Volume 2: Chapter 121 – An Invitation from the Elves
|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)|
|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|
Shunan returned. Unexpectedly, the elves accepted us. Not just a few of us either, but the whole horde of 140 goblins.
“That went rather smoothly,” I said.
It seems suspicious, especially when I see Cecil acting the way he usually does. But I don’t think this sylph called Shunan is the type to lie.
“My elder brother, Shure, is aware of the state of the east. He knows that the humans are trying to invade the forest, so he says there’s no need for needless fighting,” Shunan said.
If that’s true, then this alliance shouldn’t take long. But I wonder… This could be a trap.
“It’s just that the other members of the Sage Council aren’t as flexible as my brother, so…” Shunan said.
I see… So he’s doing this on his own accord against the wishes of the other elves. Well, as long as there’s one tribe willing to accept us, we can manage.
We’ll just have to gradually gather more support from the other tribes. I hope he doesn’t mind providing us weapons and technology, as well as some man power.
Other than that there’s also the issue of what the goblins will do after the humans are defeated.
Will the goblins rule over the humans?
When it comes to ruling that includes maintaining the public order, protecting the law, and managing the government.
One way to go about things is through indirect ruling. That is to say we won’t directly rule the humans but instead rely on a human to rule over them.
In other words, we would be creating a fake feudal lord to rule the humans through.
The advantage to this method is that the people won’t blame us but the fake feudal lord we created.
There’s also the fear of goblin rule that needs to be considered.
Goblins have never stood above humans before. If they were to suddenly stand above them, a revolt would surely occur.
Therefore, it is necessary to slowly wean the humans to goblin rule. At first, the goblins will only be used to maintain order, but gradually, they will take over the government and the law. In order to do that, however, the goblins first need to learn how to rule and govern. That is something that can only be learned from those who have created their own societies. Namely, the humans, the demihumans, and the elves.
The ones who have the most developed society are of course the humans. With a system based on trade and currency, they are undoubtedly the most prosperous race in the world. Of course, that’s because they won the war. Other than that it’s also because of the divine protections they have received and the workings of their heroes. But such things are merely secondary. The biggest contributor to their prosperity is their social system. In other words, trade and currency.
When the people gather, trade occurs, causing even more people to gather. This cycle repeats itself, until eventually, a metropolis is born. The birth of a metropolis means the widening of roads and the creation of many villages nearby, creating wealth. The onset of wealth, however, is not all good. For where there is wealth, there are predators. To expel these greedy ones, who are full of lust for the forbidden fruit, it is necessary to create the military. Finally, a country is born.
By expelling the invaders and expanding the country, the territory of the humans naturally expanded. The current state of the world is precisely because of humanity’s superior social system, a system the elves and the demihumans could not match.
It is not perfect, however. The increase in population and wealth will naturally lead to a disparity of wealth and status. This is directly connected to war. If not war, then at the very least, the lives of the people will be harsh. So harsh that they would have to burn themselves out just to live their lives. A painful prosperity, so to speak.
But what about the demihumans?
Of course, I don’t know how it was in the past, but I can roughly guess how they are today by inferring from their current situation. By living in small villages, they are able to keep their peculiarities. Through trade they are able to form a cooperative body of sort, shallow as it may be. On the surface, their system does not seem any inferior than the humans’, but is that really the case? Of course not, the demihumans are ages behind humanity. Their flimsy system can never hope of matching the entirety of humanity. Not with their bartering nor the meager scale of their trades, which are limited solely between villages. They have no currency. They do not even have tax, though because of that there is not much difference between individuals’ social statuses.
Knowing this, can the demihumans possibly rule over the humans? The answer is no. They cannot. Because they are too simple.
What about the elves then?
Do they understand the concept of ruling over others? Are they able to grasp the essence of the few ruling the multitude? Looking at Cecil, it seems as if they are only able to rely on the good graces of others, but… Let us pray that Cecil is merely an outlier and not a representative of the common elf.
“Let us go then. You will be leading the way, I take it?” I said.
“Of course,” Shunan said.
After informing Shunan that we will be leaving the next day, I gathered the goblin leaders and gave them their orders. I also thanked the demihumans for their cooperation and asked them to begin communications with the goblins to the east.
“Gi Za, stay here as relay for the meantime,” I said.
“I don’t mind, but… will you be alright without me?” Gi Za said.
He was serious.
Wryly smiling, I said, “You don’t actually think anyone would make trouble after seeing a horde this big, do you?”
“Well… That’s true.” Gi Za said after becoming thoughtful for a moment.
Gi Za’s mission is to maintain communication with the demihuman and ensure that the path to the elven territory remain unobstructed. After all, it would be troublesome if we had to retreat, only to find that the path home had been cut.
“Don’t let your guard down, though,” Gi Za said.
“I know,” I said.
He worries too much, but his loyalty is the real deal.
The next day, we departed for the elven village. I left 10 goblins with Gi Za and took the remaining 130 with me.
Hawk-Eyed Fick, Fick Barbad, was in a long while sharing a drink with his old friends in the bar at Germion Kingdom. Mill the Mage Slayer, Wyatt the Herculean, Yugil, Vitz… The people gathered were all members of Gulland’s previous expedition to the forest.
It’s already been a month since they escaped from that perilous forest, and since then, they’ve been living their lives. But whether they were living their lives in the east or the west, they never forgot to regularly exchange information with one another.
The bars frequented by the adventurers are the same everywhere. They’re chaotic, full of fervor, and the food and wine are all priced according to taste.
Atop the tables were various food lined up, while the beer mugs were all filled with ale to relieve the parched throats of these adventurers after a day’s hard work.
“Thank you for gathering here today. I’m not gonna be so formal about this, but…” Wyatt the Herculean said, at which, everyone raised up their mugs. “First, a toast. For all those who couldn’t make it, for all those who made it.”
After knocking their mugs together, the group of adventurers started digging in at the great feast laid out over the table. The adventurers heartily drank their fill of ale, but then all eyes suddenly gathered on Mill the Mage Slayer.
“…It’s lukewarm,” she complained.
“A bit late to be complaining after chugging it in one go, don’t you think?” Hawk-Eyed Fick remarked, causing Yugil and Vitz to laugh. It seems the mage slayer was actually a heavy drinker.
“Gulland’s in the north, so it probably couldn’t be helped, but it’s still too bad that the White Hand of Life couldn’t make it,” Wyatt said.
Vitz’ brows rose when he spoke about her. “Don’t talk about her anymore. The food will go bad.”
“Oho? And here I thought you guys were hitting it off. Weren’t you always together?” Wyatt asked.
“I felt like a kid being sent to the slaughter house, you know. I was so scared I thought I’d end up turning to heresy,” Vitz said, shrugging his shoulders, causing Wyatt to chuckle.
“She’s on a pilgrimage right now for the on a mission’s trip, but she’ll come back when she’s done,” Yugil said.
Seeing Yugil actually open his mouth for once when he never did when they were in the forest caused Mill to do a double take.
“You can talk?” She asked.
“I just have stage fright,” Yugil said, causing the group to break out into laughter.
“I-I’m being serious,” Yugil argued, beet red, causing the group to laugh even harder.
“By the way, did you hear? The feudal lord of the western region, Lord Gowen, is apparently building a colonial city in the west,” Fick said as he wiped his teary eyes from laughing too much.
“Hmm… So they’re that much of a threat, huh. But will they really just let them build that thing?” Wyatt the Herculean rubbed his chin and wondered.
“…What’s a colonial city?” Mill asked Wyatt after drinking her fourth mug.
“A strategic base… Do you understand?” Wyatt said.
“Nope,” Mill promptly replied.
“In other words, it’s a fortress that’s also a village.” Wyatt placed a black bread on an empty plate and struck it with a fork to illustrate his point. “Generally, walls would be extended from this point to the left and to the right, building watch towers in equal spaces.”
He lined up some pig’s sausage.
“This is done to completely isolate the outside from the inside. To that end, it is usually preferred that the walls be 3 meters high. That way, if anyone tries to climb them, the soldiers would be able to pierce them with their spears. To top it all of, a canal is built along the perimeter of the walls… Good grief, this is going to be long.”
This time he lined up some pasta outside the sausages.
“Land is cultivated inside the colonial city to allow the city to be self-sufficient. It still depends on the mayor, but the taxes in colonial cities are usually lowered. As for who tills the land, it’s usually either the farmers or the soldiers who want to make some extra on the side.”
This time Wyatt piled up some salad inside the sausages. He added some Kabacho, a kind of green vegetable, some round-cut Touma, a kind of vegetable that’s red and very sour, then he added some syrup on top for taste. The salad looked heavenly.
“The colonial city is equipped with defenses to protect itself while the army is away. At the same time, it also has facilities to help offensive maneuvers, ensuring that the attack is successful. These facilities were frequently used when battling the bandits in the north. Notable colonial cities include Yuyurad to the south and Sonoia to the north.”
Mill emptied her sixth mug as she watched Wyatt play with his sausage.
“…Yuyurad didn’t have stone walls,” Mill said.
The city of Yuyurad wasn’t far from the capital. Presently, it has become one of the biggest exporter of food to the capital.
“Well, when the role of the city changes, the walls would be demolished,” Vitz said.
“Really?” Mill asked to Wyatt.
“Yes. Yuyurad was a colonial city 100 years ago. It was originally constructed to conquer the south and the west. Currently, it is the frontline in the war against Yotsun Hell far to the south. You’ve taken a fair share of quests to transport goods, right? Yuyurad is currently being used as a base while the war is waged along the Kubel River.”
Wyatt bit his delicious black bread filled with Kabacho, Touma, and pig sausage.
“Mmm… Delicious,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt’s sausage burst out with juice and fat along with the assorted veggies. When Mill heard the sounds Wyatt made, she finally stopped drinking and ate.
“Fick, you’re currently living in the south right? How is it?” Vitz asked Fick as he chewed on the aromatic chicken leg.
“Free cities usually have more of that impending danger kind of feeling, but well… That place is always flourishing with business and is always in war, so…” Fick said.
Wyatt twined his pasta around his fork, then gulped it down with his tongue sticking out.
“There are a lot of jobs, but that just goes to show how dangerous the place is. It’s fine if you just think you’re dealing with a scuffle or two.”
“Jobs like last time sure are rare though, huh,” Yugil said as he removed the bones of his fried fish, then stuffed his mouth with its meat. The aroma of the fried fish spread within his mouth, causing him to inadvertently smile as he looked at Fick.
“There’s almost none down in the south,” Fick said.
“What about the Holy Shushunu Kingdom to the east?” Vitz asked.
After Wyatt emptied his place in no time at all, he took another bread and smiled.
“Can’t recommend it. I stand out because I’m a leader, but really… If you want a job, the west is the place to go,” Fick said, prompting Yugil to become thoughtful.
Seeing Yugil like that, Vitz slapped him on the shoulder. “You want to fight against that monster again? You sure are curious.”
“No, that’s not it. I’m just regretting a bit. If I don’t become stronger…” Yugil said.
“Then why don’t you try coming to my clan for a bit? I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but it’s pretty popu—” Fick said when a voice interjected.
“Oh? Are the famed swallows so lacking in number that they’re starting to hire people?” The voice said.
Vitz turned around.
What he saw almost made him curse the heavens, but somehow, he keep quiet and smile.
The White Hand of Life was dressed in a white robe as usual. She took a seat beside Vitz.
“I see you’re eating well,” she said.
After emptying a mug full of ale passed to her, she shook her head. “This is really lukewarm.”
Mill nodded while Fick just gave her a fed-up look.
“Who cares? Rather than that, are you seriously going to keep your hood up while eating?” Wyatt asked with a sober face like that of a strict father.
The White Hand of Life laughed and took off her hood, revealing the face of a beautiful woman. With silver hair, emerald eyes, a sculpted nose, and a smile that never ceased, she was one to dazzle.
“It would be troublesome if people got to know my face, so I usually keep my hood down. Sorry,” she said.
“How exactly would that trouble you? I mean, personally, I’d like to get famous,” Fick asked, puzzled and beet red.
The White Hand of Life smiled. “It’s troubling when you’re a girl in a man’s world, right, Vitz?”
Vitz couldn’t help but turn away at those words full of meaning.
“Ah, yeah,” he said.
For some reason, Vitz seemed to be in despair.
This time the White Hand of Life turned to Yugil.
“I wonder if you’d be interested in a hunting job?” She asked.
“Huh? No. Umm…” Yugil said, completely disoriented.
She smiled. “It’s a bit too dangerous to go to the west right now, so the south is probably better.”
“The free cities are at war,” Fick said.
The White Hand of Life nodded and ate a slice of cheese. “I mean deeper down south, around the city of Galahad by the sea. There should be a lot of hunting jobs there.”
“Of course, there’s that,” Wyatt nodded.
Mill looked at him as if she wanted an explanation.
“The thing is… Going to the west right now is suicidal. Besides, that goblin is probably on a rampage and entering the forest is forbidden anyway. The jobs put out by the guild are at most by the forest’s perimeter. No one is entering the forest at all,” the White Hand of Life shrugged her shoulders, prompting Yugil to hang his head.
“You don’t want to die yet, right?” The sly expression that appeared on her beautiful face caused the two adventurers who had traveled with her to shiver.
“…Did you two boys forget your balls?” Mill asked, prompting the White Hand of Life to laugh loudly.
“Anyway, cheers! For meeting again after a long time,” the White Hand of Life said.
Everyone raised up their mugs—
“To our reunion! Cheers!”
—and knocked them together.
The adventurers were as lively as always.
Tl Note: Made a mistake in the title last chapter. The elf message thing is the title for this chapter not the last. Also, this chapter was a pain… Ugh, all the locations, all the names, all the entries that had to be added, and the bloody food… Don’t mind me, just a jiggly grumbling to himself. This is the fourth regular chapter.