Start of the Search
After that, we visited the camp that the Adventurer’s had set up. It was a short distance away from the village, and there, among the tents and the fires, we held a war council. Thankfully, most of the people there were veterans, which made things move along quickly.
I was thinking that we should have the scouts search the southeastern area around the valley, but someone suggested that it was likely in the valley floor, and it was decided that we would search there. Thinking about it later, it was quite obvious. Daniela and I had assumed that the hole was dug just to attack the village, but there was a possibility that the hole mole had been used to dig other holes too. This was quite the oversight on our part. It reminded me that I had to keep a flexible mindset.
In any case, a surface squad and valley squad were formed. As Legs of the Forest Wolf removed any limits of vertical movement for me, I became the go-between for the two squads. Ness was the leader of the surface squad. The leader for the valley squad was a scout who had Nighteyes, named Angelica.
“Why, it is a pleasure to meet you!
There was something lady-like about the way she talked, and upon asking her, she replied that she was born a noble. Shockingly, she took to the idea of becoming an Adventurer and had run away from home. As for wanting to be a scout, her answer was, ‘They are guaranteed to be the first to discover the most mysterious things.’ It was true. You could probably hoard many things of interest if you were in the lead. But it was also the most dangerous role. And so she had to be quite capable in order to do it. She was a C ranker like me. A garnet.
Well, that wasn’t the only thing we had decided on. If we did find the orc settlement, it would result in a battle. Virgil would still take the lead as commander. Among the thirty men, ten of them were magicians, and so Daniela was assigned to lead them. I would go on a raid and make the most of my speed.
“Asagi, go berserk, regardless of location and cause as much confusion as possible.”
We still did not know how many of them there were. I wasn’t sure how much we could accomplish with our numbers, but if there really was an abnormally evolved being, then we could expect cunning and efficient ambushes. There were other villages south of Replant. So the damage would only increase if we didn’t act quickly. But first, we had to find this settlement. That was our priority. We could only pray that our numbers would be enough to handle them. And if it turned out that they had far more than we were anticipating, we would have to request reinforcements immediately. It was decided that I too would handle that. And so I prayed that that wouldn’t be necessary, as we lay down to sleep that night.
And now, Virgil stood as the lead commander. Ness was the leader of the surface squad. Angelica was the leader of the valley squad. Along with orc slayer Gardo, the six of us including me and Daniela were in the front base. The other Adventurers were making preparations to leave.
“This…this place was made by orcs?”
“What is that wooden box for?”
“That was for storing food. There was animal blood inside.”
Virgil and Angelica looked around with disbelief. Ness was inspecting the fallen weapons and boxes carefully. Gardo held up a lantern and searched the walls.
“This is their frontline base. That entrance you just saw…that’s where the orcs came from, to attack the village.”
“After seeing this, I am starting to believe your theory about the evolved orc…”
Virgil folded his arms and thought.
“Orcs that have made preparations so very far in advance…I dare say, this will not be the easiest of fights.”
“We can handle it if we are all united. Besides, Asagi is here.”
“Why, Miss Daniela, you sound quite infatuated with him?”
“Aye, he is a good partner.”
Daniela and Angelica’s voices echoed in the room and could be heard even if you didn’t want to. Hey, Ness. Stop laughing!
We were unable to find anything new after searching, and so we returned to the surface. Well, I didn’t expect to find anything. Still, by the time we returned to the village, everyone was ready to leave.
“We just finished searching through the frontline base. It was a large, well-built hall. However, we did not find any useful information.”
“And yet, I dare say that knowing what they are capable of preparing tells us much. These are clearly no ordinary orcs. No, we must stay vigilant!”
Angelica had somehow become the vice-leader at some point. Perhaps it was her background as a noble, because it was easy to understand what she was saying, and there was a sense of authority there that was hard to ignore. Was this called charisma? Something I had none of.
From here we traveled down south along the valley. The weather was cloudy. But it didn’t look like it would rain. And even if it did, these guys were professionals. I didn’t think it would be too much of an issue. And it would also take nearly two days to reach the end of the valley, so the weather would clear up by then.
I lower my raised head and look forward. The backs of the other walking Adventurers enters my view.
I had fought goblins alone in the forest before. And then eventually, Daniela was there by my side… And here we were now, hunting alongside a large group. I had come a long way…