Chapter 1192: Superhuman Soldiers
We encountered soldiers that were clearly not capable of conversation.
They screamed like wild animals and pounced on Fran. Despite having low skill levels, their stats were evidently quite high.
Pretty impressive speed, and one of them created a small crater from the force of slamming his spear into the ground.
Perhaps they were in some sort of berserk state with their limiters removed?
We smacked them around a bit, but they refused to stay unconscious. In the end, we had to drop them in a deep pitfall, knocking them down whenever they tried to climb out.
『Oi! I’m the righteous knight, Gray! Name yourselves!』
Again, they don’t seem like the talkative type.
But something doesn’t make sense.
These guys were clearly patrolling in groups of three, right? How could they perform such actions if they weren’t capable of rational thought? I can only draw the conclusion that someone is controlling them.
I used my skills to examine the status of the men, getting some interesting results.
First, their race was “Superhuman”, and they had the title “Experimental Subject”. They must have been subjected to Raydoss’s experiments.
And it seems this experiment ended in failure. While they received an increase to stats, they lost their sanity in exchange. Meanwhile, their status was listed as “Dominated”, so someone was definitely controlling them.
Maybe losing their sanity makes them easier to control.
They’d eventually get away, so we had no choice but to finish them off. I morphed my decorative cords into steel threads, and wrapped them around the soldiers at the bottom of the pit. Might as well test out the skills I got on the way to the village.
I had discreetly collected the magic stones from the Tunnel Bugs, as well as other monsters we found on the journey. Thanks to that, I’ve obtained several skills: Reinforcing Mucus, Gloss Erasure, and Thorned Shell.
Reinforcing Mucus secretes a quick-drying liquid used for reinforcing dug tunnels. I should be able to increase the binding strength if I apply it to my threads.
Gloss Erasure apparently has the effects of reducing my shine when I’m exposed to light. Seems pretty useless during the day, but it might let me make my threads less conspicuous at night.
Thorned Shell, as the name suggests, allows the user to grow thorns out of their shell. I could already morph my threads into spikes, but this seems to make the transformation smoother.
I guess these skills might be surprisingly useful. I finished off the superhuman soldiers with thorned threads, then began discussing my next move with Fran.
『Hmm… Maybe the higher up controlling these guys is in the village?』
（Should we sneak in?）
『Yeah, let’s try that. We should be able to stay hidden from these soldiers.』
『I’m also counting on your nose, Urushi.』
We concealed ourselves with magic and skills, then leaped over the wall to infiltrate the village.
The soldiers didn’t respond at all, so they must not have noticed us.
（No villagers anywhere.）
『Yeah, did they all get killed?』
We peeked inside various houses, finding zero villagers. There were various items scattered around the ground, suggesting that the soldiers wrecked the place, but no people.
『Huh? Those soldiers over there. Wait, are they even normal soldiers? Their equipment looks different.』
We noticed a few individuals who seemed out of place, at a corner of the village square where the soldiers were gathered. They must be the higher ups.
They wore slightly higher quality armor, and were talking to each other.
In other words, they clearly had free will. Seeing them casually chatting in front of the soldiers lined up like mindless drones was simply disgusting.
Fran seemed to share in my anger.
（I’ll take them down and beat some info out.）
『I feel the same way, but let’s wait a bit longer.』
We should listen in on their conversation first.
I asked Fran to get a bit closer and use magic to pick up their voices.
The soldiers had yet to notice us. However, it seems they weren’t the only ones we had to worry about.
「There’s someone hiding over there!」
『Damn, we got spotted!』
A voice signaling our location came from inside one of the huts. They had somehow located us without even seeing us directly.
Simultaneously, a shrill whistle-like sound rang out. I could tell that a significant amount of mana was infused into sound. All the soldiers suddenly turned toward us simultaneously.
Are they using that whistle to control the soldiers?
Either way, it’s too dangerous to engage so many in combat when they have someone capable of detecting us. We have no choice but to abort the plan.
『Fran! Let’s retreat and notify the village!』
Eh? I said retreat. Why are you going forward…?!
「Urgh! L-Let go of me!」
She just grabbed the commander’s collar and started dragging him!
「Gyah! My leg!」
The enemy commander screamed in pain from his broken leg, so I silenced him with a soundproof ward using wind magic.
Fran slipped through the soldiers’ ranks while dragging the struggling commander, successfully making her way out of the village.
The soldiers were chasing us at an astonishing speed, but they couldn’t compete with Fran and Urushi. In a matter of minutes, we had completely broken through their encirclement.
『To think you would snatch one up with brute force even after getting spotted…』
Fran’s smug face was pretty cute.
No, I should probably get serious. Let’s fix up the commander’s leg first since it’s in shambles.
His heel was covered in blood after all the scrapes since his shoe got torn off. Seems like his other leg is broken too. I heard a muffled scream earlier, so we probably bumped him into a boulder or something.
He’s already lost the strength to scream or resist. No wait, I think his screams were just getting blocked out by my wind magic.
We escaped pursuit with a combo of running and teleportation, and stopped only once we confirmed no one was in sight.
Fran lightly applied a healing spell, then threw the man onto the ground. He won’t be able to escape with his still broken bones. All he could do was writhe in pain on the ground.
『Let’s make the interrogation a quick one.』
The man must have sensed Fran’s complete change in demeanor.
As a result, he screamed in fright.