With my task completed, I turned around and went back to my ‘comrades’, only to come upon some interesting reactions. With their eyes widened and mouths hung agape, they were staring at me in utter stupefaction.
I waved my hand in front of them to bring them back to their senses. Garn pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes in an attempt to process everything that had happened. After some time, he said.
“Did you…… did you just kill all of them?’
“Does any of them look alive to you?”
“Then yes, I managed to kill all of them. For now, you should free your comrades and collect the noses from the goblins, including the Lord and the Champions. We’ll need to report back to the guild.”
“Ah, right! Alia and Depo!”
Irene shouted and instantly ran to her friends who were chained behind the throne, closely followed by Garn and Aulia. We, of course, stayed behind.
Phiria complimented me.
“There wasn’t any work to begin with.”
“Hehe, indeed.” She giggled. “And, so you managed to wield the darkness without bringing out Tzeeneth. Buying that sword was the right choice.”
“I guess it was worth the 5 gold coins I paid for it. Though now I’m interested in knowing its original cost.”
“It would probably go into the hundreds. A colourless Spirit Stone is extremely rare after all.”
“And yet that shopkeeper sold it to me for 5 gold coins. Seems like Selica is a really influential person.”
“Or maybe the sponsor behind her is just as powerful.”
That’s another possibility. Maybe, Selica is acting on someone else’s orders, and that someone is the one who ordered the shopkeeper to sell the sword to me at such a cheap price. The third princess is the most likely suspect, but there could be others too.
I just hope they don’t interfere with me too much. Well, my priority right now is that tournament that Selica was talking about. That might grant me the chance to work alongside the Heroes.
Ah, that reminds me!
“I didn’t level up, did I?”
“Doesn’t seem like you did. That’s strange, considering you just killed a Lord and 2 Champions.” She said after a glance. “We’ll have to look into it later.”
While we were chatting, the others came back with their comrades. The two women’s naked bodies had been covered with blankets, but I could still make out the wounds on their bodies. Their arms had been broken, while various cut and stab marks were made on their back.
But that was nothing compared to the wound their minds had suffered. Their eyes were hollow and dead, and they were pretty much unresponsive.
Phiria cast her healing magic on them. Their injuries vanished and their arms were restored. Not only that, even the dirt, grime, faeces et cetera tarnishing their flesh also disappeared. A bit of life returned to their eyes as they felt the warmth of Phiria’s magic.
And once again, Garn and his party were amazed. Was Phiria’s magic too strong?
“Let’s go now, shall we?”
He had already collected the goblin’s noses.
Irene replied, sounding tired.
“Garn, carry her. I’ll take this one.”
I approached the more exhausted one among the two women and took her in a princess carry. She was surprised by my sudden action, but was too tired to say anything. She closed her eyes, and then dozed off.
Phiria, on the other hand, seemed like she wanted to say something about my actions, but of course she wasn’t that insensitive. And so, we exited that god damned cave after lighting up the corpses.
As it turned out, the names of those women were Alia and Depo. The one I was carrying was the latter.
It was already night when we exited the cave, so we decided to set up a camp by a river and move again in the morning. A tent was set up, while a fire was lit. Aulia started preparing dinner while Alia and Depo huddled up close to the fire to warm their bodies.
After talking to them, I learned that these women used to be adventurers and had come with their party to eliminate the goblin nest. Like us, they were ambushed at the final hall and captured. The males had been tortured, killed and then eaten while the females were made to be the outlet for the goblins’ lust. Fortunately, the goblins had failed to impregnate them.
Due to various circumstances, the women had been captured only three days ago, so they still weren’t completely mentally broken. It goes without a doubt that this incident had scarred them for life, and they most probably won’t be able to continue being an adventurer, but at least they’ll recover over time and continue to live.
After having some dinner, they went back to sleep along with the others, while it was decided that me and Garn would take turns to guard against the monsters in night. When we were finally alone and I was sitting in front of the fire while keeping watch, Garn called out to me.
He bowed stiffly.
“For treating you so harshly earlier.”
“Wait, that wasn’t your pathetic attempt to lift our spirits?”
“Anyway, I’m still sorry for looking down on you.”
Why is he apologising now? Because he doesn’t want to get on the bad side of someone as strong as me? Or is he truly apologetic to the man who saved not only his, but also his comrades’ lives? Anyway.
“Your apology means nothing to me. If you are truly sorry, then don’t tell anyone that I subdued the Goblin Lord and Champions alone.”
“Huh?” Startled, he looked up with a jolt. “Why? You killed them by yourself, so you clearly deserve the merit for it!”
“Of course I do, but I would draw unnecessary attention to myself if word got out that I killed a Lord and Champions by myself on my first quest. I don’t want that.”
I mean, I do need attention, but not so soon. And to be more honest, it would be best if I could reach my goal while remaining in the shadows.
“You sure are a strange one.”
And the one who said that was Irene, who had been awake and eavesdropping on our conversation.
“Yeah…..” Garn went with the flow as if it was something natural. “This is the first time I have met someone like you.”
“Yeah. If I was in your place, I would have bragged about killing them to everyone.”
“Yeah, he definitely would! To the point that I would be considering changing parties!”
“But is it really that impressive? I mean, even you could fight against a Goblin Champion, right?”
“Yeah, I could.” He sat opposite me. “But definitely not as easily as you. I’d need to give it my all in order to defeat it, while you, on the other hand, killed them as easily as swatting a fly.”
That’s too much of an exaggeration, oi.
“I’ll take that as a compliment. However, do cases like ours happen that frequently?”
“Of course not! We’d be damned if they did!” Irene squealed in denial. “Cases where a goblin nest turned out to be ruled by a Goblin Lord are rare, but this is the first time I have heard of a horde which had two Champions under one Lord.”
As I thought, our case wasn’t normal. But how did a Goblin Lord and 2 Champions appear in a recently discovered nest? Why was the number of goblins under them so low? Why were they just staying in that cave and not trying to conquer a village or town? Their behaviour was against their basic nature as monsters.
This was turning interesting.
“Well, you guys should probably go and sleep; you must be tired.”
“Shouldn’t we be the ones saying that?” Garn protested. “You fought them alone, so you should be more tired than us.”
“Yeah, but I’m not. So you should go and rest now. I’ll handle the night watch duty.”
“Gosh, just how strong are you?”
Irene asked in amazement.
“Who knows. I’m just a simple traveller.”
But in return, they just retorted.
““Traveller my ass!””