The Wizard World Chapter 27
Angele had difficulty in ascertaining the current situation, so he checked the other leaders' statuses. The weakest of the five bandit leaders was a mid-level knight while the rest were all top-level knights. There were also another ten knight level bandits who fought with the caravan guards. Meanwhile, the caravan only had two top-level knights and a single normal knight, which undoubtedly showed the dire straits they were in.
Angele had also noticed that those bandits didn't seem like the typical bandits he knew of. They carried out orders in a precise manner and fought differently compared to typical bandits — much like how armies fought in skirmishes. It seemed as though they were authentic soldiers who were disguised as bandits. Thus, Angele was able to deduce their identities as well as their motives for doing so. It might be that they lacked supplies, which was why they were raiding supplies from travelers and caravans. With that, Angele gained a highly probable idea of the situation from his deductions. He then withdrew and returned back to their caravan. It didn't take him a long time to inform the baron of the situation. The baron became surprised after hearing the current situation. Subsequently, he made a decision to change routes again so as to avoid getting in conflict with those "bandits".
"It must be the Ukusas Empire Border Army!" the baron said.
"They must've heard of the invasion plans of Saladin Empire, thus they decided to raid several fleeing Rudin nobles. That caravan must've originally been from a major city since they even have three top-level knights. Yet, they are still having trouble escaping." he continued. Angele was concurrently feeling nervous, even having his senses keener as he tried to catch every sound he could hear. He wanted to guarantee that those bandits did not notice their existence.
Angele also did not forget to get intel on some of the weaker bandits while he was scouting from within the bush. It seemed as though that not only were they raiding, but they were also training at the same time. An average knight could handle around five post knights. If those bandits found out the location of Angele's caravan, they could easily wipe the caravan with the bandit leaders' assistance.
Angele finally realized that in a countryside territory like Rio Territory, knight-level warriors could already be considered rare. However, larger families in major cities could easily train hundreds of post knights and half of them could even become real knights. This showed the stark contrast between them.
The bandit leaders were overseeing the fight while conversing with one another.
"Master Ceylon, a young guy in the bush observed us for a while. He could be a scout of the enemy!" One of the bandits with a grey scarf on their heads came in and reported.
"A young guy? Those Rudin bastards really don't learn. Ha, Caster, you want to take a look? Otherwise, I am going." The man named Ceylon turned to another man and said.
"You go. Just make it quick since we don't have much time left. We still need to meet up with the leader, and we definitely can't those royal members from Rudin escape. We're going to be in deep trouble if we fail our actual mission," the man called Caster, who had a gentle disposition, calmly said.
"Sure! I will finish him in 20 minutes. It's just the countryside, so how strong can a young man from the countryside be? Hahaha." Ceylon wiped his bald head with a piece of blanket and grabbed his greatsword.
"I need five men. Anker, Hasis, come with me!" he yelled.
"Affirmative! Master Ceylon!" Two knights wearing black-greenish leather suit stepped out. Both of them held a broadsword in their hands.
"I'll accompany you. Things are finished here." Another leader stepped out.
"Orisis, why do you always seem to get in my way?" Ceylon said as he looked at the man named Orisis. The latter smiled without responding. Orisis carried a metal longbow on his back and his quiver hung on his horse's saddle.
"How can that be, Master Ceylon? You do know that I admire your strength and skills." Orisis said while still smiling.
"Whatever! Let's go!" Ceylon cut off the conversation then waved his hand. The two knights followed him from behind, at the same time bringing about ten horse riders. Ceylon's company started traveling toward the eastern direction relative to them swiftly.
"Master Ceylon, we have two top-level knights here. Why are you so nervous? No one can escape my arrow, you know?" Orisis said, his tone light and his voice slightly feminine. It was a voice that could make people uncomfortable.
Ceylon didn't respond. Instead, he continued to increase his speed.
In the forest.
Three carriages were moving slowly between the trees. The gaps between the trees were wide enough for them to get through. The atmosphere in the caravan was quite tense since not even a single person was talking — only the sounds made by horses resounded throughout. This signified just how nervous they were with the current circumstance. The guards around the carriages carefully scrutinized the surroundings constantly, apparently showing their increased vigilance.
A fully-equipped teenager with short brown hair was sitting on the coachman's seat. A wooden longbow was being held in his hand. A silver crossguard sword hung by his waist as well as a quiver of arrows that was being carried upon his back. He wore a leather suit as his armor and also had a pouch with him. There was something inside the pouch, but no one knew of its contents. This teenager was also keeping track of the surroundings in a careful manner.
Their traveling pace wasn't too slow nor was it too fast. Yet, the highest possible speed had already been reached to its limits. A man jumped into the carriage and sat beside the teenager. The man who had a long brown hair had his hair draped all over his shoulders. This man was the baron, Karl Rio, who still had his right eye covered with a bandage.
"Angele, ten more minutes then we'll make a turn and enter the Anser Plain. Our current location is nearly at the border of the drawn map. Beyond that, we have no way to navigate the path, so we cannot afford to lose the right direction," the baron said with a deep voice.
"Sure, Father," Angele said as he nodded in affirmation. He looked the inside of the carriage and saw the girls who seemed quite nervous. The guards around the caravan already had themselves prepared for battle.
At the intersection between the plain and the forest.
With the sound of hooves stomping on the ground, a company of mounted bandits arrived at the location that Angele's caravan had recently passed through.
"Someone was just here. There are traces of passing carriages on the ground. You guys, go search for them!" Ceylon yelled after he took a glance at the ground.
"No need. I can track their general direction," Orisis yelled. He got off his horse and started to carefully observe the leftover traces.
"They've most probably already found us and tried to change routes. Let's go after them!" He said as he pointed at the direction the baron had chosen.
"Huh! Nice tracking skills, let's go!" Ceylon had to admit that Orisis was a skilled tracker, even though he was still quite unhappy with him.
Suddenly, they heard the intense noises of fleeing carriages moving at high speed.
"A big group! About ten carriages! We could obtain a lot from them!" Orisis, Ceylon, and everyone else accompanying the two looked excited.
"Hasis, Anker, you two go take out the small fry! The rest, just follow me!" He raised his greatsword and advanced onward.
"I am in this, too!" Orisis said as he followed suit. Hasis, Anker, and the other four bandits became speechless after being left behind by the two.
"Well, let's go for the small fry. I hope we don't bump into someone strong." Hasis said after shaking his head.
"What are you afraid of? We have the best weapons in our arsenal you know." Anker laughed and subsequently took out a brown crossbow.
The rest of the mounted bandits retrieved their own crossbows from the bag of their own horse's saddles.
"No one will know it's us if we clean up the scene properly," Anker said.
"Sounds like a plan. Let's go." Hasis nodded his head and said.
They started their pursuit toward the origin of the sounds.
'Enemy detected. Six mounted bandits are getting close.' Zero reported. Angele had already noticed them actually.
'In the end, we were still tracked.' Angele thought as he jumped off the carriage.
"Keep going! Don't stop!" he yelled. The guards were becoming more and more high strung, and yet, no one made any sound. They were, after all, well-trained and would faithfully carry out orders.
"What happened, Angele?" The baron saw Angele jumping off the carriage, so he asked.
"Father, some people are pursuing us, so I am going to stall them to gain ourselves more time. You guys, just keep advancing." Angele calmly said.
"No, you go with them. Let me be the one to stall them!" The baron jumped off the carriage and walked toward Angele.
"It's fine. I'm just going to shoot arrows at them. I'll catch up shortly after," Angele said while smiling.
"Father, just keep an eye on the caravan. It will be easier for me to escape if I am alone. Besides, I won't directly engage with them," Angele said. The baron looked at Angele. He knew the latter had great skills in archery and thought the latter would be fine if he found a good vantage position to shoot from.
"I'll stay with you," the baron said in a deep tone.
"Our whole family is in the carriages, Father. It will be better if you stay with them. I will catch up shortly, so don't worry," Angele said.
The baron looked at his son for a while. At a short distance, the sound of their fleeing carriages was gradually becoming further.
"I'll give you 15 minutes. If I don't see you back after that time, I'll come and find you," the baron said.
"Sure!" Angele nodded.
The baron knew that his son was competent enough to handle himself. However, the location of the enemies was unknown at present, so he still felt worried.
Angele made sure that his father left with the carriages before turning back. At this time, he could already see the mounted bandits emerging from the forest. He nocked an arrow on his longbow and pulled the bowstring as he drew it until the phantom of a full moon came forth from the fully drawn bow. Sunlight shone upon the arrowhead, which caused an azure hue to be reflected on its surface.