3. Chapter 3
The devastated Liberitoa Trade Federation retreated far beyond its claimed borders and rebuilt its position around the rivers.
A dry moat and a dam built with earth magic, the items from the magic bag and carriages formed a fortress that could be called a night castle. The Liberitoa Trade Federation, lacking sufficient manpower, and the Highserk Empire, preferring the status quo, reluctantly continued the war.
On such a stalemated front, the prisoners of war were released when the Liberitoa side paid the ransom.
The release of aristocrats and high-ranking military officers occurred as Walm expected, but ordinary soldiers were also paid by the Liberitoa Trade Federation.
Fortunately, a great aristocrat who owned a labyrinth issued a large magic silver coin in a lump sum. For this reason, Walm and the other members of Duwei’s squad guarded the area for the exchange of prisoners.
“Perhaps, I was born in the wrong country.”
As Walm muttered this, he was hit in the flank.
It was Jose, his comrade.
“Oi oi, you’re lucky you’re in this squad, if it’s under other commanders, you’ll be sunk in the river, you know?”
Many ferryboats made a round trip on the river, and prisoners of war were carried across the river. Many archers and soldiers who could use magic were stationed on the opposite bank of the river to protect against surprise attacks.
There was even a large ballista stationed there.
Hmm, I wonder from where did they bring that?
Seeing that, Walm had no choice but to be amazed
The Highserk Empire, on the other hand, also had some sort of troops that could attack the opposite bank. Although, if it were to be compared… if the troops on the opposite bank were a regular army, the troops on Walm’s side were just a bunch of bandits wearing the equipment of a regular army.
If you were going to war as a soldier, you might choose to side with the Highserk Empire, but if you were spending your time as a citizen, the Liberitoa Trade Federation might be better. But of course, you didn’t know how people lived in other countries. So there was no point in comparing them.
POWs (Prisoners of war) passed by Walm’s side.
From their clothes and skin condition, you could guess that these people must be high-ranking people who could pay the ransom individually.
On the opposite bank, human dramas were playing out, such as those of the scolded and those of the embraced. As a boring threepenny opera played endlessly before his eyes, Walm felt like he had heartburn. His colleague Jose was also desperately holding back his yawns.
Walm, who couldn’t afford to look away and abandon his mission, turned his gaze back to the line of people. Next in line were the low-status people. There were 200 prisoners of war, and there were endless lines waiting for the ferry.
As Walm looked around among the prisoners, the one who had dug the grave the other day passed by. The moment their eyes met, the guy hurriedly averted his gaze.
Unlike then, there was no blood in the armor, and the spear and sword, dirty after use, were clean. But still, he was obviously frightened.
The POWs were scared and had no meals. Even if one bothered to cook something digestible, the prisoners seemed to think it contained poison. At the time, Walm said, “Do you think we would use such a confusing and time-consuming method?”. From what he understood, it was better to stab a sword than to use poison, which was also difficult to hold.
That said, they left an empty grave as ordered. Of course, it wasn’t to bury them but to bury those who died from their severe injuries and couldn’t survive the night. But, the prisoners of war weren’t convinced by this explanation.
The Battalion Commander’s order, that the prisoners had to dig many graves to expend their energy to prevent a prisoner uprising, backfired.
After the last soldier was seen off, the prisoner exchange ended without incident. And so the farewell party was finally over.
Walm hoped that the stalemate would continue.
But the struggle between the Highserk Empire, which wanted to maintain its territory across the river, and the Liberitoa Trade Federation, which wanted to push its territory back to its claimed border, would likely continue.
As the construction of the camp for the frontier progressed, troops were withdrawn one by one, and the battalion to which Walm belonged was the first.
Since moving 2,000 men was a strain on logistics, some of the platoons and companies had to change roads on their way to the designated location.
Several platoons and squads were tasked to move from the southeastern Liberitoa Trade Federation to the annexed former territory of the Kanoa Kingdom in the northwest, where territorial disputes were still ongoing. Duwei’s squad was one of them.
Walm was ordered to subdue the goblins that nested near the water source. Even though not as accustomed to killing humans, he was accustomed to killing monsters too.
There were many corpses on the battlefield, which pleased the monsters. For them it was like a buffet. To drive away the persistently disturbing guests again and again was a familiar task for Walm.
If left unattended after killing them, the corpses would turn into a ghoul or undead. And if that happened, you might have to take their lives not just once or twice to let them rest in peace. But since you have already killed them once, it might be easier on your nerves if you have to kill them again.
In most countries, defeating monsters and exploring mazes were often adventurer tasks, but some countries, like the Highserk Empire, rejected the adventurer system per se.
The Highserk Empire, which could be said to have more troops than the other department, couldn’t afford to let the soldier rest. Therefore, Walm was also made to do the adventurer’s job too.
It was as if the army was dispatched to exterminate the pests just because they were in the field.
But as could be expected, if a high-class monster appeared, a special unit was dispatched, but if it was a group of low-threat goblins, they were cleaned up by the surrounding squad or platoon.
That said, some villagers, who weren’t even trained, were expected to subdue a small number of goblins or even orcs themselves. Even Walm had a hard time fighting off goblins and orcs a few times during his youth in the village.
According to information from the nearby village, more than 50 goblins were initially sighted and some were exterminated by the villagers, but one day a man and woman working in the river were attacked and taken away.
After that, the goblins that got to taste humans began to appear around the village, and the damage to livestock increased. Since further damage was expected as the number of goblins increased, it was then decided to dispatch the army there.
Led by Commander Duwei, the squad left the village and headed into the forest.
The forest was roughly flat land, although there were slight ups and downs. Unlike demon territory, where powerful monsters were subdued, here there were only low-class monsters.
Walm continued walking, but when he saw that Squad Commander Duwei suddenly stopped, not only he, but also the others stopped.
“Hoi, listen carefully, in about half an hour, it’ll be their nest. The footprints and animal trails are piling up. Don’t let your guard down.”
Squad Commander Duwei was considered an alert fighter who surpassed even many Platoon commanders in combat techniques, but it was also easy to understand why such a veteran wasn’t elected Platoon Commander.
Squad Commander Duwei was basically an optimist who could afford anything for better and was a bit rough for worse. Walm was convinced that it must be difficult for such a person to be a Platoon Commander or higher, who might have to do paperwork in a building, to demonstrate his true worth.
More than that, Squad Commander Duwei himself hated the position of Platoon Commander itself as he would be expected to do complicated work.
The member of Duwei’s squad moved forward cautiously, following the path taken by the one before them, slowly disposing of the branches that had become entangled in their sword and armor.
Cloth was wrapped around the places where the metal could easily rub against something else. Walm was no exception. The cloth he used belonged to a soldier he had fought in battle the other day and no longer needed.
Although Walm was reluctant to remove a dead person’s clothing, now, if he thought it necessary, he would do and take anything
The deeper they went into the forest, the greater the distance between the dense vegetation also became.
The members were crawling on the ground, but then all eyes focused on one point.
What they saw was a small humanoid, the size of a child. The teeth were pronounced canines and the ears were more pointed than a human’s. The skin was green with noticeable breakouts and irregularities. There was no doubt about it, it was a goblin like Walm was used to.
In the goblins’ hands were mostly primitive stone spears, clubs, or farming tools that perhaps, were stolen from somewhere. Another thing Walm had learned from experience: intelligent monsters were troublesome when they were in a group.
How should I kill it…
Just when Walm thought that, he was selected by Squad Commander Duwei.
With a gesture, Walm was ordered to kill. He nodded slowly, left the formation and moved towards the goblins’ side without changing his stance.
Walm carefully chose where to place his feet, dodging branches and fallen leaves. As the distance drew closer, his breathing became thinner and thinner.
After lightly moistening his dry lips, Walm squeezed the back of the spear handle and pierced the throat with one blow.
The goblin that the spear had pierced died on the spot without making a sound. While supporting the goblin, who was about to collapse, with the spear, he laid him on the ground and dragged him. A companion joined and hid the corpse in the shade of a tree.
Squad Commander Duwei tapped Walm on the shoulder and told him,
“Good job. That was a good skill you showed there.”
Soon after, the squad arrived at their destination without encountering any of them
The goblin nest was located several dozen meters away from the goblin guard. It was a small cliff where branches and earth were used to build dwellings, and the caves of the cliff were also used as a nest. Looking at it, one could hardly think it was a naturally formed object, so it had to be an artificial cave.
Walm, keeping his posture low, slowly poked his eyes through the gaps between the vegetation to look at it
30 Goblins could be seen within the visible range. Bones were scattered near the fire. Livestock such as buffalo and goats could be seen. Wild boars, a kind of monster, were also among them. And finally, human skulls could be seen laying around.
It must be the kidnapped villager’s…
Walm wasn’t surprised by what he saw because it was one of the end routes for people who had been abducted by demons. Violated, killed and eaten… that was their basic behavior.
“Willart, do it.”
The Squad Commander ordered one of his men. There was no prior interaction, but everyone, including Walm, could understand what was going to happen.
Willart went forward without making any response. He was a quiet man with a hobby of shaving all over his body when he had time. But he was a talented man in the squad and was respected by the others.
Willart concentrated his mana on his hand, and soon a fireball appeared. He was the only ‘Magic User’ in the squad and was relied on in a wide range of fields, from fighting to cooking.
The fireball hit the center of the nest and caused an explosion. The bones were scattered by the blast, as were the goblins. Even the goblins in the vicinity had suffered severe burns.
The goblins were frozen by the sudden event. The other members of the squad, on the other hand, knew what to do, and for Walm it was as if fireworks were setting off a feast.
The members of the squad immediately closed the gap without raising their voices and used their weapons to kill their prey.
Walm was no exception to this example. He pierced the abdomen of the absent-minded goblin twice with a spear and crushed its fallen head with his feet.
One of the goblins, running back and forth, didn’t know whether to flee or fight back and turned its back to him, unprotected. The result was that the spear went straight from the back into the abdomen.
Goblin, a monster with high vitality, although it was ranked at the lowest. Even if you left wounds that would normally stop humans, the Goblin could still crawl and try to escape. If it escaped, it could gain wisdom and become a troublesome opponent in the future. So Walm had no intention of letting one of them get away.
Walm held the spear with his other hand and swung it downward toward the goblin’s neck. After a moment of twitching, the goblin stopped moving.
As the smoke began to clear, a shadow appeared at the edge of Walm’s field of vision. It was a goblin with a club, knocking the corpse to the ground.
Walm slashed the spear horizontally, severing both of the goblin’s eyes and making it wince in pain. Then he stabbed and killed the goblin, who unreasonably swung a club around that could become a troublesome thing if not stopped.
The other members of the squad also killed about the same number.
Commander Duwei used his skill《Strike》to bounce three goblins at once. One of the goblins had its body split in two and the other two had their heads blown off.
The rest of the goblins were overflowing from the cave, but as soon as they came out, they became prey to blades and blunt weapons.
“Reinus, Tibird, Danfan, take half and clean up the leftover on the outside. The others come with me. The spear won’t be useful. Use your sword. Willart, gives us some light.”
Walm was selected as a member of the group for the cave assault. The command for the one who stayed outside was entrusted to the so-called ‘three idiots’ who’d a lot of combat experience.
Because of the narrow cave, the spears were thrust to the outside ground and the group charged through the cave with a longsword and a round shield in hand.
As Squad Commander advanced unconcerned deep into the cave, Willart, who was right behind him, used magic and the inside of the cave was illuminated by flames.
It was the goblins who were surprised. The goblins, accustomed to the darkness, brandished their weapons, but what awaited them was a stormy attack from Squad Commander Duwei.
In the end, Walm had to kill the goblins hiding in the dents and pretending to be dead… although, in reality, they would die―― by the longsword in his hand. In the back, there was an open space about the size of a classroom.
Because of the poor ventilation, the smell soon got into Walm’s nasal passage.
Walm wanted to raise his voice to complain, but he couldn’t, because there were still goblins left and also their leader.
Their leader, an adult, human-sized goblin――the Hobgoblin – bravely raised a rusty sword it might have picked up somewhere. No matter how brave the hobgoblin was, Walm couldn’t help but feel sorry for the monster.
After all, the opponent was Squad Commander Duwei.
Despite its size, the time it took the hobgoblin to be slashed was about the same as other goblins.
The hobgoblin fell to the ground covered in blood, was stabbed again as a precaution, but as expected it was dead
While Walm was scrutinizing for any other omissions, he noticed a shadow behind the pile of straw that looked like the goblin’s bed.
It was… not a goblin, but a woman who was there. Scratches were engraved all over her body, the ones on her shoulders and back were especially severe.
Walm guessed why she had survived, even though the other man had been eaten. It was because goblins could use the belly of other creatures to reproduce.
“Are you still alive? I’ve come to help.”
Walm called out to her, who didn’t move. What he got was only a short reply.
Walm took some time to chew over the words he’d thrown. He called out again and shook the girl’s shoulders, but the response was the same. He looked around, but no one spoke.
“Ple-ase, k-kill me.”
Only Commander Duwei, who nodded slowly. Walm’s instinct and heart tried with all their might to stop him from killing another person, but at the same time, the “reason” in his head was also working hard.
The limbs that had been crushed into a goblin birthing bag wouldn’t heal naturally, of course, but neither would ordinary recovery magic be any of help.
I guess, the wounds carved on the whole body won’t heal nor the mind either...
If she goes back to her village, could she live like a normal person again?
―― Walm wanted someone to do it for him. In any case, someone had to do it. If Walm didn’t do it, someone in the squad would have to suffer in his place.
And so, Walm decided.
When Walm thrust the tip of his sword against the girl’s skin, she groaned softly. The tip of the sword penetrated the gap between her ribs and reached her heart with a thud.
Walm stared at her, who stopped moving at all. Ironically, his face remained calm. It was the first time he had killed a woman. Although the woman was at death’s door and should have been grateful to him―― still, he couldn’t help but look down at the dirty sword and the woman who had stopped breathing again and again. Before he knew it, Commander Duwei was standing next to him.
“I’ll do it. It’s a hindrance if you keep standing there. Go outside, have a drink, and take a break.”
What was offered was an expensive distilled liquor in a hip flask.
“It’s the one I got from the Liberitoa’s people. It’s not to my taste.”
Walm never thought that such a word would come out of Commander Duwei’s mouth, because he always drank everything like water
Walm staggered out and sat down with his back against the foot of the big tree.
The unrefined fighting-loving three idiots said nothing to Walm, perhaps because they had noticed that something was wrong with him.
Walm put his hand on the chinstrap, took off the helmet and let it roll to the ground. The chain rang as if to protest. The scalp exposed to the outside air felt pleasant. While stroking the stuffy and itchy head, he opened the lid of the flask and brought it to his mouth.
The smell of alcohol rose to his nose and his throat and stomach immediately became hot. But soon the taste disappeared, leaving a faint, sweet aftertaste on his tongue.
The time was still early in the morning. In contrast to his cloudy heart, the blue sky beyond the trees was cloudless.
After spitting one swear word, Walm once again gulped the liquor.
TN: Here, an image of the character design of Walm
Walm (Character Design 1)
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.
3 thoughts on “Nigoru Hitomi de Nani wo Negau ch 3”
Yo… wtf… Walm is cool mf there..
Walm looks cool, but when looking deep into his mental state i begin to cry.
Damn it! I’m a hella sensitive bihhh bro
Walm got that drip 🥶🥶