Fight to the Death
Leguna drew the dagger he had used to impale the orc leader's head out silently. He had gotten a base understanding of the anatomy of orcs from Wayerliss's notebook and knew there was a part of an orc's head unprotected by bone. It was the ideal spot to strike to kill an orc.
Leguna's successful attempt proved Wayerliss's notebook correct. His dagger pierced straight into the orc leader's skull and killed him instantly without making even the slightest sound.
However, the notebook wasn't almighty. Leguna had tried to use the methods contained within to track Vera and Kurdak, but as he lacked practice, he ended up rather far off from his targets. Fortunately, it wasn't too far and Leguna was within earshot when the orc leader warned his party about an enemy attack, allowing Leguna to eventually make his way there.
He relaxed his left hand, which he had on the orc leader's mouth, and wiped the saliva off on the corpse before retrieving both his and Cyranos's weapons.
When he did, the other orcs were less than a meter away. Thanks to his nimble movements and Kurdak drawing of the other orcs' attention, they didn't realize their leader was dead.
Vera, on the other hand, was so shocked she couldn't even utter a sound. She looked at Leguna but a stranger stared back at her; a stranger with pitch-black eyes that had no emotion.
Leguna cut the ropes binding Vera's hands and feet with Flameblade. At that very moment, however, an orc turned around out of curiosity at the silence of his leader.
"Leave now," hushed Leguna calmly.
After she was freed, Vera didn't linger. She dashed straight for the dense trees. As her close combat ability was too weak, staying behind would only hold Kurdak back.
"Enemy attack from the ba-- Ack!"
The orc tried to warn his comrades when he noticed Leguna, but he choked on the blood that flowed down his windpipe from a cut Leguna dragged across his throat.
Leguna didn't linger after slaying the orc either. He fled the area without hesitation. His thin form disappeared into the forest's darkness. When the three remaining orcs saw their leader dead on the ground for no apparent reason, their eyes turned bloodshot and they ran after him, roaring and groaning along the way.
While he had successfully rescued Vera, he didn't escape on the spot; Kurdak was still fighting the other four orcs.
Kurdak had been willing to use so much force to kill the first orc even at the cost of reopening his wounds because he wanted to avoid being swarmed at all costs. It was apparent the first orc had underestimated the skills and equipment of the coward that had attacked from the bushes. At the same time, however, Kurdak also witnessed the strength of the fools that wove a bunch of sticks around.
Even though the orcs were no experts, they were still warriors who'd experienced hundreds of battles. They weren't a match for Kurdak one on one but Kurdak could take on at most three at a time. He was currently entangled with four orcs, injured. Not losing in the first clash was already a small miracle.
Actually, these orcs were incredibly shocked by Kurdak's valor. The orc race had always been one to respect bravery and might. Even they didn't expect the man who fired at them from cover would be slightly bulkier than them and fight so ferociously.
Kurdak fought without a care for his life. He just wanted to obliterate every last one of his opponents. The orcs recognized the style as the strongest and most courageous, but they also knew that berserkers who fought like that were usually the first to die.
The fervent believers, who'd sworn their souls to the orc deities fought with a desire for death. Even though most orcs thought of themselves as proud warriors, they would feel a sense of fear when faced with the death zealots called berserkers.
At that moment, Kurdak was fighting just like an orc berserker would. Most of their attacks were made cautiously and fearfully. Even so, the combined attacks of four orcs still far exceeded his limit.
While the orcs were armed rather crudely, their bodies granted them great strength. Kurdak had also donned a scale armor that afforded the flexibility he needed to use his two-handed sword, but less protection. He received a number of wounds as a result. Some were bruises caused by blunt weapons, others bloody gashes from clubs' spikes. He also suffered a cut on his back from an axe; the wound bled profusely. Worst of all, the right side of his torso had turned into a bloody mess. It was no different from the time he was injured by the bear.
A normal person would've fainted from such a blow. Whether due to his constitution or something else, he continued to fight on as if nothing was wrong at all. Despite that, the four orcs didn't panic and fought conservatively. Even though it shamed them to do so, they couldn't help but admit it was the best choice they had at the moment.
Even though Kurdak didn't see Vera rescued by Leguna, he was still relieved when he saw the orc leader dead on the ground.
Did that kid come back? Or did someone else come to help? Where's Vera? Is she safe?
One question after another entered Kurdak's mind. But since he was caught up in the middle of battle, there wasn't much he could do to see his doubts answered. Even the slightest delay caused by his thoughts gave the orcs an opening. When he froze for a split second, an orc used swung his heavy stone hammer straight at the wound on his chest.
"Guaaah!" cried he in pain.
He used the blow's momentum to break out of the encirclement. But, as the bones that had just healed broke once more, he couldn't help but gasp in pain. Even though he was no longer surrounded, he didn't have the energy to escape.
The four orcs ran to close the distance once more. When they were about to deal the fatal strike, three impetus-infused arrows shot towards them.
Unlike orcs, humans could see relatively well in the night. So when Kurdak attacked them from cover, while the orcs couldn't tell where he was, Vera could tell his location roughly. After all, she was the best archer in the party and was even the one that had taught him how to shoot. That was why she didn't escape after being freed. Instead, she headed for the place Kurdak had hidden. It didn't take long to find the bow and quiver he had left there. She began her fierce assaults against the orcs.
She was currently incredibly worried about Kurdak's safety. The moment she got ahold of the bow, she unleashed the strongest archery skill in her arsenal.
Arrow Storm was the famed skill her father had invented. It allowed her to fire multiple impetus-infused arrows with one shot. The arrows could either hit several different targets or concentrate on a single trajectory. Her father could shoot four arrows at once. After years of training, while she wasn't able to match her father, she could fire three.
The three armor-piercing arrows pierced three orc heads. Heavily injured as he was, Kurdak couldn't help but feel proud of his woman. A fourth arrow hit the last orc's head a moment later.
Kurdak's archery was rather good, but it still paled in comparison to Vera's, who had practiced with fervor for a couple of years. Even so, the orcs wouldn't have been that easy to deal with had the four arrows not come unexpectedly.
"How are you doing?" asked she as she rushed over from a bush nearby.
She stared at the man that had suffered a body of wounds for her sake.
"Did Leguna save you?" asked he with some effort.
"Yes. He killed the orc leader and rescued me. The rest are still chasing him."
Vera took out a healing potion and began to treat him.
"Leave me be. Help Ley," said Kurdak after he finished a bottle of potion and collapsed unconscious.
Vera looked at him with worry. While he had drunk a bottle of potion, she was worried its effects wouldn't be enough. Kurdak surviving that long with those wounds was already nothing short of a miracle.
But, when she thought of Leguna being chased down by three orcs, she knew she couldn't leave him be. Throughout their journey, Kurdak had consumed two bottles of potion, Cyranos had one bottle, and a third had been used by Leguna to make stimulant.
If Kurdak required more treatment, they would be down to their last bottle of healing potion.
She took the last bottle of potion, got her bow, took out the dagger sheathed in Kurdak's boot, and ran after the lot.
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