After splitting off from Juire I return to the Inn I was staying at and retreat to my room to have a private conversation. I need to convey the situation to the goblins and convince them to accept the deal Juire proposed.
“Hey Hierch, you there?” I ask as I activate the com-stone
“…If it isn’t our patron herself, what can I do for you?” He answers after a few moments as the sounds of him fumbling to get the stone out of a pouch play out
“It seems we have a problem. The kingdom discovered your village in a recent expedition through that area, and apparently, they are gearing up to send a raiding party.” I say getting straight to the point
This entire situation put quite a few wrenches in our previous plans. Not only am I looking to make them accept the deal, but I’m hoping for their input on the matter as well.
“…sigh I figured it was a matter of time, but I thought we would have a bit longer to get set up. Wierd though, usually we are good about spotting humans before they spot us. I wonder how they managed to find us unaware?” Hierch lets out in disappointment
“I negotiated a deal with an associate of mine to hide you guys away for a while. If you work his far-”
“Oh, that won’t be necessary.” Hierch interrupts
There is confidence in his voice, which only makes the realization of his meaning that much scarier.
“…What? Don’t tell me you plan to stay there even though they discovered you?” I ask in disbelief
That would be suicide, to say the least. Goblins might be stronger than a normal human, but if the people fighting in the tournament are any indication they don’t stand a chance against a decently armed adventurer party.
“I told you didn’t I? I knew this would happen. Our village was bound to be discovered eventually. The only reason why other monsters don’t try to make villages themselves is that they are usually acutely aware of the fact that it’s only a matter of time before humans come along to wipe it out.” Hierch explains
“Then why even make one in the first place? Whats the point of painting a target on yourselves?” I ask with a bit of anger seeping through
I made a decision back in that forest that I wouldn’t harm these goblins unless they became a threat to me or people I care about. If this entire village idea was just an extended suicide then I would have been responsible for helping them. That does not sit well with me.
“Because we have something that other monsters don’t. Protection.” Hierch says confidently
“If you’re talking about me then I’m going to go ahead and cut you off there. I’m not in a position where I can fight against the humans out in the open like that.” I argue back growing increasingly irritated
“No, I’m not talking about you. Remeber how I told you there were a few monsters that humans have learned to avoid? Well, we happen to have one nesting just below where we are building the village. Before I ever came up with the idea to make a village for us I struck a deal with him. He’s kind of the whole linchpin of the plan actually.” He continues
“A powerful monster? What exactly is he?” I ask confused
Why didn’t he tell me about all this before? Did he still not fully trust me, or did he just not feel like I needed to know?
“A dragon. A geezer of a dragon, but a dragon all the same. He’s got a weak spot for alcohol, so we made a trade where he will let us nest in his territory, and in exchange, we regularly supply him with booze. That’s one of the main reasons why we set up our initial camp on the trade route. Along with resources to support a large number of goblins, we needed to secure some wine for a down payment from the traders.” He explains
Hmm, I suppose it was a bit odd. Even if they needed resources why choose such a public location? Had it not been me that swung along, and had instead been someone hostile their plan would have ended right there. A dragons favor would certainly be worth the added risk.
“That’s why we can’t accept your friends deal, whatever it is. We promised a dragon booze. Whatever danger humans could offer, it would pale to what breaking a deal with a dragon would bring about. We have to be here to make sure that the harvest and fermentation happen as soon a possible.” He continues
Damned if they do, damned if they don’t eh?
“The humans are aware that there is something odd keeping creatures out of the area, but they don’t know exactly what it is. Are you sure his presence will be enough to shield you all?” I ask as I remember the details Faurch gave me
“Ahh, that would make sense. I don’t think the old coot has moved a muscle in over a decade. He might need to put on a bit of a show… that isn’t in our deal though. You might need to secure a large amount of booze for us. If we have enough we should be able to get him to make his presence more known.” Hierch says in a concerned tone
sigh “I’ll see what I can do.” I say as I cut off the call
Now… how in the world am I going to get a ton of booze? Money is out of the picture considering… well I hardly have any. Between food expenses, our inn rooms, and various other expenses I certainly don’t think I have enough left over to buy enough booze for a dragon. Kera got a share from selling all of the hides we got from hunting monsters, maybe she still has some left to lend me?
Perhaps I can convince Juire to sell me some good booze on the cheap instead of hiding the goblins. I’m pretty sure he had a nice selection back while we were negotiating for the tournament, so I’m sure he can get his hands on it. I’ll need to let Faurch know what is going on as well.