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Volume 3: Intermission – In the Old Days When the Sunlight Leaked through the Leaves of the Trees (3/3)
On the fifth year of Falmia’s research, the results of her domestication of the three-horned boars (triple horn), the one-horned boars (horn boar) and the likes, were adopted by a pioneer village, and they were even able to successfully multiply them.
But on that year, on the month of Horus, a news came that greatly shook the imperial capital.
A pioneer village had been destroyed. And all of the villagers were killed. Even the beasts she had domesticated were all destroyed.
From the corpses left in the outer moats, it could be inferred that the enemies were orcs. The question now was, how many orcs were there? After all, this was a horde so great that not even a single survivor was left to tell the tale. Sending the holy knight was – of course – a given, but they still needed to find out how many soldiers to send them with.
Meanwhile, they also had a lot of other problems, such as the Southern Free Cities or the problems pertaining to taxes.
If they sent too many soldiers, they could lose their territory to the south. As such, King Ashtal decided to rely on the strongest force of the central continent, the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, to arbitrate, while he focused his forces in the Western Region.
“Holy Knight Gowen, Holy Knight Valdor, lead your soldiers and destroy the orcs.”
While King Ashtal sent the holy knight, Jize, to watch the south, he summoned Valdor from the east and sent him with Gowen to put a stop to the Orc Madness.
The two holy knights relied on solid tactics to cope with the situation at hand.
By fortifying the defenses of the pioneer villages and patrolling them, they were able to stabilize the situation and reduce the damages from the orcs. After all, what they feared the most was for the pioneer villagers to flee the pioneer villages out of fear.
It could be said that these two unfortunate holy knights were given the difficult task of having to repel the unpredictable attack of the orcs while also dealing with things on the political side.
But these two holy knights were both brilliant and excelled at cooperating with others.
They kept in touch frequently and regularly exchanged information while they searched for the orcs.
“It seems this incident is the Orc Madness. At least, that is what Doll User-dono says.”
“So, the enemies are pseudo-pigs then?”
“Yes. Still, it’s been 10 days already. Have you seen any orcs?”
“No. The villages haven’t suffered as a result, but…”
This was their second time exchanging information, but they still haven’t caught any sight of the orcs. But that wasn’t surprising, as at this point in time the orcs have moved down to the south and were attacking the Border Lands of the Free Cities.
“What are the odds they just went back to the forest?”
“It’s not zero, but when the Orc Madness occurred in the east before, they never retreated once.”
“So we can’t let our guard down. But in that case, just where could they have possibly vanished to? There’s no way they found out our intentions and are moving in response…”
Gowen tilted his head, while Valdor did the same without saying anything.
And then the worst possible news was brought before them.
“The orcs have appeared at the south! The holy knight, Jize, is dealing with them, but there’s too many! Requesting reinforcements at once!”
“Damn! They got us good!”
As Gowen and Valdor clicked their tongues, they immediately pulled their army.
The sudden appearance of the orcs at the south brought great chaos to imperial capital of Germion Kingdom.
The orcs were headed straight for the capital. They numbered approximately 500. Although an official advisory to evacuate had already been given to the villages along the way, the damages received were already impossible to count. Because of this emergency situation, King Ashtal summoned the adventurers to the castle.
In order to respond to the enemy, King Ashtal had them join the fray as an impromptu army.
During this emergency, Falmia herself was also busy. The meetings held at the castle frequently demanded information on the monsters. And she was the foremost figure when it came to knowledge pertaining to monsters due to her research on monsters and monster beasts.
Of course, the king had many questions, and she had to respond to all of them, as well as the inquiries of the nobles.
Falmia never excelled with human relations from the start, so the continued days of excessive meetings gradually took a toll on her mentally and physically. She never was one to eat much, but now, she ate even less and became weaker.
The goblin hated to see her like that, but the only thing he could do was to tend to the house. He poured out his heart cooking for her, but she wouldn’t even eat half before returning the food.
The goblin wanted to make her happy no matter what.
He knew that his master loved magic.
So he desperately studied the characters she taught him before and successfully learned magic. He thought for sure she would be elated if she were to see that. That was why he did that.
But fate was a fickle thing that changed with just one step.
One day, when she came back in the dead of the night, the goblin showed off his magic before her, hoping to get her praise, but instead, what he got was her anger.
“Master! Look. Magic!”
“…Here I am suffering so much, unable to do any research, and you’re playing around!?…”
The goblin thought for sure she would be elated, so when she suddenly said those harsh words, he shrank. As the goblin stood their, shaking and unable to speak, Falmia said this.
“Leave! Leave at once!”
As she said that, she fell onto the desk and cried.
The goblin carried the magic book she got from her and opened the door with shoulders dropped.
By the time she’d stopped crying and had regained her calm, the goblin was no longer in the house.
“No, it can’t be…”
It was only now that she finally realized what she’d said.
“What have I done!?”
She left the house and searched the capital.
But in the end, she failed to find her goblin, and though saddened, she had no choice but to be swept in the flow of time. Although the Orc Madness was eventually suppressed by a young adventurer who then received the position of holy knight. None of that mattered to her.
She refused even the king’s gratitude, and after purchasing the house the king had given to her, she began living a secluded life.
The old goblin opened his eyes.
He felt like he was seeing a long dream. A dream about a time from long ago.
When he heard the shouts outside, he got up and went outside to take a look.
“Oh, Elder. Look, these are the elites of His Majesty.”
The young water mage goblin called out to him. The old goblin gently nodded to himand turned to the direction he pointed. At the direction he pointed were many young goblins orderly lined up.
Their great king had brought them much food from the world of humans. That was a great achievement.
Because of the abundance of food, the forces of the Goblin King were steadily increasing.
“…Germion Kingdom will probably fall.”
“Yes. Before the power of our king, the countries of humans are nothing but dust before the winds.”
“…I was thinking of going too.”
“I think I should join the war too.”
“But you’re in charge of the management of the Fortress of the Abyss.”
The old goblin shook his head and patted the shoulder of the young water mage.
“I’ll leave that to you.”
“It’s the wish of someone who doesn’t have long left. Please let me go.”
After some hesitation, the young goblin eventually nodded, and the old goblin gently smiled.
Are you still alive? The old goblin wondered. The book you gave me is gone already, but…
As the old goblin took a spear in place of the cane he walked around with, he prepared to depart.