Chapter 56: The Half-Ogre
Explaining that we’d been trapped in the spiritual realm for three damn years without an inkling surely wouldn’t be a simple task. For starters, how would I even explain that we went into the spirit realm to cure Hild? I mean… I wasn’t even sure if anyone knew of the spirit realm.
But I’m dead sure that the blond lady would think that I was some mad aunt. Thus I only explained the ‘witch plot’ that she’d be familiar with while I figure out how to explain the rest later.
The half-ogre lady’s blond hair whipped, her fist whistling straight into the scarred priest’s jaw, sending the hysterical giant to the world of dreams. A crunchy sound echoed in the ears of the armed villagers, and it made them grimace. Touching their jaws, they imagined how excruciating would it be to be on the receiving end of that fist. Dread flashed into their eyes as they stared at Hild. Sometimes fist could indeed explain better than any lips.
The villagers lifted their weapons in caution, gulping their spit as the scarred priest landed onto the ground with a heavy ‘thud’. Like them, I shuddered. Astolfo would surely be out cold for the rest of the night. After a brief look, I ignored him since he was a priest that could heal himself and there was also Emma, a catkin who could take care of his injuries by plastering herbs onto his chin. Thanks to him, I now knew how powerful Hild was. And that she was indeed an ogre.
Tensions rose and silence loomed. The villagers eyed each other, wondering what would their next step be.
“I’ve told you before, you dumb man.” The blond lady’s hair sashayed, illuminated further by the lamps carried by the villagers. She sniffed and walked towards the giant. Kicking him lightly as if knocking him off to the dreamland wasn’t enough.
“Though I love you and I don’t know what’s happening…” She pouted. “… but you don’t call me names.”
After landing a few more kicks on the village head’s body, she turned. She narrowed her gaze towards the armed villagers, making them gulp and take a few steps back. She heard their strange whispers. Their words had done nothing but confuse her further. “The rest of you. Tell me what’s happening.”
The villagers frowned and stole a few glances at Hild before shaking their heads in regret. Despite muffling their voices, their words couldn’t escape the gossipy whispering wind.
“She’s really like the old Hild we know.”
“Well, I spent a few years here. It’s a damn sight I’m well-acquainted with.”
“Aye, this is going to be tough.”
“Damn! High-Tier Undead and of Hild at that.”
Her brows creased further and felt wary. Though confused by the words coming out from the wary villagers, she had sensed their ill-will.
“Are you ignoring me?” Her eyes twitched.
Yet, her words only fell on deaf ears. The armed villagers only took a few wary glances, retreating away when Hild tried to march towards them.
“Let’s end her here.” The villagers gritted their teeth as they stared at the blond lady. They then sighed as if they had made a hard decision. “Astolfo needs to move on.”
Soon, the dumb villagers lifted their weapons and, with a war cry, rushed towards the blond lady with the simple aim of decapitating this remnant of the past who turned undead. “Kill the Undead and the Witch!”
Like brutes that they were, they rushed with no plan at all.
Initially, I was a bit worried for Hild, but after seeing a few pieces of bloody tooth flying with each of her punches, I rested my case. She had alighted some of my worries in a jiffy. Her fist met the cold weapons, and her fist sparkled. Yes, it sparkled.
The villagers flew up and soon littered the floor, groaning because of broken bones. Although Hild looked skinny and weak, her fist seemed to be an exception. I almost thought that her fist was made from blood and iron.
Soon enough, aside from the old catkin sobbing on the side, no villager remained standing. Anyway, Emma seemed to be out of herself for quite a while now. She wasn’t helping at all.
“It seems like I didn’t beat you enough. What the hell is wrong with you?” Hild sighed and dragged a muscled villager by the scuff of his shirt. With her eyebrows raised, she lifted the man mid-air with one hand and shook him a few times. “Tell me, Rynard, what the hell is happening here? Care to explain?”
Sighing, I raised my hands and said. “Stop please, I’ll explain the rest to…”
“Pei! Not going to work on me, you witch!” The brutish goon had cut my words short. One look and I immediately discovered that he was the type of man who’s always high on testosterone. The odd type that loved to use muscles for brains.
“So you also took her memories, huh? I’ve met a lot of witches spawn like you before! Men now!” The dumb villager named Rynard flailed and pulled a dagger from his pocket. He gripped Hild’s wrist and immediately slashed at her throat. The other groaning villagers suddenly jumped as if the earlier beating did not hurt at all. Matching the muscled villager’s tempo, they threw a few whistling daggers towards Hild.
Hild smacked the suicidal man’s dagger away before knocking him out by slamming him on the ground like a rag.
She ducked and dodged the rest of the projectiles. She stared daggers at the villagers. Her pink horns grew in size as she fumed. It immediately grew a few inches taller. She then roared at the top of her lungs. “The hell!? Ya’ all crazy! You want me dead, huh? Fuck, let’s do this!”
Hild dashed towards the villagers and started another brawl. He knocked the villagers down to the rut again and again. But this time, she just lost it.
Despite the bruises and aching muscles, a few red-eyed goons still pounced at her with wild abandon. For these stubborn ones, she threw a fist to the jaw and they’re out cold. I was sure that they’re going to consume nothing but soup for some time until full recovery.
Hild looked furious, muddled, and miffed, but she didn’t kill anyone.
Holding my heaving chest, I exhaled. I glanced at a few smartass villagers that had begun to doubt life and played dead. After all, they might have sensed that Hild wasn’t aiming to kill anyone.
My ears suddenly picked a piercing shrill and frowned. My strangely heightened senses alerted me faster than the blobs’ warnings. I immediately took a hasty sidestep to the left and dodged. Whatever that swooshing thing was… it wanted me dead. I sighed in relief and chewed my lips.
I threw a glance at the jammed arrow stuck on the grassy soil. I pulled it out and caught a nauseating aroma wafting from its tip. The arrow tip was nothing but pitch-black. Even a fool would know that it spelled danger just from the odd hues coloring the arrows’ whetted tip.
“Poisoned arrow?” I grimaced and let out a dry chuckle. Mountains and valleys slowly formed on my forehead and wondered who’d snipe me from a distance. “Now that’s a bit too much.”
Guided by the wind spirits, I glared at the source of the arrow. Though it was still foggy, most of the haze had already faded away as the night breeze blew stronger. The caressing moonbeams and twinkling stars had also shown themselves, illuminating the fleeting figure standing up on the grassy hill. Though it was a bit far away, I could still see the archer.
With his shoulder-length golden threads waltzing in the wind, the young man glared at me like I was his mortal enemy. He held a longbow in his hands like a lion. Standing there in the grassy slope, he stood gallantly, a glint of fury flickering within his golden pupils. He pulled a few more arrows from his quiver and nocked it at his bow. He aimed.
The target? No one but me. How the hell could I see him from there was something to be solved for later.
Anyway, my glare softened as I focused more on the archer. Not because he was handsome or what, but because of his somewhat familiar face. Though his flabby cheeks had already disappeared, I could still tell who he was at first glance.
“Coby.” I let out a sigh and realized that three years wasn’t a short one for a catkin and I had grown old. Old. Ugh. Three years and looked at what he had become. He had grown into a dashing, heroic young man, just as I had expected. And an almost literal lady killer, as predicted. Still…
“Three years… but didn’t he grew too much?” I mumbled while gazing straight at his eyes. A fawning expression involuntarily appeared on my face.
However, his golden pupils bore no goodwill to me at all. Soon, his arrows showered from the small hill, and I continued to dodge the poisoned arrows with poise and grace. With the veils of the sakkat fluttering with my every step, I waltzed. After a while, the arrow salvo ended. He was finally out of ammo. “Wait, if Coby is here…”
I looked around and glimpsed a crimson shadow prowling within the tall grass. The mysterious crimson threads above her head peeked as she tried to hide like an amateur that she was. She silently skulked towards me and was only a few meters away now. She crawled on the ground like some rusty assassin from some good old action drama, calmly waiting for the right opportunity that wouldn’t come.
My eyes narrowed like a cat. I smiled and waved at her.
She flinched after realizing that I had already spotted her lying low on the grass. She snarled.
“Oh, oh.” I grinned and rubbed my hands. “Feisty as ever.”
Instead of retreating, she rushed and turned into a crimson blur, a trail of scarlet tailing her shadows. With two glistening daggers in her hands, the feisty little lass dashed. I could see her eyes turning into slits in deep focus. A deep scarlet fog surrounded her, akin to Emma’s. The little lass wanted to go for the kill.
“Impulsive lass. This aunt’s going to spank you.” I giggled and puffed my chest.
“Tabi! Don’t!” Emma cried. Her eyes had turned round in worry. She rushed to intercept the feisty girl, turning into a crimson blur herself. Unfortunately, she was already too late.
For a moment, I felt like a real-life villain who was about to tear a family apart. You know, those damn dramas that require the death of the MCs’ closest kin to awaken them from their calling. Remember that man who wore a strange red and blue spider superhero suit? Yeah, like him.
“Too bad, Tabi.” My lips twitched and let out a whisper. “Alistair. Maggie. Just restrain her.”
The scarlet kitten spun midair as the tempest wind lifted her from the ground. She flailed with everything she had, but failed to escape. She rotated inside the ball of wind, trapped, hissing akin to a wounded kitten. After a thorough search, the tumultuous one had also taken away the scarlet kitten’s dagger and other weapons concealed within her clothes.
I had a sense of déjà vu.
Wasn’t this like our first meeting? The only difference was Tabi had grown into a pretty kitty. My heart skipped a beat, and my hands turned itchy. Ugh. Control yourself, Victoria! Not now. Not… yet. I immediately restrained the fawning expression that was appearing on my face.
I slowly trudged towards the gutsy scarlet catkin. Now that I looked at her better, she grew really well in some parts that I didn’t. The scarlet-hued threads above her head danced, shifting into a mess as the tempest wind rolled her around until she felt weak and dizzy. Her bright scarlet pupils showed her resolve to die.
She shut her eyes and grimaced. “Kill me.”
“Pet me?” I rubbed my ears and gawked. Yes, I heard it right.
Anyway, I acted my part as she expected of me. Call me crazy, but I always wanted to play the villain part in some movies since I found many of them lacking for my taste. I took a deep breath and shouted, catching the attention of the pale old catkin and the villagers. “Stop! Don’t come any closer.” I then pointed at the spinning kitten with a whiff of threat. “Or else.”
The villagers, Emma, and even Hild stopped on their feet. Their faces turned dark after seeing that I had caught Tabi and she was now at my mercy.
“Attack her now! Nya!” The prideful kitten roused her spirit and yelled. Despite her shout, she could not hide the fear in her trembling snarls. “I’ll be okay, Gran-Gran!”
“Tabi! Please no. Please.” Emma’s cry trembled as she stared at her granddaughter. She dropped to her knees and threw a pleading gaze at me. My heart immediately gave up, making me drop the act before I could even start. I felt so evil that I flinched… and cringed.
“Calm down, Emma.” I choked. My voice was loud enough for everyone to hear. The villagers’ eyes zeroed on me. Everyone kept their silence, fearing for Tabi’s life. I strode towards the feisty kitten, despite her protest.
“Don’t come near! Don’t test me,” hissed Tabi, showing her fangs to threaten me. “I-I bite! Nya!”
I sighed and let my itchy hands loose to remind this unreasonable lass of who I am. I ignored her posturing and shit, reaching my hands at her defenseless chin. A fawning expression involuntarily showed on my face as soon as my fingers touched Tabi’s chin. She struggled and tried to escape my dexterous hand, but it was futile. A few scratches on her chin and the feisty catkin’s mental barrier fell to the dumps as she floated midair. “Nya!”
And just like when we first met, I immediately enjoyed myself. I snuggled my fingers into her cheeks, climbing into her cat ears. A few heavy scratches here and there, and she sunk into the world of bliss. “Muaww. Little up… to the left.. right nya…”
The villagers kept their silence and watched the absurd situation unfold. A strange expression appeared on everyone’s face. However, unlike the rest of the villagers, the grimace Emma had worn slowly turned into surprise as a few old memories flashed before her eyes.
The scarlet lass’s pupils narrowed as she lowered her guard. A glint of curiosity glittering in her eyes. She understood I wasn’t aiming for her life at all. Taking off the veiled sakkat that hid my face, the long pitch-black threads over my head waltzed along with the night breeze. The moonbeams peeked and slowly revealed my face.
A wry smile slipped out of my lips, and I stared at Tabi’s eyes in silence. I saw it; flashing within her scarlet pupils were her memories of me.
Her sharp eyes slowly softened as she stared at my face. Her eyes turned into watery saucers. With her lips quivering, she asked. “B-Big Sis… Victoria? Is that really you?”
“It’s been a while, Tabi.” I pinched her dazed face, nodded, and grinned. “You’ve grown… like a lot!”