VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 116 - BATTLE ON THE MEADOWS
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 (Lv1); Orc King (Bui) (Lv82)
Abnormal Status Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake
I split the horde into two. One was led by me, while the other I left in Gi Za Zakuend's hands.
The centaur village was situated west of the araneae village. Their houses were built with trees and animal hide, and they numbered almost 500. As a tribe, they are known for their hunting and their ability to process iron.
Orcs and goblins once lived near their village, but they drove them away. Daizos' grandfather is said to be a great warrior who slayed many goblins by himself.
The centaurs apparently traded their iron with the elves. That was one of the reasons why they were situated so closely to them.
The centaurs are renowned for hunting with their bows and spears. Their spears are said to be no weaker than a humans', and their bows are said to be the strongest among the demihumans.
The centaurs' unique skill was 'Herculean Strength'. When a centaur reached the chief class, the Herculean Strength skill would be able to bolster one's strength so much that he would be able to crush a rock crab barehanded.
"In other words, they are one annoying bunch," the youth of the mud-scaled tribe leading the way said.
It's been three days since we left, yet the youth's mouth showed no signs of stopping.
The members of the mud-scaled tribe were able to swim through dirt. Seeing this youth dig through the earth like it was swimming with only its head out really left one speechless.
"From here on the there'll be tall grass everywhere, so please be careful. The centaurs are very near."
We've been moving on bare land all this time, so it was easy to see the mud-scaled youth, but in a place flourishing with tall grass, there's a chance we might lose sight of him.
Pushing aside the tall grass, we followed after the mud-scaled youth.
Well, this isn't so bad. As long as we pay attention, we should be alright.
"Gi Ba go scout the path ahead," I ordered.
Gi Ba left after bowing.
The tall grass blocked my vision, so I couldn't see what was up ahead. With the situation like this, I ordered the goblins to form three-man cells and scatter, paying careful attention to the surroundings.
We proceeded like that, while I made sure that no one strayed off. Halfway through the meadow, someone yelled from up ahead.
It was Gi Ba.
"Enemy!" He yelled.
Immediately, I drew my sword and ordered my men. "Secure the periphery! Take down anyone who comes!"
A centaur came and swung his spear. My sword clashed with his spear, and while I managed to flick it away, it was heavy. Saying that their spears were no less heavier than a human's was not an exaggeration.
The centaurs came one after another. Their bodies were big. The bottom part was horse, while the upper part was man. They were all either as big or bigger than me.
The centaur in front of me tried to kick me with his hooves, but I took a step back and swung my sword.
As our attacks passed by each other, the centaur turned around and disappeared into the sea of grass.
"Yell if you see an enemy approach!"
This land is a handicap, a big handicap
Plucking off one of the tall grass, I closed my eyes and thought of the worst possible outcome.
If a flaming arrow were to land in this sea of grass, where there were no plans or vegetations to wet the land, what would happen?
We would be a horde of sitting ducks in hell, that's what.
I don't know what they're aiming for, but... It would be best to prepare for the worst.
After ordering the goblins to spread out, I wielded my sword again.
This terrain suits the centaur. We're already halfway through the meadow. If we stop here, we'll be sitting ducks for the enemy to pick off. Who would've thought the enemy would actually attack? We have to get out of here.
If we stop moving, the situation will only get worse.
Goblins and centaurs cried out alternatingly from the back.
Should we huddle up and move together, or would it be better to scatter and make a run for the meadow's border?
"Split off into three man cells! Make a run for the meadow's border!"
The enemy probably intends to stop us here. We need to avoid that at all costs. If we let things go as they want, the battle will eventually flow their way.
Even if it's by force, we have to get back the initiative.
"Run for the border, but if anyone gets in your way, kill them!"
The main goal is to get out, but if you can take down someone along the way, then you might as well.
At my command, goblins and araneae alike made a run for the border.
"What!? The goblins scattered?" The young leader of the centaur attack force, Dakitania, looked down on the battle from high ground. "Were they simply unable to endure our attacks, or are they aiming for something?"
Dakitania became thoughtful, but regardless how much he pondered, he couldn't figure out what the enemy was thinking.
"...Let's stop. There's no way to figure out what the enemy is thinking. Besides, this isn't a bad thing for us. Since they're scattered, we'll just pick them off!"
Dakitania drew his bow and shot an arrow to the sky.
"I'm going out! We'll kill as many as we can."
The arrow cried in the sky.
That was the signal for the centaurs hiding to make their move.
The excitement of the hunt filled Dakitania, drawing a smile on his lips. He rushed down from high ground and entered the meadows. There would be no order to this battle, but that didn't matter. It was impossible for the centaurs to lose in a one-on-one battle against the goblins.
The angry voices of the goblins and the centaurs filled the land. At first, the centaurs seemed to have the upper hand, but as time went on, the screams of the centaurs grew more and more. Things did not go the way Dakitania hoped it would.
Dakitania thrust his spear in a hooking motion at the goblin he encountered, wounding the goblin's shoulder.
He followed up with a kick, but the goblin managed to dodge and even strike back. Dakitania turned around and ran into the sea of grass. Something bitter filled his mouth.
He couldn't kill the goblin he encountered earlier either. They somehow managed to protect their vitals each time. Seeing the goblins move like that made Dakitania draw could sweat.
"This isn't how it was supposed to be!" He complained.
Because he was young he couldn't understand that he had made a mistake, so he went to look for another prey.
This time he found a red goblin accompanied by three others.
"A commander!? I'll be taking your neck!"
Dakitania thrust his spear at the red goblin.
"Attack when he's open," the red goblin said to a goblin near him. That goblin charged toward Dakitania.
"Impudent!" Dakitania spat.
On the red goblin's hands were a spear and a sword. The red goblin threw his spear at Dakitania, and then he lowered his body and charged toward Dakitania with his sword. The spear the red goblin threw was surprisingly accurate, so Dakitania had no choice but to block it with his spear.
"Naive!" The red goblin said as he swung his sword. Blood gushed out of Dakitania's side.
Dakitania stifled the cry leaking out from his mouth. He had to recover himself and fight, but unfortunately for him, the three goblins had been waiting. They simultaneously charged at him. Fortunately, Dakitania managed to fend off their attack with a swing of his spear before disappearing into the sea of grass again.
Dakitania was drenched in his own blood. He looked around him as he ran through the meadow, but the goblins didn't follow. He thought the goblins would be easy, but the goblins he fought just now made him drink his own blood.
"This is bad," Dakitania said.
Dakitania's plan was based on the presumption that centaurs wouldn't lose to goblins in a one-on-one fight. The fact that he was pushed this far meant that his presumption was wrong, meaning the very foundation which he formed his plan on was false.
Nocking his arrow, he shot twice to the sky.
"We have to retreat," he said.
If not, the goblins might just wipe them out. He didn't fear death, but he feared a meaningless death.
Just as he was about to leave the meadow, he happened upon a giant black goblin.
"Ah, just my luck..." Dakitania spat.
Calmly, he wielded his spear. The pressure emanating from that goblin was completely unlike that red goblin just now. A sword clad in black flames, three horns that stood in defiance of the heavens, and a tail that struck against the ground. The goblin before Dakitania looked so strong that he almost didn't look like a goblin.
"But I can't lose."
Dakitania kicked off the ground with all his strength and thrust his spear, but the black goblin easily dodged with a speed that left him shocked. Before he knew it, black flames were upon him.
The flames of the abyss cried for his death, and in one slash, Dakitania felt his life leave him.
After escaping the meadows, I checked our casualties, and I found out only 8 were wounded. No one died. In contrast, the enemy lost five of their own, and we even have a prisoner. As for the rest of the centaurs, they all ran.
Somehow, we managed to make it out of this predicament.
I tried talking to our prisoner, but he just wouldn't talk properly. He just kept spouting insults, calling us goblins savages.
"What a pain," I said, sighing.
"Umm... How about I give it a try?" Selena said.
"Alright, I'll have him travel with your group and the Araneae," I told her.
"Well, people being hostile isn't anything new," I muttered to myself.
I got depressed when I thought any future discussions with the centaurs might end up the same way. If that were to happen, I would have no choice but to thoroughly destroy them.
My lips curved into a smile as I thought of the carnage that would ensue.
No, I shook my head. The demihumans are watching my every move closely right now. I need to win their trust. There's no point in having them if they can't trust me with their life.
"Watch our prisoner," I said to a subordinate goblin before leaving to check on the wounded.
Goblins weren't the only ones who were injured. There were also araneae.
The wounded were being healed with secret medicine, but that secret medicine was actually no more than some herbs kneaded together. After being treated, those who could still walk were to walk back to the araneae village, while those who can't were to be carried by the Gaidga.
"We can leave anytime now, Your Majesty," a goblin said.
"Let's go then," I said.
The centaurs didn't move as expected. Were they trying to buy time? Or were they really thinking of fighting us head on? Whichever it is, there were centaurs who managed to run away. They will be reporting the result of this skirmish.
I have no idea what they wanted to accomplish with so few men, but...
"So long as we crush them, all the problems will end."
Time was of the essence.
After dealing with the wounded, I ordered my subordinates to move at full speed.
Level has risen.
45 => 48
Tl Note: Last regular chapter of the week. See you next week.