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Volume 3: Chapter 219 – The Cunning of Fanzel (1/2)
The results were immediate.
The cities near Pena were divided into two groups: those who surrendered to the goblins and those who resisted. Hildor was only the beginning, and when three settlements near Pena had been wiped out, fear of the goblins spread far and wide, and the settlements near Pena finally understood.
Whether they liked it or not, when the goblin army came, they were left with two choices.
Obedience or death.
On one hand, the cities that surrendered were greeted with generosity. So long as the city operated well, the goblins did not even bother to interfere with their leadership, giving them autonomy. The only thing they would ask from them is to send a messenger to the next village, who would then ask them to choose.
Surrender and live? Or die. Most of the settlements chose to surrender, as most of them were simply not equipped to deal with 2,000 goblins, and thanks to the human messengers, they at least knew that their lives would be spared.
Gi Gu dyed the battlefield of the south in his color. In the blink of an eye, the territories they had occupied spread, and eventually, they found their way to a city that was relatively bigger than the rest that was known as Gerlend.
Boasting a population of 10,000 and being surrounded by walls, they openly rejected Gi Gu’s demands. One reason was because it was the city from where the influential elders of Pena came from, so they could expect reinforcements from Pena. Another was because the villagers that left their settlements out of fear had taken refuge in the city, so they did not lack soldiers.
With walls three times the height of the goblins and enough soldiers and weapons to take full advantage of them, they were able to successfully defend against the goblins twice.
From how they defended the goblins as they attacked from the black of the night, it could be seen how desperate their resistance was. If they lost, only death awaited them. Gi Gu’s cruel methods may have caused many to surrender, but it also showed everyone that resistance would not be forgiven.
Hence, it could be said to have also caused the enemy to defend desperately.
After two consecutive days and nights of fighting, Gerlend had successful defended against the goblin army twice, but the third battle was intense. Gi Gu’s ability to attack with over 2,000 goblins organically and without waste proved that he was indeed more skilled than the other three generals. Gi Gu, who has been a general for a long time, was able to fully demonstrate his abilities.
For example, even if Gilmi, who was praised by the king as cunning, were to be asked if he could control 2,000 goblins as if they were his limbs, he would have no choice but to say no. It’s true that Gilmi has indeed led a mixed army close to 2,000 soldiers, but that was only possible because there were other leaders that could lead the other races.
By cooperating with the leaders of the other races, it became possible to move a large army of 2,000. But Gi Gu was different. Because he could unite 2,000 goblins under one will and turn them into either murderers or heroes. His outstanding leadership skills were second only to the king.
By the third attack, Gi Gu was able to successfully force Gerlend to capitulate.
As usual, he was about to wipe out the resident humans, but Gi Za Zakuend stopped him.
“Why are you stopping me? I didn’t think that you of all people would hold some sentiments to the humans, Gi Za-dono…”
When Gi Gu asked that, Gi Za’s eyes narrowed and coldly looked at the prisoners of war.
“My loyalty is ever with His Highness. It is the duty of the king’s retainer to provide whatever he is lacking,” Gi Gu said.
“But… of course,” Gi Za replied.
“The king is too kind. Perhaps, that is why he is able to charm the other races, but if so, then it is my duty to make up for his gentleness with my cruelty.”
“Then might I ask why you believe these humans must die?”
“One, there are too many enemies. It would take too much time to kill the prisoners one by one. Reinforcements are coming from Pena,” Gi Gu said. “And we can’t just leave them be either.”
“Of course,” Gi Za agreed. “But what you fail to see is that we can take advantage of the so-called ’emotion’ of humans.”
As a cruel light filled Gi Za’s eyes, he proposed a very cruel plan.
“…Interesting. As expected of you, Gi Za-dono.”
Of the people gathered in the city square, men with families were taken in as soldiers, while those without were executed. Those with families were then taken out of the city walls.
“I will give you an opportunity.”
The contents of Gi Gu’s speech could only be described as cruel and heartless.
The men brought outside the walls were to be turned into battle slaves. If they did not want their families to be killed, they would have to fight the reinforcements from Pena. Gi Gu promised to return them to their families if they could survive a second battle. The humans had no choice but to believe him.
Two days later, the reinforcements that came from Pena to save Gerlend were attacked by the soldiers from Gerlend who’s had their families taken hostage.
“W-What are you doing!? We’re your reinforcements! We’re—!”
The reinforcements of Pena fell into chaos, but they were soldiers who have been properly trained, so naturally when they clashed against untrained militants, they were the ones to claim victory. Unfortunately, the only thing waiting for them after staining their hands with the blood of their friends was the goblin army and the Flag of Felduk.
“KU, the goblins are coming here!?”
The forces of Pena didn’t even have their formation anymore. They had fallen into chaos because of the fight with the battle slaves. And then Gi Gu Verbena came along, killing both foe and ally alike.
Pena’s army was half destroyed as they retreated. The surviving men from Gerlend were taken in as battle slaves and made to fight at the front lines. This victory had a decisive influence on the surrounding situation.
Word of Pena army’s defeat at the hands of the goblins quickly spread to the surrounding territories and Gi Gu’s territory quickly expanded. After even Pena’s satellite city surrendered, Gi Gu’s army – including the battle slaves – now numbered 3,000.
“Though others might call me a devil, my loyalty will not waver. Behold my king! I will bathe Pena in blood and they will be knelt before you.”
After Gi Gu’s mad charge, all that was left now was the Merchant Country of Pena itself.
The residents of Pena looked on with fear at the Flag of Felduk.
Will you obey? Or will you die?
As the choice approached them, the blood-stained flag of Felduk swayed before the passing wind of the desert.