TSKD 150

150. Attackers

We led Solas back to surface by retracing the path we took on our way down. We had healed him, but he was still missing quite a bit of blood so I figured his pace would be a rather slow one. Contrary to my expectations, however, he was still moving along fairly steadily regardless.

I’d honestly just kinda ended up assuming that he was an F ranker because he said his party was comprised of D, E and F ranked adventurers, but he seemed to at least be as good as an E ranker.

「Hey Fran, are you using some sort of detection type skill? It sure seems like it. I’ve only got Presence Detection myself.」

「Nn.」

Solas seemed to be the boisterous type. He more or less kept talking and wouldn’t shut up despite the fact that all Fran really ever did in response to his rambling was nod.

We were able to progress up through the dungeon fairly quickly due to the fact that the traps we disarmed had yet to be restored. I wasn’t sure if everything would stay disarmed long enough for us to break through the fifth and sixth floors, but I sure hoped that would end up being the case, as the traps therein were more difficult to deal with.

Two men appeared in front of us as we continued to make our way towards the exit.

「Hey there.」

「Nn. Hi.」

「Huh…? Are you two by yourselves?」

「That’s impossible. They’re just kids. There’s no way two kids would be able to make it this deep by themselves.」

「R-Right, good point. So where’s your party at?」

Both men seemed rather surprised that Fran and Solas appeared to be travelling alone. I couldn’t really blame them. They were really quite justified if one was to take the norm into account. That said though, they soon regained their calm after asking us a few questions.

「So you two really are all by yourselves?」

「And you’re adventurers?」

「Is that wolf your familiar?」

「Feel free to stick with us for a bit if you got separated from the rest of your party members.」

「Hey, that’s not a bad idea!」

「Right? Come on, let’s go.」

They seemed like good guys that were concerned about Fran and Solas…

Not.

A quick appraisal immediately informed me that they were about as villainous as could be.

They not only had the theft, torture, threaten, and deceptions skills, but were also marked with titles claiming them to be murderers.

My immediate guess was that their strategy was to approach other adventurers in an amicable manner and attack them the moment they let their guards down. You would normally think that dungeon cards could totally be used to prove that one had killed another adventurer seeing as how it logged stuff, but that wasn’t the case. They only recorded monster kills and couldn’t be used to prove whether or not one was commiting crime within the dungeon’s confines.

I felt another person sneak up behind us as I contemplated whether these guys were the same group that attacked Solas’ party — not that it really mattered. In either case, they were enemies we had to defeat, and that was that.

『Be careful Fran, these guys are thieves.』

(Nn.)

(Woof?)

『What’s the matter, boy?』

(Woof woof?)

Apparently, he was questioning why I’d used appraisal, given that Dias had literally just warned us to be more prudent in its use.

He had a point, but I quickly justified to him my actions. That is, Dias’ warnings more so pertained to cases involving royalty, namely in public situations. He also basically more or less explained that other people would also sometimes get mad when appraised because it was seen as a breach of etiquette in general. One of his other key points was that using it under certain circumstances could also get you caught up in some sort of ploy or conspiracy if you weren’t careful.

Dungeons, however, detailed a whole different scenario. You couldn’t really not use Appraisal in dungeon-based settings seeing as how it was pretty common for one to run into idiots like these guys. If anything, using it was more natural than not. You’d really need to be a special type of stupid to unconditionally trust someone you just met, especially if that someone happened to have a weapon.

The only thing you could get out of calling breach of etiquette under such a circumstance would honestly be suspicion. It is possible for something unfortunate to come out of indiscriminately using Appraisal even in a dungeon, but that’d only happen if the other party happened to have some super rare skill that happened to damage those that tried to appraise them. Even then, I’d honestly say that appraising them would probably still be worth the risk.

I wouldn’t mind being on the receiving end either. That is, I’d think it fair and not complain if someone wanted to appraise us in order to trust us if we happened to meet them in the middle of a dungeon.

『That’s just how it is, so don’t worry about it.』

I finished explaining my thoughts to Urushi right about when the men began getting impatient at the fact that Fran had remained silent.

「So? Where yo party at?」

One of the men began talking in a rougher tone, as if he couldn’t keep his act up any longer.

「Nn?」

『Fran, try leaving one of them alive if you can. Preferably whichever one seems to be in charge.』

(The rest?)

『It’d be too much of a pain in the ass to take them all back into the city with just us here, so you can just cut them up if you want.』

(Nn. Got it.)

『Their stats aren’t too low, so be careful. Urushi, you be in charge of guarding Solas.』

(Growl!)

Though even with that said, I honestly couldn’t shirk off the possibility that these men weren’t the same group that had attacked Solas. They could’ve just been former villains that had already been rehabilitated into upstanding citizens. The chance of such a scenario was incredibly small, but there nonetheless, so I honestly hoped for them to make the first move, just in order to confirm that they really were villains.

Fortunately, their next actions almost seemed to function as a response to that hope of mine; one of the men lost his patience and began attacking us.

「Ugh, whatever, enough of this shit already.」

The person who spoke seemed to be a leader, and his words some sort of signal. The man that’d been sneaking up behind Fran immediately drew his a dagger and dashed towards her at an incredible speed.

Although the attacker was just a thief, I had to admit that he wasn’t all that bad at combat. Specifically, I felt that he deserved praise for remaining cautious. He didn’t let his guard down around Fran despite her being a young girl, he remained vigilant and tried to deliver a blow that would hinder any future actions as opposed to one that would slay her in one strike. In other words, he didn’t fully commit himself to the engagement and tried to make sure that he’d be able to withdraw if he wasn’t able to accomplish his objective.

『He’s a careful one, but not nearly careful enough.』

「What!?」

I stopped the man’s dagger in place, and sliced his neck open with wind magic before he was able to recover from the shock of his arm suddenly losing all its momentum and freezing in place.

「Huh!? What!?」

Solas was left completely bamboozled as the situation continued to rapidly change.

「Daz!」

「Guah!」

Fran sliced one of the men into pieces, and sent the other flying by batting him with the flat of my blade.

「Gruaaahh!」

The man that got sent flying had so much momentum that he ended up cracking the wall he was smashed against. His arms and ribs both looked like that’d immediately been broken. His spine looked like it’d seen much better days as well.

「Why…」

「Too obvious.」

「Fuck’n… ‘ell…」

The man responded to Fran with a frustrated groan before finally losing consciousness.

(Master, what now?)

『Let’s head back into the city for now so we can hand the guy we just captured off to the guild. You get rewarded for turning him in, remember? We can probably get him to tell us who he’s working with while we’re at it.』

Solas approached the man while we were figuring what to do with him and immediately swung his sword without even the slightest shred of hesitation.

His action and Fran’s response to it caused a metallic clang to ring through the dungeon’s corridors.

The man we painstakingly refrained from killing would’ve ended up six feet under had Fran not used me to stop Solas’ strike.

「Explain?」

「S-Sorry, seeing him again just made me want to…」

It turned out that these guys really were the ones that’d attacked Solas and his party. He ultimately ended up lowering his sword, but continued to fiercely glare at the scumbag we had just captured regardless.

_______________________________________________________________

Next chapter should be out as the new year comes to pass where I am. There is a small chance that I may actually end up being too drunk to finish the chapter in time, but that probably won’t happen.

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46 thoughts on “TSKD 150

    1. he attempted, and failed.

      maybe you are right with his hidden status bit, however it also wouldn’t be far off to say he would have wanted revenge for his party and he did at least seem remorseful at the party leaders death.

      basically i think you are seeing shadows where there are none, but we’ll see.

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      1. Revenge? Than that means he recognize them and should have warn Fran. Im guessing he is not alot different from them. Sword even mention that he talk alot? And he want to bring his leader corpse back? Maybe bounty hunter related?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. He said that the enemies were masked, and they took him by surprise, so there would have been a lot of shock and not much chance to examine their foes. Additionally, unless he had an ability to resist lie detection he was a friend to the dead dude.

        He didn’t attack Fran during the fight, but the fight ended quickly and he could have been maintaining his cover to take an opportunity if Fran had defensive abilities and the fight dragged on.

        He might have appraised Fran…

        Narratively though, we were told about 4 attackers and there have only been 3 confirmed. The appraisal blocking is a huge bait, but it could be a red herring. Killing the bandit is a classic “destroy the evidence” move. Finally, the guy has been presented as being friendly in a mission about subterfuge, which is super-suspicious. I am calling bandit, but hope to be surprised.

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      3. That’s assuming the dead adventure who was with solas was’nt a bandit as well. Consider this scenario:
        A bandit group clashes with an adventure party. The adventures get wiped out. Then absorbed by the dungeon. One bandit dies after a while due to his injuries. One gets injured to a near death state. The rest of the bandits abandon the dying bandit. Fran finds and saves him. Asks him if the dead man was his friend. He replies yes. That’s true because the dead man was a bandit too.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. that what i was thinking, solas was using himself as bait…then i remembered she had lie detection on, then again he only said he was a friend, not that he didnt kill him…..so theres that loophole

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  1. I felt another person sneak up behind us as I contemplated whether these guys were the same group that attacked Solas’ party — not that that it really mattered.

    not that that it ⇒ not that it

    One of his other key points was that using it under certain circumstances could also get you caught up some sort of ploy or conspiracy if you weren’t careful.

    caught up some sort ⇒ caught up in some sort

    It is possible for something unfortunate to come out of using indiscriminately Appraisal even in a dungeon, but that’d only happen if the other party happened to have some super rare skill that happened to damage those that tried to appraise them.

    out of using indiscriminately Appraisal ⇒ out of indiscriminately using Appraisal

    The chance of such a scenario was incredibly small, but there nonetheless, so I honestly hoped for them to make the first move to just in order to confirm that they really were villains.

    to make the first move to just in order ⇒ to make the first move, too, just in order

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  2. Thanks for the chapter

    Yeah, i don’t trust this solas, his reaction of “seeing him again” is too delayed, only after they defeated not when they leading fran (plenty of time to warn her) or even the first time they meet

    Before, solas said their attacker wear face mask, that the ambush happen so fast, then how he recognize any of them?

    Won’t surprise if the next chpter he try to silence the surviving bandit with revenge as reason just to cover up that he actually the bandit leader (seems not many people had appraisal blocking consider appraisal it self is rather rare)

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      1. Ho..ho..ho..
        Good luck with that, after seeing fran ability (and the wolf) it just attempted suicide (a painful one)

        A sly type like this more likely try to lead fran to a monster trap and abandon her (he won’t fight head on)

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  3. Just let solas on his own *groan*
    The whole thing is dumb.he clearly doen’t need an escort from the start,Fran just needed to tell him pick right each time and he would meet nothing dangerous but his fellow thugs;)
    That’s not a place for Good Samaritans:(
    I would probably not even heal the guy and loot his stuff when meeting him.or just a weak heal,enough for him to have a chance of survival

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  4. Well that was faster than I expected. I thought it’d take couple more chapters to run into the baddies.

    Thanks for the chapter.

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  5. The hell? It was the same guys and he didn’t even say anything?

    This seems a bit suspicious allmost like he is trying to cover his tracks by killing them all.

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  6. Thanks for the chapter ^_^
    Lol, that guy who’s going with Fran is pretty suspiciuos, and strong to. He had a whole in him, didn’t he? And he’s up and running after 1 heal. And the maxed out appraisel skill is prolly not in proper use. If my suspicions are correct, you need an entity with many mind-enhancing skills, like the announcer shishou me, to make it op af. Hence shishou can’te use it properly because he is just too weak in terms of mental power or something. Or maybe you have to use mana with it as well, and the more mana you use, the more force (as in terms of breaking past defense skills) the appraisel has. And according to stat comparisions, shishou has an unbievably large mana pool. He has 1-3 k mana, while the litch didn’t pass 1 k (i think). So that may be why the eye of whatever is so underwhelming.

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  7. I know it is a couple chapters too late to comment on this, but shouldn’t Master’s eye skill let bypass the appraisal block skill like every other eye skill we have run into so far?

    I also hope that Solas isn’t the obvious bad guy we think he is because that is just way too predictable.

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