Riley sighed big.
It was because Ian was staring at him from the side.
Fortunately… Ian’s gaze was not about expecting something from Riley. It was a gaze of concern.
It was barely noticeable, but Riley’s hands were shaking. He tried closing and opening his hands to calm his hands and then closed his eyes.
It was because the situation was different from how he swung swords while being on the vacation at Rainfield.
Ian was right next to Riley.
Riley was concerned Ian may never look at him the same after Riley demonstrated his swordsmanship. Riley narrowly opened his eyes and moved his left hand toward his waist.
‘It’s bothersome. Don’t bother with thinking about all sorts of things. Ian is different. Unlike the past life, he is on my side.’
What Riley gained after all the hardships he endured in the past life…
After his death, what he received as a reward after being reincarnated…
Iris and Ian could be considered as such.
‘That’s right. I didn’t think I could hide this forever, so… Let’s just trust Ian.’
Perhaps he didn’t want to think about it anymore. Riley decided to just trust Ian. His left and right hands each held a sword. Riley fiddled with the fingers as he took a deep breath again.
“Ian, we are going, all right?”
Ian was comparing Riley’s two-swords stance with Sera’s stance. Ian vacantly asked back, but…
“Ah? Y… Young Master! Wait…”
He tumbled and raised his hand.
It seemed Riley was going to practice what he said about the time being gold. Riley was already charging forward with the swords lowered.
‘… I’m going to finish this in a flash.’
Ian unconsciously thought about what Riley said earlier. Ian tumbled and followed after Riley.
‘He is fast?’
It would have been befitting to call it an explosive speed.
It appeared that Riley instantly sent mana to his legs.
Instead of running, it looked like Riley was making huge leaps every time.
Ian, who was following Riley, was impressed.
‘This kind of movement is… not in the textbooks?’
The way Riley was charging forward…
The way Riley had his swords lowered toward the back…
Ian have never seen such moves before. However, interestingly, Ian couldn’t find anything to fault on them.
<Ian, it’s a bother, so move quickly so this doesn’t get dragged on.>
To Ian, who was following behind Riley and was impressed by Riley’s stance, seemed shocked to hear the voice directly in his head. Ian opened his eyes big.
It was one of techniques used to send messages to another using mana.
It was a technique that only those who were skilled in mana could use. Of all people, Riley was using it, and Ian was surprised. While Ian was thinking that, the sight of an orc’s head being cut off and floating up was caught in Ian’s eyes.
As they heard before coming to the colony, as soon as they went over the forest’s boundary, they could immediately see the orc’s main colony. Now… a black haired boy charged in there and was dancing.
“Huuk? It’s a surprise attack…”
At the colony’s entrance, with a black haired boy making an entrance, an orc was going to tell others that the colony was under attack. However, along with a sharp sound piercing through the wind, its head was thrown off to the sky.
“The enemy is com…”
The other orc could not finish the sentence before its head was lifted to the sky. The head fell to the ground.
Holding the swords in his ten fingers, Riley spun the swords in circular motion and turned his body in reverse, swinging his sword like a windmill.
Since Riley charged in, quite literally in a flash, Riley handled thirteen orcs. He narrowed his eyes and moved his gaze.
‘There are about… 160 orcs in this colony? With the ones just killed accounted for, the remaining ones are…’
While cutting down the orcs, Riley widened his senses and counted the number of existences within the range. He found another orc shouting to warn other orcs, so Riley swung his arm again.
A sword that Riley threw pierced right into the orc’s neck.
‘150… The number is low.’
Riley used mana to look around the surrounding. He calmly cut off the next orc’s head and rolled his brain.
‘Didn’t they say there are about 200 of them?’
Ian arrived at the colony around the time Riley already silently disposed of fifteen orcs. Ian stared at Riley with a look of disbelief.
“Ian, about the estimated number of orcs… isn’t it about 200?”
Riley’s memory about this was fuzzy, so he asked Ian. Ian, who vacantly looked at the orcs’ corpses, said that was the case.
“Yes… The number we heard at the mansion and what Malto said to us were both around 200, but… why do you ask?”
Riley walked over to pull out the sword that left his hand because he threw it and got stuck on an orc’s neck. Riley said,
“A few of them are missing.”
“I think we will have to change the plan.”
Riley had to make a quick decision.
Without hesitation, Riley promptly made a decision. Charging forward, Riley said to Ian,
“Ian, you move a little more.”
“Young Master? Just what…”
Without any explanation, Riley flashed to east to west. Ian was not sure if he was dreaming or not. To Ian’s back, an unpleasant ‘Huuuk’ breathing sound through the nose could be heard.
“Human! It’s a human!”
“Corpses, there are corpses! Our comrades were slaughtered!”
With a group of orcs approaching from the back, Ian, who was about half focused, fixed his grip on the sword and narrowed his eyes.
‘Where’s Young Master?’
Before having a big one against the orcs, Ian casually turned his gaze to look at the direction that Riley charged toward. Ian confirmed that Riley was gone without any trace. Breaking cold sweats, Ian opened his mouth wide.
“It’s a human. It killed our comrades!”
“It’s a surprise attack!”
“Houk… Revenge, take revenge!”
Ignoring Ian’s sigh, the orcs ground their teeth because of death of their comrades. The orcs, with their axes aimed to the front, only glared at Ian.
* * *
Instead of describing it by calling it swinging the swords, it was more becoming to call it a violent dance.
Of the six swords that Riley brought, now only three of them remained.
‘Tsk. The swords are not able to withstand the bit of intensity. They melted or got bent, geez.’
Three of them left Riley’s hands because they couldn’t withstand Riley’s strength. They broke, got bent or melted away.
‘With this, that’s now 90.’
The edge of the sword on his right hand was broken. Now, Riley held two swords of different lengths, but it looked like this was not going to be a problem for him on fighting orcs.
The sword on his right hand was broken in half, so it was shorter than the sword on his left hand. Riley threw the sword on the right hand and pierced an orc’s neck. He looked around the area and narrowed his eyes.
‘Ian is probably fighting the rest.’
Riley narrowed his eyes and looked around here and there. He checked empty colony and corpses on the ground and furrowed his brows.
‘The children are not here.’
Even when he was swinging his sword, Riley had been diligently checking this. Having counted the number of swords remaining, Riley tightly closed his eyes.
Even if it was just a little further and a little wider, he was trying to increase the range of his senses, hoping to find where the children might be.
‘Is it this direction?’
Cleanly cut weapons, orcs’ corpses, empty tents, and other miscellaneous objects that orcs have been using… Stepping over those things, Riley dashed and left the destroyed colony.
‘In this direction, I feel about 96… no... 97?’
The place that Riley stepped in was a forest that was pretty far from the colony. It was a forest that was in opposite side of the one that Riley came through from the Alieve Village.
Riley, who had been charging toward the location where he sensed presence, noticed something unusual. He flinched his eyebrows as he charged forward.
‘The number is decreasing?’
It was because the number of presences was decreasing noticeably fast.
It was decreasing in blink of an eye. Having noticed this Riley ground his teeth as he sent mana to his legs.
‘Don’t be late.’
Riley had been running as if he was almost flying. His right foot kicked the ground while being completely filled with mana.
The dirt ground formed a crater as if it was dug with a shovel and created whirlwind around the area.
“… Is that place?”
With increased speed, Riley arrived at the location where he felt the presences. He dragged his two feet on the dirt ground to stop.
What he saw was a fairly large looking cave’s entrance, located at the edge of the forest, below the cliff.
‘The number of presences is... 30…’
It was an exact match to the number of children from the village who have gone missing.
‘It can’t be… Just like the past life… will the same situation repeat where the children are beyond help and I need to end their lives with my own hands?’
Riley decided that he will not believe it before seeing it with his own eyes. With is face crumpled, he started to walk to the front. However, he discovered something and tilted his head side to side.
He found something strange at the front of the entrance.
“What is this?”
Perhaps it was best described by saying the scenery in front of Riley was exuding strange sensation… Things painted in black were pasted all over the cave’s entrance, generating strange smoke.
“Is it mud?”
Riley approached the stuff. Feeling the stench from the objects, Riley cringed.
‘No. It is not mud… this is…’
The black things were corpses.
It could be said they were parts of the corpses.
The pieces of muscles were saturated in black and reeking stench.
They were pieces of orcs that were torn apart.
Even now, some of the black pieces were flinching.
It was because of the poison.
It was highly concentrated poison that was enough to make even Riley to cringe.
Riley mumbled with his face crumpled,
Riley widened his senses and detected a presence that was slowly moving away from the place. Riley narrowed his eyes.
‘Is that him?’
He was probably the one who was responsible for making the orcs into poisoned pieces.
Considering the situation, Riley assessed that must be the case. He thought about if he should pursue the man, but soon he shook his head.
Riley could feel the presence of 30 inside the cave.
Confirming them, which he thought to be the village’s children, came first.
‘I hope they are all right… Um?’
What happened in his past life came to his mind. Riley closed and opened his hands and was about to carefully enter the cave, but he found something carved on the ground at the entrance. It read,
[To the people of the Alieve Village who came to rescue the children.]
It was a writing.
Next to the writing, there was a sharp rock, saturated in black, that was rolling around.
It looked like someone used the rock as a pencil to write it on the ground. The writing was quite strange.
[I am sorry. With my abilities, this was the only way for me to save the children who were kidnapped by the orcs. I desperately controlled it so the children inside the cave would not be harmed. However… children with weak immunity may have been poisoned, so please quickly take them to the Holy Temple and cure them.]
Riley was reading the writing, but then he furrowed his eyebrows, thinking what this other thing was about.
“What is this now?”
The writing didn’t end there.
Is seemed this other writing was not for the people who would come from the village. It seemed to be for the ones who would be coming out of the cave. The second part was written from the opposite direction of the one that Riley just read.
It seemed it was written out of concern for the ones who would be coming out of the cave. The writing read,
[Children, by any chance, if you can escape the cave before the adults from the village can come to rescue you… Go straight to the village and tell the adults right away after seeing this writing. Tell them that you might have contracted an illness, and ask them to take you to the Holy Temple to be cured. Although I only met you for a short while, the warmth and kindness that you showed me while I was at the Alieve Village… I’ll cherish them as I leave this place. Thank you.
Your friend who cannot breathe,
It seemed to be telling Riley that the children inside the cave were safe.