Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 33

Goblin (3)

“Kyarruk.”

“Kyaaak!”

“Kieek!”

The goblins howled. As they drew closer to their purpose, their intelligence faded, leaving only instinct behind. Unable to contain their excitement, some started attacking their own kind. That triggered a counterattack, and in no time, chaos ensued.

“Kyarruk!”

Koong!

The sound of a spear puncturing flesh rang out, and the goblins halted their actions. Lacking intelligence, they repeated the movements etched into their bodies, bowing towards a lavishly adorned goblin.

Had a human witnessed this, they would have been aghast. Goblins are communal creatures without a hierarchy. This had been the truth for thousands of years. Yet, these goblins were clearly showing loyalty to a single entity.

“Kyarruk. Stupid kin.”

However, the object of their blind devotion merely clicked his tongue, unimpressed. Why are my kin so foolish? Despite their hard-earned intelligence, they were all too quick to be swayed by instinct, living lives no different from before.

He despised the situation. He wanted to leave everything behind and depart. But he couldn’t. Despicable and foolish as they might be, they were still his kin. A sense of responsibility held him bound.

“Kyarruk.”

He looked up at a distant human village, a dark and foreboding voice echoing in his head.

Kill…

Suppressing intelligence and awakening instinct, the goblin smirked wryly. What use was intelligence if it merely led to servitude? He might enjoy this cursed command after all.

“Let’s go, kin!”

“Kyarruk!”

“Kyaaaak!”

“Kieeek!”

The goblin charged.

***

“Here they come!”

The guard cried out, his face pale. People gripped their weapons with grim determination. “Arm yourselves! This is our land! Shall we let these non-human beings violate it?”

“No!”

“This land has been ours, belonging to humans for centuries, from our ancestors’ time! Tear those filthy creatures apart who dare step foot here!”

“Waaaagh!”

As Reverock’s speech ended, a fierce war cry resonated.

People clung to the walls. Maddened goblins clung and tried to climb up. The gates shook violently as they were pounded on.

“Die!”

“Kyaaak!”

Goblins climbing the wall were skewered with spears and fell, only for others to step on the corpses and ascend.

Asher watched the battle from a distance.

“We’re not getting pushed back.”

The geographical advantage was theirs, and the faces of the people showed hostility rather than fear. Glancing over, he saw that Caron was handling the climbing goblins well. Leika was doing the same, wielding his sword with minimal movement, yet each swing brought down a goblin. He was achieving as much as he forced himself to.

Asher looked at the goblins. The one in his memory was not among them.

‘Then.’

There was no reason for him to intervene now. The Goblin Lord hadn’t appeared yet; the rest was for them to handle. He couldn’t assist every time.

He had his own issues to address and headed towards the fortress of his domain.

***

“Ugh…”

Luke was shivering under the blankets. As shouts and sounds from outside reached him, his body shrunk even more.

Click.

The door opening made Luke flinch, burying himself deeper under the blankets, holding his breath. Footsteps approached slowly, and an unknown hand touched the blanket.

“Eeeek!”

Luke panicked, throwing off the blankets and scrabbling on the floor.

“Get a hold of yourself.”

Beyond the falling blankets, the visitor spoke. Luke murmured.

“Asher…?”

“Everyone is fighting.”

Children and women were transporting supplies. The lord was commanding, and Leika was fighting directly. Everyone was fighting except for Luke alone.

“You’re the only one shirking your duty.”

“So what do you want me to do!”

Luke yelled, tears welling up.

“I’m a coward! I’m no help in a fight!”

Luke had always been compared to his exceptionally talented sister. People secretly wished Leika were a man.

“Yeah, I’m an idiot. A stupid fool who doesn’t know his place.”

He knew himself well.

“I have no talents, only noble blood. What can you expect from me?”

“You have noble blood.”

That alone was reason enough.

“I’m nothing.”

Luke covered his ears, not wanting to hear.

‘Self-esteem, and pride.’

Asher knew the situation Luke was in. Buried by his own low self-esteem and pride, he had given up on everything, more a corpse than alive.

Before this,

Asher looked at Luke with a self-comforting gaze that once boosted his self-esteem. But Asher had changed. And finally, Luke saw everything shatter around him.

“We need strong medicine.”

There was only one way to fix this. Asher grabbed Luke by the nape, who had embraced himself.

“Let, let go of me!”

Luke struggled, but Asher forcefully lifted him and opened the terrace door. Then he lifted Luke out onto the terrace.

“Ah. Aaaaaah!”

Luke thrashed about in terror of the absent floor. Asher tightened his grip silently.

“Look at the battlefield.”

Shouts filled the air. Soldiers were fighting to defend their land.

“And look at the houses.”

Numerous buildings were densely packed. For decades, even centuries, people had lived here, considering this place their land.

“And the castle.”

The castle of the lord. The residence of those who protected this place.

“All of this is yours.”

Reika, after all, was a woman. She couldn’t become a lord, nor did she desire it.

“Whether you want it or not, you are their master.”

“I don’t want to.”

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to. It’s the fate you must accept.”

Asher pulled his hand back. Once inside the terrace, Luke collapsed powerless.

“In the end, the fate of this domain rests in your hands.”

Luke’s eyes wavered.

“Will you let even those unrelated to you crumble? Or will you forcibly strive to maintain the status quo?”

“I, I…”

“If you want to join the people in a hellish pit, that wouldn’t be so bad.”

“I…”

Luke muttered blankly. Asher walked toward the door. From here, it was up to Luke to choose. Whether to live as the lord tied by responsibility or to crumble along with everyone.

“And what will you do?”

Luke asked with a hoarse voice. Asher tapped on his wrist guard.

“I’m just doing my part.”

***

Swords and knives clashed. Green and red blood mixed on the ground, creating a new color. Reika planted her sword in that blood.

“Kieeek!”

“Tch.”

She kicked a goblin’s corpse as it fell, clearing her path. She dodged an attack from the front and swung her hand widely. The approaching goblins grabbed their necks and collapsed.

“It’s endless…!”

“Miss!”

As she was catching her breath, Caron rushed over hastily. He obliterated the obstructing goblins and protected Reika’s body.

“Are you alright?”

“It’s okay. I’m really not in great shape, but this is nothing.”

“Kieeek!”

She grabbed the spear of a charging goblin and stabbed it in the neck. Her arm tingled and her breath reached her throat, but she could still handle it. She wasn’t at her limit yet.

“Wouldn’t it be better to retreat? If Lady gets injured…”

“It’s okay, it’s okay.”

Reika waved her hand lightly. She grabbed a spear from the ground and threw it, piercing the skull of a goblin trying to climb the ramparts.

“My presence boosts morale, can’t retreat now.”

The lord’s daughter was fighting right in the midst of the frontline. Moreover, she was killing several goblins with her dazzling skills. Just the fact pumped energy into the battle. In such a situation, she couldn’t withdraw prematurely.

“I’m fine, so you go back to fighting too. The only knight of the domain can’t afford to stop.”

“Please be careful.”

Caron uttered his last words and plunged into the goblins climbing the walls. They screamed as they swung their weapons.

“Hmm.”

Reika watched Caron’s movements with dark eyes. He dodged with minimal movement and manipulated the actions to interfere with one another.

Strong and experienced. Though he had lost to her, that was in a one-to-one. In such a chaotic battle, he was unmistakably powerful.

‘But different.’

Leika thought as she slew a charging goblin, flipping its eyes back. Caron’s swordsmanship, much like her own, was different from Asher’s Imperial swordsmanship. It was a natural difference, but the sensation was also different. What she felt different was something fundamental.

‘Where is that goblin?’

She ruthlessly stabbed her sword into a goblin’s heart. As more and more of their kind continued to die, that goblin was nowhere to be seen.

The situation on the battlefield favored the humans. Most of those dying were goblins. Humans weren’t weak enough to be overwhelmed by creatures who had lost reason and only charged.

Above all, Asher’s intimidation had been a significant help. In this life-or-death battlefield, people moved as rationally and calmly as possible. That difference was also significant, and people’s faces began to brighten slowly.

“Click. Stupid creatures. Just because told to charge, they really charge mindlessly.”

Then, a voice rang out from the goblin ranks. The goblins started screaming louder.

“Kieeek!”

“Kaak! Kaaaaak!”

“What, what’s going on suddenly!”

As people hesitated, the goblins ran backwards, gradually clearing a path. A goblin walked through the gap.

“Here.”

Reika swallowed. A wave of inexplicable unease made people grip their weapons tighter. The goblin stabbed the ground with its spear.

“Bow your heads. Humans.”

“A, a goblin’s talking?”

“That’s impossible!”

Shouts and screams erupted from all around. The series of commotions pleasantly received the goblin as it struck the ground with its spear again.

“I. The great one has arrived here.”



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