VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 101 - TWO HOMESICK GOBLINS
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 (Lv20); Orc King (Bui) (Lv82)
Abnormal Status Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake
Humans tended to work in the morning; that was the natural order for them. But for goblins, there was no such thing. Their eyes worked well whether it was night or day, the druids' magic was at its full strength during the hour of the night god, and yet the goblins were neither nocturnal nor diurnal.
What was the job of the king?
The goblin lifestyle meant there was no given time for their activities. They moved about without regard for the sun or the twin moons. Because of that food was extremely important.
In the western part of the Forest of Darkness were the villages of the goblin tribes. If these villages were to fall, everything would be for naught, so it could be said that these villages were the most important part of my plans for expansion. Because of that I decided to note the villages' location as the point from which we would be expanding to all directions.
To the east were the Gi Village and the humans. To the west were untrodden lands. To the north, beyond the kobold village, were lands unknown, and to the south were the vast plains and the Paradua village. The area around us is mostly unexplored except for those parts under the control of the tribes.
The goblins were not capable of making maps. Just in case, I asked Shumea, and it seems she too did not have such an ability.
Shouldn't have gotten my hopes up, I thought. Seriously, why am I surrounded by muscle-brains everywhere.
It was necessary to go to the actual place to understand the area. Images or symbols could be use to draw the map, even stones would work, it didn't really matter. Like that I left the fortress to explore the surrounding area.
I took some of the goblins along so we can hunt along the way, while I left the knight-class goblin, Gi Ga, to defend the fortress.
We had normal goblins with us, so I had goblins with high leadership skills like Gi Jii lead the exploration groups.
As one might expect, the bigger prey really stood out, like the deer called big horn, or the long-legged spiders known as Annie Spider, or the big caterpillars referred to as Green Caterpillar. They were virtually limitless. Their bodies were big and it took some time to take them down, but it wasn't an impossible task.
Once we learned the traits of the monsters, we'll be able to use traps during hunts.
After we hunted enough, I climbed up a tree to get a good view of the surrounding area.
How level was the ground? Was there water nearby? Where were the plains? Where would be the best place to attack the humans? Where would traps be most unlikely to hurt our allies?
Trees covered the land, but by looking down from a higher point it was possible to understand the terrain. It was hard work, and the goblins following me could not understand the meaning behind such careful study of the terrain. Even the most evolved of them, Gi Jii, a rare class goblin, could not fathom my actions.
When the sun was about to set, I concluded our exploration, and went back to the fortress, where we ate our spoils. I listened to the old goblin's report regarding the newly born goblins as I ate.
"More and more females are being born ever since coming here," the old goblin said.
That was something to celebrate. The more females there were, the more goblins there would be in time. According to the old goblin, previously, only 1 out of 10 would be born female, but ever since coming here, females were being born twice as fast.
Was this also because of the fortress?
I don't know whether this is a result of the twin-headed snake's blessing, but it's a good thing. There are 340 days left until the battle with the humans.
Until then just how much more could we increase our numbers? That was not a problem only for the females but also for our food supply.
"I have returned," Gilmi announced.
It wasn't until two days after the king returned to the fortress that Gilmi managed to make his way back to the Unknown Forest, where the village of Ganra was.
"I've been waiting," Princess Narsa said, "welcome home."
Gilmi showed a look of relief when he heard Princess Narsa's voice.
"Good grief, the young ones sure like to make their elders wait."
When he heard Rashka and Aluhaliha's voice next, he frowned.
"I've returned, chief. It is good to see you well. Unfortunate, however, that these two seem to be doing well too."
Although Gilmi was knelt before Narsa, the words that came out of his lips made her face stiffen for a moment.
"Hmph, good guts."
"Gotten quite daring, haven't we?"
Aluhaliha and Rashka both wryly smiled.
The long struggle between them has made it difficult for them to act cordially. They could not honestly express their happiness for each other's well being. Well, Narsa thought, it should be fine as long as they work on that from here on.
"So, why have the two of you come?" Gilmi asked as he stood beside Narsa.
"Right, I'll get straight to the point," Rashka said, "what do you think the king is planning?"
The frankness of that question caused Aluhaliha to lightly click his tongue, while Gilmi ended up raising his brows.
"What do you mean by that?" Gilmi asked.
"Continuing the battle any further would have been difficult. That I understand, but what about after? Lord Gi Go has left, and many more have been sent to distant lands." It was the experienced Aluhaliha who spoke this time.
Although Hal was the current chieftain of Paradua, he still gave a report to Aluhaliha, and Aluhaliha could not understand the king's intentions.
The reason they had gathered here today was to understand the king's intentions. They thought it would be best to hear Gilmi's thoughts, as he was the closest to the king.
"Is there a problem?" Gilmi asked.
"There is," Rashka said, "sometimes the king would do things I cannot comprehend, but is that really all there is?"
"To comprehend the king's objectives and work to realize them is the making of a true retainer," he continued.
Gilmi was shocked. This proud goblin was actually saying he would work for the king.
"I need the king in good health until the day of our rematch. Otherwise, there would be no meaning in challenging him," Rashka said with a huge smile.
For some reason, those words allowed Gilmi to come to terms with the proud goblin working for the king.
When he looked at Narsa, their eyes met.
"...The king wishes to find new subordinates. Lord Gi Gu and the others have been sent to look for such people."
Rashka was puzzled when he heard those words.
"Does that mean he doesn't trust us?" Aluhaliha asked.
Gilmi shook his head. "No, rather, it seems he's preparing for the next war. The next war will probably be with the humans again."
"Those humans were certainly strong," Raskha said.
Aluhaliha became thoughtful, then bitterly said. "That kid Hal came back wounded too. It wasn't a bad thing since it seems to have made him manlier, but... I see, so it was a difficult battle, huh."
Gilmi spoke. "Are you not satisfied even with Paradua's name being glorified?"
"There's no point if we're no use to the king," Aluhaliha curtly said.
"The king was happy though."
"Hmm, that's good, I suppose.'
The topic digressed a bit, so Narsa brought it back on course. "It seems the king wishes for a stronger army. Can we be certain he doesn't think we're unneeded?"
"Of course, after all the expansion of the army will serve as a foundation for our country," Gilmi said.
"I see," Narsa nodded.
Narsa, Rashka, and Aluhaliha all pondered on the matter on their own, then Rashka stood up.
"Gaidga will give birth to many children."
It was the chief of Gaidga, Rashka's, simple conclusion.
"Ever since the ogres disappeared, the miasma leaking from the Forest of the Abyss has lessened. As a result, beasts to prey upon have returned, and our rider-beasts have ceased starving. We owe much to the king. Therefore, Paradua shall thoroughly temper all of its warriors so that they all grow to become great warriors." Aluhaliha smiled like the devil as he thought of the grueling training he would put the Paradua through.
"Ganra... shall work on its skills," Narsa said.
Aluhaliha and Rashka turned to Narsa with admiration.
"We neither have a strong body like the Gaidga nor mobility like those of Paradua with their rider-beasts. What we do have is the skill to work with stones and carve out things from trees. The skill to craft things. Therefore, we shall work to create new weapons and armor for those who have yet to be born. Our craft shall be their strength."
"And I thought you were just a lass, not bad," Aluhaliha chuckled.
Rashka on the other hand was shocked. "Indeed, if it's Ganra, it should be possible. No, it's possible precisely because it's Ganra."
Like this the tribes decided how they would support the king on his path to world domination.
After the two chieftains left, Gilmi and Narsa went to see the large tree where they frequently played as children.
"Your answer just now... about how Ganra was to move was spectacular, chief," Gilmi said.
"I had a lot of time to think on it. I watched the Ganra, the Gaidga, the Paradua, and even the Gi Village... I guess you could say I learned a lot," Narsa said.
"You've grown up to be a splendid chief. I guess I won't be calling you a little girl again."
"Oh, you. Stop it, it's embarrassing... By the way, I heard the king gave you a last name."
"Yes... With it the relationship between Ganra and the Gi Village will become even stronger."
"In other words, the Ganra tribe is safer than ever... Hey, Gilmi, are you sure you're not pushing yourself?"
"I'm sure there's no such..."
But there was a sadness to his gaze as he knelt on the ground. Narsa saw that despite the dark of the night.
"Ra Gilmi Fishiga... huh. You're amazing, you know. You've been moving further and further, all on your own. No one from the four tribes can even look down on you anymore. Everyone looks up to you now... as the First ArcherGadieta, as my father's successor, as someone who brought together the tribes..."
"It's still not enough to repay Master Gilan."
"I feel like you've gotten somewhere far away... somewhere where I can't reach you anymore. Gilmi... don't push yourself too much. Without you, I..."
Narsa didn't say the end of that sentence, and neither did Gilmi ask. The two goblins stood there under the large tree as they reminisced on their childhood days.
In the outskirts of the vast capital.
Today, Reshia had received permission and gone into town with Lili. She wore a hood over her face, making it impossible to tell that it was the holy saint herself who was walking out in the streets. With the adventurer, Lili, by her side, at most, passersby would simply take her for the young lady of a merchant family.
They bought bags of sweets from the food stalls along the crowded street. They each carried half of the luggage, though Lili argued she should carry everything. Unfortunately, doing so would garner them the wrong kind of attention, so Lili had no choice but to acquiesce. The place they were headed to was the slums, a district where the poor lived. In a place like that where the public order was poor, Reshia had more say than Lili.
Once there, they headed for the orphanage that took in abandoned children. When they opened the door of the already crumbling orphanage, a wooden rod came swinging at them, but they easily dodged it, and the kid that swung it tripped on himself.
"Your manners sure have gotten worse, Fishmo," Reshia said.
"Ah, it's Reshia!" The young boy said in a loud voice, causing the rest of the children to come out.
"Reshia! It's Reshia!"
Reshia embraced the children that came out, handing the bags of sweets to Fishmo.
"Are you going to marry that guy called Gulland?" Fishmo asked.
"Of course not," Reshia said.
"You sure have gotten famous. People are calling you a saint now."
"Yeah... They do call me that, but..."
Reshia patted the children one after another as she sat on a chair. She cuddled with the children like that and told them a story. Unlike her usually strained face, she had a gentle expression about her as she told the happy story of a god who fell in love with a human.
The children listened happily to the story that could distract them from the bitter reality. By the time the story ended, it was already dark out. Reshia and Lili bid their goodbyes as they left the orphanage.
"Do you always do this sort of stuff?" Lili asked.
"I'm not a politician, so I can't actually save them. But I think it's too cruel to just watch them rot like that without doing anything."
The words of this girl who had not even reached adulthood made Lili bite her lips. A few days ago, the king had asked her a question. He asked, 'Do you have any intentions of becoming a real knight?'
The allure of that proposal greatly shook her heart. She had always dreamt of one day being a knight. It was a dream she held even in her childhood when her father told her tales of heroes and valiant warriors. But being a woman greatly disadvantaged her, making her dream remain only a dream. Because of that there were many times where she wished she had been born a man instead.
But that very dream was at the tip of her fingertips now.
Worry tugged on her heart, but when she saw what Reshia did today, all of the sudden, it felt like her worries were so small.
She had to make a decision.
For a moment, the sword sheathed by her waist rung.
Level has risen.
36 -> 37
Tl Note: This is an extra chapter. Much thanks to all donors and patrons who made this chapter possible. *Jiggly Dance
In other news, Narsa and Gilmi sitting under a tree t-a-l-k-i-n-g!