Chapter 71: Departing (3)

Grobak could feel the rage building up within him but he still calmly motioned towards the Chief insultingly.

This angered the Chief greatly who shouted, “You are asking for death! You are not worthy to face me in battle, warriors kill him!”

Grobak laughed in his deep voice once more, “Are you afraid of me old man? Quickly get down here and stop wasting my time. No one is going to help you today. Right boys?”

The hundred or so Orcs that followed behind Grobak cheered and taunted the Orcs once more. They were all equipped with proper weapons and armor and were all fierce warriors who had survived the slave pits. They were not afraid of the Orc warriors of this tribe and it was a tradition of the Orcs that only the strongest should rule.

The Chief shouted once more and ordered his warriors to act, but they didn’t move and instead began to look at the Chief with slight disdain. They could see that what Grobak had said was true, that he appeared afraid. They respected the strong and while they wouldn’t necessarily shy away from battle even if the enemy was stronger, this was different. Grobak was a member of their tribe even if he had been captured by Humans and he had already defeated one challenger and now challenged the Chief to a fair combat.

Grobak watched on and grinned ferociously, he could feel his blood boiling as the rage within became almost uncontrollable. He roared while pounding his chest with one of his fists, his axe still in the other. This was a vicious provocation that the Chief of this tribe could no longer ignore.

“It was I who found you alone amongst the Steppes and raised you as one of my own people. This is how you repay me? I shall see you dead with my own hands.”

“Bah, don’t bore me with your stupid tale! You saved me only to be cannon fodder in your tribe, not out of kindness or concern. You have all grown weak. How do you think it was so easy to find you? You all cower in your tents, afraid to even risk moving your camp too far from the lands you are familiar with. Enough of this, I will take this tribe to new heights and we shall be warriors once more. HA!”

Grobak roared, causing all the Orcs following him to yell in excitement. They chanted his name and loudly banged their weapons while stomping their feet causing the Orcs of the tribe to be intimidated by their actions. They too began to feel their blood boil with excitement at Grobak’s ferocity and his words. They too dreamed of the excitement of battle and the thrill of the kill.

Without any further words, Grobak charged towards the Chief of his former tribe howling like a mad man. His rage had grown to frightening levels and the power of his rage fueled his strength driving him close to madness. With his large axe held firmly in his hand he bounded ferociously towards his target putting all his strength into the swing of his axe. The Chief attempted to block the axe with his own, but the momentum that Grobak had built put great pressure on him. He could feel the immense strength which had been enhanced by Grobak’s ability fueling the power of his swing.

The Chief fearfully attempted to block Grobak’s axe but the axe cut through his weapon as if it were butter, cleaving it in half. The axe continued to fall, embedding itself in the Chief’s body and quickly ending his life. He hadn’t even had time to consider his next move, the attack was too swift and ferocious cutting him down with ease. Grobak’s axe was stuck in the chest of the Chief and he attempted to shake the axe to remove the body but it was stuck too tightly. He finally used his foot to push the body off the axe and the old Chief slumped to the ground completely and utterly dead.

The crowd looked on in shock and there was a moment of quiet before the Orcs which accompanied Grobak roared and cheered. Even the Orcs of the tribe who were in the crowd began to cheer proclaiming their new chief. There was excitement and expressions of anticipation for the future among the crowd. Grobak only stood there looking down at the Orc who had once been his Chief while holding his bloody axe.

No one knew what he was thinking, but deep within him where no one could see, were dark eyes and a brooding mind which had watched everything silently.

Good job Grobak, all according to plan. Now you must consolidate power among the tribes in the area, gather all their warriors. We shall depart here soon and it will be your job to make sure that our trip becomes eventful. Become my champion among your kind, spread my word, and pave the way for my future ascension.

Aleks currently sat comfortably in a cushioned carriage which was additionally enchanted with magic to make sure that his ride would be smooth and quiet no matter what was going on outside of it. It was the same carriage he originally rode into Kordusk with, but this time he was seated inside alone. He listlessly glanced out of the carriage window and saw soldiers marching all around him, including more carriages and slaves walking closely to them. He heard nothing though despite the hubbub of noise which must have been going on outside.

He was alone because Brock had already gone to the camp of the Northern churches, Lenia was leading his army, and Nelay was currently scouting the surroundings as well as spying on other expeditions. She would return occasionally to report to Aleks but never stayed long. Since Aleks had used his ability ‘Astral Projection’ and housed it in Grobak’s body, he couldn’t use the ability on Nelay and could only rely on her reports. She was extremely talented and moved quickly so he was well aware of the situation around him at all times.

The expedition had finally begun although it had taken longer to begin than he had originally anticipated. Of course, many things had gone out of his expectations since he left Andor’s Edge but he continued to adapt his plans accordingly. If not for his past experiences he most likely would not have been able to accomplish what he had nor be as flexible in his planning.

No, this is fine. The more chaos, the better. The more souls, the more fuel for my strength. Things are becoming complicated though.

What concerned Aleks most was not the expedition or the churches all around him. It was the information that Ragnir had provided for him that worried him more than anything else.

Why is Tihr sending a representative to Kordusk? Is it a coincidence?

Something at the back of his mind left him feeling slight unease. He didn’t think the fact that he had seen someone resembling his sister was a coincidence, but he truly hoped otherwise. Aleks sighed while thinking of this. Failure was something he could not afford, for if he failed, it didn’t only mean his death. No, what awaited him was a fate far worse than death for he knew what was awaiting him in the afterlife.

Although Aleks always seemed to be calm and confident on the surface, in the depths of his heart, he was anxious. Nonetheless, he continued to look on with cold eyes and a calm heart. It was the only way he could keep himself from succumbing to madness.

The immense walls of Kordusk stood tall amidst the morning fog. It was a relatively humid and hot day and it appeared that rain may soon follow. However, many mornings were such in this city which bordered the vast Steppes. This city, which appeared as if the last bastion of civilization before spreading out into a wild and savage territory.

“So this is Kordusk? People call it the edge of civilization and the bastion city against the wild barbarous people of the Steppes. It truly is an orderly and dignified place, but I wonder, what is more savage than the human heart?” A beautiful voice chimed.

“Your words ring with truth. Truly Tihr has bestowed great blessings upon you, but that is to be expected from a god of Justice. I suppose seeing a city that allows slavery might be somewhat irksome to you, but this is the reality of life. The strong rule over the weak, they can only lament in their circumstance.”

A blonde haired woman with bright sapphire eyes turned her head to look at the man seated across from her in her carriage which was slowly making its way through the city gates of Kordusk and into the city proper.

“You misunderstand me. Justice isn’t always about personal freedom, it is built on laws, order, and tradition. These slaves serve a greater purpose and it is entirely lawful even if some find it distasteful. The great and wise Tihr would certainly find this orderly city to be to his taste. Kordusk didn’t exist when the Grand Cathedral of Tihr was originally built, but I think if it were today, this city may very well have been chosen to house his cathedral. Andor’s Edge has fallen to depravity and disorder, it goes against everything our great god Tihr represents, but perhaps there is a purpose in that too.”

Only allowed on

The older man seated across from the young woman chuckled as a wisp of electricity seemed to flash in his eyes.

“I see, well either way it is no concern of mine.” The older man shrugged in indifference.

“It took too long to arrive here. Even if it was here, it is most likely gone now.” Replied the young woman with an exasperated expression.

“No matter where he runs, he won’t escape us.”

The young woman became somewhat incessed and said angrily, “Don’t call it a he.”

A brief electric crackle sizzled from between the fingers of the wizened man and he arced one eyebrow before shrugging, “My apologies, I forgot.”

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The beautiful young woman with golden hair that glistened like the sun stared at the old man for a long time before finally looking away once more out of the window of the carriage.

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