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Volume 3: Chapter 175 – Big Movements (2/3)
Ever since the king made up his mind to move south, the pressure they have been exerting toward the east greatly weakened.
The assassin, Gi Ji Arsil, left only the barest guards and led his platoon south. They would be the advance force, while the main force would soon follow from behind.
Gi Gi Orudo who led the beast army, Gi Zu Ruo who led the brawlers, and the relatively unscathed of the noble class commanders all went south.
Gi Gi Orudo’s monster army, in particular, advanced at an amazing speed. He moved toward the south with the rare class, Gi Bu, as his adjutant.
Their goblins numbered few, but they led a staggering number of beasts. Such a number would naturally require an equivalent amount of food to sustain. Gi Gi’s answer to that was to take the food from the lands they passed.
In other words, they fed the beasts as they traveled down south. But this was not a good thing to the beasts native to these lands. After all, though a good majority of the beasts in the army were those that were driven away from their homes in the forest, there was still a huge gap in strength between them and those living in the plains.
That was a horde so great it was like a tsunami as it overwhelmed them.
If the beasts were even a little clever, they would surely run. It didn’t matter whether it was the human territory that they rarely trespassed or the territory of some other beast. Before that tsunami-like horde, they had no choice but to force their way through.
As Gi Gi rode on the back of his triple head, he looked on at the army following from behind with satisfaction. He was the first one to receive the king’s permission to build a village.
Theirs was a village of beast tamers, made up of the northern goblins Gi Gi had taken back with him and the goblins that were born in the fortress while he was gone that had the aptitude to become beast tamers. Naturally, the resulting army from such a village was also a beast tamer army.
The goblin raid led by Gi Gi caused the monsters living at the northern part of the free cities to go into rampage, and even the docile beasts that normally didn’t attack started proactively attacking.
Screams resounded from a small village under the rule of a large city-state.
Though the small village had relatively weak defenses compared to the large cities, they still had weapons of their own. Unfortunately, it was not so easy to deal with the rampaging beasts. All the more so when they came in droves, one wave after another. The situation was such that not even knights and adventurers would be able to easily handle it.
The warriors from the city-state that acted as the feudal lord of the village would normally go expel the beasts, but they were currently busy preparing for the war between the northern and the southern free cities.
The smaller beasts wreaked havoc upon the crops, while the larger beasts destroyed the houses. When the people saw that the feudal lords had no intention of stepping in, their dissatisfaction toward them soared.
From the perspective of the feudal lords, the people rebelling was a scary thing, but making an enemy out of the Kushain believers was even scarier. Fear of the believers has been deeply burned into their hearts after witnessing for themselves the holy war that the patriarch, Benem Nemush, called.
To the believers, killing the feudal lords and all of the people was not a strange thing. Although they may all be Kushain believers, they were not all as fanatic as the patriarch about their faith’s teachings.
There were many among those ruling who interpreted the teachings to suit their agendas.
To the feudal lords, these kinds of believers were the scariest.
The two messengers from the Leon Heart Clan had another audience with the king three days later. Tauropa from the Big Fang Tribe and the man who called himself Zakusen.
They looked toward the Goblin King as he sat in his throne.
There was no one else in the room other than he. At the very least, they did not see anyone.
“I’m thinking of taking you up on that deal.”
When the Goblin King said that, the two messengers heaved a sigh of relief.
—Looks like we won’t be dying here just yet.
The Goblin King noticed their quiet exchange, but he didn’t say anything about it. Instead, he said that they needed to work out the details.
“…The details?” Zakusen asked with that frivolous expression of his.
In response, the Goblin King smiled cruelly like that of a cat tormenting a little mouse. “It is necessary, no? How much will you be paid and what roles will you be undertaking… These things need to be decided upon.”
The money was understandable. The Goblin King was a smart one.
But when Tauropa heard the king mention about ‘roles’, he couldn’t help but tilt his head in puzzlement.
Zakusen felt an ill foreboding as cold sweat slid down his back.
“The only thing we can do is fight,” Tauropa said.
“Yes, and I would like you to help with that,” the Goblin King said with that same smile from before.
“…What is it that you wish of us?”
“I want you to destroy the Kushain believers from within. Act as their allies and find sympathizers among their ranks.”
In other words, betray humanity. The two messengers were shocked.
“That… would be going against our honor as mercenaries,” Zakusen said hastily without even the time to fix his frivolous mask.
“Oh, I think you’re gravely misunderstanding something here. The moment you left the human camp and came to our side, you became traitors.”
The Goblin King mercilessly buried that cold harsh truth into their hearts, and though Zakusen understood that full well, he couldn’t help but avert his eyes.
“Of course, if you haven’t resolved yourselves, then we can forget about this whole conversation.”
This was not a war between fellow humans, but a war among races. The very existence of a race was at stake here, and the Goblin King would not accept any compromise. To that end, he would use anything he could.
The Goblin King was reminding them just what kind of war they were about to throw themselves into.
It was the least respect he could give for these two brave messengers who risked their lives to come here.
Unfortunately, Tauropa could not understand the king’s good will, and he looked at him with a gaze filled with fury, before turning to glance at Zakusen.
When he saw that Zakusen wasn’t saying anything, he spoke. “We are mercenaries, we—”
But Zakusen cut him midway and spoke in a loud voice. “—Fine! We accept your terms!”
Tauropa opened his eyes wide in shock, but Zakusen ignored him as he looked at the Goblin King.
The Goblin King’s crimson eyes that were as red as blood shot through the humans before him.
“…Very well. I shall believe you then.”
The Goblin King stood up and approached them.
I’m going to be eaten! Tauropa cried inwardly as the king’s ferocious smile grew bigger.
The Goblin King spoke. “State freely your heart’s desire! From here on, I shall treat you as allies!”
“I gratefully accept,” Zakusen boldly replied.
Tauropa felt his cheeks grow hot at his earlier shameful display. At the same time, he found respect for their vice-leader’s guts.
Tl Note: Sorry, it seems I’ll be needing to split this chapter into three. I had some difficulties with some parts, and I ended up taking more time than normal, both for this part and the previous one.