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Volume 3: Chapter 166 – Plan (2/2)
The commander of the colonial city, Yuan, frowned. It was already nighttime, yet not an eek could be heard from the monsters. It wasn’t just him, the other soldiers also glanced at each other as they chatted among themselves, wondering what was going on.
The next day, when the body of the god of fire rose in the eastern sky, the guards noticed that the goblins were nowhere to be seen.
“Did they leave?” A soldier muttered, unbelieving.
But not long after, reality finally set in. The monsters were indeed gone.
“We won! We drove them away!” A solder cheered.
Like ripples on still water, that cheer spread throughout the colonial city, and soon everyone was celebrating.
Soldiers, adventurers, and even the farmers… Every one of them rejoiced upon hearing that the goblins were gone.
The commander, Yuan, himself was not an exception.
He heaved a sigh of relief. He had finally completed his mission.
Despite that though, he still walked atop the high walls and ordered the soldiers in charge of observing the enemy to remain in their posts.
Around the time when Yuan was near the eastern the walls, one of the soldiers called out to him.
“Commander! People dressed like soldiers are being chased by the goblins from the east!”
A shadow quickly fell on those happy faces.
Yuan went up a stand and looked toward the east.
There he saw 3 or 4 people that looked like soldiers being chased by 10 goblins.
“Soldiers! To your stations! Prepare to open the gates! Long bows, prepare to shoot! Spears, gather at the eastern gate! The enemy is few in number! Close the gates as soon as our comrades enter!”
After giving those orders in an instant, Yuan looked toward the approaching goblins again.
“Send a messenger to the west. Tell them that the goblins are moving through the forest and should be disposed of quickly!”
Yuan sent a messenger, then he went to confirm that there were no goblins attacking from the flanks.
There was one red goblin mixed with the approaching goblins, but other than that one rare, everyone else was of the normal class. Yuan decided to save his comrades and disperse the goblins.
“Archers, draw, release!”
At Yuan’s behest, the long bows drew their arrows and released them simultaneously.
Several goblins fell, then as the goblins cried they began to retreat.
“Archers, prepare to shoot, open the gate! Let our comrades in!”
At Yuan’s behest, the iron-reinforced gate opened with a dignified sound. After the soldiers entered, Yuan ordered for the gate to be closed.
“The goblins seem to have retreated…”
“Keep watching. I’ll go meet our friends.
After telling the soldiers to keep watching, Yuan went down the walls to see the soldiers they saved.
“Are you alright!?” Yuan asked.
“Y-You have to move out now!” The soldiers said frantically.
“What are you saying!? We just finished driving away the goblins!” The spear platoon commander said in response to the panicking soldier.
“Calm down. First, tell us your affiliation,” Yuan said as he forced his way through.
When the soldiers saw him, both the spear platoon commander and the unknown soldiers calmed down.
“W-We are the survivors of Lord Gowen’s Army’s 3rd Platoon!”
Those meaningful words caused Yuan to draw cold sweat as he braced himself for the worst.
“It can’t be… Did Lord Gowen…”
“About 5 days ago, Lord Gowen fought with the goblin army in the plains. The fortunes of war were not with us and we lost!”
Everyone sitting nearby listening felt a shock jolt through them.
“…How is Lord Gowen?”
“He is heavily wounded and is being carried back to the western capital.”
“He is still alive, right?”
“At the very least, before we were captured, he was…”
As the soldier answered despite losing his bearings, Yuan groaned.
“…Tell me. What is the reason that we must leave our post?” Yuan asked after sparing a moment for Gowen. There was a solemnity to his voice.
“We were taken captives after our battle on the plains of Piena. During that time we overheard the goblins talking. The reinforcements led by Lord Gulland from the north have also been defeated. The monsters are currently on their way to fight the southern army.”
This new piece of intel caused Yuan to feel giddy.
“The Storm Knight lost…”
As Yuan came to terms with that grim news, the soldier quietly nodded.
“Do you know which general is coming from the south?”
“No,” the soldier said as he looked down at the ground.
Yuan nodded to the downcast soldier.
It was not something he could blame him for.
“But be that as it may, holding the fort here won’t stop the goblins from invading. Commander Yuan, please rendezvous with the southern army and subjugate the goblins.
Gowen’s army lost, even the northern army lost. All that was left now was the southern army.
“So the only reason they broke the siege was because… they no longer needed it.”
As Yuan glared hatefully toward the Forest of Darkness, he looked after the soldiers.
“Give me some time to think.”
As the soldiers resumed their watch, Yuan went back to his room to gather his thoughts.
Gulland’s forces suffered a crushing defeat under the goblins’ surprise attack, and both fear and the pain of defeat was etched into their hearts.
The northern army Gulland led stood proudly as one of the strongest.
The soldiers carried that pride with them and it greatly bolstered their confidence, but that pride was easily crushed in the battle with the goblins last night.
They were attacked by goblins, the weakest monster, and were almost wiped out.
They were the northern army that stood proud as one of the strongest, were they not?
Gulland had no choice but to accept their loss and acknowledge that the goblins had a huge advantage in the night, but he didn’t want to go back like this, so he told the soldiers that they would be heading back to the west.
“Listen up you bastards! I wanna see which one of you is stupid enough to go actually go back like this! If we go back now, our names will forever be immortalized in the annals of our country’s history as the army that lost to some fucking goblins! Your sons, the sons of those already dead, and the sons of those sons… your kin, your entire lineage, will forever carry with them the shame of our defeat today! They will forever be branded as the weaklings who lost to the likes of goblins!!”
The soldiers were depressed after losing to the goblins’ surprise attack, but Gulland’s word lit a flame in them.
“Is this the northern army!? If our violence is taken away, all that’s left is a bunch of losers! Do you know why other armies make way when they hear our name!? Because we’re strong!”
As Gulland continued his speech, more and more soldiers began to raise their head.
“What will be left when the fight is taken from us!? I’ll be the first to admit it! Nothing! Not one fucking thing will be left! If you understand, stand up! Thugs of the north! What is your profession!?”
A platoon commander stood up and drew his sword.
“We are the kingdom’s elite, the northern army!”
“OU!” The soldiers bellowed in response.
Strength had undoubtedly returned to the soldiers’ eyes.
At that, Gulland led the army west.
The goblins were bound to set their sight on the western capital anyhow, so Gulland decided to plan accordingly. A fierce smile appeared on his lips.
“Things won’t go your way this time… goblins.”
Gulland licked his lips as he chased after the goblins’ image.
“This time you were the hunters, but next time, you’ll be the prey.”
Gulland’s northern army was much smaller now, but its fangs were as sharp as ever.
Yuan passed the night unable to sleep. He stayed in his room all alone as he thought to himself.
Should he fight with the southern reinforcements and subjugate the goblins, or should he remain faithful to his orders and defend the colonial city?
The western capital was lightly defended.
It was built on a land where the monsters that once inhabited it were all exterminated.
Humans are creatures that adapt to their surroundings.
The people of the western capital did not see monsters for a long time. Because of that they abandoned defense for convenience, and Lord Gowen himself did not try to stop that trend.
The western capital was at the center of the western region when it came to agriculture. The more land was cultivated, the more merchants and farmers would come. The merchants would bring with them guards, and sometimes, new dungeons would be found as the city expanded, bringing adventurers to the city.
As the population increased, so did the number of houses.
Not long ago, the city broke down its walls to expand its borders.
Presently, the western capital did not have any walls.
On top of that there were many inn towns and farmer towns along the way to the city from Piena Plains. Fortunately, the goblins chased after the northern army and ended up west, but if they go east, they are bound to cause much damage.
Most of the soldiers’ families live in those farmer towns and inn towns.
He can’t abandon them.
Be that as it may, there were also people in the colonial city that needed to be protected.
“What should I do…”
Yuan grit his teeth as he slammed his head into the wall.
Try and try as he might to think, no answer came. No, there wasn’t a right answer in the first place.
As the door slammed open, a messenger entered.
Yuan inadvertently yelled with bloodshot eyes, but the messenger did not have the leisure to be concerned about him.
“The western capital has lit its beacon!”
Yuan brushed aside the messenger and climbed up the walls to confirm the beacon for himself.
“We, are in good health, but… our numbers are few. Rendezvous at Graheinanite,” Yuan said as he deciphered the beacon, then he muttered to himself. “This is what I should do, right, Lord Gowen?”
Along the road between the western capital and the colonial city was a town with a beacon.
“I’ve lit the beacon… You’ll spare our family now, right?” A soldier asked Gi Za with a dejected face.
“If it works,” Gi Za said.
The human drew cold sweat.
“This isn’t what we agreed on! You said you’ll save my daughter as long as I light the beacon!”
“How are we to know you didn’t betray us and light a fake beacon?”
A Paradua goblin suppressed the human soldier that tried to act violently.
“This is the right beacon, there’s no doubting it! But that doesn’t mean those bastards from the colonial city will move!”
“…Then pray. Pray to your gods that the commander of that colonial city will move.”
Gi Za had long confirmed before even the battle with Gowen that the beacon was lit east of the colonial city. At first, he wasn’t sure what the different colors meant, but it didn’t take him long to figure out that they were a sign of some sort.
The strategy book he received from Falun mentioned that the humans once used beacons to communicate over long distances.
Gi Za had sent the harpyurea to look for a deserter from Gowen’s army to look for someone who loved his family and was not loyal to Gowen.
Gi Za didn’t know this, but fortunately, that soldier happened to be one of the people in charge with communication. If not for that, Gi Za would have just killed him on the spot.
The goblins found such disloyal people to be disgusting.
Gi Za himself did not understand love.
But even if he did not understand it, he could study it. And from that, he knew that he could use it to move humans.
“Now, how will you move.”
Gi Za narrowed his eyes as he looked toward the west.
Gi Ba evolved to noble lv. 3.
Rashka evolved to lord lv. 1.
Tl Note: I’ll update those two with the proper status later, there’s a lot of new entries to make in Jiggly’s glossary.