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Volume 3: Chapter 222 – The Hero of Pena I (3/3)
“They got away again!?”
Gi Gu Verbena cried out in shock, while Gu Tough lowered his head.
The army of Gi Gu Verbena that carried the flag of Felduk have been failing to catch the Blue Knights of Pena despite their continuing expansion. This time around, Gu Tough was on the receiving end of a powerful assault on his way to rendezvous with the main force.
They didn’t suffer many casualties, but Gi Gu was already at the end of his patience from the enemy’s repeated attacks.
“If we can’t catch them, then that means we’re not mobile enough.”
Gi Za’s analysis caused Gi Gu to frown. Gi Gu may have had beast tamers and druids in his army, but he didn’t have rider-beasts. Rider-beasts were unique to one tribe and the cavalry of the king required special training. Because of that his army was lacking in mobility.
And the enemy took full advantage of it.
“…Gi Za-dono, what do you think? I believe we should set a trap, but…”
There were fast monsters within the forest. Like the double-headed ostrich or the small but fast wild dogs. These monsters weren’t very strong, but they were quick on their feet and nigh impossible for the goblins to catch.
Gi Za’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the goblin called Gi Gu a little better than before. Until now, he thought this goblin was only good for moving large armies, but it seems that’s not all he was good for. He might actually be trying to think of a way on his own just as Gi Za advised him before.
“What do you think?”
Gi Za was only here to observe, and the commander was Gi Gu. As such, Gi Za asked him that question out of respect.
“I don’t know how they’re doing it, but it seems they’re intentionally aiming for our small platoons.”
One option Gi Gu had was to prepare an escape route, and then send out a platoon as bait and attack the settlements. Of course, the bait would be at high risk, but it’s a lot better than the whole army just sitting around doing nothing.
“There’s not much time.”
Gi Gu was shocked to hear Gi Za say that. Gi Gu never once thought he would have to rush the final confrontation so soon.
Moving a large army cost food.
Especially, considering the area around Pena didn’t have many monster beasts. It was a region ruled by humans, so naturally, the monsters in it have mosly been run thin. Any monster that could harm humans would appear less and less likely the closer one neared a human settlement. Which goes to mean that the goblins will also be unable to sustain themselves.
It was a lot faster to procure food from a nearby city than to run somewhere far away and hunt. But if they did that, they would cause displeasure among the cities they’d given autonomy to.
If the people can’t eat, the people will grumble. That was true even for the goblins.
“Certainly… The people being unhappy with the king’s leadership is not something that can be ignored.”
Gi Gu Verbena was a proponent of goblin supremacy. But that didn’t have much to do with the atrocities he’s committed.
Gi Gu was originally a goblin who led a horde himself, so while his thoughts on ruling were a bit vague, he still understood it more than the other goblins.
For a horde to be led, those ruled over must tremble before the rulers. Yes. Just like how the goblins fear and respect the Goblin King. It was because of that that Gi Gu Verbena intentionally struck fear into the hearts of the humans.
But if there was such a way for that fear to be overturned, it would be through none other than the accumulated fear that one might lose his life.
Those that can’t eat, die.
Be it human or goblin, this is a fear that all living creatures know. A fear so great that at times it can even overwhelm the fear of the ruled for the ruler.
“It would appear that I have taken too much time.”
Set a trap and wait for the enemy to get caught in it. It was a common method in the forest, but it was actually difficult to get a specific target to fall for a trap. It didn’t really matter when they were hunting, so they just took whatever got caught in the trap.
“You could just restrict their movement,” Gi Za said.
“…Didn’t you just say that they’re faster?” Gi Gu asked.
Gi Za cruelly smiled. “Attack their friends. If you do that, then they’ll have no choice but to send help.”
“I see… In that case, they’ll jump into the trap themselves.”
As Gi Gu nodded, he picked Gu Big to lead a platoon from his army to one of the cities that have yet to surrender, while he sent out Gu Naga (Long) to take a small platoon and lay wait to pursue the enemy.
“Let’s see how good the humans are at hunting.”
Gi Gu Verbena smiled a fierce smile at the thought of a powerful foe.
If he was going to do it, then it would be best to use a city with many humans. Doing so was sure to increase the odds that the enemy would send help. Gi Gu and Gi Za set their sights on one of the cities of the eastern part of Pena and moved the army.
Word of the goblin’s large army heading for one of the cities that have yet to capitulate was immediately brought before Allen. The force of over 2000 soldiers was headed to one of Pena’s satellite cities, Falkar.
It was one of the cities they sent a messenger to and struck an agreement with.
Thanks to successfully saving one of the cities earlier, the satellite cities around Pena that have been wavering were once again starting to gather around Pena. Cities at the southern part of Pena, where the messengers demanding capitulation have yet to come, sent people to Pena under the for financial support. The adventurers from the labyrinth city that did not approve of the goblins also found their way into the cities near Pena.
Despite all the good news coming in, Allen was still full of worries.
“Brave warriors have gathered throughout the land, but…”
“The moment the giant army of the goblin makes its move, they’ll be nothing but a disorderly rabble. The Red King already proved that.”
Allen’s body and mind were quickly deteriorating due to the side-effects of using the holy sword. Perhaps, it was his soul that was deteriorating. In the first place, the holy sword was not something he was meant to wield. The fatigue he’d incurred showed no signs of weakening. In fact, he even felt that if he were to relax for just one moment, all his power would leave him.
Allen shaking his head toward the words of his aide showed that he did not believe they had the advantage.
“The only way to stop the goblins is to crush the head.”
He had only seen it once… That giant goblin. Unless that thing was killed, the goblins will not halt their march. Allen believed that firmly, and he thought up a plan to go with it.
“What of Falkar?”
“They will have to surrender. We can’t win a straight-up fight.”
Resolve burned within Allen’s eyes as he spoke.
“What are the chances that the goblins might ruin our plans?”
“None. Is what I’d like to say, but it’s actually fifty-fifty.”
Surprisingly, after gathering all the information on the goblins, it seems that their government was relatively gentle. They did not slaughter unreasonably nor did they levy heavy taxes. In fact, Elrain Kingdom was slowly recovering.
From that they could infer that the goblins wouldn’t treat the people who surrendered to them poorly. If that was the will of that giant goblin, then Allen’s plan would probably go well.
“Then how shall we disperse the… army of brave warriors?”
“They came all this way to fight. We can’t ignore them.”
Allen gave orders to several of his aides, then he sent them away.
“…Goblins with integrity who rule wisely and fairly. Yet be that as it may… I must defeat them. In order to protect Pena. Right, Aizas? In order to protect the oath I swore in my youth… In order to protect my promise with you… Though I might come to be called a heretic, I will kill the enemy.”
Falkar surrendered as soon as the goblins got to them. But it was after that that the Blue Knights made Gi Gu’s army suffer.
Gi Gu’s scheme in taking over Falkar was easily destroyed. Supposedly, Gi Gu and Gi Za were to take over Falkar and then attack the reinforcements of the enemy, but that didn’t happen.
For as soon as they sent a messenger demanding their surrender – though they only did so for appearance’s sake – the city immediately threw their hands in the air and surrendered. Gi Gu and Gi Za never predicted that Falkar would so easily surrender. But it was then that Gi Gu and Gi Za had a clash in opinions.
Gi Za wanted to conscript them as battle slaves, but doing so would completely go against how they’ve been doing things until now, and Gi Gu did not wish that. In the end, the commander-in-chief, Gi Gu, refused to give in, and Falkar was able to avoid a fate of being enslaved.
But now their goblin-human army numbered over 3,000. Their numbers haven’t lessened even a little because of the lack of fighting, so now they had to procure food to feed all that.
Naturally, Falkar couldn’t possibly feed them, so Gi Gu had no choice but to ask for food from the surrounding cities. And then the soldiers that were entrusted to escort those asking for food all met the Blue Knights.
Gi Gu, who was losing his patience, was just about to dispatch the army, but unable to catch the enemy, Gi Gu’s army had no choice but to be stuck at Falkar.
It wasn’t until 10 days later that word of Gi Gu’s bitter struggle was brought to the king.
Tl Note: Just a little explanation on Gu Big, Gu Tough, and Gu Long. I don’t know if I said this before, but here it goes. The first two goblins are literally named like that in Japanese, so they’re really named Big and Tough respectively. Okay, so maybe not that literally as their names are written in katakana, so it’s more like Tafu and Bigu, but you get the point.
Anyway, the last goblin, is actually named Naga. Based on the previous two goblins – remember they were all named at the same time – I assume that his name is from the word ‘nagai’, which means long, and so until now I’ve been translating it as Long, but just recently, I changed it back to Naga with a (Long) after it, just to be closer to the RAWs, while still reminding people that his name is probably supposed to mean long. Probably.