145 Part 1
Chapter 8, Episode 9
The magic train was attacked in the territory owned by the Martzkts. I shot a magic raid stone that was prepared in advance, as I stormed through a station nearby Marktzt’s residence.
The group of 20 armed criminals was considered highly skillful and efficient in executing the elaborate plan for kidnapping the passengers.
Since the incident occurred in his territory, Lord Martzkt took initiative by mobilizing a group of vigilantes to track down the group of criminals. Thanks to their hard work, we could track the whereabouts of the criminals fast. In response to the incident report, Helan territory marshaled the Iron Heat corps expeditiously. Under Mr. Lotson’s command, the corps had arrived at the scene and successfully surrounded the criminal group.
Two days had passed since the day of the attack.
The criminal group surrounded the hostages and stood tall on top of the hill. For the time being, they demanded to be provided food for the hostages and themselves, so we complied. With food, the hostages would not starve. Ultimately, the criminals demanded enough money for 20 people to live a life of pleasure, and the use of the magic train for their escape. However, these demands should not be fulfilled. Now that the magic train had finally started running, this misuse and exploitation would set a bad example.
Riding on Poobe’s back, I scouted the condition of the hostages from the sky above. On his magnificent dragon, Rahsa glided behind Poobe and me. On the ground, Iris and Mr. Lotson were standing by on alert with the secure encirclement of the Iron Heat corps.
As far as the eye could see from the sky above, the criminal group appeared to be fairly vigilant with active watchmen on the lookout. No visible details on the condition of the hostages, since they were hidden in the shades of trees.
I had no intention of complying with their demand for ransom. But how should I make my next move from here on out?
In the meantime, I would try to exchange words with the criminal group from the sky above, using a magic stone that can amplify my voice.
“Ahem, criminal group, can you hear me? I’m Kururi Helan, the lord of Helan territory.”
“… We can hear you.”
They appeared to possess a voice amplification magic stone as well.
They possessed considerably good gadgets, like the magic raid stone. In addition, every one of them was highly skillful and should not be underestimated. How in the world did this highly skilled and armed group come to be? This had to be just the tip of the iceberg.
“Erm, criminal group, you have been surrounded, and it will be very difficult for you to escape.”
“… We know.”
“It’s helpful when you have a grasp of the situation so quickly. If you don’t release the hostages, I will kill every one of you. Even if you release the hostages, I will still kill every one of you.”
Rahsa jabbed me with a fierce retort from the back of his dragon hovering next to mine.
Somehow I felt infuriated and wanted to lash out on them right there and then.
“… We won’t surrender. If you agree to our demands, the hostages will be released.”
“Right then, I’ll kill every one of you.”
“Like I said, why?!”
Rahsa, who was hovering next to me, gave a considerably impatient look.
These are unreasonable people. Just surrender and drop dead already!
“If you have that attitude, we will kill a hostage to set an example. Speaking of which, there’s a pretty noisy woman here.”
Oh, no. They were definitely referring to Eliza. I had provoked them too much.
“Hold up! We’ll take her if she’s noisy. I lied about killing everyone, so please forgive me.”
“… We won’t give you even one hostage. The next time you crack a joke, we won’t forgive you.”
I released the magic stone from my mouth and let out a tirade of cusses. Rahsa asked me to calm down, but they wouldn’t mind since they couldn’t hear my cussing. How brazen for them to use our magic train for this purpose. They even got Eliza involved. Don’t expect to get away with this!
We got off our dragons and gathered on the ground one more time to devise a plan of attack.
“Scouting from the air, the criminal group still has an advantage. I think if we storm in to attack now, the hostages will be sacrificed.”
I thought so. I wanted to slaughter them all, but if I hastily took the short route, the result would be as devastating as Rahsa’s prediction.
“Uhm, having said that, we can’t comply with their demands either. Shall I go and try to negotiate?”
Iris proposed. I thought it would be very dangerous and the result would probably be poor. Nay, with Iris’ cuteness, the negotiation might work.
“Iris, would you mind proceeding with the negotiation for the time being? It would be helpful even if only some hostages are released.”
“Okay, got it.”