༺ Valak (3) ༻
Why don’t my sad premonition ever go wrong?
With that thought in mind, Vera looked at Renee, who was leaning on him.
“Vera… is delicious…”
Renee repeated those words with a completely red face, looking very much like a drunkard.
A long sigh escaped Vera’s lips.
‘You said you could control it and shake it off…’
How could someone who boasted of being able to control their drunkenness end up like this?
Vera knew the reason. Renee could have controlled and driven away the drunkenness, but she chose not to.
Reluctantly, Vera had to admit it.
Renee enjoyed getting drunk. In other words, she liked drinking.
Vera’s gaze turned sharp.
‘You’re not even an adult yet…’
It frustrated him that she was already enjoying getting drunk when she still had several months left before reaching her coming-of-age ceremony.
He was worried that she might become a real drunkard like Rohan if things continued like this. Those thoughts subconsciously came to his mind.
Vera made up his mind.
He had allowed Renee to get her way all this time, but from now on, he would give her some sharp scolding when necessary.
Renee hugged the bottle tightly and rested her head on Vera’s chest.
For a brief moment, Vera had pondered whether Renee was calling out the name of the bottle or his own name.
After an unnecessary moment of contemplation, Vera pushed away those thoughts and held Renee’s shoulders firmly, pulling her upright.
Renee’s head spun around, and Vera couldn’t help but think, ‘she’s cute.’ However, he shook off the thought and spoke sternly.
“Saint, you need to sober up. I know you’re sick to your stomach from the alcohol that has already seeped into your system, but you have to endure it.”
Dazed, Renee echoed Vera’s words.
Her head spun around, and her face flushed red. With her mouth wide open from being drunk, she went ‘ugh!’ and mustered all the strength from her body, and a pure white divinity started bursting out.
Then, she blew it into the bottle.
“Vera, don’t get sick.”
Vera chuckled at the absurdity of it all, then reached out his hand to take the bottle away from her.
At that moment.
Renee swatted Vera’s hand away.
A baffled look crossed Vera’s face. Meanwhile, Renee clutched the bottle tightly to her chest and shouted.
“Vera is mine!”
He felt dizzy.
Vera shut his eyes tight.
”…That’s not Vera.”
Well, in a way, Vera was right. It wasn’t really Vera.
Vera felt his head throbbing with frustration as he tried to find the right words to explain the situation.
Renee shifted her hips stealthily, getting closer to Vera.
“Should I also give you Vera?”
She chuckled and asked while Vera let out a deep sigh and warned her.
“You’ll undoubtedly regret this, Saint. Please listen to me.”
Having witnessed Renee’s hangover once after a night of drinking, Vera tried to offer advice.
However, Renee wouldn’t have accumulated so many embarrassing stories until now if she had been the kind of person to accept such logical reasoning and follow Vera’s advice.
Renee banged her head against Vera’s chest then pulled back, and said.
She pouted her lips, and the smell of alcohol spread heavily.
Vera could clearly understand the intention behind those words and actions.
Remembering how Renee had provoked him first by uttering those words the other day, Vera suspected that saying ‘blockhead’ was probably some sort of magical spell that could trigger a kiss.
Vera continued to ponder.
“Lips… If we do that, will you sober up?”
He couldn’t bring himself to explicitly say ‘kiss’ as it felt awkward when he asked the question.
Surprisingly, even in her heavily intoxicated state, Renee understood the intention behind his words.
Renee moved even closer. Vera’s head involuntarily moved backward.
Vera felt a surge of embarrassment upon seeing Renee’s red face filling his vision, her pouty lips provocatively sticking out.
Vera swallowed a dry gulp of saliva, and in a swift and skillful motion reminiscent of a master swordsman, he quickly brushed their lips together before pulling his head back. It was a truly swift and agile move.
“I’ve done it now, so please sober up.”
Renee tilted her head.
Her dulled senses due to being drunk weren’t able to fully comprehend the moment of Vera’s action.
Once again, Renee pushed her lips toward Vera’s.
Vera felt terrible.
…No, he forced himself to think of it as terrible.
If he didn’t, then the guilt and discomfort of kissing a drunk person would torment him.
Vera spoke in a voice that was close to pleading, but Renee paid him no attention.
Her attitude was like that of a heinous merchant who didn’t know how to negotiate.
Vera clenched his teeth, closed his eyes tightly, and pressed his lips against Renee’s, holding his breath.
Aisha, covering her eyes with her hands, watched the scene unfold through the gaps between her fingers and made a surprised sound, saying, “Oh… Ohh….”
Renee was a liar.
She eventually fell asleep in Vera’s arms, still chuckling and puffing her cheeks without sobering up.
Feeling that it was unfair, Vera’s expression crumpled. He then sighed deeply and carefully moved her inside the tent.
They would set off for the Cradle tomorrow afternoon, and considering Renee’s stamina, Vera knew that they were already running short on time. Renee’s hangover would fade on its own when she woke up, but replenishing her strength through sleep was a different matter.
As Vera continued to think, his gaze turned to Renee.
She was sound asleep with the bottle still cradled in her arms, snoring lightly.
With narrowed eyes, Vera glared at the bottle and made a firm decision.
He wouldn’t let Renee drink like this ever again.
“I’ll put the Saint to bed and be right back.”
After informing Norn, Vera was about to leave when suddenly, a blond orc approached him with heavy steps under the dim sky.
It was Valak.
His voice thundered throughout the place.
Vera was concerned that Renee would wake up, so he surrounded Renee with a barrier.
“Why did you call me?”
“You should enjoy the festival!”
“I’ve had enough for now. I want to preserve my strength for tomorrow’s ritual.”
It was a polite refusal.
As Vera turned and was about to walk away, Valak asked.
“Does the strong one breed?”
Vera’s body shuddered. A look of grave bewilderment washed over his face as he turned his head.
”…Why would you suddenly bring that up?”
When asked why he would suddenly ask about breeding after asking him to enjoy the festival, Valak smiled brightly and answered.
“If the ritual fails, we die! If someone dies, we’ll be short of workers! So, just in case, we should breed before dying!”
His tone reminded Vera of Marek.
As Vera tried to figure out the meaning behind his words, he belatedly grasped the reason why Valak mentioned ‘breeding’ and relaxed his expression.
‘They’re trying to maintain the population.’
Indeed, due to the orc nature of being unable to control their fighting aura, their species would immediately go into extinction if they did not maintain their population in this way.
Realizing this new reason for why the orcs hadn’t perished, Vera shook his head and answered Valak.
“No, I’m good.”
“I won’t die, so there’s no need for me to participate in such activities.”
“Oh, strong one! How confident!”
Valak loudly clapped his hands.
Vera wondered how a clap could sound like a boom instead of the usual clapping sound. He wondered briefly but quickly dismissed the thought and bid farewell to Valak, intending to leave.
“Then, I’ll go rest. I’m…”
“Wait, strong one! My daughter wants to breed with you! Please do it just once!”
…or so he thought.
Vera’s expression disappeared.
Valak smiled broadly.
Meanwhile, a female orc about the size of the twins emerged from behind Valak with loud steps.
Vera narrowed his eyes for a moment, thinking that he had seen this orc somewhere before. Then, he realized that it was the same orc he had beaten earlier that day and felt ludicrous.
“Strong one’s seed, I’ll take it.”
The female orc spoke in a voice that sounded like she was in a cave. She spoke with a big smile that showed her molars, making her face even redder.
“You don’t have to do anything. Coco will take care of everything.”
At that moment, Vera wondered, ‘Could the extinction of the orcs really be something that shouldn’t happen?’
Would I get the answer if I just stab one of them with the Holy Sword?
Would the Holy Sword say that the extinction of orcs is the right thing to do?
Shaken by the sudden request for breeding, Vera was lost in thought for quite a while.
Meanwhile, the two orcs continued their dizzying argument.
“Strong one! Give your seed to my daughter!”
“Strong seed, give birth to a strong child.”
It was a series of arguments that would have made Renee draw her sword if she had heard them.
In the midst of all this, Vera felt a surge of gratitude that Renee was asleep.
He gently laid Renee down and created a thick barrier around them.
It was an action taken in the hopes that she wouldn’t hear those words.
Shortly after laying Renee down, Vera took a deep breath and composed himself.
It was an unreasonable and impertinent request, but expecting a rational conversation from an orc was illogical in the first place.
It was natural for them not to make any sense.
So, Vera thought that he should protect his chastity as an intellectual being.
After such thoughts, Vera placed his hand on the Holy Sword.
‘I will spare only one and kill the rest.’
I could learn about the ritual from the one that I’d spare.
…It was a completely irrational thought, derived from his burning anger.
In the heat of the moment, the twins who had just been arguing with Miller stopped Vera.
They tapped Vera’s shoulder as he was about to draw out his sword.
Half-drunk, the twins looked at the orcs in front of them.
“Vera doesn’t sleep with just any girl.”
“That’s right. Vera is a picky one, like an irritable cow.”
“Krek will protect Vera’s purity. Won’t make the Saint sad.”
“Marek is the guardian of love.”
Rambling incoherently, the twins took a step forward.
They lifted their thumbs up for Vera to see.
“Go inside, Vera. We deal with this.”
“Today, Marek show off skills.”
Vera’s expression turned cold. If one were to express the emotions he felt at that moment, it would be a detestable disgust.
Vera’s gaze turned to the back.
Miller was passed out due to the alcohol. Norn and Hela seemed to have taken Aisha back to their tent.
’…I don’t want to get involved.’
The twins seem to be trying to do something, but they also seem to be trying to help.
But for some reason, Vera didn’t want to get involved.
Vera once again held Renee and walked away towards their designated tent without looking back.
The remaining twins watched Vera’s retreating figure. Then, they turned their gaze back to Valak’s daughter, Coco.
Coco was furious.
“Weaker male, get out of the way. Coco will take strong one’s seed.”
The twins looked at Coco with a stern expression.
Krek spoke first with a resolute face.
“Krek will protect Vera and the Saint’s love.”
Then, Marek licked his lips and said.
“Marek isn’t picky eater.”
The two slowly approached Coco.
The gatekeepers of the Holy Kingdom, Krek and Marek, the Apostles of Protection, were men who didn’t know the meaning of ‘impossible.’