Chapter 87 - Tuna
Urok had an arrow in his neck.
He pressed against the blood welling up from his wound and glared at the enemy. There were three people who interfered with him.
The orc warrior from the continent, Crockta. The gnome soldier who came with Crockta, Tiyo. Then the one who suddenly appeared with the forgotten bloodline of a necromancer, Anor. Without them, Nuridot would’ve fallen into his hands without any great sacrifices. But the three of them had screwed up everything.
He tried to do a last hurrah with his axe, but his body didn’t move. A red tinge could be seen at the edge of his vision. Death was approaching. He felt sure that it was his end. In the end, Urok cursed them in order to see their triumphant expressions fall.
“Great chieftain... come after you.”
However, the reaction he was hoping for didn’t come out. Their expressions became more excited like they had been waiting for that to happen. Urok acknowledged his defeat. These people were bolder and stronger than he thought.
He raised his gaze. Crockta’s greatsword was covering the sun.
Ahh, that light, the flash of a soldier shining on the battlefield. A dark curtain started to descend from above his head. Urok realized that the darkness was the death that came to meet him. He saw little flashes of light bounce off the edge of the blade.
Thus, he met his end with wide open eyes.
The situation was reversed after Anor appeared. Crockta mercilessly slew the orcs and the orcs he killed were raised again by Anor. The dark elves didn’t have to worry about damage to the undead, so they could shoot arrows randomly.
The Great Clan warriors stubbornly threw themselves at the dark elves, but they couldn’t reverse the situation. Urok’s death was a signal as the orcs started to retreat.
The dark elves cheered at the victory. However, the three men who led the battle to victory weren’t pleased.
Crockta called out to him. Anor reflexively replied, "What crazy bastard called me... ah, Crockta.”
It was now his reflex to spit out curses. What was this?
Crockta shrugged. “You seem to have suffered. Are your ears okay?”
"Ah, yes. Well...”
Anor touched the shortened ends of his ears. The ears were shortened, and he no longer looked like a dark elf, but a tanned human. Crockta nodded towards the dark elves.
"They seem to want an explanation."
Now that the orcs retreated, the dark elves were staring at Anor with loathe and fear-filled eyes..
In the past, Crockta had met a man called Iron who liked wine in Chesswood. He was a necromancer like Anor. It was just like that time. The power to raise the dead always provoked people’s fear.
Anor straightened his back.
He decided not to care anymore. He cut off his ears in a crisis and the power was liberated.
The fact that selfish dark elves tried to kill him for their own safety and he needed to free the power of the dark elves pointed out the duality of Nuridot. It might be argued that that the worst ones weren’t the orcs, but the terrible prejudices of the dark elves.
But Anor decided to abandon all of that. He had been persecuted for his whole life in Nuridot. The dark elves who treated him like that didn’t deserve an explanation. There was nothing different.
Anor said with a grin, “What are you looking at, dog scum?”
Ian disconnected. He checked his watch and saw that he had been connected for a long time. Ian felt hungry. What was in the fridge?
He opened the refrigerator and found nothing. It was mostly empty. Suddenly, he found an unfamiliar sealed container. A post-it note was attached. The post-it was from Yiyu and the following was written:
-Stop the game and eat. Game loser.
He opened it and found a sandwich. It was a bit out of shape, like she had created it herself. Ian smiled and bit the sandwich, tasting canned tuna among crunchy greens. The taste was okay.
He recalled the contents of the game as he walked into the living room. This time, he had connected for a long time. Since he played alone in the north where there were no users, he could immerse himself in Elder Lord. For a while, he forgot that he was Jung Ian and really lived like Crockta.
If it hadn’t been for the system warning message, he might still have been playing.
"I really am a game loser.”
He checked his phone. There were a few messages from Han Yeori. He had been connected to Elder Lord for so long that he hadn’t seen her for a while. Ian decided to visit the cafe. He should do something for the hard-working Han Yeori.
He washed up and headed towards Cafe Reason.
The store was quiet. It was holidays so the number of students decreased. Ian smiled and turned to the counter.
"Have you been well?” Han Yeori’s eyes widened as she found Ian. Then she rolled her eyes and chatted to Yoo Sooyeon beside her.
"Sooyeon, do you know what that face is?”
"No, not the boss. A demon. That is the face of a demon.”
Yoo Sooyeon laughed. It seemed like the two of them had become very close.
“The face of the capitalist demon, who entrusts his store to others and lives a leisurely life.”
“I can hear you.”
"I am saying it so that you can hear,” retorted Han Yeori.
Ian smiled bitterly. He certainly didn’t care for the store, as he only accessed Elder Lord all day long.
“I understand. Should we meet up once you are finished?”
Ian’s words meant he would buy them dinner. Han Yeori quickly replied, "Tuna.”
Yoo Sooyeon just tilted her head.
"Sooyeon hasn’t eaten proper tuna. Boss-nim will let you try it today. The demon has a conscience.”
She poked fun at Ian as she talked to Yoo Sooyeon. Ian smiled at the scene.
"Okay, I understand."
Han Yeori smiled widely. He had a feeling that he would be spending a lot today.
A group of guests entered. As Han Yeori and Yoo Sooyeon took their orders, Ian looked around the cafe. He aligned the chairs, checked the trash and refilled the supplies. Then he sat down in a corner of the cafe. He stared at the interior of Café Reason. Ian became excited as he looked around his store.
He decorated everything according to his own taste.
From his childhood to the battlefield, Ian had lived in environments that he couldn’t choose. He couldn’t do anything as a child and he didn’t have any freedom as a soldier. At best, he was only given a choice of what type of gun and knife to use.
The first time Ian could think about what he liked was when he came home and set up a café. The work of decorating the store according to his own preferences acted as a rehabilitation that brought he back from his life as a soldier.
From the dark walnut colored tables, the iron chairs that firmly supported the back, pipes that appeared in the steampunk and partitions to create a flow among the guests. He even picked out the font for the menu on the counter. The counter was at a low height for the customers and employees to easily see each other.
Han Yeori greeted a customer. Her eyes were welcoming and friendly. Yes, even she was his choice. He liked the lines around her eyes when she smiled.
Suddenly, he caught Han Yeori’s eyes. Her eyebrows raised at his expression. Then as soon as a customer stood at the counter, her face changed abruptly as she smiled brightly.
Ian smiled and closed his eyes. He leaned back in the iron chair. That’s right. All of this was his choice. Everything in Café Reason was what he liked, and it was his wish to see it for a long time.
[Boss-nim, Unni is wondering about the place? ㅋㅋㅋ]
The message came from Yoo Sooyeon.
He had first met her on the day that Lenox died. He had gone back to Orcrox and was confused when he ended the connection. He went for an early morning walk and saved her from being bullied.
Her profile picture was of her smiling while standing in Café Reason. In a corner of the screen, Han Yeori’s hand in a V sign could also be seen. Well, it was good that they seemed to be getting along. He hadn’t asked her any details thus far, but her face had gradually brightened.
[An area near the café. I’ll let you know the location later.]
Then Ian added as a joke,
[You should bring some digestives in case there is an accident.]
He hadn’t cared for the café lately, so he was planning to feed them properly today. Not long ago, the salary for an Elder Lord ranker was received. It was sufficient.
The support for rankers was a lot bigger than he initially thought. It was huge. There was one more ‘0’ than what he had been thinking.
“...It is enough to buy the café’s building.”
It was only the first settlement, but it would be enough if he got a loan. Then Ian pictured the face of the good-hearted landlord who occasionally came in for coffee. He might have a lot of money now, but Ian felt uncomfortable crossing a line.
Ian had been worried when the system asked for an account. He knew Ji Hayeon, the successor to the Myeongsong Group.
He had a strange relationship with her due to his military background. It wasn’t hard for her to find information about him. It didn’t matter if she discovered that he was Crockta, but he felt like he wouldn’t be able to enjoy Elder Lord like before if his identity was known.
So when he searched for information, Ian came up with a description of the core system.
The entire funding for rankers was transferred to an account managed by the core system ‘Albino.’ The funds would be transferred to the virtual account created by Albino, and then distributed to the 500 rankers. Once the settlement was over, all the information including the virtual account was deleted.
It was a confidential security system designed for the users who chose to remain private among the rankers. Even the developers of the Elder Lord system weren’t able to browse the personal information.
Ian turned off the chat program and heard a voice near him.
-The Heaven and Earth Clan led by Choi Hansung’s ‘Rommel’ has declared war on the Metatron Clan, which is ranked first on Elder Lord’s power ranking. There are some people who see the clan war as a fight between Korean and US users, because the clans are mainly composed of people from these countries.
It was the familiar voice of the Elder Lord Times host. Someone was watching Elder Lord Times on their phone. Ian was also curious about Elder Lord. Ever since he left for the north, he didn’t get much news about Elder Lord.
-The Heaven and Earth Clan has recently expanded by interacting closely with the NPCs of Elder Lord. This tactic reminds me of the Thawing Balhae Clan that is now gone. Choi Hansung...
Ian’s eyes narrowed. He confirmed the information on Choi Hansung. He had a handsome face and outstanding abilities. He was a person who could play the main character in a movie or drama.
-Choi Hansung is currently ranked second in Elder Lord’s rankings. This is the highest number among Koreans. Therefore, his stock has sharply and he received a lot of offers for CFs. (commercials).
-That reminds me, it seems like the ‘Choi Hansung Ramen’ is very popular recently. He said that he enjoyed eating this ramen before playing Elder Lord.
The hosts of Elder Lord Times then changed the topic. They introduced various topics about Elder Lord.
The war between the Heaven and Earth Clan and Metatron Clan, the independent user village created by the elf Elaine was enjoying tremendous prosperity and the fact that a new king was crowned as the head of the allied human cities.
There was also a familiar name.
-Organizations following in the footsteps of the Orc of Justice, Crockta, have formed. Recently, I heard that the necromancer Iron has come to the fore as a member of Crockta’s fan club, ‘He’s an Orc, yet still Praiseworthy!’ Players from all over Elder Lord have joined.
-The Rehabilitation Brothers have succeeded in reforming the master of the Et Clan, aka Tiger Mask. This has ended the long battle between the Rehabilitation Brothers and the ET Clan. Let’s listen to the interview.
Ian smiled warmly.
Recently, the number of members in his fan club ‘He’s an Orc, yet still Praiseworthy’ have increased. Youvidser Laney, who became famous due to Crockta, was a member of the fan club and some celebrities tried to follow the flow by mentioning Crockta.
Everyone was hoping for his return. He would return to the continent with the head of the great chieftain.
Ian unconsciously laughed like an orc, before coughing as he felt the gazes towards him. He had recently taken on Crockta’s tone. He needed to be cautious so that Yiyu didn’t notice. He had to be careful.
Han Yeori and Yoo Sooyeon approached him. Han Yeori grabbed Ian’s sleeve and pulled him up.
"You should think about what to do to raise café sales. You don’t have a sense of crisis at all.”
"What's wrong with that?”
"Let’s go quickly.”
Yoo Sooyeon was smiling as she watched the scene. Ian laughed.
"I said tuna. No buying something else.” Han Yeori declared.
"Today has ended. Let’s go, Sooyeon!”
Han Yeori and Yoo Sooyeon left arm in arm. Ian followed them. As he saw Han Yeori’s excitement, someone’s face popped into his head.
If it were him, he would say this.
‘Crockta! Nothing else dot! Tuna dot!’
Ian stopped in his tracks. Would Tiyo know the taste of tuna? Somehow, it seemed like Ian’s boundaries of reality was shaking.
Ian looked at Han Yeori who was beckoning to him. It was the reason why he fought against users in Elder Lord, and wore a headband to get along with NPCs.
Ian’s pace increased.
There were people who were important to him. They might just be characters in the game, but they occupied a place in his heart just like the people in front of him. If something happened to Tiyo, he would really be upset.
Suddenly, Yoo Sooyeon hit the shoulder of a passerby. The passerby cursed in a low voice.
Yoo Sooyeon apologized, “Ah, I’m sorry.”
Ian thought as he watched the man pull away. It was an unavoidable instinct to protect his precious ones.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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