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Volume 3: Chapter 218 – The Swiftness of Aransain (3/3)
One of the four generals appointed by the Goblin King, Gi Ga Rax, raised up his flag of spear and black tiger as he advanced his army to the labyrinth city.
Gi Ga Rax led half of the king’s cavalry that was the imperial guards and the beast riders of the Paradua. On top of that, he also had the human forces with him. In total, his forces which revolved around the cavalry numbered 1,200. The imperial guards of the king that was made up of goblins riding upon three-eyed unruly horses were all rare-class goblins. They numbered 300. With those 300 and the Paradua beast riders that numbered 200 as the main forces, plus the human cavalry that numbered 700, they had 1200 soldiers all in all.
The Proud Clan (Leon Heart Clan) of Zaurosh had employed the former solders of Elrain Kingdom. If not employed, then some of the captured soldiers agreed to cooperate with them and were added to Gi Ga’s overall forces.
There were many cities in the south that flourished from trade. The grain produced by the granary on the outskirts of Fatina sufficient to feed a flourishing population, the treasures born in the desert of Ashunasan (God of the Desert), or the treasures born from the labyrinth city. It was these special products of each region that the merchants would take with them and traverse the trade routes deserving to be called the Road of Riches.
Of course, that was also connected to the large country of Elrain Kingdom.
Under the flag of Aransain, Gi Ga Rax traversed those trade routs and forced the surrounding cities to capitulate. Steadily, he approached the labyrinth city.
“Those who surrender will be spared. Those who surrender without fighting will be permitted to keep their wealth.”
The great speed of Gi Ga Rax’s advance was supported by the intelligence network laid out by Pale and Gi Ga’s wise policies. Small towns couldn’t possibly fight his army. From Gi Ga’s perspective, having to conquer the small towns one by one would take too much time.
Moreover, the army he was leading was mostly cavalry, so their strength could be demonstrated best out in the fields. If they had to bring siege weaponry with them, their advance would be dulled too much.
The one who mediated between Gi Ga and the humans was Zaurosh. This vice clan leader of the Leon Heart Clan, who himself carried great responsibility, held a practical point of view that minimized losses as much as possible. He also forbade the pillaging of capitulated cities.
Moreover, by adding the townspeople into his army and using them in future negotiations, he was able to take 5 towns without any bloodshed. All towns traded, so there were many familiar faces between them.
As proof of a surrender, the towns would offer horses and healthy young men, and in exchange, Gi Ga would allow them autonomy. Although morale wasn’t high, Gi Ga was able to continue his advance with his large army. By the time, Gi Ga had neared the Labyrinth City, the number of his forces had reached 1900.
But the humans on the other side weren’t about to just quietly watch.
Although they didn’t know what the goal of the goblins were, the biggest city was the labyrinth city. Adventurers were hired there and the preparations for war steadily progressed. Many among the cities in the desert haven’t maintained their walls.
If they were going to fight, they would fight at the fields. It was because of that that the labyrinth city had gathered many adventurers. If there was a problem, then it would be that there was still some friction left between the Red King faction and the Anti-Red-King faction. After Brandika died, the adventurers from the Labyrinth City didn’t bother to accompany the remnants of the Red King to Fatina and instead returned to their home.
But by the time they came back, the Labyrinth City had already been overtaken by the Anti-Red-King faction. That being said, these clans were originally strong in their own right since that was the reason why the Red King took them in in the first place. Because of their strength, which was greater than the Anti-Red-King faction, they could fight back against them.
Sophia of the Soar to Freedom (Elks Clan) informed Gi Ga, who was approaching by the minute, of the situation. The scheme to put the Anti-Red-King faction against the Red King faction was in much better health than Pale had expected.
Although the Labyrinth City, Tortoki, was a city-state, it did not possess a powerful army. This was because the city was formed surrounding the labyrinth. As such, it had many adventurers from the start and it ended up focusing its resources toward the maintenance of public order.
Even within the old alliance of the Free Cities, despite being the oldest member, it did not have much influence and never really stood at the peak politically. But the other countries of the alliance did not want to attack Tortoki and incur the wrath of the adventurers, so the city was able to continue existing peacefully despite its lack of an army.
Unfortunately, the Goblin King’s army had appeared, and they weren’t about to leave them alone.
Even if the Kushain Believers might have acknowledged them, to Tortoki, the Goblin King’s army was still a monster army. Knowing that the war against the goblins would be fundamentally different from those with humans, the Council of Ten that ruled Tortoki elected Basshnia of the Goundor Family as general.
He would be leading an army with adventurers as the main power to meet the goblins in battle.
They had 1,300 footman and 400 mages. On top of that they also have 300 cavalry, which they were able to temporarily hire from the area. Unlike the goblins that focused their forces on cavalry, their forces revolved mostly around footman.
Since they’ll be relying on adventurers, their soldiers will be using the weapons they’re used to. One advantage they held was the goblin forces’ lack of mages, but the forces of Tortoki weren’t unified because of the recent uproar from the Red King.
Just as the name Labyrinth City implies, it is a city that developed around a labyrinth. It did not have any high walls. As such, Basshnia decided to fight in the fields. It could be said that this was a decision also influenced by the fear that a defensive battle might cause unexpected situations to arise due to the lack of unity in the army.
If they fought in the fields, naturally, there would be an enemy in front of them. A situation like that should make it harder for infighting to break out. Although Basshnia knew that the goblins were also aiming for that, he had no choice but to go out to battle while carrying that unease. Still, as the representative of the family that has ruled Tortoki for many years, he was not incompetent.
Unfortunately, the seeds sown by Pale were steadily taking over Tortoki and were trying to bear its fruits for the goblins.
The battle took place on the outskirts of Tortoki.
The Tortoki Army, which held the advantage in numbers, moved out with all of its infantry while attacking the goblins from afar with magic, keeping them from approaching. This was done to prevent Gi Ga Rax and his army from doing what they did best: fast battle tactics.
The force of 300 mages was indeed terrifying, and before the cavalry of the goblins could even approach them, advanced magic bullets would burst upon the ground, giving rise to explosions. At the center, mages cast their spells in order, while the footman adventurers surrounded them to protect them. It was in this way that they approached the steadily advancing goblins.
Seeing that their cavalry wasn’t able to approach the enemy, Gi Ga stood at the head of the army and encouraged the army and raised their flags.
“To fear our enemy and falter would be to throw mud upon the honor our king has built. Despite that do you dare call yourselves barve warriors!? I will take the lead. Follow after this black tiger and spear that the king has given me!”
Gi Ga’s speech was effective upon the cavalry that prided themselves as the imperial guards of the king. As rare-class goblins that could enter dungeons without fear of death,
if it was for the sake of the king, then so long as their trusted general gave the word, they would ride even to the land of death itself.
If one looked at the unfolding battle from the heavens, one would see that the goblin cavalry led by Gi Ga had formed a straight line for the forces of Tortoki. It looked as if they were trying to prick a balloon open with a needle.
Magic bullets fired at Gi Ga, but he would move to the left or the right or even jump to dodge them. His handling of his steed was indeed the best among the goblins.
Still, there were those that Gi Ga could not dodge. When Gi Ga failed to dodge a fire bullet, he simply pushed his way through the smoke of the explosion and bellowed out a howl.
Gi Ga rode onwards like the wind and blew away the enemy infantry, striking the vanguard spear of the army into the enemy forces.
The cavalry of the king followed him, and upon seeing Gi Ga’s valiant visage, overcame whatever fears may have sought to linger as they ran past the rain of magic bullets. The hooves of their steeds trembled the earth, while the battle cries of the goblins shook the air.
The descending magic bullets and the hooves of monster beasts raised up clouds of dust, blocking one’s vision, but the goblins raised up their spears and leaped with their steed. Like that the hipparions crashed into the raised shields of the adventurers. Receiving such heavy weight crushed the arms of the adventurers and staggered them.
The goblins used that opening to force their cavalry through.
Once the battle had turned chaotic, there was no more opportunities left for the mages. The general of Tortoki, Basshnia, did not have enough control of his soldiers to order them to kill both foe and ally alike.
“Show them no mercy! Kill all of them!”
Although Gi Ga was often forgiving, the blood of the fierce goblin race still runs through his body. And on the battlefield, every swing of his spear, every death of an enemy, would stir that blood, giving him more power to pierce the enemy with. The attacks released by his long arms easily tore through the iron armor of the enemy, allowing him to pluck the lives of the adventurers.
Having become the spear that penetrated the enemy forces, Gi Ga wreaked havoc upon the enemy forces and successfully forced them to flee. As the Tortoki Army fled to the city, Gi Ga stopped his army from pursuing them.
The entire army was intoxicated with victory, but Gi Ga stopped them and reorganized their formation outside the city, then he used the captured humans to demand the enemy to surrender. Should Tortoki capitulate, then he would be able to successfully bring victory to his king.
“Stopping an advance that normally shouldn’t stop to minimize the damages that would be incurred within the walls… Truly the workings of a great general.”
In response to Zaurosh’ words, Gi Ga smiled.
“I simply wondered what the king would do were he in my position. For the sake of the path that the king has shown, the burning blood that stirs within must be quelled. When I thought of what I should do to reach that end, the answer naturally came.”
When Gi Ga entered Tortoki, he raised up his flag on the public hall and declared.
“Raise Aransain! This victory is for the king!”
Word of Gi Ga’s victory was brought before the king, and fame of Aransain’s swiftness resounded loud and clear within the territories under the Goblin King.
Tl Note: The ending of the last chapter was for things that would happen in the future. I’ve changed the wording to reflect that.
Also, this is twice as long as the usual releases, and since there’s only one regular chapter left for the week (3 regular releases a week), I’ll take this as a half queue.