Sergeant Tepper hid his surprise behind his usual strict expression while the rest of the unit sneered at Lith\'s words.
They were all of commoner origin and with no access to information regarding what happened in the rest of the Kingdom.
They had never heard about Balkor or about Nalear\'s assault on the White Griffon, hence they took Lith\'s claim as an attempt to impress their commanding officer.
You and what army Vipli\'s snarky remark made the whole unit laugh.
Tepper inwardly sighed at their ignorance, but at the same time found no reason to correct them.
Lith didn\'t seem to mind their mistrust, while the atmosphere had become more relaxed.
\'Their mutual spite has only one downside: until they find a common ground, I have to think as I\'m commanding two different units at once.
Lith can\'t coordinate with the rest of the cadets because he is the one they hate.
The common enemy that binds them together.\' Tepper thought.
One last question.
Who among you thinks to be able to lead the unit For once, Lith\'s hand remained down.
Only Vipli and Nhilo raised their arms.
Nhilo, you\'ll be my second in command.
You are promoted to the rank of Corporal until the end of the mission. Vipli was disappointed whereas Nhilo was brimming with joy, but neither of them let it show on their faces.
They simply replied with a: Sir, yes sir!
Why do you think I chose you, cadet Nhilo Tepper asked.
Because Vipli is our second best scout.
His skill set is more suited for the frontlines while I have no particular strong suit aside from my tactical knowledge. Tepper nodded at her reply.
Smart enough to recognize her limits as well as those of her comrades.
She didn\'t even attempt to berate Lith, acknowledging him as the best scout instead.\' He thought.
The Sergeant then assigned to each member of the unit their role.
To no one\'s surprise, Lith received once again the role of the rear guard.
Aside from Nhilo, everyone else sniggered.
They thought he was being punished for his lie since the rear guard was considered the most boring and useless job.
There\'s nothing to laugh about! She scolded them.
The rear guard is one of the most vital roles.
His duty is to cover our backs and make sure that if something goes wrong, we have a clear retreat path.
Liwell was about to reply, but Tepper\'s cold glare stopped him in his tracks.
Only then he realized she was now his commanding officer too.
They were no longer peers and his words could have been taken as insubordination.
Tepper briefed them about the orcs\' strong and weak points before taking out from his dimensional amulet a whole rack full of weapons of every kind.
Take whatever you think you might need.
Lith took for himself a few throwing daggers, a short sword, and a bastard sword.
After everyone completed their equipment, the Sergeant led them out of the boot camp and inside the woods.
They marched for a few hours before he made them stop for a brief rest.
We are very close now.
Our scouts inspected the place a couple of days ago and reported that the tribe should consist of no more than twenty orcs, children included.
Our duty is to kill them all, no matter the age or gender.
Am I clear
After everyone nodded, Tepper continued.
Male and female orcs are equally strong.
Orc elders are not like your usual grandpa, they are seasoned warriors and what they lack in strength they made up in skill.
Any faulty member of the tribe becomes their dinner, so you\'ll only fight against dangerous enemies.
If you underestimate the orcs, you\'ll die.
This is your mission, so you are on your own.
I\'m only here to supervise, not to help.
If you screw up, I\'ll do my best to save you.
If you royally screw up, there\'s only so much I can do.
Keep that in mind.
The Sergeant handed Nhilo a map of the region, giving her the opportunity to use all the information at hand to come up with a battle plan.
Sir, I request permission to leave the HQ to perform my duty. Lith stood in front of Nhilo, speaking with his usual flat voice.
We have yet to move, so there is no need for a rear guard.
Permission de… The words died in her mouth as soon as Nhilo realized what was happening.
It wasn\'t the first time she was picked as the team leader and Lith had never wasted her time before.
How many of them She corrected herself.
Three from behind, three from the front. His words made everyone flinch, even the Sergeant.
They are coming from our 10, 12, 2, 4, 6, and 8.
We\'ll be surrounded in less than a minut…
He\'s just bullsh*tting us! There\'s no one around. Vipli felt outraged.
He had stood guard from the top of a tree the whole time while Lith had strolled around the area.
There was no way someone could sneak past him that easily.
Permission granted. Nhilo ignored him.
Do you need backup
Lith shook his head before darting away.
Despite he was running, his boots produced no noise.
He was using a mix of air and earth magic to make his steps light like a falling petal.
\'Does he get the job done\' The words of Commander Berion echoed in Tepper\'s mind while he was climbing the nearest tree to assess the situation.
He had not assigned the role of scout to Lith only to avoid him soloing the mission.
Lith is right, they are coming from every direction. Tepper said leaving Vipli dumbstruck.
What are your orders, Corporal The situation wasn\'t that bad.
Worst case scenario, Tepper could easily handle three trolls.
His intervention would mark the team failing the field test, but cadets had much more to learn from a defeat rather than from a victory.
Especially from an undeserved one.
Everyone, battle formation eleven. The unit followed Nhilo\'s order, assuming a circular formation and holding their lightning wands ready to fire.
She led them to the nearest clearing, leaving the enemies no place to hide.
Such a spot would also bring out the maximum potential of the wands\' long range attacks.
\'Their faces were priceless.\' Lith grinned.
\'Being the last in line also means I can use Life Vision with no risk of being discovered.
I always avoid a fair fight when possible.
Solus, is there something I should know\'
\'No arrays nor any surveillance spell.\' She replied.
\'You can go all out if you want.
There are no witnesses since the rest of the unit remained behind.\'
Lith nodded, taking the army\'s bastard sword out of the dimensional ring.
He circled around the orc to kill it with a surprise attack.
\'I wish I could take one alive and experiment on them.
If I\'m right and these creatures are naturally close to the Awakened state, there is no telling how much I could learn from them.\' Lith inwardly sighed.
As always, he had so many things to do and so little time.