Volume 2: Chapter 122 – Forest Metropolis
|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|
“…This is more than I expected,” I muttered in praise, earning Shunan’s smile.
The goblins following me were the same. It was as if they had found themselves in a giant’s nest, their unabashed curiosity reveling in their surroundings.
I knew that the elves built their home upon the forest, but seeing it for myself still left me speechless. Giant trees towered over the whole forest, creating a roof of evergreen leaves. These giant trees were at least 20 meters high, around which the elves built there houses, creating a village with a leafy roof above.
The trunk of the trees were so wide that 30 goblins holding hands wouldn’t be able to surround them. The green roof erected by the trees created a mild shade from sunlight that blocked its rays just enough to let the right amount of light through.
The trees grew more sparse and smaller the farther away from the village one went, but they were still quite big. Big enough that it would take 10 goblins holding hands to surround them.
The sun here is pleasant. Looking closely, one would see medicinal plants and multicolored flowers blooming by the roots of the giant trees.
Elves with higher social status lived higher up the trees, but they didn’t live that high up. It seems they generally preferred a lifestyle close to the ground. The quality of their daily necessities, however, were of much greater quality compared to the humans.
The elven furnitures were all skilfully crafted and easy to use. They were truly a sight to behold.
”My elder brother is caught up with something and won’t be able to attend to us for awhile, so let me show you show around in the meantime,” Shunan said.
Leaving the goblins just outside the village to make camp, I took Selena and Shumea with me to go on Shunan’s tour.
“Wow, this is amazing,” Shumea remarked with wide-open eyes.
Selena was all smiles as she explained various things. Who would’ve thought that that girl who was always hiding behind Shumea would be so proactive once we entered the village? Secretly, my mood turned for the better.
We’ve just started and this visit is showing good results already.
“I heard there are koro dwarves in the elf villages,” I said carefully, but to my surprise, Shunan nodded without the slightest hint of wariness.
“There are,” he said. “Shall I introduce you? The ones living in the villages nearby are the most famous.”
“Please. I want to ask them to forge a great sword for me.”
Nodding, Shunan led me to a cave underground. When I listened closely, I could hear the sounds of metal being hit.
Dwarves who looked just like the white-skinned Gordob goblins and light-brown rugged versions of them went in and out of the cave ceaselessly. They were even smaller than the normal goblins, reaching up only their chest. They were probably not even 4ft. tall.
“We’ll try talking to the smith, but… You should know, he’s a moody one. If he says no, it’s no. You’ll just have to give up then,” Shunan said.
The elves probably don’t get refused much, but as I’m a goblin, the odds might be worse for me.
After a while a light-brown-skinned dwarf with a grown beard walked out. His exposed arms were huge and burly and his body was built like a rock. On his shoulder was a giant hammer bigger than himself.
“You the bastard who asked for me?” He asked.
I took out the broken fragments of Iron Second and presented it to the koro dwarf. “I am someone from the east. I would be much obliged if you could fix this broken great sword.”
The koro dwarf stared at me a good while before he turned his gaze to the great sword.
“This is…” Staring at my great sword while fondling his majestic beard, his face went ghastly. After a while he took a fragment.
“I hear you are the most skilled around here. Please fix it,” I said, sincerely bowing my head.
“Since when did goblins learn to speak like you do? Weird guy. Fine, I’ll stake the name Dumbre Dadee David and fix it. But what will you give me?”
A price, hmm… What to do.
“Smith, this is elder brother’s guest, so…” Shunan tried to argue.
But the koro dwarf shut him down. “Shut it, kid!”
The koro dwarf looked up at me.
“If you can fix it well, I will promise to swing my sword once for you,” I said.
“A bloody oath fitting for a great sword, eh? I think I like you. It’ll take a while for the sword to finish. You staying in this village for a while?”
“I intend to.”
“Come back in 10 days then.”
After gathering all the fragments Dumbre Dadee David left.
“My apologies if he’s worsened your mood. He’s really stubborn, that one, so…” Shunan said.
“Don’t worry, I’ve taken no offense. He’s good, right? I’m looking forward to it,” I said.
Shunan thought I’d get mad, so when he saw me unaffected, he was quite surprised. After staring at me for a good second or two, he continued his tour.
Unexpectedly, I received a fairly welcome reception in the places he brought me to.
“Weren’t goblins looked down on by the elves?” I asked.
Shunan laughed. “My elder brother has instructed everyone that he intends to form an alliance with you, so they’re all behaving accordingly.”
This brother of his seems quite influential.
He might be the person I’ve been waiting for, a leader who can rule over others. My heart raced at the thought. Like that I returned to the goblins.
The next day I finally met Shunan’s elder brother. He was a dignified man with the graceful face you’d expect of the elves. He had long blond hair, almond eyes, a sculpted nose, and a straight mouth that showed his strong resolve.
There was a strange rhyme about his words, probably brought about because of his identity as someone who inherited the words of the spirits.
“You call me friend, but I don’t believe we’ve been acquainted,” I said.
“Like-minded people are friends, no?” he said as if it were perfectly natural.
There were no hints of him forcing himself nor where there any hints of him trying to deceive me. He was as honest as clear water.
Recovering my calm, I lowered my voice and spoke with a sharp gaze, “So you know me, but I do not know you.”
“I prepared these things in haste, so they might not be much, but it would bring me much joy if you could accept them as a show of good faith,” Shure said as he showed me a pile of armor pieces, from breastplates to helmets. There were so many they couldn’t be counted.
“You really intend to give all these to us?”
His face was as still as the surface of a tranquil lake, not a ripple could be seen over it.
“Thank you, but there is something I would like to ask first.”
“What are you going to use when the fighting begins?”
Suddenly, it was as if the air had frozen over.
“My oh my, you sure are sharp. Normally, just this would be enough to win one over,” Shure said, narrowing his eyes.
I smiled. “It seems what was passed down among your kind was the method of creating special armors.”
The elves should have a way of creating blue steel (Srilana), a metal stronger than steel and yet softer than glass and treasure steel (Orichalcum), a kind of metal that conducts mana better than iron. Selena did mention these things, but I kept quiet about it, and now, I see that it is indeed true.
Just a while ago, this elf before me was as soft as spring breeze, and yet now, he stands before me like the cold wind of the north.
“Hmph. I suppose you’re not just brawns then,” he said.
The change he went through was so excessive I did a double take for a moment before collecting myself. It seems this is his real personality.
“Please, have a seat,” he said, offering me a chair.
The seat he offered was by no means cheap, as it managed to fit me snugly without making me feel confined. I would like one of these. In between us was a short table. We sat opposite each other.
“Let me introduce myself again. I am Shure Forni. The lord of the Rustling Forest, Forni, and a member of the Sage’s Council.”
A proud man, though I suppose that’s to be expected from an elven sage. Regardless, since he tried to buy me out first, he must at least be better off than that idiot (Cecil).
“I am the Goblin King from the east.”
“A pleasure to meet you… If I may get straight to the point, the words I said before were not a lie.”
I thought back on his words a while ago.
Silence filled the room, and the first to break it was Shure.
“We do wish to ally ourselves with those of like mind.”
“Against the humans, you mean.”
The pair of emerald eyes he looked at me with were as still as shallow waters, but they seemed to run deep as they sought to measure my worth.
Hmm… It might be better if I speak frankly here.
“We fought the humans some time ago. They were 400 men strong, and while we suffered considerable losses, we did manage to repel them.”
“My goal is to create a country that will not lose out to humans.”
“A goblin kingdom?”
For a moment, he cast his eyes down, then he looked back up at me. I don’t know what sort of calculations ran through his head just now, but he wordlessly implored me to continue.
“Defeating the humans will prove challenging, but it’s not impossible. The issue comes after. Ruling them is currently beyond the power of the goblins. Of course, there are ways to go about it, but…”
We could take our time or choose our methods, but it should eventually be possible. The problem is it will take too long.
“Hmm…” Nodding once, Shure fell into a deep thought again. After a while, he spoke. “So aside from weapons and armor, you also want people after you defeat the humans?”
Seeing me nod, Shure crossed his arms. “Do you know what we want?”
I replied. “We will swear an oath not to invade the forest. The territory east of the demihumans will be ours, but we will not invade the lands to the west.”
Shure became thoughtful again, then he asked. “I beg your pardon, but are you aware of the geography of the world?”
“…Aside from the forest in the east, no.”
It would be pointless to lie. I don’t know what this man is thinking, but I’ll just have to hear him out.
“Of course, the goblins have been thriving in the east these past few years. Excuse me…”
Shure walked away to a corner of the room, then came back with a scroll on him. He laid the scroll over the table.
“This is…” I muttered.
“The world,” he answered.
This was the first time I saw the map of the world.
“We are in this region.” Shure pointed to a region on the map.
To the north were the numerous mountain ranges. In the center were forests. To the right were plains and patches of forests. To the south was a desert, but beyond it were the seas. Deep into the sea was an archipelago. Then finally, to the west were the plains and a far-off continent.
The forest being the center was of course simply because the elves made the map and not because it actually was so. Until now, it’s only been a vague target, but with this map before me, I finally have a clear image of that which I must conquer.
“What is the situation in the northern mountain ranges? Are there humans living in the desert? And that continent to the west, what sort of place is it?” I asked without intending to. As a result Shure’s brows rose.
“You know the cardinal points? I see… So you are indeed not a common goblin. I would very much like to know from where you unearthed that knowledge, but fine… I’ll fill you in first,” he said.
“…Please,” I said.
This man is sharp. If I’m not careful, I might spill more than I need to.
“The northern mountain ranges, also known as the mountains of the snow god, Yggdrasil. There are humans living there alongside the snow, but they rarely enter the forest. They’re not hostile, but they’re not allies either.”
Shure pointed to the southern desert. “The southern desert, the great desert of the desert god, Ashunasan. There are indeed some humans living here, but they do not trespass onto our lands. The problem is the west.”
Though less so compared to the east, the west also had plains, and then some water, beyond which was a continent. “This area is dominated by humans. It’s still better off compared to east, but the people here do kidnap our people from time to time.”
In other words, the enemy is largely situated to the east. There are some tough nations down to the south, but because of the dangerous monsters lurking there, there’s not a lot of room to maneuver. The west on the other hand, having little influence, seems to be a relatively easier target.
“Unfortunately, the west also has people migrating to it from the continent beyond the sea,” Shure said with perfect timing, almost as if he had read my thoughts, causing me to raise my brows.
“Anything on mind?” He asked.
“Do you elves only live here in this forest?” I asked.
“You noticed, I see. Do you see the patches of forests? We live there too. As for the rest of the sylphs, I have no idea where they are.
And it’s not in writing, but the salamanders, the fire elves, live in a corner of a volcanic region to the west. I heard the undines, the water elves, have always been living in a city of water to the east, but… we haven’t gotten any word from them in over 100 years. The gnomes, the earth elves, are situated in the northern mountains. In any case, communication would require that we encroach into man’s domain, so it’s not very convenient.”
So communication between the various elves was nearly impossible.
“We’ll have to focus our forces and create a breakwater then. Look here.” I pointed toward the eastern region of the humans. “I don’t know what it’s called, but there’s a human kingdom here. We need to set up a defense outside the forest here to protect the forest.”
“A breakwater to keep them from going further,” Shure said.
“Exactly, that’s where I’ll be building my kingdom. A kingdom extending from the forest to the plains.”
Our kingdom will extend from the Fortress of the Abyss into the domain of man. We will be utilizing the resources of the forest to expel the wave of humans coming from the east and the south.
“The problem is the north then,” Shure said.
After stealing a region from the humans, if we could just make one of the regions our ally, we would be able to greatly lessen the burden of defending. The north is not hostile to the elves, so we definitely need to acquire their support.
“I need information on the humans,” I said.
Actually, I could get some information from Shumea, but I wanted to get Shure’s information. Later, I’ll be able to see the veracity of elven intel.
“I’ll gather what I can. It’s already a bit late though, so—” Shure was saying when suddenly, some loud footsteps resounded from deep inside the house alongside a high-pitched voice.
What’s going on?”
The door came swinging with great momentum, and then in the next moment, a little elven girl appeared.
“Dad I heard there’s a goblin here! Is it true!? Woah! It’s the real thing! It’s so big and black!”
I frowned at the noise.
What’s going on? I wordlessly asked Shure, but when I turned to him, this ever composed man was actually facing up the heavens with his palm covering his face.
“…Shunaria, we’re having a meeting right now, so if you’re going to play…” Shure said.
“Dad! I want to hear stories about goblins!”
“I want to hear! I want to hear, so tell me a story!”
It seems even this seemingly perfect man has his own weakness.
Shure, don’t look at me with that face. I’m not babysitting.
“Goblin King, lets end here for the day,” Shure said.
“Alright. The embrace of the night god is almost upon us, after all,” I said.
The way the girl looked at me reminded me of the way cats looked toward their prey.
What? The moment I thought that, she turned to Shure.
“I’m absolutely not giving up!” She declared then left.
“Sorry about that,” Shure said, sighing.
I chuckled. “Don’t mind, don’t mind. I don’t have any kids myself, but it seems fun.”
“It’s been really hectic lately. The elves need to be united, and there’s so much to do, so I haven’t been able to discipline her. Ah, forget it. I’m grumbling.”
Feeling a strange sense of intimacy, I left Shure’s house.
I need to instruct the goblins, so that shrew of a girl doesn’t get hurt when she plays with them.
But still… Those eyes.
If those eyes were aiming for me… that’s pretty amazing. There was a distance between me and Shure before she came, but when she did that distance suddenly got smaller.
Hmm… Interesting, I think I’ll try talking to her once.
As the hour of the night god gradually descended, I returned to the goblins waiting outside the village.
—325 days until the war with the humans.
Tl Note: This is the extra chapter for the week. Yesterday’s chapter was a bit short, so I doubled it for this week. Thank you to all the donors!