Raven raised his head as he arrived in front of Karuta. Karuta was even bigger when Raven saw him up close.
“Are you from the Ancona Forest?”
“And if I am?”
Karuta gave a smirk as he tapped on his shoulders with his giant wooden stick. Raven slowly took off his helmet and spoke in a cold voice while looking up at Karuta.
“I’m Alan Pendragon.”
Karuta stopped his movement. His club, which was embedded with bones as big as children’s arms, came down slowly from his shoulders and hit the ground.
The hearts of the humans sank along with the illusion of the earth ringing. Karuta slowly brought his head down and placed his big, ferocious head right in front of Raven’s face before opening his mouth.
Raven didn’t reply and gave a beautiful smile instead.
As Karuta was about to speak…
A sound of pig squealing was heard, as expected from an orc, and Karuta’s bottom smashed straight into the ground.
Everyone stared in unbelief. Alan Pendragon had headbutted straight into the orc warrior’s nose.
“T, this is a huge problem. All forces, get read… Hmm?”
Killian stopped in the middle of giving an attack order. The same was true for soldiers who were prepared to run out to fight, knowing very well the day might be their last.
Even though their leader was attacked, the orcs had not moved. They seemed surprised, but they stared at Alan Pendragon, who was rubbing his forehead, and Karuta, who got up from the ground, with interest in their eyes.
Karuta had gotten up from the ground, then stood up with one hand over his nose. He frowned and let go of his nose.
His hand was smothered in blood. He was having a nosebleed.
All the humans had their mouths open in shock.
A giant orc warrior was bleeding from both nostrils after one headbutt from Alan Pendragon. But the other orcs were just watching… No, they weren’t just watching.
“Kuhehehehehe! Karuta got a nosebleed!”
The orc druid fell over, grabbing his stomach while laughing.
“Kukakaka! He got a blow done in by a scarecrow!”
“Strong! It’s a strong scarecrow! Kekeke!”
The other orcs were openly enjoying the sight while clapping their hands.
The humans were unsure of how to respond to this unrealistic sight.
Karuta shook his head several times before staring directly into Raven’s eyes and tossing his weapon behind his back. An orc received the weapon as if it had been promptly waiting for the moment.
Karuta cracked his fingers which were as big as wooden branches.
“A mere scarecrow knows the orc’s law. Alright, let’s have a round.”
“Oh I know very well. But I wasn’t asking for a match just now.”
Karuta squinted his eyes.
“I was just saying hello to a shameless guy who feigns ignorance even when the landlord comes to visit.”
“Just saying hello…?”
The intense intent to kill radiated from Karuta.
But Raven continued speaking in a low tone, not caring for Karuta’s threat.
“Those that lived on my land for several generations were thinking of attacking even when they saw the symbol of my family. I thought you were just stupid like your appearance, so I told you my name. But you pretend to not know? What would you do in my situation? Do the Ancona Orcs not show basic courtesy to those who lend them land?”
Karuta quietly withdrew Orc Fear.
It was the first time in the history of the tribe that they had left the forest, and Karuta had gotten ahead of himself in excitement. Moreover, the second scarecrow he ran into after leaving the forest was Alan Pendragon.
He thought himself lucky, but it seemed he had stepped on crap instead.
‘Damn it! Let the earth be broken. The earth god has given Karuta a trial to suffer from, not a lucky encounter.’
On top of everything else, the young, skinny scarecrow knew of the law of the orcs that stated that if the opponent challenged you unarmed, you had to respond in kind.
Karuta had planned on giving the boy a light beating and threatening him to dissolve the pact between the Ancona Orcs and the Pendragons. But before he could take action, the boy had headbutted him.
“If you came from the Ancona Forest you must know of your pact with the Pendragons, right? You have already broken your part of the agreement by coming out of the forest. Do you have anything to say?”
When the oath was mentioned, Karuta snorted and responded with a glint in his eyes.
“Kuhmm! The side that broke the oath was you scarecrows. Karuta and the Ancona Orcs saw the guardian deity of the forest returning!”
“Guardian deity? Are you referring to Soldrake?”
“Not only us orcs, but everyone knows that the guardian deity abandoned the Pendragon scarecrow. Harpies, centaurs, and of course, the griffons that serve the guardian deity.”
Raven was surprised that there were so many different races within the Ancona Forest, but he didn’t let it show.
“And besides, I know that if you can’t make an oath with the guardian deity, the power of the Pendragon scarecrows will diminish. Is that not true?”
Raven silently stared at Karuta, who was talking in a mocking manner.
Their gazes met in the air, and invisible sparks could be felt. Karuta wiped the smile off of his face and scowled at Raven.
“That’s why we came out. To officially revoke the pact. Thanks to you weak scarecrows we haven’t tasted blood in over ten years. Orcs were made to fight. An orc that does not fight is worthless, even worse than swine.”
“Does that mean you want to come out from Ancona Forest?”
Karuta snorted and smacked his thick chest at Raven’s question.
“Kuhmm! We will first subjugate all the races of Ancona Forest. Then we will take the abandoned sawmill and iron mines in the forest after receiving the guardian deity’s permission. After that, we will leave the forest. Orcs will become several times stronger with iron and wood. Now we only need you, Pendragon scarecrow, to get rid of the agreement.”
Raven now understood the reason why the orcs left the forest. But the orc who called himself Karuta didn’t seem to be aware of the most important thing.
“You really are as dumb as you look. Ancona Forest, and everything within it, belongs to the Pendragon family. Soldrake isn’t the owner of the forest. No, you probably don’t even know why Soldrake lives in the forest in the first place, hmm?”
Karuta’s scowl deepened, causing his face to look even more distorted. He turned his head and called out.
The orc druid slowly walked forward from where he was standing.
“You heard what the Pendragon scarecrow said, right? What do you know about this?”
“Kratul does not know.”
“How about the beasts you control? You haven’t heard anything from them?”
“Is Karuta an idiot? Kratul’s beasts can’t go into the territory of the guardian deity. They can’t even go to the ruins of the old quarry. Pets die, and Kratul dies too.”
The orc druid spoke with a trembling body and repeatedly shook his head.
“The land split!”
Karuta spat out orc swear words before turning his head towards the other members of his tribe.
But everyone he looked at shook or scratched their heads.
Although they lived in Ancona Forest for decades, no one had any idea why the guardian deity stayed in the deep regions of the forest. None of them had ever seen or dared approach the guardian deity’s territory within the forest.
It was considered taboo to talk about the guardian deity, and even the elders were reluctant to speak up.
“I will teach you.”
Raven’s voice pierced through the silence, and the eyes of Karuta and the orcs turned towards him. Amidst the attentive gazes, Raven hid his true intentions and gave a subtle smile.
“In addition, I could teach you a way to come out from the forest and to fight to your heart’s content…”
The orc’s eyes widened in shock.
“Then take care, Lady Seyrod.”
Luna paused and turned her head. The beautiful face of Alan Pendragon had no expression on it. It was clear that he spoke out of courtesy, and nothing more.
“I’ve sent a messenger, so the rest of the Seyrod troops should follow along in a few days. Then farewell…”
Alan Pendragon gave a slight bow, before turning his horse around.
Luna opened her mouth as if to say something, but then bowed her head in shame, unable to call out to him.
Her embarrassment was not surprising. The Seyrod family had abandoned the Pendragons but then received help from them instead. She didn’t have the audacity to call out to him after breaking off the marriage, then abandoning him.
Luna raised her head at the sudden voice of Alan. Alan Pendragon was looking directly at Breeden with one side of his mouth curled up in a smile.
“Are your pants all dry now?”
Breeden’s face burned with shame, and he silently avoided Alan’s gaze.
“Next time you come to my territory, make sure to have a diaper handy. Have a safe trip then.”
Breeden was bombarded with shameful words, but he stayed unreactive and restlessly stole glances towards Alan as he left. Luna’s gaze also followed suit.
Over a hundred soldiers and thirty orc warriors were waiting for him between the fork in the road.
The biggest orc warrior, named Karuta, burst into laughter staring in their direction.
“Don’t worry about it, you can come without it! Karuta will generously gift the scarecrow with a diaper! We have plenty of suitable leaves in our forest that we usually use to wipe our ass. Ah, and next time someone tries to ask for direction, maybe don’t pull out your sword first! Well, I guess it has no real uses anyway.”
The orc warriors shrieked and grabbed their stomachs in laughter. The Pendragon family’s soldiers and even the Seyrod family’s soldiers silently snickered, though most of Breeden’s soldiers looked at him with disappointed or angry eyes.
Breeden was startled at Karuta’s voice, and could only lower his head.
Luna instinctively knew. Breeden’s days as a knight were over.
Instead of fighting, he tried to run away. On top of that, he even pissed his own pants.
No soldiers would ever respect or treat him as a knight. The orcs were only trying to ask for directions, but Breeden had overreacted in fear and drew his blade. If Alan Pendragon had not shown up, they might have all been killed.
The stories would spread rapidly throughout the territory, and everyone would know as soon as they returned home. Alan Pendragon’s heroic deeds would spread, and everyone would end up comparing Alan with Breeden.
Luna let out a sigh, then returned her gaze to Alan Pendragon.
“Anyway. Pendragon scarecrow, we need to have a proper match soon, hmm?”
“Scarecrow? I think I need to teach you a lesson by giving you another double nosebleed.”
“Kuhem! If only I was vigilant then…”
“Your mouth will keep on blabbering even after your head’s been cut off due to your carelessness.”
“Kuhehehe! Alan Pendragon is a funny scarecrow, no human. I’ve never seen a human more humorous than Kratul!”
“Alan Pendragon is not funny. He is a scary human.”
“I’ve been wondering since a while ago, where did you pick up this ugly goblin?”
“Kihiek! Handsome Kazzal was not picked up! Handsome Kazzal was captured! You can not say whatever you want because you are a little bit more handsome than me!”
“What is this little rat-like goblin saying? Handsome? With that half-shaped face?”
“Ah, everyone shut up already! You’re making my head ring!”
The man who was walking alongside an orc and a goblin, quarreling with them, was none other than the official heir to the Pendragon Duchy, Alan Pendragon.
The man people doubted could even make it past Bellint Gate, had a goblin as his wayfinder, and thirty orc warriors as his subordinates.
Now, he was walking towards Ancona Forest, where the Pendragon family’s mausoleum was located, and where the nest of the most powerful creature on earth was.
Luna’s heart beat loudly. It wasn’t just due to the power that he had and might have in the future. Or that’s what Luna thought as she carefully watched Alan Pendragon and his companions stride boldly into the dark forest.Previous Chapter Next Chapter