Chapter 6 - Mutant Hunt (1)
Ian and Grom passed Lenox’s test.
Grom brandished his axe a few times and went to Lenox, where he was beaten and started training again. Meanwhile, Ian didn’t go to Lenox and stayed at the training grounds.
Therefore, a week passed by in reality like this.
Thanks to the brain acceleration system, one day of reality was five days in Elder Lord. A time acceleration of five times was applied. Thus, Ian reported the same thing for more than a month in game time.
Ian, who repeatedly trained himself, and Grom, who acted like a normal user, couldn’t progress in the game for a month.
Ian realized the severity of the orc species.
Who would want to spend a month doing the basic foundations in a game? They trained repetitively everyday until they collapsed from exhaustion. It was natural that there were no users.
Then Lenox called Ian and Grom over.
"Now you are a little usable.”
He looked at Ian when saying this,
"Of course, you are still greatly lacking.”
This time he looked at Grom.
Ian and Grom had become an attraction in Orcrox Fortress. Both of them had become synonymous with fighting spirit. Ian trained diligently, while Grom had the habit of going over to Lenox, being beaten, and then going back to training without giving up.
"I’m still not satisfied, but that would take another 100 years, so you will now receive your first mission as an apprentice warrior.”
Finally, a mission. Ian and Grom looked at each other and smiled.
"Recently, wolves have appeared to the south of Orcrox Fortress. There seems to be a shortage of food, so the orc farmers are suffering damage.”
Orc farmers. They were fresh words.
"It is suitable for both of you who desire to become warriors. Hunt the wolves and help the farmers.”
[Lenox has given you a quest.]
[The first quest. I am cheering for you. Get rid of the wicked wolves that are threatening the good-natured orc farmers!]
[You must help them!]
[First, look for the orc farmers outside of the fortress.]
[The compensation for the completion of the quest is Lenox’s recognition and achievement points. Depending on your accomplishments, there might be something more...]
A quest window was created. Grom’s eyes moved like he was also seeing it.
Then Lenox yelled at the orc warriors at the training grounds as usual.
"Don't give up! Jump! Forget about your breathing! Do you want to be comfortable? Then quit!”
“We are orcs!”
"Being comfortable isn’t for a warrior! Comfort makes you weak! You will only grow through pain! Fight!”
"That is cool?"
Grom shook his head.
"I am enthusiastic.”
"I still haven’t adapted to being an orc. Speaking of which, Ian-ssi seems like you have received training like this before. Do you work out?”
"I was a soldier, a professional soldier.”
“Aha. So that’s what it was. Now I understand. Your tone and behaviour naturally fits this place. I am currently worrying over whether I should continue as an orc.”
"Come on, I will be lonely if you leave me alone.”
"Kuk, then I will stay because of Ian.”
He felt like a friendly neighborhood friend or younger brother, but he had the threatening face of an orc.
"Shall we buy some items?”
"I have no money.”
"Ah, that's right. We can earn money by doing the wolf quest and by selling the loot we pick up. Let’s eat delicious food at that time.”
The meals at the warriors’ barracks tended to just be cafeteria food. Surprisingly, the orcs’ diets were quite palatable. Their diet was similar to that of normal people, except that they had a higher proportion of meat and that there was a lot of food.
As Ian and Grom left the fortress, the orc guards greeted them.
"Hey! It’s the newbies. Are you alive?”
Ian and the guard’s fists met. Grom also shared the greeting with the other guard.
"You must’ve been trained properly by Instructor Lenox! Now you have a bit more flesh on you.”
The orc guards laughed,
"Is it a wolf hunting mission?”
"I see. Be careful. Lately, there have been direwolves blending in with normal wolves."
Grom was surprised, as they were a pretty powerful monster. Ian asked,
"What if we run into them?”
“Look at the situation and run away if it is dangerous.”
The orc guard raised his finger with a serious expression.
“Keep this in mind. To survive is to be strong. Boldness isn’t courage, so if you are in danger, don’t be stubborn and run away.”
"Kulkulkul, come back alive.”
Ian and Grom left the fortress.
Wolves were dangerous beasts. Ian was well aware of this.
However, he wasn’t worried.
He glanced at Grom walking next to him. Big and burly.
He was also an orc, but the orc’s solid body and tight muscles made catching any wolf-like beast seem simple in comparison. Although they were only slightly taller than humans, their bodies were twice as large as an adult male’s body. They also had thick limbs, making them seem like gorillas.
"Are these wolves different from those in reality?” Ian asked.
"They are usually similar. Animals are almost identical to those in reality. Elder Lord is difficult due to the monsters and other species being really strong.”
"Then can’t the orc farmers deal with the wolves?”
Ian lifted his forearm and showed his biceps, which were at a Guinness world record level. Grom laughed.
"That’s true, but there may be something unusual like the direwolves among the wolves.”
Ian suddenly turned his head. He was nervous, but it was just a roe deer.
The roe deer often ran off when they saw the two orcs. A bird perched on the roe deer, causing both the roe deer to buck and the bird to fly off. The bird seemed to be playing a joke on the deer.
It was a beautiful sight.
The world of Elder Lord, which sometimes seemed more realistic and beautiful than reality, was inspiring. As he played Elder Lord, Ian seemed like he was really becoming an orc apprentice warrior.
Ian muttered the orc slogan,
It was a word that orcs always repeated. It was the ancient orc word meaning, ‘life’. Chanting this seemed to clear his mind.
"Ian will become a role-player later on.”
“Immersion is important in Elder Lord, as is the assimilation rate. There are many people who make a drama by acting like real NPCs. It is popular on TV and the Internet.”
"Kulkulkul, I can’t do that.”
"Look, look at that smile. Sometimes I can’t help but think that you’re a real orc. Your assimilation rate must be high.”
Ian jumped, as he could feel eyes watching them. This gaze was different from those from the animals. It resembled the ferocious gaze of the enemy on the battlefield. Ian’s body tensed up.
“Uh, what is it?”
"Who is there?"
Grom looked around.
He walked towards a bush as he looked around. The forest was filled with tall bushes and trees blocking the field of view. As Grom waved his hands in front of the bushes, hands appeared and gripped his neck.
Ian drew his greatsword. Grom floundered and missed his axe. The owner of the arms gradually left the bushes, revealing his appearance. He had a rough face with protruding tusks. He was an orc.
The orc asked, “Who are you?”
“...I am an orc.”
“I see that. Kulkul.”
The orc stepped on Grom’s axe that had fallen to the ground.
"Are you thieves who stole these weapons?"
Orcs could also be thieves. Ian shook his head.
"We are warriors.”
The orc narrowed his eyes.
Ian added, "Apprentices.”
"It is hard to believe. No matter how young, you look too weak to be warriors.”
The orc pressed harder against Grom’s neck. Grom struggled frantically.
“Okay. Then who is your instructor?”
"Oh, he is a very friendly instructor. Isn't that right?"
"Lenox isn’t friendly at all.”
“Hrmm. I guess you know Lenox.”
He let go of Grom, who fell to the floor with a loud cry. The orc then hit Grom’s head.
"Be tense, Trainee. You should’ve expected something to emerge from the bushes.”
"These days, there are many orc bandits. Everybody has lost their honor.”
Grom stood up while wiping away his drool.
“Who are you?”
The orc puffed up his chest.
"I am Grant. A farmer.”
"I work honestly and sweat while gathering the grain.”
Ian gave Grom his axe.
"It is nice to meet you.”
"Grant. We’ve received a mission from Lenox to help the orc farmers.”
Grant burst out laughing. "You guys?”
"We might be weak, but we can still help. I heard that there is a problem with wolves.”
"Yes, that is true, but will you be able to help?”
"Believe in Lenox’s eyes, not us.”
"Indeed... Lenox wouldn’t have sent just anyone.”
Grant considered for a while and nodded.
"I understand. Follow me."
They followed Grant. A log cabin was built not far away. There was a fence built around a field that wasn’t large. Two small orcs were using farm equipment in the field.
"Hey, are you alive?”
The little orcs ran forward.
Considering the orcs’ horrible appearances, he wouldn’t have expected to think they were cute, even if they were young. However, any animal would be considered cute as they looked with wide eyes at the person patting their head.
The little ones discovered the two unfamiliar orcs and became wary.
Grom glanced at them before the introductions started.
Ian and Grom introduced themselves. The eyes of the young eyes shone when they heard that Ian and Grom were warriors who came to help Grant.
"A warrior, how awesome.”
“Warrior! Stay alive!”
They pretended to wield weapons like the warriors. Grant snorted with an affectionate expression.
Grant also had a wife living in the log cabin. She was an orc that couldn’t be called pretty, but she greeted them with a gentle face. Ian and Grom were treated to her warm stew.
After only having cafeteria food, Ian and Grom hurriedly ate the stew. Grant’s wife gazed at them happily before suddenly saying to Grom,
"You are a good person.”
Grom raised his head.
"But the world is pushing you.”
"What are you...”
"Make the right choice.”
It sounded like a zen riddle. Grom looked at Grant with a puzzled expression. Grant explained,
"My wife has magic eyes that can weakly see destiny. It would be better to listen to her.”
This time, Grant’s wife turned to Ian and said,
"You were born with the soul of a warrior.”
"But your soul has been greatly hurt by something.”
"You gave up the warrior’s path because of this pain... However, you picked up the weapon again in order to protect others.”
Ian was stunned. Did this NPC just read his past? He got into an argument during a war meeting and was discharged, and then he started playing this game due to his sister. Could the virtual reality system read his memories?
She gently laughed,
"I don’t know the details, but I feel like I should say this. Do what you believe in with courage.”
Ian and Grom both had confused expressions on their faces. Grant burst out laughing.
"Kulkulkul. You must be surprised. What are you going to do if you are surprised at just this? You have to go with me to catch wolves."
"Didn’t you come to hunt the wolves?”
"Grant, you’ll go as well?”
"It’s my job, I have to go.”
Grant pointed to a wall, where a halberd was hanging.
"I can catch all the wolves alone, but I encountered an enemy that I need your help with.”
"What is it?”
"A mutant wolf.”
Grant lowered his voice.
"He’s just a wolf, but his size is bigger than any direwolf, and he is very smart. He had started moving the wolves methodically. That is why the farmers have recently been damaged by the wolves.”
“Your help is needed. I have faith. Kulkul.”
Grant's wife looked at him with concerned eyes.
"Don't worry. I’m not someone to be killed by wolves.”
"Just cast your spells. The sweet blessings like your lips.”
The two of them gazed at each other with affectionate eyes and kissed lightly. Grom dropped his eyes, as if the sight wasn’t great, but Ian watched them as they quietly whispered to each other. It was like watching a sad scene of lovers in a movie. Orcs had their own love life. A smile appeared on Ian’s face.
"We will do our best to help you.”
"Your eyes are alive. Bul’tar!”
Grom noticed and followed them quietly.
"The look in your eyes is dead.”
"I am alive. B-Bul’tar.”
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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