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Volume 3: Chapter 215 – Muddy Stream (2/2)
“The situation surrounding our army has changed greatly these past 10 days,” Pale said.
The first reason is because the death of King Brandika has greatly slowed down the momentum of the Red King.
The second reason is because the path to occupy the south has been opened due to the first reason.
The third reason is because of the movements of the Kushain Believers, Germion Kingdom, and the Merchant Country of Pena.
“The main forces of the Red King have retreated to Elrain Kingdom, but they will probably retreat further to Fatina,” Pale said.
After the Red King lost Brandika and Carlion, they lost all of their momentum and are now on the verge of collapse. There are currently four factions within their forces. The original members of the Red King led by Saldin, the former members of the Elrain Kingdom, the members who want to throw their lot in with Germion Kingdom, and the adventurers that came mostly from the Labyrinth City.
Currently, all these factions are still together and are retreating to Elrain Kingdom, but each one of them probably have their own intentions now.
“Thus, the initiative lies with us,” Pale concluded.
Her strong words caused the demihumans to stretch their backs, while the goblins inclined their heads.
“Scheme, Collude, Exterminate… There are many paths we can take, but…” Pale said.
“It will too much time, if we try to kill them all,” the Goblin King said.
“But left alone, these enemies will become a seed of rebellion in the future,” Zaurosh agreed while mentioning that possibility.
“…As much as possible, it would be best to take them in as allies,” Pale said, at which the Goblin King narrowed his eyes. “But it would take an equivalent price to be paid.”
“Speak,” the Goblin King said.
“Let them serve as shields to our army and atone for their sins in this way,” Pale said.
In other words, use the humans to defeat the humans.
“But if there’s too many of them, won’t that lead to a rebellion anyway?”
The shaman class goblin, Gi Za Zakuend, asked with suspicion.
“That is a possibility indeed. As such, I believe our army should change its tactics and attack the enemy from many fronts.”
Pale’s new tactic was unlike the method the Goblin King has been using until now, wherein gathered all of the forces were gathered into a single sword. With Pale’s new tactic, they would instead have the various goblin commanders lead their armies to attack the enemy from different sides.
“Of course, it would His Highness’ discretion to whom each army should be entrusted.”
Until now, the goblins looked like they had no idea what was going on, but as soon as the topic of an army being entrusted to someone was brought up, the color of their eyes changed. To be entrusted with an army was to have one’s strength be acknowledged by the king.
“An interesting proposal. I will consider it and give an answer tomorrow,” the Goblin King said.
“As you will,” Pale replied.
The next topic was how to proceed next.
With the Red King’s death, the threat of the south was as good as gone. A vast open land rife with profits from trading. If they did not take this land now, they would leave their backs open for Germion Kingdom to attack.
On top of ruling the humans, gaining the rights to the rich southern lands was another attractive prospect. From here on out, as the Goblin King leads his army to victory after victory, the percentage of humans in his kingdom was bound to increase. Being able to reward these humans with land is another benefit to owning the southern lands.
The goblins would serve the king so long as he existed, but the humans were not like them. Nor were they like the elves or the demihumans who would be satisfied as long as they had the plains and the monsters to keep them company. The humans held with them a desire that was unlike the other races. They were driven by a desire propelled by giant gears built from a monetary economy.
“It doesn’t seem very interesting to attack a place with no one to fight,” Gi Gu said, unable to understand Pale’s stance.
“That’s not necessarily true,” Zaurosh shook his head and spoke for the human side. The goblins didn’t really understand, but they nodded anyway.
This was because there were goblins that have had much interactions with the humans. Though they did not fully understand, they felt that there must be some wisdom to the human perspective. Especially, when the human speaking was was none other than Zaurosh, who has fought by their side and whom they considered as their comrade-in-arms.
“There are various reasons why humans risk their life to fight. One good reason is for the sake of money.”
“For these stones!?”
Gi Gu took a silver coin and stared at it with visible confusion. The goblins risked their life purely for the sake of honor. To be able to fight as a warrior under the king was the same thing as the king acknowledging their strength. And to them, that was the greatest reward they could possibly receive. To that end, they throw themselves into war at the king’s behest. They most certainly did not fight for something like a piece of rock.
“I don’t get it,” Gi Gu muttered.
Zaurosh wryly smiled. “People value different things. That’s all.”
“Very well. We shall protect the south and then bring our soldiers into Germion Kingdom,” the Goblin King decided.
Everyone nodded their heads to the Goblin King’s decision.
The last topic was diplomacy.
“Before that, however, it is imperative that we save the Kushain Believers. What are your opinions on this?”
The Goblin King’s words caused Zaurosh to knit his brows.
“I believe they are no longer necessary,” Zaurosh said.
Before their eyes was a giant pot of gold known as the southern lands. To Zaurosh, who has sacrificed much in this war, disregarding that pot of gold for the sake of the Kushain Believers was not something that merited enthusiasm.
“We promised them an alliance. Going back on our word now would hurt our integrity,” the Goblin King said.
“A useless alliance should be cut down.”
Pale shared Zaurosh’s opinion, but the king disagreed.
“Among humans, perhaps. But from here on, we will be ruling over humans. If the humans do not believe we can be trusted, it is doubtful that my rein will go well. This decision is final.”
Upon realizing that the Goblin King had made his decision and had no intentions to go back on it, Zaurosh and Pale had no choice but to withdraw. How they would proceed from here on would be was decided based on that.
First, the Goblin King would take the entire army to save the Kushain Believers. After that they would fortify their back and conquer the south, and then they would go after Germion Kingdom.
As the war council ended, Zaurosh called out to Pale.
“Tactician, do you think you could convince the king to prioritize the south?”
“…I doubt it. The king isn’t one to easily change his decision.”
When Pale saw Zaurosh appear crestfallen, she narrowed her eyes.
“You don’t have to act like this to get the king to reward you appropriately. I’m sure he values you greatly.”
“!? You noticed?”
Zaurosh was in a position wherein he had to protect the alliance. That position was his position as vice clan leader, but the clan leader he serves was yet young. If the number 2 were to perform too brilliantly, the clan leader might end up being pushed away.
As such, Zaurosh felt that he needed to cover himself in mud in order to allow the young clan leader to bloom. Since the war has already come to a juncture, Zaurosh believed it would be alright even if he covered himself in mud now.
“Still… Integrity, huh? From our perspective, that’s a very distant word.”
Pale glanced at Zaurosh as he walked away, then she walked away herself.
“Is there something wrong with your eyes?”
When Pale asked the Goblin King that, he turned to her.
Within the king’s residential area, the Goblin King was looking at the far east from the watchtower.
“How did you find out? …I see. So, my eyes are going bad.”
The watch tower creaked as the Goblin King descended from it and faced Pale. There was a difference of about 2 heads between their heights. Pale looked up at the king and peeked into his blood-colored eyes.
“My eyes haven’t gotten worse. I just can’t see some colors. It’s not a big deal.”
—Those eyes will lose their color, and then before long, the taste of the tongue will fade, the skin will cease feeling the caress of the wind, the ears will find their holes blocked, the arms would shake, and finally, even the scent of the flowers shall become unknown.
“…You do understand, right?” Pale asked.
The king wryly smiled and looked at his hand.
— The High King’s Oath allowed him to use the underworld’s ether in exchange for inflicting irrecoverable damage to his body. Sight, agility, mana, defense… All of these would be bolstered to the utmost, but in exchange, the damage would be permanent.
That was the price for using the ether of the underworld.
Because he had gone beyond the limit of the race known as ‘goblin’. Such a thing was not something that could be done so simply, but even then, normally, the payment for greater power wouldn’t result in one losing his senses. After all, the body would refuse to do so, as doing so was the same thing as burning one’s life away.
But the Goblin King did break through the walls erected by the thing called ‘race’, and the price paid was the loss of his five senses each time he mustered that great power. A damage that could not be undone was eating away at the king’s body. Permanent damage.
“Did you meet with the snakes?” The Goblin King asked.
“Snakes? …Do you mean the servants of the underworld goddess?” Pale asked.
The corners of the Goblin King’s mouths twisted as he laughed.
—You will gain power greater than you can possess, but in exchange, your body will rot, the soul wither, the eyes rot, and the ears shall be blocked. The skin would forget to breathe and even the sweetness of the air shall be forgotten.
And then Verid, whom the Goblin King had been with the longest, spoke.
—Little brother. You have done well. But the thing called ‘limit’ will come in due time.
Like a death sentence, Pitch Black (Verid), the Twin-Headed Snake (Bedydia), the Earth-Devouring Serpent (Perseval), 3 of the four snakes that served the Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia), whispered to the king.
The power the Goblin King possessed was great indeed.
But that power went beyond what the goblin race could handle. Neither the soul nor the body could contain that power. He would lose his five senses, his soul would begin to separate, and in the end, his body would turn to ash and he would cease. The snakes told him so and all that they told him, he told to Pale as well.
“Why are you telling me this?” Pale asked.
Beneath that calm mask of hers, Pale couldn’t help but try discern the Goblin King’s true motives.
“Nothing much. I just want you to decide where and when I should use my power,” the Goblin King replied.
“…You must be joking,” Pale said.
That was the same thing as entrusting his life to her. There was no reason for him to trust her that much.
“I believe the king should always fight at the front lines and risk his life. A king that didn’t so would lose the right to remain king.”
Pale wanted to refute his words, but it was hard to say that to the King of Monsters that got to where he was today doing just that.
“Besides, our army is going to become bigger from now on. Soon it will be too big for me to manage by myself.”
With each victory, their army would grow. Pale believed that, which is why she proposed to divide the army into separate groups. The Goblin King agreed with her.
“…You want me to do that which the king himself cannot? You overestimate me.”
“…My tactician, Pale. If it’s you… No, it has to be you. It is for the same reason that I entrust my life to you.”
The king was always with the army and was always moving in front.
“That’s reckless. That is not something a wise king would do.”
When the Goblin King heard the words ‘Wise King’, the corners of his lips twisted and he laughed.
“I am the King of the Demonic Children of Chaos (Goblins). Weak and foolish monsters scorned by others as no more than beasts. They who would sacrifice their comrades without so much as a thought. Goblins. I am king to such a race. That is why I must lead.”
The Goblin King was no longer smiling.
“If one is weak, then one must aim to become stronger. If one is foolish, then one must learn to work with others. Therefore, I must lead them. So that they might one day be able to live with integrity and pride. And that is why! I can never hide behind someone in the battlefield!”
The Goblin King looked up at the heavens.
That distant blue sky attracted Pale’s eyes.
I need you.
The Goblin King told Pale as he turned from the sky to her.
“…The sky is blue.” 
As Pale continued to look up at the sky above, her face bloomed into a smile.
“But I don’t hate it.”
Just a little, Pale felt like she could understand the feelings that goblins like Gi Ga Rax held. It was somewhat similar to that blinding light she found in the human world.
The forces of the Goblin King occupied Razuel, and then advanced northeast.
Pale’s new system caused the new detached forces to be left in charge to Gi Ga Rax the knight-class goblin, Gi Gu Verbena the ruler of the south, Ra Gilmi Fishiga the hero of the Ganra tribe, Gi Gi Orudo the commander of the monster army. The new divisions needed commanders who could lead an army, have enough leadership skills to serve a variety of purposes, and the ability to stabilize a region. It was the Goblin King who chose the commanders.
Command of the armies was left to these four goblins, while the goblin forces headed to the Holy City of Cultidian, where the Kushain Believers had locked themselves in.
After breaking through the Red King, the goblins were in high spirits.
The four goblins that have been appointed as generals, struggled to be the first to wage war. Pale, who was beside the king, was handling them well. The goblin forces advanced with great vigor, while the holy knight of Germion Kingdom, Sivara, decided to retreat as soon as he got word of the Red King and Gulland’s defeat.
He would go back to his territory and with the holy knight, Jize, fortify their defenses toward the south.
On the other side, just as Pale had predicted, after the Red King lost Brandika, they retreated to Elrain Kingdom. By the time the surviving Saldin led the Red King’s forces to Fatina, there were only 5,000 soldiers with them left.
The forces of the Red King had already split.
Yet again chaos was soon to descend upon the lands of the south.
Level has risen.
1 to 23
Gi Ga Rax
45 to 72
Gi Gi Orudo
1 to 15
Gi Gu Verbena
87 to 95
Gi Go Amatsuki
64 to 74
Gi Za Zakuend
5 to 15
Gi Ji Arsil
2 to 18
Gi Zu Ruo
6 to 20
Gi Jii Yubu
62 to 75
Gi Do Buruga
64 to 72
46 to 55
Gi Bu Rakuta
1 to 5
Gi Be Slay
1 to 18
17 to 26
Ra Gilmi Fishiga
52 to 76
65 to 78
50 to 51
97 to 11 (Class Change)
94 to 4 (Class Change)
Cynthia’s level has risen.
52 to 67.
Shumea’s level has risen.
95 to 5 (Class Change)
Yoshu’s level has risen.
76 to 80
 – Can also be translated as “…It’s blue.” or “…It’s blue, huh.” The sky isn’t directly mentioned.