Chapter 3: Orc Hunt I
Ten mornings and ten evenings had passed since the day they called me king.
I left most of the hunting to my underlings while I pondered to myself what I'd just experienced.
What I'd experienced was something impossible. Something that could only be seen in a game. If I had to put it into words, then what I'd experienced was a 'level up', or in other terms, an 'evolution'.
What should I think of this hypothesis?
It's not as if I don't feel sad to have such childish thoughts... However!
I can find no other way to express it.
"This is a... fantasy."
Lost in my thoughts, I let out my voice. When my adjutant heard that, he couldn't help but inquire.
Speaking of convenience, I've become somewhat capable of speech. And ever since the day I became a red goblin, or for convenience's sake a goblin rare, the difference in the treatment the goblins had toward me, compared to before, was like the difference between heaven and earth.
Why did their behavior change? To put it earnestly, it's because of the power I now have.
The law of the jungle. That is the irrationality of this world, the absurdity, the rule that was driven into me.
Right now, I may not be able to call my life comfortable, but at the very least, I am able to live unrestrained. Honestly speaking, being called a king despite only having 20 creatures under me feels like a diminution of the term 'King'.
This is a position that I received upon becoming a goblin rare, however...
The surging thoughts within my head piled up even further.
Regarding that level up... I wonder...
Did I turn into this because I killed that goblin rare? Or was I perhaps already in the process of evolving, and it only so happens that I evolved the moment I killed it?
As layers of hypotheses began to overlap I thought to myself, "If it's that, then as long as I wasn't killed, I would eventually become like this." However...
If it's the other, then if I kill something else I can gain an even greater power.
In other words, if I were to kill an orc, I would become an orc.
If I killed that giant spider, then...
No. I supplant my hypothesis.
If it's really an evolution, then is it even possible for a creature to turn into something completely different?
But then again, this is 'fantasy'. Nothing should be impossible.
By what logic, by what reason was it that my body was changed so much in a short period of time? I don't know. The only thing I'm certain of is that this isn't a miracle.
I need more samples.
"Are there other kings like me?"
The adjutant-like goblin looked around restlessly, then it brought its ugly face close to me, and then said this.
"One there... Another over there... Two in that direction."
... Hey, aren't there quite a bit?
But this should mean that there's an existence that holds power even greater than mine. At the very least, there should be quite a few of them amongst the goblins.
"Is there someone... above the kings?"
Oh, this is a pretty good question. I might actually get something good out of this.
"A great king..."
Muttered the goblin as it shook its head.
Hmm... Seeing it shake its head like this, it's actually quite amiable.
But a great king, huh? If it says that there's no such thing, then at the very least, there shouldn't be one to the extent of this adjutant's knowledge.
I began to ponder again.
A great king, huh?
I came to understand this the moment I became a goblin rare, but apparently, these creatures called goblin are at the bottom of this forest's so called hierarchy.
The small animals aside, the only ones beneath the goblins are those on the level of the kobolds and the slimes.
The goblins are a far cry from the orcs. And as for those on the level of the giant spider, we're not even in the same league. Because of that, we risk our lives when we go out to hunt for food.
The orcs who steal our spoils, and the giant spider who eats goblins. We struggle through many things, but no matter what, a relapse of that intense hunger I felt before cannot be permitted.
"King. Feed... here."
With the arrival of the hunting squad. I remembered my hunger, and I began to stroke my belly.
However, as I began to rub my belly, I grabbed my stomach that seemed like it was about to cry, and I furrowed my brows deeply.
"King. The feed."
The goblins respectfully offered to me a small animal. Then it came to my attention that they were all half dead. Some have lost an arm, others have had their ears bitten. And then, there are even those who are bleeding blue blood.
At my inquiry, the goblins of the hunting squad looked at each other.
They whispered, as they all lowered their heads and sunk their shoulders. Do they think I'm going to rebuke them for this?
That aside, it would appear that they were robbed.
I casually snatched their offering and put it in my stomach.
Why? Why is it that I, who feels no sense of good will, and in fact even feel hate and repugnance toward these goblins, can feel a mysterious anger budding within me?
...I've decided. I'm hunting the orcs.
As those thoughts surfaced, a desire to fight simmered from inside me.
Is it because of the changes in my body? I don't recall ever being a war freak. To think that I could actually be roused this easily, I almost don't want to believe it.
Putting those thoughts aside, I began to think of a way to hunt the orcs.
Sun Tzu once said, "Know yourself, know your enemy, and you will not need to fear the result of a hundred battles."
Actually, I don't really need to borrow the words of such a great person. What I have to do has already been decided. Thanks to the previous case, I already know all too well just how much stronger the orcs are compared to the goblins
However, I must kill them.
Then in that case, what should be done?
The idea of the previous goblin rare to defeat the orcs with number wasn't wrong.
If there is an opponent that you need to defeat. And that foe happens to be stronger than you by itself, then what should one do? The answer, numbers. This is a strategy that humans have applied since time immemorial. The humans work together and form groups. Then in order to sharpen their killing efficiency, they made use of weapons. And in order to bring out the most out of their numbers, they came up with strategies and tactics.
However, our enemy this time isn't a human.
It's an orc.
There's no need to go that far for something like that.
To put it briefly, what I'm going to use this time is a kind of weapon. Only, the goblins who are powerless are unable to cut through the fat of the orcs with normal weapons.
"Go after the orcs."
Information about them is necessary.
"If they notice you, run."
I need to be strict with this command. In order to win, the power in numbers is a must.
For orcs, and even for those beyond them. All the way until the top of this forest's hierarchy.
I pass the orders to my goblin underlings.
Search for the orcs, and come back alive.
I don't know how much they can abide by these two orders, but it's imperative if we are to kill the orcs.
The goblins dispersed, and then I went into the forest to stock up on weapons.
Three days has passed since I sent the goblins into the forest to find the orcs. During that time, I stocked up on the necessary weapons in the forest.
From the information the goblins had gathered, just yesterday they were able to find an orc that moved alone. At that, I gave the goblins orders to observe that orc to confirm that it travelled the same road every day, and then to quickly get some food before going back.
This is war.
A war between an orc and 21 goblins.
One can't fight on an empty stomach. This is a truth that has even surpassed the barriers of race, and is shared by all. As I recalled that, I ordered the hunting squad to find feeds, while I set the weapons at the site the orc will pass.
At my orders, the goblins began to dig a hole with undivided attention.
A hole only big enough to allow a single orc to fall completely, and deep enough so that it can never climb back up.
This is the one advantage that goblins have over orcs. Goblins are horrible at fighting, but when it comes to digging, their speed is in a different league.
Now that I think about it, even the dark den I was born in could only be entered through a tunnel big enough for a single goblin.
Find the orcs, and come back alive.
That was the order I gave to the goblins. And with their actions they showed me their loyalty.
Then in that case, I should respond accordingly to that loyalty. To slay the enemy, that is the duty of I, who has 20 goblins under his command.
The goblins kept digging the hole till nighttime. When they finished, we filled and disguised it, then we went back to our den.