Inside, it was painted with blood.
“Hmm…They must have kept their food in here.”
“Aye. They would have put animals they killed inside of here.”
“Ahh…it’s animal blood then… I was afraid it was going to be dismembered people that had been inside…”
“It is your imagination that is frightening.”
I calmed my breathing and then used Nighteyes to scan the rest of the area. There were several other wooden boxes lying around. The others contained the bones of animals, which proved that they indeed had been used to store food.
Aside from that, there were bloody swords and broken shields lying around as well. They were likely damaged equipment that had been abandoned after the fight. I picked some up for inspection and saw that they were shoddily made. Equipment that the attacks of villagers could have easily penetrated. Even if it was a village of women, there would have been warriors. I hoped they were still alive…
“Let us hurry on.”
“Yeah, alright. I can see another hole over there. That’s probably the path that leads to the surface.”
I pointed at the hole that I discovered through Nighteyes, and the two of us entered it. We continued to be wary of traps, but there was nothing. If it were me, I would have anticipated humans entering this place and set up traps, but I guess the orcs had not thought that far ahead.
“They were likely just told to rest here and organize before striking the village. I doubt they were able to think further than that.”
“So you’re saying the abnormally evolved being stayed in the nest?”
“It is not unusual for leaders to do that. Leaving the hard work to capable subordinates.”
I see… Well, we were certainly gaining a clearer picture of these enemies.
This orc who had evolved, had decided to attack a village while evading the eyes of humans. He gave the order to his underlings, who advanced through the valley and used the hole moles to get close to the village. Once they rested at the base, they would attack in full strength. The captured women would be taken back through the mist and to their nest.
And two days before the village was attacked, in other words, nine days ago, they were seen moving through the valley. And two days later, seven days ago from today, the village was attacked. They were seen moving through the mist several times after that as well. Which meant that it took multiple trips to bring the stolen goods and women back with them.
The women were likely suffering under their hands even now. Now that I had a clear picture, the rage began to boil inside of me. These people had nothing to do with me, but the fact that there were victims was frustrating to think about. There was nothing right about humans submitting to monsters.
Perhaps there were some good ones. But the truth of the matter was that this attack happened, and so these orcs were ‘evil.’
“There are no traps. Let us move quickly from here on.”
“Alright. Daniela, hold onto me. I’m going to run!”
Daniela nodded as I picked her up and activated Legs of the Forest Wolf. By adjusting my current skills, I would be able to move through the dark tunnel without bumping into any walls.
Once I was ready, I charged, and in the blink of an eye, we burst out into the open air of the surface.
□ □ □ □
We landed on flat ground after coming out of the hole. There was just enough rocks, trees and bushes in the area to hide us. No one would see us unless they came close…
The sky was a gradation of red and blue that showed it was almost evening. We had gone down in the morning, so quite some time had passed. It must have rained too, as the leaves and grass glistened wetly on the ground.
“The village…I do not know which direction. Let us look from above.”
“Alright, hold tight!”
I kicked the ground and launched myself into the air. I was getting used to using this skill… The silver and green wind went well with my magic.
We looked down from above and saw burned houses towards the north. I see. This tunnel was dug so they could attack the village from the back. Considering that there would be visitors from Replant, the entrance would have been made towards the north side. People wouldn’t visit from the rocky mountains anyway. And so creating a path between the mountains and the village would make their assault so much easier. Crafty bastards…
“Can you see anyone?”
“Hmm…wait a moment, yes, several of them. They are…searching through the houses, I think. They are likely the Adventurers.”
“I guess we should go join them then.”
With our plan of action decided, we made a straight line towards the southern village, like a comet over a sunset sky.