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Volume 3: Chapter 237 – Loyalty (5/5)
As Zelkof laughed loudly, Gi Gu clicked his tongue and turned behind him to the goblin he was covering for.
“Do you want to break through that and go to the other side?”
The old goblin fell silent and looked down. Annoyed, Gi Gu asked again.
“Well!? What is it!?”
“In that case, it can’t be helped. Hey, can you hear me!! It’s for the sake of the elder. Help me out!”
Gi Gu called out to the surrounding buildings, and in response, Gi Ga Rax suddenly appeared on the back of a black tiger.
Gi Ga Rax leaped off the house and landed on the other side of Zelkof. As he swung his spear, his gaze fell on the corpses.
“…So, this is a holy knight.”
As he said that and held his spear, Gi Ga’s gaze grew sharp.
Gi Gu replied as he wielded his sword and axe.
“Holy Knight with no name, I am Gi Ga Rax, a subject of His Majesty, the Goblin King! Come!”
“Hmph, die! Human!”
“Fu fu fu ha ha ha, goblin! Goblin!”
Despite taken from the front and the back by two goblins, Zelkof laughed and easily dealt with them. He dodged Gi Ga’s sharp attacks, while he blocked Gi Ga’s axe.
But that was exactly what Gi Gu and the others were waiting for.
When a small goblin passed by his side, Zelkof finally stopped laughing. In the next moment, he deflected the veteran goblins and sent a knifehand strike toward the small back.
“You will not!”
In a flash, Gi Ga struck out his spear and stopped Zelkof’s knifehand strike, but the aftermath from the impact caused the old goblin to tumble.
Gi Gu clicked his tongue and yelled angrily as he leaped, but Zelkof’s strength that allowed him to receive his attack with one arm was not normal. The old goblin struggled to stand up, but Gi Gu told him to hurry. The reason behind his impatience was because Zelkof’s strength was increasing and his axe was starting to be pushed back.
“Fu, fu, fufuhahaha!
After deflecting Gi Ga’s spear and Gi Gu’s axe, Zelkof once again raised his fist toward the old goblin. But in that moment, a shadow suddenly appeared.
With a battle cry came a fist that sent Zelkof flying. Bathed in the blood of ally and foe alike, Gi Zu Ruo the Mad Dragon, rammed the enemy with his body and joined the fray.
“Sorry, I’m late!”
Gi Gu yelled angrily, while Gi Ga showed an expression of relief.
“A message came from His Majesty. He told me to help the elder, so I came here as fast as I could.”
The old goblin clearly heard those words.
“Your Majesty…” He muttered.
“Elder! I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but hurry up and go. We’ll stop this guy.” Gi Gu said.
The old goblin nodded and started running again.
“May the fortunes of war be with you!”
After being sent off by Gi Ga, the old goblin ran.
He ran despite his aching back.
It was so painful that he wanted to stop running and just stand still for a moment. Moreover, even though the fear should have long left him, the sweat pouring out of him showed no signs of stopping. Because of all the sweat gushing out of his body, he could no longer tell if it was hot or cold.
But still, he ran.
He searched his mind as he went through the streets of the imperial capital.
He took a turn on a corner and looked at the gaudily decorated houses.
—We will be staying at this town starting today.
Her proud figure as she spoke flashed through his mind. Each time she appeared, the pain from his aching back would ease.
—Will you look at that! A spectacular work if I say so myself! I’m sure His Majesty will praise me! The results of this research can surely be passed down to the later generations!
Even that time when a supposedly tamed monster beast scratched him was a nostalgic memory.
At that time, she panicked as much as he was shocked.
—B-Bandages! We need bandages! Ahh, I should have applied the disinfectant first! Ah, darn it, why is everything tucked away so neatly!? D-Does it hurt? I-I mean, of course it hurts. Sorry, just give me a little more time!
She turned the house upside down, and by the time she finally found the kit, it was already night time.
The wound had already started to scab then, but she still forcefully treated him.
—You sure heal fast. I’m shocked… No, that’s wrong. Umm, listen. You have to disinfect your wounds if you get hurt, okay? There are all sorts of germs— Erm… I mean invisible bad things that are always trying to get into your body.
When he learned about the existence of these invisible bad things, he shook in fear, but she gently caressed his head, and taught him to wash his wounds.
That night, she rested his head on her lap and helped him sleep.
—Consider this both a reward and an apology!
The way she smiled as she said that was truly beautiful.
Just about everything was a nostalgic memory to him.
Just a little more.
Just a little more, and he will find her house.
His body ached.
It was as if his life was slowly being sucked away from behind, sapping away his strength to run. His eyes grew heavy, but he desperately endured it.
If he just goes through that path and take a turn on that corner, then—
What he saw was a burning house, before which lay her bloodied figure.
*Thud! His spear sounded as it slipped of his hand and fell.
He dragged his body from where he fell. He looked at his ‘master’ as she lay unmoving with her back on the stone garden.
There was more white in her hair than he last remembered. There were more wrinkles on her face too.
But there was no doubt about it. This was indeed his ‘master’.
Just a little, she opened her eyes… But that was probably just his imagination.
“…Master, I’m back. I’m finally… Back.”
Having pushed himself so much, he suddenly found himself kneeling on the ground, and then in the next moment, he was lying face down.
On his back was a huge wound. Blood poured ceaselessly out of it.
It was so deep a wound that it made one wonder just how he was able to run so much.
But regardless, he dragged his body to her. He had to make her happy. If he reached her, she would surely smile back at him.
He wanted to see her make that beautiful smile for him one last time.
“I’m… back, Master… I’m… back…”
As blood poured out of him, he dragged his body through the pool of her own blood.
And then… After so many years, he finally reached that place where he belonged.
His voice on the verge of death was no more than a faint whisper, but that was enough for the human and for the beast.
On the old goblin’s face was an expression of peace. It was as if he had accomplished his purpose.
On Falmia’s face that was next to his was an equally peaceful expression, as if she had been freed from a burden that had been troubling her for so many years. Beneath her eyes were traces of tears.
The old goblin died on Falmia’s lap.