Chapter 23 - Orcrox Warriors (2)
Ian arrived at Orcrox Fortress in an instant, thanks to the power of the shamans. The group entered Orcrox with a firm expression. The Orcrox warriors and shamans were already preparing for the campaign. Since dawn, the entire Orcrox Fortress had been crowded.
Ian was about to ask what was happening when he found a familiar face. It was Grom, who was surrounded by warriors and responding to something. The warriors questioned him for a while before leaving. Then Grom turned with a sigh.
Ian went up to him.
“What is happening?”
Grom looked over with a startled expression. His eyes trembled.
“How, w-why are you here?”
"I went to Basque Village and met the shamans.”
"Why are they doing this? Is a war happening?”
Grom avoided Ian’s eyes.
"It's because of me."
"I...by chance...” He stuttered before sighing. “Hoo. Let me explain. I found something strange.”
"I went to the north...”
Grom started his long explanation.
He headed north while struggling over how to act like a warrior.
The north of Orcrox Fortress wasn’t a place for apprentice warriors to go. Only the top rankers among the users could deal with the fearsome monsters there.
Orcrox Fortress itself was built to block the monsters in the north. Grom was wandering haphazardly to the north and found something strange while running away from some trolls.
It was a cave in a gap between two rocks, where he managed to hide. The trolls left because they couldn’t find him, but Grom entered the cave due to his curiosity.
He walked for a little bit and a wide space appeared. Torches were hanging on the walls. A human shadow stood there. The shape was human, but it wasn’t a human. The light from the torch revealed the terrifying face of a rotting undead.
The death knight whispered in an eerie voice.
"Thiss issn’t a pplace whereee yooou can sttand ssafely... Intruderssss sssshould beee....”
Grom turned and fled in terror. The death knight chased him and swung its sword, causing Grom to reflexively block it with his axe. Grom was thrown back by the tremendous power, but the death knight also rolled across the floor with Grom.
The death knight’s cold hand gripped Grom’s shoulder. Grom was terrified and started to attack the arm with his axe. Once, twice, three times, many times. In the end, the Death Knight’s wrist was cut off.
The death knight screamed painfully, emitting a gut-wrenching wail that disturbed the soul.
Grom frantically ran away. The death knight’s shouts could be heard from behind him. He ran through the tunnel, out of the cave, and all the way back to Orcrox Fortress. He used all of his strength to avoid the trolls and goblins.
Finally, he was able to breathe in front of the trustworthy guards of Orcrox Fortress. However, the faces of the guards were abnormal.
“Apprentice... What is that?”
Grom followed their gaze towards his shoulder. The death knight’s rotting hand was still there.
It held onto Grom’s shoulder like it was still alive. As Grom became surprised, its grip became even stronger. The nails pierced Grom’s shoulder. Grom screamed.
The guards grasped the severity of the situation and informed Tanya and Lenox. They immediately decided on a subjugation mission. If a death knight was guarding the entrance, it meant that something stronger was inside the cave.
Lenox guessed that it was a lich.
The fact that a lich was located to the north of Orcrox meant that it was probably attempting evil magic. It was dangerous since there was enough dark power to still affect the hand, even after Grom escaped to Orcrox. Such an enemy had to be killed before it could accumulate more power as time passed.
The decision was swift and the warriors gathered under Lenox’s command.
Thus, a raid was created with Grom as the guide.
“This is completely...” Ian said, "Isn’t it a dungeon raid?”
A dungeon raid was called the flower of virtual reality games! Elder Lord was no exception. Raid videos were always a hot topic.
"Yes but... Is Ian also going?”
"I want to go."
"It will be dangerous, so you can just not go...”
Grom was somehow acting really negatively. Grom was someone who always rejoiced when the game progressed. Was the death knight that terrifying?
As Ian was thinking this, Lenox and Hoyt appeared in front of the troops. There was also a female orc that Ian saw for the first time. She was Tanya, the administrator of Orcrox Fortress.
Lenox looked around at the warriors and shamans. In a short amount of time, many orcs had gathered under Lenox’s name.
Ian was filled with expectation. Lenox would yell passionately and boost morale. Maybe there would even be slaps to wake up their spirits. But he was unexpectedly calm.
Lenox walked forward and the area became quiet.
"Our goal is an undead dungeon. It is estimated that there will be a lich present, but I don’t know what the risks are. The worst situation might happen. But...”
Every orc listened to Lenox.
“We have to do it.”
It was a low voice that was filled with a strong faith. The warriors nodded.
The orcs raised their weapons, shouting simultaneously.
Shouts rang out through Orcrox Fortrss. Lenox nodded and led the way, the warriors and shamans following behind him. They formed units and a formation behind Lenox.
Ian, who was at the back, suddenly caught Lenox’s eyes.
Ian was nervous. An apprentice warrior might not be useful, but he didn’t want to miss this. Ian gazed at Lenox with earnest eyes.
"Don’t fall behind and keep up.”
Ian also smiled at his words.
Hoyt smiled from his position behind Lenox. Gulda approached and hit Ian’s back. The shaman Kinjur blessed the whole unit. It was the first great battle since Ian first became an orc.
There were 50 warriors and 20 shamans. 70 orcs marched through the forest. Their burly shoulders and large size caused an intense momentum as Ian followed behind them.
Grom guided Lenox to the place while Ian walked with the other warriors in the back. Gulda stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Ian.
"Apprentice, is this your first time in a dungeon?”
“It will be interesting. Kuhahahal.”
He laughed with the halberd on his shoulder.
Whether it was due to the power of the shamans or something else, an unknown force spread throughout the unit. The occasional monsters were swept away by the orc warriors like fallen leaves.
The monsters in the north weren’t at the level of goblins or direwolves.
From trolls, giant mantises, wandering wyverns, and worms emerging from the ground, there were powerful monsters that Ian would’ve fallen prey to if he were alone.
But all the warriors, supported by the shaman magic, handled it easily. Lenox’s axe was particularly terrifying. Not even the trolls could recover from his blows.
The constantly smiling Gulda was also awesome. As Ian was defending against a mantis, Gulda ran over and cut off all of the mantis’ limbs with a laugh.
The strength of the orc warriors was terrifying.
They soon arrived at their destination. It was a rock located under a mountain ridge. There was a crevasse hidden behind rocks, but there was clearly a cave there.
The shamans flinched as soon as they saw the cave.
"Such intense magic...”
Ian also felt a cold chill down his spine. Lenox spoke to Grom, who had guided them this far.
"Aren’t you going in?”
"I thought I was just guiding you up to here..."
"It will be more dangerous if you are left alone.”
Lenox grabbed Grom’s collar and entered first. The orcs followed one by one through the narrow entrance.
Light from the shamans revealed the cave inside. The warriors and shamans walked in a line. Soon there was a wider tunnel. Their formations were set up again. There was evidence that someone had artificially created this area.
The air was heavy. This was a dungeon. An uncomfortable feeling was stuck to Ian’s body. Somehow, it was hard to move.
Then the tunnel opened up into a wide space. Torches and crystals lit up the inside. There was the shadow of a human standing in the middle.
It was the death knight that attacked Grom. The death knight lifted its sword.
"Youuuuuu ooooorcs... Leaveeee hereeeee....”
It was an eerie tone that seemed to rise from the Abyss. Ian got goose bumps.
"Otherrrrrwise....a ggggruesome deathhhh... Weeeelcome eternallll painnnnn...”
A fearsome presence! A terrifying threat. Then Ian suddenly discovered something strange.
The death knight took a step back as it threatened the orcs, but it wasn’t noticeable in the creepy voice.
The orcs were shaken.
"Not even feeling nervous after seeing these numbers... It truly is a death knight.”
"Ohh...when strong people die, they become death knights.”
"How terrible. We can’t lose.”
“Kuock... I will fight even if it means death. Bul’tar...!”
The death knight was getting more distant. It was subtly walking backwards towards a door! If this was left alone, it would get further away. Ian hurriedly picked up a stone and threw it at the death knight.
It hit the death knight on the head.
All eyes turned to Ian for a moment. The moment ended, but Ian shouted without hesitation.
The death knight turned around and started running. The orcs regained their spirits and chased it. Dozens of orcs chased a death knight through the cave. One orc warrior threw his weapon. The axe turned round and round and struck the death knight.
The death knight fell to the ground. The orcs surrounded it and the beating began.
"W-W-Wait a minute!” The death knight exclaimed.
"What, this bastard can talk properly?”
"Was it just an act?”
As the orcs beat it up even more, the death knight gave up resisting. Lenox approached and grabbed the death knight.
"Death knight, who is the one that summoned you?”
"I cannn’t answerrrr....”
“I-I can’t tell you. If I speak, then I will be destroyed.”
"When did you arrive here?”
“It wasn’t long ago. I was told to protect the entrance a week ago.”
"How many more guys like you are there?”
“When I was summoned, there were skeletons and gargoyles. There would be more now. There are also several other death knights...”
"I-I can’t say...”
Lenox struck the death knight, which rolled across the floor with a moan. Lenox looked over the wide space with a determined expression on his face.
"What do you mean?"”
"Death knights aren’t this weak.”
"It’s a trap.”
At the end of the wide space was a large door. Lenox approached it. The door moved.
The firmly closed door started to slowly open, like a demon opening its gaping maw. The darkness meant that no one could see what was inside.
However, it couldn’t be avoided.
From now on, there was no telling what dangers might be inside. Lenox took the lead and the orcs followed silently behind him. The hollow eyes of the death knight with its throat cut stared after them.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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