Chapter 10 - What People Live By (2)

Chapter 10 - What People Live By (2)


"Did something good happen?”

“No, does it look like that?”

“Yes, you keep smiling. Do you have a boyfriend?”

Ji Hayeon smiled at her secretary’s inquiry.

"Look, you’re smiling again.”

"It’s nothing.”

"Suspicious...”

Ji Hayeon looked down at her phone. The recent call log displayed one unsaved number. She pressed the Save Contact button instead of just staring at it. The name was Raven...no, delete. She recalled the strange pronunciation that emerged from his mouth.

Ian. Jung Ian. That was his name.

She had met the man called Jung Ian a long time ago.

In the past, she had visited the Middle East for a business meeting when she was kidnapped by an international terrorist organization. Having the heir of a huge company as their hostage was a useful bargaining tool for them.

Her eyes had been covered and her limbs were bound for several days. The only thing she could hear was the Arabic language and gunfire. She managed to soothe her burning throat with lukewarm water and pieces of bread. She tried not to let go of the string of hope.

It was a strange voice that saved her.

"Ji Hayeon, is that correct?”

After incredibly loud gunshots were heard, the door opened and she unbelievably heard someone speaking Korean. The cloth covering her eyes was released. Even though she was blinded from not seeing light for a long time, she tried to look straight at the owner of the voice.

There was a man wearing black tactical gear and holding a rifle.

“I have come to rescue you.”

‘Hostage secured (English).' He said into the radio. Thanks to the call over the radio, she was able to figure out the man’s name.

Raven. The man was called Raven.

After being rescued by him, strangers from all over the world surrounded her. While escorted to the tactical helicopter, she trembled from a habitual fear. Were they really here to save her, or were they another criminal group? The painful hours of being held hostages sparked an obsessive fear.

As she looked down from the helicopter, she saw a battlefield.

One of the soldiers saw her pale complexion and spoke to the man called Raven, who then looked at her. He removed his helmet and goggles.

That single moment was engraved into Ji Hayeon’s mind.

She never imagined that he would have such a gentle appearance. It was difficult to associate the fierce soldier with the gentle man. His kind eyes tried to reassure her while his clothes were covered with the enemy’s blood.

“It’s okay. You're safe now.”

She felt relieved as the man smiled at her.

“From now on, I’ll protect you.”

He made her feel at ease. She started crying as all of her tension was released. The other soldiers heckled the man as he approached and awkwardly patted her shoulders.

After returning to the base camp, mercenaries and officials dispatched from the Myeongsong Group were waiting for Ji Hayeon.

Ji Hayeon tried to express her gratitude, but she couldn’t see the group of soldiers anymore. Nobody knew exactly who they were. Both her father and the chairman, Ji Eunchul, had sought out the best experts.

There was a rumor that they were a special unit from the UN, or that they were secretly run by the United States of America. There were even rumors that they were the private forces of a huge international group.

In particular, everyone was reluctant to talk about the man called Raven. Raven was seen as an incomprehensible demon or ghost, who was rumored to have been able to shoot the target in the forehead without making a single sound.

Even Chairman Ji Eunchul didn’t know the exact truth.

She made a strong request and was able to briefly meet him before returning to South Korea. Ji Hayeon handed a note to Raven that contained her phone number.

"Please get in touch if you come to South Korea. I want to pay back this favor.”

He just gave her an ambiguous smile.

Since then, she had never forgotten his face.

Time passed. As the successor of the Myeongsong Group, every single day was busy. She thought of him whenever she was having a particularly hard day. Was he still fighting in foreign lands? She wondered if he was saving someone in distress like her.

Then today, she received a strange number on her personal mobile phone. Only a few people knew this number. She almost didn’t answer as she thought it was a wrong number, but then an unknown feeling grabbed her. Once she answered the phone, she heard a soft voice that revived the old memories.

-Hello.

She was able to tell at once. It was him.

Is this Ji Hayeon?

I am Raven.

She wanted to know why he was calling her but it was a minor matter. It was nothing really, something very trivial. To her, the problem would be like stepping on an ant. The ant would be stuck to the sole of her shoes.

“What are you doing now?”

-I own a café.

Ji Hayeon couldn’t help exclaiming. A café. It was a place that seemed to fit him. A quiet and warm place.

When he said that he was sorry for bothering Ji Hayeon, she wanted to tell him to contact her at any time.  However, she hesitated. She had never once chased after a man, but she couldn’t afford to be proud now.

Ji Hayeon suppressed the laugh in her voice and said,

“I’m sorry but you’ll have to pay me back.”

-How?

"That..."

She suggested like it was a trivial matter.

“Where is the café?”

Thus, she was able to find out the location of Café Reason. She also found out that his name was Ian, not Raven. Jung Ian, such an ordinary name. She discovered that he had a pretty younger sister who attended university, and that there was a problem because of her.

He was a person who lived an everyday life. She felt a little closer to him.

Ji Hayeon wrote down each word on a memo and then handed it to her secretary.

“This...?”

Café Reason. Jung Ian. Jung Yiyu. A prestigious university. Several words seemed to be written randomly. The secretary looked at her.

“I want to know all of the information related to this.”

“I understand.”

"If the café is doing good business, the sister’s grades, the house where they live, the growth process, everything about their family.”

Then she added like she had forgotten.

"Oh, and the man at the bottom. He seems to be a nouveau rich person, so just push the problem away.”

“Yes.”

"Do not let that man do any harm to Jung Ian.”

"I understand."

Her secretary grinned.

“This is my specialty.”

Ji Hayeon walked to the window. The building overlooked the entire city.

This was the headquarters of the world-renowned Myeongsong Group, the leading corporation in South Korea after launching Elder Lord. Ji Hayeon smiled quietly as she watched the scenery outside.

***

“You don’t look so good.”

Ian’s eyes opened at Hoyt’s words.

"Keep your composure. Any agitation in the heart will be revealed on the flesh.”

Hoyt was a warrior introduced by Lenox.

Grom said it would be difficult for him to connect for a while because he was busy. Therefore, Ian went to Lenox alone, who gave him a new mission.

Help the warrior Hoyt.

He was able to meet Hoyt at the entrance to Orcrox Fortress.

Hoyt was blind in one eye. He was a bald orc with a big scar and some tattoos across his face. He also sported a black eyepatch for his blind eye. Ian was nervous, as Hoyt’s weapon was also a fearsome hammer.

However, after sharing a few words with him, Ian found out that Hoyt was a calm warrior.

"Have you done something that you don’t want to regret?”

“How do you know that?”

"Inexperienced warriors reveal their emotions on their faces.”

Hoyt paused for a moment. They had been walking east through the sea of trees. Hoyt was heading to a small town.

"If you have a weakness, never reveal it. Your shaky mind can lead to impatience. If I were an enemy, I’ provoke you to run at me like a raging bull, and then I would take advantage of the large gap in your defense.”

“Yes...”

Ian nodded. Hoyt’s face distorted as he grinned.

"One day, you’ll meet an enemy stronger than you. However, never show any sign of weakness and always look for a way to escape or to win.”

"Why?"

"Your fear is a strength for the enemy. It’s the same with animals. As soon as you cower, you will become the prey, instead of the hunter. If they see your weakness, they will gain strength and try to trample on you.”

Ian nodded.

The world of Elder Lord was really mysterious. Each NPC seemed to have their own philosophy. This world seemed more real than reality. Ian learned more in Elder Lord from Lenox, Grant, and Hoyt than he did from reality.

"Then what about this expression?”

Ian had a mock confident look on his face.

"That’s worse.”

"Why?"

"Isn’t that a face that’s asking to be hit?”

They burst out laughing.

Ian eventually had to use an old relationship due to the problem at the police station. He was strong, so he hadn’t felt good about relying on someone else. However, he forgot about all of that after connecting to Elder Lord and meeting the orc warrior.

"What will we be doing?”

Lenox only told Ian to help Hoyt.

"That...I’ll let you know when we arrive there.”

They walked together and dealt with the occasional monster. Ian encountered goblins and direwolves, but he easily faced them. Hoyt defeated them casually.

Grant, who had repelled the werewolf, didn’t seem to be a match for Hoyt. He was a great warrior and would need to be hit by a really high level user. He pointed to Ian’s greatsword.

"Your swordsmanship is aimed to deal with humans or elves, right?’

“That’s right.”

"You’ll need to act a little bit differently when you’re dealing with monsters that aren’t humanoid. Move more freely and believe in your instincts.”

[You have been taught by the experienced warrior, Hoyt.]

[The accumulated battle experience and Hoyt’s teachings have combined together and Greatsword Technique (Common) has evolved.

[Greatsword Technique (Common) has been upgraded to Orc’s Greatsword Technique (Uncommon).]

[Your level has risen.]

[Status Window]

‘Friend of Farmers’ Ian, Orc Apprentice Warrior

Level: 4

Achievement Points: 80

Assimilation: 55%

Abilities:

Orc’s Strength (Common)

Orc’s Recovery (Common)

Orc’s Greatsword Technique (Uncommon)

Warrior's Fighting Spirit (Uncommon)

His skill was upgraded and his level rose. Ian felt like his greatsword was lighter all of a sudden, and the large sword moved along his desired trajectory. Hoyt smiled at the sight.

"Always think. Don’t just repeat the actions like you do in the training drills. Think about what is more efficient and move.”

Ian had also heard this from his martial arts instructor, Baek Hanho. Did the creators of Elder Lord invite real martial arts practitioners to ask for advice? Ian nodded energetically.

"Thank you for your teachings.”

"It’s nothing. The duty of a warrior is to lead young orcs.”

They left the forest. As the thick trees covering their field of view disappeared, walls could be seen from far away.

[A free city where anyone can stay, Anail is the city of dreams.]

[You have moved beyond the territory of the orcs for the first time. 10 achievement points have been acquired.]

"Is this the first time you are seeing it?”

“Yes.”

"You’re a rural orc.”

Hoyt chuckled.

"This is the free city, Anail. It’s a neutral city where any species can freely come and go.”

"Then are there other species present?”

“Of course.”

Ian had never seen another species in Elder Lord, as he had only seen the orcs in Orcrox Fortress. There would be other users here. What would the humans, elves, and dwarves look like? Ian’s steps became faster.

A human was guarding Anail, the free city.

“Hello.”

“I am alive.”

Ian was disappointed.

The guards of Orcrox Fortress stood firmly like stone statues. The orc watchmen who were difficult to approach! But Anail’s guards looked like swindlers. This one draped his leather armor on a spear and leaned against the wall. He looked at Ian and Hoyt with a bad expression.

The guard signalled to open the gate.

"Well, go in. Orcs, go and don’t cause any trouble.”

“Thank you. Stay alive.”

"It sounds like you’re wishing for me to die. Are all orc greetings so weird?”

The guards started exchanging gossip about orcs. Ian’s face wrinkled, but Hoyt’s expression didn’t change.

Thus, Ian and Hoyt entered Anail, the free city.

The composition of the city was very poor compared to Orcrox Fortress. The scale wasn’t so big and there were many poor houses that seemed on the verge of collapse. There were also poor people begging for money. The orc farmers’ cabins looked like wonderful mansions compared to the houses here.

Hoyt laughed at Ian.

"You still can’t control your facial expressions.”

“Ah...”

"Compared to Orcrox, it isn’t a great place. It was originally a place where the fugitives of each species gathered.”

Humans, dwarves, and gnomes could be seen. Their appearance wasn’t as nice as he imagined. They looked like the commoners in medieval movies. However, the beauty of the elves was extraordinary.

"Come along."

It was a free city but orcs couldn’t be seen. Ian and Hoyt received a lot of attention as they headed to a house in a corner of the city. It was a small and old house. Hoyt stopped.

“This place...?”

“Wait.”

Hoyt frowned.

"Something is happening."

“What...?”

Hoyt pulled out his hammer.

"Prepare your sword.”

“Huh?”

Hoyt opened the door and entered the house. Shouting was heard from inside. Ian also entered with his greatsword. However, the situation ended without Ian having to help. A woman and two children were trembling in a corner, while the three human men threatening them were instantly subdued by Hoyt.

Hoyt stepped on one of them and asked, "Were you sent by Derek?”

"Kuock...that’s right.”

“Didn’t he say he would wait?”

"The promised time has passed! Thompson ran away!”

One of the children shouted instead of Hoyt, "No! My father didn't run away!”

Hoyt chased out the men, who left while glaring at Hoyt.

"Damn orc bastard... Interfering again...”

“Don’t think that you’re safe! Derek will kill you!”

Hoyt nodded.

"I will be ready.”

"Let’s see, dirty orc!”

The men ran away. The children ran forward and hugged Hoyt. It was strange to see human children being held by an orc, but it was sweet. The woman who seemed to be their mother approached Ian.

"Are you Hoyt’s friend...?”

“Yes.”

"Thank you for your help."

She bowed deeply. Ian didn’t know the situation so he looked over at Hoyt. He laughed and called Ian outside.

"You must be wondering what is going on.”

"That's right. How do you know them?”

Hoyt explained the situation.

There was a man named Thompson, who was Hoyt’s friend. One day, Hoyt barely won after fighting some human bandits and was in a critical condition. He barely reached this place, but no one tried to help an orc.

However, the man called Thompson helped Hoyt. He sprinkled a lot of potions and took him home for treatment. Thompson and his family nursed Hoyt for a while. Therefore, Hoyt owed a life debt to Thompson.

Thompson and Hoyt became close friends.

“Thompson is a trader. At one time, he was the master of a good company, but he was betrayed by his business partner. While his partner’s betrayal was due to his nature that cannot feel doubt, that very nature also allowed him to survive.”

Thompson dreamed of a resurgence. Thanks to his old customers who remembered his personality, he was able to get another opportunity. His only problem was the issue of money.

"In the end, he borrowed money from Derek. At first, Thompson thought he was a pure investor, but he found out that Derek was just an unscrupulous loan shark.”

Thompson believed Derek and made the deal, but Derek suddenly turned around and demanded high interest. Thompson couldn’t refuse Derek. In the end, Thompson accepted Derek’s demands and left for a distant land.

The promised date with Derek was three months. Before leaving, Thompson had asked Hoyt for a favor. He would come back, so be sure to protect his wife and children until he returned. Hoyt believed him and waited.

"...When was that?”

Hoyt laughed bitterly.

“Four months ago.”

“......”

"It’s already been over a month. Derek and his men started harassing the family, even before the deadline passed. They were going to make the missus a prostitute and sell the children as slaves.”

“Dirty...”

"I stopped by Orcrox to visit Lenox and something like this happened again.”

Then a girl ran out.

“Uncle Hoyt! Uncle I don’t know! It’s time to eat!”

A young boy held onto Hoyt’s clothing, as if he liked it very much. Hoyt smiled and the child laughed as he saw an orc’s smile.

"Enter first.”

“Yes! Come quickly! Let’s eat together!”

Ian smiled at the children’s bright gazes. He was reminded of Yiyu when she was young.

"Is there a chance that an accident happened to Thompson...?” Ian asked.

“It’s a possibility, since he had to travel through a dangerous place.”

"What will you do if he doesn’t come back?”

"...It doesn’t matter if Thompson doesn’t return.”

Hoyt pointed to his face.

Tattoos were covering half his face. Orcs who were recognized as a warrior had tattoos engraved on their body. They contained the beliefs of a warrior and had the power to strengthen the warrior.

"Thompson saved my life and is my friend. He believed in me and left his family in my care.”

Hoyt’s eyes were strong.

"A warrior never forsakes one’s faith.”

Faith. How long had it been since he last heard this word? In addition, the person said it with such strength. Compared to this orc, real human beings were ugly.

"So, young orc, will you help me?”

Ian stared into Hoyt’s eyes and nodded.

“Yes, I will do my best to help."

Ian firmly bumped fists with Hoyt.


Glossary of Common Korean Terms.

Praise the Orc: Glossary Link. 

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