The Red King brought their entire army in pursuit of the goblins west . The commander of the vanguard, Saldin, wanted to hit the doctor when he heard how grave Carlion’s sickness was, but Cell the Sword Dancer stopped him with a severe blow . Because of that he was currently sulking and
Normally Saldin would be talking a lot to try and increase the morale of his platoon, but now, he wasn’t even making an eek . Because of that the wild soldiers under him were sneakily whispering to each other .
“What’s wrong with the general?”
“…It doesn’t seem like he’s eaten anything bad . ”
“He’s not you, stupid . Maybe it’s because of a woman?”
“Oh, now that you mention it, his cheeks are swollen . ”
Meanwhile, the person in question was sighing . He looked up to the sky and thought the light of twin sisters, Ervi and Navi, to be dazzling, but even their dazzling red light failed to ward off the sadness within his heart
He would be leading a battle this time too, but for some reason, he just wasn’t in the mood .
The death of a comrade .
He has experienced that countless times now, but this sort of death was something he still wasn’t used to .
“That’s not like you,” the old enchanter, Grave, called out to him .
Normally, they’d be at each other’s neck whenever they crossed each other’s path, but when Saldin turned around and Grave saw his face, Grave just couldn’t find the mood to poke fun at him .
Instead, he just sat down beside him and poured him some liquor .
“I don’t need your pity,” Saldin said .
“Unloveable as ever, I see . All I want is to ease some of your grief,” Grave said to Saldin, who already reeked of alcohol .
“You know, gramps . It was the clan leader who picked me up, but I actually owe more to Carlion than to the clan leader . ”
“…I remember that, actually . That guy was always the helpful sort . Made a fuss when he found himself a younger brother . ”
Saldin took a mouthful from the cup before him . “I haven’t repaid Carlion enough just yet . ”
Maybe it was because he drank too much or because the liquor was too strong, but regardless, Saldin suddenly became very drunk . The more he spoke the more the emotions he kept in his chest came together .
“…You sure think some strange things . The title of ‘Genius Tactician’ isn’t just for show . As long as you follow his orders, we’ll win this time too . ”
Grave suddenly took the cup that was violently placed on the table by Saldin and slowly drank .
“Everyone dies someday . The god of time, Jurana’s, blessing doesn’t pour forever for anyone . ”
“…No, I will pay him back . I’m going to pay him back in my own way . If he’s going to die, then I’m going to cut down all sources of his worries and let him have a peaceful death . ”
As Grave put down the cup, Saldin grabbed it and took another mouthful, then Saldin looked up at the night sky .
“I will take Carlion’s place— No . I don’t have to go that far . Just half is enough, and I will help the clan leader become king . Yes! That’s how it should be!”
Seat Brandika in the highest throne!
As Saldin remembered Carlion’s favorite saying, he swore .
“While that guy is alive, huh…”
As Grave looked at the bottom of the emptied cup, he became thoughtful .
“…You might have to overcome the goblins or Pena,” Grave said .
“I’m not saying this just because I lost,” Saldin said . “But the goblins are strong . They’re much stronger than the Kushain Believers . ”
“I have 1,000 elite cavalry in my platoon,” Grave said . “Take them with you . They’re not as good as Shushunu’s sorcerer cavalry, but they’re well trained . ”
Grave was one of the most successful adventurers among the commanding officers under Brandika’s direct supervision . It was such that his success could rival even his .
Saldin wasn’t expecting Grave to suggest that . Because of that he couldn’t help but open his eyes as he stared at the old enchanter in amazement .
“Win . And let Carlion have his peace . I too am in his debt, so… Go . Exterminate the monster threat by the roots and bring peace to the south . That will also bring our clan leader, Brandika, closer to the throne . ”
As Saldin wordlessly nodded, the fire of resolve could be seen burning within his gaze .
As he stood up, he ordered his platoon to depart .
“We’re going, you bastards! How long are you planning to sleep!?”
When Grave heard that, he wryly smiled .
“The young shine so brightly . It’s just for today, but… I’m actually quite envious of Jurana’s blessing . ”
As someone whose time was short, he couldn’t say that he would take Carlion’s place .
Saldin yet had time to grow, which is why he could afford to set Carlion as his goal and chase after him .
The sons of men did not posses the tenacious body of demihumans, or the long life of elves, or the strength of monsters, or the ferocity of beasts, but they still conquered the continent .
The reason for that was because of their endless potential .
Yes . It was because of that that the humans became the strongest force in the continent . They received the divine protection of the gods, they were granted favor, they were awarded blessing, they learned to defend themselves, and they fought with the invaders .
Right now, before Grave’s very eyes, was a man who resembled those sons of men that the gods watched over .
The old enchanter looked up at the yet dark sky .
The mixed army of Pena that relied mostly on the clans went straight north . They obeyed the orders of the supreme commander, the knight-commander of the Blue Knights, Allen, and postured to pursue the goblins passing through the borderlands .
Clans that had many adventurers with skills like hunter and ranger – which made them ideal for finding the enemy – were picked out and given the task of scouting the enemy .
Those that could come back with good info would be rewarded handsomely, so the adventurers were eager to do their job .
In the past few days, Allen had gotten used to handling the mixed army .
As far as rewards went, honor and glory weren’t very appealing to the clans, but money and a safe place to rest were . Allen had to raise the monetary rewards in order to maintain morale and reward those with big achievements . But the reason he could do that was because the elder council had given their approval .
Allen himself had no idea what caused them to change their tune, but it was better to have money than none .
Allen threw all those coin at the clans, and they became much easier to handle .
Once, when Allen was looking for a clan to send out as a scout, the clan he recruited asked if there would be a special reward . That man was actually the reason why Allen changed the way he thought about the clans, for when Allen asked his aide to stop yelling at the man for his impudence and asked the man why he was fighting, the man looked at him with a dubious face and gave a simple answer .
‘To feed ourselves . ’
When Allen heard that, he was deeply embarrassed .
Allen was also once a commoner . He was not wealthy by any means . Had he not met Aizas and were he not skilled in the sword, he would surely not be where he was today . He could be one of these adventurers who chose to walk the path of the sword to feed themselves .
That’s why he stopped in his tracks when he heard the clan leader’s simple answer . Fortunately, they had enough money to splurge . Using that money as the reward, he was able to successfully send out some scouts .
It was Allen’s suggestion to give a bigger reward to those who could give quick and accurate information . Word of that bonus quickly spread throughout the mixed army, and in no time at all, information had been collected . The speed at which they gathered info left even Allen in shock . It was almost as if all that talk about the mixed army being bad was a lie .
“The goblins are a day’s distance to the north, huh . ”
As Allen held the map with one hand while riding his horse, he thought back to the previous battle .
The night was the hour of the monsters, so he had to think up a plan that would not go into the night .
“We’ll make use of the cavalry and do a hit and run strategy . Or if they go to us instead, we’ll have to intercept them . ”
Allen wasn’t sure how the goblins would move, but then he remembered something . The villages in the border were empty . If so, then perhaps the goblins had taken hostages with them .
They tried a hit and run the last time, but the goblins were easily able to meet them . Given the current circumstances, it seemed only right to intercept the goblins, but the army Allen was leading now had some uncertain factors .
One was the lack of food and the other was the lack skill .
Although Pena had given them plenty of money, there was no telling how far they would have to chase the goblins who’ve abandoned the borderlands . In other words, Allen and his men had no idea how much food they would need .
Feeding 20,000 mouths needed a lot of food .
The other issue was due to the fact that they were a mixed army composed of soldiers and clans . As such, it was clear as day that the level of skill they had as an army was a lot lower than normal .
An army wasn’t strong because it’s full of strong soldiers . Rather, it was strong because the supreme commander is able to see everything, be it the bad habits of the commanders or the movements of each platoon . An army can only be strong when all of its parts are able to work together .
No matter how strong the clans were individually, without any time to coordinate everything, their current strength as an army was weak . An army like that would surely have a hard time intercepting the enemy .
Those were the two reasons that worried Allen, so in the end, Allen decided to take a proactive offensive position .
“Prepare for an attack in the night! They will surely come when night falls!”
Allen ordered half the army to remain alert in the night as he maneuvered the army into an offensive position .
Gold dangling before their eyes, the clans kept a watchful eye out even their break .
Inside the camp that was firmly defended, half the army kept a watchful eye .
As they gradually closed in on the goblins, when the distance between them and the goblins was only half a day, the attack came .
The black of the night shook as a howl that could shake courage itself bellowed .
That was a voice so sinister it was hard to associate it with a goblin’s . When the people heard that powerful voice for the first time, their blood ran cold .
“They’re coming! Defend! Raise your shields and ready your spears!!” Allen gave orders to his cowering allies . “Magic platoon, cast fire bullets to the surrounding area!”
Allen knew they couldn’t outpower the goblins in terms of unity during the hour of the night god, so he decided to focus on defense instead .
The reason he ordered to cast fire bullets at their surrounding area was because they had gathered piles of leaves around their camp . Allen intended to set those on fire to use as a light source .
One of the biggest reasons Allen believed they couldn’t win against the goblins was because of the difference in sight . Unlike the goblins, the humans can’t see without the brilliant body of the fire god that ever shone in the morn and in the afternoon .
As such, they needed a way to grasp the goblins’ position . It didn’t matter whether it was by ear or by smell, they needed to grasp the goblins’ position and pass that to the entire army as soon as they could .
The light of fire warded off a portion of the black of the night, unveiling the figure of a giant goblin .
When the adventurers saw that for the first time, they audibly gulped .
This was nothing like the goblins they knew .
It wielded a club over its shoulder and donned a ferocious face from which even the devils of hell would surely run .
Giant goblins came up one after another behind that giant goblin .
“That’s one of the three goblins from before!”
Allen relied on the light source they had secured and gave orders to the archery platoon .
If they got caught in a melee with that giant goblin, the mixed army would surely lose .
He couldn’t play his strongest soldiers, the Blue Knights, just yet, so the mixed army would have no way to stop them .
As such, Allen ordered the army to focus on defense while they kept shooting at the goblins with arrows and magic .
The giant goblin clicked his tongue as he used a black light to sweep away the arrows and then retreat .
“Knight-commander! Please give the order to pursue!”
The enemy did not appear to have been damaged in that attack, but voices still rose up from the knights, asking to pursue the fleeing enemy .
However, Allen did not give the order .
“No . We shall pursue in the morning . For now, just stand guard and wait when morning comes . It is better to attack those guys under the light of the god of fire rather than the darkness of the god of night . ”
After that the goblins would come from time to time, but Allen never allowed them to come close, until eventually, the night had passed .
Report of the goblin’s attack failing reached the king .
The humans were only camping for a night, but they had secured it throughly . They cut the surrounding grasses and erected plenty of fences .
Attacking into that would take much bravery and sacrifice .
The Order of the Blue Knights that they fought before focused on using their cavalry’s mobility, but this time, the enemy was mainly made up of foot soldiers .
The style was different, but the Goblin King believed that they were still facing an elite army .
“This makes things difficult . ”
Rashka led the goblins to attack in the night, but the humans just kept him away with magic and arrows . The enemy refused to come out themselves, but they couldn’t launch themselves against them either because of all their defenses .
The Goblin King was visibly irritated as he glared at the south .
Their pursuers did not take chances and instead maintained a steady pace .
That was the most annoying kind of pursuer .
If they clashed directly they were bound to lose . Why? Because they had too many to protect .
The fact that the Goblin King couldn’t just leave them behind and run made him even more impatient .
“8 more days until the western capital, huh . ”
The western capital wasn’t geared for defense, but if they could just bring the people there, then they would surely be able to destroy 20,000 soldiers .
Right now the goblins in that region were currently in a staring contest with Germion Kingdom, so it should be safe to call them temporarily .
In any case, they needed to hurry .
The elderly, the women, and the children were a lot slower than expected, but the Goblin King desperately wanted to avoid a battle with them pulling at their heels .
“The enemy has begun to move, Your Majesty!”
When the night cleared, the goblin forces and he borderlords started moving again .
When the Goblin King received Hal’s report, he narrowed his eyes .
In the end, what was to come, came in the end, the Goblin King secretly thought to himself, but he had no intentions of losing .
“Tell Gi Gu Verbena to rendezvous with the main army . Rashka, Gi Zu, Gi Jii, Gi Go! Prepare for battle!”
The goblins nodded to the king as he called out to them, and then they immediately started their respective preparations .
“We will take half the army and stop the enemy . Hal, Gi Ji, Gi Gi, scout the area as you head north . Gi Ba, work together with Zaurosh and defend the humans!”
What was scariest of all was to have the enemy come before their eyes and scatter, as that would make it harder to defend the humans from their attacks .
The Goblin King didn’t believe once that the humans wouldn’t do such a thing to a fellow man .
The moment a man has recognized you as his enemy, he will be capable of anything, no matter how cruel .
The Goblin King knew how terrifying the hate humans could feel toward other humans .
The humans couldn’t cross the plains by themselves, so the Goblin King had to provide them an escort and send them north . There were more of them than the goblins, so the Goblin King had to provide them an appropriately sized escort .
Aside from Zaurosh and Gi Ba, he also had Ra Gilmi of the Ganra Tribe and Felbi of the elves accompany the humans .
The fact that the Goblin King had allotted so many of his soldiers to protect the humans showed just how wary he was of a detached force coming to hit the humans .
The Goblin King still remembered the last fight with the Blue Knights . The way they made use of a detached force to toss them around was nothing short of magnificent .
They have yet to spot the enemy cavalry, so the Goblin King had no choice but to divide his army in two .
There was still some time before the sun rose . It wasn’t much, but the Goblin King allowed the soldiers that attacked in the night to rest a little .
The battle between the forces of Pena and the goblins led by the Goblin King began when the brilliant body of the god of fire was at its peak .
The forces of Pena, who have been advancing steadily until now, took full advantage of their superiority in numbers to attack the goblins without pause .
That was exactly what the Goblin King had been fearing . A relentless attack without pause .
After all, no matter how strong they were individually, without the numbers, they would eventually exhaust their strength and be killed .
It also so happened that the place where they’d made camp was in the plains with no nearby forest . With the enemy already before them, they couldn’t even set traps as they pleased .
In fact, the Goblin King had already judged that they had no choice but to limit their movements, so they could only quietly wait for the enemy to arrive .
Pena’s force of 20,000 came pushing toward them, while the goblins that lay in wait stood only 3,000 men strong .
As Pena’s forces charged straight toward them, Gi Gu’s forces met them .
As the Goblin King’s subordinate with the biggest horde in the Forest of Darkness, Gi Gu Verbena had more rare goblins under his command than anyone else .
Goblins of the noble class and above were permitted to have their own horde . And Gi Gu had the most rares, boasting a staggering number of 25 goblin rares .
Of the goblins under his command, many were of the special southern variant with longer arms, but even those southern goblins had different classes, from beast tamers to druids .
Gi Gu, who possessed the biggest horde in the king’s army, charged alongside Gi Jii the battle demon to attack the enemy right from the front .
In response, the enemy humans cast spells, forcing the goblins to take a step back to dodge . At the same time, however, the rare goblins under Gi Gu’s lead attacked .
The enemy forces had gathered into one lump and were attacking them, but they couldn’t move like Gi Jii’s regiol, which moved as if it were one organism .
The mixed army that was composed of various clans attacked the goblins .
Gi Gu’s southern subordinates took full advantage of the three-man-cell strategy by moving with their predetermined groups of three to let the spells shoot past them, and then break formation to attack the mixed army .
One goblin would deflect the spear swung by an adventurer, while the second would swing his spear toward the adventurer’s feet . When the adventurer lost his footing, the last goblin would thrust his long sword into the space between his armor to finish him off .
The southern goblins have always been numerous, so in exchange for being weak individually, they fought much better than the Gi Goblins as a group .
They could use their long arms to attack the enemy from outside their range and their smaller stature made them much harder to hit .
As Allen watched the battle become much more difficult than expected, he looked for an opportunity to strike .
Allen has led many small platoons until now, but this was the first time he would be commanding such a big army . That being said, the vice-commander of the Blue Knights couldn’t possibly be an incompetent fool .
“Don’t do anything reckless . Just focus on exhausting the enemy . ”
Allen desperately pushed back the desire to quickly end this battle . A habit he was prone to . He did well considering he also had to endure the nerves that came from holding all 20,000 lives in the palm of his hands .
Allen would immediately order a clan to step back when they started losing momentum and substitute them with a new clan . At the same time, he took advantage of their numerical superiority by ordering a part of the clans to expand toward the right flank . By doing so he would be able to gradually surround the goblin forces .
The goblins had to defend against that, so they couldn’t use their full power to crush their forces from the front .
The adventurers also had healers among their ranks . The healers were given a much bigger reward and were ordered to heal everyone without discrimination .
As Allen carefully attacked, he started to feel the heat emanating from the sweat on his forehead .
“Good . At this rate, we will be able to defeat them!”
In response to Pena’s tactics, the goblins also fought by taking turns .
One platoon would be sent to the front, then when they were tired, they would be brought back and replaced .
When the Goblin King saw that Gi Gu Verbena was starting to tire, he brought out Gi Zu Ruo’s platoon next .
“Gi Gu, retreat to the left flank! Gi Jii, retreat to the right flank! Gi Zu, Rashka, it’s your turn to fight!”
Giving orders was easy, but the execution was difficult . Regardless, however, the Goblin King was able to make it work by going out into the front lines himself with the platoon under his direct command to scatter the enemies .
When the Goblin King stepped out to fight in the front lines himself, for a moment, they were able to push the enemy back and were able to use the chaos during that moment to quickly substitute platoons .
“The weak do not interest me! Only death awaits those who stand in my way!”
“Turn me into a blade! (Enchant)”
The curved sword of Gi Go Amatsuki the Sword God and the great sword clad in the black flames of the abyss plowed through the humans .
The Goblin King wanted to keep up that pace and destroy the rest of their enemies, but the wall of 20,000 soldiers before him left him with no choice but to step back .
It was as if a powerful unrelenting wave kept crashing against them .
Even the Goblin King’s momentary success was only accomplished because he had seen through the weakness of the clans’ attacks .
The army before them was nothing more than a mixed army of clans with poor coordination, so the goblin forces that have been fighting for a long time now were much stronger as an army .
They worked better together compared to the enemy .
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