Tl Note: Correction – The goblins left the demihumans with the elves, not that the goblins left the demihumans and the elves.
Volume 2: Chapter 135 – Sylph Unification War X
|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|
“You sure about this?” I asked.
“Yeah, do it,” Mido said with a fearless smile.
As all eyes gathered on me, I spoke in a loud voice. “This demihuman refuses to obey me! He dares spout an opinion different than mine! Such an act is equal to putting a hedge between us goblins and the elves. He may be a demihuman chief, but he will not be forgiven for this transgression!”
The fact that I was basically explaining everything made the whole thing seem like one big joke, but I had to, as it was necessary to make what was going on as easy to understand as possible.
“You call abandoning the elves and running with your tail in between your legs a strategy!?” Mido said.
“It seems you still fail to see the error in your ways!” I said as I made a gaudily loud whipping sound with the whip in my hands.
“GUuNU!” Mido cried out in pain though he tried to stifle it.
I smiled. “Do you understand yet?”
“You think a weak attack like this…”
“Pin him down!” I ordered the goblins, then I proceeded to whip Mido.
Mido tried to argue, but I ignored his arguments and unjustly whipped him.
That was the show we put on, and we continued it for about 30 minutes.
“Hmph, if you understand, then from now on, you’ll do well to remember your place!”
A horrible performance if I say so myself, but it’s still better than not trying. I even concluded this joke of a play by unnaturally kicking Mido away.
“Into the gaols!” I said.
I went back to the old chief’s house, and after making sure there was no one around, sat and exhaled deeply.
“You seem exhausted,” Shunaria said.
I wryly smiled. “It’s still exhausting even if we’re just acting… Or rather, it’s precisely because we’re acting that it’s exhausting. Sigh… I don’t want to ever do this again.”
“Really? I thought goblins would be a bit more… Umm, forget it.”
“Cruel? Monsters who like to oppress others?”
“…Yes,” Shunaria embarrassedly admitted.
“You’re not wrong. We goblins are indeed bloodthirsty, cruel, and sadistic, but I’m… No, my subordinates are different,” I said. “We are warriors. War is a tool to make the world acknowledge us. We can’t be forbearing, no. Forbearance is a privilege of the victor. The defeated has no room for it or pity. Until now we were losers. People like that don’t have that privilege of forbearance, but that’s going to change from here on out.”
The black snake, Verid, who was coiled around my right arm and the will of the twin-headed snake imbued in the gem on my left hand stirred.
“Yesterday’s winners will not necessarily be today’s winners. We might be 10,000 steps late, but we will still rise and challenge the humans who rule this world. To that end, we must become strong. In body, of course, but also in mind.”
Exhaling a faint breath, I thought of Pale Symphoria, the enemy who I have yet to meet.
“This time for sure, we will win. We will win and unite the sylphs. After that, I’m thinking of forming a bond of true friendship with your dad.”
“Do you truly intend to do those things?”
“But of course. I was born, after all, so I might as well aim for the peak.”
Perhaps it’s too hard for these elves who think the forest is everything.
“…I can’t understand,” Shunaria said. “But I do understand that you’re special. Whether it’s the demihumans or the goblins, I believe the reason they choose to follow is because of you.”
We have our will, yes, but that’s all we have.
“It’s been a while, I suppose. Still… the gall you have to actually show your face, Falun,” Fenit said angrily.
He was so angry that his face convulsed while he glared at the old man standing before him.
“Don’t be so cold. You know it’s really hard for an old man like me to stand around talking like this. Isn’t Lord Fenit, the great chief, a tolerant man toward people with profitable information?”
The pressure of this elder before him was enough to make Fenit’s anger subside a little, calming him down just enough to regain his mind.
“I have no need for flattery. I will be the one to decide whether your information is profitable or not. To declare the information you have so surely is just plain hubris,” Fenit said.
Falun softly laughed as he played with his white beard. “Then please decide for yourself, great chief.”
Falun shared two intel: The schism between the demihumans and the goblins, and the withdrawal of the goblins and the elves from Sinfall.
The moment Fenit heard that he became both bewildered and on guard.
It was just too good a story. But after listening to Falun’s silver tongue for a while, his unbelieving face turned to one of chuckling.
“It seems Shure, despite being renowned a hero for so long, has finally become unable to keep the leash on the goblins. Well, they are good-for-nothing brutes who only know to destroy,” Falun said.
“How foolish. To control a beast, you need a whip. It seems he didn’t know even that,” Fenit agreed.
After considering for a while, Fenit decided to offer Falun a seat.
“Thank you,” Falun said when he saw Fenit’s actions, which could only mean that he saw value in the information he offered.
“So, only the demihumans are in Sinfall then?”
“Yes. The goblins have been incurring nothing but losses because of Lord Pale, after all.”
Fenit turned away from Falun, glaring at the wall, then he turned back to Falun.
“Occupying Sinfall should… be a trifling task then?” Fenit asked slowly.
Falun nodded. “It’s been said since time immemorial that a house always falls from within. One could understand this just by watching the humans; and now, it holds true for Forni. How regrettable…”
“Hmph, regrettable? There is no saving a fool chief who thought it wise to ally himself with the goblins, nor is there any for the fool people who chose to follow him. They are nothing but fools who’ve disgraced the pride of the elves. They must be defeated for the good of all elves,” Fenit said passionately, slamming the table with his hand, then he stood up and called for someone.
“I will have you work, Elder Falun. You may not have long left, but you are still the chief of Gastair, one of the central players to the west!”
Fenit said in a loud voice to the man who entered the room. “We are going to war! Ready the soldiers! Let Forni know of Symphoria’s might!”
When Pale heard that Fenit Symphoria was leading his army into Sinfall, she hurriedly requested an audience with him.
Pale and the soldiers under her were originally from Symphoria. Sheng and Jirad’s soldiers might have been added to their numbers, but that didn’t mean they could just ignore the chief.
Pale couldn’t understand why Fenit was leading an attack on Sinfall. As far as she was concerned it was obviously a trap.
Unfortunately, Pale had one major weakness: she judged other people using herself as the standard. In other words, she could ‘see’ it was a trap; therefore, others must also see that it is a trap. So when Pale heard that Fenit was attacking, her eyes almost bulged out of their sockets, and she immediately sent a messenger to request a meeting with Fenit.
Falun Gastair had indeed surrendered, so they would be attacking Forni from both the west and the south, but… There was no reason for Fenit to attack himself.
He could just send Falun to attack Sinfall by himself. If he wasn’t willing to go that far, then he probably hadn’t truly surrendered.
Yet Fenit still chose to lead from the front with Falun. He even sent word to the villages, saying, “As chairman of the sage’s council, I ask you to gather under me.”
Regardless how little Fenit might have known about the art of war, he was still currently the most influential elf among the sylphs. The other villages would have on choice but to bow to his influence and send their soldiers. Fenit’s influence was so great that it could overshadow all of his shortcomings.
The whole Symphorian army were unknowingly walking to a cliff.
As pale scooped her reflection on the waters of the bathhouse, she washed her face.
“…If Sinfall is a trap, can we stop it? Can we break through it?”
Pale repeated those words several times to herself as the worst case scenario flashed through her mind several times.
She scooped out her reflection again.
My dearest child, Pale.
When Pale heard that voice, she looked up and saw a black-feathered biting louse floating.
There is a path to survival to the west. Please don’t die…
Pale wanted to ask something, but before she could, the biting louse vanished. Her hands that had unknowingly reached for the sky fell powerlessly back down to the waters, giving rise to many waves.
“Master Pale Symphoria! Master Fenit has responded. He will meet you at Sheng.”
Pale calmed down after hearing that, and after dressing herself, left the bathhouse and hurried for Sheng.
“This is dangerous…”
The first thing she noticed when they arrived at Sheng was the overly relaxed atmosphere. Everyone did as they pleased. They ate when they wanted, spent their time on whatever they wanted, and no one even bothered to tend to their weapons.
“As expected of the great chief, even his soldiers are full of confidence,” Felbi said.
“Do you really believe that?” Pale asked with a sharp glare.
“Well… I can’t see it any other way.”
“Forget it. Let’s just go see Fenit.”
Pale took Felbi, who was shrugging his shoulders, to meet Fenit.
When Pale saw Fenit, she blew up. It was almost as if her calm this morning was nothing more than a lie.
“Fenit! Please stop this mad march to Sinfall now!”
“You just got here! What are you saying all of the sudden!? This is my decision as chief. Stop saying things just because of your personal feelings!”
“I am not telling you to stop out of some petty prejudice! I am telling you to stop because this is a trap! If we enter Sinfall, Forni and the goblins will attack us!”
“Show me proof then! You may be my cousin, but surely you wouldn’t actually ask me to believe you just because you said so!”
Pale was so caught up in her emotions that she could no longer see her surroundings. She closed her eyes for a moment, then looked at Fenit once more.
“Think about it…” Pale said.
“Think about it? So in other words you don’t have any evidence that it’s a trap?” Fenit said, cutting her off.
“Dear cousin, if you’d open your eyes you would see that the army is already moving. There are already 600 warriors under me. If we add your soldiers as well, we will have 1000. If we attack with that much, any village would surely fall.”
Under Fenit were 200 enslaved demihumans and 400 elven warriors.
“The problem is after the village falls…” Pale said.
“You don’t need to worry about that either. After the village falls, I will promptly attack Forni and quickly put an end to this meaningless war! I know you are unskilled at war and dislike it, so rest assured, dear cousin, that the war will end very soon.”
Indeed, if he could attack Forni immediately after Sinfall, he would be able to put a quick end to the war. Pale couldn’t help but agree there.
But would an orderless army like this truly be able to do that? Pale couldn’t answer that question.
“Is this all you came for? If so, then I’ll be going. From here on, I will be giving your orders through Commander Felbi. I still have a meeting, good day!”
Fenit’s escorts cut through between Pale and Fenit as they left.
“What now?” Felbi asked.
Pale bit her lips. “Let’s do what we can.”
At the very least, they should minimize the casualties.
“Well, that’s about all that we can really do,” Felbi said with a smile.
Hushing our breaths in the forest, we waited for night to come.
5 days ago, Symphoria’s coalition army occupied Sinfall.
Since then, they haven’t moved.
I checked which way the wind was blowing, then I turned behind me to ascertain that the goblins, the elves, and the demihumans were all ready.
The wind was blowing strongly from the south to the north.
“Let’s go,” I said.
That was all that needed to be said.
We moved through the forest, then as I raised Flamberge up, our attack on Sinfall began.
The Symphoria patrols were quietly taken out by Gi Ji Arsil and his band of scout elves.
The big villages among the elves were: Forni, Symphoria, Sheng, Gastair, Jirad, and Sinfall. The moment the war began, these villages quickly solidified their defenses.
They built a gate to block the road, created fences out of plants and thorny vines that grew quickly, placing them around the residential district, then they placed enough trees around to ensure that there wasn’t even a tiny gap. In this way, they created something akin to castle walls.
The elves were children of the wind and water, who have received the protection of the forest, and were blessed with the ability to manipulate plants. This is something I only heard from Shure as the war progressed, but it was precisely because of this that we goblins could move through this sea of forest that seemed impossible for our kind.
The elves constructed their facilities by making the plants move. Bigger facilities were built by having hundreds of elves move giant trees. After which, they then adjust the branches and use the trees as living walls.
Of course, the ability to manipulate plants was different from person to person. Being able to do something better as a group was a given, but there were some individuals who possessed similar powers despite being alone. That sort of thing is a kind of trait of this world.
The living tree gate was shut tightly.
We only moved far enough that we could see it, then we hushed our breathing again.
“It’s almost time…”
Soon the red moon of the older goddess, Ervi, will become a full moon, and the moon of the younger goddess, Navi, will become a half-moon. The winds of the moonlight goddess, Veedena, will lose its strength, and the darkness of the night god, Ya Jansu, will descend.
We waited for the signal.
Occupying Sinfall was so easy it was anticlimactic.
The only ones to surrender were the werewolves and the non-combatant elven citizens. Fenit was quite tolerant of them.
To the elves, who numbered 1000 men strong, victory was within grasp.
“I am Mido of the Fang Tribe. I thank you for accepting our surrender.”
Mido had to be carried out by his comrades because of the wounds he had incurred.
The ones to receive him were Felbi and Pale.
Mido ordered Pale to do this and that for him, and she wordlessly obeyed without a word of complaint.
Felbi wasn’t happy, but he didn’t voice out a word of complaint.
“Are those wounds from fighting?”
“No, unfortunately. I got it from that goblin bastard. I can’t believe how foolish I am to have actually considered forming an alliance with him,” said Mido with his head bowed down.
His body was covered in whip marks all over from head to toe.
“How cruel…” Felbi said.
Pale nodded. “Please rest assured, we have no intentions of hurting you.”
“I’m grateful, but…” Mido frowned. “We have lived our lives as warriors. At least that was the case for us under the Forni. Yet it seems we are treated as slaves in your forests?”
Pale didn’t know what to say, so Felbi answered in her place.
“They have their own way of living. I hear they became slaves in the past, but I don’t know the details. If you’re interested, you should ask them.”
Felbi patted Pale’s shoulder, imploring her to go.
“Yes, in any case, we have to go now. Let’s talk more tomorrow,” Pale said.
Mido quietly watched the two’s back as they left.
The next day, Pale noticed that the demihumans who surrendered talked to the enslaved demihumans, but she couldn’t spare any thoughts for them.
The only thing in her mind now was that they needed to attack Forni as soon as possible.
She needed to convince Fenit, but how? They still needed to do something about the Forni-Goblin Army’s impending attack too.
On the fifth day after taking over Sinfall, an ominous feeling struck Pale, waking her up in the dead of the night. During this time, the wind blew fiercely, almost as if it were warning them.
“Why am I so rattled? Something doesn’t feel right…”
Pale left her bedchamber with her short sword and bow.
“God of Wind, Castor, and Goddess of Water, Iren, please guide your children. God of Forests, Chenzhen, please bless us with your divine protection,” Pale prayed.
Pale walked through the black of the night, patrolling the surrounding area.
The soldiers of Symphoria were all drunk. They must have been feasting today too. Pale couldn’t help but sigh at their sorry appearance. In the end, she wasn’t able to convince Fenit to attack Forni.
After securing victory so easily, the soldiers of Symphoria and the other villages completely looked down on the enemy. They started thinking they could win this war without any more sacrifices.
Pale walked toward her own platoon.
“Yo, what’s up, Pale?”
Felbi was at the southern gate leading to Sheng, drinking by himself. When Pale saw that, she sighed.
“I couldn’t sleep… I’m not so sure about drinking liquor in the dead of the night, though.”
“Hmph, it’s fine. There’s no enemy here. There won’t be any even if I get drunk. If you want we can exchange pointers in archery.”
“I know you’re used to drinking.”
Realizing that there wouldn’t be any end to arguing, Felbi frowned and turned to Pale. “What? Are you worrying about that again?”
“You’re such a worrywart. I like that about you, but… Huh? What is that?”
Felbi squinted his eyes at the distant fire, while Pale turned.
“The banquet should have already ended,” Felbi said.
“True, I wonder what that is? An accidental fire, perhaps? That direction is where the slave demihumans are,” Pale said.
The ominous feeling within Pale only grew stronger.
—256 days until the war with the humans.