Volume 2: Intermission – A Hundred Li (400km) to the North, A Peek at the Abyss
|Name||Gi Go Amatsuki|
|Class||Noble; Wandering Swordsman|
|Possessed Skills||Sword Mastery B-; Self-Made Man; Veteran; Chivalry; Warrior's Soul|
|Divine Protection||Sword God (La Paruza)|
|Abnormal Status||Sworn to Spare|
Many days have passed since Gi Go Amatsuki left the king with Shumea’s younger brother, Yoshu. Since then they have been traveling aimlessly through the forests and the flatlands.
Aimless as it was, it wasn’t actually possible to travel without a direction, so they decided to make the mountains of the snow god to the north their destination. Part of the reason was also because Gi Go Amatsuki wished to fight with the bandits there.
Gi Go Amatsuki and Yoshu did not go through the forest but through a path close to the human territory. As for why, well… Yoshu had his own ideas.
“The king is going to create a Goblin Kingdom, right? If so, then it shouldn’t hurt to gather information about the humans while we travel,” Yoshu said.
Because of that Gi Go Amatsuki and Yoshu walked somewhere in between the forest and the flatlands.
Yoshu wasn’t lying when he gave that reason, but he also had other reasons for going through this route. He wanted some things from the human territory.
He was used to living with only the bare necessities due to his overly-adaptive sister, but Yoshu was still a human raised in the city and was unsuited to living in the forest.
Being a former slave, he was also used to life as an adventurer, which is why he wanted to get his hands on some convenient tools. It was to procure those tools that he intentionally suggested this dangerous route near the human territory.
Gi Go wore a robe that covered him from head to toe, while Yoshu carried a shield on his back. From a distance they looked no different from a pair of traveling humans.
During Yoshu’s travels with Gi Go Amatsuki, he surprisingly found Gi Go to be quite intelligent. He did not seem like a goblin at all.
Was that because he was a noble class or were the goblins actually always clever and it was only the humans’ prejudice that led to the humans’ disdain of them? Or then again, it could simply be the king’s influence. Yoshu didn’t know. But regardless, Gi Go was as smart as your hot-blooded adventurer or battle slave.
For example, the issue of keeping a fire lit during the night.
Beasts are known to fear fire. From time to time, there might be a clever beast or two that would attack despite a lit fire, but in general, beasts stay away from places where there is fire.
Of course, this was completely unrelated to the goblins, as they are monsters who prowl under the blanket of the night, stealing livestock and laying fields to waste… At least, that’s what they are supposed to be. But when Yoshu explained to Gi Go the importance of fire – which he did under the pretense that it was to keep from killing needlessly – Gi Go understood and he even went as far as to take turns with Yoshu in keeping watch.
Goblins usually ate meat, but they were also able to eat other things. Only, no matter how much they ate, it wouldn’t fill them up. It was a similar feeling to humans who ate nothing but vegetables.
“I know I was just made to tag along, but…” Yoshu muttered.
“Is something the matter?” Gi Ga asked.
“No, it’s nothing. Let’s get some bread in the village.”
“Hmm… Well, just get whatever food you want.”
Yoshu didn’t mention that he actually wanted to see whether bread could fill Gi Go’s tummy or not. In the time he has spent with Gi Go, he has gradually come to consider the coexistence of humans and goblins being a reality.
The body of the fire god was at its peak in the sky. The only sounds in the surroundings were the howls of the beasts that would bellow from time to time and the flying beasts fighting in the sky. The warm rays of the sun were like the gaze of the fire god himself as they descended on the green treetops blessed by the god of the forest and the god of the earth. The singing voice of the god of the wind softened the heat descending from the body of the fire god as it blew and brushed against the traveling pair’s skin.
In this calm atmosphere that was the very symbol of peace, Yoshu looked up at the vast blue sky.
“It sure is great out today,” he said.
“Hmm? Ah, yeah,” Gi Go curtly nodded.
Yoshu wryly smiled at Gi Go’s uninterested response, then he started singing.
“Sow seeds with spring and live with the wind. Drink water with summer and endure hardship. Be glad with autumn and pray for the harvest. Laugh with winter and sleep with the snow. We are the children of the god of fire, we are the children of the god of fire.” (Aruniha, Aruno yusushiagaari. Rannina aruno, gibaseagaari. Arunine, arano, mirinogaari. Fefuru, arono sahishiagaari. Rodou-o-serudo rodou-serdia.)
At the sound of the deep yet perfectly clear melody, Gi Go was stupefied. He looked wide-eyed at Yoshu.
“What’s the matter?” Yoshu asked when he noticed Gi Go staring.
“You can sing?” Gi Go asked.
“Yes. It’s not enough to be a minstrel, but I picked up a couple of songs from my travels in the past,” Yoshu said with a smile.
That was actually the only entertainment Yoshu had back then, but he didn’t mention that part.
“The words are different from the ones you normally use.”
Gi Go and Yoshu started walking again.
“It’s an old language. You don’t hear them nowadays, but they still get used in songs. They’re words from before the great war of the gods.”
“The great war of the gods?”
“You haven’t heard? The corruption of Deetna and the rebellion of the underworld’s Altesia. It was because of the two great wars of the gods that language was scattered.”
Yoshu noticed that Gi Go was becoming more interested.
“Are you interested in songs?”
“Yes, I heard Lord Lili sing before. It was a good song.”
Yoshu became thoughtful. By ‘Lord Lili’ Gi Go was probably referring to the female adventurer that went missing with the saint.
“I see. In that case, I’ll teach you when we find the time.”
“Please,” Gi Go happily said, causing Yoshu to smile.
It was then that a high-pitched scream resounded from the direction of the forest.
“Tch! Ah, Gi Go!” Yoshu exclaimed.
Gi Go had been the first to run. Finding the source of the sound was a trifling matter for someone like Gi Go whose physical abilities and hearing were bolstered.
“Follow,” Gi Go said, as he took out his yet sheathed curved sword and ran into the forest.
Gi Go ran straight for the screaming maiden. When he saw the goblins attacking her, he stood before them with rage on his face.
There were about 8 normal goblins attacking. The sudden appearance of a giant monster made the goblins panic and falter.
“You bastards aren’t under my king, are you?”
Even a normal goblin would be much bigger and be better equipped if they were under the king. It stood to reason then that these goblins were savages.
The goblins stood between the fear of death and the allure of a maiden, while a terrifying gaze shot at them from within the hood of that robed monster.
The 8 goblins gradually retreated, but then a goblin suddenly came out of the thickets from a different direction opposite theirs. Fortunately or unfortunately, that goblin went straight for the maiden, causing it to completely miss Gi Go.
“Fool,” Gi Go said as he swung his sheathed sword and bashed the arm of the goblin.
As the goblin squirmed on the ground at the pain, the other goblins, which have been hesitating until now, jumped at Gi Go.
Gi Go’s curved sword swung, and in the blink of an eye, three arms had been broken.
The speed of Gi Go’s curved sword was not something the normal class goblins could match. In the time it took them to attack once, Gi Go attacked three times.
Before anyone knew it, the normal goblins were all crying on the ground.
“You’re too fast,” Yoshu said after finally arriving.
“Hmm… I thought it was someone strong, but it seems I was mistaken,” Gi Go said, sighing, as he looked down on the goblins rolling on the ground.
“Well, it is a relatively safe path… Anyway, can you stand up, Miss?” Yoshu gently said as he offered a hand.
“Ah, yes,” the young human maiden replied.
“Umm… You people are…” The maiden said as she dusted off her clothes and then timidly folded her arms over her chest.
Yoshu smiled. “As you can see, we are traveling adventurers. We were on our way to the north when we heard a scream. Ah, I’m Yoshu by the way, and this is Mr. Gi Go.”
The maiden timidly bowed her head when the hooded figure whose face could not be seen turned to her.
“We’ll escort you to your village. It would be bad if you happened upon trouble again.” Yoshu gently smiled, and the maiden nodded.
Gi Go quietly followed them from behind, while the maiden would turn with a jolt toward him from time to time.
She spoke to Yoshu. “Umm… You are human, right?”
“Yes, that’s right,” Yoshu said, inwardly sighing at the maiden furtively glancing at Gi Go.
Apparently, it’s been found out already that Gi Go wasn’t human.
“You’re not a bad person, right?” The maiden asked.
“Well, let me see. I’m pretty sure a bad person wouldn’t call themselves bad, but it would problematic if you associated me with some violent rascal,” Yoshu said in a light-hearted manner, putting the maiden’s heart at ease.
The maiden’s name was Sarsa. Apparently, she was apprentice to a family of doctors.
There was some ways until the village, so Sarsa and Yoshu were able to exchange quite a bit of information. There was little entertainment in remote villages, and Yoshu himself was a good speaker, so they were able to talk about many topics before reaching the village.
When they got to the village, they were promised lodging in exchange for some stories. All this time, Gi Go quietly kept his hood down, taking only food from Yoshu when he offered it.
Gi Go didn’t enter the house, and instead sat himself by the fence surrounding the village as he looked toward the west.
His mind was filled with his duels; with his duel with the king, and with his duel with the powerful human warrior, Gowen.
It was precisely because he lost that he yearned to know how he should swing his blade so that he might win.
“Have you won against the king in your mind yet?” Yoshu asked.
“…Challenging the king was a mistake. There can be no victory in a mistake,” he replied.
“It’s this village’s bread. Try it.”
When Gi Go took a bite of the bread, his eyes opened wide.
“Delicious, right? We grind wheat, roll them into a bun, and then bake them to make it,” Yoshu explained.
“…Humans are truly amazing,” Gi Go said.
After eating the rest of the bread, Gi Go closed his eyes and leaned onto the fence.
“There’s still something I want to ask. A dungeon was found around here just recently.”
“Yes, a dungeon. From what I know, dungeons are divided into three classes. The Trap of the Evil God’s Cellar, the Treasure Room of the Gods, or the Dwelling Place of the Giant Tiatan. But regardless what type, all dungeons are said to hold many treasures and obstacles.”
“The undead are said to frequently appear in dungeons. How about it? Should we take a look?”
“The undead won’t die even if I cut them… is what you’re saying?”
“Thank you. The oath the king imposed on me is because I lost to the Sword God. I need to become strong enough to overpower the sword god before I can return to the king.”
To that end, he had to fight.
“Let’s go tomorrow then. I’ll inform the villagers,” Yoshu said, then he went back to the village.
It was already dusk.
A goblin swordsman swung his sword toward the setting body of the fire god.
“O king, our king. If my will is cut in half, may you live happily, a cowardly retainer less. But if I am able to overcome the sword god, if I am able to make a magnificent return, then…”
When his curved sword returned, he flicked his wrist and swung it once more.
Did he wish for a rematch or did he wish to be acknowledged?
Gi Go swung his sword as he pondered that question.
—304 days until the battle with the humans.
Tl Note: There’s some explanations about the dungeons, but I’ll translate them next time. I’ll make a note of it.