“This has become a kind of odd story, don’t you think?”
Loren muttered after finis.h.i.+ng his interrogations, and the others all nodded to show their agreement .
After Loren had questioned all the surviving bandits, they had checked the information with Lapis’ map, and had found the approximate location of the bandits’ base . And that was what Loren mentioned as ‘odd’ .
“No matter how you look at it, this place is…”
“It’s where Tizona-chan’s ruin is . ”
Lapis and Gula, who were huddling over and checking the map, pointed to the same spot at the same time . That spot was at almost the same location as the unexplored ruin Tizona told them .
The bandits Loren interrogated didn’t know what the HQ looked like, so they couldn’t get any information about that . There were three possible reasons why the bandits’ HQ was at almost the same location as Tizona’s ruin .
“It’s possible that the bandits’ HQ and the ruin are at different locations . ”
Lapis raised her index finger and said as if to organize her thoughts .
“If there really is an unexplored ruin at this place, it won’t be strange to set up a bandits’ base next to it . They can do illegal diggings as a side job . ”
People would only need one look to recognize an unexplored ruin even if they hadn’t known of its existence before . If one had even just a little knowledge of how much fortune an unexplored ruin could hide, they wouldn’t be able to leave it alone, even considering the danger of illegal digging .
“In that case, the bandits won’t let the treasures be taken out of the ruin . ”
Ruins were dangerous places by themselves . Aside from the guardians, all kinds of monsters might settle in there . Adding bandits to that mix, and the level of danger and troublesomeness just skyrocketed . Loren felt sickened just thought about it .
“Another possibility is that the bandits have settled in the ruin . ”
Lapis raised her middle finger and said .
Tizona found it questionable:
“It’s unlikely for a ruin to be in pristine condition . If one part of it is damaged, monsters usually come in through that and settle inside . If monsters can live there, then so do bandits . Probably . ”
Everyone wondered how she could equate bandits with monsters, but considering how very annoying both were, it could indeed be said that they were similar .
Ruins’ guardians only attacked if you entered certain areas, so if you were careful, you could still live there .
“But there are lots and lots of bandits, right? Can they all fit in one ruin?”
“Yea, so der’s another possibility . ”
Lapis raised her ring finger and answered Gula’s question:
“The third possibility is, the bandits set their HQ up around the ruin . ”
Lapis believed this to be the most troublesome of all possibilities . It was a fusion of the first two possibilities, and it would take twice as much time to deal with .
This third theory would be unlikely to happen if the number of bandits at HQ was low . However, from what they gathered, there were quite a lot of them, so this theory was the most likely .
“Are there really a few hundreds of them at their HQ?”
“I think it’s a lie . ”
All the interrogated bandits said the same, so its credibility was actually high . Loren just didn’t want to believe it . Their HQ must be on the same scale as a town or a fort if they really had a few hundred there . A bandit gang that big was so unexpected that it was unbelievable .
And there was still another question: Where the h.e.l.l did they gather that many people from? a.s.similating other bandit gangs in the region wouldn’t be enough . For this to be possible they had to a.s.similate some remote villages .
“At this stage, it’ll be a big trouble if the kingdom doesn’t step up, won’t it?”
Multiple depots with a hundred at each, and a few hundred at the HQ, in total, the member count of this bandit gang must have reached a thousand . The person who could command that many people must be quite a character, and it was difficult to imagine them as a nameless bandit .
“If I’m told that the head of this bandit gang is a spy from another country, I’ll believe it . ”
“It’s actually the most desired scenario, isn’t it?”
Loren sighed . Rather than the act of some character that suddenly appeared out of nowhere, this being linked to subversive activities of another country was much more comprehensible .
“Well, whether it’s an unnamed great man or a spy, what we have to do is still the same . ”
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“Do we rly have to? It’s too troublesome . ”
Lapis answered with both hands on her waist:
“These are infused with magic . ”
“All of them?”
Lapis hadn’t found many, but these arms still made a decent number . A longsword cost 10 silver coins, and the price would be higher if it was infused with magic . The gauntlets and helmet were only parts of an armor, but they could still be sold for a reasonable amount . If they could find the complete set, they could earn gold coins selling them .
“What are these doing in a bandits’ warehouse?”
“Well, maybe they found them in Tizona’s ruin, and decided to use them . ”
Many treasures slept in a ruin . There were ancient currencies, jewels, objects made from rare materials, and magic-infused arms like the ones Lapis had found . If the bandits had entered one part of Tizona’s ruin, then they were likely to scavenge it . The items Lapis had found might have come from that .
“Or maybe they got them from attacking some caravans? We can’t know for sure . ”
“How much will these cost?”
Even magic-infused items were varied in performance, so it wouldn’t be strange if their values could be as different as heaven and earth . A dingy sword might be worth dozens of gold coins, while a dazzlingly decorated armor could be as valuable as an ordinary item . The ones found in this warehouse were plain and dingy, and they didn’t look to be that valuable . Loren asked just in case, and Lapis folded her arms and looked at the items with a pondering expression:
“Probably not that much, I think . They’re just a bit sharper or tougher than ordinary items . ”
Lapis said while picking up two daggers from the pile . They were sheathed in plain leather scabbard, and looked just like ordinary daggers . Lapis gave the two seemingly-average daggers to Loren:
“Only these two are a bit special . This is , and this is . ”
Loren took the two daggers, thinking how amazing Lapis was to be able to appraise items by her own eyes without having to visit an appraiser in some big city .
Both daggers looked very average, but Dragon Slayer had its pommel inset with a blue gem, while a red gem adorned Painful Addition at the same spot .
“What did the person who made Dragon Slayer think when giving a dagger such a specification? I don’t think there’s anyone who can come close enough to use it . ”
“The person probably did it as a hobby? These look interesting, so maybe you should keep them . ”
Dragons were the highest-ranked amongst the monsters in this world . The highest-ranked amongst the Dragon, the Ancient Dragons, which were said to have power rivaled to the G.o.ds . No one knew whether the story was true or not though . Facing the Ancient Dragon generally meant death, and even a much lower ranked dragon would require several parties of silver-ranked adventurers working together to subjugate, but not before claiming multiple victims .
Using a dagger to fight such creatures was really a bad joke, but the name “Dragon Slayer” did have a nice ring to it . Loren planned to add the two daggers to his equipment if Tizona allowed it .
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