VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 118 - LOST PATH
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
The shaman, Gi Za Zakuend, stifled his yawn as he looked at the empty path ahead. He thought for sure the enemy would attack them, but no one came. That being the case, his attention naturally went to the demihumans traveling with him.
"I thought for sure they'd attack us instead of the king. Hmm... maybe they really are trying to run away," Gi Za muttered.
Gi Za has been studying the araneae's skill since they arrived at the araneae village. What properties does it have? How is it woven? Gi Za dragged Selena with him to ask those questions, and the araneae could not say no. Every one of them diligently answered his questions. Because of that Gi Za managed to spend his days immersed in his research. But now he was having some doubts about this expedition.
The king expected the enemy to run, but from Gi Za's interactions with the araneae, there were unexpectedly few araneae who were as wise as Nikea. Most of them seemed to detest the goblins, finding them beneath them. The other demihumans probably felt the same. If so, then the centaurs would be most likely to attack than to run.
But contrary to Gi Za's expectation, the enemy didn't come. Perhaps they attacked the king's horde instead, but there was nothing to worry about, as the king would easily be able to subjugate them.
There were roughly 80 goblins and demihumans following Gi Za. Gi Jii was his assistant, but the mission of delivering this horde to the centaurs' doorsteps fell on him.
They had split the horde because there were just too many of them to easily traverse the forest, but in the end, there were still too many. Gi Za sighed.
The rizalat and the werewolves had already gone ahead as their mission was to keep the centaurs from running away.
Accompanying Gi Za were the shell tribe, the Papirsags led by Luther. Luther was not walking on his own legs and was instead riding on a beast, a turtle four times the size of a goblin.
The ancient beast warrior, Gi Gi Orudo, looked with envy at Luther's mount. It was supposedly a turtle, but it moved quite fast. The ivies growing on its body seemed to be aiding its movements. Gi Za's eyes dazzled as he looked with curiosity at those ivies.
Sensing his gaze, Luther moved up to the middle of the horde beside Gi Za.
"Is something the matter?" He bluntly asked.
Gi Za honestly nodded. "I'm interested in that turtle. Or more specifically, those ivies. Why is it helping the turtle move? Is it magic? A magic we goblins do not know of, or perhaps... a skill. If it's none of these, then I would truly appreciate it if you could enlighten me! In fact, if you don't mind, I'd appreciate it if you could also tell me about the other demihumans or perhaps even the magic of the elves!"
Before Luther knew it, Gi Za had already climbed up his turtle.
Gi Za's fervor for the unknown left Luther's mouth open.
"H-How about you ask one at a time first," Luther said.
"Alright," Gi Za agreed.
If the generals act cordially toward each other, it's only natural that the subordinates would follow suit, so it should come as no surprise when the curious goblins mustered their courage to strike up a conversation with the demihumans. At first, both parties were awkward, but gradually, the goblins and the demihumans warmed up to each other.
"What? Your beasts eat meat, while you eat grass!?" Dashka of Gaidga was shocked.
The demihumans apparently ate grass, while the beasts they tamed ate meat.
"Hey, is it true that goblins can see in the dark?" A demihuman asked.
"That's right. In fact, it's actually better for me to use my bow in the night than in the day. The chiefs don't seem to care though. My concentration is still lacking," Ru Rou of Ganra said.
The only one who seemed troubled was Gi Jii, who had to follow the demihuman of the mud-scaled tribe.
The centaurs returned to their village defeated. When Daizos heard their report and found out that Dakinia had died, he went back to his room after calming down the others, then he quietly cried by himself.
"Chief!" A centaur yelled as he hurriedly entered Daizos' room.
His house was being lent out to the elves, so the house he was using now was borrowed from another centaur. Daizos' brows raised up when he heard the report of the centaur.
"Nikea came?" Daizos took his spear and exited his room to meet Nikea.
"...You dare show your face?" He said to Nikea..
Daizos' anger was almost past its boiling point. It seemed like he was barely able to keep himself from thrusting his spear into her.
"I came to talk, but... I see. Since you didn't come from your house, then that must mean...." Nikea said.
Despite arrows and Daizos' spear being pointed at her, Nikea was as calm as spring rain.
"This is troubling. At this rate, the elves will be caught up in the war," Nikea said.
"This is your fault!" Daizos yelled.
Contrast to Nikea's composure, Daizous was fuming.
"I intended to talk about the elves at the meeting, but you had to go and invite some goblin! Because of you the meeting was a mess. Form an alliance to fight the humans? Bullshit! You should've known there's no way we would fight with some goblin!" DAizos yelled.
"Why?" Nikea asked. "Do you intend to say that it's because they're savages?"
"Isn't that obvious? Because of them..."
Daizos couldn't say the words after that. That was probably because of his pride as chief. The one who ordered the centaurs to attack was none other than him, after all. Not to mention, blaming the goblins for their defeat would only shame the dead.
Somehow someway Daizos managed to calm his seething anger and thrust his spear into the ground.
"Lord Daizos," Nikea said but the words wouldn't come out. Resolving herself, she opened her mouth again, repeating what she said a while ago. "...Let's talk. Lord Daizos, the elves must not be caught in this war. We should still be able to..."
"What right do you have to say that!? Araneae! Was it not you who colluded with the goblins!?" Daizos pulled out his spear and ordered his people. "Lock her up! But don't hurt her. We are the proud centaurs, act accordingly."
Afterwards, Daizos locked himself in his room again.
He pondered on Nikea's words.
We moved onwards, going as fast as we could while keeping wary of our surroundings. Nikea is bound to encounter trouble as she's tasked with keeping the centaurs from running. Therefore, we need to quickly surround the centaurs and lighten the load on her and the rest of the advance group.
Despite our efforts to stay on guard, however, the centaurs never attacked again.
Are they not coming?
The goblins are positioned on all directions. With how fast we're going, the goblins are bound to be get tired. The elf, Selena, talked to the centaur, but while the centaur didn't spit out insults, he never said anything either.
It's also possible he just doesn't know anything.
"Boss, aren't, we going, too fast?" Shumea asked, huffing and puffing.
When I turned around, the normal class goblins were similarly exhausted.
Can't be helped, we have to go slower.
-Damn it, am I agitated? Me?
I finally managed to find a partner, and yet now, I'm about to lose her. She asked for it herself, I know, but... Should have I stopped her?
Uneasiness burned in my chest as I looked up ahead. Please be safe, I prayed.
I don't think she's one to do anything rash.
But, still. I don't think the enemy is going to act as we expect. They already ambushed us back in the meadows, so they must have something under their sleeves.
"Boss, can I have a moment?" Shumea asked.
"What?" I said.
It wasn't my intention, but my words came out brusque.
Shumea smacked her lips at the way I talked.
"I don't think it'll help even if I tell you not to hurry, but how about changing your perspective?" Shumea said.
Change my perspective?
"Isn't the reason you're worried about that demihuman pretty much because you doubt her strength?" Shumea pointed out.
I see... But still.
"You wrote this script with her, right? Then all you have to do is play it out. Worrying won't help, so cheer up," Shumea said with a laugh.
Somehow, her words calmed me down.
"...Now that you mention it," I said.
"Right, right," she said.
It seems my panicking also affected the other goblins.
Taking a deep breath, I slowed down my pace.
"As expected of you, Boss," Shumea said.
"Thank you. I'll be counting on you again if anything happens," I said.
"It would be great if you could just say thank you a bit more kindly though," she said.
Does it matter if I speak kindly? Maybe she's just making fun of me. Regardless, I could only smack my lips in response.
Two days later, we arrived at the centaur village.
Contrary my expectations, the centaurs fortified their defenses and readied themselves for battle.
Just when she thought she would be able to leave the tower, she was told to go to the office of domestic affairs.
Reshia was furious at those orders, but despite that she didn't show her displeasure. If only the goblin king were here, she could complain as much as she wanted to him, and it wouldn't be pointless.
As for why...
"He won't get mad, he won't be agitated, he'll even ask for my opinion on all sorts of matters, and when it's time to act, he'll act quickly," Reshia quietly grumbled to herself.
Eventually, it occurred to her that she couldn't think of a single bad side to the goblin king.
"Sigh... this isn't good. It's said that only the good times will be remembered, but..." As Reshia sighed, she thought of that figure who stretched out his hand and tried to save her.
"I'm sure he's alive."
Lifting up her head, she looked at the gaudy door made of gold and silver.
Thinking to herself of how ostentatious the door was, Reshia opened the door.
"Oh, if it isn't the saint. Thank you for coming."
Inside the room was a fat man who made the chair he sat on seem small. This was none other than the lord in charge of the office of domestic affairs. A man who was promoted solely due to his status as count.
The man's eyes followed Reshia's neckline down to her chest as he brushed her waist gently without reservation.
Goosebumps broke out all over Reshia.
"Please enter," the man said.
There was a guard by the door, so it should be safe. Thinking that, Reshia sat down on the sofa, opposite the man over a short table. The man's cologne was so strong that she could smell it despite their distance.
Should I just go back? Reshia wondered, but she shook the thought off and presented a sheet of paper to the man.
A few days ago she reported the results of her visit to the slums. At that time, she requested for the government to feed the poor rice once every three days, along with other things that could be done to improve their lives. Unfortunately, while Reshia wanted to get to the point as soon as possible, the man's self-introduction never seemed to end.
"Which is why my Count Household..."
Reshia has been expressionless since halfway through, but the man shamelessly continued to boast of himself. Because of that Reshia couldn't help but compare the man to the goblin king.
If this were the king, he would surely go straight to the point instead of meandering needlessly like this. If the king doesn't want to, he'd say it. If he wants to, he'd say it too. He wouldn't waste time.
When Reshia inadvertently sighed, the count finally noticed.
"Oh, it seems this topic is boring the saint," the count said.
"No... About the proposal, do you think it would be possible to implement it?" Reshia said.
The count frowned upon hearing Reshia speak only of what she came here to do.
"Unfortunately, it's impossible to feed the poor rice once every three days. Any help on the slum is impossible as well. The country needs all the resources it can get to subjugate the bandits in the north and to continue the war to the south... Also, this is just between us, but there's also the colonial city being built to the west," the count said.
Reshia didn't know if the man said that last tidbit because he trusted her, but regardless, it seemed there would be more wars. Though there shouldn't be anything else but forest over there. When Reshia thought of that, the iron-armed knight's stern flashed through her mind.
"A colonial city to the west?"
"Lord Gowen persistently asked his highness for it, it seems."
They really intend to go to war, she thought.
Would the king just quietly watch them build that? Reshia didn't think so.
"Thank you for your time, it was a meaningful discussion," Reshia excused herself.
"Won't you stay a bit longer? I have some delicious black tea," the count said.
"No, please excuse me," Reshia said, standing up and then turning heel to leave the room even a moment sooner.
The count smacked his lips as he watched Reshia hastily leave.