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▪️THE ORC KING’S COURT

Meryer returned with carts chock-full of goods!

Upon their return to Meryer’s Castle, the Black Dragon as well as a group of players brought along more than two hundred cattle, sheep, and a variety of poultry animals caged in numerous carts. The news of their arrival spread rapidly, garnering the attention of some idle players who chose to gather around and witness such an impressive procession of livestocks.

While observing the reaction upon the faces of the Chosen Ones who were watching, the little black dragon felt considerable pride within himself.

“Ruaah! How is it? This Lord’s trading skill is quite impressive isn’t it?”

“So the trade actually succeeded? And Meryer bought so much stuff in one go?! Damn, does the purchasing power of silver coins really that strong?”

“Absolutely impressive! It’s really different when a dragon is involved!”

The players were all very excited. However, soon everyone’s focus then shifted as to where these livestock would eventually be raised and kept.

“Lord Meryer! You know my backyard is quite spacious. How about I take a few cow to raise, eh?”

“Hey I used to herd sheep in my youth! I can take care of these sheeps…”

“Lord Meryer, looks like some of the chickens in these cages looks sick, as if they’ve having a heatstroke. How about—”

“—Get lost!”

Meryer growled at those few greedy players who were brazen enough to dare take a slice of his goods and protected the livestock he had purchased like an enraged mother hen.

“I’ve bought all of these, so everything must be under this Lord! Don’t think I don’t know the schemes you cunning folks are up to!”

The Players: “…..”

In the end, the players couldn’t trick the little black dragon to give them even a single sheep nor chicken. Instead, Meryer had placed all the livestock near Black Dragon Castle in order to raise them there, following Eve’s divine directive.

Furthermore, the Black Dragon has also assigned a new task, requiring players to clear the trees near his castle. The goal is to establish a small border area between the Dark Mountains and the Elven Forest and this designated space will eventually serve as a discreet breeding area for these recently acquired livestock.

However, breeding animals was different from planting crops.

In Saigües, elves could accelerate plant growth through magical means, but livestock and poultry breeding were vastly different.

It will stil take time for the livestock industry to become self-sufficient.

Thus for a significant period of time, or at least until these livestock have already produced their offspring, the players would most likely would still have to rely on consuming monster meat if they wish to eat some meat.

Fortunately, some of the monsters in the underground, though not very tasty, were very much abundant and quite easy to catch, thus barely appeasing the appetites of those players who mostly adhere to carnivorous diet.

Furthermore, although the monsters within the Elven Forest’s safe zone had been mostly eradicated, the number of monsters in the northern part of the Forest was still substantial enough.

As the mana within the core region of the Elven Forest continues to increase day by day, an increasing multitude of powerful monsters from the outskirts are relocating towards the center. This phenomenon led to the forested zones becoming significantly more exhilarating for players to explore.

In conclusion, the completion of the [Animal Husbandry] sidequest also meant the completion of the last chain quest within the [Faction Development] quest series.

What still remained were the repeatable daily tasks within the [Faction Development] questline, such as “[Resource Collection],” “[Main City Construction],” “[Livestock Raising],” and such.

Many Life-oriented players were becoming increasingly engrossed in farming, leveling up through completing these daily tasks and gaining contribution points.

The construction team of the Moe Moe Committee became even more dedicated to their work. Having finished the construction of the basic facilities within Chosen City, they proceeded to meticulously enhance the city’s overall aesthetics. This effort transformed the city into a dreamlike urban landscape adorned with architectural styles reminiscent of Earth, making it even more enchanting and splendid.

Even Florence, with the assistance of some players, is also gradually regaining its former grandeur.

Meanwhile, combat-oriented players were lately focusing more of their time underground, clearing shadow monsters inside the sealed dungeon, or hunting monsters in the dark forest.

Of course, there were still some players exploring the northern part of the Elven Forest, searching for new type of monsters within these wild untamed regions.

With the recent monster migration, quite a number of new monster species had indeed entered the players’ range of activity and some people even claimed to have spotted creatures resembling that of unicorns!

This matter caused a sensation among the playerbase, however, as everyone quickly hurried to locate these mythical creatures, they were soon left disappointed, finding not even a trace nor clue about the Unicorn’s existence.

In short, with the expansion of the playable map including the recent addition of the world underground, the gameplay of Elven Kingdom had now more or less have a clearer direction.

Of course, players were still exploring the finer details of the game.

For instance, some life-oriented players were experimenting with cooking, brewing, and even crafting magical potions.Whereas combat-oriented players continued to explore the depths of Rivendell or delving deeper into the dark forest underground in order to challenge more powerful monsters, amongst their other activities.

Under Eve’s command, her own faction had entered a relatively stable phase of development.

The constant trade exchanges with the Dark-Dwarves continued to flourish, benefiting the entire elven community as a whole, especially the those within the blacksmithing industry. Even the members of the Rageblaze Clan felt a noticeable improvement in their own quality of life recently.

Although the main storyline was temporarily on hold for the time being, the Elven Forest became more busier around this time, with many tasks requiring vast amounts of labor and manpower.

And upon watching all these developments unfold, Evé herself clearly understood that this rapid expansion of her faction would soon reach its bootleneck primarily due to the critical limiting factor of the lack of available manpower!

However, the appointed time for the third round beta-testing is soon approaching, and the fresh new ‘recruits’ that Evé and the rest of the players are looking forward to is about to arrive…

The land south of Elven Forest.

After climbing over the narrow, dark canyon and crossing the endless, dark mountain range, what meets the eye is a vast horizon composed of a boundless desolate desert, stretching as far as the eye could see.

This is the Desert of Death, which is also the largest desert in Saigües.

It is said that this desert was once a dense rainforest back in ancient times, and during the Titan Era, it was also where the royal court of the Giants once stood.

Unfortunately, the constant war between the dragons and the titans destroyed everything.

The Titan civilization that had ruled the continent for tens of thousands of years eventually vanished. The royal court of the Giants also turned into ruins, and the once lush and vibrant rainforest gradually transformed into a scorching desert.

Only the scattered oases barely sustain the creatures inhabiting this desert…

And now, the only sentient beings that rule the Desert of Death are the Beastmen who migrated from the north thousands of years ago during the peak of the Silver Civilization, with the assistance of the elves.

These Desert Beastmen are a faction stemming from the Northern Orcs. They are the descendants from the interbreeding of human slaves, taken captive by the Orcs following their raids upon the human territories.

Unfortunately, these half-beastmen seemed to have inherited all the flaws of both orcs and humans. They possessed the hideous appearance and stupidity of the orcs, along with the greed and weakness of humans.

Yes—Weakness.

Compared to true full blood orcs who typically have huge and robust bodies, the physique of these half-beastmen is considered weak, similar to that of a human.

This outcome led to them being fully discriminated against by both the humans and the orcs.

…At least up until over two thousand years ago, where a great hero appeared within one of the half-beastmen’s tribe—Uller.

Uller actually wasn’t a half-beastmen himself.

In fact, he was a tribal totem awakened in the half-beastmen tribe.

Or rather…a pseudo-god!

Due to Uller’s efforts, the half-beastmen who migrated to the Desert of Death spent over a hundred years unifying all of the tribes and established the Court of the Half-Beast People in Wakaqina, the heart of the desert oasis.

Empowered by Uller, the half-beastmen finally gained a foothold in the world of Saigües and had became a faction not to be underestimated.

And Uller, upon relying on the religious belief of the half-beastmen, eventually acquired the Divinity of Hunting, and successfully ascended into godhood, hereby becoming the God of Hunting, Uller.

Afterwards, he then led the half-beastmen to rejoin the orc faction, becoming one of the subordinate powers of the Orc Alliance. The main patron god of the Orcs, Lóðurr, ¹ the God of Destruction and War, then granted the Hunter God a new divine title, “Winter” making Uller the God of Winter and Hunting!

Similarly, Uller had also became one of the deities serving under the War God Lineage, one of the three major God Lineages in the Heavenly Realm.

In the war of the gods a thousand years ago, Uller joined the heavenly coalition, defeated the elvenkind, and secured the governing right over the Dark Mountain Range and the southern region of the Elven Forest for the half-beastmen.

For centuries, the half-beastmen have been striving to cleanse the remnants of elven influence upon these two regions.

Until today that is.

This is the history of the half-beastmen…

Wakaqina, the Royal Court of the Half-Beastmen.

Imush the Lionheart, the 73rd king of the half-beastmen, sat on his throne, deathly silent as he looked down at the trembling half-beast warriors bound before him.

After a moment, he then took the Lionheart Sword handed to him by his subordinate, before pointing it at one of the kneeling half-beast warrior.

“So… you mean to say that you were defeated by a group of elves and the entire Caverock Tribe was wiped out?” Imush stated on a rough voice that didn’t reveal any emotion.

“Y-Yes, your Majesty. Those elves cannot die!”

The half-beast warrior stammered, seemingly retaining boundless fear of the surreal scenes he had just witnessed.

Hearing his words, Imush, the Lionheart King, let out a mocking laugh.

“Cannot die? Do you really need to find duch pitiful reasons for your own weakness? Not capable of death…are the elves becoming undead—No, even the undead can be purified. Even the heralds of the Death God are not immortal…You fools!”

“N-No… it’s not like that. I truly saw them die and come back to life!!”

The half-beast warrior persisted.

“M-Moreover… behind them, there seems to be a powerful pseudo-god. Even… even the summoned totem guardian, Lord Volker, see…seems to have f-fallen…”

The voice of the half-beast warrior grew smaller and smaller.

Even the Totem Guardian Volker?

Hearing this particular name, Imush’s eyes partly contracted.

Demigod Volker was a highly valued individual by the Chief God, a divine envoy under the Father God, and had been responsible for suppressing the remaining elves faction for centuries.

And as a foothold for the half-beastmen in the Elven Forest, the Caverock Tribe had naturally summoned this great demigod more than once in the past few centuries.

Although he’s still not a true god, Volker had also embarked on his own path of ascension, reaching the peak of the Saigües hierarchy of power.

To falsify the fall of a demigod, especially one who was an important envoy of their patron god, would incur severe punishment for any believer!

However… looking at the fear-stricken expression on the half-beast warrior, Imush’s heart couldn’t help but pound more faster.

He suddenly had a preposterous thought.

He suddenly felt… that what the other side had reported might actually be true!

At this moment, a female half-beastmen wearing luxurious priest robes entered the tent.

She wore a crown made of bones atop her head, her face adorned with a variety of oil-based colors, while her expression remained solemn.

Seeing the newcomer, Imush, the King of Lionheart and the ruler of the half-beastmen, immediately put down the longsword in his hand. He then stood up from his throne and respectfully bowed to her.

“Your Excellency, the Chief Shaman, why have you come?”

The female half-beast shaman looked at the bound warrior and then at the King Imush…

She sighed, then spoke with a solemn expression.

“Under the decree of the Father God… a divine oracle has been issued.”

“A new god has emerged in the Elven Forest. This god is gathering all the elves on the continent and, two months ago, wiped out the Caverock Tribe. Even Lord Volker has fallen under their hands…”

A new god? A Demigod really fell!?

Imush, the Lionheart King, looked dazed after hearing all these.

He then took a deep breath after being silent for a minute, with his face gradually becoming more stern than usual.

“…And then?”

The Chief Shaman merely glanced at him, with her expression gradually turning more and more fanatical.

 ”Father God is extremely angry, and intends to start a religious war to eradicate this new god and the elves.”

Inside the tent, silence as cold as death itself prevailed.

No one moved nor spoke amidst the silence, while the only audible thing was the eerily howling wind outside. The rolling clouds on the horizon intermittently blocked the sunlight, resulting in the tent’s interior to alternate between light and shadow.

The rainy season had arrived.

And the Desert of Death was about to change…

End of Volume Two

¹洛德 – Lóðurr is a god in Norse mythology. In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, he is assigned a role in animating the first humans, but apart from that he is hardly ever mentioned, and remains obscure. Scholars have variously identified him with Loki, Vé, Vili, and Freyr, but consensus has not been reached on any one theory.

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