Running Away From The Hero! (Remake)
Chapter 6: TL: Eevee

1. I didn’t know then. (6)

“There we go.”

Aside from just over ten people, the rest of them got together and began to move.

The trainee who had noticed the umbrella’s identity first coolly took the lead in creating a barrier magic with her at the centre.

The rest started to move forward at a quick pace as they defended against the bombardment.

To be honest I had considered calling this session off due to a certain pair of lunatics.

No, even if it was only one that jumped in then you could safely assume that they were a lunatic, but the fact that the next one also succeeded created doubt, and because of that you could have all sorts of moths jumping straight into the fire.

Especially those who haven’t experienced the Great War and heard only through rumours, and only the brief mentions in primary training, there will be kids who will be wondering if those rumours were true or exaggerated.

If it’s the kids who haven’t experienced first-hand the numbers that were fucked over by this bombardment then you can literally see as a number.

Hearing of hundreds of casualties is a hell of a lot different to seeing said hundreds of casualties in person.

If it were the ones who were on the front lines they could understand the numbers but it would be foolish to expect the same understanding from these kids.

That is the limits of these kids with no practical experience.

They could understand just how big several hundreds are if they get surrounded by that amount of enemy forces on an assignment, but that sort of training is impossible here.

It’s an evil organization, but we don’t recklessly kill young kids during training.

As a primary trainee, even at the risk of reeducation safety first is how we do things, and even once they become an advanced trainee, with the exception of practical experience, the core doctrine is to minimize casualties.

No matter that it’s been easier to get fresh bodies due to the fact that the Great War has caused the number of orphans have risen greatly in these past few years, in an evil organization where the vast majority of the work we do is illegal, we need to be aware of the risk that we could die at any time.

Because of this, the places called evil organizations are always in a labour shortage.

To solve this, we educate children from a young age and continue to bolster our numbers, but the cost involved in this is no joke either.

Before the Great War brought down the cost to a pittance, on average it cost twenty silver, fifteen lately due to the drop in prices, to bring in a child, but when you multiply that by hundreds, thousands, then it’s not a cost you can wave off.

Plus the cost of feeding them, clothing them, training costs and so on, when you put them all together you wonder it might be just more cost-effective to hire an adult, but there are way too many spies from other organizations and countries, so for the most part we can only use young orphans or slaves.

Because of this, I don’t kill anyone.

Perhaps even in my employee evaluation I might be appraised as a skilled instructor with no casualties, all the while fostering a high sense of fiscal responsibility!

Since I bring results, it’s not that my education in wrong, but the ones who couldn’t handle it are too weak! Is the final evaluation!

“Thirty-seven.”

It’s a respectable result.

The twelve remaining over there will be sent back to primary training with the fifty-one other kids sprawled in their beds, but that’s none of my concern.

The kids that failed are already out of my hands, but are in the hands of the primary training instructors instead.

“Time to go back now.”

No. 1000 who was on her third strip of jerky, and No. 1 who was staring at her with a feverish gaze.

Did he fall for her? Did he fall?

Oh, a love story rare in this evil organization!

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…Yeah, right.

It’s been a long time since I discarded those delusions you might find in a rofan(1) novel.

I just have to hope and pray that No. 1 doesn’t backstab No. 1000 during a mission out of a jealousy.

No matter where you go, the majority of the beings called No. 1 are the ones that can’t stand the presence of someone above them.

When I turned my head, while weak, I could see the resolve of the trainees that were now veterans of the Empire-style magic bombardment.

They all looked tired, but they still had resolve.

Yep, that’s how it should be.

If they lost resolve from just this then it would be very hard to educate them.

I prefer comfortable and simple training methods. Of course, not comfortable and simple for the trainees, but comfortable and simple for myself.

“Congratulations for surviving the infamous Empire bombardment.”

First raise their spirits a bit, then sign to the communications mage beside me.

“…Are we really doing this?”

“Yes.”

Maybe it was just my imagination but the mutterings “Oh, gods, why…” were probably just my imagination.

The training we’re going to do from now on is much simpler to dodge than the Empire-style magic bombardment, no?

Plus even if you’re hit by it you’re not going to die?

Over the heads of the trainees that had their attentions trained on me, a faint magic circle shimmered.

I could have all signs of it removed altogether, but that’s for the last day.

Since I am not that much of an evil instructor I will give them time to get used to it.

Didn’t they always say humans were animals of adaptability? They can simply adapt to this as well.

“Since you survived that highly-infamous bombardment, a normal one should be easy?”

As a few of them stared horrified at the sky, this time, not silver, but a multicoloured rain began to fall.

“Now, splendid trainees that survived the Empire’s magic bombardment, this time it’s the organization’s favourite magic bombardment. Ah, we are controlling it so you won’t die if you get hit, but you could still die if you keep getting hit, so be careful!”

Perhaps they didn’t all hear me, they were very busy running away.

Scanning and forgetting, no, in one ear and out the other? As an instructor this saddens me.

“Now, then. Shall we play for just a week?”

For the kids who might have my retirement on the line, I shall feed them experience like a high-end restaurant chef.

To start, the first menu is a premium set of all the magic bombardments they could face on the battlefield.

#7 Their story: A certain organization’s HR manager’s struggle.

“Ahhhh…”

I read the reports from the organization’s mages.

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A simple summary would be a devil’s training that was impossible to survive.

Evaluated as something that they wouldn’t be able to survive at that age, no, not even in the present day.

If it was any other department, and if the person responsible for that training was anyone other than Instructor Naruan, you could be very much justify swearing at them for weaklings.

But even in an evil organization mages are special.

Perhaps if they were magicians who holed up their rooms researching or stayed in the backlines spending all their mana for a single blast.

But they’re mages.

In both the front and back lines as a given, infiltration, bombardment, assassination and all sorts of other missions, to think that a veteran special ops mage corps would provide this evaluation!

And even the results only recorded three surviving out of a hundred!

Starting from the Empire-style magic bombardment, for a continuous week of magic bombardments without any time for rest.

No matter that they were given an Empire-style defense staff that was effective for defending against magic, the fact that three people actually survived as their bodies wore down over the week makes them the monsters.

It wasn’t that the trainees were weak, either.

A whopping thirty survived for five days.

Only thirty-seven survived after the Empire-style bombing, but thirty survived after that!

They independently dug holes, searched for cover, created bases and temporary shelters, and setting aside that these were all these kids’ death struggles, it’s proof that these kids have extremely good survival skills when you consider their age.

Maybe rumours already spread, but the various special ops forces are already requesting even the dropouts.

Heck, even he’d want them. Especially the five that dropped out on the final day, wasn’t due to magic bombing but the organization’s specialty mid-range silent sniping.

This was a skill we used a lot even during assignments, hard to block even if you knew it was coming, outright impossible to block if you didn’t.

The mages rated these five highly as ‘humans,’ and the three that survived the mages didn’t even think of as human, calling them monsters and such with ambiguous words that were hard to tell whether they were compliments or insults.

-Final Evaluation-

No. 1 – Lunatic. Very skilled with a sword but doesn’t seem to be in his right state of mind. Seems to have the potential for magic but may be dangerous if taught.

Giving dangerous glances to No. 1000. Treat with caution.

No. 17 – Superior magical talent. Potential as both a magician and a sage.

Has a habit of using her comrades as chess pieces. While her magic use is splendid, her use of people is even better. Confirmed reports of her sending her comrades to the expected snipe location. Shows extremely good talent as a villain.

No. 1000. Lunatic. Survival king.

Doesn’t feel like she’ll die no matter where you send her. There is the risk of betrayal if there is a skilled chef with the enemy, hence a fitting individual for missions in deserts or wastelands.

As I summed up the mages’ evaluations I could feel the beginnings of a headache coming on.

A newbie might see this as the trollings of the mages, but I already knew from the last batch of Instructor Naruan’s graduates two years ago that their final evaluations were very similar to the current crop.

Especially, one person in particular was a special crazy bitch.

“Heeh, are these my juniors?”

“Eh, ehhhh?”

My heart stopped for a bit at the sudden voice behind me.

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Why is this insane bitch here at this timing!

“Why are you so surprised?”

“N, nothing, vice-director.”

Harnel Sia.

The youngest-ever vice-director of one of the cores of the organisation, the Intelligence Agency.

The person that that picky Intelligence Director had evaluated as someone who could be relied on to take over at any time, one of Instructor Naruan’s former disciples.

Once, when I was lacking in belief, I took this joke-like evaluation and stormed off to take the writer to task, and after I met with the examiner in question, was told to go check it out for myself and when I first went to Instructor Naruan, she was the first disciple I met, and the one who made me understand that very evaluation.

The fears from then were engraved into my body to this day.

-Heeeh. I see. You’re the man from HR.

-Is there a post where I can be together with Master?

-No? Really? Reaaaaally? With. Your. Life. On. The. Line?

All that from a girl who’d probably lived not even half of his age.

No matter that I was a support worker, one that dealt largely with paperwork, but back when I was young I’d run around on many a battlefield, and the bloodthirst that she let off that I’d never experienced on any battlefield made me understand that evaluation.

“Don’t be so scared. It’s all thanks to Mister Manager that I could rise to the seat of vice-director?”

The vice-director’s beauty was stunning to the point that rumours had circulated suggesting that she got the post by selling her body.

If this was a social gathering in the Empire’s capital, there’d be no shortage of young noble boys that would have gathered to see that gentle smile.

But I know that smile. When I felt the greatest risk to my life, when I said that the closest place she could watch Instructor Naruan from was the Intelligence Agency, that was the sort of smile she made.

“Heeh~ This group, over half of them are women?”

She quietly exclaimed, but my arms were already ridden with goosebumps.

Ahhh… The trainees who survived that training from hell!

Those devilish talents, perhaps even actual devils, two of them will die!

“Ah, that’s not it.”

Her bloodthirst vanished.

Although my back was soaked in a cold sweat I did my best to not let it show with a composed face.

If I wanted to live…

“The last five dropouts from Master’s training, I’m here to take them on the orders of the Intelligence Director. Please make the arrangements.”

I looked at the hand-written document from the Intelligence Director and nodded. Perhaps the winner of the power game this time was the Intelligence Agency.

As I completed the simple paperwork, handed over the requisite files and watched her leave with a tense heart.

My accursed ears picked up her small murmurings.

“Ahh. My cute little juniors. Shall I pay them a visit?”

Ahhh, gods.

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Save the young devils from the claws of the devil.

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