TL Note: Changed chant for shield to -> Let my body be inviolable. (closer to raw meaning)
Also a reminder: Eirel Deer are Spear Deer.
CHAPTER 16: TREMORS
[Class] Duke; Horde Chief
[Possessed Skills] <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
[Divine Protection] Goddess of the Underworld, Altesia
[Attributes] Darkness, Death
"Turn me into a blade (Enchant)."
At that chant, the darkness wrapped around me moved itself to the sword.
I'm hidden amongst thickets, watching my preys. When the magic finished casting, I immediately jumped out, and pursued the preys before me. My target, the herd of Eirel Deer.
These preys were found by my goblin subordinates after I ordered them to look for some. And as for my target, it's the biggest one amongst the ones spotted today.
Right now, there are around 30 deer drinking water from the lake and feeding on the grass. And these are all going to serve as my practice partners. With that thought, I took a step.
But as soon as I stepped out of the thickets, they noticed my presence. Was it because of their instincts as beasts who grew up in the wild? Or was it just because my killing intent leaked out? I don't know, but as their ears perked up, all of their gazes focused onto me.
Without flinching, I proudly took another step
Then they turned their back to me, and they began to run.
But as soon as I took that step, I had already prepped myself to sprint at maximum speed. And in the blink of an eye, the running preys' back was before me.
But then all of the sudden, the Eirel deer stopped, and then turned right.
The force of having sprinted at maximum speed weighed heavily on me. Enduring that, I paused, and then turned, continuing to chase after my prey.
As soon as it entered my range, I swung my enchanted Iron Second down. And in an instant, the deer was cut down. It was so fast that the deer wasn't even given a moment to utter a cry. Seeing that, I couldn't help but find myself dumbfounded.
The resistance was so thin it was as if I'd just cut butter with knife.
While I was caught up in my fascination over the prowess of magic, the goblins seems to have already gotten used to hunting the Eirel deer. Looks like the three man cell's been more effective than expected.
As soon as the larvae grow up, they're put in with experienced teams and instructed how to use traps. Because of this, it's become possible to acquire preys without hurting their quality.
As a result, the efficiency of our hunts have increased, and the food situation's gotten better. Leading to an increase in the survival rate of the birthed goblins which then consequentiallly leads up to an increase in war potential.
Ahh... but even without that, I'd still want to have our bellies filled. After all, you can't fight with an empty stomach, right?
All the more so since we get our provisions from hunting and not from vegetation. So I want to get some now while we can.
It's a pity thought that smoking's the most we could do when it comes to preserving food, but I guess it'll all work out somehow.
While I was up there in my own little world, thinking of all sorts of random things, I suddenly heard the death throes of a deer.
And as my eyes moved towards the direction of that scream, I saw the goblin who killed it, transforming as it sat there on the ground with vapors coming out of its body. He's evolving?
As I continued to watch the goblin's evolution, its skin turned red, and its muscles grew bigger. Its stiff expression also changed into a fiendish one. And as its evolution finished, its cries changed to that of a goblin rare.
It might be because it's my first time seeing someone evolve that I couldn't help but stare at the new goblin rare. But then as I continued to stare at it, some texts suddenly appeared within my mind.
[Possessed Skills] <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
[Divine Protection] None
Looks like the [Skill] <> has activated. Moreover, from the looks of things, apparently it doesn't work on just my enemies, but also on my allies. That's unexpected. But really... I shouldn't have assumed it to be so in the first place. Sigh... I just feel like hitting myself with a stone right now for thinking it could only work on my opponents without even confirming it.
That aside, I wonder if I should end the hunt right here and now, and start a meeting. It's that 'striking while the iron's hot.' But, wait... My level right now is only 11, and [Skill] <> activates based on level conditions.
No, I shouldn't be impatient. Right now the focus should be on hunting for provisions. Right, I shouldn't change the order and focus on gathering food first.
Hearing a voice call out to me, I snap out of my thoughts.
Oh, come to think of it, someone's managed to evolve. I need to give it a name.
"I name you Gi Gi."
When I granted the kneeling goblin a name, it bowed to me deeply several times as if it had just received something divine. Incidentally, I took the chance to take a look at Gi Gi's skill.
When it was still a goblin, the most it could manage were a few dogs. Now that it's evolved into a goblin rare, its ability to control beasts should have increased an appropriate amount. I'm looking forward to see just how much it can bolster our war potential.
After that, time passed, and when we got two Eirel deer and three armor rabbits, we ended the day's hunt, and returned to the village.
When I returned to the village, I made my subordinate goblins sit in order.
Right now, I'm going to interview them.
What I want to get from this is each and every goblin's aptitudes, as well as the skills that can be used to increase our war potential. Once I know what useful skills they have, I'm going to train it by having them use it more frequently.
But unfortunately, [Skill] <> wouldn't work for more than half of them. And amongst the goblins I've looked into, the only ones that have something that could become a part of our war potential was at most two.
With the exclusion of Gi Gi, the number really was small. How disappointing.
But then again, there's no way it would have gone well on the first try. So for now, I should just focus on increasing my level in order to be able to determine the other goblins' aptitude as well. And if ever I come to find that they have a useful skill, I should make them use it as much as possible every time we hunt in order to harness it. Right, let's go with this.
Oh, incidentally, I also couldn't see into the statuses of the other goblin rares, the former leader Gi Gu and the spear wielding Gi Ga.
I'm quite curious about this two's status, but I guess it can't be helped for now. Right, I shouldn't pester for things that I don't have, and just make use of whatever's available.
Talking with Reshia's almost become a daily thing, but at least now I've started to be able to drag information out of her.
The only way for this to happen was to either win her trust or get her used to it, so in a sense it's partly thanks to the orcs' attack that my impression with her has gone up so much.
Seriously, who would've thought those orcs attacking would actually do some good. They helped me evolve, they became food for my subordinates, and they became the key to help me to get the information I want.
Honestly, I'm not that happy about it, but it's true, so...
Still... even if the loss wasn't that high...
But still... What's useable is useable, and I should make use of what's available to me. Even if that thing is something that came at the cost of my subordinates' lives. Moreover, this is also a form of memorial service for them. No, it's not just that. If I don't use it, I'll be wasting their deaths. So in order for that not to happen, I need to do this.
What the fuck am I thinking anyway!?
They're pieces! Mere pieces on a chess board! They're Monsters!
Fuck! What am I thinking!? Even though I should be well aware that careless empathy will only bring with it destruction!
"--Are you listening?"
Reshia's voice knocked me awake.
"Sorry, I was thinking about something."
"If you're not in the mood, then why should we even continue!?"
"No, that'll be a bit troubling. Especially since we're at a good part now."
"... How dare you say something like that, when the one who wasn't listening was you!"
"I'll let you take a bath every two days."
"Oh? That's not bad. But since we're on the topic, I'd also like to request permission for Chinos and Mattis to take a bath as well."
Fine, I thought. Looks like this girl's talent doesn't end just with her healing alone. With that talent of hers to bargain, she could probably become a formidable merchant.
"Fine, but let's move the time. At the same time, I'll give you some escorts."
"Very well. Then, let's continue."
What I wanted to learn from Reshia even at the cost of giving in, was geography. How far is the nearest human habitant? What is the population of the nearest human settlement? How many soldiers do they have? Their country? Their literature? Their overall strength? Their relationship with other countries? And what do they know about this forest? Every day, I would come to her and listen to her talk about such things. But of course, I didn't blindly believe everything she told me.
After which, for the first time, I left the hunting grounds to Gi Gu and the rest of the goblin rares while I went out to explore alone.
Come to think of it, It's been 10 days since I've caught Reshia, so it wouldn't be strange for the humans to start looking for her soon.
By exploring the unexplored areas of the forest alone, I won't only be exploring, but also increasing my level. So in a sense, I'll be killing two birds in one stone.
But of course, it's also quite dangerous.
Even if I have become a goblin duke, at most my status is only comparable to that of a giant spider's. The only difference is that my head's a little better, and I can use skills and magic. But as for whether those three alone can make a huge difference in my fighting potential, I don't know. In fact, there's most likely someone amongst the humans in this forest who wouldn't even bother looking at my skills and magic.
For example, if there was a being who had a skill that could kill me in one hit, then my <> wouldn't even have the chance to activate. Or perhaps a strange, powerful weapon that I've never seen before. If there's such a thing as that, then <> won't activate either.
If ever I happened upon something like that, there's no guarantee of me surviving.
But despite that, despite the feelings of tension running up my back... I continued deep into the forest.
Then along the way, I met three orcs. And my mouth twisted into the shape of a crescent moon.
--An enemy! There's an enemy!!
"Turn me into a blade (Enchant)!!"
The dread of losing my life hung over me.
The excitement that was no different from trembling, wrapped around me.
As the orcs noticed me, they moved towards me.
Then from the deepest pits of my entrails came a scream, the bellowing excited roar of a maddened soul.
With my gaze fixed upon the mighty, I took a step.
Since your attributes are darkness and death, magic casted by you will be black magic.
Since you are using black magic, your mind will be affected.
[Skill] <> acquired.
Because of [Skill] >, you will slowly lose your mind.