Chapter 17 - Warrior’s Qualifications (1)
Thompson walked towards Hoyt. One of his legs was limping, and one could easily guess what his journey had been like through his ragged clothing.
“Your face is still fearsome.”
"You are still skinny like a dried anchovy.”
The two people looked at each other, numerous emotions flashing across their faces. Hoyt extended his fist.
"You are alive.”
Thompson looked at Hoyt’s fist for a moment. His mouth twitched as he smiled and wiped at his face with his sleeves. His face twisted up in an unknown emotion. Thompson shook his head. His shoulders trembled.
Thompson lifted his fist. A human fist was small compared to an orc’s. The two fists touched. Tears flowed from Thompson’s eyes. He tried to hold back his cries as he wrapped both hands around Hoyt’s fist.
“Your family is well.”
"Thank you. Thank you, Hoyt...”
"The crybaby has returned.”
Thompson embraced Hoyt.
"I am sorry. And thank you...”
"We are friends.”
"Friends. Yes, my dear friend...”
The sunset spread above the heads of the human and orc hugging each other. Thompson cried for a while.
The door of the house opened and a little boy stuck out his head. He discovered the figure of the man. The boy rubbed his eyes with doubt before running towards the man, crying aloud. The rest of the family inside the house came out and discovered Thompson’s return. They rushed over to him in excitement.
Ian nodded as he looked on from a distance. The two orcs and the human family had a warm dinner together.
Derek leaned back in his chair.
He had built a great fortune in the free city of Anail and reigned like a king in the underworld. Even the mayor of Anail couldn’t face him head-on.
The man who entered Derek’s room was trembling because he knew this fact.
"I will definitely pay you back.”
"What about the collateral?”
"If I sell my house...”
Derek picked up his dagger. The man jumped.
Derek lowered the dagger and pierced a cockroach crawling on his desk. Copious amounts of blood and body fluids emerged from the twitching body until it fell silent. Derek pulled out his dagger, the fragmented body of the cockroach sliding off of it.
“The value of your house is a little lacking.”
"I will pay it all back, even if I have to dedicate my life...”
"You are also not enough.”
Derek supported his chin on his folded hands.
"Once the deadline passes, the interest will double. If you can’t pay the price, then I will take away some family members.”
"Didn’t you say that you would pay it back? Are you trying to cheat me?”
"Then the story is easy. You don’t need to worry about what will happen since you will pay it all back. Isn’t that right?”
"I want you to solve the problem and pay me back. It is my sincere wish that our business with each other turns out well.”
Derek rang the notification bell on his desk. The door opened and a subordinate entered. He placed a pile of paperwork on the desk.
“Now, read this. It is as we promised. Sign it.”
"This won’t be available later, it is now or never.”
“Sign it right now.”
The man dropped his head. He scanned the documents. The contents were simple. Derek’s money would be borrowed, the interest rate was stated, and the collateral set up. The collateral included his house, himself, and even his family.
The man hesitated and Derek stretched out his hand for the documents. The man grabbed the papers, his eyes ablaze in fury. He gritted his teeth and signed his name and handed the documents over to Derek. Derek nodded.
Derek and the man had now become the creditor and debtor.
“Then I wish you luck.”
The man accepted a duplicate copy of the paperwork. The handwriting on both copies lit up. The man held it in his trembling hands and walked out of Derek’s room. Derek looked at his back and started thinking.
The reason why Derek was able to accumulate wealth in Anail was simple.
He created and executed a contract. That was all. He followed the agreement he signed with other people, regardless of his emotions. While others were emotionally distracted, Derek just followed the contents of the contract. He carried out the contract. If the other person broke it, then he would kill them and execute the rest of the contract.
"What is going on?"
"Thompson has fulfilled his agreement."
Derek’s eyes widened.
"He has also paid all the added interest.”
"There was an accident, but he received a lucky chance because to that.”
The subordinate watched Derek, who nodded. “Continue.”
“Yes. On the way back, he encountered monsters attacking a group of dwarves and most of his upper ranked personnel were injured helping them. Due to this, he returned late. However, it turned out that the dwarves were blacksmiths of the Golden Anvil.”
The Golden Anvil was a tribe with the best workmanship among the dexterous dwarves. They didn’t give away their things easily. They were stubborn craftsman who only conveyed goods to those they had a relationship with.
"Thanks to that, he made a deal with the Golden Anvil, and will earn large amounts of money in the future.”
"What a funny story.”
"Benevolent Thompson, stupid Thompson. He was betrayed because of that trust, and due to this kindness in helping out the dwarves, his family was almost ruined.”
If it weren’t for Hoyt, his family would’ve been destroyed while he was busy with the dwarves.
"However, thanks to that nature, Thompson helped both his family and the dwarves. In the end, didn’t Thompson’s kindness improve his quality of life?”
"It might be the case now, but we don’t know what will happen later.”
"That's right, I don’t know. Huhuhu.”
His subordinate removed the cockroach from his desk, cleaned the knife and asked. "So, releasing Thompson...will we do that?”
Derek nodded. "The contract must be respected."
“Yes, then I will tell him.”
"It is nothing.”
His subordinate left.
Derek recalled what happened yesterday.
Derek had met a lot of people in his life, and had come to a conclusion. People were all the same. They acted like they were different, but in the end, they were just greedy and selfish beings. These were variables that Derek could gauge.
Despite all of this, Derek couldn’t understand Hoyt and the warriors. Derek was interested for the first time.
He wanted to see if their beliefs would bend. Would they have the same reaction as other humans? Would they be the same as the others, or remain a warrior to the end? If so, what would they pay to keep that honor?
Yesterday, he had seen Hoyt on his knees. But Derek didn’t feel what he had expected. Rather, it had become more obscure.
There was a young orc with Hoyt.
"The curse of the stars...”
There were a few cursed people on the continent. However, the number of those who were cursed by the stars kept increasing.
Not long ago, a person cursed by the stars did a great job and his name became widely known, and the nobleman who sponsored him gained tremendous profits. Since then, other nobles and large figures started to pay attention to those who had been cursed by the stars.
The young orc said he was cursed by the stars.
Derek had a good feeling. He had felt one thing from the orc.
A will that wouldn’t break. An indomitable fighting spirit. Those with such spirits would eventually come to two ends:
An early death or-
"A flourishing life.”
The young orc would break early or become great.
Derek was convinced. They were people he couldn’t understand. He had dug into the rice paddy, and what he found wasn’t the shabby grain that he had initially expected. Rather, Derek himself might be swallowed by the Abyss.
If that was the case...
Derek had never taken risks—he always made sure that there was a guarantee that benefited him. In no time, life had become boring, and he also got older. Now there was nothing unexpected in his life. The man who borrowed money earlier would run away, knowing that his house and family would end up in Derek’s hands. The recovered amount would be 15% of the principal investment.
"I don't understand."
For the first time in his life, he was gripped with the desire to take a risk and make a bet.
“Life is never known...”
“I’d like this.”
"Isn’t it too big?”
"An orc should swing this type of sword.”
Hoyt and Ian brainstormed together as they looked over something on a piece of paper. It was a drawing of a weapon.
In order to repay Hoyt and Ian, Thompson had offered to make them weapons.
There weren’t many merchants who could deal with the Golden Anvil blacksmiths, so few warriors used their weapons. Ian and Hoyt had the opportunity to obtain Golden Anvil weapons, thanks to Thompson.
Hoyt drew a hammer that wasn’t significantly different to the one he used in the past, but Ian thought of a huge greatsword that was much bigger compared to his previous one. Hoyt thought it was too big to be a sword.
"Are you really planning on this?”
“Yes, I can feel it.”
A giant bayonet. At Orcrox Fortress’ Hall of Fame, the greatsword that ‘Master of the Greatsword’ Leyteno was holding was also this big.
"Then go with your gut. Kulkulkul.”
Hoyt sat on the sofa and sipped his tea. It was an expensive black tea brought back by Thompson.
Thompson had succeeded in recovering his business and he was busy trading again. Every day, he rented a crystal ball from the Blacksmith Company and communicated with his former clients. Derek had backed away from Thompson. He was someone who only followed the contract. Ian didn’t like this reputation either.
Ian said, "He is a villain.”
"You never know when you might need him.”
Derek had handed Ian a business card, saying to come find him if Ian ever needed help.
‘I will never approach a villain like him.’
Ian had cursed at the man who brought him the business card, but he, Derek’s direct subordinate, just smiled in return.
"I'll never ask for his help.”
“You don’t know what will happen in the future.” Hoyt just smiled.
Ian asked, “What will you do next?”
"Thompson is back and the business with Derek is resolved, so I will go traveling again.”
"Then, you’re leaving the city soon?”
The time that he spent with Hoyt had flown by. It was hard to believe that it was almost time for them to separate.
"I plan to stay at Orcrox Fortress for a bit, so don’t worry too much.”
"I have something to tell Instructor Lenox.”
Even Hoyt had learned from Lenox, so just how old was Lenox? In addition, how strong was Lenox, to be able to maintain such spirit, despite the long passage of time? Ian felt admiration towards Lenox.
Ian then once again became immersed in the drawing of his weapon.
Suddenly, he received a whisper. It was from Grom.
[Grom: Ian... Are you doing well...?]
As soon as he read the message, Grom’s sullen expression appeared in his head.
[Ian: Yes, I’m fine. How about you, Grom?]
[Grom: Help me...]
[Grom: I’m scared... ㅜ ㅜ]
Ian heard that Grom had been hunting for goblins.
[Ian: Are the goblins that scary?]
[Grom: ...Nope... Not the goblins...]
[Grom: The orc warriors... ㅜ ㅜ]
While Ian and Hoyt were watching the Thompson family, enjoying their leisure time, and envisioning their new weapons from the Golden Anvil craftsmen, Grom was pitifully rolling among the harsh orc warriors.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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