We stayed a night at the village inn. I would have liked to set off right away, but even I needed to make all kinds of preparations to hunt a dragon, one of the most absurd creatures in a fantasy world—I was still a tender Hero on his 5th day, after all. I was a chick out of its egg, just as the dragon was young.
A natural deodorant was needed. This hunt would fail if I was noticed by the dragon first, because the current me would have no way of catching it if the lizard unfurled its wings and flew away; therefore, it was important to make a surprise attack. The only way of having a chance at victory would be to conceal noise and smell, then approach the dragon while it was enjoying a sweet dream and rip up its wings or its hide.
I was able to procure deodorant from a village hunter.
The next thing was time. Presently, my body was literally a chaotic mess due to having activated my cells. I was in the middle of recovering my body to how it was in my prime. The enhancement effect of having reached Level 204 had accelerated my muscle development, but attaining an S-rank in Skills wasn’t easy even with the Hero perk. Still, it shouldn’t take too long to achieve since I had done it once before.
The biggest problem was…
The fools who had been continuing to yawn from a while ago was extremely bothering me. Lanuvel and Porter who had deeply fallen for the wobbling great being’s charm, had actually come back late at night to immediately drop dead asleep on their beds. Regretfully, they weren’t able to learn a single thing; otherwise, they would have dropped into their graves instead of their beds. And the next day morning, they had begun to nod off drowsily.
“Hey. You don’t have to follow me.”
I planned on beating the dragon to submission by myself as, after all, Professor Morals was sure to lecture me if these two happened to die an unnatural death by participating in the hunt. No, it would be fortunate if it ended at a lecture.
Putting aside Porter, Archaeologist Lanuvel was a celebrity. What would happen if rumors got out that she died within five days of entering the Hero’s party? My ‘reputation’ would hit rock bottom. It would be putting the cart before the horse if my reputation fell while trying to raise achievements. It would be better to chase them off in advance so they couldn’t loaf about nearby, if only to prevent that tragedy.
However, it wasn’t going smoothly…
“It’s because I think Hero-nim would abandon us and go off on your own!”
“I think the same as Miss Lanuvel.”
The fools stubbornly stuck to me like glue. Though they would have had a little more persuasiveness had they wiped off the sleep in their eyes…
“Don’t regret it.”
Nearby the village was an extremely ordinary forest. Rabbits, deers, foxes, pines, azalea, webworms, mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes…!
In the first place, the village couldn’t have even been built if the forest hadn’t been ordinary. However, a little further in the forest was a colony of Orcs.
Orcs. Translated to Korean speak, they could perhaps be called pig-demons. However, they merely resembled pigs because of their flat noses—they were in no way genetically related to oinking swine. And forget being fat, they had the muscles of a bodybuilder. Being a purely foreign word, they were just ‘Orc’ even in English, though it would indeed be a laugh to call them pig-demons. *TN: This paragraph may be confusing due to the Korean perspective.
The majority of monsters including Orcs used a primitive language and so Interpretation didn’t work. In fact, they couldn’t communicate even among themselves, so they mainly used body language. The reason behind this is that their lifespans are extremely short and they are born without a home environment. They multiplied in droves like hunting dummies in a role-playing game.
The condition for their appearance is a clean region with concentrated mana, which is why they were rarely born in cities or villages. To sum up their existence simply, they were an infinite EXP supply.
“Hero-nim! It’s an Orc patrol team!”
“We’ll help out as well!”
The muppets were about to go forth, one wielding fire magic, one wielding a spear, blatantly trying to steal my EXP.
This is why companions are unnecessary.
“Stay out of it.”
I unsheathed the Elemental Sword Endymion from its azure scabbard which was wrapped in pure-white cloth. The Orcs who saw the brilliant gleam of the blade flinched and trembled—their survival instincts had perceived the danger of this sword.
My current Level was 204. It would be difficult to hunt even the weakest of dragons, but that was something I knew from the start. This was why the Orc colony located on the path to the dragon’s hideout was important. I planned on raising my Level here a bit.
Level 50, the standard of a page who dreamed of becoming a full-fledged knight of some affiliation. The Skills of an Orc are so pathetic that a knight would win by a landslide if they were to actually fight, but there is a chance they’d end up losing their life if careless; this is because of their racial characteristic.
The Orcs, who only had males among their race, had greater physical abilities than male humans in all aspects. Muscular strength, agility, sense of smell, endurance, resistance… If a highschooler from Earth and an Orc were to go one-on-one, supposing that they were both Level 1, the highschooler could never win even with the protagonist buff.
Was it perhaps because of the Skill Taunt(E) I learnt back at the black market while hunting Elves? The Orcs chose to fight bravely despite being frightened out of their wits. I only felt thankful for this.
The Orcs’ average Level was low because they were a patrol team. But still, as they say, little drops of water make the mighty ocean. It was also the method of growth which Professor Morals recommended.
There were fourteen Orcs in total, a number that was just right for a light workout.
I took off in a dash from my slightly bent knees, ignoring the arrows and spears flying my way as I moved in a straight line. An arrowhead pierced my clothing and a few drops of blood splattered out as it pricked my skin, but it wasn’t able to lodge itself in my stone-hard skin.
The Orcs thrusted forth their spears at me even as they panicked. Their choice of action wasn’t a bad one to stop a charge, but my weapon was much too powerful for their crude spears to defend against.
Elemental Sword Endymion. This was a weapon capable of slaying even Demon King Pedonar. With high-rank Skills and the strength of a Level 204 on top of that, it was possible to steamroll over the Orcs before me.
Slicing their weapons and…
Slicing off their heads too~
There was no need for anything like flashy swordsmanship or footwork. I ran wild among the Orc team patrol while only being careful of my eyes and ears. Defending is for dogs or rats-
‘Not there! You demon!’
… There was no need to dodge. Torn skin would get better with some saliva, and clothes could be newly bought as well. It was a foregone conclusion that my clothes would disappear if I fought a dragon, so there was no need to feel regret for them.
The important thing was efficiency and Skill development.
My Endurance rank had shot up after having endured the Orcs’ attacks with my body. I knew some friends in the past who liked to fight elegantly without getting hit, but a feeble body was just a good EXP ticket. Dodging machine gun bullets was only possible in movies. In reality, it was often the case that an arrow would find its mark on your buttocks from far away—and this was why it was necessary to train your sphincter.
“My ass is a bit sexy, isn’t it?”
The Orc archer who had been continuing to blatantly aim for my rear from a while ago turned around and began to run away quickly. It was the last remaining one.
Lanuvel swiftly conjured lightning using magic and shouted, “Hero-nim! I’ll deal with-!”
“So that the Orc colony will gather in one place. It’d be a hassle and take too much time to go around hunting them down one by one.”
I was currently drenched all over in the green blood of Orcs. I would have been able to get less blood on me had I fought a little more carefully, but this was the most effective way of hiding the smell of a human from the pig-nosed Orcs’ sharp sense of smell. I sprayed the deodorant bought from the village on top of the blood.
We followed after the footprints left by the Orc archer that fled.
“Even though my Level is way higher than Hero-nim’s…”
“Even though I wanted to show you my spearmanship…”
The pair of muppets constantly grumbled while walking through the forest. From the gist of it, it seemed like they were discontent at not being given the chance to take down the Orcs together, going on about also being respectable companions of the Hero and whatnot.
I abruptly stopped in my footsteps.
“Wha-, what is it?”
Lanuvel ducked her head, acting cute. It seemed like she did feel bad about all the complaining.
“I’ll explain the plan to you guys from now. We’ll surround and wipe out the Orc colony by the power of our friendship. Their estimated numbers are 5 thousand. You only needed to watch out for the Level 400 chieftain, Level 300 Sorcerer, and Level 200 Champion. Any questions?”
Lanuvel raised her hand suddenly. I nodded at her, urging her to quickly ask.
“When will reinforcements arrive?”
“Lanuvel will push from the west gate, you’ll take the east gate, and I’ll take the north. I’d like to blockade the south as well, but it can’t be helped seeing as we don’t have enough friendship power.”
Truthfully, I didn’t like the power of friendship. In my opinion, there was nothing like justice in lynching an opponent in numbers just because the opponent was strong.
However, I wasn’t so foolish as to look away from reality—I was still weak. I was in no place to be picky about methods and means until I grew strong enough. There was no chivalry to speak of when you were weak.
“Still, don’t worry too much. There’s a river to the north, so it’s no different than a dead end to the Orcs. With no path of retreat, the Orc colony will be coming at us viciously. It’ll be thrilling, right? Isn’t it like you can already hear the sounds of your Level rising? If you have another question, ask away.”
It seemed like my plan was so perfect that she had nothing more to ask.
Let’s show them what our friendship is about.
It was said to fool the enemy, you must first fool your allies.
If I had truly intended on thoughtlessly charging in from the front, I wouldn’t have smeared filthy Orc blood all over my body, and I would have disguised the two morons as well. The reason I didn’t do that for the two, however, was that Lanuvel and Porter were the bait meant to draw the attention of the 5 thousand Orcs.
“Hm… Is it a bit too much to call them bait?”
Saying that painted me in a rather bad right, so as the elaborate strategist that I am, I shall correct myself: they had an advanced role of luring away the mob in order to assassinate the Orc leaders.
Lanuvel was the one to start the plan.
She shot off a blast of fire magic towards the Orc colony. With this as the signal, battle broke out in the west and east of the colony. Level 200 Magician Lanuvel’s spells made glorious explosions, while Level 286 Porter’s spear pierced and mowed down the Orcs.
The Orcs, who had had a bit of time to prepare themselves thanks to the Orc archer who got away, began to split and swarm towards the west and east. The middle area of the colony became quiet as if Moses’ miracle had occurred.
“What simple-minded Orcs I say.”
Though if you thought about it, they wouldn’t have lived behind such primitive wooden fences for walls if they were smart.
I lightly jumped over the fence and quietly infiltrated my way in, relaxedly making it to the center of the colony.
The Orcs, who had developed noses, had a strong tendency to blindly believe in their sense of smell, which was why it was simple to trick them so long as you erased your smell.
Why didn’t they know this, you might ask?
The answer is that they had little experience in facing clever humans. Their lifespans were extremely short and their language was too crude, and so they couldn’t leave anything like lessons for their later generations. This was why they never made any progress.
It was also why they didn’t attack the village of humans despite it being quite nearby. To them, humans were creatures of unknown. Nevertheless, they did have an eye for things, so they were aware that the sturdy fences built in the human village and the clean clothes of its residents were worlds apart from what they had. As a result, the Orcs perceived them as a higher race.
There was another reason on top of that. The Orcs would frequently come across human groups passing through the forest and would end up in battle, but the mercenaries guarding merchant caravans were stronger than the Orcs. Nothing need to be said about those knights who guarded the carriages of nobles. So as a result, the Orcs got the misunderstanding that all humans were stronger than they were.
‘It becomes a problem after they realize that they thought wrong.’
They would raid villages, stealing women, food, weapons and so on. After coming to know the taste of humans, they would start to run amok just like that.
This Orcs tribe would continue to indiscriminately attack human settlements until they were subjugated by a knight order, mercenary party or the like.
“It’s over there.”
The chieftain’s residence was a shabbily built log cabin. With the rest of the Orcs having swarmed outside, surprised by the power of our friendship, there was not a single guard protecting the chieftain’s house. I could clearly see the situation inside through the gaps in the logs.
Was it perhaps because I had come 9 years early? The black-skinned Orc chieftain’s Level was significantly lower than I remembered it to be. And what was with the pretty Elf pressed under its large body?
… It seemed like they were preoccupied with the union of the two races.
‘Do I have to come back later?’