had used a while ago, which were the sleeping potion and the paralyzing potion. Just in case, I also had a weaker poison prepared.
But the only weapons I had were a sword and a dagger, both of which I was holding onto right now. This was because I had not invested in any skills that were related to swords. Not only that but also my current job does not raise any of my offensive stats.
It felt like the bomb I previously used on spiders wouldn’t work against him due to how strong the bandit was.
If Vidello-san were with us, I’m pretty sure he would be able to beat that bandit… I couldn’t help but think of such an impossible situation. It must be due to the panic that coursed through my brain.
Now, we couldn’t head to the road leading back to Sette. Because we might encounter that bandit if we headed in that direction. It couldn’t be… the bandit was purposefully forcing us to head deeper into the forest.
As Crash and I kept on running, all these thoughts rushed through my head.
If I don’t calm down even a little bit, not a single good idea would come to mind. I need to get a grip on myself!
“Wait, M-Mac… huff…”
Crash finally had stopped in his tracks. I’m pretty sure he must’ve run out of stamina. But we were probably on the same boat, as my stamina was about to run out.
We didn’t know how far we had run or how fast the bandit could chase us, so it wasn’t a great idea to stop here. But we would be in a much worse situation if we were to fight him without any stamina.
“Let’s take a rest for just a bit. Wait no, just for 3 minutes.”
Crash nodded obediently to my suggestion.
I drank up the stamina potion and tried to catch my breath.
“Crash, how did you know that guy was dangerous?”
“It’s because the whole thing was strange. The fact that the adventurer’s guild would even begin to give out a search request to look for us. Even if they found the quick horse, its legs were injured, so we don’t know if it was able to even run out of the forest. If the guild were to make a move, the request would be posted at the earliest, around tomorrow morning.”
Crash was really smart to be able to figure out everything in an instant. If it were me, had I not noticed the HP gauge, I wouldn’t have known that bandit was an enemy. Maybe if the bandit’s stealth were higher, he might be able to hide his own HP gauge. I’m just glad that the bandit’s stealth skill was not that high.
But at this rate, it would be quite difficult to get to the city.
The journey would take another two full days at least.
What would happen to Crash if we failed the quest like this? Would the general store in Tre be gone forever just like what the quest had said?
We just had to quickly head to the city.
“Anyway, we’ll detour around the forest so we can avoid that guy, and then, we’ll head back to Tre. But the path we are currently on will only lead to the center of the forest.”
After we had calmed down and confirmed that we’ve recovered our stamina, Crash and I decided to change our route.
There were currently no signs of monsters or anything dangerous, so we continued to move in this direction for a while.
Then, in an instant, a red marker appeared on the map.
In a split second, someone appeared out of the bushes, loudly rustling the grass.
This happened so fast that I didn’t even have time to warn Crash about the enemy.
“You bastards! Hope that you’re prepared to face me!!”
It was that bandit from before, but he looked like he was really suffering right now. The bandit had tears, snot, and drool all over his face and was now breathing really heavily. It seemed like his eyes were tearing up so much that the bandit could probably only see with one eye. Did that mean my blinding potion only half affected him?
But unlike before, this bandit had lost all the calm and composure he had and was now blindly swinging his sword in the air trying to hit us. He was now behaving the same way as the monsters that were hit by the blind potion. But strangely enough, the bandit’s attacks were all properly aimed at me. This behavior is unlike the monsters that were hit by the blind potion, which became so disoriented that they became incapable of attacking.
Maybe its effectiveness might depend on whatever the blind potion hits.
The bandit just kept swinging his sword in my direction in an attempt to attack me.
With every swing of his sword, the swooshing sound of the sword slicing through the air could be heard.
The bandit’s swing was so powerful that if we were to exchange blows, my sword would probably be blown away by the force of a single hit. Dodging his slashes wasn’t that difficult because of the way the bandit kept wildly swinging his sword.
If we kept on running away, the bandit would probably just continue chasing after us. Playing tag in the middle of nowhere inside a large forest all night is something I would like to avoid at all costs!
I don’t want to have the system force me to log out of the game, so I needed to deal with this before that can happen.
“Crash, run away first! It’ll be more troublesome if I don’t defeat him now!”
After I shouted at Crash, I swiftly took out a paralyzing potion whilst taking an evasive posture.
After confirming that Crash was already at a safe distance, I threw the paralyzing potion at the bandit. Due to the blinding potion, he couldn’t see his surroundings well, and the bandit easily got hit by the paralyzing potion and let out a pained voice.
His movement became visibly sluggish, however, the bandit never let go of his sword and still kept on attacking me. So he could still move. Damn, this bandit was really strong. Maybe this was because his level was high. This wasn’t good.
While the paralyzing potion was still in effect. I thought this would be the best opportunity to attack him. Holding down my sword, I charged toward the bandit.
With the momentum, I slashed the bandit’s torso with my sword. And then I repositioned and aimed my sword at his chest.
The song of the swords clashing echoed in the forest.
But my sword was repelled as I struck him, and I was pushed back by the force.
Why weren’t my attacks working, even though he was paralyzed!?
I saw the deep slash wound on the bandit’s belly, and I knew that his HP was decreasing due to the spilling blood and his decreasing HP gauge.
But the bandit could still properly exchange blows with my sword.
The impact of the attack made my sword-holding hand become numb. If I were to retreat, I wouldn’t know when the paralysis effect would wear off. But, if I couldn’t defeat him before the effect wore off, I would truly lose to him. And I’m sure he wouldn’t gladly accept being thrown another paralyzing potion again.
I firmly held my sword and charged at him again.
The tip of the sword was stabbed into the sluggish bandit’s belly. The sword had penetrated deeper into the man’s body.
Alright! I look up excitedly in triumph.
However, despite the bandit’s reaction, his HP wasn’t totally gone yet.
“AHHHHHHHH! DAMN IT!”
He shouted and swung his sword wildly at me again.
Even though the bandit had been impaled by my sword, his eyes were still glaring at me.
How could he still move in this state!?
I attempted to pull the sword which was still stuck deep in the bandit’s body.
But the sword remained firmly embedded in his body and wouldn’t budge!
This wasn’t good! I couldn’t pull out the sword at all!
I made a wrong move by trying to pull out the sword.
I felt an impact, as a sharp pain emanated from my side.
The bandit’s sword had stabbed my side. This wasn’t good. Most of my HP had been scraped off by this single attack. Not only that but it really hurt!
My blood had begun to spill drop by drop which meant my HP was slowly decreasing.
Damn it! If this continues, I would be defeated and Crash could get killed…!
My side was hurting so much, and it began to feel like all my thoughts were disappearing!
This time, however, the sword that the bandit had pierced inside me was suddenly pulled out. I knew without even looking at the wound, that a portion of flesh was entirely taken away.
Not good! NO!! If I lost all my HP now, Crash would…!!
Near me, the bandit’s face had twisted in a grin even though he himself had been impaled by my own sword.
“Now playtime is over…!”
The bandit roared and lifted his sword over me.
If his sword hit me again, it’ll be all over!
With all my strength, I tried to push my sword deeper into the side of his belly where I had struck him.
The sword which had been stuck had finally started to move.
And in a flash, with all my strength, I dug my sword deeper into the bandit’s side. I felt the impression of flesh being cut by my sword.
The bandit’s mouth spluttered out blood as his side had been ripped open.
But I didn’t have time to check on him, as the wound where I was stabbed had flared up.
I had let go of my sword after brutally retrieving it from the bandit’s body. It dropped to the ground, creating a large plume of smoke along with the sound of clanging metal. At that moment, Crash suddenly appeared and finished the bandit with a clean slice.
Ah Crash, you’ll be in danger if you come out from hiding. But if I were truly honest, Crash’s sword skills are ways better than mine.
Crash is so cool.
I took a quick glance at the Bandit’s HP gauge and it was empty.
The bandit slumped to the ground.
I am glad this was finally over and Crash was safe and sound.