VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 102 - LILI'S WORRIES
Class King; Ruler
Possessed Skills Ruler of the Demon Children of Chaos; Defiant Soul; World Devouring Howl; Sword Mastery 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 (Lv77); Gastra (Lv20); Cynthia (Lv20); Orc King (Bui) (Lv82)
Abnormal Status Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake
It's been 10 days since we moved to the fortress. I've already grasped the layout of the surrounding area, so I was currently drawing the map on a wall in the king's room. I used a short sword to carve it. Overall, I was able to carefully explore the area a two day's distance from the fortress.
There were no beasts in the surrounding area that could hold a threat to me, even the ones that normally preyed on goblins. The area was relatively safe. Procuring food should pose no problem then, and with the increased birth rate, we should be able to increase our numbers quickly.
That settles the issue of quantity, leaving only the question of quality.
Currently my horde contains 1 knight, 7 nobles, 8 rares, 2 druids, 1 shaman, and 50 normal goblins. That's including the wounded and the goblins that are currently away.
If it wasn't for the existence of skills and magic in this world, the side with more numbers would surely win. But this world does have skills and magic, thereby allowing the existence of truly powerful beings who could could literally slay a thousand soldiers by themselves.
The soldiers need to be raised well if we are to suppress such enemies.
For example, that man who swung his great sword with a ferocious smile, summoning storms of lighting to lay waste to the forest. How many such men does the human side have? I tried asking Shumea, but she couldn't give a straight answer. Apparently, her info mostly came from her brother. Sending him out might have been a bit too hasty.
Even if the goblins can't stop that man alone, a 2 on 1, no, even a 3 on 1 would be fine. I need to prepare the goblins enough to be able to fight such people evenly. The humans are numerous and they have many resources, a battle with them would surely expand, but even then, we have to win.
When I finished drawing the map, I stepped out.
Along the way I noted the knight class, Gi Ga, holding a class.
He was making use of the wide space within the fortress to teach the normal goblins how to use the spear. The goblins couldn't follow perfectly just yet, but regardless, it wasn't a waste to learn the spear under him. At the very least, it would increase their odds of surviving.
Goblins who had just grown out of their infancy were each given a spear by Gi Ga and made to thrust it into the empty air. They thrust and thrust, never stopping once, even as the wooden spear broke their hands and blood gushed out; Gi Ga's uncompromising training continued.
The length of their spears was increased according to their level.
There was a goblin amongst them whose spear was twice his height. Not a loafer, that one.
"Your Majesty!? ...Were you watching?" Gi Ga hurriedly approached me.
I told him to ignore me and continue.
The training of the goblins need to be improved wherever possible. Teaching them traps is one thing, but teaching them how to fight is a completely different matter. It is exceedingly difficult. To make things worse, our enemy, the humans, have a huge advantage when it comes to the knowledge of fighting.
Once we step out of the forest, the battle will probably move to the plains. Necessary precautions need to be made if we don't want to be preyed upon by their cavalry. For that, allowing the goblins a way to practice their tactics is a must.
The terrain advantage belongs to the humans. We'll have to get one over them some other way. It can be tactics, ingenuity... anything. I need people capable of thinking such methods and the methods themselves.
We will be invading the humans.
When I think about our current position in this game of war, I realize it is not only the lower class goblins who need to be trained like this, but also the higher class.
It's been a while since Lili last visited her family.
Currently, it wasn't her parents who managed the house, but her uncle's family. Their house was situated in a small hill, surrounded by earthen walls, making it look just like a fortress.
She didn't think about it when she was young, but now that she thought about it, their house did indeed look like it was built for war. Even the produce grown in their garden were all fruits whose rinds could be eaten in desperate times. Compared to them, the farmers nearby all raised produce that was easy to sell. The difference between them was as clear as night and day.
By the time Lili woke up from her thoughts, she was in front of a stone wall upon which she had carved an oath during her youth.
It read: 'I shall earn the title of knight with my sword. I shall protect the people and vanquish the monsters.'
It was the oath she made with her grandfather. She recalled repeatedly saying that oath out loud as a kid despite not understanding what it meant. As long as she had that will, she would become a splendid knight, her grandfather once said.
Right now the person she had to protect was a single girl.
That was enough.
The king said he would bestow upon her the highest rank of Holy Knight. After Reshia left, he would give her the power to protect the town she was born in.
A gust of wind grazed Lili's cheeks.
The wheat field swayed and the trees rustled, singing the song of the wind god. This was the land her grandfathers had cleared out, a blessed land.
For whom should she wield her blade?
She would protect Reshia, of course. That wouldn't change. She could not throw away a girl like that who was burdened with a cruel fate. But once she becomes a holy knight, the power she would be responsible for would also increase. At that time, would she truly be forgiven for choosing to protect only a single girl?
"What should I do?"
She had a duty to either side.
Would she choose to save only one person? Or would she choose to protect the peace of a multitude of people?
"I shouldn't be... hesitating."
She should have already resolved herself. The peace of the people was Lady Reshia's wish herself.
"So... With this sword, I will..."
She traced the text carved on the wall.
The next day, Lili received the title of Holy Knight.
330 days remain until the war with the humans.
The goblin rate of reproduction was truly something. Although it's true that the birth rate has increased, the fact that goblins could be trained almost immediately after being born was a truly spectacular trait of theirs.
With Gi Ga's hellish training course and the abundance of food, the goblins could quickly grow up into adulthood in only a week. The number of soldiers have already surpassed 100, and the number of non-combatants is already looking to break 70.
At this rate, I can probably stop worrying about our numbers altogether and focus on dealing with the quality issue.
The goblins have been frequently hunting to teach the higher class goblins how to lead the lower class goblins.
How should one hunt the big prey to minimize causalities? I taught the rares and the recently evolved druids, Gi Ba, Gi Bi, Gi Bu, Gi Be, and sent them out to hunt.
The goblins with the Man-Eating Snake skill who've received Verid's divine protection were all excellent goblins as long as they were kept away from humans.
The ferocious Gi Ba could handle the sword and spear with ease, allowing him to excel at stopping the prey from moving. The water mage, Gi Bi, could often hit the enemy's weak spot. The close-combatant, Gi Bu, could fight in many ways, from using his axe to using his hands. The one-armed Gi Be could fight with his axe, sword, or spear; any enemy that approached him would we be fiercely met by his arsenal of close-combat weaponry.
They were constantly bathed in blood causing the morale of their fellow goblins to rise while their enemies cowered. The weapons they used were improved as well. In the past, we used stone axes and wooden spears, but after the battle with the humans, we managed to acquire iron weapons for everyone.
Unfortunately, the weapons would eventually wear down. We need to find a way to repair them soon.
"The enemy has come, Your Majesty," the one-armed Gi Be said, waking me up from my pondering.
"That is an annie spider," I replied.
"If I recall correctly, this spider's saliva is poisonous, right, Your Majesty?" The water mage, Gi Bi, said.
That scholarly manner of talking made me chuckle.
"Hit it, kick it!" Gi Bu yelled.
"I suppose cutting its legs would be a good idea?" The fierce Gi Ba said, wanting to take the initiative.
At my signal, Gi Ba ran. He slipped through the long legs of the annie spider, then with the stroke of his sword, he cut them off. Suddenly, the water mage, Gi Bi's, water balls came raining down on the spider, denting its skin.
"GURUuu!" Gi Bu growled as his wild dogs kicked off against the ground. As the wild dogs caught the attention of the annie spider from above, Gi Bu's axe came swinging for its legs. When Gi Bu was near the annie spider, he suddenly threw away the axe and started kicking at the stomach of the spider from below.
Quite the shrewd goblin, isn't he?
As the annie spider's stance broke, the one-armed Gi Be decapitated the spider with his spear.
Gradually, the light left the spider's eyes, but the goblins didn't stop attacking until it was completely silent.
"Good job, remember, this is how you fight together. Make sure to also remember to consider the normal class goblin's limits," I said to ensure that they didn't forget the importance of working together. These goblins would most likely be a part of the main force in the next battle after all.
"As the king commands."
After hearing their reply, I went back to the village.
Tl Note: Two chapters because they're both short, so this only counts as the second chapter of the week.