Chapter 72 - Northern Orcs (1)
Crockta and Tiyo shifted Shakan’s body and made a tomb for him in his fortress.
The clever cows cried sadly at Shakan’s death. The remaining livestock, including the cows, were sent back to nature outside of the Forest of Creatures.
Then they stood in front of the wall of darkness spreading across the northernmost part of the forest that the behemoth had once blocked. It was a darkness that blocked any intruders from crossing.
[Until the north is completely opened in 10 years, access will be limited.]
[As a colleague of Shakan who opened the north, you can pass through here.]
“C-Crockta, is the north really beyond this point?”
Crockta and Tiyo exchanged glances before walking towards the wall. Darkness swallowed their vision. It was a strange feeling, as if they were floating in the darkness.
When they opened their eyes again, they were standing on red earth.
It was a wilderness. Behind them was the wall of darkness, but the forest behind it couldn’t be seen. It was like a completely different world.
"This is the north...”
It was a desolate place. Almost no vegetation was visible on the horizon, save for the occasional cactus or they deeply rooted herbaceous plant.
"Now...what direction should we go in, Crockta?” Tiyo asked.
Their destination was the Temple of the Fallen God. Crockta pulled out a map, a piece of information that he received from the Information Guild. According to this map, a large lake will appear if we move towards the northwest.
Would there be a lake in this barren climate? Crockta checked the compass and told Tiyo, “This way.”
"I understand dot!”
Tiyo walked ahead.
Contrary to his expectations, it was a desolate wasteland, but it was still a new world. Only a few people from the continent had seen the north. Moreover, they were the adventurers who opened up the north. Tiyo started humming.
Crockta and Tiyo looked around while walking. Except for the wall of darkness, everywhere was the same. It was like the endless desert. If the desert was going to continue like this, maybe the north was just a dead land.
They would know once they followed the map. They walked for a long time towards the lake marked on the map.
"This is the lake dot...?”
It was a puddle smaller than a pond. That was all. Crockta checked the map again. According to the compass and map, this was definitely the place. There were large pillars and rugged rock walls.
“At one time, it might’ve been a lake.”
The map had been made a long time ago. It could be different from the current situation.
"Let’s relieve our dry throats first.”
The moment they reached the puddle...
A sound was heard from far away. Crockta turned his head and spotted a sand storm in the distance. A group of people was approaching this place. Tiyo took a sip of water and said, “Are we finally meeting people from the north?”
"They are riding on something.”
It wasn’t the shape of a monster. It was the appearance of people riding on something. Were they orcs, humans, or dark elves? Worry was mixed with anticipation. Crockta grasped ‘Ogre Slayer’ and waited for them with bated breath.
"Crockta, what are you nervous about? They are the northern people dot!” Tiyo declared.
Crockta nodded before saying, "I hope my worries are needless.”
Then he could determine the identity of the incoming group. They were orcs.
“Hey! Who are you?"
The orc in the front shouted. There was a total of five orcs. They were riding odd-looking animals that looked like rhinoceroses, except at a size that was smaller than a horse. Horns towered up on both sides and the eyes were filled with wildness.
Crockta stepped forward. “I am alive. It is nice to see you. I am the orc warrior Crockta.”
He extended his fist.
“Yes...?” The orcs looked at each other at his greeting.
They chuckled before bursting out laughing, “Kulkulkulkul! Did you hear him? Alive? Kuahahahat!”
"This guy, he must’ve heard too many stories! Kulkulkulkul!”
"My mother read me the old books as well! Yes alive, you are alive! Kuhahahat!”
Crockta couldn’t understand their reactions.
"Hey, why are you doing such archaic bullshit?”
"Why did an outsider suddenly appear in our area? In addition, coming with a dwarf.”
The orcs got down from the animals. They were using weapons such as axes and swords, but they were different from the weapons that Crockta knew and loved. The size of their weapons was small, and seemed to be human weapons.
"We are the Kapur Tribe that rules this area, get on your knees!” One of the orcs pulled out his sword and shouted. Crockta stared at him blankly. The orc stomped his feet angrily at Crockta’s response.
"I said, we are the Kapur Tribe! On your knees!”
Crockta couldn’t understand it. "On my knees?"
Orcs never kneeled before another of their kind. No, it was the same with other species. Orcs would never force humiliation on someone. Rather, they would raise them up. If someone insulted them, the orc would just cut off their heads.
Those were the orcs that he knew. He would understand it more if weapons were swung.
“I don’t know what you are talking about. I am a warrior and this gnome warrior is my friend ,Tiyo. Please respect our honor.” Crockta replied patiently.
But they laughed at Crockta again. One orc grabbed his belly and shed tears. "Kuahahat! Warrior? Warrior?”
“That dwarf is a warrior? Kulkulkulkul!”
"A very funny guy! I’m going crazy!”
Then the original orc, who shouted with a sword in hand, approached Crockta.
"This person is a madman. Kehehehet!”
Crockta realized something. “Don’t.”
"What are you talking about?"
The faces of the orcs distorted. “What nonsense is he saying!”
Then the orc shook his sword. But he couldn’t fulfill his will. His crude sword was smashed at once.
A greatsword, too big to be a regular sword, was pointing at his neck. It was the masterpiece of the Golden Anvil Clan, ‘Ogre Slayer’!
“You guys don’t have any honor.”
The orc retreated. The other orcs simultaneously raised their weapons.
"You want to die!"
The orc who lost his weapon shouted while the other four orcs surrounded Crockta, a ferocious look in their eyes. "You attacked us just now, so we can’t get over it. This guy.”
An orc holding an axe cried out angrily, "Do you want to make us angry?”
But Crockta wasn’t afraid at all. The anger of the Orcrox farmers holding farm equipment was more frightening than these orcs holding their flimsy weapons.
"Messing with the Kapur warriors...”
At that moment, Crockta’s eyebrows twitched.
“Hehe, have you finally realized your mistake? We are warriors from the Kapur Tribe. You would run away if you saw the large number of warriors in our tribe...”
Crockta looked up at the sky. The sky above him was blue, just like it was on the continent.
However, the people under the sky were different. So different. The orcs in the north were different from the orcs on the continent that he knew. They weren’t great like Lenox or Hoyt. None of the orcs he knew were like this. Yet they called themselves warriors.
The warrior’s ceremony presided over by Tashaquil came to his mind. Something burned inside Crockta. He was an orc warrior. When he saw something like this, he couldn’t stay still.
Crockta rushed towards the axe wielding orc.
"Where are you looking?”
The axe descended. At that moment, Crockta swung his greatsword towards the descending axe. The axe shattered and the pieces flew into the air.
The orc’s eyes widened as he was left with just the handle of the axe. It was a sophisticated technique that responded to the sudden attack, aimed at the axe, and used tremendous power to break it.
The serene eyes stared at him.
He wasn’t a match for this orc wearing a red headband. He realized it. The orc might act ridiculously like he was from an old storybook, but his skills were real. The axe holding orc asked in a trembling voice.
"You, where did you come from? Ragnar Tribe? The Iron Group? Or are you someone hired by the dark elves?”
Crockta shook his head.
"Then where are you from?” The orcs stepped back cautiously. Crockta didn’t attack them anymore as he placed the big sword back on his back.
“We came from the continent to the south dot!” Tiyo replied instead.
The orcs’ rage exploded. "Shut up, dwarf. We didn’t ask you!”
"What’d you say?”
Tiyo immediately fired ‘General’, the magic power striking an orc. He lost his balance and fell down. He shook from the aftermath of the attack and crumpled over with a groan. The group of orcs was astonished.
“T-That is an artifact!”
The orcs exchanged glances. It seemed like they were thinking about how to treat Crockta. They gathered and started to talk about something. Their voices were faintly heard, "They might have really come from the south...”
“That is nonsense...”
"If so, the chief...”
They talked for a while before nodding. Then the orc who lost his axe to Crockta stepped out as the representative. “What is your name?”
All of a sudden, his attitude was gracious.
"Crockta, please forgive our rudeness. I’ll ask you again. Did you really come from the south?”
"Then you came over that wall of darkness?”
"Um...” The orc frowned for a moment before nodding. "Then, Crockta. You are invited to our tribe.”
It was a quick transition as a smile emerged. Tiyo poked Crockta’s thigh. He didn’t like it. Crockta was the same but he would decide once he heard more.
"I apologize for being rude to you. It is a sensitive time due to the recent war between tribes. We made a mistake for a bit. Why don’t you rest and talk with us at our tribe?”
The orc acted shamelessly until the end. Crockta didn’t like it but he needed to consider the proposal itself. Crockta whispered to Tiyo, "How about it Tiyo?”
"Do you want to go with these guys?”
"Not at all. But we know nothing about the north. It might be helpful to follow them once.”
"Uh... your words are reasonable dot...”
All they had was an old map to lead the way. It showed the natural terrain and the location of the Temple of the Fallen God, but they didn’t know anything about cities and what the people were like.
The Kapur Clan were militant, so the north absolutely wasn’t an easy place. Rather, it seemed rougher than the continent.
"My father always said that the north is a very dangerous place dot...” Tiyo muttered and nodded. “I understand dot. Then we will follow them for the moment.”
Tiyo tapped ‘General’.
"If they aren’t good, I will have to kill Crockta’s fellow people dot.”
Crockta laughed at his decisive expression. Due to the cute appearance of his gnome friend, Crockta occasionally forgot that he was a soldier. Tiyo wasn’t a person to avoid physical conflicts. Crockta showed his teeth as he laughed.
“Of course. It is the same for me.”
The orc warrior and gnome soldier exchanged glances and chuckled. As soon as Crockta nodded, the orcs pointed to the animals behind them.
"Then we will give you a ride. Please get up behind us.”
The orcs climbed on the animals they came on. It wasn’t much different from riding a horse. Crockta and Tiyo sat behind an animal each.
"What do you call these animals?”
"Are there no caruks in the south?”
"This is the first time I’ve seen one. In the south, we normally use horses.”
"That's right. This is an animal called caruk. Horses are precious in the north, so we mainly use the tough caruk.”
The caruk started running. Their legs were short, but they moved quickly. The shaking was small compared to horses.
They went through the wilderness. The landscape didn’t change and the open wasteland continued. Occasionally, an oasis could be seen, but it was mainly a wilderness filled with red sand.
They ran for a while and arrived at the Kapur Tribe. A simple fence surrounded an oasis and there were tents inside. It was very different from the modern and medieval cities on the continent. Tiyo also had a worried expression. Tiyo was from Quantes, a developed city on the continent.
“We’ve arrived. Wait a minute."
They waited on the outside without entering the village. One of the orcs went inside on the caruk.
"Hrmm." Crockta looked at the orcs. They sat on the caruks with casual expressions, but a strange tension could be felt. Was it fear of him or something else? Suddenly, Crockta looked at Tiyo.
He was sleeping. He didn’t show any nerves as he slept on the Caruk. Tiyo covered the orc’s back that he was leaning against with saliva, while the orc in front twisted his body with a worried expression. The orc wanted to shake Tiyo off but he endured it. Crockta started laughing.
"Are all orcs in the south strong like you?” The orc in front of Crockta asked. Crockta replied without having to think.
The true strength of warriors didn’t mean the strength of their body. It was their strength of mind. All of the orcs he met were strong.
“How great. So now people can come to the north freely?”
"It is still tough.”
According to the system, there were 10 years left until the forest would fully open. Until then, the wall of darkness would stop most of those who wanted to pass through.
The orc who entered the village soon reappeared. He beckoned towards the orcs on the caruks from the entrance of the village. The caruks raised their bodies. Crockta’s body started bouncing again.
The caruks ran into the village.
The tribe’s orcs were watching them with hostile gazes. There was a large lot in the center of the village where a huge orc was sitting on a chair. It seemed he was showing off his authority by wearing skulls as decoration.
Behind him, numerous Kapur Tribe warriors stared at Crockta and Tiyo.
“I see Chief!”
The orcs quickly dismounted from the caruk and knelt. Crockta and Tiyo just watched them. The Kapur chief rose from his seat. He was a fearsome orc who was larger than usual. His greedy eyes moved over Crockta’s greatsword and Tiyo’s General.
Then he asked, "Did you come from the south?”
It was a voice that was as tough as iron. Crockta nodded.
"Yes. I am called Crockta. It is nice to see you. Stay alive.”
Crockta greeted politely.
The Kapur warriors behind the chief murmured at his answer. The Kapur chief’s eyes narrowed. He stomped the ground.
Everyone became silent. The Kapur chief laughed at Crockta and Tiyo and declared,
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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