|Spoiler Inside: Character Name Cheat Sheet||Show>|
Tl Note: I referred and refer to the giant images as ‘image’, but they’re actually more like statues attached to the pillars, I believe.
Volume 3: Chapter 206 – Underground World (2/2)
“The old gods thanked the new gods and returned to their respective realms as they chose to stop fighting and live quietly.”
The same was true for the lives they gave birth to.
The elves chose the mysterious water and forest.
The demihumans that lived in the plains chose the grassy meadows and the deep forest.
The dragons chose the tall mountain ranges.
The giants chose to live underground.
“You’re telling me these are giants?”
The giants born from the gods of starfaring vanished from the surface and chose to live underground. They’re probably a different race from the mindless giant (Gigantopitecus) that Gi Zu once met.
A closer look at the images of the giants showed 4 eyes that dazzled like gems lined up on what seemed to be its head. It wasn’t possible to pluck them out and take a closer look but they were probably actual gems, in fact. They looked somewhat similar to humans, but there were those among them with 3 or 4 arms. And there were even those with scales growing all over their body. They were probably about 3 times bigger than the ogres too. They were truly giants.
As the Goblin King admired the spectacles, he walked between the right stone columns. The Goblin King did not know who it was that made this giant construct, but regardless, the Goblin king believed that that person deserved respect. The giant images, or rather statues, were so exquisitely made that they actually seemed alive. Not once had the Goblin King seen such lifelike structures of giants until now.
When the Goblin King passed the right columns, light reflected before the king. When he turned his sight, he noticed that it was the brilliance from the gem eyes of the giant statue.
The Goblin King stopped and looked up at the giant. What caught his interest was the strange glimmer in those red jewels. The direction of the light should have been fixed, but for some reason, it seemed to be reflecting straight for the king’s line of sight.
“…What’s going on?”
It was as if the gems were specifically trying to illuminate the king himself.
As the Goblin King muttered out his question, he reached for zweihander.
“…Who are you?”
A voice that seemed to reverberate from the very depths of the earth reached the king’s ears. The statue of the giant before him shook a little, then creaking sounds resounded from the right pillars.
“Small one, who is neither man nor beast…
The jewels sparkled several times. They seemed to be some sort of sign or perhaps the giant was simply looking at him, but either way, it couldn’t have simply been the Goblin King’s imagination.
“You shan’t go further.”
The Goblin King couldn’t hide his shock when the statue first spoke, but now, he was starting to regain calm. But when he thought about how all the statues here could possibly be giants, he couldn’t help but shiver as he wondered how many giants could be hiding here in this section.
The Goblin King looked up at the talking giant.
“I… Have business up ahead!” The Goblin King boldly declared as he puffed out his chest.
“Past here… Lies the underworld… Dark and vast… The world of the dead… That is not a place… you should tread.”
“That world’s master is calling me.”
“The master of the underworld… Master… Ohh, hateful goddess of the underworld, Atesia. Noble Altesia. Pitiful goddess of vengeance, Altesia!”
The giant spoke in a way that seemed to be both crying and reciting.
“Only the dead… May go to their world…”
The giant moved a little from the stone pillar and his head turned to the Goblin King.
“If that… which is not dead… were to go there… then he too shall become… dead.”
“Unfortunately, I have something that needs doing even if means gambling with death.”
The number of lives that the Goblin King carried on his two shoulders could no longer be counted. Perhaps it was even they, who valued their lives, who led him.
As the Goblin King boldly announced that, he went deeper in. The giant looked at the small back moving away and stirred a little.
“Hateful Altesia… We lay in slumber now… But one day… We shall enter… the underworld…”
The giant spoke no more and silence returned to the pillars.
As the Goblin King passed the giants and walked further in, the tunnel in which darkness ruled returned.
The darkness within it was even greater than before.
When the Goblin King passed it, the gigantic remnants of rotten armor appeared before the Goblin King. It was as if a great war had occurred here and scattered them. On the other hand, the armor seemed to be the right size for the giants. A giant sword whose blade was chipped. A bent unusable shield made out of unknown material. A spear with a chipped spearhead.
When the Goblin King passed all those, he knew he was close.
Before the king was a giant door he could only look up at. A gate might be better suited to describe it than a door. It extended so high up abve that when he looked up only darkness could be seen. It was so majestic that he wouldn’t doubt it if he were told this was the gate to the underworld.
But as grand as the gate was, what really assured the king that he was close was none other than the giant snake coiled around the gate. It was small compared to the gate, but it was still a giant snake. Scales could be seen standing up along its back like a cockscomb and there even seemed to be a mane. ON its dark brown speckles and blackish brown vertical stripes were countless scars.
“State your business.”
When the giant snake opened its eyes, the words it uttered weighed heavily upon the Goblin King’s shoulders. It was as if the very words themselves had a force of gravity to them.
“I have business with the underworld’s master!” The Goblin King boldly declared.
The giant snake narrowed its eyes. “You don’t strike me as a dog sent by the giants, but…”
As the giant snake raised up its head, pressure from the wind rose up a little.
“…Verid and Bedydia… You’re here too?”
The giant snake smiled as it opened its mouth. Fangs that could crush boulders could be seen closely packed inside its mouth.
“Is it… time?”
The giant snake wasn’t talking to the Goblin King but to Verid, who was inside him.
“No, Perseval. We are only here at the master’s behest. We are here to have this one receive his blessing.”
The earth devouring snake, Perseval, looked suspiciously at the Goblin King, and the Goblin King in turn looked suspiciously at his right arm, where Verid was, but without any response, he could only look back up at the giant snake.
The giant snake stared at the Goblin King for a while, then he smiled. That expression stank very much like human.
“…Very well. As one one whom Verid has entered and Bedydia has entrusted his will, I shan’t object to it, you who leads the yet small chaos.”
The earth devouring snake peeked at the king from in front. Its eyes’ hue was a deep blue that looked like a jewel. It was like the color of the deep see.
“Doth thou seekest power? Though death be thine toll?”
The snake spoke like a priest would on one’s wedding day, but the Goblin King nodded nevertheless.
Perhaps this was what Altesia had intended, the Goblin King thought as he accepted the power that could lead him to death.
“Then taketh mine power and fulfill our desire.”
“What is it that you desire?”
“To let Hekaterina’s (Goddess of Glory and Victory) song resound throughout the land!”
“So be it! I promise you that with these two hands of mine I will bring a victory so grand even gods would turn!”
Pleased, the earth devouring snake laughed and bellowed out a great howl That shook the whole underground world. In the next moment, the earth devouring snak bit its own flesh and sprinkled its own blood upon the Goblin King.
Smoke sizzled out of the Goblin King as he looked around him.
“Feel free to take the giants’ treasure there for yourself.”
There were several sparkling treasures around the place where the giant snake had coiled itself, but there were far too many things that the Goblin King could not carry with him.
Out of that pile, the Goblin King pulled out one weapon.
“The Guardian Sword of the Giants, Titan Dagger, huh? A fitting weapon for you weaklings.”
“I will keep my promise. You just wait here.”
“Well said. Now then, it’s a bit too early for you to be coming here. Go! Go forth and run! Run and return to the surface from whence you came!”
The Goblin King walked back the way he came and went back up to the surface.
“I hope you become a crack upon the world.”
After the Goblin King left , the armored giant that exited the pillar appeared before the earth devouring snake.
“Did you awake from your slumber because you sensed I was hurt? What a troublesome curse.”
“We… will be the sword… of vengeance… that shall avenge our ancestors!”
In the world beneath the ground, after the Goblin King left, a battle that would be spoken of in myths was unfolding.