Chapter 85 - Triumphant Return
Translator: SaltyTank Editor: SaltyTank
Soran opened up his attribute screen, and there really was an additional column which indicated his Legend Rating was now 1. It was considerably difficult to raise one’s Legend Rating, and for now at least, it had only peculiar uses. It did not directly affect one’s strength before reaching the Realm of Legends, and Soran could only use it as a bonus to his Diplomacy, Deception, and Intimidation skills. Each point in Legend Rating was equal to one bonus point in these basic skills. The rating would play a decisive role after entering the Realm of Legends, but that was still a ways off.
Soran was only looking around the battlefield again when, suddenly, new rows of data showed up in his vision.
“Unlocked battle record.”
“Automatically recording the current battle! Quantifying system initiated!”
Before Soran could react, an entire paragraph popped up.
“The Legendary Battle of the Bone Crusher Tribe: In September, 1675 of Lunar Reckoning, Whiterun launched an assault on the Bone Crusher Ogre Tribe to expel the monsters. You took part in the battle to defeat ogres of the Bone Crusher Tribe and killed an advanced Ogre Officer (Level 14). Tales of the Legendary-grade battle will soon spread around and be known by the entire southern region. Legend Rating +1.”
Though unexpected, it wasn’t particularly important at the moment, so Soran closed the record without giving it too much thought.
In the meantime, after resting a while, the Whiterun soldiers had started cleaning up the battlefield. Their casualties numbered around six hundred; every war and battle came with a price after all. There was no time to grieve over the deaths of their allies, and the soldiers started gathering the dead bodies and severed limbs of those who had fallen in battle. It was customary to bring the bodies of the deceased back to the city and give them proper funerals and burials. The injured were sent back to the city as well for further treatment, because even divine spells could not heal every injury, and medicine and potions were required for extensive treatment.
It was also a fact that priests had to expend their own life force in order to heal others, though the people of the world did not publicly acknowledge it. Just looking at the average life expectancies of Legendary wizards, druids, and priests, it was pretty obvious that priests were giving up some life force since wizards could live for up to a millennium, and druids could live for a few centuries, while priests had only a century or two. Priests though believed that returning to the embrace of their deities was part of their mission, so it was not like they minded too much anyway.
Almost everyone was injured somewhere to various degrees. The adventurers had also suffered some casualties, albeit less than the army. Party members would take care of the bodies of dead teammates. If the deceased was a solo adventurer, his or her body would be burnt on the spot, and the ash would be buried nearby. Most people of this world preferred to have their body buried in the soil after death, but adventurers were different. If they buried the dead adventurers’ bodies into the ground, they might end up as food for monsters the next day. To them, this was even more of a disgrace to the deceased, which was why the common practice was to burn their bodies to ash before burying the ash.
With the help of some other adventurers, Soran cremated Yarse’s body and gathered his ashes with a piece of cloth, then dug a hole nearby and buried it. He wanted to set a gravestone for Yarse, though he was not sure what to write on it. Yarse was a Grade 3 ranger after all, and he deserved at least that much for his accomplishment. Soran carved Yarse’s name on a log, then pondered over what to write next.
“Yarse, a brave half-elven ranger. Protector of Autumnfall in the Battle of the Grey Hills. He slaughtered ogres and killed an ogre officer in the very last moments of his life. May his soul receive eternal peace.”
Soran could not think of anything else, so he stopped there. He then placed Yarse’s broken longbow and eviscerate sword into the pit. It may seem wasteful, but it was a tradition in this world to do so, and it was a tradition worth preserving. One’s weapons were an extension of one’s body, thus it was only natural to bury them along with their deceased owner. It was the same for the Whiterun soldiers who died in battle; the army would not reuse their armor and weapons, and would bury them alongside the braves who gave their lives for the city.
The city officials had clashed more than once with the army on this issue. Politicians and nobles found the practice to be extremely wasteful and believed that the equipment belonged to the city. As such, they believed they should have the right to collect the equipment of the deceased and redistribute it to other soldiers, but the proposal was met with extreme opposition from the army. Their reasoning was admittedly rather weak; they simply thought that their equipment acted as part of their bodies, and it was basic respect to bury one’s body in its entirety. Perhaps this was the obstinance of warriors.
The soldiers went on to search the half-built ogre fortress, where they found plenty of loot, but that was unrelated to Soran, as the items belonged to the city. The adventurers would get the rest of their pay when they returned to Whiterun.
The Whiterun officers ordered their men to take the valuables away, then ordered them to burn the unfinished fortress. This was to prevent other monster tribes from occupying the place and settling down there. As Soran was injured, he went back to the city along with the other injured soldiers and adventurers. Those who could still fight had to mop up other monsters nearby, such as the lizardmen that had moved out of the Dark Swamp.
If the lizardmen knew the ogre tribe had been exterminated, they might just retreat on their own. If not, then the Whiterun army and adventurers would have to kill the monsters. Lizardmen were a lot weaker than ogres though, so just six hundred soldiers was enough to handle the rest.
The way back to Whiterun was relatively peaceful. As they went past villages, villagers cheered for the soldiers, some of them amazed by the sight of ogre heads. Most of them had never even seen a gnoll in their entire lives, let alone ogres. The only monsters they would come across regularly were goblins and kobolds. Gnolls were already quite dangerous for commoners after all, and military personnel would be dispatched to exterminate them upon a single sighting.
The soldiers received similar treatment when they entered Whiterun. Citizens and merchants all cheered for the army’s success, and the soldiers held their heads high; it was their moment of glory. They’d risked their lives for the city and its citizens, thus such glory was deserved. Now that the ogre tribe was exterminated, the other, smaller monster tribes would hopefully fear the city’s strength and refrain from aggressive actions. The merchant squads should be able to make their way out of the city toward their next destinations now.
Soran remained silent as they made their way through Whiterun to city hall. Some of the soldiers were hugging their families in joy, but there were also middle-aged men and women sobbing at the sight of their sons’ corpses.
War did not always bring riches, but it would surely bring about grief and sorrow, even to the victor. Even so, Soran was unaffected by such emotions. He had plenty of similar experiences in the past.
The Whiterun officials gave Soran an additional 50 Gold Derahls as his reward. It seemed that the ogre fortress really had a lot of valuables. Because he fought alongside the army, the city even gave him a medal. If he wanted to, Soran could settle in Whiterun as a citizen. He received his reward, tossed it all into his multi-dimensional bag, then turned to leave the city hall.
Soran had received plenty of such medals in the past. If he wanted to, he could even have become a noble, but he wasn’t interested. It would give him benefits and power, naturally, but that also came with responsibilities and obligations.
After leaving, Soran went to the Adventurer Guild. As he’d taken part in a fight against ogres, his adventurer rank was raised to E. There were no additional rewards for raising one’s rank.
Soran next went to find a physician to put his bones back into place properly, then went to the shrine district to find a priest to treat his arm. There he paid 30 Gold Derahls for a priest to cast Cure Moderate Wounds on his right arm. It was not like he could not heal naturally, but it was safer to receive a divine spell to prevent any complications from arising.
The next morning, finally, Soran went to meet Vivian. It was the first time he had truly smiled in a while. He held her high and spun in circles happily, then kissed her on the cheek. Vivian was no longer the skinny girl she used to be and had gained a bit of weight.
Gloria looked at and observed Soran. The Whiterun army had been away for a while already, and the people were very concerned about the outcome of the battle. She was no exception. The current Soran was different from the Soran she had first met; he had grown much stronger in a short period of time, and his already fierce atmosphere was now more intense, but calm at the same time. If his atmosphere was that of a gang member before, he was now a warrior who had experienced war and slaughter.
Soran turned to look at Gloria. He lightly smiled and nodded at her. Despite not saying anything, she could understand that he was planning to leave the city with Vivian.
Gloria sighed. She was unable to understand why Soran so stubbornly insisted on leaving. During the time she had spent with Vivian, Gloria had learned a lot about the siblings. Even so, she really could not comprehend why Soran, who was technically only one-eighth elf, would want to go to the land of the prideful elves. Elves were known to be xenophobic against even half-elves, let alone someone like Soran, who only had a hint of elven blood in his veins.
As such, Gloria decided to try persuading them one last time. This time, she looked not at Soran, but Vivian. Although she was just a little girl, she was quite smart for her age. Also, despite living in the chaotic slums from birth, her soul had not been tainted. It was not that she was naive, but that her pure soul could not be affected by external factors so easily.
Having such a pure and strong soul will surely lead her to greatness, Gloria thought.
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