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Volume 3: Chapter 251 – Failed Negotiations (1/5)
After the goblins were defeated at the Battle of Gilgimel Plains, they retreated all the way to the border to defend against pursuing forces of the War Princess. Gi Gu Verbena entered the camp he made and tended to the wounded.
They had to think about their plans for what’s to come.
Felduk’s casualties numbered 4,500, the king’s cavalry 100, and Zaurosh’s cavalry 500. They each suffered great casualties in this defeat; hence, it was imperative that they thought things through.
They had to decide whether to advance or to retreat.
With the defeat of the western army, the threat of the War Princess heading south has increased, so Pale ordered Gi Ga Rax’s tiger and spear army (Aransain) and the twin-headed beast and axe army (Zeilduk) to retreat.
“Is the king unwell?”
The reason Gi Gu Verbena was so down when he asked that to Pale wasn’t actually because of their defeat but because of the king’s situation. He hung his head as if he were responsible for the king’s current affliction.
“His Majesty… isn’t well. He said it wasn’t a big deal, but the heat hasn’t gone down even though the battle has already ended. This is the first time this has happened. Perhaps, that power really is too great for His Majesty to handle.”
The king protected the back of the army and displayed peerless power even against the War Princess, but the price for that was his worsening condition. The heat emanating from his body hasn’t stopped and his body even continued to creak. The Goblin King was putting on a brave front, but Pale didn’t think that needed to be mentioned.
“There’s no need to blame yourself. I too was helpless.”
Pale had no choice but to accept that the War Princess’ insight for tactics was above her. Pale knew that the king was impatient, so because of that she too became impatient. That was a mistake.
She was their strategist. She had to remain calm at all times.
She didn’t think it was wrong to be charmed by the king. His gentleness and his naivety were a part of that.
“But as his subject, it’s my duty to compensate for what he lacks.”
Then a knock resounded from the door, and the gloomy atmosphere dispersed.
Before worrying about the king, they were a commander and a strategist respectively, and taking charge of the army was their duty. They donned their masks as their duty demanded them and watched the person enter.
The one who called out to them without regard for their state was Vine Ashley. This wild woman who should’ve been with Shumea was for some reason here.
“Do you have business here?” Pale asked.
“I just wanted to see my client’s disheartened face after losing,” Vine replied.
As usual, she was good at annoying others, but Pale wasn’t in the mood to play along.
“I doubt you’re free enough to do something as pointless as that.”
“Tch, boring. Well, you’re not wrong.”
Vine laughed, then leaned her body and brought her face near Pale’s ears.
“Want me to wreak havoc at Shushunu?”
Her proposal was like a devil’s temptation and it shook Pale’s mind.
She couldn’t deny that a large part of it was her desire for vengeance. But if she were to release Vine’s fiendish power in the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, the resulting chaos wouldn’t be comparable at all to their side. The Holy Shushunu Kingdom was a country ruled by law, but if it were to lose the power supporting that, it would become unable to keep itself.
Which is why a plan that sought to jolt that very thing from its foundation appeared extremely appealing to Pale.
The catch was that it was dangerous.
“…You realize how dangerous that is, right?”
“Hey, who do you think I am? I’m Vine of the Burning Bright Moons, you know?”
“…That can’t be all there is to this. Why are you doing this?”
When Pale’s cold eyes tried to peer into Vine’s thoughts, for a moment, she couldn’t help but flinch. That was normally an impossible thing for her.
As she turned away from Pale, her cheeks flushed as if embarrassed.
“…Because Shumea-nee-san asked me to~”
“I’ve been wondering for a while now, but what exactly is the relationship between you two?”
“It doesn’t really matter does it!?”
Vine said flustered, and Pale became even more suspicious. Was Vine really this kind of woman? She wondered.
“She just helped me a little when I was a wee brat… Anyway, it’s none of your business!’
“Well, that’s true.”
Pale flatly replied. Vine glared at her, but there was no power behind her glare anymore.
“If you’re willing to help, then we won’t refuse it. We’ll reward you appropriately.”
“Take Sophia with you too. That way I can contact you through her.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll talk to her.”
“Alright. We’ll leave as soon as everything is ready.”
As soon as Vine left the door, she suddenly turned as if she’d remembered something.
“By the way, Berk said he wanted to meet you. It sounded like it was something important.”
Pale threw a puzzled glance at Vine as she left laughing, then she exchanged glances with Gi Gu and stood up.
“Please rest for a while. It will be hard to move until the king recovers, so unfortunately, Felduk will have to carry the burden for a little more.”
“It’s fine. We exist because of the king.”
At that, Pale nodded and left to meet Berk.