A strange scene unfolded before me as I carefully walked through the bushes.
Erich and Scarlett were facing each other. There was something next to Scarlett, from where I stood, it looked like a beast, so it seemed like her hunt was successful.
The fidgeting Erich stood before Scarlett, who blocked his way.
It seemed like that bastard started arguing with Scarlett as soon as he encountered her out of some kind of habit.
-Hey, cursed eyes, looks like you grew a lot, huh? Talking back to me and all.
-Leave while I’m still being nice.
It seemed like he was trying to steal away the prey Scarlett hunted. Why did this punk go in and find this kid just to make fun of her?
Right when I decided to step out before that guy tried to do anything more…
I could clearly see Scarlett strongly kicking Erich in the abdomen, making him fly. Then she slowly walked towards him, gently trampling on the fallen Erich’s face.
-You know, the Princess told me something.
-Y-you cursed bitch…
-No matter what I do to you, she’ll protect me.
Scarlett landed a second kick into the bewildered Erich’s stomach. I could clearly see him sharply inhaling and rolling his body around.
Scarlett looked down at him with cold eyes.
-The only reason I’m not returning everything you did to me a hundredfold is because I don’t want to be someone like you.
Finally, after kicking Erich in the face, Scarlett left while muttering.
-Be careful. I don’t know what I’d do if I were to lose my reason.
It seemed like Scarlett held back and ended her vengeance there. She seemed to think that she might end up killing Erich if she were to lose her self-control even the slightest.
Erich couldn’t even look at Scarlett, who was leaving, his complexion ashen.
He must have known that Scarlett was far superior to him. However, once he found out that Scarlett would just tolerate his bullying because she was terrified of getting expelled from Temple, he turned into a villain that just continued bullying her.
However, now that she had a strong ally, Scarlett wasn’t afraid anymore.
Different from the original, Scarlett now had Charlotte as her ally.
So, instead of having Ludwig help her, she overpowered Erich with her own hands.
After waiting for Scarlett to completely leave, I made my way through the bushes and was confronted with the scene of Erich sitting there, completely terrified.
“Yeah, it’s me.”
I grabbed the arm of that dude that just continued to sit there stupidly and forced him to stand up.
“Y-you s-saw it. You saw it! You saw that bitch beating me up!”
“I saw it.”
“Th-that cursed-eyed bitch finally showed her true colors! She’s like a demon…”
“Oh, shut up.”
I was annoyed at hearing him whine, so I just stared at Erich.
“Are you proud of getting beat up for your fucking actions, you bastard?”
“Why can’t you just sit still? Why do you always have to cross the line?”
The guy just got hit by me for no reason. He knew that I was a crazy bastard, so he didn’t shout nonsense like ‘how you dare to touch this noble body’.
Because, if he did, he knew that I was crazy enough to just hit him more.
“However, that’s the least you gotta worry about. You should be worried about what Bertus will say, you know?”
Three of his classmates had to risk going into the jungle alone just because he decided to take independent actions.
His expression turned pale, not because Scarlett beat him up, but because of my words. He wasn’t sure what he should expect when he returned to the camp.
“It’s okay to be useless. When people gather, there are bound to be such people after all.”
Bertus leaned against a tree and talked to Erich while the latter had his head lowered.
Bertus had a smile on his face, but I could see that his mask was on the verge of slipping off.
“By the way, I think there’s a clear difference between a useless person and an unnecessary one.”
Usefulness and necessity were different concepts.
It was okay to be useless. At least those people didn’t cause any harm to the group.
An unnecessary person, however, meant someone that would only cause harm to the group. Someone like that was better off thrown away.
He wasn’t strong enough to scout the jungle like me, Cliffman, and Ellen, nor did he have supernatural powers or knowledge about magic like Harriet, Adelia, and Liana. Kono Lint played the role of steadily supplying the group with coconuts. He was able to use divine power similar to Class B’s Ashir, although they were still very weak, but that guy couldn’t even help out with that.
He got put into Class A because his talents included swordsmanship, divine power, and close-quarter combat, but he was incredibly lazy and liked to show off, so he didn’t put much effort into the development of his talent at all.
Erich was the perfect example of talent and skill not being actually proportional.
Therefore, along with Cayer, Erich just did chores anyone could do, and then he decided to take the unnecessary risk of acting alone.
Bertus explicitly pointed out that he was even beyond useless—he was unnecessary.
“Erich. Do you want to be someone unnecessary?”
“N-… No. No, no. Sorry. I’m sorry, Bertus.”
His tone of voice was rather gentle, but the content of what he said was very creepy. Bertus, who was under a lot of stress, was trying to keep his calm with all his might. However, that idiot acted alone even though he was told not to. He offended Bertus while the situation was as bad as it was.
Perhaps this would have an effect for quite a while. This must have lowered Erich’s usefulness by several steps in Bertus’s mind. Erich trembled as he heard Bertus say such things for the first time.
The others might not be able to hear what they said properly, but they looked over here from the side.
“Okay, since you made a mistake, let’s give you a punishment: From tonight on, there will be two people standing guard at night.”
Cayer, who stood guard alone the previous night, disappeared. So, starting then, Bertus decided to increase the number of night watchers to two.
“Stand guard for the whole night. Let’s end it with this.”
One of the people having to stand guard would be regularly switched out; Erich, on the other hand, would have to stay as a guard for the whole night. That was why he decided the night watch would consist of two people.
“Th-thank you, Bertus.”
Erich, however, was grateful to Bertus for being so generous.
The camp had been reorganized, and we had enough food for dinner. Everyone was eager to make rainwater collectors to store the rainwater. After the rain stopped, we would have to go back to making distilled water.
By evening, the rain gradually stopped, and Ellen returned.
“…Whwhat is that?”
Adelia widened and murmured.
Everyone was more surprised by what Ellen was carrying on her back than her return.
Ellen laid it on the floor and spoke calmly.
“I picked it up on my way here.”
It was the jaguar we killed and couldn’t bring back.
It sure was amazing that she was able to bring it back all on her own. It must have been wet from the rain and unwieldy. Everyone looked curiously at the dead jaguar with the cracked skull.
Ellen tilted her head when she heard that Liana and I were the ones who killed the jaguar.
“Oh… Poor thing.”
“I was almost killed by that thing, you know? How is it a poor thing?”
Harriet found the jaguar with its broken head somewhat pitiful. Heinrich seemed to have a different opinion.
“By the way… What should we do with this? Can we eat this?”
They were of the opinion that it was fine to eat some deer and pig meat, but they felt somewhat averse to eating the meat of this kind of beast.
“I’ll never eat this.”
Liana seemed to hate the idea of eating it, and everyone seemed to agree with her.
“Even so, Ellen went through all the trouble to bring it here… It would be kind of a shame to just leave it like this.”
That was what Bertus said. Honestly, even though she was monstrously strong, it should have been a lot of work to bring it to us all on her own.
However, I suddenly remembered the myth that cat meat was good for one’s waistline.
If that were true, just how good would wild cat meat be for one’s nether region?
That. That would be. Just. Ah. Stop! Would it be that formidable?
I thought about that for a moment, but I didn’t want to actually check.
I was still fine down there.
So I had no use for it.
“Well, I don’t really know what to do with it, but I think if one were to skin it, one would be able to sell the leather for quite the high price.”
Bertus gave us an answer after contemplating for a while. He seemed to be thinking about what we could do with it after the mission, not during.
“Reinhardt and Grantz caught it, and Ellen brought it here, so do you want to share the proceeds between the three of you?”
Liana shook her head as she wasn’t that interested in money. Ellen and I made eye contact, but it felt somewhat lukewarm.
“Even if I wanted to sell the leather… I’m not really confident in my skinning skills.”
“Really? Well… I thought you were good at skinning.”
Bertus scratched his head as if it couldn’t be helped.
“What a pity, these kinds of things could get you about 20 gold coins, though. Even if the condition was slightly bad, I think one could still get about half of that…”
10 gold coins.
10 million won.
“…I think I can do something about this.”
Nothing beats money in forcibly unleashing one’s creativity.
I wasn’t confident in my skinning and processing skills. However, if we left it alone, it would just rot away by the end of the mission.
Ellen and I dragged the jaguar carcass to Class B’s camp.
Class B was almost done rebuilding their camp, and it seemed like they were about to sit down to eat something.
When Ellen and I suddenly appeared, dragging a jaguar corpse behind us, it was only natural that they’d start panicking.
They stared silently at the large cat as if they were completely amazed.
“Yes, Reinhardt. What is it?”
“Could you remove this thing’s leather cleanly?”
I wasn’t good at skinning, but that girl should know how to do it.
When I asked her that, she clapped her hands, knowing what I was getting at.
“Well… I’m not sure if I can do it well. I’m no expert. Are you fine with that?”
“That’s fine. After the mission, we’ll sell it and share the proceeds with you. If you want to have the meat, you can have it.”
All I needed was the leather, so I decided to shove the meat onto Class B. Everyone on our side was averse to eating it, after all.
Me, Ellen, and Delphine.
The three of us decided to share the proceeds between us. Of course, we had to take into account, depending on the situation, that the leather might rot away or that it had no commercial value at all.
“It’s just ridiculous that things like these are on this island, and it’s surprising that you were able to catch it, but it’s even more surprising that you thought of selling its leather.”
Charlotte shook her head, saying that she was so surprised she didn’t know what to say.
You don’t care about this mission at all, do you, you punk?!
That’s what her eyes seemed to scream.
No, strictly speaking, it was Bertus who told me to sell the leather and not waste its meat, you know?
Somehow, I became the bridge between Class A and B, so while they still had to compete with each other, they kind of cooperated with each other, but not really.
It was cooperation bound by money. When the sun went down, the rain completely stopped. Everyone sighed in relief.
Heinrich and Liana began to burn the wet wood, and soon a small bonfire was made. Everyone dried their bodies near the fire. Bertus hung the meat he hunted over the bonfire, going for something similar to smoking. If we left it alone, it would quickly decay in the humid weather.
Seeing everyone huddled together basking in the fire’s warmth like that, we seemed like a small-sized day labor market at dawn.
“Sigh… I think it would have been better if it continued to rain until tomorrow.”
Everyone laughed at Harriet’s grumbling. She hated the rain, but when it didn’t rain, she got annoyed as well. While eating smoked meat for dinner, we dried our soaking wet bodies.
“Ellen, you’ve been in the jungle the longest. Did you find something?”
Because Ellen suddenly appeared carrying the jaguar on her back, we didn’t have the opportunity yet to ask Ellen what she had been doing all day.
“I found the others’ camp.”
Everyone’s eyes grew wide hearing that earth-shaking information. Everyone seemed to want to tell her that she should have said that sooner.
“I waited for them to come back, but they didn’t, so I gave up and returned. They probably set up several camps in different places, living in whichever one they like.”
She found one of the others’ camps. However, she also presumed that they had several, not just one.
That wasn’t all.
“And there was something like a bone graveyard. There were also human bones there.”
The others were presumed to be cannibals.
It felt like everyone was intimidated by these words.
“What a nasty setting…”
Bertus seemed to suspect that it wasn’t a Temple group mission but an event meant to instill traumas in us.