The scene that followed was somewhat surreal. We walked through the goblin camp with our hands bound, transported by guards. It was a scene many never experience. The eyes of every goblin in the camp looked at us with disgust and disdain. Even though I was aware that it was all an act, the situation still managed to instill a bit of fear into me. I suppose this is what I can expect if I ever get caught… that is if I’m lucky.
The camp isn’t what I was expecting, however. Around the perimeter are large stakes set up in a line forming a wall. There are a few walls separating portions of the camp as well. The portion that we are currently walking through is set up as a few makeshift roads with housing resembling tents littered around. It’s nothing incredibly impressive, but I suppose I must give them praise for the speed they must have made the camp. Being so close to the road must have incurred some serious wrath even before the current dilemma. I can’t imagine they were allowed to make such a camp without serious resistance, and yet this is far beyond what I figured them capable.
We are transported down the main road of the camp which eventually leads to a set of large double doors. The double doors lead into a portion of the camp that is sectioned off quite oddly. Were the other sections are all quite large and open, this one is small and smoke can be seen billowing from it.
The doors creak as several goblins push with all their might to open them. I’m taken aback by what lies behind them.
“Greetings, I suppose you are the human guest I was expecting.” Says a creature I’ve not yet encountered
Its height is very similar to that of a human. A red, monstrous, humanoid, with pointy ears and a somewhat handsome face sits in what appears to be a throne before us.
“I suppose here is where manners come in to play. I suppose I will introduce myself before asking for your names then. I am Heirch the Hob-Goblin leader of the north-pass goblin camp.” He says standing and bowing as the goblins close the door behind us
“I must say I was expecting to find a goblin as the chief of this village. I suppose you explain why goblins would be able to establish themselves in such a way so competently.” I say
“Oh? So the rumors are true then? Shall we begin with how you are able to converse in the goblin language? As well as whom the one you brought with you is?” The chief says as his eyes narrow and he observes me further
“How about we start by undoing my bindings? I have information you want, and you have something I need. I don’t feel like negotiating in such an uncomfortable manner.” I say holding my bound hand up towards him
“Oh? Where are my manners? Unbind them. Now, you say you have information that I want?” The chief says with a playful tone, only getting more serious to command the goblins
As per his command, the goblins begin to unbind our hands, albeit with rather unpleasant looks.
“Good it looks like we will be able to handle this rationally, I apologize for my previously rude behavior,” I say giving a small bow
“If you were going to be prideful I’m afraid there would be little I could do to help you. I don’t mind giving you the information you want, but do you trust everybody here to hear it?” I say looking around at the goblins here with us
Honestly I was expecting the goblin leader to be some big, dumb, muscle head. I’m glad it seems like he will be reasonable. As I look around the room I notice the only people who are in here with us are the goblin troupe that transported us and the chief.
“…Hu ha ha ha ha ha ha! You’re an entertaining one indeed! To ascertain the other party in such a method is something I should remember for the future. I figured you would have already guessed I was reasonable when I allowed you to enter my camp with your weapons though. Go ahead and speak, the goblins here are loyal to me. I trust them to keep secret anything I command.” The chief says happily
“Good. First I will answer why it is that I can understand and speak your language.” I say as I take my hat off
The look on the chiefs face becomes slightly less playful as he notices my horns.
“Monster?” He asks
“Maou” I state plainly
Silence falls for a short period as we stare at each other.
“Um Mano-san? You’ve been doing that weird chirping thing for a while now… and he doesn’t look all too happy. Are we okay?” Kiel ask nervously
“Shut up.” I state plainly
I suppose to him I’ve been incomprehensible for a while now. I don’t really have time to explain the situation to him, however.
“…Interesting, and I suppose this is related to the information you mentioned?” The chief asks now devoid of his previous playful nature
“You could say that. I was asked to come here on request of the local merchant’s guild to exterminate this camp.” I say attempting to keep emotion out of my voice
“You-!” The goblin troupe leader says getting into position to attack
The others follow his lead.
“Yet you walk into the camp with your hands bound willingly?” The chief asks once more playful
“Indeed. After learning that your race is intelligent I decided peaceful negotiations would be a better alternative… however, you know what this means, no?” I say not turning my attention to the goblins
“Indeed, we will likely be exterminated very shortly.” The chief says slouching into his throne
“Chief?! Camp can’t fall! The humans have no idea we been training goblins to defend themselves!” the goblin troupe leader pleads loudly
“and if the Yuusha happens to be among those who are commissioned by the merchant?” The chief says coldly at the loud goblin
“Guu-!” It understands the weight of the situation at once and seems to become paralyzed by fear.
“What chances of Yuusha coming? Only one him many cities.” Another pleads in a tone that seems to be denial
“And what if he isn’t? The Yuusha will come eventually, and no amount of training will be able to stop him when he does. I know how frightening the Yuusha’s power will be, and at the moment you have no hope” I say turning my attention to the pleading goblin
“You lie!” It cries
I begin to become annoyed and turn my eyes back to the chief. I look at him and think of how to ask for what I wish to do, but he seems to understand my thoughts by the look on my face and gives me a nod of approval… At least I hope he does, otherwise, this won’t end nicely.
I unholster my sword and point it at the sky.
“I beseech nature to spare your wrath, stun my enemies. Ai-Va-Aer.” As the chant leaves my lips a bolt of lightning flies into the sky.
The sky darkens as the clouds receive the strike, and the thunder resounding from it silenced everything in the area.
The goblins all look at me with fear in their eyes, unable to so much as yelp. The chief doesn’t share in their look though. Instead, he looks at me as if I’ve met his expectations.
“Compared to the Yuusha I am weak. His power should already be much more than what I just showed you.” I say re-holstering my weapon
Silence returns for a short period before those beyond this room begin to make an uproar about the spectacle. Those on the other side of the gate can be heard speculating about what the cause of the lightning was, though none attempt to open the gate.
“There must be more than that. You wouldn’t have come just to say that we were doomed.” The chief says in a playful tone, confusing the goblins in the room.
“Why did you establish your camp next to this road knowing you would garner this kind of attention?” I ask
“Of course it was to support our rapidly growing numbers. Our goal was to make a place safe for goblins, where we would be free of the fear of being hunted. However the numbers it would take to protect our settlement while we attempted this would be too large to sustain. We needed many soldiers to fight the humans, as well as many goblins to become farmers and craftsman. The idea was that we would focus on building our war force while taking advantage of the trade route for supplies. By the time the humans realized what they were up against we would have a large enough population to move our camp to a more defendable location.” The chief explains as if giving a lecture.
He seems quite adept at teaching. I suppose he is the reason why goblins of such a young age already know how to speak, and why this camp is so efficient. He must be teaching the goblins.
“In that case, my proposal benefits us both. I would like you to move your camp to a location humans rarely go.” I say
“With the knowledge of the danger that’s sure to come, we would have already begun making preparations to do so if we could. However, without the trade route, we don’t have any means of feeding our goblins. It would take several months to cultivate fields, and we have no goblins trained in farming. Without a large stockpile of food, there isn’t any way we can leave until the new location is ready.” The chief says dejectedly
He looks at me as if to say “what a shame, I figured you would have already known that.”
“That’s why I’m going to set up a trade route between you and the humans,” I state plainly
The chiefs eye widen considerably at my statement. He is obviously caught off guard.
“How exactly do you intend to do that? Humans won’t knowingly trade with us.” He says, joy finding its way back into his tone
“Simple, I was asked to come here by merchants. They know me as a noble from a foreign land; I will negotiate for them to arrange a trade between me and my country. I assume your goblins can handle themselves against some-what powerful opponents? While you cultivate your fields, the goblins you have trained can hunt for the materials found on strong monsters. You can use them to trade for materials such as food and tools.”
The goblin chief dons a giant smile before asking
“And what’s in it for you?”
“Simple, they asked me to take care of the goblins. You disappear, and I get the credit. The trade with my nation will also raise my standing with the merchants…. Plus let’s say you owe me one.” I say shrewdly in return.
“…Hu ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I like you Maou! Fine our army is at your command, burn the humans with it at will! You, Inform the camp to begin preparations to move! Have them prepare a feast for our guest as well! Hu ha ha ha ha ha ha ha” The chief heartedly shouts standing from his throne.
The goblins scurry away, and more noise can be heard as they inform the camp.
I panic when he misunderstands me, and repeatedly attempt to interject. He is lost in his own world now though and won’t hear anything I say. I suppose I can tell him later. He doesn’t seem like he’s going to go raiding any villages in my name, at least for a while anyway.
“Would you like to invite the other members of your party to the banquet as well? Speaking of which why did you bring him?” The chief asks
“Mostly for comparison. I figured if I had a human next to me it would only make me look more powerful during my magic demonstration. Though I did figure I was going to have to demonstrate before you would listen to me.” I say shrugging
guess he already knew about the other members of my party as well. It’s not like I was keeping it a secret, but it does show that he did his research beforehand.
Keil continues to look bewildered as he stares at the large red goblin that just laughed like a maniac.