Chapter 90: Grobak’s true might (1)

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Not far from the palace in The Canyon and the ancestral caverns was another place sacred to the tribes of the Steppes. This was the dueling grounds, but the dueling grounds were not like those of knights of the Human nations. A battle on the dueling grounds was always a battle to the death. Whoever stepped foot on the dueling grounds, no matter how many, only one was allowed to leave. The rest would need to leave their corpses behind.

There was a cool breeze that blew through The Canyon on normal days, it was one of the benefits of living within where there was an abundance of life. The Steppes had many roaming herds of animals and there was sparse grass and not much vegetation other than smaller plants and roots. There were no large forests, except for perhaps closer to the border of the other regions and near the more mountainous terrain. The Canyon was a special and unique place on the Steppes and the cool breeze was a luxury not usually afforded to the tribal nomadic lifestyle. The Steppes were often hot during the day, and cold during the night. While not the most brutal of places to live, it wasn’t easy either. It was on these Steppes that Grobak had toiled and suffered his entire young life and for him, the cool breeze on a warm day was a blessing.

“Would I have ever seen such heights if I had not come to serve my master?” Grobak mumbled to himself after considering the great power he had gained and the position he had not yet truly earned.

Standing far across the dueling ground was the Dragonman that had intentionally taunted him, leading to this duel. The Dragonman, whose name Grobak had not bothered to ask, was checking the harness on a giant lizard. The dueling grounds was large and surrounded by sturdy stone walls. It was much like an amphitheatre but larger, and there were many stone benches and seating surrounding the entire grounds. Many Orcs had already gathered, some of them members of the ancestral guards, others Orcs of the tribe. Grobak’s elite guards were also visible watching from the stands. They roared and cheered on Grobak heartily, along with the majority of the Orcs present who did not want one of their own race to lose. This didn’t seem to faze the Dragonman much and he only looked out at the crowd briefly with disdain and continued to ready his giant lizard mount.

Giant lizards were much larger than horses, but were almost as fast and much sturdier. They had their own strengths and could even be counted as an additional warrior on the battlefield. A cavalry consisting of Lizard Riders was truly a fearsome sight and was one of the military pillars of the Dragonmen. No one wanted to face the Dragonmen’s Lizard Cavalry in mountainous terrain. Not only were they relatively fleet footed, but they were excellent climbers and could maneuver well even in the most mountainous of regions. It was one of the reasons the Orcs didn’t dare to face the Dragonmen in their mountain homes. They weren’t quite as fearsome on the open plains, but they were still powerful.

Grobak was confident in his strength and didn’t believe he would lose, but he couldn’t help but consider this Dragonman Lizard Rider to be a serious threat. He would have to be careful, but he had to win this duel. He wasn’t stupid, and his master’s presence was by his side at all times within him. Even now, his master was aware of what was occurring in this distant place. The situation on the Steppes was a precarious one, and there were many influential figures at play in this dangerous game.

“The Dragons huh? Hehe, my master has created a nice show to entertain you all. I hope you will all be satisfied at the conclusion.”

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Grobak laughed confidently and continued to tend to his axe tenderly. He had gained this axe from the dead werewolf and was quite fond of it. It was definitely an upper tier weapon, although not quite at the Legendary level, it wasn’t too far below it. The great axe which would normally require two hands to hold, but that Grobak could hold comfortably in one, had enhanced sharpness which increased its attack power. His master had simply told him that it would allow him to cut through armor much easier and that it was extremely resilient. It would be difficult to break, the perfect type of weapon for him.

Despite all of the cheering from those in the audience, Grobak felt a strange feeling of isolation. He had always been alone even when living in his old tribe, so it didn’t bother him much. It was a moment of clarity however. The sounds and cheers had dulled, and he was filled with silence. Grabbing his axe firmly, he walked with heavy steps towards the center of the dueling ground. He watched as the lone Dragonman jumped atop his mount and then watched as the lizard shambled over.

“I hope you don’t mind my mount, you see I am a Dragon Chevalier. We do not fight without our mounts, but you are confident no?” The Dragonman said with contempt clear in his voice as he looked down at Grobak.

Grobak was tall, but the Dragonman was of a similar size and build and so while mounted on the Giant lizard he towered over Grobak who was forced to look up at him.

“You sure do love to talk, is that all you lizards are good for?” Grobak replied calmly while swiping his axe back and forth as a simple warm up.

The Dragonman snarled viciously and then said, “I do not kill nameless people, what is your name Orc?”

“Didn’t I already say enough with the b*******?”

Grobak turned around abruptly and began walking a short distance away, clearly not putting the Dragonman in his eyes.

“I see you are in a hurry to die, fine.”

Grobak didn’t even bother looking back at him, he just raised his axe as he continued to walk towards his starting place and shouted excitedly, “It’s about f****** time, I’m going to rip that lizard apart and then I’m going to smash your head in!”

“Tch.. inbred swine!”

The Dragonman hurried his mount towards his own starting position and abruptly turned the lizard around showcasing its surprisingly nimble movements while preparing his spear. Grobak too had turned to face his enemy. His deep and heavy breathing had already begun to increase rapidly as his blood began to boil in excitement. His rage had already become torrential, filling him with the lust for blood. He had a surprising amount of control over it moments ago, but as he stood prepared to fight to the death, he could no longer control its rise. With his lumbering form and powerful stature, he looked no different from a monstrous beast when the rage took over.

On the other hand, the Dragonman was surprisingly more refined with the bearing of a chivalrous knight upon his steed. Although he was not clad in the heavy plate that a knight might possess, he was clad in scale mail that accentuated the natural scales on his visible hands and arms, which seemed to reflect the sunlight. He was much more dignified looking than the barbarous Grobak who was more the image of explosive power and ferocity. Despite the contrast in their appearance and natural aura, they were both equally powerful beings with the intent to kill.

Thorne, the acting Chief of the Harkul, was seated in the section designated for the leaders of the tribe. There were other figures seated near him, mostly powerful shamans of the tribe and other important leaders. He stood up and rose his hands upwards towards the sky. The light of magic illuminated him and a large fireball flew upwards exploding into the sky. This was the signal for the start of battle.

Grobak immediately took off, he had already entered into ‘Rage’ and his body had been greatly enhanced by his abilities. His speed was already significant due to his high AGI and he moved quickly across the battleground towards the Lizard mounted Dragonman. The Lizard mount moved quite rapidly itself and the Dragonman seated atop it readied his long spear while charging forward. Grobak was a quick target, but his Lizard wouldn’t necessarily lose out in speed. He wasn’t expecting to kill Grobak quickly and knew it would be a difficult battle. With the aid of his Lizard, he was confident in his victory. He couldn’t see any fear in Grobak’s eyes though, only rage.

As the combatants neared each other, the Giant Lizard came to an abrupt stop and leaned forward opening its giant maw. A piercing and deafening roar erupted from its throat sending many of the onlookers into a daze and even causing some to faint, while others suddenly felt stunned and unable to move. This was a powerful sound attack which could cause various status ailments. This was one of the Giant Lizards special abilities which would often give their riders an advantage in battle. It had a wide range and was difficult to defend against, but to the Dragonman’s surprise, Grobak wasn’t affected in the least.

While in ‘Rage’, Grobak was immune to such effects.

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