Chapter 57 - To the North (2)
The door opened.
The faces inside the gloomy pub turned towards Crockta. They discovered the appearance of an orc before turning back to their conversations. It was an old pub that had scenery similar to Van Gogh’s ‘The Potato Eaters.’
Crockta sat at a table. The owner of the place, who was standing at the bar, threw a glance to Crockta, as if he was asking what he wanted. Crockta declared, "Cream spaghetti."
He spoke quietly, but the inside of the pub was narrow, causing his low voice to echo inside. The pub customers turned to Crockta after hearing cream spaghetti. His eyes turned dreary. The guests were laughing at him.
“An orc ordering cream spaghetti... This isn’t a comedy.”
"Isn’t that a dish for girls? Kukukuk...”
"Will he also order strawberry juice and a kiwi parfait? Kelkel...”
Crockta’s eyebrows twitched.
The pub owner also laughed, like he thought it was absurd, before going into the kitchen. He placed butter in the frying pan, poured in chicken broth, and stirred it quickly, so that there were no solid clumps. At the same time, he prepared 160 grams of spaghetti and boiled it in three times the amount of water, while also cooking bacon in another pan.
It was a classic recipe.
Crockta admired the master’s meticulousness while also squinting at the table of the customers who were laughing at him.
They were eating pork dishes and drinking strong alcohol. They placed thick pieces in their mouths and sucked on their greasy fingers. Their eyes were filled with arrogance as they looked at Crockta while chewing on the meat. Then they gulped down the alcohol.
He had to admit it. They were rugged men, real males. He was eating cream spaghetti in the holy place of these men. Crockta found himself becoming smaller on th einside. The one who was blind to romance and dating had ordered a cream spaghetti!
The food he ordered came out, and Crockta discovered the fork and spoon wrapped in a napkin. He stopped the owner and said, “Wait.”
The owner looked at him with a scornful look, as if his customer was being troublesome. Crockta said, “Chopsticks.”
“...Hoh.” His eyes changed.
The atmosphere in the pub was released at Crockta’s declaration, becoming one where the other people recognized him as a man.
"I thought he would put the fork and spoon in the bowl to twirl the spaghetti.”
"Maybe it just suits his taste?”
"I also want to eat greasy food sometimes. Kukuk.”
They nodded as they placed boiled eggs in their mouths and chewed. Crockta also slurped up the spaghetti using the chopsticks. He chewed and ordered whiskey. He downed the glass of whiskey handed to him by the owner.
Crockta was now a brother of the pub after drinking the alcohol.
He had been swept up in the atmosphere. He had a separate mission. Crockta looked at the note again.
[Go into the pub and order cream spaghetti. Then, ask for chopsticks instead of a fork to eat it with.
After that, take a line of spaghetti and use it to draw an inverted triangle on the table.
Then they will give you access.]
It was a big deal. Crockta had already eaten all his cream spaghetti. He forcefully raised the hand that wouldn’t go up. The owner looked over at Crockta and approached, placing a hand on Crockta’s shoulder.
“Hey, Macho Orc. Do you want something to drink now?”
Crockta spoke in a hesitant tone, “Cr...”
"Cream spaghetti...one more...”
The owner’s gaze became cold.
Crockta looked down. The owner returned to the kitchen without speaking. When he looked around, the other customers were also shaking their heads at Crockta.
Crockta was ashamed. He vowed that as soon as he obtained information from the guild, he would eat a whole pig here. In the end, Crockta ate the cream spaghetti again with the chopsticks and drew an inverted triangle on the table.
The owner’s eyes changed when he saw the symbol. The owner walked towards Crockta and banged on the table.
Crockta turned to him. The owner beckoned, "Come here."
Then he opened a door in a corner of the pub and entered. Crockta looked after him with a grim expression and followed as the pub customers heckled after the orc.
“What did you do Orc? Are you going to be hit?”
"Don’t cry as you’re being beaten. Kelkel.”
"If you endure it, then I’ll buy you some cream spaghetti, and some srawberry juice as well. Kikik!”
They dug back into their pork with the reassurance that they were eating manly foods.
The interior of the room was larger than Crockta thought. The pub owner pulled something on the floor and revealed a staircase leading to the basement. It looked quite deep. He glanced at Crockta and descended.
Deep underground, there was a dark, dimly lit room that looked like it was meant for investigation purposes. Inside was a table with two chairs facing each other. They each sat down and Crockta asked,"The panty is the mark of the guild?”
"It is our belief.”
"It is the intelligence guild’s belief that they can even discover the color of a person’s panties.”
"There are some branches that are ashamed and use the inverted triangle, but I respect tradition.”
It was odd but it made sense. Crockta nodded. "In any case, I came to buy information.”
"What information do you want, Crockta?”
Crockta raised his gaze. This man already knew Crockta’s name. The man laughed and continued, "Do you want to chase after the rest of the Thawing Balhae Clan?”
"......!" Crockta quickly agreed. "Yes, truly great. I can believe that you are an information guild.”
"The information about the Thawing Balhae Clan costs either 20 gold or 30 gold.”
"What’s the difference?”
"I will let you know if you have the money.”
Crockta nodded with folded arms. “It’s quite expensive.”
"The payment needs to be upfront.”
Crockta pulled out some money. He hadn’t known that he was going to pay 30 gold, so there wasn’t much money left. "Now, let me know the difference.”
"20 gold is for the current information, while 30 gold will give you more information in the future.”
"The exact location of those guys is still unknown, but we will keep an eye on them and continue to accumulate information. I will provide you with any information I gain in the future.”
Crockta shook his head. "How can I trust you? What if you fail?”
The man from the information guild got up from his seat before turning to the wall behind him. He placed his hand inside the hole on the wall. The sound of someone moving around could be heard from within. When he finally pulled out his hand, he was holding a piece of paper in it.
The information guild must be beyond this room. The man handed the piece of paper to Crockta.
"That is the new name of Grom, the one who you are tracking.”
Crockta’s face stiffened. He checked the paper that the man gave him. On it was the name ‘Luin’, a rough description of his appearance, and some other information on it.
"Do you know that those cursed by the stars can change their appearance?”
"It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. They lose all of their abilities and appear with a new look. The orc Grom, the one who betrayed you and Lenox, has now become a human. We can hardly believe it either. The curse of the stars is a really unknown phenomenon.”
Crockta listened to his words. The man seemed to have a subtle understanding of the users. NPCs were gradually grasping onto the characteristics of users. Crockta once again felt like Elder Lord was mysterious.
Were they really just AIs in a game? Were the three-dimensional characters he met just fakes designed for the game to be enjoyed?
‘Go to the Temple of the Fallen God.’
Gordon's voice was heard again. Crockta had a strong feeling that he should go to the Temple of the Fallen God.
Crockta said, "Yes, I will believe you. Then I will buy one more piece of information.”
“What is it?”
"Do you know about the Temple of the Fallen God?’
He looked at Crockta, not expecting this question.
“Temple of the Fallen God... I don’t have any information about it. The north is far beyond our influence.” The north, a harsh land where ogres roamed freely and wyverns flew across the skies. "I know the approximate location since it isn’t hard to find. I can get it from anywhere. I’ll give it to you for free.”
"Do you mean to go to the north?”
Crockta nodded. The man looked at Crockta. Tattoos everywhere and a burly body. An excellent greatsword. It was the appearance of a powerful man worthy of the rumors. He was qualified to head north.
“When you came back from the north, I will have information about the Thawing Balhae Clan ready.” The man grinned.
"I understand. The current information has been sent to the mailbox of the Blacksmith Company.”
The information guild already knew that Crockta had an account. Crockta had only made it today because of Stella, yet they already knew. It meant an information source existed inside the Blacksmith Company. Maybe it was Stella’s intern.
Crockta nodded and got up. The man spoke, "If you are going to the north then you might want to find out more information from Quantes.”
Quantes was a city located on the fringes of the north. Crockta entered the name Quantes in his head.
Crockta climbed the stairs with the owner and entered the pub, where the previous pub customers were still present. They looked between Crockta and the pub owner with excitement in their eyes.
"What, no blows were exchanged?”
"He looks fine.”
The customers said with disappointment.
Crockta spoke to the information guild employee and owner of the pub, “Hey.”
He glanced at Crockta for a moment . It was a signal to not say anything about the information guild. But Crockta wasn’t trying to talk about that.
"A roasted pig, is it possible to get that here?”
The pub customers were stunned by Crockta’s words.
"I would like to eat a whole roasted pig.”
The pub owner looked at Crockta with surprise before laughing. “Can you afford it?”
Crockta looked at the customers who laughed at him and said, "It’s different from eating a sandwich that only contains a few pieces of pork.”
Their faces distorted but they couldn’t make any excuses.
The pub owner went into the kitchen to prepare a roasted pig. In a corner of the kitchen, there was a complete pig barbecue system with ventilation. He placed a pig on a skewer and started cooking it. The great smell of pork filled the inside of the pub.
“Hum hum. We will be going.”
"Eat deliciously, orc brother.”
The customers drank the remaining alcohol and tried to escape the pub like they were running away. Crockta called after them.
“Hey, you guys.”
They looked back at Crockta. Crockta gestured to the kitchen and asked. “Aren’t you going to eat?”
They came to a stop. That’s right. The orc was a man.
They laughed and teased him about strawberry juice, but a real man wouldn’t care. He forgot all about earlier and invited them without any hesitation. It wouldn’t be manly if they refused the invitation.
"This is...we have lost.”
"Orc, you are a real man.”
"I met a decent male. Kikikik.”
They turned around again. Together with Crockta, they ate pork and drank wine. The pub owner joined them at a later time.
The communion between men!
It was the last dinner that Crockta enjoyed before heading to the north to find the Temple of the Fallen God.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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