Volume 2: Intermission – One Thousand Li to the North, a Meeting at Dawn. (2/2)
|Name||Gi Go Amatsuki|
|Class||Duke; Wandering Swordsman|
|Possessed Skills||Sword Mastery A-; Purple Flash; Forsake; Sense; Discern; A Master Swordsman's Proof; Silent Nature; Veteran|
|Divine Protection||Sword God|
|Abnormal Status||Sworn to Spare; Sworn God's Control|
As they walked further up north, the temperature gradually grew lower and the mountains of the snow god became bigger. Because the winds blew down from the mountains, the cold they felt was colder than the actual temperature of the area. This sort of wind was popularly known as the breath of Yggrasil (snow god). It was because of it that this land remained cool even in the heat of summer, making it a treasure trove of produce that could only grow in the cold.
The traveling pair of goblin and human looked at the large fields as they passed them by. These fields were so big that Yoshu himself couldn’t help but grow wide eyed. In fact, the fields were so big they were a lot closer to a city than a simple town.
The bigger the village, the more people there were and the more shops there were. A bigger town was usually preferable as far travelers were concerned, but when Yoshu thought of Gi Go, he thought a small town would be better instead.
While Yoshu was worrying about that, Gi Go was particularly taken by the white thing coming out of his mouth.
“What’s the matter?” Yoshu asked.
“Something white is coming out of my mouth,” Gi Go said.
Yoshu couldn’t understand what Gi Go was talking about, so the goblin exhaled deeply to show him what he meant.
“What’s happening to my body?” Gi Go asked anxiously.
“That’s pretty normal though,” Yoshu said, then he took a deep breath and exhaled as well, drawing a white puff of breath in the space before his mouth.
“But this has never happened before,” Gi Go said.
When Gi Go said that, Yoshu finally understood.
“Ahh, could it be this is your first time visiting a cold place?” Yoshu asked.
“Cold? Ahh, it’s indeed colder here,” Gi Go said.
Yoshu wryly smiled and patted him on the shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. It’s normal for that white thing to come out in cold places.”
Since this was Gi Go’s first time, he’s probably never seen snow either. Yoshu secretly anticipated how Gi Go would react once he saw it.
“Hmm…” As for Gi Go, since the only thing that changed was the color of his breath, he stopped bothering himself about it and followed after Yoshu.
When it was almost time for them to make camp, Yoshu spotted a village. It was a little big, but it wasn’t the sort of village soldiers would station themselves in.
It was a wealthy village.
“Luck seems to be on our side today. We might able to stay here,” Yoshu said.
“Hmm…” Gi Go agreed without paying much attention as his eyes darted to and fro his surroundings.
When Yoshu started to leave him behind, he followed after him.
After negotiating for a while, Gi Go and Yoshu were able to successfully stay at the village chief’s place. The negotiations went as usual. Yoshu did the talking, while Gi Go quietly waited with his features covered by a long robe.
“I don’t think I can ever get used to human houses,” Gi Go said.
After entering the chief’s stable, Gi Go took off his robe and laid himself over the straw bed. He ignored the frightened horses as he slept with his sword in hand.
Goblins might be able to move freely be it day or night, but it was still important that he remained alert at all times. And though his body was a lot tougher than Yoshu’s, making him significantly less tired despite having to walk an entire day without rest, Gi Go still felt some fatigue.
When it came to fatigue, there was no better treatment than sleep.
Gi Go closed his eyes, eager to greet slumber land, but for some reason its doors refused to open.
He was tired, so he definitely needed to sleep, but then he thought back to that thing that caught his attention before entering the village.
There were several beings around the village. The feeling he sensed from those beings was much like the greed he felt from orcs when they hunted their prey. But this was a human village. Could it be that even a place like this wasn’t free of such things?
Gi Go tried to shake the thought away.
But no matter how hard he tried, sleep wouldn’t come.
It wasn’t easy for a goblin to ignore threat when he knows he’s being threatened. For a goblin to ignore a threat was to go against instinct itself.
If one is being targeted, then one should run.
If the enemy is weaker, then that enemy should be defeated.
There was no such thing as ‘waiting’.
And so, Gi Go stood up and walked out into the black of the night god covered in the darkness of the goddess of darkness.
“Where are you going?” A voice called out to him from behind.
When he turned around, it was Yoshu.
“You were awake?” Gi Go asked.
“I don’t fall asleep easily,” Yoshu explained with a wry smile, though he already had a shield on his back and a sword in hand.
“Good then. There’s an enemy. Come with me for a bit,” Gi Go said.
“Good grief,” Yoshu complained. He still followed Gi Go, however.
When they got out, what greeted them was a group of bandits and neighing horses.
“This is what you’d call a bandit group,” Yoshu explained.
Yoshu couldn’t help but smile faintly when he realized there were about 50 of them all in all.
“That’s a lot,” Gi Go said.
“Yeah, but bandits aren’t really about numbers,” Yoshu said.
As Yoshu took out his shield, he drew his sword.
“I don’t sense anyone strong, but with this many, it shouldn’t be too boring,” Gi Go said.
Goblins were friends of the dark. Gi Go could see perfectly clear even without the torches that illuminated the area. As for Yoshu, he found the torches convenient for sizing up the enemy.
“Amateurs,” Yoshu said with a cruel smile as he hid under the shadow of a building and searched his shield for a dagger.
When the bandits began to ride over the fences, he threw it at them.
The dagger smoothly cut through the air as it penetrated a man’s throat. In the blink of an eye, without even leaving an opportunity to cry in death, one bandit fell from his horse.
Yoshu threw a few more daggers.
The bandits did not fail to notice the oddity of the situation, and they looked for the person responsible for the death of their comrades. When they pinpointed Yoshu’s location, they charged straight at him.
“You’re asking to die!” A bandit yelled as he and his men rode for Yoshu.
Yoshu, however, didn’t seem to mind as he threw three more daggers to claim three more lives, but it wasn’t enough to stop the bandits’ charge.
Yoshu ran into the stable to avoid the bandits from chasing him with their horses.
As a result, the bandits surrounded the stable.
“You bastards dare have a hard time with this rat!?” The biggest of the bandits spat. He said that in the same moment Yoshu shrugged his shoulders.
“These flames I offer to you! (Burning Sword)” Yoshu chanted.
Flames wrapped around the sword in his hands, making it look like it was struck by lightning as the fire ran through it. The sword in his hands was now sharper and stronger than ever.
“Careful now,” Yoshu said.
As the battle commenced within the stable, Yoshu was able to dodge the attacks by a hair’s breadth. Unfortunately, there were too many bandits, making it harder and harder for him dodge.
—This is bad!
When Yoshu couldn’t dodge any longer, he braced himself for pain.
But the pain never came, and instead, a curved sword was brandished before him, stopping the blade of the enemy.
“Mr. Gi Go! What about the bandits on your side?” Yoshu asked with both relief and anticipation.
“They’ve been dealt with,” Gi Go replied.
The plan was for Gi Go to take care of the bandits that tried to run away from the entrance, but it seems he had managed to finish his part sooner. The robe Gi Go wore had already been cut up because of the battle.
Without the robe’s hood concealing his face, the bandits could clearly see his face.
“M-Monster!” They cried.
Unfortunately, their fear only made them easy pickings for Yoshu and Gi Go, who mercilessly struck them down one after another. Whenever Gi Go swung his sword, the bandits would lose their arms and fall over, while Yoshu’s sword was so sharp it could penetrate even their armor.
“S-Save us!” The bandits cried as they ran.
When dawn came, most of them had either been killed or captured.
Yoshu and Gi Go handed them to the village people.
The villagers screamed when they saw Gi Go, but Yoshu calmed them down by explaining that he was an honest monster swordsman.
The villagers were deeply grateful to Yoshu and Gi Go, so they paid them some money. They even gave them some fur coats and winter shoes to stave off the cold when they found out they were headed to the snow god’s mountains. They also gave them some preserved food and fire spirit stones that could light a fire even without any branches.
Yoshu and Gi Go thanked the villagers, then they headed further up to the north.
Gi Go could not get used to the sensation he felt from his feet. From the moment he was born until adulthood, he has never worn a pair of shoes. To make things worse, the snow-covered land would cave ever step he took.
“Tsk… It’s hard to move here,” Gi Go said.
He tried swinging his curved sword, but it was difficult to control his weight in these snow-covered lands. The more strength he put in his feet, the further his feet sunk into the snow.
Gi Go’s dislike for shoes only grew worse under this situation. Not only was he unable to keep a firm posture, his feet were even caged in a small object. That being said, he couldn’t just remove them either. After all, even goblins were susceptible to frostbite.
“Nuu…” Though puzzled, Gi Go tried swinging his sword again.
Try and try as he might, however, he could not swing his sword as he pleased. There was supposedly a savage tribe here known as Yugushiva. From what he knew, they were a worthy opponent. But no matter how worthy they were, if he couldn’t fight properly, he wouldn’t be satisfied even in death.
“Mr. Gi Go, it seems a blizzard is coming. We should rest inside this cave,” Yoshu said.
When the body of the fire god was at its peak, Yoshu happened to find a cave in the mountains. He proposed to stay there.
“That would probably be for the best,” Gi Go agreed.
Leaving his winter equipment in the black cave that contrasted the snowy land, Gi Go began immersing himself in his sword once more. He has never experienced an environment were it was so difficult to swing his sword.
He sought to find an answer within as he swung his sword ceaselessly through the air.
A white breath left his mouth and vanished.
The trees were covered in snow, and the snowy lands that would usually appear rocky and uneven appeared perfectly level because of the snow. Gradually, the sun set and the clouds were cut apart by the powerful winds.
When the sun had gone far toward the west, clouds began the fill the sky.
When lumps of white began to fall from the sky, Gi Go curiously reached out for them, only for them to vanish in his sword-scarred hands.
“So this is snow,” he muttered.
The falling snow greatly fascinated Gi Go, but the winds gradually grew stronger, and the breath of the snow god began to breathe down from above, chilling Gi Go.
“Mr. Gi Go, aren’t you going to eat” Yoshu asked.
The once gentle snow had turned into a vicious weapon as they struck Gi Go on the cheeks.
Gi Go turned his back on the blizzard and entered the cave.
The next day, the sky was blue again. A man and a goblin packed up their belongings and left their cave. The cold of the wind would brush against their skin and a white cloud would exhale from their mouths as they climbed up the mountain.
By this time, Gi Go had finally gotten used to walking in the snow.
But just when Gi Go thought they would finally reach the summit, a person appeared before them.
The person wore a mask and had silver hair that fluttered in the air. The person wore a white fur coat and carried a curved sword just as big or perhaps bigger than Gi Go’s.
That person swung his sword with a reverse grip.
The moment Gi Go saw that, he called out to Yoshu.
“From above!” He said.
Although they were on snowy lands, that person ran so quickly that it seemed like he was jumping.
The person ran with open hostility, but Gi Go welcomed him with a ferocious laugh.
“Yoshu, keep your head down!”
Gi Go stepped forward and brandished his curved sword to meet the enemy’s blade. Despite being on snowy lands, the enemy jumped easily, leaving a spray of snow as he unsheathed his sword and slashed down on him.
“Ronto, rio!” The enemy yelled in the northern language, drawing the curtains on their duel.
“NUuuOOO!” Gi Go met the enemy’s blade with his own.
Though the snow sought to shackle him, Gi Go returned the enemy’s blade.
The enemy was no slouch, however, and he used the momentum from having his blade returned to nimbly flip in the sky and easily regain his footing despite the snow.
In the unsinking snow lands was a powerful foe that fluttered like a butterfly.
A fierce smile appeared on Gi Go’s lips.
It was a smile reminiscent of his days when he was a mere starving monster.
“A worthy foe. Come, let’s fight!”
On that day, they met a yugushiva (snow demon).
Yoshu’s level has risen.
Tl Note: Yep, it just says 58. TMPG tomorrow. Next chapter the day after. Next week, we will be returning to the usual schedule.