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Volume 3: Chapter 237 – Loyalty (3/5)
With the three-man-cell attacks blocked, the goblins had no way of fighting. Gradually, they were pushed back, but word of their bitter struggle quickly reached the more experienced goblins at the back.
The first to reach King Ashtal’s men were the Gaidga Tribe. The terrifying one-eyed lord class goblin of the Gaidga Tribe, Rashka of Gaidga, whom even other goblins would make way for upon sight of his terrifying visage. It was he who came along with his Gaidga Tribe to aid the new goblins. When he saw Ashtal, he took his blue-silver-steel reinforced club and hit it against the ground as he bellowed.
“You dare be troubled by a foe of this level!?”
Although he was not their direct superior, Rashka was still a goblin of significantly higher position than them. The new goblins could not help but shrink after being scolded by such a figure. In the next moment, they attacked the imperial guards without hiding any of their true ferocity.
Seeing that the goblins had regained their vigor, Rashka nodded in satisfaction and caressed his chin. So terrifying was his smile that it could be likened to an evil spirit from hell licking its lips.
“Yes, that’s how it should be. The young should at least be that vigorous.”
“General, are we just going to watch them like this?” The second most prominent member of the Gaidga Tribe, Dashka, asked.
Rashka laughed. “Didn’t know you had a sense of humor. Naturally, the tastiest part of the prey shall be ours!”
Rashka took back the club he hit against the ground and led the charge of his tribe.
“Show the young ones what it’s really like to fight!”
As Rashka commanded his Gaidga Tribe, the path was cleared with overwhelming power. Each time the one-eyed demon swung its club, the humans clad in armor would be sent flying almost as if this were some sort of satirical play. The humans were crushed like fruits. When the giant goblin approached them with a smile on his face, even the imperial guards couldn’t help but shudder in fear.
So great was the pressure emanating from Rashka that Rufel actually flinched and took a step back from King Ashtal’s side, but the one who stopped his shoulder with surprising power was none other than King Ashtal himself.
“…I will not mind whatever ambition you might be carrying with you. But there is one thing you must fulfill at all cost. You must bring me to Ishtar.”
Ashtal spoke clearly. It did not appear as if he were under the influence of medicine nor did it appear that he had lost his reason. He simply looked calmly at Rufel as he held his shoulders.
“Rufel. I believe in your loyalty.”
“Y-Your Majesty… I am no more than an incompetent man who drowned in power…”
“Rufel, bring me to Ishtar.”
“A-As, you will… Your Majesty.”
With no strength left to raise his voice, Ashtal watched the approaching goblins with indifference.
“Imperial Guards! What are you doing!? Is it not your duty to die before His Majesty!?”
Rufel called out to the imperial guards that have been overtaken with fear of Rashka.
“This is the wish of His Majesty! Fulfill your duty! What is the duty of the imperial guards!?”
“To protect His Majesty with our body and destroy all of his foes!”
As a young imperial guard said that, he jumped before the Gaidga Tribe and joined the fray. Spurred on by the bravery of one imperial guard, the rest of the imperial guards joined one after another to fight the goblins.
But despite their valiant sacrifice, there was simply no bridging the gap in strength between the two forces.
The struggling imperial guards were cut down one after another, until eventually, only King Ashtal and Rufel were left. Rufel stood in front of Ashtal with shaking legs as the goblins rushed at him with spears.
“Please forgive… my incompetence… Your Majesty…”
Everything was for the sake of the king. There was no lie in Rufel’s words. He had indeed acted for the sake of the king, even if such actions meant the destruction of the country itself. What could he do for the king that had lost his blood relative and could no longer descend from the throne? Coincidentally, he gained the pawn called Zelkof.
Using fear, he gathered the remaining people in the imperial court and moved the last remaining power of the imperial guards. Moreover, he used that time to buy time for the people fleeing the capital. The goblins might give chase after the imperial capital falls depending on their mood.
In order to give Ashtal some peace after losing his beloved grandson, he gave him an hallucinogenic. It was no different from poison. He removed the remaining holy knights to protect the king from any more conflict, but despite all his efforts to allow him a moment of peace, his power simply fell short.
Even his provocative actions were all for the sake of preventing others from criticizing the king.
In the future, the name ‘Rufel Marcond’ will come to be known as a synonym for the word ‘incompetent’. No one will ever know his loyalty. It will forever be buried in the darkness of history.
“You are King Ashtal?”
Ashtal spat after losing his last subject.
Rashka didn’t ask a second time before slaying the king.
“Hmph… Inform His Majesty. The one who took King Ashtal’s head was I, Rashka!”
The old goblin blended in with the new soldiers and ran to the capital of Germion Kingdom. His heart beat wildly as did his breath. For an old goblin such as himself, running alongside the new soldiers was a strenuous thing.
But despite that he had to go.
All this was to settle the fetters of the past that yet bound them.