|Spoiler Inside: Character Name Cheat Sheet||Show|
Volume 4: Chapter 268 – The Unexplored Lands of the West (2/2)
Past the salt lakes of the unexplored lands in the west, two days through a roadless path, the king and his entourage approached a mountain from which black smoke billowed. The gray lava rocks and the notches on the earth were hidden by grass, making them difficult to see and the path here that much more difficult.
At the head of the group, the warriors under Gi Go and the young snow demon warriors competed with each other to clear the grass, but the march remained slow.
With thunderclouds spreading across the sky, it seemed as if it would start raining at any moment, urging them to raise their pace to secure a place to sleep for the day.
Gi Go Amatsuki the Sword King rode ahead of the young warriors, then he turned his sharp gaze to the surroundings as he reached the side of the king’s steed.
He could sense the presence of another person. That rubbed him the wrong way. If he were to believe his intuition, then they must absolutely not proceed any further through this path.
But Gi Go laughed.
To fight with a new powerful adversary was exactly what he wished for. To be the sword of the great king and to be able to fight was the very thing that protect his pride; that’s why nothing could be better than to be able to fight a new powerful foe and fight for the king at the same time.
Knowing that such a foe was nearby, Gi Go warned the goblin king.
But that much was already known to the king. The
And the king felt it too, that there was a presence there beyond his own status as a creature.
A feeling rarely experienced with humans, one that he has not experienced in a long time.
It was just like that time when he was born and saw the fight between a giant spider and an orc for the first time. Like that time when he faced off against that scarlet speckled big bear. Or those times when he saw the servants of the goddess of the underworld, the
And the moment the Goblin King saw that, he was forced to realize it.
A red ryuu as big as a small mountain was moving on the ground made of lava stone. It looked as though it had just come out of a battle. With blood flowing out of its wounds, and the way it moved sluggishly, it might’ve fought with another being like itself.
It was precisely because the Goblin King was riding on Sui that he saw that giant stature. Because of the tall grass around, the others were still unaware.
The Goblin King became stupefied for a moment, but then called for his entourage to stop, then chose only the strongest among them.
As they advanced deeper in, they gradually realized what the king was heading toward to, and they all tensed.
“…Your Majesty. I must ask, but do you intend on fighting with that?”
Gi Za Zakuend, controller of spirits, asked the king from behind. As though to tell him not to say anything unnecessary, Gi Go glared sharply at him. A glare Gi Go returned.
“That would depend on him,” the Goblin King said.
Sui was left at the back along with the other goblins. By the king’s waist were two great swords, the
He had readied himself for a battle, but he was yet to make up his mind, perhaps because of his curiosity toward the unknown existence that was the ryuu.
Before him was an existence thought only to exist in legends.
The Goblin King should’ve been terrified, and yet as though he had been numbed, he felt no such thing. With every step he took, the fear that he initially felt waned, and excitement took its place.
“When the time comes, the king will decide. We just need to shut up and follow.” Gi Go said despite obviously itching for a battle. Those words were a warning for him, as much as they were meant to keep Gi Za in check.
Gi Za snorted as he held his staff with his other hand, wiping the sweat that had gathered on the other.
When he saw Gi Go smiling so ferociously with his curved sword ready to be drawn anytime, he grumbled.
“This is why
Despite that he still prepared himself for the worst and spoke to the spirits to prepare. No matter the foe, the first strike is sure to be advantageous. As Gi Za followed the king, he secretly decided to himself to immediately use a powerful attack as soon as the battle begins.
While the two goblins spoke quietly among themselves, no one noticed the small shadow following them unsteadily from behind. Part of it was because the giant ryuu had taken their attention, but another reason was because she’d behaved herself until now.
“I smell adventure. It’s sure to be a good opportunity for you to grow, Gastora.”
Gastora tilted his head as he looked up at Reshia from her embrace. She looked at him lovingly like a holy mother, but that gentle smile suddenly turned into that of a scheming little girl as she followed after the king and his entourage.
Past the land of lava stones and tall grass was a land barren of all flora. Here, not even grass grew. On the back of one’s feet could be felt the faint heat emanating from the ground. Despite seeing the giant stature of the ryuu that lay before him, the Goblin King did not halt his steps.
The red scales of the ryuu rose and fell in conjunction with its breath. On the scales stained in blood and mud was a deep wound that yet bled. Those scales that normally shone brilliantly have been dulled. Any other creature would have long succumbed to the blood loss, yet the creature before the king remained strong. Yes, this was no normal creature.
Eyes closed, the creature’s long hair extended behind, while the two horns on its head that reached out to oppose the heavens spoke of its majesty and antiquity.
This was a ryuu.
With a stature to seat it at the apex of the forest, and a breath that could suppress all life, that was the ryuu, and the Goblin King stood before it, taking in all of its majesty with his own eyes.
Though he did not feel any of that imposing aura that he felt when he confronted the gods, the imposing appearance of the creature was enough to make his eyes open wide.
Quietly, he thrust the great sword on his shoulder into the land, and the Ryuu opened its eyes. Those distinctive reptilian eyes met with the Goblin King’s own crimson.
“…What brings you here? For the likes of a demon child to enter my territory, do you believe you will return alive?”
A thunderous voice resounded. Such a voice did not put to shame the ryuu’s status as an existence at the apex. In fact, it was so overbearing a voice that Gi Za’ and Gi Go’s hair stood on end and they immediately braced themselves for battle, but the Goblin King folded his arms and boldly spoke.
“I am the king of goblins, a traveler from the south. My pride is not so cheap as to defeat a wounded foe to decorate my name!”
When the small existence before it brazenly named itself, the ryuu became confused, while the Goblin King could tell that the ryuu was wounded from its thundering voice. As someone who has stood against the gods, the Goblin King could tell that the voice of the ryuu was lacking.
The Goblin King braced himself as he stood before the ryuu, but the posture he adopted was not that of a lesser challenging his superior, but one facing an equal.
The confrontation between the giant ryuu and their great king was so fearfully tense that Gi Za and Gi Go couldn’t move an inch. They themselves couldn’t tell if the king was trying to start a dialogue with the ryuu or provoke it.
“You… A mere demon child will defeat me?”
“You will know if we fight.”
And yet, just like that, in a short time that felt like an eternity, the scales leaned toward a battle.
“…Interesting. No matter how wounded I may be, I could not possibly lose to the likes of a demon child!”
“Then it cannot be helped!”
The ryuu bared its fangs and the Goblin King reached for his buried sword, in that moment, a voice interjected.
With that voice fluttered a long, blue hair, and for a moment, all eyes turned to her.
“Reshia! Why are you here!?”
“The adherent of the
Despite all the eyes gathered on her, Reshia approached the ryuu with a staff in hand.
The red ryuu shrank back for a moment, but very quickly, it bared its fangs and warned her.
“Do not approach, adherent!”
Already the breath that left its mouth was scorching hot. The evil eyes of the ryuu could see things that humans could not. And on them were clearly reflected the giant shadow of the Goddess of Healing. Though her shadow had once forcefully been summoned, that shadow that could only destroy everything around it has already been vanquished by the Goblin King.
The shadow that the ryuu could see behind her was the love of the Zenobia that ruled this world.
It was precisely because he was strong that when he saw the absolute power of Zenobia, fear filled him. This ryuu that did not fear a fight with the dragons birthed by the gods and perhaps did not even fear its own death, felt instinctively afraid of the thought of antagonizing one loved by the gods.
He was terrified of destroying the world that the gods have established. Especially as a ryuu who served the servant gods that once sought to destroy the world.
That was the truth established by those that won the last great war.
“I will heal your wounds. It will not do for an adherent such as myself to simply ignore one who is wounded!”
“No! I do not want any charity from you!”
The ryuu tried to back down, but the deep wounds left on it kept it from doing so.
The Goblin King tried to stop her, but Reshia turned to him and smiled. That was not the inhumane smile that she wore when Zenobia possessed her, but a gentle smile like that of a mother protecting her terrified child.
“Don’t worry… It’ll be fine, your Majesty. There’s no need for you fight. That ryuu can understand. And he is also full of pride. That’s why there’s no need for the two of you to fight.”
Reshia raised her hand and light gathered around it.
The very air around seemed to grow denser as they provided her the mana she needed, and then the sunlight broke through the thundering clouds and shone upon her. Light gathered around her as though the world itself were blessing here.
Reshia prayed to heal the conflicts and wounds of the world, and that prayer became a divine protection that enveloped her and became a light that illuminated the world.
The light of healing covered the body of the red ryuu.