If faced with a group of over fifty Orcs, how would a normal party of adventurers respond?
Nine out of ten parties would simply run.
Orcs are classified as a Rank 2 threat, low on the danger scale. But if they form large groups, their combined strength is enough to even defeat large monsters.
Therefore, the only ones who can fight such large a large group of Orcs in head-to-head combat and have a sure chance of winning are Rank 5 adventurers.
Even an ordinary Rank 4 party would avoid direct confrontation. Unless they freely use tactics such as surprise attacks, ambushes, traps and the like to separate their enemies, they would not be guaranteed to win.
So it is unlikely that this group of Orcs roaming the highway would come across a party of adventurers capable of stopping them. Even if they ran into ten different parties of adventurers, it would be unlikely for there to be a rank 4 party among them.
However, as if they had all been born under the full influence of the unluckiest star, their first encounter was with such a party.
A party that is unlikely for them to come across even if they were to run into a hundred different parties, a Rank 5 party.
A roar loud enough to drown out even the Orcs’ shouts comes from Kai, wielding his double-edged greatsword.
His body dances through the air with full momentum, the tip of his weapon pointed down at the ground – no, at the Orcs’ heads, and crashes right in the middle of them all like a falling meteor.
He had leapt from his Bicorn in mid-air, which had been charging forward at full speed, using its momentum to add to his.
In melee combat the mount is unnecessary; the only thing Kai, the swordsman of『Wing Road』needs, is his blade.
The force of his landing is truly like that of a falling meteor.
The Orcs standing close to the landing point of Kai’s greatsword’s master-class martial art,『Break Impact』, are split – no, completely pulverized into small fragments from head to toe.
The shockwave released by the impact spreads out, and the Orcs in the surrounding area are sent flying.
In response to the calamity that has fallen among them, the Orcs let out shouts of shock, alert and rage.
In the next moment, those shouts become their dying screams.
「Orah, what’s wrong, you bastards! Orcs are known for being ferocious, right? So hurry up and come at me!」
It is unlikely that they understand human language, but Kai shouts at them in a way that they can understand they are being taunted as he finds new victims to put to his blade.
The greatsword sweeps sideways straight through the Orcs’ bone clubs to send their bodies flying.
Not just one at a time, but two.
Letting out shouts of rage, the Orcs surround Kai and begin a counterattack.
The Orcs’ already-bloodshot eyes are turning even more red. Raising their deadly weapons with the strength that they pride themselves in, they swarm towards Kai.
Though they have no coordination, they attack relentlessly in such numbers that they are not even concerned about killing each other by accident in the chaos. A normal swordsman would not even last thirty seconds against this.
「Yeah, yeah! That’s what I’m talking about, don’t make this boring!」
However, Kai does not even take a scratch from such an attack.
His blade simply sweeps through the Orcs in a one-sided battle.
This method of fighting cannot be said to follow the saying「willows are weak, yet they bind other wood*」. Kai just pushes forward with the same – no, even greater sheer power.
He is fast enough to evade their attacks and strong enough to slay the Orcs with a single blow.
But this strength is the bare minimum requirement to be considered worthy to bear the family name of Galbraith, one of the Four Great Noble Houses of Spada.
「If it’s a contest of strength, I’m not gonna lose!」
Kai, a genuine warrior of the human race, fights the Orcs head-on with sheer strength, not using martial arts, divine protection or protective magic. He clearly demonstrates the superhuman strength needed for the renowned swordsmanship of the Galbraith house.
With that said, he cannot use the superhuman swordsmanship itself with mere wild Orcs as his enemy.
Without activating his weapon to use the attack he used when he first charged into them, he simply swings his sword around as he pleases, cutting down Orc after Orc.
「Orah, orah, come on – ?!」
What surprises Kai, even while he was in the middle of combat, is –
Letting out a familiar roar, a black shadow descends from the sky in the same way Kai himself did earlier.
Crushing several Orcs as it lands is a huge monster with red fur on a black body, and long rabbit-like ears growing from its head.
「It’s that something-Pun!」
It was the Rank 5 monster that had struck terror into the hearts of the princes of Spada one month ago in the northern Galahad mountain range, bearing the name of『Wrath』in the old language.
「It’s Wrath-Pun. Your memory is really terrible, you musclehead.」
Safiel directs an exasperated, cold gaze at Kai as she sits on top of the false Sleipnir with the Spellbook『Immortal Bind』in her hand.
But right now, this raging demonic beast is obeying not its cruel instincts, but the commands of this single girl.
The renowned『Necromancy』of the Hydra house, another of the Four Great Noble Houses of Spada, has revived Wrath-Pun.
However, there are two differences from when it was alive.
The right arm it had lost in their first encounter has been restored, all the way to the tips of its paw.
The new arm is not Wrath-Pun’s original arm, but a huge metal gauntlet made of a dark metal.
The ancient parts of a golem’s right arm, excavated from old Avalonian ruins, were a precious part of Safiel’s collection. But attaching them to this Rank 5 monster did not feel wasteful at all.
No, if these parts were not used, Wrath-Pun would not be able to unleash its full potential.
The other difference is its eyes.
Its cruel eyes that had been far redder than the bloodstained eyes of the Orcs have now changed to the same amethyst-tinted eyes as the girl behind it.
That color is the manifestation of the dark magical energy that acts as the source of the false life that is bestowed upon the Undead servants created by Necromancy.
With its eyes glowing an eerie purple, Wrath-Pun leaps towards the Orcs with the ferocity it had in its previous life.
With its ridiculously strong left arm and the replacement right arm, it tramples the Orcs with overwhelming physical strength.
「That was close! Oi Safi, you were aiming at me just now, weren’t you?!」
「My control is still imperfect. Tch.」
「Don’t “Tch” because you missed me!」
Occasionally, Wrath-Pun’s strong arms brush against Kai, who is swinging his greatsword nearby, but they manage to avoid friendly fire by the narrowest of margins.
As expected of the teamwork of a Rank 5 party.
「Uooh! I’m more scared of you than the damn Orcs!」
Kai complains as Wrath-Pun’s huge fist brushes past his nose for the second time, and at that moment –
「Line Force Blast!」
A bolt of lightning shoots down in front of Kai’s eyes.
Its brightness is enough to blind one’s eyes and the roaring thunder was enough to destroy one’s eardrums, but the ones who take even more direct damage are the Orcs standing in the path of the lightning itself.
「Sharl, that was freaking close! If I took one more step, it would’ve hit me! Actually, it did hit me a bit!」
「What? You should have just dodged it.」
That answer comes from Charlotte, the Third Princess of Spada, famous for her tomboyish personality and even more famous for her talent in magic. She is not concerned in the slightest for Kai’s spiky blonde hair that got slightly singed by her attack.
Safiel is commanding Wrath-Pun around like a piece in a board game. Next to her is Charlotte, waving her favorite wand,『Crimson Bolt』and humming the chant for her next attack.
「Oi! If you’re gonna shoot your Blast again, aim it somewhere further from me!」
Even though he is made fun of as a musclehead, he is attentive enough to notice the chanting coming from behind him.
He has inadvertently memorised her chants, and knows that her next spell will be an offensive one.
More specifically, she is once again casting her favourite wide-ranged lightning-element blast.
Both her wand that is as red as its name and the gaze of her sparkling golden eyes are directed at the area that Kai is fighting the Orcs.
「Line Force Blast!」
「I told you not to aim that at meeeeee!」
Thus, the Orcs are cut down, trampled and struck by lightning until not a single one remains.
It has only been about ten minutes since the Orcs arrived.
Nero’s prediction was spot on.