Arc 3 Chapter 35: Trouble

Although everyone had been dismissed, Akira and Varbu stayed seated while the lower ranking officers left the grand meeting hall.

The only people left in the room were the elders and only the general and the commanding officers of each position in the city stayed sitting. A majority of the elders were sleeping where they sat.

“Varbu, you and Akira fought with the enemy and were able to kill one of them. Was there anything in his possession to tell us who he was working for?” asked Tornok after the last low-rank officer exited the room.

“We didn’t kill him. We actually captured him alive. But the coward used something that was in his mouth to commit suicide before answering our questions,” said Varbu. There were loud grunts and snorts of disgust at the dishonorable enemy from everyone in the room.

“There was nothing on him that I could see that indicated who he worked for. The body is being guarded in the lobby if you would like to check it yourself. There was nothing in his possession but the clothes he wore and the weapons he used,” said Varbu.

Chief Tornok nodded his head and waved for one of the messengers next to the door to retrieve the body to see if the elders could find anything of interest.

A minute later two guards walked through the open doors carrying the body and weapons of the dead man.

The body was placed on the ground a few feet away from the burning fire pit. In the firelight, Akira could see the skin of the body was already started to turn black from the poison that had killed the man.

“Elders, wake up! Your expertise is needed,” Tornok shouted loudly waking the sleeping elders.

“It’s rude to shout when others are sleeping,” grumbled one of the elders.

“Anyone with the knowledge on human factions can you please come and check the body?” asked Tornok.

Three elderly orcs stood up and slowly walked to the body.

The elders inspected the weapons and ammunition along with the clothing and the dead body.

Ten minutes passed as the three elderly quietly talked between themselves as they looked at everything.

When they were finished they turned to Tornok to give him the results of their inspection.

“Did you find out who he is or who he is working for?” asked Tornok.

“We were unable to find out who he was working for but we noticed the wood used in his weapons along with the style come from the capital city of Fregoldawae. The symbol on his clothing is from a faction we have no knowledge of. It could be that it has nothing to do with a faction and is just a design on his clothing,” said the leading elder who was standing in the middle of the other two.

“Just in case make sure you record it down as an unknown enemy faction. We have a lot of things we need to do in the morning. We will discuss our plans to secure the city and hunt down the trespassers tomorrow so everyone should get some rest,” said Tornok.

***

Akira walked to the only Inn that was in the city of Orcrock. He was staying in the inns best room which was being paid for by Tornok himself.

He had no trouble falling asleep in a large bed that had a thick fur blanket made from local monsters that lived in the mountains.

***

Akira was able to sleep late into the morning. He didn’t need to get up early because the meeting was only for the elders and top commanding warrior generals.

Bam! Bam! Bam!

“Akira get off your lazy butt and get dressed. My unit has been ordered to relieve the guards at the gatehouse in an hour,” shouted Varbu while slamming his fist into the door.

“Why do I have to go?” asked Akira hiding under the warm covers with the pillow over his head in order to block out the loud banging.

“The chief has put you under my command for as long as you stay here,” Varbu replied.

“Just give me a few minutes to get dressed,” said Akira sleepily.

“It better only be a few minutes or I’m coming in there and dragging you out,” warned Varbu.

Akira groaned as he got out of bed. After a few stretches, he hopped into his clothes and equipped his armor.

Picking up his shield slung it onto his back using the new sling he had attached to it yesterday so he didn’t have to always carry it in his hands. He walked out of the room while buckling his sword belt.

“You’re worse at getting up then my warriors the morning after they get paid,” said Varbu with a grunt while smiling at Akira.

“Why do we have to be up now? There is still an hour until we have to switch with them,” asked Akira.

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“Are all werewolves this lazy?”

“I’m not lazy. Last nights events were just too exhausting.”

“After you eat come to the training grounds near the barracks to warm up.”

“Where is that?”

“On the right side of the city near the wall, I have to go and continue the morning training,” said Varbu.

The two of them separated and Akira began to walk the streets looking for someone selling food, since the Inn he was staying at did not include food as a service.

It only took a few minutes of searching to find a street vendor selling freshly cooked juicy meat with a few pieces of cooked onions between the meat all stacked on a long stick.

He didn’t know what type of meat it was but he was hungry. The vendor was surprised to see an outsider but was happy when Akira paid for three sticks of the meat.

Akira began to eat the greasy mystery meat as he walked through the market checking out the interesting trinkets and the prices of normal items the Orcs were selling.

He didn’t notice the large group of young Orc females that had been out doing their morning shopping and were now following him and quietly gossiping with each other.

If Akira were to be honest, the Orc females were not the most beautiful of females, they were all very plump.

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After finishing the last of the cooked meat and onions, Akira walked to the Training grounds where Varbu was waiting for him.

The crowd of young female orcs that had followed behind him disappeared as he passed the guards who were guarding the entrance to the training grounds.

“Akira, you’re just in time to join me in a duel. Let’s use it to warm up before we head to the gates,” said Varbu who was standing in the middle of the training ground.

“Let me digest my breakfast first while I do some stretches,” said Akira as he walked over to Varbu who was leading the Orc warriors under his command in the morning exercises and sparring matches.

Akira followed the Orcs morning exercise routine for ten minutes.

“You should be ready by now. How about we test each other’s power?” asked Varbu.

The orc warriors standing around them cheered at the idea. They stopped their exercises and cleared a space for Varbu and Akira to spar, creating a ring around the two.

“Let’s not go full power and wear ourselves out so we don’t have to stand guard for the rest of the afternoon exhausted,” said Akira.

“Of course,” said Varbu agreeing quickly.

Without another word, Varbu charged forward and swung his quarterstaff club aiming for Akira’s chest.

Akira turned his body slightly to get a better stance and raised his shield to catch the heavy blow.

BANG!

The sound of the quarterstaff hitting the shield rang out. Akira’s arm tingled from the attack and was pushed back a few steps due to Varbu’s great strength.

“Hey, I thought you agreed to not use your full power,” said Akira.

“I’m not,” said Varbu.

A few breaths later Akira counter-attacked with a stab of his sword and was blocked by Varbu’s quarterstaff.

He sent half a dozen quick attacks towards Varbu a few which lightly touched Varbu but was made sure not to cause damage to him or his armor.

“My turn!” shouted Varbu.

He leaped forward and started to hammer Akira with blows which were blocked by the Aorium shield.

The force from the multiple attacks caused Akira to be forced onto one knee while he held the shield in front of him weathering the hail of strong attacks slamming into the shield.

Varbu stepped back a few paces in order to allow Akira to stand back up.

“Your good with your shield. I see that it has some battle scars on it. I always say if your shield looks new, beautiful, and undamaged then it’s not being used properly. Now let’s finish this duel,” said Varbu.

“Alright! Here I come,” said Akira energized by the vigorous spar.

The two exchanged “light attacks” back and forth for over ten minutes until Akira was knocked backward onto his butt by a powerful swing from Varbu’s weapon.

A cheer went up in the crowd of Orc warriors as the duel ended.

“My win,” said Varbu who was breathing heavily due to the tough duel.

“It is. Your attacks are extremely strong my shield arm is almost completely numb,” said Akira who didn’t get up from the cold ground and just sat still breathing in large amounts air.

“You’re hard to get any hits in with that shield almost always blocking my attacks,” said Varbu as he accepted a waterskin from one of the Orc warriors. After taking a few large gulps he passed it to Akira who took a few gulps to satisfy his thirst.

“In the end, we went all out while sparing. Let’s rest for now until we have to go and relived the guards at the gate,” suggested Akira while smiling.

“Fine with me,” said Varbu with a chuckle as he sat down next to Akira.

Varbu continued to instruct the warriors under his command for the rest of the hour while sitting on the ground.

***

Akira let a long yawn escape his mouth as he stood at the entrance of the gate along with Varbu and three other orc warriors.

Six warriors were in the guardhouse to operate the heavy drawbridge and portcullis, while the remaining ten were on the top of the gatehouse with bows and spears ready to fight off any enemy who dared to come across the bridge.

“I don’t envy the gate guards who do this for a living this is boring,” said Akira.

“I dislike it also, but with the recent attack by the enemy this is necessary to keep our city secured,” said Varbu.

Another hour passed with hardly anyone coming to the city and only a few people leaving.

It was at that time that Akira saw a large mass of people moving towards the city. Due to the distance, he couldn’t tell if they were friend or foe.

As they came closer he could see that the massed group was made up of Orcs of all different varieties, young children and their parents, old grandparents, and everyone in between. They were all carrying bags and other belongings with them.

“The orders for gathering more people to defend the city haven’t gone out yet have they,” asked Akira. Confused at seeing the large group as they drew nearer to the city gates.

“No, I got word a few minutes ago that the messenger would be leaving the city in less than an hour,” said Varbu.

“Then what’s with all these people coming here? Is this normal?”

“It’s not normal, by the looks on their faces they seem to have experienced some event that has caused them to rush to the capital.”

Upon further inspection of the individual Orcs in the group, Akira could see a look of desperation on their faces as they started to run the last bit of the short distance to the bridge.

Some of the younger children had to be picked up and carried otherwise they would be trampled in the confusion.

“Be on guard everyone. We must not let anyone pass without first knowing what has brought them here. Try not to use any violence,” ordered Varbu.

As the massed group of Orcs crossed the bridge they came to a stop when their path was blocked by Varbu, Akira, and the three other Orc warriors.

Some of the Orcs in the front of the group gasped and made snorts and grunts of surprise upon seeing Akira and tried to back away but were blocked by the others behind them.

“Fellow kinsmen what brings you here in such poor shape?” asked Varbu.

An elderly Orc with a long beard and a walking stick hobbled forward.

“I am the village chief Hob, we are from the village of Orcchop near the border. The problem is those damn goblins. Two days ago we were attacked by a small group we thought was just a small raiding party. We were able to repel them but after sending a few scouts to follow them they discovered that there was a mediums sized army of goblins that set up camp not far from our village we do not have enough fighting power to stop such a force so we were forced to grab our valuables and walk here hoping for protection. Will the warrior chief Tornok let us say here? We hope that he is able to wipe out the goblins so we can return to our homes,” said Hob.

“It would bring great dishonor to my ancestors if I did not help fellow kinsmen in trouble. What could have caused the Goblins to do such a stupid thing as start a war with us?” asked Varbu.

“Thank you, young warrior. Your ancestors would be proud you are indeed an honorable warrior, as for the thinking of Goblins I have no idea they are half mad anyways,” said Hob.

“Elder Hob the warrior chief needs to hear of these events from your own mouth please follow me and I will lead you to him,” said Varbu.

Elder Hob nodded his head in agreement. Varbu turned to Akira and gave him an order before leaving with Elder Hob, “You are in command of the gates until I return. If any other groups of people arrive to send the village chiefs or the leader of the group to the grand meeting hall.”

Akira was stunned at being handed command of the gates but properly took over the task.

Through the rest of the morning and into the afternoon multiple groups of Orc refugees came to the city of Orcrock looking for protection.

All through the day news of Goblin terrorizing the border towns was heard. Some orcs claimed that the goblins had even been able to capture some towns and took orcs as prisoners.

- my thoughts:
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