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Volume 3: Chapter 169 – War at the Western Capital III (2/2)
Yuan gathered his troops to try and stop the goblins, but unfortunately, he failed. Luring the goblins into a narrow path and attacking them there was the most he was able to achieve. He could not stop the goblins in their tracks.
Gradually, the soldiers were driven into a corner even within the very walls of the western capital city itself.
Without enough soldiers to contest the goblins’ overwhelming charge, it was only a matter of time before Yuan and his men would be completely surrounded.
Following the direction a subordinate was pointing at, Yuan saw one of the platoon commanders tasked with evacuating the people.
He came to help break Yuan’s platoon from the goblin encirclement.
“Commander Yuan, we have finished evacuating the people. We will be retreating as well. These are Lord Gowen’s orders!”
At long last, a ray of hope had appeared within the desperate war.
“What of Lord Gowen!?”
“He will be retreating after us! If you care about his excellency’s wellbeing, hurry!”
“Tch… Signal the retreat! We’ll go through the eastern gate and escort the people!”
As yuan gave the order, he approached the platoon commander.
“Where is Lord Gowen!?”
“…In the eastern spire.”
“I will go there. There are soldiers under Lord Gowen, right?”
“Supposedly… Wait, what are you planning to do with your men!?”
“I will leave them to you!”
After leaving his subordinates to the platoon commander, Yuan ran to where Gowen was.
The goblins were already starting to climb the eastern spire.
Yuan grit his teeth, drew his sword, and used a path the goblins did not know of to climb to the highest floor, then he slammed the door open.
Seeing Gowen looking across the western capital, Yuan heaved a sigh of relief. But where were the soldiers that were supposed to be defending Gowen?
“Yuan? It’s good that you’re safe.”
“…The city has fallen because of my incompetence. The people have been evacuated already, please leave with us, my lord!” Yuan said the piece he’d thought ahead of time as he ran to Gowen and knelt.
“I can see the whole western capital from here. Look, this is the city I built.”
Gowen narrowed his eyes as his lips twisted.
“…Lord Gowen, please!”
The footsteps of the goblins were almost upon them. There’s no more time, Yuan told Gowen, causing him to finally turn.
“Yuan, I order you as the lord of the western capital, lead the people to safety. See to it no matter what.”
“…I can’t watch this city fall, Yuan. The pride I’ve fostered up till now won’t allow it.”
A strong will to fight rose up from within Gowen as he smiled fiercely.
“Then please allow me to accompany you!”
“No. I order you again, Yuan. Go to the main capital!”
As the door was kicked open, a goblin entered.
A faint wrinkle appeared on Gowen’s forehead as he drew his long sword and painted the ground with goblin blood.
“…There’s no time. Hurry, Yuan,” Gowen said.
“But, my lord!” Yuan said.
“How dare you hurt my subordinates!” Gi Zu said as he appeared on the scene fuming with rage.
The new goblin that appeared before them was clearly not that of the normal class, it was a noble.
Seeing that, Yuan shook in fear.
Gi Zu wielded his spear and leaped toward Gowen.
Gi Zu had lowered his body to try and pierce through Gowen from below, but right when he was only a step away from Gowen, he suddenly felt a chill crawl up his back, causing him to reflexively throw his spear and force himself to jump away.
Gowen’s sword was so fast that all Gi Zu could do was read its trajectory.
The sword that had come swinging from the left deflected Gi Zu’s spear, then it drew a perfect trajectory for where Gu Zu’s neck would’ve been had he not jumped back.
If it weren’t for that split-second decision of Gi Zu’s, he would already be dead.
At that, Gi Zu understood that this enemy was stronger than any he’d fought before.
“Hey, hey! If you’re having a hard time, then switch with me.”
The giant goblin that appeared behind Gi Zu was none other than Rashka.
Seeing two goblins come into sight, Yuan drew his sword.
“Tch… Lord Gowen!”
Gowen frowned faintly as he felt the pain coming from underneath his armor.
He was in pain, but he could still take 10 more goblins on if it’s something on this level. It was fortunate that the peak of the spire was too small, so Gowen did not have to fear being surrounded.
As long as it was one on one, Gowen was confident he could dye the ground in goblin blood.
Gowen smiled fiercely as he considered fighting to his last atop a mountain of goblin corpses.
“Goblins, I am the western feudal lord of this western region, Gowen Ranid!”
When the words ‘western feudal lord’ were spoken, Rashka’s smile as he quietly watched Gi Zu’s battle suddenly changed.
That smile of his was no longer that of someone amused, but the smile of a predator eyeing its prey.
At this moment, Rashka had truly turned into a one-eyed fiend.
“Come to think of it… That time… You…” Rashka caressed his chin as he reminisced, then he lightly hit his club on his shoulder.
“I remember! You’re that bastard who stole our territory and took away the king’s treasure!”
Gi Zu released his spear and bellowed out a howl so full of rage that it caused one’s hair to stand on end.
“If you want this head of mine, then put your life on the line and see if you can take it!”
Gowen wielded his long sword in a lowered stance, emanating a pressure like that of a king.
“You don’t need to tell me!”
The Mad Lion skill raised Gi Zu’s physical abilities and suppressed his fear with rage, allowing him to step out.
Gi Zu slammed a fist onto the ground, giving rise to broken fragments into the air, then he swung his fist a second time, and sent the broken fragments Gowen’s way.
Gowen clicked his tongue as he deflected the fragments.
The moment Gowen raised his sword, Gi Zu bolted off like thunder.
That was the fastest step Gi Zu could make.
Gi Zu’s strength under the influence of Mad Lion was not something he could compare to when wielding his spear. Right now, a single fist from Gi Zu was enough to crush any normal soldier.
But of course, Gowen was able to see through Gi Zu’s fist, and he swung his sword in response.
Gowen’s sword passed by Gi Zu’s fist, grazing him by the sides as Gowen dodged his attack.
Shallow as the wound might have been, with Gowen attacking at the same moment Gi Zu swung his fist, blood still spurted out.
Gi Zu and Gowen continued to exchange blows, but each and every time, Gowen would aim for Gi Zu’s opening just like he did the first time.
Eventually, Gi Zu finally reached the end of his patience and he took a wide step.
The moment he did, Gowen stepped in.
Gi Zu did not expect Gowen to step in, causing him to delay in his response.
At that, Gowen was able to send a powerful attack toward Gi Zu’s legs, allowing him to break the goblin’s posture.
As Gi Zu fell, Gowen released a powerful kick to the goblin’s chest, sending him flying into a wall.
Gi Zu, who was now coughing violently, was wide open, but Gowen did not pursue him.
“Since you’re the lord of these lands, your head should be the greatest trophy in this war.”
Rashka wielded his club over his shoulders as he quietly walked, then he stood before Gowen.
As Gowen quietly took stance, Rashka smiled fiercely and clad his club in black light.
Their clash lasted only for a moment.
They approached each other and released an attack that brimmed with their body’s whole strength.
Rashka slammed his club from above, while Gowen released his blade from below.
But Gowen’s intention was to parry Rashka’s attack, so he allowed his sword to meet Rashka’s club.
“Don’t look down on me, human!”
That club clad in black light suddenly became stronger, but Gowen was still able to meet it head on.
Rashka was shocked.
The moment his club touched Gowen’s long sword, his black light was erased, and his club became a normal club.
With the trajectory of Rashka’s club diverted, it slammed into the ground and crushed it.
In order to dodge Gowen’s obvious next move, Rashka abandoned his weapon and jumped back.
But Gowen wasn’t about to just watch him go.
As Rashka jumped back, Gowen changed the trajectory of his sword.
The descending sword suddenly shifted back into a lowered position and thrust out toward Rashka.
In his panic, Rashka reflexively moved his hand to protect his face, causing the sword to bury deep into his palm, but the sword did not slow down in the slightest as it sought to go all the way until he was dead.
Rashka was a man of valor even among the goblins. He ignored the pain of having his hand penetrated as he sought to take Gowen’ sword away.
Sensing what he was about to do, Gowen quickly stopped his attack and pulled his sword out.
It was curious which of the two let out that last voice of anguish.
Gowen wanted to finish Rashka off, but unfortunately, the latter wasn’t someone who could be dealt with by normal means.
“As expected, the human who built this city has a good head indeed.”
Rashka lightly brushed off his hand that just had a hole drilled into it as he laughed ferociously.
“Don’t just take my battle as you please!”
Gi Zu, who had been sent flying into a wall, stood up and shook his head.
“I could wait until you’ve been defeated, but then it won’t be fun anymore.”
Gowen watched as the two goblins refused to give in to each other. He would come lunging in the moment they showed an opening.
But as he quietly caught his breath, another goblin appeared.
“…Sorry, but this one’s mine.”
Another goblin had appeared from behind the two goblins who wanted Gowen’s head.
On his face was the scar Gowen had once left behind.
The pressure emanating from Gi Go was so great that Gi Zu unconsciously took a step back, and his words were clad with an aura so sharp it seemed it could cut.
The power Gi Go had gained after a long period of wandering could clearly be felt as he took a firm step upon the ground.
On his hand was the curved sword he received from the yugushiva tribe.
On his eyes was reflected Gowen. Rashka and Gi Zu were no longer in his sights.
Gi Go walked through in between the two goblins facing each other, and he stood before Gowen.
“Lord of the Western Region, Lord Gowen Ranid! I, Gi Go Amatsuki, challenge you to a duel. Now, come!!”
Gowen found himself inclined to respond as he felt the spirit of a swordsman emanate from Gi Go.
Within that regretful memory of his retreat from the Forest of Darkness was a strange goblin who named himself.
As he recalled that one memory, a change appeared on Gowen’s expression.
“Iron-Armed Knight, Gowen Ranid—”
Swinging his sword to brush away Rashka’s blood, Gowen assumed the lowered stance he specialized in.
This was a kind of respect he had never before given to a monster.
“—Accepts your challenge!”
As the swords of a monster and a human clashed, the curtains upon the last battle in the western capital were finally drawn.