VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 116 - DUTY
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 (Lv1); Orc King (Bui) (Lv82)
Abnormal Status Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake
The fang tribe had successfully been annexed.
As soon as the elder agreed, Mido agreed as well. I commented on his lack of individuality and he replied, "I know I'm inexperienced, so it is best to let the elder decide everything. Now that he has reconciled with you, I have too."
It was my first time seeing a chief utilize his subordinates in this way. Apparently, different tribes have different preferences for leaders. Interesting.
Speaking of interesting, Cynthia accomplished a lot today. It was thanks to her that the fang tribe could reconcile with me. If she wants Mido as an ally, then I'll have to acquiesce.
I'll just have them pay me back by working them to the bones.
Gi Ji Arsil managed to accomplish his mission without fail.
140 goblins stood before me. Most of them were from the Gi Village, but there were also some from the tribes.
Leading them was Gi Jii. Impressive how he was able to control this large of a horde.
"Well done, Gi Jii," I said.
"I am happy to serve the king," he replied. "It wasn't just me, however, the others helped too."
It seems the goblins from the tribes helped out. Dashka of Gaidga gathered the goblins with strength, Ru Rou of Ganra scouted, and Hal of Paradua protected the goblins falling by the wayside and acted as messengers.
Aside from having a leader to bring various hordes together, it seems it's also necessary to have people to help that leader.
Dashka, Ru Rou, Hal, every single one of these goblins were elite. What an unexpected blessing. I expected a lot to come, but I didn't think there would be so many young elites.
I called out to the three goblins kneeling behind Gi Jii.
"Dashka of Gaidga, I look forward to fighting with you," I said.
"Ha!" He replied.
"Ru Rou, work well so as to not let your village down. You did well today," I said.
"Thank you, Your Highness," Ru Rou replied.
"Hal, you have brought much glory to your name. The day when your name can stand alongside Aluahliha's doesn't seem far off," I said.
"Just matching my predecessor won't be enough. I intend to keep going," Hal replied.
After speaking to the three goblins, I turned back to Gi Jii.
"You did well today. Keep it up," I said.
"Yes, my king," Gi Jii replied calmly.
I smiled at that.
"...This many can't fit in the village," Nikea said behind me.
She seemed shocked at the number of goblins.
"It's fine. We can stay outside," I said.
I ordered Gi Jii to make camp.
Camping wasn't an issue, though of course, we still needed to pick a place that could shelter us from the wind and the rai, otherwise, we wouldn't be able to rest much.
"I will be staying with my subordinates. Just let me know when there's a meeting," I said.
"What!? But..." Nikea was flabbergasted.
"If my subordinates act poorly in any way, inform me. We will respect your laws, though with this many, I'll have to trouble you about the food," I added.
"Very well. I will open our reserves a little. If we go individually, it should take 5 days for us to reach the centaur village."
There are plenty of goblins, so my horde will probably arrive a little later.
"We'll probably take six days on our side. We'll leave first thing in the morning tomorrow. What of the other descendants?"
"Lord Luther of the Shell Tribe, the Papirsag, has agreed. It seems your goblin horde was a bit too much of a threat. Lord Tanita of the Long-Tailed Tribe has yet to arrive at a decision, but I'm sure he will be joining as soon as he gets word of Lord Luther's decision."
The demihumans would definitely want to avoid getting the short end of the stick.
The issue right now is the army we will be rallying against the centaurs.
"Do you really plan on waging a war on the centaurs?" Nikea asked.
"But of course. If they surrender..."
If they surrender I won't make them sign any conditions. We haven't suffered any losses yet, so if they surrender early, I won't demand anything unreasonable.
If they surrender early, that is.
"20 of our ranks will be joining you in battle. The mud-scaled tribe and the harpies will provide logistical support. The shell tribe will provide 10, and the long-tailed tribe will probably be able to provide at least 30. The fang tribe will also be able to provide 30. As for the minotaurs, unfortunately, they won't be joining," Nikea said.
"They won't be joining?" I asked.
"They agreed to fight against the humans not the demihumans."
Ah, a loop hole. And here I thought they were brainless.
We don't have a slave-master relationship, so I guess I'll have to let this one go.
"Fine. It was short noticed, after all," I said.
"Sorry," Nikea said.
"I'm not blaming you."
I have no intentions of pushing everything onto Nikea. Opposition is to be expected. After all, I'm sure they'd want to avoid me monopolizing all of the authority.
Those who have been my subordinates for a long time like the goblins of the Gi Village might not mind, but the demihumans who have only just met me recently would surely find it hard to trust me.
Moreover, just supporting the food supplies of the current army is clearly no easy task. There are 140 goblins and 90 demihumans, that's 230 all-in-all.
The werewolves and the gray wolves of the fang tribe are supposed to add more to that number to boot. Depending on how the centaurs fight, we could be the ones disadvantaged.
"What are the odds of the centaurs running to elven territory?" I asked.
It's necessary to know exactly how far this battle can go. Otherwise, we might end up getting dragged around.
"...Can't say it's zero," Nikea closed her eyes as she became thoughtful. "The home of the centaurs is to the west. They live closest to the elves, so..."
"If the battle goes to them, you won't be able to fight since they're your benefactors?"
Nikea wordlessly nodded.
"Then we'll have to settle the battle before they can escape to the elven territory," I said.
"We'll have to take them from the back then. And then, on top of that, stop them in their tracks," Nikea said.
Right. If we can do that, we can surround them.
They'll probably surrender in that case.
"Have the fang tribe and the long-tailed tribe attack from the back. I will stop them," I said.
"That's a dangerous role, but..." Nikea shook her head. "So are the roles of the fang tribe and the long-tailed tribe. Let me take the back."
For the sake of the future of the demihumans, Nikea volunteered to take on the dangerous role.
"Let's have the mud-scaled tribe guide us to the centaur village."
The overall plan has been decided. We'll suppress the centaurs before they enter the elven region, surround them, and then force them into submission. If they refuse, well, we'll just have to cut off their leader's neck.
I'd rather not wipe them out though.
"The centaurs number 500 all-in-all, but about 400 of those can fight," Nikea said.
That's a lot. If they were human, that number would at least be halved because of the women and the children.
"Most of them are hunters and their women are just strong as their men."
So everyone else except the elderly and the children are warriors.
Well, aren't the goblins the same?
"We will be leaving tonight. Rukenon will take over if something happens to me. Let us hope nothing happens," Nikea said.
As I nodded, Nikea turned and left.
We have to hurry. If we lose her, the araneae will fall into chaos.
I went through a lot of pain to secure this foothold. I can't lose it now.
After giving detailed instructions to the mud-scaled tribe who would be leading the way, I went to sleep along with my subordinates.
Daizos sighed as he thought about Cecil's refusal to leave. The tax he was asking was from all of the demihumans living in the region. Naturally, Daizos was unable to procure everything by himself.
It has become custom for the demihumans to offer their special goods as tax to the elves, though when exactly the envoys would come to pick up the tax was not set in stone.
Daizos originally intended to say something about the elves in the previous meeting, but because of the goblin's sudden announcement, he lost his chance. It wasn't just because of the goblin's announcement, however, he also feared that the goblins might go after them.
In truth, the goblins would not have done such a thing, but Daizos saw the goblins as savages and the elves as nobles. The way he saw it, the elves mustn't be exposed to even the slightest bit of danger.
Unfortunately, everything Daizos did only made his worst fears inch one step closer to reality.:w
After Daizos informed the bigwigs of his village of the goblins' possible attack, they asked him where the other demihumans were. Daizos only said that the demihumans were now obeying the goblins.
The demihumans and the goblins might have been together under the pretense of a united front against the humans, but as Daizos saw it, the demihumans have essentially been annexed. The person responsible for that was none other than Nikea.
The descendants who owned the lands farthest to the east. The same descendants who yearned for the lands the orcs ruled, that once proud tribe. Ever since Nikea became chief they changed, and now they have even colluded with the goblins.
He couldn't accept it.
But right now there was a more pressing issue: how could he send the elves home? If they stayed here, they would surely be caught in the war. No matter how much Daizos thought, he couldn't come up with a way to convince them to leave.
-What should I do?
When he looked up, one of the young men of the village was before him.
"Dakitania, what's the matter?" Daizos asked, a little annoyed because his thoughts were disturbed.
"Forgive my frankness, but we can't win even if we defend."
In response to that blunt statement, Daizos didn't explode in anger but instead bitterly smiled. Daizos was man enough to hear opinions contrary his own without getting mad.
"Indeed," Daizos agreed. "Is that all you wanted to say?"
"No," the young centaur said. "Since we'd lose defending, how about attacking?"
Daizos became thoughtful.
"We're fighting goblins, right? Then they'll probably try to overwhelm us with their numbers," the young centaur added.
The goblins did use that tactic once. That was back when there were still goblins left around the village.
"The other descendants of the crystals will be fighting too. The araneae are the goblins' allies," Daizos said.
"Even then, I find it hard to imagine we'd lose a battle on the plains," the young man said.
The fang tribe had similar patches of flatlands in their forests. Those patches of flatlands existed here too.
"We could meet the enemy in those places," the young centaur said.
The odds of losing were indeed much smaller if they launched an offense on the plains.
"But the enemies are goblins. We're dead if they catch us."
"If the other descendants see their cruelty, I'm sure they'll open their eyes."
Daizos was shocked to hear the young centaur, Dakitania's, words.
"You thought that far ahead, huh."
"We are the most worthy to succeed Lord Gurfia's will. That's what I believe."
The republic of the demihumans
Nikea was trying to use the goblins to make that a reality, but Dakitania would show them that the goblins were too dangerous to be trusted. They might die doing so, but it was worth it.
"Forgive me," Daizos said. "I should be protecting you, and yet, here I am giving an order like this."
Why? Daizos asked to the heavens. Why do the gods who created us, the god of wind and the god of earth, make us suffer so?
Daizos looked at the young centaur. "I order you, Dakitania, for the sake of our benefactors, for the sake of our tribe, stop the invaders!"
"As you command, my chief. I will accomplish this duty even at the cost of my life."
Dakitania buried his spear into the ground as he bowed deeply to Daizos.