Although the goblins had only lost sight of the enemy for a moment, they sent the demihumans to scout and watch their surroundings while they made preparations to retreat . Being chased was exactly what they wanted, but it still put a considerable strain on their soldiers .
That scream-like report immediately woke Shumea from her shallow slumber .
“Where and how many!?”
The soldier called out to Shumea from outside of her tent . It would appear that out of consideration for her, he refrained from entering, but Shumea didn’t care about it one bit, as she exited her tent in her underwear and spoke to the soldier .
“T-The details are unclear, but the enemies are coming from the northeast . They number approximately 1,000 . ”
Shumea clicked her tongue as she listened to the report . She asked the kneeling messenger .
“Roughly 5 kirols (kilometers)”
5km to the northeast . They were too close, Shumea thought, so she sent the messenger to Gilmi, while she closed her doors to wear her armor .
“They slipped through our patrols!?”
The patrolling demihumans were spread 10km around them . If the enemy were halfway through that, then that must mean they were able to slip through their patrols .
“Damn it . Why are ill forebodings the only guesses that are accurate!?”
He quickly wore his armor, took his spear, and left his tent . He called for all the commanding officers, starting with the assistant officers, and ordered them to immediately retreat . They were to leave the tents behind, taking only the bare necessities with them .
1,000 was too few .
It was likely there was a detached force elsewhere . The question now was where the holy knights were, Shumea thought .
“Still, I can’t believe they managed to slip through the patrols of the descendant of the crystals . ”
Gilmi’s question made Shumea change her thoughts .
“I know it’s hard to accept . But the truth is that they’re headed here right now . ”
“That’s true . ”
“Gi Zu-dono, Bui-dono . I’m sorry about this, but please take care of the rear . ”
“Of course . Just leave it to us . ”
“Yes . ”
Shumea put aside her usually joking self and gave out orders .
“Gilmi-dono, you are to give us cover just as we’ve planned . ”
“Umu . ”
“We’ll contact the centaurs and the fangs, then as soon as we meet up, we’ll move down south as fast as we can . Cover us until then . ”
After confirming that everyone understood the plan, Shumea sent out a messenger . They had to meet up with the demihumans . The world was gradually moving from the hands of the Night God (Ya Jansu) to the body of the God of Fire (Rodo) .
Shumea frowned when she felt like she’d heard a scream coming from the northeastern side of the camp, the direction from where the enemy was supposedly approaching .
Gi Zu, who had relatively good ears, turned with suspicion .
“I’ll take a look . Bui-dono, please go as well when you’re ready,” Gi Zu said .
”Yes,” Bui replied . Gi Zu left Bui and the others to lead his subordinates toward the direction of the scream .
As he pulled on the bowstring and the wind cried, he shot out an arrow . It was still dark when that arrow made a low-toned sound as it was sucked in by the unclear horizon toward an enemy .
“It hit . ”
As the gentle winds of the plains comfortable caressed Jize the One-Eyed’s cheeks, he removed his hand from his bow .
“Shooting from a horse isn’t something a martial artist is meant to do, but… the demihumans – their friends – keep coming for them . Damned goblins making me shoot from a horse like this . Nothing could be more unpleasant!”
Although angry, the glint in his eyes did not lessen even a little as he glared at his surroundings . When his narrowed eyes spotted another moving, he drew his bow once more .
He shot an arrow to the yet dark sky . The arrow lodged itself into the back of the demihuman so naturally, it was almost as if it were being sucked in . After being penetrated, the demihuman keeled over .
“Tell the main force at the back to move faster!”
After getting rid of the scouts, Jize took his southern army and steadily approached the goblins . Because Jize the One-Eyed himself was acting as the scout, the forces of Germion Kingdom were able to take out the demihuman scouts while approaching the goblin forces .
Sending the demihumans out in pairs to scout was a bad idea .
The centaurs had greater physical abilities, but their eyes weren’t as effective in the night . Although their eyes weren’t any worse off than humans, whenever they heard a large army approaching, they would try to get closer to ascertain their numbers . It was then that Jize would shoot them down .
If it were the fang tribe, things might have gone differently, but most of the area extending from the north to the south were covered by the centaurs . It can only be said that the two demihuman chiefs had no luck . Meanwhile, the Fang Tribe (Werewolf) were completely unable to find the enemy and were starting to consider going back to the goblins .
Germion Kingdom had broken through the area managed by the centaurs .
Fortunately, Gi Ji Arsil’s assassin unit were also in the area and one of them was able to spot the human forces, so they were still able to get wind of the situation .
“Hmm… They’re here . ”
Jize saw the enemy hiding in the grass, but since they were preparing to move, he wasn’t sure what to do . Should he attack by himself and mess up the formation or should he wait for the main force to arrive .
Word has already been sent .
The rough location of this place has already been passed, and there are also scouts along the way, so the answer should have been clear .
But even someone like Jize needed courage to throw himself into an army that was probably about 3,000 men strong . Even if he might be a match for a thousand warriors (warrior) alone, he still needed the resolve to gamble with his life .
“…Is this fear? Me?”
Within the darkness, Jize asked himself that .
“No . That can’t be . I could not possibly lose to the likes of goblins . ”
As those words that came from his heart answered his question, a fierce smile appeared on his face .
“This is exactly what I have been waiting for! A stage made just for me!”
Jize threw his bow and drew his curved sword from his back, then he plunged himself into the chaos .
With no one to stop Jize, the goblins fell into panic from a morning attack executed by one man and one man alone .
The goblins were stupefied by that surprise attack .
Attacks during the night and in the morning each had their rules . But such rules only held true between humans . The goblins saw the holy knight, Jize, attacking by himself . But they assumed that it was only a foolish human scout getting too deep into their territory .
The rare class goblin thought of catching the human when he was near enough, then use him to find out where the humans were . By the time the goblin paled and saw that Jize was fiercely charging for their camp, it was already too late .
A swing of that curved sword easily lopped off the goblin’s head . In a flash, two goblins had already fallen . When a goblin saw the two goblins beside it beheaded just like that, before those corpses could even fall to the ground, the dumbfounded goblin received a kick to the pit of his stomach . Jize glanced at the goblin as the goblin was sent flying, then Jize held his curved sword horizontally in the now opened space .
Jize buried his sword into the neck of the goblin in front of him, and after instantly killing the four goblins around him, he raised up his voice and named himself .
“I am the holy knight, Jize, of Germion Kingdom! I’ve come for your heads, goblins!”
As brave as the goblins were, that overwhelming power was enough to strike fear into their hearts . The blade of the raging one-eyed demon mercilessly beheaded the goblins one after another . Those overawed fell prey to his blade, and Jize freely slaughtered the goblins that have been winning all this time .
That seemingly impossible penetrative power that allowed a lone man to suppress a thousand foes trampled over the goblins all the way to the middle . When Gi Zu Ruo saw that terrible sight, he raised his voice and went out to stop him, but already, 50 goblins had been sacrificed .
“Ohh, you’re the goblin from that time! What good luck!”
Jize laughed as he received Gi Zu’s spear . They did not bother to hide their fierceness in this tight battle .
“If you have a name, then name yourself, monster! I am Jize Yuwenti! The man who shall hunt you!”
“Naming myself is annoying, but as you wish! I am Gi Zu Ruo! The goblin who shall kill you!”
The two roaring beasts distanced themselves from each other for a moment, but very quickly came rushing for each other once more . Gi Zu raised up his spear from a low stance and Jize brushed it off . Jize kept on going like that and assumed a high stance, but Gi Zu read the trajectory of his attack and increased his pace .
He took his deflected spear and raised it above him, placing it along the trajectory of Jize’s descending sword . Normally, he should have been able to easily receive Jize’s blade, but instead it easily split his iron spear in two and buried itself into his shoulder . When his sword entered Gi Zu’s flesh, Jize smiled .
“Did you think I couldn’t cut iron!?”
But Gi Zu, who had lowered his hips a little, suddenly cried out and released his spirit .
As he threw away the spear that had been cleanly cut in two, he unleashed the true nature of the Mad Dragon, the one who has heavily received the divine protection of the mad god . He ignored the blade buried into his shoulder and sent his fist toward Jize’s side .
As the sound of ribs breaking resounded, Jize faltered a little . On top of that, Gi Zu bashed his head against Jize’s now lowered forehead, causing Jize to close his eyes, then Gi Zu swung his fist with all his strength . This was the same right fist that once thoroughly crushed Zu Ved . But since then, Gi Zu has evolved a class and its power was now greater than before .
It was a fist that could break the neck of a normal human . And even Jize was sent tumbling and flying 4 meters away . At the wake of the impact, the ground hollowed and clouds of dust were raised up . It was a power that could kill even goblins .
“…I thought you’d lost your mind due to pain, but it seems that this is your true nature . ”
When Jize calmly appeared within the clouds of dust, everyone but the maddened Gi Zu was shocked . After throwing away the blade buried within his shoulder, Gi Zu roared in anger and once again chased after Jize .
Jize wiped the blood that flowed out of his mouth and without hesitation stepped toward Gi Zu once again .
Unarmed, Jize lowered his hips and brought his left hand forward . Using that same left hand, he brushed aside Gi Zu’s fist that was swung only with power, then with all of his strength, he buried his right hand into Gi Zu
After hitting Gi Zu’s chin perfectly, he brought back his hands and talked himself up .
“I, who have mastered all martial arts, have no weakness!”
When the surrounding goblins saw Gi Zu falling after being hit, they could not help but be shaken .
“Bastard, how dare you do that to pops!”
From that crowd of shaken goblins appeared a proud Zu Ved, carrying a club on his shoulders .
He spurred on the goblins of the brawler faction and ran to where Gi Zu had collapsed .
“What good fortune . A one-on-one duel is the flower of the battlefield, but a battle like this is more fitting of a monster hunt—”
But before he could even finish saying that, Bui, who had been sneaking around, suddenly appeared behind him and attacked him . That attack that was loaded with all of Bui’s strength crushed the ground, giving rise to clouds of dust and scattering fragments of stones .
“—Even the orcs came? What good fortune!”
After Jize immediately jumped out of the way, he took out his curved sword, and began cutting down the approaching goblins of the brawler faction . He was not using his sword like he did before where he aimed only for the neck . His sword now was like a storm of blades that literally crushed life .
“What good fortune! Ahh, what good fortune! This is the real pleasure of hunting monsters! KU KA KA KA KA KA!!”
Jize the One-Eyed laughed like a demon as he cut down the approaching goblins and orcs . He handled his curved sword with one hand and cut the monsters from head to crotch with a single stroke .
Then he used is other hand to push his fingers into the eyes of the orcs that approached . He threw the screaming orcs and crushed the head of the convulsing orcs underfoot .
“So this is all that orcs amount to . ”
As Jize cut the monsters one after another, the circle of monsters around him had no choice but to distance itself from him .
“Damn it! That’s a real monster . ”
Zu Ved clicked his tongue as he took Gi Zu and handed him to be protected by his subordinate . After that he gradually ordered everyone to step back . If Gi Zu hadn’t heard that they had to prioritize retreating beforehand, he would have definitely attacked here .
After recovering Gi Zu, the monsters gradually retreated while keeping their distance .
The ones watching the rear was Bui who led the orcs and the demihumans who came late . Bui was dead scared of the holy knight’s strength, so he had the orcs equip themselves with heavy armor and steel shields . Although doing this slowed them down, if one looked at how it was able to reduce their casualties, it was the right choice .
The orcs pressed their shoulders against each other to eliminate any openings between them and gradually retreated . Jize tried to attack the orcs that were single-mindedly focused on defending, but the centaurs, who were furious from having their tribe members killed, interfered .
“Fire your arrows!”
The arrows of the centaurs could easily penetrate even iron . Much less the body of a human like Jize . Although his physical abilities were indeed amazing, the arrows shot by the centaur needed only a moment, on top of which, they themselves even moved quickly . Though angered, the chief, Tianos, never forgot those two strong points of his army .
They were proud of their legs that allowed them to run . And their skill in archery that allowed them to hunt was their pride .
“Don’t stop . Just focus on covering them . But if there’s an opening, kill him!”
After drawing their bows to the limit and shooting three arrows successively, they sprinted off . Naturally, this left even Jize stumped, and he had no choice but to prioritize defending himself over chasing the goblins .
When the body of the God of Fire (Rodo) had risen, the arrows of the centaur were finally exhausted . Jize remained standing, but the area around him was now like a pincushion . By this point in time, however, the goblins have already gotten away and were already devoting their attention to fixing their formation .
“They escaped, but…”
Jize, who was covered in blood, turned around and looked behind him . The attack of the main force was too slow . He looked toward the horizon, wondering if something might happen, but after a while, the main force finally appeared across the shimmer of hot air .
After rendezvousing with the main force, the information he got shocked him .
“…The scouts were almost wiped out?”
“Yes, they all received wounds at the throat . ”
There was no need to ask who was responsible for it .
When Jize found out that the scouts he sent were done in, he wryly smiled .
“…Not bad, goblins . ”
“What shall we do now?”
“Hmm… We should leave the vanguard to Valdor-dono and the nobles’ army . If we throw ourselves into the dark, no matter how many lives we have, it won’t be enough .
The soldier didn’t seem convinced, but Jize just laughed and went back to his tent to change clothes . Although he managed to slow down the goblins, they were still in good health . Jize knew that they would be at a disadvantage if attacked during the night, so he had his soldiers make a simple camp by the time the sun set .
“We’ll start chasing the enemy tomorrow morning . Rest well for now . ”
It was a bold order, but the southern army obeyed Jize and rested for the time being .
“Jize-dono is letting us take the vanguard?”
When Valdor the Holy Knight was informed of that through the messenger, he turned to the distant camp that was yet under construction and wondered within his helmet .
“Yes . He wishes to pass on the position of vanguard due to having lost his scouts . ”
“First, they take out our legs . Now, they take out our eyes?”
Valdor became thoughtful for a moment, but he had no choice but to order his army to advance . Yesterday, the son of Lord Bedoru, the Minister of the Military, Victor, died . In light of that sad news, Valdor had no choice but to resolve himself to order the army to advance .
If they did not at least take back the Western Region, what face would he have to meet a father who’s lost his son .
“If the southern army is going to be making camp, then this is a good opportunity . We shall take the lead and advance for the enemy . ”
There should be no problems with the supply base prepared at Jize’s camp . As Valdor decided in his mind that unless they caused inflicted catastrophic damage upon the goblin army, this battle would continue, he resumed his army’s march .
He relied on the information Jize sent to maintain his army’s march . Valdor’s army went deep into the Western Region . The imperial guards under the crown prince, the mages, and the nobles’ army were all gathered together behind the eastern army that served as the vanguard .
Just like Jize, Valdor could not just throw his army into the fray, so he quietly watched the enemy from within his army . Before long the skies were overturned by the Night God, and the Goddess of Darkness (Verdna) spread her wings . It was then that they made camp . Of course, they did not let their guard down even then .
They sent small platoons to every direction to keep watch, while they put up simple tents and slept .
The goblins they were so wary of did not attack, and the next day, they could see the backs of the goblins again .
It was on the next day since the humans started pursuing the goblins that Fanzel entered one of the three forests that dotted the plains . The nobles’ army said that they should enter the forest as soon as possible, but the mages were against it since it was difficult to use their spells in a place with poor vision .
The magic they used was mostly flame magic . Such magic wasn’t just difficult to use inside a forest, if a mistake were to be made, they would end up causing a fire, burning themselves to death .
“Victory is right before us! We should attack posthaste!”
It was the commissioned officer of the nobles’ army that insisted that .
“That is precisely why we must exercise caution! There is nothing good about rushing in vain!”
Valdor became thoughtful as he listened to the rebuttal of the mages’ commissioned officer . He wanted to give as much achievements as possible to the crown prince . But if they were to fight at the forest, they would be at a disadvantage . Given the circumstance, they had no choice but to drag the goblins out of the forest . Jize’s southern army was presently keeping watch of the surrounding area .
As Jize fondled his eye patch, he became thoughtful .
“…What if we burned it down instead?”
In response to those few words, all eyes gathered . But that couldn’t be helped, after all, it was Crown Prince Ishtar himself who said that .
“Yes . If the goblins were to show themselves, wouldn’t we then be able to get our battle?”
“True . ”
Valdor considered it and nodded .
“A magnificent plan, Your Highness . ”
Valdor bowed his head, then immediately turned to the other commissioned officers and had them prepare to burn the forest . On the next day, a fire was started in the forest that the Bow and Arrow Army (Fanzel) was hiding in . Caught up in the spoke, Fanzel had no choice but to show themselves just as the humans had planned .
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