Chapter 25 - Bultar.

Chapter 25 - Bul’tar.




Bul’ta.

The more accurate pronunciation was Bul’tar.

It is a word familiar to the orcs in the present time. It seems that the ‘r’ ending has been omitted, and has now become the present form, Bul’ta.

The ancient orc word Bul’tar has both the most complex and subtle meanings. In universal terms, it refers to survival and life; however, in contextual terms, it sometimes symbolizes the most important thing or something of high value that the orc must fulfill in life.

It isn’t easy to interpret this word in the continent’s language, because it has a variety of meanings. In the case of the former, it is possible to replace the word with ‘life’ and ‘survival’. However, the problem becomes more complicated in the latter meaning. This is because there is no word to describe it in the official language of the continent.

It is a word that collectively refers to life, morality, goals, dreams, and the most important things in life. Understand this word is the most critical and difficult task when studying the culture and philosophy of the orcs.

I have met countless orcs. As I moved among them, I could feel the true meaning of Bul’tar. Despite the gap between the two different languages, if there is a way to express it in our current language, then I would like to do so.

In the ancient orc language, Bul’tar is life. Life is ‘honor’ to the orcs.

For them, life is the process of realizing honor, and honor is the sum of the most important values of their lives. This orc belief is solemn and religious. Therefore, Bul’tar is life, and is separate from the will of survival.

-Elliot De Pontian (The Cultural Philosophy of Each Tribe’s Ancient Language)


***


The orcs took the offensive against the death knights, Hoyt and Lenox dealing with one knight each. Only they could fight easily against the death knights. Lenox’s axe split apart a death knight. Black smoke emerged from the death knight’s body and healed the wound.

The fight started up again.

Ian regained his spirit. He thought that he had sliced the death knight, but his sword just bounced off.

They truly were death knights. If so, how strong was the master of the dungeon, the one who controlled them?

Lenox laughed in delight. It was a thunderous sound. At that moment, Lenox’s body blazed with a white glow as his body moved at an unseen pace.

The death knight was also covered by a black energy, becoming a dark figure. The two exchanged invisible attacks with only the spectacular flashes of light and the metallic clang as the two weapons collided a few dozen times in a few minutes.

Ian’s mouth dropped open. The darkness started to become diluted with light under Lenox’s glorious axe. Every time his attack hit, a scream emerged from the mouth of the death knight.

Hoyt also slammed his hammer down and the head of the death knight that he was facing was smashed apart. Darkness flowed from the wound, but it couldn’t endure against the torrent of attacks. Hoyt’s hammer slammed against the death knight’s body several times.

The remaining death knight collapsed under the attacks of all of the orc warriors and their attacks that were blessed by the shamans. Kinjur shouted as he waved his staff, Lightning striking the fallen death knight.

The death knight got up for a final hurrah., rushing towards the orcs in a broken state. It was a threatening attack. The battle continued again, but in the end, it was the orcs’ victory.

The orcs took deep breaths. Another battle was imminent. Lenox had minor injuries while Hoyt sprinkled potions in his wounds. Other orcs moaned from their injuries.

Gulda approached and placed a hand on Ian’s shoulder. His breathing was rough. However, he laughed excitedly as he panted.

“Kuhahahal! Apprentice! Good fight!”

But he wasn’t as wild as usual. Ian turned to him. Blood was flowing from a deep stab wound in Gulda’s chest.

“Don’t worry about it Apprentice.”

“But...”

“This isn’t enough to stop Gulda. Kuhahal.”

Gulda’s eyes turned towards the huge door.

“The dirty undead bastards won’t be able to stop me.”

Lenox organized the troops. Once again, a large number of orcs were unable to fight. For the first time, a few deaths occurred. The fight against the death knights was the most intense one. One of the death knights had even infiltrated the shamans and slaughtered them.

The orcs closed their eyes at the bodies of the dead orcs. There was a short moment of silence. Another fight was imminent. After the battle, they would hold proper funerals for the honorable warriors.

The wounded left, carrying their comrade’s corpses on their backs. Now there were only a small number of orcs left.

Lenox looked around. The warriors and shamans, including Ian and Grom, nodded.

It was the final stage. Lenox pushed open the door.

The huge door slowly opened with a strange sound. The door opened and revealed the shadow of a person. A magician with his back to them.

He slowly turned around.

"......!"

Under his hood was the bizarre appearance of a  rotting face that seemed to be holding on by force. Bones and rotten flesh could be seen through his robe.

He discovered the orcs. Mocking laughter filled the air.

“Kuhuhuhu. In the end you came here, foolish orcs...”

"Lich, don’t interfere with the rest of the dead.” Lenox stepped forward and lifted his axe. "The person who goes against providence will be quickly taken care of.”

"You really don’t know anything...”

The lich walked out.

His appearance was fully revealed under the blazing torches.

"......!"

"You orcs... You are naive...”

The lich wasn’t in a normal state. A blue glowing dagger was stabbed in his chest. The life vessel inside the heart was pierced and had a black glow around it.

"Anyway, I also... I... Just being used...”

"What does that mean?”

"They will come soon."

The lich laughed again. It was at that moment.

Step. Step. Step. Step.

Footsteps were heard. It wasn't the sound of one or two footsteps. It was the sound of many troops marching in unison. The orcs looked behind them. From the invisible end of the tunnel, fully armed human soldiers were moving towards them. It was an infantry unit wearing iron armor. They came through the front door.

“You were right,” a human male who led the unit said. He wore a helmet with blue eyes shining from within it. "It is easy to get the captain of the disgusting orcs here with a bait.”

The man burst out laughing. His laugh rang throughout the dungeon. The magician standing next to the man nodded.

"I told you, everything would go the way I planned.”

The magician looked at the orcs with pleased eyes and slowly took off the hood attached to the robe. He shook his sweaty hair off his face. A white star was revealed on his forehead. A magician user.

The magician asked, “How about it, isn’t it like I said?”

"It is accurate."

"There is a link between those who have been cursed by the stars. Communicating with the hidden spy is the easiest thing to do.”

“Wonderful. I will remember this merit.”

“Thank you. Hahahaha!”

What were they talking about?

Ian’s eyes widened. It was a story that he didn’t want to believe, but Ian clearly saw it. Grom was slowly moving towards them.

The magician called out, "Hey, Hyunchul! Come here!”

“......”

"Good work buddy. Now I will push you forward.”

Grom ran and stood beside the humans. He looked down and avoided the gaze of the orcs. The magician user struck his shoulder. "You were dependable as an orc. Are you still going to reset?”

"Yes.”

“I see. Good decision. I will raise you up in the clan.”

“Thank you.”

Ian couldn't believe the sight in front of him. Grom had betrayed them. No, from the very beginning, his mission had been to infiltrate the orcs.

"Earl, I did as I promised.”

"I will reward your group. Is the quest complete?”

"Catching those guys will resolve it. In particular, it would be a huge achievement if we catch him.”

The magician’s finger pointed towards Lenox.

Quest. The instructor of the orc warriors at Orcrox Fortress. The great warrior Lenox. He was their goal. Defeat the orcs and kill Lenox. It was their quest, and Grom was the spy prepared for this quest. He became a warrior to gain Lenox’s trust. The lich was just bait.

"Hey Lich. You can go.”

“Kuhuuuok...”

The magician user chanted a spell and the blue dagger fell out of the life vessel. The lich sat on the floor and recovered his breathing. The lich started to run. There was a small door near the lich. It opened the door and ran out.

Ian’s eyes shook. There was an escape route. They could run over there.

Maybe he could buy some time.

Ian went to Lenox.

“Lenox! Over there...”

But Lenox was looking elsewhere. Ian's eyes followed Lenox’s gaze. There were familiar faces among the humans.

Ahh. He had forgotten.  The wounded orcs. They were already beaten and had been dragged here. They were collapsed like corpses, except they were breathing. Bleeding marks showed the path that they were pulled.

The earl kicked the face of the orc that was brought to the front. The orc’s tusks flew through the air.

“Dirty orc scum.”

"Kilkilkil.”

"Scumbags.”

His kicking continued.

“Die! Die!”

Ian turned back to Lenox. Lenox’s eyes had sunk into his sockets. Ian was furious, but he opened his mouth to suggest that they flee.

“Apprentice,” Lenox opened his mouth.

“Yes.”

"Run that way.”

“Huh...?”

"There might be troops waiting there, but I believe in you. Survive until the end and let Orcrox know what happened.”

“Lenox...”

"We will remain."

Lenox raised his axe. The orc warriors simultaneously lifted their weapons.

It was ridiculous. The warriors were tired and wounded. The blood covering them didn’t only belong to the enemy, and the difference in numbers was ridiculously huge. It was a battle between an egg and a rock. The orcs were about to collapse after the sheer number of battles. And the enemy was an army that was completely armed and hadn’t lost any troops.

“Lenox...!”

Ian gritted his teeth. They were different from Ian, they wouldn’t rise again after dying. Their deaths were a complete end. But he could see that Lenox wouldn’t listen to his words. As long as there were orc warriors among the humans, nobody would turn to flee.

“Then I will fight.” Ian declared.

“......”

"I will fight with you...”

At that moment, Lenox pushed Ian. Ian rolled across the ground. He sat down and shook his head. Why...?

“Don’t make me laugh, Apprentice. This isn’t a fight that you can take part in,” Lenox said.

Gulda nodded from where he was standing. “Yes. Are you stupid? Don’t get in the way Apprentice! Kuhahahal!”

He removed his hand from his bleeding chest. That wasn’t the end.

“It would be a waste to use my spells on you, Apprentice.” It was Kinjur.

The other orc warriors started to open their mouths.

"It seems like you’are mistaken because we fought together a little bit, but you will just be an obstacle in the main fight.”

"In fact, we couldn’t fight properly before because of you. Go right now. Flee. Kulkulkul.”

"Don’t look too unsightly as you run away.”

“Stop bothering Lenox and do as he says. Kulkulkul.”

"Run quickly and don’t get caught. I want to fight, so go right away!”

They were laughing.

Tears filled Ian’s eyes. They might be able to live if everyone would just run away. No matter how many died, maybe some would be able to live. But they would stay and fight until the end.

Ian shouted towards Hoyt, “Hoyt! What did you say? The most important thing is survival, life is the most important!”

Then he looked at Lenox.

“Lenox! You must live first! Isn’t our slogan Bul’tar?!”

He appealed to all the orcs. The orcs stared at Ian blankly. Then they looked at each other.

“Kuk...”

“Kukuk...”

The shoulders of one or two orcs started to shake.

“Puhahaha! Kuahahaha!"

“Kuhahahal!”

“Kulkulkulkul! Kulkulkulkul!”

They all burst out laughing. The laughter of the orcs echoed throughout the dungeon. They laughed for a long time. Then the laughter stopped.

Lenox stared at Ian with a smile on his face. Then he opened his mouth, “Apprentice.”

“......”

"According to you, life is the most important thing.”

“Yes...”

"Then I'm going to ask."

Lenox said, “Are you alive right now?”

Ian looked at him blankly.

“Huh...?”

"Are you living?”

"What..."

He couldn’t understand what Lenox was talking about.

“Are you alive right now?”

"I am alive.”

Lenox asked, "Why?" 

“Huh...?”

"Why are you alive? Is it because you are breathing?”

“Ah...”

“Keep this in mind Apprentice.”

Lenox smiled. All the orc warriors smiled at Ian.

Lenox pointed his axe at Ian. In Ian’s eyes, Lenox’s laughing face overlapped with his axe. 

Lenox shouted, “Keep this in mind! Apprentice!”

It was just like Lenox was at the training grounds. "Only this! You are breathing! But that doesn’t mean you are living!”

It felt like his final teachings.

“Just because you aren’t dead! That doesn’t mean you are living!”

Ian finally realized it. The orc’s greeting about whether a person was alive or not didn’t ask sbout one’s survival. Bul’tar wasn’t just a cry for life.

Lenox turned around. The orc warriors aimed their weapons at the humans with wide smiles on their faces. Lenox said, "You don’t understand this, making you not qualified to fight with us. So...”

At that moment, the warriors among the humans shouted and jumped up. It was a last hurrah. The ranks were disturbed.

"Get out now.”

Those were Lenox’s last words. The orc warriors rushed in unison. Ian couldn’t bear to look anymore. He jumped towards the emergency exit. The orcs shouted behind him.

"Bul'tar────────!”


***


-Elder Lord’s Hercules Clan slaughtered a village and declared it their territory. What do you think about this?

-The method was brutal but in the end, it is difficult to place an ethical standard because they are NPCs. Even other clans...

“Absolutely ridiculous.”

A man swallowed his whiskey. The bartender glanced at him as the man put down his glass.

"Stupid bastards who don’t even know what they are doing...”

"It seems like you’ve had too much to drink.”

“No, no. I am fine. You know me.”

The man nodded. He once again focused on the television screen. The topic had changed.

-How did Elder Saga Corporation implement such a perfect virtual reality?

-Let’s see. It is due to the core system left behind by the genius scientist Yoo Jaehan. There is no public announcement due to confidentiality reasons, but there is probably a tremendous amount of computing devices...

-A genius that we can’t even fathom.

The man looked down at his pint of whiskey. The clear surface showed the man’s haggard face.

He muttered, “Stupid bastards... What virtual reality...? What computing devices...?”

He swallowed his whiskey again.

"Don’t make me laugh...”

He put down the cup and stared blankly into the air.

-All we know is that the core system called Albino is what makes it possible...

What? The man, Yoo Jaehan, laughed. What did he hear?

He stretched out his hand in the air. He was looking at something. He grabbed the air and muttered,

"A god...you idiots...”


TL: This chapter gave me the feels. =(     I'll just leave this here.



Glossary of Common Korean Terms.

Praise the Orc: Glossary Link. 

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