66-Desertion (2)

We had escaped from the special wing and were making our way through the prison.
 Now I'm in a prison uniform and unarmed.
 That's because everything was confiscated when I was imprisoned in the prison.
 There is a battle with demons coming after this.
 First, I have to get back my confiscated equipment.
 But I don't know where they are.
 That's when I turned the corner of the passageway.
 A guard on patrol noticed us.
"Mmm. You've been spotted.
"...... Zeke. You can't make your footsteps any quieter, can you? That encounter was completely avoidable.
Don't be absurd. I'm not as good at stealth as you are. It's impossible to eliminate footsteps or signs. Besides.
You're just in time. I didn't know where to stow my gear. Then ask the guards.
Escapee! Prepare to die!
 The guard knight comes at you with his sword drawn. The guard knight drew his sword and attacked.
"What the ......?
It's too late. You're not trained well enough, are you?
 I took up the sword, spun it around, switched it to the hilt, and thrust the tip of the sword at the guard's throat. The tip of the sword shines coldly in the darkness.

Where's my gear? You're gonna have to show me.
d*mn it, ......!
I'm telling you, there's no point in trying to call for backup. If you try to speak, I'll slit your throat immediately.
...... this way.
 The guard must have heard the truth in Pham's words. The guards must have heard the truth in Fam's words, because they sagged in resignation and led him to a room with equipment.
 The room was a storeroom.
 In the back, my confiscated equipment was stored.
 I put on my armor and baskets.
Meanwhile, Femme had tied the guard knight to a post with a rope. He had a cloth over his mouth and could not call for help.
"You've mastered the art of capture?
"Yes. You're quite handy, aren't you?
 Femme proudly puffed out her chest and looked at my baskets.
"...... So that's your cage that was left in the treasury. It seems to be a very old one. Do you have any feelings about it?
I bought it when I first became an adventurer. Haruna, the wizard you met the other day wrote his name on it. My old friends used to laugh at it, saying it belonged to a child. These baskets hold the memories of our fights as party mates. That's why I keep using it even now that it's old.
"...... companions, huh?
 Femme muttered suddenly.
You've been protecting your friends with that basket for a long time, haven't you?
I protected them and they protected me. We supported each other. We were a good party, if I do say so myself. Until we got famous.

You were expelled, right?
...... All the people you trusted are now treating you coldly, like you've been betrayed. It must have felt like a betrayal.
 Femme asked me.
Wasn't it hard for you? Didn't you feel like you didn't need your friends anymore, that you could live on your own from now on?
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard.
 I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard.
 When Nahat sentenced me to be fired, I responded as expected.
 I was hurt and wondered why this had happened.
But I didn't want to live on my own.
"What if he betrays me again someday?
 Fam said.
If that happened, it would be painful. If you stay alone, you won't be betrayed and hurt.
Even if that's true. I wanted to live a life of connection. Instead of living alone, I decided to live in connection with others.
 I said.
"That's why I met you guys. If I had chosen to be alone, Fam, you wouldn't have been able to help me.
 I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that.
...... If you'd chosen to live alone in the first place, I don't think you'd have been thrown in jail.
 I laughed.
But you're positive, aren't you?
If you weren't, you wouldn't have chosen such a dangerous job as an adventurer or a gatekeeper.
"That's true.
 Fam's face fell into a frown.

...... I'm sorry. I guess I talked too much. I've cleared a path for you to escape. Just let me show you the way.
 I'm not familiar with the structure of this prison.
 It's better than moving around in circles.
 I leave the room where the equipment is kept. I started running after Femme. But I'm not as good at stealth as she is.
"There he is! It's Zeke!
This prison is impregnable! We can't let anyone escape!
No one will ever get through here!
 Sure enough, the guards found him.
 ...... Oh well.
 If they find us, we'll just push through.
 We ran for the exit of the prison, kicking aside the guards as they came at us. We were running down the aisle.
 We heard the voices of the prisoners from the surrounding cells.
"Let us out of here!
"We'll join you!
"We'll join you!" "Let's put these people through hell!
 "Let's put them all in hell!" The prisoners spouted rhetoric.
 Their eyes glittered with violence.
 I kicked the prisoners into their cages.
I'm only leaving here to protect King's Landing. I know you've committed a crime. Then stay in your cells.

 The prisoners turned pale and fell silent. Then there was no more shouting.
"Zeke. Let's hurry.
 We started running through the prison again. Eventually, the exit came into view. There was a strong light coming down on us as we stepped out.
 It was hard for my eyes to adjust after being in the dark for so long.
"Zeke. I want you to look at that.
 The deep moat that surrounds the prison.
 The drawbridge from the main gate, the only way to connect the prison to the outside world, had been raised. The connection to the outside world had been severed.
"They've blocked off the road to prevent escape?
 The point is to keep them off the property.
If it's been pulled up, we can bring it back.
 I put my hands on the surface of the drawbridge, which was raised vertically.
 I pushed harder.
...... You're not going to lower the drawbridge manually, are you? I'm sure that's too much to ask, even for you.
 But .
 Gogo .......
 The drawbridge, which had been standing still in a vertical position, gradually began to move. It descended in tandem with the amount of force I applied to my arms.
 Eventually, it became completely horizontal.
"Good grief.
 Femme shrugged her shoulders in disgust.

"Now I'm really glad you're on my side. I shudder to think what I would do if I had to confront you.