Chapter 62 - The Demon’s Mouth (3)
Crockta walked through the darkness, moving downwards every time he took a step. It was like sinking into a dark swamp.
Crockta stared at the darkness that was surrounding him. Gradually, his footsteps became heavy and the darkness that couldn’t be repulsed swallowed his whole body. Moans were heard inside the darkness. An abyss.
His flesh would be erased. Only his spirit moved in the darkness. He couldn’t tell if he was seeing darkness, or if his vision was so broken that he couldn’t recognize anything. He felt drowsy.
Then someone said.
'The world is a parabola.’
A single ray of light emerged in the darkness. It was small and slender, like a firefly, as it moved in a gentle curve.
'Everything that rises will eventually sink.’
The light fell down. There were no traces of it left. It became dark again like there had been nothing there from the beginning.
'It is small.’
'It blows away like dust in a void.’
Crockta was standing now. He raised his gaze. It was a battlefield.
‘That is the world.’
The sky was red. The ground was black. In this place where the boundary between heaven and earth were broken, many people were killed. Orcs and humans rushed towards each other in a confrontation. It was a strange war filled with the living and the dead.
A human screamed in pain. His head flew through the air. The orc who cut at him roared. Then a sword was stuck in the back of his head.
Blades crossed. There was a rain of blood.
Gradually, it started moving further away. The terrible battlefield moved further towards the horizon. The continent was seen on the horizon and then the sea was seen. The outline of a round planet appeared.
It was the view of a star that didn’t care about the cries of small beings. But the view kept on endlessly expanding.
The galaxy. The endless darkness and dust of the galaxy appeared.
The universe. Everything faded for a while. Even that just became a dot.
‘The world is just an empty place.’
Life and death were just fleeting moments. Crockta’s soul rattled as the darkness and void enveloped his mind. Depression, emptiness, and resignation pulled him towards hell. He kept falling. Even this rise and fall was pointless.
Suddenly, someone called out to him, "Oppa, what are you doing?”
Jung Ian shook his head.
Jung Ian looked around. This was Café Reason. Ah, that's right. After finishing school, Jung Yiyu had come to the café to play and asked him for a latte. For a moment, he had a different thought. Jung Yiyu narrowed her eyes.
"What were you thinking?"
"You should focus, Boss,” Jung Yiyu said with a smile. Ian laughed.
Then her face melted and her flesh dripped down her chin. As Jung Ian looked at her, she became a skeleton.
Jung Ian freaked out and retreated.
'When it comes to life, everything sinks eventually.’
The skeletal Jung Yiyu cocked her head. Jung Ian staggered as he could no longer control his body. Suddenly, a voice was heard from next to him, "Boss, what are you doing now?”
It was Han Yeori’s voice. Jung Ian stuttered as he grabbed her arm.
"Yeori, you see, now, Yiyu...”
His fingers touched something cold. His head became blank as a collection of white bones smiled at him.
‘I see life and I laugh death and I cry. Life is truly a fleeting moment while death is an eternity.’
Jung Ian froze as the world came tumbling down. In the infinite time, he sank into eternal darkness.
An unlimited void caught up. He held onto his hair as he shook his head and stared into the core of darkness.
'This is the world.’
The boundaries were crumbling. Once again, Crockta stood in the darkness.
The Demon’s Mouth was smiling at his waist. A perverted consciousness that melted in with the darkness. He had to overcome it. No, winning or losing was pointless at this moment, as any thoughts fled into the emptiness of the void.
Crockta dropped his head.
The ‘it’ on his waist constantly whispered to him about the notion of emptiness. The malice and emptiness mixed up in his head. It felt like his body was going to burst. His blood vessels enlarged and he vomited.
Crockta’s soul screamed.
‘The world is a void.’
Tiyo ran towards the bunker with the defenders.
All of a sudden, the ogres had become silent. The wyverns stopped. The creatures stood still and looked somewhere. Despite his confusion, Tiyo quickly led the guards. The defenders moved in unison under his leadership.
"The creatures have become silent all of a sudden! This is an opportunity dot!”
The gnomes ran. They were approaching the building where the bunker was located when the ground shook.
The running gnomes lost their balance and fell. Only Tiyo barely managed to keep his balance as he encouraged the soldiers. He looked behind him. Something was walking towards them.
The person was big but smaller than an ogre. He looked familiar but also strange. Green skin, a tough face, and tough body. He was holding a greatsword. It was Crockta. But Tiyo instinctively recoiled. It was Crockta’s shape but he looked different. An unknown dark aura was coming from him.
Crockta’s eyes were tinged red. Creatures like ogres and trolls were walking behind him. The wyverns hovered over Crockta’s head and made a bizarre sound. Crockta pointed towards Tiyo and the gnome garrison.
Then the creatures started to rush at them. The ground shook as the ogres rushed towards them. The gnomes couldn’t regroup so they failed to resist.
Tiyo also dropped the muzzle of General. Resistance was futile.
The ogres surrounded the gnomes. They opened a path. Crockta was walking over from the distance. As if he was the ruler, the creatures moved according to his gestures. Tiyo discovered the belt around Crockta’s waist.
Everything made sense. That was the problem. It was due to the cursed artifact that all the monsters became wild and invaded the city. Crockta discovered it first and tried to fight against the Demon’s Mouth for Quantes, but he was eaten by it.
Tiyo gritted his teeth as he grasped General. The muzzle flashed before the ogres could react. However, Crockta instantly swung the greatsword and blocked the magic bullet. The bullets were deflected.
An ogre waved its hand.
Tiyo’s small body flew through the air at the ogre’s punch. He didn’t let the queasiness stop him from raising his head. The orc was looking down at him. Crockta’s red eyes weren’t those of the honorable warrior Crockta that he knew.
He had been devoured by the evil of the artifact. He raised his greatsword. Tiyo closed his eyes.
The moment that the greatsword was about to fall,
“We are orcs... The mighty orcs...”
The greatsword hesitated. Tiyo kept singing.
“The great warriors have appeared...”
It was the orc sound that Crockta had drunkenly sung for Tiyo and the Quantes garrison. It was beyond ridiculous.
"Humans get lost, elves get lost, dwarves get lost... Gnomes...”
Crockta’s greatsword trembled. Tiyo opened his eyes. Crockta’s distorted face was visible.
Tiyo laughed, "What are you doing Crockta?"
"Don’t you have to go somewhere?”
The greatsword paused in the air and didn’t move. It shook like he was fighting something invisible. Soon, the steel teeth on the belt at Crockta’s waist started moving.
The teeth slowly opened. Since there was a crisis, the belt was trying to swallow the foolish gnome that shook its host.
The moment that the steel teeth moved to cover the gnome. The greatsword moved.
Crockta groaned from within the abyss.
The demon within the Demon’s mouth constantly whispered to him. Everything he deemed important was collapsing. The demon fed on his despair and dominated his body. He was faintly aware that he was trying to kill Tiyo with his greatsword. But Crockta thought that it might be better.
People would just die anyway. However, Crockta temporarily regained control of his body as the greatsword moved towards Tiyo’s body. He resisted the demon but it continued to whisper things to Crockta.
His soul was suffering. Physical pain was nothing compared to the pain of the soul. Crockta's spirit was broken. The demon at his waist opened and was trying to swallow Tiyo.
"Strength." Crockta kept repeating it. "Don’t give in.”
"Whoever, please give me strength.”
At that moment, a brilliant light burst out. It was a radiance that seemed to blind him. Crockta closed his eyes. Then he opened them again. There was a familiar face standing in front of them.
"Hey, it’s been a while, Crockta.”
It was him, the hawk of the north. The blue guardian of the sunrise. The pale blue standard bearer who guided the shamans. The orc shaman mentor.
It was Tashaquil.
"You’ve been doing great things. Kulkulkul.”
Tashaquil waved his staff. The world became still. It was the same for the Demon’s Mouth and the fallen Tiyo before him. It was like looking at a stalled scene from the perspective of a third party.
“Tashaquil, how are you here?”
“Don’t be surprised. I’m not Tashaquil. It is like a residual piece he left behind... In reality, I am probably at Orcrox or Basque Village.” He laughed as he touched the Demon’s Mouth with his staff. "Have you forgotten? I gave you a power the day you left Orcrox.”
The memory of that day was revived. Tashaquil had cast a spell when Crockta was saying goodbye to him.
‘Tashaquil has granted you an unknown power.’
‘The unidentified power will settle within your body.’
‘One day it will help you.’
Now he remembered. Crockta asked, "Tashaquil, what should I do now?”
"Let’s see...I don’t know."
Tashaquil laughed, "Actually, it was a lie.”
"There is no power in this spell to help you Crockta.”
Tashaquil waved his staff and smiled. "Just when the time comes, I am supposed to tell you what you want to hear.”
"Tell me what I want to hear?”
Crockta still had no idea.
"What do you want me to say?”
"If you want to be comfortable, you can relax your mind.” He pointed to the Demon’s Mouth and said. "That is too strong. You have done your best so you can rest comfortably. What about this?”
He seemed to be laughing. Crockta frowned and asked, “What are you talking about?”
"Oh, that wasn’t it?”
“If it isn’t...” Tashaquil swung his staff and hit Crockta’s head.
"Then I can say only one thing.”
“What is it?”
"It’s the same if I were any other orc. There is only one word I can give you now.”
Didn’t he already know it? Tashaquil laughed. Crockta raised his gaze.
“I'll only say it once.”
Crockta listened closely. Then Tashaquil spoke.
Just like it was alive, the demon’s teeth protruded from the steel belt and prepared to bite Tiyo’s throat. Crockta’s greatsword struck it.
The Demon’s Mouth twisted. Then the steel teeth twisted and gave a strange shout. It was a terrible cry that sounded like it came from purgatory. Then the belt twisted like a snake and aimed at Crockta.
Crockta stretched out and grabbed it. The steel teeth chewed in vain in front of Crockta’s face. Furious noises kept coming from it. But Crockta just smiled.
"Are you afraid of the void?” Crockta asked. The Demon’s Mouth made a strange sound and tried to bite Crockta. "Are you afraid of the death that you will meet someday?”
"Is that why you tease people like this?”
The Demon’s Mouth bit Crockta’s arm. Crockta groaned but didn’t let it go. Crockta swallowed back the pain and said.
"I will give you the answer that you want to hear.”
Darkness emerged from the Demon’s Mouth and covered Crockta. His vision became dark. Crockta faced the darkness once again. The darkness vibrated and threatened Crockta, but Crockta didn’t waver.
Then he said, "The world isn’t a void.”
It stopped. The darkness became thinner.
Crockta continued speaking, "Even if the world will end someday, life isn’t meaningless.”
The darkness shouted, ‘What do you mean?’
"Isn’t this the answer that you wanted to hear?”
Crockta stared at the other side of the darkness. Now he could see it clearly. It hid in the darkness and yelled, but it was actually crouching down from fear. It witnessed the end of the world, the darkness of the universe, and became frightened by it.
“I will tell you again. Death isn’t the end.”
It turned to face Crockta. It said, ‘Prove it.’
‘You tell me!’ It stood up and shouted at Crockta, like a young child of the darkness.
"Do you want to know?"
It didn't answer. Crockta said, “Then follow me.”
"If you follow me, then I will prove it.”
Crockta spoke firmly.
It tilted its head. A fine movement. Crockta stared into its eyes. Then he spoke again, "I will prove it with my life."
Crockta had seen it. The dark side of reality. A demon in despair.
It smiled. And...
The darkness was lifted.
As the darkness around Crockta was lifted, the Demon’s Mouth threatening Crockta couldn’t be seen. It closed its mouth and returned to being a normal steel belt at Crockta’s waist.
Crockta asked, “Make them go away.”
The belt twitched like it was unhappy and emitted a strange sound. Then the creatures stopped moving. The wyverns grabbed the ogres and trolls and left by air. It was a stunning sight. All the creatures turned and started leaving Quantes.
Then system messages popped up.
[The Despairing Demon’s Belt (Hero) has come under your jurisdiction.]
[You still can't control the power of the belt. The power of the belt has been limited.]
[The demon is sleeping.]
Crockta looked down at Tiyo who was still on the ground. Tiyo looked up at Crockta.
“Have you recovered your mind?”
"I'm glad dot.”
Crockta grabbed Tiyo’s hand. Tiyo got up.
Tiyo said, “I want to go to the north with Crockta, dot.”
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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