“To be put simply, war with the humans is not the goal of my alliance with you. As such, I will ask that you do not attack any humans unless they attack you first until further notice. Those are the terms of me helping you.” I say before walking back to my seat and sitting down.
I spent a fair bit of the evening thinking about what I would say for this speech… unfortunately that’s all I came up with.
The room has gone mad with conversation between the goblins. One could hardly hear themselves think over the loud noise of their chatter. The goblin chief is looking at me dumbfounded by my statement. After a few moments however a brilliant smile appears on his face, and he stands again.
“It seems our new Maou has some rather interesting ideas! Whatever the end goal of her actions we can be assured it is in our best interest! For now the humans shall live, unaware of the terrible army that lies in wait for the Maou’s order!” The goblin chief yells
He almost sounds like he’s giving out a rallying call as the goblins raise whatever is in their hands and cheer loudly after his speech.
Oh thank goodness. I was worried that the goblins were going to turn on me for telling them they couldn’t have their revenge. It seems the goblin chief understood my intention. It sounds like he helped twist my words to imply “It’s all for the sake of destroying the humans” to help the goblins better swallow the news. Seeing as neither of us actually said that in the end though, in the future we won’t have to take responsibility for it. Hopefully before that becomes an issue we can convince them to give up on their revenge.
“With that, I see no reason to wait any longer! Let’s eat!” The chief cheers out again
“You should eat as well! You will need your energy in order to keep up with your leader.” The chief says raising his glass and turning to my companions
The imps and Kiel all dig in to their food immediately with this invitation.
“…” Kera remains silent as she stares at the goblin chief
“Hmm? Is the food we have not to your liking? If not we can have something else brought out for you to eat.” The chief graciously asks Kera
“…” Still she remains silent as she stares at the chief
“Kera what’s wro-” I begin to ask
“Heirch was it? Of the red goblin clan… Could you spare some time after the feast for a conversation? There is much I would like to ask you.” Kera ask in a proper and serious fashion
What is up with her? She’s been like this for a while now. Does it have something to do with the fact we are currently dealing with monsters? I suppose she must be more of a monster fanatic that I had previously imagined.
“Oh?… You’re a rather interesting one as well it seems. Very well, my job here is mostly to teach anyways. After the feast you may ask me anything you desire.” The chief says in a gracious manner
His curiosity seems piqued however. He raised an eyebrow the moment she spoke.
After his answer, she regains her usual playful nature and begins to eat with vigor. I suppose I shouldn’t stick my nose in here. We will likely be traveling for quite some time, and she can tell me whenever she wants. If it ends up causing trouble for me here I will punish her… I’m sure she knows that.
…It seems that I might show my thoughts on my face a bit too obviously. Her face turned blue and she seemed to shiver at the same time as my previous thought.
With all of the serious business taken care of, I decide to relax and enjoy the feast. However, the food in front of me is a bit questionable. What sits in front of me cannot be described as any food or dish that I know of. One part looks like a hunk of meat that was possibly lobbed off of a large creature’s thigh, the other just seems to be a green mush of some kind.
I look over at the rest of my companions who all seem to be whole-heatedly enjoying their meals.
“Is there a problem with your meal?” The chief says looking over at me
“Oh… um, no, of course not. Heh heh…” I nervously say raising the meat towards my mouth.
I decide dwelling on it will only make it worse, and take a large bit of the meat attempting to chew quickly.
I slow down immediately upon tasting it. This doesn’t even compare with the Chikai’s taste. Delicious hardly begins to describe the food on my plate. The meat holds a beautiful juicy flavor
I quickly eat through the first plate of food I’m given and survey the area for possible seconds. Within seconds however a new plate has been delivered in front of me. Entranced by the flavor, I begin to eat again, though the new plate didn’t last very long either. Every time I finished a plate a new plate would be delivered to me. I continued to eat everything that arrived as I didn’t even begin to feel full yet.
“…Mano-san? Are you alright?” Kiel ask
I look up at him confused
“What are you talking about? Why wouldn’t I be?” I respond
“Well… Most of the goblins already left to go sleep… and the ones that have stayed are all here to see just how long you can keep eating.” Kiel says looking slightly to my right
I turn to see the object of his attention… To my right stand two stacks of plates easily as tall as a goblin.
“Woah… I didn’t even notice.” I say blushing
“That’s not all of it you know. They came by and took the plates you had already used about an hour ago.” He says smirking at me.
“…Don’t speak of this again.” I said standing and beginning to walk out of the hall with a flushed face.
I begin to hear groans of discontent and boredom from the goblins that were left in the hall.
“Ouch! Ouch! What are you doing!?” Kiel starts yelling.
I turn and see some of the goblins hitting him lightly… I guess they didn’t like there game being ended short of a proper result.
Seriously though, when did I eat all of that? I was a little entranced by the good food and trying to fulfill my hunger… but not noticing that seems a bit extreme. How long have I been at it anyways?
I take a look at the clock in my menus.
Seriously?! Yesterday I had fatigue so bad that I almost passed out on the spot, and today I’m not tired nearly 4 hours past midnight? How could I have even eaten that much anyways? My stomach isn’t even bulging, but I’m sure I must have eaten my weight in food several times over by now. Do I have a bottomless stomach or something?
Leaving all that aside, where are we supposed to sleep? Kera and the imps have bailed on us, and Kiel is still being knocked around by the goblins in the hall. I don’t really want to disturb anyone, but I really don’t know where I’m headed. I decide to take a walk around the camp while I ponder what to do.
“Mano?” I hear in a tired child’s voice from behind
I turn and see Learn, holding what seems to be a crude pillow…or maybe a plushy?
“Why Mano up? Does Mano not sleep?” Learn says perking up slightly
Seriously this kid gets excited at the prospect of learning just about anything.
“…Well. I’m not quite sure yet. I did last night I suppose, but from what I hear last night was anything but usual even for me.” I say defeated
Do I come with a manual or something? Perhaps I should just sit down with Gero one day and have him teach me about my body further.
“…Weird. Mano strange. Mano want to sleep with me?” Learn ask gently
Looking at this child staring up at me, holding tightly to a pillow, and rubbing its eye… It’s really hard to see it as anything but a human. The species of this world certainly aren’t that different are they? …I suppose humans could be different actually. I’ve spent more time with the goblins at this point than I have the humans… and yet I’ve met four times as many weirdoes on the human side.
Learn tugs on my shirt again bringing me back to attention. Learn stares at me with begging eyes… and I lose the will to say no… Oh well, I’ll have plenty of time to figure out the humans after I return.
“Sure, let’s go” I say smiling at learn, before being tugged by the hand away.
The next day came and the sounds of the camp being taken down couldn’t be slept through. I rise and rub my eyes, before getting up. Learn has firmly attached to my arm, so it takes some careful maneuvering to escape.
I get up and walk outside the tent to see the landscape completely changed. Spare a few yet untouched components the camp has completely disappeared.
“You like it? The goblins work fast and diligently.” The chief says walking up to me
“I must admit it’s incredible. I can’t imagine humans having managed to get all of this work done in a week, much the less a morning.” I say continuing to watch the incredible display in front of me
“You should see the construction. This camp was meant to be a crude replacement for living space. When we arrive at the new location, we will be able to show off goblin architecture at its best. Most goblins can finish making their own houses within a day, if they have all the necessary materials.” The chief continues
It is easy to hear the pride in his voice. I imagine he thought this day may never come, and now it’s just arrived on their doorstep unannounced.
“I will come and visit for sure, but for now my priority is confirming the trade between you and the humans.” I say straightening my clothes.
Last night was hectic enough that when I went to lay down I never had the opportunity to change into any kind of nightwear. I slept in my leather armor last night, which was admittedly very uncomfortable
“I realized during dinner last night that we had not yet discussed the finer points of that yet. I understand that you mean to be the middle-man between us and the humans, but surely you don’t intend to haul everything the humans provide to us? The humans won’t knowingly hand over their goods to us either.” The chief says somewhat worried
“I thought of a plan for that with Learn yesterday.” I say stretching slightly.
“Hmm? Learn?” The chief asked
“Oh sorry, the goblin child who we met in the woods.” I explain.
To some level I figured he would have already learned about the new name from Learn.
“Ah. I was informed that one chose a name, but I wasn’t told what it was yet… Learn fits nicely” The chief says with a gentle look.
“According to Learn the goblins do not use Ina correct?” I say
“That is correct. The goblins do not need any kind of domesticated animals, due to their above-average physic. Under certain conditions we have taken humans, as well as pigs, as domesticated animals to help take care of crisis situations.” The chief responds
Crisis situations? I can understand needing pigs if the local wildlife has become scarce, but what use would they have for humans? How do they even get the pigs? …I suppose they must just steal them from merchants like they were before.
“In that case the situation should be rather simple. If you acquire Ina and train them properly, we can just have them go to the merchants alone and gather the goods. Since there should be no record of goblins having used Ina in the past, no one should suspect that is who they belong to. In the first place my cover is that I’m front a distant country, so it wouldn’t be terribly normal if I managed to deliver the goods and come back fast enough to actually supply the goblin camp.” I respond
“Hmm? Wouldn’t that mean leaving the goods we are trading, and getting in return un-guarded?” The chief ask doubtingly
“Simply guard them from the shadows, making sure not to be seen. They believe I’m a monster tamer, so I’ll tell them I captured and contracted some of the goblins while I took out the camp. I’ll tell-”
“Maou-sama!” Bik yells as he runs towards me…but…
What in the world am I looking at? Bik has grown about as tall as a 14 year old child, and his features have become slightly more human-like.
“How glorious! Your companion has ranked up! This is cause for yet another celebration!” The chief says excitedly
This is ranking up? He looks more like he transformed completely. His tail has grown quite some length and is moving erratically. His ears and nose have become slightly smaller, making him resemble something similar to a completely red elf. Looking at him, I can’t really form an opinion as to whether I’m happy about the changes or not.
“Do you celebrate every time someone ranks up?” I ask the chief attempting not to think about it further.
“Well, yes, only one in about a hundred goblins ever even live long enough to rank up. Even among the more cautious and safe species of monsters, ranking up is quite a rare occasion.” The chief continues
“About how long does it take for a monster to rank up typically?” I ask nervously
“About 20-30 years if they trained constantly” He responds.