TL Note: Here's the chapter for the week.
Edit: (2015/09/02) Prowling Demon -> Wandering Soul
(2015/10/18) Monk -> Friar; some lines were monk instead of friar.
CHAPTER 8: INTRUDER
[Class] Noble; King of a Group
[Possessed Skills] <> <> <> <> <> <>
[Divine Protection] Goddess of the Underworld, Altesia
[Attributes] Darkness, Death
With the immediate threat gone, I began to formulate a plan on how to expand our area of living.
Right now, the area around the abandoned building is able to provide more than enough food for us to live on. There's also a lake, so there's no shortage of water.
Moreover, there're no shortage of animals to be hunted.
However, my dream isn't something that will end in a remote place like this. Even if I announce myself as king here, only around 50 goblins will submit to me.
That's not enough. It's not enough at all.
I don't even know where in this world I am.
There are humans in this world, so there should be another existence that lives on this land who holds an authority separate from ours.
Whether that existence be a dragon, a human, or perhaps something else altogether.
The first thing is to understand the geography of the surrounding area.
How far does this forest extend? Is there something outside the forest? And from where to where are the dangerous areas in the forest?
In order to collect that information, and in order to make them understand that which is called an organization, I have to educate the goblins.
And so I made the goblins work in a three-man cell system that I created, and let them hunt that way.
Every three male goblin worked as a group, hunting their preys with traps and tools.
At the same time, I only permitted copulation with the female goblins to the three-man cells that achieved excellent results.
Perhaps it's because some of my humanity still remains that I fail to to feel any sort of compassion towards the female goblins.
... Should I be happy about this?
I call the area that the former estranged group lived in, the boundary when travelling by foot. It's an area that's relatively safe with plenty of traps having been prepared.
Having left the command of the hunts to Gigu and Giga, I went to explore the still unexplored areas.
When it comes to the untrodden areas of the forest, the first thing I should check is the vicinity of the lake.
The distance from the village to the lake by foot is around half a day. For my equipment, all I had was a Pelt Armor we got from defeating the orcs, two long swords, and a dagger.
It might be too light, but I have to increase the overall strength of the group, so it can't be helped if these are all I have.
I have already thrown everything that seemed useable to the goblins, and I'm only exploring around the lake for my own sake, so it should be fine.
Hiding in the bushes, I searched for any enemy.
Right now I'm more than a match for an orc, but there might be creatures stronger than me in this forest. Like the giant spider, or an orc I've never seen before, or perhaps a lizard man. And then there're the kobolds. They're weaker than goblins, but they're quite troublesome if they work together. I haven't seen one yet though.
But more than that, what's really bothering me is the fact that I don't trust the goblins.
In other words, I'm always living in fear of their betrayal.
After all, they're beasts. Even if they speak words like humans, and try to live like humans, they are not humans. That's why there are things that's impossible to make them comprehend. And so it's not strange at all for me to look for a place I can fit in inside that.
In the height of hunting, I cornered a strong enemy and killed it. I later realized that I couldn't remember anything except that elated sensation. And just like when I'd hurt them, I felt anger rush to my head so much so that it felt like it was going to burst.
That sensation was repulsive.
I'm turning into a monster. I can feel it.
I can see an illusion of my mind merging into my body.
Without any clear line, it feels as if I'm being dragged into some sort of destiny.
Grating, I bit my teeth.
This isn't funny.
I am going to become a king by my own will!
I'm going to rule over the monsters!
I'm going to rule over men!
As those wandering thoughts spun in my mind, the first creature I'd seen in this forest passed by my eyes.
Earth colored rabbit covered in armor, an armor rabbit. I stared at it as it led five others as to eat grass.
---- Now that I think about it, I am quite hungry.
Suddenly recalling my hunger, I gradually shortened the distance between my prey and myself.
Inch by inch, I crawled towards the armor rabbit. Then all of the sudden its ears braced, and it noticed me approaching.
---- It noticed!
The instant I thought that, I sprinted.
Rushing as fast as I could, I swung my sword as I barely caught up with it.
But as if they had known that my sword would come, the armored rabbits ran in scattered directions. Settling for the still small rabbit, I resisted the urge to swing my blade down, and leaped once more.
As the rabbit was about to run away, I threw a blow strong enough to hollow the ground.
Its neck sent flying, the flowers of blood bloomed, and it lay lifeless on the ground.
I took its lifeless body into my hand, and took a bite out of it from its armor. My teeth sunk into it, but it was unusually hard.
At this rate my fangs might end up breaking instead, so I used my dagger to strip off its armor, and eat only the meat.
Although it was small, it felt like it ended as soon as I put it into my mouth. And all that was left was a wearisome sensation.
Sheathing my sword, I tried crunching the remaining small bones, but my teeth couldn't go through. I looked closely at the armor rabbit's armor.
Looking at the splattered neck, it can be seen that only the part around the neck was the armor slightly thinner.
Looks like my hunt's success was only out of luck. If I had hit its armor, my sword may have been sent flying back instead.
I breathed out unconsciously. There's no need to brood any more on this.
More than that, I wonder if it's possible to use this as armor. However, in order to do that, a specialist with knowledge in sewing, and the ability to mold this into a shape that'll protect the vitals is necessary.
I tried cutting off the unnecessary parts with a short sword, but it's not really going well. This kind of delicate work is just really not suited for goblin hands.
Looks like I'll need to get a human to make this.
In the end, I decided to just take it back home since it might be useful later.
I opened a hole in the pelt part of the armor, inserted a rope of ivy through it, fastened it, and carried it on my back.
──Alright, let's move on.
Walking through the bushes, I surveyed the vicinity of the lake till sunset.
My spoils for the day include three pelts of armor rabbits, and the fang and hide of a small alligator with wings called shape alligator.
By the time I came back, there was a commotion in the village.
I knitted my brows at the tumult, and called out.
"What's all the commotion about?"
The old goblin respectfully bowed to me, but it seemed to be in a state of excitement.
"It's humans. The humans have come into the forest."
Surprisingly, it was actually quite a troubling issue.
"How many? What are their equipment?"
Giga stepped before me.
"Six humans. Two with axe, two with sword, one spear. Female, two."
It's too early. I knew that we'd eventually have to make contact with the humans, but this timing is...
Moreover, I don't know what their objective is.
Why did they come here? To subjugate us? No, it's not like we...
At that moment, I remembered the kidnapped women.
If that's their purpose, then it'd be impossible for them to be anything else but an enemy.
It's possible that they could've come here to investigate.
What to do? What to do!?
Should I do it? But even if I hold it off for now, they'll come back. What's most difficult is having to deal with the humans' relentless attack. I'm human, so I know. If the humans were to be driven by hate, by malice, or perhaps by fear, then their tenacity will shoot through the roof.
Then should I run? Where? A place I could run to with all my subordinates, is there such a place? Even if we were to go in the night, beasts that move during the night, like the giant spider, could attack us, causing needless casualties.
What to do? What to do!?
"King, your orders."
I looked down on the servile, old goblin, and pondered. I could also just abandon these guys.
"Have the humans entered the forest before?"
The old goblin folded its arms as it curiously looked up to me.
"The humans find themselves lost in the forest several times in a year."
Several times in a year? That's not too bad. It's been a month since I've been born into this world.
If I could buy at least a month's time, then I should at least be able to grow bigger than I am now.
"We'll kill the humans. Gigu, prepare. Giga, keep watch while we're out."
Taking 40 goblins with me, I ran into the forest.
Under the twilight, we moved as fast as possible while making sure not to encounter the giant spiders and the giant skink lizards.
Being able to perceive the location of the humans was thanks to my strengthened night vision, which was even stronger than the goblins'.
The humans roamed, walking, with a torch in their hand while they raised their voices.
Confirming the humans' locations, I ordered the goblins to be quiet and to pick up some stones. Then I inclined my ears to listen to the humans.
"Finra, say something!"
"Where are you!?"
They seem to be looking for someone.
The two men that wielded an axe had their backs bent, seemingly appearing to be unversed in the ways of fighting. Contrary to that, the man and woman who carried a sword with them exuded a dangerous aura.
But what I can't comprehend are the two in the center. A man and woman who wore religious clothing.
I fail to see any traces of strength in them, but my nose is telling me that these two are the most dangerous ones. You could also say that I'm just feeling uneasy. But those two are giving off a strange atmosphere.
The man gives off an ominous aura, while the girl is giving off an overwhelming, divine aura. That's the kind of power I can see hidden inside those two.
I wasn't enthusiastic at first, but now that the prey's are here, my face can't help but twist into a smile.
With my subordinates concealed, I appeared before the six humans, and stood at the center of that narrow animal trail.
"What's your business, human?"
In order to see their reaction, I asked them that while using <> at the same time.
To that, the two men wielding an axe, and the female swordsman faltered.
But the friar, the nun, and the male swordsman didn't appear to be affected at all.
The enraged voice of my <> howled from the depths of my soul.
"Why is there a high-class goblin here!?"
The male swordsman opened his eyes wide. And the two axe-wielding men began to gradually step down.
"To think it could even speak human language... It's fairly high-ranked, be careful!"
Yelled the friar, as he stepped forward to cover the nun.
I calmly probed their individual movements.
"Umm... if we can talk, then if we tried talking ---"
As my ears picked up the whispering voice of the nun, the friar interfered.
"Impossible. That's a monster, you know!"
Seemingly having been pushed by everyone else's opinion, the nun was made to step back. As I glanced at her, I concluded that she isn't the main force of the group, rather, she's the weak point.
"Keifen, can I leave it to you?"
Responding to the friar's words, the male swordsman stepped forward. The aura oozing out of the man was heavy. The man appeared to be an experienced swordsman. But he still appears to be in his twenties... or is he actually in his thirties?
The man wielded a thick, massive, blade that needed two hands to carry.
"Don't hate me, this too is destiny!"
As I thought he was going to bring the massive, double-edged sword to his shoulder, the man shortened the distance of ten steps to a zero with fearful rush.
── Not good!
Concluding that in an instant, I quickly moved back as I threw my dagger.
That sword smashed against the place I was standing at without the tiniest bit of deviation, hollowing a huge hole in the ground.
That hole was enough for a goblin to fully enter, causing me to be dumbstruck for a moment.
── This is the power of a human?
The dagger I'd thrown has been broken into two, scattered besides the swordsman.
Planning to give chase, a faint light covered the swordsman's body. While the friar behind him formed spells as he whispered something.
"There's no point in arguing about it, huh?"
Then in that case, there's no choice but to fight as a monster to my heart's content. Man against beast, if it's that kind of setting, then... I have a fighting style that's perfectly suited.
I yelled with my <>, ordering my subordinates to throw the stones.
Even if it's only a bunch of stones, having stones the size of a fist thrown at you from the thickets from both sides simultaneously is not something laughable.
The stones came flying one after another. And some of them hit the two axe-wielding men, knocking them unconscious.
"Reshia-sama!? Not good!"
Even the friar's leg was injured. The female swordsman covered the nun as she screamed, while the male swordsman only temporarily lost his focus.
However, I wouldn't miss that small opening that I'd been waiting for.
I kicked myself off the ground with all my strength, sprinting at my fastest. Then I grabbed the swordsman's face that was twisted in fright, and swung my sword in a flash.
I felt my sword sink into his flesh as that speedy sword came to a stop. And with his left leg sunken into the ground, half of his body turned over with it as the axis. At the same time I turned to face the swordsman, I swung my sword once more from the back, aiming at his neck.
"Ku... god blesseth us his protection (Shield)"
At the friar's response that was too late, a wall expanded around them. This is probably that thing called magic. A semi-circle shaped, colorless wall stood in the air, repelling the stones, causing the crushed stones' particles to spread around the wall.
Then blood spurted from inside that membrane.
The swordsman's body slowly fell into the ground.
With the resounding screams as accompaniment, I wielded my sword high once more. The friar is in the way.
"Lili, take Reshia with you, and run!"
A ball of fire formed at the palm of the friar.
"Pour the grace of god to flame! (Fire Ball)."
A lump of fire the size of a fist came flying in a straight line, aiming for my head. Bending over, I dodged it, and at the same I went down on my limbs like a beast, and rushed towards the friar.
With a low sword stance, I attacked from that beast like position.
The chipped blade scooped out the entrails of the friar, penetrating his back through his abdominal cavity. The friar spouted all manners of curses as blood came out of his mouth. But the friar continued to block my path, and I could see what could be called that of a religious fanatic surface in his eyes.
"We art the disciples of god. Quiv'r not will we 'ere death. The vanguards of the devil -"
Unable to hold myself back at that vilification, I pierced the friar with my sword, and gouged out his entrails.
The friar screamed as if his soul had just been withdrawn.
Right before his god summons his soul, I decided to pay my respects. I brought my mouth close to him, and whispered by his ear with a voice loud enough only for him alone to hear.
"You know that tasty looking girl? I'm going to kill her as I play with her."
The friar opened his eyes in fright as he breathed his last breath.
Which woman did he thought of, I wonder.
I pulled the chipped blade sword out of the lifeless friar with all my strength. And with a swing, the clots of blood clinging to the sword were all brushed off.
Those clots of blood came splattering towards the female swordsman's face who was covering the nun.
Shaking, the female swordsman pointed her sword at me.
When I saw that, I unconcsiously twisted my face into a sadistic smile.
Item: Acquired Iron Second (Large Steel Sword)
[Level] Rose from 32 -> 43
[Skill] Swordsmanship C- has progressed to C+