TL: Eevee

1. I didn’t know then. (4)

As the circle of bombardment gradually closed in, everyone started gathering in the middle.

If this was a real war I’d let loose a big one bam! in the middle right there, but since this is kids’ training I’ll keep it at about the right level where they can see the ground gouged out right in front of their eyes and leave it at that.

Where else will you find such a kind instructor!

Back in my day a trainee or two was a month was a given, and once on a real crappy day ten of them went to the next world at the same time. That was pretty dangerous.

We went to beat up some goblins under the name of practical training but an orc came out. But really, the others were being ridiculous.

I was 19 then, in my past life you could’ve gotten your resident ID card around about that age, so at the very least they should’ve been able to take an orc or two without breaking a sweat.

No matter whether you’re specialised to fight humans or not, to think they’d be surprised and routed by what are essentially just humanified pigs.

Because of that I thought I was gonna die as I worked my ass off killing ten on my own.

Compared to that, my course, where you won’t die and are given challenging opportunities, I as an instructor am a generous instructor. But as you’d think, the kids aren’t seeing that way.

“We’re all gonna die!”

“This devil of an instructor!”

“I’ll curse you if I die!”

To think they’d be so rude when I was out of sight… That one’s number 960, that’s no. 72, oh ho, it looks like 25 and 40 cursed me as well. Minus marks, minus marks.

Initial impression failure. If they pass this let’s take them around where the real devil lives.

Well, even if they don’t survive, when they eventually get sent back to the primary training centers, I can just put in some words and have them sent to the Kanaria facility which has the highest mortality rate.

But time kept on passing, and although some of the group seemed like they were teetering between life and death, there was still no response.

“Around about now should be a good time for a couple of them to start passing…”

It would be troublesome if all of them failed.

Since the final evaluation report consisted of the other instructor’s trained kids vs my trained kids, I just need at least one of them to survive.

To put it bluntly, if other instructors send out 100 then I just need to send one man to match a hundred.

Having said that, if no one passes, then evaluation becomes impossible. Rip my incentive and my salary drops.

My evaluation report could have a line like [No results achieved due to impossible overwork.] written on it.

In that case, after retiring from my instructor duties, I could be running around on the front lines or sent to some dangerous place where my head could be sent flying at any moment like my last workplace.

The wages are only worth going for when you’re young and can earn it, now I want to just earn a little less and work in the back.

“Should we reduce the output?”

The communication mage carefully asked me.

Even if they look like this, the people that use can magic in the evil organisation are all highly valuable resources.

The mages that can operate in both the front and back lines are always in shortage no matter where in the world you go.

I specifically asked my ex-disciple to be lent them for a week, but this too will show up on their assignment history later on, and if they achieve a record of 0% success rate in their first instructor outing then it’ll be hard for them to find rear-line support work as well.

But.

“The ones who can dodge, will.”

It’s pointless. The sight of the rocks in the ground breaking, the earth forming craters right in front of them will all have made them imagine those things as their heads at least once already.

The ones who are already scared won’t cross with the umbrella just because it’s raining a little lighter.

“If just one of them passes, the rest will follow suit.”

Every now and then you can see at traffic lights where if one person goes jaywalking, other people automatically follow them thinking the lights have changed.

Once I saw the ridiculous sight where when one person went, the entire crowd crossed on a red light en masse.

Well, that’s a slightly different story to this, but when you’re going to die either way, when one person passes then others thinking ‘maybe me too?’ will definitely come crawling out of the woodwork.

The problem being that you need that one person.

And that one person appeared.

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“What the hell?”

A crazy bitch even to my eyes.

#4 Their story: Mirua’s story.

Mirua. My name and the last thing I have left from the people called my parents.

Since I was born, my country had been involved in a war. A really big war called the Great War.

Even now I don’t understand what it means.

All I knew that people dying was part of daily life, and the only really big problem was that there wasn’t enough to eat.

Because of that, I was alone since I was six.

When I was three with really faded memories, the person called my Dad was already non-existent, and the day I turned six, Mom went to the military camp for something to eat, but was swept up in an enemy ambush and didn’t come back.

Well, thinking on it now, there was the possibility that she could have run away, but that’s what I want to believe.

So Mom vanished, and after that I moved around here and there to scavenge for food.

Public order was in crisis. Because there was no one selling any goods, there was nothing you could steal, and in the nearby mountains where every green leaves were hard to find, the animals went extinct and you could hardly see so much as a blade of grass.

Thanks to this I fought battles with cats for trashcans, hung around the army camps for stale food and lived life that way.

Ah. Once when I slept by the walls of the army camp, there was a night assault by the enemy and even looking back on it now I still don’t know how I survived that.

And so wandering around here and there looking for things to eat, one day I met an angel.

“I will give you food. Will you come with me?”

“Yes!”

Mom used to worry that I didn’t show much emotion, but I was so excited I surprised myself.

I followed the angel in black for maybe a few days?

I reached heaven.

“Fwaa…”

And for the first time in my life, I could eat the food called meat.

Up till now I thought the brown fragments in the army gruel was meat and I stuffed it in my mouth fearing someone would steal it.

Ahh, looking at its beautiful succulent light, I had to take a moment to reflect on my ignorance. But reflections are reflections.

Put in in my mouth first. It melted on my tongue.

“I can die happy now…”

I went to the place where a lot of people like wearing black clothes, and I got a set of the black clothes they wore.

I got the name No. 875, held a sword like they told me to, and learned how to swing a sword.

Stab the dummy, slice the dummy, eat. Stab and slice the dummy again, eat again.

I didn’t like the long-distance running they made us do because it made me hungry quicker, but since they fed us again it was alright.

The instructor said I had no talent. They said my skills weren’t improving, but since they fed us I didn’t really care.

Later on I was called No. 1000, and when I heard that we had to leave this place I was sad thinking that we couldn’t eat this place’s food anymore, but the food at the place where we arrived was even tastier so it didn’t matter.

“It’s beautiful.”

Although I didn’t really like it very much when they woke us up to sirens and bombardment like when I used to sleep by the army base, but right now didn’t seem so bad.

Clear night sky.

The ice fragments that shined silver in the moonlight like shooting stars.

Why didn’t I notice this beautiful sight earlier?

It was something I saw often when the base was invaded, but back then all I felt was the fear that I wouldn’t be able to eat breakfast tomorrow.

When I just looked at it peacefully, it was a really beautiful sight.

“We’re all gonna die!”

“This devil of an instructor!”

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“I’ll curse you if I die!”

The yells and curses from my surroundings are familiar. But the target is weird.

To think they’d curse the instructor who gave us really tasty food and showed us this wonderful sight.

Compared to the primary instructors who only made us yell and cut and stab and run and make us hungry, isn’t he a good instructor?

“Ah…”

While I was staring at our instructor who was the target for all these unwarranted curses, a big mushroom came into my field of vision.

I don’t know its name, but it’s a tasty mushroom. I first tasted it when I was roaming around during the war, but when I did it was so delicious I nearly fainted.

Oddly enough, all the other plants around it had been taken to be eaten, but that mushroom alone was left alone.

Even when I was in the primary training barracks, when we had drills up in the mountains, I picked a few of them and roasted them secretly.

It was around then where I made an effort for the first time and learned fire magic.

‘Is it okay to take it?’

For some reason everyone else was huddling together, but they did that often in the primary barracks as well.

They huddled around the strong or popular kids. I think they’re doing that now as well.

Since I did my business alone anyway, it wouldn’t really matter if I went there and back by myself.

It feels good to think I’ll be able to eat that mushroom again for the first time in a while.

My footsteps lighten. The silver ice fragments are falling beside me, but they couldn’t stop by happy feet.

I’m gonna die if I get hit by that. Instinct told me that it was dangerous.

No, even if it wasn’t instinct, I saw people being hit by that and turned into red paste really often.

And so I’m used to it.

I can go thinking ‘I can just move that way.’ Nothing weird about that.

And as I moved forward with my light footsteps, the ice fragments started falling behind me as well.

“There’s a lot of them!”

My mood brightened a bit. No, it brightened a little lot so I got excited.

If there‘s this much, I can eat my fill tonight and still have some left over for tomorrow.

Ahhh, today is a really happy day.

***

Past life, current life, combined 70 years.

During that time, in the school, army, workplace combined I have seen many a lunatic, and since arriving at the organisation I have encountered many more with multiple screws loose and I thought I’d seen them all.

But now I realised how little I actually knew. Even if this wasn’t designed to kill, it’s still a magic bombardment.

In the last Great War, this was the technique that made all the kingdoms realise just who was in charge.

Wait, to begin, wasn’t this meant as a skill for massacre, as in get hit and you’re screwed.

And that kid is dodging it. So naturally, as if he’s dancing.

If dodging this was possible, all the countries’ strategists and elite families’ specialists wouldn’t be clutching their heads to find a solution.

But I can understand that much. But what he was doing, walking through that insane barrage with beautiful dance-like steps was picking mushrooms.

Not caring one bit about the others looking stupidly at him, he was happily humming away as he pulled out his dagger and diligently harvested mushrooms into his pockets.

Wait, aren’t those shock shrooms?

They do have an official name, but the mushrooms that are usually called Shock Shrooms, are poisonous mushrooms that when eaten, your body would tingle like you’ve been electrocuted, followed by paralysis with a high chance of death by cardiac arrest.

It was a poisonous mushroom that even four year olds knew about, but he’s collecting them while smiling?

Is he trying to kill by slipping them into my food? Let’s avoid food with mushrooms for the next few weeks.

Rumours say that it tastes like you could see heaven, but since the possibility of getting a one-way ticket to heaven is higher, there are no morons that would actually eat it.

Let’s sneak a peek at his files.

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

Huh, No. 1000.

The one deemed least talented out of all the trainees.

The majority of the detailed reports said no talent with the sword, lazy, vacant stares into space and so on.

There aren’t any good appraisals. Then let me add a line.

-Crazy b*tch. Handle with caution.

Looking back, this appraisal is similar to the only girl of the crew from last year.

Although she’s a genius that worked her way to the position of deputy director of the Intelligence corps, she was a crazy b*tch even looking at her objectively.

The way she looked at me in particular resembled a viper waiting for prey to the extent that I had to live as if waiting to be ambushed at any moment.

There actually were two cases where she invaded my bedroom.

“Can you bring that child over?”

“Yes, sir.”

Note the current danger level as ‘high.’

But since nothing’s for sure, I thought that I should see him from up close before making a decision, but the exact moment I tell the communications magician beside me, No. 1000 turns to me instantly.

Magic is awesome! Who needs cellphones! But I can’t use it!

Suppressing my tiny bit of despair and envy, I face the person in front of me.

She’s small. Her hair is short, but I think it’s almost definitely a girl.

Unlike the other trainees, she had two more daggers on her belt, one on either side, and her pockets that I used to call a biscuit pouch in my past life, were currently filled with freshly harvested Shock Shrooms.

“Did you call for me?”

A slightly dull voice. +1 danger level.

“Why do you have those mushrooms.”

“Ah…”

For a moment she was lost for words and looked at me warily. +1 danger again.

“W, would you like to try them?”

With a shaking hand she took out a mushroom from her pocket and offered it to me.

Mm. No. Do I look like I’ve lost it?

I don’t want to die yet.

“I’m alright.”

“It, it’s tasty.”

Contrary to her words, she put the mushroom back in her pocket with a relieved expression.

She really did pick those to eat…

Yep. Danger -20.

But if the enemy, no, some reincarnated kind-hearted hero was her enemy, she would most likely turn coat if she was baited with food, so raise the danger level back again. I’ll just leave the final danger evaluation as ‘high.’

“Eat these while you wait.”

“Thank you very much!”

Wow, look at this kid.

Just a few strips of jerky and her voice hits the high octaves.

For a complete evaluation I immediately added another line to her notes.

-If she is not fed she has a high risk of sticking her knife in one’s back, so at the very least feed her well no matter what.

“No way!”

As I diligently recorded my trainee’s evaluations as an instructor, the communications magician beside me gasped in horror again. What was it? Did the kids get hit by the shrapnel from the barrage? I thought as I turned my head.

“What the hell.”

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Another crazy bitch, no, this time a crazy bastard was added to the mix.

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