Chapter 20: Those in the Dark
A carriage moved through the darkness of the night. The horse’s hooves made loud noises as they trampled on the ground. The pathway was rough, and the carriage was shaking too much because of its traveling speed. I was anxious because we had only one carriage. Hopefully, that would be enough for us.
「A horse and a carriage to carry luggage. You prepared everything, Lugis. Where did you get all of these? I hope this will work out.」
「It’s a secret. But yes, I prepared everything in advance. So, don’t worry. Besides, the private soldiers are outside the property to watch out for robbers. There are only a few servants in the house. We can’t miss this opportunity. This will be a chance of lifetime. Therefore, the mission needs to be successful if we are to take some valuables as well. 」
Caria Burdnick’s rescue. Everything had to be perfect in order to achieve that goal. I was completely focused on this mission. All that was heard on our pathway was the sound of the horses’ hooves as we rode through the pit of darkness.
Everyone that came with me were people that crawled in the shadowy slumps of society. Everyone, regardless of gender. These people were crucial for the success of this rescue. “Just be alive and make sure the job is done”.
「But, the Burdnick family is a fallen House. Are you sure, they still have treasures on their property?」
「They must have some treasures left. Without a doubt. 」
I affirmed that to an anxiously woman wearing a dark attire.
I believed so. After all, it was a family with a rich history. They wouldn’t get rid of ancestral relics for sure.
Those relics were a proof of their previous status as prestigious aristocrats. A proof of their dignity. Even if the Burdnick family fell into the Knight Class, it wouldn’t be strange if they believed that one day they would return to the Aristocratic Class. I was sure that they would like to be regarded as prestigious aristocrats once again.
If that’s the case, then they wouldn’t sell any of those relics. No matter how hard their life would be. There was no way they would do it. I could imagine they kept lots of valuables when they were nobles. Gold relics and silver tableware must be among the finest items they kept to show off the pride of their fallen status.
Ah, that’s right. My purpose of invading that property was entirely different than those who came with me on this mission.
The seriousness of my upcoming actions fell on my mind. I had a puzzled expression on my face.
「…To come up with a plan like this. I can’t believe it was Lugis’ idea. Maybe he got this worried face after he came to realize the reality of this situation.」
「Quite true. Lugis is one of a kind. Hey, don’t make that serious face as if you ate something rotten.」
From the people who came with me, some doubted my character, others felt like joking around and others just kept going on silently. Some of them were rude, but this was not the right time to argue with them. I just had to refrain myself for time being.
I was about to sigh loudly. But it would be too awkward. Therefore, I just smiled bitterly at them.
I just had to pacify this group of ominous people. If I were to describe them more accurately, I would say they would be like common rats. Just living through the sewers of the high-end society. They were not even adventurers in the first place. If they couldn’t get the dirty jobs done, they wouldn’t be able to survive. It was a harsh world indeed.
Yes, I was sure that these people wouldn’t have good memories of their lives. They were just objects thrown over on the road.
Their lives must have been lives of scavengers. They probably had to go through ordeals just to eat a piece of bread. On times of hunger, hungry people won’t discriminate on food. They would grab anything they would find, be it rats or insects. I heard that many children brushed shoes of high-class people just to get some insignificant amount of money. But unfortunately, that was not the case for most of them. That’s why most of those hungry children became thieves. Stealing was the only way of making a living on this unjust world.
It was a life without dignity and it had nothing to do with their pride as human beings. It was a way of surviving day after day. When the day was over, they would wait in the freezing dark of the night for the morning sun to arrive. It was an ongoing fight. No one would help. Living was the only tragedy for them. A tragedy they had to endure every single day.
Ah, yes, that’s right. It was all because I had empathy for them. I mirrored myself in them. My life was not difficult like theirs, but I surely lived a very arduous life as well. My future self was reminiscing about the past. The past that I went into.
So, let’s end this. I had to put an end to this cruel and miserable life. Why should I follow the rules of this world? I got a second chance to live a different life. Otherwise, everything will just repeat once again.
That’s all I had to do. Only death awaited me if I didn’t do anything.
「By the way…Are you sure it’s the right way? I can’t see anything in this darkness.」
「Yeah, there’s no mistake. We’ll get in the south area of the Burdnick territory if we go through this forest.」
The horse kept galloping forward while I smelled the scent of chewing tobacco.
Robbery has increased in the country lately. I suspected that the Burdnick property would have more security than usual. There was no way that we would assault a Knight’s house during the daytime. Therefore, I made plans to invade the territory at night. Our presence could be camouflaged in the forest as well.
The sooner they found us, the sooner their soldiers would return. If that happened earlier than expected, then this rescue mission would be over. I was neither foolish nor arrogant to believe we could fight against private soldiers. So, all we needed to do was invade the property without being seen. All we had to do was to rescue Caria Burdnick and rob some valuables in the house.
「This will be a race against time. As soon as you arrive at the mansion, all you need to do is retrieve the items quickly. Then, you should return to the forest immediately. If we can get those items unnoticeable, the soldiers will only chase after us only when they are notified about the robbery. We just need to get away without drawing much attention. That’s the best part.」
「That sounds okay, but… 」
A robust man with a relatively large figure wrinkled his eyebrows as he stepped forward.
「…How are we going to get out of this forest during the darkness if you don’t end up with us? Shall we wait until it’s morning?」
「Yeah. Don’t worry. If the plan goes smoothly, we’ll be safe. 」
I forgot shortly that I was the one in charge of this raid. This was coming out so naturally that, for a moment, I wasn’t aware of my impending actions. Actually, I was proud of myself for doing something meaningful.
Of course, I didn’t compare with the genius Caria Burdnick, or with the sneaky nature of the old man, or even with Ms. Ninz’s astuteness. But, I won’t run away in the dark, nor will I forsake the purpose of this mission. This will be, not only for my companion’s sake, but for myself as well.
「I have a good eyesight during the night…I won’t lose against anyone on this matter.」
The darkness of the night. Even the moonlight won’t be enough to brighten the surroundings. The forest, the ground and even the sky were engulfed in this darkness. The night covered the air. Everything was undeniably dark.
「The darker the better. This mission must be carried out during the peak of the night. That’s where my true strength lies. Let’s do everything we’ve planned in the darkness. 」
…The night was my ally. The movement of the branches of trees in the forest and the shaking of leaves that fell on the ground. Everything was clear on my field of vision.
It was as if I held the night in the palm of my hand. It was as if it was mine. The only thing I could control. This was the only strength I had that wouldn’t lose to anyone. Yes, even to the man that claimed to be the Hero.
Lugis the man of the night..
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