Chapter 52 – Battle – Part five

The bow is held, the bowstring is silently pulled, and an arrow is set on the bowstring with another one in hand.

It’s quiet for a bit.
Even I’m nervous just looking at it.

“I’m shooting.”

And with that, an arrow flies, with another also flying before the first one stops.

At the same time, Talia starts running.

The first arrow hits an orc in its brow.
It lets out a small shriek and drops to the ground.

The other orc turns to the side in response to the sound, and the second arrow hits its left eye.

But that’s not enough to take it down, and it holds up its spear.

Or rather, it’s about to hold up its spear, when Talia reaches it and slashes its neck deeply with her dagger, killing the orc in one hit.

I can see it’s really sharp.
The blade looks like crystal, but it’s mithril.
Leila and Casey’s swords are also mithril.
It’s my first time seeing it, but that ore is a staple of fantasy settings.

I use Appraisal on it, and see that its magic energy conductivity is high.
It gets even sharper if magic energy is infused into it.

We move to the entrance too.
The cave is dim, and there’s no light from this point on, so visibility is bad.
Or at least that would be the case normally, but Leila and the others have magic items hanging from their necks that fix this problem too.
As for Hikari… Well, she should be fine.

“What do you see, Luilui?”

“…There are several rooms inside the cave… I can see what looks like a prison….
I can see the people that were taken…”

“That is enough, Luilui.”

Luilui is sweating a lot, and looks pale.

“Don’t overdo it.
Do you know where that prison is?”

Asks Talia, and Luilui points in the direction of the prison.

The entrance was dark, but it gets brighter after we walk for a bit.
Are the walls shining? I use appraisal, and it says it’s shining rock, with the effect of dimly illuminating dark places.

They’re not set up at regular intervals or anything, they’re just placed wherever, which makes me think they were already here to begin with.

We follow the only path, until eventually we hear screams.
These screams that echo through the cave sound like they come from a woman.

They get louder as we reach a point where the path splits in two.
We can hear the voice coming from the right side, and by checking Map, I can see there’s no one on the left side.

We advance while trying to make as little noise as we can, until Talia stops.

There’s a conspicuously large space ahead, and on the other side is what looks to be the prison.
Orcs are sitting in a circle, with the center of the room in its middle.
Are they eating? I can smell something good, and hear their vulgar laughter.

In the center, there is an orc and a human woman.
What is going on there makes me want to cover my eyes.
As if that weren’t bad enough, it occasionally hits her like it’s having fun.
The dull sound echoes, and she screams even louder.

“How awful…”

Leila puts her hand on the handle of her sword, but stops.
She doesn’t let her anger win and stops herself from charging in there.

“Talia, what do you know?”

“I don’t think there is anyone else in this room, other than the people in the prison and that person.”

“I see.
Are you all right, Luilui?”

“…Yes, let me do it.”

We go back a little as we discuss our plan.

Luilui will attack the orc assaulting the woman.
Leila and Casey will each attack the orcs sitting on the left and right sides.
Talia will run in to save the woman, and head to the prison.
Hikari and I will also head to the prison to deal with any orcs that attack there.

I offer to go save the woman, but I’m told that’s not necessary, so I leave it to them.
I was worried about the small Talia having trouble carrying a limp woman, but apparently that won’t be an issue.
But I give Talia healing and stamina potions.

“Luilui, give us the signal.”

Luilui is focusing with an arrow ready to be shot.
I can’t see anything from here, but Luilui can just barely see the orc and the woman, and is waiting for an opportunity.
It has to be when the orc and the woman are as far away as possible.

Every time the woman screams, Luilui’s body trembles, but that hand is holding steady.

I don’t know how long we wait, but after a bigger dull noise, the woman is thrown far from the orc.
The orc laughs and goes after her, but an arrow pierces the back of its head.

I hear a loud noise as the arrow’s momentum takes the orc to the ground.

We’re already running before it falls.

Leila and Casey run quickly and take advantage of the surprise attack to slash at the orcs.

Talia rushes to go to the woman, sprinkles potion on her, and runs towards the prison.

An orc moves in front of her to stop her, but is dropped by another of Lului’s arrows.

We run straight to the prison, and also fight off orcs that try to get in our way.
I use Sword Rush, and manage to take down an orc with one attack too.
Hikari uses her speed to hit and run.
There’s no need for her to try to cut too deeply, because her dagger has a paralyzing poison.

By the time we reach the prison, the orcs are on full alert and ready to go.
Maybe they’re feeling wary because a few have gone down, because they’re forming a line and not blindly rushing towards us.

Luilui meets up with us too, and Leila and Casey form the vanguard as Luilui stays back.
The rest of us guard the kidnapped women, as Talia is opening the prison.

More than half the orcs have fallen to this first strike, leaving eight.

I check Map, and see another reaction deeper in the cave, but it’s not leaving that room, probably because it doesn’t know what’s going on.

But what really sticks out to me is that one’s magic energy.
I use Magic Energy Detection, and see it has more than double the magic energy of the others.
What’s worse, is that there are also two human reactions there.

“Is everyone here?”

Asks Talia, and someone says two others were taken to the back.

I look at the hostages, and they all have tattered clothes.
Some have bruises, some have their cheeks swollen, some are limping… Not one is unharmed.
I take out a few cloths and potions.
We need them to at least be able to walk.
My stock is running low, but we can’t be stingy here.

As we’re about ready to move out, I hear the orcs roaring and moving.

Their movements are completely different than before.
They’re moving in a well-regulated manner.
There are eight of them, but they move like they are a single being, as they come to attack.

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