> Try to talk them down
“I would appear that your employer is ready to retreat.” You speak up, glancing over at the hooded man as he slowly tries to make his way away from the fight. “It does not seem he has complete confidence in you.”
“Tch.” The lamia also glances over to him. “If he does want to run, then fine. I will deal with him later.” The snake man’s words seem to cause the hooded man to hesitate a bit.
“I’m still not so sure about this.” The human girl shakes her head. “I’m not so keen on getting killed just cause I’m getting paid for it.”
“Then put some effort into it!” The lamia snaps back at her. “Damn Mesaians. Unwilling to see a job through properly.” He grips his weapon tighter, turning back to you. “And you, enough with your tricks. I will have none of it.” It seems that he’s still firmly willing to fight you, but his ally is obviously having doubts.
“Mesaians?” Lorre turns to you. “Telri, he said Mesaians. Didn’t Datev say that one of our suspects might be from Mesai? It was the Copperbirch company, right?”
“Indeed.” You nod to her. “But we cannot go on that alone. We still need to capture him.” You look over to the human girl once again. “We have no reason to fight with you, nor do we have any desire to cause you harm. We only ask that you not side with kidnappers and murderers. Stand down, and we will allow you to walk, but if you continue, we cannot guarantee that you will leave this place safely.” Even if you can’t convince the lamia, getting the girl to stand down will mean that you will have essentially won. The snake man can’t stand up against you without support.
“Urgh…” The girl raises her bow again, though with obvious hesitation. However, she doesn’t fire. “This is just stupid…” She suddenly turns her aim at the lamia.
“What are you-” The snake turns to her with anger in his eyes. “Turning against us? Now, of all times?!”
“Wh-what is going on?!” The hooded man seems a bit distraught over the current turn of events. “What do we pay you for, mercenary?! D-damn it!” The man starts to take a few steps, but you quickly pull out your crossbow and aim it at him, which causes him to stop. “D-don’t shoot me, please!” It would appear he’s a bit more of a coward than you first thought.
“I signed up for a protection job.” The human girl speaks up. “All this shady shit wasn’t part of the deal. I was also told that we would be dealing with prisoners, not actual fighters.” She frowns at the lamia. “Call me whatever you want, but the gold is pointless if it gets me killed. I’m not an idiot like you.”
“You’re nothing but a coward!” The lamia snaps at her in anger. “And we both know you won’t fire at me either. You’d have been better off just running, coward!”
“Shut up! I’m not-” The girl shouts back at him, but before she can finish, the snake suddenly lunges forward at her. She instinctively fires off an arrow, but it goes wide, missing him entirely. With alarming speed, the snake man swiftly wraps his powerful tail around the girl, tightly squeezing her. “Ghk..!” She struggles, but isn’t able to free herself from his grip.
“Wh-what are you doing?!” The hooded man cries out. “Stop this at once and help me, you damn idiots!!” However, his words don’t seem to reach the two mercenaries. It would seem that the human girl’s sudden betrayal sent the lamia into a rage.
You realize that now is probably the best moment to capture the hooded man. “T-Telri, what should we do?” Lorre looks over at the two mercenaries. “We have the messenger but… what about the girl?” It would seem that the elf is worried about the girl’s safety, and for good reason. The lamia doesn’t seem to be holding back at all, and you doubt she’ll last long caught in his grip.
However, your sensitive ears pick up a new sound coming from the nearby woods. Sounds of a struggle and voices that you don’t recognize. You worry that it might be the mercenary’s support, but based on the sounds, they may be in a fight. You wonder if it could possibly be your own support caught in a fight with them.
Things are getting complicated quickly, and you have to decide what to do. You don’t have any sort of connection with the mercenary girl, but if she hadn’t turned when she did, you’d still be caught in a difficult fight. You can’t take your attention off of the hooded man though, as he’s prepared to run at any moment. And the sound of another fight seem to be approaching as well…
[WAITING FOR INPUT…]