When the bandit swung his blade, he intended to lop off Entri’s head with one swing, but he overestimated Entri’s height. He thought Entri was one of the villagers, an adult to be specific, and assumed that by sending a strong blind swing at around his shoulder’s height would end the encounter without retaliation.
Entri could feel the air being cut as the blade howled right above his head. Since he was unprepared for the blind swipe, he panicked and fell back, but he kept his weapon squared against the bandit. Without feeling the bite of flesh, the bandit let the weight of the swing lead his body to spin around for another go. What he saw pointing at him doused his otherwise confident attitude.
“So you know what this is. Good,” Entri said, slowly pushing himself up with one hand while continuing to threaten through his weapon with the other. “Now drop the weapon.”
The bandit’s grip started to loosen, but quickly regained its vigour and said, “looks like you lose, boy.”
Footsteps creaked in from behind. People who were not used to sneaking, or rather, was unable to, tried to enter without being noticed. Due to the limited space within the hut, the sounds the two bandits made were easily distinguishable. They carried both their armaments and spoils, giving each step that extra bit of weight while Entri, having almost nothing besides a few extra vials containing liquid mana and his weapon, as quiet as a wisp. In fact, if it wasn’t for the little girl who had eyed Entri coming in from the entrance, he could have caught the bandit by complete surprise. He had already made assumptions on what he should do in case he was noticed. What he didn’t account for was the early return of the two bandits.
“Now why don’t you be a good boy and drop the scary weapon?” the scarred bandit asked, the color of his face regaining its hue.
Entri could tell the men behind him were still approaching, albeit slowly. Did they think I didn’t notice? “I’d stop if I were you. One more step and I’ll blast your boss to kingdom come.”
The two men stopped, at least according to Entri’s hearing. To him, they either stopped moving, or suddenly went silent. The former was more likely than the latter considering their previous audio levels.
“What are you going to do? Shoot me then get diced to mincemeat? You’re outnumbered, and you only have one shot.” The scarred bandit, now no longer afraid, took a stance to attack Entri the moment he would turn around. But Entri wasn’t planning to turn around. At least not yet.
“That’s an option.”
“But better than nothing.”
“As will you.”
The scarred bandit was undoubtedly frustrated, but he was keeping his composure well enough to avoid jarring his subordinates, but Entri could tell, or at least assume. The scarred bandit was hoping to demoralize Entri with his subordinates and threaten him to surrender, but since Entri didn’t even so much as give it a thought, the bandit was confused was confused.
“You’re willing to die? For what? For these demihumans?”
Demihumans? Entri didn’t know what to make of the term “demihuman,” but he understood that it meant not human, or at least fully. Entri wanted to take a peek at the villagers behind the bandit to get a better understanding, but he knew from his training with Talia’s many friends that a distracted mind is a dead one. Right now, his focus was on the bandit’s body. If the bandit made any movement pertaining to attack, he would see it. His ears were focused on the people behind him.
“C’mon kid, they’re just freaks.”
“They’re not worth your time.”
The two bandits behind Entri finally chimed in their opinions, but he didn’t care. His focus regarding them was whether or not they were going to act, so their words went in one ear and right out the other. His mind was racing as to what he could do. If he just attacked the scarred bandit, then the blast would possibly harm him due to the explosive energy, but if he attacked the ones behind him first, then the scarred bandit would just attack without hesitation. After all, he was willing to attack Entri with a blind swipe just a moment earlier. Any hopes for mutual surrender was practically zero as the bandits held the the advantage. The only reason Entri was still standing was because he was currently holding the scarred bandit as hostage, and contrary to belief, it seems the other bandits want to keep their leader alive.
“You can’t keep this up forever.”
Entri didn’t want to admit it, but the scarred bandit was right. Entri could feel his arms tire. They were already starting to tremble from the strain of keeping the weapon held high for so long. He needed a distraction to change the situation. At this point, anything was welcome. And when it came, it was indeed welcomed.