Chapter 45 - SMOKE (2)
It was a strange day.
Kim Chuljung, the middle-aged sales manager, smoked a cigarette on his way home from work.
Today, he felt a strange sense of separation from the world, as if he was different from the world around him. It was a subtle emotion that made him suddenly look back at himself. These days, the behavior of new employees sometimes embarrassed him.
This was the flow of time. Kim Chuljung thought about the routine of his company as he put out his cigarette and prepared to leave the alley.
At the corner where he was standing, a group of students were smoking on the other side. Despite wearing uniforms, they showed no signs of hesitation. They noticed Kim Chuljung, but the children didn’t care and lit up the cigarettes anyways.
Kim Chuljung stepped closer to the children. "Students, you’re all kid wearing school uniforms, so can you really smoke like this?”
They glanced at each other before looking back at Kim Chuljung. They started to giggle. "Who cares, Ahjussi. We’re smoking cigarettes that we bought with our own money.”
"A meddler has come, how lame.”
"Pfft! What a funny bastard.”
The students echoed their slang amongst themselves as they laughed.
"He smells like cigarettes; that’s why he’s so bald.”
"Let's go. Dirty, dirty.”
They walked past Kim Chuljung and started to leisurely stroll somewhere else. Not one of them put out their cigarettes. They smoked in the streets as they headed to some place only they knew. Kim Chuljung stared at their backs. He once again felt an unknown feeling.
It was an era where virtual reality games were popular, cars moved on their own, and artificial organs were being transplanted. The world was changing.
He pointed out students smoking and was treated like a meddler. Actually, that wasn’t the case. It was just that he was old-fashioned.
Kim Chuljung smiled bitterly and started walking. But today's strange day didn’t let him go.
An excited child was running and bumped into Kim Chuljung before falling down. Kim Chuljung grabbed the child; however, the ice cream that the child was holding had spilled onto Kim Chuljung’s clothes.
“This...” Kim Chuljung laughed bitterly. The child gasped and watched Kim Chuljung with fear. "This guy, you shouldn’t run around on the streets.”
"If you make a mistake, then you should say sorry.”
“Mother!” A young woman came running over. She quickly figured out what happened between her child and Kim Chuljung, sweeping her child into her arms. “Are you okay?”
"This ahjussi didn’t do anything bad to you?”
Kim Chuljung was outraged. "What are you saying?"
"The world is rough.”
"My pants, do you see it? If a child makes a mistake, then their parents should apologize.”
"What did my child do? Don’t you know how to do laundry?”
The young woman took her child away before Kim Chuljung could answer. Kim Chuljung was left alone, feeling that unknown emotion as he headed home. His common sense wasn’t the common sense of the world anymore.
He came back home, but no one welcomed him. Instead, only the faces in the family photos hanging in the living room smiled at him. He was the father of a flock of wild geese.
As a middle-aged man who went back and forth from his company, he had worked hard since he was young. He reached the position of a manager, but now he had to prepare for retirement. He only occasionally heard the voices of his wife and children over the phone.
The things that happened today made him even more lonely. It was a day where he found nothing to live for, so he couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed.
He sat on the couch and turned on the television. The screen flashed in the living room. Today's topic, a video of Elder Lord, was being played. His sunken eyes stared at it. It was a video from the famous Youvidser called Laney.
He felt that emotion that he had been feeling all day again. No matter how much the world had changed, why was such a horrible sight still occurring?
Those who were called giant clans were slaughtering the inhabitants of a village. They were game characters, but the way they were crying and begging for their lives looked more real than actual reality. If someone had a human conscience, how could they stab women and children, just because they were artificial intelligences?
Why was it good to kill those known as NPCs? As someone who once played Elder Lord enthusiastically, Kim Chuljung was well aware of how lifelike the NPCs were.
Suddenly, the focus of the video moved. The scene of the massacre moved to the side. Now it wasn’t a human in the center of the screen. It was an orc who most people thought of as monsters. The orc was persistently resisting the users who killed the NPCs. His body became bloody as he kept falling to the ground and rising again to defend the villagers.
The humans were monsters while the monster was acting human, a paradoxical sight!
Kim Chuljung sighed.
The orc seemed to balance on the edge between life and death, but he never actually died. He swung his greatsword. Kim Chuljung felt something stir in his chest as the orc never gave up until the end.
What made this orc fight like that?
-You, is that right?
The orc was talking.
In Kim Chuljung’s eyes, he was a bloody hero.
-You, can you just turn around and run away as you watch people being slaughtered for no reason?
Kim Chuljung unconsciously rose from his spot. The breathing of the person filming became rough as they felt the same thing as Kim Chuljung.
The video recorder intervened. The voice of the recorder was a woman. She asked why the orc continued with the reckless fight. The orc smiled like it was natural.
-Only humans worry about such calculations.
-A warrior doesn’t yield to injustice.
Fighting to the end against injustice.
It was an old-fashioned idea. The orc was a really old-fashioned man. He was like an antique, as most middle-aged men these days ended up buying sports cars. In this age where heroic beliefs only belonged in history, it was rare to find such a person. But heroes had died and left their names behind.
The orc and the ranker rushed at each other and the video ended. Kim Chuljung didn’t move. He stood there for a while, wondering about this emotion. It was strange, but it was always present inside of him.
He thought for a while. Kim Chuljung opened his eyes. They were no longer the weary eyes of a middle-aged man going about his daily routine. It was the eyes of a passionate man.
Kim Chuljung muttered, “I forgot.”
He headed to the empty room that used to belong to his son. There was one capsule to access Elder Lord. After becoming distant with his family, it was something he had used to relieve the loneliness. Dust had piled up because he hadn’t used it for a while.
“Men are wine.”
It was the moment that the sales manager Kim Chuljung, no, the worst necromancer, Iron, returned to Elder Lord.
"Yo, man! Wassup, man!”
"Hey, long time no see! Whoa. Good to see you again!”
"Me too Bro! Hey come inside!”
Joseph and Bob embraced each other in the natural manner of Americans. The members had gathered at Bob’s house.
Joseph, Bob, Elia, and Gary.
They were old friends and had been partners since their youth. They enjoyed an old hobby that only a few people remembered these days.
TRPG! They rolled the dice and tackled all types of adventures in an imaginary world. They were dragon slayers hunting dragons, heroes who saved the world, and sometimes demons who destroyed the world.
But times changed, and there were now virtual reality games. As the medium to achieve their imagination appeared, their area of activity gradually became the virtual reality game. In that place, they boasted the best roleplay.
That’s right. They were widely known in the American community as intrinsic roleplayers. Bob’s home had four virtual reality connection capsules placed side-by-side.
Before connection, they had a light snack time as they discussed what to do for the day.
“Hey, I found an interesting video.”
‘“What is it?”
Bob opened his tablet and the video was played. It was from the Youvidser called Laney. Due to the advanced interpreter skill, they could understand the videos of other countries without any problems.
None of them could open their mouths. The video was shocking. The clans slaughtered the NPCs, but an orc appeared and fought against them like a hero. An unbreakable spirit that fought against injustice!
Bob looked at the eyes of his friends in turn. After a long time together, they knew what Bob was trying to say. Gary nodded.
"The theme of the day is the endangered village and the four warriors that saved it?”
They laughed. Elia asked, "But that orc, is he alive?”
They couldn’t verify it in the video. However, death was a strong possibility. But Bob’s expression was bright.
"That is what we will check.”
"If he died?”
"The four warriors will maintain his role.”
Bob rose from his seat.
“How far is Chesswood?”
"I’ll prepare my buff right away.”
They entered the capsules. The Elder Road roleplaying crew that anyone in the RPG community would recognize, F4! They moved into the world of Elder Lord.
A man checked the Internet forums. A new post appeared. He clicked on it.
[Title: Brothers, the time has come.
Brothers, everyone would have seen that video. My hands are trembling as I write this.
Our compatriot is spilling his blood. He is struggling alone in order to prevent their evil deeds. I don’t think there was any brother who didn’t tremble at the sight.
It is time to let those dirty humans know who we are.
I am heading there now.
I leave some space for my brothers.]
It wasn’t long but the comments were overwhelming. The man confirmed the comments. As expected, they were all passionate.
└ I’m going. Let’s go!
└ I will participate. Dirty clans!
└ Go! We have to punish the wicked!
└ I’m going. Let’s leave our mark on the world.
└ I will say two words. Come, Brothers!
└ Morals! Assault!
└ (View more)
A smile flashed on the man’s face. As expected from his brothers. He was also unable to tolerate it after watching the video. He declared his participation in the comment input window.
└ Number 1 Orc User Maguchwi: I am going!!! Come Brothers!!! Shout Bul’tar!!!!!
Since the launch of Elder Lord, he was someone who started as a orc and spread the talent and honor of orcs, the number 1 orc magician who loved orcs more than anyone else, Maguchwi!
And the secret orc users community he ran, ‘Orc Users Brotherhood’!
Maguchwi and his brothers started running towards Chesswood.
The road leading to Chesswood.
Gordon’s wagon was carrying a group of people heading towards Chesswood. Chesswood wasn’t a bustling place, but there were those who wanted to relocate because it was simple and peaceful. A single family and their luggage were on the wagon.
The great weather, the shipping costs he received, and the thought of meeting Madame Rachel at the pub meant he would soon arrive at Chesswood. In many ways, this was a great day. Thus, he let out an enthusiastic greeting as he discovered travelers on the road.
They saw Gordon. The group seemed to be heading to Chesswood.
“It’s good to see you. I am called Gordon. Hey guys, are you heading to Chesswood? It might be narrow, but do you guys want a ride?”
"Oh, it isn’t expensive. How about it? Your legs must hurt."
The travelers started talking among themselves. Gordon grinned. Travelers always had a lot of suspicions, but he was an honest coachman, so he didn’t think to cheat them.
"It is one silver for one person. That is a good bargain.”
Then he hummed. The sun was bright and the wind was good, so the melody couldn’t help emerging. The travelers consulted each other and nodded.
“Okay. It is five silver for five people.”
Gordon stopped his wagon and held out his hand. The man who seemed to be the representative approached Gordon and extended his hand.
But he gave Gordon a punch, not money.
Gordon rolled off the wagon. He couldn’t understand the sudden attack. Gordon groaned from his position on the ground.
"Kuock, what is this?!”
The travelers laughed.
"I was bored on the way, so this is great.”
The white stars on their foreheads were faintly shining.
"Kill all those inside. We will take this wagon and join the clan.”
Their conversation shocked Gordon. “What is this... Wicked...!”
"Why are you surprised?” The man laughed. "Is this the first time you’ve seen those cursed by the stars?”
Gordon gulped at the words. He just had to meet these bad people at this time. He tried to get up but was kicked by the man again. Gordon crouched on the ground. He thought that it was a great day, but it was actually the opposite.
"Wait here. There must be people inside.”
The man left the party and entered the wagon. As expected, there was a family surrounded by luggage. They didn’t know what was going on and stared blankly at the man. Someone who was clearly a NPC asked, “Who is it? Have we already arrived?”
Then he pulled out a knife. “You’ve arrived in hell.” The man grinned. The NPCs freaked out. The mother rushed to protect her kids, while the father spread out his hands.
It was a great sight.
"W-We have nothing. Only our lives...”
"Your lives are enough.”
“Please, the children...”
"Everybody come out."
The NPCs obeyed. Elder Lord was too realistic, so it was more enjoyable. As the man smiled and pulled them out of the luggage compartment,
A scream was heard.
"What, they’re done already?” The man asked. It seemed like the driver was killed. The man tried to continue his actions without a care in the world. But then another scream was heard.
The man’s face stiffened. Something was strange. That was the voice of his party member. He hurriedly left the compartment and looked in the direction of the driver.
He couldn’t believe his eyes. All of his companions had turned into white particles. All four people had died. They weren’t at a level where they could be easily beaten, as there was a mixture of high level users raised by the clan.
The man moved his gaze.
Gordon was looking at him from over the bodies of his party members, a sharp sword brightly gleaming in his hand. As the man looked stunned, Gordon laughed and swept away the long bangs.
The man’s mouth gaped open. There was a white star shining on Gordon’s forehead. The man flinched back. Gordon waved the tip of his sword and approached. He had an unimaginably cruel expression on his face.
"Why are you surprised?”
Gordon laughed coldly.
"Is this the first time you’ve seen a roleplayer?”
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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