eld his sword in front of his face and performed the rite of a knight’s oath.
Mmmm… he is a good, although at times cryptic, man.

 And while I was admiring him in a not-so-respectful way, Espada moved to stand next to me.

”Once the battle is complete, I would like to remind Van-sama of the weight and responsibility of a potential heir of the Marquis family.
Please rest assured.
The related lecture will only take half a day to finish.”

 Only half a day, Espada? Don’t be such an insidious harasser.

“I will modify the method I suggested.
First, I will build a defensive wall and attack from a distance.
Vice-Captain Dee and the others will charge from the left side after our first strike.
Orto and his team will then charge from the right side.
Those of you who are specialized in defense and healing will stand by just in case.”


“Yes, sir!”

 Everyone started to move in unison as Espada gave instructions in a low, calm voice.
Then, Espada quickly chanted and activated his earth element magic.

 A wall of earth is created about twenty meters in front of our current location, and Espada and the adventurers in charge of the long-distance strike head towards it.

 While I was stunned looking at the people that had begun to act in the blink of an eye, Till and Kamsin clung to me.

It’s great, Van-sama.”

“When Master Van is in danger, I’ll be the first one to die as his shield.”

 They tell me in a tearful voice, and I hold back tears that threaten to fall.
They’re more like a family to me than my actual family is.

 I patted their heads as I had this thought.

 I want to bask in this moment, but we’re in the middle of a battle.
If there’s I can contribute, I have to contribute it.

“Come on, guys.
Help me get some medicines and other treatment tools out of the carriage.
If you see anyone in danger, let’s intervene and help them.”

 They laughed when I said that.
and they both wiped away their tears and replied.


Note: The rest of the chapter is told in the bandit’s perspective.)

 The bandits who had been raiding the village were beginning to become lax.
They knew that the nobles in charge of the estate had been replaced, making the security of the village particularly weak and easy to break.

 Although it was an important stronghold, it was an out-of-the-way place, and the upper management’s hold on the region was loose at best.
When organizing a new knightly order to secure a new region, like the frontier village, a large amount of time will be needed.
Additionally, if one does not first settle things with neighboring knightly orders, unwanted conflicts may occur.
This causes large delays until the various noble factions negotiate and make agreements.
These factors combined made acquiring a competent security force for the village prohibitively difficult.

 It is a large administrative burden to dispatch lords, collect taxes, monitor and record the situation of a settlement, and provide security for every settlement in a noble’s domain.
Therefore, when a noble begins administration of all of their cities, they attend to the most important cities first.
Then they move their attention to medium-sized towns and villages.
After a long period, small villages and hamlets in rural areas are reviewed.

 So, if it’s a small, frontier territory on the outskirts of a noble’s domain, there are cases where small villages on the edge become so disconnected that they are unaware of changes to the ruling lord of their village.
It takes a huge amount of time to manage information and human resources.

 Taking advantage of such a vulnerable gap in the administrative system, this bandit group decided to raid a small village on the frontier.
There couldn’t be an easier job.
All they have to do is shoot arrows, make threats, and bring back a few possessions, supplies, and women and children.

 So even though they were still in combat, the bandits were loosening up.

 Due to the suppressive fire they were laying down, the villagers weren’t able to mount a counterattack.

 ”I’m sure the villagers, who refused to open the gate under our threats, will give up if they are shot at with arrows which pour down over them like rain.”

”It’s been a long time since you’ve had a woman.”

“Yeah, nothing since that peddler’s daughter.”

“There were only two women in that carriage.
It ended way too quickly.”

“No need to worry, there’s got to be at least ten of them this time.”


 There is leisurely conversation everywhere, and the atmosphere is similar to a festival or a party.

 ”Look at all the drinking and singing going on.
This is why I can’t stop being a thief.”

 My leisurely attitude was broken in the next moment when I saw the tip of an arrow sprouting through the neck of my friend who had been laughing right next to me.

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