Everyone prepared themselves as we awaited what came after. As expected, as soon as we heard the rustling sound of the leaves, a small figure with pointed ears and greenish skin emerged from the foliage. It was a low-level monster called a goblin.
The goblin moved nimbly and jumped off the ground while holding what looks like a dagger. Lisa-san, who was in front, swung her sword with force and sweeped the goblin in half. The once-alive goblin dissipated into dust and traces of it disappeared completely, dropping a small gem-like stone in the end.
This is what happens when monsters are killed. They do not leave any trace of their body; instead, they simply disappear into nothingness and drop a single stone which is their core. A cruel curse for those who had been forsaken by the divine. It is a common fact known throughout this world.
However, just like any creature, monsters act based on their instinct and only follow what their instinct tells them to. Despite watching their comrade die, the goblins that were hiding revealed themselves and lunged at us with nimble movements.
“As expected, there are many... “ Lisa-san grimaced as she slashed off another goblin on her way then another.
Raiz also swung his sword at a goblin that attacked him. “How come there’re so many... We're not even that deep into the forest! This is weird!”
Goblins are frail and stand about 1 meter tall. Although it’s about the size of a child, when they are gathered like this, it is quite troublesome to deal with them. Especially when they are small because that means that they move faster and could slip through when shown a slight chance.
I took a step forward then quickly drew my sword and accurately chopped off a goblin’s head. Without losing momentum, I slashed another one coming from behind. Their body fell to the ground until portions of their body turned to dust and floated up into the air until eventually disappearing.
I stared at the remaining goblins who watched as I easily killed their kin. Of course, I don’t intend on missing that chance. I kicked off the ground and lunged at them at an incredible speed. I twisted my arm and smoothly slashed off the goblins who were dumbfounded by the sudden attack.
I didn’t give them time to move nor think. Before they realized it, their heads were flying off into the sky, dissipating into dust right after.
I defeated five of them in an instant however it didn’t stop there. There were still multiple goblins left. And that’s counting on my side. It’s like they come out whenever I defeat one or two.
Meanwhile, Alyss-san’s side was the same. She defeated one after the other quickly yet there were still many that remained.
I took a quick glance at Rion-san and as expected, he boasted his strength as he easily slashed a dozen goblin bodies into the air. The same applies to Lisa-san.
This will be annoying.
No matter how much we defeated them, there was no end to it. Normally, goblins are seen with 3 or 5 groups at most in the wild. I’ve never seen them gather like this before. Although we could easily defeat them one by one, it is tiresome to keep on going like this. If this continues, our stamina would run out first before we even finish them all off.
That was when I realized something. Is there someone commanding them?
Low-level monsters like this could only operate as much as their instinct tells them to. Usually if they sensed danger, they would immediately run away. Such are the nature of monsters like goblins. However, that wasn’t the case right now. If they were under someone’s command, then it would make sense for them to coordinate like this.
To her dismay, Alyss-san took a step backward and fluidly dodged the goblin’s attack from her behind. “This is not right, I never heard of this before.”
“There’s just no end to them,” said Raiz.
Lisa-san noticed their remarks as she kicked a goblin flying into the air. “Everyone, focus. Even if they're just goblins, it would be bad if you make even one mistake in this situation!”
That was then Alyss-san raised her hands in the air. Light faintly engulfed her hand then suddenly, 6 ice shards sprouted from the air. Each of them pointed to their respective targets. As soon as she activated it, those ice shards violently pierced into the air as it made a whooshing sound until it reached its target.
Those ice shards pierced through the unfortunate goblins and killed them off in one hit. Unlike the one she used last time where it only immobilized the opponents, this time it was aimed to kill.
Perhaps because she was facing a monster, she didn’t feel the need to hold back this time. Meanwhile, Raiz, who had watched the scene Alyss-san made, muttered to me. “I can’t believe you fought someone like that and got off in one piece... “
He was referring to the time when I fought Alyss-san in a mock battle under a test. If you think about it, if she unleashed that kind of power to me without holding back, I would probably have holes in my body by now. Just the thought sent shivers down my spine.
I smiled wryly at the sight as she continued to cast ice shards to the enemies around. Those that managed to slip though her attack tasted the might of her skillful swordsmanship all the while using magic. She was practically untouchable right now.
With a grin to his face, Raiz suddenly increased his speed and dashed off to a group of goblins. “Then, I’ll also show off a little. I can’t afford to look lame in front of the princess after all.”
Raiz made a stance with his sword while muttering something under his breath. The goblins who formed a circle around him didn’t miss this chance and attacked him all at the same time. I was about to call out to him but it seemed that my worries were misplaced.
The sound of lightning echoed around him. And in an instant, the goblins that were about to attack him all fell to the ground with a thud, disappearing all at the same time and leaving behind their stones.
Noticing my gaze, Raiz grinned and made a thumbs up pose.
For some reason, I was also urged to go wild a little. With that, I kicked off the ground once again with unimaginable speed. This time I used my essence to engulf myself in wind magic, making it look like I traveled from one place to another within a second.
I lunged at one goblin and instantly chopped off his head. Immediately after, I made an arc with my sword and slashed a group of goblins all at the same time. One tried to attack from behind and was about to stab me with a dagger. I swiftly made a 180 turn and kicked the goblin flying into the air. I added strength to that kick which forcefully broke the goblin’s fibble body.
I didn’t lose momentum. I continued to slashed off one after another, sometimes using kicks and punches then switching to slashing. I defeated them unabated and with flexibility. It was like an acrobatic show as I fluidly and skillfully handled the goblins.
Meanwhile, I heard Raiz and Alyss-san mutter something. “Hey, hey, I think he’s having a little fun out there.”
“What amazing swordsmanship... he’s not even using any magic other than body enhancement. With such speed, it should be difficult to control it and yet he’s making it look like a child 's play.”
I couldn’t hear what they’re saying as I was intently focused on defeating the goblins. Then, I realized that the goblins on my side were practically down to the few numbers left. As I slashed off the last one, I dashed towards the others’ direction to help reduce the numbers on their side.
It’s like I was possessed by something. The feeling of killing off every single one of these monsters filled my mind.
“This kid... “ I felt Lisa-san mutter something but there’s no way I could know what she was saying. Right now, the only thing on my mind was monsters.
It was just like that time. Memories resurfaced from the back of my mind. War. The smell of blood. Screams. Monsters. Demons. Deaths. It’s like I’ve been transported back to the past.
That was then I realized that the goblin’s numbers had finally diminished. Despite how many of them gathered, if I just simply kill them quickly, then it’s only a matter of time before they lose their numbers.
When I spotted the final goblin, I instantly kicked off the ground and lunged at him in a mere instant. It’s like time had stopped for the goblin. Without missing a beat, his head went flying and his body fell while disappearing into nothingness, leaving behind his leftover core.
I swung my sword to the side to sweep off the blood. The blood splashed out to the ground and just like how the monsters disappear, the blood dissipated into dust as well.
“Hiro-san?” Alyss-san called out.
“Hm?” I turned around then saw that Alyss-san and the others were standing dumbfoundedly. That was when I realized what happened.
I went overboard. I was even surprised at the sight of the amount of stones left behind by those goblins.
Suddenly, Raiz voiced out as he picked out the stones.
“Hey, we could sell this to the guild right?”
“Yeah. It would be added to the quest rewards but... “
Alyss-san glanced around at how many stones were left. If we sell this to the guild, there’s no doubt we would get a fortune out of it. However, there’s one other thing we still haven’t finished.
“We still haven’t finished the quest,” said Alyss-san.
We were suddenly interrupted by that unusual horde of goblins and forgot about the quest. If I remember correctly, we still need about 6 flowers to finish the requirements. After that, we could sell this abnormal amount of stones for an extra reward.
“I suggest you hurry up and finish the quest. We don’t want to encounter any attack like that again or else we won’t finish.” said Lisa-san who just sheathed her sword.
Alyss-san thought for a moment then voiced out her thoughts. “We should also report this to the guild.”
Raiz nodded as well. “Right. No matter what you think about it, it’s just weird how they suddenly showed up like that.”
Though we haven’t had much experience in the forest, it was still unusual to see goblins in a horde and coordinate an attack like that. Even for me who had experienced countless battles 300 years ago when I was a hero, I found it odd.
When I sheath my sword, a sense of danger flickered down my body.
The sound of something moving in the air with speed entered my senses and before I knew it, it had already happened.
I turned around to where it landed, and saw Lisa-san who was dumbfounded for a moment, then gripped her shoulders in pain.
“Lisa!” For the first time ever, I heard Rion-san called out to Lisa-san in a panic. But there was no time to be surprised about that part.
An arrow struck Lisa-san’s shoulder.
Lisa-san struggled to keep her feet up and almost fell.
“Lisa…!” Alyss-san went up to support her in a hurry.
Whoever shot that arrow didn’t let us have a moment of rest however.
“Tsk... “ I hurriedly ran towards them as I sensed multiple arrows on its way. Rion-san sensed it as well and was about to block it with his body to prevent it from hitting the others. Before that happened, I went in front of them, and waved my arms engulfed in essence then a gushing wind sent the arrows off its course.
“There are still more hiding... Moreover, they’re using ranged attacks this time.”
The arrows came from above in the distance. With one of us injured and unaware of the enemy’s location, we were caught in an unfavorable situation.
I went to check one of the arrows that fell to the ground. The arrow was tipped with some kind of fluid. “...it’s poisoned.”
Everyone’s expression grimace when they heard that the arrow was poisoned.
“No way... “ Alyss-san made a worrying look as she watched Lisa-san grit in pain.
“Princess... Please leave me here, it’s dangerous if you stay here... “
“N-no! I won’t leave you here!”
I went to their side and told them something. “Please wait here.” I said. “ I'll deal with them quickly.”
Everyone widened their eyes in surprise, “What are you saying?” Rion-san asked.
“Don’t be ridiculous, just leave me here and take the princess away from here... “ Said Lisa-san.
But I was already on my way to locate the enemy. I closed my eyes and focused all my senses.
With that, I instantly kicked off the ground and headed towards where that enemy was.