Chapter 134 - Mountain of Sabres, Forest of Swords (3)
[You are experiencing the ‘aftermath of death.’ You are helpless. All abilities have suddenly decreased.]
Crockta said, not looking very apologetic. They were standing in a vacant lot.
"I didn’t know you would be that weak.” The orc shrugged, looking like a demon. "I’m really glad that you are cursed by the stars. Kulkulkulkul!”
Kenzo had just died.
After he died and the connection was terminated, he had stared at the capsule before quickly rushing to re-connect. During the spar, he had been unable to escape Ogre Slayer flying towards his abdomen and the huge sword had gone through his abdomen. He had stared with disbelief at the blood before slowly collapsing.
“...It seems so,” Kenzo replied, but he hadn’t forgotten Crockta’s expression as he turned into white particles.
‘Ah, I made a mistake.’ It was such an expression.
Kenzo had never mentioned that he was a being cursed by the stars to Crockta. In other words, Crockta didn’t know that Kenzo would survive his death. Nevertheless, Crockta had attacked to kill and there was only a faint response to Kenzo’s death.
“So will you continue?”
Did he have to continue this training? Had he made a mistake? Were orcs rougher and more heinous than he thought? Crockta seemed respectful to other people despite his appearance, but he changed in battle. There were often images of berserk orcs fighting regardless of their own well-being. So, orcs might not care about dying during training. Rather, they might consider it an honor to die like that.
Kenzo’s face turned pale. "For the next week, don’t kill me...”
"I can’t control that.”
Crockta started swinging his greatsword again as Kenzo retreated one step. Crockta’s swordsmanship was impressive and Kenzo couldn’t predict the trajectory of the greatsword. Furthermore, it was impossible to follow along with Crockta’s speed and strength.
He wouldn’t have thought it was possible if he hadn’t seen it himself.
“Anyway, this is what training is. Kulkulkul. I can swing freely now that I don’t have to worry about you dying.”
"That's not it...hiik!”
Kenzo twisted his body and avoided the greatsword. There was a burning mark on his cheek. Crockta was laughing like a demon as he asked, "Have you slowed down?"
“Our abilities, for some time after dying...uwah! They are reduced!”
“I see. That is even better.” Crockta attacked again and Kenzo stepped back. "Don’t rely on your power and speed; fight with your heart.”
Kenzo tried to swing his claymore to block an attack but he felt the power and avoided it instead. As he continued to back away, Crockta stopped.
“Don’t you want to become stronger?”
“I want to become stronger. But...”
"The level difference seems too high. Those who are cursed can’t come back forever. I might really die. If you could use some control...”
This was an exaggeration. He would keep surviving. Continue. But it wasn’t completely a lie. He would still live, but the lethargy of death would continue to overlap, his stats would be very low and the after effects could last for months or even years.
It was the penalty that users were most afraid of.
Crockta grinned. "Isn’t that better?”
"Do it desperately Kenzo.” Crockta stepped forward. Kenzo retreated. “Look at me clearly in the face of death.”
Crockta pointed at himself.
"If you want to become stronger, look at me clearly. With your two eyes.”
Crockta’s atmosphere changed. It was like when he was meditating last night. It felt like the time of the world was flowing differently with him. No, it seemed as though he was adjusting the time of the world.
Kenzo felt himself become slow and stagnant, while the world was accelerating. It was hard to follow the flow of time just facing Crockta.
The sunlight shone on the vacant lot. Sweat flowed down. His eyelids shook. A flash. His eyelids moved the moment he sensed it. Ogre Slayer was approaching him. Kenzo freaked out as there was no time to think. His body responded immediately as he wielded his claymore, the two weapons colliding.
"Fight me while thinking you will really die,” Crockta declared as their swords struck each other.
He smiled and kicked Kenzo, who was rolling across the ground in pain.
"Do what you said, do it with the idea that death is really the end.”
Crockta thought it was the biggest limitation about the users. They would revive if they died. To them, this world wasn’t real. Therefore, the rate of assimilation was low and such an attitude led to uncertainties about themselves. It was just like how the boxer had to see the fist that was flying. They had to look straight at this world.
"I understand.” Kenzo’s face became determined and his heart had hardened.
“That look is good! Again!”
Crockta wielded his greatsword. Kenzo took a posture to stand up against Crockta. It wasn’t just for evasion, but to occasionally wield the sword in a counterattack.
"Open your mouth! Bul’tarrrr!”
Crockta jumped and aimed the greatsword towards Kenzo. Since Kenzo became serious, Crockta also started to control his power.
Kenzo barely blocked the blow with his claymore. Then he responded by aiming towards Crockta’s abdomen.
He rushed in and shouted, “Bul’tarrrr!”
Tiyo was showing Anor around Quantes.
“The continent is really incredible...”
"It isn’t just the continent, but Quantes that is great dot. Kahahat.”
Anor was already amazed by the bathing facilities in Quantes, and now he couldn’t keep his eyes off the performances on the streets. It was a place rich in culture, from singers and musicians to gnomes putting on a puppet show.
"Good dot. I'm going to show you a great time at the Opera dot!”
"Theatre, music, art, literature, it can be called the crystallization of the art dot.”
"I don’t know what to expect, but I am looking forward to it.”
"It will be a show dot.”
Tiyo led Anor to the ‘Street of Arts’ in Quantes. There were gnome musicians performing on the street, art stores selling artworks and citizens wandering the area in peculiar clothes, giving the area a quaint atmosphere. There was a large building in the center. The ‘Opera Stadium’, this was the best venue that all artists in Quantes dreamed about.
"This work is...The Bird That Drinks Tears.”
"The Bird That Drinks Tears?”
“That’s right dot.”
Tiyo said with an excited expression.
"It is a classic masterpiece...the story of the bird who is the most beautiful singer among four birds.” (Based on a book by one of the best fantasy authors in Korea. Wiki link.)
"At best, isn’t it just a story? No matter how it is performed, wouldn’t reading the story be better? I don’t expect much...”
"Shut up dot!”
Tiyo dragged Anor to the ticket office. The show was about to begin. Then Tiyo made a difficult expression.
“Uh. I didn’t bring enough money dot.”
"Then don’t overdo it.”
“Hey Anor, did you bring any money dot?”
“This is the first time I’ve been on the continent, so where will I get money? Let’s just go next time.”
“Shut up dot! I want to see this today! With my own eyes!” Tiyo shouted. “I! Want to see dot!”
"You don’t have money, so what will you see?”
“Shut up, you hillbilly dot! You’ve never seen the opera...! Whoops.”
"Hillbilly? You little fu...oof!”
"C-Calm down dot.”
The ticket employee watched them and spoke up. “Guests. You have the money but you aren’t carrying it on you, is that correct?”
The employee was a gnome. Tiyo nodded at his interruption.
"Indeed dot. I am Tiyo. Do you know me? If you don’t know me in Quantes then you are a spy dot!”
"I just recently came to this city...hahahat. By the way, perhaps I can help you?”
“Yes.”He pointed to the side. "If you go to that alley...”
“If I go?”
“There are some friends who will give money to customers like you. You clearly have the money but am in a temporary liquidity crisis. Isn’t this a very unfair situation?”
"Then you can borrow the money right now and pay it back later.”
"Ohh, I see. Wait for me dot! Let's go Anor!”
"Hahat. I’ll be waiting.”
Tiyo turned around. Anor caught up to him. "Wait a minute. This is completely...”
“I have money dot! Tomorrow I will come back and pay it off straight away dot!”
"Still, it is a little questionable...”
"Follow me dot!”
Tiyo insisted so they entered the alley behind the Opera Stadium. There were one gnome and two humans smoking. As soon as Tiyo and Anor appeared, the smokers greeted them with a smile.
"Hello! Did you receive an introduction?”
“That’s right dot.”
"We are the ‘Run on Money’ business that works using a credit system. Hahaha. Trust and faith is our slogan. How much do you need?”
Anor was reluctant when he heard the word ‘credit’ emerge from the mouth of smokers in an alley, but Tiyo didn’t care.
"Just enough to see the opera dot.”
“Haha. That much is nothing.”
They held out a contract.
Tiyo examined it and saw that there was nothing special. There was no additional money if it was paid back quickly, but it was the typical vicious system where the interest rate rose sharply as repayment was delayed.
Of course, Tiyo didn’t care since he would pay it back tomorrow.
"This is plain. All moneylenders are the same dot. I’ll sign the contract.”
"Huhuhu. You are bold. I understand.”
The agreement was rapidly made. As Tiyo filled out his address, a man ran somewhere and came back. Tiyo’s address had been confirmed. They nodded.
Anor whispered. "Isn’t it suspicious that they checked your house?”
"There is no one in Quantes who doesn’t know my house dot. Don’t worry.”
So they borrowed money.
“Thank you for your consideration! I love you!” The men bowed their heads and shouted loudly. Tiyo laughed with satisfaction.
"They really love their work and the customers dot. Kahahat!”
"No, wow. That, wow...”
“That is enough dot.”
"Perfect, a new world, a masterpiece of God, ahh...”
Anor had completely fallen in love after watching the opera. The magnificent orchestra, the beautiful songs, the story filled with conflicts and emotions and the gorgeous voice of the singers expressing it. It was something he could never imagine in the world. At the end of every scene, the gnome audience dressed in fine clothing would clap. It felt like the world of the aristocracy.
“Let’s watch it again tomorrow! Crockta as well!”
"Didn’t you easily borrow money?”
"The opera isn’t something to be enjoyed on a daily basis dot.”
"Kulkulkul, I have money so let’s go next time,” Crockta said.
Crockta had quite a lot of money. Anor jumped with delight. Kenzo, who was listening to the conversation, felt like he was dying.
"Kenzo, you are shaky.”
"Am I heavy?”
"A little...that...a short break...”
“Is it hard? Nobody cares! The enemy on the battlefield won’t care if you are tired! Get rid of your weaknesses!”
Crockta was sitting on top of the prone Kenzo. "It isn’t just about strengthening your body. Fix your mindset!”
Kenzo bent his arms and slowly raised himself. His arms trembled.
Users who thought of Elder Lord as a game didn’t want to endure pain. It was just like the traitor Grom, who easily gave up being an orc for the pleasurable path. Crockta thought it was the most important difference between him and ordinary users. Elder Lord was like another life to him. For the sake of the sweet fruit, one had to experience the bitterness. Crockta was going to fix Kenzo’s mindset.
“By the way...that...”Kenzo opened his mouth
"Tiyo...uhh...did he borrow money...?”
Crockta glanced at Tiyo. Tiyo and Anor were already leaving for somewhere else. “I guess he did. Why?”
“That...no...”Kenzo frowned. "Like me...among those who have been cursed...there are those who abuse such knowledge...I’m not worried about Tiyo or Crockta, but the other people...”
With the message about the opening of the north and the disappearance of the behemoth, the Forest of Creatures was popular among the high-level users as a new hunting ground. The city closest to the Forest of Creatures was Quantes.
Thus, there was an influx of users. With so many users gathering in Quantes, it was natural for there to be some bad people aiming to take advantage of the NPCs. There were those who imitated the real life methods of moneylenders.
Of course, they wouldn’t mess with a fearsome NPC like Crockta.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
Current schedule: There will now be 14 chapters a week, meaning two chapters every day.
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