VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 148 - THE DISTANT SOUTH
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); Warrior's Instinct; Blessing of the Underworld Goddess; Guided One
Divine Protection Goddess of the Underworld (The goddess)
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
After running some tests, we finally found out what was causing the seeds to die.
The soil is bad.
It was something very simple, but it had taken us a lot of time to realize it. Now that we know the cause, we can start solving the problem.
The soil was the problem, so naturally, we should try changing it.
There are trees and plants growing around the fortress, but they probably have some sort of resistance that the praya seed doesn't have.
The miasma surrounding the fortress had gotten much thinner, but it seems it's effects lingers yet.
This won't be easy to solve.
Transporting soil from elsewhere is going to take a while, and if the miasma affects the soil, everything could end up being for naught.
At some point, I wondered if maybe the seed was the problem, but after realizing just how many of its kind grew in areas away from the fortress, I realized how faulty of a hypothesis that was.
I guess the soil is really the culprit, after all.
The demihuman manager and I racked our heads for a solution, but in the end, what solved our problems was a coincidence.
The soil-eaters (mole) Gi Gi had brought back, couldn't only be found in his village but everywhere around the Fortress of the Abyss. With these critters, it was possible to have them eat the soil of another land and then have theme excrete it elsewhere.
Now that I've experienced it for myself, the gift of the goddess of wisdom was indeed just like a flash of lightning.
The miasma could affect soil, but what about something that has been excreted?
The demihuman manager and I immediately put our hypothesis to test, and to our surprise, the praya seeds started growing at a frightening rate.
Perhaps it's because the soil is the possession of the god of earth, but something that has been excreted belongs to the god of poop... Only, there's no such god. At the very least, I've never heard of one.
The influence of the gods is indeed a troubling thing.
"Your master seems to be quite popular," I sarcastically said to the snakes in my two arms.
The living detest the dead, though they only do so because of their ignorance.
So Verid says, but as far as the world is concerned, believing in things one can't see is even more foolish.
Even if the world can understand some of it, the only ones who have the leisure to think of such things are those who have no trouble filling their stomach.
"Is that your opinion as someone who doesn't have to worry about feeding himself?" I asked.
The time to live for ourselves has long passed. Now, all that awaits us is death for our master.
Verid spoke no more after that, and neither did I.
Anyhow, with this, we've passed through the first stage of solving our food problem. I don't know how big of a harvest we can have, but as we expand the fields, we should be able to expect a considerable harvest.
All that's left now is to change the goblins' diet, which is the bigger problem, actually. Makes one want to sigh.
At the king's behest, Gi Gu Verbena had gone south.
As a goblin skilled in leadership and as someone who possessed the skill, wolf pack, Gi Gu was able to find much success in the south, allowing him to evolve into a duke class.
He was so successful that some of the goblins even mistook him for the king.
But Gi Gu refused the title, and instead insisted that he be called 'great brother' instead.
Gi Gu led the three rare class brothers Gu Big, Gu Tough, Gu Long, and the rest of his goblin horde deeper down south.
Leading the long-armed goblins of the south, their numbers - counting only the warriors - exceeded more than 500. There were even some beast tamers and druids among them. Their horde had a power comparable to that of a small country.
Gi Gu made use of different types of warriors because of his admiration for the king, but the reason he was able to pull it off was in and of itself a testament to his skill.
Gi Gu had conquered 20 different goblin villages and picked out the best among them to create a platoon of warriors, which he took with him as he headed further south.
Before they knew it, they had already left the forest.
A desolate vast stony desert extended before them as the fire god's body shone its scorching light on the land and the burning winds blew the hot sand, creating a fog-like veil in the air.
Gi Gu who had never left the forest was shocked to see the world outside.
"This is... not our home," he muttered.
To Gi Gu, the thick forest was their home. He might have lived in a cave once or twice, but in the end, that was a cave within the forest. In the forest, the many trees would soften the light of the sun, and the cool breeze the winds blew was always gentle to the skin. The presence of life was ever present, beasts and vegetation alike.
That was Gi Gu's definition of the word 'home'. Which is why when he saw the desert for the first time, he was not impressed.
"We have already reached the end of the forest. We have done enough."
In truth, not even the humans lived in this harsh desert, and this land actually extended even further, but Gi Gu had no way of knowing that.
"The time to return has come."
After seeing the southern desert, Gi Gu Verbena turned around and led the southern goblins back to the north.
Along the way back, Gi Gu's great horde never once stopped.
If their way of fighting were to be described in a few words, it would be: brute force.
Brute force through sheer numbers.
It was a fighting style that Gi Gu naturally arrived at with his high leadership skills and the goblins' high reproductive rate, but Gi Gu went as far as to perfect it.
If a lone goblin would lose, then three would be equal. If three were equal, then six would surely be able to secure victory. Following that line of thought, Gi Gu arranged his horde and fought enemy after enemy.
The southern goblins had long arms, so they could climb the trees easily. Gi Gu took that into consideration as he formulated a plan specifically for these goblins. As a result, the goblins under him would attack from the ground and from above at almost the same time.
Before Gi Gu's goblins, stopping for a single moment meant being turned into minced meat the next. That fighting style mercilessly tore through monsters and beasts alike.
Though everything seemed plain from the frontlines where Gi Gu stood, to those on the receiving end of his charge, it was like a never ending wave of goblins.
Gi Gu's horde even destroyed an orc village along the way, they even pursued them. Normally, it was the orcs hunting the goblins, but Gi Gu's horde was so mighty that their positions were switched. Even the strong tusk elephants (Dino) of the southern forest, who stood out from other elephants because of their long snout and tusks, were not spared from the Gi Gu Horde's mad march.
There were a lot of monsters that lived south from the Fortress of the Abyss.
The antmen (killer ants) who would go to and fro the forest and the desert.
The robust orcs.
The rhinoceros-beetle men (scarab) who possessed a hard shell.
Even with just three races alone, they covered a considerable area of the south.
They were not without weakness, however. The orcs did not have big villages and the scarabs could only cover a small area with their slow bodies.
The most annoying ones were the killer ants, who though weak in a one-on-one fight were strong in groups.
It was exactly these killer ants who blocked Gi Gu's way.
"Killer ants, in front. Lots, of them!" A goblin reported in an almost scream-like fashion.
Gi Gu fiercely laughed. "Good timing, I was wondering what gift to bring. I'll settle my dispute with these guys today."
Unsheathing the long sword by his waist, Gi Gu let out an overpowering howl and commanded his subordinates. "Warriors! Do not stop! There is no one in these lands who can make us halt our march!"
As the three brother goblins directly under Gi Gu shouted back in response, a fire was lit within the rest of the goblins.
As Gi Gu proceeded, a lake and a battle near it between the antmen and the goblins could be seen.
There was nothing resembling a battle formation.
Their numbers seemed equal, and the battle proceeded with the goblins starting to surround the antmen.
When Gi Gu saw that he commanded the goblins, "Focus on attacking! There's no need to complete the encirclement!"
As the goblins started to surround the antmen, they focused on their attacks and tried to break through the army of antmen. Gi Gu's order was spot on, as it kept the antmen from being able to show their full potential. These ants were weaker in a one-on-one fight with the goblins from the start, so in time, they were pushed back and forced to flee.
When Gi Gu saw the antmen start running, he ordered the goblins to chase after them.
The antmen didn't want to lose the things they had captured, so they ran as they protected their prized belongings at the center of their formation.
Gi Gu ordered the fast among them to chase after the antmen, while he staged an attack from both flanks. Gi Gu's attacks became even fiercer.
"Great brother, the ants, have run!"
"They ran! They ran!"
The three brothers danced with joy while Gi Gu nodded with satisfaction.
Gi Gu looked toward the spoils and muttered to himself, "Nu... Handling these won't be easy, but at least, I'll have some unique souvenirs for the king..."
Gi Gu ordered the goblins to carefully carry the spoils, then they continued their march to the north again.
I had asked the priestess and chief of the Gordob Goblins, Kuzan, to search the Fortress of the Abyss' basement. When that search was nearing completion, I called her over and told her of my plans.
I told her that I intended to respond positively to the elven school and offered to send her.
"I... Still have something I can do!" Kuzan stretched herself tall as she said that.
It was a charming sight, but this is important.
"It would be troubling if you were satisfied with your current state. The Gaidga have increased their numbers, the Paradua have strengthened their warriors, and the Ganra have started developing new technology... Do you understand what I'm saying?"
"...Your Majesty wishes for the Gordob to aim higher."
I nodded, and Kuzan looked down to the ground.
"Your Majesty," Yellow said. "If I may express myself..."
"Speak," I implored him.
"Are you unhappy with our chief, Kuzan?" He asked.
"Why would I be?" I asked.
"It seemed as if we weren't needed anymore," he said.
The Gordob was a tribe of small goblins. They were clearly the most different of the four goblin tribes. They were a tribe wholly unsuited for battle, making them conspicuously different.
Not only were these goblins weak in battle, they were also few in numbers.
Though they were currently in charge of managing the Fortress of the Abyss, if some other goblin were to surpass them, they would eventually lose their position. A tribe who couldn't fight needed to find a path to survival.
If they were to lose my protection, their tribe would collapse in one fell swoop.
"Kuzan is a gentle child. She only refused because of the tribe, please, Your Majesty, please be lenient on her," Yellow said as he prostrated himself.
"O king, our king, if I may be so bold, please tell us that you still need us!" Yellow said.
I looked at her.
She was still crestfallen, but I could see the anxiety hidden in her eyes as she waited for my answer.
"We are a fragile race."
I see. She must've been thinking all this time what it was she could do as chief, while the other tribes progressed.
Her worries must've gotten worse gradually as well. After all, with the twin-headed snake she worshiped gone, she and her tribe truly only had me left.
It seems I haven't been very considerate.
"Don't worry, I don't intend to abandon the Gordob Tribe. At the very least, so long as I am king, I will ensure that there is a way for you to show your loyalty."
Kuzan and Yellow bowed.
"In that case, I shall accept the king's command," Yellow said.
With that I decided on Kuzan and Gi Do Buruga - who was already in the village anyway - as the goblins who would be enrolling.
Tl Note: Last chapter of the week. Also, I've added the donations from patreon to the bar. Thank