Fighting God Chapter 25: Bandit Hideout
Okay, the bandit leader is over there. Skaal replied as Aldred arrived near a mountain. The mountain housed a large base. In the middle of the mountain was a huge house made of wood, bones, and stones.
“Hmm…the security here is very strict…. Oh? What’s that? There’s a group of them eating? Skaal, think you can poison their food?”
Who do you think I am? Such an easy task. Skaal responded as he scurried towards the hideout. Minutes later, Skaal came back. It is done. The effects will hit in a few minutes.
“That’s good. I’m gonna tunnel towards that huge house over there. When the poisoned bandits fall and cause a distraction, the leader will definitely step out of his house to see what the disturbances were.”
Aldred dove into the ground and made his way towards the main house. With the help of Skaal’s mark and his sensitivity to energy, Aldred was able to tunnel directly towards the main house. He emerged slowly and quietly from behind the house. Luckily there were no windows at the back that could notify the residents of his presence.
“When?” Aldred asked.
3…2…1…. Skaal muttered and as if on cue, confused and panicked voices sounded out within the base.
“What’s wrong Jarlor? Why did you collapse?”
“Myke! Wake up man!”
“Kikam, what happened?!”
“Boss! Boss! Something happened to our men!”
People rushed out from the huge house including an old man…this was the old man that met with the Count earlier. He surveyed the chaos and shouted. “Quiet down! You, speak! What happened?”
“Boss, I don’t know what happened. They were fine just a moment ago, but when they got up, they all collapsed.” A bandit replied.
“Hmm.” The bandit leader pondered as he gazed at the conditions of the collapsed men. “Call the healer!”
As the bandits assessed the situation, Aldred stealthily slipped into the huge house. Using his sensitivity in energy, Aldred was able to sense many weak energies from below. The kids must have been held there. Aldred closed his eyes and focused on the energies…where exactly were they…. After a few seconds or so, he was able to sense the cluster of energies somewhere down the hall of the house. Aldred closed in to the energies until a door blocked his way. He opened the door and peered inside. There was a horrid smell of blood, piss, and feces. Wrinkling his nose, he descended down the stairway, which led to a makeshift dungeon. There were three holding cells filled with children of all ages. Some of their eyes were vacant and dead. They must have been traumatized from seeing their home destroyed and their family killed. Others had terror in their eyes as they flinched when they heard Aldred walk down the stairs.
Most of the children cowered when they saw Aldred, but one girl still had some traces of defiance and vigilance in her eyes. The girl looked to be about nine years old – Aldred’s age. She had long red hair and blue eyes. She was dressed in rags with scratches and dirt covering her arms and legs. She got up and approached the edge of the cell.
“W-who are you? How did you get here?” The girl asked.
Aldred put his finger to his lips signaling them to be quiet. “My name is Aldred. I’m here to save you.”
“You? That’s disappointing. How are you gonna save us with one arm? You should leave before they come back.”
“Don’t worry. I’m strong. These small fries aren’t my opponents.”
“How can you be so sure? You should-! Oh, no! They’re back! You need to hide!”
Aldred smiled. This girl…still worried about others even with her circumstances. To the shock of all the children, Aldred dove into the ground like it was nothing. The spot where Aldred dug into only looked like a clumped pile of earth…hardly noticeable to an average person. While beneath the ground, Aldred waited for the bandits to come in.
“Is the healer here?” The bandit leader inquired.
“Yes boss, I’m here.” A skinny, clean-shaven and pale-faced man appeared. He bent down and examined the unconscious men. “They seemed to be poisoned as shown by the foam from their mouths and blueness under their eyes and on their lips. Judging from the tint of the blueness and the amount of foam, I think the poison is not fatal. Looking at the events that have occurred, I believe poison was slipped in their food.”
“So the poison used was not to kill…but…to distract…. No! The dungeon! Quick, you five come with me! The rest guard the entrance of the house. Don’t let anyone suspicious get out.”
The bandit leader and his five subordinates rushed into the house. Upon entering the dungeon, they looked around for any suspicious persons. Strangely, nothing was out of the ordinary…no intruder…no missing children…nothing. One of the five men walked towards the cells…and stumbled.
“Fuck! What’s this pile of dirt doing here?” The man exclaimed as he angrily kicked the dirt.
“Wait!” The bandit leader yelled. “Isn’t that a hole?”
“Ah, boss…you’re right. How did it get he-?” Another man replied but he was interrupted by a hand coming out of his chest.
The bandit leader and the other four men gaped in shock. As the hand slid back leaving behind a bloody hole, the dead bandit crumpled to reveal a young boy with black hair, silver eyes, fang-like tattoos below his eyes, and an arm missing.
The bandit leader quickly regained his senses and shouted. “What are you idiots doing? Get him!”