Chapter 67 - Season of Hunting (2)

Chapter 67 - Season of Hunting (2)


It was a large man carrying a machete at his waist. Bright eyes shone through matted hair.

Crockta spoke, “I am alive. We are...”

But before Crockta could finish speaking, the man aimed his machete at Crockta and said, "Get lost, you thieves.”

“We aren’t thieves...”

Crockta tried to explain but the machete moved even closer. The blade touched his skin. Crockta’s eyebrows twitched.  But it was a fact that they had invaded the man’s home. He decided to step back.

"I understand. We’ll leave.”

The machete moved back. Tiyo, watching from the side, jumped in. “Ah! We...!”

“Shut up. Kid.” 

The shocked Tiyo looked at the man and said, “What did you say? K-Kid?”

Crockta seized Tiyo before he could aim ‘General’. The man approached the magic staff that was protecting the area. He touched something and the blue energy emerged again. It spread all over the place, creating a dim shield around the fence.

"I just wanted to say that we didn’t mean to do anything. Stay alive.”

Crockta said politely as he stood before the hole. The man glanced at Crockta and didn’t respond. Crockta shrugged and crawled out through the small hole. The man gazed after the receding Crockta and muttered, "Annoying people...”

Then he approached the cow that was staring at him. It was the cow that Crockta and Tiyo saved.

"You look well Skolla.  Were there any problems?”

It was a soft voice, unlike the previous wild person who seemed like he would swing the machete at any moment. The man rubbed his cheek against the cow’s face. The cow gave a long cry.

"What?”

The man responded like he could understand the cow’s words. The cow cried out again, “Moooooo...”

The man’s eyes deepened as he looked back. He stared at the hole that Crockta and Tiyo went through. The man spoke.

"That doesn’t mean that you owe them. They came in on their own so they can take care of the problems themselves.” The man gazed into the air before sighing. "I understand, I understand. Don’t worry.”

He approached the other cows and repeated the same greeting. Then he gathered the cows together and feed. After that, he looked at the forest that unfolded beyond the fence. This place was always damp and cloudy. A forest of darkness. Ordinary people who entered would get lost and become the prey of the creatures.

The cows drinking from the water trough gave long cries.“Moooooo...”

The man filled his quiver with arrows. "I understand.”

***

"He is a very bad person. Isn’t that right Crockta?”

Crockta responded to Tiyo, “It is true though. That we were uninvited guests.”

"But we protected his cows.”

"We also called the wyverns.”

"Hmm hmm! Yes, but he called me a kid dot!” Tiyo jumped up and touched Crockta’s shoulder. "I am tall for a gnome dot! I’m not a puny kid! I’m only small compared to Crockta dot!”

"Kulkulkul.”

"Don’t laugh dot!” Tiyo whined.

They relied on the compass to head north. If they continued through the Forest of Creatures then the north would appear.

"Surprisingly, there aren’t many creatures.”

They thought that they would be attacked endlessly the moment they entered the forest, but it was more calm than they thought. In particular, there seemed to be no signs of creatures in this area. The sounds of birds and insects were gone as well. There weren’t even any wyverns occasionally roaming the sky.

Crockta touched the handle of his greatsword.

"Tiyo.”

“Huh?”

“Shh.” Crockta raised a finger to his mouth. “Go quietly.”

"What did you see...?”

“I didn’t see anything, but the area is too quiet. The Forest of Creatures is infamous for its dangerous creatures. There is only one reason for the silence here."

“......”

Tiyo understood what he meant and nodded. The absence of nearby living beings meant there was a nearby predator that they couldn’t tolerate. Maybe Crockta and Tiyo had stepped foot into a dangerous place.

“Let’s go quickly.”

“Understood dot.

They killed the sound of their footsteps and started to move. Vines dangled from tree branches and covered their view. Crockta pulled out his greatsword and sliced through them. The obstacles weren’t a match for Ogre Slayer and were cut off cleanly.

"Why would that guy live here?” Tiyo muttered.

“I don't know.”

Crockta was also curious about the man’s story. It was a talent to have pierced a wyvern in an instant. What was the reason for living in this place? The man was apparently a hunter.

"It is in order to hunt.”

Hunters lived by hunting. They proved themselves by killing stronger game. There must be a reason for the hunter to set up camp here. What type of opponent was the hunter trying to catch here?

“......”

At that moment, Crockta flinched. A huge shadow had just passed above him.

“What?”

Tiyo raised his head. The branches, leaves, and vines covered the sky, so he couldn’t see it properly. It was just a big black shadow.

“Wyverns?”

The moment they were about to resume walking...

The shadow passed over their heads again.

“......!”

Crockta grasped his greatsword while looking up at the sky. The big body quickly passed through their field of vision. It was obviously bigger than a wyvern.

"Tiyo!”

"I-I saw it.”

Tiyo was already grabbing ‘General’. He aimed the muzzle towards the sky, but the shadow didn’t appear again. Tiyo looked around.

"What?”

Crockta and Tiyo moved slowly as they watched the sky. At that moment, a beast’s growl resounded out from behind them, “Grrrrrrr...”

Crockta hurriedly raised his greatsword. Beyond the vegetation and vines, the form of the giant beast was being revealed.

"That...what...?” Tiyo murmured in a trembling voice.

The enormous face of an old man was staring at them, but its revealed teeth were that of a beast. Beyond the disheveled hair that was like a shaggy mane, two wings spread open, making its size even bigger.

It was a monster with the face of an old man, the body of a lion, and the wings of a bat. It was called a Manticore, a strong monster that appeared at the end of a dungeon.

It approached Tiyo and Crockta. Crockta immediately retreated from its giant presence. The wrinkled face distorted.

“Grrrrr....”

It was a horrible appearance. It resembled an old man but the strangely heterogeneous nature aroused disgust in him. The gangrene-infested face pushed forward and it opened its mouth wide, baring sharp teeth.

“Kraaaaah!”

The Manticore rushed forward. At that moment, Crockta almost unconsciously looked away. It was such a horrible existence. The momentum of the charge made him feel like he was facing a tank alone.

At that time, a light emerged from behind Crockta’s back and hit the Manticore.

“Grrung!”

The Manticore slowed down. The rays of light continued to strike the Manticore. It was the support bombardment from Tiyo’s ‘General’. Crockta grinned.

He was almost ashamed.

He tensed the muscles in his body and stared at the opponent in front of him. His muscles swelled like they were going to burst. He pushed against the ground with his strong thighs. Crockta leaped towards the Manticore with his greatsword.

The Manticore cried out,“Kuaaaaaaaaah!”

Crockta wasn’t phased and shouted his battle cry, “Bul’tarrrrrrrr──────!”

A near physical pressure!

The loud roar triggered the Essence rank skill, Army Crushing Roar. The Forest of Creatures instantly shook. The Manticore hesitated. A tremendous momentum was coming from the small orc rushing towards it.

Steam seemed to rise from the orc’s greatsword.

The Manticore swung its paw. Crockta’s Ogre Slayer and the Manticore’s claws collided. Sparks flew. As soon as the two attacks clashed, the Manticore tried to bite Crockta with its sharp teeth.

"I won’t allow you dot!”

‘General’ fired towards the Manticore again. The shooting was focused on the eyes. The Manticore was tormented by pain. Crockta didn’t miss the gap created by the attack and stabbed Ogre Slayer into the Manticore’s chest.

It was a greatsword that could tear even ogre skin. It made its way past the Manticore’s thick skin and penetrated the epidermis. The blade was lodged within. The Manticore screamed, this time much louder and worse than before, “Kiyaaaaaaaaaaack!”

Crockta was thrown back.

“Ugh!”

It was the same with Tiyo behind him. He shook his head. Then a black aura started to flow from the Manticore. When the Manticore swung its tail, a black spark emerged and hit Crockta.

Crockta was unable to avoid it and flew back.

“Cough!”

Blood emerged. The black aura dug into his body and tried to crush Crockta. Crockta twisted his body as he tried to resist. The energy moved around his body like a snake. He sensed that if left alone, the energy would tear his body apart from the inside.

It was at that moment.

[The Despairing Demon’s Belt (Hero) has responded to the demonic magic power.]

[Its resistance to demonic power is used.]

The belt around his waist started moving. The black energy retreated without invading Crockta any further. The belt’s steel teeth drooled. Crockta hit the belt and calmed the Demon’s Mouth down. The mouth shut and once again fell asleep.

Tiyo muttered, “That isn’t an ordinary guy dot.”

Now the Manticore was staring at Crockta and Tiyo with red eyes.  It was already a mysterious creature but it had become more powerful after absorbing the magic power of the Forest of Creatures. The black energy was seen every time it moved.

“This is truly the Forest of Creatures.”

Crockta raised his greatsword.

His tone was casual but his body was trembling. He was unsure of how to deal with it.

“I will cover you in the rear.”

Tiyo manipulated the trigger of his rifle with a determined expression. He adjusted the output of ‘General’. General’s bullets were fired using Tiyo’s strength and would eventually endanger him, ut now wasn’t the time to worry about that.

“We won’t die here.”

“Of course dot.”

The Manticore neared them. Crockta’s eyes shone. He read the movements of the Manticore. It shook from side to side. At that moment, the Manticore’s terrible face appeared right before his nose.

“......!”

A tremendous speed. The ugly face resembling an old man looked at him, like it was possessed by an evil spirit. It swallowed Crockta’s upper body.

“Uwaaat!”

His vision became dark. The stench of rotten bodies coming from the Manticore wafted into his nose.  The teeth would chew on his body. Crockta closed his eyes in preparation for the moment. But the Manticore’s mouth opened again. It retreated.

Crockta thrashed in search of outside air. He smelled the saliva on his body. He turned his head and checked the Manticore.

“......!”

An arrow was lodged in the Manticore’s neck. Outside of Crockta’s field of view, another arrow flew, this time penetrating the Manticore’s cheek.

“Kieeeeh!”

Black aura rushed out from its injury. Crockta looked at where the arrows were flying from and found the same man from before. He calmly fired his bow. Another arrow pierced the Manticore.

"What are you doing?" The hunter asked. It was far away, but Crockta could clearly read his lips. Crockta nodded and focused on his greatsword. The blood vessels in his body swelled as he firmly grasped Ogre Slayer.

Leyteno’s Vigorous Greatsword Technique!

Crockta jumped up. His goal was the Manticore. Ogre Slayer tore through the Manticore’s neck. It wasn’t completely cut before of its big size, only going halfway.

The Manticore shrieked again. Blood poured out from its half cut neck. Crockta jumped up against to finish off the Manticore. The Manticore struggled but it couldn’t resist. It completely lost its head and collapsed to the ground.

The ground shook as the huge mass hit it.

“Hoo...”

The Manticore’s terrible face stared at Crockta. Crockta kicked it towards the opposite direction. He didn’t want to see anymore. Crockta said to the hunter, “Thank you for saving us.”

But the hunter didn’t answer. He approached the Manticore and started to dismantle the body with his machete. First of all, he cut off the skin of the Manticore’s face. Then he dissected the body and extracted a heart-like organ. A rotten smell spread out from it.

“What are you doing?”

“......”

The man wiped the blood on the machete against the Manticore’s mane.

“...This guy’s face can drive away many creatures. The heart is a lump of muscle, but it has the power to restore energy.”

Indeed, it was the knowledge of a hunter. The man stuck his machete in the Manticore and looked at Crockta.

“Why did you guys come here? Do you like adventures?”

The hunter seemed a lot older close-up. The wrinkles on his face showed the traces of time and his beard had started to turn white, with gray hairs mixed in. However, the body was robust and didn’t match the aged face.

Crockta replied, "We are going to the north through the Forest of Creatures.”

The man laughed. "What does that mean?”

"Do you know about the north?”

“It is impossible. Foolish guys."

“Huh?”

The man scoffed at Crockta as he pulled an arrow out of the Manticore’s body. “It is impossible to pass through the Forest of Creatures.”


Glossary of Common Korean Terms.

Praise the Orc: Glossary Link. 

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