A Monster Who Levels Up
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After spending a rough estimate of 18 hours within this dark and gloomy place.
Kim Yu-Rin was inside the stone hut, while Sae-Jin the Orc was lying on the stone bed, both of them trying hard to fall asleep - however, their heads were full of own complicated thoughts and so, it proved to be a difficult task to get the much-needed shut-eye.
In Kim Yu-Rin's case, the moment she laid down to sleep, curiosity and questions regarding the Orc, as well as worries over her subordinates who might have somehow gotten mixed up in that explosion continuously popped up in her head.
'Surely, they should be okay since they are all quick on their feet. They better be okay…' (Kim Yu-Rin)
Unlike her, though, the Orc's thoughts were a bit more related to the current issue and perhaps, just as urgent as well.
'It might get really dicey if I stay near her for too long. Gotta get out of this place soon, or I need to stay away from her…' (Sae-Jin)
First of all, the basic instincts of the Orc was the problem. Of course, he was carrying around a special potion in the 'Spiritualised' form inside him that could suppress all of the Orc's baser instincts.
As this Orc Form was getting more powerful with each passing day, there had been a few times already when he almost lost all his reasoning and went berserk after some stupid Monsters tried to get on his nerves.
Of course, there were no stupid Monsters in this dark, gloomy cavern to test his patience, but still, there was an even more threatening existence right next to him.
The Orc turned his head and took a slight glance at the hut. He made sure it was as sturdy as it could get, and also added in a function that, once the door was closed from inside, it'd be locked automatically. However, as it was made out of nothing but stone, it was true that he could destroy it in seconds if he went berserk once more.
'Enough for four days… This should be fine, if it's this much.' (Sae-Jin)
After checking the amount of potion left, he let out a long sigh.
The two people wrestling with their own thoughts began slowly drifting into the calm embrace of sleep as the hours ticked by.
And so… the next day had come, and inside this dark space where it was difficult to tell whether it was morning or not.
Kim Yu-Rin woke up from her slumber thanks to several loud Pphung! Pphung! coming from outside the hut - and to some extent, from the sound of her own stomach grumbling as well. Slowly opening her eyes, she got up from the soft stone bed - rather contradictory, but true in this case - and looked outside from the hut's window.
The Orc was busy pounding on the poor, innocent ground.
"…What on earth is he doing?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin exited the hut, her head full of questions.
*SFX for the door creaking open*
The Orc turned his head towards her direction after hearing the door opening.
"What are you doing?"
She asked him while rubbing her eyes.
"I make vibration. To tell the people coming for us, where we are." (Sae-Jin)
Finally understanding what was happening, she then sat down on a stone chair that seemed to have materialised out of nowhere just now.
Kim Yu-Rin decided to stay and watch the Orc's construction efforts in order to wake her sleepy head up completely. Watching those rippling muscles and hearing the crystal clear sound of the mace, sweat drops dancing in the air, and his hair, wet from the proof of his labour…
As she was happily taking this sight in, all of a sudden, she heard the sounds of something powerfully running towards her direction from some dis
tance away. Surprised out of her mind, Kim Yu-Rin quickly jumped right to the Orc's side.
"It's a Monster!! Get ready for battle!!" (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin shouted out so, and reached down to her waist to grab her weapon, Gungnir. A force of habit built over the years on the job, it was.
Not too long after, a Monster did appear for real. She bravely pulled out her sword and pointed the stunningly sharp edge towards a huge wolf.
"…Please, pick up your weapon!!" (Kim Yu-Rin)
The completely tense Kim Yu-Rin took on the battle stance. But the Orc simply chuckled and approached the wolf in unhurried steps.
"What?! Be careful!! I can sense its dangerous aur…" (Kim Yu-Rin)
Even before her scared words could continue, the Orc began stroking the head of the wolf in a display of utter composure. And the wolf received the patting in a posture full of adorable charm, as if it had reverted back to being a puppy or something. Its eyes arched like a pair of new moons, its ears folded back and its tail swayed from side to side in quiet contentment.
Without a doubt, this was a bona fide Monster, judging from its large, threatening size which was easily twice that of a regular full-grown man…
"It's my pet." (Sae-Jin)
She nearly dropped her sword then.
"Name is Cornlak. You saw me riding it." (Sae-Jin)
Although it was hard to believe those words, she had to believe them regardless, after witnessing the situation for herself. Kim Yu-Rin sheathed her sword back into its scabbard and sat down on the stone chair. Then, she carefully observed the wolf which was busy making a strange whimpering noise while showing off lots of aegyo.
As an aside, she liked small, adorable and fluffy dolls. Well, they were cute, so there.
Of course, this wolf wasn't small at all. However, seeing it full of aegyo as if it was a fox cub and not some menacing wolf, it was way too…
"E, excuse me, Mister Orc?"
Unable to endure it anymore, Kim Yu-Rin stutteringly opened her mouth. Her cheeks were somewhat dyed in red without her knowledge.
"Can, can I also, uh, touch your Cornsalad, too?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
"Oh, Cornlak. Sorry." (Kim Yu-Rin)
The Orc nodded his head and lightly drummed Cornlak's back. Kim Yu-Rin stealthily got up from the chair and approached the huge wolf. Although it growled a bit towards her, when Sae-Jin the Orc signaled it to behave itself, the wolf quietly laid down on the ground.
She carefully reached out and ran her palm against Cornlak's back. Then, her eyes popped open extra round. If she was to describe the sensation in two words, it was 'soft' and 'fluffy'. The fur of regular wolves were stiff and hard, yet this guy was in another dimension altogether.
It was as if she was touching the skin of a newborn, so soft and malleable. Her moods improved simply by touching it - this, this was a brand new world she had never ever experienced before…
"Wow." (Kim Yu-Rin)
Her eyes sparkled dangerously as she continued stroking Cornlak's back. At first, it was her hand only, but now, not only her cheeks, but she was using her entire body to rub against the wolf. That was how out-of-this-world addictive this feeling was.
Suddenly getting violated by Kim Yu-Rin, Cornlak sent gazes full of helplessness, but its owner simply sent back a gaze of his own that commanded it to endure for now. (TL: Well, the author used a pun-based joke here, but regrettably, it's un-translatable, as usual. See, the thing is, "Yu-Rin" in Hanja form can also mean "violation", or "invading another's space". So the author wrote that the wolf was getting Yu-Rin'ed by Kim Yu-Rin.)
Within this dark and gloomy space where there was literally nothing but two people and a giant wolf, all they could was to talk to while away the time.
While being inside the warm 'embrace' of Cornlak, Kim Yu-Rin asked the Orc a fair few number of questions while carefully studying his reactions.
She asked, how had he been living so far, why did he chase her out back then; where did he learn to speak Korean, where did he find such a huge wolf as a pet, and just where he was until now, before making this sudden reappearance?
All the answers the Orc provided was short - he chased her out because he didn't like her, and the rest, they were not something she should know.
And so, thanks to his short and curt replies, she was quite angry right now. With deeply pouting lips, she was glaring at the bonfire, while she roughly rubbed the poor and blameless Cornlak's back. Sae-Jin thought dandruff might fall like snow at that rate.
"By the way…"
Kim Yu-Rin opened her mouth again, just as Cornlak was getting fatigued.
"…Do you know a human named Kim Sae-Jin?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
She asked while glaring at the Orc with a pair of blunt eyes. Stiffening up slightly, Sae-Jin fell into a slight dilemma here. This woman was definitely suspecting something. Although he had no idea what she was thinking of, without a doubt, he had to be very mindful of where he stepped here…
"I know him." (Sae-Jin)
"And how do you know him?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
"None of your business."
Immediately, she snatched a handful of Cornlak's fur. When the wolf got surprised and raised its head, she apologised profusely to it and gently patted its body.
"Sure, it may not be any of my business, but… I ask, since I've never seen that person enter your village not even once until now." (Kim Yu-Rin)
The Orc didn't say anything. He was currently too busy thinking of how to respond at the moment, actually.
However, Kim Yu-Rin misinterpreted his silence as yet another "None of your business", and her brows furrowed in dissatisfaction. And so, she ended up spitting out loud the suspicions that had been brewing inside her head until now.
"Are you making weapons for that person?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
At this completely unexpected dog's barkings, the Orc turned to look at Kim Yu-Rin. She then displayed quite a skillful body movement technique to steal away the mace resting next to the Orc.
"What the…?" (Sae-Jin)
"Take a good look. See this? This mark over here, and…" (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin pointed at a certain faint mark on the metal handle of the mace, and then reached down to her Gungnir…
"My swor… Huh? What the? Where did it go?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
…She was going to unsheathe Gungnir, but it wasn't there anymore. She hurriedly patted and searched all over her body in sheer panic.
"But, but, but, why… I couldn't have lost it, have I?! No, it was with me until just now…" (Kim Yu-Rin)
As Kim Yu-Rin's face slowly turned purple while she sputtered words out in confusion, the Orc silently pointed towards Cornlak's direction. She then quickly shifted her gaze towards the wolf. And sure enough, there was a hilt of a sword sticking out from the corner of its maws. She immediately spat out a lengthy sigh of relief.
Since its owner's weapon was stolen, the ever-so-loyal Cornlak had stolen the weapon of the thief, instead…
"Eii, you really surprised me there, you know, little baby. Please give it back." (Kim Yu-Rin)
Finally, some of the lost colour returned to her face. Kim Yu-Rin grasped the hilt and tried to extricate the sword, but Cornlak didn't want to let it go.
Cornlak could be called the 'avatar' of the Lakcorn of India, and its jaw strength was as much as ten tons, maybe even more. Didn't matter how hard she may have trained herself as a Knight, without the aid of Mana, she was not going to win against such jaw strength.
"H, hey, come on now, stop fooling around and… Euh!! Euh!! No, wait. Hey!! What's the matter with you?!" (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin wrestled with the hilt for a considerable length of time, before suddenly realising the situation - then, she tossed the mace back towards the Orc's thigh.
*SFX for an item being smoothly sliding out*
Only then, Cornlak immediately let go of the sword.
"…And now, take a look over here." (Kim Yu-Rin)
After getting her treasured sword back, Kim Yu-Rin flicked Cornlak's forehead, and then showed the small mark inscribed at the bottom of the hilt.
Even the Orc was stunned by this revelation. Well, most people would never be aware of small, unconscious habits of theirs.
"You can also clearly see that, right?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
The Orc looked straight into her eyes. Thankfully, it didn't seem like she had thought of the possibility that 'the Orc could be Kim Sae-Jin' yet. That was par for the course, really. Just who on earth could dream up a scenario where an Orc and a human were the exact same person?
"Yeah, so?" (Sae-Jin)
And so… the Orc decided to maintain his very thick skin for now. He was planning to not say anything unnecessary, and let her continue on with misunderstandings and suspicions for the rest of her life. (TL: Really now?!)
"…Pardon?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
"So? So what?"
"No, hang on… Did you make this…" (Kim Yu-Rin)
"Maybe, Kim Sae-Jin make this. Maybe, I borrow from him and use mace." (Sae-Jin)
The Orc deliberately hardened his facial expression and frowned deeply.
"No matter. Kim Sae-Jin, I trust much more than you. And, none of your business. Stop crossing the line." (Sae-Jin)
…Of course, he'd trust himself more than anyone else, really.
As if she still had something else to say, Kim Yu-Rin's lips moved up and down, but in the end, she returned to her seat while sighing out grandly. Then, she hugged Cornlak with a depressed face and whispered meekly to the wolf.
"Hey, would you like to come to my place instead of that Orc's?" (Kim Yu-Rin)
The Orc smirked and secured the mace on his hips. Afterwards, the two of them didn't say anything else for a while.
10 minutes, 20, then a hour later… The time continued to flow without restraint and resulted in the poor ol' Cornlak getting much-unwanted forceful coat-shedding.
*SFX for winds suddenly picking up*
Winds began blowing suddenly in this dark arena. Could it be the rescue party? Both of them turned to look at the direction where the wind came from.
However, instead of rescue personnel, they spotted a bird-like creature over there.
*SFX for a chick's cries*
Tweeting like a little chick, it was a white bird that kind of resembled a long-tailed tit or maybe even the Korean crow-tit, complete with a pair of round and shining eyes, as well as a small and narrow beak. It's body was on the big side for a real bird, but it was about as big as a regular puppy dog and thus, rather intensely adorable.
"…What is that thing?" (Sae-Jin)
As the Orc was trying to figure out the source of this strange aura hidden below that cute countenance, suddenly, Kim Yu-Rin stood up as if she was in a trance.
She then began walking dazedly towards the tweeting (?) bird.
It was at this very moment when the Orc's alarm bells rang around like crazy.
The flow of that dangerous Mana pooling around its beak, that was a type of a Breath attack…
The tweeting bastard (?) suddenly spat out a stream of white flames. It was the lethal White Flames, the most powerful of all hellish flames out there.
White flames of the Breath displayed mighty destructive power as the attack spread out in a half-moon shape. It was the moment when the dark, gloomy cavern was lit up with a blinding white light.
< 37. An Orc and a Lady Knight (3) > Fin.
(TL: $43 out of $50 left for this week's first sponsored chapter.)
(TL: Well, the author also kindly included an image of what this annoying white bird chick "should" look like, so here it is: )