VOLUME 3: CHAPTER 176 – THE GOBLIN KING’S LONG ARM (1/2)
The Goblin King occupied the western territory ruled by Gowen Ranid on the month of Toura, and on the very next month, the month of Rabbit, the Goblin King formed an alliance with the Leon Heart Clan .
The Leon Heart Clan was known for employing demihumans and elves with no discrimination . Of course, they couldn’t go as far as to hire monsters, but they could contact them through the demihumans .
The goblin army was able to advance smoothly thanks to the chaos caused by Gi Gi Orudo’s monster army that suppressed the small city-states and caused the Kushain officials to cry .
But that was only expected, after all, their numbers were terrifying .
The native beasts could sense whenever the monster army moved, and they would flee almost immediately while carrying with them the fury of having their homes invaded . The human territories received the brunt of their wrath .
The month of Drago could be said to be the start of summer, the season in which the fields would be painted green, but because of the rampaging monster beasts, the crops were devoured and laid to waste, and the helpless farmers could do nothing more than scream and watch .
As for the feudal lords that were supposed to be protecting said fields, they only felt some fatigue and some forlorn thoughts .
The village of Barje northwest of the free cities also suffered the wrath of the beasts .
“The beasts are attacking! They’re attacking again!”
As the man that went out to the fields screamed, the entire village stirred .
“Make contact with the feudal lord! Hide your women and children! Men, get your weapons and gather at the gates!”
The village chief, who was at the prime of his life, gave orders to the villagers .
“Village chief, Sonia’s missing!”
It was a small village, so everyone knew each other . Because of that they could easily tell when someone was missing . As for the girl named Sonia, she was supposed to have gone out to help her parents with the fields, but…
“Sonia! Where are you!?”
Her acquaintances all called out, not bothering to return to the village .
“Over there!” A hunter said as he pointed to a location .
At the end of where he pointed to was a girl being chased by a triple boar .
The villagers cried out, but the triple boar was too fast, and not even the hunter’s bow could suppress it .
But an arrow did come flying, and it actually managed to hit the boar’s legs, saving the girl, whom everyone thought was a lost cause .
It was not the hunter who shot that arrow but a traveler who was staying here since yesterday .
“Garwin!” The archer called out .
“Yeah!” Another man replied as he dashed out .
Wielding a long axe over his shoulders, it was a warrior who dashed out . In the blink of an eye, the human warrior dressed in leather armor was right next to the girl .
He confronted the beast as it stood back up .
The triple boar charged toward the warrior, but the warrior twisted his body and dodged, then in the next moment, landed a blow on the boar’s front legs .
As the beast cried out in pain behind him, an arrow flew through the sky and landed on it .
“Good job, Fase!”
Though both forelimbs were wounded, the triple boar came charging once more in its fury .
The warrior called Garwin calmly watched as it made its charge, then he used his axe to bash its head .
As the beast turned over and blood spurted out, a great applause rolled over the villagers .
Not long after the monster attack, contact was made with the feudal lord’s army . But when they heard that the beast they were to exterminate had already been taken care of, they were shocked .
Feudal lords generally hated losing even a little bit of their army . Because of that they won’t help unless they’re absolutely certain of victory .
Compared to them, the adventurers would fight as long as they think they can win . If that’s not possible, they can still choose to run during battle .
As a result, there was a great difference in promptness between the carefree adventurers and the feudal lords who had to protect their fiefs .
It’s because of that that the feudal lords and the adventurers have a give-and-take relationship when it came to these beasts .
“I give you my gratitude for protecting my fief . Please tell me your name . ”
Naturally, the feudal lords, who loved to make use of people, would naturally want to keep the adventurers . If a feudal lord could have a famous adventurer stay in his fief, he’d be able to expect a considerable increase in his fief’s defensive prowess .
“I’m Fase, and this guy is…”
“Garwin . ”
The feudal lord nodded as he watched the two adventurers nod boldly .
The feudal lord invited them to his mansion under the pretense of thanking them for protecting his fief, and of course, the two adventurers accepted his offer .
This sort of exchange was actually quite normal . Especially, in the remote regions where there was an abundance of monsters, beasts, demihumans, and even bandits .
“Ho? So you’re from Leon Heart?”
In the evening, while the feudal lord was enjoying supper with the two adventurers, he learned that these two adventurers happened to be a part of a big clan that was deeply rooted in the east .
“I’d heard you worked as mercenaries, so I was expecting you to look rougher…”
Fase, who was a half-human and half-elf, had a wry smile plastered on his handsome face as he shook his head at the feudal lord’s remark .
“Lately, we’ve started to expand to the south . Along with that, many of us have decided to work as adventurers rather than mercenaries,” Fase said as he ignored Garwin, who was wholeheartedly stuffing his face .
“I see… So how long will you be staying here? As you’ve seen for yourselves, the beasts have been attacking frequently lately, so having reliable adventurers such as yourselves would put my heart at ease . ”
The feudal lord was finally getting to the main point, but Garwin was still busy stuffing his face with food, so Fase had to clear his throat to get his attention .
“Y-Yeah… The food is great too, so we can drop by whenever . ”
Seeing Garwin play the fool, Fase couldn’t help but sigh inwardly as he cleared his throat a second time .
“My lord, I would like to remind you that we’re not a charity . ”
Upon hearing that, the feudal lord was visibly discouraged .
Weapons weren’t indestructible . They wore out like other things when used, and the same was true for armors, which would be damaged upon being hit . Money was needed to fight, and people who cheaped out on such things would not live long .
But the feudal lord understood that too, and that was why he was discouraged . He was hoping that they might help them out since they were a big clan .
Fase smiled with that handsome face of his and said, “From our travels so far, we can tell that you’re having a hard time and would certainly like to help . ”
“That’s good to hear, but…”
What the feudal lord was worried about was – of course – money . He had to give alms to the Kushain faith, so he did not have much left to spend . If he were to hire adventurers to protect the fief too, he would surely be forced to take out a loan .
The feudal lord may be reckless enough to intentionally charge through a road headed to bankruptcy, but he was yet to abandon hope . Be that as it may, the fact that he knew nothing of the other party’s problems ensured that he would come out the loser in this negotiation .
As the feudal lord resolved himself to see these adventurers off, Fase spoke .
“If you can provide for us lodging, food, and three silver coins every month, then…”
“…What!? Are you sure?”
It was only natural that the feudal lord was surprised . After all, these adventurers could earn as much as a gold coin were they to go to Cultidian, the headquarters of the Kushain faith .
So when Fase offered a sum that the feudal lord could actually pay, he was so moved that he took Fase’s hands and cried .
“…You are our saviors!”
“Actually, it just so happens that our clan’s policy is to help those in need,” Fase said .
The feudal lord nodded in admiration .
But of course, any story too good be true had another side to it .
A salary of 3 silver coins wasn’t enough to cover weapon maintenance, so naturally, there had to be a reason why the Leon Heart Clan would send people to a land that was under constant attack .
And that reason was none other than to send their forces between the Kushain forces and the Goblin Army .
The small feudal lords that were hurting from the beast attacks desperately wanted a way out of their predicament; hence, the offer of the Leon Heart Clan was like pouring water on a sandy soil .
As the moons changed, the Leon Heart Clan deepened their relations with the various feudal lords and even the people .
Like this the Goblin King’s long arm stretched out for the Kushain believers .
As for those who knew? There were only a few .
At the Fortress of the Abyss, the headquarters of the goblins, Gi Be and the other one-armed goblins instructed the newly born goblins that would become a part of the imperial guards .
It has already been three months since the war with the humans, and new warriors have already been sent to aid the Goblin King in his quest for the south .
After conquering the western capital and making his move to conquer the plains, the Goblin King’s need for soldiers has become unquenchable .
After the Goblin King received soldiers from the Gi Village, the four tribes, and the southern goblins, which totaled to almost 500 goblins in three months, the Goblin King set off to execute his plans for the humans of the western region .
The goblins have learned how to farm, but it was limited to the red fruit alone, which wasn’t suitable as staple food . Perhaps there might indeed come a time when the goblins could farm on their own, but for now, the Goblin King believed it would be best to have the humans take over the farms .
Goblins and humans have always had a difference in stamina, so after hearing that Gi Go Amatsuki was able to easily eat human bread, the Goblin King made up his mind, and now, goblins could be seen tilling the land .
The Goblin King didn’t go as far as to call it the Tuntian System, but he didn’t want to leave the goblin soldiers idle either, so he had them help out .
After all, it didn’t matter how much food there were .
Hunting was an indispensable method to gather the staple food of the goblin diet, which was meat, but it was no longer sufficient to feed an army of almost 2000 goblins .
The Goblin King knew that breaking the delicate balance of the ecosystem would surely bite them in the rear later, and he also didn’t want to consider driving a species to extinction .
With that, the Goblin King decided that they needed to gradually move from hunting to farming .
That being said, it wasn’t possible to completely abandon hunting, as it was a necessity for the goblins to hone their skills .
After all, a goblin could only be considered an adult when he is able to perform the three-man cell training and risk his life . The Goblin King himself acknowledges this .
Shumea was put in charge of overseeing the goblin and human farmers, and was presently going from village to village to arbitrate and appeal . This was on top of her duties to watch over the juvenile vagrants that were left behind in the western capital .
Any trouble or dissatisfaction reported to her were immediately passed to the king .
There were nearly 100 children less than 15 years old gathered around Shumea, and whenever she had the time to spare, such as when traveling from village to village, she would personally train them in the way of the spear .
When the Goblin King conquered the colonial city, they acquired enough food to feed 2000 soldiers for half a year . Because of this he was able to exempt the humans from tax for a year .
Shumea was always busy nowadays, but unexpectedly, she loved watching over the kids .
Contrast to her, her younger brother, Yoshu, who was tasked to watch over the slaves, was at his wit’s end .
Although they may all be classified under the word ‘slave’, there were all sorts . Some were swordsmen, some looked after their master, some were bedmates… etc .
Yoshu was put in charge of all these different ‘products’, and he hadn’t a clue what to do with them .
Of the 700 humans under the Goblin King, 100 were children, 400 were slaves, and the rest were either the elderly, the criminals, or escapees .
Even with just numbers alone he already had 4 times more to deal with than Shumea . He had to interview them one by one just to figure out what they could do, and in the end, it took him 10 days to go through them all . Life did not become easier afterwards, as it would take him a great deal of effort to put them to use .
After all, he was all alone . The goblins were unreliable, and while the elves seemed somewhat reliable at first glance, it turns out that they are actually utterly incompetent when it comes to moving humans . In the end, Yoshu had no one to rely on but himself .
Yoshu was so busy that he didn’t even have the time to scream as he dealt with the slaves .
In the end, Yoshu left 30 battle slaves to Gi Go, whom he believed was somewhat sympathetic, then he left the slaves that could write and calculate to the elves to support them, while he had the slaves that looked after their master to either look after the elderly of the western capital or help with the farms .
Yoshu happened to bump into Shumea when he went to the farms, and as it turns out, he was so worn out that Shumea went wide-eyed the moment she saw him .
But no matter how difficult the work was, Yoshu eventually managed to deal with it, and the goblin kingdom finally started to look like a proper kingdom .
Elrain Kingdom, wherein the Red King Clan focused most of their activities, was separated into two kinds of lands, one was green and the other was a dessert .
In the dessert region of the southern part were city-states formed by small villages referred to as Oasis City-State, whose income revolved around merchant caravans traveling the desert .
Naturally, there were various kinds of monsters and beasts lurking in the desert, and one of the source of income of the Red King Clan was to protect these caravans from such threats .
The Red King led the clans under his to subjugate the monsters lurking along the route that the traveling merchants used to go west . It was at a distance about 2 days toward the west .
“Have the rangers look for the ants coming from beneath us . ”
The one leading was a muscular warrior .
Members from various clans had come here to support him .
“Our united front (party) seems to be going well,” a pale-faced youth – unfit for the desert, named Carlion – said .
Brandika nodded . “But of course . After all, someone went out of his way to pull an all-nighter just to pick the right people . ”
As Brandika laughed heartily, Carlion scratched his face, troubled .
The Clan Coalition of the Red King would periodically go out to hunt like this to gather experience and deepen relations with the people of the various clans under them .
Whenever Brandika himself is leading, there would always someone good at management to support him .
“Don’t push too far! Just push gradually!”
As the muscular warrior gave out instructions, several party members at the frontline made the signal to show they received orders .
“Sardine is really heated up… I think I’ll—”
“—Don’t . That would be cruel to Sardine . ”
Brandika wanted to go to the frontlines, but Carlion stopped him .
“Just a little . ”
“No . ”
“I won’t take long, promise . ”
“Just the tip!”
“No means no . Besides, the customers need someone to take care of them . ”
Brandika desperately tried to persuade Carlion, not noticing Cell’s gaze from beside him, but Carlion ignored his pleas and looked behind .
Brandika ended up following Carlion’s gaze, and there, behind them, he saw the influential general of Elrain, Kanash, and the clan leaders under their clan .
“Ah~ Well, I guess it can’t be helped then . ”
Brandika pouted like a little kid and walked toward those people .
“…I’ve always wanted to ask you something . ”
Cell asked as Carlion watched Brandika walk away .
“Why are you supporting a man like that?”
“Because I want to… Is that not good enough?” Carlion chuckled and looked toward Sardine’s direction .
When word that the anthill of the killer ants had been found came, Carlion knew victory was theirs, so he told Cell to rest and he went back to his tent .
“Hmph…!” Cell snorted as she looked over the clear blue sky and the vast desert .
The desert winds caressed the female gnome warrior’s face, going past her just as quickly as it came .
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