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Another Fire Arrow is shot, so I hid behind the tree.
When the orc is busy chanting again, I come out and shoot.
But I didn’t hit the orc.

The tree won’t last if I stay here too long, so as soon as there’s an opening I move to another tree, and we continue firing intermittently at each other.
But neither the high orc or me hit the other.


There’s no spell.
It finally noticed.

“You noob.”


A magic bullet lodges itself inside between the high orc’s eyes, the last one who remained standing.

All the other monsters refused to move while the high orc used magic, so I used that to my advantage and killed everyone else first.
It felt like I had returned to the arcade’s gun games, all thanks to the high orc.

“Don’t let your guard down just yet.
There’s still one more.”

Hearing that from above, I look around desperately, and see there’s still one high goblin standing.
It’s just one, so it’s easy prey.
I fire, and the goblin quickly falls over.


I’m done, Mistress. Before I could get the words out, I noticed a shadow in the corner of my eye that made me stop.


A high orc and high goblin.
I can deal with that.
But these two had bullet wounds on their head and chest, crimson blood flowing from them.
I had definitely shot them before.

I can see a chest wound not being lethal, but a head one should be an instant death.
But still, those two were standing again.
Not just them, soon other monsters follow and stand up too.


Their dimmer eyes look at me as they raise their weapons.
What’s up with them? They’re moving completely differently than before, and in a bad way.
It’s like there’s no life in them.

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Before, they moved sluggishly and clumsily, they were alive.
Now they move like puppets, even when swinging their weapons, they just lift their arms and then let it fall, like the limbs of a marionette after its strings get cut.

The caster high orc also stands up and throws its staff away, which I couldn’t understand.
But I can’t think now, I have to defeat them.
Their movements are so robotic that I can forget about my earlier strategy.
I just have to dodge any attacks I see, and attack whichever monster gets close.

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But as soon as I decide on that…

“There’s no end to this.”

Whether I shoot at their heads or hearts, they just stand back up like nothing ever happened.
Dammit, what should I do?

“Natalia, you can give up if you want, you know.”

Ophelia speaks, still floating above.
Her voice sounded somewhat entertained.

“No, I can keep going!”

Sure, I’m putting on airs, but I haven’t received a single blow yet.
I know I can do more.
But no matter what I do, they keep standing up.
This is so strange, why are so many of them standing up again and again?


Wait, one of the monsters isn’t standing up.
I can’t do the same to the rest, but I can imitate it at least.


A high orc charges at me, and I shoot an incendiary round that explodes with a bright blue glow.
The high orc burns to a crisp, and its smoking body falls down, and doesn’t stand up again.

I was right.
The two monsters burned by the high orc’s magic didn’t stand up again.
I don’t know if it’s the fire or how damaged their bodies are, but I can kill them this way.

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Incendiary rounds take longer to fire, so I can’t go all-out like earlier, but I could counterattack now.


“I guess that takes care of everything.”

Having burned all the monsters to black clumps, I finally put my gun away.

“It’s not over yet.”

They’ve come back! My warriors, they’ve come back! Wait, I can’t get carried away.
Still, isn’t it unfair that even the Clamp Boar is standing up again? But I already know how to deal with this, so it’s just a repeat from earlier.
I reach out for a magazine to reload Black Hawk, but my hand grabs emptiness.

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It charged at me on a straight path, but it still startled me.

“Oh, what happened? You aren’t going to use incendiary rounds like earlier?”

Ophelia’s voice from overhead still sounded entertained.
Why is she taunting me like that?

“I’m out of ammo! Uwah!”

As simplistic as the Clamp Boar’s movements are, I can’t allow myself to get hit.
I kept tracking it while I replied to Ophelia.

“Just use magic then.”

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“Do you know how bad I am at offensive magic?!”

She’s laughing! I’m suffering but she’s laughing!
Close one!
I can keep dodging, but I can’t attack back.

It’s somewhat refreshing to see you so desperate.
Going out was a good idea.”

Why is she talking like this doesn’t concern her!

“Do you want to keep trying?”
“Uncle! Uncle! I give up! Please help me!”

I scream, and Ophelia laughs even more happily.

“Okay, okay, your beloved Mistress will rescue you.”

As soon as she says that, lightning blinds my eyes as it strikes the Clamp Boar and tears its body apart.

“Thunder Storm is just a middle level spell, but maybe it was a bit overkill.”

The Clamp Boar got turned to cinders.
I’m speechless.

“Also, Natalia, turn sixty degrees to the right and look up.”

Wondering what she’s seeing, I follow her orders and see the monkey with the crest atop a tree, frozen in ice.
It was the same one I had seen while running away from the Meteor Wolf.

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“That’s a Shaman Ape.
They’re a monster that uses necromancy to control dead bodies.”

So he’s the one constantly resurrecting the other monsters.

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“So if I had just one more bullet I could’ve gotten out.”
“Like I said, the Shaman Ape’s necromancy.
If you kill him, the spell stops too.”

Nooo, I hadn’t noticed! I wasted all my bullets and humiliated myself!

“Don’t worry about it.
You fought well against monsters you saw for the first time.”

Ophelia lands again and tries encouraging me, but I still feel disappointed with myself.

I guess it’s not strange having to fight enemies with unknown abilities in this world.
If I just mindlessly shot everything at first sight, this could’ve gone on forever.
But on top of that I had kept shooting without paying attention to my ammo, looking like a complete novice running out of bullets.
My mistakes would’ve spelled my death if Ophelia hadn’t been here.


I look down in self-deprecation when I feel Ophelia’s hand on my head.

“I like how serious you are about everything, but you’re a bit too serious sometimes.
I told you, this is practice.
Take this as a lesson to learn from and do better.”

She gently strokes my hair, and I feel my remorseful heart slowly loosen up.

“Raise your head, you’re my masterpiece.
Or is it that you don’t trust me?”
“I do.”

I shake my head.
I knew that much.
We have lived together since I came to this world, and I’ve seen how powerful she is, and I know what she expects from me too.
But if I keep performing poorly, I’ll end up betraying her trust.

“Well, let’s return home.”
“Yes, Mistress.”
“I’ll teach you how to pour your own mana into Black Hawk tomorrow.”
“You will? Thank you very much.”

My footsteps felt light as we headed back home, the sky starting to take red hues.

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