Chapter 63 - Becoming a Ranker (1)
The Demon's Mouth situation was solved by Crockta.
Crockta was awarded a medal of honor by the mayor of Quantes. The ceremony was held in the main building of the Quantes garrison because Crockta refused a large event. The mayor of Quantes was an intelligent looking gnome wearing glasses. He coughed as he looked up at Crockta, who was much taller than himself.
"For your accomplishments in this event, I present to you, a Quantes medal of honor.”
The guards applauded. The mayor of Quantes placed the medal on Crockta’s chest on top of Crockta’s leather armor. He bowed his head and the mayor jumped back as his face became level to the Demon’s Mouth around Crockta’s waist.
"Ah!” The mayor looked shocked for a moment before fixing his glasses and clearing his throat. "Hmm hmm! Ahem! Crockta! The citizens of Quantes will remember your heroic actions.”
The mayor glanced at the Demon’s Mouth and got down from his position.
Some gnome researchers insisted that the Demon’s Mouth be reclaimed, but it wouldn’t leave Crockta no matter what. When people other than Crockta tried to touch it, the steel teeth opened and tried to bite them. Even if Crockta took it off, it would fly back to Crockta after a certain distance.
If it followed Crockta like that, then there was nothing the researchers could say. It was a weird artifact. This issue seemed to be related to the message that said the power of the belt was limited due to Crockta’s lack of power.
Now it was just a steel belt with some energy. Crockta confirmed the information of the belt.
[The Despairing Demon’s Belt (Hero), its power is limited. Increases your strength and willpower. Increases your resistance to demonic magic power.]
It was the first time Crockta had ever heard of a Hero rating. It couldn’t be sold, but it was probably the highest rated item in Elder Lord. In addition, his achievement points had risen after he received the medal.
[Orc Warrior Crockta’s reputation has greatly risen in the area around Quantes.]
'Person Pursuing the Pinnacle’ Crockta, Orc Warrior
Achievement Points: 116510
Giant’s Destructive Power (Essence)
Troll's Regenerative Power (Essence)
Leyteno’s Vigorous Greatsword Technique (Essence)
Combative Spirit (Essence)
Inward Interest (Essence)
Tattoos of Honor and Fighting Spirit (Essence)
Army Crushing Roar (Essence)
All his skills had an Essence rating.
The status window stated that the skills had reached the highest level of proficiency and could no longer be upgraded. From the Pinnacle level onwards, they seemed to require something other than just proficiency.
As he recalled Hoyt showing the ‘Pinnacle’ skill, any upgrade past essence seemed to require some type of enlightenment.
After the award ceremony, the gnomes thanked Crockta again. Crockta shook hands with the gnomes. After the small event, most of them returned to their jobs. Tiyo approached and tapped Crockta’s waist.
A small gnome acting like a macho soldier was cute. Crockta laughed quietly.
“What, are you laughing?” Tiyo exclaimed.
"You’re quick to notice dot. Delete any irrelevant thoughts.”
Crockta laughed out loud.
There was one more piece of remarkable news. Message windows popped up.
[You have made more achievements than other users in the world of Elder Lord.]
[You have entered the list of rankers.]
[Your current achievement points ranking is 482.]
[Do you want to disclose your information?]
A ranker. His achievement points had again risen as a result of his involvement in the Demon’s Mouth incident, causing him to enter the official user rankings. It was an incredibly fast growth, compared to other normal users.
Now Crockta, no, Jung Ian, would be able to receive funding from Elder Saga Corporation in reality. After all, a certain percentage of the revenue that Elder Saga Corporation earned from Elder Lord was allocated to the rankers.
In other words, it was a huge amount of money. It wasn’t that much just yet, but it was a wealth that couldn’t be compared to running a café.
Crockta shrugged. It wouldn’t be a big change from his previous life. However, it seemed good enough for a few luxuries.
He refused to disclose his information.
[Your have refused to reveal your information and your information will be marked as private.]
[Congratulations on becoming a ranker.]
[I look forward to your future adventures!]
While there were some rankers who refused to disclose their information, most rankers were willing to reveal themselves. This way, they could get advertising slots and gain more wealth and honor.
Crockta laughed quietly.
Soon people would find out that a new ranker had appeared and be amazed at the sight of a private ranker climbing up the slots. Crockta’s fighting spirit was burning.
Tiyo didn’t know what happened to Crockta and just looked up. "Crockta, is there something good?”
“Huhu. It is nothing.”
"But why do you keep laughing? Are you still thinking about me?!”
After he offered to accompany Crockta to the north, Tiyo followed him around everywhere. He had already submitted a form to leave the garrison. Crockta accepted Tiyo because there was no reason to refuse his company.
The two of the left the garrison while talking. Crockta didn’t ask anything, but Tiyo was eager to explain his situation.
“Huhu! My past suddenly surfaced after I decided to go to the north dot!”
"My father was a great adventurer dot! A true adventurer who traveled freely to the north without any fear!”
“Is that so?”
"My artifact, ‘General’, is also something that my father obtained from the north dot. I have built an excellent career as a guard but the blood of an adventurer inside me occasionally bursts out. I realized it when I saw Crockta dot!”
Crockta asked after listening to Tiyo’s explanation, "The north, how great. Then your father right now...?”
Tiyo's face darkened. Crockta regretted his question. According to Tiyo’s subsequent words, Tiyo’s father had gone to the north one day and never returned to Quantes. That was already a few years ago. The rest of Tiyo’s family thought that his father was dead, but Tiyo believed in his father’s survival.
"I believe that my father is still alive somewhere in the north dot.”
"Then, please look after me, Tiyo.”
Crockta held out his hand. Tiyo laughed and reached out his hand. The orc and gnome grabbed hands.
"When will we leave?”
“As quickly as possible."
"Good dot. The sooner we start, the better!”
Crockta and Tiyo set a time to meet and separated to go pack. The noisy gnome friend disappeared and the surroundings became calm.
Quantes was grieving.
The situation was resolved but many gnomes, especially those at the academy, were killed by the monsters. The bodies were extremely shattered so the gnomes from the recovery teams had felt nauseous.
A memorial ceremony was held in the square to honor them. The gnomes wore black armbands and mourned the deaths. Crockta’s mind became heavy as he watched the scene.
He looked down at the belt around his waist. It was due to this.
But Crockta wondered if it really was an illusion that the demon in this belt showed to him. The emptiness of the universe. The demon tried to cause him despair, not through the orc Crockta, but as the human Jung Ian with his sister and Han Yeori.
That strange feeling was revived again. Was Elder Lord truly just a game? Did it analyze his brain and take the smallest memories to create this realistic illusion? Or was there really something else?
He recalled something Kim Dalkwang in the old [Elder Lord Times] interview.
-I even thought about whether or not Elder Lord is a connection to another world.
When Crockta imagined the landscape of the universe he witnessed, he understood. Crockta had really been frightened at that moment. He couldn’t even think that the game would end when he cut off the connection.
He wondered what the truth was. Would he find out if he went to the Temple of the Fallen God? He was walking with these thoughts through his head when someone called out to him, “Orc warrior Crockta?”
He glanced back to see two little gnomes looking up at him. Gnomes were small, but young gnomes were even smaller.
Crockta smiled and nodded. "That's right. What happened?”
The children looked at each other before handing something to Crockta. It was a wrapped cookie. One of the children asked with wide eyes, "Do orcs eat cookies?”
Crockta laughed at their innocent eyes. “Of course.”
The children laughed. Looking at their smiling faces, they seemed to be brothers. "This is a gift to the warrior who saved the city.”
"It is from our family’s bakery.
Crockta looked at the bakery down the street. The gnome who must be the children’s father waved to Crockta from the entrance. It seemed like he had given the children the cookies.
"I also want to become an orc warrior like Crockta,” One child said.
Crockta patted the little gnome on the head. "Become a gnome warrior, not an orc warrior.”
"Can gnomes become a warrior?”
"Then I will be a gnome warrior.”
The child laughed and nodded. The children bowed and ran back towards the bakery. Crockta conveyed his gratitude to the father who was hugging his children and then walked down the road again. He started thinking again.
He didn’t know if this was a game or not, but he just had to do his best.
Crockta entered the inn. The innkeeper, who had previously reported Crockta to the guards, flinched as he saw the burly orc. Crockta just grinned as the innkeeper lowered his gaze. Crockta headed up to his room. He was ready to disconnect for a while before heading to the north in earnest.
Then someone knocked on his door.
Crockta opened the door.
"You’re here, Crockta.”
It was the beautiful elf, Eileen. It seemed like she came after hearing Crockta’s door opening. She smiled at him and said, “You’re safe. I’m glad. I heard the news.”
"I’m glad that you’re safe.”
"Can I come in?”
Crockta opened the door. Eileen entered while smelling of a sweet fragrance. It was something more than body odor. Crockta glanced at Eileen. She was somehow dressed up. It seemed like she had sprayed perfume on her.
She stood in front of Crockta and slowly opened her mouth. "Crockta, I was worried. In particular...when I ran away and left Crockta...”
She trailed off. Crockta shook his head.
"Of course it is okay. Deco is well?”
"Deco is also safe. It is thanks to you.” Eileen laughed quietly. "Thanks to Crockta, the great warrior who saved Quantes from the Demon’s Mouth.”
"It is embarrassing to hear.”
"You don’t have to be embarrassed. It is the truth.”
Eileen glanced at the belt Crockta was wearing at his waist. After a slight hesitation, her white hand moved across the belt. Her fingertips rested on the steel teeth of the Demon’s Mouth.
Eileen sighed and said. “This is a horrible belt...”
Her hands. Crockta’s lips felt dry. Her hands gradually moved. Her delicate hands rose from the belt and touched Crockta’s solar plexus. It was a part where his skin was revealed through his leather armor. Her fingers touched the solid orc skin.
Crockta looked down at her.
The elf’s face moved a little closer. Her bright green eyes shone. They were transparent and beautiful eyes. White skin and a straight nose. Her lips were bright red like a blooming flower.
Eileen asked in a whisper. “Are you leaving for the north?”
Crockta nodded. She looked down again then her body slowly came closer.
"I never know what will happen in life.” She raised her head again. Her body revealed her expectations to Crockta. The signs were obvious. Her eyes slightly trembled. "What about you?”
There were numerous implied meanings in her question. Crockta was silent. He didn’t want to embarrass her here. In the narrow room, Eileen looked even more beautiful.
Crockta closed his eyes. At this very moment. Why did ‘her’ face enter his head at this moment?
Crockta shook his head to prevent her face from rising up. Then he gently pushed Eileen away.
"I have to say this...”
He didn’t want to hurt her with his refusal. As he looked into her questioning eyes, Crockta eventually opened his mouth.
Then Crockta whispered in her ear, "I...”
Eileen's eyes widened. “Ah...”
“I see...” Eileen looked at Crockta with sad eyes. “I understand Crockta.”
"I think...maybe. I hope you find what you are looking for in the north.”
‘Let’s meet again one day.’ With those words, Eileen left the room.
Crockta sighed as he looked at the closed door. His mood darkened after she left the room. He could still smell her fragrance.
System messages started popping up. They seemed to be mocking Crockta.
[The macho orc, Crockta, has rejected the heart of the beautiful elf!]
[Is your Love Mode lock a reflection of the outside world?]
[By activating Love Mode, you can recover from health conditions!]
Crockta turned off the system messages and hummed the warrior’s song to soothe his heart. He was an orc warrior, not anything else!
"The great warrior... The devotion of a warrior...”
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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