VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 91 - TRANSFORMATION
Class King; Ruler
Possessed Skills Ruler of the Demon Children of Chaos; Defiant Soul; World Devouring Howl; Swordsmanship A-; Dominator; King's Soul; Ruler's Wisdom III; Household of the Gods; One-Eyed Snake's Evil Eye; The King's Dance at the Edge of Death; Magic Manipulation; Soul of the Berserk King; Third Impact (The Third Chant); Instinct; Blessing of the Underworld Goddess
Divine Protection Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia)
Attributes Darkness; Death
Subordinate Beasts High Kobold Hasu (Lv1); Gastra (Lv20); Cynthia (Lv20); Orc King (Bui) (Lv40)
Abnormal Status Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake
In a certain room, where statues of demons lined up, was a beautiful woman peeking through a giant mirror.
"That child sure seems lively," the beautiful woman said.
"Indeed," the one-eyed red snake said.
He'd made his body smaller to make himself presentable before his master and was peeking through the mirror alongside her. Reflected on that mirror was the forest and the road where a vicious battle was taking place.
The mirror reflected the battlefield from above, making it easy to see the whole situation. The one road stretching through the forest was the life line of the humans. It connected to the world of the humans beyond the forest, where flatlands, forests, and farmlands were sparsely scattered. Then roughly 40 kilometers beyond that break was a human settlement, one of the countless ones near the forest.
The forest was not always this small. But in time, the humans gradually cut down the forest and hunted the monsters to create more land suited for themselves. The scattered forests beyond the Forest of Darkness was proof of that.
Altesia unhappily snorted before turning back her gaze to the battlefield.
Dotted on the mirror were those who had received the divine protection of the gods. Blessings from the mad god, the sword god, a member of the fire god's household, the flame god, the wind god, and...
"The Fire GodRodo, huh."
Altesia looked down on the world through the eyes of the Corpse BirdHaien.
The fire god who has given much to the humans. The god who created the sun, gave birth to the spirits, and taught the humans how to forge weapons and cook food. The accursed god who tore apart the god, Kutiarga, and the mother god, Deetna. The old god who gave birth to Ativ and Hera.
His head became Ativ, his left hand became Hera, and his two legs became the twin gods of the moons, Ervi and Navi.
Altesia muttered those things out with a pained look on her face despite the fact that god she was speaking of was her ancestor.
"I was never good at dealing with him."
He was one of the few people, the Goddess of Vengeance, ruler of the underworld, had difficulties with.
Knitting her pair of beautiful brows, she looked into the world where a vast amount of power drew from the gods.
The God of Wind, Castor, who created the demihumans with the God of Earth, Nmaro, was for some reason, particularly attached to a certain elven maiden.
A mischievous smile appeared on the underworld goddess' lips
Halfway through the road leading out the forest was a battle between the denizens of the forest and the humans. Those battling closer to the village tried to run, and the goblins gave chase, turning their battle into a game of tag. But regardless, the battle had gone past the point where the humans could still hope to turn it around. In fact, the goblins blessed by the gods even fought in the parts of the forest near the break, where the cavalry was waiting.
The God of Wind, Castor, seemed to have started using his power. Then from among the humans waiting just outside the forest was a familiar resonation that made Altesia narrow her eyes. It was the power of the God of Healing, Zenobia.
"Even though I warned him, he still lost her... It seems he doesn't have the power to fight the Goddess of Destiny, Liuryuna, yet. Poor child," Altesia laughed when she thought of his despair.
"Has the God of WindCastor talked to the Forest GodChenzhen? If the forest is changed this much without permission, it'll turn into a fight."
That would be fun too though, the goddess muttered as she turned her gaze to the floor. Her eyelashes were so long it almost seemed like they sounded when they closed. The pondering underworld goddess looked just like the the Goddess of WisdomHera.
"Verid, do you think Chenzhen is interested in the forest?" She asked the loyal snake.
"...But of course, unless the gods have forgotten it after 400 years," Verid replied. He had that much confidence as one of those who antagonized the whole word 400 years ago. His black flames seethed when he recalled those times.
"Very well," the Goddess of the Underworld seemed pleased at his answer.
She pointed to one of the hundreds of snakes prostrated by her feet. "Apostle of that which is faster than the windGawyn, spread your wings, and send word to Chenzhen. Bring fear and judgment to the children of the fire god!"
A gray snake wriggled as it coiled itself.
"I have received thy bidding," the snake said before turning into a gust of wind.
The goddess turned her gaze back to the mirror.
"Consider this a gift, little boy. Now, kill the humans as much as you please."
I cut down enemy after enemy with the long sword in my hands, and before I knew it, less than half of the human soldiers remained. I didn't even need to use the Soul of the Berserk King. This monstrous body was more than strong enough to deal with the average human soldier without any special skill.
I enchanted my long sword with black flames.
The commander was done in just a while ago, causing the humans' formation to collapse. Some of them ran to fight, while some of them ran to flee. Without any order, the humans were no threat at all. I could easily fight them one at a time like this.
The Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake gave me seemingly unlimited stamina and life. It didn't matter how many times my body was wounded. It didn't matter whether it was a great sword or a rapier that wounded me either. The power of that protection would heal me as soon as I was wounded. In fact, the power welling up now was greater than before. Just what is going on?
Is this the power of the gods?
-But with this I can do it. I can wipe out the humans!
The moment I turned my gaze up, the forest exploded.
To be more precise, a part of the forest grew with explosive vigor to block the road. Vines and treeroots gathered together and encroached onto the road.
The humans screamed in despair as they ran. Actually, I'm shocked too. And I'm sure everyone else is too after such a sudden change in the forest.
"Damn it! We can't even get near!"
"Sis, calm down!"
When two humans came tumbling out of the forest, seemingly unaware of what was going on, I sharpened my ears to listen to their conversation.
"Oh, hey! This is the army of the feudal lord. Good timing. Hey! Can you guys help us out for a bit!"
When the female of the two humans said that, it was as if the human soldiers realized something, and when they turned around for just one moment, what they saw was...
"UuuU... u, Uuu!"
A body entangled in a great number of vines.
It seemed to be in pain as it held down its head, then it tried to approach the female of the two humans that came tumbling just now, and called out to her.
"Selena...?" The female human asked.
"UuUGAa!" But the response of that thing couldn't really be called a response. Then as if responding to the pain of that thing, the trunk of a tree slammed itself into the ground just like a person would his own arm.
When the earth trembled upon impact, the humans finally awoke from their daze and they went off screaming.
Suddenly, I wasn't sure what to do anymore.
Apparently, that thing wasn't some secret weapon the humans were hiding.
Regardless, however, that didn't change the fact that it was swinging those overgrown vines around like some whip against the humans in its way as it headed my direction.
I turned to it to cut it down.
As that monster and I approached each other, we cut down the humans in our way.
In between us were those two humans, who were most likely a pair of siblings.
"-Looks like it's not their ally either."
What a pain, seriously... Bringing something like this into my battle.
"Hey, how do you stop that thing?"
In a twisted sense of irony, the human forces were now truly in ruins. Their commander was gone and an unknown monster has even made an appearance. All that's left is to catch them later, but that won't be a problem. All of the sudden, it feels as if all that anger that had condensed into a mist within my mind, clouding my judgment, has been blown away.
The older sister of the two kept looking at the monster as she spoke. "You're actually going to help us? Great! And here I thought the soldiers of the feudal lord were all pushovers."
"...Enough chatter. Tell me how to deal with this."
"Selena... If you can just clear a path for me to that girl suffering there, I'll take care of the rest."
Damn, this situation is getting weirder by the second.
"My name is Shumea. That one over there is my younger brother, Yoshu. We're both former battle slaves. Thank you for assisting us, Mr... oh..."
When she finally turned around, she froze.
An understandable reaction, but considering the pickle we're in right now, I'd rather she didn't react normally.
"My... what big muscles you have."
I take back that previous statement. It seems she has more guts than I give her credit for.
"Keep your word... Enchant!" Swinging my blade to shake off the blood, I invoked Enchant and clad my sword in flames.
"After me! Shumea!"
"Ahh! Darn it, I don't care what happens anymore! let's go! Yoshu, follow!"
"Huh? Wait! Sis! Waaaait!"
For the meantime, I decided to ignore the confused voices.
Footsteps followed from behind as I ran toward that woman named Selena. In response, as if to protect that woman, the vines, the branches, and the trunk of trees gathered together to form a blade, but I cut it down.
"Wow! Sweet moves!" Shumea said.
"You know that's a goblin, right!?" Yoshu complained.
"Don't be picky! That boss is going out of his way to save us. And besides, goblins aren't that much different from demihumans!"
If you have the leisure to argue, how about lending a hand over here?
"Yoshu, shield! If he can get us to Selena, I'm going to try and bring her back! Make sure you protect me then!"
"Well, sure, but how are you going to wake her!?"
"When a woman has guts, there's nothing she can't do!"
I acted like I heard nothing and just cut open a path like we planned. If worse comes to worse, I'll just have to cut down that girl called Selena.
Just a little bit more.
Then vines gathered from all four directions to form a wall. A last stand, huh? A bit weak against me though.
I invoked Third Chant (Third Impact), and the black flames clad around my sword burned fiercer.
One slash to cut down the wall of vines, and a body slam to break open the path.
Vines reached out for my feet immediately after.
"Boss!" Shumea yelled.
Gathering ether onto my feet, I forcefully tore free from the vines' clutches with brute strength.
"Ha ha, that's something, eh..."
"Hurry up and go."
The path is clear now. There's no reason for me to play around with them any longer. If they fail, then I'll just have to kill that girl, Selena.
"I owe you one!" Shumea tore away the vines around Selena, then hugged her, while Yoshu protected her from the whipping vines with his shield.
On my end, I continued to cut down the vines around.
Virtually limitless stamina, wounds that heal nearly instantly, and an inhuman power, and yet...
With the anger from Reshia's kidnapping gone, I could once again think logically.
Could I really rule over the humans with just this strength?
If I kept going like this and conquered a village, will the humans really just sit down and accept it? Will we be able to procure basic goods by trading with a merchant?
Watching over the humans individually isn't possible, hence it is imperative that I find something to bind their hearts.
That something could be fear or it could also be admiration and devotion. But would the humans respect a goblin?
That leaves only fear.
I would have to kill countless humans in broad daylight to strike fear in their hearts, but... What about deserters? The moment we leave the forest, the number advantage will fall heavily to the humans. Even if the goblins try to monitor them, it'll be difficult. Especially, with all the casualties.
The goblins might reproduce quickly, but it'll still take some time before a goblin can become a full-fledged warrior.
It's impossible. Right now, the goblins don't have enough strength to rule over the humans.
Regardless how strong I am, regardless how strong my subordinates are, if we leave the forest now and attack the humans, only destruction awaits us.
How am I supposed to end this battle then? Where am I supposed to end this battle? When am I supposed to sheathe my sword?
"Umm... Goblin boss?" When Shumea called out to me, it finally occurred to me that the treeroots had stopped attacking.
Selena appeared extremely haggard on Shumea's back, but she was clearly breathing.
Her long ears had been cut in half... A slave.
"Allow me to express my thanks again. You helped us a lot," Shumea said as she impressively thanked me.
For a moment, I wondered just how this woman was able to be so fearless, but I quickly stopped bothering.
I'm sure women like her come around once in a while.
"Where are you going after this?" I asked.
"Nowhere in particular, actually," Shumea answered.
"I see. Well, in any case, don't approach the forest exit."
Shumea was wide-eyed, clearly confused, while her younger brother looked at me meaningfully, clearly understanding the meaning behind my words.
"Though unintended, I did save your lives. Don't waste it."
Turning my back on them, I ran.
How and where should I end this battle?
I thought hard as I made my way through the forest.