Chapter 3. Kidnapped (2)
Kurotan, oblivious to Luke’s plan, continued to spew out tribal secrets.
“Kueeek, the Pushan eventually betrayed us. Countless Pushan warriors ambushed and massacred the females and young.”
Rage lit up a light in Kurotan’s eyes.
“They used the fact that we worship different gods as an excuse.”
“Religious differences exist even amongst the Orcs?”
Luke smiled bitterly. The history of humanity was fraught with wars and crusades fought over the worshipping of different gods. He did not know that it was that way even for the Orcs.
“How did you find out though? You said that the Pushan annihilated everyone.”
“Kueeek, one of the warriors we assigned to the females and young for security was barely able to escape. Only then did we find out about the Pushan Tribe’s despicable act.”
Luke couldn’t help from showing interest.
‘I am probably the only human to ever hear so closely about the relations between Orc tribes.’
Luke still did not know why Kurotan was telling him all of this, but since the knowledge was not something easily gained, Luke constantly encouraged Kurotan to continue speaking.
“Ok, Kurotan. The bastards of Pushan massacred your female and young. Why does that put your tribe in danger of extermination?”
Kurotan stared blankly at him.
“I just told you. All the females and young have been killed. All that is left of the Latilla Tribe are the warriors left here. All males.”
Luke frowned. The ‘danger’ faced by the Latilla Tribe was not a problem from the perspective a human.
“I don’t understand. Why do you not just kidnap some female Orcs from a different Tribe?”
“Yes. Kidnap some female Orcs to carry on the Latilla Tribe.”
“Kueeek. Impossible. Latilla Tribe members do not have relationships with anyone that does not worship Maal. Furthermore, the females that worship Katia would never choose us as mates.”
Luke turned stupid for a moment.
“So, the choice of mating is up to the females, not the males?”
“Yes. Amongst Orc Tribes, only the females get to choose their mating partners. A healthy female can even take many male partners.”
Luke couldn’t stop his mouth from dropping. The Orcs practiced polygamy?
“I have heard that it’s the opposite for humans. In our Orc society, however, all the power lies in the hands of the females. The positions of Tribal Chief and Priest are all held by the females. Only the position of Great Warrior, who commands soldiers, is allowed to males.”
Kurotan explained that for every five males, there was only one female. This perhaps necessitated the polygamy system used by the Orcs.
‘How surprising, I might turn into a scholar specializing in Orcs if this continues.”
Kurotan’s explanation, however, raised another question for Luke.
“If there are so few females, how can Orcs reproduce so fast?”
The answer was simple.
“Females usually give birth to between nine to twelve young at a time.”
Luke could not close his mouth, which had opened in surprise.
“I… it’s not like you’re livestock but… I suppose that explains the polygamy system. And also why females are so valued…”
“That is why the Latilla Tribe faces extermination. Only our males are left.”
Luke asked with shining eyes.
“So just tell me why you are telling me your tribal secrets then.”
Kurotan’s story finally entered its main point.
“The Latilla Tribe wishes to exact vengeance upon the Pushan Tribe.”
The Orcs could be said to be at the epitome when it came to battle and vengeance, so Luke simply nodded his head.
“We have not been able to break through the formation of the humans. Additionally, the Pushan Tribe remains too strong for us to exact vengeance. Their warriors number in the several thousands.”
Luke understood from Kurotan’s explanations that the Pushan Tribe was most likely the largest tribe that lived in the dead lands of the neighboring Tranbel Kingdom.
Again, Luke was most likely the only human to be aware of the Tribal name of the Pushan Tribe. Luke retorted.
“It was merely our duty to prevent the Orcs from escaping the mountain range.”
“I understand. When it comes down to it, we were only doing our duty as well, pillaging to feed our tribe members.”
“So the reason you’re telling me all this?”
“I will speak now.”
Kurotan stared at Luke with shining eyes.
“A couple days ago, I received a divine message.”
Divine messages usually came in the form of the worshipped god appearing in dreams or as a sign, delivering messages of their will.
Even amongst humans, only priests or nuns with deep divine power were able to receive divine messages. Luke had a hard time believing that the simple and almost stupid Orc, Kurotan, had received a divine message.
“A divine message from the god of battle, Maal?”
“Yes. Maal appeared to me because he pitied our Tribe. He personally delivered his message to me, as undeserving as I am.”
“And what was Maal’s message?”
“Lord Maal views us with favor, as we are the only Orc Tribe to worship him.”
Luke nodded his head.
“That seems reasonable. Humans also worship Maal, but Maal would definitely view the simple and honest Orcs with favor compared to humans.”
“Somehow that seems like an insult, Kueeek. But I’ll ignore it. The great Maal pitied us enough to gift us with a divine object, imbued with his authority.”
“Divine object? What artifact is that?”
Kurotan frowned, seemingly new to the word ‘artifact’.
“Artifact? What is that word? The cursed human tongue is difficult.”
“Divine object, artifact, they are the same thing. Don’t think about it too hard.”
“Maal told us to become humans in order to continue our faith. The divine object turns us into humans.”
Kurotan’s secret struck Luke like lightning.
“O-Orcs into humans?”
“Yes. This is the ‘artifact’.”
Kurotan revealed an old-fashioned sword. It only had a handle, without a blade, seemingly broken through long use. Luke looked at it with skeptical eyes.
‘How the hell would an Orc turn into a human?’
Luke shook off his surprise and asked.
“How does this divine object turn Orcs into humans, Kurotan?”
Kurotan gripped the broken sword in his right hand and screamed.
“Kueeek, come in!”
A little while later, three well-muscled Orcs entered the cabin.
“Damn, the smell.”
The Orcs were a race that distanced themselves from bathing. The smell was unimaginable, and Luke couldn’t help but frown.
Kurotan ignored him and spoke to one of the Orcs that had entered.
“Have you prepared yourself, Kalgor?”
“Kooooek, I have. By the will of Maal.”
“So be it. I will commence the ritual.”
Kurotan gripped the sword, and from the broken remainder of the sword a blade of white light suddenly sprouted.
The gleaming light of the transparent blade was hypnotic.
The next moment, Luke couldn’t help but gasp in surprise.
“Kehup! What have you done?”
It was because Kurotan had stabbed the Orc called Kalgor with the blade. It was the left chest, exactly where the heart was.
The blade was sure to have penetrated his heart, but not a drop of blood fell.
Kalgor’s eyes went dark, and the Orc dropped on the spot.
Luke could not believe his eyes. Kurotan had retrieved the blade, but Kalgor’s chest did not have any sort of wound.
With the wave of his hand, Kurotan dismissed the remaining two Orcs, who dragged out Kalgor’s corpse.
“Wh-Why did you just kill your subordinate in front of me?”
“Kill? It’s because you don’t see yet. Look carefully.”
Kurotan shoved the shining blade in front of Luke’s face. Luke could see a small spot of light within the shining blade.
“It is the soul of Kalgor that I just took. The divine object removed his soul from his body.”
“T-took out the soul?”
“Yes. Kalgor’s body will rot away without the soul. However, Kalgor is not dead. The power of Maal keeps his soul safe in the divine object and will revive him.”
Luke shivered at the unbelievable truth.
“How will you revive Kalgor?”
“Simple. I will pick a human, and then stab the divine object into his heart. Kalgor’s soul will then enter the body and be revived.”
Luke’s pale face turned even whiter.