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Volume 4: Chapter 295 – Zu Ved (4/4)
By the time Gi Zu woke up, there were already elves and goblins watching over him with concern.
It was Gi Za Zakuend who called out to him calmly. Gi Zu looked up to him, then as he gradually woke up, grabbed at him without meaning to.
“What happened to Ved? What happened to my Sazanorga!?”
Gi Za didn’t say anything and just turned to the mountainous region still under heavy fire from the flying warships.
“…Where is his majesty!?”
“What are you trying to do?”
“I will appeal to him directly and ask him to allow my return to the battlefield – to where my Sazanorga is!”
“With those wounds?”
“These? These are only a scratch! A father would never abandon his children! I will not abandon them!”
“Well, your appeal has been rejected. There’s no need for an audience.”
“What did you say!?”
“Your Sazanorga has already been destroyed. Those that escaped with you and protected you are also covered in wounds. There are no soldiers left for you to lead.”
“I can go by myself, so please let me go!”
“The king has made his decision.”
“That’s why I’m asking you to let me meet him!”
“There’s no need to. Recover from your wounds and prepare for the next battle.”
Gi Zu could not take Gi Za’s unyielding attitude any longer, and he found himself raising his fists.
He bellowed out a howl and jumped at Gi Za.
“I’m going to go, so don’t get in my way!”
“…Deranged. As expected, it appears it won’t be possible for you to return to battle. Hold him down.”
Gi Za wiped the blood bleeding from his lips and calmly gave the order for Gi Zu to be suppressed. The goblins tried to carry out his order, but Gi Zu shook free from them and went on a rampage.
It was Prime Minister Pale’s words that stopped him.
“The king will meet you.”
Gi Zu calmed down, while Gi Za clicked his tongue and turned to Pale, muttering loudly, “what an unnecessary thing to do.”
“He is waiting for you in the spire.”
Gi Zu’s body was beaten and bloody, but despite that and his ragged breath, he dragged himself to where the king awaited.
“…There was no need for you to take over such a hateful role,” Pale said.
“That’s not what I intended. But if a hint of rebellion so much as appears within Gi Zu, he must be dealt with immediately,” Gi Za said.
“Good then. And…”
Gi Za almost let out his true feelings, but he caught himself before he could and averted his glare.
There was no changing the fact that it was his own plan that cost Gi Zu his men. That’s why he believed it was okay for him to hate him. Much better that than for him to rebel against the king.
Gi Zu followed Pale’s instructions and climbed up the spire.
Along the way, his body ached, and his breath grew ragged. But he did not rest. His subordinates were fighting so desperately in a hopeless battle, so what right did he have to rest in a place like this on his own?
Before long, that gallant figure of the king overlooking the mountains with his great sword came to view.
The back of the Goblin King was as big as he remembered. And it reassured him even at a time like this.
“Your Majesty, our great king, I beg of you, please allow me to rescue Ved and the rest of my subordinates!”
The Goblin King turned to the mountains.
“I know I am weak. But please!”
Gi Zu rubbed his against the cobblestones of the spire as he begged the king to send him. But there was no changing the decision of the king.
“…It cannot be done. You must understand, Gi Zu.”
Gi Zu wanted to scream as he looked up at the Goblin King, but then he saw the blood dripping from the hilt of the great sword that the king clung tightly to.
“…They are still fighting to carry out my orders.”
As the king squeezed out those words, Gi Zu turned to the mountains.
“If you want to resent me, then do so.”
“I could never resent you, Your Majesty!”
It was not just Gi Zu who grit his teeth watching the battle unfold, the Goblin King too shared his pain.
“You must not avert your eyes. Such an act will not be forgiven, Gi Zu. And neither must you get in the way of the warriors’ battle.”
Gi Zu howled with such intensity it seemed blood would gush out, then as he pounded on the ground and the walls, he tried to calm down his emotions. But every time he tried, the figure of Ved and his Sazanorga would flash through his mind.
“I… I… AAAaaAAGAAAAaAA!!”
The Goblin King did not say anything and just listened to the sound of Gi Zu’s bloodstained howls. Gi Zu slammed his fists and pounded his head on the ground, painting a bloodstained sight that made it seem as though Gi Zu was crying tears of blood.
“They’re going to die… All of them! Ved──I!!”
After that the last of Sazanorga trudged through the last ten days in the mountains and fulfilled their orders from the king.
The price they paid for that was the death of every goblin that made up the main force of Sazanorga. The bloodstained plan to delay the enemy in the mountains was a success, and with the time Ved paid for with their lives, Alrodena completed their reorganization.
On the fifth year of the king’s calendar, in early autumn, Alrodena was once again ready to stage an all-out offensive.