Just as Lapis said, the post-town officials didn’t need that much time to verify their story . They started interrogating the captured bandits and dispatching riders on fast horses to the depot location right away . Loren’s party was proved to have raided and destroyed the depot, and earned much grat.i.tude from the town .
“Why’s it feel like they change their att.i.tude wey too easily?”
Gula wondered . At first, she was still holding a grudge over the town’s earlier distrust, but the sentiment immediately disappeared from her mind once she saw the meals they had prepared to show their grat.i.tude . She began to systematically and thoroughly clear up the dishes with a great joy . Loren kept half an eye on her while talking to the town’s top official, thinking that they were quite shrewd in dealing with this matter .
They were talking about the treatment of the captured bandits . He had made a promise, so he was letting the officials know about the bandits’ cooperative att.i.tude .
Loren was also refusing the remuneration from the town . The amount was not that much, and they needed to repair the raided southern districts .
The refusal was actually to lay the groundwork for a request for aid .
“We would like to ask for your help instead . ”
Loren told the fat man who was acting as the representative of the town officials .
The first thing he asked of them was to take the items scavenged from the bandits’ depot . Their party couldn’t carry them around, and they wouldn’t sell for much money . He wanted the town to keep these items, and gave the parties some cashes for them . When Loren said the town could decide the value of the items, Lapis looked a bit unhappy, but the delegate immediately started appraising the items .
From the town officials’ perspective, the remuneration for Loren’s party was a done deal: They had already decided how much to reward them, and it was unexpected that the party refused the reward . This proposal of exchanging the items found in the bandits’ depot for cash would actually be more profitable for the town, so there would be no reason to reject it . They offered Loren’s party a sum slightly higher than the intended remuneration and received a quick acceptance .
“If you’ve left the appraisal to me, we would have gotten 20% more . ”
Lapis absentmindedly whispered to Loren, and he patted her head with a wry smile . If he left the negotiation to Lapis, they would come out with a better deal as Lapis had said . However, to Loren, this deal was just a bonus . Thus, he wanted to avoid wasting time just to make the other party feel a bit of loss .
“Is this really alright? We can still discuss the reward now . ”
“No, this is good enough . We have another request to ask, if you please . ”
The second request was for the town to continue lending them the carriage they had been using . Horses were expensive by themselves, and caring for them was also costly . Renting a carriage was expensive, but Loren was asking the town to let them use one free of charge, just like they had for the depot raid .
“We originally came here on a different job . We’re now a bit pressed on time after completing your job . ”
If they returned the carriage now, they would have to walk to their original destination, and that would take two days . If they used the carriage, they could arrive in half a day, or one day at most .
Loren wanted to use the carriage no matter what . Tizona was still alright with their current schedule, but it was best to have some time to spare in case something happened .
“We’re going to a rather dangerous place, so we might not be able to return the carriage . What do you think?”
Loren wasn’t sure they could return the carriage at all, and he properly cautioned the delegate about it beforehand .
The official thought about it, then replied with a smile:
“I see . Please feel free to use it . ”
“We are the one asking for it, but is this really alright for you?”
Loren asked for a confirmation . A carriage was a valuable a.s.set of a town . And yet, the town delegate was willing to let them borrow it for free, even after being told that they might not be able to return it .
“Yes . It’s not a problem . Even if you don’t return it, we won’t regret it . This town has already received something much more valuable . ”
With this job, the town had been able to remove the bandit threat while expending almost nothing . They didn’t have to send out soldiers, and Loren’s party had refused the reward . Even though they had to spit out some cash in exchange for the scavenged items, it wouldn’t be difficult to earn back almost the same amount if they sold those items .
Moreover, once the rumors about a hundred-odd bandits based near the town being practically annihilated in one-day spread, no other bandit gangs would think about coming to this region for a while . It wouldn’t be forever, but they would be able to enjoy safety for a time . This was a nice bonus .
Loren had already considered all these benefits before proposing the request . The town official also seemed to understand, and thus willingly accepted it .
Regardless of the actual context, Loren was thankful that they were able to borrow the carriage . After enjoying the town’s hospitality, the party immediately loaded their luggage into the carriage and left .
“I’m always the driver…”
Horse’s rein in hands, Lapis muttered with the tiniest bit of resentment .
“Because you’re the best at it . ”
“Loren, at least come and sit with me please . ”
“Me? But this will get in the way . ”
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***
The greatsword on Loren’s back was already a hindrance inside the carriage car, and it would be even more troublesome at a narrow s.p.a.ce like the driver coach . But if he left it inside the car, he wouldn’t be able to react on time if something happened .
In reply to Loren’s opinion, Lapis said:
“That’s quite a cautious move . I feel like we can just charge in with this party . If things don’t go well, Gula and Tizona can finish it off by themselves, right?”
“I huh… Not really . ”
“I’ll go if you tell me to . That said, Gula, are you really a magician? I’ve seen the leftover marks at the depot . Just what kind of magic are you using?”
“It’s a secret . Only third-rate magicians reveal their skills, don’t they?”
Magicians could only use a limited number of spells . Even though each of their attacks was very powerful, they normally didn’t fight alone like Gula had done at the depot . The basic battling formation would involve a vanguard, who intercepted incoming attacks to some extent in the magician’s place, while the magician himself commenced a high-powered attack to bring down the enemies . But the marks Gula left at the depot just didn’t look like what a magician’s attacks would cause .
“So you’re a rather high ranking magician? In that case, I think you should be more well-known . ”
“If’ya don’t wanna be known, ya’won’t . Der’re a lot of hidden geniuses in dis world, right?”
“That… But if she is that powerful, she should have gained some fame, whether as a magician or as an adventurer, right?”
“I’ve got nu interest in such things . I can’t eat fame . ”
“This talk is fun and all, but don’t forget that we’re quite close to the enemies’ base . It’ll be trouble if they discover us and strike first . ”
Loren cut in and forcefully ended Tizona’s and Gula’s conversation, as he was feeling a bit impatient . Gula seemed to understand that something bad would happen if her true ident.i.ty was revealed, so she was thoroughly dodging the topic . But the longer this conversation dragged on, the chance of her slipping would become higher, so he thought it was best to stop it right now .
“Rather than that, let’s hide our carriage asap . We also can’t cook, since there’ll be smoke . If we can’t find any pit nearby, we’ll have to dig a hole to hide the carriage ourselves . ”
There were no bushes to hide the carriage in sight . If there was a gouge somewhere, they could put the carriage there and camouflaged it with some plants to avoid the bandits’ detection . But if they couldn’t find anything like that, they would have to dig a hole as Loren had said .
“We’ll have to dig non-stop, without even time to sleep . ”
“I’d hate that . Tizona-chan, let’s search with all our might, heh?”
“Understood . Let’s search . ”
Tizona and Gula finally understood that this was not time for chatting and obediently followed Loren’s instruction, immediately starting to search the area .
Deciding that he had successfully diverted Tizona’s attention, Loren quietly stroked his own chest in relief while Lapis patted him on the back .
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***