Chapter 71 - Opening the North (2)
Numerous arrows flew through the air and became embedded in the behemoth’s body.
The behemoth stomped its feet as it ran. Shakan quickly retreated. The land that the behemoth passed became ruined. Shakan fired his arrows but the behemoth wasn’t injured. It just continued chasing Shakan. Even if there was a wound, the demonic energy would just restore the body.
The whole forest was helping the behemoth. Shakan resisted with the power he gained from chewing the heart but it wasn’t enough. If Shakan’s body was a pit, the behemoth was like an ocean.
Looking at the scene, Crockta thought of the most necessary action right now. The behemoth was like an army with unlimited people and resources. There was no end. Crockta needed to block the spread of the demonic energy.
But how could he cut off the magic power of the forest?
Crockta looked at the darkness that spread over the forest like an abyss. It was the wall of darkness that the behemoth was guarding. This was the wall divided the rest of the continent and the north.
No one could pass beyond this.
‘Not exactly, there is a beast that has digested the body of something buried here and became a monster.’
Shakan’s words popped into his head. There was something. At that moment, the Demon’s Mouth at Crockta’s waist started moving.
The belt was pulling Crockta towards the darkness in front of him.
Crockta turned around. Shakan and the behemoth were destroying the forest while fighting. Arrows flew towards the behemoth’s body while the behemoth ignored all attacks and aimed for Shakan.
It was a fight between monsters that disregarded life and death. Shakan’s desperate resistance was felt in his commitment.
‘Hunters depend on each other.’
Shakan’s voice was revived. That’s right. They were now one. They had to rely on each other. They entrusted their lives to each other.
Suddenly, Crockta locked gazes with Shakan who was fighting. It was just a quick glance but it was enough. He made up his mind.
Crockta ran towards the darkness. As if it was waiting, the darkness welcomed Crockta. It was like when he was eaten by the Demon’s Mouth. His spirit sank towards the darkness.
Crockta’s spirit was standing inside a cave. It was an endless tunnel. Crockta couldn’t tell where to go. The belt at his waist led Crockta. It pulled him towards the front.
The Demon’s Mouth was reacting to something.
But it couldn’t be reversed. Crockta pulled out his greatsword and walked in the direction that the belt pulled him. The inside was dark and his vision blurred. He walked for a while.
A large area appeared. It was a space covered in darkness. In the middle of it, a giant body was lying down. The rotten stench of the corpse pierced his nose. Crockta raised his greatsword and stepped towards it.
It was an enormous beast that wasn’t any smaller than the behemoth. But it didn’t move like it was dead. Crockta sensed that it was something evil like the legend. The behemoth had become a monster after eating it.
A terrible demonic energy was coming from the body. It was a darkness of an unprecedented depth that couldn’t be compared to the behemoth’s breath. It was the source that created the Forest of Creatures.
He had to get rid of it. If he could get rid of it, the behemoth would lose its unlimited power.
Crockta stepped forward. The demonic energy was like a swamp. Every movement was like walking through water resistance. Crockta firmly took a step forward. It seemed even bigger when he stood in front of it. What terrible thing would happen if this thing was alive? What was its identity?
Crockta stabbed the body with his greatsword. It entered without any resistance. Demonic energy emerged from the torn place. That density locked on Crockta.
"What is this...?”
At that moment. The Despairing Demon’s Belt responded, “You...?”
Suddenly, the child of darkness stood beside Crockta. It was the appearance of the demon that he found inside the belt. It didn’t care about Crockta as it stared at the body of the monster. Somehow it seemed sad.
‘Poor thing’ seemed to emerge from it. The demon raised a hand towards the monster’s body. A whisper was heard again.
'Poor thing, Amon.’
Then the demon looked at Crockta. Crockta faced him. The dark eyes stared at him. Then the demon nodded and disappeared.
At the same time, the steel teeth at his waist started rattling.
The Demon’s Mouth opened widely. It became wider, wider and wider. It was an unrealistic expansion. The greedy mouth was now bigger than Crockta. It felt like it could devour the entire cave.
The mouth swallowed the beast’s remains.
The steel teeth surrounded the monster’s huge body. There was a dull clang as the iron teeth closed. The Demon’s Mouth slowly pushed the remains of the monster inside, like a boa constrictor devouring its prey.
The dead beast was being eaten by the Despairing Demon’s Mouth. The demonic energy shook. Crockta gritted his teeth. His body was screaming from the overload of demonic energy. His veins bulged.
But he wouldn’t lose.
Crockta shouted. His battle shout rang out in the darkness.
He shouted again. Crockta endured the pain surging through his entire body.
Some time passed. Crockta struggled for a while before he finally opened his eyes. There was nothing. The huge body and mouth that swallowed it had disappeared. Crocka stood alone in this wide cave.
He looked down at the belt around his waist.
The belt had changed. In the place where the steel teeth touched together, horns had sprouted. It seemed to be gradually taking the form of a demon’s skull.
[The Despairing Demon’s Belt (Hero) has grown.]
[You still can't control the power of the belt. The power of the belt has been limited.]
[The demon is sleeping.]
The system messages popped up. Crockta felt like his whole body was full of an unknown power. Then the landscape changed.
Crockta stood within the Forest of Creatures again.
The behemoth’s roar could be heard. He looked back and saw that Shakan and the behemoth were still fighting. It seemed like Tiyo had returned as distinctively colorful magic power was striking the behemoth.
Crockta ran towards the battle scene.
Shakan’s arrow struck the behemoth’s body again. The behemoth’s body lurched. Little by little, flesh started falling off.
The behemoth twisted from the pain. Demonic aura emerged from the wound, but not as quickly as before. Tiyo’s magic bullet aimed towards the spot where the flesh fell off. The behemoth’s body shook.
It seemed to be troubled. After the Demon’s Mouth swallowed the remains of the dead beast, the behemoth lost the unrestrained magic that it had been enjoying until now.
They could win. Crockta’s forehead started burning.
[Combative Spirit (Essence) has been used.]
[Your assimilation rate has risen.]
Crockta jumped off the ground. He stepped on the behemoth’s tail and threw himself forward once again. The goal was the behemoth. Crockta jumped using all his strength while holding the greatsword. He used the weight of gravity to shove the greatsword deeply into the behemoth’s back.
The greatsword was stabbed up to its handle. The behemoth started experiencing spasms. Blood appeared on Crockta’s face. Crockta grabbed the Ogre Slayer and twisted it. It caused another wound. There was a terrible sound.
The screams of the beast shook the entire forest. The agitated behemoth opened its mouth.
The demonic energy of the forest converged into the behemoth’s mouth. It sucked in its breath. The behemoth was once again preparing the breath attack. Its goal was the enemy with arrows in front of it, Shakan.
Crockta hung on the behemoth’s back and looked at Shakan in front. Shakan didn’t try to avoid it. He just aimed his bow towards the front.
Shakan met Crockta’s gaze and laughed.
Soon the darkness of the breath covered his face. Crockta’s vision was covered with darkness. The breath was bigger and stronger than before. The behemoth was squeezing out all of its power as a last resort.
At that moment. In a corner of the darkness, one bright spot flew. It was a beam of light.
Behemoth, the one who ruled the Forest of Creatures and divided the north from the rest of the continent. Then the darkness coming from the monster faded. The beam had gone straight through it.
Crockta witnessed the light penetrating the core of darkness. It was a clear penetration.
The source of the behemoth’s power had collapsed due to Crockta. It was the end of the behemoth.
Crockta rolled to the ground in the aftermath. The behemoth collapsed with the greatsword in it. He pulled it out. Dead blood flowed from it.
Crockta ran to Shakan.
Shakan was squirming in the middle of the land that had been swept away. Crockta approached. His eyes gazed far away before turning back to Crockta. His eyes were dim.
He smiled. Crockta nodded. “It is the ultimate hunt.”
"Cough, cough! Yes, this is Shakan...”
Crockta touched Shakan’s cheek.
He couldn’t bear to look down at the body. The area underneath Shakan’s belly had completely disappeared. The demonic energy in his body tried to heal him, but he gradually lost his vitality and went limp.
Shakan looked into the distance. Then he smiled.
"I did it, sons...Karina...” It was a warm voice. "A Shakan never leaves his enemies alive...”
He turned his head and said to Crockta. "Orc warrior...gnome...pretty good...”
Crockta nodded. The life in Shakan’s eyes gradually disappeared. They became out of focus. It was the sight of death. What did he see?
Crockta asked,“What is your name?”
Crockta wanted to remember his true name.
Shakan’s mouth rose. He whispered in a small voice, “Shakan.”
Then his head fell down. The last Shakan hunter traversed death and entered the underworld as a nameless Shakan. The hunter who endured the pain for a long time to get revenge for his family. It was the death of a great man.
Crockta closed Shakan’s eyes.
"Crockta, you’re safe!”
Tiyo rushed over. His body was also tattered because he was caught in the breath. Tiyo became silent as he saw Shakan. The silent Crockta patted Tiyo’s shoulder.
[The quest to open the north has been completed.]
[The north has been opened.]
[The demonic energy blocking the north from the rest of the continent will gradually disappear.
[The name of the hero who opened the north will become widely known on the continent.]
[The name of the one who opened the north, the orc warrior Crockta...]
Crockta opened his mouth as the system messages popped up.
Surprisingly, the output of system messages stopped.
"The name of the one who opened the north is Shakan.” He spoke firmly, "The great hunter Shakan.”
The system was silent for a moment. Then it surfaced again.
[I respect your will.]
[The one who opened the north, the last of the Shakan Clan, the name of the great hunter Shakan will shake the continent.]
[The entire continent will remember his name.]
[The ‘Shakan Hunter’ class is opened to users. Once all the hidden conditions are met, the user can change to the hidden class ‘Shakan Hunter’.]
[The name of the one who opened the north is Shakan.]
[The great hunter, Shakan.]
[I will keep watching your progress in the future.]
"Oh, what brat! Who is it? Eh!”
This was the core of Elder Saga Corporation, the company that ran Elder Lord. It was the system control room that managed the core system ‘Albino.’ Park Jujin, the manager of this place was frantically shouting.
“No! How? Whose assimilation rate...!”
"Team Leader, the lock on the system was just released!”
"Up to 90%!”
"It is unlocked...”
Park Jujin was hysterical.
The system had once again become temporarily inaccessible. Albino’s answer was the same as before. A user broke through the 90% assimilation rate. Access was temporarily blocked for both the system and the user’s protection.
Park Jujin threw away the documents. The researchers ran away.
"Find that bastard!”
Zankus took a sip from the cup of alcohol. A campfire cast shadows on his face. Zankus was sharing a fire with travelers he met during a hunt. The travelers handed meat to Zankus. He nodded to express his thanks.
Then he heard the conversation between the travelers.
“The north was opened. Was it due to a hunter?”
“Yes. The last Shakan hunter.”
"He caught a monster blocking access to the north.”
Zankus’s eyebrows twitched. The travelers felt his gaze and looked up.
“Why, do you know him?” One of the travelers spoke in a friendly manner. They bumped into an orc hunter by chance but they had to maintain a minimum of courtesies. The orc was different from his appearance.
"A Shakan hunted the monster?”
"What happened to the hunter?”
“The rumor is...” The traveler became nervous as he saw Zankus’ intense gaze. “He died with the monster...”
Zankus’s face distorted. Then he looked into the air and laughed. There was a complicated expression on his face.
"In the end...he did it and died...that person...”
“Did you know him?”
“At one time.”
Zankus’ eyes became distant.
He was the most outstanding hunter Zankus knew. The Shakan hunter had been tougher than an orc, despite being human. He was the representative of tenacity. A hunter who aimed at his target, no matter what it took.
Zankus wanted to be just like that. So he aimed for that hunter’s back. Then he would be in a position to be praised by the hunter. But Zankus felt like the hunter’s back was still far away.
He heard the news that the hunter had entered the Forest of Creatures.
The traveler asked, "Was he also called Shakan? He was a really great person.”
Zankus spoke. "No."
"His real name isn’t Shakan.”
Zankus shook the cup. He gazed into it and recalled his first meeting with the hunter.
Zankus had been a flamboyant young orc and looked down on the human. But he was defeated by him. When Zankus asked for his name with a feeling of admiration, the man became shy and avoided the answer.
His name was ridiculous. No one would believe that it was the name of the greatest hunter.
The travelers looked at Zankus with expectant eyes. Zankus laughed and opened his mouth, “His real name...”
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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