C118: A Silent Ship

Orc Leader, Orkubo, reporting once again.

“Witch?”

“Did she just say ‘Witch’?”

“Um, does that mean…”

We were baffled by the words that came out of the mermaid’s mouth, who I just fished out of the water.

Her lower half is a fish with pitch-black scales, while her upper half is a beautiful lady’s torso. 

She has long and voluminous purple hair that’s more than enough to cover her entire back.

However, the mermaid in front of us has slits as eyes and doesn’t look as friendly as the mermaids I’m acquainted with on our farm—Madame Platy, Madame Garra Rufa, Madame Lampeye, and Madame Puffer.

“Huh? Are you pipsqueaks orcs?”

The mermaid who introduces herself to us as a witch notices our appearance.

Obviously, she would. 

After all, we are monsters.

“If there are monsters here, does this mean that this ship belongs to the demon race? But then, why would they be out here of all places?!”

We get that misconception a lot.

However, our master isn’t a demon. He is Lord Saint Kidan!

“Oh well. Lady Luck certainly wouldn’t be on your side today if you fished me up in the middle of this vast ocean. Maybe with a shark, things would’ve ended much simpler with a few bitten off limbs here and there.”

I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart for fishing you. Won’t you please let this pass?

“What? Strange for an orc to talk like a human. Do not fret, however, for I am no longer angry.”

Is that so?

Ah… What a relief.

If things got tense between us, we would be in big trouble with Madame Platy.

“You hooked at the right time, though. Why don’t all of you become my guinea pigs for my new concoction?”

Huh?!

“I was just looking for land-dwelling test subjects to see how I can slaughter them. It shouldn’t hurt killing one pseudo-living being or two.”

The mermaid takes out a test tube filled with colored liquid from her breast pocket and opens the lid to spill its contents. 

Hey! Don’t dirty the deck!

“Let me tell you why I’m called ‘The Witch of the Abyss’ before you die. I’m researching how to turn mana into life, you see.”

The liquid she just spilled on the deck formed bubbles and soon took on a semi-solid form. 

“It’s research to artificially create monsters just like you. It was considered heretical by the Mermaid Kingdom, so they tried to capture me. That’s why I’m currently on the run.”

The foam kept expanding until it stopped just above the height of a typical goblin like Gobukichi. 

To us orcs, it looked tiny.

Nonetheless, all of us couldn’t help but tremble in fear.

The foam took on a more tangible form, resulting in a slimy mess that looked like a combination of an octopus and a human. 

It had sharp fangs in what appears to be its mouth, sharp enough that getting bit by it looks like it would hurt. 

There were 30 of its kind in total.

Won’t the ship sink with this many people (or monsters) onboard?

“Go forth, my little Deep Ones! Don’t bother living if you can’t kill these lowly orcs!”

The monsters that emerged were now well defined and faithfully listened to the mermaid’s orders as they charged to attack us.

No one anticipated a bloody tragedy to unfold on the deck.

“Hah!”

“Hmph!”

“Take that!”

Our younger men are on a roll.

Not all of us are needed to lift even one finger.

Three of them wield mana metal axes made by Lord Saint, flinging all the monsters off the ship, making a big splash far off in the distance.

“Keep it up, guys. Dropping them too close to the ship would scare away all the fish, after all,” says Orkuma as he commends our men.

I agree with what he said.

“Impossible! They may be still in development, but they have shown the best performance and have outdone the rest of my models! Yet, they lost to mere orcs!”

“We’re not your typical orcs,” says one of our younger men in response to the astonished mermaid.

Hey, what’s with that cocky attitude?

“We are orcs who mutated into Warrior Orcs thanks to our Lord.”

“That’s not all. We also have two Legatus Orcs with us, a further mutated version of a Warrior Orc.”

That’s not something to brag about, good grief. 

Even our Lord knows how to be modest. Can’t they learn a thing or two from him?

“Not so fast,” says one other orc who stops the mermaid from trying to jump back into the water and escape.

Why do such a thing? Let her go if that’s what she wants.

“You think we’ll let you escape that easily after attacking us like that?”

“He’s right. You could at least give us an apology.”

They’re so bothered by trivial things.

If you try to press her like that, you’re going to face some conseque-

“Gah!”

See? I told you so!

The witch took out a flask much larger than the test tube. Even the color of the liquid inside it is much more ominous!

“You leave me no choice but to use this! I’m not sure about its stability, but whatever! I’m bringing this ship down with me!”

The flask shatters onto the deck, and the monster that gushed from it are…

Twofold bigger than last time.

“Ahhh!!!”

“Big! Too big! The ship is sinking!!!”

“Secure the mast! That huge thing could snap it in half!”

It’s not as massive as Lady Veil in her dragon form, but it’s big enough to make us look up.

Its size is more than enough to overturn the ship!

“Hahahaha! That’s right! Panic more! Do you regret thoughtlessly retaliating against the Witch of the Abyss now?!”

You’re the one who made the first move, though…

“Go, Forbidden Deep One! Let every last orc fall into the sea!!!”

The witch orders boldly, but the giant beast doesn’t respond.

“Huh?”

It grabs its master with its octopus-like tentacles.

“Wha- Hey! I knew it was still out of control! It’s just a reject!”

This isn’t the time to be carefree.

The giant monster opens its mouth wide and brings the mermaid towards it. 

It’s going to swallow her alive.

“Nooooooo! Someone, save me!!!”

And just before she was about to be swallowed… the giant monster disintegrated into a hundred pieces from the swing of my ax.

…Orkuma!

“Got it!”

Orkuma sends the pieces of flesh far away from the deck and into the water.

“Kyaaaaaa!”

The mermaid’s relatively tiny body was blown away with it, but I took a giant leap and caught her.

I gently land on the deck with her in my arms.

“You…”

It still would have hurt falling into the water if she had fallen from that height.

The rest of the orcs let out a cheer after seeing me princess-carry the mermaid.

“You… Who the hell are you?  Didn’t someone just say that you’re a Stage Two mutated orc?!”

Oh, no. I’m just your regular orc.

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