Tl Note: Please check the note at the end in the last chapter. There are no sprites anymore. The four sprites are all elves. There's a more in-depth explanation at the end of the previous chapter. Also the character underneath the koro toku? was changed to small cave dweller.
VOLUME 2: INTERMISSION - WOLF PACK
Name Gi Gu Verbena
Class Noble; Subleader
Possessed Skills Overpowering Howl; Sword Mastery C+; The King's Right-Hand Man; Cooperation; Throw Projectile; Versatile Master; Farseeing Eye
Gi Gi traveled deep into the south at the king's orders, hunting beasts along the way as he looked for goblins he could take as subordinates. If he could bring young goblins before the king, the king would surely be elated.
There was also a special meaning behind being allowed to have his own subordinates. Gi Gu figured it was proof that the king trusted him. He even anticipated that the king might allow him to lead his own army in the coming war with the humans. Because of that Gi Gu was particularly eager to complete this mission.
"There's no one," Gi Gu said to himself as he eyed his surroundings.
There was still much water left in his water bag, and he had no trouble feeding himself, but with seemingly no end to this trip in sight, it seemed wiser to stock up now rather than later.
When he came to that conclusion, he sharpened his ears to search for water, then he made his way toward the sound.
Along the way he came across what seemed to be a goblin, but he looked odd. A birth defect, perhaps? The goblin's arms were relatively long compared to his small body. His legs were also short. He was much shorter than Gi Gu, who was a noble class, and was probably lacking even when compared to a normal class.
"Gi Ga's relative? A child?"
Puzzled, Gi Gu tilted his head, and so did the weird goblin in front of him.
"Well, it doesn't really matter."
As he thought that Gi Gu took a step, but that seemed to have frightened the goblin, as the goblin went running away.
Gi Gu thought the odd goblin might lead him to his village if he followed, so he followed.
"Gi, Gu, Gigi!?'
The goblin couldn't talk, but he seemed to be cursing at him. Then all of the sudden, Gi Gu felt something coming from above.
Gi Gu Immediately jumped back. Just as expected, it was another goblin with a long arm that landed in front of him. This time there were two.
"Gi Gi-," one of them said.
"Prey," said another another.
Gi Gu smiled upon seeing the sharpened wood of a spear in the goblins' hands.
"That's not too bad."
When the goblins before him saw him smile, they unconsciously stepped back. Gi Gu himself did not notice it, but as a noble class who had fought powerful enemies one after another, he had unconsciously picked up a habit of smiling fiercely during battles. To him there was be nothing odd about the way he smiled, but to the goblins watching him, that smile was the terrifying smile of a goblin; one that was fiercer than any other's.
The goblins before him looked at each other. The moment Gi Gu took a step forward, they made a run for it.
Should he use the Overpowering Howl he learned from the king here? He was done in pretty badly by that skill last time.
Despite being in battle, Gi Gu had enough leisure that he could afford to reminisce.
But the goblins were much faster than he thought, and in the blink of an eye, they had disappeared from sight.
It would have been a disaster if he lost track of them, so he quickly followed. When he caught up, the three goblins were standing up ahead, and between them and him was a shoddily made trap, covered only by some branches. Gi Gu stared at the three goblins, and they stared back at him in turn.
They seemed happy at their work.
But as Gi Gu thought of the trap and the three goblins, gradually, anger filled him.
They actually thought he would fall into a trap like this! Not to mention something this shoddily made!
"You fools!!" Gi Gu yelled as he invoked his Overpowering Howl, causing the three goblins to cower.
When he kicked at the trap and scattered the branches that covered it, the smallest of the three goblins began to cry.
When he put his arm inside the tiny hole, it expanded because of how small it was, leaving the fattest of the three goblins perplexed.
When he started throwing away the thorns littered inside the hole, the tallest of the three goblins prostrated himself on the ground in despair.
"Listen well, fools! Traps are weapons meant to help us survive! It is a skill! And above all else, it is an art! Setting a shoddily made trap like this is an insult to me, Gi Gu!"
Gi Gu used the axe in his hand to cut several branches, sharpening one end to fashion them into spears. He used one of those spears to make the hole wider, then he filled the hole with those spears, sticking them into the bottom of the hole to make a bed of spears. Finally, he took thick branches, put them together atop the hole. Above those he added thin branches, added some leaves, and then covered everything with dirt.
With that the trap was perfectly concealed, but he wasn't done yet!
On top of that already perfectly set trap, he even added some grass, making the perfect trap even more perfect.
"Behold, this is a trap!" Gi Gu proudly declared.
The three goblins looked at each other as they compared Gi Gu's trap with theirs. The smallest of them walked up the trap to check Gi Gu's work. When the other two followed, the three goblins started discussing among themselves.
When they reached a conclusion, the three goblins prostrated themselves before Gi Gu.
"I am king?"
Erm... King is no good, Gi Gu thought. There is already a king.
"Don't call me king."
The three goblins started talking among themselves again.
"What do you call yourselves?" Gi Gu asked.
The three goblins glanced at each other, then Gi Gu started pointed at them one after another.
At the smallest one of the lot. "Midget."
At the fattest one of the lot. "Fatty"
At the biggest one of the lot. "Blockhead."
"Let's change those names. From hence forth, I shall bestow upon you new names. Call yourselves these."
The three goblins' eyes sparkled.
Gi Gu named them in order. First was the smallest of the lot and the one with the longest arms.
The other two goblins worded their admiration as they enviously looked at the small goblin.
The next one was the fattest of the lot.
Again voices of admiration rose.
The last one was the biggest of the lot.
Again voices of admiration rose.
All that was left now was to decide how they should refer to him.
"From now on call me Elder Brother." Gi Gu said.
"Elder Brother!" The three goblins said.
Good, Gi Gu nodded.
"Now I want you to bring me to your village."
Gi Gu was elated. With this he would be able to complete his mission. But for some reason, the three goblins' countenance paled.
"Village, driven out." Gu Big said as he sank to the floor.
Gi Gu was puzzled.
"King, angry!" Tough said as he quivered.
"We, ran!" Long sorrowfully said.
Gi Gu didn't really understand, but there was one thing he couldn't let pass.
"King, you say?" Gi Gu's eyes widened so much they seemed to make a sound. The three goblins shook. Gi Gu's voice was angry, so angry it seemed like his kind behavior until now was all but a lie.
"There is only one king, my king!"
Gi Gu's hold on his sword grew tighter as his breath grew ragged.
"Lead the way to your village. The false king shall be purged!"
Excited, the three goblins led Gi Gu away from the lake. They took down the beasts along the way under Gi Gu's leadership, who made them work together as a three-man cell. They could not believe how effective their attacks were against the powerful beasts that lurked the forest. It was such that the three of them actually held each other and cried tears of joy.
After Gi Gu filled his belly with the meat of a beast he'd never seen before, he looked around him. The trees in this area were all tall, but there was a lot more room to go through between the trees. More of the sun's rays passed through too, making the place much more brighter than normal. The place didn't suit the name 'Forest of Darkness' very well, but judging from the direction from which the sun rose, Gi Gu was sure this was still the same forest.
"Is the forest still far?" Gi Gu asked.
"Close!" Replied one goblin.
"Very!" Replied two others at the same time.
Gi Gu and his three new subordinates walked a bit after their meal, then the three goblins urged him to look up.
"The lookout, Wail."
It seems the lookout was up in the trees, Gi Gu thought as he looked up. When he did, a goblin jumped down. As expected, it had long arms and wielded a rusted short sword.
"Not too shabby." Gi Gu fiercely smiled.
The goblin ran up to him swinging its sword, but with a single blow from his axe, Gi Gu cut the goblin in half, bone and flesh altogether, letting spurt blue blood as the goblin fell to the ground.
In the blink of an eye, Gi Gu and his three subordinates had found themselves surrounded from all directions. The three goblins quickly took formation, their backs against each other, ready to fend off the enemy. But though the situation seemed grim, Gi Gu kept smiling.
"As long as you fight according to my instructions, you'll be able to win," Gi Gu said.
In response, Tough beat his stomach, Big beat his chest, and Long beat the ground. The three goblins responded in their own way to show they would do as Gi Gu said.
"I am Gi Gu Verbena," Gi Gu announced to the surrounding goblins, "I have come to these lands at the orders of the goblin king. You shall become my subordinates and swear fealty to the king! Should you refuse your lives shall be considered worthless!"
With his axe, Gi Gu knocked down a goblin that approached him while in the middle of his speech. Another goblin came after, and this time he used his long sword to skewer him before throwing away his dead body.
"GURuuRUGAGAAAAa!" Gi Gu bellowed out his Overpowering Howl.
As the shorter goblins cowered, Gi Gu gave out his orders to Long, Big, and Tough.
"Long, aim for the legs. Big, Tough, follow!"
Long, who was standing left of Gi Gu, used his long arms to strike the legs of the goblin before him. The weapon he used was the spear Gi Gu had given to him. It was a simple spear made from sharpening the end of a piece of a wood, but it was as long as Long himself.
The enemy goblin tried his best to defend against Long's exceedingly long range.
But Tough came attacking from Gi Gu's right side. He was using the same wooden spear though it was much shorter than Long's. He easily swung that short spear against the enemy goblin.
As the enemy goblin cried out in pain, Big used his short sword to finish him off.
The coordination of the three goblin was so good that the surrounding goblins were all shocked.
"Run!" Gi Gu ordered, and the three goblins naturally followed.
As Gi Gu took down another enemy, Long kept the approaching goblins in check. As Gi Gu spectacularly led the three goblins, they kicked about the shocked goblins and ran into the village.
When Gi Gu spotted a goblin with red skin and long arms, he smiled.
"You must be the impostor."
The long sword in his hand was dripping with blood, so he swung it once to clean it, then he made his way for the rare-class goblin.
"GURUGAAaa!" The rare-class angrily howled.
The goblins of the south became excited.
"Who are you!? What business do you have with me!?"
The three goblins following Gi Gu cowered for a moment, but Gi Gu calmly struck his axe into the ground and bellowed out his Overpowering Howl.
Silence filled the area. The power behind Gi Gu's howl had overawed the goblins. The rare-class was no exception.
"..How many goblins you lead or which goblins you try to chase away is no business of mine. But naming yourself king is unforgivable. If I were to let you go here, my fealty to the king would be called into question."
"What are you talking about!?" The rare-class said as he slammed his long arms on the ground and bellowed out a howl.
The master of the southern goblins was clearly enraged.
"There is only one goblin fit for the name king... And that is my master! You shall pay for this sacrilege with your life!"
Gi Gu held the long sword with both of his hands, and then he kicked off against the ground with the speed of a noble-class. Gi Gu moved so quickly that the rare-class could not react.
In one stroke, the rare-class' head had been cut off from his neck. Blood spurted from the opened neck as the goblin's corpse fell to the ground, and the surrounding goblins went into an uproar. But Gi Gu would not allow it to continue.
Gi Gu bellowed out. "From this day forth, this horde shall be under my name, Gi Gu Verbena!"
At the cry of triumph, the goblins of the south prostrated themselves.
Gi Gu Verbena's level has risen.
75 -> 1
Because the level has gone past the limit, class will now promote.
Name Gi Gu Verbena
Class Duke; Subleader
Possessed Skills Overpowering Howl; Sword Mastery B-; The King's Right-Hand Man; Wolf Pack; Throw Projectile; Versatile Master; Farseeing Eye; Ruler of the South
Puts pressure on targets with a lower class than one's own.
Increases one's skill with the sword.
The King's Right-Hand Man
When fighting near the leader of the horde, your abilities will increase.
1. Direct subordinates of the same race will have their abilities bolstered.
2. Direct subordinates with low level or class will be protected against mental attacks.
3. Leadership increased.
Increases one's ability to throw.
Skill with all sorts of melee weapons will be increased up to C+.
The success rate of reconnaissance is increased. The success rate of tracking is increased.
Ruler of the South
Charm effect on the goblins of the south.
Tl Note: I've updated the avatars for the recent patrons (in the sidebar or bottombar).