Great Chief Oljharok
The moment the sentence was uttered, the atmosphere stiffened. Annelotte looked at the two in surprise. However, as she couldn't move well yet, she remained seated and stared alertly at the chief.
While Leguna's expression didn't change much, the all the muscles in his body were tense. If Oljharok made the slightest suspicious move, he would not hesitate to start a fight. Though shamans had pretty decent close combat abilities, they were a lot clumsier, especially compared to an assassin trained in the most efficient killing methods. The only two advantages Oljharok had were his rank and the arcane shaman arts humans didn't know.
Only Innilis remained the same after Oljharok's appearance. The little girl's eyes widened. She looked at her companions and wondered what the orc had said that cause Annelotte's expression to shift. A couple of different options flashed through Leguna's mind in a few moments but he eventually suppressed his recklessness and smiled.
"Lord Oljharok, you really love to joke around. I'm just a rookie assassin, I've barely stepped into the mid-order. How could I kill you? I really wouldn't dare."
Oljharok laughed as well.
"This is the first time I've seen a mid-order assassin kill a high-order magus and knight all by himself."
Leguna's nerves tightened again. The reason he had bothered to state his order was so the orc wouldn't consider him a threat. But, the chief didn't hesitate to call out his charade. He was very clear on how much of a threat the boy was. He didn't care about the boys originally intent, however.
"Don't be so nervous. Think about it, why would I bother to come over and take such a risk if all I wanted was to hurt or kill you? Relax."
"I hope that's true."
Leguna slowly relaxed. Though a hint of weariness could still be seen in his eyes.
Oljharok stretched out his hand suddenly. Leguna tensed again. The orc patted him on his shoulder.
"You're pretty decent, kid," he said in a tone a senior would use with a junior, "You're filled with potential, might, and self-restraint. You also know how to analyze the situation. We orcs don't like to beat around the bush, so let's be frank with each other. There's no need for you to act so reserved around me."
"You praise me too highly," Leguna said blankly, "Actually, it's not that I've analyzed the situation or anything. I don't really mind risking my life but I can't attack if I have to think about my comrades' safety as well."
"That's the spirit. Speak freely. We'll all feel better this way," the chief said with a satisfied nod as if he didn't mind the fact that the boy had considered killing him. He looked at the two girls before he summoned two orc servants in orcish.
"!%R#@& @^%&@^$% &^%@&%$" mumbled he unintelligibly.
The two servants bowed, approached the two, and made inviting gestures. The two looked at the chief questioningly.
"The two of you must be worn out after such a long journey. I arranged a room and some food for you. Just rest for now. Please don't worry. While orcs are not as refined, the rooms are clean and the food fresh. They'll meet you humans' standards. Also, I heard Miss Annelotte's feet are injured, so I arranged for a witch doctor to wait for you outside your room. If you don't mind, Miss, he could help treat your wounds," explained he.
"Is Big Bro Leguna not coming with us? He's also walked for a long time and must be incredibly hungry," asked Innilis.
"I still have something to deal with. I will come look for you later," answered Leguna.
Annelotte didn't bother with any questions. She knew she had no right to say 'no' in orc territory. So, she expressed her gratitude for the hospitality before leaving with Innilis with the two servants. Though the blisters on her feet flared painfully with every step, she would rather die than let the hairy-backed orcs carry her.
"Alright. Now, we can talk about whatever we want," said Leguna after the two girls had left.
"Oh? You're dropping honorifics that quickly?" mused the chief.
Leguna shrugged. "I don't really want to lower my head to a non-human. I respect Mister Kreighdon because he has the ability to completely overpower me. While Mister Oljharok is exceptional in leadership, in terms of personal strength, I don't think I'm much weaker than you. You have yet to earn my respect. And since you said you wanted to drop all pleasantries, I merely did as you asked. I believe we are equals, so I won't address you respectfully. These are my honest opinions."
"Judging hierarchy based on personal might, huh. I thought that only orcs did that. I didn't think a human would share our view."
"It's not just me," Leguna said softly as he recalled Nabir, Jaehart, and everyone else, "The whole human race, maybe even the whole world, is the same. The weak are killed by the strong. You get what you want by becoming strong."
Oljharok gazed at the boy. He hadn't expected a youth barely in his teens to say such things.
"What about that young woman and the little girl? Their power can't be compared to yours. Why would you do what the one says and spoil the other one so much?"
"There are exceptions to everything," Leguna said with a wave of his hand, "I don't want to waste my breath on this. Why did you have me captured and brought here?"
Seeing that the boy didn't want to talk about himself or those around him anymore, Oljharok went along with the change of topic.
"I want you to help me to kill someone."
"Kill someone?" Leguna asked, furrow-browed, "Whom?"
"Eye of Arcana's vice-chairman, Hladik."
Leguna's jaw dropped. He had boasted he would take the man's head in three months, but it had been said to vent his anger and frustration and to appear strong. He didn't really want to kill the man, now he thought about it. Putting aside whether he even could, he didn't have a good reason. Nabir had killed Jaehart and Minnie, the failure of a magus had already paid for his actions. Hladik wasn't directly involved. He wasn't the one who had killed them, neither was he the one who had ordered them killed. All of the blame lay on Nabir.
As for sending a squad to investigate him, he really couldn't blame Hladik for it. Could he be considered a teacher if he didn't bother to find out what happened to his disciple? He didn't really hold a grudge against the man. He had killed two of his disciples. Strictly speaking, he was the one who owed a blood debt. Though his hands had been stained with the blood of the lives he had claimed, he tried his best to limit the body count. Annelotte had reminded him many times he shouldn't lose himself in the slaughter. He was a little hesitant to accept Oljharok's request.
"While orcs have larger builds that aren't good at stealth, I doubt there isn't a single assassin among so many of you. Why did you have to come to me specifically?"
The orc didn't reply. Leguna thought silently for a moment before he said with a dark look, "Are you trying to start a war between Moonshadow and the Eye?"
Oljharok smiled and admitted it frankly.
"You're pretty smart."
"I won't do it. You shouldn't think of me as that important. Moonshadow won't go to war with the Eye just for me."
"No, you will accept it," Oljharok said as he pointed in the direction the two girls had left, "You will agree for their sake."
"Are you threatening me?"
"Yes, I am."
He continued after seeing the boy's expression become one of worry.
"You don't have to worry about this now. What I said before still applies. They will be treated well for now. What happens in the future depends on you, though."
"Threatening me with the lives of two women... A great chief can actually be so shameless? Aren't you afraid of becoming a joke if word of this gets out?" snapped Leguna harshly.
He had already mentally prepared to accept Oljharok's request, but he wanted to resist with all he got.
"You shouldn't think we are pedantic and stubborn. We don't blame our heroes for things like this. We only ever use such methods against other races, never on our own," Oljharok shrugged nonchalantly.
"So there are shameless people among the orcs as well! And their great chief at that!" mocked Leguna glaringly.
"Hey, don't see me in such a bad light. I'm doing nothing but child's play compared to the plots you humans have." Oljharok genuinely appeared like someone being accused of something he hadn't done.
"You're forcing me to kill an innocent man and trying to start a war between two big guilds! How many people will die because of this?!"
"If you're troubled over having no reason to kill Hladik, let me give you one, kid." Oljharok clapped and took a sheepskin parchment an orc servant brought over.
"I was worried you wouldn't recognize it, so I translated it into the common tongue."
Leguna took the parchment. His face darkened a few seconds later.
"Boss's bloodline has been exposed!"
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