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Grendel went south after he woke up. Picking his rucksacks and bags, he made a good time jogging on the packed dirt road that connected Mirfield to the south to Strawford to the north. After two hours he saw smoke on the horizon. Pressing forward, he saw several green-skinned humanoid creatures ransacking the crops in the fields around the towns. Orcs.

He had already decided to not make use of stealth in this occasion. He would get in, do his business and get out. And by business, he meant rescuing Helen and killing the wyvern-venom-wielding sniper Guild Master. He did not want to wonder what he would do if she was already dead but he was not expecting an orc horde to be attacking the town. There were several archers up in the town walls and probably the orcs didn't breach the walls yet.

After he exited the section of the road that crossed the woods into the crop fields he could see the whole scene. Bodies of both orc and human were scattered here and there, nobody too concerned into burying them. There was a huge gap in the wall across the north section and the rubble was scattered to the outside. Several human guards with steel breastplates were guarding that gap. Even more, archers were perched at both sides of the breach. From the look of it it should be something breaking it from the inside, but how?

The humans should outnumber the orcs three to one. But an orc was as strong as ten villagers. One orc was as strong as two of Grendel's devil monkeys.

One thing also stood out. A big oak tree stuck in the middle of the eastern fields like a sore thumb. The tree should have around fifty or sixty feet of height and it made no sense that the humans didn't cut it down. The troll searched his memory of the time he saw the town when he was fleeing from the dragon, and there was no tree. How did that tree end up there? Did the bloody thing just sprout legs and walked there? Is that a treant, one of those legendary plant monsters?

It would be much later that he would learn that the tree was originally located inside the town's garrison. The girl sought after by the troll was locked away in the stockades. She used her druidic magic, sacrificing her menarche's blood and a monster core to animate the tree into a wood golem. The golem broke the wall from inside and took Helen and her best friend Marcy out of town. This happened during the confusion of the orc invasion four days ago and Helen ordered the golem to kill orcs for the rest of its animation timer. The golem's last act was to root itself in the middle of the fields and return to being just a tree.

"Well, this is fantasy so anything goes. Unicorns, bikini armor, and walking plants."

Grendel stopped to prepare himself. He had two hundred skill points from the last fight, and it would be a waste to not spend them. He bumped his basic status-increasing skills to level 6, all of them. He also increased MP and HP recovery skills to level 6. He had no ST recovery yet. It cost him 78 Skill Points but this almost doubled his HP and more than doubled his available Stamina and MP and now he would recover his entire HP in a little over seventeen minutes and his full MP after ninety minutes.

With confidence, the troll walked down the road and was soon noticed by both orcs and humans. A horn was blown by one of the humans manning the wall gave the alarm that a new threat had entered their territory. It didn't take long for the orcs to follow the sight lines of the humans and see the troll. The green skinned barbarians took up on arms and rushed to take revenge on their slain King. Their hatred for Grendel ran deeper than their survival instincts, as anyone with half a brain could tell that the monster that killed the C-rank Orc King would not be done by the crude weapons of an E-rank rabble.

But orcs were notoriously moronic and violent. Disregarding their own safety they charged to their deaths. Swinging and piercing with his Horn Spear front, left, and right, Grendel mowed down the orcs. After forty-something kills, A taller and leaner orc with red hair came and shouted at the orcs to stop their mindless suicide.

 "Stop you bunch of idiots. That is not an opponent you can defeat. Grendel, old buddy, what brings you here? The drought got you too? Wanna some veggies to go with the meat of your foes?"

The red-headed half-elf orc prince had met Grendel during the incident that ended with his father the Orc King dead and an already mentioned big fire-breathing lizard rampaging at the foothills of the Dragonclaw mountains. At that time he expressed his wish of overthrowing the King and becoming the ruler of the orc tribe, a wish Grendel made true in a very obliquous way. The orc prince waved at Grendel, his back protected by two big orcs with tower shields.

"I have no business with you or your green-skinned rabble, Gronkirion. If one of you pigs-on-legs snarl at me I'm going to see that none of you survive." Grendel was in a hurry. But after giving it a second thought, he decided to gather information. "Did any humans leave town?"

"No humans left town after we got here. They just shot arrows at us and cursed. They are slowly starving in there. Soon we will invade through that hole and raid their town."

Grendel scratched his chin. "I see. Tell me, Gronkirion, what is this 'training spot for monsters' Tancred mentioned?"

"Someplace far to the east past the dragon valley. Some monsters that come from here say they got way stronger training there. I have sparred with a dragonoid and his strength and agility were far beyond the norm."

"You got to be the orc tribe leader, eh? It is time to collect..."  Grendel was cut off by a shout from one of the orc bodyguards. A loud and familiar twang resounded from the walls and the whistling of an arrow could be heard.

"Watch out!"

The arrow's shooter and target were quite familiar with one another. Having failed twice in killing the troll, the Mirfield Guild Master would not lose a third time. The old sniper made a really long and difficult shot from almost a tenth of a mile away. It hit Grendel by surprise {43+40-20} The arrow missed any vital spot but that was not the intent from the start. The grizzled hunter's specialty was arrows coated with wyvern venom, one of the most potent magical venoms in the entire world. Grendel had sweet memories of the first time he was poisoned by an arrow that looked exactly like the one stuck to his shoulder. At that time he was in the woods with Helen and almost died even with his ridiculous regenerative abilities. He had Helen sever his poisoned arm and the young magician spent a whole day healing him. If it were not for her druid magic and plant knowledge to find and mix an antitoxin concotion, the troll would not be there to tell the tale.

But at that time Grendel was less than a couple days old. He was stronger, his regeneration was even faster and he had trained his poison resistance daily by living in the Death Willow Meadow and by deliberately taking in his right-hand Naga's venomous bite at every opportunity. Even so the title of 'most deadly' was nothing to be scoffed at. Grendel's HP was decreasing fast and although he was at no risk of dying the orcs led by Gronkirion decided that this was a good opportunity to not only avenge their slain King but to just kick some troll butt.

At the call of their prince, the orc tribe swarmed Grendel. He assumed a defensive stance and swung his spear to keep the savages away. But he had not the ability to defend from all sides. Harried by the sheer quantity of orcs around, he was taking minor damage that together with the wyvern venom running in his veins managed to overcome his regeneration by a good amount.

He still had a trump card, his 'Vitality Booster' technique. It increased the HP recovery by six times for six minutes, but stopped all regeneration for another ten. He had to make sure he would have enough HP to survive the ten minute cooldown if he triggered the technique. It was this very technique that allowed him to survive the battle against the B-rank adventurer party.

"Bastards. There won't be an orc alive at the next sunrise, I can assure you of that." Grendel roared in rage. "Rwaaarg!" He released at the same time both his Intimidating Presence and Ferocious Shout skills. {32} But against the bloodlust of frenzied orcs that were winning against a monster three ranks above them it had no effect. The poisoned arrow was naturally pushed out of his body by his regenerating muscles.

He had enough self-control to check his status for anything that could help him survive. He found the wizard skill 'Melee Dampening' He was not wearing armor even though his skin granted as much protection as a knight's chainmail. He burned 27 SP to bring the skill to level 7. It was enough to halve melee damage taken and it worked. He felt a tiny bit of his magic power seeping away every time a weapon made contact to his body, cushioning the damage.

A few minutes went by and Grendel was getting worn out from the fight. He had killed five orcs but there were dozens surrounding him. Every time he wounded one orc another would take his place. It was clearly a fight he would lose. Seventy percent of his HP were missing already. Between the mass of green muscle he could see the humans laughing on the wall. His stamina and MP were also worn out but not at a critical level.

He had to act. Gronkirion came to the front and Grendel knew that it was a literal 'do or die' moment. He focused his strength and waited for the right moment. His spear stopped in a low stance for a moment and the orcs led by their prince seized that moment of stillness, rushing inside the range of the deadly weapon.

"Emperor's Might, Circle Slash." {69+20+8} Combining his unique skill and a spear technique that attacked every target inside the reach of the weapon, Grendel split a score of orcs and their Prince in half.

"Kneel before your new King, orcs! Or perish this very day." With the momentum gained from the mass carnage he caused, {89} Grendel's attempts at intimidating finally worked. The orcs' bloodlust disappeared, washed away by the wave of fear induced by the mighty troll towering over them. One by one they kneeled and acknowledged Grendel as their new lord.

Title Orc Lord awarded.

Those that earn the subservience of over four hundred orcs.
Grants double loyalty and morale from ruled orcs and double damage dealt to orcs. Title Orc Eater replaced.

"Retreat to the treeline." Was the first command Grendel issued his new minions. The orcs ran away from the arrow range of the human sniper. Grendel went with them and after confirming the decrease in damage from the venom, triggered his vitality booster technique. As compensation for its virulence and fast action, the wyvern venom had a short duration that was divided by the level of his Poison Resistance and then halved because of his Mithriadist title. On him, the venom lasted only one twelfth of the normal.

His HP capped well before the technique ended. He disciplined the orcs and killed the ones that were still showing hostility. He needed combat to end.

Grendel has gained 4 + 5 levels ([3]Racial 36 > 41, [4] Magic Swordsman 29 > 34). 69 SP earned.

 And after the cooldown, he would visit the humans and collect for the service of lifting the siege. In blood.

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 Skill Growth:

Skill Poison Resistance level 7. Skill Combat Awareness level 5. Skill Evasion level 7.
Skill Intimidating Presence level 6. Skill Ferocious Shout level 7. Skill Spear Mastery level 5.
Skill Regeneration (innate) level 7. Skill Pain Resistance level 7. Skill HP Restoration level 7.
Skill Tough Skin (innate) level 6. Skill Complaining level 3. Skill Damage Resistance level 6.
 

 

Grendel's Status:

 

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About the author

MDW

Bio: The author would like to reinforce for the umpteenth time that the characters' opinions are their own, may be intentionally wrong, do not reflect my (MDW's) personal viewpoints neither are included in this work to further any political agenda (I don't even live in the same hemisphere or country as you, whichever those are. I'm writing from the Earth-Sun L3 point for all I care). My works serve no purpose other than to tell stories with conflicting viewpoints. Use of the reader's critical sense is highly advised.

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