Tl Note: There were some missed lines in chapter 106 (the chapter yesterday), please take a look at the notes at the end.
VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 108 - ENTANGLING THREADS
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
"Now then, let us talk," I said.
Nikea looked like she'd eaten a fly as she nodded.
"First of all, I shall have you keep your earlier promises," I said.
"Of course, we will do as we promised," Nikea said.
"I also want you to introduce me to the other descendants of the crystals."
"To make friends, of course, why else?"
"I wouldn't know."
The battered araneae was forced to acquiesce to my requests. As such, trade between the goblins and the araneae would begin, their village would have to welcome my goblins, and Nikea herself would have to introduce me to the rest of the demihumans.
I'm sure Gi Za would reprimand me, saying I'm too soft, but it's really not a good idea to demand too much. Tribes that don't hold ill will to us goblins are precious. The araneae will serve as our foothold into the world of the demihumans. It wouldn't do to sour our relationship.
"That will be all," I said.
Nikea looked at me, confused.
"Is that really all?"
"Yes. Oh, there is one more thing."
Nikea went full alert as soon as I said there was one more request.
"I would like to rest at your village tonight."
Nikea laughed a little when she saw me mischievously smiling.
After defeating the fiery demihuman, we headed back to the araneae village. When we got there, we were led to our lodging, where beds made out of spider threads greeted us. Shumea and Selena immediately went to jump on them, leaving me dumbfounded. After that nothing unusual happened. Even the reaction of the araneae upon seeing us return looking exactly as if they'd seen ghost was just as expected.
From here on out is Nikea's job.
Will the araneae... Will Nikea keep her promise?
Tonight, I refrained from sleeping and kept watch for the goblins.
"Do you truly intend to trust them, Your Highness?" Gi Za asked.
I smiled. "I don't trust them yet. Everything will depend on their response. If the need arises, I don't mind making every araneae taste the bitterness of defeat."
"At that time, please let me lead the battle."
They used wood for their pillars, while they used mud and threads for their walls. We sat before the entrance of our lodging.
Gi Ji Arsil prostrated himself before me. "I shall surely present the head of that araneae, Nikea, to you, Your Majesty."
"Don't rush. The way things are going, Nikea probably won't become our enemy. If anything, she's most likely to fight for us in the case something does happen," I said.
"Against her own tribe?" The ferocious Gi Ba asked, to which I nodded.
Gi Ba and the other goblins of his generation were raised in an environment where all goblins were allies. He must have grown up thinking that those of the same race would never attack each other.
Gi Za and Gi Ji understood how the world worked, but Gi Do and the others could not.
"Your Highness, they live in the same village, surely they wouldn't attack each other," Gi Do fearfully said.
"The people unhappy with Nikea might not think so," I said, but again Gi Do could not understand.
Gi Ba sneered. "Idiot."
"You mean they would actually fight each other despite being of the same race?" Gi Do asked.
I touched my chin. "They don't necessarily have to fight out in the open. They could just grumble. Weren't there araneae who followed us this morning? That woman probably doesn't have this whole village under control."
"In other words, her enemies might ignore her words and attack us," Gi Za said.
The other goblins nodded.
"Then which side will we pick?" Gi Ji asked.
I became thoughtful. "Hmm..."
Would Nikea really stay put even as her own tribesmen are killed? I'm sure she would choose them over us despite their differences.
"If Nikea bares her fangs at us, we will respond in kind."
As my heart ferociously laughed, a twisted smile rose upon my lips.
"Nikea of the hard crystal, do you truly intend on accepting them? They are goblins. You think such creatures are trustworthy?" One araneae said.
Up above at the tallest tree of the village was a vast hall made of threads, where the masters of the village gathered.
"Exactly, Nikea. Why is someone as wise as you unable to understand? Those goblins should be killed," another araneae said.
Voices of complaints rose one after another, but Nikea only calmly listened.
Of the people gathered, more than half of them were against the goblins. About 30% of those voiced their criticism loudly.
"..." Nikea quietly listened to those voices, then she turned to a single araneae. She asked. "Do you think the same, Nerou of the blue crystal?"
That araneae was young and overflowing with elegance. A smile appeared on his lips. "But of course, the goblins are filthy creatures."
The araneae was smiling though his eyes were filled with scorn.
Nikea quietly sighed.
Nerou was a skilled araneae with good blood. He was originally chosen to be the next chief, but Nikea became the chief instead. From then on he has curried favor with the other araneae, using them to try and seize the position of chief from Nikea.
Nerou never openly went against Nikea. Instead, he allowed others to criticize her, making sure he didn't do anything to disadvantage himself.
Cowardly bastard, Nikea thought. Her earlier attempts to capture the fiery demihuman was originally a plot to try and convince these people, but as a result, it only made things more difficult.
The goblins' request was by no means excessive.
At the very least, it was far better than the Nerou Faction's demand to kill the goblins.
The arguments went without any resolve, while Nikea only quietly waited. She waited patiently until they would finally give her an opportunity to speak her thoughts.
When the Nerou Faction, the Neutral Faction, and the small Nikea Faction were finally exhausted, Nikea spoke. "Hear me, descendants of the crystals. I have come to an agreement with them as your chief. To speak against that decision is a challenge to my authority as chief. Moreover-"
Nikea's dignity as chief made the araneae shudder.
"We, descendants of the crystals, came to be because of our trustworthiness and our righteousness. The goblins are here among us in our village precisely because they trust us. To attack them in their sleep, would that not shame our pride!?"
The Nerou Faction had no choice but to keep silent despite their frustrations. The Neutral Faction nodded as they talked among themselves. The members of the Nikea Faction were all smiling, delighted at the greatness of their chief.
"That is all. If there is nothing else, this meeting will be adjourned."
The first to stand up were the Nerou Faction, who left posthaste, followed by the Neutral Faction. The Nikea Faction stayed behind and gathered around Nikea.
"Chief, are you sure this is the right choice?" One of them asked.
"Everything should be fine as long as we don't pull anything. It's just that..." Nikea replied.
"It's just that?" One of them asked.
"If a war breaks out, we will surely lose," Nikea solemnly said.
The members of the Nikea faction looked at each other.
"But..." One of them tried to argue.
"Did you see that goblin? The big black one."
Nikea's voice was gentle, as if to guide them. Her gaze was gentle, much like a mother, as she looked at the araneae who was like a younger brother to her.
"Yes," he said.
"That is their king. He fought the Man-Eating Tiger by himself and won. And those goblins under him. What do you think of them?"
"There were all sorts..."
"Yes, the goblins reproduce quickly. So quickly, in fact, that it's terrifying. More than likely, their main force is waiting somewhere. If a war breaks out, that army would come marching to our doorsteps. Individually, we might have the upper hand, but numerically? They would overwhelm us."
The araneae were speechless at their chief's predictions.
"We have to work with them. This is the only way for our tribe to survive," Nikea said.
The members of her faction all fearfully nodded.
Tl Note: Both chapters were short, so double chapter it is. Much thanks to all those who answered my question in the previous chapter. I'll go with poisonous next time.
Also, in case you missed the earlier notes, there were some missed lines in chapter 106. I've made a note for them at the end, so just go to the end, where the notes are, and you should quickly see the missing lines that were added.