Acting Cute Despite Your Age
Leguna drew his longsword. It was the very one he had picked up two years ago at Icepeak Mountain. At the time he hadn't really thought about it and swiped it for use because it was convenient. However, Wayerliss realized that it was a decent weapon and had him put it to good use.
Though the sword was originally shiny and sharp, after two years of slaughtering, the blade had gradually darkened. The jewel in the hilt had become darker and glossier as well. Thus, Leguna named the sword after this unique property: Lighteater.
It was worth mentioning that though Lighteater had turned darker than it was when first picked up, its sharpness had increased. So, he felt it was quite a delight to use.
He swung Lighteater with his right hand and Flameblade with his left. As the dagger constantly radiated an eye-catching magic glow, Leguna couldn't use it during assassinations, only in straight-up combat.
Six orcs howled as they rushed out of their tent. Looking at their four collapsed comrades and the two bloody tents, they let out another enraged roar.
Leguna regulated his breathing gradually. After making sure he was back in perfect condition, his figure launched forward explosively. Lighteater was employed really skillfully to parry an axe swing. He used Flameblade to deal with the first orc in the blink of an eye. The five remaining orcs all charged forward waving their weapons. They saw how strong the human was, but the great warriors of Earthshaking Hammer did not fear strong foes.
Even though Leguna could take the life of one enemy before they were able to react, being charged at and encircled by five was still a rather dangerous affair. Faced with five orcs enraged to the core, he was practically a small boat embroiled in the huge waves of a stormy sea. Carefully avoiding their attacks, he took the occasional opportunity afforded by his opponents' mistakes to launch savage counterattacks.
He didn't use other tools during the fight. If he had used smoke pellets or opted for a more defensive and aversive fighting style, he would've had a much easier time dealing with his five foes. But he was aware why Marolyt woke the other six: to train his combat abilities. Six orcs weren't too many or too few for him to handle. As long as he treated it seriously, he could take out all of them despite how dire it seemed at first. Naturally, if he was the slightest bit careless, there was a chance he would end up the corpse instead. That was why, despite the fact that he was dissatisfied with Marolyt's meddling, he still went along with the old ruffian's arrangements.
He dealt with their onslaught carefully and tried his best not to reveal any openings. After a while, one of the orcs lost his patience and raised his wolf fang club high and slammed it down.
Easily sidestepping the attack, Leguna took advantage of the moment it took the orc to recover to cut off his head. The death of yet another orc reduced the pressure on him substantially. But he didn't relax, he kept his stance stable. Not long after, another orc made a mistake. Naturally, Leguna didn't let the chance slip by and ended his life as well. The rest of the battle unfolded in a much more relaxed fashion. Leguna calmly dealt with the rest of his opponents. After scouring the battlefield to make sure none of his foes were still alive, he entered the third tent.
Greeted with the famous orcish body odor, Leguna couldn't help but furrow his brow. Using Flameblade's glow, he carefully inspected the interior and noticed a human in a corner.
It was a middle-aged man about 40 years old. He was clad in hunting garb made from animal furs, the furs, however, were already torn beyond saving and revealed much of his injured and battered body. After giving him a simple check to make sure he was still alive, Leguna knew he should be the man Marolyt mentioned.
Perhaps due to the orcs' torture, he was still unconscious. Leguna didn't bother to wake him up either. To prevent him from attacking him should he regain consciousness, he bound his hands and feet with a rope he found in the tent before hauling him out. He didn't bother to look for Marolyt either. Since he had already completed the assignment, he couldn't wait to distance himself from the senile geriatric as much as possible.
Leguna returned to the camp as the sun climbed out of bed. The orange-red sun rose from the east slowly and illuminated the desolate ground, giving it a touch of vastidity and majesty. Kurdak was still tightly huddling his blanket. The first rays of the day couldn't bring him much warmth. Seeing Leguna approach, he waved to signal everything was in order.
"I'm finally done. Damn, I'm worn out. I doubt I can go anywhere today," said the kid as he put the old man on the ground and tossed a bag containing forty orc ears over.
Kurdak gave it a count and exclaimed, shocked.
"Not bad! You got 200 gold coins from a simple trip in the night? Alright! I'll let you off today without throwing you into the fray. You just have to do some light fighting."
"Sigh, that amount of gold is only enough for gear maintenance," said Leguna with a smug shrug.
The party's abilities had more than doubled after two years of continuous training. So, they didn't really see 200 gold coins as impressive anymore. However, it was still quite a substantial amount, definitely good for more things than merely repairing their gear like Leguna had suggested.
Kurdak gave Leguna a light punch.
"Getting snobby now, aren't we? Who's this by the way?"
Leguna gave the man a glance and shook his head.
"I don't know either. I saw him in the orc campsite. He's been unconscious the whole time. Should we wake him and ask him directly?"
Kurdak retrieved his flask and poured some cold water on the stranger's face. He gradually opened his eyes. The moment he saw two curious human faces looking at him, surprise flashed across his eyes.
"[email protected]#%! @$#%" cried the man alertly.
The two looked at each other strangely.
"Why's he speaking orcish?"
"How would I know?"
"Weren't you the one who brought him back?"
"I just found him last night, you know."
Noticing something was off, the middle-aged man muttered, "Who... who are you?"
"Oh, you speak the human tongue? I thought you were a spy trained by the orcs!" said Kurdak with a life.
The middle-aged man processed the words and raged.
"Nonsense! You... are... the orcs'... spy!"
Kurdak felt slightly pissed. He had wanted to joke with the man. It was one thing if he had mistaken it for an accusation, but he even accused him in return. Was this how a person should talk to their savior?
"Listen to yourself. With how weird you sound, you expect us to not suspect you?" snapped he.
"I... only... didn't use... common tongue for long time... Getting rusty..." muttered the man.
"Then... I... was just... making a joke..."
The middle-aged man's face flushed with fury. But due to having his hands and feet bound, there wasn't much he could do. Kurdak patted his shoulder.
"I say, my friend, we're the ones who saved you, you know. At the very least, introduce yourself."
The man humphed coldly.
"I didn't... ask you to save me. You can leave me where you found me."
Kurdak jumped with anger.
"Hey! Aren't you a stubborn old fool? Your common tongue is turning fluent the more you argue with me! You really think I wouldn't dare to throw you back to the orcs? Let me warn you, you won't even have the luxury of crying!"
"Boss, Boss! Don't be rash, haste makes waste! We just got to know him. You don't need to get mad at him. Anger is bad for health," interjected Leguna hurriedly.
The middle-aged man gave Kurdak a glare before shutting his eyes without saying a word, as if he couldn't care less about whether he lived. Seeing the old man's obstinacy, Kurdak couldn't be bothered to deal with him.
Leguna found it rather funny that his 'Boss' and the old man fought for no reason in particular. He put up an innocent and bright smile as he spoke the man.
"Nice to meet you, Mister. I was the one who saved you last night. I wonder if you can tell me a little bit about yourself."
"What's it to you?"
The old man sounded completely fluent in the common tongue already. Leguna clicked his tongue and patiently wore an even brighter smile.
"Well, Mister, since I was the one who saved you, knowing more about you will help me decide what I should do with you, don't you think?"
"I know you're the same as him," the middle-aged man said as he pointed at Kurdak, before he laughed and mocked, "You're still acting cute despite your age? Don't you feel the least bit embarrassed?"
"Ptooey!" Kurdak spat out a mouthful of water the moment he heard what the man said and struggled to cough and laugh at the same time with his body contorting awkwardly.
"God damn!" cursed Leguna with bloodshot eyes as he brought out Flameblade.
As he waved it around, he said, "Geezer, aren't you as hard to crack as a rock in the lavatory? I already tried my best to try and talk to you all friendly. When did I ever act cute?! You think you can pretend to be the mature old dude with your messy beard? Why don't I give you a hand in trimming it?! Let me tell you I've claimed almost a hundred orc lives with this blade. I sure hope my hand doesn't slip when help trim your beard and add a human's head to that count."
When Kurdak saw how pissed Leguna was, he tossed his flask away and laughed out loud as he rolled on the floor uncontrollably.
"Sheesh, what's with the noise this early in the morning? Can't you let others sleep in peace?" said Vera as she walked out of the tent with droopy eyes.
Kurdak struggled to stop his laughter.
"Well... Ley saved a human yesterday, and the old geezer's acting all stubborn. He's not willing to answer anything we ask."
"Huh? To think there's such a weird person..." Vera said as she rubbed her eyes, "Let me take a look."
"Ve... Vera?" asked he after he saw the woman.
The middle-aged man's body tensed up the moment he heard her voice.
When Vera heard the man's voice, she stiffened as well. It was the voice that had accompanied her for more than a decade of her life. It was deeply ingrained in her memories. Filled with both expectation and caution, as if she was afraid of popping the bubble in front of her, she slowly turned to the source of the sound.
"Fa... Father..." muttered Vera.
A moment later, tears streamed down her face.
"Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-father?!" exclaimed Leguna and Kurdak with their mouth agape, muttering even heavier than she had.
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