Book 2, Chapter 99

Expedition(3)

The orcs of this tribe had brown skin, indicating that they had been in the Bloodstained Lands for a few generations. Most orcs who came from the western plains were green or grey.

The orcish tribes of the Bloodstained Lands were not to be trifled with. Even smaller tribes often had bloodthirsty level 12 warriors, and they were natural hunters and soldiers that could adapt to harsh conditions. They possessed great tenacity, making them difficult to capture and at the same time even harder to control.

Most enslaved orcs were just sent off to work at mines, or forced into hard labour until they died of exhaustion. Some were sent to become gladiators in various arenas, but given the difficulty of turning them into a troop of cannon fodder they had little value. Thus, orc slaves weren’t very expensive; in fact, they were even cheaper than desert warriors. Most slavers rarely ever tried to catch them, since even if they had a level 14 leader the desert people and barbarians were easier to capture. Besides, orcs weren’t a profitable commodity.

These creatures bred quickly. Even though they lived about two thirds as long as the average human, they were twice as fertile. Even at the age of ten their children were qualified warriors as well.

The orcs of the Bloodstained Lands did not practise agriculture. Their food mostly consisted of fruits, roots, and animal meat. They didn’t eat other intelligent races, even though if there was a drought they didn’t mind feeding their wolves with the same.

As such every once in a while the orc population ballooned out of controls, and the slave traders would launch a joint expedition to cut down on their numbers. This was to ensure that their trade routes were unobstructed, and these brown-skinned beings didn’t flood the vast land.

A few days ago, a Golden Warflag group they encountered had told Richard that a new hunt was beginning. Considering it for a while, Richard had agreed to this invitation from an old friend.

Standing on top of the cliff, Richard saw a group of more than ten orc hunters returning to the camp from a few kilometres away. They had two fat wild boars on hand, all looking to be in high spirits. It seemed like there would be no need to worry about food for the next few days.

Surrounding the hunters were seven or eight desert wolves. As far as orcs were concerned, these wolves were the equivalent of hunting dogs.

Richard issued orders in his mind.

The desert wolves suddenly stopped in their tracks, letting out a few restless low groans. They started turning in place, putting the orc hunters on high alert. They set the prey down, tightly grabbing onto their weapons as they let out a few threatening growls towards the rocks on each side of the path.

A few massive wolves jumped atop the rocks, their threatening auras causing the desert wolves to yelp as they slowly retreated. The orcs, however, did not realise that this was a fatal threat. Although they couldn’t recognise this breed, they weren’t afraid of mere wolves.

That would be their undoing. The wind wolves weren’t ordinary animals but weapons of destruction.

A shrill screech rang through the sky as a sharp arrow struck the chest of an orc. It passed through until even the feathers couldn’t be seen, dropping him to the ground. This was when the orcs’ resilience showed, as he stood up despite the damage he’d taken. It was then that the ground started to shake, as the sound of hooves neared the location. It soon grew thunderous, ringing in the orcs’ ears!

Standing atop the cliff, Richard saw a few of the desert warriors rushing towards the hunters under the guidance of the wind wolves. He knew this spelt the end for the orcs.

The barbarians, led by Medium Rare and Tiramisu, formed a line between the hunters and the orc camp. The tens of orcs who rushed out collided with them, unable to pass.

Gangdor, leading the half-orcs and knights, instructed the defensive line to let the reinforcements through. They then turned around, rushing into the emptied camp. Their target was the shamans of the camp.

The orcs who’d just rushed out of the camp roared, trying to make their way back. However, the barbarians instantly held them up, killing enough of them to break their main force. The intense resistance lasted for a mere few minutes before the battle turned into a massacre.

It was only once all the adults— male or female— were dead that the tribe gave up on resistance. The 250-strong tribe had been reduced to less than fifty members, all either old or very young. Richard had lost more than twenty of his own slaves as a result of the battle, and not for no reason. When Gangdor had killed their shaman, all the orcs had gone crazy.

Richard cast a featherfall spell and jumped off the cliff, covering the more than ten metres of height without issue. He floated down to the camp and took large strides towards the dead shaman, kicking the corpse aside as his gaze landed on the statue of an orc on the altar. The statue was less than a metre tall but it looked quite lifelike, its entirety made of pitch black rock. The surface was sparkling all over, and upon closer inspection he felt a strange power within it. This was the same power he had felt in the altar of the bloodstone orcs, likely the spirit of the orcs’ ancestor.

Richard stowed the statue away; this was the entire reason he had attacked this camp. He did take a round through the camp, but there wasn’t anything else of value.

Zendrall grew busy once more. The tribe had two strong level 13 warriors who could become warriors of darkness, and he was preparing to convert them. This had become a normal state of affairs. The necromancer was occupied at the end of every battle.

While everyone was busy clearing the battlefield, Richard took out a map and marked out the topology of the camp and its surroundings. A month ago this map was practically blank, but now there were many marks on it.

An hour later, Richard brought his troops with him as he disappeared into the crimson dusk. He left the camp in ruins, with only slightly more than a dozen lucky survivors. It would be difficult for this tribe to survive now; their only choice would be to merge with others.

As a human, Richard wouldn’t be concerned with the survival of the tribe. Were he in an orc kingdom, nobody would care about his own fate.

The orcs of Faelor paid great attention to ancestral worship, quite similar to the ones back in Norland. Almost every established tribe had a sacrificial altar, making them a target for Richard. Although they’d met some tribes in the initial stages of their expedition, he hadn’t given the order to attack. The invitation from the Golden Warflag group had cleared the last of his hesitation.

Another two camps were wiped out in the next few days, and Richard took the idols they worshipped. He still remembered that the broodmother required such objects, and Flowsand was quite interested in them as well. Well, she was interested in anything related to magic or the divine.

The Bloodstained Lands turned out to be quite fertile. Richard would look for orcs or desert people if he needed idols, and slavers if he needed soldiers. Most slaving teams he met ended up forfeiting all their slaves to his control, while the slavers became warriors of darkness under Zendrall’s control. If he needed gold he often met up with caravans. Even though most of the time he brokered a deal and bought their goods, it would be at or near cost price. As long as one could defeat their enemies, the Bloodstained Lands were a haven with everything one desired.

Even though he had only been here for a short time, Richard was starting to feel that such a life would never end.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA