Tl Note: My apologies if you’ve read the last teaser. Apparently, I was a bit too eager pressing the next button, and I ended up translating the first few lines of the chapter after this one instead.
Volume 2: Chapter 150 – The Wind from the South
|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|
The patrolling goblins who were also in charge of securing food ran to me with bubbles coming out of their mouth.
“Your Highness, a great horde of goblins is coming from the south!”
As soon I received that report, I took flamberge out and ran.
“Gi Ga! Fei! Gather your men now!”
As I led the remaining goblins of the fortress, I remembered that the Gaidga and the Paradua goblins were situated in the south.
The Gaidga perhaps, but there was no way Paradua would forget to inform us that an enemy horde was coming.
The fact they weren’t able to could only mean that they’ve been surrounded or…
I hope they’re safe.
As I prayed for their safety, the enemy horde came to view and I tightened my grip on my great sword.
About 50 meters from where I stood was a great horde. A lone goblin stepped out of it, and as soon as I saw that goblin’s face, I was shocked.
As I approached that duke class goblin, he drew his long sword and thrust it into the ground, then he got on one knee, bowed his head, and extended his arms in front of his chest with his right hand closed and fit into his open left hand. It was his unique way of expressing his gratitude.
“I have returned, Your Highness!”
When the goblin horde saw Gi Gu Verbena kneel, they all knelt before me.
The sight of all the goblins kneeling before me was the fruits of Gi Go’s hard work. He has literally put together a great horde and brought it back with him.
When Fei and his elven warriors arrived, they cried in surprise. Meanwhile, Gi Ga and his horde let out a great cheer.
“Gi Gu Verbena,” I called.
“Yes, my lord!” He said.
“You’ve conquered the south?” I asked.
“As you have commanded, Your Majesty,” he replied.
When I realized the extent of Gi Gu’s accomplishment, I inadvertently narrowed my eyes.
“Is there anything you wish?” I asked.
“There is no greater reward than to be able to help his majesty in his path to world domination,” he replied.
“Then I shall give you command over the first army of the coming war. I will be expecting great things from you.”
“As you command, my liege. I will do my best to not shame your name,” Gi Gu said as I nodded, but then he brought another subject up. “Your Majesty, actually, I’ve brought a present.”
“Oh?” I said.
As Gi Gu signaled his subordinates, they brought out some humans wrapped in reeds.
“My liege, I present to you a human we found in the southern region. I thought he might be of some service to his highness.”
Several humans were brought before me, a vine firmly wrapped around their mouths in place of a ball gag. Altogether, there were three men and one woman. They looked unlike any human I’ve seen, and the clothes they wore were too extravagant for a band of travelers.
They could simply be rich people, or perhaps merchants, but… Isn’t their skin a bit too pale?
“Did these people have any luggage with them?”
“No, we acquired them after exterminating a race known as ‘killer ants’. I don’t believe there was anything of the sort.”
I looked at the humans once more.
Their pale faces were stricken with horror. When I looked under their robes, I found that they were in possession of some bracelets, some ornaments they burned time on, and a book.
It’s a pity that I couldn’t read, but from the way these people reacted, it would seem that this book was the most important of their belongings.
We’re not getting anywhere like this.
“Undo that man’s gag,” I commanded.
I had the slender man with the most extravagant clothing on him to be sat before me.
“You are—” I couldn’t even finish my sentence before the man started yapping.
“How dare you people treat me like this!?” The man said, causing the long-armed goblins to surround him and pin him down.
“I am the cardinal of Cultidian, Benem Nemush! Monsters who do not fear god! Know that the gravity of your sins wi—”
Unable to withstand the man’s jeers any longer, the goblins hit the man, causing his jeers to turn into screams instantly.
I glanced at the goblins, signaling them to stop, and they fearfully bowed in compliance.
I spoke to the man. “Unfortunately, who you are is no business of mine. You are now within our lands. Your laws, your logic… none of them have any power here. Prepare yourself.”
Nemush and the rest of the humans looked down on the ground as their bodies shook in fear.
“Gi Gu, you have brought me something interesting. I will be sure to reward you properly for this one day,” I said.
“…Yes, my lord!”
I ordered the humans to be brought to a nearby village.
I figure it would be easier to talk if they were brought there instead of the fortress.
Besides, there’s no reason for us to give them free information.
After I left Gi Ga in charge of the fortress during my absence, I dismissed the mobilization order I’d sent out, then I took Fei and Gi Gu with me to the Gaidga village.
Presently, we were in the middle of an ‘interrogation’, or at least that’s what I would have called our current activity, but this self-proclaimed cardinal has been running his mouth from the start.
Apparently, this man was a follower of the Kushain faith, and was on his way to the free cities in the south to attend the conclave that would decide their next patriarch.
I asked him why he was walking in the middle of a forest like this, and apparently, his faith was so great that he believed that the monsters would not attack him. Moreover, the other cardinals seemed to have coaxed him to pull off this crazy stunt.
According to the other humans, this man, Nemush, was of particularly high rank, and was even close to the position of patriarch. He was currently in fierce competition with two other candidates.
Supporters of Kushain were particularly numerous among the free cities or the city states. Especially, the agricultural northern city states.
“What will you do once you’ve become the patriarch?” I asked.
“That’s not really a topic to be had with a lesser life form, but fine! When I become the patriarch, I shall call for a holy war! A crusade!”
Nemush’ eyes gleamed a tranced light as he spoke of his plans, and I looked coldly at him as I listened.
“The free cities of the south who do not acknowledge Kushain shall know the might of Kushain!”
I talked with these humans for one week.
There were some among them who were too scared to talk to me, but that was easily settled when I introduced the elf, Fei, to them.
Appearances really does matter, it seems.
It was doubtful that the humans were all telling the truth, but one thing was certain, the state of the free cities of the south.
The free cities were divided into two: the agricultural north and the south that traded with it. These city states have made their own alliances, creating a framework of sort that was known as the free city state county, but unification was still a long way away.
The north had kings, while the south had republics and many citizens. The north followed the teaching of Kushain, while the south worshipped the god of the desert, Ashunasan. Speaking of which, Kushain is apparently the name of a sage who once lived and is a monotheistic religion.
Moreover, aside from cultural and religious differences, the south traded with Germion Kingdom through Shushunu Holy Kingdom, even though the Germion Kingdom was currently pressuring the northern city states.
“I see…” I muttered as I listened to Fei’s report.
I drew a map within my head as I sought to place the current position of the Forest of Darkness.
Will we make it before the conclave the starts? I wonder.
“Fei, elven metal is precious even among humans, right?” I asked.
“Yes. Why do you ask?” Fei said.
This sort of scheming doesn’t suit me, but there shouldn’t be any harm in scattering some seeds.
“Could I personally borrow some?” I asked.
Fei’s eyes narrowed.
“…That is not a decision one would expect from the wise King of Goblins. Those people do not have the forbearance that could make others acknowledge them. If you are intent on supporting them, we may have to rethink our relationship.”
Wise, huh. I feel that’s not really an adjective you put on goblins, but whatever…
“Putting it bluntly, there isn’t a hunter who would let his prey off when it willingly offers its head,” I said.
“Are you saying you can use them?” Fei asked.
“The more incompetent leaders there are, the easier my path will be,” I said. “Fei, though my heart yearns for danger, I will still charge on even if the wall has already collapsed.”
“…I understand. We elves shall give our support as we always have.”
Fei bowed and I nodded.
Now then, entertaining a fool is a hassle, but…
In the wide premises where the soldiers trained, 500 soldiers lined up so tightly that not even a drill could bore a hole in their formation.
Ever since the plan to fight the goblins in 2 years was decided, the feudal lord of the west, Gowen Ranid, has been gathering every soldiers he could muster to create his western army anew.
As Gowen divided the platoons, he looked down on the young soldiers and spoke loudly so they could hear him.
“Last year, our army suffered many losses and failed to invade the forest!”
The eyes of the young soldiers all gathered on the western feudal lord who stood imposingly.
“In the forest dwells monsters that are beyond our wildest imaginations. They stand in the way of progress. Moreover, should the day come when they leave the forest, they will surely raze your fields to the ground, kill your friends, take away your sisters and mothers, and kill your father and brothers!”
Gowen’s spirit bore down on these young soldiers as they listened with rapt attention.
“Stand tall, Soldiers! Yesterday, you were cowards! But from this day forth, you will be heroes! Guardians of this country! You will be given food! You will be given a weapon and armor! All of which have been paid for by the taxes paid by your parents! Therefore, you must win!”
There were some among the soldiers who cried. Their lives weren’t easy. It was precisely because of that that they aspired to be soldiers.
“Defeat the monsters and bring home victory!”
“To victory!” The crowd responded.
After distributing the soldiers to their platoons, they would be given training by their senior soldiers.
After seeing that everything was in order, the cold gleam returned to Gowen’s eyes and he returned to his office.
He dealt with the paperwork at a frightening pace, but when he came across one certain document, he suddenly stopped. It was a highly classified document that has been sealed with the imperial mark.
Gowen’s cheeks loosened a bit when he glanced through that document.
“Approximately, 400 soldiers at the capital.”
That was the number of reinforcements that could be sent in the coming year as soon as preparations were completed. Moreover, the holy knight Shivara might even make an appearance; the Ripper Knight, that was a holy knight who loved battles so much that he wouldn’t be satisfied unless he led the charge. Not to mention, Gulland still owed him from the last battle.
“At most, we should have somewhere near 2000…”
Though Gowen said 2000, that was a number only achievable by gathering every single soldier from colonia and his fief. It wasn’t very realistic. 1,800 was a more realistic figure.
There was a bit too many he had to protect.
That being the case, an attack would be best. But if he did attack, how should he go about it?
If the enemy base was that deserted town from before, he could try cutting away the forest until he reached it.
Alternatively, he could try and provoke the goblins out of the forest, then stop them with colonia (colonial city). He could use the reinforcements from colonia to catch the enemy in a surround, cutting off all paths of retreat, allowing him to completely annihilate the enemy in one go.
But, no… That Goblin King probably won’t be fooled. It was doubtful he would move exactly as Gowen wished.
Considering there was someone who tried to attack during the night before, there was no such thing as being too careful. Another card Gowen could play was to temporarily abandon colonia, then trap the enemy within their territory, leaving them ripe for the chopping block.
But could the citizens endure such a plan?
In the vast plains, mobility was key. But unfortunately, Gowen was yet to find someone who could replace the late cavalry commander, Corseo. Gowen would prefer that everything went perfectly, but… With their current cavalry inexperienced, the deciding factor would end up being the weapons created by the craftsmen.
Until enough was gathered, he would have to be thorough with the defense. Fortunately, the magicians given him by the king has greatly sped up colonia’s progress.
If he could only have those mages under his direct command, he could have his very own sorcerer cavalry (mana guard) just like the eastern Holy Shushunu Kingdom, but unfortunately, they belonged to the king.
With the situation at hand, he had no choice but to rely on his old tactics.
“My lord, please excuse me,” a voice said.
When Gowen looked up, a clerk was before him.
“State your business,” Gowen said.
“It’s… last time’s…” the man said.
Gowen’s eyes grew sharp.
Some religious groups have been wandering about in his territory lately. They tried to persuade his citizens to believe in just one god, and they even told him that everything would go fine as long as he contributed to their faith.
“…Let him come,” Gowen said.
Sensing that his tone was heavier than normal, a chill crawled up the clerk’s back.
When the person of the Kushain faith entered, he started running his mouth passionately without even waiting for Gowen to say anything.
No matter how splendid his god was, or how weak the other gods were, or whether this was a sin or not, the moment Gowen heard his request, he curtly replied. “You may not loiter in my territory. If I hear you ask the same worthless request again, at that time, it’ll be your head.”
The person from the Kushain faith complained, but when he tried to chase after Gowen, he suddenly heard the sound of him sheathing his sword.
“Huh?” The religious person asked.
Gowen obliged and pointed to his fingers. When he looked down, he noted that his fingers were gone.
At first questioning, but when understanding came, pain settled in and the religious person fell to the floor.
Gowen approached the trembling man and slowly waved his sword, then he pointed it at his throat.
“I won’t say it again. Hurry up and get lost,” Gowen said.
After that Gowen called the government officials over and had them pick up the fallen fingers, then he sent out an edict.
“The Kushain faith is heresy. They will not be welcomed in my territory.”
They trembled and nodded as Gowen’s voice resounded.
“Also, this might be unnecessary, but inform the capital as well. Tell them that our country has no need for monotheism. We are a people protected by many gods!”
—142 days until the war with the humans.
Tl Note: Sorry for the delays. Here’s the second chapter of the week at long last.