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The next day, we were training in a vacant lot outside the cave as usual when an unfamiliar group of goblins arrived.
Although they looked unkempt, I saw three fourths of the group carrying a number of chipped short swords and battle axes that looked well-used hanging at their waists. They also wore blood-stained leather armor on top of dirty chainmail shirts. There were even three Hobgoblins amongst them.
Will a war for survival break out for a second day in a row? We got a little excited, but it seems to be the return of our parents’ group who were away with work.
Goblin Elder, who was watching us practice, stopped my attack stance and separated us.
Oh I see, so they weren’t enemies. I realized that I must welcome them properly.
“I better go greet them then”.
Although hidden in the shadows of the Goblins who, obviously being underlings, carried large backpacks (in all likelihood the fruits of their latest raid) were five young women who had their hands and feet bound with their mouths gagged to prevent them from becoming violent while being carried by several similar subordinate Goblins.
Judging from their clothes, four of them were ordinary people, and the last one wearing leather armor was probably an adventurer.
Only the girl who looked like an adventurer had slight visible traces of having been hit in the face. Their clothes didn’t seem to be in disorder so they probably hadn't been raped yet. It's only a matter of time though. We could no longer see the shape of the Goblin Elder, who was covering his nether regions which were revoltingly swelling with a worn-out loin cloth, and the Hobgoblin who was talking to the Goblin elder.
Anybody could tell 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 it's right or wrong, such things are a very different matter.
I’ve also had sex with female co-workers to relieve the stress when going to dangerous places for work, but there was mutual consent in those situations.
Being forced like this makes me sick. The cute ones should be loved… right?
For weak Goblins that oppose humans, numbers are necessary. After a strenuous military campaign , the ranks will need to be filled back up if the numbers have been reduced considerably.
Still, like I care about that! It's not like I'm going to change the way I think in the short amount of time since I've been reincarnated.
With things this way, I decided to help them.
Is that hypocrisy? Yes, but it is no problem because it's even more hypocritical to do nothing.
I don’t know why, but the Goblin elder looked at me with a weird face which I ignored.
The Hobgoblin Leader made a face as if saying “what are you talking about!?”, but nevertheless I 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 if possible. 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 of time and stopped before the other Goblins in his group got 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, Gobukichi-kun does the same behind me before holding his weapon at the same level while waiting for my signal.
I’m me; and because of that, persuasion is troublesome. Should I kill him then? 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 from both sides took aggressive poses while fully displaying their weapons; and if either I or the Hobgoblin Leader made the slightest move, the status quo would be disrupted. Of course, everyone would be trying to kill the enemies in front of them. The reason no one moved was not only because we held the executive decision-making power, but also because instinct told us that if a fight started here, each side would take lots of damage regardless of who won.
They numbered twenty eight while we numbered thirty nine. 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 each side which is why I didn’t move.
Incidentally, the 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're 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 Leader's heart.
My leg was bending in order to prepare myself for the dash where I would pierce the Hobgoblin when—
—just at that moment, a voice suddenly reverberated. Everyone instinctively stopped moving, and turned towards the source of the voice.
It was the only Hobgoblin that could use magic besides me. Judging from appearance, it was a female and she was holding a staff. She said something like, “Don’t involve us in a personal war” and “The leader is the strongest that decides the policy of the group." Because the Mage gave the impression of having higher intelligence than the other individuals, she seemed to have a calm judgement even in this situation.
"Aren’t you, who can use magic, stronger than this guy?" After 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.
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 told 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 worried they had done something wrong. It was because we were pointlessly scaring them. Well, this is all for their sakes. Just bear with it for now.
Then, after the preparations were 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 side was me, who had thoroughly trained those of my generation, and had ranked up and become a Hobgoblin subspecies.
Most of the bets the Goblins apparently placed were on him; but that doesn't matter to me, so I immediately attacked.
Well, I’ll only say 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 the sound of my roar when I used [Intimidating Roar].
I confused the enemy by using both of my abilities at the same time before I wrapped his body with my thread. While doing this, I was simultaneously closing the distance; and without missing a beat, I hung him from a tree like a sandbag when I got close enough.
Goblin Elder wanted to know what the thread was, but it was definitely a part of my body. It’s kind of like saliva. Since it comes from my body, it can’t be considered a weapon. Therefore, there aren't any problems. 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 are tougher than Goblins. Because he was impertinently shouting things like “I’m the leader! How dare you, you impostor! Do you have no shame!?” that shows he has no comprehension on his own situation, so I got a bit serious.
Well, it can’t be helped. It was like 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 in his mouth.
After that, I beat him up to silence him 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 of having a regular training. I soon stopped because the enemy had fainted. Judging from touch, it seemed his bones were just barely at the point of breaking and his internal organs hadn't ruptured. If I left him like this, he surely wouldn’t die.
Even then, I tried making “Healing Grass”, out of several grasses and herbs, and several kinds of insects mixed in with fresh water just in case. I forcibly gave it to him to drink and the homemade healing potion-ish thing had an effect, even if it was just a little. I then cut the thread and let him roll to sleep.
Not having any resilience whatsoever, I proved the feasibility of healing little cuts for the time being. Given that, his insides should be more or less better by tomorrow. I really don’t want to stay awake any longer.
Once I finished the job, I became aware that the others had drawn away from me, while basking in the feeling of having achieved something.
While the Goblins on our side seemed to take it better than the others, there was 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 my normal face?
Ah, I'm the only one that thinks that, 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 allies here.
After letting out a sigh, I asked if there were any more challengers. By making my position clear now, 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 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 from before were kept, made to reproduce and die in despair. 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 can only lead to them being killed or eaten. And since I have gone through the trouble to save them, I won’t allow this to happen.
I decided to bring them to the inner cave and have a chat as my ability [Human Language] fulfilled the minimum requirements needed to speak with them.
It wasn’t long before we arrived. 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 are 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 five or six hours passed. Either because of my insistent persuasion, or some other reason that I don’t know, 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 the Redhead girl, I concluded that the four women were hawkers in a Peddler group, the «Star God's Pavilion».
As for the Redhead, she was a member of the adventurer association The Sword of the Weak and had been hired on as a guard for the «Star God's Pavilion». 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 via mutual support, a typical clan, and the Redhead, as a holder of the [Job - Warrior] and a greenhorn, wanted to obtain power by serving as a member with them.
And why did such things happen? They briefly explained it to me . The party of girls went through the highway towards the defense city « Trient ».
→ They had been ambushed by a Goblin raid with poisoned arrows (in other words, our parent generation).
→ Their 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 three Hobgoblins) so they couldn’t compete.
→ When opposing magic-wielding mages, it is doubtful whether there would be anyone who held higher combat ability than those individuals who have the [Job - Magician]. Although the number of times magic can be used is limited, magic items like scrolls or wands that enable even children to use magic are needed. However, there was no way a wandering adventurer can buy such a high-class item.
→ As a result, they were subjugated without 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 to hear. Not to mention, everyone was annihilated besides these girls. Well, there’s nothing to say 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. I 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 demi-humans, 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 people with the [[[Job - Hero]]] really exist.
To put it simply, 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 the time on it.
It’s like this: either raise several levels in one leap; or slowly, but surely, raise one level at a time. It's either that or a difference in quality and quantity. By the way, this was confirmed by the Goblin Elder.