Chapter 56 - To the North (1)
There were legendary orc warriors who came to Lenox’s funeral.
The news that one of them, Anya, cut off the head of a human Earl spread across the continent. Anya the mad slaughterer. She infiltrated the castle with her brutal warriors while he was sleeping and cruelly ripped the Earl apart.
After cutting his head off, she left a message in his blood.
Only this one word. Once it was reported, it was regarded as an emergency in the loose coalition of cities in the human kingdom.
At the same time, it was rumored that the Thawing Balhae Clan were disbanded by an orc who got revenge for Lenox’s death.
The incident involving the Thawing Balhae Clan in Arnin wasn’t known throughout the world. However, they observed that the orc Crockta played a crucial role in Chesswood, and that Crockta continued to hunt the rest of the Thawing Balhae clan members into extinction. As the Thawing Baelhae Clan disappeared without a sound, the details remained a mystery.
A clan of users was broken by a single NPC. The fact that Elder Lord was a virtual reality game with a high level of realism was once again engraved onto the user’s mind. There were some users who protested to Elder Saga Corporation, but this was also ignored as part of the game.
The moment the reputation of the orcs shook the continent, they disappeared somewhere again.
"I didn’t know that orcs were so tough.”
"We have to back off,” One man said, his group sitting around a table. "Ending up like this because of an NPC...”
He was the Thawing Balhae clan master, and also the one who killed Lenox in conjunction with the Earl NPC.
Sitting beside him were the executives who survived the disbanding of the Thawing Balhae Clan. Most of them had been trounced by the orc Crockta and were forced to either quit or start a new game.
“Hyunchul, I’m sorry.”
“No, it is nothing.”
"I didn’t get to raise you properly.”
Hyunchul was the user who allowed the raid to succeed after gaining the orcs’ trust as Grom. As they were friends in reality, the clan master often called him by name.
"No, you are Luin here.”
He reset his character, and his name was now Luin.
The clan master said, "Now we have to prepare for the big one so just wait. Do you guys remember everything?”
“Everybody knows,” They all answered. The clan master received overwhelming support from them.
"Do you know the Heaven and Earth Clan?”
“Heaven and Earth...that...”
"Isn’t that the place of Rommel, Choi Hansung?”
The Heaven and Earth Clan and ‘Rommel’. He was one of the most famous users in Elder Lord.
Rommel had found a rare job, known as a hidden piece, and was promoted to the War Maestro class. He was a user who showed tremendous skill in group battles through his excellent commanding abilities.
He was recognized for his leadership abilities and his connection to nobles, sweeping up a huge amount of achievement points and gold.
"Whose strategy was it to use the NPCs? Wasn’t this started by Keynes?”
“That’s right, Brother.”
"Choi Hansung is connected to the nobles.”
“I have a good relationship with him. Sooner or later, we will start again. At that time, we will be with Choi Hansung.”
Everyone nodded. Heaven and Earth was a huge clan. Rommel received numerous users after demonstrating his commanding abilities, and there were numerous wars with other clans. Rommel also assisted NPC nobles in conflicts with other nobles, and his group was now a first rate mercenary group in Elder Lord.
“Sooner or later, that orc bastard...”
As he listened to Clan Master Keynes’ words, the man who had become Luin recalled an orc. He couldn’t see properly on the battlefield, but he had seen the orc’s appearance through a video uploaded by Laney. This orc was dreadful, scary, and covered in tattoos.
There was a vaguely familiar feel to him. He shook his head at the thought.
They were both wearing a black bandana and using a greatsword, but they had nothing else in common. He was big, there were tattoos covering his face and body, and his name was Crockta. More than anything else, he was too powerful. It was unimaginable that he was the orc who started with Hyunchul.
It couldn’t be. Luin couldn’t forget the look in Ian’s eyes. It was just a game. Luin smiled. Now he had reset and was raising a new character. He felt sorry for Ian, but this was the real world.
Keynes said, "Hyunchul, let’s go hunting. I’ll boost you up.”
"The rest of you should act moderately. We will reassemble soon.”
The other executives bowed their heads.
Everybody’s answer rang out inside the room. Clan Master Keynes stood up and made a gesture to Luin.
"Believe in me.”
Luin hesitated. He had almost shouted the orc’s cry, ‘Bul’tar’. He smiled bitterly and shouted, “Yes, Brother. Fighting!”
Within the darkness of Elder Lord, the remnants of Thawing Balhae dreamed of once again bouncing back to their former status.
Crockta searched the pub signs and checked the paper in his hand again.
[If there is an inverted triangle on the signboard of a city pub, it means the Information Guild exists in the city.]
Maillard was a big city, but he couldn’t find a single reverse triangle engraved on a sign anywhere. Crockta frowned. He would have to go to another city.
As he was distressed, he arrived at the Blacksmith branch in Maillard. He owed Stella for yesterday.
“I am alive,” Crockta said as he entered.
At the end of the counter, a male customer was leaning towards Stella and protesting, “Hey! I definitely asked for a special scar healing potion, but what is this?”
He pointed to his face. His face couldn’t be seen from Crockta’s position. Stella linked her hands together and said, “Customer.”
“What? Do you have something to say?”
Crockta observed her response.
"You believed in us and purchased a premium scar healing potion, so I can understand why you are upset.”
"I would be really angry if I were you. You believed in the Blacksmith Company, and paid a large amount of money, only for the effectiveness to not match your expectations... it is both disappointing and a cheat. If I were you, I might’ve destroyed this place.”
"I'm really sorry.” Stella bowed her head. "To be honest, the Exclusive Scar Healing Potion doesn’t have the power to eliminate all old scars. That power is exclusive to the realm of the gods. I’m not hiding anything from you.”
“What did you say? Give me a refund!”
"You are disappointed...I can understand; however, I can’t give you a refund since the potion is already used. I have to follow the guidelines from higher up... I really apologize. However, if you give us a chance, how about a 50% discount to the scar healing clinic that we are partnered with?”
"Unlike potions, you can check your scars and manage them carefully. I can’t promise a cure, but they will gradually get better. How about it?”
Crockta nodded. There were a number of fixed tactics in the world. The rules were the norm because they had proved effective over long periods of times. These tactics were then improved through practice and theory.
Stella's response was a merchant’s tactic. She wasn’t fooled by any anomalies in the past and followed her own inclinations.
Crockta nodded as he watched the client pay Stella for the temple clinic. After the calculations were over, the customer left and discovered Crockta at the door.
The customer stiffed the moment he saw the forbidding face of the orc. Crockta declared, "Look.”
"Are you really going to get rid of that scar?”
There was a sword scar that peeked out from under his eyes, all the way towards his sideburns. The man looked at Crockta. "What are you talking about?”
“Based on the calluses on your hands, you are a swordsman. Right?”
"A scar on the back is shameful!” Crockta paraphrased a line from a cartoon that was popular a long time ago. "But a scar in the front is a sign of honor.”
"Moreover, the scar is under your eyes. You would’ve glared sharply and pierced the enemy’s throat, even as the enemy’s blade is slipping underneath your eyes. Your scars are a proof of this event.”
The man stared blankly at the orc. The orc laughed, “Thanks to that scar, you look like a better man.”
The man looked like he had gained enlightenment.
He reached out a hand and touched his scar. It was an old sword wound. Every time he saw it, the memory of that dangerous battle appeared in his mind, the dangerous moment where he could’ve died. He had been ashamed because he had been hurt by the enemy.
But that wasn't it. A warrior’s wound would never be disgraceful.
The man nodded. He went back and quietly refunded the ticket to the scar healing temple clinic.
Stella stared intensely. Crockta also looked at him. The man came back to Crockta and said, “Thank you. I’ve learned a lot because of you.”
"There is a saying about the universal brotherhood. We are brothers who walk along the same sword edge.”
“That’s right Brother.”
The man and Crockta shook hands firmly.
"My name is Palawan. You are?
“I’ve heard of it. They say you are a true warrior.”
Palawan nodded with a smile. "In the future, if we meet again on the battlefield...I will spare you once.”
A remark filled with pride! Crockta also replied with a warrior’s smile, "Kulkulkul. Okay. I’ll spare you twice.”
"Then I will do it three times.”
The two laughed and let go of their hands.
"I just hope that I don’t meet you as an enemy.”
"I hope the same."
"It was great to meet you, Crockta. I’ll see you again someday.”
“Bul’tar. See you alive again.”
The man left. Stella had already headed to the entrance to glare at Crockta. She spoke the moment that the man left the store, "You’re ruining my business!”
“...Hrmm. I’m sorry.”
"This is what I get in return for my work? Bah.”
"Well, I can buy potions?”
"It's okay." Stella folded her arms. “What happened?”
"I came here to thank you for your help yesterday.”
"That reminds me, did the rehabilitation go well?”
“I’m not sure. I just did what I could.” Crockta smiled. Stella saw the wicked smile and didn’t ask for any more details. Maybe they were stuck somewhere in the sewers of Maillard.
"Is there anything I can do for you?”
Stella’s head whirled as she started thinking. “Start a performance account with me.”
"The Blacksmith Company has recently entered the banking business using a deposit and withdrawal system. There are many branches nationwide to support this. In addition, it also supports an exchange of letters.”
It was for her benefit. This was a way to stay connected to an NPC that she might not meet again in the world of Elder Lord! He would manage his money with the Blacksmith Company, and at the same time, she could contact him through correspondence.
Ian the novice orc, who was on her friends list, had already disappeared from her memory. This orc was Stella’s new connection.
“Hrmm. I understand. I didn’t know there was such a thing.”
"It is a newly introduced service. Here is the paperwork.”
He filled out the papers she gave him. Crockta deposited some of the money he had on hand. 20 gold. It was a big amount of money. It was some of the profit he earned from hunting the Thawing Balhae Clan.
"This is your number. Letters can be shared via magic crystal, so you can check at any time if someone leaves it in your correspondence box. Check it often.”
"I understand. It is amazing.”
“This is magic.” Stella quickly grabbed Crockta’s papers. "You know that you still have some debt left?”
"It wasn’t resolved with this account?”
"That is the debt for my help yesterday. There is still the debt for the customer today.”
"Kulkul, I see.”
Crockta nodded and told Stella, “I was wondering about one thing.”
"Do you know any pub with an inverted triangle on the sign?”
“Triangle? I’m not sure.”
At that moment, a new employee appeared since it was time to change shifts. He started at the sight of the orc, but soon calmed down after realizing Crockta was friends with Stella. The employee spoke politely since Stella had been promoted to manager of a store, which was a long way from an intern.
Stella whispered, "That guy's an intern."
It was an unchanging law. If someone escaped from suffering, a new person would share that pain. Life was a harsh zero sum game.
“Okay. Let’s walk around and try to find it. What do you think?”
He went around the pubs with Stella. However, there was no pub with an inverted triangle. Crockta looked at the note given to him by Derek again.
[If there is an inverted triangle on the signboard of a city pub, it means the Information Guild exists in the city.
Go into the pub and order cream spaghetti. Ask for chopsticks instead of a fork to eat it with.
Stella suddenly pointed to a pub on the corner of the road.
"Isn’t it over there?”
There was no inverted triangle. The Pub’s sign displayed the name, ‘Where are my Brothers?’, with an old piece of cloth hanging from the sign, shaking in the wind. It was a typical bar in the darkness of the city! It was a place that wouldn’t suit an honorable orc like Crockta.
“Where is the triangle...?”
Looking closely, the cloth wasn’t just a cloth. It was a red panty.
Red and lacy see-through underwear. In other words, an inverted triangle. If this was really the marking of the Information Guild, then their reliability had just decreased.
“Surely that...” Well, he would know if he ordered cream spaghetti. “Thank you. I found it thanks to you.”
Stella started to edge away from Crockta.
"You asked for my help...to come to this place?” It was natural to think like this. The name of the pub and the underwear. Stella stepped back. "Uh, I’ve helped you, so I am going.”
"Ah, no! I think there is a misunderstanding...”
"Have a great time!"
Stella turned and ran away.
Somehow, it was embarrassing. He wasn’t that type of man. Crockta comforted his wounded heart and turned his body. Anyway, he had found the Information Guild. It was enough if he could obtain the information he desired.
Did they know about the remnants of the Thawing Balhae Clan?
Crockta opened the door of the pub called ‘Where are my Brothers?’
TL: So the name of the pub actually uses Oppa, which is the term that females use to call older males. Since Korean isn’t the universal language in the game, I’ve been trying to avoid all the honorifics in Elder Lord, making the meaning of the translation of the name ambiguous. Anyway, my understanding is that Stella basically thinks that the pub is like a brothel.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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