In the end, thanks to Ellen, who spontaneously went on an evening hunt, everyone was able to stuff themselves with lobster meat.
Lobster just tasted better than grilled fish or the chewy pig legs, which irritated those nobles’ picky taste buds.
“I… I’m full…”
At that moment, everyone felt so blessed, even while they were still stuck on this uninhabited island and undergoing a survival mission.
Of course, Ellen was still eating the wild boar meat, slicing it with a knife.
“You’re amazing, Ellen. We lived thanks to you.”
Bertus smiled after finishing his food with a satisfied expression on his face, then Ellen pointed towards the beach.
“There were a lot of very big clams as well.”
“Oh really? That’s good.”
It looked like she was already thinking about what to eat tomorrow.
Pigs ate while thinking about what they’d eat next.
Everyone probably thought that Ellen was a calm and capable person, but, in reality, they didn’t actually know all that much about Ellen.
But today, they got to know Ellen a bit more.
They saw her suddenly jumping up after eating, silently, going to the beach to hunt. That was how they found out that she was actually pretty good at hunting. When she was helping chop the wood, they witnessed just how powerful her axe swings were.
They also got to know her bottomless appetite.
Up until now, they might have thought that she ate slightly more than others when we sat together in the dining hall, but today they got to see just how much she could eat.
“I… I did see her eat before, but she sure does eat a lot.”
Harriet muttered blankly. She felt strange that Ellen still managed to maintain her monstrous appetite even in this kind of situation.
“Hey, eat this.”
“Wha… What is that?”
“It’s edible. Try it.”
Harriet carefully took a bite out of that thing that looked like a white squid leg, then her expression turned bizarre.
“W-What is this? Is this coconut?”
“Yeah. You shouldn’t waste any food.”
Harriet, who ate some coconut flesh, swallowed after chewing on it a bit. Everyone just stared at me while I was eating the coconut’s insides.
“You can eat this too, so don’t just throw it away. Use a knife or something to cut it out and eat it.”
Then, one by one, they drank some coconut water with rather exhausted and casual expressions, and began to collect the empty shells.
The sun set completely, transitioning to night.
“Everyone worked hard today. Don’t go out into the forest at night. It’s dangerous. Let’s just stay around the beach. Those who want to sleep early should go sleep first.”
As soon as we finished eating, Bertus naturally started to take control of his classmates.
“And we will set up a night patrol. We don’t know what might happen. I think it would be best if we take turns standing guard. We’ll switch after 1 hour has passed. Although I’m not sure how to measure time in this place…”
I heard that one can tell the time by watching the night sky, but do we have anyone here who can do that?
“I think…it’s about 8pm right now.”
Adelia, who had been blankly staring at the sky, piped up.
“Oh, you’re able to tell the time. That’s a relief. Then, let’s make 10pm our official bedtime. From that time on, every hour, one of us will stand guard in order of our class number. Adelia can’t keep checking the time, so I shall leave the measuring of the time to each of you.”
In other words: “End your shift when you think it has been an hour.”
That might seem rather vague, but there was no other way.
Going by that, Bertus would be the first to stand guard, and I’d be the last. I mean, being last didn’t feel like I’d be standing guard at all.
“Now, everyone, just keep in mind that you shouldn’t go into the forest. Those who don’t have to stand guard should try to sleep well, and those that are to stand guard, try to rest.”
In this extreme situation, he had to spend the first night struggling to control and soothe these mentally exhausted children.
The most weary one out of all of us would probably be no one else, but Bertus though.
Most of my classmates must have been extremely exhausted, both mentally and physically. Therefore, even the kids who asked how they would be able to even sleep in something like this, or what they’d do if insects got in there, went into that cramped tripod hut, but didn’t come out again.
They probably fell asleep as soon as they lay down on the floor. Fatigue could beat anything.
As for Heinrich, he was still managing the fire, making distilled water, and filling the emptied canteens.
As he spent the day, he realized just how important water was, so that was probably why he came to think that what he was doing was very important.
It was a moonless night, so one could see a huge amount of stars. It looked like the Milky Way.
I moved closer to the beach and sat down. I watched the clear water and the night sky.
This really was a scenery to kill for. Now I was finally able to enjoy this landscape with a little less to worry about.
Class B’s camp still looked really lively. It almost seemed like they came here for the sole purpose of playing around.
“Phew… Why are these guys wasting their stamina like that?”
Bertus sat next to me after he saw me sitting here.
“Looks like they still have a lot of energy left.”
“Sigh… I envy them.”
What Bertus said was rather vague. Maybe he was envious of them for being able to enjoy this situation so much, or that they still had so much energy left to play till this late at night.
“Reinhardt, you did well today.”
“Well, I don’t know.”
“If not for you and Ellen suddenly going into the jungle, we all would have given up right then and there.”
As soon as I took some abrupt actions, the kids, who had been set on giving up, faltered, and above all, Bertus stopped thinking of giving up.
“One side is constantly crying ‘Why does my noble self have to do this? How could that make any sense’…
I was like that as well… And then we have the other side, that seems so excited by all this, that it makes it seem as if they came here for vacation and having the time of their life…”
Class A, who was uncomfortable with this.
Class B, who was thoroughly enjoying this.
Even Bertus could feel this gap now.
“…This isn’t even a competition anymore.”
He smiled bitterly. We were struggling while they were enjoying this. The result of the mission seemed quite obvious, even if the mission had only just begun.
In a way, he looked kind of weak. It seemed like Bertus was so mentally exhausted to the point that he had to say such things. Although it was a fabricated situation, in the end, getting food, clean clothing and shelter were very difficult on this uninhabited island.
However, Bertus would never admit that he was stressed out because of this inconvenient situation.
If he did, he would admit that he was merely that small of a human being. It would hurt his pride.
“I’m glad to have you here.”
That certainly sounded sincere.
Class A consisted of 7 boys and 4 girls.
There were 6 completed huts.
So two people had to share one hut, but one of the huts could be inhabited by just one person. That hut went to Bertus. He was playing the role of the leader in this situation; moreover, he was a Prince after all.
Of course, everyone knew that this wasn’t the best.
It was still early in the morning. Cayer Vioden, the one standing guard before me, woke me up. It was obvious that he had major problems sleeping in a place like this.
“Keep filling the pot with water, and if you notice anything dangerous, wake everyone up, also don’t turn out the fire. That’s all you gotta do.”
He still hated me, but I didn’t care about that guy anymore. Honestly, from my point of view, he was nothing more than a small fry, so I didn’t really like or hate him.
The fire was still burning as the one on guard would keep it running. As I saw Cayer crawling into his hut, I left mine and threw the remaining wood into the fire.
I didn’t have to wake anyone else up because I was the last on guard duty. Well, there wasn’t any set wake-up time, so there was no need for me to wake anyone up just because it was bright outside. They’d just have to wake up on their own.
The huts were built circularly around the bonfire.
The six bell shaped huts had their entrances slightly obscured by palm leaves, but one could still look into them a little.
Everyone was sleeping in them as if dead. After pouring some seawater into the pot, and replenishing the firewood, I had nothing more to do.
How long has it been?
I could hear a rustling sound coming from one of the huts, then I saw someone poking their head out of the entrance.
“Did you see anything?”
A disheveled Liana de Grantz appeared from her hut.
She crawled out of it and staggered to her feet. Her whole body seemed to creak. Why did she come out, when she evidently hadn’t slept enough?
Then she suddenly started walking towards the forest.
“Hey, where are you going?”
She ignored my words and just walked in silence.
“Don’t go into the jungle. It’s still dark outside.”
“What is it? Why are you talking…”
I grabbed her arm. Then she violently shook me off and looked at me.
Her eyes seemed so cold, as if she could freeze me by just looking at me.
What’s going on?
Did I do something wrong?”
“I’m going to go shit. Are we done?”
With that, she disappeared into the jungle, seeming like she would kill me if I were to speak to her any longer. It was probably very urgent, seeing as she blurted it out like that.
The girl that went on her merry way to shit, didn’t come back.
“……What’s going on?”
I quietly mumbled to myself in front of the campfire. Did something happen to her? Or was she just constipated?
If something happened to her, I would have to go to help her, but what if I just ended up embarrassing her? Wouldn’t that leave a permanent scar on the young lady’s psyche?
No, but wasn’t it really strange for her to not come back after more than 20 minutes had passed? I didn’t hear her scream, though. Or was she just too tired and fell asleep right when she did her business?
No, that can’t be.
Was there really a problem?
I got up from where I sat and walked towards the jungle.
Maybe she was just too embarrassed to say that she had a problem.
“If you’re alright, spark once! If there’s a problem, spark twice! If you don’t do anything, I’ll just go in!”
It was quiet for a while.
I could see electric sparks flickering in the forest. Did she go in that deep?
She was still conscious, but something was wrong.
I had a feeling what it was.
“Oh, erm. Do you need something to clean your…”
As soon as I got there, sparks flashed before me.
That idiot just went in without thinking about that matter because she had to go urgently, but now she realized that there was nothing to clean herself with.
“Hey! Just wipe it off with a nearby leaf! There isn’t much else here!”
-Brzzt! Brzzt! Brzzt! Brzzt! Brzzt!
I didn’t really know what she meant with that, but what I could read out of it was that I shouldn’t talk nonsense. There wasn’t any toilet paper here, you know? She should ask for something more reasonable.
“Or do you want me to get you some seawater?”
After some silence.
She sparked once.
I put some seawater in the medium-sized pot, went close to the spot where I believed her to be, and carefully placed it down.
“……You can use it. But be careful… We still need it to cook and stuff… Okay?”
There was no reply, but we just tacitly agreed.
After some time, Liana emerged with an empty pot.
She looked like someone, who had their base dignity as a human being severely trampled on.
This must have been an unbearable experience for the young lady, someone who grew up protected and held dear by her family.
What the hell did these guys even think, giving them that kind of mission? It should have been her who felt most embarrassed about this, but here I felt even more ashamed on her behalf.
As if she walked forward like a marionette controlled by somebody else, she began to sob and went towards the beach, not even looking at me.
Then she just silently washed the pot in the sea.
Her butt was slightly wet.
“I… want to give up.”
That was what she told me as she put the pot back in its original place.
The pot was definitely well-cleaned.
But I decided I won’t eat from it anyway.
That was the resolution I made.
Anyway, after she did something like that, it seemed like she fully realized our current reality.
A seventeen-year-old girl who came from a noble family, never worrying about money, had to go through something like this. I couldn’t even ask her to not give up.
I mean, even Bertus would feel the same way.
“Well… Erm, wouldn’t it be a waste to give up after you’ve done something like this?”
If you didn’t want to do something like that, you should’ve just given up sooner. At my words, Liana looked at me with a clear expression.
“……Is that so?”
“Y-Yeah. I mean, wouldn’t it be rather unfair if you gave up after suffering like that, making your suffering invalid?”
Looking at Liana, I realized that if she felt so ashamed it went even beyond shame, her face wouldn’t blush, she’d just get very quiet.
“Yeah, I’ve already defiled my body…”
She suddenly made such a self-deprecating comment and then crept back into her hut.
Resignation, conviction, and self-suggestion.
I was looking at an unprecedented phenomenon in which someone found conviction out of desperation.
I already rolled in shit. I’m already dirty. So what does it matter anymore?
What level of self-suggestion even was this?
After a while, I could hear something that sounded like snoring from Liana’s hut, but I couldn’t tell if it was actually snoring or crying.
Just what is shit…?
I was contemplating such things under the beautiful night sky dotted with brilliant stars.
It was a rather thought-provoking night.
Then, after a long time passed.
I heard rustling from another hut. From it someone appeared.
It was none other than Harriet who suddenly called out to me.
She was staring at me with a look on her face, as if she was about to cry.
“W-What should I do…?“
She looked at me as if this matter was pretty urgent. Even so, it seemed like she thought that I would absolutely help her out after I took care of her for a bit. I didn’t know if it was because of her useless pride, but looking at her face, it seemed like she wanted to ask me to do something. She didn’t say anything at first, however.
That look was also quite cute, but in a different way. A bit pitiable.
There was nothing more difficult than having to watch Harriet being like that.
“Get some water.”
I quietly put a medium-sized pot into her hands.