"Don’t joke around! Are you telling me to believe that now?" Hyeonu naturally uttered angry words. An orc had picked up an elf in the forest. Moreover, this was an orc who was completely excluded from his tribe due to some type of incident.
"It would be more realistic for Tang-E to be vegetarian." Hyeonu shook his head.
Ikta was angered by Hyeonu’s reaction. It was true, but Hyeonu didn’t believe it. Ikta had indeed picked up an elf in the forest.
"Human, what do you know about the relationship between orcs and elves?" Ikta couldn’t overcome his frustration and started to educate Hyeonu while bleeding.
‘Elves and orcs?’ Based on what Hyeonu knew, orcs and elves had an antagonistic relationship in any virtual reality game. To be precise, they were close to enemies.
"You don’t get along? Deep-rooted enmity? It is to that extent?" Hyeonu revealed the thoughts of players.
"This... Then the dwarves?"
"Allies with elves and enemies with orcs?" Hyeonu gave a general answer based on the players’ perceptions once again.
"It is all wrong—everything you said. There are large and small conflicts between different species, but we never fight for the fate of our race as long as the League of Different Species is maintained."
Surprising words came out of Ikta’s mouth—‘the League of Different Species’.
‘It is the appearance of a new force.’ Hyeonu was very interested, but at the same time, he had no choice but to frown.
According to Ikta, the orcs were also members of the League of Different Species.
‘Raccoon, that jerk…’ Hyeonu realized that Raccoon had made fun of him.
Raccoon had known everything from the start.
"I understand up to here... So, the elf?" Hyeonu went back to the original point and asked about the elf.
"Before that, you need to know about the League of Different Species. This way, it is easier to understand why I picked up the elf. The continent, which has the League of Different Species, is divided up based on huge forests. There are countless monsters in the forest with intelligence too low to be described as a different species."
"Are the monsters that strong?" Hyeonu muttered slightly like he was talking to himself.
"It varies. However, even if you only choose the easiest path to go through, you should be at least as strong as me. Otherwise, it is just a reckless challenge."
"Yet one day, an elf was lying in the forest. Is that what you’re saying?"
Ikta nodded. It was as Hyeonu said. Ikta had stumbled upon an elf who had fallen in the forest, so he had been taking care of the elf since then.
"That’s right. I might’ve fled from the league, but I have the minimum sense of honor. I had a comfortable time in the league, so I tried to heal the elf and send him back. But... the elf hasn’t woken up."
There was just one problem—the elf slept deeply like he was totally out of it. Ikta utilized all the methods he knew, but the elf still wouldn’t wake up.
"How long has it been since you’ve discovered the elf?" Hyeonu asked Ikta again.
"Half a year. It has been half a year," Ikta answered. He told the truth as it was.
"Half a year?" Hyeonu raised his voice like he was surprised. Half a year was such a long time.
"How did he not die?" he asked.
Some doubts arose in Hyeonu’s mind. It was hard to believe the elf was still alive after sleeping for half a year.
‘There is no IV in Arena...’
The answer came from Ikta right away. "Fortunately, there is an elemental lake in the cave. That stopped the elf from dying."
"What is an elemental lake?" Hyeonu questioned about yet another thing that was unfamiliar to him.
"It is literally an elemental lake. It means a lake that contains elemental power. It is very rare... Coincidentally, it was in this forest," Ikta explained about the elemental lake to Hyeonu.
The elemental lake was something that few people knew about. Of course, this was only the case with humans. It was very famous among the various species. It was like a treasure for those who dealt with elementals.
‘Um... They must’ve seen the elf.’
Just then, the Pioneer Guild members, who had disappeared into the cave, reappeared with disappointed faces.
"Let’s do this. It has been half a year. There is no guarantee that the elf will wake up just because time passes. So... we should go through the forest and visit the League of Different Species. Why don’t we let the elves take care of it there?" Hyeonu came up with a solution that he thought was very appropriate.
He had to find the elves somehow. No, he had to go to the League of Different Species where the elves were and find the magic circle connected to the divine world. In such a situation, the orc in front of him was no different from a navigation system.
‘I can’t solve it using force alone.’
This choice was the best no matter how he thought about it. It was a method that no one else could think of, and it would be impossible for them to do.
"Why is there no answer? You don’t like it? Are you going to leave the elf like that for the rest of your life?" Hyeonu forced an answer from the red orc, who was staring at him silently.
"It isn’t possible. I can’t enter the league. I can’t even enter the Anfra Forest." Ikta shook his head at Hyeonu’s urging and refused the suggestion. He was in a situation where he could never set foot in the league again.
"Why? What is the reason? What accident did you have?" Hyeonu shouted in a frustrated manner. At the same time, red fighting energy and strong killing intent were released as if to hit Ikta’s head.
"I took the wrong medicine, and I lost my mind. By the time I came to my senses, the area was full of corpses."
The cause of the incident was nothing other than this.
A dark elf, whom Ikta had usually been friendly with, had handed Ikta a potion and said it was an elixir to become stronger. Ikta then drank the potion without any doubts. As a result, Ikta’s skin—which was close to green—turned dark red, and his eyes always emitted a bloody light. After taking it, he lost his senses and swung his axe for several hours. A considerable number of those belonging to different species were killed when they tried to stop Ikta.
"Was it to that extent? It was due to a medicine, so isn’t it a problem that can be overcome? The problem was that dark elf."
"Among the corpses... there was the son of an elf tribe chief. Someone had to bear the wrath of a father who lost his son."
Up to this point, there was room for extenuating circumstances. Everyone knew that it wasn’t Ikta’s will. The problem was that there was one with an extraordinary status among the dead. Someone had to take responsibility for that. However, the dark elf who gave the potion to Ikta disappeared, and the dark elf chief feigned ignorance. The only one left to take responsibility… was Ikta.
"The great tribe chief saved me on the condition that I could never return to the realm of the league again. I will cause trouble to the chief if I return," Ikta said.
However, the great tribe chief of the orcs knew it wasn’t Ikta’s fault. This was why he gave a verbal promise and sent Ikta away. Of course, the other species didn’t know about such a process. They only knew that Ikta had left Anfra Forest after a tremendous escape.
"It is disgusting." Hyeonu frowned. The problem wasn’t as light as he thought. Then Hyeonu’s expression quickly returned to normal.
"I will be your shield. Just guide the way. I will be responsible for everything," Hyeonu talked big to Ikta. There was no need for responsibility. It would be fine as long as they didn’t get caught. Ikta would be a guide only to Anfra Forest. Then there would be no problems.
‘If there is a problem, I can solve it.’
Hyeonu reflected on his strong connections—the orcs and Marionette Bears, who possessed a monster-like force. There were also the dwarves. If it didn’t work out, he could use the dragon’s name. Hyeonu could resolve any problem with that much.
Ikta was troubled. Hyeonu’s big words shook his heart. The forest Ikta was currently staying in wasn’t bad, but he felt too lonely. It was very difficult for someone who had always lived with many tribe members to live alone.
‘Even if I die, I want to die in my hometown.’
He wanted to see it with his own eyes, even if it was just once more. In addition...
‘He knows the great tribe chief as well. He will take care of it.’
The human had said he was an acquaintance of Raccoon, the Meadow Wolf Tribe leader and the great tribe chief of the orcs. This fact made Ikta’s heart lean more toward one side.
"Tang-E, come here." Hyeonu saw that Ikta couldn’t easily make a decision and called out to Tang-E, who was hiding in the distance.
Tang-E ran quickly to Hyeonu and immediately criticized him, "What? Aren’t you fighting, Master dude? In the meantime, your tongue has become smoother."
Upon seeing Tang-E, Ikta exclaimed with surprise, "A Marionette Bear...! How…??"
It was a Marionette Bear—a race where each individual possessed the strength of thousands. Therefore, it was a species that occupied a large proportion of the League of Different Species.
"Are you convinced now?" Hyeonu asked the surprised Ikta.
Finally, Ikta made a decision. "I will be in charge up to Anfra Forest. From then on... you take responsibility."
Hyeonu approached Ikta and held out his hand. "I will leave it to you."
"So... are you saying this orc will guide you to where the elves are? Am I understanding it correctly, Alley Leader?" Ket asked with disbelief.
"Yes, you understand it. That is what I mean," Hyeonu responded.
There was nothing wrong with Ket’s words; they were accurate. This time, it was Asu who asked Hyeonu, "Then what do we do with the elf? He didn’t wake up when we touched him."
The quest to save the elves was cleared. It happened the moment Hyeonu and Ikta started their conversation. The problem was after that. No new quests appeared, and the elf didn’t wake up. They suddenly felt lost.
"The orc doesn’t know either. That is why the orc will guide us to where the elves are. We will take the elf inside the cave with us and will be guided by the orc. We just need to hand the elf over to the elves and then keep adventuring."
Upon hearing Hyeonu’s detailed description, Asu and the members of the Pioneer Guild couldn’t hide their trembling expressions. It was the first time they had been hit like this. They didn’t understand how the quest had taken such a turn.
Jewel, the paladin of the Pioneer Guild, was the first to smile and say, "Well, good things are good things. We got a guide."
He was pleased that the quest had been resolved in an easier way. It was already different from before because there was now a guide who knew precisely how to get there. There was no need to suffer anymore. The quest might’ve been cleared if he killed the orc and found the elf. However, it was clear that the route to the elves’ village would not be smooth.
"Then should we take the elf and leave for the elf village now?" Ket asked Hyeonu again.
Hyeonu shook his head. "No. We have to start with something else."
Leaving with the elf wasn’t what they had to do right now.
"Then what should we do?" It was Maha who spoke this time.
Hyeonu’s finger pointed to the elf. "We will drink that water."
To be precise, he was pointing at the lake where the elf was soaking.