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Volume 4: Chapter 265 – Departure (1/3)
Gastora rolled over and showed his belly.
He felt right at home on his mother, Reshia’s, lap as he put on a defenseless appearance, so that she’d fawn over him. The fur of the gray wolf spread from his forelegs to his back, while a white, soft hair covered the part from his belly to his hind legs.
Every time Reshia’s fingers combed through his soft, white hair, Gastora felt sleep inch ever closer.
Reshia was in the room she’d been allocated and was sitting on her bed. She seemed to be looking sadly at Gastora, but the happy gray wolf was not reflected on her eyes. Her mind was occupied by the Goblin King.
When they met in the forest before, the Goblin King ruled over the goblins and seemed so strong he couldn’t lose to anyone. But the Goblin King she saw today was wounded so gravely that not even her powers could heal him, and yet despite that, he tried to fulfill his duty.
Why was he so strong? She couldn’t understand it.
She told the Goblin King before. ‘Why are you that strong? Anyone would cry when they’re sad. Anyone would want to run away when they’re suffering. No one has the right to chastise anyone for doing so.’
In response, the Goblin King said this.
—Because I can’t forgive it. I can’t forgive weakness in a monster such as myself.
“A monster, huh…”
That monster risked his own life just to save her.
If she’d been left alone, it was likely that she would’ve— No, not just her, but even Zenobia would have turned into an existence that could only spread calamity in the world.
Now, that would be a monster.
That elf, Pale, said that the Goblin King was attached to her. She was probably right. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have risked his life and fought a god for her.
But if so, then why?
“Is it because he… loves me?”
She tried saying it out, but then furrowed her brows. If he loved her, he’s never tried to touch her..
Gastora had been sleeping when he suddenly yawned and stood up.
“Heh, must be nice to be as relaxed as you.”
She grabbed Gastoria by his neck and lifted him up to her eyes, and Gastra softly growled.
*Knock! *Knock! Sounded the door. Reshia called out, and a voice resounded from the other side of the door.
Those words were said sloppily. Perhaps, they got the wrong room. After all, no one’s ever called her mother. She hasn’t even become a parent yet.
She threw Gastora to the bed and stood up to open the door.
When she opened the door, her eyes opened wide.
A gray wolf tall enough to reach her chest was standing there and talking as she rubbed her head against her.
“Cynthia, mother, meet you, happy.”
As Reshia froze in shock, Cynthia licked her hands. Yes, an adult gray wolf was clinging to her.
Reshia found herself comparing Gastora, who was sleeping on the bed, and the giant gray wolf in front of her.
“Mother, Cynthia, you forgot?”
“…Y-You can talk.”
Reshia was so shocked that she couldn’t process the situation, but when she realized Cynthia’s sad growls, she told her.
“There’s no way I could’ve forgotten.”
Reshia stooped down and hugged Cynthia, and Cynthia’s tail started happily wagging. After enjoying themselves in their reunion, Reshia compared Cynthia with Gastora.
“…Why is there such a big difference?”
Gastora’s fur stood up on end as he tried to threaten Cynthia, but Cynthia just put out one paw and easily suppressed Gastora. Gastora struggled, but it was all in vain. Because of how easy her victory had come, a smile surfaced on Cynthia. Reshia wasn’t sure, but she sounded happy.
Gastora yelled, but unfortunately, Reshia couldn’t understand what he was saying at all.
“Cynthia, strong. Cynthia, big sister.”
Gastora tried to escape Cynthia’s paw, but it was all in vain. The gap in their strength was too overwhelming. After that Cynthia rolled over to Reshia’s feet, and when Gastora came running over, she swept him away with a swing of her tail and declared her victory.
“Gastora, weak. Cynthia, strong. Mother, Father, Cynthia, will protect.”
After being slapped away with a tail whip, Gastora had suffered a complete defeat. He let out a sad whimper, and ran out of the room.
“Oh my… Cynthia, siblings shouldn’t fight among themselves. You need to get along with each other.”
Reshia said as she patted Cynthia on the head.
“Gastora, spoiled. Not good.”
When she said that unhappily, Reshia became thoughtful. Perhaps the reason why Cynthia became so amazing was because she was with the Goblin King.
“Hmm, did I raise him wrong?”
It’s true that she’d been spoiling him. And after seeing the evident difference between Cynthia and Gastora, and Cynthia saying that he shouldn’t be spoiled, Reshia felt all the more that she’d messed up.
Reshia didn’t chase after Gastora.
Cynthia and him were born together, so why did she grow up so quickly? Compared to her, he still looked like a child. Frustration and sorrow mixed together within him.
Even the words of consolation from the other females that used to bring him comfort was now nothing but noise to him. He ran in a daze through the stone halls, but when he took a turn, his field of vision was suddenly blocked.
Gi Za Zakuend, the wizard class, looked at him suspiciously. With his book in one hand, he picked up Gastora, who was playing with his robe, by the scruff of his neck.
“…Have I seen you before?”
Gastora growled and Gi Za stared at him for a while, then feeling relieved, he made a sinister smile and laughed at the gray wolf.
“Aren’t you His Majesty’s gray wolf?”
In the face of that sagacious but cold smile, Gastora shuddered.
—Is this goblin planning on eating me?
Gastora struggled more despite his paws dangling in the air.
They’d lived together before, so he knew. Goblins ate anything. They ate even those red things hanging from the tree branches that Gastora would never eat.
Perhaps, they would eat even him. Of course, Gastora couldn’t be further from the truth, but this misunderstanding couldn’t be solved since they couldn’t understand each other.
“What, are you lost? You look like you’re struggling, but…
“It’s good to be so lively. Hmm, let’s share some of that liveliness of yours with His Majesty.”
Gastora desperately tried to struggle, but the gap in strength was simply too big. Unable to resist, he could only growl.
After walking for a while, a door opened and they found themselves in the king’s bedroom.
“Your Majesty. The selection is complete.”
“Ahh, sorry to trouble you… So, who is that in your hand?”
As the Goblin King looked inquisitively at him, Gastora desperately tried to call for help from him.
“What do you mean? He is the King’s Treasure. He was too lively, so I brought him with me.”
“Ahh, Gastora… Well, that’s fine. Come here.”
Gi Za threw Gastora toward the Goblin King, and Gastora immediately bolted off for the king’s chest, then growled menacingly at Gi Za.
“You seem to be quite hated, no?”
The Goblin King wryly smiled, and Gi Za answered with a snort.
“Rather than that, please take a look at this instead. It’s a list of the people who will be accompanying you in your journey.”
The Goblin King took the parchment and checked the names written inside.
Reshia Fel Zeal’s name was at the top of the list. Gi Go Amatsuki and Yustia’s name were in the list as well. The people listed in the parchment have been picked out while minimizing the number of people that held high ranks in the army. That was the condition the Goblin King had given since he’ll be away from his duties for a while.
“To be honest, I wished I could leave you here too.”
“But then that wouldn’t be what we agreed upon. I’m sorry, but I’m coming along. Besides, I can just leave the druids to Gi Do Buruga. It’s a good opportunity too since he’s been focusing too much on that elven princes and has been slacking off recently.”
“We’ll be troubling Pale too.”
“That ill-natured woman won’t be bothered by minor matters. She’ll be fine.”
As a sagacious but scheming smile appeared on Gi Za, the Goblin King returned it with a kingly, wry smile. As he patted Gastora, who was sticking out only his head from his chest, he looked over the roster and became thoughtful.
“…Very well. One day, I too will die. When that day comes, it will be up to you and the others to maintain the kingdom. This is a good opportunity indeed.”
“Ominous words, Your Majesty. But no such thing will happen as long as I’m alive.”
Gi Za turned heel and left the room. When he walked the way he came from, he happened into Pale.
“How is His Majesty?” She asked.
Pale nodded and entered the Goblin King’s room.
“Your Majesty, a report regarding the war in the east has arrived.”