Praise the Orc

Chapter 133: Mountain of Spears, Forest of Swords (2)
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The sourc𝗲 of this content is 𝐟𝗿𝗲𝗲𝐰𝗲𝐛𝗻𝗼𝐯𝗲𝗹.𝗰𝗼𝗺

Chapter 133: Mountain of Spears, Forest of Swords (2)

“Whew, so warm,” muttered Crockta.

All of the fatigue from his journey in the north seemed to melt away as he submerged himself in the hot water. He was enjoying a nice bath in the public bathhouse of the inn they were staying at.

Crockta glanced over at Anor. He was fascinated by the hot water gushing out from the pipes and was eagerly looking around at his surroundings.

“I guess Tiyo is still out having fun,” he asked.

“He probably needs to unwind ‘cause it’s been a while.”

Tiyo still hadn’t returned. The Quantes’ gnome garrison that he used to be a part of welcomed his return and held a huge celebration. Tiyo was surely exaggerating his adventures in the north as he beguiled them with stories of his travels.

As Crockta submerged under the water, he suddenly heard Kenzo’s voice.

“It’s not as nice as a natural hot spring, but a bathhouse like this is quite nice. It’s amazing that Quantes has a hot spring at an inn!”

“Do you like hot springs?”

“Of course. The place I used to live in was famous for its hot springs. Hot water bubbling with sulfur is heaven itself. It has minerals that are good for the body.”

Considering the white star on Kenzo’s forehead and his unique name, Crockta speculated that he was Japanese.

Kenzo eyed Crockta warily as he asked,” But when will we start training...?”

“We should start tomorrow since we just went in for a bath. I don’t want to be covered in sweat after just washing up.”

“Understood.”

Although Crockta refused Kenzo’s plea to accept him as his disciple, he promised to observe Kenzo’s swordsmanship and give a few pointers. Although they didn’t have a formal master and disciple relationship, Crockta would advise Kenzo on his techniques while they stayed at Quantes. Kenzo wasn’t disappointed at Crockta’s suggestion. He was ecstatic really.

In other games, players could become stronger just by hunting, but Elder Lord was different. Because the individual’s epiphanies and capabilities made a huge difference, many believed that having a great teacher was most critical to leveling-up.

Crockta could sense Kenzo’s aspirations and his eagerness to learn from him.

“We’ve been here for a while. Shall we get going?” asked Crockta.

“Yes.”

Crockta rose from the water. He could hear a humming sound drawing closer and wanted to get out of there before things got louder.

“Wow! Everyone is here! Woohoo!”

Tiyo, with his face flushed from alcohol, staggered into the bathhouse. All of the guests at the bathhouse gave disapproving looks at the appearance of a drunkard.

“Oh my, I’m being too loud. Sorry. Hahahaha!”

Tiyo stumbled and fell over. Then, he raised his head back up and laughed.

He wasn’t in his right mind.

Crockta and Anor exchanged glances. Someone had to take care of that drunkard. If they let him be, he could die overnight with his head drowned in the hot water. The two extended their fists at the same time.

“Ha!”

“Gotcha!”

A passionate round of rock-paper-scissors!

Crockta won. He chuckled at the sight of Anor sighing and walking over to take care of Tiyo.

“He’s like his babysitter.”

Anor grabbed and pulled up Tiyo. Tiyo leapt up and suddenly dived into the huge bath. Water splattered everywhere. Anor grabbed Tiyo’s head and forced him to bow and apologize to the guests around them.

“I’m so sorry. My friend is really childish.”

“I’m sorry, hehehe.”

“Hey, what kind of attitude is that? Lower your head more!”

Crockta wasn’t really concerned because Anor was taking care of him. Hence, he and Kenzo left the public bathhouse together. Everyone turned their eyes toward the orc warrior with the large stature and the human warrior with the smaller, but toned, physique.

They confidently put on their clothes with their heads held high.

“Would you like a beer?” asked Crockta.

“Yes, sir.”

They went upstairs to the pub on the first floor of the inn after finishing their baths.

At the pub, several gnomes were noisily downing their drinks.

Crockta and Kenzo sat down and ordered beer. A waiter soon brought out cold beer and appetizers. Because they had made special orders for orc and human sized beer, they could feel the chill of the drink in their hands.

“Why...”

Kenzo, who was about to take a sip, came to a sudden stop as Crockta began to speak.

“Ah, yes.”

“Why do you want to become stronger?” asked Crockta with an intense gaze.

To him, it was an important question. He had inadvertently come to teach someone, but he planned to put in effort so he conjured an image of the best teacher he knew. Baek Han-Ho’s face suddenly popped up, but he quickly got rid of the thought and imagined the great warrior Lenox instead.

Lenox was tough and ruthless, but he burned with passion. He owed his current self to Lenox. Imagining himself in Lenox’s shoes, Crockta looked at Kenzo with a depth in his eyes that seemed to peer into Kenzo’s soul.

Kenzo swallowed at Crockta’s fierce gaze.

All Elder Lord players knew that NPCs considered the game as reality and had their own philosophies about life. Players needed to live in the world of Elder Lord with the same mindset since the individual’s mindset was reflected in their assimilation rate. If he responded half-heartedly, then his shallowness would be exposed, and he might not be able to receive lessons from this frightening orc.

He shut his eyes and seriously asked himself why he wanted to become stronger. Memories of his life flashed before his eyes. “I...”

He was what others would call an otaku. It didn’t mean that he was a complete recluse. He was actually an office worker who had earned his place in the chaos called society by not minding friend or foe. But he had a secret hobby of watching anime and collecting figurines.

His favorite character was swordmaster Matsui!

He had a bad personality, smoked, and always looked down on people with a bored expression on his face. He was a lowly man who always sipped on liquor and wandered the streets with disheveled hair. His hobbies were pachinko and mahjong.

But when night came, he turned into a dark knight who swung his magical claymore against the monsters from the Otherworld that had killed his former lover.

Although he was always cynical and committed crimes without a second thought, he was an anti-hero who gave his all for the weak during decisive moments.

Inspired by Matsui, he started learning kendo, but he didn’t have any opportunities to wield his sword like Matsui in reality. Thus, he leapt into the world of Elder Lord to truly live like Matsui.

But even after leveling-up, he didn’t have the skills to become a hero. NPCs and monsters were really strong in Elder Lord. Here, he was just a common swordsman.

Kenzo continued, “I want to become stronger...”

Right now, his assimilation rate was at its highest and exceeded sixty percent.

“...and help those who have fallen into despair with my strength.”

There was a reason he admired swordmaster Matsui and aspired to become like him.

In the past, he had severe social anxiety and was bullied at school every day. Then a guy who practiced karate came to his rescue.

He knocked down the bullies with ease, and when Kenzo expressed his gratitude, he just asked for a carton of banana milk in exchange for a book. He handed Kenzo the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi and disappeared after telling him to quit being a weakling. Kenzo was shocked because the guy usually kept to himself and had always been silent.

Kenzo stayed up all night reading the Book of Five Rings and changed from that point onward. He tried to fix his passive attitude and forced himself to socialize. Through his efforts, he was able to earn his spot as a member of society.

A single helping hand was enough to save someone from drowning.

But without that hand, the person would continue to sink as they struggled to remain afloat.

He wanted to become the person who extended his hand to bring the people who have fallen into despair back up to the surface.

“Is that so?” replied Crockta with a nod.

It appeared that his sincerity had been conveyed to Crockta. With a surge of confidence, Kenzo replied, “Yes.”

“Those who had fallen into despair...” muttered Crockta as he brooded over what Kenzo had said and gave a faint smile. “Let’s drink.”

He then immediately downed his beer. Kenzo jerked his back and did the same. In one go, they emptied their huge glasses of beer.

“Ahhhhh!”

“Ahh...”

They let out sighs of relief after chugging their beers. They shivered in pleasure as they felt the sensation of the carbonated drinks linger at their throats.

“Then let’s go to sleep early. I’m a tough teacher. Tomorrow won’t be easy.”

Crockta and his friends were staying at Quantes for a week at most while Tiyo met up with family members and friends, Anor experienced city life, and they prepared for the travels ahead. Within that span of time, he had to show this man the realm of the Pinnacle.

The two rose from their seats and headed upstairs to their room.

***

Kenzo couldn’t sleep because his heart was pounding like crazy in his chest. He was planning to really focus during his week with Crockta and had already submitted a time-off request at work.

Everyone dreamed of the opportunity to train under such a strong NPC who could slaughter a group of ogres in a moment’s notice. If he trained with this orc, he might be able to gain a hidden class or acquire special skills.

Lying in bed, he glanced over at Crockta, who wasn’t asleep yet.

Crockta was sitting up on his bed with his eyes closed as if he was meditating. The hazy moonlight that seeped in through the window behind him added to the tranquility of the scene.

“...!”

All of a sudden, Kenzo sensed the same powerful energy he had felt when Crockta had slaughtered the orcs. Crockta emitted undulating waves of energy as he seemed to continuously draw closer and then recede, blurring Kenzo’s vision. He seemed to be entirely detached from the world.

Kenzo could sense an intangible energy moving in the air. Although his surroundings were tranquil and quiet, his muscles tensed and twitched as if he was on the battlefield.

The strange phenomenon continued.

He lost track of time as he silently observed Crockta. How much time had passed?

Crockta spoke up, “Once you reach the Pinnacle, you can train without breaking a sweat.”

‘...! He knew I wasn’t asleep.’

“Bear in mind that your potential can change and expand endlessly based on your will.”

Crockta had realized this himself.

In his world, he couldn’t jump several meters high or crush huge rocks with his bare hands no matter how much willpower he had or how much he trained. Even if he trained his whole life, he would easily be slaughtered by a wild beast. There was a set limit to what he could achieve.

But Elder Lord was different. Individuals could evolve infinitely the more they trained and increased their willpower. Elder Lord was where one’s potential and possibilities were endless.

Crockta had reached the Pinnacle thanks to Hoyt, and he had reached greater heights by learning from Xantimur. Now, he could simulate battles with imaginary opponents through sheer willpower in the realm of the Hero.

Thus, Crockta planned to at least show and help Kenzo experience the realm of the Pinnacle during the week they were together. He had to see it with his own eyes to believe it.

“Get some sleep. I will make you regret not getting more sleep tomorrow.” freeweb novel.com

“Ah, understood.” Kenzo quickly closed his eyes.

Perhaps he was facing an opportunity of a lifetime. 𝓯𝙧𝙚𝙚𝒘𝙚𝓫𝒏𝙤𝓿𝙚𝙡.𝙘𝙤𝒎

Elder Lord was the symbol of present times. There were many players who earned huge profits from Elder Lord based on their strengths and levels even though they weren’t high-rankers.

Through the opportunity to learn from Crockta, he could perhaps become a professional player and make a living off Elder Lord. It was the dream of all Elder Lord players.

He was greatly looking forward to the training tomorrow. He wasn’t too worried. Regardless of how rigorous the training was, he wouldn’t die, right?

However...it actually happened.

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