CHAPTER 28: THAT WHICH SHOULD BE PROTECTED
Goblin Name Cheat Sheet:The [Goblin] is to make it easier to CTRL+F.
[Goblin] Gi Ga
The goblin in that estranged group that was with the protagonist when he defeated an orc. He is currently a noble class, the highest amongst the protagonist’s subordinates. He prefers to use the spear.
[Goblin] Gi Gu
The former leader of the village. He was pressured by the protagonist in his goblin noble form, and was added to his subordinates. He uses the long sword, and is relatively smart for a goblin rare.
[Goblin] Gi Gi
Known as a beast warrior, a goblin with the ability to tame beasts.
He evolved while hunting spear deer with the protagonist.
He prefers to use the axe. His goblin class is rare.
[Goblin] Gi Go
A goblin with many wounds on his body. The food of his horde was stolen by the gray wolves, so he made a decision to follow the protagonist. He is the most experienced amongst the goblin rares. His weapon is a curved katana.
[Goblin] Gi Za
The druid goblin rare that recently joined them.
Chapter 27: That Which Should Be Protected
[Class] Duke; Horde Chief
[Possessed Skills] <<Horde Commander>> <<Insurgent Will>> <<Overpowering Howl>> <<Swordsmanship B->> <<Insatiable Desire>> <<King’s Soul>> <<Ruler’s Wisdom I>> <<Eyes of the Blue Snake>> <<Dance at Death’s Border>> <<Red Snake’s Eye>> <<Magic Manipulation>> <<Soul of a Crazed Warrior>> <<Third Impact (The Third Chant)>>
[Divine Protection] Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia)
[Attributes] Darkness; Death
[Subordinate Beasts] Kobold (Lv9)
[Abnormal Status] <<Charm of the Saint>>
The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes were Reshia and my subordinates. Reshia looked like she was about to cry at any moment, and my goblin subordinates looked deathly worried.
Looking around me, I saw that we were still in front of the cave. The fangs that were sunk into me during the fight, however, were no longer there on my shoulder. The wound was also being closed at a frightening rate… What an absurd healing power, I thought.
I waited for the wound to finish closing before standing up, but I still tottered.
Anemia, I suppose…
Wryly smiling, I shook my head, and confirmed my surroundings. Then I asked Gi Ga, “Gi Ga, how much time has passed since then?” To which he replied, “I ordered Gi Gi to run as soon as I could, so not much time has…”
At his reply, I looked up. The dazzling sun above us was yet to set. Then Reshia’s complaining voice reached my ears, saying,
“Mr. Gi Gi overworked his beasts just to carry me here, you know? So you should thank Mr. Gi Gi. And you should thank Mr. Gi Ga as well, because if it wasn’t for his quick thinking, it might’ve been too late to save you!”
“Oh, right. Sorry for worrying you,” I curtly replied.
Then I placed my hand over her head to stop her from giving a longwinded sermon.
“T-T There’s no way I’d be worried for you,” she argued.
Ignoring her, I went ahead and thanked Gi Gi for a job well done.
“Gi Gi, good job. Go ahead and spoil your beasts,” I said.
Then Gi Gi bowed, and I thanked Gi Ga next.
“You too, Gi Ga. You saved my life.”
“Don’t mention it,” he replied.
Then after thanking him with a nod, I called out to Gi Go who was currently looking at the cave.
“Has anyone entered the cave?” I asked.
“…No one has entered,” he replied, a hint of worry in his voice as if bracing himself for rebuke.
Shaking my head to his misunderstanding, I said,
“That’s not it. Rather you did a good job holding back.”
It’s better to keep people from entering rashly so as to prevent unnecessary sacrifice after all. But although that decision might’ve been clear as day, for Gi Go who must’ve been feeling eager to go in because of his history with the wolves, it might not have been the easiest decision to make. Yet despite that, he actually managed to make the right call. That’s something worthy of praise.
Then reporting the damages incurred from the fight, Gi Za spoke.
“Few have died in this battle. That three-man cell you taught us… it’s pretty good.”
It’s more or less thanks to luck though, I thought.
Compensating the blood I’ve lost comes first. After that come the cave.
So grabbing the entrails of the severed gray wolf, I took a mouthful of it, grinded it under my fangs, and then swallowed it. Then I said,
“Hmm… This much should be fine.”
As the surrounding people stared at me, I ordered them to enter the cave.
“Gi Za, pick three elites amongst the druids,” I ordered.
“You mean two others aside from me, right?” he replied, showing that ever so confident smile of his.
Then continuing, I gave the rest of my orders.
“Gi Ga, Gi Go, ready yourselves. We’re entering the cave. Gi Gi, you stay here to keep watch. If anything happens, let us know immediately.”
As the goblins bowed toward me simultaneously, I took another bite out of the wolf’s entrails.
I need to make up for the lost blood.
Unfortunately, I can’t think of any other method aside from this. Well, it’s still better than nothing.
Then suddenly, Reshia objected, saying,
“You’re not thinking of going into battle again, are you?”
I couldn’t help but smile wryly at those objecting eyes of hers as I said back,
“If I don’t finish off the gray wolves here, more of my subordinates will die. Besides, I’m not one to let opportunities slip by.”
“ ‘Destiny knows no mercy for those that fail to take the chances they are given’… It’s a divine tale of old; I’m surprised you know this.”
“I don’t. I’m just using my head. You know… in order to survive that is.”
“Did I just hear you call me stupid?”
“Oh? You’re aware? That’s great. That means there’s still hope for you.”
Heaving, and her eyes ablaze, Reshia stomped, and then she yelled,
“…I’m coming as well!”
“I can’t guarantee your safety,” I warned.
“I’m fine by myself!” stomped Reshia again.
“Do as you wish,” I replied, wryly smiling at her stubbornness.
Sending off the enraged lady, I looked towards the cave.
Now… I wonder just what it was that drove that gray wolf mad, I quietly asked.
We entered the cave, and what greeted us was a dim environment with little light.
Darkness of this level is no problem for us goblins, but for Reshia, it’s hopeless. So to compensate for her eyes’ inability, she’s using light magic to light the path by her feet.
The cave itself isn’t that wide. And after a bit of walking, the reason why the gray wolf went mad finally showed itself.
“So that’s why,” I muttered.
The remains of a gray wolf within a sea of blood appeared before us. Its eyes were wide-open, but empty. Nothing reflected on them.
Maddened by the death of its partner, huh? I thought to myself.
As I neared the corpse, I wondered to myself what caused it to bleed to death. Then something caught my eye.
The wound that continued to bleed was located right below its stomach.
The moment I saw that, the gray wolf’s somber eyes with resolve hidden within it flashed again at the back of my mind. I thought it was anger I felt then… but that’s not it, is it? It was resolve.
–––Right… It couldn’t retreat. Not with this.
The madness I saw when our eyes met as it sunk its fangs into my shoulder. I’ve finally understood the reason behind those eyes.
“Reshia, come,” I said.
The reason why it couldn’t let me go no matter what… is here before my very eyes.
And I held that reason within my arms, lifting it up in an embrace.
Two gray wolf pups.
I don’t know if they’re dead already, or if they’re just sleeping. But I can still feel them warmth from them, so it shouldn’t be too late yet.
Embracing the two gray pups who were rolled into a ball with their eyes were closed, I ordered Reshia,
“Heal them,” I curtly said.
“Y-You just love saying whatever you want, don’t you!?” she complained.
Reshia’s voice was a bit stiff, but she still held her hands out immediately.
In an instant, all signs of doubt and confusion left her face, and that inhuman expression of a saint appeared in its place. That is the proof of her resolve.
“Let relief be given to all (Heal),” she chanted.
A pale light shined within the cave, wrapping the newborn pups in its warmth. And in the next instant, Reshia, declared, saying,
And lo and behold, the pups were there, sleeping peacefully. To which I muttered,
A sudden burst of self-derision.
I killed its parents, and stole its children. And under the pretense of saving it, I lied to myself, saying I won’t kill these pups.
I’m not heartless, true. But at the same time… I’m a bit too bloody for something like gentleness.
Then without any hesitation, Reshia said,
“…There is more than just one side to things, you know?”
And I couldn’t help gaze at her with my eyes wide open.
Both because she was able to hear me, and because I had no idea what she was talking about.
“The fact that you are suffering means that you have a conscience, right? Then in that case, you should just follow that,” she said.
Those amethyst eyes that were looking at me were not stiff like those of the goddess’. But those eyes still contained with them a piercing light that could pierce through any man.
“Don’t say stupid things,” I retorted. “I am a monster. I only saved these to bolster my own war potential. Don’t misunderstand.”
Embarrassed from having been seen through, I spat out a lie. But at the same time, it was a likely story.
“We’ve seen all there is to see. We’re going home,” I said.
Leading my goblin subordinates, I exited the cave.
“…A real monster wouldn’t call itself a monster,” muttered Reshia.
But I pretended not to hear her words as I continued to walk.
Author’s Note: Gray wolf get!