Under the black of the night that veiled even the brilliance of the twin sister red moons was a fleeing army . It was just like a wounded beast . But wounded and battered as that army may be, it kept pushing on, not breaking, all because of the presence of the Goblin King .
When there was a battle, the Goblin King would rush to the vanguard . When they were to retreat, he would rush to the rearguard . The goblins followed such a king, and it was at his back that they threw their very lives . But though their king was such a king, he had yet to get used to the great number of deaths brought about by war .
The Blue Knights were persistent in their pursuit . They stuck to the trails of the goblins and attacked whenever they let their guard down, even if only for a moment . As Allen came to know when to strike and when to endure, his qualities as a general gradually blossomed .
If the goblins took too much time to shake off the pursuit of the Blue Knights, the mixed army that was far behind would eventually catch up .
Which is why even though the goblin’s still had some leeway fighting against the Blue Knights, they acted as if they were at a disadvantage . Unfortunately, despite all their efforts, the Blue Knights still managed to keep up with them .
Opportunities are a thing in battle . They are what one might refer to as the cross-roads or the turning points .
The Blue Knights continued their pursuit of the goblins, but as the goblins changed their routes intermittently, they gradually managed to run northward .
The goblins advanced in an almost zigzag-like pattern, while the Blue Knights followed them around to try and impede their advance .
The turning point in this battle came when the mixed army of Pena caught up .
“Have they caught up!?” Allen asked .
They had pursued the goblins day and night without rest . As a result, Allen had ended up growing a stubble and was quite exhausted . But when he heard that the mixed army had caught up, his eyes shone a sharp glint like that of a predator .
“10,000 soldiers from the mixed army has arrived!”
When Allen received that report, he felt as if he could already see the conclusion of the battle, and he laughed ferociously .
“We will attack the goblins tomorrow morning . Take turns resting!”
The world beneath the wings of the Goddess of Darkness and under the dark reign of the Night God belonged to the monsters . Though they may have had horses that boasted of great mobility, this relentless pursuit that the Blue Knights have been keeping up has still taken a toll on them . Allen brought the mixed army that had just arrived to the front, then he told the Blue Knights to rest .
Allen continued to manage the army as he sensed the conclusion of this battle drawing near .
Meanwhile, perhaps merely due to coincidence or perhaps due to the guidance of the dead warriors’ chagrin, the Goblin King found himself drawn to a certain place . It was none other than the battlefield where Gi Ba Hagar perished in battle .
Before the eyes of the goblins that cared not for the dark of the night were the corpses of the borderland people that they could not protect and the corpses of their brethren that were cruelly killed .
The Goblin King knelt beside the warrior’s corpse that was half-eaten, probably by a passing monster .
“My lord, the corpses are too few . It seems likely that the people of the borderlands were able to escape to the western reg—” Gi Jii Yubu reported, only to stop midway as he noticed Gi Ba’s corpse .
There was a long sword sticking out of the ground before Gi Ba’s corpse . It was as if it was meant to serve as a grave marker .
“How many of our brethren were killed?” The Goblin King asked as he knelt beside Gi Ba’s corpse and gazed at it .
Gi Jii blanked for a moment before answering . “200 normal goblins, my lord . There were no elves or Ganra goblins among the corpses . ”
“…I see . ”
The king fell silent once more as he offered a silent prayer to a faithful retainer who fulfilled his duty .
“We shall meet again one day… In the realm of the dead,” the Goblin King said .
As the Goblin King stood up energetically, he no longer looked back .
Normally, they would have taken their time to bury Gi Ba and mourn for him, but they didn’t have the time to spare .
“Gi Jii, we’re going . Don’t stop!”
Gi Jii bowed his head and gathered his subordinates to retreat .
“…You will pay greatly for this, humans . ”
The Goblin King did not bother to stop the grating sound from his teeth as he led his forces north .
Within the Goblin King’s heart burned the resolve to fight once more as he glared at the south .
As soon as the night ended, the mixed army chased after the goblins . It was remarkable how even though the enemy has been chasing the goblins on sand horses for the past few days, the goblins have still yet to collapse, but the fatigue had already started to slow them down .
“Make those goblins pay for attacking our southern lands! Take back the people they kidnapped!” Allen said .
Allen stood frozen and speechless for a moment when he saw the traces left on the battlefield where Gi Ba had died . Although monsters had already come and eaten the corpses, Allen could still see remnants of the unarmed women and children, as well as the large number of goblins and human soldiers . When Allen saw that, he assumed that the goblins had kidnapped the people and that the forces of the Red King had failed to recover them .
Allen was concerned about the movements of the Red King, but he didn’t have the time to check on them . A passionate fury welled up from deep inside his cest, lifting the corner of his eyes and dyeing his exhaustion in anger .
“Unforgivable! Let these goblins know the price of killing our people! Onwards!” Allen said .
Having a just cause has always made it easier to rule regardless of the era . Although the truth that Allen believed was actually far from the real truth, there wasn’t a single soldier from the forces of Pena who would dare believe that the goblins were protecting the humans . As such, the forces of Pena burned in righteous indignation as they chased after the goblins .
Even the adventurers who only thought of money sympathized with Allen’s anger after seeing the devoured traces of the corpses of the young and the old .
“We may be good-for-nothing scums who throw their lives away for money, but… We would never lay a hands on women and children! Those monsters are scum!” Said a young clan leader of a medium-sized clan as he followed Allen’s command and upped the pace .
“Kill the monsters! Make them pay in blood!”
As the furious adventurers raised their sword, several clans sympathized and raised their speed .
Upon the grass-covered plains that stretched out as far as they eyes could see, patches of forests could be seen here and there . This was the northernmost part of the borderlands . Just a little further up, and they would be entering the regions known as the Western Region, but the forces of Pena were pursuing the goblins .
The pursuing forces of Pena could finally see back of the goblins . It seems they had at long last been exhausted . With the body of the god of fire still high up in the sky and army morale being at an all-time high, Allen decided to rush straight into the fray .
The mixed army didn’t even bother to fix their formation as they jumped straight for the monsters, but the clans that made up the mixed army were originally created for the sole purpose of hunting monsters .
They specialized at hunting monsters independently . Under the command of their clan leader, their vanguard kept the enemy at bay, while the rear guard supported them . Allen’s job was just to regulate the distance between the clans .
It was a chaotic battle for goblins . It was almost as if they were fighting a hydra, a snake with a hundred heads . The clans attacked as they pleased, and the Goblin King had to deal with them . The enemy’s left flank would focus on long-ranged attack . The enemy’s right flank would focus on suppressing them . The enemy’s center would push with their vanguards . The clans that were also differently sized fought against the goblins in their own ways .
Even the Goblin King could at most only deal with three fronts . Having to deal with so many clans was too great a burden for the Goblin King, who himself was unable to think well due to exhaustion . The other goblins were also exhausted and had difficulty moving . SOme of those even ended up falling prey to the humans’ fierce attacks .
One goblin would try to cover a hole, but then another goblin would fall to a human’s sword .
The Goblin King himself was full of wounds and was already at his wits’ end trying to drive away the humans . The Goblin King stifled whatever thoughts he had of fatigue and focused solely on responding to the threat before him . But even as the Goblin King cut down a human before him with his zweihander, another spear would thrust toward him from the side .
The Goblin King bellowed out, but even with his powerful voice, the humans surely wouldn’t withdraw . But be that as it may, just dulling their movements was good enough . When the Goblin King saw their movements dull, he immediately used that as an opportunity to order another retreat .
To the goblins, having to turn their backs and flee was a thing of humiliation . In fact, there was both fear and humiliation to it, and the more evolved a goblin was, the greater the scales swung toward humilation .
“Damn you, humans! Damn you all!”
“…Regretful . ”
Even the bellows of Gaidga’s Rashka vanished before the Goblin King’s rodes, while Gi Go Amatsuki the Sword King could only powerlessly regret his weakness .
Though the Goblin King, Gi Jii Yubu, and Gu Verbena tried to stop the enemy from the rearmost part of their forces, the enemy was gradually devouring them .
“…This is it! Let our might resound through the azure skies!” As Allen brandished his sword, he ordered his best soldiers, the Order of the Blue Knights, to charge .
“Slay the enemy and let us offer their heads!” Allen howled . “To my dear friend Aizas!”
And the members of the Blue Knights cried out in response .
While the mixed army were attacking the fleeing goblins, the Order of the Blue Knights took a long way to the right . With the plains wide open, they took full advantage of their great mobility and rode like the wind .
The rearguard of the goblins that was led by the Goblin King was already at their wits’ end just dealing with the mixed army . No one had the leisure to notice the movements of the Blue Knights . If they did something like that, they would immediately be killed by the flood of humans .
Accompanying the flood of swords was a flood of spears, arrows, and magic . Just brushing all that away and retreating without losing control of the army was already a miracle in and of itself . In fact, the human forces themselves couldn’t maintain such good control over their army . But even as the goblins struggled valiantly, every passing moment brought them closer to the end of the battle, as the Blue Knights inched ever closer .
Under the light of the brilliant sun hanging high above the sky, clouds of sand rose up as sand horses valiantly galloped through the desert . The knights that rode upon the back of the sand horses were – fitting to the honor of the kingdom that they carried – were led perfectly by their commander, Allen, who held back his rage that sought to break free and go wild .
The long slender spear that was raised by Allen twinkled under the light of the sun . The end of that spear was pointed at the enemy to be destroyed .
“Ready your spears!”
The wind carried Allen’s voice, allowing it to reach all the way to the back .
The long and slender spear of the Order of the Blue Knights were fastened to the sand horses . At Allen’s command, the members of the order took out the spear, then Allen gave another command . Every command Allen gave needed to be given at the perfect moment . Too early, and he would end up tiring his soldiers . Too late, and he would impede the momentum of their charge .
“Geese formation!” Allen said .
The Blue Knights were gathered together like one lump until now, but when Allen gave that command, they changed their formation into something akin to that of an arrow-head with Allen at the center .
It was as if the Blue Knights had changed into the appearance of a living creature as they rode toward the goblins .
The geese formation maximized the penetrating power of the Blue Knights, giving them the necessary strength to destroy the enemy formation .
The Blue Knights had absolute confidence in Allen as he led the charge . The Blue Knights rode through the plains with their spears lined up . The blue overcoat that was the symbol of the Blue Knights fluttered in the wind as they rode like a bird swooping for its prey .
When there was only 300 meters left between them and the goblins, the goblins finally noticed them .
When Gi Jii Yubu saw the speed and the formation of the approaching knights, he immediately realized their strength and cried out to the Goblin King, but it was already too late, for by the time the Goblin King could react to Gi Jii’s cry, the enemy was already before them .
The brilliance of the enemy’s spears reflected on the Goblin King’s eyes . The Blue Knights approached with such speed that the Goblin King no longer had the time to give an order .
“—Onwards!!” as Allen bellowed out that order, so did the members of the Blue Knights .
A battle cry that could shake the heavens and the earth resounded as the Blue Knights charged for the goblins .
As the Blue Knights easily trampled over Gi Jii Yubu’s forces and broke through the goblins led by the Goblin King himself, the Goblin King bellowed out in anger . The black flames upon the Goblin King’s great sword burned ever stronger . With each step the Goblin King took, the earth seemed to break . And a terrifying presence seemed to accompany every swing of his great sword .
“Disperse! Dodge it!”
Allen immediately broke his platoon into three platoons .
After penetrating halfway into the forces of the goblins, Allen suddenly gave the order to disperse, changing the formation of the Blue Knights from that lone arrowhead into three arrowheads .
Allen did not know exactly what the Goblin King was up to, but the chills that ran up the nape of his neck immediately forced him into action . And he gave the order to change formation while keeping those chills he felt in check .
By maneuvering his horse masterfully, Allen was able to immediately change the course of his horse . But just because he could didn’t mean everyone else could . As such, not all of the Blue Knights that were aiming for the Goblin King could stop in time .
After the Goblin King swung his great sword, the black flames that clad his great sword transformed into a sword wind that tore the approaching knights asunder . With one swing of his blade, the Goblin King had literally cut down 50 knights . There wasn’t even any time for the dead knights to cry out in pain .
But even then, the greater majority of the knights had successfully broken through the goblin’s forces .
“They no longer have the strength to chase us! Come! Let us charge a second time! This place here shall be their grave!”
Allen and his men were in high spirits as they took some distance and prepared a second charge . Just as Allen had said, the goblins did not have the strength to pursue them . They were simply too tired .
The exhausted Goblin King, who had expended much ether, gauged the distance between his men and the enemy . The Goblin King had just literally let loose a killing strike, but he longer had any cards left to play .
The only card left was to defend and flee to the north .
“Retreat! Retreat now!!”
Though the Goblin King burned with shame, the Goblin King struck down the approaching adventurers, if only to ensure that at least one more goblin would be able to flee safely .
“My lord… At this rate…”
After getting hit by the enemy’s charge, Gi Jii Yubu’s forces could no longer defend . As such, Gi Jii could clearly see their defeat . Before long the enemy knights would come charging again, and even though their formation had yet to fully collapse, they were already at their limits .
With their numbers reduced, all the goblins in the area could hear the Goblin King’s voice . That was one of the reasons why they were still hanging on, but there would surely not be a second time .
The pressure from the adventurers was also increasing . It was increasing in response to the charge of the Blue Knights .
Arrows and magic rained mercilessly upon the fleeing goblins, while warriors weaved their way through and fought up close .
Should the goblins receive another attack from the knights, they would surely be wiped out like dead leaves being jostled about amidst stormy seas .
But Gi Jii put those thoughts aside and eyed his surroundings
The regiol that he devoted himself into making had already been reduced to just 100 soldiers .
“But even then!” Gi Jii grit his teeth .
Those 100 soldiers should be more than enough to serve as a decoy .
If they could just make an opening, the Goblin King would surely be able to retreat .
The few would sacrifice their lives to allow the many to live . That was one of the odd strategies Pale Symphoria showed in their war with the elves .
Gi Jii took a deep breath .
But just as Gi Jii was about to give the order to die for the king, a volley of arrows came shooting from behind the goblins .
“What!?” Gi Jii and Allen exclaimed in shock .
Allen was so focused in his pursuit of the goblins that he had completely forgotten to watch his surroundings, but it would be too harsh to criticize him for that . After all, they were just one attack away from finishing off the goblins . And there was no way that the knight-commander of the Blue Knights, who was also the supreme commander of the entire army, could sit out that deciding battle .
The Blue Knights have been pursuing the goblins all this time and were actually quite exhausted . Only, they had forgotten all the fatigue they had built up due to the excitement of a victory . It was also out of consideration for their stamina that Allen didn’t commence this attack until the last moment .
Allen knew that he could make his soldiers forget their fatigue by standing at the head of the army, which is why he took the position that he did, but it was also because of that that he could not react fast enough to the attack coming from the north .
“Slip past them and stop their movements! Don’t let a single knight approach the king!”
The riders led by Hal of Paradua rode south from the north, seeking to slip past the flanks of the Blue Knights . At the same time, a great number of arrows descended before the mixed army .
A look at the source showed that it was the elves and the Ganra tribe who shot them .
“Don’t fall behind, boys!” Mido the Tyrant of the Fangs said with an assertive voice as he led the gray wolves running across the plains . Allen could see that they had taken a long way around the battlefield and was now in position to isolate the rear .
“Let your roars bellow and strike fear into the heart of the enemy! We’re not handing our home to these humans!” The chief of the centaurs, Tianos, said as he led the centaurs out of the forest .
“Could it be? Was this all… a trap? No, but…”
“Commander, there’s smoke coming from the back!”
While the enemy was surrounding them, for a moment, Allen was confused . This setup was simply too good . One moment they were driving the goblins into a corner, then in the next moment, they had fallen into a trap .
Allen was finally starting to mature as a general, so he couldn’t shake off that odd feeling . If he were still the old Allen, who only knew to charge onward recklessly, he would have surely ignored the surround and attacked the goblins . Or perhaps, if Aizas were around, then he might have given the order for Allen to continue the charge .
Unfortunately, his late friend was no longer around and the burden of 10,000 soldiers of the mixed army and the Blue Knights rested solely upon his shoulders .
When Allen turned around to look at what his subordinate was talking about, he saw a black smoke rising .
“…That’s the direction of the supply unit!”
The supply unit was a platoon with the sole purpose of replenishing their supplies . They were currently positioned at the rear alongside the wounded . There was half a day’s distance between them and Allen . That’s not very far as far as battles are concerned, but if they were being attacked now, then it was too late .
It was simply impossible for them to encroach into the western region without any supplies . In fact, without any supplies, even retreating would be dangerous . After all, Allen needed to feed his army of over 10,000 men . Having to procure food while retreating was bound to be a disaster .
When the mixed army saw the Blue Knights unmoving, they couldn’t help but waver themselves . The black smoke billowing from the back had severely weakened the pressure of Pena’s forces just like that . Most of the wounded were from the mixed army and were positioned at the back with the supply unit . Although the army had healers among their ranks, they didn’t have that many, so they couldn’t instantly heal every wounded soldier .
“The rear guard is under attack!”
When the mixed army heard that, they stopped moving altogether .
“Commander, an army is coming from the north! Their number… Approximately 15,000!”
Allen found himself unconsciously turning toward the north . There, a great army with the flag of the Elks Clan was approaching them .
“So it was a trap… All of it!”
Not only did the Blue Knights stop moving, even their spirits were dampened when they saw the approaching army from the north . Seeing how low morale was now, Allen could only bitterly grit his teeth as he was forced to order a humiliating retreat .
“We’re retreating . Forget the pursuit of the goblins . We’ll recover our allies and retreat to the borderlands!”
As Allen reprimanded the Blue Knights, who were frowning in regret, Allen had his orders passed to the mixed army .
They had expected the goblins to attack them, but the goblins never pursued them as they retreated to the south .
The forces of the Goblin King were wide eyed at the sudden arrival of a giant army . Even the Goblin King himself was shocked . But since the army that appeared before them wasn’t an enemy, for the mean time, they decided to continue along their retreat .
When the forces of the Goblin King neared the army of nearly 15,000, they were once again shocked .
That ‘army’ was made up by the borderland people and the slaves that lived in the western region . It was an army of noncombatants that were nothing more than the women and the elderly . It was an army equipped with nothing else but wooden spears and a flag . A paper tiger, so to speak . If the enemy had continued fighting then, this army would have surely been wiped out .
“Who’s idea was this?” The Goblin King asked .
“It’s been a while, Goblin King,” a voice replied .
While the Goblin King was being shocked, a certain sylph warrior appeared before him .
“Pale Symphoria…” The Goblin King muttered .
Pale Symphoria knelt on one knee as she spoke to the king, “The greetings and the scolding can wait for later, as we’re in the middle of a battle right now . A fortress has been prepared up ahead . I propose we go there first . ”
Seeing the Goblin King nod, Pale immediately ordered for the fake army to move . There were no hesitations in her movements . At the same time, a calm will was reflected on her two eyes that should’ve been closed .
Pale still looked just as she did before, but the atmosphere around her was completely different . It was almost as if she were a different person .
The Goblin King was inwardly shocked, but he didn’t openly show that shock, as he focused on leading the army to the forest .
Gi Ba Hagar and some of the borderland people died along the way, but in the end, the goblins managed to put a successful end to this retreat .
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