Chapter 3 : Day 21 to Day 30
The morning practice hasn't even been going on for a week, yet Goblins who've turned out to be somewhat useful are popping up here and there.
As I thought, because the realm of nature is a severe living environment, or perhaps because we belong to a precocious-type species, the Goblins who underwent the soldier training program had their strength grow considerably. The training program is something that I had composed from useful parts I gleaned from my company's servers before I died.
Recently some of the underlings even managed to kill Night Vipers, and even the worst of them at least manages to kill Horned Rabbits by themselves.
Those Goblins, who a few days ago couldn't even get their own food, can all manage by themselves now, and I, as their teacher, feel mightily proud about this fact.
However, the Gobujii and his cronies found the results genuinely astonishing, and they treated me with stares both filled with affection and awe. I think the special treatment is kinda handy, still it's also slightly depressing. Well, it does me no real harm so I guess I can just ignore it.
When the sun arrived at its summit, I personally began training with the Goblins; I spent the rest of the day doing such. That way, I can get a grasp on each individual's abilities. I can also catch any weaknesses or bad habits they've developed and teach them the proper way. Also, being able to single out the best individuals is useful, and above all it also serves to strengthen me. In this strict world, there are no disadvantages to having a well trained body. That's why I thought 38 battles in a row was good practice.
After the session, I once again came to the realization that Gobukichi-kun and Gobumi-chan are, amongst their generation, head and shoulders above the competition.
Regarding the results for Gobukichi-kun from the recent training, it seems he has learnt how to limit the power of his attacks to not cause accidents. Creatures of this world seem to change in direct relation to how much they contribute when in a party. By killing enemies, they get experience that raises their levels and leads to the creation of surprisingly robust bodies by the mysterious laws of this world.
At the present time, as long as I don't use my abilities he is a tough opponent, so if all Goblins except me and Gobumi-chan were lined up to challenge him in order, they still probably wouldn't be able to get even one win.
Gobukichi-kun however, would not leave without incurring some damage.
Gobumi-chan is slow when compared to me, however the other Goblins aren't even a match for her speed. Since she's a Hobgoblin, her strength is also better than the other Goblins; she's also grown her nails to be pointed and sharp, and I taught her how to use her nails skilfully. This is in order for her to fight well, even without a weapon. She's got speed, and if I didn't have my abilities she'd make a formidable foe.
However, you might say she's still a cute little thing. Speaking as an opponent, even when both are unarmed, Gobukichi-kun is still more dangerous in close quarters combat.
When the practice sparring was over, we broke the group up in order to go hunting. Usually we would go with our standard members, however today we had an additional member in our party.
This additional member was a female, Gobue-chan. In our generation, she was the next most influential person after us three, and when the Goblins were kneeling in front of us, she was the one in the front.
Well you see, while the two backpacks and three field packs were a fabulous find, Gobukichi-kun is carrying a giant cudgel on his back, and I don't think Gobumi-chan can carry any more than she already is.
Frankly speaking, with me carrying one of the backpacks, one was still left, and while Gobumi-chan and I were each carrying a field pack, one was still unused. That's why we required one carrier, and Gobue-chan was singled out. If it was her, she'd also barely be able to keep up with our hunting as well. Also, increasing our members with one more strong companion isn't bad at all. Yes, and of course she'd be carrying the backpack as well.
When equipping her, we gave her the old leftover shield that Gobukichi-kun used before, together with Gobumi-chan's old staff sling. We also gave her the carapace reinforced ceremonial looking costume, the obsidian knife and a bowie knife. Compared to the horned-rabbit horn she'd been using till now, the difference was like heaven and earth.
Also, because she was going to carry our luggage, carrying any more than this is unnecessary. Or how should I put it, when we're hunting, our prey will become her luggage, so having her equipment be heavy would be a truly stupid thing. Just enough to protect herself from injury is sufficient.
Following that reasoning, this time's hunting was a lot easier than usual. Because unlike before, when everyone had to share the burden of carrying the prey, now Gobue was doing most of the lugging; we finished the hunt without feeling fatigue.
Carrying heavy luggage, Gobue-chan was tired, but compared to us who easily concluded our battles, there was not such a large difference. Also, since Gobue was also contributing by shooting stones with the sling, she also managed to raise her levels by gathering experience. Perhaps Gobue-chan's day of turning into a Hobgoblin like us was close.
We didn't find any new types of prey, however our stomachs were filled.
Meat is very tasty, isn't it?
After returning to the cave, I read then went to sleep.
* * *
Today I crushed a Goblin who was growing a little impudent.
Of course I didn't kill him, but recently he was becoming too overconfident in his new abilities, he'll die one day if I don't correct him like this. For that reason I steeled my heart and punished him.
I think this is a reasonable thing to do in an environment where carelessness means death.
Well, even if this Goblin does develop some rebellious sentiment against me I can just beat him up again, no problem.
Today the four of us went out hunting again as usual.
We searched for and found some Kobolds I could gain new abilities from.
There are six of them, it's the largest group we've come across up to now, but as we are now we can crush them without a problem. Although they have numbers on their side, we have superior individual abilities and equipment.
We decided to give it a try. Gobumi-chan, armed with a crossbow and shortbow, aimed at a Kobold and prepared to pull the trigger, but then something strange came out from behind the rocks.
A Kobold of small stature wearing on its head what looks like a triple horned horse skull by the three horns growing on its forehead, and a twisted and crooked wooden staff in its hand, it approached the group while muttering something.
From its appearance, I think it's a Kobold Mage.
I knew since I heard from Gobujii that Goblins and Orcs and other lower-class monsters like Kobolds are generally unable to use magic to interfere with the laws of the world, with the exception of subspecies.
But exceptions do exist where ordinary Kobolds and Goblins can wield magic.
These are called Kobold Mages and Goblin Mages. It is a highly prized and rare ability though not as rare as subspecies.
Without a sense for handling magic I couldn't wield magic at my leisure yet, and this time I'm facing a Kobold Mage accompanied by six Kobold followers, this could be difficult.
Even so, this is a good chance.
If the Mage used magic, perhaps by observing it I might be able to learn to wield it. If not, I can just take the ability anyway.
Thinking that, we tailed the Kobold party and that somewhat troublesome mission was a success; we were able to see magic being used for the first time. The victim of the Kobold Mage's magic was a Green Slime.
Even with the ability "Invulnerable to physical damage", the Slime's bodily fluids evaporated before the roaring blaze of fire, leaving behind a green stony core. It was quite the flashy scene.
But having seen that I gained a general understanding of magic. If I go back to the cave and practice a bit I think I could do it without a problem.
With that matter settled we went on the attack. The enemy were promptly annihilated.
The Kobold Mage died instantly from a poisoned arrow to the back of the head by Gobumi-chan. The rest were silenced by me and Gobukichi-kun, with the help of Gobue-chan's poisoned stone and Gobumi-chan's rapid fire. No matter how strong, they're no problem if we crush them before they can show that strength.
We stripped the ordinary Kobolds of equipment and put it in Gobue-chan's backpack, then I secured the Kobold Mage's staff. Moreover, we took eight "Water Spirit Stones"—strange stones that give off water when tightly gripped—, six "Thunder Spirit Stones"—strange stones that discharge a strong electric shock—, and ten "Fire Spirit Stones" like the ones I ate before, all separated into three small sacks.
I took the Kobold Mage and the six hearts for myself, the rest were eaten by the others, two for each Goblin.
Incidentally, I also ate the Green Slime core.Ability [Physical Damage Reduction] learned.
Ability [Internal Mana Control] learned.
Ability [Magician Proficiency] learned.
Ability [Intimidating Roar] learned.
It seems the Green Slime did not have "Invulnerability to Physical Damage" but the reduced version "Physical Damage Reduction", but that's remarkable enough as it is.
This way we now know how to deal with green slimes the next time we should encounter one: Simply burn them down with "Pyrokinesis".
Then, I ate the Kobold Mages' staff and the three kinds of "spirit stones".
Doing this to gain abilities has become sort of a habit of mine.
Ability [Aqua Resistance] learned.
Ability [Electromaster] learned.
Ability [Lightning Resistance] learned.
Ability [Flame Resistance] learned.
Ability [External Mana Operation] learned.
Yes, these are good abilities. By practicing these I can finally use magic.
After that, we encountered Armored Tanuki and Night Vipers on the way back. They were killed mostly by Gobue-chan to gain experience then eaten.Ability [Endurance] learned.
Ability [Evil Eye Resistance] learned.
With this it looks like I have learnt all the abilities I can from Night Vipers and Armored Tanuki. Well, it was good food nonetheless.
After that, night fell and I went practicing by myself.
It was hard at first but after one hour I figured out the trick; although it needed a bit of activation time I was able to do it without much trouble.
Incidentally a Green Slime decided to attack me under the cover of night, and seeing it as a good practice target, I decided to take care of it. I crafted a lance with magic and shot it at the Green Slime, killing it in one hit with fearsome power.
I took the core that was rolling around and began to eat it.Ability [Self Body-Fluid Control] learned.
And with that I gained this ability.
Yeah, I'm now able to turn my sweat into acid (make my sweat highly acidic?), which is useful and makes me satisfied.
However, the fact that my equipment didn't corrode when I used it is another strange mystery of this world.
* * *
It was raining today. Because of that we could not go outside and instead held a festival inside the cave.
I don't know when it started, but the Goblins in my generation had begun to operate as a group led by me, and this so-called festival is actually a round robin event that will decide the ranking within the group.
The results are exactly what you would expect.
At the top there was me, then Gobukichi-kun, followed by Gobumi-chan and Gobue-chan.
After the event, with the ranking settled, we did a study group. Because the ones on top have the responsibility of teaching, the ones below had to strictly follow the orders of those above them. Then we promptly decided on a few more rules.
With this orders can be relayed efficiently. While I'm at it, it seems like I'll be using military ranks.
At the top, there was me as Colonel, Goblin Kichi-kun was Lieutenant Colonel, Gobumi-chan was Major, and Gobue-chan was Captain, after that there was a huge gap to Sergeant to match the difference in power.
Well, it was appropriate due to our still small numbers.
* * *
Today after morning practice, the four of us went hunting again.
And the first thing we encountered was a 70 centimetre long, black spider with yellow lines. I decided to give it the temporary name "Demon Spider".
Because it'd made a nest, I burnt it to a crisp with my [Pyrokinesis] ability.
I had some trouble preventing a forest fire, since the thread burned and the fire followed it over quite a few trees.
If it had turned into a conflagration, we'd also have died.Ability [Spider Thread Creation] learned.
And thus, I learned how to secrete spider thread from my fingers—no wait.
Since I'm a Goblin, it's Goblin thread? Anyway, at my will it was gushing forth from my fingers.
Seeing thread come out from my fingertips vigorously with a "buryuryuryuryuryu"-like sound felt quite surreal, however it's unquestionably an extremely useful ability.
Unfortunately, as I am now I can't make delicate work. Skilfully manipulating the thread like a spider is impossible for now. The best I can do is to simply immobilize the target.
If I make the slightest complex movement, I'll wind up tangled in the web myself, unable to move. Yes, compared to sewing, spinning webs is in a league of its own.
Thus, in order to freely be able to control the thread, I decided to search for more Demon Spiders.
After a little while, I discovered some, and this time I tried killing the spiders with electricity before eating them. Soon I had three corpses.Ability [Thread Wielding Arts] learned.
With this I became able to delicately manipulate thread. The thread was very durable, so I thought about making clothes and such with it. Also, the Demon Spiders carapace seemed sturdy, so I decided to make use of it when I next construct armor.
After that, while walking, we saw our first Orc in a long time.
The place where we found them was close to where we found an Orc the last time.
Because this place was quite far away from the cave we hadn't really explored the area, and I was berating myself over how we should have come here earlier.
The Orcs we found were in a group of six, and different from the previous one who carried a pickaxe. These Orcs carried quite heavy and splendid looking weapons like halberds, staves, hunting-knives and long swords, while wearing breastplates or full plates.
Moreover, I think that the halberd-wielding Orc, with the best physique, was the group commander—the Orc Leader.
Still, we decided not to attack them. However, gathering intelligence is another matter so we followed the Orcs down the mountain for an hour until we discovered the location of the Orcs base, a mine.
I saw dozens of Orcs with pickaxes, and the sounds of their efforts could be heard even from where we were watching them.
For the present, I was satisfied with climbing down the mountain. If we try attacking this many opponents we'll die.
True victory was if we four could sneakily escape with our knowledge and remain undiscovered.
At least that's what I thought, but then I spotted three Orcs climbing down the mountain.
Even if they raised the alarm, since the other Orcs were far away, it would take a considerable amount of time before they could bring reinforcements; so we decided to quickly attack them.
Hiding in the thicket, we waited for them to reach our shooting range.
Gobumi-chan and Gobue-chan killed one Orc each with their crossbows. The last one was stunned by my lightning, after which I calmly walked up to him and slit his throat.
For transporting the corpses, Gobukichi-kun and I each carried one Orc, while Gobumi-chan and Gobue-chan helped each other, until we reached a place I deemed as safe, where we leisurely took our time to eat.Ability [Stench] learned.
Yes, plainly an ability I don't need. [Stench], seriously? Well, Orcs certainly have a distinctive smell. But since their flesh is really tasty, it's something we'll have to live with.
Moreover, if by any chance I were to discover a use for the ability, I'll consider it a profit.
* * *
It was currently the end of our morning sparring practice, and some individuals seemed to have a hard time. So far no one (Who has attended my practice) has died during a hunt; although some did get hurt. This being the case, I felt relieved knowing that my training hasn't been squandered.
Afterwards we went hunting, and while hunting the likes of Night Vipers, Armored Tanukis and Demon Spiders, we found a new prey that undoubtedly possesses better individual abilities than the spiders.
They were a pack of wolves, with black fur that almost looked as if it was made of metal. Without making it complicated, I decided to call them "Black Wolves" temporarily, and for the time being I decided to quietly observe them.
It seems that the pack consists of 16 Black Wolves, who currently seem to be engrossed in eating. Luckily, we are standing leeward, so they have yet to notice us, however were that to change we could end up like that Kobold the Black Wolves are currently eating.
They were 4 times as many as us, but above all the Black Wolf Leader seemed incredibly dangerous. It was considerably larger than the other Black Wolves.
If we went at them from the front, we'd probably suffer a great deal of damage. Because they had greater numbers, the advantage was heavily stacked in their favour.
But even though that's true, an advantage can be turned using a surprise attack.
Gobumi-chan let loose an arrow from her crossbow, piercing the body of the wolf leader who was still in a daze from eating the Kobold meat. At the same time, an arrow from Gobue-chan went through the neck of a nearby wolf.
The Black Wolf Leader wouldn't die instantly from an ordinary arrow through the body, but because the arrowhead had been coated with my venom, after several seconds the wolf staggered unsteadily and then collapsed, convulsing and foaming at the mouth.
Even so the Black Wolf Leader didn't die immediately, it was barely hanging on, its life slowly slipping away. Without resistance against the fast-acting poison, the ordinary wolf that got shot through the neck died quickly.
With this we were able to prevent the wolves' quick teamwork. Considerable time is needed to decide who is going to replace the top member in a pack. You could see the panic in the wolves' figures when it suddenly happened.
Making full use of the mess we created, Gobukichi-kun and I moved closer and attacked.
Though it was the first time since I was reincarnated that I fought a wolf-type monster, I was sure that I could easily deal with it so long as it didn't have any special abilities. On approach the wolf bared its sharp fangs at me so it could strike me with its most powerful move "Bite", in response, I thrust my estoc into his mouth; dripping with venom. With the force of the charge from both sides combined, I easily tore through flesh, punctured through the skull, and destroyed the wolf's brain.
I caught a glimpse of a wolf trying to escape the confusion, so I charged a high pressure water blade with electricity and slashed at its feet.
The battleaxe-wielding Gobukichi-kun couldn't hack through the thick-furred black wolves, but his attack forcibly broke its spine and ribs and using his running momentum forcibly broke the neck of the black wolf that collided head on with his shield.
In the midst of all that, the enemy numbers are further reduced by Gobumi-chan and Gobue-chan's sniping.
After a while, the pack of black wolves, who had lost the teamwork that was their greatest weapon and the effectiveness of their bites had been nullified. Not even one wolf was spared.
Once finished, three of us went to work on cutting up the wolves' bodies. The wolves' fur, for later use, had to be kept in the most pristine of condition, both functionally and in beauty. Incidentally, Gobukichi-kun had to be excluded since he was incredibly clumsy and therefore couldn't be entrusted with such a task.
Because of this, I placed Gobukichi-kun on lookout duty. Due to my ability [Presence Sensor], having Gobukichi-kun on lookout was unnecessary. However in this world where one is constantly engaged in a violent struggle, the experience of such a task is vital; especially to one's own existence.
Gobumi-chan and Gobue-chan cut up this much without any trouble, they seem to have gained the ability [Dismantle]; so skillful their fingers seemed to vanish.
After that, we gathered the fur and ate the meat, four to each Goblin.Ability [Pack Leadership] learned.
Ability [Pack Hunting Proficiency] learned.
Ability [Steel Hide] learned.
As I expected, the Black Wolf Leader had superior abilities befitting its status.
[Pack Leadership] and [Pack Hunting Proficiency] were a huge bonus for group operations.
[Pack Leadership] allows me to quickly identify who can contribute the most aside from my being able to give them instruction, it enhances the ability of the group as a whole .
[Pack Hunting Proficiency] all allies will move efficiently to obey my commands as if I were repeating them to each member individually.
[Steel Hide] the ability increased the defense of fur and leather-based armor in addition to one's own skin and hair. It definitely doesn't hurt to have the ability to increase defense at will. I'm certain it will come in handy in the future.
I hunted some demon spiders and green slimes before returning, after having dinner, I went to bed.
* * *
When morning came, Gobue had turned into a Hobgoblin. To congratulate her, we gave her a gift. It was an accessory made from fangs that gave off the vibe of being from a tribal people.
Usually when practice ends, the Goblins end up scattering for the days hunt.
However, this time without scattering everyone underwent an arms inspection.
The lowest and most numerous private weapons that Goblins use are Horned Rabbit Horns, Shell Reinforced Shields and their regular clothes. At the inspection place we only counted them, then after 30 minutes had passed, everyone left the caves together. This time our plan was to raise everyone's level and to increase my number of skills. So I decided to launch a surprise attack on the orc's mining base. We didn't have a particular grudge against the Orcs, we simply did what we needed to in order to survive.
Therefore we attack. Attack and eat.
And thus I shall announce the results. Our camp had only light injuries and we didn't have a single casualty. Of the Orcs in the mining base, they all died. This included the Orc Leader and his warriors. The main reason for this was the training we'd been undergoing focusing on not only offence but also defence. This was also helped by how decisive, stern and relentless I was being during sparring. That's why their defensive power was so high. Although, a large part that caused their loss, was due to the Orc leader's fighting potential being impeded by my Goblin thread, and then prickled to death.
What? Cowardly? I disagree, in the natural world such behaviour isn't to be underestimated. When you die it's over, so no matter how cowardly you act, the survivor is the winner.
Only the winners gets to decide what was right and what was wrong.
[T/N: This is not a direct translation, since I felt the original meaning became kind of strange in English.]
In order to always be a winner, I must steel my heart from weakness.
After the battle had ended, we pulverized the medicinal herbs [Healing Grass] we brought, soaked cloth wraps in the fluid, took those cloth wraps and applied them to the wounds. It is very simple medical care, but surprisingly effective.
For patients who bore life threatening wounds, with my [Job - Druid] I proceeded to use my blessed healing skills to cure their wounds.
I thought my magical practice could be useful, so I tried various ways until it worked.
Even if one of their arms had been chopped off, if my healing skills were used it takes some time but adhesion was possible, for a while you'd have an uncomfortable feeling however, compared to losing an arm this is nothing. Moving the arm also seems possible after rehabilitation. I have no choice but to conclude that this healing skill is amazing.
I am truly thankful for having this ability.
Towards the woman who once was a [Druid], I truly harboured feelings of gratitude. This is because if I didn't have this ability, our numbers would have dwindled considerably. Once I wouldn't have blinked an eye no matter how many of them died, but after training with these guys for a while, I've started to see them as my subordinates and disciples.
Thus if they need help, I've developed the desire to aid them.
When I'm reminded of those girls who died that day, I offer them a prayer.
While I was administering medical treatments, Gobukichi-kun together with those uninjured ran around gathering Orcs and their equipment. When I finished the treatment I immediately changed to the next stage of the plan.
It seems like the Orc Leader's Halberd was reinforced with magic materials, so it had an incredibly sharp edge. It was just the right size, so I decided to make it my new weapon. Swords are also nice, however, I'm used to using longer weapons. There were lots of other weapons as well, and with this everyone received better weapons. The lowest rank Goblins went from using Horned Rabbit horns to using short swords, which is a significant difference.
And above all, besides large quantities of Fire Spirit Stones and Lightning Spirit Stones, there were also Wind Spirit Stones and Earth Spirit Stones that I still haven't eaten yet. And within the mining base there seemed to still be stuff to discover.
After we hurriedly stripped the Orcs of all their possessions, we all gathered to eat the delicious meat. To be more prudent we decided that the food division would be decided by the member's rank where higher rank meant more food. Orc Leaders and Orc Mages etc. main battle potential units were of course destined to end in my belly.Ability [Rallying Cry] learned.
Ability [Improved Digestion] learned.
Ability [Halberd Proficiency] learned.
While also indulging in the Orc Barbecue, I alone ate Fire, Lightning and Water Spirit Stones together with the newly acquired Wind and Earth Spirit Stones as snacks.Ability [Aero Master] learned.
Ability [Wind Resistance] learned.
Ability [Earth Control] learned.
Ability [Earth Resistance] learned.
But more importantly, the pig barbecue party was really satisfying.
Orc flesh has got this peculiar taste and texture, where it feels like extra special high quality pork, and what's more, there are large quantities of it. No matter how much we ate, there never seemed to be an end to it.
Even so, I missed cooked rice and alcohol. I especially missed alcohol. I missed it so much I almost couldn't bear it. When I think back on it I haven't drunk a drop since I reincarnated. On the way home after buying alcohol I was stabbed by Aoi. I began to wonder what happened to that alcohol.
And just like that I longed even more for it.
After that, before it went dark, we went back to the cave to sleep.
* * *
The next day, we were training in the vacant lot outside the cave as usual, when an unfamiliar group of Goblins came.
Although they looked unkempt, I saw three-fourths of them carrying a number of chipped short swords and battle axes that looked well-used hanging at their waists. They were also wearing black-stained—bloodstains, I think—leather armor on top of dirty chainmail shirts, there were even three Hobgoblins with them.
Will a survival war break out for a second day in a row? We were a little excited but it seems to be the return of our parents' group who were away with work.
Gobujii who was watching us practice stopped my attack stance for now, and separated us.
Oh I see, so they weren't enemies. I realized that I must go greet them properly.
"I better go greet them then".
Although hidden in the shadows of the Goblins who, obviously being underlings, were carrying large backpacks—in all likelihood the fruits of the raid this time—were the figures of five young women who had their hands and feet bound and their mouths gagged to prevent them from becoming violent, being carried by several similar underling-looking Goblins.
Judging from their clothes four were ordinary people, and the last one who was wearing leather armor was probably something like an adventurer.
Only the girl who looked like an adventurer had slight visible traces of having been hit on the face, and their clothes didn't seem to be in disorder so they had probably not yet been raped. Though this is only a question of time. We could no longer see the shapes of the Gobujii, who was covering his nether regions which were revoltingly swelling with a worn-out loin cloth, and the Hobgoblin who was talking to the Gobujii.
Anybody could predict what they were talking about, even if they didn't want to.
I don't have the slightest hesitations about killing and eating others, however forcing others is not a thing that I like. Of course I understand the instinct of living creatures to leave offspring, but to decide if its a good time or a bad time, such things are a whole different matter.
I've also, when going to dangerous places for work, had sex with female co-workers to relieve the stress, but in those situations we had mutual consent.
Being forced like this makes me sick. The cute ones should be loved... right?
For weak Goblins who are in opposition to humans- numbers are necessary, and once in a while after a strenuous military campaign, the numbers have been reduced considerably and the ranks need to be filled.
Still, like I care about that! As if I who just reincarnated, in this short amount of time am going to change the way I think.
With things this way, I decided to help them.
Is that hypocrisy? Yes, but it is no problem because it is even more hypocritical to do nothing.
The closest Hobgoblin leader was talking to the Gobujii, when I asked him to release the women.
I don't know why but when I said it, Gobujii looked at me with a weird face but I ignored it.
The Hobgoblin Leader made a face as if saying "what are you talking about!?", but nevertheless I still repeated the request.
It is important to discuss everything first. No matter how much you dislike the opposition, you should start by discussing your problems. Any hostility should be put aside for the moment. I tried to persuade him patiently but the Hobgoblin Leader wasn't willing to listen. That wasn't all, he started to become irritated at me who kept obstinately asking.
I continued to attempt to persuade the leader, but soon realized that it was a waste and stopped before the other Goblin group began to feel irritated.
The Hobgoblin Leader pulled out his short sword and waved it at my throat in ridicule. As I'm about to pull out my sword, behind me Gobukichi-kun does the same as me, holding his weapon at the same level and waits.
I'm me, and because of that, persuasion is troublesome. Then, should I kill him?
I parried the Hobgoblin Leader's short sword and at the same time pull out the estoc at my waist.
At that moment, the atmosphere clearly changed.
The Goblins of both sides took poses where they fully displayed their weapons, and if either I or the Hobgoblin Leader made the slightest move, this status quo would be disrupted. Of course, with everyone trying to kill the enemies in front of them. The reason no-one moved was because we held the executive decision making power, but also for no other reason than that instinct told us that if a fight started here, both sides would take huge damage regardless of who won.
They numbered 28 while we numbered 39. In pure numbers we had the advantage, however in real fighting experience and experience of fighting together they were far above us.
Honestly I had no idea of which side would win if fighting broke out, and to start the fight under such conditions would inevitably turn into huge damage for both sides, which is why I didn't move.
Incidentally, a group of older Goblins were watching us, however they didn't do anything and seemed to prefer watching what would happen as neutral observers.
For a short while we glared at each other, but since I thought such actions were more trouble than they are worth, I prepared myself to trigger the fight by adapting a forward-bent pose.
With my estoc holding hand filled with power, I pointed the tip of the sword straight towards the Hobgoblin Leaders heart.
My leg was bending in order to prepare myself for the dash where I pierced the Goblin when—
—just at that moment, a voice suddenly reverberated. Everyone instinctively stopped moving, and turned towards the source of the voice.
The owner of the voice was a Hobgoblin with 3 Goblins at it's side.
It was the only Hobgoblin that could use magic, with the exception of me, judging from appearance it was a female and she was holding a staff. It was something like, "Don't involve us in a personal war" "The strong is the leader that decides the policy of the group" is what I heard. Because the Mage seems to have higher intelligence than the other individuals, she seems to have a calm judgement even in this situation.
Aren't you, who can use magic, stronger than this guy?
Hearing this, the leader backed away unwillingly.
It was thus concluded that a fight to determine who reigns at the top of the "Goblin community" was to be held.
The rules were very simple: use of weapons were forbidden, and while killing was permitted, the fight ends when one party faints or gives up, it was that kind of barbaric rule.
Gobujii would be acting as referee for the fight.
It was an appropriate position for the sagely Gobujii who held a neutral opinion.
Nevertheless, I was surprised to find that the Goblins on their side began to make bets in the middle of preparation. So they had a gambling mentality huh? Furthermore, I was informed that copper and silver coins were being exchanged.
Well, this kind of thing is certainly well-suited as entertainment.
Meanwhile, the Goblins on our side were sitting with impeccable manners. They were staying still to watch the fight that was about to take place. Yep, this is surreal.
At any rate, the five women who were being offered up as the prize were self-conscious that they did something wrong. It was because we were pointlessly scaring them. Well, this is all for their sakes. Just bear with it already.
Then after the preparation had finished, the fight to decide the leader began.
On one side was a long-serving soldier full of scars who had drawn many companions to himself with his achievements.
On the other was me, who had thoroughly trained those of my generation, and had currently ranked up and became a Hobgoblin subspecies.
Apparently there were a lot of Goblins that placed their bets on their side, but because I had no intention of reading between the lines, I immediately went away.
Well, I'll quickly state the result.
Of course, I won.
I stopped his movement like a frog glared at by a snake with [Evil Eye]
The opponent cowered at my volume when I used [Threatening Roar]
I confused the enemy by immediately using my abilities at the same time and then wrapped his body up with my thread. While doing this I was simultaneously closing the distance, without missing a beat, and then when I got close enough I hung him from a tree like a sandbag.
Gobujii asked what the thread was, but this was definitely a part of my body. Going to extremes, it's kind of like saliva. Since it's spit, it can't be treated as a weapon. Therefore I don't have any problem. Since it isn't a weapon, I didn't violate the rules even if I use it. We'll look to decide. Yeah, it's safe.
After turning him into a makeshift sandbag with my web, it was time for violence. I tried going easy so as to not kill him for the time being, but this guy belongs to the Hobgoblin race, who were tougher than Goblins, but because he was impertinently shouting things like "I'm the leader! How dare you, you impostor! Do you have no shame!?" that shows no comprehension on his own situation, I got a bit serious.
Well, it can't be helped. It was an act of God. That was what I decided to call it.
First of all, to prevent him from saying something boring like "I give up" I stuffed a gag made out of thread on his mouth.
After that, I beat him up silently for about three minutes, but he still had spirit, so I did that again for ten more minutes until he was just a bloody bag of soft moans. I didn't kill him though. By the way, even though I beat and kicked him for ten minutes incessantly I still have plenty of body strength left.
This was the result regular training. When my enemy fainted, I stopped. Judging from touch it seemed his bones were just barely at the point of breaking, and his internal organs had not ruptured. If I left him like this he surely wouldn't die.
Even then, I tried making, out of several grasses and herbs "Healing Grass" and several kinds of insects mixed in with fresh water, just in case. I forcibly gave it to him to drink and the home-made healing potion-ish thing had an effect, even if just a little. I then cut the thread and let him roll to sleep.
Not having any resilience whatsoever, for the time being I proved the feasibility of healing little cuts, and given that, his insides should be more or less better by tomorrow. Today I really don't want to stay awake any longer.
Having finished the job, I became aware that the others had drawn away from me, who was basking in the feeling of having achieved something.
While the Goblins on our side seemed to take it better than the others, but there is still a hint of terror in their eyes. Afterwards, they would casually try to run away whenever I approached, It hurt my feelings a little...
Eh? What is it Gobumi-chan? They were completely unable to understand my thread, and that tragic scene that befell me before was because I was making a scary face? But isn't this kind of face just normal?
Ah, so that only applies to me huh.
But it really isn't that big a deal right Gobukichi-kun? Ah.. don't be like that.
Even Gobue-chan...? Okay okay, if it's like that then fine, I have no friends here.
After letting out a sigh, I asked if there were any more challengers. By making my position clear here I hoped to reduce the possibility of any trouble coming up later on.
In the end, because there were no more challengers, I had officially become the leader reigning top of this "Goblin community".
I then declared that it is strictly forbidden to touch the women and that there would be a more detailed set of rules given in the future before dismissing everyone.
Afterwards, I removed the gags and untied the hemp ropes around the hands and feet of the five women and had them enter the deepest part of the cave where those pitiful women were kept, made to reproduce and died in despair, were thrown into once. This was done because it would be troublesome if they escaped.
Well, the women escaping is fine, but five unarmed women running around in this dangerous forest could only lead to them being killed or eaten. And since I have gone through great troubles to save them, I couldn't allow this to happen.
I decided to bring them to the inner cave to have a chat because my ability [Human Language] fulfilled the minimum requirements to speak with them
It wasn't long before we finished moving. I took the torch I made beforehand and lit it to provide a light source.
Goblins have [Night Vision] but it would be difficult for humans to see well in the darkness.
After these preparations were finished, we began our conversation. I promised them that I will not take their lives and that I will ensure food and other necessities will be provided to them. I also told them that if they were assaulted, I would judge the individual and punish him/her and that it would take some time but I would return them to their home and such things.
I think probably 5 or 6 hours passed. Either because of my insistent persuasion, or some other reason that I don't know, but the girls began to speak.
The first one who regained their composure was the adventurer girl, with short flaming red hair, who possessed a vigorous beauty, and a cuteness that reminded me of small animals.
From the conversation with Redhead, I concluded that the four women were hawkers in a Peddler group, the "Stargods Mansion".
As for Redhead, she was a member of the adventurer association "The Sword of the Weak" and had been hired on as a guard for the "Stargods Mansion" for payment. The adventurer union "The sword of the weak" seemed to consist of young adventurers. As I thought, such an occupation existed. It is a type of guild whose main policy is to nurture the strength of their individuals by mutual support, a typical clan, and Redhead as a holder of the [Job - Warrior] as a greenhorn wanted to obtain power by serving as a member with them.
And why did such things happen? They explained it to me briefly.
The party of girls went through the highway towards the defense city « Trent ».
→ They were ambushed by a Goblin raid with poisoned arrows (so by our parent generation)
→ The leader and his fellow members who had command were all killed by the first attack.
→ There were a number of experienced escort adventurers, none were novice adventurers. But the Goblins (parent generation) were skilled at methodical group work (particularly the 3 Hobgoblins) so they couldn't compete.
→ There was also the dangerous presence of the Hobgoblin Mage whose attacks are difficult to defend against.
→ When opposing magic-wielding mages, it is in doubt whether there are anyone who hold higher combat ability than those individuals who has the [Job - Magician]. Otherwise, though the number of times it can be used is limited, but magic items like scrolls or wands that enable even children to use magic were going to be needed. However, there was no way a wandering adventurer can buy such a high-class item.
→ As a result, they were subjugated without much resistance, their weapons and goods plundered, the men were killed, the girls who survived were carried off, and we arrived at the present situation.
I shouldn't be the one to say it, but it was a difficult story. Not to mention everyone was annihilated besides these girls.
Well, there's no choice but to call it bad luck.
After telling me that much, they couldn't bear it anymore and burst into tears.
As expected, they could not even put their feelings about living together with Goblins who killed their friends in order, so I thought that any more than this would only be painful, and told them where I left the torch that I prepared along with some blankets, then I went back. Now I should just do them a favor and let them cry their feelings out.
Well then, I suppose I should now start talking about [jobs]. For non-human beings like demihumans, beastmen, and other monsters, there is a law in this world called [Rank up (evolution)]. As you could probably guess from my phrasing, the law of [Rank up (evolution)] does not apply to humans.
But in exchange for that, there are a large number of [jobs] they can take.
Humans are fundamentally less powerful than monsters.
So to strengthen themselves they carry many [blessings/improvements] in their bodies gained from the acquisition of a large number of [jobs]—each with their own requirements, and the requirements become more strict as the jobs become stronger—, becoming a powerful enemy in the process.
Moreover, anyone could easily raise their [Job] level by spending time, and if one has the prerequisites, it is possible to [Rank up (promotion)] to a higher position.
Also, as for those who are called [Great Men] and [Heroes], the improvements from their [Job] are great.
And don't laugh, because it looks like these people with [Job : Hero] really exist.
To put it in really simple terms, a monster's [Rank up (evolution)] is influenced by its characteristics, and can dramatically increase its potential all at once, whereas a human's [Rank up (promotion)] grows more slowly than monsters, but anyone is able to gain power if they spend some time.
It's like: either rise several levels in one leap, or slowly but surely rise one level at a time. Either that or a difference in quality and quantity.
This was confirmed later by the Gobujii.
* * *
First weeping, getting tired, sleeping, and now having more or less recovered, or perhaps because her recovery was simply fast, but when I went to look at the state of the girls in the morning, Redhead cheerfully greeted me.
The other four still seemed afraid of me, however that couldn't be helped. To have them come to an understanding, time was required. Among the stolen goods there was a cooking kit, using that I made a pseudo-stew for them.
Well, having my first civilized meal in a while really made me happy. It might be self praise, but the pseudo-stew really tasted good.
Eating is absolutely essential and as much as the food is delicious, that much of the soul is healed, it's that kind of cure. When eating, I saw that the girls calmed down and began to lower their guard. I began to hear about them in more detail. If there is something I can do, in order to know what that could be, such was my thinking when listening.
By the way, I forgot to mention but, except for Redhead, the other four were holders of [Job - Peddler].
In the soft and comfortable atmosphere, I got to know that one of them was an [Appraiser], as well as a [Blacksmith], easily able to sharpen the blades of short swords and long swords. If I could arrange better facilities for her, she promised that she would forge equipments for me.
Two girls who looked similiar turned out to be sisters, and they both held the jobs of [Tailor] and [Cook], so I arranged to have them be in charge of cooking and making clothes in the future. As expected, I cannot tell them to make clothes like Goblins who were their enemies, so I just told them to make clothes that they are used to making themselves.
But regarding the matter of making food for everyone, I told them to just put up with it for now.
One of the women that looked coldly intelligent was an [Alchemist] and because of that, I asked her to make potions. However, I should pick someone to supervise them in case food is served with poison, if that happens, it'd be scary.
Redhead is capable of doing farm work, but speaking bluntly it's useless in this situation, so from here on out it was decided that she would participate in the training in order to become stronger. The women had to be able to protect themselves, particularly in situations like this one.
After eating, we would have proceeded with training if we followed our usual schedule, however today was different. We were gathering all our belongings in preparation to move. If you were to ask why we needed to move, the answer would be that after the older generation returned, the cave had turned out to be too small to contain all of us.
Until now, when Goblins were born most died quickly, that had changed. That's why we were moving to the Orc's former mining base. If we relocated there we would have no more problems with space, and most importantly, since it's a mine it had been reinforced to prevent collapses, so it was really sturdy. Also, I was also aiming at collecting as many spirit stones as possible.
I sent out Gobukichi-kun to lead a group of ten Goblins to act as an advance party, and the rest completed their packing and left an hour later. There were a lot of workers and backpacks, so we were able to move immediately.
Escorting the human women were Gobumi-chan, Gobue-chan and those few I could trust for this matter. The walk took over an hour but it seemed we'd finally reached our destination.
It seems like Orcs had once again came to settle in the mine, however Gobukichi-kun's group had already killed them. I recieved their hearts, and the rest of the Orcs were split between between the members of the advance party as a reward. After that we set out to bring order to the interior of the mining grounds.
Although since we almost didn't have any decorations, the storing places of weapons and food were easily decided, and we put the sleeping places in order. Of course, we didn't forget about preparing toilets in either with dug holes.
When we finished with the general stuff, I left the rest in the care of the Gobujii and started to prepare the living area of the human women. Luckily I had my [Earth Control] so the work was easy. I quickly finished the blacksmith's smithy, the sisters' kitchen, the alchemist's workshop, and lastly their sleeping location. For their bedroom, I made them a simple bed. By taking a wooden frame and using my thread I made a mattress. It's a somewhat bare structure, but fairly comfortable to sleep in.
Excavated spirit stones were used for drinking water and light sources so these were no problem at all. With a little creative thinking we also managed to allow the smithy to produce simple things. Thus we spent the rest of the day cleaning up and doing routine tasks.
The food was prepared by the sisters. As expected of those who possess the [Cook] profession, it tasted really good.
* * *
Finally we started the training for the older Goblins. To start with, as an example we had them observe simple things like standing in line and combat practice. The older Goblins were surprised by that display, but in actuality, I was more stumped that they were surprised about them taking orders from me.
Because of that we began the real thing. First of all, we started from the basics, like forming a line quickly and endurance running. Those who fell behind were gifted with push-ups as punishment amidst jeers, as if coming from some demon sergeant.
There was one really stubborn idiot that I had to hit, together with the punch to his face I also had to break his arm. After he screamed and spun around for a while, I straightened his arm again and we returned to the training.
The training continued in that way for a few hours, until lastly where I practiced sparring with everyone. I got a strong sense of deja vu from the scene that resulted. At the end, no one could move.
While Gobukichi-kun and his buddies were off watching from a distance, they were saying things like: "Ah! As I thought!" "Ah, I understand you, I understand you" "Thats harsh!"
As expected, the endurance of these Goblins were at this time higher than that of Gobukichi-kun and friends, so the recovery time was fast and after a time that I chose at my own discretion the training was resumed. This day we didn't go hunting, instead I spent the time deciding the ranking of the older Goblins, deciding rules and stuff like that.
* * *
It rained heavily today. Of course, I was having reservations against going outside.
Because of that, it was the right time to hold another tournament to determine the ranking within the group. The method to determine the rough ranking quickly was somewhat convenient. Because there is a large difference in the basic abilities between Hobgoblins and Goblins, we will have two separate contests to decide the ranking.
The results, well, that is if you can call it properly settled, are thus: The top was me like always, the runner-up was Gobukichi-kun, next was the previous Hobgoblin leader, and after him was Gobumi-chan. The three Goblins after her were generally at the same level of competency.
The Hobgoblin Mage Hobusei-san might have come after me if magic use is permitted, but that is not the case this time so things were how they were.
As the tournament ended, we split into three groups: Gobukichi-kun's group who were continuing with practice, Gobue-chan's group who carried picks to continue with mining, and the group who were studying things, like the rules that I had decided, the ranks, the Continental Alphabet, and so on, with Gobumi-chan as the teacher.
Meanwhile, I had a chat about various things with Hobusei-san. I had an interest in what kinds of magic she can use. Based from what I had heard, the three kinds of magic Hobusei-san could use seemed to be [Fire], [Water], and [Void.I pretended that I understood, when in reality I had only read information from an incomplete source and in reality had no idea what she was talking about. After that, having exchanged all kinds of information, we each moved on to our own tasks. Hobusei-san went to Gobumi-chan's place to study, while I went to talk to the human girls.
When I went to check up on the situation, having fire and water guaranteed by the fire and water spirit stones, the blacksmith's forge was in the middle of producing tools out of the spirit stones and iron ore that we got as the result of mining. She could do that without any problems thanks to several sets of tools which were among the things we looted.
While I asked her if she had any complaints, I noticed that the smithy had been repaired recently so it was easy to use. Because she had become somewhat less frightened of me, I left satisfied.
Next, I went to the station where the two human sisters were. Since the cooking utensils were looted goods, having the sisters use them did not incite any friction with the other Goblins. With that, things progressed smoothly. Though, after looking around the station, I realized that with just two people, preparing everyone's food would be an overwhelming task, and so I decided to sit down and help them.
The sisters were still a bit afraid of me, and so I thought that if I were proactive and spoke to them more, they would begin to warm up to me. Once in a while I caught them smiling, which was great.The smile of a beautiful woman is always a good thing. While we were at it, I taught them all the recipes that I knew.
After that I went to the Alchemist-san who spent all day making potions.
The equipment had been assembled here like at the other places, so that was no problem.
I inspected her completed goods with my [Appraisal], but so far it didn't seem like she had made anything poisonous. I was interested in the creating process, so I stayed to observe.
The Alchemist-san gave of an air of indifference, making me think of a disdainful Ice Queen. She didn't talk at all while she was working, yet she was still a feast for my eyes so I had no issue with waiting. After she finished we had a short conversation then I went to my own workshop.
While there I tried using the black wolf leather to make defensive equipment. I stitched the leather with my thread, and using my practiced ability the crafting process progressed quickly. Nevertheless, it was already late at night when I was done.
Before I went to sleep, I did some practice swings with my halberd in order to become used to how it felt. Because I had been fervently moving around all day I'd become tired, and I slept like a log.