This morning’s Spartan training was even tougher, I guess because we missed yesterday’s daily practice.
Still sore after our own hunt I watched the ‘Boss’ bring back quite the haul. I mean before he’s taken in the odd pick axe or rusty short sword but today they came in with several full pouches, a couple of long swords and several decent pieces of actual leather armour.
The jewel in the crown however is the short bow that Gobumi is hugging.
I cast a glance at my own inadequate weapons; a cracking stick and a blunted horn.
Don’t get me wrong they’ve served me well and I’ve been more confident during my hunts because of them but I’m just a little jealous. He’s already experienced a [Rank Up], he can use magic and we wields one of the better swords I’ve seen. It’s like he’s the protagonist or something.
All I can do is work harder tomorrow and hope it pays off; [Lvl. 38] so it has been so far.
After today’s training was over I tried to catch him in his room before he headed out.
Instead he was in the treasure room meticulously sorting one pile of trash into two piles of trash. After steeling myself I asked him if there was any weapon I could have. It was a little presumptuous but hopefully my eagerness would pay off. After thinking a moment he tossed the remains of his shell sword experiment at me.
All that was left was the stick used as the central core since he had salvaged all the shell from it to complete some of the other armour he was tinkering with but even that was a most welcomed gift.
I’ll make sure to hunt something worthy as thanks.
I headed back to the main cave and found a suitable rock to sharpen my horn knife against. When I was done it was honed to an extremely sharp but brittle point.
One of the guys from our small group wants to go out and try to improve his tracking skills.
My day was mostly filled with following tacks and sign in the dirt while he examined scat and broken branches for any sign of recent activity. Around midday we lucked out and found the trail of a horned rabbit.
The litter of small circular pellet droppings and nibbled grass stalks were still fresh. Another large indicator was the still running sap on the truck of the tree where it had scrapped its horn to mark its territory or possibly to sharpen its horn.
With new purpose we silently moved along following its sign.
Eventually coming to a glade in which we found the largest Horned Rabbit we had ever seen.
It wasn’t ridiculously sized like a large dog or person, no in fact it was more just like a larger version of the usual ones we find. If I had to I’d guess it was around two and a half feet in length from head to fluffy tail.
It was fairly heavy set and we were salivating just watching it.
What deterred us from rushing it straight was the imposing 60cm spiral horn.
“Gobuiro you go that way while I sneak round from behind.”
“Sure. Let’s go.”
Is it weird I don’t know his name? In fact I don’t know the names of most of the goblins back at the cave den, that’s definetly weird, right?
Carefully I pick my way round the gargantuan pest to the left while Gobu(??) creeps up on it from behind. I don’t exactly know what went wrong but as I leap out all of a sudden, he’s flying backward into the bushes, leaving me exposed and vulnerable.
The big bunny levels its horn my way and makes a charge.
Unlike what we normally face this one has the size and mass to be a threat even if I avoid its pointy part. Gripping my new stick in two hands I slap the horn sideways, with a very poor excuse for a parry.
As you may expect the rabbits head also snapped sideways, throwing off its charge long enough for me to barely dodge. Thanks to the training I rolled out of the way and was quickly in a position to defend myself.
The brute shook its head and lined up for another run, the menacing horn pointed straight at me. From the bush behind it a green blur jumped on its back and clamped down. My compatriot had evidently found his second wind. As he was struggling on the bucking beast I realised he had no weapon.
His horn knives and stick had been knocked from him during flight and even if he still had them it was taking both hands just to stay on and he wouldn’t last much longer. The actual killing blow was up to me.
I discard my stick, it’s insufficient for landing that sort of hit unless I had Gobukichi’s stupid strength, and draw my freshly sharpened horn knife from my waist band. Gripping it with whitening knuckles I circle around the beast, jabbing at it while looking for an opening, but it keeps me away with a swing of its own horn or a pitch of its body.
The hold of its rider loosens a little more with each violent action.
Unexpectedly it rears up onto its hind legs, throwing my hunting buddy off in the process, and with a powerful kick of those muscly limbs it makes a lunge at me. Easily clearing the distance with a good foot of air under it.
At first it looks like it over shot but the realisation that it doesn’t want to impale me sets in. The brute wants to crush me with a flying body press.
In trying to take an evasive step back I end up on my backside just as the fluffy mass descends.
I feel the air forced out of my lunges as it impacts, its body tenses and a moment later the mass pining me down slackens.
He was little more than bruised, a couple of his ribs hurt but that was about it.
With considerable effort he managed to get himself under the lump and lever it up enough for me to drag myself out. It took the two of us just to flip it over.
There sticking out of its chest was my horn knife.
When it landed on me the point had gone straight up into its heart. A clean hit.
Somehow between us we managed to crate our kill back to the den, going through the dense forest with something of that size and not being attacked was a miracle. It took both hands so I carried my stick between my teeth.
Unfortunately even after all our hard work.
“The gesture alone is enough.”
Rejected. It was a little disappointing. After snagging one of the legs each I removed its horn and put the rest in the new communal pile.
When I tried to remove the one in its heart I found that it had cracked and snapped.
Seems I wasn’t the only one with who got an upgrade today
With his heavy wooden club strapped to his back and his head crammed into a shell reinforced helmet Gobukichi was now sporting a proper breast plate on top of light leather clothes. The iron round shield strapped to his arm didn’t seem to hinder him as he cleaned the blood of off a rustic battle axe.
The epitome of a tank.
Gobumi as well boasted an impressive upgrade to her arsenal from what I could see as she diligently skinned another carcass with the crude black knapped blade, the unlatched sheath of an actual forged blade lay near her and from the deft way she was handling the work I can say I definitely don’t want to upset her.
Propped against the wall by her side were two crossbows.
This must be spoil from the treasure room, isn’t it nice to have privilege.
Which reminds me Goburou was wearing proper leather armour today. It had a belt and everything. Looking down at my ratty lion cloth I felt a pang of jealousy.
Actually this seems more like a meritocracy.
The cave echos with the unified chorse of our morning training.
It’s pretty intimidating to see all the goblins of my generation lined up in rows doing sets of punches and kicks. It’s more like a monster dojo. The two Hobgoblins are at the front training with us and Goburou is stalking the aisles correcting stances, demonstrating proper technique and punishing slackers.
If I had known my reincarnation was going to be this tough I would have definitely come prepared.
He’s smiling contently while giving the occasional ‘Hm hm.’ Guess that face means that by his standards we should be at least up to this point. The expressions on the surrounding Goblins are all serious and focused thanks to his policy of: Adapt or Die.
Not that he would ever out rightly kill us for being weak, he doesn’t strike me as that type but as they say it takes pressure to make diamonds.
After a light spar, in which he was the only one left standing, they suited up and left.
Gobukichi the tank, Gobumi the sniper and, sporting a wrought iron gauntlet; small buckler and a pair of sturdy estocs, Goburou the swordsman.
I can’t help but think from my position on the floor that the difference between us and them is like heaven and earth, a few of those that have already recovered get right back to sparring. I lay there panting while staring at the ceiling.
Like this I’m no good huh?
Once I could feel my limbs again I found a quiet corner of the cave and spent the rest of the day swinging my stick and doing a bit of self-training. I tried not to do too much in case I picked up any weird habits that I’m sure Goburou would delight in fixing. I shuddered at the thought.
Food wise I still had a bit of yesterdays tucked away in my bed roll, the trick is to stay near it to deter thieves.
From my corner I watched the trio return from several trips and by my count they brought back; 10 Night Vipers, 14 Armoured Tanukis, 5 Kobolds plus equipment and an assortment of small game and flora.
Just shows what a proper weapon can do in the right hands.
Because they had brought back so much they took a break in the afternoon. While Gobukichi polished his shield and punched out any small dent, Goburou buried himself in a book but I couldn’t even read the title so I don’t know what it’s about.
He just kept furrowing his brow and looking frustrated.
It must be nice to have that kind of free time. Some of the Goblins are helping Gobumi prepare the meat, most of the females are there. They look like gossiping housewives.
After I finished my last bit of jumbo bunny I grabbed my stick and headed out.
That night I brought back an armoured tanuki.
It was less trouble then the large horned rabbit but its tough shell covered hide can really take a beating, especially from a simple hick stick. It also has some powerful endurance. In the end I had to use the stick to flip it over before driving my short horn sword (large horn knife) through the area of its underbelly where the shells met.
Unfortunately as it wasn’t a fully encompassing shell trying to turtle it provide difficult, it could self-right with very little effort.
It took me five flips to get the timing down to stab at it.