Cthulhu Gonfalon - Chapter 19
Chapter 19: Chapter 19
Translator: Nyoi_Bo_Studio Editor: Nyoi_Bo_Studio
From Pyroxene Town to Dragon-roar Town, it was about ten days’ travel by foot. Adventurers, if riding horses, also needed around this much time. This was because the distance between every village where one could stay was equal to almost a one-day travel on foot. Unless one was not afraid to die near this dangerous barren mountain range or were indifferent to the strength of one’s horse and covered two days’ distance in one day, no one would travel any faster.
However, Sui Xiong and Gerrard were not in a hurry. Joining a group of dealers, they walked toward Dragon-roar Town as if they were roaming.
The evil dragon, known as the Arctic Tyrant, had wreaked havoc in the mountains near Dragon-roar Town for more than 50 years and seemed to be in no rush to move.
They had no need to worry; the key to fighting the evil dragon was the body of Sui Xiong, i.e., Oscar, His Majesty “vanity mask”. Now, Sui Xiong secluded himself in an underground cave near the Pyroxene Town, adjusting his body structure to better adapt to land-based actions. It was a lot of work to change his entire huge body, and it could not be completed so quickly. So even if they arrived in Dragon-roar Town early, they could only stay temporarily in the town to gather some information. It was impossible for Gerrard alone to challenge the evil dragon.
“Brother White, did you live in the mountains before? Was life in the mountains hard?” In a caravan with them, a boy around 12 years old curiously asked Gerrard about everything, which annoyed Gerrard a lot.
“… Life in the mountains was simple and boring. I have nothing more to say.”
In order to facilitate the operation, Gerrard chose to go with the group of dealers, which was composed of caravans, so when danger came they could guard and help each other; when the danger was tremendous, it was easy to find scapegoats.
This large group was composed of seven or eight caravans, which all chose to follow the strongest caravan among them.
This caravan was called “Lucky Gold Coin”, with its president being a semi-pygmy called Soth. As a half-breed of pygmy and human, he was slightly shorter than average men. He had slightly reddish and rather tough skin, big eyes with night vision, a slender and agile body, and one or two heaven-sent spells made his experience as an adventurer run very smoothly. This was how he had saved a good fortune.Now that he was old, he no longer assumed the role of an adventurer, but formed a caravan and became a businessman.
Uncle Soth’s caravan was only comprised of his old acquaintances. What was interesting was that although this caravan was primarily doing business with humans, there was not even a single member in the caravan who was purely human; the boss was a semi-pygmy, the bodyguards were half-orcs, two business partners were a half-elf and a dwarf, and even employees were of different races or half-breeds. For example, the one who liked to talk with Gerrard, young mage Palin, who was an accountant, was a purebred dwarf.
In this world, there were many races of intelligent life. There were many whose body types were similar to those of humans. Pygmies, dwarves, elves, and orcs were relatively common.
Pygmies and dwarves were not tall; they were about 2/3 as tall as humans. However, no one would confuse the two because the pygmy was an agile and intellectual race, while the dwarf was a race of physical strength. The former was skinny and thin, with red skin, big eyes and long hands and feet. The latter was stout, with small eyes and bushy beards, and they spoke with a voice as loud as ordinary people’s shouting.
In general, pygmies and half-breed dwarves often chose to be mages or relied on innate abilities to become entertainers, or bards, or businessmen… Of course, they were often part-time pickpockets. The dwarves? Aside from fighters, they rarely engaged themselves in other occupations. There might also have been some dwarves working as miners, blacksmiths, winemakers, or chefs, but they must first be good fighters, with almost no exceptions.
The elves were a race that were about as tall as humans, but they were more slender. They were characterized by possessing a sophisticated spell, and natural affinity, so they were almost innately capable of casting magic. However, they couldn’t adapt themselves to living in an unnatural environment. If they could not live in a natural environment, they would gradually become weak and ill, and eventually, die.
For this reason, the elves, one of the most powerful races in this world, took the forests and wilderness as their own kingdom. In the course of mankind’s several great expansions, two races with an equally brilliant history and strong armed forces fought several times; elves and humans. Elves had conquered several races including dwarves and pygmies, while humans had chased off races such as orcs and murlocs. They bitterly fought to an extent comparable to Mars hitting the earth. But in the end, neither side could deal with the other side, so they had to compromise and seek coexistence and common development.
It had been almost five hundred years since the most recent major expansion. Except for those legendary long-lived strong men, those who participated in the war had long since been dead, and their hatred had gradually faded. Now the relationship between the elves and humans could be regarded as relatively good; the elves envied the versatile potential and vitality of the humans, while the humans envied the serene mind and genius of the elves. As things went on like this, there had been many children of mixed races, commonly known as half-elves.
As for the orcs, they were an unlucky and poor group. They had many origins, but they were continuously expelled because mankind had defeated them during the war. They lived together and finally formed a somewhat messy race. The orcs’ ancestors also had a good history of civilization, but the war with humans interrupted their civilizational process, drove them off from the land where their ancestors lived, and interrupted the passing of their civilization. They gradually became a symbol of barbarism and backwardness.
Sadly, most orcs had forgotten the honor of their own civilization and chose to accept the civilization of the human beings or elves. In today’s world, the traditional occupations of orcs, such as “wild warrior”, “fury warrior”, “experienced swordsman”, and “soul shaman”, had been fewer and fewer. Most qualified orcs chose to be soldiers, knight-errants, alchemists or priests.
Perhaps it was because the occupations were developed by human beings and elves that they were more powerful than the ancient occupations that the orcs inherited.
The half-orcs in the caravans came from a tribe called “Barbarian Stone”. The leader, Arhan, was a holy warrior. He was the kind of clergyman who had been baptized in a holy temple, inherited the heritage of the temple, and tended to use force rather than magic. The god that he worshipped was somewhat special; worshiped as “Steel Lion”, a god of desolation who had an orc origin that tended to be evil. But it achieved semi-independence from the orcs with a few subordinates and became a kind-hearted god.
Both Arhan and his subordinates were worshipers of the god of desolation, and their armor and shield had the saintly deity’s holy emblem; the golden lion’s paw in a shield-shaped frame. Arhan’s shield was divinely sparkling. It was a magic item blessed in the temple.
Sui Xiong noticed that the golden light that the shield flashed from time to time was a bit familiar. Carefully recollecting for a while, he was sure that this ray of light seemed to be very similar to the god who had helped him when he was fighting with the God of Insomnia.
In order to make sure of it, he specifically asked Gerrard to ask Arhan for some knowledge of the God of Desolation.
The God of Desolation was a god who liked to travel around and speak up for the interests of the oppressed. He often changed into a lion-man (one of the orcs), carrying a shield and tomahawk, with a hammer at his waist. When he was faced with the raging caused by evil gods, he would turn into a golden lightning that tore the sky and engage in combat with the evil. Although in terms of rank he could only be regarded as a medium-leveled god, he had an extremely strong fighting power, as more than once he had made those well known evil gods flee. So he deserved being called a first-class powerhouse among the gods.
As for the doctrine of this god and the detailed sectarian structure, Sui Xiong was too lazy to remember them. In short, he was somewhat certain that the God of Desolation was the one who once helped him and a god of kindness.
Well, that was sufficient.
This was a good team leader with good technique, strong sense, capable of leading a team and without evil equipment. It would be excellent if one had the opportunity to join in games with him.
Of course, this god helped him during a fight, so it was also necessary to repay the god.
“Gerrard, if a fight happens, pay attention to protecting Arhan and his men.” He said.
Gerrard wondered why he should protect Arhan, who was apparently good at fighting, rather than those non-combatants represented by old Soth who had retired for years and had a significantly lower combat effectiveness. But the god’s command was absolute, and he said he was completely obedient to it.
But Gerrard could be sure that there was no need to protect Arhan at all. This strong lion-man could confront wild bears, even without weapons. Fully armed, even a bipedal flying dragon could not hurt him.
The bipedal flying dragon that wanted to attack them tonight had now become the barbecue in the camp, and old Soth’s partner and chef, Wrought Iron, was applying secret spices and liquor that he felt proud of on his meat. Part of the meat was almost cooked, with its attractive scent lingering in the air.
After a day of trekking, the caravan was stationed next to a small village at night. This was a vast, vacant area that was spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of people if they just stayed there temporarily. Because of the adjacent barren mountains, the Ashes Forest did not affect it. What a stunning view; trees shaded the ground in the distance, while the green grass grew prosperously in the vicinity. This made Sui Xiong, accustomed to seeing a grey-black tone, greatly satisfied.
At this moment, everyone was busy, but almost everyone stopped for a moment when the scent of roasted dragon filled the air, and more than one person even wound up drooling.
Another partner of Old Soth, a half-elf knight-errant who called himself “Rhythm”, was handling the material removed from the bipedal dragon; the sharp jaws, the fangs connected to venomous glands, hard scales on the chest, and tough skin.
The dragon was a rather fierce monster that ate a wide range of foods, but their favorite prey was a “weak bipedal walking beast” – abbreviated as humans. In fact, their favorite thing to do was to attack the herdsmen and caravans, and they even turned a blind eye to such prey as cattle and sheep when they could eat humans. They were a fierce enemy of humanity.
If they had been on Earth, these opponents of humans would have been almost extinguished until only a few were preserved for analysis purposes in zoos. However, in this relatively backward and wild world, all the humanoids, including human beings, only occupied less than a third of the land of the entire world. Enemies like them filled the vast open country that was barbarian and wild, and all were used to it.
Of course, the result would be fighting; losing meant you would be eaten, winning meant the other would be eaten!
For example, this bipedal dragon that failed to confront the caravan and was defeated had become everyone’s dinner.
At the moment, with the overflowing aroma, “Wrought Iron”, laughed loudly and sounded a small bell that meant the beginning of a meal.
The bell sound saved Gerrard, who was being questioned by the curious baby, Palin. Gerrard promptly ended the tale of “the ecology of the giants ” that almost came from hearsay, dragging the little Palin who was still lost in his tale and hurrying toward the bonfire.
It was a good excuse to have dinner, which finally got him out of the interrogation-like conversation.