Gi Gu’s mad charge had the royal palace of Pena in a state of panic . Most of the elders that could be considered the executives of Pena have already been killed during Brandika’s revolution, and though the Blue Knights were still in good health, they were only half as strong as they used to be .
As for the mixed army, they were crushed when Brandika used them for his purposes .
With Pena having lost most of the people that could manage the country, the Elder Council had no choice but to declare that all decisions would be left to the queen’s discretion . Because of Queen Raksha El Pena’s friendship with the knight commander, Allen, the people believed that she would issue an order increasing his authority, but what she issued instead was an order to intercept the goblins .
An imperial command was given, declaring that the authority of the attack be given to the Blue Knights . As such, Allen was entrusted with the duty of strategizing the defenses of Pena .
Within his private room, Allen pondered on whether they could resist the goblin forces . What was headed toward them now was only one of the four goblin generals, and the main force should still be at Elrain Kingdom, but there was no end to reports from the north of the goblins increasing their strength .
Could Pena really defeat them if they were to use that power?
After being entrusted with Pena’s defense, Allen came up with a plan, and on the next day, requested an audience with Queen Raksha . She received him at the throne room . Allen knelt while Queen Raksha sat on her throne . There was no one around them, causing an air of desolation to fill the space .
“Please allow me to use the Holy Sword Guradion . ”
“…You can’t use it . ”
The queen’s voice was colder than usual as it resounded throughout the throne room . Allen recalled the legend .
The Holy Sword Guradion was entrusted during the distant age of the gods as a sword to protect the country . When a chosen one wields it, it bestows its wielder peerless power, but when an unchosen one uses it, his life will be forfeit .
The sword is enshrined during the selection process, and the bearer is decided according to the light of the sword when held . When Aizas passed away, Allen himself tried for the selection, but the light did not show any signs of following him .
The moment when he realized that he was not special and had to leave was still fresh on his mind .
“I am aware, Your Highness . But without its power, there is no saving this country . ”
Queen Raksha remained silent, and Allen continued .
“Princess… No, Queen Raksha . Please bestow the holy sword upon me and allow me to take vengeance for Aizas—!”
Allen felt the queen stand up as he was speaking, so he caught his tongue .
“…You speak of vengeance? But the one who killed him was you!”
Allen never thought that she would say such a thing to him, so he ended up meeting her gaze from below . Such conduct would be considered rude, but fortunately, there was no one here but them .
It was a trivial matter to deny her words . But Allen couldn’t say it . She was right . If he were only stronger, then he wouldn’t have been delayed by the goblins for so long and Aizas wouldn’t have had to die .
Tears poured out of Raksha despite her attempts to stop them . She looked as if she were both laughing and crying .
“It’s not just Aizas . You abandoned Brandika too! Right!?”
No, Raksha was crying . That much should’ve been obvious, but it took Allen a lot of time to realize it . The words that left her lips next left Allen frowning and bewildered .
“Brandika? Why do you care about him?”
Allen couldn’t understand it . The Red King, Brandika Rual Fatina . He was their invader and their conqueror . There shouldn’t have been any reason for her to love him . If anything, she should hate him .
“…Brandika was kind to me . He consoled me . While I was lonely from Aizas’ absence, he was there for me . ”
“Absurd! He was the one who stole this country! Please open your eyes, Princess!”
Allen sidled up to Raksha while kneeling .
“Don’t come! You took two of my dearest people . And yet! And yet! I…!”
Allen had no choice but to watch dumbfounded as Raksha sobbed .
With Rashka sobbing atop the throne, it was clear that right now, she was not a queen, but the little girl whom he spent his childhood with . Allen stretched out his hands from the floor and was about to hug this little girl, but the doors suddenly swung open .
One of the elders pushed open the doors to the throne room as he led the imperial guards with him . With their intrusion, it was no longer possible for Allen to hug her .
The elder quickly moved to where Raksha was and looked back and forth between her and Allen, then he glared at the latter .
“What is the meaning of this, knight commander!? Her Highness has been laden with anxiety . Can you not understand that much!?”
As Raksha continued to cry, the elder clicked his tongue in annoyance and ordered the imperial guards .
“Bring Her Highness to her room! I will speak to the knight commander!”
The waiting maids almost had to drag Queen Raksha back to her room . When she couldn’t be seen anymore, the elder dropped his shoulders and spoke to Allen .
“I heard you arguing . I was hoping it wasn’t the case, but it looks like something bad happened . ”
“Everything is because of my immaturity . ”
“At least you have a good attitude, given that you’re not trying to make excuses . So, did you talk to her about borrowing the holy sword?”
“She refused . But… we have to do it . ”
Without the holy sword, it was impossible for the people of Pena to truly cooperate with them . That was how much the bearer of the holy sword meant to the people of Pena .
“A rescue request came from one of the satellite cities awhile ago . The goblin army is approaching . They number roughly 500 . Can you do it, Allen?”
“…For the sake of the country, for the sake of my queen, I will offer even my life . ”
With the fate of Pena on his shoulders, Allen wielded the holy sword .
“What? They were repelled?”
When Gi Gu heard that the attack he entrusted to Gu Naga had been repelled, he couldn’t help but tilt his head . Although Gi Gu’s mad charge that was basically tyranny allowed him to quickly expanded his territory, it also made it difficult to manage his territory .
Although he might have given autonomy to the conquered territories, he still had to demand proof of their submission from them .
Forcefully turning their people into battle slaves like they did in Gerlend would too high-handed of a method to apply to the cities that surrendered, so they had to choose another method .
As such, Gi Za proposed that they instead demand the cities to provide them with soldiers . From Gi Za’s work with the king, he knew that there was a considerable number of soldiers in the cities surrounding Pena .
The cities in the outskirts of Pena were more than able to raise a private army given that they had people who used to be gladiators, people who used to trade and had guards, and people with guards to watch their belongings . There were many traders here that dealt with local specialties and had a private army . Now, the goblins were demanding them to hand these soldiers over .
“Can we rely on the humans?” Gi Gu asked .
Gi Za cruelly replied, “there’s no need to rely on them . We will just treat them as our heralds . ”
As far as Gi Gu was concerned, the only thing that could be counted on as their force were the goblins . There were also the other races acknowledged by the king, but without the approval of the king, he found it hard to accept the humans as a part of his army .
In any case, Gi Gu Verbena ordered his army to stop in the outskirts of Pena and glared at his surroundings .
Gi Gu postured himself to show that he would destroy any city that refused to take part in the campaign and demanded that the cities give him soldiers .
In the end, Gi Gu was able to muster approximately 1,000 soldiers .
There were no cities that refused, so Gi Gu was able to direct the forces he received toward those that had yet to surrender . He divide the army into two, then he picked out two old men from among the humans and made them commander over the two human armies, and then he sent them to attack with the goblins .
When Gi Gu heard that their attack had been repelled, he grunted in displeasure .
“Must we remind them of the taste of fear yet again?”
“How did they lose”
It was Gi Za who asked that lats question in Gi Gu’s place . Gu Naga (Long) replied respectfully .
Gu Naga (Long) did his best to explain, even gesturing, and Gi Za came to a conclusion .
“The Order of the Blue Knights . ”
“Those guys from back then, huh?”
The two goblins thought back to that order made up of unparalleled sand horses . The king and the entire strength of the goblin army should have left them half destroyed, but it seems that they’ve somehow managed to recover .
“…So Pena won’t surrender as long as they have that knight order . ”
What was burned to Gi Za’s memory was the figure of that powerful knight order that fought evenly with the goblins . As he thought back to the past, he was forced to realize that they might need reinforcements .
“It doesn’t matter who it is . Any and all who stand in our path will be crushed . Tell Gu Tough and Gu Big to come back!”
At Gi Gu’s behest, the messenger ran off .
Although he was able to rapidly expand his army through the human army, he now had to scatter his forces .
This wasn’t an enemy that could be defeated just by taking his entire strength and pitting it against them . As Gi Gu Verbena decided that, he focused his forces . The Flag of Felduk chased after the flag of the Blue Knights .
Cheers welcomed the Blue Knights in the city they freed .
Although the Blue Knights only numbered 500, they were able to break the goblin forces . Word of the defeat of the reinforcements had spread to the satellite city, so the victory of the Blue Knights was a ray of hope to them .
But that wasn’t all, for in the hands of the knight commander of the Blue Knights, was the Holy Sword Guradion .
That was the guardian sword of the country that promised victory .
A sword to defend Pena, a miracle from the age of the gods . Its brilliance was a ray of hope to the people despairing within the abyss, and the people who wavered and thought of surrendering found themselves instilled with courage .
“Victory to the Blue Knights! Glory to Pena!”
Basking under those cheers, Allen entered the manor of the feudal lord, but the moment the doors closed, he fell to his knees . The sweat that he’d desperately been trying to hide came pouring out and his breath immediately became ragged .
The feudal lord panicked, but Allen told him that this was a matter of utmost secrecy as he borrowed the shoulder of his subordinate .
The holy sword did not choose Allen . Allen merely chose to wield it despite knowing that his life would be shortened .
After explaining the situation to the feudal lord, he explained a portion of Pena’s defensive plan, and asked for his cooperation . When the feudal lord heard the plan, he nodded . After all, there was a youth in front of him who was gambling even his life for the sake of the country .
Pena’s plan was one that limited damages to the people as much as possible, so it only made sense to accept it . The feudal lord agreed with Allen’s plan .
The next day, the feudal lord saw the Blue Knights off and began preparations to execute the plan .
“They got away again!?”
Gi Gu Verbena cried out in shock, while Gu Tough lowered his head .
The army of Gi Gu Verbena that carried the flag of Felduk have been failing to catch the Blue Knights of Pena despite their continuing expansion . This time around, Gu Tough was on the receiving end of a powerful assault on his way to rendezvous with the main force .
They didn’t suffer many casualties, but Gi Gu was already at the end of his patience from the enemy’s repeated attacks .
“If we can’t catch them, then that means we’re not mobile enough . ”
Gi Za’s analysis caused Gi Gu to frown . Gi Gu may have had beast tamers and druids in his army, but he didn’t have rider-beasts . Rider-beasts were unique to one tribe and the cavalry of the king required special training . Because of that his army was lacking in mobility .
And the enemy took full advantage of it .
“…Gi Zdono, what do you think? I believe we should set a trap, but…”
There were fast monsters within the forest . Like the double-headed ostrich or the small but fast wild dogs . These monsters weren’t very strong, but they were quick on their feet and nigh impossible for the goblins to catch .
Gi Za’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the goblin called Gi Gu a little better than before . Until now, he thought this goblin was only good for moving large armies, but it seems that’s not all he was good for . He might actually be trying to think of a way on his own just as Gi Za advised him before .
“What do you think?”
Gi Za was only here to observe, and the commander was Gi Gu . As such, Gi Za asked him that question out of respect .
“I don’t know how they’re doing it, but it seems they’re intentionally aiming for our small platoons . ”
One option Gi Gu had was to prepare an escape route, and then send out a platoon as bait and attack the settlements . Of course, the bait would be at high risk, but it’s a lot better than the whole army just sitting around doing nothing .
“There’s not much time . ”
Gi Gu was shocked to hear Gi Za say that . Gi Gu never once thought he would have to rush the final confrontation so soon .
Moving a large army cost food .
Especially, considering the area around Pena didn’t have many monster beasts . It was a region ruled by humans, so naturally, the monsters in it have mosly been run thin . Any monster that could harm humans would appear less and less likely the closer one neared a human settlement . Which goes to mean that the goblins will also be unable to sustain themselves .
It was a lot faster to procure food from a nearby city than to run somewhere far away and hunt . But if they did that, they would cause displeasure among the cities they’d given autonomy to .
If the people can’t eat, the people will grumble . That was true even for the goblins .
“Certainly… The people being unhappy with the king’s leadership is not something that can be ignored . ”
Gi Gu Verbena was a proponent of goblin supremacy . But that didn’t have much to do with the atrocities he’s committed .
Gi Gu was originally a goblin who led a horde himself, so while his thoughts on ruling were a bit vague, he still understood it more than the other goblins .
For a horde to be led, those ruled over must tremble before the rulers . Yes . Just like how the goblins fear and respect the Goblin King . It was because of that that Gi Gu Verbena intentionally struck fear into the hearts of the humans .
But if there was such a way for that fear to be overturned, it would be through none other than the accumulated fear that one might lose his life .
Those that can’t eat, die .
Be it human or goblin, this is a fear that all living creatures know . A fear so great that at times it can even overwhelm the fear of the ruled for the ruler .
“It would appear that I have taken too much time . ”
Set a trap and wait for the enemy to get caught in it . It was a common method in the forest, but it was actually difficult to get a specific target to fall for a trap . It didn’t really matter when they were hunting, so they just took whatever got caught in the trap .
“You could just restrict their movement,” Gi Za said .
“…Didn’t you just say that they’re faster?” Gi Gu asked .
Gi Za cruelly smiled . “Attack their friends . If you do that, then they’ll have no choice but to send help . ”
“I see… In that case, they’ll jump into the trap themselves . ”
As Gi Gu nodded, he picked Gu Big to lead a platoon from his army to one of the cities that have yet to surrender, while he sent out Gu Naga (Long) to take a small platoon and lay wait to pursue the enemy .
“Let’s see how good the humans are at hunting . ”
Gi Gu Verbena smiled a fierce smile at the thought of a powerful foe .
If he was going to do it, then it would be best to use a city with many humans . Doing so was sure to increase the odds that the enemy would send help . Gi Gu and Gi Za set their sights on one of the cities of the eastern part of Pena and moved the army .
Word of the goblin’s large army heading for one of the cities that have yet to capitulate was immediately brought before Allen . The force of over 2000 soldiers was headed to one of Pena’s satellite cities, Falkar .
It was one of the cities they sent a messenger to and struck an agreement with .
Thanks to successfully saving one of the cities earlier, the satellite cities around Pena that have been wavering were once again starting to gather around Pena . Cities at the southern part of Pena, where the messengers demanding capitulation have yet to come, sent people to Pena under the for financial support . The adventurers from the labyrinth city that did not approve of the goblins also found their way into the cities near Pena .
Despite all the good news coming in, Allen was still full of worries .
“Brave warriors have gathered throughout the land, but…”
“The moment the giant army of the goblin makes its move, they’ll be nothing but a disorderly rabble . The Red King already proved that . ”
Allen’s body and mind were quickly deteriorating due to the side-effects of using the holy sword . Perhaps, it was his soul that was deteriorating . In the first place, the holy sword was not something he was meant to wield . The fatigue he’d incurred showed no signs of weakening . In fact, he even felt that if he were to relax for just one moment, all his power would leave him .
Allen shaking his head toward the words of his aide showed that he did not believe they had the advantage .
“The only way to stop the goblins is to crush the head . ”
He had only seen it once… That giant goblin . Unless that thing was killed, the goblins will not halt their march . Allen believed that firmly, and he thought up a plan to go with it .
“What of Falkar?”
“They will have to surrender . We can’t win a straight-up fight . ”
Resolve burned within Allen’s eyes as he spoke .
“What are the chances that the goblins might ruin our plans?”
“None . Is what I’d like to say, but it’s actually fifty-fifty . ”
Surprisingly, after gathering all the information on the goblins, it seems that their government was relatively gentle . They did not slaughter unreasonably nor did they levy heavy taxes . In fact, Elrain Kingdom was slowly recovering .
From that they could infer that the goblins wouldn’t treat the people who surrendered to them poorly . If that was the will of that giant goblin, then Allen’s plan would probably go well .
“Then how shall we disperse the… army of brave warriors?”
“They came all this way to fight . We can’t ignore them . ”
Allen gave orders to several of his aides, then he sent them away .
“…Goblins with integrity who rule wisely and fairly . Yet be that as it may… I must defeat them . In order to protect Pena . Right, Aizas? In order to protect the oath I swore in my youth… In order to protect my promise with you… Though I might come to be called a heretic, I will kill the enemy . ”
Falkar surrendered as soon as the goblins got to them . But it was after that that the Blue Knights made Gi Gu’s army suffer .
Gi Gu’s scheme in taking over Falkar was easily destroyed . Supposedly, Gi Gu and Gi Za were to take over Falkar and then attack the reinforcements of the enemy, but that didn’t happen .
For as soon as they sent a messenger demanding their surrender – though they only did so for appearance’s sake – the city immediately threw their hands in the air and surrendered . Gi Gu and Gi Za never predicted that Falkar would so easily surrender . But it was then that Gi Gu and Gi Za had a clash in opinions .
Gi Za wanted to conscript them as battle slaves, but doing so would completely go against how they’ve been doing things until now, and Gi Gu did not wish that . In the end, the commander-in-chief, Gi Gu, refused to give in, and Falkar was able to avoid a fate of being enslaved .
But now their goblin-human army numbered over 3,000 . Their numbers haven’t lessened even a little because of the lack of fighting, so now they had to procure food to feed all that .
Naturally, Falkar couldn’t possibly feed them, so Gi Gu had no choice but to ask for food from the surrounding cities . And then the soldiers that were entrusted to escort those asking for food all met the Blue Knights .
Gi Gu, who was losing his patience, was just about to dispatch the army, but unable to catch the enemy, Gi Gu’s army had no choice but to be stuck at Falkar .
It wasn’t until 10 days later that word of Gi Gu’s bitter struggle was brought to the king .
Tl Note: Just a little explanation on Gu Big, Gu Tough, and Gu Long . I don’t know if I said this before, but here it goes . The first two goblins are literally named like that in Japanese, so they’re really named Big and Tough respectively . Okay, so maybe not that literally as their names are written in katakana, so it’s more like Tafu and Bigu, but you get the point .
Anyway, the last goblin, is actually named Naga . Based on the previous two goblins – remember they were all named at the same time – I assume that his name is from the word ‘nagai’, which means long, and so until now I’ve been translating it as Long, but just recently, I changed it back to Naga with a (Long) after it, just to be closer to the RAWs, while still reminding people that his name is probably supposed to mean long . Probably .
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