The village chief did not look pleased, but he gave me permission as long as it was during the day. Makibi the lumberjack also joined us, as it ‘sounded interesting.’ And he also gave me some nails.
Thanks to this, we were able to finish the floor, rope ladder and brazier within the day, and the three of us stood shoulder to shoulder while facing the sunset.
The rope ladder was simple, as it was just wooden bars tied at equal intervals with ropes. As for the brazier, I filled the inside of a wooden box with clay and put sand at the bottom.
While it felt like sudden overtime work, it had the positive result of shifting my bodyclock back so I worked during the day.
As the floor was now flat, I was able to pitch a tent and sleep at night. The clapper rang twice during the night, but when I looked down, I just saw goblins roaming around, unable to climb up. After a short while, they gave up and left. I had cut off all of the branches that would allow them to climb up. Good, good.
And so I had somehow been able to create a base. But this was still in the middle of a forest. I couldn’t let my guard down or take off my equipment at night. While I did loosen my belt, it was still very uncomfortable.
I started to think about returning to the town once, and then spent the next day gathering herbs. And it was during that night, that it came.
I awoke to those sounds. Hiding in the darkness, I tightened my belt and squinted my eyes.
I saw the shadow. It was big. Over two meters.
It was looking around and sniffing the air.
While it was too dark to see clearly, it was likely an orc. I had not expected them to be this big. This was bad.
The platform in the tree was only three meters above ground. And so if an orc that was over two meters tall had a club, it would be able to reach me with ease.
Not only that, but I had no way to get down. There was no time to be climbing down a rope ladder when someone was attacking you. I hadn’t thought about that. What should I do?
The only option I seemed to have was to throw one of the few blades I had and try to jump to the tree while I had an opening.
In the dark, I reached for my axe, spare sword, and broad-bladed knife.
And then I measured the distance between me and the slowly moving shadow of the orc…not yet…now!
I turned on the switch for the magic light tool.
And then it appeared out of the darkness.
Woah! It was closer than I had thought!
As the orc staggered back after being blinded by the light, I threw the axe at it. As it was only about three meters away, I could not miss. It seemed to have cut into its chest, but there was no time to confirm it.
It roared loudly, but I didn’t stop. The broad-bladed knife was thrown next.
It only scratched the orc’s head.
Then I threw the spare sword straight at the orc. Now was my chance to climb down and…huh?
The sword had pierced through its chest, and the orc fell to the ground.
“Uh, oh? I defeated it?”
I watched from above, but while it was bleeding, it didn’t move at all.
“I had heard that orcs were really tough.”
I climbed down the rope ladder and approached it cautiously. As it was a humanoid monster, it could be intelligent enough for trickery. But seeing how it lay there facing upwards, it was hard to imagine that it was anything other than dead.
I could see it clearly under the light now. The visible fangs that emerged from the mouth, the snout, the large bell, short legs and bulging muscles. It wasn’t wearing a loincloth, but its stomach made sure that targeting that weak spot would be difficult.
I stepped closer and tried poking its face with my sword. Yes, it really was dad. It was almost disappointing.
Thinking that I might as well cut off its head, I swung my sword down. But it hit something hard halfway in, and then stopped completely.
“Damn, that’s hard!”
Too hard! It wasn’t just the bones, but the skin was tough and durable, which killed my momentum.
Now that I looked closely, the axe hadn’t even gone in very deep. I suppose it was the sword that had been able to pierce through that brought it down.
When I pulled the sword in its chest, it came out smoothly.
Something had felt strange when pulling it out. And so I tried using that sword to cut the neck, and it severed it easily.
“What!? What is this!?”
When I tried cutting other areas, it felt like the sharpness of this blade was different from my other weapons. The sword itself did not look particularly special…but…on further inspection…there was something different about it. Could it be a magic sword?!
“Hey, now. Surely a D-Ranker couldn’t afford such a thing?”
But then again, D was above E, F, and G, so I couldn’t claim to know anything about that. Besides, orcs were E rank monsters, so perhaps it wasn’t odd for a D-Ranker’s weapon to be effective against them.
However, that would mean my victory tonight was mostly by coincidence, as I had merely thrown my best weapon as a way of surprising it so that I could get down. It was a scary thought.
Still, I would use it gladly. It was time to swap main weapons.
Now, I’ll remove the magic stones from the orc and tie its legs together and suspend it from a tree so that I can drain the blood. After all, it is said that orc meat is delicious.
However, a big problem arose here.
While I had butchered plenty of monsters before, none of them had been humanoid. I didn’t know how to do it, and I didn’t want to do it. Whoever was the first person to eat these things in this world should be considered a hero.
But the orc was headless now, and while the look of the skin was not dissimilar to pig, it still looked more like a fat man. That made me even more resistant. However, it was not good to waste meat. And so I steeled myself and began to cut it open from the neck down. Then I held my breath and began to remove the organs…
The fangs and ‘stones’ could be used as medical materials, and so I forced myself to continue cutting it open. But I was at my limits mentally by the time I had buried the organs and head.
In this world, there are both male and female orcs and goblins. But the females rarely came out of the nests, so I hadn’t seen any. While it was true that human women were sometimes captured like in the stories, it was not for breeding, and they were killed soon after. This was all according to what Gein told me.
I couldn’t sleep at all that night, but using up all of my MP while in the forest was not an option. And so I lay awake until the morning. When the sun had come up, I went to the village and borrowed a wagon from Naki so that I could carry the orc. As it had no head, it made a very bloody sight indeed.
Orc hide had many different purposes, and I was taught the proper way to remove it.
I was apparently quite expensive. At least, if you cut down the side, and not down the front center like I had.
However, I was skinning a humanoid. I felt nauseous again.
He gave me directions, and though tears threatened to flow from my eyes, I finished the job.
“That’s quite impressive. You can become a hunter if you can skin them like this.”
“Really? Well, you can have it. Consider it my way of thanking you for teaching me. And you can share the meat with the people of the village.”
“Really? It’s delicious, you know?”
To be honest, I had no appetite for meat right now.
Talk of the orc soon spread through the village, and the chief came out to see.
“I didn’t think that there were still orcs in the area. And to be taken down by a G-Ranker… I’m glad that it was done before there was any damage to the village. I’m sorry for saying that you couldn’t come inside. If you don’t mind a shed, you can come and rest, even during the night.”
“Thank you. I’ll take you up on that offer.”
Alright! I can sleep in peace now!
“And we’ll be counting on you if another orc shows up.”
“I hope I don’t see another one for a long time.”
I grimaced and then smiled. But then Naki said,
“I don’t agree with that. I could tell by the way you butchered it. The way your hands moved changed part way in. Ajifu, I think you overcame another barrier today.”
Surely he didn’t mean… But I checked my status.
After seeing that my skill level had risen, I felt just a little grateful towards the orc.