I hate fortune telling.
Relying on fortune telling is an act of abandoning free will and thought.
I think its nonsense to rely on cards or crystal balls. I will make my own decisions.
It’s not like I can’t understand it though. When a person feels cornered I can see why you might depend on fortune telling.
Perhaps because today I am being transferred to the mines I have such thoughts.
The carriage stops in the guild courtyard while prisoners are loaded on board.
It’s a box type carriage with a door that’s locked from the outside.
It has a window but its too small to escape out of.
9 prisoners including me were on this transport.
A tough looking guy, a small guy with an evil face and a number of people with cold-blooded eyes. One thing they all have in common is the smell!
Tear almost leak out at the thought of the long journey in the narrow carriage surrounded by this smell.
I wish I could use washing magic on them but I’m currently wearing a collar that seals magic.
If you try to use magic while wearing the collar it rapidly absorbs your [MP].
Trying to remove it by force also does the same thing and drains your [MP]. Anyone who runs out of [MP] faints.
Its absorption rate is 300 MP / second and for most people that means they will faint in less than a second.
It not much of a concern for me with 999999 MP but I don’t want to attract any attention so I don’t use washing magic.
“Hey, here’s the medicine you asked for.”
Homer the prison guard handed a bag to me.
Bringing personal items to the mines is forbidden but anyone with a chronic illness is allowed to take their medicine with them.
After checking the contents I hand Homer a wallet containing 50,000 rims which is all the money I had left on me. I’d already paid him another 40,000 rims in advance.
The contents of the bag were not medicine. There was a bundle of medicinal herbs in there but that was only to disguise the small demon stone I had asked for.
This was the only time a demon stone could be given to prisoners as they had already passed through the demon stone sensor.
It was a dangerous bridge to try and cross. It had also cost me 90,000 rims to obtain a 1000 rim I class demon stone.
I had to pick the smallest class of stone because I needed to hide it in a certain place.
Where was that place?
NO! Not there………
Though it will probably be painful when I hide it.
The carriage travels south on the desolate wintry earth.
There was a heavy air inside the carriage.
The entire carriage was silent. I didn’t make eye contact with anyone as I wanted to avoid any trouble.
All of a sudden the tough looking guy started speaking.
“I’m Baracas. Baracas of the iron axe. I’m one of the bosses of Paddle street. Anyway, my best regards.”
Paddle street is one of the back streets of Nepia. It’s known as the area where all sorts of underground business is conducted.
Normal people stay well away. That includes me.
Everyone greets Baracas. Everyone here is saying their names and giving out their criminal records.
A petty thief, a porter who stole peoples belongings and more heavy things like assault and murder in the labyrinth.
They don’t seem like people I can be friends with.
Eventually, my turn comes around.
I didn’t want to say anything but everyone was staring at me so I greeted them suitably.
“Ippei. I got caught stealing.”
“What did you steal?”
Eh? Why am I the only one being questioned? Nobody else asked anything until now.
“A sword. A sword that belonged to a noble.”
“Hmm. You are suspicious….. You are not like us. The smell is different.”
Well yeah. I don’t reek like you guys. I’ve been cleaning myself with washing magic.
“You don’t smell like a criminal…….. Meh, whatever. Next guy.”
I guess I seem strange to him so he’s been watching me.
The uncle sitting next to me killed 3 of his party members.
He seemed relatively gentle so I sat next to him. Guess my eyes are no good.
After about 2 hours they stopped for a toilet break.
I was thankful to just walk around a bit.
I say toilet break but it’s not like there is a toilet around or anything. Just do your business in a bush.
I pretended to take a dump and squatted down in the bushes.
It was time to hide the demon stone…….
It was unexpectedly pain-free though I can’t say its comfortable either.
Several hours later there was a thud noise outside the carriage that sounded like people falling.
The sound of arrows could be heard and some struck the carriage.
I don’t know what’s going on but I can hear screams and groans outside.
After a while, I hear a loud voice roar out and the sound of metal on metal clashing.
We are certainly being attacked. Patty popped into my mind.
I listen carefully but I can’t hear Patty’s voice, only men’s.
The fighting continues on for quite some time and eventually, it becomes quiet.
The door to the carriage opens with a creaking sound.
A man who looked like a bandit appeared in the doorway.
“Head……I’ve come to help.”
Baracas stands up calmly at the man’s words.
“Why are you late?”
“Sorry. There’s not many good places to set up an ambush.”
“It’s fine. Let’s leave quickly.”
“Yes. What about these guys?”
“Indeed…….. whatever. Everyone here is a prisoner. There’s no need to kill them.”
Baracas got out of the carriage and soon the sounds of hoofbeats could be heard.
20 or more mounted men turned up.
The escort soldiers only numbered 9. They had no chance.
If any still live I intend to help them.
The prisoners get out of the carriage and steal money and food from the soldiers.
It seems the horses the soldiers rode were stolen by the bandits. The only horses left are the ones hitched to the carriage.
I guess they would have stood out too much if they had stolen the carriage as well.
I search for survivors and the 1st person I come across is still alive.
He’s close to death but his heart is still beating.
Yes, activate recovery magic.
“Yes! He’ll live.”
Because the soldier started to get up the other prisoners ran away.
Without caring about the other prisoners I went looking for more survivors.
This one has an arrow in his back.
I apply life-saving measures and call out to the other soldier.
“Soldier-san! Please pull this arrow out.”
The 1st soldier I’d helped came to his senses.
I run to all the soldiers and apply life-saving measures for now.
In the end, I managed to save all the soldiers.
“Did the arrow fall out? Well then…..”
“You! Are you a healer?”
“Yeah, something like that. Okay, onto the next person.”
I cured everyone and not a single soldier died.
“You saved me. Thank you.”
I don’t want people dying in front of my eyes.
I didn’t want to stand out but I had no choice.
“I’ll report this right to the top. All of us will also issue a petition for a sentence reduction.”
I’m grateful for their efforts but the possibility of a jailbreak is still not yet 0.
All of us rode on the carriage and set off for the mine.
They can’t go after the prisoners due to their horses being stolen.
Compared to the prisoners, the soldiers made better travelling companions though they still smelled a little.
To make a comparison it was like putting milk into a 40x strength curry to make it milder.
Under the pretence of washing away the blood, I cleaned them all with washing magic.
“How can you use magic while wearing the collar?”
“Aah…….is it broken?”
“Seems like it…… oh well, it’s fine.”
Seems like they won’t make an issue out of it as a reward for saving their lives. It’s not broken though.