This series is rated MATURE, please make sure you are of age in your jurisdiction before reading.
This series contains EXPLICIT SEXUAL scenes.
You have been warned.
The Red Crows invaded the mining village just before noon the next day.
On the valley between the mountains, an expanse of what was an agricultural community lay before them.
The further they went, the closer they came to the mountain. Finally, they came across the village’s entrance.
They were the leader, Legda the giant, the second in command, magician Thalia, and the slave, Shiro.
Behind them, there were four heavy warriors with shields, four bowmen, and two thieves.
All in all, an adventurer party of thirteen.
Since time immemorial, it had been standard that teams going underground to search inside caverns consist of four to six people.
However, that’s not the case when going to open spaces.
The Red Crows with its many former mercenaries invaded in a miniaturized version of a military formation.
“… Thirteen people. That’s quite a lot, huh. I suppose their discipline is good, too?”
“One magician, four bowmen. They’re unexpectedly troublesome”
The zombies are at an overwhelming disadvantage against enemies with long-range weapons.
The number of monsters in the village now was the less than sixty zombies from the existing dead bodies, and the twenty zombies, and twenty skeletons I summoned with magic power.
Also, a few wood golems I used to carry luggage with, golem parts, the ones that were only arms and legs (the parts that can be used had been used for traps), and also the one injured imp.
The enemy seems like they’re used to the battlefield, a frontal attack will only get me kicked about, even with ten times the number.
Furthermore, the leader is a brute and is so stupidly huge that you’d doubt he’s really human.
He was the only one with a halberd, but if he swung that thing in an open space he could blow away two or three zombies in one go.
While watching the image from the “eye” I planted inside the village, Astarte and I began analyzing the enemy’s war potential.
For now, we should just begin by analyzing their war strength and if possible find a weakness.
We do have bows, but skeletons equipped with bows will lose against professional bowmen.
Of course, I had thought about plastering poison on them, but the heavy warriors were all wearing at least metal armor.
Looking at them, the leader giant had plate metal on his upper body and waist, and partially metal reinforced leather greaves on his feet.
The other heavy warriors had metal breastplates and chain mail on.
The others were only armored with light leather and hard leather.
For mercenaries, that was a complete set of armor, or possibly a lower-rank knight or their subordinates, if they’re unlucky.
“… Facing them head on is impossble, isn’t it, Master Elliott?”
“We should somehow split them up and get those armor off of them … or maybe get them to stop moving”
I had a considerable number of plans to split them up with.
The problem is, the success rate and how well those plans would go depend greatly on the sort of people the enemy are.
“… Say, Astarte, does that thief girl look like she’s wearing a collar to you?”
“… You’re right. From what I hear from sir Gustav, the Red Crows don’t have female members other than the magician”
I thought. Without any battle power, I would lose if I don’t think.
The most likely hypothesis based on the information I’ve heard is …
“Slave, right. Probably a survivor from the adventurer team they killed off”
“The reason they’d keep her alive would be, to sell her, to have her as sex relief, or possibly a meat shield … judging from how they’re treating her, they’re not going to sell her”
I see, that’s how it is …
“So if they’re taking a sex relief slave into battle, they won’t allow her to act on her own, even with chains attached. Which means, they’re taking her along as a meat shield, there’s also a possibility that they’re make use of her thiefly skills”
“… we need to confirm, but we might be able to use her”
“In any case, we need to watch how they’re moving, even if we whittled down their numbers …. They’re going to meet with the villager zombies soon”
If they were found on level ground, it’s not going to be a matter of winning or losing anymore.
I’ve been letting the zombies just roam about, but most of them were inside houses.
Zombies have no cognitive capacity, so they had to be given precise orders.
For instance, rush on enemies coming inside the house.
A battle broke out in the village head’s house right away.
The enemy split up into two teams, seems like they were checking a nearby house, when at the same time the battle began.
A zombie that I’m sure was once the village head’s daughter rushed them but the heavy warrior’s shield firmly brushed her away.
I’ve assigned three zombies here, the other two also rushed in.
“Respondest mine summons, come whence the wand of stars, Strong Salamander!”
The female magician behind the warriors chanted some kind of spell. Several flames came out of the wand in her hand, rolling up the zombies in a ball of fire.
… she’s trouble …!
“That … is a contracted spirit summons …. Looks like our academy magician is the real thing”
Astarte calmly explained the enemy’s power.
“How strong is that magic, really?”
“Several fields of magic are taught in the academy, and there’s one among them exercised by making contracts with various spirits and borrowing their power, called [Spirit Magic]. That wand is probably the symbol of the contract. It’s a relatively widely-known school within the academy …”
All three zombies were burnt and their movements became slow.
However, all but the one that received the heavy’s blow was still moving.
“For humans, a contract with the spirits place quite a burden on their bodies. Moreover, since the magic they can save up are lower than demonkind, they can’t fire those out indefinitely. She has quite the ability to fire spirits out onto multiple enemies, but each time she does she drains a considerable amount of her magic power”
“… which means we can somehow press her down with numbers, is it? Well, the fact that she’s at the level that we can somehow deal with is a relief. In that case, I’d like to try to get her over to our side”
I blurted that out unconsciously.
Astarte caught on to it.
“That’s the spirit, Master Elliott. Let’s go capture the girl, ravish her and corrupt her. Make her our servant. If we made a demon out of a magician, she’ll certainly be useful …♪”
The battle in the other house had ended as well.
The giant leader made mincemeat of the zombies along with the whole door. What absurd power.
“We have to somehow incapacitate that ball of muscle, don’t we. Doesn’t look like zombies will be a match for him”
“A trap that would work against him … probably that one. Will it work well, I wonder …?”
Looking some more, it seems that a lightly dressed thief had reached the village head’s chest.
Since it originally belonged in the village head’s house, it was quite well ornamented.
Even though it’s not like it contained anything worth much, but I had put a trap on it just for an occasion like this.
The trap sprung perfectly, and the thief squirmed, holding his finger.
It’s simple, but it’s effective. A “poison needle”.
A virtuous priest would be able to remove the poison through a god’s blessing.
But there’s probably no god who’d offer grace to an adventurer party like this one. Though, maybe an evil god.
Even with an antidote, that thief would likely be out of commision for an entire day.
By increasing casualties like this we could whittle down the enemy’s fighting strength.
The heavy warrior yelled angrily and people gathered at the other house.
The collared female thief … now that I look more closely at her swollen face, she’s still a young girl … had successfully disarmed the trap.
The trap that I asked Gustav to buy from a trustworthy purveyor.
It’s supposed to be rather difficult, but maybe she saw what happened to the other one, or maybe she’s just that skilled …
It did take some time, but my precious trap had been disarmed.
And the traps I put around the village was supposed to be the hardest ones, too ….
“She’s likely to be a skilled thief. They brought her along as a tool to disarm traps”
So Astarte judged from the situation.
If we could separate the girl from the others, more of them would fall to traps. Therefore, I have to accomplish that somehow.
What’s more … I can tell by just seeing her that she’s not being treated well.
I’m not a virtuous person myself, but I hate people who used violence on their friends.
“Astarte, half the skeletons in the mining village have bows, right? We don’t have any means to leverage the situation with, so let’s have them move. We can get some of them poisoned if we’re lucky, but buying time is enough”
“Understood, Master Elliott. What will you do?”
“Hm, I’ll use the inn. Sacrifice the imp and lead them here”
“Dahlia should work as well, too”
“Yeah, you’re right. Take her to the inn’s basement. I don’t really like using chains, but it’s probably easier to show them that way”
I didn’t know if it would go well, but I’ll use everything that I’ve prepared.
If they kept on straight and attacked the mines, we would be at a disadvantage.