TL Note: Reserved... for edits.
CHAPTER 23: DEFORMITY
[Class] Duke; Horde Chief
[Possessed Skills] <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
[Divine Protection] Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia)
[Attributes] Darkness; Death
[Subordinate Beasts] Kobold (Lv9)
[Abnormal Status] <>
After taking care of the lizardmen, I carried the sleeping Gi Ga back home.
I had to stop the reconnaissance of the druid village halfway through, but it's fine since I got something good in exchange.
And after a night passed since returning to the village, Gi Ga evolved. Confirming his status with the [Skill] <>, the class that came up on his status window was a little different from mine.
[Class] Noble; Guardian
[Possessed Skills] <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
[Divine Protection] None
He has a number of skills I don't have. But by focusing my will, I was able to see the various skill descriptions.
[Skill] <> An attack that aims at the foe's vital points.
[Skill] <> When fighting near the king, strength, dexterity, and fighting spirit will increase by 10%.
[Skill] <> Can throw spear from a long distance.
[Skill] <> When dueling with someone, stamina and skill proc rate will increase by 10%.
Spear throwing and the likes are technique class abilities... It works similarly to swordsmanship.
His skill class is basically decked out to peak when fighting near me.
As long as I don't misuse his abilities, he could become a huge power in my army.
Especially in our coming rematch with the gray wolves.
A crowd was formed around Gi Ga. Not just because goblin nobles are rare, but also because he looked different.
His skin's bluish-black just like my time as a goblin noble, but his arms are completely different from what mine used to be, being long enough to reach even the ground. At the same time though, his body is also smaller than a duke's. So if it's just length we're comparing, mine's longer.
"A deformity," muttered the old goblin.
"That's that, but first comes rejoicing," I replied, patting Gi Ga on his shoulders, as I granted him the long spear we got from the orcs.
This could prove useful when we go meet the druids.
"Take it, Gi Ga," I said.
Humbling himself, Gi Ga gratefully accepted the spear. Then he said,
"By this spear, I swear absolute fealty to the king."
Oh? He's speech has gotten quite smooth. So this is also one of the benefits of evolution.
After that I went out again to scout the lake's path.
Going around the lake, and then going north of it, I passed by the lands of the lizardmen, and reached the north area of the lake.
The atmosphere of that place was different.
The ceaseless cries of the wind played with the scraggy rocks, resounding a tune that took the whole land. Its lands were barren despite being inside a forest. The few trees that grew in it were at most a man's height.
Looks like it's here, I thought. Well then, I should withdraw---.
Discreetly, I left the lands of the druids, and hurried back to the village.
Gi Gu and Gi Go both managed to ready their respective hordes.
It's been a mere three days, but plenty of results have been had.
I still have some concerns regarding cooperation and leadership, but that can't be helped. I do think it's a bit premature, but I want to deal with the druids quickly, and challenge the gray wolves again.
So we'll strike now.
Honestly speaking though, I think even in our current state, we're more than good enough to challenge the gray wolves.
But doing that will inevitably result in large numbers of casualties.
My army's finally starting to gain momentum, decreasing it at this point... That's not exactly the wisest of ideas, is it now?
As for the battle against the druids, we'll take them with sheer numbers.
They will fall before our overwhelming numbers, and then I'll add them to my army.
The old goblin mentioned that the druids looked down on other goblins. To despise means to have emotions close to that of humans. So it might be amongst the druids that I find someone capable of leadership.
I went back on the battle with the gray wolves several times, and the conclusion I came to was that our loss was a result of a difference in the number of leaders.
That time's defeat was both from my incapability to predict the gray wolves' movement, and my lack of manpower able to oppose the gray wolves. There were other problems as well, but because I was too busy fighting one of the gray wolves, I couldn't lead the horde.
Times such as that where I'm unable to lead the horde will definitely come. Who will lead then? And besides, even if I had fought with the gray wolf until the end, I might have not gotten off lightly either.
The way I am right now would, at most, lead to a draw.
But despite that, I have to win.
And for that, I need stronger men. Gi Ga is fool hardy, but Gi Gu and Gi Go can do things he can't do as well. Gi Gi is currently desperately raising new beasts.
What I have to do right now is to strengthen the horde.
To add something to the horde that it doesn't have now. A new factor like the druids, for example.
According the human, Mattis' guidance, we made some smoked fish and meat to prepare for the battle.
We didn't just use smoke though, we also used the sun to preserve some of the food. Also, because the armor rabbit apparently had some salt mixed in its blood, we were able to preserve the meat by rubbing that on the meat.
Who would've armor rabbit blood could be used in that way?
The knowledge of man is really hard to despise after all. There are so many things that even I don't know. And the one race that's been given plenty of opportunity to retain that knowledge is man. In the form of books, by mouth, or even in the form of tales, man is able to preserve a great number of their knowledge.
Gi Ga and the rest of the goblins thought Mattis was using magic. They even actually went to ask him whether he could use magic. Of course, Mattis just told them that it's not magic and was just a skill. A reply to which the goblins were utterly dumbfounded.
Well it's not surprising. The techniques that goblins know are mostly destructive after all.
The fact that there could be skills that could create instead of destroy, that fact left a deep impression to Gi Ga.
Incidentally, I had the man named Chinos make some farmland. Of course, with a body guard watching over him.
Then under his instructions, we cut trees around the village, and uprooted the stumps, changing the land into one for cultivation. The land's not that big, but it might prove useful.
As for Lili, she's in charge of sewing. Using the hide of armor rabbits and the fangs and leather of shape alligators, she's able to make us some nice armor.
Lili, being an adventurer, knows much about the vital points to protect, so I left it to her to decide which parts to cover with her armor. But as expected, it would take quite a bit of time to complete. That's most likely a side effect of having her made it to specialize for each individual. As a result, I had no choice but to put it on hold for the meantime.
Six days since Gi Go's horde has arrived in our village, and seven days since I embarrassingly lost to the gray wolves, I gathered most of the village, and gave out the order to take the north.
"We shall march for the north, and make the druids one of us," I declared. "Gi Ga, Gi Gi, and Gi Go, you three shall ready your men. Gi Gu, you shall stay to protect our village."
Everyone bowed, and I gave out instructions for our formation.
"Each one of you shall take 10 goblins with him. And I will also do the same, taking 10 goblins under me that I will directly control. Now, Gi Gu, should the kobolds contact you, informing you that the humans have entered the forest, immediately abandon the village."
Then I showed Gi Gu where to run.
Most of our men are coming with me on this expedition.
We have to win.
"Tomorrow, on daybreak, we march!"
And so, the expedition to take the druids began.
Incidentally, Reshia will also be coming with us, but for some reason, she didn't voice any complaints.
Regarding the setting:
The goblins currently under the protagonist are:
The goblin in that estranged group that was with the protagonist when he defeated an orc. He is currently a noble class, the highest amongst the protagonist's subordinates. He prefers to use the spear.
The former leader of the village. He was pressured by the protagonist in his goblin noble form, and was added to his subordinates. He uses the long sword, and is relatively smart for a goblin rare.
Known as a beast warrior, a goblin with the ability to tame beasts.
He evolved while hunting spear deer with the protagonist.
He prefers to use the axe.
The strongest known tamed beast is currently the triple boar, but for the sake of the coming battle with the gray wolves, he's raising different beasts.
His goblin class is rare.
A goblin with many wounds on his body. The food of his horde was stolen by the gray wolves, so he made a decision to follow the protagonist. He is the most experienced amongst the goblin rares.
His weapon is a curved katana.