Training started later today.
The reason. The mighty Colonel was trapped as an arm pillow under two bodies, completely defenceless. When I passed with a group of other goblins I could only give him a thumbs up; I’m quite jealous of how quickly he’s advancing but it’s nice to see there is a vulnerable side to the invincible Goburou.
He shot us a look like we had betrayed him so we left quickly.
I guess as a consequence the training today was very heated. As it’s the quickest to adapt that survives it seems we Goblins excel at adapting because the fear of yesterday had been channelled into strength to grab the vacant spot left by the ex-leader.
And while I wasn’t as enthused as the rest of them I still poured myself into my training, if only to loss myself a little and not have to think about what had happened.
Because everyone was earnestly trying to overcome their limits he looked very pleased.
That smile is still a little scary though.
Near the end we were gathered together. It seems because there are so many of us, 59 apparently, that Goburou has decided to split us into units that can be used more effectively. There wasn’t a problem with the squads before it’s just we’ve out grown what they can handle.
We are to be put under the command of one of the five Hobgoblins, who will report directly to Goburou. This is definitely now more like a military structure.
As expected Gobukichi will lead the heavy assault corps: Anger. Hatred, a light skirmishing unit, will be commanded by Hobusato and Gobumi will lead the artillery unit: Regret. The last two leaders would be overseeing the non-combat group: Pleasure (Gobue) and the currently lacking magic wielding unit: Agony. Hobusei being the only magic user other than the Colonel himself.
The leaders of the new squad stood spaced out at one side of the training hall while we lined up in our ranking order at the other. Goburou walked down our line and with his expert eye picked the squad we would be assigned to. It was like picking teams at a sports day, I could hear “Anger, Anger, Regret, Hatred, Pleasure, and Anger” as he counted off down the line.
I was placed in Pleasure.
The new logistics group under Gobue and the decision to do so didn’t even take a second for him to consider. I was a disappointed at how quickly he managed to assessed me.
What my duties now entailed would be handling the resources of the community. In short fetching, gathering, maintenance and cleaning. Once todays training concluded we all set about getting used to what our new positions meant.
Goburou nodded in satisfaction, grabbed his gear and left to hunt.
The eager Goblins under Gobukichi set about sparring with him while Hobusato took her section on a run. For a guerrilla unit stamina is important. Gobumi focused on finishing the education of those goblins having a hard time learning and at the same time instructing some of her unit in the proper way to use and maintain a bow or crossbow.
Hobusei looked a little lonely but she just pulled out a book from her robe and toddled off to find a quiet place to read. We followed Gobue away from the front training halls.
Our first stop was the Workshop. The Goblin guards were gone and the thread screen had been changed into a curtain partition. We were introduced one at a time to the four girls there, they looked a little scared and the Redhead seemed on guard but after Gobue stepped forward they calmed down a little.
Although I couldn’t understand human speech, even Gobue was only communicating in simple gestures, we met and greeted; Redhead, Alchemist, Blacksmith, Little Sister and Big Sister. I think they had said their own names but Gobue just interpreted it like this.
It seemed easier to remember them like this somehow.
She waved goodbye after that and lead us further into the mines, down tunnels that showed signs of fresh excavation, where we were handed a pick-axe each.
Since this had been an Orc mine there were more than enough to go around.
We also met a couple of the other female members of the “Spirit Stone Mining Circle” but they didn’t stay long before disappearing further down the tunnel. Soon the sounds of active mining could be heard.
We passed most of the rest of the day learning to identify various things like Spirit stones (Fire, Water, Wind, Lightning and Earth) and several types of ores that couple be dig up.
When the combat troops and those that went hunting returned we were tasked with processing there catch. Gobumi assisted in demonstrating the correct way to dismantle what they brought back, hides and most meat were taken to the workshop and in return we were given food to distribute out.
That night Goburou didn’t return.
Gobumi was worried.
The Colonel didn’t return yesterday or this morning. She’s frantically asking anyone if they’ve seen him but nobody has. He left by himself to hunt but he’s strong so I doubt anything’s happened to him, right?!?
She’s decided to take her unit out on a half scouting training exercise half rescue mission.
Hobusato’s squad will do a sweep of the nearby forest in the opposite direction while Gobukichi will keep his troops training near the entrance just in case.
It’s impressive to see the loyalty he has inspired among us. It’s a little frustrating but there’s nothing I can do to help. The best people for the job are already out doing what they can, all that’s left is to have faith and carry on.
Gobue has shown us how to use the pick properly and what to watch out for. The last thing we want is to cause a cave in so she’s also showing us how to do some maintenance on the support beams.
I never realised swinging a pick and striking solid stone repetitively could be so tiring.
Some of the group are struggling with the pick but Gobue swings it like a veteran. She gave up the crossbow and sling staff to those of Regret so lately she’s taken to carrying the pick with her where ever she goes.
Late on both squads returned with no news.
Hobusato had to return after one of her squad received a nasty wound from a Kobold, it was brought down and his wound stabilised but barely. They brought back a dog headed humanoid for us to process. Gobumi turned back before it became too dark.
We prepared what they had brought back.
Most of Pleasure are getting the hang of mining, some even uncovered a couple of spirit stones but none are as quick as Gobue at cleaving the earth.
I was just getting into the rhythm of it when a cry of distress echoed down the tunnel. We tightened our grip on our picks and followed Gobue back up toward the entrance. When we reached the entrance what stood before us was death itself. It carried the Colonels halberd, although badly mangled, and I knew if anything could have killed him it would have been this demon.
Black skin and long shoulder length grey hair, it was at least two and a half meters tall covered in rippling muscle and strange red tattoo like markings. Two sharp horns protruded from its forehead and it sported a loincloth of some exotic red hide.
It was looking down at us with a creepy smile.
“Kill it before it kills us!!”
Everyone was shouting, the fear was palable as I took the pick in both hands and even though they were shaking I tightened my grip, resolving to at the very least go down swinging.
“I-is … isn’t that Goburou!!?”
The shout of Gobumi stopped us, she was staring at the intruder, and in stunned silence we looked back and forth between the two. He responded by gingerly raising one large hand with a “Yo”.
It was a bit surreal to see the Hobgoblin chastise the large brute while in seiza.
Everyone seeing this scene calmed down, most were shocked by his appearance but a few took it upon themselves to take the tattered bag he had been carrying and process it as normal.
We brought Blacksmith a pile of worn and broken equipment; the remains of the Colonels shield and estoc. She frowned as she looked over there sorry state. When we informed Redhead he was back she went off to meet him.
We were all curious to hear what had happened but he chased us out.
An executive meeting was called and we tried to busy ourselves with daily tasks and training but the current topic was too interesting and some ended up trying to snoop.
Even if you weren’t close the surprised shouts Gobujii echoing around the tunnels was unmistakeable. I can understand why. In the evening we were finally told what had happened. Our ridiculous Boss has only gone and killed the Lord of the Mountain.
Gobujii still looks stressed.
We, of the Pleasure unit (it sounds wrong saying it as a male), were ordered to collect several ingredients. Seems tonight the Sisters are making a Bear stew, a couple of our female members will be staying to assist them with the preparation. Some of the things on the list require going outside. It’s been a while since I’ve gone hunting.
I equipped my chipped short sword and one of the new knives Blacksmith made, they make skinning and slicing the things we have to prepare so much easier, and head out. I also took a horn spear just in case and my pick strapped to the backpack I was assigned.
The easiest things to gather are the herbs the trouble is trying to find them but unlike animals they don’t move so knowing roughly where they like to grow is a good start.
With some gentle digging I can even pull up potato like tubers.
On the way back I spotted the marking of a Night Viper and forcing myself to go out of my comfort zone, I actively began to track it down. It didn’t take long to encounter it, it slid out from under some bushes on the trail to hiss at me menacingly.
With the spear in one hand and my short sword drawn in the other I slowly harassed it with the long pole while manoeuvring myself into a better position to strike at it.
Sensing no threat from the spear it turned towards the main body of its aggressor.
My blade came down deftly and severed its head.
Letting out a long breath I realised how nervous I had been but somehow I had managed to focus enough to be rewarded.
I tied the snake’s body round my waist like a belt and mounted the snakes head on my spear, so as not to contaminate the produce, before me and my bountiful harvest headed back.
After handing over my laden pack I found a quiet corner to skin and eat my kill.
The head I presented to Alchemist while the body I secured around my pick, with help from Blacksmith, to give it a better handle.
Sleep came easier that night, for the first time I felt like I had gotten stronger.
AN: - took some liberties to use the manga names not the novel translations. As I personally didn’t think that after calling your main attacking forces Revolution and Red surge that naming your spellcasting division simply Magician really fit. However in keeping with the above nomenclature I will be altering the medical units name from Priere/Prayer to Salvation. I apologise if this ruffles a few feathers.