Chapter 8. The Orc in Human Guise (2)
Luke finished up the paperwork for official retirement. Signed by the commander of Fort Potellan, Luke turned in the last paper that would officially turn him from a soldier to a regular citizen.
All the while, Kurotan had been following him around like a duckling.
“That’s a lot of weight off my shoulder, finally.”
Luke left the office and headed towards the market. Esteban Earldom, his hometown, would take two months of travel to reach. Ample preparation was needed for the travel.
Luke glanced at Kurotan.
‘This bastard has complicated things.’
His original plan had been to hire mercenaries or join a caravan going to Esteban Earldom to return home.
Taking Kurotan, an Orc in the guise of a human, to join a caravan would be too risky. Even the mercenaries would be suspicious.
‘I have a lot to teach Kurotan, so we should travel by ourselves.’
Luke wandered around the market, one by one buying the travel supplies needed.
“There’s a lot of baggage, so you’ll be holding some.”
Kurotan seemed to have decided to follow the Orc law and obey. He wordlessly took up the two bags handed over to him by Luke. After buying all the dried foods and clothes needed for travel, Luke went over to an armory.
“If I’d known this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have donated my armor to the fort…”
Luke grudgingly complained, but what could he do over spilled water?
Luke purchased two sets of sturdy chain armor. One was for Kurotan and the other one was for himself.
The armors were brand new, and their shine set a smile on Kurotan’s face.
Chain armors were favorites amongst the Orcs.
“Why? Does a new armor make you that happy?”
“Yes. I’ve never worn an armor that didn’t have holes or rust.”
Kurotan’s large smile made Luke smile bitterly.
‘Such a simple guy.’
Luke also purchased a horse. It was well tamed, and went along whenever Luke pulled on the reigns.
“You don’t know how to ride a horse, do you?”
Kurotan shook his head.
“I’ve eaten a lot of them, but never ridden one.”
“I suppose no horse would be dull enough to let an Orc mount it.”
Luke hung the bags of supplies on the saddle.
Kurotan handed Luke the bags he had been carrying and proceeded to do something out of place. Kurotan took off the battleaxe he had been carrying around on his back, and began swinging wildly. They were in the middle of a market place that was bustling with people.
Hal’s untrained arm, however, was far from being able to handle the weight of the battle axe.
The axe left Kurotan’s hand and hurtled through the air, startling and scaring the people around him.
“What the hell are you doing?”
Luke frowned as he held his hand to his face.
“Kurotan, what are you doing right now?”
Kurotan had, in turn, been surprised by the people’s reaction, and was standing there stupidly when he answered.
“I am trying to train.”
“In a place with so many people?”
“Of course not. Let’s get out of the market first.”
Luke, with hurried steps, left the market with Kurotan in tow.
“It’s not just a thing or two I have to teach you.”
“Let’s start by organizing our points. Kurotan, you wish to recover the strength you had in the past right?”
“Of course. I will train this weakling’s body and become strong without a doubt. Just like it was before.”
Luke stood there in near amazement.
“I guess you’re an Orc after all, being so simple…”
“What are you saying?”
“All right. Kurotan, I’m sure your body training methods are made for Orcs?”
“And how do Orcs train their body?”
Kurotan gripped his hands into tight fists.
“Simple. You swing your weapons until you can’t. If you do that, muscles will grow on your arms naturally. And then, you just fight everyone.”
“You’re going to become bedridden before then.”
“As you know, a human’s body is much more fragile than an orc’s. You think it could endure the merciless training methods of Orcs?”
Kurotan realized the seriousness of the problem and looked distraught.
“I didn’t think about that part.”
Luke looked into Kurotan’s eyes seriously.
“Your stomach hurt after the meal this morning, right?”
Kurotan’s face paled as he recalled the memories. Because he swallowed such large pieces of meat without even chewing, Kurotan’s stomach had been in pain for most of the day.
“I-I’ve never experienced such a thing.”
“Listen well. Orcs can pretty much pick up and eat most things off the ground, but humans will become sick if they do that. And unlike Orcs, humans can’t live off a meat-only diet.”
“You need to eat things like bread for nutritional balance.”
Kurotan frowned at Luke’s words.
“The human body is so weak!”
“I admit to your point. But for you to survive as a human, you must listen to all of the things I tell you.”
Luke motioned at Kurotan’s axe, and Kurotan slung his axe onto his back.
“Just like Orcs have their training methods, humans also have training methods that are right for them. Only by following them can we avoid troublesome complications.”
Kurotan silently listened, before asking Luke.
“Then can you teach me the training methods of humans?”
Startled, Luke looked at Kurotan.
“Teach you the training methods?”
“Yes. For me to swing my axe for you, shouldn’t I first train this fragile body?”
Luke’s smile turned hard to describe.
“Will you be able to follow my training methods and orders?”
“No talking back even when they don’t make sense to you?”
“All right. I will teach you the body training methods of humans. Although it’s still not guaranteed that you will recover your former strength as the Great Warrior.”
Kurotan, who had been getting more and more excited by Luke’s words, tried to pull out his axe once again. Luke quickly waved his hand to calm him down.
“There’s no need to take out the axe.”
“How can I train without a weapon?”
“The training you will do from now on is running.”
Kurotan asked back with a stupid face.
“Yes. A sturdy lower body is the foundation of physical training. You’ll only be doing running until you build up some strength.”
“Ho-How is that training?”
“To a human, it truly is a marvelous training method. We can start as soon as we get out of Lactel City.”
Luke and Kurotan soon left Lactel City, with all their traveling supplies hanging in the bags that were tied to the saddle.
After leaving the castle door and reaching an area of the road that had very little people, Luke began to train Kurotan seriously.
Luke tied a rope that he’d prepared around Kurotan’s waist. The other end of the rope was tied to the reigns of the horse.
Kurotan frowned as he raised the rope tied around his waist.
“What is this?”
Luke mounted the horse and explained with patience.
“Listen. You’re going to train your lower body by running till you get exhausted.”
Luke raised a finger and pointed to the road, disappearing into the horizon.
“Run along this trail from now on, until I say stop.”
Kurotan seemed puzzled and scratched his head, but he none- the- less began to run when Luke gave the word. Due to this, the reigns of the horse were pulled, and the horse began trotting along behind Kurotan.
“Your upper body is hunched. Straighten up your back.”
Luke pointed out the errors in his posture, and Kurotan followed Luke’s orders to fix them. Of course, it wasn’t easy to fix a lifetime of Orc posture just because you had a human body.
“Straighten out the angle of your arm and swing it with more strength.”
“I got it.”
On a road where no other human presence was, there truly was a sight to behold. A tough, bandit looking man with a rope tied around his waist sprinting, and a rider and horse trotting behind.
Luke sat relaxed in the saddle and enjoyed the view.
“When I first came here to enlist, I didn’t even dream of enjoying the view in such a relaxed manner.”
Judging by how rough the breathing had already gotten, Hal’s body really was in shit shape before. If it was Hal’s soul instead of Kurotan’s, Hal would have long since fallen while making sick noises.
However, the new soul inside Hal’s body only focused more on running, without any complaints.
“Your posture is slightly off! I told you to straighten your back.”
Though he had been consistently fixing Kurotan’s posture, Luke began to doze off while on the horse. He had ridden horses since he was young, and was rather familiar with horse riding. This coupled with the current situation weighing down on him, stressing him out, he began to doze off. Luke had fallen completely asleep on the back of the horse.