Volume 2: Chapter 154 – Scarabs
|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|
“You wish to be acquainted with humans?”
In a corner of the great elven village, Gastair, where the branches up above had intentionally been cleared out to let the light of the sun pass, were two goblins talking over a table made of wood. It was the kind of place that the Goblin King would refer to as a park.
Studying goblins and demihumans from various villages could frequently be seen here.
Of the goblins that were evidently greatly influential were two goblins of the shaman class. Their ability to control the winds and their appearance that set them apart from other goblins have already been accepted by the elves.
“Yes, teacher. I have been studying history lately, but the more I read, the more incomprehensible humans become. They are strong yet sly, powerful yet fragile… Exactly which of these aspects is their true nature?” Gi Do asked.
The king’s most faithful goblin, Gi Za Zakuend, closed one eye and took a deep breath. “Is that book something you borrowed from that elven princess too? You shouldn’t get involved with her too much. It’ll only hurt more later.”
“I don’t think I follow.” Gi Do Buruga said; he was another shaman goblin as well as a student of Gi Za Zakuend.
“Both aspects are true. You recall the king’s treasure, yes?” Gi Za said, moving on with the main subject.
What the goblins referred to as the king’s treasure was the human maiden the king had with him back when they yet knew of the human threat. Her name was Reshia Fel Zeal, a woman and a saint blessed with the power to heal wounds.
“That inexhaustible source of life, the power to recover one’s wounds instantly. With that by our side, it was like we could be brought back even from the dead. But despite possessing such great power, even a normal goblin could kill her. You could say that humans are imbalanced creatures,” Gi Za said.
As Gi Do nodded, an elf called out to them.
“Mind if I join?” The voice said.
When the goblins turned, what greeted them was a cute elven girl. She had inherited the looks of her parents and was blessed with a noble face. She also had an unyielding spirit which showed through her slightly lifted gaze. She had light clothes on as if she were about to go outside, but what she had on hand was not a weapon but a thick book.
“Lord Shunaria!” Gi Do happily welcomed her.
Contrast to Gi Do’s glee, however, Gi Za had a look on his face as if someone unwanted had come.
“It’s fine. We were just wrapping up. Gi Do, don’t cause trouble for the young princess,” Gi Za said.
“Yes, teacher,” Gi Do said.
Gi Za turned heel and went back to his lab, leaving the couple to happily chat among themselves.
Gi Za was researching about the blood of demihumans.
He knew that there was a power hidden within their blood from the demihuman war and the old documents of the elves, but he did not know how and what kind of power it exhibited.
The young centaur hero, Gurfia, ate the flesh of his brethren and turned himself into a fire demon. The elves used to have a way to concoct stimulants from demihuman blood, but unfortunately, it was lost to the ravages of time.
It goes without saying that for a goblin who has only learned how to read half a year ago, gathering all the data in the library to research even a single topic was nigh impossible.
As a result, Gi Za turned to experiments. Under the pretense that he needed blood to examine them, he was able to regularly procure some demihuman blood from the once enslaved demihumans.
In exchange, he would hunt monsters for them or give them the flowers Kuzan arranged. The demihumans and the elves thought him odd, but that didn’t stop him from continuing his research.
This day was no different. Gi Za cooped himself in his lab and analyzed the demihuman blood. He did not stop even when someone knocked on the door.
“Just go in. I’m busy right now,” Gi Za said.
“Ho ho, excuse me for intruding,” Gi Za’s unexpected visitor said.
As it turns out, it was none other than the old elf, Falun. He was the director of the elven school and though already retired from chief work, he was a person of great influence. He observed Gi Za’s research with rapt attention.
“I’m busy right now. What do you need?” Gi Za asked.
“I just wanted to know how your research has been progressing,” Falun said with a smile.
Gi Za wryly smiled. “It hasn’t. Leave.”
“Hmm… As I thought. Still, I can’t help but be curious, goblin. What is that has you so intrigued about the demihuman blood? What is it that you seek?” Falun asked.
“Power, of course.” Gi Za replied.
Falun stroke his white beard, puzzled. “Aren’t you goblins strong enough? You have already conquered the eastern forest, no?”
Silence filled the room for a moment, then Gi Za spoke.
“Do you know what our king seeks?” He asked.
“To defeat humanity?” Falun asked, though only to confirm what he believed could only be the correct answer.
“No, that’s not it. Our king seeks to stretch out his hand and fill it with every corner of the world. In other words, world domination,” Gi Za said.
Impossible, Falun thought, but when he noted the glint in Gi Za’s eyes, he swallowed his breath.
“I will stand beside the king. If he is to conquer the world, then I will be the sword that stands by his side!” Gi Za declared with such power that he ended up breaking the glass cup in his hand.
“—I want power! I want more power!” Gi Za said.
His voice was filled with such passion it seemed to burn a hue like that of rage. Falun had always taken him to be a calm one, but who would’ve thought that he actually hid such fervor within?
“So, that is why you’ve turned to demihuman blood?” Falun said.
“Yes. That demihuman they referred to as a man-eating tiger. Even if it’s only for a moment, if we could gain a power like that, we would surely be able to bolster our forces. That’s why—” Gi Za said.
“Is the world something you can get with power alone, Gi Za Zakuend?” Falun asked.
“What?” Gi Za asked.
“Do you really believe you will be able to reach the ends of the world with power alone?” Falun asked.
Gi Za fell silent at Falun’s question, while Falun’s eyes became nostalgic for some reason.
“What is needed then? What else is needed to defeat one’s foes?” Gi Za asked.
“If the enemies are strong, weaken them. If they are unified, divide them. If the enemies try to walk, trip them. That is what we refer to as strategy,” Falun said.
“Strategy…” Gi Za muttered.
“People can’t gel along forever. Use that,” Falun advised, then he handed a book to Gi Za.
“I spent my whole life writing it. It is a book on strategies. At least, give it a glance.”
After that Falun left Gi Za to himself.
“I will stand beside the king, huh,” Falun said to himself, seemingly in reminiscence of something
After the killer ants, we proceeded to attack the scarabs. They were much more tenacious than the goblins, but they were few in number and were nocturnal. They were no threat to the goblins.
Unfortunately, much friction has come between our races, as their kind would sometimes attack the goblins who went out to hunt. Since we have already mobilized our troops to deal with the killer ants, I figured we might as well deal with them.
“How far are the scarabs from here?” I asked.
After occupying the anthill, we began gathering information through the ant queen and Gi Gu. As it turns out, their home was a three days’ walk from the anthill. I ordered Gi Gu to scout ahead, while I led the goblins.
“We should sen a messenger first. If they are willing to cooperate, we can talk, if not, then we’ll turn to force,” I said.
I asked for a volunteer to act as messenger, and the young chief of Paradua, Hal, and Gi Gu Verbena of the wolf pack stepped out.
“A messenger’s duty is perilous. I do not mean to imply you are slow, Lord Gi Gu, but I believe that someone who specializes in mobility such as our tribe of Paradua would be better suited to this job. Please pick me, Your Majesty,” Hal said.
“No, it was I who was dispatched first, I should go. This time for sure I will carry out my mission without fail. Please let me wipe away the shame I’ve incurred, Your Majesty!” Gi Gu said.
There was reason behind their words, and either one would actually work, but then I remembered that this area was under Gi Gu’s territory.
“Hal, I know and praise your faithfulness, but you’ll have to take a step back on this one. Gi Gu, I leave it to you,” I said.
“As you command, Your Majesty!” Gi Gu said.
Gi Gu certainly suffered in the hands of the killer ants, but he did not actually fail his mission. He had undertaken an investigation and negotiation job, so I have to give him an even bigger one to show that my trust in him has not faltered.
It would be troubling if he started to doubt himself after one mistake.
There’s a limit to how much I can do by myself. I will need excellent goblins who can manage others if I am to build my kingdom.
Everything is for the sake of defeating the humans.
In the deep of the night, where even the cries of the insects were silenced, where the night god covered the land and the goddess of darkness spread her wings, concealing the light of the twin goddess moons, Gi Gu negotiated with the chief of the scarabs.
He took with him the three Gu brothers. It was an odd feeling for one such as he who was accustomed to leading a great horde, but that in and of itself was a testament to how much importance he placed on this mission.
The chief of the scarabs had – as his name implied – a red carapace that could easily be mistaken for full-body armor. On the back of his carapace were transparent feathers and on his head was a lone horn. There was a pair of antennas that dangled down from his mouth, which he used to search for prey. His limbs were slender, but only because they were compressed inside his carapace, they were by no means weak.
On his hand, he wielded a white spear made out of the bone of some sort of beast.
Gi Gu could not read the scarab chief’s emotions from his compound eyes.
The scarab chief spoke as his antennas dangled about. “The revered… chief of the bugmen… Kunshi!”
His voice was not by any means easy to understand.
“Thank you for taking the time to meet me,” Gi Gu said emotionlessly.
“Bugmen… have no time… State your… business,” Kunshi said.
“Very well then, I shall get straight to the point. If you are willing to cooperate with our king, we can talk, if not…”
Gi Gu reached for his sword. If this bugman was not willing to comply, he would cut him down this very instant.
Kunshi’s antennas started swaying quickly as if in a panic.
“Kunshi… Likes peace… No fight…” Kunshi said.
“Then you would prefer peace?” Gi Gu asked.
When he saw Kunshi nod, Gi Gu nodded in satisfaction and set a date to meet.
After that Kunshi visited the king at the appointed time and formed an alliance with the king. Unfortunately, the scarabs weren’t exactly unified, so Gi Gu was left with the misfortune of having to figure out what to do with them.
—47 days until the war with the humans.
Tl Note: To KmF fans, Sylvie will be posting the next chapter in two weeks. I will post mine after as usual.