Just when you thought you’d finally found solid land, it turns it was actually a patch of mud .
If Pale Symphoria’s thoughts were to be put into words, that sentence would be perfect for it .
After the Goblin King received word of Gi Gu Verbena’s bitter struggle and decided to mobilize his forces for Pena, the elven tactician, Pale Symphoria, asked him .
“The Merchant Country of Pena? Is it necessary for the king himself to make an appearance?”
Sending goblin generals to every direction to suppress the enemy was an attempt to change the chaotic situation in one fell swoop . At the same time, it was also to urge the goblins to grow .
They would need to be able to take command of bigger armies in the battles to come . That was true regardless of if the Goblin King was around or not . An even more apt way to put it is that they needed to gain the power to lead armies even without the king .
The next country they would be challenging is Germion Kingdom .
Pale had drawn in her mind the necessary arrangements for the Goblin King to rule the world .
In order to conquer the country of holy knights, the Goblin King’s strength alone wasn’t sufficient . His generals had to grow stronger as well .
If a general were to have problems with a half-dead country like Pena, they could consider replacing the general instead .
That was what Pale thought, but the Goblin King thought different .
“Someone on Gi Gu’s level is having a problem . The enemy must have something behind them . After all, theirs is a country that possesses a holy sword . ”
“A holy sword? Ahh, the Holy Sword Guradion . I hear it’s a God Class weapon . ”
“Yes . I’ve once crossed swords with it on the battlefield, and it felt strange fighting it . It was almost as if it was able to weaken me . ”
Pale became thoughtful .
This wasn’t a case of the weapon being especially suited against the Goblin King . Rather, there were weapons that were effective against monsters in general . It could be a weapon that interferes with ether, but even then, it should be one of the better types .
But in that case, it should be difficult to procure such weapons in large numbers .
Before a great army, swinging a weapon around like that shouldn’t be able to decide the battle, Pale thought . All the goblin generals were able to get good results except Gi Gu . On top of that, Claudia the War Princess of Holy Shushunu Kingdom has just passed . Because of these Pale couldn’t help but grow a little impatient .
With Claudia’s successor still undecided, chaos was sure to befall the Holy Shushunu Kingdom . As such, they should use this opportunity to conquer Germion Kingdom .
To her, who was always sensitive to opportunities, there was no doubting this was an opportune moment . If they could attack Germion Kingdom before the Holy Shushunu Kingdom is able to pick itself back up, Germion Kingdom will have no reinforcements to rely on due to their location .
She believed it would be possible to crush them in a single swoop .
“What about ordering Gi Gu-dono to retreat?”
“How can I aim for what’s above while ignoring what’s by my feet?”
Pale became thoughtful once more .
Although the Goblin King was as close to reckless as one could on the battlefield, when it came to strategies, he was very cautious . He would even solidfy the land beneath and wait for his enemy to crumble .
“I understand this goes contrary your intentions, but I believe that the reinforcements we send should be kept as small as possible while we send the main force to the north . ”
Of course, the main force that Pale was talking about included the Goblin King .
The dispatchment of reinforcements was up to the king . But now that they were discussing how many reinforcements to send . On this point, there was a difference in opinion . A difference born from wanting to do different things . The Goblin King wanted to solidify his position, while Pale wanted to use this opportunity to attack the neighboring countries .
To convince the king, Pale spoke about the situation of the neighboring countries and their future prospects .
From her perspective, Germion Kingdom was more dangerous than Pena . They might not appear to be a threat because the old king, King Ashtal, still held the throne, and as such, were not active in attacking, but in truth, even after losing two Holy Knights, Germion Kingdom was still a threat above Pena .
If it were to attack the Western Region in full force, no matter how clever Ra Gilmi Fishiga might be, he will not be able to stop them . And should the Western Region fall, their reinforcements from the Forest of Darkness will be cut .
From there, a single holy knight could suppress the Forest of Darkness . At the same time, they could declare their intentions to fight the monsters to urge other forces and reduce the numbers of the Goblin King’s army . This chain of events would be the same as rendering all their results in war until now meaningless .
Compared to that, what was Pena?
The trade route to the Holy Shushunu Kingdom was already under goblin rule and was no longer passable . They were surrounded from every direction with goblin forces . And the elite army of Pena, the Order of the Blue Knights, only had half of their strength .
Unless they could do what the Kushain Believers did and conscript all of their citizens, Pena shouldn’t be able to do much to retaliate right now .
Gi Gu Verbena failed .
If so, then he should make up for that in a different way . There should be plenty of opportunities from here on to wipe that stain off his name .
“But isn’t Pena gathering forces against us right now?”
When the Goblin King said that, Pale felt like she could finally see what her master was so concerned about .
In order to quell the chaotic situation in the south, it was not possible for the rapidly expanding goblin forces to make everyone submit . As such, leaving Pena alone meant that all those that did not acknowledge the rule of the goblins would gather to it, and on the day they marched for the north, a dagger would be waiting for them from behind .
Until now, their backs have been protected by the Forest of Darkness and the Hot Sands of the Great Desert, so Pale felt that the Goblin King was overly conscious of his back .
“Aren’t you thinking about it too much? If they attack us, then Gi Gu Verbendono can simply strike back against them . ”
“Oh Pale . Have you heard of this tale? A long long time ago a girl called Pandora received a box from a god . She was told to never open that box, but she lost to the temptation and opened it . ”
This was not a tale from this world . This was an old story from another world .
“The moment she opened it, all the evil in the world she lived in were unleashed, and only one thing remained in the box full of evil, hope . ”
Pale became silent and digested his words . The Goblin King continued .
“Humans will never give up . So long as there is hope, they will not falter . All the more so when the enemy is an enemy that was able to drive them to a corner . They will only see me as their nemesis . ”
“So, because the humans see us as evil, the stronger we are the stronger they will fight back?”
“When the world is covered in evil and a hero appears with a holy sword, the people will gather . It could be said that nothing could be more stimulating for their support than this . The conditions are perfect for Pena . ”
As the Goblin King nodded, Pale looked toward the west .
“So long as I am a monster, a hero will one day appear before me . ”
The Goblin King was saying this partly out of conviction .
“If you’re that worried about them, then let’s take them down in a single blow . ”
With that, the tactician resolved herself to conquer Pena .
Pale sent the army that was supposed to go north to the southwest of Elrain Kingdom, Pena, instead . Most of Gi Ga’s Aransain that conquered the Labyrinth City was called back and Gi Ji Arsil that was with Gi Gi, who was busy with constructing the supply depots, was also called back .
Pale hesitated to call back Ra Gilmi Fishiga from his position, so instead she called the strongest of the four tribes from the Forest of Darkness, the Gaidga tribe .
On top of those, Pale also recruited Felbi, who was sick of serving as a human escort, as well as some adventurers from the guild . Just the working group alone numbered over 3,000 . On top of that, there was still the supply group prepared by the government officials . It took the Goblin King 20 days after deciding to attack Pena before he was able to finish preparations .
“We will attack swiftly . ”
Pale told the gathered military leaders .
“Gi Ga Rax’s Aransain will lead the vanguard and attack Pena . You are to force Queen Raksha to surrender . ”
No one disputed her ideas, as she has already gotten the king’s approval beforehand .
“We will be departing tomorrow morning . ”
After Pale finished explaining, it was the Goblin Kings turn to speak .
“I do not wish for a massacre . But if there are those who continue to defy my rule and resist until the very end, then the story changes . My will is to rule the world; therefore, any and all who stand in my path, only death shall await! Kill them, crush them, end them!”
At the declaration of the king, the gathered soldiers bowed .
On the next day, Gi Ga Rax led Aransain’s flag and departed Elrain Kingdom . The imperial guards that was also the king’s cavalry rode alongside the riders of Paradua and the cavalry of humans, taking over the south with confidence and spirit .
Behind them were the fierce Gaidga goblins that wouldn’t lose out to the cavalry of the Goblin King . Although there weren’t as many of them because a part of them had been transferred to Gi Ga Rax’s forces, Gi Be Slay the One-Armed Goblin led them with perfect order around the Goblin King .
At the rear were the elves led by Felbi, and the druids led by Gi Do Buruga . Normally, Gi Za Zakuend would be the one to lead the druids, but in his absence, Gi Do Buruga took over .
The rear guard was watched over by units specializing in rear support and support fire . But because of Felbi’s temperament, the elven warriors were also sufficiently equipped for close combat . They carried a shield and a bow on their backs .
The resplendent armor of the elves were made of Blue-Silver Steel (Srilana) which they produced at their hometown . These armor were extremely valuable to the human world and are highly sought after by the adventurers . But even without that, the fact that these elves were wearing these polished armor proved that they were all strong warriors who’ve lived through countless battles . It was a platoon full of beauties, be it men or women, so when the humans saw them, they couldn’t help but cheer .
The goblin forces that moved out of Elrain Kingdom were all good walkers and in no time at all they were approaching Pena . The speed of their advance that ignored the towns that had not submitted was shocking, and when the elders and people of Pena saw their great army, they could not help but be struck dumb .
At the same time, the Goblin King sent a messenger to Gi Gu Verbena and ordered him to rendezvous with the Goblin King’s main army .
“…The king has come . ”
Gi Gu was ashamed when he heard that the king came, but he still obeyed and abandoned the city he had occupied . He moved his army of Felduk to rendzevous with the Goblin King .
“…I was too slow . ”
Gi Za Zakuend wanted to win before the king came, so he was full of regrets when he heard the news of the king’s arrival . Still, he too obeyed . In order to compensate for the king’s gentleness, Gi Za left the role of the cruel overlord to Gi Gu, but now that the king has appeared, he felt that he would no longer be able to assist Gi Gu freely .
For better or worse, the king was soft .
He would never permit the death of the weak and those who’ve surrendered .
“Pena just might be able to live now . ”
Gi Za coldly thought of the country of humans that he could not destroy as he moved alongside the army of Felduk to the king .
Gi Ga Rax, to whom the vanguard had been left, spotted a force lying in ambush after Pena was only a two day’s distance away .
“That should be Pena’s forces . ”
Gi Ga Rax’s duty was to attack Pena quickly and force them to surrender .
But since what the king wanted was to pluck the enemy’s desire to fight, Gi Ga figured he would be able to achieve the same result if he could destroy the enemy’s forces here .
“We’re attacking the enemy . ”
As Gi Ga handled his horse with one hand, he readied his army to attack . He positioned himself at the head of his unit and ordered his soldiers to assume a wedge formation .
From the distance, he could tell that the enemy numbered 2,000 . They stirred up dense clouds of dust as they approached Gi Ga . They showed no signs of fear . It was the kind of movement one would expect from a well-trained army . The enemy forces had assumed the same wedge formation but with their wing extended toward the left .
Gi Ga didn’t know what they were planning, but he knew that the person at the head of the army was the enemy commander . In that case, killing him should end the battle . Gi Ga felt that the king wanted to avoid sacrificing his soldiers as much as possible while expanding his territory, so he thought of ways to achieve victory with as little casualty as possible .
Gi Ga’s pondering led him to aim for the enemy commander . If he could just kill the enemy commander, then the enemy forces should fall into chaos, and the battle end .
But Gi Ga felt that this enemy was better trained than the soldiers he fought at the Labyrinth City . Seeing them as a bigger threat, he braced himself and told his subordinates behind him .
“The enemy is strong! Cut them down as we pass them!”
As the goblins cheered in response, Gi Ga sped their charge . With no obstacles in the lands here, his black tiger was able to take the momentum by kicking off against the ground . In the blink of an eye, they had shortened the distance between them and the others .
As he bit the bridle in his mouth, he unfastened his spear from his rider-beast .
All that was left now was the clash .
The sensation of the spear in Gi Ga’s long arm grew sharper as the scenery passed him by . The enemy cavalry was led by a man brandishing a dazzling long sword . Brave as he was, he did not wear a helmet, and his hair fluttered in the wind, his face completely exposed .
Kill him .
Gi Ga Rax’s fighting spirit gathered toward that man . Amidst the swaying from the black tiger kicking off the ground, Gi Ga’s concentration reached a peak . The sounds deafened and gradually he was able to gauge the closing distance between them .
When the enemy had entered his killing range, he unleashed his spear, but only the hard sensation of something greeted him as his spear was deflected . In the next moment, Gi Ga used his spear to defend against the enemy’s counterattack . It was a blow far heavier than common sense would entail . It was so strong that even Gi Ga’s black tiger was made to stagger from it .
“GU . ”
Gi Ga let loose a muffled voice with the reins still in his mouth . This time he unleashed his spear toward the other enemies . A battle between cavalries lasted only for a moment . It was a quick exchange of life and death . It was rare to meet the enemy again after separating and it was normal for the armies to fall into confusion after a clash .
Although Gi Ga felt regretful that he wasn’t able to kill the enemy, he now had to focus on killing the enemy in front . On top of the enemy soldiers here being strong enough that they wouldn’t die from a moment of carelessness, they were all also well equipped . Even their mounts were donned in armor . Gi Ga desperately struck out with his spear, searching for a path to survival .
Although they had gained much momentum prior to the clash, now that the battle had fallen into chaos, it was only a given that the black tiger would slow down and gradually become even slower . Now that things have turned to this, it could go either way . They could continue this chaotic battle or they could try and leave and reorganize their formation . The enemy wasn’t just made up of cavalry, they also had heavily-equipped infantry with them .
Caught by that, Gi Ga decided that a chaotic battle wouldn’t be a good idea and they should fix their formation instead, so Gi Ga ordered his men as such . Unfortunately, the enemy was a step faster .
“Gi Gdono from the left wing!”
When Gi Ga thought he’d heard a scream from behind and turned to look at the left wing, the enemy’s left wing stopped and bit at their rear .
It was at this moment that Gi Ga knew they’d lost . A cavalry with no momentum is nothing more than a target to a well-commanded army . But abandoning the enemy’s left wing and trying to cut their way through the right also ended in failure .
Even Gi Ga’s momentum itself faltered during his exchange with the enemy commander . As such, even the subordinates following him from behind would slow down .
Persisting here and losing soldiers would only dishonor his name . Gi Ga pondered on what the king would prioritize at a situation like this, and he immediately gave the order .
As he released the reins from his mouth, Gi Ga swung his spear and declared .
“Retreat! We’re retreating to the east!”
Urging his black tiger, he opened a rode of blood, cut down the infantry that got in their way, and retreated . Unexpectedly, no one pursued them and they were able to retreat without losing too many soldiers .
But with this, the goblins could no longer look down on the army of Pena . At the same time, it also meant that they had lost to them . This defeat was a great wound to Gi Ga’s pride and would cause Pale’s plans to change .
“Is it fine not to chase them?”
When his aide asked him that, Allen narrowed his eyes and watched the enemy retreat .
“It’s not necessary . There’s another enemy we need to kill . ”
He turned his horse around and led his army northwest .
They left the injured to a nearby city and changed equipment, then they attacked Gi Gu Verbena’s army . Unlike the battle with Gi Ga, they did not weigh themselves down with armor and equipped even their horses in armor . Instead, they chose to equip themselves lightly and use projectile weapons .
Allen bid his time and attacked . Gi Gu couldn’t beat them in mobility, so he focused on defending while barely suppressing the enemy with magic and projectiles from time to time . His subordinates asked him to attack, but Gi Gu shook his head and insisted on only defending, Like that they endure the enemy’s attacks .
They continued to block the enemy’s spears with their shields until night time . When the hour of the night god came, the enemy finally retreated . At that, Gi Gu grit his teeth and rendezvoused with the king .
Gi Gu knew there was a difference between bravery and recklessness . Even if they chased after the enemy, since they couldn’t catch up to them, the result would only be a repeat of what happened earlier . Goblins are stronger than humans at close combat . But when the humans were throwing spears or using tools, the goblins were at a disadvantage .
Gi Gu did not have Gi Za Zakuend’s druids or Felbi’s elves or the Ganra tribe’s archers .
Allen’s tactics that took advantage of Pena’s wealth to keep changing their equipment was too effective against the goblins . After all, the goblins had organized their army according to their strengths .
Gi Ga abandoned defense in favor of speed . Gi Gu abandoned speed in favor of variety in equipment . Since their armies were specialized like that, they would naturally have weaknesses .
It was those weaknesses that Allen took advantage of .
Information surrounding the goblin armies spread the more they acted . Following that trend, information surrounding them finally reached the adventurers and the nearby cities .
Before the goblin forces that sought to march into Pena stood the youth that held a holy sword and the Blue Knights once again .
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