Volume 2: Chapter 86 – Turnabout
|Possessed Skills||Ruler of the Demon Children of Chaos; Defiant Soul; World Devouring Howl; Swordsmanship 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); Instinct; Blessing of the Underworld Goddess|
|Divine Protection||Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia)|
|Subordinate Beasts||High Kobold Hasu (Lv1); Gastra (Lv20); Cynthia (Lv20); Orc King Bui (Lv40)|
|Abnormal Status||Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake|
“GURUuRUUGAAaa aA Aaa AaAA!!”
The Soul of the Berserk King awoke, filling my soul with a great wrath that resonated with the Blessings of the One-Eyed Snake and the Twin-Headed One. Verid throbbed on my right arm, and the jewel affixed into my left hand dazzled a black light as a black flame within it was lit.
—Kill the enemy before you! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Cut him, tear him apart, crush him to pieces, rip him to shreds, ground him to dust, grind him between your teeth, pierce him, severe him, slay him! Kill the enemy! Destroy the adversary!
I couldn’t stop the hate from filling me.
Defiant Soul forcefully pulled out the power of the gods, but with that stolen power came the hate of the adherents.
—Kill! Kill! Kill! Fight! Fight!! Fight!!! Kill them all! All the humans Ativ created! Kill them all! Slay them! Slaughter them! Wipe them out from this world! —Make them pay! Make THEM PAY!!!
The skills activated themselves without any regard for my will.
It felt like the Hell of Avidya when the abyss greeted me.
When a blow landed on me, lifting me from the ground, a blade entered me.
Ahh, yes, an enemy that I’m allowed to kill is here. No, this enemy here is a detestable foe that MUST be KILLED!
The corners of my lips raised. My teeth chattered as I grit them against each other and the winds of the underworld buzzed in my ears.
—There is an enemy before me. An enemy… that I can kill… An enemy that… I can… KILL!
Joy filled me from the bottom of my heart.
Gene Marlon retrieved his rapier after piercing the monster. It was quite tough, but in the end he was able to slay it after piercing its heart.
He’d chased it from behind, piercing it ceaselessly to whittle down its strength until its whole body was covered with the traces of his beloved Fifire. Any normal goblin would have long died after 7 hits, but this monster just kept on calling the saint’s name.
Its cries were exactly like those of a man whose beloved was taken away. They were wonderful cries. Indeed, there was nothing more pleasing in this world than to take the life of something with awareness.
Such creatures would scream as much pain as they were given, making the moment their lives were reaped just that much more satisfying. Gene was elated.
But that was that. Now that the monster was dead, all that was left was the sweet aftertaste of the hunt. It was time to go home. As for the rest, that Iron-Armed Knight would surely take care of it.
“Hmm… Oh, right, I should cut off its neck as proof.”
The monster before him was a goblin king, whose stamina and strength reached far beyond any goblin lord’s. It was a rare and powerful specimen, and bringing back its head would surely net him a medal from the king.
“Being a holy knight is my sacred duty after all,” Gene chuckled as he brandished his rapier.
But that laughing face of his very soon changed into one of shock, for that sword that he swung down toward the monster’s neck was suddenly stopped by the monster’s left hand in which was embedded a jewel. Even though he’d aimed it properly.
He too was a holy knight, however, and he was taken aback only for a moment before quickly jumping back, and then trying to retrieve his sword, but for some reason, it would not budge.
“Don’t tell me!?”
There was a gaping hole over the monster’s back that revealed the guts within, while the holes on its legs showed the white of its bones. Every one of those wounds were fatal.
When the thought of the monster being alive flashed through his head for a moment, Gene froze. That was the mistake of the Lightning-Fast Knight.
His rapier was stuck in the monster’s hand, immovable as if it were held by a vise. He tried and tried to pull it out, and when he thought he finally could, he ended up jumping back, but it was then that the monster’s right arm, clad in flames of black, suddenly lashed out only to graze his chest.
“Whew… That would’ve been really bad if I hadn’t let go… !?”
He thought he was safe, but all of the sudden, a deep wound tore open on his chest, allowing blood to spurt out. Gene was shocked, but the emotions that came after was anger.
To think a lowly monster, a weak little monster, would actually injure the strong Gene Marlo. It was scandalous, it was sacrilege. And he felt his pride shatter because of it. Contrast to him, the monster opened its two red eyes to gaze at him for a moment before bellowing out a howl.
The figure of that monster slowly getting up was truly like that of an enraged beast. There was no awareness in its two crimson eyes as it threw away the rapier in its hand, and ran bare-handed at Gene to strangle him to death.
“You dare, lowly beast!?”
Gene feinted before jumping to dodge the monster, then as he broke through the trees and slipped his arms through, he recovered his beloved Fifire.
When the howls of the monster reached him from behind, he reflexively turned around to thrust out his rapier against the monster. Fifire was not like Gulland’s Blue Thunder that had special skills, but it was a remarkably fast sword. Yes, just like lightning.
When Gene thrust out his rapier, he thrust it out three times. Twice on the chest, once for the left and another for the right, and then a third for the solar plexus. Every attack was as accurate as a surgeon’s scalpel, yet at the same time, as fast as lightning. Gene’s swordplay was truly like a swallow in flight as he attacked relentlessly, not even giving the monster a time to attack. And when his rapier flashed for the enemy’s neck, it was aimed straight for the carotid artery.
Gene’s fame for being able to take out his enemies in an instant was what earned him the name, Lightning-Fast Knight. Humans, demi-humans, monsters all alike quickly turned into corpses before his terrifying rapier.
But, this time around… He picked the wrong opponent.
“Why won’t you die!?”
Gene thrust and thrust, but regardless how many times he thrust and hit, the wounds of the monster kept healing. The will of the god’s adherents and their power transformed into a torrent that billowed up from the monster’s wounds. The wounds left as they came, black flames taking their place, not even the splatters of blood remained. Gene felt like what he was cutting wasn’t a monster but a giant flame, causing even him to falter.
Each time the giant goblin stepped forward, Gene would take a step back. He no longer had that visage of a warrior addicted to killing that he had a while ago. The blessing of the Goddess of Wisdom had returned to his eyes as they darted to and fro, looking for an opening.
Then all of the sudden, the goblin that had been slowly walking all this time suddenly fell to its knees.
Gene bolted for the monster as fast as he could.
I found myself washing along that torrent of will and power.
—Don’t get cocky!
After being consumed by the influx of will, I allowed myself to fall on my knees. I don’t have the time to be idling about here.
There is still… a chance to save Reshia. I have to push on. I can’t be wasting away like this… against an opponent like this… in a place like this…!
As I invoked Defiant Soul, the flow of will entering me grew stronger, but I held on against it. That will was like a mass of hate as it bore its fangs into me and corroded my will, but I did not falter, and I bit it back!
—I will eat you!
I’ll devour everything! Even the very will of the gods’ adherents!
Your hate, your envy, your resentment, your wrath, your fears, your grudges… I will consume everything!
I will devour everything to push onwards. If I do that, my hand will surely reach Reshia. So don’t you ever think the likes of you can corrode MY will!
I took back the reins of reason, and with the opening of my eyes, I cut open the darkness.
I moved my right hand to meet the approaching rapier. It was easy to guess where it was headed, and so I stopped it right before it hit my neck with the palm of my sword.
The rapier sunk into my hand, yet even as it did, I let it go deeper… deeper… even deeper, and then—
“Caught you,” I said as I grabbed the hand of the rapier-using man that was holding the rapier’s hilt.
Blood spurted out of my hand as I grabbed his arm with enough strength to crush it. He screamed. Unfortunately, there would be no forgiving.
I lifted him up just like that as I slammed his body into a tree… then to the ground, and then the tree, the ground, the tree… Any other human would have died after being handled like that, but this one was still alive.
In fact, he continued to glare at me with hostility even as I held his life in the palm of my hands. So, it seems this one really was an elite after all. In that case, just killing him would be a waste.
The man could no longer move when I lifted him up, and he dangled down like a puppet when I did. And then placing my other palm onto his body to hold him still… I tore off his arm.
The man screamed like never before. He cried with agony like one whose very soul had been plucked out. But it was exactly because of that that this whole thing was meaningful. A pain so great it made one yearn for death, yet the rapier-using man yet lived. Good, it’s just as I expected.
The power within his body regenerated his body just enough to let him survive.
It remains to be seen whether he actually could survive with just that.
“Human,” I said, “I want you to carry a message to the humans waiting outside the forest.”
I’ll have this one play as a messenger. He will be the one to bring my declaration of war.
“Tell them that if they’re thinking of hunting us, we will respond in kind.”
I stepped on the fallen rapier-using man. The man cried out in pain, but I ignored him.
“And if they ever lay on hand on Reshia Fel Zeal, I will make the suffer a pain worse than death.”
After saying my piece, I lifted the man with his good arm.
“Remember? Good. Now, go!”
And then I threw him.
“Remember, human! Remember well! You took what is precious to me! So I too will take what is precious to you!”
Pushing aside the trees, I threw the rapier-using man’s slender body through the forest, then I turned on my heels.
War is coming.
It is now only a matter of time.
To the heavens, to the land, to all those that lived, I howled.
Gi Ga Rax was at his wits’ end. He had gone here with the other wounded goblins just to keep the humans from getting in the king’s way, but now his body was bloodied, his breath was ragged, and even his steed, Hakuou, had lost its luster.
The only reason he and his men have survived until now was because of the king’s continuing howls that gave them strength.
The fact that the king was fighting near them gave hope to Gi Ga and the rest of the goblins, but only five of his men now remained. And of those five, wounds literally covered every inch of their body; it was such that finding an inch not wounded was harder than pointing out where their wounds were.
Bloodied and exhausted, Gi Ga kept his subordinates within the range of his spear bolstered by his long arm, while they would finish off the humans that faltered before his spear with their clubs and poorly-made wooden spears. It was in this way that they managed to survive until now.
But even that tactic was reaching its end. Gi Ga’s iron spear made a gaudy sound as the spear finally crumpled. It too has reached its limit.
When the humans were about to finish off Gi Ga Rax’s weakened horde, several shadows suddenly came riding out of the forest.
In the blink of an eye, those shadows pushed away the humans and surrounded Gi Ga’s horde. One of those goblins rode up to Gi Ga.
“Sorry for making you wait, Friend.” A familiar voice said.
“Lord Alashd!?” Gi Ga Rax said, taken aback.
The goblin who had left to call for reinforcements from the king had returned with an army to save a friend.
As Alashd eyed the bloodied and exhausted horde, he turned to the rest of the Paradua goblins. “Rejoice, my brothers! For it is on this blessed day that we, goblins of Paradua, can prove our valor! Behold! These warriors of the king are standing before you, bloodied and breathless, yet their resolve stands unbowed. What about us? Will we falter in fear! I think not! Therefore, let us show all goblins and humans alike the pride and valor of Paradua!”
Alashd raised his spear, and the surrounding goblins and rider-beast howled out in response.
The goblins of Paradua fought the humans without the slightest hints of exhaustion.
Gi Gu Verbena, who was waiting for the tribes, suddenly received an urgent report: Gi Go has been defeated.
And it seems the enemy who has defeated him was headed here now.
What should he do? Should he break up the encirclement to conserve his forces? Or meet the enemy head-on?
A difficult problem troubled Gi Gu.
“So this is human… They’re strong,” a voice said from above Gi Gu. That was none other than the very reinforcements Gi Gu had been waiting for.
“Lord Rashka,” Gi Gu said.
Even among the numbers of the well-statured Gaidga was an even bigger goblin who stood behind Gi Gu.
“It is well and good to hope to preserve our numbers, but fear too much, and cowardice will take root.”
“What do you…”
“Warriors of Gaidga! To battle!!”
As Rashka said those words, he casually twisted off one of the trees to use as weapon, and the slammed it to the ground. As he cried out a great battle cry, he ran to battle without any regard for the goblins from Gi Village that surrounded the enemy.
The rest of the Gaidga goblins followed Rashka’s mad charge from behind, howling as they did.
The Herculean Wyatt blocked the way up ahead. He held a shield as he valiantly faced the mad charge of the Gaidga chieftain.
Rashka did not give any words of encouragement like the Paradua goblins would. And when he saw the enemy taking a stand against them, he gave only two words: Slaughter them.
“—This is a chance,” Gi Gu muttered as a flash of inspiration suddenly struck him.
“Follow the Gaidga! Don’t fall behind! Follow Lord Rashka’s lead!”
The front was the hardest to break. But that was an opportunity in and of itself, for Wyatt would have his hands full just stopping Rashka.
This was a chance, indeed, a chance to wipe the humans all out!
“Gi Zu, Gi Do, follow them! Kill the enemies of our brethren!!”
As Gi Gu himself joined the fray, he cut down the humans that stood in his way.
Hal and his twenty iron-legs along with the ancient beast tamer, Gi Gi, have been fighting hard since the start of the battle. They’ve been running to the forest to rest up before coming back to strike the humans again in a sort of hit-and-run strategy to slowly whittle down the enemy, but in the end, even their able numbers were decreasing. Even with 20 of Paradua’s elite, the humans’ great numbers still proved a formidable foe.
After the umpteenth charge, when they went back to the forest, a goblin from Ganra came with a message.
—The tribes have arrived.
As soon as they heard that news, it was as if all of their exhaustion had left them and they howled out in jubilation.
Along with that message also came some new orders. The entire front line had switched to an all-out offense against the humans, so Hal and his subordinates were to attack separately from near the village with the goal of stopping the humans.
“…Who gave these orders?”
The Holy Knight, Gowen, was currently moving through the forest; his brows were knitted due to all the news he’s been hearing from various sources.
“…The goblins have actually started to truly act as one. Has a commander appeared?”
Goblins riding on beasts fought in the parts nearest to the humans’ territory.
The large number of soldiers in the village preparing to retreat were being kept from moving.
And in the battle deepest in the forest were the slow, but strong goblins fighting.
It was a perfect roster.
But if there really was a commander who was pulling the strings, then someone would surely come for him.
As soon as he thought that, a goblin dressed in robes stood before him.
“There’s no business for your like up ahead,” the goblin smiled sarcastically.
It had a wand in hand and looked closer to a human than a goblin.
“Name yourself!?” One of Gowen’s escort said.
“To the king, I am Gi Za, Chief of the Druids, but to you, good sirs… I am—”
Lightly tapping his staff onto the ground, a whirlpool of blades shot out toward everyone.
“Gya!?” The escorts cried.
In the blink of an eye, several of Gowen’s escorts had fallen.
“—A God of Death.”
Level has risen.
3 => 20
Gi Ga Rax
89 => 99
Author’s Note: Gene was crushed, and now the goblins are on the offense. By the way, dear readers, I just wanted to let you know that I really like battles. I like siege battles. I like battles where one side annihilates the other. I like battles where both sides are fighting. I like battles were one is pursuing and the other is running. I like defensive battles. I like battles.
Tl Note: Master of rituals -> Chief of the Druids.