Volume 3: Chapter 192 – Swaying Scales (1/2)
The territory of Shirak that had assumed formation was strangely quiet.
The Kushain Believers had also assumed formation, but neither them nor the goblins attacked. Both forces just kept formation and quietly watched each other.
In the goblin’s side, it was a relatively simple situation. They couldn’t attack because they didn’t have enough soldiers. After all, not even the Goblin King expected that the enemy would bring over 30,000 soldiers.
When the goblin king found out from the Leon Heart Clan how big the enemy’s army was, even he ended up with a cramping face as he quietly glared toward the east. His expression only grew worse as they started this staring match with the enemy.
Moreover, with order being maintained despite the size of the enemy’s forces, there had to be a skilled general on their side, so without any openings, the goblin king could only fortify his defenses.
The goblin king also expanded the scope of his intel. He did this partly because he was curious about Elrain Kingdom’s movements, or more specifically, he was curious about what the Red King was doing. Recently, the Red King has expanded rapidly and was currently watching their face off against the Kushain Believers from the side, but it was doubtful that the Red King would remain a mere spectator.
So while his forces and the Kushain Believers’ were glaring at each other, he had sent people to monitor the movements of the south of the border region. At the same time, he also had to make sure that they had a path of retreat.
Of course, it was important to believe that they could win, and perhaps, if he were just a general, he could have afforded to think just that, but as a king to many races, he had to consider the worst case scenario. The Goblin King has never overestimated his own abilities. Winning and losing was normal to soldiers, after all. He knew full well that there was no such thing as an invincible army.
Just look at the holy knights of Germion Kingdom or the knight commander of the Blue Knights that they fought just recently. There were also those adventurers who were so strong that their strength was said to be legendary. But no matter how strong one is individually, the moment one leads an army, victory and defeat becomes uncertain.
Even kings, nobles, and tacticians that have received training would consider their path of retreat. What more someone like him who was not particularly blessed in the art of war? He had no choice but to proceed with as much caution as possible. King must always ensure that they had a path of retreat open.
Of course, he didn’t want to lose. No one wanted that.
The Goblin King himself was also a ferocious warrior who has stood in front of his brethren and lived through countless battles. He naturally possessed the pride from living through those wars. And the number of times his life has been put in danger was more than the number of fingers he had. But even then he still had to secure a path of retreat.
The Goblin King stifled his desire to win as he ordered Gi Za Zakuend to secure a path of retreat.
“Understood,” Gi Za Zakuend replied. As the king’s trusted retainer, he could see full well just how much the king was struggling, so he didn’t say any more and just carried out his order.
The questions were how far the enemy would be willing to chase after them and how much their allies should prepare to be able to escape.
The Goblin King also didn’t want to leave his soldiers idle while they were stuck at a staring match like this, so he ordered the army to assume formation right in front of the military camp that only had fences, while the soldiers behind them steadily expanded the military camp. It was reckless to build right in front of the enemy, but the Goblin King intentionally gave that order.
One reason was because if they didn’t do anything they were bound to lose.
The other reason was because the enemy hasn’t attacked despite facing off against them for so long.
The Goblin King had asked Zaurosh to figure out what was going on within the ranks of the Kushain Believers, but unfortunately, they still remained in the dark on why they refused to attack. At the very least, they could infer that the Kushain Believers were moving according to the wishes of the new patriarch. As for how they arrived to that conclusion, that was because there was no hesitation in the Kushain Believers.
But regardless whether they were scared of incurring losses or were scheming something, the Goblin King could see that they intended to keep this situation for a long time.
“My lord, we have completed the northern moat. With this we have almost completely surrounded the military camp.”
“Good, build a second layer of fences next. Make it so that they can’t pass through them even if they were to attack.”
“As you will.”
The Goblin King was still a beginner when it came to defensive battles, so he tried to pull every trick he could, including the pitfalls he used against the orcs. He also had fences, abatises, deep moats, and sharp traps affixed to trees built. All sorts of stuff.
The goblins and the Kushain Believers continued to glare at each other for 10 days when word from Zaurosh came.
Elrain Kingdom has made their move!
The Goblin King wanted to click his tongue, but he kept those feelings at bay as he resolved himself to withdraw his army.
“Should we send a messenger?”
But the problem was the Kushain Believers. Did they pull strings to get the southern Elrain Kingdom to move, or were they working together? Or perhaps it was the opposite. It was also possible that this was merely a coincidence, but regardless, the Goblin King was at a loss.
If they were all humans, then the enemy would surely send a messenger at this point in time, but unfortunately, they were goblins. Although they had elves in their ranks, they were basically a horde of monsters.
It was curious if the humans would even bother negotiating with them.
Although the Goblin King could no longer feel that mad zeal from the Kushain Believers, he was still guilty of cutting down their late patriarch without a word.
It was probable that if he sent a messenger, the messenger would return with only his head. The Goblin King was at his wit’s end.
“In that case, shall I go?” Zaurosh, who he had gone to for consultation, said.
The Goblin King was shocked.
“This may be an army of goblins, but I am currently employed by the feudal lords of Shirak. In one sense, we are merely being occupied, so I don’t believe they would react so negatively.”
“But it would be a different story if they’ve already figured out the situation.”
Whether Zaurosh thought it was a good thing for the Goblin King not to tell him to recklessly go or not, he spoke again after thinking a little.
“Although it’s embarrassing for me to admit it, the Kushain Believers and the Red King both possess a greater ability to gather intel than us. They probably already know our situation.”
“I see,” the Goblin King replied as he became thoughtful.
“If I may be so bold, King of Goblins, please do not fear losing your men. There are times when a king must order his men to go despite the risk. It is precisely in such times that your retainers will be able to prove their worth.”
The Goblin King quietly thought for a moment.
From time to time, the Goblin King had a gentleness to him that would dull his resolve to become king. The fact that Zaurosh was able to see through that was a testament to his foresight, but at the same time, the advice he gave was also given as someone who was leading a clan of humans and demihumans himself. Right now, the Goblin King’s actions would only confuse his retainers and make him look weak.
“…I see. That was good advice,” the Goblin King muttered to himself as if in self-derision, then he looked Zaurosh straight in the eye.
“Zaurosh,” the Goblin King said.
“Yes, Your Majesty?” Zaurosh replied.
“I want you to stake your life for the sake of the army.”
Zaurosh bowed in response to the Goblin King’s blunt order.