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Volume 3: Chapter 176 – The Goblin King’s Long Arm (1/2)
The Goblin King occupied the western territory ruled by Gowen Ranid on the month of Toura, and on the very next month, the month of Rabbit, the Goblin King formed an alliance with the Leon Heart Clan.
The Leon Heart Clan was known for employing demihumans and elves with no discrimination. Of course, they couldn’t go as far as to hire monsters, but they could contact them through the demihumans.
The goblin army was able to advance smoothly thanks to the chaos caused by Gi Gi Orudo’s monster army that suppressed the small city-states and caused the Kushain officials to cry.
But that was only expected, after all, their numbers were terrifying.
The native beasts could sense whenever the monster army moved, and they would flee almost immediately while carrying with them the fury of having their homes invaded. The human territories received the brunt of their wrath.
The month of Drago could be said to be the start of summer, the season in which the fields would be painted green, but because of the rampaging monster beasts, the crops were devoured and laid to waste, and the helpless farmers could do nothing more than scream and watch.
As for the feudal lords that were supposed to be protecting said fields, they only felt some fatigue and some forlorn thoughts.
The village of Barje northwest of the free cities also suffered the wrath of the beasts.
“The beasts are attacking! They’re attacking again!”
As the man that went out to the fields screamed, the entire village stirred.
“Make contact with the feudal lord! Hide your women and children! Men, get your weapons and gather at the gates!”
The village chief, who was at the prime of his life, gave orders to the villagers.
“Village chief, Sonia’s missing!”
It was a small village, so everyone knew each other. Because of that they could easily tell when someone was missing. As for the girl named Sonia, she was supposed to have gone out to help her parents with the fields, but…
“Sonia! Where are you!?”
Her acquaintances all called out, not bothering to return to the village.
“Over there!” A hunter said as he pointed to a location.
At the end of where he pointed to was a girl being chased by a triple boar.
The villagers cried out, but the triple boar was too fast, and not even the hunter’s bow could suppress it.
But an arrow did come flying, and it actually managed to hit the boar’s legs, saving the girl, whom everyone thought was a lost cause.
It was not the hunter who shot that arrow but a traveler who was staying here since yesterday.
“Garwin!” The archer called out.
“Yeah!” Another man replied as he dashed out.
Wielding a long axe over his shoulders, it was a warrior who dashed out. In the blink of an eye, the human warrior dressed in leather armor was right next to the girl.
He confronted the beast as it stood back up.
The triple boar charged toward the warrior, but the warrior twisted his body and dodged, then in the next moment, landed a blow on the boar’s front legs.
As the beast cried out in pain behind him, an arrow flew through the sky and landed on it.
“Good job, Fase!”
Though both forelimbs were wounded, the triple boar came charging once more in its fury.
The warrior called Garwin calmly watched as it made its charge, then he used his axe to bash its head.
As the beast turned over and blood spurted out, a great applause rolled over the villagers.
Not long after the monster attack, contact was made with the feudal lord’s army. But when they heard that the beast they were to exterminate had already been taken care of, they were shocked.
Feudal lords generally hated losing even a little bit of their army. Because of that they won’t help unless they’re absolutely certain of victory.
Compared to them, the adventurers would fight as long as they think they can win. If that’s not possible, they can still choose to run during battle.
As a result, there was a great difference in promptness between the carefree adventurers and the feudal lords who had to protect their fiefs.
It’s because of that that the feudal lords and the adventurers have a give-and-take relationship when it came to these beasts.
“I give you my gratitude for protecting my fief. Please tell me your name.”
Naturally, the feudal lords, who loved to make use of people, would naturally want to keep the adventurers. If a feudal lord could have a famous adventurer stay in his fief, he’d be able to expect a considerable increase in his fief’s defensive prowess.
“I’m Fase, and this guy is…”
The feudal lord nodded as he watched the two adventurers nod boldly.
The feudal lord invited them to his mansion under the pretense of thanking them for protecting his fief, and of course, the two adventurers accepted his offer.
This sort of exchange was actually quite normal. Especially, in the remote regions where there was an abundance of monsters, beasts, demihumans, and even bandits.
“Ho? So you’re from Leon Heart?”
In the evening, while the feudal lord was enjoying supper with the two adventurers, he learned that these two adventurers happened to be a part of a big clan that was deeply rooted in the east.
“I’d heard you worked as mercenaries, so I was expecting you to look rougher…”
Fase, who was a half-human and half-elf, had a wry smile plastered on his handsome face as he shook his head at the feudal lord’s remark.
“Lately, we’ve started to expand to the south. Along with that, many of us have decided to work as adventurers rather than mercenaries,” Fase said as he ignored Garwin, who was wholeheartedly stuffing his face.
“I see… So how long will you be staying here? As you’ve seen for yourselves, the beasts have been attacking frequently lately, so having reliable adventurers such as yourselves would put my heart at ease.”
The feudal lord was finally getting to the main point, but Garwin was still busy stuffing his face with food, so Fase had to clear his throat to get his attention.
“Y-Yeah… The food is great too, so we can drop by whenever.”
Seeing Garwin play the fool, Fase couldn’t help but sigh inwardly as he cleared his throat a second time.
“My lord, I would like to remind you that we’re not a charity.”
Upon hearing that, the feudal lord was visibly discouraged.
Weapons weren’t indestructible. They wore out like other things when used, and the same was true for armors, which would be damaged upon being hit. Money was needed to fight, and people who cheaped out on such things would not live long.
But the feudal lord understood that too, and that was why he was discouraged. He was hoping that they might help them out since they were a big clan.
Fase smiled with that handsome face of his and said, “From our travels so far, we can tell that you’re having a hard time and would certainly like to help.”
“That’s good to hear, but…”
What the feudal lord was worried about was – of course – money. He had to give alms to the Kushain faith, so he did not have much left to spend. If he were to hire adventurers to protect the fief too, he would surely be forced to take out a loan.
The feudal lord may be reckless enough to intentionally charge through a road headed to bankruptcy, but he was yet to abandon hope. Be that as it may, the fact that he knew nothing of the other party’s problems ensured that he would come out the loser in this negotiation.
As the feudal lord resolved himself to see these adventurers off, Fase spoke.
“If you can provide for us lodging, food, and three silver coins every month, then…”
“…What!? Are you sure?”
It was only natural that the feudal lord was surprised. After all, these adventurers could earn as much as a gold coin were they to go to Cultidian, the headquarters of the Kushain faith.
So when Fase offered a sum that the feudal lord could actually pay, he was so moved that he took Fase’s hands and cried.
“…You are our saviors!”
“Actually, it just so happens that our clan’s policy is to help those in need,” Fase said.
The feudal lord nodded in admiration.
But of course, any story too good be true had another side to it.
A salary of 3 silver coins wasn’t enough to cover weapon maintenance, so naturally, there had to be a reason why the Leon Heart Clan would send people to a land that was under constant attack.
And that reason was none other than to send their forces between the Kushain forces and the Goblin Army.
The small feudal lords that were hurting from the beast attacks desperately wanted a way out of their predicament; hence, the offer of the Leon Heart Clan was like pouring water on a sandy soil.
As the moons changed, the Leon Heart Clan deepened their relations with the various feudal lords and even the people.
Like this the Goblin King’s long arm stretched out for the Kushain believers.
As for those who knew? There were only a few.