The Navarre Duchy was a small territory with a population of 2 million located in the northwest of the Baroque Empire.
It was mainly founded by the immigrants from the Volga Republic who had entered the Baroque Empire.
There was a reason why the Baroque Empire, which was greedy for territorial expansion, left the Navarre state without capturing it.
Navarre, which had a poor land, was the land for nomadic herdsmen who raised sheep and goat. The specialties of the place were leather, cheese production and a small amount of copper mine in the north of the region.
The empire judged the region as something that wouldn’t be able to provide much profit even after the empire took over it.
In addition, the poor state suffered from monsters that came from the western grasslands every year.
A few times a month, Orcs or goblins flocked into the crowded living areas.
Occasionally, large monsters such as trolls or Ogres appeared.
If the empire wanted to occupy it, they would have to support the people with food and necessities, and there was a possibility for the monsters to enter the empire.
Thus, the empire decided to satisfy its hunger by making the Navarre duchy as a tributary.
Sometimes the empire assisted them.
They gave out a junk piece of Gigant just before turning it into scrap, or sometimes they gave them military money for expenditures.
The Navarre duchy used its forces to build strongholds against monsters on the western border and deployed troops including Gigants.
Marvin was one of the rangers on the 3rd fort.
One of the most elite ranger units in the Navarre was stationed to infiltrate the western grassland outside their borders and identify any monsters.
“Take a break in here.”
At the small but clear words of their captain, dozens of soldiers who were moving secretly gathered in one place.
They all filled their hunger with biscuits and water that they brought and looked around the place. It was because they never knew where a monster would appear and attack them.
“Captain, do we have to go this deep? The monsters have been silent for a few months.”
The captain shrugged at the question of Marvin and answered in a deep tone, “Further.”
“Further?” Asked Marvin.
“Yes, it is strange that the monsters are quite rather ominous and disturbing… We need to go further into the grasslands to know more.”
“If you’re nervous, the monsters will end up scouting us,” said Marvin.
There were beasts and monsters on the meadows.
No matter how elite one was, the survival of the rangers couldn’t be guaranteed once they entered deep into the grasslands.
“For now, we will be going to the Eagle Rock Valley so save as much as you can.”
At the words of their captain, Marvin sighed and nodded.
Eagle Rock valley was a place they would reach after another two days of traveling. They would need quite a lot of stamina along with carefully avoiding the monsters.
“Kay, if everyone is done eating…”
While looking up at the sky, the captain had ordered them to get ready to move. The soldiers, who were out scouting, began to scream from a distance.
“Get away! Run! Orcs are coming from the front…!!”
The moment they tried to warn the others, an arrow pierced the soldier’s windpipe and slashed his throat.
Dozens of arrows flew in succession.
“What is this!? Orcs can shoot arrows?”
“Don’t bother talking and just run!”
The orcs were like a half-breed of pigs and humans and called as the losers of western grasslands.
They were more than 3 times more powerful than a human adult. They hunted in groups and domesticated the wolves or bison; they even rode them.
They were strong, but they had the intelligence of a little child. However, they could still use tools and wield weapons.
However, bows were an exception. Bows were a difficult weapon to manage and handle.
When it came to attacking ranged enemies, the orcs mainly used axes and spears to throw at them.
However, on that particular day, it seemed like they were using bows.
No, as they got closer, they seemed to be using crossbows which needed more skill than a bow!
“Scatter right away! All of you!”
At the captain’s instructions, Marvin and the other rangers scattered everywhere.
In that particular situation, rather than fleeing together, they knew scattering would give them a higher chance at survival.
But before they could scatter, arrows began to hit them again, and a lot more rangers fell down.
“Keeek! Catch the humans!”
“Don’t miss the targets!”
Shouting like pigs, the orcs were chasing after the humans.
They were in pursuit of the humans that were giving out signals.
But Marvin and the other rangers, who were running away for their lives, couldn’t see what was happening.