The orc was neither grabbing them nor attacking them.
It cut the rope with its stone axe, making it impossible for us to climb back or climb over.
“Urg! Urk! ”
Naturally, Cliffman, who was hanging from the rope, fell into the stream and was about to get swept away. Ellen, Kono Lint, and I were isolated on the other side of the stream, and the orc pursued the kids who began running away.
“Whwhat is that?! What is this?! Can they make it?”
Kono Lint seemed to want to deny reality when he saw Cliffman getting swept away by the stream’s rapids and a huge orc appearing, chasing the other kids.
It was a monster that made a regular appearance in medieval fantasies, and I also set it up to appear in my novel, but seeing it in person gave me goosebumps.
Orcs weren’t just ordinary mobs in this world to begin with. Why was a race boasting overwhelming physical strength incomparable to humans deemed as a regular mob?
As I said, I didn’t care much about historical accuracy, but because of my strange youthful stubbornness, an orc attacked.
Wasn’t it kind of strange seeing a green-skinned Dwayne Johnson roaring at us with a stone axe in his hand?
“What a load of crap…”
I didn’t expect it to appear like that, so I had chills running down my spine. Kono Lint muttered in shock, his face as white as a ghost.
“He’s out. The teachers will save him.”
Because it was more or less confirmed that he’d drown, they probably already rescued him. The button-shaped artifact we were provided with in the beginning was a tool with which we could give up the mission, but it was also a tool that would activate in an emergency, casting a recall spell. Sensing that Cliffman’s life was in danger, he must have been summoned to where the teachers were.
In the end, the mission wasn’t supposed to be life-threatening. It would just create situations that were rather close to it. The orc was also a puppet that only listened to its summoner’s orders. In fact, as soon as the students were in any danger of being killed by that orc’s attack, the Recall spell would immediately activate, automatically eliminating them.
But even though I knew all of that, I still felt kind of queasy. I didn’t know how many unfamiliar settings had been added.
“If we kill that thing, the mission will be over, right?”
Ellen asked casually.
“…It should be?”
“are you going to hunt that thing?”
Kono Lint seemed to be dumbfounded by Ellen’s casual words. She was looking at the twinkling light in the distance, fixing her posture with her machete.
“I’m not sure.”
Although it was just a single orc, it still was a monster with a height incomparably taller than an adult man. Because of that, Ellen wasn’t all that confident that she was able to kill that thing.
“We’ll know after we try.”
The orc was on the other side of the stream, and our weapons were a broken rope, a machete, a javelin, and a knife.
However, our biggest problem wasn’t our weapons.
“How are we supposed to see something…”
Kono Lint was right. We didn’t have the most important thing, a light source, anymore. Harriet, Heinrich, and Liana, who could create one, were all on the other side.
We had no light, and we had to somehow cross the river to face that orc.
“If you connect the rope again, we can cross over to the other side.”
“are you serious? Are you really planning on crossing that river?”
Kono Lint was startled by my words.
The rope was cut, but the part that got cut off on the other side wasn’t that long. The rope’s slack was enough to just reconnect the two pieces.
“If you don’t want to go over, then stay here.”
In the end, although he said that he’d never do that again, he still used his teleportation. While Ellen turned away, Kono Lint tied the rope I threw over again. We could hear screams of kids and the orc’s roars echoing from the jungle.
I delivered Kono Lint’s clothes. After he got dressed, Ellen came over.
We couldn’t walk that fast because of the darkness, but we started going in the direction from which we heard the screams. Ellen walked in the front, carefully checking the path ahead, Kono Lint walked in the middle, and I walked in the back.
“N-no matter how I think about it, this isn’t possible…”
Kono Lint trembled, saying that he thought that it wasn’t a good idea.
No matter how I thought about it, the past me must have been a psycho. How could I make high school students go through something like that? They’d get mental scars that would last for a lifetime.
Hearing those roars and screams from afar made me even more convinced that I had been completely crazy.
The students of Class A fled and while fleeing, Heinrich’s feet got caught in a vine, and he ‘died’. The orc that was chasing after them attacked Heinrich immediately. He then disappeared—covered in the halo of the recall spell. That reassured the kids a bit. It was part of the mission, and it reminded them of the fact that even if they were attacked by that thing, they wouldn’t actually die—they would just get eliminated.
There were only three left.
Bertus, Liana, and Harriet.
“Saint-Owan! Can you use attack magic?”
“I-I can, but I don’t think I’ll be able to cast now!”
She needed to focus her mind to use magic, but that wasn’t possible at the moment. It was difficult enough to focus on running away.
-Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!
The orc no longer tried to move around secretly, chasing the kids while roaring.
Bertus ran with his teeth clenched. It was merely a setting for this mission, but there was no way humans could live peacefully in a place filled with beasts.
He had been complacent in thinking that the others were just really tall humans after seeing those big footprints.
If one were to think about it more deeply, the situation of them getting chased around by an orc happened because they ignored the clues they should have noticed.
‘That guy is intelligent.’
The orc had been raiding the camps and had aimed for the moment the party split up to cross the river. It even cut the rope while someone was hanging on it, leading to Cliffman crashing into the violent torrent.
This monster shouldn’t be mistaken for a simple mindless beast.
“Grantz! Can you beat it with a lightning bolt?”
“I don’t know!”
Harriet could use magic, but it was difficult for her to concentrate in that situation, and—although Grantz could activate her lightning ability quite quickly—it was hard to say if she could actually beat the orc with it.
Cliffman got swept away by the river, and his machete had been swept away with him; they only had Bertus’ and Grantz’s two javelins.
Bertus had also been trained in combat, although not to the degree Cliffman and Ellen had been. Since he was the only one with a combat talent at the moment, he knew that it was up to him to face the orc.
“I think it’s catching up!”
Harriet’s desperate cry implied that the chase was about to come to an end.
“Grantz! I’m going to face it, so try and see if you can hit it with your lightning while I’m at it!”
“Saint-Owan, although it might be difficult for you, try to prepare your attack magic. Try to focus.”
“Try to climb up on something like a tree. It might try to attack you.”
This was all or nothing.
‘I should have had Ellen with me. Or even Reinhardt.’
Not knowing what choice the guys who crossed the river made, Bertus could only fight the orc with only three of them.
If Liana struck the orc with her lightning while Bertus bought time, they might be able to hunt down the orc. If the lightning didn’t work, Harriet would attack it with her magic.
Defeat didn’t mean death.
However, when faced with a towering orc of more than 2 meters packed with such huge muscles that they seemed to be about to explode; those that gave up running away from it had no other choice but to believe they’d die.
“This mission probably exists to determine if one would give up when faced with extreme fear, even if it’s just an artificial situation. If one succumbed to it in this situation, one would be even more useless in an actual emergency; it should also test one’s teamwork and leadership.”
He somewhat knew what intentions lay behind the mission.
But knowing that wouldn’t make the use of this giant green monster any more reasonable. Even if that violent strength was just something artificial, sometimes that was the only thing one would perceive.
It was a monster they only saw in textbooks, one of the more common demons. It was said that they were all killed after the Demon World War.
The humans fought a war with an army consisting of such monsters and won. Even monsters that were several times more dangerous got killed off and beaten. As such, the humans were victorious.
And those humans, who rose to the most dignified positions of the Empire, couldn’t afford to be beaten by just a single orc, let alone by one that was presumed to only be a summon.
The students were allowed to lose, however. They were still young, after all.
Still, they should not be afraid, though.
Those who want to inherit the throne should not be afraid of such things.
“Come at me, monster.”
Bertus pointed his javelin at the orc.
“I think they’re fighting.”
Along with the sound of the orc running rampant, we could see some flashes of lightning from time to time in the distance. Ellen and I sped up our steps. What the hell was going on?
Heinrich wouldn’t be able to use his ability in a real battle as he was, so the ones fighting had to be Bertus and Liana. Harriet probably wouldn’t be able to calmly use magic either.
As we came closer, I could somewhat understand what was going on—even though they were still pretty far away.
There was literally a desperate battle going on over there.
After the orc got hit by Liana’s lightning bolt, it frowned and took a few steps back. Her lightning was definitely effective, but it wasn’t effective enough to kill the orc.
A javelin was already stabbed into the orc’s abdomen, while Bertus parried the orc’s charge with the javelin he had received from Liana. Just how the heck did Bertus endure all that? His body was completely torn.
He couldn’t have had enough strength to fight with that thing head-on, so he should have done whatever it took to dodge its attack and roll on the floor.
Lightning did some damage, but all it did was make it stagger for a bit, and javelins didn’t seem to be able to deal lethal damage to the orc.
The orc ran towards Bertus with its stone axe; Bertus tried to dodge it by turning to his side, not trying to stab out with his javelin.
—Bertus’s foot got caught on one of the many vines covering the floor, then he lost his balance and fell. It was a mistake that could only happen in a state where one’s view wasn’t clear.
The orc’s axe slammed down on Bertus’ head.
With a flash of light, Bertus’ body completely disappeared.
Bertus was eliminated.
The orc, roaring as if celebrating its victory, rushed towards Liana next.
However, Liana calmly defended against its rush with a lightning strike, pushing him away with her electricity as soon as the orc came into her range.
After learning that Liana would keep attacking it with electricity, the orc didn’t try to get closer to her anymore.
The orc changed its tactics.
It raised its axe and threw it towards Liana with all its might.
It was thrown at such a fierce speed that Liana didn’t even have time to react to it, so her body was also immediately covered in light and disappeared.
Two of them got eliminated right before my eyes.
Harriet, who somehow managed to climb on a tree, was the only one left. The orc retrieved its axe and tried throwing it towards Harriet next.
Harriet’s face turned completely white when she saw the axe pointed at her.
Then, the moment it threw the axe.
Ellen appeared, accurately knocking the flying axe from the air.
In the island survival arc, I had tried to showcase two things.
One: the students of Class A were actually pretty difficult to work with because many of them were just too whiny, while Class B’s students, although not as talented, did what they needed to do without complaining and were highly motivated, so Class B was actually better than Class A.
—Ellen Artorius was the only one from Class A that didn’t give up.
By showing Ellen hunting an orc alone, I had been trying to show that she was incomparably stronger than her classmates.
In the island arc, Ellen was shown to be someone important for the first time.
In the original, everyone of Class A—except for one—voluntarily gave up, while none of Class B’s students chose to give up.
Although Class B was the one who won the group mission in the end, only Ellen managed to fulfill the special condition.
That special condition was…
Hunting an orc.
Of course, she got overwhelmingly pushed back in terms of power. However, Ellen was gradually adding wounds to the creature’s flesh as she ran around and dodged its attacks. The machete wasn’t suitable for stabbing, and the orc’s hard body wasn’t easily wounded.
Compared to its huge body, the wounds added to it seemed like mere scratches. However, it was apparent that the damage on its body was slowly accumulating while Ellen parried or avoided all of its attacks. It was to the point where one could call it bullying.
I could only stare blankly at Ellen, who was fighting to the best of her abilities with such strange movements.
However, that wasn’t the time to just watch.
Of course, it would be difficult to approach it to fight. If I stepped in for no reason, I would only get in Ellen’s way.
While strengthening my body, I threw a stone at the back of the orc’s head.
The orc looked back at me and roared; Ellen didn’t miss that chance and slashed at its back with her machete.
It got attacked from both the front and the back, so it tried to put both me and Ellen in its field of view. The fact that it was struggling against such small ants was already enough to royally piss it off.
The orc, whose body seemed to have become tired, looked as if it thought about whether it should first deal with Ellen or me. Ellen was the more dangerous opponent, but was it really not able to ignore her for a moment to get rid of me?
Although I knew I wouldn’t die, I couldn’t help but feel a chill running through my body.
The orc rushed at me; I then turned sideways to let it run past me.
It swung its stone axe but only hit a tree. However, it sure was terrifying seeing that large tree getting cut in half by that stone axe.
It was like an unstoppable force. Ellen rushed towards the rebounding orc, to which the orc reacted with a vertical slash of its stone axe.
Ellen avoided the axe, letting it smash the ground, then she grabbed the javelin stuck in the orc’s abdomen. It probably was Bertus who had embedded it into it.
Elle pulled out the javelin from its giant body and then stabbed it towards the orc’s eyes without any delay.
Her movements were intricately connected, making it look as if she was dancing. There were no unnecessary movements, they flowed like water, and the orc had no chance to even react.
After having one of its eyes neutralized, the orc staggered and began to step back. Without giving me a chance to step in, Ellen almost defeated the orc on her own.
—a faint exclamation sounded from somewhere.
And following that exhausted shout, a more threatening sound could be heard. The jungle was tinged in red in an instant. I looked behind me and saw a big fireball burning next to Harriet’s face, who still sat awkwardly on that tree.
“I’m going to pay back everything it did to us!”
The orc, whose eye got hurt, began to step back, but Harriet—who had already finished casting her magic—was faster.
Both me and Ellen threw ourselves backward, getting away from the Orc at the same time.
—the sound of a roar and an explosion engulfed the jungle.
I set fireball up to be a spell comparable in performance to an anti-tank rocket if put in modern terms.
The explosion was so loud that I could hear a ringing in my ears.
So it was only natural that the orc, which got directly hit by that, was completely torn apart. Harriet, who had cast that spell, lost her balance from the aftershock of the explosion and stumbled from the tree she had climbed.
If we didn’t do something, she might get eliminated because she fell down from a great height right after killing the orc. The distance between us was too great for me to catch her.
I immediately called out to Kono Lint, who was rather far away from me.
“Hey! Catch her!”
“Catch her, you idiot!”
At my urgent shout, Kono Lint seemed to be struggling between keeping his dignity or saving his classmate; however, soon he teleported several times and caught Harriet mid-fall before landing softly.
Naked, of course.
“Ththank y-… Hieeeeek!”
“I-I couldn’t help it!”
Harriet was surprised that someone caught her and then was shocked that it was the naked Kono Lint.
He put Harriet on the floor and then disappeared, teleporting several times again. He looked extremely embarrassed.
Just how many times would he have to get naked and put on his clothes again that day?
A puzzled expression on her face, Harriet alternated looking between Ellen and me. Soon, her face twisted up, then she crawled towards me and hugged me recklessly.
“Hi-hick! Sob! I-I was so scared, so so scared! Hihick! Sob, sob!”
Now that the tension was gone, Harriet clung to me and started crying. While she was casting the fireball spell, she probably didn’t even know how she actually managed to do that.
Also, the one who saved her was Kono Lint; why was she clinging to me? Wouldn’t he be very upset if he knew what was going on?
What should I do?
I thought I might have demanded a bit much of her during the mission.
“What’s there to be scared of after you completely tore it apart? You did a hella good job.”
I patted Harriet on the back while she was crying bitterly.
In the original, it was Ellen who hunted the orc. Of course, Ellen still landed a critical hit.
However, Harriet, who gave up immediately in the original, showed great performance while fighting the orc.