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Restarting From Genesis – Chapter 39: The Bandit Leader Subjugation – IV Bahasa Indonesia

Merlin picked up on the faint scent of blood, a feeling of panic ran through his body, he suddenly stopped walking. The two bandits turned around, noticing that Merlin had raised his guard and looked to be on edge.

“What’s the matter?” The younger bandit asked. The other bandit’s eyes narrowed, Merlin noticed this but he wasn’t sure what thoughts were running through his head.

“I smell blood.” Merlin answered. He wasn’t sure what the bandit camp would be like, but it was somewhat common for the camps of more violent races to have corpses laying around. He wasn’t sure if this was the case with this particular bandit camp, or if the scent of blood was coming from somewhere else… or something else.

The young bandit started sniffing the air around him in an exaggerated manner before turning back to Merlin and shrugging. The other bandit’s narrow glare softened, realising that Merlin was probably just an overly cautious individual.

“It’s most likely animal blood, don’t worry it’s common around these parts, especially at night.” The smarter bandit tried comforting Merlin briefly, and then continued on his path towards the faint light in the distance. “We’re almost home, just a couple more minutes to go.”

Merlin’s guard was still heightened, but he followed along. As he travelled through the forest the scent of blood grew stronger, he tried his best to block out the glaring warning signs in his brain telling him to escape.

The group continued on through the forest, finally reaching the camp’s location. As the group stepped through the treeline into a clearing, Merlin’s view of the camp was blocked by what looked to be at least several hundred logs, stacked side by side forming a large log wall around the camp.

Merlin was wondering how the camp hadn’t been wiped out by mercenaries or soldiers yet. If it was just helpless civilians who camped out in the forest, there was no chance they’d fight back against the constant harassment. But as it turns out, they could survive because they built what was essentially a wood fort.

The light Merlin saw in the distance a little while ago, the light the group had been walking towards, was a single lantern hanging over the wooden gate that served as the camp’s entrance.

The group walked towards the entrance, where an older looking armed guard peeked out from the outpost above, asking his group to identify themselves. The younger bandit quickly retorted with a one-liner about him being unable to recognise his own son, and the gate began sliding open moments after.

“You’ve been waiting to use that one for a while, haven’t you?” Merlin noticed that the younger bandit seemed rather pleased with himself, leading him to assume this was probably his first excursion out of the fortress, his general naivety was also a strong indicator.

The younger bandit let out a cheeky giggle in response, he seemed happy that someone mentioned it.

As the group entered the camp, the smarter bandit tapped on Merlin’s shoulder, only to point his attention in the direction of a canopy tent. Within the tent stood a buff man with a bald head, swinging a large cleaver at a skinned animal corpse. “Perhaps that’s the source of blood you were worried about?”

It did seem like a reasonable assumption to make, the scent of blood did get stronger as he entered the clearing, but something still didn’t feel right to Merlin. Nevertheless, after obtaining a reasonable answer he lowered his guard somewhat, which allowed him to shrug off some of the thoughts that were weighing his mind down.

As Merlin was led through the encampment, he was surprised to see that the image he had of the camp prior to visiting it was the complete opposite of what it really was. There was no pools of blood everywhere, no kidnapped villagers being held hostage… from what he could see anyway, and no stereotypical evil bandits.

It just seemed like any other village, a tight-knit community of people who just want to survive, each performing their role to help their village prosper. Within the safety of the wooden walls was a thriving community, not a violent band of thieves and murderers.

The villagers seemed genuinely happy with their lives, there were even small children running around without a care in the world, it was surprisingly peaceful.

The camp was also well lit from inside, there were various torches and campfires littered all around, so he felt safe from the darkness. Merlin threw his torch into one of the campfires he walked past, adding a little bit of firewood and ultimately saving him from having to carry around an almost extinguished torch any longer.

Merlin received some strange looks from the locals as he was paraded through the village, it seemed they were very hesitant to trust outsiders, this was understandable. The group weaved between the various tents and structures that the villagers inhabited. Until he was brought into a large tent a little bit past the residential area.

Within the tent was a young man currently looking over documents and writing notes onto sheets of parchment. Merlin assumed this to be someone in a managerial position, although his expectations were proven to be a little small, as shortly after the young man was introduced as the leader of the camp.

The man had turned to the two who brought Merlin along, calling them over to his side. The two familiar bandits approached the leader and began speaking to him in whispers, shortly after they were sent out of the tent, leaving Merlin alone with the man in charge.

The bandit leader stood up and approached Merlin, as he came closer a name appeared above his head, “Jackson Lychester”.

Merlin’s thoughts started racing, who was Jackson Lychester? He was young so he probably wasn’t the brother of Arwell Lychester. If he wasn’t the brother, then an estranged son perhaps? A rebellious nephew?

“So, my brothers say you helped them, killing three people in the process.” Merlin’s thought process was interrupted when Jackson began speaking to him. “You gave them quite the sob story, it seemed very convincing… a little too convincing, you hit all the right notes to twist their hearts.”

It seemed the bandit leader was much smarter than the two bandits. He drew his sword and pointed it towards Merlin’s neck before delivering the most cliche line imaginable. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill you.”

Merlin panicked, he didn’t really have a plan of what to do when he got here, but at the very least he assumed he wouldn’t be hostile with the bandit leader immediately. It seemed Jackson was running out of patience, as the blade hovered closer to his neck.

“Honestly, if you want the truth, I was sent here by your father to kill you.” Probably one of his biggest blunders, but he thought that maybe the bandit leader would appreciate the honesty. Considering he wasn’t killed on the spot after saying those words it seemed he gained enough time to explain himself further.

“Why would you admit to that?” It seemed Jackson was dumbfounded with Merlin’s outburst, but he also seemed a little humoured by it. “You’re perhaps the dumbest assassin he’s sent after me so far.”

“There is more context to that i’d gladly get in to, if you’d perhaps agree to not stab me with the pointy stick for like two minutes.” Merlin tried injecting a little humour in his plea, he could probably take a single strike to the neck and survive with his current max health of forty, but he’d rather not fight, he genuinely wanted to help them at this point.

It seemed Jackson was lost in thought, but answered with a stern voice. “Fine, two minutes, state your case.”

“Alright, well first of all, please don’t punish the two bandits I fooled. They’re not traitors, just a little naive.” Merlin wanted to get that off his chest first, to absolve himself of guilt if the worst were to happen. “Anyways, as I said, I was sent here by your father, or it would be more accurate to say, I received a job through the mercenary guild that was posted by your father.”

“I had originally intended to trick the two into leading me to the camp, but along the way they explained what you all stood for, what you all went through, who you all were, it was completely different to what I was told by the mercenaries.” Merlin decided that complete honestly would be the way to go, if he couldn’t convince the leader, then so help it, he’d just be making thirty silver.

“So when given the choice between killing you, your peaceful village, those two who trusted me, and betraying the mercenary guild, the corrupt nobles and your father. I’d much rather let you live in peace… No, i’d rather take down the corrupt nobles.”

“And I didn’t completely lie, I really am going to die from a curse if I don’t get that holy water…” He decided to hedge his bets, pulling out his cursed hand and showing off the the curse had spread slightly further than what was mentioned prior, “…And your father truly is a pig headed fool with beady little eyes.”

“Very well, I’m convinced.” Jackson started chuckling after hearing all that. He pulled his blade away and sheathed it. “I don’t completely trust you, especially after hearing how you brutalised those three random travellers without reason.”

“Oh, I actually have a history with those three.” Merlin awkwardly laughed, “They tried to ambush me in the forest a day ago.”

“How convenient.” Jackson’s eyes narrowed, it seemed that remark didn’t earn him any brownie points with the man. “What are your intentions now that you’ve–“

A strong burst of wind blew through the forest encampment. The wind was almost screaming as it ripped through the village, Jackson was startled by this unexpected situation, so much so that he forgot what he was going to say.

Merlin noticed that the light that barely seeped in through the tent’s fabric walls started vanishing, the wind was so violent that it was even extinguishing the various campfires, eventually very few light sources remained.

The wind picked up once more, blowing open the flap of Jackson’s tent, allowing a handful of rose petals and the sickening scent of blood to flow in.

Various screams could be heard from outside the tent, and moments later Merlin received a notification.

「Bandits remaining: 19」


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