|Translation & Editing||Re: Translation, Obarou|
Since it had been a while, this evening I went hunting with Gobukichi-kun in the Unexplored Zone in my mental map where we found a group of 12 armed human men.
Their vigilance in watching their surroundings and speedy — though slow compared to us — advance in the direction of the place where the « Elves' Village » is located led me to surmise that they are the human army's reconnaissance corps.
Motivated by curiosity, we decided to follow them.
An ogre over 2 and a half meters should be easy to spot, but for us tracking them isn't really that big of an issue. Since the fourth day after we were born, we continued hunting to get our own food.
From that day on we followed my strategy which was, rather than charging straight at our prey, we stay hidden, read its breath, then strike from its blind spot accurately like assassins.
Because of this, Gobukichi-kun and I have polished our skills at hiding ourselves until it wasn't even comparable to the usual level of skill others have.
It's at a level where it's easily possible to hide with the gigantic body of an ogre and merge with the surroundings, completely preventing the target from spotting us.
In addition to this, I possessed the ability [Hiding] which boosted my ability to hide even more. I can easily support Gobukichi-kun as well, that's why we didn't have any problems tracking them unnoticed.
After tailing them for a while it seems that we'd reached their target point where the humans assumed a formation shaped like the letter "U".
As they finished moving into formation each human took one of their 2 crossbows in hand, erased their presence and hid themselves.
If you didn’t know about their presence in advance, they’d be pretty difficult to spot even if you get very close to them.
Their hiding skills are very advanced.
Well, it's still at an incomparably inferior level compared to us who live in the wild.
Now that they were in position, they had a high chance of silencing their targets without being discovered using a surprise attack with their crossbows.
Since they had 2 crossbows each, they could fire both of them in succession then enter close quarters combat.
That's what I would've done if I were in their place too.
I wanted to know what they were doing here, so I secretly extended a superfine thread that was almost invisible and hard to see even if you were to look at it closely, then listened in on their hushed conversations.
Their mission here is to kidnap the beloved daughter of the « Elven Round Table Conference »’s Chairman.
Apparently the elves had adopted an institution where the representatives of several clans get together to make decisions.
The humans are planning of killing the daughter's guards and kidnap her.
From the conversation I also established the fact that the elves have a traitor among them, though I don't know who it is.
Although I didn't have any intentions of doing anything with this information, I had no doubt that this was a very useful piece of intelligence.
Well, no one wants to die, so the existence of those who betray their own comrades to save their own skin isn't all that unusual. Many had been left battered after getting influenced by personal interests, and I didn't have anything to do with it in the first place, so I couldn't care less.
I’ll just squeeze as much profit from this as I can if I get the chance.
After about 2 hours observing the situation, an armed group of elves appeared in the distance. Gobukichi-kun got tired of waiting long ago, so I let him go hunting close by and told him that if anything happens I’d notify him with my thread.
The elf sitting on a sedan chair being carried by a number of elves is probably the Elven Maiden-san who is going to be kidnapped.
From her looks she seemed to be between her late teens to early twenties and frankly speaking she was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen.
She is what one would call an incomparably beautiful woman.
I couldn't help staring at her for a second, after I got mesmerized a little I noticed a small change in the humans hiding.
I thought something was going to happen, so I called Gobukichi-kun back with the thread. At the same time the 12 humans moved simultaneously and accurately killed an elf each with their first crossbow.
It didn't end there, they threw away the crossbows they just fired, took up their other crossbows, then fired once more and another 12 elves died to the bolts.
The humans quickly rushed the eight remaining elves in the confusion following the surprise attack. The elves tried to take up their bows to retaliate, but were silenced by the blades of the humans quickly.
They executed the operation in only ten seconds. They worked at lightning speed, I have to admit, they are quite skilled.
After that, one of the men approached the Elven Maiden-san who was the only survivor and covered her mouth with a cloth.
Although she resisted, ultimately strength left her body which went limp.
From what I can see from here, it seems like she had lost consciousness.
The humans who were able to finish their mission flawlessly picked up the unmoving Elven Maiden-san and withdrew back the way they originally came from.
I assumed they would use the same path they used earlier, so I waited on the path to ambush them.
When they reached the ambush site, I jumped out from my hiding spot and shot threads from my fingertips at them.
I activated [Earth Control] just in case and erected walls made from dirt on the three sides other than the front to prevent the 12 humans from escaping.
The expressions of the humans who were panicking after the sudden turn of events were funny.
They were all captured in one go.
Using the flexibility of the golden thread created by the ability [Golden Thread Creation] I managed to bind all of them at the same time. Though the golden thread is quite heavy, so it consumes strength. However, it doesn't have the normal thread's vulnerability to fire, it’s also impossible to cut it quickly because of its high resistances.
They looked like bagworms as they wriggled around which looked hilarious.
After getting captured they may use a poison stored in the back of their teeth or bit their tongues to kill themselves to prevent leak of information. However, even if they did something like that I'll just quickly heal them to prevent them from dying, but healing them would be annoying, so I gagged them with my thread.
To make sure they that they won't be able to undo their bindings I dislocated their joints. As I finished tying up their wrists and thumbs firmly Gobukichi-kun finally arrived.
I gave the work of carrying all of the humans to Gobukichi-kun who arrived late.
Although his burden looked quite heavy, Gobukichi was carrying them like it was nothing.
...Including his armor it’s definitely more than 1 ton, right? I though about this while tilting my head a little, but he looked completely unfazed so I didn’t say anything.
I was carrying the Elven Maiden-san who was sleeping in my arms.
We decided to return to the mine after I deal with the elves' corpses.
The heads of Elven Maiden-san’s escorts were hollowed out from the bolts of the crossbows and separated from their necks by the blades of the humans.
The assassins were skilled, so the vitals of the elves who were shot by the humans were accurately destroyed and there wasn't anything I could do because I don't have any resurrection skills. I took all their equipment and their hearts, then I properly buried them because it would be pitiful if a monster ate their corpses.
Ability [Luck] learned
Ability [Doom] learned
For the time being, I guess I'll be activating [Luck] at all times and I'll be extra careful so that I don’t accidentally activate [Doom].
Lastly, I clapped my hands together “Namu”. I offered a prayer to them.
...Hmm? What will I with the captured humans you say?
Well, after interrogating them I'll turn them into Experience Values. I'll use them as materials to give lectures on torture and vitals too.
Yeah, tonight will be busy.
That's what I was thinking about when that happened. We encountered some goblins on our way home.
Their faces weren't unfamiliar. They were a group of the older goblins, six goblins who were in the upper ranks at the time of the former hobgoblin leader. Nowadays, even the goblins who carried Redhead and the other girls outclassed them in power. These guys couldn't keep up with the training and became failures.
I already mentioned before that the goblins of my generation were stronger than the older ones, but I'll add that because the low ranked goblins under the former hobgoblin leader were comparatively younger, they showed some likelihood of growing reasonably strong through training.
These guys fell behind so far that the other goblins have been gossiping about them lately.
Oh well, that's doesn't matter now.
I wanted to ask what they were doing in this kind of place, but since they seemed to be in a hurry I just observed them in silence. Probably because they felt resigned, but they stopped and the strongest out of them spoke.
"We can no longer follow you".
Not being able to sleep with the human women against was hard enough and they could barely endure the rigors of the daily training. Even so, they endured thinking that this will change someday, but because they couldn't embrace the women elves when we took the elves as prisoners they couldn't take it any longer.
With their statuses, sleeping with the women elves was impossible, even if they held out their hands they were limited to the men. The men were quite good-looking, so they didn't feel too bad doing it with them, but knowing that they would never be able to embrace the women' first-rate bodies even though they were close by felt frustrating and they were helplessly tantalized by this.
However, there's a limit to enduring. Because there were first-rate meals right in front of their eyes, but only those other than themselves can eat these meals they couldn't continue enduring it anymore.
That's why they are leaving.
In other words, they want to leave the group.
After saying that much, they went silent and trembled.
They probably thought that they will be killed.
As for me, I thought 'Ah, they finally decided to leave?'.
Well, I have already expected that they'll eventually leave, and it's not really necessary to keep these guys who don’t want to follow my orders around. If they want to leave, my response will probably be only “I see”. If Gobukichi-kun was the one who wanted to leave instead, I would try to stop him to the point of pulling him back with me. He's my right hand man after all.
I force everyone to adhere to my rules, but I didn't considered what to do to guys who were like "we don't like it, so we're leaving" yet. Since they weren't a big group it would be okay for now, but I have to decide on a policy concerning this soon. However, I don't care about guys who are leaving because they don't want to follow my orders.
Besides, my goal right now is not increasing our numbers, but rather raising our individual abilities. Rather than increasing the number of burdens, I want to raise the goblins' individual abilities before considering increasing our numbers.
That's why, I don't have any intentions of dissuading these guys who are already falling behind. I will extend my hand and help those who work hard even if they don't have any talent, but these guys are already starting to complain without even working hard.
Nonetheless, I should take countermeasures to prevent leakage of information about us. No, I'm not thinking of killing them, I will monitor them though.
The weapons carried by these trembling goblins who were looking at me with tense expressions were only [Normal]-Ranked items that I distributed to them, the second rank from the bottom.
There were several [Rare]-Rank items in the equipment storage, but they tried to sneak out with only the equipment distributed to them.
It's probably because they knew that they would be killed if they stole any.
They judged correctly.
I digress, although they were armed decently, but it was only the minimum required equipment. With their Levels, the level of their skills and their equipments' quality, the chances of their survival are low.
I decided to give them a parting gift, so I took out six knives from my [Item Box] and gave them to the goblins.
These knives are from the belongings of Elven Maiden-san's escorts who died earlier. The knives blades were blue, - When I used [appraisal], I found out that they were made from a magical metal called [ Mithril ] - these knives are too precious for a goblin to possess one.
The knives don't have any unique abilities, but compared to the steel short swords that they are currently equipped with the knives' sharpness is phenomenal. Would it be easy to understand how sharp they are if I said that a [Mithril Knife] can easily cut through the blade of a steel sword without getting a scratch on it?
Only the elves know the technology of how to manufacture [Mithril]. These knives are so rare that even a high-ranked adventurer can't obtain one easily.
To show them how sharp the knives are, I cut my fingertip with it and several drops of blood trickled out, then I sheathed it and gave each goblin his knife. The wound instantly vanished without trace due to the effects of [Rapid Recovery].
The older goblins just stood there with dumbfounded looks on their faces. Seeing that, I smiled wryly and left with Gobukichi-kun in the direction of the mine without looking back.
If there is a chance, we may meet again in the future.
Well, with a treasure like the [Mithril Knives] with them, there's a high chance that they will get killed by adventurers before we have the chance to meet again. It's unanimously agreed that possessing a treasure that doesn't correspond with your strength will lead you to ruin.
Lastly, an important point I want to mention is, "This day I shed my blood in this place".
TL note: This is likely a reference to the phrase, “lose a finger to save an arm”. He’s cutting his losses. He’s losing some forces, but it’s necessary for his plans, and referring to the fact that he may have created a clone with the blood he spilled on the blade to monitor their actions and prevent leakage of information about his group