Volume 3: Chapter 171 – The Proclamation of a New Country
Gowen fell as he received Gi Go’s attack, then immediately after, Gi Go took his head.
Gi Za Zakuend’s wind greeted Yuan when he approached Gowen’s corpse. The wind of a shaman wasn’t something Yuan could contest, and he found himself blown into a wall.
Yuan crashed straight into the wall without being able to mitigate the impact even a little. As he tried to stand up with much difficulty, a cold voice spoke to him.
Gi Za’s wind blew once more.
With Yuan being as emotional as he was now, he was powerless before Gi Za’s wind. Fortunately, Gi Go was there to stop the wind with his curved sword.
“…What are you doing?” Gi Za asked with a deep voice. He didn’t hide his displeasure even a little.
Gi Go looked Gi Za in the eye as he swung his blade to rid it of Gowen’s blood.
“I want to talk to this man.”
Gi Za’s cold eyes clashed with Gi Go’s burning eyes that just came from a duel with one of the holy knights. A heavy atmosphere filled the room, and Gi Zu and Rashka glanced at each other.
“Those two don’t get along?” Rashka asked.
“Don’t ask me. They’re both of a higher class than me. They wouldn’t even spare me the time unless necessary.”
Gi Zu folded his hands as he watched the two goblins argue, while Rashka sighed and turned heel.
“Ridiculous! I’m leaving! There might still be a head worth plucking out there!”
Seeing Rashka leave, Gi Za decided to walk away as well.
“Do as you please, but this man’s head must be hanged,” Gi Za said.
At the end of his staff could be seen Gowen’s head with a regretful look on its face.
“! W-Wait!” Yuan shouted.
He chased after Gi Za, but Gi Go blocked his way.
“You’ll only be throwing your life away if you chase him,” Gi Go said.
Yuan pointed his sword at Gi Go, but that only led to him being sent flying into a wall again.
“You killed him!” Yuan said.
“That’s right. I was stronger,” Gi Za replied without a hint of guilt.
“What are you to that man? Did you forget what he told you before he died?” Gi Go asked.
Yuan’s face was covered in tears as it twisted in anger.
When he heard Gi Go’s words, he yelled at him.
“What are you talking about!? What do you want from me!?”
“He might have been my enemy, but I acknowledge him. It would leave a bad aftertaste to simply let the person he entrusted the future to die needlessly.”
Though filled with fury, Gi Go’s words reached Yuan.
“…Damn it! Damn it all!”
Yuan slammed against the wall, frustrated from his lack of strength. The fact that he was being comforted by a goblin made that feeling even worse.
“…I am going to kill you! Mark my words, goblin! I will avenge Lord Gowen with these two hands of mine!”
Yuan glared at Gi Go with eyes full of hate as he swore vengeance, then he approached the escape route he prepared for Gowen.
“Come anytime. I am Gi Go Amatsuki. I will neither run nor hide.”
Yuan glared at Gi Go until the very end when he finally turned heel and ran down the stairs.
“Is that alright? Letting the enemy escape…” Gi Zu timidly asked.
Gi Go shook his head. “He’s only an enemy for now. Besides…”
Gi Go turned to Gowen’s headless corpse and sheathed his curved sword as he knelt.
“An enemy like this deserves respect… Honoring his last wish is the least I could do.”
Gi Zu was worried whether Gi Za and Gi Go might end up arguing again because of this, but Gi Go ignored him and quietly stayed beside Gowen’s corpse.
Before the western capital fell, Yuan led the last humans that resisted to escape.
The goblins Gi Zu had stationed in the area was hot on their tails, but Yuan managed to run away.
Yuan’s bloodcurdling appearance earned him the respect of Gi Zu’s subordinates, who themselves loved to fight.
The western capital has fallen! The western feudal lord has died in battle!
That report reached King Ashtal before the day ended.
“…Gowen died? Impossible…”
At first, King Ashtal did not believe the report, but when it turned out to be true, he was speechless.
Gowen was not only the main pillar of the western region, but also one of the strongest warriors of the Germion Kingdom. The death of a holy knight, who has been acting as his right hand, was a sad and regretful thing to the king. But more than that was the grave consequences that came with his death.
His neighbors will surely catch wind of the Iron-Arm Knight’s death, and they will surely believe that Germion Kingdom’s army has weakened. That would make their influence as a power much weaker, making it necessary to watch their borders.
They may have managed to repel the attack of the southern free cities or the Kushain believers, but there was still a possibility of a second attack.
The barbarians to the north will probably become active again too. After all, Gulland reported a defeat when he came to aid Gowen. The forces defending the north would be weaker now.
They had an alliance with the Holy Shushunu Kingdom to the east, but that was only because of Germion Kingdom’s power. With their weaker influence, they would have to station more troops to watch their movements.
And then, there’s the western region.
The goblins of the Forest of Darkness had successfully conquered the western capital. There was no telling when they would make their move to the main capital of the kingdom.
With their influence weakened, Germion Kingdom was in no position to attack preemptively. Such a move would be foolish on their part, and should they lose a second time, they will never again be able to pick themselves back up.
King Ashtal grit his teeth as he cursed the goblin threat.
He now had no choice but to hasten the fortification of the fortress along the path to the western capital.
The western region had been stable for the past 10 years, so the fortress had been left to rot and was now starting to crumble.
They would need to fix it posthaste, but that would take a big workforce to accomplish.
Still, it was better than letting the enemy in without any protection, so King Ashtal decided to prioritize it anyway.
King Ashtal sent an envoy to the Holy Shushunu Kingdom to seek accommodation for the refugees from the western capital. He also sent envoys to the northern and southern frontlines. King Ashtal needed money to fund all of those, but where would he get it from?
King Ashtal found himself buried in work after the western capital and its feudal lord fell in battle.