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It was a three-hour walk to the forest.
We decided to set up our base in an open area about 15 minutes of running from where we thought the Orc pack was.
We had previously set up our tents a short distance apart for our own privacy, but this time everyone’s tents were set up adjacent to each other.
This time, however, everyone’s tents were set up next to each other so that they could be easily reached in case a battle with the Orcs should break out anytime soon.
After the tents were set up, Carl assigned three men to be scouts.
Bill the archer from Speed Kings, Keith from Tiger’s Roar, and me.
After lunch, we decided to move on to where the Orc herd was.
Just in case, I put the [Stealth] that I had just learned on me and Keith, I called out to Bill, but he said, “No, I don’t need it.”
He didn’t trust me yet, and since Bill himself is mobile and had originally played the role of scout in their party, he didn’t think it was necessary.
About 15 minutes into our run, we saw a wooden shack.
It was a battered shack with no door.
I tried to search for them and found two enemies in the shack. I had never fought Orcs before, so my search spell did not identify them as Orcs.
I told Bill in a hushed voice that there were two of them.
Bill said OK and gave me a hand sign to stay here, so Keith and I made eye contact and stayed low to the ground.
Bill, being the D-rank party scout that he is, made his way around noiselessly, and we were able to get into position to see inside the shack.
I extended the scope of my [Exploration] beyond the hut and began to search again.
To my surprise, there was another one about 300 meters from the hut.
Combining the map with the location of the presence, I found a small mountain 300 meters away, suggesting that the hut may have a tunnel dug into the mountain where they built a nest.
If they are nesting, this hut would be a sort of gatekeeper for the Orc nest.
Bill came back after checking the hut, so we decided to keep our distance from the hut and report the situation to each other.
First, I gave him the information I had obtained with my [Exploration].
I told him that there were another one 300 meters from the hut and that the terrain indicated that the other one was most likely digging a hole through the small mountain where they were building a nest.
If my prediction was correct, the other Orc 300 meters away was guarding the entrance, and the two in the hut were positioned to communicate if there was any danger.
Bill reported that the two Orcs were armed.
All we had to do as scouts were bypass the hut to see if the enemy 300 meters away were Orcs, and if it was a pathway, to know the estimated number of Orcs inside and how long it would take for the others to make contact with ones in the hut or change shifts.
I suggested to Bill that we have Huey scout the area.
He won’t make sounds walking, he’ll be stealthy and have less presence. The downside was that he wouldn’t be able to count them, but if he could telepathically tell me every Orc he saw “on his way in”, I could count them one by one.
Even if there is a margin of error, it would be much more accurate than if we were to estimate them from the outside.
Bill agreed, and I sent Huey out with instructions that he should be stealthy, that he should tell me by telepathic communication that he had found them one by one, and that he should flee immediately if he felt himself in danger…
Huey slipped past one of the guards near the entrance and proceeded to the back, and within a few minutes he telepathically told me that “he was in”.
I told him to continue on to the back and after about 30 minutes he arrived back at the back and returned.
Summarizing what was told to me by Huey, they number about 40, and considering that there are two that were guarding inside the hut and 1 that relayed, it is expected to be a group of about 50, and the cave also goes further down. The cave was empty toward the end, but a room was made to the side in the middle of the cave, and a large Orc was located at the far end of the cave.
The hut was controlled by guards standing at the entrance and watching things, so it was likely that a high-ranking species of Orc, such as a High Orc or Orc General, was at the far end of the cave.
We made a detour away from the hut and returned to the campsite to report to Carl.
“You all did a good job of gathering information in such a short time. But there are more of them than we expected, and they are more numerous and troublesome. If we consider fighting with just ten, it would be more efficient to take out the two in the hut and the Orc in the tunnel at the same time and make a surprise attack on the nest. Does anyone have any other ideas?” (Carl)
Vinnie answers Carl’s inquiry.
“After we take out the first three, how about me and Margot doing our best to deliver [Firestorm] in the nest? I think we can cut down their numbers in one fell swoop.” (Vinnie)
Carl then makes a rebuttal.
“It would certainly be more efficient to just take them down, but considering the material purchase afterward, it would be better not to use Fire Magic as much as possible. You don’t want to lose all that money, do you?” (Carl)
“That’s right…” (Vinnie)
Where Vinnie was silent, I said what to do next.
“How about throwing water into the cave instead of fire? The Huey saw that the nest moved down, so if we flooded the holes with a lot of water, we could drown the Orcs in the back.” (Louis)
After thinking a little about Carl
“Well… If the nest is so big that there are around fifty of them, I doubt we can drown them all with intermediate-level Water Magic, but it seems like a good way to reduce their numbers by at the very least, one. Bridget, Margot, can you, do it?” (Carl)
Margot nodded, but Bridget was reluctant.
“If I unleash the intermediate level Water Magic as much as I can, I’ll run out of magic and fall down. I don’t want to run out of magic afterward, especially in a battle.” (Bridget)
Carl realized this said.
“That’s right. This plan is quite hard?” (Carl)
I now make a suggestion again.
“Well, if you just need a lot of water, I can do it.” (Louis)
Carl looked at me with a surprised look.
“You can use intermediate level Water Magic?” (Carl)
I was a little puzzled to answer but decided to do so for the safety of this subjugation team.
“I won’t use Water Magic, but Life Magic’s [Water] and Mon-attribute Magic to move that water. May I demonstrate?” (Louis)
“Show it to me, please.” (Carl)
I understood and I raised my hand waiting for his signal targeting about 100 meters away.
Carl gave me the signal by raising his right hand, and I cast my Life Magic.
The image was the size of a large bus.
As I held it in the air, Carl ran up to me and said,
“This thing is amazing! Is this at your full force?” (Carl)
“No. This is just a demonstration. I can use it five or six more times in a row. Can I let this go now?” (Louis
“Oh, yeah, you can let it go. Oh, well, if you can do it that many times in a row, the plan will work.” (Carl)
With the OK, I floated the water mass away from me and slowly let it flow.
I had to do this quietly.
Carl said to the others,
“The plan is in place. Lucian, Jeffrey, Alan, and Keith will take out the Orcs in the hut, and I will take out the Orc in the tunnel. As soon as the Orcs are defeated, Louis will pour water into the cave, and we will kill the Orcs that crawl out of it. We would wait for the water in the cave to permeate into the soil, and once inside, we would retrieve the Orcs we had killed. If there are any Orcs that have escaped, we will take them out individually.” (Carl)
Since the plan had to be carried out simultaneously, it was to be executed at dawn the next morning.
The instructions were given for each person to be in good condition until the morning.
However, we were reminded that we must not train for the battle, hunt, or engage in any other activities that would release killing intent, as we did not want the Orcs to be aware of the presence of a subjugation team.
Carl stopped me when he announced a temporary disbanding.
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