VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 105 - MAN-EATING TIGER II
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
In the end, our two araneaen pursuers were taken away by Nikea's escorts.
"Lord Nikea, are you not planning on returning?" I asked, the manner I spoke with her this time was much more polite. She was an ally, after all. It wouldn't hurt to show her some respect.
Nikea shook her head. "No, I must take responsibility for this incident. Please let me show you the way."
I did wonder for a moment whether it was really alright for someone in her position to so casually decide that, but considering I wasn't any better myself, I refrained from saying anything more.
"If this happens a second time, we shall handle it ourselves. I hope you understand," Gi Za said.
He really intends to test my words, huh. What is he going to do if he loses his mind?
"Your bad habit is showing," I warned him.
Gi Za quietly laughed. "There can be no progress unless one remembers his own failures, Your Highness."
I was speechless.
In any case, it seems that the elves acknowledge the effect of demihuman blood as a stimulant when used in sparing amounts. Doesn't that mean that it's essentially safe to use?
But then again, our current mission is to subjugate a demihuman who has lost its sanity after drinking too much.
"This incident will not be repeated, I stake my life on it," Nikea said.
Is this how all demihumans are?
"Enough of that. There should still some distance until our destination." I said.
Nikea nodded. "Yes, we need to head north a bit more. After a day of walking, the ruins of a village should come to view. That place is its base."
The remains of the slaughtered village.
"Since we have some time until then, why don't you tell me a bit more about the descendants of the crystals."
"About us?" Nikea asked, puzzled.
"Yes. Being isolated from the world as I am, I know little about the descendants of the crystals. In a sense, it could be said that getting to know you is the very reason behind our trade."
I have to know.
As for what I'll do afterwards... Well, I'll think about it then.
"What will you do after knowing?" Nikea asked.
"I am going to make a country. When that time comes, I will take those worthy with me." I answered.
"A goblin kingdom..." She muttered.
The silence that followed after was short, but it was deep. The demihumans failed to unite themselves. What I intend to do is something that they would have done had they succeeded in their first step. Unite themselves and then create a country of their own, that would have been their path, if not for the tragedy their fellow demihumans met.
When you look at it that way, it suddenly becomes obvious why Nikea went solemn. "... I understand," she said, "there was also that incident just now. I'll tell you about us."
The answer that came after the silence was exactly what I'd hoped for.
I walked through the forest as Nikea spoke about the demihumans. Around the time when the body of the Fire GodRodo had sunk past the trees, we made camp and ate.
The history of the demihumans was much longer compared to the goblins'.
They are said to be one of the first created along with the elves. They had been living on the land before the humans were even created. Throughout their long history, the demihumans split off ceaselessly, until one day, the 'great war' happened.
In the great war, where all living creatures fought, the number of the living was greatly reduced. It was then that the humans began hunting them. With their numbers few, the demihumans had no choice but to run away to a place the humans could not reach. They ran to the depths of the forest, the untrodden lands, but they suffered even more losses.
The goddess of the underworld's invasion concluded 400 years ago. At first, the humans did not know from where the goddess' army would attack, so they sought to illuminate the whole world.
The deep valley, the thick forest. That was where the demihumans chose to live, but they were chased away and killed again. Even the clan Nikea's Araneae belonged to was driven away. In the end, they ended up in the forest. This happened 300 years ago.
The elves gave them permission to use the lands, so there was no war between their kind and the elves. In fact, they would even help the elves whenever they were in trouble.
I asked Shumea if those things really happened.
"You think I'd know!?" She angrily retorted.
Well... There is probably no human left alive from that time.
It's an old story, so I'm sure it wouldn't be strange if some points have distorted, but in any case, the main point is that the humans chased them into the forest. If nothing else, their anger is the real thing. Nikea isn't one to let her emotions rule her, but I think it would still be best to keep Shumea away from her.
I learned several things from my talk with Nikea. The demihumans apparently put a lot of emphasis on duty.
I still haven't thought of a way to pull them in, but it feels like I've gotten one step closer to conquering the demihumans.
We goblins don't have any difficulties moving about in the night, but Shumea, being human as she is, still isn't quite used to it, and surprisingly, Nikea too. She's a spider, so I thought she'd be pretty good at it, but apparently, that's not the case.
Apparently, it was easier to snuggle up to fire than to the darkness. How peculiar.
"There is one thing I want to ask. How did our pursuers know where we were?"
"It's probably because of our special abilityskill," Nikea said as she drew threads from the end of one of her legs. She ignored the shock of everyone around her as she wove those threads and brought them before me.
"We can make our threads as thick and as tough as we wish. I'm sure someone must've attached an extremely thin thread on you and your men." Nikea used one of her other legs to shoot out a thread just thick enough that we could see it, and wrapped it around the nearby trees.
So this is their special ability. Demihumans can't use magic, but in exchange, they've been blessed with special abilities and a powerful body. It seems Selena's info was right.
"I see. Yet even with those special abilities of yours you still can't defeat the man-eating tiger?"
The wall of threads I saw back in their village was not something that could be easily destroyed.
"Everyone has their strength and weaknesses," Nikea curtly replied.
I silently nodded in response. She probably won't reveal such crucial information to me. We're not so close that we would be comfortable telling each other our weaknesses.
"A four-legged creature is approaching, Your Highness," Gi Ji said.
I looked around.
"Is it far?" I asked.
"No, it's almost here!" Gi Ji replied, but by the time he finished speaking, the surrounding trees rustled.
Was it drawn by the light?
It struck out with the spear in its hand against the trunk of a nearby tree, and then... it stood. On the other end of its cracked skin was burning red flame.
Is there fire underneath its skin?
The spear that penetrated the tree was red and hot; the tree it penetrated quickly charred.
"It's here. Gi Za, Gi Do, cover me!"
"Turn Me into a BladeEnchant!"
Black flames clad my long sword as I stepped out. Our clash was only for an instant. A strong wind accompanied that thing's spear as it swung it down.
Sparks flashed from its spear.
The heat coming from that thing's hands was heating the spear. Demihumans can't use magic, so that means... that's its special abilityskill!
If the araneae have their threads, then the centaur have their equivalent. Isn't it hot? It seems its skill works completely different from my black flames.
The black flames looking like fire is nothing more than a coincidence in invocation of ether. This enemy is different. Even its very body is literally burning from within.
Our weapons clashed. One was a long sword clad in black flames, the other was a burning red spear.
As black flames mingled with red, I challenged the enemy to a melee. The enemy had the advantage in reach, so the closer we fought, the more advantageous it would be for me. As our weapons locked, I tried to push forward, but the enemy deflected my sword and swung down its iron spear.
In that instant, I closed in on the enemy. The one-eyed snake's blessing made the flow of ether smoother, allowing me to inject ether directly into my legs.
My sword wielded under my arms, I sent forth an attack that would quickly settle the battle.
In an instant, one step forward!
The attack unleashed, faster than any other!
The centaur howled, and in the instant my sword was about to reach its body, a wall of flames blocked my view, slowing down my attack.
I tried to cut the wall of flames down from the side, but the enemy's spear came sweeping into my arm. When it hit, I was sent flying like a ball.
What kind of unreasonable strength is this!?
"GUu!?" I stifled the cry of pain that sought to come out as I once again wielded my sword. But when I glanced at it, I noticed it had already been broken. I threw away the sword and took out a new one from the remaining swords sheathed by my waist.
"GYaUAAAaGAGAAaAA!" The centaur howled.
I thought it would attack, but it just struck its spear into a nearby tree.
What's going on? Well, in any case, it would be rude to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Not a trace was left of the wall of flames that had obstructed my vision. Belatedly, pain came running through my body. It sought to take away my consciousness, but I endured it.
After sending me flying, it seems to have changed its target to Shumea and the others.
As it howled, it kicked its hooves against the ground.
"Tch, Selena, it's coming," Shumea said to Selena as she took on that incoming pressure head on. She didn't bother to try and hide her shaking legs. Wielding her spear, she stepped in front of Selena.
"Gi Za, support them!" I said.
"On it!" Gi Za replied.
Gi Za and Gi Do invoked their magic. Although it wasn't from pointblank range, the wind magic they unleashed had formidable firepower, but a swing of the centaur's spear was all it took for the centaur to dispel it.
"How!?" Gi Za spat.
He invoked his wind a second time. This time it was far stronger, a cyclone even forming.
The centaur howled as it swung its spear against the cyclone. The wind caught fire as they clashed, and in the end, it vanished, but it was not for nothing, as the centaur stopped moving.
That's good enough!
"My life is like a cloud of dustAccel!"
Ether blew up from behind me, propelling me forward through a wall of air.
I kept going even as my body neared the centaur, then I... rammed my body into it!
Our bodies only touched for a moment, but my shoulder and my arms already smelled burnt. But that's only a given, I suppose. After all that thing is burning hot enough to spread its heat into the spear.
"I'm fine!" I swung my sword to show I was alright. At the same time, I clad my sword in black flames again.
It was time for round two.
As the enemy howled, I howled back with my World Devouring Howl.
Tl Note: There's one more chapter. Wait...