Volume 2: Chapter 125 – A Yoke that Leads to the Future
|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 (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|
“What are you scheming?” I asked, my voice tinged with displeasure.
The sylph sitting before me sternly met my gaze.
“I wish to unite the elves,” Shure said.
“You want to become king?” I asked.
The king of elves, huh.
“You jest. The highest authority among us elves is the sage’s council. A lone ruler would not be accepted.”
This village doesn’t really seem against the idea, though, but regardless, it seems this man has no intentions of becoming king.
“Master Shure, written protests have come from the other forests—!” An elf said as soon as he entered the room, but when he saw me, he stopped.
“Continue,” Shure said, prompting the elf to continue.
Apparently, the other elven forests had announced their stand against Forni’s decision to ally with the goblins.
“Master Fenit Symphoria of the sage’s council has called for a meeting. The other forests will be attending…” The secretary-like elf was quivering, but Shure was as calm as spring rain.
“This is still within our expectations. Without a strong medicine we sylphs will never be born again. What did the Windy Forest say?” Shure said calmly.
The elf straightened up his back and looked down on the letter in his hand.
“Master Falun will be supporting Master Shure,” the elf read.
“Good, then. Let the branches of the forest know that if they support me, they must gather together with their bows and quivers.”
That was undoubtedly a declaration of war.
“…Milord, won’t you think this over again?” The elf said after glancing at me once. “What meaning is there in shedding blood amongst elves? So long as we’re able to live in the forest…”
The elf knew what he was saying was an affront to me, but he said his piece anyway. It seems the elves hold Shure in regard.
“Fei, you are a brilliant elf, but if we elves remain the way we are today, we will not be able to avoid a calamity 100 years later.”
A century was still within the lifetime of an elf. In fact, it could be said to be a short period considering they themselves could live well over 200.
“Right now we must shed blood and resist the tyranny of the humans. If we don’t fight while we have allies, only a future of slavery awaits us,” Shure said while looking at me. “I do not wish to see such a shameful future for our proud descendants… even if it means shedding the blood of my brethren.”
Shure seems young from the outward, but it seems he’s already lived past a hundred years.
“Fei, gather our brethren,” Shure said, still looking at me, his gaze growing sterner as the secretary-like elf left. “With this things have turned exactly as you’ve wished. We will be going to war together.”
“I would have liked to fight alongside the whole elven race, though,” I said.
“You ask too much, but… Yes, I will see what I can. There is nothing pleasant in shedding a brother’s blood.”
“A moment ago, you mentioned the sage’s council being the highest authority, and yet… Here you are defying it. Is that not a contradiction?”
“Let my name be tainted with shame if it must, but know that though I say it is the highest authority, it is not without flaw. After all, a king’s directive is still greater than the council’s,” Shure sighed. “But alas, desperate times call for desperate measures. If the council cannot arrive at an answer on how treat the goblins, then I will give them an answer. Merely delaying the issue settles nothing.”
So he is willing to carry this shame, is he? Ironically, despite that admirable spirit of his, the more confident he is in this decision, the more he spits on the credibility of that so-called council.
“Now then, friend. The stage is exactly as you’ve desired. What will you do?” Shure’s words were provoking, but his eyes were as calm as ever, looking only on the results.
“We will lend you our strength,” I replied. “That is why we came here, after all.”
Two days later, the warriors of the Rustling Forest and the goblins numbered 400 men strong as they marched toward the Tranquil Forest.
“Call the soldiers at once!” The moment the sages of Forni and Gastair declared war, Fenit’s loud voice resounded, calling for their elven armies.
“A war among elves?” Silver from the Forest of the Lost (Sheng) shook in fear. Being of small stature, he had to look up to Fenit.
Priena from the Silent Forest (Sinfall) was dubious, but he didn’t contest Fenit.
The slender Nash from the Whispering Forest (Jirad) sarcastically smiled as he asked. “Call the soldiers? And who’s going to lead them? The old veteran, Falun, isn’t moving, while the enemy is none other than the wise and honorable Shure. Exactly who is going to go against him? Hmm?”
“Are you scared? Of someone like him!? That won’t do, Lord Nash Jirad! That won’t do!” Fenit said.
“Hmph, I just don’t wish to see this alliance die meaninglessly,” Nash stared coldly at Fenit.
“Are you insinuating that to follow me is to walk to death!?” Fenit screamed in response.
Seeing the two argue, the small-statured Silver interjected. “U-Umm! Are we really going to battle!?”
Fenit clicked his tongue upon seeing Silver so perplexed. “Enough! I, Fenit, will dispose of them! The rest of you can just run back home to your forests and wait in fear!”
Because of the Elven Road there was a possibility for their territories to be attacked at any given time. The small Silver wasn’t the only one to shake at that thought.
“No, this is only because of our short-sightedness. Please, Lord Fenit, remember your noble heart and find it in yourself to forgive us,” Priena said, causing Fenit to snort before returning to his seat.
“It should be fine if Lord Fenit leads the army, right, Lord Nash?” Priena asked Nash, his eyes as cold as ever.
Nash smiled. “Yes, it should be fine. If Lord Priena is fine with it, then so be it.”
Priena and Nash understood each other’s intention.
By allowing Fenit and Shure to fight, they would be able to intervene later and act as an intermediary, giving them an advantageous position.
“Lord Falun seems to be quietly observing. If it’s just Shure, we should be able to manage,” Priena said, at which everyone nodded.
Though there were various differences between them, everyone was united in protecting their own positions.
“Since we’ve decided, give me the soldiers that returned just recently! Sinfall and Jirad should give me 200 each, while Sheng should give me 300 soldiers!” Fenit demanded.
“Why is my forest the only one who has to give 300?” Silver complained.
“Shut up! If you don’t agree, I’ll take you on along with Shure!”
In the end, Silver couldn’t argue any more, and he just muttered out a quiet ‘Fine’.
“Should have said that from the start. Hmph!” Fenit said. “Well then, gentlemen. Send your soldiers 4 days later! Dismissed!”
The corpse of the unlucky bird flew high up in the sky, eventually landing over the roof of the Fortress of the Abyss two days after Gi Ji Arsil had invoked it.
When Kuzan received the message of the unlucky bird, she stiffened up almost as if her small, white body had been hit by a club, then she immediately went to the king’s representative, Gi Ga Rax, the knight-class goblin.
His skin was a hue of deep red, and he had only an arm and a leg, along with a small horn over his head. The knight-class goblin was clearly different from the other duke class goblins. The small Kuzan looked up at his great stature filled with dignity.
“Lord Gi Ji has fallen into danger because of me. I must save him at once!”
Gi Ga Rax wielded his spear with his one arm, and then with the prosthetic leg gifted to him by a human friend, he jumped up onto his beloved steed, Hakuou.
“P-Please wait, Gi Ga. I don’t think you should go!” Kuzan said.
“What? But I was the one who asked him to go. I must go!” Gi Ga argued.
“But I don’t think the king would…”
Kuzan wondered. What would the king do? He would probably take on the humans head on, wouldn’t he? That would be bad. At the very least, Gi Ga shouldn’t try to fight the humans now.
“What about the king?” Gi Ga asked.
“Umm… No. What I mean is that the king ordered you to watch over the fortress; therefore, he probably intends for you to defend it. So, you should send someone else to help Gi Ji,” Kuzan reasoned.
Right, Gi Ga nodded.
Kuzan added. “We mustn’t engage the humans needlessly. As much as possible, we should avoid anything that would lead to an all-out war. Going out there and forcefully dragging Gi Ji out of the mouth of the tiger would be a bad idea. Not to mention that it’s not exactly feasible.”
Sending a rare-class goblin out would just end up following whatever Gi Ji wants to do, so they decided on sending the tribal chiefs instead.
“How about Lord Aluhaliha of Paradua and Lord Gilmi of Ganra?” Gi Ga said.
“Very well,” Kuzan nodded, secretly relieved he didn’t consider Rashka.
“Then please send word to them at once.”
“I understand,” Kuzan said.
Gi Ga sighed as he watched Kuzan run off. “The king would have probably easily made this decision. Sigh… As I thought, I can’t be like the king.”
Sighing, he rode Hakuou to his subordinates to train them.
The most he could do now was to pray for Gi Ji’s safety as he ran about in the forest near the Fortress.
—318 days until the war with the humans.
Tl Note:Last regular chapter of the week. See you all next week.