Road Trip — Part 3
Editors: Speedphoenix, Joker
“Hmmm…” I directed my gaze outside the coach as my ears picked up on a series of shouts and stomps. The suspicious nature of the sounds drove me to stick my head out and take a peek at our surroundings.
“What’s wrong, furrend?” asked Naiya.
“We’re being attacked,” I said. “Seems like it’s bandits.”
“Oh, okay.” She didn’t react at first, probably in part because I had said it in such a casual, matter-of-fact tone. But the moment the words finally clicked, the adventurer practically leapt out of her seat and did a perfect double-take. “Wait, bandits!? That’s a cat-astrophe!”
A group composed of all sorts of different races was closing in on us. They were just about as varied as could possibly be, but the fact that they were all outlaws was obvious from a glance. The only other uniform point was that each bandit was riding a massive boar. By massive, I meant massive. The four-legged creatures were so large that they stood as tall as horses. The thick, obtuse fangs protruding from their jaws made them look as vicious as porkers possibly could.
It didn’t take long for the guards situated outside the coach to realize what was happening. They kicked their horses into gear while shouting at the driver to do the same. A moment later, we began to accelerate. Rapidly.
Tensions ran high within the vehicle’s carriage. People started to scream and panic as they were jostled about.
Even the two beside me, Leila and Naiya, made a bit of noise. Neither had been able to brace themselves for the sudden burst of speed, so they ended up with their bodies pressed against my own. Ahh… Paradise.
“Careful there,” I said as I basked in the sensation.
“Master…” Enne stared at me reproachfully.
“O-oh come on! That wasn’t even my fault! It was totally out of my control!”
“But you’re grinning like you’re really enjoying it.”
“T-That’s not my fault either! It’s what any healthy man would do!”
“Why are you guys still so relaxed!? We’re being attacked by bandits, you know!” Mille reacted to the casual conversation Enne and I were having with an expression that screamed, ”What the fuck!?” at the top of its lungs.
“Well I mean, I don’t really see much of a point in acting all terrified,” I said. “Besides, this is totally helping people take their minds off the situation. Gotta break the tension somehow, right?”
“You’re not fooling me, Master.” Enne called my bluff before it even had a chance to really get off the runway.
“Sorry Ma’am. I understand. You were right and I was wrong,” I said.
Fine, I admit it. Yes, I was trying to make up a bunch of random bullshit to hide the fact that I was totally basking in the sensation of having two girls all over me.
“I take it you have the means to get us out of this situation?” Haloria directed a question my way as she drew a series of throwing weapons out from her pockets and glared in the direction the bandits were coming from.
Oh shit, that’s pretty badass. I had yet to see the secret agent in action, so I had no idea as to exactly what she could do, but seeing her equip her weapons was enough to impress me in and of itself. They served to emphasize the fact that she really was an intelligence operative after all.
“Well, yeah. Of course,” I said. “I mean, I know it looks bad and all, but at the end of the day, they’re kinda just bandits. I can take care of them pretty easily.”
Our attackers were stronger than the human bandits I had run into on my way home from the capital, but not by much. Bandits were bandits. Try as they would, they would never amount to anything beyond trash. Admittedly, there was a good number of them. It looked like our guards would probably end up taking casualties if it came to a head-on clash. Yeaaaahhh, letting them get hurt and maybe even die probably isn’t the best thing for my conscience, so I guess I might as well do them a favour and wipe the bastards out. Sorry, Agent McHoodface. I know it was finally about to be your turn to shine and show everyone just how much of a badass you are, but I’mma steal the spotlight. You can have your turn next time.
“Should I change?” asked Enne. The word change, in Enne’s case, meant changing bodies. She was basically suggesting that she cancel her skill in order to move her mind back into the blade that was her true form.
“Nah, it’s fine. How about you stay here and keep Leila safe?”
I casually grabbed a dagger from my inventory and handed it to her as we spoke. As a sword herself, Enne was great with bladed weapons. In fact, she was far more skilled than me despite not having the Sword Mastery skill. Cutting down incoming arrows was a task she was sure to find as easy as pie.
For the record, I had tried to get her to teach me how to use a blade. The sword girl had told me that all I had to do was listen to the voice within the weapon I was using. It would then guide me and tell me what I needed to do. Unfortunately, her method turned out to be something that I simply could not pull off no matter how hard I tried. Sorry Enne. Daddy isn’t enlightened enough to hear voices in everything just yet. I’m still a bit too far from Nirvana for that.
“Okay,” said the sword. “I’ll keep Leila safe.”
“Thank you very much, Enne,” giggled the maid.
Enne tightened her grip on the dagger I gave her, positioned it in the center of her body, and moved from my lap to Leila’s. It seemed that her newfound position was based on practicality. She only sat back into Leila’s arms because she felt that it was where she needed to be to keep the other girl as safe as possible. Practicality aside, seeing the two of them in what was basically a warm embrace was a wonderful sight for sore eyes.
I felt the urge to smile, but fought it back as I grabbed onto the side of the coach and got to my feet.
“Curiosity kills cats, Yuki!” said Naiya. “It’s clawfully dangerous up here, you really need to stay down!”
She did her utmost to continue fulfilling her duty by placing herself between me the incoming bandits, but I tapped her on the shoulder to tell her it was unnecessary and moved my way past her. Alright, time to send these assholes to hell and get back to enjoying my road trip.
The first thing I did upon reaching the coach’s rear exit was grab an incoming arrow out of the air. I casually chucked it away before raising an arm in the direction of our assailants. And as I did, I cast a spell.
My magic warped the road; the dirt twisted about as it rose and took shape; the path our wagon had just passed over became a literal giant dragon.
There was a roar. The first thing the earth-based puppet did as it spawned was to raise its voice and imitate the cry of the creature whose form it borrowed. With the assertion of its presence completed, the dragon turned its eyes on its soon-to-be victims.
The bandits weren’t in the best of shape. The sudden change in the terrain knocked their mounts off balance and left them in a state of disarray. There wasn’t even a chance for the vanguard to react. Every man was thrown off his boar and sent spiralling down into the crater created by the dragon’s advent. The rearguard was subjected to a similar scenario. They too weren’t able to stop or divert their mounts in time to avoid the pit. Or their allies. The oversized pigs crashed into their off-balance associates and once again flung the people on top of them all over the place. It was a mess. The bandits and boars had ended up in a massive dogpile.
That alone was enough to cull the herd. The number of red dots on my map shrank as the bandits were crushed underfoot by their own companions.
Obeying my orders, the dragon opened its mouth wide, bore its fangs, and swallowed the entire bandit crew whole. The move was awfully telegraphed; they knew it was coming. Many of those that could still move tried their utmost to crawl to safety. But it was already too late. The dragon gulped the boars and bandits down before crushing their bodies with its throat. And then, once every last one of my foes wound up in its gullet, it returned to the earth and vanished. Those unfortunate enough to have survived the stone giant’s bite were buried alive and left to suffocate.
I had only attacked once, but every last bandit was gone. The entire troop had been annihilated.
“Heh.” I smirked. “So, whaddya say, Leila? Pretty fancy new spell, huh?”
“It was magnificent, My Lord. It appears even more powerful than the others you have shown me,” said the maid.
“Mhm,” agreed Enne. “That’s my Master for you.”
The spell I had just cast was one I came up with during my disagreement with the oversized lizard Lefi had watched me murder. Its original purpose was to keep larger foes in check. But as was just demonstrated, it could also be used to put smaller targets six feet under. You know, I almost kinda feel bad for these bandits. Getting buried alive must suck. It’s a bit more than just a bit inhumane. But you know what? It’s their own fault. Like, have you seen their titles? They were all murderers. And many were far worse than just that. People like them don’t deserve to be pitied. Hell, the only thing they deserve is to be put down.
As could be inferred from its scale, the spell ate a lot of mana, but as far as I was concerned, its fuel efficiency wasn’t all that important. I had enough MP to cast it several dozen times back to back. This is great. I feel like a friggin’ one-man artillery battery. Hell, I could probably fire off enough stuff to turn a battlefield into a literal bullet hell if I really wanted to.
Now, you might be wondering something like, “Hey Yuki, why’s it have to look like a dragon?” Well kid, the answer’s simple. It’s cause it looks cooler that way. Why else?
Now that the bandits were gone, I was free to return to my seat, so I did exactly that and plopped myself right back down only to realize that everyone, and I mean everyone was looking my way. Leila and Enne aside, every single passenger was staring at me with a look of dumbfounded disbelief.
Mwaha…. Mwahaha… Mwahahahahahahahaha! You see this, plebs? This is what we call a demon lord’s might.
Alright, now listen up kiddos, ‘cause I’mma learn you a real one. You know how, in novels and stuff, main characters like to make dumb excuses and pretend they’re not as strong as they really are because they don’t want to stand out or kick up a fuss or whatever? And you know how they always go ahead and fucking do it anyway?
Yeah, that’s called being fucking retarded.
Idiots like them need to grow a pair.
The whole point of being a man is to do your goddamn best to make yourself look like a total badass. You want to stand out. You want to show off. You don’t want to be another fucking dumb beta.
The point of being a dude is to not have a fucking pussy. Be proud. Seek thrills and adventure. Don’t be the emo kid that sits in a corner sucking dick.
You wanna get laid? Then stop fucking wasting your time fantasizing. Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Just do it. Get up, get out there, and just fucking do it. Be a real man, and you’ll get as many bitches as you want. Hell, even guys’ll swarm to you.
You hear that, newfags? If you wanna be a high IQ chad like me, then you gotta act the part.
“My Lord, we understand that you’re incredibly powerful and that you enjoy basking in your glory, but might I suggest not allowing your emotions to show so easily…? They are currently written all over your face,” said Leila.
Right away, ma’am. I’m terribly sorry. I swear it won’t happen again.
Editor’s note (Joker): Hey, guys! Joker here. And thank you, Yuki, for addressing the main problem I have with some isekai novels: the beta as fuck protags. I like the ones where the protag just comes out and says “I’m strong as shit, so don’t fuck with me, and I won’t fuck with you”. And if the kingdom has a problem with that and sends an army after you, well, they can’t send an army after you if the army’s dead. *insert guy pointing at his own head with a smile meme here* Buck up, gird your loins, and stop being such a pansy. Ok, thanks Tonatsi and HeadpatFacepat for your questions, even if you added headpats to them. See y’all in the next chapter!