Slave Hunters

 

Nothing noteworthy happened in the week following their departure from Labyrinth City.
Drawing near a small village on their way, they asked for goods, replenishing their food stocks.
Though demons attacked a few times, even ignoring Rudolph, Matsukaze turned them into experience points with his hooves.
… Though it was questionable that a real horse could have that much fighting strength, Serge’s Identify confirmed it was a horse.

“I don’t think there are enough events.”
Serge spoke abruptly. It was a bit dangerous for him to stand in the driver’s seat.
“Events?”
Gig asked in response. He was also bored on this journey. The monsters were too weak. Most of them ran from Rudolph’s presence.
As though he were suffering, Serge said in a serious tone.
“Yeah. For instance, a princess and her close friend saving a noble’s carriage from an attack, that kind of event.”
Aah… Carlos laughed sarcastically. He drew his horse near Serge.
“If only it were like that. If there were any problems, a traveling knight would solve them. Though following that pattern he’d be wed to the princess.”
“See! We’re traveling in especially remote areas, yet nothing like that’s happening.”
“Things like that don’t actually happen. Ignoring that this area is mostly noble territory, these are just self-supporting villages. Whenever nobles travel in carriages, they’d always have guards.”
Though Carlos said that, Serge gave an example that didn’t refute it.
“Isn’t she a princess with only a single escort? I’m talking about the exceptions!”
There were reckless royalty like Ria, but they were also trouble.

“It’d be good for you to train your magic if you have so much free time. You went to great lengths for you to get that new Skill.”
Ria said while amazed. Though they couldn’t train in the sword while riding, he could probably practice magic inside the wagon.
The new Skill that Serge obtained was something like Magical Power Cost Reduction. He acquired it by practicing to the limit every day. When the Skill’s level increases, supposedly it would make using magic take less magical power. A coveted Skill for magicians. In fact, Lulu was envious.
Magic was definitely interesting. Especially now that he’d obtained the grimoire, Serge’s status as a magician visibly rose every day.
However, training all the time was tedious. At this point, it strained his mind even though the ten-year old also had a previous life.

He may have been childish to begin with, though.

“Magic, huh… Right, I’ve been practicing space-time magic and magic theory…”
Probably since she struck a chord or something, Serge began to grumble to himself.
“Are you going to quiet down from that? Though we’re going on horses, it’s bright under the sun.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah… alright.”
A pale magical power extended from Serge sitting in the seat next to her on the driver’s seat.
“Ah…”
Maal, who was training her spirit magic, let out a sound. Her concentration was disrupted.
But Serge was also concentrating his mind, trying to confirm the effectiveness of his magic.
Ria somehow understood what the magic was. Making the magical power as thin as possible and spreading it out as far as possible, it was probably to know what happened inside. Combining Magical Power Detection and Spacial Grasp, it was a pretty advanced magic.
“Huh?”
Serge, who had shut his eyes, suddenly opened them wide.
“Ah~, there’s an army crossing the hills and forest ahead of us.”
(You can see things that far away?)
Though she was impressed, the army was a problem.
“An army? How many people? Do you know their weapons?”
Ria checked. Though the area around there shouldn’t be part of a nation, it might have been a tribe’s troops.
“Twenty cavalry, one hundred infantry… four carriages, prisoners… no, slaves? It’s like a convoy but…”
“Cordova’s slave hunters!”
Maal shouted suddenly. Together with her own unpleasant memories, it corresponded to her current existence.
“Cordova… that place really isn’t a good country.”
Ria groaned while enduring what looked like a headache. As a militaristic nation of humans, Cordova absorbed more and more of its nearby tribes and nations. Though it was a law-abiding country, it wasn’t forbidden for them to enslave people from other countries.
“What should we do?”
Carlos asked with a complicated expression. Originally, it would have been an opponent they shouldn’t come in contact with.
But since Ria knew of them, he believed there wouldn’t be such a simple conclusion.
“Ria-chan…”
Seeing Maal’s cute and round eyes, Ria’s judgement greatly erred towards emotion.
“I’ll scout it out first. I’m going to go a bit ahead.”
With a shout, Ria had Matsukaze gallop.

 

 

“Though I think it’s going to turn into a massacre, I’m just scouting for now.”
Ria had a dangerous smile when she said that. Her eyes weren’t smiling.
The army was taking a short break at a watering hole, it was definitely a slave hunt. There were around fifty humans and beastkin crammed inside wood-framed cages.
“I’m going to help them, who’s with me?”
Maal quickly raised her hand, followed by Serge and Gig. The two older people were reluctant, but they also raised their hands.
“You’re fine with it?”
Though Ria was surprised, Lulu and Carlos exchanged glances and smiled wryly.
“Since we can’t stop you, it’s better to stay with you.”
With that said, Ria’s serious face cleared up.

Since the army was advancing towards them, they discussed how to deal with them in specifics.
“Now, there’s a problem.”
Ria raised a finger. Though there were several problems, she thought this was the most important one.
“Among us, has anyone killed someone?”
Right, that was it.
They were fighting against an army. In addition, this wasn’t in the Immortal Labyrinth. Honestly, though it was hard to think they would sustain damage here with their levels, it wasn’t likely they would be able to stop them so conveniently without killing them.
“I’ve exterminated a few thieves on the frontier.”
Seeing that Carlos was a soldier, he had experience. No one else. Even Ria, she’d only killed people with the premise that they’d revive in Labyrinth City.
“Serge, are you okay?”
Taking his previous life’s values into consideration, she called out to him in particular since she thought he would have an especially hard time killing people.
“Well, I’ll be shooting magic from a distance. I’ll get used to it. I’ll aim at the knights and not the soldiers as much as possible.”
Ten years of being reincarnated. In a world where human life was cheap, he’d have to get accustomed to it somehow.

After that, they planned their attack.
Their purpose was simply to secure the slaves. If they just released them haphazardly, it would probably be difficult for them to return to their original communities. They would take a lot of effort to send them off.
“Horses and food are absolutely necessary.”
Carlos and Ria set up the strategy. Serge also made an appearance.
“We should attack at night. I don’t want to hit you all on accident as much as possible.”
“I want the cavalry to be dealt with as much as possible. They might have a main force somewhere.”
They verified the minimum horse feed and food required.
“We’ll beat those guys down in one hit.”
In the case of Serge’s magic, it would take one blow to kill. Though he confirmed it with the magic Identify, their highest level was thirty. They wouldn’t be able to endure it.

 

 

As the sun went down, the light of campfires from inside the camp illuminated the night’s darkness.
Ria stood on the hill overlooking the army camp.
There was still some time until midnight. Although there were troops standing guard, they didn’t seem to be very vigilant. There were strong demons in the area, but they were careless. Probably due to their numbers.
“Alright, shall we go?”
Magic covered the warriors. Leaving the carriage and horses, Rudolph was left to guard. Already having moved around, Maal stood on the side the slaves were at.
They slowly descended the hill. They used magic on their armor so that it wouldn’t give off any metallic sounds.
Counting to ten, Serge and Lulu used Exploding Fireball.
The fireballs exploded on the tents and sentry lights.

It was a one-sided slaughter.
The cavalry that tried to escape on their horses were sliced in two from Serge’s space-time magic. Aiming at the groups of people that tried to band together, Lulu’s Fireball burst.
Running in, Ria’s group cut down the knights that attempted to take command. Though one person planned to leave, their circumstances didn’t allow them to keep count.

There was the smell of blood and entrails, as well as the smell of burning flesh. Plumes of smoke filled the area, promoting chaos.
“Savage!”
The enemies shouted. They probably recognized Gig’s appearance. The soldiers shouted, but Gig’s warhammer turned them into lumps of meat.
Carlos moved while continuing to check the surroundings so that he didn’t fall behind. Since Gig moved impulsively, he followed him.
Ria seemed to move as she pleased, choosing her opponents. Some were knocked down by her hands, the remainder being cut down.

Ria was surprised at how calm and strange she was.
Nothing here gave her elation from fighting. It was strange that she killed people like a machine.
She wondered why she didn’t feel any guilt. Though she was used to killing due to the Goblins and Orcs, maybe it was the same with humans?
She suddenly noticed.
Those guys didn’t treat the slaves as humans, so she didn’t treat them as humans.
If this were a battlefield, rather than having feelings of guilt, it was probably better to be in high spirits to drown it all out.
The soldiers in front of her eyes also had a life, even if she thought they could have families, her katana didn’t stop.
Though she could cut through their armor, she tried to hit their vitals and necks as much as possible. She didn’t have a hobby of making people suffer.

Not having decent equipment, the soldiers ran. Aiming at their backs, Ria shot fire arrows without holding back.
Their opponents aimed to flee after already losing their fighting spirit. They decided to let the infantry go. Even if they ran away, they were likely to die by demon attacks without food and equipment. They didn’t bother taking prisoners.
Less than an hour after beginning the attack, the battle ended.
They put an end to enemies that were suffering. They tied the two fainted knights up and left them.
The soldiers that had just fainted were lucky, they were left alone. Their objective wasn’t annihilation.

Coming down from the hill, Serge vomited after seeing the devastation.
Even Lulu held her mouth, but she managed to endure it.
As expected, Carlos endured it with a solemn expression. Maybe due to his race, Gig didn’t seem to have much trouble with what happened.
“Now then, it’s going to be troublesome after this.”
Ria muttered. There was no damage as planned. However, the problem was here.

While looking at the slaves that had been placed on the carriage, Ria sighed deeply.

 

 

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36 thoughts on “Dragon’s Bloodline — Chapter 31

  1. Thanks 4 the chapter!

    Thank God none of them are Liberals. If there were, there would be an exhausting debate on human rights.

    1. Sorry about that! Just had a lively discussion with someone who insist on rehabilitating serial killers and serial rapist and abolishing the military.

      1. Personally, I don’t see the point of spending man-hours and resources on failed humans when most first world countries are already overpopulated with extreme financial difficulties.

        (I know that the term ‘failed humans’ is debatable, but oh well~)

        1. Agreed. The point, however, is where you put the dividing line from where it is no longer feasible to try to rehabilitate. THAT is why we just try to rehabilitate all of them.
          But yes, there are enough individuals who you just cant rehabilitate and who will just keep creating victims.
          The most efficient way would be to get rid of them asap, but humans cannot know the future with a great enough degree of certainty.

          As for abolishing the military, that is just utter lunacy.
          A military will always be needed to protect a nation from outside sources of aggression.
          And just by being there, they already serve part of their function.
          Humanity’s very nature is proof enough for its necessity, just look at the middle east and africa.

          And if they’re gonna play the cost vs risk of war argument; That’s why we invent additional tasks for times of peace like missions abroad (UN missions) or for emergencies (like flooding)

          1. mhm interesting, that point about human nature especially and i like that last part about the military.

            i think there will be a lot less wars in the future now because the world is more ”aware” people have access to information so they know what their governments are doing and why. also power is divided, (though we can debate that as well) by a large group of people, as long as it is not centralized with one man or group of men, their choices will always be in question and they can quickly be removed so as to not affect society drastically.

            problem is however is we have gotten very very good at killing each other, all it would take is one mad man to create a new type of bomb and actually use it and we are all doomed.
            what we as humans have to do now is straighten out our world specifically the middle east and saudi arabia (that country is sick) and all islamic states basically. trust me i am a former muslim this religion is NOT peaceful. it is exclusive and highly agressive. anyway i am going to stop there.

            anyway about killing, well you see when a person kills one person he/she automatically becomes tainted as a human being, doesn’t matter the reason except if it was accidental. as long as it was intentional GG for that human, because now they will not have as much restraint next time. but if we decide to dispose of those humans, what about the executioners? aren’t they by that same logic tainted as well now? yes. you see this vicious cycle?

            i cannot really come up with a way to put a stop to it. the ”out of sight out of mind” situation with prisons looks like the best way really.

          2. I’m liberal but I’m also a realist. I know there is no cure for serial killers and sex offenders. And I while I believe that war is awful there are cases where it is the lesser of two evils, eg., WWII, interfering to prevent genocide, etc. I am also, probably because I am adopted, pro-life, and i’m also anti-death penalty for the most part (Though I am willing to discuss exceptions in both cases). I am a firm believer in the fact that there is such a thing as necessary evil, yet at the same time I believe we must remember that just because it is necessary does not make it less evil.

        2. Well people want to give them a chance because sometimes people make mistakes…

          Though pragmatically you can argue since a country has too much population, there’s no real need to reform any bad part of it. The best solution would be to use them as slave labour if you want to keep them alive since it will require too much resources to train them for anything more than manual labour. Of course that’s not humane, and there’s always the slippery slope argument.

          Although if you deserved a chance, you probably wouldn’t even have ended up there in the first place. Unless you were prosecuted wrongly or overly harsh (which can happen quite easily).

          1. The word “slave” is considered evil because the most common example is the kidnapped child or civilian. Crime slaves would be the best solution, as long as we don’t abuse whatever system we ourselves put in place, which we have a tendency to do. I’m talking like, the person that committed the crime serves as the slave. Not anyone else in their family. Doesn’t matter how bad the crime is, no one deserves to be forced into slavery because of what their child, sibling, or parent did.

        1. Funny you should mention that, fun history factoid: When first proposing the special forces between U.S. and Canada the American side thought it was a waste so they sent the contents of the military prisons to be used the canadians sent their best and through some weird alchemy it became one of the best and brightest. There is a good old war movie about it called the Devil’s Brigade. I think it comes down to that chestnut by Sun Tzu: Throw your soldiers into a position with no escape and they will prefer death to flight. the knowledge that you will be hanged if you don’t succeed might just be a great motivator.

  2. Useless from guilt < reveling in joy < emotionless and mechanical < properly taking on the weight of one's actions.

    Moderation in all things is best.Take the burden both good and ill if you can, but if you you cannot, then abandon bothvto cope.

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