The Noble Orc frontline position that had been discovered by dispatching several Lemures, familiars created through death-attribute with the forms of transparent skulls.
Vandalieu attacked this position to gain the things needed to treat Prince Budarion and the other wounded.
Though it was a frontline position, it had nothing but watchtowers and storehouses, and was poorly constructed overall other than its size. There was no need to prepare beforehand. There weren’t many enemies stationed there, so it would be enough to wipe them out via a sudden assault with overwhelming strength.
Borkus ran with enough force to crush the ground beneath his feet, and once he got within a certain distance… within fifty meters of the Noble Orc that had fired the arrows, he swung his sword sideways.
“First, I’ll be taking your parts! Flying Dragon Slash!”
Borkus activated the Sword King Technique martial technique that he had recently created, a more powerful version of the Swordsmanship martial skill ‘Sky Rend,’ which released a slashing attack.
“BUGOOOH!” the Noble Orc General roared.
The slashing attack released by the greatsword that had been made by combining a fragment of the Demon King and Death Iron cut through the Noble Orc General’s Archery martial skill, Spiral Arrow. And then it went on to cut through the Noble Orc General’s bow and decapitate him.
Unrest spread among the Noble Orcs after having seen one of the fort’s commanders killed instantly. For monsters, commanders were the strongest individuals of their respective groups. Due to this fact, the defeat of their commander had a far greater effect on them than it would have on human armies.
But this fort had one more commander other than the Noble Orc General; there was the Noble Orc Mage Buburin.
“BUKYAKYABUH! Slaves! You stay there where you are!” he shouted.
And then he calmly evaluated the strength of Borkus, the one who had defeated his comrade, and decided to retreat.
Buburin was confident that they would be able to defeat an enemy that was a single Rank higher if the Noble Orc General was in good health by sacrificing some of the Orcs.
However, Borkus wasn’t that kind of enemy. With just a single hit, he had decapitated a Noble Orc General who had plenty of Vitality, from a far distance as well.
He wasn’t a weak enough enemy that could be defeated through tactics and coordination.
Buburin had to use the Orcs, the members of an inferior race, and the slaves that would only become burdens to buy some time and retreat to the empire. Since the enemy was an Undead, it would likely prioritize killing the slaves rather than giving chase.
“Alright! I’ve secured enough parts for the prince!”
“Now then, we will move to the second stage. I will let everyone out.”
Before the Orcs could follow Buburin’s orders and take up battle formations with building materials in their hands instead of clubs, Vandalieu, who was clinging to Borkus’s back with the Demon King’s suction cups, made his move.
“It’s fine to kill all of the Noble Orcs, right?”
“Time to test how much stronger I’ve become from the time I fought against Bugogan’s sons!”
“To be able to transport even Arachne and Empusa… Is Shrine-Maiden-dono a ninja?”
“No, a bushi?”
“Bufuh… how is everyone fine after that?”
“We’re used to it.”
Eleanora, Basdia, Vigaro, Myuze, Gizania and Prince Budarion emerged from within Vandalieu.
Buburin and his subordinates couldn’t help but to open their eyes wide in shock at the sudden appearance of more enemies.
“Fugoh?! Budarion, fugogoh?!”
Their discomposure was even greater due to the fact that they could see Prince Budarion among them.
The pale-faced Budarion, who was being protected by Myuze and Gizania as well as the other Empusa, Arachne and insectoid monsters that had emerged after them, made a rough judgment of the enemy’s formation.
And then he let out a manly roar.
To Vandalieu and his companions, it sounded like nothing more than an intimidating shout, but the effect on Buburin and his subordinates was dramatic.
“This manly use of the Orc language, it’s undoubtedly Prince Budarion!”
Hope returned to the faces of the slaves that had been frozen still in fear of the Undead attack, thinking that this was the end… Prince Budarion’s citizens.
And then the Orcs separated into Budarion’s side and Buburin’s side. Budarion’s side… the Orcs that had sympathized with the citizens being tormented by Buburin, abandoned their positions and moved to protect the citizens.
Budarion’s roar hadn’t simply been a shout, but an order in the Orc language, “Orcs! Protect the citizens!”
“Buh, BUGIIIH!” Buburin shouted in the Orc language, but his dignity was clearly inferior to Prince Budarion’s.
Even so, the Orcs on Buburin’s side tried to stop the Orcs on Budarion’s side from leaving their positions, but they couldn’t move from where they were due to Buburin’s orders to slow the enemy down, so they were simply moving about in confusion.
“Those who are protecting the citizens are the Orcs who have returned to my side! I wish for you to think of them as allies!” said Prince Budarion.
“… It seems that my previous conception of Orcs is gradually collapsing,” Zadiris muttered, seemingly shocked, but casting Wind Blades and Ice Spears nonetheless.
“Mother, let’s think of them as being different inside, even if they look the same as the Orcs outside the Boundary Mountain Range,” said Basdia, who followed up on Zadiris’s spells by throwing iron apples and hatchets.
“Never mind that, here we go!” shouted Eleanora.
The mostly-unarmored Orcs were defeated in the blink of an eye. There was one Orc persevering, brandishing a log, but he was silenced by Eleanora, who flew in to close the distance and cut him down straight through the log with her sword.
Seeing this, Buburin realized that this was not an attack by a single, powerful Undead, but a planned assault by Budarion.
“Noble Orcs and High Goblins, die here together with me! High Kobolds, split up and retreat! One of you must make it back and return with this information!”
The Noble Orcs who had been trying to retreat obeyed Buburin’s orders, turning back around and activating their Shield Technique and Armor Technique martial skills. The High Goblins raised their spears and swords as well, letting out shrill cries to inspire themselves.
Meanwhile, the High Kobolds threw their weapons to the ground and fled, running on all fours like beasts.
“BUGYABUBUFUH!” Buburin himself cast the Flame Boar spell, a spell that conjured a boar of flames, to buy at least a single second.
“Don’t get in my way! I can’t cut your heads off if you do that!” Borkus shouted as he cut straight through the Noble Orcs’ shields and the arms that were holding them, bisecting their torsos.
“Great Decapitation! Fuhahahah, defeating Noble Orcs as powerful as Bugogan is like stealing candy from a baby now!” laughed Vigaro, whose axe was sending the heads of Buburin’s dependable subordinates flying.
“The fact that you are approaching me means that you’re enemies like Noble Orcs, right?” said Basdia, defeating five High Goblins one by one.
“This is a spell, not a monster? Like a familiar?” said the Broad Ghost Orbia as she appeared.
The Flame Boar that was trying to charge with its flaming body as a weapon was becoming smaller and smaller as she repeatedly struck it with her liquid tentacles.
“It’ll be troublesome for us if you send word to the empire!”
Every single one of the desperately retreating Kobolds were crushed by the Blitz Ghost Kimberley, Gorba and the Black Fang Knights’ Order, who had been lying in ambush, as well as Eleanora.
Even Buburin, who had been releasing Flame Spears and Flame Bullets, was enveloped in a Magic Absorption Barrier and cut down by Bone Man.
“My lord, I could have defeated him even if you hadn’t sealed his magic,” Bone Man said.
“I did it just in case,” said Vandalieu. “Now then, Prince Budarion, please explain the situation to the citizens and the Orcs that have returned to your side.”
“Yes, leave it to me,” said Prince Budarion.
With the enemies all exterminated, he walked towards the rescued citizens and the Orcs who had returned to becoming his subordinates, as if greeting them. The liberated citizens and Orcs cheered for him and expressed their happiness at the fact that he was still alive with tears of joy.
“But this was really unexpected,” Vandalieu muttered as he cast the Preservation spell on the corpses of Buburin and his subordinates and gathered information from their spirits.
“Indeed,” Basdia agreed. “It’s not particularly unusual that half of the Orcs listened to Prince Budarion’s orders, though.”
“No, is that not quite strange? After all, everyone knows that the prince was defeated by Bugitas and has only one arm and one eye left,” said Bone Man, somewhat doubtful.
There was nothing strange about the fact that the Orcs had obeyed the orders of a Noble Orc.
Noble Orcs were originally a race that had been created by the evil gods of the Demon King’s army to act as commanders for Orcs. That was why Orcs, even those with the race title of King, obeyed the orders of Noble Orcs.
And if there were multiple Noble Orcs shouting orders, Orcs prioritized the stronger commander as monsters should.
However, Prince Budarion had been defeated by Bugitas, the one served by Buburin and his subordinates. From that point on, Orcs would stop obeying Prince Budarion.
However, all of this only applied to the Orcs outside the Boundary Mountain Range.
“Is that so? From our point of view, it is not strange that half of the Orc Workers returned to the prince’s side, but… it seems that with ten thousand years of isolation, differences arise between those on the inside and outside, even if they are of the same race,” said Myuze.
Indeed, the Orcs of the Noble Orc empire had spent ten thousand years’ worth of generations under the rule of Noble Orcs.
In this area, where Rank 4 monsters were rampant, a single or a mere few Orcs, whose base Rank was 3, would not be reliable as fighting strength. That was why many of them worked as low-ranking soldiers and laborers.
They protected the humans and other citizens while spending their daily efforts in manual labor. Parent to child, child to grandchild, grandchild to great-grandchild, this had continued on for approximately ten thousand years.
This had changed the Orcs.
Many of the Orcs of the Noble Orc empire were far more clever, gentle and obedient than regular Orcs.
That was why Prince Budarion and the others from Zanalpadna had expected that while there would be some Orcs who would obey Prince Bugitas rather than go against their instincts, there would also be a certain number of Orcs that felt doubt and discontent with him.
They had taken a bet as to what the exact number of those Orcs would be, but only half of the Orcs that had been gathered for the construction of this frontline position had been like this, so it seemed that more Orcs were on Budarion’s side than was previously thought.
“Of course, there are also Orcs like the ones that attacked myself and the others of the delegation, so we cannot be too optimistic,” said Gizania.
“Once Prince Budarion’s treatment is finished and his wounds are healed, the situation should change for the better,” said Vandalieu.
He had already finished securing the corpse parts and was now using the Golem Creation skill to build Orc-shaped Golems from earth and stone and colored their surfaces with the Demon King’s ink.
“… Shrine-Maiden-dono, can you really not transform into a giant frog?” asked Myuze, seeming to associate the sight of Vandalieu spraying the Demon King’s ink from the tip of his extended tongue to color the Golems with the giant frogs that ninjas could supposedly transform into.
Perhaps it couldn’t be helped that she thought this; he had been using the Demon King’s suction cups to cling to Borkus’s back earlier as well.
“I cannot*,” said Vandalieu.
TLN*: He ends his sentence with de-gozaru like Myuze here.
Prince Budarion seemed startled as he turned around and saw Vandalieu, but Vandalieu didn’t take much notice of this and continued his painting work. Incidentally, it seemed that the rescued people and Orcs thought of Vandalieu as ‘some kind of mysterious monster that resembles a human child’ or ‘a rare type of Majin.’
“Will the camouflage go well?” asked Zadiris, looking up at the Golems that would appear to be Orcs as long as they weren’t looked at from close-up.
“I think it will be fine from a distance,” said Vandalieu. “Since I made Orc spirits possess them, I think their movements should be similar as well. Though I think the scent will give them away if enemies approach closer.”
As their appearances would suggest, Orcs had a good sense of smell. It wasn’t as good as that of dogs, but if they got close, they would likely notice the smell of earth, stone and the Demon King’s ink.
“Why not erase the smell?” Vigaro suggested. “You can do that with Deodorization, right?”
“Vigaro, even if he were to erase the smell with Deodorization, it would be pointless because he cannot recreate the body odor that the Orcs would normally have. In fact, it is likely to only make them warier,” said Zadiris.
“Well, there apparently won’t be any supply units coming, so it should be fine for a while,” said Vandalieu.
He had heard from Buburin’s spirit that there wouldn’t be any supply or communication units coming, as the materials used for the construction of the temporary fort had all already been transported here and they had planned to obtain food by hunting the nearby monsters.
“Now then, let us return to Zanalpadna for now, heal everyone and then use this frontline position to attack the empire,” said Vandalieu.
“In other words, there are no problems, right? But considering that, you don’t seem to be very happy; is there something else?” Eleanora asked.
Vandalieu sighed. “No, it’s just… I realized that the problem won’t be solved just by us killing Bugitas and doing something about Ravovifard,” he said.
Sitting in a throne with a crown on his head, Bugitas reigned over the empire that he had stolen from his older brother. He had a glass filled with the finest aquavit (a spirit made from potatoes) in his hand and he was being served by beautiful women wearing clothes so thin that their skin could be seen through them.
The beautiful women were those such as the wives of the Noble Orcs who had not joined him, citizens that had been forcibly gathered, and tributes from the High Kobold nation and High Goblin nation.
Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Beast-people, Titans… There were even High Kobolds and High Goblins among them.
It was a harem of quality and quantity that anyone, at least any Noble Orc, would be envious of.
But with this harem before him, it was not lust but irritation that Bugitas felt.
“W-what is the matter, Bugitas-sama?” said one of the beautiful women with a flattering smile, though there was some fear in it as well, trying to improve Bugitas’s mood.
In the empire of the past, everyone had been taught that children were the treasures of the nation, and the women who give birth to those children should be respected as much as any warrior. But that had changed after the coup d’état.
Bugitas had conducted numerous lady-killings… not in the seductive sense, but the literal meaning of the term, despite the fact that it had been a heavy crime in the Noble Orc empire of the past.
They had died for stupid reasons, such as him having violated them too violently in the bedroom or because he had disliked the looks in their eyes and punched them.
The woman knew that if Bugitas stayed in this bad mood, either she herself or one of the others would be killed. Driven by that sense of danger, she tried to improve his mood, but…
Bugitas placed his hand gently on that beautiful woman’s head.
The woman felt relieved for a moment, thinking that Bugitas’s mood had improved, but she held her breath when she looked up to see that his eyes were still bloodshot.
“Don’t flatter me! It’s unsightly!” Bugitas growled.
He grasped the woman’s head and lifted her up, then flung her away as if he were tossing away a piece of trash.
The woman, who was tall for a human, flew through the air like a ragdoll and crashed into the wall with a heavy noise.
She slid down the wall with her neck bent in a strange angle, then stopped moving.
“No way! Anne! ANNE!”
The other beautiful women screamed and either tried to get away from Bugitas or rushed over to the dead woman.
The Orcs who had been acting as lookouts outside the room came inside to see what was happening. But having been shouted at by Bugitas in the Orc language, “Take the women and get out!” they hastily did exactly that.
But as they did so, Bugitas was even more irritated, seeing the pity in their eyes for the women and the way they carried the woman’s dead body with respect.
Why won’t things go as I want them to? Bugitas thought with a groan, having been left in the throne room alone, and then he poured the aquavit down his throat.
With no talent for becoming a politician, Bugitas spent his childhood days merely looking up at his older brother, never mind standing as his equal. He simply focused on improving his fighting strength. He thought that even if he didn’t become emperor, it would be fine as long as he could improve his strength and be acknowledged for that.
He felt a complex towards his older brother, but he became more and more imprisoned, as this was not just a feeling of jealousy.
But as Bugitas strived in his training, the voice of a god reached him.
“Do you want power? Then release it. You belong among the monsters. Return to your righteous form.”
That voice resounded very sweetly inside Bugitas’s mind.
That was Ravovifard, the evil god of release.
A god different from Mububujenge, the evil god of degenerate corpulence, who was worshipped in the empire. A god whom Bugitas had never heard of, one whose existence wasn’t even recorded in the empire’s records or documents.
In other words, he was highly likely to be an evil god who hadn’t accepted Zakkart’s offer and betrayed the Demon King; he was a remnant of the Demon King’s army.
At first, Bugitas had ignored these words, thinking that he couldn’t fall to the temptation of such a god, but the reason that he hadn’t told his older and then-healthy father was because Ravovifard’s words had indeed sounded attractive to him.
And once he had sensed that he was at his limit, Bugitas finally fell to Ravovifard’s temptation and received the evil god’s divine protection.
The effect of Ravovifard’s divine protection was immense. It increased all of Bugitas’s Attribute Values, and his level that had almost stopped increasing completely suddenly began rising quickly once more.
And because of the skill he had acquired due to the divine protection, False Guidance: Beast Path, the subordinates who obeyed him became stronger one after another as well.
But as a price for this, the minds of Bugitas and the Noble Orcs who served him transformed over time.
They stopped finding meaning in the duty of the noble, detached their instincts from their reasoning and came to think that survival of the fittest was the righteous form of the Noble Orcs.
And having surpassed his older brother Budarion, Bugitas finally stole the throne. And from there, he was supposed to have conquered the other nations in the blink of an eye and begin ruling a world of survival of the fittest, where he sat at the top.
Bugitas stopped reminiscing and threw his cup into the floor in irritation.
He had usurped the throne, but things hadn’t been going as well as he had thought they would after that.
As for Mububujenge, the evil god of degenerate corpulence, the god himself was being suppressed by Ravovifard while Bugitas had suppressed his priests.
The other gods weren’t showing any movements, either.
The isolated, younger children like Bugitas who lived in the High Goblin and High Kobold nations had staged coup d’états, so those nations were now under Bugitas’s control.
Bugitas was certain that the total military strength he possessed, including that from those nations, was greater than those of the Majin and Kijin nations, excluding the Pure-breed Vampires guarding Vida’s Resting Grounds. And because of the monster rampages caused by Ravovifard, those powerful nations could not move so easily, as they were busy dealing with the monsters overflowing from the Dungeons.
Bugitas would use that opportunity to conquer the other nations, including Zanalpadna, and this time successfully take the head of his feeble older brother. Or at least, that was what should have happened.
However, the reality was that the Noble Orc empire was struggling in its battles with the other nations, including Zanalpadna.
Why?! Are we Noble Orcs not the race that possesses the greatest military strength, the race that should stand at the top and rule all other creatures?! Bugitas thought, but… that wasn’t true.
If one excluded exceptional individuals such as heroes, Noble Orcs were indeed an exceptional race. They were as intelligent as humans and all of them were born as powerful Rank 6 beings; they were the most complete race among monsters.
But if Noble Orcs were the most superior race, why had Vida created her own new races?
Bugitas hadn’t realized this, but while Noble Orcs were more complete, they were very lacking in diversity compared to humans and lower-Rank monsters. Though they did have some individual differences, the races they could become through increasing their Rank were limited, and their skill setups ended up being similar.
That was why Vida’s races like Arachne and Empusa, who could acquire a variety of Jobs, could take countermeasures against Noble Orcs.
As a result, the Noble Orcs weren’t as superior in battle as Bugitas had imagined they would be.
And though this wasn’t due to any error on Bugitas’s part… he and his subordinates had experience battling in groups ranging from several individuals to perhaps a dozen, but they didn’t have the experience or knowledge to conduct large-scale war between armies.
There hadn’t been any wars for over ten thousand years, and the skirmishes that had occurred were before the ‘Wise Emperor’ Buugih appeared. After that, conflicts between nations had been resolved through discussions or battles of strength or wits between the nations’ representatives.
There wasn’t a single person (except for the Pure-breed Vampires) in the southern region of the continent who had experienced large-scale battles or wars other than against groups of wild monsters. Thus, the knowledge of military strategy itself didn’t exist.
Due to this, advanced military strategy couldn’t be used, and it was easy for battles to become simply charging at each other and relying on pure force.
The same applied for Zanalpadna and the other nations, so battles unfolded on even ground, in a bad sense.
Their attempt to get the lizards in the northern marshlands ended in failure, but… those useless bastards!
And to round it all off, the organization of the empire, the base that Bugitas was standing on, was unstable as well.
Other than those who had fled with his older brother, almost all of the Noble Orcs obeyed him. However, only about a third of them had truly sworn loyalty to him; it was obvious that the rest were only pretending to serve him in order to protect the citizens and their families.
Of course, False Guidance: Beast Path didn’t show any effects in them.
The worst thing was the eyesores that were the Orcs. As they were members of an inferior race, they instinctively obeyed Bugitas. But they had been supposed to throw away the imitation women given to them by Mububujenge when told that they would be given real women, and become exceptional soldiers under the effects of False Guidance: Beast Path.
However, the truth was that about half of the Orcs… especially the exceptional individuals, felt animosity to Bugitas in their minds.
I can’t expect any more support from Ravovifard. I need to take Ani-ue’s… I need to take Budarion’s head as soon as possible and solidify my rule over the empire. Should I cancel the invasions on the other nations for now and focus on Zanalpadna to do that? Shit! This is all that coward’s fault for running away disgracefully!
The following is an excerpt from Luciliano’s research notes.
A Job that has only been verified by the people in the southern region of the Bahn Gaia continent who possess the knowledge of samurai left behind by Hillwillow, champion of Botin, mother of the earth and goddess of craftsmanship. However, the possibility of the Job existing in other regions such as the Dark Continent cannot be ruled out.
It is a frontline swordsman-type Job; it grants bonuses to the Katana Technique skill, a skill that utilizes a curved, single-edged blade (known as a katana), as well as various other skills such as Archery, Spear Technique, Mount and Strengthened Attribute Values: Loyalty.
To acquire this Job, one must possess the Katana Technique skill at level 4 or greater and be serving a master.
It seems that those who are not serving a lord are able to acquire a Job called Ronin.
It also seems that a superior Job called Swordmaster exists, but apparently, nobody has become a Bushi, a Job yearned for by the samurais of the southern region of the continent.
In the southern region of the continent, curved, single-edged blades are called katanas. The skill is generally similar to Swordsmanship, but it seems that this skill requires more dexterous manipulation of the weapon.
Incidentally, due to a legend left in the southern region of the continent by Hillwillow that “bushi were capable of cutting a mounted enemy in half along with his mount,” a standard katana is defined as one as enormous and powerful enough to cut down a mounted enemy along with his mount (tamed monster).
It seems that due to the blacksmithing techniques used to create these blades, they would not be able to withstand this if they were any narrower.
They are similar to a katana known as a zanbato on Earth, the world where Master once resided. Though for a weapon wielded by Arachne, they are likely not so large…
Incidentally, smaller katanas are also created to be used by small-build Arachne, Empusa and Goblins. According to Master, these are the original standard katanas.
A race title that can be reached by Orcs when they reach level 100 while possessing production-related skills such as Farming, Logging or Masonry at 3 or higher with all battle-related skills below level 3.
There are no bonuses for combat-related skills whatsoever, but there are bonuses for the acquisition and development for production-related skills. Also, it becomes easier for the level of the Superhuman Strength skill to increase.
This race has not been verified outside of the Noble Orc empire; it is unlikely for ordinary wild Orcs to increase their Rank and acquire this race title.
Their Rank itself is 4, but because their combat-related skills are low in level, they do not have much fighting ability.