Volume 2: Intermission – Attack I
|Possessed Skills||Swordsmanship C-; Overpowering Howl; Omnivorous; A Monster's Feelings; Beast Tamer; Instinct|
The sun shone from high above the sky.
Gi Ga was practicing hard today too. Though he has gotten much better now, as he rarely falls off, and can even properly direct the rider-beast to go where he wants.
Even though one of his legs is fake, he can somehow straddle the rider-beast and even swing his spear, albeit somewhat weaker than when on foot.
With the reins of the beast on one hand and a spear on the other, Gi Ga rode through the forests on the back of the black tiger known as Hakuou.
Prowling the forest in search of a prey, Gi Ga set his sights on a lone double-head. He pulled on the reins as he lightly kicked the black tiger, and as the black tiger’s instincts woke, they bolted through the forest. The double-head caught wind of their charge, and it ran for its life. It knew its place as the prey. There was no winning against one’s predator, so it ran without a second thought.
Passing through the trees, the double-head ran for its life despite the hard rocky road. But the black tiger was no green horn to hunting, and neither was the goblin on its back. They were both veterans of the hunt, and they caught up in no time. Gi Ga stretched out his long arm, and attacked the double-head, slowing it down, giving chance for the black tiger to finish it off. Like that the short game of cat and mouse came to an end.
“You’ve already mastered riding Hakuou, I see.” The Paradua goblin who came here as a messenger, Alashd, nodded in satisfaction.
“Only because of your excellent teaching, Lord Alashd.” Gi Ga gratefully said as he sheathed his spear into the saddle’s sheath.
“If you’re this good now, then I think I’ll be able to return at ease.”
“When will you be departing?”
“Tomorrow eve. It won’t take five days with the black tiger’s strong legs, but it would still be best to leave soon.”
“The days will be lonely, Lord Alashd. At the very least, let us see you off with a feast.” Gi Ga pointed to the double-head he’d just hunted.
“Then I’d like some of those dried meat of yours. They’re quite delicious.”
“It’ll be my pleasure.”
Alashd fastened the double-head to his mount, and the two of them rode side-by-side back to the Gi Village.
The beast tamer, Gi De, was growing anxious as the kobolds haven’t contacted them since yesterday.
“What’s the matter?” The water mage, Gi Zo, asked upon noticing Gi De’s unusual behavior. Gi Zo excelled at water magic even among the druids of Gi Za’s village, so Gi Za and the king expected much from him.
Gi Ga Rax and Gi Zo were the two goblins in charge of the Gi Village, so when Gi Zo inquired for the source of Gi De’s unrest, he readily reported the lack of contact with the kobolds.
“No contact, with kobold. Anxious, me.”
Even the king’s very own subordinate beast who would pester them for food hadn’t shown itself in the past two days.
“Have they found a way to procure food themselves?”
It was hard to believe that that gluttonous kobold would just up and go. Something bad must’ve happened, Gi De thought, and his grim countenance grew even grimmer.
“Me, worried. I’ll, look.”
“Very well. I shall consult with Lord Gi Ga on my end.”
Gi Zo knew that the kobolds’ eyes that the king left was a crucial line of defense against the orcs and the humans. The orcs have been behaving all this time but it was best to be safe. Gi De himself did not understand this, but he knew instinctively that the kobolds’ lack of contact was not a good thing. And so, he headed east with his triple boar.
Meanwhile, Gi Zo himself became thoughtful.
“Have the orcs rebelled?”
Rather than a human invasion, the first thing to come to mind was an orc rebellion. After all, they were enemies just not long ago. The short time spent in peace was not enough to wash away the memories of Gol Gol’s raid.
“Why the sour face? Did something happen?” The goblin that was almost like a disciple to Gi Ga, Gi Da, asked when he noted Gi Zo’s sour countenance.
Gi Da scratched his head when he heard Gi Zo’s story.
“I see where you’re coming from, but I can’t imagine those orcs rebelling.”
Though they might once they’ve gotten strong enough, he added.
“Regardless, please send word for the normal goblins to gather at the village. We have plenty of food stockpiled, so it should be fine to halt our hunts and focus on keeping watch until the kobolds bring word.”
After Gi Da bowed, Gi Zo went to the king’s house. He had to explain the situation to the king’s treasures, the humans. Gi Ga was the one truly in charge of the village, but he was out. So, the responsibility would then fall to Gi Zo’s shoulders.
“I hope nothing bad happens.”
As a foreboding chill touched upon him, he looked grimly to the eastern sky.
With the triple boar at the lead, Gi De travelled to the kobold’s village with his subordinates and their wild dogs.
Half the day passed until he finally neared the kobolds’ village, and the uneasiness he felt stirred even stronger. Then the triple boar and the wild dog started growling.
“Is, someone, there?”
Gi De walked as cautiously as he could while the dogs were set loose to all four directions. Then when one of the wild dogs found something and started growling, one of Gi De’s subordinates, a normal goblin, shushed the dog as he took a peek at the dog’s discovery. He then ran up to Gi De with a look of shock on his face.
“Humans, came, lots of humans.”
Gi De passed by the shaking goblin to confirm his findings through the thickets. And when he did, he could not believe his eyes.
“…What in, the world…”
Crowds of men dressed in armor cut the trees and dug the ground, whittling the forest in their path. Gi De did not not understand why these men were here. What he did know was that these men came here to destroy their land.
But fighting now was a fool’s errand. There were far too many of them. In fact, they outnumbered even the orcs.
“We, must inform, Lord Gi Ga…”
Gi De turned on his heels as he grit his teeth.
“Going so soon?”
But then a voice fell upon his ears. A cold voice unfit for the situation at hand, which brought Gi De an unprecedented sense of crisis. The owner of that voice appeared before him.
“Gotta hand it over to Gulland. That ruckus really did attract some prey.”
“Just kill them already, and let’s have a feast.”
“All this anger I have pent up need to go somewhere after all. These guys can take the place of those blasted orcs.”
Three adventurers approached him with the Wand of Destruction, Bellan, in tow.
One of the adventurers became thoughtful at Gi De’s growls.
“This thing is a horde chief? Sure is rare to see a beast tamer lead one,” one of the adventurers said.
“Well, there are a lot of odd ones lately. From kobolds to orcs, so it’s not really that weird anymore,” another adventurer said.
“Who cares, just kill ’em already. If you don’t hurry up, the other teams will get the points,” insisted the third of the bunch.
That’s true, the other adventurers nodded. Then the three of them prepared to face Gi De.
Gi De himself was only a rare goblin, but he had no intention of losing to either the water mage, Gi Zo, or the spearman, Gi Da.
Those who hunted frequently develop a sort of sixth sense. A sense that allowed Gi De to see the difference in strength between him and his foe. No, to be more precise, he couldn’t help but see that difference. For his instincts as a beast screamed at him from within. He couldn’t win. This was the indisputable difference between the hunted and the hunter, the predator and the pray. Which is also why Gi De himself hadn’t attacked when the three adventurers were casually talking among themselves.
There was no other choice.
“…Well that’s how it is. Don’t take it personally?” The Wand of Destruction, Bellan who hadn’t spoken a word until now, violently declared.
When the Wand of Destruction, Bellan, stepped out, Gi De charged toward him with his triple boar.
When the triple boar hit Bellan, he charged out again toward another adventurer. The rest of the goblins used this opportunity to run back to the village.
“You’re not going anywhere!”
The other two adventurers chased after the normal goblins, but the goblins were much faster when moving through the forest. Magic came shooting at them from behind, and one died, but the rest of them were able to safely escape.
“…So you used yourself as a decoy to let the others go.” Bellan had sent Gi De flying after he charged into him. And when he saw the goblins running away, he looked at him with a murderous gaze.
“A respectable plan for a goblin, but it’s meaningless.”
The triple boar was already dead.
“Send word to Hawk-Eye. Something along the lines of ‘Attack the goblins’ village’.”
The remaining adventurer took out a gem, and started talking, while Gi De readied himself for a fight.
“Your opponent is me.”
A red light shone from Bellan’s wand.
A fire erupted from the red gem embedded at the edge of Bellan’s wand, it shaped itself into the figure of a sword. With the fire blade extending from the wand, Bellan’s weapon had essentially changed into a naginata. As he gripped his naginata tight, he fiercely yelled.
“Taste the power of the Wand of Destruction!”
As Bellan spun his naginata above his head, it struck out at a terrifying speed toward Gi De.
Gi De already knew he couldn’t win against this opponent, so he sought to buy time instead. Gi De jumped back. As he crashed into the ground, the edge of Bellan’s burning naginata met him.
Fire reached out from the ground Gi Ge crashed into, and it changed into the form of a sword. Gi De twisted his body, but one of his arms was still completely burned.
Gi De screamed out in pain, while Bellan pursued him, and hit him again with the butt of his naginata.
Gi De somehow managed to pick himself back up, but one of his arms was no more. He had to fight one handed with his sword against Bellan.
“I’ve sent word. Should I help?”
“No. Help has no place in a knight’s battle.”
“Right.” The adventurer shrugged, but Bellan didn’t even glance at him.
Although no longer a knight, Bellan still considered fights to be a sacred ceremony. A ceremony wherein two warriors fought with everything they had to take everything from each other.
“…If you’re not coming, then I will.”
After confirming Gi De’s position, Bellan nimbly moved. With a step, he struck out his flaming naginata. Gi De tried to slip under that attack, but the blade of fire struck him from the back. As Gi De writhed in pain, Bellan prepared to give the finishing strike.
At that moment, Gi De wrung out the last of his strength to gamble one last time: He would throw his body to tackle Bellan, as the latter tried to land the finishing blow. The naginata on its descent, Gi De moved his feet, he bent his body, to make way for that last gamble, a literal race against time, but…
“…Looks like, I was a moment slower.”
The burning naginata was faster. Gi De’s body was split in half.
“Is something wrong?”
The adventurer watching the battle asked when he saw Bellan’s thoughtful face.
“…No. It seems this goblin wasn’t the boss of this area.”
“Goblin Rares are more than enough for a leader around these parts.”
“…Then it doesn’t make sense. Why did he let the other goblins leave?”
“If he is the boss, then he would’ve prioritized protecting himself. He would’ve done so even if it meant using the other goblins as shields.”
That is how the leader of a horde is. He would rather protect himself than appoint another to lead or let the rest escape to save the most. To a horde’s leader, his life is his most prized treasure.
“So you’re saying there’s someone even bigger than this guy? That’s impossible. No way there’s gonna be a noble- or duke-class out here in the boundary.”
As the adventurer said that, the other two adventurers returned.
“Fuck! They got away.”
“We’ve mostly figured out where they’re headed, so if we go now, we’ll reach them before the others.”
“Let’s go then…”
After regrouping with the other two adventurers, Bellan entered deep into the forest.
In his eyes burned the desire to fight an even stronger foe.
1.) Beast Warrior -> Beast Tamer. This won’t change again, since the author provided a reading. Maybe there was one provided from the start, but it wasn’t in my notes. Anyway…