\'What the heck does it mean the orcs are becoming one\' Lith hated when things went beyond his comprehension.
Sadly, it happened most of the time he was forced to risk his life.
\'Are they writing doing a threesome off their bucket list, merging into a three headed creature, or what\'
\'Gross times two!\' Solus replied.
\'I mean their cores are resonating, just like we do sometim… Wait, I stand corrected! Only one core is actually getting stronger, the other two stabilized already.
It\'s easier if I show you.\'
Solus shared her recent memories, allowing Lith to see that the three orcs were even weaker than the ones he had killed earlier.
Two had an orange core and only one orc had a yellow core.
\'Clearly the orcs coming from the front are just a diversion.\' Lith thought.
\'This explains why they are still so far.
They were expecting their companions to strike from behind.
By now the orcs have realized something went wrong and are changing their tactic accordingly.\'
He could see with Solus\'s mana vision that after the orcs\' cores started resonating, one of the orange cores had been promoted to yellow and was quickly advancing toward becoming green.
\'Why boost an orange core when they have a yellow one available\' Lith pondered.
\'The female they are overdosing with mana is even the weakest among the three.\'
It took just a second for Lith and Solus to understand the meaning of such an action.
Orcs were a utilitarian race.
Each member of the tribe was but a tool to an end for its leaders.
The cadets didn\'t stand idly, not giving the orcs a second of respite.
As soon as their enemies disappeared inside the trench, the cadets used their wands to unleash a hail of ice spikes to smoke them out.
Lith could see with Life Vision that the life force of the orcs was dropping fast.
They had to act soon, before they became corpses.
Lith took his earth wand from the dimensional ring, ready to counter whatever the suicidal orc had in mind.
The creature jumped out of the trench covered in blood, yet at the same time, the deep green aura enveloping her body made the orc appear majestic and dangerous.
Take it down! Nhilo ordered.
The cadets obeyed their Corporal.
They focused their aim on the standing orc, who darted forward like a bullet.
She was now almost too fast for them to see.
The female orc danced around the obstacles set in her course with the grace of a ballerina and the speed of a cheetah.
Switch to lightning! Ice it\'s too slow.
So far, Sergeant Tepper was proud of Nhilo\'s performance.
\'These kids sure have rotten luck.
Facing a tribe with a shaman can be a real hassle even for veterans.
If it was a big tribe, that is.
According to our scouts, there are only twenty orcs.
\'Three are already dead and if the unit doesn\'t screw up, the tribe will soon be down to fourteen members.
The cadets might be able to wipe the tribe out.
It would do wonders for their careers.\'
Tepper looked briefly at Lith.
\'How did he manage to kill three orcs that fast and without a scratch\' He thought while hearing Commander Berion\'s voice echoing in his head over and over.
\'Does he get the job done\'
The cadets needed but a moment to switch their wands.
Yet as soon as the hail stopped, the orc was able to move unimpeded.
She leaped forward, to cross all the trenches at once and reach her targets.
It was a simple but effective plan.
Also, it was exactly what Lith had been expecting the whole time.
\'What a moron! Once you leave the ground, you can\'t change direction or speed anymore.\' Lith thought while erecting a stone wall in front of the female orc, who crashed into it with enough strength to broke her nose, jaw, and skull at once.
\'Don\'t let your guard down!\' Solus warned him.
\'Her core is still in overload.
It\'s going to blow up any second!\'
\'Who do you take me for\' Lith scoffed.
\'I never let my guard down until the monster is dead.\'
He kept waving his wand, creating three more walls that trapped the still confused orc, leaving her only one predictable way out.
Fire in the hole! Nhilo ordered and the unit executed.
The four walls created by Lith formed an enormous chimney.
All the cadets threw a Fire Roots, the Alchemic equivalent of a concussion grenade, into its hole.
None of the Fire Roots missed the target.
The resulting explosion made the stone walls crumble, burying the orc under a ton of rubble.
After an orange light departed from under the rocks, the two remaining orcs came out of their hiding spot and kneeled with their faces on the ground.
Good job, Corporal. Tepper nodded.
Now kill the last orcs and finish the job.
A long moment of silence followed the order.
The orcs were monsters who had tried to kill them until a second ago, but they were now surrendering.
The unit\'s hesitation only lasted that long before they unleashed a barrage of spells that butchered the helpless creatures.
Blood, guts, and excrements flew everywhere.
Killing them from a distance was the right move, but the next time only use lightning bolts for the finishing touch.
Ice magic always makes a mess. Tepper said.
Lith was about to collect the corpses when the Sergeant stopped him.
Nice move trapping the enemy like that, Cadet Lith.
How did you know the orc was going to blow itself up
I didn\'t. Lith lied.
I just wanted to stop her movements.
A good call anyway. Tepper nodded.
Change of plans, Cadets.
What you have just seen is proof that the tribe has a shaman.
An orc shaman is more than a simple mage.
With the right tools, it can greatly enhance the strength of the whole tribe.
The effects of their magic are only temporary, just like our potions.
Yet even a single shaman can turn a small tribe in a force to be reckoned with.
Each orc becomes stronger, faster, and can use chore magic with enough power to make it deadly.
Also, as you got this close to experiencing it on your skin, they can turn their weakest members into powerful bombs.
Since we don\'t have mages on our side… Tepper stared at Lith during the last phrase.
…you have the right to ask considering the mission successfully completed.
Killing a shaman is way beyond the purpose of the field test.
One or more of you could get killed if you face them without a good plan.
On the other hand, you can also decide to continue the mission.
Make your choice.
While the unit discussed the matter at hand, Lith stored the two corpses away.
We want to continue the mission, Sir. Nhilo said.
For the first time since the unit had been formed, they were happy having Lith by their side.
Him single-handedly killing half the enemies had been a key factor in their decision.
Tepper nodded, giving them new wands to replace their used ones.
In such a case, you\'ll need my help.
I\'ll take care of the shaman, but you still have to deal with thirteen more orcs on your own.