The group of bandits ended up returning to the familiar looking cave. I counted how many forces we had. In the end, it was only about one hundred, and that included those who weren’t fighters. Although they were bandits, that didn’t mean in large enough numbers they wouldn’t need cooks, cleaners, and laborers. As a result, the fighting force of the bandits was only about seventy. Most of them had come with Roxford, with only a few staying behind to guard the cave.
I also checked on how much wealth Roxford had accumulated. It wasn’t very much. I supposed that his focus was the war effort. He wasn’t interested in just robbing people. He was interested in bringing down the Demon Lord. On the one hand, he was a bit admirable. The men with him, who were eating mostly slop and not being paid very much, must have had a lot of respect for him. It made it a little weird then to see them look at me with those same adoring eyes. On the other hand, it did explain why his numbers were so low. Any bandit who was just there for the money and comfort definitely wouldn’t remain with Roxford.
The next question was weapons and armor. I quickly found that these things were missing as well. The bandits were not equipped for war at all. Some had leather armor and beat up swords. I wanted to know why the conditions weren’t better, but I didn’t have to ask too many bandits before I had my answer. Calypso. The best food and money she reserved for herself. She convinced Roxford that he had to eat and dress better than his men or risk losing their respect.
As for the men, they were too scared of Calypso to say anything to her, and respected Roxford too much to give him a hard time. As a result, she had managed to waste all of their wealth. I’m not even sure what Calypso did with it, but the bandits were living worse off than the commoners at the previous village had been.
With a sigh, I returned to Roxford’s bedroom, demanded privacy, and then began sitting on the bed. I concentrated on my two girls. Carmine was still in the demon’s castle, but completely out of reach. My Portal still wouldn’t open there, and it would be difficult and dangerous to march right in. At that point, it’d be like walking right into the boss room.
As for Garnet, the pair had stopped moving and were somewhere in the north. I didn’t know what they were doing. I should be able to make a Portal to her. I wasn’t sure how bad the dungeon interference was. I might need to get closer to open it, but it was possible. I didn’t bother though. I didn’t see a point to it. Xin was at a level that if I tried to snatch Garnet, she could take her right back. Instead, Garnet should focus on making that dagger. Hopefully, at this distance, she still had my bonuses. I made sure to leave Slave Master equipped just for her.
I sat in the dark, considering my next plan. I wasn’t impulsive as I had once been, although I suppose I had been impulsive the last few days since traveling with Garnet. Maybe my soul hadn’t lost my impulsiveness, but it was something I did when I was around women. It was easier to make a decision when someone you cared about was depending on your actions or something like that.
Time passed, and the night fell into the next day. Nothing changed in the bandit camp. Their part in the narrative was over. They likely wouldn’t do anything, nor would they be molested, until the dungeon cycle repeated. That was unless I did something and got involved. I’d need to change the story myself. Although what took Xin 1000 cycles to accomplish, I’d need to do in less than one!