The meeting comes to a close and we are allowed to wander the camp. We still get some funny and unpleasant looks, but most goblins are busy with other tasks. Many seem to be celebrating and packing enthusiastically, where a few look to be seriously worried. I suppose not everybody is on board with trusting us just yet.
“Hey Kera. Things went well on our end, and we have all been invited to a feast.” I say into the com-stone in my inventory.
It takes repeated experimentation to figure out how to activate the com-stones from the inventory screen. In the end, the stone activated upon tapping the intercom icon next to the items name. I still feel I will be mocked further by Kera for how long it’s taken me to figure out how to use them.
“Seriously? I was waitin’ for you to go ‘It didn’t work! We need backup!’ over the stone for like the past hour. It’s kinda boring if you actually pull it off you know” Kera responds.
She seriously is just here to entertain herself isn’t she? She doesn’t even fight, so what fun would a brawl breaking out even be for her?
“If you don’t want to eat I can just tell them you’re busy. We had to leave the frog behind when we entered the village, so could you find him for me?” I say
“… You can’t always threaten me with food you know… I’m coming.” Kera responds curtly.
“So all the weird noises the two of you were making were about us getting invited to a feast?” Kiel says in disbelief as I cut off the com-stone connection
“No, in all that talk, we helped negotiate the relocation of the goblins, established a trade agreement, and became allies. I think the feast is just how they plan on getting rid of the food not suitable to take with them.” I say smugly in response
What? I can be a little proud can’t I?
“I can’t believe they are smart enough to even understand all of that… I hardly am.” Kiel says jokingly
“I don’t actually think a lot of them are. The big red one seems to be of a slightly different species. He spoke with intelligence, unlike the others. More than likely he is the reason why they have established such a good foundation.” I say as I look around the camp some more.
“’Slightly’? He’s a big red ugly, instead of a small green one. I would go with a word a bit harsher than ‘slightly'” Kiel says jokingly
“Oi. They are a friend of ours now. They can’t understand you, but it would be best not to insult them.” I say scolding him
“That’s right, personally I think I’m quite handsome.” I hear from behind us in a familiar voice.
The chief is standing behind us with a completely cheery attitude about him.
“Wha- You can talk!” Kiel says in surprise.
“Hm? You can understand each other?” I ask
“Well ya! He just started speaking actual words!” Kiel shouts
It all sounds the same to me, regardless of what language they are speaking in. It might be a bit bad if I don’t figure out a way to determine when somebody changes languages.
“Well yes I can talk, not that humans have ever had a tendency of listening.” The chief says in a joking manner.
In different circumstances, a fight may have started out over this. I suppose I’m lucky this is the kind of person the chief of the goblins is.
“When did you learn how to speak the human language?” I ask the chief.
“I knew the language as soon as I ranked up. Most high ranking monsters know how to speak the human language instinctively, though few show it. The goblins are quite close to humans, so we learn the language at a much lower rank than the others.” The chief stated.
I suppose Bik, Mak, and Kay can all speak the human language easily enough as well so I shouldn’t be too surprised. Are imps meant to be a species even closer to humans than goblins then?
“Ranked up?” Kiel asks.
“Ah pardon, I should explain. When monsters become far more powerful than their bodies allow, we undergo a physical change. Our bodies become more suited towards the strength we acquired and give us room to become even stronger. We also have a tendency to become increasingly intelligent as we live longer lives.” The chief explains as if giving a lecture.
I must admit he is quite good at teaching. The atmosphere he gives off when he speaks simply makes one want to listen to him.
This “ascended” thing might be a pretty important find though. Bik and the others are quite a weak type of monster from what I gathered, so I was worried that they wouldn’t be able to keep up with us for too long. If they have the capability of ranking up in the same method however, then they could continue to train with us without an issue.
“Thanks for the information, it could prove to be very valuable. About my intentions for our alliance thoug-“ I begin
“Don’t bother. The goblins are a very “open” race, despite our little meeting earlier. It becomes far easier for me to assess or sway the situation when I have the opinion of the rest of our goblins already. I do not find it right to decide the fate of my race without them knowing. I came to ask you to give a small speech at the feast tonight anyways. May I ask that you speak of your plans for the goblins at the feast instead?” The chief ask.
I don’t know much about the goblin race, but it is true that they don’t seem to keep many secrets from one another. All of the tents that can be seen in camp don’t have anything resembling a “door” of any kind. Even the other areas of the camps don’t have any kind of gate on them.
Still I’m going to be asking something rather large of them… it may not go very well.
“Maou.” The chief says catching my attention again.
He looks at me with a resolute face that I can only interpret as “trust me”.
“…Fine, I’m not one to argue with your customs.” I say defeated
“Good! The feast will soon be after the orange sky turns dark, I look forward to meeting your companions. I’m sure they must be as interesting as I imagine they will be.” The chief says as he giddily trots away.
“…Even he is difficult to handle in his own way.” I say placing my hand on my forehead
I receive a sudden tug on the shirt of the light armor I was wearing. I look down towards the tug to see the source and am pleasantly surprised.
“Learn! It’s good to see you.” I say with a smile.
Just the idea of being able to talk to somebody that isn’t going to add to my troubles for once is an idea that makes me happy on its own. I’m also quite fond of Learn’s childish nature and ignorance.
“Good see Mano too, much to learn.” Learn says with an incredulous smile.
“Nice to see you like me for my personality I suppose” I say sarcastically.
“A friend of yours Mano-san?” Kiel ask tilting his head
He seems to be getting less antsy around the goblins already which is a good sign. I hate to say it, but it seems like one will need a fairly open mind in order to travel with us it seems.
“Indeed, this is Learn” I say as I step away from Learn and show him to Kiel.
Learn quickly jumps behind me again though and hides.
“Really it sounded more like you said “whistle whistle kri” when you saw it. Learn is a nice name though… sounds more like a girl’s name though.” Kiel says looking closely at the attempting to hide Learn
“It… is a boy isn’t it?” Kiel questions further.
I want to glare back at him for being so rude… but I must admit I don’t know either. The goblin race has a tendency of looking like very ugly humans, to an extent that they all kind of look gender-neutral.
“Hey Learn, are you a boy or a girl?” I ask
“? What boy? What girl?” Learn ask back with innocent eyes
…I am not the one who should explain this to him. Or rather I really don’t want to be around for Learn to figure it out.
“You should ask the chief about that one actually.” I say deflecting the question
“Buu- Learn wants to learn from Mano now.” Learn responds pouting
“About other matters sure, but that question you should ask the chief.” I say nervously deflecting the question again
I become more and more nervous as the child’s glare becomes more intense.
“Fine! We talk of other things then!” Learn states pulling me away by my sleeve.
Afterwards we talked for a few hours as Learn asked me all kinds of questions and I attempted to answer any that I could. After a while Kera, Bik, Mak, and Kay all arrived. They said Gero refused to come based on something about “following orders” that they didn’t quite understand. He doesn’t seem to need to eat, so that should be fine. Soon after, the sun began to set. It seems while I was busy talking to Learn, everybody else found something to keep them occupied.
We are all escorted to a large dining hall after the sound of a strange horn resounds throughout the camp.
“Goblins of the north-pass!” The chief shouts shortly after everybody is seated
The hall goes quiet, and all eyes turn to him. My companions and I are all sitting next to him at the end of a large table in the center of the dining hall.
“Today we celebrate where we may have despaired! We learned today of a grand danger that would have befallen the camp we place the hope of our race on. That grand danger has also brought with it an ally that may help us get further than we ever could have hoped to before! The Maou herself has come to aid us in moving location where our race can thrive! In return I have promised her our army! Any who object I ask to speak!” He continues followed once again by silence.
Does this mean that we have their full trust? I doubt it. Even after word of our talk spread to the rest of the camp we still received looks of disgust. I suppose they must have their own reasons for not speaking up despite that.
“I have asked the Maou herself to give a speech tonight. Even I will hear of her intentions for our armies for the first time.” He says motioning for me to get up.
Not expecting to be called up yet, I nervously get up in a stumble. After some short directing on where to stand, I attempt to regain my composure before speaking.
ahem “There is something I’m sure must be on all of your minds at the moment.” I begin
Nearly all of the goblins in the dining hall turn to the goblin next to them and begin whispering. The difference in attitude towards my speech and the chief’s has me stunned and insulted for a moment, before I realize why it was so different.
sigh “…Besides for the fact that I can speak your language.” I continue.
Silence falls again after the goblins seem to come to terms with the rumors of me being able to speak being true.
“The subject I am referring to is why I asked for us to become allies.” I say testing the waters.
I scan the room and look at the various expressions of those listening. Most have the look of a hungry wild animal at the statement. The rest are split between looks of fear and looks of disgust towards me personally.
“You want help destroying human right?” one goblin shouts.
“”””YA!”””” Many more cheer in response.
Looking back over the room, those that cheered are the same as those who looked like hungry beast. It seems like many of the goblins wanted to go to war with the humans. The room is in a kind of chaos as the murmuring becomes loud enough I’m afraid I can’t speak over it.
“No.” I say resolutely as loud as I can in a calm voice
“Eh?” The chief ask surprised.
… The room falls silent again. The majority of the looks have shifted over to disgust towards me.