Volume 2: Chapter 146 (2/2) – Farewell Party
|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 (The goddess)|
|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|
I to go to a cave not too far from the fortress to hear the report of the koro dwarves.
“To think there was a cave in a place like this,” I said.
Making a map took a lot of work, as it required people to see every nook and cranny of a place before it could be made.
My request to these koro dwarves was to find me an ore deposit.
“Please look at this,” a koro dwarf said as he handed me a black stone.
He told me to look at it, but it looked no different from any other rock.
“This is good black iron, the fuel for weapons,” the koro dwarf said.
So this is the raw material that makes our weapons and armor. It’s an odd feeling to see the unprocessed material that makes up our equipment.
“Is this cave an ore deposit then?” I asked.
“Yes, though how much can be mined from it remains to be seen,” the koro dwarf replied.
These little guys might be able to forge weapons and armor, but even weapons will one day break.
My old iron great sword, for example, was plenty sturdy, but in the end, it still broke. Once the weapons break, we’ll need to rely on these guys to repair them.
So, weapons are consumables, and we’ll need ensure a constant supply of them to fight our war.
“Can you find out?” I asked.
“With time,” the koro dwarf replied.
“Then, please… Also, if possible, I would like for you to teach the centaurs and us goblins that method,” I said.
The koro dwarves looked at each for a moment, then they nodded to show their agreement.
In order for the goblins, the demihumans, and the koro dwarves to start trading technology, a little nudging from me was necessary. We goblins don’t have much to offer, after all. The one with the most to learn from such an arrangement is none other than us goblins.
A black shadow passed by over my head. When I looked up, I noted that it was none other than the harpy, Yushika, who was currently landing on the ground.
“You weren’t in the fortress, so I figured you’d be here,” she said.
I greeted Yushika as she folded her wings, then I nodded and stated my request. This woman, who was a merchant to the core, would never come to me without an agenda.
“As usual, you’re quick to pick up. Actually, the elves entrusted me with a message,” Yushika said.
The demihumans would certainly find it difficult to refuse a request from the Forni elves, their benefactors.
Apparently, the elves were bringing back the old elven school.
“Hmm…” I folded my arms as I went deep in thought.
When Yushika saw that, she thought I was confused, so she explained the advantages of having a school. “Your Majesty might not be familiar with it, but school is a place where people learn. Various races would send the smartest among them to study. And when these people have graduated, they will return to their homelands and use what they’ve learned to better it.”
That was indeed what a school was.
“The elves are currently gathering exceptional people to become students of their academy. There will be no discrimination; demihumans, goblins… anyone will be able to enter,” Yushika explained.
School was indeed a far-fetched dream for the goblins. Even the concept of economy that we tried to teach them a few days ago… There’s far too much that they don’t know.
For the meantime, I should pick out which goblins to send. Education is needed to make excellent bureaucrats. If in the end, it turns outo that goblins show are hopeless at managerial work, then I’ll just have to get others to do it. Elves, demihumans, even humans… It doesn’t really matter.
That being said, I wonder if knowing too much might end up creating a crack in my reign?
I am not perfect, I know that well. I make mistakes from time to time, and even fail sometimes… If the goblins become smarter, will there come a day when the few elite rises up against me to point out my flaws?
No, it doesn’t matter. I won’t cower from it.
A king is one who stands fearless in the face of all opposition.
I am a king. it doesn’t matter who it is, I will face them without shame.
A king is a guardian. A king is a guide. A king is the very embodiment of pride.
I must become a king that the goblins can be proud of.
“…Very well, I shall accept the elves’ proposition. In the next few days, I shall send some goblins to the elven village. What of the descendants of the crystals?” I said.
“We shall also accept. Being able to study at the school put up by our benefactors is an honor.”
It seems this school has enough value just in name alone.
I nodded back as Yushika wryly smiled.
“If I may excuse myself, then…” Yushika said as she flew back to the sky.
Uneasy, I turned to the koro dwarf. “Pick two exceptional from your ranks. We shall send them to the elven school.”
The koro dwarves’ eyes visibly bulged, then after glancing at each other for a good second or two, the koro dwarf I was talking to asked. “is that alright?”
“I may be the leader of the goblins, the race responsible for the destruction of your village, but I intend to treat you with impartiality. Besides, holding people back just because they’re of a different race will only hurt the future.”
After I asked the koro dwarves to continue their search for ores, I turned heel and left.
I don’t have the luxury of burying exceptional people in the mud.
There is far too much to do. The food problem, the government system… We don’t have time.
As I kept the irritation I felt at bay, I went back to the Fortress of the Abyss.
In the capital of Germion Kingdom, word of Reshia’s return to the Ivory Tower had already circulated.
Be it the merchants who tended to their stalls, or the laborers working by the streets, or the officers of the army, or the priests… everyone – man, woman, and child – talked about the departure of the saint. Of course, Mill Dora had also heard of the news.
The children she supported numbered over 10. Before she met Reshia, when she stopped over for a short while before heading to the forest, she had resorted to thievery, but after meeting her, she has started working an honest job.
Of course, the most profits always came from her second name ‘mage killer’.
Reshia never mentioned anything about her gangster-like work as an adventurer; she was like a hero to the children.
After finishing her work for the day, she came back to the children exhausted. Normally, she would eat and retire for the day as soon as she came back, but the children surrounded her.
“Is Reshia really leaving?” The children asked with depressed voices.
It was clear as day how they felt.
“Lady Reshia herself has already decided, so it can’t be helped,” Mill said.
But the children wouldn’t take that for an answer.
“That’s not it, we thought there was something even we could do. Mill, you’re an adventurer too, aren’t you? We’ll give you a quest.” One of the children said.
“Forget it. It’s hopeless. I’m not that skilled as an adventurer anyway,” Mill said.
Though she said that, she also wasn’t that eager about letting Reshia leave just like that.
“…So, what do you guys have in mind?” Mill found herself asking after a sigh.
When she said that, the children handed her a small hair clip.
“We prepared a parting gift. Please give this to Reshia.”
It was something they’d bought from the stores, a hair clip made with a shiny shell. Anyone could tell at first glance that it was cheap.
“Lady Reshia is famous, so she’ll probably be getting lots of gifts,” Mill said as she sighed again. “And if you’re going to give me a quest, you’re gonna have to pay up.”
These children who were born in the orphanage would have hard time once they went out into society. That was something Mill learned firsthand. If she spoiled these children now, they’ll be no good once they grow up. Of course, they were also being annoying, so she was especially harsh today.
“…This is Mii’s important friend, but I’ll give him to you,” the child, Mii, said as she handed a dirty, lukewarm bear to her.
The fact that she handed that to her showed just how much this meant to her. That tugged at Mill’s heartstrings so much so that her eyes became watery as she looked at Miinaana.
The other children surrounded her and gave her something important of their own as they begged her to carry out their request.
Mill sighed deeply as she roughly rubbed a little boy’s head with teary eyes, then she accepted the hair clip.
“…Well, I’ll make something happen,” Mill said as she stood up from her chair, promising the children that she’ll take care of it, then she tucked the children snugly into bed.
She wasn’t sure herself whether Reshia would actually accept the hair clip, but no matter what, she had to meet her… for the children’s sake.
“I guess I’ll ask the adventurers for help,” Mill muttered.
She was always quiet around the other adventurers, so she was never close with anyone. There were a few, however. For example, Wyatt, whom she was closest with, but unfortunately, he had gone somewhere, so she couldn’t rely on him.
Reshia herself was also under house arrest, so she needed to go to the castle.
“If I get found out, it’ll be the death sentence for sure,” Mill said, clicking her tongue.
“But I have to answer to their prayers,” she said.
Like the wind, Mill ran through the evening streets
The most influential people of the country were gathered in the giant ballroom. Powerful merchants, influential priests, nobles, bureaucrats, military officers, royalty…
Lined up before these men were some of the greatest and most luxurious delicacies. One bottle of the wines served here, for example, would take a whole month’s salary for a measly commoner.
Even the music that played in the backdrop was splendid as the royal court musician’s music seemed to make even the flowers bloom.
Each one of these people who were permitted to attend this feast were all capable of representing their class. They competed with their splendor and exchanged information under the guise of a cheerful feast. To these people, this feast was no different from an opportunity to scout their rivals for weakness.
On the onset, a cheerful feast, but in the inside, it was a festering tumor.
It was in that sort of atmosphere that a wind blew.
“His Majesty the King and her holiness, the saint, Lady Reshia Fel Zeal!” The chamberlain announced.
Claps greeted the king and the saint as they made their entrance.
Reshia’s brows lightly raised up, but she was mostly expressionless as she walked with the king to her seat.
“Please don’t mind me. Enjoy the feast,” the king said, and the music began once more.
The influential people came one after another. They would greet the king first and then Reshia
There seemed to be no end to the greetings when the chamberlain spoke once more.
“The Holy Knight, Lord Gulland Rifenin!”
The people made a stir.
The hero, Gulland Rifenin, who was likened to the heroes of old was participating.
The crowd showered him with applause and smile, though what they were truly thinking was veiled in shadows.
Gulland’s expression was unchanging as he passed by the people and knelt before the king.
“I have returned from the northern frontlines, Your Majesty,” he said.
“Welcome back. Food and drink have been prepared, eat to your heart’s content,” the king said.
“…Thank you for your grace, Your Majesty,” Gulland said.
Gulland gracefully turned heel as he withdrew from the king and approached Reshia.
“It’s been awhile, Lady Reshia. You seem to be doing well,” Gulland said.
“Yes, you seem to be doing well too,” Reshia said.
Only a few words were exchanged before the two parted, and people started crowding Reshia and Gulland.
There was no end to the greetings. Even as one conversation would end and Reshia would try to get a seat to rest, more merchants lying in wait would appear to strike up a conversation. To the nobles, this feast was important, as it was held by the king. To the old merchants, this was an opportunity for them to spread their roots in the capital.
But there was a merchant who had just recently moved from the neighboring countries. He would keep talking to Reshia despite her expressionless face or her lack of reply. Naturally, anyone would raise their brows at such stubbornness.
To make things worse, the merchant appraised Reshia like a product to be sold. Reshia had almost yelled at the man, but fortunately, Gulland interjected.
“Sorry, but I have business with the saint,” he said, smiling.
Unfortunately, his good deed, if he did intend it as such, was not met with welcome eyes. Reshia looked at him like she was looking at a man with bad body odor.
Meanwhile, Gulland stared daggers at the man. He was smiling, but his eyes were not. The pressure emanating from him was just like that of a powerful beast, causing the merchant to draw cold sweat all over.
“O-O-Of ncourse!” The merchant said in a panic as he quickly fled the scene.
Gulland extended his hand to Reshia.
“Your hand, my lady,” Gulland said.
At that, all eyes gathered on them. Though troubled, Reshia had no choice but to take Gulland’s hand.
“It seems you don’t have your weapon with you today,” Reshia said, wanting to at least show her displeasure through her words, but Gulland only laughed.
Ignoring the crowd that was starting to stir, the holy knight and the saint went outside.
As soon as they got out, Reshia threw Gulland’s hand away.
“What are you scheming?” Reshia asked.
“Can you not spit on a guy’s kindness?” Gulland petitioned, but Reshia’s eyes only grew colder.
“…Ok, don’t. I have a message from Lili,” Gulland said.
“Ms. Lili? What’s going on?” Reshia asked.
Seeing a crack form on Reshia’s expressionless face, Gulland couldn’t help but grin.
When Reshia saw that, she frowned and tried to bring back the frost to her face.
“Well, don’t fret, it’s nothing special. She just wants to let you know that the days she spent as your knight were her happiest,” Gulland said.
Reshia thought he would say something acrimonious, but contrary to her expectations, the words he spoke were truly from Lili.
“…I, see…” Reshia said, feeling down.
Gulland was disappointed to see that she believed him. “And here I thought you’d call me out for lying.”
Reshia shook her head and sorrowfully smiled. “I can at least see through someone when they’re lying… Well, then, Lord Holy Knight, if you’ll excuse me.”
Gulland clicked his tongue as he watched Reshia leave.
He went back to the feast, but he just couldn’t enjoy it.
“…Hmph, Lord Holy Knight, huh.”
Gulland ignored the flatteries of the nobles and left his seat.
164 days until the war with the humans.
Tl Note: First chapter of the week. Also, I just started playing persona 3 FES. Any nonspoiler tips?