"What!?" Colson and Dega both opened their mouths to speak up. They had many questions, but Mia overrode them.
"You'll be able to see for yourself soon enough. Just remember, Colson, you're here as my personal bodyguard, and Dega, I think it's best if you act as a secret weapon of sorts. Now, let me ask both of you this: What is the purpose of your sword? What are you fighting for?"
The two sword users exchanged glances with each other before Dega indicated that Colson could go first. "Ladies first," he grinned.
"Hey! I'm not a girl!" Colson shook his head but spoke up anyways. "Well, um, I think that my sword's purpose is to protect Milady, protect my people, and protect my country? Isn't that what a sword is used for?"
Dega guffawed upon hearing this. "Such a good little girl – oops, I mean boy you are. Take a good look at this." With a sharp sound of metal, Dega withdrew his curved sword.
"This," he pointed at the sword, "is a weapon for killing. I swing my sword for the sake of revenge. It's just that I can still differentiate between who should be a target and who isn't," Dega sheathed his sword again. "Your sword is a long and honest one; it makes me sick, honestly. But, it's not all that bad in its own way. I suppose I should apologize for attacking you earlier like that. My bad," Dega stated gruffly and averted his gaze.
"What do you fight for then, Milady?" Colson looked towards the silver-haired girl for her answer.
"Me? Quite simple, really. I fight so that I may live, and to take control of my own life. That's all there is to it for me." A fire smoldered in Mia's eyes as she recalled how she had died helplessly in her previous life at the hands of a random stranger. The same thing had almost happened to her again just now, as she still didn't know who Nymon was. The blue-haired thief boy's rambling while standing over her body had clued her in to his motivation, though. Still, even if she was a noble in this world, what had she ever done to him?
"I just wanted to remind you both that even though we may have different ways of doing things, our end goal is all the same. There's no need to squabble amongst ourselves on which purpose of the sword is the best, because you'll soon have the opportunity to prove it. We have company." Mia sensed numerous dots approaching them on her mental minimap, with one mana wavelength signature being quite familiar. This wavelength definitely belonged to the thief boy who ambushed her from earlier!
"Why hello Boss," the four missing bandits from Dega's crew stepped into the clearing.
"Where have you been all this time? Where's Luke and Derek? Didn't I send them to find you?" Dega who had drawn his sword when he heard they had company relaxed his guard again when he saw they were his underlings.
"Wait, something's wrong here!" Mia noticed that there were more dots on her minimap present than just the four bandits that showed up. She wasn't going to fall for the same trick again!
Unlike what Nymon presumed, Mia was actually quite familiar with the thief job class's skills, particularly the [Stealth] skill tree which had many concealment skills. Why was it that a little girl like Mia had arrived at the Thieves Guild to begin with on that day? This was something that everyone else had overlooked, thinking it to be only the whim of a young girl.
Mia surreptitiously took out her cloth sack of flour and spread some flour on the wind, blowing it towards the direction of three additional dots that she could sense.
Everyone saw that the white powder flew in midair until it suddenly stopped – the flour simply hung in midair, as if it had gotten stuck to something invisible. But soon, the cause for this revealed itself.
"Fuck! How could she notice our presence!" Nymon cursed as his [Camouflage] skill was forcibly canceled, although maintaining it seemed pointless now. Two additional teenagers, one skinny and acne-riddled, the other short and chubby, were revealed next to him.
Chubby? So even someone with such a body shape was able to enter the thief job class, one typically known for focusing on agility and dexterity? Mia furrowed her eyebrows. Under normal circumstances, she would have loved to research more into this phenomenon. Unfortunately, these people were emanating a killing intent that seemed almost tangible.
Mia glanced over at the blue-haired boy's crotch, causing him to reflexively cover himself there with one hand. Nymon's face instantly started flushing red. Whether this was out of embarrassment, rage, or a mixture of both was unknown to Mia.
"You… you must have a job class already! No ordinary person should have been able to survive that [Backstab] earlier! And just how did you find us just now!"
Mia ignored the Captain Obvious and stepped behind Colson and Dega before she finally spoke. "Why yes, indeed. I'm in the witch job class and discovered you with one of my hexes. Just earlier, I left a hex upon you that ensured you can't… use that thing of yours anymore to ever have any children in your lifetime."
Actually, she made all of the above up just now. While Mia believed in the concept of honesty, that only applied for her friends and allies. She saw no reason why she had to tell this person the truth, particularly when he had just attempted to murder her in cold blood. If he actually believed her little story about him being unable to have children in the future, then that would be just a tiny sweet piece of revenge.
Nymon's face distorted upon hearing this. "You evil little bitch! How could you do that to me!" He was basically howling in rage. If looks could kill, Mia would have been dead ten times over already.
How could she? Mia shook her head. Not even mentioning how she simply told him a ridiculously fake story just now, could it really compare with attempting to kill her? Mia didn't think so. Still, it seemed unnecessary to be pointing that out right now.
"Who are you?" Since she already knew the why, this was the main question she wanted answered.
"Nymon?" Before the blue-haired boy answered, Dega recognized who he was. "What are you doing here?" Dega simply took Mia's words with a grain of salt, being the only other person present to know fully well that she already had a wind mage main class with a bandit sub-class. He even grinned, somewhat bemused by this newer side to Mia that he had never seen before. He had always thought her to be the overly serious type, but she could joke around as well?
Meanwhile, Colson's eyes were like saucers as he stared at Mia and also reflexively covered his groin. While he had never even considered the prospect of having children before, that hex… still sounded rather scary!
"Why am I here? Of course, I'm here for revenge!" Nymon gestured with a clenched fist. "Dega, wake up! You know that she's Count Hart's daughter! You and I, we're similar! Everyone knows about what happened to your wife and daughter! You should be on my side, not hers!"
Dega had a sad expression as he shook his head. "Even though that's true, I still know when it's wrong to blame someone innocent for my own troubles. While we may both fight for the sake of revenge, what comes after that? Life isn't over even after you accomplish your revenge. That's what being around Mia has helped me to realize. There's… something special about her. If it's her, I believe she can really change things around here."
"I'm not going to give up on my revenge just for your weak way of thinking! Who cares about what comes after revenge? Surely we can do a better job at running this place than that fucking Count! If you won't join us, then we'll just cut you down together with that bitch!"
Mia inwardly wondered, was this the difference in age and maturity? A good portion of the video games she played always had teenagers as the protagonists, saving the world. For those types of games, adults rarely appeared, and the "good" ones that did appear often seemed useless. But to be honest, Mia disagreed with the hotheaded, impulsive type that always acted before thinking.
"What exactly is going on here? Can't we all just talk things out?" Not knowing the history of either individual, Colson was rather confused.
"It's not that easy. Would you talk things out with a monster who was trying to kill you? This Nymon person was just trying to kill me earlier, all because he has a grudge against my father. Even if Nymon has good reasons to do so, does that mean we're in the wrong? I don't think so. Battles aren't always about good vs. evil. Get ready – they're coming."
As Mia spoke, everyone was indeed getting ready for combat. Dega frowned as he drew his sword for the umpteenth time today.
"So, about my earlier question… what happened to Luke and Derek? Did you do anything to them? And, are you really going to go against me on this? You should know the consequences of doing so." Dega's voice was steely, and sounded even colder than when he was challenging Colson earlier. Rather than a burning anger, his words contained an icy rage.
"Luke? Heh heh heh, don't worry boss, he's just sleeping things off in a back alley somewhere. Only thing is that he'll be waking up to find out we took all the money he scammed from us by previously betting on that little girl. Derek? Who cares? He can take care of himself." One of the bandits snickered as he replied.
Mia's mind raced at high speed as she strategized for the fight that was about to occur with her own life apparently at stake. It was three against seven, maybe four if she counted Whimsy. Dega was definitely the strongest individual here, but just how much was the gap between a level 20 advanced job class individual and someone who wasn't? Mia was unsure.
Although she was counting herself, Mia felt like her role here was more like that of an NPC, who could only focus on self-defense. She knew fully that the blow she landed on Nymon's nuts earlier was nothing more than a lucky hit. Wait a moment… wasn't this just like a "protect the NPC" escort quest in an RPG game? Those were a type of quest that she hated the most!
"Protect the NPC" quests in video games were typically made artificially difficult by the NPC's astoundingly bad AI. Either they stood around motionlessly and allowed enemies to hit them freely, or worse, wandered right into the middle of the fight instead of running away.
Mia instantly vowed not to become such an NPC and decided to leave the fighting to the experts. She activated [Whisper] and secretly informed Dega and Colson that Dega would take charge of making all strategic combat decisions.
Meanwhile, as another distraction before the fight, Mia said something out loud that popped into her mind. "There's so many of you, and so few of us. Isn't that a little unfair? Could you please come only four at a time?"
Wasn't that how it worked in video games?
8/17: Official update! Imperfectluck is in the midst of moving, and he right now doesn’t have access to Inkstone. He said he fully plans on restarting CWWM after he moves and regains access to Inkstone. Should be a month or so!
More Privileged Chapters
Download the app and become a privileged reader today! Come take a sneak peek at our author's stockpiled chapters!Download
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.