When I came back to my senses, I was lying in the middle of the forest.
A shabby blanket made out of leaves was covering me.
The first thing that I did after waking up was recall the last memory I had before passing out.
I managed to pull out the lance by enduring the electricity that it released, but in the end, I used up all of my energy and fainted.
I checked to make sure my memories weren’t wrong and the Rival’s Lightning Bolt was sitting in my inventory.
I couldn’t get myself to take out the weapon.
I was scared of the electricity that enveloped the lance and after speaking with the Great Spirit, this lance ended up representing my weakness.
He asked me to think about the meaning of pulling this out.
I was able to pull out the lance that many humans tried but failed to do.
I felt nothing but bitterness.
Having a good life by myself was the motto of my life.
My thoughts on that haven’t changed.
However, somewhere deep inside me, I might be suffering from loneliness.
“…I should go back.”
The Great Spirit must’ve taken me to a place that was pretty far from the plateau because I couldn’t feel the spirits’ presence.
Since I found out that I didn’t have any talent in spells, there was no reason for me to return to the plateau.
I no longer had any business with the Great Spirit.
As I was about to return to the base, the wolf that I rode appeared before me.
The wolf was clever enough to find me by using his nose and it kept on sniffing.
“I remember leaving you with Tunga, but you’re amazing.”
To compliment them, I softly patted their hand with my hand.
The wolf then stuck out its tongue like a dog and licked my hand.
Thankfully, the saddle was still on the wolf so I was prepared to leave after getting on and grabbing the reins.
“Let’s go back to the base.”
Nothing must’ve happened at the base because the outer walls and the entrance didn’t have any traces of battle.
However, the base was currently going through a different problem.
They succeeded in capturing the enemy’s reconnaissance forces and making them prisoners.
I mumbled to myself.
Whenever the Orcs are put into battle, their personality becomes violent.
Even if the enemy was barely breathing, they would target the head in order to finish them off for good.
But they kept the enemy alive and brought them here.
“I heard that Orkhar succeeded.”
“I can’t really figure out what he’s thinking.”
I nodded my head as if I understood him somehow.
I found out while talking with Orkhar, but he was an interesting figure because he thought in ways that ordinary Orcs didn’t.
Orcs believe that having power is the only way to end the war, but he believed that having a strategy was important too.
The reason why the clan leaders gathered and discussed strategies was because Orkhar first mentioned the importance of it and that’s why they started it.
When I climbed the tower, I noticed that Hocrim was guarding it by himself.
“Oh, you’re back. How was it? Was it worth learning the spells?”
I remembered the time when Kalax told me that Hocrim was a strong sorcerer.
He wanted to form a bond with me through spells, so he stood up from his seat and approached me.
“Forming a bond with a spirit wasn’t an easy task. In the end, I wasn’t able to become partners with anyone.”
“Oh no!! I thought that you would be able to become friends with a strong spirit because of your strong mana. When I have the chance later, I’ll introduce you to a useful spirit!!”
It seemed like Hocrim really wanted to turn me into a sorcerer.
But I didn’t want to go anywhere near that plateau.
“Where are the others?”
“In the underground prison. Did you hear about the news?”
“Something about prisoners?”
“That’s right. Orkhar believes that he’ll be able to obtain some useful information from the Elves that he captured.”
After hearing tone, it seemed like he was too happy about the prisoners Orkhar brought.
I looked down towards the prison from the tower.
“Ah…we don’t know anything. We really don’t know anything!!”
When I opened the prison door, I saw five Elves tied up with ropes and was being tortured.
An iron stick that’s been sitting in the fire was used to brand them as criminals.
It burnt through the skin and as smoke started rising up, the smell of skin burning entered my nose.
“If you find out anything, let me know.”
Master Kalax and the other leaders turned their backs and our eyes met.
After greeting them, we went our separate ways.
“Did you get anything?”
I noticed Orkhar’s uneasy expression, which made me think that he didn’t find out anything, but I still asked anyways.
His answer was I expected.
“Not yet. I didn’t expect them to endure it for this long.”
The Elves had injuries all over their bodies and they looked so exhausted that they didn’t have the energy to resist.
This must’ve been Orkhar’s first time torturing because he looked tired and sweat was rolling down his face.
I started questioning him and thought that he was wasting his time with these Elves.
“They’re just ordinary Elves. They’re not very useful as hostages. The Elves haven’t done anything yet, so that’s proof that they’ve given up on you guys.”
“If this continues, you’ll be tortured even more and you’ll be skinned alive and afterwards, you’ll be hanged on the wall. Even though we haven’t found out anything, you’ve helped a lot in inspiring our soldiers.”
“What you trying to say? Human.”
“I’m letting you know that even if you make an honorable sacrifice, no one will know about it. Soldiers die in war all the time and before that pain is healed, a different sadness builds on top of that. What you’re doing is a useless sacrifice.”
They were more shaken up about what I said then the physical pain they’ve endured all this time.
The Elf next to them started crying after hearing what I said.
They must’ve had a hard time holding it in because tears started rolling down their face.
“In that case…what will change if we tell you everything?”
“I can’t guarantee that we’ll let you live. However, we won’t pointlessly torture you and on top of that, we’ll make sure to treat you well during the time you’re here.”
That’s when I took out my sword and cut the rope that was tied around them.
Once their hands and feet were free, they kept on clenching their fist as if they couldn’t believe it.
Despite of the fact that they experienced pain, a joyous smile appeared on their face.
After seeing their smile, I knew this was over.
“There’s a temple far north from this base and there’s a god that we worship. There are rumors that two days later, the Great Priest will be visiting there.”
The Great Priest was the leader and commanded the Elves.
I didn’t think a figure like that would be mentioned from the mouths of search units.
Orkhar became so excited that it looked like he was going to start cheering.
“It’s the truth, right?”
“We’ve been driven out, so there’s no reason for us to lie. I want to ask you for a favor. Please provide me and my subordinates something to eat and drink. Please.”
When I was about to walk out of the prison, Orkhar quickly stopped me.
His eyes started shining and looked like he was touched by what I said.
“How did you do that? No matter what I did, they wouldn’t listen to me.”
“If you continued torturing them, they’ll eventually start talking. However, in order to get them to give up quickly, I helped them realize their reality.”
“Have you tortured someone before?”
“No. I acted a bit based on the dramas and novels I’ve read.”
“They’re part of the culture in the human world.”
“I’m envious. It would be nice if I had the chance to experience it.”
What I didn’t wasn’t an amazing skill that I needed to be complimented for.
After looking into their eyes, I noticed that their willingness was on the brink of destruction.
“Then, I’ll use the information that they provided and will come up with a plan!!”
He got carried away by the information that he obtained and rushed to the conference room.
As long as I take back the base, the stage will end, so I didn’t see the need to target the Great Priest.
However, I did hear a while ago that it was beneficial to capture the leaders of each of the race.
However, within the war that took place in the fifth stage, the heads of the leaders of each race hasn’t been cut off yet.
This has been an issue for quite some time and one challenger became desperate, so they gathered others that had the same objective and decided to achieve it.
However, they died before they could even go anywhere near them.
In the end, many people gave up and now, there wasn’t anyone that wanted to take the lead.
I wanted to see if that forgotten rumor was true.
With my strength, it would be enough.
“It’ll be awesome if something did come up.”
Since we were invading the enemy’s camp, we couldn’t take a lot of soldiers.
Out of all the soldiers, 30 of them were picked and the leaders and I moved to capture the Great Priest.
At the location that the Elves mentioned, there was an antique-looking temple.
“…It looks familiar.”
It looked exactly the same as the temple that I visited with Kalax.
I wasn’t the only one that was surprised.
The Orcs were so surprised that three of them broke away from the group.
There was a lot I wanted to say, but I needed to focus on the plan.
Since we didn’t know when he would appear, we all hid and waited until they appeared.
While we were waiting for the target.
A man that was wearing a white robe appeared ahead.
I’ve never seen the Great Priest, so I waited for someone to confirm.
“I’m confident that it’s him.”
As soon as Kalax said that, they started growling as if they were prepared to attack.
“We’ll go once they arrive at the front of the temple. This is our only chance. We have to get the Great Priest’s head no matter what.”
<Stage Five #6>