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KENS Chapter 15

Chapter 15 Hero and the City of Magicians (4)

While raising a noise similar to scratching claws on a blackboard, monsters with earth-coloured skin came at me while raising their weapons.

Goblin. The monster I have fought the most in this world. Inside the deep forest, their repulsiveness became more prominent and gave you goosebumps just by rushing towards you.

The Forest of Magical Energy.

Its the place where I came yesterday to collect spirit grass. I had been attacked by goblins that time too but this time the situation is a bit more troublesome.

After all, there’s still more?, they are coming in numbers that’d make you think like that. Spare me from this. I think like that but the Goblins come at me while I’m sighing.

Today also, the elf with whom I formed a party is not in visible range. Probably he’s hiding above a tree or something. I have this image of being able to aim easier from higher places with a bow i guess.

While thinking that, I rotated the knife in my hands.

[They’re coming.]

“I know.”

Without any kind of strategy, the goblin charged at me head-on.

I turned away that attack with the iron knife in my right hand and the long sword being held by the goblin stabbed into the ground.

As it panicked to pull it out, I trampled on it with my feet and slashed with my knife. I couldn’t cut it apart completely but since it had torn open its flesh, blood began gushing out.

The bloodspray dirtied my mantle as the goblin collapsed in front of me. But, the goblins showed no hesitation even after seeing its own kind fall like that. Another one charged at me from behind while screaming.

“There’s quite a lot of ’em.”

This was the 6th one. As I turned back, the 7th goblin died after getting shot in the head by an arrow.

As it fell down while running, it stopped near my feet. I doubt there’s any need to deal another blow to it, its definitely dead. While confirming its death with a glance, I turned towards the 8th and the 9th one.

I didn’t even look towards the place where my comrade who had fired the arrow was at. Words of gratitude, etc, all will distractions in this situation.

I simply cut and my comrade shoots.

[They’re still coming——it really feels like there’s just an infinite number of them.]

“Anything but that.”

Swinging the knife in empty air, I got rid of the blood sticking to it. It’s sharpness has begun to fall. The edge is chipped as well. It won’t be able to take any more attacks. I clicked my tongue at that.

Well, it was ridiculous to fight monsters with just an iron knife in the first place.

Thinking that, I decided to borrow the long sword that goblin was using before I killed it.

As I pulled out the sword from the ground, I felt like my balance would crumble due to the difference in weight of it.

Since I had been using only an iron knife recently, using a different weapon suddenly becomes all the more difficult. It’s been a long time since i felt such a weight in my hands.

“I’m not good with heavy ones, really.”

[Wanna switch to using me?]

I decided to refrain from that. It would be one thing if I didn’t have any weapon at all but if I am not lacking of weapons, I want to avoid using Ermenhilde. Also, if i unsheathed the GodSlaying weapon, my identity would also be revealed. That’d be troublesome.

If it was an extremely dangerous situation, I would have no choice but I should be fine for now.

“With a proper sword, I should be able to take care of mere Goblins. Probably.”

[The Elf archer is there as well after all.]

“Yeah.”

At the same time as I answered that, i swung the longsword towards the 2 goblins coming towards me. I used only one hand to attack but the slash was sharper than I expected and cut the through the shoulder of the one running towards me till its chest. But due to lack of strength, I was unable to cut through completely and my sword remained stuck in its body.

“tch.”

The remaining one goblin swung its rusted axe at me in the meantime.

It was aimed at my face but before it could reach, I kicked at its body faster. The leather boots crushed its flesh and the sensation of crushing something hard came through my feet.

Faster than I could feel discomfort from that sensation, the goblin I had kicked bent forward and vomited.

Not letting that chance get away, I forcefully pulled out the long sword and struck it at its neck.

“fuu.”

[That was slightly dangerous.]

“That wasn’t just ‘slightly’ dangerous dammit.”

Throwing away the bloodstained longsword, I transferred the iron knife to my right hand again.

As expected, this was easier to use. But, something even lighter yet longer weapon would be more easier to use though.

While thinking that, I breathed a huge sigh. I’m tired. Both physically and mentally. This endless fight is making me feel really anxious. If this goes on, I could only expect things to get worse.

Deep forest, thick vegetation. Even the sacredness I felt the last time from the hundreds of years old trees was now getting swallowed by this dark ominous forest.

Suddenly, once again the bushes swayed unnaturally. As expected, once again goblins appeared from it. And they’re even armed. And there’s four of them……My sigh became deeper.

But one of them died suddenly by getting hit by an arrow to its head. The remaining goblins showed signs of unrest momentarily due to that and in that time, one more died from another arrow.

How many exactly have we killed till now?

While I was thinking that, the remaining two faced towards me.

“So they still aren’t running away?”

[And that’s really weird.]

Ermenhilde said that. I, and even the Elf archer are probably thinking the same.

It’s weird. Even if they’re just goblins, they should have realized the difference in strength after seeing so many of their comrades getting killed. In the first place, these wild goblins should be more sensitive in that aspect as compared to humans.

But even so, there’s no signs of them wanting to run away.

I ended up clicking my tongue. I don’t have infinite stamina here. Even if I get an infinite number of weapons, the user is only a slightly skilled human. I’m not sure how many arrows does the Elf still have either. While I was thinking that, one of the goblins coming towards me died after getting shot at the heart with an arrow.

“With this–”

I threw the rusted axe lying near my feet towards the goblin.

Both the aim and strength of that throw was half hearted and the axe was deflected by the goblin.

In that moment, the iron knife, which was the actual attack, stabbed into its face. It stood stock still for a moment then soon fell to its knees.

The annoying sound that had been resounding till now, the sound of weapons, all disappeared. It was silence that could hurt the ears.

Even after around 15 secs passed, more of them didn’t come. I finally breathed in relief.

[It’s over, eh?]

“…….Thank god.”

[Oh c’mon—you could’ve fought even more if you use me.]

“This much is my limit realy.”

I shrugged my shoulders. Ah, I’m really tired.

I looked at the goblin corpses lying around and began to count them. 12. I tilted my head due to the fact that the number didn’t match to what I had been counting while fighting.

Was I unable to completely kill some? While I was thinking that, the Elf guy came down from the sky. Well, I guess he really was sniping from some tree branch.

“Are you really a human?”(elf)

“Well, I’m not an Elf atleast.”(renji)

Replying that to the sudden words, I pulled out the iron knife sticking in the goblin’s head.

While thinking about the fact that the number of corpses didn’t match, i swung the knife once to remove the blood remaining on it.

Goblin. They were one of the major and most common of the monsters on the Imnesia continent but…..

“Wasn’t their numbers a bit too much?”

[That’s true.]

Meeting monsters when going into the grasslands for herb collecting isn’t rare. Since we went into the Forest of Magical Energy this time, the encounter rate would be even higher.

That much wasn’t really surprising but this time, their numbers were really too big.

It’d wouldn’t be unreasonable if this was a cave or a Goblin dwelling but this number wasn’t something one should face inside this kind of forest.

Even I am pretty used to travelling and journeying. I make sure not to get too close to places that might be a place where monsters would gather. I wasn’t even cautious since we were near the entrance of the forest. When the battle had begun, I was sure that it’d end pretty quickly.

Sure, Goblins tend to flock together. That habit is what makes Goblins more difficult than usual but even so!

And they seemed to be even filled with excessive bloodlust as well. Even if we had smaller numbers, it was still ridiculous to attack us directly from the front. Even the fact that they kept on coming even after seeing so many of their comrades killed was weird in my opinion. Their actions were different from what a goblin would usually take.

Any sane person, if they had bigger numbers, would first surround us then weaken us before going for the kill.

But even so, these goblins didn’t even make use of the terrain inside the forest and charged at us head-on blindly. That’s why, I was confused.

Maybe Ermenhilde also felt something, its voice was low.

Feeling the sacredness of the forest getting tainted by the smell of blood, my mood worsened.

“Are you fine?”

“Yeah, no problems. You seem fine as well.”

“I’m so tired I feel like crying though. I’ve had enough of monster subjugation for some time now.”

As i shrugged my shoulders I sighed.

I think I also heard fed-up sigh coming from my pocket as well.

“Your personality is really hard to understand.”

“Isn’t it the opposite. I simply hate trouble and want to live in peace.”

[Work seriously.]

Am I not working seriously? After all, didn’t I come to this forest to collect spirit grass?? Though I don’t really feel like doing that request anymore. I’m really tired. I want to go back and sleep.

But still, to think that we’d get attacked by goblins again when we both decided to go gather herbs together.

“It seems we have some kind of fate with the goblins.”

“Well, it’s not something good to have.”

He laughed a little.

I remember getting a request to subjugate goblins during the first time as well.

And this time as well, we were attacked by goblins. There really might some kind of fate.

With Goblins.

…….It’s really an ill-fate to have. I want to work more safely.

“Weren’t the goblins just now, weird?”

“Hmm….true, I felt that they were more bloodthirsty than usual.”

Putting a finger on that well-shaped face, the elf closed his eyes as if thinking something.

He might have something to think about this. The fact that he isn’t saying it out loud means that I’m still not trusted well enough.

Without really minding that, I kneeled near the goblin corpse nearby.

[It’s just a normal corpse. I can’t feel any kind of special magical energy from it.]

“Thought so.”

I checked through the corpse while keeping my knife unsheathed but there wasn’t anything unusual about it.

If Ermenhilde didn’t feel anything strange, then there really isn’t anything to it. Well, both me and Ermenhilde aren’t really familiar with magical energy though.

I could think of various possibilities but all had very low chance to be true. The Demon Lord or the demons could manipulate monsters but they don’t come out of their continent, Abenelm, normally. Now that the Demon God has been killed, the chances should be even lesser.

The sensation of blood on my fingers wasn’t really pleasant but it was usual stuff for me. I rubbed my fingers with the blood but there was still no change.

Am I overthinking this?

It really might be just a swarm of goblins.

“Well it’s no use investigating it without knowing anything, I guess.”

“That’s true. Also, if there was a change in the monsters in the forest, then we elves would have noticed.”

“I guess that’s true as well.”

Elves should be more sensitive to such things than me. Especially if its something inside the forest. Cutting out the proof of subjugation from the goblin, I put the knife in its sheath and breathed a sigh.

As the scent of blood stuck into my nose, I ended up grimacing. I have gotten used to the scent of blood but that doesn’t mean I’ll start liking it.

Also, my iron knife has also gone bad. I guess, sharpening it alone wouldn’t cut it anymore.

After returning to the Magic City, I should see if there’s a better weapon available somewhere.

……Though Ermenhilde would start sulking again if I do so.

“It’d be tiring to fight any more goblins. Let’s quickly gather the herbs and return.”

“Yeah, let’s.”

Even the Elf would want to avoid tainting the forest with monster blood.

Well, they don’t seem to forgive the existence of monsters inside the forest either.

While thinking that, I began walking.

[This isn’t interesting.]

As if I care.

Rather than that, I brought out the memo from my pocket.

It’s the memo which has the request written on it. In the client’s name part, Aya’s name is written. It’s details involved collecting herbs together with her. The rewards was 50 copper coins. It’s an extra-ordinary amount.

“What, did you have another request accepted alongside this?”(elf)

“Something like that.”

A few days have passed since then. The reward amount has been steadily increasing.
She should be getting impatient by now. It’s fun just imagining it.

“….You’re making a disgusting face.”

“I was born with it. Leave me alone.”

I guess I should go and meet her already.

Just as Ermenhilde had said back then, the reward for just herb gathering would probably really become 1 gold coin.

A gold coin. That’s way above a child’s pocket money. Well, one way or the other, she is also a hero of the country. She should be having gold coins unlike me. But if I actually made Aya do that while teasing her, how would others look at me if they knew about it….?

Well, they’d probably realize that I was just playing around. I’ll still get scolded though.

[Seriously—-Are you really that afraid of meeting them?]

“Haa~h”

I answered Ermenhilde’s words with a sigh. As usual, this one is straight to the point.

The fact that I was unable to refute it, was it because it was correct or because there was the elf beside me?

Without knowing that, I could only sigh and continue into the forest.

[It has only been an year. Your bonds won’t disappear in just that much time.]

Inside my pocket, I traced the medal with my finger.

As usual my partner is straightforward. I lightly patted it.

If the Elf was not beside me right now…..how would I have answered it back?

Well, whatever. I would know the answer when I meet Souichi and the others.

The case with the goblins, was it just our bad luck? It was slightly worrying me but it shouldn’t concern me in any case. I have no intention to thrust my neck into more trouble and its the job of brave protagonists to solve such things. I’m not one.

I explained myself. I did but—

“It’d be nice if nothing really happens.”

“—?”

I really think it’d be nice if nothing happens.

I hate trouble. I have been involved in way too much already after coming to this world already after all.

……now that the world is saved, I just want to live in peace.

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